|Birth: ||Mar. 10, 1861|
|Death: ||Feb. 17, 1930|
Rebecca was a daughter of Gilbert Romberger and Mary Sophia Kiehl/Keihl Romberger. She was christened February 15, 1874 at Union Salem Church, Berrysburg, Pennsylvania. On this same day, a number of her parents' children were baptized there; it is unknown to me if they were new members of the church, or if the family just got the kids "done".
In March of 2012, I obtained a rare copy of a 1916 booklet, "The History of Berrysburg Seminary" which confirmed that Rebecca was a student there - a testament to her parents' progressive natures in ensuring their daughters were well educated in a time that the education of females often was not considered essential.
Rebecca's husband's name is not presently known for certain, but his surname is Winters. Rebecca's death certificate names his as "W J Winters". The couple had no children. Her burial location had been suspected, but not confirmed, as Maple Grove, but has since been confirmed by the Romberger family historian.
I believe she was widowed around 1906 because she bought a property on her own in Harrisburg that year at 1629 Chestnut. (I did check thinking it might be in Elizabethville, but there, Chestnut street numbers do not run this high.) Maybe she bought it thinking she'd be closer to her sister Lillie, and brothers George and Daniel who were then living in Harrisburg, but so far as I can see, she never lived there; perhaps it was a rental income property for her. It was certainly beyond her needs, at 1700 square feet, with five bedrooms. In any case, if it is true she was widowed near 1906, it would mean that she and her sister Clara were widowed around the same time, as Clara lost her husband in November of 1906.
But perhaps she'd not been widowed. Perhaps she and her husband separated or he deserted her. There is a Pennsylvania death certificate for a William J Winters, a railroad employee, who died February 8, 1926 in Harrisburg. He's said to be married, but no spouse name is noted. The informant is a hospital employee. Reminding myself there could be other men of this name, I thought "I wonder if this fellow is close to Rebecca's age." Sure enough, he was born just the year before her, on June 5, 1860. But alas, it cannot be him. The writing on his death certificate is rough, and he was mis-indexed as "William J" when he is, in fact, "William T" as shown by the man buried, as the death certificate shows, in the Harrisburg Cemetery, and dying on the right day. There's a picture of his gravestone, and there's no mistaking the middle initial. Another like-named man died in 1934 in Dauphin County, but he had a spouse named Adrienne Kauffman. He could be our man but he was born 1868, not impossible, but less likely to be Rebecca's old husband. The right man may never be identified. The couple never appears on a census together, probably marrying and separating in the frustrating 20 year gap between the 1880 and 1900 census. I have not found any marriage data for them on the Mormon site, nor in the Ancestry 1885-1889 PA marriages. Whatever the case, Rebecca was living solo.
On her own, Rebecca, known as Beckie, spent much of her life in Williamstown and Elizabethville, living with her widowed sister Clara. She was also close with her sister in Williamstown, Annie Gertrude Romberger Whittle. Beckie worked as a housekeeper and was a forelady in a shirt factory. Like her sister Clara, she maintained an active social life after becoming a widow. Harrisburg newspapers mention her visiting and hosting both with and without Clara. It seems she was close with Naomi and Ruth Bottomley of Williamstown. She was known to travel to Harrisburg to visit her sister Lillie. She visited with her father's sister, her aunt Susan (nee Romberger) Bowman as well.
When her younger brother Ralph's child was to be baptized, Rebecca was the sponsor of Ralph's daughter, Rebecca Estella Romberger. The big event was November 28, 1910, halfway across the state in Norristown, but Aunt Beckie was there to lend her pledge and her name.
Rebecca's death certificate states that she died of cancer of the left breast. So far, she is the only one of her generation known to have had it, but there were at least 5 more people in ensuing generations that did get it, and for now, all descendants of her brother George. There are still many more folks to be checked, but a pattern is surely emerging.
Gilbert Romberger (1829 - 1894)
Mary Sophia Kiehl Romberger (1834 - 1920)
Infant Unknown Romberger*
Elmira M Romberger (1853 - 1879)*
Mary A Romberger Schaeffer Shade (1854 - 1941)*
George D Romberger (1856 - 1916)*
Jerome Romberger (1858 - 1858)*
Daniel Henry Romberger (1858 - 1935)*
Sarah Romberger (1859 - 1865)*
Emmaline Romberger (1859 - 1863)*
Rebecca Kiehl Romberger Winters (1861 - 1930)
Elizabeth Romberger (1862 - 1863)*
Clara Estella Romberger Harner (1864 - 1950)*
Lillie Evanna Romberger Romberger (1865 - 1955)*
Samuel Romberger (1867 - 1867)*
Annie Gertrude Romberger Whittle (1869 - 1894)*
Jennie Esther Romberger (1873 - 1879)*
Ralph Emerson Romberger (1876 - 1935)*
Maple Grove Cemetery
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Aug 28, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29376456