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.

Leave a Reply