Sarah Jane Mahaffey, eldest daughter of William and Susan Bower Mahaffey, was born October 15, 1824. Married Thomas Blair, of Williamsport, Pa., August 11, 1842, and shortly after, with a party of friends, namely Thomas Blair and wife, Peter Blair, Joshua Gardner, wife and family, Eli Lentz and William Taylor set out for Ohio, traveling en route by wagon, arriving at Williams Centre, four miles from Bryan, [Williams Co.], Ohio, October 15, 1842.
This section of Ohio was then a vast wilderness, inhabited by Indians and wild game. This first winter was a hard one for these pioneers, the young wife had to take straw out of the beds and sprinkle [it] with flour and feed to the horses to keep them from starving.
It was eighteen miles to Defiance, the then nearest trading post, and the journey was usually made on foot, as there was only a blazed trail through the woods.
The men usually carried a bundle of deer hides to trade for groceries. A mail only arrived once in two weeks, with twenty-five cents duty to be paid, if one were so fortunate to get a letter.
A daughter, writing of her mother, says: “Mother was good, kind and loving, a devoted Christian, a member of the United Brethren Church. Boasting many friends and was a jolly companion. She was brave and fearless, an expert horsewoman, could ride or drive anything in the horseflesh line.” She died November 27, 1891. There were ten children born to Thomas and Sarah Jane Mahaffey Blair:
John L. Mahaffey, eldest son of William and Susan Bower Mahaffey, was born October 4, 1826, in Laurelsock township, Lycoming Co., Pa. He was married to Mary C. Fink, who was born June 10, 1833, in Lycoming township, Lycoming Co., Pa., and they had eleven [sic] children who were:
William C. Mahaffey, fourth child of William and Susan Bowers Mahaffey, was born June 11, 1830, married Margaret Younkin, who was born October 16, 1829. He died January 25, 1881, and his wife, January 4, 1907. To them were born seven children:
Thomas Mahaffey, fifth child of William and Susan Bower Mahaffey, was born Aug. 20, 1833, married 1854 to Elizabeth B. Sholder, who was born in 1833. They live at Newberry, Lycoming Co., Pa. Thomas has been sheriff of Lycoming and Sullivan counties. To this union was born eight:
James Mahaffey, eighth child of William and Susan Bower Mahaffey, was born April 14, 1840, was married to Eva S. Flincher, April 3, 1862, in Anthony township, Lycoming Co., Pa. He died April 17, 1913. To this union were five children born:
James B. Hall, seventh child of Joseph and Eliza Bitting Hall, was born in 1856, married Emma Young, and to this union was born two children:
Matthew Hall, eighth child of Joseph and Eliza Bitting Hall, was born in 1859. Married Mary Young in 1885. Three children to them were born:
Mary Mahaffey, the eldest child of John and Ellen Boyer Mahaffey, was born in the year 1834, in Burnside, Clearfield Co., Pa. Was married Jan. 1, 1856, to Jackson Patchin, son of John and Elizabeth Patchin, at “Locust Villa,” near Cherry Tree, Pa., by Rev. Robert Simonton.
Her husband was a merchant and lumberman at Patchinville, Pa.; here they went to housekeeping and here their children, two sons, were born. Later they moved to Burnside.
She was a member of the M.P. Church, and a woman of unusual benevolence and charity. She was much beloved in her community and sadly mourned at her death, which occurred suddenly while on a visit to her sister, Mrs. Crowther, of East End, Pittsburgh, in 1891. She and her husband are buried in the family lot, in the Odd Fellows’ Cemetery, at Cherry Tree, Pa. The children of this union are:
(Six children. Only five named in original MSS.)
Margaret Bennett Mahaffey, second child of John and Ellen Boyer Mahaffey, and oldest living grandchild of William Mahaffey, was born April 30, 1837, at Burnside, Clearfield Co., Pa.
As a child she remembers playing with a string of solid silver buttons which had been cut from a coat belonging to some of her Mahaffey forbears. These buttons were afterwards made into teaspoons, and are highly prized by those who possess them. As she grew older she went about the place with her father, often helping him calculate lumber, or with his books at night.
She was united in marriage to Porter Kinports, Sept. 15, 1859, at “Locust Villa.” The Rev. John Kennedy, of the Presbyterian Church, officiating.
She has personal recollections of both paternal and maternal grandfathers. In a personal conversation with her as to relationship of some of the family lines, she told the writer this: “I well remember that my grandfather William (2) met and conversed with James (2) Mahaffey, of Marietta, [Lancaster Co.,] Pa., at a Fourth of July celebration held at Cherry Tree, Pa., and during their conversation they traced a direct relationship. They were first cousins, or their fathers were.” This matter being uncertain in my mind. If they were cousins, then James (1) and Thomas (1) were brothers; if the fathers were cousins, then the grandfathers were brothers, and makes the Lancaster county Mahaffeys and the Lycoming county Mahaffeys of the same stock.
Margaret Bennett, at seventy-seven, is a well preserved woman with an Irish grey eye, hair somewhat silvered, once black; a rosy complexion, and a rather erect carriage. Her ready wit and unselfish disposition make her a charming companion, and she is held in high esteem by all who know her. Her home, “The Maples,” at Cherry Tree, has always been noted for its genial atmosphere, and friends and strangers alike have shared its hospitality. She still resides there.
Porter Kinports, son of John and Mary Rench Kinports, was born at Frankstown, near Hollidaysburg, [Blair Co.], Pa., Sept. 6, 1831. In early boyhood his family moved to that section of Cambria county, contiguous to Canoe Place, now called Cherry Tree, when his older brothers engaged in farming and the mercantile and lumber business, he helping them in the outdoor work on the farm and woods work. At a suitable age he went to College at Lewisburg, Pa., now Bucknell University, and would have graduated with his class of 1856 had not the illness of his brother Gideon demanded his presence at home. This illness followed by death, and a few years later the death of his brother David, left him and his brother James the sole surviving male members of the family. He then assumed charge of the business, which he successfully conducted throughout.
In 1859 he married Margaret Mahaffey, and lived in the farmhouse near Cherry Tree until 1876, when he moved his family to the village. He was highly esteemed in his locality among business associates, as a man of ability, honor and integrity. Of him it could be well said, “His word was as good as his bond.”
He was president of the First National Bank of Cherry Tree from the time of its incorporation in 1903 until his death. In matters of local interest he was ever wide awake and ready to promote anything for the good of the public, but often laughingly remarked that the most honorable office to which he could be elected in local politics was “overseer of the poor,” which office he held quite often. He was a Democrat and seemed proud of that fact, although hopelessly in the minority in his village. He was a member of the Noble Lodge of Masons, Curwensville, [Clearfield Co.], Pa.; Moshannon Commandery, Philipsburg, and Williamsport Consistory, and Jaffa Temple, Altoona.
He and his wife were members of the M.P. Church. He died at his residence in Cherry Tree, Pa., March 5, 1912, and was buried in the Odd Fellows’ Cemetery, the Masons conducting the burial. Porter and Margaret Kinports had ten children:
1Minnette Kinports,5 b. 1860, m. John Driscol.
2John Clyde Kinports,5 b. 1862, m. Belle Lydic.
3Gertrude Maude Kinports,5 b. 1864, m. Joseph A. Wilson.
4David Allen Kinports,5 b. 1865, d. 1883.
5Elfreda Ellen Kinports,5 b. 1866, d. 1869.
6Dr. William Mahaffey Kinports,5 b. 1869, d. 1895.
(A graduate of medicine in the University of Pennsylvania.)
8Boyd W. Kinports,5 b. 1872, m. Glenn O’Donnell.
10Inez Kinports,5 b. 1880, d. 1892.
Creacy Ann, third child of John and Ellen Boyer Mahaffey, was born in 1841, at her grandfather’s home, near New Washington. She married Rev. S. F. Crowther, of Greensburg, [Summit Co.], Ohio, son of Samuel and Ellen Crowther of Venango Co., March 15, 1860, by the Rev. J. P. Kennedy. Their attendants were J. E. Pittman and Miss H. J. Forsythe. During her married life she lived in many places, but at last settled in East End, Pittsburgh, where she died in 1891, and was buried in Homewood Cemetery; her husband died in 1910.
The children of Creacy Mahaffey and Rev. Crowther were:
William T., son of John and Ellen Boyer Mahaffey, was born June 25, 1848, at “Locust Villa,” near Cherry Tree, Pa. He was married to Julia J., eldest daughter of Col. Clark and Hettie Graham Patchin, at Glen Hope, Clearfield Co., Pa., October 17, 1876, by his brother-in-law, Rev. S. F. Crowther. For a year or more they made their home with his father, then moved to Cherry Tree. In 1894 his wife died. She was from the age of fourteen years a member of the Methodist Church and was a gentle, Christian woman, devoted to her family and their interests. She was the mother of six children.
W. T. Mahaffey married a second time, December 18, 1902, Sarah Edmondson, daughter of A. C. and Mary Edmondson of McKeesport, [Allegheny Co.,] Pa., highly esteemed and respected in her community. She has been a member of the Presbyterian Church from the age of fourteen years and is an active, earnest worker. Her husband a member of the M.P. Church since 1876, joined the Presbyterian Church with her in 1904.
William T. Mahaffey has been President of the “Mahaffey Clan” from its organization, and has been instrumental in gathering a great deal of the Irish data of the Clan, as he and his son Leroy, visited Ireland and the homes of some of the name in that country; owing to the loyalty of this good man one of the Historians was prompted to write this verse:
Mr. Mahaffey, when only 13 years of age, was Drum Major in Co. D., 78th Reg., Penn. Vol., in ’61 and ’62.
For some years he was President of the Indiana County Sabbath-School Association. He and his wife reside at Cherry Tree, Pa. The children of W. T. and Julia Patchin Mahaffey were:
Elizabeth Mahaffey, oldest child of Thomas and Margaret Mitchell Mahaffey, was born in 1834; she married John Commings in 1856, who was born in 1821. She died in 1888, and he in 1892. Ten children were born to this marriage:
[The following is the conclusion of the hapter on the Lycoming/Clearfield County branches of the Mahaffey families there and appears on p. 66 of the book.]
Thus endeth the Lycoming branch,
A goodly number, too;
They do not boast of lordly names —
But speak of how they grew
From one good man, into a clan
Generous — Noble — True.
Including all who bear their name,
To help — to dare — To do.
But when we say Lycoming branch,
624. JAMES MAHAFFEY, or McHAFFEY, the progenitor of the Lancaster county Mahaffeys, was born in the northern part of Ireland, and was the son of James Mahaffey, 1st. He emigrated to America, and settled in Little Bertian township, Lancaster Co., Pa., on the farm adjoining the one on which Robert Fulton lived.
One "James McHaffey," (supposed to be this same James) enlisted in Captain Ross' company at Lancaster, Lancaster Co., Pa., May 1, 1775, as a private in the Revolutionary War. He arrived in camp at Cambridge Aug. 18, 1775, remained with Washington's army near Boston during the Fall of 1775, engaged in skirmishes with the enemy near Charleston. The company lost one man and one taken prisoner. James McHaffey re-enlisted May 1, 1776, continued with Washington's army during Fall in the vicinity of New York and New Jersey, and went into Winter quarters at Morristown. In its last services Captain Ross' company took prominent and honorable part in battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Paoli, Monmouth and several other engagements, and continued in the field to the end of the war.
The writer is responsible for much of the above data, having found it, in making research in the history of Lancaster county, facts and dates coincide, so the conclusion was reached that the war history applied to our progenitor of the Lancaster county branch of Mahaffeys.
625. 1JAMES MAHAFFEY,2 (James.1)
James Mahaffey, son of James, progenitor of the Lancaster county Mahaffeys, was born June 12, 1781; married Mary Cochran, who was born Nov. 25, 1787. They lived in Marietta, [Lancaster Co.,] Pa. Mr. Mahaffey was extensively engaged in the lumber business, and a prominent man of affairs in his community.
We find a change in the spelling of the name, Mr. Mahaffey having a large correspondence found it easier to write by dropping the Mc, writing it Mahaffey, a popular form of spelling the name. He was an elder in the Donegal Presbyterian Church; died Jan. 1, 1851, was buried in the Marietta Cemetery. He was followed in death by his wife, Jan. 26, 1868. James and Mary Cochran Mahaffey were the parents of twelve children:
Samuel Mahaffey, eldest child of James and Mary Cochran Mahaffey was born in 1808, married Mary Cassel; he died in 1894. To them were born five children:
Andrew Mahaffey, second son of James and Mary Cochran Mahaffey, was born in 1811, married Elizabeth McPherson. He was superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad under Governor Ritner, and built the “Powhatan,” a government vessel at Norfolk. There were two children born to this marriage:
1Elizabeth Mahaffey,4 m. Gen. A. P. Howe, and they had six children:
Dr. William K. Mahaffey, ninth child of James and Mary Cochran Mahaffey, was born in 1825. He was reading clerk at the House of Representatives during the Civil War. He married Emilie [sic] Whittenmore, and they had two children:
George W. Mahaffey, youngest child of James and Mary Cochran Mahaffey, was born in 1831. He was County Commissioner from 1872 to 1875, and County Auditor in 1875.
Married Charlotte Russel Rinehart, who was born in 1837; died in 1906, he dying in 1911. To them were born four children:
Though brief your sketch, much it contains,
Great honor is your claim —
Since you can boast fair Lancaster,
Of the “Mahaffey” name
First settling in your fertile land,
And still hold forth the name;
You sent it broadcast o’er the land,
With Honor, Trust and Fame.
662. CHARLES MAHAFFEY, progenitor of the Cumberland county Mahaffeys, emigrated from the northern part of Ireland to this country previous to June, 1753.
In making research we find mention in the History of Cumberland county that Charles and Guain Mahaffey were included in the earliest settlers in that section of the country, all being mentioned of Scotch-Irish descent and of Presbyterian faith.
We also find recorded in the land title department of the State, that a warrant was granted to Charles Mahaffey, Jan. 29, 1753, for 185 acres of land, situated on the south side of the Yellow Breeches Creek, South Middleton township, Cumberland Co., Pa. According to the custom of the day it was named “Well Done.”
In the year 1762 we also find a warrant granted to Thomas Mahaffey for 185 acres of land adjoining that of the Charles Mahaffey tract, this same land passing into the possession of James and Thomas Mahaffey, sons of Charles, in the year 1835; all trace of said Thomas being lost.
We also notice on the original warrant of Charles, that the adjoining land was owned by one John, and Guain Mahaffey. Guain was the brother of Charles, who never married; as for the John all trace of him is also lost; the writer has concluded, being so closely associated, that they were all brothers, or cousins, later scattered to some distant county, or state, and possibly some of the Clan included in this work descend from one of the mentioned Mahaffeys.
We have no record of the birth, marriage, or death of the said Charles, yet we know he married a Miss Allison, who was also included in the earlier settlers of that section, also of the same descent and faith. A maiden sister of the wife of Charles Mahaffey is recalled by one of his grandsons as “Aunt Sallie Allison.” Yet the given name of his grandmother is not recalled. We would suppose that Charles Mahaffey was at least 21 years of age when he took title to his land; if so, he would have been born about 1732, his wife was born about 1746; died about 1854, dying at the advanced age of 108 years, having been blind for more than 25 years.
A grandson said, “I recall grandmother sitting in an armchair, even though her eyes were sightless, her fingers ever busy with her knitting needle.” Also said, “When we would visit her she would call us to her side, ask which one it was, ‘Billy or Stuart.’” She died with her son Thomas, with whom she had lived for many years.
It also has been handed down to the present generation that the Cumberland county Mahaffeys come from an old wealthy stock in Ireland. Preparations were once made for a member of the family to cross to the Emerald Isle and lay claim to the awaiting fortune, but for some reason was not carried out.
In conclusion the writer wishes to call the attention of the reader to the coincidence between the Lycoming and Clearfield county and Cumberland county branches in the way of birth dates, 1732 and 1734, similarity of original spelling, “Mehaffy,” and locating in adjoining townships, namely East Pennsborough and South Middleton, at an early period the same, and last, of Thomas and Charles Mahaffey, of 1762 and 1753 owning adjoining land; her impression is, “They were either brothers, or a very close relationship.”
The children born to the parents of this sketch, Charles and _____ Allison Mahaffey, were:
Rebecca Mahaffey, only daughter of Charles and ______ Allison Mahaffey, married James McClune, who some time in the 40's moved his family to West Virginia, not far distant from Martinsburg [Berkeley Co.], where he engaged in farming. A short time after the Civil War he died, leaving a wife and an only child:
Some years ago her older sister visited in the home of Sarah McClune Shilling. Upon her return home she brought as a gift, from the Virginia cousins, a small silk shawl, to be given to the author of this sketch, she being singled out because she bore the name of her great-grandmother, Mary; word was also sent that the shawl should remain in the Mahaffey family, as it had been brought to this country by the Mahaffeys from Ireland. The shawl is of odd design (green in it of course) and very highly prized by its owner. We therefore presume hereafter to write Charles and Mary Allison Mahaffey.
Sarah Allison Shilling is described as being a very large woman, of a very kind disposition, and a true Irish face.
Andrew Mahaffey, son of Charles and Mary Allison Mahaffey, left the Cumberland Valley some time in the early period of the last century [early 1800s]; his whereabouts has been entirely lost. It is known however that he had once located in the state of Ohio, as letters had been found which had been written by members of his family to their cousin Mary Ann Zeigler, daughter of Andrew's brother James A.
These letters had been destroyed by the nephew of Mary Ann Zeigler’s husband, when he settled up the estate of his late uncle, not knowing they would be of any value. We trust, however, that some of the Ohio Mahaffeys will some day prove their ancestry to originate from this said Andrew. Or possibly some of the Illinois or Indiana family of the same name, as he might have moved farther west at a later period. These letters had been written previous to 1865, at which time occurred the death of Mary Ann Zeigler.
Thomas Mahaffey, son of Charles and Mary Allison Mahaffey, who remained a bachelor, spent his entire life in the vicinity of his birth. Is described as being a very large man, very tall, with kindly eyes and a jovial, talkative disposition.
He owned a farm adjoining his brother James, where he and his mother lived, she dying a short time before he. He is buried at Carlisle, [Cumberland Co.], Pa., as is also his mother.
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