28 March 2015

Surname Saturday: The Barr Family of Lancaster County

The Barr line, though admittedly the one I am the least familiar with, is ironically one that I am the furthest back on. Ancestry.com indicates the majority of people with the Barr surname is Scottish or from Northern Ireland. England, Great Britain and Germany follow. Finally the New York Passengers List shows several from Switzerland as well, though comparatively not many. 

The Barr name, at least in my husband’s case, is a Pennsylvania German name. Pennsylvania German names were generally either personal names, occupational names, or derived from whence they came or lived. Barr is an example of a personal name. Barr is derived from Berhard, according to “Early Life of the Pennsylvania Germans” by A. Monroe Aurand, Jr. 

Susan Barr was the first Barr I came across in my research. She was born 15 May 1792 to Martin Barr and Maria Herr. She died in Providence Township, Lancaster County on 27 March 1849. She married John Longnecker and they had six children, including Elizabeth who married John Henry Eckman. 

Martin Barr, father of Susan, was born 29 January 1747. He appears on the 1772 Tax & Exoneration Lists for Conestoga Township, Lancaster County. He married Maria Herr (1751-1816). Martin died on 15 June 1815.  

While I am not certain of Martin’s mother’s name since his father was married twice, his father was Jacob Barr. Jacob was born in January of 1723 and died sometime between March and November 1803. The “Abstracts of Lancaster County Pennsylvania Wills 1786-1820” show he dated the will on 15 March and that it was executed on 1 November of that year. His will names his wife as Anna but that would be his second wife. His will names his children and states which wife they were born to! His children (of his first wife) are Martin; Jacob; Christian; Abraham; Elizabeth, wife of Daniel Keehnports; and Barbara, wife of Christian Forry 

Jacob is the son of Martin Barr and Anna Elizabeth Groff. Martin was born in 1680 and died in 1758.

Martin was the son of Martin Barr (1660 – 1757) and Anna Magdalena Mayer. 

Martin was the son of Felix Barr (born about 1620) and Berchtold Staehl. This last fact information from a fellow researcher and I have not yet independently verified it. 

While searching through the Barr Family today, I did find many others who I simply cannot place yet. A trip to the County Archives is definitely in my future!



Surname Saturday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.  

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.