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