Kequotan's Choice

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Date: 1663 to 1810
Location: Anne Arundel County MDmap
Surnames/tags: Scrivener Gongo Simmons
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Kequotan’s Choice

Kequotan’s Choice is a property which shows up several times in the Scrivener family. For this research project, I have chosen to trace it from its original patent in 1663 through the early nineteenth century when it left the Scriveners. The name Kequotan’s Choice sounds like it might be of native American origin, but I do not know why this name was chosen for the property. The spelling of the tract name shows considerable variation over time.

On 6 May 1663, Stephen Benson, a carpenter, was granted a patent for 300 acres in Anne Arundel County, lying in the branches of Herring Creek. (1) The tract, called Kequotan Choice, was granted to Benson because he had transported Eliza Benson, Mary Smith, Daniel Rosse and Mary Clarke to Maryland. The patent contains the following description of the property:

Begin in the woods at a marked oak, said oak being the NW corner tree of a parcel of land laid out for William Ayres and the NE corner of a parcel surveyed for Samuel Chew and running west by the land of said Chew 150 perches to a marked white oak; bounded on the West by a line drawn north until it intersects a parallel to the land of John Burrage; bounded on the North by said parallel and Burrages’s land; on the East with the headlines of William Selby’s land and others from the creek; on the South with Chew’s land.

The metes and bounds are not exact enough in the patent to draw a plat of the property, but its general configuration is suggested in Figure 1.

Anne Arundel County deeds record the sale of the property by Stephen Benson to George Simmons and Faith Wilson (alias Gongoe) on 7 February 1667, for 4000 pounds of tobacco. (2) The deed gives the same metes and bounds as the original patent. I do not know the connection between Simmons and Wilson, although I suspect there must be one if they are buying property together. Possibly siblings? Despite the sale of the property, Anne Arundel County deeds of 1669, 1672, and 1682, mention Stephen Benson’s property, Kecoughton Choice, as a boundary of Robert Paca’s tract, Daun or Dan, also indicated in Figure 1. (3)

George Simmons’ will of 1679 leaves his dwelling plantation, presumably Simmons’ half of Kequotqan’s Choice, to his son George George Symons, who is not yet 18 years of age. (4) Faith Gongo’s will of 1693 divides her 150 acres of the tract among three of her four daughters. (5) Mary Trevitt, wife of Robert, Ann Gongo and Faith Gongo each receive 50 acres. The fourth daughter, Lois, the wife of Christopher Vernon, and the widow of Lewis Evans,(6) did not inherit any of the property, probably because her two husbands between them owned most of the property surrounding Kequotan’s Choice.

Robert Trevitt died about 1698 and his wife then married Peter Tibbido and had several children—Mary, born 14 March 1703; Joseph, born 15 January 1706; and Faith, born 12 July 1708, as shown in the Register of St. James Parish. (7)

The St. James Register likewise records that Ann Gongo married Samuel Gushard on 2 November 1704 and had several children—Hannah, born 30 October 1704; Elizabeth, born 28 February 1705; Anthony, born 17 June 1708; George, born 19 July 1710; Ann, born 11 December 1713; and Mark, baptized 29 April 1716. (8) Samuel Gushard’s burial is recorded on 26 September 1733. (9)

Faith Gongo, according to the St. James Register, apparently had several children out of wedlock: Elizabeth, born 10 March 1698\9; and Samuel (whose father is listed as Samuel Guichard—her future brother-in-law?) born 3 April 1700. (10) Faith later married Richard Hall of Calvert County and had several children with him: Faith, born 12 October 1704; John, born 2 August 1705; Richard, born 1 October 1708; and Sarah, born 28 December 1710. (11)

On 8 May 1705, a special warrant was granted to George Symons of Anne Arundel County and Faith Wilson, also Gongo, of the same county who was then married to Richard Hall to resurvey the tract laid for Stephen Benson called Kicketon’s Choice and to include surplus land.(12) The property was located in Anne Arundel Manor; in the resurvey, it included 432.5 acres.

The metes and bounds given in the resurvey are as follows:

Begin at a cedar post near the branches of Herring Creek also the NW corner tree of William Ayres’ land and the NE corner of Samuel Chew, running from said post with Chew’s land by a line drawn West 210 perches to a pair tree planted where the original white oak bounded stood and from the pair tree North 368 perches to ye land of John Burrage where now is planted another pair tree; then with Burrage’s line ESE 186 perches to the headline of a tract called Marshes Seat, then with said tract S 28 perches to a locust post, being placed where exterior tree of said Marshes Seat stood, it also being the westernmost boundary of a tract of land called Town or Parker’s Land belonging to the orphans of Lewis Evans of Anne Arundel County and running with said Towne or Parker’s land from said locust post SSE 271 perches to the West by South line of said Ayres. The with said land by a straight line to the first cedar post.

These boundaries produce a plat of the property as shown in Figure 2.

On 23 June 1714, Anne Arundel County Deeds show the sale of 50 acres from Richard Hall and Faith his wife, to Samuel Gushard. (13) That deed describes how the property was originally divided among the three sisters, shown with broken lines in Figure 2.

The other half of the property, meanwhile, passed to another generation of the Simmons family. George Simmons will of 1720 does not name his property, but it mentions only one son—George—who is not yet 21. (14) I assume that George inherited the land. The will was witnessed by Samuel Guichard and William Vernon, indicating that Simmons still lived in the area where Kequotan’s Choice was located, Guichard and Vernon being the neighboring land owners.

The Rent Roll of 1724 shows George Symons owning 150 acres of Kirketon’s Choice, Samuel Guichard owning 100 acres in right of his wife, and Peter Tibedan owning 50 acres in right of his wife, the daughter of Ann Gongo. (15) (I think this last was an error, since Peter’s wife was actually the daughter of Faith Gongo.)

The next official mention of Kequotan’s Choice occurs in Mary Tipitoe’s will of 1744, when she leaves 50 acres of the tract, lying near Herring Creek, to her son Joseph. (16)

In 1753, Catherine Evans Clark Thornbury, the daughter of Lois Gongo Evans Vernon, and the granddaughter of Faith Gongo, purchased 164 acres of Kirketon’s Choice from her cousins Anthony and Mark Guishard, then living in Baltimore County. This amounted to two-thirds of Faith’s original purchase. (17)

Catherine Thornbury’s will of 1768 left Kirketon’s Choice to her grandson, John Scrivener, the son of William Scrivener and Elizabeth Clark. (18) George Simmons will of 1769 left his piece of Kequotan’s Choice to his son John, (19) who in 1771 traded property with his brother, Knighton Simmons. (20)

In June 1772, John Scrivener, Knighton Simmons, and Joseph Tipitoe worked a three-way deal in which Knighton Simmons bought John Scrivener’s 166 acres of Kirketon’s Choice and also Joseph Tipitoe’s 50 acres. Simmons then gave the 50 acre piece to John Scrivener. This transaction left all of Kequotan’s Choice except one 50-acre parcel in the hands of Knighton Simmons, a descendant of the original owner. (21)

After Knighton Simmons’ death, however, 160 acres of the tract was sold at a Sheriff’s sale to pay Simmons’ debts. Thus Anne Arundel County Deeds record Francis Scrivener’s purchase of a part of Kicketton’s Choice in 1796 for L200. (22) Francis was a cousin of the John Scrivener who had earlier owned the property, and I strongly suspect, Knighton Simmon’s brother-in-law. I believe that Francis Scrivener married Elizabeth Simmons sometime between 1771 and 1776, although I have not been able to prove this conclusively. Francis had previously bought Evans Purchase, the property next to Kequotan’s Choice and was thus Simmons’ nearest neighbor. Francis also named his third son George, a name that does not appear prior to this in the Scrivener line. Naming patterns suggest that George was named for his maternal grandfather, in this case, possibly George Simmons.

Francis Scrivener died shortly after his purchase of Kicketon’s Choice and left both that property and Evans Purchase to his son George Scrivener. (23) George’s property was managed for him by his older brother John until George came of age in 1805. George quickly ran into financial difficulty and sold the property back to his brother. George died about 1810, deeply in debt. George’s creditors brought suit, claiming that the earlier sale had been a ruse to avoid paying them, (24) and John Scrivener ended up selling off Kirketon’s Choice to George’s creditors. (25)

In Figure 3, I have attempted to show the position of this tract on a modern map.

Research by Anne Scrivener Agee 1992


  • 1. Patents L5 F458
  • 2. Anne Arundel County Deeds WT#1 F237-8
  • 3. Anne Arundel County Deeds IH#1 F268, 273; IH#3 F123
  • 4. Anne Arundel County Original Wills Box S F41
  • 5. Prerogative Court Wills L2 F262
  • 6. Anne Arundel County Testamentary Papers Box 10 F57, Administrative Bond 27 June 1698
  • 7. St. James Register P28 #16; P32#6; P37# 7
  • 8. St. James Register P47#17; P32#4; P30#11; P36#7; P44#6; P39#14; P49#16
  • 9. St. James Register P60#2
  • 10. St. James Register P19#14; P20#7
  • 11. St. James Register P37#4,5,6; P41#15
  • 12. Patents L DD#5 F713
  • 13. Anne Arundel County Deeds IB#2 F158
  • 14. Prerogative Court Wills L16 F182 14 June 1720
  • 15. Anne Arundel County Rent Roll, Herring Creek Hundred
  • 16. Anne Arundel County Original Wills Box T F16
  • 17. Anne Arundel County Deeds RB#3 Vol 2 F634
  • 18. Anne Arundel County Original Wills Box T F30
  • 19. Anne Arundel County Original Wills Box S F40
  • 20. Anne Arundel County Deeds IB#3 F111
  • 21. Anne Arundel County Deeds IB#3 F314-318
  • 22. Anne Arundel County Deeds NH#4 F456
  • 23. Anne Arundel County Original Wills Box S F21
  • 24. Chancery Court 5701 April Term 1810
  • 25. Anne Arundel County Deeds WSG#2 F116

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