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Burket Minard
(1807-1871)

Burket Minard was born in 1807 on the family farm at Hexebarger near Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the son of Jacob and Catherine (Younkin) Minerd Jr.

Unlike several of his brothers, Burket learned how to read and write, and primarily spelled his last name "Minard." His first name is thought to be an Americanized version of the German name "Burkhardt," also used by his great-uncle, Burkhardt Meinert of Berks County, PA; an uncle, Burket Minerd, who had an early flour mill in Preston County, WV; and by a cousin, Burget Miner, who was a pioneer settler of western Ohio.

Burket married Susan Hartzell (1815?- ? ), the daughter of Jacob and Margaret (Smith) Hartsell.  They had eight known children -- Margaret Martin, Catherine Nesmith Dean, Anna Miner, Jeremiah Minard, Mary Cole Minerd, Jacob Miner, John Miner and Louisa Hoye.

In the mid-1830s, Burket lived in Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, on 50 acres of land, whereabouts unknown today. 

Terra Alta, West Virginia

By 1836, as did many families of the region, Burket and Susan left Somerset County and had relocated across the state line to Terra Alta, Preston County, VA (now WV). A bird's eye view of the mountainous Terra Alta is seen here at the turn of the century in a rare postcard. 

He apparently returned regularly to Turkeyfoot because the following year, his taxable land holdings increased to 400 acres. Also, in July 1837, he bought a "hand axe, frow and bell" on credit for $1.48 at the estate sale of his cousin, the late Henry Younkin, near Kingwood.

After settling for good in Terra Alta, Burket labored as a house carpenter and chair maker. Morton's 1914 History of Preston County, West Virginia states that Burket was "said to have been a good, all-round mechanic." 

The federal census of 1850 shows the family together in the 43rd District of Preston County. Burket's employment is shown as house carpenter. Of their seven children in the household that year, only eldest daughter Margaret had been born in Pennsylvania, with the rest in West Virginia. 

Among Susan's siblings were Elizabeth Ann Hartzell, married to Jesse Martin; and Catharine Ann Hartzell, married to Daniel H. Martin.

By 1860, unfortunately, Burket and Susan seem to have separated. When the census was taken that year, the 53-year-old Burket made his home with William Buckelew, a minister of the German Baptist Church, near Rowlesburg, Preston County. Making her home next door was the 46-year-old Susan, in the residence of farmers James and Anne Braham. None of their children was living in either of the households.

We are exploring whether their son Jeremiah may have served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. It is known that a "Jeremiah Minard" enlisted at Moorefield, Hardy County, a few counties to the southeast of Preston County, on May 23, 1861. He was assigned as a private in Company F of the 33rd Regiment Virginia Infantry and was to have served a term of one year. He received a furlough on Feb. 15, 1862. His enlistment period was extended for the duration of the war the same month, and remained with the regiment until September 1862. However, on Sept. 2, 1862, he was reported absent without official leave (AWOL) and later was declared a deserter. In Jeremiah's military service papers, on microfilm today at the National Archives in Washington, DC, his name is spelled "Gery," "Jerimiah" and "Jeremiah." 

When the federal census was taken in 1870, Susan continued to live apart from Burket. She was about age 55 at the time, and ran some sort of boarding or rooming house in Oakland, Garrett County (but then known as Allegany County). Also in her residence that year were 16-year-old unmarried daughter Louisa, along with laborer William Bugler, cook Amanda Savage and hotel keeper James Daily, all under the age of 25. 

Burket died in the Portland District of Preston County on June 22, 1871, at the age of 64. His burial site is unknown. It is recorded that he died of "White Swelling," an outdated medical term meaning a bacteria infection of the hip or knee joints and bone, often leading to amputation.

Susan at some point moved to Oakland, Garrett County, MD and was there as late as 1881.

Rare old postcard of hilly Oakland

In the 1880 census of Oakland, the 65-year-old Susan was residing with daughters Louisa Miner, age 25, and Catherine Smith, age 44, and granddaughters Ina and Maggie Miner. (Her age was given as "70" but is thought to be off by five years.) The census also shows that Susan was a "Hopeless invalid" and suffered from "rheumatism," and that Louisa was a "Washwoman" and Catherine assisted in keeping house.

Susan's ultimate fate is unknown. 

Three of their adult daughters, Mary, Catherine and Louisa, later married and moved to Fayette County, PA, where they lived the remainder of their lives.

~ Daughter Anna Miner~ 

Daughter Anna Miner (1838- ? ) was born in about 1838 in Preston County, VA (later becoming West Virginia). In 1850, at age 12, she lived in Preston County with her parents and siblings. Nothing more is known.

~ Son Jacob Miner~ 

Son Jacob Miner (1847- ? ) was born in 1847 in Preston County, VA (later West Virginia) a twin with his brother John. His existence is only known through one document -- the federal census of 1850 enumerating inhabitants of District 45 of Preston County -- when he was age three and living under his parents' roof. 

He may have died during the 1850s, as his name is not found in the 1860 census. If so, it's likely his death was not written in any sort of official way, as Preston County only began recording deaths in 1868, after the Civil War.

~ Son John Miner~ 

Son John Miner (1847- ? ) was born in 1847 in Preston County, VA (later West Virginia) a twin with his brother Jacob. His existence is only known through one document -- the federal census of 1850 enumerating inhabitants of District 45 of Preston County -- when he was age three and living under his parents' roof.

He may have died during the 1850s, as his name is not found in the 1860 census. If so, it's likely his death was not written in any sort of official way, as Preston County only began recording deaths in 1868, after the Civil War.

Copyright 1991, 2000, 2002-2004, 2006, 2008, 2014 Mark A. Miner

Part of this biography originally appeared in the article "Update on the Younkin/Minerd Line...", Younkin Family News Bulletin, July 1991