Will of Catharine Harden

The following transcript was provided to Korns.org courtesy of Karen Davis. The typed, verbatim transcription of the will was performed by Linda Harden-Lantz. It is the will of Mariah (Harden) Miller's mother Catharine Harden (wife of Isaac Harden). Mariah Harden was married to Peter Miller. Click here to see the handwritten will (913KB PDF).

According to the book "Genealogy of the Relatives of William J. Miller", Peter Miller was born March 10, 1808, and was the son of David Miller and Fraina Livengood, who were married on Jan. 5, 1802.

Karen reports the following:

  • Peter Miller's wife Mariah was the daughter of Isaac Harden's second wife Catharine (The spelling "Catharine" is from her will).
  • The only information Karen has for Catharine's maiden name is from the 1892 book "Portrait and Biographical Record of Lee County, Illinois", which gives the maiden name as "Beal". Karen cautions that such a book is not a primary source.
  • The aforementioned 1892 book also states that Isaac Harden's father was "David Harden is thought to have been born in England, but the most of his life was passed in this country, his death occurring in the Keystone State when he was an old man.". She has tried diligently to find such an individual southwest Pennsylvania, without success, and suspects that the book is wrong.
  • After Catharine's husband Isaac's death, she made her home with her daughter Eleanor DeHaven and family.
  • Karen suspects that Catharine's daughter Drusy may possibly have been born prior to Catharine's marriage to Isaac Harden, because Drusy's maiden name is given as "Tomlinson" in Catharine's will.
  • Karen has documents where Isaac Hardine (note spelling) and his wife Catharine sold property in Allegany Co., MD.
  • Catharine may have been born circa 1781, if she is the "Granny Harden" that was described in information from the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County, Inc. March 24, 1981 as follows:

    "Granny Harden
    Jen or Jan? 22-60
    March 17, 1855
    ** Wellersburg Cemetery Records"

    Karen isn't sure what "Jen or Jan 22-60" means, but she thinks that the date "March 17, 1855" combined with "74-1-0" may indicate that Granny was 74 years and 1 month old when she died on "March 17, 1855". I note that if Granny was born on January 22, 1760 (another possible interpretation of the cemetery information), then she would have been 95 years, one month, and some odd days old at the time of her death, which of course does not reconcile with "74-1-0.

    The trouble with the cemetery information, in regards to it possibly relating to Catherine Harden, is that the public records indicate that Catherine died before 1855. The recording of the will indicates that George G. Walker and Jeremiah Wingert, subscribing witnesses to Catharine Harden's will, personally appeared before Jacob Neff, Register for the Probate of wills and granting letters of administration, on April 14th 1854 (this was to prove the will). This doesn't reconcile with the 1855 date that is supposed to be in the cemetery records. An individual in the area intends to provide a copy of the church records to this website, and when that happens, I will see if any additional clarification is provided.


    No. 5 1855
    Catharine Harden
    Last Will & Testament

    Filed, proven and registered in record of Wills Vol 5
    This 14th day of April A.D. 1855
    Jacob Neff --- Reg.

    In the name of God, I Catharine Harden of Southampton township, Somerset County, State of Pennsylvania am well of sound mind and understanding praised be God for it, and considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof and to the end ... be better prepared to leave this wourld whenever it may pleas God to call me hence do therefore make and disclose this my last will & testament in manner following, that is to say first & principally I command my soul into the hands of the Almighty God, my creator hoping for free pardon & remission of all my sins and to enjoy everlasting happiness in the heavenly kingdom through Jesus Christ my Saviour. My body I commit to the earth after my death at the discretion of my friends & further will that all my just debts as shall be owing by me at my death together with my funeral exspences and all charges touching the proving this will or otherwise concerning it, Shall in the first place be paid out of my estate by my executor herein after named, it is further my will and do bequeath that the remainder of my estate both real and personal estate or other affects shall by my executor be equally divided share & share alike to and among my three daughters, namely Drusy Tomlinson, intermarried with William Parker, Mariah Harden intermarried with Peter Miller and Nelly Harden intermarried with William S DeHaven, and I do constitute and appoint Jeremiah Wingert to be my executor to dispose of my estate according to law & distribute in manner above directed in testimony whereof & the said Catharine Harden have to this my last will having made no other set my hand & seal the twenty fourth day of September in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty One.


    Catharine X Harden ( Seal)


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