The Nailor Connection: Descendant of Maryland 400 Veterans to Visit

On Wednesday, June 19, Debra Naylor, a descendant of Maryland 400 veterans Alexander and Nicholas Nailor, and one of her co-authors Frank Robinson will be visiting the Maryland State Archives at noon to discuss their book The Naylors of Woodborough. This book is a collection of research of the local family’s 350-year history that now serves as the primary source for Naylor information in America. One of Debra Naylor’s ancestors is a soldier that I spent the better part of a year working on – Alexander Nailor. [1]

Alexander Nailor was a sergeant in the Ninth Company of the First Maryland Regiment under Captain George Stricker. Originally from Prince George’s County, MD, he later moved to Frederick County, MD, which is how I learned about him.

In the spring of 2018 at Washington College, I took a special topics history course that was offered by Adam Goodheart entitled “Finding the 400.” As part of the class, each of us were assigned a soldier of the Maryland 400 and were tasked to write his biography as our final. I was assigned Nailor as my soldier.

As part of the class, we took a trip to the Maryland State Archives to start researching our soldiers. I learned that not only did Alexander Nailor have connections to Frederick County, but a lot of research had already been done on him by Debra Naylor and another descendant Joseph Doyle, which gave me a jumpstart on his story.

After working through the research that was already conducted about him, I began placing him in the post-Revolutionary War period and his civilian life, which brought him to Frederick County.

As a native of Frederick County myself, I knew where to look and who to ask for information about Nailor. During a research session I discovered that one of his children was baptized at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Frederick, which is still standing in downtown Frederick. I happened to be going home that weekend, so I thought I would stop by to ask about the record I found online.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Frederick was the first church in Frederick County. As part of their genealogical work, they hold a parish records book that contains lists of baptisms, weddings, confirmations, and deaths, among others, that dates back to the 1700s. When I arrived to the church, I saw their record book and the mention of Nailor’s son Samuel’s baptism in 1788.

After placing him in the larger context of the Revolutionary War and Frederick County history, I submitted my final and thought I was done with him. As chance would have it, as a Washington College Explore America intern at the Maryland State Archives, I was given the chance to edit his biography and published it on the “Finding the Maryland 400” research blog.

The experience of researching Nailor and Frederick County left such an impact on me that it will be a part of my history thesis at Washington College in which I analyze how Revolutionary War veterans helped to shape the structure and development of Frederick County.

Thank you to Debra Naylor and Joseph Doyle for their extensive research on Alexander Nailor, and I look forward to the presentation next week.


[1] There were many different spellings of the last name “Nailor” in the Revolutionary War records, but “Nailor” was the most common spelling that I found from the period.

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2 Responses to The Nailor Connection: Descendant of Maryland 400 Veterans to Visit

  1. Carla (Naylor) Micallef says:

    Very cool. As a Naylor descendant of another brother of Nicholas and Alexander, Joshua born 1751, who also was a Maryland 400 patriot, thank you for posting. I wish I could be there! Do you know if anyone was assigned writing a biography of Joshua?


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