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Weston Wagons West - Ep. J7 - Delton Weston worked with the Brightwell and Kinnick families in the early 1700s

Updated on May 19, 2014
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Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

Tobacco Flower and Plant

The American tobacco flower
The American tobacco flower | Source

Delton Weston earned his farrier credentials

Delton Weston and his sisters grew up across the main road in the area from Poplar Hill, home of the Brightwell children. Rebecca (Whalen) Weston worked closely with the guardians of the Brightwell children to both provide their educational activities and appropriate social interactions for all of their children along with a few others from neighboring plantations.

In the meantime, as Delton reached an age where he could, he worked closely with this father, Keith, in both the planting and the horse raising sides of Keith's business interests to learn and contribute as he could. At 14, Delton chose to pursue his father's farrier skills as well as blacksmithing skills and entered his apprenticeship under Keith. Keith had regularly continued providing these services to the Brightwell as well as the Greenfield plantations and soon Delton began to participate in those activities.

At age 16, in 1701, Delton completed his apprenticeship and was assigned to work at the Poplar Hill plantation two days a week to meet their horse care needs. He was soon working closely with Richard Brightwell, age 14, and his brother, Peter, age 10, as they began to seriously learn the skills required to operate a plantation, including an increased dependance on the use of horses in those operations. These three got to know each other well over the ensuing years.

Tobacco was popular in Europe and America

One of the earliest images of a European smoking tobacco.
One of the earliest images of a European smoking tobacco. | Source

Keith Weston involved his son in his other business interests

Following his 16th birthday, Delton and his father, Keith had determined that is was time for Delton to learn the management of Keith's other business interests along with polishing his own farrier skills by working at the Brightwell plantation. Keith had extensive agricultural interests as well as the Weston Freight Line, which continued to grow each year. As the only son, Delton would be expected to continue these businesses when Keith was no longer able to do so.

During the summer of his 21st birthday, 1708, Richard Brightwell decided to move onto a part of the Robert Kent estate that he had earlier inherited personally. It was located a few miles north and west from Poplar Hill. He made arrangements with the executors of his father's estate to obtain a number of useful assets in exchange for allowing his younger brothers to have land of their own from the estate when they each reached their age of majority, as well. Delton Weston continued to provide useful services to each of the brothers during this transition.

By 1710, Delton had courted and was prepared to marry Charlotte Greenfield. Working with Keith, Delton chose an appropriate site on Weston Trace for their new home. Delton as happy to continue to work from his father's plantation, so long as he could raise his family in their own location. The wedding took place at the main house at Weston Trace on June 25th. The new couple moved into their new home after a weekend trip to St. Mary's City.

The Brightwell and Weston families continued to grow in the next generation

By March of 1713, Peter Brightwell, now 22, along with his brother, Richard, traded 5,500 pounds of tobacco, and other considerations, for 160 acres from Thomas Gant, known as Blackwell Beginnings. This became what would become Peter's home plantation, located to the west of Poplar Hill.

Also in the spring of 1713, Richard Brightwell, for 1,500 pounds of tobacco, purchased from Elizabeth Burroughs, spinster, the 160 acres she had received in the will of the elder Captain Richard Brightwell. The Brightwell estate had continued to lease the land, and Burroughs was now ready to give up ownership of the land for the agreed price.

Over a three year span, each of Delton Weston's sisters married, as well; two moved off to be with the families of their husbands, two of them continued to live on Weston Trace where their husband's were involved in the family businesses.

Tobacco was a medium of exchange in Colonial Maryland

Tobacco | Source

Jasper Kinnick arrived on the scene in the spring of 1715

Poplar Hill saw many people come and go over the years that the Brightwell family lived there. In the spring of 1715, a tobacco trader arrived and made quite an impression on Elizabeth Brightwell, now 26 and unmarried. His name was Jasper Kinnick, he said. Some persons, who didn't care much for his somewhat self-assured attitude, speculated that his surname, Kinnick, was "made up" from the Indian word for tobacco, "kinnikinnick." Others, who found him very personable, including Elizabeth, were sure he had come over recently from England, where the Kinnick surname was known to exist. On June 13, Jasper and Elizabeth were married at Poplar Hill, among many family and friends. Their first son, also named Jasper, was born in 1716.

In February of 1718, as part of closing the estate of Captain Richard Brightwell, a quit claim for 1,086 acres in Zachia Manor, mentioned earlier, to John Bradford, was executed from Peter Brightwell and his wife (unnamed), Richard Brightwell and John Brighwell, sons of Richard Brightwell, and Jasper Kinnick and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Brightwell. This record, as earlier noted, set in the records of Maryland, four of the five children, by name, of Captain Richard Brightwell.

On June 29 of 1718, Richard Brightwell married his wife, Mary. The ceremony was held at Poplar Hill to be close to family and friends attending.

Tobacco as a substitute for money in Colonial America

Did you know tobacco was used as a substitute for money in Colonial America?

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Tax rolls and other court records identify family members in place and time

Richard Brightwell, Peter Brightwell, and Jasper Kinnick appeared on a list of "taxables" in Mattapany Hundred, near the Charles County line, in Prince George's County.

In April 1719, a son, William Kinnick, was born to Jasper and Elizabeth (Brightwell) Kinnick.

On June 3, 1719, John Brightwell married Elizabeth Coleman at Poplar Hill, where they made a home for their family. Their first son, also named John, was born there in 1720. Two daughters, Catherine and Ursala, followed, to make this a growing family.

In these years, as well, Richard Brightwell, and his wife, Mary, had a son, Richard, as well as two daughters, Elizabeth and Rebeckah.

By the late spring of 1721, Elizabeth (Brightwell) Kinnick had become ill and died. Jasper who was also in very ill health, could no longer look after his sons, and asked Richard Brightwell, and his wife, Mary, to raise the boys, Jasper and William. Jasper Kinnick died shortly thereafter.

Historical notes by the author

The Weston family, including spouses, is fictional. All the Brightwell's, Robert Kent, Thomas Gant, Elizabeth Burroughs, Thomas Greenfield, and John Bradford were historical figures, used here fictitiously. They each played key roles in the life of Captain Richard Brightwell, the 7th great-grandfather of the author, and his family. His daughter, Elizabeth was the author's 6th great-grandmother; and Jasper Kinnick was the author's 6th great-grandfather. William Kinnick was the 5th great-grandfather of the author. Each of the relationships within which these historical figures appear in these episodes are totally consistent with known historical facts for each such person in the official records of Maryland.

My historical perspective in this hub relied extensively on my published articles in the Maryland Society Bulletin, "Richard Brightwell Family in Maryland (1640s through 1740s)," Spring 2003, Vol. 44, No. 2, Compiled by William L. (Bill) Smith For the KINNICK Project, pp. 218-238, and "Analysis of 18th Century Kinnick Surname References in Maryland," Winter 2002, Vol. 43, No. 1, Compiled by William L. (Bill) Smith For the KINNICK Project, pp. 77-90.


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