Thursday, July 30, 2015

Christina (Kuhns) Karns (1791 - 1884)

Christina Kuhns, my third great-grandmother, was born May 26, 1791 in Pennsylvania to Henry and Catharine (Leibensperger) Kuhns.  I am using this birthdate based on the information on her tombstone which is "Died Mar. 26, 1884, aged 92 yrs. & 10 mos."

She appears in the 1850 United States census with her husband, Henry Karns, in Ligonier, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania.  When Henry died in 1873 he left to Christina the use and control of the tract of land on which they lived, the goods of the house, two cows, and the liberty to take stove coal off of the "end of the place where Henry Karns now lives".  By 1880 Christina was living in Unity, Pennsylvania with her daughter, Mattie, who also was a widow at that point in time.

It seems that Christina was a Lutheran as she is found in the records of St James Lutheran Church in Ligonier as a communicant in 1874.

Christina Kuhns Karns died March 26, 1884 and was buried in Karns Cemetery in Ligonier.



Copyright © 2015, Deborah Garber

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

August birthdays

My direct line ancestors who have a birthday in the month of August include:


  1. Robert Pinchbeck, born August 3, 1625, my seventh great-grandfather
  2. Sarah (Karns) Ferry, born August 7, 1860, my great-grandmother
  3. Eugene Lafayette Beers, born August 11, 1876, my great-grandfather
  4. Henry Ferry, born August 15, 1827, my great-great-grandfather
  5. Anthony Blackburn, born August 17, 1749, my fourth great-grandfather
  6. Anna Margaretha (Thomas) Ferry, born August 18, 1764, my fourth great-grandmother
  7. William H. Ferry, born August 18, 1855, my great-grandfather
  8. Alden Olmstead, born August 23, 1784, my fifth great-grandfather

Copyright © 2015, Deborah Garber



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Henry Karns (1786 - 1873)

My third great-grandfather, Henry Karns, was born in 1786 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania to Nicholas and Mary Magdalena (Rimer) Kern. He was baptized on April 15, 1787 at St Johns Church in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania.

Henry married Christina Kuhns, daughter of Henry and Catharine (Leibensperger) Kuhns, around 1809, based on the birth date of their oldest child.  Henry and Christina settled in what is present day Cook Township, Pennsylvania and he is found in the United States census for the years 1830, 1840, 1850 and 1860.  In 1870, Henry and Christina are listed in the US census in the household of their son Henry and his family. They are living in Ligonier Township on a farm valued at $3,000.

Henry Karns died January 12, 1873 in Ligonier Township and is buried in Karns Cemetery. He wrote his will July 9, 1853 in which he named his wife Christina, his sons, Jacob, George and Henry, and his daughters Mary Shirey, Martha Fisher, Catherine McDowell and Eliza Brooch (deceased). His son, Jacob Karns, and son-in-law, George Brooch, were his executors.  The will was proved January 23, 1873.

Children of Henry Karns and Christina (Kuhns) Karns (all born in Westmoreland, PA):

  1. Daniel Karns*, b. October 30, 1811
  2. Catherine Karns, b. July 16, 1814; m. January 16, 1834, James McDowell; d. August 17, 1888, Cedar Township, Lucas, Iowa
  3. George Karns, b. October 16, 1815; m. Mary Shirey; d. October 14, 1897, Youngstown, Pennsylvania
  4. Jacob Karns, b. January 9, 1818; m. April 18, 1844, Rosannah Wills; d. July 30, 1877, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
  5. Magdalena (Martha) Karns, b. October 1, 1820; m. October 13, 1842, Christian Fisher; d. November 10, 1890
  6. John Karns*, b. ca 1821
  7. William Karns*, b. ca 1822
  8. Elizabeth Karns, b. May 6, 1823; m. November 9, 1843, George Brough; d. December 31, 1852
  9. Anna Christina Karns*, b. November 8, 1825
  10. Mary Ann Karns, b. May 28, 1828; m. December 16, 1847, George Shirey; d. August 14, 1917, Youngstown, Pennsylvania
  11. Henry Karns, b. February 22, 1831; m. October 21, 1852, Matilda Ann Ambrose; d. July 11, 1896, Pennsylvania

* The only source I have for this individual is Descendants of Nicholas Kern (ca 1693 - 1749) of Northern Lehigh County, Pennsylvania by Donald W. Kern, p. 37.  This person was not named in the will of Henry Karns, and I have not found vital records.

Copyright © 2015, Deborah Garber

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sarah Bitner Ambrose (1803 - 1873)

Sarah Bitner, my third great-grandmother was born May 18, 1803 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania to John Peter Bitner and Anna Maria Matthews.  According to History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania by John Boucher, she was the oldest of their fourteen children. She married William Ambrose ca 1828, based on the age of their oldest child, George Washington Ambrose.

Sarah Bitner Ambrose lived in Ligonier, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania with William.  After his death in 1868 she stayed on the same family farm with her son Henry and his family also living there with her.  They appear in the 1870 United States Census together in the same dwelling, although in different households.  There is a Susan Sulivan, age 13, in Sarah Ambrose's household in 1870 as well as daughters Mary Ann and Lucinda.  I have not identified who Susan was.

Sarah died January 25, 1873 in Ligonier and is buried in Old Ligonier Cemetery.


Copyright © 2015, Deborah Garber

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