Dauphin County Genealogy Resource Center
Isaac Novinger  Home Up Search Census Search Site Map The Store
Online Data
Submit Data
Success Stories
Old Links
Courtesy of Thomas L. Meredith


Isaac Novinger, Sr. died at his residence in Nineveh Township, Adair County, MO., Dec. 19, 1884, after an illness of 8 days, suffering from pneumonia. Isaac Novinger, Sr. was born in Dauphin County, PA., on March 12, 1815. He remained at home until his 23rd year when he married Miss Christina Shoop, daughter of John Shoop of Dauphin County, PA.. He lived on his father's farm until the year 1847 when he moved to Missouri and setteled in Adair County near where he lived for 35 years. 

He joined the Lutheran Church when young. He was the father of 13 children, 10 of whom were living at the time of his death and reside in Adair and Sullivan Counties, except for one son Jonathan who was living in Ohio. They were all with him at the last to cheer and encourage him in his last illness.

He didn't crave riches in this world, but claimed the home beyond the grave where the wealth of this world cannot be taken to purchase a home in heaven. 



The land was obtained someshat as homestand from the government and they paid one dollar per acre for it. Jacob shoop in writing to relatives in Pennsylvania and urging them to come to Missouri said that nature was so abundant that there was so much land to be had that it took six months from the time he wrote until he received an answer. He said the land was so rich that you could take a pig and stick it's tail in the ground and in the morning you would have a 200 pound hog and that the land would never have to be fertilized like they had to do in Pennsylvania.

Then a point that would appeal to the men, wild game and fish were there in plenty. He told them that most of what few neighbors there were were "Yankees" and were mostly without rifles so he hunted for them too and it was nothing to kill 100 deer in a year.

Your great grandfather and mother, Isaac and Christina Novinger, arrived at the Jacob Shoop's (Christina's brother) home in Adair County, MO., on May 5, 1849 with 7 children. Jacob's own family consisted of 11 but he took them in with open arms and they lived there until the following spring.

Even though nature was bountiful, still they had to undergo all the hardships of pioneer life. Homes were small log cabins. Windows were covered with paper and a coating of grease instead of glass. Fireplaces served for cooking and heating. Women had to spin and weave cloth for clothing. They made linen from flax and wool from the sheep. Women worked long hours at knitting mittens, caps and stockings. For sugar they used honey and grew cane for molasses. They tapped maple trees for sap to make syrup and sugar. When granulated sugar came on the market, it was considered a great delicacy. They called it short-sweetening and their own was long-sweetening. Sugar was high in price and only used for the most special events. 

The nearest market was Hannibal, MO., a distance of one hundred miles. At first when they had cattle or hogs to sell, they would have to drive them to Hannibal and only receive six or seven dollars for a large cow. It cost them nothing to feed livestock and when they would round up the hogs in the fall, they would be fat enough to butcher just from what food they had forraged for.

In 1848 members of Christina's family joined a group and left for the California Goldrush. The travelled overland and nearly died in the desert from starvation. They ran out of food and killed their livestock to eat, but ran out of food a second time(must have been big eaters!) They finally became so desperate, that they began discussing eating the first of their party to die! Great uncle Simon, I am told was the fattest of the men in the party and had just about reconciled his fate when they ran into a little town of desert rats. The rats were soon sizzling in a frying pan and great uncle Simon's life was spared. They did not find gold and returned to their farms shortly thereafter. 

As people became more prosperous, homes were built of materials on the land. Shingles were made of black walnut and shaved by hand. The town of Nineveh which had been settled in 1850 by a group of German Mennonites from Pennsylvania was now a flourishing town. It was about three miles from your great uncle Jacob's place and was your great grand people's trading post. It boasted a tannery, a large steam flour and sawmill, shoe shop, black smithing and wagon shop, a carpenter shop and a large store.

The children, as well as the grown-ups, considered it a great treat to go to Nineveh which was the largest settlement west of the Mississippi at that time. Life flowed uneventfully until 1861. A change took place then and the air was filled with civil-war talk and there were many meetings and heated exchanges over discussion of the grave problem.

9/10 of the people in Adair County, MO., were in favor of the Union and in June of 1861, the first military companies for the Union Services were formed.

The Novingers and Shoops were an immensely patriotic stock as history shows and among the roster we find the following:

Noah Motter J.W. Novinger Issac Novinger George Shoop Adam Shoop William Novinger Jacob Novinger Ed Shoop Phillip Shoop

Some of these men were married, but felt it was their duty to go. There was a battle at Kirksville and also one along the Chariton River to the north. No doubt the shooting could be heard from the Novinger and Shoop homes, as the Chariton River was pretty close. These were trying times!

NOTE: (This version of the family history was told by Jonathan A. Novinger, a son of Isaac and Elizabeth Novinger to George W. Cain who was married to Jonathan's sister Christina. It was transcribed around the turn of the century or a little before-1889?, as George Cain would have been 100 in 1933) 


by George W. Cain

Last winter when my brother-in-law, Jonathan A. Novinger, of Stark County, Ohio, visited us, I obtained some facts of interest to myself and others of the family which I desire to preserve for my children, and the relatives and friends of the family by having them printed. Isaac Novinger was born on the 12th day of March, 1815, in Dauphin County, PA.. His great grandfather had come to this country from Dublin, Ireland in the first half of the eighteenth century, probably about 1730. I have not learned from what part of Europe he came to Dublin from nor from what nationality. 

If the name Novinger is as it is now spelled and as far as I know it has not changed for as far back as I can trace it, I would judge it to be of Latin origin, but if the name was originally Nauvinger, it could show that he came from Anglo-Saxon lineage. No matter, however, where he came from we find him in Dublin, Ireland, wooing, winning, and marrying a beautiful Irish Lady. In a year or two after this union we find these great grandparents of my father-in-law in the New World, as this country was called then. It took them more weeks to cross the Atlantic Ocean than it now takes days. On the 7th of February of 1737, while on their way from Dublin to New York, the grandfather of Isaac Novinger was born named Dewalt. This name sounds Teutonic and gives some idea of from what race the family came. Dewalt and his parents landed in New York and from there the family travelled to that part of Pennsylvania now included in Berks or Lancaster Counties. It was just about 152 years ago this summer(1889?) 

Here Dewalt, with his parents and two sisters, grew to manhood. The two sisters married brothers by the name of Dubbs and I still hope to find some of the Dubbs records which will show where they came from.

Dewalt started with a group of men one day to punish the redskins who had been troublesome, and in following them came to Lykes Valley, now in Dauphin County, PA.. Here he was smitten, not by the indians, for if he had been there would have been no Christina Novinger and George W. Cain might be an old bachelor rather than a happy father of three sons and one daughter. He was smitten by the charms of Maria (which then meant Mary) Wooside. Dewalt and Mary were married although Mary was 19 years and 12 days younger than Dewalt. Up to this time there were but two men by the name of Novinger in this country and all who are now in it are the offspring of Dewalt and Mary.

Had Dewalt died or if he would of remained childless or if only daughters had been born, or if he would have remained an old bachelor, the name would have been lost entirely. 

Dewalt and Mary were blessed with 6 sons and 2 or 3 daughters and from those 6 sons quite a little army has sprang. One of these 6 sons of Dewalt and Mary was Jonathan, who married Christina Werfel of Dauphin County, PA., and had 5 sons and 4 daughters. They are both burried in the Novinger Cemetary near Novinger, this county beside three of their sons, John, Jacob and Isaac. One son is burried in the state of Indiana and other one, Samuel, is living with my mother-in-law. One of the daughters is burried in the northern part of Illinois, and one daughter is burried in Pennsylvania and one, I think, is still living in this county and is the wife of George Shott, on whose land the little village of Danforth (Illinois?) is located. 

Jonathan Novinger moved to this county(Adair, MO) in the spring of 1848. He followed his son Isaac who had moved out the year before. His parents, Dewalt and Mary are burried in the cemetary at St. David's Church in Lykes Valley, PA. Dewalt was 89 years, 1 month and 4 days old when he died. Mary was 66 years, 6 months old when she died. When Isaac Novinger was 22 years, 5 months and 5 days old he married Christina Shoop. She was 21 years, 6 months and 12 days old when she became the wife of the honest, industrious and economic you Isaac. 

These three virtues, for they are virtues--honesty, industriousness and economy mindedness along with health and faith in God was all these two had when father Hembling, a Lutheran Minister, pronounced them man and wife.

They were married on the 17th day of August, 1837 in Lykes Valley, PA.. It was Sunday and they walked from John Shoop's home in Armstrong Valley to the parson's house, were married, took dinner and walked back to Mr. Shoop's, a distance of nearly 20 miles.  

For 9 years they worked almost night and day to wring a scanty living out of the worn out soil of Isaac's father's farm and to make a living for themselves and the little ones, who came along at the rate of about one every 14 months or so. Isaac saw that he would never be able to secure a home for himself and his family on his father's farm, so he looked toward the setting sun and discovered in Northern Missouri a land like the garden of the lord. On the 5th day of April, 1847, he turned his back on the scenes of his childhood and for the love he had for wife and children and a desire to secure them a home, he said farewell to parents, brothers, and sisters and friends. My Brother-in-law told me last winter that five hundred people or more gathered at that place to bid them good-bye, which really means "God be with you".

God indeed was with him and his family all these years. On the 5th day one month to the day from the time he left his father's place in Pennsylvania, the wagon containing his wife and 7 children drove in front of Jacob Shoop's log cabin which stood very near where the brick house now stands and which is owned and occupied by George Shoop, a brother of Judge Shoop.

Here he lived with his family until the following spring, when he moved into the house now owned by Jonathan Novinger and in which one of John's sons lives. This house he put up during the fall and winter of 1847 and 1848 and entered the eighty acres of land on which the house and village of Novinger now stands. Judge David Ely furnished the boards for the floor and the rafters and put them up and assisted in putting the roof on, which was replaced only a few years ago. Erastus Rice, brother of George and John Rice, helped make the shingles and hew the logs for the house. This was the first two story house in the county. When he moved in the house, there was not a window or a door even sawed out. The house was set on blocks and the intentions of putting in a well and cellar under it as soon as it could be done. As the ground was not level, the blocks on the west side were nearly six feet in length so that most men could stand exactly under the floor on that side, and as the floor boards had just been sawed out of green logs by Mr. Ely, he proposed to lay them down and nail them. They were dry.

So the day for moving came, and a there was no door, they threw some of the boards to one side and moved into the new house through the floor. On the east side of the house, the blocks were not over a foot high and one of the logs near the floor was crooked, which caused a space between the logs, through which seven young Novingers crawled in and out all that summer. John McCallister and Mr. Novinger sawed a door out the same day or very soon after they moved in, but as it was nearly 6 feet to the ground from the door and there was only a block for a step. The children preffered to use the crack in the wall for egress and ingress. In my oppinion, this summer, fall and winter of 1848-49 was the darkest in the history of the family...Much of this time the father was sick with the ague and the mother was unwell and on Nov. 14, a daughter was born unto them in the new country. A short time before the event, to procure a better shelter for his son and family, Jonathan Novinger, the grandfather of my wife, persuaded them to move into his house on the very farm where Hiram Novinger now lives, he having bought the farm. This they did and through the kindness of his parents and the neighbors and especially Daniel Michaels, who are entitled to the undying gratitude of the family. The clouds were dispersed and the bow of promise once more spanned the sky and shown in heavenly beauty to remind them of the promises to those who love and do the right.

Here they lived several years during which time Jonathan Novinger bought out Erastus Rice and exchanged that place with his son Issac for one on which he had built the two story hewed log house. They now moved on the place still owned by the mother and children and known throughout this county as one of the finest farms on Spring Creek. Here Issac Novinger lived and raised a family of 12 children of his own and took one of Jonas Shott's children, when his wife died, and raised it. He also raised one of his grand-children. He seemed never so happy as when his house was full to overflowing with children and grandchildren. When he would have 2 or 3 little Novingers on his knees at once he would repeat the words of the Psalmist, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward." As arrows are in the hands of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. Etc. Psalms 127: 3,4,5. 

When the table found no room for all, he would again quote from the 128th Psalm, "Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the swides of thine house, thy children like olive plants around thy table." In his home he was the prophet, priest and the king.

On Dec. 11, 1884, Isaac Novinger died in the arms of his sons and was gathered to his fathers "with charity for and malice for none". So far as I know he never gave a note to any man in the state and when he died he owed no man anything but "to love one another", Romans 13:8.  

Christina Novinger, the widow, is in her 74th year and lives on the farm on Spring Creek with her son Samuel. She was a true helpmate and faithful companion of this husband, father and her children rise up and call her blessed. Her spirit of devotion to her husband and children made her a prize for her husband far above rubies. He never could have been what he was without her. She was born in Armstrong Valley, Dauphin County, PA., on Feb. 16, 1816. She was a twin daughter of John Shoop. She is the mother of 13 children of whom 10 are living now and 3 have preceeded her. All but the oldest one are living within 10 miles of the old homestead. There are 44 grandchildren and the remarkable thing about them is that every one that has been born alive is still living. I question whether another 44 can be found in the United States of whom that can be said? Some of these grandchildren are not far from 25 to 30 years old and are parents themselves.

NOTE:(The comment to follow is a continuation of Jonathan A. Novinger's oral history of the Novinger Family as was transcribed to George Cain in 1889?)

I want to give the children and their famies here and close this sketch of the family at present. 

JONATHAN A. NOVINGER - The first born and the one from whom I (George W. Cain) received most of this history, was born Jan. 19, 1838. He was therefore, 9 years and a few months old when his parents moved to this county. He went east in 1861 and entered the Army. At the close of the war, he visited his parents and then entered Mercer College at Mercersburg, Franklin County, PA. and studied for the ministry. He completed his studies and was liscensed to preach in the spring of 1870. He received and accepted a call from the Reformed Church at New Bedford, Coshocton County, OH. Here he remained for over 14 years and he still preaches frequently for those people. To better educate his children, he moved to Uniontown, Stark County, OH., where he is pastor of the Reformed Church at that place. Jonathan was married to Hettie Christman on May 25, 1871. Miss Christman was born and raised in Holmes County, OH., and was one of a classof 65 he received into the church through confirmation.

They have 6 children:

Mary Eliazbeth - 04-01-1872

Rebecca Dellie - 07-14-1874

Issac Neander - 03-04-1876

Julie Abegail - 02-01-1879

Lucretia Beatrice - 08-31-1881

Jemima Christina - 03-26-1888

The mother of these children, Hettie Novinger(Christman) was born Jan. 7, 1849, and is therefore nearly 11 years younger than her husband Jonathan. 

CHRISTINA NOVINGER, Aunt Tena Cain, my wife, was born Mar. 3, 1839. We were married on Mar. 3, 1860. I was born on Jan. 2, 1833. I am of the opinion that I was the first white child born born in this county of which history knows anything, the story of the books to the contrary not withstanding. Christina and myself are the favored parents of 4 children:

Oliver Barley - 02-16-1861

Fernando Wood - 05-15-1864

Margaret Ellen - 01-20-1866

William Isaac - 09-14-1871

JAMES NOVINGER was born on Apr. 4, 1840, when the grandfather of the present incumbent of the white house was elected President.(NOTE: John Tyler was president in 1840 and William McKinley in 1889?) It is a wonder he is not a Republican as the air was full of "log cabin & cider" the first year of his life. He served his country long and well in the late war. He married Louisa Snyder, April 16, 1876. She was born Nov. 28, 1852. They have 6 children--all boys. James is afraid there will be another war and is ready to fill the quota for Adair, County. Solomon, their oldest son, was Born Dec. 20, 1876. May he posess all the wisdom and virtue of Solomon the wise, without any of his follies. Israel Edward was born Mar. 16, 1878. May he become the father of a Joseph and a Benjamin. James can truly say to his boys, "There is nothing small or mean in your names, see that there will never be anything small or mean in your lives." 

Solomon Novinger - 12-20-1876

Israel Edward Novinger - 03-16-1878

William Henry Novinger - 11-24-1879

Harvey Silvester Novinger - 11-11-1881

James Grover Novinger - 10-08-1884

Benjamin Franklin Novinger - 02-25-1889

LEWIS NOVINGER, the 4th child of the family was born April 21, 1841, and died on July 7, 1841, only a few months old. He sleeps in Lykes Valley among his friends and relatives of his parents. 

ISAAC NOVINGER JR. was born May 13, 1842. He is an old bachelor and well known over the country. Had his great grandfather done as he does, there would be no more Novingers. He has been staying a great deal with us and I can say he is a good man.

EMANUEL NOVINGER was born June 16, 1844. He enlisted in the U.S. Service and died in or near Hannibal, MO., 09-08-1864. He is burried in the Novinger Cemetary with his father and grandparents. He was a model young man.

JACOB B. NOVINGER was born Aug. 4, 1846. He married Margaret Motter, daughter of Noah Motter, Oct. 11, 1874. Margaret was born Oct.17, 1854. They have the full half dozen children.

Lillie Novinger - 06-29-1875

Martin L. Novinger - 09-23-1876

Emanuel L. Novinger - 12-03-1878

Minnie Christina Novinger - 12-25-1880

Noah Novinger - 07-16-1883

Bessie Novinger - 08-24-1885

Jacob lives near Stahl and farms and deals in coal. He has worked very hard in the past and is not enjoying very good health most of the time of late years. He is a devoted member of the Lutheran Church. I hope his boys and girls will soon be able and willing to take the greatest part of the work from the parents shoulders. 

GEORGE W. NOVINGER was born Jan. 18, 1847. He was the baby when the family came to this country. He is known all over the county as Judge Novinger. He married Mary Jane Motter, who is a niece of Noah Motter, on June 9, 1867. They have 3 boys:

Isaac A. Novinger was born the first year of their marriage. He is a very healthy and industrious young man and is married to Mary Miley, daughter of John Miley.  

George Byron Novinger, born May 29, 1871. He has been attending Normal School at Kirksville for the past year or so and has a good record there. 

Samuel Jefferson ilden Novinger was born Nov. 1877 and will have his hands full to take care of his name. He was named after three intellectual giants. Take Samuel for a pattern. He was a prophet and judge.

SUSAN ELIZABETH NOVINGER was born Nov. 14, 1848, on the Ivey Place as stated in another part of this sketch.(Not that I have encountered?) and married Peter Darr on April 18, 1872 and died in May of 1873, leaving a little daughter only 6 or 7 weeks old. This little girl was born in March of 1873 and is now in her 17th year and is as large as her mother was and is keeping house for her father, who is still a widower. Her grandparents(Isaac Novingers) raised her named her Susan after her mother. Her Uncle Jonathan baptised her a few weeks after her mother's death at her grandfather's in the presence of a number of her uncles and aunts. Her Aunt Hettie and her mother's Adam Shoop stood sponsors for her. May virtue be her daily habiliment.

SAMUEL NOVINGER was born Oct. 15, 1850. He married Mary A. Motter on Sept. 17, 1879. She is the Daughter of Noah Motter and was born Feb. 7, 1856. The have 4 children:

Lorna Blanche Novinger - 01-28-1880

Ora Emmett Novinger - 06-18-1884

Naomi Florence Novinger - 03-26-1886

Jessie Ray Novinger - 06-16-1887

They live on the old homestead with his mother and I am sure it is the wish of all the children that they may remain on the old place and keep it, in the family. We all love to visit the old home at times and always receive a friendly welcome from brother Samuel and Sister Mary. Old Uncle Samuel also has his home there and makes us feel at home when we come home--for it is still home.  

DANIEL NOVINGER was born Feb. 20, 1853, his full name is Daniel Michael Dewalt Novinger. His father wanted to keep the name Dewalt in the family and having received many favors from Daniel Michael in the first years of his life in this state, he gave his youngest son Michael's the name with the Dewalt added to it. Daniel married Elenora Jane Bogarth on May 18, 1882. She was born Mar. 9, 1857. She is a model wife and I have no doubt Daniel knows it and will do all he can to prove himself worthy of so good a companion. They are young yet, and may do much for themselves and others. The lions shall not harm the Daniel, though they may roar at times. Your three sons will soon help you sow and reap and mow the fertile soil you now cultivate.

These are Daniel's 3 sons:

Charles A. Novinger - 02-13-1883

Earl Daniel Novinger - 01-15-1886 (twin)

Carl Samuel Novinger - same

They are bright little boys and I hope they may bring nothing but joy to their father and mother.

MARY JANE NOVINGER was born April 17, 1854 and married John Joseph Friday on Feb. 4, 1879. If he is as good as John the Evangelist or Joseph with his coat of many colors, she is a luck woman. Nothing that I could say in his favor or against him will add a virtue or take one from him. He is what he is and as she took him for better or worse, she must be contented with him. But Joseph is all right and is laying up grain for the famine. He is by no means an unlucky man. They are doing well on their prarie home. Joseph was born April, 13, 1856. I do not know exactly where, but in the state of Illinois and in a part which is called Egypt? (Cairo)? They have 4 children:


Eva May Friday - 02-18-1880 Walter?

Calvin N. Friday - 12-08-1882 Leiada?

Forest Dale Friday - 02-08-1885 Mary?

Carrie Ann Friday - 10-01-1887

I can wish these children every blessing, I wish my own. They are a nice quartet and will furnish the music for Joseph and Mary. May they only sing such songs as shall cheer the hearts of the parents, and remove their cares.

MARGARET ANN NOVINGER was born July 9, 1856, and married John A. Myers on Jan. 1, 1880. Her brother Jonathan, who was at home at the time solemnized the contract. Her husband, John A. Myers was born 09-03-1855. They have 9 children: Elnora Jane Moore - 01-25-1881

Rosalie Jackson - 10-17-1832

Isaac Justus Myers - 12-05-1884

Henry Leroy Myers - 10-24-1886

John Samuel Myers - 09-10-1888

Sarah Christina Robinson -

Kathryn Lotus Funk -

Grace Anna Martin -

Ralph Elmer Earl Myers -

Margaret and John have a nice little flock and a good home close by Mary and Joseph. These 2 girls were the children of Isaac and Christina's old age. Margaret was the fritz, as he always called the youngest until another came. Many a time did I see Mary on one knee and Margaret on the other of their tired father, but never too tired to embrace his baby girls. It is a pleasure for them to be so close togeather now, with their families. May their days be many and bright and useful. 

THE END . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





Dauphin County Genealogy Resource Center


Web design Copyright 1996-2002. All rights reserved Robert L. Maley. 
 Submitted material Copyright 1996-2002. All rights reserved by the respective submitters

 Revised: May 04, 2005 .

View Census Records Online at Ancestry.com!