Sunday, July 5, 2015

William Ambrose (1806 - 1868)

William Ambrose, my third great-grandfather, was born in 1806 to Henry Ambrose and Susannah Walker. He was born in October in Ligonier, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania and based on the calculation from the information on his tombstone (died January 29, 1868, aged 61 years, 3 months, 5 days) his birth day would be October 24.  However, other secondary sources list his birth day as October 14.

He was a life long farmer and a member of the Brant Church Lutheran and Reformed in Ligonier during his adult life.  His children were baptized there and his name is on the list of communicants until shortly before his death.

William Ambrose married Sara Bitner, daughter of John Peter Bitner and Anna Maria "Mary" Mathews, in 1828. They had eleven children, three of whom died in infancy and one who died in childhood.

William died January 29, 1868 in Ligonier and is buried in Old Ligonier Cemetery in that town.  He wrote a will January 3, 1868 that was proved February 19, 1868.  In it he left to his wife Sara, among other items, "… one horse and buggy, the horse to be any one she may choose that belongs to the place, two milk cows, six head of sheep, two hogs, together with the poultry about the premises…." His sons, Henry P. and Jacob T. Ambrose, were executors.


William Ambrose
Old Ligonier Cemetery
Ligonier, Pennsylvania
William's stone is in the middle






















Children of William Ambrose and Sara Bitner:

  1. George Washington Ambrose, b. June 21, 1829, Ligonier; m. Rebecca Crawford Salms, ca 1858; d. November 2, 1881
  2. John Matthews Ambrose, b. April 10, 1831, Ligonier; d. July 22, 1839, Ligonier
  3. Matilda Ann Ambrose, b. April 18, 1832, Ligonier; m. Henry Karns, October 21, 1852; d. October 27, 1892
  4. Henry Peter Ambrose, b. March 10, 1834, Ligonier; m. Margaret Jane Waugh, ca 1864; d. January 1, 1904, Ligonier
  5. Mary Ann Ambrose, b. May 11, 1836, Ligonier; m. William Koontz, 1871; d. December 24, 1900
  6. Jacob Trager Ambrose, b. December 6, 1837, Ligonier; m. Susan Elizabeth Boucher, ca 1867; d.  January 15, 1921, Ligonier
  7. Josiah Walker Ambrose, b. March 2, 1840, Ligonier; m. Anna Catharine Beltz, 1862; d. October 19, 1908, Ligonier
  8. Alexander Ambrose, b. January 8, 1842, Ligonier; d. January 23, 1842
  9. Louisa Ambrose, b. February 24, 1844, Ligonier; d. June 1, 1844
  10. Lucinda Ambrose, b. February 24, 1844, Ligonier; m. John Ray; d. September 21, 1917, East Mckeesport, Allegheny, Pennsylvania
  11. Amanda Ambrose, b. September 27, 1846, Ligonier; d. December 18, 1846

Copyright © 2015, Deborah Garber

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Birthdays

My direct line ancestors who were born in the month of July include:


  1. William Pinchbeck, born July 1759, my third great-grandfather
  2. Ebenezer Gilbert, born July 1, 1712, my seventh great-grandfather
  3. Rachel (Osborn) Bennett, born July 20, 1771, my fifth great-grandmother

Copyright © 2015, Deborah Garber

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Family picnic

In honor of International Picnic Day, I am sharing an undated photo of a family picnic of the Hanlin family.  My grandmother, Mary (Ferry) Hanlin, wearing glasses, is standing in the middle of the photo. I recognize her daughter, Edith, and Edith's husband, Tom Ryan, standing to the right of Mary as you look at the photo.  I think the woman to Mary's immediate right is her daughter, Stella.

I'm hoping some Hanlin/Ferry cousins out there might recognize who else is in the photo and share the names.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Matilda Ambrose Karns (1832 - 1892)

Matilda Ann Ambrose, my second great-grandmother, was born April 18, 1832 in Ligonier, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania to William Ambrose and Sara Bitner Ambrose.  She was baptized June 2, 1832 at the St. James Lutheran Church in Ligonier and remained a life-long member of that church.

Matilda spent her life in Ligonier, marrying Henry Karns on October 21, 1852.  Together they had four children: William Henry (who pre-deceased her), Christina Lucinda, Sarah and Ambrose Miller Karns.

Matilda Ambrose Karns died on October 27, 1892 following an operation for breast cancer.  Her funeral was held in the St. James Lutheran Church, and she was buried at Ligonier Valley Cemetery in Ligonier.





Sunday, June 7, 2015

William Pinchbeck and Mary Ann Lightowler

In an earlier post I wrote about my great-grandfather, William Pinchbeck.  After my great-grandmother, Harriet, died William married again.  I knew his second wife's first name was Mary Ann but did not know her last name nor when they were married.

Just yesterday I received the marriage record from New York State that gave me the needed information.  Mary Ann's name on the marriage record is Marian Lightowler.  William and Mary Ann were married May 12, 1898 in Mount Vernon, New York by Reverend George Clarke Peck.  Reverend Peck was the pastor of the First M.E. Church in Mount Vernon.



According to the marriage record, Mary Ann (Marian) was living in Mount Vernon at the time while William was living in South Salem, New York.  I still have not established how they knew one another.    More research to be done!  Stay tuned.


Alexander Hanlin (1760 - 1841)

The origins of Alexander Hanlin, my third great-grandfather, still remain a mystery to me.  He was born  May 10, 1760 based on a calculation of his birth date from cemetery records.  I do not know who his parents were.  It appears that he was naturalized in November 1808 and according to the naturalization index he was born in Ireland.  I am now in the process of trying to obtain a copy of his naturalization papers.

Alexander Handline is listed in the 1796 Quemahoning Township Taxables rolls which would put him in Somerset County, Pennsylvania where he lived the rest of his life.  In 1800 he is listed in the U.S. census in Quemahoning.  On September 20, 1805, he applied, with Nathan Vickroy, for a land warrant survey of 250 acres in Quemahoning. Then in 1815 he applied for a land warrant for 7 1/2 acres adjoining his current acreage.  He is found in the 1810 census in Quemahoning and the 1820, 1830 and 1840 census in Jenner, Somerset County which is on the western border of Quemahoning.

In the each census I consulted there is a female listed who would be of the right age for Alexander's wife, but I do not know her name.  When Alexander wrote his will on July 5, 1840 he did not reference a wife.  Did she die between June 1, the enumeration date for the 1840 census, and July 5?  Did her death cause him to write a will then when he hadn't before?

Alexander Hanlin died December 17, 1841, presumably in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  His son, James, was named executor of the will but James died May 15, 1842.  After James' death, Henry Howard, the husband of Alexander's daughter, Margaret, was named executor.  It is in the will that all of the children are named.

Alexander Hanlin is buried in Jenner Township Baptist Church Cemetery, Jenner, Somerset, Pennsylvania.

Children of Alexander Hanlin:

  • John Hanlin
  • James Hanlin, b. December 24, 1798, m. Margaret Griffith, d. May 15, 1842
  • Alexander Hanlin, b. ca 1803, m. Margaret Griss
  • Margaret Hanlin, b. 1786, m. Henry Howard
  • Jane Hanlin, m. ____ Cooper
  • Mary Hanlin, m. ____ Mattin
  • Elisabeth Hanlin
  • Ellenor Hanlin, m. ____ Thomas
  • Rachel Hanlin, m. ____Thomas
  • Marge Hanlin, m. Richard Sanders