Somerset County MDGenWeb

Geanquakin, Maryland

This article, by Pauline M. Batchelder, appeared in Vol. 1 No. 2 of the Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society's newsletter, "More From The Shore" in the Fall of 1982.

West of Oriole, Somerset County, lies Geanquakin Creek. It empties into the north side of the Manokin River between St. Peter's Creek on the east and Broad Creek on the west. The land near the creek is marshy or forested, and uninhabited almost to the Deal Island Road, a mile and a half north. But at one time there was a thriving village there, which took its name from the creek.

Among the early landholders in the area where the village later developed was Peter ELZEY (d. 1716), one of the first settlers of Somerset County, who acquired St. Peter's Neck, between Geanquakin and St. Peter's Creeks, and Ephraim WILSON (1664-1733), who later owned land at the head of Jeangaukin Neck.

Geanquakin (also spelled Genngaukin and various other ways) was one of several little towns in the vicinity supporting a boat-building industry. A noted skipjack builder of the early part of this century was William A. NOBLE, a resident of Geanquakin.

Although there is now some disagreement over the precise location of Geanquakin, the 1877 map of the Dames Quarter District shows a number of homes clustered around the head of Geanquakin Creek and scattered along a little road leading westward from near Oriole (then called St. Peters) almost to Broad Creek and then north to the Deal Island Road. There was a Methodist Church near the bend of the road. A number of family names still well-represented in western Somerset County are shown in this area - MUIR, BOZMAN, WINDSOR, PARKS, BEDSWORTH, WATERS, WHITE and others.

Gradually during this century the families left, until finally all the houses were abondoned and the entire area returned to wilderness. According to Marion Hall, historian of the Oriole area, old water pumps can still be seen where the houses once stood.

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