Friday, October 14, 2016

Harshbarger line: Heinrich Braun and his father Johann, Immigrants

This is the reason genealogy bloggers go gray.  Heinrich or Henry Braun and his father are pretty much complete mysteries.  I have found trees that say that Johann died in Bedford County, Pennsylvania and Heinrich died there after 1750, but that is all I know of their life in Pennsylvania.  It's frustrating!

Heinrich was born to Johann and Barbara Braun in Deidesheim, Germany.  If I have identified the town correctly, it is in the Rhineland-Palatinate, where many of the early German ancestors lived.  It appears that this is a Catholic town, or was in the 1700's, which is a bit different from other families, and the main farm crop has always been grapes.  Vineyards have been the main source of income for generations.  When Heinrich was born, the population of the town would have been about 500 people, so it was really just a village. 

There are a lot of Johann Brauns and a lot of Heinrich Brauns, and so far I've not found a record of immigration that I believe likely belonged to either man.  A Heinrich Braun did arrive in Philadelphia in 1749 but I tend to think our Heinrich was here earlier.  Records vary as to where he married his wife, Maria Anna Catarina Rau, but it was either in Deidesheim or in Pennsylvania.  The date is given as January 15, 1732.  The couple had at least two children, Henry and John. 

Heinrich died in 1750 or later, and his wife died in 1749.  Again, some sources show Germany and some show Bedford County, Pa as the location of her death. 

So, this man is a mystery, with nothing to really show to help us understand his life.  We know that he married, immigrated, and had children, although not necessarily in that order, and we know that he was widowed.   We need to do a lot more research to learn about this man and his life!  If someone recognizes him, please contact me!

The line of descent is

Heinrich Braun-Maria Anna Catarina Rau
Henry Matthias Braun-Maria Salome Hoerner
David Brown-Barbara Brothers
Elizabeth Brown-William Cook
Barbara Cook-William A Withers
William H Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants