This story clears a few things up (like G.W.'s absence from the 1860 Census), but raises a few more. (Honestly, though, they could probably be answered by, "The newspaper article isn't exactly accurate.") It says he had been "drinking for a long time", then seems to say he didn't start until after the death of his father. His father, Henry, Sr., died only five years earlier. Another seeming contradiction is the fact that the UD paper states that George had the house for at least five years, although it doesn't state why they say that. The above article implies he sold the farm not long after receiving it, and certainly well before his 1860 death. Without seeing the original documents, I can't be sure what the real story was. On another level, though, none of these details make the story any less tragic for his wife and children.*
|Henry Whiteman House, 1913|
Stepping back a few years, though, we get a little personal story from the Whiteman clan, courtesy of Wendy, an eventual result of the story. Lemuel, second son of Henry, Sr., had married a woman named Elizabeth, who gave birth to a daughter named Mary Ann in 1844. (Mary Ann is Wendy's great-grandmother.) Elizabeth died not long after, and Lemuel remarried to a woman named Hellen. It seems that the young Mary Ann did not get along with her new step-mother, only 14 years her senior (whether this fact had anything to do with it, I don't know). Although Lemuel was still nearby in MCH in 1850, Mary Ann had gone off to live with her grandfather Henry in his home, along with her grandmother, three uncles, and an aunt. She remained after her father and stepmother moved to Cecil County, MD. In the fall of 1862, a young man named Edward Swain Past came to stay with the family. He was a 21 year old soldier wounded at the Battle of Antietam, and a relative of Anna Kinsey Whiteman (Henry's wife). Edward had been sent to the farm to recuperate from his injury.
|Edward Past, c.1862 and Mary Ann Whiteman Past 1894|
In what must have been a storybook romance, Edward and Mary Ann quickly fell in love, and were married in March of the following year. They spent 51 years together, until Edward's passing in 1914. Soon after marrying the couple moved out west, but returned to Mill Creek Hundred on the occasion of their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1913. Many of the photos included in this post were taken during that trip. A number of the pictures feature the last of the three Whiteman houses in this area, the Andrew Jackson Whiteman House that stands a few hundred feet back from Paper Mill Road, across from Henry's home.
|A.J. Whiteman House, 1914|
It's with this house also that my understanding of the history deviates a bit from what's written in the UD report. It states that in 1864, Henry gave the farm (and by implication, the house) to Jackson. Since Henry seems to be living in the house the rest of his life, what I think may have happened is that Henry gave his younger brother a portion of the property, on which Jackson built his own house.* The fact that it doesn't appear on the 1849 map but does in 1868, plus the style of the house, seem to bolster this idea. When the Pasts came back to visit in 1913, Jackson was still residing in his house, while the Henry Whiteman House may have been owned by one of Israel's sons. The only intriguing piece of information that doesn't quite fit this story is that the A.J. Whiteman House apparently has some sort of small, stone interior section. This make me wonder if maybe Jackson didn't just greatly expand upon an older, existing stone house. If I'm ever able to find out more about this house, I'll certainly pass along the information.
Although they were not among the original settling families in MCH, the Whitemans have over two centuries of very meaningful history here (continuing to this day). There are certainly many more stories to uncover relating to the family, and at least a few more houses that I know of, to get to another day. I want to thank Wendy again for sharing some of these stories and pictures with us. These family stories (like Mary Ann and Edward's) may not seem all that significant sometimes, but I really do believe that more than anything else, they help to bring us closer to our predecessors in the area. Local history really is made of these.
*Additional Facts and Related Thoughts:
- Another reference to Washington Whiteman, found by Donna, lists his cause of death as "fever". Not surprisingly, it seems the family might have tried to "clean up" their history. I'll have to do more research to find out exactly where his property was at Milford Crossroads.
- Here is as good a time as any to note the very, very tight bond between the Whiteman and Moore families. Amongst the children of Henry Whiteman and Thomas J. Moore, there were no less than six marriages. John Kinsey Whiteman - Margaret Moore. Henry Whiteman - Sarah Moore. Gilbert Whiteman - Rachel Moore. Margaret Whiteman - Jacob Moore. Andrew Jackson Whiteman - Mary Moore, then Susanna Moore.
- It was presumably in this house, then that the tragic death of Jackson's first wife, Mary, occurred in 1866. That story can be found here, and updated here.