What's New

Photo of the Month

Minerd.com Blog


National Reunion


Cousin Voices

Honor Roll

In Lasting Memory

In the News

Our Mission and Values

Annual Review

Favorite Links

Contact Us



Eliza (Younken) Finnegan


St. Martin's Cemetery, Cameron

Eliza (Younken) Finnegan was born on Jan. 7, 1849 in the newly formed Upper Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, the daughter of Charles L. and Nancy (Henry) Younken. Her husband was an Irish immigrant and a veteran of the American Civil War.

After relocating to Jacktown, Greene County with her parents, as a young girl, Eliza grew there into womanhood. In February 1867, when she was 18 years of age, she married 30-year-old farmer John T. Finnegan (1837-1917). The ceremony was officiated by Squire Drake in Greene County.

The Finnegans together produced a dozen children, including two sets of twins -- Mary Murtaugh, Owen Finnegan, Nancy Elizabeth "Nannie" Murphy, John Finnegan, twins Daniel Finnegan and Peter Finnegan, Bernard Joseph "Barney" Finnegan, twins Margaret Ellen "Maggie" Chambers Mackey and Martha "Mattie" Hartzell, Sarah A. "Sadie" Corcoran, James Finnegan and Blanche Rayl Staats.

John had migrated from Monaghan County in his homeland in 1860, when he was 23 years of age. (He later told his family he was age 18 when he made the voyage.) He later became a naturalized citizen and friends observed that as a farm laborer, "he was an able bodied man [and] was always at hard labor." He stood 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighed 125 lbs., with a fair complexion, dark hair and grey-blue eyes. Within a year of his arrival, he met his future wife and her family, and began working on the farm of Andrew J. Booher.

Although he could not write, other than signing his name, John later dictated these details of his birth:

I was Born in the Kingdom of ireland, and to my knowledge they is no Public or baptismal record of my Birth and i do not know any thing of a Famley Record Kept by my Father and Mother Who has Long ago died in the Kingdom of ireland, tho in ashort time after my return home from the armey i written my father to ireland, to send me a copy of my Birth or age, and he mailed me the copy, and my wife who has been dead for about 17 years entred of record on the last page of her old Testment her maden name and date of Birth and on the same page she entred a copy of my name and date of birth the same as was mailed to me by my father, from ireland...


Rare image of the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry in camp near Brandy Station, Virginia. From the Library of Congress, made from a wet glass plate negative. Note the crude log huts for the soldiers and fenced pens for the horses. View larger.


Almost immediately upon John's arrival in the United States, the nation was ripped apart by Civil War. After a year and a half of conflict, when it became apparent it would not be over anytime soon, the 26-year-old John decided to join the army. He enlisted on Aug. 23, 1862 and was assigned as a private to the 18th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, Company A. Among his mates in the regiment were Henry Ullom of Company A who later was captured and died as a prisoner of war in the Confederacy's notorious prison camp at Andersonville; and Calvin Halfpenny of Company I who became ill and deserted after only a few weeks.

During the war, the 18th Cavalry saw action at Hanover (June 30, 1863) and Gettysburg (July 2, 1863) during Gen. Robert E. Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania. The Gettysburg fight took place at the very southern tip of the battlefield near Big Round Top. The 18th was part of what scholars have called a "suicidal attack" led by Gen. Elon Farnsworth. Under heavy fire, the 18th retreated, and John was spared injury.

Later, the 18th was involved in battle at Brandy Station, Germania Ford (May 4, 1864), Kilpatrick's Raid (Feb. 28, 1864), Spotsylvania, Yellow Tavern (May 11, 1864), White Oak Swamp, Winchester (Sept. 19, 1864), and Cedar Creek (Oct. 19 and Nov. 12, 1864).


Above: John's name on the Pennsylvania Monument at Gettysburg. Below: the Gettysburg marker honoring the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry at the southernmost tip of the battlefield.


John is known to have been on detachment duty for the provost marshal at Fairfax Court House, VA on April 12-30, 1863. He briefly was captured by the Confederate troops at the battle of Hanover, PA on June 30, 1863 and paroled a day later at Dover, PA.


Cavalry battle, Yellow Tavern, VA, May 11, 1864
From a sketch by Edwin Forbes.

While on picket duty along the banks of the Rappahannock River in Virginia, on April 30 or May 1, 1864, John was ordered to retreat by his orderly sergeant Benjamin W. Yoders. In doing so, John and Yoders and their horses attempted to jump a ditch. John's horse lost its footing, and both fell into the ditch, with the horse landing on John, crushing his back and breast. John grasped for the horse's tail as he jumped up "and that helped me out," John recalled. "Yoders caught him by the bridal for me." 

He added, "There was no one to see the horse fall on me but Sergt. Youders and some of the enemy. all of the union soldiers except Segt Youders was out of sight of the occurance and the enemy was crowding on us fast at the time."

[Many years later, a great-grandson recalled the story as follows, in the 1984 book History of Marshall County, West Virginia: "John T. Finnigan served under General Stone, Penna. Cavalry, and was shot off his horse at Gettysburg, grabbed the tail of a horse, was dragged back to Union Lines and lived."]

After arriving at a place of safety, John was excused for military duty so he could seek medical treatment at the hands of the regiment's surgeon. Years later, a physician suggested that John had fractured his lower ribs and upper lumbar vertebrae in the accident, and tore inner muscles leading to hernias on either side of his body.

After the Cedar Creek battle in mid-November 1864, the 18th helped to deliver some 1,500 prisoners of war to a Union holding area at Winchester, and then settled into "winter quarters" at Harpers Ferry. "This virtually closed the active campaigning of the regiment," wrote Samuel P. Bates in History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65. "It remained near Winchester, engaged in picketing and scouting, until after the fall of Richmond and the surrender of Lee."

He was discharged at Cumberland, MD on July 11, 1865, upon the close of the war. Upon returning home, one of the tasks he agreed to learn, at the teaching of his good family friend, Mrs. Jack Booher, was how to sign his name in writing.

When the federal census was taken in 1880, the family dwelled together on a farm in Aleppo Township, Greene County. By 1890, they moved across the state line into Cameron, Marshall County, WV. John is enumerated in Cameron in a special 1890 census of Civil War veterans and their widows.


St. Martin's Catholic
Church, Cameron

The family were members of St. Martin's Catholic Church in Cameron. The 1928 book, History of Cameron, West Virginia states that the church was built in 1870 and that among the first members were "the Hemricks, the Flynns, the Murphys, Michael Barrett, the Corcorans, the Finnegans and the Fergusons."

Suffering from ailments attributed to his wartime experience, John received medical treatment from Dr. J.C. McCullough of Cameron, Dr. S.B. Stidger and Dr. Shuckhart of Wheeling, WV. He regularly purchased medicines in Cameron from the Hill & Howard's store. He claimed disability due to pain in his back, hips, breast and stomach, heart disease, hemorrhoids, neuralgia, affliction of eyes and partial deafness of both ears. He applied for a federal pension as compensation, writing in 1884 that "i received my ingoury in the servie and i ask for nothing only justice."

In sworn testimony submitted to officials in Washington, DC, friends Joseph Caldwell and John Hartzell (also "Hartsel") of Big Tree, Greene County, testified that John "cannot do heavy labor ... [and] known him to work days when he ought to have been in bed... He has bought medicine at different times for his breast and back..." Near neighbors George Wise and William Ross of Big Tree said they had "worked for him and with him at different times for some years. He could not perform more than one half of a man's work at manual labor on account of an injury in his breast..." Caldwell also said that "I have lived neighbor to [him] about 20 years and on intimate terms with him and often at his house and he at mine..."

He was awarded a pension on July 16, 1890 in the amount of $6 per month. In 1895, an increase was granted to $8 per month. [App. #302.163, Cert. #524.879] 

Sadly, Eliza died at the untimely age of 42 on Feb. 14, 1891, in Aleppo, Greene County. She was interred in St. Martin's Cemetery in Cameron. 

John outlived her by more than a quarter century of time. 

In 1900-1902, when he was in his early 60s, John resided with his newlywed son Daniel and daughter in law Floetta and other younger children on a farm in Big Tree in Aleppo Township. In 1910, when he is believed to have hosted a reunion of Civil War veterans at his home, he lived on Green Valley Road in Cameron. [See photo.]

He passed at the age of 80 on June 27, 1917 in Cameron and rests with his wife in St. Martin's Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave] An obituary was published in the Moundsville Weekly Echo, stating that John "was widely known all over the county." His official West Virginia death certificate has not yet been located, nor one in Pennsylvania. 

At John's death, his son Barney wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions in Washington, DC, asking if the federal government would grant funds for burial reimbursement as well as the purchase of a grave marker.

John is named twice in a 1909 book about his former Civil War regiment, History of the Eighteenth Regiment of Cavalry, Pennsylvania Volunteers, by Theophilus Francis Rodenbough and Thomas J. Grier (pages 187 and 291). [Full text on Google Books

In 1918, their grandson Charles Anthony Murtaugh sacrificed his life in World War I as a member of the U.S. Army. In 1984, great-grandson Clarence E. West published his memoirs of the family in the book History of Marshall County, West Virginia. In the chapter, Clarence wrote: "After the railroad was completed, some of the Finnigans operated the turn-table at west end of Cameron and some still work on the railroad. The oil and gas boom hit Cameron soon afterward."



~ Daughter Mary (Finnegan) Murtaugh ~

Daughter Marie "Mary" Finnegan (1868-1952) was born in April 1868 in Greene County. She resided as a young woman in Big Tree, Greene  County. 

At the age of 22, on Sept. 7, 1891, she wed 22-year-old William Murtaugh (1869-1923) of Woodruff, Marshall County. A native of Pennsylvania, his parents had emigrated from Ireland. 

The couple produced eight known children -- Harry Murtaugh, William John Murtaugh, James Murtaugh, Charles Anthony Murtaugh, Marie Murtaugh, Joseph Murtaugh, Regina Murtaugh and Anna Murtaugh, all born in West Virginia.

William held longtime employment with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In 1907-1910, the family resided in Grafton, Taylor County, WV in a home on Ross Street. There, William worked as a supervisor for the B&O.


Baltimore & Ohio Railroad roundhouse in Grafton, WV



Sometime in or after 1910, the Murtaughs migrated to Indiana, settling in Decatur, Adams County, where they remained for decades. 

When World War I erupted in Europe, the family fretted when sons William, Charles and James enlisted in the Army. Their fears unfortunately were partially well founded as son Charles contracted pneumonia and died while in basic training in Kentucky.

In 1920, when the federal census was taken, they lived on Mercer Avenue, and William was employed as a track gauge supervisor for a railroad operating in Decatur. 

William died in 1923 and is buried at the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Decatur. [Find-a-Grave]

Mary survived her husband by almost three decades. In the mid-1930s, her name was on the mailing list for the Younkin National Home-coming Reunion in Somerset County, PA. Because she was Irish Catholic, one of the reunion officials (Dr. Jesse "Noble" Younkin, also of Decatur) asked that she be removed because of her religion. She was living in Decatur when the federal census was taken in 1940. She died in 1952, at the age of 83, and rests for eternity with her husband.

Son Harry Murtaugh (1892- ? ) was born in 1892 in West Virginia. At age 18, he was employed as a railroad watchman, a position likely secured by his father's influence.

Son William John Murtaugh (1893- ? ) was born in 1893 in West Virginia. In 1910, living in Grafton, Taylor County, WV, he and his brother James worked in a local glass factory as "turn out" men. During World War I, he is believed to have served in the 302nd Engineers, 77th Division. In 1930, at the age of 37, he was divorced and resided with his mother and younger siblings on Mercer Avenue in Decatur. His occupation that year was inspector at an electrical shop. He died on April 24, 1931.

Son James Murtaugh (1895-1948) was born on Feb. 1, 1895 in West Virginia. In 1910, living in Grafton, Taylor County, WV, he and his brother William worked in a local glass factory as "turn out" men. After moving to Decatur, he served in the U.S. armed forces during World War I, as a member of the 335th Supply Company, Quarter Master Corps. In 1930, he worked as a bookkeeper at a local insurance agency. He died on Aug. 2, 1948, with burial in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.


Tribute to Charles Anthony Murtaugh from the book Gold Star Honor Roll: Indiana. Courtesy of Eric Lowman and Find-a-Grave


Son Charles Anthony Murtaugh (1897-1918) was born on Sept. 28, 1897 in Woodruff (or Garrett Station), Marshall County, WV. Upon moving to Decatur with his family, he obtained work with the Chicago and Erie Railroad. He enlisted in the U.S. Army after World War I broke out, on Sept. 5, 1918. He was assigned to the 17th Company, 5th Battalion, 159th Depot Brigade and underwent basic training at Camp Taylor, KY. There, tragically, he was afflicted with a case of pneumonia and died at age 21 on Oct. 8, 1918. His remains were returned to Decatur for burial at St. Joseph Cemetery. His photograph and a short biography was published in the book Gold Star Honor Roll: Indiana.

Daughter Marie Murtaugh (1901- ? ) was born in 1901 in West Virginia. Unmarried at age 40 in 1940, she lived at home and earned a living as a bookkeeper at a wholesale creamery in Decatur.

Daughter Regina "Jean" Murtaugh (1902- ? ) was born on Dec. 10, 1902 in Grafton. Relocating with her family to Decatur, she obtained employment as a stenographer in a sugar factory and lived at home in 1930. By 1940, unmarried at age 36, she resided with her mother and had no occupation.

Son Joseph H. Murtaugh (1905-1960) was born on Sept. 14, 1905 in West Virginia. He resided in Decatur and died one month shy of his 55th birthday on Aug. 14, 1960. Burial was in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.

Daughter Anna Louise "Anne" Murtaugh (1907-1950) was born on Jan. 30, 1907 in Grafton, WV. She was but a young girl when she and her family relocated to Indiana. In 1930, living at home, she studied to be a nurse. By 1940, having secured her education, she was unmarried and worked in Decatur as an industrial nurse in a Decatur factory. She is believed to have died in 1950 and was laid to rest in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.



~ Son Owen J. Finnegan ~

Son Owen J. Finnegan (1870-1943) was born in December 1870 or on Dec. 19, 1873 in Greene County. 

He married Elizabeth J. "Lizzie" Chambers (1884-1947), daughter of William and Margaret (Sampson) Chambers of Cameron. Their wedding took place in about 1903, when Owen was age 36 and Lizzie 26.

They had two children -- Paul W. Finnegan and Nellie Warsinsky.


Ohio River lock and dam at McMechen, WV, a local landmark built in 1910 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control



In 1910, when the federal census was taken, the Finnegans made their home in McMechen, Union Township, Marshall County, where Owen earned a living as a carpenter on "odd jobs." In 1920, census records show he worked as a house carpenter.


Moundsville Daily Echo

Owen was employed for the last decade of his life in the shipping department of Continental Can Company in Warwood. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, McMechen Volunteer Fire Department and McMechen Methodist Church.

They continued to make their home in McMechen in the 1920s through the 1940s at 1009 South Logan Street. 

Suffering from obstruction of the bowels, Owen died the following year, in 1943, at the age of 73, in Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glendale, WV. He was laid to rest in the Fairview Jones Cemetery in Moundsville. In a Moundsville Daily Echo obituary, his mother's maiden name was spelled "Younkins." [Find-a-Grave]

Elizabeth survived her husband by four years. She died of intestinal cancer on Feb. 8, 1947. Daughter Nellie Warsinskey was the informant on her official West Virginia certificate of death. No obituary has been located in the Daily Echo.

Son Paul W. Finnegan (1903- ? ) was born in about 1903. In 1920, at the age of 16, he worked as a clerk in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Shop in or near Wheeling. He made his home in 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio. He had at least one son, Eugene Finnegan.

Daughter Nellie Finnegan (1908- ? ) was born in about 1908 in Marshall County. She married Edward Warsinsky ( ? - ? ). They lived in McMechen.


~ Daughter Nancy Elizabeth "Nannie" (Finnegan) Murphy ~


Daughter Nancy Elizabeth "Nannie" Finnegan (1872-1942) was born on Oct. 20, 1872 in Greene County. 


Nancy's obituary

At the age of 22, on Nov. 21, 1894, Nancy married 27-year-old Samuel A. Murphy (1867-1912) of Marshall County. He was the son of David Murphy, a Virginia-born father, and Ireland-born mother. At the time, she resided near Cameron, across the state line in Greene County. The ceremony was performed at Moundsville by Rev. A. Boutlon.

Their five known children were Charles D. Murphy, Nellie Viola West, Samuel A. Murphy, Clarence Murphy and John R. Murphy. 

The old Murphy farm, recalled a grandson, "ran from Cameron Tunnel down into what is now the City of Cameron, while the Finnigan farm ran up Green Valley on opposite hillside. The old home place is at city line on the corner across from the bridge where Wendell had a store, later an oil bulk plant." The extended Murphy and West families were skilled stone masons, with some helping to build railroad tunnels in Boardtree and Cameron and the stone foundations or piers for the famed Wheeling suspension bridge.

They resided in Greene County and later, by 1900, in Cameron, Marshall County, WV. Samuel's employment, as shown by the 1900 federal census, was railroad laborer, and by 1910 he worked as a laborer at odd jobs. They were members of the St. Martins Roman Catholic Church. 


Book profiling the Wests

Sadly, Samuel passed away far too young, in 1911 or 1912. He is said to have been "crushed under a load of pipe and lived two years while grandma and mother, and some of the boys operated a boarding house in Cameron," recalled a grandson in the 1984 book History of Marshall County, West Virginia.

Nancy lived for another three decades as his widow, making her home on Pennsylvania Avenue in Cameron. For seven years, until her death, she endured emphysema which led to the loss of use of her left lung. 

She died at home at the age of 70 on June 15, 1942. A newspaper reported that she "had been ill for several weeks" and that she was survived by nine grandchildren. Her sister Mary Murtaugh was the informant on her death certificate. She was laid to rest in St. Martin's Cemetery in Cameron. 

Son Charles D. Murphy (1896- ? ) was born in December 1896 in Cameron.

Daughter Nellie Viola Murphy (1898-1932) was born on Dec. 28, 1898 in Cameron. She was united in marriage on Feb. 7, 1920 in Cameron with Arch D. West (1891-1964), son of Albert West. Rev. Philip J. Brady of Littleton officiated. She was age 21 and he 29 at the time. This family is profiled in the book History of Marshall County, West Virginia, 1984. Arch was employed by R.J. "Uncle Dick" McFadden and was a construction laborer who in 1929 helped build, among other things, the Spurr Memorial Playground. When the Great Depression soured the local economy, Arch and his son Clarence stood in line to remove their meager savings from the failing Marshall County Bank. Circa 1931-1932, their address was 2318 First Street in Moundsville. Sadly, during the early years of the Depression, Nellie's appendix ruptured and, combined with a lingering case of pulmonary tuberculosis, she died at the age of 33 on Feb. 5, 1932. Burial was in Cameron. Arch remained a widower for about 17 months. He married again, on July 8, 1933, at Moundsville, to widow Arizona "Zona" Whetzel (1891- ? ), both husband and wife being 43 years of age. The family was poor and, after the state food warehouse burned down, the family salvaged the burnt cans and ate whatever was in them. Arch died in 1964 and is buried at Bowman Ridge.

  • History of Marshall County, WV

    Grandson Clarence E. West (1923- ? ) was born in 1923 in Moundsville. He was united in matrimony with Ada Main ( ? - ? ), daughter of Guy and Flo Main. Ada was a beautician and maintained her own shop in their home on 2318 First Street, and kept it going until retirement in 1970. Clarence joined a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp in 1938 and stayed until 1940. Returning to Moundsville, he worked for his father and then successive jobs at a local broom factory and U.S. Stamping Company. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Marines and served until injured in the explosion of a B-25 bomber. After the war, and over the years, he worked for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Brake Engine Ring Company, Mine Supply Company and Wheeling Brake Block. He suffered successive strokes in 1975 and 1979 and spent his retirement years in Moundsville. He authored a lengthy chapter about the West family on page 258 of the History of Marshall County in 1984.

  • Granddaughter Helen Lee West (1926- ? ) was born on Aug. 2, 1926 in Moundsville. On Oct. 23, 1943, when she was age 17, she wed 36-year-old Lewis Aston (1906- ? ), son of Charles Ashton of Moundsville. Rev. J.H. Carson of the Moundsville Methodist Church led the nuptials. They went on to produce three children.
  • Granddaughter Eileen Elizabeth West (1929- ? ) was born on Nov. 30, 1929 in Moundsville. At the age of 19, in 1949, she married James "Elwood" Robbins (1924- ? ) of Moundsville, son of Thomas and Maude Robbins. The ceremony was led by Rev. Joseph King of the Moundsville Baptist Church on July 1, 1949. They had four children.

Son Samuel Alfred Murphy (1901- ? ) was born in about 1901. As a young man he lived in Moundsville. At age 25, he wed 21-year-old Lillian Slokan (1905- ? ) on Oct. 6, 1926, led by Rev. M.J. Coghlan of the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. She lived at Glendale, WV at the time.

Son Clarence Murphy (1905- ? ) was born in about 1905.

Son John R. Murphy (1908- ? ) was born in about 1908.

Circa 1976, Nancy's granddaughter-in-law, Elaine (Lauter) Murphy, of Brunswick, OH, was interested in genealogy and received an original copy of the first 1937 edition of the Younkin Family News Bulletin. This led her to write to Joseph W. Thomas of Pittsburgh, Elaine (Younkin) Clark in Oregon, Loree Morrison Cross in Iowa and others trying to connect the various old branches. Circa 1977, she advertised in the Genealogical Helper asking for Younkin information.


Highland Cemetery, Cameron

~ Son John Finnegan ~

Son John Finnegan (1874-1926) was born on June 2, 1874. 

He wed Arabella Chambers (1879-1977). 

The couple produced three known offspring -- Charles L. Finnegan, Harold E. Finnegan and Edna Mae Lee. 

Sadly, son Harold died in 1919 at the age of five, but his details are lost to history. Burial was in Cameron's Highland Cemetery.

When the federal census was enumerated in 1920, the Finnegans made their home on Fifth Street in McMechen, Marshall County. That year, John was employed as a locomotive engineer. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge.


Highland Cemetery, Cameron

John died in 1926 at age 52 and reposes in Cameron's Highland Cemetery. A Masons logo was inscribed on his grave marker. No record of his passing has been found in West Virginia, Ohio or Pennsylvania records. This will be researched further.

As a widow, Arabella survived her husband by an astounding half-century plus. The U.S. Census of 1920 shows her living in McMechen, with no occupation, but supported by her 26-year-old son Charles and 25-year-old daughter Edna. 

She remained in her McMechen home in 1940, and providing living quarters under her roof for her daughter and son in law that year.


Highland Cemetery, Cameron

Arabella died in Parkersburg, Wood County, WV in March 1977, at the age of 98. Her remains were returned to Cameron to be reunited with her husband in the Highland Cemetery.

Son Charles L. Finnegan (1903- ? ) was born in about 1903 and grew up in McMechen. At the age of 26, in 1930, he was single and lived at home, working as a machinist in a can factory. He may have married 27-year-old Dorothy Helen Chambers at Cameron on Sept. 12, 1935.

Daughter Edna Mae Finnegan (1906-1984) was born in about 1906 in McMechen. In 1930, when she was 25 years old, she dwelled at home and earned income as a sales lady of "ready to wear" clothing. On Dec. 2, 1937, at the age of 31, Edna was united in marriage with 26-year-old Rolly J. Lee (1911- ? ) of Wheeling. Rev. Minor Sprague, of the MeMechen Methodist Episcopal Church, officiated. In 1940, census records show Rolly and Edna making their residence with Edna's widowed mother in McMechen, and with Rolly working as a clerk in a general store. Edna may have died in Glen Dale near Moundsville in December 1984, but this needs to be double-checked.


~ Son Daniel R. Finnegan ~

Son Daniel R. "Dan" Finnegan (1876-1962) was born on June 22, 1876, a twin. 

He married Sarah "Floretta" (or "Etta") Finch (1872-1912) on Valentine's Day 1899, when he was age 23 and she 26. She was the daughter of William and Elizabeth (McVay) Finch of Aleppo Township, Greene County.

Their eight children were Lydia Eliza Headley, George Patrick Finnegan, Daniel Jefferson Finnegan, Wilhelmina "Wilma" Hollingberry, Robert Murry Finnegan, Albert Blair Finnegan, Elizabeth Finnegan and Reese Howard Finnegan. 

Circa 1900, when the federal census was enumerated, the newlyweds lived on a farm in Aleppo Township, Greene County. Also under their roof were Daniel's widowed father John and younger siblings.

Floretta suffered for two years from kidney problems called "Bright's Disease." In about 1911, she was "converted" into the Christian faith, reported the Waynesburg Democrat. But while visiting her married sister Mrs. James King of Woodruff, Marshall County, WV, she declined and died one day after her 40th birthday on Nov. 5, 1912. Following a funeral in the King home, her remains were brought across the state line and laid to rest in the Centennial Cemetery. Her sister Mrs. King was the informant for her death certificate. A rather lengthy obituary was published in the Democrat, spelling her married name "Finnigan."

Dan survived his wife by a remarkable half century. He was a longtime farmer who lived in Wind Ridge, Greene County circa 1943-1947.


Centennial church and cemetery


Senile at the age of 85, he died of natural causes on March 7, 1962. Burial was in Centennial Cemetery.

Daughter Wilhelmina "Wilma" Finnegan ( ? -1984) married (?) Hollingberry. She died in early January 1984 with an obituary in the Waynesburg Democrat Messenger.

Daughter Lydia Eliza Finnegan ( ? -1951) married Allen Harland Headley (1894-1971), son of Melvin and Jane (Jacobs) Headley. They resided in Wind Ridge, Greene County. They had seven children -- Ruth Crooks, Harry Headley, Allen Harland Headley Jr., Esther Kubico, Betty Hammond, Ruby Hughes and Shirley Campbell. They were members of the Wind Ridge Christian Church. During World War I, Allen served in the U.S. Army with the 131st Infantry, Company K. After returning home, he worked as a driller in the local oil and gas fields. Active in the community, he was elected as a school board director of Richhill Township and served on the planning committee for the annual Jacktown Fair. Allen also was a member of the Richhill Townshipo Volunteer Fire Company and the Farrell Post of the American Legion. Lydia died on Feb. 19, 1951. Her funeral was held in the Wind Ridge Christian Church, followed by interment in the Wind Ridge Cemetery. Allen survived her by two decades. While at the home of his daughter Shirley Campbell in Columbiana, Ohio, he suffered a heart attack and died on Nov. 25, 1971. An obituary in the Waynesburg Republican said he was survived by 22 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

  • Granddaughter Ruth Headley married (?) Crooks.
  • Grandson Harry Headley lived in Beckley, WV.
  • Grandson Allen Harland Headley Jr. made his home in 1971 in Cameron.
  • Granddaughter Esther Headley wed Leo Kubico. They resided in Youngstown, Ohio in the early 1970s.
  • Granddaughter Betty Headley married Donald Hammond and lived in Canfield, Ohio.
  • Granddaughter Ruby Headley wed Paul Hughes. Their home in 1971 was in Mansfield, Ohio.
  • Granddaughter Shirley Headley married (?) Campbell. Her residence was Columbiana, Ohio in 1971.


~ Son Peter Thomas Finnegan ~

Son Peter Thomas Finnegan (1876-1946) was born on June 22, 1876, in Greene County, a twin with his brother Daniel.

Peter married Mary Hinerman (1873 - ? ) in 1897, when he was age 21 and she 24.


Bird's eye view of Elm Grove, near Wheeling, WV



They resided circa 1930 in Elm Grove, Ohio County, near Wheeling, WV, where Peter made a living as a building contractor. 

Suffering from blocked arteries and hypertension, he was felled by a heart attack and died in Wheeling Hospital at age 61 on Feb. 15, 1946. Burial was in Wheeling's Mt. Calvary Cemetery.


~ Son Bernard Joseph "Barney" Finnegan ~

Son Bernard Joseph "Barney" Finnegan (1878-1941) was born on March 22, 1878 in Aleppo, Greene County.

Circa 1910, he may be the same "Barney Finnigan" who at age 31 and single boarded in the dwelling of Henry W. and Ida Steele. At the time, this Barney was a field boss with Ohio Valley Gas Company.


Memorial park in Cameron

When he was 37 years old, Barney married 22-year-old Josephine Lohr (1892- ? ) of Cameron. The ceremony was held in Wheeling on Sept. 28, 1915 by the hand of Rev. T.W. Cossman of Sacred Heart Church. 

They apparently did not reproduce.

The couple is shown in the 1920 federal census living on East End Street in Cameron, with 42-year-old Barney employed as a storekeeper. Living next door was 75-year-old Peter Finnegan -- an uncle? -- whom the census-taker several years later changed in status from "bachler" to "dead."

When the book History of Cameron, West Virginia was published in 1928 by the Educational Committee of the Women's Club, Barney was included in a list of businesses providing auto repair and accessories, with his facility located on Waynesburg Avenue.

The 1930 census lists husband and wife on Waynesburg Avenue in Cameron. That year, Bernard earned a living as a merchant in farm machinery. The Finnegans later divorced. 


Moundsville Daily Echo

Barney later worked as a merchant in an automotive accessory store. In his final years, he resided by himself in Cameron on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Tragically, he died accidentally at home at the age of 63 on Feb. 24, 1941. The Moundsville Daily Echo reported that he was:

...found dead in a chair by a fire in his home last night. Acting Coroner Clyde Loper entered a verdict of poisoning by carbon monoxide gas. Their suspicions aroused by the fact that they had not seen Finnigan about his home all day led neighbors to notify Cameron authorities. Investigation led to a forced entry of the premises....

Burial was in St. Martin's Catholic Cemetery in Cameron.


~ Daughter Margaret Ellen "Maggie" (Finnegan) Chambers Mackey ~

Daughter Margaret Ellen "Maggie" Finnegan (1879-1920) was born on Dec. 2 1879 (or 1880), in Aleppo, Greene County, PA, a twin with her sister Martha. 

She was twice wed. Her first husband was Benjamin Franklin Chambers (1876-1900), son of Henry and Mary E. Chambers of Greene County. Their wedding was held on June 29, 1898 in Marshall County, WV, when she was age 19 and he 22. Rev. W.A. Williams officiated. At the time, she resided in Big Tree, Greene County, and he in Cameron. 

The newlyweds first lived under the roof of Benjamin's widowed mother in Aleppo. They are shown in the household in the federal census of 1900. That year, Benjamin was employed as a railroad fireman.

Tragically, Benjamin contracted a deadly case of typhoid fever in the late spring of 1900. He fought the illness and went to the home of his mother near Morford, Greene County. But unable to recover, he died there on June 11, 1900, at age 23, after not quite two years of marriage. Following a funeral led by Rev. J.M. Murray at Big Run Church, he was was buried in the church's cemetery in Marshall County. An obituary in the Greene County Democrat noted that "He leaves a mother, six brothers, four sisters, and a wife to mourn their loss."

Widowed unexpectedly at the age of 21, Maggie remained in Marshall County.

Her second spouse was James R. Mackey (1873-1949), son of Samuel and Eva Ann (Strait) Mackey. They were joined in matrimony on Aug. 12, 1901, at the residence of Henry Earnest, when she was age 23 and he 27. Rev. J.L. Davis officiated.

Their four known children were Lula Mackey, Anna Mackey, Parker Mackey and Myrtle Mackey.


Local landmark, Cameron Clay Products Company


In 1910, the Mackeys lived on a farm in the Liberty District of Marshall County and James' widowed mother lived in their household. In 1917, they resided in Woodruff, Marshall County. 

Maggie died at the age of 40 in Woodruff, WV on Oct. 4, 1920. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Antill Funeral Home. She was laid to rest in Big Run Cemetery in Marshall County. 

James outlived Maggie by almost three decades, remaining in Woodruff near Cameron. Suffering from jaundice and bowel obstruction, he died at the age of 76 on Oct. 14, 1949. He joined his wife in eternal repose in the big Run Cemetery. Mrs. Gladys Costain of Cameron was the informant on his death certificate.

Daughter Lula Chambers Mackey (1897- ? ) was born in November 1896, before her mother was married. Her birth father is not known precisely. At the age of three, she lived with her mother and father or step-father Benjamin Franklin Chambers in Aleppo Township.

Daughter Anna Mackey (1902- ? ) was born in 1902. She may be the same Annie Mackey who died unmarried on Dec. 14, 1918 along Grave Creek. Burial was in St. Martin's Cemetery in Cameron. This needs to be verified.

Son Parker Mackey (1905- ? ) was born in 1905 in Woodruff near Cameron. At age 26, living in Woodruff, he wed 21-year-old Olive Grace Lyons (1909- ? ) of Cameron. Rev. John Hess performed the ceremony in Wheeling on Oct. 2, 1930.

Daughter Myrtle Mackey (1907- ? ) was born in about 1907.



Martha, Marcell and children, 
L-R: Harley, James, Ralph, Robert

~ Daughter Martha "Mattie" (Finnegan) Hartzell ~

Daughter Martha "Mattie" Finnegan (1879-1947) was born on Dec. 2, 1878 (or 1879 or 1880), in Aleppo Township, a twin with her sister Margaret. 

At the age of 19, in early 1898, Mattie married a cousin, 25-year-old Marcellus "Marcell" Hartzell Sr. (1873-1966), son of John and Martha (Whipkey) Hartzell -- grandson of Jonas and Anna (Whipkey) Hartzell -- and great-grandson of George and Mary (Younkin) Hartzell

They bore together a dozen children -- John Ray Hartzell, Harley L. Hartzell, Robert Hartzell, James Hartzell, Ralph Hartzell, Raymond Hartzell, Barney "Jack" Hartzell, Martha Agnes Gray, Marcellus "Tuck" Hartzell Jr., Marvin Hartzell, Donley Hartzell and Thomas Hartzell. 

\When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, Marcell, Mattie and one-year-old son "Johnny R." resided on a farm in Center Township, Greene County. Their son Harley was born that year in the town of Graysville.

But heartache shook the young couple on March 16, 1901, when their elder son Johnny died in Aleppo at the age of just under 16 months. The lad's tender remains were lowered into eternal rest in the Slonaker Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]


Martha, late 1890s

The federal censuses of 1910 and 1920 show the family living in Morris Township, Greene County, with Marcell continuing to earn a living as a farmer. 

Grief enveloped the family in the fall of 1924 when 16-year-old son Donley, a laborer, contracted acute cerebrospinal meningitis -- a type of tumor or growth on the brain which affected his nervous system and likely caused chills, headaches and fever, leading to unconsciousness. Dr. J.R. McNinch of West Alexander paid a visit, but the case was hopeless. Donley sank rapidly and died on Nov. 30, 1924. Burial was in West Finley Cemetery where his parents and many adult brothers would someday join him in death.

Mattie and Marcell lived in West Finley in 1942-1943, sometimes known as Burnsville. They were members of the South Ten Mile Church in Greene County. The census of 1940 shows that their next door neighbors were their son and daughter in law, Ralph and Viola Hartzell.

During World War II, the Hartzells worried when their sons Barney and "Tom" joined the U.S. Armed Forces and went away to serve. Fortunately, they both returned home safely.



Burdened for years with diabetes and hardening of the arteries, Mattie died at home on July 15, 1947 at the age of 68. An obituary in the Waynesburg Democrat Messenger said she had passed away "following a lingering illness." Interment was in West Finley Cemetery.

Marcell survived his wife by 19 years. He passed away in West Finley on Jan. 2, 1966, at the age of 93 years, and they rest together in the West Finley Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]

Son Harley Lloyd Hartzell (1900-1947) was born on Oct. 9, 1900 in Graysville, Greene County. He married Virginia E. Rockwell (1903-1986). They had a family of children, among them Harley "Jack" Hartzell, Robert Hartzell, Beverly Palarino, Dorothy Briggs Harshman, Marjorie I. "Marge" DeBlasio and Janice "Jan" Ott Gorden. Harley in 1940 earned a living as a time keeper for a state road project. Later, for many years, he was employed by Jessop Steel Company as a steelworker. They lived in West Finley, Washington County in 1924, in Amwell, Washington County in 1940 and in Washington, PA in 1947. Tragedy enveloped the family on Oct. 5, 1947. At 9 a.m. that day, Harley, four days shy of his 47th birthday, was at the Chambers Mill Dam, a summer resort, when he somehow fell, slipped or got into water that was too deep, and was drowned. His remains were placed into repose in West Finley Cemetery. His daughter Marjory DeBlasio of Hendersonville, PA was the informant for his death certificate. [Find-a-Grave] Virginia survived her husband by nearly four decades. She died in 1986 and is buried beside her spouse.

  • Grandson Harley "Jack" Hartzell ( ? - ? ) married Dorothy Kerns.
  • Grandson Robert Hartzell ( ? - ? ) married Angelina Lasqualucci ( ? - ? ).
  • Granddaughter Dorothy J. Hartzell (1924- ? ) was born in about 1924. She married Robert Briggs and (?) Harshman. She and her sister Beverly helped organize annual Hartzell covered-dish reunions in the 1990s, held in the West Finley Fire Hall.
  • Granddaughter Marjory I. "Marge" Hartzell (1925- ? ) was born in about 1925. She was wedded to Samuel DeBlasio.
  • Granddaughter Beverly Ann Hartzell (1934-2013) was born on April 16, 1934 in Washington, PA. She married Louis Palarino ( ? - ? ) and produced two daughters, Nancy A. Gallagher and Lee Ann Povlish and one stepson, Rod Weisshorn. She resided in Apollo, PA. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette once noted that "She was a member of Bethany United Methodist Church, where she helped with the Food Pantry and was involved in Bible studies at the church. Beverly was well-known for her loving personality, her contagious laughs and her generosity." She was deeply interested in her Hartzell/Younkin roots. One day in about 1989, while researching in the Somerset Historical Center in Somerset County, PA, she found a family tree chart which had been prepared by the founder of this website. She called the tree-maker and talked about mutual Younkin interests. They eventually met at the 1991 Younkin reunion held in Kingwood, Somerset County, and hosted by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan. Toward the end of her life, Beverly went to live with her married sister Jan Gorden in Weyers Cave, VA. She died in the Gorden home at the age of 79 on May 31, 2013.
  • Granddaughter Janice Hartzell ( ? - ? ) was married twice. Her first spouse was Thomas Ott ( ? - ? ). She married again to Thomas Gorden (or "Gordon") ( ? - ? ).


Harley Hartzell's daughters Beverly Palarino, Dorothy Harshman and Marge DeBlasio (at right) with long-lost cousins, 1991 Younkin Reunion, Kingwood, PA




Windy Gap Church, West Finley


Robert's obituary, 1984

Son Robert S. Hartzell (1902-1984) was born on May 16, 1902 in Greene County. On July 3, 1923, when he was 21 years of age, he married 19-year-old Bertha B. Horr (1904-2001). The Hartzells resided for many years in West Finley Township and in about 1980 relocated to a new home in West Alexander. For 41 years, Robert was employed by Columbia Gas Company, and was a member of its Columbia Gas Quarter Century Club. They belonged to the Windy Gap United Presbyterian Church. The couple produced seven known children -- Charles H. Hartzell, Clarence A. Hartzell, R. Raymond Hartzell, Lyle R. Hartzell, Helen Gray, Leanna B. Strawn and Regina Kimmel. Robert died in Peterson Hospital in Wheeling, WV at the age of 82 on Nov. 13, 1984. An obituary reported that he was survived by 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Bertha lived on for another 17 years, passing in 2001. They are in eternal repose in West Finley Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]


  • Grandson Charles H. Hartzell lived in 1984 in New Cumberland, WV.
  • Grandson Clarence A. Hartzell resided in Woodbridge, VA in the mid-1980s.
  • Grandson R. Raymond Hartzell dwelled in Canton, OH.
  • Grandson Lyle R. Hartzell made his home in 1984 in West Alexander.
  • Granddaughter Helen Hartzell married (?) Gray. In 1984, she lived in Downington, PA.
  • Granddaughter Leanna Hartzell was wedded to Willis Strawn. Their residence was in West Alexander.
  • Granddaughter Regina Hartzell was united in matrimony with Harry Kimmel. In 1984, they dwelled in Canton, OH.


James' obituary, 1979

Son James G. Hartzell (1904-1979) was born on July 25, 1904 in Greene County. He made his home for decades in West Finley Township, Washington County. James married local woman Wilma Tilton (1904-1944), daughter of Garry L. and Fannie (Huffman) Tilton. (The Hartzell and Tilton families were close, and James' brother Raymond married Wilma's sister Erma.) James was employed for three decades by Columbia Gas Company and retired in 1966. He was a member of the Columbia Gas Quarter Century Club, the West Finley Volunteer Fire Department and the Windy Gap United Presbyterian Church. Tragically, Wilma contracted a malignant cancer growth on her uterus. She was treated from July 1944 to her death on Nov. 22, 1944, at the age of 40. Her remains were buried in West Finley Cemetery. James lived for another 34 years after losing his first wife. After seven years as a widower, he married again on Jan. 13, 1951 to Olive Yoders ( ? - ? ). In all, he produced three children -- Donald Hartzell, Clyde Hartzell and Kathryn Meinzer. James suffered a serious illness in January 1979 and was treated in Washington Hospital. Sadly, after four weeks, he expired there at the age of 74 on Feb. 20, 1979. Interment was beside Wilma. A local newspaper obituary noted that he was survived by 21 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. [Find-a-Grave]


  • Grandson Donald Hartzell lived in West Finley.
  • Grandson Clyde Hartzell dwelled in Boonsboro, MD.
  • Granddaughter Kathryn Hartzell married Fred Meinzer and made their residence in West Finley.


Obituary, 1976
Courtesy Tiffany (Haywood) Muhly

Son Ralph J. Hartzell (1907-1976) was born on June 20, 1906 in Greene County. On Nov. 23, 1927, when he was age 20, he was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with 18-year-old Viola M. "Ola" Carson (1909-1991). They together produced a brood of five known children. Among them were Audrey Sheller, Emmett Marvin Hartzell, Blaine Hartzell, Lloyd E. Hartzell and an infant who died during a premature birth on Sept. 26, 1929. A newspaper once reported that Ralph "lived in West Finley Township for most of his life." The Hartzells were longtime members of the Windy Gap United Presbyterian Church. Ralph earned a living as a farmer in young manhood and later as an employee of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. When the federal census enumerations were made in 1930 and again in 1940, Ralph and Viola and their brood of offspring lived on a farm next door to his parents along Burnsville & Dallas Road in West Finley Township, Washington County, PA. In West Finley, he once was referred to by a newspaper as "well known." In 1962, faced with health issues, Ralph retired from his employment with PennDOT. Fortunately, Ralph lived for another 14 years after he stopped working. Sadly, however, following a lengthy illness, he succumbed to the angel of death in Washington Hospital at the age of 70 on Dec. 13, 1976. He was survived by 10 grandchildren and one great-grandson. The widowed Viola lived for another 15 years. She passed away in 1991. Burial was in West Finley Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]


  • Granddaughter Audrey R. Hartzell (1930- ? ) was born in 1930. She married Paul Sheller ( ? - ? ) and dwelled in West Finley and in 1970 in York, PA.


Emmett and Bertha Louise (Amos) Hartzell. Below: their Virginia marriage certificate. Courtesy Tiffany (Haywood) Muhly


  • Obituary, 1970
    Courtesy Tiffany (Haywood) Muhly

    Grandson Emmet Marvin Hartzell (1931-1970) was born on Jan. 19, 1931 in West Finley Township, Washington County, and spent his entire life in the community. During the Korean War, he joined the U.S. Armed Forces as a member of a supply squadron. After returning home from military service, he pursued a career in welding. On March 2, 1956, when he was 25 years of age, he was joined in holy wedlock with 22-year-old Bertha Louise Amos (Jan. 14, 1937-2002), daughter of Charles and Mary (Shoup) Amos and a native of the village of Sycamore, Greene County. The pair slipped away to Winchester, VA to tie the knot, with the ceremony performed there by Rev. David S. Garland of the local Methodist Church. Two children born to their union were Rickey Lee Hartzell and Crystal Sue Haywood. Sadness blanketed the family when firstborn child Rickey died at the tender age of one day, in Ohio Valley General Hospital in Wheeling, WV, on May 9, 1956. The baby's funeral was led by Rev. George Bowen, with interment in Oakmont Cemetery. They resided in West Finley and held memberships in the Windy Gap United Presbyterian Church. Emmet was employed as a welder for 10 years by Industrial Enterprises of Washington. He also belonged to the Loyal Order of Moose of Waynesburg and the American Legion post of West Alexander. Sadly, after having contracted a serious illness, Emmett died in Washington Hospital on Nov. 2, 1970 at the age of 39. An obituary was published in a local newspaper. Bertha remained a widow for about four years until a second marriage in 1975 to Charles Leichliter (April 4, 1948-2021). The second union endured for 46 years until cleaved apart by death. Bertha passed into the realm of eternity on March 1, 2002. Charles survived another 19 years until he succumbed to the angel of death on June 11, 2021.

Great-granddaughter Crystal Sue Hartzell (1957-2020) was born on July 28, 1957. On Oct. 14, 1976, she entered into marriage with James Earl Haywood (Sept. 9, 1955- ? ). The couple became the parents of three -- Timothy J. Haywood, Michael Shawn Haywood and Tiffany Ann Muhly. Sadly, Crystel Sue died on June 18, 2020. Their son Timothy bore two children with Shauna Kiger; son Michael married Shannon Fields and Tiffaney Dawn Evans and has two children; and Tiffany Ann wedded William Merle Muhly III and together have three offspring.

  • Grandson Blaine Hartzell (1934- ? ) was born in about 1934. His home in 1970-1976 was in Clymer, PA.
  • Grandson Lloyd E. Hartzell (1936- ? ) was born in about 1936. He relocated to Indianapolis and was there circa 1970-1976.


Obituary, 1968

Son Raymond Day Hartzell (1910-1968) was born on June 20, 1910 in Greene County. As a young man, he learned his father's occupation as a farmer. On Aug. 22, 1935, at the age of 22, he married Erma Tilton (1915- ? ), daughter of daughter of Garry L. and Fannie (Huffman) Tilton. (The Hartzell and Tilton families were close, and Raymond's brother James married Erma's sister Wilma.) Rev. William H. Schatz performed the nuptials at the ceremony held in Washington, Washington County, PA. They produced one son, Charles T. Hartzell and raised a foster son, Clyde R. Travis. The Hartzells spent their lives in Burnsville near West Finley and later in Elm Grove near Wheeling, Ohio County, WV. Raymond was a member of the Windy Gap Presbyterian Church, and earned a living as an employee of Manufacturer's Light and Heat Company. Sadly, he became ill at the age of 58 and was treated in Washington (PA) Hospital. He died there on Aug. 21, 1968. Burial was in West Finley Cemetery, with Rev. Perry McIntyer, pastor of the Dallas United Methodist Church, preaching the funeral sermon. An obituary appeared in the Wheeling News Register newspaper. [Find-a-Grave]


  • Grandson Charles T. Hartzell (1936-living?) was born in about 1936 in Burnsville. He migrated to Elm Grove near Wheeling. On June 28, 1958, in a ceremony held at Dallas, WV, the 22-year-old Charles married 20-year-old Nancy Mae Bowman (1938-living?) of West Alexander, PA.
  • Foster son Clyde R. Travis served in the U.S. Navy and was based in El Centro, CA in 1968.


Obituary, 1974

Son Barney F. "Jack" Hartzell (1912-1974) was born on Aug. 8, 1912 in Aleppo Township, Greene County. During World War II, Barney served as a private in the 233rd General Hospital of the U.S. Army, with deployment to the Pacific Theatre. He was married and had four children -- Edwin Hartzell, Earl Hartzell, Mary Bell Porter and Ethel Craig. Barney was a farmer and a member of the West Alexander American Legion Post and Windy Gap Presbyterian Church. The couple eventually divorced. Barney lived at home with his parents in 1947, and they helped raise some of the grandchildren. He later moved into a mobile home in rural West Alexander, Washington County. A newspaper once said that he "lived in West Finley Township most of his life." Tragically, in the wee hours of March 3, 1974, his house caught fire and was destroyed, with Barney found dead in his living room area. Washington County Coroner Ferrall Jackson ruled that death was due to asphyxiation. He was 62 years of age. State Police fire marshals discovered when combing through the gutted structure that "controls had been removed from the furnace, and that it overheated and exploded." Burial was in West Finley Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]


  • Grandson Edwin Hartzell lived in Washington, PA in 1974.


  • Grandson Earl Hartzell resided in Washington in 1974.


  • Granddaughter Mary Bell Hartzell was wedded to Melvin Porter and made their home in Elm Grove in the outskirts of Wheeling, WV.
  • Granddaughter Ethel Hartzell married Eugene Craig and lived in Elizabethtown, PA.


Marcell Jr.'s obit, 1967

Daughter Martha Agnes Hartzell (1913-1962) was born on Aug. 4, 1913 in Greene County, the only daughter in a family of 12 children. On July 21, 1934, at the age of 21, she wed 24-year-old George Bearley Gray (1910-1990) in a ceremony at Dallas, WV. The Grays lived in rural West Alexander, Washington County. Sadly and painfully, suffering from kidney disease with a "complete suppression of urination," wrote a physician, Martha was admitted to Ohio Valley General Hospital in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV. There, she died at the age of 48 on July 3, 1962. Her remains were brought back to Pennsylvania to be placed into eternal repose in West Alexander Cemetery. On her single grave marker was inscribed the word "Mother." As a widower, George is believed to have married again to Ila M. (?) (1914-1989), but this needs to be confirmed. He died on Feb. 22, 1990, at the age of 89, with burial beside Martha. [Find-a-Grave]

Son Marcell "Tuck" Hartzell Jr. (1917-1967) was born on July 24, 1917 in Greene County As a young adult, he resided in Claysville, Washington County. When both were age 21, Marcell married Olive Galentine (1916- ? ). Rev. A. Coleman Brown officiated at the wedding, held on Feb. 28, 1936 at Elm Grove near Wheeling, Ohio County, WV. The couple resided in West Finley Township and produced a family of three daughters -- Ella Coen, Martha Riggs and Alberta Miller. Marcell was employed for many years with Jessup Steel Company in Washington. Later, when his health declined so that he could no longer work in the mill, he farmed for a living. His health seriously declined during the final four years of his life. In 1966, Marcell moved to Marianna, Washington County. There, he passed away at the age of 50 on June 5, 1967, with interment in West Finley Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]

  • Granddaughter Ella Hartzell married William Coen and lived in Canonsburg and Washington.
  • Granddaughter Martha Hartzell wedded Roger Riggs and dwelled in Washington.
  • Granddaughter Alberta Hartzell was united in wedlock with Millard Miller and made their home in Washington.


Marvin with his parents, mid-1940s

Marvin's obituary, 1979

Son Marvin P. "Tom" Hartzell (1918-1979) was born on Nov. 6, 1918 in Morristown, Greene County. He never married. Marvin served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a member of Company A, 1759 Engineer Special Shop Battalion with the rank of technician fifth grade. After the war, he made his residence in his parents' home in 1947. In about 1957, he became employed by Mary Carl where he worked as a farm hand in a relationship spanning 22 years. After retirement, he apparently rented a home from Mary Carl at 309 Jefferson Avenue in Washington. Tragically, while riding a tractor lawn mower and cutting grass on the fateful day of Aug. 18, 1979, he "was mowing grass on a steep embankment at 2:40p.m. and when he tried to turn the mower around, it tipped over on top of him," reported the Washington Observer Reporter. The weight of the tractor snapped Marvin's neck, and within a half hour he died of his injuries. He was age 61. His body was examined by county coroner Farrell Jackson, who pronounced the matter an accident. Interment was in West Finley Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]


~ Daughter Sarah Agatha "Sadie" (Finnegan) Corcoran ~

Daughter Sarah Agatha "Sadie" Murphy (1882-1950) was born in on April 27, 1882 (or 1884) in Greene County. 

She married Charles Edward Corcoran (1883-1938), of Cameron, the son of Irish immigrant John Corcoran and Boston native Bridget Barrett (or Byard). "Early in life he moved to Elm Grove," said the Moundsville Daily Echo

The Corcorans had three children -- Catherine Corcoran, Helen Corcoran and Charles Corcoran.

They lived for many years at Elm Grove, where Charles was a longtime carpenter and contractor. He was a member of the carpenter's union at Wheeling and belonged to the Woodmen of the World organization. He also was a communicant of St. Martin's Catholic Church in Cameron.


Moundsville Daily Echo

Retiring in 1931, they moved from Elm Grove to Cameron. In 1937, Sadie attended the National Younkin Home-Coming Reunion in Kingwood, Somerset County, and her name was printed in a related news article. 

Charles suffered from chronic nephritis and hardening of the arteries. He suffered a stroke of paralysis and died the following day, on Oct. 28, 1938, just a few weeks before his 55th birthday. The Daily Echo noted that he "had been in ill health for several months." Interment was at St. Martin's Cemetery, Cameron.

In widowhood, Sadie moved to 30 Waddell Avenue in Elm Grove (Wheeling), Ohio County, WV. She was living there in 1943 when mentioned in the newspaper obituary of her brother Owen.

She died of pneumonia, diabetes and hardening of the arteries at the age of 66 on Oct. 3, 1950. Burial was in St. Martin Cemetery in Cameron. 

An unsuccessful effort has been made to locate her news obituary in the Daily Echo only due to the fact that the microfilm reel for that date is not on file in the otherwise outstanding West Virginia Regional History Collection at West Virginia University.


~ Son James P. Finnegan ~


Son James P. Finnegan (1884-1962) was born on May 17, 1884 (or 1885). 

At age 15, he worked on the home farm in Aleppo Township, Greene County with his widowed father.

He wed Cecelia Kerns ( ? - ? ). James was a longtime boiler maker employed by one of the railroad companies.

In 1917, they made their home in McMechen, WV. Circa 1942-1943, they lived in Burnsville (West Finley), PA. By 1947, they had relocated to Wheeling. After Cecelia's death, James lived in Wind Ridge, Richhill Township, Greene County, and was there in the early 1960s. 

For years, James suffered from hardening of the arteries and hypertension. He was stricken with a heart attack at the age of 77 on June 3, 1962, and died just a few hours later. Burial was in Wind Ridge Cemetery. His sister Blanche Rayl was the informant for his certificate of death.


~ Daughter Blanche Catherine (Finnegan) Rayl Staats ~


Daughter Blanche Catherine Finnegan (1888-1973) was born on April 27, 1888 in Aleppo, Greene County, the youngest of 12 children. 

In 1908, at the age of 20, she married 25-year-old Encil (or "Enzel") Rayl (1883-1919), a native of Pennsylvania. They had one son, Encil J. Rayl.

They made their home in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV and were members of the St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church. When the federal census was taken in 1910, they lived in a home on Jacob Street in Wheeling, and Encil was employed as a shearman in a local mill.

Sadly, Encil died in 1919 after 11 years of marriage. Nothing more about him is known.

Two years later, on June 24, 1921, when Blanche was age 24, and living in Elm Grove near Wheeling, she married again. Her second husband was 25-year-old Frederick E. Staats (or "Staatz"), a native of Jackson County, WV.

Circa 1943-1947, she lived in Wheeling. After her marriage with Fred Staats ended, she resumed using her first married name, "Rayl." In about 1958, she relocated from Wheeling back to old home area of Wind Ridge, Greene County.

At the age of 86, Blanche died on Oct. 17, 1973, in Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale, near Wheeling. She rests for eternity in Mount Zion Cemetery in Wheeling.

Son Encil J. Rayl (1919-1995) was born on July 24, 1919. He married Gladys W. (1919-2000) and lived in McMechen, near Wheeling. He had two sons, Edward J. Rayl and Gary Lee Rayl. Encil passed away on July 5, 1995, with burial in Halcyon Hills Memorial Park in Sherrard, Marshall County.


Copyright 2013-2016, 2018, 2021 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by Carl Hoge, Tiffany (Haywood) Muhly and the late Donna (Younkin) Logan.