Monday, August 6, 2007

GGGGGGGGGGGGREAT-GRANDFATHER’S BAPTISM

The Piscataway were a native people of the Algonquian linguistic group who once occupied the peninsula of lower Maryland between the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, northward to the Patapsco, including the present District of Columbia.

Kittamaquund (alternative spellings include Chitomachon) a name said to mean "Big Beaver", was an important Piscataway warrior and the younger brother of Wannas. Wannas served as the Piscataway's Tayac (a Piscataway word meaning "Emperor" or "ruler of all the chiefs), when Governor Leonard Calvert arrived in 1634.

Kittamaquund and his followers knew that Wannas mistrusted the English and believed that he might lead the Piscataway to war against the colonists so in 1634, Kittamaquund killed his brother and became Tayac in his place. Kittamaquund led his people to peaceful ties with the Marylanders as he sought the benefits of the English fur trade and a military alliance that might provide a degree of protection against their enemies, the Susquehannocks.

Jesuit Father Andrew White, superior of the mission, composed a grammar, dictionary, and catechism in the Piscataway dialect. Kittamaquund liked Father White, and invited the priest to live with his family. Later Kittamaquund became ill with a disease that tribal medicine men could not cure. Father White treated him with English medicine and he recovered.

In gratitude Kittamaquund allowed Father White to instruct him in Christianity. He also adopted the colonists' style of clothes and learned to speak some English. Kittamaquund converted to Christianity and was baptized along with his wife and daughter on July 5, 1640. Governor Leonard Calvert, other Maryland officials, and Piscataway leaders all attended the ceremony. At the baptism, depicted in this drawing, the priest gave Kittamaquund the Christian name of Charles, his wife and daughter were both given the name Mary.

Kittamaquund's daughter Mary was entrusted to Margaret Brent to educate. When Mary became a teenager she was wed to Giles Brent. They had a daughter Katherine who wed Richard Marsham, whose daughter Mary wed Charles Beaven, whose daughter Catherine wed Henry Culver, whose daughter Margaret wed John Peerce, whose son Henry wed Verlinda Semmes, whose daughter Anna wed Peter Higdon, whose son James wed Delia ?, whose daughter Mary Katherine wed Thomas Higdon, whose daughter Mary Ellen wed William Coomes, whose daughter Susan Katherine wed Isaac Owen, whose daughter Sadye wed James McCellan Browne, whose son James Harold wed Helen Elizabeth Furnas. Which I figure makes me about one ten thousandth of a percent Native American and eligible to start a gambling casino in Baltimore should I care to do so. RMB


4 comments:

Jennifer Beaven said...

Hi there,
I believe I'm also descendent of Charles Beaven and Mary Marsham, so I'm very interested in this story. Could you please share your source for this event?
Thanks!
Jennifer

Jennifer Beaven said...

Hi there,
I believe I'm also descendent of Charles Beaven and Mary Marsham, so I'm very interested in this story. Could you please share your source for this event?
Thanks!
Jennifer

Jennifer Beaven said...

Hi there,
I believe I'm also descendent of Charles Beaven and Mary Marsham, so I'm very interested in this story. Could you please share your source for this event?
Thanks!
Jennifer

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