Friday, March 1, 2013

Daniel & Maria Vondersmith

Today, March 1st, marks 91 years since the death of Maria Louisa (Umphries) Vondersmith.
Loved in life
In death remembered
Maria Louisa Umphries was born in Maryland, the daughter of Francis Umphries and Mary Ann Trott.  According to her gravestone, she was born in 1838, though I'm not convinced this year is correct, as her age isn't consistent from one census to the next.  The 1900 census, which seems fairly reliable, gives her year of birth as 1849 (more on this later).  Her death certificate has "unknown" written in for her date of birth, but gives her age as "about 82", which would put her birth year around 1840.  Because of these age variances, I haven't found her family in the 1850 or 1860 censuses.

In 1862, Maria married Patrick Johnson in Baltimore City, though it seems Patrick died just a few months later.
Daniel Vondersmith was born on March 24, 1832 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the son of Peter and Maria Vondersmith, who are also interred in the Reisterstown Cemetery.  Daniel's grandfather, Valentine Vondersmith, was a private in the Lancaster County Militia during the Revolutionary War.  In the 1850 census, Daniel was living with his parents and siblings in Baltimore County, working as a farmer like his father.  In 1859, he married Julia W. Baseman.
A year later, in the 1860 census, Daniel was living in Reisterstown with his new wife and infant daughter Ella.  He was again listed as a farmer, with real estate valued at $500.  Sadly, little Ella only lived five months, and died on July 31, 1860.  Julia passed away five years later, on July 29, 1865.  Both were buried at the Reisterstown Cemetery.
She faded like a flower from earth
On angel's wings she soared above
And blooms in her immortal birth
In yonder land of light and love
The following year, on May 4, 1866, Daniel Vondersmith and Maria Johnson were married in Baltimore City.  Curiously, their marriage record indicates that Daniel was single, not a widower, while Maria's status was correctly given as a widow.  Daniel's occupation was hotel keeper, though that tidbit of information would not appear in census records until 1900.
In the 1870 census, the family was living in Baltimore County near Woodensburg.  Maria was keeping house, and Daniel was a farmer, with real estate valued at $15,000.  Living with them were four children:  Daniel and Sylvester, sons from Daniel's first marriage to Julia, and Annie and George.
The 1880 census found Daniel and Maria still in Baltimore County, but Daniel was now listed as a grocery storekeeper.  They had seven children in the household:  Sylvester, Anna, George, Francis, Samuel, Mary, and William.  The four eldest children were attending school.  The Vondersmiths also employed a domestic servant, Barbara Simmons.
Skip ahead twenty years to the next available census in 1900.  This was the first and only census that enumerators were required to ask not just for a person's age, but also for their month and year of birth.  The enumerator for Baltimore County's fourth district went a very rare step further, and asked for the exact date.  Bonus!  So in the Vondersmith family we have:
  • Daniel Vondsmith, born 24 Mar 1832
  • Maria L. Vondersmith, wife, born 5 Oct 1849 (contradicting the gravestone's birthdate)
  • Maria L. Vondersmith, daughter, born 21 Jun 1880
  • Eva B. Vondersmith, daughter, 25 Dec 1881
  • Daniel C. Vondersmith, son, 9 Jan 1884
  • Robert L. Vondersmith, son, 9 May 1886
Also living in the household were Daniel's brother Joseph, a boarder named Arthur Musgrove, and two servants.  Daniel was now a hotel keeper and owned his own home, free of a mortgage.  The record also tells us that Maria had had fourteen children, ten of whom were still living.  The four children who had passed away were Sarah, Peter, Pearl, and Benjamin, all sharing a four-sided marker at the Reisterstown Cemetery.
By the 1910 census, Daniel, now 78 years old, looks to have possibly retired;  instead of an occupation, the enumerator wrote "own income".  Still living with them were several grown children:  Louisa, Blanche, Daniel, and Robert, none of whom had an occupation listed.  Their house was somewhere on Reisterstown Road;  the enumerator didn't list the house number.
The census also notes that Maria now had nine living children.  The Vondersmiths' eldest daughter, Anna, had passed away from a heart condition on December 10, 1909 in Baltimore City, aged 42 years.
Daniel Vondersmith passed away from prostate cancer on September 20, 1913 in Reisterstown at the age of 81.  By the 1920 census, Maria was living on Reisterstown Road with two of her children, Marie and Robert.  For some reason, Maria is listed as a male head-of-household, though correctly marked as a widow.  Her son Robert was working as a nurse for a private family.  Living next door was her daughter Blanche's family.
A few months later that year, the Maria's son Daniel Cleveland Vondersmith passed away from skin cancer, leaving behind a wife and three small children.
Maria lived two more years, passing away on March 1, 1922 in Reisterstown.
Maria's surviving children were:
  • George W. Vondersmith, 1869-1941, a paper hanger & painter, husband of (1) Marion V. Gore & (2) Annie L. King
  • Francis U. Vondersmith, 1872-1950, husband of Sarah A. Pugh
  • Samuel Joseph Vondersmith, 1873-1959, a mechanic for Baltimore Transit, husband of Adaline Duvall
  • Mary Elizabeth Vondersmith, 1875-1963, wife of Edward Shugars
  • William Forris Vondersmith, 1878-1964, a manager for Western Maryland Dairy, husband of Elizabeth M. Buckle
  • Marie Louise Vondersmith, 1880-1964, unmarried
  • Eva Blanche Vondersmith, 1881-1975, wife of John L. Camp
  • Robert Lee Vondersmith, 1886-1947, a nurse, unmarried

Sources: (census records)
  • Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M432_280; Page: 226A.
  • Year: 1860; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M653_468; Page: 75.
  • Year: 1870; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 244A.
  • Year: 1880; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 495; Page: 570C.
  • Year: 1900; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 606; Page: 4B.
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: District 4, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: T624_550; Page: 16B.
  • Year: 1920; Census Place: Reisterstown, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: T625_654; Page: 6A.
Baltimore Sun
  • "Died." Date: 12 December 1909; Page: 4.
  • "Died." Date: 26 August 1920; Page: 12.
  • "Mrs. Maria L. Vondersmith." Date: 7 March 1922; Page: 6. 
Daughters of the American Revolution (Valentine Vondersmith's military service) 
Maryland Archives (marriage & death records)

Cemetery photos © AgateGS

1 comment:

  1. This is such an incredible look into my family history. Thank you so much!