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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Organ at Salem Reformed Church

Here is Adam Dieffenbach playing the Dieffenbach organ at Salem Reformed Church in Bethel. After 140 years of use, this organ is now silent and waiting for repairs.
Read the following post to learn about Dieffenbach organs. I should have reversed the order of these two posts and don't know how to change it now.

Dieffenbach Pipe Organ

Last evening one of my dreams was fulfilled. I heard a Dieffenbach pipe organ being played. The Altalaha Lutheran Church in Rehrersburg has one of the seven Dieffenbach organs still in existence. It was played by Adam Dieffenbach who is a restorer of pipe organs and a direct descendant of Christian Diffenbach who built the instrument in 1817. One young man came all the way from Baltimore to hear this organ.

Christian Dieffenbach (1769-1829), was the second of four generations of organ builders in Berks County from ca. 1780-1900. In the late 1700s Johann Jacob Dieffenbach (1744-1803) walked from Berks County to Philadelphia (about 70 miles) to look at a pipe organ. Dressed in the clothes of an 18th century farmer, he faced some difficulty but was finally allowed to examine the internal works of the organ. It was built in the style of a 17th century organ and already antiquated.
Returning home, he immediately began to replicate the organ he had seen in Philadelphia. It took several years to complete, but Johann placed the organ of his own design in the Tulpehocken Reformed Church in Stouchsburg in 1785. In the next twenty years, Johann Jacob built organs for many churches in Berks and surrounding counties.
Christian Dieffenbach continued his father's organ building trade and was followed by his son David and grandson Thomas. In addition to Altalaha, Dieffenbach organs are at Salem Reformed Church, Bethel; Reeds Lutheran Church, Stouchsburg; Friedens Lutheran Church, Shartlesville; the Berks History Center, Reading; and the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota (originally in a church in Schuylkill County). A Dieffenbach family member also owns one.
Altalaha's organ has been modified in that it now has an electric motor to operate the bellows. Originally the bellows were powered by a hand crank at the back of the organ. While the organist played, another man was positioned behind the organ to turn the handle to power the organ. The organ at Bethel still has the hand crank and a plate inscribed with the names of all the men who turned it. 
The organ has 52 keys and 12 stops. It is a small keyboard in comparison to the organs of today but it makes an amazing sound. The music was wonderful! Adam played mostly 18th century music which is what the organ was created to play. The last number was Siegeslied by Sigfried Karg-Elert (1877-1933) and a grand finale to a great recital. 

Altalaha Lutheran Church treasures this organ and the proceeds from the recital will help to finance some much-needed repairs. The church is also proud of its Pennsylvania German heritage and maintains the building with its original German-style architecture. They continue to use the pipe organ in the balcony as they have always done, but they also have a more modern organ and piano in the sanctuary. To their credit, there are no noisy drums or band instruments in there, which is more than I can say for some Mennonite churches. The German writing above the pulpit alcove says "The Lord is in his Holy Temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him." 

I do not agree with all the Lutheran beliefs and practices but I do commend them for valuing and preserving their heritage. New is not always better. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Two Henrys

The wheels of research grind very slowly. About 18 months ago I stumbled upon something in a deed that rang some bells. I kept digging and slowly the story emerged. With the facts in hand to support the story, the next step was to write something for publication to share the information. 
Again, that process moved slowly but at last it was finished and accepted by the Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage magazine for publication in the July issue. A problem with one of the other articles delayed the release of the July issue until the first of September but it is finally in circulation. This morning I got a thank you from a reader for the article which sets the story straight on the conflicting and confusing information he had in his database. That's all the reward I need!
The title of the article is Two Henry Goods Entangled in Brecknock Township. Nearly every family tree you will find in books and on the Internet say that Henry Good (1741-1816) was the son of Christian Good of Bowmansville. Christian DID have a son Henry who was close to the same age but he is not the Henry who died in 1816 and is buried at Pine Grove Mennonite Cemetery in Bowmansville. That Henry was the son of Peter Good (ca. 1690-1754) and his fourth wife, Fronica (Hiestand) Good. A deed and Orphans Court records show she was the widow of John Taylor (immigrated as Hans Schneider--which means tailor in German) and had five Taylor children. Peter and Fronica's son Henry was a half-brother of Christian and therefore an uncle of Christian's son Henry.
Before Peter wrote his will in 1753, he transferred the title of his 70-acre property in Rapho Township to his 11-year old son Henry. Henry sold the property in 1766 and two years later bought a farm in Brecknock Township where his three older half-siblings (Anna, Jacob, and Christian) lived. Because both Henrys lived in Brecknock Township, it is understandable why they became confused. This map shows they lived about 1.5 miles apart. Christian's son bought some of his father's land where the town of Bowmansville now stands. Peter's son lived a bit south of Christian's son with the Black Creek as the southern border of his land. This creek marks the boundary between Brecknock and East Earl Townships.

The documents prove these were two different men with different wives. Christian's son Henry was married to (1) Christina (2) Maria Weber. Peter's son Henry was married to Walbina. Her unusual name was the key to unlocking the mystery and untangling the two Henrys. After intense efforts, I was finally able to see the very worn gravestone beside Henry's in the Pine Grove cemetery is for Walbina. There are matching foot stones marked HG and WG. 

If Christian's son Henry had children, no record of them has been found. His death date and burial place are also unknown. He appears in the Brecknock Township tax records until 1787 and then disappears. He either died that year or moved from the township. The children attributed to him in family trees are the children of Peter's son Henry, as he named them in his will. In his will, he also referred to his wife by her proper name of Wallindine and nickname of Walbina.
Here is the corrected family tree as it appears in the Two Henrys article.

GC PETER GUT, ca. 1690, Germany; inv. Dec. 16, 1754; w.p. Dec. 23, 1754, Lancaster County, Pa.; immigrated on Molly, Sept. 30, 1727
            m.(1) ___________
  GC1 Anna Good                 
            m. Hans/John Musselman
  GC2 Jacob Good
            m. Susanna Scherer     
  GC3 Christian Good, ca. 1715-Aug. 13, 1757; warranted land on June 15, 1738, in Brecknock  Township; Mennonite minister and miller; 17 ch.
       m. Magdalena (widow in 1757)
     GC32 Henry Good, b. ca. 1735  
               m.(1) Christina _______
               m.(2) Oct. 24, 1783, Maria Weber, daughter of Christian Weber
               bu. unknown; no known children
GC Peter Gut 
            m.(2) ________
  GC4 Nancy Good[1]
  GC5 Barbara Good
GC Peter Gut
            m.(3) ________
  GC6 Susanna Good
  GC7 Peter Good

GC Peter Gut 
            m.(4) ca. 1740, Fronica Hiestand, b. ca. 1700
  GC8 Henry Good, Dec. 27, 1741-Mar. 4, 1816[2]
           m. Wallindine/Walbina _____, Jan. 1749-Sept. 1821; bu. Pine Grove Mennonite Cem.
    GC8.1 Peter Good, Sept. 21, 1764-Dec. 25, 1849 (formerly GC321)
               m. Elizabeth Showalter, Aug. 28, 1769-Apr. 23, 1858; bu. Weaverland Mennonite Cem.
    GC8.2 Barbara Good, Sept. 10, 1766-Mar. 8, 1832 (formerly GC323)
               m. George Hoffman, Sept. 9, 1772-July 22, 1825; bu. Zimmerman/Lichty Cem.
    GC8.3 Elizabeth Good, Aug. 23, 1768-Dec. 26, 1834  (formerly GC322)
               m. Christian Hoffman, Oct. 15, 1769-Oct. 28, 1821; bu. Zimmerman/Lichty Cem.
    GC8.4 Joseph Good, Feb. 16, 1777-Dec. 31, 1857 (formerly GC324)
                 m. Catherina ______, Mar. 30, 1775-Sept. 30, 1842; bu. Pine Grove Mennonite Cem.
    GC8.5 Henry Good, July 20, 1779-Jan. 25, 1862 (formerly GC325)
                 m. Elizabeth Hoffman, Mar. 8, 1786-Feb. 19, 1870; bu. Zimmerman/Lichty Cem.

[1] The name of this daughter was originally translated Mary. A new translation  of the original German will by Amos B. Hoover in 2008 identified her as "Nanse" (Nancy).
[2] All birth and death dates for Henry, Walbina, their children and spouses are as recorded on their individual grave markers. The birth order of Barbara and Elisabeth are reversed in Six Good Families and their birth years are incorrect. The dates given here are from personal observation of their gravestones in the Zimmerman/Lichty cemetery. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Time for Everything

I'm seeing warning signs that fall is just around the corner. Leaves are turning yellow on a few trees and beginning to come down; geese are getting restless and checking out flight patterns; mums are blooming; garden is nearly empty; daylight and dark will soon be equal.
I'm shifting gears in my work schedule too. The seasons begin to overlap at the end of August when I give the porch and patio their annual scrubbing while it is still warm enough to be slopping with the hose. Leroy helped me clean out the garage last Saturday so all the hosing is done and I'm moving into the house with fall cleaning. Yesterday I took the AC out of the bedroom window.
This week I wrapped up the canning season with 4 qts. of tomato juice, 4 qts. of grape juice concentrate and 7 jars of grape jelly. I was glad to put the canner away and do something different.

I rewarded myself with a day off to play. I took a meal to my sister and visited two cemeteries where I took about 100 pictures of gravestones. The next day I started sewing a dress from a piece of fabric I got in Nicaragua nearly three years ago. 
I'm not ready to start a writing project yet. I need to get a few more things off my to-do list first. I was saying I'm taking a break from writing and will pick it up again in October but now I'm thinking it will probably be November. There will be plenty of time to sit at the computer when fall begins to turn into winter. I want to enjoy the beauty of October while I can. There's a time for everything in each season.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Knockout Roses

I have had red climber rose bushes at the rail fence across the front yard for many years. I've been threatening for at least five years to get rid of them but every June they would redeem themselves with a great show. And I would keep on spraying and pruning them, although I always came out of pruning looking like I was in a cat fight. They were nice about three weeks of the year and the rest of the time were unsightly with long canes reaching out all over the place that had to be tied down to the fence (another cat fight).
This year those climbers met their doom. Leroy yanked them out with a chain on the truck. I was not sorry to see them go. They tried to get the last word in the argument by jabbing me as I piled them up for burning. Now they are only a pile of ashes.

In their place we planted a row of double red Knockout Roses. They are a bush type that are easier to care for and bloom all summer.

They should grow to about four feet wide and high. I think it will be a great improvement and am looking forward to having roses all summer instead of just three weeks. 
I told Leroy he doesn't have to get me anything for birthday or Christmas this year because I'm getting roses now. He started counting off how many occasions eight rose bushes would cover--birthday, Christmas, Valentines, Mother's Day, anniversary . . .That's only five. Uh, Groundhog Day? Still two more. He'll think of something.