Monday, August 9, 2010

From Brecknock to Robeson

There are times when research is fairly easy: an index easily finds the targeted record, enabling the researcher to go right to the proper page in the proper journal; and there waits the piece to the puzzle the researher needed.

Then there are the times where there is no index to point the researcher to the targed information. Then it's time start skimming and scanning page after page.

During a discussion about Jacob Hummel's origins, my distant cousin / fellow researcher informed me that Jacob's son Isaac was said to have been born in Brecknock Township, which borders Robeson Towhship in Berks County. My goal today at the Genealogical Society library was to see if I could find his birth record and establish the Hummel family presence there.

There was no index this time. Birth records were only indexed until 1800.

Time to skim and scan…

Then I struck a few little nuggets of gold.

In a hard-to-read photocopy of a handwritten-in-German record of the Allegheny Lutheran Church, in Brecknock Township I found the birth and baptismal records of Jacob's children Johan (in 1804), Sarah (in 1805), and Jacob Jr (in 1807). This record rules out my earlier hunch that Jacob Hummel may have come to America abord the Fair American in 1805.

There is a gap in the Allegheny Church record from 1809 to 1860, so somewhere between 1809 and 1819 Jacob Hummel either moved a little further east into Robeson Township or, since there is a rather close proximity between the two churches, merely moved his church membership from Allegheny to Plow Church.

My next step may need to be at the Berks County Recorder of Deeds Office to see if I can find the land records to more concretely establish his resicendy in Robeson Township.

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