Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Surname: Alcorn

Both of Rosmer P. Kerr's paternal grandparents have Alcorn lineage. On the Kerr side:
  • Margaret Alcorn, born about 1782, said to have married James Kerr III in 1799 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They are said to have moved to northwestern Pennsylvania (Crawford County?) about 1801. She died in 1866. Margaret was one of my fourth great-grandmothers.
And on the Carroll side:
  • Elizabeth Alcorn, born 11 July 1800 in Pennsylvania. She married David Carroll on 11 October 1817. She died 24 February 1885. Elizabeth was one of my third great-grandmothers.
Here, the plot thickens. One or the other or both of these Alcorn women are said, in various sources, to be the daughter or daughters of:
  • Robert Alcorn and his wife, Elizabeth Cunningham. If both Margaret and Elizabeth are their daughters, then Robert and Elizabeth are my fourth and third great-grandparents. I could live with that, if only it were so easy! But it's not!
Let's look at some sources and see what they have to say about this:
  • Tice, Nanetta Hobbs, compiler. "Clan Cearr," typescript, 1972 [data from Arthur Kerr, Archives Section, Kerr Family Association; no additional sourcing or bibliography]. Copy privately held by T. K. Sand. According to this source, Margaret and Elizabeth are sisters, but no parent is named and no birth or death dates are given for either sister. Margaret is said to have married James Kerr III in 1799. Elizabeth is named as the wife of David Kerr, brother of James III. They had five children, one of whom was named Cunningham Kerr. David was about 73 years old when he died in 1854.
  • Carroll, Emerson T., compiler. "The Carrolls of Mercer County, Pennsylvania (Extract)" Wadena, MN, 1931-32. Copy of a typescript privately held by T. K. Sand [a few sources mentioned inline, no footnotes or bibliography with the pages I have; I don't recall where, when, or how I got it]. According to this source, Elizabeth Alcorn, identified as the daughter of Robert Alcorn and Elizabeth Cunningham, married David Carroll in 1817. Her birth and death dates are not given, but David's were. He was born in 1796 and died in 1869.
  • DeSantis, Loretta Barker, and Sally Glaser Dufford. Mercer County, Pennsylvania, Cemetery Inscriptions. Sharon, Pa: The Society, 1980. According to this source, David Carroll is buried in Carroll Cemetery, Worth Township, with his wife Elizabeth Alcorn who was born 11 July 1800 and died 24 February 1885.
  • The Pennsylvania death certificate of Mrs. A. J. Kerr [Esther Alice Carroll] identifies her parents as David Carroll and Elizabeth Alcorn.
The Alcorns, the Carrolls, the Kerrs. Big, branchy families full of fecund females fond of a few favored first names. I don't know that I can do much more in my pajamas, and I don't know how many more leaves can be plucked from these ancestral branches in another quick round of drive-by genealogy. Ideally my next move, speaking both genealogically and residentially, would be to western Pennsylvania, where I could settle in and stay as long as it takes to tame the beast. I'll put that on my To-Do List for further consideration. Meanwhile, I commend this problem to the blogosphere--in fact, to all of GoogleSearchdom--in hopes that someone somewhere has already sorted out some of it, and is standing by with documents at the ready, just waiting for me to ask. This is me, asking!

See also Alcorn Surname Origin.

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    Blog Archive


    Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

    • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
    • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
    • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
    • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
    • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
    • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
    • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
    • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
    • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
    • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
    • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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