June 27, 2013

The Hagerstown Connection

For most of my life I knew that I had ancestors from Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Most had come through Pennsylvania Dutch Country at some point. It was only recently that I learned that some of them once lived in the Hagerstown area, a part of Maryland which is not far from Northern Virginia where I grew up.

A few weeks ago we drove to Hagerstown and nearby Sharpsburg and Beaver Creek. At the Visitors Center in Hagerstown we picked up some maps and brochures. (Note for young readers: maps and brochures are what travelers used to plan trips in the days before the internet. They are still pretty handy!)

I got directions to Rose Hill Cemetery, where at least one of my ancestors is said to be buried. It turned out to be a large cemetery and since the office was not open that day, I decided to not take the time to look for George Hammer's grave because I really wanted to visit the Newcomer House and Beaver Creek.

George Hammer was born around 1765 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and died in 1829 in Hagerstown. His wife was Catherine Hull (sometimes spelled Hall), born in 1769 in Lancaster County, married 1790, and died in Hagerstown in 1853. It was his son John who married Eliza Witmer, whose mother was Barbara Newcomer.

George is said to have served in the Revolutionary War with a unit from Pennsylvania. However, the war wound down after 1781 (Yorktown) and when it officially ended in 1783, he was only 18, so he probably did not serve very long.

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  1. How cool to learn your connections and to enjoy a nice road trip to boot.

  2. You sure have done your research on this. I should go back into my family history....

  3. laughed at your explanation of maps and brochures. :)

  4. Ha, I still like to hold a map in my hands :-)

  5. Really fantastic you've been able to find such good detail on your family history. I loved your maps/brochures statement!:)


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