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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 771   View pdf image (33K)
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trolled 2,504 acres for four of his children in Dor-
chester County.

RETT), JOHN (1750/51-1787). BORN: on Feb-
ruary 1, 1750/51, probably in Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania. NATIVE: second generation. RE-
SIDED: in Baltimore Town, Baltimore County,
but also owned a dwelling plantation at Elk Ridge,
Anne Arundel County, where he was living when
he wrote his will in September 1786. FAMILY BACK-
GROUND. FATHER: James Sterett (1721-1796), who
immigrated from Lancaster County, Pennsylva-
nia, ca. 1761, to Baltimore Town, where he was
a merchant in partnership with his son John from
early 1771. A Presbyterian, James was the son of
John Sterett (?-1748), who immigrated from Ire-
land (now Northern Ireland) to Pennsylvania, and
his wife Martha Work. MOTHER: (first name un-
known) McClure. MOTHER OR STEPMOTHER: Mary


Samuel Sterett (1758-1833); David (1765-1791),
who was killed in a duel in Baltimore by Thomas
Hadfield; Joseph; George; and William (?-1787).
SISTER OR HALF SISTER: Mary, who married in
1778 Mordecai Gist (?-1792). MARRIED on No-
vember 19, 1771, Deborah (1749-1817), who died
in Anne Arundel County, the daughter of John
Ridgely (by 1724-1771) and wife Mary Dorsey
(1725-ca. 1786). Deborah was the granddaughter
of Charles Ridgely (by 1705-1772). She was the
niece of Charles Ridgely (1733-1790); Edward
Dorsey (1718-1760); and Rachel Ridgely, who
married Darby Lux (?-1795). Her brothers were
(first name unknown) (ca. 1746-1748); William
(?-1797); John (1764-1814); Edward (1771-?);
and Carles Ridgely, of John (ca. 1749-1786).
Her sisters were Rachel; Mary (?-1804), who
married Benjamin Nicholson (?-1792); Eleanor;
and Achsah. Her first cousins were Harry Dorsey
Gough (ca. 1745-1808); Thomas Dorsey (?-1790);
Prudence Carnan (1755-1822), who married Harry
Dorsey Gough (ca. 1745-1808); Rachel Goodwin
(?-1819), who married Jesse Hollingsworth (1732/
33-1810); Frances Todd, who married George
Risteau (?-1792); Deborah Lynch (?-1810), who
married Samuel Owings, Jr. (1733-1803); Achsah
Dorsey (1746-1799), who married Ephraim How-
ard (1745-1788); Rebecca Dorsey (1739-1812),
who married Charles Ridgely (1733-1790); Eleanor
Dorsey (ca. 1739-1805), who married John Hall
(1729-1797); Eleanor Dorsey, who married Up-
ton Sheredine (1740-1800); Mary Dorsey (?-1816),
who married John Weems (1727-1794); Elizabeth

Dorsey (?-ca. 1811), who married Richard Ridgely

(1755-1824); and Henry Woodward (1733 -1761).
CHILDREN. SONS: McClure (1773-?), probably died
young; Andrew (1778-1808), a lieutenant in the
U.S. Navy in 1798, executive officer of the frigate
Constellation, commander of the schooner En-
terprise in 1800 and participated in the war be-
tween the U.S. and Tripoli in the Mediterranean
in 1801, after which he was promoted to master
commandant, resigned his commission in 1805
and joined the merchant marine, died on his way
to Lima, Peru, called a captain of the U.S. Navy
and late commander of the ship Warren of Bal-
timore at death, married Henrietta; James (1783-
?), of Borden Town, New Jersey, by 1797; John
(1784-?), of Borden Town, New Jersey, by 1797;
and Charles Ridgely. DAUGHTERS: Policy (Mary)
(1772-?), who married Richard Gittings (1763-
1830), son of James Gittings (1735-ca. 1823);
Harriet (1775-1822), who married James Git-
tings (1769-1820), son of James Gittings (1735-
ca. 1823); Eliza (1779-?), who married William
P. Matthews; Juliet (1780-?); and Sophia (1786-

GIOUS AFFILIATION: Presbyterian, First Presby-
terian Church, Baltimore City; however, in ca.
1785 he rented a pew in St. Paul's Parish Church
(Anglican), Baltimore County. OCCUPATIONAL
PROFILE: merchant; in partnership with his father
James Sterett in a mercantile firm in Baltimore
Town from early 1771; in partnership with his
brothers David and Samuel Sterett (1758-1833)
in the firm of John Sterett & Company, which
dealt in merchandise such as cloth and salt and
had an interest in various ships and their cargoes,
from at least 1782 until his death; in partnership
with Jeremiah Yellot, with whom he entered into
an agreement in July 1781 to buy and sell tobacco;
involved with Yellot and others in several ships
and their cargoes trading from America to "parts
beyond the sea"; had a store, probably in Bal-
timore Town, in 1782. Sterett purchased one-eighth
interest in the Nottingham Forges and Ironworks
in Baltimore County in 1782 from the commis-
sioners of confiscated British property. The iron-
works then became known as the Ridgely Forges
and Furnace, operated by Charles Ridgely and
Company. This partnership consisted of Sterett,
Charles Ridgely (1733-1790), Benjamin Nicholson
(?-1792), Darby Lux (?-1795), Samuel Chase
(1741-1811), Henry Howard, William Goodwin,
and John Dorsey. After Sterett's death, Jeremiah
Yellot brought suit against his heirs for money
he claimed was due him as a result of their various



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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 771   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

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