Brumley Branches – Benjamin Nichols, Sr. My 5th Great-Grandfather was born to Reuben Nichols and Elizabeth Stump about 1747 in Montgomery, Montgomery, Maryland. He married Comfort Vanderbilt in 1768 in Maryland and they raised seven children; Thomas H, Prudence Jane, George, Benjamin, Jr., Ninian, Simon and Solomon Issac Nichols.
Oaths of Fidelity or Oaths of Allegiance, 1775-1778 from the Maryland Historical Society states the reasoning for this oath.
The Oath of Fidelity was instituted by Laws of Maryland 1777, Chapter 20, and An Act for the Better Security of Government. Every free male 18 years and older was required to subscribe to an oath renouncing the King of England and to pledge allegiance to the revolutionary government of Maryland. Those already engaged in military service were assumed to be loyal. Quakers, Mennonites, and Dunkards were permitted to affirm. There were several penalties associated with failure to obey the instructions of the ACT. Magistrates neglecting to keep books and transmit them to the Governor were to be fined 500 pounds. Persons expected to take the oath who did not do so were required, for the rest of their lives, to pay triple the ordinary tax on real and personal property. They were forbidden to exercise and practice the trade of merchandise or to practice the law, physic or surgery, or the art of an apothecary, or to preach or teach the gospel, or to teach in public or private schools, or to hold or exercise within this state, any office of profit or trust, civil or military, or to vote at any election of electors or senators, or of delegates to the house of delegates. Oaths were to be administered by the magistrates of each county before March 1, 1778. One list of those who subscribed to the oath was to be kept at the county court and another sent to the governor and Council in Annapolis. The lists from various sources have been consolidated into this collection. This collection consists of documents containing lists of those residents of the respective counties of the State of Maryland who subscribed to the oath before a magistrate and oaths submitted to the Governor and Council.
Maryland, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1772-1890
Ancestry.com. Maryland, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1772-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.
Original data: Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. Maryland Census, 1772-1890. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.