By Deven Winders Lewis
co-administrator of the Winder Surname DNA Project

Mar 2014

Many trees reflect Elizabeth Sherwood Winder as being born c. 1722 in All Saints’ Parish, Prince George’s County, Maryland. However, All Saints’ Parish was not created until an Act of Assembly on October 29, 1742,1 about six months before her marriage to James Winder. Based on the connections of the Winder, Sherwood, Ryley/Riley, Swearingen, Stull and Chaplin families in the Maryland counties of Prince George’s, Frederick and Washington, it is possible that Elizabeth Sherwood, daughter of John Sherwood and Gemima Ryley/Riley (married St. Barnabas Church, Queen Anne’s Parish, Prince George’s County, MD on Oct. 19, 1724)2, was the same Elizabeth Sherwood who married James Winder in All Saint’s Parish, Prince George’s County, MD, on May 9, 1743 (this area of Prince George’s became Frederick County in 1748). This Elizabeth’s birth record at St. Barnabas Church, Queen Anne’s Parish, Prince George’s County, MD, indicates she was born Nov. 20, 1728:3

John Sherwood-Gemima Ryley, October 19, 1724, Minister, Jacob Henderson

Elizabeth Sherwood, Born November 20, 1728

This means our Elizabeth Sherwood would only have been 14½ when she married James, younger than the commonly held belief. Although this young age may raise doubt about the viability of our Elizabeth being the daughter of John and Gemima Riley Sherwood, Elizabeth’s young age at marriage actually makes more sense in the context of her childbearing years. The last of James and Elizabeth Winder’s children are believed to have been born in the late 1760s and early 1770s, making Elizabeth about 50 at the time, if she had been born earlier in the 1720s.

At least 4 other Ryley/Rileys are listed in the St. Barnabas Church records, two by surname and two by their married names, Swearingen and Chapline, who are all likely to be related to Elizabeth’s mother, Gemima:

Eliphaz Ryley (Elizabeth ??)
Ellenor Ryley Born January 05, 1714/15

Thomas Sweringen (Lydia)

Thomas Sweringen, Born April 08, 1708

Mary Sweringen, Born August 11, 1710

Laurana Sweringen, Born October 15, 1714

Margaret Sweringen, Born February 17. 1716

Vandon Sweringen, (M) Born May 22, 1719

William Chapline (Elizabeth)

Joseph Chapline, Born September 05, 1707

William Chapline, Born October 25, 1709

Mary Chapline, Born September 17, 1712

Anna Chapline, Born December 02, 1714

Moses Chapline, Born June 11, 1717

Elizabeth Chapline, Born November 14, 172?

William Chapline, Born April 17, 1726

Santelo Dyer (Margaret Ryley) November 7, 1723, Minister,Jacob Henderson

(Note, Santelo Dyer and Margaret Ryley were married by the same minister, Jacob Henderson, as Elizabeth Sherwood’s parents, John Sherwood and Gemima Riley.)

Eliphaz Ryley of the above St. Barnabas record has been proved to be a son of Hugh Ryey/Riley, based on significant Riley research available on the internet, including the Chafin-Marsh Family web pages4. The will of Eliphaz, dated 08 December 1759,5 named children Rachel, Ann, Jeremiah Riley and John Riley. Daughter Ellenor Ryley of the St. Barnabas records was not mentioned, thus it’s possible that Gemima may have been a daughter of Eliphaz who also was not mentioned in his will.

Lydia Riley Swearingen and Elizabeth Riley Chaplin6 of the St. Barnabas records are also cited in the Chafin-Marsh work as two daughters of Hugh Riley, as proved through the following deed gifts:

Deed of Gift, 17 Nov. 1716; from Hugh Riley to Leady [sic] Riley, his daughter, wife of Thomas Swearingen; 120 acre portion of Riley’s Gift; from a larger parcel called Hill’s Choice; if Thomas should outlive her, he to have lifetime tenure. (PGLR F.&1); Deed of Gift, Dec. 1722, 24 May 1723; from Hugh Ryley (sic) of Prince George’s Co. to Thomas Swearingen, son-in-law, planter of Prince George’s Co.; 120 acre part of The Forest called Ryley’s Gift. (PGLR I.440)

Prince George’s County, Maryland, Deeds, Liber E, Folio 579, By Deed of Gift dated November 17, 1716, Hugh Ryley of Prince George’s county, conveyed to his daughter Elizabeth “now the wife of William Chapplin” of Prince George’s County, 139 acres of “The Forrest”, a tract of land known by the name of “Ryley’s Gift” being part of a tract of the whole containing 259 acres; bounded by land of Thomas Swearingen; containing 139 acres; to be inherited by the heirs of her body with Wililam Chapplin to have life time tenure if he should outlive his wife. Signed Hugh Ryley (seal). Witnessed: Enoch Spinks, Thomas Sweringen (mark), Elizabeth Lee (by mark).

Margaret Ryley of the St. Barnabas record, who married Santelo Dyer, has been identified as a daughter of Samuel Ryley (a son of Hugh Riley/Ryley)7, but no source information has been found to date to corroborate this belief; if Margaret is a daughter of Samuel Ryley, it may point to Gemima Ryley also being his daughter, since the marriages of she and Margaret were performed by the same minister about a year apart.

The most compelling records indicating a relationship of Margaret Ryley and Gemima Ryley concern the purchase by Santelo Dyer of property previously owned by John Sherwood; on June 7, 1727, Santelo Dyer received a land patent certificate for 150 acres, known as “Glovers Hall”,8 which he had purchased from John Sherwood9 in 1725/26. One of the witnesses to the purchase was Thomas Swearingen, husband of Lydia Swearingen. On 22 July 1730, Santelo Dyer sold 50 acres of this land to Joseph “Chapeling”, probably the Joseph Chaplin who was the son of Elizabeth Ryley and William Chaplin. The land transaction was witnessed by Jermiah Belt and Edward Sprigg, acknowledged by Santelo and wife, Margaret (Prince George’s Land Records 1730-1733 – Liber Q, Page 100).

A will for Hugh Riley/Ryley (Sr.), proved father of Eliphaz, Elizabeth and Lydia Ryley, has not been found to date; it appears most of his children have been identified through deed gifts and land transactions; no such transaction has been found involving Gemima. Some researchers believe Gemima to have been the daughter of Hugh Ryley’s son, Thomas Ryley.10 According to “The Colonial Riley Families of the Tidewater Frontier”, by Robert Shean Riley, 1999, Volume 1, page 213, Hugh Riley did have an eldest son, Thomas, who died in 1731 in Stafford County, Virginia, but his will does not mention a daughter named “Gemima”11.

Swearingen/Riley Connection

The marriage of Lydia Ryley to Thomas Swearingen is corroborated by Thomas Swearingen’s 1726 will (witnessed by John Sherwood) in which he makes reference to Hugh Riley as his “father-in-law”:

Will of Thomas Swearingen; (Prince George’s Co); written 12 Apr 1726; probate 12 May 1726

To Eldest son Thomas and hrs., 70 ac. “The Forest” had of father-in-law Hugh Riley

To youngest son Van and hrs., 20 a of afsd tract and 20 a of “Hill’s Choys” had of father…

To daus. margarit and Lurana and their hr., each 40 a of “Hill’s Choys”

To eldest dau. Mary and hrs., 96 a. “Swerengen’s Pasture”, Prince George’s Co; shd. either sons Thomas or Van die before of age, the survivor to inherit portion of dec’d; shd. either of girls die before of age, survivor of them to inherit portion of dec’d.

Test: John Sherwood, Joseph Chaplin, Ann Clarke

(Md. Cal. Wills, Vol. V, p. 225; Wills, Liber 18, folio 501)

John Sherwood witnessed the Thomas Swearingen will two years before the birth of his and Gemima Ryley’s daughter, Elizabeth Sherwood. That the John Sherwood who witnessed the will is likely to have been the same John Sherwood married to Gemima Ryley is evidenced by the large Swearingen family found in the St. Barnabas Church records, including Thomas Swearingen whose daughters “Margarit” and “Lurana” were referenced in the above will abstract and whose births appear in the St. Barnabas Church Records12:

John Swearingen (Mary Ray) February 9, 1715

Mary Swearingen, Born October 29, 1720

Lydia Swearingen, Born September 07, 1726

Thomas Swearingen, Born November 23, 1728

John Swearingen, Born August 06, 1735

Thomas Sweringen (Lydia)

Thomas Sweringen, Born April 08, 1708

Mary Sweringen, Born August 11, 1710

Laurana Sweringen Born October 15, 1714

Margaret Sweringen Born February 17. 1716

Vandon Sweringen, (M) Born May 22, 1719

Samuel Swearingen (Elizabeth Farmer) February 14, 1715 Jno. White

Van Swearingen (Elizabeth)

Elizabeth Swearingen, Born July 04, 1715

Rebecca Swearingen, Born December 22, 1716

Mary Swearingen, Born November 17, 1718

Joseph Swearingen, Born March 09, 1720/21

Samuel Swearingen, Born September 06, 1728

Daughter Swearingen, Born May 01, 1732

If Gemima Ryley was, in fact, a daughter of Hugh Riley or one of his sons, then Gemima’s husband, John Sherwood, had witnessed the 1726 will of her sister/aunt Lydia’s husband, Thomas Swearingen. In that case, Elizabeth’s nephew/cousin Thomas Swearingen Jr. (son of Lydia and Thomas Swearingen Sr.)13 filed for a patent in 1734 on a property known as “Felfoot” on the forks of the Little Antietam14, near the present-day town of Keedysville, approximately 15 miles from the area near Elizabethtown (Hagerstown) where James Winder and Elizabeth Sherwood Winder would live on property James purchased in 1752. (Felfoot Bridge, built by George Burdan in 1854, is located on the tract originally patented by Thomas Swearingen.)15

The elder Swearingen men of the above St. Barnabas church records, i.e., John, Thomas, Samuel and Van, were brothers, based on a blend of Swearingen information provided at the Dick Say website16 and various person pages of the “My Bunch” website17. All were sons of Thomas Van Swearingen, proved through the 29 July 1708 will of Thomas Van Swearingen, presented to the court on 9 March 1711, Prince George’s County, Maryland18:

July ye 29th 1708
First & foremost I committ my Soul to Allmighty God my heavenly Father yc made it & to my Saviour Jesus Christ to Reddem it wth whom I hope shortly to be & receive pardon for all my sins 2ndly I committ ,y body to ye earth from whence it Came & there to be buried in Charistian like mannor my World debts first being full Satisfied &. paid 3dly I give and bequeath to my eldest Son Thos Sweringen that Plantation He now Lives on with an Hundred acres of Land adjacent to it beginning at ye North Line the whole breadth of the Land to him and his heirs for ever Lawfully begotten of his body or to begotten 4thly I give unto my Son Van ye other hundred Acres of Land in The same Tract beginning att ye South Corner Tree so running as ye Deeds make mention to him & to his heirs for ever Lawfully begotten of his body or to be begotten 5thly I give unto my Son Samuel this hundred acres of Land & plantation whereon I now Live with all apertinances thereunto belonging excepting Household goods and tobacco in houses on The said plantation to him & his heirs forever lawfully begotten of his body to be begotten & never to be Sold nor Chang’d nor Embecill’d away on any account but to go from Heir to Heir dureing Life after his Dear & Loving Mothers Decease 6thly I do hereby Leave to my well & Dear beloved wife Jane all my movable Estate of what the Lord hath been pleas’d to bestow upon me to her &. att her Disposall she being made my whole Exectrx. so Long as it pleaseth Allmighty God 7thly My will & Desire is thus yt if Either Van Swearingeh or Samll Swearaingen shou’d Dye before they come of age of one & twenty then ye Land of ye Deceased falls to ye younger brother John Swearingen but if it be the will of allmighty God they both Live to Enjoy their Land which I hope May by Gods Leave my will & pleasure is yt my Son Thos is to give my Son John ten pound Ster when he Comes to be one Twenty years of age & my will &. pleasure is likewise that my Son Van shou’d give to my Son John Ten pound Sterling money of England & my will & plesure is likewise yt my Son Sam” Swearingen shall give to my Son John Ten pounds Sterling money of England wn he comes to be 21 years of Age. Viz
Thos. Swearingen
Wit: Richard But (mark), Ralph Wilson (mark), Paul Bradford (mark)
Endorsed 19 Mar 1710 by the 3 witnesses

Stull-Swearingen Connection

According to the Swearingen genealogy, when John Sherwood witnessed the will of Thomas Swearingen (Sr.) in 1726, he was witnessing the will of the brother of Van Swearingen. The significance of this fact is the family connection Van Swearingen had to the Stull family of Frederick County, Maryland, the same Stull family who owned property near James and Elizabeth Sherwood Winder – two of the sons of Van Swearingen married two of the daughters of John Stull.

The patriarch of the Stull family was John Stull (Sr.), who resided in the area of Prince George’s County, Maryland,19 which became Frederick County in 1748, then Washington County in 1776. John Stull owned and operated mills, originally known as the Stull Mills, one at Elizabethtown (Hagerstown) and one in the Mt. Lena/Beaver Creek area. Stull’s Hagerstown mill was located near the property purchased by James Winder in 1752 and where he and wife, Elizabeth Sherwood Winder, resided until their deaths. In fact, part of the land description for James’ purchase of his first 100 acres of property on 18 Jan 1752 includes this reference: “Beginning at a bounded White Oak standing by the side of a little spring within half a mile of the Waggon Road that goes from Stull Mill to the Mountains…”20. In March of 1759 James Winder also received by patent 48 acres of land in a tract known as Boys Harbour. The description of Boys Harbour starts: “Beginning at a bounded white oak standing about half a mile above Stulls Mill on the NorthWest side of the Antietam…”;, placing at least a portion of the Winder property within about a ½ mile of Stull’s Hagerstown mill.

No Stulls appear in the St. Barnabas Church records reviewed, however, it is likely John Stull had not arrived in America until c. 1730, according to various Stull researchers. He is probably the John Stull on the 1733 tax list for Prince George’s County, Maryland. In 1739, he purchased the “Whiskey” property21 located near the property James Winder later purchased, according to a 1736 historical map of the Conococheague Manor area (previously online at, but now with a broken link). He is probably the same John Stull whose name appears on a 1742 petition to divide Prince George’s Parish in Prince George’s County to create a parish called All Saints’ Parish. An act was passed in 1747 to tax the inhabitants of the parish for the All Saints’ Parish church to be built in the town of Frederick;22 this was the same parish in which James and Elizabeth Sherwood Winder were married in 1743. On Oct 15, 1744, John Stull received a patent for the “Stubbs Addition To Whiskey” consisting of 160 acres.23

John Stull was well established in the Hagerstown area at the time of the marriage of his daughter, Catherine, to Van Swearingen’s son, John Swearingen, in Frederick County. (Some researchers give a marriage date of 15 Sep 1747, but no source information is cited.) That Catherine had married John Swearingen sometime before 1749 is evidenced by John Stull’s 1749 will24 in which he refers to his daughter Catherine “Swearingham”, but refers to daughter Susanna as Susanna “Stull”; she did not marry Van Swearingen’s son, Charles, until c. 1759. One of the sources typically cited for these Swearingen-Stull marriages is the “Family Register of Gerret Van Sweringen and Descendants” by Henry Hartwell, published in 1857. According to Hartwell, John Swearingen and wife Catherine Stull moved to Fayette County, Pennsylvania. That Charles Swearingen and wife Susannah Stull remained in Frederick County is evidenced by a curious 1791 chancery record of a lawsuit involving the estate of John Stull Jr., 25 who, with his brother, Jacob, had taken over operation of the Stull mills after the 1749 death of John Sr. It is probably this same Charles Swearingen, identified as the husband of Susannah Stull in the lawsuit, who is listed with John Stull (Jr.) and James Winder (husband of Elizabeth Sherwood) in the following 1760s petition:

1761-1763, Petition #966, Sundry inhabitants of the Parish of All Saints’, Frederick Co., MD to Governor Horatio Sharpe and the upper and lower houses of assembly. Petition for three new levies to build two chapels, one below Monacacy; three previous levies raised enough to repair the church at Frederick town; since the two chapels cannot be repaired they will need 12,000 pounds of tobacco in three payments, 1761, 1762, 1763.
Signed by: Thomas Prather, Van Swearingen Jr., Charles Swearengen, John Stull, James Winder, Daniel Mc Coy, Jos. Perry, James Henthorn, John McIntyre, Joseph Helms, John Rullen, Thomas Scarlett, James White, Thomas Hankins, John Henthorn, Ralph Higgenbotham, Michael Rittlacrer, James Christie, James Henthorn, Jr., son of John, John Perins, Edward Dawson, Wm. Norris, Zacharias Rickets, Nathan Chiver, Thomas C. Canteau, Jeremiah Duvall, Robert Jackson, Hugh Jackson, Joseph Logan Jr.
(Source: Maryland Archives, LVI , p. 502, 504, Also, Maryland Black Books, p. 141)

Chaplin-Riley-Swearingen Connection

The 1726 Thomas Swearingen will witnessed by John Sherwood was also witnessed by Joseph Chaplin, who had ties to the Ryley/Rileys and Swearingens: Joseph Chaplin’s parents were William Chaplin and Elizabeth Riley, daughter of Hugh Riley, as proved through the deed transfer provided earlier in these notes. As cited earlier, this is probably the Joseph “Capeling” who purchased property from Santelo Dyer, the husband of Margaret Ryley.

The Chaplins were also prevalent in the early St. Barnabas Church records with the Sherwoods and Swearingens 26:

John Chaplain (Rebekeh Cherry/Cheeny) September 19, 1758 John Eversfield

Son Chaplin[sic], Born 176?

William Chaplin, Born October 16, ??

Rebecca Chaplin, Born 177? (listed with 1773 births)

William Chapline (Elizabeth)

Joseph Chapline, Born September 05, 1707

William Chapline, Born October 25, 1709

Mary Chapline, Born September 17, 1712

Anna Chapline, Born December 02, 1714

Moses Chapline, Born June 11, 1717

Elizabeth Chapline, Born November 14, 172?

William Chapline, Born April 17, 1726

A Joseph Chaplin and a Moses Chaplin filed many land patents in what is now Washington County, Maryland.27 Their father William had apparently purchased property in 1736 near Sharpsburg (about 14 miles from Hagerstown) on the Virginia side of the Potomac and sold it in 175028. He had patented a property called “Strife” in 1740 in what is now Washington County, Maryland, described as being above the mouth of the Antietam.29 William’s will was probated 02 Dec 1752 in Frederick County, Virginia.

The 1783 Maryland Tax Assessments provide a glimpse of the Winder, Stull, Swearingen and Chaplin landholdings in the pertinent area of Washington County by that time; no Dyer holdings are reflected:30

James Chapline. sundry tracts, 2795 3/4 acres. WA Lower Antietam and Sharpsburg p. 38. MSA S1161-11-1. 1/4/5/54

Jeremiah Chapline. WA Lower Antietam and Sharpsburg p. 64. MSA S1161-10-9. 1/4/5/53

Joseph Chapline. Well Done, pt, 400 acres. WA Lower Antietam and Sharpsburg p. 32. MSA S1161-11-1. 1/4/5/54

Joseph Chapline. sundry tracts, 1930 acres. WA Lower Antietam and Sharpsburg p. 41. MSA S1161-11-1. 1/4/5/54

William Chapline. WA Lower Antietam and Sharpsburg p. 64. MSA S1161-10-9. 1/4/5/53

Daniel Stull. WA Elizabeth p. 64. MSA S1161-10-9. 1/4/5/53

John Stull. Whisky, pt and Toddy, pt, 561 acres. WA Elizabeth p. 30. MSA S1161-11-4. 1/4/5/54

Charles Swearingen. Ringolds Mannor, pt, 192 acres. WA Marsh p. 6. MSA S1161-11-2. 1/4/5/54

Joseph Swearingen. WA Marsh p. 64. MSA S1161-10-9. 1/4/5/53

Thomas Swearingen. Mountain of Wales, pt, 222 acres. WA Salisbury and Conocheague p. 48. MSA S1161-11-3. 1/4/5/54

Van Swearingen. Ringolds Mannor, pt, 178 acres. WA Marsh p. 7. MSA S1161-11-2. 1/4/5/54

Daniel Winders. WA Upper Antietam and Jerusalem p. 62. MSA S1161-10-9. 1/4/5/53

James Winders. Madcaps [sic] Meadow, 237 acres. WA Upper Antietam and Jerusalem p. 72. MSA S1161-10-9. 1/4/5/53

John Winders. name unknown, 100 acres. WA Upper Antietam and Jerusalem p. 62. MSA S1161-10-9. 1/4/5/53

Thomas Winders. Resurvey on Madcaps Meadow, 100 acres. WA Upper Antietam and Jerusalem p. 62. MSA S1161-10-9. 1/4/5/53


The listing of Gemima Ryley’s name in the St. Barnabas Church records along with Eliphaz Ryley, Lydia Ryley Swearingen, and Elizabeth Ryley Chaplin (who were all children of Hugh Ryley Sr.) and Margaret Ryley (probable daughter of Hugh’s son, Samuel) suggests a family connection between Gemima and the other Ryleys of the church records. A relationship is further evidenced by Gemima’s husband, John Sherwood, and Elizabeth Ryley Chaplin’s son, Joseph, acting as witnesses to the 1726 will of Lydia Ryley Swearingen’s husband, Thomas, as well as the sale of John Sherwood’s Glovers Hall property to Santelo Dyer, husband of Margaret Ryley. The early land transactions in the pertinent Maryland counties of Prince George’s/Frederick/Washington by the Swearingens, Chaplins, Stulls and John Sherwood near property later purchased by James Winder, suggest that Elizabeth Sherwood Winder was the daughter of John and Gemima Ryley Sherwood and that she had ties to these families through her mother, Gemima Ryley.


1History of Western Maryland, J. Thomas Scharf, online at Google Books.


5 Will of Eliphaz Riley 8 Dec, 1759
30 May, 1760 To son-in-law Capt. Robert Douglas, and dau. Mary his wife, 30 A. of land being pt of tract called the Hop-Yard, including the houses where Peregrine McNess did lately live. To daus. Rachel and Ann, remaining pt. of Hop-Yard, inclusive of 30 A. to be equally divided between them; if they die without hrs., to fall to James Riley (son of Jeremiah Riley), my grand-son. To dau. Rachel, slaves. To dau. Ann, slaves and furniture. To grand-sons James Riley, son of John Riley, and James Riley above-mentioned son of Jeremiah Riley, cattle. To son John Riley, 5 lbs. EX: Son John Riley WIT: Edward Willett, Wm. Young, Walter Evans One of the legatees Rachel Riley, on the 30th of May, 1760, came and said she would deliver into the hands of the ex. the above-named, all of the dec’d’s. personal estate, which were in her possession.See



“4 March 1725/6 Surveyed “Glovers Hall” and purchased from John Sherwood in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Was 150 acres total size.  Joseph Peach and Thomas Swearingen witnessed the land transaction. Patented 24 June 1727.







20James Winder had purchased the Medcalf’s Meadows property from James Perry; James Perry’s purchase of the property from Joseph Medcalf also carried the Stulls Mill description as well: 21 Nov 1744. Joseph MIDCAF of Prince Georges County, Maryland, planter, to James PERRY of PG Co., planter, for 60 L, a tract of land called MIDCAFS Meadow, lying in PG, bounded by a little spring within a ½ mile of the Waggon Road that goes from Stulls Mill to the mountains, containing 100 acres of Calerton or Conegoehege Manor (royal mines excepted). Signed: Joseph (his mark) MIDCALF. Wit: Edward OWON (Owen), James (+ his mark) LIN, Nath. WICKHAM, Joseph CHAPLINE. This deed was ack. By Jos MIDCAF and Mary, his wife. Recorded Nov. 28, 1744. (Prince George’s County, Maryland, Land Records 1743-1746, TLC Genealogy, 1998, p. 61.)

22History of Western Maryland, J. Thomas Scharf, online at Google Books.


27 (search by “Chapl”)


29 (see page 83); also see