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John ATWELL Lear
Birth: 1817
Shenandoah County
Virginia, USA
Death: Mar. 2, 1893
Blair County
Pennsylvania, USA

Patriarch of the Lears of Kittanning Point

Son of John BENJAMIN Lear and unknown mother, Atwell was a brick maker by trade, as was his father. He applied his trade at Columbia Furnace in Shenandoah County prior to the Civil War.

Atwell's surname, pronounced LAYer during his lifetime, had various spellings: "Löhr", "Lehr", "Lair", "Lare", "Laird", and "Leher". By the early 1900s, the surname spelling converged to the monosyllabic "Lear", as used by all his descendents.

From the early to mid 1850s, Atwell partnered in free-unions with Frances Bowman and Matilda Helsley, fathering 2 children with each partner. These free-born children were raised by their mothers' families. Besides his first three children linked below, Atwell had a daughter, Mary Lear, with Frances Bowman in 1854.

On Apr. 30, 1860, two years after the birth of their son Calvin, Atwell was married to Hannah Hosaflook by the affidavit of Isaac Wymer (Hannah's 1st maternal cousin) before a Shenandoah County judge. (A reasonable conjecture is that Cousin Isaac wielded the "family shotgun" to facilitate this union!)

Near the end of the Civil War, Atwell, Hannah, their 4 young children, and Atwell's trade apprentice, William Wallace Glenn (who likely was Atwell's nephew, WWG's death certificate records that his mother's birth name was Comfort Laird), trekked over 150 miles by covered wagon from the Shenandoah Valley of VA to central PA, settling at Kittanning Point in the outskirts of Altoona. Atwell and Hannah's named their first PA-born son William Glenn Lear to honor the service of Atwell's apprentice, who was enumerated in Atwell's household in the 1870 federal census.

Atwell established a brick yard at Kittanning Point, which operated until his death. He and Hannah had six more children born in PA. In the late 1800s, Atwell purchased an 8-grave site in Carson Valley Cemetery, wherein he is buried. Atwell likely died in his home at Kittanning Point.
Family links: 
  Matilda Helsley (1836 - 1886)
  Hannah Hosaflook Lear (1836 - 1920)*
  Perry Joseph Bowman (1851 - 1930)*
  Mary Elizabeth Lear Sine (1851 - 1918)*
  Thomas Elias Lear (1856 - 1928)*
  Jeanette Ellen Lear Rooney (1862 - 1937)*
  Elizabeth Anna Lear Godfrey (1863 - 1948)*
  Joseph A. Lear (1864 - 1893)*
  William Glenn Lear (1868 - 1951)*
  Emma S Lear Over (1870 - 1913)*
  John Albert Lear (1873 - 1936)*
  Clara B Lear Carnell (1873 - 1901)*
  Edith MAY Lear Carnell (1876 - 1913)*
*Calculated relationship
There is no visable marker for Atwell on the 'Atwell Lear' Lot situated at Koon, D, 6.
Carson Valley Cemetery
Blair County
Pennsylvania, USA
Maintained by: Dick Nixon
Originally Created by: Sky
Record added: Feb 18, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 48294863
John ATWELL Lear
Added by: Dick Nixon
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This page is sponsored by: Dick Nixon

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