Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Troutman Land in Southampton Twp., Bedford, then Somerset Co., PA

After we came back from our drive to see Comps Church, I took a browse through the Troutman files on the computer. Found this, below. It shows that Benjamin Franklin Troutman, son of Peter Troutman who fought in the Revolutionary War and is buried there in the cemetery, donated the land that the church is built on, and the very land in which he's buried. Take a look. I've underlined the relevant parts, but you might have to click on the pages images in order to read them.

Now, I do love a good timeline and I've been working on one for Benjamin Franklin Troutman (1780- 1856) and his father Peter Troutman (1754-1846). Then to give it a whole other layer of frosting, added Peter's own father, William, born in 1730 in Germany and landed in Berks County  where he died in 1790. There an amazing number of documents that filled out that timeline pretty well. When put together it tells the saga of a family's pull west powered by a desire for good and then better farming land.

Peter had already moved from Berks County PA to his Bounty Land Grant in Somerset County which is more westerly in Pennsylvania, by the time his father William passed in 1790. Both Peter and his brother William were mentioned in old William's will. William was appointed as Administrator with his brother John. Peter had already moved to the Southampton area when his father made the will. As the oldest son, Peter might have been named as Administrator and I'd wondered why he wasn't. Did they have a falling out, was Peter deemed untrustworthy by his father? But then I put together the timeline and could see the answer right before my eyes. Peter couldn't have been named Administrator because he had already moved away to Bedford County.

The will of William Troutman Sr. is interesting and was worthwhile looking for. It names his sons, Peter and William Jr., so that's valuable right there. But the probate file had two copies of his will, one in English and one in German. Look there above and see a page from each version. What this told me is that they were still very German and probably spoke it at home and in their close circle of friends.

Just after William died, his son William Jr. moved to Somerset County and lived near his brother Peter. Because he was named as one of the administrators, he needed to renounce so that he could move. I have no documentation that this is the official reason why he renounced but it seems logical. Look.

William Jr., Peter his brother, and Peter's son Benjamin are all buried in Comps Cemetery on land that Benjamin donated to the church. At least I think that's William next to Peter there. Some say it's Peter's son who died early but the stone for William is in pieces now.

That's Peter's stone on the right foreground with the flag. His wife is marked by the brown stone, below, and in the above picture, to Peter's left and above.

That's Benjamin's stone standing tall above and his wife's stone, fallen, to the right.
You can see Peter's grave on the upper right of the image, with the flag.
The land is beautiful here and I just hope that I'll have the time to devote to finding some of those Troutman land records. Just discovered one in Berks that is a deed between William, mentioned as Peter's father, and Peter, separately mentioned as the son of William, and living in Bedford County.

Was talking to Mom when I was back to see her recently and we agreed that there's something about standing on the very soil of the ancestors that is extremely moving. I stood there at the edge of the Comps Church parking lot and I looked at a lovely farm off a ways. Yup, that was sure to have been Benjamin's land.

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  1. Do you have any information about Peter's son who died early? My 3rd great-grandmother stated in her husband's Civil War pension that her maiden name was "Troutman." As the person we believe to be her mother married another man shortly after her birth, I wonder if the son of Peter Troutman could be her father (I have DNA matches with other descendants of Peter adding to the mystery.)

  2. Hi there:)
    There are a number of Peter Troutman or Trautman and four of them served in the Revolutionary War. You can see the listing here:
    If you email me with your grandmother's name I'll take a look in a couple of places including a Trautman/Troutman book.
    Here's my email:
    Meanwhile, good luck with your search!