We do know that in the 1790's at least three brothers -- Robert, Richard, and Thomas -- settled the area that is now known as Mitchell Creek in Tioga County, PA. There is also evidence that there were two other brothers -- James and John -- who settled briefly in Tioga County before moving on. What we do NOT know is who the parents of the brothers are or where they came from. However there are some theories floating around. The most accepted theories are that the Brothers Mitchell are the offspring of Robert Mitchell and Mercy Tyler or Nathaniel Mitchell and Abigail Harris.
I have done my best in the following page to give factual information about each theory and I've even added one or two extra ideas.
Part of the problem in attributing parents to the brothers is that different sources give us conflicting information; for example; in the 1897 History of Tioga County, PA Richard Mitchell is said to be from Orange County, NJ, where he grew to adulthood. In the same book, Robert Mitchell is said to be a native of Vermont, but the 1850 census lists Robert's birthplace as PA. And they're brothers?If you have any questions or want to add ideas and information to the search please contact me. April Farr Click here to Skip the Mystery and go straight to the Family Tree
Alan Tompkins of Beacon, NY, submitted information from OCGS, Vol 20 #1 May 1990, to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His document claims that Robert Mitchell (eventually of Tioga County, PA) was born in Orange County, NY. 18 July 1779, to Robert Mitchell and Mercy Tyler.
Page 558 of the Genealogy and Personal History of Northern Pennsylvania, Volume 2, clearly states: Richard, son of Nathaniel Mitchell, was born in Orange, New Jersey, July 5, 1769, died in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, March 11, 1847. He was one of the early settlers of Chemung County, New York, location in the town of Southport in 1791 with brothers Thomas and Robert. A year later Richard and Thomas came up the Tioga River in a canoe and settled August 27, 1793, at what has since been known as Mitchellcreek. However, the Sarah Kiefer genealogy of the Harris Family, dedicates an entire chapter to the Nathaniel Mitchell/Abigail Harris family (pages 8-45) and their 8 children:
Although not part of the Wyoming Valley, land in Tioga County was disputed until July 7, 1803, when a settlement is finally reached between the state of Pennsylvania and the Connecticut Land Holders wherein Tioga Township settlers who claimed land under the Connecticut Charter agreed to pay fair value for the land they were living on to avoid eviction. Robert, Thomas, and Richard Mitchell signed this agreement. I don't know whether or not the people owning land under the Connecticut Charter had to actually be residents of Connecticut to be granted the land.
More circumstantial evidence from The 1883 History of Tioga County page 249: It has been said the brothers were for a while on the west branch of the Susquehanna, near Williamsport, before coming to Chemung; if so it is supposed they had in some way an interest under the Connecticut title, as nearly all settlers from the east or New England States who had settled on that river came under that title, and many of them were there as early as 1793 and 1795.
Even more circumstantial evidence that the brothers lived in, and were possibly born in, Connecticut before settling in Tioga County, PA. The descendents of Thomas Keeney, father to Richard's wife Ruby, have compiled a large genealogy of the family. This genealogy lists Richard and Ruby's wedding on August 15, 1792, in Hartford, Connecticut.
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