Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Union Methodist Episcopal Church, Washington, DC

I have been trying for YEARS to track down information on this church.  My 2 great grandmother (Mary Ann Tinkler) was a member and she married my 2 great grandfather (Thomas Henry Smith) in this church.  Also, their two children (Ida May Smith and Samuel Thomas Smith) were christened in the church.  The only info I had been able to find was the marriage and christening data, and that was spread out over time.  Efforts to locate photos of the church were unfruitful.  Efforts to see if the church still existed were unfruitful.

Today I hit the jackpot, after all these years!  I found 3 photos online!!!  Doing the happy dance!

The plaque in the first photo and the engraving in the third photo confirm this is the building I have been looking for!  The building is now on the George Washington University grounds and is called Building XX.

The first plaque provided information on what happened to the congregation, showing them uniting with the Concordia Church in 1975.  Googling that church took me to the website of the United Church where they state: "The United Church represents a union of three traditions - the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, and German heritage."

The plaque in the first photo also states that the church was used as a hospital in 1862 and then in 1863 was used as a shelter for the Union Army.  Thomas Henry Smith joined the Union Army from New York and was stationed in DC, according to his obituary which I posted two days ago).   Perhaps this is how / where they met?

I am hoping my email to them this evening proves out I have at last tracked them down.  I can only hope they still maintain the records from the old church.

My hope is that I can find out more information on my 2great grandmother Mary Ann Tinkler Smith and hopefully her parents, Samuel and Hannah Ann Riggles Padgett Tinkler.  I do know they are buried in Oak Hill cemetery, their bodies being moved there from an unknown location in 1859.

So, that is my excitement for today!  Woot!!!  Here's hoping more information is forthcoming!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Where we've lived

I couldn't figure out how to insert pictures, so did links instead.  

Residences of John & Reba Herren & family

1942                          1906 Sherwood Ave                            Baltimore, MD

1942                          6836 Harford Rd.                                  Baltimore, MD

1944                          229 Linden Ave.                                   Dayton, OH

1945                          3435 Sixth Street                                   Baltimore, MD
                                  Carolyn born while living here
                                  It is the door to the left of the awning, the red car is parked in 
                                  front of it

1946                          5007 Kramme Ave.                              Baltimore, MD
                                  Elaine and Shirley born while here

1949                          703 Newport News Ave.                      Hampton, VA
                                  Lois born while here

1950                          1313 Sycamore                                    Elsmere, Wilmington, DE

1950                          1906 Sherwood Ave.                           Baltimore, MD
                                   (see link above)

1951                          1216 Woodbourne Ave.                      Baltimore, MD 
                                  (w/Rose, Henry & Judy Wharry)
                                   I believe it's the one on the right with the red awnings

                                  1906 Sherwood Ave.                           Baltimore, MD

1951, Aug.                 2306 1/2 Bowser (9 mo.)                      Ft. Wayne, IN
                                    looks like this one has been torn down

1952, May                 4211 Allendorf Dr. (20 mo.)                  Cincinnati, OH
                                   not sure if this is the actual building that we lived in or if these 
                                   have replaced what was there

1954, Jan.                  1200 Melrose Ave. (9 mo.)                   Norwood, OH
                                    I could not find a picture for this one.

1954, Sept.                511 Paradrome Ave. (9 mo.)               Mt. Adams, Cincinnati,                                        I could not find a picture for this one                                  OH
1955, June                 3802 Isabella Ave. (12 mo.)                 Cincinnati, OH

1956, June                 near E. L. Krause in Kents Store            Bybee, VA
                                  (5 mo.)
I have a photo somewhere on my computer but can't find it right now.  Still working on organizing files.

1956                          Hauptstrasse 58 (7 mo.)                       Bitburg, Germany       
1957                          Apt. 33-F-2,   (2 yrs., 2 mo.)                  Bitburg, Germany
1959                          3 Granella St.                                       Hampton, VA  
(9/2/59 - 12/19/68)
These are no longer there.

1968                          18 Meadowbrook Dr.                          Hampton, VA
                                  (12/19/68 – 4/19/85)

1985                          Rte. 1, 66B; Rte 1, 985                          Farmville, Cumberland 
                                                                                                 County, VA 23901
1001 River Rd. 
(same house, just changes to mailing address)    
Somewhere I have a picture of this house.  I will insert it when I find it.                             

Yes, we moved around a lot!  That's what happens to military families.  :) 

I hope you enjoyed browsing!

Thomas Henry Smith 1835 - 1926

Thomas Henry Smith
1835 - 1926

Photos are from private family collection, graciously shared.

Thomas Henry Smith was born October 14, 1835 in Kandy, Ceylon, to Sgt. Thomas Henry Smith and Elizabeth Mary Butcher Smith.  He was the youngest of 5 children, two boys and 3 girls:   Mary Isabella, Sydney John, Frances Lenetta, Martha Ann and Thomas Henry.  Sydney and Martha both died and are buried in Ceylon, as was their father, who died in 1838.

Elizabeth and her 3 surviving children, Mary, Frances and Thomas, would have returned to England.  I can find no records so far of them from 1838 until their arrival in New York in 1849.

According to census records, he is living in New York with his mother in the 1850 and 1860 Federal census records and is also listed in the 1855 New York State census, also with his mother.  In 1855 his occupation is sailor and in 1860 his occupation is listed as boatman.  In 1850, at age 14, he has no occupation listed.

His obituary states that he came to Washington, DC during the Civil War to work in the Commissary Department.  The war ended in April, 1865 and he married Mary Ann Tinkler June 20, 1865 at the Union Methodist Episcopal Church.  This implies that they met during the war, possibly in connection with his job in the commissary department.  Mary Ann’s occupation during the war was as a huckster (a retailer of small articles, especially a peddler of fruits and vegetables) at the 24 Western and 379 Centre markets (according to city directories during the war years).  Check out my post of September 12, 2018 for updates on thoughts of how they may have met.

Thomas and Mary Ann had two children, Ida May, born March 30, 1867 and Samuel Thomas, born March 27, 1869. 

Following are city directory entries for where they lived and worked.  None of the residences are still in existence, unfortunately.

Mary Ann died January 5, 1887 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Thomas died November 3, 1926 and is also buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Their Find a Grave memorial numbers are 55103164 and 55103144 respectively.  I do not have death certificates for either one.

I still have lots more research to do, but at least I am making progress!

From Washington, DC city directories, accessed on

Year    Home Address                      Work Address                       Occupation               

1867    332 18th w                               24 west mkt                             huckster, produce
1868    332 18th nw                                                                             huckster
1870    923 18th nw                                                                             huckster
1871    923 18th nw                             c and w mkt                             huckster
1873    923 18th nw                             554 and 555 Center mkt         fruit
1874    923 18th nw                                                                             huckster
1875    923 18th nw                                                                             huckster
1876    923 18th                                         Westn mkt                               huckster
1877    923 18th nw                             24K Street mkt                        huckster
1878    923 18th nw                                                                             huckster
1879    1134 18th nw                           46 Westn mkt                          produce
1881    1624 16th nw                           46 Western and 663 Centre mkts  produce
1882                                                    46 Western mkt
1883    1624 16th nw                           46 Western mkt                      produce
1886                                                    18 Western mkt
1887    1624 16th nw                          
1888    1624 16th nw                           6 Riggs and 32 Western mkts            produce
1898                                                    29 Western mkt
1899                                                    106 Western                           produce
1900                                                    106 Western mkt
1901    904 22nd nw                             106 Western mkt                    produce
1904                                                    106 Western mkt
1905    904 22d nw                             106 Western mkt
1910                                                    106 Western mkt
1912    entered John Dickson Home according to obituary               5000 14th St. NW
1917    John Dickson Home               Resident
1921    John Dickson Home               Resident
1922    John Dickson Home               Resident

There are online photos available of the John Dickson Home at the location it occupied at the time Thomas resided there.

Western Market, 21st and K Street, NW  photo taken 1960-1970
accessed 9/10/2018

Center Market as it appeared during the Civil War.  See for a good article.

Possible Civil War Records to check out:

·         Side: Union
·         Location: New York
·         Battle Unit: 43rd Regiment, New York Infantry
·         Function: Infantry
·         Alternate Name: Thomas H./Smith

·         Side: Union
·         Location: Veteran Reserve
·         Battle Unit: Unassigned Veteran Reserve Corps
·         Alternate Name: Thomas H./Smith

·         Side: Union
·         Location: New York
·         Battle Unit: 43rd Regiment, New York Infantry
·         Function: Infantry
·         Alternate Name: Thomas H./Smith

·         Side: Union
·         Location: Other Volunteers
·         Battle Unit: 1st Regiment, US Veteran Volunteer Infantry
·         Function: Infantry

Monday, September 3, 2018

Ceylon (Sri Lanka) birth and burial records

I have finally been able to track down some records for the time that my gggrandfather and his family were in Ceylon.  Thanks to Eileen Hewson at the Kabristan Archives ( I now have this information.  And thanks to my cousin Judy for pointing me to the website!

These are the bits of information I received:

Source St Paul’s Church Kandy register.
Frances daughter of Thomas Smith Corporal HM 58th Regt and Elizabeth Mary his wife 
Born Oct 9 1831 baptised Oct 16 1831 at St Paul’s Kandy
By me Thomas Ireland Colonial Chaplain of the Forces
William Cranfield Sergeant HM 58th Regt
Isabella Baillie
Catherine Stafford

Martha Ann daughter of Thomas Smith Sergeant HM 58th Regt and Elizabeth Mary Smith his wife
Born Oct 24 1833 baptised Nov 3 1833 at St Paul’s Kandy
By me Norman Garstin Colonial Chaplain
Sergeant James Stafford
Mrs Catherine Stafford
Mrs Martha Butcher

NOTE:  Catherine Stafford was a sponsor for both of these children.  Mrs. Martha Butcher could be Elizabeth’s mother.
Bible records have Martha’s death as March 16, 1836 in Colombo, Ceylon.  No online records have been found to confirm this.

St Stephen’s Church Trincomalee Sri Lanka Burials
Sergt Thomas Smith HM 58th Regt aged 36 years
Buried Mar 24 1838

I've done a summary of what I know so far about Thomas Henry Smith 1800-1838,  This information comes from Bible pages and also from the birth-burial records I found online.

Thomas Henry Smith
June 24, 1800 – March 23, 1838

Thomas was born June 24, 1800 in Munden, County Kent, England according to family Bible records kept by his wife.
He married Elizabeth Mary Butcher on April 4, 1827 at St. Paul’s Church, Dublin, Ireland (again from family Bible).  This information is also confirmed in church records viewed online.

Thomas was a member of the 58th Regiment of Foot that was deployed to Ceylon in 1828. 
In 1830, per the death record of Sidney, his rank was Private.
In 1831, per birth record of Frances, his rank was Corporal.
In 1833, per birth record of Martha, his rank was Sargent.
In 1838, per his death record, his rank was Sargent.  His age is listed as 36 years.

Their first child, Mary Isabella, was born April 11, 1828 in Portsmouth, England (family Bible record).
She married Leonard Vessey November 13, 1853 in Washington, DC and died February 4, 1863 in Washington, DC and is interred in Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC.

His second child, Sidney John Smith, was born June 14, 1830 at the Garrison of Colombo, Ceylon and died age 2 months, 22 days.  Bible records have his death date as Sept. 29, 1830 but burial records have him buried Sept. 5, 1830 in Galle Face Burial Ground, Colombo, Ceylon.  The Sept. 5 burial date fits better with the age if the family Bible records birth date is correct.

Frances Lenetta Smith was born October 9, 1831
She married John Meany June 9, 1856 at St. Mark’s Church, New York, New York.
Known as Fanny, she died in Washington, DC February 26, 1870. 

Martha Ann Smith was born October 24, 1833  I found no burial records for her on the Kabristan Archives website.

Thomas Henry Smith, the last child, was born October 14, 1835 in Colombo, Ceylon. He died November 3, 1926 and is interred at Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC.  I did not find any birth records for him on the Kabristan Archives website.