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Charles Younkin



L-R: graves of Charles (1861) and Jane (1866), still 
legible when photographed at Imel Cemetery in 2013

Charles Younkin (1795-1861) was born "Carl Philipp Joungken" on Oct. 6 or 10, 1795 in or near Lovettsville, Loudoun County, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. 

He was the son of Somerset County pioneers Johannes "John" and Catharina (Dorscheimer) Younkin and the grandson of Johann Heinrich "Henry" and Catherine (Scherer) Junghen of Bucks County, PA. 

When he was less than a month old, Charles was baptized in the family's place of worship, the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church in Lovesttsville. His sponsors were Carl and Catharine Dorshimer, presumably his maternal grandparents. 

This event is chronicled in the 1995 book, Early Church Records of Loudoun County, Virginia, 1745-1800, by Marty Hiatt. 

Charles' six brothers and sisters were "Yankee John" Younkin, Jacob "of John" Younkin, Henry Younkin, Mary Hartzell, Catherine Minerd and George Younken.


Book with Charles'
baptism, 1795

As a boy, he migrated with his parents and siblings to near Kingwood, Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, PA, where they put down roots for good.

On Christmas Day 1814, when he was age 19, Charles married 17-year-old Jane Johnston (1797-1866). She was the daughter of William and Mary Johnston. The two clans were close, and Charles' brother George wed Jane's sister Nancy.

They had nine children -- Rebecca "Becky" Imel, Catherine Christner, Mary "Polly" Pyle Bridget, Ellen "Nellie" Wiltrout, Elizabeth Wiltrout, Charlotta (Younkin) Younkin, Nancy Jane Johnson Rowan, Freeman Younkin and Franklin B. "Frank" YounkinSadly, son Freeman, born on July 16, 1835, is reputed to have died very young.


The eight children living to adulthood eventually produced 34 grandchildren.


Charles became indebted at some point in time and was forced via sheriff's sale to give up his inheritance of farm property to a neighbor, Michael Sanner Jr. The purchaser, Sanner, later asked the Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County to determine whether the farm could be subdivided to him and to Charles' siblings without damaging its value.

The Younkins moved westward across the mountainous Somerset/Fayette County line and established a farm at the base of the Laurel Mountains in the vicinity of Clay Run, east of Normalville (then known as Springfield and later as Elm).


Location of the Younkin farm, southeast of Springfield (Normalville), 1858



Detail of the 1858 map

Of their years in Somerset, the couple was said to have been "well known residents of that county."

Charles was said to be the "earliest progenitor of record ... [and] an early settler of Fayette county. He was a prosperous farmer, the Younkins usually being tillers of the soil." This description was printed in the book Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Volume 1.

The Younkin farm is shown on a hand-colored map of Fayette County produced by William J. Barker in 1858 from actual property surveys. His son George later inherited the property, which was then handed down in the family to grandson William Dayton Younkin and thence to his daughter Laura Belle Shroyer and her husband Jacob. The founder of this website visited with the Shroyers on this property in the early 1990s.

Charles died on Nov. 12, 1861, at the age of 66. 

Jane outlived her husband by five years. She passed away on Sept. 26, 1866, age 68.

They are buried together in the Imel Cemetery near Clay Run, Fayette County. 

Circa December 1975, the family of Charles and Jane was being researched by Robert Slagle. The grave markers on this page were photographed in August 2013 by the founder of this website.


Broken condition of Jane and Charles Younkin's grave markers, early 1990s, as photographed by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan

~ Daughter Mary "Polly" (Younkin) Pyle Bridget ~

Daughter Mary "Polly" Younkin (1819-1880) was born on Aug. 12, 1819. She never learned to read or write.

She was twice married. Her first spouse was (?) Pyle. They had one daughter, Catherine A. "Katie" Knable.

Two other children were involved -- Sylvester Bridget (born 1843) and Aden Bridget (born 1845).

Polly and presumably her first husband migrated to Indiana, settling on a farm in or near Middlefork, Washington Township, Clinton County. [Younkin cousins who also migrated to Clinton County in the 19th century were Isaac and Rebecca (Walter) Younkin.]

Her second spouse was (?) Bridget ( ? - ? ). In 1860, Polly headed a household in Washington Township, with sons Sylvester and Aden in the household as well as 21-year-old Nancy J. Idol and her young son William H.

At the age of 51, in 1870, and then again at 60 in 1880, federal census records show Polly residing in Warren, Clinton County, IN in the home of her married daughter and son in law, Catherine and Samuel Knable. In 1880, the census-taker recorded that she was suffering from "consumption" today known as "tuberculosis."

Polly is reputed to have died at the age of 61 on Oct. 25, 1880.

Daughter Catherine A. "Katie" Pyle (1839-1919) was born in 1839 in Somerset County, PA. On May 18, 1854, when she was 15 years of age, Katie married 26-year-old Samuel Knable (1828-1880), who was 11 years older and a fellow native of Somerset County. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Ambrose Shear at the house of John Knable near Middlefork, Clinton County. Among those in attendance were Harvey Nicholas and Harrison Walter. Samuel stood five feet, eight inches tall, weighed 150 lbs. with grey eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion. He could neither read nor write. The couple relocated to Indiana and resided on a farm in Warren Township, Clinton County. They produced four known children -- Eliza J. Knable, Franklin Knable, Warren C. Knable and Daisy May Knable. They may also have had two other offspring who died young -- Sarah (died in infancy in 1857) and John Grant (died at age six in 1869), both of whom are buried in the same cemetery as Samuel. At the births of her youngest two children, Katie was assisted by friends Harriet Baber and Phoebe Baker and by Dr. M.L. Martin. When the federal census was taken in 1860, the Knables made their home in Middlefork, just a few farms away from the family of 54-year-old widower Samuel Knable. During the Civil War, Samuel was drafted into the Union Army and was assigned to the 51st Indiana Infantry, Company F. He was wounded in battle at Nashville, TN on Dec. 16, 1864, receiving a gunshot in the lower half of his upper left arm. On Sept. 11, 1865, he was awarded an invalid pension by the federal government. [Invalid App. 88.340 - Cert. #79.434] The wound left him "unable to perform manual labor without great pain + inconvenience," he later wrote. Over the years, the wound would ooze as small particles of bones worked their way out of the skin. The 1870 and 1880 censuses show the family in Warren Township, with Katie's aged mother living under their roof over that decade. As Samuel neared death in September 1880, a physician was requested to come. "Was called  the morning he died," wrote Valentine Bowers, M.D. "Found him dying when I reached the house. I made no examination for he died in five minutetts after I reached the house. The family told me he had been suffering for a number of days with the wounded arm which was verry much swolen and inflamed." He died at the age of 52 on Sept. 20, 1880, with burial in Stringer Cemetery in Forest, Clinton County. [Find-a-Grave] Catherine then applied for and began receiving his pension payments of $25 per month. [Widow App. #295.041 - Cert. #221.192] An atlas map of Warren Township published in 1878 shows a 20-acre farm belonging to "J. Knable" adjacent to the 40-acres farms of distant cousins John F. Younkin and Harrison Wigle, of the family of Isaac Younkin. Of Katie, Charles Arthur Younkin, co- founder of the Younkin National Home-coming Reunions of the 1930s and early '40s, wrote that "have saw her often, now dead. Dr. Noble [Younkin] knew her and knows her children. He has written me of it." Katie died on July 12, 1919.

  • Granddaughter Eliza J. Knable (1856- ? ) was born in 1856 in Middlefork in Warren Township, Clinton County, IN.
  • Grandson Franklin Knable (1860- ? ) was born in about March 1860 in Middlefork in Warren Township, Clinton County, IN. At the age of 20, Franklin was single and lived at home.
  • Grandson Warren C. Knable (1872- ? ) was born on Aug. 20, 1872. M.L. Martin, M.D., was present and helped with the delivery.
  • Granddaughter Daisy May Knable (1875- ? ) was born on Nov. 19, 1875. Friends Harriet Baber and Phoebe Baker assisted in the birth.


~ Civil War Soldiers Among Charles' Offspring ~

George W. Brooks - 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company B

James Frederick Imel - 85th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company K

Samuel H. Imel - 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry

William F. Imel - 8th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry, Company K

Samuel Knable - 51st Indiana Infantry, Company F

Samuel K. Rowan - 6th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, Company E

Franklin B. Younkin - 6th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, Company K

George A. Younkin - 97th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A

~ Daughter Ellen "Nellie" (Younkin) Wiltrout ~

Daughter Ellen "Nellie" Younkin (1821- ? ) was born on July 19, 1821. 

She married James (or "Jacob") Wiltrout ( ? - ? ). 

He may or may not be the same "Jacob Wiltrout" who in 1879 purchased the Poister's grist mill in Milford Township and by Christmas of that year, reported the Somerset Herald, was "doing a thriving business." In August 1879, this same Jacob Wiltrout charged C.A. Ebersole with larceny. The case was heard by Judge McCormick in Uniontown, Fayette County, with "Adam" Wiltrout losing the case and being assessed costs. At the time, Adam and Ebersole resided in Bullskin Township.

Nothing more is known.

~ Daughter Elizabeth (Younkin) Wiltrout ~

Daughter Elizabeth Younkin (1823- ? ) was born on Sept. 21, 1823 in either Somerset or Fayette County, PA.

She married Adam Wiltrout ( ? - ? ). Their children were John Wiltrout (born 1846), Melinda Wiltrout (1848), Caroline Wiltrout (1851), Elias M. Wiltrout (1854), Adam A. Wiltrout Jr. (1860), Jacob Wiltrout (1862) and Nelson Wiltrout (1864). 

In 1860, the Wiltrouts lived in Berlin, Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. By 1870, this family had migrated to a farm near the booming industrial town of Dunbar, Fayette County. That year, their post office was Connellsville. The census of 1880 shows the Wiltrouts in Bullskin Township, north of Connellsville, with Adam earning a living as a laborer. In 1884, Adam (father or son) filed legal charges against C.A. Ebersole for "larceny." A judge heard each side's testimony and dismissed the case, assessing court costs to Adam.

Son John Wiltrout Sr. (1846-1927) was born on May 23, 1846 in Somerset County. He was twice married. In 1869, he was united in wedlock at the age of 23 with Elizabeth Miller ( ? -1901). They produced one daughter, Mary Wiltrout. Sadly Elizabeth died in 1901. That same year, he married again to Lydia M. Bowman (1854-1944), daughter of Henry and Susan (Kelly) Bowman and widow of James Boyd. They were farmers and made their home in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA. John suffered an injury in about 1927 when he fell from a load of hay, leading to his death. Suffering from pneumonia, he died a week before his 81st birthday on May 16, 1927 in Mount Pleasant's Memorial Hospital. Interment was in Greenlick Cemetery, following services at Paradise Evangelical Church in Bullskin Township, with Rev. Clewell E. Miller and Rev. Henry H. Faust officiating. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that pallbearers included William Coughenour, Edward Poorbaugh, F.L. Freed, H.A. Jackson, B.M. Ridenour and Theodore Shiery, and that the choir sang "Nearer My God to Thee" and "Sweet Hour of Prayer." The Courier listed everyone who attended the funeral -- J.J. Wiltrout and Mrs. Wiltrout of Coolspring, Mrs. Andrew Bishop and son Charles, and Miss Tillie Rhodes of New Castle, R.F. Wiltrout and family and W.E. Wiltrout of South Connellsville, Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Baker and children of Pennsville, Mr. and Mrs. Beatty and children and Anna Belle Wiltrout of McClellandtown, Maude Hart of Normalville, F.S. Wiltrout of Dunbar, Bessie Martin and children and Mrs. Charles Brierly of South Connellsville, Mr. and Mrs. T.S. Provance, E.B. Provance and Grover Provance of Uniontown, Alma L. Provance of Detroit, Mr. and Mrs. George Bowman and daughter Mrs. Ben Crosby of Greensburg, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Wiltrout and children and Mrs. Samuel Robertson of Greene County, Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wiltrout and Ada Huey of Coolspring and Smith Rhodes of Juniata. Lydia survived her husband by 18 years and lived to the age of 90. She died at home at Wooddale on Dec. 7, 1944. Her survivors included her brother James Bowman and sisters Susan Provance and Sarah Baker. Interment was in the Greenlick Cemetery.

Daughter Melinda Wiltrout (1848- ? ) was born in 1848. She was deceased by 1927.

Daughter Caroline Wiltrout (1851- ? ) was born in 1851. She was deceased by 1927.

Son Elias M. Wiltrout (1854- ? ) was born in 1854. He was deceased by 1927.


Mt. Olive Evangelical Church and Cemetery

Son Adam A. Wiltrout Jr. (1860 ? ) was born in about 1860. He married Maude (Myers) Wilhelm (1884-1922), daughter of George W. and Rebecca (Overly) Myers. They produced these children -- John Wiltrout, Allen Wiltrout, Cooper Wiltrout, Carrie Marie Wiltrout, Richard F. Wiltrout, William E. Wiltrout and Samuel A. Wiltrout. They resided in Scottdale, Fayette County in 1918 and in Wooddale, Fayette County in 1922-1927. In 1918, when their daughter in law Etta died at age 23, the funeral service was held in the Wiltrout home in Scottdale. Sadly, Maude was burdened with cancer of the liver and died at the age of 48 at home on Aug. 16, 1922. A short obituary appeared in the Connellsville Daily Courier, and interment was in Mt. Olive Cemetery.


  • Grandson William E. Wiltrout married Etta Brothers (1895-1918), daughter of Kelly and Emma (Barkley) Brothers. They resided in California, Washington County, PA. Tragically, while laid low from pulmonary tuberculosis, Etta died at the age of 23 on Oct. 21, 1918. Her remains were brought to Bullskin Township, north of Connellsville, for burial in Mt. Olive Cemetery. A one-paragraph obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier. By 1922, William had relocated back to South Connellsville, Fayette County.

  • Grandson Richard F. Wiltrout resided in South Connellsville in 1922.


  • Grandson Samuel A. Wiltrout served in the U.S. Army Expeditionary Forces during World War I as a member of the 17th Machine Gun Battalion, Company A. He underwent basic training at Fort Thomas, KY and shipped overseas in mid-1918. When he did not write home for many months, his parents feared the worst, but a letter finally arrived in January 1919. made his home in the early 1920s in South Connellsville.


Son Jacob J. Wiltrout (1862-1935) was born on June 3, 1862 in Somerset County. He was a longtime farmer. At one point he resided in Bullskin Township near Connellsville and later in Smithfield, Fayette County, working on behalf of Alex Sackett. Jacob married Jemima Geary (1865-1944), daughter of Adam and Susan (Nicklow) Geary of Fayette County. They produced these children -- Emma Pollock, Elizabeth Watt, Mae E. Robertson, Blanche R. Martin, Charles R. Wiltrout, Harry F. Wiltrout, Samuel E. Wiltrout and Grace E. Wiltrout. Sadly, little Grace contracted pneumonia at the age of 14 months and died on Feb. 20, 1908, with burial in the Cumberland Presbyterian Cemetery. In 1908, they made their home in the coal mining patch town of Lamberton, German Township near Uniontown, Fayette County. Stricken with chronic heart disease and liver cancer, Jacob succumbed at the age of 72 on Jan. 11, 1935. Son in law Emmett Martin of Uniontown was the informant for the certificate of death. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier reported that he was survived by 30 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, and that funeral services were held in the Martin home in Coolspring followed by burial in Mt. Olive Cemetery near Connellsville. Jemima survived for another nine years and in about 1942 moved to house #147 in Bobtown, Dunkard Township, Greene County. She endured heart and kidney disease and died at age 9 on Aug. 23, 1944. Her remains were brought back to Fayette County to be placed into repose in Mt. Olive Cemetery.


  • Granddaughter Emma Jane Wiltrout (1885-1960) was born on July 25, 1885. She married John B. Pollock ( ? - ? ). In 1935, she lived in Uniontown and in 1960 in Crowes Works, Georges Township near Uniontown. Burdened with what physicians called "latent syphilis," she suffered a heart attack and died at age 75 on Aug. 11, 1960. Interment was in Oak Grove Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Elizabeth Wiltrout (1888-1945) was born on Leap Day 1888 in Fayette County. She married William H. Watt ( ? - ? ). They resided in Point Marion, Fayette County in the mid-1930s. By 1945, they had relocated to Bennington Road in Hopwood near Uniontown. Stricken with cancer of her breasts, she died at age 56 on Jan. 27, 1945. Burial was in West Newton, Westmoreland County, with James Watt of Hopwood signing her death certificate.

  • Granddaughter Mae E. Wiltrout married (?) Robertson. She dwelled in 1935 in Bobtown, Greene County, PA.


  • Granddaughter Blanche R. Wiltrout married Emmet Martin. In 1935, her home was in Coolspring near Uniontown.


  • Grandson Charles R. Wiltrout made his residence in Clarksburg, Harrison County, WV in the 1930s.


  • Grandson Harry Franklin Wiltrout (1894-1963) was born on Feb. 24, 1894 in Wooddale, Fayette County. He married Jennie Frances Harris ( ? - ? ). They lived for many years in the coal patch town of Bobtown, Greene County, where he labored as a pumper in the Shannopin Coal Company mine. Harry was felled by a massive sigmoid growth on his liver and died at age 68 on Jan. 11, 1963. Burial was in Evergreen Memorial Park in Point Marion, Fayette County, with William Wiltrout of Greensboro, PA serving as the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.


  • Grandson Samuel Edgar Wiltrout (1898-1957) was born on April 2, 1898 in Connellsville. He married Florence Hutchinson ( ? - ? ). The Wiltrouts made their home in the coal mining community of Bobtown, Greene County, at the address of 307 Grant Street. He earned a living over the years as a machine operator in the Shannopin Coal Co. mine. Tragically, while at work in the mine on Jan. 24, 1957, he was caught between a coal car and a rib of coal, and fractured his pubic bone and lower back. He was treated in Greene County Memorial Hospital but could not rally and died four weeks later on Feb. 21, 1957. His broken remains were lowered into eternal sleep in the Evergreen Memorial Park in Point Marion, Fayette County.


Son Nelson Wiltrout (1864-1917) was born on Dec. 14, 1859. Circa 1017, he made his home in East Bethlehem, Washington County, PA. On March 15, 1917, he died at the age of 57, with pulmonary tuberculosis as the cause. He was laid to rest in Howes Cemetery, with Mrs. Wilbur Moore of Coal Centre signing the death certificate.

Picturesque Imel Cemetery in Clay Run, Fayette County

~ Son Freeman Younkin ~

Son Freeman Younkin (1835-1842) was born on July 16, 1835. He died in childhood, at the age of six, on Feb. 8, 1842. 

He rests for eternity in Imel Cemetery, one of the earlier burials in the picturesque graveyard near Clay Run.

Copyright 2013, 2016 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Olive (Rowan) Duff and the late Donna (Younkin) Logan