The Family History Page

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Christian Mowry was born in September 14, 1747 to George Mowry and his wife. It is believed that the family may have lived near Newcastle, Delaware before going to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

During this time in western Pennsylvania, tracts of land were beginning to be offered for sale. Size was limited to three hundred acres and the price set at five pounds per hundred acres (about 13 cents). This is most likely what drew the Mowry family to the area of Pittsburgh. The outpost in the area had a few hundred residents, though there was still much fighting between settlers and Indians.

Christian migrated to Fort Pitt (present day Pittsburgh) just before 1769. In 1769 he married Margaret Klingensmith.

Christian enlisted in July 1776 in the Eighth Pennsylvania Regiment. (Congress ordered the raising of a battalion of Continental troops in Western PA to erect forts at Kittanning, LeBoeuf, and Presque Isle and to defend the frontier). Christian and his regiment were called to assist Washington in December of 1776 against the British troops. By January they were in New Jersey near Brunswick assisting General George Washington. In 1778 Christian's regiment was recalled to Western PA to defend the frontier. Christian Mowry was in Captain Samuel Brody's Company, so he was most likely one of the sharp shooters. In September of 1778, the United States forged a treaty with one of the Delaware Indian nation located near Fort Pitt. While at Fort Pitt, Christian served under three commanders. The regiment was discharged in 1783, and Christian was most likely discharged in 1781 or 1783. Christian Mowry's name appears on the records at Valley Forge for meritorious service, having participated in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown.

His family name of Mowry was most likely changed from the previous spelling of Maurer, Mourer, Moure, Maury, Mowery, etc.

Christian died in 1789.


Margaret Klingensmith was born of German extraction. The Klingensmith home was in the area of the Old Zion Evangelical Church in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, PA. Margaret and Christian were married in 1769 and moved to the area of Fort Pitt soon afterwards. When Christian went off to the army in 1776, Margaret may have gone to live with her family in Westmoreland Township (as daughter Maria was baptized in their church in Westmoreland Twp).

Margaret and Christian had 13 children, most of whom died young:

  • Peter, born 1770, PA
  • Salina, born 1773 (died young)
  • John, born 1775, PA
    Apprenticed to become a printer probably as early as 1786 when The Pittsburgh Gazette was founded by John Scull and Joseph Hall. Scull was also first postmaster. The very first edition of the paper had an enthusiastic article by the Mowry's next-door-neighbor, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, who was an eminent lawyer and civic leader who appears in every history of early Pittsburgh. Later moved to New Orleans, where he was killed in a duel in 1813.
  • Maria Elizabeth Maurer, born July 3 (or 30th), 1777 (died young).
    Baptized 24th of Sept. or Oct., 1777. Parents listed on baptism records of Old Zion Evangelical Church as Christian Maurer and Anna Margaretta. Godparents Peter Klingelschmidt and Anna Elizabeth.
  • Philip, born 1778-1846, PA
  • Margaret, born March 26, 1782--1786
  • William, born 1784, died around 1789
  • Catherine, born October 6, 1789 -- June 15, 1815
    Married Dr. William Addison, who died in 1862. William's daughter was Leila Addison. Andrew Carnegie says of Leila "I had been so fortunate as to meet Leila Addison while living in Pittsburgh, the talented daughter of Dr. Addison... I soon became acquainted with the family and record with grateful feelings the immense advantage which that acquaintance also brought to me... Miss Addison became an ideal friend because she undertook to improve the rough diamond, if it were indeed a diamond at all. She was my best friend, because my severest critic... I was a great deal the better in all these respects after we moved to Homewood, owing to the Addisons."

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