In researching my Hoover family line, I’ve always hit a brick wall at my great-great-great-grandfather Christian Hoover. He seemed to appear almost from nowhere. Family history regarding Christian and Caroline (Kinnard) Hoover was vague and sometimes contradictory. Here’s what the older family members recall about the Hoover family, specifically regarding Christian:
- Christian was one of seven brothers who immigrated to this country from Germany, through Holland, in 1817 and settled in York County.
- The Hoover family came from southern Pennsylvania and moved northward.
- Christian was born in 1826.
- Christian was the son of one of the seven brothers.
- Christian cleared his land of trees and built a log house and barn along the road from Karthaus to Driftwood.
- Christian was a self-taught veterinarian, horse breeder, and trader.
- Christian and his first wife, Caroline Kinnard, had 4 sons: Reuben, Samuel, Simon, and George.
- Christian and his second wife, Mary Conaway, had 1 daughter: Edith.
I was able to verify points #7 and #8 through my research in census reports, vital records and the estate records of both Caroline (Kinnard) Hoover and Christian Hoover.
I have a picture of a house that I’m told belonged to Christian Hoover and deeds of sale for property in Covington township, Clearfield county, Pennsylvania after Christian’s death in 1888. The property is referred to as the “Dodge lands” from warrant 5404, but that’s the best I can identify/locate the property.
The closest I’ve come to locating parents for Christian was when I found a census record for 1850 for the Philip Hoover household in Plum Creek township, Armstrong county, Pennsylvania.1 The family is listed as follows:
- Philip Hoover, 48, M, Farmer, 1500
- Hannah, 48, F
- Christopher, 25, M, Farmer
- Mary Anne, 23, F
- John T, 21, M, Farmer
- Margaret, 19, F
- Barbara, 17, F
- Wm, 15, M, Farmer
- Jacob, 13, M
- Ralston, 11, M
- Sarah, 8, F
- Samuel M., 5, M
Philip’s son Christopher is the correct age to be my Christian. The death certificate of Simon Hoover, son of my Christian Hoover, lists Christian’s birth place as Armstrong county. Additionally, Christian’s wife Caroline (Kinnard) Hoover was the daughter of Thomas and Maria (Fisher) Kinnard of Armstrong county.2 So, I have circumstantial evidence that Christian is the son of Philip and Hannah, but no real proof—no baptism or marriage record, no mention of siblings or parents in any of the information on Christian.
To further frustrate me, in the late 1870s Philip sold his property in Armstrong county and moved west with his son Jacob to Kansas where he died and was buried in 1882. The likelihood of his having left estate papers naming Pennsylvania heirs is slim. Jacob, meanwhile, continued his westward migration until the family finally settled in Aberdeen, Grays Harbor, Washington. Jacob married Julia Ann Rupert, I believe daughter of Isaac/Israel Rupert and Christina (___).
I know little on the other children of Philip and Hannah (Thomas) Hoover. Mary Ann may have married a Fisher and died in Kansas. William may have been in the
62nd 63rd Regiment, Company C G during the Civil War with his brother Ralston, who died on 18 Jun 1862 at the Baltimore Cross Roads in Virginia.3
However, if Christian is the son of Philip and Hannah (Thomas) Hoover, then points #1, #2, and #4 are not quite correct. I was far luckier in researching Philip than I have been with Christian. There is a manuscript at the Pennsylvania State Library by Luella Schaumberg Hoover entitled “Some Descendants of Andrew Hoover.” Her research was invaluable to fleshing out Philip’s ancestry.
Philip’s grandfather (George) and great-grandfather (Andrew) immigrated to the United States in 1754 along with the rest of the Andrew’s family. They first settled near Leitersburg, Frederick county (now Washington county), Maryland. Then about 1769 moved to Fayette county, Pennsylvania.4
So, yes they came to Clearfield county from the south, but not from York county.5 They came to this country some 63 years before the family’s estimate and Christian was most likely not the son, but the great-grandson and great-great-grandson of the immigrants.
Update! Additional research has shown that Christian’s grandfather George Hoover was the son of Michael Hoover, not Andrew Hoover. While I don’t have a year of immigration, tax records put them in Derry Township, Dauphin County by 1758. They remained there through at least 1763 when Rosannah Hoover was baptized. The family moved south, settling near Hagerstown, Maryland by 1773—and, ironically, near Andrew Hoover’s family—for some time before moving west to Bedford (now Somerset) County in the spring of 1773, then Westmoreland County by 1779. George and, likely, his sons, moved north again about 1800 to Armstrong County to land on Crooked Creek in Plum Creek Township. Unlike many Huber/Hoover families, this family did not practice the Mennonite faith. They were Lutherans.
- Philip Hoover household, 1850 U.S. census, Plum Creek township, Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, Family 107; National Archives administration micropublication M432, Roll 749. ↩
- Letters of Administration – Caroline Hoover Estate, Will Book, Clearfield county, Pennsylvania, Volume C, Page 123, George M. Ferguson, Pennsylvania State Archives, Microfilm Roll 7352. ↩
- Smith, Robert Walker, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883), page 69; Further research reveals that this information is actually for the 63rd Regiment, Company G. ↩
- Hoover, Luella Schuamberg, “Some Descendants of Andrew Hoover,” unpublished manuscript, Pennsylvania State Library, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. ↩
- It is possible that there is confusion with the ancestors of President Hoover who are associated with Lancaster and York counties in Pennsylvania and Frederic county, Maryland. I’ll be writing more about this as there were TWO Andrew Hoovers of about the same age in Frederic county at approximately the same time. There is a great deal of confusion between the two! In fact, their origins in Germany have even been mixed up. ↩