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 data from his book along with information gleaned from Ancestry.com, the following is a brief biographical sketch of Johann Ludwig and Elizabeth Kammerer.
Johann Ludwig Kammerer (commonly known as Ludwig) was the son of Hans Martin and Anna Maria Hoch Kammerer. He was born December 16, 1715, most likely in the Worms, Rhineland Palatinate, Germany.
Note: The surname is found spelled several ways – Kemmerer, Kammerer, Cammarrar, Cammarrar and Camerer (the most common spelling).
Records indicate that he immigrated to America, arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 1, 1736 on the ship “Harle of London. They came from Rotterdam via Cowes (Pennsylvania German Pioneers, pp. 154,158, 161).
In his colorful and well researched book, The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin, Everett R. Irwin gives a possible reason for Germans immigrating to America.
Ludwig was in a flood of miserable humanity that washed across the Atlantic from Germany to the British colonies in the half century before the Revolutionary War. The tide was unleashed by decades of wars that seesawed back and forth across the Rhineland. Soldier-marauders overran and desolated the land, leaving poverty and starvation. Invading princes and kings impressed reluctant male inhabitants into their armies. The Palatines fled overseas in search of a land of peace – Penn’s colony. Ralph B. Strassburger and William J. Hinke, writing in Pennsylvania German Pioneers, estimate that more than 65,000 German aliens landed at Philadelphia, the chief port of entry, during the 1727-1776 period.
Sometime before 1743, Ludwig met and married Elizabeth Maria Maurer (her surname has not been documented). Following their marriage, they moved south to Monocacy, Maryland. According to Everett R. Irwin, this was the first permanent settlement of Pennsylvania Germans in Maryland. Not long after their arrival, Elizabeth gave birth to twin sons, Johannes and Adam, born August 17, 1743. (Note: John’s gravestone gives his birth date as August 29, 1742, differing from the baptismal record.)
Between the year 1744 and 1764, Ludwig and Elizabeth’s family grew by leaps and bounds. They had eleven more children – Elizabeth, Margaret, Johann Ludwig, Jr., Susannah, Johann Adam, Hannah, Daniel, Catherine, Peter, Dorothy and Henry.
Before 1745, Ludwig and his family moved northwest to Maryland’s Conococheague district about 10 miles north of Hagerstown, Maryland, and a mile west of State Line, Pennsylvania. Evidently, the Kammerer family settled and lived in this area for many years.
On September 21, 1764, “Kamerer, Ludwig of Frederick County, German, a member Lutheran, Frederick Town” was naturalized as a citizen. (Maryland Hall of Records, Naturalizations, Vol. DD-6285, p. 264)
LUDWIG’S OLD STONE HOUSE
One thing that Ludwig Kammerer wanted to do was to build a home for his family. Irwin gives the following description of how the house was built.
Ludwig had yet another dream to fashion into reality-a stone fortress home to grace Buck Spring Farm and stand off any further Indian attacks. He set to work gathering limestone for its foundation and walls. He cut down massive trees and shaped them with broad axe and adz into 6-by-16 inch timbers for the sub flooring. He built one centrally placed chimney raising the 1 ½ story height of the house above a 9-foot-wide fireplace in the basement kitchen. The fireplace was crowned by a 2 ½ foot thick arched timber chosen to withstand flame. A second basement room had its own supply of running water from a nearby spring. Ludwig Kammerer’s 18th Century home stands sturdy and still occupied a stone’s throw from a rising 20th Century data processing center…In the gable of the east wall Ludwig placed a stone plaque in which he chiseled his initials, L.K., and the date – 1774.
A fellow Kammerer researcher shared another description of the house on Ancestry.com. It was written by Dave Cottingham and is entitled “Kamerer’s Old Stone Fortress Survives.”Ludwig Kammerer house DESPITE WIND (click link)
Note: There was a question whether or not the house remains standing. An article was written by Matthew Bieniek for the Hagerstown Herald News, August 8, 1998, which indicates the Kammerer house may be relocated or destroyed. Kemmerer house (click link)
However, the old stone house was destroyed as described in an article was written by John Kemmerer Ivey and posted in the Rootsweb archive, Kemmerer – L.
This stone house was still standing as of March 03, 1999, on a half acre lot in the Airport Business Park owned by Hagerstown/Washington County Industrial Foundation, Inc., also known as CHIEF. Citicorp; has a large facility in the business park and was the intended buyer of the property. Under pressure from the local historical, the press and numerous Kemmerer descendants, the company finally agreed to assist with moving the historic home to another site about ½ mile away, but at the last minute they pulled the plug on the entire project and destroyed the house.
LUDWIG KAMMERER’S PART IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR
As we know, the American Revolutionary War occurred from 1775-1783. Undoubtedly, the Kammerer family felt the brunt of this conflict. In his book, Everett R. Irwin does not mention Ludwig’s involvement in the war, but an ancestor, Patte Wood, found information which she used in making application for DAR membership. Though the name given was “Ludwick Cameron,” it was accepted as our Kammerer ancestor. His services are listed in Revolutionary Patriots of Washington County, Maryland, 1776-1783 by Henry C. Peden, Jr.
Cameron, Ludwick. Private, Militia, 4th Class, Capt. John Cellars’ Company, 1776/1777 [Fef: A-1146, M-246]. One of several patriots appointed by the Committee of Observation on December 30, 1776 ‘to form the county into companies (after the militia had marched) for the purpose of relieving the distressed inhabitants of said county and also to compel the Dunkards and Mennonists to give their assistance.’ [Ref: Q-345. which listed the name as ‘Ludwick Cammerer’].
Cameron, Ludwig. Rendered patriotic service by supplying wheat for the use of the military on February 7, 1780 and on April 13, 1780 for hauling wheat to the mill [Ref:W-1190, HH-72, which latter source is the original record and the named looked like ‘Ludwig Camerer’ or possibly ‘Ludwig Cameren’]Took Oath of Allegiance before the Hon. Henry Schnebley in 1778 [Ref: O-50, J-14].
Everett R. Irwin states that Elizabeth Kammerer apparently died between 1790 and 1800. In the early 1800s, Ludwig moved to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Records indicate he sold his house and the Buck Spring Farm in 1805 (Washington County Courthouse, Deed Book S, p. 160). He died January 21, 1808 at the age of 92 and was buried in the Brush Creek Cemetery in Westmoreland County.
Ancestry.com. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009.
Ancestry.com. Web: Pennsylvania, Find A Grave Index, 1681-2011. [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
Ancestry.com. “All Public Member Photos & Scanned Documents Results for Kemmerer,” http://search.ancestry.com.
Bieniek, Matthew, “Kemmerer house’s fate sealed,” Herald News, Hagerstown, MD, August 8, 1998. . http://articles.herald-mail.com/1998-08-08news/25136340_1_citicorp-washington-county-historical-society-society-representatives
DAR Patriot Index, Volume II, G-O, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Gateway Press, Inc, Baltimore, MD.
Irwin, Everett R., The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin, 1992.
Peden, Henry C., Jr., Revolutionary Patriots of Washington County, Maryland, 1776-1783, Family Line Publications, Westminster, Maryland, 1998.
Rootsweb.Ancestry.com. Archives Kemmerer-L. http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/KEMMERER/2006-04/1144266793
Strassburger, Ralph B. and William J. Hinke, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, MD, 1966.