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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


This is the story of the Brobst family genealogy (Brobstology!), from Hans Probst, who lived in Switzerland in the 1500s, through Rudolph, Barthel, and Christophel who lived in Germany; through Philipp Jacob who brought his family to America in the early 1700s; through his sons Jean Michael, Jean Valentine, and Jean Martin, and his brother, Johann Michael, all of whom settled in Pennsylvania; and their children and grandchildren. Some of them have interesting tales to tell, others just disappeared from view. The entire period of time was interesting, and so this story is a combination of history and genealogy.

But what's all this "Probst" business? My name is "Brobst", not "Probst." It's been "Brobst" for generations. Well, the truth is that the family name was "Probst" long before it became "Brobst". "Brobst" is just an Americanization of "Probst".

The "Swiss Family Probst" traces back to the 1500s, but the name was converted to Brobst, although only in some cases, with the German emigration to America around the early 1700s. Read on to find out how that happened.

Like most family histories, there are many gaps and inconsistencies in the Brobst genealogy, and sorting them out is often frustrating and sometimes impossible. Even the spelling of names is controversial. Several different spellings of the name of Philipp Jacob, one of our two primary immigrant ancestors, are found in the records. In this report, I have generally used the spelling as recorded in the archives of the Lutheran Church in Kandel, The Palatinate, Germany.

This report is part genealogy, part history, part mystery. It covers religious persecution, indenturement, Indian attacks, real estate fraud, survival, and family flight. It's a story of others, as well, such as William Penn, Daniel Boone, and even Abraham Lincoln. It's a story about Martin Luther and King Louis XIV, and about many others who had such a direct influence on the fate of the German immigrants.

It's not a genealogical report in the strict sense, in that I've not included any "proofs" of the thousands of births, marriages, and deaths of Brobsts. And it's not full of "begats". The report does contain a great deal of genealogical information, but it was written primarily as a history of Brobst and Probst ancestors. It lists all of the Probsts who came to America in the early 1700s, their immediate ancestors in Germany and Switzerland, and their descendants through at least the early- to mid-1800s. The ´┐Żbegats´┐Ż may be found in the 18,000 names listed in the Brobst Family Histori cal Registry data base on the internet at Or you may contact directly the author of this report.

Genealogical genetics: "If your parents never had children, chances are you won't, either." (Dick Cavett)

One of the very few advantages of having an uncommon name is that the genealogical mining of historical records for dead relatives is easier with names in the thousands rather than the millions!! We're lucky to be so few in numbers. There are fewer than 800 Brobsts currently listed in the nation's telephone books. If our names were Smith or Jones, this task would never have been undertaken!

As far as any of the records show, all Brobsts are related. They all descend from either Philipp Jacob Probst or his brother Johann Michael Probst, both of whom emigrated with their sister Elisabetha Margaretha to America in 1732. Their family name was changed to Brobst by the immigration clerks in Philadelphia. Other Probsts came also, but they retained their original name.

Chapter I of this report discusses the early Swiss and German Probsts. It follows their origination near Bern, Switzerland, and their subsequent migration into southeastern Germany and later to southwestern Germany. Chapter II covers why the Probsts left Germany for America. Things were really bad in Germany, but the voyages were worse.

Chapter III presents the history of what the Probsts faced when they arrived here -- wilderness, starvation, Indian attacks. Had they known what they would face when they arrived in America, they might well have stayed in Germany. Thankfully for us, their descendants, they didn't.

Chapter IV talks about the family relationships between the early American Probsts and their German neighbors and friends. Travel and transportation of property was difficult in those days, and the first few generations stayed put where they first settled.

Chapters V and VI present some specific information about the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of the immigrant Philipp Jacob Probst. Chapter VII does the same for his brother Johann Michael Probst and his sister Elisabetha Margaretha (Probst) Vossellman.

In Chapter VIII, there is a discussion of many of the influences that affected the Probsts and Brobsts in Pennsylvania. Some other information of this type may be found in the several appendi ces. "

Ancestors -- Without Them We'd Be Nothing!" (Donna Kilroy)

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This page was last updated on Monday, 21-Feb-2011 18:23:48 MST
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