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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   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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ALGEO. About the year 1796 William and Margaret (Levens) Algeo came to Allegheny county from Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland. They had eight children, three sons and five daughters, and of these the eldest son, Robert, and a daughter, Jane, being married and comfortably settled, remained in Ireland. The eldest daughter, Rebecca, married a second cousin, William Algeo, of Rockhill, Ireland, and preceded her parents to this country some years. Her husband and she purchased a farm near Robinson’s run, in the Chartier valley, Allegheny county. Her father, William Algeo, on coming to these shores located with his family near her, purchasing a farm in the same neighborhood. Here Margaret, daughter of William and Margaret (Levens) Algeo, married James Walker, brother of Gabriel and Isaac Walker, a family still well known in this neighborhood. Their daughter, Ann, also married and located near Huntingdon, Pa. In a short time William Algeo died, leaving two sons, Thomas and John, and one daughter, Katherine, unmarried. The widow, disheartened by the death of her husband, and unused to the hardships of a new country, sold the farm and came to Pittsburgh about the year 1802. Thomas Algeo was a contracting painter, and he and his brother, John, did painting on the first and only ships built in Pittsburgh, also on the first county jail. In the year 1809, the brothers, Thomas and John, in connection with their nephews Gregg and William, sons of Rebecca Algeo, established a large store in Pittsburgh for the sale of general merchandise. They sent flour on flatboats to New Orleans, sold the boats and returned via New York with sugar and molasses. The family were among the first members of Rev. Dr. Black’s church, the prayer meeting in connection with which was held in the sitting-room in rear of the store on Market street for many years. Ministers attending meetings of the synod were often entertained by the family in those days, and their residence was often called “the ministers’ home.” In 1820 Margaret Levens, widow of William, died, highly respected by all who knew her, and beloved by her family. Katherine, the only remaining daughter unmarried, soon after her mother’s death married Richard Jessup. She died in 1822. Thomas married Mary Laird, and after her death, which occurred in a few years, he married Mary Nesmith. John Algeo married Annabella, daughter of James McCague. The brothers Thomas and John Algeo owned some of the most valuable property in Pittsburgh, on Fifth avenue and Wood and Liberty streets. Thomas Algeo, who died in 1832 without heirs, willed his property to his brother, some of which is still owned by the family. Their sister, Rebecca Algeo, owned the block on Liberty street at the corner of Seventh avenue now owned by McCance. She was the mother of Gregg and William Algeo. William was at one time commissioner for Allegheny county, was highly respected, and is still remembered by many in Pittsburgh. Gregg has a son William, who is living and engaged in active business at Beaver Falls. Rebecca was maternal grandmother to Gen. Thomas A. Rowley and the Lytle brothers, who are living and well known in Pittsburgh.

John and Annabella Algeo had six children who reached mature years. Their eldest son, Thomas, well known as a merchant on Liberty street, in the year 1839 established a gentleman’s clothing and furnishing store, which was largely patronized by the young men of that time. He is now residing in St. Clair township. William J. Algeo was largely engaged in the coal and ice business, supplying large contracts in the south, and is at present living in Pittsburgh. Robert died in 1847. John died in 1856; he was associated with his brother, William J., in the coal and ice business, married Amanda, daughter of Capt. Greenlee, who with two sons and a daughter survives him. Sarah Ellen Algeo, daughter of John and Annabella, married, in 1847, Thomas M. Marshall, the well-known attorney, and died in 1857. She was much loved by all who knew her for her gentle Christian character. Catherine Algeo married Edward Oudry, and lives on Ridge avenue, Allegheny.

Another branch of the family, and worthy of note, is the family of John Algeo, a nephew of Rebecca. He married Miss Margaret Craig, of a highly respected family, and they had four sons, all worthy young men. Charles owned a jewelry establishment on Fifth avenue, and removed to Philadelphia. W. H. H. Algeo is an engraver and also an artist of some note. Wesley, who was engaged in real-estate business in the city of Allegheny, died in 1888, much beloved and much regretted by many friends. The widow of John still lives in Allegheny with her two sons, W. H. H. and John.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

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

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