Friday, May 9, 2014

Elisha Gates and Anchovie Hills

    Over the last week, I have been in contact with a few people who work for the Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation.  Their responsibilities included the many museums in the county as well as local history and archeology.  With their help I think that I have narrowed down the area where the Gates family lived.  
     Without researching original deeds and families, it would appear that an early settler from Scotland, Alexander Magruder, owned a significant amount of land in the vicinity of of the intersection Croom Road and Magruders Ferry Road.  Part of his land was the original tract called Anchovie Hills.  Some of this land was passed to children or subdivided and sold. Eventually Peter Gates purchased over one hundred acres.  He and his son added to this over the years until Elisha, Peter's grandson, sold several hundred acres between 1817 and 1827.  
     Our helpful Prince George's County archeologist suggests the stream, called Aquasco Branch in one of the deeds, is most likely a branch of Black Swamp Creek.  In addition to this our friendly archeologist suggested a land ownership map that I had not seen.  If we compare a few names on that map with other known families in the area then Elisha's land should have been about where I have placed the yellow house on the map below. 

In this old map1 you can locate several names that were in the deeds for land that was bought or sold by the Gates' family.  Elisha sold land in 1817 to James H Gibbons.  Peter Gates purchased land from the Sasscer(Saucer) family in 1760.  I have been in contact with another researcher this week and we suspect that Christina Gates' mother's maiden name is Gwynn. (We have not proven that yet, but I am optimistic.)

    Recently, when searching for 'Anchovy Hills' I had spelled it the way it appeared in the newest deed I had found.  Based on information I received from Prince George's County, I learned that the original spelling, 'Anchovie Hills' was the preferred spelling.  I found that there is an Anchovie Hills Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Here is a link to another researcher's blog on Anchovie Hills.

Anchovie Hills - Magruders Tobacco Landing

And a youtube video.

1. Hopkins, G.M.,  Atlas of Fifteen Miles Around Washington Including the County of Prince George Maryland, Philadelphia, 1878


  1. Hi! I am a Magruder, directly descended from Alexander Magruder, who arrived in what is now Maryland in the mid 1600s. He settled on and named Anchovie Hills (which phonetically sounds just like the area in Scotland where he was from... starting with Inch... I can't remember it right now). Anyway, Alexander is apparently buried on that land. Would love to get in and see it!

    1. Thanks for the additional information. I would also like to make a pilgrimage to see the area around Anchovie Hills. Too I hope. If you remember the location of his Scottish land let me know as we are heading to Scotland next year. I assume it is near Perth. Would be interesting if my itinerary takes me near Anchovie Hills..