Ole Larson's Folks

I am still pursuing the elusive parents of Philip and Lawrence Myers, who immigrated from the Rhine region of Germany (with Philip and Lawrence, and possibly other children) in the 1760’s, and settled in Frederick County, Maryland. Not much progress so far.

As you may recall, accounts of Philip and Lawrence from the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania (where the two “removed” after the Revolutionary War), mention two more brothers, Michael and Henry. No other siblings are mentioned, but that does not prove that none existed. The parents are alluded to, but their names are absent.

Anyway, I took a thorough look at an abstract of newspaper articles from Frederick County.

TitleUnfortunately, that is a misprint; the beginning date of volume 1 is actually 1786. Volume 2 covers 1799-1805. Unfortunate, because the years just after 1768 may have contained references to Philip and Lawrence, who by 1786 were already war veterans living in Pennsylvania. Of course, it is likely that newspapers did not exist in western Maryland prior to that year, or that no earlier copies have survived.

So, all I really could look for were Henry and Michael. I also checked for Valentin Myers, possible name of the father, but found nothing that seemed plausible.

Now, Myers (alt. Meyer, Meier, etc.) is a pretty common name, so there may have been several individuals named Henry and Michael Myers (or alt. spelling) in Frederick county. With that caveat in mind, I compiled all references to Michael(s) and Henry(s) I found in these abstracts,  excluding a couple of unlikely ones from Hagerstown (as opposed to Frederick Town). Here are the more interesting entries:

Nov. 22, 1797: “Michael Myers, 2 miles from Creager’s Town, Hunting Creek, Fred. co., selling waggons [sic] of all dimensions.”  This is quite a good one, since it gives the location of this Michael Myers’ residence. From that clue, I may be able to find land records containing more clues.

Jul. 24, 1802: “Levy Court of Fred co. ‘turned out of office’ a long list of officials appointed the previous year; new appointments in their stead: Supervisors: … Michael Myers …” So now we have a Michael Myers established as a county official. There are several other official appointments of this or another Michael Myers.

Jan. 21, 1803: “Appointments … Justice of the Peace: … Michael Myer” [one of 22 names]

May 27, 1803: “Supervisors of Roads appointed for Fred. co. … Mich. Myers” [one of 47 names]

Jan. 4, 1804: “Appointed Justices of the Peace … Michael Meyer” [one of 33 names]

May 4, 1804: “Commissioners have laid out county into nine election districts (boundaries described) – … Michael Myers …” [one of 4 names – names of commissioners??]

Nov. 15, 1805 : “Michael Myers adm. of Frederick Kahrn, Fred co.” [‘adm:’ administrator of estate]

While there is no evidence that all these are the same person, the various spellings of the name do not necessarily indicate they were different people either, given the absence of any spelling uniformity in those days. What the abstracts do provide are tantalizing clues that may lead to further, more important discoveries.

There are only a couple of references to Henry Myers, but the first one is definitely a “skeleton in the closet:”

Aug. 2, 1796: “Henry Myers, Fred Town, cautions persons from trusting his wife, Catherine Myers, on his account, as he is determined not to pay any debts of her contracting.” Oooo – domestic strife. And  in the very next issue:

Aug. 10, 1796: “Kitty Myers, Fred Town, answers aspersions cast on her conduct by recent item by Mr. Myers.” Those two articles may not be likely to contain more clues for me, but I would like to read them, just for the scandal value. Finally,

Dec. 30, 1801: “Names of persons, not residents of said co, who are chargeable for 1801 tax on land in Allegany co. (names of tracts and numbers on lots given): … Henry Myers …” That could be another potential land record to search for.

Viewing these microfilms may require a trip to the Maryland Historical Society, but just maybe I can get the articles copied and sent to me. Stay tuned.

Fugitive Fowl
Michael Myers of Frederick County, part 1