John Sourbeck was born on November 11, 1786 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, the son of Daniel & Margaret Sourpeck. He married his first wife was Lydia Hemphill, around 1810, in Cumberland County. They had the following children: Daniel E (1812-1883), Dorcas (1814-1886), Margaret (1816-1852), Jane (1818-1841), Joseph T (1820-1857), (John (1821-1864), Adaline (1824-Deceased), James W (1829-1873), Elizabeth (1831-1889), Mary Sourbeck (1831-1901). Lydia died on December 14, 1831, the same year she gave birth to her last child, Mary.
John remarried to Sarah Ann Collier (1804-1886) widow of Samuel Fahnestock, on August 2, 1832, at Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, at the First Evangelical Church. The record shows that they were living at the “Harrisburg Bridge", this County. They had the following children: Caroline (1834-deceased), George Washington (1837-1891), Sarah Ann (1821-1940), and William Henry Harrison (1845-1930).
He was a business man and a proprietor, and at times involved in politics. At one time, he formed and association called, “John Sourbeck and Associates.” Could find no more information on this.
1839-"History of Cumberland County, PA," by Rev. Conway P. Wing, D.D., page 204, New Cumberland, "In 1839, John G. Miller, Dr. Mateer, Dr. Asa White, and John Sourbeck were interested in mercantile pursuits."
1844-tax rates for East Pennsborough Twp., Cumberland Co., PA, John Sourbeck is listed as a tenant (didn't own land), tavernkeeper, one cow and one horse.
1847, Jul 13- "Telegraph," Harrisburg, PA, page 1--"On Saturday afternoon last, Messrs. John Sourbeck, Christian Kendig, Jonathan Novinger, and a Mr. Graham went fishing in the Susquehanna, at Dauphin, in a skiff. They had not got far into the river before the skiff ran upon a rock-in getting it off, three, Messrs. Sourbeck, Kendig, and Graham, got upon the rock, where Mr. Graham slipped, and in his endeavoring to save himself, he caught hold of Mr. Sourbeck, and pulled him into the water. A struggle ensued to save themselves by the boat, which was upset in the attempt, when all three were obliged to save themselves in the best way they could. Mr. Sourbeck, who could not swim, immediately sank. Mr. Graham could swim and made for shore, but sunk before he reached it. Mr. Novinger clung to the boat until he was rescued. Mr. Kendig remained on the rock until he was taken off the rock by a boat from shore. Two of the four were thus suddenly launched into eternity within a few moments after they had left their friends on an excursion, more of an amusement than a utility. Mr. Sourbeck was a man of over fifty years ago, extensively known, having for many years kept the tavern at the West end of the Harrisburg bridge; he was keeping a public tavern at Dauphin at the time of his death. Mr. Graham, who was from Perry County, near Newport, we are informed, and was attached to the Engineer Corps engaged in locating the Pennsylvania Rail Road. They both left families to lament their loss."
Jonathan Novinger was related to John's wife Sarah through the Collier line.
According to a story passed down through the generations, when they went to inform Sarah that John had drown, she knew what they were going to tell her, because she had a dream the night before that John drowned. This was told to me by Lucius Warren Johnson, Jr., (1923-2013), who was the second great-grandson of John and Sarah, and has in his possession letters, documents and photos from the late 1800's to early 1900's, which he sent copies to me. Some of these are on this website, and I will continue to add them until complete.