Friday, April 24, 2020

Two Different Men With Same Name: Part One MATTHIAS CLINE of Bedford Co Pennsylvania

One of the fortunate parts of sheltering in place  during this time of coronavirus is having many hours to devote to genealogy research!  So for the past six weeks, I've been taking research requests from friends & family.

I was asked to research the ancestry of MATTHIAS CLINE, father of Dr JACOB ALONZO CLINE b 1822 Bracken Co Kentucky, who was married twice, 1st to REBECCA HARVEY  1 June 1843 in Rush County, Indiana, and 2nd to MARY DEMPSEY 1871 in Montana.

Practically the only document or clue relating to this MATTHIAS CLINE is a newspaper article written in 1931 Rush County Indiana about MATTHIAS'  son CONRAD "COONROD" CLINE, who also was born in Bracken Co Kentucky, and also was a resident of Rush County, Indiana.

The article states that MATTHIAS CLINE, father of CONRAD CLINE, was "of Bedford County, Pennsylvania".

Sure enough, there was a MATTHIAS CLINE of the correct age who lived in Bedford County, Pennsylvania up until his death in 1846.  He married PHOEBE SOLEY, daughter of THOMAS SOLEY, 21 September 1794 in Perkiomen Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

And as I dug deeper into this person and his family, several facts emerged which clearly show that this MATTHIAS was not the father of CONRAD CLINE and Dr JACOB ALONZO CLINE.

Fact One: This MATTHIAS CLINE, born about 1770,  never lived in Bracken County, Kentucky.  He is in census records from 1800 until 1840;  in Belfast Township in 1800, but in  Dublin Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania 1810-1840.

Fact Two:  This MATTHIAS CLINE left a will dated 21 Aug 1845, which does not name his wife, but does name his children:


His will does not include CONRAD or JACOB.

However, the will does mentions his sister BARBARA, indicating that if she bequeathed any real estate, money or property, that it was to be divided equally between his children.

The mention of a sister owning land really piqued my interest. It was not common in 1846 for a woman to own land unless she had inherited it from either her husband or her father.  Could she have been unmarried?  I began wondering if I could find this sister BARBARA, and whether or not she also migrated from Montgomery County to Bedford County Pennsylvania.

First off, I wanted to find out who MATTHIAS CLINE's parents were, if I could, to see if I could find a will which named both MATTHIAS and BARBARA.  I started by searching early census records to see exactly which CLINEs were living in Montgomery County at about the time that MATTHIAS married PHOEBE SOLEY.

I eventually narrowed the search to a MICHAEL CLINE born about 1750, who was of the correct age  to be MATTHIAS' father and who lived in Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania from about 1785 until 1807.

Fortunately, the US Genweb site for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania had a good selection of will abstracts, and low & behold!  I found MICHAEL CLINE's 1807 will:

Wife not mentioned; children of my son HENRY; children of my son MATTHIAS; sons PETER & JOHN; daughter BARBARA to have 3 acres of land.  

Later I found a copy of the original will

This definitely seemed to be the correct BARBARA,  mentioned both in MATTHIAS CLINE's 1846 Bedford County Pennsylvania will and in  MICHAEL CLINE's 1807 Montgomery County Pennsylvania will!  But I wanted a little more proof.

With a little further investigating, I found BARBARA CLINE in the 1850 census Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, an unmarried woman age 66, with 3 other unmarried women in household, likely boarders.  Her brother PETER CLINE  lived nearby with his family.

Rarely do I get this lucky with genealogical research!  The key factor in my success with this family was that both MICHEAL CLINE and his son MATTHIAS CLINE remained in the same location for 40-50 years, and both left detailed wills. BARBARA CLINE & her brother PETER CLINE lived in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania all their lives, and BARBARA CLINE never married. Apparently BARBARA did leave a will, but I have yet to find a copy.

But this research raised the question: if this MATTHIAS CLINE who died 1846 in Bedford County, Pennsylvania was not the father of CONRAD CLINE and Dr JACOB ALONZO CLINE, both born in Bracken County, Kentucky, then who was?

Stay Tuned for Part Two!

Be well, be safe, stay home & research on!


© Betty Tartas  2020

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