William Little, 1800-1890

Second son of Francis Little and Susanna Shields.

William Little was the second son of Francis and Susanna (Shields) Little. He was born on December 7, 1800 in Washington County, Maryland. Francis and his young family moved to Pennsylvania from Maryland for the second time about 1803. They settled in what would later become Liberty Township, carved from Hopewell Township in Bedford County. This is where William grew up.

About 1824 or 25, William married Mary Fluck from the neighboring family of Casper Fluck. Their first child was Elizabeth born in October 1825. However, the 1825 tax records show William Little as a ‘Single Free Man’ and in the 1826 taxes he appears under “taxable” [heads of families]- indicating he was now married. The dates, then, are somewhat in question. But the time-frame is good.

Williams tax assessment in 1826 was six cents—a small amount that would indicate little or no property. Later assessments would show similar status.

In the tax records for 1829, including both the assessment book and the tax records, William as a “taxable” appears in tax records for South Woodberry Township (across Tussey Mountain) but only for that year. Again, those records show no real property and only a cow with tax liability of 7cents. As noted above, his father, Francis, was still listed in the 1829 records in Hopewell Township.

A portrait of Mary Fluck Little later in life. No photo known to exist of William.

The 1830 U.S. Census for Hopewell Township, which shows family information, records William as head of a household and indicates there were two males under 5 years (believed to be sons Joseph and William Jr.), one male over 20 under 29 (himself), one female under 5 (believed to be daughter Susanna), and one female over 20 under 29 (undoubtedly his wife, Mary). William Little and Mary Fluck had the following children:

  • SUSANNA LITTLE – b.16 Oct 1825- d.18 Oct 1861; m. Samuel Harvey.
  • JOSEPH LITTLE – b. 04 Nov 1827 d. 25 Aug 1893; m. Mary Ann Drollinger.
  • WILLIAM LITTLE – b. 10 Nov 1828, d. 04 Jul 1887; m. (1) Nancy Eberly, (1831 -1860) and (2) Catharine “Kate” Pepple. (1830 – 1908).
  • CASPER F. LITTLE – b. Aug 1832, d. 07 Oct 1908; m. (1) Susan Kensinger and (2) Mary Jane McAninch
  • FRANK F. LITTLE – b. 1833, d.1922; m. Catharine Creps
  • ISAAC K LITTLE – b. 17 Jul 1835, d. 13 Aug 1911; m. Mary Ann Rhodes.
  • CATHARINE LITTLE – b. May 1837, d. 27 Sep 1908; m. John Carson
  • MARIA LITTLE – b. 18 Nov 1839, d. 11 Mar 1841; died as a child.
  • SILAS H. LITTLE – b. 15 Oct 1841, d.25 Mar 1925; m. Catherine Rhodes.
  • DAVID LITTLE – b. 1844, d. 20 Aug 1855; died as a child.
  • FREDERICK R LITTLE – b. Dec 1846, d. 12 Jul 1913; did not marry.

William’s father Francis does not appear in any official records after 1830 which may indicate he had died. It is not real clear where William and Mary lived during the 1830’s, although the tax records have them back in Hopewell Township and the tax rate is 6 or 7 cents—again too low for owning any property. The 1840 US Census has their household immediately adjacent to Casper Fluck’s which could indicate they were the nearest neighbor.

Casper Fluck, Mary’s father died in 1847. There was a lot of legal maneuvering over the ensuing few years with his rather large piece of property and the number of family survivors. Ultimately, Mary ended up with fourteen acres and a few “perches” (a pole or rod, generally 16 feet). For whatever reason, the property was solely in Mary’s name, not William’s. It was located along today’s Manspeaker Road, the location of the dwelling shown on the 1877 Map of Liberty Township by WF Beers:

Mary Fluck Little died in 1887. William’s state of health is not clear, but for the last few years of his life, he lived in Loysburg in the home of his son William Jr, who also died in 1887. Records show that the Bedford County Orphans Court ordered Mary’s estate to be sold to pay off debts. In 1891 her property of 14 acres was sold by George Fluck– Mary’s nephew and administrator of her estate.[1]

It was in Loysburg where William died in 1890 but he was buried in Liberty Township. William and Mary are both described in documents as “late of Liberty Township.” They are buried together in St. Luke’s Cemetery not far from their home.


[1] Bedford County Deed Book #78, pg 496. Pennsylvania State Archives microfilm roll #430.

Grave Memorial of Mary Fluck, 1805-1887

Author: T.J.Little

I grew up on a northern Bedford County, Pennsylvania, dairy farm as did my father. Those roots go seven generations deep there, By Y-DNA testing, my Little surname roots go to the Scottish Borders in the 14th century, but my family has been in America from the mid-18th. The quest to connect the story continues.

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