Barr & Harris Family histories

Page created May 1, 2000

The Barr and Harris information below are from a book called, "Genealogical and Personal History of Northern Pennsylvania, " by John W. Jordan, LL.D., published in 1913. I copied these from that book which is located at the Bradford Area Public Library, 67 W. Washington St., Bradford, PA, 16701. I have no other information regarding the surnames listed in the above articles and am unable to answer any questions regarding them. I do, however, have gedcom files for the Harris article and the Barr article. I would be happy to email copies of these files upon request. I can be reached at: Kenyon L. Barr,

Barr Family

There are many branches of the Barr family in Pennsylvania, not all springing from the same source. The branch herein recorded cannot be definitely placed, but it is supposed they are of German descent. They were in Lancaster county prior to 1790 and lived near Quarryville where stands the famous "Ark" built in that year by Martin BARR, a wealthy distiller, as a residence. This house, at the time it was built, was not only the largest in that locality, but it was one of the finest and best. The main house was sixty-five by fifty-five feet and thirty feet high from the foundation wall to the eaves. The walls were two feet thick, built of stone. Not a nail was used in its inside finish, wooden pegs and pins being used instead. The hall, twelve feet wide, runs through the center and the stairway is winding, continuing to the garret. This stairway is a mechanical marvel and has not been improved on by modern stair builders.

 The BARR’s were good farmers and the land always improved under their farming methods. They fed a large number of cattle and had large flocks of sheep.  Martin BARR, builder of the "Ark," had four sons: Abraham, Christian, Martin and Jacob, and two daughters, one, Christina, married John MOWRER; she was the first child born in the "Ark" and lived to be one of the oldest residents in her community. Martin BARR, the father, lived to be a very old man, buried in the Barr graveyard, one of the oldest burying grounds in the country. He and wife Elizabeth were Mennonites.

II) Martin (2), youngest son of Martin (1), BARR, was born in 1773, died in 1826.  His father built him a substantial house and barn in 1792. These were of stone, well finished, and are yet in use. He married and had issue, but after the death of their parents the children left Lancaster county and settled in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio. 

(III) Jacob, son of Martin BARR, was born in Quarryville, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, where he resided until well along in life. He spent the last years of his life as a collier (coal miner) in Bruin, Butler county, Pennsylvania, where he died. He was a communicant of the Methodist Episcopal church. He married and had issue:

  1. Jacob, died in Bruin, Butler county, Pennsylvania; he was a collier; he married and had a family.
  2. Samuel, a lumberman, died in Clarion county, Pennsylvania, leaving issue.
  3. John, a collier, died in Oil City, Pennsylvania; married ______ _____, deceased, and had children. 4. Katherine, deceased, married ______ _______, deceased, and had issue.
  4. Christian, of whom further.

(IV) Christian, son of Jacob BARR, was born in Bradford county,Pennsylvania, “East of the Mountains,” April 6, 1806, died in Bruin, Butler county, Pennsylvania. He was a Republican in politics. He married (first) Christiana STULL; (second) in 1830, Sarah BOSSARD, born in Woodcock township, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, February 28, 1808, died in Meadville, Pennsylvania, in August , 1876. One child by first wife. Children by second wife, born in Woodcock township, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, six miles north of Meadville:
  1. Anna Catherine, born June 22, 1831, died in Union City, Pennsylvania, January 6, 1893; married (first) Garrett DAVISON, deceased, and (second) ______ MORTON, deceased; children, all by first marriage: John, deceased; Addie, married Albert WALES, and lives in Corry, Pennsylvania; Charles, lives in Union City, Pennsylvania; Laura, deceased.
  2. John Henry, born in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, June 20, 1833, died September 10, 1905, at Union City; was a cooper; married Jane FLOYD, of Blooming Valley, Pennsylvania; children: Christian, Minnie and Ellen, all deceased; and Catherine, married Max COTTRELL , an employee in a chair factory at Union City.
  3. Thomas Jefferson, born October 6, 1834, died in Meadville, Pennsylvania, June 2, 1886; was a cabinetmaker; married Margaret BRIGGS, living in the west; they had a large family.
  4. Rosanna, born June 13, 1836; lives in Hayfield township, Crawford county, Pennsylvania; married Harrison DEROSS, of Crawford county, Pennsylvania, a farmer.
  5. Mary Anjeline, born May 2, 1838.
  6. Samuel, born June 8, 1839.
  7. Jacob, born December 13, 1840, unmarried, died in 1862 at Bakersburg, Maryland, from effects of a fever incurred shortly after enlistment in the army during the civil war.
  8. William G., born September 7, 1842; a cooper of Blooming Valley, Pennsylvania; he fought through the civil war in Company C., One Hundred and Fiftieth Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry Volunteers; he was taken prisoner and kept in the Confederate prison pen at Andersonville for seven months and seven days; he married Matilda BROWN, of Blooming Valley.
  9. Sarah Elmina, born July 12, 1844; lived at Blooming Valley; married Samuel P. GILMORE, a farmer from Blooming Valley, where he died in 1908; children: Lynn, of Crawford county, Pennsylvania; Lyle, deceased; Hugh; Grove and Harry, living in Mason City, Iowa.
  10. Jonathon David, born September 15, 1846; a merchant living in Blooming Valley, Pennsylvania; married (first) Anna THOMPSON, deceased, (second) Stella HAYSE, (third) Hester DEWEY, of Blooming Valley; child of first wife: Lulu, married Oscar RONDEBUSH, sheriff of Crawford county; child by second wife: Hayse, of Blooming Valley; children by third wife: Dewey, Elizabeth and Douglas, all living with their parents.
  11. Charles C., born January 29, 1851; a farmer of Erie, Pennsylvania; married Florence MCKELVY, of Bruin, Pennsylvania, and has two children: Harry E., a consulting engineer in Erie, Pennsylvania; Brendis, lives with parents. Christian S., of whom further.

(V) Christian S., son of Christian (IV) and Sarah (BOSSARD) Barr, was born in Woodcock township, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, September 8, 1853. When he was very young his parents moved to Bruin, Butler County, Pennsylvania, and when he was but nine years of age his father died and he then made his residence with his oldest brother, John, in Blooming Valley, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, where he was educated in the public schools. In 1877 he began working on an oil lease in Butler county, Pennsylvania, where he remained until January 1, 1881, when he moved to Derrick City, McKean county, Pennsylvania, taking a position with the Tide Water Pipe Company, with which company he is still employed. His career with them has been a series of promotions, each on coming from merit recognized. He began with the company on construction work, at which he remained for fifteen months, was promoted to gauger, a position he held until 1902, when he was advanced to the office of district foreman, and on July 1, 1908, he received his final promotion, becoming superintendent of the local lines of the company with his office at No. 14 South avenue, Bradford.

Mr. Barr is one of the leading and most enterprising and energetic citizens of Bradford, held in high regard throughout the community. His political sympathies are with the Republican party, although he has never held any office. He is a regular attendant of the Methodist Episcopal church. His club is the Merchants of Bradford, and he is a member of the Bradford Lodge, No. 334, Free and Accepted Masons: Chapter, No. 260, Royal Arch Masons, at Bradford; Commandery, No. 58, Knights Templar, and Zem Zem Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.  He married, July 24, 1880, Elizabeth Ellen MARSHALL, born near Wilmington, Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, January 11, 1858. She was educated in the public schools of Venango county, Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Bradford, and belongs to the McKean County Historical Society.  Child of Christian S. and Elizabeth Ellen (MARSHALL) BARR: Gretchen Freda, born in Derrick City, Pennsylvania, May 9, 1891; she was graduated from Bradford high school, class of 1907, of which she was valedictorian, and later attended Mount Holyoke College, from which she was graduated, class of 1911, holding the office of treasurer.


Harris Family

The HARRIS family, originally of Massachusetts and Connecticut, send out many branches to other states. The family of Asa (3) HARRIS largely settled in New York State and Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. Descendants of these found their was to Pennsylvania, settling in Fayette, McKean and other counties.  The name HARRIS is of Welsh origin and means "The son of Harry." The name is found in "A list of sixty of the most common surnames in England and Wales in 1838", and is now found in every county in England. The name is very common in the United States and cannot be traced to a common ancestor, as many distinct emigrations of persons bearing the name appear at a very early period in New England.

  • (I) The family herein recorded spring from James HARRIS, whose nativity, parentage and date of coming to America is unknown. He was born about 1640. He married in 1666, Sarah DENISON, of Boston. He moved to New London, CT, about 1690, and died there in 1715. His will, dated June 14, 1714, probated September 13, 1715, bequeathed to his widow Sarah his entire estate during her lifetime. Children: Sarah, born March 2, 1668; Deborah, July, 1670; James, April 4, 1673, married (first) Sarah ROGERS, (second) Sarah (HARRIS) JACKSON; Margaret, January 16, 1675, died in infancy; Mary, February 3, 1677, died aged six years; Elizabeth, June, 1678, married William ROGERS; Asa, of whom further; Hannah, April 22, 1682; Ephraim, died in infancy; Mary (2), June 1686; Ephraim (2), July 11, 1688, died 1710, unmarried. 
  • (II) ASA, son of James HARRIS, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, November 10, 1680, died in Preston, Connecticut, August 20, 1715. He married, March 17, 1709, Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel ROGERS and sister of Sarah, second wife of his brother James. Children: Asa, of who further; Amah, born March 27, 1711, married Samuel BEEBEE; Ephraim, December 28, 1712; Mercy, November 14, 1714, married John WATERHOUSE.
  •  (III) Asa (2), son of Asa (I) HARRIS, was born in Preston, Connecticut, November 27, 1709. He moved to Saybrook, Connecticut, where he was living as late as 1767, and probably died. He married (first) __________, who bore him a son Asa, of whom further. Married (second) Mary _______, by who he had three children: May, Ely, Alpheus. 
  • (IV) Asa (3), son of Asa (2) HARRIS, was born in Saybrook, Connecticut, May 21, 1737. He settled in Lebanon, Connecticut, later in Massachusetts at or near Pittsfield. He married, July 22, 1761, Faith McCALL, born February 12, 1737. Children: Asa, of whom further; Hannah, born September 16, 1763; Eli, settled in Niagara county, New York, later in Terre Haute, Indiana; Ann Mercy, born March 19, 1769; James, married Polly ROACH; Daniel, married Amanda MILLER; John C., born December 16, 1774; Nathaniel, March 4, 1778; Levi, August 19, 1779; Polly, February 9, 1782; Rachel, December 7, 1784. 
  • (V) Asa (4), son of Asa (3) HARRIS, was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, April 18, 1762, and baptized the same day. It is not sure, but the presumption is that he joined other members of the family of his father who settled in New York State. He married Elizabeth WRIGHT and left issue. 
  • (VI) William Asa, son of Asa (4) HARRIS, was born in Connecticut, about 1783. He settled in New York state and in 1823 his name appears on a list of settlers in Farmersville, Cattaraugus county, New York. He was a farmer. He was a member of the Presbyterian church as was his wife, Marjorie HARRIS, who was also his cousin. Children: William, died in Wisconsin; Alva, died in Wisconsin; Delpha, of who further; Golpha, died in Wisconsin; Ira, died in Illinois; Parley, died in McKean county, Pennsylvania; Rebecca and other daughters died in Wisconsin. 
  • (VII) Delpha, son of William Asa HARRIS, was born in Connecticut, 1808, died in Bradford, Pennsylvania, December 19, 1884. He learned the trade of shoemaker. In 1884 he settled in Bradford, where he continued in business until his retirement from active life. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, a Republican in politics, and a man of sterling character. He married Anna MOORE, born May 25, 1811, died in Bradford, April 4, 1902, youngest daughter of Asa MOORE (see MOORE V). She was a woman of lovable disposition, very charitable and a devoted Methodist. Children: 1. Marshall Delos, of whom further. 2. Louisa Elvira, born in Chautauqua county, New York, 1835, died December 13, 1909; she married Oscar HOWE, of Cattaraugus county, killed in the civil war, a descendant of General HOWE, of the revolution; children: i. William, deceased. ii. Pherson, resides in Bradford, Pennsylvania. iii. Frank, resides in Marietta, Ohio. iv. Llewellyn, resides in Bradford, Pennsylvania. v. Luella, resides in Freedom, Pennsylvania. 3. Victoria Leona, born in Chautauqua county, New York, 1837; married Rev. Almond HORTON, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, now living retired at Wellsville, Ohio; children: i. Abby, resides in Ulysses, Pennsylvania. ii. Clement, deceased. iii. Mary, deceased. iv. Arthur, resides in Wellsville. 4. Sarah, born 1839, died 1845. 5. Frederick James, born in Bradford township, McKean county Pennsylvania, 1841; now a farmer and oil producer of Great Valley, New York; married Emily HOWE; children: i. Allen, resides in Great Valley. ii. Mary, resides in Kennedy, New York. iii. Orphia, resides in Watts Valley, New York iv. Milton, a Baptist minister at Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. 6. Nancy Belma, born 1843; married James MALONA, born in New York state, now engaged in the oil business at Kennedy, New York; children: i. Wilma, residing in Moosejaw, Canada. ii. Lulu, resides in Kennedy, New York. iii. Paul, resides in Youngstown, Ohio. 7. Fernando Cortez, born 1845; resides in Independence, Kansas, engaged in the oil business; married Clara INGLESBY; children: i. John, resides in Independence. ii. Delpha, deceased. iii. Ruth, resides in Tacoma, Washington. iv. Alice, resides in Cour d'Alene, Idaho. v. Leslie, resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. vi. Fernando, deceased. 8. Mary Rebecca, born June 7, 1848; married Emory SLOCUM, of Sagaerstown, New York, now deceased; she is now living in Buffalo, New York, but has a residence in Bradford, Pennsylvania; children: i. Carrie, deceased. ii. Harry, resides in Copan, Oklahoma.
  • (VIII) Marshall Delos, eldest child of Delpha Harris, was born in Frewsburg, Chautauqua county, New York, June 7, 1833. He was ten of age when his parents moved to Bradford township, McKean county, Pennsylvania, where his education was completed in the public schools. He early became engaged in lumbering, the splendid forests of McKean county affording ample scope for his energy. He owned timber lands, which he cleared, converting the logs into lumber in his own sawmill. In 1854 he began speculating in real estate, buying and selling improved farms and timber lands. He was also for nine years employed by the Erie Railroad Company. In 1874 he engaged in the drug business in Bradford and continued successfully in that line of activity until his retirement from business in 1909. He has spent an active, useful life, and now, respected and honored, resides in his comfortable home, No. 87 High street, Bradford. He has always voted the Republican ticket, and has been a pillar of strength to his party. He has held the offices of justice of the peace, school director for many years, constable, and is now poor master. In religious belief he is a Methodist, his wife also belonging to that denomination. He is a member of Bradford Lodge, No. 334, Free and Accepted Masons.
  • He married, January 23, 1861, Abby EDSON, born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, May 14, 1837, daughter of Nathaniel EDSON (see Edson). Children: 1. Luella Alzina, born in Limestone, New York, October 26, 1862; now a teacher in the schools of Kane, Pennsylvania. 2. Anna Dorothy, born at Bradford, Pennsylvania, January 12, 1867; married Samuel F. NEILL, a draughtsman; now resides in Denver, Colorado; children: i. Dorothy, born July 21, 1897. ii. Loraine, born 1900, died in infancy. iii. Cecil Luella, born January 28, 1906. 3. Inez Abby, born in Bradford, June 10, 1873; married George F. ROBINSON, now in the insurance business at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. 4. Mary Elizabeth, born in Bradford, May 30, 1875; married Louis LANGWORTHY, born January 1, 1877, in Hornellsville, New York, now an electrician of Bradford; children: i. Lawrence, born September 13, 1900, died December 12, 1906. ii. Kenneth Louis, born August 14, 1903. iii. Martha Deloris, born February, 1, 1909.

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