Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Little About The Ker, Slemons, Davis, and Pennington Families

Once upon a time a summary of the last Will of prominent people were posted in the newspaper. Below is a typical one.

From the Salisbury Times March 8 1946

H. Claude Ker, Delmar: bequeath $100 to New Vernon Cemetery Corporation for upkeep of burial lot; $500 to be invested in war bonds for great granddaughter, Patricia Ker Remley; to Zulu Handy Pennington, negro, $250 in memory of mother, Louisa A. Ker; to wife, Gertrude W. Ker, U. S. government bonds, par value, $12,000. The sum of $5,000 in cash, and automobile; also to wife, home and all furnishings; residue of estate to wife; $5,000 trust fund to be paid every two months in $80 lots to daughter Louisa  Ker Remley; $5,000 trust fund to be paid every two months in $40 lots each to granddaughter  Emily Remley Lindgren, and grandson Robert C. Remley; residue of estate to daughter Louisa Ker Remley, granddaughter Emily Remley Lindgren, and grandson , Robert C. Remley.  Harold M. Bennett and William Herman Robertson, executors.

Henry Claude Ker was ordained a minister in the Old School Baptist Church in 1897.  His final years were in Delmar.  Born in 1860, the last son of Dr. Samuel John Stewart Ker (1810-1872) and Louisa Arabella Davis Ker of Quantico, he would have three wives and preach at a number of churches.  He was pastor of Old School Baptist Churches in Delmar, Smith Mills, Snow Hill, Broad Creek, Mardela, Rewastico, Middletown, New York,  New Vernon, New York and Warwick, New York. He married first, in 1886 Emily “Emma” J. Marvil (1867-1914) who was the daughter of William S. Marvil, the undertaker in Delmar.  They would have two children; Louisa (1887-1964 born in Delmar) and William Stewart Ker (1889-1917) who would become an undertaker.    Married second in 1916 to Miss Lena Rath of East Orange New Jersey. She died three months after the marriage.    Married third in 1917 to Gertrude Walters (1884 -1960) daughter of Thomas and Harriett Walters of Pocomoke.

 Claude Ker's parents were tied to strong religious beliefs.  His father Dr Samuel John Stewart Ker was descended from Walter Ker who assisted Rev. Francis McKemie founder of the Presbyterian church in America. In 1692 Walter Ker helps establish the Old Tennent Presbyterian church in Philadelphia.  Claude Ker’s mother, Louisa Arabella Davis, was the daughter of Daniel Davis a merchant in Salisbury, Maryland. He was also a strong Baptist.  His eldest son Noah Davis became a Baptist minister at an early age. He was founder of the Baptist Tract Society now the American Baptist Publication Society.  He would die at age 28.  Louisa Ker would break off a group from the main Baptist church in Salisbury and form the Division street Baptist Church.

Dr Samuel and Louisa Ker would have as children;

Ellen Arabella Ker (1834-1841)

Elizabeth Handy Ker (1836-1900) married Dr Albert B. Slemons (1832-1891) had children Samuel Ker Slemons (1859-1938), John B. Slemons (1862-), Albert Allen Slemons (1863-1891), Louisa Davis Slemons (1867-1869) , Marion Harlan Slemons (1872-1942), Mary Lou Slemons (1875-).  

Dr. Albert B. Slemons came from a line of Doctors. He was one of five doctors in the 1860s that lived in Quantico. He moved to Delmar. His children were well known in Delmar during the period they lived. S. Ker Slemons was in to all the organizations and cashier at First National Bank. The daughters Marion and Mary Lou Slemons remained single and shared a house in Delmar.  Mary Lou was a Charter member of the New Century Club.


Samuel Harlan B. Ker (1840-1876) teacher. Active in Delmar and charter member of the Red Men tribe in Delmar.

Daniel  Davis Ker (1842-1862)

Llewellyn “Louis” Bell Ker (1849- 1927) Llewellyn died December 1927 at 79 years old.  He was married to Miss Molly “Mary” Triplett (1850-1911) of Washington where he worked for an ice company. He later worked Chief Engrosser clerk at Annapolis. At time of death he was serving second term as Wicomico county commissioner and he was the livery stable keeper in Delmar.  He had married a second time in 1913 to Fannie Cannon Gordy(1881-1958 ) daughter of Frank Cannon and Olisa Calloway Cannon.  She had previously been married to Mr. Gordy.  In 1910 she was a widow living next door to Llewellyn and Mary Ker.

William “Willie” Dudley Ker (1855-1860)

Henry Claude Ker (1860-1946) which the start of this post was about.

Finally, in the will is Zulu Handy Pennington, negro.  Zulu was born about 1879 and she died in 1964.  (of note; most women with the first name of Zulu were white) At the time she was born she was in the household of Louisa Davis Ker in Quantico.  It is assumed she must have grown up in the household to be held so dearly in the memory of Claude Ker. It is confusing trying to track her family tree.  She married William A. Pennington (1873-1962) and by about 1915 lived in Coatesville Pennsylvania.  She had sons, Donald (1914-1976) and Edgar (1910- ). In 1900 she is a boarder in a boarding house in Philadelphia PA under the name Zulu handy, and the other boarder next to her is Harry Lee, She is listed as a servant and he is a waiter.  In 1904 she is shown as being in West Chester, PA under the name Zulu H. Lee. In 1910 she is running a boarding house in Coatesville PA under the name of Zulu H. Lee.  William Pennington is a boarder there and so are Robert Goslee and Delphine Goslee from Maryland. Her brother was Thomas Edward Goslee (1884 -1958) of Salisbury MD. Her Pennsylvania death certificate lists her parents as Joseph Carr and Hanna Handy. The 1880 Census shows her mother to be Jane Robertson (Robinson) and with her are sisters Martha B. Robertson age 5 and sister Ida B Robertson age 3.  In the 1900 census Jane Goslee age 60 widow, has children of Willie, John, Thomas, Robert, Samuel and Della. So it is unclear in the period of 1880 to 1904 what happened to her.

1 comment:

  1. I found pictures of the Slemon sisters, Mary Lou and Marion, as young women in a family album and would like to share them with the family if possible. I believe my relative James T. Wilson was a boarder with the family in his 50’s in the 1920’s. Please contact me if you have more information on this family.