The Brobst Chronicles - The Brobst/Probst Family

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July 1, 1999

William A. Brobst
Brobst Family Historical Registry
6072 Currituck Road
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
[email protected]

Index and Table of Contents to The Brobst Chronicles
Title Page
Chapter One - The Early Swiss/German Probsts
Chapter Two - The History Of The German Immigration To America
Chapter Three - The Struggles of the Settlers
Chapter Four - The Early American Pennsylvania Brobsts
Chapter Five - Children of Philipp Jacob Probst
Chapter Six - The Other Children of Philipp Jacob Probst
Chapter Seven: The Other Children of Christophel Probst
Chapter Eight: Other Interesting Brobstology Intermarriages



2. (Jean) Valentine Probst

(Jean) Valentine was ten when he arrived in America in 1732. He had the nickname of "Felder" or "Felty". His family history is well documented; he married Catharina Levan of Maxatawney Township, Berks County, in 1753. They had no children. She was of Dutch heritage, the daughter of Jacob and Maria Levan.

He was naturalized on September 25, 1761, in Philadelphia, having walked there and back (some 50 miles each way) with his brother (Jean) Michael and their friend, "Jurg" Kistler. Valentine became quite wealthy (another 'noted' Brobst ),and owned large tracts of land in Berks County, as well as an interest in forges and furnaces there. He also owned a sawmill, and he operated a tavern in the basement of his father's house in Fetherolffsville, near Kempton; that house is now a residence and is described in Chapter IV. During the French and Indian Wars, the Fort Henry brigade would spend the nights in the tavern before heading up to Fort Everett in Lynnport. The bar room was in the cellar, next to the fireplace that is still there today.

(Jean) Valentine's farmstead lay along the south side of what is now Kistler Valley Road, between Kempton and Lynnville. He had also owned several other plantations nearby. He is mentioned in several of the Pennsylvania Archives in connection with his military activities in the French and Indian Wars. His letter to his father-in-law, Jacob Levan, regarding an Indian attack is quoted in Chapter III.

He died in 1775. In his will, he specifically singled out his niece, Anna Catharina Probst who married Michael Stein, as being disinherited, stating that she be excluded from his estate. The nature of that obviously severe family "feud" is not known. Evidently, there was no bad feeling between Anna Catharina and her mother, Anna Elizabeth (nee Hechler), wife of (Jean) Valentine's brother (Jean) Martin, because in Anna Elizabeth's will of 1772, she left more than half of her estate of Anna Catharina! Perhaps (Jean) Valentine was angry at either Michael Stein or Anna Elizabeth! Who knows? Perhaps he just knew that Anna Elizabeth (Hechler), who had died several years earlier, had already taken care of Anna Catharina. He left plantations to ("Crazy") Jacob F. Brobst, son of his brother (Jean) Michael, and another to Johannes Fetherolff (which led to the naming of that area "Fetherolffsville"). When his wife, Catharina Levan, died in 1788, she left her estate to be divided into five shares, and she mentioned five sisters-in-law: Catharina Dorothea Federolff, Anna Maria Hechler, Eva Catharina Kuntz, Elizabeth Schneyder, and Susanna Neuendorff; the latter two were actually her sisters.

There have been some claims that (Jean) Valentine and Catharina had children. Three county histories (Berks, Lehigh, and Northumberland) state that he had at least two (Martin and Valentine, and perhaps Christian); all three used essentially the same description of his children, but those reports all seem to be clearly in error, based on more recently discovered information. Both Martin and Valentine are clearly from the families of (Jean) Michael, (Jean) Valentine's brother. Several authorities, including Hollenbach1, have asserted that there were none. (Jean) Valentine's will mentions no children -- only his wife, his sister Dorothea, and some nieces and nephews. It must be accepted that (Jean) Valentine and Catharina (Levan) Probst had no children.

3. (Jean) Martin Probst

The immigrant (Jean) Martin Probst (1721) first married Maria Fuss, but no children are known to have come of that marriage and it ended soon, probably with Maria's death and perhaps in childbirth. He then married Anna Elizabeth Hechler, a Berks County woman, in 1757. She was the daughter of Christian Rudolph Hechler of Exeter Township.

Like his brothers, (Jean) Martin was a farmer and operator of two grist mills and a sawmill in Albany Township. In 1748, he took the oath of allegiance to Pennsylvania, and became naturalized in Philadelphia in 1762. He owned land in Lynn Township, Northampton (now Lehigh) County, but lived in Albany Township, Berks County, until his death. As in the case with his brothers, his family language was German, not English. He used the name "Brobst", rather than his family name "Probst".

(Jean) Martin's only son, Johannes (whom he referred to as "John"2 ), was born in Albany Township in 1759; his sister, Anna Catharina, a year earlier. There may have been a second daughter in 1762. They moved briefly to Schuylkill County, but then Martin returned to Berks County before he died in 1766 at the young age of 40. His Uncle (Jean) Valentine was named guardian of his two young children. (Jean) Martin's wife, Anna Elizabeth, always used the name "Probst" when referring to herself or her children, even in her will shortly before she died3.

Both (Jean) Martin and Anna Elizabeth are surely buried somewhere in Albany or Lynn Townships, but their graves have not been found.


John married Catharina Stump (Stumpfund), daughter of Wilhelm and Anna Magdalena (Hagenbuch) Stumpfund. They had five children: Anna Maria, Johannes Jacob, Susannah, Daniel, and Benjamin. He served four action tours in the Revolutionary War, first with the Berks County Militia, and later with the Continental Army. He fought first as a private soldier and a scout, serving on and off, a couple months at a time, mostly in New Jersey and in the Reading, Pennsylvania, area.

After the war of 1812 ended, he and his wife moved from Albany Township to Union Township, Union (then Northumberland) County. Most of their children moved with them, where they lived out their lives as farmers. He was later granted a pension for his service, but died in March 1834, five months after starting to collect his pension.

Their son, Johannes Jacob, married Catharina Klöse in 1802 and moved to Snyder County, Pennsylvania. He served in the War of 1812.

Anna Catharina

Anna Catharina married Michael Stein; they were mentioned in the earlier discussion of the will of her Uncle (Jean) Valentine, earlier in this Chapter.

4, 5. Anna Maria Probst

Philipp Jacob's and C'erine's first daughter was Anne Marie Probst who was born in Oberseebach, Alsace, France, in 1731, and apparently died as an infant, either before the Probsts left for America, or on the ship en route to Philadelphia in 1732. One record states she died in Alsace, and gives the death date as Mar 8 1731. As was the custom when a child died as an infant, the next child of the same gender was given the same name, and Anna Maria Probst was born in Berks County in 1737. She married her brother-in-law Christian "CH" Hechler, a brother of (Jean) Martin's wife, Anna Elizabeth Hechler. They had one daughter, Anna Elizabeth, named after her husband's mother.

6. Eva Catharina Probst

The third daughter of Philip Jacob and C'erine, Eva Catharina, was born in 1740 in Berks County. She married Johann Nicholas Kutz, Jr. about 1759. They had seven children: Elizabeth, Johann Nicholas III, Maria Dorothea, Susanna Margaretha, Maria Margaretha, Johannes, and Anna Rosina. Johann Nicholas Kutz, Sr., died in 1990 of wounds received in the Revolutionary War. She later married Daniel Jacob Stambach.

7. Catharina Dorothea Probst

Catharina Dorothea, the fourth daughter of Philipp Jacob and C'erine, was born in 1744, and married Jacob Fetherolff, son of Peter and Anna Maria (nee Rothermal) Fetherolff. They had eight children: Magdalena, Peter, Philip, Salome, Johannes, Molly, Catharina, and Anna Maria. Anna Maria married Abraham Long, and they were the parents of the Abraham Long who married Catherine Brobst and later operated the Brobst Grist Mill on Pine Creek. Molly and Catharina married brothers, Peter and John Siegfried.

(Note: Very little is currently shown in the Brobst records of the descendants of these three daughters.)

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1. Hollenbach, "BROBST FAMILY of Pennsylvania" **

2.´┐ŻLast Will and Testament of Jean Martin Probst, Albany Township, Berks County, executed October 10, 1765, probated June 9, 1766. Written in German script. See: History of Berks County, 1909, Vol. 1, page 454. ***

3. Last Will and Testament of Anna Elizabeth Hechler Probst, Albany Township, Berks County, executed October 6, 1772 ***

This page was last updated on Monday, 21-Feb-2011 18:23:45 MST
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