John and Harriet (Craig) Shaffer

Let me begin this post by screaming, “Help me!” The information I have on John Shaffer and Harriet Craig is limited. Information has been hard to come by, but I’m hopeful that someone has the information (documented) that I need to move on with this family.

My information began with the two names John Shaffer and Harriet Craig, parents of Peter Shaffer. Harriet Craig was noted as being the daughter of John and Mary “Polly” (Unknown) Craig. That’s all the information in the family papers. No birth dates or locations. The only thing my father-in-law could add was that he “thought” Mary (Unknown) Craig was from Maryland, but the others were all from Pennsylvania.

He did tell me that Peter had a sister named Martha Jane who married Nancy M.J. Beatty’s brother William James Beatty.

Based on this limited information and the 1850, 1860, and 1870 census records, I can put together the following family group.1,2,3

John Shaffer born abt. 1815 in Pennsylvania
Harriet (Craig) Shaffer born abt. 1823 in Pennsylvania
Mary Elizabeth abt 1843
Nancy abt 1846
Eximinia abt 1851
Peter (1852-1934) previously discussed.
James Quinten abt. 1855
Martha Jane (1858-1891) previously discussed in Beatty posts.

Based on the birth of Mary Elizabeth, they appear to have married in about 1841/42. I have not yet found a marriage record for them.

In the 1850 census, the initials C.D. appear behind John’s name. This is the only census record with initials. The other two simply list him as John. Harriet never appears with a middle name or initials. These (1850, 60, 70) are the only census records that I can clearly attribute to this couple. There are several records later, which may or may not be John or Harriet.

I have been unable to locate any document concerning their deaths, or any newspaper articles concerning them. So, I will have to resort to my least favorite ways to track the existence of people – tax and land records. I’m not giving up on this family – I will find them. However, it will have to wait for my Salt Lake City trip this summer.

As for their children – I found limited records of their marriages, so I followed the clues provided by the family trees on Ancestry. None of those trees were documented, but there was some well sourced information in other places. If anyone has the appropriate documentation, please contact me.

Mary Elizabeth (5 Feb 1843 – 16 Sep 1885) I have seen several online trees list a marriage to George Koch, but they were not sourced and I was unable to locate any “hard” records with that information. Other trees listed a marriage to Henry Frailey, and I did find evidence of that relationship. Her tombstone is in Elderton Cemetery, next to Henry Frailey (Jan 1841 – 30 Apr 1916) and Henry’s second wife, Rebecca (Unknown). I have not yet found a marriage record or obituary for Mary Elizabeth.

Mary E. Shaffer Frailey


Henry and Rebecca Frailey

Nancy (Jul 1846 – after 1920) Several trees showed a husband of James Stark. I found a Nancy married to James P. Stark (abt 1844 – before 1900) in about 1873. I was able to follow her through the census records in 1920 in Kittanning, Armstrong, Pennsylvania. They had four children: Laura J., Robert Bruce, William Edwin, and Harvey. I found no obituaries for any of the Starks on NewspaperArchive or GenealogyBank.

Eximnia “Minnie” (abt 1849 – 9 Oct 1897)4 She married John Lefevre (1847 – aft 1920) on 3 Jan 1870.5 They had four children: Ella A., James W., Alice G., and Charles M. The History of Butler County Pennsylvania, 1895 has a small biographical sketch of John Lefevre and provides Eximnia’s parentage. She is buried in North Side Cemetery. I have requested a photograph of her stone.

Peter (12 Jan 1852 – 1934) Covered in his own post.

James Quinten (abt 1855 – aft 1880) James married Sophranna A. Blystone (abt 1857 – ) on 4 September 18746 and they had at least one child: Ida. I have found no records after the 1880 census for James Quinten, nor have I found a death record or obituary for him.

Martha Jane (abt 1858 – 27 Jan 1891) Married William James Beatty. She is covered in the posts about the Beatty family.

Since I have no idea of when most of this family died (or where), I don’t have any further information. Please contact me with any information regarding this family.



1. 1850 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., p. 342A, dwelling 120, family 120, John Sheaffer; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 20 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 749.
2. 1860 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., p. 728, dwelling 991, family 879, John Sheaffer; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 20 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm roll 1069.
3. 1870 U.S. census, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Saltsburg, Armstrong Twp., p. 13B, dwelling 184, family 192, John Shafer; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 20 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm roll 1350.
4. Butler, Pennsylvania, “Death Records of Butler County, Pennsylvania 1893-1905,” Eximnia Lefevre.
5. History of Butler County Pennsylvania, 1895 (N.p.: Brown & Company, n.d.), 799
6. Married, “Shaffer-Blystone,” The Indiana Weekly Messenger, 30 Sep 1874, p. 3, col. 6; digital images, NewspaperArchive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 19 Dec 2011).

Peter Shaffer Family Tombstone

All of Peter and Nancy’s children are buried in Elderton Cemetery.

Peter and Nancy Shaffer’s tombstone.

Peter and Nancy Shaffer

Oldest daughter Minnie Elizabeth Beatty was married to John Frailey in about 1894.

Minnie and John Frailey

Oldest son Charles Wilmer was married to Lillian May Kelley.

Charles Wilmer Shaffer


Lillian Mae Kelley Shaffer

Son Leason J was married to Mary A. Hilliard.

Lee and Mary Shaffer

Son Harry Oliver was married to Martha Pearl Williams.

Harry and Pearl Shaffer

Son George Addison was married to Zelma Smith.

George and Zelma Shaffer

Youngest son, Christopher Nesbitt was married to Zula Agnes Smeltzer.

Christopher N. Shaffer


Zula Smeltzer Shaffer



Photos not taken by me courtesy of Ralph Satterfield and other contributors.

Peter Shaffer (1852-1935)

I think we need a little recap of where we are in the tree, it’s easy to get lost in the jumble of names. We are going to go up the Shaffer line next. While Peter Shaffer is not the biological father of Anna Mary Beatty, he was the husband of Nancy M.J. Beatty and Anna’s children considered him to be their grandfather. I have noted that he is her stepfather, but he appears on our family tree in the paternal slot. So here once again is the tree of Robert Clare Scott and we are looking at his mother’s paternal line.

Peter was born 12 Jan 1852, in Plumcreek Township, Armstrong, Pennsylvania, the son of John and Harriet (Craig) Shaffer. Right off the bat, we have the first “diffugilty.” His Pennsylvania death certificate and his obituary both state he was born in 1849.1,2 His tombstone actually has the correct date of 1852.

Why do we know the stone is right and the documents are wrong? He does not appear on the 1850 census with his parents, but he does appear on the 1860 census at the age of seven.3,4 He remains consistent in his age on the census records from 1870 – 1920, usually declaring himself to be born in 1852 (ages: 19, 28, 48, 58, 69).5,6,7,8,9 The only time this varies is on the 1930 census when his age is listed as 81.10 He is living with his son and his family so it is possible that Peter was not the informant. The informant on his death certificate was Mrs. John Frailey. That’s right, Peter and Nancy M.J.’s daughter Minnie. The same one who was living with her grandmother Rebecca Beatty on the 1900 census when all of Rebecca’s information changed. I have gone with the 1852 date that is consistent with the records that either he or his parents would have provided.

The second “diffugilty” comes with the middle name. As I mentioned in my post about Nancy, the middle names are an issue. Peter never appears on any documents (created while he is alive) with a middle initial or name. The only times the initial K appears is on his death certificate and then again in his obituary. That information was provided by daughter Minnie. The next odd middle name, Levi, appears in the obituary of his son Christopher and is probably provided by his daughter-in-law Zula.11 At the time Christopher died, Zula would have been well up in her 70s and Peter had been dead over forty years. I have not yet found the name of Levi used by any other Shaffer or Craig family members of Peter’s generation or previous.

His tombstone reads simply Peter Shaffer, which I believe to be the most correct. Based on the records created while he was alive, I have chosen not to use the middle initial or middle name. I will continue to explore records to see if he ever uses an initial on either tax, land, or voting records.

I have provided links to the images of all the census records on which Peter appears:
1860
1870
1880
1900
1910
1920
1930

He married Nancy M.J. Beatty in about 1874. I have not yet found a marriage record for the couple. This date is based on the 1900 census and the birth of their first child together. Peter remained in Plumcreek Township his entire life and did not remarry after Nancy died in 1909.

I found this article in the Simpson Leader Times newspaper dated 31 October 1931:12

Elderton Farmer Injured
An 80 year old Elderton farmer lay in his home today with a serious head injury, suffered when the wagon on which he and a 30 year old son were riding, was wrecked in a heavy fog Thursday morning.
The farmer, Peter Shaffer, living about a mile from Elderton, was unable to recognize members of his family late yesterday. He is in a semi-conscious condition.
The son, Christopher Shaffer, was less seriously injured.
The two were enroute to another farm when a car driven by Joseph Coulter, of Girty, enroute to Kittanning, collided with the wagon in the heavy fog.
The force of the collision hurled the two men on the wagon onto the concrete.
They were taken to their homes and Dr. E. E. Keeler of Elderton was summoned. He has been administering treatment since.

Peter died 4 January 1934 in Plumcreek Township of apoplexy. His death certificate lists the secondary cause as epilepsy, listing the duration of that condition as three years, possibly linking it to the accident above. He is buried with his wife Nancy in the Elderton Cemetery.

Peter Shaffer and Nancy M.J. Beatty had the following children together:

Minnie Elizabeth (28 Jun 1875 – 26 Jun 1944) m. John R. Frailey (abt. 1873 – 1953). Remained in the Elderton area all their lives, buried in Elderton Cemetery.
Charles Wilmer (18 Jun 1877 – 26 Aug 1939) m. Lillian May Kelley (1881 – 1922). Remained in the Elderton area all their lives, buried in Elderton Cemetery.
Leason J. Shaffer (Jan 1880 – 19XX) m. Mary A. Hilliard (15 Oct 1882 – 18 Jul 1942). Removed to Niles, Trumbull, Ohio, buried in Elderton Cemetery. His tombstone does not have the last two digits engraved.
Harry Oliver (11 Jun 1882 – 17 Mar 1960) m. Martha Pearl Williams (30 Mar 1886 – 17 May 1968). Remained in the Elderton area all their lives, buried in Elderton Cemetery.
George Addison (30 Sep 1887 – 26 Jan 1967) m. Zelma Smith (25 Sep 1895 – 26 Jan 1978) Remained in Elderton most of their lives, removed to Corning, Stueben, New York much later. Buried in Elderton Cemetery.
Christopher Nesbitt (1 Nov 1889 – 10 Jul 1976) m. Zula Agnes Smeltzer (15 Aug 1894 – 21 Nov 1986). Remained in the Elderton area all their lives, buried in Elderton Cemetery.

I have not included family group sheets for these people because many of their children are still living.

Does anyone have a picture of Peter Shaffer? If so I would very much like a scan of the image for Peter or his wife Nancy.

My next post will be the tombstones of these family members and then we will move back a generation and attempt to deal with Peter’s parents, John and Harriet (Craig) Shaffer.



1. Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 2875 (1934), Peter K. Shaffer; Division of Vital Records, New Castle.
2. Obituary, “Peter K. Shaffer,” The Indiana Evening Gazette, 5 Jan 1934; digital images.
3. 1850 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., p. 342A, dwelling 120, family 120, John Sheaffer; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 20 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 749.
4. 1860 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., p. 728, dwelling 991, family 879, John Sheaffer; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 20 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll M653 1069.
5. 1870 U.S. census, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Armstrong Twp., p. 13, dwelling 184, family 192, John Shaffer; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 1350.
6. 1880 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., enumeration district (ED) 5, p. 124, dwelling 283, family 301, Peter Shaeffer; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 6 Mar 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 1096.
7. 1900 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., enumeration district (ED) 11, p. 6B, dwelling 137; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.Ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1373.
8. 1910 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., enumeration district (ED) 37, p. 5, dwelling 79; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 1310.
9. 1920 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., enumeration district (ED) 15, p. 4A, dwelling 68; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 1508.
10. 1930 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., enumeration district (ED) 42, p. 13A, dwelling 298; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 1994.
11. Death Record, “Christopher N. Shaffer,” The Simpson Leader Times, 10 Jul 1976, p. 7, col. 8; digital images, NewspaperArchive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 19 Dec 2011), Historic Newspapers.
12. News Article, “Elderton Farmer Injured,” The Simpson Leader Times, 30 Oct 1931, p. 1; digital images.

Last Thoughts on the Beatty Line.

Before I move on from the Beatty family, I would like to clear up a couple of things.

First – I’ve been asked about how sure I am in my “conclusions” with this family. There are several places where we do not have a “smoking gun” document. I’ve tried to cover those items in the posts, but I’ll do a quick wrap-up here to tie this family together. Obviously, I can trace Nancy M.J. Beatty Shaffer to her mother and father through the named census records. I also have her death certificate and baptism record, both of which name her parents as James and Rebecca Beatty. As for James’s death, we have the newspaper report which matches our family story. Would I like to have a newspaper mention of his family or some government document – yes! And, I will keep looking, but I’m sure this is our guy. Sadly, I have little hope of ever getting farther back without lucking into a family bible, letter, or some other document from the era. As for the relationship of Rebecca to Andrew and Sarah “Sally” Beatty – we have Sarah in the home with Rebecca after the death of Andrew. We have Nancy Beatty’s will, which names her sister and her brother, as well as her obituary, stating she died in her sister Letitia’s home. Andrew resided beside Rebecca and her husband, and previous to that, beside his son Robert. This IS a family group.

Second – County Tyrone in Ireland. While everyone wants to jump on this – me included – I have no definitive proof that this is where they came from. I would have felt better if that had of appeared by name in the bible or the articles that we’ve found. Are all indications that this is where they are from? Yes. We have the Northern Ireland in the bible which narrows it down. We also have numerous notes, obituaries, and articles about other Beatty’s and people with shared names coming from County Tyrone. (Example: Robert names a son Samuel Bothel Beatty in 1841: There is a James Bothell in the Indiana County death records, farmer, b. Tyrone Co. Ireland, s/o David & Elizabeth Campbell Bothell, h/o Catharine, he was a casualty, buried Old Cemetery in Indiana, b. 18 Dec 1786, 2 May 1854, 68 y.) Bothell is just unusual enough to make me wonder if this was a relation – perhaps even an uncle or cousin. As I research, I will be looking for those connections. But until I have them – I will only be stating Ireland as a place of birth.

Third – when I move on from a family on this site, I’m not declaring them “done.” The Beatty family is anything but done. What I am doing is saying that this is where I am as of the date this post goes up. The research continues. I’m still working with other researchers and chasing documents that may shed light on this family line. And even though other people have already done some of the research – I still need to see the source for myself. Too often, we find things that others have missed. In this particular line, I have found transcripts of stones, documents, and wills, that are erroneous or have omissions. In the past, I have found clues that others simply ignored, not because I’m one bit smarter than anyone else, but we all look at things differently. It is always best to look at the original document for yourself if possible. That’s why I am trying to include them or at least source them, so others can go look at them for themselves.

Fourth – I will continue to update my BurgraffScott tree on Ancestry with my finds. As I work here on this blog to research each family and create a decent file in Legacy, I will make sure it is reflected on that tree. That includes the appropriate sourcing and differentiating between facts and my suppositions. Honestly, I don’t understand the purpose of an un-sourced tree. Don’t get me wrong – I am grateful they are there, but they are simply leads to be followed – NOT FACTS to be copied. I don’t want to piss anyone off here, but some of this stuff is just copied and copied and copied – and it was wrong to begin with. If you have something – tell us where it came from!

Lastly – Do not take what I provide as gospel. I am just as likely to make a mistake or come to a bad conclusion as the next person. Go look it up for yourself – read the will, find the newspaper article, and go look at the records. I could just as easily have blown it. All I’m trying to do is provide you with the information that I found and the basis for my conclusions.

James and Rebecca Beatty’s Family Tombstones

There are not a lot of stones happening in this small group. Neither James nor Rebecca have a tombstone.

Oldest daughter Elizabeth Angeline Beatty (1850 – 1918) is buried with her husband James Young (1854 – 1914) in Elderton Cemetery. While her tombstone says 1851, she was born in 1850 as documented by the 1850 census.

Elizabeth Beatty & James Young

Daughter Jane Isabella Beatty is buried in an unknown location.

Daughter Nancy M.J. Beatty Shaffer (9 Aug 1853 – 2 Feb 1909) shares a stone with husband Peter Shaffer in Elderton Cemetery.

Nancy M.J. Beatty Shaffer

Daughter Caroline “Callie” Beatty Beer (abt 1859 – 1891) is with her husband Elias Clark Beer (29 Jan 1860 – 9 Oct 1932) in Elderton Cemetery. Callie and Clark had four children: Harry Edwin and John are both in Elderton Cemetery, Laura Mae Beer Metz is in Greenwood Cemetery, Indiana County, and Lydia E.Beer Chambers, location unknown.

Caroline Beatty Beer


Elias Clark Beer

William James Beatty (25 Aug 1861 – 4 Aug 1920) is buried in Elderton Cemetery, but he has no tombstone. Both of his wives are buried in Elderton Cemetery as are several of his children. Rather than a separate post, I will include their tombstones here.

First wife Martha Jane Shaffer Beatty (abt 1858 – 27 Jan 1891).

Martha Jane Shaffer Beatty

Their oldest daughter, Ella Minnie Beatty (2 Mar 1881 – 3 Mar 1905) is also in Elderton, but has no stone.

Oldest son Charles Nesbit Beatty (1 Sep 1882 – 3 Jul 1953) married three times. He is buried in Elderton Cemetery. There is a good photo of his stone on Find A Grave. My picture quality was not good enough to be used here.

He married his first wife Anna Belle Fiscus Beatty (1880 – 12 Nov 1925) on 18 May 1909. They had one child: Homer Charles. She is in Elderton Cemetery.

He married second wife Nannie Belle Miller Beatty (abt 1883 – 10 Jan 1932) on 9 Jan 1926 in Indiana, Indiana County. They had no children. She is buried in Elderton and I have requested a photo.

He married third wife Ethel Pauline Bleakney (5 Aug 1898 – 9 Aug 1970) on 9 Jul 1934. They had no children. Ethel is also in Elderton Cemetery.

Daughter Jennie Mae Beatty was also married multiple times. First about 1906 to Robert McClellan (information not known). They had one child: Robert Paul McClellan. Second to John Milo George (8 Aug 1868 – 23 Aug 1923) on 21 Jun 1919. And third, to George Robert McKee (24 Mar 1887 – 26 Dec 1958) on 1 Mar 1924. Jennie and George are both buried in Oak View Memorial Park, Antioch, Contra Costa, California.

Anna Belle Fiscus Beatty

Son John Addison Beatty (2 Apr 1889 – 28 Aug 1983) married twice. He is buried in Gastown Cemetery.

John Addison Beatty

John Addison married his first wife Lottie Susanne Bierer (1 Feb 1891 – 17 Mar 1917) on 23 Sep 1913. They had one child: Mary O. Lottie died of Typhoid Fever and is buried in Gastown Cemetery.

Lottie Susanne Bierer Beatty

He married second wife Martha Eleanor Boyer (20 Dec 1893 – 7 Apr 1983) on 25 Mar 1919. They had five children: Marie Velma, Robert Addison, William V., Raymond Neal, and Virginia. Martha shares a tombstone with her husband.

The next post will be some final thoughts about the Beatty line.



Photos not taken by me courtesy of Ralph Satterfield and other contributors.

Robert Beatty (1803 – 1890) Family Tombstones

Photos of the tombstones for Robert and 2nd Wife Sarah were in the previous post.

As stated in an earlier post, Robert’s family is well documented by his family bible (the transcript is available online), but it’s also well covered in the piece about the Beatty Cemetery, which appears in the Beatty 2000 Project Notebook. I have provided a link so you can read the full article.

We’ll take Robert’s children in order of their birth.
Robert and Nancy Wilson Beatty’s children – all of which were born in Armstrong Twp., Indiana County, Pennsylvania:

Oldest son Andrew Beatty (20 Nov 1825 – 27 Jun 1894). Andrew moved west with his father and is buried in the Beatty Cemetery, Sibley, Minnesota. He never married and had no children.

Andrew Beatty d.1894

Second son Hamilton Beatty (28 Oct 1827 – 29 May 1906). He moved to Minnesota with his family, but returned to Pennsylvania to marry Sarah “Sallie” Speedy 8 Apr 1869. They returned to Sibley for a good number of years and he was even Treasurer of Sibley County. He migrated to Oregon and died in Salem, Marion County in 1905. He is buried in the Salem Pioneer Cemetery. He and Sallie had two children: Harry and Mattie F.

Hamilton Beatty

Hamilton’s wife Sarah “Sallie” Speedy Beatty (18 Jul 1843 – 4 Mar 1909) is buried next to him in Salem.

Sarah Speedy Beatty

Robert and Nancy’s third son Robert Beatty, Jr. (2 Oct 1829 – 6 Sep 1858) moved to Minnesota with his family. He never married and had no children. He is buried in the Beatty Cemetery in Sibley County.

Robert Beatty, Jr.

Daughter Letitia Kimmel Beatty (5 Nov 1831 – 31 May 1833) died in Indiana County, as did her younger sister, also named Letitia (28 Sep 1833 – 20 Aug 1844). Both were named for Robert’s sister. Their burial location is not known.

Son Joseph Wilson Beatty (4 Oct 1836 – 2 Apr 1863) did not marry and had no children. He is buried in the Beatty Cemetery.

Joseph Wilson Beatty

Son William Anthony Beatty (13 Jul 1839 – 29 May 1859) did not marry and had no children. He is buried in the Beatty Cemetery.

William Anthony Beatty

Son Samuel Bothel Beatty (15 Nov 1841 – 27 Sep 1921) He served in the Minnesota 10th Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. After the war he married Katherine R. Storey (Oct 1842 – 5 Jun 1920) in 1867. I am not sure whether they married in Sibley or if like his brother he returned to Pennsylvania to marry. He and Katherine had four children: Lulu N., Gertrude D., Cora M., and Horace Durward. Samuel is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, McLeod, Minnesota. I have requested a photo of the stones for he and Katherine, but do not yet have them.

Son John James Beatty (22 Apr 1844 – 14 Apr 1845) named for Robert’s youngest brother, born and died in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. Burial location unknown.

Nancy Jane Beatty (3 Oct 1848 – 4 Feb 1862) was the youngest child of Robert and Nancy Wilson Beatty. She died at the age of 13 and is buried in the Beatty Cemetery in Sibley, Minnesota.

Nancy J. Beatty d.1862

Robert Beatty and 2nd wife Sarah Robinson were married 2 Dec 1851 in Indiana County, Pennsylvania and had two children – both born in Washington Twp., Indiana County.

Son James Robinson Beatty (10 Sep – 1852 – 31 Jan 1945). James married Emily Augusta Maas, 20 Feb 1880 in Sibley County, Minnesota. He and Emily had nine children: Sarah Mable, Clark Andrew, Robert William, Nellie Maud, Martha Florence, Grover Cleveland, Gertrude Maria, Grace Irene, and Allen Lloyd. Clark Andrew and Grace Irene are buried in the Beatty Cemetery with their grandparents. James is buried in St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Gaylord, Sibley County.

James Robinson Beatty

James Robinson’s wife, Emily Augusts Maas (16 Oct 1857 – 9 Aug 1940) was born in Germany and arrived in about 1865. She is buried in St Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Gaylord with James.

Emily Maas Beatty

George Washington Beatty (5 May 1855 – 22 Jan 1890) is the last of Robert’s children. The family bible states he died in Rich Hill, Livington, Missouri. There is no record of a marriage in the bible, and I have not yet located any records concerning his death or the location of his burial.

If anyone has knowledge of George Washington Beatty’s burial location, please let me know.

The next post will be tombstone photos for James and Rebecca’s children family.



Photos courtesy of the Sibley County Historical Society and other contributors on Find A Grave.

Tombstones for Andrew Beatty and Family

I debated on the best way to do this, and I think the easiest thing to do is simply do Andrew and his children – then do a post with Rebecca and her children. I will cover Nancy J. and the Shaffer children after I discuss Peter. We’ll see how that works out.

Andrew Beatty (abt 1774 – 12 Oct 1869) Plumcreek Presbyterian Church Cemetery. This stone was put up in 1893 along with his wife’s and daughter Margaret’s, after the death of daughter Nancy, who paid for them. All four stones are in the same style.

Andrew Beatty

Andrew’s wife Sarah “Sally” Unknown (abt 1779 – 15 Mar 1874) Elderton Cemetery.

Sally Beatty

Robert Beatty (25 Apr 1803 – 10 mar 1890). Oldest son of Andrew and Sarah. Robert and his family are buried in the Beatty Cemetery, Sibley County, Minnesota. I have a separate post about Robert and his family coming up.

Robert Beatty

Robert’s 2nd wife, Sarah Robinson (11 Mar 1812 – 4 Feb 1875). Sarah is with Robert in the Beatty Cemetery. The burial location of his first wife Nancy Wilson is not known.

Sarah Robinson Beatty

Letitia Beatty Kimmel (27 Feb 1806 – 4 Jul 1895). Oldest daughter of Andrew and Sarah. She is buried in the Elderton United Methodist Cemetery with husband Andrew Kimmel. They had no children.

Letitia Beatty Kimmel

Letitia’s husband, Andrew Kimmel (11 May 1803 – 24 Aug 1879). He and Letitia are in the Kimmel plot, surrounded by a small wooden fence.

Andrew Kimmel

Andrew and Sarah’s daughter Margaret (abt 1810 – 24 Feb 1878). Margaret is buried with her father Andrew in Plumcreek Presbyterian Cemetery.

Margaret Beatty

Andrew and Sarah’s daughter Nancy J. (abt 1816 – 6 May 1893). Nancy paid for the tombstones with money provided in her will. She is buried with her mother Sarah in Elderton Cemetery.

Nancy Beatty

Andrew and Sarah’s son William (abt 1818 – 1 Jul 1865). William is with his father in Plumcreek Presbyterian Cemetery. There isn’t much left of his stone. His wife Sarah Lewis (abt 1831 – 19 Apr 1904) is in Greenwood Cemetery, Indiana County. Her tombstone may be seen on Find A Grave.

William Beatty

Youngest daughter Rebecca has no stone; her family was covered in a separate post.

Andrew and Sarah’s youngest son John James Beatty (Sep 1926 – 2 Apr 1906)and wife Letitia H. (Smith) (16 Jan 1831 – 6 Jan 1896) are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Clay Center City, Clay, Kansas.

John James Beatty

Letitia H. (Smith) Beatty


I’ll cover Robert’s family in the next post.



Photos not taken by me courtesy of Ralph Satterfield and other contributors.

Andrew Beatty and Sarah “Sally” Unknown

Moving back a generation from Rebecca Beatty to her parents Andrew and Sarah “Sally” (Unknown) Beatty.

Andrew Beatty was born about 1774 in Ireland. Some have widely reported his birth location as County Tyrone, but I have seen no smoking gun documentation of that location. The family bible of his son Robert Beatty documents his own birthplace as Northern Ireland, and Tyrone is one of the six counties that make up Northern Ireland.1

His arrival remains open for discussion. I have found no Naturalization record for Andrew; however, I did find the following information in the Beatty 2000 project:2

History Of Pioneer Family Chronicled At Rural Gravesite Article published in “THE LAND” Friday, Dec. 5, 1986, Gaylord, Minn., This article is about Andrew’s oldest son Robert Beatty.

“Robert Beatty, Sr. and his wife Sarah came to Minnesota in the spring of 1857 from Illinois. Beatty and four of his sons, Andrew, Hamilton, Robert, Jr., and Joseph W. each made claims of 160 acres, each in Dryden Township. Beatty, the son of Irish immigrants first settled with his parents in Quebec and later in Pennsylvania. There he married Nancy Wilson in 1824, the couple had 12 children. After the death of his first wife, Beatty married Sarah and the family resided in Illinois briefly before coming to Minnesota.”

Andrew’s daughter Rebecca consistently reported her place of birth as Ireland, but son John James Beatty, born about 1827, consistently listed his place of birth as Pennsylvania.

Andrew appears on the 1830 and 1840 censuses in Armstrong Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.3,4 In both cases, he is residing next to his son Robert. There are multiple other Beatty families on these pages; however, while it is believed they are related, the exact relationship is not yet known.

The 1850 and 1860 census finds Andrew and family relocated to Washington Township, Indiana County.5,6 In 1850, Andrew is living beside his married son William and married daughter Rebecca. In 1860, Andrew is living beside his married son John J. and near married son William.

The next time I locate Andrew is on the 1870 Mortality Schedule.7 The schedule was conducted in June of 1870 and details the people who died within the twelve months prior to that date. This census states that Andrew died in October at age 95 of paralysis. This clearly dates his death as October 1869. He is buried in Plumcreek Presbyterian Church Cemetery with his son William and daughter Margaret. His tombstone states his date of death as 12 Oct 1871; however, this stone was not place until 1893 when his daughter Nancy J. Beatty provided for the stone in her will.8

The Andrew Beatty Family:
Andrew (abt 1774 – 12 Oct 1869)
Sarah (Sally) Unknown (abt 1779 – 15 Mar 1874) Sally is buried beside daughter Nancy J. Beatty with a stone that matches Nancy’s and Andrew’s.

Andrew and Sarah’s children:
Robert (25 Apr 1803 – 10 Mar 1890) Robert first married Nancy Wilson (15 Jul 1803 – 22 Apr 1850) with whom he had 10 children. He next married Sarah Robinson (11 Mar 1812 – 4 Feb 1875) on 2 Dec 1851 in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, with whom he had two children. Robert migrated with his family to Dryden, Sibley, Minnesota. His family bible is available on GenWeb.9
Letitia (27 Feb 1806 – 4 Jul 1895) m. Andrew Kimmel (11 May 1803 – 24 Aug 1879) Letitia and Andrew had no children. She and Andrew are buried in the Elderton United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Margaret (abt 1810 – 24 Feb 1878) Some trees note a marriage to John Moore; however, I found no evidence that Margaret married. She is found on each of the named censuses 1850, 60, and 70, under her maiden name and her tombstone is also with the name Beatty. There is also a 1 Jul 1850 christening record at the Plumcreek Presbyterian Church for a child named Charlotte, daughter of Margarette [sic] Beatty.10 No other record for the child is found. The only Beattys recorded in this church are the Beattys of this family group.
Nancy J. (abt 1816 – 6 May 1893) never married. Her will names her sister Rebecca and her brother Robert along with several of her nieces and nephews. A scan of the original and a transcript is provided.
William Beatty (abt 1818 – 1 Jul 1865) m. Sarah Lewis (abt 1831 – 19 Apr 1904) no children.
Rebecca – addressed in previous posts
John James (Sep 1826 – 2 Apr 1906) m. Letitia H. Smith (16 Jan 1831 – 6 Jan 1896) John and family removed to Clay County, Kansas, after the Civil War, where he remained for the rest of his life. John and Letitia are buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Clay Center, Clay, Kansas.

I have provided family group sheets for Robert and John James. Brothers William and John James both served in the Civil War.

A note about the Beatty line. There is an excellent source of information on Rootsweb (and now on Ancestry) called the Beatty 2000 project. This follows the lines of multiple Beatty families and attempts to connect them by documentation and now by DNA. This particular line is Lineage #84. The other Beatty line in Indiana and Armstrong counties is Lineage #82. It is believed that Andrew is the son of the John Beatty (#82) which leads that line, but no documentation has been found. DNA research is now being conducted.

My next post will be Beatty tombstone photos and then I will move on to the Shaffer line. Peter Shaffer was the husband of Nancy M.J. Beatty.



1. Family pages only; photocopy held by, n.d; Rootsweb.ancestry (http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Feb 2010), Robert Beatty Family Bible.
2. The Land (Gaylord, Minnesota: n.p., Dec 1986), Beatty Cemetery, Sibley County, Minn. History Of Pioneer Family Chronicled At Rural Gravesite.
3. 1830 U.S. census, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Armstrong Twp., p. 197, line 4, Andrew Beatty; digital images, Ancesty (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M19, roll 152.
4. 1840 U.S. census, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Armstrong Twp., p. 104, line 1, Andrew Beatty; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 463.
5. 1850 U.S. census, Indiana, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Washington Twp., p. 220B, dwelling 140, family 140, Andrew Baty; digital images, Ancestry (http//www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 785.
6. 1860 U.S. census, Indiana, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Washington Twp., p. 353, dwelling 2038, family 2010, Andrew Beatty; digital images, Ancestry (htt://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 1117.
7. 1870 U.S. Census Mortality Schedule of Pennsylvania, Armstrong County, Plumcreek Twp., p. 1, line 5, Andrew Beatty, age 95, Oct, paralysis; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration Archive Collection M1838; Archive Roll Number 5.
8. Armstrong, Pennsylvania, 5: 144, Estate 5250, Nancy Beatty, 1 Jun 1893.
9. Family pages only; photocopy held by, n.d; Rootsweb.ancestry (http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Feb 2010), Robert Beatty Family Bible.
10. Treasures of the Past, “Plumcreek Presbyterian Church Baptism Records,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Jun 2011), Beatty, Charlotte, baptized 1 Jul 1850.

The Children of Rebecca and James Beatty

Information about the five children of Rebecca and James.

Elizabeth Angeline Beatty (1850-1918) m. James Young (1854-1914) in about 1877. I believe she may have been known as Angeline. This is based on the 1850 and 1880 census.1,2 According to the 1900 census, she and James had no children of their own, but it does list an adopted daughter Mary E. Young.3 I have not yet located any records of their marriage, death or obituaries. Their death dates come from their tombstone in Elderton Cemetery.

Jane Isabella Beatty (chr. 18 May 1851 – bef 1860). She never appears in any record except the baptismal.4 It is probable (pure speculation) that she is in an unmarked grave in Plum Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery where she and several of her siblings were baptized and other family members are buried.

Nancy M. J. Beatty (1853-1909) documented in her own post.

Caroline “Callie” Beatty (1859 – 1891) m. Elias Clark Beer (1860-1932) I had trouble finding Caroline, but finally located Clark and in his obituary found that she was constantly referred to as “Callie.”5 Her tombstone reads Cally Beer. She married Clark in about 1881, and had four children before dying in 1891 – everything happened in between census records. I have found no marriage record, obituary, or mention of Callie’s death; however, her tombstone is in Elderton Cemetery.

What has been freaky was the story of Callie’s two sons. First of her children to die was son John Beer. John was born in Jan 1885 and died 2 May 1921 in a horrifying accident. Sixty years after Caroline’s father was killed by a train – so was John. And the account was no less graphic.6

FARMER MET INSTANT DEATH WHEN STRUCK BY TRAIN
His Brother Witnesses the Tragedy While the Two Were Returning Home

John Beer, aged 30 years of Armstrong township, was instantly killed on Monday evening shortly after 5 o’clock when he was run down by the local freight on the B.R.&P. railroad between Thomas and Shelocta stations. His body was horribly mangled, the top of the head being torn off and a leg and arm cut off and the body almost severed at the trunk. His brother, Harry, who witnessed the shocking accident, was unable to rescue him. The two brothers, who jointly owned and conducted a farm near Shelocta, were in Indiana on Monday transacting business and late in the afternoon went to Creekside on the trolley car. At this point they decided to walk home and following the railroad had completed the greater part of the journey. Both were on the railroad track when the freight, running north, approached, and while the train was in plain view the unfortunate man failed to clear the tracks. The deceased was regarded as one of the most industrious and successful young farmers of that sections and was prominently know in that community, and both he and his brother, who were unmarried, occupied the same home on the farm. Besides his brother he is survived by two sisters and his father, Clark Beer, who also resides in Armstrong township. Interment will be made in Oakland cemetery at this place. [Note – His tombstone is in Elderton Cemetery.]

John Beer

As if that wasn’t enough – 10 years later, oldest son Harry Edwin Beer is killed when he was hit by a car.7

OTHER ACCIDENTS Harvey Edwin Beer, 49 years old, of Shelocta, R.D., who was fatally injured when a car operated by a hit-and-run driver crashed into him on the Benjamin Franklin highway, about a quarter of a mile west of Shelocta, about 11:30 o’clock Saturday, died from the result of his injuries in the Indiana hospital at 8:15 o’clock Sunday morning. According to State Motor Patrolman Corp. Harry Fulton, who investigated the accident, Beer, who was enroute to his home, after shopping in Shelocta, was walking west along the highway. In his arms he carried bread and other articles. He had been accompanied by two boys who left him a short distance from the scene of the accident. It has not been learned whether, Beer was blinded by the headlights of the death car and stepped in its path, or whether the operator did not observe him in time to avoid the crash. When the car crashed into him, he was hurled 12 feet off the side of the highway. The operator of the car hit-and-run and Mr. Beer, who had been rendered unconscious, lay along the side of-the highway ,for some time before he was discovered by a passing motorist from Pontiac, Michigan, whose name could not be learned this morning. When Robinson’s ambulance responded to the call Mr. Beer was removed to the Indiana hospital where an examination by staff surgeons revealed he had sustained concussion of the brain, a fractured left leg and shoulder and his left side practically caved in. He died six and a half hours later without regaining consciousness. Members of the motor patrol are searching for the hit-and-run driver today. A son of Clark and Callie (Beatty) Beer, the deceased was born in Plumcreek township, near Shelocta, September 14th, 1882. He lived his entire life in the home of his father, where he followed the occupation of a farmer. He leaves his father and two sisters: Mrs. Laura Metz, of 310 Water street, Indiana and Mrs. Wade Chambers, of Colgate, Maryland. Funeral services will be conducted in the home of the deceased’s sister Mrs. Laura Metz, 310, Water street, Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock. Interment will follow in the Elderton cemetery.

Harry Beer

Note to self – Do not walk anywhere with Beatty men or their descendents in Indiana County in a year ending in one!

William James Beatty (1861-1920) first married Martha Jane Shaffer (1858 – 1891). Martha Jane is the sister of Peter Shaffer, Nancy M.J. Beatty’s husband. She also died in 1891, which makes me wonder if it was a bad influenza year or if some other type of disease was running rampant. William James and Martha Jane had four children together. Martha is in Elderton Cemetery.

His second marriage was to Amanda Jane Ramsey Uncapher (1858-1956). He had four children with Jane. Jane is also in Elderton Cemetery.

William James is in Elderton Cemetery according to his obituary, but he has no tombstone.



Photographs courtesy of Ralph Satterfield.
1. 1850 U.S. census, Indiana, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Washington Twp, p. 220, dwelling 141, family 141, Angeline Baty; digital images, Ancestry (http//www.ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 785.
2. 1880 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., enumeration district (ED) 5, p. 126A, dwelling 309, family 331, Angeline Young; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 23 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 1096.
3. 1900 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Elderton, enumeration district (ED) 11, p. 2B, dwelling 38, family 38, Elizabeth Young; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 23 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1373.
4. Treasures of the Past, “Plumcreek Presbyterian Church Baptism Records,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Jun 2011), Beatty, Jane Isabela, baptized 18 May 1851.
5. “Elias Clark Beer Obituary,” The Indiana Evening Gazette, 10 Oct 1932, p. 1, col. 4; digital images, NewspaperArchive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 1 Jan 2012).
6. “FARMER MET INSTANT DEATH WHEN STRUCK BY TRAIN,” The Indiana Progress, 4 May 1921, p. 1, col. 1; digital images, NewspaperArchive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 1 Jan 2012).
7. “OTHER ACCIDENTS,” The Indiana Evening Gazette, 31 Aug 1931, p. 1, col. 1; digital images, NewspaperArchive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 31 Dec 2011).

Rebecca Beatty Beatty (1824 – 1902)

Rebecca has been easy to keep track of. I’m telling you folks, this family is an anomaly because the women in the direct line have made it easy to follow.

Rebecca was born in Ireland and I have listed her birth as about 1824. Her age on the census records fluctuate between 1822 and 1826. Her brothers list their immigration year as 1824. She is consistent that her place of birth was Ireland until the 1900 census, where she is listed as age 77, born in 1822. I’m not sure that she provided the information for this census. It is probable the information was provided by her granddaughter Minnie Shaffer Frailey, or Minnie’s husband John, as they resided with her at the time. This is the only census that states her place of birth as Pennsylvania. There was also no information provided about the number of children born and living – yet another reason I believe the informant was not Rebecca.

I have provided links to all the census records she appears on below.
18501
18602
18703
18804
19005

Rebecca and James had the following children:
Elizabeth Angeline Beatty (1850-1918) m. James Young (1854-1914)
Jane Isabella Beatty (chr. 18 May 1851 – bef 1860)
Nancy M. J. Beatty (1853-1909) m. Peter Shaffer (1852-1934)
Caroline Beatty (1859 – 1891) m. Elias Clark Beer (1860-1932)
William James Beatty (1861-1920) m. Martha Jane Shaffer (1858 – 1891) m. Amanda Jane Ramsey (1858-1956)
I will discuss the children and their spouses in a separate post.

Rebecca’s death has been clearly documented in a rather graphic newspaper account in several newspapers of the time.6 However, these articles name her as Mrs. Nancy Beatty, age 92. But they all name her children as Mrs. James Young [Elizabeth Angeline], Mrs. Peter Shaffer [Nancy M.J.], and William J. Beatty. This is definitely Rebecca. Don Beatty, Beatty family researcher, reported that John Addison Beatty (Rebecca’s grandson) personally confirmed to him that this was Rebecca and that the editor printed a correction shortly thereafter. I have not yet found a copy of that correction; however, I have no reason to doubt Don’s report. Don’s note of this interview is available on Rootsweb.7 And, once again, this matches a family story provided by my father-in-law prior to my own research.

Warning! Graphic content!

BURNED TO DEATH AT AGE OF 92
Mrs. Nancy Beatty Sat Too Close to the Stove and Her Clothes Caught Fire
HER FLESH BURNED TO THE BONE
Flames Had Completely Enveloped Her When Friends Came in Response to Her Cries for Help.

Mrs. Nancy Beatty, aged 92 years, was burned to death at the home of her son, William, on Plum creek, midway between Shelocta and Elderton last Saturday.
As no one was in the room with the aged victim at the time, the cause of her burning can only be conjectured, but it is thought that her apron caught fire from a cook stove before which she was sitting.
When her cries for help attracted the other inmates of the house, the flames had completely enveloped her. The clothing was burned from her body, her hair was entirely burned off, and her emaciated frame from the knees to the shoulders was fearfully
seared by the cruel flames. In a number of places the flesh was burned off completely, exhibiting the ghastly whiteness of the bones.
Dr. Keeler, of Shelocta, was summoned and did what he could to alleviate the intense suffering of the woman, but she lingered in great agony until 2 o’clock Sunday morning when death came to her relief.
The deceased is survived by two daughters, Mrs. James Young and Mrs. Peter Shaffer, of Elderton, and one son, William, of Plum Creek township. The funeral services were conducted on Monday afternoon, by Rev. O. H. Milllgan, interment being made in the Elderton Cemetery.

There is no stone for Rebecca in Elderton Cemetery.
I also found no will for Rebecca in either Armstrong or Indiana County.
My next post will be some short notes and information about Rebecca and James’s children.



1. 1850 U.S. census, Indiana, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Washington Twp, p. 220, dwelling 141, family 141, Rebecca Baty; digital images, Ancestry (http//www.ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 785.
2. 1860 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Burrell, p. 72, dwelling 258, family 251, Rebecca Beaty; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 1116.
3. 1870 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., p. 360, dwelling 153, family 153, Rebecca Beatty; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 1301.
4. 1880 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., enumeration district (ED) 5, p. 124, dwelling 284, family 303, Rebecca Beatty; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 6 Mar 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 1096.
5. 1900 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Township, enumeration district (ED) 12, p. 9B, dwelling 192, family 199, Rebecca Beatty; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 18 Dec 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1373.
6. “BURNED TO DEATH AT THE AGE OF 92,” The Indiana County Gazette, 17 Sep 1902, p. 3, col. 3; digital images, NewspaperArchive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 31 Dec 2011).
7.”USGenWeb,” database, USGenWeb Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.org : accessed 20 Dec 2011), Rebeccah Beatty, 1902, Plum Creek; Provided by Don Beatty http://files.usgwarchives.net/pa/armstrong/obits/b3000001.txt.