Michael Korns, Sr. Genealogy Excerpt

The following Korn family genealogy information is excerpted from the uncopyrighted book The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County Pennsylvania by Charles Byron Korns, Sr. , M.D. (Berlin Publishing Company, Berlin, Pennsylvania, 1949)

Michael Korn was the progenitor of the Somerset County, Pennsylvania Korns family.



Michael Korns, Sr. , the progenitor of the Korns family in Somerset County, was born in Berks County in 1760, the son of Carl (Charles) Korns and Otilla Korns of Maxatawney Township, Berks County, Pa. He married Susanna Baker in 1781. Michael Korn was assessed in Berks County as late as 1786. He migrated to Londonderry Township, Bedford County, Pa., about 1795. His brother, Jacob Korns, preceded him to Londonderry Township as he was first assessed there as a single freeman in 1791. No records are available as to the assessment of Michael Korn or others of the Korns family from the time he was last assessed in Berks County until he arrived in Londonderry Township, Bedford County. (2006 note from the Korns.org webmaster: a 1787 record has recently been found; see pages 263 and 264 from the 1878 "History of Cumberland" book by William H. Lowdermilk.)

The first records that appeared in Bedford County, Pa., was a land grant by John Tomlinson to Michael and Jacob Korns, August 23, 1796, for 200 acres of land. This was the first legal transaction where the name was spelled Korns. When Somerset County was organized in 1795 that part of Bedford Country including Londonderry Township was added to Somerset County and named Southampton Township in Somerset County. The reason for migrating to Somerset County is not known. The early assessment records in Southampton Township note many people from Berks County who migrated there about the same time. They included Jacob Baker, Henry Baker, Jos. Leydig, William Martz, Joseph Boyer, Jacob Hahn, John Comp, Heymans and many other Germans who originally lived in Berks County.

Michael Korns, Sr. was accompanied by his wife and several children. They settled on a large farm in Southampton where he reared a family of 12 children, five sons and seven daughters. The children grew to manhood and womanhood and married into neighboring families. The children of Michael, Sr., and Susanna Baker Korns were:

  • Daniel Korns, born 1782, married Elizabeth Reiver.

  • Catherine Korns, born 1783, married Jacob Knieriem, also spelled Kemerer.

  • Mary Korns, born 1785, married John Beal.

  • John Korns, born 1787, married (1st) Rebecca Boucher, (2nd) Susan Kendall.

  • Susanna Korns, born 1789, married John Shaver.

  • Rebecca Korns, born 1791, married John Witt.

  • Charles Korns, born 1793, married Catherine Uhl.

  • Christina Korns, born 1796, married William Troutman, Jr.

  • Barbara Korns, born 1797, married Charles Uhl.

  • Delila Korns, born 1801, married John Miller

  • Michael Korns, Jr., born 1803, married Johanna Lepley.

  • William Korns, born 1806, married Elizabeth Hoyman.

    The Michael Korns, Sr. farm in Southampton Township consisted of several hundred acres nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Much of the land had been cleared and in a good state of cultivation, indicative of hard and strenuous labor. This home was the pride of that community. The place was designated by the court as a voting place in that District, and was formerly the seat of government of that township as it was here the elections were held, school boards held their meetings, tax collectors and township auditors met here. This home, once the pride of our ancestors, is now in a dilapidated state due to the ravages of time and carelessness and indifference of the various owners.

    The religious life of the Germans in Southampton Township, Somerset County was not overlooked. Nor was the need for a proper place in which to worship, for the Wellersburg Reformed and Lutheran Church was organized about 1803, among the earliest members were: the Korns, Uhls, Hoymans, Witts, Wilhelms, Reichers, Wingers, and Gaumers. The Reverend Benjamin Knepper had served that congregation continuously for almost half a century. He conducted his service and delivered his sermons in German during the early years, later in English.

    Susanna Baker Korns died in 1811 and was buried in Cook Cemetery. Michael Korns, Sr., re-married about 1817. The given name of his wife was Magdalena, last name unknown. She was probably his housekeeper. Michael Korns died in 1824 and was buried in Cook Cemetery, one-half mile South of the Korns home on the summit of a knoll close to Wellersburg. Overlooking the old Michael Korns farm is the Cook Cemetery where Michael Korns, Sr., and Susanna Baker Korns are buried where stone slabs in fair condition with obituaries clearly discernable written in high German, mark their resting place. Many of the Korns descendants are buried there although the cemetery shows much evidence of neglect.

    Michael Korns was considered a wealthy man in his day. His estate amounted to between eight and ten thousand dollars. His second wife and heirs caused altercations and dissentions which prolonged settling of the estate for five years.

    Daniel Korns remained in Southampton Township and was a farmer. John Korns migrated to Hardy Township, Holmes County, Ohio. Charles Korns migrated to Monroe Township, Holmes County, Ohio. Michael Korns, Jr., moved to Jenner Township, Somerset County, Pa. William Korns moved to Hardy Township, Holmes County, Ohio. Barbara Korns moved to Hardy Township, Holmes County, Ohio. Christina Korns Troutman remained on the farm in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pa. Susanna Korns Shaver moved to Anderson Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. Mary Magdalena Beal remained in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pa. Delila Korns Miller was in Somerset County, Pa. Rebecca Korns Witt was in Somerset County, Pa., as was also Catharine Korns Knieriem (also spelled Kemerer), the names appearing alternately in Orphans Court Records in Somerset County Court House. Magdalena Korn, widow of Michael, Sr., married ....... Boyer in 1829.

    [original text from book purposely skipped here; see downloadable scanned PDF version for complete text.]

    There appears to be an error on the date of birth of Michael Korn as inscribed on the monument in Cook Cemetery, Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pa. On the second line of inscription the date of birth is given as 1757 no month or day of birth is given.

    On 3rd and 4th line the date of death is given as 5th day of November, 1824. On 5th and 6th line his age is given as 64 years, less 2 days at date of death.

    According to the date of birth and age at death he could not have been born in 1757.

    His exact date of birth was November 7, 1760. The error was due to the person who cut the inscription on the stone who failed to evaluate the date of birth or the person who furnished the data for the inscription.

    The correction of the above error is consistent with the petition of Otilla Korn, Executrix of Carl Korn, dated Feb. 8th, 1781, for the sale of the land not disposed in the will of Carl Korn. The petition as presented to The Orphans Court of Berks County, Pa. on the above date as follows that Carl Korn deceased left issue of 7 children, 5 of whom are in their minority, namely, Michael, Jacob, Daniel, Henry and Magdale. On the date of the petition, February 8th, 1781, Michael Korns was 20 years, 3 months and 1 day old and still in his minority.

    Michael Korns was 14 years 5 months and 12 days old at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, April 19th, 1775.

    Michael Korns was 20 years 11 months and 12 days old on the date of the Capitulation of Cornwallis at Yorktown, October 19th, 1781. Which tentatively ended the war although peace was not signed at Paris until September 3rd, 1783.

    Michael Korns was 22 years 1 month and 17 days old when his first child, Daniel, was born, Dec. 24, 1782.

    Michael Korns was 45 years 3 months and 18 days old when his twelfth and youngest child, William, was born, February 25, 1806.

    Susanna, wife of Michael Korns, Sr. was born 1762, died May 10, 1811, no month or day of birth given on monument. She was probably about two years his junior.

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