Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gates Family in Early Maryland: Robert (1543-1598)

    Robert Gates was born in England about 16431.  He was transported to Maryland in 1655 as an indentured servant and was obligated to Robert Cole for a period of nine years. From records it appears that Capt. Benjamin Cooper transported Robert Gates at about twelve years of age to Maryland and then sold his rights to Robert Cole.  Both Benjamin Cooper2  and Robert Cole3  stated that they had transported our Robert Gates.  He served at St. Clement’s Manor, a plantation in St. Mary’s County.  Robert Cole had several parcels of land so Robert Gates also spent time at another plantation, Benedict Hundred, in Charles County Maryland.    







     In 1664, his period of servitude was up and he began his private life as a planter and carpenter.  As is common today with ranches and farms, early settlers named their plantations  and tracts of land.  Robert Gates patented 100 acres called Gates His Hope in 1668; 60 acres called Gates Purchase in 1672; and 193 acres called Gates His Swamp in 1688.  In addition to the the land he patented, he purchased additional acreage and by the time of his death in 1698 he owned 1567 acres.  He served in a minor office as the overseer of highways in Charles County.  
     Sometime before 1676 he married Dorothy Hunt, the daughter of John and Dorothy Hunt.  He and Dorothy had six children together, three boys and three girls.  Robert Gates’ will4 was written on Feb 5, 1694 and probated June 6, 1698, so he probably died in early 1698. His children are named in his will.  

The years of their births are listed in a book written by Mary Louise Donnelly5

Katherine  b. 1676
Susannah b. 1678
John      b. 1681  
Robert  b. 1686
Anne    b. 1690

Joseph   b. 1693


  1. Carr, Menard, and Walsh, Robert Cole’s World Agriculture and Society in Early Maryland, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1991
  2. Maryland State Archives  St. Mary's County Circuit Court Land Survey, Subdivision, and Condominium Plats  MSA S1598: Volume 17 Page 475 
  3. Family History Film 13064, "Patents series of the Maryland Land Office,1640-1658, St. Mary’s County  Volumes 5, Liber Q,  Page 18”
  4. "Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1629-1999." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2014. Citing Prerogative Court. Hall of Records, Annapolis. St. Mary’s County, Volume PC1 page 89-90
  5. Donnelly, Mary Louise, Charles County, Maryland My Colonial Ancestors Plus Others, Published by Mary Louise Donnelly, 2000, page 112

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