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Descendants of John Jacob Sommer

Generation No. 2

2. SUSANNAH LOUISA2 SOMMER (JOHN JACOB1) was born May 12, 1816 in Philadelphia, PA, and died March 03, 1902 in St. Davids, Delaware County, PA. She married CHURCHILL HOUSTON July 01, 1840 in Frankford Presbyetrian Church, Frankford, Philadelphia, Pa, son of WILLIAM HOUSTON and JANE SMITH.

Notes for S
"William Churchill Houston, a successful merchant in Philadelphia, who married Susan Somers of Philadelphia". [New Jersey Biographical Sketches, 1665-1800].

Churchill Houston was a son of New Jersey Continental Congress member and the distinguished patriot of the American Revolution, William Churchill Houston (1740-1788), and his wife Jane Smith (d. 1796) whose father was Rev. Caleb Smith, of St. George's Manor, Long Island, by his wife Martha, daughter of Jonathan Dickinson, of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, the first president of the College of New Jersey.

William Churchill Houston was born in 1740 in Sumter District, South Carolina, the son of Archibald and Margaret Houston. William Churchill Houston graduated with the highest honors at the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University, in the class of 1768. He receieved on his graduation, a silver medal, which is still possession by his descendants. He became a professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Princeton. In 1779, William Churchill Houston took his seat in the Continental Congress. He later became as a treasurer of the State of New Jersey, raising funds for the support and equipment for the army. He retired from Congress in 1781 and devoted to the practice of law; and on September 28, 1781, was appointed clerk to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, a position he held until his death. William Churchill Houston was one of the delegates from New Jersey to the convention that framed the first United States Constitution in 1787, and took an active part in its deliberations. He was the author of the motion to strike out the clause making the president ineligible to re-election. He also was the delegate for the convention at Annapolis. William Churchill Houston was taken seriously ill at an inn on Frankford Road, in Philadelphia, kept by a Mr. Geisse, and died there, August 12, 1788 and was buried in the church-yard of the Second Presbyterian Church at the northwest corner of Arch and Third Streets, Philadelphia. "The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, No. 2973, August 13, 1788, contains this brief announcement of this death and the funeral services: "Yesterday morning died on his way to this city, the Hon. William Churchill Houston, Esq. late of Trenton, formerly one of the Representatives in Congress from the State of New Jersey.-- The citizens are respectfully requested to attend his funeral from the house of Mr. sergeant, in ARch-street, This Morning, at Eight o'clock." [New Jersey Biographical and Genealogical Notes from the Volumes of the New Jersey Archives].

William Churchill and Jane (Smith) Houston had five children, viz: two sons, George Smith Houston married to Mary Forman;, William Churchill Houston, Jr., who settled in Philadelphia, and was prominently identified with the business interests of that city until his death and married to Susan Somers; and three daughters, Elizabeth married Horace G. Phillips, who removed to Dayton Ohio, about 1804; Louisa Ann married to Dr. John Vancleve of Princeton; and Mary. [Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, Volumes I-III and New Jersey Biographical Sketches, 1665-1800].

Churchill Houston was a youngster when his father passed away in 1788. His birth year is unknown, but according to the 1840 Census in Philadephia, his age bracket was between 50-60. It means that he was born between 1780-1788. Churchill Houston came to Philadelphia to establish his own business-- it is obviously he came to that city to visit his father's grave and decided to settle down. He succesfully operated his wool business, called "Houston C. & Co." and was wealthy. The 1830 City Directory of Philadelphia first listed Churchill Houston and his residence was on 61 South Front St. The 1835-36 City Directory showed his business was located on 43 1/2 North Front St. According to the 1840 City Directory, Churchill Houston's address was on 58 South Front.

The Indenture of 1839 between Churchill Houston and John Slack was described as "brick and frame messuages or tenements erected situate". The legal description goes on to describe its location as NE corner of Delaware Front St., to Marsh Street (formerly called Hartsfeldt) in the Northern Liberties, City of Philadelphia to Front Street along the Northerly side of Marsh Street to the Cohocsink Creek or Canal Northward by grounds granted by the Farmers and Mechanics Bank to Preston Marshall on grounds rent, Eastward by the Cohocsink Canal Southward by Marsh St., and Westward by Front Street. Sum paid to Churchill Houston by John Slack of $1,250 for "one full equal undivided moiety or half part of and in all that certain lot of piece of ground. Agreement that both Churchill Houston and John Slack will pay $530.50 rent per year to the Farmers and Mechanics Bank. [Gen Forum Query from Nancy Vogt on Hetty Longsreth Slack/John Slack].

In the 1840 Census in Philadelphia, Churchill Houston was listed in the Northern Liberties Township, and he was in between 50-60 of age. A female aged 20-30 lived with him. It is probably his newlywed wife, Susannah Sommer, 24. The above line of Churchill Houston was John Jacob Sommer, Susannah's father, who listed as "Jacob Sommer" and he was in his 70-80 of age.

On July 1, 1840, Churchill Houston, a merchant of Phila., married to Susannah Louisa Sommer at the Frankford Presbyterian Church by Rev. W.D. Howard. They had a daughter, Mary Jane who was born on June 12, 1842.

The January 17th and 18th, 1845, the Public Ledger newspaper reported the death of Churchill Houston:
"CHURCHILL HOUSTON, Merchant of this city. His friends, and those of the family, are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, from his late residence, in Eighth street, above Parrish, this morning, at 10 o'clock, without further notice- to proceed to Frankford."

He left his will- the 1845 File 16, Will Book 17, page 415- and he named his wife, Susanna L. and daughter, Mary Jane; also to his nephews and nieces, Horatio G. Vancleve, Churchill Houston Vancleve, John W. Vancleve, (children of the late sister of Louisa Ann Houston Vancleve); William C. Houston, George S. Houston, and Eliza Este, (children of the late brother George S. Houston); Mary Houston (wife of late George S. Houston); George W. Brown (son of late sister Mary W. Houston Brown). He gave large amount of money to different societies and instututions such as Philadelphia Home Missonary Society, Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, or Pennsylvania Instituion of the Deaf and Dumb.

Susannah and Mary Jane Houston lived on Frankford Ave, according to the 1880 Census in the Ward 25. The value of real estate was $8000 and personal property was $400. They lived in the section of Bridesburg and Frankford. On the same street, Susannah Houston's brother, William A. Sommer lived with his family.

The 1900 census in Radnor Township, Delaware County Pa., showed Susannah L Houston, born May 1816, aged 84 and was a widow. Her occupation was "Capitalist," Her daughter, Mary J. Houston, was 57 and her birthdate showed June 1842 and she was single. Susannah's three sisters, Wilhemina Sutcliff, 76, born Oct. 1823, and was a widow; Frederica Sommer, 73, born June 1826, and single; and Georgiana Sommer, 72, born Feb. 1828. A servant, Maria Welsh from Ireland and a gardener, Wm. F. Davis.

Susanna Houston died on March 3, 1902, in St. David's Delware County and was buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Frankford, Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper reported the death of Susannah L. Houston: On March 3, 1902, Susanna L., widow of Churchill Houston, aged 85 years. Funeral services on Thursday morning, March 6, at 10 o'clock at her late residence, St. David's, Delaware County, Pa. Interment private. [Philadelphia Inquirer, Wed., March 5, 1902, page 15].

According to the 1910 census, Mary Jane Houston, 68, lived in the same town as the 1900 census. It also showed Fredericka Sommer and Georgiana Sommer, as Mary Jane Houston's aunts. The 1920 Census, in the same town, showed her niece and nephew, F. William Geisse, 62, a photographer, and Lidie D. Geisse, 47. (I do not know how they are related to Mary Jane Houston).

Mary Jane Houston's last residence was on 418 E. Lancaster Ave., St. David's, Pa and she died on October 16, 1924. She is buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery. She was a last direct descendant of William Churchill Houston.

More About S
Fact 1: June 19, 1816, Baptismal - St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church

More About C
Fact 1: January 18, 1845, Burial-Frankford Presbyterian Church

      Child of S
  i.   MARY JANE3 HOUSTON, b. June 12, 1842, Philadelphia, PA; d. October 1924, St. Davids, Delaware County, Pa.
Fact 1: October 20, 1924, Buried at Cedar Hill Cemetary
Fact 2: November 30, 1842, Baptized at Frankford Presbyterian Church

3. WILLIAM A.2 SOMMER (JOHN JACOB1) was born December 27, 1819 in Philadelphia, PA, and died June 13, 1904 in Philadelphia, PA. He married CLARA STRUBLE Abt. 1844 in Philadelphia, PA.

Notes for W
1852 McElroy's Phila., PA Directory. LDS #6052905.
Somers, Wm., Carpenter., West ab K Hall.

More About W
Fact 1: August 11, 1820, Baptismal: St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Fact 2: 1850, Census: Ritchmond District, Ward 19, Phila.
Fact 3: 1860, Census: Rising Sun, Ward 23, Philadelphia
Fact 4: 1870-1880, Census: 3211 Frankford Ave, Ward 25, Philadelphia
Fact 5: 1900, Census:4170 Paul St., Ward 23, Frankford, Philadelphia
Fact 6: June 16, 1904, Burial: Cedar Hill Cemetary, Frankford.

More About C
Fact 1: January 17, 1899, Buried at Cedar Hill Cemetary, Frankford, Philadelphia, Pa

      Children of W
4. i.   EMMA3 SOMMER, b. December 10, 1845, Philadelphia, PA; d. December 22, 1919, Philadelphia, PA.
5. ii.   WILLIAM SOMMER, b. February 1847, Philadelphia, PA; d. July 1902, Philadelphia, PA.
6. iii.   JOHN ALBERT OR JACOB SOMMER, b. July 17, 1850, Philadelphia, PA.
7. iv.   GEORGE W. SOMMER, b. November 1853, Philadelphia, PA; d. December 26, 1903, Philadelphia, PA.
  v.   CLARA SOMMER, b. June 03, 1858, Philadelphia, PA; m. JOHN WESLEY SMITH.

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