Tombstone Cold Case – Basil Dorsey, Jr.

Basil Dorsey, Jr.
Basil Dorsey, Jr.

Basil Dorsey, Jr.

On my walks thru the Central Church Cemetery in New Market, MD. I noticed a plain, small and very old stone that caught my attention. It seemed so diminutive and simple that I wanted to find out a bit about the person buried beneath the stone.  As you can decipher from the photograph the information on the stone is limited –   Basil Dorsey, Jr. (1768-1823).  Nothing else is inscribed other than the name and date.  I decided to add this to my list of Cold Case Tombstones stories. This is a hobby of mine; just choosing a random tombstone and researching.

Basil Dorsey, Jr. was the son of Basil Dorsey (1720-1799) and Harriet Harris (1775-1829).  Jr. was born on Valentine’s Day in Anne Arundel County. In reading local history books it is written that his father, Judge Basil Dorsey,  was appointed the Justice for Frederick County, MD in 1777.

Basil Jr. and Harriet had two daughters Maria (1793-1812)  and Cordelia (1798-married Vachel Randall. and Cordelia.  Cordelia first married William Downey, and secondly Rev. Nicholas Dorsey of Elkridge, a Methodist preacher.

The article,  McKinsey Folger, “New Market’s Name believed Derived from Nearby Plains”  Frederick News Post 24-Sept-1941: pg 10. shares additional information about Cordelia Dorsey Downing. Pat Bishop’s article titled, “Central UM Church plans Hymn Sing Sunday” Frederick News Post 6-Nov-1971: pg 4-B4. Explains that Cordelia Downey donated the land for the church that sits across from her grave.  Isn’t it ironic that father of the person who donated the land has such a diminutive grave. 

Newmarktnewspaper

Uncle Will goes West

William T. Gardiner
Lydia Ensey Gardiner

Lydia Ensey Gardiner

William T. Gardiner

William T. Gardiner

William (Will) Thomas Gardiner (1858-1938) born in Baltimore, Maryland was the son of William H. Gardiner (1827-1902) and Ann Frances Green Gardiner (1827-1902). In 1860 Will was 2 years of age and residing with his family in the New Market District, Frederick County, MD.  His father’s profession  listed as a farmer. The value of  real estate owned is $500 and personal value is $100.   The census also reveals that his paternal Grandmother, Henrietta was also living with the family[1].

In 1870 the family lived in the New Market District of Frederick County, Maryland but the postal office is listed as Urbana, instead of Frederick.  The family was still engaged in farming.[2] His grandmother no lingered appeared on the census as she [Henrietta Simpson Gardiner] died September 30, 1866 and is buried in the Central Church Cemetery, New Market, Maryland.[3]

In June of 1880 the family is found to be residing on the Cracklin District of Montgomery County, MD.  Will is 21 years of age, and working on the family farm. In addition to his direct family members they also have residing with them Thomas Smallwood, age 13 who serves as a houseboy and Stephen Musgrove, age 15 a farm hand.

On May 2, 1882 Will married Miss Lydia E. Ensey (1854-1886)[4]. The marriage application states that Will resided in Howard County, MD working on a farm.  One would speculate that perhaps he was working on the Ensey’s farm and that is where he met Lydia..of course this is just speculation.  Lydia was born in Poplar Springs, Howard County, MD.  Daughter of Richard L. (1823-1910) and Mary Jane Ensey. Richard L. Ensey was the postmaster for Woodbine, Carroll County, Maryland in 1855.[5] In 1880, the Ensey family lived in the 4th Election District of Howard County, MD.  The Howard County, Maryland Directory of 1878 lists the family living in Cooksville – described as being 2 1/4 miles from Hood’s Mills and that Richard L. Ensey owned and operated a hotel.[6]

Sometime between 1882 & 1886 Will and Lydia headed out west to Iowa to make a new home.  I have wondered many time why he headed to Iowa, was it in the pursuit of land, an opportunity or family? Curious to find a reason I search the censuses’ for Lydia’s brothers low and behold, the 1885 census reveal that John D. Ensey, Lydia’s brother, was living in Guthrie County, Iowa[7].  Since I cannot find Will T. on the Iowa census of 1885 I would assume it was late 1885 or 1886 when he went West.

On May 21, 1886 Will and Lydia were blessed with the birth of their son Lee Ensey Gardiner[8].  Sadly Lydia, age 31,would die during childbirth never knowing his mother[9].

Will would return to Maryland with his infant son and after Lee’s christening  Will began the journey out west to his home in Iowa without his son.  Lydia Ensey Gardiner is buried in Menlo Cemetery in Guthrie County, Iowa. Lee was left in Maryland with his maternal grandparents until he was 21 years of age.

10 years after the death of his first wife he would marry again[10].   In 1886 Will wed Miss Mary Josephine Gamber (1877-1936) daughter of Sarah Jane Watts (1832-1913) and John Gamber (1818-1889).

Josephine Gamber Gardiner

Josephine Gamber Gardiner

In 1900 Will and Josephine lived in Pocahontas Town, Iowa[11].  William Bernard (3) and Forest Cleland (2) their children were also listed.

The Iowa Census of 1905 show the family still living in Pocahontas, Iowa with the addition of two new children – Mildred and Donald.  The 1905 census lists only name and no other information about the family.

By 1910 Will and Jo added several more children to the family – Janet (Sallie), Louis G, and Lawrence Alva Gardiner.  I was also delighted to see that Will and his first son, Lee Ensey Gardiner were reunited and living under the same roof[12].  It is also interesting to note that several other people were also living with them – Cleland Gilchrist, partner, Jane Gamber, Mother-in-law, Earl E. Ensey is listed as a hired hand, but he is actually a nephew of  Lydia’s.  I wonder if he and Lee ventured west together.  Edward Taggert, hired hand and Charles Marcy also a hired hand.

Barn

In 1915 two more children appear – Frances J. who is listed as 8 years of age (must have been in the outhouse when the 1910 census taker came) and Walter Gardiner being 2 years of age. Josephine and the all the children list their religion as Methodist.  Will T. did not disclose h is religion.  They are all residing in Grant, Pocahontas, Iowa. Walter only appears once on the census records – Family memoirs state that Walter died in a forest fire in 1918[13].  This would explain his disappearance from the 1920 census records.

Sometime between 1915 and 1920 the family relocated to North Dakota, Grant County in the Melrose Township[14]. The family still engaged in farming.  However they did not stay long and we find them living back in Iowa by 1925.

The 1925 Iowa census have me confused as to the exact location. as they appear in two different locations – one listing them as being in Dickinson, Lake, Iowa and one being in Polk. Des Moines, Iowa.

back of postcard 1911In 1930 Josephine Gardiner is living with her son William in Plymouth County, Plymouth Township in Merrill Town, Iowa.  William is the proprietor of a hotel.  His wife, Mary V. is listed as a waitress at the hotel.  They have two boarder also listed: Andrew Littman and Clara B. Gardner[15].  I am unable to find Will T. on the 1930 census.

Mary Josephine Gamber Gardiner passed away in 1936 and is buried next to Will’s first wife in the Menlo Cemetery in Guthrie County, Iowa. William Thomas Gardiner passed away two years later in 1938 and is buried in the same cemetery next to both of his wives.


[1] Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: New Market, Frederick, Maryland; Roll  M653_475; Page: 0; Image: 402. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1,438 rolls.

[2] Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: New Market, Frederick, Maryland; Roll  M593_587; Page: 412; Image: 211 Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2003. Original data: 1870.  United States. Ninth Census of the United States, 1870. Washington, D.C. National Archives and Records Administration. M593, RG29, 1,761 rolls. Minnesota. Minnesota Census Schedules for 1870. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T132, RG29, 13 rolls.

[3] Jones-Hudson, Kathi. “Central Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery.” USGenWeb Tombstone Project. Kathi Jones-Hudson, 25 June 2006. Web. 24 Sept. 2009. <http://usgwarchives.net>.

[4] “Howard County Marriage Licenses.” Howard County Historical Society. Web. 24 Sept. 2009. <http://www.hchsmd.org>.

[5] United States Official postal guide with the name of Postmasters. Washington, DC: J. Shillington, 1855.

[6] The Maryland Directory of 1878. Baltimore, MD: J. Frank Lewis & Co., 1878.

“Howard County, Maryland Directory 1878.” New River Notes. http://www.newrivernotes.com/md/howard1878.htm (accessed September 2009).

[7] Source Information: Ancestry.com. Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Microfilm of Iowa State Censuses, 1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925 as well various special censuses from 1836-1897 obtained from the State Historical Society of Iowa via Heritage Quest.

[8] Source Citation: Number: 481-09-3233;Issue State: Iowa;Issue Date: Before 1951. Source Information:Ancestry.com. Social Security Death Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.

[9] Source Information:Ancestry.com. Iowa Cemetery Records [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000. Original data: Works Project Administration. Graves Registration Project. Washington, D.C.: n.p., n.d.

[10] Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Center, Pocahontas, Iowa; Roll  T623_452; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 162. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

[11] Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Center, Pocahontas, Iowa; Roll  T623_452; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 162. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

[12] Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Grant, Pocahontas, Iowa; Roll  T624_416; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 190; Image: 826. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA Or (Gardiner)original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1910. T624, 1,178 rolls.

[13] Gardiner, Marie Antoinette Bowlen, “My Memoir” The Gardiner’s & Relatives (August 1954)

[14] Year: 1920;Census Place: Melrose, Grant, South Dakota; Roll  T625_1719; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 158; Image: 1068.

[15] Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Plymouth, Plymouth, Iowa; Roll  672; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 25; Image: 950.0. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.

Basil John Fletcher Simpson

BaSIL J. F. Simpson

Basil John Fletcher Simpson was the son of Francis Simpson and Catherine Gardiner. He was named after the first ancestor, Basil J.F. Simpson who emigrated from Edinburgh Scotland in the 1730′s.  He was born in 1830 in Unity, Montgomery County, Maryland. He and his family resided in the small village of New London, Maryland.  In 1858 he married Laura J. Nusbaum (1841-1914) and together they had 6 children – all but one reaching the age of maturity.  Basil J.F. as he was know,  was a pious and faithful servant of the Lord.  He was the superintendent and teacher of the Central United Methodist Church in New London.

Basil worked as a blacksmith, wheelwright and also a cabinet maker, building coffins during the civil war.  He passed away at a relatively early age in the comfort of his home. He is resting in peace at the Central Church Cemetery.  The following is a copy of his obituary which appered in the Frederick News on 18 FEB 1899.  It is interesting to note that all the newspapers state the year of his death and 1899, but his tombstone states he died in the year 1900. I would assume that the paper is correct as several of the family tombstones contain errors, mostly  misspellings.

 

 

 

  

THE WORK OF DEATH

Basil J. F. Simpson

Mr. Basil J. F. Simpson, whose death at New London was briefly mentionedSimpson House - New London, MD was aged 68 years, 11 months and 13 days. Death ensued from grip, the first atttack being about twelve years ago. Mr. Simpson was an honored citizen of New London for about forty years and a lifelong member of Central church, ofwhich he was a class leader for many years. His wife and four children survivehim. The children are Messrs.Ridgely, of near Frederick, Allen B., of Fort Seneca, Ohio, Mrs. John H. Albaugh, of Libertytown, and Mrs. Nelson Jones, of Montgomery county. The funeral took place last Saturday morning from, his late home, Rev.G. F. Farring officiating. Interment was made at Central chapel graveyard.

An interesting article appeared in the Frederick Examiner on 28 OCT 1858 that lends a little insight to the strong character and values that Basil possessed. It reads:

Attempted Murder

On the evening of Thursday, 7th inst., at New London, in New Market district, John H. Bevans, while laboring under an access of Mania a polu attempted to kill Mrs. P. Riggs, an aged lady, by cutting her throat.  It seems that Bevans, excited by drink to madness, had previously assailed several persons with a drawn knife, out they managed to escape to places of safety, and upon coming to the house of Mrs. Rigss, he broke open the door chased out the family, consisting of females, and catching the old lady in the street, threw her down attempted to pinion her her hands under his knee, made one cut across her throat and was in the act of repeating his murderous blow when, when he was struck in the head with a stone thrown by Mr. Basil Simpson.  He was immediately secured.  Mrs. Riggs’ wound was dressed by Dr. T.W. Simpson of Liberty; but at last accounts was in a very critical condition. Bevans we learn, has been placed in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Philadelphia.newlondon

To the right is an 1858 map of New London, MD.  You can see from the map and the Riggs, and the Bevans (Beavans) were neighbors.  Basil Simpson’s inlaws, the Nusbaum’s also live on the same street. On the 1850 census, Daniel Nusbaum, Basil’s father in-law listed his occupation as a wheelwright.  It is a natural assumption that Daniel taught Basil the same trade.

 

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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

I was blind…but now I see.

gem

gem1

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.

francissimpson

The Day I Found my Grandmother

Central Church Cemetery

central-cemetery-gate2New Market, Maryland is an area rich with lore and history.  In the late 1700′s it emerged as a popular trade route.  It is estimated that over three million people traveled through New Market from 1820-1850.  Today it has been deemed the Antiques Capital of Maryland. Charming Main Street is lined with homes from the Federal period, many of them are antique stores filled with treasures. As you meander the back alley’s and narrow cobble walk ways you almost transcend in time. 

 

Four years ago, I was fortunate enough to move to New Market.  On moving day – we drove past  the Central Church Cemetery –  about a mile from my home.  Dad reminded me that we had relatives buried there one of which included my G-G-G-G Grandmother.    

 

 After driving by the cemetery on a daily basis for two months, I decided to take advantage of the sunny winter day and go grave hunting. 

 My quest was to find Henrietta Gardiner my G-G-G-G Grandmother.  I had my teenage girls in tow, who were already complaining…mind you were were just entering the cemetery gate.  Caitlin said, “How are we going to find her?”  I turned to her, placed my index finger to my lips asking her to shh. 

 

Always looking for humor I said… “Be quiet, they are sleeping.”

   

I methodically worked my way through the cemetery row by row.  My girls opted a more “free-style” search which was more or less just random running.  Caitlin was the first to spot it and called me over…there she was… my G-G-G-G Grandmother. 

 

 Henrietta Simpson Gardiner born 1790 in Maryland.  The daughter of Basil Simpson and Sarah Worthington.  In 1823 Henrietta married William Gardiner in Rockville, Maryland.  William Gardiner according to family lore stowed away on ship setting sail from Ireland arriving in America @1819.  Henrietta Simpson Gardiner is buried beneath the same monument of her brother Francis Simpson, and her sister, Elizabeth Simpson  Clarke.  As we made our way around the monument our mouths dropped open as we read the words on the front of the monument. 

 it reads:

“Open the Gate gently they are not dead but sleeping.” 

Open the Gate

Total coincidence, divine intervention or a clue from my dear Grandmother.  You be the judge. What it was I don’t know or really care. I was thankful to find the grave and think of her everyday as I drive by my heritage, right here in New Market, MD.