I see the reference there to Jean ABOASSON circa 1700.I've checked around a little and don't find any other mention of him so far, but I will keep him in mind when I am at the library and see if I can find out more.
When you look closely at the MD records in their historical context, though, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that OSBALDSTON/ASBESTON is the source surname for the current spelling of ABSTON.What's so compelling is that, in the space of about 100 years (c.1640-1740), you can look at these records and actually see the surname "morph" from one to the other.I have published these records in the Edenfield Genealogical Society Database at:
If this link becomes out-of-date, just go to www.edenfield.org and look up ABSTON, William (1625-1681) in the database.
The series of books that I referred to in my message are:
Abstracts of the Administration Accounts of the Prerogative Court of Maryland by Vernon L. Skinner
Abstracts of the Balance Books of the Prerogative Court of Maryland by Debby Moxey
Abstracts of the Inventories and Accounts of the Prerogative Court of Maryland by Vernon L. Skinner
These are available on CD (http://www.familytreemaker.com/206facd.html), although I used the book version.I have gone through this series of books and extracted all of the references to the early ABSTON families.This additional information will probably be available after 10/3/00 in the EGS database mentioned above.
Another source that has very good information on the early ABSTONs (ASBESTONs) in Maryland is Newman's "The Flowering of the Maryland Palatinate."Besides the ASBESTONs, this book also has a section on Thomas Allen, to whom William ASBESTON was indentured in 1641, and on Robert Smith, the stepfather of William ASBESTON's wife.Thomas Allen was a retainer for the Calvert family in 1633, and Robert Smith is thought to have crossed on the Ark and Dove voyages: