I’ve recently discovered that George Hoover, son of Andrew and Catharine (___) Hoover, of Fayette County lived in Union Township his whole life. Therefore, he can not be the George Hoover who owned property in Westmoreland County from 1779 through 1799 and died in Armstrong County in 1813.
How Did We Get Here?
Before I get to what I’ve learned about Andrew Hoover’s son, George, let’s review. How did we previously determine that George Hoover of Armstrong County was the son of Andrew and Catharine (___) Hoover? What evidence led to that conclusion?
A biography of George’s grandson, Samuel Hoover of Indiana County, stated that:
“George Hoover, the grandfather of our subject, was among the early settlers of Westmoreland county. He was of German descent and came to that county when only fourteen years of age, with two brothers.”1
Looking at Westmoreland County records reveals the baptisms of two children—Maria Magdalina and Solomon—to George and Eva Elisabeth (__) Hoover at Good Hope Lutheran and Reformed Church that match two heirs named in George Hoover’s estate papers.2,3,4 Children of George’s son Christian and daughters Catharina and Julianna were also baptized at Good Hope Lutheran and Reformed Church.5 The couple were also sponsors at their grandson Samuel’s baptism.
George Hoover purchased land in Donegal Township, Westmoreland County on 10 Apr 1779.6 Available county tax records put George there from 1783 through 1799 when he and Christian were marked as “gone from the county.”7,8,9 From these Armstrong and Westmoreland county records we know that the George Hoover in Westmoreland was, in fact, the same man as George Hoover of Armstrong County.
This George Hoover was in the Fayette/Westmoreland county area by 1779; but he could have been there earlier. From the 1800 U.S. census, we can estimate George’s birth date as circa 1755 or before.10 Going by Samuel’s biography, his grandfather, therefore, came to the Westmoreland area about 1769. Andrew Hoover’s son Jacob was in the Fayette County area by 1770 when he was living on land that today is part of Greene County, Pennsylvania.11 Andrew’s son Andrew Jr. was also in Fayette County early. He and his brother-in-law were of “Manallin Township and county aforesaid [Westmoreland]” when they purchased land from John Waller in 1775.12 We also know that Andrew Hoover had a son named George because he named him and left property to him in his last will & testament in 1784.13 George and wife Rosannah sold some of the land George inherited to John Hoover, presumably his brother.14
So, it seems perfectly reasonable that George Hoover of Armstrong County was the son of Andrew Hoover of Fayette County. Right? Is this conclusion supported by the other facts we know or do they sow doubt?
In my page on Andrew Hoover Sr., I wrote:
“I find some of the birth dates of Andrew’s grandchildren to be problematic—their parents having to have become parents as teenagers.”
Several of George’s children are good examples. Based on census records, an estimated birth date for George’s first daughter Catharine (Hoover) Kern puts her birth ca 1760—1770.15 Her eldest son Solomon was born 30 Nov 1781, which is consistent with a birth in the early 1760s for Catharine.16 Census records for George’s second daughter Rosanna (Hoover) Waltenbaugh place her birth date bef 1765.17 Judging by these two children alone, a 1755 birth date for George is not feasible. While census records are known to be inconsistent and sometimes incorrect regarding age and “guesstimates” complicate the analysis, the likelihood of both of George’s daughters being at least 10 years off AND their children’s ages being off… You see where this is going. While it’s possible, there are significant problems to address.18
Consider also that there are baptism records for both a Catharine and a Rosannah Hoover which place their births on 10 Apr 1761 and 27 Mar 1763.19 These dates fit perfectly with the estimated birth dates from the census records of George’s daughters. These church records name the girls’ parents as George and Eva Elisabeth Hoover.
But George’s wife was Rosannah. Right?
The only mention of Rosannah as George’s wife is in the deed where she and George sell land to John Hoover.20 How do we know this deed refers to the son of Andrew Hoover Sr.? Although this deed is difficult to read, you can make out the following:
“…And whereas the said Andrew Hoover Senior in and by his last will and testament dated the twenty-fifth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty four In the third section thereof did [?] [?] give unto his three sons Jacob Hoover [John] Hoover and George Hoover his whole estate… And whereas the said divisions have been [?] made and the [?] [?] [?] content? Now this indenture witnesseth the said George Hoover and Rosannah his wife do grant in consideration of the sum of sixty eight [pounds?] to them paid by John Hoover the receipt thereof to him by [?] [?] [?] granted bargained and sold – And by these presents do grant bargain & sell unto the said John Hoover his heirs [?] assigns the following described part of these [?] [?] of the lands of Andrew Hoover Senr divided unto the said George by the above in part [?] last will and testament of the said deceased…”
Louella Schaumberg Hoover believed that George and Rosannah sold the land (and executed the deed) prior to leaving for Armstrong County, but that the deed was only recorded when John sold the land in 1811.21 The next deed in the county deed book is for John Hoover’s sale of the land to James Fletcher. So, her assertion is a possibility.
Where did George and Rosannah live at the time of the deed? The deed provides no location information for George and Rosannah. If they were of Saltlick or Donegal townships, one would expect that information to be included in the deed. Because it is not, the evidence connecting this deed to the George Hoover of Westmoreland is slim.22 The logical presumption in this case is that George and Rosannah were of the same township and county as the land that they were selling—Union Township, Fayette County. Further proof of this assertion comes at the end of the deed where there is the following:
“Fayette County Pa—The [seventh?] day of November Anno Domini 1811 Before me [?] [?] one of the Justices of the Peace in and for the said County Personally came George Hoover and Rosannah his wife…”
This means that this George and Rosannah (___) Hoover were both alive and presumably living in Fayette County in 1811, most likely in Union Township. However, from the baptismal record of Maria Magdaline, daughter of George Hoover of Armstrong County, we know that George was married to Eva Elisabeth before 1787. We also know from deed, tax and census records that this couple had left the Westmoreland/Fayette County area by 1800.
Therefore, we must be dealing with two George Hoovers—one George of Fayette County, who was married to a woman named Rosannah and another George Hoover of Westmoreland and Armstrong counties, who was married to a woman named Eva Elisabeth. Furthermore, the deed records pertaining to the sale of land that Andrew Hoover left to his son George make it clear that the George Hoover of Fayette County, who married Rosannah, was the son of Andrew and Catharine (___) Hoover.
Look for more information on each of these men when I post their family group pages. In the meantime, if you have any questions, just drop me a line. And, as always, if you have more information, please shoot it my way…
- Caldwell, John Alexander, History of Indiana County, Pennsylvania, (Newark, Ohio: J.A. Caldwell, 1880), page 482 ↩
- Ruff, Paul Miller, German Church Records of Western Pennsylvania (Greensburg, Pennsylvania: Baltzer Meyer Historical Society, 1994), Volume 1: page 122 ↩
- Ruff, Paul Miller, “Good Hope Lutheran Church, Salt Lick Township, Fayette County, Parish Records, 1788-1945 (Greensburg, PA: Baltzer Meyer Historical Society, 1994), page 5 ↩
- George Hoover estate record, Armstrong County Will Book 1, Estate Number 43; Register and Recorder, Armstrong County Courthouse, Kittanning, Pennsylvania; George’s estate papers list as heirs: Eve Hoover (widow), Christian Hoover, Peter Carns and Eve Catharina his wife, William Carns and Catharina his wife, Solomon Hoover, Martin Kerbaugh and Julianna his wife, Adam Waltenbaugh and Rosannah his wife, Philip Whitsel and Maria Magdalina his wife, Henry Hoover, George Hoover, and Peter Dedrow (husband of daughter Anna Elisabeth), and Andrew Hoover. ↩
- Ruff, Paul Miller, “Good Hope Lutheran Church, Salt Lick Township, Fayette County, Parish Records, 1788-1945 (Greensburg, PA: Baltzer Meyer Historical Society, 1994), page 8; includes Simon Kern (1793), Jacob Kern (1795), Samuel Huber (1796), Anna Rosina Kern (1797), Anna Maria Carbach (1798), Jonathan Kern (1799), Georg Kerbach (1800), Joshua Kern (1801), Maria Elisabeth Kern (1803), and Martin Kerbach (1805) ↩
- Westmoreland County Deeds, Book A: 161 ↩
- George Huber entry, Egle, William Henry, ed., Pennsylvania Archives, “Transcript of Property with Number of Inhabitants in the County of Westmoreland, 1783 ” Series III, Vol XXII: 446 ↩
- George Hover entry, Egle, William Henry, ed., Pennsylvania Archives, “Return of State Tax for the County of Westmoreland, for the Year 1786.,” Series III, Vol XXII: 538 ↩
- Gorge Hover entry, Salt Lick Property Rolls for 1800, unpaginated, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Uniontown Public Library, Uniontown; Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, records group 47, micropublication LR 170, roll 15; ↩
- George Hover household, 1800 United States Census, Armstrong County (Buffalo Township), Pennsylvania, page 202; National Archives micropublication M32, Roll 35 ↩
- Reports on Claims to Unpatented Land, Monongalia, Yohogania, Ohio Counties, Virginia-West Virginia, page 159; also Wiley, Samuel B., History of Monongalia County, West Virginia, From Its First Settlements to the Present Time; With Numerous Biographical and Family Sketches (Kingwood, West Virginia: Preston Printing Company, 1883) ↩
- John Waller to Andrew Hoover and John Hoontzhacker (1775), Fayette County Deeds, Book A: 192; Menallen township was first created when Westmoreland was divided from Bedford County in 1773, while Tyrone had been created by Bedford County but became part of Westmoreland. ↩
- Andrew Hoover (1784), Fayette County Will Book, Vol. 1:24 ↩
- George Hoover to John Hoover (1811), Fayette County Deeds, Book K: 10-11 ↩
- William Kern household, 1830 United States, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Saltlick Township, page 303; National Archives micropublication M19, roll 162 ↩
- Ellis, Franklin, History of Fayette County (Philadelphia, PA: L H Everts and Company, 1882) ↩
- Adam Waltenbaugh household, 1810 United States Census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, Kittanning Township, page 373; National Archives micropublication M252, roll 44 ↩
- Assuming Andrew Huber was born 1 Jan 1723 (See Andreas Huber Origins: Trippstadt, Ellerstadt, or Ittlingen? for why I believe this to be true.) and using census records for his grandchildren to “guesstimate” the birth dates of his children, then his elder children—Johannes, Jacob, Henry, Maria Catharina and Elisabetha—were born approximately every two years between 1744 and 1752. His younger children—Andrew Jr., Anna, and George—were possibly born after their parent’s arrival in America in 1754. While there is some wiggle room on these dates, there is not enough to place Andrew’s youngest son in the birth order before 1740 (assuming George was 21 years when Catharina was born) when Andrew would have been only 17. ↩
- Humphrey, John T., Pennsylvania Births, Dauphin County, 1757-1825 (Washington, D.C.: Humphrey Publications, 2005), page 122 ↩
- George Hoover to John Hoover (1811), Fayette County Deeds, Book K: 10-11 ↩
- In deeds you may sometimes notice that a deed’s date and the date that is was recorded were decades apart. This may mean that while it was a legal document executed by a Justice of the Peace, the deed was not recorded at the county courthouse until much later, often when the land was being sold by the new owner. ↩
- Remember George had purchased land in Westmoreland in 1779 and was there in tax records from 1783 to 1799. So, George was living in Westmoreland County on land that straddled the border with Fayette County. His residence should have been listed as either Saltlick Township, Fayette County or Donegal Township, Westmoreland County if he is the man in the deed. ↩