Friendship House Tract


History of the Friendship House Tract


1657 – 900 acres “lying on the West side of Nangemy Creek” patented to Nicholas Guither…of which 650 acres were “for and in consideration that Nicholas Guither and Mary his wife have faithfully performed their time and service [and] have transported six persons into our Province here to inhabit” and the remaining 250 acres due from assignments Guither obtained from Anslowe Simpson, Charles Rawlings and John Metcalfe. Patents, Q:159, Annapolis.

1662 – Nicholas Guither sold the 900 acre tract at Nanjemoy to Thomas Dent and William Hatton. Deeds, B#1:125, La Plata.

1674 – Thomas Dent acquired brother-in-law William Hatton’s half-part of the original 900 acre Guither tract.  Wills, 5:19, Annapolis.

1676 – William Dent inherited the 900 acre tract of land.  Wills, 5:19, Annapolis. He is the first member of the Dent family to permanently reside on the Nanjemoy plantation.

1685 – William Dent conveyed 200 acres to John Barker. Deeds, L:187, La Plata.

1704 – Thomas Dent inherited the Nanjemoy plantation upon the death of his father, Colonel William Dent.

1725 – William Dent inherited the Nanjemoy plantation upon the death of his father, Thomas Dent.

1740 – The Charles County Rent Rolls name William Dent (son of Thomas) the owner of 700 acres of “Guither.”

1748 – A petition was presented to the Maryland General Assembly by “the inhabitants of upper Cedar Neck Point, and Durham parish,” requesting that a warehouse “be erected at or near Wm. Dents Landing.”

1753 – William Barker conveyed to William Dent the 200 acres which originally had been sold by Colonel William Dent to John Barker in 1685; “being part of a tract of land called Friendship or Guither.”

1756 – Warren Dent inherited “Friendship” upon the death of his father, William Dent.

1782/1783 – Tax Assessment for Lower Durham Hundred recorded Warren Dent as the owner of 822 acres known as “Friendship” bordering Nanjemoy Creek.

1795 – George Dent inherited “Friendship” upon the death of his brother, Warren Dent.

1802 – William Dent inherited “Friendship” upon the death of his father, George Dent.

1816 – William Dent deeded the entire “Friendship” tract to Joseph Gray, Sr. and John Franklin Gray.  Deeds, IB#1:333, La Plata.  John Franklin Gray and Joseph Gray, Sr. divide the “Friendship” tract. Joseph Gray, Sr. retained the “northern half” which continued to be known as “Friendship” and John F. Gray retained the “southern half” renamed as “Chinquapin.” Charles County Court Proceedings, 1821-1822:420.

1820 – Robert F. Gray, one of the sons of Joseph Gray, Sr. was allotted that part of the Friendship tract lying on the north side of Friendship Landing Road containing 227 ¾ acres.

1851 – Joseph C. Gray inherited the Friendship tract upon the death of his father, Robert F. Gray.

1880 – Joseph C. Gray (Jr.) inherited the Friendship Farm upon the death of his father, Joseph C. Gray.

1917 – Ella Stonebreaker Gray inherited the Friendship Farm upon the death of her husband, Joseph C. Gray.

1918 – Ella Gray deeded the Friendship tract to Paul Gray, nephew of her late husband, Joseph C. Gray.

1920 – Paul Gray sold the 224 acres “called Friendship or Part of Friendship and being a subdivision of an original tract called Friendship as described in a survey made in 1821…as Lot 5 in the division of the real estate of Joseph Gray to Charles H. Shamel of Springfield, Illinois…as well as ‘the road leading to Friendship Landing,’ ‘the road leading from Friendship House”. Deeds, WMA#33:8, La Plata.

1948 – Charles H. Shamel conveyed the Friendship Tract by a Deed of Trust to the National Educational Association. Deeds, 86:521, La Plata.


H. Chandlee Forman.  Old Buildings, Gardens, and Furniture in Tidewater Maryland.  Cambridge, Maryland:  Tidewater Publishers, 1967.

Historical Society of Charles County, Inc. Historic Sites Files.  Southern Maryland Studies Center, College of Southern Maryland.

Harry Wright Newman. Charles County Gentry.  Baltimore:  Genealogical  Publishing Co., Inc. 1971.

J. Richard Rivoire.  A Tract History of the Nanjemoy Nature Reserve, Charles County, Maryland. March 1993.


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