This week’s blogging prompt is the State of Maryland. Blog about an ancestor or your families connection to Maryland. If you don’t have any connections to Maryland, find a Maryland resource useful for genealogy research to highlight and write about. This week’s prompt runs from 2/17/2013 – 2/23/2013. If you choose to follow along, I would appreciate a mention to the Hidden Genealogy Nuggets website.
John Douglas Laurie my 3rd great grandfather died in Annapolis, Maryland. The first paragraph is clearly a fictional representation of what life might have been like the day John Douglas Laurie was born. This is one of my favorite ancestors and I’ve previously wrote about him. I’ve interleaved some of what life might have been like along with pure facts. When interleaving potentially what life might have been like, I’ve tried to clearly indicate so.
“Nestled on the coast of Scotland is the small parish of Annan. A ship building port in the early nineteenth century. The masts of the tall sailing ships tower over you as you walk through the port, listening to the gentle waters as they lapped upon the shore. A massive sailing ship is just now setting sail for the United States, another one had just returned from Canada. The crew is busy working the riggings as the tall sails fill with air and the ship slowly drifts farther into the water. Standing and watching, you watch the ship slowly disappear across the blue waters. The day is cool and crisp as you walk down the street. The smell of the salty sea air surrounds you. You stop at the ship building yards for just a minute. Ships of different sizes are in various stages of being built. You continue walking towards a small house. Your mind wanders in anticipation as to what might be going on inside that small home. You have arrived just in time.”
That’s what March 4, 1826 might have been like for a friend or a relative of the Laurie family. John Douglas Laurie was born that day. Fifteen days later he was christened in the parish of Annan. He was the second son of a Scottish family and was named after his maternal grandfather, John Allen. His older sister, Agnes, was five years old and was named after her maternal grandmother Agnes Drysdale. His older brother James was about three and a half years old. He was named after his paternal grandfather James Laurie.
The parish of Annan was not to be the Laurie home for long. Imagine the rough and callused hands of a mason readying his family for a long move. His powerful hands and strength might have made quick work of the packing for the long journey. Leading his family in horse drawn carriage stuffed with the family treasures that will make the family feel at home when they arrive. They drive through the green hills and plains of Scotland, past ruins of castles that fill the countryside. Thomas Laurie, a mason, his wife Mary and three children arrive in the small parish of Polmont, in the county of Stirling.
John was about two and a half years old when his younger brother, Thomas was born. Thomas was christened on October 5, 1828 in the parish of Polmont. Scottish tradition determined the boy’s name. The third son of a Scottish family in those times was named after their father. Thomas’s two oldest siblings, James and Agnes were also christened in parish of Polmont years earlier after their birth.
Thomas, the senior, might have been looking for masonry work when the family decided to move once more. Their journey this time was not as far this time as the parish of Annan was. Their journey brought them to the parish of Cockpen, in the county of Midlothian. Younger brother William was christened here on April 10, 1831. Shortly thereafter the Laurie clan was off again. They settled in the parish of Dalkeith, also in the county of Midlothian. Younger siblings Alexander, Robert, Mary and Henry were all christened in the parish of Dalkeith. Scottish tradition held that the third daughter of family would be named after their mother. Daughter Mary was named after her mother Mary Allan. Scottish tradition also held that the second daughter would be named after the paternal grandmother. For the Laurie clan, that would have been Margaret Wilson. Records pertaining to a baby Margaret Laurie could not be found. Records show that the Laurie name has sometimes been spelled Lourie, Lowrie and Lawrie.
John Laurie returned to the county in which he was born and married Nicholas Martin on Christmas Day, December 25, 1849. It was in the parish of Thornhill in the county of Dumfries. Less than a year later John left his wife, now perhaps six or seven months pregnant and boarded a ship headed for the United States. Like many of the Scottish families of the time, he was probably looking for a better life for his family in America. Ship travel during that time was arduous. It took several weeks to a month or more traveling on a small sailing ship to reach it’s destination. Many ships had very cramped conditions and encountered stormy seas. Finally, on August 12, 1850, John Douglas Laurie first arrived in America. Shortly after arriving in the United States for the first time, his daughter Grace was born in Scotland, on September 09, 1850.
John did not stay long very long this first time. He traveled back to Scotland less than 18 months after the first time he arrived in the United States. Most likely he was traveling back to Scotland to make arraignments to bring all of his family back to the land of opportunity. John and Nicholas’s second daughter Elizabeth was born on August 22, 1852. John returned to the United States in 1854. Also in 1854, his two daughters and wife now pregnant with a third child boarded the ship Linden. On September 11, 1854, Nicholas Laurie gave birth to John Linden Laurie. Just one day later, the Laurie clan arrived in America.
Surely, one of the proudest moments for John’s life would come on October 09, 1854. As he came before the court, John Douglas Laurie became a citizen of the United States. John and Nicholas would soon welcome two more children. William, the first of the Laurie family to be born on American soil, was born in Hartford, Connecticut on June 22, 1856. On November 16, 1857, a little over a year later, Anna, the last of John and Nicholas’ children was born.
In 1860 as the country was on the verge of turmoil, John Laurie was working as a carpenter in the city of Hartford, Connecticut. His occupation was actually described as a joiner in the Hartford City Directory. This type of occupation required more skilled than would a general carpenter. It would have been similar perhaps to a cabinetmaker today.
As the presidential race would soon signal a turning point in America history, John, his wife and their five children almost certainly followed the presidential race with trepidation. Would the country become entangled in a conflict to end slavery? While the country awaited the outcome of the presidential race, the Laurie family must have lived a hard, but comfortable life. John’s personal estate was valued at $100.
Abraham Lincoln won the presidential race and the southern states declared freedom from the old union. John Douglas Laurie answered the call of his country. On September 26, 1861, he joined his countrymen and enlisted as a private in the 10th Connecticut Infantry Regiment, Company E. At the time of his enlistment he was living at 17 Fairmount Street in Hartford, CT.
The 10th Connecticut Infantry Regiment heard the cannons and guns of war many times by the time John was promoted to full corporal on March 1, 1863. The war was still raging when he completed his first tour of duty. He voluntarily re-enlisted as a veteran on January 1, 1864.
On the 13th of October in 1864, John’s regiment, the Tenth Connecticut Volunteer, were ordered to take an enemy position along Darbytown Road in Virginia. The Tenth, now barely ninety men strong were repulsed back. This is the only engagement where the Tenth was forced to retreat under fire. John was wounded and left on battlefield along with five other soldiers from the Tenth. A total of five men in his unit were killed and thirty-eight more were wounded. He was captured by confederate troops.
John was released from being a prisoner of war on October 17, 1864. He died as a result of his gunshot wound on November 3, 1864. He is buried in Zion Hill Cemetery in Hartford, CT. At the time of his death, he left his wife Nicholas and his five young children, ranging in age from 6 to 13 years old.
Sometime after her husband’s death, Nicholas remarried. She married Edward Gallaher. At the time of her death, her husband a railroad employee was on a train. When word of his wife’s worsening condition made it to the next stop, he headed back to East Hartford. Her three living Children, Mrs. J. C. Alderman of Hartford, William Lowry of New Britain and John Lowry of Middletown, were by her bedside when she passed away.
Children of John Douglas Laurie and Nicholas Martin
1. Grace B. Laurie, b. 9-Sep-1850 in Thornhill, Dumfrieshire, Scotland, m. James Alderman about 1868, b. Nov-1847, d. unknown
2. Elizabeth Laurie, b. 22-Aug-1852 in Glasgow, Scotland
3. John Linden Laurie, b. 11-Sep-1854, on board the ship “Linden” enroute to America
4. William Martin Laurie, b. 22-Jun-1856 in Hartford, CT, d. 20-Jun-1932 in New Britain, CT, m1. Lavinia Ford on 20-Sep-1875 in Hartford, CT, b. 12-Apr-1860 in Albany, NY, d. 11-Sep-1901 in New Britain, CT, m2. Gertude Heck b. 1884, d. 13-Sep-1957, William Laurie is buried in Fairview Cemetery in New Britain, CT, Lavinia Ford in buried in Zion Hill Cemetery in Hartford, CT. Gertrude (Heck) Laurie is buried next to William Martin Laurie in Fairview Cemetery.
5. Anna B. Laurie, b. 16-Nov-1857
Children of Nicholas (Martin) Laurie and Edward Gallaher
1. www.familysearch.org: IGI record for a marriage of Thomas Lowrie to Mary Allen on 16-Sep-1820. It took place in Polmont, Stirling, Scotland. Parish of Polmont Vital Records.
2. www.familysearch.org: IGI record for the christening of Agnes Lowrie on 4-Mar-1821, parents of Thomas Lowrie and Mary Allan. It took place in Polmont, Stirling, Scotland. Parish of Polmont Vital Records.
3. www.familysearch.org: IGI record for the christening of James Lowrie on 14-Jul-1822, parents of Thomas Lowrie and Mary Allan. It took place in Polmont, Stirling, Scotland. Parish of Polmont Vital Records.
4. www.familysearch.org: IGI record for Birth of John Lawrie parents of Thomas Lawrie and Mary Allen. It took place in Annan, Dumfries, Scotland.
5. www.familysearch.org: IGI record for the christening of Thomas Lawrie on 5-Oct-1828, parents of Thomas Lawrie and Mary Allan. It took place in Polmont, Stirling, Scotland. Parish of Polmont Vital Records.
6. www.familysearch.org: IGI record for the christening of William Laurie on 10-Apr-1831, parents of Thomas Laurie and Mary Allan. It took place in Cockpen, Midlothian, Scotland. Parish of Cockpen Vital Records.
7. www.familysearch.org: IGI record for the christening of Alexander Lowrie on 15-Aug-1833, parents of Thomas Lowrie and Mary Allan. It took place in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland. Parish of Dalkeith Vital Records.
8. www.familysearch.org: IGI record for the christening of Robert Lowrie on 4-Feb-1838, parents of Thomas Lowrie and Mary Allan. It took place in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland.
9. www.familysearch.org: IGI record for the christening of Mary Lowrie on 13-Sep-1840, parents of Thomas Lowrie and Mary Allan. It took place in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland. Scotland. Parish of Dalkeith Vital Records.
10. www.familysearch.org: IGI record for the christening of Henry Lowrie on 30-Dec-1842, parents of Thomas Lowrie and Mary Allan. It took place in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland. Scotland. Parish of Dalkeith Vital Records.
11. 1841 Scotland Census, Parish of Dalkeith, Midlothian County, Household of Thomas Lowrie 1796, Mary 1801, Agnes 1821, James 1822, John 1826, Thomas 1829, William 1831, Alexander 1833, Robert 1838, Mary 1840
12. 1851 Scotland Census, Parish of Morton, Household of John Laurie
13. 1860 US Census, Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, household of John Laurie
14. 1870 US Census, Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, household of Nicholas Laurie
15. 1900 US Census, Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, household of James Alderman
16. www.familysearch.org: International Genealogical Index on www.familysearch.org, Marriage of John Laurie to Nicholas Martin
17. Naturalization papers in Dauphen County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
18. Ships manifest from 12-Sep-1854
19. Book: Record of Service of Connecticut, Men in the Army and Navy of the United States during the war of the Rebellion, p. 412
20. Volunteer Re-enlistment form of John D. Laurie
21. Newspaper Articles from the Hartford Courant, 01-Jun-1868 p.2, 31-May-1879 p. 2, 27-May-1880 p. 1, 27-May-1898 p. 11 death of Mrs. Edward Callaher (AKA. Nicholas [Martin] Laurie)
22. Record of Death and Internment of John D. Laurie
23. Death Certificate of William Martin Laurie, New Britain, CT
24. Death Certificate of Livina [Ford] Laurie, New Britain, CT
25. Book: One Dorman Family of Connecticut and Allied Lines Bertrand, Laurie and Banks, Dorothy M Stroble, Lillian R. Malone, 1991
26. Civil War Service Records, John D Laurie
27. Cvil War Pension Records, Nicholas Laurie, wife of John d. Laurie
28. Books from books.google.com
A few Maryland Genealogy Links
Search Maryland Newspapers and NewspaperArchive.com
Maryland Newspaper Archives at Genealogy Bank