HARMON (or Harman), Philip, of Westmoreland Co PA

Philip Harmon, or Harman, was born about 1740 in Germany and died by scalping in 1777, Four Mile Run, Westmoreland Co PA. Letters of Administration were granted to his widow on 19 Sep 1778.[1] His wife’s name was Barbara Lutz; an unidentified source says she remarried and had six more children. Recent autosomal DNA indicates his daughter Catherine was NOT the wife of Jacob Light.

            Philip’s death was described in a biographical sketch written about his son, Andrew Philip Harman, who was captured and lived some time among the Indians, entitled “The Andrew Phillip Harman/Harmon Family From Germany to Westmoreland County,”[2] as follows:

“Andrew Phillip Harman[3] was b. ca 1740 in Germany. He was among the early settlers in Westmoreland County and settled there in violation of the law which forbade settlement of a section until it was first purchased from the Indians. He and his family settled in Western Pennsylvania in the 1760’s and tradition says they had little else but a rifle, an ax, and a mattock and that the first summer they lived in a hut built against a rock. He came with his wife Elizabeth [sic], his sons Andrew, John, and Phillip, and his daughter Elizabeth.[4] Andrew and his family were the first white men to settle in this valley. When neighbors finally came the dangers increased because while the indians might ignore one lone family they could not be expected to do so when his neighbors became more numerous.

“The Harmans lived between Stahlstown and Donegal on Four Mile Run. Living where they were, they couldn’t transport grain from the east for bread and were glad if they could get enough for seed for their crops. They lived on the product from their garden, wild berries and fruits, and game.

“In 1777, Andrew Harman and three of his neighbors were returning from a sale north of the area when they were attacked by Indians and killed. One of the men lived long enough to ride away on his horse and was found the next day by his neighbors.

“Harman’s widow and three sons moved to their blockhouse over the winter and in the spring tried to resume clearing and planting the land. One morning Elizabeth Harman saw some neighbors’ horses in a field of grain and sent the two oldest boys (the oldest, Andrew, was only 14) to drive them off. Three hostile Indians were lying in wait and captured John, but Andrew ran towards their cabin. The Indians overtook him and asked if there were other men in the cabin and he said there were – a lie that probably saved the lives of his family. They started down Four Mile Run and were able to capture a young horse which they used to carry utensils and skins they had with them.

“On the journey one of the Indians showed they boys a pocket wallet which they recognized at once. When asked where they had gotten it the Indians replied that they had taken it from a white man they had killed the year before. It was their father’s wallet and at least one of the Indians had been among those that had killed their father the year before.

“Andrew and John soon learned they had been captured by Senecas. John died the first winter after they were captured of a sickness which also killed many of the tribe. Andrew lived and was adopted by the Chief, Cornplanter, and lived with them about five years.

“After the old chief’s death they sold Andrew to an English officer for a bottle of rum. He lived a year or two in England and then was exchanged at the end of the Revolutionary War and sent to New York. He made his way home from there and walked into his mother’s home six years after his capture. Everyone had given him up for dead and settlers came from miles around to see him.

“Andrew married Catherine Sandles in 1790 but he never lost his love for the wilderness and spent much of his free time hunting and fishing until he died at the age of 74 in 1838. Andrew and Catherine had eight children, three girls and five boys.

“The youngest brother, Phillip (b. Sept 6, 1769) also stayed and settled in the area. He married Elizabeth Humm and had nine children, four girls and three boys.

“There are still many Harmans living in the Stahlstown area. The family intermarried with many other of the pioneer families including the Campbell, Hines, Roadman, and Stahl families who stayed and settled in Westmoreland county for generations.”

            Note that the sketch given above makes no mention of girls in the family. Philip Harman and another man named Christiian Harmon each had a daughter named Catherine Harmon (or Harman) in Westmoreland Co PA. Both of the fathers died about 1777-1779, and both girls received an amount of money at the settlements of the estates.[5] The other family was Christian and Christina (Lenhard) Harmon. Both usually spelled their names Harman. Note that Jacob Light and his wife Catherine Harmon did not name any of their children Philip, Andrew, Barbara, Christian or Christina.

            The DAR has considered Philip Harmon’s death on the frontier as patriotic service; therefore, any descendants are eligible to join that organization.[6]

            Philip and Barbara Harmon had the following children:

1. Andrew HARMON was born in 1763 in Donegal Twp, Westmoreland Co PA. Andrew died in Mahoning Twp, Indiana Co PA, in 1838. About 1790 when Andrew was 27, he married Catherine SONDLES in Westmoreland Co PA. They had the following children:

                        i.          John (1792-)

                        ii.         Jacob (1793-)

                        iii.        Philip (1795-)

                        iv.        Elizabeth (1799-)

                        v.         Andrew A (1805-)

                        vi.        Frederick (1807-)

                        vii.       Barbara A (1808-)

                        viii.      Peter (1812-1870)

                        ix.        Catherine (1815-)

2. Catherine HARMON.

3. John HARMON was born ca 1764 in Donegal Twp, Westmoreland Co PA. Having been kidnapped by Indians the year following his father’s death, John died during the winter of 1777-1778; he was 13.

4. Philip Henry HARMON was born on 6 Sep 1769 in Donegal Twp, Westmoreland Co PA and died there on 2 Jul 1834. In 1803 when Philip Henry was 33, he married Elizabeth HUMM. Born ca 1784, Elizabeth died in Donegal Twp, Westmoreland Co PA and was still living in 1850. They had the following children:

                        i.          Philip (1804-1850)

                        ii.         Andrew A

                        iii.        John Philip (1808-1880)

                        iv.        Samuel

                        v.         Maria

                        vi.        Elizabeth

                        vii.       Rachel

                        viii.      Catherine (1825-1881)

                        ix.        George (ca1826-)

© 2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] Westmoreland Co PA Letters of Administration, p 155, from Will Book I, no. 50, p. 10: Philip Harman, to Barbara Harman, widow, no bond, 19 Sep 1778.

[2] Possibly from James W. Rowe, Old Westmoreland in History; a History of Southwestern Pennsylvania during the 18th Century, Scottsdale, PA, 1934.

[3] This sketch calls the father by two names, Andrew Philip Harman.

[4] No daughter Elizabeth is known. This should probably have been Catherine, since a daughter with that name received part of the estate.

[5] Catherine Harman, daughter of Philip, received 230 pounds, 6 shillings, 5 1/2 pence from her father’s estate. Westmoreland County Petition Docket 4 Dec 1779. Catherine Harman, daughter of Christian, received a one-eleventh share of her father’s estate, 2 May 1780, that is, 1 pound, 8 shillings, ¾ pence. The obvious difference in the Catherines is that one was fairly wealthy, and the other had nearly no inheritance.

[6] Ancestor #: A050760. Descent through sons Philip and Andrew. “Birth: ca 1740, Germany; Death: before 12-13-1777, Ligonier Valley, Westmoreland Co PA; Service Source: Albert, History of Westmoreland Co PA, p 117.

Published on October 31, 2008 at 6:14 pm  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am a direct desendent of Andrew Harmon, my great-grandmother was a Harmon..
    Thanks for the great information.

  2. Nice post. I’d read the bio before, but you’ve got much more information.

    I am descended from Christian and Christina (LENHART) HARMAN’s daughter Maria Barbara who married Christian HOOVER Sr.

    Do you have any information on the family of Andrew HARMON’s wife Catharine SONDLES? Christian HOOVER Sr.’s father George HOOVER married Eva Elisabetha (__).

    An Eve HOOVER, who died in 1821, left a will that mentions her son-in-law Andrew Harmon, married to her daughter Cathrine.

    I believe this Eve may be George’s wife. However, according to the information I have Eve SONDLES’ husband didn’t die until 1803, but I have references of George and Eva Elisabetha HOOVER as early as 1787 in Westmoreland County.

    If you have any insight, I’d greatly appreciate your help.

    Kris Hocker

    • I put everything I have in the posting. Sorry I can’t help more.

  3. Phillip is my 5th Great Grandfather. Thanks for the info.

  4. I just found your blog when I was roaming the internet. Andrew A. Harman (died Nov 16, 1869) is the grandson of Philip Harman (the one who was scalped in 1777, and the son of Andrew Harman who was captured) is my 6th (maybe 7th) Great Grandfather. It’s neat to see a little more information on my family. My cousin did a family tree all the way back to (Andrew)Philip Harman. It gets really confusing because there are so many Andrews and Philips in the tree. Thanks for doing this blog…maybe we’re related somewhere down the road!

    Orlan J. Harman

    • I’d be interested in knowing if your cousin’s family tree says anything about Philip Harman’s daughter Catherine.

  5. My great grandmother was Sarah “Sadie” Harmon Tarr. She was the daughter of Eli and Louisa Hay Harmon. I found more infomation at the Historical Society at the old Cook County School this past Saturday. I Found out that Harmon can be spelled Harmon and Harman. I have also visted the Porch Cemetery and located the Harman graves.

  6. I am a descendant of Andrew Harmon and not only was he a patriot in the Revolutionary War but in the War of 1812 as well. I joined the USD1812 under his name.
    Barbara Hart

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