Thomas Ream Sr. was born in 1786 in Ursina, Somerset County, PA, the son of John and Anna Rosina (Weitzel) Ream, and the stepson of Catharine (Minerd) Ream.
At the age of four, Thomas moved with his parents and siblings to Draketown, Somerset County. He was only six years of age when his mother died from the bite of a poisonous snake.
He married Barbara Haines ( ? - ? ).
The Reams had six known children -- Jacob Ream, John Ream, Moses Ream, Thomas Ream Jr., Christina Jennings and Mary Flanigan. All were deceased by 1884 except for Thomas Jr.
Thomas Sr. is described in the 1884 History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties:
Thomas was a miller, and ran the old gristmill at Draketown. He was killed by the falling of a tree one stormy night while returning from a visit to a sick girl. He married Barbara Haines, and was the father of Jacob, John, Moses, Thomas, Christina (Jennings) and Mary (Flanagan).
The Reams owned two tracts or "plantations" in Turkeyfoot Township, one numbering 250 acres bounded by the lands of Daniel N. Beall, Sylvester Colborn and others, comprising their home place. The other farm was 350 acres in size bounded by lands of George Prinkey, Josiah Tannehill and others.
Thomas Sr. died on Feb. 14, 1840, at the age of 53 years, 11 months and eight days. In an obituary, the Somerset Herald amplified the cause of his death as "killed by a limb falling from a tree, as he was walking through his wheat field in which there was deadened timber." His mortal remains were returned to the earth in the Ream Cemetery in Confluence.
The death of Thomas triggered a call from family and friends to whom he owed money, not uncommon at a time when there was not much cash in the community and borrowing and issuing IOUs were common, to be paid after each harvest. An estate sale was held on March 13, 1840 to auction a number of the Reams' farming implements and goods to raise the necessary funds. The sale list is long and on file today in the Somerset County Courthouse -- some 231 items or lots, which would have made for a busy day for the auctioneer. The sale items ranged from barrels, shovels and hoes to a coffee pot, German Bible and rocking chair and to bear skins, shot guns, heifers, colts, plows and buckwheat bakers. Among the many buyers, those profiled on this website included George Firestone (cog, half bushel and three barrels), Benjamin Leonard (strap and three bells), Jacob Younkin Jr. (cask with paint and oak/poplar boards) and John K. Rush (oak boards and still tub). Total proceeds from the sale were $847.57.
As did many early Somerset County farmers, Thomas died without writing a last will and testament. Thus after his passing, his widow held the right to administer the estate, but she renounced and released this in favor of her son John Ream and friend John Hanna, signing the paperwork with an "X." In turn, son John petitioned the judges of the Somerset County Orphans Court to award an inquest to partition the two tracts, without prejudicing or diminishing the overall value, so that a value could be determined for purposes of a potential sale. The inquisition and appraisement were held at the home of the widow on Jan. 21, 1841, involving High Sheriff George Mowry who oversaw a panel of a dozen neighbors familiar with farm values and who could arrive at a reasonable estimate of the Ream farms' value. The 12 selected men were John Prinkey, Jonathan Mountain, Sylvester Colborn, George Prinkey, Abraham Colborn, David Mountain, James McNeal, David Jennings, Steward Rowan, Israel Jennings, John P.H. Walker and Michael Sanner.
The panel appraised the 250-acre tract as worth $5.50 per acre, and the 350-acre property as worth only 12½ cents per acre.
Barbara's final fate is not yet known.
~ Daughter Christina (Ream) Jennings ~
Daughter Christina Ream (1811- ? ) was born in about 1811.
She wed Thomas Jennings (1805-1872), one of a dozen children of Capt. Benjamin and Rhoda (Spencer) Jennings.
In a section about the family, the 1884 book History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties said that: "Thomas was born in 1805, and died in 1872. He married Christina Ream...."
In 1840, at the death of Christina's father, an estate sale was held and Thomas purchased a number of items for their farm. Among these were a box of brimstone, crock and oil jug, two stone hammers and a lathe.
Their farm was described many years later, in 1926, as located "on the banks of Laurel Creek, now owned by C.L. Groff."
When the 1850 census was enumerated, the family dwelled in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, where Thomas was a farmer. Tragically, though, the census-taker marked Christina as "insane." The nature of her disability is not yet known. Among their neighbors that year were kinsmen Israel and Susan Jennings.
Sadly, Christina is believed to have died during the decade of the 1850s. Her burial site is not known. If she rests in the Ream Cemetery in Ursina, the grave is unmarked.
In 1860, federal census records show Thomas heading a household with his three children including his 18-year-old daughter in law Martha Jennings, a "spinster." Their neighbors in 1860 included William and Sarah Ream, uncle and aunt Samuel W. and Mary (Rheims) Ream and first cousin Levi and Hily (King) Ream.
By 1870, when the census enumeration again was made, the 65-year-old Thomas dwelled in the Lower Turkeyfoot Township home of his son and daughter in law, John Rayman and Martha (Knight) Jennings and their four children. Thomas had no occupation that year although his son John was marked as a farmer. As the son was in the midst of a tumultous marriage which later ended in divorce, the living arrangement may well have been very uncomfortable for the old man.
On June 24, 1872, Thomas passed away at the age of 67 years, five months and 19 days. A short obituary was printed a month later in the Somerset Herald. Later that year, their son John advertised in the Herald that he was serving as estate administrator, calling in IOUs and offering to pay an outstanding financial claims.
~ Son Thomas Ream Jr. ~
Son Thomas Ream Jr. (1819-1885) was born on Sept. 9, 1819.
At the age of 24, on July 23, 1843, he was among 53 individuals and 11 Reams who joined the Jersey Baptist Church and were baptized that day. The following year, he was elected a trustee, and his parents joined the church.
Reported the Somerset Herald, he "was known as a kind, accommodating neighbor, always ready to respond to any worthy cause. He served as Justice of the Peace in Lower Turkeyfoot township for about 25 years."
He is mentioned in the 1884 History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, which said that "Thomas is the only survivor. He lived at Draketown since his fourth year, farming and milling. He has been justice of the peace twenty years, and was recruiting officer of this township during the late war."
He was married three times and produced children with all three wives.
Thomas' first bride was Hester "Esther" Stull (1825-1850). Their four children were Susan Ream, Rebecca Ream, Albert Ream and Huldah Hester Popey. In 1850, this family dwelled in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, where Thomas was a flour miller. It's said he took over the mill from Mr. Drake, for whom Draketown is named.
In March 1840, after the death of his father, Thomas purchased many of his parents' farm goods and tools at an estate sale. Among these were barrels, spades and shovels, grubbing hoes, a box with shoemaker tools, riding bridles, a blue mare and colt, wagon, wheelbarrow ("wheal barry"), barshear plow, harrow, shovel plow, horse geers, windmill, cutting box, forks, rakes, carding machine, stone hammers, wheat stores, bushels of oats, grindstones, shaving tools, whiskey, tooth drawers, doubletrees, halter chains, sledscooper tools, chisels, drawing knives, a saw, augers, sifters, turning lathe, bushels of flour, rye and wheat, tubs, tin box, pocket books and bushels of corn.
Sadly, Esther died on Nov. 4, 1850, at the untimely age of 26 years, eight months and 20 days. Her death occurred just one and a half months after the birth of their daughter Huldah, and could have been due to post-partum health complications.
Her remains were placed into eternal repose in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. The plot where she was laid became the Ream family burying area where Thomas himself later would be interred along with a number of their family. Her grave marker stills stands tall and erect, perfectly legible when photographed in July 2016 by the founder of this website.
Esther's demise left Thomas with four young mouths to feed and in need of a mother figure.
Within less than three months, Thomas married again. His second wife was Sarah McMillen ( ? -1865), and they were joined in wedlock on Jan. 20, 1851, by the hand of Rev. John Harned of Harnedsville, Somerset County.
They went on to produce six children -- Austin Ream, Zobeidi Jane "Betty" Colborn Younkin, John Ream, George Ream, William Ream and Sarah Ream.
When the census again was taken in 1860, Thomas and Sarah headed a household of nine children, age 14 and under, with three others living under their roof -- 26-year-old domestic Barbary McMillen, 25-year-old mistress Elizabeth Nicklow and 68-year-old house carpenter Thomas McMillen.
Further heartache visited the family when Sarah passed away on or about the second day of the new year in 1865, aged 45 years, one month and 15 days. Her mortal remains were lowered to the earth at the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, in a row including the first wife and other Reams. At the base of her grave marker -- still erect and legible today -- was carved this epitaph:
Kind Angels watch her sleeping dust,
Till Jesus comes to raise the just.
Then may she wake with sweet surprise
And in her Savior's image rise.
Her death left Thomas as a two-time widower with many young mouths to feed in addition to his own.
Thomas' third spouse was Adaline Shaulis (May 12, 1844-1925), who was 24 years younger than he. She was the daughter of Levi and Barbara (Berkey) Shaulis of near Somerset.
The couple went on to produce five more children, of whom four have been identified -- Ida Amelia Porterfield, Bertha Ream, Irvin Scott Ream and Joseph Ward Ream.
In 1880, Thomas served in the elected position of justice of the peace for Lower Turkeyfoot. That same year, he and A.S. Hyatt and Eli Conn were the first trustees of the newly built Draketown Methodist Episcopal Church, "a tasty and beautiful church," said the 1884 History, "erected... at a cost of eleven hundred dollars."
He died on June 9, 1885, at the age of 65 years and nine months. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery near Ursina. An epitaph was inscribed on the base of the grave marker, reading as follows:
Dear father with a reverent hand,
This to thy memory given.
While on by one thy household band
God reunites in Heaven.
Adaline survived her husband by a remarkable four decades and made her home during those many years in Draketown. In her final years, she suffered from heart valve disease and "dropsy" (buildup of fluid).
At the age of 81, Adaline passed away on Sept. 13, 1925 in her home at Draketown. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republic stated that in addition to her four children and three step-children, she was survived by 40 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the Jersey Baptist Church, with Rev. L.H. Powell officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery, but the location of the grave is not yet known, and it may well not be marked. Her son Joseph Ward Ream signed her official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Daughter Susan Ream (1843- ? ) was born in 1843.
Daughter Rebecca Ream (1845- ? ) was born in 1845.
Son Albert Ream (1847-1877) was born in about 1847. He married Barbara "Ellen" Dull (1952-1938), daughter of Frederick and Margaret "Peggy" (Faidley) Dull. See their biography for more.
Daughter Hulda Hester Ream (1850-1914) was born on Sept. 20, 1850. When she was about age 26, in 1876, she married Daniel Henry Mathias "Matt" Popey (Jan. 1854-1929), son of Louis and Catherine Popey, the father an immigrant from Germany. The groom was five years younger than the bride. The couple produced one known daughter, Mary Ellen Harper. When the federal census was taken in 1900, the Popeys made their home on Freeland Street in Pittsburgh's Ward 31, with Daniel employed as a puddler, likely in a steel mill. At that time, a puddler's work involved converting pig iron into wrought iron in the exceptionally hot, smelly and dangerous environment of a blast furnace. Later, the Popeys relocated to Washington County, PA, where they lived in their married daughter's home in Eldora, near Monongahela, Carroll Township. Suffering from heart problems, Hulda died at the age of 63 on Aug. 20, 1914. A death notice in the Pittsburgh Daily Post said that funeral services were held in the Harpers' home. Burial was in Monongahela Cemetery, in Section D, Lot 165. Daniel survived his wife by 15 years and married again within a few years to Emma T. Brack (Jan. 24, 1877-1950), daughter of Charles and Augusta (Koegler) Brack. They lived at 60 Millbridge Street in Pittsburgh and were 23 years apart in age. The couple went on to produce two more children, Daniel George Popey and Robert William Popey. In his mid-70s, Daniel earned a living as a watchman at the Pennsylvania Gauge & Supply Company. Suffering from heart problems, asthma, congestive heart failure and more, he succumbed at age 75 on Feb. 21, 1929. His remains were returned to Monongahela to rest beside Hulda. William Brack of the home address signed the death certificate. Emma survived as a widow for another 21 years. She died on Jan. 23, 1950 at the age of 72. Robert W. Popey of the home was the informant for the official certificate of death. Emma rests for eternity in Zimmerman's Cemetery in Pittsburgh
Son Austin Ream (1851-1861) was born on Oct. 4, 1851. He died at the age of 10 on Oct. 25, 1861, with burial in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. The cause of death is not yet known. A stone was inscribed and erected at the site of his grave. Over the years it has broken in half and the upper half cemented back into place. The lettering was somewhat legible when photographed by the founder of this website in July 2016.
Daughter Zobeidi Jane "Betty" Ream (1854-1925) was born on May or June 26, 1854, although her death certificate erroneously lists a much earlier date of 1843. She was twice married, first to John Colborn ( ? -1885) and second to Civil War veteran Silas Younkin (1844-1924). See the Younkin biography for details.
Son John Ream (1855-1917) was born on Feb. 3, 1855 at Draketown. He grew up on a farm and also learned the trade of carpentry. He married Izena Lenhart ( ? - ? ). They produced these children -- Louis Ream, Allie Ream and Bell Ream. Said the Meyersdale Republic, "Mr. Ream was a man of above ordinary intelligence and always took an interest in public affairs, and for several years after the death of his father, he took the latter's place as justice of the peace for Lower Turkeyfoot. He was a man of kind heart and always ready to do a friend a favor." In about 1893 or 1893, the Reams relocated to nearby Confluence, where John was considered a well known resident and made a reputation as a carpenter. In his later years, he was burdened with heart valve disease. On May 27, 1917, at the age of 62, John passed away unexpectedly at home. Noted the Republic, "Mr. Ream had been confined to his home with asthma the msot of the past winter and appeared to be getting weaker day by day until a few weeks before his death when he seemed to be regaining a little health and strength and was able to sit on his porch until a few minutes previous to his death, when he requested his son to lead him out on the porch and suddenly dropped dead in his son's arms." Funeral services were held in the family home, with Rev. W.A. Wissinger of Brownsville, PA preaching the funeral sermon. Interment was in Draketown Cemetery. Lewis Ream of Confluence signed the Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Son George Ream (1857-1871) was born in 1857. He lived into his teenage years. At the age of 13, he passed away on March 28, 1871. Burial was in the plot of Ream family graves in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, including his mother's. A marker was erected at the grave, and is somewhat legible in the center although worn down on the left and right hand edges.
Son William H. Ream (1859-1943) was born on March 25 1859 in Draketown. At the age of 21, in 1880, he lived at home and earned a living as a flour miller. Later, he became a self-employed carpenter until age forced him to retire. He married Rhoda Anderson ( ? -1945), daughter of Rev. Noah Anderson of Drakedown. They moved to Confluence in about 1899, and remained there permanently. Their known offspring were Mary Shipley Coughenour, Jane Leckemby, Nell Lamison, Pearl Felt, Verna Semple, William H. Ream Jr., Rose Ream, Albert R. Ream, Stella P. Ream and Mildred V. Ream. The 1910 federal census enumeration shows the family living in Confluence, with their married daughter Mary Shipley and her children among those under their roof. At the age of 84, suffering from heart disease of two decades' duration, added to chronic kidney problems, he died on May 20, 1943. Daughter Rose Ream of Confluence was the informant for his death certificate. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, following a funeral sermon preached by Rev. Henry Knoell, and with an obituary appearing in print in the Meyersdale Republican. Rhoda only lived for two more years after her husband's death. She suffered a heart attack and died on Aug. 14, 1945. The Republican listed her surviving brothers as Bruce Anderson and John Anderson of Claysville, PA; Lloyd Anderson of Cameron, WV; and Harvey Anderson of Aleppo, PA.
Daughter Alice C. Ream (1860-1941), sometimes known as "Sarah," was born in about May 1860. On July 28, 1892, at the age of 32, Alice was wedded to 30-year-old Rev. William Albert Grantz (May 1, 1862-1928), a Methodist preacher widely known as the "Blind Evangelist of Confluence." They produced two children -- Samuel Grantz and Myrtle Grantz. As a newborn, William contracted smallpox and then at age 11 became completely blind. He attended the State School for the Blind in Philadelphia where he learned how to weave and graduated with a degree in music. William began his career in Pittsburgh and was active with a political body known as the "Straighout Republicans." In October 1891, he had been one of many speakers at a mass meeting along the city's Pius Street, attended by 350 spectators who "stood for nearly two hours and listened to speeches against 'ring rule'," reported the Pittsburgh Dispatch. His comments that day focused on people's rights [and] the Crawford county system of nominating candidates and the doing away with 'ring' rule." In about 1898, he relocated to Confluence, likely assigned to preach in the Methodist church. The Connellsville Daily Courier once said that he "had a license as a local minister and made trips to many parts of Western Pennsylvania to conduct evangelistic services. He was regarded as very successful." In June 1905, Alice's brother in law Silas Younkin, a local carpenter, constructed a new front porch at their home, with the news reported in the gossip columns of the Daily Courier. William is known to have preached in other local communities, among them Humbert in November 1906 and again in August 1913. He ran for election as a school director on the Prohibition ticket in January 1910 but only garnered 15 votes out of the 332 cast. In March 1917, he spent a month in Homestead near Pittsburgh hold a series of revival meetings. In reporting on the upcoming Homestead evangelism, the Meyersdale Republic said that "Although Rev. Grantz is handicapped by total blindness, he is a forcible and fluent preacher and exhorter and a hard worker. He has done much good work for the cause of religion and the uplift of humanity, the many years he has been here and never wearies of working in the Lord's vineyard." He also engaged in rug-weaving to generate additional income. Then in June 1917, he visited with his mentor Rev. L.W. LePage in Webster, Washington County, PA and afterward said that he "heard more noise of automobiles and heavy trucks than he heard in all his life before," reported the Republic. "While visiting with Rev. LePage, he conducted a week's evangelistic services at East Donora, a suburb of Webster, in which he reports a deep interest was manifested on the part of the people, and believes much good has been accomplished. The Republican is pleased when any of the citizens of Confluence, and especially Rev. Grantz who is deprived of his sight, is signally honored. Despite his infirmity Rev. Grantz has accomplished more good in the service of God and the uplift of humanity than can be ever realized or appreciated by most of his fellow townsmen. All would be glad to know of other communities calling him for evangelistic work." He died at the age of 66 on May 19, 1928. An obituary in the Daily Courier noted that he had passed "after an illness of several months." Following funeral services held in the Grantz's home, led by Rev. Frank L. Stuck, the remains were transported to Pittsburgh to rest in the South Side Cemetery, with additional graveside services led by his mentor Rev. LePage. As a widow, Zlice survived her husband by a baker's dozen years. In 1940, she and her unmarried daughter Myrtle relocated to Massachusetts to live with son Samuel in Everett. Sadly, Alice died in Everett in October 1941 at the age of 61. Her remains were returned to Pittsburgh for burial, with an obituary appearing in the Daily Courier.
Daughter Ida Amelia Ream (1866-1941) was born on Nov. 21, 1866. She married James Porterfield ( ? - ? ). James apparently brought a son to the marriage, Roosevelt Porterfield. They made their residence in the rural outskirts of Confluence. Among their offspring were Albert J. Porterfield, John Porterfield, Lloyd Porterfield and Susan Redrick. Less than a few weeks before her 75th birthday, Ida suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died on Nov. 8, 1941. She was laid to rest in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.
Great-granddaughter Phyllis Jane Rederick (1916-1999) was born on March 29, 1916 in Confluence. She as united in marriage with Adrian Conn (1912-1994), son of Edward and Minnie (Hyatt) Conn. (Adrian's brother, Lester Conn, was married to Lucinda "Mae" Shroyer of the family of Laura Belle [Younkin] Shroyer.) Their six children were Barbara Conn, Paul Conn, Richard "Skip" Conn, William Carl Conn, Sara Gallentine and Ann Meehan. The family dwelled in Confluence. Phyllis worked for many years at the Humbert Funeral Home and Furniture Store. They attended the Draketown Church. Sadly, Adrian passed away at the age of 82 in 1994. Phyllis survived him by five years. She joined him in death on Nov. 24, 1999. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American reported that she was survived by 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. James Monticue preaching the funeral service.
Great-grandson Charles Rederick lived in Bullhead City, AZ.
Great-grandson Eugene Rederick made his residence in Electric City, WA.
Great-grandson James Rederick lived in Warren, Trumbull County, OH.
Great-grandson Ralph Ray Rederick Jr. (1923-1987) was born on Dec. 5, 1923. He married a step-cousin, Virginia Elaine Sands (1931-2002), daughter of Robert A. and Alma (Ream) Sands. Ralph was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. The couple had one daughter, Mary Jane Black. Ralph and Virginia divorced within a year of their marriage. He lived for several more decades and passed away in Madison, OH at the age of 64 on Christmas Eve 1987. His remains were returned to Somerset County for interment in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. Former wife Virginia later married twice again, first to James Martin (1932-living) in 1954 and then to Marvin Lemmon ( ? - ? ). Virginia made her home in Perry, OH and died on Nov. 10, 2002, at the age of 71.
Great-grandson Ronald R. Rederick (1935-1954) was born on Aug. 16, 1935. Sadly, his life was short, by his own choosing. Despondent over a failed love affair, the 18-year-old student decided to end his life and, in the late hours of Jan. 16, 1954, shot himself in the head, dying instantly. Interment was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.
Daughter Bertha Ann Ream (1869-1938) was born on Oct. 21, 1868 in Draketown. Bertha as a small girl joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in Draketown. In about 1884, when she was 15 years of age, she married 18-year-old Francis S. Gerhard (April 10, 1866- ? ), the son of Sarah Gerhard and a native of Upper Turkeyfoot Township. Francis operated a store in Draketown, and then in 1903 they came to Confluence, where Francis earned a living as a lumberman. Their 11 known children were Harry J. Gerhard, Florence A. "Flora" Burnworth, Sarah F. Schell, Russell M. Gerhard, Mayme Ellen Kurtz, Roy Gerhard, Lloyd Gerhard, Roy Gerhard, Lloyd Gerhard, Clarence Gerhard, Charles E. Gerhard, Esther M. Rinehart and Reba Catherine Johnson Firestone. Circa 1917, when named in the Meyersdale Republican obituary of her brother John, Bertha and her family dwelled in Confluence. At Francis' 54th birthday, his daughters Mayme Kurtz and Florence Burnworth, with help from daughter in law Alma Gerhard, planned a surprise party. Reported the Meyersdale Republican, "The evening was spent very pleasantly. A bountiful supper was served, the center-piece on the table being a birthday cake with 54 candles.... He is one of the most substantial citizens of Confluence and is held in high respect." Bertha was afflicted with heart and kidney failure and died at age 70 on Nov. 1, 1938. Interment was in the Jersey Church Cemetery, with Rev. J.O. Martin preaching the funeral service. Said the Republican, "She was a faithful wife, devoted mother, and good neighbor, and will be missed by many. She was a descendant of one of the oldest families in this section. her ancestor, Andrew Ream, came to the village of Ursina during its early days."
Son Irvin Scott Ream (1871-1926) was born on Nov. 16, 1871 (or 1873) in Draketown. At the age of 26, in about 1897, he married 23-year-old Lyda S. Weyant (1874-1912), daughter of Simon and Sarah (Yates) Weyant. Their known children were Harry S. Ream, Edna M. Ream, Adda E. "Addie" Ream, Willis C. Ream, Russell T. Ream and Helen G. Ream. Irwin was a tannery worker in Confluence in 1910 and later a railroad laborer and coal miner. Heartache rocked the family on Sept. 14, 1912 when 38-year-old Lyda died suddenly from an infection following childbirth ("puerperal"). Interment was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. The federal census enumeration of 1920 shows Irvin and his children and grandson Robert Moon living in Confluence. Among their near neighbors that year were his nephew Cyril "Edgar" and Nora Pearl (Harbaugh) Ream as well as widow Phoebe Ann (Burkholder) Younkin of the George A. and Charlotta (Younkin) Younkin family. In the mid-1920s, he lived and apparently worked at a mine in Fairchance, Georges Township, Fayette County. At the age of 55, he suffered a stroke and died on Dec. 7, 1926. Burial was in the Jersey Cemetery. After Irvin's death, many of his children relocated to Westmoreland County, PA where they resided in and around New Kensington.
~ Daughter Mary (Ream) Flanigan ~
Daughter Mary Ream (1812-1860s?) was born in about 1812. Her middle name may have been "Elizabeth."
She married farmer Job Flanagin (1806- ? ). Job was six years older than his bride. It's thought that Mary did not wed until after the death of her father in 1840, meaning she would have been no younger than age 28 at the time of matrimony.
The Flanagans produced five known children -- Annabelle Burnworth, Mary "Missouri" McNear ("McNair"), Thomas Flanigan, Marcellus Flanigan and Howard Flanigan.
When the federal census was enumerated in 1850, the family dwelled in or near Johnson's Chapel in Henry Clay Township, Fayette County. That year, other Flanigan families living next door were John and Margaret Flanigan and Andrew and Isabella Flanigan. They remained in Henry Clay through the decade of the 1850s and are shown there in the 1860 census, receiving their postal mail at Somerfield, Somerset County.
Mary is believed to have died during the 1860s. The census of 1870 shows the 63-year-old Job heading a household with his youngest three children between the ages of 15 and 23. That year, their mail was delivered at Fayette Springs, Fayette County.
In 1880, at age 76, Job dwelled with his married daughter Mary and her husband Thomas McNear in the Grant District of Preston County, WV. He is presumed to have died there, but no evidence has yet to be found.
Nothing more about the couple is known. Neither of their burials is recorded in Janice Cale Sisler's three-volume work, In Remembrance: Tombstone Readings of Preston County, West Virginia.
Daughter Annabelle Flanigan (1845-1926) was born in February 1845 in Johnson's Chapel. As a young girl, she joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. In about 1864, at the age of 19, Annabelle was joined in marriage with 35-year-old Ziba Burnworth (July 1, 1828-1909), son of John and Hannah (Hinebaugh) Burnworth. Ziba was 16 years her senior. He had been married previously to Susanna Lenhart ( ? -1860) and brought at least three young children to the marriage, Alverda Burnworth, Marcellus Burnworth and Orville Burnworth. Ziba and Annabelle resided on his farm near Johnson's Chapel. They went on to produce six more children of their own -- Chelsea Wilson, Harry Palmer Burnworth, Herbert Burnworth, Jonathan L. Burnworth, William Albert Burnworth and Norman Burnworth. Some years earlier, in 1849, Ziba hired his brother in law Julius Kemp of Somerfield to erect a barn with lumber timbered in his woods, costing $80.00 to complete, with the barn remaining in place for some 70 years.
The Burnworths were longtime members of the Johnson's Chapel Methodist Church, founded circa 1825 by Ziba's father. The congregation was part of the Somerset Circuit and then Smithfield Circuit of the Methodist church, and in 1853 a building was constructed, known then as the Fairview Methodist Episcopal Church. Ziba was a trustee of the 1853 church, along with Jacob Show, John R. Burnworth, Clark Flanigan, Christopher Burnworth, Charles Tissue and Patterson Burnworth. When the church building was destroyed by fire late in 1883, Ziba and other trustees met at the local schoolhouse to plan for the future and raise money for new construction. At that meeting, Ziba's brother in law Thomas Flanigan was elected president of the organization, Ziba as secretary, Tissue Show treasurer, and A.B. Flanigan, C.N. Flanigan, Tissue Show, Alvin Burnworth and Grant Show as a committee to seek pledges. The new church took two years to build, and was dedicated on Nov. 15, 1885, costing $717.66 and measuring 30 ft. x 45 ft. x 14 ft. high. Over the years, Ziba was highly regarded in the community, and the Meyersdale Republican once cited his "honesty, industry, perseverance and true Christian piety, ... filled with years and honors, whose pure and honest life was an inspiration for good in the community where he spent his long and useful life.." In 1900, the federal census shows that Ziba's 84-year-old unmarried sister Keziah Burnworth lived under their roof. In October 1909, gathered for the last time, Ziba and Annabelle held a family reunion at their home. Noted the Republican, "The day was delightful and will ever be remembered by all present. A bounteouis dinner was served at 12 o'clock." Among the attendees were Mr. and Mrs. John Burnworth, Mr. and Mrs. Orville Burnworth, Mr. and Mrs. James Wilson, Thomas Butler, Isaiah Shipley, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Burnworth and sons Fred and Wade, Mr. and Mrs. William Burnworth and daughters Ruth and Lucille, Mrs. John Butler and daughter Katharine, Kissiah Burnworth, Nona Burnworth and Alverda Burnworth. Sadly, at the age of 81, Ziba died at home of heart weakness on Nov. 5, 1909. Burial was at Johnson's Chapel. Among those traveling to attend the funeral was Mrs. N.B. Critchfield of Johnstown, PA. In 1919 or 1921, in February, Annabelle's younger brother Marcellus traveled from his home in Iowa for a two-month's visit. At her 75th birthday in 1920, while staying with her son William in Confluence, Annabelle was "treated with a genuine surprise on Saturday," reported the Republican.
Mrs. W.A. Burnworth perfected the arrangements without even letting the members of her own family know, thereby showing the fallacy of the old saying that a woman cannot keep a secret. Chief of the arrangements was the baking of a magnificent birthday cake, having 75 candles on it, in remembrance of Grandma Burnworth's 75th year. In the evening J.L. Burnworth and family, who reside on the next street, Norman R. Burnworth and daughter, Bella May, and granddaughter, Agnes O'Hara, of Uniontown, who were visiting the former's brother here, Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Reiber, Mr. and Mrs. John I. Davis and Mrs. Margaret Burgess were present and spent a pleasant evening, after which they were invited to the dining-room where the table was beautifully spread with choice delicacies having the birthday cake for a center-piece. This was where Grandma Burnworth got her surprise. On Sunday she and Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Burnworth and daughters, Ruth and Louise, and Norman R. Burnworth and daughter, Bella May, and granddaughter, Agnes O'Hara were dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Burnworth where the latter had a magnificent birthday dinner prepared, with Grandma Burnworth as guest of honor. This venerable lady is the widow of the late Ziba Burnworth, one of the prominent residents of Henry Clay Township who died in November, 1909.
Despite her advanced age, Annabelle was able to travel, and in July 1922 went to Dunbar to see her daughter and son in law, Chelsea and James Wilson. The sands of time ran out for her at the age of 81 on Sept. 17, 1926, having been senile and then suffering a cerebral hemorrhage while at the home of her son Harry at Johnson's Chapel. In an obituary, the Republican said she was survived by 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Rev. L.H. Powell officiated at the funeral service, with her four sons serving as pallbearers as well as nephews Wilbert McNeer and Dilworth McNeer. Later that her, her obituary was reprinted in the B. and O. Magazine, Vol. 14.
Daughter Mary "Missouri" Flanagan (1847-1913) -- also spelled "Flannigan" -- was born on April 24, 1847 near Johnson Chapel in Somerset County. Her name also has been spelled "Masonia." She married Thomas McNair (1846-1882), also spelled "McNear" and "McNeer," a native of West Virginia. Their six children were Mary McNear, Francis W. "Frank" McNear, Lloyd McNear, Dillworth McNear and Orral McNear and one other who died young. Between 1878 and 1880, the couple relocated to a farm in Bruceton Mills in the Grant District of Preston County, WV. In 1880, Mary's aged father resided under their roof.
Sadly, Thomas died in 1882, at the age of 36, and his remains were brought to Johnson Chapel for burial. The location and cause of his passing are not known and may be lost to history. After his death, said the Meyersdale Republic, Mary "moved from West Virginia to Ursina, Pa., and by hard and persevering industry kept her children together. After living in the latter place a few years, she moved to Confluence where she made her home for many years. After her sons grew up and secured employment, the family located at Dickerson Run, where the sons secured lucrative positions." All four sons were employed at one time or another by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
Stricken with chronic bronchitis, and an invalid, Mary made her home in her final years in her son Lloyd's home in East Liberty near Dickerson Run. The Republic noted that "Mrs. McNear enjoyed good health until about two years ago she suffered a severe injury from falling down stairs, from which she never recovered fully. She was a sufferer for many years from bronchial trouble. About ten days before her death she commenced to fail rapidly, until Friday morning April 25 when her mild and gentle spirit passed to the Great Beyond." She succumbed a day after her 66th birthday on April 25, 1913. A one-paragraph obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that the funeral was held at the home of her son Lloyd in East Liberty, with Rev. H.A. Baum, of the Cochran Memorial Church, preaching the service. A lengthier obituary in the Republic reported that she "belonged to one of the old and well known pioneer families of Henry Clay township" and that she "was a true and consistent christian lady, having joined the Methodist church in early life and remained a faithful member." The first of two funeral services was held in the McNair home in East Liberty. Then her remains were shipped by rail on Train No. 48 for additional services at Johnson's Chapel, led by Rev. C.W. Hoover. Burial was beside her husband and two children in the chapel cemetery. Son Lloyd, residing at Dickerson Run, signed the official Pennsylvania death certificate. Those traveling a distance to attend the funeral were Frank and Clara and three children of Russelton, Lloyd and his wife and two children of East Liberty, Dilworth McNear and his wife and four children of Bessemer, Mr. and Mrs. N.R. Burnworth and daughter Ada of Uniontown, Mr. and Mrs. James Wilson of Elm Grove, PA, and H.P. Burnworth and Robert Huston of Humbert. [Find-a-Grave]
Son Thomas Flanigan (1849-1908) was born on Feb. 11, 1849 in Henry Clay Township, also spelled "Flannigan" and "Flanagan." He was twice married. He and his first bride produced two known offspring -- Mary Flanigan and William Flanigan. The first marriage ended between 1874 and 1878, presumably by death. Then in about 1878, at the age of 29, Thomas married again to 17-year-old Sabina Tissue (or "Burnsworth") (April 1861- ? ). They were the parents of four children -- Annie A. Smith Deneen, Elizabeth B. "Lizzie" Flanigan, Maud Vanorsdale and Ernest B. Flanigan. Thomas was a member of the Fairview Methodist Church at what became Johnson's Chapel. When the church building was destroyed by fire late in 1883, Thomas and other trustees met at the local schoolhouse to plan for the future and raise money for new construction. At that meeting, Thomas was elected president of the organization, his brother in law Ziba Burnworth as secretary, Tissue Show treasurer, and A.B. Flanigan, C.N. Flanigan, Tissue Show, Alvin Burnworth and Grant Show as a committee to seek pledges. The new church took two years to build, and was dedicated on Nov. 15, 1885, costing $717.66 and measuring 30 ft. x 45 ft. x 14 ft. high. Later, the Flanigans moved into Confluence, where Thomas owned a lumber sawmill business north of Confluence and served for a time on town council. He continued to invest in and expand the business, and in October 1905 purchased a large well-timbered tract of land in West Virginia along the Morgantown and Kingwood Railroad line. "It is thought that there will be at least 10,000,00 feet of lumber sawed," reported the Connellsville Courier. When he was age 58, in August 1907, he gave a deposition on behalf of his first cousin, Sarah (Jennings) Bookman, in her effort to secure her late husband's Civil War pension. Tragically, Thomas died the following year, at the age of 59, when struck by a moving locomotive while walking along railroad tracks in Confluence. The horrific accident occurred on April 11, 1908. Reported the Meyersdale Republican, he was "run down and instantly killed by the Duquesne Limited train, on Saturday morning, at Huston Station, near Confluence.... The fast train, being over two hours late, was running on the east-bound instead of the west-bound track, and was unseen by Flannigan, whose back was burned." His broken remains were placed at rest in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery near Ursina.
Great-granddaughter Sabina G. Smith (1897-1963) was born in about 1897. She married Harry E. Erwin ( ? - ? ) and lived in Connellsville. They produced four children -- Robert Erwin, Harry E. Erwin Jr., Jay Erwin and Jacqueline Micher. Later in life, the Erwins relocated to Florida, where they made a home at 361 Woodlawn Avenue in Daytona Beach. Sabina died in Daytona at the age of 66 on Sept. 1, 1963. Her remains were brought back to Connellsville for burial at Hill Grove Cemetery. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier stated that she was survived by 10 grandchildren.
Great-granddaughter Hazel I. Smith was deceased by 1976.
Great-grandson Earl A. Smith dwelled in Charleroi, Washington County, PA in 1950.
Great-granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Deneen (1912-1976) was born on April 27, 1912 in Connellsville. She was wedded to Vernon Lopes ( ? - ? ) and lived in Connellsville at 289 Fairview Avenue. Their children were Beverly Lopes, Kim Lopes and David Lopes. The family belonged to the Central Methodist Church in Connellsville. Sadly, at the age of 64, Hazel died at Connellsville State General Hospital on May 20, 1976. The Connellsville Daily Courier noted in an obituary that buril was in Green Ridge Memorial Park, following funeral services officiated by Rev. William Keys.
Great-grandson Rev. Thomas Edison Deneen ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). On Christmas Day 1938, he was united in holy matrimony with Olive Ruth Hixon, daughter of Clyde W. Hixon of 819 Jefferson Street in Connellsville. They were the parents of Margaret Ann Deneen and perhaps others. They eventually moved to Waynesburg, Greene County. In 1948, their 17-year-old daughter Margaret had four eye surgeries at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. Circa 1950, he was in charge of the Morrisville Circuit of the Methodist Church. He was deceased by 1976.
Great-grandson Ralph Vanorsdale lived at home with his parents in 1958.
Great-grandson Harold Vanorsdale resided with his parents in 1958.
Great-grandson Charles E. Vanorsdale dwelled in Baltimore, MD in 1958.
Grandson Wendel Vanorsdale made his home in 1958 in Connellsville.
Grandson Paul Vanorsdale lived in Connellsville in 1958.
Son Marcellus Flanagan (1851-1927) -- also spelled "Flannigan" and "Flanigan" -- was born on Jan. 3, 1851 in Henry Clay Township. Unmarried at the age of 18, in 1870, he lived on his widowed father's farm in Henry Clay Township. He later was married but later divorced. Marcellus obtained work as a railroad laborer. In about 1871, feeling the need for a change, Marcellus migrated westward to Iowa, putting down roots near Manila in Nishnabotny Township, Crawford County. When the federal census was taken in 1910, the 59-year-old Marcellus boarded in the home of Shelby and Della Londenstricker in Nishnabotny. He migrated again and was in Nebraska circa 1913 but relocated back to Manila. Between 1871 and 1916, he only returned home to Somerset County three times, including trips in 1909 and then at Christmas 1916 to spend with his nephew William A. Burnworth, with the news reported in the Meyersdale Republican. He returned to Confluence for a two months' visit in February 1919 and then again in December 1920 and stayed for several weeks. The 1919 and 1920 visits were fodder for the gossip columns of the Connellsville Daily Courier. When an atlas of Nishabotny Township was published in 1920, Marcellus does not appear as a landowner. At the death of his sister Annabel Burnworth in September 1926, he was named in the Republican obituary. He died at the age of 75 in Nishnabotny on Feb. 2, 1927.
Son Howard Flanigan (1852-1918?) -- also alternatively spelled over the years "Flannigan" and "Flanagan" -- was born on Jan. 13, 1852 (or 1855 or 1857) in Henry Clay Township. He relocated to Iowa by 1880, establishing a new life and home near Albia, Monroe County. On Oct. 31, 1881, in a ceremony held in Monroe County, the 29-year-old Howard married 23-year-old Martha A. Evans (1858-1895), the daughter of Thomas J. and Martha (Hughes) Evans. The couple went on to produce two children -- Grace Barnett and Irvin T. Flanagan. After 14 years of marriage, heartache enveloped the family when Martha died on Jan. 21, 1895, at the age of 37, and was laid to rest in Oakview Cemetery in Albia. Howard survived his wife by some 23 years. His and the children's home in 1900, as shown in the United States Census, was on a farm in Guilford Township, Monroe County, IA, southeast of the county seat of Albia. He was named in the obituary of his sister Missouri McNear in 1913 and was reported as living in Albia. Howard's world came crashing down in March 1903 when his 18-year-old daughter accused him of incest. The Ottumwa (IA) Daily Courier reported that she alleged that her father "has borne illicit relations with her for some time, but through fear it is stated that she has been compelled to keep silent." He was arrested and indicted by a grand jury and jailed in Monroe County. "News of criminal accusations came to the many friends of Mr. Flanagan with a great shock," said the Daily Courier, "as he has always been highly steemed by all who knew him." Another of the newspapers reporting the story was the Davenport Daily Leader. The outcome of the trial is unknown. In the late 1910s, he lived alone in Albia and was considered "one of Albia's oldest residents." At the age of about 66, on Jan. 22, 1918, Howard died in his sleep from heart problems. Funeral services were held in the local United Presbyterian Church, officiated by Rev. C.C. Crawford of the Christian Church. An obituary was printed in the Ottumwa (IA) Semi-Weekly Courier. [Find-a-Grave]
Great-grandson Charles Barnett (1914- ? ) was born in about 1914.
Great-grandson Edward H. Barnett (1915- ? ) was born in about 1915.
Great-grandson Byron Cecil Barnett (1916- ? ) was born in about 1916.
Great-grandson Francis L. Barnett (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917.
Great-granddaughter Nellie M. Barnett (1918- ? ) was born in about 1918.
Great-grandson William Barnett (1923- ? ) was born in about 1923.
Great-grandson Robert Irvin Flanigan (1914-1984) was born on Nov. 12, 1914. He served as a major in the U.S. Army during World War II, including service in the Army Air Corps. He was wedded to Dorothy Love (March 31, 1921-1990).