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Charles County was created in 1658.
It was divided in, 1692, into four parishes:
Port Tobacco, William and Mary, Dur-
ham or Nanjemi, and Piscataway. The
original bounds of Durham Parish were as
follows; "Begining at Phillip Hoskins'
Quarter, thence with a straight line to the
head of Joseph Bullit's mill branch and
down the said branch to the Mattawoman
Creek to the mouth thereof, and down the
Potomac River to the mouth of Nanjemi
Creek or Avon River, and up said creek
or river to the head thereof, and thence to
Capt. Hookin's Quarter" These bounds
were afterwards changed.

The first land was taken up in the parish ap-
pears to have been a manor of - thou-
sand acres which was granted by Lord
Baltimore to Gov. Stone. It is described as
"lying west of Nanjemi Creek on the Poto-
mac." Tradition says that he was buried
on the manor, and a spot on the farm called
"Cherry Field" is still pointed out as
the grave of the old Colonial Governor.
"Durham was mainly a Church of England
settlement and for many a long year was
considered the aristocracy part of Charles
County." The estates must have been
very large, for in 1696, fourty years after
the creation of Charles County, we find
anly 175 taxables within the limits of Dur-
ham Parish. The population of the whole
county was then sparse, as in 1693 the
taxables of Charles were but little more
than 700, giving a population from 1500
to 2,000. Almost one third of these were
Roman Catholics.

In 1694 the Vestry of Durham Parish
reported to the Governor and Council that
there was a church (undoubtedly a log
building) but no rector. In 1696 the
Vestry consisted of the following: John
Stone, Joseph Manning, William Dent,
Wiliam Stone, Richard Harrison, and
Gerard Fowke. That same yearthe Rev.
George Tubman officiated here and in
Port Tobacco Parish. He remained in
charge until 1699 when he resigned. He
was succeeded in 1701, by the Rev.
Gabriel D'Emilliane who also had charge
of the two parishes, remaining two years.
Next came the Rev. John Frazier who
entered upon the joint rectorship of Dur-
ham and Port Tobacco which he held five
years retiring in 1709. During 1710 we
find the Rev. Edward Butler officiating in
these parishes. In 1711 the Rev. William
Macconchiee became rector of the two
parishes which he served until his death
in 1742, a period of thirty-one years.
"Parson Macconchie" was a very promi-
nent man in the community, and the lustre
of his fame has not yet become dim. There
is every reason to believe that he was a
good pastor of the old school. He owned
a very large landed estate which lay "on
the west side of the Nanjemi just south of
the road leading from Port Tobacco to the
Durham Parish Church. It was part of
the manor previously granted to Gov. Stone
and was on the east line of Durham Parish
between the two churches." Mr. Mac-
conchie died in February, 1742. In his
will, dated a few days before his death he
bequeathed his whole estate to his widow,
Mary, although he had children. He
showed his interest in his two parishes by
leaving L10 sterling to each one for Com-
munion plate. A son of his, William Mac-
conchie, was a Vestryman of Durham
Parish in 1776. His descendants still re-
side here, Mrs. Benton Barnes, Messrs.
James and Frank Brawner being his great,
great, great, grandchildren. Of these Mrs.
Barnes and Mr. Frank Brawner have their
homes upon a portion of the old family
estate. The venerated name is perpetuat-
ed by the Post Office of "Macconchie."
If the glory of children is in their fathers,
so also the mission of these children is to
be faithful to every trust committed to
them by their ancestors. May Parson
Macconchie's descendants ever be true to
the Apostlic Church which he served so
many years!

This rectorship will be ever memorable
from the fact that the Parish Church in
which we now worship, was erected while
he was in charge. It replaced the wooden
church which had probably become too
delapidated for further use. An Act of
Assembly was passed in 1732 (undoubted-
ly at the insistance of the Vestry) autoriz-
ing the building of a new church for which
a tax of 32,000 pounds of tobacco was


*The material for this sketch is obtained from Dr. Allen's M.S. History of Old Maryland Parishes, the Charles County Records, casual reference s in other Parish Records, the old Vestry Book whose records extend from 1772 to 1824, and from local tradition which I have found to be unusually full and accurate. I have also added some notes from other sources. Allen's History is invaluable to the student of our ecclisasstical annals, but his writing is so microscopic, and his
arrangement often times so puzzling, that it requires both time and patience to examine his MSS. All the Parish Records up to 1772 are lost.

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