Biography of the Deniston Family
Allegheny County, PA Biographies

THE DENISTON FAMILY. The first of this family to settle in the vicinity of Pittsburg was Samuel. Deniston, who was born in 1798, at Green­castle, Franklin county, Pennsylvania, and died September 13, 1856. He came to Pittsburg when yet a young man and married Letetia Sturgeon, daughter of Jeremiah and (Kuhn) Sturgeon, of Pittsburg, who owned considerable property on Wood street, between Fifth and Diamond streets. They were the parents of eleven children, as follows: 1. Jeremiah, born March 17, 1817, died May 10, 1838. 2. Mary Ann, who was first the wife of Hugh Boyd and after his death she married Joseph Hunter, who was a minister in the Cov­enanters' church, and he died in 1887. They were the parents of two children, Letetia and Elizabeth, the latter is the wife of Alexander S. Hunter. 3. Agnes, who died in 1852, the wife of Jacob Goehring, and they were the parents of three daughters and one son. 4. Susan, was the wife of Samuel Shannon, and both have been deceased many years. Their issue was three children, John, Mary and Samuel, Jr. 5. Robert Berlin, of whom later mention will be made. 6. Elizabeth, who was the wife of Andy Goehring; their children were: Lete­tia, Laura, Ella, and Andrew J. 7. James R., born March 17, 1834, on Squirrel Hill, attended the Rankin and Wilkinsburg schools, and now resides on a part of the old homestead with his brother Henry. 8. Amanda, was the wife of Henry Washington Harbaugh, and their child was Depiston, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. 9. Ellen, was the wife of Captain Peter Donaldson, an old steamboat captain. 10. Henry, born April to, 1839. 11. Letetia, born in 1842.

Samuel Deniston, the father of this family, was the owner of two hundred and thirty acres of land where North Homestead and Swissvale now stand. He conducted a hotel at Petersburg, now Addison, Somerset county, Penn­sylvania, in an early day, and had teams hauling goods from Pittsburg and Wheeling, West Virginia, to Baltimore, Maryland. His eldest son, Jeremiah Deniston, was an elder in the First Presbyterian church on Wood street, Pittsburg.

Robert Berlin Deniston, fifth child of Samuel and Letetia (Sturgeon) Deniston, was born in 1827 on the old farm where Swissvale now stands, and died August 1, 1893, aged sixty six years. He followed truck gardening for his occupation. He married, March 16, 1868, Miss Laura Levina Funk, daugh­ter of Jacob and Mary (Myers) Funk, of Franklin, Pennsylvania. She was born at Franklin, Pennsylvania, October 21, 1851, and was educated in the public schools of Franklin. Her parents were born and reared in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and were the parents of the following thirteen children: Eliza­beth, Martha, August, Moses, James, Lydia, William, Laura Levina, of whom later; Sarah and four who died in infancy, unnamed.

Mr. Robert Berlin Deniston and wife, Laura Levina (Funk). Deniston, were the parents of the following children: 1. Levin, deceased. 2. Robert, deceased. 3. Harry, deceased. 4. Mary, who married James Flemming. 5. Jeremiah. 6. James, who died aged twenty five years. 7. Letitia. 8. India, who died aged eight years. 9. Samuel. 10. John. 11. Alice. 12. Laura L. One of the youngest died in infancy unnamed. Of this family of sons and daughters, Letitia became the wife of James McNulty, of Swissvale, who died May to, 1906, leaving one child, Laura May, born December 12, 1903. August and Moses Deniston were veterans in the Civil war.

A Century and a half of
Pittsburg and her people.
By: John Newton Boucher
The Lewis Publishing Company

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