Tag Archives: Holmes

BEERS, Bennetts, and Smethport

About a decade ago I helped research the Bennett family using J.H. Beers & Co.’s 1890 book: History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron, and Potter, Pennsylvania. Here are the references from the McKean County section dealing with BEERS 1890 Coverthe Smethport and Keating Township area. By the way, italics are my explanatory notes.

p. 254              included in the list of resident taxpayers of Keating Township in 1836-37: “… Levi Bennett (who sold the site for the poor farm to Col. Wilcox)…” as well as D.R. & O.R. Bennett

p. 254              Keating Township 1846: O.R. Bennett had one of five general stores, one of two taverns. (The other was the tavern of “Richmond & Bennett.”)  ALSO NOTED:Elijah Bennett had a store in December.”

p. 257              O.R. Bennett listed as merchant in Keating Township in 1852, as well as also being a “liquor dealer.”

p. 257              The Citizen, no. 1, vol. VI, Sept. 3, 1859 includes a hotel advertisement for “the Bennett House, by D.R. Bennett.”

p. 257              Bordell area (Coleville post-office): “In November [1880], thirty-five buildings were reduced to ashes, the Bennett House, the leading hotel, conducted by T.P. Hill, being among the number.”

p. 259              According to assessment of Smethport borough in 1856-57, the resident property owners included “… D.R. Bennett, O.R. Bennett (hotel keeper)…”

p. 260              O.R. Bennett elected assessor for Smethport borough Feb 11, 1853

p. 269              Smethport, Feb. 1, 1890: William Bennett installed as officer (first guard) in the newly formed Keystone encampment No. 77, Knights of St. John and Malta.

p. 273              “Some short time after [the first hotel, 1822] came Squire Crow from the Sinnemahoning country to compete with the Willard Hotel. The house which he erected occupied the site of the Bennett House. This last named hotel was erected in 1851 by O.R. Bennett. This house, and the Haskell store, built in 1857 by B.D. and Henry Hamlin, were destroyed by fire in May, 1862.”

p. 273              “In January, 1847, O.R. Bennett petitioned the court to open an inn at his house in Smethport. This petition was signed by Edward Hartnett, O.A. Holmes, B.D. Hamlin, Ferd. Hamilton, W.F. Ormsby, O.R. Bennett, Nathan Barrett, J.B. Taylor, Gideon Irons, Adam Brockham, W.F. Young and N.W. Goodrich.”

p. 273              “Gen. Hammer, of the Bennett House, leased [the newly built Grand Central Hotel] soon after [its completion in 1881] and after two years H.S. Sartwell conducted the house.”

p. 274              “The Smethport fire of May, 1882, originated in the Bennett House, destroying Haskell’s large store-building on the other side of the street, the banking office of Henry Hamlin in that building, the Bennett House and Sterrett & Rose law office.”


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Posted by on August 19, 2014 in 1822, 1836, 1837, 1846, 1847, 1851, 1853, 1856, 1857, 1859, 1862, 1881, 1882, 1890


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Ancestral Heads of New England: MIX/MEEKS

BK Directory of Ancestral Heads of NE familiesLast night my wife and I went to Pittsburgh to visit a friend from our church in the hospital in Pittsburgh. She seldom gets to go with me, so afterward we got some dinner and then went to the Carnegie Public Library (main facility). As is my usual practice in the few times I’ve been there, I headed to the third floor’s PA/genealogical room where I then just browsed titles (and their index sections) for common names on our family tree.

I discovered this book Directory of the Ancestral Heads of New England Families 1620-1700 compiled by Frank R. Holmes (Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore) apparently published in 1923 and then reprinted in 1989.
Page after page is filled with alphabetical entries of last names and then, if known, the origin of that name, and the earliest American people in New England with that name.


name origin (any foreign words are italicized)
earliest family members with that name

For instance, my own MIX family is listed thus:
p. clxv (165), MIX/MEEKS
From mixe, an ancient territory of France.
THOMAS, resident of New Haven, Conn., 1643.
WILLIAM, brother of preceding, at New Haven, Conn., before 1650.

I have known about Thomas for almost three decades and discovered William about 10 years later. But in the 40 years I’ve been listening, gathering, researching, and reading about the various branches, I have NEVER run across a resource that went into the origin of the different family names! I LOVE this book!

I looked up (via google) the Mixe area in France and it apparently was on the western coast towards the Pyrenees and Spain. That’s all I have for now, I hope to someday unravel this British family with a French based name that immigrated to the New Haven colony 375 years ago. But meanwhile, over the course of several posts, I’ll share what I gleaned about the few families I got to follow in the half hour I had access to this amazing book.

Ancestral Heads 165

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Posted by on July 18, 2014 in 1643, 1650


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