Friday, May 19, 2017

Menge-Sommer MishMash

I've been going through the PHL deeds one more time, this time with more careful attention to the years following 1800. What I found was an 1842 deed that quite clearly names the 8 children and their spouses of John Summers. Unfortunately, it does not say exactly when this John Summers died, but it did say that he was the son of Catherine Rash who, in her 1799 will, bequeathed 15 acres in Northern Liberties (later Penn Twp) to her son John and his descendants.

For those who haven't exactly followed all my roller coaster research results in the last many years, I will try to succinctly tell you who the main characters in this episode are:

First remember that I have established there were at least two seemingly unrelated Sommer families who arrived in PHL around the same time:
  • Freistett (FR) clan arrived 1748-1752 (brothers Georg, Johannes, and Martin in 1752, brother Mathias some time before that) 
  • Hoch-Weisel (HW) clan arrived 1754 aboard the ship Edinburgh (father Hermann with 5 sons - Philip, Henry, Martin, Peter, and Matthias) 
Next remember that my Menge/Mann family arrived in PHL in 1754, also aboard the ship Edinburgh (brothers Henry, Ernst, Johannes). It was Ernst Menge who married the German-born daughter of Georg Sommer of the FR clan, and begat my family line.

It's not really a surprise, however, that the HW Sommer family also connected with my Menge family since they arrived on the same ship, and did hail from the same area of Hesse. In 1769, Hermann Sommer's youngest son, Peter, married Henry Menge's oldest daughter, Anna Catharina, and they had three children: Joh. Ernst (John), Margaretha (m. Jacob Lybrand), and Catharine (m. Archibald Woodruff). The bigger news, at least for me at the time, was discovering that Peter and Catharina divorced (she claimed he was unfaithful), and then she remarried in 1784 to Nicholas Rausch (various spellings). Catherina Rausch died in 1800, and through her will, the Northern Liberties property went to her son John Sommer. John had married Hannah Harrison, and now thanks to this 1842 deed, we know who their eight children were: Catherine (m. John Hackett), Elisabeth (m. Samuel Weiss), Margaret, John P (m. Rachel), Hanna Ann (m. James Miller), Harrison (m. Susan), Harriet, and Louisa (m. Alexander H. Blair).

More to the point, if you are related to this family line, I am related to you not through the HW Sommer clan, but through the Menge family of Sodel, Hessen, Germany, and even then the connection is not in my direct line. Even so, if there's a DNA match along this line, here is the explanation, as least as we understand it today!

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