For the Abe Family I think we will start from the farthest back we know and work our way forward. I am doing this because most of the early genealogy information has currently been established in my research. Later areas of my research are still a major work in process so it will give me more time to work on more recent family members.
John Adam Abe was born on (1)August 23, 1782 in Germany. He died on August 14, 1866 in Mineral County, WV. He was buried in the (1)Long Cemetery in Short Gap, Mineral County, WV.
In various records for John Adam and his children, references have been made to their origin as Hannover (or Hanover) or Westphalia. Westphalia is a territory or region in the central portion of Germany and varied in size over the years from the middle of the country to the western border. Hannover is a city in north central Germany within the Westphalia region at that time. It is the capital of Lower Saxony, Germany. It was also the capital of the administrative area Regierungsbezirk Hannover. Are we talking about the city, Hannover or the region? It's hard to say at this time. Both point to north central Germany so we at least have an area they were from.
Adam was married to Annie Catherine (maiden name unknown). She was born (1)October 8, 1789 in Germany. Records found, all show her name differently. The (3)1850 Census lists her name as "Martha". The (4)1860 Census lists her name as "Elizabeth" and the (5)1870 Census lists it as "Catherine". Her husband calls her "Catherine" in his (7)will. Her headstone at the Long Cemetery lists her "Annie C.". No explanation has been found to explain the names "Martha and Elizabeth". She died (1)August 2, 1876 at the home of her son, "Gustus" near Short Gap, WV. She also is buried in the (1)Long Cemetery.
Birth dates for both have been calculated from death information found on their headstones and death records. No birth certificates have been found.
John Adam and Annie Catherine entered this country about (6)1836. No date or ship of passage has been found at this time. (6)Stories passed down say that they were sent to the Cumberland, Allegany County, MD area where Adam and their sons found work on the construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. This would give them income till they purchased the 400+ acre farm on the Old Furnace Road near Short Gap, Mineral County, WV. It has never been confirmed that the family did work on the canal. The (2)1840 Census for Hampshire County, WV shows they were living in Hampshire County, WV (now Mineral County, WV) at that time.
There are three known sons born to Adam and Catherine:
1. (2)(3)(4)Nicholas Abe (1819-1894)
2. (2)John Abe (born between 1820 and 1825 and died...?)
3. (2)(3)(4)(5)Augustus "Gustus" Abe (1826-1898)
(6)Stories passed down say there is a fourth, "Frederick Abe", but no specific records of his existence have been found. The (2)1840 Census shows there was a fourth male child that was born between 1820 and 1825 but no names of children are listed in this census. This "Frederick" is not mentioned in (7)John Adam's will.
(6)These family stories also state that Frederick and John went west with John stopping in Ohio and Frederick going on to Missouri. No records have proven any of this. In fact a recently found set of estate settlement documents seem to show that John may have never left the area and died in West Virginia in the late 1840's. I need to research this further.
The books, (63)“Allegheny Passage – Churches and Families – West Marva District – Church of the Brethren 1752-1990” and (62)"A History of the Church of the Brethren in the First District of West Virginia", both basically mirror the same information that the (6)“Abe Family Heritage” presents. Still, I can only stand on the information that I can prove and the “stories” of Frederick and John going west and the family entering through the port of New York, I cannot prove. Also neither the (6)“Abe Family Heritage” nor the (63)“Allegheny Passage” lists all of their sources for their information.
In my next post we will look at John Adam's census, property and will records.
NOTE: The small number in parenthesis throughout these posts refer to an associated record. Find that record at the top of the page under the source tabs.