Tuesday, March 25, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS, #13: John KUHN

Following the challenge of writing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, issued by Amy Johnson Crow, here is my 13th installment, for John KUHN, my 5th great-grandfather on my maternal line.  

John KUHN is the original KUHN immigrant, coming from the Wurttenmberg region, settling first in the Goshenhoppen area in Pennsylvania with other Roman Catholic immigrants. John is frequently spelled Johan and other variants on records, of course, let alone Kuhn variants.  Kuhn is a relatively common surname in Germany, so this is our family's version of a 'John Smith.'

Various researchers have not been certain when the original immigrant John KUHN arrived in British America, with his family.  However, it seems to have been by 1732 or 1733, when he is noted living in the Goshenhoppen area, in what is now Berks County, Pennsylvania.   Most of the following information has been found in a variety of places including the following:  (a) "Eckroth-Eckenroth-Eckenrode Family" Vol. 1 & 2, William Kirkpatrick; published 1987 by Chris Pelikan; (b) FindAGrave Memorial information at Conewago Chapel Basilica Cemetery; (c) Goshenhoppen Church Registers: Births, Marriages, Deaths [I have pdf copies of these]; (d) Early Catholic Migration website; all online. 

John KUHN arrived with his wife, Anna Barbara [?Adams], and at least these 4 children, all born in Wurrtemberg region; all married in Pennsylvania in or around Macungie Township, near the border of Lehigh county:
 - Henry, b. abt 1715-1720, m. Anna Margaret Schmidt bef 1741; d. 1765; 10 children
 - John George* [direct ancestor], b. abt 1720-1725, m.27 Nov 1744 to Catherine Riffel; 6 children
 - Eva Mary, b. abt 1722-1725, m. 24 Apr 1743 to Phillip Schmidt; d. 1756; 6 children
 - Joseph Jacob, b. abt 1725-1730, m. ? to unknown person; d. 1782; at least one child, a son

John KUHN died on 14 Feb 1751, his wife, Anna Barbara died several years later. They are buried - as are many others of my KUHN ancestors - in the Cemetery of the Conewago Chapel Basilica.  

His death is listed in the Goshenhoppen register, as transcribed:
 KUHN, John, on 14 Feb 1751, carpenter, with whom Rev. Theodore Schneider, the founder of the Goshenhoppen missions, was wont to lodge.  

Note that Father Schneider was the first priest arriving in Philadelphia in about 1741, sent to minister to the German parishioners.  John Kuhn and his sons and neighbours built a church which stands  in Bally, Berks County, PA, as shown in the link in the second paragraph above.  

Various early tax registers show the Kuhn surname spelled a variety of ways: Coontz, for example, as well as Koon, Koone,  Kuhnz, and other variants. 

There have been a few tantalizing clues about precisely where in Wurttemberg the family originally lived, before they emigrated en masse.  On several records they are listed as from Wurttemberg, specifically from Schlaitdorf, and there is a very possible birth record in Neckartailfingen, Wurttemberg.  Both Schlaitdorf and Neckartailfingen towns are next to each other. A tiny clue, but challenging to research.  

If you have information or questions about John KUHN and his family, do leave a comment or contact me via calewis at telus dot net; I would love to hear from you.  


Trish Rohn said...

As a Green Bay Packer fan, I especially enjoyed reading this. (I did refrain from yelling "KUUUUHHNN!!" as I did though.) Do you know if John Kuhn of the Packers is a descendant of your John Kuhn?

Celia Lewis said...

Gosh, I have no idea! There are so many collateral lines that it's hard to know them all! Not that I'm aware of. Thanks for stopping by. Now I'm going to have to research him - later!


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis