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Jacob Gaumer Jr.


Elizabeth's grave, New Hope

Jacob Gaumer Jr. was born in 1789 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Johann "Jacob" and Maria Catherine (Sowash) Gaumer.

When Jacob was about 17 year of age, in 1806, his parents relocated to Muskingum County, OH, and he may have gone along at that same time, or perhaps a few years later according to one source. Also relocating to Muskingum County in those early years were Jacobís parents as well as his sisters Sally Fox Sturtz and Susanna (Gaumer) Sturtz Baughman.

In about 1810, when he was 21 years of age, Jacob was united in the bonds of holy wedlock with 19-year-old Elizabeth "Betsy" Sturtz (1791-1868), a native of Wellersburg, Southampton Township, the daughter of Christian and Margaret "Peggy" Sturtz. Sometimes her maiden name as been misspelled as "Stotts."

An interesting twist is that Jacob's nephew Jacob Sturtz was married to Betsy's sister Rachel.

Their baker's dozen of known children -- born over the sweep of years between 1819 and 1836 -- were Eliza A. Gaumer, Rachel Bell, Margaret Bainter, Hannah Gaumer, Abraham Gaumer, Lyman Gaumer, Mary A. Bainter, Adam Gaumer, Solomon Gaumer, Samuel Gaumer, Malinda Werts, Riley Gaumer and Jacob Gaumer.

While the eldest of the surviving offspring, their daughter Rachel outlived all of them, into her 101st year.

Sadly, their first daughter Eliza died at the age of three months on April 30, 1819. Adding to the heartbreak, daughter Hannah at the age of five the following year, in 1820. Their tender remains were lowered beneath the sod in the cemetery of the New Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in Adamsville. The fate of the youngest son Jacob, born Feb. 7, 1836, is not known.

Inscribed on baby Eliza's grave marker -- chipped and worn in places but still standing and fully legible when photographed in May 2018 -- was this moving, old English epitaph:


Happy infant early blest

   Rest, in peaceful slumber rest;

Early rescued from the cares

   Which increase in riper years.


Baby Hannah's grave marker also stands today but some of the stone has broken away in the center portion of the text, making full legibility impossible. Her inscribed epitaph is believed to be the second verse of "Epitaph On An Infant" penned by famed English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge:


This lovely bud, so young so fair,

   Called hence by early doom,

Just came to show how sweet a flower

   In paradise would bloom.



Infant graves at New Hope -- Eliza's, 1819 (left) and Hannah's, 1820


Initially, the newlyweds resided on a farm near Gilbert, a community near the Muskingum River about seven miles southwest of Adamsville, Salem Township, Muskingum County. Jacob was considered "a noted hunter of the day," said J. Hope Sutor's 1905 book Past and Present of the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio.

In about 1811, Jacob and Elizabeth became charter members of the newly forming church congregation in Adamsville known as New Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church. Jacob's parents and brother Daniel and his wife also were inaugural members.

During the first week of 1812, their infant daughter Rachel was baptized in the church by Rev. Anthony Weyer. Said the 1913 book History of the New Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church of Adamsville, Ohio: "Having been baptized at the age of two months shows that, in those days of inconveniences and hardships, her parents were neither unmindful nor neglectful of their sacred duties."

In late 1813, the Gaumers moved from Gilbert to near their church in Adams Township north of Adamsville. In 1841, they constructed the first brick home ever built in Adams Township, having fired the brick on their farm the year before.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1850, the couple made their home on the farm in Adams Township. By that time, only their youngest son Riley dwelled in the household. Living next door were their 24-year-old son Solomon and his 22-year-old bride Catharine, also farmers.


Jacob's farm, 1852, north of Adamsville and Mechanicsville, Muskingum County



History of New Hope

In 1860, still residing in Adams, they employied 20-year-old Susan Hamilton as a "domestic" -- household servant. Sons Solomon and Lyman and their large families lived on adjacent properties. Within the year, the Civil War erupted and several of the Gaumer grandsons joined the Union Army.

Jacob died in Adams on Dec. 12 or 13, 1863. His remains were laid to rest in New Hope Lutheran Cemetery in Adamsville. His grave marker today is blackened with age and almost illegible. [Find-a-Grave]

Elizabeth survived her husband by five years. She passed into eternity on Nov. 19, 1868. Burial also was in New Hope. A carving of an open book -- The Holy Bible? -- adorns the top of her upright grave marker. [Find-a-Grave]

On Jan. 4, 1934, Mrs. Charles H. Sturtz of 3014 East Sixth Street in Kansas City wrote to the U.S. Veterans Administration, asking for information about Jacob and his father. Her letter, preserved today in the National Archives, states the following: "Jacob Gaumer, Sr. Muskingum Co. [O]hio, d. 1820. I believe he may be the father of Jacob Gaumer, who married Betsey Sturtz, information which I would also like to have. Said Gaumer said to be a drum major in Washington's army. What was his war record & family?.... I do not know whether I am asking too much, but I need all of this information to complete the work I am doing on this family. I thank you very much."


Copyright © 2000, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020 Mark A. Miner