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Hemphill-Coolidge Family

Updated August 13, 2006

Dolores A. Hemphill

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David McCracken Hemphill was born in 1819, probably in Ireland. By 1853, he was living in Armstrong Co, Pennsylvania, married to Hannah Kness, and had the first of 5 children. He was dead by 1870. Hannah's father, Martin Kness, apparently was from Germany, and her mother, Nancy Bowers, reportedly was born in Virginia. Hannah and her children moved to Iowa in the 1870s. Hannah died Aug 5, 1910 in Marshalltown, Iowa. I have limited information about any of their ancestors, and would welcome hearing from anyone who has more.

Joseph McCracken Hemphill, David and Hannah's son, was born March 03, 1863, in Kittaning, Armstrong Co, Pennsylvania. He married Dora Almira Legg July 24, 1887 in Powshiek Co, Iowa. He died March 30, 1918 in Marshalltown, Iowa. Dora's father, Henry Legg, from New York, was a descendent of John Legg, Sr of Marblehead (see Barbara Galton's site at for move information about the ancestors of Henry Legg). Dora's mother, Rosette (or Rosetta) Giles, was born in New York. Rosette’s sister Annie, also from New York, married Henry’s brother Charles, and they all lived in Iowa. I have the names of six Giles siblings, but nothing about their parents, and would welcome hearing from anyone with information about the Giles branch.

Joseph Hemphill, Joseph M and Dora’s son, was born April 12, 1894 in Malcom, Iowa. He married Belle Coolidge January 25, 1916 in Marshalltown, Iowa. He died July 1945, also in Marshalltown.

Belle’s father, Walter Coolidge, was a descendant of John and Mary (Ravens) Coolidge, who migrated to America in about 1630 (see the Phipps Family page at for more information about the early Coolidge family). I am trying to trace the ancestors of Belle’s grandmother, Abigail Smith, born October 16, 1836 in Michigan. Her parents were Jesse Smith and Catherine Rensler. I would welcome hearing from anyone who can make a connection with them.

Belle’s mother, Elma Lewis, was born July 1876 in LeGrand, Iowa. Her father was Littleberry Lewis, Jr (see The Inman Compendium at for more about his parents, especially his mother's lineage), her mother Rachel McDonald. They were married July 19, 1865 in LaPorte Co, Indiana. The Lewises were of Quaker stock, and had intermarried with the Inmans and the Coppocks. They apparently were part of the Quaker migration from (W) Virginia/N Carolina to Ohio in the early 1800s. Rachel's parents, Jarred McDonald and Anna Barret also migrated from (W) Virginia; I don't know if they had any Quaker connections. I would welcome hearing from anyone who can make a connection with them.

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