What's New

Photo of the Month

Minerd.com Blog


National Reunion


Cousin Voices

Honor Roll

In Lasting Memory

In the News

Our Mission and Values

Annual Review

Favorite Links

Contact Us


Jacob Ulm/Woolam  (1721?-1778) and
Magdalena Boeshaar (1718?-1788?)

Ulm, Germany along the Danube River, featuring the 1377 Ulm Minster tower


Native German costumes
and architecture in Ulm

Jacob Ulm, a.k.a. "Woolam," is believed to have been born circa 1721 in or near New Holland, Lancaster County near Philadelphia, PA, apparently the son of German immigrants. Research by others tentatively has identified Jacob's parents as Mathias and Sarah (Henderson) Ulm, but this is not confirmed.

According to family lore, Jacob's Americanized surname of "Ullom" may be connected to origination in Ulm in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany, a town dating to medieval times.

One source, Mark Ogan, writing in the 1992 book, Genealogy of Jacob Colvin of Elk Township, Vinton County, Ohio and Allied Families, states that the Wollam/Woolam ancestors lived in France in the 1600s and were "driven away to the Rhine River valley of Germany." Ogan writes that Jacob was a farmer and a weaver, and that Jacob's father was born in or around Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany in about 1684 and sailed to the American colonies in about 1700, when he was age 16. 

In about 1744, when he would have been 23 years of age, Jacob married 26-year-old Magdelena Boßhaar (1718?-1788?). She was the daughter of German immigrants Johann Joerg "George" and Mary Elizabeth (Wennerich) Boßhaar, also commonly spelled "Boeshaar" or "Bösshaar."

Magdalena's maiden name appears to have been Americanized or shortened over the years from "Besore"and "Bashore" to "Besour" and "Peeshaar."

The history of this couple is published in two important books. One is Thomas J. Marino's 1992 book, Pasour, Paysour, Payseur, Paseur, Together at Last: Including the Early History of this BoÌsshaar Family from 1620-1991 and the Connections with the Summey, Thornburg, White, and Wyant Families. The other is Henry Z. Jones' The Palatine Families of New York, Vol. I.

The couple produced 11 children, among them Johann Balthaser "Balser" Woolam, Matthias Woolam, Peter Woolam, Wendel Woolam, Daniel Woolam, John Woolam, Shem Woolam, Jacob Woolam Jr., Juliana Shilling, Maria Magdalene Mowry and Hannah Woolam. These offspring are named in Jacob's will which he wrote in 1778, on file today in the Berkeley County Courthouse.


Trinity Lutheran Church and
parsonage, New Holland, early 1900s
Published by William M. Stauffer, druggist

In December 1745, the first of their children was christened in Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church located in New Holland, Earl Township, Lancaster County. Eventually four of the children would be baptized in the church. Records of the Trinity church show the family name spelled "Helm" - "Ulm" and "Uhlm."

Jacob and Magdalena also are known to have sponsored baptisms of relatives. One was the infant John Mathias Beshor christened on Dec. 21, 1746, son of Mathias and Appollonia Heneger Bashor at Settenwich Reformed Church in New Holland. Another was seven-year-old Joh. Jacob Lang, son of Christian and Anna Marg. (Boesharin) Lang, on March 12, 1750.

A record of the baptisms was written in German by the church pastor and, many years later, published in English in the 1977 book Records of Pastoral Acts at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.

When a mare and foal ran away from his farm in Earle Township, Lancaster County in mid-September 1750, Jacob offered a 15-shilling reward in an advertisement placed in the Germantown Berichte newspaper.

The Woolams eventually left New Holland and settled in the late 1750s in Sleepy Creek, Berkeley County, in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. At the time, the panhandle was part of Virginia in the American colonies.

Over the years, the family surname also has been spelled "Woolham" - "Wholam" - and "Woollom."

Jacob penned his last will and testament on April 13, 1778. In the document, he wrote:

IN THE NAME OF GOD Amen. I, Jacob Woolam of Berkeley County in the Colony of Virginia Weaver being weak in Body but of sound memory blessed be God do this thirteenth day of April in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Seventy eight make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner following that is to say First I give all my Estate Wherein I now live unto my dear Wife Magdalene some of my children being along with her but if my children want to go and do for themselves then shall all the goods be sold and my dear wife shall get her living out of it as long as she is a widow but if she marries another husband she is to have the one third of all my Estate and the remainder shall be equally divided among my Eleven children except my son Daniel shall have a Colt and my son John one Colt and my youngest son Jacob Woolam shall have my gun but nevertheless to permit my three sons to have their equal shares of the two thirds of my Estate as well as the rest of my Eleven children namely Balser Woolem Matthias Woolam Peter Woolam Windle Woolam Daniel Woolam John Woolam Sham Woolam and Jacob Woolam and Julianna wife of Jacob Shilling and Magdalene wife of John Morsey and Hannah Wollam. And also I make and ordain Michael Pitzor and George Lowman to be Executors in this my last will and Testament. IN WITNESS I the said Jacob Woolam have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seal the day and Year above Written.


Jacob  X  Woolam


He died later that year in Berkeley County, with his will probated on Nov. 17, 1778. (See Will Book I, page 150)

Magdalena may have survived her husband and died a decade later, in 1788, but this needs to be confirmed.


Berkeley Springs today



Book recording Balser's baptism

~ Son Johann "Balser" Woolam ~

Son Johann Balthasser "Balser" Woolam (1745-1823) was born on Nov. 24, 1745.

When a few weeks old, under the name spelled "Jacob Ullm," he was baptized on Dec. 15, 1745 in the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Holland, Lancaster County, PA. Sponsors were Joh. Balthasser Boösshar and wife Johanna Dorothea. A record of the baptism was recorded in German by the church pastor and, many years later, published in English in the 1977 book Records of Pastoral Acts at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Balser married Mary M. Weaver (Jan. 31, 1752- ? ).

Balser is believed to have died in 1823.


~ Son Matthias Woolam ~

Son Matthias Woolam ( ? - ? )


~ Son Wendle Woolam ~

Son Wendle Woolam ( ? - ? )


~ Son John Woolam ~

Son John Woolam


~ Son Shem Woolam ~

Son Shem Woolam (1760- ? ) was born in about 1760.

He was united in wedlock with Hannah (?) ( ? - ? ).

Shem succumbed in about 1834.


~ Son Jacob Woolam Jr. ~

Son Jacob Woolam Jr.


~ Daughter Maria "Juliana" (Woolam) Shilling ~

Daughter Maria "Juliana" Woolam (1751- ? ) was born on Dec. 20, 1751 in Lancaster County.

Just 12 days old, in a ceremony held on New Year's Day 1752 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of New Holland, she was baptized. Her sponsors were Abraham Rosenberger and Maria Juliana. A record of her christening was recorded in German by the church pastor and, many years later, published in English in the 1977 book Records of Pastoral Acts at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Juliana was joined in holy matrimony with Jacob Shilling ( ? - ? ).


~ Daughter Maria Magdalena (Woolam) Morsey a.k.a. Mowry ~

Daughter Maria Magdalene Woolam (1754- ? ) was born on April 28, 1754.

She received her baptism at the St. John's (Swatara) Reformed Church of Jonestown, Lebanon County, PA. Sponsors were George Scheffer and Anna Maria.

She wedded John Morsey ( ? - ? ) , also spelled "Mowry."

They produced one known son, Peter Morsey. The baby was baptized at the German Reformed Church in Hagerstown, MD, near Berkeley County, WV, in early 1770. Maria Magdalene's father was a witness to the ceremony, although the minister noted in church records that Jacob was not a member of the congregation.


~ Daughter Hannah Woolam ~

Daughter Hannah Woolam ( ? - ? ) was born in (?).

She apparently never married.


~ Son Daniel Woolam ~

Son Daniel Woolam (1757- ? ) was born on Aug. 22, 1757. With Daniel Jost and wife serving as witnesses, he was baptized at the Market Square Presbyterian Church at Germantown near Philadelphia o March 27, 1758.



Copyright © 2018 Mark A. Miner
Carl Hoge has contributed material for this biography. Carl and Ada Behrend also contributed written material that was forwarded by Donn Piatt Ullom to his co-worker Odger Wayne Miner, father of the founder of this website, on Feb. 13, 1980.