The older children of Rudy and Elizabeth Basom

Rudy and Elizabeth Basom had fourteen known children. The four oldest sons all stayed close to the homestead in Perry County, and raised their families there.

Christian, sometimes called Christly, was born about 1783. About 1809 he married about 1809 Susannah Lang, daughter of Andrew and Eve.1 As the eldest son, he inherited a share in the family farm in Greenwood Township, Perry County, and lived on it until his death in early 1845.2 He was a cooper as well as a farmer.3 He and Susannah attended St. Michael’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and had at least two of their children baptized there.4 In the 1820 census they had five children; one of these might be one of Christian’s younger brothers and sisters. In the 1830 they had seven children, again one more than their known children.5 By 1840 only four children were in the household.6 In 1842 Christian was taxed in Greenwood Township, Juniata County, as a farmer.7

Christian left a will, written Jan 26, 1845, signed by mark, probated Feb. 10, 1845. The will named his beloved wife Susannah, to stay in the house, with financial support from the sons, son Christian Jr (to get the house “where he now lives” with five acres around it), other sons Jesse, John and Henry, daughters Mary Jobson and Sarah Chatham.8 Susannah died in 1881.9 The personal estate was not sufficient to pay his debts, so the house was sold on 6 April 1846 to Joseph Auker for $309.50. This was still not enough for the debts and they had to be prorated.10


Children of Christian and Susannah:11

Christian, b. March 15, 1810, d. Feb 3, 1894, m. ab. 1835 Jane Heiser; had 8 children. A carpenter and cooper, lived in Delaware Township, Juniata County. Jane died in 1892; he died 1894.12 They are buried at Newport Cemetery, Perry County.

Jesse Joseph, b. May 1, 1812, died unmarried.

Mary, b. March 10, 1818, m. John Jopson; r. Millerstown, Perry County in 1850; he was a carpenter.13 They were still there in the 1880 census.

Sarah, b. Aug 6, 1820, m. Samuel Chatham; lived in Millerstown next door to the Jopsons; Samuel was a boatman. Later moved to Butler County, PA. Sarah died in 1891; Samuel d. 1894; buried at Bear Creek Cemetery, Petrolia, Butler County.14

Henry, b. Oct 11, 1822, d. 24 June 1897, m. Amelia Jones,  worked as a laborer, had at least four children, stayed in Greenwood Township, Perry County.15 He served in the Civil War,  was buried at Marshall Chapel Cemetery, Millerstown.16

John, b. April 4, 1825, taxed in Delaware Township as a laborer in 1851.17 He married Sarah Catherine Stahl. Still in Delaware Township in 1860, age 36, with Sarah C. and two young children (Sarah E. and Thomas), a laborer.18 They moved to Altoona, where he was killed in an accident in Nov 1875.19 Buried at Asbury United Methodist Cemetery, Altoona.20 Catherine, his widow, was still living in Altoona in 1906.21

Jacob was born in Feb 15 1786, married Catherine Albright (b. 1791) about 1812, and settled in West Perry Township, Union County, a little north of his brothers.22 Jacob and Catherine were there for the census of 1820 through 1850.23 In 1830 they were shown with eight children in the household, but the names of only six are known. There may have been two who died young. Jacob died in the spring of 1859; Catherine died in 1861.24  They are buried at the Graybill family Cemetery in West Perry Township.25

Children of Jacob and Catherine:26

Elizabeth, b. 1817, d. 1892, m. Rev. John Shirk (1808-1863); a farmer in Monroe Township, Juniata in 1860.27 Had 12 known children. After John died Elizabeth lived with a daughter.28 Buried at the Brick Cemetery, also known as Shelley’s, in Richfield, Juniata County.29

Rachel “Fannie”, b. 1821 or 1822, d. 1900, m. John Page, a farmer, lived in Snyder and Union County30, had ten children. In 1850 they lived close to Jacob and Catherine, and Fannie’s brother Tobias was living with them.31 In 1860 in Perry Township, Snyder County with 8 children.32 She died in 1900.33

Susannah, b. Nov 29, 1826, d. Sept 7, 1908, m. Joseph G. Winey, a carpenter, son of Amos Winey and Barbara Graybill.34 In 1860 in West Perry Township, Snyder County, with four children, and an older woman Magdaline Graybill, age 62.35 In 1900 Susanna was widowed, living alone in Richfield, Monroe Township, Juniata County.36 She died there in 1908, age 81.37 Buried at Cross Roads Mennonite Cemetery.

Jacob, b. May 4, 1828, d. 16 Oct 1865 in Delaware Township, Juniata County, a farmer; m. Jane Christina Hostetler (1827-1903).38 Jacob left a will; Jane outlived him by many years. They had a son John and a daughter Emeline.39 Buried at Coffman-Gingrich Cemetery

Tobias, b. 1830, d. after 1872, living with the family of his sister Fanny and her husband John Page in 1850. 40. On April 22, 1852 he married Caroline Vanorman; they were married by Rev. Erlenmeyer; both lived in Richfield.41 In 1860 he was age 30, in Monroe Township, with a wife Caroline, age 28. He served in the Civil War, in the PA Militia.42 In the 1870 census in Monroe Township, Juniata County, with Caroline and a daughter Ellen, age 11.43  In 1872 he was called as a juror for Juniata County, living in Monroe Township.44

John, b. ab. 1835.45 He might be the John who appears in the 1870 census, living in Greenwood Township, a farmer, with wife Melinda and six children (Joseph, Sophia, May, John, Harry, Jonas). He is not the John who married Sarah C. Stahl (his cousin, son of Christian and Susannah) or the John who married Elizabeth Oren and served in the Civil War (probably his cousin once removed, son of Christian and Jane).46

Henry was born in 1790.47 He lived in a part of Greenwood Township that ended up in Mifflin County (later Juniata) instead of Perry County; he was a farmer. Around 1815 he married Susan Shirk, daughter of Michael Shirk, a Mennonite minister.48 They lived in Greenwood Township, part of which was separated off into Monroe Township, Juniata County in 1858.49 Henry wrote his will in 1841, named his wife Susan, children Michael, Samuel and Juliann. It was probated in June 1861.50 He is buried at Lost Creek Mennonite Burial Ground.51 Susan died in 1881 and is buried at the Brick Church (Shelley’s) in Monroe Township. She was not buried with Henry, possibly because she outlived him by twenty years.52  After he died she lived with her son Michael and daughter Juliana (who was divorced from her husband Abel Shaeffer by then).53 Henry and Susan had four children listed in the 1830 census in Greenwood Township, the three named in the will, plus a probable son Joseph who died young.

Children of Henry and Susan:54

Samuel S, b. 1819, d. 1898, m. Malinda Sheaffer (d. February 1884); they were Mennonites; buried at Shelley’s old brick church near Richfield55; lived in Perry Township, Union County in 1850. A farmer in 186056 He was still there in 1870 and 1880, now a butcher. Samuel and Malinda had over 15 children (available lists differ slightly). Their son Henry Basom was a Evangelical minister who kept a journal, available online.57 Their son Jacob lived in Monroe Township, Juniata County, married Angeline Lauver, was active in the local Republican County Committee.58

Michael, b. 1820. The roving tinsmith described in a reminiscence by Theodore Long in 193659. Living in  Greenwood, Juniata County in 1848 and 1850, a single man.60 In 1860 he was living with his parents in Monroe township, still single. In 1870 he was living with his sister Juliann and widowed mother Susan.61 He may have died in Richfield,  Greenwood Township in 1895.62

Julia (or Juliann), b. 1823, m. Abel Sheaffer; he was a shoemaker. Lived in West Perry, Snyder Co. in 1860, divorced before 1880 when she was living with her aged mother Susan and brother Michael.63 She supposedly died in June 1893.64

Joseph, b. 21 July 1825, possibly died in 1836 at age 10.65

Samuel was born about 1792. In 1830 he was in Fermanagh, Mifflin County.66 By then he was married to Barbara Page and had five children, two boys and three girls.67 There are no birth records for Samuel’s family, and the identity of his children is conjectural. In 1840 Samuel was no longer in Fermanagh Township.68 There was a Samuel Basan or Basam in two nearby townships, one in Decatur with 10 children, and one in Granville with 6 children. It is difficult to decide which of these might be the right Samuel. He supposedly died in 1847 in Mifflintown, which is close to both Decatur and Granville, across the line in Juniata County.69 Barbara outlived him by twenty-five years.70

Barbara was born about 1792, but apparently fudged her age in several records. After Samuel died, she lived with her neighbors Joseph and Polly Pannebaker, possibly keeping house for them. She was listed in the census as 50 years old, making her born in 1800, an impossible date to reconcile with other evidence.71 The proximity is suggestive, since Samuel and Barbara lived next to the Pannebakers in 1830. Samuel and Barbara’s granddaughter Martha would grow up to marry Moses Pannebaker, son of Joseph and Polly. According to Barbara’s obituary she died in Mifflintown, Juniata County on May 26, 1873 at the age of 77 years and 17 days. 72 Once again this was off by four years.

It is interesting that Samuel and Barbara named a son Amos Winey Basom.There was a large Winey family in the area, Mennonites, with an Amos born 1800, son of Jacob Winey and Anna Keeler. Amos was an admirable Mennonite, raising 13 children, four of whom became ministers.73 Since there is no obvious family relation between Samuel and Barbara and the Wineys, the name was possibly a tribute to Amos as a fellow Mennonite.

Probable children of Samuel and Barbara:74

Catherine, b. ab. 1820, m. Christian Martin, lived in Juniata County where he was a carpenter.75 In 1850 they were in Greenwood Township, in 1860 in Monroe Township (split off from Greenwood in 1858). Catherine was obviously his second wife, married on June 12, 1842; in 1850 he had six older children, then a gap, then the five children with Catherine.76 By 1860 they added three more children. By 1870 they were in Fayette County, Iowa, where Christian worked as a millwright. Seven of the children were still living with them; the oldest three were working.77 Note that they named their seventh son Seventh (or Septimus?).

Martha “Muzzy”, b. Aug 1822 Fayette Twp, Juniata Co, d. 7 Dec 1904 in Mifflintown, buried in Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery, m. Alexander Ellis (1816-Aug 1886) around 1839; had 9 children, the oldest were Samuel and Catherine. In 1850 in Mifflintown, Juniata County with 4 children; the oldest was 10, showing that Martha married quite young. Alexander was a blacksmith.78 In 1860 now in Fermanagh Township, Juniata County, with seven children.79 In 1870 in Mifflintown, still with six children.80 In 1880, now in Lewistown, with only two children at home.81  By 1900 Alexander was gone, and Martha was living with her son Steward, a grocery man in Mifflintown.82 In addition to the nine known children, they had several who died young.83

Amos Winey, b. April 1824, married Sarah McCurdy on Sept 7, 1848, moved to Iowa, died there in March 1900, a farmer and cabinet maker. In 1850 he was living on the Thomas McCurdy farm in Fermanagh Township, Juniata County, 25 years old, married to Thomas’ daughter Sarah.84 Although listed as a farmer, he also appears about the same time in the tax list for Fermanagh as a cabinetmaker.85 He and Sarah had children Fremont, Victoria J. and Eva. They moved to Iowa in 1855 and remained there.86 In 1856 he was assessed for keeping a hotel.87 Sarah died in Carroll County Iowa in 1893. After her death Amos and his daughters took the son Fremont to court over the farm. Amos had a bad temper and did not get along with his family; in fact he left them for several years and went back to Pennsylvania.88  In any case, Amos returned to Iowa and was buried there in March 1900.89

Simon, b. ab. 1825, d. 1874 in Mifflintown, m. Lydia Howe about 1846, m. Susanna Boyd in 1854, had 2 daughters with each wife, plus a son with Susanna; a carpenter and later a painter and seller of wallpaper; served in the Civil War. He died in 1874 probably of tuberculosis, and was buried in Union Cemetery, Walker Township. His obituary described him as a good man and a Sunday school teacher in the Methodist church.90

Elizabeth, born April 29, 1828, died June 21, 1906 in Fermanagh Township, Juniata County, married Jacob Reynolds, buried at Lost Creek Cemetery.91 In 1860 census in Fermanagh, with seven children.92  In the 1870 census in Fermanagh Township, with nine children, where he was a farmer.93 Jacob registered for the draft for the Civil War in 1863, for the 9-months service, living in Fermanagh.94

  1. Larry Sheibley, ed. Our Beasom Family of Juniata and Perry Counties, Juniata Co. Historical Society. Larry studied the family extensively, but made one interesting error when he claimed that Rudy died on Aug 23, 1829. This is a very specific date, as if someone had a family Bible. It conflicts with the Orphan’s Court Records, which are very clear in showing that Rudy died by mid-1813.
  2. The 1863 Atlas of Perry, Juniata and Mifflin Counties showed a C. Basom south of Millerstown on the Lower Perry Valley Road, just east of North Island. Was this the homestead of Rudy, then Christian, then Christian II?  The atlas also showed a J. Auker north of Millerstown.
  3. Ellis and Hungerford, Commemorative and Biographical Encyclopedia of the Juniata Valley, vol. 2, pp. 1298-1299, entry on Lewis Besom, grandson of Christian and Susannah.
  4. PA & NJ Church & Town Records, on Ancestry, Perry County, Pfoutz Valley, Lutheran, St. Michael’s Church. The sponsors for Christian in 1810 were Andreas and Eva Lang. The sponsor for Joseph in 1812 was the mother.
  5. He was indexed as Bsam.
  6. 1820 and 1830 federal census records of Greenwood Township, Mifflin County; 1840 federal census of Greenwood, Perry County.
  7. Tax records from the Juniata County Historical Society 1831-1895.
  8. PA Wills & Probate, Perry County, will books A-B, on Ancestry.
  9. Mennonite (Herald of Truth) obituaries, online. She was 90 years and 5 days when she died on 20 September 1881, buried at Shelley’s Church. The services were led by a Winey and two Graybills, familiar Mennonite names.
  10., Pennsylvania Probate Records 1683-1994, Perry County, OC Dockets, book D, p. 59, Image 65-66, January 9 1846, also p. 69, Image 70 for the sale, and p. 149, Image 117 when the auditor’s report was accepted. Note that Christian’s grandson Lewis remembered him as “prosperous” (Ellis & Hungerford, v. 2, profile of Lewis Besom).
  11. Ellis & Hungerford, profile of Lewis Besom, a farmer of Newport, Perry County, and son of Christian and Jane. Other information from various sources, especially census records.
  12. Christian was baptized at St. Michael’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, the oldest Lutheran Church in Perry County. The sponsors were Andreas Lang Sr. and his wife Eva. In the 1850 federal census (as Christa Beshoar) and a tax list of 1851, from Juniata County Historical Society Tax Records 1831-1895. This is the line of Larry Sheibley, who lived in Perry County and studied the family extensively before his death.
  13. 1850 census, 1880 census, Ellis & Hungerford.
  14. Findagrave.
  15. Card file at the Lenig Library, Perry County.
  16. Findagrave.
  17. Juniata County tax records, Juniata County Historical Society.
  18. 1860 federal census. Note that there was another John Basom in Greenwood Township, age 20, probably his cousin, the son of Jacob and Catherine.
  19. From the profile of Lewis Besom in Ellis & Hungerford. Lewis was a nephew of John, so this is likely to be correct, at least in general if not in detail. The census record of 1860 of a John Basom in Delaware Township, Juniata County, age 36, shows a wife Sarah C. and two children. This fits the age and location for John, son of Christian and Susannah, and suggests that his wife was Sarah Catherine Stahl.
  20. Findagrave, indexed as Beason.
  21. Altoona City Directory, on Ancestry.
  22. This part of Perry Township became part of Snyder County in 1855.
  23. Federal census of 1820 through 1850, variously indexed as Besom, Bsam, Basom and Basem.
  24. Pa. Mennonite Heritage of 1991.Federal census 1850, Perry Township, Union County.
  25. Records of the cemeteries of Snyder County online at USGenweb. The records show an exact date of birth and death for Jacob (15 Feb 1786-20 Apr 1859) but only the year of birth (1791) and date of death for Catherine (3 Jul 1861).
  26. Census records and the family group sheets contributed by Pat Crimmel to the Lenig file, Perry Historians. She cites a reference from the Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage magazine of April 1991, but this only gives the birth of the first child. There is quite a gap between Elizabeth and Susannah, with room for other unknown children. The Nye Ancestry tree (not completely reliable) placed 11 children here, two unknown born about 1813 and 1815, another unknown born about 1837, Simon and Martha (whom I place as children of Samuel). The Nye tree cites as references a OneWorld Tree, and the census of 1850 through 1900. This is also the list given in the appendix to the “Diary of Henry Basom”, Milton Loyer, ed,  The Chronicle, vol. XXVI, 2015, (J. Hist. Soc. Susq. Conference United Methodist Church), online at Did he use the same source as Pat Crimmel?
  27. John was mentioned in Joseph Graybill, Preacher John Shirk’s Genealogy, 1961.
  28. Census record
  29. Elizabeth and John were ancestors of K. Varden Leasa, an experienced genealogist and historian who died in 2009. Leasa placed Elizabeth in this list as a daughter of Jacob and Catherine.
  30. Message board posting to a Genforum board, 12/9/2005.
  31. She is placed here as a daughter of Jacob and Catherine because of the proximity in the census and because of the presence of Tobias in 1850.
  32. 1860 federal census, Perry Township, Snyder County, Image 21-22, indexed as Bage.
  33. Web tree.
  34. Appendix to the “Diary of Henry Basom”, The Chronicle, vol. XXVI, 2015, (J. Hist. Soc. Susq. Conference United Methodist Church), online at
  35. 1860 federal census, West Perry Township, Snyder County, Image 9.
  36. Federal census 1900, Juniata County, Monroe Twp, Image 21. Also in Spencer Kraybill and Noah Zimmerman, History of a John Graybill Family in America 1754-1976, found at the Juniata County Historical Society.
  37. PA Dept of Vital Records Death Certificate.
  38. Descendents of Jacob Hochstetler, online at HeritageQuest.
  39. Online tree, no sources given.
  40. The family of John and Fanny Page lived close to Jacob and Catherine in the 1850 census. Tobias was probably a son of Jacob and Catherine, living with the Pages and working as a laborer.
  41. Snyder County marriages 1835-1899, on Google Books.
  42. Civil War Muster Rolls, on Ancestry.
  43. Caroline’s last name may have been Van Ormer.
  44. Juniata Sentinel, April 3, 1872, on Spelled Tobias Beasom.
  45. There is little definite information about this John, and he is easily confusable with his cousins.
  46. The Nye tree on Ancestry says he married a Sarah Jane. Pat Crimmel’s group sheets have him in Clarion County in 1880; I am suspicious of this, given the difficulty of tracing the various men named John. Documentation on the John who married Elizabeth Oren at Comm. Biog. Enc. of the Juniata Valley, p. 1328, profile of Michael Oren; Civil War Draft Registration (on Ancestry); Veteran’s Burial Cards 1777-2012 (on Ancestry); Findagrave. He was born in 1840 and died 1912 in Howe Township, Perry County.
  47. His tombstone. Some Ancestry sources claim he was born on June 4, the same day that he died. This is probably wrong.
  48. Preacher John Shirk’s Genealogy, by Josephine Graybill, 1961.
  49. Federal census records of 1820 through 1860, indexed as Besum, Bsam, Basom, Basam, and Basom respectively.
  50. PA Wills & Probate Records, Juniata County, wills B-C, on Ancestry.
  51. Cemetery index of Juniata County, at the Juniata County Historical Society.
  52. Cemetery index of Juniata County, at the Juniata County Historical Society. This information is repeated in Preacher John Shirk’s Genealogy by Josephine Graybill.
  53. 1880 census, Monroe Township, Juniata County. Susan Besom was 89 years old.
  54. Web posting by Jim Foster, a descendent.
  55. Posting on the Basom surname forum by Bill Inch, a descendent.
  56. 1860 federal census, Monroe Township, Juniata County, Image 14.
  57. Melinda was the daughter of Jacob Shaffer and his third wife Christina Troup (Appendix to Basom Family Relationships, in the Diary of Henry Basom, The Chronicle, 2015, online at:
  58. Findagrave, references in the Juniata Sentinel and Republican, for ex. 4 Aug 1886 (a juror), 15 Sept 1875 (on the Republican County committee), 16 Dec 1891 (raising German rabbits for sale). He outlived Angeline by four years and died in 1917.
  59. Theodore Long, Tales of the Cocolamus, online at the Penn State Digital Library.
  60. Juniata County tax lists (JCHS)
  61. 1870 federal census.
  62. Family file at the Juniata County Historical Society, response to a query letter.
  63. The divorce is from the 1880 census, which shows marital status.
  64. No source given for this date.
  65. Web trees, with no documentation given.
  66. His name was spelled Basam.
  67. 1830 federal census, Fermanagh Township, Mifflin County, indexed as Bsam or Basam. The girl between 15 and 19 may have been a servant, since the oldest known surviving daughter (Catherine) was not born until about 1820.
  68. I browsed all the images for the township, included under Mifflintown on Ancestry.
  69. The Decatur record was in Decatur Township, Mifflin County, image 7, not indexed, looks like Bsam. The Granville record was in Granville Township, Mifflin County, image 5, indexed as Sameul Bran (sic).
  70. I have not found her in a census record for 1860 or 1870.
  71. 1850 census, Mifflintown, Fermanagh Township.
  72. Juniata County Newspapers 1800 Abstracts of Births & Deaths… Juniata County Historical Society. I have not seen the original newspaper.
  73. Obituary of his daughter Mary E. Graybill, died 1934, online.
  74. Conjectured, since there are no birth records known. K. Varden Leasa placed Martha in the family of Jacob and Catherine, since they had a “missing” daughter in the 1830 census. He found Alexander Ellis in the 1840 census in Mifflintown with a female under 20 years old, probably Martha. (post to PAJuniat mailing list on 04 Nov 2006). The note for Martha Basom Ellis on places her as a daughter of Jacob and Catherine.
  75. 1850 federal census; 1860 federal census; letter to the Juniata County Historical Society, 2005, Basom file, from a descendent.
  76. 1850 census Greenwood Twp, Juniata County, Image 2; 1860 census, Monroe Twp, Juniata County, Image 10. Marriage record, unknown church in Perry County, both of Juniata County.
  77.  1880 federal census, West Union Township, Fayette County, Iowa, Image 26.
  78. 1850 federal census, Mifflintown, Juniata County, Image 24
  79. 1860 federal census, Fermanagh, Juniata County, Image 23.
  80. 1870 federal census, Mifflintown, Juniata County, Image 18-19.
  81. 1880 federal census, Lewistown, Juniata County, Image 19.
  82. 1900 federal census, Mifflintown, Juniata County, Image 7-8.
  83. Jordan, History of the Juniata Valley and its people, vol. 2, 1913; Family group sheet at Juniata Count Historical Society.
  84. 1850 census, written and indexed as Besome.
  85. Juniata County tax records, 1848, 1850, 1851, Juniata County Historical Society.
  86. Query letter to the Juniata County Historical Society. He was in Iowa for the census of 1860 through 1880. In 1850 he and Sarah were living with her father Thomas in Fermanagh Township, Juniata County (indexed as Besome).
  87. IRS tax assessment 1856, Carrollton, Carroll County, on Ancestry.
  88. This led to a court case as the family fought over the land after Sarah’s death.The court case is online at:
  89. His obituary  in the Carroll Sentinel (saved on an Ancestry tree) called him A. Winey Basom, b. April 14, 1824, in Union County PA near Coller’s Mills. He became a Methodist, married Sarah L. McCurdy on Sept 7, 1848, moved to Carrollton in 1855, died March 5, 1900. The burial record is from Findagrave.
  90. Burial record from Cemetery database, Juniata County Historical Society; obituary from Juniata Sentinel & Republican, printed out by the Juniata Co. Historical Society. See the separate piece on Simon Basom for his very interesting Civil War experience.
  91. The PA death certificate for her shows the dates of birth and death and the names of her parents, as Samuel Basom and Barbara Page. This is one of the key pieces of evidence for the identity of Samuel’s wife. The informant for the death certificate was David Reynolds of Mifflintown.
  92. 1860 federal census, Fermanagh Township, Juniata County, Image 21.
  93. 1870 federal census, Fermanagh Township, Mifflin County, Image 11. The nine children were at home; the oldest worked for the railroad.
  94. US Draft Registration Records, 1863-1865, PA 14th, Image 479.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *