Thursday, January 1, 2015

John & Margaret Reister

Though the exact date is unknown, 2015 will mark 300 years since the birth of town founder John Reister.
John Reister was born in present-day Germany, though the exact location, and his parents' names, are unknown.  At the age of 23, he came to the U.S., arriving in Philadelphia on September 16, 1738.  Sometime in the years following, he married Margaret Sohn of York, Pennsylvania.

On July 23, 1746, John purchased fifty acres of farm land in then-Frederick County (near present-day Westminster, Carroll County) from Francis Taylor for £30.  It was likely here that most of the Reister children were born.
On March 2, 1758, John received a land patent for twenty acres of land in Baltimore County, which he named "Reister's Desire."  The location, along the Conewago road coming out of Baltimore, made for a convenient stopping point for travelers and traders, and it was here that John soon established an inn.
In his early history, Dr. Isaac Dickson described the wilderness that would eventually become Reisterstown: "Nearly all this land was in forest, being covered with a dense growth of oak, hickory, chestnut, and gum... to dispel the surrounding gloom, there was nothing save an Indian path through this country, a dirt or mud road."

Over the following years, John acquired more land nearby.  In 1762, he patented an additional 54 acres of land named "Reister's Last Shift", and on January 1, 1763, purchased the adjoining 83 acres of "Brotherly Love" from Thomas Stocksdale for £120.
As other settlers moved into the area, there arose a growing need for a church and school.  On November 29, 1764, John received yet another land patent, this time for just three-quarters of an acre, which he named "Church Hill".  It was here that the log meeting house was built for the community, and the cemetery was established.  At the time, the nearest church burial site was St. Thomas in Owings Mills, and residents had to pay a tax to the Church of England to be interred there.  By establishing a free cemetery at Church Hill, local residents could avoid the tax.
As his children grew up, some moved away, but others settled on their father's land.  John's son Philip managed the inn, while his daughter Mary's husband worked as a blacksmith, and daughter Catherine's husband operated a general store.

In the 1770s, as tensions grew between England and the American colonies, John Reister took steps to ensure that Church Hill would belong to the local community, no matter the outcome of the Revolution or what happened to him.  On March 7, 1775, he deeded the land to six chosen trustees for safekeeping.
The Reister family definitively sided with the American colonies against England in 1778 by taking the Oath of Fidelity to the state of Maryland, required of all men over the age of eighteen.  John Sr., John Jr., and Philip Reister all appear on the list of men from Baltimore County who swore to "be true and faithful to the state of Maryland", and not be "bound to yield any allegiance or obedience to the King of Great Britain, his heirs, or successors".
In further support of the Revolution, Philip Reister joined Captain Nathan Stinchcomb's Company of the Baltimore County Militia, where he was commissioned a First Lieutenant.

By the late 1790s, the local population had increased to the point where a new, separate schoolhouse was needed.  To that end, citing "the Natural desire he hath for the Instruction of youth and for the Incouragement of Schools", John deeded a small parcel from his original Reister's Desire to four trustees, including his son John Jr., on September 28, 1793.
John Reister passed away sometime in the fall in 1804, at the age of 89.  His will, dated August 11, 1804 and proven four months later on December 13th, named his son-in-law and "trusty friend" Henry Wiest as executor.  To his children John Jr. and Catharine, he left $400 each.  For his daughters Elizabeth, Margaret, and Mary, John ordered that they would receive equals shares from the sale of his personal and real estate.  The heirs of his son Philip, who had passed away in 1792, were bequeathed $1 each.
An inventory of John Reister's estate completed in January of 1805 totaled over $1,380, including:
One bed, one bed bolster and one pillow, two straw beds, four linnen sheets two quilts & two coverlets, two bed steds and eight chairs, one coffee mill and one lot of puter, one lot of Queensware & glasses, five silver tea spoons one knife box & a lot of knives & forks, one lot of old bottles one lot earthern and tinware, one puter tea pot & pint can two candle sticks and other iron ware, one ladle flesh fork gridiron & wood ladle, one pair of iron shovel tongs & bellows, one pair steelyards four iron pots one dutch oven, one frying pan tea kettle and bake iron, one lot wooden ware one lot of books, one trunk two tables & one beareau, one stove with about six foot of pipe, one cupboard one old still & worn, two old hogsheads six old barrels & three kegs, one wooden bowl bread tray & copper kettle, one bed sted & two old salting kits, one cutting box & one old fighting cock, one spotted sow & one old looking glass, one quilt and two old sheets, one old basket & three boxes, one lot wearing apparrel.
Dr. Isaac Dickson's history of Reisterstown described John Reister thus:
"We have generally found Mr. Reister a man of great enterprise and sterling worth ... He was affable in manner, prompt in business engagements, energetic in action and truly firm in purpose.  When he gave an order, he expected obedience, and this noble trait he first taught amongst his children, who proved obedient and trustworthy.  He must have been a man well acquainted with human nature, and thoroughly constituted for his arduous position in life."
John and Margaret's children were:
  • John Reister Jr., c1747-1814, husband of Mary Yohn
  • Catherine "Katy" Reister, c1749-1841, wife of (1) Roland Smith and (2) Francis Mayberry
  • Philip Reister, c1750-1792, husband of Eve Gardner
  • Margaret "Peggy" Reister, c1752-1845, wife of Peter Trine
  • Elizabeth "Betsey" Reister, c1754-1838, wife of Henry Wiest
  • Mary "Polly" Reister, c1757-1813, wife of John Beckley

Daughters of the American Revolution (John Reister Sr., John Reister Jr. & Philip Reister) (will & inventory)

Maryland Archives (land records & Oath of Fidelity)
Reisterstown Library
  • The Early Days of Reisterstown and Vicinity by Dr. Isaac Newton Dickson, 1869.
  • Reister's Desire by Lillian Bayly Marks, 1975.
Cemetery photos © AgateGS

Monday, December 1, 2014

George & Julia Shugars

December 23rd marks 91 years since the death of Julia V. (Yingling) Shugars.
Julia Yingling was born on May 14, 1846 in Maryland, the first child of Jesse R. Yingling and Annie M. Gettier, and the elder sister of Mary Yingling Brown from October's blog.  Her father Jesse worked as a tailor.  In the 1850 census, Jesse wasn't listed as owning any real estate, but by 1860, his property was valued at $1,200.  Julia and Mary were both attending school then.

George W. Shugars was born in 1840 in Maryland, the son of Daniel Shugars and Mary Lynch.  His parents were originally from Pennsylvania, but moved south to Maryland sometime in the late 1830s.  In the 1850 census, Daniel was working as a farmer, owning real estate valued at $1,250.  George's older brother William was a blacksmith, while George and his sister Margaret were in school.
George Shugars and Julia Yingling were married in the mid-1860s.  By the 1870 census, the couple had two young children, Virginia and Jesse.  George was a farmer, owning real estate valued at $750, and Julia was keeping house.
By 1880, the family included four more children:  Bessie, Edward, Mable, and Frank.  George was working as both a farmer and dairyman, with Julia keeping house.  The two eldest children, Virginia ("Jennie") and Jesse, were working on the farm, while also attending school along with siblings Bessie and Edward.  George's widowed aunt, Bettie Waters, was also living in the household.
On September 2, 1887, George and Julia's daughter Bessie passed away at the age 16.  Coincidentally, her paternal grandfather Daniel died on the same day.
Though the census records are contradictory, they seem to indicate that the Shugars might have had as many as nine children in all.  If that's true, then they very likely had other children who died at a young age, though their names have been lost.

In the 1900 census, George and Julia had four of their children still living in their household:  Jennie, Jesse, Mable, and Frank.  Their son Edward had married and moved out a few years prior.
George Shugars died suddenly of heart failure on January 16, 1905, at the age of 64.
Just over a month later, in late February, the Shugars' eldest daughter Jennie went into labor prematurely.  No records have been found on the child, who likely did not survive.  Jennie been married less than two years before, to Arthur Keller.  Two weeks later, on March 12, 1905, she died of septicemia, at the age of 37.
In February of 1908, Julia, together with her children and son-in-law Arthur, sold the family's 31-acre property along Hanover Road in Reisterstown for $2,900 to George A. Henry.  According to the Baltimore Sun, it was part of a growing trend in the area.
By 1910, Jesse and Frank Shugars had both married and moved away, and so Mable was the only daughter left living at home with Julia.
In the 1920 census, son Jesse, listed as a widower, had moved back home with his mother and sister.  A cousin of Julia's, Edward Carron, was also living in the household.  Jesse was working as a painter, and Edward was an electrician.
Julia Shugars passed away three years later, on December 23, 1923, at the age of 77.
George and Julia's known children were:
  • Virginia "Jennie" M. Shugars, c1867-1905, wife of Arthur S. Keller
  • Jesse R. Shugars, c1868-1929, husband of Elizabeth
  • Bessie Shugars, 1871-1887
  • Edward Shugars, 1872-1957, husband of Mary Elizabeth Vondersmith
  • Mable Shugars, 1874-1962, unmarried
  • Frank Shugars, 1879-1967, husband of Maggie Brown Uhler

Sources: (census records)

  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M432_280; Page: 220A.
  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M432_280; Page: 239B.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M653_468; Page: 45.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 243B.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 495; Page: 556D.
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: Election District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 606; Page: 8A.
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: Election District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: T624_550; Page: 25A.
  • Year: 1920; Census Place: Election District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: T625_654; Page: 3A.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Mr. George W. Shugars Buried." Date: 19 January 1905; Page: 6.
  • "Mrs. Kellar Laid To Rest." Date: 15 March 1905; Page: 6.
  • "Large Lots Are Sold." Date: 13 May 1908; Page: 8.
  • "Deaths." Date: 24 December 1923; Page: 10.
Maryland Archives (land & death records)

Cemetery photos © AgateGS

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Alice E. Stone

November 12th marks 102 years since the death of Alice (Gosnell) Stone.

The family was one of the more complicated to research, as their gravestone has no dates on it, only names.
Alice was born on April 29, 1845 in Maryland, the daughter of Thomas Gosnell and Mary Lockard.  Her father was a veteran of the War of 1812, having served as a Private in Captain Jeremiah Ducker's Company.  After the war, Thomas worked as a carpenter in Baltimore City.  The 1850 census shows Thomas as the head of a rather large household, likely made up of extended family members. He owned real estate valued at $900.  Young Alice was about six years old at the time.
By 1860, the household was reduced in size.  Alice was the youngest member, and at age fifteen, was attending school.  The value of Thomas' real estate had increased slightly to $1,000, and he was now listed as a "master" carpenter.
Sometime in the mid-1860s, Alice married Pinkney M. Stone of North Carolina, though it is unknown how the two of them met.  During the Civil War, Pinkney had been conscripted on October 15, 1862 to serve as a Private in the 45th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.  At the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House on May 10, 1864, Pinkney was shot in the leg, and retired from active service later that year.
In the 1870 census, the Stones were living in Rockingham County, North Carolina, where Pinkney operated a dry goods store.  The couple had two children:  Thomas, age 4, and Emma, age 3.  Also living in the household was Pinkney's store clerk, David Martin.
Pinkney and Alice would have two more daughters, Mary and Nellie, before Pinkney's death on November 2, 1874.  Pinkney was buried in the Stone family's small cemetery in North Carolina, in what would later become the town of Stoneville.

After Pinkney's death Alice returned with her children to Baltimore City.  Her father Thomas had passed away while she was living in North Carolina, so in the 1880 census, Alice was living with her widowed mother and three older siblings.  One of her brothers, Franklin, had taken after their father and was working as a carpenter.  Alice's two middle children were attending school.
Five years later, Alice's mother Mary passed away.  In her will, she left Alice her house, with all its furniture, on East Madison Street in Baltimore City, "so long as she remains a widow, to hold and enjoy the same, in trust for [Mary's] son George W. Gosnell during his natural life."  Two other sons, John and Frank, were instructed to "use their best endeavors to make it an agreeable home."
Alice's eldest daughter Emma passed away on Christmas Day in 1887 at the age of 21.
In 1891, son Thomas passed away at the age of 26.  He was interred in the Stone family cemetery in North Carolina.
In the 1900 census, Alice was living with her younger daughters Mary and Nellie, now 29 and 27 years old respectively, both of whom were working as teachers.  Alice's older siblings Franklin and Martha (a widow, with no children), were also living in the household.
By 1910, the family was down to just Alice and her two daughters.  None was listed as having an occupation.
Alice passed away two years later, on November 12, 1912 in Baltimore City, at the age of 67. 
Pinkney and Alice's children were:
  • Thomas P. Stone, 1866-1891
  • Emma V. Stone, c1867-1887
  • Mary M. Stone, 1871-1957
  • Nellie E. Stone, 1873-1934

Sources: (census records)

  • Year: 1850; Census Place: Ward 6, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: M432_283; Pages: 193A-B.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: Ward 6, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: M653_460; Pages: 424-5.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: Mayo, Rockingham, North Carolina; Roll: M593_1157; Page: 283A.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: Ward 7, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: 499; Page: 403C.
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: Ward 10, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: 612; Page: 15B.
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: Ward 10, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: T624_556; Page: 11B.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Died." Date: 28 December 1887; Page: 2.
  • "Died." Date: 22 September 1891; Page: 2.
  • "Died." Date: 14 November 1912; Page: 6. (will) (Pinkney & Thomas)

Fold3 (Civil War records)

Maryland Archives (death records)

Cemetery photos © AgateGS

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

William & Mary Brown

October 31st marks 100 years since the death of Mary E. (Yingling) Brown.
Mary Yingling was born in Maryland on March 28th, most likely in 1851. Her gravestone gives the year 1821, which would put her birth four years even before her father's.  Mary was the younger daughter of Jesse R. Yingling and Annie M. Gettier.  In the 1860 census, her father was working as a tailor.  He's not listed as owning any real estate, but the value of his personal property was $1,200.  Mary, who was nine years old, and her older sister Julia, were both attending school.  Interestingly, the census enumerator had creatively transcribed the family's last name as "Zingley".
Ten years later, Mary was still living with her parents, but her sister Julia had married and moved out of the household.  Her father Jesse now owned $1,000 worth of real estate.
William Brown was born on December 10, 1845 in Maryland, the son of Thomas S. and Belinda Brown.  Unlike Mary, he came from a large family;  in the 1850 census, William was one of nine children in the household.  His father Thomas was working as a farmer in Carroll County, owning real estate valued at $3,500.  Four of William's older siblings were attending school, though at age five, William was still too young.
In the 1860 census, the value of Thomas Brown's real estate had doubled to $7,000.  Two of William's older brothers, Joshua and Josiah, were working on their father's farm.  Curiously, fourteen-year-old William has no occupation given, nor was marked as attending school.
By 1870, William had moved out of his parents' house, and was working at Hitshue's Hotel as a bartender.
William Brown and Mary Yingling were married sometime around 1872.  In the 1880 census, William was now working as a butcher.  Mary, now 25 years old, was keeping house.  Her father Jesse had passed away four years prior, and so her mother Annie was living with the couple.
In the years following, the property that Mary's father had owned in Reisterstown changed hands several times, and there was some sort of legal battle that ensued.  Eventually, on January 29, 1891, the property was resold to Mary and her husband for $900.  The very same day, Mary and William mortgaged the property to the Franklin Permanent Building Association.
A map of Reisterstown from 1898, however, shows that William and Mary had returned to the property, located near the Lutheran Church, and across the street from the present-day location of Franklin Middle School.
In the 1900 census, William was unemployed, and had been out of work for about two years.  The couple had been married now for 28 years, but had no children.
Ten years later, William, now 64 years old, was likely retired, as under occupation, he's listed as living on his "own income".
Mary passed away on October 31, 1914 at the age of 63 from hemiplegia.
In 1918, William sold the couple's house, and went to live with with a nephew in Baltimore City.  He passed away on February 10, 1927 from heart disease at the age of 81.
Unfortunately, the Browns' house at 121-123 Main Street no longer exists today. 

Sources: (census records & map)

  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 4, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M432_289; Page: 190B.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: Woolerys, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M653_471; Page: 774.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M653_468; Page: 45.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: Reisterstown, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 279A.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: Reisterstown, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 277B.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 495; Page: 568D.
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 606; Page: 5B.
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: T624_550; Page: 10B.
  • Year: 1920; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: T625_654; Page: 14A.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Died." Date: 1 November 1914; Page: 6.
  • "William G. Brown." Date: 13 February 1927; Page: 4.
Maryland Archives (death & land records, Historic Sites Inventory Survey)

Cemetery photos © AgateGS