Hanna, Catherine, later Catherine Shultz, of Somerset Co PA

Catherine Hanna was born Somerset County, Pennsylvania, either 10 Nov 1819 or 13 Apr 1820.[1] She died 24 Jun 1862 and is buried in Lavansville, Somerset Co PA, in the same cemetery as her husband’s parents.[2]

Catherine is apparently not a part of the prominent and fairly well-to-do Scotch-Irish Hanna family in Somerset Co PA.[3] James Hanna, a State Legislator, and his wife Ann Leech, had a son Thomas (1798-1872), who had one daughter not named in most sources, so I believed he was Catherine’s father, but it is now known his only daughter was Anne, who married John Philippi and had a son Thomas Hanna Philippi.

There was another Hanna family in that county. This family was first located in the 1850 census of Daniel Hanna:

  • Daniel, 46 M Laborer PA
  • Susanna, 48 F PA (called Susan in 1880)
  • Drucilla , 22 F PA (died unmarried, 1869)
  • Alexander, 21 M PA (poss to Henry Co IL by 1880)
  • Catherine , 19 F PA
  • David, 16 M PA (poss of Fremont Co CO 1880)
  • Joseph, 15 M PA (poss Osborne Co KS 1880)
  • James, 13 M PA (poss of Cedar Rapids, Linn Co IA)
  • John, 12 M PA
  • Philip, 10 M PA
  • Juliann, 7 F PA (died 1919 Cedar Rapids, Linn Co IA)

Daniel was not a member of the other, larger family, and he had a 19-year-old daughter named Catherine, so he couldn’t be my Catherine’s father. Clues in many of the names in Daniel and his wife Susanna’s family (that is, Alexander, Juliann, Catherine, David, Daniel’s own name)[4] led me to several gedcoms at Ancestry.com that identified a Julianna Perkey who married Alexander Hanna.

Julianna was born 15 Sep 1784, supposedly in Seneca Co OH,[5] the daughter of Christian and Mary Magdalena (Mueller) Perkey, occasionally spelled Berkey, Perky or other variations. She married Alexander Hanna in 1808, supposedly in Hamilton Co IN.[6] If we discount the impossibly early Ohio and Indiana locations and assume she lived in Somerset Co PA for all or most of her life, Julianna and Alexander[7] Hanna fit the 1820 and 1830 censuses of a couple in Somerset Township, Somerset County. (1820, Somerset Twp, Somerset Co PA, Alexander Hanna: 320001/20010; 1830, Somerset Twp, Somerset Co PA, p 92, Julianne Hannah: 0/0100001). And they had a daughter the right age, unmarried in 1830. Neither Alexander nor Julianna was found in 1840, although two of their probable sons, Daniel and Robert, were.

In 1840, Daniel Hanna was next door to Jacob Kooser (the uncle of Joseph Shultz, our Catherine Hanna’s husband), and in the same township as Conrad Shultz (Joseph’s father). At that time Daniel had one known daughter, Drusilla, but the census shows two girls, born 1825-30. It is not known where Catherine Hanna, soon to marry Joseph Shultz, was living in 1840, but although the age is wrong by five years, she may have been one of these girls. The same township has Robert Hanna, alone, age 20-30. The identity of Alexander and Julianna’s other three sons and one daughter is not known.

So, where was Julianna Perkey really born and where did she marry Alexander Hanna? The Somerset Co PA genweb site says the Berkeys (or Perkeys) were among the earliest settlers in the county, as early as 1776.[8] An apparently distinct Christian Berkey was on a Brothers Valley tax assessment in 1783 and again in 1784,[9] then in 1796 on a list of residents of Elk Lick Township.[10] Our Christian Perkey was in Salt Lick Township, Fayette Co PA in those years.[11] Therefore, if the Ancestry.com gedcoms are correct about her parents, they are wrong about her birthplace; Julianna was born in Fayette County.

Were there other early Hanna families from which Alexander could have come?

The brothers of Julianna Perkey are on the same page in the 1810 Westmoreland Co PA census]: Westmoreland Co PA, Donegal Twp, 116: Alexander Hanna, 20010/00101. Donegal Township is adjacent to Somerset County, some ten miles or so from township line, Donegal Township, Westmoreland County, to township line, Somerset Township, Somerset County.

William Hanna was in the same township in 1790: 2/1/3. The census page appears very Scotch-Irish and not at all German, as Somerset Co was at that date. In 1800, Widow Hanna was alone in her household, aged 26-45 and may or may not be the widow of the William of the earlier census.

Catherine was probably born in Somerset Co PA, where Alexander Hanna was living in 1820. She was certainly there about 1841, when she married Joseph Shultz.

© Kathy Alvis Patterson, 2008


[1] Charles Ross Shultz, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Michael Shultz. Privately published, 1943. See also, “Joseph Shultz,” Portrait and Biographical Record of Lee County, IL, p 352.

[2] Ibid. Also, Somerset Co PA genweb site.

[3] HANNA FAMILY OF PETERSBURG (ADDISON) PENNSYLVANIA. “Alexander Hanna Sr was born either in Scotland or Ireland in 1737, emigrated to America in 1771 and settled in York Co PA. In 1798, Alexander, and his wife Martha, their four children and three grandchildren moved to Milford Township, Somerset Co PA. Alexander Sr. died in 1809 and was buried at the Cross Roads Cemetery near Harnedsville. He was a veteran of the American Revolution. James, the only son [sic] of Alexander and Martha, was born in Ireland in 1770 and come with his parents to America when young and died in Milford Township in 1819. James served as Representative to the Legislature and was a State Senator; he was also Brigade Inspector for three counties. He married Ann Leech in 1794 and was the father of John, Mary, Thomas, James, Alexander, William, Phoebe, Jane, Martha and Anna.” Submitted by Lawson L. Duckworth for the “Old Petersburg-Addison Historical Society.” Somerset Co PA Genweb site, <http://www.pagenweb.org/~somerset/addison/hanna_history.htm>.

[4] Julianna had a brother Daniel and another named David; names in Alexander Hanna’s family are not known.

[5] Seneca County was formed in 1820 and barely inhabited until the 1830s. <http://www.wikipedia.com>.

[6] “Felix Family, Helmick Family And Relations” at Ancestry.com. Hamilton Co IN was acquired for settlement by Indian cession in 1818 and organized as a county in 1823. <http://www.wikipedia.com>.

[7] No details about him in any of the gedcoms.

[8] “This region had at least some settlers at a very early date. Tradition has it that very soon after the Indian title was extinguished, in 1768, a colony of some fifteen or twenty families was formed to emigrate and settle in this section, and that most of them were Mennonites. The date assigned we think too early by several years, because not a single one of the names that may be considered as being of this colony is to be found on the first assessment list, although their absence from the list would not be entirely conclusive as to the time of their coming. It is also more than likely that the Amish and not the Mennonite element predominated, and there may also have been some Brethren, or Dunkards, among them. Indeed, if we are to judge from the church affiliations of their descendants, there must have been some of the Dunkard faith. Some of these traditions even go so far as to say that it was this colony as a whole from which the name Brueders Thal, or Brothers Valley, had it origin. This we think is erroneous. Nor can we believe that this particular element came in as a colony, if we are to understand by that term that they came in a body, or at the same time. This must have come in at different times. Of these early settlers we have these names. Jacob Saylor, John Saylor (father and son), Christian Knaigey, Christian Berkey (or Perkey), Peter Fahrney (Forney), Michael Buechley, John Olinger, John Burger, John Miller. Also the Burntragers, and possibly some of the Houpts. Of these the Saylors, Fahrneys, Buechleys, Knaigeys and Berkeys may be looked on as being among the first to come, and except the Berkeys, all of these are still well known names in the county. The Berkey family in the northern past of Somerset county is not known to be of this stock, which is not known to have any representatives here.” <http://www.pagenweb.org/~somerset/hbs/chapter30b.htm>. After studying the Berkey and Perkey families, I have come to doubt that our family was connected to the earlier Somerset Co PA Berkey family.

[9] Cassady, John C. The Somerset County Outline, 1932, p 144, Brothersvalley Twp tax assessment, 1783, Christian Perkey, 200 acres, Jacob Perkey, 300 acres. Page 159, same twp, taxables in 1784, Abraham Perkey, 2 whites, Christian Perkey, 10 whites, Jacob Perkey, 8 whites, Peter Perkey, 6 whites.

[10] History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its pioneers and prominent men, 1884, p 547.

[11] See ancestor’s biography, < https://alvispat.wordpress.com/perkey-christian-of-fayette-co-pa/>.

Published on September 15, 2008 at 2:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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