We currently are researching the following individuals who share our family name and may (or may not) be related. As we dig deeper, we hope to gather the facts that would establish a connection with precision.
~ Tom Miner, Pittsburgh Steelers Kicker ~
Tom Miner (1932-1988) was a kicker for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1958, his one and only season in the National Football League. He was born on May 14, 1932 in Checotah, McIntosh County, OK, and played for the University of Tulsa, where he was named in 1951 to the All-Missouri Valley Conference. He stood 6 ft., 4 in. tall, and weighed 235 lbs. While with the Steelers, he kicked 14 field goals (out of 28 attempts) and converted on all 31 extra point attempts, in a year when the team quarterback was future hall of famer Bobby Layne. He also played in Canada during the 1950s with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeders. He died in Tucson, AZ at the age of 55 on Jan. 1, 1988.
~ Nancy (Howard) Miner Provance ~
Nancy (Howard) Miner/Minor (1804- ? ) was born in about 1804 in [West] Virginia or Pennsylvania. Her parents were Absalom and Mary (Smith) Howard, of Greene County, PA, who were married in 1843 in Tyler County, WV. Nancy's lineage is spelled out in a 1997 edition of The Howard Historian, published by Curt Howard.
Nancy's first husband was (?) Miner/Minor. They were the parents of a son, Washington Minor, born in 1826 in Pennsylvania.
Nancy's first husband died prior to 1830, when their son was but a young boy. She married again to Simeon Provance (1803-1887), the son of Joseph Yard and Elizabeth (Carter) Provance. Nancy's second marriage produced several children, among them Cephas Provance and Denune Provance.
The 1830 census places Simeon and family in Whiteley Township, Greene County, PA, with one adult male and female and one son under age age of five, likely Washington. In 1840, the Simeon Provance clan was in German Township, Fayette County, PA, with six individuals in the household.
Circa 1850, when the census was taken, Nancy, Simeon, and sons Josephus "Cephas" Provance (1834- ? ) and Denune Provance (1837- ? ) lived in Wood County, VA (now West Virginia).
When the census again was taken in 1860, the Provances were in Tuppers Plains, Olive Township, Meigs County, OH, sharing a home with their son Denune and living next door to son Washington. Simeon, Denune and Washington all were marked as laborers.
The Provances remained in Olive Township during the 1860s and into 1870. The census-taker of 1870 marked Simeon's occupation as farm laborer.
During the decade of the 1870s, Simeon and Nancy relocated into southwestern Pennsylvania, making a home in Dunbar Township, Fayette County, PA. Simeon worked as a laborer, and 69-year-old widow Mary McClean, marked as Simeon's sister-in-law, lived under their roof. Dwelling next door was their married son Denune, also a laborer, and his wife and large brood of children.
Simeon died in late January or early February 1887. An obituary was published in the Connellsville (PA) Weekly Courier, saying he had been a resident "of Dunbar township [who] died recently at the advanced age of 83 years. he was born in Nicholson township, and leaves a wife and two sons. His wife is almost 83 years of age, and is still hale and hearty."
In March 1893, her son Washington came for a visit and spent the night at her home, but the next day tragically was killed when run over by a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train at Mt. Braddock near Uniontown.
Evidence suggests that Nancy was dead by 1900. Details of her final fate are unknown.
Nancy and Simeon are named in Howard L. Leckey's book The Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Families.
On the possibility that Nancy's first husband was of the English family of Miner-Miner, also of southwestern Pennsylvania, a search was made of the book Thomas Minor Descendants, 1608-1981, authored by John Augustus Miner. There are no references in the volume to anyone named "Nancy Howard" or "Provance" or "Washington Minor/Miner."
Son Washington Minor (1826-1893) was born in 1826 in either Pennsylvania or West Virginia. He was raised under his step-father's surname, "Provance" and used it until later in life. He could neither read nor write.
In 1845, at the age of 19, Washington married 16-year-old Margaret Nicely (1829- ? ), a native of [West] Virginia.
The young family dwelled in Wood County, [West] Virginia in 1850.
The census of 1860 shows them in Tuppers Plains, Olive Township, Meigs County, OH, with their children ranging in age from 13 to two. Their next door neighbors were Washington's mother and stepmother.
At the time of the Civil War, in Oct. 1863, Washington left home in Meigs County at age 37, and enlisted in the 7th Independent Battery, OH Volunteer Light Artillery. In all, he served in the army for three years, four months and three days. He received a discharge on Aug. 11, 1865 after the war's end.
When the census was taken in 1870, they made their home near Masontown in Monongahela Township, maintaining the "Provance" spelling. At some point in time, in an amazing gesture, Washington changed his name back to his birth father's name, "Miner," perhaps an Army requirement. This change appears to have been inconsistent, as alternate spellings were used over time.
The 1880 U.S. Census lists Washington, Margaret and family in Monongahela Township, Greene County, with him earning a living by chopping wood.
Under the name "Provance," Washington was awarded a military pension in 1887 in recognition of his Civil War service. [Invalid App. #606.434 - Cert. #761.120]. On Oct. 12, 1895, Washington and Margaret purchased a farm of 20 acres in Dunbar Township from seller James Russell but by 1893 were living in Dunkards, Greene County.
A special U.S. Census enumerating Civil War veterans and their widows was made in 1890. Washington was among those counted, and lived in Greensboro, Greene County at the time. The census-taker noted that Washington suffered from eye problems and rheumatism.
Tragically, Washington was killed in a railroad accident on March 4, 1893. Reported the Pittsburgh Press, he "was run over and killed on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad at Mt. Braddock this morning. He had spent the night with his mother and was crossing the track to take a train home when he was struck by the engine. Miner was 68 years old and leaves a wife and eight children, all of whom are married." His remains were buried at the Hopwood Cemetery near Uniontown, PA. News of the tragedy was reprinted throughout the state in the Wlkes-Barre News and Canonsburg Weekly Notes, among other newspapers. After his grisly death, Margaret began receiving his monthly pension payments. [Widow App. #579.490 - Cert. #409.699].
Their children, listed below, initially raised under the name Provance, and also changed their names, were William A. Miner, Daniel Zane Miner, John "Jack" Miner, Nancy Hawk, Astinashia Miner, Josephine Miner, Emily Rankin, Josephus Minor and Margaret "Maggie" Joliffe. Washington's younger half brothers naturally kept their Provance surnames -- Denune Provance and Josephus "Cephas" Provance.
William A. Miner (1847-1928) was born in 1847 in Wood County, [West] Virginia. He was raised under the name of "Provance." He served in the same Civil War unit as his father -- the 7th Battery of the Ohio Light Artillery. On May 2, 1869, in a wedding held in Meigs County, OH, William "Provance" was united in matrimony with Mary Elizabeth Smith (1851-1929). Rev. D.A. Hannuan officiated. Their children were Margaret M. Dennis, Nancy E. Baker, Charles Marion Miner (who married Minerd step-cousin Jennie White), Elsworth "Elzie" Miner, Albert Miner, Daniel Z. Miner II, Josephine Dancier, Emily Pearl Wilson, Rebecca May Sayers Wooten and Millie Miner. William and Mary lived in Olive Township, Meigs County, OH in 1870 in close proximity to his grandmother and step-grandfather Nancy and Simeon Provance. Buried at Hopwood Cemetery near Uniontown, PA.
Daniel Zane Miner (1848-1904) - Born in Wood County, [West] Virginia, under the name of "Provance," the son of Washington and Margaret (Nicely) Miner (a.k.a. "Provance). Married Lucinda McClain (1851-1908) of Ohio. Their children were Caroline McGowan Ealy, George H. Miner, Daisy Weltner Varndell, Albert Miner (married to Elizabeth Minard), Josephus Miner and Maida Louise Milliron. Daniel served in the 193rd Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. After Daniel's death, she moved to her daughter Caroline's home in Renova, Clinton County, PA but then returned in 1906 to Dunbar, Fayette County, PA. Lucinda passed away n Sept. 29, 1908. An obituary noted that she was survived by her brothers Simon McClain and Ab. McClain of Point Marion and that Rev. David Ewing Minerd -- the famed "Blacksmith Preacher" of Fayette County -- led the funeral service. Daniel and Lucinda are buried together at Hopwood Cemetery near Uniontown, PA.
John "Jack" Miner (1849-1909) was born on May 9, 1849 most likely in Wood County, [West] Virginia. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War using the name "John Province" and was a member of the 186th Ohio Infantry, Company I. Under the name "Provance," on Nov. 4, 1869, he was joined in wedlock with Louisa V. Smith ( ? - ? ). The ceremony was held in Meigs County, officiated by Rev. D.A. Hannum. their six children were John Miner Jr., Jessie Simpson, Washington Miner II, Elizabeth Miner, Arthur Miner and Evelyn Miner. They eventually relocated to Brownsville, Fayette County, PA. In 1892, John was awarded a military pension as compensation for his Civil War sufferings. [Invalid App. #1.107.662 - Cert. 1.063.673]. Sadly, on Sept. 6, 1909, he mysteriously was found dead near the plant of the Brownsville Coke Company, of unknown causes. The deputy coroner simply wrote "Died without medical attendance." He was buried at Brownsville's Bridgeport Cemetery. The following April, Louisa began receiving her late husband's monthly pension checks and continued for the balance of her life. [Widow App. #940.009 - Cert. 744.570].
Simeon Miner (1853- ? ) was born in about 1853 in Wood County, [West] Virginia.
Nancy Ann Minor (1854-1933) was born in Wood County, [West] Virginia and married John Hawk (1849-1916). They had these children: Albert Hawk, Ada Bell Fuller, Minnie Hawk, Mary Ella Nibbi, Maggie Hawk, John Hawk, Jessie Hawk and Chester L. Hawk. John died in Vanderbilt, Fayette County in 1916, and Nancy passed away in McClellandtown on Jan. 17, 1933.
Austin Miner (1856- ? ) was born in 1856 in Ohio, likely Meigs County. He is last known on the 1870 federal census.
Josephine Miner (1858- ? ) was born in 1858 in Ohio, likely Meigs County. She disappears from history after 1870.
Emily Miner (1861-1925) married Albert Rankin and lived in Hopwood. They had one known son, Frank Rankin.
Josephus "Joseph" or "Cephas" Minor (1863-1929) was born on Oct. 9, 1863. Under the name "Provance," he lived with his parents in 1880 in Monongahela Township, Greene County. The census-taker in 1880 marked him as "disabled." He married Sarah Dugan of Springhill Township, Greene County, and had four children. Josephus resided as an adult in Columbus, Franklin County, OH, where he worked as a stone cutter. As he neared the age of 66, he was involved in an automobile accident in Columbus, causing a hemorrhage of the brain which led to his death. He died on Oct. 27, 1929, at Grant Hospital in Columbus. His remains were returned to Pennsylvania for burial at the Point Marion Cemetery.
Margaret Miner (1867- ? ) was born in 1867. As a young woman, she lived with her parents in Dunkard Township, Greene County. On May 9, 1888, when she would have been about 21 years of age, she married Morgan Jolliffe ( ? - ? ), son of Enoch and Kesiah Jolliff. Justice of the peace S.F. Sturtz officiated at the nuptials held at Dunkard. At the time of marriage, Morgan dwelled in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA and worked as an engineer.
Son Denune "Nooney" Provance (1838-1913) was born on March 2, 1838 in Pennsylvania. Some of his children thought that Ohio was his birthplace. On Sept. 1, 1859, in nuptials held in Meigs County, OH, he married Ann Maria Coleman/Rouse (1840- ? ), a native of Whites County, KY. Justice of the peace William Hawley officiated. They bore a family of children, among them Mary Provance, Washington Provance, Hannah Provance, Denune Provance Jr., Phoebe Bryner, Ellen Provance, Dora Provance, Silas Provance and Sarah "Sadie" Wilson. In 1860, they resided in Tuppers Plains, Olive Township, Meigs County, OH. By 1871, they had relocated to Pennsylvania and in 1880 were in Dunbar Township, Fayette County. On the fateful day of Feb. 17, 1913, at the age of 75, Denune was killed when he accidentally was struck by a railroad train, with his right hand crushed and his head and nose badly broken. His fractured remains were lowered into repose in Franklin Cemetery in Dunbar, Fayette County. His death certificate listed his parents' names as "Simeon Province" and "Nancy Howard."
Son Josephus "Cephas" (or "J.C.") Provance (1834- ? ) was born in about 1834 in Pennsylvania. He was joined in wedlock with Lucinda "Lucy" Caplinger (1839- ? ), a West Virginia native. During the Civil War, Josephus served in the Union Army as a corporal in the same unit as his brother Washington and nephew William A. Provance/Miner, the 7th Independent Ohio Light Artillery. He joined the Army two days after Christmas 1863 and received his discharge on Aug. 11, 1865. His term of service lasted for one year, seven months and 15 days. The Provances were farmers and in 1870 lived in Olive Township, Meigs County, OH. Josephus is believed to have represented several of his nephews in obtaining marriage licenses in Meigs County in the 1860s. The couple produced these known children -- Nancy L. Provance, Simeon A. "Sim" Provance, Elizabeth A. Provance, Davis "Alva" Provance, Willie Provance, George Howard Provance and Filmore Provance. When the federal census was made in 1870, Josephus and his family lived next door to his parents in Olive Township, Meigs County. During the 1870s, the family relocated north to Dunbar Township, Fayette County, PA, and are shown there in 1880, with Josephus working as a laborer. He learned he was eligible to receive a military pension as compensation for his Civil War ailments. He was awarded the pension in 1882 and received monthly checks for the rest of his life. [Invalid App. #437.881 - Cert. #431.738]. Sadly, by 1890, Josephus had died from the effects of asthma. Lucy outlived him and remained in Dunbar, with her husband's pension transferred to her. [Widow App. #412.500 - Cert. #306.108]. In 1890, she was counted in a federal census of Civil War veterans and their widows.
Daughter Mary Provance (1860- ? ) was born in 1860 in Ohio and attended school as a 10-year-old in Olive Township, Meigs County, OH.
Jesse Provance (1818-1897) was born on Aug. 13 or 14, 1819 near New Geneva, Nicholson Township, PA, one of 16 children of David and Agnes (Hartly) Provance. A captain of the steamboat Globe, he is said in the early 1850s to have "commanded the first steamboat that ever ascended the Monongahela river to Fairmont, W.Va." Jesse's grandfather owned a large acreage of flat land known as "Provance's Bottoms," located from Jacob's Creek to Catt's Run where they feed into the Monongahela River. Jesse's father, David, was a farmer in the area. Jesse grew up on the family farm and in 1839, at the age of about 21, jot a job as a laborer on Monongahela River flatboats steamboats. He worked in this trade until 1864, a time when the Civil War was raging. He became proprietor of a hotel in New Geneva which later became Provance House. He was twice married. His first wife, whom he married in 1840, was Hester Miller ( -1845), daughter of Benjamin Miller. During their brief five years of marriage, they bore three children -- Elizabeth Provance, Joseph Provance and Malinda Provance. Sadly, Hester died in 1845, leaving Jesse with three young mouths to feed. After a grieving period of three years, he wedded a second time in 1848 to Nancy McCann ( ? - ? ), daughter of John McCann. The dozen children produced by the second union were Sylvanus Provance, O. Minor Provance, Andrew "Stewart" Provance, Jesse "Lazier" Provance, Amadee Provance, Frankie Provance and Fannie Provance and several who died young. Jesse was profiled in John M. Gresham's 1889 book Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County. His entry said that he "has always been an industrious and hard-working man. He was the possessor of a remarkably good constitution which, has been very much impaired by excessive hard labor in early life. He has many good qualities of head and heart, and is a kind and obliging gentleman." Jesse died on March 31, 1897. His obituary was printed in the Uniontown Daily News Standard.
Son O. Minor Provance (1847-1909) was born on Aug. 26, 1847 in Pennsylvania. Minor married Ellen Wood (Jan. 12, 1847-1933), daughter of John S. and Anna (Dils) Wood. They produced three children, Chauncey B. Everly, Blanche Provance and John Wood Provance. The family were farmers. In 1870, at the birth of Chauncey, they dwelled in New Geneva, Fayette County, PA. In 1880, this family lived in Nicholson Township, Fayette County. Having suffered with a tumor of the stomach and liver, Minor died on Dec. 16, 1909, at the age of 62, with his remains interred in Cedar Grove Cemetery in New Geneva. As a widow, Ellen made a home in Springhill Township, Fayette County. Just a day before her 86th birthday, burdened with hardening of the arteries she had suffered for 25 years, she died on Jan. 11, 1933. Burial was in Cedar Grove Cemetery. Blanche Provance of Cheat Haven, PA was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Son Jesse Lazier Provance (1860-1938) was born on Jan. 11, 1860 in New Geneva. On Oct. 30, 1888, he wedded Mary Couch ( ? - ? ) in nuptials held in Greensboro, Greene County. Jesse died on Jan. 7, 1938. Mary is believed to have died in New Brighton, Beaver County, PA on May 8, 1954. This couple is profiled in Jill Jean Hurd's 1989 book The Ancestors and Descendants of Jan Lucken (Gateway Press).
~ Blas Minor and Zack Miner, Major League Baseball Pitchers ~
Blas Minor pitched in the Major Leagues from 1992 to 1997 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, New York Mets and Seattled Mariners. He was born on March 20, 1966 in Merced, Merced County, CA. He played collegiately at Arizona State University, where he pitched a no-hitter and was drafted by Pittsburgh in 1988. A right-hander, he had a lifetime record of 13 wins, 10 losses and five saves, appearing in 157 games and logging 225 innings. His career earned run average was 4.40.
Zachary Charles "Zack" Miner was a relief pitcher from 2006 through 2009 for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. He was born in St. Louis, MO on March 12, 1982. Drafted by the Atlanta Braves, he pitched in the minor leagues from 2001 to 2004, and then was traded in 2005 to Detroit. With the Tigers, he pitched in 157 games,, with a record of 25 wins, 20 losses and one save, with an earned run average of 4.24. After having Tommy John Surgery on his shoulder, he later was signed by the Kansas City Royals.
~ Nicholas J. "Nick" Minerd of Trenton, New Jersey ~
Nicholas J. "Nick" Minerd (1842-1881) was born in Prussia and came to the United States in 1855, settling in Trenton, NJ. In 1874, he opened a tobacco company at 29 South Green Street in Trenton, named the "Bee-Hive Cigar Manufactory." He was profiled in the book, Industries of New Jersey, published in 1882 by Historical Publishing Company of New York, Newark and Philadelphia. He married Amelia (1844- ? ) and had at least two children -- Walter Minerd (born 1868) and Ida M. Minerd (born 1870). He died at the age of 41 on Feb. 12, 1881, with interment at Riverview Cemetery.
~ Bradford and Emma (Minerd) Harshman ~
Bradford Harshman (1850- ? ) of Fayette County, PA married Emma Minerd ( ? - ? ).They are listed on page 551 of the 1976 book, The Harshman, Hashman, Hershman, Hersman Family, authored by Charles William Harshman, C.C. Harshman and Mavourneen Harshman. In 1870, the Pennsylvania-born Bradford was single and a laborer in Iowa on a farm in Greencastle, Jasper County. He has not yet been found on the 1880 census.
~ Mary Ellen (Luckey) Costolo ~
Mary Ellen Costolo (1865-1936), of near Lemont Furnace, Fayette County, PA has been a longtime mystery. Records differ as to the identity of her father. Her death certificate states that she was the daughter of a man named Minerd -- although other records shown she was the daughter of Joshua and Sarah (Abraham) Luckey. She grew up under the name 'Luckey' and married George Costolo. She also is said to have had a brother William Luckey. Who was her Minerd father, if true, and what was his first name?
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