Map of Redbank

Map of Redbank
Map of Redbank

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Abraham Troutman of Redbank Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

I decided to take a closer look at Abraham Troutman since five of his nine children married either a direct or a collateral ancestor of mine.  His name kept appearing in records related to them.

He bought 82 acres of land in Redbank Township in 1839 from Enoch Buffington, who was supposedly married to his sister Lydia.  According to his tombstone he died on 14 April 1874 and was a captain in the Pennsylvania Militia in 1814 during the War of 1812.  Although he appears in the 1840, 1860, and 1870 censuses for Redbank Township, Armstrong County, it is difficult to determine an approximate date of birth for him since he is 61 in the 1860 census and only 60 in the 1870 census.  If he was in the war of 1812, he was certainly born prior to 1800.  He was married to Susannah Sollida.  Three of their children's death certificates give her maiden name (spelling varies).

Deeds recorded in Armstrong County after his death give his children and their spouses' names.  His children sold their interest in the 82 acres he owned at the time of his death to their brother Jacob and his wife Mary Troutman.

His children were as follows:

1. Sarah (1830-1914) married first to Amos Dinger with whom she had at least four children and second to William Brooks, Jr. (1846-1921) with whom she had one son

2.  Elizabeth (1835-1906) married John Hause (1836-1912)

3.  Hannah Etta (1836-1901) married John Milliron (1836-1914)

4.  George W. (1840-1920) married Elizabeth Hause (1846-1912)

5.  Pauline A. "Polly" (1843-1921) married Daniel A. Friedline (1844-1933)

6.  Henry (1844-1898) married Mary Catherine Harman (1849-1931)

7.  Jacob (1847-1905) married Mary Brooks (1850-1924)

8.  Benjamin F. (1849-1901) married Sarah Magdalene Himes (1857-1918)

9.  Susannah (born about 1853) married George J. Snyder


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

William Brooks from Huntingdon County to Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

It's hard to believe it's September already but the weather is beautiful right now in North Carolina.  I sent for the will of William Brooks who died in Armstrong County and received it last week.  It confirmed what I suspected.  William Brooks who lived in Armstrong County was the father of Elizabeth Brooks.  She was the second wife of John Harman/Harmon and had five children with him before she died prior to 1854.  The names of their children were given in my last blog post on John Harman/Harmon.

William Brooks bought 200 acres of land in Redbank Township, Armstrong County on 27 December 1838 from William Hamilton.  His household in the 1840 census for Redbank Township was as follows:

Free white males 15 thru 19-1
Free white males 40 thru 49-1
Free white females 10 thru 14-1
Free white females 15 thru 19-1
Persons employed in agriculture-1

Since there is no adult female in the household, his wife must have died prior to 1840.  He appears in the 1850 census with his second wife Phoebe whose maiden name was Smith according to the death certificates for two of their children.  He appears in the 1860 census with just his children so Phoebe must have died prior to 1860.  The ages of the children in the 1850 census are not consistent with those in the 1860 census.  The ages of the children in the 1860 census are consistent with other sources for them.

William appears in the 1870 census with his third wife Martha and his youngest daughter Mary.  He does not appear in any later censuses.  His probated will is important since it gives his death date of 25 April 1874 and his wife and children's names. The content of the will is summarized below.

His son William received 75 acres and was to pay the Harmon children $100.  His son Jacob received 50 acres and was to pay his daughter Mary $200.  His son John received 50 acres and was to pay his daughter Martha $200.  His wife Martha received 25 acres that was to go his daughters Martha and Mary when she died.  His wife Martha was also to receive $300 and 1/4 of the grain from his property during her lifetime.

His daughter Elizabeth Harman/Harmon died prior to 1854 so he leaves money to her children in his will. His sons John W. and Jacob Brooks were living in Huntingdon County when they sold the property their father left them in his will. William Brooks appears in the 1820 and 1830 censuses in Barree Township, Huntingdon County before he moved to Redbank Township. His daughters Martha and Mary with their husbands' names are given in an 1896 deed when they sold their 25 acres after his wife Martha's death. William Brooks' son William also sold the 75 acres his father gave him in his will.

The maiden name of William's first wife was Winkleman according to their son John W. Brook's death certificate.  They had three children:  John W. Brooks (1815-1905), Jacob Brooks (about 1818-1898), and Elizabeth (born about 1826-died prior to 1854) who married John Harman/Harmon.

William's second wife was Phoebe Smith and their children were as follows:

1. Their son James was born about 1843 and died on 13 April 1862 from disease  in Yorktown, Virginia during the Civil War.
2. William (1846-1921) married Sarah Troutman (1830-1914).  She married William about 1867 after her first husband Amos Dinger died.  William and Sarah had one son Elmer E.
3. Susana was born about 1848.
4. Martha J. (1850-1937) was married to Henry J. Winecoop about 1867.  After his death she married David H. McCullogh (1849-1920) on 27 February 1901.  She had no children.
5. Mary (1850-1924) married Jacob Troutman (1847-1905) about 1871.

William's third wife was Martha whose maiden name is unknown.  She married Christian Shick after William's death and died about 1896.

William's estimated birth date is based on the ages given in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses.  His place of birth differs in each census but the 1860 census gives New Jersey as his place of birth.  His sons John W. Brooks and Jacob Brooks give their father's place of birth as New Jersey in the 1880 census.  His son John W. Brooks death certificate also gives New Jersey as his father's place of birth.

There was a William B. Brooks (1811-1894) and Alpha I. Brooks (1814-1888) with children in Gaskill Township, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania in the 1850 through the 1880 censuses.  I have seen this couple's children erroneously assigned to the William Brooks living in Armstrong County.  There is no known relationship between these two families.

There was a William Brooks of Huntingdon Borough, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania that died on 26 December 1874.  He wrote his will on 4 September 1869 leaving his property to his daughter "Margaret Smith intermarried with William Smith, now deceased, and Ann Brooks, daughter by my present wife"...  His executor was George Jackson.  There is no known relationship between the William Brooks of Huntingdon County who died in 1874 and the William Brooks of Armstrong County who died in 1874 also.

If anyone is interested in William Brooks and his family, please contact me at

Sunday, August 10, 2014

John Harman-Blacksmith and Farmer of Redbank Township in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

John Harman was a large red headed man according to one of his descendants.
He was a blacksmith and farmer in Redbank Township in Armstrong County.  He was married three times and had at least 15 children.  He was a son of Daniel Harman and Elizabeth and was born in Millersburgh, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania according to an 1854 marriage record at the Jefferson County Courthouse.  There is a birth record at the Salem Evangelical Church in Killinger, Upper Paxton Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania (about 3 miles from Millersburgh) that is believed to be his.  Johannes Herman (Herman is a surname variation for Harman/Harmon) was born on 17 December 1807 and was baptized at the church there. The parents were Daniel Herman and Elizabeth and the sponsors were Johannes Miller and Rahel.

John Harman's oldest son in the 1850 census was Hiriam age 22.  There is a birth and baptism record at the Salem Evangelical Church for a Hiram born 22 November 1827 and baptized 28 September 1828.  The parents were Johann Hermann and Catharina and the sponsor was Elizabeth Hermann.  

John Harman's three wives were 1) Catharine Harman (daughter of Jacob Harman), 2) Elizabeth Brooks, and 3) Lydia Bish (first husband was Jacob H. Freedline).  

John Harman probably married Catharine Harman sometime prior to the birth of their son Hiram in 1827.  A Bill for the Specific Performance of a Contract, James Kerr versus the Administrators of Jacob Harman, Deceased, Number 11 June 1842 at the Armstrong County Courthouse names the children of Catharine Harman who was deceased.  The children who were minors at that time were Hiram, Levina, Anna, Uriah, Elizabeth, Sarah, and John.  These names are the same or variations of the names of John Harman's older children in the 1850 census.  There are census and other records for Uriah Harman (1833-1907) but no later records have been found for any of their other children.  If anyone knows who John and Catharine Harman's daughters married, please contact me.

John Harman's second wife was Elizabeth Brooks.  She appears in the 1850 census with him but is deceased by 1854 when he weds his third wife Lydia Freedline.  Their children were Emilene, Emanual, William J., Mary Catherine, and Hannah.  Elizabeth's maiden name is given as Brooks on the death certificates for three of her children.
1)  Emeline (1843-1923) married Daniel Wolfe (1824-1890) about 1858 and had at least 14 children.  Twelve children lived long enough to become adults.
2)  Emanuel (1844-1919) married Judith Hinderliter (1837-1900) and Mary A. Hartman (1848-1937).  He had at least 3 children to his first wife.
3)  William J. (about 1848-before 1880) married Mary A. Mauk (1856-1905) about 1871.  They had at least 3 children.  She later married Michael Boyer  (1836-1911) and Boaz D. Blose (1844-1921).  William J. was in Company D, 107th Pennsylvania Infantry during the Civil War and applied for a pension in 1876.
4)  Mary Catharine (1849-1931) married Henry Troutman (1844-1898) about 1870.  The 1900 census states she was the mother of 13 children with 11 living.
5) Hannah (1850-1926) married John J. Smith (1842-1918) about 1866.  The 1910 census states she is the mother of 17 children with 12 living.

John Harman's third wife was Lydia Bish (1815-1900).  She had 8 children to her first husband Jacob H. Freedline (1814-1854).  She was married to John Harman on 12 September 1854 according to a marriage record at the Jefferson County Courthouse.  Their children were Irvin, Cornelius, and Susanna, and possibly Rachel (Susanna and Rachel may be the same person in the 1860 and 1870 census).
1)  Irvin (1855-1929) married Susan M. Howard (1863-1934) on 31 May 1877.  The 1910 census states she is the mother of 12 children with 10 living.
2)  Cornelius (about 1857-before 1900) married Elizabeth before 1880.  They had at least 1 daughter.
3)  Susanna (1859-1948) married Michael Thomas (1858-1931) after 1880.  The 1910 census states she is the mother of 6 children with 5 living.

John Harman appears in the 1870 census in Redbank Township, Armstrong County but his wife Lydia is a widow in the 1880 census in Redbank Township, Clarion County.  There are no deed or estate records for John Harman at the Armstrong County Courthouse.  He died sometime between 1870 and 1880 but it is not known where he is buried.  If anyone is aware of a tombstone for him, please contact me.

I am willing to share what information I have on this family with anyone that is interested.  If anyone has any additional information on John Harman or his wives and their descendants, please contact me.  I have tried to be as accurate as possible but corrections are always welcome.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Daniel Wolf Begat 21 Children

Daniel Wolfe was a son of John Wolf and Christina Wolfgang.  He was born 3 July 1824 and died 15 December 1890.  His death notice in the Jeffersonian Democrat in Brookville, Pennsylvania for 8 January 1891 stated "Daniel Wolf, one of the oldest residents of Knox Township, died on  December 15th, ultimo, of dropsical affection and heart disease, aged about 70 years.  He had been a resident of Knox nearly, if not quite, 40 years.  He was the father of 21 children, 14 of whom are living."  He was married twice.  His first wife was Rachel L. Bailey, a son of Bill Bailey.  Their children were:

1.  Jacob E., born 26 August 1846-died 2 February 1926
2.  Daniel born about 1847
3.  John S., born 27 August 1850-died 7 April 1919
4.  Hannah born about 1851
5.  Christina born about 1854

Only Jacob E. who married Christena Yoder and John S. who married Catherine Gearhart lived long enough to marry and have children.

Daniel was married to Emeline Harman, a daughter of John Harman and Elizabeth Brooks.  They had 12 children who lived long enough to marry.  The names of two children who died young are listed in the census. 

1.  Frederick M., born 8 November 1859-died 25 November 1909, married May Yount
2.  Conrad Lincoln, born 29 May 1861-died 27 May 1954, married Sarah Emma Dilla Himes and Mary Elizabeth Barr
3.  Samuel Peterson, born 16 November 1862-died 21 July 1956, married Mary C. Fenstermaker
4.  Lavina born about 1864
5.  Catherine Elizabeth, born 3 April 1867-died 1 February 1906, married Jeremiah M. Emery or Emerick
6.  Erven born about 1869
7.  Joseph Henry, born 24 January 1874-died 28 March 1932, married Clara Covel
8.  Susan Alice born November, 1875-died 30 September 1941, married William A. Yount
9.  Martha Ellen, born 21 March 1879-died 2 June 1962, married Maurice Clontz and Joseph Zimmer
10.  Aaron Neal, born 7 May 1881-died 1 May 1932, married Sarah Ann Hetrick
11.  Harry Blaine, born 18 September 1884-died 27 January 1971, married Mary May Smith
12.  Edward Michael, born 22 March 1886-died 28 August 1946, married Martha May McDowell
13.  Anna, born 6 August 1888-died 5 May 1978, married Ira Alfred Mauk
14.  Emma Ella M., born 6 August 1888-died 21 September 1970, married Adam Dinsmore

Daniel had at least 5 children to his first wife Rachel and at least 14 children to his second wife Emeline.  The names of his other two children are not known.

Since different birth dates were given in different records for some of the children, there may be some discrepancies.  The last two children of Daniel and Emeline were twins.  Emeline's birth date is listed as 15 October 1843 on her tombstone and death certificate although she was only four years old in the 1850 census.  She was about twenty years younger than her husband Daniel when she married him and was 16 years or younger when her first child was born.  She married John Henry Covel on 12 May 1891.  He was about twenty years younger than her since he was born about 1864.

I have a lot of information on Daniel's descendants and would like to share this information with anyone interested in his family.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Benjamin Boddorf/Battorff/Batdorf of Berks County and Redbank Township in Armstrong and Clarion County, Pennsylvania and His Children

Benjamin Boddorf first appears in the records of Armstrong County on 6 March 1837 when he purchases 104 acres from David and Salome Keck in Redbank Township, Armstrong County.  He sells his property in Bethel Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania on 13 April 1839.  He appears in the 1840 census in Redbank Township, Armstrong County with his family.  He is not in the 1850 census in Redbank Township, Clarion County but appears in the 1860 census in Redbank Township, Clarion County.  He last appears in the 1870 census with his son Isaac and his family in Redbank Township, Clarion County.  He transfers 89 acres to his son Isaac on 27 June 1864.

Benjamin Boddorf was married to Sarah Miller and lived in Bethel Township, Berks County where his children were baptized at St. Paul's (Klopp's) Church in Bethel Township, Lebanon County.  This church is located just over the line between Berks and Lebanon County.  Benjamin's parents were Christopher and Catharina Battorff.  The last name is spelled many different ways.  Christopher Battorff's parents were Christian Battorff and Eva Regina Karsnitz.  Christian's father was Martin Batdorf.  Much additional information is available regarding this family for anyone that is interested.

Benjamin had the following known children:

Rebecca (5 June 1831-11 May 1909) married Josiah Fenstermaker

Ella Mina (about 1832-died after 20 March 1902) married Jonathan S. Himes

Amos (22 August 1833-27 October 1910) married Caroline Keck

Elisabeth (born 15 August 1834)

Benjamin (born 29 October 1835)

Isaac (25 August 1837-4 June 1923) married Caroline Stahlman

Catherina (born 10 November 1840-baptized at Yeany's Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Redbank Township)

Benjamin's brother, Leonard Battorf was living in Porter Township, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania in the 1850 census and had died by September, 1873 when his heirs hired Joel Spyker as their attorney to collect money owed to their father's estate.  Leonard's two sons, Leonard and Andrew were living in the Armstrong and Jefferson County area but it is not known if they had any descendants.

There was a Sarah Batdorff living with John and Magdalena Reitz in the 1860 census in Beaver Township, Jefferson County.  This may be a daughter of Benjamin Boddorf.  There is an entry for a Rena M. Boddorf, d/o J.B. and S.,died 8/6/1836 1m 26d in Patricia Steele's Tombstone Hoppin'.  This may also be a daughter of Benjamin Boddorf.

Benjamin has descendants in the Armstrong County, Clarion County, Jefferson County, and surrounding areas today that spell their last name Boddorf.  If anyone is interested, I would like to share information with you.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Will the correct Solomon Himes please step forward!

There were four men by the name of Solomon Himes living in the counties of Armstrong, Clarion, and Jefferson County, Pennsylvania that were born within a few years of each other from 1836 to 1840.  Many people that have a Solomon Himes from one of these counties as an ancestor associate them with the wrong parents.  I will attempt to look at each of the four men by the name of Solomon Himes and explain why I have placed them with a particular Himes family.

1)  Solomon Himes who was born 1 April 1836 and died 13 July 1909 was a son of Peter Himes and Eva Shaffner/Shoffner.  The original baptismal record from the "Yeany" Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church near Shannondale in Clarion County, Pennsylvania gives his parents' names as Petrus and Eva Heims.  He was married to Lucina Smith and was in Company I, 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers during the Civil War.  He is buried at St. John's (Windy Hill) Cemetery in Rose Township, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.  Photographs of Solomon and Lucina's tombstones are on the Find A Grave website.

2)  Solomon Himes who was born 12 August 1838 and died 16 December 1889 was a son of Henry Himes and Salome Moser.  The original baptismal record from the "Yeany" Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church near Shannondae in Clarion County, Pennsylvania gives his parents' names as Heinrich Heim and Salome.  He was married to Rebecca Best.  He is buried at Saint Jacobs Union Cemetery in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.  Photographs of Solomon and Rebecca's tombstones are on the Find A Grave website. 

3)  Solomon Himes who was born 8 January 1840 and died 6 June 1911 was a son of William Himes and Caroline Wonderling.  A transcribed baptismal record of the Trinity Reformed Church record by Cornelius Koppenheffer gives his birthdate as 6 January 1840 and his parents' names as William and Caroline Heim.  His tombstone gives his birthdate as 8 January 1840.  He was married to Lucetta.  He is buried at Shannondale Union Cemetery in Shannondale, Clarion County, Pennsylvania.  A photograph of Solomon and Lucetta's tombstone is on the Find A Grave website.

4)  Solomon Himes who was born 18 September 1837 and died 31 August 1897 was a son of  Christian Himes and Ann Mary Rettinger.  A Solomon aged 14 appears in the 1850 census with Christian Himes and a Solomon aged 23 appears in the 1860 census with Christian Himes in Redbank Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. He was married to Elizabeth and was in Company A of the 78th Pennsylvania Infantry during the Civil War.  He is buried at the North Freedom United Methodist Church Cemetery in North Freedom, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.  A photograph of Solomon and Elizabeth's tombstone is on the Find A Grave website.

If anyone wants to verify the birthdates for the first two Solomon Himes listed above, the original "Yeany" Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church records should be consulted rather than the transcribed records by Cornelius Koppenheffer for this church since the transcribed records are incorrect.  It should also be noted that all four Solomon Himes are great-grandsons of the original John George Heim who settled in Armstong county, Pennsylvania in the early 1800's (see my earlier blog post regarding him).  Other records for the above men and their spouses such as obituaries and military records are available.  All I have attempted to do here is to connect each Solomon Himes with his parents and to give a reason for doing so.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Who were Christian and Samuel Himes' parents?

It has been a long time since I've posted on this blog but I hope to do better in the future.  The evidence for John George Heim and his five sons who migrated to Redbank Township in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania in the early 1800's is meager.  It is sometimes difficult to place Heim/Himes individuals into the right family groups.  Such is the case with Christian and Samuel Himes.

Christian Himes born about 1814 and Samuel Himes born about 1817 were brothers.  Both of them appear in the 1840, 1850, and 1860 censuses in Redbank Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. 

All evidence suggests that their parents were John George Heim, Jr. and his wife Susanna.  John George Heim Jr. (born 11 December 1776) was a son of John George Heim, Sr. and Rosina Miller.  The Jr. and Sr. were added to differentiate them from one another.  Both John George Heim Sr. and John George Heim Jr. appear in the 1820 census in Redbank Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.  John George Heim Jr. has 2 males under the age of 10 in his household (Christian and Samuel).

Both John George Heim Sr. and John George Heim Jr. also appear as communicants on 12 December 1824 when the Lutheran pastor Gabriel Adam Reichert visits the Redbank area.  Georg Heim (Sr.) and Georg Heim Jr. and Susanna take communion with others (see the Journal of Gabriel Adam Reichert by Paul Miller Ruff).

Probate records from 1829 to 1832 at the Armstrong County Courthouse in Kittanning, Pennsylvania for George Himes include letters of administration, a list of appraised property, a vendue list, and an account.  William Orr was named administrator for the estate of George Himes.  William Himes and Jacob Himes appraised his property.  The vendue list and account names George Himes' relatives and neighbors.  The estate papers do not indicate any relationships other than names.

The probate records are believed to be those for George Heim Jr. rather than George Heim, Sr. since George and his wife Susanna disappear as sponsors for any children after 1829 but were sponsors for three children prior to December 1829 at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (Yeany's) in Shannondale, Redbank Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.  (Susanna appears as a sponsor for a child by herself on18 January 1829).

Susanna later remarried Christian Shoffner.  Her will dated 8 February 1868 was probated in Clarion County, Pennsylvania.  It names her husband Christian Shoffner and her sons Christian Himes and Samuel Himes.  (She leaves her estate to her husband Christian Shoffner and to Christian and Samuel Himes' heirs if her husband Christian died before her since her sons had already died).