Category Archives: Poteet

Update: John Poteet, “Itallian”

Last week, I shared the bill of sale recorded by John Poteet in Baltimore County, Maryland in 1745. Here it is, once again:

Liber TB no. D, Folios 296-297

This digitized image is clearly from a transcribed volume, as the cursive is most definitely not of 18th century style.

I tend to follow a “no stone unturned” policy when it comes to solving mysteries and the fact that John is identified not once, but three different times in this document as John Poteet Itallian had me shaking my head in amazement.

I decided to go right to the source and contacted the Maryland State Archives. A supervisor returned my phone call and we talked about the liber, which he said is a transcription done many, many years ago (probably early 19th century) because the original book was very fragile even back then.

HOWEVER, the Archives does have the original book and the supervisor went to view the pages himself.

I fully expected to be told something along the lines of the page being faded and/or water damaged, difficult to read handwriting, etc. That would certainly explain how the unlikely word ITALLAIN was appended to John Poteet’s name in the heading on the top left side of the page, to his name in the opening sentence of the bill of sale and to his signature at the end, even though John was unable to write and simply signed as (His IP Mark).

Jno. (his IP mark) Itallian (Seal)

What was the outcome of this new viewing of the document? Not only was the supervisor astounded, but several archivist colleagues were also surprised, saying they had never seen anything like it.

The original page is clean, legible and, in fact, easy to read. No photo was taken because of the overall condition of this 1745 volume.

However, ITALLIAN is easily read and no mistake in transcription was made by the county clerk who recopied the volume.

As the Poteets were reportedly of French Huguenot descent, John Poteet must be rolling in his grave, knowing that some descendants today believe he is of Italian descent, as most Italians back then were Catholic and Catholics were the persecutors of the Huguenots.

I, myself, have no explanation either as to why that word was added to his name. However, I think it is unlikely that he was Italian.

This is just a theory on my part, but county clerks normally copied deeds to be recorded word for word when they were presented to the courthouse.

What if???????

What if the original deed was in poor handwriting and the county clerk misread the word after John Poteet’s name? What if it actually said:


which was a common term assigned to men of a certain economic standing at the time.

The shape of that word is very similar to:


It seems to me that this might be a much more plausible explanation for that word than adding someone’s ethnicity to his signature.

Readers, what do you think?

Peter Poteet & Rebecca (Bond) of Baltimore County, MD 1700s

The last of the posts about the confusing Poteet family will cover Peter Poteet and his wife, Rebecca. Her maiden name is unknown, but there are some suggestions that it might be Bond. Perhaps future research might prove it true or not.

The family of Peter and Rebecca Poteet is more clearly defined than many of the other Poteets. That’s because Peter helpfully left a will, written on 5 October 1733 and proved on 2 April 1740.

Peter was likely in his 60s when he died, born around 1680. I have not located an image of his will, but abstracts name his children.

Rebecca reportedly died c1758, probably Baltimore County, Maryland.


1. Lewis, born c1700; died after 1750, when he owned land
2. Catherine, born c1702; married Thomas Miles, by 18 August 1719
3. Rebecca, born c1704; married Thomas Foy, by 18 January 1726
4. Ann, born c1706; married Abraham Whitaker, c1725 (2) William Pike, before 7 September 1741, probably Baltimore County, Maryland
5. Sarah, married James Preston, 1733
6. Mary, married Mr. Clark or Chalk
7. Elizabeth

Thus ends the saga of the Poteet family – at least until I find new documented tidbits that helps sort them all out.

Poteet Siblings: Francis, Lewis, John, Peter and Susanna, 1600s MD

I am still trudging around Baltimore County, Maryland, piecing together the Poteet family history.

It’s time to begin at the beginning with Francis Poteet, who died in Baltimore County, Maryland by 1688. He left a widow, Mary, who married (2) Michael Hastings. The birth years of his children are estimates, but let’s say he was married by 1675, which is reasonable as he left five children.

That would place the birth year of Francis Poteet, c1650, if he married in his early 20s, which again is reasonable.

NOTE: Some of this information is heresay and I question if others haven’t mixed up men of the same name.


1. Francis; born c1676 (estimate); married Lucy (MNU); left a will proved on 3 August 1709. His daughter Mary was under 16 when he died and she is probably the Mary Poteet who married George Ogg, 22 August 1722. Lucy married (2) John Swinyard.
2. Lewis, born c1678 (estimate); possibly the man who married Catherine Green, 12 June 1722, Baltimore County, Maryland. Children: Rebecca, born 9 December 1722, Ann, born 5 October 1727. However, if this is the right Lewis, he either married and lost a wife or married at a fairly late age. I think this Lewis might be a grandson of Francis who died by 1688.
3. John, born c1680 (estimate); said to have died by 2 May 1721 when widow Elizabeth posted bond. She married (2) John Powell. Court records supposedly name his children as John, Rebecca (born 9 October 1712), Susanna (born 8 February 1715), Abraham (born 20 June 1715 – sic) and John. Another possibility – is John who married Rebecca also a grandchild of Francis who died in 1688 and John, the proven brother of Lewis, Francis and Peter is actually the man who sold all his worldly goods to his heirs in 1745?
4. Peter, born c1682 (estimate); married Rebecca (Bond?); will proved 2 April 1740, Baltimore County, Maryland. More on this line to come, as it is my husband’s direct line.
5. Susanna?, born c1684 (estimate); One Susanna Poteet was the ward of Benjamin Stanley until November 1692. Anthony Johnson then petitioned to be her guardian. By March 1693/94, Anthony Johnson and his wife were tried for her murder. Susanna was probably the child of Francis, given the time frame of her death.

There is a ton of mixed up information out there about the children of Francis Poteet who died by 1688. The names of his children are certain, as they are named in records.

However, wives and children attributed to them are very inconsistent when searching online.

I tend to think it’s more realistic that John who sold all to his children in 1745 is very likely the son of Francis who died by 1688. If the estimated birth year of 1680 is close to correct, he would have been 65 in 1745, possibly in ill health and/or planning to live with one of those children.

The John who married Elizabeth and died in 1721 could have been a son of Francis or Lewis.

Any thoughts on this mess? If you are a Poteet researcher, I’d love to share info with you.