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Does She Fit?
Trying to Connect Nancy (Howard) Miner Provance
(1804- ? )


Nancy (Howard) Miner/Minor Provance (1804- ? ) was born in about 1804 in [West] Virginia or Pennsylvania. Her parents were Absalom and Mary (Smith) Howard, of Greene County, PA, who were married in 1843 in Tyler County, WV.

Nancy's lineage is spelled out in a 1997 edition of The Howard Historian, published by Curt Howard.

Circa 1824, Nancy wedded her first husband, (?) Miner/Minor. They were the parents of a son, Washington Minor, born in 1826 in Pennsylvania. We are trying to determine if Nancy's husband connects to our Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor of German origin.

Mr. Miner/Minor died prior to 1830, when their son was but a young boy.

She married again to Simeon Provance (1803-1887), the son of Joseph Yard and Elizabeth (Carter) Provance. Nancy's second marriage produced several children, among them Cephas Provance and Denune Provance. Simeon also appears to have adopted Nancy's son from the first marriage and given him his surname, Washington Provance.


Book naming Nancy
and Simeon Provance

The 1830 census places Simeon and family in Whiteley Township, Greene County, PA, with one adult male and female and one son under age age of five, likely Washington. In 1840, the Simeon Provance clan was in German Township, Fayette County, PA, with six individuals in the household.

Circa 1850, when the census was taken, Nancy, Simeon, and sons Josephus "Cephas" Provance (1834- ? ) and Denune Provance (1837- ? ) lived in Wood County, VA (now West Virginia).

When the census again was taken in 1860, the Provances were in Tuppers Plains, Olive Township, Meigs County, OH, sharing a home with their son Denune and living next door to son Washington. Simeon, Denune and Washington all were marked as laborers.

The Provances remained in Olive Township during the 1860s and into 1870. The census-taker of 1870 marked Simeon's occupation as farm laborer.

During the decade of the 1870s, Simeon and Nancy relocated into southwestern Pennsylvania, making a home in Dunbar Township, Fayette County, PA. Simeon worked as a laborer, and 69-year-old widow Mary McClean, marked as Simeon's sister-in-law, lived under their roof. Dwelling next door was their married son Denune, also a laborer, and his wife and large brood of children.

Simeon died in late January or early February 1887. An obituary was published in the Connellsville (PA) Weekly Courier, saying he had been a resident "of Dunbar township [who] died recently at the advanced age of 83 years. he was born in Nicholson township, and leaves a wife and two sons. His wife is almost 83 years of age, and is still hale and hearty."

In March 1893, her son Washington came for a visit and spent the night at her home. Tragically, while en route home the next day, he was run over and killed by a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train at Mt. Braddock near Uniontown.

Evidence suggests that Nancy was dead by 1900. Details of her final fate are unknown.

Nancy and Simeon are named in Howard L. Leckey's book The Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Families.

One possibility is that Nancy's first husband was of the English family of Miner-Miner, also of southwestern Pennsylvania. A search was made of the definitive book Thomas Minor Descendants, 1608-1981, authored by John Augustus Miner, but no references were found for anyone named "Nancy Howard" or "Provance" or "Washington Minor/Miner."


Hopwood Cemetery

~ Son Washington Minor ~

Washington Minor (1826-1893) was born in 1826 in either Pennsylvania or West Virginia. The specific place of his birth is not yet known but a key in the puzzle of trying to connect him to our Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor group.

He was but a boy when his father died. When his mother remarried, Washington was raised under his step-father's surname, "Provance" and used it until later in life.

In adulthood, he stood 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighed 147 lbs., with dark hair, dark eyes and a dark complexion. He could neither read nor write.

On July 15, 1845, at the age of 19, Washington married 16-year-old Margaret Nicely (1829- ? ), a native of [West] Virginia and the daughter of John Nicely, also spelled "Knicely." Their nuptials were performed in the home of Joseph Provance in Monongahela Township, Greene County, PA by justice of the peace Benjamin Mapel. Among the witnesses were Mapel's wife Mary and teenager Samuel McCann. Any record Mapel may have kept of the ceremony became lost or destroyed over time.

Their children, listed below, initially raised under the name Provance, and also changed their names, were William A. Miner, Daniel Zane Miner, John "Jack" Miner, Nancy Hawk, Astinashia Miner, Josephine Miner, Emily Rankin, Josephus Minor  and Margaret "Maggie" Joliffe.

Washington's younger half brothers naturally kept their Provance surnames -- Denune Provance and Josephus "Cephas" Provance.

The young family originally dwelled in Wood County, [West] Virginia in 1850.

The census of 1860 shows them in Tuppers Plains, Olive Township, Meigs County, OH, with their children ranging in age from 13 to two. Their next door neighbors were Washington's mother and stepfather.

At the time of the Civil War, on Oct. 29, 1863, at age 37, Washington left home in Meigs County at age 37, and went to the town of Pomeroy to enlist in the Union Army. He was placed within the 7th Independent Battery, Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery, with his company commanded by H.P. McHaughton. His sons William, Daniel and John "Jack" also served with Ohio regiments during the war.

The battery was sent to Mississippi to guard the outskirts of Vicksburg. In March 1864, at Camp Hebron, on the local Hebron's plantation, he developed bad chest cold and a skin rash known as erysipelas. His half-brother Josephus Provance, in the same regiment, was detailed to keep an eye on Washington's illness, which continued for two months and during which time he "suffered severely," wrote the brother. The disease must have impacted Washington's eyesight, as one witness said he had to be led around at times.


Camp Dennison, Ohio, where Washington was discharged from the army


In all, he served in the army for three years, four months and three days. His battery was honorably discharged at Camp Dennison, OH on Aug. 11, 1865, after the war's end.

Between the years 1867 and 1870, the family pulled up stakes and moved from Ohio into southwestern Pennsylvania. When the census was taken in 1870, they made their home near Masontown in Springhill Township, maintaining the "Provance" spelling. At some point in time, in an amazing gesture, Washington changed his name back to his birth father's name, "Miner," perhaps an Army requirement. This change appears to have been inconsistent, as alternate spellings were used over time.

The 1880 U.S. Census lists Washington, Margaret and family in Monongahela Township, Greene County, with him earning a living by chopping wood. Rheumatism and declining eyesight reduced his ability to work. Neighbor Alfred Maple wrote that "His business is a lumber man and because of his affliction is unable to make a living by manual labor." Neighbor Andrew Sterling recalled that he employed Washington at times and lent him eyeglasses during jobs. Washington received medical care and prescription medicines from Dr. Ira D. Knotts of Dunkard Township and Dr. J.P. Milliken of Greensboro.

Under the name "Provance," Washington applied for and was awarded a military pension in 1887 in recognition of status as a an ailing veteran, claiming heart disease and some blindness in one eye. Friends Absalom and Alexander McClain, of Point Marion, Fayette County, provided an affidavit in support of his case. [Invalid App. #606.434 - Cert. #761.120]. He received monthly government checks for the rest of his life, with each month's payment totaling $6. At no time in his correspondence with the Bureau of Pensions did he use the name "Miner" or "Minor."

On Oct. 12, 1885, Washington and Margaret purchased a farm of 20 acres in Dunbar Township from seller James Russell but by 1893 were living in Dunkard Township.

A special U.S. Census enumerating Civil War veterans and their widows was made in 1890. Washington was among those counted, and resided in Greensboro, Greene County at the time. The census-taker noted that Washington suffered from eye problems and rheumatism. Circa 1893, their address was New Geneva, Fayette County.

Tragically, Washington was killed in a railroad accident on March 4, 1893. Reported the Pittsburgh Press, he "was run over and killed on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad at Mt. Braddock this morning. He had spent the night with his mother and was crossing the track to take a train home when he was struck by the engine. Miner was 68 years old and leaves a wife and eight children, all of whom are married."

Samuel Hixon and Albert Rankin, both of Hopwood, Fayette County, were called to view and identify the remains. His broken body was buried at the Hopwood Cemetery near Uniontown, PA. News of the tragedy was reprinted throughout the state in the Wlkes-Barre News and Canonsburg Weekly Notes, among other newspapers.

After his grisly death, Margaret began receiving his monthly pension payments. [Widow App. #579.490 - Cert. #409.699]. Friends Thomas Johnson and Alfred Mapel testified in government affidavits that she had no property except for her household goods, one cow worth no more than $75, some chickens and a dog. She earned a meager income by providing light work for neighboring families and occasionally selling chickens and eggs.

On July 19, 1907, Margaret celebrated her 77th birthday with a family gathering at her home in Lick Hollow. Reported the Hopwood Chronicle, "Mrs. Miner is rather feeble, but she enjoyed the day very much. A fine dinner was served and enjoyed by all. The out of town guests present were Mrs. Nancy A. Hawk and children and Mrs. Wolf of Vanderbilt, Mrs. Josephine Price of Rice's Landing, Mrs. Lucinda Miller of Dunbar, Mrs. Maggie Jolliffe and son of Uniontown and Mr. and Mrs. Albert Rankin and son of Riverview."

She contracted pneumonia and died four days later, at the age of 80 on Jan. 10, 1911 at home in Hopwood. Interment was in Hopwood Cemetery. Her obituary in the Uniontown Morning Herald noted that she was "one of Hopwood's oldest women.... She had been ill from the infirmities of old age for a number of years and her weakened condition made her an easy victim of pneumonia. She was a woman very highly respected and her death has caused the deepest sorrow in the little mountain village." Rev. Ray G. Manley, of the family of Christmas and Emily (Rankin) Leonard, preached the funeral sermon.


~ Grandson William Andrew Miner ~


Hopwood Cemetery

William Andrew Miner (1847-1928) was born on March 28, 1847 in Meigs County, OH, across the river from Wood County, WV, which he occasionally claimed as his birthplace. He was raised under the name of "Provance," which was his step-grandfather's surname. In adulthood, he stood 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and black hair. He served in the same Civil War unit as his father -- the 7th Battery of the Ohio Light Artillery. William enlisted at Long Bottom, Meigs County, OH on Feb. 26, 1864. During the conflict, on Aug. 7-9, 1864, he began suffering from a fever. It went away, and he returned to duty. The fever struck again in the winter of 1864-1865, and he was treated on or about Feb. 18-19, 1865. He was honorably discharged at Camp Dennison, OH on Aug. 11, 1865. On May 2, 1869, in a wedding held in Meigs County, OH, William "Provance" was united in matrimony with Mary Elizabeth Smith (July 7, 1851-1929). Rev. Dr. David A. Hannum officiated. The 10 children produced by this marriage were Margaret M. Dennis, Nancy E. Baker, Charles Marion Miner, Elsworth "Elzie" Miner, Albert Miner, Daniel Zane Miner II, Josephine Danser, Emily Pearl Wilson, William A. Miner, Rebecca May Sayers Wooten and Millie Miner. William and Mary lived in Olive Township, Meigs County, OH in 1870 in close proximity to his grandmother and step-grandfather Nancy and Simeon Provance. They relocated to southwestern Pennsylvania sometime after the birth of their daughter Josephine in 1884. William was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage and died on July 18, 1928. Burial was in Hopwood Cemetery near Uniontown, PA.

In July 1949, daughter Emily Pearl Wilson hosted a reunion of the Miner family, with the news published in the Uniontown Morning Herald. "Baseball proved popular with the younger set while older members of the group found pleasurer in reminiscing," said the Morning Herald. Albert was named the oldest man attending. Arthur Whoolery was elected chairman and Josephine Danser as secretary. The clan's sixth reunion is known to have been held at Rainbow Park in August 1955, with swimming and games providing the entertainment. Earl J. Sharp was elected president, Arthur Wollery vice president, Gladys Sharp secretary, Elsie Roby treasuer and Devonna herrington and Walter Kiger in charge of games and prizes. Daniel Zane Miner II was awarded a prize as the oldest member present; Norma Dunham as having traveled the furthest; and the infant son of William Kooser as the youngest. Officers in 1960 were Wakter Kiger, president; Devona Herrington, vice president; Armeda Whoolery, secretary and Arthur Whoolery, treasurer.

  • Granddaughter Margaret M. "Maggie" Miner (1870- ? ) was born on July 13, 1870 in Meigs County, OH. At the age of 17, on Aug. 15, 1887, she was united in matrimony with 22-year-old coal miner Charles Dennis ( ? - ? ), son of Christopher and Lucinda Dennis of North Union. Their nuptials were held in Fayette Couinty, PA, and because Maggie was legally underage, her father signed his consent for her to marry. She was deceased by about 1928.
  • Granddaughter Nancy E. Miner (1872- ? ) was born on Aug. 10, 1872 in Meigs County, OH. She never learned to write, and signed her name with an "X." She was joined in wedlock at the age of 19 with 23-year-old laborer Andrew Baker ( ? - ? ), son of Jonathan and Catherine Baker. Their wedding was held on the Fourth of July 1892.
  • Grandson Charles Marion Miner (1874- ? ) was born on Oct. 3, 1874. He made his home in Carmichaels, Greene County, PA. He married Minerd step-cousin Jennie White. See her biography for more.
  • Grandson Elsworth "Elzie" Miner (1876-1960) was born on April 10, 1876 in Ohio. He married Zelia (Passavant) Rice (1874-1948), a daughter of Philip Passavant and granddaughter of Rev. William A. Passavant, founder of Pittsburgh's Passavant Hospital. She had been married once before and bought nine children to the marriage -- George Rice, Martha Sproul, Leona Leinwand, Ruth Rice, James R. Rice, Emma V. Hollar, Phillip Rice, Edward J. Rice, Frank P. Rice and Philip L. Rice. They resided in Ohio Pyle, Fayette County, and were members of the Hopwood Christian Church. Elzie was a longtime coal miner. Circa 1929, he served as administrator of the estate of his late father. Zelia suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died on July 11, 1948. She was interred in Hopwood Cemetery. Elzie survived her by a dozen years. He had a heart attack and died suddenly on June 28, 1960, at the age of 84. Burial was in Sunset View Cemetery in Chalk Hill, Fayette County.
  • Grandson Albert Miner (1879- ? ) was born on March 27, 1879. He may have been deceased by about 1928.
  • Grandson Daniel Zane Miner II (1882-1957) was born on April 18, 1882 in Meigs County, OH. Circa 1912-1913, he worked as a laborer in the Hopwood area of Uniontown, Fayette County, PA. On New Year's Day 1913, he wedded 21-year-old Mary M. Whoolery ( ? - ? ). He was a longtime coal miner. At one time, they dwelled in Arnoldsville, WV. Their final years were spent in the rural outskirts of Waynesburg, Franklin Township, Greene County, PA. As a patient in Greene County Memorial Hospital, having suffered a heart attack at the age of 75, Daniel passed into eternity on June 24, 1957. R.R. Miner, of Baltimore, MD, signed the death certificate. A brief notice was published in the Uniontown Evening Standard. He rests for all time in LaFayette Memorial Park in Brier Hill, Fayette County.
  • Josephine Danser and her brother Charles Marion Miner, 1958
    Granddaughter Josephine "Jose" Miner (1884- ? ) was born on Sept. 11, 1884 in Meigs County, OH. On June 4, 1902, when she was 17 years of age, she married Guy Dancier ( ? - ? ), sometimes spelled "Danser" and "Dancer," the son of Calvin and Minerva Dancier of Brownfield, Fayette County. Because Josephine was legally too young to marry, her father signed his consent. They bore these known daughters -- Elsie Roby Miele, Beverly Danser and Laura Jo Danser. The couple lived in Hopwood. Josephine enjoyed keeping connections with distant relatives. In May 1942, she is known to have spent a week visiting with cousin Perry Nicely to celebrate his 86th birthday and also to visit with her aunt, Caroline Coleman Baker of Tuppers Plains near Long Bottom, Meigs County, OH. Then in October 1942, she and Ada Fuller of Connellsville returned to Parkersburg to attend the Cale-Nicely family reunion, held at the residence of Lawrence Cale near Elizabeth, Wirt County. Josephine was back on the road in July 1943 when she and her daughter Elsie Roby motored to Philadelphia and Trenton, NJ to see daughters Beverly and Laura Jo as well as nephew Arthur Miner. At the time, daughter Beverly was employed at the U.S. Naval Shipyard and Laura Jo as a student nurse at Philadelphia General Hospital. Josephine attended a William Miner family reunion in July 1949 at the home of her sister Emily Pearl Wilson and was elected secretary. Her role as secretary continued well into the late 1950s. Then traveling with Pearl Wilson, Charles Miner and the Earl J. Sharps in September 1950, they went to Laurelville, OH to attend the Smith Reunion and then continued into Michigan to see Josephine's married granddaughter, Mrs. R.E. Cooper, in the town of Garden City. In May 1951, Josephine was back in Garden City to visit with the Coopers and in June 1951 in Sacramento, CA to see her married daughter and husband, Richard and Laura Jo (Roby) Mays. She returned to Sacramento in June 1955. She spent three-and-a-half months in Arizona and California in early 1960, seeing her married granddaughters Beverly (Roby) Cooper and Laura Jo (Roby) Mayes and in-law Mrs. Frank Danser. Josephine and daughter Elsie Miele made a return trip to Arizona and California in 1962 to be with the Roby granddaughters. Finally slowed by age and infirmities, she moved into the Golden Age Nursing Home in Brownsville in February 1967 and then by July 1971 was in the Spear Convalescent Home in Markleysburg.
  • Grandson Emily "Pearl" Miner (1887- ? ) was born on Feb. 3, 1887 in South Union Township near Uniontown, Fayette County. She did not marry until she was age 30. On Sept. 4, 1917, she was joined in matrimony with 50-year-old Albert Wilson ( ? - ? ). The Wilsons resided along the Hopwood-Fairchance Road in Brownfield, Fayette County. In July 1949, they hosted a reunion of the Miner family, with the news published in the Uniontown Morning Herald. "Baseball proved popular with the younger set while older members of the group found pleasurer in reminiscing," said the Morning Herald. Albert was named the oldest man attending. Arthur Whoolery was elected chairman and Josephine Danser as secretary.
  • Grandson William Andrew Miner (1890-1948) was born on Sept. 21, 1890 or Sept. 22, 1889 in Hopwood, Fayette County. (Records differ.) He made a living as a laborer and dwelled on Pine Knob Road in Hopwood. Tragically, in the wee hours of the morning of June 6, 1948, he was involved in an automobile accident and died of a fractured skull. Paul Miner of Hopwood signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. The body was interred in the Ross section of Hopwood Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Rebecca May Miner (1892- ? ) was born on May 9, 1892 in Wirt County, WV. On Sept. 16, 1918, she was joined in wedlock with her first spouse, (?) Sayers ( ? - ? ). Their wedding was held in Washington County, OH. Later, she married Charles Otis Wooten (June 18, 1885- ? ), son of Albert W. and Jamima (Davis) Wooten of Gallia County, OH.
  • Granddaughter Millie Miner (1895- ? ) was born on June 17, 1895. She was deceased by 1928. Burial was in Hopwood Cemetery, where a marker stands at her gravesite.


~ Grandson Daniel Zane Miner ~


Hopwood Cemetery

Daniel Zane Miner (1848-1904) was born in 1848 in Meigs County, OH, across the river from Wood County, WV, which he occasionally claimed as his birthplace. Daniel served in the 193rd Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. He enlisted on Feb. 13, 1865 in the final months of the conflict. After serving a term of six months, he was discharged at Winchester, VA on Aug. 4, 1865. After the war, Daniel and his parents moved to southwestern Pennsylvania. The federal census enumeration of 1870 shows the family near Masontown, Springhill Township, with the 22-year-old Daniel going by the surname "Provance" and earning a living as a farm laborer. On Aug. 13, 1870, in nuptials held at Morris Cross Roads, Fayette County, PA, he was united in holy wedlock with Ohio native Lucinda McClain (May 26, 1851-1908), daughter of Joseph and Mary (Baker) McClain of West Virginia. Justice of the peace Jonathan Monroe officiated. Their half-dozen children were Caroline McGowan Ealy, George H. Miner, Daisy Weltner Varndell, Albert Miner (married to Elizabeth Minard), Josephus Miner and Maida Louise Milliron. In 1871, their eldest daughter Caroline was born in Point Marion, Fayette County. By 1880, John secured employment as a coal miner, and the family relocated to near Uniontown, the county seat of Fayette County. In about 1886, while unloading lumber along the Cheat River, he injured his back. Federal census records for 1900 show the Miners living in North Union. On the fateful day of March 22, 1904, while walking, he "fell after walking a short distance in the road and lived but a short time after being carried into the house," reported the Uniontown Daily News Standard. "His death was sudden and unexpected to the family." Among those attending the funeral were the soldier's brother-in-law Albert Rankin and sister Maggie Jolliffe. After Daniel's death, she moved to her daughter Caroline's home in Renova, Clinton County, PA but then returned in 1906 to Dunbar, Fayette County. Mary survived her husband by four years and petitioned to receive her late husband's pension, appointing her brother in law Richard Varndell as her attorney. Stricken with liver cancer, the 57-year-old Lucinda passed away on Sept. 28, 1908. Dr. Daniel K. Cameron was present at death. An obituary in the Uniontown Morning Herald noted that she was "an aged and respected resident of this place [Dunbar]" and that she was survived by her brothers Simon McClain and Ab. McClain of Point Marion and that Rev. David Ewing Minerd -- the famed "Blacksmith Preacher" of Fayette County -- led the funeral service. Her son Bert of Dunbar signed the death certificate. Daniel and Lucinda are buried together at Hopwood Cemetery near Uniontown.

  • Granddaughter Caroline E. "Carrie" Miner (1871-1953) was born on May 13, 1871 in Point Marion, Fayette County, PA. She was twice married. Her first spouse was Hugh McGowan ( ? -1929). They made a residence in Renovo, Clinton County, PA. Sadly, Hugh died in late December 1929. Among those traveling to attend the funeral was Albert Miner of Dunbar. Later she was joined in marriage with Joseph Ely ( ? - ? ), also spelled "Ealy." Her address in the early 1950s was 525 Ontario Avenue in Renovo. She died in Lock Haven Hospital, Clinton County, PA on Feb. 2, 1953. Interment was made in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Drurys Run, Renovo, PA.
  • Grandson George H. Miner (1873-1940) was born on May 19, 1873 in Point Marion or Wheeler, PA. He made a home in 1908 in Uniontown. On Aug. 30, 1891, at the age of 21, George was joined in holy matrimony with Mary Alice Jordan ( ? - ? ). Their two known offspring were Pansey Copperidge (born 1899) and Violet Bates (born 1896). In the 1900 federal census enumeration, this family's surname was misspelled "Minerd." George earned a living as a laborer. Their address circa 1939-1940 was 1416 Water Street in Brownsville, Fayette County. George succumbed to death after a stroke of apoplexy on March 28, 1940. Interment was in Percy Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Daisy Myrtle Miner (1875-1949) was born on June 23, 1875 in Point Marion, Fayette County. She was twice married, first to (?) Weltner ( ? - ? ). The couple eloped to Cumbrerland, MD. Her second spouse was William T. Varndell ( ? - ? ). She dwelled in Hopwood, South Union Township. Suffering from kidney disease and uremia, Daisy passed into eternity at the age of 74 on Oct. 1, 1949. Her remains were interred in Hopwood Cemetery. Their descendant Joan Ruse has researched this family and graciously shared her findings with the founder of this website.
  • Grandson Albert Miner (1881- ? ) was born on July 22, 1881. Albert married Elizabeth Minerd and resided in 1908 in Dunbar.
  • Grandson Josephus "Joseph S." Miner (1883-1936) was born on Oct. 13, 1883. He lived at home in Hopwood in 1908. He eventually married and relocated to New Jersey, settling in Newark. They were the parents of a daughter, Florence Miner. Josephus was stricken with a serious illness in about 1935 and lingered for a year until the Angel of Death carried him away, at the age of 52, on Oct. 31, 1936. Funeral services were held in his residence with burial in a Newark cemetery. Word of his passing was sent to his sister Daisy Varndell in Hopwood, and an obituary was printed in the Uniontown (PA) Morning Herald.
  • Granddaughter Maida Louise Miner (1895-1972) was born on Jan. 9, 1895. She was not yet a legal-age adult at the death of her mother, and her brother Joseph was named as her guardian. By 1911, she is known to have been living in Renova, Clinton County, PA and returned to Dunbar to visit her brothers Albert and Josephus, as recorded in the gossip columns of the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier. By 1936, Maida wedded Harry Milliron ( ? - ? ) in a wedding held on April 17, 1913 in Lock Haven, Clinton County. The couple put down roots in Renova. Maida died in Buffalo, NY on Dec. 7, 1972.


~ Grandson John "Jack" Minor ~

John "Jack" Miner (1849-1909) was born on May 9 (or Feb. 1), 1849 in Meigs County, OH, across the river from Parkersburg, Wood County, WV, which John claimed as his birthplace. He never learned to read or write. John once told officials that "I was raised by my grandfather Simeon Province and always thought my name was Province until my discharge when I came home I was told by my relatives and friends that my name was John Minor." Family friend A.B. McClain confirmed the differing names story, writing that John "was born and raised in his grandmother's family, whose name was Province; and he was known by the name of John Province untill after he came home from the army. He was so accustomed to that name that he did not know his real name was Miner for many years." As an adult, he stood 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighed 171 lbs., with a dark complexion, brown eyes and dary hair. John served in the Union Army during the Civil War using the name "John Province" alias "John Minor" and was a member of the 186th Ohio Infantry, Company I. He enlisted at Camp Chase, OH at the tail-end of the war, on Feb. 16, 1865, at the age of 15½. His term of service lasted for six months, and he received an honorable discharge in Nashville, TN on Sept. 18, 1865. Under the name "Provance," on Nov. 4, 1869, he was joined in wedlock with Louisa V. Wilson (March 23, 1853-1934), the only child of Samuel Washington and Clara (Wilson) Smith of Reedville, Meigs County. The ceremony was held in Long Bottom/Pomeroy, Meigs County, officiated by Rev. Dr. David A. Hannum. John's uncle Denune Provance is known to have attended the wedding. Born under the name "Smith," Louise took her mother's maiden name after the mother and father divorced. The Miners' six children they produced were John Miner Jr., Jessie Simpson, Washington Miner II, Elizabeth Miner, Arthur Miner and Evelyn "Eva" Breckenridge. In the first year of marriage, the couple lived with John's parents. They eventually relocated to Fayette County, PA, where in 1870 John was enumerated on the census as a farm laborer -- using the Provance name -- in his parents' home near Masontown in Springhill Township. During the 1870s, John secured employment in Pittsburgh as a coal miner, and the family is shown there in the 1880 U.S. Census under the surname "Miner." He disclosed to the census-taker in 1880 that he had been unemployed for 10 months out of the past year. He also is known to have been a heavy drinker. In 1892, John was awarded a military pension as compensation for his Civil War sufferings. [Invalid App. #1.107.662 - Cert. 1.063.673]. A number of friends signed affidavits trying to explain to the government the confusion over the names Provance/Province and Miner and testified to the fact that regardless of the spelling, he was the same man. Among them were fellow 186th Ohio soldiers Edward Congrove and Lemon Williams, both of Meigs County.

John was employed as a coal miner in Brownsville and North Union Township. On or about Dec. 14, 1886, he was caught in a fall of slate while at work, seriously injuring his back and neck. His co-worker Ezra Fell was with him at the time and recalled that "a piece of the slate roofing fell on him, seriously injuring his back, and my attention was called to it very soon after it occurred. Since that time we have been in each other's company almost continuously, and I know that he has been materially afflicted, and very often unable to perform manual labor." Co-worker James K.P. Yauger also was aware of the injuries. The damage kept him from working regularly for some 48 monkths. He also suffered from rheumatism which he claimed was an old Civil War ailment. Circa 1903, the family home was in the Cadwallader community in South Brownsville. John also earned income over the years as a farmer. He was further injured in a freak accident circa April 29, 1902 involving his son Washington. The two men were standing on opposite sides of a fence, with John looking at an ornery cow. Washington handed John a "bunch of straw," wrote the son, "and as he turned around he tramped on small stone which broke his leg and threw him down. He was sober." Physician Wilbur M. Lilley, M.D., of Brownsville came within a short time to treat the leg. Lilley wrote that he " found he had a Potts fracture and claimed to me that he stepped on a sound stone which wrenched his ankle and threw him resulting in a fracture which is entirely possible. When the leg was set which was in one half hour from the time of injury he was sober and I attended him until he was able to walk. His leg will hurt him always on account of his age." Sadly, on Sept. 6, 1909, he mysteriously was found dead near the plant of the Brownsville Coke Company, of unknown causes. The deputy coroner simply wrote "Died without medical attendance." He was buried at Brownsville's Bridgeport Cemetery. The following April, Louisa began receiving her late husband's monthly pension checks and continued for the balance of her life. [Widow App. #940.009 - Cert. 744.570]. She survived her spouse by a quarter of a century. In an affidavit, she once disclosed that the family's correct name was "Minor" and "the name of 'Provence' only [was] used when enlisting in the Army." Her final address was in the Brownsville residence of her grandson R.D. Minor at 515 Green Street, South Brownsville. Stricken with chronic heart disease, she died at the age of 80 on Feb. 21, 1934. An obituary in the Uniontown Evening Standard said that funeral services were held in her grandson's home, with Rev. A.F. Haines officiating. Her remains were lowered into rest at Redstone Cemetery, with Mrs. R.D. Minor signing the official death certificate.

  • Granddaughter Martha A. Miner (1870- ? ) was born on Dec. 3, 1870.
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth J. Miner (1872- ? ) was born on Feb. 28, 1872 in Pennsylvania. As a girl, she lived in Pittsburgh with her parents. She was united in wedlock with (?) Smith ( ? - ? ). In 1934, they were in Uniontown.
  • Grandson Washington Miner II (1874- ? ) was born on Jan. 14, 1874. Other records list his birth year as 1877. On New Year's Day 1898, in Uniontown, he was joined in marriage with Daisy Gaskill ( ? - ? ), daughter of Morgan and Lydia Gaskill. He was in Cadwallader/South Brownsville, PA in 1903. He lived in Brownsville in 1909 and signed his father's death certificate.
  • Granddaughter Eveline "Eva" Miner (1876- ? ) was born three days after Christmas in 1876. She wedded (?) Breckenridge. In 1934, she lived in Pittsburgh.
  • Grandson John W. Minor (1882- ? ) was born on June 10, 1882. He made a home in Brownsville in 1934.
    Granddaughter Jessie H. Minor (1888- ? ) was born in Nov. 1888. She wedded (?) Simpson ( ? - ? ). She dwelled in Florida in 1934.
  • Grandson Arthur Miner ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He is believed to have been deceased by 1934.


~ Grandson Simeon Miner ~

Son Simeon Miner (1853- ? ) was born in about 1853 in Wood County, [West] Virginia.


~ Granddaughter Nancy Ann (Minor) Hawk ~

Daughter Nancy Ann "Nan" Minor (1854-1933) was born on Feb. 8, 1854 in Parkersburg, Wood County, [West] Virginia. She migrated to Fayette County, PA as a teenager. She married John Hawk (March 15, 1849-1916), a native of Maryland and son of Michael and Mary (Collins) Hawk. They had these children: Albert Hawk, Ada Bell Fuller, Minnie Hawk, Mary Ella Nibbi, Maggie Hawk, John Hawk, Jessie Hawk and Chester L. Hawk. John earned a living over the years as a laborer. He suffered from chronic kidney disease and asthma and, at the age of 66, died in Vanderbilt, Fayette County on Feb. 6, 1916. Nancy lived on for another 17 years and endured chronic heart disease. While in the home of her daughter Ada Bell Fuller in McClellandtown, German Township at the age of 78, she died on Jan. 17, 1933. Interment was in Dickerson Run Cemetery.

  • Grandson Albert Hawk (1884-1963) was born on June 19, 1884 in Bethelboro, PA or Ursina, Somerset County, PA. On Jan. 15, 1916, in nuptials held in Uniontown, he wedded Ada Belle Nicola (1896-1973). They lived in Vanderbilt and were the parents of at least a dozen children -- Henry Regis "Zack" Hawk, Della Jean Hawk, Arlene Ruth Knapper, Mary Agnes Stouffer, Anna Kathryn "Kitty" Dahl Kovach, Betty Lou Hawk, Edward Wilson Hawk, Harry Franklin "Buck" Hawk, Robert Rebok Hawk, Nina M. Fedor, Charles Albert "Chick" Hawk and John William Hawk. Albert passed away on June 5, 1963. Burial was in Dickerson Run Cemetery. Ada Belle outlived her spouse by a decade. She died two days after Christmas 1973 in Vanderbilt. Zack Hawk's daughter Ruth Hawk (1965-2019) -- a talented journalist and public relations professional -- interacted professionally in the early 1990s with the founder of this website and years later shared her detailed family tree layout.
  • Granddaughter Ada Bell Hawk (1897-1986) was born on Aug. 19, 1897. She married George W. Fuller (1883-1962). Ada and George resided in Vanderbilt, where he worked as a repairer in a boiler house. She died in November 1986 in Everson, Fayette County.
  • Granddaughter Minnie Hawk (1873- ? ) was born in about 1873 in Pennsylvania. She was deceased before 1933.
  • Granddaughter Mary Ella Hawk (1875-1936) was born in about 1875 in Pennsylvania. She wed Italian immigrant Frank Nibbi (1883-1958). Mary Ella was diabetic. Her health went into decline and she died on Aug. 20, 1936.
  • Granddaughter Maggie Hawk (1878- ? ) was born in about 1878,
  • Grandson John Hawk ( ? - ? ) - his fate is lost for now.
  • Grandson Jesse Hawk (1893- ? ) was born on Feb. 7, 1893 in Elm Grove, PA. Sadly, he only lived six months, and was gathered in by God's angels in Vanderbilt on Aug. 19, 1893.
  • Grandson Chester L. Hawk (1895-1899) was born in March 1895. His brief span of years was spent in Vanderbilt. At the age of 4½, he contracted brain fever and died five days later on Sept. 16, 1899.


~ Granddaughter Astinashia Miner ~

Daughter Astinashia (Anastasia?) Miner (1856- ? ) was born in 1856 in Ohio, likely Meigs County. She is last known on the 1870 federal census.


~ Granddaughter Josephine (Minor) Price ~

Daughter Josephine Miner (1858-1913) was born on Aug. 2, 1858 in Ohio, likely Meigs County. In about 1876, when she would have been age 18, Josephine was joined in the bonds of matrimony with 18-year-old farm laborer Oliver Jeremiah Price (May 5, 1858-1929), the son of Jeremiah Oliver and Mary Jane (Goslin) Price. Two children were born to this marriage -- Walter L. Price and Gertrude L. "Gertie" House. For many years, the couple lived on a farm in Cumberland Township, Greene County, PA. They may also have had a house in the nearby town of Rices Landing.

Horror struck at midnight on Sept. 2, 1913, when Oliver was in Pittsburgh visiting their son. The 55-year-old Josephine was attacked at the farmhouse in Cumberland along with her granddaughter Bertha Fox and sustained a fractured skull, apparently dying at the scene. The examining physician wrote on her death certificate, "Case of murder." Coverage of the killing was made in the Waynesburg Democrat and Waynesburg Republican as well as neighboring Uniontown newspapers. The granddaughter was rushed to West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, where she remained unconscious for 10 days, having a compound fracture of her skull, including a piece of bone "driven a half inch into the brain," said the Uniontown Morning Herald. The assailant was not immediately captured. The Greene County Commissioners met several days later to discuss offering a reward for a capture. Said the Uniontown Evening Standard, the newly widowed Oliver "went to his home" several days after the killing. "He had been living in Rices Landing and has not ventured from the house alone. Price fears that the murderer is lurking in the neighborhood still with intent to kill him. Today Price moved all his household goods to Rices Landing, where he will make his home." Farmhand Walter Thomas, age 19, eventually was apprehended and jailed two weeks later, with trial scheduled for mid-February 1914.

There was much legal maneuvering and delays, and jurors for the criminal court were not finalized until June 2, 1914. One of the key pieces of evidence introduced at trial was the granddaughter's underwear, stained with a bloody handprint suspected of being Thomas's. Under questioning, daughter Gertrude House testified that her badly injured daughter had murmured that "Walter was mad that night because he wanted to go to Rices Landing to buy some tobacco and Grandma wouldn't let him." Others on the witness stand included crime and medical experts from Uniontown and the University of Pittsburgh. Said the Morning Herald, "the crowd ... filled every available seat, jammed the aisles and crowded up beyond the railing about the judge's desk. Women stood on the backs of the long wooden benches better to view the proceedings." When Oliver took the stand, defense lawyers tried to create confusion by calling into question his relationship with his son and the hammer which had been used to kill Josephine. Thirty witnesses were called on June 8. Then on June 9, the 11-year-old granddaughter gave testimony, saying she had awakened during the night in question, saw Thomas bending over the grandmother, and then blacked out. The prisoner was convicted of murder in the second degree and sentenced to a term of 10 to 20 years at Western Penitentiary. He also was pictured in the Morning Herald, wearing a jacket and necktie. The widowed Oliver remained in Rices Landing for the rest of his life, 15 years in all. He suffered from congestive heart failure and died at the age of 71 on July 13, 1929.

  • Grandson Walter L. Price (1882-1962) was born on May 28, 1882 in Cumberland Township, Greene County. He married Alice Teal ( ? - ? ), daughter of Thomas J. and Jennie Teal in a family of educators. Three daughters of this couple were Hazel Heartley, Ina Vance and Genevieve Ross. Walter was employed as a constable, and was involved in the apprehension of the farmhand who killed Walter's mother. They lived in Rices Landing for decades, and Alice was a longtime member of Hewitt Presbyterian Church. Burdened with hardening of the arteries, diabetes and heart disease, he died in West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh on March 11, 1962. Interment was in Hewitt Cemetery in Rices Landing. Jennie outlived him by nine years. She passed at age 90, also in West Penn Hospital, on Oct. 26, 1971.
  • Granddaughter Gertrude L. "Gertie" Price (1887-1959) was born in July 1887. She appears to have been twice married. She and her first husband, (?) Fox ( ? - ? ), were the parents of Bertha Fox and Carrie Hileman. Later, she was joined in wedlock with Winifred House ( ? - ? ). By 1949, Gertrude had relocated to Akron, OH, and in July 1949 hosted a visit from her cousin, Josephine Danser of Lemont Furnace, Fayette County. Gertrude is known to have attended the William Miner family reunion on July 16, 1950, held at Maple Grove Park. She died in Akron on June 15, 1959, with an obituary published in the Uniontown Morning Herald. Daughters Bertha (Akron) and Carrie (Youngstown) lived in Ohio in the 1950s.


~ Granddaughter Emily (Miner) Rankin ~

Daughter Emily Miner (1861-1925) was born in about 1861 in Ohio. She married Albert Rankin (Feb. 14, 1860-1940), son of James and Mary (Harbarger) Rankin. The couple lived in a variety of places over the years, including at Hopwood and Riverview (1907). They adopted a son, Frank/Paul Rankin. Circa 1913, they employed a local teenaged farmhand Walter Thomas. The hand left their farm and went to work for Emily's sister Josephine Price near Rices Landing, Greene County, only to kill Josephine and be convicted of what was considered one of the county's worst crimes. The Emily became seriously ill and lingered for several years. The Grim Reaper of Death carried her away on Feb. 26, 1925. An obituary said that "the end was not unexpected." Funeral services were held at the Hopwood Christian Church, with Rev. D.R. Larue traveling from Point Marion to lead the ceremony. Interment was in Hopwood Cemetery. Her obituary was clipped from the local newspaper and placed in a scrapbook of the family of Marinda (Rankin) King. Albert outlived his wife by 15 years. Toward the end he suffered from an enlarged heart and kidney problems. In the last month of his life, he was admitted to the Fayette County Home in Uniontown. He succumbed there n Aug. 14, 1940, at the age of 80. Mary Hixon, of Rices Landing, was the informant for the official death certificate.

  • Grandson Frank/Paul Rankin resided in Meadowbrook, Fayette County in 1925.


~ Grandson Josephus Minor ~

Son Josephus "Joseph" or "Cephas" Minor (1863-1929) was born on Oct. 9, 1863 in Ohio. Under the name "Provance," he lived with his parents in 1880 in Rices Landing, Greene County. The census-taker in 1880 marked him as "disabled." He married Sarah Dugan ( ? - ? ) of Springhill Township, Greene County, and had four children. By 1925, Josephus had relocated to Ohio. He resided in Columbus, Franklin County, OH, where he worked as a stone cutter. As he neared the age of 66, he was involved in an automobile accident in Columbus, causing a hemorrhage of the brain which led to his death. He died on Oct. 27, 1929, at Grant Hospital in Columbus. His remains were returned to Pennsylvania for burial at the Point Marion Cemetery. 


~ Granddaughter Margaret "Maggie" (Miner) Jolliffe ~

Daughter Margaret"Maggie" Miner (1867-1924) was born in 1867 in Ohio. As a young woman, she lived with her parents in Dunkard Township, Greene County. On May 9, 1888, when she would have been about 21 years of age, she married Morgan Evan Jolliffe (March 27, 1867-1930), son of Enoch and Kesiah Jolliffe of Fairmont, Marion County, WV. Justice of the peace S.F. Sturtz officiated at the nuptials held at Dunkard. At the time of marriage, Morgan dwelled in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA and worked as an engineer. The couple established a home in Uniontown, and Morgan earned a living as an engineer at the Fayette County Courthouse. Their two children were Emma Patterson and Walter H. Jolliffe. Maggie was a member of the Uniontown Club of the Women's Benefit Association. She died on Aug. 15, 1924, caused by inflammatory rheumatism and intermittent heartbeats. On her death certificate, her husband's name was incorrectly written as the son's -- Walter H. Jolliffe. A month later, the Uniontown Club held a memorial service for her at Victoria Hall on Main Street. Morgan outlived her by six years. Suffering from chronic heart disease and senility, the 63-year-old Morgan passed into eternity in Torrence State Hospital in Derry Township, Westmoreland County on Aug. 13, 1930. Interment was in Hopwood Cemetery.


~ Denune Provance, Son of Nancy (Howard) Miner Provance ~

Son Denune "Nooney" Provance (1838-1913) was born on March 2, 1838 in Pennsylvania. Some of his children thought that Ohio was his birthplace. On Sept. 1, 1859, in nuptials held in Meigs County, OH, he married Ann Maria Coleman/Rouse (1840- ? ), a native of Whites County, KY. Justice of the peace William Hawley officiated. They bore a family of children, among them Mary Provance, Washington Provance, Hannah Provance, Denune Provance Jr., Phoebe Bryner, Ellen Provance, Dora Provance, Silas Provance and Sarah "Sadie" Wilson. In 1860, they resided in Tuppers Plains, Olive Township, Meigs County, OH. By 1871, they had relocated to Pennsylvania and in 1880 were in Dunbar Township, Fayette County. On the fateful day of Feb. 17, 1913, at the age of 75, Denune was killed when he accidentally was struck by a railroad train, with his right hand crushed and his head and nose badly broken. His fractured remains were lowered into repose in Franklin Cemetery in Dunbar, Fayette County. His death certificate listed his parents' names as "Simeon Province" and "Nancy Howard."

  • Grandson Denune "Dennie" Provance Jr. (1868-1922) was born on April 9, 1868. In 1887, he was united in matrimony with Catherine Cummins ( ? - ? ). They bore one known son, Denune Elias Provance (19011970). They lived in Dunbar, Fayette County, PA and earned income as a laborer. Suffering from pulomonary tuberculosis at the age of 54, he passed away on Christmas Eve 1922. He rests for all time in Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Dunbar. Denune Elias Provance married Jeanette Marie "Nettie" McNair in 1918. Their granddaughter Denise Stewart is the author of the 2013 book Flame in Motion (WestBow Press).
  • Grandson Washington Provance was married twice, first to Nancy Martin (March 13, 1868-1912) and second to Rebecca Franks ( ? - ? ). Rebecca brought a son to the union, William L. Franks. Washington's five offspring were Paul Provance, Raymond Provance, Robert Provance (1886-1959), Mrs. Andrew Coliny and Mrs. Wilbur Leapline. Washington died at the age of 84 on March 24, 1947. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier said he had lived in Dunbar "for the past 60 years."
  • Granddaughter Phoebe Provance (1871-1948) was born in Poland, Greene County, PA. She wedded Isaac Newton Bryner ( ? - ? ) and lived in Dunbar, Fayette County. Sadly, Phoebe suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died a day later, at the age of 77, on Aug. 8, 1948. Burial was in Franklin Cemetery in Dunbar, with Samuel Bryner signing the death certificate.
  • Granddaughter Sarah "Sadie" Provance (1879-1942) was born on April 8, 1879 in Dunbar, Fayette County, PA. She was jioned in holy wedlock with Benjamin Harrison Wilson ( ? - ? ). Their address in the early 1940s was at 72 Chemical Row in Newell, Fayette County. Suffering from diabetes at the age of 63, Sadie passed away on May 5, 1942. Her remains were lowered into rest in Howes Cemetery.


~ Josephus Provance, Son of Nancy (Howard) Miner Provance ~

Son Josephus "Cephas" (or "J.C.") Provance (1834- ? ) was born in about 1834 in Pennsylvania. He was joined in wedlock with Lucinda "Lucy" Caplinger (1839- ? ), a West Virginia native. During the Civil War, Josephus served in the Union Army as a corporal in the same unit as his brother Washington and nephew William A. Provance/Miner, the 7th Independent Ohio Light Artillery. He joined the Army two days after Christmas 1863 and received his discharge on Aug. 11, 1865. His term of service lasted for one year, seven months and 15 days. The Provances were farmers and in 1870 lived in Olive Township, Meigs County, OH. Josephus is believed to have represented several of his nephews in obtaining marriage licenses in Meigs County in the 1860s. The couple produced these known children -- Nancy L. Provance, Simeon A. "Sim" Provance, Elizabeth A. Provance, Davis "Alva" Provance, Willie Provance, George Howard Provance and Filmore Provance. When the federal census was made in 1870, Josephus and his family lived next door to his parents in Olive Township, Meigs County. During the 1870s, the family relocated north to Dunbar Township, Fayette County, PA, and are shown there in 1880, with Josephus working as a laborer. He learned he was eligible to receive a military pension as compensation for his Civil War ailments. He was awarded the pension in 1882 and received monthly checks for the rest of his life. [Invalid App. #437.881 - Cert. #431.738]. Sadly, by 1890, Josephus had died from the effects of asthma. Lucy outlived him and remained in Dunbar, with her husband's pension transferred to her. [Widow App. #412.500 - Cert. #306.108]. In 1890, she was counted in a federal census of Civil War veterans and their widows.

  • Granddaughter Margaret W. Provance (1856- ? ) was born in 1856 in West Virginia.
  • Grandson Theodric Provance (1858- ? ) was born in about 1858 in West Virginia. He grew up on his father's farm in Olive Township, Meigs County, OH. He is believed to have joined his family during the 1870s in a migration to Pennsylvania, settling in Dunbar Township. Circa 1880, he boarded next door to his parents but is believed to have died at the age of 21.
  • Granddaughter Nancy L. Provance (1861- ? ) was born in about 1861 in West Virginia.
  • Grandson Simeon A. "Sim" Provance (1863-1938) was born on Dec. 11, 1863 in Ohio. He married Adeline Mickey ( ? - ? ) and lived in Dickerson Run, Fayette County. Suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, he died in Pittsburgh on Oct. 7, 1938.
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth A. "Lizzie" Provance (1866- ? ) was born in about 1866 in Ohio.
  • Grandson Davis "Alva" Provance (1870- ? ) was born on Jan. 4, 1870 in Pomeroy, Meigs County, OH. He wedded Mollie ( ? - ? ). Davis earned a living over the years as a stone mason. In his 80s, Davis dwelled in Adah, German Township, Fayette County. He died there at the age of 87 on April 17, 1957. Interment was in Fairview Cemetery in Masontown.
  • Grandson Willie Provance (1872- ? ) was born in Pennsylvania.
  • Grandson George Howard Provance (1876-1952) was born on Oct. 31, 1876 in Dunbar Township, Fayette County, PA. He was married. George was a longtime machinist. In about 1938, they moved to Connellsville Township, Fayette County. Suffering from apyetous (literally meaning "showing no pus") and influenza, he succumbed at the age of 75 on May 20, 1952. Burial was in Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Dunbar.
  • Grandson Filmore Provance (1880- ? ) was born in March 1880 in Dunbar Township, Fayette County, PA.

Daughter Mary Provance (1860- ? ) was born in 1860 in Ohio and attended school as a 10-year-old in Olive Township, Meigs County, OH.



~ Does Jesse Provance Connect? ~

Jesse Provance (1818-1897) was born on Aug. 13 or 14, 1819 near New Geneva, Nicholson Township, PA, one of 16 children of David and Agnes (Hartly) Provance. A captain of the steamboat Globe, he is said in the early 1850s to have "commanded the first steamboat that ever ascended the Monongahela river to Fairmont, W.Va." Jesse's grandfather owned a large acreage of flat land known as "Provance's Bottoms," located from Jacob's Creek to Catt's Run where they feed into the Monongahela River. Jesse's father, David, was a farmer in the area. Jesse grew up on the family farm and in 1839, at the age of about 21, jot a job as a laborer on Monongahela River flatboats steamboats. He worked in this trade until 1864, a time when the Civil War was raging. He became proprietor of a hotel in New Geneva which later became Provance House. He was twice married. His first wife, whom he married in 1840, was Hester Miller ( -1845), daughter of Benjamin Miller. During their brief five years of marriage, they bore three children -- Elizabeth Provance, Joseph Provance and Malinda Provance. Sadly, Hester died in 1845, leaving Jesse with three young mouths to feed. After a grieving period of three years, he wedded a second time in 1848 to Nancy McCann ( ? - ? ), daughter of John McCann. The dozen children produced by the second union were Sylvanus Provance, O. Minor Provance, Andrew "Stewart" Provance, Jesse "Lazier" Provance, Amadee Provance, Frankie Provance and Fannie Provance and several who died young. Jesse was profiled in John M. Gresham's 1889 book Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County. His entry said that he "has always been an industrious and hard-working man. He was the possessor of a remarkably good constitution which, has been very much impaired by excessive hard labor in early life. He has many good qualities of head and heart, and is a kind and obliging gentleman." Jesse died on March 31, 1897. His obituary was printed in the Uniontown Daily News Standard.

Son O. Minor Provance (1847-1909) was born on Aug. 26, 1847 in Pennsylvania. Minor married Ellen Wood (Jan. 12, 1847-1933), daughter of John S. and Anna (Dils) Wood. They produced three children, Chauncey B. Everly, Blanche Provance and John Wood Provance. The family were farmers. In 1870, at the birth of Chauncey, they dwelled in New Geneva, Fayette County, PA. In 1880, this family lived in Nicholson Township, Fayette County. Having suffered with a tumor of the stomach and liver, Minor died on Dec. 16, 1909, at the age of 62, with his remains interred in Cedar Grove Cemetery in New Geneva. As a widow, Ellen made a home in Springhill Township, Fayette County. Just a day before her 86th birthday, burdened with hardening of the arteries she had suffered for 25 years, she died on Jan. 11, 1933. Burial was in Cedar Grove Cemetery. Blanche Provance of Cheat Haven, PA was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.

  • Grandson John Wood Provance (1874-1957) was born on Sept. 27, 1874 in New Geneva, Fayette County. He was married and widowed. John worked over the years as a well driller in the Point Marion area. At the age of 82, he died on May 31, 1957. His remains were lowered into the earth in Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Smithfield.
  • Granddaughter Blanche Provance (1880-1959) was born on Aug. 18, 1880 in Springhill Township, Fayette County. She never married but spent most of her adult life in Point Marion, PA. She died at the age of 79 on Oct. 18, 1959. Minor Provance of Smithfield was the informant for the death certificate. She rests for all time in Cedar Grove Cemetery in New Geneva.

Son Jesse Lazier Provance (1860-1938) was born on Jan. 11, 1860 in New Geneva. On Oct. 30, 1888, he wedded Mary Couch ( ? - ? ) in nuptials held in Greensboro, Greene County. Jesse died on Jan. 7, 1938. Mary is believed to have died in New Brighton, Beaver County, PA on May 8, 1954. This couple is profiled in Jill Jean Hurd's 1989 book The Ancestors and Descendants of Jan Lucken (Gateway Press).


Copyright © 2000-2010, 2014, 2019 Mark A. Miner
Joan R. Ruse, Ruth Hawk, Peggy Milliron and Mary K. Fletcher generously have contributed their research findings for this biography.