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Jacob Gochenour (abt. 1717 - 1771)

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Jacob Gochenour
Born about in Alonzaville, VAmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [half]
Husband of — married before [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Fredrick, VAmap
Profile last modified | Created 2 Aug 2012
This page has been accessed 2,434 times.



This biography is a rough draft. It was auto-generated by a GEDCOM import and needs to be edited.


Date: 11 AUG 1732
Place: To America, Ship Samuel


Note: #H00218


  • WikiTree profile Gochenour-40 created through the import of my family 10.ged on Aug 1, 2012 by Lydia Vierson. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Lydia and others.


Note H00218Extracted from Appendix I of HISTORY OF THE DESCENDANTS OF JACOB GOCHENOUR, Robert Lee Evans [3512 North Third Street; Arlington, VA 22201], 1977, Carr Publishing Company, Inc., Boyce, VA 22620.
The Gochenour family is of Swiss ancestry. On the shores beautiful Lake Zurich is a small village named Gruningen an here was the ancestralhome of the Gochenours.
It is recorded in the "Ausbund" which is the original hymn book of the Mennonites, published in 1751, that one Jacob Gochnauer of Gruningen suffered persecution in 1654 because he adopted the faith of his choice, that is held to the tenets of- the Mennonite Church. He was imprisoned in a castle dungeon and his family was turned out in the fields. Mr. David T. Gochenour of Grinnell, Iowa, has one of these books written in the German language with "Jacob Gochenour" hand written on the fl - leaf. It belonged to our first Virginia Gochenour ancestor, Jacob Gochenour.
We next find evidence of the Gochenours living in the German Palatinate. This is an area along the Rhine River and in the Seventeenth century was divided into many small principalities.
The rulers of these provinces at various times allowed persecuted religious sects to live in their dominions subject to various discriminations.
In "The Mennonite Quarterly Review", Vol. 14, (1940), pat{ 15, is published a list of Mennonites permitted to live at Churpfalz Landen in 1685, and among the list is the name of "Heinrich Gochnaur" saying he had eight children. These Mennonites we permitted to live in this province on paying a fine to the ruler. The lists were made to show who hadpaid the fine.
Another list published in the Quarterly shows that the following Gochenours were living in this vicinity. Jacob Gochnauer and Hans Gochnauer. Later lists for 1738 and 1740 omit the names of Jacob and Hans Gochnauer. Possibly this Jacob Gochenour was one of the two emigrant JacobGochenours who came to America, landing at Philadelphia, Penn., one on the ship "Samuel" from Rotterdam, Holland arriving August 11, 1732,and the other in the ship "Harle" also from Rotterdam arriving Sept.
1, 1736.
Large numbers of the inhabitants of the Palatinate came to America inthis period. Often the rulers of the several German states revoked their consent or license to the religious dissenters mostly Mennonites, and began to persecute them. Also a series wars devastated the area causing the unhappy people to leave e country and come to America.
The large number of German-Swiss persons emigrating to Pennsylvania aroused fears in the Governor and Council of that state that these persons would make Pennsylvania a German state.
Consequently laws were passed requiring that the captain f each ship make a list of aliens (persons other than Englishmen) that he was bringing to America, that each person sign an oath acknowledging themselves to be subjects of the King of gland, and that the King was rightfully head of the English
These lists are of interest to us because they show that two Jacob Gochenours arrived in philadelphia in different years, 1732 and 1736. Jacob Gochnauer, Christian Gochnauer and Kathrina Gochnourin (the "in" on the end of a German name ~denotes a feminine person) appear as passengers on the ship "Samuels", Hugh Percy, Commander, which landed at Philadelphia on August 11, 1732. Their ages are given as 20, 17, and 18respectively and the ship sailed from Rotterdam, Holland. Another Jacob Kochenauer (obviously a variant of Gochenour) arrived in Philadelphia on the ship "Harle" Ralph Harle, master, from Rotterdam, Holland, on Sept. 1, 1736.
It is not presently known which or if either of these Jacob Gochenours are our ancestor who settled in Shenandoah County before June 15, 1754. Many persons of the name Gochenour live in Pennsylvania today. Some effort has been made attempting to establish the relationship between these Pennsylvania Gochenours and our Virginia Gochenours, but as yet all efforts have been in vain. It would appear probably that one ofthe above Jacob Gochenours was our ancestor.
Extracted from Chapter I of HISTORY OF THE DESCENDANTS OF JACOB GOCHENOUR, Robert Lee Evans [3512 North Third Street; Arlington, VA 22201],1977, Carr Publishing Company, Inc., Boyce, VA 22620. Appendix II hasnotes for another Gochenour family who settled near St. Luke, VA, theHenry Gochenour family.
JACOB GOCHENOUR (#233), our ancestor in the Shenandoah Valley, born ____, died in Nov. 1771, obtained a land grant of 400 acres four miles northwest of Woodstock, Virginia in what is now the community of Fairview, from Lord Fairfax on June 15, 1754. It was customary for a personto find some vacant land, live on it, have a survey made, and securea deed. We may assume that prior to Nov. 2, 1750 when the land surveywas made for Jacob Gochenour that he had settled on his land.
We do not know his wife's family name but Jacob's will gives her first name as Mary. They were married prior to 1743 when their first child was born.
1. Barbara Gochenour (#236), b. March 1, 1743
2. Elizabeth Gochenour (#237), b. July 21, 1745
3. Jacob Gochenour (#238), b. Sept. 10, 1747
4. Joseph Gochenour (#239), b. July 3, 1752
5. John (Hannis) Gochenour (#240), b. March 13, 1758
6. Anna (Annal) Gochenour (#241), b. June 3, 1763
7. Abraham Gochenour (#235), b.
The names and dates of birth are taken from pages of a Bible written in German in the possession of David T. Gochenour of Grinnell, Iowa.
The names "Hannis" and "Annal" are unfamiliar to us but they are Johnand Anna as will be described later. The Bible record fails to list the son Abraham, probably because he was born after the others were written and we do not know his date of birth. He is recited in his father's will made in 1771 and was born before that date.
Jacob Gochenour became the owner of a large farm of 550 acres by two land grants, one of 400 acres on June 15, 1754 (Northern Neck Book H, page 447, Virginia State Library, Richmond, VA) and one of 150 acres on Sept. 3, 1766 (Northern Neck Book N, page 175) adjoining the first.This land was located four miles northwest of Woodstock, VA, around present Fairview and extended for over a mile along the Back Road. After his death, in accordance with his will, the land was divided among three of his sons. (See map in HISTORY....)
In the Library of Congress at Washington, DC, there is a collection of manuscripts known as the "Washington Papers." Among these is a listof voters at an election held the 24th day of July 1758. Washington ran for a seat in the House of Burgess from Frederick County, VA, and was elected. Jacob Gochenour (Cochener), our ancestor, voted for Washington.
An election in Colonial Virginia was quite different from today's elections., There was only one polling or voting place for each county and .this was at the Courthouse. All voters appeared before the Sheriffwho had a clerk take down the Voter's name and for whom he was voting. Generally two persons were elected to represent the county. The candidates were seated nearby, usually at the opposite ends of a table with the Sheriff in the middle. The voter would walk to the side of the table opposite the Sheriff and announce publicly for whom he was voting. The candidates for whom he voted would then rise and express their thanks for his vote. The list of voters was in the order of their votes.
Washington was not at this election. He was on military duty inspecting frontier forts. His friend, Colonel Wood, sat for him and thanked the voters. Washington made an alphabetical list and it appears in the Washington papers in his hand writing. He did it apparently to more readily remember the names of the voters and to recall them afterwards when he met them. All successful politicians must make an effort to remember people's names and Washington was no exception.
These elections were boisterous affairs. The winners were expected totreat the voters with plenty of liquor. The historian Douglas S. Freeman in his Biography of George Washington says that Washington paid for a quart and half of liquor for each person that voted. Washington wrote: "I hope no exception was taken to any that voted against me but that all were alike treated and all had enough."
Jacob Gochenour was a Mennonite as evidenced by the following petition which he and Jacob Strickler presented to the House of Burgess in 1769 (Journals of the House of Burgess of Virginia, 1766-1769, page 256) of the proceedings of Tuesday, Nov. 14, 1769:
"A petition of Jacob Stricktor and Jacob Coughenour on Behalf
of themselves and their Protestant Brethren of the Sect
called Mennonists was presented to the House and read setting
forth that the Petitioners have retired to this Colony, in
the hopes of enjoying the free Exercise of their Religion and
are willing to contribute a proportionable part of their
Estates whenever the Exigencies of Government may require it,
and desirous in every other respect as far as they are able,
to promote the Public Good; but that they are forbidden by
the Dictates of Conscience to bear Arms; and therefor praying
that they may be exempt from the Penalties they are subject
to for declining military Duty. Ordered that the Petition be
referred to the Committee for Religion, and that they do
examine the Matter thereof, and report the same, with their
Opinion thereon to the House."
The Committee reported favorably on the petition and the Committee ofPropositions and Grievances were instructed to bring in a bill to that effect, but the bill did not become law for other bills were presented, after Jacob Gochenour had died, to the same effect.
From this we see that Jacob Gochenour was a leader in early Mennoniteactivity in Virginia. He was probably a minister of the denomination since at this period they worshipped in each other's houses and had nofull time ministers. Moreover his son Jacob Gochenour married Elizabeth Rhodes who was the daughter of a Mennonite preacher, John Rhodes.
It appears that exemption from military duty could be obtained by providing a substitute, the expense to be borne by an equitable assessment of the whole society (Mennonites or Quakers), Hening's Statutes, Vol. 9, page 345. No Gochenour appears in the Virginia Revolutionary soldier lists.
Another petition dated Dec. 10, 1785 to the General Assembly of Virginia, asking that Mennonites be exempted from military duties has seventy-four Mennonite signed names including Jacob Gochenour (#238), Joseph Gochenour (#239), John (Johannes) Gochenour (#240), and Abraham Gochenour (#235).
It is probable that some of Jacob Gochenours neighbors were Mennonites too. Mennonites were opposed to infant baptism and did not have their children baptized. In the Wood- stock Courthouse is a long list of infant baptisms with their parents running from 1773 to 1782. Jacob Gochenour's name is not there. Nor is Jacob Stover's name whose 425 acres adjoined Jacob's land on the south.
Nor is Peter Bowman's name whose land also adjoined Jacob's on the south. These families were neighbors and almost certainly Mennonites.
The names of some other neighbors do occur on the lists.
Matthias and Margt. Wilkins child Godfrey Wilkins was baptized Aug. 10, 1773. The Wilkins owned 400 acres on the north- east side of Jacob's land.. Also George and Christina Wisman had their child Magdalene baptized Nov. 4, 1773 and John and Catharine Wisman their child Catharine on May 15, 1774. These families were probably Lutherans since the lists are in Peter Muhlenburg's hand writing.
No Gochenour name appears in the lists of Shenandoah county Revolutionary militia published in "Revolutionary War Records of Virginia" by Gaius M. Brumbaugh. The lists omit all Mennonites and Quakers and henceall Gochenours were omitted.
The records of Frederick county at Winchester state that Jacob Gochenour (Gochenauer) and his son Jacob Jr. on April 10, 1769 bought various articles at the sale of Jacob Stover' 5 estate, Will Book 5, page 36. Jacob Stover was a neighbor of Jacob Gochenour and his land adjoined Jacob's on the side toward Woodstock. The Lutheran Church at Fairview lies on part of Jacob Stover's land.
Jacob Gochenour (Koughnawer) died between Nov. 30, 1771 when he made his will and March 4, 1772 when the will was probated in Winchester, Frederick County, VA, Will Book 4, page 157, states:
"This is a copy of a will made the 30th day of November; Anno 1771 byJacob Koughnawer as follows, In the name of God Amen, I Jacob Koughnawer of Frederick County in Virginia though weak in Body but sound in Memory blessed be to God make this my Last Will & Testament as follows 1st It is my Will that my son Joseph shall have the old Plantation as far as the Run which shall be the line the Value of it according to myown Estimation
Line 2380 from GEDCOM File not recognizable or too long:
NOTE "This is a copy of a will made the 30th day of November; shall be - 150 pounds now said Joseph is to pay yearly & every shall be- 150 pounds now said Joseph is to pay yearly & every
Line 2381 from GEDCOM File not recognizable or too long:
NOTE "This is a copy of a will made the 30th day of November; year to his Mother 2 - 10 till she has received Fifty pounds & year to his Mother 2 - 10 till she has received Fifty pounds & after said Fiftypounds are fully paid or if his Mother my wife should not live then he is Likewise to pay eight pounds yearly to the Rest of the Heirs until it is paid Farther is said Joseph to observe & pay every years to his Mother 15 Bushels of Wheat & 15 of Rye & 50 lbs of Pork & 5 lbs of Wool 2 pairs of Shoes & Keep one Cow & 1 Mare for her & a quarter of Flax and after my Wife dieth if the above mentioned fifty pounds what shall be left of them shall be equally divided amongst the Heirs Likewise is my son Joseph to the Plantation. further is my Will that my son John to have that part of the Plantation on the other side of the Run Valued Sixty pounds another piece of Land containing 150 Acres with the Maddows together above the Water Dam at the School House I give to my son Abraham (Valued Sixty pounds) further it is my will that if Anyof my sons should die in their youth that the Land of his should be valued & equally divided also my son Jacob shall give Right & Deeds to each one of his Brothers when demanded Concerning the Moveales out of them all my Just Debts & Costs are to be paid and out of them shall myWife have a cow & a Mare & her choice. the Rest Likewise is equally to be divided amongst the Heirs further my Wife Mary shall have every year two Rows of Apple Trees in the Orchard to her choice. This is my Last Will Testament & I do also appoint hereto my Wife Mary & Peter Hinstand as Executors. In Witness whereof I have set my hand the day andyear as above mentioned.
As also before
Witnesses Jacob Koughnawer Ulry Kesler
Benjamin Leaman
At a Court Continued and held for Frederick County March 4th, 1772 This Last Will & Testament of Jacob Koughnawer in German of which this English Translation was proved to be a True copy was Presented in Courtand the same being proved by the Oaths of Witnesses thereto is Ordered to be Recorded & upon the Motion of Mary Koughnawer & Peter Kinstand the Executors therein named who made oath according to Law Certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form they giving Security whereupon they together with Benjamin Lemen & Wolrick Teller their Securities entered into & acknowledged a Bond in the penalty of Two thousand pounds Conditioned for their due and faithful Administration of the said Estate.
By the Court J. A. Keith cc."
The Original will, written in the German language, is still on file in the loose papers at the Courthouse at Winchester and the name is written "Gochnauer" therein. The translator changed F the name to "Koughnawer." Jacob signed the will with a shaky "J.G." in German script indicating he knew how to write but was probably too ill to write a full signature.
Jacob Gochenour's (Couchanower) estate was appraised on April 21, 1772 by Rundle Bordon, Godfrey Wilken and George Mafies and contained the following:
4 horses
19 cattle
8 hogs
26 sheep
16 geese
a wind mill
a spinning wheel
2 plows
2 Bibles
8 other books including a large bound one valued at 1 pound
and sundry furniture and farm articles
It is apparent from the above that Jacob Gochenour was a man of meanswith a prosperous farm of 550 acres.
The inventory lists two Bibles. David T. Gochenour of Grinnel, Iowa,a descendant of Jacob, has pages of one of these Bibles which have the births of Jacob's children written in German thereon as will be given later. He also has a copy of the "Ausbund," a Mennonite hymn book with some Mennonite history in it. The flyleaf has "I Jacob Gochnauer bought this book" written thereon. Jacob was obviously a literate man since he owned ten books.
It is stated in the will that his son Abraham was to have land above the water dam "at the school house." This is one of the earliest references to a school in Shenandoah county that has been found and is further evidence of the literacy of our ancestor. The area at this time, 1771, still must have been largely wooded and required much manual labor to clear and cultivate, however a school house had been built and the children no doubt attended.
Under the law in Virginia in 1771 when his father died, the eldest son Jacob inherited all the land that his father owned.
This was true even though the father left a will directing as he did,that the land be divided among his other sons. Jacob (4), the eldest son, respected his father's wishes as set forth in the will and made deeds conveying the portions of his father's land to his brothers, John, Joseph and Abraham. These deeds are recorded at Woodstock in deeds Book E, pages 287, 291, and 293 and set forth their names as Kochinhour. The map shows the
Line 2470 from GEDCOM File not recognizable or too long:
NOTE Under the law in Virginia in 1771 when his father died, the CONTdivision, Joseph received 247- acres, Abraham two tracts of 98 division, Joseph received 247- acres, Abraham two tracts of 98 and 85 acres,and John two tracts of 52 and 67 acres, Joseph's land was in accord with the will but Abraham and John's deviated from the will.
The will did not specify any of his father's land to go to Jacob Jr.,the eldest son. This because Jacob had married Elizabeth Roads and hehad acquired 177 acres of land on the Shenandoah River by the marriage which she had bought before her marriage from her brother as related later.
It is not known today where on the 550 acres which stretched for overa mile on the Back Road around Fairview, VA, and which Jacob Gouchenour, the emigrant owned, the original Gochenour homestead was located. Jacob, the emigrant, in his will (1771) said "my son Joseph shall havethe old plantation as - as the Run." Joseph received this land, see the map. Also P. S. Rhodes, a surveyor who surveyed land for later Gochenours in this section, left a note that "Joseph received 247 acres now owned by S. B. Hepner." Hence the Hepner farm may have been the original Gochenour homestead. However Jacob's will may have used the term"old Plantation" to mean the 400 acres he received in his first grantto distinguish from the 150 acres he received by his second land grant twelve years later. If so, the original home stead could have been anywhere on the first grant of 400 acres.
Jacob Gochenour's 400 acres of land was surveyed by John Baylis on Oct. 2, 1750 though the land grant was dated June 15, 1754 The survey inthe Virginia State Library at Richmond, VA, has a peculiar mark between Jacob" and "Gochenour" which may mark the location of his home. If so, the original Jacob house was near or at The Hepner place.
Mr. P S. Rhodes in a letter to Miss Zula Gochenour of Maurertown, VA,written July 26, 1937 said: "I am inclined to believe the old house was first established at the present B.F.
Coffelt place at Fairview, which was the part that passed by the 67 A. tract to John G. from his elder brother Jacob.." This place is flowowned by Ernest Copp and his wife, and since an opinion by Mr. Rhodesis entitled to weight, this place could have been the original Gochenour homestead.
Another old house that may have been the original Gochenour homesteadis about an eighth of a mile west of the intersection of Back Road and Fairview roads toward the mountain. The original part of the house is thirty-eight feet by twenty-one feet six inches and is formed of huge logs, most of which are fourteen inches high and eight inches thickand some are twenty- eight feet long.The logs were hand hewed by adzeand until recently the cracks were filled with mud and straw mixture (replaced in 1972 with concrete). Fourteen logs high with notched corners, the log house has two floors. The floor joists for the second floor are logs resting in notches in opposite walls. A vertical row of logs divides the upper floor into two rooms. The first floor though now divided by partitions, apparently was originally one large room.
The floor boards of the upper story are wide and pegged by wooden pins to the floor joists. Also one door post appears to be original and it is pegged by wooden pins in the ends of the ad- jacent wall logs. Small wooden triangle chucks near the ends of the logs between the logshelp to align the logs vertically.
The log house was probably built before 1782 for the land tax recordsin Richmond have been searched (they start in 1782) and no record of any additional tax for this improvement is found. The house is on landthat Jacob's son Abraham possessed and the house would appear to havebeen built by our emigrant Jacob Gochenour who died in 1771 or 72 or by his son Abraham who married in 1782 and died in 1812. This may havebeen the original Gochenour homestead.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Jacob by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Jacob:

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Jacob is 20 degrees from Claude Monet, 19 degrees from Gigi Tanksley and 17 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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