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Thread: Looking for Information

  1. #1
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    Looking for Information

    Once again, I have run into a dead end while tracing my family tree. This branch has been particularly troublesome, as I have been working on it for years to no avail. Here is what I do know...

    My great-great-great-great grandfather was John Philip Beamer (b. November 30, 1756 in New Jersey). His parents were Henry Beamer (born around 1730) and Lena Blankenburg (born around 1731). Now, the surname "Beamer" is quite common in this region, the legacy of the Loyalist exodus to Canada during the Revolutionary War. Whether or not they are related, all families with this name trace to 18th German settlers, the name originally being "Böhmer" before Anglicization.

    The sources I have come across all agree that Henry was born in Europe, most saying in the Netherlands. However, I believe he was German, and the allegations of Dutch birth the result of his having departed for North America from a Dutch port (usually Rotterdam). The name of his father is frequently said to be Benjamin, but I can find no information on anyone in Europe with this name at the time, and he certainly did not emigrate with his son. As for Henry himself, his forename has also been given as Hendrik, Hendrick, Hendrich, and Heinrich.

    There is even less information on Henry's wife, Lena. Her existence is based on a few references to her as his wife in some church records. I am assuming that "Lena" is probably taken from Magdalena, which was quite common in both German and Dutch circles at the time. The spelling of her surname is also an issue. I have seen it recorded as Blankenburg, Blankenberg, Blenkenburg, and Blenkenberg.

    Strangely enough, yesterday I came across a post on a genealogical site by a woman in the Netherlands concerning Henry and Lena. I am not sure why she is inquiring about them, but if anyone can translate from Dutch to English, it would be greatly appreciated: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Utrech...e/message/7957

  2. #2
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    Hamrammr's Avatar
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    Hi Loyalist,

    Unfortunately I will not be able to give you new leads regarding your ancestry, however I will be able to help you translate the letter! Afrikaans was born from dutch and luckilly I'm able to understand this one, here follows a direct translation:

    "Dear fellow detectives,

    I wonder if someone in America would be able to help me trace the ancestors of;

    Lena Blankenberg, she was born in +/-1730 in New Jersey (USA), she was married to Hendrik Be(e)mer/Beumer in 1752 in Sussex Co., New Jersey.
    The names of their children is as follow:

    Jacob

    John

    Christopher

    Benjamin

    Lena (named after the mother?)

    Mary

    Henry (named after the father?)

    Adam

    Margaret

    Sarah

    Levi

    This is not much info but I’m still hoping that someone would be able to steer me in the right direction.

    Thank you very much

    Alie Vermeer"

    Hope this would be of help!
    Btw. Hendrik and Lena are quite common names in South Africa too!
    Last edited by Hamrammr; Thursday, April 15th, 2010 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Corrected date

  3. #3
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    I believe I might have made some progress on this family, and would like some opinions. In 1749 a ship carrying Palatine refugees arrived in Philadelphia, with several of its passengers possessing the Böhmer/Böhme surname (I am fairly certain they are all related). Among them is a Henrich Böhme. Only males over the age of 16 signed the ship log, which corresponds with an approximate birth year of 1730, and given that my Henry's first child was born in North America in 1754, that would fit with him arriving in 1749. The other Böhmer/Böhme's on board left Pennsylvania and settled in New Jersey, and the Henry Beamer in my own lineage lived in New Jersey until the Revolutionary War, where all his children were born (suggesting he followed with the others). Unfortunately, the ship log (which can be found here: http://www.progenealogists.com/palpr...a/1749tbro.htm) tells me nothing else about this Henrich, other than that he hailed from the village of Maxsain in Rhineland-Palatinate.

    While the evidence is not concrete, literally every detail known about my ancestor Henry Beamer corresponds to this Henrich Böhme. Am I getting ahead of myself by making any conclusions?

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