Need help with this mystery! I thought I had my Bieber line ironed out long ago, but just noticed a "glitch"! Rev. Beaver's 1939 book, thought to be pretty accurate, says Gideon md. first Catharine Menges 1819-1877 and there were no issue to this union. He married second Rebecca Shook 1844-1934, and all of his 5 children are to her. He lists Catharine & Gideon's marriage as 1949, but this must be erroneous, as the 1850 census finds Gideon still living on his parent's farm with no mention of Catharine, altho there is a slash mark in the "married within the year" line.
But here's the glitch. The first 3 sons of Gideon - Stephen Peter b. 1867, William Henry b.1870 (my gg grandfather), and Aaron Edward b.1876 - were all born while Catharine was still alive (d.1877) and BEFORE he married Rebecca 9 months later in the year of 1877. One might assume then that Catharine was their mother - however, she would've been far too old - 67 when she died in 1877! SO.... who is the mother or parents of these 3 sons? To compound the mystery, I can not find Gideon and family in either the 1860 or 1870 census no matter how I search, any church records for these boys name Rebecca as mother (which may have been because she was step-mom, altho I have wills for everyone else in the line, there is no will at Northumberland Co. for Gideon - only a brief mention of letters of admin. but nothing there, and we find Gideon buried in Turbotville Cemetery with both (and only) these two wives Catharine & Rebecca. I thought perhaps they were adopted when a brother died and so I looked at brother Levi Bieber who did in fact die in 1870, making him the perfect candidate to be the father of these children (and fatherless Gideon, also the oldest of the brothers being the likely candidate to raise them) but I can't find any record of Levi marrying. He is buried with his parents, Samuel & Maria in Turbotville Cem. Surely Gideon was not having children with Rebecca over the course of 10 years while being married to childless Catharine? I'll be digging for any further possible records but does anyone have a clue to this mystery???