Analyzation of John Bentz Hammes Work. Its living history, its sources
[in Reference to John Bentz Hamme's History of the Bentz Family

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This letter was posted by  me to the Bentz Mailing Group managed by Bryan Bentz as an analyzation of John Bentz Hamme's study of the Descendants of John Bentz presented itself here on line .  I place it here for anyone interested in the weaknesses and many stregnths of this in depth study.

  I am very interested that you have this information based on research by
  JOHN BENTZ HAMME , originally transcribed by the now dead grandmother of a
  woman (named Jane) who reached out to me early in Feb wishing to verify the
  info therein herself, with introduction that she was just now beginning a
  geneological pursuit. Jane had transcribed her grandmother's notes to send to
  me, this being an exact copy of what you have sent to the group. This woman,
  Jane, is one of three of us involved in recent and infrequent exchange
  regarding the Stair Line, William Henry Stair having married Mary Elizabeth
  Bentz in 1853. As an aside, Marlene...are you any where near Prospect Hill
  Cemetery? I have a favor to ask if so, and if it isn't too forward of me.

  I spent much time looking at this line as presented, and have found a few
  errors in it, but have found it yielded certainly some very useful and nicely
  detailed additional information. This line goes back to Johannes Bentz [died
  1778 Manchester Twp. , now West Manchester Township]   my 5th G Grandfather.
  The most intriguing information in this article that Jane transcribed is the
  mentioned existence of an "older brother" to Johannes Bentz, a brother whom
  John Bentz HAMME calls Michael, stating that the two brothers, Johannes and
  Michael Bentz, came together on the Ship Royal Judith from Rotterdam; oath
  of allegiance September 25,1732. You will note that the text you have sent
  states belief Johannes was from The Palatinate, but there is no source for
  this information and an obvious conjecture is being presented. I had
  previously been unaware of any knowledge or reference to a brother to my
  Johannes Bentz. Michael is worthy of research as he could tie in the lines of
  this email exchange group and the Johannes Bentz who is direct to both Jane
  and I through currently unknown progeny perhaps to be found regarding him.
  Unfortunately, mention of Michael Bentz is anecdotal and efforts to track him
  have been difficult; I have been unsuccesful at finding him at all apart
  from this cryptic but intriguing mention in the article currently under

  I studied in detail the position of the original writer John Bentz HAMME in
  the Bentz tree, and paid attention to his contemporaneous comments regarding
  current (1940s) architecture where former family residences stood. This
  caused me to believe that his work was done clearly as late as the 1940s but
  was not confined to that time period, and, knowing his birth year, allowed me
  to indulge the possibility that this effort was one he undertook from at
  least middle adulthood. Regardless of the later comments regarding the
  possible years of his work , based on his position on the tree we can
  evaluate the information he provides. I assume some of his research was
  based to some extent on historical/legal references and texts, obvious in the
  detail of his notations, but in absence of sources [unfortunately lacking
  except in anecdotal references] I feel he relied surely to some extent on his
  "living memory" and the "living memory" he gained from contemporaries
  intimate to his pursuit. I suspect that if John Bentz HAMME referred to
  texts apart from original data [original data appears to have been used as
  evidenced in deed notations-but he could perhaps have relied on secondary
  sources providing them] , then one text to which he likely referred was "A
  Biographical History of York County, Pennsylvania. n.p., 1886." as some
  discrepancies in data seem to lead me to that tome in which they can be
  found. This does not mean that the data in that source is in error, but that
  data therein is sometimes in minor conflict with data in "Evidences of the
  Bentz-Pentz Families in York County [PA] Before the Year 1850", which details
  some of the same information. The disrepancies indicate a possible use of "A
  Biog History" . The other possibility exists that there is error in
  transcription in either or both sources available to me, the third party , as
  both of these tomes are efforts I have accessed through online transcription.
  At any rate, other discrepancies in John Bentz HAMME's work occur further
  down the line, and I have no proof of the reason, but suspect that those
  errors involve well intentioned but faulty information provided by then
  living relatives, and/or unverified family lore similarly obtained.

  The original researcher John Bentz HAMME, as shown in this article you sent
  to the group, was born 8 Apr 1862 and was a "lifelong architect of note" .
  The text shows him to have been Born in Manchester Twp. and that he Married
  October 28,1891 to Minnie A KOHLER . His father was Alfred HAMME and His
  mother was Maria BENTZ {she born 5 Mar 1828-died 19 May 1912 and buried
  Prospect Hill} , daughter of John BENTZ and Magdalena BLESSING. We can assume
  this info regarding John Bentz HAMME and his immediate ascendancy is self
  referencing and can assume "living history source" with general certainty
  up a generation to his mother's own knowledge of her own parents.

  There is an interesting twist in regards to John Bentz HAMME's parents, as
  John Bentz HAMME's mother, Maria BENTZ, would not be of interest to many in
  this list at this time by virtue of her birth family despite her surname. It
  is the marriage of Maria BENTZ into the GENTZLER line which currently makes
  her interesting to many correspondants of this list. It is , however, because
  of the possibility present in Maria's BENTZ's line, which merges with my own
  direct, that I have interest in this email group at all, and it is this text
  you sent which provides the first evidence of such a link that I have
  encountered, paying my patience in teasing apart the lines relevant to those
  now reading this letter and furthering my suspicion that these two currently
  seperate Bentz families may in fact be related in other ways beyond this
  first coalescence of lines via marriage.

  The writer's father, Alfred HAMME, [that is John Bentz HAMME's father, Alfred
  HAMME] connects directly into the lines relevant to this Bentz Mailing as
  I've said. Alfred HAMME was born to John Frederick "Frederick" HAMME
  (1794-1861) and    Margaret Rebecca "Rebecca" GENTZLER (1808-1856) .
  Rebecca GENTZLER was daughter of Conrad GENTZLER (4 Oct 1777-28 Sep 1856/
  buried Wolf's Church Cem.) and his wife Barbara KESSLER ( 1779-1850) .
  This GENTZLER line, as I've alluded, is one I believe relevant to many
  interested in this exchange list being immediately collaterol . Rebecca
  GENTZLER is the daughter of Georgius Philippus (George Philip) GENTZLER
  (1744-1816, died Codorus Twp) and his wife Maria Magdalena LAU (born 1749) .
  This is certainly a line relevant to our host Bryan and all information on
  the details of George Philip GENTZLER and Maria Magdalena LAU is from Bryan
  who sources "The Descendants of Christian Lau", while Conrad GENTLZER and
  Barbara KESSLER are also in the info from Bryan, and sourced by him to
  Brøderbund WFT Vol. 7, Ed. 1, Tree #3244

  Maria BENTZ, the writer's mother [that is John Bentz HAMME'S mother, Maria
  BENTZ] ascends into my direct lines through her parent's Peter** ì[Hans
  Peter] [John Peter] [Johan Peter] BENTZ and Anna Maria**îMaryî HUMICKHAUSEN
  [AKA HUMICKHAUSEN/HUMRICHHAUSER/Humrichhauser/Humerichouse]. Maria BENTZ'S
  brother Michael is is my GGG Grandfather.

  It is in these further reaches of the tree that the article by John Bentz
  HAMME loses its solidity in particular regarding this line for me .

  Some of the errors could be transcription errors [note that transcription in
  the John Bentz Hamme article you have is two generational in regards to the
  original information as I have outlined above. First transcribed by Jane's
  grandmother, it was then transcribed by Jane]. Some of the errors though are
  in apparant conflict with harder data sources; In some cases the Harder Data
  sources are transcribed records of historical text, in particular, the
  records of Rev Lischy.

  John Bentz HAMME's mother was born in 1828 and thus assumedly knew her
  grandmother Mary Humickhausen Bentz who died 1842, while her gdfather BENTZ
  died before wife Mary Humickhausen Bentz and in 1823 . the information
  provided by John Bentz HAMME himself has to be questioned in these further
  reaches that must be considered dependant on the inherited living history he
  possessed in the absence of sources being neglected in the text, particularly
  in light of Rev Lischy's records which seem to dispute the ascendancy.

  The first (chronologically speaking) apparant but not confirmed error, better
  stated, the first discrepancy, appears in the upper reaches and is the line
  of ascent of Peter BENTZ married Anna Maria HUMRICHOUSE, the couple last
  mentioned. (please note that Humrichouse descendants vary in their spelling
  of the name in these reaches). Both Peter BENTZ and his wife Anna Maria
  HUMRICHHOUSE are buried in Quickel's Church Cem. One of Anna Maria's
  brother's married a Quickel gddtr to my direct Quickel forebears.

  Peter Bentz who married Humrichouse appears in many forms, even when the
  writer is the same (ie Rev Lischy).
  He is Johan Peter in his baptismal record/ Peter Benss In His Daughter
  Mariaís Marriage Record/Peter Pens in dtr Susannaís bapt record/ Hans Peter
  Benns In his Tombstone Inscription. Janeís notes call him John Peter Bentz
  with same data on birth, death (Jane is the grandaughter of the original
  transcriber of John Bentz HAMME's research and we can consider John Bentz
  HAMME the source for her entry-John Peter Bentz is an acceptable variant of
  the forms in which Peter Bentz's names appears in original sources, despite
  his never appearing exactly as John Peter Bentz therein).
  Peter Bentz appears to have died intestate, and the orphanís dockets give
  some information on his wife and progeny, while baptismal records mention a
  few others not found in the orphan's dockets.

  Rev Lischy shows that Peter BENTZ (married HUMICKHAUSEN) was son of
  Johannes BENTZ [born in 1707 (caution-unsourced notation on birth) , died
  1778 in Manchester Twp. , now West Manchester Township] and Johannes BENTZ' S
  wife Maria Magdalena (Surname unknown) . Jane's notes (based on John bentz
  Hamme's research) show Peter as son to John Michael Bentz, while I feel the
  relationship was sibling between Peter and John Michael and that Michael was
  not Peter's father giving deference to Lischy's records as I have interpreted
  them. Jane's notes show two marriages for Michael, the man she names as
  Peter's father and whom I show as Peter's brother, and that text is not clear
  as to which of the two wive's the original researcher felt responsible for
  Peter's birth, while neither wife is named Maria Magdalena or any near
  variant at all, and so disputes entirely the records of Rev Lischy who
  clearly names the mother as Maria Magdalena.

  I am including here the Descendant report for Ancestor Bentz, the apparant
  father of both the historically accurate Johannes BENTZ and the claimed
  Michael BENTZ named by John Bentz HAMME and said by him to have accompanied
  Johannes to America as the line appears in my tree and encompassing the lines
  shown by John Bentz HAMME where they are not in discrepancy with my own data.

  As you all know, This is very time consuming work and a work in constant
  progress. Although I am not at all certain this info is as interesting to
  you as it is to me, If the information does prove useful to anyone, and
  manages its way onto a data base, or is passed along, I would appreciate
  that you note your source for it as coming from me. This allows for the odd 6
  degree of seperation that occurs in our hobby . With diligent sourcing,
  information from one source that is passed along and comes back later will
  not appear as seperately searched or verified, and can allow for full
  evaluation. I spent alot of time last year tracking down stuff from several
  interested participants on one tediously difficult line, the content of which
  all came from one singular and unmentioned source while the details had been
  minutely mutated in the transmission among the correspondants. Needless to
  say, I wrongly assumed the data was in conflict with itself and spent undue
  work and time unravelling it to the unnamed, unknown and single original
  source all including myself had used, and that effort could have been avoided
  if the correspondants at that time had bothered to cite the data they were
  then wishing to evaluate. Should you wish the many pages of original sources
  to which the numbers here refer, let me know. I did not include them only
  because the email became overloaded when I tried to paste them.

Cynthia Swope

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