Thursday, May 14, 2009

Search for Grand Dame of St. Clements Manor Underway

The Coltons Point Times, in honor of the historic Mary Land Grant and St. Clements Manor grant from 375 years ago, is acknowledging the right of the Mary Land colonists to establish an American nobility as authorized by King Charles II of England and Lord Baltimore.

As such we are designating the first title of colonial nobility in our modern history by undertaking a search for the Grand Dame of St. Clements Manor. In other words, we are searching for the woman with the strongest genealogy ties to the royalty represented by the colonists who first settled Maryland.

St. Clements Manor was first settled about March 3, 1634, with the landing of the Ark and Dove from England. There were three colonies set up by the English in America, the Jamestown Colony in 1608, Plymouth Colony in 1620 and the Maryland Colony in 1634. The first two were Joint Stock Companies while Maryland was a Proprietary Colony.

St. Mary's City is often considered the first chartered town in Maryland. Truth is there were no towns in Maryland until St. Mary's was chartered in 1668. However, there were many chartered Manors and St. Clements Manor was the first. It was settled in 1634 and chartered in 1636 as confirmed in a 1638 survey of the Manor. That makes St. Clements Manor one of the four earliest settlements in America.

The other three, Jamestown, Plymouth and St. Mary's City all were abandoned and dissolved in the 1690's which leaves St. Clements Manor ( Coltons Point and St. Clement Island) the oldest continuously occupied chartered settlement in English speaking America.

Now many of you may not know the extent of the royalty represented in the early colonists since we are such a laid back community in spite of being the oldest continuous settlement in the English speaking colonies of America. Well let me give you a few examples of how blue the blood flows. But first enjoy this photo of St. Clements Manor House after being rebuilt twice, on the shore overlooking the island.

Dr. Thomas Gerard, first Lord of St. Clements Manor, came from one of the most prominent Catholic families in English history. In fact long before the landing here in Maryland his family was actively working with George Calvert and other prominent Englishmen to secure a colony where the Catholics could be free to practice religion. Direct descendants of Gerard in modern times include Prince Charles of England and Princess Diana. Two of Gerard's daughters married John Washington, the great grandfather of our nation's father George Washington. One died so the other took her place.

Of course Gerard was not only among the most noble of Englishmen to come here, he was also among the most contentious which was a requirement for the feisty settlers of Coltons Point and the 7th District. To prove it this son of a most prominent Catholic family married a Protestant wife and raised his children as Protestants here in the Catholic colony.

In summary, there were a couple of boatloads of prominent people landing here at St. Clements Island and the founding fathers of Maryland were among them. To honor the rich colonial heritage we intend to find the Grand Dame of St. Clements Manor with the most direct connection to the original colonists.

photo of Lady Michelle

We have two early nominees for this highest of nobility honors here at St. Clements Manor and a thorough genealogy search will be needed to determine the ruling Grand Dame. However, all citizens of the area may submit other nominees along with information on why you think they qualify as the Grand Dame of St. Clements manor.

The early nominees are Lady Helen Blackiston-Dorsey and Lady Michelle Combs-Raditz. Lady Helen is from the Blackistone family whose patriarch married a daughter of Dr. Thomas Gerard back in the early days of the colony, 1669. Lady Michelle and her Combs family also go back to that time period as her family patriarch, Enoch Combs, bought land from the same Dr. Thomas Gerard around 1640.

Thorough research is underway to discover the ties to England and the English royalty of these Ladies and any other claims that may be submitted. We congratulate these noble blue bloods and look forward to our final crowning of the Grand Dame of St. Clements Manor. By the way you can see Lady Michelle at her Vintage Source Emporium and Social Club open this weekend. For details see and bring your money, the deals are the best in metropolitan DC.

Unfortunately, we need a photo of Lady Helen Dorsey and she seems to be missing. There have been no recent sightings of this reclusive blueblood since Obama got elected which may or may not have anything to do with it. However, when Lady Helen misses a fund raiser you know something is out of the ordinary and she has missed recent activities. Why she was even absent when her name was read at the 375th Maryland Day program at the St. Clements Island Museum, most certainly a grievous violation of her Dorsey family rules of etiquette.

Any sightings of Lady Helen should be reported to the CPT. Also, if you have any other nominations for the Grand Dame title besides Lady Michelle Combs-Raditz and Lady Helen Blackistone-Dorsey be sure to submit them. This is a very exclusive club.

1 comment:

JusiCain said...

I came across your posting while doing research and was not sure if you have concluded your research in this area.

If not, I have additional information available for you. While none of us live in Maryland at this time, our family does descend from Dr. Thomas Gerard, original Lord of St. Clement's Manor. He is my 11th Great-Grandfather. Also still living, is my sister, my mother, 3 Aunts, and 3 female cousins on the female side. On the male side we have my brother, one Uncle, 2 cousins and my Grandfather.

If you would like more details for your geneological research, please feel free to email me at

Justice Barrister Cain