The Prettyman Family

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The Prettyman Family

No record has been found giving the date of John Prettyman’s Sr. arrival in America for the first time but it is known from the Maryland Archives, that he was living on a plantation in St. Georges Hundred, St. Mary’s Md. in 1638. He may have come over in 1636 with Capt. George Evelyn, a relative. In 1641 and 1642 he was a member of the Maryland General Assembly and had changed his residence to St. Micheal’s hundred. About this time he took part in the successful battle against the Snaguehanneck Indians. May 14, 1643 is the last Maryland record of John Prettyman is found in the Maryland Archive. Two months later, the Northampton County, Virginia records show that John had come to the Eastern shore of Virginia. (July 4, 1643)

His first plantation was located at the place where the town of Nassawedex now stands. He acquired three farms here. Two Hundred acres were purchased in 1664. Then four hundred acres were purchased in 1665. In 1671 John purchased an additional 450 acres. Also in 1671, he sold two of his farms at Nassawedex. In 1674 he bought a farm of five hundred acres near the present town of Franktown. Three years later he bought a seven hundred and fifty acre farm at Nassengo. (located southwest of the present town of Hallwood) John Prettyman Sr. died in 1688 on the farm. From 1663 to 1686, John Prettyman and his son John Jr. acquired 3040 acres of land and they sold 2790 acres of it.

There is no record of the identity of his wife nor of the number of children. John Jr. seems to have been the only surviving son who inherited all of the farm lands. He continued to farm the land until 1697 when he purchased a farm known as “Tower Hill” near Lewes, Delaware and moved there with his family.

John Prettyman Jr.’s family consisted of four boys, William, Thomas, John, and Robert and one girl, Mary. It is thought that all of the Prettyman families of the Delaware Peninsula are probably descended from this one family. John Prettyman Jr. died in 1723. The “Tower Hill” farm was left to his grandson John (son of William) in John Jr.’s will.

John Prettyman Jr.’s oldest son William was born about 1675. William “had perhaps the largest acreage of land of any of the four sons. William married Elizabeth Waples Burton, the widow of Joseph Burton. They moved to Lewes Hundred to Indian River Hundred where they acquired vast lands. The Pennsylvania Archives state that WILLIAM bargained directly with an Indian Chief in acquiring some of his land. From the time he purchase land in Sussex County in 1701 until his last purchase, he accumulated more than 3000 acres.”* (page 141) William and his wife Elizabeth had eight children – Isaac, Sarah, Joseph, James, Thomas, Elizabeth, Comfort, and Temperance. William latter married Temperance after Elizabeth’s death. They had the following children – Ann, Robert, Eleanor, and John.

Comfort Prettyman, daughter of William Prettyman, married David Marvel Sr. in 1744. They had three children – Patience, Prudence, and Prettyman Sr.. She died about 1788.

Thomas Prettyman, John’s second son, was born about 1682. He married Comfort Leatherbury (step-daughter of Robert Burton). Thomas and his wife moved to the Indian River Hundred area. Here he died in 1719 leaving one son, Thomas Jr. and a daughter named Elizabeth. Thomas Jr. married Elizabeth Enloes, (step-daughter of William Rodney) He and Elizabeth had fourteen children: William, George, Burton, Robert, Thomas, Hessey, Comfort (Rogers), Ann (Morris), Tabitha (Morris), Mary (Ingram), Patience (Knowles), Sarah (Marvel), Agnes, Ezebel ‘Isabel’ (Pepper), and Robert.

After Comfort (Prettyman) Marvel died, David Marvel Sr. on January 5, 1789 married Sarah (Sallie) Prettyman , daughter of Thomas Prettyman Jr. Sarah was born in Sussex County, Delaware about 1740. They had three children – Elizabeth, David Jr, and Burton Marvel.

Comfort Prettyman, daughter of Thomas Prettyman Jr. married John Rogers. Comfort was born in Sussex County, Delaware about 1741. She married John in 1759. They had eleven (11) children – George, Unice, Leah, Lavina, Polly, John, Orpha, Patience, Ann, Comfort, and Racheal Rogers.

* The Prettyman Family – In England and America  1361-1968 by Reverend Edgar Cannon Prettyman