Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Family Histories

Cobbler's Children

Coover/Bonnell Families of Waterford

Contributed by Beth Simmons


The information below was written and submitted by Beth Simmons. Any comments or questions about the article or this family should be sent directly to Beth. Copyright information, Beth's mailing address, and the source reference list are included on the Reference Source List page. Bold italic numbers in parens refer to the source list.


The Coover/Bonnell families of Waterford

John and Nancy Pandy? Bonnell originally located in "LeBoeuf Valley", near the fort, but then purchased land from Thomas Rees on the edge of a steep glacial moraine that later was called Gospel Hill (8). Thomas Bonnell followed his folks to the LeBouef Valley of Greene Township of Erie County, in 1802, and married Eve Coover, daughter of an early Waterford family.(5,8) Setting one of Erie County’s greatest brothers/sisters marriage records, four Coover’s married four Bonnell’s. Margaret Bonnell married Andrew Coover, Nancy Bonnell married George Coover and Sarah Bonnell married John Coover.

William Austin shows the following children of John and Nancy Pandy? Bonnell.

  1. Thomas, B. Jan. 15, 1775 or 1779
  2. John, B. June 10, 1780
  3. Margaret, b. 1782 or 1795 m. Andrew Coover
  4. Nancy, b. 1783, m. George Coover?
  5. George, b. 1786 or 1784
  6. William, b. 1788
  7. Sarah, b. 1790. M. 1808 John Coover, d. Apr. 17, 1823 Children (Coover) include a. Andrew, b. Emily, c. Michael, d. Jesse, e. Eliza, f. John, g. George Washington (See detail below)
  8. ?Susannah, m. 1812

Dennis Cass reports that two Coover families are listed on the 1850 Census in Waterford Township, John and G.W. Coover. There is a George Bonnell, aged 31 (b. 1819) in Greene Township, 1850, with wife Sarah, Son, William L. and a Sampson Coover, aged 15. (26)

Dennis also cited my great Uncle Harold Cass’ information and his own discoveries about G.W. Coover and descendants that he found which I have included below.

George Washington Coover was born about 1826 in Pennsylvania. He married a Margaret who was born about 1828 in New York. They had a child, Jesse, born about 1847. Jesse Coover served in the Civil War in a company of volunteers from Waterford. Jesse married and had a son, George W. Coover, who married Maysie McLean. George was a harness maker and later engaged in farming. He was the caretaker for the Waterford Cemetery. Their daughter, Doris Ruth Coover was born October 17, 1918 in Waterford. She attended the local grade school and the Waterford Vocational School. She married Carl Alva Smith, Jr. on November 23, 1940. He was born September 21, 1920 in Waterford, the son of Carl and Grace McCoy Smith. He died April 29, 1989 in Chicago, Illinois. Carl Smith, Jr. attended Academy High School, and then worked on the family dairy business. For many years, Carl and Doris lived north of Waterford on his parents’ farm. In 1950, they moved to California, the same time as his father. He was a meat cutter both wholesale and retail and had his own shop in Laguna Beach, California. He died of a brain tumor in Chicago, Illinois and was cremated. Carl and Doris Coover Smith, Jr. had two sons, Wilson Coover Smith and Richard Allen Smith. Wilson Coover Smith was born February 10, 1947 in Erie County. He attended Santiago High School in Santa Ana, California. He died October 3, 1969 in Costa Mesa, California, and is buried at Harbor Rest Cemetery, in Costa Mesa, California. His brother, Richard Allen Smith was born in Waterford, on January 12, 1950, before the family moved to California. He married Beth Anne Gnable on December 21, 1974 in Whittier, California. She was the daughter of Edward and Edith Bayles Gnable. She was born July 19, 1951 in Brooklyn, NY. Richard and Beth Gnable Smith had two children, Shawn Richard Smith, born November 1, 1976, and Jenny Rebecca Smith, born March 5, 1981(26).


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