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Submitted by Sue Douglas


This is an account of the 1911 BERKEBILE family reunion held in Franklin, Pennsylvania that was probably sent out as a newsletter to family members. I have tried to copy the newsletter exactly as it is printed with spelling errors, punctuation errors and incomplete sentences. I have added corrections to obvious typos in parenthesis and also have added corrections or questioned the spelling of names in parenthesis. However, I suspect that other researchers will discover some mispelled names in the original document. I put the names of those who attended the reunion in list order rather than the large cumbersome paragraph format contained in the original newsletter.

The family history, as stated in the newsletter, should not be taken as fact but simply viewed as what the family believed to be true in 1911. The claim of direct descendency from Martha Custis WASHINGTON is not true although a relationship appears to exist.

I hope that this provides some clues to other researchers since dozens of surnames are mentioned.

--Sue Stump Douglas--

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"Hundreds Gather From Far and Near at the BERKIBILE Reunion"

Annual event attended by many visitors from Ohio points, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Generations spend pleasant day at Farm of Henry CRUM.

History of the Family: Printed August 19, 1911

Desendants of the second, third, fourth and fifth generations of George BERKEBILE, one of the pioneer residents of Cambria County, met Saturday in their third annual reunion at hte(the) farm of Henry CRUM in Conemaugh township. The outing was attended by about 200 members of the family and friends, who spent a happy day together. The weather was ideal and the reunion, marked by an elaborate dinner and an interesting program was a pronounced success.

The reunionists assembled early in the morning and spent several hours getting acquainted. Members of the third generation who are first cousins, formed the major portion of the crowd. Most of them were accompanied by their families. Baseball and various sports were indulged in by the younger element, while the older people were content to sit in the shade of the beautiful orchard at the CRUM farm.

At noon an elaborate dinner was served, long tables having been laid outdoors. During the afternoon a brief business session was held, when the old officers were re-elected as follows: President, the Rev. David G. BERKEBILE of Delta, Ohio: Vice President, Samuel BERKEBILE of Delta, Ohio: Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. Sadie J. SCHAMP of Toledo, Ohio: Historian, Miss Kathryn SCHAMP of Toledo, Ohio: It was decided to hold the reunion next year at the farm of Abram BERKEBILE in Fulton County, Ohio. This is the old homestead of Jonathan BERKEBILE, a member of the second generation.

The Program of the afternoon included singing by the audience, prayer, an address by J. E. HERSHBERGER and a historical account of the family. George BERKEBILE farm. Mrs. Orum (typo, should be CRUM) is a grand daughter of the progenitor of the family. The first reunion in September 1909 was held in the home of the Rev. David BERKEBILE of Delta, Ohio, while last years affair took place at the home of Lavan BERKEBILE at Swanton, Ohio.

The oldest person at Saturday's reunion was Mrs. Isabel SONS (spelled SONES in other family accounts) of Franklin, who is in her 86th year. She is a daughter of George BERKEBILE and one of several surviving children. The others who attended the reunion Saturday were Joseph BERKEBILE of Pittsburg, Mrs. Julia LAYMAN of Richland township, Mrs Susan FYOCK of Conemaugh. Aaron BERKEBILE of Kansas and Lavan BERKEBILE of Ohio were unable to be present. Five children of George BERKEBILE are dead. The majority of the crowd at Saturday's affair was composed of descendants of the Mesdames SONS (SONES), LAYMAN and FYOCK and George BERKEBILE.

The following is a scrap of the family history taken from the paper read by Ray BERKEBILE:

History of the BERKEBILE family; A definite history of the BERKEYBILE family, as the name was then spelled, cannot at present be traced to an earlier date than 1790, in which year Jacob BERKEYBILE moved westward from Lancaster county to Berlin, this state. However we are reasonably certain that our forefathers migrated from Germany. Our forefather was probably some rugged mountaineer, as the first part of the name indicates, "Berg" means mountain and the name originated from our forefathers abode on the summit of some lofty peak. The remainder of the name has been so changed that we cannot decipher a definite meaning.

Jacob BERKEYBILE married Catherine BAKER, through whom we are made heirs to the vast BAKER estate, which is at present in litigation. To them were born the following children: William, Jacob, George, John, Joseph, Polly, Betsy and Susan. A complete record of all these children cannot at present be obtained.

Descendants of Martha WASHINGTON:

George, of whom we are descendants, was born Oct. 27, 1802 and was united in marriage to Susanna CUSTER, born Jan. 10, 1803. She was a descendant of Martha Custis WASHINGTON and was a relative of the famous Gen. CUSTER, who was massacred by the Indians.

They settled on a farm near Johnstown, Penn. To them were born 13 children, the first having died in infancy. The remainder were: Isabel, born June 27, 1826; Katie, born Dec. 13 1828; Jonathan, born Dec. 17, 1830; Joseph, born Aug.wo(typo), 1832; Richard, born May 14, 1833; Aaron, born Oct. 22, 1834; Levan (Lavan?), born Sept. 27, 1836; Mary, born May 6, 1838; David, born Oct. 13, 1839; Susanna, born March 9, 1841; Julian, born July 18, 1843; George born March 2, 1846.

Those who have passed away are Katie, Jonathan, Richard, Mary and David who died July 29, 1910.

Isabel Married Samuel SONS (SONES). Children were Susan, Aaron, Jacob, Julian, Samuel, Amanda and Belle.

Jonathan married Catherine STUTZMAN. Children were Abraham, George W., Samuel, Jacob, Sarah Jane and Amanda.

Joseph married Julia ARTHUR. Children are Abbie and Ella.

Richard married Elizabeth HORNER. Children are Sarah Hane (Jane?, probably a typo), John Henry and a daughter who died in infancy.

By his second marriage to Magdalena FOLLMER there were five children; Minerva, John Henry, Elizabeth, William and Magdalena. After the death of Magdalena he married Mrs. Lurena LYNCH, TROXEL.

Levan married Mary FARNER. To them were born 12 children. The first died in infancy, then followed Elmer, Ella, Elsa, Joseph, Chauncey, Aaron, Alonzo, Albert, Charles, Frank and Oma.

Mary Ann first married Joseph STINEMAN. Children are William, Bertha, Katie and Georga.

David married Sarah STUTZMAN. Children are Ida, John, Francois, Laura, Sarah Jane, Stephen, David and Clarence, Leroy.

Susana married Jacob FYOCK. Children are Ida, Clara, Nellie, John, George, Richard and Julia.

Juliana married John LAYMAN. Children are Ella, Etta, James, John, Annie and Rosa.

George married Virgina ALEXANDER. Children are Richard, Annie, Corda, Bessie and Crawford.

BERKEBILES were farmers

The chief occupation of our family has been farming. The following three of the generation just mentioned were also ministers, Richard, Aaron and David. It is hardly necessary to mention that the members are temperate, honest and industrias and I am sure that our distinguished ex-president and statesman Theodore ROOSEVELT, would class them as "desirable citizens."

They have gradually moved westward and at present members can be found as far west as Denver, Col.

Many Here From a Distance;

Among the members of the clan from a distance who attended the reunion were Mr. & Mrs. Samuel BERKEBILE and sons, Ray and Glen of Delta, Ohio., who came overland in a touring car and who will visit in this section for a few days. Mr. & Mrs Alonzo BERKEBILE, Mr. & Mrs. Elmer BERKEBILE and son Stanley, and Mr. & Mrs Joseph BERKEBILE and daughter Genevieve of Swanton, Ohio; Mr. & Mrs. J. W. SCHAMP of Toledo, Ohio, and Joseph BERKEBILE of Pittsburg. The following is the list of others in attendance:

Mr. & Mrs. R. F. BERKEBILE,
Marguarite BERKEBILE,
Bessie Vale BERKEBILE,
Crawford, Hilda, Homer, Howard, Merle, Myrtle Channing, N.F, Emanuel, Herman and Jennie BERKEBILE.
Charles and Lewis BOLWIN,
Fred P. COBAUGH, Mrs. Annie COBAUGH, Mildred, Gertrude and Glen COBAUGH, P.S., Sr.,
Mary A., Edith, Lester, Myrtle and Alverta COY.
Mr. & Mrs. Henry CRUM,
John, Howard and Arvilla CRUM,
Philip E. CUSTER,
J. E. and Nannie FOUST,
George W. & Bessie FIELD
Edna, John W, Emma A., Emmert J., George B., John F., Annie S., Fred, Ida, Henry Susan and John FYOCK,
Mrs. Fannie M. B. FOUST,
Mr. Mrs., J. E. FYOCK,
Jacob B., Robert, Margaret, Charles, Kenneth, Herman and David FYOCK.
Mary A. FIELD,
Emma and Violet FITE,
Mrs. Richard FYOCK,
Roy, Mabel, Marguerite and John FYOCK,
Glen and Rose GRAMLING
Daniel GOOD,
George I. and Lester RIBLET,
Mr. & Mrs E. Lee GRIFFITH,
Hazel and Agnes GRIFFIN,
Mr. & Mrs J. A. and Bessie HIXON,
J. E., Annie WALTER,
June and Stanley HERSHBERGER,
Barbara and Cornelius HEINZ,
Emory, Homer, Earl, Harry and Katie KEIPER,
Mrs. Elmer KEIPER,
Vera, Lillie, Clarence and Kenneth KEIPER,
HarryL., Annie L., Jean B., Zelma, Ruth M., Chester W., and Joseph C. LOTZ,
Mr & Mrs John B. LAYMAN,
Annie LINK,
Emory J., Rosa B., Evelyn and Donald MURPHY,
Dennis, Corda E., Walter W., Percy S., Helen R. and Marie A. MCGOUGH,
J. E. Nnd(typo, and) Elsie ROCASSER,
Sabrina, David C. and Jacob D. RIBBLET,
Garnet SONS (SONES),
Violet and Everett SMITH,
Belle STUMP,
A. F. and Kathryn STUTZMAN,
A. F. and Kathryn STUTZMAN,
Zenobia and Mrs Mancill SMITH,
Charles D., Julia, Walter and Melvin WERTZ,
Mrs. R. E. WILLS,
Mrs. A. J. WILLET,
John, Dane and Ralph WILLETT,
Mr and Mrs John WALLACE and Mary WALLACE

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