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Mortgage Documents

Canal boats in tow
These compilations of canal boat mortgages give an insight into the operations of the canal during its heyday. William Bauman prepared these compilations. Boats were owned by individuals, companies, and investors or businessmen. After 1902 the coal carriers were owned or operated under a contract by the Canal Towage Company.

If you are searching for a particular ancestor or boat,the Index to the Compilations is a good place to start.  Then you will know which of the 20 compilations below contains the mortgage of interest.  Some boats were mortgaged more than once; particulars may appear in more than one compilation.

Resources listed in chronological order and are available in PDF format.

"Freeman Rowdon & William Ward Canal Boat Mortgages, 1845 - 1853, Allegany County, Md." Ward began building canal boats as soon as the canal reached Cumberland in 1850. Rowdon was his principal buyer. Ward encountered financial difficulties in 1852 and eventually sold his boatyard to Henry T. Weld. This 51-page document was revised in November 2012.

"John H. Clarke Canal Boat Mortgages, 1850 - 1852, Allegany County, Md." Clarke was a boat builder in Cumberland in 1850, the year the canal reached that city. Presumably the mortgages were for new boats built in his yard. Compiled October 2010, this document includes: a preface; a tabulation of six mortgages for which Clarke was the mortgagee; and a transcription of each mortgage.

"John Young Canal Boat Mortgages, 1850 - 1865, Allegany County, Md." Assembled in March 2012, this 81-page compilation features 37 documents from courthouse records, including mortgages for mules and horses as well as canal boats.

"Jesse & Henry Korns Canal Boat Mortgages, 1851 - 1870, Allegany County, Md." Assembled in April 2012, this 97-page compilation include 53 mortgages for canal boats from courthouse records. Several of the mortgages cover multiple boats. Also available is a Korns family history.

"Cumberland Coal & Iron Company Canal Boat Mortgages, 1852 - 1857, Allegany County, Md." Courthouse documents show that the coal company paid off a builder's lien for six canal boats purchased in 1852. Courthouse records also contain mortgages issues by the company to owners of nine canal boats between 1854 and 1857. Compiled November 2010, this 19-page document includes a transcription of each mortgage.

"Cumberland Coal & Iron Company Canal Boat Mortgages, 1856 - 1857, Washington County, Md." This document includes two mortgages issued by the coal company in Washington County, one for a boat and the other for a quartet of mules.

bullet"Miscellaneous Washington County Canal Boat Mortgages, 1853 - 1873" Compiled in October 2012, this 11-document lists six mortgages for canal boats and livestock.

Frederick Mertens operated a boat yard in Cumberland. He recorded mortgages in both Allegany and Washington County. Most mortgages concerned canal boats, presumably new boats built in his boat yard. Starting at the end of 1879, most of the records were bills of sale for canal boats, mules, horses, harnesses, etc. These transactions may be considered the 19th-century equivalent of home equity loans, with Mertens loaning money to canallers using their property as collateral; note that the loans were all released (paid off).

Henry T. Weld was a boat builder and coal broker in Cumberland during the 19th century. In addition to constructing boats, he would issue mortgages for them. Sometime in 1871, he took on a partner, Thomas Sheridan. They recorded mortgages in Washington, Allegany, and Frederick Counties.

"Compilation of Miscellaneous Allegany County Mortgages 1832 - 1879" Transcriptions of 71 mortgages, deeds and bills of sale for canal boats and livestock recorded in Allegany County during the time period for a variety of owners. This 114-page document was updated in December 2013.

"Weyand Doerner & Richard Bender Canal Boat Mortgages, 1860 - 1878, Allegany County, Md." Updated in June 2012, this 65-page document lists 36 mortgages. Most of the records found were canal boat mortgages, presumably for new boats built in the Doerner & Bender Boat Yard.

"Christian Detmold Canal Boat Mortgages, 1862- 1863 Allegany County, Md." Christian E. Detmold was an investor, not a canal boat builder.  A New York City resident, he invested in the Central Coal Mining & Manufacturing Company. Detmold also invested in the construction of certain canal boats, with the proviso that the boats would freight for him, or his company, until the purchase money was fully paid.  Compiled October 2010, this document includes a preface, a tabulation of 12 mortgages, and a transcription of each.

"Hampshire and Baltimore Coal Company Canal Boat Mortgages, 1864 - 1867, Allegany County, Md." This coal company may have entered the boat business to ensure their product reached market. By September 1864, three years of Civil War fighting had taken its toll on canal operations. Terms of the mortgages gave Hampshire & Baltimore the power to tell boat owners which company's coal to carry. This 60-page document includes transcriptions of 26 mortgages.

"Central Coal Mining and Manufacturing Company Canal Boat Mortgages, 1864 - 1869, Allegany County, Md." Assembled in May 2012, this 122-page compilation lists 59 mortgages. In this compilation you can see that during 1864, the Central Coal Mining and Manufacturing Company provided financing to Jesse and Henry Korns, who actually built the boats. The boats were mortgaged (wholesale price) to carry coal exclusively and as soon as they were built, they were pressed into coal freighting service by Jesse and Henry Korns with trippage fees to pay off their boat construction loans.

"Barney McQuade Canal Boat & Other Mortgages, 1865- 1881, Allegany County, Md." Barney McQuade lived in Cumberland. He bought canal boats, purchased mules, freighted coal and got in trouble with the law. Then in 1881 he moved from Cumberland, Md. to Washington, D.C. where he bought another canal boat on the installment plan. This 39-page document lists the 27 mortgages.

"Young Brothers Canal Boat Mortgages, 1867 - 1879, Allegany County, Md." Assembled in March 2012, this 44-page compilation lists 27 mortgages held by William and James Young for canal boats and livestock.

"Consolidation Coal Company Canal Boat Mortgages, 1870 - 1873, Allegany County, Md." Consolidation Coal operated a large fleet of canal boats. It appears the company sold off some of the boats and financed the sales. Compiled December 2010, this document includes: a preface; a tabulation of nine mortgages for which Consolidation Coal Company was the mortgagee and a transcription of each mortgage.

"Consolidation Coal Company Canal Boat Mortgages, 1870 - 1873, Washington County, Md." This dcoument includes 15 mortgages recorded in Washington County with Consolidation Coal Company as the mortgagee.

"Richard & Michael Coulehan Canal Boat Mortgages, 1871- 1879, Allegany County, Md." Compiled August 2010, this document includes a preface, a tabulation of 14 mortgages for which the Coulehans were the mortgagee, and a transcription of each.

"Felix Bareis & Michael Rossworm Canal Boat Mortgages, 1878 - 1881, Allegany County, Md." Bareis and Rossworm were boat builders in Cumberland. Revised February 2013, this document includes: a preface; a tabulation of seven mortgages for which Bareis and Rossworm were the mortgagees; and a transcription of each mortgage.


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