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The  Masters  Immigrant


What the facts tell us - 1989

Jack Masters

     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

    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:

Robert Masters Inventory

     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.

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