Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Whetstone Lots

Mom, who is 95 and still pretty actively doing genealogy, told me a long while back about the Whetstone Lots or Farm marked on some map. I've kept it in mind as I stumble around. It would be pretty cool to find the location of my 4rd great grandfather's military lots awarded after the American Revolution!

His name was Jacob Whetstone Sr. (1738 - 1833) and there's a brief re-cap of his life on an message board for the Whetstone Surname that goes something like this:

He was a Captain and listed in the Blue Book of Schuylkill Co. as Cpt Jacob Weitstein. On Aug 7, 1777 mustered under Colonel Daniel Hunter of Oley and was on duty around Philadelphia, participating in the battle of Germantown under General Washington. The return roster is given as containing 49 men, 8 officers and includes:
1st Co. Captain Jacob Wetstein and also Ens. Henry Wetstein, his brother. It also notes that the descendents of this family spell their name as Whetstone.

You can even read a post from Lois Flyte who is writing a soon to be published book about this family that pretty much sums up the confusion about Jacob's descendant. Ms. Flyte wrote in 2000:

Capt. Jacob Whetstone of Berks Co., Pa., did not have the son who married Elizabeth Studebaker. Jacob Sr.'s son Jacob Jr. married Christina Frantz of Bedford Co., Pa., then returned to Brunswick Twp., had more children there and eventually moved to Allegany Co., Md.
Jacob Whetstone who married Elizabeth Studebaker is most likely the son of Christian Whetstone of Woodbury Twp., Bedford Co., Pa. There has been much confusion over these two men. I am the one writing the book on the Whetstones, have spent over 25 years researching these families, and there are many errors in the ancestry of the various Whetstone lines.

"There has been much confusion over these two men", writes Ms. Flyte about the two Jacob Whetstones who eventually inhabited the area near Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The other Jacob Whetstone married an Elizabeth Studebaker, as Ms. Flyte reported. But our guy married Christiana Frantz, to be sure!

Now here comes the real confusion. Some past DAR application had been approved based on a book about the Studebaker family showing Jacob's marriage to Elizabeth Studebaker. Yikes. That clogged up the whole process for anyone who wanted to claim membership based on a connection to our Jacob. Today there were seven members declaring the Studebaker Jacob their Revolutionary War ancestor! What a mess! Strangely, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution seem to get it right.

But what of the Whetstone Lots? Let's get you caught up. You can read my Surname Saturday post about the Whetstone line here.

Can you see the old map of Military Lots of Garrett County, Maryland, just above? It's dark, I know, but that's how it is in reality. This map was completed about 1874, as marked on the full map which you can see below.
Can you see the nice stream running down through the property? That's Buffalo Run and must have been very good for crops. Then in the lower image above and on the right past Blooming Rose, there is a large river, The Great Youghiogheny. The Yough was dammed up in the last century to work as a reservoir. Towns, villages, cemeteries and old home places are now long gone and under water.
File:USACE Youghiogheny Lake and Dam.jpg
The Youghiogheny River Dam.
(Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons)

There's never been any confusion on our part about which Jacob Whetstone was in the Revolution. We know the geography of this place, where ancestors lived and worked. We know where Blooming Rose is and where Selbysport, Garrett, Maryland is and was.

I think it was this Whetstone Lots taken together as a case study that drove out any and all doubt I might have had about Whetstone confusion and showed me once again how important geography is when researching family history. How could those Steudebaker descendants say they came from Captain Jacob Whetstone? I guess they didn't stop to think of where his land was located.

Garrett County, Maryland, Military Lots Map

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  1. I was wondering if you had info on the location of Whetstone lots in Garrett County? I can trace my family line to Jacob Whetstone and live in Tucker County and would like to visit the lot area if possible.

    1. Good question that I've also been trying to answer! From the features on the map above and using Blooming Rose as well as the terrain, the last time I visited Mom we took a shot at finding it. No luck. I guess that it might be possible to check and search on the Archived section there in search of some of the Whetstone men selling those lots in what's now Garrett County. The deeds would most likely use the Lot No.'s and that would help.