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.


  1. Todd,
    Greetings distant cousin. My father is Richard Dale Hummel, son of Kenneth Rice Hummel, son of Henry Hummel, son of Benjamin Franklin Hummel, son of Isaac Hummel, son of Jacob Hummel. I have some very early family photos and a letter dated around 1875 from Daniel Hummel (your 3rd great grandfather) to his nephew, Benjamin Franklin Hummel, listing birth dates of all of Jacob’s children. I’m a bit of history buff myself and do a fair amount of archival research. I appreciate your efforts and would enjoy learn more about your research.

    -Jeff Hummel, Seattle, WA

  2. Glad to make your aquaintaince, cousin! One of the best things about this has been making contact with cousins I never knew I had. My grandfather never talked about the Hummel family, mainly because his parents and grandparents were a mess-both generations. I'll be blogging about that. You and some other cousins are the main reason I decided to get back to blogging. I may have found the family, but there are stories to tell.