Ancestors of Colonel George Steuart, Robert Stewart, 1907, p12
VII. - Silvester Garland, Esquire.
Silvester (or Sylvester) Garland must have been born about 1670 in New York. From whom he was named is uncertain. Naturally he would be called after bis grandfather Garland. But, in the absence of any knowledge of a Silvester Garland of a preceding generation, we imagine that he might have got his name from the above mentioned Capt. Sylvester Salisbury with whoin his father was in close business connection. In that case Capt. Salisbury would doubtless be a blood relation— possibly John Garland's mother's father, or her brother; and this leads us to suppose that Salisbury blood also enters into the constitution of Col. George Steuart's ancestry.
By his iatLer's will Silvester Garland1 iuberited the paternal swoid—perhaps as a mark oi superior birth-right, aud an indication that he would be considered the protector of the family.
Probably he followed the fortunes of his mother, who married again and went to Kent Co., Delaware, to live: for that State is the place where his lot was cast in subsequent life.
The first trace of him after his father's death is found in the Colonial Records of Pennsylvania (vol. i, p. 376), where mention is made of the theft of two silver cups from Silvester Garland by an Indian, and where the action of the Provincial Council in regard to it is recorded. The cups were secured by Garland beforo May 29, 1693. The Council passed their resolution June 5, 1693. He must therefoie at that time have been living in the Province of Pennsylvania of which Delaware then formed a part.
Next he appears as witness to a Delaware deed, Oct. 7,
1695, and other instances of a similar character occur in 1695,
1696, 1697, 1701, 1702 and 1705—all recorded at Wilmington, Delaware. Jn one case at least he signs his name Selvr Gaerland.
May 6, 1701, he got the power of attorney from his mother, Mrs. Susannah Brown, to look after her claims in New York; and August 24, 1703, he gave a similar power of attorney to William Anderson, a resident of that city.
Oct. 13, 1701, complaint is made against him before the Council for selling rum to the Indians, and he is put under bonds not to do Bo thereafter.
[See Colonial Record* of Pennsylvania, Vol. II, pp. 33, 46, 48]
Oct. 10, 1706 ("5th year of Queen Anne"), he got the deed of a place kuown as "Oakburne," containing 200 acres, located on While Clay Creek, tor eighty pounds sterling, in tins deed he is said to be a uieichuut ot .New Castle Couuty.
August. 15, A 707, he and Kooiufe Ue Hass and Thomas Janvier bought land in .New Castle for a Presbyterian Church. He and De Hass are called " merchants, undertakers and agents." Do Hass and Janvier were Ereuch Protestant immigrants (Huguenots). Probably all three were ecclesiastical officers (elders) at that time: but, if not, they were at least the leading men. Eighteen feet more of land adjoining the above was bought in 1712 for the purpose of enlarging the church lot.
Oct. 1, 1709, (Silvester Garland purchased from John Heally a place named "Change" on the "West side of the Delaware River on the S. E. side of a Beanth of Appoquiniinink Creek," containing 500 acres, for 186 pounds sterling.
The same day another deed was given by Jonas Arskin confirming to Silvester Garland the farm called "Oakburne" above noticed.
Feb. 5, 1713, his daughter Suit married the Rev. James Anderson, their pastor.
Nov. 10, 1714, he was appointed a justice of the peace and obtained the title " Esquire."
In December. 1714, his eldest son John2 died appointing him executor of his will.
Jan. 5, 1715, Silvester Garland is mentioned as one of the executors, and an intimate friend, of Sigfreedus Alrichs, one of the earliest and most prominent residents of New Castle, and the ancestor of an interesting progeny.
As early as March 21, 1715, Esquire Garland was appointed Deputy Registrar for the County of New Castle in virtue of a commission granted him by the Hon. Charles Gookin, Esq., Governor of the Counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex; and many records of his, made in this capacity down to May 22, 1717
are found in the Court House at Wilmington. It is also said that "for many years the office of prothonotary, recorder of deeds, registrar of wills, and clerks in the different courts, were held by the samo person, and the duties in several of theso was conducted by deputy;" and among the persons thus serving was Silvester Garland. His predecessor was Rowland Fitzgerald, and his successor John French.
Sep. 20, 1715, we find his name on the list of the elders of the Presbytery of Philadelphia which sat in New Castle that year. This was at that time the highest court of the church. The Synod was not formed till two years later. Whether Silvester Garland was one of the original elders of New Castle church is uncertain, but probable. Thomas Janvier is put forward by some as the first elder in New Castle, but his name does not appear on the minutes of Presbytery before the organization of Synod, or in the Synod's minutes afterward, although the names of Segfrigus Alricks (Sigfriedns Alrichs), Rowlaph Dehaws (Rooloffe DeHass) and Sylvester Garland do appear.
July 3, 1715, he was married at New York to Anne Sebra, probably the daughter of Clement Sebra and Janitia Erwin, who were married on, or about, July 16, 1675. The record in Now York is as follows : " Silvester Gaerlant and Anne Sebra, Ingeterkent—Juny. 30, 1715 ; Qetrouwt July 3, 1715."*
Feb. 5, 1717, or 1718, John Heally deeded to Silvester Garland the farm on which he lived. It contained 371 acres and was located on Appoquinimink Creek. This transaction appears to be the consummation of that which was begun Oct. 1, 1709, although the number of acres mentioned is not the same in both cases.
Feb. 9 (1717 or 1718), John Verdeman deeded to Silvester Garland, of New Castle, merchant, for 124 pounds, 313 acres and 61 perches of land on the Appoquinimink.
Oot. 7, 1718, Sylvester Garland wrote his will, and June 19, 1719, this will was probated, showing that he must have died between these dates and probably in June, 1719. The will, which was apparently penned by himself, reads* as follows :—
"In the name of God Amen I Sylvester Garland of the Town of New Castle upon Delaware Merchant being sick and weak of body but of sound and perfect Sense and Memory thanks to be God therefore and knowing how fraile humane Nature is and that it is appointed for all men Once to Dye Do make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in Manner and form following viz1.
"ImpTM First and principally I give and bequeath my Soul into the hands of Almighty God from whom I had it hopeing, through the Meritorious Cross and passion of my blessed Saviour Christ to obtain remission and forgiveness for all my transgressions and Sins and my body to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executors herein afternamed and as to what worldly Substance it hath pleased God to bestow upon me here on Earth I give and bequeath as follows :—
"1 Item I will and bequeath that all my Just Debts of what nature soever together with my funeral charges and the Probat of this my will and Testament be first paid and discharged.
"2 Item I Give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Anne Garland the one third according as the Law in such Cases prescribes of my Estate to her and her heires and assigns for Ever Together with my Negro Boy Called ffrank during her Natural Life.
"3 Item I give and bequeath nnto my son Abraham Garland
a Tract of Land containing Two hundred and thirty acres
Scituate at White Clay Creek being the land I formerly bought
from Jonas Arskain Together with two Cows two Calves, two
pair of GoM buttons and a Silver handled sword to him and
his heires an l assigns for ever.
• Where the letter s is doubled old long letters resembling / are used. These, however, are not reproduced in this printed copy.
"4 Item I Give and bequeath unto my Son Silvester Garland the dwelling house wherein I now live—together with the Lott thereunto belonging and the bolting house and all the Outhouses except the peice of Ground that is ffenced in and is always reserved for the burial ground of my family, likewise I bequeath to my Said Son Silvester One negro Boy Called Samm—one Gold Seal three pair of Gold buttons and one Silver handled Sword to him and his heires—and assigns for Ever.
"5 Item I Give and bequeath unto my daughter Sodt Anderson the house and Lott next adjoining to ray own dwelling house wherein she formerly dwelt and one Negro Boy called Plim to her and her heirs and assigns for Ever.
"6 Item I give and bequeath unto my Grand Daughter Susannah Garland the daughter of my son John Garland the Sume of sixty pounds to be paid by my Executors when she shall be of age or marries which shall first happen.
"7 Item I Give and bequeath unto my Son in Law James Cebron the sume of ffifteen pounds to him and his heires and assigns for Ever. As also a Suite of Mourning.
"8 Item It is my further will and desire that my Executors hereafter named shall Sell all my lands and Tenements that I have not herein bequosted for the payments of my Just Debts as Soon as conveniently they can after my decease. And also that ye whole remainder of all my Estate both Reall and personall I give and bequeath unto my Son Silvester Garland to him and his heires and assigns for Ever. Reserving only to my other children that in Case my Said Son Silvester should Dye before he comes of Age Then my further will and bequest is that the Estate hereby given him shall be equally divided between my Daughter Sodt Anderson, my Son Abraham Garland and my Grand Daughter Susannah Garland to them and their heires and assigns for Ever.
"9 Item I further will and desire that in Case my Grand Daughter Susannah Garland should Dye before she be of age or Marryed Then tlie Sixty ponnds hereby bequeated unto her should be Equally Divided between my daughter Sodt Anderson and my Son Abraham Garland to them and tleir heires and assigns for Ever. And lastly I do hereby Constitute and nominate and appoint my Dearly beloved wife Anne Garland and my Son in Liw Mr. James Anderson Executors of this my last will and Testament and I do also appoint the said James Anderson Trustee for my Son Silvester Garland during his Minority hereby making void and disannulling all former Wills made by me and allowing this to be my last will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seale the Seventh day of October Anno Dni One thousand Seven hundred and Eighteen."
Signed Scaled published and de-"\
will and Testament In presence of us [Former Registrar]
The probate reads as follows: -
11 Be it remembered that on the nineteenth day of June Anno Dni 1719 Came before me the Rev. Robert Crosst and William Dixon and Rowland FitzGerald]: and made oath upon the Holy Evangelist, of Almighty God that they saw and heard Silvester Garland Signe Senle publish and declare the will inwritten and annexed as his last Will and Testament and that at the time of doing thereof he appeared unto them to be in his perfect Senses and that they are the three subscribing Witnesses thoreto.
• Silvester (inrland's seal is in blnek wax, well preserved. It represent* the aide of a man's head, face and neck-stock—nose somewhat turned up, lips thick, hair pompadourod and lied with a ribbon back of the crown, with a tuft hanging down, and whiskers on tho side of the face. The figure is rather too narrow for reality.
t Paator of the Presbyterian Church, New Castle, after Mr. Anderson left - afterwards settled at Jamaica, LoDg Island, and after that in Philadelphia.
elated by the Testator
The administrators rendered some account March 9, 1720. But evidently the whole estate was not settled; for November 8, 1727 ("the first year of King George") a deed was made out by James Anderson of Doncgall Twp., Pennsylvania, County of Chester, gentleman, at present sole acting executor of the Testament and will of Sylvester Garland, to Hugh Laing of land called "Cheange" on the W. Side of Delaware river and on the S. E. side of Branch of Apoquinimiuk Creek (Sassafras Creek), containing 371 acres, in which is found the following language:
"Anna Garland, widow of Sylvester, was originally an executor but Inasmuch as yc said Anna Garlaud did afterwards intermarry and also accouuted with ye Orphans Court for the said County of New Castle for as much of sd Esteat which was of ye Deceast as had come iu to her hands or possession and thereupon gave up her executorship &c the said James Anderson having taken upon himself yc office of Execr and trustee as aforesaid became sole executr &c."
The above mentioned facts and documents taken mostly direct from the official, court-house records at Wilmington, throw considerable light on Silvester Garland's character and history. They show that his married life was spent almost entirely, if not altogether, in Delaware, and especially in Now Castle,* to which he may have moved from Kent Co., which lay farther south, that he was a merchant and an Indian trader, and that he acquired an unusual amount of property in farms, town residences, and slaves. They show also that while he once made the mistake of selling liquor to Indians, he stood high in the estimation of his rulers, his church brethren, and the community in general, filling honorably the positions of Elder, Justice of the Peace, and Deputy Registrar, while one of his daughters
* Webster id certainly mistaken when ha says that Silvester Garland was "of the Head of Apoquinimy," although an we have seen he owned land on the Apoquinimiuk Creek, and may hare lived there for a time.
made a respectable alliance in her marriage with the pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the place.
Delaware was first settled by the Swedes about 1638. In 1654 or 1655 it was captured by Governor Stuyvesant of New Amsterdam and became a Dutch dependency. In 1665 it was seized by the English Duke of York and came under the control of Great Britain by which it was held ever afterwards down to the Revolution, except during a short time in 1673 and 1674 when it reverted to the Dutch, as New York did. The Duke of York, however, sold it to William Penn in 1681, after which (except for two years 1692—1694) it was regarded as a part of tho Province of Pennsylvania, although from the year 1703 its inhabitants enjoyed the privilege of having a legislature of their own. In all these changes the character of the immigration participated, corresponding in each period with the regnant power. Swedes, Dutch, and British, in succession flocked to its shores, and, there intermingling aud interrmarrying, produced an amalgamated race.
New Castle dates from 1640 when a Swedish barque landed with immigrants and made a settlement, called Sandhuken (Sandy Hook), under the standard of the great Gustavus Adolphus. Seventeen years afterward, April 21, 1657, Jacob Alrichs arrived with a colony from Amsterdam, Holland, and called the placo New Amstel. It was built around a fort previously erected, called Casimir. One year afterwards the town contained one hundred houses. In 1672, after the English took it, it was incorporated, and called Now Castle. Oct. 27, 1682, Penn landed and bestowed upon it special privileges. After this for many years it became the chief port on the Delaware Bay for the disembarkation of emigrnnts from the old world and the gateway through which a constant stream of settlers (German, English, Scotch, and Scotch-Irish) found its way to various parts of Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. This made it a great trading point and explains why merchants like Silvester Garland grew rich. But in size and population it was surpassed by Philadelphia, and later still by Wilmington. At present it is a quiet, scattered town of two or three thousand inhabitants.
No traces remain of Squire Garland's store, bolting house, or residence; nor do we know the location of the family burying ground where in all probability his remains were deposited. Not many years ago, however, one building still stood in the town, called "the tile house," which was erected in 1687; and doubtless this was a familiar object to the eyes of those of our ancestors who made New Castle their home.
Of Silvester Garland's first wife, the one through whom we trace our genealogy, we know nothing except that she must have lived with him ten or twelve years and may have died as late as 1714.
Of his second wife Anne Sebra mention has already been made (p. 19). After her husband's death she aided in the execution of his will; but, owing to a second marriage, she subsequently relinquished the rights of executrix and left the business to her stop-son in law. Sho was living as late as 1727.
The children of Silvester Garland, probably all by his first wife, were the following, in the supposed order of their birth:
l. John3, born probably about 1692; married Mary (Green ?), who after his death married Jacobus William Neeriog; lived on White Clay Creek; a merchant; will made Dec. 2, 1714, and probated Dec. 11, 1714; had one child SUSANNAH (probably named after her father's grandmother Verplank-Garland-Brown), who married a man named Bradford after Oct. 18, 1735,* but before July 14, 1740,t when she was still living. John Garland's seal was a large-antlered stag, in the act of running.
* See her deed of that date.
t See Rev. James Anderson's will.
2. Sodt, or Sui, through whom Col. George Steuart derived his descent; born 1694.
3. Abraham, who was probably named after his father's grandfather Abraham Verplank, or his father's uncle of the same name. He got from his father a farm on White Clay Creek.
4. A daughter, who married James Cebron, but probably died childless before her father's will was made, Oct. 7, 1718.
5. Silvester; under age when his father made his will; got the home place, and was made residuary heir; no further trace.