Green Springs Md

Tracing Samuel's Roots - to Maryland

Larry Maddox, of Liberty MO has traveled frequently throughout the United States and Wales in search of his Maddox roots.  Here is what he wrote after his fist trip to south Maryland's St. Mary's Parish, where the Sam Maddox line began in this country:

Signs of Maddox remain

On our first trip back to Maryland,  we were fortunate to find the fall festival going on at the Chaptico church.  Progenitor Samuel Maddox and his earliest descendants worshiped there.  The church's stained glass window is proof enough of that.
We took our first drive down Maddox Road taking in every view and vista, wondering what it was must have been like in 1665 for old Samuel at this very place   We already knew the town of Maddox is long gone but the Chaptico Church remains and a we found the signs for The Festival at the church.  We followed it to the church, saw the window and the old church graveyard.  We marveled and oohed and aaahed and took it all in.

Afterward, we drove down the road looking for the Maddox Post Office and the Green Springs Farm where Samuel had lived.  We never found the town post office and I was disappointed.  But after all, it's been three hundred years. I reread the land description I'd brought along to guide us.  The Chaptico wharf road corner had to be the place!!!!

Asking around...

I stopped my red Explorer at one of the houses there at the corner, and went up to the door!   Surely they will know if this was Maddox.   So a quick knock on the door, and the smiling young black face greeted me, a little boy.  I introduced myself as Mr. Maddox and I was wondering if this was the old Post Office of Maddox?  Just a minute, he said and disappeared back into the house.  Then the youngster returned with what must have been his mother.   Mr. Maddox, I would like you to meet Mrs. Maddox!!!   It turns out she had once been married to a Mr. Maddox.  And yes indeed this was old town of Maddox!   But not much is left now and the residents here now had little to offer about history of the area 300 years before.
If we were to learn any more,  it would have to be at the fall festival.  When we arrived back at the church hall we saw several hundred people there.  Where were we to start?  My wife Rosalyn went one way and I went the other. Quick check with the minister offered no help but then, there was my wife Rosalyn beckoning me over to her.  She was talking to someone, and when I met them, a Mr. Raley introduced himself, and also his son, Samuel "Maddox" Raley.  My heart jumped.  It turns out his mother was the last postmistress of Maddox, Maryland.  We ask a few questions.  "Yes", they said, Green Springs Farm was indeed south of the church down Maddox Road and on a bluff, just before Chaptico Wharf Road.  He also thought Indian Fields were on the north side of the wharf road and Green Springs was on the south.  What a find!

It amazed me that the “Maddoxes” were so well thought of, and  that the women kept the Maddox in their name.  They were suitably impressed though, that I was an actual Maddox--not a Maddox "something".

  Now that we were a little more sure where Green Springs actually was, we started our search for the Samuel Maddox homestead.   We saw a man with a gun coming out of the heavy brush of the bluff, so we stopped.  The hunter came walking up to the rear of my Explorer and I introduced myself as Mr. Maddox and I told him  we were looking for old Green Springs Farm. He said in a heavy Maryland accent, "I see you are."  My Missouri license plate reads, "Maddox."   And with a big smile, he pointed up the bluff and said this is Green Springs.  His name is Mr. Lathom, and he leases old Green Springs--all but ten acres where the old house stood.  He told us the house property is still owned by an elderly woman who he thought might now be in a nursing home. We asked permission for a look see and he said he thought that would be fine.   He pointed out an old driveway to the top of the bluff; this was very nearly totally overgrown.  Because it was getting dark, we set our plans on an early morning expedition.

Finding the family farm

The next morning we arrived back at Green Springs on a very bright and sunny morning.  We pulled off the road and into the old driveway.  Once off the road, you could see the remains of an old gatepost and what was left of an old wooden fence and the driveway disappeared up the hill into the weeds.  It was very rough, but I would try and drive up, at least as far as I could go.

At about 200 feet up, there was some old boxwood lining the drive! And we wouldn't be able to go much further. Nearly at the top, the driveway turned left and was impassable time to stop.   We bailed out of our Explorer and took off on foot, wondering if we'd be disappointed .  It’s so overgrown up there, we can't see much and there was no sign of the Maddox house called Green Springs Farm that we so wanted to find.    Now, instead of low brush  to make our search easier, we found much taller trees that obscured our view.  On the ground, we saw bits of junk and trash scattered around in the weeds. We trampled on. T he top of the hill was flat, and under the weeds, we saw sandy soil.

About twenty five yards into the woods, we spotted an old barn-like out-building! As we moved closer, we saw it was mostly still standing and we wondered and hoped this would be a real find!   What was it? Just a shed? An old slave quarters?   This could not have ever been a house.  We were deep in the woods.  There were sure no signs that said "This way to the Maddox Green Springs Farm".  So we shot a few pictures and looked around more.   Without the trees it would have been a good view to Chaptico River over a mile away.    There are still some fields nearby but no house and so we wondered which way was it back to the car.   We started back in the direction of the Explorer and here was more boxwood!   And there, through the weeds and trees, we spotted the red color of our old trusty Explorer.   But wait.  Within fifty feet of us was a roof collapsed to the ground!

 An 18 hundred mile drive from Kansas City to Maryland and we had stopped within 50 feet of it.  We almost missed it!   

I guess the House has been empty since 1947 and had collapsed and was burnt.  It had fallen into its own basement.  About one quarter of the house still stood--probably a porch or a back entrance.  It was painted white with small columns.  We could see clapboards which were white.

Mr. Raley’s words came back, when he said he could still remember old Captain Maddox sitting out in the front of the big old white house on the bluff.  I handed my camera over to Rosalyn and worked my way around the whole house just looking.  It was hard work to move around because of the weeds and brush. I was almost all the way around when I came to the remains of a chimney with piles of bricks.   I thought I must have some of those old bricks from Green Springs!   My Grand Dad  (Samuel Everett Maddox) spent the last 15 years of a short life making bricks in Weir, Kansas.  I wondered,  how much history is old are these old bricks?   I don't know, but I have a few as souvenirs to go along with my pictures.

--Larry Maddox

(Southern Maryland map below just south of Washington DC)