Name: Valentine Felty KERR
Birth: APR 1760 in Elder's Ridge, Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania
Death: 20 OCT 1850 in Shelocta (Elder's Ridge), Indiana Co., Pennsylvania
Surname Kerr: English and Scottish: topographic name for someone who liv ed by a patch of wet ground overgrown with brushwood, northern Middle Engl ish kerr (Old Norse kjarr).
A legend grew up that the Kerrs were left-handed, on theory that the na me is derived from Gaelic cearr ‘wrong-handed’, ‘left-handed’. Irish Car r. (Ulster): Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Carra ‘descendant of Carra’, a by name meaning ‘spear’. Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Giolla Chathai r, a Donegal name meaning ‘ son of the servant of Cathair’. 'Kehr' from Mi ddle High German kere ‘bend ’, ‘corner’, hence a topographic name for some one living near a bend in a road or near a field named with this word. T he name is common in Tyrol (where it is also a place name from which the s urname may have arisen) and in adjoining parts of Switzerland.
Census and other records place the approximate date of Valentine as 176 0. Less information is available to fix the birth date of Hannah. The 17 90 through 1840 census only name the head of the house. Other family membe rs are given as counts in age groups. The 1800 Westmoreland Co., Pennsylva nia census for Felty Kerr, lists 7 children in age groups correct for t he family, one male 26-45 (assumed Felty) and one female over 45 (assum ed Hannah). The 1840 census for the Valentine Kerr family of Armstrong T wp ., Indiana Co., Pennsylvania list one male 70-80, one female 30-40 (ass umed Mary) and one female 80-90 assumed to be Hannah. The 1850 census lis ts Valentine Kerr 90 and Mary 60. These census records would indicate th at Hannah was somewhat older than Valentine and that she died between 18 40 and 1850.
The 1800 Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania census placed the family with you ng children in the Elder's Ridge area. Elder's Ridge, with the formati on of new counties, is now in Indiana Co., south of Sheltocta. Valentine a ppears as Felty Kerr, a laborer in the 1807 list of taxables in Armstro ng Twp., Indiana Co., Pennsylvania Felty and Volie were nicknames us ed by Valentine and some of the grandsons.
Valentine bought a farm near Shelocta in 1807. This farm is in Armstrong T wp., Indiana Co., Pennsylvania Valentine and Hannah lived on this farm f or the remainder of their lives and are probably buried near or on this fa rm. The farm has been passed down through the James Kerr family and was st ill in the family in 1975. Starting in 1810 and continuing until his dea th in 1850, Valentine appears on this farm in the census records.
Valentine was a farmer and probably had carpentry skills. Carpentry skil ls were very prominent in the second through the fourth generations. The re is one unverified story passed on that Valentine was an apprentice carp enter in England before emigrating. There is evidence that the family w as close until about 1900.
It appears that you are fortunate to have solid links back to Ireland.
Many good genealogist have failed to trace Valentine Kerr or Hannah Barr p re 1760. In all of my writings I present all known info on the birth plac es and nationalities of Valentine and Hannah. I then let the reader deci de on these data. However it disturbs me when I see birth places that c an not be correct. Valentine was not born in Shelocta. The best eviden ce is that Valentine was born in the disputed PA-MD border area. The Mas on Dixon line was not surveyed until after Valentines birth. Settleme nt in current Indiana Co., PA was not started until 15+ years after Valent ines birth.
The info from Deborah or Susan is very interesting. It does appear that m ost of the info was copied from the 1990 book into some version of Fami ly Tree Maker. Most references, notes and text were not copied from the b ook to to the document of your email. Deborah with a few others, provid ed and or verified much of the Gravener Marsh Kerr family.
Valentine and Hannah had 9 children. The 7th child Thomas died young, t he 8th child was James and the 9th child was also named Thomas. I am a de scendant of Thomas Kerr (19). My grandfather John Kerr (196) was bo rn on or near the Valentine Kerr farm, about 1 mile south of the town of S chelocta.
I will read your email in more detail and inform you of additional errors.
Donald and Joyce Kerr
Samuel C. Kerr: Civil War: Pvt. Co., E, 1st Battalion, Pennsylvania Caval ry
Samuel H. Kerr: Civil War: Sgt. Co., M, F, 14th Regiment, Pennsylvania Cav alry, 159th Volunteers
Hannah BARR b: in Germany
- Mary KERR b: 1 AUG 1788 in Pennsylvania
- Joseph KERR b: 12 MAR 1790
- Hannah KERR b: 15 DEC 1792
- John KERR b: 19 SEP 1794 in Pennsylvania
- Samuel KERR b: 21 SEP 1796 in Shelocta (Elder's Ridge), Indiana Co., Pennsylvania
- Charles KERR b: 10 FEB 1798
- Thomas KERR b: 9 FEB 1800
- James KERR b: 5 OCT 1803
- Thomas C. KERR b: 10 SEP 1806 in Shelocta, Indiana Co., Pennsylvania