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known. They were probably married about 1769 or 1770. They
had ten children and fifty-five grandchildren, as follows :

L Magdalena^, b. Feb. 6, 1771 ; married Andrew Shafer,

Feb. II, 1794; died in the town of Sparta, Livingston County, N.

Y., May 8, 1834. Two children: Henry^ and Elizabeth^.

78 The Gernhardt Family History.

II. Jacob^, b. about 1773; was twice married; d. about 1813,
at Fayette, Seneca County, N. Y. Eight children: George, Ja-
cob, Susan, John, Daniel and Clarissa by first wife, and Lydia
and Anna Maria by second wife.

III. Anna Elizabeth^, b. April 3, 1776; d. July 8, 1854;
never married. Lived with her brother Baltzer after her father's

IV. Philip", b. March i, 1779; twice married; second time
to Magdalena Bieber; d. June 9, 1843, ^t Muncy, Pa. Eight
children : Catharine^ by first wife, and Rosena^ Sarah^, An-
drew^, David^, Adam^, Hannah^, and Maria^, by second wife.

V. JoHN^, b. Oct. 21, 1780; m. Catharine Siegfried Brobst
Aug. 20, 1805; d. Aug. 14, 1851, in Upper Macungie, Lehigh
County, Pa. Twelve children : Hannah^, Catharine-^, Jonas^,
Anna Mary 3, Nathan^, David^, Solomon^, Henry ^, John^, Wil-
liam^, Benjamin^, Reuben^.

VI. Catharine^, b. Feb. 18, 1783 ; m. Peter Fogleman about
1805 ; d. Sept. 3, 1840, in Delaware Township, Northumberland
County, Pa. Five children : Mary^, John^, Elizabeth^, Cath-
arine^, Peter^.

VII. Margaret^, b. Feb. 18, 1783. She and Catharine were
twins; m. John Litchard about 1806; d. June 12, 1836, in the
town of Sparta, Livingston County, N. Y. Ten children : Wil-
liam^ David^ John^, George^, Elizabeth^, Mary^, Catharine^,
Margaret^, Henry^, Benjamin^.

VIII. Baltzer2, b. August, 1785; m. Anna C. Esbach about
1808; d. April 12, 1851, in Delaware Township, Northumber-
land County, Pa. Five , children : Mary^, John^, Benjamin^,
Samuel^, Daniel^.

The Gernhardt Family History. 79

IX. Anna Maria^, b. Sept. 17, 1786; m. Charles Williams
about 18 — ; d. April 8, 1862, at Pekin, Niagara County, N. Y.
Four children : John^, Rozanna^, David^, Charles^.

X. Susanna^, b. Sept. 24, 1789; m. George Mosteller about
1823 ; d. Nov. 25, 1846, in Delaware Township, Northumberland
County, Pa. One child : Rubet^, who died in childhood.

Had the task of preserving our family history been commenced
half a centur}- ago, when many of the older members of the third
generation were still alive, much interesting information pertain-
ing to the early history of the family could have been gathered
that is now lost. But what has been here garnered is nevertheless
of definite interest, and will be of value to the future historians of
the family. As but eight of Heinrich's children have become the
heads of the families now existing, there are therefore just eight
branches emanating from the primal trunk of our great and thrift}*
American family tree These branches, with their numerous off-
shoots, will each in turn hereinafter be separately represented, and
as completely and up-to-date as it has been possible to obtain the
necessary data.


Before presenting the records of the various branches of the
family separately, and as fully as it was possible to get correct in-
formation, some thoughts suggested by the wonderful growth ex-
hibited by the increase of the first four generations — the fourth
generation is now also full-grown — deserve serious consideration.
Many of the fourth succession of descendants have already in turn
been gathered unto their fathers, and those who are still alive are
now called "the old folks." Many even of the fifth generation are
turning gray, and, as will be seen by the records that follow, are
now grandparents. A most interesting and surprising fact of the
family history, therefore, is the wonderful growth, which the fol-
lowing formula exhibits :
1st generation. 2nd gen. 3rd gen. 4th gen.

PI. and R, 10 children. 55 grandc. 328 g. g. c.

8o The Gernhardt Family History.

The second generation, it will be observed, shows an increase
of five times, the third generation in turn made a growth of tiz'e
and one-half times — i e., along the Gernhardt Hne of descent — and
the fourth generation on the same paternal line made a growth
almost six times greater than the third. The nvimber of the fifth
and sixth generations is already immense, — ^the seventh is coming
on at a rate very encouraging for the future of the family, — but as
these individual successions are yet far from being all born, the
ultimate figures are not yet available. But what a household for
one pair to have in a few generations ! If Heinrich and Rosine
were still living and could see all their children, grandchildren,
and great-grandchildren — an aggregate of three hundred and
ninety-three souls, not to mention several full regiments of the
three younger sets — they would most surely be amazed. And if
they could put on magic spectacles and see all their lineage of ten
or fifteen or more generations, what would they think and say
then ? It is worth while to consider for a moment the natural law
of increase already instituted on the earth when God said to Adam
and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth." If
Heinrich were still here he could certainly not complain that his
descendants have to the present time failed to obey this divine

To comprehend the actual rate of multiplication, and possibili-
ties of generation, the following excerpt from Darwin's Origin of
Species will be found especially helpful :

"Although some species may now" be increasing, more or less
rapidly, in numbers, all cannot do so, for the world would not hold
them. There is no exception to the rule that every organic being
naturally increases at so high a rate that, if not destroyed, the
earth would soon be covered by the progeny of a single pair.
Even slow-breeding man has doubled in twenty-five years, and at
this rate, in a few thousand years, there would literally not be
standing-room for his progeny. Linnaeus has calculated that if an
annual plant produced only two seeds — and there is no plant nearly
so unproductive as this — and their seedlings next year produced
two, and so on, then in twenty years there would be a million plants.
The elephant is reckoned the slowest breeder of all known animals,
and I have taken some pains to estimate its probable minimum

The Gernhardt Family History. 8i

rate of natural increase : it will be safest to assume that it begins
breeding when thirty years old, and goes on breeding till ninety
years old, bringing forth six young in the interval, and surviving
till one hundred years old ; if this be so, after a period of from
seven hundred and forty to seven hundred and fifty years, there
would be alive nearly nineteen million elephants descended from
the first pair. But we have better evidence on this subject than
mere theoretical calculations, namely, the numerous recorded
cases of the astonishingly rapid increase of various animals in a
state of nature, when circumstances have been favorable to them,
during two or three following seasons. Still more striking is the
evidence from our domestic animals of many kinds which have
run wild in several parts of the world — if the statements of the
rate of increase of slow-breeding cattle and horses in South Amer-
ica, and latterly in Australia, had not been well authenticated,
they would have been incredible."

Assuming that the increase of future generations of Heinrich's
descendants will continue, the same in each succeeding generation,
at the multiple rate of five — and this is not entirely a theoretical
calculation, because, as already shown, it is somewhat less than
the actual rate of increase of the family to the present time — then
the following computation will exhibit what we also might see if
v.e could look down the vale of time through magic glasses.
Heinrich's and Rosine's descendants, actual and possible :

Children, increase 5 times 10

Grandchildren, increase 51-2 times 55

Great-grandchildren, increase almost 6 times. . . . 328

Fifth generation, increase reckoned at 5 times. . . 1,640

Sixth generation, increase reckoned at 5 times. . . . 8,200

Seventh generation, increase reckoned at 5 times. . 41,000

Eighth generation, increase reckoned at 5 times. . 205,000

Ninth generation, increase reckoned at 5 times. . . 1,025,000

Tenth generation, increase reckoned at 5 times. . 5,125,000

Eleventh generation, increase reckoned at 5 times. 25,625,000

Twelfth generation, increase reckoned at 5 times. . 128,125,000

Thirteenth generation, increase reckoned at 5 times 640,625,000

Fourteenth generation, increase reckoned at 5 times 3,203,125,000

Fifteenth generation, increase__ reckoned at 5 times 16,015,625,000

82 The Gernhardt Family History.

These are startling, but not at all visionary, figures. They
present a problem for the most serious and practical of the kin-
dred to meditate upon. The last sum in the computation is truly
amazing. It is about twelve times greater than the highest esti-
mated present population of the whole world. But recent investi-
gations show a diminishing birth-rate among civilized peoples,
and this seems to be the fact among the descendants of Heinrich.
To allow a reasonable margin for possibly increasing checks to
future growth, therefore, suppose we say that the fifteenth gener-
ation will number but one-eighth of the above prodigious num-
ber. This will allow for a vastly smaller birth-rate. But even
then the descendants of Heinrich will in less than five hundred
years still outnumber the present population of the earth by prob-
ably six hundred millions. This may seem beyond all question
incredible, but — again just look at the figures and think. Where
is the calculation wrong? Why cannot the tenth, or twelfth, or fif-
teenth generation, under the same favorable conditions, increase
in the same geometrical ratio as the second, third and fourth
generations ? That the blood of Heinrich and Rosine will in time
be commingled with the blood of such a prodigious host seems
absolutely impossible, at first thought, it must be admitted, but
do not the figures unmistakably look that way ?

This problem is not less curious and knotty, if we undertake
to trace our lineage back a few centuries. The same puzzling
question of the perpetual intermingling of blood confronts the
understanding. Looking back, for instance, in imagination- down
the long and ever divergent line of ancestors from whom our late
ancestor, Heinrich Gernhardt, descended, the question presents
itself, how many kinds and dilutions of blood had he already in his
own veins? Every human soul on earth has, or if dead has had,
the blood of two parents. Heinrich was the offspring of two
beings, the same as every one of his swarm of descendants. His
father and mother each had two parents, and each of his grand-
parents had two parents, thus giving him eight great-grandpar-
ents. Each of the eight great-grandparents had two parents ;
making sixteen great-great-gran^parents ; the sixteen great-


The Gernhardt Family History. 83

great-grandparents together had thirty-two parents, thus giving
Heinrich sixty-four great-great-great-grandparents ; and but one
more remove back gave our ancestor from Germany an admixture
of the blood of no fewer than one hundred and twenty-eight great-
great-great-great-grandparents. The number thus continues to
double up every time with astonishing rapidity, in an order of ab-
solutely natural geometrical progression. The following table —
and figures it is conceded do not lie, if properly stated — will more
clearly illustrate this amazing truth :

Heinrich had parents 2

The parents each had two parents 4

Great-grandparents 8

Fourth generation of lineal ancestors 16

Fifth generation of lineal ancestors '32

Tenth generation of lineal ancestors 1,024

Fifteenth generation of lineal ancestors 32,768

Twentieth generation of lineal ancestors 1,048,576

Twenty-fifth generation of lineal ancestors 33,554,432

Twenty-sixth generation of lineal ancestors 67,108,864

Twenty-seventh generation of lineal ancestors 134,217,728

Total No. of 2y gen. of ancestors 268,435,454

Two hundred and sixty-eight millions, four hundredand thirty-
five thousand, and four hundred and fifty-four ancestors, in only
twenty-seven generations ! Think of it ! This is a multitude of
fathers and mothers beyond the mental grasp of the most capable
human intellect. It is a number twice as great as the combined pop-
ulation of all North and South America. And still greater is the
wonder. Mother Rosine was just as well off as Father Heinrich
in the matter of ancestors, as she also had two parents, four
grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grand-
parents, and a grand total of two hundred and sixty-eight mil-
lions, four hundred and thirty-five thousand, and four hundred

84 The Gernhardt Family History.

and fifty-four lineal ancestors in only twenty-seven generations.
Therefore, the ten children of Heinrich and Rosine, having de-
scended from both of these aggregations of ancestral lines, or, to
use a common genealogical metaphor, as the two great roots united
in the parents to forni the stem of a great family tree, with its
immense and forever bifurcating roots and branches, they (the ten
children) had just double the number of ancestors that either one
of their parents had ; and hence they had the magnificent array of
five hundred and thirty-six millions, eight hundred and seventy
thousand, and nine hundred and eight ancestors in the same
twenty-seven generations — a multitude equal to the present popu-
lation of all America and Europe combined. Just think !

And this calculation does not go back nine hundred years.
What space and figures it would require to construct a table for
six thousand years, or for two hundred generations. Of a com-
plete biographical record of all our ancestors, along all lines, back
to the beginning of the race, it may almost be said, as is said at
the close of the Gospel according to St. John of the things that
the Son of Man did, viz., "if they should be written every one,
I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books
that should be written." But if we go back so far, where were
all the millions upon millions of ancestors, and where did they
come from, if every mortal, of every generation that ever existed,
had two parents? Now the puzzling part of this riddle is, that
when we get back to Adam and Eve there were, as we are con-
stantly being assured, only tzvo ancestors for the whole human

The breaks or laps in the ancestral lines of descent ; the cross
hues, that must at some time continuously diminish, and not for-
ever multiply ; the intermingling lines of progenitors that seem to
double forever, although the whole human race may have issued
from a single pair, is a problem that is left for others to solve.
The most important fact in the question to us all is that God —
even if there were various centers of creation, as many think —
made all the families of the earth of One Blood and of the same
Earth. We all share alike in respect to human nature, and rights.

The Gernhardt Family History. 85

equality, opportunity and destiny. All men, as the fathers at the
Declaration of Independence declared, are by birth equal, and are
endowed with the same inalienable rights, among which are Life,
Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. All are closely and con-
stitutionally related, and all have the blood of the high and the
low flowing in their veins. Is it not folly, therefore, for any one
to boast or think himself better or meaner than his fellows be-
cause of his birth ? God is no respecter of persons, and why
should we be ? This is the important lesson for us descendants of
Heinrich and Rosine Gernhardt. It does not matter who our
ancestors in Europe or America were, as every one must work
out his own destiny, and answer for his own deeds. As John the
Baptist said unto the Pharisees and Sadducees who were silly
enough to pride themselves because of their pedigree, "Think
not to say within yourselves. We have Abraham to our father.
* * =^ Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit will be
cut down and cast into the fire."

"Consider, man; weigh well thy frame,
The king, the beggar, are the same;
Dust form'd us all. Each breathes his day,
Then sinks into his native clay."


There is no essential relation between a name and worth. If
by act of Assembly, or otherwise, a man has his cognomen
changed, that does not in the least affect the blood, the vital and
mental inheritance, or character. The blood, or pedigree, remains
the same, no matter how the name is changed, or how a person
is raised and educated. Beginning with the family of Heinrich
and Rosine, their children were just as much Fettermans by blood
as Gernhardts — and possibly more so, considered in the light of
embryology. During the period of gestation the child is built up
cell by cell and tissue upon tissue from the mother's blood alone,
and after birth for months normally receive all its nourishment
from the mother's breast. And this admixture of blood, like a
great flowing river, made up of drops of water from a thousand
tributaries and springs, goes or. forever.

86 ' The Gcrnhardt Family History.

In the third generation we see that the Gernhardt-Fetterman
blood is intermingled with that of the Shafers, Cramers, Shetter-
leys, Biebers, Siegfrieds, Foglemans, Litchards, Esbachs, Wil-
liams and Hostellers. If we could see into the future and follow
up all the lines of descent that from here diverge, and look back
and see all the lines of lineage that here converge, we would soon
be lost in a bewildering maze of lineal and collateral lines. In the
fourth generation we see that the genealogical tree has spread out
its branches much further stilf — or the stream has grown much
bigger by the inflow of many tributaries — so that the blood-kin-
ship, as the records that follow show, now includes the Klines,
Frantzes, Bolanders, Goshorns, Lilleys, Hunts, Wistermans,
Friedleys, Crugers, Collers, Mecums, Cruses, Waltons, Lymans,
Donmoyers, Hinterleiters, Zieglers, Gachenbachs, Bortzes, Steinin-
gers, Mohrs, Eisenharts, Grosses, Straubs, Hinkles, Treons, Har-
lemans. Bakers, Freys, Bucks, Seeses, Moritzes, Parsons, Martzes,
Hoffmans, Smiths, Tuckers, Buzzles, Millers, Keihles, Stefifys,
Ameses, Clemonses, Ingolsons, Kinmans, and LeVans. In the
fifth generation the blood of Heinrich and Rosine is now being
intermingled and diluted with so many other families that it would
lax ones memory to remember them all In the sixth and seventh
generations, now coming on the stage to act their parts in the
great drama of life, and in the succeeding generations, the stream
of consanguinity will spread out still wider and wider, until
finally the Gernhardt-Fetterman blood will flow in the veins of
hand reds of millions of descendants. If the children of Heinrich
and Rosine only twenty-five generations back had 536,870,908 an-
cestors by simply doubling, how many descendants will Heinrich
and Rosine themselves have in say fifty generations hence, if
the rate of increase of each succession of progeny continues to be
ilvefold? The reader wdio has plenty of time and patience can
work this sum out for himself. Surely, the whole world must be
related. Just think !

That there is a law of inheritance is evident, but how far it
governs life, and is itself governed by the ever varying conditions
of life, is not so well known Why some peculiarities occur in

The Gcrnhardt Fainilv History.

some persons and not in others in the same family is still an
egima. That particular features, traits and characters are often
transmitted in a marked degree, and sometimes through many
generations, is well understood ; but why the same traits and
characters are often not visibly transmitted, or sometimes only to
one sex, or appear only at certain corresponding periods of life,
no one can satisfactorily explain. It is, however, believed that
every one inherits in some degree, if not always in a manifest
degree, the physical and psychical characteristics of his parents ;
that each of the parents in the same variable degree inherited
their traits and qualities from their ancestors — back even to Adam ;
and that all the yet unborn generations will continue to inherit in
the same way. This is the law that Emerson seems to have had
in mind when he wrote that, "Man is but the sum of his ances-
tors." Yet children are never absolutely like either their parents
or distant ancestors. Xo two human beings were ever precisely
alike. A strange and confusing world this would be if all were
positively alike, alike in thought, feeling, action, appearance, and
stature. But every one is a more or less variable reproduction and
representation of his parents. Not one is an original and inde-
pendent creation, but each is a special embryological evolution
from his ancestors, like all the other creatures of earth that walk,
fly, creep and swim.

My grandfather, John Gernert, had three daughters and nine
sons, and I was often impressed when but a mere lad by certain
indescribable peculiarities of features and mind — and I sometimes
thought of voice — that they all possessed, in variable degree, and
I wondered, and still wonder, how and whence they were derived.
The greatest number of inheritances are probably never noticed,
being too slight or too much overshadowed by predominating
features and qualities to be easily observed ; but they are believed
to exist nevertheless, and that they are all liable to "crop out" and
beccmie prominent from time to time. In other words, each one
may be the sum of his ancestors, but the component elements of
each sum become so exceedingly attenuated and mixed up that we
can neither trace nor comprehend them. My deceased daughter,

88 The Gernhardt Family History.

Lydia, when a year old, bore a striking resemblance of feature to
her maternal grandmother; before she was six years old not a
vestige of the likeness was perceivable, and her cast of face be-
came distinctively Gemerd ; though through all her life there were
certain peculiarities in her walk and posing that constantly brought
into mind her mother's paternal grandmother.

It has been asked, May not some inheritances become so attenu-
ated by successive generations of inter-crossing, as to lose all
power and significance, and finally disappear altogether, just as
they may also sometimes gradually or spontaneously appear ? On
the other hand, like the Hahnemann idea of medicines, that their
curative virtue increases as they become more attenuated, it has
also been supposed that the dilution of the blood of our ancestors
has not destroyed its nature and power. It is generally believed
that our physical and psychical nature has come down to us
through hundreds of generations from Adam and Eve. Some of
Hahnemann's disciples it is said were so thoroughly convinced of
the potency of the infinitesimally attenuated in medicines as to in-
sist t±iat the mere smelling of them is often enough tO' effect won-
derful results — smells certainly sometimes make people sick — and
that most salutary effects have even been attained by the mere
holding of medicines in the hand in tightly closed vessels. At all
■events, if this supposed virtue is but the effect of imagination — a
kind of Faith Cure — may it not nevertheless be true biologically
that ancestral blood does not lose its properties, though it may not
always be manifest to our perceptions, by being diluted from gen-
eration to generation. One thing at least seems certain, viz., that
every one of us, according to the 'accepted belief, and as the figures
already given plainly enough show, has in his veins the blood, or
inherited qualities, of more than 536,870,908 ancestors, who all
lived within a period of one thousand years. And this is alike
true of every other family in the land. And also, if we are all
of "one blood," then has not each one in his veins the blood of the
best, as well as the blood of the meanest, of the race ? And are not
all included in the apostolic asseveration, "As is the earthy, such
are they also that are earthv?" If Adam really fell from a state

The Gernhardt Family History. 89

of perfection and through sin became an imperfect and corrupt
being, does it not follow that our imperfections are inheritances,
and have come down to us through a long line of ancestors ? Why,

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