Absalom Wroe Family of VA and MD
One Wroe Family History
The story of Absalom Wroe and his wife, Anne Clarke

First Generation

Our first known ancestor is Absalom Wroe who married first Anne Clarke O'Daniel, d/o Roseanne Clarke, and second, Mary, whose surname is unknown. Absalom was born about 1755 in Virginia, according to family tradition. He died on May 14, 1834 in Washington, D.C. His first wife, Anne Clarke O'Daniel Wroe, was the widow of John O'Daniel. She died around 1805 in Alexandria, Virginia. Little more is known about Anne Wroe, except that she was listed in the will of her mother, Roseanne Clarke, in 1784. In the early Virginia records, Absalom spells his name as Roe and Wroe.

The first listing of Absalom Wroe is in Fairfax County, Virginia -- with an indenture 4th of March, 1785, between Samuel Arell of the town of Alexandria, county of Fairfax, one part, and Absalem Wroe, of county and Commonwealth aforesaid, of the other part. He is also listed in the deed the 30th of April, 1790, between Absolem Wroe of Town of Alexandria Commonwealth of Virginia, and Ann, his wife, on one part, and Samuel Arell of the same Town and Commonwealth of the other part. "In consideration of the sum of five shillings paid by the said Samuel Arell, they, the said Absolem Wroe and Ann, his wife, have granted, bargained and sold unto the said Samuel Arell, a certain part of the Lot on Fairfax and Duke Streets, part of said Lot 81, which Samuel Arell did by Deed 4th of March, 1785, convey to him, Absolem Wroe, his heirs, assigns, etc. Received 30 April, 1790, of Sam'l Arell, 5 shillings, the consideration within mentioned." Signed Absolem Wroe.

About June 4, 1792, an Absolem Wroe and a Patrick McMahan "of Virginia" received a contract from the Federal Commissioners of the City of Washington for the erection of a wharf on "the point opposite the lumber yard near the mouth of Goose Creek (later called Tiber creek). For this work they were to receive 250 pounds in Maryland currency. This work was part of that done towards the establishment of the National Capitol on the Potomac."

We are not certain of the identity of Absalom Wroe's parents, but the following information was written by his great grandson Samuel: "My Grandfather (Richard Wroe) named his children after himself and his uncles of 1790 who were men of matured focus who evencilly held land grants from Lord Fairfax near the court house and were owners of slaves. Now the children of my Grandfather whom he named after his uncles of the anon 1790 were Richard Wroe oldest son, after his self Richard Wroe; John Abslem Wroe, my father, after John Wroe and Abslem Wroe; Georgie Wroe, after George Wroe; Samuel Wroe after Samuel Wroe; and William Wroe after William Wroe."

Absalom Wroe served in the Revolutionary War in Capt. Henry Fauntleroy's Company, 5th Battalion Virginia Forces, where he enlisted, from Lancaster County, Virginia, as a Private, March 6, 1776 for a period of 2 years. William Wroe, whom we believe is a cousin of Absalom, stated in his pension application that he served with Absalom Wroe in Capt. Burgess Ball's Co., Col. Josiah Parker's 5th Virginia Regiment for a period of 2 years and was discharged at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1778. At time of pension application, William Wroe was a resident of Northumberland County.

In 1805, Absalom Wroe conveys to his sons Richard and Everitt, certain household furnishings, clothing and tools. We believe this followed the death of his first wife, Anne Clarke Wroe. By 1810, the Wroe sons were living in Baltimore, Maryland, and working as grocers. They served in the War of 1812. By 1820, Absalom Wroe has returned to Washington, D.C., where he worked - for the next twelve years - as a grocer on the east side of 7th Street, between G and H, North. He died in 1834.

Absalom and Anne (Clarke) Wroe had the following children:

  • Richard WROE = Elizabeth SNAVELY
  • Samuel WROE = (1) Miss MATTHEWS; (2) Maria Elizabeth BOWERS
  • Elizabeth WROE = Amos ALEXANDER
  • Mary O'Daniel WROE = Abel BLAKENEY
  • James O'Daniel
  • Everitt WROE = Mary DAVIS
Second Generation

Richard WROE was born about 1786 in Virginia, and died on March 17, 1876, in Washington, D.C. He married Elizabeth Snavely who was born February 21, 1790 in Pennsylvania, and died on February 16, 1878 in Washington, D.C. Richard and Elizabeth Wroe, along with his brother, Samuel and wife Maria, and other members of the family are buried in the Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC. Others of the family are buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown, Maryland. Richard is quoted in old letters, saying that one of his parents was buried in a county church yard near Fairfax, Virginia and one was buried in Alexandria, Virginia. We have not located their graves.

This picture of Richard and Elizabeth Wroe was taken with their six children. We know that Elizabeth and Richard are in the center of the picture, Georgiana is second from the right, and our ancestor, Dr. John Wroe is on the far right. We do not know the order of the other sons in the picture.

Children of Richard and Elizabeth (Snavely) Wroe:

  • Jerome Richard WROE = Jane SMITH
  • John Absalom WROE (1817/19 - 1874) = Martha Jane BARR
  • Everett WROE = Margaret E. DUVALL
  • Samuel Clive/Cleve Gregory WROE = (1) Van Luden DODSON, and (2) Emily Amanda Dowd FOWLER
  • William A. WROE (1827 - 1908) = Margaret Virginia DODSON (1827 - 1908)
  • Georgiana E. WROE (18__ - 1882) = John W. WILLET
Third Generation

Dr. John Absolom WROE was born 1817-1819 in Washington, DC, and died 8 August 1874 in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Dr. John attended the Columbian College (later known as The George Washington University) in Washington, D.C., where he received both a Bachelor and a Master of Arts Degree. He may have attended the Washington Medical College in Baltimore. Following graduation from medical school, Dr. John Wroe opened his medical practice in Hagerstown, Maryland in 1843. In 1844, he married Martha Jane Barr who was born in 1825 Hagerstown, Maryland. Martha was the daughter of Captain David Barr (17 Oct 1788 - 14 Apr 1846) and Christiana Mantz (1788 - 13 Feb 1862).

They lived at 27 South Prospect Street in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Children of Dr. John Absalom and Martha Jane (Barr) Wroe:

  • John Lee WROE
  • Louis Absalom WROE = Elizabeth Walton GOODE
  • Christiana E. WROE
  • Richard C. WROE = Annie
  • Frank M. WROE = Bessie H. HOOVER
  • Nanny Anita WROE = Mr. ROBERTSON
  • Daisey Paulette WROE
  • Roberta (Birttie) WROE (Nina)= Mr. BIDDISON
  • Samuel Cleve/Clive Gregory WROE (1860 - 1948) = Emma A. (1859-1921)
  • Ida Amelia WROE = Rev. William David BARR.
Fourth Generation

Louis Absalom WROE was born in Knoxville, Maryland. He married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Walton GOODE, the daughter of Col. Edmund GOODE (1825-1862) and Ann Mary McGHEE of Bedford, Virginia.

Children of Louis Absalom and Elizabeth (Goode) Wroe:

  • John Walton WROE (1873-1959) =(1) Jessie Turner CHISHOLM, of Nova Scotia, =(2) Irene Riley.
  • Mary WROE = Edgar KELLER
For additional information, please contact the author Susan Howe.

November 2009