The Early Family

The town of Brandywine was named by William Hollyday Early (pictured below) who was born in 1820. He owned all of the land that was to be named “Brandywine City” (see the plan of the city), which extended into Charles County. Part of Brandywine still extends into Charles County to this day. William H. was descendant of a John Early who was borm ~1642 in Donegal, Ireland and came to America to James City, VA in 1661. Many of the Early families throughout the country are descendants of John Early and cousins of William H. Early. Maria “Wye” Hedda Reeder Early, wife of William Warren Early the railroad manager (grandson of William H.), with her sons are pictured below. William Berry Early (son of William H.) is also pictured below in front of his house and as a child. Additonal Early family photos are here. The William W. Early historic house information is here. Additional family names include Woodson, Schley (Slye?), Waters, Hatton, Bean, Blandford, Lore, Higdon, Jarrel, Baden, Hyde, Rawlings, Turner, Duvall, Hodger, Young, Schaffer, Robinson, Sorrell, Rexrode, Douglas, Gayer, Straub, Stewart, Berry, Montgomery, Petty, Squires, Parker, Miller, Jaked, Huntt, Bowie, Hopkins, Cecil, Colley, Marlow, and Searlock. If you have any history or photos of the Early family that you’d like to share, please send email here.


This is a copy of a tin type photo. Thanks to Joy Early of Calvert Co., Md. for copying it.


The back of this photo says: Wye, Chesley, Reeder, & Berry Early
This is the wife and 3 of the children of William Warren Early, the railroad manager (see history).
“Wye” refers to Maria (b?, d.3/2/1931), Chesley is the girl laying down (b?, d.1943), “Reeder” is Thomas (b~1902, d. 11/1945), and “Berry” is Leonard (b.7/31/1904, d.2/7/1906). There are no living descendants of this family. Thanks to Margaret Bean Blandford (b. 1912), cousin to William though she called Wye “aunt,” who donated this photo. Wye remarried a Bowman (“Uncle Bo”) after William’s death in 1920. Margaret says they had a hammock on their porch, but this photo was taken before their historic house was built; so it possibly was on the house that William grew up in which he tore down to build his now historic house or on William’s mother (Margaret calls “Aunt Emma”)’s porch which was across the street on Brandywine Rd. (now a breakfast/lunch restaurant). Youngest son, William “Billy” Warren Early III (b. 5/19/1911, d.2/21/1999) was not born yet when this photo was taken. This photo was probably taken in 1905 since the baby died the following year at age 1 1/2.


The back of this photo says: W. Berry Early, age 6 (though it looks to be a child younger than age 3)
Though the name “William Berry” was used several times, it is believed to be the same man as below.
It was taken by Richard Walzl’s Palace of Artistic Photography, 46 N. Charles St., Baltimore, which would have been quite a trip back then.


William Berry Early in front of his house, the first of the Early houses to be built on the land willed by William H. Early on what is now Cherry Tree Crossing Rd. It was probably taken in the 1890’s not long after it was built. It faces the railroad tracks. This house was Victorianized in 1910.