I have good news for those researchers trying to solve the mystery of Silas Paul (Cyrus) Cutshall's paternal parentage. Any additions (or subtractions) are welcome.
On 15 Dec 1933 Silas Paul (Cyrus) Cutshall passed away in Broadtop, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Eight days later his beloved Catherine (Weight) did the same. Apparently, she didn't want to live in a world with-out him.
But who was this man? He is an ancestor to hundreds of descendants. And the mystery man for dozens of family tree researchers.
His death certificate give clues. Such as the fact that his mother was Rebecca Locke. But who is his father. That box is blank.
Silas had kept his promise and kept the true identity of his real father, a secret. Until now......
I contacted researchers from the Cutshall family, the Locke family and even Rebecca's last husband's family, the Merriss'. All of the family researchers that I contacted, repeated the same tale:
Like Susan Locke said: "I too am trying to find out who actually was the father of Silas. There was a Cutshall family who intermarried quite a bit with the Locke family. Rebecca married a man named Joseph Merriss whom Silas took his last name. On his biological father's deathbed he called for Silas and Silas took the name of Cutshall. Silas disappeared for awhile but came back to the area. Rebecca later married a Ramsey. The whole story was a mystery to Locke historians."
Anita Cutshall says "My husband was a grandson of Silas Cutshall. His cousins Tom and Mike, have done extensive research on the Cutshalls. The Cutshall he starts with Gaspar Guttschall, in 1680 and then to Conrad in 1740. But he never could find out who was Silas's father; altho he had ideas. He thought that Silas's father could have been a son or grandson Of Conrad Cutshall. One Conrad was b. 1740; his son,Conrad was born about 1790."
Eddie Kerwin agrees that Conrad Cutshall/Gutshall is the grandfather, in his' Kerwin/Thomas FamilyTree. He also said: "I heard from a dirent family member of Silas that he was the illegitimate kid. As a young man, Silas met his real father, his father gave him a large cash settlement to keep the Cutshall name but his first name was still a secret and no one knows it, now."
And finally Helen Brown Scheidmantel (now deceased) provided the final clue. "My grandfather, Silas Cutshall was born out of wedlock. His mother left him to be raised by an aunt and she disappeared out West. I don't know what name he used before he had a talk with his real father at age 14, while on the father's deathbed. He took the name of Cutshall but never discussed it."
So, I reasoned that to find this man you had to follow only one clue: A man named Cutshall died in 1863 in Huntingdon County, Pa. That's him.
Rootsweb has 6 Cutshall's who died with-in 5 years of that date. Four are from Crawford County and so are eliminated. Two are from Huntingdon County. One is a woman. The man is: Conrad Peter Cutshall. He went by Peter Cutshall/Gutshall and was the son of Conrad!
Conrad Peter Cutshall was born Frederick Co., MD 1789. Conrad died 1 September 1863 Springfield Twp, Huntingdon Co., PA, at 74 years of age. He married Charlotte Lane. He was 60 years old, married with children and living near the Lockes, when 17 year old Rebecca Locke became pregnate. No one knows the circumstances but you can see why he wanted it to remain a secret. ------------------------------------------------------------ For additional facts, the census records show:
1930 Census in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Silas & Kathryn Cutshall
1920 Census - Broadtop, Carbon Township in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Silas (71) & Catheryn (69) Cutshall He is listed as a merchant of a General Store. She is listed as a housekeeper. They are renting their place. They and all of their parents were born in Pennsylvania. No children in household.
1910 Census - Broadtop, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Silas (61) & Cathryn (59) Cutshall. They have been married for 41 years. This is the first marriage for both of them. He is listed as the Post Master. She is not working. They own their own home. They and all of their parents were born in Pennsylvania. She has had 9 children and 8 of them are living. There are no children in household.
1900 Census - Broadtop City Borough, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Silas (51) b. Jan. 1849 & Kathryn (49) b. Sept. 1850 Cutshall. They have been married for 31 years. They, all of their parents and all of their children were born in Pennsylvania. She has had 9 children and 8 of them are living. Children: Grace (19) b. Feb. 1841, Jessie (16) b. May 1884, Emory (14) b. Mar. 1886, Earl (12) b. Mar. 1888 & Grandson Lloyd Rhinehart (5) b. June 1894.
and in 1880 there is a: Cyrus (25 not 31) & Kate (26 not 29) Cutshall in North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pa. He is listed as a carpenter. Kate says her parents were born in Saxton, Ireland Children: William (5), Maude (3) & Grady (2). I don't know if this is them.
1870 & 1860 No Silas or Cyrus Cutshall found
1850 Census Sela Locke (50) widowed a year earlier when wife Nancy Sollars passed away. His 18 year old daughter Rebecca Locke living at home with no child. Next door are Ramsey's (Lockes and Sollar's relatives) and next door to them: Two year old Silas is living with John and Sarah A. Sollars John Sollars (1825-1880) is the son of John Sollars (1782-1865) who was Nancy Sollars Locke's brother. So Nancy gave her daughter's illigentimate son to her nephew who had just gotten married.
1860 Silas Sollars is still living with John and Sarah A. (Ramsey) Sollars
1870 Silas Sollars has disappeared. Some say he died in the Civil War or did he just change his name?
------------------------------------------------------------ Additional info: Conrad Cutshall/Gutshall died in 1831. So only three Cutshalls appear in - Huntingdon County in the 1840 Census - Joseph Cutshall from Huntingdon County, Springfield Township, Page 177 Peter Cutshall from Huntingdon County, Springfield Township, Page 177 William Cutshall from Huntingdon County, Springfield Township, Page 177