Thursday, June 28, 2012

Analysis of a late 19th century mug book entry - Part 1

In 1880, a county history was published for Indiana County, Pennsylvania.  The title was History of Indiana County, PA, and the author was J.A. Caldwell.  There is an entry for William L Mahan[1], included below.



WM. L. MAHAN was born in 1829, on the McCune farm, and was a son of Patrick and Nancy Mahan 
nee Laughlin.  The former was born in 1792, in county Donegal, and the latter in 1797, in county Tyrone.  
They located on and opened up what is known as the McCune farm in 1819.  Three of Patrick’s brothers 
came to America.  John settled near what is now Newville, in 1814, and was married to Margaret Hunter.  
Robert was never heard of after his arrival in America.  William died near the homestead of Patrick, and 
was married to Isabella Ross.  Patrick’s children were:  Eliza, d., b. in 1817, m. to Moses Miller; Rebecca, 
d., b. in 1819, m. to Andrew McFeeters; Lillie, b. in 1821, m. to Samuel Stuchell, d.; Nancy, b. in 1823, m. 
to Christopher Stuchel, d.; Margaret, b. in 1824, m. to A. A. Lydick; Jane, b. in 1826, m. to John R. 
Carnahan; William L., b. in 1829, m. to Mrs. Sarah Duncan nee Walker; John, b. in 1831; Angeline, b. in 
1834, m. to John S. Flemming; Isabella, d., b. in 1836, m. to Andrew Weamer, d.; and Martha, d., b. in 
1839.  Our subject’s children were:  Harry Elmer, d.; William Meade; Clara May; and Minnie Laura.  He 
served three years in company K, 67th Pennsylvania volunteers.


In researching this family, I used this county history entry (or "mug book" entry) as a basis to begin my research.  Some was able to be confirmed, and some not.

Extrapolating from the entry, we get the following data.


  • Patrick Mahan, b. 1792 in County Donegal, Ireland, married Nancy Laughlin, b. 1797 in County Tyrone, Ireland.
  • They came to the United States by 1819 and settled on the McCune farm.
  • Patrick had three brothers that also came to America, though not necessarily at the same time as Patrick:
    • John came to America by 1814, settled in Newville [also part of Indiana County] and married Margaret Hunter.
    • Robert - no record, unknown when he came to America.
    • William, unknown when he came to America, died in Indiana County [no date], and married Isabella Ross. [presumably all before 1880]
  • Patrick and Nancy had the following children:
    • Eliza, b. 1817, d. bef 1880, m. Moses Miller
    • Rebecca, b. 1819, d. bef 1880, m. Andrew McFeeters [these are my ancestors]
    • Lillie, b. 1821 [Indiana County, PA implied], still living in 1880, m. Samuel Stuchell, who d. bef 1880
    • Nancy, b. 1823 [Indiana County, PA implied], still living in 1880, m. Christopher Stuchel, who d. bef 1880
    • Margaret, b. 1824 [Indiana County, PA implied], still living in 1880, m. A. A. Lydick
    • Jane, b. 1826 [Indiana County, PA implied], still living in 1880, m. John R. Carnahan
    • William L., b. 1829 [Indiana County, PA implied], still living in 1880, m. Sarah (Walker) Duncan
    • John, b. 1831 [Indiana County, PA implied], still living in 1880
    • Angeline, b. 1834 [Indiana County, PA implied], still living in 1880, m. John S. Flemming
    • Isabella, b. 1836 [Indiana County, PA implied], d. bef 1880, m. Andrew Weamer, who d. bef 1880
    • Martha, b. 1839 [Indiana County, PA implied], d. bef 1880
  • William L. Mahan had four children born bef 1880.
    • Harry Elmer, d. bef 1880
    • William Meade
    • Clara May
    • Minnie Laura
  • William L. Mahan served in the Civil War in the 67th Pennsylvania Volunteers [Infantry], Company K.
[1] J.A. Caldwell, J. A.,  1745-1880, History of Indiana County, Pennsylvania, Newark, Ohio: 1880, transcription online, Treasures of the Past, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~treasures/pa/indiana/.

The next post will discuss the "low hanging fruit" used to document this family: census records.

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