Philip and Dorothy Harner are my paternal great great great great grandparents. This is a tricky blog to present as there is little written about Philip. He was born in Germany according to the later census reports of his adult children. I have seen on Ancestry that his middle name could have been Wilhelm. He has several early Monongalia census records. No death record. Dorothy, also known as Dolly, was born on a ship while her family was crossing the ocean about 1790. I have seen on Ancestry that her maiden name may have been Waugh. It is assumed that Philip died before 1840 since he does not have a census report.
Where Philip and Dorothy met and married continues to be a mystery. If my paternal great great grandfather, Philip William Harner, is their first born, then 1807 or 1808 would be a reasonable guess.
|1910 Virginia Census
Monongalia County, Virginia
August 6, 1810
|1810 Virginia Census
Monongalia County, Virginia
August 6, 1810
|1820 Virginia Census
Eastern Division, Monongalia County, Virginia
August 7, 1820
|1830 Virginia Census
Eastern District, Monongalia County
What does any of this mean? Did my great great great great grandfather, Philip Harner have the same name as his father? Was he that many decades older than his wife Dorothy? Could this mean that Philip's mother and father were also in Monongalia County (the oldest enumerated) and Philip and Dolly are living with them and adding their own family members? Is Dolly's husband, Philip Harner already deceased since there is no male age 30 thru 39 enumerated in this census? Since only the head of household was named, who are all these Harner's?
My twenty year old great great great grandfather, Philip William Harner, is not enumerated here. He was married two years later in Alleghany County, Maryland. Where did all the male Harner's go? Once Philip William Harner returned to the Morgantown area, his offspring populated the county.
Dorothy's dates do not make any sense either. If she was born circa 1790, she was only age ten when she had her first child. Or her daughter, Susannah Harner Nuce was not born in 1800. Or Susannah Harner had a different mother. I had her birth originally at 1811. What a confusing mess this all is. No wonder I waited several decades to finally tackle this blog.
Here is what is currently known about Philip and Dorothy Harner's children.
- Susannah Harner born either 1800 or 1811 in Virginia, married Michael Nuce, died 1876. Some question as to whether Dolly was her mother or a previous wife of Philip Harner, Susan Clark.
- Philip William Harner born 1809 in Virginia, married Sarah Fearer or Fear, 1885. (my great great great grandfather)
- Mary Elizabeth Harner born 1812 in Virginia, married Henry Flumm, died 1889.
- Sarah Harner born 1818 in Virginia, married Robert Mayfield, died 1895.
- George Harner--no knowledge
- Joseph Harner--no knowledge
|1840 Virginia Census
|1850 Virginia Census
Eastern District # 36
August 6, 1850
Dolly Harner is the head of the family. They are probably living on the land she purchased in 1835. The Mayfield's are her relatives. Sarah Mayfield is her daughter, Sarah Harner Mayfield. There is a hired hand helping Robert Mayfield with the farm. Of interest on the following page of the census is the Flumm Family also relations. Mary Elizabeth Harner Flumm is her daughter.
|1860 Virginia Census
September 5, 1860
This ends the actual documentation that I have found. Hopefully more will be found by myself or others. This is Dorothy's last census record. I have listed her as deceased before 1870. I have not found a death record for her in Monongalia County, West Virginia.
There is a listing for a Dolly Harner on Find A Grave in Coddington Cemetery, Monongalia County, West Virginia. Robert Mayfield, her son- in-law, Michael Nuce (listed as Nuse), son-in-law or step son-in-law and daughter or step daughter, Susannah Harner Nuce (listed as Nuse) are buried there. No marker for daughter, Sarah Harner Mayfield. I believe that the Dolly Harner buried there is my great great great great grandmother's. The death date makes sense, February 24, 1869. The birthdate does not; however with the age of the stone, the reading may not be accurate. I have not found another Dorothy or Dolly Harner on the 1850-1860 census reports. The Coddington Cemetery listing can be found on the genealogy trails website.
To add to more confusion, Michael Nuce and Susannah Nuce, listed in Coddington Cemetery are also listed in Pierpont Cemetery. With Susannah, more specifically, in the Nuce Plot. Dolly Harner and Robert Mayfield are not listed in the Pierpont Cemetery.
When I was in Morgantown over a decade ago, I had the good fortune to meet a Harner descendent and she mentioned that she knew where Dolly Harner was buried and offered to take me to the cemetery. I declined. I was there to find the Old Frum Cemetery and she did take us there. The family living in Morgantown does attribute that burial site to Dorothy "Dolly" Harner. Now I wish I had taken her up on the offer to see the burial site.
Final thoughts on my paternal great great great great grandparents, some records and a lot of speculation. There is still so much research needed and yet, maybe as it is, it is just a package one can finish and put a big bow on it.
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