The Ancestors: Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ (Part II)

After Hans Jacob HONEGGER came to America in 1749 he worked off the debts he had accumulated for his passage as well as that of his wife and child who died at sea.

In 1753 at the age of 34 years, he married his second wife Maria GÖTZ (Goetz) in Philadelphia. Their first three sons Jacob, Henry, and Frederick (my 4th great-grandfather) were all born in Philadelphia.

The year following Frederick’s birth, the family of five were in Frederick County, Maryland, where Jacob “bought” land in the spring of 1758 and in the winter of 1761.

Where are the records?

In March 2016 I wrote about how I had found land deeds for another ancestor in Maryland. Following my own directions (it had been nearly four years since I used the site), I went to http://mdlandrec.net/main/index.cfm.

My first attempts to get into the site on 27 January 2020 brought up a “This site can’t be reached” window. I tried again the next morning and was able to view and download two records I was interested in. For the past week, I’ve been trying to get onto the site but all attempts have failed. I suspect access may not be available to me as I’m in Europe and my getting in on 28 January 2020 was pure luck. I wrote to the Maryland State Archives help desk about the problem. They have forwarded the information to their IT team to see whether there’s a problem that’s within their ability to fix. Keeping my fingers crossed.

I had planned on transcribing the land deeds I found for Hans Jacob HONEGGER and sharing them in this post. That was not to be.

The handwriting and text were, to say the least, difficult. As I worked on the transcription of the 1758 land deed for 56 acres in Frederick County, Maryland, acquired by my ancestor, I found I needed to refer to the 1765 land deed in which he sold the land. As I read the 1765 land deed I found he was selling three tracts of land for a total of 121 acres. I was missing land deeds for two tracts of land (51 acres and 14 acres) acquired in December 1761.

My not being able to access the Maryland State Archives’ site for land deeds frustrated me so much that I put off the work of transcribing the two deeds I’d been able to access.

I went to the Facebook group Maryland Genealogy Network to ask members if they were having problems with the site. All who replied were US-based and were able to access the site. One of the members of the group offered to send me the missing deed(s).

I now have three deeds, each about three pages long. The transcriptions will be done later. For now, I will share the information I gleaned from reading the records.

Jacob HONOCOR acquires 56 acres in Frederick County, Maryland

An indenture dated 10 April 1758 shows Jacob HONOCOR acquired 56 acres in the county of Frederick in Maryland.1

The beginning of the 1758 Indenture courtesy of Maryland State Archives’ MDLANDREC.NET (see footnote 1)
  • Indenture: dated 10 April 1758
  • Grantor: Thomas Taylor, farmer, Frederick County
  • Grantee: Jacob Honocor, carpenter, Frederick County
  • Amount: …in consideration of the sum of twenty-five pounds…
  • Partial description: 56 acres…a part of a tract of land called the resurvey on part of Addition Hazell Thickett in the county afsd…
  • On the back of the deed was the following endorsement:
    Received this 16th day of March 1758 from Jacob Honocor 25 pounds.
  • Caleb Taylor, the wife of Thomas Taylor, acknowledged her consent
  • Alienation Fine: on 10 April 1758 John Darnell received from Jacob Honocor two shillings and three pence sterling as an alienation fine on the 56 acres of Land by Order of Edward Loyd Esqr. Agent of His Lordship the Right Honourable the Lord Proprietary of Maryland
  • Clerk: John Darnell – witnessed the deed, the endorsement, and duty paid the same day

Jacob HONOCOR acquires 51 acres and 14 acres in Frederick County

An indenture dated 3 December 1761 shows Jacob HONOCOR acquired 65 acres in the county of Frederick in Maryland.2

The beginning of the 1761 Indenture courtesy of Maryland State Archives’ MDLANDREC.NET (see footnote 2)
  • Indenture: dated 3 December 1761
  • Grantor: Thomas Taylor, farmer, Frederick County
  • Grantee: Jacob Honocor, carpenter, Frederick County
  • Amount: eighteen pounds
  • Partial description: 51 acres…a part of a tract of a resurvey on Mount Pleasant
  • Partial description: 14 acres…another parcel of land of part of a resurvey on Addition to Hazell Thickett
  • On the back of the deed was the following endorsement:
    Received this 3rd day of December 1761 from Jacob Honocor 18 pounds.
  • Caleb Taylor, the wife of Thomas Taylor, acknowledged her consent
  • Alienation Fine: on 3 December 1761 John Darnell received from Jacob Honocor two shillings seven pence half penny sterling as an alienation fine on the 65 acres of Land by Order of Edward Loyd Esqr. Agent of His Lordship the Right Honourable the Lord Proprietary of Maryland
  • Clerk: John Darnell – witnessed the deed, the endorsement, and duty paid the same day

Jacob HONNICOR parts with 121 acres in Frederick County

An indenture dated 25 March 1765 shows Jacob HONOCOR did “give, grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeoff and confirm unto” Frederick Eyson 121 acres in the county of Frederick in Maryland.3

The beginning of the 1765 Indenture courtesy of Maryland State Archives’ MDLANDREC.NET (see footnote 3)
  • Indenture: dated 25 March 1765
  • Grantor: Jacob Honnicor, carpenter, Frederick County
  • Grantee: Frederick Eyson, blacksmith, Frederick County
  • Amount: one hundred and twenty-eight pounds fifteen shillings
  • Partial description: 56 acres…a part of a tract of land called the resurvey on part of Addition Hazell Thickett
  • Partial description: 51 acres…a part of a tract of a resurvey on Mount Pleasant
  • Partial description: 14 acres…another parcel of land of part of a resurvey on Addition to Hazell Thickett
  • Signature: the facsimile of the signature reads: Jacob Honeger
  • On the back of the deed was the following endorsement:
    Received this 20th day of March 1765 from Frederick Eison one hundred and twenty-eight pounds fifteen shillings
  • Mary, the wife of Jacob Honnicor, acknowledged her Right of Dower and consent
  • Alienation Fine: on 25 March 1765  Frederick Eysen paid four shillings ten pence half penny sterling as an alienation fine on the 121 acres of Land by Order of Edward Loyd Esqr. Agent of His Lordship the Right Honourable the Lord Proprietary of Maryland
  • Clerk: J. W. Darnell – witnessed the deed, the endorsement, and duty paid the same day

What is an alienation fine and did Jacob own the land?

Maryland was governed under the proprietary system that gave ownership of the soil and jurisdiction over it to the Lord Proprietor. New settlers paid purchase or caution money for the land. In the early days, caution money was at first set at 200 pounds of tobacco for every hundred acres. Land acquired was not owned. It was held in common socage from the Lord Proprietor. Whenever land granted to a tenant was transferred or conveyed to another person, an alienation fine was required to be paid to the Lord Proprietor. The amount of the fine usually was equivalent to a year’s rent.4

I had not planned on doing a second part to the story of Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GÖTZ. However, I wanted to share these land records with other HONAKER descendants. Although I haven’t included full images or complete transcriptions of the records, the footnotes contain enough information to look up the records.

As I was finishing up to this post I received a reply from the MSA Helpdesk. It was pure luck on my part that I was able to access the site last week as out-of-country access to MDLANREC has been restricted due to security concerns.  

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. MDLandRec.Net – A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland (database with images), Maryland State Archives, Annapolis (online http://mdlandrec.net/), MSA CE 108-3, Frederick County Court (Land Records) 1756-1761, Deed Book F, folio 0429-0431 [3 images]. 1858 Land Deed for 56 acres. (http://mdlandrec.net/main/index.cfm : accessed 28 January 2020). 
  2. Ibid., MSA CE 108-4, Frederick County Court (Land Records) 1761-1762, Deed Book G, folio 0321 to 0323 [3 images]. 1761 Land Deed for two tracts of land, 51 acres and 14 acres. (http://mdlandrec.net/main/index.cfm : accessed 4 February 2020). 
  3. Ibid., MSA CE 108-6, Frederick County Court (Land Records) 1763-1767, Deed Book J, folio 1100-1102 [3 images]. 1765 Land Deed for three tracts of land totaling 121 acres. (http://mdlandrec.net/main/index.cfm : accessed 28 January 2020). 
  4. Elisabeth Hartsook, Gust Skordas, Land Office and Prerogative Court records of colonial Maryland (Annapolis, Maryland : Hall of Records Commission, 1946); imaged, FamilySearch  (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/146058?availability=Family%20History%20Library : accessed 6 February 2020) > “Land Office and Prerogative Court records of colonial Maryland” catalog entry > “click here” > “View All Pages 127 pages.” > page 13. 

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

13 thoughts on “The Ancestors: Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ (Part II)”

  1. Cathy, I love how even the slightest hiccup or the biggest wall doesn’t prevent you from “casting your genie net” across generations to at least catch the slightest morsel. Currently working on my next post, after which if you need any assistance with MDLandRec, let me know. Thanks, Brian

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For you, the master transcriber, to describe handwriting as “diificult” says a lot. I don’t know how you do it. And “security” reasons? What could possibly be related to security in that database? What a sad world we live in. But brava to you for finding a way to get them anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amy, as with all new records, I have to get used to the handwriting. It gets easier as I work with them. But these land deeds go on and on with legal terms and phrases I was not familiar with. Also, I did not want to guess on the important part of the deed with the description of the lines. I found an example of a MD land record transcription online which will help with the legal phrases as I decipher these.

      When you go into the MdLandRec, the main search engine takes you to 1964 to present land records. For the older records you need to dig a bit deeper by going to the indices. I assumed that the access to present-day records might be a security concern.

      However, overnight I heard from a lady who visited the Maryland State Archives yesterday. She said several changes have been made due to security concerns. She wrote, “It was quite stressful today as they don’t have all the problems figured out yet. They have completely change how you look up information.” I suspect I ran across the problem before they could advise patrons. Hopefully they will release a statement concerning the changes.

      I still cannot believe I was lucky enough to get in to get two of the three records AND was sent the third a very short time after giving the information on the missing record. Thank you, Amy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How very sad that our world has come to a point where we have to worry so much about security. Understandable, but still so sad. I am just glad you got to see what you most wanted to see. (And so much for security if you managed to get in when you weren’t supposed to!)

        No matter how much I try to read the old German script, it still looks like chicken scratches to me. I usually can pick out the names and the words typically used (geboren, for example), but when I want to read the dates or any marginal comments—I am lost.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My initial thought as I was reading and learned you were having trouble accessing the site was ‘oh maybe I could look it up’ and then was thrilled to read you had reached out and gotten in …. of course you had 🙂 I have never had to look for land deeds as my ancestors were way to recent and city dwellers but I sure enjoy reading your post and also sharing with my daughter for her research with her husbands family!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy. I’m so glad you were able to get those deeds. I continually tell other genealogists that Facebook groups that are location based for genealogy, can be gold mines. I can’t tell you how many records I’ve had shared with me, from New York to Washington state.
    I’m another who will do a lookup for you any time you need

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diane, I have some favorite groups where I share my posts. Often descendants of a common ancestor will offer their help if needed. I was surprised by the number of people in the Maryland Genealogy Network group who were trying to help and offered to look up for me as it is a group I have only silently followed. Genealogists are the best! I’ll add you to my list of looker-uppers. 😉

      Like

  5. Came across your post on Jacob Honocor. I had mapped the area for the tracts listed and decided to see how Jacobs land would fit in. I then placed them on Google Earth with excellent results. The old 1765 property lines are still visible. The land sits on the west side of Rt. 180 and Elmer Derr Road just southwest of Frederick MD. Do you have another email I can send you the Google Earth view and related documentation ?

    Like

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