Anketill’s Neck

Another early Maryland settler to move to the mouth of the Patuxent was Francis Anketill, who leased 120 acres across Harper’s Creek to the east of the Rousby site. The lease between Francis Anketill and the widow Jane Eltonhead was documented in 1658 in consideration of one barrel of Indian corn per year (Michaud 2001:15). The lease documentation illustrates the neighborly tie between Anketill and Halfhead because the tract borders are described as, “Two creeks & the path, that leads from her the sd Eltonheads howse unto John Holfheads” (Quoted in Michaud 2001:15).

A 1998 shovel test survey identified the probable location of Anketill’s Neck as a 17th-century domestic occupation on the bank of Pearson Creek. Artifacts recovered during the survey included window leads and handmade brick in quantities that imply the presence of a brick chimney or hearth. Such architectural artifacts might not normally be expected for a tenant site, but Anketill may have been a relatively well-to-do renter (Michaud 2001). Historical documents indicate that Anketill had the means to transport servants to Maryland and gift livestock to his children. Additionally, he owned property on the Eastern Shore, so his status as a tenant may reflect his choice to live at the mouth of the Patuxent rather than move to his own property (Michaud 2001:44).

Anketill’s location near a brick-maker may have facilitated access to brick that more distant tenants may not have enjoyed. Even if Halfhead did not build a chimney or other brick feature for Anketill, Anketill may have obtained some leftover brick from Halfhead’s other local projects. The latter possibility becomes even more plausible when viewed in light of the relatively massive brick construction that took place at nearby Mattapany.

 
   
 

If you have any questions or comments about this article, or sites and artifact collections
discussed, please contact: sara.rivers-cofield@maryland.gov.

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