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Johann 'Henry' Gaumer


Johann "Henry" Gaumer was born on May 4, 1786 in Macungie Township, Northampton County, PA, the son of Johannes "John" and Albertina Christina (Dean) Gaumer.

He was baptized at the age of one month on June 4, 1786, in Macungie. His sponsors were Jacob Schanckweiler and Gertraut Gaumer.

As a young man, he migrated to the southwest border region of Somerset County, PA and Allegany County, MD.

In about 1817, when he would have been age 31, Henry married 19-year-old Margaret (?) (1798- ? ), a native of Allegany County.

The Gaumers produced seven children – Henry Gaumer, Julia Ann Gaumer, Mary Lernara Gaumer, Margaret M. Gaumer, Francis A.L. Gaumer and an unidentified daughter.

Henry made a living over the years as a potter and also as a farmer.


Henry's deed for land near Somerfield, PA, 1824


They bought and sold land in Selbysport, MD circa 1815-1817 and later resided in Southampton and Addison Townships in Somerset County, PA.

On Sept. 8, 1824, for the sum of $85, Henry acquired 357¾ acres of land and a town lot along the "Big Crossings" of the Youghiogheny River from sellers Thomas and Mary Endsley. The lot measured 24 feet in width and was situated along the main street of the newly formed town of "Smythfield," Somerset County. The community had been laid out in 1818 by developer Philip D. Smyth, and later was renamed "Somerfield."

The federal census of 1850 shows the Gaumers making their home in Addison Township, with Henry continuing his work as a potter. Four of the children lived under their roof that year.

In 1860, census records show Henry at age 74 heading a household of five, ranging in age from 34 to 1, and with Margaret's whereabouts not given. Three younger boys under his roof, whose parents are not stated, were William (age 9), Ugenus (5) and Robert (1).

Henry reputedly died in about 1862 in Addison Township, Somerset County.

Margaret's fate is dimmed by the hazy shroud of the past. One source states that she survived her spouse by at least 14 years and died sometime after 1876. The location of their home is depicted in an 1876 map of Somerfield published in the Atlas of Somerset County. But this needs to be confirmed, as she has not yet been located on the censuses of 1860 or 1870.

Under the name "Johannes," Henry is named in Myrtle Knepper Weniger’s book The Gaumer Family and Allied Lines.


"Mrs. H. Gaumer" home on Bridge Street, Somerfield, 3 houses from the Youghiogheny River bridge, near Henry Clay Island. Atlas of Somerset County, PA, 1876


~ Daughter Julia Ann "Julian" Gaumer ~

Daughter Julia Ann "Julian" Gaumer (1824- ? ) was born in about 1824 in Somerset County.

She grew up learning to sew and in 1860, unmarried at age 34, and living with her father in Addison Township, Somerset County, her occupation was recorded as "spinster."


~ Daughter Mary "Louisa" Gaumer ~

Daughter Mary "Louisa" Gaumer (1834- ? ) was born in about 1834 in Somerset County.

As with her elder sister Julia Ann, Louisa was taught how to sew at a young age. In 1860, unmarried at age 26, and living with Julia and their father in Addison Township, Somerset County, her occupation was recorded as "spinster."


Tranquil "great crossings" of the Youghiogheny River near the Gaumer home in Somerfield, PA, where General Braddock's troops crossed during the French and Indian War


~ Daughter Margaret M. Gaumer ~

Daughter Margaret M. Gaumer (1841- ? ) was born in about 1841 in Somerset County.


~ Son Francis A.L. Gaumer ~

Son Francis A.L. Gaumer (1848- ? ) was born in about 1848 in Addison Township, Somerset County.


Copyright 2000, 2017 Mark A. Miner