Mary C Henderson Geary Goodman

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Mary C Henderson Geary Goodman (Church)

Also Known As: "Mary Church Henderson"
Birthdate: (85)
Birthplace: New Cumberland, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: Died in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of Burial: Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Robert Church, Esq. and Matilda Church
Wife of William John Henderson, M.D.; Brevet Maj. General John W. Geary (USA), Governor, Territorial Governor and Henry Earnest Goodman, M.D.
Mother of Willie Henderson; Mary Church Bonzano; Margaret Angeline Geary; Eva Louise Geary and John Washington Geary
Sister of Henry Church and John B. Church

Managed by: Ante Raic
Last Updated:

About Mary C Henderson Geary Goodman

Mary C. Church was born Dec. 4, 1828 at Cumberland County, PA. Her parents were Robert R. Church and Matilda Bigler.

The History of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Part II, Borough of New Cumberland, Robert Church, Matilda Bigler, and daughter Mary Church. A large grain depot was erected by Mr. Haldeman in 1826, which supplied a terminal marker for the Cumberland valley. Here the great teams which were used in those days might have been discharging their loads of grain, reloading with lumber ere starting again upon their homeward trip. At this time the lumber trade was carried on extensively. Prior to 1814 there were two lumber yards, one just north of town belonged to John Christ and Robert Church, and another, on the south side of the creek, to John Poist, who built and kept what was known as the White Tavern. Mr. Church married Miss Bigler, and their daughter Mary became the wife of Gov. Geary, and presided at the executive mansion during his term of office.

"Politician Goes to War, The Civil War Letters of John White Geary, page 6. Benjamin F. Lee, whom Geary called "Frank," was in the lumber business with Henry Church, Mary Geary's eldest brother. Lee performed commissary duties for the regiment. After the war, Governor Geary appointed Lee grain measurer for Philadelphia and then as a private secretary during the governor's second term. Lee went on to serve as an Indian agent under President Ulysses S. Grant."

Smull's Legislative Hand Book and Manual of the State of Pennsylvania, 1871, page 420. Executive Department. Governor, John W. Geary, Cumberland County, Executive Mansion, Front Street. Private Secretary, Benjamin F. Lee, Cumberland County, Executive Mansion, Front Street. And last, Mary's brother John B. 1833-1903 (Elizabeth Brenneman).

Mary's family is noted in The Biographical and Genealogical History of the City of Newark and Essex County, New Jersey, Frederick William Ricord, Sophia B. Ricord, Lewis Publishing Company, 1898, pages 404-406, that reads: Edward F. Church.

Back to that cradle of much of our national history, the old commonwealth of Massachusetts, must we revert in tracing the lineage of him whose name initiates this review. The original ancestor of this branch of the family was Ebenezer Church, who immigrated from England to the New World about the year 1740 and took up his abode in the old town of Pretybrian, Massachusetts.

He subsequently moved to Brattleboro, Vermont, where he remained until about 1791, when he removed to Bainbridge, then known as Jericho, Chenango county, New York. History records that he and his sons were among the number to whom was applied the title of "Vermont Suffers," by reason of certain afflictions which they had endured.

Ebenezer Church died in 1806, having attained a venerable age and having been a man of signal probity of character and of marked ability. He had four sons and three daughters, one of was Eben (or Ebenezer), who remained in Brattleboro, while another son, Josiah, figures in the direct ancestral line of the subject of this sketch.

Josiah Church was born Pretybrian, Massachusetts, in the year 1751 and accompanied his parents upon their removal to Chenango county, New York, as noted above. He married Comfort Robbins, daughter of Captain Robert Robbins, who followed a seafaring life. Mr. Church settled in Coventry, Chenango county, about four miles from Church Hollow. Josiah and Comfort (Robbins) Church became the parents of eleven children, namely: Robert R., whose daughter Mary became the wife of Governor Geary, of Pennsylvania, and after his death, the wife of Dr. E. H. Goodman, an eminent physician of Philadelphia; Henry, Nancy, John, Francis, Jeremiah, Jessie, Betsey, William, Mary, and Willard.

Mary Church was the niece of the famous Prospector Jeremiah "Jerry" Church, brother of her father, who was the founder of Lock Haven, Clinton County, PA.

Mary's mother died and her father married Catherine P. unknown (1814-1877) and had son Woodland and daughter Comfort. Her father died in 1846 and all the above children petitioned the court for guardian's of their estate. The estate was quite extensive and covered all the children or their children. It was finally settled in 1877. Cumberland County, PA Orphan's Court Dockets, Volume 21, page 82-84, image no. 439.

Mary Church married Dr. William John Henderson who was from Huntingdon Cty, PA. The notice appeared in the Clinton Democrat (Lock Haven, Clinton County, PA) on Dec. 17, 1850. Married. William Henderson, Huntingdon Cty and Mary Church Cumberland Cty by Rev. DeWitt of Harrisburg on Dec. 2, 1850 at Huntingdon. He died in 1854 leaving her a widow.

The family lived in Lock Haven, PA where her husband practiced medicine. They resided on Water Street in a home that is still standing and listed on the National Register of Historic homes and is now the current Heisey Museum (see photo).

The couple had two children, they were not named in her husbands will, only stating my two children. It is not until the Geary family documents at the PA Historical Society clarified that one of the children were Willie Henderson (William J). The other was a female and possibly died young.

A small bio about her husband can be found at The Annual of Washington and Jefferson College, page 105, class of ‘45, it include his marriage to Mary and their children, that part reads: John William Henderson, M.D. On the 2d of December 1850, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Church of Cumberland County, PA.

Dr. Henderson settled in Lock Haven, PA and carried on his practice there until the time of his death in 1854. Two children were born to him, one died in infancy, the other was a Physician and now sleeps in an unknown grave in Mexico.

William Henderson's will named his wife Mary C to be administrator and to have all of his real and personal property and if she died, for his two children to have it. They were just young when he died. William is listed on the 1860 and 1870 census with her, and was born about 1853. There was also a female Mary Lee born about 1854 there. She could possibly be Mary's niece. The above building and place of Lock Haven, PA is where the names Jerry and Willard Church come into the picture. They were the founders of Lock Haven and were in the area at the time that Mary was living there and had land dealings with the Henderson's. They were probably somehow related to Mary's father.

The building that Mary and Dr. William lived in was mentioned after her husband's death in The Clinton Democrat, April 11, 1854, reads: Recently Deceased, Dr. William J. Henderson, his two story brick house on Water St, fronting on the river, was sold for $4,100 to William Fearon Jr., Esq. It is below the canal and not in the business part of town. (attached is a photo of the building they resided in). It was built for William's father, Dr. John Henderson, in 1833.

After William's death, Mary located back to Cumberland County, PA and in 1858 she married John White Geary according to the Geary Family Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. He was a Notable and Honored Civil War man. He was previously married to Margaret Logan and had three children, John White Jr, Edward Ratchford 1845-1863, and William Logan 1849-1907 1st Am. Male born in San Francisco. He and Mary had the following children: Mary Church "Pet" 1859-1940, Margaret Angeline 1863-1945, Eva Louis 1867-1929 (1st child born in PA Gov. Mansion), and John Washington 1869.

John White Geary died on Feb. 27, 1873 leaving Mary yet a widow again. She then married a Civil War Surgeon, Henry Ernest Goodman. He died in 1896 leaving her a 3x widow. The Historical Society of PA has the Geary Family papers listed on the website, that includes the history of the family and a diary of Mr. Geary and letters to and from the family, some of which can be viewed at their web page.

Mary died in Philadelphia, PA on Dec. 12, 1913. She was removed to Harrisburg for burial. She is listed in the records of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Burials, Mary Church Goodman, burial Harrisburg, PA, Minister Floyd Franklin and the St Martin's Episcopal Church records, burial Harrisburg, Minister George Lamb. She is buried near John White Geary. Find a Grave

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Mary C Henderson Geary Goodman's Timeline

December 4, 1828
New Cumberland, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States
August 31, 1859
Age 30
New Cumberland, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States
December 21, 1863
Age 35
New Cumberland, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States
February 24, 1867
Age 38
Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States
February 22, 1869
Age 40
Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States
December 12, 1913
Age 85
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
December 1913
Age 84
Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States