Saturday, June 29, 2013

Looking For Information on Joe Wilton

I am doing an article for the next issue of the Delmar Historical and Arts Society newsletter on Joe Wilton.  Joe Wilton lived in Delmar around 1950.  He wrote an a weekly article in the Bi-State Weekly in that time period.  Born around 1884, in the 1920's and thru 1940 he was in vaudeville crisscrossing America doing comedy acts and producing his own shows.  He had a wife named Lulu and two children a daughter Jean and son Joe.  I am looking for information on what he did when he was in Delmar.  Where did he go and why did he go. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Hunley talk At Ft Delaware


Contact: Laura Lee, Fort Delaware State Park, 302-834-7941; or Necia Beck, Delaware State Parks, 302-739-9175 or

History of Civil War submarine to be presented at Fort Delaware State Park

DELAWARE CITY (June 26, 2013) - Fort Delaware will host a special program on Saturday, June 29 featuring the story of the H. L. Hunley, an ill-fated Confederate submarine that sank in Charleston Harbor in 1864 with its crew on board. Local historian Bill Jenkins will conduct a special presentation at 11:30 a.m., during which he will discuss the mission and the recovery of the submarine and the sailors who went down with it, as well as the artifact record of the submarine.

Access to Pea Patch Island is by ferry from either Delaware City or Salem, New Jersey. Ferry tickets cost $11 for adults, $6 for children 2 through 12 and $10 for seniors and Active Duty Military (with ID). Children under 2 are admitted free of charge.

There is no extra charge for the program. Those who wish to see the program will need to take the 9:30 a.m. Salem, N.J. ferry or the 10:45 a.m. Delaware City ferry to reach the fort in time.

Ferry reservations are suggested, but visitors may purchase tickets on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations may be made by calling 1-877- 987-2757 or visiting Tickets may only be reserved 24 hours in advance.

The Civil War Comes To Rockville Maryland

Picked up from the Rockville Patch

Should you be in Rockville Maryland this weend;

On Saturday, a day of free historically themed events will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Confederate Gen. J.E.B Stuart's march into Rockville on his way to Gettysburg.
The event—Civil War Comes to Rockville—is part of a countywide celebration of history this weekend, the 2013 Montgomery Heritage Days.
Here’s the scheduled of events or Rockville:
Beall-Dawson Park103 W. Montgomery Avenue
  • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.—Montgomery County Historical Society will have reenactments of Civil War camp life, including historic reenactors and craft demonstrations. Dr. Stonestreet, a Civil War-era surgeon will hold "office hours."
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.—Songs, stories, mummers' plays and crafts for kids, provided by Washington Revels. Meet historic personae Abraham Lincoln, his secretary, John Nicolay, and Ann Maria Weems, an enslaved girl who excaped to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Join in a family sing-along at noon with Bruce Hutton and the Roustabout String Band.
  • 2 p.m.—Federal City Brass Band Concert
Historic Red Brick Courthouse29 Courthouse Square
  • 10 a.m.—Lecture. “Changing America,” John W. Franklin, National Museum of African American History & Culture. Presented by Peerless Rockville.
  • Noon—Lecture. “Emancipation Proclamation at 150,” by Scott Ackerman, President Lincoln’s Cottage. Performance by Washington Revels Jubilee Voices. Presented by Peerless Rockville.
  • 2 p.m.—Lecture. “J.E.B. Stuart’s ‘Wild Ride’ through Montgomery County, June 1863,” by Robert C. Plumb, Historian.
Christ Episcopal Church107 S. Washington Street
  • 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.—Concerts by Washington Revels Heritage Voices, Jubilee Voices, and Roustabout String Band.
Courthouse SquareE. Montgomery and Maryland Avenues
  • 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.—Civil War/Underground Railroad Walking Tours
  • 3 p.m.—Reenactment of the June 28, 1863 arrival of J.E.B. Stuart in Rockville. Follow Stuart from Courthouse Square to Christ Episcopal Church to Beall-Dawson Park, as he rounds up Union-sympathizing citizens.
  • 4 p.m.—Federal City Brass Band Concert
Rockville Town Square21 Gibbs Street, Rockville
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m.—Community Country Dance with Washington Revels Roustabout String Band and dance caller Janine Smith
Rockville Memorial Library Rockville Town Square
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.—Screening of film, "Life in a War Zone: Montgomery County during the Civil War" in Meeting Room 1.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Poured Concrete Tombstone

In my travels thru graveyards and recording tombstones I occasionally come across the poured concrete tombstone. Some of these seem to be commercially made, others are homemade. Virtually all are in poor condition.

Now I assume the main reason for a concrete tombstone instead of granite or limestone would be money. In some cases however I am sure it was because the family or friend felt they could make it a more personal monument to the deceased.

There are two drawbacks to the concrete tombstone that I see. First the surface is more porous than granite and as such they erode more quickly and moss and fungus settle on them more than with granite. The second is the engraving or lettering. If you have at any time wrote your name in wet concrete you know the lettering is usually only as wide as the nail, or pointed stick that you use to write with. You also will find out the still moist concrete will flow back into the lettering making the letters even more narrow. Over the years this narrow lettering and the amount of fungus on the concrete will make it difficult to read.

These poured concrete tombstones can be found in just about every older graveyard and I wish I had taken photos of some of them I have seen over the years. The examples shown are all mostly from the local area.

These last two photos I feel are also poured concrete based on the width of lettering and the condition of the stone. Altho both show a certain neatness and order not achieved in the other photos.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Acadians Among Us

New Maryland Historical Trust Sign Unveiled


Nearly 260 years ago a small group of refugees landed on the shores of Maryland against their will. The year was 1755, during the outset of the French and Indian War, but a different war was being waged against the French Catholics - known as Acadians - as they were expelled from their lands in Nova Scotia, Canada. Four shiploads, carrying about 900 Acadians, were unloaded on the shores of Maryland in November 1755 and by 1770 the majority of these displaced Acadians left by ship to Louisiana.

Rarely discussed in history books, these Acadian people were the early settlers of Oxford, Newtown (today Chestertown), Georgetown, Fredericktown, Baltimore, Annapolis, Upper Marlboro, Lower Marlboro and Port Tobacco and many of their names are found in the Maryland 1763 Acadian census.

At the Manokin River Park in Princess Anne, MD on July 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm, a Maryland Historical Trust Sign will be unveiled, recognizing the Acadians' contribution to Maryland's mainstream history and experience on the Eastern Shore. Marie Rundquist, author of Revisiting Anne Marie: How an Amerindian Woman of Seventeenth-Century Nova Scotia and a DNA Match Redefine “American” Heritage and Cajun by Any Other Name: Recovering the Lost History of a Family and a People, in support of the Maryland Historical Trust marker program, researched and outlined the important and little-known story of the expulsion of the Acadians from their lands in Nova Scotia and their forced resettlement throughout the colonies, including the Chesapeake Bay area.

Rundquist states, “Visitors searching for signs describing Acadian history in Maryland, and particularly their ancestors' experience on the Eastern Shore, will no longer be disappointed; by reading the Maryland Historic Marker in Princess Anne, they will discover the nearly hidden role of Acadians in Maryland's early history. Visitors will also find out about the remarkable, historic, Acadian connection that links Maryland's Eastern Shore with Nova Scotia, Canada and the Acadian (“Cajun”) people of Louisiana.”

The public is welcome to join the celebration and share in this historic event. Notable speakers include:

Warren A. Perrin has a Juris Doctorate degree from Louisiana State University School of Law, and is an attorney with the firm of Perrin, Landry, deLaunay, Dartez & Ouellet. From 1994 – 2010, he was President of CODOFIL (the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana), and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He was a member of the board of directors of the Congrès Mondial Acadien - Louisiane 1999, President of the Lt. Governor's Task Force of FrancoFête '99, and the founder of the Acadian Museum of Erath, Louisiana. In 1999, French President Jacques Chirac bestowed on him the French National Order of Merit Award and the Université Sainte-Anne in Canada gave him an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. He is the author of five books dealing with the French culture, including Acadian Redemption, the first biography of an Acadian exile that also tells how he obtained a successful resolution of his Petition for an apology from the Queen of England for the Acadian deportation. The Queen's Royal Proclamation was signed on December 9, 2003. The book was translated into French as Une Saga Acadienne. He represented Louisiana and the United States at the World Francophone Summits in Bucharest, Romania, Quebec and Switzerland. In 2007, he was inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was named Chair of the Francophone Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association.

An Acadian genealogist and historian from Louisiana, R. Martin Guidry has studied the culture, language, history and genealogy of the Acadians for over 40 years. Marty is Immediate Past-President of the Board of Directors of the Acadian Memorial Foundation in St. Martinville, Louisiana and continues to serve as a member of the Board. He is President of Les Guédry d'Asteur - the North American association of the Guédry family. Marty has published numerous articles on Acadian history and genealogy, has presented seminars on the subject as well as conducted genealogical workshops. He oversees four genealogical websites and aids Acadian families seeking their family roots. Marty's research into the history and genealogy of the Acadians uses original civil and ecclesiastical records from the 1600's through

the present-day.

Rex Simpkins is the President, Board of County Commissioners, Somerset County, since December 7, 2010 (member, representing District 2, since 2006; vice-president, 2006-10). Member, Board of Health, Somerset County, 2006-. Treasurer Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, 2013 (member, 2006-; 1st vice-chair, 2008; chair, 2009). Native of Somerset County, Maryland. Member, Legislative Committee, Maryland Association of Counties, 2011-.

Also present will be noted officials from Maryland State, Local, and Somerset County Government.

For more information, please contact Lynn Coppotelli at or Marie Rundquist at To read about the marker, in English and French language translation, please visit the following website:

 Howard's Note;  From the 1763 Acadian Census in Maryland the following Acadians were in Princess Anne

+  Saint germain,  cecile germain Son epouse, Jean baptiste germain, marie germain,
rose germain, magdelaine germain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6

+  marie maffier veuve, joseph maffier, rené maffier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3

+  jean maffier, anne maffier son epouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2

+  guillaume Ebert, marie josette ebert son epouse, françois ebert, lablanche ebert,
aimable ebert  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5

+  charle trahan, margueritte trahan son epouse, margueritte trahan, brigette trahan . . . .  4

+  françois thiar marie thiar son epouse, margueritte thiar,  magdelaine thiar,
ositte thiar, elizabette thiar, anne thiar, michel thiar, antoine thiar, claude thiar,
pierre thiar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

+ françoise Babin Veuve, marie Babin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2

                                Total desd´familles noms par noms  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33


Sunday, June 16, 2013

News In Delmar 1906

From the Courier Newspaper April 7 1906 Salisbury MD
Monroe Pote, who is mentioned in the article as the man who had his leg cut off, was a leading advocate of Baseball in Delmar.  As such Pote field over at Gordy Park is named after him.

Mitchell Monroe Pote was born May 1, 1883 to Fred and Lorenia Pote.  Monroe would marry Lorena Blizzard on March 14 1906.  Monroe worked for the railroad as a telegraph operator.  Monroe and Lorena had as children; Edwin, Richard, Robert and Grace.

Clothing in 1943 at Sears, Roebuck and Company

I recently was browsing some of the Sears Roebuck catalogs from the 1940's in an attempt to identify a time period for people in a photo.  What impressed me with the catalogs of that period was the size of them (1000 plus pages) and the lack of some items (firearms) but overall a very good selection of items.  In the clothing section there was a wider selection of clothing to be worn in a manufacturing plant (war production) than in the last catalogs produced. 
Is this not a classic Sears Roebuck and Company cover for their 1943 cover? - American flag, family of four, white, boy scout, girl has a red, white and blue dress, no tattoos or piercings, no skinheads, man has his hat off to salute the flag (not often done in Delmar), the classic photo composition of three spots of color, in this case red, in a triangle composition.

As some one who likes pockets on my shirts I was impressed with the size pockets on these shirts.

and altho it has nothing to do with the war effort I have included this page from Anne Bradley Lauble from Baltimore simply because she is from the region.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

House History

Altho looking up the history of a house sounds simple it is a lot harder than you may think it is. You may think a simple trip to Georgetown to look thru the deeds will do the trick, well you are wrong. First dealing with the people in the Deed section is a trip in itself. Let me say the property deed section in Georgetown is orientated to lawyers and title searchers, not an amateur like you. Plus the deed is to the land, when a house is referred to on the land it could be the one you are looking for or a previous dwelling that once existed on the land. Sometime if you can find fire insurance maps they will give you a good clue but mostly they only good back to the early 1900's. As far as newspapers mostly you will find they have a comment like Joe Blow is building a house on 2nd street type of reporting. If you knew Joe Blow owned the property you may be in luck. The good news, most of the houses that are presently in Delmar were built after the first great fire so most were built about 1900, only a hundred and thirteen years of records searching to do.

Over on the blog Marian's Roots and Rambles she writes about house history and her clients for house histories.
and she writes The New England House Historian
again if you are thinking of researching the history of your home or even if you are not thinking of doing so you will find her blogs to be interesting.

Another blog on House History is The House History Man
He had an interesting post on when he found a house had been moved. Houses being moved do occur so in researching your house history consider that. Even in Delmar it happens as next to my property in the 1940's the town had build Veteran housing for return serviceman and in the 1950's they sold those houses and they were moved.

Below is a good article on hunting down your house history.
From The Milwaukee and Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
By Michele Derus of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Dec. 24, 2006
Memories pile up in our homes over the years - the look and laughter of people who lived or visited, the view of trees shimmering in the wind, the graceful curve of a stairway banister, the golden cast of wood floors in afternoon sunlight.
From time to time, we may wonder: What is it about this place that captured my heart? And does it, like me, have a storied past?
This is what turns homeowners into detectives. They probe the recollections of long-time neighbors and scour public records from previous decades, seeking clues to their homes' histories. Some wind up at places like the Milwaukee Central Library, a repository for historic records.
"We can show you how to find information on your house and neighborhood, on the Web and in the published records," said Virginia Schwartz, the library's coordinator of arts and humanities.
Librarian Kristin Connell called house genealogy "a treasure hunt."
The 60 people at the Milwaukee Central Library's November seminar on house history research, a periodic event, were eager learners with constant questions.
Milwaukeean William Shaw, who said he bought his Sherman Park bungalow in 1989 for its "fantastic architectural features" and near-distress sale price of $63,000, learned a lot.
"I knew it was a neat building, with all those sconces, that Spanish plaster, crown molding and ceiling medallions," Shaw said. "But now I know it's on the National Register of Historic Places, and that it was built in 1928 for $8,000."
Shaw is proud of his home's prominence, especially after the neighborhood's rocky decades of white flight to avoid racial integration.
"Values used to be absurdly low, but all these central city neighborhoods are coming back now," he said. "My house is now assessed at $209,000."
Kathy Waites, born and raised in a 1960s northwest-side ranch near Timmerman Field, took the house history class in hopes of discovering more about her late father, Jim Walters, and his ancestors.
"Dad died a couple years ago," she said. "He didn't talk about himself. He was always at work, then out in his gardens in the backyard. When I was growing up, we always had homemade food from Dad's gardens."
Waites can't take comfort in the homestead itself. It was sold. Instead, she is probing genealogical records to illuminate the background of her reticent father, a painter for the former Pabst brewery here.
"My father's father died when he was young. His name was Frank Roth and he worked for a brewing company. I think he was a mason," she said. "I was born in '65 and my father built the house with (another man) a couple years later."

Feeling a part of the place

Stirring up the past can provide a stronger sense of belonging, George Wagner and Barbara Rasman have found.
Since 1985, they have lived in a 1903 American Four-Square brick and wood house on Milwaukee's east side, near the Milwaukee River and the old Chicago and Northwestern railroad tracks. The river is largely unchanged a century later, but the train route is now a bike path.
When they moved in, the couple vowed to yank off the reddish-brown fake brick veneer overlaid on the home's façade as soon as time allowed. Over time, the veneer lost its power to irritate and the project was forgotten - until 18 years later.
"The house was turning 100, and we wanted to have a party," Rasman said.
"For the party," Wagner added, "I wanted to know more about the house."
Rasman, an artist and handywoman, restored the house just in time for its 100th birthday, while Wagner, a librarian, researched its past.
"We had found out from the previous owner that the original owners lived here about 75 years," Wagner said. He checked the 1910 U.S. Census report and discovered the original owners were a policeman, his Danish-born wife and their factory-apprentice son. Further research confirmed the son's lifelong stay. The house itself proved a common example of its era, erected about midway in the block's development.
"The neighborhood was made up of crafts people, small business people and some civil servants - not a whole lot different than it is today," Wagner said. Nearby Gordon Park sported a ski jump back then, and farther north, an amusement park operated. Wagner learned the area was dotted with commerce - grocers, pharmacists, hardware store owners and confectioners - operating in storefronts topped by living quarters.

Places to look

"Many people find that the more questions they get answered, the more questions they have," Connell said.
The hunt should include record searches at the public library, historical societies, courthouses and university libraries to learn about the house, she advised. To learn about who lived in the house, she said, read newspaper obituaries and death notices.
Librarian Schwartz says that people often strike pay dirt with these sources:
• The Sanborn Atlas, which dates to 1876, shows details of blocks and outlines of buildings, so you can tell if your house once had a porch or stables.
• Old city tax rolls show how many bedrooms the house had and whether it had a fireplace.
• The Sentinel index, with records from 1837 to 1890, has information on people, buildings and events.
• City directories reveal the identities and professions of a house's inhabitants.

Adding to the story

Reprinted photographs of those early 20th-century neighborhood scenes covered the inside walls at the Wagner's centennial house party, held just about three years ago today. Celebrants included neighbors who, spotting the photographs, fleshed out the scenes with their own stories and memories, Rasman said.
"Some had knowledge of the families who lived here before - how they lived, how many kids they raised, why they put on additions," she said. "We heard about how the doctor who lived in the house across the street used the parlor as his front office, and about the family who took in boarders during the Depression."
The house-history pilgrimage he started in curiosity gave Wagner a new perspective.
"I knew I'd found a place where I'm a good match," he said. "It's nice to know it has this history."