For quite a few years now, I've been researching my Gallaher connections from the Juniata area, particularly as they tie in to the Bratton family from the same area. To say it has been a challenge is to put it mildly.
My first clue into research in the area was based on my ancestor, John B. Bratton, of Carlisle, a well-known journalist who had been the editor of the American Volunteer newpaper. John died in 1892 and was born in Mifflin county (probably in what is now Juniata County). A search of old Mifflin wills tuned up this one in Dan McClenahen"s Wills of Mifflin county, Vol I:
Lydia Gallaher, Milford Twp., husband A. N. Gallaher, deceased, sons Samuel, Andrew, daughters Mary Ann, Harriet, Sophia, Lucretia Bratton. Exec.: Robert Gallaher.
There is no date shown on this extract but it is listed between two others dated in 1823. That same year, her son Andrew Nelson Gallaher, the printer, and editor of the Mifflin Eagle, died, his obituary in the Village Record appearing as follows:
Death Notice Departed this life, in Mifflintown, Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday morning the 27th ult. after a short yet severe illness, ANDREW NELSON GALLAHER, Esq. Editor of the 'Mifflin Eagle', aged about 26 years.
Part of what makes this research a challenge is that it appears that the full name of Andrew Nelson Gallaher was Thomas Andrew Nelson Gallaher and it further appears that both he and his father went by either Thomas or Andrew.
Ellis and Hungerford's History of the part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys, embraced in the counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Synder..., has this to say about the Gallahers:
John McClellan, Sr., gave his son, John, Jr. one and one acres, in 1773, off the upper part of his tract. As the son died in the war a little later, he sold part of the tract to Thomas Gallagher, father of R. C. Gallagher, long a well-known merchant in Mifflintown. It has been since known as the Wright farm; now Henry Groninger. Near by Gallagher had a shad fishery.
Thomas Gallagher came from Ireland; first lived with the Nelsons at Cedar Springs, then just above the Patterson Machine Shops. He died in 1807; his children were Lucretia, Mary Ann, Thomas Andrew Nelson (the printer), Robert Cooper (the merchant), Harriet and Sophia.
[Note: the spelling as Gallagher rather than Gallaher is commonly found in early texts and adds to the confusion.]
Just to add to the confusion, here's an entry from the DAR Patriot Index (Centennial Edition) for Thomas Gallaher:
Gallaher: Thomas: b. 1751/52 IR d 1810-12 PA m Lucretia Jones Pvt PA
Clear as mud, right? A DAR application for membership lists a son of Thomas, Samuel who married an Elizabeth Burrell. This is probably the Samuel mentioned in the will of Lydia [Lucretia]. Samuel and Elizabeth had a daughter, Elizabeth Gallaher, who married Ezekiel Day in 1835 in Pittsburgh, PA. An Illinois business directory shows a listing for Day & Gallaher in Peoria, a cigar dealer, the principals being Ezekial Day and Jos. H. Gallaher.
From the records of the Mifflin and Lost Creek Presbyterian congregations, we find the following marriage records::
31 Aug 1812 - Thomas Gallaher to Isabella Adams
26 July 1825 - John Reynolds to Harriett Gallagher
5 April 1838 - Benj. Oswald to Sophia Gallaher
25 Sep 1845 - John Gallaher to Mary Ziegler
OK, so let's see what we have so far.
Thomas Andrew Nelson Gallaher (I) was married to Lucretia [Lydia] Jones and had the following children:
- Lucretia - born about 1777, married William Bratton (who appears to have died before 1820 as Lucretia appears as head of household on the 1820 census.). Lucretia died in 1851 in Ohio, at the home of her son-in-law and is buried in Ohio.
- Samuel - married Elizabeth Burrell and probably moved to western PA
- [Thomas] Andrew Nelson - born about 1795, married Isabella Adams in 1812 (at about age 17!)
- Robert Cooper, born about 1797, died 1872, married Jane [Seville Christina] Wright
- Mary Ann - born 1799
- Harriet - born about 1801, married John Reynolds
- Sophia - born 1804, died 1879, married Benjamin Oswald in 1838
I'll post more on this family shortly.