Genealogy of Franklin / Frank Bittner / Bittinger and Mary Beachley

FRANKLIN/FRANK BITTNER/BITTINGER
For a long time, family members have been trying to figure out more about our ancestor Franklin Bittner. Temporarily put aside what you have read about when Franklin Bittner was born, and follow along.

RULING OUT HENRY
For starters, our Franklin Bittner is not the son of Henry J. and Elizabeth Bittner, who are buried in the Snyder Cemetery, Melcroft, Saltlick Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Even though Henry’s son Franklin is about the right age, that Franklin Bittner left a diary that contains details that prove he is not our ancestor. A copy of the diary is preserved in the library of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The only source for our Franklin’s birth that I know of is the book "Genealogy of the Relatives of William J. Miller", which was originally written in 1899 by William J. Miller of Hamilton Nebraska, and then updated by an unknown author and published in 1963 in Meyersdale PA.

That book states “On the 21st of Sept. 1874, I received from Franklin Bittner, the following record of his family. Franklin Bittner was born in Greenville, Somerset Co., Pa. Jan. 4, 1830, married in Greenville, Somerset Co., Pa.. Aug. 14, 1854, to Mary Beeghley [by] Benjamin Knepper. His wife Mary Beeghley, was born in Elk Lick, Somerset Co., Pa., _________. Died in Greenville, Aug. 14, 1868. Their children are: Josie, born Nov. 15, 1855; Daniel Wesley, born Aug. 13, 1856; Susannah Catharine, born Jan. 9, 1858; Mary Alice, born Jan. 21, 1860; John Lincoln, born May 26, 1864; Sarah Ellen, born Mar. 16, 1866; Thomas Franklin, born Aug. 1868. … Franklin Bittner is married again and has one child. His address: Pocahontas, Somerset Co., Pa. There is some doubt of the correctness of the above record which must be corrected in the future.” Another place in the book references a letter from Michael Beeghley, who indicates that his daughter Mary, deceased, had been married to Frank Bittinger.

I know the name of Franklin’s second wife as Julia from the genealogy notebook of my Grandmother Gladys Edna (Bittner) Korns. The notebook indicates that Franklin sold his farm to Herman Shockey and moved to Jones Mills to "take her away from her people”. My grandmother says she was Julia Yutzy, the daughter of George Yutzy, who lived below the Greenville Lutheran Church. Another source, referenced below, gives her last name as Werner.

FINDING FRANKLIN’S BURIAL SITE
Brent Lindeman wrote that he found a tombstone online for a Franklin F. Bittner who is buried at the Mount Calvary Cemetery near Jones Mill, PA. The tombstone gives a birth date of February 25, 1833 and a death date of Aug. 5, 1907. My sister Dana Moore took a trip to the cemetery to take a photo, and found that Franklin is buried next to Julia Bittner, who was born in 1848 and died in 1923. The photo is attached below.

Eventually I squinted at Dana’s photo again, and realized that Franklin and Julia Bittner were buried next to Sherman and Catherine Bittner, and that Sherman’s death year is 1946. An 1880 census record from Greenville Township shows a Franklin Bittner, wife Julian, son Sherman, and other children; see attached image. My grandmother’s notebook indicates that Franklin and Julia Bittner had a son named Sherman, and indicates that Sherman was first married to Katie Miller, and later married Ellen McKenzie, a widow of Greenville Township. Katie is, of course, a nickname for Catherine.

Tombstones of Franklin and Julia Bittner.

Tombstones of Franklin and Julia Bittner.

PROVING THIS IS THE RIGHT SHERMAN BITTNER
Sherman Bittner’s obituary was included in the March 14, 1946 Meyersdale Republican, and indicates that he died at Scottdale (near Mount Pleasant) and was buried at the Calvary Cemetery. The obituary mentions the second wife, described in my grandmother’s genealogy notebook. The obituary reads: “Sherman Bittner, 75, of Meyersdale R.D. 3, died Friday, March 1, at the home of his sister, Mrs. Lucinda Keller, at Acme, Westmoreland County, Pa. He was ill for several months and was at the Keller home for about six weeks. He was born in Somerset County, a son of the late Frank and Julia (Werner) Bittner, and lived in Scottdale for 40 years; in New York about 5 years, and the rest of his life near Meyersdale. He was a faithful member of St. John's Evangelical Church at White Oak. His wife, Ellen (McKenzie) Bittner remained at his bedside during his illness. He is also survived by one son, Rev. Ernest W. Bittner and a grandson, of Binghamton, N.Y., and his sister, Mrs. Keller. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at the Keller home followed by services in the Calvary Evangelical Church with Rev. Wm. Beal officiating. Burial was made in the Calvary Cemetery. Among those attending the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Sales McKenzie, Meyersdale R.D. 3; Mr. and Mrs. Dallas McKenzie, Friedens; Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Paul, Sand Patch; Mrs. Leora Butler, Salisbury; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bittner and Mrs. John Geiger, Sand Patch R.D., and a number of other friends from White Oak.”

Although the date of Sherman’s death is difficult to read on Dana’s photo, it is definitely 1946; see the photo below.

Tombstone of Sherman Bittner.

Brent Lindeman forwarded the death certificate of Sherman Bittner, signed by his son Ernest Bittner; see the image below. The certificate indicates that Sherman Bittner was born in Somerset County, PA to Frank and Julia (Warner) Bittner, had a wife named Katherine who was deceased at the time of Sherman’s March 1, 1946 death in Acme, PA, and indicates that Sherman was buried in the Mount Calvary Cemetery. Since Sherman is the son of our ancestor Franklin Bittner, we can infer that he is buried next to his parents at the Mount Calvary Cemetery.

Death Certificate of Sherman Bittner.

DEATH CERTIFICATE OF FRANKLIN BITTNER
Brent Lindeman also forwarded the death certificate of Franklin Bittner, which is included below. The certificate is signed by my ancestor Josiah Bittner of Wittenburg, PA, and indicates that Franklin was the son of Fredrick Bittner and Susan Fulton, was born February 25, 1833, and died on August 6, 1907 in Donegal Township, Westmoreland County, and was buried at Mount Olive. Whether this birth date, or the one in the Miller book is accurate, I can’t say, but there can be no doubt that this is “our” Franklin Bittner who is buried near Sherman Bittner at the Mount Calvary cemetery.

Death Certificate of Franklin Bittner.

TIDBITS, BUT NOT DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
The rootsweb.ancestry.com website website references the December 25, 1791 baptism record of what appears to be Franklin’s father John Frederick P. Bittner, and indicates that Frederick’s father was Philip Bittner, Sr., and his mother was Juliana Philippina. The baptism occurred at the Pine Hill Lutheran Church, Somerset County, PA. These rootsweb pages are not documentary evidence, but they indicate where documentary evidence on the ancestors of Franklin Bittner can be found.

GLADYS KORNS' NOTES ON THE FIRST FAMILY OF FRANKLIN BITTNER

According to the genealogy notebook of Gladys (Bittner) Korns of Somerset County PA, Franklin Bittner’s first wife was Mary Beachley, and they had following children:

GLADYS KORNS' NOTES ON THE SECOND FAMILY OF FRANKLIN BITTNER

According to the genealogy notebook of Gladys (Bittner) Korns, Franklin’s second wife was Julia Yutzy, the daughter of George Yutzy, who lived below the Greenville Lutheran Church. Franklin sold his farm to Herman Shockey and moved to Jones Mills to "take her away from her people.

Franklin and Julia had the following children:

NOTES ON THE FIRST FAMILY OF FRANKLIN BITTNER FROM PATTYSUE WINTERS

According to Pattysue Winters, who got her information "mostly from a book her Grandma Bittner kept and passed on to Uncle Leroy":

INFORMATION FROM AN ANONYMOUS PAGE AT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The following from is quoted from an untitled anonymous page from the Bittner File, Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset Co..:

"Mary ___ Beeghly, 1498, (dau of Michael J. Beeghly and Barbara Miller), Pocahontas, Pa., at death, was b. ___ __, 8_- in Elklick twp,. Somerset Co., Pa., d. Aug. 14, 1868, m. Aug. 14, 1854, Franklin __ Bittinger who was b. Jan. 4, 1830 in Greenville twp., Somerset Co., Pa., d. __ __, __, son of ____ Bittinger and ___ ____ Farmer. United Evangelical. She Samuel Miller cemetery, near Pocahontas, Pa. He Mount Zion cemetery, near Jones Mills, Pa. (After her death he m. Julia Ann Werner)"

The page lists Franklin's children as follows:

1880 CENSUS RECORD OF FRANKLIN BITTNER

The following 1880 census record is that of our ancestor Franklin Bittner, who was living in Somerset County PA at the time:


B356
Pennsylvania Vol. 82 ED 8 sheet 2 line 17
Head of family: Franklin Bittner
Color: W
Sex: M
Age: 48
Birthplace: Pa
County: Somerset
M.C.D.: Greenville
Other Members of Family:

Name

Relationship

Age

Birthplace

Bittner, Julian W

W

32

Pa

- Sherman

S

9

Pa

- John L

S

14

Pa

- Ellen

D

12

Pa

- Norman

S

6/12

Pa

1880 census record of Franklin Bittner.

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Parents of Franklin's wife Mary

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