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.
 (Moore, 2004)
 (Frostburg State University)
 (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 email@example.com 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
Catherine to Jacob Woodring July 30 1805
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.
Brusca, F. (2010, 11 3). John Kennedy Lacock’s
“Braddock Road” (1909) Part 3. Retrieved 6 23, 2012, from Frank
Brusca’s Route40.net: http://www.route40.net/page.asp?n=10595
University. (n.d.). Arboretum History. (W. P. firstname.lastname@example.org,
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. Familysearch.org 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. Elizabeth Musselman
Christian adm. 1828
Index Card 2
Erb, Margaret G1 * 12-48
m. Samuel Thayer
son/ Murray Keziah
Index Card 3
6-14-1825 a –
Jacob Snyder Adm.
#2 Adm. “ a –
#3 Adm. “ a -353
Index Card 3 side 2
8/13/1828 A 378
Hoffman & Jacob Snyder Adm.
Elizabeth (Joseph Erb)
Nancy (John Blocker)
Susanna (Henry Arthur)
Frances (George Hartzell) Hansel
8/10/1831 #7 adm “ B33
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.
Index Card 4
Musselman G1 * 1-3
Teacher School House Run Shoemaker
When school not in session.
Index Card 5
#1 John Blocker Admx.
Christianna wid third
Index Card 6
Nancy <Christian Susanna
Blocker < Andrew Barbara
< Christian Susanna
< Christian Susanna
< Christian Susanna
< Christian Susanna
Index Card 7
Musselman John Alle
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
grfather) in Somerset Co Pa.
A 520 2-18-1842 ditto above
Money was owed her by John Blocker of Alle
(See Stephen Shipley)