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Thanks to Carol Mallory

Debbie and Roger - This is from the April 1995 Romberger All Family Reunion Newsletter.

Research by John Albert Romberger


Our Family in 1798 - Before the Internal Revenue Service was set up, attempts were made by the Federal Government to raise revenue by taxing property owners. One such attempt was the United States Direct Tax of 1798, the so-called "Window Tax." Assessments for this tax were based on inspections and interviews done in the fall of 1798. Assessors actually visited homes and farmstead, looked at the building, and sometimes measured them and counted their windows. The records for this tax in Pennsylvania (717 volumes) survived and are available on microfilm in the National Archives and also in the Pennsylvania State Archives. Records for most other states have been lost. Recently I located the microfilms of the 1798 Direct Tax records for Dauphin County (which then included what is now Lebanon County.) In some hours of scanning I found the assessments of all the Ramberger/Rumberger farmsteads in Wiconisco Valley (now Lykens Valley) and also the Ramberger lands in "Lebanon Borough and Township of Dauphin County" (which has since been divided in Lebanon Borough, Annville Borough, North and South Annville Townships and parts of other townships of Lebanon County.) I have not yet searched the records for all the town ships of Lancaster County. That should be done. The records for Dauphin County reveal that in 1798 four Ramberger/Rumberger farms existed in Wiconisco Valley:

(1) "Baltzer Rumberger" and his family lived on a 90 acre farm. The house was described as a 'poor cabin' and assessed at only $20. The 'poor barn' was also assessed at $20. The land was valued at $540. In 1798 Baltzer (the elder) was probably about 55 years old. His first wife, Anna Maria (nee Traut), had been dead for some years and on 15 Jun 1798 he had married Susanna Lehman, a daughter of Jacob Lehman. We have birth and baptismal dates for four children born to this couple between 1799 and 1811. From other sources we expect that at the time of the 1798 Direct Tax, Baltzer's immediate family would have consisted of his (second) wife, Susanna, and five children by his first wife: Heinrich/Henry (25), Adam (23), Catherine (21), Baltzer, Jr. (19), and Johannes (13). However, Henry and Adam were already married and had their own farms and families (see below). Catherine may already have been married to George Matter and only Baltzer, Jr. and Johannes may have been living at home. The tax records show that Henry's farm was adjacent to that of his father, Baltzer, Sr.

(2) Henry Ramberger's farm was only 50 acres. The land was assessed at $300. It's dwelling house was a 16x18 'cabbin" assessed at $40. There was no barn, only a 'poor stable' valued at $10. Henry's farm adjoined a farm owned by Samuel Boyer. In October Henry and his wife Elizabeth (nee Hoffman) had two small children: Peter (almost 3) and Johann Christian (1). Their third child, Elizabeth was born on 14 Dec 1798. (3) Adam Ramberger's farm also is listed as 50 acres. The land was assessed at $300. It was adjacent to a farm owned by Jacob Snyder. Adam's house, described as a 'cabbin', was 20x16 and was assessed at $30. His 'poor stable' was valued at $10. In October of 1798 Adam and his wife Anna Maria (nee Werner) probably had three children: Eva (3), Anna Maria (2), and Susanna (1). The data on the above-mentioned three farms, owned by Baltzer (Sr.), Henry, and Adam, fitted my expectations fairly well, but there is another listing that I did not expect:(4) A William Rumberger s listed as owning 100 acres in Wiconisco Valley, which land was assessed at $500. His 'poor cabbin" was valued at only $10. No barn or stable was listed. A notation located the land as adjacent to that of a Martin _____ (short last name is not legible). Who is William Rumberger> The tax codes of the time did not allow the listing of minors as sole owners of farms, so we must assume that William was probably born during the early 1770's or 1780"s, or even earlier. I have no good leads. Do you have any ideas? We know that our immigrant ancestor, Bartholomaus, had at least two daughters and two sons by his second wife, Anna Sabina (nee Hass), whom he had married in 1761. The sons were Johannes (b. 1767) and Georg Bartholomew (b. 1768), but we have no further information on them. Was there another son William? The 1798 Direct Tax for "The Borough and Township of Lebanon, Dauphin County" are also of interest.: Adam Ramberger (son of Bartholomaus) was assessed for 148 acres of 'gravel land' in Lebanon Township valued at $1624 including a 65x24 log barn. He was also assessed for 2 acres of land with a 24x27 log house and a 15x24 'spring house' of stone. These buildings were in 'mittling order' (while most of the neighbors reted 'good order') and had a total assessment of $370 (but was not 'equalized" to $462.50 by the tax commissioners.) Note that this is about 10 times the value of his brother Baltzer's buildings on the frontire in Wiconisco Valley. On the basis of various primary and secondary sources we srumise that Adam's immediate family in October of 1798 consisted of his father, Bartholomaus (82, retired miller), his wife Esther (nee Cray), and seven children: Adam, Jr. (28, married to Mary Ann Kaforth), Margaretta or Mary (26, married to John Rau), Johannes (23,married to Elizabeth Ellenberger, daughter of neighbor Jacob Ellenberger), George Bartholomew (21, married to Catherine Rider), Eva (19, single, latermarried Joseph Krieder), Elizabeth (16, single, later married William Reuter), and Jacob (14, later married to Elizabeth Funk). How many of these children were acutally living in Adam's house in 1798 is not known as it was then common for teenagers and young adults of farm families to work as live-in maids (Maud schaffe) or farmhands (Knecht schaffe) on other farms before establishing homes of their own. From old wills, we know that one of Adam Ramberger's neighbors in 1798 was Abraham Raiguel (a Huguenot name, not the same as Reigel). According to the Direct Tax Records, Abraham Raiguel (or his estate under administration of a younger Raiguel of the same name) had 72 acres of 'limestone land' valued at $1440, incliding a 60x26 log barn. He also had a 50x46 stone grist mill and a sawmill (on the Quittapahilla Creek south of the present town of Anneville), together valued at $2500. Also included is information on another of Adam Ramberger's neighbors, Joseph Ellenberger. Further study of these records alond with early land warrants and patents should allow us to locate Adam's farm. The farm presumably is the place where both Bartholomaus and his son Adam died in the year 1800. Perhaps some of you who live in the Annville area can help with this project. The connection with the Raiguels is important to study in that Abraham Faiguel the Elder (who died in 1795) is buried in the Hill Church cemetery (old section) where we suppose Bartholomaeus Raumberger to be buried. Also as neighbors and millers Abraham and Bartholomaeus would have had much in common. In seem probable that Bartholomaeus was somehow involved with the Raiguels in mill construction and operation. In 1758 Bartholomaeus Raumberger was taxed for "Acors Mill on the half" in Leacock Touwnship of Lancaster county. My research on this (which is continuing) suggests that "Acors" (Ackers/Eckers/Eckerts) mill stood on or near the site of the present Mascot Mill. The latter mill, which is still in operating order, has a date stone of 1760, but parts of it may be older. It seems likely to me that Bartholomaeus worked in this mill during the 1760's before he moved north to Lebanon Twp.




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