This blog continues to be the source of unexpected but delightful contact with other researchers. Last week I heard from a Sommer/Summers researcher in Vermont. This person, who has access to a Philadelphia database of deeds (yes, I will be subscribing to that myself sooner than later), decided spontaneously, in the true genealogy spirit, to look up the surname Mange, and then to email the resulting deeds to me!
In a nutshell, we now have a 1765 deed from John Penn to Ernest Mange of the Northern Liberties, "German," who paid around 88 pounds for just under 5 acres in, I believe, the Northern Liberties. If anybody can tell me what 88 pounds would be worth in today's dollars, I'd love to know, but meanwhile, I tend to think it was alot of money. Where did Ernest get that kind of money? The one thing I can think of is that his first wife, Catharina Klockner, was a widow who had previously been married to Georg Ernst, who had been a Philadelphia tavern-keeper. Given that Ernest later applied for a tavern license in New Jersey (1776), citing his experience running a tavern in Philadelphia, perhaps we can assume that the tavern-keeping business was lucrative for him.
We've also discovered a subsequent deed written in 1771 from Ernest Mange and Mary his wife of the Northern Liberties to William Will of the same place and recorded in 1774. The details of this one will have to wait until a future snow day when I have more time and, hopefully, patience to attempt transcription of a hard-to-read document.
And finally, there is also, apparently, a 1770s deed from Ernest Mange to John Mange, who was Ernest's brother. That one would be interesting to find - still looking on that one.
So wow. In 1765, our Ernest Mange was 33 years old, had been in America just over 10 years, and was married to a widow who had children from her previous marriage. It would be less than a year later when his wife would die weeks after childbirth, and Ernest would shortly thereafter marry a 17-year-old young woman named Maria Magdalena Sommer. And so would begin a new family whose descendant would find herself writing this blog.
Thank you many times over for the generosity of those who share insights and resources associated with discovering and telling these kinds of stories. And may somebody else out there find this story, in turn, of some personal use.