The Tyler Family of Smith Island, Maryland

THE TYLER FAMILY OF SMITH ISLAND, MARYLAND:  This bloodline dates back over 350 years & is still going strong. 

In 2018 Dr. Lloyd Tyler asked me to do his genealogy & help him get one of his ancestors, David Tyler (c.1756-1823), recognized as a Revolutionary War Veteran.  After an almost 2 year process I’m delighted & proud to say that the Registrar for the MD Sons of American Revolution has submitted David Tyler for final approval.  

The Tyler story in Somerset begins in the early 1680’s when a John Tyler purchased 200 acres from Capt. Henry Smith in the area of ‘Horse Hammock’ which was part of the Pitchcroft Patent.  The Tyler family lived on the land for almost 2 centuries & I’ve found court testimony stating that the old Tyler Homestead was right on the MD/VA Boundary Line, with the main house being in MD and the kitchen in VA.  

I could write extensively on the Tyler family, but one interesting tidbit of info I want to share now is that John had a grandson named Thomas(c.1708-1783) who married Jemimah Cullen (1712-1776) who’s family lived where the Makepeace Home is located.  Jemimah was the granddaughter of George Cullen(c.1650-c1683) – the patriarch of this family.  Thomas & Jemimah’s great-grandson was named Severn (born 1805), who owned an oystering-schooner named the ‘Fashion.’  

During the early-years of the Oyster-Wars, the Fashion was seized by a Somerset County police-boat in 1851 for illegally dredging oysters in MD’s waters.  The captain of the Fashion at that time was Severn’s 23 year old son, who was named John.  The arresting officer was Capt. John Cullen, an iconic seafaring captian, and also a descendant of George Cullen. 

The court returned a not-guilty verdict and the Fashion was returned to Severn, who also won a counter-claim for damages. This judgement was likely due to the fact that the Tyler’s hired an ambitious & knowledgeable lawyer, who would later become a U.S. Congressman – his name was John W. Crisfield.

Capt. John Tyler continued to skipper his father’s vessel & in 1883 he became an ordained Methodist Minister & preached the remainder of his life on Smith Island.

I’m hoping to be able to share more on the Tyler’s – & other Smith Island families – in the near future.   


One thought on “The Tyler Family of Smith Island, Maryland

  1. My family tree goes back to the Tylers too. Id like to hire you to help with my tree. My mother was the daughter of Burley A Payne and Sadie Justice


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