Luke and Lura McKernan: A Laddsburg Family


Ken Chapmanhelped us solve a minor mystery when he identified the couple in a random picture we acquired. All we knew was that the photograph supposedly showed Luke and Lura McKernan from Laddsburg. We knew nothing else except that some branch of the McKernan family had lived in Sullivan County and was related by marriage to the The Descendants of Patrick McDonald and Catherine Burns. John Mcdonald (1838-1905), son of Patrick and Catherine, married Mary McKernan (1838-1931) and they lived in the Albany, PA area near Laddsburg. She may well have been an aunt of Luke. We also have a picture of Tom McKernan in our Image Gallery. We still are not certain in 2002 how all these folks are interrelated, but now at least, through the input from Ken, we do know who Luke and Lura were.

Ken wrote in response to our Message Board entry, looking for information about the picture of Luke and Lura McKernan. He identifed them and their lineage as follows:

The couple is Luke Paul McKernan (1860-1923) and Lura Cornelia Chapman (1870-1949), both buried at St. Basil's Cemetery. The following is a partial list of their children, a complete list of whom can be found in the reference mentioned at the end of this page.

1.) Elida, m. Richard Cummiskey and later married Patrick Sando
2.) Lola, m. Morris Loomis
3.) Katheryn, m. Thomas McMahan
4.) Mabel, m. Thomas Shaffer
5.) Martin
6.) Mary, m. James Sluyter
7.) Evelyn, m. John Mahoney
8.) Josephine, m. Charles Sullivan
9.) Joseph, m. Lura Haflett
10.) Bernard, m. Susan Daugherty

Lura C. Chapman was a daughter of Charles W. Chapman (1843-1909) and Sarah J. Decker 1846-1907, both interred at Laddsburg Cemetery. In December 2009, we obtained from Ron Kobbe of New Albany, PA, via his colleague Bill Jones, a copy of an old photograph of the family of Charles and Sarah (Decker) Chapman, taken at the well known Ott & Hay Studio in Towanda, PA about 1896. Here is the black and white reproduction with a listing of those in the photograph:

Family of Charles and Sarah (Decker) Chapman
Ott & Hay Studio
Towanda, Bradford County, PA
About 1896
Back, l to r: John, Etta, Lloyd, Myrtle
Front, l to r: Charles W., Lura, Sarah Jane (Decker)
Child in front: Della
Photo Owned by Ron Kobbe
Contributed by Bill Jones

Luke McKernan was a son of Peter McKernan (1803-1867) and Polly Stevens (1828-?). On his last trip to Dushore, Ken was unable to locate Peter's stone at St. Basil's Cemetery, which is where Ken was told that he is buried. [Editor's Note: The records at St. Basil's confirm that Peter McKernan is buried there, although there may no longer be a stone. He is interred in the old part of the cemetery. The records indicate that his grave originally read: McKernan, Peter..... June 22, 1803.... Oct. 14, 1867.... "Native of Monaghan,Ireland"]

We know that Polly had at least one brother named Ralph Stevens. Ken lost "sight" of Polly Stevens after the 1880 Census in Albany Township, listed as a widow with these children:

Mary, age 22
Luke, age 20
John, age 17
Emma, age 15
Ann, age 12

Ken Chapman
July, 2002

Postscript: The History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania: 1891-1995 (Curtis Media, Inc., 1996. page 592) contains a short biographical paragraph on this family by Marolyn Cole. The picture shown with that article is also very similar to the one produced here and may have either been taken at the same time or be another version of the same photo. Marolyn has provided a genealogical file on the McKernan family, for which we are very appreciative. You can find the information at Descendants of John McKernan.

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