Sunday, March 18, 2012

Matthias Ried on the Doomed Schooner Nora

Another mystery has been uncovered regarding the Ried family.  This one surrrounds the death of  Matthias of Conshohocken.  I have had his death date and obituary for a while now, but could never figure out why he had died in Anglesea NJ, now North Wildwood.  I surmized that he most likely died while on a day trip to the shore either from drowning or possibly a heart attack.  I never thought I'd find that he was a victim of one of the biggest tragedies of the day.

The day was July 29th 1906 and it began when Matthias took a train to the Jersey Shore for a Sunday of fishing.  This was a popular outting for men from the Philadelphia area.  However, on this Sunday he would have been better to stay in Conshohocken.  The crew and passengers (33 total) set out on a beautiful Sunday morning to a popular fishing spot off the coast.  About noon the weather began to change and the captain decided to bring the schooner in early.  At about one o'clock, the schooner traveled over Hereford  Bar, which was said to be unavoidable.
From the annual report of the United States Life-Saving Service

 "In the words of a survivor describing the accident, the sloop while passing over the bar " suddenly veered, swung around, wallowed for a moment in the trough of the sea, then turned completely over, snapping off her mast like a pipe stem."

At about 1:15PM, H. S. Ludlam, of Hereford Inlet Station was alerted to the wreck.  Within ten minutes he had a rescue boat in the water and was on the way to the wreck.  Along the way, he aided men who were swimming for shore.  Unfortunately, not all the men could be saved some being trapped beneath the Nora.  The rescue was also hampered by the rough seas.  Not long in the day after the tradegy of the Nora occured, another boat, the Alva B., was coming into shore on the same path and it too capsized, sadly another life was lost in that wreck.


Below is a postcard that was printed in rememberance of the tradegy of the Nora

The postcard reads:
"Beaching and turning the wreck of "Nora" Anglesea, N. J. (Capt Herbert Shivers) which was capsized by a heavy sea while crossing Hereford Bar on her way shoreward from the fishing banks Sunday July 29th, 1906.  She carried thirty-two passengers nine of whom were drowned, the remaining number being saved by the strenuous and heroic efforts of Capt S. H. Ludlam  of the U.S. Life Saving Station and his volunteer crew."
 The tradegy of July 29, 1906 was front page news in newspapers across the country.  And in a day where communication was not instantaneous, reporters claimed deaths of all different numbers and at least one even indicated that there were sharks at the scene.  Unfortunately, Matthias Ried's name was not listed among the dead in the stories I have seen.  There is an "unknown man" listed, I believe this is Matthias.  His name does appear in the account from the United States Life-Saving Service's annual report.  You can read the entire report at Once on the webpage just scroll down to the report from July 29, 1906.

I have a little more research to do on this tragedy and will follow up this post when more information is found.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

John M. Carson, Sr. and Abraham Lincoln

Yes, I couldn't believe it either, but there was the proof waiting to be found on the Library of Congresses website - John Miller Carson, Sr. had cooresponded with the Honorable Abe Lincoln the year prior to Lincoln becoming President.  Of course, that may not be a big feat, but why did Lincoln ever hold on to the letter so that we may read it today?  That answer may come after a bit more research.

A little information..................It's 1860 and Lincoln is running for President of the United States.  John Carson,a newspaper reporter living in Philadelphia, wants to see Lincoln elected to office.  This sets a plan into motion.  Carson believes that he can aid Lincoln in winning the election by persuading his readers to send votes Lincoln's way (approxiametly 150 to 200.)  Of course, this doesn't come without a price.  Carson propositions Lincoln, if elected, that he shall assign Carson a position in "the Custom House, Post Office, or some other department of executive control."   Pretty gutsy for a 24 year old! 

Follow this link to read the entire 4 page letter.

In The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 4 by Abraham Lincoln (link below) Lincoln

The following link will take you to a page from The Washington Times (May 27, 1905) that has an article and photo featuring John M. Carson, Sr. (about age 67)

John Miller Carson Sr.  did go on to work for the goverment and presidents such as McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.  He twice served as President of the Gridiron Club, nicknamed the "Father of the Gridiron Club" and credited with naming the club. 

"John M. Carson, of the Philadelphia Ledger, began his career as a local reporter on Forney's Pennsylvanian, entered the Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania volunteers in 1861 as lieutenant, and rose to captain. After the war he resumed journalism, in 1873, coming to Washington as editor of the National Republican, A year later he became assistant, and soon after chief of the New York Times bureau, which he resigned in 1884, retaining his connection with the Ledger."  He was also a news coorespondent for the Philadelphia Public Ledger.  He became the chief of the Washington Post bureau and then delved into politics being elected as the Chief of the Bureau of Manufacturings of the American Department of Commerce and Labor in 1905 under President T. Roosevelt.  He earned $4,000 for this job.
JM Carson, Sr. passed in 1912, his wife in 1932.  John Miller Carson Sr. and his wife Anna Lavinia Miller Carson are buried in Arlington National Cemetery."

Researching Civil War Pension Files in Washington DC

This is my favorite genealogy research:
Retrieving The Pension File

I have been to Washington DC many times for pension records. It's very easy to do although it sounds like a lot of work. Here are my tips for what they're worth.

1. If you can go and would need to stay over because of travel distance try finding a hotel deal on There are always good deals for DC.

2. You can drive in and park, but there really is no street parking post 911. You can park at Union Station and then use the Metro or park outside the city off 295 at one of the Metro stations and use the Metro system - it's wonderful. Just make sure that you check their website for all of their current information. Of course there are many parking lots available, but less in the archives area.

3. Make sure to read the information on the National Archives website as it relates to genealogy research. They are very strict as to what you can take into the research room.

4. Plan on spending, at the minimum, a few hours to research because after you request a record it will take an hour to pull. You can leave and come back.  No records are pulled on Saturdays.

5. When you arrive at the archives you will go through metal detectors, you will sign in and be given a researchers badge.

6. There are lockers for your things. The lockers cost a quarter, but the quarter is returned after you remove your things.

7. You will need a researcher's card. This is a photo ID card that gives you access to the research room. This takes a little extra time to get, but not a big deal. It is good for 1 year.

8. There is access to and Fold3 within the facility. Also many other resources are available while there (check their website for a complete listing.)

9. There are always helpful staff available to answer questions.

10. Once you have your ID you can put in your request for files. I think there is a limit of 4 per pull (check their website) The pulls are approximately once an hour except around lunch time.

11. You will want to make copies. There is a cashier who can take care of loading a swipe card that you will use for the machine. I think copies are about 15-25 cents each. Some of the files are large, so be prepared. Also take note as to the hours the cashier is available. You don't want to get caught without copy money.

12. When it's time to view your record you go to the research room, be sure you know what you can and can't take in.  They have scrap paper and pencils for you to use.

13. Once in the research room you will go to the desk and ask for your file. You will receive one at a time. This is where the real fun begins.

14. Go through the file carefully. If it’s an invalid file there will most likely be information from a doctor regarding the injury of the pensioner. There will be family information regarding children's names and birth dates, marriage information, etc. If it's a widow's pension you will find the same information, but there are usually court documents in which the widow had to get witnesses to prove that she and the soldier were married and that she has not remarried since his death. Widows would have relatives, neighbors, and friends testify. There can also be letters from the soldier included, but I have only seen these in a mother's pension file. You just never know what you'll find. I have found original death certificates and marriage certificates as well.

15. If possible have someone else make copies for you so you can go through the file and get the copies done quickly so you don't hold up a machine. My husband always makes my copies. On that note - be sure to double check what you've copied since this trip may not happen again.

16. Collect your things and have them checked before leaving the research room.

17. You can head back down stairs and enjoy the day.

18. Enjoy DC it's an amazing city and there are many things to do for free. The archives are only a block off the National Mall and a few blocks from the White House. It's fairly centrally located to all the major attractions. If you have good walking shoes don't worry about using the Metro.

As a side note - there is a cafe in the National Archives building where you can relax and grab a bite to eat or a caffeine fix.

Also bring a good city map. It's an easy city to get around.  I would also recommend the DAR library for genealogy research while in the city.  They have a great amount of family history books in their library.

I hope this is helpful. It is very worth seeing and touching these file for yourself. Yes, you can have someone else do this for you, but the archives employees do not know what you know and may not copy every piece of paper necessary to your research. If at all possible, go to DC yourself.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Karl (Charles) M. Ried's German Origins

Karl M. Ried  (1827-1862) from Germany to the States

We already know that Karl Ried is the father of Matthias Ried of Conshohocken, Pa., but what we haven't learned yet are his origins.

Karl M. Ried was born in Langen, Steinbach am Durlach, Baden, Germany August 7, 1827.  He was the son of Matheus Ried born June 25, 1797 and Magdalena Denninger born November 6, 1798 both of Langensteinbach, Baden, Germany.  Today this is Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

A Church in Langensteinbach, Baden

Matheus Ried, born June 25, 1797, was the son of Friederich Ried and Elisabetha Raulch (birth dates unknown at this time.)  Magdalena Denninger born November 6, 1798 was the daughter of Adam Friedrich Denninger and Maria Catharina Knab (birth dates unknown at this time.)  You'll notice that many of the family names such as Matthias, Charles Matthias, Wilhelmina, Magdalena, and Friedrich repeat throughout the Ried family generations.

Karl M. Ried's Siblings

Parents, Matheus Ried (b.1797) and Magdalena Denninger (b.1798) had several children all born and christened in Langensteinbach, Baden, Germany.

Their known children are:
Magdalena b. 1817
Elisabetha b. 1819
Katharina b. 1821
Margaretha b. 1824
Karl  M. b. 1827 (more below)
Anna Maria b. 1830
Juliana b. 1833
Jakob b. 1838

Karl (Charles) M. Ried's Children (The Lumberton, NJ Family)

Karl M. Ried and Wilhelmina Bischoff had five children.  After the civil war battle death of Karl, Wilhelmina raised them on her own.  While alive, Karl was a shoemaker.  Some of his sons continued the family business owning their own shoe manufacturing company in Lumberton, NJ.  Following Karl's death, Wilhelmina received a widow's pension from the government.  She seems to have always lived in her own home with the exception of her last years.

Children of Karl (Charles) M. Ried and Wilhelmina Bischoff are:

1. Edmund Friedrich Ried   b. 1851
2. Henry William Ried         b. 1853
3. Matthias Ried                 b. 1855
4. Wilhelmina Ried              b. 1857
5. Charles M.                     b. 1860

More on the siblings

1. Edmund Friedrich Ried (1851-1898), first child of Karl M. and Wilhelmina Ried, married Anna Maria Karge and the couple had 8 children.  This family lived in the Lumberton/Mt. Holly, NJ area.

From The Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey (Volume 6) by Francis Bazley Lee at
"Edward F., eldest son and child of Charles and Wilhelmina (Bischoff) Ried, was born in Lumberton, New Jersey, May 17, 1851. and died there in 1898. After leaving school he learned the trade of shoemaking and became a practical workman of the days when shoes were made by hand instead of with machines and other modern mechanical appliances. In 1879 he became partner in the firm of F. E. Shinn & Co., manufacturers of shoes, and so continued for two years, when the Lumberton Shoe Company was incorporated and succeeded to the business formerly carried on by the firm of which he was a member. Mr. Ried was a director of the company and actively connected with the operation of its factory for one year, and at the end of that time he established himself in the same line of business under the style of E. F. Ried & Co., continuing the manufacture of shoes until the time of his death. Mr. Ried was an energetic, capable and straightforward business man and his efforts in life were rewarded with gratifying success. A firm Democrat, he served in various capacities, such as township clerk, school trustee, postmaster under President Cleveland's administration, and other offices. He was a member and trustee of the Lutheran church, member of the Junior Order of American Mechanics and also of Mt. Holly Lodge, No. 14, Free and Accepted Masons. In 1872 he married Anna M. Karge, who was born in 1852 and by whom he had eight children:

1. George Frederick, born November 17, 1874.
2. Edward, born October 23, 1876, engaged in business with his elder brother; married Irene Elder, of Lumberton, and has one daughter, Irene Elder Ried.
3. Philip, born March, 1878, merchant of Lumberton: married Sarah A. Amish, of Lumberton, and has one son, Kenneth F. Ried.
4. Anna AL, born 1881, married William J. Oatman, and has two children, Gladys R. and Edward E.      Oatman.
5. Caleb R., born 1884, died 1905; married Anna M. Cobb.
6. Johnson H., born December 26, 1886, lives in Lumberton.
7. Lillian, born May, 1889.
8. Francis W., born 1892."

2. William Henry Ried (1853-1920), second born son of Karl (Charles) M. and Wilhelmina Ried was a doctor or earned a doctorate degree.  His tombstone reads Dr. Henry William Ried (see below)

On one of the census he's listed as Wm H. Ried.

He married Pauline Moser and the couple had four children:
J. Percival, Edward F., Charles, and William Heinrich

I'm still in search of information regarding his doctorate.

3. Matthias Ried (1855-1906) married Mary Ann Little, daughter of Charles W. and Sarah Ann Little.  The couple had 10 children, two are unknown at this time, the others are:
Lillian May, Charles M., Wilhelmina, Mattie, Effie Mabel, Robert Raymond, Florence V., and Almira W.
It is unknown why he was the only sibling to move so far from his family.  I suspect that he met his wife who was born in Philadelphia and then the couple settled in an area where he could start his own barber shop.  Of interest to me is that my King family lived in West Conshohocken and very close to the Rieds in the same time period.  It is most likely that the Kings would have visited the Ried's barber shop.

4. Wilhelmina Ried (1857-1909) married Rev. Johnson Oatman, Jr.  Johnson Oatman was a Reverend, and a singer composer.  Wilhelmina Ried and Johnson Oatman had four children, Charles Percival, Miriam E., Rachel M., and Bertha Cline. 

Online I found this information regarding Johnson Oatman, Jr.

"Johnson Oatman, Jr., son of Johnson and Each el Ann Oatman(sic Rachel), was born near Medford, N. J., April 21, 1856. His father was an excellent singer, and it always delighted the son to sit by his side and hear him sing the songs of the church.

Outside of the usual time spent in the public schools, Mr. Oatman received his education at Herbert's Academy, Princetown, N. J., and the New Jersey Collegiate Institute, Bordentown, N. J. At the age of nineteen he joined the M.E. Church, and a few years later he was granted a license to preach the Gospel, and still later he was regularly ordained by Bishop Merrill. However, Mr. Oatman only serves as a local preacher. "


"This song "Count your Blessings" has long been a well-loved thanksgiving song. Edwin Excell composed the tune for the poem/lyrics written by Johnson Oatman, Jr.

American Hymn-writer Johnson Oatman, Jr.

Rev. Johnson Oatman, Jr. (born in 1856 near Medford, NJ, was an important and prolific Gospel songwriter of the late 19th C. and early 20th C. His father, Johnson Oatman Sr,, was a talented singer and familiarized his son with many church hymns. The younger Oatman joined the Methodist Church at age 19 and years later was ordained to preach in local Methodist congregations. Though primary career was in marketing and business administration, he wrote the lyrics to over 5,000 hymns."

Rev. Johnson Oatman Jr.

On the Internet I found this information regarding their daughter Miriam E.

"Dr. Miriam Eulalie Oatman died. Daughter of Johnson Oatman and Wilhelmina Ried. Author and research worker in Political Science and comprehensive government and administration. Member of the National Woman's Party, League for Individual Political Action, co-director, New Mexico "Little Hoover Community" 1951-1952 (Jim and Daphne Holden notes) She was married to Frederick Frank Blachly on 29 Nov 1914 in Lumberton children Frederick Johnson Oatman Blachly, Charles Howard Blachly, and Rachel Ann (Daphne) Blachly."


"Miriam Oatman was the daughter of Joseph Oatman, Jr. and married Frederick F. Blachly. She was a political scientist and served on the Brookings Institution from 1925 to 1933 and taught political science and economics at the American University Graduate School in the 1930’s, and 1940’s. She also wrote over three hundred hymns and composed the music to several of her father's hymns. "How the Fire Fell" is perhaps the most widely known."

Published "The government and administration of Germany." By Frederick F. Blachly and Miriam E. Oatman. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. 1928. Pp. xiv, 770
"The Government of Oklahoma." By Frederick F. Blachly and Miriam E. Oatman. Oklahoma City: Harlow Publishing Company, 1924. 678 pp.

5. Charles M. Ried (1860-pre 1895) married Anna B. Sommerville.  The couple had 3 children. 
Charles Matthias, Eugene W., and Andreas.  Anna remarried Anthony Hurschler and spent most of her life linging in Trenton, NJ.  Anna and Anthony had a child Jacob Gettler Hurschler.

That concludes this blog.  Soon to come - Information regarding Wilhelmina Bischoff Ried's nativity and Lumberton relatives.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ried Family Origins

After searching for Matthias Ried's parents for years,
finally a breakthrough!

The clue that lead to this discovery was two Philadelphia death certificates for two of Matthias and Mary A. (Little)Ried's children.  Those children, Carles M. and Mattie Ried, are buried in the St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Hainesport, Burlington Co., NJ. The church was established in 1867.

                                  Below is a photo of Charles M. Ried's (1881-1882) tombstone.

The stone has fallen over and is hard to read, but it reads
Charles M.
Son of Matthias and Mary A. Ried
Born March 26 1881
Died March 20 1882
The passage below is not legible

From the Mt. Holly Herald published March 25 1882
"March 20th in West Conshohocken, Pa., Charles M., only son of Matthias and Mary A. Ried aged 11 months and 23 days.  Interred at Lumberton" 

There is another stone close to this one that could be for Mattie Ried, but it is not legible.  The church's records are on where you can see the actual pages as they were recorded in German.  I have searched about 52 pages of the 949 page ledger.  More research is needed.

The owner of the cemetery plot appears to be Wilhelmina (Bischoff) Ried, Matthias' mother.  Further research showed Matthias' father to be Karl (Charles) M. Ried, a victim of the civil war.  Charles M. Ried was killed 27 June 1862 during "the seven days fight" before Richmond, Va.  Charles was 34 years old with 5 children at the time of his death.  He served in Co. H 3rd NJ Infantry.  In a few weeks I'll travel to Washington, DC to the National Archives and take a look at Wilhelmina's widow's pension file.  More information will be gained from that collection of documents.

The following website link will lead you to letters written by Karl (Charles) M. Ried while serving our country during the civil war. Thanks to the Historical Society of NJ and two of Karl (Charles) Ried's granddaughters (Miriam E. Oatman and Rachel A. Oatman Kallen) for donating the letters in the 1960s.
Charles Ried (1827-1862) Papers

The Ried Family is long rooted in the Lumberton
and Burlington Co., NJ area

The 1860 Lumberton, Burlington Co., NJ census lists
Charles READ 33y Shoemaker born in Baden
Wilamina READ 34y born in Baden
Edmond READ 9y born in NJ
Wm H READ 7y born in NJ
Mathias READ 5y born in NJ
Wilamina READ 3y born in NJ

As an adult Matthias Ried (of Conshohocken, Pa.) always lists himself as being born in Ohio.  I have never seen proof of this anywhere.  It is possible that his mother could have traveled to Ohio while pregnant, but further research is needed to substantiate his claim. Follow up note: After acquiring Wilhelmina's widow's pension records I can say that Matthias was born in Ohio as per the reports on the census records.

Karl M. Ried (progenitor) came to America sometime before 1848.  He was naturalized in Philadelphia November 9, 1849 ( and married Wilhelmina Bischoff in the German Lutheran Church in Philadelphia October 7, 1850 ("New Jersey Historical Society Library," Manuscript Collection Manuscript Group #582 Charles Ried Papers (1827-62).

The couple has not been traced in the years between 1850 and 1860, but they appear to be living in NJ by 1851 when their first child, Edmund Friedrich, is born.  I have a feeling that Wilhelmina (Bischoff) Ried had family in the Burlington County area because there are many Bischoffs buried in the St. Pauls's cemetery in Hainesport, NJ.  More to come on the Bischoff Family.

1870 Lumberton, Burlington Co., census lists
Whilamina READ 40y born in Baden
Edmond READ 19y born in NJ works in a shoe factory
Whilamina READ 12y born in NJ attending school
Charles READ 10y born in NJ attending school

I'm not able to locate Wilhelmina in the 1880 census

The 1885 Lumberton, Burlington Co., NJ census lists
Wilhelmina Ried 20 to 60y age class
resident of Lumberton Female

I'm not able to locate Wilhelmina in the 1900 census

Wilhelmina died Feb 22 1903 at the age of 77 years old.
Her death is recorded in German in the records of St. Paul's church.

Her name is not legible on her tombstone, but her birth and death dates are

Wilhelmina Ried
Born March 25 1826
Died February 22 1903

Published in the Mount Holly Herald
"Feb. 22nd at Riverside Wilhelmina Ried age 77 years.  Interred at Hainesport."

Matthias Ried of West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

I have seen Matthias Ried's (of West Conshohocken, Pa.) name in St. Paul's church records between January 1871 and 1873.  I will search the records further; however, on the 1900 census it's recorded that he and Mary A. (Little) Ried were married for 25years which would put their marriage at about 1875.  He may have been living in Philadelphia after 1873.  I can not find him on the 1870 census, but I think he was probably apprenticing with a barber due to the fact that he became a barber and would have needed to learn his skill from someone in the business.  In 1870, his brother, William Henry Ried, is working as a servant at the home of a physician. Later William becomes a physician.

The first record of Matthias Ried and family is on the 1880 West Conshohocken, Montgomery Co., Pa. census
Mathew REED 25y barber born in Ohio parents born in Baden
Mary REED 24y wife born in Pa.
Lilly REED 3y daughter born in Pa.
Minie REED 1y daughter born in Pa.
1900 West Conshohocken, Montgomery Co., Pa. census lists
Living on Josephine Avenue
Matthias REID 44y b. Aug 1855 44y  married 25y born in Ohio parents born in Germany occup: barber
Mary 43y b. Oct 1854 had 10 children/6 living born in Pa. parents born in Pa.
Lillie 23y  occup: Mender Mill
Minnie 21y occup: __?___Mill
Effie 13y at school
Robert 11y at school
Florence 8y at school
Almira 7y at school
Matthias died before the next census on July 29, 1906 at Anglesea, NJ.
His obituary was published on line at by a Little family member.

1910 West Conshohocken, Montgomery Co., Pa. census lists
Living on Josephine Avenue

Mary A. REED 55y widowed  born in Pa
Robert REED 21y son born in Pa occup: Barber
Flora REED 18 y daughter born in Pa occup: (can't read it)
1920 Conshohocken Montgomery Co., Pa. census lists
R Robert RIED 31y  b. Pa father b. Ohio mother b. Pa. married occup: Barber
C Anna RIED 29y wife
C Robert RIED 7y son
A Ruth RIED 6y daughter
L Mary RIED 65y mother
R Florence Shillady 27y sister

1930 Norristown, Montgomery Co., Pa census lists
Andrew KINSELLA 45y born in Pa parents born in Pa.
Florence KINSELLA 38y born in Pa father b. Ohio mother b. Pa
Mary RIED 75y widowed born in Pa  parents born in Pa

I have not come across Mary Ried's death date, but will visit the cemetery where she is buried soon.

Please follow the next blog posting
for a continuation of the story and  
Karl (Charles) M. Ried's German roots