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

Sources: (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 (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

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