History and Biography of John Flinchbaugh (Updated 12/13/17)
John Flinchbaugh is the second son of Adam Flinchbaugh and Magdalena Seig, he was born May 1, 1771 in York County, PA and baptized June 9, 1771 at Blymire’s Church. As mentioned on the page about his father Adam, I believe John is quite often mistaken with his older brother John Adam, who was born in 1769. His father’s will states that he had 5 children living when it was written in early 1819, and it mentions his 4 daughters numerous times. Therefore, only one son was living in 1819 when Adam wrote his will.
With that being said, all evidence points to John being the one who married Magdalena Blymire. I can’t find census records for an Adam Flinchbaugh (in York County or anywhere in the United States) that would match this birth date. All the birth records at Blymire’s for the children of John and Magdalena list his name as John, not Adam. The will for John Flinchbaugh in 1819 lists his wife as Magdalena and mentions the children who are listed in the Blymire’s church records. Also, John Flinchbaugh spoke to the court in reference to the estate of Christian Blymire, his father in law. Finally, the York County History Center (formerly York County Historical Society) has a translation of the will of their father Adam, and it only lists 1 son named Hans (John), no mention of Adam. Based on this information, it appears John Adam born in 1769 probably died in childhood, and almost certainly died before he could get married and have children since he was not mentioned in his father’s will nor are any children of him mentioned either.
Before John married Magdalena Blymire, he was apparently married to someone else. After his death, his Orphans Court records mention that he has one son (John) yet living, by a former wife. There is a baptismal record at Christ Lutheran Church of York for John Flemschbach, son of John and Anna Catharina, born September 13, 1794 and baptized December 18, 1794. While it. While this isn’t definitive proof of who John’s first wife was, it seems very likely. There is only one other John Flinchbaugh that could be the father of John who was born in 1794, and that would be the son of Martin Flinchbaugh. Martin Flinchbaugh had a son named John born on January 24, 1770 and baptized at Blymire’s Church. However, Martin’s Orphan Court records in 1807 make no mention of a son named John nor does it mention any grandchildren as heirs because their father was deceased, the Orphans Court records list Martin’s oldest son as Martin. It appears to me that Martin’s son John died before he reached adulthood and had no offspring.
In regards to John’s first wife Catherina, it appears her maiden name was Catherina Waldman. The sponsor to their son was Anna Maria Waldman. While this isn’t enough information to go on, there is a newspaper record in 1795 (which isn’t long after their son was born) that John took out an ad in the paper warning people “not to lend credit to Catherina Waltman (Catherina Flinchbaugh) in his name as he will not be responsible for it”. Apparently they didn’t stay together long, but it isn’t clear if they ever got a divorce. When John’s estate record refers to Magdalena Blymire, it says “leaving a person reputed to be his wife”, which is a phrase I haven’t seen in any other estate records. It makes me wonder if Magdalena Blymire was a common law wife since John the first marriage may not have been officially over.
For the son of John and Catherina, a John Flinchbaugh shows up in the Erie County, NY area in the 1810’s and lives there his entire life. The 1850 census estimates his date of birth around 1794 and states that he was born in Pennsylvania. In searching through census records, there does not appear to be any other Flinchbaugh’s (or common variant spellings) listed in either Pennsylvania or New York, except for the one’s we know about living in York County, PA. While we may never know for sure, it appears based on the circumstantial evidence that this John may very well be the oldest son of John Flinchbaugh.
As previously mentioned, John then married Magdalena Blymire, daughter of Christian Blymire and Maria Elizabeth Geesey. Magdalena was born on November 1, 1771 in York County, PA. Orphans Court records for John indicate that he left a wife “by whom he had seven children, reputedly legitimate, some of whom are minors”. Another Orphans Court record appoints a guardian for the six minor children, as follows:
- Lydia – Over 14 – John Householder appointed Guardian
- Jacob – Over 14 – Frederick Flinchbaugh appointed Guardian
- John – Under 14 – Adam Flinchbaugh appointed Guardian
- Jonathan – Under 14 – Henry Geesey appointed Guardian
- Sally – Under 14 – Anthony Knisely appointed Guardian
- Catherine – Under 14 – Joseph Allison appointed Guardian
This leaves 1 child that is mentioned in the Orphans Court records that is unaccounted for, however Blymire Church records show 2 additional children for John and Magdalena. Elizabeth Flinchbaugh, daughter of John and wife, was born on January 18, 1798. Magdalena Flinchbaugh, daughter of John and wife was born on April 17, 1801. As mentioned earlier, evidence suggests this John Flinchbaugh was the only Flinchbaugh named John who could be the father of children born at this time. Census records help corroborate these being the children of John, as the 1800 census lists his household containing 1 female under 10 (Elizabeth) and the 1810 census lists 1 female 10-15 (Elizabeth) and 4 females under 10 (Magdalena, Lydia, Sally, Catherine). So the question becomes was it Elizabeth or Magdalena who was the unnamed child mentioned in the Orphans Court records? Or did the court records not mention one of them at all because they were married and out of the household or state? I believe it is the latter question that explains what happened to Elizabeth and Mary Magdalena. (This paragraph was updated on 12/13/17)
However, there is very strong evidence that both Elizabeth and Magdalena survived. There are records of an Elizabeth Flinchbaugh (her descendants spelled it either Flynchbough or Flinchbar) who was married to Solomon Reese and lived in Augusta County, VA. DNA matches with known descendants of Solomon and Elizabeth (who have no other known relatives to my mom and her cousin Alan) and my mother and her cousin Alan Laudermilch verify that this Elizabeth was almost certainly a descendant of a York County Flinchbaugh. I then contacted one of those descendants of Elizabeth and Solomon, Theodore Miller, and he graciously allowed me access to review his DNA matches. In reviewing those DNA matches, all of his Flinchbaugh DNA matches with people who were not descended from Solomon and Elizabeth were with people who were all descended from John Flinchbaugh & Magdalena Blymire’s known children. On the page titled Flinchbaugh Children of Unknown Parentage, based on process of elimination I determined this Elizabeth must be either the daughter of John & Magdalena or Frederick & Christine. He did not have any matches with people who were only descended from Frederick Flinchbaugh & Christine Pfister. Based on this DNA evidence, Elizabeth is almost certainly the daughter of John & Magdalena. (This paragraph was updated on 12/13/17)
I also believe Mary Magdalena that was born in 1801 is also the daughter of John & Magdalena. In 1933 when a recording was made of all the tombstones in York County, there is a record for Mary Geesey, wife of Jacob Geesey who was born on April 17, 1801 in the graveyard at Blymire’s Church. Death certificates for the children of Jacob Geesey list his spouses name as Mary (or Polly, which is a nickname for Mary). There is a record of Jacob Geesey marrying an Elizabeth Flinchbaugh on July 29, 1819 at Trinity Reformed Church in York, PA. However, all other records for his wife (like census records in 1850, 1860 and 1870 and death certificates) list her name as Mary. It is unclear if Jacob married an Elizabeth Flinchbaugh before he married Mary Flinchbaugh or if the name was recorded incorrectly in the church records (which is not uncommon). Baptism records only listed her name as Magdalena, but it is very likely her full baptismal name was Maria Magdalena, which as my cousin Alan Laudermilch pointed out to me that nearly every Magdalena baptism he has seen used Maria as their saint’s name. Clearly, her parents wanted Magdalena to be her “call” name, but she wouldn’t be the first woman who has decided to use her saint’s name instead of her call name when she reached adulthood. And, if she didn’t have a sister who was given Maria as her call name (which she did not and is really unusual in itself) , there would be little reason not to use Mary as her first name. Interestingly, the Theodore Miller that I mentioned in the previous paragraph as a descendant of Elizabeth Flinchbaugh and Solomon Reese had a strong DNA match with someone who was a descendant of Mary Flinchbaugh and Jacob Geesey, pretty much confirming that Elizabeth and Mary were sisters and shared the same parents. (This paragraph was updated on 12/13/17)
In regards to their sons John and Jonathan, nothing further is definitively known. The 1810 census only shows 1 male under age 10 (Jacob) in John’s household, indicating that John and Jonathan were born in 1810 or later. The 1840 census does show a Jonathan Flinchbach, between the age of 30-39 living in Hopewell Township, but nothing further. The 1850 census shows a John Flinchbaugh, age 40, living in Conoy Township with a wife named Elizabeth and son Jacob, but nothing further for them either. Either these individuals “passed away” and their spouses re-married or they moved out of state and census takers in a different part of the country spelled the unique last name very differently
While we know that John died in 1819 based on all his Orphans Court records, it is not known when his wife Magdalena passed away. We do know that she lived until at least 1850, that is because she appears in the 1850 census in the household of her daughter Sarah and son-in-law Michael Grim.
John Flinchbaugh born May 1, 1771 in York County, PA, baptized June 9, 1771 at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, Pa and died in 1819 in York County, PA. He married (first) Anna Christina. He then married Magdalena Blymire, daughter of Christian Blymire and Maria Elizabeth Geesey. She was born November 1, 1771 in York County, baptized December 1, 1771 at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, PA and died sometime after 1850.
Children of John Flinchbaugh and his wife Anna Catharina:
- John Flinchbaugh born September 13, 1794 and baptized December 18, 1794 at Christ Lutheran Church in York, York County, PA. (as discussed above, possibly the John Flinchbaugh who lived in Niagara (later Erie) County, NY, married Joanna Nichols from Vermont and died on July 4, 1866)
Children of John Flinchbaugh and his wife Magdalena Blymire:
- Elizabeth Flinchbaugh born January 18, 1798 in York County, PA (birth recorded at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, PA), died about 1838 in Augusta County, VA. She married Solomon Reese born about 1794, died November 25, 1861 in Upshur County, WV.
- Mary Magdalena Flinchbaugh born April 17, 1801 in York County, PA (birth recorded at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, PA), died December 27, 1870 in York County, PA and buried at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, PA. She married Jacob Geesey, born October 17, 1791 in York County, PA, died February 10, 1866 in York County, PA and buried at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, PA
- Jacob Flinchbaugh born May 27, 1803 in York County, PA, baptized July 10, 1803 at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, PA and died unknown. (This is probably the Jacob Flinchbaugh who shows up in the household of William Cross in the 1850 census. Often confused with the Jacob Flinchbaugh born in 1793, who is the son of Frederick Flinchbaugh)
- Lydia Flinchbaugh born March 25, 1805 in York County, PA, baptized May 19, 1805 at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, PA, died December 16, 1870 and buried at Winter Cemetery in Springfield Twp, York County, PA. She married John Tyson, son of Jacob Tyson and Elizabeth Lehman. He was born on June 19, 1799 in Windsor Twp, York County, PA, died June 26, 1846 in York County, Pa and buried at Winter Cemetery in Springfield Twp, York County, PA.
- Catherine Flinchbaugh born September 23, 1807 in York County, PA (birth recorded at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, PA), died February 28, 1872 in York County, PA and buried at Winterstown United Brethren Cemetery in Winterstown, York County, PA. She married Harman Lutz, son of John Lutz and Elizabeth “Polly” Miller. He was born January 29, 1804 in York County, died August 9, 1872 in York County and buried at Winterstown United Brethren Cemetery in Winterstown, York County, PA. (This is an educated guess, as the birth records for this Catherine do not list her parents, but we know John & Magdalena had their children baptized/recorded at Blymire’s. There is another Catherine Flinchbaugh who married Adam Trout, but her birth date in April 1809 is too close to the birth of John and Magdalena’s daughter Sarah/Sally who was born in December 1808)
- Sarah Flinchbaugh born December 12, 1808 in York County, PA (birth recorded at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, PA), died April 8, 1875 in York County, PA and buried at Shaffer Cemetery in North Hopewell Twp, York County, PA. She married Michael Grim born September 9, 1804 in York County, died January 7, 1887 in York County, PA and buried at Shaffer Cemetery in North Hopewell Twp, York County, PA.
- John Flinchbaugh
- Jonathan Flinchbaugh