Thursday, December 17, 2009

Samuel and Mary Ann Holt, My Great Grandparents

It was a chilly, snowy, November 21, 1834 When Mary (Noss) Holt gave birth to twins, Samuel Jacob and John C, in the small cabin that she and her husband had built on their tiny farm in Mudlick Hollow, Brighton Twp., Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Sadly, John C lived only a few short hours. Mary and her husband, William Humphrey Holt and their two children, Mary Jane and Thomas Fritz, had migrated from McVeytown, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania c1830.
Unfortunately I do not have a picture of Samuel Jacob. I'd really like to have one.

Four years later, 1838, in the 8th Ward, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Eliza Jane (Hunter) Taylor, gave birth to her second child, Mary Ann. Eliza Jane and her husband, William B. Taylor, had migrated from County Down, Ireland to the south side of the Ohio River in Pittsburgh in 1830 where their seven children were born and raised. Mary Ann has been described as being petite, very nice looking, lively and in-charge.


Mary Ann (Taylor) Holt
I have little on the childhood of Mary Ann or Samuel Jacob. The Holt farm where Samuel grew up was too small to provide employment so Samuel sought work in the nearest community, Vanport. He found a job transporting bricks from a brickyard south of Vanport to Beaver. The bricks were to build a new school called Fort Macintosh School. I went to 8th grade in that school in 1939. I had no idea that my Great Grandfather Samuel Holt had helped haul the bricks to build it and that my Gr-Gr-Grandfather, the Irishman William Taylor, helped make those bricks. It was during this period that Samuel met and fell in love with William Taylor's daughter, Mary Ann. They were married 12 November, 1857 by the Rev. Joshua Monroe, in the Methodist Episcopal Church in Beaver.




Photo below is Mary Ann Taylor Holt with her children Thomas and Mary Elizabeth (Mamie), c. 1871.

Samuel and Mary Ann soon moved into a small home along Sebring Road that runs northwest out of the town of Vanport. They later purchased a small farm and home (Kaufman or Hereford farm) just off that road where their eight children were born:

  1. 1. William Humphrey, 18 Sep., 1858
  2. 2. Smith Richard, 15 Dec., 1860
  3. 3. Thomas Fritz, 1863
  4. 4. Elizabeth Jane, 1865
  5. 5. Jefferson, 1867
  6. 6. Mary Elizabeth, 5 June, 1870
  7. 7. Franklin Raymond, 14 Feb., 1875
  8. 8. Clyde, 18 Dec. 1877.

Two of the children, Elizabeth Jane and Jefferson, died one day apart in the summer of 1873. Janie died of Diphtheria and Jeffie died of Cholera Morbis—what ever that was. They were buried together in the same casket in the Beaver Cemetery. I can’t imagine such a tragedy. Just the thought brings tears to my eyes.

According to Grandad, his mother was insistent that all the children be educated. High School was the ultimate for most those days, but five of the living six children went on to receive college degrees. In her push to get her children educated the family left the little farm and moved out onto Tuscarawas Road several miles from town. She then decided that was still too far out so they bought a house on the south side of Fifth Street in Beaver, very near Sharon Road and not too far from the Christian Church the family regularly attended. Once the children were educated, she and Samuel moved back to the farm. She was only 60 when she died 9 June, 1898. She is buried in the Beaver Cemetery. Samuel lived on another eight years until 5 September, 1906 when he joined his beloved Mary Ann and was buried beside her in the Beaver Cemetery.

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