Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Christopher Vernon
Anne Arundel County Court Clerk, 1694-1698
MSA SC 3520-13125


Christopher Vernon was born in England, but the exact date is unknown.  He was the son of William and Anne Fitzherbert Vernon.  He had several siblings:  William, John, Thomas, Francis, Susan, and Cockin.1  Historian Donnell MacClure Owings states that Vernon was related to some member of the Lord Proprietary's immediate family, the Calverts.2  At some point, Vernon settled in Anne Arundel County.  He married Lois Gongo, widow of Lewis Evans, in 1691.  The couple had several children, one of which was named Lucy, who died in 1718.3  The family was Episcopal, for they are mentioned in records of St. James Church and All Hallows Church.4

Vernon began service as the Clerk of the Court for Anne Arundel County in 1694.  In the middle of his term, he asked to be dismissed, but he was ordered to stay in office.5  He remained as Clerk until 1698, at which point his resignation was accepted.6  Vernon thereafter worked as a planter.  He was not issued any patents for land, but he did purchase land from Nehemiah Birckhead in 1701.7  He also purchased land from Birckhead and Samuell Chew, the executors of Abraham Naylor's estate, around 1706.8

According to two sources, Vernon may have returned to England.9  He probably died at St. Dunstan's in London.10  He did leave a will in Anne Arundel County, however, and an inventory was taken of his property.  The total estimated value of his property was £357:9:11.  Items included in the inventory were three slave men, four slave women, four slave children, several cows, horses, pigs, an old boat, several pieces of furniture, miscellaneous household items, and numerous tools.  The inventory was signed by Lois Vernon, and also by William and Thomas Vernon, who were perhaps children of Christopher Vernon.11  The accounts record indicates that Vernon had 1098 pounds of tobacco that could be used to settle his debts.12  Vernon's will of December 1724 does not mention his wife or his children.  He left money to his nephew, his niece, his sister-in-law, "kinsman" Robert Atkins, and Maria Haveningham when she came of age.  The executrix of the will was Ann Vernon, his aunt.13  Allegedly, Vernon wrote a will earlier in 1724 that was unrecorded.  The will mentions that he is planning to move back to London.  He also complains about his wife and some of his children in the document.  He appointed his step-daughter Elizabeth Anktill as his executrix in this will.14


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