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Nicholas Gassaway

  • Birth 11 Mar 1634 Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
  • Death 10 Jan 1691 South River, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, USA
  • Burial Unknown, Specifically: Maryland
  • Memorial ID 9687771

Nicholas Gassaway was named as the son of Thomas Gassaway in the parish register of St. Margaret's Church Westminister in London Town, now London, England. The date of his christening was recorded as 11 March 1634. He stated 21 September 1663 that he came to the Province of Maryland in the year 1650. He was transported by Richard Owen and was one of more than a dozen person in 1663 who assigned to Thomas Bradley his rights to land due to him for service performed within the Province. The assignee of Richard Owen declared 26 August 1651 that "Richard Owen hath transported himself and Nicholas Gassaway Anno 1649"

Reqardless of the exact date of his entrance into the Province of Maryland, Nicholas Gassaway became one of the outstanding Marylanders of his day. He settled in the South River Hundred of Anne Arundel County among the Puritans who had come from Virginia as Quakers under Governor Stone in 1649. He became one of the merchants of the area in addition to being a large plantation owner.

Nicholas Gassaway quickly assumed prominence in southern Maryland. He is credited with becoming one of the wealthiest Marylanders of his day. He acquired large land holding and surveys were made for him.

Capt. Nicholas Gassaway was active in the militia, and he and Lt. Thomas Francis directed a letter from the head of South River dated 13 September 1681 to the Council held at St. Mary's in which they reported the murder of one man and the wounding of two others by the Indians. Gassaway deplored the lack of ammunition in his company of nineteen men and in the company of Col. Burgess, and stated "the head of the River will be deserted if we leave them..we have noe orders but to Range and Defend the Plantations, the which we shall doe to the best of our skill". By 22 July 1687 he had been commissioned a major for as Maj. Nicholas Gassaway he was ordered to report on officers in his command.

In a letter dated 25 March 1689, Nicholas Gassaway, Henry Hanslap, Edward Burgess, Richard Hill and Edward Dorsey signed a letter directed to Col. William Diggs in which they expressed their concern of eminent danger to the Protestant citizens. They wrote: "..wee have heard this day That Maj. Ninian Beale is either engaged with the Piscattoway Indians or every minute in expectation to put in operation their wicked and malicious designe...wee remaine in a posture of defence for the generall safety of all..."After the ensuing rebellion led by Capt. Coode, Col. Nicholas Gassaway was appointed one of the Committee of Twenty who governed Maryland until the arrival of a royal governor from England.

Col Nicholas Gassaway died testate, actually in January 1692 as his will was dated Old Style. His Will is dated 10 January 1691 and proved 27 January 1691.

(Information from "Genealogical History of the Gassaway Family by William & Anne Rutherford)

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  • Created by: Karlene Kost
  • Added: 22 Oct 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9687771
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Nicholas Gassaway (11 Mar 1634–10 Jan 1691), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9687771, ; Maintained by Karlene Kost (contributor 46552432) Unknown, who reports a Maryland.