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Other Pennsylvania Deutsch Ancestors

The Palatines from the Rhineland arrived in Pennsylvania beginning around 1730 and right up to around the time of the Revolutionary War. Because they settled at first on land purchased from William Penn, They were in close proximity to one another. This led to very tight knit communities and a tradition of marriages between other German immigrants. Therefore, the history of other branches of the Riegel line are very similar. They came from the same area, made the same treacherous journey up the Rhine River, crossed the Atlantic to Philadelphia, and started new lives in a wild new world very different from where they came. But the values, norms, traditions and faith helped them to transform the wilderness into thriving communities with farms, mills, textile factories, and other manufacturing that helped to form the heartland of Pennsylvania. Some of the names of my ancestors include the Rohrbachs, Fenstemechers, Startzlers, Mittlemyers, Kleins, Kintakers, Plattners, TsCudys, and Mosers.

I was able to trace my great grandmother, Harriet Rohrbach,(1863-1924) back to Hans George Rohrbach (1708-1760) and Christina Moser (1708-1762) in the Rheinland. Unable to go further back with the Rohrbachs, I started tracing the Mosers. Here I found a family whose origins were actually in Canton, Bern, Switzerland as far back as 1459. For three successive generations, the only name given was the surname Moser, successive dates 1459, 1485, and 1510. In 1539, I have the name of Hans Moser Mosimann and his wife, Barbel Engel. The Mosers appear in the Rheinland in 1658 with one Johann Michael Moser, who died in 1716.His wife was Eva Mittlemyer (1630-?).

The Riegel Family: A sojourn From The Rhineland To Pennsylvania Part III

The American Riegel family that I trace my roots to began with a journey by Johannes Cornelius Riegel, his wife Anna Gertruitha and their seven children.With permission from the Authorities, They left the Rhineland-Palatinate region journeying for two months down the Rhine River to Rotterdam. That in itself must have been torturous, but it was nothing compared to what was ahead of them.The area they were leaving, often referred to as the Palatinate, must have been dear to them. It lay west of the Rhine, actually in Bavaria, and bordered the countries of Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Residents were known as Palatines, and the Riegels had called this beautiful country their home for centuries. And to know that were about to step onto an extremely crowded ship that would take them to a wilderness they had probably bought sight unseen....
(documents that remain in Germany support this)Surely they were hopeful, but they must felt much anxiety and uncertainty.But the devastation of the Thirty Years War and the religious persecution left my ancestors with few options.Having had some measure of wealth, it seems they used up all the resources they had to purchase the faraway land and pay for the passage of themselves and whatever personal property they were allowed.If they were fortunate , if their ship was too crowded with people, arrangements might be made for another ship to carry their belongings. So the Riegels prepared themselves, stepped aboard the crowded vessel and were soon on their way to Philadelphia.

There were three general periods of German Immigration to Pennsylvania: The first occurred beginning in 1683 and ended with the coming of the Swiss Mennonites in 1710 This period saw the establishment of Germantown: The second was from 1710 to 1727, when official statistics began to be published; The third extended to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, when all immigration ceased for a time. It was during the third period that the Palatines began to arrive, including the Riegels. Upon reaching Pennsylvania, all males over the age of sixteen were required to sign an oath...a declaration of allegiance and subjection to the King of Great Britain and fidelity to the Proprietary of Pennsylvania.

Two sons of Johann Cornelius arrived in Pennsylvania a year earlier: Matthias and Jorg Wilhelm.( my direct ancestor)Johann Cornelius moved right away to a small township named Tulpehocken after his business in Philadelphia. Matthias chose to remain in Bucks County, But Jorg Wilhelm(who later Americanized his name to George William) reunited with his parents where they founded a family home on Mill Creek. the land was very rugged, with deer trails and Indian trails the only roads, but as years went by, an impressive farm emerged.

Germans excelled in many trades, and Pennsylvania provided them with the resources to excel in industry, agriculture, and many other fields of endeavors.While all of Johann Cornelius' sons, and he himself were farmers at first, some soon branched out into such endeavors as paper mills, grist mills,textiles , etc. They became solid citizens in their new land, building schools, churches, and villages. Even today, these Pennsylvania Deutsch are recognized nationwide as being solid, honest, hard working people, and I'm thankful that some of those values were instilled in me.

The Riegel Family: A Sojourn From The Rhineland To Pennsylvania: Part II

Rheinland-Phalz was involved in the "Thirty Years' War" from 1818 to 1648 during which time the country was turned from prosperous to a wilderness of uncultivated land.In 1621 the country was under Spanish rule. All of the rulers of northern Europe...Spain, England , Holland,and the Germans were united against King Louis XIV of France. The French king could not cope with such a force,so he was quoted as saying about the Rhineland," If the soil of the Palatinate was not to furnish supplies to the French, it should be so wasted that it would at least furnish no supplies to the Germans."Whole villages were set ablaze,crops were plowed under,And orchards and vineyards were destroyed. Research indicates that the damage suffered during World War II in that area was minimal compared to this. The population of the region decreased from 17 million to just 4 million during this period. The war finally ended with the treaty of Rhyswick signed in 1697. The great William Penn visited the area both in 1671 and 1677 and offered residents a home in his Province in America. There they could live without war and persecutions and under laws they would share in making. Several thousand acres were sold, and one of the first settlements was Germantown, Pennsylvania. Mattheies Riegell,b.abt. 1613, d. abt.1670 Married Maria Werner,b.abt 1616, d. abt.1669. This couple were the forebearers of many, if not most of all Riegels(or such variants as Riggle, Reigel, etc.)who came from Germany to Pennsylvania.The next generation was Jost Riegell,1635-1688) and his wife Maria Elizabetha Hoenen (1635-1689). Their son Johannes Cornelius Riegel, would establish his family in Pennsylvania. The next journal will address the beginnings of life in Pennsylvania

The Riegel Family : A Sojourn From the Rhineland to Pennsylvania.Part I

My mother's maiden name was Riegel, a solid "Pennsylvania Deutsch" name that had origins in the
Palatinate Region of Germany, in the Rhineland. Some confuse the Pennsylvania Dutch with the Amish or Mennonites, but that is not the case.Their faith was based on the German Reformed, Calvinist in nature.

I was fortunate to find a wealth of information regarding the Riegels on Family Tree Maker.com and Ancestry.com. I was surprised to find that most of the information from FTM was obtained through the Mormon Church of Germany from their genealogical index. And what a treasure trove it is! I can actually trace my lineage back to 1332...Knight Riegeler in Wurttemburg Germany.His son was Christian Riegel, born 1390 in Zwickau, Saxony.Christian had two children, Joseph Riegel,b. abt.1420, and Johanna Riegel, b. abt1430, both at Zwickau, Saxony. There is a gap here that the researcher notes When Christoff Riegel appears, born abt 1552 in Chemnitz, Saxony.He is married to Christina Rebentisch,b. abt.1590. It is this union that produced Matheis Riegel, B.February 2,1607. He also has a brother and a sister, But it is Matheis whose descendants are my direct ancestors and the progenitor of a great many Riegels who now call Pennsylvania their home.

A little history is pertinent to understand what caused the exodus of many Germans from Rheinland-Pfalz area during the 1700's.During the Middle Ages, The Palatinate(as it was called)had been among the most powerful and influential of the German states.The Reformation flourished here, under very tolerant rulers.The country along the Rhine was known as the garden of Europe, and was the home of the University of Heidelberg, renowned as one the most influential and oldest seats of learning in Europe. And in this environment, The Riegel family flourished, being established and relatively wealthy. But the tides of fortune would shift dramatically with the advent of the Thirty Years'War. I'll write more about this in the next entry.

1 comment(s), latest 1 year, 5 months ago

The Shamblin Family: Two More Horse Soldiers and a Great Grandmother.

Surnames and their meanings have always fascinated me. The Shamblin name is a variation of the name Chamberlain, which has several other variations.The meaning of the name is Chamber Keeper, and later would come to hold a position of great prominence.In effect, Chamberlains took care of the household of nobles. The Shamblin family probably came to Virginia from England. The furthest person I can trace my lineage back to is Isaack Shamblin, born about 1775 in Virginia. He was married to Martha S. Cunningham, born about 1765, also in Virginia. She died in March 1850.They had five children, one of whom was George Shamblin, my gggrandfather, born in 1804 1n Jackson County West Virginia, and died January 25, 1862. He married Barbara Ellen Parsons, my gggrandmother, January 9, 1822. She died April 14, 1871. They had nine children, one of whom was my g grandmother Harriet Shamblin. She was born about 1844, date of death unknown. She was the second wife of Jackson Garnes, My ggrandfather, who was born May 30, 1830 and died February fourth, 1910. While Jackson had nine children by his first wife, Elizabeth Burdette (1837-1874), he had three children by Harriet. One was my Grandfather Robert Harlow Garnes.

The roster of the West Virginia 3rd Cavalry co. G held some surprising information. In doing research for a previous journal,in which I wrote about Jackson Garnes and his triplet brother serving in that Union regiment, I recalled seeing the Shamblin name on the roster. To my astonishment, Lawson and Isaiah Shamblin were the older brothers of my great grandmother Harriet! To say the least, The West Virginia 3rd was well represented by my ancestors. Incidentally, the brother's first cousin Jesse Shamblin served in the confederate army and was wounded, captured, escaped, captured again and released at the end of the war.

The Parsons: My Curious But Fascinating Lineage!

The Parsons Family Came to America from England. The farthest back I can trace is to William Parsons and his wife Martha Hughes. Their son Charles and his first wife Elizabeth Chestnut founded the Parsons family in Jackson County West Virginia to which I trace my lineage.Curiously, I trace both my Paternal grandfather AND grandmother to the exact line until it diverges at the fourth generation.In addition to those already named, there follows John Parsons and his wife Mary Greathouse, and it is here that the line diverges.From this point, My grandfather's line is Barbara Ellen Parsons married to George Shamblin; Harriet Shamblin married Jackson Garnes; Robert Harlow Garnes(my grandfather) married Ica Dora Randolph (my grandmother)From the line of divergence, my grandmother's line continues:Charles Todd Parsons married Lucy Ann Truman; Phoebe Ann Parsons married George Alexander Randolph; Ica Dora Randolph married Robert Harlow Garnes.

Charles Parsons was a hardy pioneer who saw active service in the Indian Wars of the last half of the eighteenth century. According to author John House, an authority on Jackson County history, Parsons had a significant role in opening up the country west of the Allegheny Mountains. He had twelve children by two wives, and was a prominent figure in the county.Indians were not the only danger in the land at that time. Parsons was known to have confrontations with bears and had several prized bear dogs.

Parsons owned one hundred Acres of land on the Upper Mill Creek Bottoms and probably more in other locations. Although he served the state of Virginia for several years as an Indian scout, his only renumeration was a black silk handkerchief. He died sometime between 1820 and 1830 and is buried on the farm at Baptist Grove Cemetery.

Thomas and Polly Carney: My Ancestors

The Carney Family was established in Jackson County when John Carney, accompanied by his son Thomas came to Mill Creek. There, about a a half mile above Harpold Ford a small run comes into Mill Creek. Nearby they built cabin. a John was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, having lost two sons in that conflict.He was born in Prince William County Virginia about 1730 to Irish parents who traced their lineage to a Thomas Carney of Ireland about 1640( I can find nothing that shows from where in Ireland he originated ). One reason the Carney's left Ireland was because of strife between Catholics and Protestants.
Thomas served the state of Virginia for 8 years as an Indian scout and underwent many hazardous and dangerous adventures in that occupation. His wife Polly, sister of the famous Captain Billy Parsons was born 1 January, 1773 and married Thomas sometime in 1793 also had many adventures in Thomas' absence. At times of Indian hostility she sometimes had to hurry her family off to a nearby fort for protection. Once she spent hours in a tree top until her brother rescued her and took her to the fort. She was often engaged in caring for the sick and wounded at such times.
Thomas was the owner of a good deal of choice land,and one report speaks of a slave burial ground. It is said that he owned bottom lands " from the Bonnett farm to and including the Keenan farm and a mile and a half above." He was a person of significance in Jackson County, and many in the county trace their lineage to him.
In summary, Thomas Carney was born October 15 1768 and died October 19,1846. Polly Carney was born January 1, 1773 and died December 4, 1863. They are buried at Mount Clavary Cemetery. I trace my lineage to them throgh my grandmother, Ica Dora Randolph

My Paternal Famiy Line of Descent.William Gary Garnes (Garnabee)

Joseph Garnes I m. Sarah Tapley; desc. Joseph II (died 1851) married Margaret (Peggy) Minnick;desc. Andrew Jackson Garnes(b.30 May 1830, d.4 Feb. 1910) m. Harriet Shamblin; desc. Robert Harlow Garnes(b.3 May 1881, d. july 1963) m. Ica Dora Randolph(b.6 Jan.1882, d.1967) desc. William Kenna(Richard)Garnes(b 12 Apr. 1912 d Feb 1977) m.Olive Irene Riegel( b Feb.1916, d.25 Dec.24 1987) desc. William Gary Garnes(b.28 Aug. 1950-)m. Ruth Mary Lowe(b18 Aug. died 30 July 1986) 2nd Wife Patricia Kay Morgan( b. 30 Oct.1957 -) Desc. Christina Joann Garnes (b 2May 1977), Benjamin Alan Garnes (b 9 Oct 1981) both by 1st wife, and Seth William Garnes by 2nd wife.

Insights, Observations, And Comments Regarding West Virginia Cavalrymen

The Cavalry soldier was equipped very different than the Infantryman, the obvious difference being his horse.Horses were generally geldings or mares three six years of age,sound, strong, and spirited. While the foot soldier usually only carried one weapon, a single shot carbine rifle,, the trooper carried three;the rifle, and either a .36 or .44 colt revolver( some troopers carried two revolvers) and a saber.They looked quite impressive astride their mounts, ready to charge into battle, and by most accounts they were. Note this quote from General Milroy, who was in command of Union soldiers at Winchester Va. They had just been attacked by Confederate Cavalry who then left quickly to join a larger body of Confederates.A decision was made to pursue the confederates at a distance to acsertain their strength. General Milroy stated,"I would like to see some West Virginia boys out at the front of the movement." Two companies of the W.V. 3rd and one from the First rode some distance ahead.This shows just how whip tough these mountaineers were! Well, the Confederate cavalry doubled back, fierce fighting ensued, and the troops in the rear joind the fray from an unexpected direction. The result? The Confederates broke and ran , galloping down the valley. The leader of the vanquished rebels was none other than Jeb Stuart himself!

Observations by others. Note what Arthur J.David Petruzzi sas about them," While they may have had many of the same reasons for being there as their counterparts from Pennsylvania, New York, and Illinois, one factor set them apart from the others; The men of the 3rd were Southerners, men who until recently had called themselves Virginians. "...these men felt abandoned when the Old Dominion Virginia seceded from the Union....many of them felt more of a kinship with their neighbors on the Ohio an Pennsylvania borders." And so, tough, independent, free thinking men and women pulled together to become citizens of a proud new state...West Virginia.

The Garnes Family" A West Virginia Saga Part III

Joseph and Peggy Garnes embarked on a life journey on their 200 acre estate that would result in a family of nine children. Amazingly, the last three were triplet sons! They were: Mary Phoebe; Tapley; Susanna; Adam; Eleanor; George W.; and Andrew Jackson, Joseph III, and James... the triplets, born May 30, 1830. That triplets not only survived the birth process, but actually lived to adulthood was truly a testament to the fine care and nurturing these three received.And although it seems James was plagued with health issues and never married, he lived well into adulthood. And Jackson and Joseph? They served in the Union Army, West Virginia 3rd Cavalry, co. G. The West Virginia 3rd is legendary! and a memorial is placed at Gettysburg in honor of their brave contributions.(Tapley Garnes also served in the Jackson County Home Guard for the Union Army,as did his son Dr.Franklin Garnes). The accounts of the West Virginia Cavalry, including the 3rd. is the topic of an article by J. David Petruzzi titled "Hoofbeats and Cold Steel" which you can easily find online.. In fact, just type "WV 3rd cavalry" in the search bar and you will get a wealth of information from many sources.

The Garnes family flourished in Jackson County, and there are landmarks that bear the name: Garnes Knob, the highest summit in Jackson County is one example.They entered marriage unions with the Randolphs, the Parsons, the Shamblins, the Burdettes, the Boggesses, to name a few. But what I am amazed by is the resilience of my people, how a Welsh groomsman brought an Irish Lady to a wild new place and set into motion a wonderul legacy for those who followed. and how two triplet brothers were handed down the love of the horse and rode their way into history. I would be remiss if I did not let you know how things turned out for these two. Unfortunately, Joseph died at Danbury Prison of dysentery on November5,1864. He left behind a wife and two daughters. And fortunately for me Andrew Jackson Garnes survived! He actually had two families by successive wives, Elizabeth Burdett who bore him nine chilren (sadly she died 6/14/1874) and Harriet Shamblin, with whom he had three more. His last Child, Robert Harlow Garnes, is my paternal grandfather.

4 comment(s), latest 2 years, 9 months ago