Johann Nicholas Bahner (1754 - 1824)

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Birthplace: Reichenbach, Germany
Death: Died in Northumberland, PA
Managed by: Susan Cornelius
Last Updated:

About Johann Nicholas Bahner

History of Our Ancestor

John Nicholas Bahner, the ancestor of the Bahner family in America, was born in the village of Reichenbach, Germany, about twenty-five miles from Cassel, January 18, 1754. He was baptized when he was six weeks old, and was confirmed as a full communicant member of the Reformed Church at the age of fourteen years.

Early in March 1776, at the age of twenty-two years, he left his home in Germany as a Hessian soldier, having been enrolled in the service of King George, the Third, of England, under a treaty made by that monarch with Frederick, the Second, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, to aid England in preventing its American Colonies against the incursions frequently mad upon them by the Indians, but discovered after they arrived here that they were to oppose the colonies themselves in their efforts to free themselves from British tyranny. It was, therefore, more against than with his will that our ancestor, by force of arms, resisted the establishment of these shores of the nation to which he later, and to the very end of his days, rendered the fullest allegiance and loyalty, becoming one of its most useful and patriotic citizens.

After a voyage of five months, from Bremerhaven down the North Sea, through the English Channel and across the Atlantic ocean, which had many hardships and privations connected with it, he landed on Staten Island, New York, during the month of August, 1776. He was actively engaged in the battles of Long Island, White Plains, and Washington Heights, during the following few weeks, in each of which the British, aided by the invincible Hessians, triumphed over the American troops. He was captured by Washington’s army at Trenton, New Jersey, December 26, 1776, and remained a prisoner in a camp on Mount Penn, at Reading, Pennsylvania, until a treaty of peace was declared between England and the American Colonies in 1783.

Remaining in this country of his own free choice, he first located as a laborer on a farm near Womelsdorf, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Later he resided near Fredericksburgh, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, where he was united in marriage with Margaret Stahr, who was born February 26, 1754. After a brief sojourn in Lebanon County, they settled on a tract of land owned by them near Gratz, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. They then moved to what is now Jordan Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania where they followed farming on the Bahner homestead to the end of their days.

The death of John Nicholas Bahner took place February 5, 1824, at the age of 70 years and 18 days. His wife, Margaret Stahr, died August 13, 1831 having reached the age of 77 years, 5 months and 17 days. They were buried in the cemetery adjoining Zion’s Reformed and Lutheran Church near Hickory Corners, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania where a suitable monument has lately been erected by their descendents to their memory. The original stones marking their graves for the past one hundred years, bearing interesting inscriptions in the German language, have been carefully preserved and will remain in their former positions for all coming time. John Nicholas and Margaret Stahr Bahner were the parents of five children, four sons and one daughter. Their names were: Jacob, Henry, Frederick, John and Maria.

It is interesting to note that many descendants of our common ancestor have changed the spelling of their name from the original German form, Bahner, which literally signifies “Pathmaker,” or “Pioneer” to Bohner, a more modern English form, thus frequently causing more or less confusion and misunderstanding. All of them, however, spring from the same ancestor, John Nicholas Bahner, whose memory we revere as a man of much moral worth and great excellency of Christian character, whose virtues we do well to emulate.

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Johann Nicholas Bahner's Timeline

1754
January 18, 1754
Reichenbach, Germany
1774
1774
Age 19
Near Womelsdorf, PA
1779
May 22, 1779
Age 25
Heidelberg, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA
1783
November 8, 1783
Age 29
Lebanon, PA, USA
1786
December 31, 1786
Age 32
Lykens, Dauphin, Pennsylvania, USA
1790
June 20, 1790
Age 36
Lykens, Dauphin, Pennsylvania, USA
1790
Age 35
Dauphin, Pennsylvania
1792
September 4, 1792
Age 38
Mahantango Valley, Dauphin, Pennsylvania, USA
1820
1820
Age 65
Upper Mahanoy, Northumberland, Pennsylvania, United States
1821
1821
Age 66
Lower Mahoney, Northumberland, PA