Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Easly Line - Blasius Easly Immigrant

During the summer of 2013 I learned about the Easly line. This line starts with Rebecca M. Easly, my 4th great grandmother, and wife of Robert H. Haggerty. The oldest ancestor in this line is Blasius Easly, my 6th great grandfather, born in 1711.

To make more sense out of this - the line looks like this:
  1. me
  2. My father
  3. My grandmother - Mary Eugina McDonald (1922 - 1998)
  4. My great grandfather - Loraine Anthony McDonald (1897 - 1967)
  5. My 2nd great grandfather - Robert Alphonsus McDonald (1869 - 1959)
  6. My 3rd great grandmother - Anna Haggerty (1845 - 1927)
  7. My 4th great grandmother - Rebecca M. Easly (~1801 - 1881)
  8. My 5th great grandfather - Andrew Easly (1762 - ??) 
  9. My 6th great grandfather - Blasius Easly 

The oldest known member of the family Blasius Easly arrived in the Port of Philadelphia September 9, 1751 aboard the ship Patience. The ship sailed from England to Philadelphia which was a British colony.

Blasius married Mary Magdelan Rooker. There are eight children that have been documented in various historical records.
  1. Mary Easly b. 1752
  2. Barbara Easly
  3. Christina Easly
  4. Casper Easly b. 1760
  5. Andrew Easly b. 1762 (my ancestor)
  6. Ferdinand Easly b. 1768
  7. Magdalen Easly
  8. Rebecca Easly

A very detailed history about the Easly family was prepared by J. F. Easly. The write up includes very specific details and references to many court records. The records document both land, wills and other proceedings. The original author did future generations an amazing service as this research was done before the internet and the search engines that are available today. If you are interested in research - it is highly recommended to read this work.

To view the research by J. F. Easly

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Holidays from 1925!

A sampling of Murosky family photos that were likely taken over the holidays between 1925 and 1926. My grandfather Arthur is featured in these photos with his parents Anthony Harry Murosky, Jr and Helen Tillie Bukowski, aunt Esther Murosky and siblings Harry A. and Edward V. My great grandmother Helen recorded names and dates on all of her photos.



Helen Tillie Bukowski holding Edward V. Murosky with Esther Murosky.
Harry A. and Arthur Murosky are in front.

My grandfather Arthur, aged 6, with his brothers
 Edward V., infant, and Harry A., aged 4



Esther Murosky with the children and her
brother, Anthony Harry Murosky, Jr.








Saturday, October 26, 2013

Immaculate Conception Cemetery: Clarion, PA - Direct Ancestors

On July 2, 2012 I visited the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Clarion, PA with my father and my aunt.  A distant relative from my Selker family connections was very helpful and was our guide in the cemetery. The Immaculate Conception Cemetery is the final resting place for many direct ancestors, their siblings and their children.






My third great grandparents Leopold Guth and Theresa Loll are buried next to my 2nd great grandparents Joseph William Selker and Frances Philomena Guth. Frances is the daughter of Leopold Guth and Theresa Loll.


The burial location of my 2nd great grandparents Joseph William Selker and Frances Philomena GuthJoseph William Selker was born October 8, 1865 in Fuersteanau, Province of Hanover, Germany. In 1885 he departed Germany to come to America. After settling in Clarion, Pennsylvania he married Frances Philoma Guth the daughter of Leopold Guth and Theresa Loll on November 4, 1890 in Clarion. Frances was born February 25, 1863 in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. To learn more about Joseph William Selker read the Blog post The Selker Family: Hermann George and his son Joseph William, cigarmaker.

The burial location of my 3rd great grand parents Leopold Guth and Theresa Loll. Leopold Guth was born November 14, 1830 in Untersimmonswald, Province of Baden, Germany. Around 1850 he departed Germany. A watchmaker and jeweler he opened a shop in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. He married Theresa Loll daughter of Antoine Loll and Mary Ann (Tehl) (Keal) (Elle) on January 20, 1853 in Clarion. Theresa Loll was born May 12, 1835 in Marcholsheim, Alsace, France. Learn more about Mary Ann's family read the Blog posts The French Connection and Antonine Loll: German Cavalryman.


The burial location for my 3rd great grandfather Michael O'Neill. Michael was born September 19, 1827 in County Leitrim, Ireland. He sailed from Liverpool on May 12, 1851 and became a naturalized citizen February 11, 1859. Michael resided in Clarion Township on his farm. He married twice - his first marriage was to Lucinda Jane Aaron and his second to my third great grandmother Ellen CunninghamEllen is buried in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in an unknown location. Michael died on February 8, 1892. To learn more about the O'Neill family read the following blog post The O'Neill Connection To St. Patrick

Michael O'Neill's tombstone is very faded and sections are difficult to read. Showing the image as a cross process allows for the faded portions of the tombstone next to be read.



Saturday, October 5, 2013

An Old Timer's Early Thrills on the River, by Peter McDonald of Vowinckel, Pa

Peter McDonald is my 3rd great grand uncle. The youngest son of Irish immigrants David McDonald and Bridget Lynam (my 4th great grand parents) he was born March 1, 1847 in Farmington, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. He lived his entire life in Farmington and died in 1936 at the age of 88. 

Peter was featured in the True Tales of the Clarion River, Volume I, which was published in 1933 where he talks about his first experience as a river pilot. 

An Old Timer's Early Thrills on the River, by Peter McDonald of Vowinckel, Pa (page 42-44)

"As this is my eighty-sixth birthday and I have a holiday, I will try and write my first experience as a raftman on the Clarion and Allegheny rivers.

My experience as a raftman up to the time of this story, which was in December of 1862, was of the traditional style handed down by my father, David McDonald, who had helped Davis Munn run several rafts down the Clarion to Lower Hillville. There he sold them to Jacob Hill, who had a boat scaffold and furnished 100 foot boats for the Pittsburgh coal companies.

These boats were dropped into the water without the aid of lines. My father and Mr. Munn used grapevines for cable to anchor the rafts. David Munn ran his first raft around 1840. He had purchased 150 acres on Troutman Run near the Clarion. He and his wife lived and died on this piece of ground, and their tombstones are standing to this day. They should have a monument. As I pass their lonesome resting place it brings back memories of the earlier days of the lumbering and rafting business and along with these memories of the many hardships the early pioneers had to endure.

Well, getting back to my own experience: My rafting up the to the year 1862 had been learned from my Father and an old raftman by the name of William Daugherty. He would go down the river on every floor and when returning home he would stop at Father's and tell all the experiences that occurred on that trip, and of his narrow escapes.

These stories and those of Father's filled me with the longing to go down to Pittsburgh, so in December 1862, when I was 14 years old, I heard that there were going to be some rafts leave Clarington on a certain day. I told Tom McClosky, a neighbor boy of about my age, about it and we decided to go down the evening before and see if we could get a trip. (Tom McClosky's sister Hannah McCloskey married Peter McDonald's brother David).

We started from home for Clarington, which was nine miles away, at about dark. When we arrived at the town everything seemed to be closed up for the night. We hurried down to the river and boarded a raft and began pulling the oars to keep from freezing, and also for practice. We worked all night and by early morning began to feel hungry. We had five cents between us, so Tom went to a house and bought a loaf of bread. We are the bread and drank water from the river and felt refreshed.

There were several rafts to start but they seemed to all have their full crews. We asked several men for a trip but they would answer with a smile, "We don't need any more men."

Tom and I were discouraged and about ready to leave for home, but we met a man who told us another raft would leave during the day, and if we would stay around, perhaps we would get a trip. This man proved to John Brandon, the owner of the raft that we had practiced on all night. Well, about noon Tom and I took our places on the raft along with John Davis and Conrad Barr, the pilot. Everything went nicely that day and we landed at Millcreek and tied up the raft.

Tom had gone to the boarding house. John Davis was on the raft fixing something and Conrad and I were on the bank when a raft came down the river, struck ours, and took John and the raft down the river. There was a skiff on the beach that belonged to the landlord and Conrad tried to buy or rent it, but he refused to do either, so we decided to take it. We found it was locked but I took a stone and broke the lock.

Conrad and I then took the skiff and started after John and the loose part of the raft, the greater part having been torn away when it was struck. We caught up with John some time later and Conrad drifted the raft toward the shore. I took a short line and tried to fine a tree but it was too dark and stormy. The only anchor I could fine was a rock but the raft pulled the rock into the water and John and Conrad went on.

I was almost frozen but fortunately a light in the distance gave me courage. I found my way back down the river bank to a house which proved to be a hotel at the Clarion River bridge. I told the landlord that I wanted to stay all night and that I had no money. He said, "I don't keep customers of your calibre." I then told him that if he did not keep me I would stone every window out of his house. I don't know who would have come out best. Fortunately a man, hearing the argument, came out of the hotel and told the landlord to give me some supper, a bed and breakfast. This man's name was Mr. Furman.

I ate a big supper and had a good night's rest. After breakfast Mr. Furman told me that he was going down the river and would give me a lift. I helped him get the skiff into the water and we started after John and Conrad. We finally caught up with them at Piney Eddy. I had helped Mr. Furman and he gave me two dollars besides my hotel expense. This was the first money I ever earned on the river.

The next thing was the gather up our scattered timber. So John and another boy stayed at the raft while Conrad and I took the old leaky skiff and started up the river. Several pieces had been caught by the mill men. They claimed all that was not stamped and wanted fifty cents a piece for catching it. We had no money but as it was getting dark we took all we found that was no marked and floated the down to John who rafted them in.

After that everything went good to the mouth of the river and John Brandon said, "that was the best wreck I ever had as we had more timber when we finished that when we started."

I was at the mouth of the Clarion then, and still longing to see Pittsburgh. I managed to get on a raft of square timber owned by John O'Neil & Co. We coupled four rafts and started with our fleet as quickly as possible as the weather was getting very cold and there was danger of the river freezing over.

We landed somewhere down the river and put up for the night. Early the next morning when we started out again it was so cold that we broke up our extra oars and made a fire on the raft. This annoyed the oil boats as they were afraid of the sparks.

That evening we reached Freeport, twenty-eight miles from Pittsburgh, tied up our fleet, and just at that time a fleet of boats belonging to James Clark drifted in along side of ours. The men were almost frozen. One man by the name of Conrad Meyers had to be carried off the raft. He never recovered from the exposure.

Oh! yes, those boats drifted on down stream and were found frozen in the middle of the river by the next morning.

At this time I decided not to go any further as the Allegheny railroad only came to Kittanning, and they told me not to ride on it as it was unsafe because of slides from the river hills. It would have been a long walk down to Pittsburgh and back.

I started to walk home by the way of Worthington, Middlesex, East Brady, Clarion and Lucinda, and reached home about midnight with ten dollars in my pocket for the Clarion River trip and fifteen dollars for the Allegheny run.


Oh! yes, about Tom. He got another raft the next morning at Millcreek and went to visit some of his relatives and did not get home for three weeks. There was considerable anxiety at his home about him and all I could tell them was I had left him at Mill Creek."

References:
  1. Sheffer, George P. (1933) True Tales of the Clarion River, Volume 1. Clarion, PA: The Clarion Republican Newspaper Co. Available for purchase here: http://stores.homestead.com/mechlingbooks2/-strse-254/TRUE-TALES-OF-THE/Detail.bok

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Michael McDonald Obituary

Michael McDonald is my 3rd great grandfather. His obituary was published in the Clarion Democrat on October 11, 1923. Virginia McDonald Geary gave me a copy of this obituary copied from microfilm.

Michael McDonald

Last Monday evening, October 8, 1923, at 5 o'clock P.M. Michael McDonald, one of the most notable citizens of Farmington township, as well as one of the oldest, departed this life, after a brief illness.

Born June 19, 1834, at McDonald's Corners, now Vowinckel station and post office, the son of David and Bridget McDonald, the deceased has passed through a most interesting period of activity in this section. He has seen the rise, development and the end of the lumber business which wiped out our forests; he had seen the oil and gas come and practically go, and he has seen the development of the county along many lines.

Mr. McDonald always lived at McDonald's Corners, and spent his long and useful life as a citizen in helping to develop his section of the county. He was married in 1862 to Miss Anna Haggerty, of the same township (Farmington) who now survives after a union extending over sixty-one years. He is also survived by the following children: John of Crown, Robt. A., Clarion [my 2nd great grandfather]; Jerome, Sheffield; A. A., of Pittsburgh; Benjamin and Bert, Jamestown, N.Y.; Patrick, Mrs. Clara Fitzgerald, and Mrs. Mary Dodson, Vowinckel; Sister Alfrieda, Erie and Mrs. Peter Brisley, Cincinnati, O. There also survive 31 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren and one brother, Peter McDonald of Vowinckel.

Mr. McDonald was a man of great physical strength, developed in the lumber woods and on the farm. For about twenty years he was prominently engaged in lumbering and was one of the best pilots of the Clarion River. On one occasion he was swept from his raft on the river by the slush ice and for two hours battled with the current before reaching shore. His clothing froze on him but his rugged constitution carried him thru. He was always an active and leading business man of his section and had the confidence of the entire community in his integrity.

He was a lifelong member of the St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church at Crown where his funeral was held Thursday morning at 9:30, Requiem High Mass being celebrated by Rev. Fr. M. Fitzgerald, and the body was laid to rest in the Crown Cemetery.


Michelle M. Murosky: The McDonald Collection &emdash; Michael McDonald & Anna Haggerty - Golden Wedding Celebration

Sunday, September 22, 2013

1877 - Farmington Township, Clarion, Pennsylvania

Farmington township plays an important role in my family history as two of my direct ancestors David McDonald and  Robert Haggerty, both my 4th great grandfathers, were among the founding families who came to this area in 1831.

"In 1831 the solitude of the wilderness in the northeastern portion of the township was broken by James Black, who came from Sugar Creek, Armstrong county, and settled on the homestead near North Pine Grove. The country abounded in game of all sorts, deer, bears, wolves[,] panthers, wild cats, wild turkeys, and pigeons, besides the smaller species. The streams were alive with trout. Within a year or two came his brothers, John and Patrick Black; Thomas Meagher, Charles and Dennis Boyle, David McDonald, Thomas Walley, Robert and Archibald Haggerty, David Griffin, Henry McNairney; soon after these, William Wilkinson and Arthur McCloskey; the latter, with his family, came from Philadelphia in 1835. These settlers were all Catholics, the majority of them from Butler and lower Armstrong counties" (See Reference 1)

The Caldwell's Illustrated Combination Atlas of Clarion County, Pennsylvania was produced in 1877 from actual surveys by and under the direction of Henry Cring. The Atlas identifies both the towns, main roads and landowners at the time. Today the information is helpful to understand the relationships between founding families and to assist the researcher when attempting to locate the original family homesteads.

Vowinckel is in the upper right hand corner. Vowinckel over a century later has many similarities to the map below. Wild game including bears and mountain lions have been witnessed by those who reside in this area today. The upper portion of the original map is shown below - key sites have been colored in red.

Farmington Township - 1883

Reference 3323

Farmington Township - 3323


  • McDonald farmland is highlighted
  • The McAvoy land is noted. Peter McDonald's first wife was Mary Ann McAvoy. Peter was the son of David McDonald and Bridget Lynam  my 3rd great grand uncle.
  • The McAvoy school house is noted and the red brick building still stands today. Many of the McDonald and Haggerty children would have attended the school house in their youth

Reference 3324

Farmington Township - 3324

  • At the four corners of Blood Road (today State Route 66 and McDonald Drive) is the homestead of two McDonald's. The Vowinckel Hotel originally operated by Michael McDonald and Anne Haggerty still stands at this intersection.
  • The James Haggerty farm is shown - the land originally settled by Robert Haggerty and Rebecca Easly (my 4th great grand parents). The land is still farmed today although it was sold over time the boundaries of the farm match the original land parcel.

Reference 3325


Farmington Township - 3325




  • The local Catholic Church - St. Mary's Crown is shown on the map. This was once the main route between Tylersburg and North Pine Grove.

Reference 3337


Farmington Township - 3327



  • The land of Thomas Haggerty, son of Robert Haggerty and Rebecca Easly (my 4th great grand parents), is noted. Thomas is the brother of James Haggerty and Anne HaggertyThomas married Bridget McDonald, daughter of David McDonald and Bridget Lynam (my 4th great grand parents). Bridget is the sister of Michael McDonald. Michael McDonald married Anne Haggerty (my 3rd great grandparents) - thus a McDonald brother and sister married a Haggerty brother and sister.

Reference 3686

Farmington Township - 3686


  • The McCloskey land is shown. David McDonald and Bridget Lynam's  (my 4th great grand parents) son David married Hannah E. McCloskey, daughter of Bernard McCloskey.

References:
  1. A. J. Davis, History of Clarion County, Pennsylvania with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers (Clarion County Historical Society, 1887), Clarion County Historical Society, Chapter 35 History of Farmington Township.
  2. Joseph A. Caldwell, Caldwell's Illustrated historical combination atlas of Clarion County, Pennsylvania / from actual surveys by & under the directions of Henry Cring ; assisted by C.T. Arms ... [et al.]. (Condit, Ohio, J.A. Caldwell, 1877), Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 USA, 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Antonine Loll: German Cavalryman

While this entry  in the Genealogical and personal history of the Allegheny Valley Pennsylvania is about George Lauer, founder of the Lauer family in Clarion, Pennsylvania it also includes information about Antonine Loll, my 4th great grandfather, his ancestors and his children. Antoine married Mary Ann. Mary Ann has been recorded as Many Ann Teal and Mary Ann Keal. Despite searches with these surnames, Mary Ann's ancestors have never been located. This entry provide another variation of her maiden name - Elle.

Two of Antonine's children married two of George Lauer's children - entwining the two families.

1. Francis Loll married John Loll, son of George Lauer. [my 3rd great grand aunt]
2. George Loll married Priscilla Lauer [my 3rd great grand uncle]

The Entry in  the Genealogical and personal history of the Allegheny Valley Pennsylvania.
Page  798-799 Lauer

George Lauer, the founder of the family in this country, was born in Germany in 1815, and died in 1877, in Knox township, Clarion county, Pennsylvania. He emigrated to America in 1846 and settled first at St. Mary's, Elk county, Pennsylvania, removing later to Knox town ship, where he cultivated a farm until his death. He married, in Germany, Ursula Bendorfer, born in 1820, died in Knox township in 1901.

Children:
1. John, mentioned below.
2. George, married Jane Hoffmarts, had issue.
3. Joseph, married (first) May Fassemyer, (second) Mary Seidletz; had issue.
4. William, married Catharine Bauer, had issue.
5. Ursula, deceased; married George Loll, deceased ; had issue.
6. Mary, deceased ; married Henry Harriefberger, had issue.
7. Daughter, died in infancy.

(II) John, son of George and Ursula (Bendorfer) Lauer, was born in Germany in 1841, and died in Clarion county, Pennsylvania, April 28, 191 1. He emigrated to America with his parents and received his early education in the public schools, after which he worked on his father's farm. In 1861 he enlisted in the Federal army as a member of Company H, One Hundred and Third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and served throughout the civil war. He served in the peninsular campaign, and was at York- town, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, and then back to Harrison's Landing, and was then transferred to the department of North Carolina and took part in the battles of Suffolk, New Berne and Plymouth. He was taken prisoner on April 25, 1864, confined at Andersonville from May 4 to September 10, 1864, when he was transferred to Charleston, later to Florence, and exchanged December 16, 1864, and rejoined his regiment. After the war he returned to Clarion county, where he cultivated a farm until his death. He was a Republican in politics, and a Roman Catholic in religion.

He married Frances, born in Knox township, Clarion county, Pennsylvania, in November, 1848, and still living there, daughter of Anthony and Mary (Elle) Loll. Her father was born in Germany in 1798, served in a cavalry regiment in the German army, later emigrated to America and settled on a farm near Callensburg, Clarion county, Pennsylvania, removing later to Knox township, where he died; her mother was born in Germany in 1804, and died in Knox township in 1895  their children were:

1 . Anthony, deceased ; married ; died in Pitts burgh, Pennsylvania.
2. Joseph, deceased; married Helen Eisman.
3. John, died in army hospital, from wounds received in battle in civil war.
4. George.
5. Catharine.
6. Theresa. 
7. Anna. These last four are also deceased.
8. Frances, married John Lauer.

Children of John and Frances (Loll) Lauer :
1. Joseph H., mentioned below.
2. Annie, died in infancy.
3. Frederick, married Gertrude ; no issue.
4. George, unmarried.
5. Augustus, married Lena Felker [Note this is Philomena Selker my 1st cousin 3x removed] ; one child.
6. Louisa, deceased; unmarried.
7. Francis, died young.
8. Mary, married Ralph Weaver.
9. Kate, unmarried.

(lll) Joseph H., son of John and Frances (Loll) Lauer, was born on his father's farm in Knox township, Clarion county, Pennsylvania, February 23, 1867, and is now living in Marble, Pennsylvania. He received his early education in the public schools, and then learned the trade of a carpenter which he fol lowed for some years. In 1893 he settled in Marble, Pennsylvania, where he purchased a hotel which he enlarged and improved and which he still conducts. He is also a stock holder in the Farmers Mercantile Company of which he is the treasurer. He is a Democrat in politics, and now holds the office of supervisor of the township. In religion he is a Roman Catholic. Mr. Lauer married, January 31, 1893, Theresa, daughter of John and Cressence (Hoover) Ginkle, born in Farming- |on township, Clarion county, Pennsylvania, in 1868, now living in Marble (see Ginkle).

Children:
Mabel, born January 31, 1894;
Hattie, May 22, 1895;
John, June 12, 1897;
Otta, July 14, 1899;
Leopold, January 2, 1901 ;
Charles, March 16, 1902 ;
Grace, October 20, 1904;
Joseph, September 7, 1906;
Albinus, March 20, 1908;
Earl, October 9, 1910;
Helen, June 25, 1911.

Reference:
  1. John Woolf Jordan, LL.D., Genealogical and personal history of the Allegheny Valley Pennsylvania, III vols. (New York:  Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1913), Page 798-799. View the book here: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/John_Woolf_Jordan_Genealogical_and_Personal_Histor?id=VNQqAAAAYAAJ

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Selker Family: Hermann George and his son Joseph William, cigarmaker

Hermann George Selker, my 3rd great grandfather, and his family are included in the Genealogical and personal history of the Allegheny Valley Pennsylvania. The excerpts featuring the family faced are included below. We know now that Hermann George Selker was the son of Hermann Selker and Marianne Overhuis, my 4th great grandparents.

Page 839

George Selker, the first member SELKER of this family of whom we have any definite information, was born November 15, 1814, in Bentheim, in the province of Hanover, Germany, where he died April 30, 1906. His father had been a soldier in Napoleon's army during the retreat from Moscow in 1812, and was later warden of the government prison in Bentheim. George Selker was a carpenter and bricklayer. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Wilhelm Hofhaus, of Fuerstenau, Hanover, Germany. Her sister Lotta married George Daldrup, of Lingin, Germany.

Children of George and Elizabeth (Hofhaus) Selker:

  • Anna, married Emil Altenbeck, a surveyor and later a railroad division inspector in Germany; 
  • Gerhardt, died January, 1912, married Mary Rakers; 
  • Gertrude, died aged thirty-two years, married John Breggenkamp; 
  • Karl, now living in Germany; 
  • Joseph W., referred to below. 
(II) Joseph W., son of George and Elizabeth (Hofhaus) Selker, was born in Fuerstenau, in the province of Hanover, Germany, October 8, 1865. He received his early education in the local schools, and when sixteen years of age was apprenticed for three years to learn the trade of a cigarmaker, at which he worked for one year in Germany after finishing his apprenticeship. In 1885 he emigrated to the United States and worked at his trade in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, until March 15, 1887, when he settled in Clarion, Pennsylvania, and entered the employ of Michael Zacherl as a cigarmaker. In April, 1889, he entered the cigar manufacturing business on his own account with a capital of three hundred dollars, in which trade he still continues, having by his industry and ability enlarged the capacity of his business until his establishment manufactures over five millions two hundred thousand cigars annually, for which he finds a ready market in Pittsburgh and the neighboring country. He is also a wholesale dealer in tobacco and cigarettes, having in 1893 bought a large warehouse at 248 Main street, Clarion, Pennsylvania, adjoining which he built in 1895 the commodious dwelling in which he now resides. He served for several years as a member of the city council of Clarion. He is a Democrat in politics, and a Roman Catholic in religion. He married, November 4, 1890, Frances Philomena, daughter of Leopold and Theresa (Loll) Gutts, born in Clarion, Pennsylvania. Children:
  • Leopold
  • William, deceased ; 
  • Edward
  • Frances
  • Frederick
  • Ambrose
  • Vincent
  • Mary
  • Celia
  • Anna.
Joseph W. Selker Home
248 Main Street, Clarion, PA



Left: Joseph W. Selker Cigar Right: Joseph W. Selker Home
248 Main Street, Clarion, PA



Plate on the front door of the Joseph W. Selker Home
248 Main Street, Clarion, PA

Reference:

  1. John Woolf Jordan, LL.D., Genealogical and personal history of the Allegheny Valley Pennsylvania, III vols. (New York:  Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1913), Page 839. View the book here: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/John_Woolf_Jordan_Genealogical_and_Personal_Histor?id=VNQqAAAAYAAJ

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thomas Haggerty: A perspective of the early 1800's in Butler, County

Thomas Haggerty, my 5th great grandfather, and his family are included in the History of Butler County, Pennsylvania. With illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers. The excerpts featuring the many challenges the family faced are included below. 

Chapter XXXIII: Donegal, Page 309

Some of the first settlers had no sheep, hogs or stock, other than their horses, and their poverty was painful. Mr. Haggerty became the possessor of two sheep, in which he took great pride, and in order to protect them from the bears and wolves they were securely penned up each night. One day he saw a wolf stealthily approach his sheep, and made all due haste to save them, but too late, for the crafty wolf killed one of them before he could get to it, and this loss, trivial as it may now appear, was then severely felt.

Chapter XXXIII: Donegal, Page 311

Daniel Slater settled in Donegal in quite an early day. His wife, Mary, now lives with her son Frank on the old homestead. Peter McKeever (now deceased) located on the farm in this township now occupied by his son John. Thomas Haggerty came from Donegal, Ireland, with his wife and three children and lived in Delaware. He afterward moved to Westmoreland County, and his wife having died, he married Anna McNealy. John, one of the sons of the first wife, lived in this county. About 1798, Thomas Haggerty and his family came to this township. He carried a bucket of dishes in his hand and walked, leading behind him an old horse, which carried his two small boys, John and James, in a bag, one on each side of the horse, and their heads protruding from the bags. Mrs. Haggerty walked, driving a cow and carrying in her arms her baby and the rim of her spinning wheel. The child thus brought here is still living. She is now Mrs. Rebecca Mehan, and is in the eighty-fifth year of her age. After coming here, Mr. Haggerty worked at Mason's furnace in winter to support his family, and the wife and small children were left alone in the woods. Panthers often cried about their lonely dwelling, and Mrs. Haggerty kept them off by waving fire brands. Mrs. Mehan, when a small child, was bitten by a rattlesnake and came near dying. She was unconscious for several days and sick for a month. Another time, she and her brother were chased by wolves, which they kept off with clubs. Two of the boys, Thomas and Archie, were in the woods one day, and Thomas, who was standing on a hollow log, felt the motion of something in the log. He went to the end of the log and discharged the contents of his gun into it. A fierce she-wolf came out and made for his throat, and would have killed him had not Archie came up and cut the beast open with his knife. At another time, the boys caught a cub, which they tamed and kept until it became so cross it had to be killed. Thomas Haggerty was the father of thirteen children by his second wife. Ten of them reached mature years. One of the sons, Thomas, married Catharine Higgins and reared a large family. He kept hotel in Pittsburgh and Lawrenceburg. In 1852, he moved back to the old farm in this township, where he died in 1877.

It was only by exercising the greatest diligence that Mr. Haggerty procured enough to sustain his family. Only one of his children, Mrs. John Mehan, now resides in the county, her home being with her daughter Nancy (Broomfield), and there now live in this house the representatives of four generations. The mind of Mrs. Mehan appears perfectly clear, especially on things pertaining to pioneer days. She in common with other women of her time, reaped wheat with a sickle, split rails and in fact performed all manual labor on her father’s farm. She distinctly recalls the time when such a thing as a fanning mill was unknown, and the process of cleaning wheat was called "riddling." The riddle or sieve, was made of deer skin, or tough bark cut in suitable slips for this purpose. It required the services of two persons to "riddle" wheat, one to shake it through the "riddle" while another fanned away the chaff with a sheet. The cloth manufactured by women was colored with plum, cherry, and other bark. It was no uncommon thing for people to attend church barefooted. Moccasins were much used. One pair of shoes per year, costing $1.25, was all that many could afford; still "frolics" and dances were frequent. Among the old fiddlers was John Wortman.

Chapter XXXIII: Donegal, Page 323

In 1867, he married Mrs. Ellen J. Griffin, widow of John Griffin, who died in 1863. By her first marriage she had four children—Frances A.. Mary L., Elizabeth A. and Catherine E., all living. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Brownfield are William A. who died when eighteen months old, Martha E., Margaret C. Olive M. .James H. and John E. Mrs. Brownfield is a daughter of Thomas Haggerty, whose father. Thomas Haggerty, was one of the first settlers of Donegal Township, and had his full share of the difficult experiences of those who began life in the woods of Butler County previous to the year 1800.

Reference:
  1. Waterman, Watkins & Co. (1883). History of Butler County, Pennsylvania. With illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers. Chicago, IL: Waterman, Watkins & Co. Available here to download: http://archive.org/details/historyofbutlerc00wate

Monday, September 2, 2013

Two Common Ancestors: Richard McDonald & Robert Haggerty

Three Common Ancestors: Lynam, Richard McDonald Robert & Haggerty
[June 27, 2014 Update] Two Common Ancestors:  Richard McDonald & Robert Haggerty

This is a great example of how these connections started with family stories. The release of the Pennsylvania Death certificates was extremely valuable. The certificates showed one connection was false, verified a second and located a potential third.

Over the last year I had the opportunity to connect with Benjamin Patrick Norris my 3rd cousin 2x removed.

What makes the connection with Benjamin so unique is that we share three two common ancestors which are discussed below. Over the last several months Benjamin has been able to provide additional details about the Lynam, McDonald and Haggerty families.

Common Ancestor 1: Unknown Lynam 

Benjamin and I both descend from the children of an unknown Lynam who was born in Ireland.
  • Bejamin descends from Edward Lynam, his 2nd great grandfather. 
  • I descend from Bridget Lynam, my 4th great grandmother
[June 27, 2014 Update]
The release of the Pennsylvania death certificates has disproved the my connection. My 4th great grandmother is Bridget Dunn. Her name was recorded on the death certificate for her son Michael McDonald.


A new research connection Cary Christopher had also researched the McDonald family. He discovered David McDonald and Bridget Dunn's marriage record in Dunbyrne, Kildare, Ireland:

"David McDonald to Brit (Bridget) Dunn on 7 May 1825 at village of Dunbyrn, witnesses Michael and Margaret Dunn"

Cary also located the baptism records for two of David and Bridget's children in Kildare, Ireland:

Richard McDonal, parents Davy and Biddy, sponsors John Kene(sic) and Nel McDonald, residence (of parents) Grange
Baptism: 29 January 1826

August 6, 1827:  James McDonald, parents David and Biddy, sponsors William & Nelly Dunn, residence (of parents) Grange

Common Ancestor 1: Richard McDonald

Benjamin and I both descend from Richard McDonald born in Ireland.
  • Benjamin descends from Ellen McDonald, his 2nd great grandmother.
  • I descend from David McDonald (1803-1880), my 4th great grandfather. 
[June 27, 2014 Update]
Benjamin's 2nd great grandfather Edward Lynam married Ellen McDonald. Family tradition has it that the Lynam and McDonald families may have traveled together from Ireland. Richard McDonald settled in Farmington, Clarion County, Pennsylvania with his son and David. The release of the Pennsylvania death certificates verified this link. Ellen is recorded as Ellen McDonald on the death certificate of her son Edward Lynam.





































Common Ancestor 2: Robert Haggerty

Our second common ancestor and our closest ancestor is Robert H. Haggerty (1805-1880).  Robert was born in Sugar Creek, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas H. Haggerty and Anna McElroy. Robert married Rebecca M. Easly (1801-1881)

  • Benjamin descends from Robert Haggerty's son James, (1842-1843) his great grand father who was born in Farmington, Clarion, Pennsylvania 
  • I descend from Robert's daughter Anna (1845-1927) who married Michael McDonald (1839-1923) (my 3rd great grandparents), son of Bridget Lynam and David McDonald.
[June 27, 2014 Update]
MB Boutiques: Blog Images &emdash; Lynam, McDonald & Haggerty Connections

Common Ancestor 3:  Dunn????

The story that Benjamin had was that two siblings from one family married two siblings of another family - making him a descendant of both families. This connection was originally thought to be Lynam and McDonald. As explained above Lynam is no longer plausible. However the Pennsylvania Death Certificates provided another clue - Richard's great grandmother was Anna Rafferty. She married Richard Lynam. Anna's mother is recorded as Elizabeth Dunn born in Ireland. Perhaps with more research we will be able to determine if Elizabeth Dunn is a sister of Bridget Dunn.

References:
  1. Benjamin Patrick Norris
  2. Cary Christopher
  3. Ancestry.com. Ireland, Select Catholic Birth and Baptism Registers, 1763-1912 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
  4. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1944 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Updated Family Tree at World Connect

I have updated my family tree file at the World Connect site.

Updated family tree file - search to see new names and families
My pedigree - See my direct ancestors

World Connect is a part of Rootsweb and offers free space for researchers to upload family trees. To protect living individuals, rootsweb removes the data from any individual who has been marked as living

Updates in this version include:
  1. Updated information on the McDonald families
  2. Updated information on the Haggerty families
  3. Updated information the Lynam families
  4. References to United States Federal Census Records
  5. Data extracted from the St. Mary's Church Cemetery in Crown, Pennsylvania
  6. Last Will & Testament of David McDonald
  7. Information as provided by Benjamin Patrick Norris
  8. Individuals with a ** leading their name require further research

Historical References:
  1. Davis, A. J. (1887). History of Clarion County Pennsylvania. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co. Available here to download: http://archive.org/details/historyofclarion00davi  
  2. Sheffer, George P. (1933) True Tales of the Clarion River, Volume 1. Clarion, PA: The Clarion Republican Newspaper Co. Available for purchase here: http://stores.homestead.com/mechlingbooks2/-strse-254/TRUE-TALES-OF-THE/Detail.bok  
  3. (1883) History of Butler County Pennsylvania. Chicago, IL: Waterman, Watkins & Co Available here to download: http://archive.org/details/historyofbutlerc00wate

Information that has not been entered at this time:
  1. Additional known research about the Easly family
  2. Additional known research on the Lynam family
  3. Additional cemetery records from St. Mary's Church Cemetery in Crown, Pennsylvania

Sunday, June 16, 2013

David McDonald - Farmer & River Pilot

On this Father’s Day I thought it would be fitting to write about the oldest known McDonald relative that we have concrete proof of – David McDonald. David McDonald is my 4th great grandfather.

David McDonald was born about 1803 in Dublin, Ireland. His location of birth was listed in The History of Clarion County Pennsylvania written in 1887 by A. J. Davis.  David married Bridget Lynam in Ireland. Their first son James was born 1829 in Ireland. Sometime between 1929 and 1831 David relocated to the United States with his family – he would have been about 27 when he departed Ireland.  From new information recently located – it looks that David made the journey with his father Richard McDonald, his sister Ellen McDonald and her husband Edward Lynam.  Edward Lynam and David’s wife Bridget were brother and sister. It is with special thanks to Benjamin Norris that these details are now known.
Upon first arriving to the United States possibly at the Port of Boston, this information is currently unverified; the McDonald and Lynam families first went to Scranton Pennsylvania area. Many Irish immigrants were living in this area working in the Cole Mines.  They then made the decision to go West into what would have been the frontier and very rural unsettled Pennsylvania at that time. In the early 1830’s the family relocated to what would become Farmington Township, Clarion County, Pennsylvania and became one of the founding families.
From The History of Clarion County: Chapter LIII History of Farmington Township, Page 515:
"In 1831 the solitude of the wilderness in the northeastern portion of the township was broken by James Black, who came from Sugar Creek, Armstrong county, and settled on the homestead near North Pine Grove. The country abounded in game of all sorts, deer, bears, wolves[,] panthers, wild cats, wild turkeys, and pigeons, besides the smaller species. The streams were alive with trout. Within a year or two came his brothers, John and Patrick Black; Thomas Meagher, Charles and Dennis Boyle, David McDonald, Thomas Walley, Robert and Archibald Haggerty, David Griffin, Henry McNairney; soon after these, William Wilkinson and Arthur McCloskey; the latter, with his family, came from Philadelphia in 1835. These settlers were all Catholics, the majority of them from Butler and lower Armstrong counties"
Another reference to David McDonald also appears in The History of Clarion County: Brief Personals, McDonald, Michael Page xxxv:

“McDonald, Michael, Vowinckle p.o., Farmington, the sixth child born to David and Bridget McDonald; was born in Farmington on May 10, 1839. The parents were both natives of Dublin, Ireland, from whence they emigrated to this country in the pioneer days.”
David and Bridget went onto have ten children, eight of which survived and started the very large McDonald family that today has eight generations of descendants.  
  1. James McDonald was born 1829 Ireland, the birth city is possibly Dublin. James would travel with his parents by boat to the United States and travel across the wilderness at a young age. James would fight in the civil war. He married Bridget and went on to have four children.
  2. Mary Ann McDonald was born 1834 in Farmington, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. She married a James Kelly and had five children. Two of the children were only recently identified as a result of locating David McDonald’s will.
  3. John McDonald was born 1836 in Farmington, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. John would also fight and die in the civil war. It is currently unknown if John was married, but the Will of David McDonald indicated he has one son – William McDonald.
  4. Michael McDonald was born May 10, 1839 in Farmington, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Michael would be known as a successful businessman in the lumber industry. Michael married Anna Haggerty, the daughter of Robert Haggerty who was also recorded in The History of Clarion County Farmington as a founding family. Together they had fifteen children.
  5. Andrew McDonald was born 1840 in Farmington, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. He like his older brothers would serve in the Civil War. Andrew married Anna and had three children.
  6. Bridget McDonald was born 1842 in Farmington, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. She would marry also marry into the founding Haggerty family. Her husband Thomas C. Haggerty was the brother of Anna – her brother Michael’s wife. Bridget and Thomas C. Haggerty would have seven children together.
  7. David J. McDonald was born 1844 in Farmington, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. He also married into another founding family mentioned in The History of Clarion County  – marrying Hannah E. McCloskey. Together they would have seven children.
  8. Peter McDonald was born March 1, 1847 in Farmington, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. His first wife was Mary Ann McAvoy. Together they had eight children. After her death he married Elma C. Nye and together they had three children. Peter was also a well-known citizen as he was also featured in The History of Clarion County Pennsylvania along with his brother Michael.

We know from historical references and family stories that David McDonald was farmer and river pilot -as logging was big business in those early years as growing cities like Pittsburgh required timber. David was recorded in the 1840, 1850, 1860 and 1870 United Stated Federal Census – listed as farmer by profession. His son Peter McDonald recalls learning how to pilot river boats from his father:

True Tales of the Clarion River, Volume 1
An Old Timer's Early Thrills on the River, by Peter McDonald of Vowinckel, Pa., Page 42-44

"As this is my eighty-sixth birthday and I have a holiday, I will try and write my first experience as a raftman on the Clarion and Allegheny rivers.
My experience as a raftman up to the time of this story, which was in December of 1862, was of the traditional style handed down by my father, David McDonald, who had helped Davis Munn run several rafts down the Clarion to Lower Hillville. There he sold them to Jacob Hill, who had a boat scaffold and furnished 100 foot boats for the Pittsburgh coal companies. 
These boats were dropped into the water without the aid of lines. My father and Mr. Munn used grapevines for cable to anchor the rafts. David Munn ran his first raft around 1840. He had purchased 150 acres on Troutman Run near the Clarion. He and his wife lived and died on this piece of ground, and their tombstones are standing to this day. They should have a monument. As I pass their lonesome resting place it brings back memories of the earlier days of the lumbering and rafting business and along with these memories of the many hardships the early pioneers had to endure.”

An additional reference to David on the river:

True Tales of the Clarion River, Volume 1
Adventures in Boating and Rafting on the Clarion and Allegheny Rivers, by Victor M. Baker, Masonic Homes, Elizabethtown, Pa., Page 136-137

"We have some old timers here who used to raft on the Clarion and Allegheny rivers. There are George Hazlett who used to work for Croasman Brothers, Horace Greely Sigworth, A. B. Sarver and Harry Horton. We also have here David McDonald and Mr. Hutton who used to run 90 foot platform rafts on the Susquehanna River. I don't believe that any of the 90 foot platform rafts ever came out of the Clarion."

David McDonald lived to be 77 years old. This is remarkable considering the time he lived in and his dangerous profession as a River Pilot. The Last Will and Testament of David McDonald was located. The will was dated August of 1871. Given the heavy cursive script and the quality of the scan – portions of the will were difficult to transcribe. In two locations David makes mention to Bridget as “my beloved wife Bridget” – this must have been a true testament to their sharing a life time of challenges and risks together.  First coming from Ireland, traveled through the Pennsylvania wilderness, started a farm from a land covered in Virgin Pennsylvania timber, having eight children in a rural setting, watching their sons go off to War in addition to the day to say dangers of farming, logging and river piloting.
He died before June 25, 1880 as he was not recorded in the 1880 United States Federal Census. His burial location is unknown.

References:
  1. Individual – Virginia McDonald Geary
  2. Individual – Benjamin P. Norris
  3. Davis, A. J. (1887). History of Clarion County Pennsylvania. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co. Available here to download: http://archive.org/details/historyofclarion00davi
  4. Sheffer, George P. (1933) True Tales of the Clarion River, Volume 1. Clarion, PA: The Clarion Republican Newspaper Co. Available for purchase here: http://stores.homestead.com/mechlingbooks2/-strse-254/TRUE-TALES-OF-THE/Detail.bok
  5. Last Will & Testament of David McDonald



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Research Update – The McDonald’s and Other Ancestors

I realize it has been quite some time since I last posted a research update. Over the last year I had several positives when starting to research the McDonald family.

Census Records
Once I knew exactly where the McDonald’s were living in Pennsylvania, thanks in part to Virginia Geary McDonald, I was able to dig in and pull census records for the family. I was able to locate David McDonald, my 4th great grandfather, as far back as 1840 and several of his children including – Michael McDonald [my 3rd great grandfather] and his brothers, my 3rd great-grand uncles James McDonald, Andrew McDonald, David McDonald, and Peter McDonald.

Locating the census records provided insights to the wives and children of Michael McDonald’s brothers.

The Haggerty family was also located in the census records. I was able to locate Robert Haggerty, my 4th great grandfather, as far back as 1850 and his sons - Thomas and James Haggerty, my 3rd great-grand uncles.
Visit to St. Mary’s Church – Crown, Pennsylvania

Last July I took a day to visit Clarion, Pennsylvania with my father and my aunt. We were able to visit the cemetery of St. Mary’s Church. At the cemetery we located several graves of our ancestors including Michael McDonald & Anne Haggerty, my 3rd great grandparents as well as several other family members. In future blog posts I will include provide more details from this visit.

A New Connection

By publishing this family tree blog I came connected with another cousin, Benjamin Norris, who is related through the Haggerty side. He has a lot of firsthand knowledge of McDonald and Haggerty ancestors. He also has a lot of knowledge of Vowinckel and Farmington Township.  The information that Benjamin has been able to provide has filled in holes in my research and added details that previously would have been unknown.
New Lines in the Family Tree

Through some family trees located at Rootsweb and information provided by Benjamin Norris I was able to locate two new family tree lines that extend from the Haggerty Line. The research on these lines is preliminary but promising. These lines include:

  • The Easly line extends back  9 generations. This line starts with Rebecca M. Easly, my 4th great grandmother, and wife of Robert H. Haggerty. The oldest ancestor in this line is Blasius Easly, my 6th great grandfather, born in 1711.

  • The Kuhn line extends back 12 generations. This line starts with Elizbeth Kuhn, my 5th great grandmother, and wife of Andrew Easly. The oldest ancestor in this line is John Kuhn, my 9th great grandfather.

  • The Adam line is currently a minor line that extends back 13 generations. This line starts with Anna Barbara Adam my 8th great grandmother. The oldest ancestor in this line is Christian A. Adam, my 10th great grandfather born about 1650 married to an unknown Christina born approximately February 1674/1675.
The definition I have used for generations starts with the children of my cousins, our families youngest generation, to the oldest known generation. If this preliminary research is accurate these lines are the oldest in the Murosky family tree to date.