On the Trail of Our Ancestors

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Hermanus/Herman RISTENBATT
and Family

Orange Beads


Hermanus/Herman Ristenbatt is the great great great grandfather of my husband, David Ristenbatt.  It is now known that Hermanus's father, Hermanus RISTENPATT SR. was the immigrant ancestor, thanks to the kind help of a gentleman in the Netherlands, who looked up some records in Amsterdam, Noord Holland for me.  Hermanus SR. was christened 12 April 1771 Amsterdam, Noord Holland, Evangelical Lutheran Church, the son of Johan Joost RISTENPATT and Maria Gesina ADAMI.  Johan Joost was married a first time to Wilhelmina Elisabeth CHRISTIANI, having two sons by her.  He then married Maria in 1770. In both his 1762 marriage to Wilhelmina, and in his 1770 marriage to Maria, his origin is given as Enger, Germany.  (present day Nordrhein-Westfalen)  Johan Joost was buried in Amsterdam in 1788, and Hermanus SR. became a "poorter" (citizen) of Amsterdam in March 1789.  Therefore, he came to America after this date. (For more information about this ancestral line, see Ahnentafel Chart of David Ristenbatt.)

The 1880 US Federal Population Census (Third Ward, Lebanon Borough, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania), establishes the fact that Hermanus/Herman JR.'s father was born in Holland.   On this census, Herman is living with his son, Cyrus and his wife, Louisa.  Since the census states that Herman's mother was born in Pennsylvania, Herman's father must have immigrated before 1805, the year of Herman's birth.  (Herman's birthplace is given as Pennsylvania.  Current research has uncovered the likely death of Herman's mother as found in the German records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jonestown, Lebanon County, PA. There is a death recorded for a "Mother Ristenpat" on 19 October 1828.  This would not be the death of Maria Gesina ADAMI, as she died in 1810 in Amsterdam.  Rather it would be the death of Hermanus JR.'s mother, Catherine HENDERSON.)

A marriage was uncovered in the Schwartzwald Reformed Church marriages in Exeter Township, Berks County.  This marriage is for Hermanus RISTENBADD to Catherine HENDERSON, both of Bern Township, Berks County, PA.  The marriage took place on 12 June 1805.  This would be the Hermanus RISTENPATT christened 1771 in Amsterdam.

I have confirmed that Hermanus/Herman Ristenbatt JR. is the son of the above Hermanus RISTENBADD and Catherine HENDERSON.  As per Orphans Court records, Lebanon County, Vol. B, pg. 50, dated 5 November 1820, Hermanus RISSENPOT is choosing Jacob RUDY as his guardian.  Hermanus is above the age of 14 and is the son of Hermanus RISSENPOT, late of Bethel Township.  The will of John Glick of Bethel Township gives evidence that Hermanus had a brother, John.  In this will, written 3 March 1822 (Vol. A of Lebanon County Wills, 1813-1843) John RIESENPOT is mentioned as a bound child of John Glick, and will be allowed his freedom when he turns 16 years of age.  Additionally, there is an Esther RISTENPAT who married a David SCHAD in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jonestown (same church where Hermanus RISTENPAT and Margreta Rebecca SCHAD were married) on 13 April 1828, so it is very possible that Esther was a sibling in this family as well.

I also have now uncovered the 1810 census for Herman RISTENPAT SR. in Heidelburg Township, then Dauphin (now Lebanon) County.  This is the earliest census which I have found that enumerates a RISTENBATT/RISTENPAT.  On this census, there appears the following:  One male under 10 (Hermanus JR.); one male age 16-26; one male over the age of 45, and 2 females under 10 and one female age 26-45. The ages here are a puzzle because if Herman were baptized 1771, he should be in the age 26-45 column.  Also unknown is the male age 16-26, unless a brother of Herman or perhaps a helper in the house.  It does seem that Herman and Catherine had two daughters between 1805 and 1810.  The date on this census was 18 December 1810, which may be the date it was recorded, not taken.  The John REISENPOT above, if a son of Herman and Catherine, was then probably born after 1810.

Herman/Hermanus JR., son of Hermanus RISTENPATT and Catherine HENDERSON was married 7 Nov 1824 in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jonestown, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania to Margreta Schad, daughter of Jacob SCHAD and Juliana WURTEBERGER.  (Rev. G.R. Deisher, Pastor, Vol. I 1783-1858 of these church records) Margreta's name seems to have been Margreta Rebecca as both names are used, either one or the other, between 1824 and 1877, the year of her death. On the 1824 marriage record, she appears as Margreta.  In the baptismal records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jonestown, Lebanon County, PA, she appears in 1826 as Margreta for the baptism of her child, Hermanus, who came to be called Henry.  In 1840, for baptisms of children Milton and Franklin, she is listed as Rebecca.  On the 1843 baptism of child, Augustus, she is named as Margreta.  On the US Federal Population Censuses, she is given as Margaret in 1850, Rebecca in 1860, and Rebecca in 1870.  On land records for Lebanon County (Index to Deeds/Grantors P,Q,R/1813 to 1932), she is listed as Margaret in 1833 and 1844 and Rebecca in 1846 and in 1891 on a posthumous deed.  Her tombstone gives her name as Rebecca.  (Other researchers have shared that Rebecca is a nickname for Margaret.)  Herman's surname appears in these records as RISTENPAT. (as it apparently was in the Netherlands)

One of my visits to the Lebanon County Historical Society in Lebanon County, PA, proved very fruitful and apparently solved this mystery.  The society has various newspaper notices, and one of these newspapers, the Lebanon Valley Standard, had the following death notice: "RISTENBATT, [date of newspaper is April 28, 1877] Margaret Rebecca, wife of Herman Ristenbatt, aged 69 years, 6 months, 6 days. Died April 21, 1877."

On the 1830 US Federal Population Census, Herman Riessenbaat appears in Bethel Township with 2 males under 5, 1 male aged 20-30 and 1 female, aged 20-30.  These young boys would most likely be sons, Henry and John. By 1850, Herman and his family were living in the borough of Lebanon.  His occupation is given as coachmaker with the value of his real estate listed as $4,000.  John is named as a blacksmith and Cyrus as a coachmaker.  In 1860, the family is still in Lebanon Borough and all of Herman's sons are coachmakers, except Christian, who is only 14 years old.  No value is given for his real estate, and his personal estate is listed as $300.  (This was explained in the future by examination of an 1855 deed which has as its grantor, "Herman Ristenbatt by Sheriff.")  In 1870, Herman is Street Commissioner with real estate of only $1,000 in value and personal estate listed as $300.

I have now examined this 1855 deed as found in Volume M of Lebanon County Deeds, pgs. 371 and 372.  It is rather a sad scenario.  On 6 Oct. 1854, there was a Writ of Fieri Fascies.  Herman Ristenbatt owed a debt of $1,040 and Daniel Fegan, the Sheriff, took the following:  (which gives quite a bit of insight into this family's possessions and location)

  1. A 3-story brick house
  2. A 3-story frame weather boarded house or coach-making shops
  3. A 2-story coachmaking and blacksmith shop
  4. A frame stable and other out buildings and lot of ground, situate in the borough of Lebanon fronting onto Cumberland St. and Mulberry St., (Mulberry Street is now known as Tenth Street and is the street going south out of Lebanon, taking one to Lancaster. - Rt. 72 South) adjoining the lot of Susan Frantz and Christopher Carmany, late the property of Herman Ristenbatt which remained in his hands unsold for want of buyers.
All of the above was sold to Christian A. Seltzer for the sum of $3,300.00 and this transaction was recorded 14 April 1855.

Initially, study seemed to show that Herman and Margreta Rebecca had all boys as gleaned from the above mentioned sources.  However, looking at the 1840 US Federal Population Census revealed that there were 3 females living in the home of Herman Ristenbatt at this time, in Bethel Township.  One female was in the 5-10 year group; one female was in the 20-30 year group; and one female was in the 30-40 year group.  [The latter was probably Herman's wife.]  So it became probable that Herman and Margreta Rebecca had at least one daughter and that she might have been married by the time of the 1850 census.  (The one female, aged 20-30 would not likely be Herman's daughter, as Margreta and he were married in 1824.  This was likely a sister of Margreta's, such as Sarah SCHAD.)  The daughter (aged 5-10) is now a certainty, as the death record of Sarah DARKES gives her father as Herman RISTENBATTSarah RISENBATT[sic] was married to Abner Wenz HARTMAN at Salem Lutheran Church in Lebanon, PA on 6 August 1848.   Abner died 16 Dec. 1867 and Sarah married Henry DARKES on 3 July 1870 in Lebanon County, PA.   On the 1880 census for Lebanon Borough, 3rd Ward, there were living with Henry and Sarah a step-daughter, named Agnes HARTMAN and a niece named Bessie RISTENBATT, aged 3 years. (Very possibly the daughter of Milton SR.)

Additionally on this 1840 census (Herman and his wife were living in Fredericksburg, Bethel Township at this time according to a land record.) there were the following in the household - 3 males under 5 years, 2 males aged 5-10 years, and 1 male aged 10-15 years.  The 3 under 5 would most likely be Milton, Jefferson, and Franklin. John most likely would be the son aged 10-15, and Hermanus/Henry would also be a son aged 10-15.  Cyrus would be a son, aged 5-10 years.  Why 2 males, ages 5-10, is a mystery, but since there should be two sons aged 10-15 and only one son, aged 5-10, it is possible a census mistake was made.  One can only conjecture on these censuses before the 1850 US Federal Population Census, as before then, there were no definite names other than the head of the household.

David's ancestor is son, Milton Ristenbatt, born 9 October 1837 and baptized 17 October 1840 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jonestown, Lebanon, PA.  This is the only baptism (along with son Franklin's on the same date), where a witness is present - Julianna Schad).  Milton is the one of the family's so called "black sheep" ancestors.  (Augustus was as well.)  He *appears* to have never married, but he did have a son by Angeline Gassert, namely Milton G. Ristenbatt, born 15 October 1861.  (1861 according to his death record [PA Vital Records] and 1862 according to his tombstone at Kimmerling's Cemetery in Lebanon County, PA.)  Milton SR. last appears (in *my* research) on the 1870 US Federal Population Census living in Lebanon Borough with the Henry and Sarah DARKES family.   No relationships are given on this census and Milton is listed as age 35, born in Pennsylvania and his occupation is given as housepainter.  It is now known that this was Milton's older sister, Sarah.  It is suspected that Milton SR. had other children besides Milton JR..  (For a record of Milton SR.'s military service, see the article Milton Ristenbatt.)

On the 1870 US Federal Population Census, Milton G. Ristenbatt (Milton JR.) is living with his mother, Angeline Gassert, and her husband, Levi Shaeffer in Bethel Township, Fredericksburg, PA Post Office. (Lebanon County) Milton's last name is given as Risenpot and he is age 8, born in Pennsylvania. (Date of census is July 20, 1870.) A Jerome Shaeffer, age 7, is also in the same household and the marriage date given for Levi and Angeline is April 1870. Ultimately, Milton JR. was married to Elizabeth Rohland on 16 February 1895 at Independent District, Lebanon, PA by B.W. Schmauk. (Pastor of the Salem Lutheran Church.)

Following are the Children of Hermanus/Herman Ristenbatt and Margreta Rebecca Schad:

Hermanus (Henry) Ristenbatt, born 8 December 1825, christened 23 July 1826 Jonestown, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lebanon, PA; died 28 August 1906 Five Points, Lebanon, PA; Married Anna MOORE 27 July 1848, as per the Lebanon Courier newspaper. Anna was from Schaefferstown, Lebanon County, PA, so the marriage is likely to have taken place there. Harry, as he was called, is buried Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Lebanon, PA, Section 95G. Served in the 12th PA Cavalry Civil War Regiment. Four known children: Emma, Albert, Murry and Anna.

John Ristenbatt, born 28 September 1828 Lebanon County, PA; died 16 July 1904 Lebanon County, PA; Married Caroline BROWN 18 Jul 1854. Buried Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Lebanon, PA. Nine known children: Herman Brown; Rose Rebecca; John Christian; Franklin Milton; Carolyn Sarah; Laura; Elmer H.; and Preston William.

Sarah Ristenbatt, born 14 November 1831 Lebanon Co, PA; died 26 July 1912 Philadelphia, PA;  Married Abner Wenz HARTMAN 6 August 1848 Lebanon, Salem Lutheran Church, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA;   Six known children, all HARTMAN: Joseph, Charles, John, Kansas, Ellen and Agnes. (The 1840 census for Herman and Rebecca Ristenbatt lists one female aged 5-10. This is probably Sarah.)  Sarah married second Henry DARKES on 3 July 1870 in Lebanon County, PA.

Cyrus Ristenbatt, born ca. 6 June 1833 Lebanon County, PA; died 24 Sept. 1905 Lebanon County, PA; Married 6 November 1853 to Lucy Ann (Louisa) SNYDER, Salem Lutheran Church, Lebanon, Lebanon County, PA. Buried Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Lebanon, PA, Section U-G-F; Served in the 173rd PA Volunteers, Co. C, Civil War Regiment. Ten known children: Franklin; Mary Catharine; Elizabeth; Ameilia; Anna; Cyrus B.; Jefferson; Libby Regina; Katie; Clara M. and Charlie.

Jefferson Ristenbatt, born about 1835, Lebanon County, PA; Died 20 July 1865, falling off of a house. Buried Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Lebanon, PA; Served in the 93rd PA Volunteers, Co. A, Civil War Regiment. No known wife or children.

Milton Ristenbatt, born 9 October 1837, christened 17 October 1840 Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jonestown, Lebanon County, PA; Child by Angeline Gassert. Died 31 December 1878 Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. Buried Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Lebanon, PA in the Military Section, Section 191G; Served in the 173rd PA Volunteers. Co. I, Civil War Regiment. Another child, Bessie, born circa 1877, unknown mother.

Franklin Ristenbatt, born 12 January 1840, christened 17 October 1840 Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jonestown, Lebanon County, PA; died 4 September 1903 Lebanon County, PA. Married Emma E. DERR 5 August 1870 First Reformed Church, Lebanon, PA. Buried Ebenezer's Cemetery, Lebanon, PA. Served in the 93rd PA Volunteers, Co. A, Civil War Regiment. Six known children: Mary; Rebecca E; Louisa; Katie B; Estelle (Stella); and Emma Margaret.

Augustus Ristenbatt, born 17 January 1842, christened 24 September 1842 Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jonestown, Lebanon County, PA; Married Mary HERTZ about 1870; Divorced from Mary in 1884. Married second in 1887, Mary Ann TROUT in New Jersey. Served in the 93rd PA Volunteers, Co. F, Civil War Regiment, as well as 48th PA and 55th PA Volunteers. Also served in the 22nd Regimental Band for three years after the War. Died in Port Orchard, Washington on 9 April 1913. One known child by first wife: Elizabeth Margaret. Three known children by second wife: Nellie Amelia, Emma Fanny (or Fanny Emma) and a son, Raymond A. These children lived in Reading, Berks County.

Mary Jane Ristenbatt (Riesenport in translated German church records), born 24 June 1844, christened 7 August 1845 Tabor Reformed Church, Lebanon, PA; Died 4 September 1845, Lebanon, Lebanon County, PA according to the Lebanon Courier newspaper.

Christian Ristenbatt, born 1 September 1847 Lebanon County, PA; died 1 April 1909 So. Lebanon Almshouse, PA. Married first Mary LEEDOM. Married second Emma A. HONEFIUS after 1880. The latter are both buried Ebenezer's Cemetery, Lebanon, PA. One known child, Harry, by wife Emma, buried Ebenezer's Cemetery.

Edwin Abner Ristenbatt, born 5 February 1849; Died 30 July 1849 Lebanon, Lebanon County, PA according to the Lebanon Courier newspaper.

One final note about another RISTENBATT.  In the New Lutheran and United Brethren Graveyard on South Lancaster St., Jonestown, PA, there is buried the following RISTENBATT with his wife.  According to the deposition of William's widow, Emma, from Civil War Pension papers in 1891, William is the illegitimate son of Emanuel RISTENBATT and Sarah SCHAD/SCHAUD.(now deceased)  Since there were no known Emanuel RISTENBATTs and Emma states in this deposition that Sarah's sister was married to this Emanuel RISTENBATT, it is more likely that William is the son of Hermanus RISTENBATT and Sarah SCHAD, sister to his wife, Margretta Rebecca SCHAD.  Also, given the fact that this deposition is 26 years after their marriage, and only the minister and his wife were in attendance at the time, it is very likely that the first name was mistaken. It fits in more with the pattern of the men in this family, unfortunately, during this particular time period.

Born: April 17, 1842
Died: July 23, 1891

Wife: Emeline Behney RISTENBATT
Born: August 9, 1848
Died: May 18, 1893

This William A. RISTENBATT served during the Civil War under the alias William A. SHAND in the 93rd PA Volunteers.

A big thank you to Evelyn for this latest information on William A. Ristenbatt!

DIRECT and RELATED lines that connect with the RISTENBATT line: Schad, Weller, Rohland, Killian, Hollinger, Fies, Gassert, Lutz/Groll, Eby, Hunsicker. If anyone has information on the above RISTENBATT families, I can be reached at DRistenbatt@dejazzd.com.)

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