Thomas Ream Sr. was born in 1786 in Ursina, Somerset County, PA, the son of John and Anna Rosina (Weitzel) Ream, and the stepson of (?) (Minerd) Ream. The first name of his stepmother is unknown.
At the age of four, Thomas moved with his parents and siblings to Draketown, Somerset County. He was only six years of age when his mother died from the bite of a poisonous snake.
He married Barbara Haines ( ? - ? ).
They had six known children -- Jacob Ream, John Ream, Moses Ream, Thomas Ream Jr., Christina Jennings and Mary Flanagan. All were deceased by 1884 except for Thomas Jr.
Thomas Sr. is described in the 1884 History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties: Thomas was a miller, and ran the old gristmill at Draketown. He was killed by the falling of a tree one stormy night while returning from a visit to a sick girl. He married Barbara Haines, and was the father of Jacob, John, Moses, Thomas, Christina (Jennings) and Mary (Flanagan). Thomas is the only survivor. He lived at Draketown since his fourth year, farming and milling. He has been justice of the peace twenty years, and was recruiting officer of this township during the late war.
Thomas Sr. died on Feb. 14, 1840, at the age of 53 years, 11 months and eight days. In an obituary, the Somerset Herald amplified the cause of his death as "killed by a limb falling from a tree, as he was walking through his wheat field in which there was deadened timber." His mortal remains were returned to the earth in the Ream Cemetery in Confluence.
~ Daughter Christina (Ream) Jennings ~
Daughter Christina Ream (1811- ? ) was born in about 1811.
She wed Thomas Jennings (1805-1872), one of a dozen children of Capt. Benjamin and Rhoda (Spencer) Jennings.
In a section about the family, the 1884 book History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties said that: "Thomas was born in 1805, and died in 1872. He married Christina Ream...."
When the 1850 census was enumerated, the family dwelled in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, where Thomas was a farmer. Tragically, though, the census-taker marked Christina as "insane." The nature of her disability is not yet known. Among their neighbors that year were kinsmen Israel and Susan Jennings.
Sadly, Christina is believed to have died during the decade of the 1850s. Her burial site is not known. If she rests in the Ream Cemetery in Ursina, the grave is unmarked.
In 1860, federal census records show Thomas heading a household with his three children including his 18-year-old daughter in law Martha Jennings, a "spinster." Their neighbors in 1860 included William and Sarah Ream, uncle and aunt Samuel W. and Mary (Rheims) Ream and first cousin Levi and Hily (King) Ream.
By 1870, when the census enumeration again was made, the 65-year-old Thomas dwelled in the Lower Turkeyfoot Township home of his son and daughter in law, John Rayman and Martha (Knight) Jennings and their four children. Thomas had no occupation that year although his son John was marked as a farmer. As the son was in the midst of a tumultous marriage which later ended in divorce, the living arrangement may well have been very uncomfortable for the old man.
On June 24, 1872, Thomas passed away at the age of 67 years, five months and 19 days. A short obituary was printed a month later in the Somerset Herald. Later that year, their son John advertised in the Herald that he was serving as estate administrator, calling in IOUs and offering to pay an outstanding financial claims.
~ Son Thomas Ream Jr. ~
Son Thomas Ream Jr. (1819-1885) was born on Sept. 9, 1819.
At the age of 24, on July 23, 1843, he was among 53 individuals and 11 Reams who joined the Jersey Baptist Church and were baptized that day. The following year, he was elected a trustee, and his parents joined the church.
Reported the Somerset Herald, he "was known as a kind, accommodating neighbor, always ready to respond to any worthy cause. He served as Justice of the Peace in Lower Turkeyfoot township for about 25 years."
He was married three times and produced children with all three wives.
Thomas' first bride was Hester "Esther" Stull (1825-1850). Their four children were Susan Ream, Rebecca Ream, Albert Ream and Huldah Hester Popey. In 1850, this family dwelled in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, where Thomas was a flour miller.
Sadly, Esther died on Nov. 4, 1850, at the untimely age of 26 years, eight months and 20 days. Her death occurred just one and a half months after the birth of their daughter Huldah, and could have been due to post-partum health complications.
Her remains were placed into eternal repose in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. The plot where she was laid became the Ream family burying area where Thomas himself later would be interred along with a number of their family. Her grave marker stills stands tall and erect, perfectly legible when photographed in July 2016 by the founder of this website.
Esther's demise left Thomas with four young mouths to feed and in need of a mother figure.
Within less than three months, Thomas married again. His second wife was Sarah McMillen ( ? -1865), and they were joined in wedlock on Jan. 20, 1851, by the hand of Rev. John Harned of Harnedsville, Somerset County.
They went on to produce six children -- Austin Ream, Jane Ream, John Ream, George Ream, William Ream and Sarah Ream.
When the census again was taken in 1860, Thomas and Sarah headed a household of nine children, age 14 and under, with three others living under their roof -- 26-year-old domestic Barbary McMillen, 25-year-old mistress Elizabeth Nicklow and 68-year-old house carpenter Thomas McMillen.
Further heartache visited the family when Sarah passed away on or about the second day of the new year in 1865, aged 45 years, one month and 15 days. Her mortal remains were lowered to the earth at the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, in a row including the first wife and other Reams. At the base of her grave marker -- still erect and legible today -- was carved this epitaph:
Kind Angels watch her sleeping dust,
Till Jesus comes to raise the just.
Then may she wake with sweet surprise
And in her Savior's image rise.
Her death left Thomas as a two-time widower with many young mouths to feed in addition to his own.
Thomas' third spouse was Adaline Shaulis (1844-1925), who was 24 years younger than he. She was born on May 12, 1844, the daughter of Levi and Barbara (Berkey) Shaulis.
The couple went on to produce five more children, of whom four have been identified -- Ida Amelia Porterfield, Bertha Ream, Irvin Scott Ream and Joseph Ward Ream.
In 1880, Thomas served in the elected position of justice of the peace for Lower Turkeyfoot. That same year, he and A.S. Hyatt and Eli Conn were the first trustees of the newly built Draketown Methodist Episcopal Church, "a tasty and beautiful church," said the 1884 History, "erected... at a cost of eleven hundred dollars."
He died on June 9, 1885, at the age of 65 years and nine months. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery near Ursina. An epitaph was inscribed on the base of the grave marker, reading as follows:
Dear father with a reverent hand,
This to thy memory given.
While on by one thy household band
God reunites in Heaven.
Adaline survived her husband by a remarkable four decades and made her home during those many years in Lower Turkeyfoot. In her final years, she suffered from heart valve disease.
She passed away on Sept. 13, 1925 in Lower Turkeyfoot. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, but the location of the grave is not yet known, and it may well not be marked. Her son Joseph Ward Ream signed her official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Daughter Susan Ream (1843- ? ) was born in 1843.
Daughter Rebecca Ream (1845- ? ) was born in 1845.
Son Albert Ream (1847-1877) was born in about 1847. He married Barbara "Ellen" Dull (1952-1938), daughter of Frederick and Margaret "Peggy" (Faidley) Dull. See their biography for more.
Daughter Huldah Hester Ream (1850-1914) was born on Sept. 20, 1850. She married D.H. Popey ( ? - ? ). They relocated to Washington County, PA, where they lived in Eldora, near Monongahela, Carroll Township. Suffering from heart problems, Hulda died at the age of 63 on Aug. 20, 1914. Burial was in Monongahela Cemetery.
Son Austin Ream (1851-1861) was born on Oct. 4, 1851. He died at the age of 10 on Oct. 25, 1861, with burial in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. The cause of death is not yet known. A stone was inscribed and erected at the site of his grave. Over the years it has broken in half and the upper half cemeted back into place. The lettering was somewhat legible when photographed by the founder of this website in July 2016.
Daughter Jane Ream (1854- ? ) was born in 1854.
Son John Ream (1850- ? ) was born in 1855.
Son George Ream (1857-1871) was born in 1857. He lived into his teenage years. At the age of 13, he passed away on March 28, 1871. Burial was in the plot of Ream family graves in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, including his mother's. A marker was erected at the grave, and is somewhat legible in the center although worn down on the left and right hand edges.
Son William H. Ream (1859-1943) was born on March 25 1859 in Draketown. At the age of 21, in 1880, he lived at home and earned a living as a flour miller. Later, he became a self-employed carpenter until age forced him to retire. He married Rhoda Anderson ( ? -1945), daughter of Rev. Noah Anderson of Drakedown. They moved to Confluence in about 1899, and remained there permanently. Their known offspring were Mary Shipley Coughenour, Jane Leckemby, Nell Lamison, Pearl Felt, Verna Semple, William H. Ream Jr., Rose Ream, Albert R. Ream, Stella P. Ream and Mildred V. Ream. The 1910 federal census enumeration shows the family living in Confluence, with their married daughter Mary Shipley and her children among those under their roof. At the age of 84, suffering from heart disease of two decades' duration, added to chronic kidney problems, he died on May 20, 1943. Daughter Rose Ream of Confluence was the informant for his death certificate. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, following a funeral sermon preached by Rev. Henry Knoell, and with an obituary appearing in print in the Meyersdale Republican. Rhoda only lived for two more years after her husband's death. She suffered a heart attack and died on Aug. 14, 1945. The Republican listed her surviving brothers as Bruce Anderson and John Anderson of Claysville, PA; Lloyd Anderson of Cameron, WV; and Harvey Anderson of Aleppo, PA.
Daughter Alice C. Ream (1860- ? ), sometimes known as "Sarah," was born in about May 1860.
Daughter Ida Amelia Ream (1866-1941) was born on Nov. 21, 1866. She married James Porterfield ( ? - ? ). James apparently brought a son to the marriage, Roosevelt Porterfield. They made their residence in the rural outskirts of Confluence. Among their offspring were Albert J. Porterfield, John Porterfield, Lloyd Porterfield and Susan Redrick. Less than a few weeks before her 75th birthday, Ida suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died on Nov. 8, 1941. She was laid to rest in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.
Great-granddaughter Phyllis Jane Rederick (1916-1999) was born on March 29, 1916 in Confluence. She as united in marriage with Adrian Conn (1912-1994), son of Edward and Minnie (Hyatt) Conn. (Adrian's brother, Lester Conn, was married to Lucinda "Mae" Shroyer of the family of Laura Belle [Younkin] Shroyer.) Their six children were Barbara Conn, Paul Conn, Richard "Skip" Conn, William Carl Conn, Sara Gallentine and Ann Meehan. The family dwelled in Confluence. Phyllis worked for many years at the Humbert Funeral Home and Furniture Store. They attended the Draketown Church. Sadly, Adrian passed away at the age of 82 in 1994. Phyllis survived him by five years. She joined him in death on Nov. 24, 1999. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American reported that she was survived by 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. James Monticue preaching the funeral service.
Great-grandson Charles Rederick lived in Bullhead City, AZ.
Great-grandson Eugene Rederick made his residence in Electric City, WA.
Great-grandson James Rederick lived in Warren, Trumbull County, OH.
Great-grandson Ralph Ray Rederick Jr. (1923-1987) was born on Dec. 5, 1923. He married a step-cousin, Virginia Elaine Sands (1931-2002), daughter of Robert A. and Alma (Ream) Sands. Ralph was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. The couple had one daughter, Mary Jane Black. Ralph and Virginia divorced within a year of their marriage. He lived for several more decades and passed away in Madison, OH at the age of 64 on Christmas Eve 1987. His remains were returned to Somerset County for interment in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. Former wife Virginia later married twice again, first to James Martin (1932-living) in 1954 and then to Marvin Lemmon ( ? - ? ). Virginia made her home in Perry, OH and died on Nov. 10, 2002, at the age of 71.
Great-grandson Ronald R. Rederick (1935-1954) was born on Aug. 16, 1935. Sadly, his life was short, by his own choosing. Despondent over a failed love affair, the 18-year-old student decided to end his life and, in the late hours of Jan. 16, 1954, shot himself in the head, dying instantly. Interment was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.
Daughter Bertha Ann Ream (1869-1938) was born on Oct. 21, 1868. In about 1884, when she was 15 years of age, she married 18-year-old Francis S. Gerhard (1866- ? ). They lived in Confluence, where Francis earned a living as a lumberman. Their 11 known children were Harry J. Gerhard, Flora A. Gerhard, Sarah F. Gerhard, Russell M. Gerhard, Mayme Ellen Kurtz, Roy Gerhard, Lloyd Gerhard, Roy Gerhard, Lloyd Gerhard, Clarence Gerhard, Charles E. Gerhard, Esther M. Gerhard and Reba Catherine Johnson Firestone. Bertha was afflicted with heart and kidney failure and died at age 70 on Nov. 1, 1938. Interment was in the Jersey Church Cemetery.
Son Irvin Scott Ream (1871-1926) was born on Nov. 16, 1871 (or 1873) in Draketown. At the age of 26, in about 1897, he married 23-year-old Lyda S. Weyant (1874-1912), daughter of Simon and Sarah (Yates) Weyant. Their known children were Harry S. Ream, Edna M. Ream, Adda E. "Addie" Ream, Willis C. Ream, Russell T. Ream and Helen G. Ream. Irwin was a tannery worker in Confluence in 1910 and later a railroad laborer and coal miner. Heartache rocked the family on Sept. 14, 1912 when 38-year-old Lyda died suddenly from an infection following childbirth ("puerperal"). Interment was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. The federal census enumeration of 1920 shows Irvin and his children and grandson Robert Moon living in Confluence. Among their near neighbors that year were his nephew Cyril "Edgar" and Nora Pearl (Harbaugh) Ream as well as widow Phoebe Ann (Burkholder) Younkin of the George A. and Charlotta (Younkin) Younkin family. In the mid-1920s, he lived and apparently worked at a mine in Fairchance, Georges Township, Fayette County. At the age of 55, he suffered a stroke and died on Dec. 7, 1926. Burial was in the Jersey Cemetery. After Irvin's death, many of his children relocated to Westmoreland County, PA where they resided in and around New Kensington.
~ Daughter Mary (Ream) Flanagan ~
Daughter Mary Ream (1812-1860s?) was born in about 1812.
She married farmer Job Flanagan (1806- ? ). Job was six years older than his bride.
They had at least five children -- Annabel Burnworth, Missouri Flanagan, Thomas Flanagan, Marcellus Flanagan and Howard Flanagan.
When the federal census was enumerated in 1850, the family dwelled in Henry Clay Township, Fayette County. That year, other Flanagan families living next door were John and Margaret Flanagan and Andrew and Isabella Flanagan. The Flanagans remained in Henry Clay through the decade of the 1850s and are shown there in the 1860 census, receiving their postal mail at Somerfield, Somerset County.
Mary is believed to have died during the 1860s. The census of 1870 shows the 63-year-old Job heading a household with his youngest three children between the ages of 15 and 23. That year, their mail was delivered at Fayette Springs, Fayette County.
In 1880, at age 76, Job dwelled with his married daughter Mary and her husband Thomas McNear in the Grant District of Preston County, WV.
Nothing more is known.
Daughter Annabel Flanagan (1845- ? ) was born in about 1845. She married Ziba Burnworth ( ? - ? ). They resided in Henry Clay Township during their family-raising years. Their known children were Harry Palmer Burnworth, Jonathan L. Burnworth, William Albert Burnworth, Norman Burnworth and Mrs. J.W. Wilson. They were members of Johnson Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1919-1921, Annabel lived in Confluence. That year, in February, her younger brother Marcellus traveled from his home in Iowa for a two-month's visit.
Daughter Mary Missouri Flanagan (1847-1913) was born on April 24, 1847. Her name also has been spelled "Masonia." She married Thomas McNear (1846- ? ), also spelled "McNair," a native of West Virginia. Between 1878 and 1880, the couple relocated to a farm in the Grant District of Preston County, WV. Their known children were Mary McNear, Francis McNear, Lloyd McNear, Dillworth McNear and Orral McNear. In 1880, Mary's aged father resided under their roof. Sadly, Thomas died sometime in the 20-year span between 1880 and 1900. Mary then relocated her family to Dunbar, Fayette County, where all four sons obtained employment with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Stricken with chronic bronchitis, and an invalid, Mary made her home in her final years in East Liberty near Vanderbilt, Fayette County. She succumbed a day after her 66th birthday on April 25, 1913. A one-paragraph obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that the funeral was held at the home of her son Lloyd in East Liberty, with Rev. H.A. Baum, of the Cochran Memorial Church, preaching the service. Her remains were shipped by rail for burial in the Fairview Cemetery in Confluence. Son Lloyd, residing at Dickerson Run, signed the official Pennsylvania death certificate.
Son Thomas Flanagan (1849-1908) was born on Feb. 11, 1849 in Henry Clay Township. He was married. As an adult, he resided in Confluence and worked in the lumber business. When he was age 58, in August 1907, he gave a deposition on behalf of his first cousin, Sarah (Jennings) Bookman, in her effort to secure her late husband's Civil War pension. He died tragically the following year, at the age of 59, when struck by a moving locomotive while walking along railroad tracks. The horrific accident occurred on April 11, 1908. His broken remains were placed at rest in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery near Ursina.
Son Marcellus Flanagan (1851- ? ) was born in about 1851 in Henry Clay Township. Unmarried at the age of 18, in 1870, he lived on his widowed father's farm in Henry Clay Township. He eventually migrated westward and settled in Iowa, in the town of Manila. He returned to Confluence for a two months' visit in February 1919. He returned in December 1920 and stayed for several weeks. Both visits were fodder for the gossip columns of the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Son Howard Flanagan (1852- ? ) was born in about 1852 in Henry Clay Township.