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.

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