John C. Rutledge (bef. 1765 -1828) has been a thorn in my side for many years. It started when other researchers insisted he was the father of my 3rd great grandfather, William Rutledge, who was born about 1769. I easily proved he could not have been William's father (There is an earlier post about that) but who was John C. and why was he living around MY Rutledges in Baltimore County, Maryland?

Over the years I've taken stabs at figuring John C. out, but got nowhere. I knew who his kids were and the name of the wife he had when he died because he named them in his will. But the wife was not the mother of the children. I found no verifiable hints to his parents, first wife or any relationship to my family.

Some of the descendants of John C. have DNA tested and the John C. who has bothered me for years now has parents and known descendants! DNA solved the mystery. John C. is my first cousin five times removed (1C5R). Welcome to the family tree, cousin!

Methodist Minister file

I have only one source that provides evidence of a parent of John C. Rutledge. A listing of the Methodist pastors serving in Pennsylvania and Maryland lists Hugh Doyle, husband of Susannah Rutledge.[1] It notes that Susannah (daughter of John C.) was the first cousin of Joshua Wells Rutledge. Joshua Wells is the son of Thomas Gorsuch Rutledge and grandson of William and Margaret Rutledge. So, to be first cousins, John C. Rutledge must be the son of William and Margaret, too. William is the son of Michael (abt. 1695- ) who married Hannah.

DNA Evidence of John C. Rutledge Genetic Relationship

DNA provides evidence that two of the descendants of John C. Rutledge are third cousins. They both share DNA with descendants of William Rutledge and Ephraim Rutledge (William's brother). I will not go into the details here for privacy reasons, but the genetic relationships are as expected for the amount of centimorgans shared.

Conclusion: John C. Rutledge is probably the son of William and Margaret Rutledge based on the evidence in the Methodist Ministers File and probable genetic relationships.


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I was asked recently why I am not posting my research on Wikitree. The answer is very simple - it has gone the way of every other publicly available database. The Tree is not correct. Many people who are posting on Wikitree are not doing the research, but copying from Ancestry, FamilySearch and the like. Wiki has an 'oath' for early researchers, but they are not enforcing their own policies. Trying to enforce them would be impossible anyway - there are too many people posting there.

At least by posting on my site, I am responsible for the content, and know the research was done to the best of my abilities. Are there mistakes? I am sure there are, but they are my mistakes, not copies of the mistakes of others.

It's expensive to pay for my website every year, I'll keep it up as long as I am able, and hopefully it will help someone in the research.

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John demanded and was granted 100 acres of land along any neck of St. George's Creek in St Mary's County on 19 Mar 1641 for transporting himself in 1640.[1] The surveyor was told to lay out his land "before midsummer next on any Neck of St George's Creek. Assuming he was at least 20, as he declared he transported himself, this places his birth year before 1620. No survey was found, however, the 1641 entries in the land record are missing.

John was one of several men assessed 28 pounds of tobacco by the Burgess of the Assembly in St. Georges Hundred on 2 Aug 1642.[2]

John was fined 20 pounds of tobacco because he did not appear before the General Assembly on 5 September 1642 in St Mary's.[3] There seems to be some confusion, because later in the Assembly minutes John was excused from appearing because he was certified as a servant.[4] No later record of John was found.

Morgan Prather (?), Rowland Chambers and John Marknell of Cecil County, Maryland posted bond for administering the estate of John Rutlick on 20 March 1717.[5] The inventory of John Rutlig reported to the court in April of 1718 by Andrew Wallae and Ewen Ris shows a poor man with only one set of clothes, a small mare with tack, an old musket, one pen and a set of compasses. John had no household goods, so was probably living with someone. No will was found, which is not unusual for an aged person with little to pass on, and the final accounts list payments for the doctor and funeral expenses, only.[6] Was this our John who was granted land in St Mary's County? There is no evidence that it is. If it were, he would have been over 90 and may have been approaching 100 - an exceptionally long life in colonial times.

Cecil County was created in 1674 from Baltimore and Kent counties. In 1622, Edward Palmer received a land grant for Palmer's Island, and in 1633 a Trading Post was established on the island, then a part of Virginia. [7] Land Patents and certificates date from 1649 in the area. The earliest deed was recorded in 1674. No Rutledge surname was found in a search of the early Cecil county land records.[8]

Cecil County rent rolls from 1658-1724 do not have an entry for the surname Rutledge, or any deviation of the name. [9]

---------------------------------- [1] Land Records, St Mary's County AB&H, page 104; MSA SE 23-6. These records jump from 1641 to 1650, but the page numbering does not reflect missing pages. 1641/42 entries are on pages around 60. [2] Maryland State Archives, Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly July - August 1642, Volume 1, page 144. . [3] Maryland State Archives, Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly January 1637/8 - September 1664, Volume 1, page 167. . [4] Maryland State Archives, Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly January 1637/8 - September 1664, Volume 1, page 177. . [5] Maryland Register of Wills, Cecil County, Bonds 1676-1750, page 277, image 114 of 240. [6] Prerogative court (Administration Accounts), MSA S531, TB2, book 1, p194, [7] Knauss, Christopher, Maritime Cecil County, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC, LOC Card number 2007920919, page 15. [8] Maryland State Archives, Cecil County Court, Land Records, Index, 1674-1810, MSA CE 134-1. [9] Cecil County, Maryland Rent Rolls Index,

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