John George Swigert
(1788-1862)
Mary Shugart
(1791-1828)
Catharine Swigert
(1820-1886)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
1. Jonathan Cashman Beecher

Catharine Swigert 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

  • Born: 15 Nov 1820, North Middleton Twp., Cumberland, PA 4 6 9 10
  • Marriage (1): Jonathan Cashman Beecher on 17 Nov 1842 in Carlisle, Cumberland, PA 1 2
  • Died: 26 Feb 1886, North Middleton Twp., Cumberland, PA at age 65 6 9 10
  • Buried: 1 Mar 1886, Carlisle: Salem Stone Church Cemetery, Cumberland, PA 9 10 11

   Another name for Catharine was Catherine Sweigert.5 12

   FamilySearch ID: 9VH8-59J.

  Noted events in her life were:

1. Newspaper: Carlisle Herald: Married on the 17th inst., by the Rev. Henry Aurand, Mr. Jonathan C. Beecker of Perry County and Miss Catharine Swigert of North Middleton Township., 23 Nov 1842, Carlisle, Cumberland, PA. 2

2. Census in 1850 in Frankford Twp., Cumberland, PA. 13 Jonathan Beecher, manufacturer, 31, was living with wife Catharine, 28; George F., 7; and Mary J., 3. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania.

3. Census in 1860 in North Middleton Twp., Cumberland, PA. 14 J. C. Beecher was a tavern keeper, age 41, living with Catharine, 39; Grorge [George], 16, barkeeper; Mary, 12; and daughter Hirametta, 9. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania. His real estate was worth $1,200. The post office was Carlisle, PA. The next name is George Swigert, occupation "gentleman", 71, who is Catherine's father, followed by his son William F. Swigert, 57, farmer, and his family: Eve, 40; son Samuel, 19; Henry, 14; Augustus, 10; and Catharine, 8.

4. Census in 1880 in North Middleton Twp., Cumberland, PA. 15 J. C. Beecher, retired hotel keeper, 62, was living with wife Catharine, 60; George T. Beecher, tinner, 34; and Henrietta Baker, servant, 13. Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania.

5. Tombstone: 26 Feb 1886, Carlisle: Salem Stone Church Cemetery, Cumberland, PA. Inscription

OUR DEAR MOTHER
CATHARINE S. BEECHER
Departed this life
February 26, 1886
Aged 65 years 3 mos and 14 days
'97'97
Sweet ……
Asleep in Jesus peaceful rest,
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
Thy cares and burdens on me lay,
Come unto me and rest.

6. Obituary: Carlisle Sentinel: Died. Mrs. Beecher, the wife of Mr. Beecher, who keeps the hotel on the Waggoner's Gap Road, died yesterday. The funeral will be on Monday at Lower Frankford Church. On 27 Feb 1886 in Carlisle, Cumberland, PA. 11

7. Evidence: Writings from the website of Marcia Sandmeyer Wilson, 2004. 9 This is one of only two photographs I have of my great, great grandmother. (Let's see. Fourth generation means 2 to the 4th power so she is 1/16 of my genetic pool.) Katharine Swigert Beecher was only 60 years old in this photograph but I bet she looked better when she still had all her teeth.

She married Jonathan C. Beecher, who ended up owning her father's tavern on Waggoner's Gap Road in North Middleton, Pa., just outside Carlisle.

The little girl is my grandmother Vena who named her daughter (my mom) after this grandmother.

The young woman behind the stone wall is listed on the census as a servant but described on the back of the photo as a foster child. Wish I knew her descendants so I could show them this photo of Henrietta Baker.

In the old days, when families broke up due to death or divorce, families must have looked for places that would take in children as servants and kind or raise them. I know because another one of my great, great grandmothers, nee Mary Margaret Saxton, married James Huston. But when he died at age 37 in 1838, she sent two of her four children away to be raised by others. Samuel F. Houston was raised from age 4 to 12 by Henry W. Irwin of Mechanicsburg, Pa, and James Huston, age 2, was sent to live with his grandfather, Michael Saxton, also of the Mechanicsburg area. I can't imagine sending a two and a four year old away, but I guess when you were a widow you didn't have too many choices back then. Too bad I don't have any photographs of Mary Saxton, but she was born in 1811 and photography wasn't really prevalent in the United States until the 1850's.

Here is another photograph of my great grandmother, Katharine Swigert Beecher. Look how tired she looks! Of course, she died at age 65 in February 1886, so perhaps she was not feeling well when the picture was taken, poor thing. She must have had a hard life, anyhow. Her mother Mary [last name unknown to me] died at age 37 (probably in childbirth, don't you think? she already had 8 children when she died) when little Katharine was only seven years old, and she was the only girl among all those brothers so she probably had to help out a lot. Then her father's second wife, Margaret Zeigler Cornman died 17 Sept 1829, only one year after Mary! when little Katharine was only 8 years old!

Then Katharine Swigert's second stepmother, Barbara [last name unknown] died in 1838 at age 41 (probably childbirth again, don't you think?) when Katharine was 17 years old. That must have been difficult. But her father George Swigert did what he had to do, owning a tavern and having things that had to be done by a woman. Barbara died in July 1838, and less than a year later, in March 1839, George married for his 4th wife, Elizabeth Hosler, previously either Moore or Snyder or both.

Their subsequent divorce is quoted from court papers in a book by Throop called Cumberland Co. Pa. Divorces, 1789-1860. My gggrandmother Katharine testified that while her father George was away on business, Elizabeth emptied out the house and disappeared. Here is the testimony of my gggrandmother, 18 years old at the time of her father's 4th marriage, 21 at the time of her testimony below.

Oct. 12, 1842 - "CATHARINE SWIGART [gggrandmother of marcia wilson] being duly sworn says she is a daughter of GEORGE SWIGART and lived at home after her father was married to MRS. HOSTLER. They lived something like a year together. The day before she went off from my father's house I was at school. When I returned in the evening dishes and other cupboard furniture had been sent off. My father was absent at the time at Chambersburg. She went off that night secretly she took with her the chief portion of the moveable property in the house such as beds bedding chairs bureaus -- clothing. She took all her own and some of mine. She has never returned to live in the family since. She continues to live in a separate establishment of her own. She came back afterwards in the night and carried off some of my father's clothing and some of mine with silver spoons and other articles. My father was not cross but good to her while she lived with him. She had no reason for going away. She was very pleasant to my father the morning before he went to Chambersburg.She did not tell any of us she was going away. Sworn and subscribed Before me as above stated." [signed William Irvine and Catharine Swigert.]

Other testimony at that divorce state that when George Swigert tried to retrieve his property, his wife Elizabeth threatened sometimes with a cocked pistol, other times with scalding water so nothing was ever retrieved. I think George Swigert learned his lesson. He never married again, even tho he lived to be 73 years old.
.


Catharine married Jonathan Cashman Beecher, son of Peter Beecher Sr. and Catherine Cashman, on 17 Nov 1842 in Carlisle, Cumberland, PA.1 2 (Jonathan Cashman Beecher was born on 11 Feb 1818 in Mount Pleasant Twp., Adams, PA,4 9 10 14 15 16 17 died on 11 Feb 1895 in North Middleton Twp., Cumberland, PA 9 10 16 17 and was buried on 17 Feb 1895 in Carlisle: Salem Stone Church Cemetery, Cumberland, PA 9 16 17.)


Sources


1 The Carlisle Herald (Carlisle, PA), Nov. 23 1842.

2 The Carlisle Herald (Carlisle, PA), 23 Nov 1842.

3 Records of Sharon Nickol Swope (http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=nickol).

4 1870 United States Census, Pennsylvania, Cumberland County, North Middleton Township, Series: M593 Roll: 1332 Page: 237.

5 Shull, William F., The Lineage of Christian Kersheman 1774-1893 (1893. Original copy in possession of Arthur Weaner, 145 Weaner Rd, Gettysburg PA 17325-8118.).

6 Find A Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=51008128.

7 Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, U.S., Death Certificates, 1906-1968 (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates. Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Certificate Number: 116681. George T. Beacher.

8 Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, U.S., Death Certificates, 1906-1968 (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates. Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Death Certificate 73210. Mary J. B. Gibson. Father Johnathan Beecher. Mother Catherine Swigert. Spouse Dr. Chas. Gibson.

9 Research of Marcia S. Wilson, great grandaughter of Mary Jane Beecher Gibson (http://marciasandmeyerwilson.com and emails from Macia S. Wilson).

10 McElwain, Wilbur J., Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, cemetery records collected by Jeremiah Zeamer (Heritage Books, 1994. Pages: xi, 266 p. ISBN: 0788400754), Page 36.

11 The Sentinel (Carlisle, PA) (www.cumberlink.com), 27 Feb 1886, obituary of Mrs. Beecher.

12 Weaner, Arthur, History and genealogy of the German emigrant Johan Christian Kirschenmann, anglicized Cashman (Gettysburg, Pa. :: Priv. print. by A. Weaner,, 1960, 178 pgs. Available online at Heritage Quest.), Appendix C, page 74-90.

13 1850 United States Census, Pennsylvania, Cumberland County, Frankford Township, Series: M432 Roll: 772 Page: 82.

14 1860 United States Census, Pennsylvania, Cumberland County, North Middleton Township, Series: M653 Roll: 1102 Page: 587.

15 1880 United States Census, Pennsylvania, Cumberland County, North Middleton Township, Family History Library Film 1255122, NA Film Number T9-1122, Page 184A.

16 Find A Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=51008064.

17 Cumberland County Courthouse, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Death Record #998, Joanthan C. Beecher.



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