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Johannes 'Heinrich' Junghen
a.k.a. "Johann Heinrich Younkin"

Niederasphe, Germany


Heinrich's grave in German

Johannes "Heinrich" Junghen was born on Jan. 31, 1717 in the Hesse region of Germany. His birthplace is about 70 miles east/southeast of Cologne. His parents, as identified by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan, were Johannes and Elisabeth (Wagner) Junghen of the town of Niederasphe in Hesse.

Heinrich and his brother Johannes "Herman" Junghen were the original Younkin immigrants who came to America when the nation was still a colony of Great Britain. 

Three of his sons -- John, Jacob and Frederick -- were pioneer settlers of Somerset County, PA. Another, Rudolph, was an early settler of Perry County, OH.

When Heinrich was age 20, his brother Herman sailed from Germany to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the ship Charming Nancy. Heinrich waited about 17 years to make his own migration, and did so in about 1750 at the age of 33. It's said that Heinrich married while still in Germany and produced a son named John -- as suggested by family researchers in 1937 -- whom he left behind during his original ocean passage. Thus he was a widower and father at the time he first set foot on American soil. 

Upon arrival, he appears to have gone directly to the home of his brother Herman in Bucks County, near Philadelphia.

An article in the inaugural edition of the Younkin Family News Bulletin (Christmas Number 1937) contained an article about Heinrich and his brother Herman, headlined "Junghen Family In Bucks Co." The article's author, Anita L. Eyster, of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, wrote the following: 

In connection with the arrival of Herman's brother, Johann Heinrich Junghen, in 1750, we might pause to comment on the really astonishing way in which the emigrants contrived to keep in touch with the mother country in those days when a slow sailing vessel was the only means of communication. Each ship that unloaded at Philadelphia (and between 1750 and 1755 there were 85 ships came in with German emigrants), went back with messages and commissions and often too took back those men who had planned their dwelling places and returning for their families. Some reason must have stirred Henry Junghen, for within a year of his arrival he advertises in the German paper that he is going back and will take letters. He is described as a single man in Tinicum. This simple phrase gives us a deal of information. First, that he went at once on arrival to his brother Herman in Tinicum; second, that his wife was dead, undoubtedly before he left Germany; third, that he had means to pay his passage back and forth. We also infer that his home town was Siegen in Hesse.


St. Matthew's Lutheran and Reformed Church, a.k.a. 
Keller's Church, Bedminster Twp., Bucks County


Keller's Church records of Heinrich, Catharina and children, in German

When he was age 36, on July 25, 1753, before his first return trip to Germany, Heinrich was united in holy wedlock with 27-year-old Catharina Scherer (1726-1825). Catharina is said to have been a native of Bucks County, PA and to have been the daughter of Henry Scherer of Upper Saucon, Lehigh County, PA. The marriage took place in the Blue Church, also known as St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Saucon Township. 

A record of their marriage was made in church ledgers in 1756, three years after the wedding took place. Also having their marriage recorded in Blue Church records were Hinrich and Catharina Dorothe (Heller) Scherer, likely a brother or cousin of Catharina's These same records were published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in its Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XXXV, January 1911. 

Other records listing the names and birth dates of all of their children, written in the German script, were kept by Keller's Church officials. These records are on microfilm today at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in the Mt. Airy suburb of Philadelphia. [Film 1312361] They have been translated by Glen Swartz and Frank Duff and shared for use on this website, having previously been published in the June 1991 edition of the Younkin Family News Bulletin, as provided by Younkin descendant and researcher Ginny Toney of Houston, TX.

The Blue Church, otherwise known as St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Lehigh County, was said by author Clarence E. Beckel to have been "the first of that denomination organized within the present limits of Upper Saucon township, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania. The land on which the present church stands, (the third erected), was warranted to Conrad Walp in January of 1787, and it is claimed that the congregation was organized a few years later. However, in 1745, the Rev. H.J. Muhlenberg was notified that the congregation had erected a church and school-house."

Heinrich eventually returned to Pennsylvania for good in 1754, allegedly bringing his young son John from his first marriage. Heinrich's name was Americanized to "Henry Younkin," sometimes spelled "Younken" - "Youncken" - "Youngken" - "Juncken" - and other alternative ways.

The Younkins produced nine more children of their own -- Johannes "John" Younkin, Dorthea Younkin, Jacob Younkin, Johannes Friedrich "Frederick" Younkin, Rudolph Younkin, Anna Elizabeth Younkin, Anna Elizabeth Haupt (or "Houpt"), Henry Youngkin Jr. and Catharina Myers. 

Sadly, their daughter Dorthea died at the age of 10 years, 11 months and one day on Sept. 15, 1769, and their infant daughter Anna Elizabeth succumbed 10 days later at the age of five months, 15 days.


Not long after he came to America the second time, Heinrich acquired a farm which straddled Bedminster and Haycock Townships in Bucks County. Their home would not have been far from the plantations in Tinicum and Nockamixon Townships owned by his brother Herman, who had married Magdalena (?) and was rearing his own family.

When Bucks County landowners were assessed for taxes in 1781, Heinrich (listed as "Henry Younkin") owned 168 acres, two horses and six cattle. The following year, he was assessed for 150 acres, two horses, five cattle and a still. By 1784, the amount of taxable acreage dropped to 118, with one dwelling, two outbuildings and seven white inhabitants.



Article about Heinrich and his brother Herman in the inaugural issue of the Younkin Family News Bulletin, Christmas Number, 1937




Old springhouse on Heinrich's farm.

Courtesy Mark Youngkin

His brother Herman also operated a distillery on his property during that period of time. Herman was naturalized as a United States citizen in 1743 and eventually lived along the Durham Road.


They were members of Keller's Church, also known as St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, located eight miles east of Perkasie, Bucks County. Their birth records are preserved there today.


As a mark of his loyalty to his adopted country, Heinrich signed an oath of allegiance to the newly formed United States of America during the Revolutionary War. He did so in Bucks County on Aug. 28, 1777, recorded in Williams' Oaths of Allegiance, Bucks County, book 1, pages 43-44. His son Jacob served in a local militia during the conflict and is acknowledged by the Daughters of the American Revolution.


According to research by Donna (Younkin) Logan, editor/publisher of the Younkin Family News Bulletin of the 1990s, Heinrich's 200-acre farm was subdivided by the Tohickon Creek, which was dammed to become Nockamixon State Park and Lake. The farm headquarters was located where the marina is today. All of the old farm buildings were demolished, except for an old stone springhouse, formerly near the main farm house, which Heinrich potentially could have constructed.

As his health was visibly failing, Heinrich wrote his will on Jan. 18, 1787. He died a little more than a month later in Haycock Township, at the age of 70, on Feb. 20, 1787. His remains were placed in in the burying ground of Keller's Lutheran Church Cemetery. Heinrich's grave marker, written in German language, is visible but fading today. The inscription reads:







Catharina's grave, Keller's Church

Eventually the remains of Heinrich's granddaughter Elisabeth Junghen, who died in 1797 at the age of eight, were buried beside him.


At his death, Heinrich's three sons still living at home were Frederick, Rudolph and Henry. While his will spelled out that the sons should share the homestead farm, and that Frederick would inherit the farm at Tinicum and provide care for his widowed mother, the sons eventually sold their shares and left Bucks County for points west. 

Once they departed, wrote Eyster, "This left none to carry on the family of Henry Junghen in Bucks County except the little son of Frederick, born 1789, who became a millwright and died in 1838, leaving a large family."

Catharina survived her husband by an astounding 38 years. 


Close-up of Catharina's grave

She succumbed to failing health at the age of 99 in 1825, and was laid to rest in the Keller's Church cemetery. 

In April 1977, at the request of her father Joseph Warren Thomas, Philadelpia art student Deborah Thomas drove to Keller's and wrote the grave inscriptions for Heinrich and his granddaughter. She mailed them back to her father, who in turn sent a copy to Younkin descendant and researcher Loree (Morrison) Cross in Anderson, Indiana. A copy of the correspondence is preserved today in the Thomas Cross Papers of the Minerd.com Archives.

Some 167 years after Catharina's death, in July 1992, Younkin researchers Donna (Younkin) Logan -- of the family of Jonas Younkin -- and Loretta (Adams) Kelldorf -- of the family of Col. John C. Younkin -- visited the cemetery and videotaped their tour. (It was Donna's second visit, the first of which she made with her father.) They also took a walk through St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in nearby Nockamixon Township, Bucks County, where Herman Younkin's remains rest for eternity. View the video on YouTube

In 2008, descendants Linda Marker and Everett and Christine Sechler paid their respects and photographed the markers.



Above: descendants Linda Marker and Everett Sechler pay respects at Heinrich's grave, 2008, at Keller's Church today. Below: close-up of the grave marker lettering for Heinrich and his granddaughter Elisabeth Juncken, photographed 2008.


~ Son Johann "John" Younkin ~

Son Johann "John" Younkin (1738- ? ) was born in Germany, circa 1738 -- allegedly from the first marriage -- and emigrated to America with his father in about 1754. 


On Jan. 23, 1759, when Johann was age 21, he married Catharine Killicher ( ? - ? ), (also spelled "Kilicher"). Their wedding ceremony was held within the precepts of the Upper Saucon Congregation of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, familiarly known as the "Blue Church" in Lehigh County. A record of their marriage was published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in its Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XXXV, January 1911.

When his father died in 1787, John was named in the last will and testament as the eldest son. More will be added here later.

~ Son Henry Younkin Jr. ~

Son Henry Younkin Jr. ( ? - ? ) was assessed taxes in Bucks County in 1786 and marked as "Henry Younkin, Jr." in published Pennsylvania Archives record books. More will be added here later.

Copyright 2015-2017 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan, Laurel Posey, Glen Swartz, Linda Marker, Ginny Toney and Barbara (Younkin) Jump Park. Keller's Church vintage photo by Aeigler, Souderton, PA, printed by C.M. Berkemeyer, Sellersville, PA.