Through this book, literally thousands of Americans can find their connections to a family that has served the nation in many ways over more than three centuries. Besides the Toy family, the Howell, Adams, Dallam, Hamme, Webster, Murray, Kauffelt, Creedon, Schultz, Emmett, Ridgely and many other families play a role in this wide-ranging work. A few of the hundreds of people from its pages are:
JOSEPH TOY, a silversmith working in Abingdon, Maryland in the late 18th century. Some of his works are now in the the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. He was also a Professor of Mathematics and English Literature at Cokebury College, the first Methodist institution of higher education in America. At the end of his life, he served as a Methodist itinerant preacher.
RICHARD DALLAM TOY, Joseph's son who went to sea but returned, married the daughter of the matron of the U.S. Marine Hospital in Norfolk. One grandson became Professor of Semitic Languages at Harvard; another, Professor Modern Languages at the University of North Carolina; and a third, a Mayor of Nashville.
ELIZABETH MARTIN, known from the nursery rhyme and fiddle tune "Pretty Betty Martin". who became the grandmother of a governor of Maryland and of a governor of North Carolina and lived to be over 100.
RICHARD DALLAM, member of the Annapolis Convention that drafted the Constitution of Maryland and a Deputy Paymaster General of the Flying Camp that protected the middle colonies in the early months of the Revolutionary War.
JOHN ADAMS WEBSTER, who foiled a British move to cut off Fort McHenry and take Baltimore in 1814.
ELIZA RIDGELY, mistress of Hampton, an estate north of Baltimore now a National Historic Site.
VIRGINIA CLEMM, wife of Edgar Allen Poe.
JAMES WILMER DALLAM, legal scholar in whose honor Dallam County in Texas is named.
DAVID DALLAM, who with his wife presently runs the Broom's Bloom Dairy and Ice Cream store on a farm that has been in his family over 270 years.
MORTON BOYTE HOWELL> Nashville lawyer, ancestor of a large and unusually cohesive family connected with Beersheba Springs, Tennessee.
Mercedes Kauffelt Murray, a descendant of Joseph Toy, compiled these amazingly well-researched genealogies for Joseph Toy, his ancestors, relatives and descendants and also for other strands of her ancestry. For some, there are only names and dates, but for many, there are interesting brief accounts. She was a social worker and the first director of the Maryland Women's Prison. In 1953, she conveyed the results of her genealogical research to the Maryland Historical Society. Many years later, a great-nephew, Paul Creedon, typed them and put them on the Internet. From that version, the present volume has been prepared with several additions due to exploiting the resources of the Internet and to the discovery of the correct identity of the son of Joseph Toy who went to sea at an early age never to return to his father's home.