An American Family History

Henry Conklin

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,
and, under a just God cannot retain it."
― Abraham Lincoln

The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia borders Maryland and Virginia. The first European settlers started arriving about 1730.


Alternate spellings of Conklin: Canklin, Conklin, Conkling, Conklyn, Cunklin

Champaign County, Ohio was created March 1, 1805 from Greene and Franklin counties. On March 1, 1817 the present boundaries were established when Logan and Clark counties were formed.  An 1800 census counted 100 settlers.

In the War of 1812 (1812-1815) the United States declared war on England because of trade restrictions, impressment, and British support for Indian attacks. They signed the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814 after reaching a stalemate.

Henry Conklin was born on November 5, 1774 in what is now Jefferson County, West Virginia. His father was Jacob Conklin.

He married Mary Yerkes about 1795.

Henry and Mary's children were:
Margaret Conklin (1795, married Joseph Croft),
Mary Conklin Shoafstall (1797),
Catherine (Kitty) Conklin (1801, married William McGarry),
Nancy Conklin Murphy (1803, married George Murphy),
Sarah Conklin (1804, married Seth Shoafstall),
William Henry Conklin (1808, married Nancy Burris Jenkins),
Jacob Conklin (1810, married Emily D. Hedges),
David Conklin (1812, married Jane V. Runyon),
Silas Conklin (1814, married Mary Elizabeth Showers), and
Hannah Elizabeth Conklin (1819).

Henry Conklin appeared in the 1810 census of Jefferson County, Virginia. The household consisted of 8 members. There was a man between 26 and 44, a woman between 26 and 44, two girls between 10 and 15, a boy between 10 and 15, three girls under 10, and 2 boys under 10. They enslaved one person.

Henry died on January 10, 1825 in Jefferson County.

In 1834 the Mary and eight children moved to Champaign County, Ohio.

Mary appeared in the 1840 census in Urbana Township, Champaign County, Ohio. The household consisted of a woman between 50 and 59, two girls and a boy between 15 and 19, and a boy under 5.

Mary died January 15, 1847 in Champaign County, Ohio. Mary was buried at Buck Creek Cemetery in Champaign County, Ohio.

Ohio 1840
From an Ohio newspaper in 1840.
The Jacob Conklin Family

  • John Conklin
  • David Conklin
  • Mary Conklin Lupton
  • Hannah Conklin West
  • Jacob Conklin
  • Henry Conklin
  • The New River flows through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia .In 1755, Mary Draper Ingles (1732-1815) was captured by Shawnee warriors near Blacksburg and taken to Ohio. She escaped and made her way home by following the Ohio, Kanawha, and New Rivers.

    The First Barbary War (1801–1805) was between the United States and the Barbary States of Tripoli and Algiers.




    A blacksmith forges and shapes iron with a hammer and anvil.

    From Beers, Biographical Sketches, 1881. Union Township, Champaign County, p. 904)

    Jacob Conklyn (deceased). The subject of this memoir was a native of Jefferson Co., Virginia, born July 14, 1810. He was a son of Henry and Mary Conkyn. His father died in Virginia when Jacob was only 15 years old: he then learned the trade of blacksmith, and in 1834 came to this State in company with his mother and eight brothers and sisters, finally locating, in 1838, in this county, where they remained till the time of his death, his mother living near him until her death. Which occurred in 1847.

    Mr. C. followed the profession of blacksmith and carried on a farm at the same time till within the last ten years, when his health became so poor that he was obliged to abandon the trade as a business, and devoted his entire attention to the farm. He was a class leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church for more than thirty years, and was consistent and exemplary Christian gentleman, always interested in the general welfare of the community. He was sober and upright, open-hearted and fondly attached to his family and friends. He was called from this life Feb. 8, 1880. Mrs. Conklyn remains on the farm with her son Jacob H.

    Mr. Conklyn was the father of eight children, four of whom are living. His marriage was celebrated with Miss Emily Hedges, Oct 25, 1838.


    from The Urbana Citizen & Gazette, May 23, 1872

    Died 20th May at the residence of her son, Jacob Craft in Cabletown, Mrs Margaret Craft, aged 77 years.


    Early American Colonists and pioneers had to make everything necessary for daily life and skilled craftsmen were essential.

    Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio
    September, 1881
    The funeral of William McGarry took place on Sunday, Sept. 11th. A large assembly met at his late residence at 10 a.m., where services were conducted by his pastor, Rev. W. M. Claybaugh, at the close of which the following paper was read:

    William McGarry was born near Duffield's Station, Jefferson County, Virginia (now WV) in 1803, where as a farmer's boy he grew to manhood; and in year 1827 married Catherine Conklyn. The fruit of their union being seven children, three of whom only survive.

    In the year 1832, with his family, then consisting of his wife and two children, he emigrated to what was then called the far west, and settled in the neighborhood of his late residence on the Pretty Prairie, Champaign County, Ohio, having occupied his late home for 40 years;

    the companion of his life's joys and sorrows was laid to rest some eleven years ago, by whose side a new made grave awaits his coming today.

    Devoted to the life of a farmer his days were uneventful of those things which fill the public attention; yet he always took an earnest interest in the public affairs of his neighborhood and country, in his own quiet way.

    Always devoted, to his family and ever mindful of their welfare, home was his satisfaction and enjoyment and beyond its threshold the church meeting was his delight; his home, his church rounded the measure of his peaceful life. He became a member of the Buck Creek Presbyterian church in 1842 and continued a constant and steadfast member ever there-
    after- exhibiting in his life and conduct ever afterwards the simplicity of Christian humanity -

    During his last sickness, which commenced on Tuesday, August 30th, he was able to converse a little bit, but while struggling with the pains of sickness and approaching dissolutin he was able to say among other things "I am about through with this world, and will be soon at rest," turning to his daughter Anna he said, "The Lord Jesus Christ is all my hope and is all my stay." And thus quietly and peacefully, as he had lived, passed from earth, William McGarry in his 79th year, at Meridian, Sept. 9th, 1881, in full faith of a humble follower of his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, in whom he is at rest.

    Appalachia was the 18th century backcountry and many settlers were Scots-Irish. It includes southern New York, western Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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