Janet and Robert Wolfe Genealogy --- Go to Genealogy Page for George Martin Brenizer --- Go to Genealogy Page for Sarah Elizabeth Coover

Notes for George Martin Brenizer and Sarah Elizabeth Coover

We are researching George Brenizer, the son of John and Christina Brenizer. The notes below may be for more than one person named George Brenizer. We welcome help in sorting out these notes.

Research Notes:

1785 George Branizer was taxed as a freeman [unmarried] in Allen Twp, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. [1]

George Brenizer married Sarah Coover, daughter of Gideon Coover and Frances Stahle. [2]

1790 George Branizer lived in the Eastern part of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in a household with 2 males age over 16, one male under age 16, and one female. John Branizor was listed on the same page of the census. [3]

1796 George Brenizer sold groceries near the old stone house of Mr. John Harris. [4] [5] [6]

1798 George Brenizer of Dauphin County was appointed to sell lottery tickets for a church in Harrisburg. [7]

1799 George Brenizer of Harrisburg called in his debts in a newspaper announcement.

1800 George Breneizer lived in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania in a household with males: 2 (under 10), 1 (10 thru 15), and 1 (26 thru 44); and females: 1 (10 thru 15), 1 (16 thru 25), 1 (26 thru 44), and 1 (45 and over). [8] Nearby was Peter Bricker, possibly the son of the father-in-law of George's brother David.

1801 George Brenizer asked debtors to settle their accounts as he would move from his plantation 1.5 miles from Harrisburg on 5 April. [9]

1803 John Chamberlin moved to the house of George Brenizer on Front Street, next to Benjamin Diffenbach, next to the stone house opposite the ferry. [10]

1804 George Brenizer announced the sale of items from his home in Paxton Twp, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. [11]

1804 George Brenizer, inn-keeper, opened a tavern with liquors and other necessities for the accomodation of travelers at the sign of the Cross Keys on Market Square in Harrisburg, late the occupation of George Ziegler). [12]

1804 The militia of the 66th regiment met at the home of George Brenizer in Harrisburg to elect a lieutenant-colonel to replace the resignation of colonel Thomas Elder. [13]

1805 George Brenizer had servants and offered a reward when they ran away:

30 Dollars Reward! Ran-Away from the subscriber, on Sunday evening last, the 30th ult. a negro man, named Nathaniel Butler, and Hannah, his wife; the former is about 6 feet high, slim made, has a a very flat nose, and his teeth considerably a-part--and plays very well on the violin. Had on, and took with him, a blue cloth round-about; two pair of trowsers, one of nankeen, and the other of tow linnen; and a good rorum hat.--The latter is about 5 feet 2 inches high, slim made, and good looking; two of her fore teeth are also considerably a-part. She had on, and took with her, a white muslin, and two light calico dresses; a pink silk (gilt) and a white dimity petticoat; a Leghorn bonnet, and a half worn fine hat--together with other articles. "Whoever takes up, and secures the above negroes in any jail in the state of Pennsylvania, so that the subscriber may get them again, shall have the above reward, or 15 dollars for either. George Brenizer. Harrisburg, July 6, 1805." [14] [15]

Take Notice. whereas I have recovered my Negro servants, Nathan Butler, and his wife Hannah, who absconded from me on the evening of the 30th ultimo; and as they are peculiarly fond of having transactions with people, without my knowledge or consent, which might tend to my disadvantage; I, therefore, hereby forewarn all persons from having any dealings with them, whatever; otherwise they will be dealt with to the utmost rigor of the law. George Brenizer. Harrisburg, July 13, 1805. [16]

1808 George and Sarah Brenizer were involved (witnesses or parents?) at a birth at the Salem Reformed Church, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

1810 George Breneiser (age 26-44) was in the census for Harrisburg, Dauphin County. Another George Braniser (age 16-26) perhaps a nephew, through brother John, lived in East Pennsboro Twp, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. [17]

1810 Salome, wife of Martin Brenizer, was mentioned as a daughter in the will of Gideon Coover in Cumberland County. [18]

1810 A stage line to Reading was announced by Peter Lineweber and George Brenizer that departed weekly from the public house of George Brenizer in Harrisburg. [19]

1811 The regulators of Harrisburg walked through the city to evaluate the addition of gutters to buildings. On Market Street, they passed by George Brenizer, who kept tavern in a three story brick house erected by John Hamilton in 1792 and other buildings.

1812 An announcement to elect officers of a bridge building company for the Harrisburg Bridge over the Susquehanna named George Brenizer as a commissioner. [20]

1813 On Sept 29, Mrs. Brenizer of Harrisburg bought a raffle ticket to celebrate the victory of Commander Perry on Lake Erie.

1813 A fire in Harrisburg destroyed the stable of inkeeper Adam Coover, but the handsome home of George Brenizer, although much damaged, escaped the fire after much exertion.

1813 On 18 February, George Brenizer and Elizabeth Burrell were married by Rev. John Johnston at the Presbyterian church in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. [21] [22]

1813 George's brother, Adam Brenizer, and Burrell purchased a forge from Levergood for $10,500 in gold and silver coin. [23] There were several transfers of land [24]:

Aug. 26, 1813, transfer by said Peter Levergood and Susanna, his wife, to Thomas Burrel, George Brenizer, Sr., and George Brenizer, Jr., then reverting on same date

Aug. 26, 1813, through transfer by said Thomas Burrel and his wife, Margaret, George Brenizer, Sr., and Sarah, his wife, and George Brenizer, Jr., and his wife, Elizabeth, to Peter Levergood; Then said Peter Levergood and Susanna, his wife, transferred to George Brenizer, Sr., for the sum of $254.52 paid, the lot of ground, nine perches from the corner of Franklin and Main, town of Conemaugh, containing three acres and 63 perches.

Aug. 8, 1814. Peter Levergood and his wife Susanna, transferred to George Brenizer, Sr., 249 acres of land, called Conemaugh Old Town, situated on the east side of Conemaugh creek, at the mouth of the little Conemaugh. George Brenizer, Sr., was unable to meet this obligation, and the county sheriff proceeded to foreclose his estate. Pending this matter, Mr. Brenizer died. Adam Coover had given security for the payment of the Brenizer purchase, and the creditors now came to Adam Coover for settlement of their claims.

1814 A genealogy of brother-in-law Adam Coover reported that Adam moved from Cumberland County to Cambria County and on May 4, 1815, Adam Coover purchased land in Conemaugh Twp, Cambria County, from Christian Good. [25]

Mr. George Brenizer, Sr., who was married to Sarah Coover, Adam Coover's sister, had preceded his brother-in-law in change of residence from Harrisburg to Cambria county.

Just three months after Adam Coover bought his farm from Christian Good, George Brenizer purchased from Peter Levergood a tract of land consisting of 249 acres, located at the mouth of the Little Conemaugh river, and asked his brother-in-law to be his security, to which Adam Coover gave his consent.

Mr. George Brenizer failed to meet his obligation, and in consequence, both he and Adam Coover were financially embarrassed. Pending settlement, George Brenizer died, and the creditors looked to Adam Coover for payment, which he at that time was not immediately prepared to make. The Sheriff of the county graciously allowed Adam Coover to take over the Brenizer property, and make out of it what was financially possible.

1816 George Brenizer of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania was an officer of the company to build a bridge over the Susquehannah River in Harrisburg. The bridge was commissioned by the governor in an act passed 1809.

1813-1818 George Brenizer and Adam Coover purchased an iron ore mine and a forge in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, from Peter Levergood. George died in the 1818 flood in Johnstown and was reportedly buried at Sandyvale Cemetery, Johnstown, Cambria County [26]. Some summaries have been reported:

Peter [Levergood], Sr., [became] the proprietor of the greater portion of the town [Johnstown] site; and also the old forge, which will be referred to again. The town was then practically only so much good farm land, however, and when two enterprising men, associated as the firm of Burrell & Brenizer, offered him a good price for the property he sold it, and returned to Lancaster county. ... But ... [he returned after] All of his property in Lancaster county was burned, and Burrell it Brenizer failed to meet their obligations to him." [27]. "William Cover, Sr., of the Fourth ward, hauled for the late David Prosser, who claimed to have discovered iron ore at this place, the first ore that was taken out of the hill north of the city. The ore was sent to either Baker's or Conemaugh furnace, situated several miles down the Conemaugh river from Johnstown. With the money thus earned Mr. Cover made to Mr. Levergood the first payment on property purchased from the old gentleman. Mr. Cover's father came here with Mr. Brenizer, named above, the latter being married to the elder Mr. Cover's sister. The elder Cover settled on " Green Hill," and the old farm is still in the family. Mr. Brenizer met his death in Johnstown, being accidentally drowned. [28].

Mr. [George] Brenizer drowned and in 1818 Levergood foreclosed, repurchased the forge at a sheriff's sale, leased the forge to others, and the forge was closed in 1822 when it fell into decay, after being the great mercantile industry of the place [29].

Peter Livergood ... came to Johnstown in 1811 and purchased The Forge, in the centre of the city, counting from Franklin street to the Conemaugh Township line along the Stony creek. He later sold this large farm to Burrell & Brenizer and returned to Lancaster county, where he embarked in the hotel business. He lost his property by fire, but remained in Lancaster for a time. Owing to the failure of Burrell & Brenizer he was compelled, in order to save himself financially, to return to Johnstown and resume possession of the large tract he had sold them. Burrell & Brenizer had also purchased the Johns property, extending from what is now Franklin street to the Point, and this also came into Mr. Livergood's possession. [30]

A story published about Adam Coover, brother of Sarah, suggested that Adam Coover helped Adam Brenizer make payments for the forge mentioned above and that Adam was involved in sales of the land belonging to Brenizer. [31]

1818 "Holliday sold his holdings in Conemaugh Old Town to Peter Levergood for $8,000 in 1811. Two years later Levergood sold out to George Brenizer and Thomas Burell for $12,583. However, Levergood eventually regained the property and became the town's most successful developer. In 1818, when Brenizer and Burrell could not make the payments agreed upon, Levergood bought the property back at sheriff sale for $6.18." [32]

1820 George Brenizer had died. Sarah (widow?) age 25-45 Breneizer lived in East Pennsboro Twp, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. [33]

1850 Sarah Brenizer (age 80, born in Pennsylvania) lived in East Pennsboro Twp, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in a household with Henry Bretz (age 58), and Mary Bretz (age 55). [34]

1866 Many of the descendants of John Gideon and Frances Coover were named in a court case following the death of their son Samuel Coover. [35]


[1] William Henry Egle, Pennsylvania Archives, Third Series, Volume 20 (Cumberland Taxables) (1897), 689, [GoogleBooks], [InternetArchive].

[2] A Limited Genealogy of the Kober-Cover-Coover Family and Cognate Families (1921), 21, [HathiTrust].

[3] US census, 1790, Reel 0008, Image 554, column 1, line 25, [InternetArchive].

[4] Newspaper, Oracle of Dauphin, Harrisburg businesses.

[5] William Henry Egle, Notes and Queries Historical Biographical and Genealogical, Series 3, Vol. 1, (1893), 391, [HathiTrust].

[6] William Henry Egle, Notes and Queries Historical Biographical and Genealogical Relating Chiefly to Interior Pennsylvania, Third Series, Vol. 1 (Dauphin County)(1887), 198, [GoogleBooks].

[7] William Henry Egle, Notes and Queries Historical Biographical and Genealogical, Series 1 and 2, Vol. 1, (1894), 264.

[8] United States Federal Census, 1800, [AncestryImage], [AncestryRecord].

[9] Newspaper, Oracle of Dauphin, 03-30-1801; Volume X; Issue XXII; Page 3.

[10] Newspaper, Oracle of Dauphin, 04-25-1803; Volume XI; Issue 26; Page 4.

[11] Newspaper, Oracle of Dauphin, 02-25-1804; Volume XII; Issue 18; Page 3.

[12] Newspaper, Oracle of Dauphin, 05-19-1804; Volume XII; Issue 30; Page 3.

[13] Newspaper, Oracle of Dauphin, 09-22-1804; Volume XII; Issue 48; Page 2.

[14] Newspaper, Dauphin Guardian, July 6, 1805, p. 3.

[15] Pennsylvania Vital Records From the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine and the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 2 (1983), 579.

[16] Newspaper, Dauphin Guardian, August 31, 1805, p. 4.

[17] United States Federal Census, 1810, [FamilySearchImage], [FamilySearchRecord].

[18] Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994, Cumberland, Will H-39, [FamilySearchImage].

[19] Newspaper, Carlisle Gazette, (Carlisle, Pennsylvania), 06-01-1810; Volume XXV; Issue 1333; Page 3.

[20] Newspaper, Carlisle Gazette, (Carlisle, Pennsylvania), 07-10-1812; Volume XXVII; Issue 1434; Page 3.

[21] J Simpson Africa, History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania, [Huntingdon] (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1883), 58, [InternetArchive], [HathiTrust].

[22] Pennsylvania Vital Records From the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine and the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 2 (1983), 440.

[23] Johnstown Centennial Executive Committee, History of the Centennial Celebration of Johnstown, Pa (1901), 35 and 72.

[24] A Limited Genealogy of the Kober-Cover-Coover Family and Cognate Families (1921), 37, [HathiTrust].

[25] A Limited Genealogy of the Kober-Cover-Coover Family and Cognate Families (1921), 37, [HathiTrust].

[26] Find A Grave Memorial 50545710, [FindAGrave].

[27] Union Publishing Company, Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Cambria County Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: 1896), 300, [InternetArchive].

[28] Union Publishing Company, Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Cambria County Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: 1896), 302, [InternetArchive].

[29] Johnstown Centennial Executive Committee, History of the Centennial Celebration of Johnstown, Pa (1901), 35 and 72.

[30] Union Publishing Company, Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Cambria County Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: 1896), 480, [InternetArchive].

[31] Newspaper, Johnstown Tribune (Johnstown, Pennsylvania), October 30, 1894.

[32] Johnstown History, [URL].

[33] US census, 1820, Reel 0102, Image 29, page 73, line 12, [InternetArchive].

[34] United States Federal Census, 1850, [AncestryImage], [AncestryRecord].

[35] Maude Post Rankin, George A. Robinson, Chancery and Common Pleas Court Records, Fayette County, Ohio, 1828-1878 (Indiana County, Pennsylvania: Heffelfinger's Office Services, 1957), 105-106.