Henry Martin Stemple
The ship “Samuel,” arrived in Philadelphia, August 30, 1737, with three generations of Stemples: grandfather Nicholas, father Johann Peter, and son Johann Gottfried. After settling in Aurora, Virginia (now in Preston County, West Virginia), Gottfried would serve in the Revolutionary War. His great-grandson, Henry Martin Stemple, would be 22 at the time of the 1849 California Gold Rush. In 1854, they moved to Tomales in Marin County, California. It seems a safe assumption that Stemple Creek is named for them. One reference lists him as a dairy farmer. He and Eliza Ann (Minear) Stemple had ten children.
Henry Martin Stemple was born 28 January 1827 in Aurora, West Virginia. Eliza Ann Minear was born 14 March 1833 in St. George, West Virginia. The family settled in Tomales, California in 1854. They were the parents of: Leonard Scott (Rebecca Allen Brenard), Sarah Catherine (James Franklin Gore), Ashby Pool (Fanny Agnes Stump), Lucretia Maria (Alonzo Jefferson Gore), Henrietta Estelle (Matthew Clark), John (died young), Charles William (died at age 20), Eliza Ann Ruth (Charles St. Clair Crane), Alfaretta Isadore (1 Andrew Jackson Finley, 2 Henry Graff), Dennie Uria (James William Myers). Henry died in 1871.
Henry Martin Stemple and Eliza Ann Minear; Muster roll of the Washington Rifles (infantry company 2nd Brigade); List of Officers, Attaches and Guards employed at the state prison, San Quentin, on the 31st January, 1856;
Henry M. Stemple Estate, showing division of property among heirs, Tomales, Marin County, California, 1873. From Henry M. Stemple estate records, 7 February 1873, Marin County, California, Probate Records 4:748, and #114 (filed 20 April 1874).
Of better quality is the map of the division of the Henry M. Stemple estate in Tomales, Marin County, California, 1873, showing the division of property among his heirs. This is oversized and does not fit the average screen, but is more readable. It can be viewed at: http://lib-operations.sonoma.edu/fin/aaa-0698.html
Marker for Henry Martin Stemple
Birth: Jan. 27, 1827
Death: May 2, 1871, Tomales, Marin County, California, USA
Family links: Spouse: Eliza Ann Minear Stemple (1833 – 1892)
Burial: Tomales Presbyterian Cemetery, Tomales, Marin County, California, USA
Ancestry for Henry Martin Stemple, starting from–
Johann Gottfried3 Stempel (1727 – c.1798)
Birthdate: January 20, 1727
Birthplace: Pfeddersheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Death: Died 1798 in United States
About Johann Gottfried Stempel
BIOGRAPHY: Arrived in the U.S. on the ship “Samuel,” in Philadelphia, August 30, 1737 with father Johann Peter Stembell.
+ Mary Margaret Speck 1754-1798 b. 19 May 1754 in MD. Margaret was born about 1733 and died 05 Apr 1798.
Martin4 S. Stemple, Sr. (1772 – c.1806)
+ Margarite Montgomery
35. (1) Martin Jr. b. Jul 17 1806 d.Mar 28 1888 m. Julia Bischoff Sep 28 1803-Jul 09 1840
m. Susannah Margaret Spessert
36. (2) Catherina b. Aug 19 1807 m. Samuel Funk
37. (3) Wilhelm b. Nov 17 1809 m. Mary Pifer
+ Margaretta Boyles
38. (1) Adam b. Nov 09 1793 d. Dec 23 1851 m. Mary Hebb Jun 13 1816
39. (2) Daniel b. Aug 14 1795 m. Susanna Smith
40. (3) John M. b. May 04 1798 d. Jan 21 1872 m. Catherine Bischoff
41. (4) Sarah b. Dec 23 1800 m. Jack Harsh
42. (5) Samuel b. Jan 13 1804 m. Sarah Marie Dumire m. Sarah McKenday
Martin b. Jul 17 1806.
John5 M. STEMPLE (1798 – 1872)
+ Catherine Bishoff (1799 – 1870)
daughter of Henry BISHOFF and Julia WAGNER. Catherine was born 9 Oct 1799 in Pipe Creek, Westminster, MD and was christened 30 Mar 1800 in Kriders Lutheran, Pipe Creek, Carroll Co, MD. She died 5 Feb 1870 in Preston Co, WV
Henry6 Martin Stemple (1827 – 1871)
+ Eliza Ann Minear 1833-????
Leonard Scott (Rebecca Allen Brenard),
Sarah Catherine (James Franklin Gore),
Ashby Pool (Fanny Agnes Stump),
Lucretia Maria (Alonzo Jefferson Gore),
Henrietta Estelle (Matthew Clark),
John (died young),
Charles William (died at age 20),
Eliza Ann Ruth (Charles St. Clair Crane),
Alfaretta Isadore (1 Andrew Jackson Finley 2 Henry Graff),
Dennie Uria (James William Myers).
From http://www.geni.com/people/Johann-Gottfried-Stempel/6000000000039420417 Dr. Peter Stempel, The Name Stempel in the Palatinate, Researching the Stempel Family, published 1993 by the author in Altrip, Germany. Forty-three pages, in German. Bruce Stemple sent a copy to Mary J. Riter in the summer of 1998 she then translated:
Our first glimpse of Godfrey STEMPLE in America comes about 17 years after the family’s arrival in Philadelphia. He is already married, probably to Margaret, when on May 19, 1754, the Rev. John Casper STOEVER lists Godfrey and his wife as sponsors at the baptism of Catarina Elisabetha HAFFNER in Bethel Twp, Berks County. Although we have found no record of their marriage, Godfrey and Margaret were probably married in Pennsylvania in early 1754. Their marriage lasted about 42 years and was blessed with 10 children – 7 daughters and 3 sons.
On April 2, 1755, Godfridt STEMBEL was issued a warrant for 50 acres in Bethel Twp, Berks County, PA. Godfrey was then 28 years of age. The land was to be surveyed and Godfrey was to fulfill the purchase agreement within 6 months. However, there is no record of a survey, nor was the land warrant returned. Either Godfrey changed his mind or found a better location to farm.
Because baptism records have been found for only 6 of Godfrey and Margaret’s 10 known children, speculative birth dates have been assigned to the remaining 4 children, so the following birth order may not be correct. Changes should be made as new information is found. The list below somewhat follows the order in which Margaret named her children in her will.
- Christina/Christianna, b. ca. 1755, probably in Berks County, PA
- Barbara, b. ca. 1757 in PA, either in Berks County or possibly in Lancaster/now Lebanon County.
- Rosina, b. 1 Jun 1759, bp 24 Jun 1759 at Lebanon, PA.
- Susanna, b. ca. 1761, probably near Lebanon, PA
- John “David,” b. — Feb 1763, bp 20 Feb 1763 at Lebanon
- Eva “Catharina,” b. Jan 1766, bp 26 Feb 1766 at Lebanon
- Eve, b. ca. 1769, probably in PA, but possibly in Washington County, MD
- Martin S., b. 3 Feb 1772, bp 19 Apr 1772 near Hagerstown, Washington County, MD
- Anna Maria “Polly,” b. 10 Sep 1774, bp 2 Nov 1774 near Hagerstown, Washington County, MD
- John, b. 7 Nov 1776, bp 2 Feb 1777 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, MD
According to the above baptism records, sometime after February 1766 but before April 1772, Godfrey moved his family south and west from Pennsylvania to Maryland, settling in an area west of Elisabethtown/now Hagerstown, in Washington County, Maryland.
Other than farming, we have no further information as to another occupation or trade Godfrey may have pursued. However, he must have been successful in his endeavors because in 1787 he was able to purchase 1,000 acres of land in that part of Virginia which is now West Virginia.
GODFREY STEMPLE’S REVOLUTIONARY WAR SERVICE
On 30 Dec 1776, Godfrey is identified as being a member of the Committee of Observation in Maryland. The duty of the Committee members was to solicit help [money and supplies] for the revolution. Reference to Godfrey’s military service can be found in the book by BRUMBAUGH & HEDGES, Revolutionary Records of Maryland, Pt. 1, p. 19. On Henry SCHNEBLEY’s return of November 22, 1778, Godfrey STEMPLE of Washington County, Maryland, took the Patriot’s Oath of Fidelity & Support, which had been created by an act of Congress on October 21, 1776.
By virtue of the above Revolutionary War service, Godfrey’s descendants are eligible for membership in the DAR [National #325,239] and the SAR.
THE MOVE TO VIRGINIA
On March 14, 1787, Godfrey STEMPLE of Washington County, MD, for £333.6.8 Maryland money, purchased 1,000 acres of land between the headwaters of the Yohogania and Cheat Rivers, in and around what is now the community of Aurora, West Virginia. The original warrant is in the possession of STEMPLE descendants still living in the area. Godfrey and his family were among the first settlers in the area, migrating across the mountains from Hagerstown with a few other German families in 1789. His arrival in the community is documented on the first page of the original church register [publ. 1956 as The Aurora Documents]. In it, he is identified as “Reformed.” Founder John Stough named Salem on March 24, 1787 which later became known as: Mount Carmel, German Settlement, West Union, and finally Aurora, West Virginia. Information from page 1 of the “The Aurora Documents.”
Although Godfrey owned land in Virginia/now West Virginia, he must have traveled back and forth between that property and his old home in Washington County, MD. Information from Lorin SNYDER from (Washington) MD Deed Book G-312: “Sale recorded 1 Feb 1791 of 1 bay horse with a blaze face by the name of Starling from John SAUNDERS of Washington County, MD, to Godfried STEMPLE, of the same, in consideration of the sum of £5. Witnesses: Hanson BRISCOE, Benjamin C A WOOD.”
At the time of its settlement in 1787, the community was named “Salem” meaning ‘peace’ by the Rev. STAUCH. About 1800, its name was changed to “Mount Carmel,” and sometime before 1860 it became “German Settlement.” Sometime later the name changed again to “West Union,” and finally to “Aurora,” its present name. It is located in that part of Preston County which was Monongalia County until 1818.
Aurora and the original STEMPLE land is located atop a large, high plateau which drops down gently to the north in the direction of Terra Alta. On the south and west, the plateau is surrounded by deep ravines. The area is called Stemple Ridge. The land seems fertile and some acreage is planted with corn and various grains. The greater part of the plateau is pastureland where cattle munch contentedly on thick grass – a delightful pastoral scene.
A copy of Godfrey’s will, written on 3 March 1794, can be found in the DAR Library in Washington DC. [Another copy is reportedly filed in Morgantown (Monongalia) WV.] The Preston County courthouse burned in 1869 and the original records were lost, so it is not surprising that Godfrey’s will is not included in the county Will Books. However, his estate, valued at £141.9.6, was settled on 9 Apr 1798 and is recorded in Vol. 1, pp 117-118 of Monongalia Probate records. The will was said to be recorded on 10 Apr 1798, possibly at the same time as the estate settlement. It is apparent that Godfrey died sometime between March 1794 when he wrote his will and December 1796 when his executors sold part of his land. In his will, Godfrey devises to his wife Margaret, to his 3 sons, David, Martin and John, and to his 7 daughters, eldest Christianna, Barbara, Catherine, Rosina, Susanna, Eve, and the youngest Annamary. He also names his friend Abraham WOTRING and his eldest son David as co-executors.
Godfrey was between 67 and 69 years of age at the time of his death. He and Margaret are buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, which is located on a hill in what is now Dale STEMPLE’s farm. This was the original cemetery where all early burials were made. The farm and cemetery are located on the west side of the road to Terra Alta, about 1/3 miles north of Highway 50. With the exception of 2 new monuments, most of the old headstones have disappeared and the remaining ones are broken and unreadable. A new military headstone marks the grave of Thomas RINEHART, commemorating his Revolutionary War service. Jay F. STEMPLE has also placed a large granite monument in the cemetery which is dedicated to the pioneers who were buried there “from 1787 through 1845.” The cemetery is unfenced so cattle and deer may graze around the stones to keep the cemetery from becoming overgrown.
CHRISTENING: Protestant Reformed Church
BURIAL: Pioneer Cemetery located on a hill on what is now Dale Stemple’s farm & the original cemetery where all early burials were made. The farm & cemetery are located on the west side of the road to Terra Alta, about 1/3 miles north of Highway 50.
- Here is the Stemple Creek Ranch website, and the Stemple Creek Ranch Facebook Page.
- The 1,000 acre Finley Ranch was just to the north of Stemple’s in Sonoma County. The Finley Family History Database is maintained in part by Carmen J. Finley, Ph.D., C.G.