Reckley Family

(This page is under construction.)

Maria Catharina Bollinger (Bolinger) was born Aug. 1, 1813 in Walheim, Wurtemberg, Germany, so she would have been 13 years old when the family emigrated to the U.S. in 1827.  (See letter dated Sept. 14, 1994 from Otto Klein.)  In 1832, when she would have been about 19, she married Everhart Reckley.  An item in the The Mail of Hagerstown, Nov. 16, 1832, reported “In Green Castle, on Sunday last, by the Rev. J. Reck, Mr. Everhart Reckley, to Miss Catharine Bolinger, both of this place.”

Everhart had emigrated to the U.S. two years earlier in 1830.  According to his naturalization records, he was born in Wurtemberg in 1807, so he would have been about 23 when he emigrated and 25 when he married Mary Catharine.

Mary Catherine Bolinger Reckley.  Married Everhart Reckley, Nov. 11, 1832.  Photo courtesy of Pauline Reckley Brown, Clearville, PA.
Everhart Reckley.  Born 1807, married to Mary Catherine Bolinger Nov. 11, 1832.  Photo courtesy of Pauline Reckley Brown, Clearville, PA.

According to the 1840 Census, the family at that time consisted of two adults, who would have been Everhart, age 33 by then, and Mary Catherine, age 27.  There were already four children, according to the census, two boys who would have been John Jacob, about 6 years, and Charles D., between two and three years old and two girls, Mary Elizabeth, about 7, and Malinda, an infant.

According to the National Archives and Records Administration, from 1790 to 1840, in the decennial censuses, slaves were noted statistically under the head of the household.  The 1840 Census lists seven slaves in the Reckley household: one male under 10, two males ages 10-23, one male between 36 and 54 years of age, one female under 10, one female 10-23, and one 24-35.  Judging from their ages, it appears that the slaves may have made up one family.  Out of 30 households on that page of the Census, the Reckley family was the only one with slaves.  Why this was the case is not clear.  In the later censuses, Everhart was listed as a farmer.  Was his farm so much larger than the other properties in the area that he needed extra workers?  Even by the 1850 Census, for which there are no statistics for slaves, his oldest son, John Jacob, was still only 16, which might have left the farm shorthanded.

According to a Wikipedia article on slavery in Maryland, it began in 1642 but large-scale importation of Africans began in earnest in the 1690s after improved economic conditions in England reduced the number of indentured servants.  As the labor-intensive tobacco economy became dominant, Maryland developed into a slave society and by 1755, 40% of the population was black.  Slaveholders were even prohibited from voluntarily manumitting their slaves without legislative permission.  Methodists were opposed to slavery on Christian grounds as were the Quakers.  In the mid-1790s they formed the Maryland Society of the Abolition of Slavery and by 1796 obtained the repeal of the law prohibiting manumission of slaves.  “Responding to Methodist and Quaker persuasion, as well as revolutionary ideals and lower labor needs, in the first two decades after the [Revolutionary] war, a number of slaveholders freed their slaves.  By the time of the Civil War, 49.1% of Maryland blacks were free, including most of the large black population of Baltimore.”  Records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church list the baptism of Everhart and Mary Catherine’s son John Jacob on April 21, 1835 as well as their attending German language communion on Dec. 11, 1836.  How much they might have been influenced by the anti-slavery movement is unknown.  And the 1850 and 1860 Censuses did not tally the number of slaves.

Their children appear to have been the following:

  1. Mary Elizabeth Reckley Arnold

From Find A Grave we have her date of birth as Aug. 24, 1833 and date of death as Jan. 30, 1917 (age 83) in Bloomington, McLean Co., Illinois.  Her grave marker shows her husband as Richard Arnold.  The 1850 Census shows her as 17 and living with her parents but no longer there in the 1860 Census.

2. John Jacob Reckley

Find A Grave has his year of birth as 1834, which is consistent with the age of 16 as listed in the 1850 Census, when he is still living with his parents.  He was no longer listed with them in 1860.  Find A Grave also provides his death of death as Nov. 29, 1902, when he would have been between 67 and 68 and that he was buried in the Reckley Cemetery in Oldtown.

3. Charles D. Reckley

Find A Grave provides his year of birth as Aug. 15, 1837, which is consistent with his age of 13 when he is listed with his parents in the 1850 Census.  He was still living with them as of the 1860 Census at age 23.  Find A Grave also gives his date of death as Aug. 4, 1903 at age 65 and that he is buried in Green Mount Cemetery, Cumberland, Maryland.

4. Malinda Reckley Hartley

The Reckley’s fourth child was Malinda, born April 7, 1840, according to Find A Grave.  Malinda was 10 years old according to the 1850 Census when she was living with her parents but she was no longer there as of the 1860 Census.  Her grave stone lists her as the wife of Riley Hartley.  She was buried in the Hartley Cemetery in Oldtown, Alleghany County, Maryland, having died May 29, 1914 at age 74.

5. Catherine Reckley

Find A Grave helpfully gives Catherine’s date of birth as September 1842, which is consistent with her being 7 years old as of the 1850 Census and 18 as of the 1860 Census, both of which have her living with her parents.  She appears no longer to be there as of the 1870 Census.  She is buried in the German Lutheran Cemetery, Cumberland, Maryland, having died June 14, 1912, age 69.  Find A Grave reproduces an obituary about her listing three sons and three daughters plus two brothers and four sisters.

6. Uphesemia (Elle?) Reckley

The 1850 and 1860 Censuses list a child by the name of Uphesemia (spelling?), probably born in 1845 because her age is given as 5 as of the 1850 Census and 15 in 1860.  She is no longer listed as living with the family in the 1870 Census.  She is not referred to in Find A Grave’s listings for her parents.  Ancestry’s interpretation of the 1870 Census for the family lists an Elle Reckley, age 25, as living in the family, which would have had her born in 1845 also.  Could Uphesemia and Elle be the same person?

7. Casper Reckley

The 1850 Census lists a Casper Reckley, aged two years, in the household of Everhart and Mary Catherine.  So he would have been born in 1848.  His name does not appear in the 1860 Census, when he would have been 12, which suggests that he died before then.

8. William Reckley

The 1860 Census lists William, age 8, so he would have been born in 1852.  Ancestry’s interpretation of the 1870 Census lists a “Wm”, age 18, as part of the family, so that would be consistent with with the 1860 listing.

9. J.R. Reckley

Ancestry’s interpretation of the 1870 Census is that the Reckley household included a 14-year-old “J.R.” Reckley, so he would have been born about 1856.

10. Nettie “Laura” (Claretta?) Reckley Edwards

Find A Grave lists her as born March 1861 and deceased Jan. 20, 1917 at age 56 having been married to William Albert Edwards.  She was buried in the Underwood Chris-Zada Cemetery, Underwood, Skamania County, Washington.  But Ancestry’s interpretation of the 1870 Census lists a Claretta Reckley, age 9.  So Claretta would have been born around 1861.  Are Niettie “Laura” and Claretta the same person?

Grave Markers for Mary Catherine Bolinger and Everhart Reckley


Grave marker for Mary Catherine Bolinger Reckley. She died Nov. 15, 1893, age 80. Her marker reads: “I keep in Jesus blessed sleep, From which none ever wake to weep, A calm and undisturbed repose, Unbroken by the last of foes.”  Photo courtesy of Pauline Reckley Brown.
Grave site of Everhart Reckley. He died Oct. 6, 1881 (as closely as can be read), age 73.  The marker reads, “Not last, blest thought, But gone before, When we shall meet, To part no more.”  Photo courtesy of Pauline Reckley Brown.


Reckley farm. Photo courtesy of Pauline Reckley Brown.  It was probably taken in 1999.
Pauline Reckley Brown, who provided this photo of the Reckley farmhouse, said, in a letter dated April 13, 2000, that “the house is the house Everhart built. It still has the original wood floors and log walls. The window to the right of the front door is where one of his sons scratched his initials and a date on the outside.”  She said that the farm is at Reckley Flats, Oldtown, Maryland.  The photo was taken in November 1999.
Reckley cemetery. Photo taken probably in 1999. In the distance, according to Pauline Reckley Brown, you can see the back of the Reckley house.