The first well-documented ancestor of the Wills family of Port Tobacco, Maryland is John B. Wills, Sr. (c.1740-1822) to whom all of the 19th century white holders of this name in that area can be traced. As far as can be deduced, all of them were also Catholic.
Before him the name is scarcely attested in Southern Maryland but the evidence of the Wills Family in the Colonial Period suggests that he was descended from a William Wills in that area.
John B. Wills Sr. and Anne Livers had eight adult offspring, who are clearly named and given various bequests in the 1794 will of their grandmother Mary Livers.
1) Anne Prudence Wills (bef. 1770-1820) m. James Thompson (d. 1795)
Her sons, Col. William Thompson and Col. Francis Thompson, acquired Araby, the estate of George Mason’s wife, and descendants lived there for a century.
2) Mary Helena Wills (bef. 1770-1832), single. Her will named many nephews and nieces.
3) Joseph Ignatius Wills (c.1770-1836) m. Anastasia Hatcher
Their descendants lived on Cobb Neck and were buried at Holy Ghost Church. There are a number of descendants of his sons William Alfred Wills and Joseph I. Wills, Jr.
4) John Baptist Wills, Jr. (c. 1773-1844) m. 1) Ann Carey Floyd, 2) Ann Jarboe
His son Dr. Francis Reed Wills lived at Preference, and his grandson Augustine Wills Neale inherited his house at Johnsontown.
5) Elizabeth Brent Doyne Wills (c. 1775/77 – ?) m. Mr. Clements
Their daughter Mary Elizabeth Clements (1814-1877) m Dr. John H. Digges.
6) William Livers Wills (c.1776/79- 1819) m. Mary Thomas
He went to West Feliciana, Louisiana around 1815 and soon married and then died there leaving two children: John F. Wills and Julia Ann (Wills) Bowman.
7) Frederick Wills (1780-1825) m. 1) Teresa Hamilton, m. 2) Ann Catherine Green
After serving in the War of 1812 militia, he went to Grand Coteau, La. as part of a small migration of Southern Md. Catholics. The numerous descendants of his son Justin Wills still live there today.
8) Charles Wills (1782-1852) m. Jane Green
His son Charles H. Wills (1824-1896), m. his cousin Anna Thompson. They and their children lived at Araby until the 1940’s. No living descendants with the Wills name.
POSSIBLY RELATED: Of the four sons of Justinian Wills (1735-c.1805) of Caroline Co, Virginia (and later Bedford Co), three have names identical with the children of John B. Wills, Sr. of Port Tobacco: William, John B., Ignatius. But where Justinian was from is unknown, and other than the coincidence of names there is no evidence yet to demonstrate a connection. See the Wills Family in the Colonial Period.