Susan Sharp's Research Notes

Religious Affiliation: Reformed Church. The Reformed Church stood on land occupied by the Alcolah Church on Route 28 west of Hawthorne, PA. John and Susannah are buried in the Alcola Cemetery near Hawthorne. Her stone is in Pennsylvania Dutch [German].

Blind from age 68. Between 1804 when John moved to Northumberland from Lynn Twp., Northhampton County and 1807 John married a Northumberland girl named Susan. They purchased a section of land in Upper Mahanoy Twp. from Mathias and Elizabeth Harter on November 24, 1807. They moved outfrom under Jacob's (John's older brother) roof and had thirteen children. In 1814 John Holben of Upper Mahanoy Twp. was mustered as a private with Lt. Joseph Dribblebies Co. of the 77th Regiment from Northumberland County. He marched over 100 miles to the new camp at Marcus Hook on the Delaware River. John's name appears on the company payroll for September 1814 as having 'rec'd a blanket' while at Marcus Hook and again, on a payroll dated November 10, 1814 as 'rec'd $6.00' in December of that same year. This camp was created to defeat any attempt by the British on Philadelphia and to provide assistance in case the enemy began a movement against the DuPont powder mills at Wilmington. In 1820

John and Susan purchased more land in Upper Mahanoy Twp., Northumberland County from William and Mary Whitman. This same year, 1820, John's dad, Jacob II, died at the age of 72. His death caused the group to remember his deed/dower agreement of February 6, 1804 leaving his farm in Lynn Twp., Northampton County to his sons Christian and Jacob. On August 12, 1820 the agreement dated 6 February 1804 was recorded in Northumberland County. Before the estateof Jacob II could be settled, Jacob the III, the administrator, died unexpectedly, intestate. He left a widow, Elizabeth, and seven minor children. Elizabeth waived her right to be administratrix and the court appointed Jacob's brothers, John and Daniel, as administrators as well as de bonis non of the yet unsettled estate of old Jacob II. By the time the estate was distributed and settled in 1830, Peter Holben had moved from the area. In 1830 John had heard of cheap Western lands. Many of his neighbors had already gone to areas in Armstrong and Jefferson Counties where they had purchased land at a fraction of the price for which they had sold the equivalent in Northumberland County.

On March 26, 1831, John and Susan sold the last of their land to Joseph Tobias and headed to Armstrong County. In 1831 he purchased land in Redbank Twp. in Armstrong County from the Kittanning Office of the Holland Land Company The land was being offered in quarter sections for $1.25 per acre. The following year he purchased an adjoining 165 acres for $1.00 an acre.

The Holbens continued to follow the Reformed Faith in Armstrong County. The first church of that denomination in the area stood on the same ground now occupied by the Alcola Church on Route 28 west of Hawthorne, PA. Johnand Susan are buried in the cemetery across the road from the church. Susan's stone is written in Pennsylvania Dutch [German] and John's is in English. I have photos of them. When his wife died on 20 April 1855, John, a widower at age 73, and blind since at least age 68, decided to move in with his third son Samuel. On November 5, 1857, John deeded to his youngest son, Jacob, 86 acres of the original farm for $ 781.85. Hannah Shick, John's daughter, moved in temporarily with her brother, Samuel, to help care for her father. On March 1, 1862 he died.