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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 506   View pdf image (33K)
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KEY BIOGRAPHIES

Hamutal's heir in exchange for the fee simple title
to 296 acres in Anne Arundel County to which
he added 123 acres adjoining and resurveyed the
whole into a 332-acre tract for a net loss of 72
acres, 1800-1802; sold 1 lot in Easton to son John
Leeds in 1803, and 2 lots in Easton to son David
in 1804; acquired 168 acres in Talbot County by
1804 (title conveyed in 1812); sold 1 lot near Eas-
ton in 1806, and 2 more lots in Easton in 1808;
received unspecified amount of land in Talbot
County in settlement of a suit, 1812, and sold it
shortly before his death in 1814 to son John Leeds.
WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED, on Wednesday, Novem-
ber 2, 1814, at his home in Easton. PERSONAL
PROPERTY: TEV, at least $13,840.04 (including
64 slaves, 192 oz. plate, and books). LAND: 500
acres in his own name in Anne Arundel and Tal-
bot counties, plus at least 2 lots in Easton.

KEY, EDMUND (?-1766). BORN: probably in St.
Mary's County; younger son. NATIVE: second
generation. RESIDED: in St. Mary's County; in
Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, on lots 45 and
46 on Church St., by 1759. FAMILY BACKGROUND.
FATHER: Philip Key (1696/97-1764). MOTHER: Su-
sannah Gardiner. STEPMOTHER: Theodosia Law-
rence Humphreys (?-1772). BROTHERS. Richard
Ward (?-1765); Thomas Key (?-1772); Francis
(ca. 1731/32-1770); Philip Barton (?-1756); and
Dr. John (?-1755). SISTER: Susannah Gardiner
(1742-1811), who married in 1761 Normand Bruce
(?-1811). NEPHEWS: Philip Key (1750-1820); John
Ross Key (1754-1821). MARRIED probably never.
CHILDREN. In his will Key provided for the support
of a female child until she reached the age of
eight. He stated that the Widow Gumming of
Annapolis "swore him to be the father." PRIVATE
CAREER. EDUCATION: Admitted to the Middle
Temple on November 30, 1759, and to the Inner
Temple on June 24, 1762. He also attended the
law courts at Westminster. RELIGIOUS AFFILIA-
TION: Protestant. His father was an Anglican and
his mother was a Roman Catholic. SOCIAL STATUS
AND ACTIVITIES: Gent., by 1759; Esq., by 1766.
OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: lawyer, admitted to the
following courts: Charles County by March 1756;
Mayor's Court, Annapolis, February 1757; Pro-
vincial Court, September 1757; Chancery Court
by December 1757; Prince George's County, Au-
gust 1763; Frederick County, August 1763; Anne
Arundel County by June 1764; Baltimore County
by June 1765. PUBLIC CAREER. LEGISLATIVE SERV-
ICE: Lower House, St. Mary's County, 1757-1758
(declared unduly elected and dismissed on Oc-

tober 12, 1757; reelected and qualified on No-
vember 19, 1757), 1758-1759 (resigned before
the 2nd session of the 1758-1761 Assembly when
he was reported "removed out of this Province";
Elections Cv 1, 1, Cv 2), 1762-1763 (Accounts
2; Public Offices 2), 1765 (died before the 3rd
session of the 1765-1766 Assembly). OTHER PRO-
VINCIAL OFFICE, attorney general, 1764-1766.
LOCAL OFFICES, clerk of indictments, Baltimore
County, in office by June 1765; recorder, An-
napolis, in office in 1766. WEALTH DURING LIFE-

TIME. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: DO evidence of

land ownership. SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN LAND

BETWEEN FIRST ELECTION AND DEATH: acquired

1,036 acres in St. Mary's and Frederick counties,
plus 2 lots on Church Street in Annapolis (by writ
of seisin and inheritance), 1759-1764; probably
sold 300 acres in St. Mary's County by 1766.
WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED: on May 4, 1766, at Up-
per Marlborough, Prince George's County. PER-
SONAL PROPERTY: TEV, £1,808.11.5 current
money (including law books); FB, estate overpaid
£35.15.7 current money. LAND: at least 736 acres
in Frederick County, plus 2 lots in Annapolis.
ADDITIONAL COMMENT: Key named as his heirs
his nephew Charles, son of Normand Bruce (?-
1811), and his niece Elizabeth (1759-1832),
daughter of Francis Key (ca. 1731-1770).

KEY, JOHN ROSS (1754-1821). BORN: on Sep-
tember 19, 1754, in Annapolis, Anne Arundel
County; elder son. NATIVE: third generation. RE-
SIDED: in Taney Town and Piney Creek hundreds,
Frederick County. FAMILY BACKGROUND. FATHER:
Francis Key (ca. 1731/32-1770), the clerk of Cecil
County from 1756 to 1770 and a member of St.
Mary Ann Parish Vestry, Cecil County, from 1759
to 1762 and 1767 to 1770, who was the son of
Philip Key (1696/97-1764). MOTHER: Ann Arnold
(1727-1811), daughter of John Ross (?-1766),
Esq., of Annapolis, and his wife Alicia Arnold.
UNCLES: Edmund Key (?-1766); Thomas Key (?-
1772). AUNT: Susannah Gardiner Key (1742-1811),
who married Normand Bruce (?-1811). BROTHER:
Philip Barton (1757-1815), a Loyalist, who was
educated in England and entered the British Army
after the Declaration of Independence. He ob-
tained the rank of captain and served in Jamaica
and in Florida, where he was taken prisoner. After
his release on parole, Philip Barton went to Eng-
land, but he returned to Maryland in 1785 and
commenced the practice of law. He served as a
delegate from Annapolis to the Maryland House
of Delegates in 1794, 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798, and

506



 

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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 506   View pdf image (33K)
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