An 1891 Account of the

Leonard Kimmel Family

The following is the text from the biography of Jonathan Kimmel, from pages 179-180 of the "Commemorative Biographical Record, Harrison County, Ohio, compiled by Beers in 1891.  This is the earliest known printed account of the 1758 arrival of Leonard Kimmel who settled in Harrison County, Ohio.

JONATHAN KIMMEL, one of the oldest farmers in Rumley Township, Harrison Co., Ohio, is a son of Henry and Christena (Gidinger) Kimmel, of whom further mention is made below.  Henry Kimmel, father of the subject of this sketch, was a son of Leonard Kimmel, who was a native of Germany, born in 1741, and came to Pennsylvania in 1758, and settled at Glade, Somerset County,  He was the only one of his family who dared to brave the perils of crossing the ocean.  His two brothers started with him and came as far as the seaport from which they were to sail, but turned back in fear at sight of the boundless waters of the ocean.  Leonard vainly urged them to come with him, but, finding his entreaties useless and persuasion unheeded, finally told them he should come even if he were drowned, for he was tired of being under the rule of the king.  The determined spirit of the young man shone out no less brilliantly in years to come than it did in those days of his young manhood, when he determined  to brave the perils of the voyage to the new world alone.  He married Miss Susan Zimmerman, of Glade, Somerset Co., Penn., whose parents were amongst the earliest settlers.  The fruits of this union were eight children:  John, Adam, Henry, Leonard, Frederick, Nancy, Mary and Susannah.  About 1800 the family removed to West Virginia, locating on the Cheat River, where John, Henry and Adam engaged in the manufacture of millstones.  These were put on rafts and run to different points on the Ohio River, where they were sold.  Some of the stones were in the old grist-mill at Scio, North Township, Harrison Co., Ohio.  The young men, after selling their millstones, invested the proceeds in wild lands in Harrison County, Ohio, purchasing 800 acres.  John being the foreman, the land was entered in his name.  He entered 160 acres where Thomas Crab now resides, 160 acres where M. R. McNary lives, 160 on Section 20, and 320 acres on Section 19, in Rumley Township.  In 1807 Leonard removed to Rumley Township and settled on the farm now owned by M. R. McNary.  He died in 1825; his widow followed in 1828.  His son, Henry, our subject's father, was born in 1789, in Pennsylvania, and married Miss Christena Gidinger, in June, 1814, she being a daughter of Martin and Elizabeth B. Gidinger, natives of Germany.  Mrs. Kimmel was born in Glade, Somerset Co., Penn.  Christena (Gidinger) Kimmel, mother of Jonathan Kimmel, subject of our sketch, emigrated to Harrison County, Ohio, in 1808, and was fourteen years old at that time, and was married to Henry Kimmel in June, 1814.  They were the parents of eight children:  Susan, deceased; Jonathan, the subject of this sketch; Henry, deceased,; Abraham, living in Rumley Township; Elizabeth, deceased; Isaac, died in a Southern prison; Christena, married to M. Sawvel, and now living in Arkansas, and John, deceased.  Christena (Gidinger) Kimmel at this writing is alive and enjoying a fair degree of health at the age of ninety-seven years.  She has been a life-long member of the Lutheran Church.  She has resided at the present place of residence since 1814, and is now living in the fourth dwelling erected on nearly the same site.  When she came to Ohio she came by the way of Steubenville, which town contained at that time less than a half dozen dwelling-houses.

Jonathan Kimmel, subject of our sketch, was born July 15, 1815, in an old log cabin near the site of his present residence.  He resided here all his life, except nine years he lived in North Township.  He was married in January, 1836, to Mariah Catharine Nupp, daughter of John P. and Catharine (Wolf) Nupp, natives of Gettysburg, Adams Co., Penn.  Jonathan and Mariah Kimmel were the parents of eleven children (five of whom are dead):  Sarah Jane, wife of Jacob Condo, of Germano, Ohio; Elizabeth, widow of Jacob Stall, in Jewett, Ohio; Nimrod, killed in the army at battle of Fisher's Hill; Christena, at home; Titus, deceased; Simon P., living in Rumley Township; Jonathan, Jr., at home; George, deceased; Isaac., at home; Mary Magdalena, deceased; Martin, deceased.

The Kimmel race are mostly of Lutheran faith, and Democratic in politics.  The subject of this sketch possesses at present of real estate 289 acres of fine farming land, in a good state of cultivation.  He has served on the township board as trustee for twenty years.


Tim's Reality Check
Detail From Public Documents That Support or Counter Claims in This Document
>Record of arrival of a Leonard Kimmel not found among existing copies of Philadelphia ships lists.
>A Leonard Kumell took Oath of Allegiance 8/12/1777 in Chester Co., PA and PA Archives tax list for 1780 places a "Leonard Kimble" in Charlestown Township in Chester Co.  "Lenard Kimbel" & "Leonard Kimble" in Charlestown Township in 1777 provincial tax list, but nowhere in county in earlier provincial or county taxes.
>Living in Elklick Township, Bedford (now Somerset) Co., PA in 1786-1788 tax lists, but not anywhere in that county before or after.
>Baptism in 1787 for "John Henry," son of "Leonhart and Susanna Kimmel" recorded in church records at Berlin, Bedford (now Somerset) Co., PA, gives his birth date as January 10, 1787.
>"Lenard Kimble" appears in 1800 tax list for Trickett District, Monongalia Co., (West) Virginia.
>Early marriages per "Historical Collection of Harrison Co. in the State of Ohio" (1900 Hanna): 6/27/1813 Henry Kimmel to Christena Geddinger, 1/31/1837 Jonathan Kimmel & Maria Nop, 2/20/1840 Henry Kimmel & Sarah Nop, Abraham Kimmel & Susanna Stall, 3/24/1845 Isaac Kimmel & Amanda Sawville, 6/4/1846 Jeff Knoff & Sarah Kimmel.
>Christena (Giddinger) Kimmel died Oct. 3, 1894 at the age of 100 years 6 months and 26 days
>The Sawvels lived in Benton Co., Arkansas (1900 census)
>Isaac moved to Van Buren Co., Iowa (1850 census), then Texas, then Shelby Co., Tennessee (1860 census), was pressed into service in the Confederate army, but was serving as a Union soldier when captured and taken to prison where he died.

Details on the pages of the Kimmel Family Record web site come from the collection of
Timothy W. Kimmel of Fort Wayne, Indiana.  You can contact Tim at

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