Jeremiah Meitzler Mohr Gernerd.

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3 1833 01087 2098

Digitized by the Internet Arciiive

in 2010 with funding from

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center


Few deaths have occurred in our
community that awakened the sym-
pathy and caused such universal sor-
row as that of Lydia Siegar Gernerd's,
I who passed away at 7 o'clock on the
eve of November 18, 1893, after sever-
al weeks of painful illness, which she
bore with heroic fortitude, all the time
contending she never would get well,
but manifested no fear of death.

She was the only child of J, M. M.
and LrOuisa S Gernerd, and was born
in Muncy, June 5, 1868, and brought
up by her parents in the most careful
and pains-taking manner, with every
wish gratified, whether "uttered or
unexpressed," and she repaid them
with an affectionate attachment and
lovingness, manifested by her obedi-
ence and assistance as a dutiful daugh-
ter and a fondness for her home, which
by a love for the beautiful she had
transformed into an art gallery.

Her highest accomplishment was
music, possessing inherited talent,
and with firm application she master-
ed some of the finest pieces of piano

It would be ungenerous and un-
grateful to withhold giving voice to
I he many noble qualities that adorn-
ed the whole life of Lydia S. Gernerd
— happy, amiable, generous and con-
fiding, she won hosts of friends, and
was a leading spirit among her com-
panions, who mourn her loss with a
deep, unutterable sorrow. She was a
worker in the Church, Sunday School,
benevolent societies, and among the
King's Daughters was one of the most
active. For several years she was
organist in St. James' P. E Church,
and her touch and renditions were so
pleasing that there was universal
regret when she resigned

Her pilgrimage here was short, but
by "labors of love, " she well fulfilled
the ministries of life, and we treasure
ip in our memories many incidents of
a pleasing kind connected with this
bright, winsome girl whose speaking
lips the Angel of Death hath so cruel-
ty closed, but set a seal of Peace upon j
aer brow, for if ever a dead face told |
>f perfect Rest and Peace, that of
Uydia's did, as she lay in her
landsome casket upon a bed of roses ]
ind white carnations— (her mother's

tribute) — while all around her were
heaped the most beautiful floral gifty
of affection from friends, relatives a '

The last sad rites took place fr
her home at 3.30 o'clock on Tuesday
afternoon, where hundreds of her
friends assembled to take a last look
upon all that was mortal of Lydia S.
Gernerd. The beautiful burial service
of the Episcopal Church was rendered
by Rev. Wm. Heakes; she was then
tenderly borne to her last resting place
by six of her young friends : De La
Lloyd, Frank C. Cooke, De La Keller,
Harry Shoemaker, John H. Hatch and
Edwin vSchuyler.

When the funeral cortege reached
the cemetery, there too had the hands
of affection been busy, beautifying
the open grave and upturned earth
with lovely flowers, so her last rest-
I ' ing place was amid the beautiful
I I blossoms she so loved to imita te, upon
canvas when living, but now

"Death lies on her like an untimely frost
Upon the sweelest flower of all the field."
M. J. L. i

The following notices of Miss Lydia
Gernerd's death we take from the
Williamsport papers of Monday :
From the Republican.

The death of Miss Lj'dia Gernerd,
of Muncy, only daughter of J. M. M.
Gernerd, will be a great shock to many |
Williamsporters. Miss Gernerd was ,
■\/ell known in this city, having many
intimate friends here and frequently
visiting here. Her death occurred
Saturday evening after several days of
intense :.afFering. Last summer Miss
Gernerd fell from a swing wh^'e at-
tending a picnic and sustained an
injury w'i'ch though painful was not
at the time considered at all seriovs.
Later, liowever, an abscess developed
and the young woman became very ill.
The best medical aid was summoned
and nothing that could be done to
alleviate her .suffering and prolong her
life was neglected. A surgical opera-
tion was performed, but it was of no
avail and Saturday evening she ex-

Miss Gernerd was an exceedingly
bright and cultured young womc.a.
In Muncy she was a general favorite
and her death is sincerely mourned.

, • K



Tui|» \^j^u M^\L\

Heinrich Gernhardt











There was no thought at first that a Preface would be needed

to this genealogical compilation. Everything under this head was

said in the Introductory chapter that it was supposed the indulgent

' kindred — for whom alone the book has been written — would de-

\\^ sire to know, or that there was to tell them. But now that the

V manuscript is ready to go to the printer, and will make a much

^ more costly and pretentious book than was contemplated, it seems

proper that something more should be said about it.
O The first thought was to compile a complete up-to-date Family
Register, not omitting a single name or date, but in this the effort
J is not a complete success. It was imagined that a mere booklet of
\ "\ about forty pages would suffice to contain a full birth, marriage,
\ ^and mortuary record of the family, with such notes of interest
" here and there as could be gleaned, but this was a misapprehen-
. • sion. A great deal of time was spent during the last six years,
\- ^. and hundreds of letters were written each year, indeed often more
\^\than one hundred letters a month, to obtain the needed data, and
^ J still the record is not complete. It is with some reluctance, there-
fore, that the book is thus sent to press.

In some cases the full names and dates were not obtained, in' a
number of instances the dates given by different members of the
same branches of the family do not agree, and in the records of
some of the branches the members of the sixth and seventh gen-
erations do not appear. It was not surmised that the family in less
than 140 years had become so immense, so widely scattered, so
intermarried with other families, and now exists under so many
divergent conditions of life, and that such wearisome labor was
involved in writing its history. Many of the letters mailed were
never answered, and many of the responses received were so tardy
in coming that the work at times became exceedingly irksome, and
it more than once seemed necessary to put it aside. Since under-

4 Preface.

taking the labor the author has learned of a number of persons who
attempted to perform the same task for other families, and after
making some progress were so dismayed by the difficulties loom-
ing up that they gave up in despair. No one can conceive how
tedious and Herculean such service is without trying to perform it.

The Gernhardt family will seem great in at least one respect —
numbers. In America it. now includes seven generations, and is
scattered over 26 states, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The
number of Heinrich's descendants, dead and living, is now some-
where between two and three thousand. A respectable family in
point of size, certainly. How many of the kin would have guessed
that there were one-fourth as many? And yet, although the
fecundity of the family may seem exceptionally remarkable to
many, it will not appear so to the genealogical student who knows
how cotemporary families increase.

All the names of the first five generations are believed to ap-
pear in this compilation, and most of the sixth and seventh succes-
sions. Not one name or date would have been omitted if furnished
in time for publication. If any one now born hereafter wonders
why his or her name does not appear in the Family Register, this
statement will explain the involuntary omission.

This history, as already intimated, is written only for the Gern-
hardt kindred, and not for the unrelated. If Heinrich's descend-
ants are satisfied with it, the object is fully attained. Outsiders
are not expected to find it of enough interest to invest a dime in it.

The kindred are united by a bond of union that should hold
them all together in affection, and give them a peculiar interest in
each other, and therefore also in this history of the family. If
they cannot esteem their ancestors or their fellow descendants for
worldly distinction and greatness, they can at least respect them
for being average upright and well-behaved citizens, and we trust
for those noblest of all virtues that win temporal and eternal hap-
piness, which should be their highest aspiration. They do not
essentially differ from other people. They share the common
allotment of American families. They partake with the mass the
same trials and struggles, the same triumphs and failures, the same

Preface. 5

virtues and imperfections, the same pursuits and opportunities,
and can rightfully claim the same consideration they accord to
others. They can be unconcerned about the renown, the mere
distinction of rank and style to which many aspire — and which so
many fail to attain, or often fail to maintain. The great majority
of our kindred have been and now are of the useful class, callous-
handed and hard-working tillers of the soil, mechanics, bread-pro-
ducers and bread-winners, wage-earners, and it is hoped that there
is not among us one work-shirking bread-eater.

Some of the family have been serviceable and prosperous in
other useful pursuits — as physicians, dentists, editors, ministers,
lawyers, teachers, merchants and manufacturers — and a goodly
number (29) of the fourth generation went valiantly forth during
the great Civil War in defense of the Union and Freedom. Four
of the fifth generation also served in the Spanish-American War.
Respecting the loyalty and patriotism of the family, none need ever
feel mortified. The descendants of Heinrich and Rosine have
ever stood gallantly by the Old Flag. Several of the consorts of
the female descendants also served in the army, but in this genea- •
logical inquiry we have only passed down along the line of lineal

An interesting feature of the History is the collection of ex-
cellent half-tone family pictures. All will doubtless wish with the
writer that there were many more of them. Of Heinrich and Ro-
sine and their ten children no pictures exist. Of the fifty-five
lineal descendants comprising the third generation the majority
died without leaving their posterity such a desirable legacy. The
camera had in their day not yet come into general use. It will be
a source of great satisfaction to all the kindred, however, that the
History is nevertheless illustrated by portraits of at least eighteen
of Heinrich's grandchildren. The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh
generations are also in like manner represented by pictures. Many
will doubtless hereafter regret, when it is fully realized how much
interest there is in these memorials, that the opportunity was not
taken to add many others to the collection Descendants in the
future, it may be presumed, will look upon these pictures of the

6 Preface.

present generations very much as the few existing portraits of the
connections of the past are now regarded.

For the imperfections of the book there is Httle need of an
apology. The author did as well as he could, sparing no pains to
be just and accurate, and making no great promises to be ful-
filled. The task would have been better performed if all the as-
sistance that was proffered had been given. But, alas, how true
with us one and all, that "Procrastination is the thief of time."
The intentions were good, but the tardiness was a bad thing for
the Family History. Many correspondents failed to come to
time, and I could not wait on them any longer.

The long employed pen is now laid down with regret, as with
all the uneasiness and misgivings, the disappointments and worry-
ments, there were many happy hours in the accomplishment of
this labor of love, and surprise and delight to discover the exist-
ence of so many kind and appreciative relations. Adieu, dear de-
scendants of Heinrich and Rosine, and sons and daughters of the
First Adam. May we one and all so live that we may be members
of the great family of the noble Second Adam, and some day have
part in the glorious Family Reunion that will continue throughout

Jeremiah M. M. Gernerd.
Muncy, Pa., January, 1904.



1. Springtown. Frontispiece. This shows some of the im-
provements now on and adjoining the estate once owned hy Hein-
rich Gernhardt, where he died, and from which his family finally
dispersed more than fourscore years ago. The big spring, sur-
rounded by a group of willow trees, is ac the white house on the
extreme right. His land all lay on the right or north side of the
public road, tw^o sets of farm buildings on which are represented
in the picture. The White Deer Mountain, west of the hamlet,
and on the opposite side of the Susquehanna River, appears in dim
outline in the background. A brick school-house standing close
to the buildings on the left was unwillingly left out of the view,
because it could not be included and also show the house at the
spring. The old graveyard on Delaware Run, a spot hallowed in
our Family History, is but a short distance beyond the ridge be-
hind the orchard on the right.

2. A nearer and better representation of the famous "Sinking
Spring" — a spring that does not sink, hov'/ever. The water, clear
and cold, continues to bubble up on the side next to the house and
glides away over the surface and down through the meadow, just
as it did for Heinrich and the rest nearly one hundred years ago.

3. The Delaware Run Church — or "The River Church," as
often called — and the old section of the graveyard in which Hein-
rich and Rosine and many others of the family repose.

4. Another view of the same graveyard, showing also the part
added since Heinrich's day.

5. The very interesting Duck Farm of C. W. B. Gernerd^,
near the city of Allentown, Pa., where, on a visit in July, 1900, I
had the surprise of seeing 16,000 snow white ducks. The foliage
of the trees prevented getting a full photographic view of this
pleasing and wonderful scene.

The Gernhardt Family History.



John Shafer^, 1824-1903, Dansville, N. Y.

2-6. Frank M. Shafer^, and family, Dansville, N. Y.


Philip Gamett^ McDougal, N. Y.
Daniel Garnhart^, 1807-1876, Shelby, Ohio.
Jacob Garnhart*, Shelby, Ohio.
Washington Gamhart^, Shelby, Ohio.
Chauncv Wichterman*, Sanborn, N. Y.


12-15. Maria Walton^, son Hopewell*, g. s. John^, and g. g. child

Beatrice^, Muncy, Pa.

16. Catharine Coller^, 1806- 1860, Scottsburg, N. Y.

17-18. Clarissa McNinch*, 1830-1899, and husband, Westfield,



19. Mrs. Hannah Donmoyer^, 1806-1864, Lebanon Co., Pa.

20. Mrs. Catharine Hinterleiter^, 1808-1881, Kutztown, Pa.

21. Mrs. Mary Anna Bortz^, 1811-1868, Trexlerstown, Pa.

22. Nathan Gernert^, 1813-1879, Breinigsville, Pa.

23. Solomon Gernert^ 181 7-1887, Jonestown, Pa.

24. John Gernert^, 1822-1900, Breinigsville, Pa.

25. William Gernert^, Allentown, Pa.

26. Benjamin Gernert^. Allentown, Pa.

27. Peuben Gernert^, 1827-1875, Allentown, Pa.

28. Rudolph W. Donmoyer*, South Bend, Ind.

29. Milton T. Donmoyer*, Kutztown, Pa.

30. William G. Hinterleiter*, 1844- 1903, Kutztown, Pa.
31-36. El wood D. Fisher^, son^ and g. c.'^, Kutztown, Pa.

37. J. M. M. Gernerd*, Muncy, Pa.

38. Lydia S. Gernerd^, 1868-1893, Muncy, Pa.

39. Mrs. Maria Levan*, Reading, Pa.

The Gernhardt Family History.









Charles H. Levaii'^, Alfoona, Pa.

James W. Gernerd', 1849- 1896, Alburtis, Pa.

C. W. B. Gernerds, Allentown, Pa.

Irwin Franklin Fenstermacher^, Coplay, Pa.

Ernest W. Gernerd^, Williamsport, Pa.


45-46. Simon P. Fogelman* and wife, Dewart, Pa.

47. Jeremiah E. Baker*, Buffalo, N. Y.

48. Davis E. Fogleman*, Riverside, Gal.


49-52. George Litchard^, son Almanzo*, g. son Martin^ and
g. g. son Donald, Rushiord, N. Y.
Margaret Clemons^, Sultphen, Kansas.
Royal R. Clemons* and family, Manhattan, Kan.
Roger Litchard* and family, Arkport, N. Y.


Benjamin Garnhart^, 1 816- 1894, Muncy, Pa.
Sanmel Garnhart^, 1818-1879, and wife, 18 — 1884, Del-
aware, Township, Pa.

Mrs. Sarah E. Taylor*, Delaware Township, Pa.
Charles W. Garnhart* and family, Stillman Valley, Ills.
Daniel Garnhart^, dau. Etta*, her husband Albert Berger-
stock, and their dau. Alae^, Delaware Township, Pa.
The photograph from which this engraving was made
was taken by a young amateur artist who insisted on
having the family seated at the kitchen door. The pic-
ture, just as it is, will be highly valued by all the rela-
tions, as well as by the descendants of the venerable and
now sightless representative of a generation who have
nearly all gone to their graves.


75. Mrs. Rosanna Kinman^, 1810-1887, Bellbrook, Ohio.


In the records that follow of the different branches of the Family a number
of abbreviations are used to save type-setting, as b. for born; m., married;
unm., unmarried; c, child, or children; d., died; dau., daughter; s., son;
n. c, no children; o., occupation; r., residence. A cross, thusX, means that
the missing date, name, etc., was not ascertained. A figure appended to a
name denotes that the person is of the generation the figure indicates, as, for
example, John Shafer4 (son of HenryS, grandson of Magdalena^, ) means that
John Shaferl is of the fourth generation of the Family, and that he was a son
of Henry and a grandson of Magdalena, who was the eldest of the children
of Heinrich and Rosine. The names of the members of the several generations
are also represented by different kinds of type.

Heinrich and Rosine Gernhardt
and their descendants.


To the descendants of Heinricli Gernhardt and his ivife, Rosine


This book, the reader is reminded, is pubHshed only for pri-
vate circulation, though perhaps hardly anybody outside of the
family will want to read it. I would say that my father died
when I was but ten years old, and that I lived to be more than
threescore years old wnth but slight knowledge of my ancestors
and kindred. I saw my paternal grandparents only a few times,
when I was a small boy, and when I had no more interest in our
family history than in the nebular theory of the astronomers. All
that I knew respecting my great-grandparents of the Gernhardt
line before beginning to gather the data for this genealogical
fabrication was their names, that they had several children be-
sides my grandfather, that they had once lived in Berks County,
Pennsylvania, and that from thence they had migrated — ^before
my father's time — to some part of Northumberland County.
When and where they were born, what their social and pecuniary
condition was, when and where they were married, where and
under what special circumstances they commenced and spent their
domestic life, when they settled on the West Branch of the Sus-
quehanna River, when and where they died, and where they were
buried, how many children they had, and what became of them
all, were matters of which, after my hair had turned grey, I still
remained as ignorant as everybody now is of the pre-historic ages
and origin of the North American Indians.

It might here be asked. How many of the many living descend-
ants of Heinrich Gernhardt knew more than this — or as much —
and could trace their ancestry back on the same line more than a
century ? When, several years ago, I was seized with an irrepres-

The Gernhardt Family History.

sible desire to know more about the early history of the family,
and decided to gather the material to construct a complete geneal-
ogical record, not one relative to whom I applied could give me
any information, except what related especially to his or her own
immediate branch of the family. This was not encouraging, and
I began to fear that the undertaking would prove too much for
my age and opportunity. But I found a link now and then that
served to keep interest and curiosity alive, and that finally led to
the discovery of many other links ; and thus was in time enabled
to trace the Gernhardt blood, and formulate an almost perfect
genealogical chain from 1765 to the present time. But there is
nothing singular in all this. The great majority of the inhabi-
tants of America probably know no more about their sanguiferous
connections, and have no more knowledge of their ancestors back
of three generations.

If, as some have thought, "He that careth not whence he cometh,
careth little whither he goeth," and it is true that "They who care
not to know their ancestors are wanting in natural affection," then
it might at first thought seem that the greater number of every
family are wanting in natural affection, and foster but little con-
cern as to their future life. I have not found this to be the case,
at least not as a rule, either among my connections or my ac-
quaintances, but believe that many thoughtful souls are reason-
ably concerned with the all-important question of the endless
hereafter ; that they fondly cling to the consoling belief that it is
neither all of life to live, nor all of death to die ; and that at least
the great majority are eager to hear about their ancestors, and
know whence they themselves came and whither they are going.
The truth is that interest in family history is now rapidly grow-
ing in all sections of the country, and this is proof enough that
natural affection is not wanting.

Knowing that our ancestor, Heinrich, had sometime settled
in the county of Northumberland, it often occurred to me to go
to Sunbury and see what the court records there might disclose,
and finally I assigned myself the task of making the search. By
the help of the obliging clerk of the Recorder I was soon de-

The Gernhardt Family History. 13

lighted to find the record of his* last will and testament, which
interesting instrument reads as follows :


In the Name of God, Amen. 1, Henry Gernhardt, of Turbot
Township, in Northumberland Count}' & State of Pennsylva-
nia, being but in a midling state of health at present but of sound
memory, mind and understanding, blessed be God for his mercies
but considering the uncertainty of this life & not knowing how
long it may please God to continue me on the land of the living,
I do make and publish this to be my last will and testament m
manner and form following, viz : — principally & first of all 1
commend my immortal soul into the hand of God who gave it &
my body to the earth to be buried in a christian like manner at
the direction of my executors hereinafter named and as to my
worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God in this life to bless
me with, I give and dispose of the same in the following manner,
viz :

First. It is my will and I do order that all my just debts &
funeral expenses be duly paid & satisfied as soon as conveniently
can be after my decease, as to my lands in York State, I give
and bequeath as follows, viz : One farm containing one hun-
dred acres in Sparta Township, in Ontario County, whereon An-
drew Shafifer now lives, I give and bequeath twenty acres of said
farm to my grand-daughter Catharine Gernhardt, daughter of
my son Philip Gernhardt to her heirs and assigns forever. The
said twenty acres to be laid of the northeast corner of said tract
to be four square ; the remainder of said tract, I give and bequeath
to my daughter Magdelena all the remainders of said tract of
land to be wholly and solely at her disposal at her decease. Sub-
ject, nevertheless, to a lease given by me to Andrew Shaffer, hus-
band of said Magdelena. Provided, nevertheless, that the said
Andrew Shaffer by or through his right of marriage or otherwise

Online LibraryJeremiah Meitzler Mohr GernerdHeinrich Gernhardt and his descendants ... → online text (page 1 of 27)