Monday, March 30, 2015

Mathias Wisner: Of Maryland Not Of Pennsylvania (52 Ancestors #12)

Mathias Wisner was my fifth great grandfather. And another good mystery! There is a lot of information floating around about Mathias Wisner. A lot of confusing and contradictory information. Here is what I have been able to prove, and a bit of reasonable conclusion, I will leave the speculation to others.

Mathias first shows up in Baltimore MD in 1770 when he has a plot of land surveyed. He is mentioned in the book "The Wisner's in America" as the "progenitor of the Palatinate family." Settling in Baltimore County. By this I suspect that he immigrated from Germany as an adult, sometime prior to 1770. Mathias received his patent in October of 1774 for a piece of property known as Wisner's Prospect.

He married Sarah Mannon sometime before 1775. It is listed on Find A Grave, and other public places around the old genealogical 'hood, that their first child was born in 1775. I have found no documentation to support this and there is not an actual grave marker or cemetery listed on FAG, just a memorial page. I have treated this as a bit of information that requires further investigation.

I have found no evidence of Mathias' actual birth date or birth place, however it is reasonable to conclude that he was born sometime between 1740 and 1750. Certainly no later. His wife is said to have been born about 1748 by other researchers, I have found no proof of this to date.

There is a record of Mathias paying a supply tax in 1783, which has earned him a spot on the Daughters of the American Revolution's roster an a new patriot. (Ancestor #A210952). Curiously, he is listed as having an unknown wife prior to marrying Sarah (who has been recorded by the DAR as Mathias' second wife). The woman who submitted the initial information for Mathias did not supply this information, so currently it is a mystery as to where the DAR unearthed it.

Mathias shows up in the 1790, 1810 and 1820 Federal Census. I was very sad to read that in 1790 he had one slave in his household. Thankfully he came to his senses, as by 1810 he no longer was a slaveholder. This part of our history is just appalling to me.

In 1816 Mathias wrote his Last Will and Testament, which was presented for probate Feb 26, 1823.

Mathias' exact date of death is unknown, or at least unproved. There is a date floating around, but I have yet to discover it's accuracy.

It is said that he is buried in the family plot on Wisner's Prospect.

This Mathias Wisner is often confused with a Mathias Wisner who immigrated to Pennsylvania from Germany in 1752. The Pennsylvania Mathias Wisner has been well documented as living the remainder of his life in PA. There should be no confusion, but the rumor still persists.

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