My Genealogy Hound

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.

* * * *

MARTIN COOVER, a retired farmer who now makes his home in Shippensburg, represents an old and well-known family of this part of Pennsylvania. He was born Aug. 15, 1814, near Cedar Springs, in Cumberland county, and is a grandson of George Coover, one of the pioneer settlers of Cumberland county, who located and improved a farm there. His wife’s maiden name was Coover also.

Jacob Coover, father of Martin, followed in his father’s footsteps and made farming his life vocation, locating in 1778 near Spring Center, where he resided until his death. He was one of the prosperous citizens of his locality. He married Catherine Houser, who was born in Cumberland county about 1785, and survived her husband, dying during the period of the Civil war. Her father, Martin Houser, was born on the farm which is now known as the old Houser homestead, afterward settled near Mechanicsburg, and later on in Shiremanstown; his wife is buried on the farm near Shiremanstown. Jacob and Catherine (Houser) Coover became the parents of the following named children: George, Martin, Jacob, Joseph, Catherine, Jeremiah and Elizabeth.

Martin Coover spent his youth on the farm, and followed agricultural pursuits throughout his active years. There were no free schools in the neighborhood during his early boyhood, but he attended the local subscription schools, and was later a pupil in this district school at Marcus, Cumberland county. He left school at the age of twelve, and when in his fourteenth year moved with his parents to Southampton township, two and a half miles east of Shippensburg. Here he grew to manhood, and when not needed at home he worked as a farm hand for different employers, after his marriage engaging in farming on his own account. He settled on a farm four miles northeast of Shippensburg, which was a part of the old homestead of the Coovers, and a part of which he still owns. He owns in all three good farms in Cumberland county, all well improved, well tilled and especially adapted to the growing of the various cereals. In the spring of 1903 Mr. Coover removed to Shippensburg, where he is spending his days in retirement, in the enjoyment of the fruits of years of honorable toil. He commenced life with little or no means, but by industry and energy, coupled with honesty, has accumulated a competency, and by his upright life has retained the respect of all who know him. Though now over ninety he is quite well preserved, and in possession of all his faculties. Mr. Coover has attended strictly to business, and never had any desire for public honors or political preferment, although he served two years as supervisor of his township, and one year as tax collector, in 1842. He was formerly an Old-line Whig, and when that party disbanded gave his allegiance to the Republicans. His religious membership is with the Bethel Church of God.

In 1841 Mr. Coover married Miss Mary Newcomer, of Cumberland county, a daughter of Abram and Mary (Musselman) Newcomer, formerly of Lancaster county, Pa. To this union were born eight children that reached maturity, of whom George is mentioned elsewhere; Jacob is deceased; Anna is the widow of Levi Grove; Maria married Thomas Cashman; Martha married John Cope, of Shippensburg; Elizabeth and Ida are at home with their father. The mother passed away in 1878, and was buried in Spring Hill cemetery.

* * * *

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

View a historic 1911 map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

View family biographies for other states and counties

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.