Information about George Harshbarger is hard to pin down. Although we have specific dates for his siblings, George's birth date is not currently known. Many sites give it as 1796, with no documentation, although census records show that he was born in the 1800s. It's important that this information be documented, because then we could better guess whether his mother was Christina Elizabeth Fehler, or an unknown first wife of his father, Johannes Harshbarger/Hershberger.
Fortunately, information about his marriage and his family is a little easier to locate. He married Mary E Kepler Garman, a widow, the daughter of Andrew and Anna Maria Kramer Kepler probably about 1827. Their children were born in Summit County, Ohio, but I'm not sure where the marriage took place. George drove wagons between his home town and Chicago, and was killed in a wagon accident in 1844 in Whitley County. He is reported to be buried in both Whitley County and in Summit County. I am reasonably certain that he was first buried in Whitley County, but I don't know if his body stayed there or if it was taken back to East Liberty Cemetery in Summit County, where his name is shown on the records there.
In his short life, he and Mary had at least four children and perhaps five. I have seen Milo Harshbarger, with no date given, listed as their child, but there are several Milo Harshbargers born during that time period, and I am not yet convinced he was their child. If he was their child, I don't know how long he lived and it's possible that he died at an early age.
More information is available about these children:
Lewis Harshbarger was born in Summit County in 1828. He married Catherine Mentzer (seen in most records as Manser or Mancer), the daughter of Conrad and Elizabeth Tullapen (Duliban and other spellings) Mentzer. Their children are Milo, Emanuel, Levina, Matilda, Henry, Catherine, and Mary. I will write more of this family in my next post. Lewis died in 1875 in Whitley County, Indiana.
John Harshbarger was born in 1831 in Summit County, and married Julia Ann Snyder, the daughter of Adam and Elizabeth Knop Snyder. Their children are Elizabeth, Matilda, Andrew B, Merritt, Flora, Mary, Laura, Ella, and Johnny. He died February 12, 1878 in Whitley County, Indiana.
Andrew Jackson Harshbarger was born September 30, 1835 in Summit County, Ohio and married Delilah Ruple, the daughter of James and Sarah Wagoner Ruple. Their children are Samuel, Alice, William, Charles, Andrew Burton, Burton (these may refer to just one person?), Franklin, George, Leura, and Mary Emma, known as Mayme. He died in 1913 in Columbia City, Whitley County, Indiana.
There is a gap here of seven years, so if Milo was their son, perhaps his birth and possible death would fit in here.
Leah Harshbarger, born in 1842, was their only known daughter, and also the only of their children to stay in Summit County. She married Jeremiah Garman, the son of Jacob and Elizabeth Hunsberger Garman, and likely some relation to Mary Kepler's first husband, although I haven't traced that. Their children are Mary, Mayme, George, Frank, Kirk, Gertrude, and Ida. Leah is also said to have had a relationship with Elijah Sehriver, and was the mother of Byron Sehriver. I have not been able to locate records to show this, so I don't know if this is anything more than gossip. Both Leah and Jeremiah died in 1904.
Although George's life was cut short (as were the lives of two of his sons), his surviving family helped build Whitley County, and his son in law, Jeremiah, served in the Civil War for over four years. George could be proud of his family, and we can be proud, too!