Text    Click for small text size. Click for medium text size. Click for large text size.         Click to share this page.     Click to print the page.   GO »

Shared Story Details

< Return to Search Results

Midwest / Ohio

I am the great-great-granddaughter of a slave owner in MD, Dr. John P. Gilroy. My deceased great-aunt Josephine Richardson wrote of Dr. John P. Gilroy, her great grandfather, his "plantation" in MD, and his owning a few slaves. We have been told that the house at the corner of Bowie Rd & Gilroy Rd in Nanjemoy, MD was John P Gilroy's house. There is a small structure next to the house that we have been told was the slave quarters. Frank Gilroy (9/24/1910 - 3/22/1998) lived in this house with his grand parents, the Hendersons. Now I am living in Cincinnati, OH with my family and I am interested in the URR in Cincinnati, OH. I have read Levi Coffin's "Reminiscences" published in 1898, 1968 and am interested in providing tours of Cincinnati's URR sites using this book. If anyone is interested, I can be reached by email or at 513-662-6456. Dr John P. Gilroy My Great Grandfather, together with his brother (a lawyer) and his sister, left Ireland and came to the United States. The brother was to practice law in New York, the sister was on her way to California and Dr. Gilroy to Charles County Maryland, to practice medicine. He purchased a large tract of land, owned slaves and raised tobacco. Dr. John P. Gilroy appears for the first time on page 176 of the census for the 1st Election District of Charles County, Md. year 1840, as head of a family with his age as 40 to 50, his wife, as 20 to 30, 1 son under 5 years (this would be Charles J. as he would have been around 2 years of age at that time). The next time the Gilroy's appear on the Census is Sept. 1860 and shows his wife, Henney) as head of the household, 46 years of age, and the 3 boys, Charles, 21; John F. 18; Thomas (my Grandfather) 15 and Mary, 10. On the year 1840 Census, it shows that Dr. Gilroy had 3 house slaves, 1 male, 10 to 24 years of age, 1 female, 10 to 24 years of age and 1 female under 10 years of age. I suppose the reason Henney, his wife, was listed as head of the family in Sept. 1860, was caused by Dr. Gilroy being in Wash., D.C. It seems he was either forced, or persuaded, to come here to treat the wounded Union soldiers. The winter that the Potomac River was frozen solid, he became ill and died (he would have been in his 60's). As the only means of getting his body home for burial on the old home place was by boat and boats could not get through (neither could his family get to him), he was buried in Congressional Cemetery, Wash., D.C. The Cemetery's records are so fouled up, they said it would take years to straighten them out and they had no record of his having been buried there. Several members of the family plan to get up a group to go through the Cemetery to see if we can find his grave-site. No small task, since it covers 30 acres. I am checking passenger lists, from 1820 to 1837, on Micro-film at the Archives Building, Pa. Ave., Wash., D.C. to see if I can find when they came to this country and through which port. So far, no luck. This is a long drawn out thing and is quite boring to spend 4 to 5 hours a day, several days a week and come up with nothing. I have checked those on file at the D.A.R. Library, 1776 D St., N.W., Wash., D.C., the Lloyd House on Queen St., Alex, Va, Geneology Section of the Library of Congress, Wash., D.C. to no avail. My investigation is hampered due to the fact that the Old Charles County Court House burned down a long time ago, destroying all records prior to 1879. I am unable to find out just how much land Dr. Gilroy owned as his 2 Great Grandsons and 1 Great-Granddaughter do not know, even though they own the part that was left them by their parents. Dr. Gilroy had to come to this country before 1838 as his first child (Charles J.) his heir, was born around that year. Although I was always told that my Grandfather, Thomas Gilroy, joined up with the Confederate Army at the age of 18, was wounded, placed in a prison in Indiana and after the war was over, had to walk home, which took about a year, and his mother had to nurse him back to health. In searching the records, it was learned that his contained no medical records and no personal information, such as parents or family, only of arrest. The records also show that he joined the Confederate Army as Pvt. in Capt. Wm. I. Rasin's Cav. Co. Winder Cavalry, Maryland Line, at age 18, and appeared on Company Muster-in Roll dated Jan. 20, 1863 at Camp Lee, Va. for training. He had enrolled on Nov. 17, 1862, at Richmond, Va by Capt. B.B. Winder for the period of War. He furnished his own horse which was valued at $230.00. He was assigned to Co.E., 1st Maryland Cavalry. He was 5ft 10in., florid complexion, blue eyes, light hair, occupation farmer, address Charles Co., Md. On May 8, 1863, he was picked up near Carrol, Va.* by United States Picketts and sent to Wheeling, Va* Military Prison (also known as Atheneum Prison) as a Prisoner of War. On May 28th, 1863, Headquarters, Camp Chase, Ohio., issued his release after he swore to and subscribed to the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. The penalty to be death if later found to be in Arms against the United States or aiding or abetting its enemies. He signed this in order to regain his citizenship, which he lost when he signed up as Pvt for the Confederate States of America. It is possible that he rejoined the Confederate Army somewhere on his way home as he refused transportation home upon his release. They kept his horse. I am searching Maryland's Confederate Army Records to see if he did sign up again. A number of them did. *This was before we had a West Virginia


Submitted By:

Patricia Gunn, Ohio,
gunn_pa1950@yahoo.com