William AYRES was born say 1610. The first record found of him was when on 30 June 1635
as William Eyres [Heires] he received 250 acres in Warrosquoiacke County [named changed
to Isle of Wight in 1637], Virginia.1 On 26 January 1651 William BRENT assigned 1050
acres of land in Maryland due to him to Mr. AYRES of Nansimana [Nansemond County], VA.
On 5 October 1653 Mr. William AYRES demanded 950 in MD remaining due to him of 1550 acres
due to him by assignment from Capt. BRENT and Mr. Edward LLOYD. He also assigned to Mr.
Richard WELLS 600 acres of the 950 acres still due to him. At the same time he demanded
350 acres left from above and 1300 acres "more for Transporting into this province himself
Sarah his Deceased Wife Ann AYRES his Daughter; and Daniell BROWN, Enoch HUTCHINS, John
PARTRIDGE, Nicholas WATERMAN, Owen MARTIN, William LIVETT, Tho FORD, Thomas (POOL?) and
John WALTER his Servents before June 1652 and Martha his now Wife and Margaret Sammes
his Servant since June 1652, being in the whole Sixteen hundred and Fifty Acres."
He then assigned 500 acres of the 1650 acres unto Tho: MARSH of Severn, Merchant.2
On 17 February 1653 Lord Baltimore issued instructions to Governor Stone to require
Puritans to take an oath of loyalty under penalty of forfeiture of the land allotted to
them.3 The struggle between the two sides developed into armed conflict at the Battle
of the Severn, which was the first battle fought between Anglo-Saxons in North America.
The Cavaliers, led by Governor STONE landed in Anne Arundel County. On the morning of
25 March 1655, Captian FULLER, commander of the Puritans, pitched his colors, hoping
that the sight of them might cause the enemy to parely and prevent bloodshed. The
Cavaliers, however, fired upon the standard and killed the Standard Bearer, William Ayres.4
"Samuel CHEW and Ann CHEW the Daughter and Sole heir of Mr. Willim AYRES" on 4 July 1657
sold 500 acres on Oyster Creek to Anthony SALWAY. At the same time they also sold Anthony
SALWAY 300 acres of land on the north part of Oyster Creek due William AYRES upon his
rights entered 5 October 1653. In consideration whereof Mr. Anthony SALWAY in marrying
the widow of Mr. William AYRES relinquished all her interest in the above dividend, and
also in the dividend whereon we [Samuel and Ann] are now seated as touching her thirds
both in land and housing.5
William AYRES and first wife Sarah -?-2 had child:
1. Ann AYRES2 b. say 1640; m. Samuel CHEW;5 d. 13 Apr. 1695 Anne Arundel Co., MD6
William AYRES secondly married Martha, daughter of Richard WELLS.7
William AYRES and second wife Martha had no children.5 She remarried Anthony SALWAY.5,7
1. Virginia Patents 1, pp. 197-198.
2. Maryland Patents, Liber ABH, pp. 347-348 [images 178-179 of 235].
3. Charles Francis Stein, Jr., Origin and History of Howard County, Maryland,
(Baltimore MD: by author, 1972), pages 12-14.
4. John Bennett Boddie, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia,
(Chicago: Chicago Law Printing Company, 1938), pp.71-72.
5. Maryland Patents, Liber Q, pp. 195-196 [images 101-102 of 256].
6. Francis B. Culver, "Chew Family," Maryland Historical Magazine, 30:160.
7. Richard Wells will, MD Wills 1, pp. 287-290. [image 287 of 640]
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Fredric Z. Saunders
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Last revised: 29 Dec. 2020