Friday, August 5, 2016

Harshbarger line: Thoughts about Hans Jacob Loewenguth or Liebengud

I've long had the story about this family as that they were killed by Indians in the horrible attacks in Berks County, Pa in 1758.  In double-checking the facts before I wrote up this story, I am confused.  I may be missing a generation, it seems to me.

My story starts with a Hans Jacob who was born probably in Bern, Switzerland in 1681.  However, when I started fact checking, I'm finding that most sources say this gentleman died in or before 1754.  He also is assigned a different wife (Maria Margaretha Schaefer) than the one I have noted.  They were married in Mertzwiller, Bas-Rhin, France on December 9, 1720.  This would make Hans Jacob very old by the time of the 1758 attack, and if he actually died in 1754, it would have been impossible.

So the Hans Jacob I have in my records probably was not born in 1681.  I don't know if he was a son of the Hans Jacob mentioned above or not.  It seems possible, though.  Having two generations of Hans Jacobs would help make sense of some of the Lowenguth/Liebengood/Liebengud men that I haven't been able to account for, such as Peter, who was possibly a brother to the younger Hans Jacob.  But wait, there's a problem!  It seems that the younger Hans Jacob died in 1808, not 1758, in Perry Township, Muskingum County, Ohio (oh goodness, another county to research?? Yikes!)

I'm going to copy the copy I made from a book, who knows what it was.  The heading at the top of the page says "Reading and Berks County", but I have no information as to the title or publication date of the book, although from internal clues it was after 1919.  It's found on page 392.

"Jacob Loewenguth, who came to this country in 1710, was born in Schalkendorf, in Alsace, and was the son of Friederich Liebengut, who left Aarwanger, near Langenthal, Canton, Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1653, after the Peasants War, in which he took part.  He was one of a part of Germans sent by the British Board of Trade to Livingstone Manor in the Province of New York, to manufacture tar and naval stores, to cover the cost of their transportation.  He was located in one of the towns in "West Camp", above the present city of Kingston, on the Hudson River.  After three years of toll and hardship and the failure of Governor Hunter, of the Province of New York, to keep his contract with the settlers, in 1713 they left the Camps and worked their way through the wilderness to the Schoharie lands, a beautiful country southwest of Albany, in the western foothills of the Catskills.  This Schoharie land was promised them by Queen Anne, of England, who was interested in them as refugees from their distressed fatherland, and had been given to the Queen by a group of Indian chiefs, who were in London when the refugees were camped outside the city.

After ten years of conquering the forest and creating and cultivating the farm lands of Schoarie, the settlers were driven out and the settlement caused to be abandoned by a combination of land speculators, who had been favored by the New York provincial government.  Jacob Loewenguth was one of the group of settlers, who in 1723 cut through the forests to the head waters of the Susquehanna, down which they worked their way to the Province of Pennsylvania.  They ended their journey at the mouth f the Swatara Crrek and from there moved into and settled the Tulpehocken region. 

Jacob Loewenguth's family consisted of his wife, Margaretha, and three children, Jacob, Anna Margaretha, and Anna Barbara.  In the early part of April, 1758, a party of Indians attack the settlement and Jacob Loewenguth and his wife wife were filled and scalped.  Anna Barbara, and Anna Margaretha, who was the wife of Jacob Fehler, with two of her children, were carried away captive by the Indians, and nothing was ever heard of them.  Jacob Loewenguth, Jr., the son, escaped the attack"

To further confuse matters, Jacob Loewenguth, Jr., farmer, son of this Jacob Loewenguth, is said to have died in 1788.

This is quite a colorful story and I thought it worthwhile to put it in this blog post, because if this is not our Hans Jacob it is still likely a relative of some sort, and this story needs to be remembered and honored.  The conditions these settlers lived through were horrendous, from Germany to England to at least two settlements in New York, to Pennsylvania, where things started out looking better, at least. 

I would love to hear from other researchers and family members who can share their sources, hopefully better than I am able to do.  The book I quoted from was written about 150 years after the Indian attack, which makes it suspect to elaboration and confusion over the years, and also means we have to wonder if the person who compiled it was one of the "fake" genealogists of the time period.   I don't know who provided this family biography although it may have been contributed by John E. Livingood, M.D., who has a rather extensive biography on the same page.  Since there were also Hans Jacob Loewenguths, both Senior and Junior, and Peter, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1750, I am thoroughly confused.  I would love to be able to figure out the truth in all of this. 

Here is the possible line of descent:

Hans Jacob Loewenguth-Margaretha Sands
Anna Margaretha Loewenguth-Jacob Fehler
John Jacob Fehler-Anna Eva Behney
Christina Elizabeth Fehler-Johannes Harshbarger
George Harshbarger-Mary Kepler
Lewis Harshbarger-Catherine Mentzer
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants