George Hiney was born March
11, 1788, but his birth place is not known, nor are the names of his parents.
The name Hiney is German and it's possible that his parents and/or grandparents
came over during the massive German migration to Pennsylvania in the 1700s and
subsequently became known as the "Pennsylvania Dutch." ("Dutch" was a corruption
of the German word "Deutsche" which means "German.")
The name of his first wife,
who was the mother of all his children, is unknown. According to the census
records, George and his unknown wife had at least four children, 2 girls and
2 boys, one of whom died young. Only the name of the other boy is known—Elias.
On March 1, 1836 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, George married secondly, a widow
named Elizabeth Lenhart. There were no children by this marriage, though George
became step-father to Elizabeth's son, George Lenhart. George & Elizabeth's
marriage certificate is shown below.
George fought in the War
of 1812 and from his military records, we know what he looked like. He stood
5 feet 6 inches tall, had a light complexion, sandy colored hair and gray eyes.
Hiney's Application for Bounty Land
George worked as a brick-maker
and was a sexton in the Methodist Church. According to the Dauphin County tax
records of 1869, George owned 100 acres of mountain land. George died on July
25, 1869 at the age of 81 and was buried in an unmarked grave at Middletown,
Pennsylvania. Elizabeth died April 3, 1879. His obituary appears at left below
with a transcription on the right.
Death of Father Hiney.
Another old soldier of the war of 1812, departed at 4 o'clock on Sunday
afternoon, last, after a lingering illness, aged 81 years, 4 months and
13 days. Up to within a few months past George Hiney resided in the city
of Harrisburg (since then he resided here with Mr. Geo. Lenhart - he was
step-father to Mr. L.) and was known to the citizens of that city, generally,
as the sexton of the Locust street M.E. Church, of which he was one of
the originators. He was one of the oldest citizens in the country, and
was identified with the interests of Harrisburg at a very early period
in its history. The Harrisburg "Telegraph" of Monday evening says,
"He was born March
11, 1788 and came to Harrisburg when a mere boy. Then there were but three
houses west of Market street, that whole section far up being a woody
swamp. Being a brickmaker, many of the houses that afterwards grew up
and contributed their share to the extension of what is now the Capital
City of Pennsylvania, were part of his handiwork. In 1810 he became a
devout and sincere member of the Methodist church, then in its infancy
and in all the purity and ruggedness of its Wesleyan discipline. At the
time he joined that church there were but four other Methodists in Harrisburg,
all of whom are now dead. There was no church building here, and the members
met at their residences, relying upon the semi-occasional preaching of
a minister in a wide and wild circuit. Father Hiney has sat under the
preaching of all the old pioneers of the church in this western world,
and has himself battled with buckler on, in the service of Christianity
in the wilderness of many a new settlement; so that he may be said to
have been not only an old solider in the cause of civil liberty, but one
of the oldest soldiers in the cause of Methodism - then emphatically a
He served as a private
in the war of Independence, in 1814, in Captain Gowen Henry's Company
of rifles - the "Paxton Rangers", a company of young men who volunteered
from this locality - attached to Col. Kennedy's regiment of Pennsylvania
militia. Mr. Geo. Wyant, another of our old soldier citizens, is the only
member of this company now left to tell the tale of its hardships. The
fire of his old military days never forsook Father Hiney, and during the
late war against rebellion he scouted the idea of there being any peculiar
hardships in the service of our Union soldiers. When Lee invaded Pennsylvania
in 1863, and threatened her capital, he with all the other old soldiers
of 1812 in Harrisburg shouldered his rifle under command of Captain Carson
and thus shamed our young men into the ranks.
His funeral took place
on Tuesday afternoon, from the resident of Mr. Geo. H. Lenhart (where
he breathed his last), attended by the Grand Army of the Republic, of
this place, our citizens, generally, and by four old soldiers of 1812
from the city of Harrisburg as follows: F.A. Uisely, aged 77 years; Wm.
Bostick, aged 75; George Wyant, aged 74; and David Harris in the 73rd
year of his age. These old soldiers were received at the Depot by the
Grand Army and escorted to the house of mourning.
I'd be happy to
exchange family information.
Please send e-mail to Sam Behling.
See lineage of
Read the Biography of George's son, Elias Hiney
Read the Biography of George's grandson, Kirk Hiney
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