Tracing Our Roots
By Schuyler Brossman
Column No. 1580/January 29, 1997
Report on the Donmoyer Research
A nice report on Donmoyer Research has been received from James Donmoyer of 8491 Juneberry Ct., Port St. Lucie, FL 34952. He writes:
The third Sunday in August, we attended the Donmoyer Family Reunion at Lake Strauss, which is at the east end of the Monroe Valley in Bethel Twp., Lebanon Co., PA. At the reunion, I passed out information sheets and family data sheet forms to be filled out by each Donmoyer family for the genealogy book I am writing for the descendants of Michael Adam Dormoyer. To date, the response to completing and returning these sheets to me has been fair, with only a few of the families not responding to the request. These families will be disappointed when the book is completed and printed and their family will be noted but will not contain any information on them.
As most of you know, Adrian J. Duermeijer visited from Utrecht, Holland during September. Adrian is a very distant cousin of the Dormeyer descendants in America and has written a book on his family ancestors in Europe. During Adrian's stay in America, we took a genealogy tour of Pennsylvania. Shown below is only a brief outline of our Pennsylvania genealogy tour:
We spent the first two days visiting churches and cemeteries in Berks and Lehigh counties where the first Dormeyers lived, and attended church and some are buried in the local church cemeteries. The tour was conducted by Phyllis and Rocky Schappell of Hamburg, PA and was excellent. If any of you are interested in visiting this area of Pennsylvania to do Dormeyer research, be sure and contact the Schapplles as Phyllis knows the complete area and has been doing genealogy research for many years on her branch of the Dormeyer family.
On Monday, September 16, 1996 we (Schuyler Brossman, Adrian Deurmeijer and Jim Donmoyer) conducted a genealogy discussion at the Altalaha Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rehrersburg, Berks Co., PA on the Dormeyers of Europe and America. Schuyler reviewed the history of the church and surrounding area (Tulpehocken Twp.) where Jacob Nicholas and Nicholas Dormeyer lived in the 1750s and 1760s. Adrian reviewed the early history of the Dormeyers in Europe. Jim Dormeyer submitted and reviewed his paper on the first Dormeyers to America. After the genealogy discussion, many of the 50+ attendees had lunch at a local restaurant and continued the genealogy discussions on their ancestors. After lunch, Schuyler took about 14 people on a tour of the local churches, cemeteries and other points of interest in the Tulpehocken Twp. area. This entire day was a great success for any genealogists doing Dormeyer research! If any one would like a photo copy of my text on the first Dormeyers to America (25 pages), I can send you a copy for the cost of copying and postage, which is $3.50.
Our next stop on the tour was Dauphin, Lebanon and Schuylkill counties. We visited many of the churches where the early Dormeyers attended, were baptized, confirmed or were interred in the church cemeteries.
During our visit in Lebanon Co. we visited Miss Evelyn Isele of Jonestown. We had a Donmoyer genealogy discussion at her residence with 12 attendees. Evelyn treated us to a great old fashioned chicken corn soup meal with real shoofly pie. We had a great discussion on the early Donmoyers and then Evelyn took us on a tour of the area. This was truly a highlight of our genealogy tour. If you even get to the Lebanon Co. area to do genealogy research, be sure and contact Evelyn for any information you need on the area.
The next day we visited the areas of Pine Grove and Friedensburg, Schuylkill Co. and Northern Lebanon Co. where the early Donmoyers lived. Too much information obtained to show.
We spent the next day at the Pennsylvania State Library and Archives at Harrisburg, PA. Again, too much information obtained to show.
We then spent three days in the counties of Armstrong, Cambria, Indiana and Westmoreland.
The first day was spent in the area of Elton and Summerhill where some of the original Dormeyer descendants settled in the early 1800s.
The second day we visited the Donmyer Lutheran Church and Cemetery at Elton. This cemetery contains the remains of many of the Donmyers that lived in this area in the 1800s such as Gabrial Donmyer (b 1834 - d 1894).
The last day we visited Frank and Thelma Ometz at their home in New Derry, PA. The Ometzs took us on a tour of the area where a number of the early Dormeyers/Donmyers/Dunmires lived in Armstrong, Indiana and Westmoreland counties. This tour was fabulous, as we collected so much genealogy information that it will take me months to review it and put it into the proper place in my computer genealogy program. The photos taken in this area turned out excellent! The Ometzs were perfect hosts and it would be well worth while for anyone doing genealogy research in this area of Pennsylvania to contact them.
After leaving western PA, we spent three days in the counties of Centre and Mifflin.
The first area visited was the Fergerson Valley of Mifflin Co. This is the valley where Henry (Dormeyer) Dunmire (b 1768 - d 1841), Garriel Dunmire (b 1808 - d 1899) and Dr. George Bension Dunmire (b 1837 - d 1905) are interred in the family cemetery along with about 50 other family members.
We then visited Aaronsburg, Centre Co. where Jacob Dormeyer lived until his death on 03/09/1812. We did not get to research the Lutheran Church Cemetery in Aaronsburg due to the heavy rain during our visit. Aaronsburg has a Historical Society (which is open during the week) that we visited and spent some time doing genealogy research. Again, we collected a wealth of information during the visit to Aaronsburg.
We spent the third day at the Centre Co. Historical Society, Bellefonte and reviewed all the original tax records for the early Dunmires living in Centre Co. It was found that Martin Dunmire was not a farmer but a shoemaker. This Centre Co. Historical is a must stop for any genealogist doing research on the Jacob (Dormeyers) Dunmires.
We then returned to Millville, NJ and prepared for our genealogy meeting with Dave Donmoyer, George Turnmeyer and Clifford Sayer.
The day after our return to NJ, we visited the Lutheran Church Cemetery at Friesburg, Salem Co., NJ to look for the grave site of Carolina Christina Dormeyer (d 1782) who was the sister of Peter Dormeyer and the wife of Leonhard Bauer. This grave site was located in the old section of the cemetery.
The following day, we had our genealogy discussion at our Millville NJ home, which was very enlightening on the theories of where our early Dormeyers originate from in Europe. I am arranging my notes on this meeting and will have copies available for any interested Dormeyer genealogist.
I have about 100+ photos of headstones (tombstones) of the early Donmoyers/Donmyers/Dormeyers/Dornmeyers/Dunmires from various cemeteries that were taken during our September, 1996 genealogy trip in Pennsylvania. If you are looking for any particular gravesite, contact me as I just could have a copy of the headstone of that grave.
If anyone has any comments or questions about this report please write to James Donmoyer at the address above