GOSNELL, William & Elizabeth

Cliff McCarthy, 2016

William Gosnell was the son of William and Sarah (Hills) Gosnell. One researcher gives his wife’s name as Elizabeth, but nothing is known about her.

William was first taxed in Soldier’s Delight Hundred in Baltimore County in 1737. Over time he would own several tracts of land in Baltimore Co., Maryland, including “William the Conqueror,” which he had surveyed at 100 acres in 1730, and “William’s Folly,” 81 acres in 1732. In March 1746, he purchased fifty acres of “Barnes Level” from Benjamin and Martha Barnes. On March 3, 1747, William Gosnell purchased twenty-five acres called “Long Valley,” from Samuel & Mary Whipps, for 8 pounds. In 1750, he acquired 81 acres of “William’s Fancy.”

Their daughter Avarilla (variously Abarilla, Aparillah, etc.) Gosnell was called before the Court in Baltimore County in June 1739 and charged with bastardy. The case was tried in March 1839/40* and it appears that Avarilla Gosnell had her first child out-of-wedlock with Nathan Rigbie. She pled guilty and agreed to pay a fine of 30 shillings, plus court costs. Her father agreed to indemnify Baltimore County in case the child became a financial burden to the county. Benjamin Buckingham married Avarilla Gosnell in about 1740. Certainly, this marriage would have pleased the court. However, Benjamin and Avarilla were first cousins. Benjamin’s mother, Hannah (Gosnell) Buckingham, was Avarilla’s father’s sister.

In 1742, William petitioned the court that his son Vachel Gosnell be levy free and the petition was granted. This may indicate some form of disability.

In his will, William, Jr. leaves two tracts of land to his son Zebediah — “William’s Folly,” 81 acres, and an addition to it of twelve acres. His wife’s name is not given in the will. Also in the will, dated February 3, 1759:

” … To each of my daughters Sara Stoxsdil, Abarilla Buckingham, and Rachel Baker, the sum of one shilling current money in full satisfaction for such part of my personal estate as they might otherwise have claimed having heretofore made such provision for them as I thought necessary. I give and bequeath my granddaughter. Rebeckah Gosnell, the sum of three pounds current money or a horse or mare of that value as she shall choose or be paid or given to her at day of her marriage or when she shall arrive at the age of sixteen which shall first happen.”

William died in 1762.


Children of William & Elizabeth GOSNELL

WILLIAM GOSNELL, JR. died 1762 in Baltimore Co., MD.  He married ELIZABETH Bef. 1752.  The Children of WILLIAM GOSNELL and ELIZABETH are:

i.    APARILLA GOSNELL, m. (1) NATHAN RIGBIE; m. (2) BENJAMIN BUCKINGHAM, SR., 1740; b. 12 March 1720/21, Anne Arundel Co., Maryland; d. Aft. 1796.
ii.    ZEBEDIAH GOSNELL, d. Bef. 29 August 1807.



  • Application of Dennis Frizzell Blizzard for Membership in the Sons of the American Revolution (National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, April 19, 1991, National # 91014).
  • Barnes, Robert W., Baltimore County Families 1659-1759, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1989.
  • Barnes, Robert, Baltimore County, Maryland Deed Abstracts, 1659-1750 (Family Line Publications, Westminster, MD, 1996).
  • Peden, Henry C., Jr., Bastardy Cases in Baltimore County, Maryland, 1673-1783 (Willow Bend Books, Westminster, MD, 2001).
  • Tracey Land Records, courtesy of Historical Society of Carroll County.
  • Will of William Gosnell (Jr.) (Baltimore Co., MD; dated 3 February 1759, probated 28 August 1762).
  • Will of William Gosnell (Sr.) (Baltimore Co., MD; dated 22 April 1710, probated 29 July 1710), Maryland Hall of Records.

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