Notes for Christian S. Gehman: [Export File 4.0-Burley Bretz Family.FTW]
From Gehman Family Directory-Part II, pg. 18-21 Christian Gehman (born Nov 28, 1706) arrived in the United States on 11 Aug 1732 on the ship "Samuel" which had departed Rotterdam and transported a number of German and Swiss settlers from the Palatinate area of Germany to populate lands in the southeastern area of what was to become the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. There is no record of Christian Gehman having worked as an indentured servant. It is possible that he had money to buy land when he arrived in the United States. In 1732-1733, he acquired 300 acres of land in present day Hereford Twp., Berks County, PA.
This property is located near the headwaters of the Perkiomen Creek and lies nearly adjacent to the present day Lehigh County line. To reach the property from the south, one travels north on State Route 29 through Red Hill, Pennsburg, and East Greenville to a point where Route 29 intersects with Route 100. At this point, Route 29 turns right and continues towards Emmaus (coincidental with Route 100). Continuing one's direction of travel across the intersection brings one through the village of Hereford and the road is now known as Seisholtzville Road. Continue on this road for approximately two to three miles, turning right on Township Road. At a point approximately one mile down this road Hollyberry Road forks to the left. All of the structures on the left side of Township Road beyond the fork and extending on the left side of the road for several hundred yards were in the hands of the Gehman Family for many years.
Approximately 1767, Christian Gehman built a substantial home that still stands today on that property. This so-called Christian Gehman Homestead was in Gehman Family hands until 1945 when it was sold to Kathleen Seagraves, who restored the home to its original 18th-century appearance. The home was built in the so-called Swiss Bank House manner. This is a tow and one half story building--the lower story being of stone and masonry construction and built into a hill or bank. The upper part of the structure is half-timbered. In 1987 this home and a nearby barn built in 1806 were placed on the National Register of Historic Places as unique examples of early Berks County farm architecture. The home has been occupied for a number of years by the Erwin Hoffman family. The Hoffmans reside on the property and have made a conscientious effort to maintain the integrity of the structures and property. There is a 19th century Gehman farm located on Hollyberry Road, presently owned by the Pettijohn family (1998). There were iron ore deposits on this property; which were worked during the mid and late 19th century. At one point a rail spur had been built into the Gehman property to transport the iron deposits to early forges.
It appears that Christian Gehman was married two times. His first wife, Anna (maiden name unknown), was born approximately 1709 and accompanied him from Europe to the United States. She was the mother of the first nine children. In all likelihood she died in childbirth or from related causes. Her burial place is not known. Family Bible records indicate Christian Gehman married a second time to a woman with the first name of Magdalena (surname unknown). She was the mother of four children. The fact that the four children of the second marriage did not follow the Mennonite faith suggests that the second wife was of another religious faith.
Christian Gehman spent his declining years with his son Abraham Gehman in West Rockhill Township, Bucks County, PA. He is buried in the Rockhill Mennonite Cemetery. His tombstone indicated he died on 9 Jun 1776. The current tombstone is not the original one. At some point, probably in the early part of the 20th century the tombstone had been replaced and newly inscribed. In doing this, a mistake was made because other legal documents indicate that his death was approximately 9 Jul 1772. Presumably all the children were born at the Berks County homestead property.
Christian Gehman died intestate. Several months after his death the children of Christian Gehman requested the Berks County Court in Reading, PA, to make a decision on the partition of the Christian Gehman property among the thirteen Gehman children only under the condition that the partition did not prejudice the appearance and integrity of the property. This request was turned down by the court in 1773, on the grounds that it was not feasible. When Christian Gehman died in 1772, his four youngest children were under the age of 21 so guardians had to be appointed by the Orphans' Court. On 20 December 1772, the Orphans' Court in Reading appointed the following guardians; John Schantz for Jacob Gehman; Abraham Meyer for Isaac Gehman; Jacob Schleiffer for Maria Gehman; and John Schantz and Christopher Shultz for Hannah Gehman. The date of Magdalena Gehman's death and her burial place are not known.
From Marla Jenkins Ancestry @ familytreemaker.com Born about 1706 and died June 9, 1776.
More About Christian S. Gehman: Burial: Unknown, Rockhill Mennonite Cemetery, Telford, Montgomery County, PA.156 Occupation: Wheelwright.156
More About Christian S. Gehman and Anna: Marriage: 1732, Europe.156
Children of Christian S. Gehman and Magdalena are: