Honorable Capt. John Dorsey of "Hockley-in-the-Hole"
(Abt 1645-1715)
Pleasance Ely
(Abt 1660-Bef 1734)
Captain Richard Warfield
Elinor Browne
Caleb Dorsey of Hockley in the Hole [son of Capt. John]
Elinor Warfield
Caleb Dorsey Jr. of "Belmont"


Family Links

1. Priscilla Hill

Caleb Dorsey Jr. of "Belmont" 1 2 3

  • Born: 18 Jul 1710, St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States)
  • Marriage (1): Priscilla Hill on 10 Feb 1735
  • Died: 28 Jun 1772, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States) at age 61
  • Buried: "Belmont", Anne Arundel (Howard), Maryland, (United States)

  Research Notes:

From the Maryland Historical Society
Caleb Dorsey Account Book
Caleb Dorsey (1710-1771) was Capt. Charles Ridgely's father-in-law, and also an iron master. His account book (1733-1760) includes accounts of dry goods purchased and drafts of letters sent. Some letters discuss pig iron and the Elkridge Iron Works of which he was part owner.

From Wikipedia - Charles Ridgely II. :
6. Capt. Charles Ridgely III "Charles The Mariner" (1733-1790), builder of "Hampton ", who married Rebecca Dorsey (1738-1812), daughter of Caleb Dorsey, Jr. (1710-1772) and Priscilla Hill (1718-1782)."

From Inhabitants of Baltimore County 1763-1774, pp. 23-24:


"The following is a list of letters remaining in the Post Office in Baltimore Town on July 18, 1766 as published in the Maryland Gazette on August 7, 1766."

[Among those listed are:]
Messrs. Caleb Dorsey and John Howard
Capt. John Parsons (care of W. Lux)
Thomas Philips
Thomas Vaughan (at Caleb Dorsey's)

The following is probably this Caleb Dorsey as well, but I am not certain:

Ibid., pp. 16-23:


Aquila Hall was High Sheriff of Baltimore County and after Harford County separated from Baltimore County in 1773 he was appointed Colonel of Militia and one of the Lord Justices of the new county of Harford from 1774 to 1779. While serving as Sheriff of Baltimore County he compiled a tax assessment ledger of 145 pages which named 1,380 persons, their land tracts, and their assessments... Its index contains the following names...

"William Cockey,... Joshua Cockey,... Edward Cockey,... John Hammond Dorsey,... Caleb Dorsey, Bazil Dorsey, Edward Dorsey,... Caleb Dorsey,... Richard Dorsey,...John Sorsey,...Samuel Owings,... John Owings, Joshua Owings,... Sarah Owings,... Stephen Owings,... Samuel Owings,... Elijah Owings,... Henry Owings,... Christopher Randell,... John Ridgley,... Charles Ridgley, Jr.,... Capt. John Stinchcombe,... Nathan Stinchcombe,... Edmund Talbott, Thomas Talbott,... Philip Thomas,... Edward Talbott,... Samuel Underwood,... Benjamin Wells,... James Wells,... William Wells, James Wells, Jr.,... Charles Wells,... Elex Wells..."

From Historic Graves of Maryland, pp. 156-157:

"On September 27, 1727, the freeholders of Queen Caroline parish, then a part of Anne Arundel county, met at the parish church and 'made choice' of Henry Ridgely and John Howard as churchwardens; Thomas Wainright, John Dorsey son of Edward, John Hammond son of Charles, Orland Griffith, Richard Davis and Robert Shipley as vestrymen. ...[M]ost of these worthies were landowners in this section..."

From Wikipedia - Elkridge Furnace:

The site of the Elkridge Furnace and forge (located in the US state of Maryland ), known today as Avalon, was a tract of land patented as "Taylor's Forest" purchased in 1761 by Caleb Dorsey, an ironmaster. The land was located on the Patapsco river near Elkridge Landing, today being part of the Patapsco Valley State Park . The site first produced pig iron for export to England and after the addition of a forge produced crowbars, some of the earliest tools produced in America. The manufacture of tools in America had been banned for years by England. In 1771, after the death of Caleb Dorsey, the forge was operated by Caleb's sons, Edward Dorsey "Iron Head Ned" and Samuel Dorsey. In 1775 and during the American Revolution (1775-1783), the forge manufactured cast-iron parts for muskets by William Whetcroft. During the time of Mr. Whetcroft, the height of the dam (Avalon pictured here) , was increased to allow for constructing a millrace to feed a slitting mill on the property. In 1783, operations at the site were closed due to tax problems and the site was auctioned off in 1815. Benjamin and James Ellicott became the owners and incorporated the site as the Avalon Iron Works in 1822 and manufactured nails.[1] "

English law
THE ENGLISH NAVIGATION ACTS - In 1750 the English Parliament enacted a law declaring that "no mill or other engine for rolling or slitting iron," "nor any furnace for making steel shall be erected in the colonies". After this only pig and bar iron could be made.[2]

Extreme environmental damage to the Patapsco was recorded in the Maryland Act of 1753 Chap. 27. entitled 'AN ACT to prevent injuring the navigation to Baltimore-town, and to the inspecting house at Elk-Ridge landing, on Patapsco river'.
Extract: WHEREAS it is represented to this general assembly, that by opening and digging into the banks of Patapsco river for iron stone, large quantities of earth and sand are thrown and washed into the said river, and navigable branches thereof, by which practice (if continued,) the channel of the said river, and navigable branches aforesaid, will, in a short time, be so filled up, that vessels of any burthen must be prevented from coming into the best and most secure harbours in the said river, and the navigation thereof greatly obstructed.
The Patapsco to Elkridge Landing did silt up and become un-navigable, because of mining and ballast from the ships being thrown overboard to make room for cargo.

First Elkridge Furnace
The existence of iron was known from the time John Smith sailed up the Patapsco in 1608 and the settlement of Elkridge Landing is given as 1690, Likely many attempts at iron production took place after 1690.
Caleb Dorsey built his home "Belmont" on a tract of land patented in 1695. The "Save Belmont Coalition" credits Caleb Dorsey and his brother as building several iron forges on the creeks that ran into the nearby Patapsco River. This seems likely, considering the effort that would be required to move the iron ore some distance to one furnace. A Journal in the Maryland Archives by Caleb Dorsey & Co. operator of Elk Ridge Furnace has dates of 1758/10/01-1761/08/31.
The existence of more than one forge was recorded in the following extraction. Extract: Elkridge Landing description by Louis-Alexandre Berthier of the French Army during the March to Yorktown, Va. in 1781 - "The detour that must be taken to cross by the ford is not great and I estimate the difference as about three-fourths of a mile, or a mile. The road leading to the ford is bad and filled with stones and foot-high stumps. As it approaches the ford the road is dangerous along the bank of the river, which is very deep in those places where the waters are dammed up to operate the forges. This ford is very good if you pass between the big stones as marked here; if you stray from this line, you find large rocks and holes."
The Maryland 1753 Navigational Damage Act - definitely proves the iron industry had been in existence before 1753, and had grown to the point of damaging the Patapsco.
James McCubbin, MacCubbin patented a tract of land named "Cupola Hill" 220 acres (0.9 km²) in 1743 and built the Elkridge Furnace Inn in 1744. The definition of "Cupola" is a vertical furnace for melting iron to be cast, "Foundry" . Although the term is also used in architecture, "Cupola Hill" was one of the tracts of land purchased by Dr. Walker for the establishment of a new furnace specified in his Will. The word Cupola seems to indicate that a small furnace was in operation at one time prior to 1744.

  Burial Notes:

From Historic Graves of Maryland, p. 156:
"At 'Belmont,' another Dorsey homestead, there is also a graveyard. It contains fine old slabs of the tabular kind, but so overrun with honeysuckle and periwinkle that it has been found impossible to copy them. Here lie the remains of Caleb Dorsey, who in 1738 built 'Belmont' as a home for his bride, Priscilla Hill. He was born July 18, 1710; died Jone 28, 1772. His widow died March 8, 1781, in the 63d year of her age. Beside them repose their descendants up to the fourth and fifth generation."

  Noted events in his life were:

• Built "Belmont," 1738, Anne Arundel (Howard), Maryland, (United States). As a home for his bride, Priscilla Hill

• Will: Signed will, 14 Mar 1772, Anne Arundel, Maryland, United States.

• Probate, 2 Jul 1772, Anne Arundel, Maryland, United States.

Caleb married Priscilla Hill, daughter of Henry Hill of West River and Mary Denwood, on 10 Feb 1735. (Priscilla Hill was born on 9 May 1718, died on 8 Mar 1782 in Anne Arundel, Maryland, United States and was buried in "Belmont", Anne Arundel (Howard), Maryland, United States.)

  Marriage Notes:

3. Harry Wright Newman. Anne Arundel Gentry Vol 2. Author 1971, Family Line Publications 1990. (from http://www.rootsweb.com/~mdannear/firstfam/dorsey/fowsrc.htm#3)


1 Ridgely, Helen W, Historic Graves of Maryland and the District of Columbia (New York: The Grafton Press, 1908.), p. 156.

2 Wikipedia.org, Charles Ridgely II.

3 http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mdannear/firstfam/dorsey/b7898.htm#P7898.

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