The Hendricks, Hamilton, Carter, and Wheeler families, all forbears of donor Virginia Wheeler Harrold (1910-?), are longtime residents of the state of Maryland. Virginia Harrold grew up in Baltimore with her mother and lived for a time in Silver Spring. The Hamilton and Wheeler families are paternal relations, the Carter and Hendricks families her maternal relations.
Virginia Harrold's parents were Anna (Annie) Maria Carter Wheeler (1888-1962) and James Robert Wheeler. Anna Maria Carter Wheeler had an older brother, Thomas Carter (1880-?), and two older sisters, Sallie Viola Carter Wilhelm (1882-1955) and Mollie Gertrude Carter. Mollie Carter died less than a year after her birth in1886.
Anna Maria Carter Wheeler's mother was Mary Rebecca Hendricks Carter (1847-1939). She married Thomas Carter in 1878 in Baltimore. The family resided in Baltimore City for the next several decades; Mary Carter continued to reside in there after her husband died, first alone and then with the family of her eldest daughter Sallie Carter Wilhelm. Mary Rebecca Carter had several siblings documented through items and photographs in the collection: two sisters, Emma Frances Hendricks (b. 1842) and Hester Ann Hendricks, and three brothers, John Wesley Hendricks, William (Will) Hendricks, and Jacob Franklin (Frank) Hendricks. Mary Carter and Emma Hendricks were both professional seamstresses. In September 1912, Emma, Hester, and Frank were murdered on their family farm in Maryland Line, Maryland, presumably by a hired hand who took his own life. The identity of the murderer was never definitively established however, as there were no witnesses to the murders or the suicide. Mary Rebecca Carter's nephew Herbert C. Hendricks (b. 1872), a banker in nearby New Freedom, Pennsylvania, wrote her about this tragic event.
One of the earliest known branches of Virginia Harrold's family is the Wheelers. Reverend Thomas Wheeler (1816-1866) was born in Annapolis, the son of Thomas Wheeler, Senior and Nancy Hutton Wheeler. Reverend Wheeler began preaching at age eighteen. He married twice; he and his second wife Maria Louise Rives (d.1912) raised their three children in Baltimore and Laurel, Maryland.
Virginia Harrold's paternal great-grandparents, Oliver (b. 1818) and Susan (b. 1825) Hamilton, lived in Petersburg, Virginia during the Civil War. Oliver was born in Maryland, the son of two immigrants from England. Susan Hamilton took out a life insurance policy on her husband from New York Life Insurance in 1857. During the Civil War, the Hamiltons had business dealings with the Confederate States of America. Between 1865 and 1870, Oliver Hamilton moved to Baltimore while his wife remained in Petersburg with their three children Mary Kate Hamilton (1857-1928), William Hamilton (b. 1860), and Anna Hamilton (b. 1865). By 1880, the entire family was reunited in Baltimore. Mary Kate Hamilton married Thomas Rives Wheeler, and their son James Wheeler was the husband of Anna Maria Carter Wheeler. Late in her life, Mary Kate Hamilton Wheeler moved in with her daughter-in-law Anna Maria Carter Wheeler and young granddaughter Virginia Wheeler (Harrold).