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.            


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© 2023, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

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