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by Gary Stemen

Editor's Note: In early 2008, Gary Stemen and Larry Pardoe, two well known and competent family historians engaged in an e-mail dialogue relating to the Hill and Robb families of Lycoming and Sullivan County ancestry. Included in the covnersation were Bob Robb and Bob Sweeney. Here is a set of excerpts from their conversation that bear on the following history and are worth reading for the context:
Editor's Note: In August 2016, Gary updated the historical files found further down this page.

A Dialogue of Family Historians

From: Lorin F. Pardoe, Jr. []
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 1:54 PM
To: Gary Stemen
Cc: Bob Sweeney
Subject: Hill and Robb families

Hi Gary,

In reply to your recent message about the Hill and Robb families:

I have my Hill family starting with John Hill and Mary Robb.

I don't go back any farther on John, although Mary was daughter of Robert Robb and Susanna Fleming.  No further info on either or any siblings, if any.

You have probably seen these queries posted on the message boards for Sullivan Co., PA, but if not I will "paste" below.  It might help you sort out John Hill from Jacob Hill family?  Incidently I don't have anything in tree as to Jacob Hill family.

The following query was posted on the messge boards for Sullivan Co., PA on May 26, 2006 by Kathy Heilman:

I'm taking a side trip and trying to locate some of underground railroad participants in Sullivan & Lycoming counties. I find references to John Hill, but who was he? I believe Hillsgrove's John Hill, who was married to Mary Robb, died in 1834, and John Cheatle Hill, their son, died in 1841. I can't find anything to indicate that John C. had a son, although I think perhaps a Franklin Hill may have been one.

Do you have anything, or is there anyone who might?

This message was also posted on the message boards for Sullivan Co., PA by Kathy Heilman on June 5, 2006 in reply to two other messages also posted there:

"There were probably at least 3 Hill families lliving in the Lycoming County area. My children descend from Capt. Jacob Hill, who was from Berks Co. and of German descent. I have quite a bit of information on that family.

John Hill of Hillsgrove was the son of John & Susanna Hill and arrived in New York from Upton, Leicester, England in 15 Nov 1793. He married Mary Robb, the daughter of Susanna Fleming and Robert and Susanna Fleming Robb, on 15 Mar 1796.

I have seen many references to a John Hill, who was involved in the Underground Railroad and took runaways to Marshall Battin. I'm interested in finding more information on this John Hill, his family connections and his role in the Underground Railroad.

Thank you!

Kathy Heilman"

The below biography on John Hill is also extremely informative and can be found at:

"Sullivan County PA Archives Biographies.....HILL, John  17xx - 1834
  Copyright.  All rights reserved.
  File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
  Joy Fisher August 1, 2005, 12:07 am
  Author: Biographical Publishing Co.
  JOHN HILL. This early pioneer was the first permanent settler on the Loyalsock
  Creek, in Hillsgrove township, Sullivan County, Pa. He bought his land, with the
  improvements on it that had been already made, of a man by the name of Ogden,
  who took his family in a canoe and went farther down the creek.
    John Hill was a native of Upton, Leicester County, England. He left Liverpool
  November 15, 1793, and after a thirteen weeks' passage landed at New York
  February 18, 1794. He was a man of fine education, as his books and writings
  testify. On March 15, 1796, he was married to Mary Robb, daughter of Robert and
  Susanna Robb of Muncy, Pa. He died July 1, 1834, aged eighty-two years; his wife
  Mary's age and death are not recorded, but it is known that she lived to a good
  old age, respected by all who knew her. Their home was a house of entertainment
  for travelers during their married lives. The old Hill property has been a home
  for travelers for one hundred years, and still is; at the present date (1899) it
  is conducted as a licensed hotel. To John and Mary Hill were born four children,
  as follows: Susanna, born October 14, 1797, married Joseph Sadler, an account of
  whose life follows in this sketch; Mary, born April 14, 1799, married David
  Rogers, and reared a family of three daughters and two sons, dying in 1858; John
  Cheatle, born March 31, 1801, died a bachelor October 4, 1841, at the age of
  forty; and Martha Jane, born January 15, 1805, and married to Isaac Craven,—she
  reared a family of three sons and two daughters, and lived to a good old age.
    Joseph Sadler, who married Susanna Hill in 1819, was a son of Samuel Sadler of
  Liverpool, England. Joseph Sadler established the Sadler family in Sullivan
  County, and lived there until his death June 3, 1820. His wife lived to the age
  of sixty-seven years and eleven months. Their only child was John J.
    John J. Sadler was born in Sullivan County March 21, 1820, and after growing
  up settled upon the old homestead left him by his father. He resided there and
  actively engaged in agricultural and lumbering pursuits until his death,
  September 12, 1890. He is survived by his wife, who now lives in the village of
  Hillsgrove. On November 3, 1853, he was united in marriage with Anna H.
  Bothwell, who was born in Canton, Bradford County, Pa., October 26, 1834, and
  they reared six children: Harriet W., born August 1, 1854. and died August 28,
  1856; Claudius W., born November 14, 1856; Justin S., born August 22, 1859, and
  died March 1, 1860; Clara A., born April 22, 1861, is the wife of Malcolm
  McCormick, and lives at Wausau, Wis.; Alex. H., born April 22, 1864, died May
  13, 1866; and Charles R., a barber by trade living in New Albany, Pa., born
  January n, 1866, and married to Philena Sherman.
    Claudius W. Sadler obtained a public school education and after leaving school
  engaged in working for the tannery in Hillsgrove, hauling bark and lumber. He
  followed that line of work for five years, after which he located on the Susanna
  Sadler property, where he has since resided. He has greatly improved the farm
  and has added to it, until there is now 100 acres in all. He has carried on
  general farming and has by good management been very successful. He is a man of
  honor and possesses the esteem of his neighbors and many friends throughout the
  township. On November 17, 1884, he was united in marriage with Laura Hoagland,
  who was born in the village of Shunk, Sullivan County, February 14, 1861, and is
  a daughter of Uriah and Electa (Peppers) Hoagland, both of whom now reside in
  Shunk. Politically Mr. Sadler is a Republican. He is a member of Hillsgrove
  Lodge, I. O. O. F., and Shunk Lodge, No. 220, P. O. S. of A. In religious
  attachments his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Hillsgrove.
  Additional Comments:
  Extracted from:
    Book of Biographies of the Seventeenth Congressional District
    Published by
    Biographical Publishing Company of Chicago, Ill. and Buffalo, NY (1899)

And lastly, you inquired about the "History of Lycoming County, PA", 1892 by John F. Meginness.  It too is online thru the Rootsweb pages for Lycoming County, PA:

57 Chapters - 1227 pages.

Table of contents:

Chapter 6 has an article on Robert Robb (I stumbled across while getting page link for you - don't know if he is same as Robert Robb married to Susanna Fleming but possible).

You probaby have to go thru the pico search on main page to search for individual families such as Hill or Robb which I haven't done.

Good luck,

Larry Pardoe


----- Original Message to Bob Robb-----

From: Gary Stemen


Cc: Lorin F. Pardoe Jr. ; Bob Sweeney

Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 3:52 PM

Subject: Robb Family

My name is Gary Stemen, and I have been in contact with Larry Pardoe and Bob Sweeney in regard to the extended Rogers Family.

I am aware that Bob forwarded you an email in regard to a little side trip I am taking. I have been looking into the Sullivan County Robb family as relates to the extended Rogers clan, and I am writing to inquire as to how far back you can trace your line?

I have looked into the "four Robb  brothers" noted in the Northumberland and Lycoming County references which are available on-line, and have gathered census (and other) information from various other sources, one of which is the Sullivan county PA GenWeb site. I can provide and am willing to share a reasonably comprehensive overview of the Sullivan County Robb family (as relates to the Rogers research) to about 1900.

I have not been able to tie Henry Robb, Esq. (referenced repeatedly in the Muncy Luminary, et al, publications) into this research to date.

I am also going to make this data available to Bob and Larry for their personal use.

I would hesitate to publish this data as gospel without verifying the information firsthand through local documentation unavailable to me.

If you are interested in what I have, please reply by email.




----- Original Message -----

From: Lorin F. Pardoe, Jr.

To: Gary Stemen ;

Cc: Bob Sweeney

Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 4:49 PM

Subject: Re: Robb Family

Thanks for copying me in on your email to Bob Robb.

As before, the only thing I have would be Robert Robb and wife Susanna Fleming and daughter Mary Robb.  I have Mary Robb marying John Hill from Upton, Leicester, England having children Susannah Hill, m. Joseph Sadler; Mary Hill, m. David Rogers; John Cheatle Hill, d. at home of William F. Robb (not sure how connected - possibly brother of Mary Robb?); Martha Jane Hill m. Isaac Craven; Ann Caroline Hill (She was listed in "Egle's Notes and Queries")-nothing further on her.


From: Bob Robb []
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 9:36 PM
To: Lorin F. Pardoe, Jr.; Gary Stemen
Cc: Bob Sweeney
Subject: Re: Robb Family

Robert Robb (Bob) here.  It's spooky seeing my name with Susanna Fleming. 

I spent some time at the Muncy Historical Society and found some stuff on Robert Robb including the location of the Robert Robb house in Muncy.

I unfortunately have found nothing connecting my Robbs with the Robbs in Lycoming or Sullivan Counties.  It would be a thrill to do so.  I suspect the Lycoming Robbs have more connection with the myriad of Robbs in Allegheny and Washington Counties in western Pennsylvania as well.


Consequent to these exchanges, Gary provided the following three documents. The first is taken back for six generations, up through the early 1900s. This time frame is the relevant portion for our local history. There is more data contained in Gary's master file for those who wish to contact him. He has agreed to maintain this data and has placed a statement to that effect, along with his contact information, in the opening comments within the first file. The second file is a compendium of the original Robb family wills. Finally, Gary provided a link to John Blair Linn's Annals of Buffalo Valley: 1755-1855 [Harrisburg: Lane S. Hart, 1877], which touches upon the dispute that caused Captain Robert Robb to have his allegiance to the new government called into question at the time of the Revolutionary War. We are very grateful to Gary for this detailed and informative history:

Descendants of John Robb *

Robb Family Wills

Annals of Buffalo Valley: 1755-1855

Editor's Note: A searchable sversion of the first of these files can be accessed at Descendants of John Robb

You may note that the second of these three sources contains at the end a statement of the successors in interest as of 1819 to David Robb of Tyrone, PA. This document names five Robb brothers and one sister, and their spouses, as follows:

Wife Margaret
Nephew David, minor son of William Robb of Lycoming Co.
Sister Isabella Irwin, wife of James Irwin of Cumberland Co.
Niece Susannah Tucker, dau. of bro. Robert Robb of Lycoming Co.
Niece Mary Feister, widow, dau. of bro. John Robb, and her children.
Sisters in law Martha Robb, widow of bro. James, and Jerusha Robb, widow of bro. John Robb.
Friend David Robb Buchanan son of George Buchanan of Washington Co.
George Buchanan guardian of his son David.
Thomas Ross son of Samuel Ross, Senr.

Executors: John Ross and David Ross, sons of Samuel Ross, Senr., of Tyrone

Copyright 2008 Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors. All Rights Reserved. Prior written permission is required from Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors before this material can be printed or otherwise copied, displayed or distributed in any form. This is a FREE genealogy site sponsored through PAGenWeb and can be reached directly at ~Sullivan County Genealogy Project (