Today’s post is written by guest blogger Christian Butler, who has Holland roots in Maryland. Christian is an attorney and a native born Californian currently living in Virginia. He’s been researching his family history since 2018.
Christian has done such excellent and detailed work uncovering new clues to prove the children of Anthony Holland, who left Maryland and migrated to Kentucky in the late 1700s, that I asked him to share his findings with everyone.
There have been several posts written in the past by me, so if you are related to Anthony Holland and would like to read them, go to the home page of Empty Branches on the Family Tree and scroll down the categories on the left hand side until you come to Hollen (the spelling used by my husband’s family.)
I found Linda’s blog posts regarding the family of Anthony Holland who died in Scott County, Kentucky in 1799 while digging into some DNA matches who appeared to have roots in the same part of Kentucky. My paternal grandmother’s family is from Frederick County, Maryland, and her second great grandmother was Rebecca Moxley (born about 1805, died after 1870). Rebecca’s parents were William Moxley 1760-1845 and Elizabeth HOLLAND.
No one seems to know who Elizabeth’s parents were, so she has been a brick wall for me. In most family trees she has a birthdate based on confusion with a different Elizabeth Holland who was born in Massachusetts, parents based on that Massachusetts Elizabeth, and a death date based on confusion with an Elizabeth who married a different Moxley. Based on census age ranges she was born sometime in the 1760s and she must have died between 1840 (when she appears to be in William Moxley’s household in the census) and 1845 (when William Moxley wrote his will with no mention of a wife). She married William in Baltimore County, Maryland in 1785. The DNA matches I was investigating happen to be shared matches with other known descendants of William Moxley and Rebecca Holland.
In hopes of establishing whether these DNA matches were descended from Anthony Holland, and ideally identifying the parents of my Elizabeth Holland, I started pulling some threads suggested by Linda’s posts about Anthony’s children. This led to some breakthroughs about several of these children, as follows:
Anna was clearly the youngest of Anthony’s children, as the only unmarried daughter and apparently the only child who was still a minor (in the Scott County will books a bond by Shadrach Penn as Anna’s guardian appears a few pages after Anthony’s will). So she was probably born between 1779 and the early 1780s. It turns out that she married Stephen George Rossell (also spelled Roszell, Roselle, etc.), probably in 1800. Their children (in order of birth) were Fountain, George Holland (presumably named after Anna’s youngest brother), Anthony Holland (presumably named after Anna’s father), Asenath, Elizabeth, Nehemiah (named after Stephen’s father), and Josiah, born between about 1800 and maybe 1812 or 1813. Stephen also had an older son named Elliott, I presume from a previous marriage.
Stephen seems to be listed in the 1800 tax list (as “Stephen Raizel”) and the 1810 census in Scott County. He died in Scott County on 3 Dec 1813 (an inquest is recorded in the will books and states his date of death) and Anna was appointed guardian of the children with Shadrach Penn (husband of Margaret Holland) as security. Then Anna died in 1821, and a brother-in-law of Stephen was appointed guardian of the boys while Shadrach Penn was appointed guardian of the girls. There are numerous entries in the county court order books of Scott County pertaining to the guardianship of the children, apprenticeships for the boys. Shadrach Penn also gave consent to Elizabeth Rossell’s marriage to Andrew Slade in Woodford County in 1827 (she was still a minor). The identity and approximate ages and birth order of all of Anna’s children can be determined from the guardianship entries in the county court order books, though there is some uncertainty due to the poor state of the record books (being reconstructed from fire-damaged originals, with some entries out of sequence).
It turns out that several of my DNA matches are descended from Stephen Rossell and Anna Holland, including several descendants of Anthony Holland Roselle, one each from Fountain and George, and a few from Asenath (who married Robert White in Jessamine County in 1826).
Linda has a couple of posts investigating the William Holland who died in Harrison County, Kentucky in 1814, and concluding that he was most likely Anthony’s son William. I think that’s a good call. I have a DNA match in my Kentucky Holland cluster who is descended from Eliza Holland (who married Sebert Pate), daughter of William’s son Anthony.
William was married to an Amelia by the time he wrote his will, but I think it likely that this William is the same who married Ann Weyman in Montgomery County, Maryland in 1781. There are a number of William Hollands in Maryland in the 1790 census, but the one who best fits this William’s known children (2 males under 16 who could be Aaron and Anthony, 2 females who could be Mary and Rachel) is listed in Montgomery County—just a couple households away from Shadrach Penn. There are other Weymans/Waymans nearby. But even nearer—a few households above Shadrach Penn—is my William Moxley.
The only problem with this theory is that Linda has Aaron Holland listed as born in 1780, and according to his age range in some censuses he may have been born earlier than that. If that’s true, William must have had *another* marriage before Ann Weyman.
Regarding William’s daughter Rebecca, Linda’s post on his family says that he was married to a Mr. McCall. There is a Rebecca McCall living next to William’s son Anthony in the 1850 census, and McCalls living with Anthony and later his widow Elizabeth (Hogg) in the 1850 census and beyond. My understanding is that Elizabeth Hogg was married previously and Rebecca McCall is her daughter-in-law from her first marriage (that’s why she’s living with a Hogg in 1860). William Holland’s Rebecca married Thomas Barton. How do I know that? We’ll get to that in a moment.
Ruth is listed as “Ruth Plummer” in Anthony’s will, but the identity of her husband was unknown. Linda’s post on the siblings of Ephraim Holland mentions how George, Joseph, and William Plummer are in the 1800 Scott County tax list, and that William Plummer was still living in 1850 (with his son Philemon) and was born in Maryland and the right age to be Ruth Holland’s husband. Ruth’s husband was actually Joseph Plummer, who may have been William’s brother. I know this because….
Henry turned out to be the key tying almost everything above together. In Linda’s post about Ephraim Holland’s siblings she writes: “There is a Henry Holland in Washington County, Kentucky in 1810, but he is over 45 so too old to be this Henry.” But in another post she discusses the 1783 will of John Scrivener witnessed by Anthony, Ephraim, and Henry Holland (which could support Henry being born no later than 1762, consistent with an age over 45 in 1810). So I decided to dig into that Henry Holland further, and that really paid off.
Henry Holland is listed in the 1800 tax list for Washington County, and also in Washington County in the 1810 and 1820 census. There is a younger male in his household in both censuses, but he must have died without issue, because I dug into the Washington County land and probate records on FamilySearch and (fortunately for us) there was a ton of information about heirs that would not have been there if he had had surviving children.
The Washington County probate records I’ve found don’t directly address Henry’s heirs. They indicate that Henry died around 1821 and his widow Ann died around 1824. The administrators of Henry’s estate were his widow and Richard Ray, and a lot of Rays are listed as purchasers in the record of his estate sale. This suggests that he might be the Henry Holland who married Nancy Ray in Anne Arundel County in 1784, and is listed in the 1790 census in Ann Arundel County. I don’t know if Ann is a second wife or Ann might be a middle name, but my hunch is that either Nancy and Ann are the same or Ann was maybe a sister of Nancy considering that she administered Henry’s estate together with Richard Ray. In the 1790 census Henry appears near some Rays and near some Warfields (one of the other witnesses to John Scrivener’s will was a Warfield).
The Washington County deed books, however, were far more helpful. They have a number of deeds and powers of attorney from the 1820s by the heirs of Henry Holland to a Benedict Downs. One was an 1826 deed from Joseph and Ruth Plummer of Lincoln County, Missouri. Before that there was an 1824 power of attorney from Philemon Plummer of Daviess County, Kentucky, on behalf of his parents Joseph Plummer and Ruth Holland (explicitly stated) of Lincoln County, Missouri. It appears that Joseph and Ruth moved from Scott County to Ohio County, Kentucky (listed in the 1820 census and a couple of their children were married in Ohio County around this time) then moved to Missouri in the early 1820s. Based on Joseph’s census records it looks like Ruth was born in the 1770s and died between 1830 and 1840, while Joseph died between 1840 and 1850 (some trees list an 1839 date of death, but that was actually his son Joseph Jr.—who as it turns out was killed by Philemon Plummer). Note that both Joseph and Ruth and the William Plummer who Linda found had sons named Philemon. It looks like Joseph and William may have been brothers and had either a father or older brother named Philemon.
The next thing I found in the deed books was a power of attorney from Uriah Holland and Thomas and Rebecca Barton. These (Uriah and Rebecca) were children of Henry’s brother William d. 1814, discussed above. The Washington County records say they were of Pike County, Missouri—other records I’ve found for them are from Pike County, Illinois, but the counties border each other. So that explains what became of William Holland’s daughter Rebecca!
Next, there is a deed to Benedict Downs from Thomas H. Waters transferring the interest he had acquired in the lands of Henry Holland from Fountain Roszell, George Roszell, and Robert and Asenath White, heirs of Stephen Roszell (Anna Holland Roszell/Rossell was dead by this time). Separately, I found a power of attorney from Anthony Roszell and Andrew and Elizabeth Slade, also heirs of Stephen Roszell, to Thomas H. Waters authorizing him to represent them in regard to their interest in Henry Holland’s estate.
There was one more discovery waiting for me in Washington County’s deed books. And that related to….
Anthony’s daughter Elizabeth is listed as “Elizabeth Mosby” in his will. However, Scott County, Kentucky had a courthouse fire in the 1830s so documents before that time are sparse. Practically all marriage records were lost and the land and probate records that exist were copied from fire-damaged documents, so there are lots of gaps and ellipses. I wondered whether it was possible that “Mosby” was a mistranscription of something else–like, say, “Moxley.”
So I returned to the Washington County land records and checked the deed index for surnames beginning with M to see if I could find any Mosbys or Moxleys there. Lo and behold, there was an instrument from William and Elizabeth Moxley of Montgomery County, Maryland to Thomas H Waters (the same man who was party to the documents involving the Rossell children), identifying Elizabeth as a sister of Henry Holland with a one-sixth interest in his estate. So at this point I consider my brick wall broken—my Elizabeth Holland was Anthony Holland’s daughter!
I think the above provides solid evidence of who the husbands of Anthony Holland’s daughters Ruth, Anna, and Elizabeth were, and confirms what happened to his sons William and Henry. One of the documents involving Joseph and Ruth Plummer appears to state that they had a one-fifth interest in Henry Holland’s estate, while the Moxley deed and one of the Rossell deeds refer to one-sixth interests. Going by the majority, this suggests that by the time Henry Holland’s estate was administered he had six siblings who were still living or had living heirs.
Of Anthony’s (known or theorized) children, the ones not covered by the Washington County records pertaining to Henry Holland’s estate are Ephraim, Margaret, Francis, and George. Margaret was still alive at the time and Ephraim is known to have had surviving children, and together with Ruth, Anna, Elizabeth, and William they account for the six siblings who were still living or left living heirs. The two left over are George and Francis. Most likely Francis died before Anthony (if he was Anthony’s son at all) and George not long afterward, but I think we can be fairly confident that neither left surviving children.
In the 1790 census Anthony Holland is listed in Ann Arundel County, next to Rebecca Scrivener (widow of John Scrivener whose will he witnessed). His household has 3 males over 16, 1 male under 16, and 3 females. Putting all the above together (and considering information in Linda’s other blog posts), here are my thoughts about his family:
William may have been the oldest son, as he married in 1781 if not earlier. Ephraim and Henry (who witnessed John Scrivener’s will together with Anthony) were probably next, and George was probably the youngest son (I’m guessing he). William and Henry were listed separately in the 1790 census, so my hunch is that Ephraim and Francis were Anthony’s sons over 16 living with him in 1790 (Francis probably dying by 1799), and George was the male under 16 (probably born about 1775-1777, so of age in 1799 when he was named as one of Anthony’s executors).
The three females listed in his household were most likely his wife and Ruth and Anna, as Anna was still a minor in 1799 and Ruth probably didn’t marry until the family moved to Scott County KY (I’ve found no Maryland marriage record for her and her children were probably born starting in late 1790s). Margaret was married to Shadrach Penn and Elizabeth to William Moxley by that time, and living near their brother William in Montgomery County.