The book Right Here in Squirrel Hill, written by Hodge MacIlvain Eagleson in 1953, states that Jacob and Rachel Castleman were neighbors of John and Susanna Turner and describes Jake as being an irascible man. The book goes on to say that Rachel was a Methodist and was buried in Turner Cemetery, but Jake was Presbyterian and refused to be buried there, so he was laid to rest in the old Beulah Presbyterian Burying Ground in what is now Wilkins Township, Pa., about 7 miles away from Turner’s. Jacob’s large, flat tablet gravestone still exists. (Note: Turner Cemetery was originally the burial plot on the Turner farm and was used informally as the neighborhood graveyard until Turner willed it to his community in 1840. It was nondenominational, but the Turners were Methodists.) A second tablet gravestone labeled “Castleman” is in Beulah Burying Ground, but the identity of that person is unknown. Perhaps it is one of the daughters.

The Warrantee Atlas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 1914, depicts original 1700s-era land grants of the early settlers. The map of the Squirrel Hill area shows that the Castleman and Turner properties abutted each other. The Castleman property is named “Castlemania.”

Information found on about Jacob and Rachel Castleman states that although more than one Jacob Castleman lived in western Pennsylvania at the time, family legends say the Jacob Castleman of Squirrel Hill was a son of William and Anna Margaret (Salzman) Casselman, but no positive proof has been found. Jacob was their sixth child, born in Frederick County, Va. Jake and Rachel had four daughters: Mary (1775-1852), Susannah (unknown), Margaret (d. 1855) and Rachel (unknown). The surnames of the children are spelled “Casselman” on the website, but Rachel’s tombstone in Turner Cemetery clearly shows the spelling of her surname as “Castleman.”

The records that appear to be for the Jacob Castleman who lived on Squirrel Hill are as follows: In 1778 Thomas Gist (it is possible Gist is a misreading of Girty) deeded to Jacob Castleman 300 acres 4 miles southeast of Fort Pitt for £450, recorded July 6, 1786. In 1781, Jacob Castleman of Pitt Twp. deeded to William Reddin 70 acres for £70, part of land bought from Thomas Girty.  The Reddin family (spelled Redding on tombstones in Turner Cemetery and Reading in other sources) were also neighbors of the Turners. Thomas Girty was John Turner’s oldest half-brother and had lived on the Girty-Turner farm in Squirrel Hill until he moved away.

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