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Sellman Family papers

 Collection 0309-MDHC

The Sellman Family papers span the years 1828 through 1938 with the bulk of the material dating between 1850 and 1865 and 1886 and 1892. The collection contains several generations of Sellman family and business correspondence, bills and receipts, guardianship documents, handwriting exercises, household and farm account books, and diaries. Subjects covered include daily life, farm management, the cholera epidemic in Grand Gulf, Mississippi, treatment of the people the Sellman family enslaved, sale of crops in Baltimore, the education of the Sellman children at home and at St. John's College in Annapolis, and the illnesses and deaths of family members.


  • 1769-1938
  • Majority of material found within 1850-1865 and 1886-1892

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


2.50 Linear Feet

Family History

John Henry Sellman (I) was born in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, on June 27, 1806, and died on July 11, 1851. He was the son of Anne Elizabeth Harwood (1768-1824) and Jonathan Sellman (1753-1810), an officer in the Maryland Militia during the Revolutionary War. John Henry (I) was a physician, a tax collector, and farmer who married his first cousin, Lucinda Margaret Harwood (I) (1812-1866) on November 8, 1836. Lucinda was the daughter of Benjamin Harwood (1783-1835) and Henrietta Maria Battee (1787-1819).

John Henry Sellman (I) and Lucinda Harwood (I) had eight children: John Henry "Henry" (II) (1837-1892), Anne Elizabeth "Nannie" (1841-1879), Lucinda Margaret (1843-1891), twins Alice (1845-1920) and Lydia (1845-1924), Ellen (1847-1929), Francis "Frank" (b.1849), and Richard Battee (1851-1912). The family home, Clifton, in Davidsonville, Maryland, consisted of more than 200 acres planted with corn, wheat, and tobacco. Most of the crops were harvested and sent to Baltimore for sale to brokers. All of the children except Frank remained in Maryland. Frank moved to New York City where he was a salesman for Fayerweather & Ladew, a large leather manufacturing business. Following John Henry's (I) death in 1851, his wife, Lucinda (I), took over management of Clifton. Her nephew, Frank H. Stockett (1821-1897), an Annapolis lawyer, helped to manage the business accounts. Upon Lucinda's death in 1866, her son, Henry (II), assumed control of the farm. Henry married Sophia Stockett (I) (1839-September 11, 1888), and they had six children: Lucinda Margaret “Lucy” (II) (1866-1951), Sophia (1868-1871), John Henry “Harry” (III) (1869-?), Sophia (II) (1873-1918), Mary (1875-1875), and Francis Stockett “Stock” (1878-1903). As with the previous generation, all the children remained in Maryland except one, Harry. By September 1886, Harry worked as a salesman with his uncle Frank for Fayerweather & Ladew in New York City and lived in Brooklyn and later Manhattan. In 1891-92 he corresponded with Blanche L. Hayberger (1872-1931), whom he later married. He was the only sibling to marry. After Henry’s (II) death on July 6, 1892, his daughter, Lucinda (II), became responsible for Clifton. Many members of the family are buried in the cemetery at All Hallows' Parish Church (Episcopal) near Davidsonville, Maryland.

First cousins John Henry Sellman (I) and Lucinda Harwood Sellman (I) were members of large and extended families long resident in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Intermarriage between the Harwood and Sellman families was common. Anne Elizabeth Harwood Sellman and Benjamin Harwood were the children of Richard Harwood (1738-1826), whose second wife was Lucinda "Lucy" Harwood Battee (1767-September 5, 1835), a cousin. Prior to her marriage to Richard in 1806, Lucy was married to John Battee (1767-1803) whose aunt, Elizabeth Battee, was married to Jonathan Sellman, John Henry's grandfather. At her death Lucy was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of Richard's and Lucy's daughters was Lucretia Margaret (1807-1863) who married Edward Wellmore in 1834.

Eleanor D. Sellman (b. 1808) was born in 1808 to Susannah Smoot (1770-1850) and Thomas Sellman (1772-1818). Thomas Sellman and John Henry Sellman (1806-1851) were distantly related – their great grandfathers were brothers. Eleanor D. Sellman and Thomas Sellman had six children, Harriet Hall (1836-1878), Margaret Hall (b. 1838), Thomas Sellman Hall (1842-1922), Mary Hall (b. 1845), Sophia Hall (b. 1846) and William Hall (b. 1855).

The J. Inglehart writing to his cousin, Eleanor Hall, in 1830 is probably either John Inglehart (1788-1870) or his brother James Inglehart (1790-1874), the sons of Ann Sellmen (1755-1835) and James Iglehart (1752-1825). Ann Sellmen was the sister of Eleanor's father, Thomas Sellman.

Additionally, Lucinda Harwood Sellman's great-grandparents, Thomas Harwood (1723-1806) and Rachel Sprigg (1733-1808) were the grandparents of Thomas Sellman's first wife, Elizabeth Sellman (b. 1778). Some letters are addressed to Susan Sellman, possibly Susannah (Smoot) Sellman (1770-1850) – Eleanor's mother, who lived at or near Tracy's Landing in Anne Arundel county from at least 1823 to 1850.

Alexander Sellman (1824-1904) owned a general merchandise brokerage with William T. Foster in Baltimore, beginning in 1870. He was also distantly related to John Henry Sellman. John Henry's great grandfather (William Sellman (1689-1743) was Alexander's great great grandfather.

A Sellman, Harwood, and Hall family tree is available under the Inventories/Additional Information tab.


This collection organized into three series.

Series 1
Series 2
Business and Legal Documents
Series 3

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland Libraries purchased the Sellman Family papers from Carmen D. Valentino, a rare books and manuscripts dealer, in 2006 and again in 2012. The Libraries received 18 more letters written by the extended Sellman family as a gift in September 2014 from Margaret Hall Hornbaker. The letter by Alex Sellman was transferred from the Performing Arts Library in 2015.

Related Materials

  1. Daughters of the American Revolution. Marlborough Towne Chapter. Tombstone Inscriptions of Southern Anne Arundel County. (Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1971). Location: UMCP HBK Maryland Room, Maryland Stacks F187.A6D3 1971.
  2. Sellman, W. Marshall. John Sellman of Maryland and Descendants. (Cincinnati, Ohio: Sellman, 1975). Location: UMCP HBK Maryland Room, Maryland Folio CS71.S5834 1975).
  3. Sellman, W. Marshall. The Hall Family of West River and Kindred Families. (Denton, Md.: Rue, 1941). Location: UMCP HBK Maryland Room, CS71.H177 1941).
  4. Sellman, W. Marshall. St. James' Parish, Old Herring Creeke Parish: A History, Including Copies of the Original Records of the Parish, Vestry Minutes and Register of Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials. (Anne Arundel County, Md.: Vestry and the Library Committee, 1976-1997). 2 vols. Location: UMCP HBK Maryland Room, BX5980.A48 S253 and BX5980.A48 S253 v.2).
  5. The University of Maryland Libraries holds a collection of materials related to the Harwood family, relatives of the Sellman family. See the Harwood Family Buzzard Island Papers for more information
  6. The Maryland State Archives holds a John Sellman Collection (MSA SC 425) which consists of a diary about farm life kept by John Sellman from 1818 to 1862. Since many Sellman familiy members were named John, it is not clear how closely related this John Sellman was to the Sellmans in this collection.

Processing Information

The materials have been placed in acid-free folders and stored in acid-free boxes.

Guide to the Sellman Family papers
Processed by Terry Ann Sayler, July 2007. Additional materials incorporated into the collection in 2012 by Terry Ann Sayler and in 2016 by Maya Riser-Kositsky.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742