1997 Brobst Genealogy News Mailbag

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1997 Brobst Genealogy News Mailbag

Winter 1997 Mailbag

From Gloria Hartzell:

Thank you for sending a sample of the Brobst Newsletter. I enjoyed reading it. You asked for additions and corrections. Bill Brobst apparently hasn't contacted you yet about it so I will. Eva Catherine Brobst, d/o Philip Jacob Probst/Brobst, was m. to (John) Nicholas Kutz, not to Nicholas Kuntz. Nicholas Kutz was the s/o Nicholas Kutz (Couts) and wf, Anna Catherine. Nicholas Kutz & Eva Catherine Brobst were married before 1760. His will was dated 11-16-1789 and probated in June of 1790 at the Berks Co. Courthouse. Wife, Eva Catharine and their 7 children are named in his will. Their 7 known children:

  1. Elizabeth Kutz, b.5 May 1786 Maxatawny Twp., d. 17 Apr 1816 in Berks Co. PA, m. Henry Siegfried (b 17 April 1752, d. 9 August 1822, a son of Joseph Siegfried and Anna Maria Romig,)
  2. Mary Dorothy Kutz, b. 2 February 1765, d 14 March 1832, m. Abraham Siegfried (b 1764 Maxatawny Twp., d. 1802 East Allen Twp, Northampton Co. PA, another son of Joseph Siegfried and Anna Maria Romig.)
  3. (John) Nicholas Kutz Jr., b. 14 April 1765 Maxatawny Twp, d. 4 May 1831, m. Maria Susanna Scharadin.
  4. Susanna Margaretha Kutz, b. 13 March 1768, d. 20 March 1846.
  5. Maria Margaretha Kutz, b. 22 May 1771. No Further reference.
  6. John Kutz, b. 10 November 1774 in Berks Co, d. 20 March 1846 in Berks Co, m. Hanna Biehl
  7. Anna Rosina Kutz, b. October 1777 Maxatawny Twp d. Nov 1833, m. Johann Scharadin in 1803.

Note: The birth date of either child #2 or child #3 must be incorrect. They could not have been born three months apart.

Could you please e-mail me the complete address with house number and street name of Philip Jacob Brobst's homestead? I was sorry we had to leave right after the reunion for another commitment and were unable to view the house at that time.

Someone sent me the internet address of
http://www.greenapple.com/w thomas

but our internet explorer said it cannot access this data. Sure wish I knew how to access it??!!

Waiting to hear from you again concerning the Brobst diskettes. Thanks, Gloria
[email protected] (Hartzell)

Gloria: try this address:


I have yet to break down my Family Tree Maker files into diskette size databases. It may be easier to download the GEDCOM databases located at the above address, and at: http://www.globaldialog.com/~kellym/brobst.htm

Of course, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of anyone’s database except my own…

If anyone has the street address of Valentine Brobst’s house, please let us know.

From Bill Brobst:

Paula, this is what I now have in my file on this.

"Her family name is in some question. According to French archives in Strasbourg, France, on 4/15/1724, Philipp Jacob and C'erine were godparents to Marie Marguerite Anthes, daughter of C'erine's brother Henri Anthes and his wife Eve (Eva). It is noted in the church records in Oberseebach that one Phillippe J. Probst was the godfather on April 15 1724 of Maria Marguerita Anthes, daughter of Henri (Heinrich?) Anthes and his wive, Eve (Eva?). The godmother of Marie Marguerite Anthes was Maria Margaretha Christin! Those same records (Evangelish-Reformierte Kirche, Oberseebach) state "Philippe Jacques Probst and Catharine, his wife, Lutherans, had these children found in the Parish registers of Oberseebach: 28 Aug 1721 Jean Michel; 18 Feb 1724 Jean Valentin; 29 Dec 1726 Jean Martin; 8 Mar 1731 Anne Marie." It is noted that two of her daughters had the first name "Eva", and one of her children was named "Valentin", the same name as her husband's godfather (Valentin Christ).C'erine's family name of Anthes had earlier been thus inferred, rather than proven. In the past, the evidence for that seemed credible. However, information that Dora Kamalu has put together indicates that C'erine's family name is more likely to have been Christ, not Anthes. At this point, it appears possible, and perhaps even probable, that Eva's maiden name was Christ, and she may have been a sister to C'erine, in which case C'erine's maiden name would definitely be Christ, not Anthes. Dora Kamalu is still researching that question. Since the evidence now tends to favor Christ rather than Anthes, my records have been changed to reflect Christ, not Anthes.She was illiterate; signed papers with an "X".Some records show her death year as 1759."….

Maybe when I visit Oberseebach next spring, I can find out for myself. I may have to brush up on my French, though. Bill

From:Glen W. Probst

e-mail: [email protected]

In response to an E-mail from Bill Brobst:

My great grandfather Ulrich Probst immigrated to Utah from near Bern, Switzerland in about 1859. He was born in Lufstetten. He was converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in Switzerland by Karl G. Maeser (The first president of BYU where I now work), and Willard Richards, who was with Joseph Smith (founder of the LDS Church) in Carthage Jail, Illinois when Joseph was murdered by a mob.

Ulrich came to Salt Lake City and then on to the small town of Midway about fifty miles away to the east. They liked Midway because the high mountains surrounding it reminded them of the Alps. In fact, the place is also known as the Alps of Utah. Many immigrants of Swiss descent settled there. It will be the largest venue of the Winter Olympics in 2002.

Ulrich had ten children, so there is a large progeny of Probsts from his line. I came through Jacob Probst (my grandfather) and Karl Probst (my father). I am excited to check out the names you included in the email. BYU has an extensive genealogical library and, of course, the LDS Genealogical Library in SLC is one of the largest in the world. So, we should be able to find some good information if you haven't already checked there. If you would like to see my website at the university, point your browser to http://humanities.byu.edu/elc/Cybercenter

From Dean Cunfer:

….I liked Lewis Donat’s storytelling on Saturday…On the Cunfer side of my family, we go back to the 1700s in PA. Lewis Donat’s ancestor, Jacob Donat, fits into the Cunfer family.

From Carl Cunfer:

On August 3rd, 1997, it was my honor and privilege to conduct worship services at the Jerusalem Red Church, near Kempton, PA. This was a real delight for me. I had learned about his church as a teenager, and even though I grew up only 30 miles away, I never did get over to visit that church. After a tour of duty in Korea, I made my way to Ohio where I attended college and seminary and was ordained a Lutheran pastor and served on congregation in Mansfield, Ohio for 34 ½ years.

My visits back to Penna. were always so brief so I never made it over to the Red Church. I vowed that upon my first visit back east after I retired I would attend services there. I did retire December 31st, 1996. So when I knew I would be back that way in August, I contacted Frank and Florence Metzger to send me directions as well as the time of service. The next thing I knew Florence called me to inform me that the pastor would not be there that Sunday and would I be willing to have the service. I was honored to accept.

The service was held in the fellowship hall because they were redecorating the sanctuary for the 250th Anniversary celebration. The attendance that day was nothing compared to what we all experienced at the 250th celebration. But still it was a moving experience for me. I am a 6th generation of the Michael Brobst line. Michael Brobst was among those early settlers who brought that congregation into being. That is why my being there meant so much to me. The one thought that ran though my mind both that day and on September 14th, was the reality that God Never Allows Himself To Be Without A Witness.

Think of it, one generation after another, united in worship. My how proud would be those early settlers if they could -- and perhaps do – see the fruits of their labors.

From Peggy Brobst:

I was very sorry to read of the death of Bill Rutledge. I am sure Bill was responsible for whetting the interest of many people in genealogy – especially Brobst genealogy. I corresponded with Bill from 1982 to 1988 before he connected "us" with the rest of the Brobsts. I grew discouraged when no one else seemed interested in finding Michael Bobsts’ (1830-1893) family. It was Bill who told me that his parents were Michael (1793-1841) and Jane Schmeck Brobst (1799-1870), buried in Milton, PA. Family lore says the younger Michael had a sister Lydia, but that’s about all I know. When he came to Illinois, he had buried a young first wife (Catharine Folmer), also in Harmony Cemetery at Milton.

I never properly thanked Bill, but I hope other people will take up his endeavors.


It has been just a year since Bill passed on. I am sure many many people remember him fondly, and think of him often with thanks for instilling the genealogy spirit in their lives.

Eileen Brobst-Lane sent in an article on Samuel K. Brobst, founder of Muhlenberg College. Look for it in the Spring issue of the Brobst Genealogy News!!

Jo-Anne Flanders wrote that the photo of her at the June 96 reunion was never correctly identified. In the March 1997 issue, the people in the following photo were identified as Carolyn Bowman and Larry Brobst. The correct identification is Jo-Anne Flanders and Larry Brobst.

Jo-Anne Flanders Iowa 1996 Reunion

Jo-Anne Flanders, Coburg, OR; and Larry Brobst, Fort Dodge, IA

Jo-Anne also wrote in that the notification for the date change for the Kansas reunion should have sent out earlier..

Jo-Anne: Unfortunately, I was unaware of the change in the date until last minute. Since this publication is quarterly, any changes need to be submitted well in advance…pkp

Fall 1997 Mailbag

From Bill Brobst – 9/23/97:

I found out that Philipp Jacob's farm site also served as the farm site for his son Jean Michael, and his grandsons Martin and Johannes F.

Obadiah's father, John, son of Johannes F., was most likely born there as well.

The Grist Mill across the street from PJ's place was run by Martin Brobst. But I had other information that said there were three Brobst Grist Mills in Albany Township. So I set out to find the third one. Remember when Lewis Donat was talking about a Brobst mill on Maiden Creek where it makes a 180 degree turn? I found it!! The building is still there, and the mill race also. That was Michael's mill. He had dug out a mill race to divert water from Maiden Creek past his mill, and the ditch is still there. The local occupants knew about it. Michael sold the mill to Moser who sold it later to Lenhart. In recent years, they still remember it as Lenhart's mill. It's just halfway between Trexler and Wanamakers, about three miles north of Kempton on Hwy 143.

Summer 1997 Mailbag

From Janet Binkley April 97:

Corrections and additions to the Spring issue of the Brobst Genealogy News—

1. The father of Benjamin K. Brobst (b May 24, 1832, d Jun 21, 1900) was NOT John F. (an error everyone gets from the History of Lehigh County) but Jacob F. (b Jun 8, 1799, d Dec 9. 1836, m Mar 12, 1822 per article my daughter located, from that time, announcing the marriage (Reading PA paper) to Lydia Kistler (b Nov 24, 1802, d Jan 24 1881). That is, the dates were right, only the first name needed to be corrected.

2. Information on David Mossier and wife Catharine Oswald: Both are buried at the cemetery in New Tripoli, PA. Her stone says 4.7.1770 to 5.14.1857. His says died 10.18.1832 at age 65, so born probably [1776]. The records of Rev Helffrich show they were married 1795 (no month or day). (I got the Helffrich info from a printed transcription, but have seen the stones at New Tripoli myself.

Hope this is helpful to someone.

Ed: Thanks for the corrections and additional information!

Spring 1997 Mailbag

*Mariam Neifert Slowitsky

Mariam Neifert Slowitsky wrote me asking about Elisabeth Stumb/Stump who married John Jacob Neifert prior to 1762 when their first child was born. She is seeking Elizabeth’s date of birth date, possibly late 1730s or 1740s; and date of death.

The sponsors for the children of Elisabeth and John were Johannes Brobst and Catherine Stump, and their children have the names of their sponsors: John Jacob, Christian, Catherine and Margaret. Mrs. Slowitsky thinks this may mean that Elisabeth and John are related in some way to the sponsors. If you have any information on this family, please respond to Mrs. Slowitsky, 322 West Green Street, Hazleton, PA 18201.

* From Dean Cunfer 1-12-97:

In the last newsletter, on page 9, second column, there is an article concerning Elmer Holmes Brobst. You have the wrong person listed as his father. His father was Frank Brobst, born October 4, 1847. Frank’s father was Henry Brobst, born January 21, 1821.

Elmer H. Bobst did not use the letter R in Brobst.

* From Bill Brobst 3-24-97:

The Enigma of Obadiah.

Obadiah Brobst has been found. Many of you know that I took on the search for my g'g'grandfather, Obadiah, a couple of years ago. It was quite a detective story, and it's still not over. But at least now I know where and when Obadiah was born.

There wasn't much to go on, at first. A family memory that said Obadiah came from Pennsylvania, and had three brothers -- Daniel, Reuben, and John. A letter that Obed's son, John F., wrote in the early 1900s referred to Obed's grandfather, John, and granduncle, Valentine. In the letter he mentioned that he (John F.) had gone back to PA around 1900 to attend a hearing about his g'uncle Valentine's estate and some fraud involving Valentine's coal lands. We had a copy of a few of Obed's Civil War papers, showing his birth year as either 1812 or 1817. And his dad's nickname was Joe (we thought). Obed had written some letters to his brother John in Newton Falls, Trumbull County, Ohio in 1863. But we had no birth/baptism record for any of them, only a few gravestone markings of his own families, and a rumor that his brother Reuben lived in Ohio also.

That's all we had. I started in Berks County, since that's where most of the Brobsts started. I found nothing about Obadiah. I did find some fascinating history about the Brobsts, what they went through in Europe from Switzerland to Germany, why they left, what they suffered on the voyages, what they went through in the American wilderness, how they got along (or didn't) with the Indians, and how they finally triumphed in their settlement of a new land (new for them, not the Indians!)

I learned about Johan Michael and his brother, Philipp Jacob, and their families. I found that one history account said one thing, a different one contradicted the first one. I started making a lot of notes about all those Brobsts. I got a Family Tree Maker program from a friend (thanks, Paula!) and started dumping all that information into the file. I found records of a couple dozen John Brobsts in that time period of the mid- to late-1700s. Which one had a brother Valentine? Or maybe a brother-in-law? Ah, but he was a rich Valentine. I found only one John-Valentine combination of the right ages, and that Valentine was rich, and his estate was in legal dispute due to some fraud by one of his daughters. Bingo!

So now I knew Obed's grandfather's name -- Johannes F. Brobst, son of the immigrant Jean Michael Probst, son of Philipp Jacob Probst. Johannes F. married Anna Barbara Stambach. They had some daughters and six sons. Six? But which one was Obed's dad? I started on them one at a time. Four of them were fairly easy to dispose of -- their family history was well documented, and they had no recorded children with any of the names of Obed or his three brothers. That left John and Ferdinand. But Obed's dad's nickname was Joe. No fit?

Ferdinand disappeared from the records shortly after his birth and baptism in the Jerusalem "Red" Church in Albany Twp, Berks Co. He never showed up in any census, or marriage record, or land record. He must have either died very young, or left PA very young and never established a record there. So I discounted him. So it had to be John, son of Johannes F. and Anna Barbara. But where did that John go? And how could I sort him out from all the other John Brobsts who were living around there then?

About this time, I found an 1888 Ohio obituary of Obed's brother which stated, per Reuben's son John, that Reuben had been born in Northumberland in 1803. But it didn't list his parents' names. Darn! But it gave me a place to go look. And by now I had narrowed the list of possible Johns down to just a few. So I spent a week in N/U Co.

In Northumberland County, I found two John Brobsts who could have been Obed's dad. One John died in Shamokin, N/U Co., in 1814; no wife was mentioned, and Daniel Stambach was his estate administrator.

The other John (whose wife was named Rebecca) died in Point Township, N/U Co., in 1836, leaving an orphan named John who had been born in 1820. The orphan was apprenticed to Pittsburg, came back to N/U Co. to marry somebody, and then moved to Youngstown, Ohio, in the 1840s. Coincidentally, Obed showed up in Crawford County, PA, in the 1840 census, living among some Fursts. (His first wife's name was Mary Anna Furst, from Crawford Co.)

About this time, I found out that Lydia Brobst, born in Schuylkill Co., in 1810, married Christian Furst, Mary Anna's brother, in 1829! Gosh, could Lydia be Obed's sister? Is that why he went to Crawford County? Family history didn't mention a sister, nor did it mention that John was an orphan. But the Shamokin John seemed more and more remote. And the Point Township John seemed more and more certain.

"In March, 1997, a geneo researcher (not even a Brobst) was looking through filmed records of the Reid's Union Church near Sunbury, Northumberland County. She found the birth and baptism record of Obedia Brobst, born to John and wife! Bingo, again!! Finally, there he was. I ordered the film from the nice LDS folks in SLC, and found the record. And who was the godfather? None other than Daniel Stambach. Well, maybe Obed's dad was the Shamokin John after all, but that's unlikely considering the supposed birth date of Obed's brother John of 1820. Oh, well.

I ordered the film from the nice LDS folks in SLC, and found the record. And who was the godfather? None other than Daniel Stambach!! But Daniel was living in Columbia Co., not Armstrong. Well, maybe it was the Shamokin John after all, but that still seems unlikely. So does everything else!

At least we found his birth record, and we have confirmation that his father was named John. Too bad it didn't name his mother. And no record of his father being a member of that church, and no other baptisms of Brobsts in that church.

Were they just nomads? Did John, Sr., get married in Berks Co. around 1800, then move to Schuylkill Co. where Reuben and Lydia were born, then move to Northumberland Co. where Obed and John were born? And when was John born? I'm still confused, but at least I did verify his birth place and father's name.Now I'm headed back to Penna to do some more mining of dead Brobsts. Anybody out there have any ideas?

This page was last updated on Monday, 21-Feb-2011 18:19:10 MST
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