Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sussex County Press Release

Sussex County sponsors publication of book about local historic sites

Georgetown, Del., July 27, 2010: Sussex County’s history is going to be the central character in a new book set for publication sometime next year.

County Council, at its Tuesday, July 27, 2010, meeting, agreed to sponsor the project, which will highlight 50 historic and cultural sites within Sussex. The book, now in the early stages of development, would be published through the Delaware Heritage Commission, Preservation Delaware Inc., the University of Delaware, and the County’s historic preservation office.

As sponsor, Sussex County will collect donations and manage funds necessary to complete the project and pay for the book’s publication, though no tax dollars will come from the County, said C. Daniel Parsons, historic preservation planner. Organizers need to raise $23,000 in donations and grants to collect the content and print approximately 1,500 copies of the book.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for engaging the citizens of Sussex County, old and young, native and new alike,” said Mr. Parsons, who is helping to lead the effort. “This publication will be an insightful tool that teaches everyone about the history and culture of this county.”

Mr. Parsons said project organizers also plan to create an interactive program to complement the book, which will contain photographs, maps and 400-word summaries for each of the historic and cultural sites. The interactive, electronic program would allow users to click a site to learn about its past. It would be made available to local schools and on the Internet

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Somerset County Fair

July 30, 2010 to August 1 - Somerset County Fair at the Civic Center - Princess Anne, Maryland Exhibits, animals & judging, food, crafts, contests, kids' activities.

Contact Information: 410-651-1350

Website: http://www.somersetcountyfair.org

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Who's Your Cousin?

In this week’s Laurel Star was an interesting article called “The genetic effects of having related parents” by Dr. Anthony Policastro. Now this is an interesting Genealogy topic. We know Delmarva was an isolated area cut off from the mainstream population until the widespread use of the automobile. The available selection of people of marriageable age was smaller due to the smaller population in the area. As such marriages between cousins (consanguinity) did occur. Consanguinity occurred most often doing the initial settlement of Delmarva in the 1600’s. When you look at family trees in that time period, simply because of the limited number of families in the area, cousin marrying was much more common. Not only was the relationship between families established by blood it was also established by naming convention of the time. Typically in tracking my family tree on the Eastern Shore of Virginia I encounter intermarrying of the Bayly’s and Scarbourghs family. Sometimes when that occurred the offspring of say; a Bayly female and a Scarbourgh male, that offspring, rather male or female, would be named Bayly Scarbourgh thus establishing the relationship of this offspring to the world or at least to the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

In Policastro’s article he speaks of consanguinity, which refers to children born of related parents. He also speaks about first cousin marrying and their offsprings having 25% common genes which would include abnormal genes. For second cousins about 12% of the genes are common. Third cousins are at 6%, fourth cousins are at 3% , fifth cousins are at 1.5% and so on. He points out it is important to give any degree of consanguinity to your doctor. This is but another reason for family tree research; it helps you avoid marrying your cousin. Laugh but in today’s world where divorce is more common than marriage, the frequency of mixed (as in your kids, my kids, our kids and kids that just tagged along from a previous divorce) marriages, unmarried woman having babies without naming the father, and the lack of close extended family contact, determining who your cousins are is more difficult. This is but another good reason to attend that family reunion.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Annual Chincoteague Blueberry Festival

Dates and Times:July 23-25, 9:00AM-4:00PM Add to my calendar
Discover The Annual Chincoteague Blueberry Festival

A Mid-Summer Celebration of Nature’s Tastiest and Most Healthy Gift…
The Blueberry.

The Chincoteague Blueberry Festival is held at the beautiful Chincoteague Center on Chincoteague Island. This “beautiful land across the water” and vacation paradise on the Eastern Shore of Virginia hosts the Blueberry Festival every year on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday prior to the Chincoteague Pony Swim, from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm each day.

The Chincoteague Blueberry Festival Features:

The largest Fine Arts & Crafts Event on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with 100+ fine artists and crafters from 12 states who provide a Christmas in July shopping extravaganza.

Blueberries Galore!

Enjoy the many blueberry delicacies like mouth-watering, fresh gourmet blueberries. Many customers pre-order and stock up on a year’s supply of these fresh gourmet blueberries. Click here for some of their favorite recipes. Other blueberry favorites include: old-fashioned, made-from-scratch blueberry shortcake; taste the Ultimate Blueberry Pie; cool down with awesome homemade blueberry ice cream; and of course, start your day with t0-die-f0r blueberry pancakes, blueberry muffins and much more.

Non-Stop Family-Friendly Entertainment

Come for the great music, the wonderful arts and crafts, the fun stuff for kids, and of course, the amazing food.

Be sure to be there for the time of your life!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Melson School / Harry's Store

This building is commonly known as Harry's Store in Melson. It started life as a one school house built in 1896. In the 1940's the school closed and Clarence Morris bought the building and converted it a store. Later he gave it to his brother Harry.

A scan from "Recollections; Wicomico One Room Schools". Melson school when it was school. Ruth Figgs was a teacher here in 1918.

Delmar maryland males don't have to work the streets

Back in 1958 the Commissioners of Delmar Maryland voted to rescind a law that required all males in Delmar Maryland between the ages of 21 to 50 to work on the town streets one day a year. This law had not been enforced for a number of years so they decided to drop it. My father use to tell me about a similar law in Sussex county that required people to pay a ditch tax or in lieu of that send someone out to work a day for the county roads department.

Section (51) Code of public law title “Wicomico County” sub-title “Delmar’

All male citizens of the town of Delmar, between the ages of twenty-one and fifty years (except ministers of the gospel), shall work on the streets of said town not less than one nor more than two days each year, or furnish a substitute of the aforesaid age to do work or pay to the bailiff on or before the day on which the work is to be done the sum of one dollar for each day, for the use of said town and the bailiff shall give at least five days notice of the time and place to meet to do said work, and shall on or before the fifteenth day of May, in each year, post in some public place a full and complete list of the names of the names of all persons notified, the names of the substitutes furnished and by whom such substitute was furnished, and the time worked by each person in lieu thereof performing road duty; and any person paying said money on or before the fifteenth day of July, in any year, shall receive a discount of ten per cent on same for that year. Any person failing to comply with the preceding section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be arrested and brought before some justice of the peace for Wicomico county, upon a warrant issued by said justice of the peace in the name of the state of Maryland, and upon proof of such failure to be fined one dollar for each day so neglected and the costs of the suit, and in default of payment shall be committed to the jail of said county for five days; and if the bailiff shall receive any substitute who is not of the required age under the preceding section, or shall fail to post the said notice, he shall be fined not less than five dollars nor more than twenty dollars.

Where Is Mt Olive Cemetery?

This is an easily answered question by anyone who has lived their life here in Delmar and are over the age of 50. For those of us who do not fit that group it does pose a problem when doing family tree research and you come across an entry that says "buried in Mt Olive Cemetery Delmar Delaware”. So you ride all over Delmar looking for Mt Olive Cemetery and all you find is two St. Stephen’s Cemeteries.

Well let us look at this. In 1868 the first Methodist Church was built in Delmar. It was on the corner of First and State Street and very unimaginately was called First Methodist Church. Now the name brings up some questions; was the Church called First because it was the First Church in Delmar, or was it called First because it was on First Street, or was the system of street nomenclature in Delmar created because there was a church called First and they decided to name the street after the Church, after that there was no choice but to have a second, third etc street. In the 1870's what is now First street was called Brown Street.

In 1889, Mt. Olive Methodist Protestant Church was organized and in 1899 a church was built on the corner of North Second and State Street. Prior to the church being built there a peach drying plant was on the site. Each church had it own cemetery. Mt. Olive is the one farthest to the East and closest to the highway (RT13)on State Street. First Church had their cemetery on the corner of Ninth Street and State Street. The two churches went their happy ways within a block of one another for the next 65 years.

In 1964 the Methodist Church, Salisbury District, decided to strengthen the ministry of the church on the Delmarva Peninsular by merging some churches. Part of the merger was First and Mt. Olive church. Others were Mills Chapel and Snethen Church, White’s Chapel and St. John Church, and Quantico and Wetipquin Church. Rev. Rollan E. Ferry at First Church and Rev. Harvey Flater at Mt. Olive Church negotiated the merger and both were afterwards transferred to other churches. Rev. Harvey Flater also had Mill Chapel under his charge and after the merger he had the accomplishment of working himself out of two jobs. Rev. Flater had been on the job three years and Rev. Ferry had been on the job two years.

For awhile the newly merged church was simply referred to as the Methodist Church of Delmar. Toward the fall of 1964 they decided to call it St Stephen church under the direction of Rev. Robert P. Whitlock, who came from a four year pastorate at St. John’s Methodist Church in Fruitland. Both Cemeteries were re-named St. Stephen's.

The old Mt Olive Church became a furniture store and currently is home to the Delmar Christian Center. So there you have it Family Tree Searchers; Mt Olive Cemetery is the cemetery closest to RT 13 at 12th Street and State Street (Circa 1901) and First Cemetery is at Ninth Street and State Street (Circa 1885).

Recycled Old School House

Old School Houses, what to do with them after they are no longer needed? In the town of Delmar they are usually torn down.

This is Beaches Schoolhouse. It was on Saint Georges Road a little south of St Georges Church. It was used in the early 1900's and was no longer needed in the late 1920's. A number of my relatives attended this school. In 1928 William R Layfield and Lillie Miller were married. A little later they purchased Beaches school house and moved it to their farm on Delmar road (RT54). They converted the 25 foot by 30 foot school into a house and they raised five children there. Bill, Agnes, Pauline, Ruth Ann, and Clark Layfield were all raised at the old school house.

This is the school today. Years ago a new house was built and the old school was recycled again and moved to the back and became a storage building with a couple of extensions for tractors. It doesn't look that great but it is over a hundred years old and still standing. Bill and Virginia Layfield currently own it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Spanish Influenza Outbreak of 1918

In March of 1918 the first cases of people dieing from what was at that time referred to as the Spanish Influenza, now being more politically correct it is referred to as the 1918 Killer Flu. The first wave of flu hit soldiers at Fort Riley Kansas in March of 1918. When it had run it course between 20 million to 50 million people would die worldwide. A great Aunt of mine, Lillie Dickerson Davidson was killed by it. Lillie stayed at home taking care of her Father and Mother until she was 31 and married Martin S. Davidson, a young man 12 years her junior. They had been married less than a year when both were killed by the Spanish Influenza.

When you do family tree research and visit graveyards you will find the year of death of 1918 to be a frequent occurring date. It was due to this flu. The flu overstimulated the body causing their lungs to fill with fluid. They died from drowning in their own body fluids. It left the blue black marks on their faces associated with cyanosis (lack of blood oxygen in the blood). By October the flu was at it's worst, schools were closed and public events cancelled. Sussex County had to hire additional grave diggers to handle the burials. Martin S. Davidson was 21 when he died. His father and mother were Curtis and Margie Davidson, all are buried in Oddfellows in Laurel.

In addition to Lillie and Martin, Lillie's sister in law Maude died of the flu the same day as Lillie. All were attended by Doctor E. H. S. Farlow. Curtis and Margie Davidson were given a hard blow that month with a son and daughter dieing. If anyone knows anything about this family I would like to know about it. I understand Margie went to live with a daughter in Wilmington after her husband died in 1924. Both are buried at Oddfellows, next to Martin, Maude and Lille.

The Spanish Influenza (in Europe called the Spanish Lady, as in the Spanish Lady called at our house) was called that because Spain, not being involved in World War I, had a free press and did not censor reports of the Influenza, so Spain became associated with the Influenza because none of the warring nations were reporting it.

Two other flu viruses have spread across the world in the past. The Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968. All three were originated from swine viruses. Now we all wait for some new bird virus to appear.

Rat Killing Week

Rat Killing Week

No it isn’t a week to hunt your favorite blogger down and kill him, although I am sure a number of people would like too. Back in the 1930’s and 1940’s each town would have a week in which they hunted rats. Rats were much more prevalent then, as they are now, and like trash week in Delmar, a combined civic-minded town effort would be made, usually in March or April, to kill these rodents. Remember, this was a time when residents kept chickens, and various livestock in their backyards. Feed for the animals was available for the rats. There was also a town dump just on the outskirts of town. An article in the Bi State News announcing that Rat week was to be March 21 to March 26, 1938 in Hurlock is shown above. I am sure I have an article about Delmar Rat week but I can’t seem to find it.

In the first couple of months after I was elected to the Delmar Delaware Town Council in 1984, we had a rat breakout in a ditch over by Hearns Flower shop (on the Maryland side of Town). In a joint Council Meeting the Commissioners and Council people were talking about various ways to get rid of the rats. One suggestion was to send the Delmar Police Force over with shotguns and pistols and shoot the rats. Does everyone have images of the glass greenhouse at Hearns Flower Shop being shot all to hell? Another suggestion (seriously) was to find a World War II flamethrower and go in and burn them out. When I heard this suggestion I know I had found a home in Delmar government. As I recall we resolved the problem in a less dramatic fashion and had an exterminator set traps for them. On occasion you can still see a rat running down the gutters in Delmar today but they are rare.

Back in the 1960s when I was dating my wife and I lived in Pocomoke. The dating practice was to go to the Pocomoke Town dump and shoot rats at night. Your date held the flashlight on their shiny little eyes and you shot. If you killed a hundred in one night it didn't put the slightest dent in the rat population. Ah yes! Date life on the Eastern Shore.

Tex Ritter Visits Delmar - 1973

Back in January, 1973 Tex Ritter, Country singer, came to Delmar. He was doing a tour encouraging country music. He visited town officials and had lunch at Orrell's State Line Restaurant. This was his second trip to Delmar, as he had a few years earlier came to help the Delmar Fire Department with some fund raising. Tex died a year later on January 2nd 1974. I guess once he had been to Delmar, he figured he had done it all and dieing was the only thing left.

Those of us who are older, have all sit around a bar, drinking beer and singing to Tex's songs on the juke box of "Rye Whiskey", "Deck of Cards", "Wayward Wind" and that tear jerker of "Hillbilly Heaven". He sang the title song in "High Noon" of "Do not forsake me oh my darlin". His son was, of course, John Ritter of "3 is Company" fame and his grandson is Jason Ritter of "Joan of Arcadia" and "The Class" fame.

Tramps, Hobos, Bohunks and Transients

Delmar being a combination of a railroad town and a border town has had and continues to have a large number of transient people. Up thru the 1970’s and to a lesser degree today, people have rode the rail illegally and jumped off in Delmar. In addition there are a number of people that want to slip across the state line in order to avoid “the law” from the opposite state.

At one time Delmar was a major switching station that assembled freight cars to form different trains. That function was moved to Harrington, Delaware sometime in the 1980’s. Because the trains stopped in Delmar and the cars were put off on sidings there was time for people riding the railcars illegally to jump off and hide out in the surrounding woods or jump on the railcars to go elsewhere. Delmar had two main encampments or Hobo Jungles. One was about two miles north of town on the Delaware side. The other was on the south side of town (Maryland) and was the larger of the two jungles. Both of these encampments continued thru the 1960’s and there is some indication there are still people (today referred to as “homeless”) that live in the woods on the North and South side of Town.

The Hobo Jungle on the North side of town was in the woods north of Old Racetrack road. It seem to have been made up of a combination of Gypsies and Hobos. My father, who lived on Old Racetrack Road when he was 8 or 9, use to refer to them as Bohunks. No doubt today this is a politically incorrect term but my father was never much for being politically correct. It is my understanding, both from him and other people, that Delmar had a few gypsies living outside of town. The Hobos, bohunks and gypsies were constantly stealing things.

The encampment on the south side of town had a population of twenty to forty hobos. My neighbor, Butch, has told me stories of him and CT Moore icing down produce on freight cars in the 1960’s and having Hobos threaten them with guns. For the most part he said they would speak to you and act friendly, unless you tried to enter their camp on the south side of town. It was in this South camp in 1939 that twenty tramps rioted and only after a fight were police able to drive them from the yard. The Railroad Police would police the Railroad property and run off or arrest anyone on the railroad property. The tramps would than travel into town where the Delmar Police would arrest them. In the 1940’s people caught riding the railroad illegally were give ten days in jail or a $5 fine. Today, in Maryland they are given 30 to 90 days and/or a $100 to $500 fine. In Delaware they could receive up to 30 days in Jail and/or a $575 fine. The charges are for trespassing on railroad property. The Delmar Police have said they have not had a problem with this in at least 10 years.

The Railroad Police are still active. The Norfolk Southern Railroad Police has a good discussion of their history at their website.

Delmar Elevated Water Storage Tank

The 1913 Water Plant Building as it stands today.

While doing research at the Nabb Research Center in Salisbury I came across a small report done on the old 1913 Elevated Water Storage tank in Delmar. The report is titled "Historic Structure Report Elevated Water Storage Tank in Delmar, Delaware" by Edward Heite of Heite Consulting. The old water standpipe that stood next to the water plant building was a bit of an eyesore and we decided to tear it down. Altho it was not nearly as bad as the downtown section of Delmar. The State of Delaware (Delaware State Historic Preservation Office) decided it was a potentially significant historic structure and before we could tear it down we had to pay for a report on the structure. The report at the Nabb Center was the outcome of the paid study. I assume somewhere the town has a copy. It is an interesting report that has a little information about the water system in Delmar when it was installed and a lot of filler information. The top part of the Storage tank we retained and it was to be stored at the waste water treatment plant, until some future date when it might be incorporated into a town museum.

The current building left standing is a nice looking building with a good color scheme. I think it is currently used as offices for the public works department.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Double Mill Chicken BBQ

There will be a chicken BBQ fundraiser on July 17, 10 a.m. - ? at Wright's Market in Mardela to benefit the Double Mills Restoration Project. Anyone wishing to purchase tickets in advance please email me (steppie62@comcast.net). Advanced sales are not required, and we will sell the dinners until they're gone. Dinners include a half chicken, baked beans, chips, drink, and roll for $8. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bits of Delmar News January 1942

From the Milford Chronicle Friday January 23, 1942 - Delmar News

Delmar held its first air-raid drill last Friday night, with 129 members of the auxillary brigade.

During the alert, Fred A. Grier, Jr. of Salisbury, chief fire coordinator for Wicomico county, and Chief Walter Disharoon of the Salisbury Fire Dept., accompanied by members of the local defense council, toured the town in an effort to determine the degree of protection Delmar would have in the event of a regular raid. Mr. Grier later reported the test was 100 per cent effective.

Deolia Fleetwood, of Wilmington, spent Tuesday in town.

After a visit with relatives here. Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Wheally have returned to their home in Waverly, N. J.

William Fisher has returned to Camp Croft after spending a few days with his parents here.

The Delmar Defense Council has decided to use the fire siren as its air-raid alarm until a more suitable alarm can be obtained. Three long blasts on the alarm will signify an air raid.

The Eastern Shore Public Service Company notified the fire department that a master switch had been installed here to be used in the event of a blackout.

Jesse P. Fox of Camden N. J. has arrived here to serve the P. R. R. as road foreman of engines, and Curtis Nock has been transferred to Wilmington in the same position there. Mr. and Mrs. Fox will occupy the home of Mrs. Harlan Waller on Jewell Street.

Miss Vivian Poulson has returned from a visit to Georgia.

Mrs. E. E. Fletcher gave an old-fashioned quilting party at her home last Tuesday which was thoroughly enjoyed by those present.

Billy Beach of Fort Sherman has been spending a few days with his relatives here.

A course in Red Cross home nursing was started last Thursday night on the second floor of Moose Hall, Delmar. Mrs Walter A. Venables, chief of nursing for the Delmar Defense Council, is in charge; assisted by Mrs. Albert Hastings, R.N.

The course will require 20 hours of study and will be held each Thursday afternoon and evening until completed. It will consist of practical demonstrations and theory. More than 40 women have already signed up for the course.

DHAS Meeting July 8th

There will be a monthly meeting July 8th at 7 PM at the Delmar Library. The proposed agenda is;


1. Call To Order
2. Introduction of Speaker
Stephanie Elliott – Formation of Double Mills
3. Reading of previous meeting minutes
4. Treasurer Report – current cash
Status to determine if we are non-profit
Determination of purpose of grant
5. Old Business - ?
6. New Business
Donation of Postcard from Tom Luffman
Possible $200 grant from Sussex County Council for newsletter
Can we have a newsletter out for Heritage days?
Where to have next meeting?
Input to blog
7. Close of meeting

Second Friday In Berlin

July 9, 2010 - Second Friday Art Strollin Berlin, Maryland

Art stroll, artist receptions, music, stores and galleries open til' 8.

Contact Information: 443-735-0957

Website: http://www.berlinmdarts.org

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


You're Addicted. . .

*.....when you brake for libraries*.....if you get locked in a library overnight and you never even notice*.....when you hyperventilate at the sight of an old cemetery*.....if you'd rather browse in a cemetery than a shopping mall*.....when you think every home should have a microfilm reader*.....if you'd rather read census schedules than a good book*.....When you know every town clerk in your state by name*.....if town clerks lock the doors when they see you coming*.....when you're more interested in what happened in 1697 than 2010 *.....if you store your clothes under the bed and your closet is carefully stacked with notebooks and journals *... You know you are taking genealogy too seriously if a magical genie appears and agrees to grant you any one wish ... And you ask that the 1890 census be restored!

1957 Article On Delmar Rail Road Station

R. R. Landmark To Be Razed Soon

Third Station to Occupy This Site

The Pennsylvania Railroad Station located on Railroad Avenue and a landmark here since 1886 is scheduled to leave the scene in the near future, according to railroad officials here. Workmen are expected to begin the demolition job Monday, February 18th. It is estimated that two weeks will be needed to clear the spot.

The “operators” moved Monday to their new quarters in the south end of the freight station. The station, in addition to a waiting room, also housed, until recently, the passenger trainmen’s bunkroom. These units have been moved into other company buildings here.

The yard office now located on the west side of the tracks, was housed in the station until 1915.

This is the last of the three railroad stations that have occupied this same site. The first station was a small frame structure built about 1850 when the railroad was extended to the Delaware-Maryland line. The first station burned about 1870 and was replaced with another structure shortly thereafter. The second Station, built around 1870, still stands in back of the Delmar Feed Mills. This is the second site the No. 2 station has set on since it was retired as a passenger station. It was first moved down the street from the original site, near the freight station. Exactly when it was moved on down the feed mills was not available to us.

Many can remember when the present station was the beauty spot of the town with its large flower gardens and carefully pruned hedges and shrubs. They say a full time gardener was kept by the company, just to care for the two flower gardens, one on either end of the station. The late John Culver is believed to have been the last full time caretaker for those flower gardens.

Provisions have been made for a waiting room to accommodate passengers for the two scheduled trains through here in the operators room in the freight station.

Another landmark on the passing scene is scheduled to leave.
(Editors Note) We are grateful to Clyde Truitt, a retired “operator” for his efforts to obtain the facts on Delmar railroad history.

From the Bi-State Weekly Feb 15 1957

Monday, July 5, 2010

Second Friday

Friday is Onancock’s monthly “Second Friday,” when galleries and shops stay open late and restaurants offer specials. GardenART on King Street is a regular stop for the strollers

Holloway Town

Holloway Town is a development built by Elijah (Lige) N. Holloway about 1925. It is located north of the Delmar Elementary school on the Maryland side of town. The original plat called for twenty lots on Spruce Street between what is now Pennsylvania Avenue (use to be Railroad Avenue) and Second Street.

The original plat is recorded in book JCK 140/261 at the Wicomico County Courthouse. The lot sizes were basic 50 ft by 150 ft. The homes that were built were of the 800 to 1000 sq ft size. I understand he initially built all the homes and used them as rental property before selling them around 1931.

Elijah Neimiah Holloway was born March 10, 1883. He was a very successful produce buyer and produce broker. He was the son of E. E. and Mary Covington Holloway. He was married first, in 1914 to Della Brown. She died in 1941. He married a second time to Pauline Elizabeth Elzey in 1943. They had a daughter Phyllis E. Holloway. He died at 75 on June 19, 1963 at Spring Hill Sanitarium and was buried at Parson's cemetery. Brothers and sisters were; Charles Edward Holloway, George Thomas (Tom) Holloway, Marion Holloway, Helen Ryall, Lena Walker, Lillie Mae Pruitt. His brother Charles had a plant nursery in town.

Nanticoke School house

Over at the blog Salisbury Soapbox" there is an article called school memories. He talks about going to school in the west end of Wicomico County -Nanticoke. Some good photos of a crumbling school house and some good memories.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Graveyard Rambling

A recent vacation to Williamsburg found me on a side trip to Gloucester, Virginia and walking a graveyard. As people who do family trees are aware it is hard to ride past a graveyard with out stopping to check out the occupants. The genealogist bumper sticker of "I brake For Graveyards" is only too true for some of us. My daughters, when younger, and asked "what did you do on your vacation?" all to frequently answered "we went to a graveyard." I made the oldest daughter go with me on this trip too.

One branch of my "Miller" family decided to cross the Chesapeake Bay and settle in Gloucester County Virginia. The Eastern Shore to Gloucester County route was a common migration pattern, as Gloucester is directly across the bay from us. People moved there to work in the lumber or fishing industries. The family member in question is John Miller, brother to my Great Grandfather - Sam Miller. The Miller family are from the general Delmar/Laurel/Salisbury area. John Miller moved to Gloucester County about 1891 to work in the sawmills.

Located in Gloucester is the Gloucester Museum of History. It seems to be run by the Gloucester Genealogical Society of Virginia. They are housed in the Botetourt Building which ia pre-revoluntionary brick ordinary (tavern). The Museum is a typical small town historical museum.

Old Courthouse

Debtors Prison


Visitors center

In addition to the museum the society also keeps open many of the historical courthouse related buildings located in a small walled town circle.

In this case the search for the grave of John Miller was simplified by the purchase of a book from the society called "More Cemeteries of Gloucester County Virginia" by Harry R. Jordan. I found this relative, John Miller, to be buried in Bellamy Cemetery (located on the grounds of Old Bellamy Methodist Church).

After a brief ride thru the countryside the cemetery was located and the tombstone(s) was located. I found his sons and a daughter in law and his first wife to be buried with him. Now why in family tree research is it important to visit a graveyard? I guess first there is information carved in stone that you should assume to be correct such as, the common name the person went by in his/her life (my John Miller real name was Isaac John Miller but on the stone was simply John Miller), the birth and death date, and there are other items to look for are; people buried around the person (could be relatives), look at how the grave is kept up (are there flowers?) it could mean there is a living person who brings flowers to the grave and very possible that person is a relative of yours, so you have another person to search for. If it is a church cemetery perhaps there are church records of marriages etc you can trace. If it is a commercial cemetery perhaps there is additional information at their office as to who purchased the gravesite and even more information as too who is buried there without a tombstone to mark their grave,

There are other family tree items to look for in Gloucester for this branch of the Miller family but time was growing short for this trip so we had to wrap it up.

A little Miller family tree information;

The father of John Miller was Isaac Samuel Miller. Isaac Miller was born October 12, 1813 in Delaware. He appears to have lived his life in the area between Trap Pond, Laurel, Delmar, Mardela, and Salisbury. He died on March 28, 1883.

In Delaware on Nov 11, 1834 the marriage of Leah A. Culver to Isaac Miller occurred. In Delaware a bond had to be posted in the event the Groom misrepresented himself. The Delaware marriage Bond posted for their marriage, list Isaac Miller and Salathael Culver as joint security for the bond. Salathael Culver was the brother of Leah. Leah Ann Culver was born February 28, 1817 in Maryland and died April 23, 1853.

Data on Isaac and Leah Children, from 1850 census informationand another researcher,Gil Kaufman.
1) Mariah Jane Boehm Miller, born August 7 1837 in Maryland. She was found in the Humphey family group in the 1870 Wicomico County Salisbury District census. In Household 259/276 is L T Humphey age 26 Merchant, Lizzie Humphey age 24, Theodoa Humphey age 8/12, Harriet Parker age 14 domestic, Maria Miller age 32 Domestic. Mariah J. Miller, age 30, married John Henry Maddux, age 30, on 1 Nov 1870 Wicomico County. They had one daughter, Della McHugh Maddox born in Salisbury MD on April 16, 1877. They moved to 1928 Light street, Baltimore, Maryland. Mariah died April 4, 1905. She is buried section A Cedar Hill, Ritchie Highway South Baltimore.

2) Salathael William Miller, born in Maryland on February 4, 1838. Besides being a biblical name, Salathiel is also a recurring Culver family name. Salathael Miller is listed on the tax assessment rolls of Little Creek Hundreds, Sussex County Delaware in 1868. Isaac Miller is also listed on the same tax roll. He died July 31, 1878. He is in the 1870 Delaware Sussex County Census, living in Laurel with a wife named Martha and a domestic servant named Martha Hitch age 20.

3) Leah Ann Miller , born November 23, 1839 in Maryland.

4) Luvanny (Luranie) Margaret Miller Born Feb 25 1841 married James Hitch December 6, 1860. Died July 18, 1861. James Hitch was born about 1821. He died after 1870. He first married Ellenor Jane Waller on Oct 3, 1846. They had three children; Mary Hitch, Julia Hitch, and Issac T. Hitch. He was a shoemaker and cordwinder. He is mentioned in the 1870 will of John Sudler, Physician of Bridgeville, as living in a house owned by Sudler.

5) Devinia Caroline Miller born March 2, 1842

In the 1852 Delaware Tax assessment for Isaac Miller of Little Creek Hundreds Sussex County Delaware he owned;
1 horse valued at $15
1 Colt valued at $25
1 cow & yearling valued at $13
1 sow & pigs valued at $7
3 Shorts valued at $6
3 sheep valued at $3

Isaac Miller married Eleanor W. Huston on Aug 16, 1854 in Sussex County Delaware.
Eleanor Huston was born August 30, 1826 in Delaware. Eleanor Huston was from the family of Samuel P and Martha Huston in Barren Creek district Wicomico County Maryland. Eleanor W. Miller B Aug 30, 1826 Died March 4, 1895 and is buried in Parson Cemetery, Salisbury, MD.

In 1878 Isaac Miller, Eleanor (Elleanair) Miller and her brother William Huston (Hustan) protested the will of Martha T. Huston and said Martha T Huston was not capable of a valid deed or contract at the time the paper was signed on account of her mental condition. They lost. Wicomico County Wills Folio 222 and folio 212.

In 1880 he was in Sussex County living with his daughter Henrietta. His wife Eleanor in 1880 is living with their other daughter Mary Smith.

Children of Isaac and Eleanor Miller:

1)Mary Miller born March 11, 1859, Mary was in the family of Isaac Miller in the 1870 census. She married John Walter Smith (son of James Smith and Sophia Causey Smith) who lived in the Salisbury Area. In the 1880 Census Wicomico County MD District 9 Household #259 is John W. Smith age 32, Mary E. Smith age 21, Anna M. Smith age 2, Cora B. Smith age 6/12 born December, Eleanor W. Miller age 56 mother in law . Mary Miller may be the Sarah Miller in the 1860 census in Worcester County mentioned above. Mary died Jan 18, 1923. John Smith died 1933. John W Smith in 1930 was living with his daughter and son in law (Levin Price and Annie M. Price) John W Smith ** was born June 1848 and Mary E Miller Smith** was born March 1859. They had as children;
Anna M. Smith, Born about 1878 Married Levin Thomas Price.
Gladys V. Price born about 1906, married James W. Butler (born about 1904)
Children; Shirley Butler (born after 1930)
John Williams Price born about 1908 (twins Elizabeth) married Sarah Gilbert (born about 1905)
Children; Joan C. Price, born about 1930
Elizabeth Price born about 1908 (twins John Williams) married Frank Gayle
Children Elizabeth Gayle

Cora L. Smith Born about 1880, Married first Henry Bradley, second Lafayette Lowe- no children
Bertha Smith born August 1881, married George L. Messick (born about 1869) Oysterman Nanticoke no children
Lulu E. Smith Born February 1883, married Clark Taylor of the Eastern Shore of Virginia
William McAllen Taylor
Albert F Smith born July 1885, Died Sept 14, 1900 **
Wade, Smith born July 28 1889 died Feb 3 1893 **
Norman E Smith born August 6, 1887 died March 29, 1927, He was a teacher married Mary Finney – no children
Nellie L Smith Born November 1891, She was a teacher , married William W. Gavin born about 1890 lived Baltimore, S. Carolina Salisbury Note: active in politics
William W. Gavin Jr born about 1921 married Elizabeth Moore NOTE: appointed Maryland State aviation commission in the 1950’s
Richard L. Gavin born about 1924
John Walter Smith born Oct 1894, married Pansy M. Steffens born about 1893 in Chincoteague
John Walter Smith Jr married Emaline James
Peter Alexander Smith
Susan Smith
Pansy Mildred Smith married Charles Mason Durham
Dianah Durham
Charles Mason Durham Jr
Sandra Durham
Robert Allen Smith
Mamie L Smith born December 1899, married Bryan Ward
Jean Ward married Benjamin de Bartolo
Joseph de Bartolo
Williams de Bartolo
Louise Smith born about 1903

** buried in Parson Cemetery Salisbury, MD
Of note Eleanor Huston Miller (Aug 30, 1826 died March 4, 1895) had a sister named Mary.

2) Ellen (Henrietta) Miller born Sept 1863, Ellen Miller was in the family of Isaac Miller in 1870. My grandmother says she married a Foskey. The census would support this for Henrietta and Nathan Foskey. However in 1870 she is listed as Ellen in the household of Samuel Miller and Henrietta is the one in the household of Dr Laird Todd. Could it be that there were twins? In the Todd family group in 1870 Wicomico County MD census Salisbury District is; Dr. Laird Todd Physician age 40, Julia Todd age 38, Henry Todd age 14, Lillian Todd age 12, George Todd age 9, Edward Todd age 7, Mary Todd age 2, Henretta Miller age 7 no relationship given just says at home, Ellen Travers age 53, Heretta Anderson age 19 Domestic. Of note, Eleanor Huston Miller had a sister named Henrietta.

Henrietta Miller married Nathan Foskey on Aug 15, 1878. In 1880 they lived in the Laurel area with Isaac Miller age 68 in the house with them. Henrietta and Nathan moved to the Pittsville Maryland area. In 1880 Nathan was 26. Besides Henrietta he had a 5-year-old son named Renza C. B. (Clarence) Foskey and a 7/12 month old son named Elijah W. Foskey. Since Henrietta did not marry Nathan until 1878 (she was 15?) and they are showing a 5 year old son in 1880, it is assumed Nathan had been married before.

In the cemetery at Forest Grove Church are Henrietta N. Foskey Sep 5, 1863 to Oct 20, 1925; Nathan H. Foskey Aug 10, 1849 to Jan 22, 1930
Renzie C Foskey age 20 married Ida C. Dunn age 18 on November 24, 1892
In the 1900 Census for Wicomico County Pittsburg District it shows Henrietta had 10 children 8 of which are still alive. The eight children I would guess to be Elijah, Rosa (Rosey) May Eleanor (married Peter W.O. Jarman on 4-9-1902). Nevins Thomas Benjamin (married Minnie M. Bell on 11-23-1909), Nathan Stonewall Jackson (Married Virdie Harris on 4-19-1913), Lydia Elizabeth Priscilla (Married George E. Davis 6-10-1908), Julia Ann Daisey(married 2nd Arthur Ing, 1st had last name Marks), Theodosia Alice (Dosh) (married 1st Peat Marsay 6-16-1912), Seripita Ida was born 10-15-1905 died 3-7-1998 (married John A. Parker 11-24-1922), William Willie). Names from Phyllis Davis and Ruth Perdue.

3) George W. Miller born Jun 22, 1865. George was in the family of Isaac Miller in the 1870 census. In 1880 he was working on the farm next to Nathan Foskey, which was owned by John Ellis. He was 15. He married Fannie E. Calloway on Sep 15, 1886. He appears to have lived his life in Laurel, Delaware. He is buried at Hill Cemetery 9th streets Laurel Delaware. Related family members in the Miller plot are;
George W. Miller Jun 22, 1865 to Jan 4, 1945
Fannie E. Miller Aug 27, 1868 to Feb 7, 1926
Cremer W. Miller son of Geo & Fannie 1890-1894
Ellen P. Landon Oct 30, 1919 to June 5, 2002
Howard J. Penuel Jan 20, 1890 – Mar 30, 1977
Vessie L. Penuel July 9, 1887 – Feb 1976

Based on George Miller obit in the State Register Jan 12, 1945 he had two daughters; Vessie L. Miller (Mrs Howard Penuel) and Mary Miller (Mrs. Frank Lank). Howard J. Penuel married Vessie L. Miller in 1916
Mary Miller married Frank Lank in 1914. On George Miller Death Certificate (Nr 144) his parents are listed as Isaac Miller and Eleanor Huston.
Based on the obit of Howard J. Penuel and Mrs. Howard Penuel the couple had two daughters; Ellen Rosena Penuel, who married Charles Nearitt. Landon in 1940; and Frances P. Hastings

4)Greensbury W. Miller born about 1868. Greensbury was in the family of Isaac Miller in the 1870 census. He moved to Baltimore. In Wicomico County MD marriage books FMS#1 P238 Greensbury W. Miller age 21 years 2 month resident of Salisbury married Lenita Maddox age 21 resident of Sussex County (Page 242) married by T E Martindale on Jan 30, 1888. Greensbury is in the 1910 Baltimore census. He is listed as Greenbury. He lived on Harman Alley and was an Insurance agent. His wife Lenita had 7 children of which 3 lived. They were Garland W., a printer, born about 1891, Samuel, a newsboy in 1910, born about 1898, and William born about 1905. By 1920 his wife had died and he was living with his son Garland (now a laborer) and his wife Eva (age 20) on Marshal Street. The other two sons Samuel (a laborer) and William (a Florist) were also living with them. In 1920 he was a sewing machine salesman. In 1930 his son Sam T had married Irene age 35. They had a step daughter Sarah V. Gurry age 15, his father in law Charles E Carrol age 69 and his brother William T age 24 living with him on Forest park Ave. Sam and William were elevator operators.

Isaac Miller was married to Eleanor in 1860. The children produced were Samuel and John. John Miller state on his marriage license in 1929 to Gertrude his parents were Isaac Miller and Eleanor Houston. John Miller states on his marriage license in 1929 to Getrude that his parents were Isaac Miller and Eleanor Houston.

1) Samuel James Miller On his death certificate (Nr 1622) his parents are listed as Isaac Miller and Ellen Hastings. Samuel James Miller born Dec 7, 1860, died June 4, 1932, married March 2, 1882 to Betsey E. Miller born Oct 9, 1863, died March 16, 1950

Supposedly Samuel lived with a family named Workman on "Cry Baby" Ellis farm until age 7 years old. He was living with the Elijah Carmean family nears Kings United Methodist Church southeast of Hearns Xrds when he was married in 1882. He had a twin brother named John. The two brothers have never been found in any census information with Isaac and Eleanor Miller, nor have they ever been found listed as being in the same household as one another. Oral history says Samuel and John were known and accepted as brothers to the other children of Isaac and Eleanor.

Samuel Miller was not found in the 1870 census, if born in December he would have missed the 1860 census as the census was done in the summer. Samuel J. Miller was found in the 1880 census for Wicomico County District 9 (between Delmar and Salisbury) Household #88 in the family of William N. Hearn age 36, Lavinia A age 31, Nora E. age 11, Herbert W. age 9, Ama M. age 8 and Samuel J Miller age 19 laborer .

Samuel Miller was found in the 1910 census Sussex County Delaware 5th rep. 2nd district Delmar #406. It was indicated Elizabeth had only married once and had been married for 28 years. Elizabeth Miller indicated she had 7 children 5 of which were living. Only 4 were shown at the house. They were Frona, Rosa, Lillie, and Annie.

Samuel and Elizabeth Miller Children were;
Minnie May Miller born Nov 6, 1883, died Dec 24, 1954. She married William Franklin Wilson on Feb 21, 1900. They had 8 children
Annie (Emma) L. Miller born April 13, 1886, died April 1886
Sophronia (Frona) Esther Miller born Jan 25, 1889, died March 8, 1947. She married Gardner Harrison Hastings on Dec 8, 1915. They had four children
Charlie W. Miller born April 8, 1892, died April 1892
Rosa Ellen Miller born Aug 13 1893, died Dec 1 1986. She married Elijah Ellis Dickerson on Nov 29, 1913. She had 7 children.
Lillie Agnes Miller born March 31, 1897, died June 10, 1971. She married William Renettus Layfield on Sep 1 1928. They had four children.
Annie Mae Miller born Aug 10, 1904, died Jan 31, 1986. She married Horace Lee Hearn on Apr 3, 1926. They had seven children.

Samuel and Betsy Miller are buried at the St Stephens Cemetery (Mt Olive) Delmar Delaware.

In the 1913-1916 tax assessment for Little Creek Hundred Sussex County Delaware Samuel J. Miller had for property;
25 acres of land @ $12 $300
51 acres of land @ $10 $510
1 horse $125
1 horse $100
1 horse $25
2 cows $60
1 sow $10
Transfer land to Edward Dickerson -$220
total $910

2)Isaac John Miller born 1860 moved to Virginia. I have no information that would link him to Samuel Miller, other than verbal information from Grandmom and other family members. Since they are suppose to be twins the same parents as Samuel exists. Isaac John Miller rarely used the first name of Isaac and went by John.

In the 1870 Delaware census Broadcreek Hundreds, Subdivision 22 living in the household of David and Louisa Hudson is John Miller age 9. There are two other non-Hudson household members – Franklin Hitchens age 16 and William Daisey age 20. Other members of the David and Louisa Hudson are Sonora age 7 and Francis age 3. David H. Hudson (b 1839 d 1891) and Louisa Hudson (b 1841 d 1915) are buried at Bethasda Church.

In the 1870 census,in the household next to David and Louisa Hudson, are Joseph and Mary Hudson. In this household is Eleanor Hudson age 11. This would be a possible for Mary E. Hudson.

Isaac John Miller married Mary E Hudson about 1882/1883. Mary was born March 1858 and born in Delaware. They had as children;
Unnamed child, died 1884
Ernest James Miller, born Oct 1886 Delaware
Nora Miller, born 1888 died 1888
Eddie Bert Miller, born Oct 1890 in Delaware
Lester Calvin Miller, born June 1893 in Virginia
Lucy Jane Miller, born Feb 1899 in Virginia

They moved to Gloucester County Virginia about 1891. He worked in a sawmill.
On Oct 20, 1925 Mary died. John remarried a second time Gertrude Elizabeth Regansbury Stubblefied (age 64) On March 28, 1929. Gertrude was born about 1864. She was from Virginia and she was married at least once before. They lived in Cappahosic (on the York River west of Gloucester Town). He died March 7, 1941.
In the 1930 census of Gloucester County Virginia he was listed as a Farmer.

At Bethasda Church near Trappe pond Delaware are the graves of “Nora daughter of I. John and Mary E. Miller Born Oct 29, 1888 Died Oct 5, 1899” and “Infant child of I. John and Mary E. Miller Born Oct 20, 1884, died Oct 28, 1884”. If Mary Miller had 6 children as recorded in the 1900 Gloucester VA census these would be the two dead ones. This information is also recorded in Hudson Cemetery Records (an early record of graves in Delaware). Note: Bethasda Church is in the general area of Hearn’s xroad where Elijah Carmean farm was. Note Bethsada Church; Few hundred feet in on Rt72 (Wootten Road) from intersection of Rt 62 (Little Hill road) and Rt72. Heading west on Rt72 will come to Raccoon Pond. The church has Thompson Branch behind it. The church is currently closed. The gravesites of Millers are directly behind the church. The gravesites next to them are Ernest Davis, Elizabeth and Benton Gordy, a Dunn child. Other names in the cemetery are; Dunn, Hudson, Pusey, Matthews, Thompson, Baker, Lecates, etc. The inscription (poem) on the infant tombstone is not readable. On Nora tombstone it is “Sweet Nora unto earth, a while was given, She plumed her wing for flight, and soared away to heaven”

John Miller is listed in the Gumboro Hundreds (Sussex County Delaware) tax assessment of 1884-1888 with a per capita tax of $150. A notation is made that he is delinquent in 1887.

John H. Miller is in the 1900, 1920 and 1930 census in Gloucester VA
In 1900 census Gloucester VA Petsworth district, 089a 030 226 229
John H. Miller born April 1860 married 16 years, sawyer,
Mary E. Miller born Mar 1858 married 16 years, 6 children – 4 children living .
Ernest J Miller son age 13 born Oct 1886 Delaware
Eddie B Miller age 9 born Oct 1890 born Delaware
Lester A Miller age 6 born June 1893 born Virginia
Lucy J Miller, age 1 born Feb 1899 Virginia

Oral history says he moved to North Carolina, but based on the 1930 census he was living in Virginia and was 70 years old.

He died on March 7, 1941 and is buried at Bellamy Cemetery.

John and Mary Miller children.
1)Ernest James Miller Born October 5, 1886 in Delaware. Eventually moved to the neighboring county of New Kent Virginia. Based on Joan Lewis Information; On 28 December 1913 he married Deborah Day Kemp in Newport News. At that time he was living in James City County Virginia and was a lumberman. She was the daughter of Monroe and Harriett Kemp. She was born 22 April 1885. She died on 11 September 1918 along with a stillborn child named Viola Day Miller. They had a daughter, Alice Virginia Miller, who was born about 1915. He is shown in the 1920 census for New Kent, Ware Creek, Virginia.

In the World War I Draft Registration Cards his information is listed as;
Ernest James Miller living Barhamsville VA., (New Kent County) a farmer and sawmill owner Born Oct 5 1886, married, medium height, gray eyes and light hair.

He remarried between 1920 and 1930. He married his stepmother’s daughter Annie Robbin Stubblefield, she was born in 1889. They had additional children; Jessie? a daughter born about 1924, Ernest a son born about 1928 and Anne born about 1930. He died in 1955. She remarried to James Edward Morris (age 65) on May 30, 1959. She was 69 and a widow. She is buried in Bellamy Cemetery.

Based on WW2 Registration information he worked for Virginia Engineering and Wise Construction Company at the Navy Warfare School in Yorktown VA. His age was 56.

He died in 1955 and is buried at Bellamy Cemetery.

2) Eddie Bert Miller born October 21, 1890 in Delaware. He married Lucy Parrish Richardson on May 22, 1918. She was born May 1888. They had a daughter Mary Keith Miller who was born about 1920. He also lived in New Kent Ware Creek Virginia and worked in a sawmill. He is shown in the 1920 census for that county. In the 1930 census he is living with his father in law Charles. P. Richardson and is a farmer. He died Feb 26, 1961. Mary Keith Miller married William Preston Messick on Jan 10, 1971. She was 51 and he was 70.

His WW1 draft registration information shows him as a farmer and sawmill owner in New Kent county VA. He was 26 at the time and listed as single. Medium height and stout with Grey eyes and light hair.

His WW2 registration information shows him as living in Barhamsville, New Kent, VA, Self-Employed and 51.

3) Lester Calvin Miller, born June 17, 1893 born Virginia, died on Sept 22, 1943. Married Janie A.. Possible divorced as Janie A Miller became Janie A. Crowder at time the will was filed at New Kent Courthouse. Probably married in 1919. He lived at 3039 Moss Side Ave. Richmond VA in 1941. He is buried at Bellamy Cemetery.

4) Lucy (Lucie) Jane Miller, born Feb 1899 Virginia. Married Hersey Marborn Mason on December 23, 1926. He was 27 and she was 26. In 1941 was living in Shackelfords, VA. In the 1930 census he was in Gloucester county Abrigdon district 18/19 with son Hersey jr . He was shown as a mechanic. H. Marvin Mason died on March 14, 1983. Lucie died on February 23rd, 1964. Both are buried at Ebenezer Cemetery Gloucester County Va.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

First Friday in Snow Hill

July 2, 2010 - First Friday - Arts on the River
Time: 5pm-8pm
Location: Snow Hill, Maryland

Downtown shops and galleries open til' 8pm. Independence Day Fireworks. Also featuring Summer Artists Market. Bishop's Stock featuring works by Tim Thompson.

Contact Information: 410-632-3555

Website: http://www.bishopsstock.com

Chestertown’s 1st Fridays

July 2, 2010 - Chestertown’s 1st Fridays
Downtown Chestertown, Maryland 5:00 - 8:00pm
Extended Shop hours, with arts and entertainment throughout Historic Downtown Chestertown.
Website: http://www.kentcounty.com/artsentertainment