It has been difficult to find any documentation of the various Harley families mentioned in the USA or Canada. However this family was found in the 1910 census in Holt County NE, living next door to August and Catherine Walter, all children born in Nebraska

August 47 and Catherine 42 Walter Canadian-German [This August would be Jacob's oldest son, ] married 1888, 5 children-
Casper J. F. 21
[John 20]
[Eli 19]
Otto 14
Frida Levina 12
John J 45 and Dorothea 50 Harley Canadian-German 5 children/4 living-
Casper W. H. 21
Magdelena M. R. 18
John J.Jr 14
Alma A. D. 5

In the 1900 census there is an even more remarkable listing, with mother Christina Walter [Aug 1844] living in the same John J. Harley household, along with Canadian born brother-in-laws George A [Feb 1872] and Alphred [Oct 1884] Walter. This Christina Walter was mother of 12 children same as Jacob's wife including a George [1874] and Alfred [1887]. John Walter refers to an Uncle John Harley in his story, so that could be the father to John J found in the census. I would have to guess that Uncle John was married to Elizabeth (Jacob's sister) because John said Elizabeth was married to a Harley originally.

All the foregoing makes perfect sense, except when you examine the 1900 census for the John Walter household in Holt County and find besides Mary and the 5 oldest children, both Jacob and Christine R. [July 1844] are shown as resident parents. And the brother George [Feb 1874] is listed here as well. Could they have been double counted? Is Nebraska just part of a parallel universe? No, but the Walter and Harley families in any case were closely related in both Canada and Nebraska.

Jacob's wife Christina R Walter of course would not have been the "mother" of John Harley as stated in the 1900 census, perhaps the actual relation of this Christina to head-of-household John Harley was too complex to state. Also Elizabeth [Walter] and Uncle John Harley did not have children according to the story, certainly not a boy about the age of John Walter. But in the story, John Walter immigrates to the US with his friend John Harley and this must be the Harley found in the census above.

John J. Jr is married to Mary [1901] in the 1920 census but still living with parents and occupation was weigher at the Atkinson city scales.The 1930 Holt County census for John J and Dorothea gives the immigration year as 1886 and married in 1888 .

Harley, Kasper W
Oct 4,1968 Atkinson Graphic


born Feb 12,1889,in a sod house on his parent’s homestead near Holt Creek
son of John and Dorothea Walters Harley
married Miss Carolina S Brown on June 15,1915 at Chambers
died Friday at Atkinson October 1968
buried Woodlawn Cem, Atkinson
children: Viola Garwood, Hilda Snyder, Rev Vernon, Arthur E, Elvin E
brother: John J
sister: Lena Grosse, Alma Kuntze, one who died in infancy


back to John Walter's story