Maria "Catherine" (Younkin) May was born on July 28, 1798, the daughter of Jacob and Hannah (Nicola) Younkin Sr. Her father died when she was 13 years old. In December 1813, her uncle Frederick was assigned as her and her brother Samuel's legal guardian.
Catherine was wedded to Leonard May (1795?-1889), son of Bedford County pioneers Daniel and Elizabeth May of Bedford Cove.
The Mays initially dwelled in Colerain Township, Bedford County in 1810-1824 when their eldest three sons were born, and later in Somerset County, where their son Silas was born in 1833. They eventually settled on a farm in the western end of Juniata Township in Bedford County. For more than three decades, their family physician was Dr. John C. Early.
Their dozen children were David May, William May, Henry May, John L. May, Mary Ann "Anna" Kellerman, Elizabeth Tipton Metzger, Daniel H. May, Samuel M. May, Louisa Beltz, Marcus "Mark" May, Hiram May and Silas May.
The Juniata Township area where the Mays lived in the antebellum years was about a dozen miles from the famed Bedford Springs. Built as a resort in the early 1800s, its mineral waters were widely known for their healing properties and the Greek Revival building billed as a "palace in the wilderness." The Mays would have well known about the site and then as Presidents James Polk visited in 1848 and Zachary Taylor in 1849. From 1857 to 1861, President James Buchanan considered Bedford Springs as his summer White House and, in August 1858, received the world's first transatlantic telegram there, sent by Queen Victoria in England. Whether or not the Mayses sold any of their farm produce or provided labor at the always-expanding Bedford Springs is not yet known.
When the federal census enumeration was made in 1860, the Mays dwelled on a farm in Juniata Township. In addition to children Samuel, Mark, Hiram and Silas, three-year-old Mary Mull also lived under their roof. Residing nearby were Leonard and Catherine’s sons John and Daniel and their families.
During the Civil War, five of their sons and three sons-in-law served in the Union Army -- for a total of eight -- with only youngest, underage son Silas not taking part.
They remained in Juniata during the decade of the 1860s and 1870s. It appears that in 1870, all of the children had left the home except for their youngest, 20-year-old Silas. But also in the household were 13-year-old George Tipton and 13-year-old Mary Kellerman, presumed grandchildren.
The 1880 census, also of Juniata, shows that they provided a home for 17-year-old Sarah Beltz.
Leonard was featured in a paragraph in the 1884 book, History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania, produced by Waterman, Watkins & Co. The paragraph, in the section about Juniata Township, said: "Leonard May, now upward of eighty years of age, is a native of Milligan's cove, and a son of one of the early pioneers. Mr. May had five sons in the army during the late war, and all lived to return."
Leonard passed away in Juniata on Feb. 2, 1889.
Catherine survived him by three and a half years. She died in Juniata Township on Aug. 22, 1892, at the age of about 94. They rest for eternity in the local Dry Ridge Cemetery, also known as Trinity United Church of Christ Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
~ Son David May ~
Son David May (1810-1836) reputedly was born on Nov. 20,1810 in Colerain Township, Bedford County. If so, his mother was only 12 years of age at the time.
According to MayHouse.or records, David passed away at the age of 26 on Dec. 10, 1836. This all needs to be confirmed.
~ Son William May ~
Son William May (1813-1837) was allegedly born on Jan. 12, 1813 in Colerain Township, Bedford County. If so, his mother was only 15 years of age at the time.
Records of MayHouse.org suggest that William passed away at the age of 24 on May 12, 1837.
~ Son Henry May ~
Son Henry May (1824-1905) was born on May 24, 1824 in Colerain Township, Bedford County, as per records of MayHouse.org.
He passed away at the age of 81 on Oct. 6, 1905. More about him will be added when learned.