Lets examine first the group which we call the first Masters Family, recorded in our book as the second generation: i. William Masters Sr. - Born ca 1691 in Calvert Co., MD and died after 1771. He married Mary Veatch and the family is well documented. ii. Robert Masters - Died Mar 1716 in Prince Geo. Co., MD. (Robert's final inventory discussed below is the basis for concluding that he is not the immigrant) iii. Female Masters - Married William Norris before 1716. iv. Grace Masters - Born ca 1695 in Calvert Co., MD and died after 1776. Both William and Grace's families can be found in Laurence R. Guthrie's We Veitches. For many years it seemed possible that Robert Masters could be our immigrant ancestor. Margaret Buehrig, in a packet of information sent to me dated 17 Aug 1989, furnished a chart listing the Immigrant as Robert Masters. She further lists him as Robert Masters #1 to distinguish him from who she identified as Robert Masters Jr, brother to William Masters Sr., i above. Further, Margaret stated that this Robert Masters #1 came to Maryland in 1679 indentured to William Treago and died in 1716 in Maryland. She also listed two other Robert Masters "who might qualify as our immigrant ancestor. There may be more." She went on to list a couple of possible immigrants. The point is, while listing the immigrant as Robert Masters, in the same letter, she offers other possibilities as to who may have been the immigrant. I can't for the life of me know how she drew these conclusions. I do appreciate all the work she did in determining much of our later Maryland connections years ago however. She was the primary provider of information to Charles Burgess discussed below. Charles Burgess, in his Great Lakes Review entitled: "Maryland- Carolina Ancestry of Edgar Lee Masters" on page 57 notes "...Edgar Lee Masters' most probable first ancestor in America. His name was Robert." When the astute Burgess uses the word probable it can be taken literally that there is no proof. Charles Burgess research and publication is beyond reproach. In the same paragraph he goes on to list other Robert Masters who might possibly be our Immigrant. These publications and letters were all prior however to a doccument which turned up just prior to publication of our book in 1989. Dated 14 Apr 1716, The Final Inventory of Robert Masters in part lists:
Item 6 - "1/2 of a ram in partnership with his brother Wm Masters" for a total of 3 shillings & 0 pence. The fact that William served as administrator for Robert's estate was not uncommon, him being the oldest brother. It might also indicate that their parents were not in that geographical area or dead. We can draw from the inventory the fact that the Robert Masters and William Masters were brothers. Although likely, the fact that their father is the immigrant is speculation on my part. Either that was the case or all of the four children immigrated in the new world together which would seem very unlikely to me. The point is we just don't know. I have published books on 6 families including the Masters Family. On each family, including the difficult Smith Family I was fortunate to identify the immigrant.....except the Masters Family. Trust me, if the proof was there, I would have identified our Masters immigrant. Perhaps one day we'll know.