Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Elusive Mary Hoax (ca1768-1850, wife of Martin Carringer)

It's National Women's History month, so I am posting some of my most elusive women 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 Mary/Maria Magdalena/Molly (Hoax/Houx) Carringer --

Mary/Maria Magdalena/Molly Hoax/Houx was born About 1768 in MD, and died 31 August 1850 in Sandy Creek, Mercer County, PA. She married Martin Carringer March 1785 in probably Westmoreland County, PA. He was born about 1758 in probably PA, and died 25 January 1835 in Sandy Creek, Mercer County, PA.

Notes for Mary/Maria Magdalena/Molly Hoax/Houx:

The only clues available for the ancestry of Mary Magdalena (Molly) Hoax (or Houx?) are the Revolutionary War Pension file data which state she was age 71 in 1839, and the 1850 U.S. census record which shows a Mary Caringer, aged 82 born in Maryland, living in the house of Henry Caringer. This defines Mary's birth year as 1767-1768.

The god-parents of their first child, Jacob Carringer, were Nicolaus and Barbara Hack (from German Church records of Westmoreland County, PA) which may be a phonetic version of Hoax (or Houx?), just as Hoax may be a phonetic spelling of Hoaks or Hokes.

There was a Theodore Frederick Houx who had a son Mathias Houx born in 1759 in Frederick, Frederick, Maryland. Mary (Molly) may have been related to this Houx family.

There are many families with surnames like Hack, Houks, Hokes, Houx, Houcks, Hauck, Hough, Hout, Hoat, etc. in Pennsylvania and Maryland in the 1760-1790 time frame, and it may be impossible to determine Mary's ancestry without definitive land or probate records.

Notes for 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.

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.

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)

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)

Children of Mary Hoax/Houx and Martin Carringer are:
i. Johann Jacob Carringer, born 01 October 1785 in Westmoreland County, PA; died 03 September 1865 in Sandy Creek, Mercer, PA (gravestone). He married Elizabeth About 1808 in probably Westmoreland County, PA; born 19 September 1785 in PA (age at death 83y 0m 20d); died 09 October 1868 in Sandy Creek, Mercer, PA (gravestone).
ii. Maria Elisabetha/Lizbet/Elizabeth Carringer, born 06 September 1789 in Westmoreland County, PA; died 20 November 1850 in Perry, Mercer, PA (gravestone). She married McCartney Bef. 1815 in prob. Mercer County, PA.

iii. Katharine Carringer, born 18 January 1792 in Westmoreland County, PA; died after 1860 in Conneaut, Crawford County, PA. She married Abraham Kazebee before 1825 in prob. Mercer County, PA; born in NY.

iv. George Carringer, born 05 February 1795 in Westmoreland County, PA (age at death 80y 11m 24d); died 30 January 1876 in Perry, Mercer, PA (gravestone). He married Isabella Montgomery 25 January 1821 in Mercer County, PA; born 1803 in Westmoreland County, PA; died 24 September 1888 in Mercer County, PA.
v. Calli/Clara Carringer, born 09 March 1797 in Sandy Creek, Mercer County, PA; died before 1810 in Mercer County, PA.

vi. Heinrich/Henry Carringer, born 06 June 1800 in Sandy Creek, Mercer County, PA; died 10 August 1881 in Columbus City, Louisa County, IA (gravestone, "age 78"). He married Sarah Feather Bef. 1825 in Mercer County, PA; born 07 June 1804 in Warren, Trumbull County, OH; died 09 April 1848 in Perry, Mercer County, PA (gravestone).
vii. Soloman Carringer, born 24 August 1802 in Sandy Creek, Mercer County, PA; died after 1820.

viii. Joseph Carringer, born 22 October 1805 in Sandy Creek, Mercer County, PA; died 08 June 1869 in Columbus City, Louisa County, IA. He married Anna Maria/Mary Ann Spangler About 1835 in Mercer County, PA; born 10 January 1818 in Winchester, Frederick County, VA; died 30 December 1869 in Mercer County, PA.


I truncated the notes for Martin Carringer a bit - I have more about his possible parents, his pension file and his military service records.

My own ancestry is through his son, Henry Carringer who married Sarah 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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