Book Review of “Mareen Duvall of Middle Plantation” by Harry Wright Newman 1952

Please note that there may appear to be some misspelled words in the review and punctuation in the review, but the conventions are those of the author of the book who in many cases used Old English traditions. Also all of the various spellings of Mareen, DuVall and Laval, and other spellings just show that they were used interchangeable during the history of this family.

As described by the author the book is a Genealogical History of Mareen Duvall, Gent., of the Province of Maryland and his Descendants With Histories of the Allied Families of Tyler, Clarke, Poole, Hall, and Merriken. The book is 590 pages in Length.


The Table of Contents looks like this:



Forward                                                                                                                        5

Preface                                                                                                                          9

Introduction                                                                                                                 13

European Background                                                                                                 15

Mareen DuVall, Gent., and History of Middle Plantation                                              20

Captain John Duvall and his Descendants                                                                    57

Mareen the Elder and His Descendants                                                                      97

Judge Lewis Duvall and His Descendants                                                                 141

Samuel Duvall and His Descendants                                                                         148

Madam Eleanor Duvall Roberts                                                                               161

Madam Susannah Duvall Tyler and Her Descendants                                               162

Mareen the Younger and His Descendants                                                               209

Madam Catherine Duvall Orrick                                                                              365

Madam Elizabeth Duvall Clarke and Her Descendants                                             385

Madam Johanna Poole and Her Descendants                                                          455

Benjamin Duvall and His Descendants                                                                     472

Merriken Family                                                                                                     536

Miscellaneous                                                                                                         551



These chapters are related to his 12 known children in order of birth. The first five are with a wife or wives unproven and the last seven with Susannah. Susannah was probably the Virginia born daughter of his friend in exile Benois Brasseur. He had a third and last wife Mary who bore him no children. It is likely that his first Maryland wife was the  Mary Dewall  who was the heir to Thomas Bouth  of  Calvert County who died in 1672.

There is no evidence that he was married before he arrived in America.

It is known that Benjamin became a stronger name of Susannah Duvall group than Mareen and it is believed the name was in honor of  Benois (Benjamin) Brasseur. Each of Susannah’s children except Catherine had children named Benjamin.




In the preface to the book, the author takes a lot of exceptions to documents left by Judge Gabriel Duvall the nearest descendent to the emigrant, a great grandson, who left written material related to the emigrant. He states that in nine (9) incidents that the Judge was totally incorrect. He gives most credence to the genealogy notes left in 1839 by Dr. Grafton Duvall educated at St. John’s College, Annapolis and at the University of Pennsylvania. He was born in 1780 and came in contact with the grandchildren of the emigrant. The author states that his notes have only a few discrepancies with other source documents and the material presented in the book track closely to Dr. Crafton Duvall’s notes. His father was a great grandson of the emigrant at the time that Dr. Grafton was 31 years of age. When documentary evidence could not be found Dr. Grafton’s notes are considered to be authentic by the author of this book.




The author states that the Duvalls intermarried with all of the gentry families of Anglican oligarchy of the county of Prince George in Maryland. It also states that no family in the Colonies married more with their kinsman. Marriage to first cousins was most frequent.


The family started in Anne Arundel County Maryland, but by 1710 most had moved to Price George County on land patented by the Emigrant in then Calvert County. Most of the Duvalls lived on “Darnell Grove” and “Pleasant Grove”. Two large tracts of land of 3800 and 1600 acres respectively which were subdivided into smaller plantations.


As the Province grew, younger sons settled in on western lands and before the Revolution they were well settled in Frederick County and a few settled on the Virginia frontier. After the Revolution several purchased plantations in Anne Arundel County. Those who settled on the north shore of the Severn and intermarried with the Rideouts, Boones, and Hardwoods formed a social clique unequalled in culture, intelligence, and position.


Mareen the Emigrant, wrote his name as DuVall, the orthography used by succeeding generations. The son of or grandchildren of Judge Gabriel Duvall first adopted the old Angevin spelling of DuVal which has been adopted by others including those who settled in Alabama.


The name Duval is definitely what the French call de voisinage meaning neighborhood and was obviously given to the patriarch of a family living in a vale or a dale. One descendant had a different theory of the name deviation. The original Castle of LaVal consisted of wooden fortifications and was referred to as the villa, a barricade, from the Latin de vallis. As the DuValls were the first Seigneurs to occupy the Castle of Laval, they became known as the familia de vallis , hence DuVal.



European Background


Much speculation has taking place on the immediate and remote ancestors of Mareen Duvall of Middle Plantation, but as far as the research that has been done as of the writing of this book, no conclusive proof has been found for his immediate ancestors.


It is not a coincidence that he named his first tract of land Laval. It was quite characteristic of the landed gentry of early Maryland to name their plantations after their ancestral estates.

Maryland was the only colony which adopted the English system of specifically and officially designating each plantation with a distinctive name, and it was not discontinued until after the Revolution.  This indicates that the root of his family was  in or near the old medieval city of  Laval.  It is not unimaginable that he was born there in the shadow of old castle which stands today as a symbol of the strength and power of the Middle Ages. The recorded history of Laval goes back to the 10th century. At that time there existed on the actual site a “vallum” or permanent embankment constructed of earthworks on which were erected wooden fortifications. From the 11th century a stone castle took the place of the first construction and the Lords of Laval saw a number of inhabitants seeking protection beneath its walls. They had some power at that time and made valuable alliances, one of which was William, Duke of Normandy the Conqueror of England. At different periods the kings of France were in residence at Laval with the ancestors of Mareen acting as hosts. The Duvall family was an ancient one and originated in Caen, Normandy where it held first rank from time immemorial. Of this Norman family Etienne Duval in 1548 was raised to the rank of  the nobility by King Henry II in consideration of services rendered by him and his predecessors. Blaise Duval, of Abbeville in Picardy, in 1540 also received favors from the King. The family was wide spread as brought out by the various number of arms issued to branches throughout French cities. There were also armorial families in Sweden, Switzerland, Flanders and in England.



Mareen DuVall, Gent., and History of Middle Plantation


Mareen DuVall entered the Province of Maryland during the sixteen fifties, which was a period of considerable political and social unrest in the British Isles and France. At that time Louis XIV of France was still a minor and his country was ruled by Mazarin, a Spanish Roman Catholic and a pupil of Richeliey who had little or no sympathy with the Huguenots. Cromwell in England with his Army ruled supreme. Charles I the King of England had been executed at Whitehall in 1649.  Charles II was named King but he sustained defeat by superior forces of Cromwell in 1651. Many of Charles II soldiers were taken prisoner, but Charles II escaped to France where he remained in exile for nine years.


The author of the book speculates that Mareen fought with the Nobles in France mostly from ancient Normandy against the despised catholic Mazarin and was captured as an insurgent and sold into bondage. It is proved that Mareen was brought into Maryland by William Burgess an ally of Mazarin lending credence to his speculation. The ancient city of Laval believed to be the birth place of Mareen’s ancestors came under the influence of Normandy in and around this time. The author of the book identifies a civil officer named Marin Duval living in Normandy in 1651 which could have been the emigrant Mareen DuVall but offers no documentation as proof.


Regardless of the above, it is known that Mareen did serve a period of time of indenture ship (probably five years) and if it were about 1652 or 1653 it would bring him to the year 1657 or about the time he became a freeholder, married, and began life anew as a subject of Lord Baltimore under the British Crown. The exiling of political prisoners, war captives, and even criminals to the Colonies was quite common during this period of time. By July 25, 1659, Mareen DuVall had completed his term of service and applied for rights to 50 acres of land. In addition to these 50 acres he was granted a land patent in 1659/60 for 100 acres which he named Lavall. It is not known if he actually settled on Lavall, but if he did he soon moved to Middle Plantation nearer the center of activities in South River Hundred. In 1664 he applied for and was granted a patent of 600 acres which was surveyed under the name Middle Plantation. In 1665 Mareen DuVall and William Young jointly received a patent to Rich Neck of 200 acres. One hundred of these acres were assigned to Mareen DuVall and 100 to William Young. Later he added land to Middle Plantation known as DuVall Addition. In following years he purchased using Tobacco as his currency  more and more land.  In 1683 the General Assembly of Ann Arundel county appointed Mr. Mareen Duvall and other leading subjects on the commission to lay out “ports and places where Shipps and Vessels trading  into the Province shall unload and sell and sell barter and traffic away all goods wares and commiditys that shall be imported into the Province.

Quote from the author of the book:

“At Middle Plantation Mareen Duvall, undoubtedly the most eminent and best beloved Frenchman to have settled in Maryland., lived the patriarchal life of a seventeenth- century Maryland planter , merchant, and country gentleman surrounded by his family and servants. That he was fastidious in dress is brought out by the appraisement at his death of his wearing apparel  18/14/9 pounds, but unfortunately for our information the articles of clothing were not separately enumerated”

From his will it became apparent that was tension, conflict, and apparent alienation of and older son (Mareen the Elder) who was only given five shillings. John, Eleanor, and Samuel were also only given five shillings. The book published the will in detail for those readers that have an interest in the details. Reviewers note: The DuValls of Pope, Grant and Saline Counties in Arkansas are descended from Mareen the Younger his son by his second wife.  Mareen the Elder disapproved of his marriage to his second wife thus alienating his father. There was definite tension between the elder children and the young stepmother before his death as evidenced in his will.

The book goes on to itemize the items and buildings found at the plantation and it is obvious that he was a very wealthy man by the standards of his day. He was presumably buried on Middle Plantation according to the customs besides his wives and infant children who failed to mature. But  later documentation by Judge Duvall in 1841 points to the fact that he probably lies in a now unmarked neglected grave not far from the site of his mansion on Middle Plantation which did not border South River. This fact becomes important because of the fact that Middle Plantation has been plowed over and the tombstones crushed for roadbed by later owners of the Plantation., the fate of many of Maryland’s relics at the hands of unappreciative owners.


Middle Plantation remained the seat of the Duvall family for only a little more than 50 years, but descendents of the Emigrant held it except for a few intervening years until 1833. The bulk of the Plantation was left to his widow Mary who later somehow (this left the other children out of any inheritance in the land some of which otherwise would have inherited land on her death) gave it to his third son Lewis, so by 1700 he was in possession of the entire Plantation except for 53 acres. Middle Plantation remained the seat of Lewis Duvall and his family until November 1708, when the entire plantation of 844 acres was assigned or placed under the trusteeship of John Hyde, Merchant and Broker at Annapolis. Lewis Duvall left the Plantation by December 1710 and whether he returned before 1718 the year he settled in South Carolina is not known. After the death of Lewis, the three co-heiresses (Lewis's children) held the plantation, although Joseph Way Sr., husband of Ann, attempted to break the entail in 1734.



After the death of Martha, the entire plantation became the property of Ann and it was held by her until her death in 1761. At that time her son and heir Joseph Way Jr. arrived in Maryland and after some litigation became the owner of record in 1763.


In some manner possibly for payment of quit-rents, repairs, brokerage fees and the like Nicholas Maccubin had acquired a lien on the property and after an amiable settlement   Joseph Way Jr., conveyed his equity to Zachariah Hood, of Ann Arundel, Merchant. After this the land quickly became split up by numerous owners. Zachariah Hood for 137 pounds sold 110 acres to Thomas Rutland Jr. on August 1, 1764. This was definitely part of the upper portion and contained improvements.  On July 5, 1764, Zachariah also sold for 995 pounds 711 ˝ acres. And also Duvall Pasture of 24 acres. On August 15, 1767, Nicholas Maccubin sold 218 acres of his 711 acre portion to Henry O’Neal Welch for 327 pounds.

Nicholas Maccubin held the residue or 493 1/2 acres until 1773.  Did this portion contain the original dwelling house of Mareen the Emigrant? If the original house of Mareen the Emigrant were on this portion, it is not likely that Nicholas with his wealth would have been   content  to keep the compact dwelling of Mareen when the wealthy gentry of the area were erecting large manorial estates similar to those of England.

On December 4, 1773, Nicholas Maccubin sold 449 1/2 acres to Thomas Henry Hall and William Hall 3d, brothers and great-grandsons of Mareen the Emigrant. Thank goodness some of it came back to the Duvalls. The purchase price was 1557 pounds which would indicate that the tract contained a dwelling. Thomas Henry Hall moved to Washington County and conveyed his interest to his brother, William Hall 3d who eventually came into possession of the entire 493 acres which remained his home until his death in 1815.

This is getting very convoluted, but I am continuing on to get all the facts in as I write this book review.

William Hall 3d left the estate to his widow Margaret during life, to be divided equally to his heirs. At her death in 1831, the heirs petitioned the High Court for power to sell the estate in order to divide the proceeds equally.

It was at this time that John T. Hodges purchased 401 acres for $12,471. This purchasing power would be about $200,000 in 1952’s money. At that time the plantation was resurveyed.

If   Nicholas    Maccubin did not construct a pretentious dwelling, William Hall 3d, whose estate was large, erected the dwelling which was still standing in 1952.

Meanwhile Henry O’Neal Welch who bought 711 acres in 1767 died in 1784 and willed his dwelling plantation to his two nephews Thomas King and Nicholas Welch with Thomas King receiving the portion containing the dwelling place. Nicholas Watkins purchased King’s portion in 1800. In 1822 the heirs of Thomas King sued Watkins alleging that the property was illegally sold. Disinterested parties made depositions that Nicholas Watkins had made the improvements on the land and he retained the land.

Authors Quote: “ Benjamin Watkins presumably an heir of Nicholas Watkins on September 29, 1840, mortgaged his dwelling plantation of :”Burgess Choice” and “Middle Plantation” consisting of 380 acres and negroes and other personalty over which a lawsuit ultimately developed.”

The author of the book leaves off here with only a reference to the lawsuit at the end of the chapter. Interested parties could follow up this reference if they chose to do so.

Finally another author’s quote:

“Excavations on certain portions of Middle Plantation have produced in recent years some human relics, but were they the earthly remains from the Duvall family burying grounds or those of the Hall private burying grounds? The destruction or decay of head stones alleviates any positive evidence for the present antiquarian. And the eternal question remains. Was the dwelling-house of Mareen the Emigrant on the portion alienated to Thomas Rutland or that sold to Henry O’Neal Welch or the portion that Nicholas Maccubin retained until 1773  ?  If it were on the Maccubin portion, then either Maccubin or William Hall 3d demolished the ancestral dwelling of the Duvall family”

Captain John Duvall and his Descendants (16…-1711)

This is to me the most interesting of all of Mareen the Emigrant’s children. There is definite proof that he was the eldest son. If he were the John transported  in 1678 to America, it becomes even more interesting. He could have been a son of a marriage in France and became separated from his father when Mareen was deported to America as a political indentured servant.

John did not enter as an indentured servant, but came with Captain John Dingley of the Ship St. George of London free of passage money with the understanding that he was to perform certain chore duties on shipboard en route. For this agreement Captain Dingley was to receive from the Lord Proprietary 50 acres of land. Dingley assigned the 50 acres along with another 179 land rights to Nicholas Painter. Painter was an associate of Colonel William Burgess who brought Mareen the Emigrant into the Province.

About 1677 or before 1678 the Nanticoke Indian War broke out when a large contingent from Anne Arundel County went to the aid of the settlers on the lower Eastern Shore. Mareen the Elder the son of  Mareen the Emigrant served under Colonel William Burgess during this action. It is of particular interest that John who was older than Mareen did not serve in this campaign. John was the only son interested in the military, being a captain in the Provencial militia at a later date. The question arises why did not John who had fighting blood join the forces against the Nanticokes. It is particularly significsnt, because Captain Dingley did not bring his 180 settlers into Maryland until a short time before November 1678. The author leaves off here, but you can conclude that this did not give sufficient time for John to become involved.

John had more of the continental flare of French customs than the other children of Mareen the Emigrant with exception of Eleanor, and accepted the standards of the well-bred Frenchman by the maintenance and recognition of a maitresse (mistress).

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Magistrate William Jones and Elizabeth his wife, a neighbor in South River Hundred. On August 17, 1685, his father-in-law, styled Planter, conveyed to him and Elisabeth the plantation “Wilson Grove” which lay in Anne Arundel County at the head of South River. The tract of 200 acres had been granted by Lord Baltimore to Robert Wilson in 1672 who conveyed to John and James Powell, both of South river, who likewise transferred the tract to William Jones. Elizabeth Jones, wife of William, waived all dower rights. William Jones died testate on June 11, 1705. He left personalty to his daughter Elisabeth and to his granddaughter Mary. His wife Elizabeth was left the plantation during life. She married James Sanders in 1706.

Children of John and Elizabeth (Jones) Duvall

1.      Elizabeth Duvall, born 1687, married Benjamin Warfield and John Gaither

2.      Sarah Duvall, born 1689, married Samuel Farmer.

3.      Mary Duvall, born 1692, married Edward Gaither.

4.      John Duvall, born Mar. 20, 1694/5 died young.

5.      Mareen Duvall (twin) born and buried 1698/9

6.      Mountmillion Duvall (twin) born and buried 1698/9

7.      Comfort Duvall, born Mar. 14, 1705/6 married William Griffith

8.      Lewis Duvall, born Jan’ 16, 1703/4, married Eleanor Farmer.

9.      Rachel Duvall, born Mar. 14, 1705/6 married William Waters and Henry Maroney

10.  Samuel Duvall, born June 22, 1708 married twice.

11.  Alexander Duvall, born Aug. 17, 1710.


John became the most distinguished son of his father in the matter of public service, and in 1608 was listed as one of the military officers of Anne Arundel County.

It is fairly certain that Captain Duvall established his home at “Wilsons Grove”, the gift from his father-in-law. Ultimately his landed estate consisted of several thousands of  acres.

He gave land on which the early parish Church of St. Barnabas stood. This was two acres.

By his actions John showed his sympathy and warmth for mankind, and there was definitely much human interest in Captain John Duvall.

He seemed somehow to find solace with a maiden of the neighborhood by the name of Hester Ijams, of a respectable family and the sister to his brother’s wife. She became the mother of his three love children- John who died young, Anne, and Elizabeth.

In April 16, 1705, with the consent of his wife, Elizabeth, he conveyed to Hester Iiams the plantation “Burgess Choice”, of 223 acres. The conveyance was for her natural life with the stipulation that she remain single and have no other children than the three mentioned above. If she should marry the land and household stuff would go equally to the children.  Included also were three indentured servants. In the event that Hester died before the children aged 16, John obligated them to his care.

In 1708/9, John and his wife Elizabeth deeded to Amos Garrett for 20 pounds “ Honest Man’s Lott” of 110 acres. John Duvall signed the deed and his wife made her mark.

He died intestate on April 20, 1711.

After 5 years his widow married Amos Simpson a widower of All Hallow’s Parish. Simpson became the guardian of the minor children and in June 1721 petitioned the court to evaluate the landed state of his ward Lewis Duvall, the son and heir of John Duvall, deceased. At the Assembly of April-May 1737, an act was passed whereby the entail on the tract “Wilson’s Grove” was revoked and granted to the heirs of Lewis Duvall fee simple. I am assuming that when his father John died intestate that Lewis being the oldest son  became the sole heir.

Rachael (Duvall) Walterers-Maroney


Rachael Duvall, daughter of Captain John Duvall and Elizabeth Jones and his wife, was born March 14, 175/6, in all Hallow’s Parish, Anne Arundel County. On November 3, 1724, she married William, son of John and Elizabeth (Giles) Wathers. From this union descended some of the most illustrative descendants of the Waters and Duvall families.

Children of William and Rachael (Duvall) Waters

1.      Nathan Waters married ----Rittenhouse. Daughter of David Rittenhouse, of Philadelphia.

2.      Nathan Waters married Catherine Wilson

3.      Lucy Waters married Arthur Nelson.


William Waters was deceased by 1742, in which year his mother bequeathed property to the heirs (unnamed) of her deceased her son William. No accounts of accounts are filed Annapolis. His widow married  secondly Henry Maroney.

As Rachael Maroney, she was executrix of her brother Samuel’s estate in 1752. No administration of her estate of her husband, Henry M. Maroney can be likewise found.

Children of Henry and Rachael (Duvall) Maroney

1.      Phillip Duvall Maroney married twice.

2.      Henry Maroney.


Lucy (Waters) Nelson


Lucy Waters, daughter of William and Rachael (Duvall) Waters, was born in Frederick County. She married Arthur Nelson, a wealthy and prominent planter of Frederick County.

Children of Arthur and Lucy (Waters) Nelson

1.      Dr. John Nelson, Surgeon of the Revolution

2.      Roger Nelson, born 1759, married Mary Brooke Sims.

3.      Sarah Nelson marred Captain William Luckett.

4.      Jane Nelson married Waters.


Although Arthur’s sons took a prominent part in the War of Independence, he thought a patriot played no great part so far as preserved records.


Captain Philip Duvall Maroney


Philip, son of Henry and Rachael (Duvall) Maroney, was born about 1750 in Frederick County, Maryland. His first marriage occurred in sometime before 1773.

While a resident of Annapolis he was a member of the Well Meaning Club of that town.

At the beginning of the Revolution he recruited a company for the Flying Camp in Frederick County. This company had to disband because of lack of funds. Because of his wife’s illness, he moved her to Frederick County where he remained until her death. Thereupon he rejoined the Army and according to statements of his son participated in the Seige of Yorktown. He was active in revolutionary affairs for on October 14, 1782, the Western Shore Treasure ordered that about 53 pounds be paid Philip Meroney and others for apprehending and delivery up prisoners of war.

He ultimately settled in Franklin County, North Carolina, where he married Martha Massey on January 3, 1785. He died on December 3, 1830.


Brigadier-General Roger Nelson


Roger Nelson, son of Arthur and Lucy (Waters) nelson, was born 1769near Point-of-Rocks, Frederick County, Maryland. He studied at William and Mary College, and July 15,  1780 , was commissioned a lieutenant in the 5th Md. Ret.,  but later served in the 3d Regt. and the Continental Dragoons. He was wounded at the battle of Camden and after several months on a British prison ship was exchanged. He later participated in the battles of  Guilford Courthouse and Eutaw Springs and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

He was a member of the Federalist Party but after the disintegration became a member of the Democratic Party. In 1793 he commanded a troop of Calvary in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion. He continued in the State Militia and rose to the rank of brigadier-general.

After the Revolution he studied law and practiced at Frederick Town. He served for a brief period in the Maryland House of Delegates and from 1804 to 1810 he represented Western Maryland in the House of Representatives. He was named by the House as one of the managers for impeachment proceedings against Associate Justice Chase of the Supreme Court, but refused to serve. From 1810 to 1815 he was Associate Judge of the 6th judicial Circuit of Maryland.

In 1777 he married Eliza Brooke Sim, descendant of Dr. Patrick Sim, of Sim’s Delight. Prince Georges County, and his wife Mary Brooke.


Children of Roger and Eliza (Sim) Nelson

1.      John Nelson married Francis Harrison; succeeded his father as member of the Cincinnati.

2.      Eleanor Harrison Nelson

3.      Emilia Nelson.

4.      Sarah Nelson

5.      Frederick Nelson, died Jan 23, 1823, aged 19, entered in burying ground of All Saint’s Parish, Frederick.

On May 31, 1815, he was granted a pension for his services under the ACT of 1802, but died shortly afterwards on June 7, 1815, intestate.

On March 4, 1834, his widow, Eliza Nelson, of Frederick County, was granted a pension by right of her husband’s service as a lieutenant of the Maryland Line which renewed or extended by the Congressional Act of 1838.

Quote from the author:

“The following inscriptions are from the churchyard of the old All Saint’s parish Church in Frederick County:

“in memory of Gen. Roger nelson who died on the 7th June 1815 Aged 56 years. He lived more for his country than for himself. He was engaged amongst others in the battle of Eutaw, Guilford, Camden and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at York Town. He bore upon his body the scars of sixteen wounds received during the Revolutionary War. Many years after part of his life were spent in both branches of the Legislature of Maryland and in the Congress of the United States and in his declining years he served as one of the Judges of the 6th Judicial District of Maryland. As a husband and father is held in most affectionate remembrances”.

“To the Memory of Mrs. Eliza Nelson widow of General Roger  Nelson who departed this life on the 23 day of March 1855, aged 81 years.””