How Jail Time Solved the Mystery of Samuel Muncy’s Wife

For many years it had been thought that Mary Skidmore was the wife of Samuel Muncy. This was published in several prominent publications, including “The Descendants of Francis Muncy I with Allied Families,” by Mary Edith Shaw, (1948) and “Early Settlers of Lee County, Virginia and Adjacent Counties,” Vol.II, by Hattie Byrd Muncy Bales (1977). Shaw’s book is less definitive saying that “Samuel’s wife was Mary…No records have been found of Mary’s family. The descendants of Holton Muncy were told that his mother was a Skidmore.” Bales, however, says “Samuel Muncy (son of Francis II and Abigail) married Mary Skidmore, a cousin, according to family tradition.” And so this tradition gained acceptance and was widely promulgated as fact. The problem is that it is wrong.

We know this because of a fascinating story of the experience of Samuel Muncy being grabbed by by authorities and thrown in jail.

In 2001, John C. Carter posted a reference to the Pennsylvania Archives on rootsweb, telling this story.

Pennsylvania Archives
First Series – Volume 1
page 401-402

Deposition of Sam’l Moncey, 1733

Samuel Moncey of Murther Kill Hundred [Murderkill Hundred] in the County of Kent, on Delaware, Planter, being solemnly sworn on the holy Evangelists maketh oath. That on the second Day of April last, three Persons to this Deponent then unknown, but whose names he has since been informed are Jacob Heynman, Peter Rich and William Underling, came to his House about the time of the Sun’s setting, told him they had mistook their Road; desir’d him to go a mile or two with them to set them right, and promised him a Pistol for his Trouble; whereupon this Deponent agreed to go; But when He had rode about a mile with them, instead of performing their Promise, they violently seiz’d upon him, and carried him by Force to Cambridge Goal in the County of Dorset, in the Province of Maryland, which is about eighty miles from this Deponent’s House, and would not suffer him to eat or drink on the Road, when they themselves did. As soon as this Deponent arriv’d there which was about one of the Clock after noon the next Day, (having rode all night.) He was put in Irons and detain’d there one Week; after which he was carried to Annapolis and put in Goal there among the Criminals that were confin’d for House breaking and coining of Money; allow’d nothing but the bare Ground to lye on, and loaded with more Irons than He had at Cambridge, which were continued upon him untill He was bailed out, which was not till after He had been imprison’d there six Weeks and three Days. And this Deponent further sayeth that He was allowed only such coarse and scanty Provission, that had it not been for the Kindness of Charles Carrol, Esqr, He believes He should have been almost starved. And further this Deponent sayeth that neither before his Confinement in Cambridge Goal, nor on his Removal thence to Annapolis and Confinement there, was He ever examined touching any Facts laid to his Charge, nor was He ever made acquainted with the Cause of his Commitment, or saw any Warrant or Precept for it. And further this Deponent sayeth not.

The 2nd deposition from William Daugherty not only affirms Samuel Muncy’s deposition, but clarifies the last name of Samuel’s wife Mary.

Pennsylvania Archives
First Series – Volume 1
page 440

The Deposition of William Daugharty, taken before John Housman, Esq. and one of his Majesty’s Justices of Peace in ye County of Kent on Delaware.

William Daugharty aged Forty six or thereabouts, being sworn on ye Evangelist of Allmighty God, Saith yt on Tuesday ye second day of April last, hearing his son in Law Samuel Monsie was decoyed out of his county into Dorsett County, Maryland, by Jacob Hinman, under Sherief of same county, and Two other men, viz. Peter Rich and William Underlin, of said County, and yt he heard his son was taken down to Cambridge Goal; upon which he this Deponent with said Monsie’s wife went down to Cambridge Goal on ye fifth of the same month, to know ye cause of his commitment, and to carry him some Cloaths and other necessarys to support him; at which time he this Deponent found his son in Law Samuel Monsie in said Goal hand Cuffed with Irons., which the deponent saith prevented his putting on Cloaths yn very necessary and yt John Cullings, who was yn Goaler, would not allow him, This deponent, To have any converse with his son in Law, but when he was present, & would not allow him this deponent to goe further yn ye entrance of ye Doors, and further this deponent Saith yt his son in Law Samuel Monsie yn complained much of yt ye Irons very much hurt him, Especially his Right Arm, and yn this deponent requested said Cullings, Goaler, To Take those irons off, and to putt on Bigger for Monsies ease, and yt said Cullin replyed itt not Lye in his power to take ym off, untill he had orders from Mr. Tripp, ye high Sherief and further Saith not.


William X Daugharty


Kent Co, Delaware
Jurat Coram Me,
August ye 24, 1733


Before we condemn Samuel Muncy for some heinous crime, we should be aware that there were land boundary disputes between Maryland and Pennsylvania and Delaware. Delaware and Pennsylvania were closely aligned, both being proprietorships of Penn and his descendants. Delaware and Pennsylvania shared the same governor. Kent County, Delaware paid property taxes to Delaware, but some land were contested. It is likely that the dispute that landed Samuel Muncy in jail was for failure to pay taxes to Maryland on contested lands or possibly a case of mistaken identity.


We now know that the name of Samuel Muncy’s wife was Mary Daugherty, not Mary Skidmore.

September 2019 Update

Changes During the Month

Nine new registered users for the Muncy Family Database were added in August. That’s a record number of new registrations. Thirty-Five photos were added and over one hundred changes were made to individual and family records in the database

New Group Added to William Muncy Descendants

We welcome the descendants of James and Esther (Clark) Muncy of New York into the Muncy Family Database. We have known about James Muncy and his New York descendants for some time, but it has been difficult to connect them to either Francis or William Muncy. However, a review of William Muncy’s descendants shows that William’s gg grandson, David Munsey, had at least five sons who were raised in Stafford County, New Hampshire. All of these sons — except Daniel — remained in New Hampshire and raised their families. However, Daniel moved into New York (Columbia County and later Oneida County). James was born about 1793 in New York, possibly Columbia County where his brother was born in 1791. This birth date coincides closely with the birthdates of sister Deborah (b. 1783 in Oneida County) and John (b. 1791 in Columbia County). There may well have been other children. While it is not proven that James Muncy is a descendant of William Muncy, no other logical candidates emerge at this early date in New York. Therefore the descendants of James Muncy of New York have been imported into the William Muncy database until evidence proves this is not where they belong. We continue to investigate this New York family and seek any additional information you may have!

New Database Tree Added

A new database tree “Unconnected Muncy Lines” has been added to allow updating of individuals records and families of those lines that have not yet been connected to Francis or William Muncy. When using the “All Trees” selection in searching, the unconnected lines database will also be searched.


One feature of the Muncy Family Database (MFD) that has not been widely implemented is “Albums.” An Album is a grouping of media. An Album can include any number of media, and any particular media item can belong to multiple Albums. Like individual Media, Albums can be linked to People, Families, Sources, Repositories or Places.

So what specifically can be included in Albums? Obviously, family photos come immediately to mind. These can include photos of family members or photos of headstones, old homes and buildings, etc. Also included in Albums can be links to family groupings and family documents. A PDF file (or photo) of a family Bible or important family letters might be great items to include. Another item that can be useful in a family Album are maps showing the location of various homesteads.

I have included one Album as a sample of what can be done with this useful feature. The “Levi N. Muncy Descendants” Album is available to review by selecting the “Album” option in the left menu item. This Album is limited at present, but it can give you ideas on what can be done with the Album feature.

Expansion of Albums is up to you. What kind of family album do you want for your family, and what information do you have that should be added. Don’t worry – I will set it up for you, but you need to determine the extent of the imformation to be included and who should be included in your album. Just send me an email expressing interest, or use the contact us form and we’ll get started!