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Henrietta (Thomas) Bentley

Henrietta Bentley formerly Thomas
Born [date unknown] [location unknown]
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married 1807 in Bookerville,
Descendants descendants
Died [date unknown] [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 21 Jan 2017
This page has been accessed 86 times.


Henrietta Thomas was born on December 9, 1782 in Montgomery County, Maryland to Samuel Thomas and Mary Cowman.[1] and [2]

Henrietta married Caleb Bentley in 1807 in Bookerville, Maryland. Her husband Caleb's biography with Archives of Maryland states that Henrietta was the niece of Richard Thomas Jr., who initially owned most of the land which comprised the town of Brookeville. They had three children, all of whom would survive until adulthood; Mary Thomas Bentley, who was born on August 29, 1808; Sarah Brooke Bentley, who was born on November 16, 1814; and Richard Thomas Bentley, who was born on July 22, 1819.[3]

The Wikipedia page for her husband Caleb states that Marie Henrietta Thomas, was a close friend of Dolley Madison.[4] According to her biography with the Maryland Archives[5]:

Henrietta was an active member of the local Quaker community in Sandy Spring. Even though she owned as many as six slaves before her marriage to Caleb Bentley, Henrietta joined with the Society of Friends' when they declared slavery to be morally wrong. She manumitted all six of her slaves in 1801. During her lifetime, she was appointed several times to attend the Baltimore Quarterly Meeting, a large gathering of several local Quaker communities that occurred once every three months, where administrative matters within the church were discussed. She also held service positions within the Sandy Spring Women's Meeting, serving on a board that was responsible for recording the meeting minutes, as well as preserving the minutes that had already been recorded.

Research Notes

Her last name at birth needs to be fixed.

As noted above, the Maryland Archives state that Henrietta was the niece of Richard Thomas, Jr. The Maryland Archives also provide biography for Richard Thomas, Sr. who would have been Henrietta's grandfather. This source list Richard, Sr wife, father and mother. see profile for Richard, Sr here

There are profile on wikitree that may match the names provided in the Maryland Archives, however, the existing profiles have information that conflicts with the archives.

The Maryland archives state Richard, Sr. was born around 1728 and died in 1806 and was a resident of Maryland. Wiki currently has a profile for a Richard Thomas but the birth and death dates do not match. Only two of the brothers listed on the profile match the archives.

The Maryland archives also state Richard, Sr. was married by 1753 to Sarah, daughter of Skipwith Coale and wife Margaret Holland. Sarah, a Quaker, was said to have been disowned by the West River meeting upon her marriage, but in 1766 the meeting acknowledged the error.

Wikitree has a profile for Skipwith Coale who is married to Margaret Holland however, their profiles do not list a Sarah Coale as a daughter. No existing profile seems to match this Sarah.

The Archives claim that Richard and Sarah had 4 sons:

  • Samuel (1753-by 1806), who married Mary Cowman;
  • Richard (1758-1821), who married Deborah, daughter of Roger Brooke and wife Mary;
  • John (1760?); and
  • William (1771-?), who married Martha Patrick.

He also had Daughters: Elizabeth (1755-?), who married Roger Johnson; Mary (1762-?), who married William Robertson; Sarah (1764-by 1806), who married Bernard Gilpin; Henrietta (1767-?); and Margaret (1769-by 1806), who married Gerard Brooke.

Since Henrietta was the niece of Richard Thomas, Jr, she was the granddaughter of Richard Thomas senior and the daughter Samuel, John or William.

The Maryland archives state that Richard, Sr. was the son of

  • John Thomas (1697-1749/50) and Elizabeth Snowden
    • John was son of Samuel Thomas (ca. 1655-by 1743) and wife Mary Frances Hutchins (WikiTree does have a profile for Samuel Thomas married to Mary Hutchins
    • Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Snowden, the Younger (?-1763) of Anne Arundel County, ironmaster and owner of the Patuxent Iron Works. There is a WikiTree page for Elizabeth Jane Snowden formerly Coale however this profile list Richard Snowden as her husband not her father. Adding to the confusion is that Elizabeth's profile lists Elizabeth with a birth name of Coale, which is the last name of the their son Richard, Sr. wife before they were married.

No wikitree profile has been located for John Thomas


  1. Bentley Gleanings, Lobdell: Page 38 [available online here] citing from American Historical Registry, pp.857,859-60
  2. Archives of Maryland (Biographical Series) for Henrietta Thomas Bentley (1782-1860) MSA SC 3520-15907 [available here]
  3. Archives of Maryland (Biographical Series) for Caleb Bentley (1762-1851) MSA SC 3520-15889 citing to Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting; Births, Deaths, and Membership, 1730-1895; Minutes, Women, 1811-1824. Deaths, p. 4, pp. 25-26. (MSA SC 2978, SCM 667-3). [available here]
  4. Wikipedia biography for Caleb Bentley [available here]
  5. Archives of Maryland (Biographical Series) for Henrietta Thomas Bentley (1782-1860) MSA SC 3520-15907 [available here]

Lobdell, Julia. Bentley Gleanings (A.W. Fleming, Chicago, 1905)

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