Sunday, October 29, 2023

Philip and Dorothy Harner--Monongalia County, (West) Virginia

     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.  

     To date, this is the earliest record of Philip Harner that I have found.  It is a 1802 census from Monongalia County, Virginia taken by John Evans, clerk.  Unfortunately, I did not check earlier pages to find out what was being counted.   It could be a census of animals owned.

1910 Virginia Census
Monongalia County, Virginia
August 6, 1810

Phil Harner

     Males under age 10--1
     Males age 10-25--1
     Males age 45 and over--1
     Females under age 10--2
     Females ages 10-15--1
     Females ages 16-25--2
     Females age 45 and over--1

1810 Virginia Census
Monongalia County, Virginia
August 6, 1810

Isaac Herner/Horner

     Males under age 10--4
     Males 10 thru 15--2
     Males 16 thru 25--2
     Males age 45 and over--1
     Females under age 10--4
     Females age 16 thru 25--2
     Females age 45 and over--1

     Is this another Harner in Monongalia County on the 1810 Virginia census?

     A 1817 listing in the Monongalia County, Virginia Records of the District, Superior and County Courts of Philip Harner and hands working on roads in the county.

1820 Virginia Census
Eastern Division, Monongalia County, Virginia
August 7, 1820

Philip Harner

     Males under age 10--3
     Males ages 10 thru 15--1
     Males age 45 and over--1
     Females under age 10--2
     Females ages 16 thru 25--1
     Females ages 26 thru 44--2
     Females age 45 and over--1
     Number of persons engaged in agriculture--1

     Of interest, two other of my paternal great great great great grandfather's are also enumerated on this page of the census, Robert Hill and Purnell Houston.  

1830 Virginia Census
Eastern District, Monongalia County

Philip Harner

     Males under age 5 thru 9--1
     Males age 80 thru 89--1
     Females under age 10--2
     Females ages 5 thru 9--1
     Females ages 10 thru 14--1
     Females age 15 thru 19--1
     Females age 30 thru 39--3
     Female age 70 thru 79--1

     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.

  1. 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.
  2. Philip William Harner born 1809 in Virginia, married Sarah Fearer or Fear, 1885.  (my great great great grandfather)
  3. Mary Elizabeth Harner born 1812 in Virginia, married Henry Flumm, died 1889.
  4. Sarah Harner born 1818 in Virginia, married Robert Mayfield, died 1895.
  5. George Harner--no knowledge
  6. Joseph Harner--no knowledge

     A record for Dorothy Harner.  A land grant for 100 acres in Monongalia County, Virginia in August 1835.  The property was adjacent to land owed by J. Jacobs.  I doubt a woman would have been purchasing land in 1835 if her husband was alive.  Does this signal the death of Philip Harner?  Dorothy had access to money.  

1840 Virginia Census
East Monongalia
Monongalia, Virginia

Census attributed to Dollie Harner
     Males ages 20 thru 29--1
     Females ages 15 thru 19--1
     Females age 20 thru 29--1
     Females age 30 thru 39--3
     Females age 40 thru 49--1

     Could Dolly's youngest daughter, Sarah Harner be the female in the 20 thru 29 year old category and married to Robert Mayfield who could be the male ages 20 thru 29?  Dolly would fall in the age 40 thru 49 age group.  

1850 Virginia Census
Monongalia County
Eastern District # 36
August 6, 1850

     Dolly Harner, age 59, female, value of real estate owned $100, born on the sea, cannot read or write.

     Robert Mayfield, age 41, male, farmer, born in Virginia.

     Sarah Mayfield, age 30, female, born in Virginia.

     George W. Mayfield, age 8, male, born in Virginia.

     John W. Mayfield, age 1, male, born in Virginia.

     Alexander Lawson, age 61, male, laborer, born in Maryland.

     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.  

     I found this decades ago on a genealogy website and tucked it away in my Harner file.  It appears from this document that Dorothy "Dolly" Harner gave the land she purchased in 1835 to her daughter Sarah "Sally" Harner Mayfield on October 16, 1851.  Sarah lived with the Mayfield's until her death.

1860 Virginia Census
Monongalia County
District #2
September 5, 1860

     Robert Mayfield, age 48, male, farmer, value of real estate $600, value of personal estate $500, born in Virginia.

     Sarah Mayfield, age 42, female, born in Virginia.

     George Mayfield, age 18, male, born in Virginia.

     John Mayfield, age 11, male, born in Virginia.

     Margaret A. Mayfield, age 9, female, born in Virginia.

     Sarah E. Mayfield, age 7, female, born in Virginia.

     Joseph A. Mayfield, age 5, male, born in Virginia.

     Bolton Mayfield, age 3, male, born in Virginia.

     Philip Mayfield, age 2/12, male, born in Virginia.

     Dorothy Harner, age 72, female, born on the Pacific Ocean.

     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.            


I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2023, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Philip William Harner--1886 Record of Executor Bonds

Record of Bonds, Monongalia County, West Virginia

Page 372-373

Philip W. Harner Executor Bonds


Know all men by those presented that we Joseph L. Harner and William T. Harner and Philip F. Harner, George W. Harner, James U. Beall, Frederick Breakiron, Capell Holland, and Francis J. Kern, Samuel Hackney, Thomas M. Gregg and John D. Robinson and James Hare are held and firmly bound unto the state of West Virginia in the penal sum of eighteen thousand dollars, which will and truly to be paid, we bind ourselves, our heirs jointly and severally.  Firmly by these present.  Witness our hands and seals this 30th day of December 1885.

The condition of the obligation is such, that if said Joseph L. Harner and William T. Harner shall faithfully discharge the duties of executors of the last will and testament of Philip W. Harner deceased, and shall account for and pay over all money which may come to their hands by virtue of said office, then this obligation to be void, else to remain in full force and virtue.

Frederick Breakiron   Seal          

Capell Holland   Seal                  

Francis J. Kern   Seal                  

Thomas M Gregg    Seal              

John D. Robinson    Seal              

Samuel Hackney   Seal                

Joseph L. Harner     Seal

W. T. Harner    Seal

P. F. Harner    Seal

G. W. Harner    Seal

J. M. Beall    Seal

James Hare    Seal

A true copy:  Teste

W. J. Wiley, Clerk of County Court, Monongalia County, West Virginia

Milton Tennant, Bond as Notary


Know all men by these present, that we, Milton Tennant, Simon P. Tennant and Greenberry Barrickman are held and bound to the state of West Virginia in the penal sum of Five hundred dollars, to the payment of which we bind ourselves jointly and severally and each of us binds his heirs, executors and administrators.

The condition of the above obligation is such, that whereas in above bound.

Milton Tennant has been appointed Notary Public in and for the County of Monongalia now therefore if the aid Milton Tennant shall faithfully discharge the duties of said office, and account for and pay over as required by the law, all money which may come to his hands, by virtue of the said office, then shall this obligation be void otherwise shall remain in full force and effect.

Witness in hands and seals this 4th day of June 1886.

 Milton Tennant      Seal

S. P. Tenant            Seal

Greenberry Barrickman   Seal

A true copy:  Teste

W. J. Wiley, Clerk of the County Court, Monongalia County, West Virginia



I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2023, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Philip William Harner and Sarah Fearer Harner, Morgantown, West Virginia

     My paternal great great great grandparents were Philip William Harner and Sarah Fearer or sometimes seen as Sarah Fear.  Philip, the son of Philip Harner and Dorothy was born on February 14, 1809 in Monongalia County, (West) Virginia.  I have seen Dorothy's, also known as Dolly, maiden name as Waugh.  I have never seen any proof of this.  Sarah may have been the daughter of John Fearer and Elizabeth Eva Wolf and was born on May 20, 1814 in Maryland.   I have seen her parents on Ancestry, but have never seen any proof.  

     This blog has caused me the identical issues as the one I wrote for my other paternal great great great grandparents, Joseph Davidson Hill and Sarah Louise Houston.  The Harner's, Hill's and Houston's, were early settlers, pioneers of Monongalia County (West) Virginia.  The Hills and Philip William Harner were prosperous; however, there isn't much written about them in the Monongalia or Morgantown history books.  Much of the work on this blog comes from census records, accounts and records shared by numerous cousins over the decades.  

     Hazel Louise Harner Casteel,  a cousin three times over, descends from my Houston, Hill and Harner ancestors.  Various family members married from our mutual ancestors.  She was a family genealogist and also a member of the DAR.  She was instrumental honoring our mutual ancestor, Purnell Houston with a special plaque near his tombstone.  CHECK ON THIS.  

     I have a partial copy of Hazel's Harner notes. She lists Phillip William Harner's birth and mentions that he was born on the old Robert Mayfield Farm three miles from Rock Forge Methodist Church.  I have wondered what the tie between the early Harner and Mayfield family was.  Philip William's sister Sarah Harner married a Robert Mayfield.  All the same Mayfield's?

     How Philip and Sarah met is anyone's guess.  Hazel mentions that Sarah was from Selbysport, Garrett County, Maryland, when she married.  Did Hazel have access to a Harner Bible?

     The marriage document from Allegany County, Maryland shows that twenty-three year old Philip William Harner married sixteen year old Sarah Fearer on August 25, 1832.  

     Before I continue, I do need to mention that Harner is often seen as Horner, so when searching it is necessary to use both surnames.  Often it isn't Horner at all, just a misreading of the document.

1840 Pennsylvania Census
Georges Township
Fayette County

Phillip Horner

     1 male under age 5    Joseph L. Harner

     1 male age 15-19   Perhaps a brother to Philip or Sarah or a hired hand

     1 male age 30 thru 39    Philip William Harner

     2 females under age 5  Matilda Jane Harner and Susanna Harner

     1 female age 20 thru 29    Sarah Fearer Harner

     2 persons engaged in manufacture or trade

     It has been written in several Harner accounts that Philip was a blacksmith by trade.  He also may have done dental work.

     It is revealed in the 1850 census, that the Philip William Harner Family hopscotched around for a few years after their marriage and then were planted for over a decade in Georges Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania before settling outside the Morgantown area.     

1850 (West Virginia) Virginia Census
The Eastern District #36
Monongalia County
August 15, 1850

     Philip W. Harner age 40, male, blacksmith, value of real estate owned $3000, born in Virginia.

     Sarah Harner age 33, female, born in Maryland.

     Joseph Harner age 14, male born in Maryland.

     Matilda J.  age 12, female, born in Virginia.

     Susannah  age 11, female, born in Pennsylvania.

     George W. age 9, male, born in Pennsylvania.

     Sarah  age 7, female, born in Pennsylvania. (my paternal great great grandmother)

     Mary E. age 5, female, born in Pennsylvania.

     Philip F. age 3, male, born in Pennsylvania.

     William T. age 4 days, male, born in Virginia.

     George Neise ? age 20, male, laborer, born in Virginia. (I wonder if this is George Nuce, nephew to Philip Harner through the marriage of his sister Susan Harner to Michael Nuce) 

     This is not an exact replica of Sabraton ownerships in 1850; however after years of research was drawn to give the best idea.  There are two Harner buildings listed.  These both must be Philip William Harner's land as there are no other Harner/Horner names in Monongalia County in 1850.  The most northern one on Harner Run near Deckers Creek is the area where Philip purchased land in 1850 and built his house.  It still stands today in the Sabraton area.  

My photograph

Known as The Old Harner Homestead, history, Philip purchased the property in 1850 and there may have been a smaller house on the land. It is believed that the current house was built in 1852 and Philip farmed the land. On August 14, 1885, Philip and Sarah sold the house and 111 7/8 aces to their son William Taylor Harner. William sold the house and 100 acres to George Sturgiss on July 10, 1902. William built a house next door and several other houses on the acre of land adjacent to the original house.

     The Harner Homestead is on the Register of National Historic Places.  The original form was submitted in 1983.  Some of the significant design details are that it is an example of "I" design and decorated with Classical Revival details.  It features and example of a two story front porch.   

     I was able to get inside my paternal great great great grandparents home in 2007 because it was up for sale.  Needless to say I was tingling with excitement to actually walk among the rooms where my ancestors lived.  There is a blog on Flipside and a Wikipedia submission that I wrote following the trip.  I was amazed by the architectural details inside, especially realizing that they were done by hand tools.  

American Union
Morgantown, (West) Virginia
December 3, 1853 
page 3
BTW--Rev Asby Pool mentioned is my
paternal gggg grandfather

     On March 26, 1857, Philip and Sarah's twenty-one year old son, Joseph L. Harner married eighteen year old Sarah Elizabeth Bishoff, daughter of Henry Bishoff and Lydia Miller.  I have seen the Bishoff surname also listed as Bishop.

     Also in the year 1857, twenty year old Matilda Jane Harner married twenty-one year old Charles Addison in Monongalia County, (West) Virginia.  

1860 Virginia Census
District 2, Monongalia County
Morgantown Post Office
August 31, 1860

     Philip Harner age 56, male, employed as a blacksmith, real estate value $12,000, value of personal estate $800, born in Virginia. 

     Sarah Harner age 45, female, born in Maryland, cannot read or write.

     Susan Harner age 21, female, born in Virginia.

     George Harner age 19, male, born in Pennsylvania.

     Sarah Harner age 17, female, born in Pennsylvania. (my paternal great great grandmother)

     Elizabeth age 14, female, born in Pennsylvania.

     Fairchild age 12, female, born in Pennsylvania.

     William age 10, male, born in Virginia.

     Henry age 7, male, born in Virginia.

     Philip is adding additional property.  Blacksmithing was a valuable occupation in the 1800's and a well run business would be prosperous.   It appears that Philip turned his increasing wealth into land purchases. 

The 1860's Wedding Decade

     In 1863 twenty-four year old Susan Harner married twenty-seven year old William Henry Fleming in Monongalia County, West Virginia.  According to information on Ancestry, William's parents were William Fleming and Nancy Donaldson.

     On May 29, 1864 eighteen year old Mary Elizabeth Harner married twenty-seven year old William Fleming Jackson in Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia.  William was the son of Josiah Jackson and Verlinda Robey

     On October 17, 1864 twenty-three year old George Washington Harner married twenty-one year old Lavina Ruth Hickman in Monongalia County, West Virginia.  Lavina was the daughter of Jacob S. Hickman and Catherine Litman.

     On May 26, 1866 my paternal great great grandparents, twenty-two year old Sarah Louise Harner married twenty-three year old Sampson Frum Pool in Monongalia County, West Virginia.  Sampson's parents were William Lanaham Pool and Ann Frum.

     On Christmas Eve 1868 twenty year old Philip Fairchild Harner married twenty-two year old Margaret Olivia Robinson in Monongalia County, West Virginia.  Margaret was the daughter of John Davidson Robinson and Elizabeth Hill (my paternal great great grandaunt).

Helping a Friend Financially Does Not Pay Off

     On January 18, 1868 Philip W. Harner and William Hagans signed their joint promissory notes as securities to George M. Hagans for the sum of $1,720.25 payable one day after date with interest from the date from said note to William Price.  The principal,  William Price, had $2000 in an account in a Morgantown bank which could be used for loans.   George M. Hagans died in December, 1873 and had not paid the full amount of interest due or the amount borrowed.  Philip's generosity to a friend has set my paternal great great great grandfather up for a legal battle down the road.

1870 West Virginia Census
Morgan Township, Monongalia County
Morgantown Post Office
June 22, 1870

     Philip Harner age 61, male, white, farmer, value of personal estate $15,000, value of real estate $14,000, born in Pennsylvania, mother of foreign born birth, citizen of the United States.

     Sarah Harner age 56, female, white, keeping house, born in Maryland, cannot write.

     William T. Harner age age 21, male, white, farm hand, born in West Virginia, attended school within the year.

     Henry J. Harner age 16, male, white, farm hand, born in West Virginia, attended school within the year.

     Jno M. Lowdermilk? age 26,male, white, farmhand, born in Maryland, citizen of the United States.

     Very poor copy of the census.  This often occurs when the enumerator uses a pencil instead of a pen.  

     Philip has added additional personal and real estate in the last decade.  I have not had access to the land records, so I have no idea as the the dates and amount of acreage purchased.  

Back to the Security Note of 1868

     Eighteen seventy-three brings the security note that Philip signed back on January 18, 1868 for his friend and grocer, George M. Hagans onto the front burner.  Hagans had not kept up with the interest payments.  When he died in December 1873, the named executors of his estate were James C. McGrew and the other signee of a security note, William Hagans.  William Hagans was probably George M. Hagans brother.  

     On February 27, 1874, William Price, from whom the loan was obtained, brought a joint action of debt against James C. McGrew and William Hagans, executors and Philip W. Harner.  A writ was issued and dated.

     Philip W. Harner penned and signed the above accepting the judgment for the sum of $1,807.16 on the back of the writ and presented it in the clerks office Court of Monongalia County, West Virginia on February 27, 1874.  The said writ was never executed on the executors of the estate, one executor, William Hagans who also signed a security note.  Long story short, Philip ended up with the total amount due.

     How did this happen?  Philip was a successful businessman with business savvy.  As you might guess, he realized how he was dupped and went to court to not have to pay the entire amount due, just his fair portion.

  According to Philip's bill of injunction, October, 1874, the day before the February 27, 1874 suit, William Price and Jesse J. Fitch(a good friend of Philip) visited Philip W. Harner to let Philip know a suit was going to be filed next next day.  Price told Philip that costs could be saved if he would go to Morgantown and confess judgement.  Philip did not suspect anything wrong and did go to town the next day.  He stopped at the store owned by the deceased, George M. Hagans, to see the two executors regarding Price's idea of confessing judgement.  Neither executors were there; however William Price was standing on the steps and went with Philip to the court house to confess the judgement.  

     Philip learned that due to the fact that the note was signed over five years ago the statue of limitations barred the judgements and that the other defendants would plead statue of limitations, leaving Philip to bare the sole responsibility because he wrote the confession of judgement.  Philip is guilty of being an honest and trustworthy man who was "defrauded and entrapped" by "........the fraudulent representations and conduct of William Price."  It appears that Price knew he could not recover the cost of the loan and had no plan to divide it among Philip and the executors.  

     Philip did not let this go.  He filed a bill of injunction against Price and Sheriff McVicker in December 1874.  William Price had his own story and denied any knowledge that the note of money owed to him was no longer viable due to a statue of limitation.  On September 22, 1876, Philip's suit was dismissed and he now had to pay all court costs.

     This did not end.  Philip W. Harner on an appeal from and supersedeas to a decree from the Circuit Court of Monongalia County rendered on September 22, 1876 took the case to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.  

1880 West Virginia Census
Morgan District, Monongalia County
June 15, 1880
BTW Census enumerator Waitman Wiley Houston is a cousin

        I decided to include the entire page rather than just the section for Philip and Sarah Harner.  Sons Philip Fairchild Harner, William Harner, James Harner, Joseph Harner and son-in-law, William Jackson are all enumerated on this page.  

     Philip Harner, white, male, age 71, married, farmer, born in Virginia, father born in Germany, mother born on the ocean.

     Sarah Harner, white, female, age 66, wife, married, housekeeper, born in Maryland, cannot write, mother and father both born in Germany.

     The Supreme Court of Appeals in West Virginia is found on Google Books.  The link will take you to page 525, roll it back to 523 for the entire appeal.  

     Over six years of wrangling this issue in two courts, a judge gave the final judgement on December 18, 1880.  Philip W. Harner was libel for the total amount of the court costs and the amount of the original note from 1868 plus the interest.  During the Supreme Court of Appeals, Price presented his version of the day he visited with Harner and the day Harner signed the back of the original note.  It was a different story than Philip's.  The judge ruled in Price's favor and Philip had to pay the entire amount.  The other note signee, William Hagans, walked away owing nothing.  Had Philip not signed the back of the note on September 27, 1874, he would not have been held liable and William Price would have walked away with nothing.

1885 Map of Harner Properties

     I have underlined the properties of the son's of Philip William and Sarah Houston Harner.  The one red starred one, W. T. Harner is the 1850 Harner Homestead.  The second red star is Rock Forge Cemetery (now Brookhaven Church Cemetery) where Philip and Sarah are buried.  Also shown in the area are farms of Charles Addison and William F. Jackson, who both married Harner women.  

   I don't believe I spent anytime at the WVU genealogy floor on campus scrolling through microfilm newspapers looking for Harner articles the last time I was in Morgantown over a decade ago.   I do not know if Philip and/or Sarah's obituaries are there.  Another reason to go spend a few days there. 


     The Harner's have a sizable, enclosed plot, in Brookhaven Church Cemetery (known at the time of their death as Rock Forge Cemetery).  Their actual burial places are marked with the small upright stones very simply engraved with the initials, SH and PWH.  The larger impressive stone may have been erected at a later date by descendants.

    The land for the church was purchased from Philip William Harner and his wife in 1854 by a Methodist congregation.  At that time it was known as Rock Forge Church located in the Rock Forge community.  The Harner's were members of this church community.  

Phillip W. Harner
Feb 14, 1809
Nov. 15, 1885

Death Record from Monongalia County, West Virginia

Harner, Philip W., white male, no death date, died Morgan District of Paralysis, age 76 years.  Son, William J. Harner, informant.

     Philip William Harner died on November 15, 1885 age seventy-six from the diagnosis of paralysis.  He probably died at his home, Morgan District, Monongalia County, West Virginia.  

     Philip signed his Last Will and Testament on August 26, 1883.  The executors named were sons, Joseph L. Harner and William T. Harner.  His wife received the proceeds from the estate.  At her death there was a financial amount to his daughters and land divided equally among the children.  

     The bonds of the executors and signees of the will were filed on January 4, 1886.

Sarah Harner
May 20, 1816
Jan 21, 1900

     Sarah Fearer Harner died on January 21, 1900 at age eighty-three in Monongalia County, West Virginia.  To date, I have not found a death record for Sarah.    

     She did have a Last Will and Testament signed with her mark on May 9, 1895 in Monongalia County, West Virginia.  She divided up her personal property among her sons and one daughter, Susan Harner Fleming.  Once her debts were paid the remainder of her bonds and money she willed five dollars to each of her married daughters; however, Susan Harner Fleming along with her sons equally divided the residue of what remained after her daughters were paid.   This makes me believe that Susan Harner Fleming probably housed and took care of her mother following the death of Philip W. Harner.   



     I did see a small reference on page 648 of the Samuel T. Wiley book, History of Monongalia County, West Virginia, 1883.  In the chapter regarding the Morgan District, the author writes about the early Native American occupation of land near Decker Creek.  He uses the current day (1883) location of Philip William Harner's home as the possible location of the destruction of the Decker Creek Colony.


     There is room for more research here and as it becomes available, I will update the blog.  My huge file of Harner research was woefully disorganized until I began this blog.  My thanks to all distant cousins who added their knowledge and scanned copies of documents.

     I have seen what appears to be a tintype of Philip William Harner and Sarah Fearer Harner on  Ancestry.  I hope to connect with the genealogist who posted it to verify.  I love to have a face to connect to a blog. 


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