Capt. John Gaither

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Capt. John Gaither

Also Known As: "Gater"
Birthdate: (56)
Birthplace: Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Colony
Death: November 12, 1702 (56)
All Hallows Parish, Anne Arundel County, Province of Maryland
Place of Burial: Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Gaither, II and Mary Gaither
Husband of Ruth Morely Gaither
Father of John Gaither, IV; Ruth Warfield; Benjamin Gaither; Rachel White; Capt. Edward Gaither and 4 others
Half brother of John Gaither, son of John 'Gater'

Occupation: Captain, Planter
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Capt. John Gaither

John Gaither III and Robert Proctor were founders of Abington, MD. John fought in the Nanticoke Indian War of 1678 under Colonel William Burgess.

In 1681 John signed a document that declared him to be a captain of the royal government of the province.,+MD&source=bl&ots=6jKIuWNFML&sig=mJIJi2RF_0alnrx0vAW6F-88iP4&hl=en&ei=1WyxTZqdMoPNtwe3vfn7Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&sqi=2&ved=0CDUQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false

John Gaither, III was born before his family left Virginia in about 1650.

John Gaither was born about 1640 and settled in Anne Arundel Co., MD.

He was a minor when his father died and was raised by Thomas Mears who made him an heir in his will.

He had reached the age of majority by 1662 because he he requested the renewal of a land warrant for 460 acres dated March 26, 1662.

By 16th June 1668 John Gaither was conveyed a 600 acre tract Walnut Ridge by Jacob and Benjamin Hooker, son of Thomas Hooker, deceased.

He also benefited from the will of Joseph Morley in 1675 when he and Robert Proctor were left equally the entire estate, real and personal. In 1678, he fought in the Indian war under Colonel William Burgess. He was styled a Captain. He died witout leaving a will. According to the register of All Hallows Church, he was buried November 12, 1702.

The English origin and parents of John (GATER) GAITHER, born 1599, of Virginia and Maryland are unknown. John GATER age 36, Joan GATER age 20, and a John GATER age 15 were on a list of 24 July 1635 to sail from London on the Assurance.

Thomas BESSON was born in England about 1611 to 1616. In a depostion on 10 Mar. 1674 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland he gave his age as 58.1 He is probably the Thomas BESON, age 24, who was on the Ship Assurance in 1635 from London.2 It is interesting to note that on that same ship was John GATER [GAITHER] who was also an early settler in Anne Arundel County.

1 Research by George Riggs Gaither published in The Gaither Connection in a series beginning in 1991 stated that John GATER baptized in 1603/4 at Lamberhurst, Kent, England had married Joan MORLEY, and had a son John born (sic) 5 March 1635. He stated this was the family that arrived in VA. Examination of the original Lamberhurst parish register showed the following:

  • 1. John GATER had a daughter Elizabeth bap. Dec. 1632 [exact date not viewable on the microfilm
  • 2. John GATER and wife Mary had a son John bap. 5 Mar. 1634. [1635 Gregorian calendar]
  • 3. John GATER and wife Mary had a son William bap. 20 Mar. 1637 [1638 Gregorian calendar]

The VA settler was NOT the John "GUTER" (sic) baptized 23 Feb. 1603 [1603/4] at Lamberhurst, Kent, England, for which no parents were stated in the baptismal register. THAT John of Lamberhurst MAY be the son of William GATER and Tomson LINDREDGE who were married there on 9 May 1602. The subject of that John's parentage is a moot question, as he is not the ancestor of the American GAITHER family. Some Internet researchers have outright forged/falsified/changed the above baptismal date in their records to report that this John was "born" on 15 Feb. 1598/99, to agree with John's age of 36 stated on the 1635 passenger list.

That the John at Lamberhurst with wife MARY was still living there in 1637 [1638], he cannot be identical to John with wife JOAN that arrived in VA in 1635. He was also not likely the father of the John GATER, born about 1620, that was on the same ship. The elder never claimed any land for transporting the younger. He did claim 800 acres for transportaion of himself, his "wife Joane" [Jane in one land claim] and 14 other persons, all named.3 IF the elder John were the father of the younger John (born ca. 1620), he would undoubtedly have paid for his transporation, and claimed land for paying for the transportation. That he did not indicates the younger apparently paid for his own transporation. As no record has been found for land claimed by anyone for transporting the younger, he likely either died soon after arriving in VA, or returned to England.

There is no evidence that John GATER's wife Joan was surname MORLEY as claimed in the article by George Riggs Gaither. There is no marriage record for a John GATER to John MORELEY (or anyone else) at Lamberhurst.

For other errors in the George Riggs Gaither article, e-mail me at the address below for an article regarding this.

John secondly married Mary -?-. At a court on 16 Jan. 1653 (1654) a deed from John Godfrey of the County of Lower Norfolk to Thomas Dadford for 800 acres was ordered to be recorded. The deed was dated 16 Jan. 1653 (1654) and was stated to be 800 acres originally granted to John Gather by patent on 26 July 1638. The original grant was recorded in Nansemond County on 12 July 1649. "John Gater aforesaid by & with consent of Mary Gater his wife" had assigned the land to John Godfrey on 12 July 1649 for other considerations.

Since John Gater?s [the immigrant's] 1638 grant included land for transportation of his wife Joan, and was ssigned by the "aforesaid" [same] John Gater and wife Mary, this shows this is the same man with two wives.  This would show Harry Wright Newman's theory5 that the John born ca. 1620 married Mary, and was the son of John born ca. 1599 to be incorrect.

In 1646 John GEATHER was administrator as "brother-in-law" of the estate of Henry WATERS6/WALTERS.7 Whether one of John GATER's wives was a sister to Henry WATERS, Henry WATERS had a wife who was a sister to John GATER, or one of John GATER's wives (either Joan or Mary) was a sister to a wife of Henry WATERS is unknown. There is NO evidence to indicate that is was by John GATER's wife Mary being a WATERS as claimed by some.

John GATER moved to Anne Arundel Co., MD about 1649/50, where letters of administration were issued on his estate on 24 Nov. 1652 to his widow Mary.

He was not living in 1666 as alleged by Harry Wright Newman. The records show that the VA land mentioning John GATER in 1666 as an adjacent land owner in VA, was the same land that John assigned in 1649. The records were reciting old land owners from previous deeds, and had not been updated to show current (1666) land owners.

JOHN GATER had one known child. It is unknown which wife was the mother, but it should be noted that his son named a daughter Mary, as did at least four of his children. The name Joan was not used among his known children or grandchildren. John GATER had child:

1. John GAITHER b. by 1646 VA;9 bur. 12 Nov. 1702 All Hallow's Parish, Anne Arundel Co., MD;11 m. Ruth -?-. Claims that she was a daughter of Joseph MORLEY are in error. This appeared in print with Harry Wright Newman's 1st Edition (1933) of "Anne Arundel Gentry," based on MORLEY's 1672 will in which he made Robert PROCTOR and John GATHER his executors and legatees.21 Newman corrected this in his second edition (1970), as court records show Joseph MORLEY died with no heirs.10

There are also claims that Ruth's surname was BEARD, daughter of Richard BEARD. To date, noone has been able to supply any records proving that Richard's BEARD's daughter Ruth,12 and John GAITHER's wife Ruth are the same person.

After the death of John GAITHER, his widow Ruth secondly married Francis HARDESTY on 13 Jan. 1703 [1703/4].11 Francis HARDESTY and Ruth had child: Francis HARDESTY born 27 Feb. 1707 [1707/8].11 Ruth was buried 5 Oct. 1719 at All Hallow's Parish, Anne Arundel County.

John GAITHER and wife Ruth had children born in All Hallow's Parish, Anne Arundel Co., MD

* 1. John GAITHER b. 15 Jan. 1677/8; m 1st Jane BUCK 21 Aug. 1701; m.2. Elizabeth (DUVALL)13 WARFIELD 20 Aug. 17; died between 4 May and20 June 1739 Anne Arundel Co., MD 
  • 2. Ruth GAITHER b. 8 Sep. 1679; m 1st John WARFIELD 16 Feb. 1696;m.2. Daniel CARTER 17 June 17; living 1728
  • 3. Benjamin GAITHER b. 20 Feb. 1681/2; m. Sarah BURGESS 8 Sep. 1709;d. between 26 Mar. and 31 Aug. 1741 Anne Arundel Co., MD when he wrote his will. 4. Rachel GAITHER b. 19 Apr. 1687; m. Samuel WHITE 18 Apr. 1706; living 1742
  • 5. Edward GAITHER b. 28 Sep. 1689; m 1st Mary DUVALL 21 Feb. 1709; m.2. Rachel; m.3. Margaret (SELLMAN)11 WILLIAMS; died between 2 Jan. and 10 Apr. 1741 Anne Arundel Co, MD
  • 6. Mary GAITHER b. 13 Apr. 1692; m 1st Joseph WHITE 9 Feb. 1709 m.2. Edward NICHOLS; living 1734
  • 7. Rebecca GAITHER b. 24 May 1695; m. Richard SIMPSON20/STIMSON; living 174218
  • 8. Susannah b. 22 July 1697

John was the immigrant ancestor of a large southern branch of the family. The surname has also been spelled as Gather, Geather, Gaither, Gater and Gator. In the southern branch Gatter evolved into Gaither.

Early American Gatter Families

The John Gatter who settled first at ?James Cittie?, then moved to Mulbury Island by 1624, represents the first wave of Gatter settlers in America. He was from England. There were Gatters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the mid 1700s, and in New York by the late 1700s. Most other Gatters (and variant spellings) arrived after 1850. A high percentage of all those who arrived after the early 1700s appear to be of German origin.

John Gatter was born ca. 1600, probably in Kent, England, and returned to England?perhaps to marry?then returned to Virginia in 1635 aboard the Assurance. Its passenger list shows Jo: Gater, 36, Joan Gater, 23 and Jo: Gater, 15. (?Jo:? was a common abbreviation for the name John.) If John, 15, was a son of John, the immigrant, then he would have been born to an earlier wife than Joan.

John Gatter?s Virginia Property

In 1636, John Gatter was granted three tracts of land totaling 800 acres for transporting not only himself and his wife to the colony, but also an additional 14 persons. Curiously, a 1638 grant appears to be for transporting the same persons and has the same description. The first description puts the land in Elizabeth City County and the second in the County of Lower Norfolk. Then, in 1653/1654 John Godfrey of Lower Norfolk grants 800 acres to Thomas Dadford. The deed for this conveyance states this 800 acres was originally granted to John Gather. The original grant, it was said, was recorded in Nansemond County in 1649 when John Gater and Mary (sic) Gater, his wife, assigned the land to John Godfrey that year.

Gaithers Go to Maryland

Some members of the second and third generations of the Virginia Gaithers moved to All Hallows Parish in Ann Arundel Co., Maryland, after the Church of England started to crack down on dissenters, both in England and in Virginia. They and their friends were either Puritans or Quakers. Later, Gaithers moved inland and the town of Gaithersburg in Montgomery Co., Maryland is named for descendant Benjamin Gaither.

Line of Descent from John Gatter/Gaither This line of descent is from John Gaither?s son, John.

Read on

  • Descent from Virginia Colonist Capt. James Davis
  • Line of Descent from John Fisher of Virginia
  • Descent from Robert Middleton of Maryland
  • 1.John Gatter/Gaither, the immigrant.
  • 2.John Gaither was born ca. 1620 in England. He married Mary _(?)_ and died ca. 1652 in Virginia. (Note: Some researchers claim the deed cited above proves John, the immigrant, had a second wife named Mary and that the John born ca. 1620 was not his son, but the John born ca. 1645 was his son by his second wife.)
  • 3.John Gaither, born ca. 1645 at Jamestown, Virginia, died in 1702 in All Hallows Parish, Ann Arundel Co., Maryland. He married Ruth Morley ca. 1673.

John Gaither, the son and heir of John and Mary Gaither, was born in Virginia and was transported to Maryland by his parents around 1650. He was certainly a minor at the death of his father, but had attained majority for that period by 1662. It can be assumed that he was for a time under the care of Thoms Meares, his father and grandfather's friend of early Virginia days, inasmuch as Thomas Meares bequeathed him a legacy at his death.

John was the first of his family to obtain a land grant in Maryland. Patents were issued upon beautiful South River in 1660 for "Pole Cat Hill" and "Round About Hills." In 1662, he renewed a land warrant for 460 acres; 200 acres were surveyed and patented to him under the name "Gatherly" and lay on the Little Choptank River in now Dorchester County.

On January 26, 1663/4, he and Robert Proctor patented jointly "Abington," of 875 acres between the North Run and the South Run of the South River. It was on the outposts of the settlements along the Severn and South Rivers and became the ancestral estate of the senior branch of the Gaither family for a number of years.

About 1676 he married Ruth

, whose parentage is unproved. The births of seven of their children were recorded at All Hallow's Parish.

1. John Gaither IV, born 1677/8. 2. Ruth M. Gaither Warfield Carter, born 1679. 3. Benjamin Gaither, born 1682/3. 4. Rachel Gaither White, born 1687. 5. Capt. Edward Gaither, born 1689. 6. Mary Gaither White Nichols, born 1692. 7. Rebecca Gaither Stimson, born 1695. 8. Susanna Gaither, born 1697, (died young).

John Gaither participated in the Nanticoke Indian War of 1678 under Colonel William Burgess and for his services received 80 lbs. tobacco. He became a militia officer and took part in the punitive expedition against the Indians in 1679, contributing liberally to the defense of the settlers against Indian invasions. In 1681 he received an additional 585 lbs. tobacco for public service.

On February 9, 1685/6, John Gaither bought 150 acres of "Freemanston." On July 3, 1690, he bargained for 100 acres of "Freeman's Fancy" in the woods about one and a half miles from the head of South River.

In 1696 as John Gaithere he signed a document by which he declared himself to be a military officer under the then Royal Government of the Province. He was styled Captain.

He died intestate. According to the register of All Hallow's Church, he was buried on November 12, 1702. Letters of administration were issued to his widow, Ruth Gaither. The personal estate was appraised on May 29, 1703, at £437/-/10. John Gaither and Benjamin Gaither, approved as the kinsmen. There were a great number of livestock, 97 lbs. of pewter ware, five negro slaves, one white servant-man, parcels of old books, and interesting household furniture including six high back leather chairs, writing trunk, etc.

On January 13, 1703/4, the widow married Francis Hardisty, according to the parish register. Francis Hardisty apparently became the guardian of the younger children.

—Anne Arundel Gentry: A Genealogical History of Some Early Families of Anne Arundel County, Maryland by Harry Wright Newman

This memorial has been generously sponsored by Pamela Fowler Sweeney.

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Capt. John Gaither's Timeline

Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Colony
February 15, 1677
Age 31
Anne Arundel County, Maryland
September 6, 1679
Age 33
Anne Arundel, Maryland, United States
February 20, 1681
Age 35
South River, Ann Arundel, Md
April 19, 1687
Age 41
Anne Arundel, Maryland, USA
September 28, 1689
Age 43
Abington, Anne Arundel County, Province of Maryland
April 13, 1692
Age 46
All Hallows' Parish, Anne Arundel, Maryland, USA
May 24, 1695
Age 49
Gaithers Chance, Anne Arundel, Maryland, USA
July 22, 1697
Age 51
Gaithers Chance, Anne Arundel, Maryland, USA