Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Weems Genealogy Quest

(Note: this conversation has been going on for 12 days now and we are just beginning a blog about solving the mystery of where John Weems b. 1745 and Margaret Weems (who married Richard Gott in Hillsboro, NC) "really" came from. For 200 years it has been accepted that they were the children of James Mackall Weems. However, it would have made his mother only "9".

After an exciting breakthrough in our research, we have decided to document the journey.

December 29, 2009

Good morning,
Yes, I agree it sounds like virgin territory. I checked out when the book was added to ancestry and it was only added last year. I think that genealogists have always assumed there was only 1 James Weems in that time period in Anne Arundel Co. However, the biographical dictionary states that one was the Anne Arundel County surveyor, while the other studied medicine. It's makes it a clear delineation.
Plus, there is a list of Settlers of Maryland 1679-1783 that gives the following:
Brimar, James St. Mary's county, Name of Tract - Weems 424 acres 16 Sep 1687 Ref 25/320 (Note that this is 40 years before Elizabeth Loch Weems and her 3 children even arrived, so where did the name Weems come from?)
In the same list, is: (right next to each other)
Weems, James, Deputy Surveyor for Anne Arundel County - Calvert County - Meadows Preserved 46 acres, 10 Apr 1751 T14/650;BY5/512
Weems, James son of David Calvert County - Fall Short 56 acres 26 Nov 1773 BC45/374;BC46/471
Weems, James Jr. Calvert Partnership 75 acres 28 Mar 1765 BC30/382;bC31/287
What's interesting is that in another list of Settlers of Maryland 1701-1730, there is 'only' Weems, James Deputy Surveyor for Anne Arundel Co. (meaning that the other family hadn't acquired land or weren't considered settlers yet)
Lots of information on Captain James Weems company and Fort Pemaquid. Quite the story of how the Indians took the fort, killed everyone except for 14 people and how James Weems was severely burned on his face, but survived to be transferred to New York, where he died 25 years later.
Because my own ancestor (and your ancestor's brother) was also a road surveyor in Orange Co., NC it's a good bet that they are the children of James Weems who was there before the other family arrived. It means I need to find the land records, probates and any church records in Calvert County (south of AnneArundel) to show a connection, if there is one. It also explains why Margaret Weems would marry a Gott, who were also from the same county.
At the same time, I'll try and find record of Captain James Weems in New York, see who he married and any children he might have had. Plus, because he was a member of the British colonial forces, there is a military record for him somewhere in London. Just need to order it and it will tell us where he came from. The two in Barbados came from Canongate, Edinburgh, Scotland. Anytime you have an English or Scottish officer in the service, they are most likely a younger son of a Lord's family, going into the military because they won't inherit the manor. And as the other family came to the same area, it's a good bet they're related, just have to figure out how.
It's going to be fun finding all the information. As you said, 'virgin territory'!
Have a great day!
****** December 28th, 2009
Good morning,
I've spent most of the day on this, trying to get the duplication out of the main file and track down extra Weems that are not accounted for in the genealogy that everyone has relied on for the past 200 years.
There are "4" extra bodies that I found.
1) John Weymss came to Darien, Barbados, West Indies in 1697 (father of Helen Weymss)
2) James (Ensign) Weymss came to Darien, Barbados, West Indies, d. 1698 Supposedly no issue.
3) James (Captain) Weems came to Maine in 1697 and then to NY in 1702, died about 1723 (meaning he was already here, married and settled before the others came to MD in 1720)
4) James Weems (County surveyor of Anne Arundel Co) 1730. There is no given birthdate for him, but he is definetly separate from James Weems (son of Elizabeth Loch Weems and Sir David) as he was already working there before the others came.
What's interesting is that John Weems of Greene Co., TN (Margaret's brother) was also a road surveyor, both in Orange County, NC and in Greene Co., TN. He and Margaret could well be the children of James Weems (the unknown) in Anne Arundel County.
James Weems (the unknown) could also be the son of the James (Captain) Weems who was in Maine, Albany, NY and Boston and died in 1723.
Now it's just a matter of finding everything I can on these guys. There's a lot of information in the Maine genealogical dictionary (online at about Captain James Weems and his bout with the Indians in Maine, but nothing specific on life dates or family. Will have to dig deeper.
More tomorrow!

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