Category: Keepers-Women

Keeper Bio: Davis, Ann

Date of Service: 1830-1847 1830:  James Davis (father of Ann Davis), is appointed Principal Keeper at Point Lookout Lighthouse, MD. On September 20th. 1830:  James Davis dies on duty on December 3rd. 1830:  Ann Davis is appointed Principal Keeper at Point Lookout Lighthouse, MD. On December 12th. Her annual salary is $350. 1831:  In a …

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Keeper Bio: Pettigrew, Amy W.

Date of Service: 1882 1853: Amy Wood is born in Edenton, NC., to parents William & Malvine Wood. 1860s: Amy Wood marries Haywood Pettigrew in Edenton, NC. They go on to raise 3 girls. 1870: In the U.S. Census, Amy and Haywood Pettigrew live in Tyrell County, NC. 1882: Amy W. Pettigrew served as Acting …

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Keeper Bio: Parker, Venus

Date of Service: 1912 1862: Born in Virginia approximately 1862. 1870s: Marries William Major Parker. 1886-1912: Lived with her husband, William Major Parker, Principal Keeper at Killock Shoal Lighthouse, VA. 1912: Venus Parker’s husband, William Major Parker died on duty January 22nd at the age of 57. Venus took over his duties of Principal Keeper …

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Keeper Bio: Gray, Araminta

Date of Service: 1822-1823 1822: Bodkin Point Lighthouse, MD is constructed, and John Gray is appointed Principal Keeper in January. 1822: John Gray dies in August. William B. Barney of the fifth U.S. Naval District, recommends that his widow, Araminta, be appointed Principal Keeper. Stephen Pleasonton endorses his letter and then forwards it to President …

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Keeper Bio: Tatham, Rosannah

Date of Service: 1844-1849 1843: Daniel Tatham is appointed Principal Keeper in April at Bodkin Point Lighthouse, MD. His annual salary is $400/year. 1844:  Daniel Tatham passes away in July and his wife, Rosannah, is appointed Principal Keeper at Bodkin Point Lighthouse, MD. Her annual salary is $400/year. 1849: Rosannah Tatham resigns as Principal Keeper …

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Keeper Bio: Elmore, Augusta P.

Date of Service: 1871-1877 1845:  Augusta P. Ashburn is born on June 9 in Virginia 1863: William M. Elmore marries Augusta P. Ashburn in Virginia. 1870: In the 1870 Lighthouse Inspection Report, the inspector requests a new boat for the station, stating that the Keeper and his family capsized and almost drowned. 1871-1877: Augusta P. …

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Keeper Bio: Potts, Nancy B.

Date of Service: 1865-1872 1865: Nancy B. Potts, the wife of Jean G. Potts, is appointed First Assistant Keeper at Cape Charles Lighthouse, VA. Her beginning salary is $300/year. (Her husband Jean G. Potts served as Principal Keeper) 1868:  Keeper Jean G. Potts is killed in a disagreement by a man he meets walking on …

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Keeper Bio: Harding, Julia A.

Date of Service: 1865-1869 1834: Julia A. is born in approximately 1834 in Maryland. 1865-1869:  Julia A. Harding is named the First Assistant Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. Her beginning salary is $350/year. Her ending salary is $400/year. (Her husband William Harding served as Principal Keeper) 1870: In the 1870 U.S. Census, William Harding’s …

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Keeper Bio: Creekmore, Mary

Date of Service: 1869-1870 1869-1870: Mary Creekmore, born in Virginia, is named the Second Assistant Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. Her salary is $400/year. (Her husband H. Creekmore served as Principal Keeper) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org  

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Keeper Bio: Richardson, Carrie

Date of Service: 1870-1872 1870-1872: Carrie Richardson, born in New Hampshire, is named the Second Assistant Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. Her salary is $400/year. (Her husband Henry Richardson served as Principal Keeper) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org    

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Keeper Bio: Mathews, Mrs. F.

Date of Service: 1866 1866: Mrs. F. Mathews, is named the First Assistant Keeper at Cherrystone Bar Lighthouse, VA., in June. She resigns 5 months later in November. Her salary was $300/year. (Her husband Samuel Mathews served as Principal Keeper) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org    

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Keeper Bio: Thomas, Sarah

Date of Service: 1857-1859 1855: George Thomas is named Principal Keeper at Cove Point Lighthouse, MD. His salary was $350/year. 1857: Keeper Thomas dies on duty at Cove Point Lighthouse, MD. 1857-1859: Sarah Thomas, wife of George, is named Principal Keeper at Cove Point Lighthouse, MD. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org    

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Keeper Bio: Hagelin, Mary

Date of Service: 1866-1868 1808: Mary Jennings Hagelin is born in England. 1838: John H. Hagelin is born on September 12th. 1864-1867: John H. Hagelin, son of Keeper Charles Hagelin and Mary Hagelin, is appointed the First Assistant at Cove Point Lighthouse, MD. His salary is $150/year. 1866-1868: Mary Hagelin is appointed the First Assistant …

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Keeper Bio: Cross, Elizabeth

Date of Service: 1860-1863 1860-1863: Elizabeth Cross is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse. Her salary is $300/year. (Her husband George Cross served as Principal Keeper) 1861: During the Civil War, the Confederates remove the lens from the lighthouse and cause major damage to the structure. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org; …

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Keeper Bio: Mister, Mrs. V.A.

Date of Service: 1865-1870 1865-1870: Mrs. V.A. Mister is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. Her beginning salary is $300/year, and her ending salary is $400/year. (Her husband Solomon Mister served as Principal Keeper) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org;    

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Keeper Bio: DePass, Celestine

Date of Service: 1870 1841:  Celestine Butt is born in Virginia. 1870:  Celestine DePass, born in Virginia, is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA., in June 1870, where she remains until August 1870. (Her husband John DePass served as Principal Keeper) 1882:   Celestine DePass dies in April, at the age of 38 …

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Keeper Bio: Sturtevant, Mary J.

Date of Service: 1870-1873 1824: Mary Jane Bell is born in Portsmouth, VA. 1842: William P. Sturtevant marries Mary Jane Bell in Portsmouth, VA. On November 15th. 1870-1873: Mary J. Sturtevant is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse. Her beginning salary is $400/year, and her ending salary is $420/year. (Her husband William P. …

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Keeper Bio: Murphy, Ann

Date of Service: 1873 1839:  Ann Murphy is born in approximately 1839, in Ireland. 1873:  Ann Murphy serves as First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, Va. Her annual salary is $420. (Her husband Patrick Murphy served as Principal Keeper) 1873:  Ann Murphy resigns after her husband’s death. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org

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Keeper Bio: Richards, Phoebe D.

Date of Service: 1873-1879 1827:  Phoebe Dwight is born in Pennsylvania. 1873-1879: Phoebe D. Richards serves as First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. Her annual salary is $420. (Her husband Elisha Richards, served as Principal Keeper) 1910:  Phoebe D. Richards dies. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org, The Norfolk Virginian, July 22, 1879

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Keeper Bio: Smith, Mary Caulk

Date of Service: 1868 – 1872 1841: Born on August 10th in Delaware. 1867-1872: Mary’s husband, Charles H. Smith is appointed Principal Keeper for the newly constructed Assateague Lighthouse, VA., in 1867. 1868-1872: Mary C. Smith is appointed the First Assistant at Assateague Lighthouse, VA. Her annual salary is $400/year. 1908: Mary Caulk Smith dies …

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Keeper Bio: Lawson, Nancy Wickett Ward

Date of Service: 1869 – 1871 1833: Born on April 18 to parents Noah & Patty Anne Ward in Somerset County, MD. 1851: Marries Noah Moffett Lawson on November 4th in Somerset County, MD. 1867-1871: Nancy’s husband, Noah, Serves as Keeper for the newly constructed Janes Island Lighthouse, MD., starting in October 1867. 1869: A …

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Keeper Bio: Wilson, Elizabeth

Date of Service: 1873 – 1877 1827+/-:  Elizabeth C. Dodge is born in Maryland. 1869:  Noah Wilson, age 58, Principal Keeper of Piney Point married Elizabeth Dodge, widow/farmer, age 42, on 30 October 1869 at Piney Point by Rev. Smith. 1869-1873: Noah Wilson is appointed Principal Keeper of Piney Point Lighthouse, MD. His annual salary …

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Keeper Bio: Lusby, Elizabeth

Date of Service: 1844 – 1862 1786:  Born on December 14 to parents Lewis and Mary Lusby, in Cecil, MD. 1819:  Marries Robert C. Lusby on December 21. 1833-1841:  Robert Lusby is appointed Principal Keeper at Turkey Point Lighthouse, MD, on August 10, 1833, where he remained until August 18, 1841. 1843:  Robert Lusby returns …

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Keeper Bio: Suter, Charlotte

Date of Service: 1844 – 1846 1840:  Charlotte Suter and her husband, Henry Sr., both born in Great Britain, are listed in the U.S. Census as living in St. Mary’s Co. MD. 1841:  Henry Suter dies on February 7, at age 71, and is buried at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Valley Lee, MD. 1844-1846:  Charlotte …

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Keeper Bio: Brumfield, Georgiana (Georgia) Sherwood

Date of Service: 1895 – 1919 1849: Born on August 24 to parents John and Rebecca (Sherwood) Crouch in Cecil County, MD. 1865: Moves to Turkey Point Lighthouse, MD., where her father is appointed Keeper. 1870: Marries William Brumfield on September 23 at the lighthouse. They raise at least 6 children. 1873: Georgiana’s father, Keeper …

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Keeper Bio: Crouch, Rebecca

Date of Service: 1873 – 1895 1825: Born on November 17 to parents Philip and Ann Sherwood in Baltimore, MD. 1840:  Marries John M. Crouch. They raise 3 children. 1850: In the U.S. Census John Crouch is 33 years old, married to Rebecca, age 25. His occupation is listed as a laborer. 1865: Rebecca’s husband …

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Keeper Bio: Tune, Helen C.

Date of Service: 1877 – 1883 1854: Helen Dodge was born in October 1854 in Vermont 1871: Marries Thomas Steptoe Tune on June 21 in the District of Columbia. 1872:  Daughter Lorena Elizabeth is born on June 22 in the District of Columbia 1877:  Helen is hired as acting Keeper in March for the Piney …

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Keeper Bio: Freeman, Josephine McWilliams

Date of Service: 1876 – 1912 1843:   Born on January 14 to parents Dr. Joseph & Eliza McWilliams in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. 1850:   Dr. Joseph L. McWilliams, the father of Josephine, sells 2.75 acres on the southwest corner of Blackistone Lighthouse at a price of $300 to the U.S. government as a …

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Keeper Bio: Nuthall, Martha

Date of Service: 1850 – 1861 1803:   Birth of Martha McClelland in Maryland. 1843:   John W. Nuthall age 40, widower, married Martha McClelland age 40 on January 3, 1843. 1849:   John W. Nuthall listed as Keeper at Piney Point Lighthouse. His annual salary is listed as $350/year. 1850:   In the 1850 …

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Keeper Bio: O’Neill, Esther

Date of Service: 1863 – 1881 1797: Born in Fulton County, New York. 1830s: Marries John O’Neill, Jr. The couple have seven children, one of whom died as an infant. The remaining six children are Martha, Mary, Virginia, Charles Zelotes, Indiana, and Henry. 1861: Esther’s husband, John O’Neill, Jr. is appointed Keeper at Concord Point …

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