Updates made to
Family Photo Gallery, Maps & Canada Land Records Jan. 15, 2004
This page has been created in hopes of
finding others who are researching Isaac Bennett of Brothersvalley,
Quemahoning & Shade townships, Bedford/Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
We are still working on getting all the records and
documents in order. Please be patient and be sure to stop by
often to see what we have added...
We look forward to hearing from other researchers who
might have information that would help us in our quest for Isaac
Bennett and his family. Please put "Bennett Family"
in the subject line when you contact us, we don't want to overlook any
It's necessary in genealogical research to have some
knowledge of the regions one's ancestors lived in. Here we will
give a brief history of the formation of the counties & town where
Isaac Bennett, our ancestor made his home.
Township incorporated in 1771, was originally in Bedford County. Somerset County,
was later formed out of Bedford county in 1795. In 1758, when
General Forbes sent out some of his scouts to survey a route between
Fort Bedford and Fort Duquesne, they came upon and area being called "Bruedersthal"
or Brothers Valley. This was named after inhabitants who
belonged to the German Baptist faith, who addressed each other as "brueder"
the German word for brother. The township when formed was larger
than any of the counties of Pennsylvania today. It stretched
from the Allegheny Mountains on the east, Laurel Mountains on the
west, Mason Dixon line to the south and divided between the
Susquehanna & Allegheny rivers to the north. It is a beautiful
bowl in a valley, nestled between the mountains. In a recent
visit to "Turkey Hill", the ancestral farm of Peter Cober Sr., we were
able to understand what drew these pioneer settlers to this beautiful
"Valley of the Brothers". (see photos page)
The first documented evidence we have found for
Isaac is the 1793 & 1795 Tax Assessments for Brothersvalley, Somerset
County, PA. He is listed as paying taxes "for Shoemaker". In checking
the 1795 Tax Assessment for Brothersvalley we find Jonathan &
Benjamin Shoemaker listed as "Non Residents" It
is not known if Isaac was leasing land from one of these men or if
perhaps he was paying the taxes for one of them. We believe that the first scenario
is more likely. This leads to the question of what sort of
relationship Isaac shared with the Shoemaker's.
Using the Tax Assessments as a guide, it appears
that Isaac purchased land about 1796 in Brothersvalley. On a 600-acre
tract he began clearing the land and farming. One year later he sells
off 300 acres of this tract, current research is being done to locate
a record of this sale.
Isaac also owned land in *Quemahoning Township,
Somerset County, PA (*see Deed of sale to Christian Leman).
He bought a 200-acre tract of land from GEORGE
EDMONDS prior to 1804. This land adjoins the property of THOMAS
VICKROY and JAMES WALKER (WACHER). It is now known if Isaac lived on
this piece of land, more than likely he actually lived in
Brothersvalley since all the Tax Assessments show him farming in that
township. However he did have some sort dealings in Quemahoning,
possibly a business interest?
One Tax Assessment lists a "Bennet at the Old
Store", more research is needed to reveal what the "Old Store" was and
who "Bennet" is.
Continuing with the Quemahoning township research,
we find a *JACOB BENNET who was granted a land warrant dated April
1794. The tract was called "Broken Squares". this land of Jacob's
adjoins JAMES WALKER, who is mentioned in the Bennet/Leman land sale.
(*see maps page) Is Jacob Bennet relation to Isaac? Considering the
fact that Jacob & Isaac are the only Bennett's recorded as
living in Somerset County at the time it is suspected that they are in
fact related. No further information on Jacob Bennett has been found
to determine exactly what that relationship is.
One more record for Isaac is found in a Tax
Assessment in which he is listed along with a "J. DUNCAN" in 1803
Quemahoning township, these two men are being taxed on 400 acres of
land. No further mention of J. Duncan has been found, nor do we know
what the connection is between these men.
No record for Isaac has been found after the year 1804.
Family legend (*Ashbridge Book) has it that he was killed in an Indian Raid, this has
yet to be proven.
It is estimated that Isaac was born somewhere around
the year 1745. Again, per family lore the story claims that his father
emigrated from England with his family to Virginia. Whether or not
this is fact in unknown. Only one reference to Virginia is found in
any of the Bennett documents, that being for Aquilla, son of Isaac,
who says he was born in Virginia.
No name has been found for Isaacís wife in any
Using the birthdates of his children as a guideline,
it is estimated that he was married circa 1775.
The names of his know children are as follows:
AQUILLA b. between 1775-1780
JESSE b. about 1777
JOHN b. about 1784
HANNAH b. 1785
The Bennett family lived in a German Community being
neighbors of many Brethren/Dunkard and Amish/Mennonite families. The two
eldest sonsí of Isaac, Aquilla & Jesse married Dunkard girls from the
No records have been found in Pennsylvania that
would indicate exactly what religion the Bennett family embraced.
Later when son Aquilla migrated to Canada he mentions in a land
petition that he is of the "Tunkers", Aquilla seems to be the only
one of Isaac children that identifies himself as a Dunkard. Jesse
however shows no religious affiliation. (Tunker is another name
adopted by the Brethren community, it seems to have been used
regularly in Canada)
*Throughout our research we have used several books
with references to the surnames Bennett & Cober, along with the
migration history of the Dunkard communities in Pennsylvania. We
only use these books as possible leads, not as factual information
unless there is cited evidence mentioned. You may see in various
areas of these pages references to such books:
"The Ashbridge Book" written in
1912 by Wellington T. Ashbridge. Chronicles the ancestry of
Jonathan Ashbridge, 2nd husband of Hannah Bennett Barton.
"Two Centuries of Brothersvalley, Church of
the Brethren 1762-1962"; H. Austin Cooper.
"The Trail of the Black Walnut"; G.
"Cober Family of Pennsylvania, Canada & Iowa"; Rev. Alvin A. Cober, D.D.
"The Berlin Area 1777-1977"; Berlin
Area Historical Society - 1977.
We would like to Thank you for visiting our homepage. We are
interested in each and every person who is researching the towns or
any of the surnames you will see on these pages. We would
appreciate it if you would take a few seconds to leave your "Calling
Card" in our Guestbook for others to see. If you would like to
contact us directly there is a link to our e-mail address on the left
in the Table of Contents.
Sign our Guestbook