Sunday, March 1, 2015

William & Charlotte Dwyer

March 7th marks 127 years since the death of Charlotte (Reister) Dwyer, and March 25th marks 145 years since the death of her husband, William Dwyer.
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them into living fountains of waters and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Forty years a member of the Methodist Church

He sleeps in Jesus and is blessed
How sweet his slumbers are
From suffering and from sin released
And freed from every care
William Dwyer was born on October 9, 1790 in North Carolina, the son of Dennis and Winefred Dwyer.  During the War of 1812, he served as a private in Captain John Montgomery's Company of the Baltimore Union Artillery, enlisting on August 19, 1814.  From his pension file, William was described as being about 5 feet, 6 inches tall, with blue eyes, black hair, and a dark complexion.

In April of 1818, William married Ann Susannah Hughes.  The couple had one daughter, Elizabeth, who was born circa 1827.  Elizabeth was barely a teenager when Ann passed away, on November 21, 1840.
Charlotte Reister was born on October 9, 1802, the daughter of John Reister III and Helen Chapman.  Along with several of her unmarried sisters, Charlotte lived with her parents on land passed down in the Reister family.  In 1822, "in consideration of the natural love and affection" and "for the better maintenance support livelihood and preferment of them," Charlotte's father in turn deeded property to his seven children: Charlotte, Elizabeth, Margaret, Caroline, James, Jesse, and Annie.  Their house on Main Street likely dated back to the late 1700s, shortly before John and Helen were married.
William Dwyer and Charlotte Reister were married on August 26, 1845.  By then, William was nearly 55 years old, and had been a widower for almost five years.  In the 1850 census, William was a farmer, and owned $1,200 worth of real estate.
On May 28, 1855, William applied for bounty land for his service during the War of 1812, which he later sold.  By the 1860 census, William's real estate was valued at $1,600, and he was still listed as a farmer.  Also living in the household with him and Charlotte was his granddaughter, Emma Thomas (see the blog post from August 2013), who was apparently counted twice in the census that year;  she was also listed in her parents' household.  The family employed a servant, Rebecca Bristol.
William Dwyer passed away on March 25, 1870 at the age of 79.
William Dwyer's Signature
The following year, Charlotte sold 45 acres of William's land to the Emory Grove Meeting Association and moved back to the Reister home on Main Street.  Only her younger sister Margaret was still living there;  sisters Caroline and Annie had passed away, sister Elizabeth had married and moved away, and brothers James and Jesse had moved out west.  The 1877 map of Reisterstown labeled the house as the residence of the "Misses Reisters", even though Charlotte was a widow.

Charlotte's sister Margaret passed away later that same year, on December 20th, so the 1880 census shows Charlotte living on her own, and even described her that way, in place of listing an occupation - "widow living alone".
Two years prior, on June 10, 1878, Charlotte had applied for a widow's pension for William's service during the War of 1812.  Her application was approved, and on January 27, 1879, she was granted a pension of $8 per month.  At some point, the pension amount increased, as her last payment, on December 4, 1887, was for $12.
Charlotte Dwyer passed away on March 7, 1888 at the age of 85, the last surviving child of her parents John and Helen.  At her death, she was the last person born with the name Reister to own any of the original Reister land.  As Charlotte had no children of her own, her will left her family home to William's granddaughter Emma Thomas Shriver.
Charlotte Dwyer's Signature
Unfortunately, the condition of the Reister home had deteriorated so much that it was torn down last year.  The property, on the corner of Bond Avenue, remains empty.

Sources: (census records & map)

  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M432_280; Page: 223A.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M653_468; Page: 47.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 495; Page: 567A.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Died." Date: 8 March 1888; Page: 2. 
  • "Baltimore County."  Date: 21 March 1888; Page: 6. (marriage records)

Fold3 (pension file)

Internet Archive
Maryland Archives (land records & Historic Sites Inventory Survey)

Reisterstown Library

  • Reister's Desire by Lillian Bayly Marks, 1975.
Cemetery photos © AgateGS

Sunday, February 1, 2015

William & Margaret Berryman

February 27th marks 130 years since the death of William Mitchell Berryman.
William was born on August 7, 1807, the son of William Berryman and his second wife, Patience Clarke.  His father, whose family came from Virginia, was serving as a trustee of the Lutheran Church in Reisterstown when the church was incorporated by an Act of the Maryland General Assembly in 1821.

On October 9, 1834, William married Margaret Wheeler, the daughter of Edward Wheeler and Hannah Parish.  By the 1850 census, the couple were living in Carroll County and had five children, ranging in age from two months to fourteen years old.  William had no occupation given, though he was most likely a farmer or a farm hand, like the two boarders living in the household, Milton Frizzell and Joseph Hess.
In 1855, the Berrymans moved to Reisterstown, when Margaret purchased a little over an acre of land, adjacent to a half-acre lot owned by William's mother Patience, from the Moale family for $128.  A new house was soon built on the property, as described by an article in the Northwest Star:
"... a sturdy seven-room house with lovely porches and climbing vines to shade them.  The house itself ... [was] made of American bricks -- probably made at the brickyard near Reisterstown.  The largest fireplace inside was big enough that a 20th century cookstove could fit in it.  The rafters of the cellar were full grown trees cut in half with the bark and all left on.  And the walls were 14 inches thick -- thick enough to keep the house cool in summer and serve as insulation during the cold winters.  All of the interior doors of this fine old house were hand-made and no two windows have the same measurements.  It is sometimes said that the man who measured these windows had a 'crooked eye'."
By the 1860 census, William was listed as owning $500 worth of real estate, and was working as a farmer along with his eldest son George. The two youngest children, Edward and Margaret, were attending school.
In 1870, the value of William's real estate had decreased to $269.  Margaret was keeping house, with only the two youngest children still at home, aged 19 and 22 years.  Son Edward was working as a store clerk.
A map of Reisterstown from 1877 shows the location of the Berrymans' property and house at 605 Main Street, near the street that still bears their name to this day:  Berrymans Lane.
In January of 1880, youngest daughter Margaret married Samuel Brown and moved out, leaving William and Margaret with an empty nest in the 1880 census.  William, now 73 years old, was still working as a farmer.
The following year, Margaret Berryman Brown gave birth to a son, Mitchell.  It must have been a difficult pregnancy, as sadly Margaret died soon after, on May 4, 1881, at the age of 31.  Later that year, widower Samuel Brown would marry Florence Weller, a granddaughter of William and Margaret Berryman through their eldest daughter Vilmina.

William Berryman passed away on February 27, 1885 at the age of 77.  A brief notice appeared in the Baltimore Sun:
In the 1900 census, Margaret Berryman was living with her grandson William Gore's family.  Oddly, though Margaret had six children, the census lists her as only having had one.
Margaret, known to all in town as "Grandmother Berryman", lived to be 91 years old.  She passed away on July 2, 1903.  In her will, she named her son George as executor, and ordered that her almost all of her property be sold, and proceeds divided into four equal parts for her surviving children Vilmina, George, and Hanna, and her grandson Mitchell Brown.  The only exception was Margaret's feather bed, which was specifically bequeathed to her granddaughter Laura Weller.
Margaret and her daughter Hanna
The Berrymans' house was torn down decades ago.  Its present-day location is now the parking lot of Camden Body.
William and Margaret's children were:
  • Vilmina Berryman, 1835-1919, wife of William F. Weller
  • George Gordon Berryman, 1838-1925, husband of (1) Julia Ann Uhler & (2) Annie Belle Koons
  • Hanna Elizabeth Berryman, 1841-1913, wife of Thomas J. Gore
  • William Edward Berryman, 1846-1878, unmarried
  • Margaret Virginia Berryman, 1850-1881, wife of Samuel H. Brown
  • John Whorton Berryman, 1853-1854
As a side note, Ovington Eugene Weller, one of William and Margaret's grandchildren, served as a U.S. Senator from Maryland from 1921 to 1927.

Sources: (census records & map)

  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 4, Carroll, Maryland; Roll: M432_289; Page: 207B.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M653_468; Page: 40.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: Reisterstown, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 281B.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 495; Page: 572C.
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: Election District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 606; Page: 1B.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Died." Date: 28 February 1885; Page: 2.
Maryland Archives (wills, marriage, death, land & legislative records)

Reisterstown Library

  • Family & house photos
  • Northwest Star article
Cemetery photos © AgateGS

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 Reister's Signature

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)

Maryland Historical Society (signature)
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 had 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