Tom Bell's Recent Research in Germany

Tom Bell, a Harper descendant from Auburn, California, went to Germany this summer and researched and perservered until he found the genealogy information we've all been waiting for! He located the parents and grandparents of Philip Harper the Pioneer! And, he discovered that the family name was not Herber as we thought, but Herper. Tom tells me it was just "dumb luck," but I'm not buying it. I met him in August 1997 and, I can tell you, he's the kind of person who creates his own luck and then "stumbles" into it. Thanks, Tom, we all owe you a HUGE debt of gratitude!!!


Please Note:

I have copied this report exactly as it was written, although I can't reproduce all the letters of the German alphabet. All editorial notes were in the original report - I added nothing.

In reading this report, remember that Europeans list the number of the day first, and then the month. Example 12.01.1712 stands for Jan. 12, 1712.

- Marsha

Tom Bell adds: "One note probably worth noting is that it appears the family that remained in Barenbach used the Herber spelling. Our family took on Herper. So, the folks that came to America together were Philipp's cousins and not his brothers or sisters."

Here is the report from Germany:


Archiv der evangelischen Kirche im Rheinland - Ev. Archivstelle Boppard

Mainzer Strasse 8, 56154 Boppard

(tel. 06742/86194, fax 06742/86196)

Bankverbindung: EkiR - Archivstelle Boppard - Konto Nr. 10 88995 100 bei Bank fur Kirche und Diakonie 47051 Duisburg (BLZ 350 601 90)

Boppard, den 21.07.98

Herrn Thomas Bell

Betr: Familienforschung

Bez: Ihr Besuch in unserem Archiv am 17.07.98

(Unser Zeichen: 479/98)

Sehr geehrter Herr Bell,

Enclosed you will find alle the entries of the Herper-family from Niederweiler we could find in our church-book of Sotern (enclosing Niederweiler, Barenbach, Buchenbeuren, Hahn, Lautzenhausen, Niedersohren an Wahlenau).

At first the birth entries of the four children of Philipp Herper and Anna Elisasbetha Kauffmann:

1. born 25.03.1742 Eva Elisabetha Herper in Niederweiler (KB 20/1 S. 221)

Parents: Philipp Herper and Anna Elisabetha

Godfather or Godmother: Henrich Jacob Kauffmann, son of Johann Nickel Kauffmann

Anna Elisabetha daughter of Johann Nickel Kley (?)

Eva Gertrauta wife of Matthaus Schuch

2. born 14.04.1744 Eva Catharina Herper in Niederweiler (KB 20/1 S. 231)

Parents: Philipp Herper and Anna Elisabetha

Godfather or Godmother: Maria Catharina, daughter of Johann Adam Faller from Wahlenau

Eva Catharina, daughter of Matthaus Herper,

Wilhelm Herper of Niederweiler

3. born 26.03.1747 Nickel, Nikolaus (?) Herper in Niederweiler (KB 20/1 S. 242)

(no entry of the childs name!)

Parents: Philipp Herper and Anna Elisabetha

Godfather and Godmother: Philipp Weyand zu Niederweiler,

Nickel Faller dahier (Means: of Niederweiler)

Maria Catharina, daughter of Nicol Goll of Niederweiler

4. born 17.02.1750 Johann Philipp Herper in Niederweiler (KB 20/1 S. 257)

Parents: Philipp Herper and Anna Elisabetha

Godfather and Godmother: Philipp Conrad zu Niederweiler

Johann Adam Herper

Anna Maria daughter of Wilhelm Kauffman

The marriage- entry of Philipp Herper and Anna Elisabetha Kauffmann is following:

5. 12.01.7140 Philipp Herper and Anna Elisabetha Kauffmann

12.01.1740 is the marriage of Philipp Herper, son of Johann Adam Herper from Niederweiler and Anna Elisabetha, daughter of Nickel (Nikolaus) Kauffmann from Wurrich. The marriage is in Niederweiler. Johann Adam Herper was "Gemeinsmann und Kirchenaltester", he is dead. Nickel Kaufflmann is "Schulmeister". (KB 20/1 s. 343)

The birth entry of Anna Elisabetha Kauffmann cannot be found, because the church-book of Wurrich starts in the year of 1728. Her birth entry could not be found in the church-book of Sohren (KB 20/1).

But the babtism-entry of Philipp Herper is following:

6. babtized 27.09.1712 Philipp Herper in Niederweiler (KB 20/1 S. 122)

Parents: Adam Herper und Eva Katharina

Godfather and Godmother:

Philipp Faller zu Lauzenhausen

Wieland Schmidt zu Niederweiler,

Ottilie, wife of Conrad Dietrich zu Buchenbeuren

The marriage of his parents was:

7. 24.01.1696 Johann Adam Herper and Eva Catharina Faller

Johannes Adam Herper, son of Johannes Herper of Barenbach marriages Eva Catharina, daughter of Nickel Faller of Niederweiler. (KB 20/1 S. 216)

It was not easy to find the babtism-entry of Johannes Herper in ca. 1670 because there were five and nearly all without a prename of the child.

We took the one babtism-entry with a Godfather called Adam, becaus the child is called Adam Herper.

8. babtized 02.04.1671 (Adam) Herper (KB 20/1 S. 24)

02.04.1671 Johannes Herper and his housewife Anna (babtized) a little son

Godfather and Godmother:

Markus Lamboi von Braubach

Adam, son of Conrad Gross of Niedersohre

Agneta, wife of Adam Schmidt of Sohren

Mit freundlichen Grussen


Barbara Bissantz

Anlage: Kopien


A further communication to Tom Bell from Germany in late September gives the following information about the parents and siblings of Philip Harper the Pioneer:

Johannes Adam Herper b. Apr. 2, 1671 d. Jan 10, 1738

Eva Catharina Faller Herper b. Mar. 29, 1674 d. Dec. 16, 1741

1. Elisabetha Catharina b. Dec. 8, 1696

2. Maria Margaretha b. Oct. 12, 1698

3. Johann Wilhelm b. Apr. 25, 1701

4. Maria Gertraud b. Jan. 23, 1704 d. Aug. 23, 1704

5. Johann Matthes b. Aug. 23, 1705

6. Johann Nickel b. May 6, 1708 d. May 3, 1714

7. Anton (Hans Adam) b. Oct. 12, 1710

8. Philipp b. Sep 27, 1712


From this second report, it would appear than Jacob Harper the Pioneer is not the brother of Philip. Perhaps they were cousins. Time and research will tell!

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