Friday, January 18, 2008

Earliest Novinger Family History

Novinger Family History
The earliest record of the Novinger Family in the United States dates from Theobald Nabinger, a hunter and woodsman, born ca1714, in Wolfersweiler, Saarland, and now part of Germany. Wofersweiler is a small village of approximately 1,000 people in the Nahe Valley, located in a western region of Germany which is known today as Saarland. Saarland is close to the borders of both Luxembourg and France. Theobald was the son of Johann Konrad Nabinger, a municipal official of Franchenstein, now part of the District of Kaiserslautern. His marriage to Maria Anna Margretha Schwab Wagner, (who already had 13 children by a previous marriage) is recorded in the records of the Wolfersweiler Reformed Church on January 2, 1742. Maria was the widow of Herr Oberforster Jno. Michael Wagner, born 1689, died Fedruary 8, 1741, for whom Theobald worked before the death of Herr Oberforster.

Wolfersweiler Reformed Church

It is estimated that Theobald Nabinger left Wolfersweiler in March or April of 1742 for Pennsylvania in America, only 2 or 3 months after marrying the widow Wagner, because he arrrived in Philadelphia on the "Loyal Judith" on September 3, 1742, with 90 Palantine Germans, or "freights". It appears that he left without the Widow Wagner, as she died in Wolfersweiler on January 23, 1761.

Upon arrival in America, Theobald Nabinger “disappears” for nine years and it is assumed that in order to acquire passage that he traveled as an indentured servant (the common method for Palantine Germans to travel to America) and spent 9 years working off his passage to America. He first reappears on the 1751 Lancaster County Pennsylvania tax rolls, when he filed an application for 25 acres of land in Warwick Township. His name soon evolves through various forms as Theobald & Dewalt and either Nabinger, Navinger, Nauvinger, and finally Dewalt Novinger. Several other larger land purchases in Lancaster County by Dewald Nabinger and Dayvolt Nabinger occurred in the following years.
From 1768 to 1848 there are several Dewalt and Theobald Novingers living in the Lancaster County area. It is not known for sure when or where Theobald (Dewalt) Nabinger (Navinger) from Wolfersweiler died, or where he is buried. However, there is a Dewalt Novinger buried in 1780 in the Saint David's Church Cementary in Killinger, PA, originally part of Lancaster County, PA.

Tombstone of Dewalt Novinger

Jonathan C. Novinger, the eldest son of Dewalt (Theobald) Novinger and Mary Woodside, lived in Dauphin County, PA, until moving with the majority of his family to Adair County, MO, in 1848. Upon his arrival in Missouri Jonathan C. Novinger homesteaded 80 acres in northeast Missouri and build a log cabin. Soon thereafter representatives of a railroad came through the area seeking right-a-way and lumber for railroad ties. Showing good Novinger Business Sense, Jonathan offered the railroad the lumber for free, if they would only construct the railroad through his 80 acres and build a depot on his land. It was done and the town of Novinger was established which today has about 600 residents. Between 1986 and 1988 the Novinger Renewal, Inc. moved the original Novinger Cabin to the City Park and restored it as a museum of the Novinger Family and Town.

Novinger Cabin, City Park, Novinger Missouri
Jonathan died on November 14, 1852, and is buried in the Novinger Missouri Cemetery. It is from Jonathan C. Novinger that I, and the Novinger Family of Missouri, am descended.
Tombstone of Jonathan C. Novinger


Shirley Self said...

I loved your site. It had lots of great things in it. My husband is also related to Jonathon Novinger. We visited Missouri lately and went to the log cabin. I didn't even know it existed until seeing your site.


Shirley Self

Jo said...

Hey, Bro-
I'm glad you are doing this!
Jo Anne Novinger

Jeepdog07 said...

Excellent site!!! My wife, Sherrel, just found your site Glen.

Very nicely done.

Doug Novinger
Pres. Novinger Family Reunion, Millersburg, PA

Please feel free to drop me a line.

Vail Fruechting said...

Hello, I just came across your blogspot, after doing google search on a whim. Theobald Nabinger is my 5th Great Grandfather. My Great Grandfather was Thomas Benton Novinger, who homesteaded in SW Kansas about 1885. I "inherited" all the family records last summer when my mother passed away and just started putting geneaology into a computer program a few months ago. My straight line lineage: Theobald Nabinger ->Dewalt Novinger->Isaac N->Charles Edward N->Thomas Benton N->Ruth Novinger Vail->Gloria Vail Fruechting->Vail Fruechting. It's been interesting putting this together. I don't have many stories to go with all the names and dates. I appreciate the story of Theobald Nabinger on your blog. is there any other printed info available on the Novinger family. Thanks much. Vail Fruechting, Wichita, KS.

Jeepdog07 said...


I just looked in the Dewalt Family Legacy Book we had published. You are on page 361. I won't go into what it says out of privacy for you and your family. Your family tree number is 9B4I1A according to our historian. My number is 2D14D3A1.


Anonymous said...

I looked for Wolfersweiler, Germany photos and found your site. The Kuntser/Kinser family also lived there, and moved to PA about the same time. I'm sure that they knew one another. One of the families into which the Kinser married was Seibert and I see a marriage to a Nabinger in my notes. A Nickel Kinser b 1722 was naturalized 1760 in PA nd in 1744 married a Nabinger.

DrPam said...

My earliest certain Collier ancestor is Joseph Collier, a carpenter who married Elizabeth Hoover and died Dec 1799 in Jackson Township, Dauphin (now Lebanon) County, PA. His wife Elizabeth died soon thereafter in Mar 1800. Other information in letters written by his great-grandchildren: Joseph was English and in one letter was said to be from England (part unknown). Family lore is that my immigrant ancestors were first in Lancaster County, PA.

I have two working hypotheses about the ancestry of Joseph Collier. One is that he immigrated, likely through Philadelphia, worked several years as a carpenter apprentice, after which he married Elizabeth Hoover (nothing known about Elizabeth except that one of her brothers fought in the Revolution and was taken prisoner in Camden, NJ). The other hypothesis is that Joseph is the son of an immigrant. I have "turned up" a Jonathan Collier who paid taxes in Elizabeth Twp, Lancaster County in 1757. Only other reference I find is on the court docket in Berks County--Mathias Richards v. Jonathan Collier in 1769 and 1770. I have not located the court records; however, Mathias was an attorney involved in the administration of numerous estates; I suspect Jonathan owed money to a decedent and Mr. Richards was attempting to collect; in any event, it was a civil action.

Family correspondence says Joseph married Elizabeth Hoover probably near Myerstown and then owned land in Schuylkill Haven. Consistent with correspondence, I found that a Joseph Collier owned land on the west branch of the Schuylkill River in Brunswick Twp in 1787 ( a stone's throw from current-day Schuylkill Haven). Then in 1790 a Joseph Collier with the right family composition is enumerated in nearby Bern Twp, Berks County. After 1790, Joseph returned to the Myerstown area and he and Elizabeth are believed to be buried in the "old Lutheran Cemetery" near Myerstown.

Joseph and Elizabeth had 6 children, one of whom was the Jonathan Collier (born between 1778 and 1780) who married first to Catherine Tice of Myerstown and second to Catherine "Katy" Novinger (daughter of DeWalt Novinger and Maria Woodside). Jonathan and two of his brothers (Joseph, Nathaniel) were among those who left the Myerstown area to make their homes in the Lykens Valley of Upper Paxton Township. About 1800, land in Myerstown was $200 an acre and land in Upper Paxton was $40 an acre, so off they went.

I've been researching the Colliers of early PA for 20 years and have much additional information. For now, my question is... Jonathan C. Novinger, the son of Dewalt and Maria Woodside, born about 1774...
1) Is his middle name really Collier?
2) If so, does anyone know why? Collier would be an unusual middle name for the son of a German immigrant unless there was a family relationship or strong sentimental reason.

Implicit in my questions is curiosity about a relationship between Dewalt Novinger who appears on Lancaster Co. tax list in 1751 and "my" Jonathan who appears on 1757 tax list in Elizabeth Twp, Lancaster county.

Another question...DeWalt's occupation/trade? If he was a carpenter, I'll have a bunch more hypotheses...