More Floro Information

Sarah Floro’s Family

Found in the July 2002 edition of Pen Pal, a newsletter published by the Pennsylvania Chapter of Palatines to America

Flora/Flory Family

Editor's note:  This is an example of the kind of information that is available from the Brethren Encyclopedia, 3 volumes, 1983, Philadelphia, PA and Oak Brook, Illinois.  These books contain history, biographies, and general information on five religious groups which trace their origin to the Brethren movement which began at Schwarzenau, Germany in 1708.  These groups were influenced by the Anabaptists (16th century) and the Pietistic movement in Europe in the 17th and 18th century.

"This Huguenot family is presumed to have fled from Fleury, France to the Palatinate.  Joseph (died 1741) and Mary FLEURE, accompanied by six children, arrived in Philadelphia on August 28, 1733 on the Hope.  They settled in Rapho Township, Lancaster County, PA.  Their sons became members of the Conestoga* congregation:  Joseph Jr. in 1741, John in 1747, Jacob in 1748, and Abraham in 1756.

"In 1759, Joseph Jr., moved to Paxtang Township, (later part of Dauphin County) while John stayed on the original farm.  These two brothers are the progenitors of the Pennsylvania and Maryland Florys.  Jacob, with his sister Katherine and her husband, Jacob Neff, moved to Franklin County, Virginia, settling on the Magodee Creek in 1782.  His descendants spell their name FLORA.

"Abraham lived in Brothers Valley, Somerset County, PA from 1796 to 1809, when he moved on to Montgomery County, Ohio...The Ohio and midwestern families generally spell their name FLORY.

"Among the descendants of Joseph Flory, Sr., are over two hundred ministers, ten missionaries, five or six college presidents, and a Nobel prize winner, Paul J. Flory.  Ministers of this name are found in all five Brethren groups (that evolved from the Schwazenau Brethren.)"

Conestoga is the third oldest Church of the Brethren congregation in Pennsylvania still in existence.  The church building is located along Route 23 in Leola, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a few miles eat of Lancaster city.

Floro E-Mail Exchange:

On 4 SEP 2000, I received an e-mail from Dennis Neysa (  He wrote:

I am researching the Flora/Floro/Florow families in IL during 1800's.  I am working under the premise that these folks were in OH/VA/KY/IN prior to move to IL.  Most moved westward or south.  I am basically working off clues and hunches but have been able to link at least three families together at this point.  Any help appreciated.  Have you any further information on your Sarah.

From: Dennis []

Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2000, 4:15 AM

To: Dianne O'Connell

Subject: Re: Sarah Floro

Diane: So glad to hear from you.  What I am currently doing is researching the Flora/Floro/Florow families in IL during 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860's.  My great-great grandmother is shown as Nancy Florow (b. 1825) on marriage record from Jefferson Co. IL in 1847 (year is to my recollection).  I have finally linked her to Robert Floro of 1850 Franklin Co. IL.  I know they had at least one sister, Jane Flora (marriage record from Posey Co. IN) married Daniel Bennett, and believe the James Floro of 1860 Franklin Co. IL census is either an older brother or uncle.  He is shown as James Flora on Posey Co. IN 1850 census. 

His daughter is shown as America Elizabeth Florow on her marriage record.  James and Nancy both show their POB as VA while  Robert's is shown as OH.  So when I saw your Sarah, my heart lept as this may be an aunt to my family.  Robert and Jane's families stayed in IL and I have been unable to locate James in 1870.  My Nancy moved with her husband Joseph Harrison Taylor (a physician) from Franklin Co. IL to Beeville, Bee Co. TX and then to Collinsville, Grayson Co. TX by 1870. I have no oral history as to Nancy's family.  Nancy's daughter Angeline was said to have had milk white skin with red hair.  By Robert's oral history the family was in OH and KY also.  By 1850 IL census neither Robert or Nancy could read or write.   So in essence I am trying to link/unlink all the Flora/Floro/Florow families and am collecting oral histories and family histories in an effort to find when/where the name changed occurred (it looks like IL).   Do you know where Strawberry Texas is located?  I greatly appreciate your information.  Neysa

Dianne O'Connell wrote:


All inidications would be that your Nancy Floro is probably related to our Sarah Floro -- I hope we can make the connection.

I spent a good deal of time trying to find "Strawberry, Texas" on the internet yesterday afternoon, as well as in the Atlas and encyclopedia last night.  No Strawberry, Texas, yet exists.  Perhaps it folded as a community or changed its name.  I suppose an inquiry to a major library in Texas might help.

I feel certain that the Elder Mrs. Floro, dying at such an advanced age, must have been in Texas with one of her children. identified several Texan Floro families who might recall a Strawberry, Texas and/or the earliest immigrant to the area.  Perhaps you can write to them.

Sorry I wasn't more help.  Never had occasion to check out "Strawberry" before.  Humph.  Thought perhaps it was in Oklahoma, but no Strawberry there, either.

Good luck, Dianne

Dianne:  Strawberry Texas is supposed to be in Smith Co.  I am going to check the Bee Co. area since that is where my Nancy Floro Taylor moved.  Thanks for your help. - Neysa

Notes B (Maria Lewis Cooper McCoy of Sangamon Co., Illinois)

Maria married first, William Cooper and had four children.  She married second, Hamilton McCoy and had eleven more.  Two of Maria's sons served in the Civil War.

The descendant's of Maria's daughter Sarah Jane Cooper Baker were provided by Sharon Powell and her cousin's son Drew Spencer, via e-mail and internet.

Sarah Jane Cooper was born 3 JUN 1832, Illinois; and d. 28 APR 1914, Howe, Nebraska.

The descendants of Hamilton and Maria (Lewis) McCoy were provided by Barbara J. Matthews below:

Hamilton McCoy was born March 22, 1815 in Mason Co., W. VA. He was son of John McCoy and Jane Gilliland, who were married October 29, 1789 in Greenbrier Co., Virginia.

Children of Maria Lewis Cooper McCoy and Hamilton McCoy:

1) John M. McCoy - Born June 18, 1839 in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon Co., IL.  Died April 27, 1863, also at Cotton Hill. He married Sarah Elizabeth Abell on February 7, 1861.  They had two sons, Willard Fillmore McCoy and John M. McCoy, Jr. Writer is descendent of Willard Fillmore McCoy. Both John McCoy and his wife Sarah are buried at South Fork Cemetery, Sangamon, IL. It is behind a church that Abraham Lincoln used to visit and hold court as the Circuit Rider for the district.

2) Samuel McCoy - Born 1840 in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon Co., IL. Never married. Died in the Civil War. Samuel was a Private in Company M, 16th Illinois Calvary, under the command of Captain H. S. Hauchett.  He enlisted in Springfield, Sangamon, IL at Camp Butler on the 24th day of July, 1863.  He was captured at the Battle of Jonesville (in Virginia) on 3 January 1864. He was confined at Libby Prison in Richmond, VA, beginning 16 January 1864.  He ws paroled (i.e., exchanged) at City Point, VA on 16 April 1864.  Samuel was taken to West's U.S. General Hospital in Baltimore, MD, where he died on 21 April 1864 of dysentery, stated as "diarrhea" in the official military records.  His final statements, which are not in the military file, were forwarded to Washington D.C.  He was buried at Loudon Park National Cemetery (at the time known as Loudon Park Cemetery) on the 22 of April, 1864. (The cemetery is located about 2 and 1/2 miles west of Baltimore, off the Baltimore and Frederick Turnpike.) Samuel was a handsome man, with very dark hair.  The writer has a picture of him.

3) Polly McCoy - Born 1842 in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon, IL.  Died 1864 in Cotton Hill Township. Never Married. The writer has a picture of her.  She was very pretty.

4) Alfred McCoy - Born 1843 in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon, IL.  He was in Washington, D.C. when President Lincoln was shot. He married Jane Rhodes. The writer has a picture of him.

5) William McCoy - Born 1845 in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon,IL.  Died 1867 in Cotton Hill. Never Married.

6) David McCoy - Born 1847 in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon, IL. Moved to California and no one seems to know what happened to him or who he married, or if he married.

7)Thomas McCoy - Born 1849 in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon, IL.  Died in infancy.

8) Thomas Preston McCoy - Born 1851 in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon, IL.  He married Margaret M. Berry on December 1, 1870 in Sangamon,IL.

9) James A. McCoy - Born in 1853 in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon, IL. He died in 1875 in Cotton Hill. Never Married.

10) Anna McCoy - Born January 18, 1856 in Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon, IL. Died December 29, 1859 in Cotton Hill. Buried Breckenridge Cemetery, Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon, IL.  Cemetery currently sits in the middle of a farmers property.

11) Isaiah McCoy - Born August 25, 1857 in Cotton Hill, Sangamon, IL.  Died October 7, 1861 in Cotton Hill. Buried Breckenridge Cemetery, Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon, IL. Cemetery currently sits in the middle of a farmer's property.

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