Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Elusive Stephen Feather (ca 1740-1804)

I am posting some of my most elusive ancestors in hopes that someone will Google their name and find my post. Ideally, the Googlers will provide me with more information about my elusive female ancestor's ancestry. Realistically, they will commiserate with me about the lack of records and wonder why no researcher has figured the problem out yet.

Family of Stephen Feather

Stephen Feather was born before 1740, and died 1804 in Westmoreland County, PA.

Notes for Stephen Feather:

The ancestry of Stephen Feather is unknown. He may be of English or German ancestry. The only data available are limited tax records, some census data, and the Revolutionary War pension file of his son, John Feather.

Stephen Feather paid taxes in New Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey from 1772 through 1780. He served in the Revolutionary War, as did his son John. After the War, Stephen moved his family to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

The 1800 US census record in 1800 shows Stephen Feather with five persons under age 26 (three males, two females) living in his household. The 1800 census also lists a Christopher Feather in Westmoreland county, and the 1810 census shows families for Daniel Feathers and John Feathers in Westmoreland county.

The Revolutionary War Pension Abstract for Stephen's son John Feather gives some background data on this family:

"John [FEATHER], Mary, W3236, NJ Line, sol appl 28 Jun 1833 Mercer Co PA aged 73 and a res of Salem township PA, sol enl in Middlesex Co NJ where he lived and where he was b in 1760 & soon after the Rev War the sol moved to Westmoreland Co PA & in 1822 moved to Mercer Co PA, a son John Feather was aged 61 in 1851 a res of Mercer Co PA & stated sol d there 3 May 1838 leaving a wid Mary who d there on 18 Mar 1847 & he also stated wid's maiden name had been Mary Wheeler & she & sol were m in VA in 1785, in 1851 there were 7 living children; Hannah Hunter, Jane Neely, John Feather, Betsey & Nancy Feather & prior to 1794 was b. Polly Stewart & Stephen Feather (this is the way it was written), sol's bro Cornelius Feather was aged 74 in 1851 a res of Salem township in Mercer Co PA & he stated his & sol's father was Stephen Feather who moved from Middlesex Co NJ about 2 yrs after the Rev War & the next winter moved to VA but returned to Westmoreland Co PA the following spring, sol's daughter Hannah Hunter was aged 65 in 1851 a res of Delaware twnshp in Mercer Co PA & she stated there were 2 dec'd children of sol, towit; William Feather & Rebecca Hunter both dec'd in 1851 & there were 7 living children in 1851." {Abner White, "Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files," Vol. 1, page 1167]

The data on this family was obtained from census records and data obtained from Tom Fetters of Lombard, Illinois.

Children of Stephen Feather are:

i. John Feather, born About 1760 in Middlesex County, NJ; died 03 May 1838 in Mercer County, PA. He married Mary Wheeler 1785 in VA; died 18 March 1847 in Mercer County, PA.

ii. Cornelius Feather, born 1777 in Middlesex County, NJ; died 1852 in Salem, Mercer County, PA. He married (1) unnamed before 1804 in prob. Trumbull County, OH; born before 1785 in CT; died before 1830 in prob. Mercer County, PA. He married (2) Mary before 1850 in prob. Mercer County, PA; born About 1792 in PA; died in prob. Mercer County, PA.


My own ancestry is through Cornelius Feather.

If anyone has additions or corrections to this family data, please, please, please, please (shades of James Brown, eh?) email me at

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