Friday, April 21, 2017

Harshbarger line: Yost Gingrich, probably ours

I say probably because I'm not100% convinced that the Burkholder tree I've been working on is correct.  And Yost (Josef, Joseph) comes from that tree.  His daughter Maria or Mary married Adam Burkholder, and they had several children together.  Here's the problem:  Joseph Burkholder was born in 1783.  His father, Adam, who married Maria or Mary was born in about 1728.  I've seen all sorts of dates for Maria's but averaging them out, I'm guessing about 1745.  Now, it wouldn't be impossible for a woman of that age to have a son of Joseph's age (giving birth at somewhere around age 40), but there's another problem.  Joseph Burkholder doesn't seem to be mentioned in his supposed father's (1728-1800) will, unless I'm missing something.

There could be an explanation for the will omission, but since Joseph was only 17 at the time of Adam's death, I'm  wondering if we are actually missing a generation here, and it was one or another of Adam's sons who was actually Joseph's father.  Regardless, I'm going to post what little I've learned about Yost because I think that based on names and location, Yost is probably the great grandfather, if not the grandfather, of Joseph Burkholder.  Obviously, more work needs to be done on this line.

Yost Gingrich is variously reported as having been born in "Europe", "Germany" or "Bern Canton, Switzerland."  My guess is that if he wasn't from Switzerland, then his parents were, because there is every indication that this was a Mennonite family, and many if not most Mennonites can be traced back to Switzerland.  The specific locality in one tree is given as "Konsfinger, Bern, Switzerland" and he would have been born sometime about 1720 or so.  Apparently the actual record hasn't been located yet, or else his parents, Johannes and Anna Sherk Gingrich, were living under the radar of the state church, which is also possible. 

Yost is the only child I'm aware of.  He married Anna Huber, daughter of Jacob and Anna Leininger Huber, in about 1740 in Seftigen, Bern, Switzerland.  Again, documents seem to be lacking or at least not yet known to me.  We don't know for sure when Yost came to America because some trees show that his children were born in Germany (or Switzerland) and some show them as being born here.  He and Anna did have at least 8 children, though, with birth dates generally given in the 1740s and 1750s.

When Yost came to America, he apparently settled in that part of Lancaster County that would later become Amwell Township, Lebanon County, Pa.  He purchased land from and beside Michael Baughman, and by 1771 was taxed for 240 acres, a mill (probably a grist mill), four horses and four cows.  In roughly 25 years, he had done rather well for himself and his family.  He died on or shortly before March 5, 1776 and is probably buried on the family farm.  Maria outlived him by many years and died in 1813 in probably Franklin County, Pennsylvania. 

This isn't much to go on, especially since I'm not sure of the exact relationship between Joseph Burkholder and Yost Gingrich.  However, it is another tie in to Bern Canton, Switzerland, another story of Mennonite trials and blessings, and another reason to honor the efforts of these ancestors to come to America to build a new life.  I hope to update this post when I've figured out the correct relationship, so for now consider this a work in progress. 

The line of descent would be

Yost Gingrich-Anna Huber
Maria Gingrich-Adam Burkholder
possibly another Burkholder generation
Joseph Burkholder-Elizabeth Miller
Barbara Burkholder-Benjamin Buchtel
Fannie Buchtel-Adam Kemery
Della Kemery-William A Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants