Sunday, December 26, 2010

Edward Randolph Abe 10-032

     Edward Randolph Abe was (35)born July 29, 1866 in Mineral County, West Virginia just over a year after the end of the Civil War. He was the only child of Philip Abe and his first wife Mary "Pollie". Almost nothing is known about his mother but an (6)"Abe Family Heritage" story says that her name was Mary Polly Hamilton and that she died about 1878 when Edward was 12 years of age. His father remarried in 1880 to Annie Elizabeth Largent.
     (22)In 1870, Edward is living in or near Flintstone, in Allegany County Maryland with his father and mother, Mary. At that time he is three years of age.
     (23)By 1880 he was now living in Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland on German Lane (now Third Street). The family consisted of Philip, Annie and Edward who was now listed as fourteen years of age. Both he and his father were listed as laborers. It is believed that his father was working in the glass factory at this time, so it is possible that Edward spent time working there also.
     Because of the loss of the 1890 Census records to a 1921 fire we can't trace his travels during this time period, but (36)on April 26, 1895 he marries Minnie M. Hinkle (or Hinckle) of Morgan County, West Virginia. At that time Edward was living across the Potomac River in Brunswick, Maryland (Frederick County). His marriage record lists him as a railroader. Minnie is listed as born about 1871 in Frederick County, Virginia.
     (90)On June 13, 1900 the Frederick County, Maryland Census lists Edward and Minnie living in Brunswick, Maryland. Edward is still working for the railroad and is now a conductor. They now have been married for five years and are now graced with their first child, Eva P., who was born in February and is listed as 3 months of age.

     From this point on the information gets a little confusing and uncertain so bear with me. It would help to follow along with a copy of the records. None of what I have, from here on, can be considered the final word but I am including it for research purposes only. If anyone can possibly verify or disprove these records please let me know.

     O.K. here we go. The first record is a (91)1910 Census (dated April 28, 1910) for the Election District #4 (Part of Ward 6) of the City of Cumberland, MD. On Sheet #19 Lines 80-87 Dwelling 438 there is an Edward Abbey, his wife Minnie and two children Eva and Leann. The age for Edward is 39 and is 4 years younger then it should be. The age for Minnie is also off by 4 years younger. The number of years they are listed as married (14) is a close match but should be 15 years (instead of 14) since the census was dated two days after their anniversary date. The oldest daughter Eva is listed as 10 years of age which is correct when looking back to the 1900 Census. The younger daughter is named Leann and  is listed as 7 years of age. I have not found anything further on this child which could also makes this record questionable.
     With the next couple records, things begin to get even more interesting. I do know from talking with family members, who remembered Edward, that he lived in the Cleveland, Ohio area so that is where I have concentrated my search. Also, be very careful. There is at least one other line of Abes in Ohio and more then one Edward Abe. Most of these are direct immigrants from Europe.
     The second record is a (92)1920 Census record for Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Here an Edward Abey is living on West Third Street which extends northwest from W. Superior Avenue to the Cleveland Browns Stadium on Lake Erie. He is listed as 53 years of age which would be correct since the census was taken in January and before his July birthday. He and his father are listed as born in West Virginia - this matches. His mother is listed as born in Maryland - this matches. This Edward is also working for the steam railroad as a conductor - this also matched previous records. Information that has changed is that he is listed as single and living in a rooming house. No family is with him.
     To go along with this record, another (93)1920 Census record is a little to the west in Ottawa County, Ohio. In this record we find a Minnie Abey owning a home with no mortgage and is the head of the household consisting of her a granddaughter, "Neomi" Pettibone and a boarder, a 62 year old Dutchman named John Borgerman. This Minnie is listed as 45, which is four years younger then the age listed on her marriage record. Are we seeing a pattern here? Could the age on the marriage record be wrong by four years? "Neomi's" age is listed as one year and 8 months. From the handwriting I cannot tell if Minnie is married, divorced or single. It lists her birth place as Virginia which would be correct. Her occupation is listed as a nurse in a hospital.
     In the (94)1930 Census for Cleveland, Ohio in Cuyahoga County we find a Minnie Abey at "1911 E. 79th Street". This is near the intersection of west bound Chester Avenue. Minnie is listed as 59 years of age. Guess what? Her birth year is back to 1871 as listed on her marriage record. She is listed as married and was 24 at the time she was married. The second person listed in the household is a 29 year old daughter, "Ava" Abey. The census record is dated April 3, 1930 so the age of this "Ava" is off by one year for a match with the daughter "Eva" in the 1900 Census. This "Ava" is listed as born in Maryland which matches "Eva" in the 1900 Census. Her father is listed as born in Ohio which would be incorrect and her mother born in Virginia which would be correct. "Ava" is listed as divorced. Both Minnie and "Ava" have an occupation listed as "none". The third person is a 12 year old granddaughter, "Norma" Pettibone. This is a close match with the granddaughter, "Neomi" in the 1920 Census record. Along with these family members are six other men, women and teens listed as roomers. Apparently this Minnie Abey is operating a boarding house.
     The last unverified record is an (95)Ohio Department of Health Death Index that lists an Edward Abe who died in Cuyahoga County on October 9, 1924.
     I have not found any Census records for 1930 that could be a possible match for Edward Randolph Abe.  A family member recalled that Edward and Minnie were at least separated in later years. It is unknown if there was a divorce. I have no further records on Edward, Minnie or their children and grandchildren so this is basically the end of this line for any records of this family that I have.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Source Records 10-031

     Unless information is obtained at a later date, the first three generations of the Abe Family in this country are now complete for all information I have. The last two posts (Frederick and Michael T. Abe) are the end of generation three unless more information is found.
     To this point the "Source List" only consisted of a reference to what the record consisted of and where it was found.
     At the present time I am updating the "List" with links to copies of the actual records. You will be able to make copies of the record for your own research. I hope this will help those of you who have asked for copies of the records.
     The first 20 records are now available for your use. Please be patient as this will take some time to finish. This post will be updated when this is completed.

UPDATE: The "Source List 1-100 and Source List 101-200" should be now up to date through the last posting.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Michael T. Abe 10-030

     IMPORTANT NOTE OF CAUTION: This post and the last are published for the current information found and as leads for future research only. The information listed here for this "Michael T. Abe" and the last post of "Frederick Abe" is valid, but the exact connection of these individuals to this Abe Family has not been proven to this point. The reason they are included here is that they may be the sons of John Abe found in post 10-008.

     Michael T. Abe is the youngest son of Mary M. Abe. The (19)1860 Census puts his birth year at about 1946 and he has an older brother, Frederick. Michael and Frederick ARE NOT children of Nicholas and Lacy Ann Abe as many online family trees show.
     Michael's military service was even more short lived them his brother's. (88)On 12/01/1863, just a couple weeks after his brother's death in a Union prison hospital, he enlisted with the Confederate Army at Hamilton's Crossing, VA. This is just south of Fredericksburg, VA. He was a part of the same 11th Virginia Cavalry group as his brother. Apparently military life did not agree with him because on 1/21/1864 he deserted from his unit. (89)On 1/31/1964 he was arrested by Union forces in Cumberland, MD. From there he was sent to Atheneum Prison in Wheeling, WV. It seems he took the oath of allegiance on 2/10/1864 and was released from prison on 3/3/1864.
     No information at this time has been found that tells about the existence of Michael T. Abe after the war. Maybe he changed his name.
     The will of John A. “Adam” Abe states that he had a son John. This son, John, had a son named “Tieber”. It is very possible that this Michael T. Abe is the “Tieber” that John A. Abe mentions in his will.  If Michael T. is this Tieber, then he and Frederick are grandsons of the elder John Adam Abe. Maybe some day we will find a positive connection.

Update: New Michael T. Abe Civil War Records are now ready for viewing. See also post "They Abandoned the 77th Virginia Militia 11-004".

Frederick Abe 10-029

     IMPORTANT NOTE OF CAUTION: This post and the next are published for the benefit of the current information found and as leads for future research only. The information listed here for this "Frederick Abe" and the next post of "Michael T. Abe" contains valid information, but an exact connection of these individuals to this Abe Family cannot be proven at this point in time. The reason they are included here is that they may be the sons of John Abe found in post 10-008.

     Frederick Abe is the oldest son of Mary M. Abe. Frederick IS NOT the child of Nicholas and Lacy Ann Abe as many online family trees show. Also, be very careful. This Frederick is the third by that name that has been found. This one is not the Frederick buried at the (13)Abe Cemetery in Mineral County, WV. This Frederick was living with his mother and younger brother in a completely separate household from the other Frederick and it seems to be a good distance away. This Frederick is also the only one who served in the Civil War. The (19)1860 Census for Hampshire County, VA is the only census record found for him so very little is known. According to his Civil War prison records (see below), he was born about 1844 and this is the same as the census record.  He (86)enlisted on March 12, 1862 was a  member of the 11th Virginia Cavalry for a very short time in the Civil War.
     (86)In the first couple days of December 1862 his cavalry unit was on a scouting mission in the area of the town of Moorefield, WV, in Hardy County. On December 3 Frederick and nine others were captured while many of his company were taking time off to visit local family and friends. Two others were killed and many wounded. Their leader, Captain E. H. McDonald, was also one of the captured but he later escaped and returned to his regiment. The Federal capturing party was of the Ringgold Cavalry Company Pennsylvania Volunteers and a portion of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry.
     (86)(87)Frederick was transferred to Atheneum Prison in Wheeling, WV then to Camp Chase, Ohio. From there he was transferred to Ciaro, Illinois on 12/08/1862 where he was to be "exchanged". On 12/14/1862 he was admitted to the prison hospital where he died on 12/15/1862 of Cerebritis (a swelling of the cerebrum of the brain). Cerebritis is usually caused by some underlying condition and is commonly found in patients with lupus or in this instance more likely from some sort of infection whether viral or bacterial. The cause of the Cerebritis in this case is unknown and could have been caused by diseases such as Encephalitis or Meningitis. These two are in most cases caused by viral infections and transmitted many times by blood sucking insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. Smallpox is also another possibility but I tend to discount this because Smallpox would have a visible outbreak that is easier identified and diagnosed. This case only mentions swelling of the brain which would be more consistent with some other type of infection.
     No burial records have been found so it is assumed he is buried with the many other unmarked graves near the prison hospital.
     A Civil War memorial monument located in the "Indian Mound Cemetery" in Romney, West Virginia. The engraving on the front says "The daughters of Old Hampshire, erect this tribute of affection to her heroic sons, who fell in defence of Southern Rights". On the right side, on the base, Frederick's name is listed. There he is listed as "F. Abee".

UPDATE: New Frederick Abe Civil War Records are now ready for viewing. See post "They Abandoned the 77th Virginia Militia 11-004" and also Sources #0121 and 0122. These records add to but do not change anything already published.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Abe Cemetery 10-028

     For those interested in the Abe Cemetery, I have taken a break from the "Abe Family Heritage" in order to start a web site just for that. About 1/3 of the graves and stones are now posted. The center group within the roadway is now complete with the rest to be started shortly. You can access the site at   or find it under the "Links" in the right column. This should be completed in the next couple weeks. I will be back with the Abe Family Heritage site then.

UPDATE: (10-31-2010) The   web site is now complete and ready for searching. All marked graves are listed. Further research will be done to see if there are any unmarked grave records out there. I hope it is helpful for your research.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sarah Ellen and Virginia Abe 10-027

     (6)Sarah Ellen and Virginia were the seventh and eighth children born to Nicholas and Lacy Ann (Long) Abe. Unfortunately there is almost no information available for these children.
     Sarah Ellen is the only one found in a census record. The (4)1860 Census listed her as three years of age and is called "Ellen".
     They are buried in the (1)Long Cemetery in Short Gap, West Virginia. They share the same headstone and it reads as follows:

Sarah E.
Died Sept. 8, 1868
Aged 11 years and 21 days

Died Sept. 8, 1868
Aged 6 years 9 months and 26 days

Children of N. and E.A. Abe

Smenner and Son Cumberland MD

     From the information on the headstone their births were calculated as August 18, 1857 for Sarah Ellen and November 13, 1861 for Virginia.
     The story in the (13)"Abe Family Heritage" book says that they both died from eating too many green apples. Now, eating too much of any fruit will cause diarrhea and that is what is listed on their (85)death record. There still seems to be conflicting opinions out there on whether diarrhea is caused by too much fiber from the apples or too high a sugar content. No matter what the cause, at the time this happened I'm sure there was no reliable way of stopping diarrhea. Fortunately for older brother Jacob, who also became sick, he survived.
     One interesting bit of information for these children is that both the headstone and death record list their mother, as E.A. Abe and Elizabeth Abe, instead of Lacy Ann Abe.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jacob Abe 10-026

Jacob and Mary (Buser) Abe

     Jacob Abe was born (6)(24)July 19, 1855, the son of Nicholas and Lacy Ann (Long) Abe. No listing for a middle name has been found. Jacob grew up helping his father and brothers farm the home place.
     (6)At the age of 12 he nearly lost his life by eating too many green apples. Sadly his two younger sisters, Sara and Virginia, did die from the same incident.
     On (64)January 4, 1876, at the age of 19, Jacob married Mary Buser, (6)(24)(67)born May 16, 1859. Mary was the daughter of Peter and Mary A. (Senn) Buser and was born in Switzerland. She was about ten years of age when her parents (24)(65)immigrated in the United States in 1869. She became a (65)naturalized citizen in 1895. (6)Thirteen children were born to them: Samuel Tildon, William Edward, George Washington, John Adam, Amos Adam, Norman Elmer, "F.", Jesse Cleveland, Ira Lee, Ida Elmira, Nora Mae, Olive Amelia and Clarence Raymond.
     In 1894, when his father Nicholas Abe passed away, one half of the Abe Farm was (8)willed to him. The other half was given to his older brother Frederick. They shared the farm for a number of years.
     Jacob was the first person (62)(63)baptized into “The Old Furnace Congregation” (February 1896). The baptism was most likely performed by Elder B. W. Smith, a pioneering minister from the Beaver Run Church of the Brethren. It took place in the Little Cacapon River on his brother, John Adam’s farm.
     On (62)(63)August 10, 1912, Jacob was selected to be on the committee to choose a site for the first church building. He made an offered to donate a piece of land and the committee accepted it to build the new church building. The land was located across the road from the old iron furnace. (see The “Vulcan Furnace” 10-013).
     (65)At this point Jacob is not living and farming on the Abe Farm in 1910. The (63)“Allegheny Passage” says that his farm was near Fort Ashby, WV during the summer of 1913.  He spent most of that summer in the construction of the new church building while his wife and children tended the farm. The place where the chapel was built was originally part of the August Abe farm. It is possible that Jacob purchased this donated portion of property from the August Abe estate in 1898.
     Jacob died on (6)February 24, 1929, at the age of 72. No death records have been found for Jacob. He was buried in the (13)Abe Cemetery. His wife Mary died on (67)February 26, 1945, at the age of 85. She was buried in the (13)Abe Cemetery on (67)February 28, 1945.
     One final interesting bit of information from the (6)“Abe Family Heritage” book is that Jacob and his brother, Frederick, died on the same day and that Frederick died two hours after Jacob.

Children born to Jacob and Mary Abe are:

    1.  Samuel Tildon Abe (1876-1877)
    2.  William Edward Abe (1877-1958)
    3.  George Washington Abe (1879-1879)
    4.  John Adam Abe (1880-1886)
    5.  Amos Adam Abe (1881-1883)
    6.  Norman Elmer Abe (1883-1968)
    7.  F. Abe (1885-1886)
    8.  Jesse Cleveland Abe (1887-1948)
    9.  Ira Lee Abe (1889-1978)
   10. Ida Elmira Abe (1892-1894)
   11. Nora Mae Abe (1894-1946)
   12. Olive Amelia Abe (1896-1923)
   13. Clarence Raymond Abe (1900-1981)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Old Furnace Church 10-025 (Part 2)

The Wiley Ford Church of the Brethren

    Prior to 1927 the United Brethren had been having Sunday School and church services in the old schoolhouse. After the old schoolhouse in Wiley Ford burned down further meetings were suspended.
     With the Old Furnace Church of the Brethren growing and expanding in the 1920’s many members were living in the Wiley Ford area. Elder A. J. Whitacre was asked to take over the church services in Wiley Ford, which he did. He had already sold his farm in Short Gap, WV and moved to Wiley Ford in 1924. On April 22, 1927, a Sunday School was organized with D. W. Tusing as the first Sunday School Superintendent.  J. E. Whitacre held a revival service in the Dixie School in 1929 and twenty-nine were baptized. The church suffered a great loss when some of the Whitacres moved out of the area in the early 1930’s.
    For a few years until 1937 the church went through very discouraging times and some urged that the work here be given up. Only with the faithfulness of Brother D. W. Tusing did the work survive.
    In 1937 Rev. Vernon Shanholtz moved into the community and in 1938 D. W. Tusing was selected as pastor. More members began moving into the community and the church began to grow.

 “Wiley Ford Church of the Brethren”

    As the membership increased permission was granted to erect a building. The basement part of the church was erected in 1938 and dedicated on December 18, 1938 by C. O. Showalter who was then elder of the Old Furnace Church congregation. B. W. Smith held a revival meeting after the dedication and three were baptized. The new church house was now fueling the congregation to real growth.
    A petition was placed at the district conference for a committee to meet with them at the Old Furnace Church to become a separate congregation. This was granted and on December 1, 1940 the congregation became “The Wiley Ford Church of the Brethren”. Elder C. O. Showalter was voted in as elder-in-charge of the Wiley Ford congregation and Amos Lambert was voted as church clerk.
    Before growth started in 1937 the membership was only twenty one. At the time the group became a church they had grown to one hundred members. Sunday school enrollment had also doubled. The old debt of the basement church was now paid off and the second story of the church was completed in 1942. A double story vestibule entrance was added with stained glass windows portraying the life of Christ. A baptistery and Sunday school classrooms were included. The main sanctuary had a seating capacity of one hundred seventy-six. This completed structure was dedicated on April 19, 1942 by A. R. Showalter.
    With Vernon Shanholtz as pastor, A. W. Showalter as elder-in-charge and many faithful members The Wiley Ford Church of the Brethren was now leaving its mark on the community.

Old Furnace Church Expansion

    In April 1936, a council meeting was held to discuss the need for expansion of the Old Furnace Church building. A building fund and a building committee were formed. At a special council meeting on August 29, 1944, the decision was reached to build a new brick church. A shortage of building materials dictated the tearing down of the old church building and the use of some of the timbers in the new church. Services were held in the Short Gap School during the summer of 1945 as construction progressed. The building was ready for use on December 23, 1945 and Brother Charles Whitacre preached the first message. Brother Charles E. Ellis delivered the dedication sermon on Sunday, May 5, 1946. As reported by the church treasurer, Charles Bohrer, it was necessary to borrow only $2000.00 for construction. The total cost including donated labor was $9,965.12.
    Through the early years those who served the church in free ministry were: B. W. Smith, John K. Baker, D. B. Arnold, Benjamin Leatherman, Martin Biser, William Bane, Raphel Leatherman, Thomas Digman, John Parrish, Emmer Lechliter, A. J. Whitacre, D. W. Tusing and Charles Victor Self.

 New Brick “Old Furnace Church of the Brethren” Building
Dedication Day 5-5-1946

    In the early 1950’s a parsonage was built on the property to house pastors. Ira L. Abe, with the help of volunteers, built the house for $9,500.00 and it was dedicated in 1953. H. W. Peters was the first pastor to occupy the residence. Brother Peters came to the congregation from Leaksville, N. C. and served for three years. On September 23, 1956 he preached his final sermon and the parsonage mortgage was burned.

Brother and Sister H. W. Peters

    The next thirty and some odd years brought many improvements and projects. The original lot consisted of only one acre. In 1956 a four acre tract of the Furnace Acres Housing Development (formally the William Edward Abe property) was deeded to the church by Carl Abe and Burlie Ault for the sum of $10.00. In the late 1950’s $22,500.00 was borrowed to add classrooms. Construction was begun and finally dedicated on April 23, 1961. This mortgage was burned on May 28, 1967 with Brother Owen Stultz bringing the sermon.
    The church parking lot received a coat of blacktop in 1968 and the sanctuary was air-conditioned.
    In 1970 stained glass windows were donated in memory of loved ones and the kitchen was remodeled at a cost of $3,500.00 in 1973.
    A small strip of ground adjacent to the church later became available and in 1975 the Church Council gave permission to purchase the property from the Delozier family. The church property now consisted of six acres.
    The fellowship room was enlarged in 1978 to accommodate about 100 people. Bathrooms were also relocated and enlarged.
    In 1987, new lights and ceiling fans were donated and installed by volunteers. A new organ was purchased in 1988 and a new piano was donated to the church. An air-conditioner was donated for the fellowship room. Carpet was also laid in the Narthex and the downstairs.
    Missionaries in Haiti and Japan were supported over the years. Services were held once a month at the Cumberland Union Rescue Mission. The outreach budget of the church grew from $155.00 in 1936 to $44,792 in 1989.
    The influence of The Old Furnace Church of the Brethren continues to this day in both the community and the world. Members of the Abe Family who settled in the Old Furnace Road and Wiley Ford areas played a big part in the establishment of both churches as well as their future growth.

 Old Furnace Church of the Brethren and Parsonage

Pastors Who Served the Old Furnace Church of the Brethren

Charles J. Whitacre - Summer Pastor          1947
Jesse W. Whitacre                                      1947-1951
Charles V. Self                                           1951-1953
H. W. Peters                                              1953-1956
George Jeffrey                                            1956-1963
Glen Goshorn                                             1963-1966
Connell Chaney                                          1966-1972
Earl Deitz                                                   1972-1974
Ronald Clark                                             1974-1975
Ralph Berg                                                1975-1978
Chester Fisher                                           1979-1983
Paul Heisey                                               1985-

Those Called To The Ministry From Old Furnace

A. J. Whitacre                                           1912
Emmer Lechliter                                        1912
Joseph Whitacre                                        -----
Jesse W. Whitacre                                     -----
James Whitacre                                         -----
Howard A. Whitacre                                 1931
Vernon Shanholtz                                      -----
D. W. Tusing                                             1938
Charles V. Self                                          1942
A. Ruth Whitacre                                      1942
Charles J. Whitacre                                   1943
Alan L. Whitacre                                       1948
Daniel J. Whitacre                                     1950
Irvin J. Whitacre                                        1957
Wendell Bohrer                                         1959
Preston Miller                                            1962
Roger Combs                                            1963
Paul Deitz                                                  1976
David Sutton                                             1989

Information and some pictures were taken from: 
    (62) “A History of the Church of the Brethren in the First District of West Virginia” By: Foster Melvin Bittinger, Publisher: Brethren Publishing House, Elgin, Illinois
    “75th Anniversary Celebration” pamphlet dated October 29, 1989

Abe relatives mentioned in this history as contributors to the church 
and how they are related to me: Michael W. Abe

Jacob Abe - GG Uncle
John Adam Abe - G Grandfather
    (brother to Jacob Abe)
William Edward Abe - First Cousin Once Removed
    (son of Jacob Abe)
Henry Nicholas Abe - Grandfather
    (Son of John Adam Abe and his second wife Martha Jane (Moreland) Abe)
Carl Woodrow Abe – Second Cousin Once Removed
    (grandson of Jacob Abe)
Charles Victor Self - Husband of Aunt Grace Elizabeth (Abe) Self Moreland and is my Uncle
    (Grace Elizabeth (Abe) Self Moreland is the granddaughter of John Adam Abe and daughter of Henry Nicholas Abe)
Alpheus Jerome Whitacre and Lacy Ann (Abe) Whitacre - Lacy Ann is a Half G Aunt
    (daughter of John Adam Abe and his first wife Margaret (Fulk) Abe)
Joseph E. Whitacre - Half First Cousin Once Removed
    (son of A. J. and Lacy Ann Whitacre)
Howard A. Whitacre - Half First Cousin Once Removed
    (son of A. J. and Lacy Ann Whitacre)
Jesse W. Whitacre - Half First Cousin Once Removed
    (son of A. J. and Lacy Ann Whitacre)
A. Ruth (Beahm) Whitacre - Wife of Jesse W. Whitacre
Charles J. Whitacre - Half Second Cousin
    ( Son of Jesse W. and A. Ruth Whitacre)
Daniel J. Whitacre - Half Second Cousin
    ( Son of Jesse W. and A. Ruth Whitacre)
Ira Lee Abe - First Cousin Twice Removed
    (son of  Jacob and Mary (Buser) Abe

Emmor Lichliter - Not related
    Listed as a farm labor for Nicholas Abe who was the father of Jacob and John Adam Abe
        (15 year old living and working on the farm in 1880).
Burlie F. Ault – not directly related
    (his daughter is married to my third cousin Richard Melvin Abe)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Old Furnace Church 10-025 (Part 1)


The Old Furnace Church of the Brethren
A Short History

The Beginnings of the Brethren Church

    The Roman Catholic Church had become corrupt and lost control. The Lutheran and Reformed churches had made an attempt at religious freedom but soon came under the protection of the state. All three became the official churches and persecuted any who professed another faith.
    The founders of the Church of the Brethren had no creed but the New Testament scripture. This, they believed, was a complete guide for their lives. With prayer and fasting, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they sought to find the true Way.
    As well as the religious turmoil, there was almost constant warfare for most of the century. In 1618-1648 there was the Thirty Years War that involved all of continental Europe. In 1688 there began unparalleled brutality and atrocities by French soldiers. The whole country was pillaged with towns and cities burned to the ground. Over 100,000 people were murdered in the process. This never let up until the treaty of Ryswick in 1697. This time period made the people war-weary and war-hating.
    The Church is considered to have its beginnings with a man named Ernst Hochmann in the late 1600’s. Brother Hochmann had a great influence on another man named Alexander Mack. Both made many preaching tours through Germany. In 1702, Ernst Hockmann was imprisoned in the castle Detmold for a period of time for his preaching.
    Alexander Mack was a well educated man, attending the universities of the time. With several other men they prayerfully searched the Scriptures for their guidance. In 1708, Mack and seven others met by the side of the Eder River near Schwarzenau, Germany. One of the members was directed to baptize Brother Mack and in turn Mack was to baptize the other seven. This is considered the beginning of the Church of the Brethren, with Alexander Mack as its founder. Within seven years there were four other congregations that had grown from the original group of seven. The church was well on its way.
    The church followed two principles: spirituality in worship and observance of all the ordinances of the New Testament. If the New Testament taught something, the Brethren sought to do that.
    As a protest against the state religions of the day, they proclaimed, “No exercise of force in religion”. Since infant baptism would not be of free will, they opposed it; since oath taking implied pressure they opposed it; since war was an interference with the rights of others, they forbade members to participate; since God is recognized as being above the state, they sustained freedom of conscience and would obey God rather than man. Much persecution was inflicted upon the members including being chained in galleys, imprisonment, suspension by the thumbs and toes, exile and dispossession. Resenting the persecution of anyone, they were much persecuted themselves. Through all this they never persecuted anyone.
    The constant persecution and hardships led them to seek freedom in America. In 1719, a group from the Creyfelt Congregation, with Peter Becker as their leader, was the first to make the trip to America. They landed in Philadelphia, PA and traveled to Germantown where the American origin of the Church of the Brethren still exists today. A congregation was formed and the first house of worship was erected. From this location members moved out and formed other settlements and churches.
    The first love feast was held on Christmas Day, 1723, followed by the first organization of the Brethren. Brother Becker was chosen leader and minister. That day, six were baptized and the day closed with a communion service with twenty-three members participating. The following fall, an evangelistic party of fourteen men moved out to visit scattered members, encourage believers and preach to unbelievers. This first missionary journey resulted in eleven being baptized, two new congregations being formed and two ministers being elected. The American church was now a missionary church as it was in Germany.
    Until the time of the Revolutionary War the Brethren Church had spread over Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. Reaching beyond these boundaries and mountains took place after the war.
    The Church of the Brethren was small in number but generous in spirit. It stood for higher education, earnest evangelism, pastoral care of the churches, Sunday School work, and sincere piety and devout living among its members. All this was blended together to form a sincere love and desire for reaching out to the souls of all unbelievers.

The Beaver Run Church

    The Old Furnace Congregation began with the preaching of Elder Benjamin W. Smith, of the Beaver Run Church, in the Abe Schoolhouse. The schoolhouse was located near the Abe Cemetery on the Old Furnace Road. Over the years, The Beaver Run Church, The Old Furnace Church of the Brethren and The Wiley Ford Church of the Brethren have all been a natural progression of formation and growth from one church to the next.

“Beaver Run Church 1939”

 Beaver Run Church 2003

    The Beaver Run Church was the oldest continuously run organization of the Church of the Brethren in the First District of West Virginia, although there were earlier organizations of the Brethren Church. It was located on Beaver Run Road three miles east of Burlington, WV.
    The Beaver Run congregation began when Daniel Leatherman moved from Hagerstown, MD in 1784. A family of Arnolds moved to the area a year later from Frederick, MD and both played a big part in organization of the church. Daniel Leatherman, was the founder of the Brethren Church in Maryland.
    The Beaver Run Church that was formed was considered the mother of a multitude of churches throughout the First District of West Virginia. This church seemed to have great interest in growth and expansion of the Brethren faith throughout the region. After the church building was built, the ministers of the group would preach on the first Sunday of the month. All would try to be present. On the other Sundays of the month they would scatter out to the countryside preaching in schoolhouses, homes and other churches. Faithful members of Beaver Run would often follow them to these locations to worship, traveling sometimes up to ten or twelve miles.
    Elder B. W. Smith was born in Hampshire County, WV on September 4, 1860. At the age of 19 he united with the church and was baptized by Elder Daniel B. Arnold. He was elected to the ministry at the age of twenty seven and ordained to the eldership shortly thereafter. His pioneering work started many congregations in West Virginia in his nearly fifty five years of service to the ministry.

The Old Furnace Church of the Brethren

First “Old Furnace Church of the Brethren” 1913-1944

    The Abe Schoolhouse on the Old Furnace Road was one of those pioneering places of worship. One person of this small gathering, Jacob Abe, became the first member of the congregation when he was baptized in the Little Cacapon River. This took place on his brother, John Adam Abe’s farm in Hampshire County in February, 1896. This farm was in the area below Paw Paw, WV.
    In November 1897, Alpheus Jerome Whitacre and his wife Lacy Ann (John Adam Abe’s daughter) moved to Short Gap and in May of 1898 started the first Sunday School in the Abe Schoolhouse. His family and that of Jacob Abe were the only Brethren Church families in the area. As services were held, members were continually added to the church.
    The first love feast of the congregation was held in 1908 in a machine shed on the old Abe home place on the Old Furnace Road. The first council meeting was held on August 10, 1912 in the Abe Schoolhouse. From that meeting, A. J. Whitacre and Emmer Lechliter were elected to the ministry and William Edward Abe to the deaconship and as the first church clerk.
    The congregation continued to grow and during the summer of 1913 the Furnace Chapel church was built. Materials and labor was donated by many for construction. Those on the committee to select the site were Jacob Abe, Emmer Lechliter, U. G. Umstot, Henry Nicholas Abe and Frank Baldwin. Jacob Abe donated the plot of land.
    Before construction was completed, a council meeting was held on August 30, 1913 to discuss the possibility of forming a separate congregation. The decision to select an elder-in-charge from the mother church, Beaver Run, was made.
    On April 11, 1914, an organization was formed and B. W. Smith was elected as elder-in-charge. This organization later took the name “The Old Furnace Church of the Brethren”. The name Old Furnace was chosen from an old iron ore furnace that stands to this day across the road. Later the church acquired the site of the old furnace. The first love feast held in the church was on September 12, 1914 and A. J. Whitacre was elected to the eldership in 1916. Brother Smith continued in that position for fourteen years until 1929 when   A. J. Whitacre succeeded him. Brother Whitacre served for two years and the elder-in-charge passed back to B. W. Smith for another two years.

 “Old Iron Ore Furnace" across from the Church - 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

John H. Abe 10-024

 John H. Abe

     John H. Abe was born the son of Nicholas and Lacy Ann (Long) Abe. A (60)family photo lists his birth as March 25 1853, but I have not been able to confirm this with other records. There are a number of unknowns for him found in records.
     In the (3)1850 Census a son "John Abe" is listed with Nicholas and Lacy Ann (see post John Abe...The Unknown John 10-022). He was listed as one year of age which would put his birth about 1849. I will let you draw your own conclusions, after reading these two posts, whether or not John Abe and this John H. Abe are the same person.
     As for this John H. Abe there seems to be some discrepancy about his birth year. The (4)1860 census places his birth year as 1853. The (5)1870 census places his year of birth as 1854. The (55)1900 actually lists his birth year as 1853. The (56)1910 census places his birth year as 1853. (6)“The Abe Family Heritage”  book says 1850 and his cemetery (13)headstone says 1850.  A (60)picture from the family has a birth date on it of 1853. (6)“The Abe Family Heritage” book most likely got it’s information from the cemetery. The (5)1870 census age was most likely recorded wrong by one year (a very common occurrence).
     On (61)October 19, 1875 John H. married Mary Elizabeth McKenzie (marriage record lists her name as McKensey). He is listed as age twenty two and she as age twenty. Both are from Mineral County, West Virginia. (52)Rev. H. C. Holloway of the Kingsley M.E. Church performed the ceremony. Thirteen children were born to this union: Sarah Catherine, Martha Jane, Daniel, Rose M., Nicholas M., Harry Irland, Emily Laura Virginia, Jerry, Charles, Elmira, James, John, and an unnamed child. (55)(56)Charles, Elmira, James, John and the unnamed child died at birth or as infants.
     The (54)1880 Census shows another interesting bit of information. He is listed in two places. On June 5, 1880 he is listed as a foreman laborer on a farm. He is listed living among a number of other laborers. He is 27 years of age which would make his birth year as 1854. It say that he was unemployed for six of the previous 12 months. Apparently he has taken a farm job to make ends meet. On (53)June 10, 1880 he is also listed as living on Greene Street in Cumberland, Maryland with his wife, Mary and two daughters Sarah and Martha.
     In (57)1895 and 1896 John was living at 32 Thomas Street in Cumberland, Maryland. His occupation is listed as a "heater". It is unknown exactly what this job was.
     In (58)1897 he has moved to the rear of 23 Oldtown Road in Cumberland. His occupation at that time is listed as a fireman.
     In the (55)1900 Census John and Mary have now been married over twenty five years. Children listed here with them are: Martha, Daniel, Rosey, Nicholas, Harry, Emily and Jerry. The census also states that they had a total of 13 children but only eight of them are still living.
     The (56)1910 Census lists John and Mary with three children living at home. They are Harry, Emily and Jerry. This record also says that there were 13 children with eight still living. We can now say that five children died at birth or very young as none of them have shown up in any census record. John's last name is recorded here as "Abbe" and the family is living on Virginia Avenue in Cumberland, Maryland.
     In (59)1913 John is living at 1102 Lexington Avenue in Cumberland, Maryland and he is listed as a laborer.
     John died on (60)November 18, 1918 at the age of 68 according to the above mentioned family photo. Mary Elizabeth died (60)February 4, 1922 at the age of 70. The death date on Mary’s cemetery (13)headstone also seems to have been carved wrong. It reads 1920. Both are buried in the (13)Abe Cemetery.

Known children of John H. Abe and Mary Elizabeth (McKenzie) Abe are:
1. Sara Catherine (1876-1953)
2. Martha Jane (1879-1951)
3. Daniel Walter (1883-? )
4. Rose Mae (abt 1887- abt 1953)
5. Nicholas Millard (1888-1968)
6. Harry Irland (1893-1970
7. Emily Laura Virginia (1895-1978)
8. Jerry (abt 1897-? )

John H. Abe holding Martha Jane

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mary Catherine (Abe) Herrick 10-023

Mary Catherine (Abe) Herrick and John Adam Herrick

     Mary Catherine Abe was born on (6)(13)June 1, 1851, to Nicholas and Lacy Ann(Long) Abe. All her life she lived on or near the Abe home place. There isn't a whole lot about Mary Catherine's life that has been found. Most census records list her as a housekeeper. There seems to be a little more information on her husband. No actual birth or death records have been found for either.
     On (49)August 22, 1867, at the young age of 16, she married 32 year old John Adam Herrick. John Adam was born on (6)(13)February 28, 1835 in (5)(17)Hesse, a state in (25)Germany. His (13)headstone says he came to the United states in 1854 although the time and place of his emigration to this country has not been established. He is listed as a carpenter on the (5)1870 census and on their (49)marriage record. From the (17)(46)(47)1880 Census on he is listed as a farmer.
     Twelve children were born to this union: an unnamed infant, Nicholas, Anna Elizabeth, Magdalene, Mary Jane, Josephine, William, Elmira Martha, Amanda May, Adam, Lillian Catherine and Daisy.
     The (5)1870 Census lists John Adam and Mary Catherine with a one year old son Nicholas. An interesting find here is that a nine year old Emma Buser is living in the household. Emma is the sister of Mary Buser who married Mary Catherine's younger brother Jacob. It is unknown why she is living in this household, but Emma's sister Mary can be found (on the same page of the census) living nearby with the family of John and Sara House. For some reason this Buser family seems to have been split up. I will have to research further on the parents and for the location of any of the other children.
     The (17)1880 Census lists a 25 year old Joseph Orndorff living in the household as a farm hand. Nicholas is now deceased. Annie, Magdalene, Mary Jane and Josephine are listed. The others are not born yet.
     One reference for Mary Catherine can be found in her (7)father's will that gives her a $200.00 cash settlement from the estate. It was to be paid to her over three years by her brothers, Frederick and Jacob, because of them receiving a split of the Abe Farm.
     Her Uncle Gustus’ Abe's (18)will gave her an equal settlement of his estate with her brothers. No record of the cash settlement is known.
     Mary Catherine died on (13)June 10, 1907 at the age of 56.
     John Adam died on (13)April 6, 1921 at the age of 86.

The following are photos of a (48)German Language Bible that John Adam carried with him during The Civil War. They show the cover, title page and the first page of the "Book of Matthew". A certificate glued to the inside cover reads:

Bible House, Baltimore
     From the Maryland State Bible Society
to "John A. Herrick" soldier in
Comp'y "D  2" Reg. "Virginia" Vol'es.
     Should I die on the battle field or in
Hospital, for the sake of humanity, acquaint
"my Cousin Nicholas Abe" residing
at "Cumberland Maryland"
of the fact, and where my remains may be found.

Note: The words in quotation marks are handwritten in with a pencil. The "Cousin Nicholas Abe" mentioned, is actually his future father in law. It is unknown why he would be the contact person or why he is referred to as "Cousin". Also keep in mind, his future bride was only twelve years of age at this time. More confusing is this "Cousin Nicholas Abe" is supposed to be living in Cumberland, MD when he was operating a farm on the Old Furnace Road in Mineral County, WV.

New records and information on John Adam Herrick in the Civil War can be found in the post "They Abandoned the 77th Virginia Militia 11-004".  Also see Record # 0136 for more on his membership in the 2nd Virginia Infantry.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

John Abe...The Unknown John 10-022

     The (3)1850 Census for Mineral County, West Virginia lists the Nicholas Abe Family. Nicholas and Lacy Ann have four children listed; Adam, Philip, Frederick and John.
     There are enough inaccuracies that makes me have my doubts that the recorded information was collected first hand.
     1. The family's last name is spelled wrong ("Hoppy" instead of Abe).
     2. Nicholas and Lacy Ann's ages are off by one year. This is not usually a concern in itself but when combined with the other discrepancies they can't be dismissed.
     3. The two older children, Adam and Philip are listed wrong. The census lists Adam first and then Philip. In reality Philip is the older son.
     4. The last notable item concerns the son "John". All other census records list a John H. Abe who's birth cannot be completely confirmed. What is confusing is that the "John H." is listed in most census records as born "after" his sister Mary Catherine. Mary Catherine was not born till 1851. We don't know at this time if these two Johns are one and the same or if the "1850 Census John Abe" was another child who died young. Birth, death and burial records for a John Abe born in 1849 or 1850 have not been found.
     We will explore John H. Abe in a later post.

Frederick Abe 10-021

Frederick Abe and Catherine (Logsdon) Abe

   This Frederick Abe is the second of three found in the second and third generations of the Abe Family. This Frederick was born in 1848 and spent a good portion of his life on the Abe home place that was located on the Old Furnace Road. His name is found in all of the census records from (3)(4)(9)(21)(24)(37)(38)1850 through 1920. Along with his brothers, he helped his father, Nicholas, to farm the home place. The property had been passed down to his father, from his grandfather, John Adam Abe.
     Frederick was twelve or thirteen years of age when the Civil War broke out and he never entered the fight as his two older brothers did.
     On (44)October 12, 1871, at the age of 23, he married Catherine Logsdon. From the information on her (13)headstone her birth is calculated to be October 24, 1851. I cannot find any definite records on her or her family. Her (41)death record is nearly unreadable but it looks like her parents are Thomas and Ann Logsdon. There was a Catherine Logsdon living in Allegany County, Maryland in 1870 and working as a "domestic" but I am not sure at this time if it is the same person. She gave birth to 4 children: Mary Ann, Frank Thomas, Nimrod and Martha Ellen. Frank Thomas lived just over two months and is buried at the Abe Cemetery. Catherine died on (13)(39)February 28, 1877, twenty five days after Martha Ellen’s birth on February 3. The child died at seven months of age on (13)September 4, 1877. She also is buried in the (13)Abe Cemetery.
     Two years later in about (24)1879, Frederick remarried to Lucinda Spangler. Her (43)death certificate says she was born on August 16, 1847. The original (6)"Abe Family Heritage" says that they were on a farm on Knobley Mountain but I have no records to prove exactly where they lived. The (21)1880 Census shows them living a considerable distance from the Abe Farm. The Abe Farm is on Page #9 Dwelling #69. Frederick and Lucinda are listed on Page #22 Dwelling #165. This was probably on a farm along what is now Route 28. Lucinda had been married before and had at least one child. The (21)1880 census lists a son Albert R. Spangler with the family. Her (43)death certificate and (41)death record say her father was Joseph Dennison and mother listed as "don't know". In the (25)1900 Census Joseph Dennison is living with his granddaughter Lillie M. (Abe) Baldwin. Three children were born to Frederick and Lucinda; Lillie M., Hiram Nolan and Jacob.The last child, Jacob, died at the age of six years. It is not known what happened to Albert Spangler. He was living with the Frederick Abe Family until at least (37)1910 but he is gone from the (38)1920 Census.
     In 1894, when his father passed away, Frederick received half of the farm by his (8)father’s will. The (24)1900 Census lists both he and his brother Jacob sharing the farm. By the (45)1910 Census his brother Jacob is shown living away from the farm. The location is very possibly the farm that "Gustus Abe", his uncle, used to own where the Old Furnace Church now stands. More on this later when we talk about Jacob Abe.
     The last census record where he was recorded was in (38)1920 and he is still living and working on the farm.
     Frederick died on  (40)(41)(42)February 24, 1929 and was buried at the (13)Abe Cemetery. His (42)death certificate says he was living in Dixie, WV (now Wiley Ford, WV) at the time. The cause of death was "La Grippe" (influenza).
     Lucinda died on (43)December 23 of 1929. Cause of death is listed as "Chronic Myocarditis" (inflammation of the muscular tissues of the heart). The (43)death certificate says she was buried on December 25, 1929 (Christmas Day). Her burial was at the (13)Abe Cemetery. One final note, there is one confusing tidbit about her death place. The (41)Mineral County, West Virginia Death Records and her (43)death certificate say she died in Wiley Ford, West Virginia but for some reason the death certificate was issued by the State of Maryland.

Friday, August 6, 2010

John Adam Abe.....Family Man - (part 3) 10-020

     It has now been nearly eight years since the death of his second wife Martha Jane. John Adam is still living and farming at Little Cacapon, WV (near Paw Paw, WV).
     The (74)Hampshire County, WV marriage records show that on November 24, 1897 he applied for a marriage license and the following day married Sarah Margaret Sowers from near Levels, WV. She was the daughter of James H. Sowers and Rachel (Shickle) Sowers. There seems to be some discrepancy about her birth date. The (70)1900 Census lists her birth as June 1853. The marriage record says she is age 43 at that time which would make her birth as 1854. Her headstone also lists her birth year as 1854. Her death certificate says she was born on June 10, 1852.
     The 1900 Census for Hampshire County, WV shows Adam and Sarah still on the farm. Adam's children (by Martha Jane), Virginia Lee, Henry Nicholas, Sophie Jane and Harvey Eugene are still at home.
     The 1910 Census has the family back in Mineral County, WV on Knobley Road (Route 28). This was near the city limits of Ridgeley, WV. Virginia Lee (listed here as Jennie L.) is the only child left at home.
     Four years later John Adam died (1914). No actual birth or death records have been found. His headstone at the Abe Cemetery is the only record of his death that I have found.
     Sarah Margaret at some point moved back to Hampshire County, WV to live with her sister Martha S. (Sowers) Hott. The 1920 Census also lists Martha's son, Harvey J. along with Sarah and Martha's mother, Rachel Sowers. All three women are listed as widowed.
     On July 24, 1925, Sarah died of tuberculosis. She was buried in the Malick Cemetery near Augusta, WV.

Monday, August 2, 2010

John Adam Abe.....Family Man - (part 2) 10-019

     With the death of his wife, Margaret, Adam may not have had any other choice then to return home to the farm. He would need some help with the three growing girls while he worked.
     The (17)1880 Census for the Frankfort District of Mineral County, WV lists his wife as Martha J. Abe and they have a child of their own, Virginia L. Abe (7 months old). A record at the Allegany County Courthouse in Cumberland, Maryland shows Adam married Martha Jane Moreland on (50)October 3, 1876. The person performing the ceremony was (51)Rev. W. H. Reed. Rev. Reed was a pastor of the Kingsley M. E. Chapel (South Cumberland) from March 1876 to March 1877.
     Scouring through Mineral County, West Virginia birth and death records have turned up a few bits of information. Virginia Lee was not the first child for Adam and Martha as recorded in the (17)1880 Census. An unnamed child is listed as born in (13)July 1877 and died on July 19, 1877. A second child (82)(83)Martha E. is found in the death records as deceased in 1878. The day of death is unreadable. Does this name sound familiar? If you remember, Adams first child by his first wife Margaret was named Martha Ellen. This won't be the last time the name is used and sadly, none of the three Martha E. named children lived to be a year old.

 John Adam and Martha Jane (Moreland) Abe

     I cannot say with absolute certainty who Martha Jane's parents are. The (13)Abe Family Heritage says that she was the daughter of George H. Moreland. The (84)1870 Census for Hampshire County, WV shows a George H. living at Forks of Cacapon, WV that is a possibly her father. No wife is listed. He is listed with one son and four daughters. One daughter, Martha J., is fifteen years of age which would be about the correct age. There are a number of George Morelands living in Hampshire and Mineral Counties so further research is needed to confirm this record.
     With the birth of the unnamed child in 1877, it would seem that Adam remarried within two years after the death of his first wife Margaret (Fulk). Also, all the above records point to the family living in Mineral County, WV. In (17)1880 he is shown as a farmer in Mineral County, WV and no longer working for the railroad. The area of residence seems to be along what is now Route 28 and near the Old Furnace Road. There are four children listed there: Lacy Ann, Isaac Franklin, Amanda Melvina (all from Adam's first marriage) and Virginia Lee who is seven months old. I am told that this Route 28 was called "Knobley Road" back then.
     The above "unnamed" child and Martha E. are buried at the (13)Abe Cemetery in the Adam and Martha Jane plot. The names are inscribed on the monument for John Adam and Martha Jane. The "unnamed" child is listed on the headstone as "Our Babe". The headstone lists the above child, Martha E., as Ella M. We can't be certain which is correct. Also buried there is another child Emma, that was born and died in 1881. No other birth or death records have been found for her.
     The (17)1880 Census for Mineral County, WV shows John Adam and Martha living somewhere along Route 28 near the intersection of the Old Furnace Road. Augustus Abe is listed at dwelling #116 which was at the intersection of Old Furnace Road and Route 28. John Adam is listed at dwelling #110. Their children listed here are Lacy Ann, Isaac Franklin, Amanda Melvina and Virginia Lee.
     Census records leave a gap of information between 1880 and 1900. The 1890 records were almost entirely destroyed in 1921 by a fire in the basement of the Commerce Building in Washington D.C.
     The (70)1900 Census places his residence in the Gore District of Hampshire County, WV. I don't have copies of his land record but John Adam had a farm in the Little Cacapon area for a number of years. In the book, (62)"A History of the Church of the Brethren in the First District of West Virginia", by Foster Melvin Bittinger (Page 78 "Old Furnace"), there is a mention of John Adam having a farm there in February 1896. The (17)1880 Census lists him in Mineral County, West Virginia. The (187)death record for the infant child "Emma" says she was born and died in Maryland but the record was recorded in Hampshire County, West Virginia. It is possible that this is the time period (1880-1881) that John Adam purchased the farm there.
      Almost no information is available for Martha Jane. Her headstone says she was born in 1854 and died in 1890. She is buried at the (13)Abe Cemetery on the Old Furnace Road near Short Gap, WV. No birth or death record has been found for her.

                                                  ------- Part 3 to follow -------

Monday, July 12, 2010

John Adam Abe.....Family Man - (part 1) 10-018

John Adam Abe

    The war is officially over for John Adam. With his (34)parole from the 11th Virginia Cavalry on April 20, 1865, I'm sure that Adam was like any other soldier and only had thoughts of getting home. It would be familiar and comfortable surroundings. Someplace stable to set his roots back in the ground instead of constantly being on the move and not knowing what the next day would bring or if it would be his last.
     The most likely route for John Adam to take would be to go west from New Market and then north and northwest up the valley to Moorefield and Romney into Short Gap. Just a few days on horseback and he would be home. A good plan, but we all know plans don't always work out as we expect.
     From records found I think we can piece together the most likely scenario of events in his life.
     The first census record for Adam after the war is the (69)1870 Census for Allegany County, MD. Here Adam Abe is married to a woman named Margaret and they have a one year old daughter, "Lacey". Also living in the household is another man Hiram "Folck". Both Adam and Hiram are listed as a "railroad repair hand". The census record is dated July 16, 1870.

John Adam and Margaret (Fulk) Abe
(child is unknown)

     Who was this Margaret? The first record I have found to identify her is her daughter Lacy Ann's death certificate. There it lists her mother as Margaret Fulk, born in Rockingham County, VA.
     Margaret Fulk was the daughter of Isaac and Melvina (Cherryhomes) Fulk. She was born about (78)July 22, 1843 in Rockingham County, Virginia. Her birth was calculated from information found on her her headstone. The (79)1860 Census for Rockingham County, VA says that the family was living in "District 1, Harrisonburg Post Office". Members in this household are Isaac and Melvina along with children, Catherine, Margaret, William, Ellen, Hiram, John and Asher. The (80)1870 Census lists the area as "Brock's Gap Township, Harrisonburg, VA Post Office". Here it lists Isaac, Melvina, John and Samuel. The (81)1880 Census lists the area as "Plains District" with Isaac, Melvina, John R. and Samuel A. living there.
     Central voting places for Brock's Township were at the town of Fulk's Mill and Wittig's Store. They were located on or near both ends of what's known today as Brocks Gap Road. Wittig's Store was located in Dovesville, VA (now known as Bergton, VA).This road was the central passage east and west across the area.
      In the Mineral County Birth Records we find on (82)September 16, 1867 a child, Martha Ellen is born to John Adam and Margaret Abe. In the Mineral County Death Records, this same child dies on (83)May 25, 1868 of "Fits" (seizures). It is uncertain where the child was buried. (UPDATE: This first child is believed buried in the Abe Cemetery where he and his second wife are buried.) Three other known children are born to them; Lacy Ann, Isaac Franklin and Amanda Melvina.
     On April 17, 2010, I made a trip to Rockingham County, Virginia in search of where Margaret was buried. I stopped by the Brock's Gap Heritage Days exhibit at the Fulks Mill Elementary School. From there I was directed to the cemetery a couple miles west. The cemetery sits behind a house along Brock's Gap Road. The (78)Fulk-Fawley Cemetery has many graves marked only by field stones with no markings. There I found Margaret's headstone, the only "original" commercial headstone in the cemetery. The exact location of the grave could not be determined. The headstone and foot stone were broken off and leaning against a tree. The stone read "Margaret G. wife of Adam Abe". This really was the area of Virginia that Margaret was from.
     So how did a man from Mineral County meet up with and marry a woman from Rockingham County Virginia about 75 miles away. Keep in mind this was the middle 1860's where there was limited modes of transportation; horse, stagecoach and railroad.
     I am inclined to believe that John Adam met up with Margaret on the way home from New Market, VA after his (34)release from the Civil War on April 20, 1865. Maybe fate would have it that he stopped off at a farm house the very first night and it just happened to be where Margaret lived. The area he would have traveled would fit, as well as the time period. Brock's Gap Road would be the closest and most likely road to travel to the valley west of the Appalachian Mountains which would lead him north to home in what is now Mineral County, WV. The time period is correct with a window of about eight months between his release from military service and the approximate time of his marriage. This would leave nine months till the birth of their first child, Martha Ellen, if Margaret conceived right away. The window would be smaller if she didn't.  All four known children were born in Mineral County, WV so they either lived in Mineral County or close by. With the (69)1870 Census showing them living in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD it is possible that Margaret could have been taken to the Abe Farm when she neared the time to give birth. The farm was about 9-10 miles away.

Margaret (Fulk) Abe Headstone

(See below for headstone information)

     It hasn't been determined when he started working on the railroad. What's interesting is that Margaret's younger brother Hiram is living with them and working on the railroad in (69)1870. Did he start work on the railroad around the time he married Margaret or did Adam bury the first child in the Rockingham County Cemetery and connect up with Hiram and the railroad then? (UPDATE: This first child is believed buried in the Abe Cemetery where he and his second wife are buried.) If he was always a railroad "repair hand", this would also explain his movement from Rockingham County, VA to Cumberland, MD. He would be following the tracks doing repairs as needed.
     Cousin, Ronald "Shot" Abe, uncovered information in Martinsburg, Berkley, WV that shows John Adam built a very small house there. It is most likely the family only lived here a very short time with all children being born in Mineral County, WV. The marriage record for John Adam and Margaret's daughter, Amanda Melvina, lists her birth place as Berkley County, West Virginia so this would put the family there about 1872.

Martinsburg, WV House

     Almost nothing is known about Adam and Margaret after 1870. The (13)1982 "Abe Family Heritage" says that Margaret died giving birth to their last child. The last recorded child for them was Amanda Melvina, born in 1871. No death record has been found but Margaret's headstone says she died on July 10, 1874. If she did die in childbirth there may now be two children buried with her in Rockingham County, VA. No record of the death of this second child has been found. Maybe because of complications in childbirth, the child was never born.
     (78)Margaret's headstone reads as follows:

Margaret G.
wife of
Adam Abe
daughter of
Isaac Fulk
Aug. 11, 1874
31 years and 20 days

Footstone: M.G.A.

     After the death of Margaret, Adam is found living in Mineral County, West Virginia.

     .........Parts 2 and 3 to follow..........