Saturday, February 16, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Hunter in Allegheny, Pennsylvania

There are a lot of Hunters in Pittsburgh in the 19th century.

My third great-grandfather is Samuel K. Hunter and according to a couple of census records, he was born in Ireland in 1813-1814. I have found a couple of passenger list records that list a Samuel Hunter (one arriving in New York, 1838, and one arriving in Philadelphia, 1841), but I don't know for sure which one might be "my" Samuel Hunter.

A family story that my mother heard from her mother says that Samuel Hunter came over from Ireland as a young man because he had fallen in love with a girl whose family didn't think he was good enough for her. With a broken heart, he immigrated to the United States.

His wife is Catherine Carr, who was born in Pennsylvania. I know her maiden name from the death certificates of a couple of her children, as well as from some old handwritten family notes.

Most of what I know about Samuel and his family is found in census records.

1850 U.S. Federal Census, Allegheny, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: 744; Page: 34B;
Lines 23-28. Record for Samuel K. Hunter family

In 1850, I find Samuel, a grocer with $1,400 in "Value of Real Estate Owned" in Ward 1 of the City of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. (Remember, Allegheny was a separate city from Pittsburgh until 1906.) This record indicates that he was born about 1813 in Ireland. His family includes wife, Catharine, age 30, and children Mary J. (9), James K. (6), John K. (5), and Ann E. (2).


1860 U.S. Federal Census, Allegheny, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1067; Page: 749;
Lines 21-33. Record for Samuel F. (sic) Hunter family.

Ten years later, Samuel F. Hunter is still living in Allegheny (Ward 2), with the occupation of Laborer with $5,000 in real estate value. This census record indicates that he was born in about 1814 in Ireland. His family has grown! In addition to wife Catharine and the four children listed ten years previously, are Susan (9), Isabella (8), Emma (6), Robert W. (4) and Lilly (2). (Note that 19-year-old daughter Mary is a Dress Maker.) It looks like they also had a couple of boarders living with them.

1862 Pittsburgh City Directory, page 142. has a collection of city directories. The last Pittsburgh City Directory for which I find Samuel K. Hunter is 1862. After that, I find Catherine Hunter, widow of Samuel K., living at the same address: 217 Jackson, Allegheny, for quite a number of years. (She died in 1891.)

I am looking for probate information at in Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994, which has unindexed probate records for Pennsylvania, but it may take time to find Samuel Hunter or mention of Catherine (Carr) Hunter. Catherine is a brick wall; I have no idea who her parents are.

I am descended from the second child (and eldest son) of the nine children of Samuel and Catherine (Carr) Hunter.

Generation 2: James Hunter (1844-1902) whose home you can see here and whose photograph you can see here, along with wife, Mary Freeland. See the list of their ten children here.

Generation 3: Percy Earle Hunter (1873-1937)
Generation 4: Helen Lysle Hunter (1907-1990)
Generation 5: My mother
Generation 6: Me


  1. I found a news article dated in 1918 about Mrs. Samuel Knox Hunter -
    daughter of John Thompson and (wife unknown).
    If you would like the article I can email it to you.
    Also - there is a findagrave memorial for one Samuel Knox Hunter and wife, buried in Pennsylvania. (pittsburgh area). I am hoping that this article helps you in your great research.

    1. Thanks for reading my blog and offering to email the article. I sent a separate email requesting it.