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The Oyster & McNair Family Genealogy

B. F. M. MacPherson
Frederick County Backgrounds

Originally published October 17. 1974 in the Emmitsburg Chronicle

"The best laid plans" — it has been said -- "do some-times go astray." That is only too true and enters into every walk of life — including that of the historian. Last week it was stated, in no uncertain terms, that the data regarding the Eyster (Oyster-Eister) family had come to an end. Such was not to be the case, however, for due to a Philadelphia, Pa., reader of this column, Provided a few "missing links" as follows:

John Thomas Eyster, the son of Andrew and Mary (Winter) Eyster (first wife), went to California as a young man and lived there for the rest of his life. When he died, his body was cremated and the ashes were sent to his cousin, Columbia Winter. She arranged for their burial n his mother's grave.

Hitherto it was not definitely known that John Thomas Eyster was interred in old Elias Lutheran and Reformed churchyard. The files of the "Emmitsburg Chronicle" for that period are missing.

John Thomas Eyster, who erected the very impressive monument that marks his mother's grave, died May, 1921. He was horn .January 23, 1833.

The Ellen C. Eyster, who died September 23, 1881, aged 44 years, and is interred in Elias Lutheran and Reformed churchyard, was the daughter of Andrew Eyster, watch and clock maker, as well as silver-smith of Emmitsburg, and his second wife, Livinia (McNair) Eyster. Thus another mystery is solved—the second wife of Andrew Eyster was a member of the McNair clan.

The writer of this column is rather chagrined for a genealogical outline of the McNair family, of Pennsylvania and Maryland, was written for the study of the Tom's Creek Presbyterian churchyard, and published in this series. She, Livinia (McNair) Eyster, was of the fourth generation of the family in America.

Samuel McNaid (3), the son of Alexander] (2) McNair and the father of Livinia McNair) Eyster, is interred near his father and mother in he old old Presbyterian churchyard, I located about a mile north of Emmitsburg.

– The McNair genealogy has this to say regarding Samuel (3) McNair: Samuel McNair was born in 764 presumably at the family farm—part of the Manor – of the Masque, in what is now Adams County, Pennsylvania. On November 6, 1776, said Samuel (3) appears in the records as a bombardier in the Arnold Battery of the Pennsylvania Navy, commanded by Jeremiah Simmons, from December 1, 1776 to January 1, 1777,

At that time he was only thirteen years of age. It is very possible that Samuel (33) McNair saw additional service in the War of the American Revolution—but—if so—no record exists of the same. It is known that few officers during that struggle kept service records.

He, Samuel (3) McNair, paid taxes on cattle in Hamilton Bann Township, York (now Adams) County, Pennsylvania, from 1779 to 1789. Under his father's will he fell heir to all the family real estate—some 385 acres. Samuel (3) bought quite a few additional acres. Like his father he was a farmer and had needs of his broad lands for he and his wife, Livinia McNair, were the parents of no less than fourteen children — a fairly "sizable' family" even for that day.

Livinia (4) McNair, her mother's namesake, was the 9th child in the family. She

1 was born August 6, 1809 — married April 19, 1836 to An-f drew Eyster died in Emmitsburg, Maryland, on August 9, 1869, and was interred in Elias Lutheran and Reformed churchyard.

The Lynn (Linn) Family

Interred in the Elias Lutheran and Reformed church-yard, as well as in Mountain View Cemetery, are quite a good few members of the Lynn family. The oldest graves appear to be those of Johann l Melchiir Lynn and his wife, Catharine (Harper) Lynn, in the old churchyard. This Johann Melchoir was a miller and owned three mills—one in what is now Adams County, Pennsylvania, and two in Frederick County, Maryland. In the mill house, on the Bull-frog Road, the last two daughters of the miller died, quite close together, during the `flu' epidemic at the time of World War I.

The late Miss Rhoda Gillelan told a story having to do with the sale of the furnishings ,fo the old stone mill-hose, after the death of Miss Catharine Lynn. One buyer, to everyone's amazement, bought box after box of aged jellies. She, the buyer, how-ever, had not taken leave of ,her senses as many suspected, for out of her purchases came at least ten pieces of Stiegel glass. Not had for a day's work!

The late Edith (Sheads) Ditchburn. who died recently at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, l did extensive research on the Lynn family for' she was descended from the same. Ac-cording to the data she unearthed, they came from Pennsylvania into Maryland.

If you have any additional information about these families,
our another family that once called Emmitsburg home,
please e-mail it to us at history@emmitsburg.net