I am desended from War of 1812 Veteran Jacob Overmyer who was Capt. JGO youngest son born in 1778. This Jacob Overmyer was his cousin, the second son of Peter & Eva (Hennick) Overmyer. His father Peter having served as a young man in the Revolutionary War under his own father, Captain John George Overmyer. Jacob was born near Longstown (now New Berlin), Union Co. PA May 14, 1786 & came with his parents to Perry Co. Ohio in 1801. In 1812 he married Catharine Binckly (born in Union Co. PA Dec. 2, 1792 who had later moved to Sandusky Co) Jacob was a Luthern Democrate who later owned 160 acres in section 10 Sandusky Township in 1835. He died Oct. 11, 1849 and Catherine died May 7, 1851 (Muskalunge Cemetery) Children born: Elizabeth 1813, Jeremiah 1817, David 1821, John 1822, Benjamin Jackson 1825, Mary 1826, & Martin Van 1837 MANY of Jacob's Grandsons served in the U.S. Civil War! I can go on from here if you are interested in a certain lineage..
Additional Family Histories:
Family Pride: Generations of Service to God & Country Since 1751 , Obermayer - Overmyer
The Frontier Rangers -
In the time period from when Captain John Smith journeyed from Virginia up the Susquehanna River in 1608 to the Revolutionary War, Pennsylvania settlers were amidst the Indianâ€™s Homeland of the Six Nations which was made up of certain New York - Pennsylvania groups of Iroquoian Speech and the Algonkian, represented by the Delawares, Shawnees, and other tribes.
All areas that bordered upon Indian land maintained companies of Rangers to defend the frontier settlements. During the French & Indian War, Rangers distinguished themselves as scouts and lethal adversaries. The most famous being led by Major Robert Rogers of New Hampshire.
We find Captain John George Obermayer at the head of a company of volunteers in the Colonial Army assisting the British in making the continent the home of an English speaking people. This provided vital experience for the task that lie ahead in the Revolutionary War. (His first child, J. George Jr., was born while Indians were attacking their neighbors).
At the beginning of the War for Independence, the Continental Congress called for ten companies of â€œexpert riflemenâ€ from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Many from these groups became known as the â€œCorps of Rangersâ€ by General George Washington. The more famous being Colonel Daniel Morganâ€™s Riflemen, William Thompsonâ€™s Riflemen, Thomas Knowltonâ€™s Connecticut Rangers, Francis C. Marionâ€™s Partisans, and the various groups of Pennsylvania Frontier Rangers.
Most Penn. Rangers dressed in homemade outfits and carried their own rifles, knives, and hatchets. It was the duty of these â€œFrontier Minutemenâ€ to alert settlers of an attack and hasten together for a mission when an alarm had been given. They escorted the Woman & Children to safety and became highly skilled at night travel and distinguishing sounds of danger. They could endure lack of food and long marches, becoming exceptionally swift of foot and deadly with their Tactics.
During the American Revolution there were two major frontier areas in Pennsylvania which bore the brunt of Indian Warfare: Northumberland and Westmoreland Counties. Northumberland settlers were subject to savage attacks from Iroquois especially from 1777-1779. Under orders from General Washington, expeditions against the Indians were made by Colonels such as: Daniel Brodhead, Thomas Hartley, Ludwig Weltner, Samuel Hunter, James Potter, William Plunket, Philip Cole, John Kelly, James Murray, Peter Hosterman, Cookson Long, Mattew Smith, Thomas Sutherland, William Cooke, Robert Moody, Gen. Lacey and others. Finally, General John Sullivanâ€™s expeditions into the Iroquois heartlandâ€™s brought to a close some of the bloodiest frontier warfare ever experienced during the War. Old Westmoreland County, being the more populous area, was to see even more bloodshed. By 1782, Ranger Companies had taken over the entire frontier defense.
A last name listing (spellings uncertain) of Ranger militia companies from Northunmberland County were led by men such as: Antes, Atkinson, Bard, Beatty, Black, Boone, Bosley, Bovard, Bowman, Brady, Brandon, Chatham, Clark, Clingman, Coleman, Conrad, Cool, Dougherty, Ferguson, Fisher, Forster, Foster, Freeland, Gaskins, Gill, Green, Gray, Grove, Hall, Alexander Hamilton, Harris, Hayes, Hepburn, Herrold, Hessler, Himrod, Irvin, Jones, Jost, Kemplen, Lee, Levies, Links, Long, Lowdon, Lytle, McCoy, McIlhatten, McGrady, McKelvy/McCElvy, McMahan, Miller, Moll/Mull, Moon, Moore, Motz, Murray, Myer, Nelson, Newman, Overmeir/Obermier, Platt, Pontius, Reed, Regter, Reinhart, Reynolds, Robinson, Schudder, Shaffer, Sherred, Smith, Sneider/Snyder, Spees/Spies, Stockley, Swartz, Taggart, Thompson, Ulrich, VanCampen, Walker, Watson, Weaver, Weirick, Weiser, Weitzel, Wildgoose, Wiley, Wilson, Wolfe, Wyrick, Young, and others (such as those leading the Committeeâ€™s of Safety & serving time in the Pennsylvania line of the Continental Army).
The original 4th Battalion formed in 1776 under Col. Philip Cole included Lt. Col. Thomas Sutherland, 1st Major Thomas Foster, 2nd Major Casper Jost, 1st Co. Capt. John Clark, 2nd Co. Capt. Micheal Weaver, 3rd Co. Capt. Jacob Links, 4th Co. Capt. William Weirick, 5th Co. Capt. George Wolff, 6th Co. Capt. John George Overmeier, Adjunct James McCoy, & St. Bearer Dewalt Miller. In May of 1778 the Militia was re-organized into four larger Battalion Associations under Colonels Kelly, Murray, Hosterman, and Long.
Revolutionary War Captain John George (Obermayer) Overmyer:
Captain J. George Obermayer often went by George Overmier Sr. after naming his first son. His Father was also named John George (Born in Bavaria April 5, 1680) as was also his Grandfather, George. He was a Lutheran, German emigrant who traveled in 1751 on the Ship â€œBrothersâ€ to Pennsylvania. He later moved up from Paxton Township (Harrisburg, Dauphine Co.) to homestead a cabin in Buffalo/Limestone Township, (Northumberland/Union Co.) where Swietzers Run / Penn Creek meet. Buffalo Valley and the contiguous territory was then the very frontier of civilization -- the buffer land between Whites & Indian. Homeland of the Six Nations, it was a land of imminent danger, a region filled with risk. There is an Overmyer Fort sign at the area and an abandoned graveyard not used much after 1791. Our family history book tells of the many graphic events that happened during this time. Captain Overmyer served in the French & Indian War and in the Revolutionary War. Captain Obermayer discharged varied and arduous duties for his family, his neighbors and his country, at times at the head of a company of men as Captain, leading them to battle and pursuit of the enemy, at other times marching in the ranks and doing battle under other officers. The time of service we find varied a great deal as he and others were elected and commissioned for local frontier defense, sometimes for special campaigns, and still others for periods in the Continental Army. Some of his service included: Colonel, Philip Coleâ€™s 4th Battalion of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania formed in 1776 - Captain John Geo. Overmeier, Sixth Company. ( His son J.G.O. Jr. was listed in Capt. John Clarkeâ€™s 1st Co.) 53 â€œexpert riflemen,â€ and attached to Colonel Potterâ€™s 2nd Battalion under Lieut. Col. Murray. - (Part of the troops called the â€œCorps of Rangersâ€ by General George Washington, they assisted in the eventual capture of English General John Burgoyne). The fact of good marksmanship is frequently alluded to in relation to the service of the early Pioneers. They left Reading on January 3, 1777, and on the 8th joined Washington at Morristown, Elizabethtown, and indeed, of all the enemyâ€™s posts in New Jersey, except New Brunswick and Amboy, and then retired to secure winter quarters at Morristown.
On Dec. 11th, 1777 occurred the action at Guelphâ€™s Mills, near Philadelphia, in which the enemy endeavored to surprise General Potter. The 2nd Battalion, under Colonel Murray, was engaged. Timothy Lennington of Northumberland was wounded. Robert McQuilliams was also wounded and cut to pieces the same evening. Charles Clark, First Lieutenant to Captain Taggartâ€™s company was wounded in the left arm, had his skull fractured. He remained in captivity three years. A report dated Dec. 22nd, 1777, at Camp Montgomery, Philadelphia County, shows that Col. Murrayâ€™s regiment of Northumberland County was then in Major General John Armstrongâ€™s division.
As early as December 1777 the Indians renewed their encroachments on the settlers with vigor. Our family history tells of these many events. It mentioned that General Potter wrote about two forts in the (Susquehanna?)Valley being determined to stand..... May 30th, Jacob Morgan wrote, I have just returned from camp at Valley Forge, saw fifteen regiments under arms well disciplined. They performed several maneuvers with the greatest exactness and dispatch under the direction of Baron Steuben. General Washington afterwards reviewed them. May 31st, Col. Hunter wrote that ......the back settlers of Buffalo township have come down to Capt. Overmeierâ€™s at the mouth of Sweitzer run. These events preceded the bloody battle at Fort Freeland.
(The valley frontier was at the mercy of the Indians. General Washington, not being in a condition to spare any troops at the time, ordered home Col. John Kelly, Captains John Brady, Hawkins Boon (Cousin of the celebrated Daniel Boon, later of Kentucky), and Overmeier, and Lieutenants John and Samuel Dougherty to use their influence in inducing the people to sustain themselves until he could afford them other relief. And nobly did they execute their orders. All that brave and experienced men could do was done by them for in less than two years Captains Brady, Boone, and Lieut. Dougherty had fallen at the hands of the Indians).
In May, 1778, just prior to the â€œGreat Runaway,â€ the militia was re-organized. We find Captain George Overmeier leading the 3rd Ranger Co. (51 men) in the 1st Battalion under Col. John Kelly. They covered the areas west of the Susquehanna, Buffalo, White Deer, and Potter Townships (now Union & Centre Counties). In 1779, two days after the Battle of Fort Freeland, Col. Kelly marched with his men to the fort to bury the dead. Col. Kelly used a dog that would track Indian trails and immediately drop when near, to alert the men.
In 1780 Colonel Samuel Hunter wrote, ......4 people were buried on the old Obermayer homestead from an attack on (French) Jacob Grozongâ€™s Mill, May 16. ( said to be on the bluff opposite Tuscarora Creek ). The Frontier Rangers killed were: George Etzweiler, James Chambers, John Forster Jr., and Samuel McLaughlin. (Col. Mattew Smith also wrote of this). In 1780 John Henry Pontius (Ponges) served as 1st Lieut. under Captain Overmire against the Indians who were led by British Officers and Tories on the frontier. Wm Moore also served as Lieut. under Captain Obermier.
During 1781 the 1st Battalion (Colonel Kelley) Northumberland County included Captain John Geo. Overmeierâ€™s 3rd Company, 51 men (said to have included his elder sons) listed as â€œRangers on the Frontiers.â€
On May 6, 1782 a battle engagement took place at an area by the Frederick Wise homestead, Limestone Township. Among Overmyerâ€™s men wounded were Private Edward Tate and killed were said to be Sergeants John Lee & James Reyner (Reyland/J.Reinhart?). The bodies were prepared for burial by Mrs. Barbara Overmyer and others and buried on the bank of Pennâ€™s Creek near the Overmyer residence, their graves being marked by stones brought up from the edge of the creek. (Dry Run Cemetery). Captain Overmeier was with his men in pursuit of the Indians.
In later years, sonâ€™s George Jr. (Given his Fatherâ€™s Sword) and Peter also served with their Father in Patriotic Services & within various Companies. Listings include service in Captain George Obermierâ€™s Company, Capt. Mathew Wilsonâ€™s, & Captain Patrick Watsonâ€™ (1778-83, 1784 & 1785).
Wife, Barbara was also listed as a Patriot who distinguished herself by caring for sick and wounded soldiers & the other siblings are said to have been involved at a young age with assisting as Medics & other duties (especially during attacks): Other sons - Jonas is said to have endured the rough Pioneer life but believed to have died single before the year 1790? Philip became an in-law relation to General Joseph Heister. John Micheal later became a Captain under Col. Youngman, 39th Regt. Penn. State Militia. David ( a gifted healer & natural surgeon ) would become a Corporal 77th Regt. Penn. State Militia in the War of 1812. Jacob was given the Bear, Rifle & Shot Pouch his Father carried during the Revolutionary War. He also served in the War of 1812. Service to God & Country continued on with later generations.
Family Pride: Generations of Service to God & Country Since 1751 , Obermayer - Overmyer
We are planning to seek permission to put up a small Monument Marker & Flag on the bank of the creek where JGO & the Revolutionary War Veterans are buried (the abandoned Dry Run Cemetery). JGO eldest son, of the same name, is said to lay at the foot of Line Mt. in Daphine Co. & is listed in Ohio as well? We are also working on organizing an Overmyer History Book II. Thank You in advance for any assistance you can provide. (Donations for J.G.O. Memorial can be made payable to: Overmyer Memorial Fund C/O Leonard G. Overmyer III). Funds are held under the Memorial name in a Credit Union. - c Copyright 1998/1999 Leonard G. Overmyer III, Viaduct Rd Copemish, MI 49625 also .... 690 Byers St. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49505 (616) 554-7192 My Son is Nathaniel & My Brothers: Jackson D. & Larry M. (Sleep-Bear) Overmyer living at Orange Street, Northumberland, PA 17857 (570-473-3225) as of 2001). For educational use only, all rights reserved. All are welcome to share this with others.
There is currently historical signs for the Overmyer Fort, the old Lutheran Church site, and a sign that mentions the Dry Run Cemetery, but nothing is at the actual grave sites. We realize the ruined grave sites have been desecrated for some time now, but we hope everyone will appreciate the Christian, Veteran Memorial gesture we want to make in respect of those who served! What remains is wilderness over-growth on the creek banks. We feel this is a very atrocious and disrespectful way to leave the graves of our French&Indian and Revolutionary War Veterans. We realize these were abandoned long ago but it is never too late to do the right thing. We hope we can get help from several organizations in PA. This may involve help from: the Pennsylvania Historical Society, various Veteran groups, Revolutionary War groups, a Church group, County Veteranâ€™s Office, a University Archeological Department, and continued cooperation from some of the current land owners & Township Representatives, (so we may walk & survey the bank of the creek to find the proper location). This is an important, long-term goal of many in our family and I hope we are seriously joined in this endeavor by the above mentioned groups. My brother is currently a Federal Officer in Pennsylvania (& a U.S.A.F. Persian Gulf / Desert Storm Veteran) and is willing to assist in any way he can.
Sources: Overmyer History and Genealogy from 1680 to 1905, Pennslvania German Pioneers, Northumberland & Union Co. Historical Societies, Pennsylvania State Archives - Rangers on the Frontiers 1778-1783, D.A.R. Patriot Index, Library of Congress, Vogt (Fought /Foucht /Foght) History 1750-1911, WWW History of John Henry Pontius, Sandusky & Perry Co. Ohio Genealogical Societies, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies 1889, State Library of Ohio, Center for Archival Collections at Bowling Green Ohio, President Rutherford B. Hayes Center, Dyerâ€™s Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, USAF, US Army, Broadfoot Publishing, various State and Federal Archives, Libraries, Revolutionary War Histories on the WWW, The Zartman Family History 1692-1942, Nentzlingen 1681 Parish Register found by Ruby Overmyer Heldman of Mattoon, IL, the Smith Cemetery in Burgoon, OH, and other various Historical Societies including the Historical Collections of the Grand Rapids Public Library in Michigan. Keep in touch, Leonard G. Overmyer III - July/2001