Monday, October 7, 2013

Mappy Monday - Hawkins Pharsalia, Queen Anne's County, Maryland

I've been working my way through land and probate records for my Councill family and a tract of land called Hawkin's Pharsalia keeps coming up. It was part of the estate of John Council sold for his five sons by a Land Commission when John died without a will. It was also part of the estate of Henry Counsil passed down to his son John. John then passed his share on to his sons Edward Carey, Samuel, and James Council.

I was curious about where this section of land was located and the history behind it. The Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties has a nice document on the house that was located in Queen Anne's County on Hawkins Pharsalia. Thanks to Karen S. for reminding me about this! This is an excerpt from document QA-92:

According to the document, the original tract of land was 2500 acres and was patented by John Hawkins. That explains half of the name! Interesting too, that the house was owned by the Baynards at one point since I think they may be linked to my Councill family.

The document also included a map of the house's location in Queen Anne's County:

Just above the property location, there is a Council Road. This land is to the east of the land my Francis Councill owned, but I believe he may have been one of John Council's five sons that sold their share of Hawkins Pharsalia.

The Republican Star of Easton, MD had a notice of part of the property for sale in 1802. The owner's name wasn't given, but the tenant was Isaac Baggs. One of Henry Counsil's daughters was Martha Baggs, but I don't know if that was her husband.

The Republican Star also had a notice of property taxes that were past due in 1811. The notice included taxes due by Edward Council's heirs for Hawkin's Pharsalia from 1807-1810. Of course, this has me wondering who Edward Council's heirs were, so I'm adding that to my list to investigate. This may be the same Edward that inherited part of the tract owned by John Council, the son of Henry.

One final thing I had to look up... What does Pharsalia mean?  According to Wikipedia, The Pharsalia is a Roman epic poem by the poet Lucan, telling of the civil war between Julius Caesar and the forces of the Roman Senate led by Pompey the Great. The poem's title is a reference to the Battle of Pharsalus, which occurred in 48 BC, near Pharsalus, Thessaly, in northern Greece.


  1. I am the current owner\caretaker of Hawkins Pharsalia. The state says that the house was built in 1760, however it could possibly be earlier as the Will of 1745 States that he leaves his “now plantation” to his wife. This is the only property that I know of in the state of Maryland that has an original Lord Baltimore land-grant in 1695 that has been continuously lived in.

    If you’re ever in the area, would love to show you around your family’s homestead.


    There’s very little information

    1. Thanks Bruce! I think the original land called Hawkins Pharsalia was broken up into smaller parcels as it was passed down and sold. I have several land records of my Councill family selling (and sometimes buying) sections of it. One of my Councell cousins has researched the location of the Councill/Councell estate and doesn't think it is the same as the current house bearing the name.

      I need to post an update with some of the info I've gathered since writing this post. Several people have contacted me about their ancestors owning parts of Hawkins Pharsalia, so it's been an interesting piece of land to research.

      I'd love to see the property if I ever make it up there, so I really appreciate the offer! I would think the Councill land must've adjoined your property at some point or was at least close to it. Thanks for commenting!