Saturday, May 11, 2013

Surname Saturday: Plenty of Porters!

I get a headache whenever I think about the Porters of Allegany County, Maryland. There were a lot of them and they passed a bunch of names down through the generations just to make my life miserable... or at least that's how it feels. I generally love doing these Surname Saturday posts, the popular and useful blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers because I learn a lot about what's known and what's not known about each branch on the old family tree. But the Porters, oh, no! Not them!

Here's the deal. The Porters are one of the oldest families in Allegany County and got their land as part of the military lot grants after the Revolutionary War. Plus, some of the written histories about the Porters indicate that Porters in the area predate those lot assignments. They're all over the place in Allegany County! Never mind. Our connection is one female, Delilah Porter, whose presence escaped all of the published material on the Porter line. But I'm getting ahead of myself, as usual. So let's do this chapter and verse.

Recent DNA evidence and further analysis points to Delilah being the daughter of Samuel Porter, son of John Porter the immigrant and patriot soldier. As soon as more information is collected a now Porter post will appear here.
This lineage is not correct!!

1. Diane Kelly Weintraub

2. Francis Patrick " Pat" Kelly
1916 - 2007
3. Virginia Williams, that's Mom, living and loving it!

4. John Lee "Lee" Kelly 1892 - 1969
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller Kelly 1894 - 1985

8. Francis Patrick Kelly 1854 - 1923
9. Christiana Eckhart 1861 - 1932
18. John Eckhart 1831 - 1917
19. Mary Myers Eckhart 1837 - 1909
36. Jacob Eckhart 1801 - 1835/6
37. Delilah Porter 1812 - 1881
This couple were both born and died in Eckhart, Allegany, Maryland.
After Jacob's death Delilah married James Anderson (1818 - after 1860) who came from Grays landing, Pennsylvania, but was in the area after 1845. You'll notice that Delilah and Jacob Eckhart's daughter, Rachael, married Basil Anderson, but we're not certain exactly how all of these Anderson people fit in.
They had the following children:
18. John Eckhart 1831 - 1917, who married first Mary Myers, and when she died, married Rebecca O'Brien.
Rachael Eckhart 1829 - 1895. She married Basil Anderson.

OK, sports fans, here's where we take a leap of faith. Mom and I have worked long and hard on the problem of Delilah Porter's parents and I did a blog post about how we both reached the same conclusion. We did it using a published genealogy by Samuel Doak Porter, "A genealogy of the Porter family of Maryland, West Virginia, Michigan." He cites his sources and they include three known books about this line and other lesser know sources, many of them are old bibles held by descendants as well as personal family records. He did a fine job but as you'll notice we're back in the earliest years of the 1800s and before. Memories fade, records of births were kept at home, if they were kept at all, and primary source documentation... well, good luck with that! There are big holes in the Porter family tree as you can see by the chart below.


The hand drawn chart of the Porters from Samuel Doak Porter's book with all of the Josiah's highlight. The Andersons came in on one line and that helped solidify the connection from Delilah to her probable brother Josiah, and then back in through the generations.
So here's what we have penciled in for Delilah Porter. We're basing this on the premise that the Josiah Porter named in Jacob Eckhart's will as guardian for their children was the much respected Josiah Porter and Delilah's brother, as would have been the custom. You might notice that there are no numbers with these names and that's because they are "penciled in" pending further proof. They get a number when we're sure they belong to us:)

Gabriel McKenzie Porter (1776 - 1842)
Rebecca Frost (1174 - 1813)
Gabriel's second wife was Sarah Jane Anderson (1771 - 1863). See there's another Anderson connection right there! It looks like she might have first been married to Samuel Porter, and I'm not sure which Samuel Porter that was but it looks like it was Gabriel's brother, see below.
Gabriel was born in Carrollton, Baltimore, Maryland as were so many other Porters from this era. But then they moved to the western part of the state. Rebecca Frost comes from the family for whom Frostburg is named.
Gabriel and Rebecca had a bunch of kids and I have to tell you right here that Delilah is not named as one of them. So let's skip naming them, shall we?

John Anderson Porter Sr. (1737 - 1810)
Nancy Ann McKenzie (1741 -1786)
It's this John Porter who served in the Revolutionary War and is buried at Rose Meadow Cemetery, also called the Old Porter Cemetery, photo below. John and Nancy had about eight children: Mary (1765 - 1765), Michael (1768 - 1826), Samuel (1770 - 1828),  Thomas (1772 - 1854), Gabriel McKenzie Porter (1776 - 1842), Moses (1780 - 1861), John M. "Squire Jack" Porter (1783 - 1863), see painting below, and Elizabeth Eleanor (1785 - 1855).

Below are the maps of the Allegany County Military lots (in sections, as screen shots)
in which you can see those assigned to men named Porter.
(Map courtesy Evergreen Heritage Center.)

Grave of John Anderson Porter Sr. (1737 - 1810)
Old Porter Cemetery

John Porter Sr. (1694 - 1776)
Elinor Durier (1692 - 1778)
Both of these people were born in Gloucester, England. It is commonly said that John Sr. was a Jaccobite, and "made himself obnoxious" to the King George I. He landed on these shores in Carrollton, Maryland where his children were born and raised. Not much is known about the children, except for John Jr. who took land in the western part of the state. They also might have had children named Samuel, Henry, Josiah, and Michal plus two girls who are unnamed... but take that with a grain of salt.

The Old Porter Cemetery on Rose Meadow, Allegany County, Maryland.
View from the Porter land at Rose Meadow.
John M. "Squire Jack" Porter, as painted by Frank Maxwell Mayer,
on the porch of his house at Rose Meadow.
Squire Jack served in the War of 1812.

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  1. Hi Diane, I get the same Porter headache! Here's a glimpse of my husband's Porters:

    1850 MD Allegany
    Porter, George W., 37
    ", Margt, 23
    ", Harriet, 18
    ", John, 8
    ", Jos, 5
    ", Henry, 2
    ", Eliza 1/6

    1860 MD Allegany Co., District 4 M653-456, page 249
    JONES, William D., 32, 1827 Wales
    " , Margaret, 33 1826
    PORTER, John T., 18, 1841, MD
    " Joseph, 15, 1844, MD
    " Henry, 12, 1847, MD
    " Eliza, 10, 1849, MD
    " Mary, 7, 1852, MD
    " Ruth, 6, 1853, MD
    " Sarah E., 4, 1855, MD
    " Amelia, 2, 1857, MD

    Eliza Porter McFadyen was my husband's great-grandmother.

    Cathy Palm

    1. Hi Cathy- Email me if you get a chance:)

  2. I am getting a headache on the porters as well! My great grandmother was grace porter, daughter of james henry porter son of william thomas porter, son of john porter the III. i am trying to get a pdf copy of that genealogy book. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  3. Porter here as well and so confusing with all the John and Moses's. My Grandmother's dad was Alexander Porter who's dad was John Porter (died) 1884, his dad was Moses (died) 1861 then his dad and Grandfather were john JR and Sr then Thomas Porter (died) 1754.Have been searching for a long time for this side of the family as Alexander Porter died fairly early into his marriage and left little history with my Grandmother.

  4. Im looking for the George Thomas Porter (1840-1892)& Mother : Mary Catherine Burton (1849-1924) They were the parents of Charles Harvey Porter (1889-1974) Charles was my husbands Great grandfather. He married Ida May Carpenter, they had only one child before she passed in 1915. Vera Marie (Porter)Ingram (1913-1997)