Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ellen Paraway and the Warehime Family of Bachman Valley: My Discovery at the State Archives



Eileen Mummaugh has submitted this article, which underscores the importance of making digitized records available. As we continue with document preparation of the Wills and Estate records, and their subsequent imaging, many more people will have a similar experience to Eileen's. Many thanks to Eileen for sharing this exciting "find" with us!

Over the past four years, members of the Carroll County Genealogical Society of Carroll County, Maryland periodically volunteered to work on projects related to county records at the Maryland State Archives on Mondays when that facility is closed to regular visitors. Our most recent project involved the wills sent to the MSA for safekeeping many years ago.  This project has been subsumed in a joint effort between the Maryland State Archives and FamilySearch.org to digitize these records and make them available free of charge on the internet.  You might consider joining them as you never know what you will find in the Carroll County records deposited there.

During my visit in October 2012, to my surprise, I unfolded the will of my paternal 3rd great-grandfather, George Warehime (1790-1880), dated June 7, 1871, which bore his actual signature. In the will he names his eldest son, Samuel, as executor, and left Samuel, his heirs and assigns the 128-acre home farm where he resided. It was along the Old Bachman Valley Road adjoining the lands of David E. Riegle and P. H. L. Myers. He also left the straw, hay, manure, posts, rails, lime-stone, cord wood and all except the timber and a twenty-five acre wood lot adjoining the lands of John Yingling and Jacob Mathias on condition that Samuel pay the sum of $5,100 to his nine living siblings and the three sons of a deceased brother.

George also bequeathed “to Samuel his heirs and assigns Four shares of the Capitol Stock of the Western Maryland Rail Road Company‖” and stipulated that the sum of five hundred dollars remain in the hands of his executor “ in trust for the use of Ally Paraway, colored woman, whom I have raised, the interest thereof to be paid to her yearly during life and after her death the said Five hundred dollars to be equally divided among my children and their descendents (sic).” The will later states, “I give and bequeath to Ally Paraway, colored woman heretofore mentioned, the bed and bed clothing, chest and spinning wheel used by her.”

The final account of Samuel Warehime, executor of George Warehime, was settled in the Orphans‘ Court of Carroll County on March 28, 1892. It shows Ally Paraway received interest of $290 from October 31, 1881 until June 31, 1891, about the time she was taken to the Almshouse of Carroll County. The County Commissioners then received interest of $10 from June 31, 1891 to October 31, 1891, about the time Ally died.

This will confirms the story passed down in my family about a black servant who worked for the Warehime family. She lived in a room over the spring house. The 1870 census for the Westminster District, Bachman‘s Mill Post Office, shows Ellen/Ally Paraway, age 50, as a domestic, unable to read or write, living with George Warehime, age 80, a “retired farmer.” In the 1880 census, Ellen Paraway, is again listed as a black servant living in the household of George Warehime, now age 90. He died later that year.

George Warehime married Christiana Shafer (1798-1863) about 1816. They had 14 children and are buried at Jerusalem Lutheran Church Cemetery in Bachman Valley. Christiana Shafer was the sister of my maternal 3rd great-grandfather, John Jacob Shafer (1784-1854) and also the sister of John Frederick Shafer (1788-1849). Their parents were John Shafer (1755-1828) and Mary (Pouder) Shafer (1763-1831).

After further research, I discovered that Christiana‘s father, John Shafer, had given Ellen Paraway to her, probably at the time of her marriage, when Ellen was 4 years old. John mentions this gift in his will. Ellen was a faithful servant to the Shafer/Warehime families most of her life.

If you look closely, you will find that many families in Carroll County are intermarried such as the Warehimes and Shafers/Schaeffers.

Eileen Mummaugh is the Immediate Past President of the Carroll County Genealogical Society, Chairman of the Publications Committee and is currently serving as society Treasurer.  She has been researching her deep ancestry in the county for over twenty years.


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