Local Matters, Part II

In the last post, we found second great grandfather Levin Dukes at Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, buried in April of 1866 in an unmarked grave. He is, however, not alone. A seven-month old Dukes infant was buried alongside him in December of tha…

In the last post, we found second great grandfather Levin Dukes at Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, buried in April of 1866 in an unmarked grave.  He is, however, not alone.  A seven-month old Dukes infant was buried alongside him in December of that same year. (1)  And it appears that his widow’s father and brother, John Lambie, Sr. and John Lambie, Jr., were moved to the same plot from the Presbyterian Burying Grounds in 1887. (2)
  
Let’s back up to the 1860 federal census and take a closer look at the years in Georgetown.

Newly-married Levin and Margaret (Lambie) Dukes, and his three children (great grandmother Sarah is nine), are enumerated on the same page as the Lambie family.  It was headed by John, 54, a Scottish-born contractor,  his wife, A. E., age 44, and seven children ranging in age from two to 18. (3)  They were probably Margaret’s parents and younger siblings.  Listed between Lambie and Dukes is another household, comprised of two young families, one headed by John T. Kelley, and the other by William Appleby.  (4)  Both men were grocers, living over their store, and apparently brothers-in-law twice over, having married each other’s sister. (5)

Here’s a visual aid for that paragraph:

1860_census_washington_dc_dukes_cropped_for_citation

Between 1860 and March of 1866, Margaret gave birth to two daughters, a namesake, Margaret E., and Fannie A. (6)  She was eight months pregnant with their third daughter, Anna L., when Levin died suddenly – and without a will. (7)  

Margaret was named administratrix of Levin’s estate and guardian of all six children. (8)  She posted two bonds – $18,000, as administratrix, and $12,000, as guardian, $2,000 for each minor.  (9)  John B. Davidson, agent of Potomac Tow Company and business associate of Levin’s, and neighbor John T. Kelley, acted as sureties for both, obligating them to pay the sum if Margaret failed to perform her duties. (10)

The personal property inventory provides a glimpse of Levin’s financial worth, not an inconsequential dollar figure for that time, and their day-to-day life. (11)

Inventory of Personal Property of Levin Dukes, deceased

10/33    Of  Tug[boat] “Gov. Curtin”    2,000.00      
1/36    Of  Tug[boat] “Rescue”    333.33      
$1,800 Baltimore City Stock- 6 % of 1890c 99 1/2    1,791.00      
Note of John B. Davidson    3,000.00      
1    Bed, Bedstead and bedding    23.00      
1    Bed, Bedstead and bedding    20.00      
1    Bed, Bedstead and bedding    23.00      
1    Marble top bureau & washstand     10.00      
      Matting, [?] sett & chairs of Front Room    2.00      
3    Venetian blinds & 12 window curtains    2.00      
4    Stoves    10.00      
1    Cottage set    20.00      
1    Piano    25.00      
1    Sofa and 1/2 dozen chairs (in parlor)    13.00      
1    Matting, rug and table    7.00      
     Looking glass and pictures    12.00      
     Writing desk, table, clock and carpet in sitting room    10.00      
     Books    5.00      
     Safe, pine table and 4 chairs (in kitchen)    5.00      
     Crockery and Glassware & knives and forks    4.00      
     Money in Savings Bank of Baltimore    909.2      
          Total                                                          $8233. 1/5     

In addition to the 66 Market Street frame house pictured in the last post, Levin owned a larger brick residence several blocks away on the same street.  (12)

Margaret wrote a letter to the court detailing her budget, transcribed below. (13)  It’s a stark look at a complex family situation:

Georgetown June 16, 1866

Dear Judge:

Mr. Robbins advised me to draw up a letter stating to the court what I could afford to support the children with. My stepson is in his 19th year.  I think I can board him for a hundred dollars a year, but shall expect him to clothe himself.  My stepdaughters I will clothe, for a hundred dollars each, the oldest stays with me, the youngest with an Uncle in Baltimore.  There will be no board for either of them.  My own children (three of them) I should like a hundred each for them for board, clothing and everything.  Our income (after the expenses in the house are paid) will be in the neighborhood of nine hundred dollars.  I am not willing to spend more than the income.

Very respectfully,

M. A. Dukes

On October 9, 1866, Kelley and Davidson filed a petition expressing concern that that they were at risk of losing their sureties and asked the court to order Margaret to appear and provide counter-security. (14)  The court issued a citation ordering her to appear.  (15)  However, on the appointed day, the order was suspended; the parties must have come to an interim agreement on how to proceed. (16)  By April of 1867, the estate of Levin Dukes was settled.  (17)

Margaret remarried on June 17, 1867, to John Collison, and moved to his home in Delaware, with daughters, Margaret and Fannie. (18)   A month later, the petition of Kelley and Davidson was revived on the issue of the guardianship bond alone, and Margaret refused, in open court, to provide counter-surety for the total amount. (19)  The court ordered her guardianship revoked and Kelley was named guardian of Jimmie, Susie, and Sadie.  (20)  Margaret posted a new bond in the smaller amount of $4,000, and her  husband provided surety so that she could continue to act as guardian of her two daughters.  (21)

The three older siblings spent the next several years between Kelley’s new home in Darnestown, Montgomery County, and the home of James Pawley, the glass merchant in Baltimore with whom the family lived before relocating to Georgetown.  Probate documents after 1866 do not mention Anna.   She is most certainly the seven-month old infant buried with Levin.
 
The two Georgetown properties were maintained at least into the 1870s, together generating annual rental income of $550, used to support the orphans.  (22)  The shares of the tugboats, Rescue and Gov. Curtin, were auctioned, generating an additional $1,680; the stock sale brought in $1,731. (23)

One by one, as they reached majority age, the orphans’ guardianship accounts were closed, and they took charge of their own finances.  There are over 100 pieces of paper in several different guardianship case files that document financial arrangements made on their behalf.   Here are just a few images (24):

Division_of_rent_case_1946Georgetown_courier_receipt_case_1946Georgetown_tax_receipt_case_1832Offutt_receipt_for_glass_glazing_case_1832Pawley_receipt_case_1946Receipt_for_quarters_sadie_dukes_case_1946Sale_of_stock_case_1946Susies_receipt_to_appleby_case_1946

The Levin Dukes biography has a fairly clear and detailed ending, at least on paper.  No doubt the back story of the personal relationships among his surviving family members and associates is a complicated one.  

—————————————————————————————————————————-

I am indebted to Robert Ellis and George Briscoe, NARA archivists, for their assistance in navigating Record Group 21, and to Patricia O’Brien Shawker, for her NIGR lecture on NARA citations.

(1)  The Oak Hill Cemetery, Burial Records (http://www.oakhillcemeterydc.org/Burials/654.pdf : accessed 11 May 2009), citing Wesley E. Pippenger’s “Oak Hill Cemetery, Georgetown, D.C.: Monument Inscriptions and Burial Data, Parts One and Two” (2007), “Dukes, Child.”

(2)  Pippenger, Wesley E., Dead People on the Move!: Reconstruction of the Georgetown Presbyterian Burying Ground, Holmead’s (Western) Burying, and Other Removals in the District of Columbia  (Westminster, MD: Willow Bend Books, 2004), 134.

(3) 1860 U. S. Census, Washington, District of Columbia, Georgetown Ward 4, p. 162 (penned), dwelling 1036, family 1132, John Lambie; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 January 2010); citing National Archives microfilm publication M653, roll 101.

(4) 1860 U. S. Census, Washington, District of Columbia, Georgetown Ward 4, p. 162 (penned), dwelling 1035, family 1130 and 1131, John T. Kelley and W. M. Appleby; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 January 2010); citing National Archives microfilm publication M653, roll 101.

(5)  Kelley, Joseph Crockett, Sr. and Alice McKnight Kelley. “My Grandfather Joseph Kelley,” p. 1; Kelley Family  File, Vertical Files, Montgomery County Historical Society, Rockville, Maryland.  

(6)  Margaret A. Dukes, Guardian Bond, 12 June 1866; Transcript of Guardian Bonds, Vol. 1, October 26, 1861-November 2, 1867, p. 398; Records of the United States District  Court for the District of Columbia, Record Group 21 (RG 21);  National Archives Building, Washington, D.C (NAB).

(7) Ibid.

(8)  Entry for Tuesday, April 3, 1866, p. 262; Proceedings, Vol. 8, No. 8, E-109, March 25, 1865-July 23, 1867; RG 21; NAB.  Margaret A. Dukes, Guardian Bond, 12 June 1866; Transcript of Guardian Bonds, Vol. 1, October 26, 1861-November 2, 1867, p. 398; RG 21; NAB.
 
(9)  Ibid.

(10)  Ibid.

(11)  Inventory of the Goods, Chattel and Personal Estate of Levin Dukes, transcription by Malissa Ruffner, 1 September 2009; Case 1832; Old Series Administration Case Files, 1801-1878; RG 21; NAB.  
(12) Appraisal of Real Estate of Levin Dukes;  Case 1832, Levin Dukes; Guardianship Case Files, 1801-1878 (Old Series);  RG 21; NAB. 

(13)  Letter from M.A. Dukes dated June 26, 1866, transcribed by Malissa Ruffner, 3 September 2009; Case 1832; Old Series Administration Case Files, 1801-1878; RG 21; NAB. 

(14)  Petition filed by John B. Davidson and John T. Kelley;  Levin Dukes Probate, Case 5277;  Old Series Administration Case Files, 1801-1878;  RG 21; NAB. 

(15) Entry for Tuesday, October 9, 1866, p. 397; Proceedings, Vol. 8, No. 8, E-109, March 25, 1865-July 23, 1867; RG 21; NAB.
 
(16) Entry for Saturday, October 24, 1866, p. 407; Proceedings, Vol. 8, No. 8, E-109, March 25, 1865-July 23, 1867; RG 21; NAB. 

(17) Entry for Tuesday, April 9, 1867, p. 517; Proceedings, Vol. 8, No. 8, E-109, March 25, 1865-July 23, 1867; RG 21; NAB. 

(18)  Pippenger, Wesley E., compiler., District of Columbia Marriage Licenses: Register 1, 1811-1858 ; Register 2, 1858-1870 (Westminster, MD: Famiiy Line, 1994), Register 2, p. 85.

(19) Entry for Tuesday, July 16, 1867, p. 587; Proceedings, Vol. 8, No. 8, E-109, March 25, 1865-July 23, 1867; RG 21; NAB.
 
(20) Ibid. 

(21)  Entry for Tuesday, August 20, 1867, p. 18; Proceedings, Vol.  J. R. O’B No. 1, July 27, 1867-May 28, 1870; RG 21; NAB. 

(22)  Appraisal of Real Estate of Levin Dukes;  Case 1832, Levin Dukes; Guardianship Case Files, 1801-1878 (Old Series);  RG 21; NAB. 

(23)  Adams and Davidson Receipt; Case 1946, Levin Dukes; Guardianship Case Files, 1801-1878 (Old Series);  RG 21; NAB.  Dowling Auctioneers Receipt;  Case 1832, Levin Dukes; Guardianship Case Files, 1801-1878 (Old Series);  RG 21; NAB. 

 (24) Items individually cited to either Case 1832 or Case 1946; Guardianship Case Files, 1801-1878 (Old Series); RG 21; NAB. 

One thought on “Local Matters, Part II”

  1. I’m betting no family reunions. I love the inventories but I am also very intrigued by Margaret’s letter. Less than three months after her father died, Sadie is packed off to Baltimore (although I don’t think it was to a biological uncle) and sister Susie gets to stay. Was Susie more help with the little ones? Perhaps Sadie wasn’t quite as friendly to her stepmother.

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