Abraham Umstattd of Maryland 1807 Land Dispute
Jacob Howard's Will


Maryland Indexes
(Chancery Papers, Index)
MSA S 1432
CHANCERY COURT (Chancery Papers)
5255: Abraham Umstattd vs. Charles Howard,
Alexander Howard, Leonard Howard, Jacob Howard,
Francis Page, Cassandra Page, Mary Umstattd, and
Josiah Prather. MO. Contract to sell land.
Accession No: 17,898-5255. MSA S512-5383 1/37/2/

11 pages, from Maryland State Archives



Page 1 (Cover Page)

Umstattd, Abraham
Charles, Alexander, Leonard, +
Jacob Howard
Francis Page + Cassandra uxr (Latin, Uxor, means wife)
Mary Umstead + Abraham et vis (Latin, I can't find a meaning for this phrase)
Josiah Prather + Sarah uxr
Jacob Howard's Heirs

Montgomery County 1807

Bill, Exhibits, Order Publication

Not recorded





PG. Co Montgomery

Halls Chance Hobsons Choice
Isaacs(?) Park William + Elizabeth
Hoggs Harbor
Hopewell Resurveyed
Addt. to Peters Favor


COMMENT: PG. Co may refer to Prince George's County, but if it does, the property names are not necessarily in Prince George's County, according to the following documents. Isaacs Park does not appear to be mentioned in the documents.

Page 2 (Abraham's Bill of Complaint)

To The Honorable William Kilty Esquire Chancellor of the State of Maryland

The bill of complaint of Abraham Umstattd of Montgomery County, humbly sheweth to Your honor

That heretofore on the Sixth day of August seventeen hundred and ninety five, a certain Jacob Howard, late of the county aforesaid deceased, being seized in fee simple of a certain piece or parcel of land situate in the County aforesaid, and Contained within the following description to wit, bounded on the South by the old paths, on the East by the lands of Edmund Jenings(?), on the North the Cattail branch, and on the west to Extend so far as to make fifty acres, with all the cleared lands and improvements belonging to said place; and being indebted to your orator - Contracted to sell and Convey said Lot and land and premises unto him (some words appear to be scratched out here) and Executed a Bond of that date for the Conveyance of the same in fee simple to your orator, as will appear by said bond herewith Exhibited, and to which Your orator begs Leave to refer.

Your orator further showeth, that the said Howard departed this Life, without making said Conveyance, although the purchase money for the land aforesaid hath been fully paid, and your orator hath bean in possession of the same until the present time, and that the said Howard died intestate as to the before described premises, although he duly made and Executed his last will and Testament, a Copy of which is herewith Exhibited, and to which your orator begs Leave to refer.

Your Orator further showeth, that the said Jacob Howard, at the time of his death, left Charles Howard, now a resident of the State of Kentucky, Alexander Howard a resident of Tennessee, Leonard, Jacob, Cassandra (who ...

Page 3

… who intermarried with Thomas Page), Mary (who intermarried with Your Orator, and Sarah, who intermarried with Joseph Prather, his only Children and heirs at Law and to whom the Legal title to the aforesaid land descended.

That Sarah Prather hath since departed this life without issue, and that all the aforesaid heirs are of lawfull age, and bound in equity to Convey in fee simple, the aforesaid land, to your orator.

He therefore prays that the usual process of subpoena may issue from this Honorable Court against the above named defendants who are resident of this State to answer the premis (ink blot) and the usual order of Publication against the said Charles Howard and Alexander Howard, residents without the State of Maryland, to warn them to appear, and answer the premises, and that all such other and further remedy be given and Granted to your orator, as the Case may require, and that the said defendants by a decree of this Hon'ble Court, be compelled to Convey in due form of Law to your orator the La (ink blot) before described in fee simple, and your orator will pray thus(?)

A. Umstattd

Page 4

Abraham Umstattd In Chancery
Charles Howard, July 28th 1807
Alexander Howard & Others

The object of the bill in this Cause filed, is to obtain a decree for a Conveyance from the defendants, heirs of Jacob Howard to the Complainant of a parcel of Land lying in Montgomery County, bounded on the South by the old paths, on the East by the lands of Edmund Jennigs, on the North the Cattail branch, and on the west to Extend so far as to make fifty acres, with the cleared land and improvements belonging to said place. The Bill further states that the defendants Charles Howard and Alexander Howard are (not
re?)sidents (not visible on copy) of the State of Maryland.

It is thereupon adj(udged? - not visible on copy) and ordered, that the Complainant by causing a Copy of (this - not visible on copy) to be inserted in the National Intelligencer printed in the District of Columbia three successive weeks before the first day of September next.

give notice to the absent defendants of this application, and of the substance and object of the bill; that they may be warned to appear here on or before the 2d day of January next to shew Cause, if any they have, wherefore a decree should not be passed as prayed.

W Kilty Chr


Page 5 (Cover page)

Chas. Howard NK Kentucky Darner's(?) Tavern Monty County
Leonard Howard. Monty
Alex. Howard Tenessee(?)
Jacob Howard Monty
Francis Page, Casandra Page his wife Monty
Mary Umstead wife, of Abm Umstead Monty
Sarah Howard married to Jacob Prather since dead

Note the Umstead spelling on this page.

Page 6

Know All men By these presents that I Jacob Howard of Montgomry County and State of Maryland am held and firmly bound Unto Abraham Umstattd of County and State aforesaid in the just and full Sum of five Hundred pounds Current Money to be paid unto the Said Abraham Umstattd his Certin attorney Executors Administrators or assigns to the such(?) pament well and duly to be made and Dun(?)

I bind my Self and m Heirs Executors and Administrators Every of them firmly by these presents Sealed with my Seal and Dated the Sixth Day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety five.

The condition of the above Obligation is such that if the above Bound Jacob Howard his heirs Executors or Administrotors do an shall at the request of him the Abraham Umstattd truly make over Unto the Said Abraham Umstattd his heirs assigns fifty acres of Land Situate lying and being where the Said Abraham Umstattd low liveth Bounded on the South by the old ???(smudged) paths on the East by lands of Edmund Jenings(?) on the North the cattail branch with such plais plaises or Seat only as may be Chosen to fix a grinding Stone or any kind of water or Mill works and on the west to Extend so far as to make out fifty Acres with all the Cleared Lands and Improvements belonging to the Said place With a good and sufficient Deed of Conveience Clear of all incumbrence and Cost and all kind of Charges of Said lands then the above obligation to be ??? and of non Affect other Wise to remain in full force and Vertue(?) of Land In Witness where of I have her unto set my hand seal year and day above Written.

Signed Sealed & Delivered Jacob Howard (seal)
In presents Of
Greenbury Howard
George Indy


Page 7

August the Sixth Day 1795 then Settled with Abraham Umstattd and Ballanced and(?) Dun away all Just accounts and Demands Whatever from the beginning of our Dealings Except a Bond of Convaence which he hath of me bearing Date with these presents ???
Witness present }
Greenbury Howard } Jacob Howard

Page 8
The Will of Jacob Howard

In the Name of God Amen the Sixth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight I J. H. of Prince Georges County planter living of Sound mind memory and Understanding do hereby make publish and Declare this my last an Testament in and form following hereby revoking all former Wills maid by me -

Here I give and bequeath to my Son L. H. his heirs and assigns one track of Land Called Halls Chance where he naugh liveth and as much of Jack's Park as will make Sixty acres Including Halls Chance lying adjacent to to Halls Chance on the west(?) side of the Road Runing through the said Land at my dicease also one tract of Land Called Hogg's Harbour, one half with half the orchard at my (?) decease and the other half at the Decease of my Wife and Eighty five acres of land part of Resuravey(?) called Jacks park lying adjacent to Hogg's Harbor at my decease as his whole part of my Estate -

Here I give and bequeath to my son C. H. his heirs and assigns all my part of a Track of Land lying in Montgomery County Called Hopewell Reservayed by me the twenty third Day of may one thousand seven hundred and eighty three also one track of Land lying in the Sd County called addition to Peters Favour as his whole part of my Estate -

Here I give and bequeath to my son J. H. his heirs and assigns on track of Land lying in Montgomery County Called Hobsons Choice also one track of Land lying the Sd County
Called William and Elizabeth at my Decease it is my Will that my Son J. H. shalt not Disturb(?) my Daughter Casandra page where she nough liveth for the term of seven years in peacable possession of thirty acres of the Sd Land one Negro man naimed Roger one Negro Woman named Cate at my Wifes decease -

Here I give and bequeath to my Son A. H. his heirs and assigns all my Land Where I now live Except …

Page 9

… such part as I have Devided to my Son L. H. one Negro man naimed Sambo one Negro man naimed Dick forty five(?) years old one fether bed and furnature one ovel table one desk and one bofat(?) at the decease of my Wife one Cow and Calf one fether bed & furnature at my decease as his whole part of my Estate -

Here I give and bequeath to my Daughter S. H. one Negro man who is noh(?) twenty (or seventy?) three years of age at the death of my Wife one Cow and Calf one fether bed and furnature at my decease -

Here I give and bequeath to my beloved Wife L. H. all my Lands where I nough live except such parts as I have have heretofore devided to my Son L. H. and all my Personel Estate except such parts as I have heretofore Devided her life and after her Decease all my personel Estate Except such part as I have heretofore Devided to be Equally Devided between J. H. - M. U. - C. P. and S. H. and it is my Will that Mary U. and C. P. parts be sold and the money put out on In trest for the use of their Children and the Sd M. and C. shall receive the In trest yearly and in case the Sd M. and C. shall becom a Widdow than thay Shall receive their parts of the princeple

And lastly I do here by nominate ordain and appoint my Sons L. H. and J. H. Executors of this my last Will and Testament in testimony whereof I have here Unto set my hand and affixed my seal the Day and Year above written -

Signed Sealed published
pronounced(?) and declaired
in presence of -
Josiah Jones -
Henry Culver -
Jacob Aldridge -

Page 10

Prince George's County to wit} Came Josiah Jones and
March 4th 1799 } Henry Culver two of the
subscribing Witneses to the within last will and testament of J. H. ?? late of Said County deceased and maid Oath on the holy Evingilest of Almighty God that thay did see the Testator J. H. Signe and Seal this Wikll and heard him publish pronounce and declare the Saim to be his last Will and testament, that at the time of his So doing he was to the best of their apprehensions(?) (ink blot) of Sound and disposeing(?) mind Understanding and that thay together with Jacob Aldridge the other Witness respectively …

(the word respectively may have been scratched out and there is no more)


Page 11 - Some sort of notes or questions, and they appear to have been written on the same paper or in the same book as the witness statement above. They may have been written by Abraham Umstattd or someone else on his behalf, and presumably at the time the witnesses above were testifying regarding the will. The land Abraham bought and paid for is discussed and, since his wife Mary and children were discussed in the will, these questions seem to be ones he'd ask. The handwriting and wording are more casual than Abraham's bill of complaint, so it's hard to tell whether he wrote this.

As the Children Com of Age they Will have there parts and then if the Mother becomes a Widdow how will She then get that money back again

My Land which I Bought of the test(ator?) and paid him for it he has Given to his Son Charles Howard

(This item has a large X in front of it) Who is Sary(?) Howard's Lawfull Heir Sh(e) was Married But Died without a Child. Who has a right to Administry (?) if the ??? belongs to her He(irs?). But if he Sill belongs to H. Estate Ch. (ink blot) Ja nor L(?) Can have no not in heirs

Here the Womens part is to her(?) to pay Debts and what Even the personel property of the other Legatees WHY shalt the one be Broak and not the other As there is no provision to pay D(ebts? - off page) are not Both Equal.

(Written UPSIDE DOWN at the bottom of this page):
Copy of J. H. Will

(To the left of that is something else that I can't make any sense of, and it contains some symbols with which I am not familiar. It may be signatures of officials involved, or it may relate to an entirely different case, an ending perhaps from a previous page):

Potts D (then symbol - looks like a c with a dot under it, possibly District of Columbia???)
… To 2(or E or a symbol?) Sickels


The complainant is shown on page 1 as Abraham Umstattd vs. Mary Umstead + Abraham. Again on page 5 we see "Mary Umstead wife, of Abm Umstead " However, on page 3 we see the phrase "Mary (who intermarried with Your Orator," and his name is spelled Umstattd as signed on the complaint, so this would prove that Abraham Umstattd of the complaint is also Abraham Umstattd, husband of Mary Howard Umstattd. The questions on page 11 would further suggest that he had not only an issue with the land but also a concern with the inheritance of his wife Mary and son Jacob. Abraham appears to have written this himself, judging by the wording and the handwriting in his signature as compared to the text.


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Last Updated 15 June 2006