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The Lanhams of Maryland and the District of Columbia

Compiled by Dr. Howard G. Lanham

The following site contains lists of primary source mentions of persons named Lanham living in the State of Maryland or the District of Columbia (once part of Maryland). It is not a genealogy as such since there are many mentions that might belong to one of several people with the same name and since many of the mentions give no clue to the relationship between the individual and other Lanhams. Please click on this link for introductory and background material.



  1. It was common in this period to jail debtors and by doing so create a classic "catch 22." Persons were to be jailed until they discharged their debts, but were unable to work and do so because they were in jail. Often the only solution was an Act of the Assembly, such as this one. However, it is not stated exactly why Jacob Lanham was in jail.
  2. It is not known for certain that the same John Lanham that settled in Prince George's County, Maryland. It is known that John Lanham served a period of time as an indentured servant and that Michael Ashford was his master. A typical period of indenture was four to six years. Michael Ashford is mentioned as being a resident of Charles Co., Maryland.
  3. The name Oxmantown refers to a suburb of Dublin, Ireland, originally called Ostmantown, because it was land on which a group of Vikings from the Ost or East had settled. In many cases land names are a clue to a person's origin, but it is unlikely that John Lanham was responsible for naming Oxmantown.
  4. It is likely these three are the oldest sons of John Lanham, the immigrant. We can document at least one other son who was born after 1697 and therefore does not appear in this record. I do not know at what age one might appear before the court and record a cattle and hog mark. Hunter Lanham was less than six years old at the time a hog and cattle mark was recorded for him. This agreement is significant in that is is taken as evidence that Ralph Shaw, Sr. may have been the father of Dorothy Lanham, wife of John Lanham. Either the things given to Lanham were to settle a debt or were viewed as the inheritance of Dorothy Lanham. For a discussion see-
    Who was the wife of John Lanham, the immigrant
  5. Oxmontown was originally patented on October 3, 1694 by John Lanham and William Hutchinson and was at the time in Charles County, Maryland (prior to establishment of Prince George's Co.). William Lanham,who witnessed the deed, was another son of John Lanham, Senior.
  6. This is the next to the last positively identified record of John Lanham, the immigrant. He would be about 84 at the time this deed was drawn. There is an undated depostion by John Lanham of Prince George's County Maryland, age about 90 years, appearing in Charles County, Maryland Ejectment Papers. This would have John Lanham alive about 1750.
  7. It is difficult to know just who this record concerns. It is possible that this is John Lanham, the immigrant. The last record establishing him as living dates from about 1750. However, there are no other records linking him with an Elizabeth Lanham. Might Dorothy have died and he remarried? The 1744 deed does not mention a living wife giving up her dower rights. If this is John Lanham the immigrant, then it is proof that he had a son named Edward. Might this be some other poorly documented Lanham family? For my money the jury is still out. Notice that John Lanham, Junior calls himself "Junior" in 1750 and "Senior" in 1763. Might this reflect his father's death between those dates? [Also see the above note.]
  8. This is John Lanham, son of the immigrant John Lanham. John appears to have assumed "Senior" by 1763 and his own son John "ye 3rd" predeceased him.
  9. I am uncertain just who this is and how he came to be in the Frederick Country, Maryland jail. In general these acts were to release people jailed as debtors and to be released only on payment of their debts. Often these people were unable to settle their accounts from prison and thus languished in jail. As of 1765 Frederick County still included what is now Montgomery County and several Lanham families had moved over from Prince George's Co. It is likely that this John Lanham was one of them.
  10. It is interesting just how vague and nonspecific an offical record can be. You find all of these vague "on or about", "age 45 and upwards" type mentions. In an often illiterate society people did not trouble themselves with specific details. Susanna Lanham did post a bond for John Lanham's estate with George M. Ward and Hezekiah Speake of Charles Co., Maryland. William Barry may be William Berry, who was born about 1776 and married Ann Trueman Beall (1780-1832).
  11. He generally appears as John W. Lanham (John William Lanham (1836-1893), son of Hanson Lanham.
  12. The majority of sources give his birth date as November 24, 1866. The Holy Trinity Records as a group seems to have a large number of errors or internal inconsistencies.
  13. There are no other mentions of a Jonas Lanham. John might be John, the immigrant and this record might establish that Edward was his son. If Jonas were Josias, he would be a grandson, son of Edward.
  14. Mentioned here are two heirs of Josias Lanham and Barbara Ringgold. Barbara's father, Major James Ringgold, was a wealthy and influential person. Other records document Josias Lanham died 1728 as a son. There are claims that Edward Lanham of Prince George's County was also a son, but if so I would think that he would also be mentioned in the petition as a third child [Detailed Discussion of Controversy].
  15. Charles Osbourn married Charity Ann Lanham, widow of Horatio Lanham, in 1825 and became the guardian of Horatio's son Josias Lanham. Horatio Lanham (died 1824) was the son of Josias Lanham (1728-1790). It appears that Charles Osbourn sued various individuals who were descended from Josias. Rezen Lanham, for example was the son of Solomon Lanham, who was one of Josias' children. Ann Lanham (born 1772), wife of Henry Barnes, was another daughter of Josias Lanham.

General Introduction to Site
Lanham Land Records