John Warnick and Martha "Patsey" (Wilson)
John Warnick was born about 1788 in what is now Garrett County, MD, son of Joseph Warnick and Sarah. On September 25, 1810, he married Martha "Patsey" Wilson who was born about 1789.
John and Patsey owned a Bible in which the birth dates of their children and other key dates were written. The Bible, now very fragile with portions of some pages missing, is preserved by their descendants. Their children: Samuel Warnick (6/28/1811-?), Sarah Warnick (9/3/1812-?), Harriet Warnick (6/11/1814-?), Joseph Warnick (11/4/1815-1890), William Warnick (5/21/1817-?), Rebecca Warnick (4/10/1819-4/3/1833), Rhoda Warnick (?-7/16/1841), Jane Warnick (10/22/1822-?), Isabella Warnick (2/2/1824-11/19/1894), John Warnick (7/29/1826-1855 or 1856), Andrew Jackson "Squire" or "Jacky" Warnick (8/29/1828-9/21/1901), Martha Warnick (3/31/1830-?),and Rachel Warnick (6/29/1832-?).
John was involved in several land transactions while he was still a young man. From 1813 to 1815 John purchased various interests in land that today is part of Westernport, Maryland. He sold his interests in 1816 for a small profit.
A particularly curious transaction was his purchase in 1817 of 420 acres from his father Joseph for $800. In January 1818, John sold these same parcels back to his father, also for $800.
On April 15, 1818, John purchased from Daniel McIntosh 168 acres bordering on the Potomac in Hampshire County, Virginia (now West Virginia). On November 22, 1819, John purchased a 50 acre Maryland Miliatary Lot 68 from Daniel McIntosh for $100. This is the land that he settled upon and is marked on ancient maps as "Warnocks Farm." As reported in a 1938 newspaper article by Garrett County's most prominent historian of that time, John Warnick settled on "Warnick's farm," near the Potomac and about two miles below Chestnut Grove.
This property is also about two miles south of John's parents' home on Big Savage Mountain. These two miles cover some of the most rugged country in Maryland. Today, the area between the two Warnick settlements includes the massive pulp and paper manufacturing facilities of Westvaco, which opened in the 1880s. Since John Warnick's days, the area has been transformed by a huge industry which has employed and continues to employ dozens of John's descendants.
John Warnick must have been a prominent citizen of the Bloomington area for he was chosen as one of five "Trustees of the Union Meeting House at Mouth of Savage River." John Templeman owned 2+ acres in Bloomington which he agreed to donate to the inhabitants of the community for a meetinghouse and a graveyard. A deed was drawn up and signed on January 24, 1824, but it stipulated the condition that John Warnick and the other four trustees must complete the meetinghouse in 18 months.
The trustees not only failed to record the deed, but they also did not complete the meetinghouse to Templeman's satisfaction, so Templeman drew up a second deed wherein he spelled out what was to be done to finish the building. The floor was to be tongue and grooved, the door and windows were to be finished and a flight of stairs and benches were to be installed. Templeman allowed another 18 months for this work to be completed. This deed was recorded on October 11, 1828.
In those days, schools were organized and paid for by the voluntary contributions of time and money by local citizens. In 1828 the voters of Allegany County, which then included present-day Garrett County, defeated by a vote of more than 4 to 1 a proposition to establish county primary schools. Thus, private arrangements like that involving John Warnick and Templeman were the only place children could be educated.
The Bloomington historian of the 1970s noted that the cemetery mentioned in Templeman's deed was given to the people of Bloomington, but any church or school has faded from memory. The suggestion was made, however, that the building was the "old store adjacent to Mrs. Edith Beard" which was still standing in 1976.
Under circumstances which cannot be understood from the meager records surviving at the Cumberland Courthouse, John Warnick and George Smarr filed suit against Templeman. Warnick and Smarr apparently had a valid claim, but Templeman died before the case was tried. Templeman left "a large real estate," so Warnick and Smarr petitioned the court to sell the real estate to raise the amount due. Legal notices were published in the newspaper "The Cumberland Civilian" several times in 1835.
Over the years John was named in a number of estates, either as a recipient of moneys or as an administrator. In 1822 John received a payment from the estate of Patrick Hamill (father of the Maryland congressman of the same name) and in 1824 John received a payment from the estate of William Sigler. We know nothing of the circumstances that led up to these payments. In 1835 John was the administrator of the complicated estate of John Morrison which was not completely settled until there had been ten separate accountings spread over ten years. Later, John was the administrator of the estates of Ebenezer Davis and Daniel Cresap.
John Warnick also had a distinguished career as a part-time jurist. He was appointed justice of the peace in 1828, reappointed in 1829 and 1830, appointed magistrate in 1836, and appointed a justice of the District Court in 1840 from Allegany County District No. 1. Two other men were appointed justices from District No. 1 in 1840. One of these was Meshach Browning, famous hunter and, later, author. In his memoirs, Browning stated that the purpose of the appointment was "to assess the taxable property of Allegany County." Browning indicated that he and the "two other gentlemen" spent a significant amount of time away from home while they were involved with the assessment. "After the assessments were made, we hired a competent clerk to make out our books for the Levy Court."
In 1828 John and Patsey had their eleventh child and Andrew Jackson was running for president of the United States. John left a permanent record of his feelings about the election by naming his new son Andrew Jackson Warnick.
John Warnick died on April 25, 1857 without having made a will. At the time of his death he owed large sums of money to several creditors, mostly his children or other relatives. The debts were incurred within the last few years of John's life, suggesting, perhaps, that John was borrowing money to sustain himself during a prolonged illness. John also had large land holdings. Getting the estate sorted out required 10 years of legal maneuvering which is recorded in 20 pages of text in Equity Case 1359 at the Allegany County Courthouse. Surviving John were 11 children and his widow. Perhaps it was the practice of the day, but the widow was mentioned only once and then by an acquaintance giving a deposition. She apparently got no real estate as the children forced a sale and distributed the property among themselves. By the time the case was finally settled, Patsey would have only a few years to live.
John's debts included $200 to his son-in-law Thomas Bernard recorded in an 1854 note; $100 to the same son-in-law recorded in an 1855 note; $400 to his son Samuel recorded in an 1856 note; $100 to his son Samuel recorded in an 1854 note; $46.57 to his son Joseph recorded in an 1854 note; $92.75 again to his son Joseph recorded in 1853; $184.42 to William Warnick (his son?): and another $100 to Samuel recorded in a note that had changed hands.
John Warnick's property was sold at public auction in Cumberland on August 27, 1864. Here is what was sold: "Onion Patch" containing 100 acres (sold for $705) which had once belonged to his father Joseph; one half interest in "Inskip Resurvey" containing 167 7/8 acres; and "Warnicks Resurvey" containing 342 acres. Together the latter two parcels brought $1,725 at the auction. Soon after the sale the highest bidders sold the lands to Patrick Hamill. After the debts and expenses were paid, John's 10 surviving children each received $47.15. and the three children of the younger John Warnick (since deceased) split the same amount between them.
Patsey made her will on June 2, 1867. In her will she named her grandson Joseph W. Warnick as the principal recipient of her estate. Patsey's will reads as follows:
I, Patsy Warnack of Allegany County in the State of Maryland, being feeble in body, but sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, do hereby publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following. That is to say, after my debts and funeral charges are paid.
I give and bequeath unto Randolph Warnick (Son of Jos W. Warnick) one feather Bed and Bedding, and one cow. The balance of my property that may be on hand at my death, Bed, Bedding, household or Kitchen property, cattle. hogs, farming utensils, in fact all property of any description that may belong to me at the time of my decease, I give and bequeath unto Joseph W. Warnack, my Grand Son, it may seem out of order but I here give my reasons for so doing. The said Joseph William Warnack, my Grand Son, has been to me a kind and obedient boy, and done all he could for my comfort and is well entitled to what little property of mine that may be on hand at the time of my death, what is here set over to Randolph Warnick, excepted.
In Testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand(?) and Seal this 2nd day of June 1867.
Grandson Joseph W. Warnick and three witnesses appeared before the Registrar on May 18, 1869, to testify that the will was valid.
I have compiled information about thousands of descendants of John Warnick and Patsey. The second edition of my book, Warnick Families of Western Maryland (535 pages, 1995) is available at the Genealogical Society of Allegany County, the library of Allegany College, and the Library of Congress. My collection of information about the western Maryland Warnick family is in a constant state of refinement. Since the second edition was issued, extensive new information has been obtained about four children of John Warnick and Patsey who moved away from western Maryland: Samuel Warnick, Jane (Warnick) McGirr, Martha (Warnick) Hannaman Coe, and Rachel (Warnick) Benedum. Several people from across the country and Canada knowledgeable about these families saw various postings about my work on the Warnick family and graciously filled in missing pieces of the Warnick family tree. Inquiries about western Maryland Warnick families are welcome.
This page was revised January 13, 1999.Walt Warnick's Western Maryland Family History Home Page