about 1758 1
Pennsylvania 1
25 Jan 1835 1
Sandy Creek, Mercer, Pennsylvania 1

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about 1758 1
Pennsylvania 1
Male 1
25 Jan 1835 1
Sandy Creek, Mercer, Pennsylvania 1
Maria Magdalena Hoax 1
May 1785 1
Westmoreland, Pennsylvania 1
Spouse Death Date: 31 Aug 1850 1

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The life of Martin Carringer


The ancestry of Martin Carringer is a mystery. There appear to be no church records, town records, or other records which record his birth or baptism. It is probable that he was born in Pennsylvania to parents of German heritage. There were a number of persons with the surname Carringer, Garringer, Kerringer, Gehringer, Gerringer, or variants living in Pennsylvania and Maryland in the period 1750-1780.

The book "The Car(r)ender, Car(r)inder, Carnder, Corinder, Car(r)inger, Car(r)ander, Car(r)endar, Cor(r)inder, Ker(r)ender and Allied Lines, 1740-1990", Volume I, by Minnie Carender provides a family history of the surnames mentioned. The family of Martin Carringer is described, but no clue is given as to his ancestry.

Another book, "Unpuzzling one David Geringer/Gerringer/Garinger/Garringer" by M. Caroline (Garinger) Shaper, describes the probable ancestry of a David Geringer (some records say Carringer) who settled in Frederick County, Maryland. This work also provides some clues for the ancestry of David in Germany. This book describes a Henry Geringer who lived in Lancaster Pennsylvania about 1760, and had four children baptized in the First Reformed Church there. He bought land in Frederick County, Maryland in 1782. There was also a Henry Garringer age 25 who enlisted in the Pennsylvania militia in 1757-8 who was stationed at Fort Augusta on the Susquehanna River during the French and Indian conflict. This may be the same Henry.

There were several German immigrants to Pennsylvania with similar surnames before 1760. The book "Pennsylvania German Pioneers" by Strassburger and Hinke, published 1980 by Genealogical Publishing Company, lists Baltus Gerringer (also listed as Baltes Gering) in 1728, Thomas Garringer in 1738, Jacob Gerringer in 1751, John Georg Gehringer in 1751, and Bestian Garenger and Nicolas Garinger in 1754.

M.A. Carringer, in "The Carringer Family History," edited by Christine Carringer (obtained via email attachment during 2001 from Christine Carringer) provides additional information concerning the Carringer (and similar names) immigrants and the sparse records available in Pennsylvania. This work notes that a Henry Carringer enlisted on 10 June 1757 in Major James Burd's company of the Augusta Regiment of Foot, which formed part of the Second Battalion of Pennsylvania troops stationed at Fort Augusta. He appears on the muster roll of the company from 10 May 1757 to 1 October 1757 as (PA Archives, 5th Series, Vol. 1, p. 92):

"Henry Garringer

Enlisted June 10, 1757

Age 25 years

Term 3 years

Trade, weaver

Country, Germany"

In the muster roll for 10 September 1757 to 1 June 1758, "Henry Garringer" is No. 41. The muster roll and pay list of Col. Burd's Company in the 2nd Battalion of the Pennsylvania Regiment from 1 August to 1 October 1758 shows the name of Henry Garringer as No. 280. He received 4 pounds 10 shillings pay in the list dated 30 September 1758. The Company was in camp at Loyalhanning. On 24 January 1760, he was one of a detachment in garrison at Fort Bedford under command of Lt. Col. Joseph Shippen, listed as a member of Colonel Burd's company as "Henry Carringer." After his three year enlistment was up in 1760, he apparently did not reenlist, since the roll of the company after that date does not contain his name.

Henry Carringer may have settled in the territory between Fort Bedford and Fort Pitt. Although the district was not open for settlement until 1768, many discharged soldiers and other immigrants settled there before the treaty with the Indians was signed by the Penn brothers on 5 November 1768.

The assessment list of 1774 for Brothers Valley Township in Bedford County contains the name "Henry Carragen." The name does not appear in 1773 or 1775. This township is now included in Somerset County, PA. (PA Archives, Third Series, Volume 22, page 77).

It is possible that Henry Carringer was the father of our Martin Carringer. He was in the approximate place at the approximate time of the first record of Martin Carringer.

Martin Carringer's Revolutionary War service includes (obtained from the M.A. Carringer manuscript):

He enlisted from Westmoreland County on 4 September 1776, in what was first known as "the Battalion commanded by Col. Eneas Mackey." After 5 December 1776, the regiment was known as "The Eighth Battalion of Penna. Troops in the Continental Service." It was organized at what is now Kittanning. On 23 November 1776, "Congress directed the Board of War to order the regiment to march, with all possible expedition, by the nearest route, to Brunswick, New Jersey, or to join Gen. Washington wherever he may be." The regiment marched from Kittanning on 6 January 1777, and, after a difficult winter's journey across the mountains, was reported in the camps in New Jersey on 1 March 1777.

On 11 September 1777, the regiment took part in the Battle of Brandywine and on 3 October 1777 in the battle of Germantown, in this instance in the division of Anthony Wayne. On 11 December 1777, it went into winter quarters at Valley Forge. On 5 March 1778, the regiment was ordered to Pittsburgh where they arrived after making an Indian campaign up the west branch of the Susquehanna. For the remainder of the war, the Eighth was engaged in Indian campaigns and building forts on the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers.

The Revolutionary War Service Record for Martin Carringer (National Archives Microfilm Series M881, Roll 826) provides the following highlights:

* Martin Carringer was on the Muster Roll of June, July and August of 1778 of Colonel Carnahan's Company of the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment of Foot, commanded by Colonel Daniel Brodhead.

* He was on the Pay Roll at the rate of 6 2/3 dollars per month. In June 1778, he received pay of 2 pounds, 5 shillings, 10 pence.

* He received four bounty land certificates on 21 December 1784 (Certificates number 48076 A755 (80 dollars), 77949 G755 ($113 and 30/90 dollars), 78171 L755 (40 and 60/90 dollars), and 78294 C755 (80 dollars).

The Pennsylvania Archives show the following: Martin Carringer was a private in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment in 1781 and again in 1783. From 4 May to 31 May 1781, he was serving in a detachment of four men under under Sgt. Robert Porter transporting provisions for troops down the river to Pittsburgh. He received pay for 61 days at one shilling per day. His name appears as "Martin Cariger, Priv." on the receipt. From 1 June to 31 July 1781, he was serving in the same detachment boating forage and provisions on the Monongahela River to Pittsburgh. The receipt for this period shows payment for 61 days at one shilling per day, and his name is spelled "Martin Callinger." For the month of October, 1781, he served in the same detachment, and was paid one shilling per day. The receipt is signed "Martin Carringer, Priv. 8th Penna Rgt." He was on the roll of Capt. John Clark's company in February, March and April of 1783, in a detachment from the PA line commanded by Lt. Col. Stephen Bayard (PA Archives, 5th Series, Vol. 3, pp. 352, 356, 358, 362).

Martin Carringer's name appears in the list of soldiers of the Pennsylvania Line who are entitled to receive donation lands. The record indicates "Martin Carringer, Priv. 200 acres, War Office." (PA Archives, 5th Series, Vol. 3, p. 632).

After the Revolutionary War, he was a resident of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Church records ("The German Church Records of Westmoreland County, PA 1772-1791" by Paul Miller Ruff, 2nd edition, pub. 1980) show the birth and baptismal records of four of their children:

* Joh. Jacob, born 1 October 1785, baptized 16 October 1785, parents Marthinius Geringer and Maria Magthalena, sponsors Nicolaus and Barbara Hack,

* Maria Elisabetha, born 6 September 1789, baptized 25 December 1789, parents Martin Gehring and Magdalena, sponsors Thomas Weickert and Maria Elisabetha,

* Catherina, born 17 July 1792, baptized 26 May 1793, parents Martin Gehringer and Maria, sponsor Maria Catherine Weis

* Georg, born 5 February 1795, baptized 9 June 1795, parents Martin Geringer and Magthalena, sponsors Johannes Grub and Sussana.

Under an Act of the General Assembly of 24 February 1785, distributing the donation lands promised the troops of the Commonwealth, Martin Carringer received Warrant No. 941, containing 200 acres, located in District No. 5 in what is now Perry Township, Mercer County, PA. It was surveyed 3 October 1785 by Benj. Lodge, D.S., and is described as in the County of Westmoreland. The warrant was drawn for Martin Carringer by William Turnbull on 28 August 1797. Martin Carringer went to his land in the wilderness and built a cabin in 1795 or early 1796. The land remained in his family to the third generation (M.A. Carringer manuscript).

A book ("A History of Mercer County, Pennsylvania," published by L. H. Everts & Co, Philadelphia, 1877) provides some insight into Martin Carringer's settlement and character:

"It is claimed by some that Martin Carringer settled in what is now Perry Township in 1795. Alexander McCracken and Hugh Minnis, who settled in Sandy Creek in April 1796, found Carringer already located upon their arrival, so that he must have come very early in 1796 at all events.

"At the time of McCracken and Minnis' arrival in 1796, Martin Carringer, a revolutionary soldier, had settled on a donation tract some three miles south of the Vacancy, within the present limits of Perry Township. By some it is claimed that this man had built a cabin, and begun a clearing in 1795, but Mr. James McCracken now living on part of the old homestead, and who came to the township in 1798, with his parents, states that Carringer had been but two years in the county. The tract which he cleared is now owned by his heirs and James Kelso, and is donation lot 941. He was a German by birth, and eccentric in various respects, and many curious anecdotes are related illustrative both of his benevolence and his fiery temper. A more generous man never lived, and his terrible vituperations, upon the slightest annoyance, was excused by the pioneers, among whom his kind disposition had made him a general favorite. He was in the habit of contributing largely to every object which he believed would promote the good of the new county, and has left a reputation for honesty and integrity that will live forever in the memory of his posterity. One year, after he had been a resident of Mercer County for some time, he raised an unusually good crop of corn, and after harvest a man called upon him and asked if he had corn for sale. 'Are you in need of corn?' said Carringer. The man replied that he was as he was buying grain to sell. 'Then you can't have mine' he replied, 'I raise my corn to give away, and if you are poor and unable to buy you should have a part of it for nothing, but, as you have money, I shall give it to the destitute settlers as they have need of it.' Carringer stated that upon his first arrival at his land he travelled north as far as Conneaut marsh without meeting a single settler." [p. 66]

"About the year 1816, the people resolved to build a new house of worship, and two years later one was erected on the spot where the graveyard now lies. This building was of hewed logs, had a floor and glass windows, and the highest subscription paid toward it was ten dollars by Martin Carringer." (p. 69).

Martin Carringer also receives prominent mention in the "History of Mercer County, Pennsylvania", published in Chicago by Brown, Runk & Co in 1888:

"Mention will be made of one early pioneer, whose life was a succession of eccentric thoughts and equally as eccentric actions. Reference is made to Martin Carringer. He was an old Revolutionary War veteran, whose entrance into (Perry) township dates back, according to the best authenticated accounts, to the year 1796. Some assert that Carringer arrived as early as 1795, and built a cabin. If this could be verified it would unquestionably establish him as the earliest settler in the county. But however the mere date may be, he is fairly entitled to rank among the very earliest pioneers. He settled on donation lot No. 941, which had been granted to him from the commonwealth on account of his services in the Revolution. He was a German, as the name indicates, and was known, in later years, after settlements had been made about him, for his wonderful kindness. He was extremely generous, but his generosity was only extended to the poor and helpless. All worthy public enterprises received his hearty support, and all unworthy ones were as readily met with his vehement opposition. It is seldom in the history of any community that a character is found which deserves higher encomiums than those which even his neighbors and associates bestowed on Martin Carringer" (p. 568).

"Martin Carringer was a native of Westmoreland County, Penn. and came to this county in 1796; was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He settled in Perry Township, and died in 1838. He was the father of Jacob, George, Henry and Joseph, all dead. Jacob was in the War of 1812. George was born in Westmoreland County, and married Isabella Montgomery. He was an early member of the militia. He died in 1876, aged 81 years and was the father of the following children: John, George, Emily, Maude (deceased), Milton, Isabella, married Humphrey Orr, James, deceased, was in the war, Harvey and Jane, wife of Stephen Feather; Isabella Montgomery, wife of George Carringer, died September 24, 1888, aged 85 years, making a residence on the farm they first settled on 67 years." (p. 1119-1120)

Martin Carringer was the largest subscriber to the Upper Sandy Creek Presbyterian Church in Georgetown in 1799, with a mark of $10. In 1818, Martin Carringer, John Sheakley and Samuel Cochran withdrew from the Georgetown Presbyterian Church and joined the Mineral Ridge Associate Reformed (Covenanter) Church.

In the 1820 US Census, the Martin Carringer family resided in Sandy Creek, Mercer County, Pennsylvania (National Archives Microfilm Series M33, Roll 107, Page 199]. The household included one male age 10-16, one male age 16 to 18, three males age 16-26, one male age over 45, two females age 16 to 26, and one female age over 45.

He was officially listed as a Pennsylvania Revolutionary War pensioner on 19 June 1824, when he was 75 years of age. His widow was allowed her pension in 1839 after his death, a resident of Sandy Creek township and 71 years of age. Martin Carringer's Revolutionary War pension file abstract reads:

"CARRINGER, Martin, Molly, W6905 BLW 1259-100, PA line, soldier enlisted in Westmoreland Cty PA, soldier applied 12 Apr 1824 Mercer Cty PA aged 65, soldier married Mary "Molly" Hoax in May 1785 and soldier died 25 Jan 1835 in Mercer Cty PA and widow applied there 8 Feb 1839 a resident of Sandy Creek Twnshp PA aged 71 and widow died there 31 Aug 1850. Children were Jacob, born 1 Oct 1785, Lizbet born 6 Sept 1789, Katharine born 18 Jan 1792, George born 5 Sept 1795, Calli born 9 Mar 1797, Henrick born 6 June 1800, Soloman born 24 Aug 1802, Joseph born 22 Oct 1805. Also shown was a grandchild Tastet born 13 May 1811 and died 27 Aug 1820; soldier's son George signs affidavit 28 Aug 1851 Mercer Cty PA, surviving children at widow's death were Jacob Carrigan, Elizabeth McCartney deceased in 1851, Catherine Cazbe, George, Henry and Joseph Carrigan. Soldier's daughter Elizabeth McCartney died 14 Nov 1850". (Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files" by Virgil D. White, pub. 1990)

In the 1830 US Census, the Martin Carringer household resided in Sandy Creek, Mercer County, Pennsylvania (National Archives Microfilm Series M19, Roll 149, page 237). The household included one male age 20-30, one male age 70-80, one female age 60-70.

The will of Martin Carringer reads (from Mercer County, Pennsylvania Will Book, Volume 2, Pages 33-34, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,878,967):

"In the name of God, amen. I Martin Carringer of Sandy Lake township Mercer County and State of Pennsylvania being old and infirm in body though sound in mind and memory do make and publish this my last will and testament. And first I commit soul to God who gave it and my body to be buried in a decent and becoming manner. Next, it is my will that my funeral expenses and lawful debts be paid first out of my worldly substance. Next I give and bequeath to my son Henry one hundred and fifty acres of land laid off the east end of the plantation whereon I now live including my improvements except the back room where I now live which I reserve for the use of my beloved wife Mary as long as she shall live. Also he is to provide all necessaries of life for her and keep her decently as long as she lives and to her in a horse and saddle and two cows for her use and privilege to take what fruit she pleases for her own use. The horse and cows to be Henry's at her death. Also I give her all her household furniture, beds and clothes to be at her disposal, also he is to keep four sheep for her use as long as she lives. Next I give to my son George the residue of the aforesaid plantation also a lot in the town of Greenville, the choice to be decided by putting the numbers four which I own into a hat -- and he to draw the first ticket and the no. he draws to be his lot. Next I give to my son Joseph two hundred acres of land lot No 965 in the fifth district donation land in said county.

"Next I give to my son Jacob one hundred acres of land on which he now lives. Next I give my three daughters Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary each a lot in the town of Greenville, the choice to be decided as above directed. Next I direct my son Joseph to sell a lot of land which I own in the state of Ohio and keep the proceeds provided he loses the land above named and if he holds the land the money to be equally divided among my three daughters above named. Next I constitute and appoint my son Joseph and Francis Beaty to be executors of this my last will and testament.

"In testimony hereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this third day of March eighteen hundred and thirty."

Martin Carringer (seal)

Signed and sealed in presence of

Henry Williamson, David Beaty

Mercer County.

"This fourth day of Feby 1835 personally appeared before me, Samuel Holstein registrar for the probate of wills in and for said county, Henry Williamson and David Beaty the subscribing witnesses to the annexed will who after being duly sworn according to law did depose and say that they were present and saw the testator Martin Carringer sign the annexed will and heard him acknowledge the same to be his last will and testament and that at the time of his so doing the said Martin Carringer was of sound mind, memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge and belief. Registered Feb 14th 1835. Saml Holstein register letters testamentary issued so dis. to above executor."

The remains of Martin Carringer rest in a large and flat pasture on the land he settled in 1796. His tombstone reads "Martin Carringer departed this life January 25, 1835 in the 80th year of his age." Kelso Cemetery is on private land south of Wolf Road and about 0.2 miles east of Fredonia Road.

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