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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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CHRISTOPHER HARMAN. J. P., of Mt. Holly Springs, Cumberland county, Pa., is a native of South Middleton township, born April 30, 1839. His parents, George and Julia (Baker) Harman, were natives of York county, the father born in 1800, son of Philip Harman. The great-grandfather of our subject, whose name is not known, was the founder of the family in Cumberland county, coming here from Germany, and settling first in York county, but later in South Middleton township, Cumberland county, where he reared his family and passed away.

Philip Harman, the grandfather, was born and reared in York county, Pa., where he married, but later came to Cumberland county, and here spent the remainder of his life. He lived to be about seventy-five years of age, and his remains are interred in the old burying-ground at Mt. Holly Springs, where his wife is also buried. The following children were born to them: George, Philip, Henry, John, Sarah, Rebecca, Louisa, Katie, Catherine, Elizabeth.

George Harman, the father, was born in York county, where he passed his boyhood days, but when he was about eighteen or twenty he came to Cumberland county, and spent the remainder of his life within its confines. He was a cooper by trade, and followed that calling in early life, but later engaged in farming, finally retiring. His death occurred at the age of seventy-three years. He was a man who took a deep interest in the welfare of the community, and was successful financially. Being a self-made man, he deserved all the more credit for the success he attained to, for he started out at the very bottom of the ladder. He was an attendant upon the services of the United Brethren Church, of which his wife was a member. She died aged sixty-six years. Both are interred at Mt. Holly Springs cemetery. The following children were born to them: Christopher; Jacob, a resident of Harrisburg, employed in the McCormick Iron Works; George, a resident of Mt. Holly Springs, where he is engaged in farming; Barbara, deceased, wife of Samuel Shaeffer, of Boiling Springs; Philip, a retired farmer of Mt. Holly Springs; William A., a resident of Mt. Holly Springs, who is in the lumber and coal trade at Mt. Zion, Cumberland county, Pa.; John, a salesman of Mt. Holly Springs; and Sally, who married John Kutz, a farmer of Cumberland county.

Christopher Harman was reared upon the farm until he was eighteen years of age, and was educated in the public schools. At the age of eighteen he entered a mercantile establishment at Boiling Springs, and for two years served as clerk. He then moved to Mansfield, Richland county, Ohio, and spent the following two years farming. The Civil war had burst upon the country, and the patriotic zeal of the young man was so great that in August, 1862, he enlisted in Company A, 1st Ohio Squadron of Cavalry. He participated in battles and skirmishes in eastern Kentucky and western Virginia, and later was in Sherman’s famous march to the sea. During his long service he was never wounded or taken prisoner, and was mustered out in August, 1865. He then returned to Cumberland county, to his old home at Mt. Holly Springs, and engaged in business on his own account as a general merchant, and for twenty-five years he conducted a first-class establishment upon an extensive scale. At the expiration of his quarter of a century in this line he sold his business to his brother Philip, and retired from active life for a time. But he is too energetic a man to remain idle long, and he was soon engaged in conducting another business, that of quarrying sand and clay, in which he is still interested. In 1895 he accepted the position of superintendent and treasurer of the Mt. Holly Springs Water Works, of which he is still the incumbent. He is serving his third term as justice of the peace at Mt. Holly Springs. He has also been a member of the school board, and of the borough council, and for five years was secretary of the board of health. He has served as a member of the county committee and has always been a leading and active Republican. Mr. Harman is also a successful and progressive farmer, and in every respect is one of the representative men of Cumberland county. Naturally he is a great G. A. R. man, and is a member of Kennedy Post, No. 490, of which he is past commander. He has served as delegate upon several occasions to the G. A. R. encampments. As a justice he has a clean record for judicial and thoughtful decisions, and during the many years he has held this office but two of his decisions have been reversed.

In June, 1867, Mr. Harman was united in marriage with Miss Harriet Reed, daughter of Nathaniel Reed, of Newville. They have the following interesting children: William A., Jr., a resident of Mt. Holly Springs, married Miss Shefler, and has children, Pauline and Jenette; Minnie married Harry Butterorf, of Mt. Holly Springs, a baker; Nettie married Grant Good, of Bendersville, a telegraph operator; Ida, the wife of Abraham Herr, died leaving a child, H. Ray, who lives with our subject; Sara, Bertha and Nellie Wier are unmarried and at home. The family are all consistent and active members of the Methodist Church, of which Mr. Harman is recording steward, and he also holds the office of steward in that organization. Few men are more highly esteemed than Squire Harman, as he is familiarly called, and he and his most excellent wife have many friends throughout Cumberland county, and even over the State.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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