Saturday, November 7, 2009

Our Newcomer Roots

The First Arrival

In 1750, a Christian Newcomer came on the ship “Brotherhood” to settle in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. This Christian had two sons, Christian (II), and Peter. His wife’s name is not known. Christian (II ) Newcomer married a Furrey, (first name not known). Their children were Christian III (1773-1814), Mary (1776-1842), John, Barbara, and Elizabeth. Our interest in this family centers on the daughter Mary, but before that discussion we need to look at another immigrant family to Pennsylvania.

(Primary source is: “Early Newcomers of Lancaster County” by Virginia N. Lane, Mennonite Family History, Vol. II, No. 3; July 1983)

To A New World

Sometime in 1754, Ulrich Neukom left the Bern Canton, Switzerland and boarded the ship “Phoenix “ at either Rotterdam or Antwerp in Holland. This ship took Ulrich to Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania colony in the New World. There was another Christian Newcomer also on that ship who may have been related to Ulrich. Of that Christian we hear no more.

The story is that Ulrich’s first wife died on board. Ulrich was a Mennonite, and on board ship was a Mennonite lady who was shipping as an indentured servant, probably to pay her passage. The Mennonites made it a habit to redeem the indentures of their own people. According to the story, Ulrich contributed to the fund to pay off the indenture of Miss Magdalena Baumgentern, and they were latter married.

There is note of one child from Ulrich's first marriage. Ulrich and Magdalena had five children. They settled in an area that at the time was Lancaster County, but is now part of York County, Pennsylvania. One of those five children was a son named Jacob.

Newcomer & Newcomer

As mentioned, one of Ulrich and Magdelena Newcomer’s sons was named Jacob. This Jacob married Mary Newcomer, granddaughter of the 1750 “Brotherhood” Christian Newcomer. Thus the two lines were brought together. There are at least two other points where descendants of this Christian, married descendants of Ulrich, but not in our line from Jacob and Mary.

James K. Newcomer, writing in 1882, thought that this Mary Newcomer was possibly a grand-daughter of Wolfgang Newcomer, and thus niece of Christian Newcomer, the Moravian missionary. Virginia Lane’s research clarifies the connection of Mary to the 1750 “Brotherhood” Christian.

According to the family history complied by Jacob’s grandson, James K. Newcomer, Jacob and his wife Mary moved from York County, and crossed the mountains, settling on a farm near Masontown in Fayette County, Pennsylvania in the year 1808. (Masontown is about 40 miles south and a little east of Pittsburgh.) They would have carried with them a baby of about 1 year of age named John. This is the John Newcomer who married Naomi Debolt, and latter moved to Northwest Ohio, eventually settling on a parcel of land which latter became part of the city of Wauseon, Ohio.

(Source: A Record of One Branch of the Newcomer Family by James K. Newcomer (Great Grand Son of Ulrich Neukommer) Urbana, Ohio, 1882)

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