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Weston Wagons West - Ep. J8 - Delton and Theo Weston continued work with the Brightwells and the Kinnicks

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.

Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757)

Admiral Vernon led British Forces in the War of Jenkins' Ear
Admiral Vernon led British Forces in the War of Jenkins' Ear | Source

Theo Weston and William Kinnick each born in 1719

Delton and Charlotte Weston celebrated the arrival of their son, Theo, in May 1719, one month after William Kinnick was born to Jasper and Elizabeth Kinnick. William's brother, Jasper, was 3 years older. Upon the death of the mother, Elizabeth, the father, Jasper, asked her older brother, Richard Brightwell, to assume the care and raising of the two Kinnick boys, which he did.

Theo Weston grew up in a loving home with his parents on the Weston Trace plantation, across from main road passing Poplar Hills. The only real sadness he experienced was when his grandparents, Keith and Rebecca Weston, each passed away in during the winter of 1725, within months of each other.

Jasper Kinnick seemed to adapt well to life with his uncle, Richard Brightwell and his family. Young William Kinnick, on the other hand, always seemed to have a mind of his own, much as his father did in his younger days. He did not take well to the discipline administered by Richard, when he stood his ground. As he grew older, he began to run away, to the plantation of his younger uncle, John, when he was unhappy. After a time, John would return the young man to his "proper" home, but, William would eventually run away, again.

Copies of Court Documents - Maryland Archives

First part of court recording
First part of court recording | Source
Second part of court recording
Second part of court recording | Source
Court recording of William Kinnick getting permission to choose guardian
Court recording of William Kinnick getting permission to choose guardian | Source

William Kinnick in County Court in 1733

Court records of the Prince George's County Court, June Session of 1733, show that Richard Brightwell came before the court with a petition against his own brother, John, regarding the custody and costs of maintaining the young William Kinnick, then nearing his Fifteenth year. Richard stated that he accepted the responsibility to care for and educate young William at the age of two, about fourteen years earlier, at the request of the boy's father. Richard went on to state that he carried out that responsibility including sending William to two different schoolmasters and raised him in his own home no different from one of his own children. However, he further stated that currently and for some time, William had been living and working at the home of the said John Brightwell instead, and that John was getting the benefits of the work of William rather than Richard. He asked that William be returned to him.

It was clear that both John Brightwell and William Kinnick were also present in the courtroom. The members of the court took a break, worked on another case, and then came back to the Brightwell case. At this point, because William Kinnick was fourteen (fifteen years the following April - per court records), and asked the Court personally to be permitted to choose his guardian, the court granted his wish.

William chose John Brightwell as his guardian. The court received assurance from John Brightwell that he would accept William Kinnick as his ward and provide: "Two years schooling (until he could) read and write, and (to learn) some handy trade until he arrives to the age of twenty one years." The court then relieved Richard of further responsibility for William Kinnick.

War of Jenkins' Ear - theater of operations

Map of key regions of the War of Jenkins' Ear and Battle of Cartegena
Map of key regions of the War of Jenkins' Ear and Battle of Cartegena | Source

William and Jasper continued to work for John Brightwell for some years

Delton and Theo Weston were in the courtroom that day to witness their friends in their time of turmoil. They were pleased with the court decision. They also were not surprised when, a few months after the court appearance, when Jasper Kinnick reached this 18th year, that he showed up, with the approval of Richard, at the John Brightwell plantation.

In April of 1740, WIlliam Kinnick reached age 21. Shortly there after, Governor Ogle ordered a call to arms for the so-called "Expedition to Cartagena." Cartagena was on the north coast of South America. The conflict also has been referred to as the "War of Jenkins' Ear."

On 31 May 1741, both William and Jasper Kinnick were listed as "Private" in the Muster Book of Gooch's American Regiment, under Edward Vernon, Vice Admiral of the Blue, in the War of Jenkins' Ear. [Also serving under Admiral Vernon at this time was Lawrence Washington, George's half-brother. Lawrence served on Vernon's flagship as a Captain of the Marines. When he returned home, he named his estate Mount Vernon in honor of his commander.]

Battle of Cartegena action scene

British Army led by Admiral Vernon at Cartegena
British Army led by Admiral Vernon at Cartegena | Source

Admiral Chaloner Ogle, War of Jenkins' Ear

Admiral Ogle led troops back to America
Admiral Ogle led troops back to America | Source

William and Jasper served in the War of Jenkins' Ear and returned to Maryland safely

Theo Weston felt compelled by his own family commitments to stay and work in Maryland when his friends, William and Jasper Kinnick went off to war. He did ask them to stay in touch with him, if they could. They agreed, but told him they would probably not be returning to Prince George's County, to their Brightwell relative's plantation, if and when they returned. They wanted to make their way, on their own, in the world, if they survived their war commitment.

Through mutual friends, Theo received word that Jasper had spent time in a Jamaican Hospital run by Gooch's Regiment in the fall of 1742. It was not a war injury. Late in 1742, with less than half its sailors fit for duty, Admiral Vernon returned to Britain, and Rear Admiral of the Blue, Chaloner Ogle, took command, and many of the Americans were returned home, including the Kinnick brothers.

Boarman's Manor was seeking tenant planters

Keeping in touch with Theo Weston paid off for the Kinnick brothers as well as for Theo Weston, himself. While they were off to the war, he became aware of activities at Boarman's Manor, just east of Zachiah Swamp, near the site of current Bryantown. Boarman had found that he benefited greatly from leasing portions of his land to tenant farmers in 50 to 75 acres parcels, and actually selling them his interest in those lands, from time to time, when prices were favorable. Theo found use for his services among these independent tenant planters. So, he had already moved to the Bryantown area when the Kinnick brothers returned from the war.

When William and Jasper arrived, they found there was a 67 acre plantation available for the right tenant farmer. The former tenant had been injured and died from complications of the injury. Theo Weston helped arrange a meeting with Boarman and the Kinnick brothers that turned out to be very positive for everyone involved. Boarman was an officer in the Maryland Provinicial Militia, and in that capacity was familiar with the Brightwell name as well as the War of Jenkins' Ear. He was pleased to make a tenant arrangement with the Kinnick brothers on this already ongoing plantation known locally as "Scale of Head" - a fisher's term, because the western edge of the property was on the swamp, with a good forest, and reasonably good tobacco land on the eastern portion of the land.

War of Jenkins' Ear

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Historical note by the author

The Weston family, including spouses, is fictional. All the Brightwell's, Governor Ogle, Gooch, Vernon, Washington, Chaloner Ogle and Boarman were historical figures, used here fictitiously. They each played key roles in the life of William Kinnick, 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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