He was born in Lawrence County, PA. He married Elizabeth Jackson Van Eman on September 19, 1839 in PA. The family moved from Volant, PA to Dickson (Then Sneedville) Tennessee in 1868. Their oldest daughter was Mary Amelia Van Eman Minich. Other children were Elizabeth (who married John Johnson), Preston (Press) (who married Elizabeth Egleston) - he was the oldest child. and Margaret who married George Lockhart.