Stephen (alias Thomas Davis) Cannon
- Born: Abt 1641, England
- Marriage (1): Judith Bloyce in Sep 1671 in Somerset Co., MD
- Marriage (2): Ann (?) before 1689 in Somerset Co., MD
- Died: 15 Jul 1701-27 Nov 1701, Somerset Co., MD
Stephen Cannon evidently changed his name to Thomas Davis for a time to escape indentured servitude in Virginia then regained his original name a while after he moved to Somerset County about 1664. He seems to have maintained the Thomas Davis alias until about 1674 when we find Stephen Cannon had the 300a tract "Cannon Shot" surveyed for him on Apr 8 1674 and he received patent on Feb 27 1677/8. The same day he received survey/patent respectively for the 150a "Doughty's Lot" - for this one, there is an interesting note in the record of warrant: Aug 12 1665 600 ac warrant to Stephen Horsey for tract "WATTAPKEWANT" (later "Doughtys Lot") to be applied to resurvey here, Stephen Cannon having purchased same from Horsey; the record recounts how Cannon had escaped from indenture to his master John Pate in Virginia, and his adoption of his present alias, Thomas Davis. He then procured discharge from Pate and petitions for the said land under his rightful name Stephen Cannon. (See Lyon Land Records database)
This is confirmed in the records of the Somerset Co. court through several listings.
The "Miles Files" of the Eastern Shore Public Library has Stephen Cannon coming to the New World to Lancaster Co., VA in 1661. He was named as a headright on Oct 3 1664 at Lancaster Co, VA. He was shown as Stephen Canon (or Canow) on a list of 10 people that John Appleton brought into Virginia and received 472 acres of land for transporting.
On Oct 6 1664, we find "Stephen Cannon seruant to Mr John Pate apprehended by Wm Nodin att Francis Barnes upon Kent and afterwards run away from Nodin and entertained by the said Barnes, as W Richards can testifye one of the Commrs of Kent -- Which informacon was deliuered to the Board by the Honble Philip Caluert Esq Whereupon Ordered that an Ordr be sent up to Kent to Francis Barnes for the apprehending the said Stephen Cannon servt to Mr Jno Pate" (SoJ-1663/66:342) This was about the time Cannon assumed the alias Thomas Davis to avert detection as a runaway indentured servant.
The matter is not resolved until more than ten years later when Stephen Cannon/Thomas Davis appears in the court records with the following on Jan 13 1674/5: "This Day to witt the 13th: of January Annoq Domini 1674. This writing was Publikly read vizt, Know All men by these Presents That I Stephen Cannon of Sommersett County in the Province of Maryland Carpenter who did formerly goe by the name of Thomas Davis of the County and Province aforesaid Carpenter, Doe signifie by these Presents That my Absolute proper name is Stephen Cannon And I the said Stephen Cannon Doe from hencefor ward Disowne the name of Thomas Davis yett neverthelesse as formerly Thomas Davis Standing Ingaged to any person or persons whatsoever: I Stephen Cannon Doe by these presents promise to make satisfaccon to all persons whatsoever all Legall Dues from Thomas Davis aforesaid Absolutely Stephen Cannon
In wittnes whereof I have hereunto sett my hand this Thirteenth Day of January Annoq Domini 1674...Testes Thomas Delahay, Edm: Beauchamp. ----- Stephen Cannon" (SoJ-1670/75:465)
Stephen Cannon then made good on his previous obligations that caused him to assume an alias in the first place when Samuel Oustin of Virginia conveyed through his attorney the following to the court on Feb 3 1674/5: "Know All men by these presents that I the subscriber Doe Acknowledge to have recd: from Stephen Cannon full satisfaccon of A bond grannted by the said Cannon and Tho: Bloyes to mr: Samuell Oustin in the Countie of New Kent in Yorke river in virginia in which bond the said Cannon and Bloyes were bound to keepe the said Oustin harmlesse at the hand of John Pate esqr: in the sd: River of yorke which bond I Doe Acknowledge is now Left and Doe oblidge my Selfe my heires executors: & admrs: to keepe the said Cannon and Bloys theire heires executors: and admrs: free and harmlesse at the hands of the sd: Oustin his heires executors: & assignes wittnes my hand this third of ffebr: 1674 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Testes Thomas Barbours James Dashiell John Hall" (Ibid:473)
As Thomas Davis, Cannon registered a cattle mark on Feb 22 1688/9: "The marke of Thomas Davis Carpenter vizt one slitt of the left ear recorded the 22d of Febr 1668" (SoJ-1665/68:13)
In the Somerset Court for early 1675, we find Stephen Cannon answering older charges while he was still living as Thomas Davis. "The courst for The Same Day Commrs as afore Sirae facias agt Stephen Cannon alias Thomas Davis Carpenter for foure hundred & Thirty pounds of tobacco & Cost recovered by James Weedon ye 10th of Janry 1670 being Served by the sherife ; And the Said Stephen Cannon appearing & no Cause being Shewne why execucon shoulld not not issue &c This Cort orders yt execucon shall issue agst Stephen Cannon alias Thomas Davis to satisfie Francis Jenkins & Lucy Jenckins his wife The executrix of James Weedon deceased foure hundred and Thirty pounds of tobacco & Cost ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ " (SoJ-1675/77:21) This had been a longstanding obligation from Feb 3 1668/9 when Cannon was only known as Thomas Davis (see SoJ-1670/71:67).
On Jun 12 1677 we find evidence of Stephen Cannon having his own indentured servant: "Ruth Mybote Servant to Stephen Cannon of this County Carpenter Comeing into this province without indenture was this Day brought before y Cort: and itt was humbly Desired yt her age might bee adjudged Shee being ~~ brought before y Cort within y time limited by act of assembly in Such Cases made & provided after a full veiw age had & taken of y Said Servant This Cort Doth judge y Said Ruth Mybote to be betweene eighteene & twenty two years of Sommrsett County" (SoJ-1675/77:99)
He had another land tract surveyed for him on Apr 8 1674, the 300a tract "Cannons Choice" and received patent for it on Jul 25 1680. Both "Cannon Shot" and "Cannons Choice" have a note in the files from Oct 30 1678 where Cannon petitioned the land authority, "Stephen Cannon outlining a confusion made between CANNON SHOT and CANNONS CHOICE - conveyed to John Furrs by reason of the petitioner's illiteracy." The tracts evidently reverted to Cannon's ownership once the error was resolved. All three of these tracts are clumped together bordering the east side of the Nanticoke River and have as their north boundary, Wetipquin Creek. He had a fourth tract surveyed for him Nov 17 1675 called "Dudley" for 100a near modern day Roaring Point just south of his other tracts.
This situation is a strange one to this compiler and, the fact that Thomas Davis/Stephen Cannon were the same person. As Thomas Davis, Stephen Cannon was a rather prominent person in the very early days of the Somerset County settlement from about 1664-1674 when he reverted to his real moniker as Stephen Cannon.
On Nov 1 1678, Stephen Cannon, carpenter, and his wife Judith sold land in tract "Doughtys Lot" to Peter Doughty, planter. (SoLR-WW:379)
From the old Somerset Liber IKL: "Thomas Davis Carpenter & Judith Bloyes were maryed by Capta: William Thorne one of his Lopps Justices for this County the month of September Ao Do one thousand six hundred seaventy & one" and "ffrancis Davis the sonne of Thomas Davis Carpentr: was borne at Tipquean of Judith his wife ye 26th day of March Ao Do one thousand six hundred seaventy one." "Anne Cannon daughter of Stephen Cannon born of Judith his wife the twenty ninth day of November Annoq Dom one thousand six hundred seaventy seaven" and "Judith Cannon ye daughter of Stephen Cannon borne of Judith his wife ye twenty six day of ffebruary Annoq Dom one thousand six hundred seaventy nine." and "Alce Cannon daughter of Stephen Cannon borne of Judith his wife ye twenty eighty day of March Annoq Dom one thousand six hundred eighty two" and "Peter Body & ffrances Cannon daughter of Stephen Cannon were maryed by Mr: John Huett Minister 28 December one thousand six hundred eighty & six."
Stephen Cannon was named as an appraiser of an estate on Aug 10 1688 in Somerset Co with Peter Doughty for he estate of Robert Willson dec'd. Also, on Sep 14 1692, Cannon seeks the court to declare successfully that his "negro woman" be unfit for work and therefore not subject to taxation. (SoJ-1692/93:33)
Stephen Cannon's wife Judith died before a subpoena for Stephen Cannon and his wife Anne appeared in the Jan 1688/9 court records for charges brought forth by Rhoda Fassitt, admx of the estate of John Cropper. (SoJ-1687/89:100) Also the next land transaction involving him and his wife when on Jul 8 1693 Stephen Cannon, carpenter, and wife Ann sold the 100a tract "Cannons Lot" to Patrick Quartermas. (SoLR-L1:120)
Cannon had one more tract surveyed for him, "Cannons Peace", for 100a on Feb 14 1699/1700. This tract is located along the eastern side of "Cannons Choice" above. No will is found for Stephen Cannon but the Somerset Co. land records give more clues to his family. On Jan 14 1724/5, Francis Langkake and his wife Judah (Judith) sold land in tract "Cannon Shot" to John Hopkins for 12,000 pounds of tobacco. It was land that Stephen Cannon had conveyed to his daughter Judith (Judah) in his LW&T on Jul 15 1701. (SoLR-GH:299, see Lyon land records)
He died before Nov 27 1701 at Stepney Parish, Somerset Co, MD. It was on this date that his inventory was appraised at £47.13.0 by John McClester and John Jones; no admin or next of kin were listed.
Stephen married Judith Bloyce, daughter of Thomas Bloyce and Frances (?), in Sep 1671 in Somerset Co., MD. (Judith Bloyce was born about 1650 and died before 1689 in Somerset Co., MD.)
Stephen next married Ann (?) before 1689 in Somerset Co., MD.