Wednesday, December 29, 2010

History Lesson

From: Groome, Harry Connelly. 1907. THE GROOME FAMILY AND CONNECTIONS: A PEDIGREE with biographical sketches. Philadelphia, Press of JB Lippincott Company

The Groome Family came from Middlesex, England, and belonged to a group of Quakers that were very vocal and imprisoned in England at times by the King due to their religious beliefs.

Charles’ father was described as a mariner, and was a commissioner and justice of the peace for Kent County in 1740 and 1743 (Commission Book in Maryland Historical Society). He was elected churchwarden of St. Paul’s Parish, April 11th, 1726 (St Paul Parish Records).

Charles was born March 2, 1732, and died March 29th, 1791. He was one of nine children. He was described as a farmer, purchased at different times the following tracts of land: from Thomas Perkins a tract called Hopefull Unity, 150 acres, February 20th, 1761 (Kent Co Deeds. Liber JS). He was made registrar of Chester Parish, Kent County, Maryland, February 4th, 1766, shorly after the parish had been created by an Act of Assembly from parts of St. Paul’s Parish and Shrewsbury Parish. He held this position until the day of his death. An inventory of his estate, filed July 21st 1791 (Kent County, MD, Inventories) showed that he died possessed of 25 negro slaves. He died of small pox.

Will of Charles Groome

(Kent County, Maryland, Wills, Liber 7, page 315)

In the name of God Amen, I, Charles Groome, of Kent County & State of Maryland, being sound and disposing memory & understanding, considering the certainty of death, & uncertain of the time therof, being desirous to settle my worldly affairs, & thereby be the better prepared to leave this world, when it shall please God to call me hence, do therefore make & publish this my last Will & Testament, in manner & form following, that is to say.

First. I give and bequeath unto my dear wife the use of all my lands except that tract or parcel of land, I bought of the State, called Tildens’ Forest, during her widowhood, & all the crops that shall be on said lands, at my death, & all debts due to my estate, towards paying all my just Debts, & supporting and Educating & bringing up my young children, out of the profits arising from said lands, & outstanding Debts. But in case my wife should die before my debts be paid, and children Educated and brought up, then and in that case my will and desire is that my son James Groome, should take possession of the above mentioned lands, in order to settle and pay the balance of said debts, if there be any left unpaid, & support & Educate & bring up my said youngest children, until they come of age, with what portion they may have, and if my son James Groome should die, before this my last will be sufficient, then my will & desire is that my son John Groome, should take possession of said lands, & have and enjoy every privilege and advantage and be under every obligation, as my son James would have been if he had lived.

Item. My will and desire is that the tract of land I bought of the state called Tildens’ Forest, be sold by heirs at their discretion, when they may think it most convenient and advantageous, & the money arising from the sale, to be equally divided between my sons, Daniel, Charles, & John Groome, & my daughter Sarah Groome.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Daniel Groome, all my negroes he has in his possession, except Tush, and my book account I have against him & no more. But in case my Estate should be obliged to pay any Dents of my son Daniel, that I am security for the same, shall be taken out of his portion of the sales of the land, I have given him, and if not enough to satisfy said Debts or claims, he shall allow it in my book account I have against him.

Item. I give & bequeath unto my two sons Samuel, & William Hynson Groome, all that tract or parcel of land lying on Worton Creek, I bought of Arthur Bryan, John Kinnard, to them and their heirs lawfully begotten, & if either of said sons should die without such heirs, his part to go to surviving one, and if both should die without such heirs, the said land shall then be divided between all surviving sisters of my present wifes children.

Item. My will and desire is that all my negroes, except what is given already or will be mentioned hereafter, after my wifes third part be taken out be divided between all my children, except my son Daniel, who has his share given already.

Item. I give unto my son John Groome, his choice of all my horses.

Item. My will is that all the residue of my personal Estate after my wifes third part is taken out be equally divided between all the children of my present wife, and my daughter Sarah Groome.

Item. My will & desire is that my three negro men, Philip, Tush, and Napraw be free after my death, at the end of the same year.

Item. My will & desire is that after my heirs comes in possession of my home plantation that they shall pay unto my five daughters, Milcah, Ann, Henrietta, Elizabeth, and Mary Groom, three hundred pounds current money, in four years after they take possession, & the former debts paid, otherwise my said daughters shall have liberty to take in possession all that part of my land I purchased of Richard Hynson, & sell and dispose of the same at public vendue, 7 the money arising from the sale thereof be equally divided between, & if either of my said daughters should die before they come of age, I will their portion to be divided between the others.

Item. My will and desire is that if in case my sons James Groome, or my son John Groome, should not to stand & abide by & fulfill their part of this my will, then & in that case I give & bequeath unto my son James Groome all my home land & plantation to him and his heirs lawfully begotten, and if he should die without such heirs, to my son John Groome.

Item. My menaing & intention of the above will is not to debar my wife is case she shall marry, of her Dower, of my real estate, except the land I bought of the State called Tildens’ Forest.

And lastly, I do appoint my dear wife Sarah Groome, executrix of this m y last will. Dated 10th, March Anno Domini, 1791.

Charles Groome.

Witnesses, Har. Everitt. Joseph Everitt, Sen. William Hicks.

Probated May 7th, 1791

NOTE: The land held by Charles’ Groom at the time of his death and bequeathed in the above will was disposed of by his heirs as follows: John Groome sold his interest in the tract called Tilden’s Forest to his brother Charles Groome, May 2nd 1801; Sarah Kennard Groome, widow and executrix of Charles Groome, having died September 11th, 1800, James Groome sold the tracts known as Hopefull Unity, Pope’s Chance, and Ricketts’ Farm to Samuel Wallis, March 2nd, 1802.

Charles Groome married first Martha Dunn, daughter of Robert Dunn and Anne (Miller) Dunn of Broadnox, Kenty County MD and had the following children:

Daniel b 28 Oct 1758, d 9 Nov 1805

James b 18 Sep 1760, d 1824

Martha b12 Feb 1763

Sarah b 20 Feb 1765m, d 25 Apr 1798

Charles b 25 Feb 1767, d 27 Jul 1824

Dr. John (physician) b 2 May 1769, d 18 May 1830. Charles’ grandson Colonel John Groome (b 8 Jun 1800, d 30 Nov 1866), was a Senator, and then ran for Governor in 1857. He was defeated after receiving the Democratic endorsement and the majority of the vote of the state outside of the city of Baltimore. He served as aide-de-camp on the staff of Thomas Ward Veazey, Governor of MD, 1835-1838. Col John Groome’s son, James Black Groome (b 24 Apr 1838, d 4 Oct 1893) was elected to the MD House of Delegates in 1871 and 1873. In 1874, Charle’s greatgrandson James Black Groome was elected Governor of Maryland. He was Senator in the US Senate from 1879 to 1885 and from 1886 to 1890 having been appointed by President Cleveland he held the office of Collector of Customs at Baltimore. His other son Dr. Samuel Groome (b 26 Jul 1802, d 11 May 1843), physician, was elected cornet of the Elkton Troop of Cavalry in 1824.

William b 19 Mar 1771, d prior to 1788

Then, Charles married Sarah Kennard and had the following children:

Milcah b 2 Sep 1773, d 2 Sep 1792

Ann b 23 Jul 1775

Samuel b 7 May 1777, d 14 Mar 1828

Henrietta b 23 Mar 1779 (married William Pearce)

Elizabeth b 20 Apr 1781, d Oct 1794

Mary b 2 Mar 1785

William b 13 Jun 1788, d 9 Jan 1869

Joseph b 3 Oct 1791

Also notable family members descendants included Major Harry Connelly Groome and Captain John Groome.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Blizzard December 2010

Blizzardy day

No work today.

Stay warm!


Thursday, December 23, 2010


The first snow of the winter, nice shot taken by Paul.

Dining room floor, completed with antique oak, looks like a patchwork quilt

The soaking tub, almost finished tilework from Steve.

Living room floor finished finally, hickory courtesy of Carlisle Wood Floors and Mike and his crew from Chester River Carpentry, awaiting Tung Oil coating.

Finished guest room on the second floor annex, floor paint really makes a difference!

My finished tile job in the utility room.

We are so very very close to completion.  Kitchen cabinets arrived, awaiting countertop next week, appliances ordered, security system/cameras, closets....soon plumbing and electricity will be completed and then the final inspection from the bank and building inspector.....and then......moving in!!!

Almost three years.

Patience allows you to see past the at times opaque seeming barriers that threaten to dampen your view, and encourages you to focus instead on the bright outcomes just beyond reach, stretching and reaching, enlarging your world.

Love does all that with grace.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Objects reborn

I've learned over time that whatever wisdom we gain in life has not so much to do with the experiences we have, but rather the meaning we assign to those experiences, and how we look backwards to view them from our current vantage point.
These very old oak boards are being recycled for a new dining room floor.  This view is from the stairs in the front hall looking down into the dining room. The kitchen hickory floors can be seen beyond the doorway.  These floors need to be sanded as we are salvaging usable pieces and some are still surface stained from the tragedies of every day life in their past.  Once sanded, it too will be coated with Tung Oil and left to naturally darken with time.

These treasures were pulled from the soil as I dug up the front flower beds.  I always find oyster shells, bones, square nails, and iron pieces.  These appear to be two heavy circular rings and one pony size/foal size horseshoe.  Some of the pottery shards appear to date from the 1700's or earlier, others are within the last 100 years.  Maybe I'll find another coin soon!

This week we should have the dining room floor finished, the heat connected (getting brisk and nippy out there!), the master bathroom tiling completed, and the second floor annex side finished painted. 

There are so many things in life to be grateful for, so many people to appreciate who have a presence in our lives.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


My inspiration   3 Feb 36 - 16 Nov 10

She didn't get to see it with her eyes, but clearly she's there now. Greatly loved and missed. Strong, brave, loving, kind, beautiful, vibrant. My mom.

Master bedroom, looking towards closet and sitting room. Flooring being completed now throughout the house.  Except in the dining room where we are using antique salvaged oak, the new flooring is from Carlisle Wood Floors, hickory, random wide plank, with knots, and will have a natural tung oil finish when completed.  HVAC is completed and the gas tank on site. 

Master bathroom shower, mostly tiled now with travertine, with Japanese soaking tub framed sitting under the window.

Kitchen, looking towards pantry, door to dining room (right) and door to sunroom (left).  Alcove behind door to sunroom where refrigerator will go.

Standing in the sitting room, master bathroom doorway to the left, walk-in closet in the middle, passage to the master bedroom on the right.

The new front landscape design, the original path will be preserved but lifted and moved to the right a little, patio will be completed with antique cobblestones.  The flower beds will contain mostly roses and other flowers that will be fun to cut and bring indoors, mostly fragrant.  My digging has been a great release, took several days to outline the beds and remove the sod. 

The wind is everywhere and great flocks of birds appear to play with it.

Make sure you tell the special people in your life every day, in some way, how much you love them.


Friday, September 17, 2010

The Australian influence

Not sure how it happened, but likely due to synchronicity, and parallel worlds in another hemisphere.....but we are making incredible progress now, within the last couple of weeks, it's looking like a new house on the inside.  So for instance here's the kitchen:

And the living room:

And the upstairs rooms on the main second floor (master bedroom, sitting room, bathroom):

And finally dining room:

So this beautiful work of art is starting to resemble a home, and final steps will be floors and finishing the kitchen and baths.  Painting trim and doors and room walls will be bit by bit.  Sometimes when I look back on all the effort that so many people have made and are still making I find it incredible that we've made it this far.  The other night Jeff and I were walking through as the sun went down, looking at his artistic solution to the windowsills by the glow of his cell phone.  He has taken a lot of pride in his work here and the journey with him has been an exercise in patience, courage, and perserverance for both of us.

Getting ready for the fall!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Sunrise through a fog bank, up the road a ways

The living room, view from the front door looking into the southwest corner                        

Living room, view from the southwest corner looking towards the front door                                

Living room, view from the bottom of the stairs looking towards the west                                       

View towards northwest corner of house, out the front porch                                 

View from back door, stairway, new laundry and half bath in new hallway.

Ahh, making much progress now, you can really see the home emerging.  It's fun to look at the before and after photos and realize how much work and time and effort has gone into the re-creation of this gem.  Today my youngest son and I will be painting the half story bedroom walls and ceilings and some of the trim.  Getting back together with Jeff and doing some planning about finish surfaces and how to manage the final phases....can't believe we're heading into the home stretch now....maybe we'll have our first Thanksgiving feast in the new HU!

Enjoy the last part of your summer as we get ready for the beautiful fall weather.....



Saturday, August 21, 2010

A new dawn.....

Well, after much delays, Hopeful Unity is now transforming into a very different space.

Master bedroom from the corner, looking towards the closet and sitting room.

Living room starting to take shape

Kitchen looking towards pantry, on left where the fridge is going to go, and the dining room door on the right.

View of the master bathroom from the corner, soaking tub where the plumbing sticks out under the window, shower stall, half wall by toilet, and other side is sink.  Through the doorway is the sitting room outside the master bedroom.

And the exterior trim repaired, and primed. 

Stay tuned for more photos as the sheetrock phase continues.....

Never, ever, ever give up hope.


Friday, June 18, 2010


From the Wilmington News Journal, 25 May 10:

This time of year is a time of growth, energy and rejuvenation. As you pull out your summer clothes (after some recent chilly spring days), what are you thinking about? Have you started daydreaming about a summer vacation yet?

Speaking of daydreaming, when was the last time you had a daydream? Most people find themselves daydreaming from time to time, and most seem to enjoy their daydreams. Daydreaming can be about what you wish you could do, what you are going to do or what you have done in the past. Daydreams are usually pleasant, and allow us to distract ourselves from whatever unpleasant or uninteresting task we are avoiding.

Just what is a daydream? Daydreaming is a state of consciousness somewhere between being fully awake and falling asleep. When you look at a recording of your brain waves while you daydream, you will see that they look like the brain waves of someone who is so relaxed that they appear to be sleeping. However, the daydreamer is typically sitting or standing with eyes open and appears to be awake.

This state of mind produces a calming effect on the body. Daydreaming can be used as a stress management tool, as it allows you to take a break from stress for a brief time, just like taking a walk or a nap.

Have you ever wondered why we daydream? Some people daydream as a way to avoid an unpleasant circumstance. This type of daydream would represent an escape from the point of misery to a place much more pleasant to imagine. Daydreaming may serve as the body's automatic safety relax valve when stress levels become overwhelming.

Daydreaming can also be productive, and many creative people use daydreams to find solutions to their problems, next project or next acrylic masterpiece. The daydreaming process seems to lower blood pressure and reduce muscle tension, not unlike hypnosis. In fact, some scientists compare daydreaming to self-hypnosis. However, most people daydream without plan or purpose, while a person engaging in self-hypnosis is deliberately producing a relaxed state of mind and body to accomplish a specific goal.

Other scientists compare daydreaming with a state of mind called dissociation. This is often found in people who have experienced trauma, and can be viewed as a learned coping or survival mechanism for the mind and body. People in a dissociative state (which can last from seconds to days) often lose track of time, the situation they're in and, in extreme cases, their own identity. People in a dissociative state often report that they feel like they're not actually in their body.

There are several types of mental illness where a dissociative state can occur as a symptom of the illness. Fortunately, psychiatric treatment is available for people who are unable to function due to frequent or severe dissociative episodes. Many people who experience dissociation in response to stress have suffered abuse or significant unexpected trauma. However, one of the main differences between dissociation and daydreaming is the impact of the state of mind on the person. A person daydreaming typically returns from the daydream with a pleasant sensation, while the person returning from a dissociative state usually returns with either anxiety or confusion, or has poor recall of the time period experienced during the dissociative state

Most childhood daydreaming is harmless and appears to help a child cope with stress or an
unpleasant situation. It is adaptive for the child and considered normal if not in excess. However, children who appear to daydream frequently may have experienced something difficult that they're unable to process, and perhaps unable to talk about. Children who daydream so frequently that normal activities are interrupted need to see a doctor to make sure they're well physically and mentally. Some medical conditions can produce symptoms that look like a child is daydreaming but are really a sign of something else, such as a type of seizure.

So, take time to enjoy the new spring air and daydream away! Imagine yourself in a warm, sunny
location, the sand beneath your feet. Or picture yourself wherever you feel relaxed and content. You
may find that your daydreams can come true, so be inspired by your imagination....

Work is progressing, the fields are growing......sheetrock has been ordered, burn permit secured....certificate of occupancy around the corner....

Dreaming about a lazy summer day, sitting on the porch, feeling the breeze....


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


One of the very nice features of the house is the original staircase.  The person who designed and built this gem had an older person or women in high heels in mind.  The risers are very shallow and the steps wide, so it feels like you're gliding upstairs.  Unusual for a house from this time period.

Also unusual are the ceiling heights throughout the structure, very very tall.  Difficult for us short people to scrape and paint the top places.  I got as far as I could on this tall ladder and had to leave a tiny bit of the plaster and paint on this handcarved panelling for someone taller than me to remove.  We are leaving the green plaster intact, it's in good shape.  We are leaving the panelling exposed here as it's so beautiful!   And yes, the spindles on the bannister are different on the second floor from the first floor.  Not sure if they are both original, or if not, which came first.

Getting ready for the drywall, can't wait!