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Garver / Gerber

GARVER / GERBER families of Pennsylvania

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Latest Activity: Oct 28, 2022

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Comment by Mary Ellen Rohrer Dexter on October 28, 2022 at 3:51pm

Continued from prior comment. 

We have proven that Martin is the father of John M. Rohrer and Jacob Isaac Rohrer. (In 1790 John was 12 and Jacob 10) There could have also been a daughter from that union. It should be noted six children are listed on an online tree for Abraham and Mary but four of them were born before Mary and Abraham were married. So perhaps Abraham was a widower with prior children. The census records before 1850 make it challenging to determine exactly who was in any given household.
A final clue is a DNA match between a descendant of Martin Rohrer and a descendant of Abraham Smutz, where the common denominator could well have been Mary. But that many generations back in the PA Dutch lines that are so closely intertwined there could be a different unknown connection between the two descendants. Until another connection is found though this remains a substantial clue in deciding who Mary was married to prior to Abraham.
Further research in this area needs to be completed. A marriage record for Mary’s first marriage, a baptismal record that lists Mary with her first husband, a land record that lists them together, or a will that lists them both would be the type of direct evidence that would clear up the questions. One problem is not having a death date for Martin Rohrer. To find the records surrounding his death would likely include the name of his widow. An explanation of the guardianship hearing for John Rohrer of Martin taking place two years after Mary’s marriage to Smutz needs to be discovered. So our search continues.
But at this time it is our conclusion, based on indirect evidence, that

Martin Rohrer was the first husband of Mary Garver.

Mary Rohrer

Shirley Boyd September 2018

Comment by Mary Ellen Rohrer Dexter on October 28, 2022 at 3:49pm

The First Husband of Mary Garver Rorer Smutz
Researchers of both the Smutz and Rohrer lines have been searching to place the Mary Rorer who married Abraham Smutz in 1784 in the correct Rohrer family. It is the purpose of this paper to explain the most likely explanation of who Mary was.
On page 534 of the text, Maryland records, colonial, revolutionary, county and church: from original sources by Brumbaugh, Gaius Marcus, publication date 1915, the tenth line from the top states: “Smortz, Abraham and Mary Rorer, July 1, 1784”. The heading several prior pages (p. 529) from this list of names reads: “Marriages by Rev George Young, August 15, 1777 - December 27, 1785”. If one looks further, a January of 1799, guardianship court hearing for the children of Christian Carver recently deceased (sometimes in the records listed as Carver and sometimes as Garver but differentiating between a C or a G is difficult in the records) named the adult children of Christian who are listed as having appeared at the guardianship hearing. Included in this list is Abraham Smutz and Mary his wife. From this it can be concluded that Mary’s maiden name was Carver/Garver, and she was married prior to marrying Smutz to someone named Rorer. To reinforce this, Maryland record Liber O, folio 183 - 186 on February 20, 1802, clarifies ownership of the Christian Carver/Garver land, Mary again, is listed with her husband Abraham Smutz. As a result her maiden name of Garver/Carver is reinforced in two records.
But which Rohrer was Mary’s first husband? A marriage record for her to a man named Rohrer has not been found. But a good clue has been located in another guardianship record. On August 8, 1786, John Rohrer of Martin guardianship is turned over to Yost Gardiner and John Huffer. See Maryland Genealogical Sources, Series - Guardianships 1786 - 1834 Washington County, Maryland - Volume MD21-4 by Marilee Beatty Hageness (2001) page 83. If one returns to the records noted in the paragraph above regarding Christian Carver/Garver, it will be discovered that Yost Gardiner is married to Mary’s sister Nancy. This clue draws a connection between Mary and Martin Rohrer born 1751 in Lampeter Twp., Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who was the father of John M. Rohrer (not to be confused with Martin Rohrer born1738 in Germany).
Another piece of indirect evidence that Mary is Martin Rohrer’s widow is the 1803 tax list for Washington County, Maryland which lists Abraham Smutz as paying taxes on 100 acres of “Penny Hill” and John Rohor (sic)

of Martin as paying taxes on 90 acres of “Penny Hill”. Martin Rohrer inherited 320 acres of land called “Piney Hill Enlarged” in Washington County Maryland from his father John Rohrer who died in 1771 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
A third and less substantial piece of indirect evidence is the 1790 census for Abraham Smutz in Washington County, Maryland. It lists three white males under age sixteen as living in the household along with one white male over sixteen and four white females. In 1790 Abraham and Mary had been married six years. Since Mary was married before, several of those children could come from her marriage to Martin Rohrer.

Comment by Peggy Gaines on September 12, 2014 at 5:41am

I suspect that your Jacob Sr. may actually be the son of my Jacob, brother of my Christian.

Comment by Peggy Gaines on September 11, 2014 at 3:15pm

by my record, "my" David died near Decatur in 1898. When did yours pass, and how is he related to your Jacob?

Comment by Brenda Lee on September 11, 2014 at 10:24am

i our david garver is the same one then I found his obituary which isn't much.  he died near Sparta, Illinois.  He was my Jacob Garver's relative.  Jacob died in Chester Illinois which is the next town close to Sparta.

Comment by Brenda Lee on September 11, 2014 at 10:23am

I have several books on the Decatur, macon Co. Garver famly lineages.  I also have my entire tree on  under jacob garver tree.  let me know if you would like an envite.  my e mail address is so I can send you my  website I will need an e mail address or you.  I'm sure I have something you can use.  nice to find another researcher.  I live about half an hour drive from decatur.  

Comment by Peggy Gaines on September 4, 2014 at 10:09am

My Garver lineage is as follows:


My Dad

Bernard Marcellus Garver, Illinois, 1911-1992

Louis Jacob Garver, Illinois, 1887-1977

Robert A Garver, Illinois, 1861-1941

David W Garver, b. PA, d. IL, 1832-1898

John Garver, b. PA, D. IL, 1797-1882

Christian Gerber/Garver, Pennsylvania, 1741-?, killed by train

Jacob F Gerber, Pennsylvania, ?-?

Hans Jacob Gerber, b. Germany, d. PA ?-?


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