Kimmel Family Record

When was the Stonycreek Congregation organized?

Where Did H.A. Cooper Get History Prior to 1770 for This Church?

H. Austin Cooper asserts in his book "Two Centuries of Brothersvalley Church of the Brethren" that Stonycreek Church was organized in 1762 and writes that he has presented evidence that the original seventeen members of the church were here at the time.  I can't find his evidence that any of them except Heinrich Roth was there in 1762.  Cooper generally says Elder Martin was at the Bermudian church and then the Stonycreek church both in 1762, left for Westmoreland Township in 1764 (yet still went through a "terrible ordeal" at Bermudian in 1764) and returned about 1770.  From the data presented it looks to me like he went from Antrim Township to Bermudian in 1762 and was forced out in 1764, went back to Antrim Township and then to Stonycreek in 1770 to organize the new congregation.

Cooper seems to say Philip Kimmel came to America in1733, trained under Ludwig Hoecker in Germantown in 1748, moved to Ephrata and then Antrim Township, then in 1762 with Elder Martin to Stonycreek.  But, I have come across no record confirming that Philip was ever at Germantown, Ephrata or Antrim Township; he actually arrived in America with his father and brothers in 1755, lived near Bermudian where he was first a member of a Reformed congregation, and if he did become a Brethren elder in 1762 probably did so at the Bermudian church and moved to Stonycreek sometime after 1765.

Look at the detail below from H. Austin Cooper's book, plus some documents pertaining to Philip Kimmel I've added as "Tim's note."  If you can explain Cooper's evidence to me or provide the missing documentation supporting his story, please e-mail me at tkimmel@fwi.com and help me understand it.  There are questions:

1)  If there are no records for Stonycreek prior to 1769, what sources were used to determine that the election and ordaining of Kimmel, Roth, Hendricks & Miller was at Stonycreek?

2)  How was it determined that Philip Kimmel came to America in 1733, trained in Germantown in 1748 and moved to Ephrata and then Antrim Township?  And still come to America in 1755 with his father?

3)  Exactly when was Elder Martin at Conewago, Antrim, Bermudian, Stonycreek, Westmoreland and elsewhere?  If he is on the tax lists for Antrim Township for 1763 through 1768, why is it claimed he actually lived with sons in Westmoreland Township? What was the "terrible ordeal that he endured at Bermudian" in 1764?


Timeline for Original Seventeen Stonycreek Members

from for H. Austin Cooper's

"Two Centuries of Brothersvalley Church of the Brethren,"

Tim's notes:  Stonycreek, Bruderthal and the Glades are names for roughly the same place in this time period.  Cumberland County included Bedford Township (which included what is now Somerset County with it's Stonycreek Township).  Also Antrim Township, which is now in Franklin County.  Bedford County was established from Cumberland County in 1771 and included Stonycreek Township (in what is now Somerset County).

By Bermudian Church, Cooper is referring to the Bermudian Seventh Day Baptist (Little Conewago) congregation in Warrington (the part now Washington) Township, York Co., PA.  There were two other Bermudian churches:  Upper Bermudian Reformed in Huntington Township and Lower Bermudian Reformed and Lutheran in Latimore Township, York (now Adams) Co., PA.  The Big Conewago German Baptist congregation was in Reading Township, York (now Adams) Co., PA   "German Baptist," "Tunker,", "Dunkard" and "Church of the Brethren" are  essentially the same denomination.  Seventh Day Baptist was a  branch of this denomination centered at Ephrata with which the Bermudian and Stonycreek congregations were associated.

I've also added documented events in Philip Kimmel's life to contrast with Cooper's claims.

Otherwise, the detail below is as recorded in H. Austin Cooper's book "Two Centuries of Brothersvalley Church of the Brethren."  The page numbers are noted at the beginning of each line.

If you'd like your own copy of "Two Centuries of Brothersvalley Church of the Brethren," a copy can be ordered through the Berlin Area Historical Society.  Their web site is at http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/berlinpa/ .


Page 89 and 90 (at the end of Part IV) of Morgan Edward's "Materials Toward History of the Baptists,"
 1770 Stony Creek Church Records
(shown on page 186 and 188 of "Two Centuries of Brothersvalley Church of the Brethren")

STONYCREEK

This is also denominated from a little river of the above name, in the township of Bruederthal (alias Brothertown) in the county of Bedford, 30 miles from Bedford and 245 miles miles [whn] from Philadelphia. The minister is Rev. George Adam Martin of whom mention has been made before. ;He was born near Landfuhl in Germany in 1715. Was bred a presbyterian. Embraced the principles of the Baptists in 1737, and was ordained by Peter Baker in 1739. Afterwards he resided at Littleconewago where some misunderstanding arose between him and the people and occasioned him to remove to Antitum. In the year 1762 he adopted the sentiments of the seventhday Baptists, and preached at Bermudian. From thence he went to Stonycreek this year. He married one of the Knippers and has many children. The families belonging to the place are 12 whereof 17 persons are baptized and may be considered as the constituents of the church, viz. Rev. George Adam Martin and wife, Henry Roth and wife and daughter, Henry Roth, jr. and wife, George Newmoyer, Philip Oswald and wife and daughter, Abraham Gebel and wife, Philip Kimmel and wife, Mr. Widdebarger and wife. This church also is the offspring of Ephrata where (for the most part) the seventhday sabbath is kept.

Thus we see that there are in this province 15 churches of Tunkersbaptists; to which appertain 8 ordained ministers, and 13 exhorters or probationers, and 4 meeting houses; the reason of their having no more places of worship is, That they choose rather to meet from house to house in imitation of the primitive Christians.  We see also that their families are about 419, which contain about 2095 souls allowing five to a family; whereof 763 persons are baptized and in communion.  There are more Tunkers about Conecocheague, Antitum, &c but they border on Maryland and belong to churches in that province.


1733

252: Henry Roth, Sr. came to America in 1733 from Manheim, Germany. It is believed that Philip Kimmel also came on the same ship.

1739

353: George Adam Martin elected to ministry and ordained elder in 1739.

1744

167: Henry Roth, Jr. ... It is believed that about 1744, Henry's father and his family moved into Antrim Township.

209: The Aswalds, Roths, Newmeyers, Lehmans and Wildebargers had moved to the Stony Creek-Brothers Valley section as early as 1744.

1748

167: Henry Roth, Jr. ... It is believed that about 1744, Henry's father and his family moved into Antrim Township.  Frederick County, Maryland, records show they lived there in 1748.

253: Philip Kimmel attended Ludwig Hoecker's "Sunday School" at Germantown and after 1748 when Hoecker removed to the famous Ephrata Cloisters to carry on his work the Roths and Kimmels, as well as some of the others, followed their teacher into the cloister life of spiritual seclusion at Ephrata.

1751

67: Taxables of Antrim Township 1751 include George Martin

1753

67: Taxables of Antrim Township 1753 include Abraham Gabriel (Gobel/Cable) & John Mack

1755

175: Philip Kimmel and his six sons landed at Alexandria, Virginia, in the spring of 1755. Philip Kimmel and his sons followed as far as New Market, Frederick County, then to Frederick City, Maryland, then North through the Pipe Creek country to where Valentine lived in York County, Pennsylvania.         (Tim's note:  the Philip being referred to here is Philip the father of Elder Philip Kimmel.)

Tim's note:  Philip Kimmel of Eich (father of Elder Philip Kimmel in Cooper's accounts) got his permit to emigrate from the Palatine April 19, 1755 per "Auswanderungen aus Rheinpfalz und Saarland im 18 Jahrhundert," by Werner Hacker 1987.  A letter written by Anthony Kimmel of Frederick Co., Maryland says Philip came to America with his sons in 1755, arriving at Belle Haven (now Alexandria), Virginia and traveling from there to the Bermudian area.

1756

Tim's note:  Philip Kimmel's son Philip was baptized March 23, 1756 at the Lower Bermudian Reformed Congregation in York (now Adams) County per church records.  (All baptisms of children of Philip Kimmel are children of Elder Philip Kimmel in Cooper's account.)

1757

Tim' s note:  Philip Kimmel's son Jacob was baptized October 22, 1757 at the Lower Bermudian Reformed Congregation in York (now Adams) County per church records.

1760

12: In 1760 Elder George Adam Martin from Antrim Township led group of some sixty or seventy German Baptists and Seventh Day Baptists to Brotherton and settled at present site of Brotherton.

120: In 1760, the first test that is recorded in the Church of the Brethren happened to Elder George Adam Martin in the Conewago congregation in Eastern Pennsylvania. As a result of this sixty members left the congregation and formed a new congregation that they called the Bermudian Church. Elder Martin became their minister and elder-in-charge.

144: Abraham Cable moved into the Stony Creek country from Germantown about 1760.

164: Heinrich Roth and his family moved to Stony Creek in the Dunnings Creek section in 1760.

178: In 1760, a log cabin was built at the intersection of the Brotherton-Shanksville road, that belonged to Abraham Cable.

211: In 1760, the following elders were in North Carolina and Kentucky: Daniel Leatherman, Casper Rowland, John Hendricks, David Martin, Giles Chapman.

Tim's note:  Philip Kimmel's son Michael was baptized May 4, 1760 at the Lower Bermudian Reformed Congregation in York (now Adams) County per church records.

1761

Tim's note:  Philip Kimmel's son Conrad baptized 1761 in the Lower Bermudian Reformed Congregation in York (now Adams) County per church records.

1762

xv (preface):  Credit goes to ... the Athenaeum Library, Boston, Mass., for the loan of the Morgan Edwards manuscript containing the early records of the 1762 membership, recorded in 1770.

15: Roster of churches include the Stonycreek German Baptist (Church of the Brethren), 1762

70: Henry Rhoads, Sr., received land grant on Dunnings Creek, Cumberland County, June 6, 1762, amounting to 285 acres per Land Records, Harrisburg, Pa., Vol. C 196, p. 17.

Tim's note:  Dunning Creek starts just west of New Paris and flows to the Raytown Branch of the Juniata River just east of Bedford -- entirely in what is now Bedford County.

70: Henry Rhoads, Sr. had a tomahawk claim of about 200 acres on the west side in "Bruedersthal," what is now Stony Creek Township, known as "Round Meadows." All evidence points to the fact that he lived on his claim in 1762.

115: George Adam Martin removed to Stony Creek, PA 1762 and founded Stony Creek Church; was in and out of the settlement: 1763, 1764, 1768, 1770, 1778.

121: Elder Martin was excluded from all social and religious fellowship of the Brethren. In 1762, with about sixty-five souls he migrated beyond the Allegheny Mountains to Stony Creek country.

124: (Yearly Meetings of 1770 and 1774...those who had moved in around Brotherton...had known all about the trouble that Elder Martin had in the Bermudian Church with his fellow Brethren elders.

144: When the early Brethren moved into Stony Creek country in the summer of 1762, Abraham Cable was already there.

145: Abraham Cable was naturalized in 1762. This caused a stir among the Brethren at Germantown because a member had to take the "Oath of Allegiance to the King of England."...From that date on Abraham Cable was denied fellowship with the Brethren.

164: Here is the deed as it is recorded in the Carlisle Courthouse:...Whereas Henry Rhoads, County of Cumberland and hath requested that we would allow him to take up (200) acres of land on the east side of Dunnings Creek -- adjoining George Croghans land the said County of Cumberland. ... July 7, 1762.

176: Philip Kimmel...married Catherine Henn...The couple moved into the Stony Creek country from Antrim Township, in Franklin County, in 1762. They took up a large tract of land, in Stonycreek Township, which they sold.

184: Stonycreek (1770 Organization) ... In the year 1762, Rev. George Adam Martin adopted the sentiments of the Seventhday Baptists, and preached at Bermudian. From thence he went to Stonycreek this year.

209: When Elder Martin took his band of followers to the Stony Creek country and organized the church there in 1762...With Martin went some of the following families: Lehmans, Roths, Stoners, Feaster, Lanis', Cables, Kimmel, Aswalds, Newmeyers, Wildebargers, Raimans....Many of these had moved to the Stony Creek-Brothers Valley section as early as 1744, the Aswalds, Roths, Newmeyers, Lehmans, Wildebargers.

Tim's note:  Listing of the Assessed Inhabitants of York Co., Pennsylvania for the Year 1762 include Jacob Kemble, Michael Kemble, Philip Kemble and Philip Kemble Sr. in Reading Township.  Philip Kemble would be the Elder Philip Kimmel in Cooper's accounts.

1763

40: by 1763 Elder George Adam Martin's band had fallen back on Fort Stony Creek, Fort Bedford, Fort Cumberland, Fort Legionier and Fort Pitt.

40: summer of 1763, Henry Roth, Jr., bought a lot in Bedfordtown.

40: Elder George Adam Martin sold his tract to George Funk at the bend of the Shenandoah River, in Augusta County, Virginia (now Shenandoah Valley).

40: Antrim Township Taxable Records show that Elder Martin, Henry Roth, Sr., William Brotherton and John Martin were listed.

40: Elder Martin began his trip down the Shenandoah Valley. Must have visited his daughter Rachel, married to Elder Francis Stump and living in Augusta County.

67: Taxables of Antrim Township for 1763 does not include George Martin or Peter Knipper. George Martin and Peter Knipper are living on Stony Creek.

68: Taxables of Antrim Township for 1763 does not include these people: Elder Martin, Henry Roth Sr., Abraham Gable, Abraham Knepper, William Knepper & John Mack.

68: That the 1763 records do not list any of the "original seventeen members" among the taxables of Antrim Township would indicate that they were in Brothersvalley.

1764

67/68: Taxables of Antrim Township for 1764 includes George Martin 50 acres, Abraham Niper (Knepper) 50 acres, Peter Niper (Knepper) 50 acres, Henry Rhoads (Roth Sr.) 50 acres

70: 1764 taxables records show that George Martin and Henry Roads in Antrim Township were absentee owners.

77: Elder Martin left the community in 1764, as he took his trips into the Valley of Virginia and to the South. He moved to Westmoreland section to be near his four sons who lived in that section.      (Tim's note:  The community being referred to here is the Stonycreek community.)

115: George Adam Martin removed to Westmoreland Township 1764.

125: Philip Kimmel was elected to the ministry in 1764, when Elder Martin went to live with his sons in Westmoreland country.

125: John Hendricks was elected to the ministry in the Stony Creek Church, 1764. He and Philip Kimmel seemed never to get along because of the strange preaching of Hendricks...Hendricks removed to Southern Virginia and settled in the Roanoke settlement in 1765.

142: Elder John Hendricks was the second elder of the Stony Creek Church, elected in 1764, ordained in 1765, and moved to Virginia and North Carolina, 1768.

192: After Elder George Martin left the area from 1764-1768, Henry Roth, Sr. was the elder in charge.      (Tim's note:  The area being referring to here is the Stonycreek area.)

217: In 1764 Philip Kimmel was elected and carried the work among the divided group at the Henry Roth Meetinghouse.

218: ...into the Westmoreland country where Elder George Adam Martin was then living; sulking from the terrible ordeal that he endured at Bermudian in 1764.

353: John Hendrick, Philip Kimmel and Jacob Miller elected to the ministry in 1764. Philip Kimmel and Jacob Miller ordained as elders.

1765

68: Taxables of Antrim Township for 1765 includes Rev. George Martin and Henry Rhoads.

142: Elder John Hendricks ordained in 1765.

211: There were enough Brethren in North Carolina to demand the services of a resident Elder. In 1765, Elder John Hendricks answered that call and left Stony Creek for North Carolina.

353: John Hendrick ordained as elder in 1765.

Tim's note:  Philip Kimmel purchased 100 acres near Bermudian Creek in York Co. from heirs of Thomas Miles on July 19,1765 per deed recorded in Deed book I4, page 54 in Philadelphia records, which confirm that "Phillip Kimmel Junior" was a resident of Reading Township, York County at the time.  His residence confirmed in vol. I4, page 55 July 22, 1765 release of claim on the land.  Phillip Kimmel Junior would be the Elder Philip Kimmel in Cooper's accounts.

1766

68: Taxables of Antrim Township for 1766 includes Abraham Gable 100 acres, George Martin 100 acres, William Neiper (Knepper) 200 acres, Abraham Neiper 150 acres, Henry Rode (Roth Sr.) 100 acres.

1767

68: Taxables of Antrim Township for 1767 includes George Martin 100 acres, John Mack 300 acres, Henry Rodes 100 acres.

1768

68: Taxables of Antrim Township for 1768 includes Elder Martin, Henry Roth, Sr. and Henry Rhoads (Henry Roth Jr.)

68: Taxables of Bedford Township for 1768 includes Henry Rhoades 100 acres.

124: Henry Roth, Sr., was elected to the ministry in 1768 in Stony Creek because he was a man of great wealth for his day.

142: Elder John Hendricks moved to Virginia and North Carolina, 1768.

192: Elder George Martin left the area from 1764-1768.     (Tim's note: the area being referred to here is the Stonycreek area.)

194: The Henry Rhoads, Sr. grist mill was standing in 1768. The Brethren held services in this mill before Henry Roth, Sr. built the dwelling-meetinghouse in 1771.

217: Philip Kimmel was elected and carried the work among the divided group at the Henry Roth Meetinghouse.  In 1768, Henry Roth, Sr. was elected to the ministry in Stony Creek and assisted Philip Kimmel in the work.

353: Henry Roth, Sr. elected to ministry and ordained as elder in 1768.

1769

68: Taxables of Bedford Township for 1769 includes Henry Rhoads.

102: Philip Kimmel's 159-3/4 acres warranted. One of the first warrants after opening of land office in 1769. Philip was member of the Stonycreek-Brothersvalley congregations.

(Tim's note: yes, there was a 1769 land warrant in Bedford County for Philip.)

164: In 1768, Heinrich Roth, Sr., built a grist mill and saw mill in Stony Creek.

189: There is no known record of this early church, except that in 1769 Elder Michael Meyers, Sr. became the Bishop of the county and that quoted in "Material Toward a History of the Baptists" from Morgan Edwards of 1770.

194: George Adam Martin returned to Stony Creek in 1769.

1770

xv (preface):  Credit goes to ... the Athenaeum Library, Boston, Mass., for the loan of the Morgan Edwards manuscript containing the early records of the 1762 membership, recorded in 1770

68: Taxables of Bedford Township for 1770 includes Henry Rhoads.

77: In 1770, there arose a great division among the Bretheren, especially those who lived at Brotherton, and those back in the Stony Creek at Henry Roth, Sr., settlement.

77: At the Roth settlement there arose the "Big Commotion in the Stony Creek." In 1770, the Yearly Meeting or Annual Conference of the German Baptist Church sent a committee to the Stony Creek community and to the Brotherton community. The committee was headed by Alexander Mack, Jr. and Elder John Staub from the Germantown Church at Philadelphia.

77: Elder George Adam Martin had moved back into the community from the Westmoreland section. He lived with his grandson George Adam Glessner until his death in 1794.      (Tim's note:  The community being referred to here is the Stonycreek community)

77: There was a pull between Elder Philip Kimmel, then the presiding elder of the Stony Creek Church, Henry Roth, Sr., local minister, and George Adam Martin. Elder Christian Lehman was the elder at Brotherton.

78: Henry Roth, Sr., in 1770, left the homeplace. That year he sold out to his son, Henry, Jr., and moved to his tract at Ursina, PA. A few followed him there and later joined the Turkeyfoot Jersey Baptist Church in that section.

140: Elder George Adam Martin came back into the Stony Creek Settlement in 1770 and remained there on this tract until his death in 1794.

184: Stonycreek (1770 organization). ... In the year 1762, Rev. George Adam Martin adopted the sentiments of the Seventhday Baptists, and preached at Bermudian. From thence he went to Stonycreek this year.

194: Abraham Gebel's name appears as the first deacon in the 1770 organization.

196: The last name on the 1770 membership list has undergone several changes. Morgan Edwards referred to him as "Mr. Widdebarger." Mr. G. Brumbaugh used "Widdebarger." On a deed owned by Charles May the name "Henry Winterberger" appears.

237: ...from 1763 to 1770 a general Indian outbreak caused many families to be scattered and driven out.... There is much evidence both in family histories and the 1770 tax roster of Bedford County, that many of the named families did remain within the Stony Creek area; such as: the Rhoads, Cables, Kimmels, Kneppers and others.

1771

BEDFORD COUNTY ESTABLISHED IN 1771 (FORMED FROM CUMBERLAND COUNTY), INCLUDES STONEYCREEK TOWNSHIP.

68: Records show that most of the "original seventeen members" lived in Stony Creek .

112: The old Stony Creek Church was built in the summer of 1771 (and torn down in 1928).

126: Abraham Cable was elected to the office of magistrate in 1771 which was oath taking and a problem for the Brethren. He would not relent so he was banned from the Brethren fellowship.

147/148: Petition of the Inhabitants of the Glades on Stony Creek & Youghiogany in Bedford County for the Appointment of a Magistrate Oct. 1771 included on first page: Jacob Osswald, Jacob Roth, Henrich Roth, Filp (Philip) Kimmel, Henry Rods (Rhodes), George Kimmel.

178: Original Stony Creek Church, built in 1771, known as the Henry Roth Meetinghouse.

187: In 1771, there was a large log meeting house built on high ground in a clearing belonging to Henry Roth, Jr. This became the first meetinghouse of the Brethren west of the Allegheny Mountain.

The Brethren held services in the Henry Rhoads, Sr. grist mill before Henry Roth, Sr. built the dwelling-meetinghouse in 1771.

254: Henry Roth, Sr. held "Sunday School" in his home, 1771.

1772

196: Jacob Newmeyer sold land April 3,1772, to one Samuel Gilpin.

1773

101: Jacob Kimmel's 357 acres warranted. Jacob was member of the Stonycreek-Brothersvalley congregations.

125: John Garber was elected to the ministry in 1773 in the Stony Creek church. That year he removed to Frederick County, Maryland.

1774

112: In the summer of 1774, there was "The Big Meeting," or Annual Meeting, held in the old Stony Creek Church.

112: There was the "Big disturbance of 1774" in the wilderness of the Brethren community. This year the Brothers Valley Militia was organized by the English as a protection against the Indian attacks. Four of the Brethren young men joined the militia...This causes such a turbulent scene in the church that brethren Alexander Mack, Jr. and John Staub were sent to the Stony Creek "to put down the big disturbance" at Stony Creek.

165: Heinrich Roth remained a staunch supporter of his Seventh Day beliefs until his death in 1774.

1775

102: George Kimmel's 343 acres, joining John Schwitzer, Philip and Henry Roth and Elder George Adam Martin, warranted. George was member of the Stoneycreek-Brothersvalley congregations.

Other notes:

56: The original members, at least until about 1770, came from Antrim Township.

75: Henry Winterberger accompanied the migration of Brethren from Antrim Township to Stony Creek or Bruedersthal country and settled on a tract of land at the western edge of Sandy Hollow Branch of the Stony Creek, at Brotherton.

78: Followers of Elder Martin, especially the Penrods, Cables, Martins and Martens, Cuninghams, Bloughs, and several other families organized the Quemahoning Seventh Day Baptist Church, that existed for many years. This was originally called Penrod Church....About 1805, a Seventh Day Church was built in Quemahoning Township across from the present site of Camp Harmony.

101: Jacob Kimmel came from Ephrata; was born Ephrata, 1747.

101: Philip Kimmel moved from Ephrata, father of all Kimmels in area. When Elder George Adam Martin went to Virginia, and was gone four years, Philip Kimmel became the second presiding elder of the congregation.

102: Before the 1770 Henry Roth, Sr. Meetinghouse was built, services were held in the Philip Kimmel home and Love Feasts, and the Annual Meeting of 1774 were held in the Henry Roth Mill.

124: The complete story of Elder George Adam Martin's life may be found in the book "Elder George Adam Martin - Frontier Preacher," Cooper, 1962.

125: Brother Philip Kimmel has training from the Germantown school under Ludwig Hoecker.

165: The name of Roth has undergone many changes, from the original name to: Roads, Rodes, Rhodes, Rhoads, Rode.

176: Besides farming Philip was an elder in the old Stony Creek Church.

194: Removing the name of Elder George Adam Martin, who did not remain with the congregation...This author has found deeds and warrants and survey maps bearing all of these names except Philip Oswald.


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

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