Erb, Musselman Genealogy Trip Report – Allegany County, Maryland – May 2012

One of my many hobbies is genealogy. I love being a detective and in many ways genealogy is doing family history detective work. At one point I considered creating a separate Genealogy blog but decided instead to just tag my genealogy posts as such. This is a genealogy post. If you are not interested in genealogy and the Erb and Musselman families you should stop reading now.

On our  road trip in the Spring of 2012 Duke and I did family history research in a few places including Allegany County, Maryland. I have been mulling over in my head how to summarize and save the details of the research we did on the trip. I decided to create a trip research report. First I did a Microsoft Word document. But I think I also want it on the blog. I can send a link to the others who I think will be interested and I will have the results in the future if I want to recall what I did and what I learned.


My third Great Grandparents, Joseph Erb (b1789) and his wife Elizabeth Musselman Erb (b1798) lived in Allegany County with their family in the early 1800’s. One of their sons, my Great Great Grandfather also named Joseph Erb was born in 1822 probably in Allegany County.

The Musselman Farm

We arrive in Cumberland Maryland on Sunday, May 13. Based on several sources 123 I believed that the Musselman farm was located on land that is now the Arboretum of the Frostburg State University.


Duke and I drove out to the Arboretum and hiked around it. It is a beautiful location but we found no signs of the old Musselman farm. You can see my other pictures of the Frostburg State University Arboretum on Google Photos here. This set also contains other pictures referenced in this trip report.


[1] (Moore, 2004)

[2] (Frostburg State University)

 [3] (Brusca, 2010)


Frostburg State University

The library has both a local history section on the open shelves and a rare book room that can be accessed by appointment. I have the name and phone number of the person to contact for an appointment. Let me know if you need it. The library also has an interlibrary loan service. The brochure I received says for more information contact the ILL office 301-687-4886.

From the catalog the following books sounded interesting:

  • The Braddock Road by John Kennedy Lacock – published 1994 reprint of an edition thought to have been published in 1914. Includes maps and bibliographical references. The John Brusca Route 40 website4 quotes this book extensively. – the book is in the special collection room so I couldn’t review it.
  • Historical Biographical Sketch of Frostburg, Maryland and its Citizens old and new – published 1912 16p call number F 189.F7 M5  – The book contains pictures of the Musselman Farm and cornerstone.



  • Allegany County Maryland Rural Cemeteries – I reviewed it and found no Erb, Musselman, Arter or  Strotzer
  • History of Cumberland Maryland by Will H. Lowdermilk – Baltimore Regional Publishing Company 1971 – photos are also in the Google album. In the forward the book includes background on Cumberland Maryland newspapers.  On pages 277-278 there is a statement that the Erb family and several other listed families came to Allegany County between 1790 and 1800. On pages 296-297 there is a description of the Militia formed in 1814 and Joseph Erb is listed as a member.

The Genealogical Society of
Allegany County Library

The Genealogy Society of Allegany County Library is located in the library of the Allegany college of Maryland, 12401 Willowbrook Rd, Cumberland, MD. The library is in a room separate from the rest of the library. A librarian had to let me in to the locked room. After I had browsed the regular shelves for a while the president of the society and her husband arrived. The president of the society is Harriett Moore. She is the author of the
Musselman article in the society newsletter2. She has Musselman ancestors. We discussed the cornerstone and the location of the ruins of the Musselman farm and she said she thought it might be some place else than the Arboretum.

Her husband gave me a copy of the Musselman article3 from the Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage Newsletter. The article is well sourced and documents the Musselman ancestry.

I also referenced the following books and other materials:

  • ·Genealogical Resources in Allegany County – a seven page handout compiled by the Genealogical Society of Allegany County
  • The Marriage Diary of William Shaw 1792 – 1813. Several pages from this manuscript are also In the Google album. On page 8 the document lists
    the marriages of

    • ERB,
      Catherine to Jacob Woodring July 30 1805
    • Erb,
      Polly to Jacob Speelman Feb 9 1808

It is possible that Polly and Catherine were sisters of  third great grandfather Joseph Erb(b1789).

There was also a card catalog of surnames. A transcription of the  Erb and Musselman cards follows this article.

If anyone reading this has more information about the Erbs and Musselmans or if you have any questions please let me know.

Works Cited

Brusca, F. (2010, 11 3). John Kennedy Lacock’s
“Braddock Road” (1909) Part 3
. Retrieved 6 23, 2012, from Frank

Frostburg State
University. (n.d.). Arboretum History. (W. P.,
Editor) Retrieved June 23, 2012, from Frostburg State University:

Moore, H. (2004). The
Musselman Family – An Early, But Brief, Sojourn in Allegany County. The Old
Pike Post
, 21 (4), 1,2,4.

Phelan, E. D. (1989,
January). Descendants of Christian Musselman (d. 1734) of Lancaster Township,
Lancaster County, Penn. Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage , 146-23.


Transcription of card catalog Cards

The references Alle, Alle Adm., Alle Will, and G1 on the cards refer to the wills and probates of the Musselmans. has all of them; This Family Search link is to the index for to all M wills and probates for Allegany County. The Musselmans are all listed there. Thanks to Loretta Bonaccorso at Genealogy Your Way for her help with this.

If anyone would like copies of the original cards I have them.

Index Card 1

Erb, Polly                                                                             Alle

m. 2-5-1808

Jacob Speelman

Joseph                                                                  Alle

m. Elizabeth Musselman

dau of
Christian adm. 1828


Index Card 2

Erb, Margaret                                                                    G1  * 12-48

m. Samuel Thayer

son/ Murray                                                       Keziah

Index Card 3

Christian                                                   Alle

6-14-1825                                                                 a –
Valentine Hoffman
Jacob Snyder   Adm.


Accts Paid



Christian Jr.



#2   Adm. “                                          a –



#3  Adm.  “                                          a -353

Index Card 3 side 2

8/13/1828                                                            A  378

of Estate

Hoffman & Jacob Snyder  Adm.

Susanna     third

Christian Jr.


Elizabeth (Joseph Erb)

Nancy (John Blocker)

Susanna (Henry Arthur)

Frances  (George Hartzell) Hansel

8/10/1831  #7 adm “                                        B33

div.  John
Heirs (Christian)                          AlleAdm

Christian                                                      3-11-1834  B82

Jacob                                                             Mussellman   Mrs. Susa

Elizabeth (Joseph Erb)                            John Blocker Adm.

Nancy (John Blocker)                              (Same as Christian

(Henry Arthur)                       except

(George Hansell)                    Jr.
dec’d  (heir)


Index Card 4

Musselman                        G1  * 1-3


Teacher School House Run          Shoemaker

When school not in session.



Index Card 5

5-10-1843                                            Alle
Adm. C66

#1    John Blocker  Admx.

Christianna     wid third








Index Card 6


Nancy  <Christian  Susanna


John Plucker


John  <Christian


Blocker < Andrew Barbara


< Christian Susanna

m. 5-17-1817



< Christian Susanna




< Christian Susanna

Joseph Erb


< Christian Susanna

Henry Arthur


Index Card 7

Musselman        John                                                      Alle

(his wife)

A  519   2-8-1840

Of Dark Co Ohio   Appointed Daniel

Of Somerset Co. Pa. to recover their 1/5

Int. in late grandfather’s  (John

Sr)  estate in Alle Co.


And debts owed by Abraham’Miller’s

(also their
grfather) in Somerset Co Pa.

Musselman Elizabeth

A 520 2-18-1842                ditto above

Money was owed her by John Blocker of Alle

(See Stephen Shipley)






Our Way Home – Road Trip 2012

We arrived home Thursday from our 2012 summer road trip. We left Reno May 2 and drove across the US and into Canada. Our farthest point was Prince Edward Island. From there we returned through Canada and back into the U.S. at Sault Ste Marie. In total we traveled 9,294 miles and visited 29 U.S. states and 5 Canadian provinces.

We spent our last night in Canada at Sault Ste Marie. We hiked around the island overlooking the Marie River and looked at the Canadian lock that is still used for pleasure craft. The picture below is of the bridge at Sault St Marie that took us back into the U.S Monday morning June 8.


 This is the Canadian Lock.


After crossing the border we stopped to see the Soo Locks. They are part of the St Lawrence Seaway. The size of the ships that go through the locks is impressive. This is a picture of Duke on the viewing platform overlooking the Soo Locks.


 From Sault Ste. Marie we drove south to look a the Mackinac Bridge which goes over the water between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. It is the third longest suspension bridge in the world and has a total length of  26,372 feet.


We spent Monday night in Marinette on Lake Michigan on the Wisconsin border. On Tuesday we drove across Wisconsin to Eau Claire to visit Aunt Dorothy, my Dad's sister. Tuesday was the day of the recall election in Wisconsin and it was very interesting to see all the lawn signs and to listen to the commentary on the radio. We saw lots of dairy farms and of course had to stop to buy some cheese curds.


 On Wednesday we went with Aunt Dorothy to Chippewa Falls which is next door to Eau Claire. We had a picnic lunch in the park and then toured the Leinenkugel Brewery. Leinenkugel is a small brewery that has been in operation since 1867. After the tour we got to taste their beer.


The Leinengugel gift shop and tasting room is a gorgeous big building called the Leinie Lodge. I enjoyed tasting the beer. This is a picture of Duke, Aunt Dorothy and me in the lodge.


After two nights in Eau Claire we headed for Duke's home town, Manchester, Iowa to visit the family that are still there. We made several stops along the Mississippi to walk and to look a the Mississippi shipping locks. It never ceases to amaze me how much water is in the Mississippi and how big it is. I always visualize Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn on the river.

Just north of Manchester we stopped at one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museums. It in Burr Oak, Iowa where she lived for part of her childhood.


After three nights in Manchester we moved on to western Iowa to visit Duke's sister and her family who live on a farm near Moville, Iowa. The town was celebrating its 125th anniversary. Duke's sister and her husband were in a town production of the musical Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon and we got to see it.  They were great!


From Moville we drove across Nebraska to Chadron. On the way we stopped at the Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historic Park. It was like nothing I have ever seen, Let me quote from the brochure.

"Nearly 12 million years ago, hundreds of rhinos, three-toed horses, camels, and other animals died and were buried by volcanic ash around the edges of a watering hole in what is now northeast Nebraska. Still locked in their death poses, the amazingly well preserved skeletons of these prehistoric beasts lay undisturbed, wrapped in a blanket of jagged glassy particles, until the 1970s when a scientific study of the fossilized remains began.''

This is a picture of the 18,000 square foot Rhino Barn that has been built over the site.


In these next two pictures you can see some of the skeletons and the workers working on the site.



On Tuesday we drove from Chadron to Rock Springs, Wyoming.


In the middle of Wyoming we stopped at Independence Rock. It was a major landmark on the pioneer trails going west. I had forgotten how many people went west during the mid 1800's. Between 1843 and 1869 almost half a million emigrants passed Independence Rock. Many of them carved their names on the rock and you can still see some of the carvings.


Of course Duke had to climb the rock. The dot on top is him.


I thought this guy's story was pretty inspiring. You can click on the picture if you would like a bigger version to read.


 Ón Wednesday we drove from Rock Springs, Wyoming to Elko, Nevada.

Along the way we detoured to see Flaming Gorge Dam and Reservoir on the Green River.



Finally yesterday we drove from Elko home. It was a wonderful adventure.

If you would like to see all of our pictures from the trip they are on Flickr here. I should have them all labeled in a week or so.

On Lake Nipissing – Road Trip 2012

As we continue our Summer 2012 rod trip Duke and I have stayed in one place for four nights! After moving to a new place almost every night for four weeks staying in one place would have been a nice change but staying at our cabin on Lake Nipissing has been idyllic. I say our cabin which is not strictly true.

Last Wednesday we left Ottawa knowing that we wanted to find a place to fish. We didn't have a destination but decided to explore a left turn off the trans canada highway. It was raining pretty hard. We checked out a couple of places but didn't find anything we liked. As we continued down the road I saw a place with freshly painted cabins. Duke did a u-turn and we checked them out. The place in called Lakair Lodge. The lady at the counter was very friendly and showed us a spotlessly clean two bedroom cabin right on the lake. We took it.


Above is our cabin and below is the view out our front door.


We woke up the next day. and went fishing. Lakair rented us a wooden boat and a motor and loaned us a map, net, and life jackets. We caught a few fish but only kept this one for dinner.


This is Duke's biggest fish that first day.


We packed a picnic lunch and found a sunny point to enjoy our lunch and relax.


Day two was overcast with a prediction of rain. The morning turned out to be great fishing weather. We caught and kept four fish. Duke caught a monster northern pike. It turned out to be by far the biggest fish of the trip.


I caught a clam!


In the afternoon it started to rain and we headed back to the cabin to nap, read and play cribbage.


The wind was really blowing and a large branch came down from a tree in front of our cabin.


On day three it was still raining but the wind had gone down. Instead of going out in the motor boat we rented a canoe and explored some inlets. We caught a few small fish but we already had enough big fish to eat for dinner so we didn't keep any of them.


 We left lake Nipissing this morning. I loved Lakair Lodge. Check out their website here..

Montreal and Ottawa

Today Duke and I started week four of our six week 2012 road trip.

Sunday we drove along the St Lawrence River from Quebec to Montreal.


Monday we walked all over Montreal.


We bought a one day Metro pass and went out to the Olympic Park. the Olympics were in Montreal in 1976. That was the year of Nadia Comaneci. Remember her? I had forgotten, but building the Olympic stadium cost over twice what it was originally projected to cost. Montreal just finished paying it all off in 2006.


 The swimming pavilion was pretty amazing. It has 6 pools. In this picture you can see the olympic swimming pool, the diving pool and the raised part is the synchronized swimming pool where we saw the Canadian Olympic team practising. The coaches can watch the swimmers under water through the glass sides.


This is the olympic stadium. it didn't have a roof when the olypics were here but now the roof is held up by an enormous tower.


A funicular goes up the right hand side in this picture and we rode it to the top for  a view of all of Montreal.



We left Montreal on Tuesday morning and drove to Ottawa. We toured te parliament building and even got too watch a speech in the House of Commons



This morning we left Ottawa and drove west. Tonight we are in a fishing cabin on Lake Nipissing. We are going to go fishing for three days. There is no cell phone coverage here but we do have wireless internet in our cabin. Isn't technology amazing! Our view out our front window is very peaceful and beautiful.





We spent Friday and Saturday nights in Quebec City. Friday we drove from Grand Falls (Grand-Sault) into Quebec and then southwest along the St Lawrence Sea Way. There were lots of dairy farms and houses that all looked freshly painted. They were white with colorful red or green or blue trim and then an occasional blue one with yellow trim or some other happy combination. Lots of bright red tin roofs too.


Along the water there were great picnic spots every few miles but when we found this one we had to stop and use it!


French is very definitely the language of Quebec. The only people we heard speaking English were tourists. and unlike in the rest of Canada where the signs are in French and English, in Quebec they are only in French. I used Bonjour and Merci a lot but beyond that I had to switch to English. People are very friendly and helpful.

We stayed in a wonderful hotel ( Hotel Pur) that Duke got on Priceline for around $100 a night. The halls are all black and the room numbers are painted on the doors in foot tall orange numbers. When we walked into our room I had to take a picture.


We walked and walked and walked all  over the city exploring the fortress, the old city, the narrow streets and the parks. A while ago I read David Hackett Fisher's book Champlain's Dream and it was fun to see the city Champlain founded in 1608.







We talked to the organist in this Presbyterian Church which is the oldest in Quebec. He explained that the Church was founded by the Scottish Regiment who defended Quebec from the Colonists.



Quebec City has been wonderful now we are on to Montreal.