In the past two years I have received a significant volume of unsolicited emails from descendants of families that owned businesses, land and people in the immediate and surrounding environs of old Anacostia, previously old Prince George’s County. I’ve also heard from former residents of the German Orphanage on Good Hope Road. Many of these people are searching for a history which has only been sparingly and selectively told. William and I are not able to tell an exhaustive history of Old Anacostia but it will be the history of the lost tribes, a history yet told. B
Below is an example of the messages we’ve been fortunate and thankful to receive.
I was viewing some of your materials on the net as I was researching Good Hope Road and the many direct ancestors of mine that lived out there along with many cousins and associated families. The main line goes through Tom Anderson with his blacksmith shop across from the tavern and his house up on the hill. He is my third great grandfather on my Dad’s side. His second wife was Martha Mitchell, daughter of Sarah Ann Jenkins (m1 Joseph Boiseau, m2 Richard Mitchell, m3 George Arthur Smoot).
Some of the ancestors and relations are Captain William T Anderson (grandson of Tom) of MPD; cousin Lingan B Anderson of MPD; James T Boiseau (son of Sarah’s first marriage), Notley Anderson (son of Tom); Charles F Anderson (grandson of Tom) who was postmaster at Little America, Antarctica on the 2nd Byrd expedition; Richard Boiseau(grandson of Sarah’s first marriage), a reporter who covered the Surratt trial watching a cousin put on trial for a most heinous crime. Many more Andersons can be found in the area who I place as brothers of Tom and their descendants. John Anderson of Anacostia, another blacksmith who is a son of Tom and it looks like maybe the Rambler had a couple photos of him.
The Good Hope Tavern looks to have passed through family hands and associated families. I believe when it was called Smoot’s Tavern that at that time it was in the hands of Sarah Ann Jenkins (m3 to George Arthur Smoot). I know later it was called Jenkins Tavern but I am not sure if it went into Sarah’s brother’s hands. His name was Thomas Jenkins with wife Charity who the Surratts lived with when their house burned down. I think it was his Tavern at some point since I believe I saw it associated with a T J Jenkins and he lived in the area. Some details I am still trying to nail down or better document. I guess later, the Vermillions owned it since I see articles and pictures on that. The extended Andersons do have the Vermillions as an affiliated family although I have nothing yet to indicate these Vermillion as closely related.
I still need to build better connections but do believe this line extends back through Captain Richard Anderson of the Maryland line in the Revolutionary War.
On my Dad’s other side was a liquor runner, Paul Schweitzer, who lived at and worked for Jimmy Lafontaine at the gambling joint. Pardon me, I meant to say Men’s Athletic Club or something like that. Dad would comment that as a boy, he would buy donuts from a neighbor who made them and take the donuts up to the club where his Dad worked and sale the donuts for a lot more making some decent change in those days for a young boy.