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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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JAMES HANLIN, one of the prosperous business men of Hopewell township, was born in South street, Philadelphia, Pa., son of Thomas Hanlin.

But little is known of the ancestral history of the Hanlin family, save that there was a Thomas Hanlin, born at Belfast, Ireland, who there learned the trade of a weaver. In young manhood he came to America, locating at Philadelphia, where he followed his trade. He was but twenty-two years of age at the time of his emigration. In time, he married Elizabeth Morgan, born in Dublin, Ireland, who was brought to Philadelphia when ten years of age. After marriage, Mr, Hanlin followed his trade of weaving at Philadelphia until his death in 1858, aged forty-seven years. Later his widow located in Southampton township, Franklin county, and there died aged fifty-seven years, and she is buried at Breckbill’s Church. Of the eight children born of this family, all died in infancy except our subject and Edward, the latter of whom was born in 1844, in Philadelphia, and there worked at his trade with his brother James. Later, he enlisted in Company B, 106th P. V. I., and spent two years and eight months in the service, participating in all the notable engagements of the Army of the Potomac, including the Battle of Gettysburg.

James Hanlin received a common school education, principally in Lurgan township, Franklin county, to which he was brought when eight years of age. He then lived near Fairview, and worked for Jacob Holler, remaining with him seven years, his wages being board and clothing. He next went to live with James Beatty in Southampton township, Franklin county, and remained a year. For another year he was with Martin Oberholtzer, in Greene township, Franklin county, and one year with David Lesher, in Southampton township. For the four following years he lived in Greene township with Jacob Lehman, and then spent two years with Samuel Zook in Southampton township.

In 1875 Mr. Hanlin married Nancy Hoover, daughter of Christian and Annie (Byers), of Franklin county, near Rochester. After marriage the young couple located in Southampton township, Franklin county, on one of George H. Stewart’s farms, receiving $200 a year rent free and wood found, 600 pounds of pork, one-half of the produce of chickens and cows. There they remained one year, and then rented one of Samuel Zook’s farms in the same township. There he remained nine years, or until 1885, when he bought the old John H. Book farm in Hopewell township, of 198 acres. A little later he bought 205 acres in Lurgan township, Franklin county, which he afterward sold. Upon his property he made all of the improvements, including the drilling of a 103-foot well, and the building of an excellent grain house. Although he began life without a penny, Mr. Hanlin is now one of the most prosperous farmers.

The children born to himself and wife were: (1) Christian, born in 1876, graduated at Shippensburg and later at Princeton, and for three years taught in Hopewell township; he had a graded school in Bell Vernon, and then went to the Philippines, in 1901, and is still engaged there teaching the natives. (2) Edwin is also a graduate of Shippensburg, and a teacher in the Philippines. (3) Rebecca H. married Frank Eberly, a farmer of Southampton township, Franklin county. (4) David, born in 1881, is at home. (5) Samuel was a farmer of Illinois, but is now at home. (6) Annie is at home keeping house for her father. Mrs. Hanlin died in Hopewell township in 1899, and is buried at Mowersville, Lurgan township, Franklin county. In religious belief Mr. Hanlin is a member of the River Brethren of Mowersville, as was also his wife, and both took an active part in the good work of that church.

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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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