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Home: Regional: U.S. States: West Virginia: Preston County

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Re: Eli McNier/ McNeir/ McNeer/ McNear/ McNair MD> PA> WV> OH
Posted by: Craig Englund (ID *****8819) Date: April 21, 2014 at 07:39:55
In Reply to: Re: Eli McNier/ McNeir/ McNeer/ McNear/ McNair MD> PA> WV> OH by Janice Sisler of 1448


I am very interested in the date of death for the John McNear who married Sarah Martin. Based on the fact that the 1850 Federal Census shows a Sarah Draper with her son, Daniel McNear in Preston Co., I deduced some years ago that her first husband, John McNear, and her second husband named Draper had died before that date. But I have never, until now, seen a specific death date for John McNear (my 3rd great-grandfather through his daughter, Catherine Ann McNear Gable, who died in 1904 in Mahaska Co., IA). I had speculated, with no substantial evidence other than geography and approximate age, that the second husband could be Isaac Draper, but you are the first person who confirmed his full name. A Harriet Draper, b. abt. 1840, is also shown as residing with Sarah and son Daniel McNear in the 1850 census for Preston Co., so I assume that she is a child by the second marriage.

I am so grateful to you for posting this John McNear's year of death that I hate to disagree with some of the other information you have provided. But after a tremendous amount of online research regarding the descendants of Turkeyfoot John McNear, I am certain that there has been a persistent mix-up between a John McNear, son of Turkeyfoot John, and the actual husband of Sarah Martin, my ancestor who was a grandson of Turkeyfoot John through another son (and brother of the John McNear to which you refer), David McNear. This confusion accounts for what would appear to be a large age difference between Sarah Martin and her first husband. Eli McNear is the son of Turkeyfoot John McNear's son, John, who was born about 1780 in Maryland. He is therefore the cousin of my John McNear, son of David McNear (b. abt. 1775, New Jersey, d. aft. 1850 Addison Twp. Somerset Co., PA). I was finally able to locate my John McNear's birth record through the badly misspelled names of the sponsors for his baptism (his parents and grandfather, Conrad SIlbaugh). This record from St. John's Lutheran Church (Sanner), Black Township, Fayette Co., PA, showed a date of birth of 8 Jan 1795. This makes him much closer in age to Sarah Martin, b. 1803 in Fayette City, Fayette Co., PA, than was my John's Uncle John (1780), who is so often given as the husband of Sarah.

John McNear (1795) was first married to Lydia Tharp (b. 1801, Fayette Co., PA, d. abt. 1821, Addison Twp., Somerset Co., PA). After her death, John and his infant daughter, Margaret, moved to Preston Co., along with John's brother, Alexander McNear. I have never seen a marriage record, but John must have married Sarah Martin in Preston Co., where Sarah's father, Daniel Martin, had already moved. Since their first child together was born in 1824, the marriage must have taken place in about 1823/24.

Alexander McNear eventually moves back to PA, but I agree with your statement that John almost certainly died and was buried in Preston Co., VA. I believe that John (1795) and Sarah Martin had five children, Alpheus (1824-1898), Daniel (1829-1908), Catherine Ann (abt. 1831-1904), Mary Ann (1834-?) and Elizabeth (? - 1917). Along with Margaret, the child by his first wife, these would constitute the second group of 6 children to which you refer, although they really are John McNear's (1795) only children.

I do not know the date of death for John McNear (1780), nor do I know the identity of his wife. I have not done much research on that line of descendants of Turkeyfoot John McNear, but I have the dates for Eli McNear as being b March 1820 and d. 8 July 1904. I don't know what evidence actually supports these dates other than federal census records.

If you can provide any additional information on any of these McNears, I would be very grateful.

Craig Englund

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