Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rethinking Jacob Hummel

Well, after 4 hours at the Berks County Genealogical Society Library today, I opened many new questions, and answered none, and Jacob Hummel is even more of a mystery.

Through family records, Daniel Hummel's invaluable autobiographical obituary, and Plow Church Records, I am sure of my ancestry from the Jacob Hummel buried in the Plow Church Cemetery.

Question 1: Where is Jacob Hummel From?

According Plow Cemetery Records, Jacob Hummel was born Feb. 4, 1778; he was married to Maria Elizabeth Herbine (buried next to him); and his parents were Michael and Mary Hummel.

Today I went through the books of births from Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and York Counties; the only birth record for Jacob Hummel is a Johan Jacob Hummel, also born in April 1778 to Jacob Hummel, in the Moselem Church Records.

I also noted that the earliest mention of Jacob Hummel in the Robeson Lutheran (Plow) Church records is in 1819. Plow Church was founded in the 1750s. The only children of his recorded as being born and baptized there were the three youngest: Daniel, Catherine, and Tobias.

I have a map of the land records of Robeson Township from 1750: there are no Hummels. But I also have a map of Robeson Township from 1860 that shows 2 Jacob Hummels, and 1 Widow Hummel, so I believe he settled in Robeson Township from somewhere else. I just don't know where yet.

I found a list of passengers from the Fair American, Jesse Fraley, master, which arrived at the Port of Philadelphia Oct. 26, 1805, from Amsterdam, listing as a passenger Jacob Hummel with a family of 4. However, Sara Hummel, his 3rd child, I had originally listed as being born October 24, 1805, which whould have been 2 days before docking in Philadelphia. However, according to the 1850 Census, where her age was listed as 30, leads to the conclusion that she more likely was born about 1820. Maybe my Jacob Hummel did come over on the Fair American in 1805, but I need to research more before I embrace that conclusion.

Next: I think I will try to go through New York records, if I can. I believe there were some Hummel families that originated there; and I will look at other churches local to Plowville and see if I can find a burial record for the husband of Widow Hummel. It's not my Jacob, he died in 1866.

Question 2: Do I list the correct marriage for Jacob Hummel?

I have his marriage to Maria Elizabeth Herbine listed as Sept. 29, 1801, in the Schwartzwald Reformed Church in Exeter Township, PA. According to the Schwartzwald Church Record, Marriages by the Rev. John William Boos, 1781-1811, on Sept. 20, 1801, Jacob Hummel married Elisabetha Hertz, of Robeson, Berks. Despite listing Robeson Twp., I am not sure this is my Jacob Hummel. If it is, and if Philip Hummel's record and DOB are correct, than the wedding was a last-minute shotgun wedding, and he certainly didn't come over on the Fair American.

Question 3: Do I really have his children correct?

I know I have Daniel, Catherina, and Tobias correct from Plow Church records. I have Isaac Hummel correct from Daniel's obituary. I have Sarah correct from the 1850 census. I need to research and verify the rest.


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