Page 19 - Armentrout Family History
P. 19

Indian trouble on the frontier stopped the movement. The Ermentrouts considered the possible advantages to be gained from
a move to Va. As a result Adam Hedderick, Johannes' father-in-law, made an exploratory trip to Va., prob. during the sum-
mer or fall of 1751 to check the stories and to try and locate some good land. He was so pleased with the land and the lime-
stone outcroppings, similar to land he had left in Germany, that he selected a couple of parcels of land and entered into a
provisional contract for their purchase. He returned to Penna. with a report of his trip and his activities while in Va. The
report was favorably received by the family and they decided to dispose of their land in Lancaster (now Berks) Co. and move
to Va. In 17 52 the 3 older mar. sons and their families, their mother and the 2 unmar. boys moved to Va. Christople and
sister Anna Elizabeth Hain and her family remained in Penna. Traveling with loaded wagons in an uncharted wilderness must
have been slow and difficult. The caravan, prob. with some of their neighbors added, moved slowly southward and westward,
crossing the Potomac River and then undoubtedly following the North Branch of the Shenandoah River along the western
side of Massanutten Mtn., the Pk. Mtn. of the Valley Germans. Here they purchased land and settled around the western and
southern end of the mtn., from several miles north of the present day town of Keezletown to the present day town of McGa-
heysville, where numerous descendants still reside.

After the death of his wife in 1754/55, Christopher left his 2 children with their maternal grandparents or with his sis. and
joined his bros. in Va. where he remar. He was later captured by the Indians and spent about 6 years in captivity in several
Indian villages in the Ohio River Valley before escaping and returning to his family. Frederick Hain and his family left Penna.
sometime after 1765 and settled in an area near the other members of the family.


In Va. the Ermentraudt Family in 1768/69 was a moving force in the building of the 2nd "Pinquit Moundyn" (Pk. Mtn.)
Ch. Five members of the family signed the governing agreement for use of the ch. by the Ref. and Luth. Congregations which
were to worship here for over a hundred years. From this period on to about 1806 most of the children of the family were
bapt. here. The Pk. Mtn. Ch. was finally abandoned after the Civil War, and the stones in the cem. have all disappeared.
Several members of the family are buried here, but their graves cannot be located. The Pk. Mtn. Ch. Building was located on
the road (now US 33, the main street of McGaheysville) and the cem. located back of it. Today, on the west side of the old
cem. stands the Browns Memorial Ref. Ch., the successor to the Ref. part of the union congregation of the old ch. The old
building is no longer standing. A central monument honoring all the dead has been erected on the old location. The Pk. Mtn.
Ch. Rec. were started in the spring of 1760, but there had been some ch. organization prior to this time and as early as 1750.
These books contain the rec. of 1152 bapt. as well as communion rec. and a few other miscellaneous rec.3 The original Ger-
man in the rec. was translated and edited by Major WP Pence, Prof. William J Hinke and Charles E Kemper. Their preface to
these old rec. is quoted below:

"This rec. is one of the oldest and most important German rec. bks. to be found in the upper part of the Shen-
andoah Valley. It contains much hist. and genealogical information about the early German Ref. and Luth. sett-
lers in Rock. Co. which cannot be found elsewhere. It gives us for the first time the earliest Ref. Minister who
preached in that region, Rev I C Van Gemunden. He ministered to the congregation from February 1762 to De-
cember 1763. His name shows that he was either born in Holland or was of Dutch descent. Unfortunately, nothing
else is known of him at the present (time).

"The Ref. elders in 1762 were Jacob Persinger (bapt. No. 37), John Hetterich (bapt. No. 44), and George Zim-
merman (bapt. No. 49). One of the Luth. elders was Charles Risch (bapt. No. 49) (Bapt. nos. in the rec.).

"The first ch. was mentioned in the rec. in April 1762. It was located near the mill race of Mr Herrman (bapt.
nos. 40 & 64). The congregation also had a school in 1762, and the Luth. School teacher was mentioned in that
year (bapt. No. 43). (Gottried Christian Leuthmanns Leonhardt, the Luth. schoolmaster and wife Maria Elizabeth
were sponsors for Anna Maria, born 2 July 1762, dau. of Jacob Hammer and wife Fredericka Roeina nee Leuth-
manns Leonhard).

"The 2nd ch. was dedicated on October 23, 1768, by Rev John Schwarbach, the Luth. minister. On October
31, 1769, 45 persons signed an agreement providing for the ch. to be a union ch. of the Ref. and Luth. faiths.
The 2nd ch. was located near Stony Creek.

"The 3rd ch., located in present day McGaheysville, Va., was dedicated according to a later rec., on May 27,
1804. This building was occupied jointly by the Ref. and Luth. until the Ref. people separated and erected a new
ch. known as Browns Memorial Ref. Ch. in honor of one of their former pastors. It is located in present day

"The rec. contains many Luth. entries. It is a folio volume of 156 pages, many of which have remained blank.
It contains mostly bapt. entries, and some communicant lists extending from 1762 to 1797 and a few mar. and
burial rec. The original copy of the agreement of 1769 is still in existence. It is prefaced to the rec. as a fitting

"In translating the rec., the English form of the bapt. or Christian names was substituted for the German, but
the spellings of the surnames or family names have been carefully retained. All the bapt. entries were copied into
a second book at a later time. The spellings of the second book are occasionally added in brackets while the pres-
ent form of the family name is added in round brackets by Mr Charles E Kemper of Washington, D.C."

Other interesting items from these old ch. rec. are excerpted below:

"On the 27th of May 1804, the new ch. of this union congregation was dedicated by the pastors Christian

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