Baltimore County STARRs

Unplaced STARRs in Maryland

Compiled March 2009

For the most part these are single individuals who left only one or two Maryland records. Hopefully something here will help another researcher.

At least three William Starrs are found in records of Baltimore, Maryland between 1770 and 1820. Two can be linked to a family, but the other one remains elusive. The youngest William (1778-1819) was a member of the tobacconist group and appears in that narrative.

The second WILLIAM Starr (1757-1823) served during the Revolutionary War as a Lieutenant in the Connecticut Line; but, he was a Quaker when he died in Baltimore 6 June 1823. He received a pension for his war service; his wife, and only heir, was receiving it when she died 26 years later. [Pierce, p. 174] Elsewhere she is identified as Eunice Fisher, daughter of Samuel and Margaret (Dawes). [Starr genforum] He is this compiler’s candidate for the William Starr who presented a petition to the House of Delegates Tuesday 26 November 1805 "praying for an act of insolvency." [MD Archives vol. 0553 p. 9925] The Quaker William Starr lived at the corner of Fell & Market St, Baltimore and was a tailor by trade. His address was given within his mother-in-law’s obituary published in the 27 February 1824 issue ofThe Baltimore Patriot: "Margaret Fischer, long a member of Society of Friends, died last night, age 88. Funeral held at William Starr’s, corner of Fell & Market Street, Fell’s Point." His trade comes from a transcription of the 1796 Baltimore City Directory: "William Starr, taylor, Fell’s Point, 5 George Street." [Thompson and Walker] This compiler identifies this William as the son (born 9 March 1757 Middletown, CT) of Joseph Starr (1698-1781) and Priscilla Roper. Joseph was a tailor by trade and they had a son William. Thus this William belongs to the Dr. Comfort line of Starrs.

Since the above William served with Connecticut troops during the war, it must be another WILLIAM Starr who enlisted as private with the Maryland troops. He appears on the 2 September 1776 to 17 January 1777 muster roll as deserted. [Archives: #168 Records of Md Troops in Continental service, vol. 1] This soldier could be the William who sold Blazing Starr in Montgomery County 1779-1783. Perhaps he is the William Starr mentioned in the 1772 Baltimore County will of Charles Robinson. [AIPC-CD] Any of these Williams could be the one who appears on a June 13, 1771 inventory list for Dr. Reimour Land of Dorchester County, Maryland. [Skinner citing Liber 105, Folios 332-338] Long time researcher Marcia Bignall added: "IF this [1771 inventory list] is anything like the lists the Pinkstons are on, it covers debts incurred over many years so the 1771 date may not be a good measure to go by."

AQUILLA and HANY Starr appear in the Baltimore County Assessor’s Field Book in 1750. [Wright p. 48] Aquilla is a given name found in the PA Irish Quaker line; but, this compiler cannot place this particular Aquilla into that group.

OBEDIAH Starr appears on a 1776 list of militiamen who formed a Baltimore Mechanical Society Company. [Peden] Jason Carpenter filled in a few missing gaps. Obediah gave money to the Revolutionary cause during the war. He was a mahogany sawyer and traveled between Maryland and the British Honduras, Belize, for the wood. The 1796 Baltimore city directory entry reads: Starr, Obadiah, sawyer, Old Town, North Street. [Thompson and Walker.] He married Ruth Boyd 8 Aug 1795. [Barnes citing First Presbyterian records]

During the Revolutionary War JAMES Starr served as a private in Capt. Breffett’s Company of Horse, Col. Armand’s Co. He received a pension for this service in 1818. [Pierce, p. 174] Depositions within his pension papers tell us he resided in Baltimore for 39 years, but died in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland 3 September 1822. In November John P. Sparks and Levin (x) Walters gave oath that James Starr, plaisterer by trade, had died at the home of John P. Sparks. The papers do not say if Sparks had taken in an elderly relative or if he had employed Starr.

Apparently another JAMES Starr lived in Baltimore as well. According to the 14 February 1831 issue of The Baltimore Patriot: Died at Boston Wednesday morning, Mr. Edwin Starr, age 21, son of Mr. James Starr of Baltimore.

JOHN Starr is perhaps the most interesting of this group because of his many connections to the colorful and cantankerous Thomas Cresap. John is thought by most researchers to be a member of the PA Irish Quaker line, but this compiler has doubts. For one thing, his movements and that of the John Starr some attempt to combine with him don’t quite fit together. For another, his actions are clearly not those of a Quaker. Neither was he a German for he had no qualms about cheating them out of their land. He was a weaver by trade and is reported to have lived near Baltimore although just where he resided hasn’t been determined. Most of what we know about him comes from depositions taken late 1736 and then in 1738 involving charges against Thomas Cresap for almost single-handedly creating trouble between two of the King’s Provinces. Some of the surnames mentioned are intriguing IF a connection between generations and other geographical areas can be made. The excerpt from Bailey’s biography is offered as background, followed by brief excerpts from depositions that contain surnames of particular interest.

"That Cresap was far more than a magistrate in western Maryland can be seen from an examination of various documents for the month of December, 1736; that the Pennsylvanians were right in claiming that he was also a land agent seems beyond contradiction. Note, for instance, the deposition of John Starr. He stated that in September 1736 his cousin Thomas Thompson, had been informed by the Reverend Jacob Henderson that there were lands in western Maryland to be had merely for the settling. Subsequently Henderson had given Thompson, Starr and a friend, William Dounard, letters of introduction to Cresap. Upon arrival at Cresap's the men turned over their letters to him, after which Cresap took them out to view the country round about. Much of this land had already been taken up by Pennsylvania Dutch. The wily Marylander proposed to dispossess these Germans. He promised the three newcomers that deeds could be secured for the land from the governor of Maryland. Shortly thereafter Cresap went down to what Starr called Annapolisk to clear up matters with Governor Ogle. Things were worked out so satisfactorily that Starr returned to his Maryland home near Baltimore where he acquainted various friends of the encouragement offered by Ogle for them to settle the lands -- regardless of the 'Dutchman.'" [Bailey p. 44-5]

25 November 1736 Henry Munday of London Grove [Pennsylvania], sadler, age about 48 deposed: "… about the latter end of September, Thos. Thompson of London Grove, told him of meeting at Wm. Miller's with Rev. Jacob Henderson (his brother-in-law) and Benjamin Tasker, Esq. Of Maryland … Gov. Ogle had agreed to grant these lands to Starr, Thompson, Downard, Thompson's two sons, and these other persons, who are friends or relatives of Starr and Downard, to wit, James Starr, James Henthorn, John Henthorn, Nathaniel Dawson, James Downard, and ? Savor, an Atty. at Law. [Futhey and Pope; also PA Archives] Edward Leet of Marlsborough, yeoman, age about 71 years … He wishing to take up some land, not only for himself, but for eight of his cousins, agreed to go and with him went John Smith, John Henthorn, Hugh Kaine, John Kaine and James Nicholson. " [Ibid] September 1738 Sarah Southby was deposed about a scene she witnessed early that month at the house of Willm Downard. "John Owen ye highe sherife, being there as he heard, to take Charles Higgenbotham, she saw John Star take down a gun, but saw him do no more, and saw John Henthorn knock down a man so yt ye blod run out of his head, and saw James Henthorn and Mary Henthorn strick with sticks, and saw Jean Downard throw scalding broth and a stone at ye high sherife which hit his shoulder, and saw Daniel Oneal strick ye sherife with his fists …" [Ibid]

Intriguing connections begin with the MUNDAY surname. Henry Starr (died 1733 Cecil County) signed the security bond along with William Bourn for Alice Munday as administratrix on the will of Catherine Munday 1724. Catherine appointed Starr and Bourn overseers of the will. The Bourn surname here is sometimes corrupted to Boren / Boring, a close family friend of descendants of Henry Starr (1752-1821) in Georgia. The KAINE surname also links to descendants of Henry Starr in Georgia; his son Silas married Elizabeth Kain in 1806; she was the widow of John Carroll Pinkston at the time. Two of their daughters married George W. Leak [?LEET] in Newton County, Georgia. John OWEN, high sheriff, might be related to William Robey Owen who purchased Blazing Starr from William Starr in 1779.


As always, a special thanks is extended to Lea Dowd for her research assistance; she’s the one who located the newspaper and pension applications. Rosemary Woodson deserves credit for my early and continuing interest in "the Cresap John Starr." She suspected all along that there is more to his story.


Anderson, Patricia Abelard, Frederick County, MD Land Records, Liber E Abstracts 1752-1756, 1995

Bailey, Kenneth P. Thomas Cresap: Maryland Frontiersman. Christopher Publishing House, Boston, 1944

Barnes, Robert Gleanings From Maryland Newspapers 1727-1775

Barnes, Robert. Maryland Marriages 1778-1800. 1978

CD collection: Maryland Probate Records, Calendar of Wills, Abstracts of Inventories & Accounts of Prerogative Court Records from 1674-1774

Clark, Murtie June, Colonial Soldiers of the South 1732-1774, 1983

Everton Publishers Inc. The Handybook for Genealogists 9th Edition. 1999 Logan, Utah

Futhey, J. Smith and Gilbert Pope, editors. History of Chester County, Pennsylvania. 1881, Philadelphia, PA, Louis H. Everts.

Green, Karen Mauer The Maryland Gazette 1727-1761 Frontier Press, 1989.

Maryland State Archives

Kozy, Mary. E-mail to LSS 1 Sept 1999.

Peden, Henry C., Jr. Revolutionary Patriots of Montgomery County, Maryland, 1775-1783 Westminster: Family Line Publications.

Pennsylvania Archives, Vol. I, Series I

Pierce, Alycon Trubey, Selected Final Pension Payment Vouchers 1818-1864 Maryland: Baltimore

Ross, Kate. #2725 STARR genforum

Shaffer. Inhabitants of Frederick County, Maryland volume 1. 1750-1790

Skinner, V. L. Jr. Abstracts of the Inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland 1718-1720 Family Line Publ. 1991

Thompson and Walker. Baltimore Town and Fell's Point Directory of 1796 1983.

T.L.C. Genealogy, Prince George's County Land Records 1743-1746 Miami FL 1998

Wright, Edward F. compiler with introduction by Robert Barnes. Inhabitants of Baltimore County 1692-1763