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Some Paternal Ancestors of Edwin Brown (“Big Doc”) KUGLER Sr

Anna Margaretta UMBSTATT (1670–1697)1

In his Bible Hans Peter Umbstatt wrote “1696 den 10 Februarie ist mein tochter Anna Margretta gestorben”—“on 10 February 1696 my daughter Anna Margaretta died”. This terse entry does not indicate how she died, whether she was married, or provide any other information about his daughter. In fact, this entry makes up just about the totality of the written records known to pertain to Anna Margaretta Umbstatt. It is known that, along with her brother and sister and parents, she sailed from Rotterdam to Philadelphia, arriving 16 Oct 1685, but I have been unable to trace that information to a primary source.

At the Umstead family genealogy website the article “Did Anna Margaretta Umstatt marry Gerhard Rittenhouse?” concludes that “it’s probably not true”. This claim is based on the lack of documentary proof of any such marriage. However, viewed from the Rittenhouse side, Anna Margaretta seems a more likely candidate than the two others that have been suggested as possible wives of Gerhard Rüddinghuysen—Mary Schumacher and a “Miss Revacomb”. I have seen only one document that says unequivocally that Anna Margaretta Umbstatt married Gerhard Rüddinghuysen, and that document is not a primary source nor does it reveal its sources.2 As discussed under GERHARD (“GARRETT”) RÜDDINGHUYSEN (1674–1742), I think the most likely course of events is that Anna Margaretta Umbstatt married Gerhard Rüddinghuysen about 1694–95. During the next two years they had two sons, and she died in February of 1696 or 1697 perhaps at the birth of your ancestor William B Rittenhouse, or during the unsuccessful birth of another child (or from another cause entirely). (It is not known whether this date was from the “Old Style” Julian calendar or the “New Style” Gregorian calendar. Germans and Dutch had long ago [1583] converted to New Style but England and her colonies clung to Old Style dates until 1752. By 1700, this calendar was about ten days out of whack and retained the practice of considering the first day of the year to be that of the Feast of the Annunciation, 25 March. So if this date were Old Style, as I suspect, since Umbstatt would most likely use the same calendar as his neighbors in the New World, 10 February 1696 would correspond to about 1 Feb 1697 New Style, since before 25 Mar they would still have been using the previous year, 1696. If it were New Style it would actually have been 10 Feb 1696 on the calendar that we use now.)

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I don’t think Gerhard subsequently married Mary Schumacher or anyone else, and that “Miss Revacomb” was probably a sister of Gerhard’s grandaughter’s husband. Nonetheless, it would be wisest to continue to consider Anna Margaretta Umbstatt and her forebears merely as your possible ancestors.

Whatever the identity of Gerhard Rüddinghuysen’s wife, their only known children were two sons, Peter, born about 1695, and your ancestor William Benjamin, born about 1697.


1 “1685 Hans Peter Umstat” > “Hans Peter’s Bible” at the Umstead website.

2 In 1932 Karl Friedrich von Frank wrote a letter from Austria to P Paul Schwalter at Weierhof near Mauchenheim, which is very close to Kriegsheim in the Palatinate. The content of this letter was apparently reported on p 127 of a 1937 issue of Die Heimat [The Homeland], a historical/genealogical periodical specializing in the lower Rhine area. An abstract or transcription was made of the material in Die Heimat. This handwritten abstract or transcription is stamped “Nachlaß W. Niepoth” [“Estate of W. Niepoth”—Wilhelm Niepoth was a genealogist who had written articles on emigrants from Krefeld to Germantown; his papers are in the Krefeld, Nordrhein-Westfalia, archives]. According to “ Die Heimat Article, Handwritten Transcript by Niepoth” in “1685 Hans Peter Umstat” > “Hans Peter Bibliography” > “1937 Die Heimat” at the Umstead website, a “copy of this sheet was given to one of our UM[stead] cousins when she visited Krefeld”. The data were transcribed from the German handwriting by Armin Rother [“a professional church archivist who specializes in deciphering old German script documents in context with the time in which they were written”—Umstead (ws)], and translated by Chris Hueneke.

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