Following my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors.
✻ ✻ ✻ ✻ ✻
The Slave Name Roll Project page can be found on
Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees
✻ ✻ ✻ ✻ ✻
While researching my Rupp emigrant who came to America in 1752 I found the names of several slaves owned by his grandson Adam Shower in 1833. How did Adam come to own slaves?
His father Johannes Schauer, also known as John Shower(s), made his last will and testament on 2 June 1802. It was sworn to in open court on 21 March 1810 in Baltimore County, Maryland.
Releasing the names of Nell, Hannah, and Harry
I also will and bequeath to my said wife two Negroes, namely Nell and Hannah.
In the inventory of the estate of John Shower of Baltimore County, Maryland, dated 31 March 1810 the following slaves were named:
1 negro boy named Harry about 7 years old 145.00
1 negro woman named Hannah abt. 17 yrs. old 200.00
Nell and Hannah were given to John’s wife per his will. No further information was given to identify them. In the inventory we see Harry and Hannah. Is Hannah the same person in the 1802 will and the 1810 inventory? She would have been 9 years old at the time the will was written. Harry being only 7 in 1810 was not yet born in 1802. Was Nell the mother of Hannah and Harry? Did Nell die between 1803-1810, perhaps after the birth of Harry?
In 1810 Mary Shower, the widow of John Shower and daughter of my immigrant ancestor Johann Jacob Rupp (aka Jacob Rupe), was found in the census with only one slave in her household. The slave was under 25 years of age. Was this Hannah age 17?
In 1833 Mary Shower died intestate. The inventory of her estate included one slave:
One negro woman named Hannah about 35 years old, a slave for life 125.00
Hannah may be the same person in the 1802 will of John Shower, the 1810 inventory of John Shower, and the 1833 inventory of Mary Shower. There is however a slight difference in age. Hannah was born about 1793 per the 1810 inventory and about 1798 per the 1833 inventory.
Questions remain: What happened to Nell after the 1802 will was written, to Harry after the 1810 inventory, and to Hannah after the 1833 inventory?
© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.