Early History of the Heiney Family

By Christopher Noss, son of Isabel and Rev. Mr. George Ness

"Some Americans who yearn to be aristocratic claim that they are descended from Charlemagne. What of it? Charlemagne lived 1100 years ago. A very simple calculation shows that 100 years ago every one of us had eight ancestors, and that 1100 years ago, theoretically, the number of our ancestors was eight raised to the eleventh power, or 8,589,934,592. Since our nearer ancestors came from the country once ruled by Charlemagne, and he is said to have had so many children that he never knew how many he had, I opine that it would be quite a miracle if he were not our ancestor over and over. Time spent on genealogies that go back more than one hundred years is generally wasted time."

Isabell Heiney Noss and Her Ancestry

What I know of my mother's people I learned from her half-brother John Vance and his wife, Aunt Maggie of Dayton, Ohio. My mother was born on June 3, 1846, died Feb. 25, 1920. She was a daughter of Joseph Heiney, a farmer who lived and worked the land which is now in the suburbs of Dayton not far from the famous spring which now belongs to the Soldiers Home (Crosby Springs).

Carl P. Heiney of 86 Mary Avenue, Dayton, under date of April 27, this year (1933), writes "The old farm on which your mother was born has been for some years in the possession of the city of Dayton and the rambling hills over which our grandfather steered his plow are now occupied by the Fairmount Golf Club." The old house and other buildings are still preserved but the barn burned down a few weeks ago. The city has already started to replace it with a modern barn since some farming is still done there and on other land nearby."

Grandfather Heiney married four times and is said to have been father or step-father of twenty seven children. In an old German Bible there is this entry: "Im Jahr 1805 ist unser achter Kund ein sohn geborren den ersten Februarius im Zeigen den fusch den namen wir Joseph." The father, who, no doubt wrote these words was also named Joseph.

Charles E. Doerstler of Hagerstown, Indiana in 1914 gave this account of the ancestry: About the middle of the 18th century two brothers, Jacob and Sebastian Heiney, aged 17 and 15 years respectively left their native home, Darmstadt-Hesse, Germany and came to America. They were redemptioners. Sebastian was sold near Baltimore, Md. and was never heard from again. It is supposed that he returned to Germany. Jacob was sold near Lancaster, Pa. After gaining his freedom he married a Miss Deiffenbach. This Jacob was a private in Penn's Artillery regiment, War of the Revolution (See Pennsylvania Archives fifth series, vol. 3, p 1019). A great grandson Noah Heiney came into possession of his papers, among them a receipt given for 15 pairs of shoes for the use of the state of Pennsylvania in the darkest time of the Revolution. It is inferred from this that he was a shoemaker. This receipt is preserved in the museum of the state house at Indianapolis, Ind. The name Heine is very common in Germany. The most distinguished European of that name was Heinrich Heine the poet, born of German-Jewish parentage. We have no reason to imagine any relationship. This Jacob Heiney had eleven sons and one daughter, four sons and the daughter died in infancy. This list is written in an old German Bible last in possession of Miss Emma Heiney of Cambridge City, Ind. Some of the writing has become illegible. Omitting the names of four sons and the daughter all of whom died in infancy, we have these dates:

My grandfather Joseph Heiney and his first three wives lie buried in Greencastle Cemetery near Dayton. Born Feb. 1 1805, he died Sept. 29, 1864. His first wife, Sarah Repp daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Repp of Hagerstown, Maryland was born October 31, 1807. She died 9/29/1834 following the death of infant Sarah. Their children were: Daniel, b. July 9, 1826; Elizabeth b. March 17, 1828, m. William McGrew of Huntington, Indiana; Barbara, b. January 25, 1830, m. Haller, lived at Antioch, later called Andrews, near Huntington; Mary or Polly, b. July 3, 1832, m. Whitmore; Sara, b. Sept. 28, 1834.

He then married the widow Vance, whose maiden name had been Elizabeth Saylor. She brought him two sons by her former marriages, John and Samuel. Their children were jacob, b. Feb 6 1837, father of Henry; Rebecca, b. Oct 8, 1838, d. May 14, 1839; Eleanor, b. March 24, 1840, d. July 31, 1841; twins Emaline and Caroline, b. Feb. 16, 1842, married respectively Jacob Caylor and William Caylor; Nancy Jane, b. March 18, 1844, m. Wm. Crosby; Isabel, my mother, b. June 3, 1846; Joseph, b. October 30, 1849.

The third wife was the widow Grimmer Mooney, whose maiden name was Martha Glemmer. She brought with her a number of children. There was one child of this marriage, Martha Anna, b. June 3, 1858.

The last wife was Widow Gettier. This Four Venture was deplored by Grandfathers friends. Cousin Carl writes "She was a city-bred woman and had ambitious ways that were not in keeping with the wife of a dirt farmer. She refused to live on the farm with him but lived at the Phillips House only recently torn down but at that time a fashionable hotel of the city. In order to meet her expenses he was forced to sell a small strip of land from the northern edge of the farm." She with her sons by a former marriage lie buried in Woodlawn cemetery in Dayton.

I have been told that my mother after the death of her mother went to live with her much older half-sister, Aunt Lib McGrew at Huntington, Indiana, who cared for her as a daughter. After grandfather's death she received a small inheritance, which was expended for her education. She graduated from St. Agnes Hall, Terre Haute, Indiana. Though of Pennsylvania German lineage, living in the family of a McGrew, she grew up quite ignorant of the dialect. Her foster mother hoped that she marry well. The last time I visited my birth-place, Huntington, Indiana, I was entertained by mother's foster-brother, Charles McGrew, the one time mayor of Huntington, and her foster-sisters Elizabeth and Emma at the magnificent Hotel La Fontaine, founded by the Bippus Family, and was on that occasion told that mother was to have been Mrs. Bippus. Intead she chose Rev. John George Noss, a very poor minister.

Afterwards mother reproached herself for marrying at all. She wrote me on Dec. 17, 1880: "My mother died of tuberculosis when I was only seven years old. My father had tuberculosis and cancer. I had a sister Anna who died of tuberculosis. My sister Emma and Jane had weak lungs. My brothers Joseph and Jacob both died of tuberculosis. Rather a dismal report. I was young and thoughtless when I married."

Christopher Noss who wrote this history in Lancaster, Pa., dated 9/7/1933 was a missionary in Japan for many years. He was twice married, father of 12 children, most of whom were college graduates, ministers, teachers, nurses. He was born in 1868. According to his great-niece Mary, Christopher died on 31 December 1934 and is buried in Sendai, Japan, where he was a missionary. In Daniel Heiney's diary is noted the shipping of several barrels of apples to Rev. Geor. Ness in Penn. Philadelphia on Oct. 8-1873. Alvin Heiney said he could remember ``Chris'' Ness.

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