Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Adam & Alice Zimmerman

July 4th marks 114 years since the death of Rev. Adam H. Zimmerman.
Father, into thy hands
I commend my spirit.
Adam was born on August 17, 1840 in Manchester, Maryland, the eldest son of Henry and Leah Zimmerman.  In the 1850 census, the family was living in Carroll County, with his father Henry listed as a farmer, owning real estate valued at $2,500.  Adam had five younger siblings, but only he and his sister Barbara were old enough to attend school.
As a young man, Adam was a devout Christian.  After graduating from the Drew Theological Seminary in New Jersey, he spent a few years on Maryland's eastern shore as a missionary for the Maryland Sunday School Union.  In 1872, he was licensed as a lay preacher in Salisbury. As part of his ministry, he was frequently required to travel on foot.  After one such journey through the region's wetlands, he fell victim to rheumatism, which left him unable to get around for almost a year afterward.  Adam underwent surgery to attempt to correct the condition, but instead, the procedure left him lame.

Alice Ireland was born circa 1839 in Maryland, the daughter of Edward Ireland and Deborah Owings Moale.  Her father was born Edward Hollingsworth, but legally changed his last name by an act of the Maryland Legislature in honor of his uncle, Edward Ireland.  In 1850, the Irelands were living in Carroll County, with Edward claiming to own $50,000 worth of real estate, working as a farmer.
Adam Zimmerman and Alice Ireland were married on December 26, 1876 at St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal Church in Baltimore City by Rev. Dr. Grammer.  In the 1880 census, the couple and their two-year-old daughter Ada were living with Alice's mother, sister, and niece at 232 North Howard Street in Baltimore.  A domestic servant, Charity Barnes, also lived in the household.  Though no occupation is listed for Adam, he had been working as a teacher for some time.
In late 1889, Alice fell ill with influenza, from which she never fully recovered.  Over the next few months, her condition worsened.  Alice passed away from consumption in Westminster, Maryland on May 22, 1890, at the age of 51.
A devoted wife,
a fond mother,
a true Christian.
Not dead, but gone before.
After his wife's death, Adam retired from teaching.  He continued to be active in the church, however, joining the Baltimore Local Preachers' Association a few years later.  In early 1900, he was elected as a delegate for the National Association of Local Preachers for the annual conference in Sheffield, England.  In preparation for his upcoming trip, Adam applied for a passport on March 27, 1900, stating that he planned to be out of the U.S. for three or four months.  He was described as being six feet tall, with brown eyes, dark hair, and a fair complexion. 
Adam departed for England on May 24th.  Afterward, it was Adam's intention to travel around Europe.  However, he contracted a stomach illness shortly after his arrival, and passed away in Bremen, Germany on July 4, 1900, about a month shy of his 60th birthday.  His body was returned to the U.S. on July 27th, and the funeral was held at the Methodist Church in Reisterstown on July 30th.
In his will, Adam left his books, shares of stock in the National Enameling and Stamping Company, and all the income from his ground rents to his brother Leander, who was named as his executor.  To his sisters Lydia, Carrie, and Barbara, he also left shares of stock and mortgage incomes from specific properties.  His remaining properties were left to his daughter Ada.

Adam and Alice Zimmerman had one daughter:
  • Ada Moale Zimmerman, 1877-19??, wife of (1) William Clarence Curley and (2) John W. Evers

Ancestry.com (census records, school records & passport application)
  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 6, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M432_289; Page: 357A.
  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 5, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M432_289; Page: 216A.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: Ward 11, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: 501; Page: 393A.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Married." Date: 29 December 1876; Page: 2.
  • "Death of a Preacher's Wife." Date: 23 May 1890; Page: 4.
  • "Rev. A. H. Zimmerman Dies." Date: 5 July 1900; Page: 12.
  • "Rev. A. H. Zimmerman's Body Arrives." Date: 28 July 1900; Page: 12.
  • "Rev. A. H. Zimmerman." Date: 31 July 1900; Page: 7.
Christian Advocate, 4 October 1900.

FamilySearch.org (marriage records & will)

Cemetery Photos © AgateGS

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Herod & Priscilla Choate

June 13th marks 137 years since the death of Herod Choate.
Herod was born on October 25, 1796 in Baltimore County, Maryland, the sixth of Richard Choate and Jane Lowe's eleven children.  His father Richard died in 1813, about a month after Herod's seventeenth birthday.

During the War of 1812, with the British attacking Maryland and Washington, DC, Herod volunteered as a substitute for his uncle David Lowe in August of 1814.  He served in a company of cavalry under Captain Christopher Carnan.  His duties included carrying dispatches between Major General Samuel Smith and Fort McHenry during the fort's bombardment by the British navy on September 13, 1814 (the battle which gave us our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner").  In Carnan's Company, he also took part in "covering the retreat of the infantry who had advanced to attack the British troops led by Genl. Ross at North Point."  Herod was discharged from service on November 1, 1814 at Towson.

After the war, Herod moved to Simpson County, Kentucky with his mother and several siblings.  In the 1820 census, Herod, now about 24 years old, was listed as head-of-household, living with seven others.
Herod returned briefly to Baltimore County to marry Priscilla Harryman on November 2, 1824.  Priscilla, born on November 18, 1804, was the daughter of Samuel Harryman and Elizabeth Wheeler, and the aunt of Amos Harryman, from last December's blog post.  Priscilla traveled to Kentucky with her new husband, and their first child, Jesse Columbus Choate, was born there the following August.  They stayed in Kentucky for a few more years, but were living in Reisterstown again by May 20, 1827, when Herod was appointed as Postmaster.

In 1836 and 1837, Herod purchased tracts of land from William and Rebecca Frush near Soldiers Delight Road (present-day Nicodemus Road), comprised of pieces of "Bachelors Fancy", "Clarks Park", "Soldiers Delight", and "Stevensons Plains Resurveyed".  According to Choate family history:
"[The family] moved to a place with a substantial stone and brick house about a mile southwest of Cherry Hill, on Delight Road ... The house stood at the head of a valley or glen that gradually spread between two low ridges covered with pine trees.  It was built into a bank, so that it appeared two stories and an attic from the front but three stories from the back.  Originally it was two rooms on each floor with a chimney at each end.  The two bottom rooms had dirt floors and huge open brick fireplaces where the cooking, baking and preserving were done.  Later, additional rooms and a chimney were added to the east end, providing a root cellar for the basement and two bedrooms above.  The timbers of the ceiling in the basement were hand-hewed solid logs."
Around this time, Herod also began operating a chromium mine in Soldiers Delight.  With the support of businessman and geologist Isaac Tyson Jr., Baltimore County became one of the world's leading sources of chrome in the mid-1800s, used in Europe to make a pigment for a popular yellow paint.  One of the Choate mines can still be found today in the Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area, just a short hike from Deer Park Road.
In 1842, Herod was again appointed as Postmaster, this time for Owings Mills.

On November 26, 1846, the Choates' eldest son Jesse enlisted in the 1st Virginia Volunteers under Captain Fletcher H. Archer.  His service during the Mexican-American War took him to Matamoras in Mexico, where he died of illness on April 5, 1847, at the age of 21.
In 1850, Herod was working as a farmer, owning real estate valued at $2,000.  The family had five children:  Georgianna, age 19;  Mary, age 14;  Elizabeth, age 12;  David, age 9;  and Ellen, age 6.  The three middle children - Mary, Elizabeth, and David - were attending school.  Two laborers were also living in the household, Samuel Fisher and Jacob Tilman.
By the 1860 census, the value of Herod's real estate had increased to $5,000, and he was again listed as a farmer.  The couple's eldest daughter Georgianna had married and moved away, but the younger four children were still living at home, with David working on the farm.  The family also employed a servant, Fanny Little.
In 1870, only two of the Choates' children remained at home, David and Elinor, now 27 and 25 years old, respectively.  A six-year-old granddaughter, Alice O'Dell, who was in school, had come to live with the family.  Herod, now 73 years old, was still farming along with his son David, and Priscilla was keeping house.
In 1871, Herod applied for a pension based on his service during the War of 1812.  However, his application was rejected "by reason of insufficient service" on March 9, 1872;  proof could not be found that he had served the required time, despite his having been granted 160 acres of bounty land in 1857 for the same service.

Priscilla Choate passed away on February 23, 1876 at the age of 71.
On June 5, 1877, Herod Choate's dairy was one of three in the Reisterstown area raided by thieves.  Herod died the following week, on June 13, 1877, at the age of 80.

Herod and Priscilla's children were:
  • Jesse Columbus Choate, 1825-1847
  • Edward S. Choate, 1828-1829
  • Georgianna Choate, 1831-1911, wife of Samuel Kirk Crosby
  • Vilmina E. Choate, 1834-1834
  • Mary Jane Choate, 1836-1894, wife of Evan Peddicord
  • Elizabeth Harryman Choate, 1838-1867, wife of William Chapman O'Dell
  • David Lowe Choate, 1840-1882
  • Elinor "Ellen" Gill Choate, 1843-1881

Ancestry.com (census records)
  • Year: 1810; Census Place: Soldiers Delight Hundred, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 13; Page: 568.
  • Year: 1820; Census Place: Franklin, Simpson, Kentucky; Roll: M33_28; Page: 17.
  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M432_280; Page: 231A.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M653_468; Page: 25.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 258B.
Baltimore Sun
FamilySearch.org (marriage records)


Harald B. "Johnny" Johnsson

Maryland Archives (land records)

Reisterstown Library

  • Choate Family of Baltimore County, Maryland by Jesse Choate Phillips, 1979.
Cemetery photos © AgateGS

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

Yesterday, members of the James A. Garfield Camp No. 1 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War held a moving wreath-laying ceremony at the cemetery in honor of Memorial Day.
The origins of Memorial Day date back to the aftermath of the Civil War, when families began to mark "Decoration Day" by visiting the graves of their loved ones lost during the conflict.  After World War I, the focus was widened to include all fallen U.S. Veterans, and it became an official federal holiday in 1968.  To quote the SUVCW's General Order No. 11:
"If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.  Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude - the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan."
The wreath was placed at the grave of John A. Neel, who enlisted as a Private in the 8th Maryland Infantry Regiment of the Union Army on August 14, 1862, and was mustered out as a Commissary Sergeant on May 31, 1865.
The keynote address was given by historian Mr. Robert Mullauer, speaking on the role of the common soldier, and how the specter of death on the field affected them.  His complete speech can be viewed here:

The ceremony was included in WBAL's coverage of Memorial Day ceremonies in Maryland:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hot off the Press

Well, this is the second year in a row the Bloomin' ArtFest was cut short due to afternoon rain.  A big thank you to all the visitors who came by for a tour while the weather was cooperating!
Of course, our biggest piece of news from the festival was the release of our new book honoring the cemetery's Veterans, from the Revolutionary War up through World War II.  It documents the history of Reisterstown's military heroes through each conflict, and provides photos for each of their graves.
And now the Veterans book is available for order by mail!  They're just $25 each, including tax, shipping & handling.  All proceeds benefit the cemetery's restoration efforts.  Simply download and print out the order form using the link below, fill it out, and mail it back to us!

Thanks again to everyone for all your support! We couldn't do it without you!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Jeremiah & Julia Ducker

May 14th marks 123 years since the death of Julia Ann (Fisher) Ducker.
Julia was born on June 12, 1800 in Maryland, the youngest daughter of George Fisher and Catherine Sholl.  Three of her older siblings died young, and were interred in the cemetery, not far from the north entrance.  In the 1810 census, she was counted in her father's household, living in Soldiers Delight Hundred.
Jeremiah Ducker was born on October 10, 1787 in Montgomery County, Maryland, the son of Jeremiah Ducker and Sarah Howard.  He and his younger brother Henry moved to the Reisterstown area around 1810.  During the War of 1812, both brothers enlisted in the Maryland Militia;  Henry served in the 39th Regiment, and Jeremiah was commissioned a Captain in the 7th Regiment, which was comprised of about 75 men from the Reisterstown area.

In late August of 1814, Captain Ducker's regiment was part of the Eleventh Brigade, deployed near Bladensburg, Maryland to aid in the defense of Washington, DC.  Captain Ducker's riflemen, supporting two companies of artillery from Baltimore, were stationed in the rear left of the battery to defend against any approach by the British on the Georgetown Road.  From this position, they were the first to engage the British.  A lack of support forced the men to retreat, and ultimately, the British continued their advance and attacked Washington.  The Battle of Bladensburg and the subsequent burning of Washington, while severe losses, did serve to strengthen the Americans' resolve at the Battle of Baltimore a few weeks later.  Captain Ducker's regiment was discharged in December of 1814.

The Reisterstown Library's history room has on display the canteen carried by Henry Ducker during the War of 1812, donated by Jeremiah's great-granddaughter Ila Ducker Mathias.  Both sides of the canteen are beautifully painted.
Jeremiah Ducker and Julia Fisher were married on October 3, 1822 by Reverend Jennings.  In the 1830 census, the Ducker family was living in Baltimore County's 7th district, with four children under nine years old, two other adult males (possibly one was Jeremiah's brother Henry?), two female slaves, and a free colored man.

Over the years, Jeremiah had gradually been acquiring land in Baltimore County.  Purchases made from Standish Barry in 1826, from Isaac Dickson in 1827 and 1833, and from Abner Neal in 1854, all comprised property at the present-day intersection of Main Street and Route 140.  It was here that Jeremiah opened a tavern, which would later become Hitshue's Hotel (see last June's blog post).  Across Main Street, Jeremiah also had a dry goods business in partnership with Philip Reister Jr. for a time, which Reister would later share with his grand-nephews William and Reister Russell.

In the 1850 census, the Ducker family was living in Baltimore County's 1st district.  Jeremiah, now 62 years old, was listed as a farmer, and owned real estate valued at $12,000.  Julia was 50 years old.  Living with them were Jeremiah's brother Henry, and two grown children:  son Jeremiah, 23 years old and also working as a farmer, and daughter Catharine, 20 years old.
Jeremiah Ducker passed away on March 19, 1858, at the age of 70.
A year later, on March 1, 1859, Julia Ann Ducker applied for bounty land based on her husband's service during the War of 1812.  Witnesses Solomon Choate and John Beckley signed affidavits that they were both personally acquainted with the Duckers, and that they "served in the company commanded by the said Captain Jeremiah Ducker in the regiment of Maryland Malitia [sic] commanded by Colonel Shutz, and was in active service in the said company at the battle of Bladensburg in August 1814."  Another witness, Henry Emich, provided a transcription the family Bible, which recorded Jeremiah and Julia's marriage in 1822, and Jeremiah's death in 1858.
In the 1860 census, Julia was living in her son Jeremiah's household, along with her daughter Catharine, three servants, and - curiously - a woman named Catherine Berry who claimed to be 104 years old.  Jeremiah continued to work as a farmer, owning real estate valued at $9,000.
On November 27, 1869, the Duckers' eldest son Henry passed away at his home in Reisterstown at the age of 46.  He left behind a widow, Elizabeth, and seven children between the ages of 5 and 19, all of whom later went to live with Henry's brother Jeremiah.

By the 1870 census, Julia was listed as head of household, owning $2,000 worth of real estate.  Her daughter Catharine was still living with her, as was a domestic servant.
Catharine Ducker married widower Reverend John Perry Dean on April 25, 1871 in Baltimore City, and so in the 1880 census, Julia Ducker was living in their household.
On November 8, 1887, Julia applied for a pension as the widow of a War of 1812 veteran.  As proof of her claim, Dr. Isaac Dickson (the Ducker family's physician), Henry Helms, and Christian Musselman testified that Jeremiah and Julia "lived as man and wife from 1830 until his death," that they "never heard the fact of their marriage disputed or questioned," and that Julia was "reputed to be his widow, which deponents know to be the fact."  Julia was granted a pension of $12 per month.
Jeremiah and Julia's second son Jeremiah passed away on May 12, 1891 at the age of 64.  The funeral was held two days later, and while the burial was taking place, Julia passed away.  She had been ill for some time, but it was believed that news of her son's passing had aggravated her condition.  Julia was a month shy of her 91st birthday.
(Julia Ducker's Signature)
Jeremiah and Julia's children were:
  • Henry Howard Ducker, 1823-1869, husband of Elizabeth Ann Devries
  • Jeremiah T. Ducker, 1826-1891, unmarried
  • Catharine E. Ducker, 1828-1901, second wife of John Perry Dean
  • Unnamed child, who died in 1830
  • George Ephraim Ducker, 1831-1895, husband of Annie Kate Sanders
  • Unnamed child, who died in 1834

Ancestry.com (census records)

  • Year: 1810; Census Place: Soldiers Delight Hundred, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 13; Page: 570.
  • Year: 1830; Census Place: District 7, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M19_55; Page: 212.
  • Year: 1840; Census Place: District 5, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 162; Page: 165.
  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M432_280; Page: 233A.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M653_468; Page: 48.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: Reisterstown, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: Roll: M593_569; Page: 277A.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 495; Page: 569B.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Died." Date: 23 March 1858; Page: 2.
  • "Married." Date: 28 April 1871; Page: 2.
  • "Died." Date: 13 May 1891; Page: 2.
  • "Died During Her Son's Funeral Service." Date: 15 May 1891; Page: 6.
"Captain Jeremiah Ducker's Company" by Lillian Bayly Marks

FamilySearch.org (marriage records)

Fold3 (pension file)

Internet Archive

Maryland Archives (marriage, death & land records)

Reisterstown Library

  • A History of Baltimore County by Neal A. Brooks & Eric G. Rockel, 1979.
  • History of Maryland Volume III by John Thomas Scharf, 1879.
  • Reister's Desire by Lillian Bayly Marks, 1975.
Cemetery photos © AgateGS