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Johannes 'Heinrich' Junghen
a.k.a. "Johann Heinrich Younkin" (1717-1787)

Niederasphe, Germany


Heinrich's original grave in German,
Keller's Church, Perkasie, PA

Johannes "Heinrich" Junghen was born on Jan. 31, 1717 in the Hesse region of Germany. His birthplace is about 70 miles east/southeast of Cologne.

His parents, as identified by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan, were Johannes and Elisabeth (Wagner) Junghen of the town of Niederasphe in Hesse. 

Heinrich and his brother Johannes "Herman" Junghen were among the original Younkin immigrants who came to America when the nation was still a colony of Great Britain. There could have been others in the family who made the migration.

Four of Heinrich's sons -- Jacob, John, Frederick and Rudolph -- were pioneer settlers of Somerset County, PA, with Rudolph moving further west into Ohio as an early settler of Perry County, OH. Son Henry Jr. successively lived in Bucks County, PA, Loudoun County, VA, Carbon County, PA and Brush Valley, Indiana County, PA. 

When Heinrich was age 20, his brother Herman sailed from Germany to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the ship Charming Nancy. The brother put down roots in rural Bucks County on the outskirts of Philadelphia and bore a family of eight known offspring who in turn produced 28 of their own children, 92 grandchildren and 254 great-grandchildren.

Heinrich waited about 17 years to make his own migration, and did so in about 1750 at the age of 33. It's said that Heinrich married while still in Germany and produced a son named John -- as suggested by family researchers in 1937 -- whom he left behind during his original ocean passage. Thus he was a widower and father at the time he first set foot on American soil. 


Upon arrival, he appears to have gone directly to the home of his brother Herman in Bucks County, near Philadelphia.

Second Street in colonial Philadelphia 


An article in the inaugural edition of the Younkin Family News Bulletin (Christmas Number 1937) contained an article about Heinrich and his brother Herman, headlined "Junghen Family In Bucks Co." The article's author, Anita Ludlam (Smith) Eyster, of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and a direct descendant of John and Anna Elizabeth (Younkin) Houpt, wrote the following: 


In connection with the arrival of Herman's brother, Johann Heinrich Junghen, in 1750, we might pause to comment on the really astonishing way in which the emigrants contrived to keep in touch with the mother country in those days when a slow sailing vessel was the only means of communication. Each ship that unloaded at Philadelphia (and between 1750 and 1755 there were 85 ships came in with German emigrants), went back with messages and commissions and often too took back those men who had planned their dwelling places and returning for their families. Some reason must have stirred Henry Junghen, for within a year of his arrival he advertises in the German paper that he is going back and will take letters. He is described as a single man in Tinicum. This simple phrase gives us a deal of information. First, that he went at once on arrival to his brother Herman in Tinicum; second, that his wife was dead, undoubtedly before he left Germany; third, that he had means to pay his passage back and forth. We also infer that his home town was Siegen in Hesse.


Record of the Junghens' marriage. While included in the 1756 year listings, their marriage otherwise has been marked as occurring in 1753.. Courtesy Google Books.

Keller's Church records of Heinrich, Catharina and children, in German

When he was age 36, on July 25, 1753, before his first return trip to Germany, Heinrich was united in holy wedlock with 27-year-old Catharina Scherer (1726-1825). Catharina is said to have been a native of Bucks County, PA and to have been the daughter of Henry Scherer of Upper Saucon, Lehigh County, PA. The marriage took place in the Blue Church, also known as St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Saucon Township. 


A record of their marriage was made in church ledgers in 1756, three years after the wedding took place. Also having their marriage recorded in Blue Church records were Hinrich and Catharina Dorothe (Heller) Scherer, likely a brother or cousin of Catharina's These same records were published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in its Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XXXV, January 1911. 

The Younkins produced nine more children of their own -- Johannes "John" Younkin, Dorthea Younkin, Jacob Younkin, Johannes Friedrich "Frederick" Younkin, Rudolph "Ralph" Younkin, Anna Elizabeth Younkin, Anna Elizabeth Haupt (or "Houpt"), Henry Youngkin Jr. and Catharina Myers. 

Sadly, daughters Dorothea and Anna Elisabeth died young, both in 1769.  

Other records listing the names and birth dates of all of their children, written in the German script, were kept by Keller's Church officials. These records are on microfilm today at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in the Mt. Airy suburb of Philadelphia. [Film 1312361] They have been translated by Glen Swartz and Frank Duff and shared for use on this website, having previously been published in the June 1991 edition of the Younkin Family News Bulletin, as provided by Younkin descendant and researcher Ginny Toney of Houston, TX.

The Blue Church, otherwise known as St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Lehigh County, was said by author Clarence E. Beckel to have been "the first of that denomination organized within the present limits of Upper Saucon township, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania. The land on which the present church stands, (the third erected), was warranted to Conrad Walp in January of 1787, and it is claimed that the congregation was organized a few years later. However, in 1745, the Rev. H.J. Muhlenberg was notified that the congregation had erected a church and school-house."

Heinrich eventually returned to Pennsylvania for good in 1754, allegedly bringing his young son John from his first marriage. Heinrich's name was Americanized to "Henry Younkin," sometimes spelled "Younken" - "Youncken" - "Youngken" - "Juncken" - and other alternative ways.

Sadly, their daughter Dorthea died at the age of 10 years, 11 months and one day on Sept. 15, 1769, and their infant daughter Anna Elizabeth succumbed 10 days later at the age of five months, 15 days.


Not long after he came to America the second time, Heinrich began to acquire farmland. On Jan. 14, 1756, he bought 87 acres in Bedminister Township from Sebastian Wildanger for £500. Then on Feb. 17, 1756, he acquired a 118-acre farm from Dennis Barn. The entirety of the farm straddled Bedminster and Haycock Townships in Bucks County. It was not far from the plantations in Tinicum and Nockamixon Townships owned by his brother Herman, who had married Magdalena (?) and was rearing his own family.

When Bucks County landowners were assessed for taxes in 1781, Heinrich (listed as "Henry Younkin") owned 168 acres, two horses and six cattle. The following year, he was assessed for 150 acres, two horses, five cattle and a still. By 1784, the amount of taxable acreage dropped to 118, with one dwelling, two outbuildings and seven white inhabitants.


Article about Heinrich and his brother Herman in the inaugural issue of the Younkin Family News Bulletin, Christmas Number, 1937


Old springhouse on Heinrich's farm.

Courtesy Mark Terry Youngkin

His brother Herman also operated a distillery on his property during that period of time. Herman became naturalized as an English citizen of the Pennsylvania colony in 1743 and eventually lived along the Durham Road.


Heinrich and Catherine are known to have attended the Tohickon Lutheran Church where their baby son Frederick was baptized Feb. 24, 1764 by the hand of Rev. John Wolf Lizel and sponsored by Frederick Schmidt. In the Tohickon church records, the family name was spelled "Junkhen." The Tohickon church had been founded in 1743, in a log structure, and over time served both the Lutheran and Reformed congregations. Its first pastor was Rev. John "Conrad" Würtz (Wirtz) who baptized two of Heinrich's nephews and nieces. It sat along Old Bethlehem Road, in the village of Wiesel, along the Bedminster Township border with East Rockhill. When the log building burned in 1753, it was replaced by a structure built of stone, which served until another replacement in 1838. German-language services were discontinued in 1892. The congregation later became part of the United Church of Christ, marked its 275th birthday in 2018 and is known today as St. Peter's Tohickon UCC. 

Later, the Younkins became members of Keller's Lutheran Church, also known as St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, located eight miles east of Perkasie, Bucks County. Their birth records of their children were preserved in the church papers.


As a mark of his loyalty to his adopted country, Heinrich signed an oath of allegiance to the newly formed United States of America during the Revolutionary War. He did so in Bucks County on Aug. 28, 1777, recorded in Williams' Oaths of Allegiance, Bucks County, book 1, pages 43-44. His son Jacob served in a local militia during the conflict and is acknowledged by the Daughters of the American Revolution.


According to research by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan, editor/publisher of the Younkin Family News Bulletin of the 1990s, Heinrich's 200-acre farm was subdivided by the Tohickon Creek. The creek later was dammed to become Nockamixon State Park and Lake. The farm headquarters was located where the marina is today. All of the old farm buildings were demolished, except for an old stone springhouse, formerly near the main farm house. It's entirely possible that Heinrich could have constructed the springhouse.


St. Matthew's Lutheran and Reformed Church, a.k.a. Keller's Church, Bedminster Twp., Bucks County. Below: the Keller's Church building erected in 1841, pastor William B. Kaemmerer circa 1842-1860 and the church's 150th anniversary booklet, 1901.


Heinrich's modern grave marker at Keller's Church

As his health was visibly failing, Heinrich wrote his will on Jan. 18, 1787. In the document, he stated that his widow was to have "Some part of the Barn to keep her Hay and Firewood chopped and brought to the house & she to have privilege in the Cellar & Water." She also was to "have all the Iron Potts Pine Stove & Iron Kettle that are i nthe house in use but if she should Marry again then she must leave the premises." He also stipulated that his son Frederick would have use of the land plough and with it "sew one Quarter of an acre with Flax Seed Yearly." Son Jacob was to have a grey mare and son Frederick a brown mare with the balance of household goods to be sold "as soon as may be after my Decease by Publick Sale except the Grain in the House and the Meat and all my children namely John, Jacob, Frederick, Rudolph, Henry, Elisabeth & Catharine all to have Share and Share alike out of the moveables.... If any of my Children should Die before they arrive to the full age his or her Share or Shares to be divided in manner as abovesaid & Elisabeth & Catharine to board with my Son Frederick but he is to have all the Grain in Ground on said Lands & my Wife have liberty to raise &keep two swine Yearly to her use on the Place as long as she remains a Widow." Signing their names on the document were withesses Henry Junghen, Jacob Nicola, Godfrey Bouyer.

He died a little more than a month later in Haycock Township, at the age of 70, on Feb. 20, 1787. His remains were placed in in the burying ground of Keller's Lutheran Church Cemetery. Heinrich's grave marker, written in German language, is visible but fading today. The inscription reads:




Catharina's grave, Keller's Church

Eventually the remains of Heinrich's granddaughter Elisabeth Junghen, who died in 1797 at the age of eight, were buried beside him.


At his death, Heinrich's three sons still living at home were Frederick, Rudolph and Henry. While his will spelled out that the sons should share the homestead farm, and that Frederick would inherit the farm at Tinicum, the sons eventually sold their shares and left Bucks County for points west. 

Once they departed, wrote Eyster, "This left none to carry on the family of Henry Junghen in Bucks County except the little son of Frederick, born 1789, who became a millwright and died in 1838, leaving a large family."

Catharina survived her husband by an astounding 38 years. 


She succumbed to failing health at the age of 99 in 1825, and was laid to rest in the Keller's Church cemetery.

In the long, long sleep of death, the Junghens were not forgotten. A rekindling of genealogical interest swept through the family in the mid-1930s with the establishment of the National Younkin Home-coming Reunion and publication of the Younkin Family News Bulletin. Writing in the Christmas 1937 edition, cousin Anita Eyster wrote the following:


YFNB, Christmas 1937

Herman Junghen is undoubtedly buried at Nickamixon Lutheran Church, where he was a Trustee and active member. Henry Junghen has a perfectly legible stone at Keller's Church, in Bedminster Township, and here also is the grave of his wife, who outlived him nearly 40 years and died at the age of 99 years. A Revolutionary record on the Oath of Allegiance has been establlished for both these Pioneers, making their descendants eligible to patriotic societies.


In April 1977, at the request of her father Joseph Warren Thomas, Philadelpia art student Deborah Thomas drove to Keller's and wrote the grave inscriptions for Heinrich and his granddaughter. She mailed them back to her father, who in turn sent a copy to Younkin descendant and researcher Loree (Morrison) Cross in Anderson, Indiana. A copy of the correspondence is preserved today in the Thomas Cross Papers of the Minerd.com Archives.

Some 167 years after Catharina's death, in July 1992, cousin-researchers Donna Logan -- of the family of Aaron Schrock Younkin -- and Loretta (Adams) Kelldorf -- of the family of Col. John C. Younkin -- visited the cemetery and videotaped their tour. They also took a video-tour through St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in nearby Nockamixon Township, Bucks County, where Herman Younkin's remains are thought but not proven to rest for eternity. View Donna's video on YouTube

In 2008, descendants Linda Marker and Everett and Christine Sechler paid their respects and photographed the markers. For Everett, the experience of the Younkin legacy was profound, but also his recognition of the deterioration that time and the elements have wrought. He saw that the stone listed strongly to one side and that it was heavily chipped in places. He envisioned a time someday when the lettering would vanish into oblivion and with it the tangible evidence of the man’s existence and German heritage.And so as treasurer of the Junghen-Younkin Reunion, Everett inspired a team of cousin volunteers to take a bold step. At the July 2018 reunion, attendees voted to proceed with installation of a second marker, to be placed next to but without disturbing the original. Arrangements were made, funding authorized, and on May 7, 2019, the new marker was installed by a group of 11 cousins who traveled from three states to be part of the experience. In addition to Everett and Christine, the team included Thomas Bitner, Randall Henry, Nancy Koontz, Linda Marker, Susan (Younkin) Moon, Barbara Park, Laurel (Sanner) Piersel and Jill Younkin in addition to the author of this post. See the Minerd.com Blog post, "Re-Marking a Legacy in Stone."



Above: Below: descendants Linda Marker and Everett Sechler pay respects at Heinrich's grave, 2008, and a look at Keller's Church today. Below: cousins installing Heinrich's new grave marker in May 2019.


~ Son Johann "John" Younkin ~

Son Johann "John" Younkin (1738- ? ) was born in Germany, circa 1738 -- allegedly from the first marriage -- and emigrated to America with his father in about 1754. 


On Jan. 23, 1759, when Johann was age 21, he married Catharine Killicher ( ? - ? ), (also spelled "Kilicher"). Their wedding ceremony was held within the precepts of the Upper Saucon Congregation of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, familiarly known as the "Blue Church" in Lehigh County. A record of their marriage was published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in its Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XXXV, January 1911.


Record of the Junghens' marriage. Courtesy Google Books.

When his father died in 1787, John was named in the last will and testament as the eldest son.

More will be added here later.


~ Daughter Anna "Elizabeth" (Junghen) Houpt ~

Daughter Anna "Elizabeth" Junghen (1770-1831) was born on Sept. 3, 1770 in Bucks County PA, the seventh child of Johann Heinrich and Catharina (Scherer) Junghen. She was named for a sister who had died in infancy the year before.

At the age of 21, on Aug. 10, 1792, she was joined in wedlock with a cousin, John Houpt Sr. (June 12, 1767-1851), also spelled "Haupt," the son of John Henry Sebastian and Maria Catherine (Younkin) Houpt of Springfield Township, Bucks County. The Houpt ancestors had come to America on the ship Glasgow which arrived in port in Philadelphia on Sept. 11, 1738.


Keller's Church record of Anna
Elizabeth's birth, written in German

The couple produced these eight known children -- Henry Houpt, John Houpt, Daniel Houpt, Abraham Houpt, Elizabeth Houpt, Benjamin Franklin Houpt, Mary Houpt and Mary Ann Houpt. They also lost an unnamed infant circa 1814.

As an infant John had been baptized in St. Luke's Lutheran and Reformed Church near Ferndale, Bucks County, with John Juncken and Barbara Dieter serving as his sponsors. Then as a young single man, John struck out on his own for a time but eventually returned home. He dwelled in rooms at one end of an old mill. By 1796, with a payment of £2,000, he acquired from his father 90 acres of farmland, which included the mill. He constructed a large stone house on the property in about 1798 which remained standing in the 1930s.

He continued to add to his holdings of land and eventually 50 deeds were in the family's possession. He maintained a book of accounts which later was donated to the Bucks County Historical Society.

The Houpts owned two German family Bibles, one printed in Halle in 1741 and another in Nurnberg in 1755.

Elizabeth died at the age of 60 on March 1, 1831. Her remains were placed into repose in Durham Church Cemetery.

John outlived his wife by two decades. At some point he began to write his life story. The project apparently was not completed, and many years later, a single piece of paper was found in the old Houpt homestead which seems to have been the opening page of the narrative and which ended abruptly mid-sentence:

I, John Houpt, was born near Philadelphia on the 12th day of June, 1767. My parents were Henry and Catherine Houpt. My grandparents emigrated from Germany, which country they left in consequence of the persecution of the Protestants, preferring the wilderness of America, with the freedom from persecution, to the cultivated fields of Europe in connection with the oppression. They were by profession Lutherans, or Episcopalians, as the believers of the same doctrine are called in England. My parents brought me up in strict obedience to the church discipline and creed of the religious society of which they were members; and to that creed I have adhered during life; but I think with more liberality towards those who are of a different opinion than was manifested by my parents. For as I have looked back and reflected on their pertinacious adherence to forms and ceremonies, I have concluded that they were somewhat superstitious in being so very strenuous in their way and that they were not sufficiently charitable towards others. Being the oldest of my father's children, of which there were ten sons and daughters, I was, after the manner of the Germans, kept closely to work by my father at his business, he being a farmer, and therefore got but very little learning, though I so far improved my limited opportunities within my reach, as to be able to read the German language, though I never went to German school. When I arrived at the age of twenty-one years, I resolved to see a little of the world, and though my parents were opposed to my determination, yet having resolved I was not to be turned from my purpose. When the day arrived which I had fixed for leaving home, my father, who was just ready to go to church, put a small amount of money, less than...

At the age of 84 years, two months and 13 days, he was carried away by the Angel of Death on Aug. 25, 1851. His remains were placed into eternal repose with his wife and son henry in Durham Union Church's cemetery.

Records of the Younken/Houpt family were compiled and written in 1931 by Elizabeth and John's great-granddaughter, Anita L. (Smith) Eyster. In this tribute, she wrote that "John Houpt so far profited by his early hardships that he gave to his children all the advantages of education that might be had in his day. It is notable that the family has produced few farmers but many engineers and professional men. And the Lutheran creed is still held amongst them, with its harshness modified by time." Many years later, her records were donated by her heirs to the Spruance Library and Museum in Doylestown, Bucks County.

Son Henry Youngken Houpt (1793-1864) was born in 1793. He never married. He died on July 26, 1864, with burial beside his mother in the burying yard of Durham Union Church.

Son John Houpt Jr. (1795-1885) was born in 1795. He never married. Over the span of 90 years, he lived and worked on the family's homestead farm, with his single sister Elizabeth sharing the household. Then when he died, he bequeathed the property to his youngest sister, Mary Ann Witte, whose son owned it circa 1931.

Son Daniel Houpt (1798-1802)

Son Abraham Houpt (1799-1871) was born in 1799. He was the only one of his brothers to marry. He was wedded to Rachel Long ( ? - ? ), daughter of William and Jane Long. They were the parents of one son.

Daughter Elizabeth Houpt (1804-1881) was born in 1804. She never married and remained on the old farmstead for decades.

Son Benjamin Franklin Houpt (1809-1838)

Daughter Mary Houpt (1812-1814)

Daughter Mary Ann Houpt (1816-1876) was born in 1816. She was united in holy matrimony with William H. Witte (Oct. 4, 1817-1878), son of Christopher Henry and Elizabeth (Wagner) Witte of Springfield Township, Bucks County. At the age of 16, in 1833, William took over the family business after the death of his father. Then at the age of 21, in 1838, he opened a retail store in Hellertown, and after two years moved to Philadelphia. He then opened a business on Third Street and remained in the city for good. Said the History of Bucks County, William was "a prominent man in politics, being a fluent public speaker and having a commanding presence. He was a man of great natural ability, and what he lacked in classical culture made up by close reading and study and persuasive eloquence. He was elected to the Congress of the United States, about 1850, and served one term. He aspired to the Governor's chair of Pennsylvania and was a candidate for nomination." The couple's one known son was William F. Witte. Despite living in Philadelphia, they retained an interest in the family farmstead, and inherited it after the death of Mary Ann's bachelor brother John.

  • Grandson William F. Witte (1844- ? ) was born in 1844 in Philadelphia. He received an education at the Polytechnic College in Philadelphia and later served on the college's faculty. For several years, said the History of Bucks County, he was "in the American merchant service, leaving it with the grade of chief engineer." As an adult, he resided on the old Houpt family farmstead in Springfield Township, Bucks County.

~ Daughter Catharine (Younken) Meyers ~

Daughter Catharine Junghen (1775-1865) -- later spelled "Youngken" -- was born on April 1, 1775.

She was united in holy matrimony with Jacob Meyers ( ? - ? ).

Catharine passed away at the age of 90 years and 27 days on April 28, 1865. Her remains were laid to rest beside her mother in the Keller's Lutheran Church Cemetery. 

Circa 1990, Younkin Family News Bulletin publisher Donna (Younkin) Logan and her father Donald visited the gravesite and recorded the lettering from Catharine's marker. Donna then published these findings in her article "A Visit to Bucks County" in the July-August-September 1990 edition of the YFNB.


Copyright © 2015-2017, 2019, 2021, 2023-2024 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan, Laurel Posey, Glen Swartz, Linda Marker, Ginny Toney and Barbara (Younkin) Jump Park. Keller's Church vintage photo by Aeigler, Souderton, PA, printed by C.M. Berkemeyer, Sellersville, PA.