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Settlers XIX: Joseph and Ursula Baumgartner: A German Family Comes to the Wilderness

This article is based on material from Marie Brasington of Southampton, PA, just outside Philadelphia. The Baumgartner family that settled first in Cherry Township and then in Lycoming County were her direct ancestors. She can be reached at The Sullivan County Settlers Web Page is grateful to Marie for her contribution of information and pictures. Additional information can also be found at Bumgardners of Cherry Township.

TThe Baumgartner Emigration

It is recorded in the huge parish register at St. Gallus Church in Eichsel, Germany, that JOSEPH and MARIA URSULA KANY-BAUMGARTNER left their family, friends and homeland October 27, 1832, bound for a new life in America. The small village of Eichsel was Baumgartner country, while the small neighboring village of Adelhausen was and still is, home to the Kanys. Both are located in the State of Baden, southwestern Germany, at the tip of the Black Forest, near the French, Swiss borders.

In tow, Joseph and Ursula had 8 (eight) small children with them:

IGNATZ (George),b. 26 Jul 1821, m. SUSANNAH LITZELSWOPE
MECHTUNDA (Matilda), b. 4 Dec 1822
FRANZ XAVIER (Frank), b. 13 Aug 1823
WILHELM, b. 26 Apr 1826
ALEXANDER, b. 12 Dec 1828
KONRAD(Conrad), b. 2 Dec 1829
KAROLINE (Caroline), b. 15 Apr 1831

Upon arriving in America, the Baumgartner Family settled in Cherry Twp., Sullivan County, PA, where they eked out a meager living tilling the land. Ursula's sister, MARIA ANNA KANY-LITZELSWOPE, wife of an early settler, JOSEPH LITZELSWOPE, had already settled in Cherry Twp. about 1820. Ignatz, called George in English, married Susannah Litzelswope, the daughter of Joseph and Maria and his own first cousin. She was born 30 Sep., 1822, PA, and died 29 Dec., 1905.

The last will and testament of both Joseph Baumgartner and Joseph Litzelswope are posted to the Message Boards on our web site:

Joseph Baumgartner Will
Joseph Litzelswope.

The Joseph Baumgartner homestead still stands today and is located in Dushore off Route 220, just south of town. For more than 100 years, the Homestead was occupied by Baumgartners, but, in the 1960's, the property was sold and is now used as a hunting camp. It is situated at the end of Chanee Road, in a heavy, wooded area, well secluded and about 1/2 mile from Route 220. Here is a recent picture of the property.

Baumgartner Homestead
Dushore, PA

What kind of country did the emigrating Baumgartners come to in 1832? We can get an impression from the historical record. In 1899, for example, Thomas J. Ingram published The History of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. The following description is included:

The county at this time, between the north and west branch of the Susquehanna River, was an almost unbroken wilderness, consisting of dense forests of heavy timber trees, thick tangled growths of laurel bushes, windfalls full of tall blackberry briers and dark, dreary swamps containing alders, tamarack bushes and coarse grass. This wilderness of woods, rocks, hills, mountains and streams was well peopled with wild animals, such as deer. elk, bears, wolves, panthers, catamounts, wild cats--to say nothing of the smaller inhabitants, such as minks, beavers and foxes. There were also serpents, such as rattlesnakes, copperheads and blacksnakes.

Baumgartner legend tells how the boys were afraid to get the cows in at dusk, for fear of attack by the many wild animals that prowled the pastures, in particular the bears. It was necessary to go through some woods to round up the cows and the boys would cry and beg to be excused from this dreaded chore. Often, there was much excitement in the village after a bear attack that killed some of their flock of sheep. Country dances were held occasionally and music was furnished by old time fiddlers. The musician would call the figures and all events were traveled to on horseback as roads were poor.

Five more children were born in Cherry Twp. to this union for a total of 13 (thirteen):

DANIEL, b. 1838
ANTHONY, b. 9 Jun 1839, m. CECILIA GOULD, Cogan House, Lycoming Co., PA
LORETTA, b 3 May 1841
ADAM, b. 29 Jan 1843, m. LOUISA SEITZER, Williamsport, PA

Four of the Baumgartner Boys fought in the Civil War. George, 141st Regt., Co. K, was killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863. He left a wife, SUSANNAH LITZELSWOPE and six small children. Daniel, single, 141st. Regt, Co. A, was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. Sgt. Anthony Baumgartner, 58th Regt., Co. B, and Sgt. Adam Baumgartner, also of the 58th Regt., Co. B, Colorguard, both survived the war.

Here are two pictures of Adam, one during or shortly after the War and one taken later in life. He is on the left in each picture. The third picture shows the fallen George:

Adam Baumgartner and Daniel V. Prichard

This picture of Adam shows him arm-in-arm with another soldier. This other soldier is "DEFINITELY" Daniel V. Prichard, according to James Dirisio, a researcher on this Civil War unit. Prichard was the 1st sergeant of Adam's Co. B,, 58th PA Vols. In the 1860 census, he is listed as a twenty-year-old farm hand, son of Hector and Pamelia Pricherd (sic) of Cherry Township.

Adam Baumgartner in Uniform

George Baumgartner (KIA Chancellorsville 1863)

Here is a picture of George's wife Susannah (Litzelswope) and a second picture of their daughter MARY LORETTA BAUMGARTNER and her husband HENRY HENRY KOBBE (COBBY) of Iowa, taken many years after the Civil War. The third in this series is a picture of ELIZABETH BAUMGARTNER, a sister of Mary Loretta, and yet another child of George and Susannah. She was born 19 Dec., 1853, PA, and died 16 Feb., 1876.

Susannah Litzelswope Baumgartner

John Henry Kobbe & Mary Loretta Baumgartner Kobbe
Photo contributed by Marie Brasington with permission of Ruth Bright

Elizabeth Baumgartner

Yet another picture shows Anthony Baumgartner, also a Civil War veteran, in old age with his wife Cecilia (Gould.:

Cecilia Gould & Anthony Baumgartner

A touching testimony to the lingering memory of the Civil War is this extract from the Tunkhannock Republican for Friday, October 10, 1890:

58th Regiment Reunion

The following is a list of the ex-members of the 58th Regt., Pa. Vols., present at the re-union of the Veteran Association of the 58th Regt. Pa. Vol. Infantry, held at Dushore, Pa., Sept. 29, with address of same:

QM Joseph I. Hested, Laddsburg
J Hembury, Laporte, PA
Stephen Gregory, Schickshinny
Milton Battin, Prattsville, Sullivan Co.
Corp. G. W. Glidewell, Eldredsville, Sullivan Co.
H. D. Brown, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co.
Sergt. J S Mosier, Colley, Sullivan Co.
W J Boyles, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co.
Hector Prichard, Colley, Sullivan Co.
Corp. Charles Schock, Colley, Sullivan Co.
Luther Erle, Colley, Sullivan Co.
Green Henly, Dushore, Sullivan Co.
Gilbert Potter, Bernice, Sullivan Co.
1st Sergt D V Prichard, Hollenback, Bradford Co.
James Scott, Laddsburg, Bradford Co.
Porter Jones, Laddsburg, Bradford Co.
J M Jones, New Albany, Bradford Co.
Sergt J Henly, Towanda, Bradford Co.
J B Allen, Evergreen, Bradford Co.
Sergt Oscar O Barnes, Lovelton, Wyoming Co.
Corp J B Adams, Lovelton, Wyoming Co.
Henry Krewson, Forkston, Wyoming Co.
Riley S Atherton, Forkston, Wyoming Co.
Henry June, Mehoopany, Wyoming Co.
Corp G L Decker, Meshoppen, Wyoming Co.
Sergt A W Baumgartner, White Pine, Lycoming Co.
Color Sergt A H Baumgartner, Cogan House, Lycoming Co.
Dan'l Atherton, Hunlock's Creek, Luzerne Co.
1st Lieut N A McKown, Tunkhannock
1st Lieut J Hoffa, Pittston
1st Sergt H B Meeks, Wilmot, Bradford Co.
Seth Adams, New Albany, Bradford Co.
J H Fitch, Sugar Run, Bradford Co.
G W Craft, Maur Glen, Lycoming Co.

Barbara Baumgartner married MATTHIAS LITZELMAN, b. 1822, in France, son of another early settler. also named MATTHIAS LITZELMAN, Cherry Twp. In early April 1853, they moved to Beech Grove, Lycoming County, PA. Here are pictures of Barbara and Matthias.

Conrad Baumgartncr and wife, MARGARET DUNN, daughter of another early settler, JAMES DUNN, Cherry Twp., followed about 1857, arriving on horseback where they settled adjoining properties with Barbara and Matthias.

After the Civil War, Adam and Anthony both left Cherry Twp. and joined the others in Lyycoming County where they married and raised their families as farmers.

The lineage back in Germany is also known to some extent. Joseph Baumgartner was the son of WENDELIN and MAGDALENA BRUGGER-BAUMGARTNER. Joseph was born in Nieder-Eichsel 19 May 1799 and died at Cherry Twp. Sullivan Co., PA, on 16 Feb, 1851. His will was filed a year earlier at LaPorte, county seat of Sullivan County. Joseph and Ursula were married 17 Apr 1820. The parents of Jospeh were therefore:

Wendelin Baamgartner
b. 25 Oct 1761, Ober-Eichsel
d. 1832
m. 4 Feb 1788

Magdalena Brugger
b. 3 Aug 1765, Neider-Eichsel
d. 7 Jan 1818, Neider-Eichsel

Their respective parents in turn were:

b. 1727
d. 22 Mar 1788

b. 1731 b. 1726
d. 11 Jan l809 d. 12 Ju1 1796, Neider-Eichsel

Joseph's wife, Maria Ursula, was the daughter of ANTON and URSULA WEBER-KANJ of Adelhausen, Baden, Germany. She was born in Adelhausen, 4 October 1799, and it is unknown when she died in Cherry Twp., or where exactly she is buried. However, she still does appear in the 1870 census. Maria Ursula's parents were therefore:

Anton Kanj
b. 28 Nov 1756, Adelhausen
d. 16 May 1814, Adelhausen
m. 16 Feb 1784, Eichsel

Ursula Weber-Kanj
b. 28 Apr 1764, Ober-Eichsel
d. 11 Mar 1814, Adelhausen

The respective parents of Anton and Ursula in turn were:

JOHANN KANJ, d. 4 Sep 1781, Adelhausen m. ANNA RIETSCHLE, b. 1722, d.17 Feb 1782, Adelhausen
CLEMENS WEBER, b. 1704, Eichsel, d. 4 Mar. 1774, Eichsel m. KATHARINA SCHLIENGER, b. 14 Aug. 1732, Wegenstetten, Switzerland, d. 5 June, 1772, Eichsel

Katharina's father in turn was:

Wegenstetten, Switz.

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