John Dickinson was born Nov. 13, 1732, in Talbot County, Maryland, United States, the son of a judge. He was the great-grandson of Walter Dickinson who emigrated from England to Virginia in 1654 and, having joined the Society of Friends, came with several co-religionists to Talbot County on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in 1659. There, with 400 acres (1. 6 km2) on the banks of the Choptank River, Walter began a plantation, Croisadore, meaning "cross of gold. " Croisadore passed through Walter's son, William, to his grandson, Samuel, the father of John Dickinson.