Johan Jacob was born between 2 and 3 in the afternoon on Feb. 8, 1726, in Osthelden to Jacob and Anna Catherina Brombach, and baptized Feb. 17 in the Protestant church in nearby Ferndorf, district of Siegen in the Duchy of Westphalia, a few miles east of the Rhine River. At the time Germany was made up of many small principalities. Land was so scarce that when a couple had 8-10 children, there was no land left to divide among the younger children. As a result, there was massive immigration push in the mid-18th century both to the East (Ukraine, Russia) and to the West, through passage on a boat down the Rhine to Rotterdam and from there on board a ship to the British North American colonies. For Jacob it was the ship Nancy arriving alone (no family traveled with him) in Philadelphia Aug. 31, 1750. In May 1776 Jacob was in a line-up of men in Washington County, Maryland, to establish companies of militia. When asked his age, he replied “50” which was the age over which one was exempt from enlistment. This enables us to have some assurance that we have indeed found the German birth record of the immigrant later residing in Hagerstown.
Research indicates that the 1754 immigrant “Johannes Henrich Brumbach” may be a brother of the 1750 “Johann Jacob Brumbach” or at least a relative —based on their handwritten signatures from the ship arrival lists in Philadelphia. Their handwriting is quite distinctive from others and similar to each other, especially in the way they write “Brumbach.” Looks to some of us as if they may have learned from the same teacher… That is not conclusive documentary proof, but a good hint that the hypothesis may be a valid one.
Both men had sons named following a common naming convention and using the same Christian names, John, Henry, and Jacob, and all living in both Washington County, Maryland, around Hagerstown, and later in Morrisons Cove in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. At one time there were four individuals named Jacob Brumbaugh residing in those areas. This often leads genealogical enthusiasts to confuse which individual they’ve found and who was related to whom. Only research in primary sources can solve the confusion. Johann Jacob Brumbaugh (1726-1799) was married to Mary Elizabeth Angle (a/k/a Engle) who died 1803. His eldest son Jacob (c 1759- 1813) was married to a German Baptist Brethren woman, Catharine Long (d. 1820). Johannes Heinrich’s son Jacob was commonly called “Jockel” and he died in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, in 1813.