State of Maryland Montgomery County—
I do hereby relinquist all my claims & interest to the administration on the Estate of John ONeale late of Montgomery County deceased and recommend to your honor Solomon Davis as a proper person for said administration as Witnefs my hand & seal this 14th day of June 1817. 
Eliza H. ONeale (seal)

To the Honorable the judges of the Orphans Court for Montgy. County

Test Mary A. ONeale

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I Eliza ONeale widow of John ONeale late of Montgomery County deceased do hereby renounce and quit all claim to any bequest or Devise made to me by the last will of my Husband, exhibitd and proved according to Law, and I elect to take in leave thereof my Dower or legal shares of the Estate of my said Husband.  Winnefs my hand this Eighteenth day of September 1817.   

Eliza H. ONeale (seal)

Witnefs B. O Don____

To Solomon Holland Esquire Register of Wills for Montgomery County.

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Know all men by these presents, That we Solomon Davis, John Sprigg and Francis Jamison of Montgomery County, are held and freely bound to the State of Maryland in the sum of Six Thousand dollars current money, to be paid to the State aforesaid, or its certain attorney to which payment will and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and severally firm by these presents sealed with our seals and dated this first day of September in the year of our Lord one Thousand eight hundred and eighteen.  The condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bounded Solomon Davis shall well and truly perform the office of administratior with the will annexed of John ONeale late of Montgomery County, deceased, according to Law, and shall in all respects discharge the duties of him _____ and by Law as administrator aforesaid without any injury or damage to any persons interested in the faithful performance of the said office, then the above obligation shall be void, it is otherwise to be in full force and virtue in Law.

Solo. Davis (seal) John Sprigg (seal) Francis Jamison (seal)

Signed, Sealed and delivered

In the presence of

Solo. Holland


To find out what happened to Eliza Henrietta Hamilton O'Neale, widow of John O'Neale, and their children,  we need to take a close look at this family.......

Background Information

The first O’Neale to live in what was to become Montgomery County was William O’Neale who patented a 100 acre tract of land called "The Wheel of Fortune" in October 1747, this tract was southeast of the present city of Rockville*.

William and his wife Eleanor Ball had a large family.**

One of their sons, Lawrence O'Neale and his wife Henrietta Neill (Neale) had four children, Henry, John, Mary Ann, and Eleanor. Before 1800, the family probably lived on a tract of land called "Token of Love" near William O'Neale's property. After 1810, they were living in the Poolesville area**.

*Confirmed in Maryland Land Records, Book BT & BY 3, p. 174, Montgomery County, Maryland.

**ROSE O’NEALE GREENHOW, CONFEDERATE SPY By Mary Charlotte Crook, who got her info from Jane Sween, Montgomery County Historical Society and Librarian, Sween Library, Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland.

*** Census Records and Deed-4/1/1809-Montgomery County, Maryland. Laurence O'Neale purchased 89 acres w/ plantation, Aix-La-Chapelle from John Poole, Jr. (Poolesville named after this family)

The O'Neale's in 1800 Census records for Lawrence O'Neale in 1800 shows: <>
males > 45=1, (Lawrence)
females 10-16=1 (Eleanor)
females 16-26=1 (Mary Ann)
females > 45=1 (Henrietta)
Slaves = 28
Source: Census Year: 1800 State: Maryland County: Montgomery Reel no: M32-11 Division: Second District

John was abt 17 years old in 1800 and not living with his parents.

Census records for Henry O'Neale in 1800 shows:
males 16-18=1, (Brother John*)
males > 45=1, (Henry)
females 26-45=1, (Cousin Ann O'Neale Joy**)
Slaves = 7
Source: Census Year: 1800 State: Maryland County: Montgomery Reel no: M32-11 Division: Second District

*John was abt 17 years old in 1800 and does not show up in the Montgomery or Prince George's County Census. I believe this is him in his brother's house.

**In 1817 when Henry died he left an inheritance to his Cousin, Ann, who, according to his will was living with him. This leads me to believe that the female living in his household in 1800 was Henry's cousin, Ann O'Neale Joy.

The O'Neale's in 1810

The 1810 Montgomery County Census is lumped together as "Unknown" Townships.
A few early pages are in alphabetical order with Henry Oneal listed.

Henry Oneal
male 45+=1; Henry
female 45+=1., Cousin, Ann O'Neale. 

1810 Montgomery County Census: 
Lawrence Oneal:
males 26-44=1, Unknown
45+=1; This was Laurence O'Neale
females 16-25=2, This would be one of Lawrence's daughters and another unknown female, perhaps the spouse of the unknown male.
45+=1; This was Henrietta Maria Neale O'Neale

In 1810, Lawrence and Henrietta O'Neale were still living in their home in Rockville, with one of their 2 spinster daughters and an unknown  middle aged male. Lawrence and Henrietta had not yet moved to their new home, Aix La Chapelle" in Poolesville. 

In January, 1810 John O'Neale shows up in Prince George's County, marrying Eliza Henrietta Hamilton. Later that year he shows up on the Montgomery County Census, along with his new wife, Henrietta Hamilton O'Neale and John's sister.

1810 Montgomery County Census
O'Neale. Jn Oneal of Law,
male16-25=1; (John O'Neale)
female 16-25=1; (Henrietta Hamilton O'Neale)
all other free persons=1; (Sister*)

I believe this female was John's sister, based on an article written (Unpublished) by John Wootten, and residing in the Montgomery County Historical Society, in Rockville, Maryland. In it, he writes;

"About the close of the last war with Great Britain** there lived in the western part of Montgomery County, Maryland in what was then called the Medley District, a good Catholic family by the name of O'Neal, consisting of one or more sisters, a brother, his wife and children."

**Wootten is referring to The War of 1812, often referred to as the last war with Great Britain

John apparently lived with his brother Henry while he built his home on Conclusion. The fact that John shows up in the 1810 census combined with the numerous properties he accumulated in Montgomery County suggests there was some time and effort involved in establishing himself before marrying. Also, the fact that his fifth daughter shows up being born in 1816 in St Peter's Church records strongly suggests that all of John's children were actually born in Montgomery County.

Note: St Mary's Church did not begin keeping records until the end of 1815, explaining why they had no records for John's children before 1815.

The O'Neale's in 1820

In 1820 Laurence O'Neale was deceased, leaving Henrietta at "Aix La Chapelle" in Poolesville.
In 1820 Henry O'Neale was deceased, leaving no issue.
In 1820 John O'Neale was deceased. 
In John's will, he left instructions for his children's care.
He mentioned Francis Jamison as guardian if his wife remarried. Census records indicate that Eliza and children were not living with him in 1820.
He named Richard Lyles as their guardian if Eliza did not remarry. Census records indicate that Eliza and children were not living with him in 1820.
Eliza refused to administer John's will and named Solomon Davis as executor. Census records indicate that Eliza and children were not living with him in 1820.
They weren't with Henry because he was also deceased.
Eliza, his widow, was not at their home in 1820 or she would have shown up as head of household in the 1820 census. This means that Eliza and the children were living in another household.  In 1820 Lawrence O'neale is deceased and his wife Eliza H is now found living in the cottage at Poolesville, Aix La Chapel, which, incidentally, is close to the location of where John & Henry lived. The 2 spinster daughters of Lawrence are living with Henrietta. (This includes the one who was living with John in 1810.)
In addition, in 1820 we find yet another 16-26 year old woman and 3 girls under 10 years of age.

Could this be Eliza and 3 of her daughters? I think it was.

1820 Montgomery County Census, Election District 2:
Henrietta Neale O'Neale - (Widow of Laurence O'Neale, deceased in 1811)

<10yrs=3,        This could have been 3 of J. O'Neale's daughters, namely Susannah, Eleanor, Rose.
16-26yrs=3,      This is Eliza H, John's widow, and Henrietta's spinster daughters, Eleanor and Mary Ann..
45yrs + =1;      This is Henrietta Neale O'Neale
Slaves, males: <14yrs=10, 14-26yrs=2,26-45yrs+ =2;
Slaves, females:  <14yrs=8, 14-26yrs=4, 26-45yrs=1, 45yrs+=3. 

So, if John's widow and 3 of his five daughters were living with their paternal grandmother, where were the other two daughters?  How about with the maternal Grandmother?

In the 1820 Census of Prince George's County we find Susannah Blandford Hamilton living in the home of her deceased husband, Francis Hamilton. Their children were all adults at this time. One of their daughters was still living at home in 1820, but all their son had moved out. In addition there are two girls under ten years of age living with Susannah. These were most likely the other 2 daughters of John and Eliza.

1820 Census of Prince George County, Maryland
Francis & Susannah  Blandford Hamilton o
f  Prince George County, Maryland.  <>
under 10=2 Two of John O'Neale's children
16-26=1    This was Francis & Susannah Blandford Hamilton's daughter b abt 1800. Their son was moved out,
45+=1      This is the widow Susannah Blandford Hamilton
In 1820 Francis was deceased. (Died 1819 Acc to his Will)

Now think back to Wooten saying that John & Eliza had only 3 daughters. Of course, if they had 2 additional daughters living in Port Tobacco with Susannah Blandford Hamilton, Wooten probably would not have known that.
He also said the girls traveled back & forth to DC quite often. They were traveling back & forth to Aunt Maria's house in DC. They were meeting in the middle. This is where they met their sisters. Why travel clear to Port Tobacco to visit? Census records confirm that Henry V and Maria Hamilton Hill resided in DC in 1820. According to the newspaper article announcing their marriage Henry already lived in DC in 1816 when they married.

Ishbell Ross also says that the family was broken up and she claims they moved from Port Tobacco to Poolesville. I think she got the story slightly mixed up. They moved from Port Tobacco to Montgomery County before their daughters were born, not after John died. Records show that John & Eliza were indeed married in Port Tobacco, Prince George's County. Records indicate that they moved to Montgomery County after the marriage and bore a family of five. After John died, the daughters were split up, some residing with their paternal grandmother in Poolseville and some residing in Port Tobacco with their maternal grandmother.

Once the Hills began running the Old Capitol Boardinghouse about 1825 or after the sisters would meet there. As the girls became of sufficient age they probably were offered jobs as staff at the boardinghouse and remained there until they married. I get the feeling that they didn't move there to live as a group, but just sort of migrated there one by one. As older daughters moved to DC I think the younger girls probably took their place in Montgomery County. This would explain why the two youngest daughters married Montgomery County men.

Also, there are no records indicating which daughters may have lived in Montgomery County and which lived in Prince George's. Perhaps the girls stayed for awhile with one grandparent, then switched. This would explain Ishbel Ross's idea that the poor little orphan girls were shuffled around during their childhood.