Showing posts from December, 2014

52 Ancestors, Week 52: William Hamilton

William Hamilton was born 20 Mar 1751 the 10th of 15 children in Adams, PA.
William (24) married Mary Magdalena Bittinger (21), 14 Sep 1775. They had 12 children:

Margaret b: 1776John b: 1778 (our ancestor)Jane b: 25 MAY 1780 twins!Florence b: 25 MAY 1780 twins!William b: 1782Joseph b: 1784Enoch b: 1786James b: 1788Robert b: 1791George b: 1792 in York Co., Pa.David b: 1795Jesse b: 1797
 "William and  Magdalena Hamilton lived on what is known as the "Hankey farm,"  three miles west of Gettysburg, the title to which he purchased from the heirs of William Penn; the old homestead  was standing at the time of the Civil War battle, and was used by the  Confederates as a hospital."

I found a 50 page pension file, in which William’s youngest son Jesse relates his father’s war service:

That he (Jesse) is the youngest child of William Hamilton a soldier of the Revolution that he has often heard his father William Hamilton speak of his service in the Revolutionary war, that J…

52 Ancestors, Week 51: Daniel and Heinrich Chrisman

“Daniel Christman arrived at Philadelphia on 5 Sep 1730 with forty five palatines and their families, 130 persons in all, in the ship Alexander and Ann, Wm Clymer, Master, from Rotterdam, with a stop in last from Cowes, England.  It appears that he and his daughter Anna Ella (age 2) made the journey.

Daniel (25) married Elizabeth Margaret Haas (18) in 1730. (soon after he arrived in America, it looks like.)

They had Felix (1733), Elizabeth (1734), Jacob (1737) George (1739), and Henry (1744) (our ancestor)

Daniel and his family settled in Worcester township, PA.  He was a member of the Lutheran church, and in 1748 contributed five shillings toward paying for a bell for the New Hanover Lutheran church.

Daniel (55) died 21 Jan 1760.

Daniel’s youngest son Henry (Heinrich) was born 25 Dec 1744.

Henry became the owner of a large tract of land, situated on French Creek.  Here he lived during the Revolutionary War and it is handed down as a tradition that he did considerable hauling for t…

52 Ancestors, Week 50: Valentine Keeley

“The ship "Mortonhouse" with Captain John Coultas, left Rotterdam* in early June 1728, stopped off in Deal, England where a passenger list was compiled on 15 June 1728, then arrived in Philadelphia on 23 or 24 Aug 1728, where another passenger list was compiled.

Valentine Keeley's name was written as "Felde Kille" on one version of the passenger list, and "Valtin Kuhle" on the other.

After arrival in America, his name was spelled many different ways in various records. The original German spelling is uncertain.

*the ship sailed from Rotterdam, Holland, but that's not where the Keeleys were from. During that time period, thousands of German-speaking "Palatines" were leaving Europe as refugees...most floated down the Rhine in small boats, arriving in Rotterdam, where they boarded ships to England and America.

Queen Anne of Great Britain took pity on the Palatine refugees and settled many of them in Ireland, others in America. They were in…

52 Ancestors, Week 49: Phillip Jacob Finkbiner, a Revolutionary War Rifleman

Phillip Jacob Finkbiner (Jacob) was born 25 Aug 1754 in Philadelphia, the son of Tobias, a recent immigrant from Germany.

Jacob (20)  married Maria Magdalena Schilly on 8 Feb 1774.  They had a son, Johann Vanentin in 1774.

Jacob, (known as Jacob Finkboner in the Revolutionary War records) was a rifleman in the Continental Army:

“A resolution was adopted by Congress, June 14, 1775, directing the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen, six in Pennsylvania, two in Maryland, and two in Virginia - to be employed as light infantry and be paid the following sums per month:
a captain, twenty dollars;a lieutenant, thirteen and one third dollars;a sergeant, eight dollars;a corporal, seven and one third dollars;a drummer, seven and one third dollars,and a private, six and two thirds dollars - all "to find their own arms and clothes." One of these companies, Captain John Lowdon's, was recruited in Northumberland county PA.” (1)

“Captain Lowdon's commission reads:


52 Ancestors, Week 48: Tobias Finkbiner and the origins of the Finkbiner name

Tobias Finkbiner, was born 5 Jun 1722 in Labbronnen, Freudenstadt, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany.

He immigrated to America in 1752, landing at Philadelphia.

He was married to Maria Dorothea Bruch in about 1753.  Their son, Phillip Jacob was born in 1754.

Tobias died in Trappe, PA in June of 1775.


The Finkbiner line can be traced back to the middle ages:

“Helmut Finckbein (1907 – 1993) of Berlin Germany did extensive research.  He found all the Finkbeiners in the Baiersbronn, Wurttemberg church records of family registers that began in the year 1627. He then studied the medieval records for the Allgaeu region of southwestern Bavaria where he found the earliest mentioning of our first ancestor, Hans “der Fintboner.”

“During the Middle Ages (approximately from 1100 to 1500 AD) Germany, Austria and Switzerland were part of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by the Hapsburg family of Vienna, and the populace adhered to the Roman Catholic faith.  During this time, the German people of noble…

52 Ancestors, Week 47: Robertson Rambo Finkbiner and his wife Gertrude Blanchard Finkbiner

Robertson Rambo (Rambo was his paternal grandmother’s maiden name) was born in Middletown, PA on 29 Oct 1881.

In 1894, his family moved to  Colorado Springs for his mother’s health.  He was the middle of three boys.

In 1900, he was 18, and has been attending school in Colorado Springs.  “Your Grandad [Robertson Rambo Finkbiner] was very proud of being "Major of Cadets" in hi school. He wanted always to go to West Point but never got there.” (1)

In the 1903 City Directory, Robertson is a bookkeeper, younger brother Nilson is a student, older brother Bayly has Finkbiner Brothers grocery and meats at 1201 N Weber.   Dad, John W is a pastor at the English Lutheran Church.  They are all living together at 309 E Platte Ave.

Somehow, Bob meets Gertrude and they marry in Boulder on 12 Mar 1908.  “We  [Robertson Rambo Finkbiner and Gertrude Blanchard] were married by "Grampa Finkbiner" [Rev. John Wm. Finkbiner] at our mountain home and went to our little house in Colorado…

52 Ancestors, Week 46: John William Finkbiner

John Willam Finkbiner was born in July 1843 in East Vincent, Pennsylvania, the 3rd son on Jacob Henry Finkbiner and Margaret Rambo.

JW enlisted on 18 Jul 1864 for 100 days as a Corporal in the Pennsylvania 194th Infantry Regiment, Company D. He mustered out on 06 Nov 1864 at Harrisburg, PA.  He also served in the Pennsylvania 26th Regiment, Company A. (dates unknown)

In 1870, JW was 27 and living at home on the farm with his parents, Jacob and Margaret and his sister Susan (14).

On 29 May 1873, JW (29) married Martha Eveline Hamilton (20).  She was born Nov 1852.

In 1880, John William was a minister in Middletown, PA, and he is enumerated along with his wife Martha and two kids : Hellen (3) Hamilton (8 months)

In about 1894, the family came to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Martha E. Hamilton Finkbiner lungs needed a higher climate, so the family moved from Maryland. The children were: oldest son, Bayly, then Robertson, then Nilson. Their father, Rev. John Wm. Finkbiner was a Lutheran Min…

52 Ancestors, Week 45: Eli Rambo

This is the work of Ronald S Beatty, with information from his website, with a few of my own edits and embellishments:

“Eli Rambo was born 11 Dec 1773, the youngest of 7 children. When Eli was almost 3, the Rev. Muhlenberg visited the family home:

‘The Rev. writes in his journal on 1 Nov 1776, "On being requested to do so, I went two miles on foot with Neighbor Muller to the plantation of Mr. (Gunnar) Rambo to preach a funeral sermon in English for his eleven-year-old daughter who had passed away.  The mother had also died of dysentery about ten days before, and a fifteen-year-old son is dying of the same sickness. The mother was a lover of the divine Word and was especially cheered during her illness by the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans.  It was her wish that I read and expound this chapter to her mourners at her funeral. 

November 2, Saturday.  I was informed that Mr. Rambo's young son, whom I had seen yesterday, had passed away early this morning and that I wa…

52 Ancestors, Week 44: Gunnar Rambo

This is the work of Ronald S Beatty, with information from his website, with a few of my own edits and embellishments:

"Gunnar Rambo, Peter's eldest son, was born 6 Jan 1649 and married Anneka Cock in 1670.

Anneka was born about 1652, a daughter of Peter Larsson Cock and Margaret (Lom) Cock and a sister of Maria and Brigitta Cock who married Gunnar's younger brothers Anders and John.

Gunnar Rambo was a large land owner and occupied a prominent place in the affairs of the province.  

The 1697-98 roll of the Swedes on the Delaware prepared by Andreas Rudman, pastor of the Gloria Dei Church, listed eight of the nine of Gunnar’s and Anna’s children in the family and their ages:

1.  John (our ancestor), b. ca 1673, d. ca 1746, m. 1) Anna Laicon, 2) Sarah (?)
2.  Peter, b. ca 1678, d. Jul 1753, m. ?
3.  Gunnar, b. ca 1680, d. 1717-1724, unmarried
4.  Anders, b. ca 1682, d. 3 Jul 1755 unmarried
5.  Mons, b. ca 1684, d. Apr 1760, m. Catharina Boon
6.  Brigitta, b. ca 1685, m. Matthia…

52 Ancestors, Week 43: Peter Gunnarson Rambo (part 2)

This is the work of Ronald S Beatty, with information from his website, with a few of my own edits and embellishments:
There are three interesting documents concerning Peter Rambo:
1.  An official encounter with some Native Americans
2.  A letter written to his sister in Sweden
3.  His Will

The first document:  
"During his years of trading with the Indians Peter Rambo learned enough of the language to serve as Interpreter.  Of interest is a colonial document describing a conference between the governor, magistrates of Newcastle and Indian sachems of New Jersey:

'At Newcastle, May 13th 1675

Upon an Appearance of the Indyans before the New Magistrates in the afternoone.    The names of the Chiefs were Renowewan of Sawkin on the Eastern side, Ipan Kickan of Rancokeskill, Kitmarius of Soupnapka, Manickty of Rancokestill heretofore all of N. Jersy side.  

The Govenor declares his desire to continue in friendship with them & his readiness to protect them, & thanks them for thei…

52 Ancestors, Week 42: Peter Gunnarson Rambo

This is the work of Ronald S Beatty, with information from his website, with a few of my own edits and embellishments:

"A careful search of available records has turned up only one Rambo who came to America, Peter Gunnarson Rambo.  For the next two hundred years, all other Rambos born in the New World were his descendants.

Peter Gunnarson Rambo was born about 1 Jun 1612 in Hisingen, an island formed by the G”ta River and now part of the city of Gothenburg, Sweden.  There is a hill in Hisingen called Ramberget (Raven's Mountain) with a panoramic view of the city and harbor of Gothenburg.
The literal meaning of Rambo was "home of the raven".

The patronymic system of names was used in Scandinavian countries from early times.  Children received a first name, and a second name was derived from the name of the father.  Therefore Peter Gunnarson was Peter, the son of Gunnar. (Brita Mattsdotter was Brita, the daughter of Matts)  Indeed, records have been found indicating…