In a late ramble through the wilds and bold sceneries in Garrett county, Md., and Tucker and Grant counties, W.Va., I was enabled to make good a deferred promise to visit an old friend, James Chisholm, now in his 85th year, living on his ample farm in Grant county, bodily feeble with the weight of years, but clear and vivid in intellect and memory. I know of none more worthy of such attention than the Chisholm family, which is an interesting one in many ways. They are an ancient clan of Inverness county, Scotland. James, the youngest of the family was the last to emigrate to this country in 1828, and his first American employment was upon the work of the B. & O. R.R,. Co. at Sykesville. He there saw the first labor riot in this country. The mob moved down the line to Ellicotts Mills, destroying everything in its way, and was finally quieted by a single Priest in his robes. James soon thereafter went to the Glades, now Garrett county, and joined the rest of the family which, by this time, had all settled down where he became a grazer and herder, and in later years a miller. Sometime since he sold out his Garrett county possessions, and moved to this present quiet home in Grant county. He is a great lover of fine cattle and sheep, and has some splendid specimens on his blue grass plats. His great age has retired him from active service on his farm, which is now performed by his son Archy. Mr. C. was married to *Mary McQueen in his native country, who died about four years ago, verging four score. Their children are eight in number; James, William, Alexander, John and Danial[sic], Mary, wife of Louis Nydegger, Isabelle and Jennie. The two last are unmarrried, and seem to esteem it a religious privilege to administer to the increasing wants of their aged parent. Their next enjoyment is the cultivation of flowers, which environ the comfortable home in numberless beds of all imaginable devices and tastes. These profuse and tender flowers are the resort and food for the many humming-birds which are constantly darting from one attraction to another. Mr. Chisholm is a steady reader, but of solid matter, fit for ripe and reflective minds. In religion, a Presbyterian of the strictest sort, adhereing[sic] closely to the old home chuch and customs. The old Westminster catechism needs no revision or amendment for him. It seems really hard for one so deeply pious and good, as he, to be entirely deprived of church advantages. He is many miles away from such. He is still familiar with his native dialect. His Bible and Psalm books in Gaelic are always near at hand. The immediate ancestor of the Chisholm family was William, who came to this country in 1822, and died near the Red House in 1837, aged 89 years, and his wife, *Mary McQueen in 1843, an octogenarian. He had seven children: Alexander, William Jr., Daniel, Archibald, James, Jane and Nancy. Alexander was married, left a progeny and died in 1837, aged 54 years. William, Jr., died in 1866 at 81 years. Archibald deceased at his home near Oakland in 1879, at the ripe age of 83 years, and Daniel, who was somewhat of a hermit, was mysteriously murdered at his lonely home in 1858 a few miles west of Oakland. He had attained nearly seventy years. "Murder will out," but the adage in this case fails signally after a test of twenty-seven years. Not a single clue - scarcely a suspicion as to the perpetrator of this foul murder. In the Mollie McGuire parlance the crime was a "clean job". Jane Chrisholm[sic] died in 1862, aged 71, and Nancy in 1872 at four score and five years. It will be thus seen James is now the only survivor of this remarkable and worthy family, and he and Alexander the only two out of the seven who ever married, or left children. Both have a considerable progeny. The first of the family to emigrate to this country was William, Jr. during the war of 1812, who at once received the patronage and friendship of Gen. John Swan, in the way of stewardship over his extensive landed estate in Allegany county, but now in Garrett. The Chisholm family not only possessed the friendship and confidence of Gen. Swan himself throughout life, but also of his descendants to the present time, and these unpretending people merit that confidence from such a worth source if fidelity, truth, honor and honesty count for anything. It will be noticed without suggestion that there are at least two things remarkable among the Chisholms; Longevity and celibacy. Only two of the seven brothers and sister ever married. Their rules and habits of life were as exact as pure morals could prescribe. No wrongs or transgressions, o needless frictions, hence life ran on evenly till it was spent.
From "Brown's Miscellaneous Writings" by Jacob Brown
*NOTE: Mary McQueen is listed as both mother (wife of his father, William) and wife of James Chisholm.
Posted June 29, 2013