Reverend Johann Kaspar Stoever, I

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Reverend Johann Kaspar Stoever, I

Also Known As: "Johann Kaspar Stover", "John Caspar Augustine Stoever"
Birthdate: (54)
Birthplace: Frankenberg, Upper Hessen-Nassau Province, Preuben, Germany
Death: 1738 (53)
at Sea, returning from England (Unknown sickness)
Place of Burial: Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Dietrich Stoever and Magdalena Stoever
Husband of Gertraudt Anna Stoever
Father of Rev. John Caspar Stoever; Anna Elisabetha Catherine Stoever; Johann Michael Stoever; Maria Katherina STOEVER; Eva Christine Stober and 6 others
Brother of Andreas (1686-1695) Stoever; Anna Katharina Stoever; Johann Henrich Stoever; Christina Stoever; Katharina Stoever and 3 others

Occupation: Reverand, pastor Of the Hebron Church founded by the 1717 Germanna Colony, Lutheran educator and pastor
Managed by: Tobias Rachor (C)
Last Updated:

About Reverend Johann Kaspar Stoever, I

When Rev. John Caspar Stoever started his work in the Robinson River Valley, Spotswood had been gone from Williamsburg for more than ten years so could hardly have licensed Stoever. In addition, none of the ministers were licensed by the colony.

The Rev. Johan Stoever, Sr. died in 1738/39 at sea returning to the Virginia Colony in America where his family resided. His residence was shown as Spotsylvania, VA.

From "German Lutheran and Reformed Churches in the Pennsylvania Field 1717-1793," Vol. 1, by Charles Glatfelter:

JOHN CASPER STOEVER the elder. Lutheran. Born 1685 at Frankenberg, Hesse. Was a schoolmaster. Was married and had at least two children: John Casper the younger and Elizabeth Catherine. Arrived in Philadelphia September 11, 1728, accompanied by his son. After one signature to the required oaths, there is the abbreviation "Miss.," while after the other there is "S.S. Theol. Stud."

Where the elder Stoever spent the next four years is still a mystery. He may not have stayed in Pennsylvania for very long. Probably spent some time in the German settlement at New Bern, North Carolina. It is certain that his second wife, Maria Magdalena, had lived in North Carolina. Early in 1733 received a call from the Hebron church, in Madison county, Virginia. Was ordained on April 8, 1733, together with his son, at Providence, Montgomery county, PA, by John Christian Schulz.

Returned to Virginia and began to prepare for life in a parish. In March 1734 made an agreement with his estranged wife by which she promised to leave North Carolina and come, with their infant son, to live in Virginia. In turn, he promised to support her adequately and, after making some provision for the children of his first wife, to make her and her children sole heirs of his estate.

Pastor and people soon concluded that they needed outside help if they were to build a church and a school, and if they were to be able to support their own pastor while still paying taxes to help maintain the established Anglican church. They decided that Stoever and two laymen should go to Europe seeking funds. Obtained a letter of recommendation from Governor William Gooch on Sept. 18, 1734, and soon thereafter departed. In England and on the Continent secured contributions in the form of money, books, and communion vessels, all possibly worth as much as 3000 pounds. Also persuaded George Samuel Klug, a theological student, to accept a call as Stoever's assistant. This was the most successful of the three efforts undertaken about this time by German church people in the Pennsylvania field to solicit help from European sources (the others being those led by the Reformed George Michael Weiss and the Lutheran Christian Schulz).

One of the laymen returned to Virginia, but the other remained in Europe while Stoever studied theology with a distant relative, John Philip Fresenius. "After finishing his collection trip," the latter wrote some years later, "he came to my house at Darmstadt, said that he keenly felt his want of better information in doctrinal and practical theology, and requested me to keep him during the winter and instruct him in those branches in which he was deficient. I gladly acceded to his request. He was a close student, and learned a good deal." (Quoted in Lutheran Church Review 12, 1893: 187-188)

Stoever began the return voyage early in 1739, but died at sea. His will was probated at Philadelphia March 20, 1739 and later also in Orange county, VA. He named his son and namesake executor, giving him detailed instructions for fair disposition of the gifts collected in Europe. He also expressed the hope that if the Hebron congregation called his son to be its pastor, he would accept.

Teacher at Annweiler on eastern slope of Haardt Moutains in Bavaria.

Studied theology.

He was born in the Upper provinve og the electoate of Heesin province of Prussia city of Frankenberg of the Eder.

Came to America in 1728 on James Goodwill ship. Landed at the Port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 11 Sep. 1728.

He was a pioneer missionary in Pennsylvania. He died after his return trip from a tour of Europe in the interest of his school.

Listed in East Hanover Township Lancaster county Pennslyvania.


1. Mrs. Walter A. Rumbarger & Mrs. John L. Merkling, Christain Rumbarger Descendants and Ancestors, chart 1967. 1930-1967 Hand written chart - 35" inches wide and 12.5 feet long. Researched and complied by the above. Genevieve (MC Ginnis) Rumbarger RR#1 Box 70 Farmersburg, Ohio and Meneve L. (Rumbarger) Merkling Roegan Tr. Momma, Wis. 53716.

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Reverend Johann Kaspar Stoever, I's Timeline

January 13, 1684
Frankenberg, Upper Hessen-Nassau Province, Preuben, Germany
December 21, 1707
Age 23
Wermelskirchen, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Age 25
Remscheid, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland
Age 27
Age 29
Annweiler, Baden, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
November 26, 1717
Age 33
Annweiler, Bayern, Palatinate, Germany
April 13, 1722
Age 38
Annweiler, Bayern, Palatinate, Germany
June 27, 1724
Age 40
Annweiler, Bayern, Palatinate, Germany
September 23, 1724
Age 40
Staffort, Karlsruhe, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany