Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

William Winder (1714/15-1792)
MSA SC 3520-1397

Biography
Born: on March 16, 1714/15, in Somerset County; youngest son.
Native: third generation.
Resided: near Rewastico Creek, Rewastico Hundred, Somerset County.

FAMILY BACKGROUND
Father: John Winder (1676-1716) of Somerset County.
Stepfather: by 1720, John Handy.
Mother: Jane (Jean) (1675-?), daughter of James Dashiell (ca. 1634-1697) and wife Ann Cannon.
Uncle: Thomas Dashiell (1666-ca. 1756).
Brothers: Thomas (?-1745), who married Eleanor (last name unknown); John.
Sisters: Rachel; Elizabeth, who married first, in 1720, Christopher Dashiell (1694-1727/28), and second, Walter Jacobs; and Bridget, who married James Dashiell (1690-1736/37).
First Cousins: George Dashiell (1690/91-1748); Anne Dashiell (1707-?), who married Isaac Handy (?-1762).
Married first, Esther (1724-by 1770), daughter of Thomas Gillis and wife Priscilla Denwood. Her brothers were Levin (1721-?), who married Sarah; Thomas (1729-?). Her sisters were Betty (1722-1725); Lean (1726-?), who married by 1763 William Adams (?-1795); Betty (1727-?), who married first, (first name unknown) Fountain, and second, (first name unknown) Pollit; Mary (1731-?), who married (first name unknown) McClemmey; Priscilla (1732-?), who married (first name unknown) Evans; Sarah (1734/35-?), who married Thomas Irving; Nelly (Nellie) (1736-?), who married Capt. George Handy (1727-1782), son of Isaac Handy (?-1762); and Ann Denwood, who married John Irving.
Married second, by 1770, Mary (?-1799), widow of Dr. Thomas Denwood (?-ca. 1760).

CHILDREN
Sons: John Winder (1745-1822); William Winder, Jr. (?-1808); Levin Winder (1757-1819); and possibly Thomas, who was lost at sea early in life.
Daughters: Jane, who married first, Henry Handy (1747-?), son of Isaac Handy (?-1762), and second, by 1792, Jacob Kerr; Lean (ca. 1760-?), who married James Round Morris of Worcester County; Esther (?-ca. 1790), who married first, Isaac Handy (1743-ca. 1774), and second, William Polk (1752-1812); and Priscilla (ca. 1740-by 1779), who married David Wilson of Somerset County, son of David Wilson (1704-1750).

PRIVATE CAREER
Education: literate.
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian, Wicomico Presbyterian Congregation, Somerset (now Wicomico) County.
Social Status and Activities: Gent., by 1755; Esq., by 1792.
Occupational Profile: mariner, 1743; master of sloop Polly of which he was co-owner with John Handy and William Venables, 1749; co-owner of schooner Betty with Benjamin Venables and William Venables, 1750; ship captain, by 1777; probably planter.

PUBLIC CAREER
Legislative Service:  Lower House, Somerset County, 1765-1766.
Local Offices: elder, Wicomico Presbyterian Congregation, Somerset (now Wicomico) County, 1753; justice, Somerset County, 1756 to 1788 (quorum, 1762-1788); justice, Court of Oyer, Terminer, and Gaol Delivery, commissioned 1770 (quorum, 1770); justice, Orphans' Court, Somerset County, 1777; judge, Court of Appeals, appointed under the Act to Procure Troops, 1778;  commissioner of the tax, Somerset County, appointed 1777, 1778, 1779; subscription officer. Continental Loan Office, Somerset County, commissioned 1779; associate justice, 4th District, Somerset County, 1789 to 1791.
Stands on Public/Private Issues: Subscriber to Washington College, Chestertown, 1783; designated in his will that he wanted a Christian burial but "without the formality of a funeral sermon," which appeared to him "to be a concomitant of the introduction of the Romish superstition."

WEALTH DURING LIFETIME
Personal Property: assessed value £1,787.5.0, including 44 slaves and 15 oz. plate, 1783.
Land at First Election: 1,516 acres in Somerset and Worcester counties (all by purchase or patent; 100 acres of the Somerset County land in what is now Sussex County, Delaware).
Significant Changes in Land Between First Election and Death: purchased 1,328 acres in Somerset County; patented 1,368 acres in Somerset (now Wicomico) County; sold 130 acres in Somerset (now Wicomico) County and 151 acres in Worcester County; and purchased 887 acres of confiscated British property in Somerset County, all between 1782 and 1792.

WEALTH AT DEATH
Died: between October 15 and November 10, 1792, in Somerset County.
Personal Property: £3,556.11.12 current money; Final balance, £3,027.6.3.
Land: 3,831 acres in Somerset and Worcester counties (2,019 acres now in Wicomico County), 100 acres in Sussex County, Delaware, and 887 acres of confiscated British property probably located in Somerset and Worcester (now Wicomico) counties, and a warehouse on a lot near Salisbury.

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. 903.

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