As I worked on the family tree it has become clear that no one religion defines us as a family. Of course in the current family our main religion has been Evangelical Lutheran, but in both the recent and distant past our people have also been Presbyterian, Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal, Mennonite, Quaker, and at least one Buddhist (that would be me). We’ve even had a Reverend or two.
Reverend Richard Hunsberger Umstead, Pentecostal, my 4th great grandfather through Sarah Dunbar, was born in 1821 in Schuylkil County, Pennsylvania and died on September 26, 1895. He is buried at the Church of God, Middlesex Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania.
Reverend John Kerner/Carner, Pentecostal, my 5th great grandfather through Sarah Dunbar, was born June 2, 1798 in Baden-Wurttenberg, Germany and died in 1863. He is buried at the Pennsylvania Church of God in Middlesex Township in Butler County.
Reverend Abraham Hunsberger Gottshall, my 1st cousin 6x removed, son of William Ziegler Gottshall related through Sarah Dunbar, was born in 1826 and died in 1901.
Reverend William Ziegler Gottshall, the husband of 5th great grand aunt Magdelena Tyson Hunsberger through Sarah Dunbar, was born in 1784 and died in 1875.
Bishop Jan (John) Godtschalk, Mennonite, my 8th great grand uncle through Sarah Dunbar, was born in 1695 in Goch, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany and died in November 1759 in Hatfield Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania .
Bishop Jacob Henricks Godtschalk (Van Der Heggen), Mennonite, my 9th great grandfather through Sarah Dunbar, was born in 1666 in Goch, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany and died in 1763 in Kulpsville, Towamencin, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Gottshalk and its various spellings are a German name and have several meanings, depending on how the name is spelled. God’s Servant, God’s Sound, or God’s Mischievous Rascal. Gottschalk was a literary man and was able to read, write, and translate Dutch, German, and English. He assisted in the translation of Van Braght’s Martyrs’ Mirror from the Dutch into German, as well as in its publication by the Ephrata Cloister. He helped in the translation and creation of an English edition of a Mennonite catechism. On June 11, 1701, he received a letter from the Church in Goch, permitting him to migrate to Pennsylvania, where he arrived in 1702 at Germantown. Upon arriving in Germantown he became a minister and later became the First Bishop in Germantown in 1708.
Herman Op Den Graeff, Mennonite, my 11th great grandfather was born in Aldekerk, Kleve on November 26, 1585 and died on December 27, 1642 in Krefeld. He was head of the Krefeld Mennonites and was one of two delegates of the Krefeld Mennonite Church to sign the Dordrecht Confession in 1632.
Reverend William Eddy/Eddye, Anglican, my 12th great grandfather through Sarah Dunbar and Abigail Lawrence, was born about 1565 in Bristol, Somerset, England and died on November 23, 1616 in Cranbrook, Kent, England. Reverend Eddy received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge and in 1587 he became Vicar of St. Dunstan’s Parish.
Pastor Thomas Bernlohr, Lutheran, my 2nd cousin 1x removed through my 2nd great grandfather August Keck’s daughter Bertha