Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why I Believe I Have Found the Correct Ancestors of Jacob Hummel

While I still need to do more research to solidify the connection that the Michael Hummel who died in 1792 is the same Michael Hummel who was born in 1755, I am 90% sure that he is, and that these early ancestors are the correct ancestors of my family:

Based on several United States Census records, Jacob Hummel was born in Pennsylvania in 1778. As I have blogged before, I have found, through Jacob's 1866 funeral record recorded by Reverend Aaron Leinbach, Jacob Hummel's parents were named Michael and Mary (Ziegler) Hummel. However, it has been very difficult trying to find any Michael Hummels in colonial America.

The big breakthrough on Michael Hummel was the 1792 probate document addressed “To Jacob Ziegler brother-in-law of Michael Hummel, late a Soldier in the service of the United States.”

This was huge, because in my research I have found only one Revolutionary War record for one Michael Hummel.  He served in the 6th Company, 2nd Battalion, Berks County Militia, at least from 1777-1778.

The 6th Company, 2nd Battalion, Berks County Militia was formed in Richmond Township, Berks County, PA, where a Johan Michael Hummel (all of his brothers were born 'Johann' something) was born and baptized in 1755, the son of Georg Philip Hummel. At this time little is known of this Michael, but he would have been in 21 when Pennsylvania authorized the formation of the local militia.  Each militia company was formed in the local townships.  The closest for Michael, if he moved from Oley Township to Windor -and his family- would have been this Richmond Township militia company.

(This record has been previously subscribed to a Michael Hummel who was born in 1723, who left Birlenbach, Germany with his wife Anna Maria Margaret (Unknown), and settled in what is now Lower Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County. I believe this is incorrect: if that Michael Hummel enlisted in the militia, he would have been in either the 1st or 2nd Companies, 3rd Battalion, which were formed in Brunswick Township.  As a large landowner, he would have also probably been an officer, not a private.)

Anecdotaly,  it seems to have been a very strong tradition to use common family names such as Jacob, Daniel, Philip, Peter, Maria, when naming children. I find these names in the families of Jacob Hummel, Georg Philip's nephew, who settled in Windsor Township, Berks, then Snyder County, and the family of Jacob Hummel (my 4th great grandfather) who settled in Robeson Township, Berks County. The naming patterns are so similar that I have had to be very careful not to confuse the two families.

If I am correct -and I believe I am- then Michael Hummel’s father was Georg Philip Hummel.  Philip Hummel (as he was known) was born in Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany, in 1724, the 2nd-oldest son of Johannes Jacob Hummel. 

Jacob  Hummel (as he was also known) traveled down the Rhine with his family, left Rotterdam and arrived in Phildelphia in 1743.  Based on what remains of his will, he settled in Windsor Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania probably near what is now Lenhartsville, PA.

According to will records, When Jacob Hummel died, he willed his farm to his son Jacob.  Philip moved and settled in Exeter Towhship, probably near Oley Township, in Berks County.  He died in 1758.  According to will records his older brother, Jacob Hummel from Windsor Township found a guardian (looks like named Knab) from Oley Township to raise his 3 children, one of whom was Michael.

This also means that we descendents are all the children of Jacob Hummel, my 7th-great grandfather, the ancestor who first settled in the New World.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Zollernalbkreis, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

In 1743, the ship Rosanna, James Reason, master, arrived in Philadelphia from Rotterdam, carrying the family of Johannes Jacob Hummel. Why the Hummels left Zollernalbkreis, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany is unknown, I would like to believe for the freedom worship God as they believed, because Johannes must have already been highly successful in Germany; it was a huge financial undertaking to move a family of 7 from Germany to America. Legend has it that Johannes died enroute, but his family, along with his son, 19-year-old Georg Philip.

The family of Johannes Jacob Hummel settled near Moselem Springs, in Richmond Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

In 1749 Georg Philip Hummel married Maria Barbara Seb and they had the following children:

Maria Elizabeth
Johan Jacob in 1751
Johan Michael in 1755
Johan Philip in 1756

In 1758, Georg Philip, like his father, suffered a premature death, leaving his young family behind.

In 1777, as the American Revolution escalated, Michael enlisted in the 6th Company, 2nd Battalion, Berks County Militia, under Captain Michael Vogue. Sometime prior Michael married Mary Ziegler, and in February 1778, Jacob was born.

Like his father, and his father before him, Michael died prematurely in 1792, leaving his wife and 14-year-old Jacob.

Jacob grew to manhood and fathered 13 children with his wife Elizabeth. His 10th child was Daniel, who was a successful merchant, who had 2 sons, one of which was F. Pierce Hummel of Reading, PA, who had Wayne Hummel, who was the father of Monroe Hummel, my grandfather.

These are my ancestors.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Michael Hummel, My 5th-Great Grandfather, "A Soldier in the Service of the United States"

Over the years I have leaned that I should follow my gut-instinct; it seldom lets me down.  This was one of those times:

Colonial-era records of anyone named Michael Hummel in Pennsylvania are hard to come by; hard enough, in fact, that I had begun to have doubts that the Robeson Lutheran Cemetery's records were even correct naming his parents as Michael and Mary (Ziegler) Hummel.  However, recently, in trying to confirm the Robeson Lutheran Cemetery's type-written record, I discovered photocopies of the original hand-written records of a Rev. Aaron Leinbach, who performed Jacob Hummel's funeral, and confirmed that Jacob's parents were indeed Michael and Mary (Ziegler).

There are plenty of records of a Michael Hummel, born in 1723, who came to America in 1753 and settled in the mountains north of Port Clinton, PA and who's descendents still live in Northern Berks and Southern Schuylkill Counties.  However, what I know about him doesn't mesh with what I know about Jacob, so my gut instinct told me they probably aren't related, unless there is a Michael in-between (which is still possible).

I recently blogged about a record of a Michael Hummel who died in Lancaster County, PA, in 1792.  I discovered this record a while ago, and my gut has been nagging me to search for the substance behind this 1-line record.  So I finally sent en email to the Lancaster Archives for whatever record they have.  On Saturday I received the Letters of Administration, addressed as follows:

The magnitude of this breakthrough cannot be overstated!  Through these two records I have now confirmed, at least to my satisfaction:

  • Jacob Hummel was indeed the son of Michael and Mary (Ziegler) Hummel
  • Michael Hummel served in the United States (Continental) Army
  • Michael Hummel settled in Lancaster County, PA
  • Michael Hummel died in July 1792, when Jacob was only 14

Now I can focus my search for my 5th-Great Grandfather, Lancaster County resident Michael Hummel, Revolutionary War Veteran.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Royal St. John

This is another neat little gem!

Based on the two biographies I have of him, I have learned that my 3rd-great grandfather, Daniel Hummel, was an agent for the Royal St. John Sewing Machine Company, at 850 Penn St., Reading, after his term as Berks County Recorder of Deeds.  I have also learned that the Royal St. John Sewing Machine Co., for marketing, used to print trading cards which their agents could pass around. 

Well, in doing some random research I discovered that the Smithsonian has a digital image of a Royal St. John trading card from Daniel Hummel's store!

While I have the catalog reference record, I don't have library access to the Smithsonian's system, so I can't get the image myself.  I emailed their library staff; hopefully they will be helpful in obtaining it for me.

UPDATE: Courtesy of the Archives of the Smithsonian Insitution, here is the front of Daniel Hummel's Royal St. John sewing machine trading card:

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Tribute to George William Hummel, 1921-2011

Another generation begins its passing into history.

Today I attended the funeral service of my dad's cousin, George William "Cousin Georgie" Hummel. Georgie was the oldest of my dad's generation of the descendants of Jacob Hummel, though his son Daniel.

George was born September 14, 1921, and died August 20, 2011.

I finally got to meet him in January this year. At that time I shared with him what I have learned about our ancestors, and gave him a folder with some brief information on the preceding Hummels. His daughter told me today that he was very thankful for the knowledge, and spoke of it often.

I learned from him that when his father left his mother when he was young, my grandfather, Monroe Hummel, became a father figure to him. He died 24 years -to the day- of my Pop-Pop's death.

His obituary is as follows:

George William Hummel, age 89 of Douglassville PA, died on Saturday August 20, 2011, at the Keystone Villa at Douglassville, Amity Twp., PA. He was the husband of the late Eleanor (Zeleski) Hummel, who died in March of 2011.

Born in Reading, PA, he was the son of the late Wayne and Mary (Stewart) Hummel.

Mr. Hummel was an Army Veteran serving his country during World War II. He worked for the Dana Corp. as a machinist for 37 years.

He enjoyed archery, hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling.

Survivors include two daughters: Jo-Ann, wife of Stephen Pronchick of Douglassville, PA; Barbara Ann Gable of East Greenville, PA; five grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Playwright

Today, searching in Google, I came across a forgotten treasure:

In 1888, F. Pierce Hummel, my great great grandfather, wrote a play! I found it in the Open Library.

The URL is

The play is titled "A Knight of Labor, or The Master Workan's Vow."

I can't wait to read it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another Lead Turns Up

I know I previously blogged about a hunch that maybe the reason that I can't find Jacob's parents, Michael and Mary (Ziegler) Hummel, is because Jacob may be the ancestor that came over from Germany. However, I can't get past the fact that in every census Jacob is reported to be born in Pennsylvania. Since I have found that the US Census is pretty accurate, I've reconsidered.

I have learned that Jacob Hummel's funeral was officiated by the Reverend Aaron Leinbach. It was Rev. Leinbach who recorded Jacob's parents as being Michael and Mary (Ziegler) Hummel.

So, the search for Jacob's father, Michael Hummel who settled in Pennsylvania, goes on...

In the search for Michael Hummel, I found another lead to follow. On I found a record for a Michael Hummel I have not found before, this one down in Lancaster County:

An Index to the Will Books and Intestate Records of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania 1729 - 1850.

Name: Michael Hummel
Year: 1792.

If this is him, it may explain how Jacob was able to buy a 57-acre farm in 1798, when he was only 20. Just guessing, but it may be that his father was a well-to-do farmer, just as Jacob had become, and when he died Jacob may have received a sizable inheritance. Being only 12 at the time, his inheritance would have been in the care of someone else, perhaps his mother, until he came of age.

Next will be to contact the Lancaster County Register of Wills to see what I can turn up. I also had been adivsed by an older genealogist to research the Pennsyvania Archives, Volume 3, to see if I can find a Michael Hummel.

Here's hopeing this lead turns into something.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Reading Adler

Another potential gem has been discovered in the search for Jacob Hummel and his ancestry!

Today at the Tri County Heritage Society I discovered an index record of Jacob Hummel's obituary from The Reading Adler, a Pennsylvania German newspaper published in Reading, PA during the 18th & 19th centuries:

Oct 29 Edition
Oct 23 Jacob Hummel 88/8/18 Rob T

The next step will be to obtain the obitiary from the Adler. Hopefully, it will reveal something of Jacob's origin. Any volunteers to translate it from German?

Back in Business

Due to my change in position at work as well as adding some volunteer work, it's been awhile since I have been able to do any serious research. Ironically, I forked over the money for a year's subscription to which I haven't had much time to use.

Today, I was able to stop in, for the first time, at the Tri County Heritage Society, in Morgantown, PA. Morgantown borders Robeson and Brecknock Townships, where Jacob Hummel lived and his children were born.

While there I was able to obtain a Biographical sketch of Daniel Hummel that I have never seen before. It originally appeared in the January 26, 1883 edition of The News, a Reading newspaper of that time. The article states that Jacob, his father was "a well-to-do and respectable farmer" of Robeson Township.

Daniel's early career was as a school teacher; he first taught at the Plow School where he obtained his education, now a private residence on Buck Hollow Rd, near Rt. 10 (See Picture). He also taught in schools at Cross Roads (now known as Hummel's Store), Yocum's, adn Gromling's, in Cumru Township, for 10 years, until he started his first store.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

For Those Who Are Descended from David Hummel, of Wolf Creek, Mercer County, PA

This may rock a boat...I know it rocked 1 before...

1. Is Philip Hummel of Wolf Creek, Mercer County, PA, Truly the Son of Jacob Hummel of Robeson Township PA?

According to Morton Montgomery, in his "Biographies and Historical Annals of Berks County", Philip Hummel, of Robeson Township, PA married a daughter of Evan Griffith of Brecknock Township, but not his daughter Sophia...according to Montgomery she married an Isaac Lewis. See the following link: If Philip Hummel of Robeson Twp. didn't marry Sophia, were Philip Hummel of Wolf Creek, married to a Sophia, one-and-the-same?

2. Is David Hummel, of Wolf Creek, Mercer County, PA, truly related to Jacob Hummel if Robeson Twp, PA?

Based on corroborating documentation, David Hummel of Wolf Creek, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, is indeed the progenitor of many of the Hummels from MO, KS, & OK. On most family trees, he is linked as the son of Philip (they did live next door, according to census records), though I haven't seen anything to corroborate that.

Originally, I thought they could be brothers, sons of Jacob, and that the age is correct on the 1850 Census because the age difference between "the Davids" is exactly 10 years, and Jacob's son David's birth date is confirmed by church records (see birth & baptism record in Hummel/Strunk/Ganter/O'Brian Family Tree)…but is it probable, or even plausible, that a 10 year age misreporting is also on the 1860 & 1870 census? I find that doubtful.

Based on a very, very strong visible resemblance between me, a confirmed descendent of Jacob Hummel of Robeson Township, and a confirmed descendent of David Hummel of Wolf Creek (blogged about before), I believe there must be a connection. However, I have seen no corroborating documentation.

Is there any documentation that links either of the Wolf Creek Hummels to Jacob Hummel of Robeson Township, PA?