German Family Connections

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have gone on before us. Keeping records in the family Bible is a family tradition for many. We have inherited a couple such Bibles from my husband’s side of the family.

Even though my in-laws prided themselves in their British heritage with names like Brown and Bentley, they also had German roots in their family tree too.  One of the Bibles we have in our possession is a 1795 German language Bible.

I am not certain which side of my husband’s family this gem descends but when I did some digging, I found German connections on both sides. When I first met my future in-laws, father-in-law to be was tickled that his son was marrying a Neunaber (my maiden name) because his mother’s maiden name was Newcomer. Zora Mae Newcomer married Samuel Crutcher Bentley in 1909 in Macon, IL right outside Decatur. The city of Decatur. IL has had a German sister city in Seevetal since 1975. It is located in Lower Saxony.

Seevetal Coat of Arms

My father-in-law returned to work in Decatur in the late 1930s with a moving company. After he graduated high school in Idaho, he attended Millikin University until he enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII. We honored his service today at a local Memorial Day ceremony. He passed in 2003 and our son bears his name.

On his mother’s side,we have the obituary of Hannah Burkey Mumma born in Ohio in 1836. This great great grandmother is said to have “united with the Lutheran church in her early girlhood…” (typically a German link). Also the Mumma name is a distinguished German one from Friesland, another district of Lower Saxony.

Hannah Burkey Mumma Obituary

So whether this Bible travelled over from his mother’s side or father’s side, I would have to do more research. There is a name, actually several names, scrawled on the front pages but I cannot decipher them accurately. Maybe George A?something. If you can add some insight from these images, I’d love to hear from you. One signature does say they were born 1811.

I hope you had a chance to honor your loved ones this weekend.

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