Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Michael Taney (1750-1820)
MSA SC 3520-1226

Biography
Born: In 1750, in Calvert County.
Natice: Fifth generation.
Resided: "Berry," also called "Taney Place," a property lying between Battle Creek and the Patuxent River in Calvert County.

Family Background
Father: Michael Taney (?-1758).
Stepfather: George Wheeler.
Mother: Jane, daughter of Ignatius Doyne (?-1763) and wife Mary, of Charles County.
Half Aunt: Sarah Taney (ca. 1744-by 1784), who married Ignatius Fenwick (?-1784).
Brothers: Thomas; Joseph (1755-1844), who married in 1776 Dorothy (1756-1817), daughter of Roger Brooke (1714-1772) and wife Elizabeth Boarman, and who moved to Frederick County.
Married: June 25, 1771, Monica (1752-1814), at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in St. Mary's County. She was the daughter of Roger Brooke (1714-1772) and wife Elizabeth Boarman. Her brothers were Basil (1748-?), who married Ann, daughter of James Duke and wife Mary; John (1753-1790), who married Mary Wheeler. Her half brothers were Roger (?-1776), who married Mary; John, a twin (1737-died young); Bowyer, a twin (1737-1815), who married first, Mary Browne, and second. Hannah Reese. Her sisters were Elizabeth; Dorothy, who married in 1776 Joseph Taney (1755-1844). Her half sisters were Sarah; Ann.

Children
Son: Michael, who served in the Maryland House of Delegates from Calvert County in 1813, and resided in Missouri by 1829; Roger Brooke (1777-1864), chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1836-1864, who married Ann Arnold Phoebe Charlton (1783-1855), daughter of John Ross Key (1754-1821); Augustus (1787-1823), an attorney, who married first, Mary (1788-1817), and second, Catherine Herby (Hurly) of Philadelphia; Octavius C. (?-1832), a physician, who married first, in 1818, Jane Gray (?-1821) of Calvert County, and second, Cornelia (1807-?), daughter of Henry H. Young.
Daughters: Dorothy; Sophia Y., never married; and Alice, never married.

Private Career
Education: Attended the college of the English Jesuits at St. Omer's, and later at Bruge, France.
Religious Affiliation: Catholic.
Occupational Profile:
Planter.

Public Career
Legislative Service: House of Delegates, Calvert County, 1781-1782, 1784-1785 (Manufactories), 1786-1787, 1787-1788 (Grievances 1), 1797, 1798. In 1797, Taney introduced the first bill in Maryland to abolish property qualifications for voting or holding office.
Local Offices: Coroner, Calvert County, commissioned 1777 and 1785 (resigned).
Military Service: 1st lieutenant, Calvert County Militia, commissioned 1776 and 1778. Lieutenant-Colonel, 31st Maryland Regiment, 1812-1815.

Wealth During Lifetime
Personal Property: Assessed value £674.6.8, including 10 slaves and 2 oz. plate, 1782; assessed value £769.11.8, including 13 slaves and 2 oz. plate, 1783.
Land at First Election: Approximately 800 acres in Calvert County (all inherited).

Wealth at Death
Died: Ca. March 1820, in Loudon County, Virginia, after a fall from his horse. On July 1, 1819, Taney killed a neighbor, John Magruder, in a duel. He fled to Virginia, and on July 15, 1819, he conveyed all of his property to his sons, Roger Brooke and Octavius C. They in turn were to pay him $1,000 a year from the profits of the estate. After his death his property was to be divided equally among his children. When Michael Taney died, all of his property, including ca. 800 acres in Calvert County, was sold for ca. $25,000. Buried in Calvert County.

Source: Edward C. Papenfuse, et al., eds. A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789. Vol II. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985, p. 798-799.

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