Janet and Robert Wolfe Genealogy --- Go to Genealogy Page for Nelson Reed --- Go to Genealogy Page for Nancy Styer

Notes for Nelson Reed and Nancy Styer

1751 "Mr. Nelson Reed was born in Anne Arundel county, Maryland, in 1751. In 1775, he was awakened under the ministry of the Methodists, when a great revival was going on in Fairfax circuit under the ministry of the Rev. William Watters, and brought into communion with the Saviour. Like many of the early preachers, he began to recommend the same religion that he had found to others, and exhort sinners to flee from the wrath to come, the same year in which he was converted. His name first appears in the Minutes of Conference in 1779. He faithfully served the Methodist Episcopal Church, as a minister, for forty-five years, frequently filling responsible stations. He was at the Christmas Conference, and assisted in organizing the Methodists into a Church, at which time he was ordained an Elder. When he became supernumerary, he still preached as his strength allowed him. Having sustained an unspotted reputation as a Christian for more than sixty-five years; and, having preached Christ almost as long, he left the militant to join the Church triumphant in 1840: he died in Baltimore in his eighty-ninth year. At the time of his death, he was considered the oldest Methodist preacher in the world." [1] [2]

1753 Nelson Reed, son of Nelson and Rebecca Reed, was born on November 28, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He was baptized at Westminster Parish. [3] [4] [5] [6]

1775 Nelson Reed converted to Methodism in 1775, under the ministry of William Watters. [7]

1779 Nelson Reed was listed as a travelling preacher. His geographic locations as a preacher in the Methodist church were chronicled through his death in 1840. [8]

1788-1789 "Session of Philadelphia Annual Conference of 1788 ... Number of preaching-places within the charge--Baltimore made a station--Account of a great revival in Baltimore--Services under Rev. Nelson Reed, presiding elder, and others... By this Conference Mr. Cooper was appointed to the charge of Baltimore, with Francis Spry as his colleague, and the Rev. Nelson Reed as elder over the district. ...On February 16 (1789) there was a most remarkable time on the Point at a watch-night service, held by Brother Nelson Reed and three or four others of our brethren the preachers. It is thought, at a moderate calculation, thirty or forty were converted. This was the time when Brother Reed fully entered into the spirit of this great and marvelous work. From the effects then and the fruits since seen, a most glorious and awful night it was. ... Some time in the month of September was the singular conversion of Sister A. R., in time of family prayer, at Brother J. H.'s, while Brother Nelson Reed was at prayer. When the Lord broke in upon her soul she seemed quite carried from earth to heaven. "O Brother Reed, Brother Reed!" she cried, "you have prayed me to heaven." She asked, "Am I in heaven?" She still says that for some time she knew not where she was, but thought she could see into heaven. when she got recollected a little she flew to all the family, in ecstasy, to declare the glory which she felt, and to press them to fly to Jesus for the same. I was not present at the time, but Brother Reed, and she herself, gave me the information. ". [9]

1789 Nelson Reed was taxed in Fairfax County, Virginia. [10] [11]

1790 Nelson Reed and Nancy Styer were married on June 8, in Baltimore, Maryland. [12] [13]

1799 Nelson Reed was taxed in Fairfax County, Virginia. [14] [15]

1800 Nelson Reed was taxed in Fairfax County, Virginia for one white male, 4 horses, and 1 slave. [16] [17]

1820 Nelson Reed (age 45+) lived in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland with two females age 10-16 and age 45+. [18]

Nelson Reed was a Methodist minister, and lived in Baltimore. Nelson was a prominent Minister/Elder in the early Methodist Church and was an associate of Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury and Rev. Ezekiel Cooper. In 1778, he was a 28 year old MD farmer when he took up the calling and apparently kept a diary chronicling his ministry in the late 1770's (not seen).

1840 Nelson Reed dated his will on October 7, in Baltimore. The will was affirmed on October 27, 1840. The will gave $250 to Eunice Yearington, for services rendered to the family. Wife Nancy Reed was to inherit the rest and upon her death the estate was to be divided into 15 equal shares and distributed to the following heirs. A codicil redistributed some parts of shares to specific children of some of the named siblings and in-laws. [19]:

One share to my sister in law, Anna Baker, if she shall be living … to her children …
One share to the children of my sister in law Mary Barton …
One share to the children of my sister in law Rebecca Myers …
One share to the children of my sister in law Elizabeth Eichelberger …
One share to the children of my brother in law Joseph Burneston …
One share to the children of my brother in law Isaac Burneston …
One share to the children of my brother James Reed …
One share to the children of my brother Isaac Reed …
One share to the children of my sister Elizabeth Marll …
One share to the children of my sister Rebecca Lloyd …
One share to the children of my sister Jane Bewly …
One share to my brother Saunders Alexander Reed …
One share to my brother Robert S. Reed …
One share to my sister Anna Toreyson …
One share to my sister Dinah Dudley …

1840 "Rev. Nelson Reed of the Baltimore Annual conference died in Baltimore, Md. on October 20, 1840 in the 87th year of his age. He was a son of Nelson and Rebecca Reed of Fairfax County Va. and was born in Anne Arundel County, Md. November 28, 1753. (he believed the correct date was Nov. 27, 1751). He moved to Virginia with his parents when he was nine years old. He married Miss Nancy Styer on June 8, 1790, and spent his life travelling and preaching." [20]

1848 Mrs. Nelson Reed (widow of one of the oldest traveling preachers in the Methodist Episcople Church) gave $10. [21]

Research Notes:

See also Nelson Reed biosketch. [22]

The Pope County History (Arkansas?) Book (not seen) is reported to have information regarding Rev. Nelson Reed: "...petitioned L. C. Howell as guardian to his children, entitled to a portion of the estate, late Rev. Nelson Reed, who died 20 Oct 1840, oldest minister in the M.E. Church of Baltimore, Maryland. His sisters, Jane Bewley; Eliza Maril; Rebecca Lloyd; Anna Toreyson; Dinah Dudley. Brothers, James, Isaac, Saunders A., and Robert S. Reed. In respect to Rev. Nelson Reed, many nephews were named for him; Nelson R. Burneston, Nelson Reed Eichelberger, Nelson Reed Baker, Rev. Nelson R. Bewley, Nelson R. Potter, Nelson R., son of Rev. Robert S. Bewley and Nelson R Hoover.

A biosketch reports [23]:

Rev. Nelson Reed. This aged and venerable servant of Jesus Christ is numbered with the dead. Full of years and honour, and cheered by the hope of a blissful immortality, he closed his career of protracted usefulness in the eighty-ninth year of his age, on the 20th of October, 1840, at his residence in the precincts of Baltimore city.

Father Reed was born in Ann Arundel county, Maryland, on the 27th of November, 1751. The period of his conversion to God is not distinctly ascertained. His name as an itinerant preacher first appears on the records of the church in 1779, though it appears from the best sources of information that he commenced his public ministry in the summer of 1775. Formidable were the difficulties with which he had to contend in the prosecution of his glorious work. Neither deterred by danger, nor intimidated by the threats of an infuriated mob, he pursued the "even tenor of his way," testifying the gospel of the grace of God. After forty-five years of effective service he took a superannuated relation, and at the time of his decease was the oldest Methodist preacher in Europe or America, having for sixty-five years preached the unsearchable riches of Christ. During the long period of his ministry he never was the subject of an official charge. His reputation was perfectly unblemished, no shade of suspicion ever having darkened its steady and sunlike splendour. In all the varied relations which he sustained to the church and the world, he evinced a firmness of purpose, an integrity of heart, and a fervency of zeal which beautifully illustrated the excellence of the Christian character. He discharged with fidelity the duties connected with many of the most important and responsible stations in that department of the household of faith to which he was attached. The salutary influence which he exerted in society, and the high estimation in which he was deservedly held, are not so much attributable to those extraordinary endowments of brilliant genius, which too often dazzle only to deceive, as to those more solid and substantial qualities of the heart which mark the man who is "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost."

The consistency of his profession, the dignity of his deportment, and the depth of his pietv, secured to him while living that good name which is more precious than ointment, and far above rubies, and which embalm his virtues, though now he be dead, in the affectionate remembrance of the discerning and the wise. His silent and unobtrusive course, so fruitful in lessons of piety, resembled not the mountain torrent that startles the ear with the noise of its babbling and attracts the eye with the gorgeousness of its spray. Even as the placid lake that slumbers amid the hills and reflects from its clear bosom the brightness and the beauty of the summer sky; so his calm and sanctified temper, unruffled by the provocations of insult, or the aspersions of calumny, demonstrated the power, the divinity, and the preservative influence of the religion of the cross.

In regard to all the elements which combine to form the character of an humble and an evangelical minister of the New Testament, he may safely be proposed as a model for universal imitation.

Having maintained his integrity unimpaired throughout his long and eventful history, he experienced in his latest moments the blessed consolations of that religion which sweetens the sorrows of life, extracts the sting of death, and confounds the conquests of the grave. "He held fast the beginning of Iiis confidence firm until the end." His trust in his Redeemer gathered fresh strength amid the tottering decrepitude of increasing years, and the flame of his devotion to the cause of God grew only the more ardent and intense amid the snows which whitened the locks of age. When the "lip, pale, quivering, and the beamless eye," denoted the approach of death, the last intelligible accents of his faltering tongue were, "My dependance is not on my own works; it is on the rock, Christ Jesus crucified." Having given this testimony to the power of divine grace, his peaceful spirit passed away to its heavenly inheritance.

" His soul to Him who gave it, rose ;
God led it to its long repose,
Its glorious rest!
And tho' the patriarch's sun has set,
Its light shall linger round us yet,
Bright, radiant, blest."


Footnotes:

[1] John Lednum, A History of the Rise of Methodism in America: Containing Sketches of Methodist Itinerant Preachers from 1736 to 1784 (1859), 249, [GoogleBooks].

[2] Minutes of the annual conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the years 1839-1845, Vol. 3 (1840), 153, [HathiTrust].

[3] Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995, [FamilySearch Record].

[4] Maryland, Births and Christenings Index, 1662-1911, [AncestryRecord].

[5] Maryland, Births and Christenings Index, 1662-1911, Westminster Parish, [AncestryRecord].

[6] Maryland, Births and Christenings Index, 1662-1911, All Hollows Parish, [AncestryRecord].

[7] Abel Stevens, History of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America, Volume 2 (1864), 67-70, [InternetArchive].

[8] William Buell Sprague, Annals of the American Methodist Pulpit, Volume 7 (New York: 1861), 68, [InternetArchive], [HathiTrust].

[9] George A Phoebus, Beams of Light on Early Methodism in America. Chiefly Drawn from the Diary, Letters, Manuscripts, Documents, and Original Tracts of the Rev. Ezekiel Cooper (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1887), 87, 99, 111, 126, 136, 137, 142, 294, [InternetArchive].

[10] Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Fairfax County), Personal property tax lists of Fairfax County, 1782-1805, B, [FHL Catalog].

[11] Personal property tax lists of Fairfax County, 1789/90 B, 13.

[12] FamilySearch.org, names wife Nancy Steger, [FamilySearchRecord].

[13] Mrs. Howard K. Pierce, A collection of genealogical notes from the Christian advocate and journal, published in New York for the Methodist Episcopal Church (1990), 130, [GoogleBooks].

[14] Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Fairfax County), Personal property tax lists of Fairfax County, 1782-1805, A, [FHL Catalog].

[15] Personal property tax lists of Fairfax County, 1799/1800 A, 12.

[16] Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Fairfax County), Personal property tax lists of Fairfax County, 1782-1805, 1800, [FamilySearch Image], [FHL Catalog].

[17] "Fairfax County, Virginia 1800 Tax List," The Virginia Genealogist 20 (1976), 20:9-14, at 10, [AmericanAncestors].

[18] United States Federal Census, 1820, [AncestryImage], [AncestryRecord].

[19] Baltimore County, Maryland, Wills, 1664-1850, [FamilySearchImage].

[20] Mrs. Howard K. Pierce, A collection of genealogical notes from the Christian advocate and journal, published in New York for the Methodist Episcopal Church (1990), 130, [GoogleBooks].

[21] Journal of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Baltimore 1848, Vol. 3 (1856), 35, [GoogleBooks].

[22] William Buell Sprague, Annals of the American Methodist Pulpit, Volume 7 (New York: 1861), 68, [InternetArchive], [HathiTrust].

[23] Minutes of the annual conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the years 1839-1845, Vol. 3 (1840), 153, [HathiTrust].