Brumley Branches -Benjamin Nichols- Oath of Fidelity

Maryland Continental Infantry soldier

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

NAME: Benjamin Nichols
COUNTY: Montgomery County
TOWNSHIP: No Township Listed
YEAR: 1778
RECORD TYPE: Fidelity Oath
DATABASE: MD Early Census Index

Source Information: Maryland, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1772-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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.

This database contains indexes to the Maryland (U.S.A.) portions of the 1790-1860 U.S. Federal Censuses as well as indexes to the 1840 Pensioners Lists, 1850-1860 Slave Schedules, 1890 Naval Veterans, and other early censuses. Information contained in these indexes can include name, state, county, township, year of record, and name of record set.

Maryland Soldiers  1775-1778




Brumley Branches – Reuben Nichols Family

 Reuben Nichols

Reuben Nichols 

Brumley Branches – my Great-Great-Great Grandfather Reuben Nichols was born to Simon Nichols and Margaret “Peggy” Mitts on August 14, 1805 in Curry Run, Harrison, Kentucky. Reuben was 21 years old and Peggy was only 16 years old. Simon and Peggy had a large family and Reuben’s other siblings were Nancy Mitts, Comfort, Martha, Christopher Ninion, John, Solomon P., Benjamin Jackson, Mary, George W., Thomas Jefferson and Susannah Nichols.

On April 19, 1827 he married Mary Nancy Skirvin in Gallatin, Kentucky and they started their family;

Children born in born in the Grant County, Kentucky area were as follows;

Simon Nichols born on December 14, 1827

James Harvey Nichols born on October 18, 1829

Mary Jane Nichols born December 3, 1831

John Clayton “Jackson” Nichols born April 14, 1834

Sometime between April 1834 to 1836 the family moved from Dry Ridge, Grant, Kentucky to Quincy, Adams, Illinois and the following children were born;

William Henry Nichols born October 12, 1836

George Thomas Nichols born January 28, 1839

Francis Marion Nichols born January 9, 1841

Rebecca Margaret Nichols born June 18, 1843

When they arrived in Missouri it is said they took up Government Land along with other families from Kentucky. These were some the first settlers in the county, where the closet neighbors were 25 miles apart.

Reuben’s family moved again by oxen and settled near Williamstown in Clark County, Missouri where the following children were born;

Louisa Susan Nichols born February 28, 1846

Nancy Ann Nichols born March 4, 1849

Sarah Elizabeth Nichols born May 17, 1851

In 1860 the Missouri Census says they lived in Union, Clark County, Missouri where Reuben was listed as a farmer. The Civil War broke out, after they had accumulated a nice home and schools were built. Reuben homesteaded a section and a half of land. The closest schoolhouse was the Jim Young School but there were no school laws at that time and the children had to work, when they were old enough so many of the children did not get an education.

In 1870 the Missouri Census shows Reuben and Nancy living in Williamstown, Clark County, Missouri and Louisa S. Nichols and Zachariah Skirvin was living with them at the time.

In 1880 the Missouri Census shows they still are living in Union, Clark County, Missouri but their niece Martha Nichols and her two children Lotta and Arthur Nichols are residing with them.

Reuben and Nancy died within days of each other – Reuben Nichols died on December 7, 1888 and his wife Nancy Skrivin Nichols died on December 10, 1888. They both were buried in the Nichols Family Cemetery on their farm 5 miles N.E. of Williamstown in Clark County, Missouri. The obituary from the newspaper states; “Died at their home near Williamstown, Rueben was 83 years old and Nancy was 79 years old. They were born in Kentucky but have lived here in Clark County about 40 years. They had been members of the Baptist Church for many years. They leave seven children to mourn their loss, four having preceded them ‘over the river’.” “We will miss their cheerfulness, kindness and help along the road of life, but there are two more in heaven and that will give us a greater longing to be there.”

Their log house stood on the North side of the road-West of Pearl Mitts house and N.E. of Nancy Mitts house. The burial ground was west of their house and stood on Nancy’s land. A fence divided Frank Nichols’ and Nancy’s land. Frank’s house is North 3/5 of a mile. An oat tree grows in the middle of the plat. A wild Red Rose was planted beside Reuben and Nancy’s stones; it multiplied and climbed up the posts.

Some of this information came from notes by Sarah Ann “Sallie” Nichols LaBonte.

Reuben Nichols Family Cemetery

 Reuben Nichols Family Farm Cemetery in Clark County, Missouri