Friday, July 8, 2016

Harshbarger line: Christopher Kitterman about 1730-1806 Immigrant

Looking rather desperately to find another name to write about in the Harshbarger lineage, I noticed Christopher Kitterman.  He was just sitting quietly in the family tree, with no folder, no information, and nothing to indicate he was really a person.  Now he has his own folder in my file cabinet, with the beginnings of some information about him, thanks largely to Virginia Shoemaker Perry, who, as it turns out, has written a whole book about Christopher and his descendants.  Unfortunately, the book does not seem to be available (not even Allen County Public Library has a copy) but fortunately, she has shared some of what she knows on line.  Thank you, Virginia!

Christopher was born sometime about 1728 in Germany.  Virginia is not willing to say where he was born, but other sources state it was Grossgartach, Wuerttemberg, Germany.  She is also not willing to give him a birth date, and I have seen dates from 1719 to 1730.  If information that a daughter was born in 1732 is correct, than I would give him an even earlier birthdate, but as far as I know, no one has found documentation for any kind of birthdate, or for his parents.  It sure would be nice to solve these questions.

Similarly, there are two dates given for his emigration to America.  One source says he came on the ship "Patience" in August of 1750 and Perry says he came on the "Janet" in 1751.  Either could be correct, or both could be correct, for he could have come and then gone back to Germany to settle an estate, talk family members in to coming, sell real estate, or for any number of other good reasons.  At any rate, he was in the Colonies, Pennsylvania of course, by 1751.  He was a farmer and a Lutheran, and soon found a good local girl to marry.  He married Anna Margaret Lawall, daughter of Daniel and Barbara Lawall, at Tohickon Union (Reformed) Church in Bucks County, Pa. on February 3, 1761.  This is late enough that it may have been a second marriage, and another wife has been suggested (not by Perry, as far as I know) as Anna Christina.  At any rate, this marriage took place on February 3, 1761, and their first daughter, Mary, was born July 31, 1761, so it may have been time for this couple to marry.

Additional children were Elizabeth, Henry, Jacob, and Michael.  Some Ancestry trees also list Michael, Maria Magdalena, Catherine, and Susanna.  If these were Christopher's children, they must have been by a first wife because the birth dates are all before the marriage date of 1761, and good Lutherans would not have waited until child number 5 to marry.

It appears that sometime about 1771 or 1772, Christopher and his family moved to Frederick County, Maryland.  Confusingly, he is listed as being in Frederick County, Md in 1771/72, with a notation that he had moved to Pennsylvania, and in 1772 there is a Stophel Kataman in Lower Saucon Twp, Northampton County, listed as a laborer.  If  this is the same person, he may have gone back to Pennsylvania temporarily to help a family member, or to earn some cash as his farm in Maryland got established.  (Daniel Lawell was in Northampton County when he wrote his will in 1796, so maybe it was the in-laws who needed help.) It would be interesting to find out what the story is behind this, if in fact these are the same men.  He is in the 1790 census in Frederick County, Maryland with 1 male over the age of 16, and 2 females, so by now, the child rearing was done.  We don't know who the second female was, but perhaps she was a relative, or maybe even a helper of some sort as this would have been an aging couple.  They haven't been found in the 1800 census, which indicates they may have been living with someone else (or it could just be that the name has been so mangled in the transcriptions that no one has yet recognized it). 

By 1806, Christopher was in Frederick County, Virginia and his wife was named Christine, because both facts are stated in his will.  We don't know when he moved to Virginia, when wife Anna Margaret died, or who Christine was.  However, she is mentioned by name several times in the will, so we can assume this was his wife at the time of his death.  The will itself is complicated and a transcription can be read on wikitree.  Besides his wife, he also mentions his brother John George Kitterman, deceased, his son John Kitterman, deceased son Michael, son Henry, daughter Mary Harter, daughter Susanna Fishburn, daughter Catherina Miksel.  Elizabeth Ader is mentioned and may be a daughter, also, but that is not specified.  (If Nancy Glass is not provided for in the will of Adam Ader, then she is to get money from what Christopher has left Elizabeth, so Adam may be a stepfather to Nancy).  Further research would be needed to clarify that.  The will was written March 6, 1805 and admitted to probate March 16,1806.  I note that Maria Magdalena and Johann Jacob, who are each supposed to be his children and each alive at the time of the will, are not mentioned in the will.

This is a lot of information to find and process for one morning.  There are mysteries and uncertainties here, but at least we know he is part of the family, we know he was a Lutheran and a farmer, and we know he had several children and two or possibly three wives.  That's a start.  I'd love to hear from someone with more information about Christopher or/and his wives.!

The line of descent is:

Christopher Ketterman-Anna Margaret Lawall
Mary Kitterman-George Harter
Johann George Harter-Mary M Miller
George Harter-Elizabeth Geiger
John Harter-Mary Bennett
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants