Carnahan Family Folder


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Norman Carnahan
Donna Stieber


There is a growing number of Carnahan/Carnaghan descendants who are interested in the family history. We almost always end up connecting with one another in Westmoreland County during the mid-to-late 1700's.

Apparently, there were several Carnahan families (brothers or cousins?) in Pennsylvania during that period. My branch ties into the Carnahan Blockhouse, which was one of the defense locations during the War of Independence. My ancestor, Adam Carnahan, was born in 1743 in PA, and was one of the "Blockhouse Carnahans" of Westmoreland County. Adam is listed by DAR as a patriot. He is buried in Poke Run Cemetery. There are several published accounts of an Indian attack on the Carnahan Blockhouse, in 1777, during which John Carnahan was killed by an Indian when he stepped outside to get a better shot at them.

The Carnahan family divided up, during the late 1700's and early 1800's. Some stayed in Pennsylvania. Others went south or westward, in search of adventure and a place of their own. My ancestor, John Carnahan, son of Adam, was born in 1779. John left Westmoreland County and went to the Louisiana Territory, as part of a military group. An entry in the Territorial Papers of the United States, dated November 27, 1805, lists John Carnahan as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Militia for the Western District of Orleans. He met Marcia (Mercy) Harrison. They married on October 9, 1808, in Natchez. They moved to Concordia Parish, just across the Mississippi River from Natchez. A couple of years later, they moved to a new area, along the Red River, west of Alexandria. John and Marcia are the progenitors of the Louisiana Carnahan family.

Norman Carnahan

The Carnahans (4 brothers - James, William, Joseph and John) came from Antrim County, Ireland, ca 1730-1733 and settled in the Newton Twp, Cumberland County area, Big Springs Church, Hugh McLaughlin district. John settled in Cumberland County, then Chester County and then settled in Bell Twp, Westmoreland County about 1769. Many of descendants remain there today. Johns sons fought in the Revolutionary War and constructed the Carnahan block house for the protection of the settlers which was constructed about 1774.

Donna Stieber

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