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Abraham Jones papers

 Collection 0400-MDHC

This collection contains the records of the Pipe Creek Benevolent Society and two ledgers from a store in Libertytown, Frederick County, Maryland. Both are associated with Abraham Jones, who was the first president of the Society and may have owned the store before his death. The Benevolent Society records show the different loans made by the organization. The store ledgers are an important resource for genealogy in Frederick County, especially African-Americans living in the town of Oldfield.


  • 1843-02-28 - 1920-01-27
  • Majority of material found within 1845-02-28 - 1920-01-27

Condition Description

Several ledgers have disconnected covers and loose pages.

Conditions Governing Access

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.

Conditions Governing Use

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.


3.56 Linear Feet (2 oversized boxes) ; 1 box approx. 14" x 18", 1 box approx. 12" x 15"

Scope and Contents

The Abraham Jones papers date from between 1843 and 1920. The collection consists of four journals used by the Pipe Creek Benevolent Society and two ledgers used at a store in Libertytown, Maryland. The Benevolent Society records contain the governing documents of the organization, the minutes of their meetings, and the different loans made by the organization. The store ledgers are an important resource for genealogy in Frederick County, especially African-Americans living in the town of Oldfield.

The collection also includes two documents--an extract from the will of Barbara Saum and a handwritten copy of the text of an act to continue the charter of the Pipe Creek Beneficial Society to 1890, passed in 1861.

Biographical Note for Abraham Jones

Abraham Jones (c. 1776-1854) was a prominent resident of Libertytown, Maryland, in Frederick County. Libertytown was laid out in 1782 and is situated on present-day Maryland Route 26, about 12 miles east of Frederick. Libertytown's "life has been focused on the trade of the turnpike" as it was located on the road between Baltimore and Frederick.

Jones' father, John Jones was a deacon of Piney Creek Church in Taneytown, Maryland. Abraham was married to Charity Stansbury (c. 1782-1849), and they had two children -- Francis Sappington Jones (1815-1869), and Lydia Jones (1823-1848). Francis married Harriet C. Downey (1818-1863) and had four children, Francis B. Jones (1840-1870), Edward Jones (1853-1884), R. Norris Jones (d. 1855) and Emma Jones (1848-1856). After Harriet's death Francis married Ellen Dall (1824-1892) and had one child, Elizabeth Dall Jones (1866- 1866). Lydia married Basil D. Downey, moved to Dover, Ohio and had three children -- Basil D., Cordelia and Emma.

Abraham Jones was the first president of the Pipe Creek Benevolent Society, serving from the time of the society's incorporation by the Maryland General Assembly in 1844 until his death in March of 1854. His son, Francis S. Jones, served as the Society's secretary and treasurer from its start until his death in 1869. Jones was a significant member of his community, selling land and serving as a witness or executor for several wills.

Jones is credited with building the Abraham Jones house at the corner of Main Street and Walnut Street in Libertytown in 1798, "one of the finest Federal houses in Maryland," which is attached to a building which served as his store . The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The store may have also served as a tavern and Jones is listed as one of the earliest store-keepers in Libertytown. In 1858 a map shows that the house, and presumably the store also, passed after Abraham's death in 1854 to his son Francis Sappington Jones. The building served as a general store for 200 years, from the time of its erection in 1795 until around 1995.

Historical Note for the Pipe Creek Benevolent Society

The Pipe Creek Benevolent Society was organized in 1843 to "to create a fund in aid of the religious and benevolent enterprises of the Methodist Protestant Church in the Maryland District.” The founders of the Society were: Abraham Jones, Francis S. Jones, Dr. Thomas Sim, Jesse Wright, Israel Norris, Robert Nelson, and John S. Reese. The bylaws decree that the directors of the organization must be white male members of the Methodist Protestant Church and be over 21 years old. The Society mostly gave money to the widows and orphans of ministers and to retired ministers. The fund was composed of annual contributions of 50 cents given by each of its members, as well as a large bequest from Barbara Saum in 1846 and returns on its investments. By 1882 the Society had distributed around $24,000 and had $15,855 invested.

The Society met at the Union Church of Libertytown, probably the Methodist Protestant Church still standing at Main Street and Trammels Alley, which was built in 1828. The Society's charter was extended by the General Assembly of Maryland in 1844, 1849, 1861 and 1890. The 1890 charter extension lasted until 1910, but the society operated until at least 1920.


This collection is organized into two series.

Series 1: Pipe Creek Benevolent Society Records
Series 2: Libertytown Store Ledgers

Custodial History

These items were purchased by the Libraries from Dan Casavant Rare Books on February 10, 2016, and September 9, 2017.

Related Materials

Richard H. Smith, Jr. has started the Frederick Roots website to help people researching African American families in Frederick County, Maryland. The website contains a genealogical database of individuals, links to census records, obituaries, maps, photographs, and other resources.

Other resources on the history of Libertytown include an honors thesis written by Deborah E. Sheetenhelm at Hood College in 1980. It is held by the Hood Honors Papers collection at the Beneficial-Hodson Library at Hood College.

The University of Maryland Libraries hold two works that relate to the history of the Libertytown area, including:

Condition Description

Several ledgers have disconnected covers and loose pages.

Processing Information

The collection materials were placed in two oversized acid-free document boxes. The two documents were found inside the front cover of the most-recent Pipe Creek Benevolent Society journal and were rehoused in an acid-free folder.

Guide to the Abraham Jones papers
Processed 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