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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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GEORGE ADDISON SOLLENBERGER. The Sollenberger name has been upon the records of Cumberland county for more than a hundred years. Like many of the early settlers in this section the family came from Lancaster county, but tradition does not say from what part of that great county. John Sollenberger was a resident in the part of Allen township that is now Monroe, as early as 1799, when he was there taxed with both real and personal property. It is probable that he was there for some time prior to that date, as the records show that in May 21, 1795, Michael Ege conveyed to John Sollenberger 132 acres of land, adjoining lands of George Brindle, Samuel Irvine and the heirs of James Crockett. This land lies upon the eastern slopes of the Stony Ridge in Monroe township, and has remained in the Sollenberger name continuously down to the present day. John Sollenberger’s wife, Barbara, died Dec. 25, 1831, at the age of sixty-one years, and he subsequently married Mrs. Catharine (Kline) Hartman. By his first marriage he had ten children, six sons and four daughters, all of whom lived to maturity, married and had children. John Sollenberger died Sept. 28, 1855, at the age of eighty-four, and he and his first wife lie buried in a little graveyard on the farm which they acquired prior to the beginning of the last century. By his second marriage he had no issue. His second wife is buried in the graveyard of the German Baptist Church near Huntsdale.

Among the children of John and Barbara Sollenberger was a son Joseph, who was born March 15, 1798, on the old Sollenberger place in Monroe township. He married Mary Mohler, daughter of Christian and Magdalena (Springer) Mohler, born Nov. 26, 1795. Joseph Sollenberger began his married life in the vicinity of Whorleystown, Monroe township, where he lived for some years. About the year 1841 he removed to Upper Dickinson township, where he lived the remainder of his life. Joseph and Mary (Mohler) Sollenberger had six children, three sons and three daughters. The sons were: Jacob, Levi and Joseph Martin; and the daughters were: Susanna, Anna and Barbara. Susanna married Martin Shenk, Anna married Samuel Eby, and Barbara married Daniel Landis. Joseph Sollenberger died Sept. 24, 1882, and his wife, Mary Mohler, died March 12, 1842, and their remains are buried in the graveyard of the German Baptist Church near Huntsdale. Of the three sons, Joseph Martin married Annie Mary Helsel, who was born in York county, Jan. 19, 1818, daughter of John Helsel, and his wife, whose maiden name was Low.

Joseph Martin and Annie Mary (Helsel) Sollenberger began their married life upon the old Sollenberger farm in Monroe, where he engaged at farming and also at coopering. About the year 1850 he removed to Dickinson township, and there engaged at farming. In 1859 he removed to near Boiling Springs in South Middleton township, where he lived for five years. He then again removed to Dickinson township, and remained three years, after which he located on the Sollenberger ancestral homestead in Monroe, where he continued at farming until 1883, when he moved back to Dickinson, and remained there until his death. He died July 13, 1890. His wife, Annie Mary Helsel, died Oct. 15, 1892, and both are buried in the graveyard of the German Baptist Church near Huntsdale. Joseph Martin and Annie Mary (Helsel) Sollenberger had children as follows: John Alfred and Henry Calvin, twins; Annie, who died in 1871, and is buried at Baker’s Church in Monroe; and George Addison, the subject of this biography. Besides these there were also two daughters who died in infancy.

George Addison Sollenberger was born on April 13, 1853, near Mooredale, Dickinson township. By the time his parents, in their several removals, reached South Middleton township, he had reached the proper age and entered the public schools as a pupil. He attended the country district schools of South Middleton, Dickinson and Monroe townships, in the winter seasons, and through the summers worked upon the farm until in 1872, by which time he had acquired a fair education and concluded to try teaching. In the fall of that year he began teaching at the Hamilton school, near Carlisle, in South Middleton township, where he taught for three successive terms. To better qualify himself for his work, he, in the summer of 1874, attended the Cumberland Valley State Normal School, where he made good progress in his studies. In the spring of 1875 he temporarily quit the school room and his books for a season of practical experience and observation, and going West he spent the summer at studying western life and enterprise in the States of Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. In the fall of the following year he resumed teaching at Carlisle Springs, in Middlesex township, where he taught one term. Afterward he taught in Upper Allen for four terms and in Monroe for one term, in 1882 he relinquished teaching and began farming on the old Sollenberger farm in Monroe township, which, after the death of his father, he bought and still owns. He, however, continued his interest in education, and after getting fairly well started at farming he again entered the school room, and along with his farm work for several years taught in Monroe and in South Middleton townships.

In politics, Mr. Sollenberger is a Republican, and his active interest in public affairs, has naturally brought him publicity and prominence. In 1890 he was nominated for county auditor, but the tide of that year being heavily against his party he failed to be elected. In 1893 his brother-in-law, Levi C. Goodyear, was elected prothonotary, and on assuming charge of that office he appointed George A. Sollenberger his deputy, in which capacity he served for six and a half years. In 1899, and again in 1902, he was his party’s nominee for prothonotary and each time polled a heavy vote, but not quite heavy enough to insure his election. Since his retirement from the prothonotary’s office he has engaged at insurance and tax collecting in the town of Carlisle.

On Oct. 28, 1880, George A. Sollenberger married Jennie M. Goodyear, daughter of Levi and Ellen (Seager) Goodyear, of Churchtown, the Rev. M. S. Cressman, performing the ceremony. To this union there have been born the following children: Cora May, born Aug. 5, 1882; Frank Goodyear, born Oct. 4, 1883; Bessie Ray, born Feb. 16, 1886, died Nov. 12, 1894; and Joseph Helsel, born Nov. 28, 1889. Those living are still at home with their parents. Cora M. is a bookkeeper in the office of Frederick & Co., Carlisle; Frank G. is a clerk in the Carlisle postoffice; and Joseph H. is attending the Carlisle schools. In religious faith Mr. Sollenberger’s ancestors for several generations before him were German Baptists, but his family regularly attend the Lutheran Church, of which denomination most of them are members. They reside at No. 29 West North street, which has been their home ever since they came to Carlisle in the spring of 1894.

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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. 

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