James Greer was born about 1627; son of Sir James Grier (1694-1688) and Mary Browne. The family was living near Thornhill in the Parish of Morton, about 10 miles North of Dumfries at the time of James birth.
James arrived in Maryland November 2, 1674 aboard the Batchelor , ex Bristol as an indentured servant. This would put James around 47 years old when he arrived in Maryland. There is a vast 46 years of history yet to be discovered of his prior life in Scotland.
"James Greer, transported November 2, 1674, by Samuel Gibbons, who proved his right unto four thousand-five hundred acres of land due him for transporting ninety persons, herein mentioned into the Province to inhabit. Before me.....Charles Calvert."
JAMES GREER, the progenitor of this lineage is recorded in Maryland's EARLY SETTLERS BOOK, 18, Folio:
Settles on Gunpowder River
James Greer settled in Gunpowder River, Baltimore County, Maryland in 1675 the political climate.
Sometime between 1681 and 1687, seven years after he arrived in Baltimore he married 21 year old Ann Taylor. James would have been 54 years old at this time. I can only image what would draw the two together at this time.
There is no marriage record of which I am aware, but some use the date on Arthur Taylor’s Will. On 6 June 1687 Arthur Taylor of Gunpowder River, in Baltimore County, Maryland gave the 75 acres of Arthur's Choice to James Greer and Ann Taylor, his daughter.
James and Ann probably began planting tobacco right away on their 75 acres.
Ann Taylor was born 1660 in Baltimore County, Maryland, daughter of Arthur Taylor & Margaret Hill. The Taylor family also has a rich history in Baltimore; Arthur was a large land owner (300 acres) in Baltimore his farm was named and known throughout the area as Taylor’s Choice. Naturally owning this much land would give him influence in his area.
James and Ann lived at Taylor’s Choice about a year, when James died in 1688 at age 61. (Maryland Historical Magazine 18:21) James and Ann had one son, born the same year that James died. Sadly, he would never know his son John and Ann would be left a widow to raise their son.
The children of James Greer and Ann Taylor:
Born: 1716 died: September 15, 1750
James Greer died about 1688 in Gunpowder, Baltimore, Maryland.
It is believed then that James Greer died without a will, and his wife, Ann Greer, married as her second husband, Lawrence Richardson.
Ann was the wife of Lawrence Richardson at the time he held in trust the 75 acres of Arthur's Choice" for John, ye orphan, son of James Greer." Lawerence and Ann had at least one child, Richard who married Mary.
After the death of Lawrence, at age 51, Ann married Oliver Harriot by June 13, 1711. Ann released her dower rights in this land when her son John and wife Sarah sold their land March 14, 1714 to Mark Guisard.
Ann died May 13, 1716 in Baltimore, Maryland.
The key name in connection with this Greer Family, originating in Maryland, is James Greer and the above early record in history.
Maryland’s Early History; Setting the Stage for James arrival.
The Province of Maryland began as a proprietary colony long pursued by George Calvert motivated both by the desire for profit and the desire to create a refuge for Roman Catholics who were still being persecuted in Protestant England.
King Charles I, promised George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, a colony north of Virginia in 1632. The first Lord Baltimore died before he could execute his plans; the charter was then issued to his son, Cecilius, the 2nd Lord Baltimore.
Never before had an English monarch given such power as that now granted to Lord Baltimore. To show his continually allegiance to the crown, Lord Baltimore was required by the charter to send the king two Indian arrows each year, as a token of allegiance to the Crown, and if any gold and silver were mined in Maryland, one fifth of it was to be paid to the king. Lord Baltimore was invested with almost kingly power; he could coin money, make war and peace, pardon criminals, establish courts, and grant titles of nobility.
The charter also provided that the laws be made by the proprietor and the freemen. Also the proprietor could not tax his people without their consent. The colonist won the right to initiate legislation in their first contest in 1635.
The first settlers arrived in 1634 with Governor Leonard Calvert, a brother of the proprietor. They settled on a small island in the mouth of the Potomac, paying the Indians for the land in axes, hoes, and cloth. Here 140 colonists planted the cross and founded a town which they named St. Mary's City.
Religion tension and political intrigues threatened the colonist efforts of progress.
Tobacco was powering the economy by Maryland’s establishment and would help shape the settlement. Growing tobacco became more than an occupation, it was a way of life, and became the common currency of the region.
The legal origin of Baltimore County is not known, but it was in existence by January 12, 1659, when a writ was issued to the county sheriff.
I found mention of formal county boundaries when Cecil County was formed out of Baltimore County in 1674.
Will of Arthur Taylor
The Will of Arthur Taylor makes reference to James Greer and Ann Taylor, more evidence that I have collected to support my personal research.
"June 6, 1687. to all Christian people, to whom these presents shall come... I, Arthur Taylor of Gunpowder River, in Baltimore County, Maryland, Planter, for and in consideration and hereunto especially moving and do by these presents, give, grant, alein, enfoff their heirs and assigns, unto James Greer and Ann, his wife, their heirs and assigns forever, 75 acres of land being a part of a greater tract of 300 aces belonging to the said Arthur, and called, Arthur's Choice:, lying and being situated in Baltimore County, and on the south side of a branch of the Gunpowder River, called Bird Run, beginning at a red oak standing on the said river and running from said oak bounding with ...run...east-north- east-53 perches by a line into the woods for length 300... Thence by a lined down west-south-west from the end south- south-east-east-east to line 53 perches.... his Witness: Signed Arthur x Taylor Samuel Sickelman mark A-- Thompson "
Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland, R.M. #H. S. Folio 261
Arthur Taylor was the oldest son of John Taylor and Margret Phinney. On August 20, 1683, 300 acres of land known as Arthur's Choice was surveyed for Arthur Taylor, same being on ye south side of west branch of the Gunpowder River, only one of several land holdings Arthur Taylor had. (Index: Ann Arundel and Baltimore Counties Rent Rolls, Vol. 2 Folio 416)
John and Sarah Day Greer sold the land to Mark Guisard:
"Be it remembered that on 4 March 1714, came Ann Harriott, mother of said Greer and Sarah, his wife, both of whom being privately examined by Luke Raven, Gent., one of the Justices of the City Court of Baltimore County, acknowledged all their rights of dower to the within mentioned, bargained and sold land and improvements on the premises of said Greer, likewise acknowledged in open court to the act of assembly. Signed by John Stokes. Book T. R. # A, Folio 333 Transcribed from Liber 15 Folio 296-7.
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This is information that I have collected over the past several years and use in my home genealogy records. I am not a certified genealogist. This information is what I hold to be correct and checked to the best of my ability. I am constantly researching and will post any changes promptly. I am only in this for the love of history and family.
I will update this page monthly and give a link to find this article once it is placed on Genealogy Articles page.