Thanks for the great info. It gives me much to work with.
In the 1850 census, Simon Howell, 52, resided with Robert and Hannah. Since this Simon was b. in VA as was Hannah, then this might be a younger brother to Hannah, and that would give you her maiden name. You said Robert had a son Simon, so that gives weight to the possibility that Hannah was a Howell.
In the 1816 poor children list you gave, it is possible that Jacob was Robert's son but not included in the list because he was too old. Cutoff age to be ineligible for the poor list might have been 14, the same as the age for fatherless children ("orphans") to gain the right to apprentice themselves and the right to choose their own guardian. See: http://www.genfiles.com/legal/orphans.htm.
Since you found Jacob listed in the N. Huntingdon Twp. tax records from 1822-1825, this contributes to the argument that he was related to Robert in some way, since Robert was in the same township. How were the tax records listed, geographically or alphabetically? If geographically, was Jacob's record listed near Robert's record? And, you could try to locate N. Huntingdon land records for each in those years, to see if the Pettigrews were close by to each other.
I don't think it was coincidental that Jacob and Robert were in the same township in the 1820s. There must have been some family connection. You said Robert had sons Joshua and Jesse, which are Old Testament names, as is Jacob. These names are not common in the Pettigrew/crew lines.
I am familiar with the DNA results you relate, that some Petticrews are matched with descendants of Thomas Pettigrew of Orange Co. NC. I was not aware that a match was made with your cousin, so wonder if this was done within recent years? We Petticrews have not found a paper trail connecting us to the Thomas Pettigrew line, but certainly there could have been a connection back in Ireland or Scotland. I am descended from one of two immigrants (James and David) who settled in Dauphin Co. PA in the 1750s-60s. James and his family moved to Rockbridge Co. VA (1780s) along with David's son John Finley Petticrew.
The names Robert, William, John and James are common in the immigrant James Petticrew line (my line). The surname was commonly spelled Pettycrew in PA and VA, but settled on Petticrew in the 1800s.
Robert of N. Huntingdon Twp had a lot of sons. Maybe you could find a living male descendant willing to give a DNA sample. If that Robert was DNA matched to our Petticrew line, then it must be by another relative of immigrants James and David, just as there must have been another relative who settled in NC.
Someone on Worldconnect tried to make Jacob a son of John Finley Petticrew. JFP's children are well-documented so I do not see this connection as a possibility.
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