Tombstone Tuesday – Basil Worthington Simpson

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Basil Worthington Simpson

Son of Basil J.F. and Laura Simpson of New London, MD. 

born 1864 twin brother of Ridgely Delzell Simpson, died 1865 by drowning.

Buried in the Central Church Cemetery in New Market, MD.

 

Monday Madness – William Gardiner

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scan0007William Gardiner is DRIVING ME CRAZY!  William Gardiner was born @1794 in Ireland,  he supposedly immigrated to the United States in 1819. I have been unsuccessful in finding immigration recrods.  Family lore has it he stowed away on the ship and traveled with his cousin William Clarke.  It is recorded in a family bible that William Clarke was from Newtownards, County Down, Ireland.  In March of 1820 he filed a declaration to become a citizen of the United States.  August 23, 1823 he married Henrietta Simpson in Rockville, MD.  1825 he became a citizen in the same year I have a bill of sales where he sold a slave in Anne Arundel County, MD.   The last record I have for him is when his farm was sold at a sheriff’s sale in 1852.  After that he totally disappeared. He is not buried with his wife or his son.  My father has been trying to locate his gravesite as well as where he came from in Ireland for over 35 years!! Come out, come out wherever you are!!!

 Pictured is William H. Gardiner – son of William Gardiner.

Part III – Grandma was Penniless

This is my third and final post in the series, “Grandma was Penniless…”

1859

Honorable Richard J. Bowie

You know that I would have gotten my deed in two or three weeks when you came to the office begged of me to let let you get me a chancery deed.  You told me it should cost me nothing.  You said if I wished to sell I would find very few that would buy it at a Sheriff sale and I told you I would never sell.  I wanted it for my home.  You then said I will make the Trustees answerable for all the property Francis Simpson put into his hands I then said you may file a bill.  You said I will get your deed the first court.  Court after court passes and I never got a deed.  Had I thought for one moment I had all the property safe under the sheriff sale except a note of five hundred dollars that Forest had to collect the the heirs of George Wolfe.  You told me not to employ another counsel that you would attend to my business properly.  I stated my case to Sandy Magruder from Annapolis he said that I take Bowie to be an honest young man and he is your counsel.  I don’t see any need for you employing another.  For fourteen years you made me believe that Doctor Gustavus Warfield and the Trustee robed me of my land.  I called on you twice a year to know if there was any way by which I could get my property.  You said Warfield and the Trustee has so fixed the business that nothing can be done in the case.  I then asked could I not get some of the money I had paid them on the land.  You said no they have so fixed the business that I could get nothing.  You showed great sorrow for me.  You thought they were the worst of robbers.  I asked if Mrs. Ann Williams could not get her money as Francis Simpson was owing her twelve or thirteen thousand dollars at the time he appointed Trustee.  Knowing that if she got hers she would pay me what she owed me.  You only gave her two hundred dollars and I got two hundred dollars from you looking into my business since the year 1852. I knew that you and you alone where my robber.  I wanted you and Price and Hobbs’ Counsel to tell them that they had no interest or right to my land and to allow me to moderate rent for it.  That you would not do. If you do not pay me interest in the two hundred dollars that you had the use of for twenty three or twenty four years and give me entire satisfaction with regard to my business, I will publish your conduct.  Do not think that your position as it regads to Office has any influence with me for I esteem men according to their merit.  If you would cultivate justice and with an honest heart say I will give Mrs. Gardiner her land that I took from her and allow her moderate rent and pay her the interest in the year 1859 after having had the use of it for 23 or 24 years.  With this conclusion you would feel more happiness that you now feel.  You must feel unhappy when you think how you persuaded me to let you get me a chancery deed.  I am your friend and I wish you to believe in God for he sees and judges our actions,  You will please answer this and let me know what you will do in the business.  I will expect to hear from you soon.  Until then I remain.

Yours Respectfully,

Henrietta Gardiner

New London, Frederick County, Maryland

Chronicling America

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newspaper_searchThe Library of Congress features an online site titled “Chronicling America“.  Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.

The website allows you to search newspapers  from 1880 to 1910 from the following states: California, District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.  It has an effective search engine, zooming capabilities and print options.

 The site also gives you the option of searching newspapers  published in the United States from 1690 to the present. You can browse by title, or select several different search options.  The search results will also give you holding locations of the documents.  I applaud the Library of Congress for offering this valuable, free, on-line tool.  The website can be accessed  by clicking the link http://www.loc.gov/chroniclingamerica/index.html.newspaper2

I have found many invaluable articles and photographs to add to my family collection.  I hope you will utilize this site.  Happy Hunting.

Tombstone Cold Case – Howard S. Thomas

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howard-s-thomasSo yes…I admit that I like to spend my time off wandering cemeteries. While this may sound strange to some, every true genealogist can relate to this obsession.  Today we explored the Fairmount Cemetery in Libertytown, MD.  It is a well-kept cemetery with attractive iron gates at the entrance. 

As we walked around something caught my eye. It was a tombstone carved from a large gray stone.  It marked the grave of Howard S. Thomas, born in Hanover, York County, Pennsylvania in 1860 who passed away in 1943. It is the only stone of its kind in the cemetery; and displays primitive qualities given the year of death.  As you can see in the photo to the left,  the top of the stone has a carved hand with the index finger pointing downward.  The epitaph reads  “RETURNED TO MOTHER EARTH”.  I began wondering who this person was; and why such why he had such an unusual stone. 

I went home and started researching. Through the 1870 census records I verified that he was indeed born in the Hanover Borough of York County, PA.  He was the son of Emanuel and Sarah A.  His father was a carriage maker, his mother keeping house,  and he had three brothers and four sisters.  The 1880 census revealed that  Howard S. Thomas was still residing in Pennsylvania, 20 years of age, and working as an apprentice stonecutter. His father was a retired gentleman, and his brother Jacob’s profession was listed as a dentist and another bother Edward a cigar maker. 

In doing further research I stumbled upon one of his siblings obituary: Miss Cora Ellen Thomas, a dwarf, daughter of Mrs. Sarah A. Thomas, died Thursday evening at 4:30 o’clock, at the home of her mother, on York Street, of a complication of diseases from which she had been suffering for the past few weeks.  She was aged 37 years, 3 months and 13 days. Miss Thomas measured only 37½ inches in height and 30 inches around the waist. When she was three years old, she suffered with blood poisoning, and since that time had not grown.  She usually enjoyed  good health and weighed 44½ pounds.  She retained childish manners all her life, the development of her mind stopping with the end of the growth of her body. She is survived by her mother, three brothers and three sisters, George W. Thomas, of East Middle Street, Dr. J. A. Thomas, of Reading, Howard S. Thomas, of Libertytown, Md., Mrs. William Strayer, of Aaneoka, Minnesota, Mrs. Emory Swartz, of York Street, and Mrs. William H. Melhorn, of McAllister Street.The funeral will take place on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock at the house.  Rev. M. J. Roth, pastor of the Trinity Reformed Church, officiating, assisted by Rev. G. H. Reeser, of Emmanuel’s Reformed Church.  Interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.Hanover Herald – Saturday, December 02, 1899

While searching  The Frederick News newspaper I found and article from 1895 that stated, Miss Emma Thomas of Liberty is visiting her parents, Mr. & Mrs. James Baltzell of the same place.  In 1900 Howard  and his wife Emma K.  (born 1864 – MD). are residing in Libertytown, MD.  The census records indicate they were married in 1882.  They have two children that are listed as Harrie B. and Frankie.  His occupation is listed as a marble cutter. The 1910 census still find them residing in Libertytown, MD, his sons apparently gone off on their own, but a little surprise. They have a grandson living with them who is two years old and is named, Howard F. Thomas, most likely after his grandfather.   Howard is still working as a stone cutter in a Marble Shop. 

The 1920′s find Howard and Emma living together in Libertytown, no longer is he a stonecutter, he is now listed as a barber!  I began searching the newspapers for an obituary when I found an article that explained everything. Howard Thomas had been preparing for his demise for over thirty years leaving detailed instructions for his funeral.  It states that Howard built his own casket as well as carving his very own tombstone.  He proudly displayed his casket in his barbershop for all patrons to see.  I am not related to this family, but hopefully they will enjoy the article. Another genealogy COLD CASE mystery solved. howard-thomas4

 

Grandma was penniless…Part Two

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Last week I posted a blog titled, Grandma was penniless…but the letter is priceless.  It chronicled a letter I discovered at the Maryland Hall of Records written by my my gggg-grandmother – Henrietta Simpson Gardiner in which she wrote to the Governor of Maryland in the year 1863.  In the letter she eluded that Chief Justice Richard J. Bowie richardjbowiedid rob or swindle her, taking her money and land.  She begged the Governor to re-open her case. Today I am sharing with you another letter that Henrietta Gardiner wrote this time to Richard J. Bowie, the alleged robber.  It gives us great insight not only to her character, but the sad turn of events that left her penniless.    

I typed as written with no corrections. 

Honorable Richard J. Bowie

October 22, 1863

My reason for not sending those letters.  I thought that the Governor has no power to give me my jeopardy but necessarily calls upon me to say, Can you, will you, will you hold my property and longer?  Is not the weight too heavy for you to walk under when you think of your kind language you made use of and what you would do for my brother if I would let you file a bill and get me a chancery deed.   Mr. Gardiner  asked Dr. Warfield what he sold my land for.  Dr. Warfield said he did not sell my land.  Richard J. Bowie sold it to Thomas J. Hobbs some few months after you gave him the deed, said you wrote to him and Price if they would make you up $900 against March 1837 you would give them deeds for my land.  You do know that my land was paid for.  You know that Mr. Gardiner did give up his property for fear of his life and liberty.  Henry C. Gaither you know said that property should not remain in the state you put it in but, they would not be too good to burn him and his property up if he interfered in it.  You know that Price never had possession given him.  Mr. Gardiner rented a house took his little son home with him for fear their lives and liberty would be taken.  My son was taken sick.  I went to see him,  Price drove my servant out and put my furniture out for you know the Sheriff said he never would give him possession; for he had no right to it.  You thought I had better give it up, but I never give up though I look for death every hour.  I am not willing to give up my land.

Uriah Forrest came to our house shortly after you got their deeds for them and said to my son in my presence,  Price gave me $200.00 to take your land from you, and if you will employ me, when you are a grown man, I will take it from him, for he had no right to it.  Dr. Warfield said he had no hand in drawing up the petition. You sent it to him and he signed it, believing you were my Counsel and I was satisfied with it. 

 

Oh let me entrust you to believe to believe the word of God, for it says things can be done in secret but shall be proclaimed.  Cant you with an honest heart go to those that may have the power to give me my property, tell them you were my Counsel, did take my property from me and wish them to give it to me.  Oh how beautiful it is to acknowledge the truth.  You will never be more respected than you are; you know Prices’character and if I had sent him to penitentiary when I had it in my power.  It would have not been in your power to give him my land. 

My charges are heavy against you, but truth is mighty and I feel the weight of these truths.  What was done with the $2200 I paid on the land?  What was done with the $900 the Trustee sold my land for? What was done with the $114o you sold my land for?  Lend me the interest on the $200 you paid me in the year 1859.  What right had you to demand my papers from Dr. Warfield if you were not my Counsellor?  Warfield states in his answer that it was put in his hands for debt, that debt must have been satisfied or  Warfield would have brought some claims against the land.  The first Trustee knew my land was paid for when se sold it to Hobbs or he would have not told Hobbs to give Dr. Warfield his note for the balance of the money for my use.  After paying Jamison the note he gave Jamison for his own debt. My brother with the consent of his friends allowed me $30 per acre for the land 3 or 4 years before he appointed a Trustee, put up a large barn, repaired the house and built a brick Spring house improved the land and you gave Price and his son-in-law my 200 acres for $2000.  You deny being my Counsellor – what did you come into the office for and beg me to file a bill?  You know Mrs. Williams had appointed my husband her agent in order to prevent that note. I got judgement on from doing us any evil.  You know that Simpson was owing her at the lowest rate $1200 or $1300.  I have a letter you wrote to Mrs. Williams you ought to answer a note of $550, Forrest had to collect for Simpson.  I hope you will not try to deny one word I have written, for did you I could get twenty to swear it was untrue, it would still remain the truth.

I am you well-wishes,

Henrietta Gardiner

Grandma was penniless…but letter is priceless

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henriettaletter1225px-augustus_williamson_bradford_-_photo_portrait_standing       When I find myself hitting a brickwall in genealogical research what do I do?  Well…google it of course.  So here I am researching Henrietta Gardiner, my gggg Grandmother.  Frustrated…and against a wall…I google her name.  Now mind you I have googled it consecutively for the last few years, when ALAS (something I think she would have said) a result was returned!  The link read:

 “Alleged swindling of Henrietta Gardiner by Chief Justice Bowie.”

So I blinked…once then twice, and eagerly clicked on the link.  It directed me to the Maryland State Archives website.  I couldn’t wait for Saturday to come to head to the Hall of Records in Annapolis, MD.  Upon arrival, I carefully filled out the request slip for the original document to be retrieved from storage. It was housed in GOVERNOR (Miscellaneous Papers) 1863.  I pulled my white protective gloves on and waited what seemed to be a lifetime, reminding myself, not to get too excited.  Finally the storage box was delivered to my desk, I carefully took of the lid and started going through all of the correspondence to the then Governor of Maryland, Augustus Williamson Bradford who was Maryland’s Civil War Governor serving in office from 1862-1866. 

Then I found what I was looking for.  They were indeed letter from my gggg Grandmother written to the Governor as well as her correspondence to Chief Justice Bowie.  What I would learn would saddened me, but also gave me insight to Henrietta  – her strong will and pride.  What saddened me was her plea for money to survive. I have retyped one of the letters below exactly as she wrote it on October 22, 1863

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

New London, Maryland                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

October 22, 1863                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

To his Excellency the Governor of Maryland

I have seen your address to the Senate and house of Delegates and was pleased to see you so interested in the behalf of that good Government that we once enjoyed in peace and flatter myself that you feel equally interested in the behalf of your state and even to an individual of your State.  With an honest heart I tell you that Richard J. Bowie now Chief Justice of your state did rob or swindle me out of the last cent of my fortune that my father gave me. To give you a true statement would be intruding too much writing on you..if you please you can read a letter I have written to Mr. Bowie enclosed in your letter.  I will give you some idea of the treatment Mr. Bowie gave me.  Is it not in your power to have my case opened, to see if the Chief Justice Richard Bowie is guilty of my charges?  He did when acting as my counsel assist Price and Hobbs to rob or swindle me out of seven thousand dollars worth of land at the time they took it from me.  If your Excellency would show him this communication he would be with a smile of contempt say who is this Mrs Gardiner?  He knows who she is and I am pleased to know I have it in my power to say to your Excellency there is no one in America that can boast of better fore-fathers than I can there names are recorded in Annapolis – Worthington and Ridgely.  If money could add anything to standing few could command what they could.  I am happy to say your Excellency that it was not in the power of Bowie nor adversity to rob me of this rich principles that my ancestors left me – Justice – Truth and Mercy.  I know your Excellency can give me a support according to standing, but the Country is already appraised enough.  I would be obliged if your excellency would loan me $25 to $30 dollars until the Assembly meet and I lay my case before them as my need is great.  I am unable to attend to business by reason of age being 75 years old and very feeble.

I am Your Most Obedient Servant,

Henrietta Gardiner

 

 

 

Brickwalls from Followers

Help our fellow genealogists and researchers with their brickwalls.  If you can help them out please do so.  Good deeds and random acts of kindness never go unnoticed.  Let us know is you were able to help someone, or where helped.

Sharon Crisafulli – @Crisafulli

 BRICKWALLS

1. Looking for family of Clara Siegelin Roeschlein born 9-17-1879 ;died 10-03-1911 parents Benjamin & Margaret, Clay, Indiana; married W. Herb She was raised in Clay, Indiana where she and husband Wm. Herbert Roeschlein lived. She died 3 years after they married. 1 child; Helen M. @debbieloveslife.

 2. End of the paper trail in Clifton, Mesa, Colorado 1910 Census for William O. PARMENTER and wife, Harriet Matilda HILL. @valeehill

3.  Looking for death records of Catherine Gardiner-Simpson died in Maryland 26 Mar 1878. @Crisafulli

4. Ok, My g-g-grandfather, William Sweetland, died before my g-grandmother was born. I’m on ancestry.com and can’t track him to his place of birth. Know death city and aprox time: Pitts 1834, can’t find birth. @KatyDidsCards

5. Puckett -3 Puckett men in Tazewell VA marry 3 Corel sisters in 1839-1842 WHERE did they come from? !?! @hawksdomain.

6.Looking for where my family came from  immigrating to US from either Ireland or England 1861 – 1910 in Preston, West Virginia and 1920′s & 1903′s in Garrett County, MD @lynj65

I was blind…but now I see.

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Genealogical gems…we all know them when we find them and proudly display them in our family tree!  For years I have been researching our family.  I know the ancestors and descendants…that is the easy part, but what I cherish are the finds that actually tell you about the person.  Obituaries can be hit or miss, but boy did we hit the jackpot on this one!

From the New Market Journal – January 12, 1863

(Typed as it appeared) Obituary of Francis Simpson

Departed this life on December 25, 1862, in New London, Frederick County, Md., after a lingering illness FRANCIS SIMPSON, age seventy-one, nine months and eighteen days.

Brother Simpson, the son of Basil and Sarah Worthington Simpson, was born in Johnsville, Frederick County, MD.  He had the misfortune at an early age of seventeen years to lose his eye-sight.  His eyes naturally weak from childhood, were greatly injured as was supposed by efforts made when a school boy was made to gaze long at the sun, and though surgical relief was sought, ultimate total blindness was the result.  His father, removing to  Elkridge in the vicinity of Savage Factory, soon there after died, the subject of this brief memoir the possessor of a handsome patrimony.  But alas! with him the loss of sight was the precursor of the loss of worldly wealth, which was to him the greater misfortune, as a young and comparatively helpless family was thus left wholly to his own necessarily inefficient exertions, for support.

Thus the dishonesty of false friends and a severe attack of illness had the effect for several years to impair his mind.  He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church about the 30th year of his age.  His religious life was also, at times, chequered by occasional periods of coldness, despondency and gloom.  It is probable when wholly himself, he never entirely lost his confidence in the personally availing efficacy of the Redeemer’s blood.  Though often from blindness and other reasons, deprived of the privilege of going to the house of God, yet is is doubtless his desire to be a child of God.  He ever delighted in family worship, and signing the praises of God aloud was especially the solace and comfort of the last twelve months of his life.  His last words were, “my trust is in Jesus.”

His funeral was largely attended at Central Chapelcentral-church11, when a discourse was preached by the writer from the words:

“And I will bring the blind by the way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not know; I will make the darkness light before them, and crokoed things straight.  These things will I do unto them and not forsake them.”  (Isaiah, 42d chapter, 16th verse)

May all of his friends and family meet him in heaven. 

How is that for an obit!!  Rest in Peace Francis Simpson.

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Hit a Brickwall? Twitter it!

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Even the most skilled genealogist hits a brick wall in their research. That aloof, evasive relative that managed to dodge the census takers, avoid immigration records and seemingly was never buried upon their demise. 

I have been using Twitter to try to assist people with their ” .”  I follow the hashtag #genealogy, and when one of my fellow researchers shares their frustration of hittin’ the wall, I offer to help.  Yes, sometimes all it takes is a fresh set of eyes on old, old data.  So the next time you have hit the wall, ask for help.

When using Twitter be sure to use the the hashtags, #genealogy and #brickwall.  Hopefully someone will assist you.  If you receive a random act of kindness be sure to pass it on.  If you are not using Twitter feel free to post your brick wall or road block on this blog.

 With that said, I have a brick wall that I need help on.  I have researched every avenue possible that I can think us using standard genealogical research protocol.

 Here is the background on my brick wall:

William Gardiner was born in Ireland @ 1796 he arrived in America between 1819 and 1823.  I have census records& naturalization records to substantiate birth year and year that he became a citizen.  I have not been able to locate immigration record and family stories state that he was a stow-away.  Would love to know where he came from in Ireland.