In my early blogging years, I shared an article I wrote on the Whitmer family, tracing their origins in Barbelroth, Germany to Frederick County, Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky.
Johannes Michael Whitmer was the brother of my husband’s Johannes, or John, Whitmer. Michael, as he was known, was baptized on 2 April 1760 in Frederick County, Maryland. He was the son of Johannes Whitmer and Maria Elisabetha Holtz.
I was aware that Michael had died on a trip between Virginia and Maryland sometime before 20 October 1805, when his estate administration was mentioned in Frederick County, Maryland court records.
I had also been able to identify his wife as a probable Steckel and found the names and baptismal dates of his children in church records.
However, no further information was found at the time to expand details concerning his children.
A Steckel researcher contacted me and alerted me to a lawsuit filed c1823 in Loudoun County, Virginia by the heirs of Michael Whitmore (sic).
Given that widow Catherine is a plaintiff along with her by then grown children – and the children all match the church records in Maryland, there is no doubt whatsoever that they are the family from Frederick County, Maryland.
First, no marriage record has been found for Michael Whitmer and his wife, Catherine, but the lawsuit includes a deposition from Simon Steckel, who served as administrator of Michael’s estate. He is further identified as the brother of Michael’s widow, Catherine.
Administration of Michael’s estate was begun in October 1805.41 It included payment to Nicholas Holtz for travel to Virginia to summon Michael’s children. Michael is not in the 1800 Maryland census, and having sold off the last of his land in Frederick County in July 1797, the family moved to Virginia. Michael must have returned to Maryland to complete some business and died there.
With no Virginia census records for 1790, 1800 and 1810 and the Whitmer/Whitmore surname being quite common, no further research was done.
The Virginia chancery court lawsuit, along with the 1820 census had shed more light on the family.
Children of Michael and Catherine (Steckel) Whitmer:
- Anna Maria, born 18 August 1784; baptized 15 May 1785, Frederick, Maryland. Sponsor: Anna Maria Steckel, single. Mary, as she was later called, was still single in 1823. No marriage record has been found for her and she probably has no descendants.
- Elisabetha, born 10 April 1786; baptized 14 June 1786, Frederick, Maryland. Sponsor: Margaretha Steckel, single. Elizabeth was still single in 1823 and like her sister, Mary, probably has no descendants.
- Michael, born 20 June 1788; baptized 13 December 1788, Frederick, Maryland. Sponsors: Parents. Michael was living next door to sister Catherine’s family. Michael died after 1860, where he was enumerated in the Loudoun County, Virginia census. Also in the home was Michael Beveridge, most likely his sister Margaret’s son.
- Catharina, born 9 April 1789; baptized 20 November 1791, Frederick, Maryland. Sponsor: Jacob Kitweiler. She married William Lightfoot before 16 January 1823. In 1820, they lived in Loudon County, Virginia, where William was an overseer. Her brother, Michael, lived next door to them. No further record after the 1820 census.
- George, born 20 August 1792; baptized 19 July 1795, Frederick, Maryland. Sponsors: Parents. George married Rachel Wright, 17 March 1820, Frederick County, Maryland. Rachel was reportedly born in Loudoun County, so they might have married so she could meet George’s mother, Catherine. George died between 1840, when he was in the Loudoun County census and 1850, when Rachel was living with son William B. Whitmore’s family in Fairfax County, Virginia, which borders Loudoun County.
- Nicholas, born 15 March 1795; baptized 19 July 1795, Frederick, Maryland. Sponsors: Nicholas and Susanna Holtz. Nicholas remained in Maryland. He died in Frederick County on 31 December 1870. He married (1) Philipena “Phebe” Stull, 27 October 1818, Frederick County, Maryland. Phebe was born 16 January 1799; died 18 August 1845, Frederick County, Maryland. She is buried with Nicholas at Rocky Springs Cemetery. (2) Rebecca (MNU). She was born c1805, Maryland; died September 1884; buried at Indian Springs Cemetery, Frederick County, Maryland.
- Barbara Susanna, born 9 November 1797; baptized 19 March 1798, Frederick, Maryland. Sponsors: Johannes and Barbara Kopenhewer. She married Henry Zimmerman, 17 April 1821, Frederick County, Maryland. Henry died between 1840-1850 in Frederick County, Maryland. Susanna died 12 August 1867, Frederick County, Maryland.
- Margaret was born c1800, as she had “lately come of age by 16 January when the family filed its lawsuit. She died 10 June 1889, Loudoun County, Virginia. She was unmarried as late as 1827, when the lawsuit was dismissed. She married (1) William R. Beveridge, 23 December 1830, Loudoun County, Virginia. He was born 1770-1780 and died by 1843. (2) Alfred Dulin, 19 September 1843, Loudon County, Virginia.
In 1820, Michael Whitmore’s (sic) household in Loudoun County, Virginia consisted of 2 males, aged 26-45. He was one of them and the other is probably one of his brothers. If the age range is correct, that brother would be George.
There are also three females aged 26-45. One would be Michael’s wife, who as yet is unidentified. The other two females were most likely Mary and Elizabeth, who were unmarried.
There were also two males under 10 and two females under 10. That would indicate that Michael probably married by 1810, but no record has yet been found.
William Lightfoot lived next door to the Whitmers in 1820. The census noted that he was an overseer. There is no female in Catherine’s age range at home in 1820, but they are noted as married by 1823. No marriage record has been found.
Unfortunately, William Lightfoot is not in Loudoun County in 1830. Whether they died or moved on is still unknown.
Margaret Whitmer Beveridge’s second marriage is quite ironic. The land purchased by her father and lost to the Whitmers because it wasn’t paid off was purchased by William Dulin. When he died, it passed down to his son, Alfred Dulin. The land came back into the family through her marriage.
The Dulins are still in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1850. Alfred was clearly married before, as there are nine children at home. The three youngest – Michael and Sally, born c1846, and Mary, born c1849, are of an age to be Margaret’s children.
Quite a bit has been learned about the family of Michael and Catherine (Steckel) Whitmer because of that chancery court lawsuit.
I LOVE the Virginia Memory website.