In 2007, Patte Patterson Wood, a fellow Kemmerer/Camerer researcher, shared information about our mutual family line. Included was a copy of Part One of Everett R. Irwin’s book, The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin. Using some quotes and data from his well researched book, the following is a brief biographical sketch of the lives of Johannes “John” and Margaretha “Margaret” Brumbach Kemmerer.
Note: The surname is found spelled several ways – Kemmerer, Kammerer, Cammarrar, Cammarrar and Camerer (the most common spelling).
Being the son of German immigrants, Johannes Ludwig and Elizabeth Maurer Kemmerer, Johannes “John” was a first generation American. Irwin writes: “The name of Ludvig Kummerer was inscribed in German script in the church’s baptismal records as the father of twins born Aug. 17, 1743, and christened Oct. 17, 1743. The twins were listed as ‘son Johannes: godparents George Arnhold and frau Anna Maria’ and ‘a son Adam: godparents Georg Adam Wedel and frau Anna Maria.’ (John’s gravestone gives his birth date as Aug. 29, 1742). The twins’ mother was not identified in the baptismal record; the pastor apparently felt her role was not worthy of recognition.” (Irwin, p. 3) The twins were the first of the very large Kemmerer family which consisted of thirteen children.
Note: Evidently, the first son Adam died as a young child and a second son born on December 8, 1753 was named Adam.
When John and his twin brother, Adam, were born, Johannes Ludwig and Elizabeth lived in Monocacy, Frederick, Maryland. Monocacy was the first permanent settlement of Pennsylvania Germans in Maryland. It was located in the western part of the state and was a small village consisting of a trading post, mill, blacksmith shop, tavern, a few log cabins and a tiny combination Lutheran church-schoolhouse. (Irwin, p.3)
By 1745, the Kemmerer family was living 30 miles northwest of Monocacy in Maryland’s Conococheague district across the Catoctin and Blue Ridge mountains. The family stayed in the area to raise their growing family. Irwin writes: “Most of their sons and daughters apparently were married in the Conococheague district – among them the twin named Johannes, who wed a girl named Margaretta (Margaretha).” (Irwin, p. 3)
Note: I do not have a marriage record for John and Margaretha but they probably married before 1766.
Anna Margaretha “Margaret” Brumbach was born in Borkenbach, Germany, and was the daughter of Johannes and Maria Elizabeth Brumbach.
Note: At this time, I have not found a date of immigration.
“When William Penn opened western Pennsylvania to settlement in 1769, Ludwig’s older, married sons and daughters headed for the new frontier.” (Irwin, p. 6) John and Margaret joined his brothers and sisters in moving from Maryland to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Irwin points out that it is likely all the brother and their wives did not make the mountain crossing in one party. A John Camara was listed in the 1783 Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Census. According to a patent record, 1425 acres of land was granted to John by the state of Pennsylvania in 1786 in Westmoreland County. He and his brothers Ludwig and Adam also were on the county tax list of 1786. (Irwin, p. 7)
Between the years of 1766 and 1793, John and Margaret had eleven children – John, Adam, Susan, Daniel, Anna Maria “Mary”, Margaret, Ludwig “Lewis”, Jacob, Catherine, Elizabeth and Esther. All are mentioned in John’s will signed March 24, 1829.
Johannes “John” Kemmerer died February 26, 1833 at the age of 90 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and was buried in the Brush Creek Cemetery. Anna Margaretha “Margaret” Kemmerer died February 18, 1841 at the age of 94 in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and was buried with her husband in Brush Creek Cemetery. Note: The birth date on tombstone (August 29, 1742) of John Kemmerer conflicts with date on his baptismal record (August 17, 1743) of Monocacy, Maryland Lutheran Church.
Irwin, Everett R., The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin, 1992.
John Kemmerer, Will Book no. 2, p. 279, Court House, Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. (Transcription)
Marriage and Death Notices From Weekly Newspapers, 1818-1865, Westmoreland Pennsylvania, Volume 1. Presented to the Library of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution by The Queen Alliquippa Chapter, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, 1962.
Weiser, Frederick, editor and translator, Maryland German Church Records, Volume 3, Baptismal records of the Monocacy Lutheran Congregation, and its successor, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland, 1742-1779, Noodle Coosey Press, Manchester, Maryland.
Westmoreland County Pennsylvania 1783 Census, Family Lines Publications, Westminster, Maryland.