Jacob Durst and Mary "Polly" (Knoyer) Durst

The following information about Jacob Durst is copied, with permission, from Wayne Bittinger's book The Bittinger, Bittner, Biddinger, and Bidinger Families--and Their Kin--of Garrett County, Maryland. Minor formatting revisions have been made to accommodate this web site.

Jacob Durst was born in 1774, son of Casper Durst and first wife, Anna Elizabeth ---. His name appeared in the 1796 assessment for Elk Lick Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. In 1800, he was the sole member of a household in that township. From 1800 to 1806, he was assessed for real estate (about 60 acres on the average) as well as livestock (one or two horses and one head of cattle) in Elk Lick Township.

Jacob married Mary "Polly" Knoyer (born about 1789), daughter of the Widow Knoyer; Mary's mother had married Jacob's father, apparently when Mary was a young girl. Jacob and Mary's eldest-known child was born in 1805.

Children of Jacob Durst and Mary "Polly" Knoyer:

(1) Joseph Durst (1805-1880). Married 1) Sarah --- (born about 1815). Addison, Pa. Married 2) ---. West Virginia.

(2) Jacob Durst (born 1/9/1809). First husband of Nancy Wiland, daughter of William Wiland and Margaret Durst.

(3) Elizabeth Durst (born in 1815). Married --- Lenhart.

(4) "Major" Philip Durst (1817-2/29/1888). Married Sarah Yeast (4/11/1810-6/7/1870), a widow.

(5) Michael Durst (4/19/1819-August 1892). Married Julia Ann Yeast (4/23/1823-1/27/1890), daughter of Jacob Yeast and Sarah Brown.

(6) Jeremiah Durst (1822-9/1/1883). Married Mary Knoyer (born in 1825 or 1826).

(7) Mary Ann Durst (1825-1904). Married 1) Martin West. Illinois. Married 2) Martin Crowe (died in 1915).

(8) Lydia Durst (born 5/13/1827). Married Samuel Custer, son of Emanuel Custer and Catharine Ringer.

(9) Solomon B. Durst (1830-1883). Married 1) Alice ---. Married 2) Sarah Pomaroy.

(10) Rachael Durst (born in 1833). Married Thomas Yeast (or Yaste). Preston, Minnesota.

The Jacob Durst family came to western Allegany County (now Garrett County), Maryland, prior to the 1820 census. The 1820, 1830, and 1840 census schedules listed Jacob and his household in the Grantsville District of western Allegany County. It is said that he lived on Chestnut Ridge, southeast of Grantsville. Although that seems to have been his neighborhood in 1820 and 1840, it is possible that he was living on Maynardier Ridge in 1830.

During the period 1813-1824, Jacob's name was added to Allegany County assessment books. At that time, he was taxed for two horses, two head of cattle, and $4 worth of other personal property. The 1825-1832 county assessment book listed him with the same amount of livestock, but with $15 worth of other possessions. He was taxed in the area that comprises modern-day north-central Garrett County.

It is said of Jacob, "He was the strictest kind of a Puritan in his morals; he never used liquor or tobacco; he would not allow profane language used in his presence."

Jacob died in 1844. His widow lived many years after his death. In 1870, she was a member of her son Philip's household in the Grantsville District.

This page was created November 26, 1999. For more information about western Maryland family history, visit Walt Warnick's Western Maryland Family History Pages. Comments about western Maryland Durst families are welcome.