Josiah M. Porter

Josiah M. Porter

Male 1799 - 1880  (81 years)

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  • Name Josiah M. Porter 
    Born 1 Oct 1799  Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 7 Nov 1880  Claysville, Allegany County. Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • From Cumberland Times transcription:

      PORTER 15 Nov 1880 Josiah Porter died 07 Nov 1880 at his home in Eckhart. He was born 01 Oct. 1799, and was 81 years, one month and 6 days of age. He was born and died at the "Porter Settlement". From 1830-1840, he was disburser of appointments for the National Road. He was also a pioneer in the shipping of coal to the East via the Potomac flatboat system.

      The following excerpt is from John Marshall Porter's "Sketches of Maryland Porters", circa 1976. Scott Carter Williams brought it to the attenetion of Michael A. McKenzie in 2018.

      Josiah Porter... "Grandpap Si'

      As anyone who has Samuel D. Porter's genealogy can note, Grandpap Si was the son of Gabriel Porter and Rebecca Frost. Gabriel was a brother of the Samuel, who was father of John, who was the father of the Michigan Porters. So we learn that John and Grandpap Si were first cousins.

      All that I am writing about these early Porter ancestors comes form what Frank Porter wrote, and what I learned from my father. Gabriel had other sons and daughters, but I know of no account of their descendants such as was kept of Grandpap Si. Squire Mike and Grandpap Si were first cousins, and we shall learn that intermarriage of close relationship took place between some of their descendants.

      Grandpap Si married first, Mary Margaret Combs, who became mother of his first nine children. His second wife, Sarah was a daughter of his first cousin, Souire Mike. Sarah, whom he married in 1836 bore him twelve children over the next twenty five.years...three of whom died in infancy. In total, Grandpap Si was father of 21 children.

      Grandpap Si lived on a farm adjoining Rose Meadows which he rented from a mining company. It did not come into ownership of Porters until more than a century later when around 1930 three of his grandsons purchased it from the coal company that was selling their holdings in that area. Since then, Marshall Robert bought the shares of his brothers, and is now sole owner. He is nearly 80, and is still living there and farming the land.

      Grandpap Si and his sons mined coal from under the farm, paying a royalty to the coal company who owned the land. Much of that coal was hauled to Cumberland in wagons. There it was loaded on rafts that were built on the
      low tides of the Potomac River. The rafts were made from slim tree trunks, bound together with cables and ropes to make a flat platform about 30 x 30 feet. The coal was hauled to the river over the old National Pike by horse and ox teams, in wagons during summer, and sleds in winter. There it was loaded on the rafts whiFsei held around 50 tons. When the snow melted and spring rains came, the river arose to near flood stage, and the raft was ready to be unleashed from its moorings. Then four to six young, strong, fearless men loaded provisions of food and clothing and bedding, climbed aboard vrith only long poles to guide the cargo down the swift, treacherous waters of the Potomac to Washington. If they delivered the raft and coal intact to the destination, they received the money for it. Then they walked back to the farm near Frostburg, a distance of 150 miles. But it wasn't always that easy.

      I have heard my father say, and he knew only what he had heard from Grandpap Si and others, that many times those rafts would flounder on rocks in the middle of the river when the water current would recede. The raftsmen would have to abandon their cargo, and wade ashore and walk home in wet clothing with no money for the coal. Also, there were many raft loads of coal that would be washed ashore on a gravel bar that could not be moved back into the current, and had to be abandoned by the raftsmen. Then there were the rafts loaded with coal that would be torn apart by unseen rocks in the river. The coal would be lost, and the raftsmen barely escaping with their lives...and not all of them escaped with their lives. Some of these raftsmen drowned in the swift current. Others died of exposure when they were forced into the icy water. If they reached the shore, they didn't have a dry match to start a fire and they perished in their wet clothing.

      Rafting could be done only under treacherous conditions, when the water was deep enough to carry the rafts above the rocky river bed.

      The C&O canal, that ran from Cumberland, Md. to Georgetown, near Washington was completed and ready for transportation in 1850. That ended the rafting on the Potomac. After that coal was hauled to Cumberland and loaded on canal boats.

      Grandpap Si was a devoutly religious man, from all I have heard of him. Frank Porter spoke of him as "One of the few Saints of earth I have known." My father said he would not let one of his men nor horses work on Sunday nor Christmas. But that on New Years day, unless it fell on Sunday, he wanted every man and team to be working... a sort of omen or superstition that, if he began the New Year making some money it would be a prosperous year for him.

      It seems apparent that Grandpap Si's children, 15 of whom were girls married one by one until most of them were scattered and gone from the farm when his younger son M.M.T. (Doc.) Porter began taking over the management of the farm that had been home of the large family. Grandpap Si died in 1880. He is buried in the Porter graveyard, just up on the hill above the farm he spent his life on.

      I can find no dates of the deaths of either of his wives, Mary Ellen Combs and Sarah Porter.

      He died on 7 Nov 1880 at the age of 81 in Eckhart, Allegany Co., Maryland. Phyllis Rosley, in a note dated May 16, 2012, offers this information:

      Josiah Porter, "Grandpap Si" was the s/o Gabriel McKenzie Porter and
      Rebecca Frost was born Oct. 1, 1799 and died Nov. 7, 1882 (sic: 1880).
      He married first, Aug. 1, 1822, Mary Margaret Combs. She is the d/o John
      Combs and Mary Margaret Trimble and was born May 3, 1803. They had 9
      children. Josiah married, second, Oct. 4, 1836/37, Sarah Porter. She is the d/o Michael Porter and Elizabeth Devore, and was born Aug. 1, 1816. They had 12 children.

      Josiah Porter, "Grandpa Si", was the son of Gabriel McKenzie Porter and
      Rebecca Frost. He was twice married and was the father of 21 childre
      was first married to Mary Margaret Combs, b 1803. His second wife was Sarah Porter, born 1816 and daughter Michael R. Porter, "Squire Mike", and
      Elizabeth Devore b Aug. 19, 1816 d. Dec. 8, 1870. Buried Porter Cem., Eckhart Mines, Md. It is through Josiah's offspring, with his second wife, that the Carter family began marrying into the Porter family and two families soon became inter-twined. Children of the first marriage to Mary Margaret Combs are: John Wesley, b 1823 d. 1883; Rebecca b 1824; Sophia b 1825; Margaret Emily, b 1827; Gabriel, b 1830; Elisha, b 1832; Eleanor, b 1834; Helen; and Nancy Porter.

      He was buried in Porter Cemetery, Eckhart, Allegany Co., Maryland.
    Person ID I01452  McKenzie Genealogy
    Last Modified 17 Dec 2018 

    Father Gabriel McKenzie Porter,   b. 17 Sep 1776, Carrollton, Baltimore County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Apr 1842, Tinsman Station, Fayette County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Rebecca Frost,   b. 1774, Frostburg, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1813, Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 11 May 1797  Mt. Savage, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F00364  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Mary Margaret Combs,   b. 3 May 1803, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1836, Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 32 years) 
    Married 3 Aug 1822  Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Helen Porter,   d. UNKNOWN  [natural]
     2. John Wesley Porter,   b. 23 Apr 1821, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Aug 1883, Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)  [natural]
     3. Rebecca Porter,   b. 1 Oct 1824, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Mar 1900, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)  [natural]
     4. Sophia Porter,   b. 11 Dec 1825, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1880 and 1890, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years)  [natural]
     5. Margaret Emily Porter,   b. 22 Sep 1827, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 May 1910, Frostburg, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)  [natural]
     6. Gabriel Porter,   b. 6 Feb 1830, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Mar 1882  (Age 52 years)  [natural]
     7. Elisha Porter,   b. 28 Jan 1832, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Jan 1915  (Age 83 years)  [natural]
     8. Eleanor (Ellen) Porter,   b. 15 Jun 1833, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Jan 1915, Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)  [natural]
     9. Nancy Porter,   b. 1836,   d. UNKNOWN  [natural]
    Last Modified 17 Dec 2018 
    Family ID F00782  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Sarah Porter,   b. 19 Aug 1816, Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Dec 1870, Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years) 
    Married 10 Oct 1837  Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Elizabeth Porter,   b. 11 Dec 1837, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1890, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 54 years)  [natural]
     2. Mary Jane Porter,   b. 10 Jul 1839, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Aug 1903, Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)  [natural]
     3. Maria Porter,   b. 25 Oct 1842, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Dec 1907, Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years)  [natural]
     4. Josiah M. (Little "Si") Porter,   b. 25 Jan 1848, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jul 1918, Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)  [natural]
     5. Catherine Porter,   b. 10 May 1849, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Feb 1881, Frostburg, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 31 years)  [natural]
     6. Harriett Porter,   b. 30 May 1851, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Apr 1910, Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years)  [natural]
     7. Mary Porter,   b. 16 Oct 1852, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Oct 1854  (Age 2 years)  [natural]
     8. Louise Porter,   b. 27 Oct 1853, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1860  (Age 6 years)  [natural]
     9. Caroline Porter,   b. 27 Oct 1853, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. UNKNOWN  [natural]
     10. Matilda Porter,   b. 17 Jun 1855, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jun 1927, Eckhart, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)  [natural]
     11. Morris Miller Townsend Porter,   b. 30 May 1857, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Mar 1912, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years)  [natural]
     12. William Andrew Porter,   b. 20 Aug 1861, Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Dec 1890  (Age 29 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 17 Dec 2018 
    Family ID F00783  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Photo of Josiah M. Porter (b. 1799)
    Photo of Josiah M. Porter (b. 1799)

    Documents
    News Article - Porter Family
    News Article - Porter Family
    Josiah M. Porter's (b. 1799) Distribution to Hiers
    Josiah M. Porter's (b. 1799) Distribution to Hiers
    "Maryland Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939X-5PD1-1?cc=1542664&wc=34K9-BZY%3A83663101%2C100531601%2C118270301 : 20 May 2014), Allegany > P > Porter, Josiah (P239) > image 7 of 12; county courts, Maryland.

    Headstones
    Gravestone of Josiah H. Porter (b. 1799)
    Gravestone of Josiah H. Porter (b. 1799)


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