Edward DORSEY was married to Ann,1 her surname being unknown. Some researchers
have inaccurately listed her as Ann, daughter of Matthew HOWARD, Sr. While
Matthew HOWARD did have a daughter named Ann, there is record of her
husband being James GRENEFFE.2 Also, there is evidence that Edward DORSEY's
daughter Sarah married Matthew HOWARD, Jr., son of the previously mentioned
Matthew HOWARD. If Edward DORSEY's wife were the daughter of Matthew
HOWARD, that would mean that his daughter Sarah's marriage to Matthew
HOWARD, Jr. would have been to her blood uncle, a relation that was
strictly forbidden, then as now.
The listing of Edward DORSEY's wife Ann as a HOWARD probably came about
through some researcher's incorrect interpretation of his son Joshua
DORSEY's will. In his will, Joshua made bequests to his "cousins" John,
Samuel and Matthew HOWARD. Though not stated these were children of
Matthew HOWARD, Jr. [who married Joshua's sister Sarah DORSEY]. "Cousin"
in the 1600s was a term often used for nephew or nieces, and sometimes
used to refer to grandchildren. That researcher being unfamiliar with
usage of the term apparently interpreted that they were true first cousins,
and incorrectly concluded that Edward DORSEY's wife Ann was a daughter
of Matthew HOWARD, Sr.
Another possibility for the surname of Ann, wife of Edward DORSEY, is that
suggested by Jay Worrall, Jr. He suggested she may have been the daughter of
Humphrey BACHE of London, and the aunt of Elizabeth HARRIS, of Quaker fame.
There are several other inaccurate statements regarding the first generations
of the DORSEY family. Some researchers have attributed a daughter to
Edward DORSEY a daughter Ann who married Nicholas GREENBERRY. There is
no evidence that Edward DORSEY had a daughter named Ann. While Nicholas
GREENBERRY's wife was named Ann, she could not have been a daughter of
Edward DORSEY. Nicholas GREENBERRY did not emigrate from England to
Maryland until 1674, at which time he arrived with his wife and two
children.3 His wife could not have been the daughter of Edward DORSEY,
who had been living in the colonies for over 25 years.
The other major error in print regarding Edward DORSEY is in regard to his
ancestry. Edward DORSEY was claimed by some as being descended from Sir
Norman D'Arcie cousin of William the Conqueror, and from the Lord D'Arcy
family of Hornby Castle.4 DNA evidence has proven that theory to be incorrect,
showing that Edward DORSEY is not related to those families.5 The latest DNA
results [November 2005, updated March 2006] would indicate a likely Irish origin
for Edward Dorsey.15
Edward DORSEY drowned near the Isle of Kent in 1659.14 Caroline Kemper
Bulkley in a 1938 article contended that he was living in 1667.16 She cited from Maryland
Land Patents a warrant in 1650 to Edward DORSEY of 200 acres, and also 200
acres more that were part of a warrant for 400 acres granted to John NORWOOD
and Edward DORSEY in 1651, "said DORSEY of Ann Arundell, Boatwright"
assigned all his rights to George YATE on 23 April 1667. Her "transcription" of
the record moved the location of the words "said Edward DORSEY," making the
record appear to say something it did not. The record reads:17
Warrant was the xith of November MDCL Granted to Edward DORSEY
of the County of Ann Arundell County for two hundred acres of Land the
which heas signds away as followeth, as also two hundred acres more
part of a warrant for four hundred acres, granted John NORWOOD and
the said DORSEY dated the xxiiii of February MDCLi.
Know all men by these presents that I Edward DORSEY of the County of
Ann Arundell, Boatwright, have granted bargained and Sold, for a
Valuable Consideracon allready received all my right title intrest Clame
and demand of an in a warrant, for two hundred acres of Said Land bear
=ing date one thousand six hundred and fifty and also two hundred
acres more, being the one half of a warrant for four hundred acres the
one half belonging to Capt NORWOOD bearing date one thousand six hundred
fifty one, unto George YATE of the said County his heirs or assignes for ever
from me the Said DORSEY my heir or assignes forever Winttness my hand
and Seal the xxiiid day of April MDCLxvij
Signed Sealed and delivered in Edward DORSEY Seale
the presence of us Cornelius Howard
October the xxvi MDCLxvij
There are two separate parts to the document. The first is the 1650 and 1651 warrants,
for which the word "said" is in reference to the 1651 record being the same Edward
as in 1650. The second part of the document is the 1667 sale to YATE. The "said"
in that part is referring back to the Edward DORSEY mentioned in the first line of
the sale. There is no part that states that the Edward of the 1667 sale is the same
(or "said") Edward of the 1650 and 1651 warrants. Edward of the 1667 sale would
be the son, who as the eldest son would have inherited the land under English common
Edward DORSEY and wife Ann had children:
1. Edward DORSEY11 b. say 1644; m.1 Sarah WYATT;12 m.2 Margaret7; d. between
25 May 1705,18 and 31 Dec. 1705 Baltimore Co., MD7
2. Joshua DORSEY11 b. say 1646; m. Sarah6; d. between 20 Feb. 16876 and
3 May 168810 Anne Arundel Co., MD6
3. John DORSEY11 b. say 1648; m. Pleasance8; d. between 26 Nov. 1714 and
22 Mar. 1714/5 Baltimore Co., MD8
4. Sarah DORSEY6,13 b. say 1650; m. Matthew HOWARD6,13; d. before 3 Oct. 1691
Anne Arundel Co., MD9
1. J. Reaney Kelly, Quakers in the Founding of Anne Arundel County,
Maryland, (Baltimore: The Maryland Historical Society, 1963), 15.
Ann Dorsey and "hir husband" [not named] mentioned in a 1658 letter.
Edward Dorsey was the only Dorsey in Anne Arundel County at that time
who was married.
2. James Greneff will, Maryland wills 2:215-216 [image 216/412].
and Maryland wills 7:79-80 [image 84/412] Mentions wife Ann,
"brother John Howard" and "brother Samuel Howard."
3. Maryland Patent Liber 18, p. 160 [image 102 of 246].
Land was claimed in 1674 for Nicholas Greenberry, wife, and two children
(not named) who were on the ship Constant Friendship.
4. "The Dorsey Heritage," Broadneck Hundred III, No. 3 (1979): 13-44.
5. The Dorsey/Darsey/Darcy/Dossey/D'Arcy/Dorcey DNA Project Results.
6. Joshua Dorsey will, Maryland wills 6:8, [image 12/423].
He made bequests to "cousins" (i.e. nephews) John, Samuel and Matthew
Howard, [children of Matthew Howard.]
7. Edward Dorsey will, MD wills 3:725-727 [image 357/387].
8. John Dorsey will, MD wills 14:26-29 [image 26/326].
9. Matthew Howard will, Maryland wills 2:222-224 [image 223/412].
10. John Acton will, MD wills 6:1-2 [image 5/423].
Sarah Dorsey called widow and relict of Joshua Dorsey.
11. Anne Arundel Co., MD land records IH3:62-63, FHL microfilm 0,013,208.
6 Dec. 1681 Edward Dorsy, "Son and heir of Edward Dorsy late of the
County of Ann Arundell" sold the parcel Hockley in the Hole granted
to "the said Edward Dorsy, Joshua Dorsy and John Dorsey my brothers"
on 20 Aug. 1664.
12. Anne Arundel Co., MD land records WT2:574-577, FHL microfilm 0,013,209.
Nicholas Wyatt was granted Wyatts Ridge of 450 acres by survey
returned 16 Dec. 1664. One half, 225 acres "became the right of Sarah
Wyatt who intermarried Edwd Dorsey of the County, Gent."
13. Maryland Patents 10, p. 499 [image 296 of 369].
14. Archives of Maryland 41:314.
15. Edward Darcy-Dorsey Line.
16. Caroline Kemper Bulkley, "Identity of Edward Dorsey I, A New Approach
to an Old Problem," Maryland Historical Magazine, XXXIII (1938),
17. Maryland Patents 11, p. 98 [image 53 of 300].
18. Archives of Maryland 26, p. 517.
Edward Dorsey on a committee.
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