My Colonial Heritage

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Genealogy:  Facts, Questions and Mysteries.

          One fact which is revealed from the materials reviewed in the previous pages is that my 3rd Great Grandfather Nicholas Schmehl, Jr., served as a private in the Second Pennsylvania Battalion under the command of Col. Arthur St. Clair, and saw service for a period of time at Fort Ticonderoga.

          The previous pages also raise many questions, if not, mysteries.  Some have attempted to connect the Smeal family with that of Conrad Weiser, Colonial Pennsylvania's interpreter and emissary to the Native Americans.

          Benjamin Schmehl (Smeal) married Elizabeth Weiser/Wisor.  Her father appears to have been John or Jonathan Weiser/Wisor who first appeared in Clearfield County about 1804.  Conrad Weiser had a brother named Christopher Frederick who had a son named John Conrad Weiser.  John Conrad also had a son named John who was born on December 15, 1762.  Those attempting to make a connection with Conrad Weiser claim that John Weiser of Clearfield County was the John Weiser who was born on December 15, 1762, and the great nephew of Conrad Weiser.  However, that attractive claim is unsubstantiated.

          It is just as likely that Elizabeth Weiser/Wisor descended from Christian Weisser/Wiyser who arrived on the Pennsylvania Merchant at the Port of Philadelphia on September 10, 1731.  Strassburger & Hinke, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Vol. 1, pp. 42-46.  It is generally assumed that Elizabeth Weiser's mother was Mary Elizabeth (Wilson)  Weiser and that she was from Shippensburg.  Census records of 1790 and 1800 reveal a Christian Weiser living in the Shippensburg area who may have been a brother of John Weiser of Clearfield County.

          Mystery also surrounds the parents of Elizabeth Care (Logan) Smeal.  Daniel Smeal, my great grandfather, married Elizabeth Care  Logan on February 16, 1837.  Elizabeth's father was Andrew Logan and her mother was Hannah Muchalwee.  One interesting footnote to the short history of the Smeal family written by David Gill states as follows:

          Note for page 13.  Andrew or "Andy" Logan was for a number of
          years always spoken as the linen peddler from Ireland.  Sara Gill,
          his granddaughter told of her mother despairing lest any of her 
          daughters marry Irish men, since her father, in her words, treated
          her mother, his wife unkindly.  However, the Sunday after Maude
          Gill's funeral in June of 1952, I sat with my emotion filled father at
          the home of a dear antie, Aunt Annie Smeal at Morgan Run, the
          widow of Uncle Collin Smeal, grandmother Gill's brother.  Mrs.
          Lottie Kline, a descendant of Andy Logan told a long tale of the
          migration of the Logans, of the Wyoming massacre, and the descent
          of Andrew from James Logan of Philadelphia, secretary of Wm. Penn.
          I have to date not seen any positive proof of this attractive claim. 
          Since the information was not consistent . . ., I feel the information
          needs more corroboration before it is given a stamp of authenticity.
          Hannah Muchalwee, his wife is said to have been from the Harrisburg

I assume the Wyoming massacre refers to the killing of 360 American settlers on or about July 3, 1778, by British soldiers and their Indian allies near present day Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  Maybe time will solve the mystery of Andrew and Hannah (Muchalwee) Logan.  As for the surname "Muchalwee" other than in connection with the given name Hannah I have been unable to find it in any indices.  One very experienced genealogical researcher has suggested that German pastors had a "merry time spelling English surnames, even as the English ship captains had with German names.  Especially the Mc and Mac names get slaughtered by Germans."  This researcher suggests that the "Muchalwee" may in fact be McAlwee, McElwee or McIlwee.  All three of those names are of Irish or Scottish origin.  It seems possible that an Irish linen peddler married and Irish lass and that subsequent descendants of Andrew and Hannah Logan misspelled Hannah's maiden name.   

       Another mystery is the "where and when" of the arrival in America of the ancestors of my maternal (biological) grandfather, Charles Perkins Eaton, including his mother, Hattie McCauley.      


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