Miscellaneous Early Rountrees in America

Following is a list of Rountrees in North America who do not appear to be members of the main immigrant families.

Thomas Rowntree  1674 arrival in South Carolina

30 October 1674.   (To Surveyors) You are forthwith to cause to be laid out for Thomas Rowntree one hundred acres of land for himself arriveing in May 1674 in some place not yet laid out or marked to be laid out for any other person… given under out hands at Charles Towne…  1

Richard Rountree of London, 1726 to Maryland

10 October 1726.     The following bound to James Gerald to serve in Maryland: John Pickersgill, Richard Rountree, George Richardson, Zacharias Rowse, Marshall Laming, George Morley, John Kelsher, Philip Holdway, Francis Cooper, Thomas Kerr, John Dunwick, John Edwards.2   That he was of London is suggested by John Waring.3

Thomas Rountree in Baltimore debtors prison 1771

2 October 1771      Thomas Roundtree, in Baltimore County debtor’s prison, among a list of men petitioning the Maryland General Assembly for release, because they have no assets and would otherwise spend their lifetimes in prison.  The Assembly granted the requests, subject to several conditions.4

Noah Rountree, Robber of Back-Country South Carolina 1770

5 May 1770.    “Charles-Town, South Carolina, May 19.  By letters of the 5th instant from the Long Canes settlement, we are informed that that that part of the country has been lately… infested with a most desperate gang of villains, scarece a day or night having passed without their committing some audacious robbery, insomuch as the militia had been raised  to take or disperse them. That many of them had been taken but always made their escape…  the villains disguised themselves with paint and tying handkerchiefs over their faces, yet Reason Young, Anthony Distoe, Hugh Hynes, John Caton, Noel Roundtree, Robert Broomfield, one Malkey, one White, and many others were known to be amongst them. That they are all armed, present cock’d pistols and guns to the breasts of those they rob, take all the money, clothes and bedding they can get, and even their very beef and bacon…”  5

19 October 1770 Indictment of Anthony Distoe, Noah Roundtree, James Nowland, Levi Starn, Ebenezer Starn… for Robbery.6

11 November 1771  The King vs. Anthony Distoe, Noah Roundtree, and James Noland for Robbery, Discharged Nolle Prosequi.  ((SC Criminal Journals, Series S145002, Vol. 1769, p158))

Not clear if it is Noel or Noah.  I know about this gang and have written about some of its members.  The Long Canes were in the up country of South Carolina, which had no courts or law enforcement at the time, so criminals were rampant. Some members of the gang were captured by the militia, tried in Charleston for robbery and/or murder. Some were jailed, some were hanged, and others managed to escape by leaving the colony for other frontiers.  Christian Rountree of Edgefield County, SC left a will in 1799 naming Noah Rountree as a son, but that Noah Rountree was a minor at the time, thus a different person.  I found no further record of this Noah Roundtree.

 William Roundtree, ship captain of Cecil County, Maryland in 1770s

1 July 1778.    Printed Register issued at Norfolk, Elizabeth River, by George Kelly D.N.O. with a declaration by John H. Norton that the Lady Washington, of which William Rowntree is master, is of 120 tons burden and was built at Norfolk in 1777, and that Norton & Beal, Robert Morris and William Neal are the sole owners.  7

10 February 1779.    The Lady Washington, 120 tons, Capt. William Roundtree, was captured in the Chesapeake near Cape Henry by a British warship accompanied by several privateer ships.  The Lady Washington, with a cargo of dry goods and salt, was taken to New York.   In the files are many papers, including:
Deposition of William Rowntree, age 43 and a resident of Cecil County, Maryland, and master of the Lady Washington at the time of her capture, and a British subject… was appointed master by Messrs Norton and Beal who, together with one Neale of N. Carolina, were owners of the ship… Norton & Beal were residents of Virginia… The Lady Washington was of 150 tons burden and had a crew of 22, shipped in France, except for 2 who were shipped in Virginia. The vessel ws built at Portsmouth, Virginia and her last voyage began at Broadway with a cargo of tobacco for port L’Orient. It was on the return voyage to Virginia when was captured, and her cargo consisted of tea, salt and dry goods.
Bill of lading for goods shipped at L’Orient and bound for Williamsburg, Virginia…  8

  1. A. S. Salley Jr., Warrants for Lands in South Carolina 1672-1679, p108. []
  2. Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants 1700-1750, (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992),  p263. []
  3. John Waring,  Emigrants to America: Indentured Servants Recruited in London, 1718-1733. ( Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985), p90. []
  4. ”An Act for the Relief of certain Prisoners in the several jails…”, Maryland Printed Acts 1769-1771, Chapter XXI, pp7.  Also see Archives of Maryland, Vol. 203, p65. []
  5. Reported in several newspapers, among them the Pennsylvania Gazette issue of 28 June 1770, p 1. []
  6. SC Criminal Journals, Series S145002, Vol. 1769, p81-82. []
  7. Virginia Colonial Records Project, Survey Report 5963, High Court of Admiralty Prize Papers. []
  8. Virginia Colonial Records Project, Survey Report 5963, pp2-4. []