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Godfrey Bumgardner
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Birth: Jun. 6, 1719, Germany
Death: unknown
Virginia, USA

He was born Gottfried Baumgartner in Schwaigern, Heilbronn, Duchy of Wurttemberg, Holy Roman Empire (German) (became Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany), before 6 June 1719 (date christened), son of Johann Jacob Baumgartner and Anna Katharina Willeit Baumgartner. Godfrey died about 1800 in Harrison County, Virginia (now WV), and it is believed he is buried in the old Ellsworth Meeting House (or Church) Cemetery (now known as Bethel Cemetery).

He married first in the Lutheran Church at Adelshofen, Wurttemberg, Germany on November 17, 1744 to Anna Maria Frick, and they were parents of three daughters, all born in Germany: Maria Veronica b. 29 Aug 1745, d. after 17 Oct 1749 in PA; Maria Barbara b. 26 May 1747; and Anna Katharina b. 31 Mar 1749. The two younger daughters died probably at sea, since no record of death is found in Schwaigern, Germany. Godfrey, his wife, Anna Maria, and daughter, Maria Veronica arrived in American on October 17, 1749 at Philadelphia on the ship Fane. They went to Lancaster County (now Lebanon), where it is believed Godfrey's wife and remaining daughter die soon after.

Godfrey married second Anna Catharina Kuffer/Kueffer on May 28, 1750 at Hill Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bethel Twp, Lancaster County (now Lebanon Co.), PA. They were parents of two sons born in PA: Johannes Jacob b. 22 Nov 1751; and Reese (this child is questionable).

On July 3, 1754, Godfrey was with Washington's troops during the Battle of Fort Necessity, also known as Battle of the Great Meadows, fought in what is now Farmington, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. This was one of the first battles of the French and Indian Wars.

Little is known about Godfrey for several years following this battle. It appears that back in his home community it was thought that he was dead, as it is found that his wife, Anna Catharina, remarried Erasmus Rosenberger on July 27, 1756.

About 1762 in Virginia, he married his third wife, Gertrude Courtrought. They were parents of seven children, all born in Virginia:
1. Mary Magdalena b. 16 Oct 1762
2. Frederick b. about 1765
3. Jacob b. about 1767
4. Margaret b. about 1770
5. Susanna b. before 1775
6. Christina b. 12 Sep 1775
7. Andrew b. 7 Aug 1777

Godfrey lived in several Virginia locations before settling about 1767 in Augusta Co., VA (Rockingham Co. 1778, and Pendleton Co., 1788, VA, now known as Germany Valley, Pendleton Co., WV, near Riverton). Records show he purchased land between 1767 and 1771, and a 1782 census lists him as a property owner, with a family of 8. The oldest daughter was married by then. In Rockingham Co., VA (now Pendleton Co., WV) on 3 Mar 1783, Godfrey and wife signed over their land. Deed was signed in German by Godfrey Bumgardner and his wife K(G)ertrout, who signed with an "x" (translation). This record is most important because of clues for wife's name.

By 1787, Godfrey is in Harrison Co., Virginia (now West Virginia): "Henry and Mary Runyan of Harrison Co., Va., assignee of William Richards sold to Godfrey Bumgardner of Rockingham Co., Va. for 25 pounds, 100 half mile above mouth of Buffalo Creek." Moses Ellsworth also purchased land from them at the same time. The transaction was recorded 17 Sept. 1787, and was the same land he deeded to his son, Jacob, in 1794. The land had been purchased alone by Godfrey, indicating that his wife had died, possibly prior to his arrival in Harrison Co.

It is quite possible that Godfrey converted from the Lutheran faith to the Methodist Episcopal faith since he made the journey to Harrison Co. along with the large Ellsworth family and others who became M. E. believers. It seems that those who had converted to the Methodist faith were uncomfortable living in the German Lutheran settlement. It is known that most of Godfrey's children and their families were members of Methodist churches. Daughter Margaret married a Methodist minister and a number of their descendants became Methodist preachers. It has been stated that he did attend church meetings held in the Ellsworth homes.

Godfrey wrote a letter to President George Washington on October 30, 1796, which is included in Washington's personal correspondence, Series 4. Serving as a colonial soldier and returns made in Col. Washington's own hand writing in 1754, it is reasonable to conclude that they knew each other.

He was a shoemaker in both Germany and America. Also, a farmer here. He could write, as his signature appears on the list of passengers, on deeds, and other documents. He served for the cause of American Independence with the Fort Henckel Militia, Capt. John Skidmore Company, Jun 6 and Sep 8, 1775.

According to the writings of the Rev. William Innis Ellsworth, a great grandson, his grandmother Ellsworth's father [Godfrey Bumgardner] was well educated. He also states: "Her father was familiarly called "The Old Almanac Maker" because he calculated the Eclipses and prepared tables for the Almanac in the section of the country where he lived."

In records Godfrey's name has been spelled Gottfried, Gottfreid, Gottleib, Godfrey, Baumgaertner, Baumgartner, Bomgardner, Bumgardner and Bumgarner. "Gottfreid" and "Baumgartner" are the spellings most used by the German genealogists. In America his name became Godfrey Bumgardner. On his letter to George Washington in 1796 he signed "Godfrey Bumgardner."

PLEASE, if you copy this bio (or a part of it) for any reason, give me (the author) credit, with reference to Find A Grave. Thank you. Louise Taraba in Missouri.
Family links: 
  Johann Jacob Baumgartner (1671 - 1721)
  Anna Katharina Willheit Baumgartner (1679 - 1742)
  Anna Maria Frick Bumgardner (1713 - ____)
  Gertrude Courtrought Bumgardner*
  Susanna Bumgardner Ellsworth*
  Maria Veronica Bumgardner (1745 - ____)*
  Maria Barbara Bumgardner (1747 - 1749)*
  Anna Katharina Bumgardner (1749 - 1749)*
  Mary Magdalena Bumgardner Ellsworth (1762 - 1853)*
  Frederick Bumgarner (1765 - ____)*
  Jacob Bumgarner (1767 - 1823)*
  Margaret Bumgardner Cochrun (1770 - 1821)*
  Christiana Bumgardner Bennett Lynch (1775 - 1850)*
  Andrew Bumgardner (1777 - 1825)*
  Johann Friederick Baumgaertner (1706 - 1746)*
  Godfrey Bumgardner (1719 - ____)
*Calculated relationship
Note: First known as The Ellsworth Meeting House and Cemetery (now Bethel). Gravestone is missing.
Bethel Cemetery
Harrison County
West Virginia, USA
Created by: Louise Taraba
Record added: Mar 12, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 106588095

- One Who Cares
 Added: Sep. 17, 2016
My 6th great grandfather Godfrey Bumgardner...
- Jan Bumgardner Chubb 2016
 Added: Apr. 3, 2016
In loving memory of those who helped the cause of freedom. Happy 4th Great Grandfather (x5). Love you.
- Louise Taraba
 Added: Jul. 4, 2015
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