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Silas May


Silas May

Silas May was born on Dec. 23, 1849 in Bedford County, PA, the son of Leonard and Maria "Catherine" (Younkin) May. He was only 12 years of age when the Civil War broke out, and although five brothers and three brothers-in-law all saw service in the Union Army, he was too young to join.

At the age of 22, in about 1872, he was married to Anna Elizabeth Shirer ( ? -1939). They were longtime farmers.

Their dozen children were Laura "Lorie" Holler, Harry May, Theodore "Dory" May, Howard May, George Washington May, Carrie May, Sarah "Sally" Newman, Orange May, Walter May, Stella Duniker, Louise Robertson and John O. May.

When the federal census was enumerated in 1880, the Mayses resided in Juniata Township, Bedford County, with Silas earning a living as a laborer.

By 1900, the family had relocated across the county line to Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. The census for 1900 shows that in addition to the large family of children, Silas' 21-year-old cousin Harvey Bowser (or "Bowen") dwelled in the household.

Later, Silas was employed as a stable boss at the Hamilton coal mine in or near Boynton, Somerset County. In about 1914, said the Meyersdale Republican, "he returned to his farm near Buffalo Mills" and stayed there for most of the remainder of his life.

Elizabeth died at the age of 91 on Sept. 1, 1939.

Silas lived for another five years as a widower and spent most of his final years by himself on his Buffalo Mills farm. In the fall of 1943, with his health failing, he moved into the residence of a neighbor Roy Holler near Buffalo Mills.. Stricken with kidney failure, he died at the age of 94 on July 26, 1944. Roy Haller of Buffalo Mills was the informant for the Pennsylvania death certificate, spelling the maiden name of Silas' mother as "Yonkon." Interment was in Dry Ridge Cemetery in Bedford County, following funeral services held in the Holler residence.

A longer obituary appeared in the Bedford Gazette, and a shorter one in the Republican.


~ Daughter Laura (May) Holler ~

Daughter Laura "Lorie" May (1873- ? ) was born in about 1873.

In about 1889, when she would have been about age 16, she married George Holler (July 1870- ? ).

Their offspring included Frank G. Holler, Paul Hollere, Homer Holler, George Holler, Ethel Robertson, May Bowman, Orpha Tewey, Ruth Moore and Nettie Holler.

The U.S. Census for 1900 shows the family living next to her parents in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. That year, George's occupation was "coal miner."

They lived in 1944-1946 in Cresaptown, MD.

Son Frank G. Holler (1890-1946) was born on Feb. 12, 1890 near West End, Bedford County. He was united in holy matrimony with Isabelle Walker. Their only child was Marybelle Walker. Reported the Meyersdale Republican, "Along with all his family, he resided in Boynton for a number of years, and at one time was employed as a machinist by the Miller Brothers, now of Springs, who operated the 20th Century Manufacturing Company at that time. About 25 years ago, he moved to Akron, and was employed by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for more than 22 years. Mr. Holler owned a very fine violin, and played it constantly. He won fiddling contests from time to time, and frequently broadcast from Akron Armory on the radio. He was very well known locally and in Akron, and was well liked." Their address in Akron was 1381 East Market Street. In mid-December 1946, he told family that he was not feeling well and eventually went to see a physician. Just a few days later, he suffered a heart attack and died in the Akron City Hospital at the age of 55 on Dec. 27, 1946. Burial was in the local Odd Fellows Cemetery, with Rev. Sherwood C. Keiser officiating. The Republican published an obituary.

  • Granddaughter Marybelle Holler wedded (?) Walker and made a home in 1946 in Akron, OH.

Son Paul L. Holler (1909- 1977) was born in about 1909 in Boynton, Somerset County. He married Nellie M. ( ? - ? ). Their children were Jack L. Holler and Gary G. Holler. The family lived in Cresaptown, MD in 1946-1977, and Paul was employed for many years by Celanese Corporation, from which he retired. He also was a member of the Cresaptown Eagles lodge. At the age of 67, on Jan. 4, 1977, having been ill for a year, Paul succumbed in Cumberland Memorial Hospital. An obituary appeared in the Meyersdale Republican.

  • Grandson Jack L. Holler lived in Biloxi, MS in 1977.
  • Grandson Gary G. Holler resided in the 1970s in Cresaptown.

Son Homer Holler resided in 1946 in Cresaptown, MD.

Son George Holler Jr. made a home in the mid-1940s-1977 in Cresaptown.

Daughter Nettie Holler (1891- ? ) was born in July 1891.

Daughter May E. Holler (1897- ? ) was born in about May 1897. She married Millard F. Bowman ( ? - ? ). Their three children were Gordon "Mike" Bowman, Dorothy Clayton and Leola Longerbeam. They lived in 1946-1977 in Cresaptown, MD and were members of the Christian Church. The Bowmans' address in 1981 was 12828 Darrow Avenue in Cresaptown. At the age of 84, on Nov. 19, 1981, May passed away at home. Rev. Clinton Goff officiated at the funeral service, followed by interment in Salisbury Cemetery. The Meyersdale Republican published an obituary.

  • Grandson Gordon "Mike" Bowman lived in Cresaptown, MD in 1981.
  • Granddaughter Dorothy Bowman married (?) Clayton. They dwelled in Cresaptown.
  • Granddaughter Leola Bowman wedded (?) Longerbeam. She made a residence in Cresaptown.

Daughter Ethel Holler (1901-1980) was born on Aug. 4, 1901 at Boynton, Somerset County. She wedded John Robertson ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Beulah McKenzie and Pauline Grant. They dwelled in Cresaptown, MD in the 1940s and in Bedford, Bedford County circa 1977. After John's death, she made her residence with her daughter Beulah McKenzie in Englewood, FL. Ethel died in Englewood at the age of 78 on March 1, 1980. Her remains were returned to Somerset County to rest in Salisbury Cemetery. Rev. Rollin Mader officiated at the funeral service, with an obituary appearing in the Meyersdale Republican. She was survived by four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

  • Granddaughter Beulah Holler married (?) McKenzie. Her home in 1980 was in Englewood, FL.
  • Granddaughter Pauline Holler wedded (?) Grant. She lived in Sarasota, FL in 1980.

Daughter Orpha Holler ( ? - ? ) married Kenneth Tewey. Their residence in 1946 was in Cresaptown, MD.

Daughter Ruth Holler wedded James Moore. Their home was in Cresaptown.


~ Son Harry May ~

Son Harry May (1875- ? ) was born in about 1875 in Bedford County.

He resided in Bedford in 1944.


~ Son Theodore May ~

Son Theodore May (1876- ? ) was born in 1876 in Bedford County.

He lived in Oregon in 1944.


~ Son Howard May ~

Son Howard May (1878-1933) was born three days after Christmas 1878 in Bedford County.

He was joined in marriage with Lena ( ? - ? ).

They were the parents of two daughters and three sons, all of whom lived in Bedford County as adults.

Howard and Lena made a residence for many years in Boyton, Somerset County, where they were farmers. Later, they relocated to Bard, Harrison Township, Bedford County, also known as Buffalo Mills.

Howard suffered a stroke in early February 1933, at the age of 54, and lingered for 15 days. Death cut him away on Feb. 18, 1933, while at home in Bard. Interment was in Trinity Cemetery. Anobituary in the Meyersdale Republican reported that among the Meyersdale residents who attended the funeral service were C.M. May, Mrs. Frank Newman and her daughter Josephine.


~ Son George Washington May ~

Son George Washington May (1880-1957) was born on April 18 or May 18, 1880 in Bedford County.

He wedded Alice Lake ( ? - ? ).

The couple may have produced a son, George L. May.

They were farmers and in about 1927 relocated to a farm in East Freedom Township, Blair County, PA, where they remained for good.

George contracted leukemia in about 1952 and suffered the illness for five years. He died at the age of 76 on March 1, 1957. Burial was in River View Cemetery in East Freedom Township.


~ Daughter Stella (May) Duniker ~

Daughter Stella May (1883- ? ) was born in March 1883.

She wedded (?) Duniker.

In 1944, they resided in Grove City, PA.


~ Daughter Carrie May ~

Daughter Carrie May (1886- ? ) was born in March 1886.


~ Daughter Sarah "Sally" (May) Newman ~

Daughter Sarah "Sally" May (1888- ? ) was born in April 1888.

She was united in holy wedlock with Frank Newman ( ? - ? ).

Their home in the 1930s and '40s was in Salisbury, Somerset County.


~ Son Orange May ~

Son Orange May (1889- ? ) was born in June 1889.


~ Son Walter May ~

Son Walter May (1894- ? ) was born in Dec. 1894

~ Daughter Louise (May) Robertson ~

Daughter Louise May ( ? - ? ) was born in (?).

She joined in matrimony with (?) Robertson. They dwelled in 1944 in Akron, OH.

They are believed to have been the parents or grandparents of Homer Robertson.

Son Homer Robertson was married to Helen Miller. Circa 1982, they lived in Provo, Utah and were researching the May/Younkin family. [See Thomas/Cross Papers, pp. 631-634.] They were in correspondence with Younkin researchers Elaine (Lauter) Murphy and Joseph Warren Thomas III, trying to make connections among the disparate family branches. Helen published a 249-page book in 1989, entitled The Robertson and May Families: with Allied Families. In 1991 they attended the Younkin Reunion in Kingwood, Somerset County, PA.


Homer and Helen Robertson, 1991 Younkin Reunion, Kingwood, PA


~ Son John O. May ~

Son John O. May (1890-1959) was born on June 9, 1890 in Buffalo Mills, Bedford County.

He was joined in wedlock with Margaret Walker ( ? - ? ).

They produced five offspring -- John George May, Evelyn May, Idabelle Harding, Mrs. John Leslie and James B. May.

He spent many years working as a coal miner and eventually retired from the occupation. They dwelled in Boynton, Elklick Township, Somerset County in 1944.

John was felled by multiple heart attakcs and died at the age of 69 on Aug. 15, 1959. Interment was in the Salisbury Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Son John George May (1916-1948) was born on May 1, 1916 in Boynton, Somerset County. He married Agnes Robertson ( ? - ? ). He obtained work in Akron, OH, where he was employed in building tires by Mohawk Rubber Company. He became stricken with a severe kidney infection in late 1945 and his health declined further for the next two-and-a-half years. His symptoms also included heart disease and cystitis. He died in his parents' home in Boynton, at the age of 32, on May 15, 1948. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican noted that Rev. Arthur Vespa officiated at the funeral service, followed by burial in the Salisbury IOOF Cemetery.

Daughter Evelyn May ( ? - ? ) was unmarried and living in Cresaptown, MD in 1948.

Daughter Idabelle May ( ? - ? ) was united in marriage with (?) Harding. Her home in 1948 was in Salisbury, Somerset County.

Daughter (?) May wedded John Leslie Jr. ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in Boynton, Somerset County.

Son James B. May ( ? - ? ) was with the U.S. Army in 1948 and stationed at Phoenixville, PA


Copyright 2016-2017 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Olive (Rowan) Duff and the late Donna (Younkin) Logan. May brothers image courtesy Suzanne (Smith) Chutis.