Church Record Sunday – Origin of a ‘Family’ Name

I went in search of the church marriage record of my great grandparents, Sadie and Lemuel, charmed by the fact that they wed in the city where I have been living for many years. That journey was marked by a series of newbie-mistakes but, in the en…

I went in search of the church marriage record of my great grandparents, Sadie and Lemuel, charmed by the fact that they wed in the city where I have been living for many years.  That journey was marked by a series of newbie-mistakes but, in the end, I did find the record in the Jackson Square Methodist Episcopal Church Records, held by Lovely Lane Museum & Archives. That’s not the story here.  This is. Continue reading “Church Record Sunday – Origin of a ‘Family’ Name”

Ancestor Approved

Thanks to my friend and ProGen peer Shelley for passing the Ancestor Approved blog award baton from her blog, A Sense of Family, to Family Epic. And thanks to Leslie Ann of Ancestors Live Here who created the award early in 2010. Recipients are as…

Ancestor_approved

Thanks to my friend and ProGen peer Shelley for passing the Ancestor Approved blog award baton from her blog, A Sense of Family, to Family Epic.  And thanks to Leslie Ann of Ancestors Live Here who created the award early in 2010. 

Recipients are asked to post a list of ten things learned about their ancestors that have been humbling, surprising or enlightening.  It’s a great mental organizing task, one that genealogists embrace – this time of year especially.  Continue reading “Ancestor Approved”

Speechless

I’m rendered speechless at the moment. And that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing except that I’m trying to maintain a story-telling blog. I threw myself into genealogical education in the last ten months – completing the trifecta of SLIG, Samfo…

I’m rendered speechless at the moment.  And that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing except that I’m trying to maintain a story-telling blog.

I threw myself into genealogical education in the last ten months – completing the trifecta of SLIG, Samford, and NIGR in one year.  And in the last two weeks, did the same with on-site research – spending part of one week in western Pennsylvania researching Dad’s line and then spending most of last week in the El Paso, Texas, area researching Mom’s family.  To put it mildly, the combined trips were a study in contrasts. Continue reading “Speechless”

Local Matters, Part III and holding

In the last two posts, I detailed what I have learned about the life of 2nd great grandfather Levin Dukes from his first known appearance in Baltimore records in 1847 until his death in Georgetown in 1866. But who are Levin’s parents and where was…

In the last two posts, I detailed what I have learned about the life of 2nd great grandfather Levin Dukes from his first known appearance in Baltimore records in 1847 until his death in Georgetown in 1866.  But who are Levin’s parents and where was he born? 

Maryland is listed as his state of birth in both the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses; it is also listed as his first wife Susan’s place of birth in 1850. (1)  Twentieth-century census records for three daughters, Susan, Sarah, and Fannie, all identify Maryland as the birthplace of their father. (2) 

His age of 39 in the 1850 census, and an 1866 death notice referring to him as being in his “54th year,” suggest a birth year range of 1810 to 1813. (3)  At this point, I’m regarding the age of 40 listed in 1860 as one of those census anomalies; his age was probably provided by his twenty-four year old bride. (4)  He’s not the first man to have aged only one year in a ten-year span!

Pre-1850 federal censuses list only heads of household by name; Levin is not indexed as a head of household anywhere in 1840, when he would have been aged 27 to 30.  There is only one Dukes household indexed in the 1840 federal census for Baltimore; it does not include a male his age.  (5) He was probably single until his marriage to Susan in 1847, and if indeed he lived in Baltimore, he was most likely a boarder represented by a tick mark only.  Levin and Susan were married in what could be considered a nontraditional church, serving the maritime population, suggesting few family ties to Baltimore. (6)

Margaret Dukes’ 1866 letter, to the D. C. district court overseeing Levin’s estate, states that her younger stepdaughter, Sarah, our great grandmother, was staying with an uncle in Baltimore. (7)  So far, there is no evidence that she stayed with anyone other than James Pawley, Jr.   Pawley died in 1872 and his will carefully lists family members and their relationships in each clause that devises real and personal property.  (8) The “orphans of Levin Dukes” are explicitly mentioned in his will; he instructed his executors to pay the interest earned by Baltimore City stock worth $2,500 to James, Susan, and Sarah, with no mention of a blood relationship. (9)

The surname Dukes appears most frequently in the counties of Caroline and Worcester, and to a lesser extent in Queen Anne’s County, all on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and contiguous Sussex County in Delaware. The border between Delaware and Maryland is a fluid one; people readily moved back and forth.

That a man, who eventually built his modest fortune on the water, grew up in a seagoing county seems a strong possibility.  It’s a least a working hypothesis!  Further weight was given to this theory by two renowned genealogists, who both observed that they had never seen the given name Levin outside the Delmarva Peninsula or descendants of area residents. (10) 

It’s complicated, though.  There is not one Dukes household in any of those counties that has the right age and gender data match for Levin in 1820 to 1840. If his father died when he was young, his mother could have remarried and moved him into a household headed by stepfather.  He may never have been enumerated in a Dukes household; he was born just after the 1810 count.

In the aftermath of Levin’s death, no immediate family members stepped forward to take care of his children of his first marriage. That’s the corollary to my working hypothesis; he left the Eastern Shore as a young man to make his living and had few ties to his childhood home.

I’ve consulted as many derivative and secondary, published sources as I could locate in Baltimore (but certainly not all that have been published) on the counties of Caroline, Worcester, Queen Anne’s and Sussex, without seeing a single reference to a Levin Dukes born 1810-1813.  It’s time to delve more directly into original sources at the Maryland State Archives – land records, wills, estate files, guardianship papers, etc.   Because there is a cluster of individuals named Levi (very similar name and one often indexed as Levin) and James (the name of his son) in Caroline County, that’s where I’m starting.

After Caroline County, I’m heading directly to Sussex County, Delaware (research-wise) before the other Maryland counties because that’s where Margaret Dukes found her second husband – an intriguing clue, albeit one that undercuts my few-ties-to-childhood-home corollary. (11)

You may not hear anything about this endeavor for some time!

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(1) 1850 U. S. Census, Baltimore (Independent ) City, Maryland, pop. sched., Ward 4, p. 69B (stamped), dwelling 821, family 962, Levin Dukes; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 January 2010);  citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 282. 1860 U. S. Census, Washington, District of Columbia, pop. sched. Georgetown Ward 4, p. 162 (penned), dwelling 1034, family 1129, Levin Dukes; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 January 2010); citing National Archives microfilm publication M653, roll 101.

(2)1900 U. S. Census, Montgomery County, Maryland, pop. sched., 2nd District, Clarksburg, enumeration district (ED) 50, p. 20B, dwelling 375, family 387, Susin R. Henderson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 August 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 625.  1900 U. S. Census, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, pop. sched., Greensburg Ward 1, enumeration district (ED) 100, p. 30A, dwelling 574, family 625 [smudged], Sarah D. Offutt line 46; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 August 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1497. 1900 U. S. Census, Sussex County, Delaware, pop. sched., North West Fork Hundred, enumeration district (ED) 99, p. 10B, dwelling 193, family 194, Fannie A. Willey; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 August 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 157.  1910 U. S. Census, Sussex County, Delaware, pop. sched., Representative District 2 (Greenwood), enumeration district (ED) 105, p. 3A, dwelling 52, family 57, Fannie Willey; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 August 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 148.  1920 U. S. Census, Sussex County, Delaware, pop. sched., Greenwood Town, enumeration district (ED) 181, p. 1A, dwelling 11, family 11, Fannie Willey; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 August 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 200.

(3) 1850 U. S. Census, Baltimore (Independent ) City, Maryland, pop. sched., Ward 4, p. 69B (stamped), dwell. 821, fam. 962, Levin Dukes.  “Died,” (Washington) Evening Star, 17 March 1866, p. 3, col. 2.

(4) 1860 U. S. Census, Washington, District of Columbia, Georgetown, pop. sched. Ward 4, p. 162 (penned), dwell. 1034, fam. 1129, Levin Dukes.

(5) A search of the 1840 federal census of the Dukes surname in Baltimore, using Ancestry.com, turned up one hit, a household headed by James Dukes, age 40-50, and including only one other male, age five to 10.

(6) “Married,” The (Baltimore) Sun, 23 January 1847, p. 2, col. 4.  Schell, Edwin. “Preacher’s Collection.” Card File. Lovely Lane Museum & Archives (Baltimore, Maryland).

(7)Letter from M.A. Dukes dated June 26, 1866, transcribed by Malissa Ruffner, 3 September 2009; Levin Dukes Guardianship Case 1832; Old Series Administration Case Files, 1801-1878; Record Group 21; National Archives Building, Washington, D. C. 

(8) Baltimore City, Maryland, Register of Wills, Wills, Liber JHB 38: 214, James Pawley, Jr. (1872), Maryland State Archives CM 219-20, Annapolis, MD.

(9) Ibid.

(10) Lloyd Bockstruck and  Karen Mauer Green,  informal conversations with Malissa Ruffner, held 18 June 2010 at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama, and 13 January 2011, at the Family History Library, Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, Salt Lake City, Utah, respectively.

(11) 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. 

 

 

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.  

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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. 

Local Matters

One of the biggest surprises since undertaking family research was the discovery of an ancestral connection to Baltimore, my home since 1977. “I’m not from here,” I tell people. But, as my husband sometimes puts it, “she’s more from here than I am…

One of the biggest surprises since undertaking family research was the discovery of an ancestral connection to Baltimore, my home since 1977.  “I’m not from here,” I tell people.  But, as my husband sometimes puts it, “she’s more from here than I am.” 

Several lines ducked in and out of town at various times.  But the most intriguing individual is Levin Dukes, tugboat captain, our 2nd great grandfather, who lived just north of Fell’s Point  from 1847 (maybe earlier?) until about 1859. A Fell’s Point tugboat captain?  It doesn’t get much more local than that.

It was Levin’s daughter, Sarah, who married Lemuel Offutt, M.D., originally of Montgomery County, Maryland, in 1877, and moved to Pennsylvania, from whence we came.  Dad told me in  2008 that his grandmother, Sarah Dukes, who died 16 years before he was born, was a complete blank to him.
  
Two years later, we’ve at least made the acquaintance of Sarah’s parents, Levin and Susan (nee Tagret/Taggart), and know how their story ended.  The beginning of their story remains elusive. The quest hasn’t reached “brick wall” status, the term genealogists use to describe their toughest research problems, but it has certainly been my biggest challenge to date.  More on that in Part II or however many parts this is going to take.
Continue reading “Local Matters”

You might find a chart helpful

This pedigree chart (and by that, I don’t mean “high- falutin’ “) may make the posts easier to follow….. If anyone would like a copy of their own chart — as it stands now – let me know!

Mr_pedigree_chart

This pedigree chart (and by that, I don’t mean “high- falutin’ “) may make the posts easier to follow…..

If anyone would like a copy of their own chart — as it stands now – let me know!