The Touchstone Family

of Cecil County, Maryland

A004

Earliest References To The Touchstone Name

Agnes Touchstone, Christening, 8 March 1572
Saint Dunstan, Stepney, London, England
Daughter of Nicholas Touchstone

Joane Touchstone, Christening, 19 November 1661
Holy Trinity (Christ Church), Cork, Ireland
Daughter of Henry Touchstone

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The Original Immigrant

From the Maryland Archives, Patent Record, 1679 -1681, WC2, SR7340
Provided by Samuel J. Touchstone of Baton Rouge, LA.

Joane McPharland – Ellin Ross – David Gilland

Ellin Doirid – Ellin English – Richd Tutchstone

Joane Dempsy – Jullian Boughsly – Wm Burne

Catherine Compehoy – Honora D’aioly – Thomas Brunett

Joane Cassoe

(some spellings approximate)

January 24th 1679 Came Mayor Thomas Tailor of Dorchester County and sued rights to five hundred and fifty acres of land for a transportation of the above mentioned thirteen persons consigned him into this province to inhabit.

Febry 10th 1679 Warrant then granted to Mayor Thomas Tailor of Dorchester County for six hundred and fifty acres of land Dueut Supra.

Patent1679
Richard Touchstone, born about 1657, was the original immigrant to America of this family. He was one of a group of men and women transported into the province of Maryland by Thomas Taylor who was granted a warrant for 650 acres for this act on 10 Feb 1679/80. Richard Touchstone probably served the customary five years as an indentured servant, then married and settled in Cecil County sometime thereafter on a tract known as Mount Ararat (near Port Deposit). Certain of his sons and grandsons carried the Touchstone name westward to Frederick County, Maryland, to the Carolinas by 1752 and hence across the South.

I am descended from the handful of Touchstones that remained in Maryland, including Sampson, John, Christopher and Henry Touchstone, although I am not sure at this time of the exact line of descent to James Touchstone.

I have assembled below a listing of Touchstone names, dates, places and events in order to encourage other Touchstone researchers to contribute corrections and/or additional data in the hope that we can together solve the many mysteries in the genealogy of this interesting family.

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Touchstone Family of Maryland

by George Ely Russell, C.G., F.AS.G., F.N.G.S. , Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin, Vol. 37, #3, Summer 1996, pages 289-298

“Richard Touchstone of undetermined origin (possibly County Cork, Ireland), was born about 1657 (according to his deposition made in 1727), and was first of record in Maryland when, on 10 February 1679/80, Thomas Tailor of Dorchester County was granted a warrant for 650 acres of land for having transported into the Province nine women and four men, including Richard Tutchstone.”

Baltimore Co. Families 1659-1759. Robert W. Barnes. Jul 1988, p. 647

“Richard Touchstone in Baltimore County by 25 Feb 1717 when he married Sarah, d/o Daniel Johnson. 16 Feb 1724 he purchased land, 50 acres, moved to Frederick County by 1734. Surveyed “Anchor and Hope” in Catoctin Valley, 06 Mar 1739. Issue Richard, Caleb, Daniel, Henry and Stephen.”

Maryland Calendar of Wills: Volume 6 – 16th Dec 1726; 13th Aug 1729

“Touchstone, Richard, Sr., planter,Cecil Co., To wife Christian, extx., entire estate during life; at her decease to pass to son Andrew and hrs.; shd. wife survive sd. son, to poss. entire estate absolutely. Test: John Williams, Godfrey Hartsfield, Richard Arindill (Arrindell). 19, 775.”

Calendar of Md State Papers – The Black Books, State of Md. 1943, p. 42

“Pr. Geos. Co., (1733) List of Taxables in Monocosie Hundred taken by Flower Swift, constable . . . Richard Touchstone . . . Robert Ratcliffe.”

Pioneers of Old Monocacy: The Early Settlement of Frederick Co. Md.

1721-1743. Grace L. Tracey & John P. Dern. 1987, p. 222-225.

“Richard Touchstone had come to the Catoctin Valley by 1733 He leased 100 acres of “Carrollton” on 25 Mar 1734 and his own land, “Anchor and Hope”, was surveyed by 06 Mar 1739. Richard Touchstone appeared in the records of the March 1746 Prince George’s County Court alone with Joseph Chapline and John Skidmore, standing as pledge for Wm. Hayward, merchant.

Ibid., p. 369: “Those that had no Tobacco Burnt in Monoccosea Hundred, Aug 1734, Prince George’s Court Records V:98 . . . Ratcliffe, Robert”

Prince Georges Co. Bonds. 1739. Box 10, Folder 48

“Know all men by these Presents that we Mary Ratcliffe, Richard Touchstone & James Hyat all of Prince George Co. in the Province aforesaid are held firmly bound . . . in the sum of £150 . . . this 13d Aug 1739 . . . Mary Ratcliffe, adminx. of Robert Ratcliffe late of Prince Georges Co . . . /s/ Mary (her mark) Ratcliffe; Richard (his mark) Touchstone; James (his mark) Hyat.”

Prince Georges Co. Bonds. 1741 Box 11, Folder 68

“Renunciation on Robert Ratcliffes Estate (07 Jul 1741) . . . Whereas I Richard Ratcliffe son to Robert and Mary (Touchstone) deceased doe sign over to my unkle Richd Tutchstone all my right title and part of the Estate of my deceased father, mother Robert and Mary soe for as to administer and to take care of my brothers part of the Estate as in the directions of law witness my hand this 24d June 1741. /s/ Richard (his mark “R”) Ratcliffe; /w/ Humberstone Lyon . . . Richard Tuchstone bound . . . £100 . . . 1741 . . . to administer the Goods and Chattles Rights &Credits of Robt. Ratlif late of P.G. Co., dec. unadministered by Mary Ratlif his adminix . . ./w/ John Farier; P. — Doul– /s/ Richd. (his mark) Tuchstone; Humberstone Lyon; Henry Tutchstone.”

Letter of Marion Touchstone (81 yrs. old)

to David H. Jones, 2 February 1998

“First, a little background of north Maryland settlement. There was a war between (Wm) Penn and (Lord) Baltimore over access to the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore sent his cousin Talbot with a conglomeration of men to fight the Penn people. This is found in a very old book of Cecil County history. A man named Richard Touchstone located a cave with little access where Talbot hid when there was a price on his head. Talbot survived when the thing was settled. Richard Touchstone was granted the right to operate a ferry to unite Harford and Cecil County. Saving Talbot’s life was very important to the Maryland holdings. When Penn wanted the shipping access to the Chesapeake, Baltimore wanted extension to the 40th parallel (Philadelphia’s location). The King of England got tired of the commotion and sent Mason and Dixon to survey. The present boundaries are the result of this work.”

Inhabitants of Cecil County , Henry C. Peden

Touchstone, Richard – Perry Point – 1734
Touchstone, Andrew – Harts Delight – 1766

Taxable persons in Cecil County in 1752 – Andrew Tuchston

Taxables in 1761 in North Susquahannah Hundred – Hendry Tuchston, Andrew Tuchston, John Tuchston

Taxables in 1766 in North Susquahannah Hundred – Henry Tuchston, Andrew Tuchston, John Tuchston

1783 tax List of Maryland, Part I – Bettie Carothers

1783 Tax List of Cecil County – John Touchstone – 8 white inhabitants

The Pennsylvania Gazette, March 31, 1768

“Whereas Andrew Touchstone, of Cecil county, in the province of Maryland, did, on the 20th day of January last, obtain a bond of the subsrciber, the penalty whereof is Five Hundred Pounds, current money of Maryland, for the payment of Three Hundred and Twenty Pounds, lawful money of Pennsylvania; I therefore give notice, and request all persons not to take an assignment of said bond, as I have never received any consideration or value for the same, and other reasons may hereafter appear. Benjamin Wood.”

Early Anglican Church records of Cecil County, Henry C. Peden, Jr.

St. Mary Anne’s Parish Register 1709 – 1799 (North Elk Parish)

Jonas Touchstone b. 10 Nov 1724

Temperance Touchstone b. 11 Sep 1725
Katherine Touchstone b. 6 Nov 1727
Christian Touchstone b. 22 Oct 1729
Andrew Touchstone b. 1 Jul 1732
Richard Touchstone b. 21 May 1734

Henry Touchstone m. Margret Mahen 12 Nov 1749
Elizabeth Touchstone dau of same b. 6 Oct 1745
Richard Touchstone son of same b. 25 Sep 1749
Temperance Touchstone dau of same b. 16 Mar 1769
William Touchstone son of same b. 19 Jul 1772

Anson Co. – North Carolina – Abstracts of Early Records

The May Wilson McBee Collection, Vol. 1, 1950

1761, 06 Aug, p. 36 (DB 6:113) Henry Touchstone & Zachariah Smith, witness ar the indenture of Shadrack Jacobs to Elice Yarbrough, “both of Anson”, for £20, 100 acres on Waters of Little River of Peedee . . .

1763, 15 Jan, p. 37 (DB 3:22) Henry Touchstone to Fredrick Touchstone for £20, 250 acres on East side of little River at Lake Island, granted to John Francis, from Francis to Richard Touchstone, from Richard, descended to Henry Touchstone, heir-at-law; adj. Christopher Touchstone, part of grant to Stephen Touchstone by Richard Touchstone . . . /w/ Matthew Raeford & Charles Robinson

1767, 28 Apr, p. 41 (DB H #1:26) John Ussery & Elizabeth, wife, of Anson, to Wm. Leake of Buckingham Co. Va for £230, 300 acres Northest of Peedee, granted to John Francis, 21 Jun 1746, from Francis to Richard Touchstone; thence to Frederick, Christopher, Hanner (Hannah), & Steven Touchstone; adm. to rcord Apr 1767.

Touchstones listed in index of this book: Caleb, Christopher, Daniel, Frederick, Hannah, Henry, Richard, Rose (Ashley), Samuel, Sarah and Stephen.

17– (no date), p 127 (WB I:127 (no date) Joseph Weaver. Inventory by Gabriel Davis. Oct 1783. Joseph Thompson inventory (no sig.). Richard & Sarah Touchstone. Additional inv. by Henry Touchstone . . . Ibid., p. 132 (no date): Richard & Sarah Touchstone. Inv. by Henry Touchstone & Frederick Touchstone . . . (no date).

Anson Co. North Carolina – Aug. 8 1763 Deed Book 3, page 60

“Frederick Touchstone and Rose his wife; Christopher and Stephen Touchstone all of the county of Anson Planters—to John Usery of the province of North Carolina Planter — two tracts or parcel of land being in county and state aforesaid that which was granted to John Francis by his majesty’s letter patent dated June 20th 1746 and by the said Francis conveyed to Richard Touchstone and by the said Richard conveyed and bequeathed to Frederick, Christopher, beginning on the North side of Great Pee Dee River— containing 300 acres — the other tract was granted to Henry Touchstone —- conveyed to Frederick and Christopher beginning on the So. side of little river.

s/Frederick Touchstone/Christopher Touchstone/Rose R. Touchstone and Stephen Touchstone. Test: John Williams and Chas. Robinson”

Land Patents of Cecil Co. Md. Gen So. Cecil Co Md. 1, p. 27

Andrew Touchston from Patrick Hamilton and Ann, wife, 22 Jan 1765, 50 acres “part this and part Hearts Delight”

War of 1812 Muster Rolls

Frederick Touchstone, Musician – Rowe’s Reg’t., South Carolina Militia
Henry Touchstone, Corporal – Rowe’s Reg’t., South Carolina Militia
Nathan Touchstone, Private – Watkin’s Command, Maryland Militia
Nathan Touchstone, Private – 42 Reg’t (Smith’s, 1813), Maryland Militia
Nathaniel Touchstone, Private – 42 Reg’t (Smith’s), Maryland Militia
Sampson Touchstone, Private, 4 Reg’t, Virginia Militia
William Touchstone, Private, 2 Reg’t. (Thomas’), Georgia Militia

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First Census of the United States – 1790

Harford County – Heads of Family

Touchstone, Henry
Free white males of 16 years and upward, including heads of families: 1
Free white males under 16 years: 1
Free white females, including heads of families: 2

Touchstone, Sarah
Free white males of 16 years and upward, including heads of families: 1
Free white males under 16 years: 1
Free white females, including heads of families: 4

Touchstone, Henry
Free white males of 16 years and upward, including heads of families: 1
Free white males under 16 years: 2
Free white females, including heads of families: 2

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Touchstone Census Data – Cecil & Harford Counties

1776

Mary Touchstone – Harford

1790

Henry Touchstone – Harford
Sarah Touchstone – Harford
Henry Touchstone – Harford

1800

No Listings

1810

Henry Touchstone – Cecil
Richard Touchstone – Cecil
Sampson Touchstone – Cecil
Will Touchstone – Cecil

1820

Henry Touchstone – Harford
Henry Touchstone – Cecil
Nathan Touchstone – Harford
Richard Touchstone – Harford

1830

William Touchstone – Cecil

1840

Henry E. Tuchstone – Cecil
Washington Tuchstone – Cecil
Samuel Tuchstone – Cecil
Agnes Tuchstone – Cecil

1850

Agnes Touchstone – Cecil – age 49
Henry E. Touchstone – Cecil – age 38
Thomas Touchstone – Cecil – age 32
Sarah C. Touchstone – Cecil – age 8 – with Krauss family
George T. Touchstone – Cecil – age 5 – with McCauley family
Thomas Touchstone – Cecil
Ratchell Tuchston – Harford

1860

Agnes Touchstone – Cecil
James Touchstone – Cecil
Mary J. Touchstone – Cecil
Calvin Touchstone – Cecil
John Touchstone – Harford

1870

James Touchstone – Baltimore (as legislator)

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Note: There is evidence, both written and oral, that the father of James Touchstone was the Henry Touchstone who died sometime before 9 October 1828 in Harford County, Maryland. I also suspect that Agnes Touchstone, listed as being 49 years old in the 1850 census, was the mother of James Touchstone.

Newspaper Abstracts of Cecil & Harford Counties 1822-1830

ICP Oct 9 1828 “Saml. Bradford, auditor, requests creditors of Aquila Miles, Henry Touchstone and William M. Chew, Harf Co., decd, file their claims.by F. Edward Wright

Marion Touchstone found documentation that James, at the age of nine, was bound by the Cecil County Orphans Court (with his mother’s consent) to a blacksmith named James Walker. This man not only taught James Touchstone the skills to become a fine blacksmith, but he also insured that James Touchstone acquired a good education that was to later serve him well as a 1st Lt. and Quartermaster of the 6th Maryland Volunteer Infantry, as a successful businessman and as a member of the Maryland Legislature.

The Indenture of James Touchstone

“We the subscribers justices of the peace of the State of Maryland in and for Cecil County have this day bound and placed and by these presents (and the consent of his mother) do him James Touchstone and orphan aged eight years the third inst. and him place with John Walker a blacksmith of Cecil County to serve as an apprentice until he shall arrive at the age of twenty one the said James Touchstone shall during the term of his apprenticeship demean himself honestly faithfully and obediently as a good apprentice should do and the said John Walker shall find him in the mean time with food clothes washing and lodging and all other things necessary to his health and comfort and suitable to his condition teach him or cause him to be taught to read, write, and cypher to the rule of three decimal, and especially instruct him fully in all branches of the art and mystery of a blacksmith giving him at the close of his apprenticeship a good freedom suit of clothes or thirty dollars in money. Witness our hands and seals this twenty ninth day of October 1829.”

To the Register of Wills of said County

Witness Samuel Ramsey /s/ John Walker
Wm. A. Hall /s/ Wm. A. Hall
/s/ Samuel Ramsey

By the Orphans Court April Four 1830 The — Indenture examined and confirmed. –

Test. Henry A Miller Reg.

Recorded Apr 16 & Examined per.

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The Lineage

1. Henry TOUCHSTONE

2. James TOUCHSTONE – b. 3 Oct 1821 d. 14 Dec 1872 Port Deposit, Cecil Cnty, MD – m. 25 May 1844 Virginia Ann OWENS – b. abt 1828 – d. 30 Dec 1905 Port Deposit, MD

3. Cornelia Alice TOUCHSTONE – b. 27 Feb 1845 – d. 7 Aug 1907 Harford Cnty, MD- m. Hugh Andrew JONES – b. 22 Nov 1842 – d. 21 May 1910 Harford Cnty, MD

4. Edward Clifford JONES, Sr. – b. 10 Nov 1872 – d. 12 Sep 1939 Fairmont, WV- m. Mollie Florede ECKESS – b. 04 Jul 1875 – d. 12 Jan 1933 Stuart, FL

5. Edward Clifford JONES, Jr. – b. 6 Mar 1899 Hambleton, WV – d. 31 Dec 1978 Sarasota, FL – m. Laura Jane HENDERSON – b. 3 Jan 1915 Fairmont, WV – d. Oct 1986 Fairmont, WV

6. David Henderson JONES, Sr. – m. Mary Thelma MAY

7. David Henderson JONES, Jr.

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Touchstone Home Port Deposit, Maryland
This is the beautiful home that James Touchstone built for his family during the late 1850’s in Port Deposit, Cecil County, Maryland. It is built with the living quarters on the second and third floors due to the potential for intrusion of flooding waters from the nearby Susquehanna River. The present owner and occupant is a direct descendent of James Touchstone, the builder. By the way, that’s my Dad, Edward C. Jones, Jr. standing on the steps.

The Children of James and Virginia Ann Touchstone

James and Virginia Ann Touchstone had a total of eleven children; seven lived to adulthood and four died in infancy. Two little girls, Amelia Caroline, born July 13, 1853, and Ella Virginia, born January 3, 1855, both died as the result of a sad set of circumstances that occurred during the harsh winter of 1857.

The Susquehanna River, prior to the construction of the Conowingo Dam, was frequently plagued by ice gorges that jammed piles of ice and caused flood waters to intrude into the streets of Port Deposit. In fact, for this reason the home built by James Touchstone in Port Deposit allowed flood waters to flow through a first floor designed only for storage; the living quarters were situated on the second and third floors.

When an ice gorge in early March of 1857 caused the streets to be severely flooded, Amelia Caroline happened to be sick with the measles. Apparently there was anxiety that flood waters might reach the living quarters on the upper floors, so the children were rowed to higher ground. The exposure from this ordeal caused the deaths of little Amelia Caroline on March 5, 1857 and little Ella Virginia on March 8, 1857. The next child born to James and Virginia was named Ella Caroline in memory of the two little sisters that died before her birth.

The last two children born to this family, Minnie and Claude, also both died in infancy.

Hazlett Owen Touchstone died at 27 years of age when he was struck by a log that broke loose from a pile awaiting shipment in Port Deposit.

Several Records from the Touchstone Family Bible
James Touchstone and Virginia A. Owens married 25th May A.D. 1844

Caroline Touchstone, daughter of James and Virginia Touchstone departed this life, March 5th, at 12 O’clock, A.D. 1857. Age 3 years months & 20 days. Also sweet little Ella Virginia Touchstone, daughter of James & Virginia Touchstone, departed this life March 8th — O’clock, A.D. 1857 Aged 1 year, 2 months and 5 days.

Little rosebud, Claude Touchstone died 30th April A.D. 1868, aged five months and ten days.

Sweet little lamb, Minnie Touchstone died Sept 11th A.D. 1868 aged two years nine months and nine days.

Our dear brother, Hazlett Owens Touchstone died April 12th 1878, aged twenty seven years, seven months and nineteen days.

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Touchstone Family Genealogy Reports

Henry Touchstone

James Touchstone

Cornelia Alice Touchstone

Return To DHJ Genealogy Home Page

Updated 12 April 2010