Nicholas Gassaway was a Col. in the Kings army.After his wife Ann died, he married her younger sister Martha Besson. The following was found in the bood "Genealogical History of the Gassaway Family " in the Salt Lake City library:
He was baptisted March 11, 1634 at St. Margaret's Church Westminister, London Town, now London England.
Nicholas was named as the son of Thomas Gassaway in the parish register of St. Margaret's Church of Westminister, London Town. He stated tht he came to the Province of Maryland in the year 1650. He was transported by Richard Owen and was one of more than a dozen persons in 1663 who assigned to Thomas Bradley his rights to land due to him for service performed within the Province.
He became one of the outstanding Marylanders of his day.He settled in the South River Hundred of Anna Arundel County among the Puritans who had come from Virginia as Quakers under Governor Stone in 1649. He became one of the early merchants of the area in addition to being a large plantation owner. He quickly assumed prominence in southern Maryland. He is credited with becoming one of the wealthiest Marylanders of his day.He acquired large land holdings and the followingsurveys were made for him:
Poplar Ridge, 150 acres of land surveed April 20, 1663; addition to Poplar Ridge, 70 acres of land surveyed Aug 27, 1668; Gassaway's Ridge of 500 acres of land; Gassaway's addition, 280 acres of land surveyed Sept 24, 1683.Land that he purchased included tracts known as Hall's Inheritance, Wrighton, and Love's Neck.The latter was devised to his son John.Col. Gassaway purchased 80 acrees of land called Besseston from his brother-in-law, John Besson, for 3,000 pounds of tobacco. On Oct 19, 1672, Capt. Thomas Besson deeded to him 160 acres of Bessenton for the natural love and affections which he held for "my well beloved son-in-law, Nicholas Gassaway and Anne his wife."
Col. Nicholas Gassaway died testate, actually in January 1692 as his will was dated OLD STYLE. In his will, dated Jan 10, 1691 and proved Jan 27, 1691, he made no mention of his wife. He named his sons Nicholas, John and Thomas, and his daughters Anne Watkins, Hester Grosse, Jane Gassaway, and Margaret Gassaway, the latter two being then minors.He also made bequests to his grandchidren John Watkins and Elizabeth Grosse and appointed his sons Nicholas and Thomas Gassway as his executors.He bequeathed a legacy that he had received from his Uncle John Collingwood of London, at that time in the possession of his cousin Samuel Beaver, to his granddaughter Elizabeth Grosse. Col. Gassaway was serving as a justice of the Provincial Court at the time of his death.His personal property was valued at L1,144.4.7 sterling, 109898 pounds of tobacco, twenty slaves, one servant and more tht 1,320 acres of land.
Will of Nicholas Gassaway Sr.of Anne Arundel Co.
Liber #2, ff: 228-23 Dateded: 10 Jan 1691, Executed 27 Jan 1691
In the Name of God Amen I NICHOLAS GASSAWAY Senr. of South River in the county of Ann Arundell in the Province of Maryland Merchant being now well stricken in years and of a sound and perfect Memory Thanks be to the Allmighty God and Calling to mind the uncertainty of the Estate of this transitory life and that all of flesh must yield unto Death when it shall please God to call: Do make Constitute ordain & Declare this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following (That is to Say) First and principally I commend my Soul to Allmighty God my Creator assuredly believing that I shall Receive full pardon and free Remission of all my Sins and be saved by the precious death and Merritts of my blessed Saviour and Redeemer Christ Jesus and my Body to the Earth from whence it was taken to be buried in Such Decent and Christian manner as to my Lord in Mercy hath Sent me my Will and Meaning is the Same Shall be employed and bestowed hereafter by this my will is Expressed and first do I Revoke Renounce frustrate and make void: all wills by me formerly made and Declare and appoint this my Last Will and Testament.
Imprimis: First I give and bequeath unto my Son NICHOLAS GASSAWAY the dwelling house where now I do live and all the Land that is now Loves Neck and all the Land Running on the Main Road adjoining to Loves Neck till you come to the Cross path that goes on this my plantation and so joining to the Land of John Shaw till you come to Loves Neck again. But in case my son NICHOLAS GASSAWAY Dyes without a Lawfull heir from his body then the Said Land is to be divided between my Son JOHN GASSAWAY and my Son THOMAS GASSAWAY and their heirs.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my Son NICHOLAS GASSAWAY Seven Negroes (that is to say) Old Tom and his wife, Bungo, Will and his wife, Dick, and Peter.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my Son JOHN GASSAWAY Three hundred acres of Land lying on the North Side of Gunpowder called Charles Purchase. Likewise after his sister HESTER GROCE Decease the plantation that she now lives on also fifty pounds sterling and a feather bed and furniture to be paid by the executors hereafter named, but in case my Son JOHN GASSAWAY Dies without a Lawful heir from his body, then the Said Land is to be divided between my Son NICHOLAS GASSAWAY and my Son THOMAS GASSAWAY.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my Son THOMAS GASSAWAY the land that THOMAS NORRIS now lives on beginning at my line parting JOHN SHAW LAND and mine and so running across that Branch where my Mill stood and from thence across the head of the Little Neck Branch till it intercedes with the line that parts JOHN PURDY and I with all the land backward belonging to me adjoining it.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my Son THOMAS nine Negroes (this is to say) Harry and his wife, Bakon and Jack, at the Quartor two boys came of Grace named Harry and Jack, the Boy Tommy, a Girl named Betty, a boy at home called Jack.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my son NICHOLAS GASSAWAY and to my Son THOMAS GASSAWAY seven hundred and eighty acres of land lying and being in the falls of Gunpowder River in two pattents to be equally divided between them and if my Son NICHOLAS should dye without Lawful heir of his body to fall to my son THOMAS GASSAWAY and JOHN GASSAWAY to be equally divided between them. and if in case my Son THOMAS GASSAWAY should die without a Lawful heir from his body to fall to my son JOHN GASSAWAY and his heirs, but if in case my son JOHN GASSAWAY should Dye without a Lawful heir from his body then to fall to my Daughter ANN WATKINS and her heirs.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my Daughter HESTER GROCE Ten pounds sterling moneys.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my daughter ANN WATKINS Two Negroes (that is to say) now Tom and his wife with their increase.
Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter JANE GASSAWAY Two hundred pounds Sterling Moneys and a Negro girl named HESTER.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my daughter MARGARET GASSAWAY Two Hundred Pounds Sterling Moneys and a negro girl named Susan.
Item: I give and bequeath to my two grand children JOHN WATKINS and ELIZABETH GROCE Ten pounds sterling, per year (that is to say) to be delivered to my Grandson JOHN WATKINS when he shall come to full age the Sume of five pounds per year: but if in case he should dye without lawful heir from his body then to fall to the next heir. Like wise to my Grand Daughter ELIZABETH GROCE five pounds per year when she shall come to full age or Day of Marriage but if she should Dye without a Lawful heir from her body then to fall to her mother HESTER GROCE during her life afterwards to the longest liver and their heirs. It is my will that my Son JOHN WATKINS and Daughter ANN WATKINS should have the use and benefits of the said five pounds per year till his son shall come to age also that my son NICHOLAS GASSAWAY hath the use and benefits of the five pounds per year bequeathed to my Grand Daughter ELIZABETH GROCE till she come to full age or Day of marriage, which Moytie being left me by my Uncle JOHN CALLINGSWOOD of London Merchant and in the possession of my cusen SAMUELL BEAVER, I have appointed Col. THOMAS TAYLOR to receive rent which you demand of.
Item: I give and bequeath unto JOHN GREEN one hhd of Tobacco Containing four hundred neatt also the house that he now liveth in during his natural life and what lumber he shall have need of as to the repairing of said house as occasion serveth.
It is my will that the Executors hereafter mentioned Shall give their two sisters JANE GASSAWAY and MARGARET GASSAWAY their Commendations and find them Cloaths while they shall come to Lawfull age or be married.
Item: It is my will that after my decease my Son THOMAS GASSAWAY should be at the Tuicon and bringing up by his brother and sister JOHN WATKINS and ANN WATKINS till he shall come to age and they the said JOHN WATKINS and ANN WATKINS to have the use and benefits of his Negroes till he shall come to age for the bringing him up. Also to take my son THOMAS GASSAWAY's share of his part of my estate into their possession till he shall come of age and that they see that there be none of his land cleared or trees fallen till he shall come to age.
Item: It is my will that the crops of Tobacco which is now made to be shipt for England and the produce of the moneys with the rest of my estate after my just debts and legacies be unpaid and satisfied to be equally divided between my son NICHOLAS GASSAWAY, my daughter ANN WATKINS, and my Son THOMAS GASSAWAY.
Item: I do appoint constitute and ordain and by these presents make and appoint my son NICHOLAS GASSAWAY, JOHN WATKINS and his wife, and my son THOMAS GASSAWAY Executors of this my last Will and Testament. Willing that my said Executors to see the true performance of the same In wittness where I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this tenth day of January Anno Domo one thousand Six hundred ninety and one.
The word Grandson JOHN WATKINS and she was Interlined before the signing and sealing hereof. Here should follow Sign and Seal which is misplaced.
This will in Common form proved at a Court held at Capt. NICHOLAS GASSAWAY's on the twenty-seventh of this instant January Anno Domo one thousand six hundred ninety-one by the oaths of all the four witnesses veca Copas Exdnd per
NICH: GASSAWAY (Seal)
Reg. Clk. County
Signed Sealed & Delivered in the presence of us: JACOB HARRIS, ARTHUR HERRING, ROBERT WARD, JOHN RAMSEY.