Sons of Johann Michael Kimmel

of Gimbsheim, Palatinate

Members of this family appear in the Summary of Lineages web page with the prefix "AC-" for Philip's descendants, "AB-" for Jacob's descendants and "AH-" for Valentine's descendants. 

General History

Johann Michael Kimmel of Gimbsheim is often referred to as "the Father of the American Kimmel Family." His sons Johann Philip, Johann Valentine and Johann Jacob came to America in the 1750s and were ancestors to at least half and possibly two-thirds of the Kimmels, Kimmells and Kimmals in the United States today.

Johann Michael was born October 1, 1662 in Alsheim to Hans Konrad and Anna Marie (Knebel) Kümmell. He married Anna Margaretha Sauter, widow of John Oswald of Gimbsheim in1689. She was born May 1663 and died in Gimbsheim July 31, 1728. Children known to have been born to Michael and Margaretha: Johann Philip (1695-1777), Johann Heinrich ( ? -1705), Johann Valentin (1701-1768), Johann Conrad (1703-1735), Johann Jacob (1705-1784) and Maria Pfronika (1708-1764). Johann Michael married Anna Elizabetha, widow of Hartman Heinrich April 24, 1732 (Alsheim Ch.). She died the next year on June 5, 1733. He died August 23, 1734.

Johann Michael Kimmel served as a mercenary soldier for Poland and was part of the defense of Vienna during the siege of that city by the Turks in 1683.  He was a judge in Gimbsheim and his handwriting appears in documents in the archives at Gimbsheim.


See the web pages for the following sons of Johann Michael to learn more about what is known about these American branches of this Kimmel family:

    Johann Philip Kimmel, 1695-1777 -- to America in 1755, to York (now Adams) Co., PA

    Johann Valentine Kimmel, 1701-1768 -- to America in 1751, to Lancaster Co., PA

    Johann Jacob Kimmel, 1705-1784 -- to America in 1751, to Ephrata, Lancaster Co., PA


Family Research in Germany

Earliest known research on the family is attributed to Rudolf Shafer of Darmstadt, Germany.  His papers were received in 1927 by Howard E. Kimmel of Duqoin, Illinois and reportedly translated to English in 1933.  I haven't seen the original papers.  Many American family researchers of the 1930s reference his work.  See Philip Kimmel's web page for more.

Dr. Charles A. Messner of Buffalo, New York paid a visit to Gimbsheim in 1937 and detail of his research in Germany and in the United States are documented in a 1967 report.  See Jacob Kimmel's web page for more.

Dr. William Thompson reviewed the Gimbsheim public records in the 1970s and an account of his early findings appeared in a an article by Nancy Davis in the Newport News, Virginia Times-Herald. The article was titled "Roots Lead Man to German Family Tree."   Dr. Thompson plans to soon begin translation of the hundreds of pages that had been copied in Gimbsheim.


Public Documents For Kimmels

Alsheim Reformed Church records include references to Hans Conrad Kimmel and his children Johann Michael, Johann Georg and Anna Catharina. The 1732 marriage of Johann Michael to Anna Elisabetha Hartmann is here. So is record of Johann Michael's death in Gimbsheim in 1734. The church records are on microfilm roll #1442049 in the Mormon Church family research library in Salt Lake City.  See detail.

Gimbsheim Reformed Church records include marriages of Johann Michael's sons and the births and baptisms of his sons Johann Conrad, Johann Valentine and Johann Jacob. It also has reference to a group from the congregation, including the families of Johann Jacob and Johann Valentine, heading to America in 1751. The church records are on microfilm roll #1441990 in the Mormon Church family research library in Salt Lake City.  See detail.

Eich Reformed Church records have the birth and baptism dates for all of the children of Johann Michael's son Johann Philip and some detail on Johann Michael's brother Johann Georg. Johann Philip's wife Anna Elisabeth Voltz was born in Eich and both her birth and death records are here. The church records are on microfilm #1442049 in the Mormon Church family research library in Salt Lake City. Some mistakenly believe Johann Philip lived and raised his children in Darmstadt, possibly because the Eich am Altrhein church records are kept in Darmstadt archives.  See detail.

A warning for anyone attempting to review these old church records: they are written in an old German script with Latin references with the writing often cramped and hard to read. Prepare to use a lot of time, both a German and Latin dictionary and a couple of handwriting guides. You'll find Kimmel written as "Kümmel" or. more often, as "Kimel" with a bar over the "m" designating a double letter.

Town Hall Records.  (nothing to report yet)


Special Reports

Portrait of Johann Michael Kimmel. Charles E. Messner of Buffalo, New York had a photograph of this among other portraits in the 1960's.

Generally Accepted Lineage for Johann Michael Kimmel is in volume 66 (1929) "Die Geschlechterbuch," a German family history collection.

Explanation of the coded list of Neukirchen Kimmell names included in Rudolf Shafer's 1927 report.

"Chronik der Gemeinde Gimbsheim; 766 bis 1966" tell a bit about Johann Michael Kimmel's family in the chapter "Aus der Kimmel Story."

Johann Michael Kimmel's Hometown Today

Gimbsheim's Soccer Club. This web site is a link to other sites for Gimbsheim today.

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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