Albert Kimmel's 1979 Account

of Leonard Kimmel

This account is reportedly at the library in Cadiz, Ohio.  Written much later than better known accounts of Leonard's life, he adds references to the "seven brothers" and Leonard's birth in Stuttgart are an unexplained and unsupported.


History of the Leonard Kimmel Family and Descendants

Compiled by Albert Kimmel in1979.

 

Leonard Kimmel 1733-1825 was born in Stuttgart, Wurttemberg Germany and came to Ohio in 1803.  He married Susanna Zimmerman 1746-1831 of Glade, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  His two Brothers, who are not named, started with him from their inland home in Stuttgart, but when they came to the seaport from which they were to sail, they were afraid of the boundless ocean and turned back.  Leonard vainly urged them to come with him, but, finding his entreaties useless and persuasion unheeded, finally told them he should come to America even if he were to be 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 Susanna Zimmerman of Glade, Somerset County, Penna. whose parents were among the earliest settlers.

7 Kimmel brothers came to the American Colonies in 1758 from Stuttgart, Germany.  The brothers whose names are not recorded settled, three in Pennsylvania, one in Massachusetts, one in Maryland, one in Virginia, one in North Carolina.  Leonard Kimmel 1733-1825 was born in Stuttgart, Wurttemburg, Germany came to America in 1758 and to Ohio in 1803.  He married Miss Susanna Zimmerman 1746-1831 of Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  They had eight children.

 

Tim's Reality Check
Detail From Public Documents That Support or Counter Claims in This Document
 
So far the earliest known record attributable to this Leonard is a 1787 baptism of his son John at the Reformed and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Berlin, PA.  The first known mention of a Leonard Kimmel is a 1777 oath of allegiance in Chester Co., PA.  Beyond this, the best I can do is compare this to other accounts of Leonard Kimmel and what I know of earlier reports of his:
 
The story of Leonard's leaving his two brothers for America in this account comes from the publication "Commemorative Biographical Record, Harrison County, Ohio" (1891, Beers).  Albert Kimmel's reports on his family as late as May 1978 (letter to Perry Kimmell of Aurora, IL) were built off of that account and even used the "1741" birth in "Germany" it gave for Leonard.  The addition of Leonard's birth in Stuttgart in 1833 and the tale of seven brothers in this 1979 account was totally new.  Since the change came within a year's time, it was most likely a single source he came across and had reason to accept as factual.  It's too bad no sources were included with the report.
 
The first puzzle is how Leonard could come to America alone per the first paragraph, but be one of seven brothers coming according to the second paragraph.
 
It is also troublesome is that Albert offers 1733 Stuttgart (in Wurttemberg) as the birth year and place, Edna Viola Wood says 1741 Baden, and Harry Ahrens gives 1741 Manheim (now in Baden);  and we don't know the source for any of the three of them to verify their claims.  (Beer's 1891 account just says 1741 Germany and his source would have been the family of Jonathan Kimmel for whom he was giving the bio.)
 
The idea that Leonard could have been one of seven brothers arriving on one ship and then spread so far apart seems fantastic.  But, to be fair, there actually are unaccounted for Kimmels known to have been in all of the states mentioned except Massachusetts in the late 1700's, so I can't say with complete confidence this story is wrong.  Leonard definitely was not related to the Kimmel brothers Philip, Jacob and Valentine of Lancaster and York Counties, PA.  But there was Jacob in Chester County, PA (where Leonard may have stopped in) and some of  the Keehmles of Philadelphia.  In Maryland there was Martin, a contributor towards the building of the German church in Manchester in 1762, and Thomas who served in Graybill's Company at Baltimore during the Revolution.  The Virginia Kimmel could have been John Kimble (Johannes Kimmel in a 1767 communion at Southfork, now in West Virginia).  Then there's the father of Bernhard in (now) Davidson Co., North Carolina whose name we don't know.  (But, Massachusetts?)
 
Until the source for this 1979 account can be found and checked, it seems reasonable to prefer the older accounts of Beers 1891, Ahrens 1921 and Woods 1940 (or even Albert Kimmel 1978).

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 tim@kimmelfamily.net

Documents page ----- Main Menu ----- Leonard Kimmel page