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Joshua Nickum


Mr. Joshua Nickum is buried in an unmarked grave in Ellsworth Cemetery.
Mr. Nickum was born in the late 1850s. He may have been the son of Mr. Samuel and Minerva (Brown) Nickum. (The family may have later used the name Nickame, Nickom, Nickson or Nixon.) In 1870, he lived with a woman named Kate Nickum (who may have been Minerva), working for the Hannan family. Like many young African Americans of the time, he did not attend school.
In the fall of 1878, Mr. Nickum married Ms. Barbara Shean, the child of Dennis and Abbie Shean. They lived with her parents in 1880, in Westminster. He worked as a waiter in one of the hotels in town. Both are listed as being able to read, but not able to write.
In 1900, the couple is still living with Mrs. Abbie Shean. Mr. Nickum was working as a white washer. They have had one child, although we haven’t found that person yet. Mrs. Nickum died in the summer of 1902.
Mr. Joshua Nickum passed away later that year from pneumonia in the County Alms House. He is buried in an unmarked grave in Ellsworth Cemetery in Westminster, Maryland.

American Sentinel, 22 November 1902

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