Gerards of England --probable ancestors
The Gerards of
England were a Catholic family of considerable standing in Britain which
could be traced back to the General Survey of the Kingdom in 1078.
This had been a clan of Barons and Knights of the English court, Lord
of Byrne, and descendants of King Edward II. The Gerards had been
in charge of the court jewels, crowns and scepters of the British
at one time but presumably, religious-political conditions were changing
for the family.
had been suffering some political problems. He'd been trying to gain
the release of Mary, Queen of Scots from the Tower--London's prison.
Sir Thomas' brother John was a Jesuit priest and was himself tortured in
the Tower during one of England's religious upheavals. Fr. John later
founded a college at Liege, France. So this Catholic family had become
caught up in the Protestant-Catholic power struggles of Tudor England.
The remarkable grant led to the expedition and several Gerards traveled
to the Maryland Colony.--including two of Sir Thomas' sons who arrived
to claim Gerard lands, build their fortunes and leave their marks on
forever. Download the txtfile will of Thomas Gerrard whose daughter married a Maddox
Clement's Landing. Maryland Historical Society-Baltimore
Gerrard and his sister are recorded as making the
expeditionary trip. They are believed to have been children, siblings
or cousins of Sir Thomas.
At left, Replica of
"Dove" at port in St. Mary's County.
Gerrard returned to England to serve his king after the trip aboard the
ships "Ark" and
Gerrard was in the
of others who helped financed the expedition--Thomas Cornwallis
of Lord Cornwallis who was defeated by General Washington), Edward and
Frederick Winter, Jerome Hawly, and John Sanders.
took place in 1634 and the ships landed at St. Clement's Island just
of St Mary's county. Two Jesuit priests who accompanied the colonists
erected a large cross and celebrated the first Catholic mass in this
of the world.
England to fight anti-papist feelings against the new colony and he
his brother Leonard to govern in his stead.
--Pat Doster, major contributor
More on Proprietary Colonies like Virginia and St Marys