NameBenjamin Thrasher
Birthabt 1700
Deathca 1740, Prince Georges Co., MD
OccupationPlanter
ResidencesWhat is now Montgomery Co., MD.
FlagsEarliest Ancestor
Chronology & Notes
• 19 Sep 1719 - Benjamin Thrasher's name on a list of subscribers for a new chapel on Rock Creek in Prince Georges Co., MD94. [This chapel is now called Old St. Pauls and is the oldest church in Washington, DC.]
• 9 Jun 1726 - Benjamin Thrasher purchases a parcel of 100 acres called "The Benjamin" in Prince Georges County from John Beall. (Prince Georges MD Deeds, Liber M, Folio 56.)
• 1727 - Benjamin Thrasher recorded the gift of a dark bay mare and her increase to James Hook, Jr. (Prince Georges Deeds, Liber M, folio 174.)
• 22 Sep 1727 - St. Paul's parish register records the birth of a son, James, to Benjamin and Mary Thrasher.5 [This is the only child of Benjamin and Mary recorded in the St. Paul's parish register.]
• 1728 - Benjamin Thrasher and others subscribe "for having a church built at the upper part of this parish"5 . [As I understand it, the result was the building of a chapel which eventually became Christ Church in Rockville, MD.]
• 1733 Benjamin Thrasher's name is on the 1733 tax list of Rock Creek Hundred, Prince Georges Co. He is the only person named Thrasher on any of the 1733 Maryland tax lists.99
• 19 Nov 1740 (OS) - Benjamin Thrasher makes his will in Prince Georges Co. Wife, Mary, sole heir and executrix. Witnesses: John Harding, Eliz. Harding. (Prince Georges Co, MD Wills, Liber 22, Folio 288.)
• 3 March 1740 (OS) - Will proved by Mary Thrasher, executrix. (Ibid)
• 16 May 1741 - "Mary Thrasher, Executrix of Benjamin Thrasher late of Prince Georges County, deceased", presented an inventory of Benjamin Thrasher's estate to court. She complained that the appraisers would not appraise a "parcel of fresh bitten tobacco". The inventory was valued at over 97 pounds and consisted mainly of household items, clothing, hogs, sheep, horses, cattle, and miscellaneous items. The appraisers were Jno Jackson, Ninian Beale, and John Robertson. James and Mary Lee signed "as near Relashion to the deseased".100

[Note: as far as I can tell, Benjamin Thrasher lived on the same piece of property, "The Benjamin" from 1726—and possibly before—until his death. I have been told that this property is near present day Silver Spring, Maryland. His son Thomas's property—"Thrasher's Lott", "Thrasher's Chance", and "Enough and to Spare"— is close to present day Jefferson, Maryland.]
Evidence
Nobody has been able to satisfactorily explain why James and Mary Lee signed Benjamin Thrasher’s inventory as near relations to the deceased.

For many years it was believed that Benjamin Thrasher was probably related in some way to the large Thrasher family of the deep South that descends from John Thrasher who patented land in Goochland Co., VA in 1738 and his wife Ruth Cloud. However, all attempts to prove that relationship were unsuccessful. Recently, DNA studies have shown that the DNA of Benjamin’s descendants is very different than that of any of the other Thrasher families in the United States. Details can be found in MATA DATA, The Journal of the Mid-Atlantic Thrasher Association published by Nancy Thrasher Cherry, 3100 Elkridge Court, Beltsville, MD 20705-3239.
Overview
Benjamin Thrasher’s date of birth is not known. His children were all minors when he died implying that he either died in the prime of his life or possibly that he had married late in life. Similarly, his parents and place of birth are not known. There is a tradition among some descendants that he came from Wales.

The earliest record that has been found regarding Benjamin Thrasher is on the first page of the records of Prince Georges Parish - Rock Creek Maryland. This is a list of people who, on the 19th day of September 1719 subscribed "for the building of a chappel and contributing towards the building of same". The names given were: John Bradford, Thoms Stump, Wm Thomson, Law. Morgan, Wm Smith, Isaac Hardin, Geo Bussey, Lew. Howell Runaway, Groves Thomlin, Wm Mattenly, Thoms Lucas Jun, Wm Harbin, John Hardin, John Chitian, Jams Hook, Jams Moor, Hen Thickpeny, Thoms Wilson, John Henerick, Nichs Hoaker, Wm Williams, Walter Evans Jnr, Mathw Markland, John Roads, Philip Evans, Benj Thrasher, WF. The record notes that, "The foregoing was present at the time and place appointed". It is interesting that so many of these names are Welsh names.

This church, now known as Old St. Pauls, stands on a knoll near Rock Creek in present day Washington DC. Its cornerstone bears the date 1719. The knoll commands a view of the countryside in all directions. The church has been surrounded by Rock Creek Cemetery as the city of Washington has grown up around it.

Before St. Pauls, the nearest church in the parish was St. John's, at the head of Broad Creek, about a twelve mile trip down the Potomac River from Rock Creek. St. John's was opened for divine worship in 1697, an outpost in the wilderness upriver from the more thickly settled portion of the colony of Maryland.

IN 1726, Benjamin bought a parcel of 100 acres called "The Benjamin", from John Beall for 3000 lbs of tobacco. This parcel is just north of the Beltway in present day Silver Spring, Maryland. Benjamin lived on it for the rest of his life. He was a planter and grew tobacco, the most common occupation at that time. The inventory of his estate shows that he was of modest but comfortable means. There is no record of owning slaves. However, his children were slave owners.

After Benjamin Thrasher died in about 1740, his wife purchased a small parcel of land adjacent to “The Benjamin” and remarried William Spiers, a clothier. As far as is known, she had no additional children.

Benjamin’s sons, John and Thomas, were among first settlers in the Jeffersonville, MD area, west of the Catoctin Mountains. John kept going west, settling for a dozen years on Ten Mile Creek in what is now Western Pennsylvania and then moving on to Pendleton County, Kentucky. William stayed near Benjamin’s homestead. Son Benjamin, Jr. was living in 1767 but no record of him has been found since.

Benjamin’ s Daughter, Mary, married John Padget, joined the Moravian Church, and moved with him to North Carolina. Daughter Margaret or daughter Sarah probably married Thomas Fee and moved with him to the Ten Mile Country in Pennsylvania. However, that has not been proven.
Spouses
Death1766/1767, prob Frederick Co., MD
Birth17 Nov 1708, MD101
Birth MemoQueen Anne’s Parish
FatherJames Hook (ca1685-1738)
MotherMargaret
Chronology & Notes
• aft March 1740 - “Was exhibited from Prince Georges County. Benjamin Thresher his Will & Test’y Bond in common form by Mary Thresher his executrix with John Bell and Nicholas Hocker of Prince Georges County her Sureties in one hundred and fifty pounds Ster & dated 3rd March 1740 Which preceeding Bond is ordered to be entered & the other Proceedings Recorded” (Folio 153 of an unknown Liber in the Maryland Hall of Records. The page is captioned “1740 Talbot County Returns Continued”.)102 103
•16 May 1741 - "Mary Thrasher, Executrix of Benjamin Thrasher late of Prince Gorges Co., deceased" presented the inventory of Benjamin Thrasher's estate to court. The appraisers were Jno Jackson, Ninian Beall, and John Robertson. James and Mary Lee signed as "near Relashion to the deseased" [sic]. (Prince Georges Co., MD Inventory Accounts 1741 - 1747. LDS Microfilm.)
• 21 March 1742 (OS) Mary Thrasher, widow, made a deed of gift to her children, naming them in the following order: Thomas, Mary, John, William, Sarah, Margaret, and Benjamin. Each received seven pounds except Benjamin who received ten pounds. All "to be paid at the common age". "And my dwelling plantation and the land thereunto called "The Benjamin" to my son Thomas after my decease, during his life, and afterwards to my son Benjamin and his heirs." (Prince Georges Co., MD Deeds, Liber Y, Folio 626. Maryland Hall of Records.)
• 4 August 1743 - William Beall and James Edmondston deeded to Mary Thrasher, for 800 pounds of tobacco, 25 1/2 acres, part of the “Labyrinth” at or near the NW corner of the “Benjamin”104 .
• 18 Sep 1752 - William Spires of the Province of Maryland, taylor, for a certain amount of money in hand, deeds to Charles Groom all his personal estate of Land goods and chattels which William Spires is at present possessed "and am entitled to by marriage to my present wife" . The deed was recorded 16 Oct 1752. (Frederick Co., MD Deeds, Liber B, Folio 630)
• 18 Sep 1752 - At the request of Mary Spiers, Charles Groom posted bond of 100,000 pounds tobacco to be paid if he or his heirs, etc. molested or disturbed Mary Spiers land goods or chattels.(Frederick Co., MD Deeds, Liber B, Folio 630)
• 17 Oct 1763 - William Spiers and Mary Spiers (his wife) deed to their children, Benjamin Thrasher and Eleanor Spiers, in consideration of love and affection, considerable property—slaves, horses, cattle and all their stock and household possessions. In particular, daughter Eleanor Spiers is given “one Negro Woman called Luck” and son Benjamin Thrasher is given “One Negro Child Named Pompay”. (Frederick County, MD Deed Book H, Folio 634).
• 9 Oct 1766 - Mary Spires deeds to John Trundle for thirty pounds current money two parcels of land, the Benjamin and the Labrinth "which will more fully appear as the Deed from John Beall Senior to Benjamin Thrasher for 100 acres called the Benjamin and Deed from William Beall & James Edmonson for twenty five and one quarter acres land to Mary Thrasher called the Labrinth". The right to have and to hold the property during the Mary Spires' natural life is all that is conveyed. (Frederick Co., MD Deeds Liber K, Folio 773,4)
• 18 June 1767 - Thomas Thrasher and his wife Martha deeded land in Frederick County to John Trundell for sixty pounds current money. This land was in two parts. The first part was called "the Benjamin" and was of 100 acres. The second parcel, the "Labyrinth". is described as being adjacent to the "Benjamin" "where the widow Thrasher lately lived".( Frederick Co., MD Deeds, Liber K, Folio 1328. Maryland Hall of Records)
Evidence
Thomas Thrasher would have had no right to sell "the Benjamin" and "Labyrinth" in 1767 unless Mary had died by that time.

Mary's previous 1742 deed of "the Benjamin" to her son Benjamin, Jr. must have been either a) forgotten and ignored, or b) void because Benjamin, Jr. had died without issue before June 1767, or) superseded by another deed on the part of Benjamin, Jr. which has not come to light.

Many Internet web sites and family group sheets state that Mary Thrasher’s maiden name was Beall. This seems to be a rumor without any basis in fact. For thirty years, I have been asking people who list Mary as a Beall what the evidence is. The answer is always, “I don’t know. I heard it from somebody else.” Frances Dittmann of Atascadero, CA has spent years trying to find a Beall connection without success. So has Robert Beringer, an expert Hook Family researcher.

Chuck Hocker of Florida has presented the theory that Mary Thrasher was the daughter of Nicholas Hocker, a neighbor. A difficulty with this theory is that Mary, daughter of Nicholas and Sophia Hocker, was born on 19 Feb 1714 (NS) according to Queen Annes Parish records. According to Bible records cited in Dr. Marion Thrasher’s "History of the Thrasher Family", Mary Thrasher's first known son, Thomas, was born on 29 Oct 1725. Mary Hocker would have been 11 years 8 months old at the time of birth and Thomas would have been conceived when she was 10 years old. This does not seem likely. Another difficulty with Mr. Hocker’s theory is that it lacks any supporting evidence.

It seems likely that Benjamin Thrasher’s wife was the daughter of James Hook, Sr. and his wife Margaret - close neighbors. They had a daughter, Mary, born 17 Nov 1708 according to Queen Annes Parish records which makes her the right age. This would explain a) Why Benjamin Thrasher made a gift of a dark bay mare to James Hook, Jr. and b) Why Thomas Thrasher signed the settlement of the estate of John Hook as “next of kin” in 1762. (John Hook would have been Thomas’s uncle). Also notice that Benjamin and Mary Thrasher’s second son was named James and their third daughter was named Margaret.
ChildrenThomas (1725-1804)
 James (Died as infant) (1727-<1742)
 William (ca1731-ca1800)
 Mary (1734-1787)
 John (1736-ca1818)
 Sarah (~1738-)
 Margaret (~1740-)
 Benjamin (1740-1801)
Last Modified 21 Jul 2016Created 4 Aug 2016 using Reunion for Macintosh