Somerset County MDGenWeb

Reece Narrative

Nick Dann, the contributor of this information, was searching MDGenWeb and found some marriage data pertaining to Henry R. Judah and Mary J. Reece, his 3rd great grandparents.

He thought others might be interested in this narrative by an unknown Reece (nephew of Mary J. Reece) that was included in a package of genealogical information obtained from the Judah family.

Mr. Dann says, "There's probably no way to authenticate this, never-the-less it reflects many known facts, and I find it fascinating. I would hope that by publishing it someone could possibly shed further light on the Reece's, and perhaps identify this unknown Reece. (I've had a query posted re this on a surname message board for some time with no hits!)"

The following narrative written by unknown Reece was included as a part of the Judah Genealogy:

In 1800 A.D. in Somerset County, Maryland near "Princess Anna" the county seat, was the home (on an 800 acre farm) of Capt. Thomas White and his wife Nancy. He was the son of an English gentleman, while his wife was of Scotch parentage. There were eight children; four girls and four boys. Louisa was my mother. Here is grandfather's home was my birthplace. About twelve miles distance, about the same time, lived a Mr. Reece, an Episcopalian minister. He had two children; a boy Joshua and a girl Mary, who later married a Mr. Judah and lived after her marriage in New York.

Joshua the boy developed a fondness for the water and was soon the Master of one of the vessels plying on the Chesapeake Bay, of which he became so familiar that for may years he was chosen by the government to locate and replace buoys and other marks of navigation. Capt. Reece, as he was called at the age of 21, met and married Louisa -- my mother. So great and minute was his knowledge of the Bay that he was selected as pilot by the government in the movement of the Flotilla during the Civil War. He died in 1867.

I was born Nov. 4, 1830. My brother Joshua was born July 1832. Brother Henry was accidentally killed when twelve years of age. My only sister, Mary, born in 1824 constituted my family and parents. My brother Joe settled in New York and for a long period was employed by the firm A. T. Stewart & Co. as a European purchaser of choice goods and later as a Sub. Editor on the Journal of Commerce, New York and after Editor of U. S. Economist, a Dry Goods paper published in New York.

USGenWeb's Maryland State Coordinator, Carol Askey, has come up with this synopsis of the relationship of the people mentioned in the narrative:

Thomas and Nancy (?) White
4 sons, 4 daughters - only included name is Lousia White (mother of author)

Mr. Reece (Episcopal minister) - 2 children
Joshua Reece
Mary Reece who married a Mr. Judah and removed to New York.

These two families lived 12 miles from each other in Somerset Co., MD

Capt. Joshua Reece married Lousia White - appear to have 4 children Mary born 1824
author born 4 Nov 1830
Joshua born 1832
Henry died at age 12, no birth date given

Joe appears to be a nickname for Joshua.

This additional information was subsequently received from the submitter:

November 5, 2001

To: MDGenWeb
From: Nick Dann (

I received two responses from the Reece Narrative posted on the MDGenWeb, Somerset County, Letters and Written Artifacts.

The first came from Todd White, first cousin, 4 times removed, of Louisa White, mother of the unknown author.

"Louisa White was the daughter of Thomas White and Ann Wright (although the narrative says the mother's name was Nancy, and it seems the author should know his own grandmother's name). Louisa was the second of eight children, (4 boys, 4 girls, verified in the narrative). They were

Sarah Elen S. White (1798)
Louisa White (1800)
Mary Ann White (1801)
Thomas Gowan White (1804)
Levin Curtis White (1806)
Silas White (1808)
Rebecca E. White (1810)
James White (1812)

There are four children listed For the marriage of Joshua Reece and Louisa White, but without birthdates to determine order. They were

Joshua Reece
Mary Ann Reece
Thomas Reece
Henry Judah Reece

Thomas would appear to be the unknown Reece. Most of our family information was compiled by an aunt who has since departed. Another aunt organized it all, and the rest of us are gathering what we can, where we can.

The family of Joshua Reece and Louisa White is the only instance we have found of Reeces marrying into the Whites, and is the only instance of Reece's we have found in that time in that part of Maryland. We have no record of what became of the Reece children of the marriage (except learning yesterday that Henry died at 12 years old).

Louisa White's father, Captain Thomas White, was one of nine children of Thomas and Mary (maiden name unknown) White. The Whites were well established in Dames Quarter, dating back to 1666 and possibly among the original settlers that arrived in 1634.

Louisa's great grandfather, William White was married to Mary Wright, of the same family that was her (Louisa's) mother, Ann (Nancy) Wright. There were several large and established families by 1800, and most had married into each other's families by then.

One of Louisa's brother's, Levin Curtis White, married his first cousin, Eliza Prettyman White. There are two other instances of cousins marrying, but separated by several generations."

The second response came from Hubert Ruark White, Jr., M.D.

"Louisa White, who married Joshua Reece on 8 APR 1824 was the sister of my paternal great grandfather, James White. Incidentally, the author was Thomas White Reece who was born 4 NOV 1830 and actually was one of six children.

The following information was obtained from family bibles by Ailsa White Fulton, who was the great granddaughter of Capt. Thomas Patrick White. Ailsa compiled this data prior to her death in 1970.

Capt. Thomas White was born 25 APR 1773 and died on 7 NOV 1836 at the White Homestead, Big Monie (pronounced Mo-ny') Creek in Somerset County, Maryland. On 25 JAN 1798 he married Nancy Ann Wright who was the daughter of Gowan and Helen Wright. Nancy was born on 4 JUN 1768 and died on 29 AUG 1842. She is also buried at the White Homestead. They actually had nine children, as follows:

1) Sarah Helen Staples White - Born 2 NOV 1798, Died 24 NOV 1869
2) Louisa White - Born 14 FEB 1800, Died ?
3) Mary Anne White - Born 7 DEC 1801, Died ?
4) Thomas Gowan White - Born 30 MAR 1804, Died 2 SEP 1865
5) Levin Curtis White - Born 16 FEB 1806, Died 19 AUG 1857
6) Silas White - Born 30 JAN 1808, Died 7 APR 1878
7) Rebecca Elizabeth White - Born 3 FEB 1810, Died 15 NOV 1866
8) James White (my paternal great grandfather) - Born 5 AUG 1812, Died 10 OCT 1886
9) Ann Wright White - Born 10 JUN 1827 when her mother was 59! Her birth is entered in the Wright Bible but apparently lived only a brief period, since she is not mentioned in her mother's Will, dated 1840, while the other 8 children are.

On 8 APR 1824, Louisa White married Joshua Reece, who date of birth was 4 FEB 1803. They subsequently had 6 children: Twin girls Mary Anne Margaret and Elizabeth Sarah were born on 7 MAR 1825. Apparently Elizabeth lived only briefly. Virginia Helen was born on 10 JUN 1829 and died on 3 OCT 1837 at age 8. Thomas White Reece, the author of the narrative, was born 4 NOV 1830 and Joshua Reece on 12 DEC 1832. Henry Raymond Judah Reece was born on 19 NOV 1834 and died at age 15 (not 12) on 30 JUN 1849. It seems that his parents named him after their daughter's husband."

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