Bedford County , Pennsylvania
Ancestor Stories


Hughes, McEldowney, MacKeldowney, Shimer

James Curran describes his "Brickwall"as follows:
I have been researching the McEldowneys of Bedford Co for many years and the best I was
able to do was identify them in the 1820 census and 1821 tax list. This, even though
every one of them claimed a PA - and in some cases a Bedford - birth, as early as 1755.

Recently I was contacted by two
Shimer cousins from the Pacific
Northwest who are descendants of Rachel
Hughes and Jacob Shimer of
Riddlesburg. Rachel was born in 1813, supposedly also in Riddlesburg.
The interesting thing for me is that their family tradition identifies Rachel's mother
as a MacKeldowney. They were unable to give given names for either the mother or father.

Photo supplied by Penny Spencer

One of the "Shimer cousins from the Pacific Northwest", Penny Spencer, has just written and sent this photo of Jacob & Rachel Shimer's gravestone. She also included a copy of William Marion Shimer's death certificate. The certificate indicates that William Shimer's father was Jacob Shimer, born in PA , and his mother was Rachel Hughes, born in PA. William Marion Shimer was born June 1, 1846 and died Feb. 7 1926.

I did a detailed analysis of censuses for Bedford Co. and came to the conclusion
that Rachel's father was Joseph Hughes, first of St Clair Twp as a child, second
of Providence/ W. Providence Twp as a head of household in his own right. His father
was also Joseph and his mother, Rachel (surname unk.). I have been unable to come up with
any other information on Joseph. However, in the early years, the only other Hughes family
in Bedford Co. was a Uriah Hughes, Sr. also in Providence / W.Providence Twp.
There are several reasons that suggest that Joseph and Uriah might possibly be brothers.
This may only be wishful thinking, because Uriah and his son,Uriah, Jr were the only ones
I could obtain firm information about.

The "History of Bedford County" identifies Uriah, Sr as having come from NJ and going to live
with a son in Ohio where he died. Census records say that Uriah, Jr disappeared from Bedford Co
for a while and the History says he returned at the time of his father's removal to Ohio to take over
the family farmstead. He lived until 1886 in Bedford Co and is buried at the Providence Union Cem.

Now somewhere in all this mishmash must be the clues I can follow up on to find out about
Joseph and his wife, but nothing has been successful so far. I have several open lines of research
right now, but I don't hold a great deal of hope for them. Some indication of where they came
from in NJ (Cape May?) or where Uriah and his son(s) went to in Ohio (Darke Co?) would be
a major step forward. The answer, if there is one, I believe will come from Bedford Co directly.
Can anyone there help me?

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Copyright © 1999, 2000 Tom Clabaugh