The Lazear Family

The purpose of this section is to assemble a plausible description, actually several plausible descriptions, of the Lazear family, as seen through a Perrin lens. Ultimately my goal is to understand the statement recorded at the end of John Perrin's estate inventory :

We the Subscribers hereunder Written Do hereby Certyfie that we do approve of the above Inventory being the Two next of Kinn to the above mentioned Decased

Thomas Lazear

Joseph Lazear

I have aimed for the simplest explanation I can imagine of the Lazear family in Maryland and Pennsylvania. In so doing I have ignored some possible associations between the Lazears and other families, specifically the Hintons and the Constables. More information about these families might suggest other interpretations regarding the Lazear family. I have little information to go on; scattered deeds, wills and tax records. Sometimes I resort to highly undependable criteria, like the ability of individuals to sign their names, for portions of the analysis. But bear with me, and feel free to send criticisms or (ideally) more data.


I initially found a published genealogy concerning the Leasure family , thought to be Huguenots from Basel with an original name of LeSeur. Some of this family were reported to have arrived in Frederick County, Maryland in 1753, and others removed to York and Bedford County, Pennsylvania later. Most of the time the last name in this family was spelled Leasure, however.

Then with the internet I found Sharon Laizure Hofer, who had started her research of her Lazear family several years earlier. She sent me her data; while it unfortunately did not answer my question, she was able to provide her sources. Then in 2012, after reading an early version of this web page, a real genealogist wrote me about the family, I was ecstatic. His name was David Boles, and he was reworking a genealogy he and his father had written . After apologizing for the mistruths in his father's book concerning the Lazear family, he asked me an another simple question: From which Lazear did his ancestor, Joseph Lazear of Brooke County, West Virginia, descend?

I had long suspected that the Lazears in that neck of the woods were from Maryland; after all, they settled within ten miles of Edward Perrin near present day Wellsville, West Virginia. We were able to share data and ultimately had some heated discussion as to which Lazear did what.

Finally Sharon Laizure Hofer started writing her Lazear genealogy in 2014, using both her information and occasionally data from this web site, constructing a very plausible and actually simple family tree for the early Lazear generations. In so doing she was able to point out some data which I had misunderstood; I am indebted to her for that. I am very happy to agree with her interpretation regarding most of the people in this discussion.

The First Generation

Joseph (I) Lazear and family

The first Lazear family in Maryland was well described in an act of the Maryland Assembly, passed by both houses in July and August, 1721. :

An Act for the Naturalization of Joseph Lazear and Gustavus Hesselius of Prince George's County and their Children, and Allso Christian Geist of the City of Annapolis Gent.

Be it Enacted by the Right Honourable the Lord Proprietary by and with the Advice and consent of his Lordships Governeur and the upper and lower houses of Assembly and the Authority of the same, that Joseph Lazear of Prince George's County planter born under the Dominions of the Emperor of Germany and his Children Joseph, Thomas, John, Elizabeth, Mary and Deborah, Lazear born in this Province Gustavus Hesselius of Prince George's County aforesaid Limner, born under the Dominions of the King of Sweden and his Daughter Mary Hesselius born in this Province, and all and every of them, and the said Children born within this Province, and allso Christian Geist of the City of Annapolis in Ann arundell County Gentleman, born under the Dominions of the said King of Sweden be and in all things [are] adjudged taken reputed had held and Governed as his Majestys Naturall born Subjects of this Province and that they and every of them by the authority aforesaid be Enabled and adjudged to all intents and purposes to demand and Challenge have hold and enjoy any Lands Tenements rents and hereditaments to which they or any of them might in any wise be intituled to within this Province as if they and every of them had been his Majestys free and Naturall born Subjects and liege People thereof they the said Joseph Lazear Gustavus Hessilius, and Christian Geist, having taken the usual Oaths to the Government appointed by Law And Allso that they and every of them be Enabled to maintain prosecute avow Justifie and defend all and all manner of Actions suits Plaints Pleas and other demands whatsoever within this Province as liberally frankly freely fully Lawfully and Securely as if they and Every of them had been his Majestys Naturall born Subjects and Liege people thereof any Law Statute usage or Custom to the Contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

At that time the dominions of the Emperor of Germany were essentially the same as in 1648, and in theory quite extensive. So Basel is a possible origin for the family. I would not presume this, however. Others have read their own thoughts into this family; indeed one author hypothesized, on the basis of a "name of distinctly Jewish character", that Joseph was Jewish .

germany, 1648

Germany after the Peace of Westphalia, 1648

The nice thing about that naturalization act is that it states the names of all the children. Furthermore, the marriage of Joseph Lazear to Susannah Webb in Ann Arundel County, Maryland was recorded in 1702 , so it is clear these children were born between 1702 and 1721.

Below in this section I can give a birth date of 1706 for son Joseph (Joseph(II)). The general ages for the other two sons may be guessed from the Prince George's County Levy Book A. There it was recorded that in 1734 Thomas and Joseph Lazear paid the squirrel and crow's head tax , while Joseph Lazear Sen'r did not . In 1735 all three sons paid the tax, Thomas submitting 94, Joseph 26 and John 3 squirrels or crow's heads . This implies to me that John was probably born around 1717, becoming 18 in 1735, and Thomas sometime earlier.

Land Purchases

Joseph Lazear (hereafter denoted Joseph (I)) bought land in present day Montgomery County, Maryland. His first purchase, in 1721, was a portion of a tract named Addition to Clarks Grove , which was probably located near the Snowdon iron works south of present day Laurel, Maryland. Then in February 1737/8 there were two deeds involving Joseph (I) and none other than Richard Snowdon himself, exchanging the one hundred acres of Addition to Clarks Grove for 126 acres of the Second Addition of Snowdon Manor :

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This Indenture made the twenty fifth Day of February Anno Domini one thousand Seven hundred & thirty Seven Between Richard Snowden of Ann Arundell County in the Province of Maryland Iron Master of the one Part & Joseph Lazeer Sen.r of Prince Georges Planter of the Other Part Witnesseth that the said Richard Snowden for & in Consideration of the Sum of Twenty Pounds Sterling money of Great Brittain to him in hand paid by the Said Joseph Lazeer Sen.r at & before the Ensealing & Delivery of these Presents the receipt whereof he the Said Richard Snowden Doth hereby Acknowledge himself therewith to be fully Satisfied Contented & Paid & thereof & of Every Part & Parcell thereof Doth Acquit Exonerate & Discharge the Said Joseph Lazeer his heirs & Assigns & Every of them for Ever by these Presents Hath Given Granted Bargained Sold Assigned Aliened Enfeoffed Transferred & Confirmed And by these Presents Doth give grant Bargain Sell Assign Aliene Enfeof Transferr & Confirm unto the Said Joseph Lazeer his heirs & assigns for ever All that Peice Parcell & Part of a Tract of Land Called the Second Addition of Snowdens manner

The new property was adjacent to Snowdon Manor, a massive tract which probably stretched from Spencerville to Sandy Spring in the northeast portion of present day Montgomery County. While I have not located a survey for the original tract, the Second Addition was located on the east side of the original Snowdon Manor , which would place it by Spencerville, by my reckoning. I believe Joseph (I) got a good deal -- he came out ahead with increased acreage and cash as well. I think Snowdon really wanted his original property, perhaps for iron ore.

For those who didn't read through the deeds, there is some very interesting trivia here.

  1. Joseph referred to himself as Joseph, Senior. In my experience this means he believed there was a potential confusion between him and his son regarding this record. For example, I can think of only one such situation in the Perrin family of these times where such a distinction was made between John Perrin, Senior and Junior; this was in the militia raised during the French and Indian War. There I can see it was important to know which Perrin was the Ensign, and which the Private. As we will run into this kind of distinction made with other members of the Lazear family, it is important to realize that Senior and Junior were not official parts of anyone's name. In fact, in some situations, they may only mean "older" and "younger" people of the same surname, and not even necessarily father and son.
  2. Joseph Senior signed with his mark. Thus with some of the documents I cite I may know whether the person signing could write or not. Unfortunately this information is indeterminate in some of the secondary sources. But when available I have used this information to help differentiate people in the family.
  3. A quick aside. Spellings of the family name will vary greatly. Here is a partial listing of what I have seen to date, grouped in no particular order:
    • LAZEAR
    and maybe even this name refers to the same family
    • LAZLAR
    Once family members became literate, they seemed to stay with the "Lazear" spelling in the eighteenth century, with other persons (census takers, deed recorders) contributing the variant spellings. I believe the consistent use of "Leasure" in the records began after 1780 in Pennsylvania and Virginia, perhaps because of confusion by others with the Le Sueur family mentioned above. Even then, however, the persons who I think were Joseph Lazear (I)'s descendants often stayed with the Lazear spelling when signing documents; I believe this helps distinguish possible family members from other clans.

Joseph Lazear (I) sold this land to his youngest son John (as was the custom in the eighteenth century) with a deed recorded in 1748 . After describing the metes and bounds of the land, the deed states that John will possess the land, buildings and even the horses

absolutely without any manner of Condition and limitation my life and my wifes life in ye af'sd Lands and appurtenances excepted

This implies to me that both Joseph (I) and Susannah stayed until death on this land.

Later Lazears in Montgomery County, Maryland

John, son of Joseph (I)

[Note: After 1749 the Second Addition of Snowdon Manor was part of the new county of Frederick, and after 1776, part of Montgomery County.]

In 1754 the will of Joseph Dickerson of Frederick County, planter, gave to his grand-daughter, Sarah Lazyear, a heifer with her father John Lazyear's mark. With a few other exceptions his daughter Elizabeth Lazyear received his remaining estate . In 1762, John Lazear witnessed a will made by William Burton , indicating that he was still at that time living near present-day Burtonsville, Montgomery County.

Then it is recorded in October, 1771 that a Joseph Lazear sold the Second Addition to Snowdon Manor to Andrew Leitch . The reference to the land in this deed is interesting:

a tract of land called & known by the name of the second Addition to Snowdens manor &c which said land was formerly Conveyd by Richar Snowden to Joseph Lazier grandfather to the aforsaid Joseph Lazier containing the Quantity of one hundred Twenty six Acres of land more or less, his said Mother Elizabeth Lazier thirds excepted

Joseph Lazier signed by his mark, and his wife Rachel relinquished her dowry.

I would think that with all this information it would be clear who this Joseph Lazear was. His mother is Elizabeth, which is the same name as the wife of John, son of Joseph (I). The fact that his mother retained one third of the land implies to me that John had died intestate. In such a situation, according to Maryland law, the surviving spouse would receive one third, and the children two thirds of the estate. If son Joseph was selling the full two thirds, it might imply that there were no other children. But we have already heard of one in Joseph Dickerson's will above, and there may have been more. On that basis I am willing to assume Joseph was acting as an agent for the others, or had bought them out.

The 1783 tax assessment for Lower Newfoundland, Rock Creek, and North West Hundred, Montgomery County listed :

Elizabeth Lazear's land was named as "Snowdens Second Addition to Manor, 42 acres" . It is not possible to tell from the tax assessment if the others lived near her or each other. I suspect they did, an 1865 map of the region shows Lazear descendants still in the general region, clustered near what I believe was the location for Second Addition to Snowdon Manor .

Detail of Montgomery County, 1865.
Present day New Hampshire Avenue is shown in blue.

So to recap the possible scenarios. First, Joseph was the only remaining child of Elizabeth and John, his sisters perhaps already married. While this does not account for the Thomas Leasure in the 1783 assessment, that Thomas could be from the next generation. Second, Joseph acted as the agent for all of the other children, who for some reason were not named in the deed. For both of these scenarios I need to assume that Joseph plus perhaps other siblings stayed in the area, perhaps on the land inherited by Elizabeth Dickerson. In a final scenario, some other grandson was responsible for the land sale, through an unrecorded property transfer in the family. David Boles has suggested Joseph (III) as described below. I think this unlikely.

I believe the subsequent movements of this Joseph the son of John Lazear can be sketched out. Tax records in Hampshire County, Virginia between 1784 and 1795 included a Joseph Lazear .

Year Name Adult males over 21 Adult males over 16
1784 Joseph Lasier 1 1
1785 Joseph Lashur 1 1
1786 Joseph Lazier 1 1
1787 Joseph Lasier 1 2
1788 Joseph Lazier unknown 2
1793 Joseph Leasure unknown 2
1794 Joseph Leasure unknown 4
1795 Joseph Leasure unknown 4

Furthermore this Joseph Leasure may be the same person who then moved to Kentucky. A commemorative history from Rush County, Indiana, regarding the ancestry of George W. Leisure, stated :

George W. Leisure, an aged and venerable pioneer of Rush County, and one of its most worthy and honored citizens, is a native of Garrard County, Kentucky, born June 9, 1809. His parents, Nathan and Sarah (Irvin) Leisure, were respectively natives of Frederick County, Md., and Halifax County, Va., the former of English, and the latter of Irish descent. The parents of his father were Joseph and Rachel (Ryan) Leisure, the former of whom lived to be one hundred and five years old. His death was then premature, being caused by a cancerous affliction...

Lazear family histories state that George's father Joseph Leisure had three wives and that he was 105 years of age at the time of his death . Indeed, in the 1830 census for Garrard County, Kentucky Joseph stated he was greater than 90 years old. His death there occurred between October 1835 and July 1838 . The census for son Nathan Leasure in Rush County, Indiana stated he was born in 1777 and in Maryland. Another likely son, William Leisure, also died in Garrard County, Kentucky in 1865 . According to the census he was born in Virginia in 1784. Thus the time and place for both Nathan and William's births agree with a Joseph Lazear who had moved from Maryland to the south side of the Potomac around 1784.

Thomas, son of Joseph (I)

Thomas probably is the person who patented the 50 acre tract named The Square in 1744 as Thomas Lanshair . The original land survey

beginning at a bounded white Oak standing on the East side of a branch of Bennets Creek that heads near the Road commonly called Aldridges Road...

is not real helpful for establishing a location, but it was probably near present day Hyattstown either in present day Montgomery or Frederick County, Maryland, and as such significantly distant from the other Lazear property. Thomas Leashier or Lashare, along with Robert Constable, purchased another tract named Laplin Ridge from Thomas Hinton, carpenter, in 1754 . This land is also said to be near Bennett Creek. Finally Thomas Lanshier, Senr. sold The Square to William Bell in 1771. The deed was signed by his mark, and there was no dower .

Sharon Hofer subscribes to the notion that this Thomas married a Sarah Hinton, although the only documentation she provided me is that the Hinton family believed that Sarah married a Lazier. Given the sale of land by Thomas Hinton to Thomas Lazear this marriage is possible. It is always possible that this Thomas moved west around 1771, ending up in Beans Cove. However I think it unlikely, since his probable age would have then rendered him too old for the Bedford County militia in 1779 .

Joseph Lazear (II) and others in Central Maryland

For orientation, what I mean by Central Maryland is the same region I discussed in the section concerning John Perrin, Sr.. The map from that section is shown here:

master map

Central Washington County, Maryland in 1739, with selected landmarks
The probable extent of the Great Marsh is shown in light blue
Roads are as established in 1751

Joseph Lazear (II) born 1706

It seems certain that the oldest son of Joseph Lazear (I), whom I will refer to as Joseph (II), was living near John Perrin in Marsh Hundred. In 1769 this Joseph provided testimony to a land commission :

March the 18th. 1769 the Deposition of Joseph Lazeer about six three years of age being first duly sworn Deposeth and Saith that he was Sowed two red oaks Saplins by Nathaniel Tumblinson, at Distance off and that said Tumblison told him that they were the beginning Trees of a tract of Land Called Water Sink where is now a lime stone set up and Marked Thus CES and 1769 and S W about three feet to the Eastward of of Said Boundreys and further this Deponant saith not. [signed] Thomas Prather, John Perins, Wm. Good

The property in question, Water Sink, was about two miles north of the Perrin property on Marsh Run. Not only does this testimony place Joseph (II) in current Washington County, Maryland, it also gives a birth date for Joseph (II) of 1705 or 1706.

Joseph Lazear (II) with son Joseph (III) in 1750

The first time Joseph (II) was mentioned in Perrin's neighborhood was 1750/1, when he witnessed the will of Theodore Malot, who probably lived at Neglect, five miles north of John Perrin on the Great Marsh. One named executor was John Perrin, the other probably Joseph Lazear .

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A Short Will in a Legal Form.

In the name of God Amen this seventeenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty. I Theodores Malott in Frederick County and province of Maryland plaintive(?) being of very sick and weak of body but of perfect mind and memory.

This will was witnessed by both a Joseph Lazer and a Joseph Lazer, Jun. While the Joseph Lazer, Jun. signed this document, the other Joseph did not, instead making his mark. As discussed above, it seems highly unlikely that Joseph Lazear (I) had moved west. On that basis I can refer to the two witnesses of this will as Joseph (II) and son Joseph Lazear (III).

Joseph Lazear (II) with two additional sons in Conocoheague Manor

There are several other references to Joseph (II) in the Marsh Hundred. First, on page two of the April 23, 1761 Maryland Gazette :

There is at the Plantation of Joseph Lazer, in Conococheague in Frederick County, taken up as a Stray, a Bay Mare about 13 Hands high, branded on the near Shoulder R C, and is 9 or 10 Years Old.

The Owner may have her again, on proving his Property, and paying Charges.

While this implied that Joseph (II) was a landowner, there is no evidence that he bought land in the region. It appears that he leased from Lord Baltimore in Conocoheague Manor. The "State of His Lordship's Manor" from 1767 listed the lease conditions for the tenants in Conococheague and included the following information about Joseph Lashier :

Like the petition described immediately below, there is no mention of Joseph (III) in this document. I believe that Joseph (III) had already moved west at this point. This record implies that Joseph (II) was born in 1727. While this could be a transcription error for Joseph (II), who would have been 60 at that point, I believe that the recorded age refers to Joseph (III). If that be the case, then Joseph (III) was born in 1727, and sons Thomas and John in 1741 and 1745, respectively.

Joseph Lazear (II) and family in a 1766 petition

Another record dates from 1766, and was a petition with about 450 signatures sent to the governor complaining of the scarcity of money (a common complaint in frontier regions for some time to come) . A contiguous segment of the list of signatures includes:

The secondary source from which I obtained this list marked any signatures signed "by his mark" with the abbreviation "(M)"; the lack of that suffix implies that all of the people listed above actually signed this document. That makes the signing of Joseph Lazure, Sr. inconsistent with the Joseph (II) of the 1750 will. If this inconsistency be ignored the list confirms the snapshot of Joseph (II)'s family afforded by the Conococheague Manor records, with John and Thomas children of Joseph Lazear (II).

I have no information regarding any John Lazear in this part of Maryland. For Thomas there is one possible reference in the estate inventory for Nathaniel Tomlinson. (More history regarding Nathaniel and his family is available in the Perrin narrative). Not only did John Perins appraise this estate (which was little more than a cabin), but the next of kin conducting the inventory were John Tomlinson and Thomas Lazear. Now I don't want to get involved in yet another discussion regarding next of kin, but this record does confirm the close relationship between the Lazear and Tomlinson family implied by Joseph (II)'s testimony at the land commission above.

The above list also implies the continued existence of Joseph (III) by the use of the "Sr." after Joseph (II)'s name. I imagine, from the number of names on this petition, that everyone "in town" signed it. In the case of the Perrin family, John, Sr. and son Joseph were around, with sons Edward and John, Jr. already removed to the frontier. For the Lazear family father Joseph Sr. and sons John and Thomas were around, As Joseph (III) was absent, I think he had removed west as well.

Other records

Joseph (III) would need to have been at least 16 in 1751 to sign Theodores Malot's will, making his birth date before 1735. Thus, he was at least as old as John Perrin, Jr. or Edward Perrin. There was a Joseph Leizure who was a private in Captain Joseph Chapline's militia company in the spring of 1757; this is the same company whose Ensign was John Perrin and which also contained Edward Perrin . Note that other members of this family served in the militia as well: a Joseph Lazer, private, in Captain Peter Bawdle's Co., and a Matthias Lazer, private, in Captain John White's Co. . As Capt. John White's estate was inventoried later by John Perrin, Sr., I assume that this militia company came from Perrin's portion of Frederick County, making Matthias possibly another son of Joseph Lazear (II).

Finally, Joseph Lazear, and Joseph Lazear, Junr., along with John Perins, signed a petition in 1759 supporting the repair of the Frederick parish church and two chapels of ease . This source also was apparently good about indicating who signed petitions with their mark, so it implies that both Joseph (II) and (III) were signing documents at that time.

In summary, Joseph (II) Lazear was born in 1706 and lived to at least 1769. He moved to Conocoheague Manor in 1746. His oldest son Joseph (III) was born around 1727, with his younger sons Thomas and John born in 1741 and 1745, respectively. Joseph (III) had probably left the Manor by 1766, at which time the other two sons were still there.

Joseph (III) and sons

As it seems most likely that the Joseph Lazear, Jr. who witnessed Theodores Malot's will was the son of Joseph (II) I will henceforth call him Joseph (III). I can assume that Joseph (III) was born around 1727 according to the Conococheague Manor records from 1767. According to the central Maryland records mentioned so far he may have served in the 1757 militia and did sign a petition there in 1759. His signature was conspicuously absent from a petition in 1766, however.

The Frederick County Minute Book shows that in 1769 the constable for the Old Town Hundred changed from Hezekiah Hyatt to Joseph Lazier, Jr. , a change which was confirmed in 1770 . Therefore Joseph (III) was living in the Town Creek region by 1769. His absence on the 1766 petition mentioned above implies Joseph (III) had already moved west by 1766.

Overview of Flintstone and BeansCove

Overview map of Flintstone Creek, Beans Cove and Evitts Creek

Joseph Lazyear, Jr. was listed in John Perrin's estate inventory in 1771 as a debtor for 27£ 1d 3p .

In August, 1776, the original muster list for Griffith Johnson's company of the third (western) Washington County militia battalion included :

Griffith Johnson raised this company from men living in the Town Creek and Murley Branch region. I will make the case shortly that this muster list implies the existence of son Joseph (IV) and an additional son John for Joseph (III) there. By 1783 one of the two Joseph Lazears had left Murley Branch, as in that year there was only John and a single Joseph listed in the tax assessment .

I will resume the discussion of Joseph (III) below with the Beans Cove Lazears after I develop the cases for John and Joseph (IV), his probable children.

John, son of Joseph (III)

In 1820, Southampton Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, the following signed testimony was received from John Leazuir :

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Pennsylvania Western District, County of Bedford, afs'd

On the seventh day of November, A.D. 1820 Personally appeared in open Court of Common Pleas held at Bedford in and Bedford County aforesaid being a Court of Record declared by Act of Assembly John Leazuir aged sixty five years and upwards resident in Southampton Township Bedford County aforesaid who being first duly Sworn According to Law doth on his Oath declare that he served in the Revolutionary War as follows. The Deponent enlisted under Captain Michael Cresap for one year and marched to Boston from that back to New York and Staten Island And at a place called Amboy,

Michael Cresap, a son of Thomas Cresap, organized his company of riflemen at Oldtown in July, 1775. Starting with thirty recruits, they marched through Virginia to Frederick, Maryland, by which time their numbers exceeded 120. Cresap did die in New York, and many of this company were captured by the British and imprisoned there. But John clearly survived the experience, only to find that his first application for a pension through Maryland in 1818 denied - as there was no formal record of this company's existence. After further testimony by Joseph Cresap, Michael's son, a lieutenant in his father's rifle company and a Senator in the Maryland legislature, the application was ultimately approved.

The application is quite helpful at setting the year of birth for John around 1755. That date makes it morst likely that this John Lazear was the son of Joseph (III), born in 1726. Accompanying the deposition is an inventory of John's possessions, conducted by Elijah Perdue, implying that John was living in the area known as Beans Cove at that point. However his previous pension application indicated that he, like others in this family, had moved between Maryland and Pennsylvania. Indeed the Maryland 1810 census gives a John Lazier, age greater than 45, living with his family in Old Town and listed on the same page as Joseph Cresap.

Given that John had returned to Maryland in 1776, it would be not surprising that he became a Class 1 private in the militia . A further record which may pertain to this John occurs in the Maryland tax assessment of 1783, where a John Lazear is associated with Robinetts Lott, a property patented by John Perrin, Sr., and at that time not sold . Finally, the Washington County Court docket book lists in 1778 a case between Thomas French (who lived in Town Creek) versus Thomas Lazear and Joseph Plummer, with John Lezier and Benjamin Hinton providing bail .

Joseph (IV), son of Joseph (III)

It may be difficult to untangle information referring to Joseph (IV) from information referring to his father Joseph (III), but I believe his trail of property acquisitions and sales makes it much easier to identify Joseph (IV)'s later activities. The 1783 tax assessment entry to Joseph Lazear for 50 acres of Two Springs , another Perrin property not at that time sold, may apply to him or Joseph (III). Likewise the Washington County court docket entry for 1779, Hezekiah Hyatt versus Joseph Lazear , may refer to either man.

Starting in 1775 there are a series of tracts on Elk Lick Creek, a branch of Evitt's Creek which are associated, directly or indirectly, with Joseph Lazier. This region is one mountain ridge west of the previous Perrin properties mentioned which reside in Murley Branch, and may be close to the Perrin property named Hyatt's Hunting Ground:

Property Acreage Date Surveyed Disposition Ref.
Laziers Choice 40 acres April 29, 1775, for Normand Bruce on a spring west of Elk Lick Branch; Patented by Jeremiah Plummer November 30, 1807
Laziers Luck 28 acres February 1, 1787, for Joseph Lazier Certificate assigned to George Hinkle October, 1796 by Joseph Lazear
Dry Hill 22.75 acres November 28, 1788, Surveyed for Joseph Lazair Certificate assigned to George Hinkle October, 1796 by Joseph Lazear
Hard Scuffle 35.25 acres October 14, 1793, to Joseph Lazier Sold March 14, 1797 in two parts to George Plummer Hinkle and William Beall
topography of beans cove and murley branch

Lazear properties west of Martin Mountain

The identification of Elk Lick Creek, the branch of Evitt's Creek south of Rocky Gorge, comes from Michael Perrin. While there is no evidence that Laziers Choice was settled by Joseph Lazear (IV), its naming suggests that the family had a presence in this valley, north and east of Cumberland, quite early. But in 1787 land was clearly laid out for Joseph, and all three later surveys confirm his presence. For the survey for Hard Scuffle begins :

Beginning at a bounded white oak standing on the north side of the road leading from Alpheus Bealls Mills to Michael Hayz's and between a hollow and said road, about thirty perches northwestwardly from said Lazeirs House, and running thence...

and also states that the land already had improvements, in the form of 500 rails (as in a fence). (Incidentally, modern maps show Bealls Mill Road and Hazen Road in the upper section of the Maryland portion of Evitt's Creek.) But then in 1796 and 1797 everything was sold off. Joseph signed off the warrants for the as yet unpatented tracts Laziers Luck and Dry Hill in October, 1796 to George Hinkle , thereby providing us with proof of his signature

Joseph Lazear's signature

Joseph Lazear's signature, 1796

and allowing us to paraphrase Elvis Costello, "You can spell my name any way that you like, but my name is LAZEAR." In March, 1797 Joseph Lazear and Elizabeth his wife sold to George Plummer Hinkle 15 acres of Hard Scuffle, along with another tract named Fox Chance (purchased in 1795 ), and to William Beall the other 18 acres of Hard Scuffle .

I have read that there was a Joseph Lazear who died intestate in 1825 in Brooke County, (West) Virginia, and that his wife's name was Elizabeth Plummer. His son Jesse Lazear was recorded in the 1850 census with a birth date around 1782, and he stated he was born in Maryland. Of interest in that census record is a son or grandson in the same household named Plummer Lazear. Brooke County was formed from Ohio County, Virginia in 1797; there are no court records for Joseph Lazear in Ohio County, but starting in 1800 Joseph Lazear appeared in the Brooke County records, supervising roads and serving as juror . I think it is highly likely that Joseph Lazear (IV) moved to the panhandle of Virginia, close to the residence of Hezekiah Hyatt and the Edward Perrin families, between 1797 and 1799.

The Beans Cove Lazears

Starting in 1778 the tax assessment records of Cumberland Valley Township, Bedford County documented the presence of the Lazear family:

Year Name Acreage or census Ref.
1778 Lashier John
Lashier Thomas
not recorded
not recorded
1779 Lashier John Senr.
Lashier John Junr
Lashier Thomas
50 acres
60 acres
50 acres
1783 Lazer, Thomas
Lazer, John
Lazer, Joseph
100 acres
50 acres
50 acres
1784 Lazer, Thomas
Lazer, John
Lazer, Joseph
8 whites
3 whites
6 whites
1785 Lazier, Thomas
Lazier, John Jr.
Lazier, John Sr.
100 acres
50 acres
not recorded

Before proceeding, it is worth noting that the records for Bedford County through 1800 place the region known as Beans Cove in Cumberland Valley township. After that it became part of Southampton township. While I can find no reference to support this assertion, it is clear from the census records, where other families from Beans Cove (Dicken, Perdue) are similarly assigned. In addition, a deed from 1781 refered to "Thomas Lazear of Beans Cove Cumberland Valley township" :

The tax records indicate that the first members of the Lazear family in Beans Cove were Thomas and John. Both of them were members of Evan Cessna's militia company , indicating to me that they were between the ages of 16 and 55 in 1777, that is to say they were born between 1722 and 1761. It is likely that both of them were recorded in the 1800 census for Cumberland Valley township as over 45 years of age, that is to say they were born before 1755.

There are two deeds from Bedford county, dated 1781, where Thomas Lazear first purchased land

paid by my Brother Joseph Lazear of Murley Run Hundred Washington County and in state of Maryland.

and then apparently sold it to John Lazear. Both parties signed these documents. Thomas and John Lazear also signed a document in 1797, granting Captain Thomas Beall of Cumberland power of attorney concerning land purchased from Charles Cox in Beans Cove .

Thomas Lazear of Beans Cove died around 1801, with his will proved in June of that year ; he mentioned sons Thomas and Elijah. Unlike the deeds just cited, however, Thomas signed this document with his mark. A John Lazear witnessed (and signed) this will, as well as the will of another Beans Cove resident Amos Dicken. Dicken's will was signed in 1812, and proved in 1823. At that time Thomas Lakin, another signer, indicated that John Lazear was deceased .

Finally, there are records of a Joseph Lazear in Beans Cove. Not only was he listed in the 1783 an 1784 tax assessments, but his property was mentioned in the deeds from 1781 , and 1790 . He was not listed in the 1790 census.

I think that it is likely the John and Thomas Lazears of Beans Cove were the sons of Joseph Lazear (II). The 1781 deed which referred to "Brother Joseph" would then be referencing Joseph (III). Joseph (III) apparently disappeared from Murleys Run by 1783, a fact consistent with Joseph being assessed for land in Beans Cove in 1783 and 1784. Sharon Laizure Hofer states that this Joseph then moved to Greene County, Pennsylvania, with his gravestone stating that he died August 13, 1826 in his 97th year . The ages of Joseph, John and Thomas in Beans Cove are consistent with the ages for the three siblings in Conococheague Manor.

Thomas and William

Other Lazear family members were living on Perrin land in the 1783 tax assessment. On that list in Cumberland Hundred there is :

These numbers add up to equal the 100 acres of Hyatt's Hunting Ground, patented by John Perrin, Sr. and sold in 1788 . The only other mention I have to either of these men in eighteenth century Maryland is the Washington County Court docket entry for Thomas Lazear in 1778 cited above .

It is tempting to associate this William Lazear with the William Leisure who married Phoebe Bennett of Southampton Township (of the Bennett family who lived next door to John Perrin, Jr). That William settled along Evit's Creek in Cumberland Valley Township, Bedford County, and is buried in Bald Hill Cemetery; his headstone states he was born 1763, died 1827 . His will, where he stated his name was William Leazer and signed with his mark, included a 50 acre tract named Honest Miller in Allegany County, Maryland . That land was purchased in 1818, and sits on the east side of Evitt's Creek . However, I can not from the information I have sort out to which Lazear family this William belongs.

The "Next of Kin" Question

Having presented what is known about the Lazear family I can speculate about the Perrin estate inventory, as signed by Joseph and Thomas Lazear.

For both Thomas and Joseph there are two contenders. Joseph could be Joseph (II) or Joseph (III). Thomas could be the son of Joseph (II) or else his brother. Thomas, the brother of Joseph (II) was probably still living in eastern Frederick County as of 1771. Joseph (III) likewise had moved to the Town Creek region by then. Therefore I believe that the inventory was conducted by Joseph (II) and his son Thomas.

For Joseph (II) and his son Thomas to be next of kin I must assume that either 1) one of them married a Perrin, or 2) that John Perrin married a Lazear.

In another section I provided evidence that John Perrin's two known daughters, Mary and Susannah, married Thomas Cherry and Robert Craigen, respectively. Here I can show that the possible Lazear candidates for a Perrin marriage are not too likely.

Joseph (II) was born in 1708 and Joseph (III) by 1727. For Joseph (II) to marry a Perrin it would need to be his second wife. Joseph (III)'s son John was born in 1754, so it is possible Joseph (III) may have married a Perrin who was born before 1736 and died before 1769.

If we qssume that Thomas the son of Joseph (II) settled in Beans Cove, then we know his wife as named in his will was Nancy . Nancy unfortunately could stand for almost any first name, but it was not a common nickname for Susannah nor Mary, I have no evidence to support the notion that a daughter of John Perrin married a Lazear, subsequently dying before 1769.

So I favor the second alternative for a Lazear - Perrin relationship, that John Perrin, Sr. married a Lazear. The most likely candidates are the sisters of Joseph (II), namely Elizabeth, Mary or Deborah.

I like the Deborah possibility. Deborah was the name of Joseph Perrin's first daughter born in 1768 and Edward Perrin's daughter born 1777. Not much later, in 1795, Thomas Perrin's first daughter was named Deborah. This name may have been introduced to the family by Deborah Lazear.

As I pointed out in an earlier section, three of John Perrin's five children were born before 1741, the other two between 1741 and 1750. The last two children were named Joseph and Susannah; these names correspond to Joseph Lazear and Susannah Webb. If one of their daughters married John Perrin, Sr., it would have been traditional to name the next two children after her parents.

If Joseph Lazear (II) was John Perrin's brother-in-law it makes sense that his sons or grandsons would have extended time to purchase Murley Branch land, or just live on tracts yet unsold.

An even wider question to consider would be the original reason for John Perrin, Sr. to know the Lazear family. It may merely have been they met as neighbors on the frontier. John Perrin was probably there first; Joseph Lazear, his young family and possibly his spinster sister arriving later. But it is tempting to imagine that Perrin knew the Lazear family back in eastern Maryland; if so, it would reshape my proposed relationship between Thomas Perrin and John at some point. This area of speculation does not have any helpful data one way or the other yet. The presence of Richard Snowden as the owner of the original warrant on which John Perrin bought his original land in 1739 may or may not be an indication of a connection.