Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#28 James Hannah—Many Questions and Few Answers

James Hannah is my fourth great grandfather and one of my immigrant ancestors.  Most of the information I have has come to me from other relatives with little in the way of documentation.  I do have two letters that were written to my grandfather in the early 1900’s talking about the family.  However, finding documentation to support those recollections has been a challenge.

James is said to have been born in Ireland, in either Deery or Downs, and I did find a James Hanna, who was born in Newry, Down about 1772.  Evidently Newry is on the border of the two counties so the location may be correct.  The name and the date would fit, but I have no idea that this James is the one I am looking for.  However, in those records, he is the only James Hannah.  This at least is a beginning.  One of the letters does refer to the fact that two of the writer;s cousins went to Ireland and met some of the Hannahs.  Unfortunately it does not give a place except for the statement that they owned “Hannah’s Bleaching Green.”

The first firm reference to James is in his father-in-law’s (Andrew McKee) application for a Revolution War pension.  It describes Andrew’s daughter, Nancy as marrying James Hanna in Pennsylvania, probably in Chester County, which is in eastern Pennsylvania.

James and Nancy had 12 children:  James, William, John M., Andrew, Henry, Elizabeth, Mary, Nancy, Jane (known as Virginia), Rebecca, and India Ann.  The first, James, was born about 1795.

Around 1800 James and his family moved to western Pennsylvania, first in Washington and then in Armstrong County.  In each location, James farmed.  Prior to 1830, he moved his family to Ohio.  According to a letter I have from a cousin, the family came down the Ohio River on a flatboat.
His sons settled in Brown County, near Georgetown and Ripley while he and his wife settled in Hamilton County.  I have not been able to locate where they lived.  James died 1828 and is buried somewhere within that county.  His wife, Nancy, returned to Brown County and lived in Lewis Township, near her sons.

Any ideas you have of how I could proceed, would be welcome.

If I could talk to James I would ask him questions that would fill in the blank spots.  Where were you born?  Who were your parents?  Why did you come to the United States? When did you and Nancy McKee marry?  Where are your buried?

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