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ANCESTORS AND DESCENDANTS OF

ELMER WIEGNER BENNER


By Douglas E. Benner

VERSION: February 18, 2010

Contents
PREFACE ...................................................................................................................................................... 2
GENEALOGY ................................................................................................................................................ 2
ADDITIONAL BENNER HISTORY INFORMATION ............................................................................... 11
PHOTO GALLERY..................................................................................................................................... 25
ORIGINAL C. M. BENNER REPORT ...................................................................................................... 33
OBITUARIES .............................................................................................................................................. 37
BIBLIOGRAPHY ......................................................................................................................................... 40
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ...................................................................................................................... 40

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PREFACE
The primary purpose of this document is to trace and maintain the genealogy of the
ancestors and descendants of Elmer Wiegner Benner. For purposes of this document,
the count of generations starts with Johannes Benner who is the ancestor of Elmer
Wiegner Benner that first came to America from Germany. The “J” designations are
from the articles “Detective Work Among the Benners,” by Hannah Benner Roach.

The secondary purpose of this document is to relate the history of the Benner family
and to preserve some family documents and photographs of interest. Family members
may contact the author (wb2njh@aol.org) for corrections, additions, to add data,
addresses, e-mails, etc. for their convenience.

GENEALOGY
Generation 1
Johannes Benner, (J-1) (ancestor of Elmer Wiegner Benner) was born about 1725 in
Laubenheim, Germany, d 1767, m Oct 28, 1750, Elizabeth ?. Both buried at Franconia
Mennonite Cemetery in Pennsylvania. He was the son of Esejas Benner, married to
Maria Margaretha Schenbach. Johannes arrived in Philadelphia on September 19,
1743 on the ship Lydia, which crossed from Rotterdam. On the ship's passenger list,
his age was listed as 18.1 In the spring of 1759, Johannes and brother Sebastian
Benner went to Philadelphia and at the Supreme Court on April 10 they affirmed their
allegiance to King George.2

It should be noted that there were numerous Benner men with the name Johannes
Benner, one of which settled in northern Ohio.

1. http://www.immigrantships.net/1700/lydia430919.html

2. Detective Work Among the Benners, Hannah Benner Roach, Bulletin of the Historical Society of
Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Vol. VII, No. 3, October 1952, page 202

2
Signatures of Johannes Benner, from Detective Work Among the Benners, Hannah
Benner Roach, Bulletin of the Historical Society of Montgomery County Pennsylvania,
Vol. IX, No. 1, October 1953, page 46

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Generation 1
Sebastian Benner (S-1) ( not ancestor of Elmer Wiegner Benner), brother of Johannes
Benner, was baptized at Laubenheim, Germany on May 19, 1714. He was a son of
Esajas Bender and Maria Margaretha Schenbach who were married at Laubenheim on
May 11, 1700. Esajas was a son of Johannes Bender and Maria was a daughter of
Hans Peter Schenbach. Sebastian arrived in Philadelphia in 1738 on the Galley St.
Andrew. He married Ann, born 1728, daughter of Ulrich Hunsberger, pioneer. By 1744
Sebastian began buying land, eventually becoming quite prosperous, owning about 400
acres between the Allentown and Cowpath Roads (major parts of the current towns of
Souderton and Telford). He died in 1764. Ann re-married Rev. Jacob Funk, died
1/10/1785, and is buried in the Germantown Mennonite Cemetery.3

Generation 2
Abraham Benner (J-3) b. ca 1755, d. Dec 1821, m. 1777 Barbara Hunsberger.
Abraham was in the militia in 1777. Abraham purchased 150 acres of his father's estate
for 600 pounds. The property was a northern portion of Souderton. He was a weaver
and a farmer.4

Generation 3
Christian Benner, (J-35) b. March 9, 1793, d. Aug 19, 1863, m. June 11, 1815 to
Sarah Hunsberger In April 1, 1822, he bought out his father's 81 acre farm for
$2318.07. Both buried at Rockhill Mennonite Cemetery.5

Generation 4
Samuel Benner, (J-352) (a stone mason), b. June 19, 1818, d. January 18, 1871, m. to
Sarah K Delp both buried at Rockhill Mennonite Church.6
3. http://www.geocities.com/awoodlief/benner.html

4. Detective Work Among the Benners, Hannah Benner Roach, Bulletin of the Historical Society of
Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Vol. VIII, No. 4, April 1953, page 284

5 Detective Work Among the Benners, Hannah Benner Roach, Bulletin of the Historical Society of
Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Vol. VIII, No. 4, April 1953, page 301

6. Detective Work Among the Benners, Hannah Benner Roach, Bulletin of the Historical Society of
Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Vol. VIII, No. 4, April 1953, page 302

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Generation 5
Enos Delp Benner, (J-3523 ) son of Samuel and Sarah Benner, was born October 5,
1840. He was married to Annie Moyer (no dates, but apparently died young.) He was
remarried May 2, 1868 to Maria Gehman Wiegner, daughter of Ezra and Marie Wiegner
(of the Schwenkenfelder group); she was born February 13, 1849. They lived in
Pennsylvania, where Enos was a stone mason. He died on April 11, 1911(see Obituary
No. 1); she on April 26, 1926. They are buried in the Rockhill Mennonite Cemetery.
(See letters from Rhine Benner on page 22) Their children were:

1. Sarah Wiegner Benner b. Sept. 26, 1869 d. Sept. 15, 1938


2. Daughter ? b. Jan. 10, 1871 d. Feb. 5, 1871
3. Son ? b. Oct. 17, 1871 d. unknown
4. Maryetta Weigner Benner b. Aug. 11, 1872 d. Jan. 14, 1879
5. Lovina Weigner Benner b. Aug. 15, 1874 d. May 29, 1938
6. Matilda Wiegner Benner b. Mar. 11, 1876 d. Jan. 20, 1937
7 Elmer Wiegner Benner b. Feb. 6, 1878 d. Apr. 16, 1939
8. Wilson Weigner Benner b. Feb. 23, 1880 d. unknown
9. Lucci Maria Benner b. Feb. 13, 1882 d. June 2, 1888
10. Louellen Wiegner Benner b. Nov. 4, 1883 d. June 1, 1888
11. Enos Delp Benner, Jr. b. Aug. 19, 1885 d. June 18, 1888
12. Catherine Wiegner Benner b. Feb. 23, 1887 d. Feb. 5, 1888
13. Rhine Wiegner Benner b. Nov. 7, 1889 d. Mar. 3,1974
(m. Elsie Wiegner Benner b.Jan. 16, 1893 d. June 28, 1930)

The above Information was copied by Della Benner from a family Bible. Later when she
visited the Rockhill Cemetery, she found on the tombstones that the name Maryetta
was spelled Marietta, and Lucci was Lizzie Maria. Lizzie was born on her mother’s
birthday, so she was given the middle name of Maria instead of Wiegner the others
were - except Enos, Jr. The deaths in 1888 were from what they knew as the Black
Fever, probably what is now called diphtheria. The children who died in and before 1888
were buried in Rockhill, Pennsylvania. 7 (see obituary No. 2)

7. The Benner Family Tree, 1748 – 1985, Janice Dean and Della Benner, Harrisonburg, VA.,
privately published and distributed.

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Generation 6
Elmer Wiegner Benner, (J-35237) b. Feb 6, 1878, d Apr 16, 1939, m. May 26, 1900 to
Annie Y. Bergey, b. May 1, 1881; d. Nov. 27, 1929. Second marriage, m. Apr 12, 1929
to Annie Hackman. (see Obituary No. 3)

Elmer Wiegner Benner Annie Y. Bergey

Generation 7
Children of Elmer Wiegner Benner: (See group Photos 3 and 4)

1. Elaine Benner b. July 28, 1900 d. Dec 4, 1990


2. Lester Benner b. Aug 1901 d. Jan 1902
3. Eva Benner b. Nov 29, 1902 d. Feb 1, 1986
4. Verna Benner b. Nov 5, 1906 d. Oct 1978
5. Norman Bergey Benner b. May 17, 1911 d. Mar 27, 1970
6. Rena Benner b. June 22, 1916 d. July 31, 1998

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(see Lester Obituary No. 4)

Generation 7, Generation 8, Generation 9


Note: this analysis also shows Generations 8, 9 and 10 which are distinguished by indents.

Elaine Benner - b. July 28, 1900; d. Dec 4, 1990, m. June 1922 to Marvin Grubb –
Jan. 5, 1899
1. Harold Grubb - b. Mar. 2, 1924; married to Joan ?
a. Patricia Ann Grubb

2. Marie Grubb b. Nov. 8, 1928, m. Allen Moyer


a. Phyllis Jean, b. Nov. 10, 1952, m. Sept 1975 to Archelo Di Rocco
b. Glen Allen, b. Oct. 4, 1956

3. Richard Grubb b. Apr. 26, 1940


a. Lorie Ann, b. July 1961
b. Linda Lou, b. Sept. 1963

Lester Benner - b. Aug, 1901; d. Jan 1902

Eva Benner - b. Nov. 29, 1902; d. Feb 1986 married to Russel E. Bender,
b: June 14,1907, d: July 28, 1988 (See family Photo 5)

1. Russel E. Bender, Jr. b:__________ - Married Lena ? _______________


(data unavailable)

Verna Benner - b. Nov. 5, 1906; d. Oct 1978 (See family Photo 6)


First marriage __________ to William Hendricks. divorced
1. Marian Hendricks, data unavailable

Second marriage: 1939 to Edwin Sigenfuse – b. May 24, 1901, d. Dec. 1971
1. John Siginfuse b: April 30, 1940, married Sept. 1965 to Janet DeMayer
a.. Edwin G. Sigenfuse, Jr. b June 30, 1966 married Mar 31, 2001
to: Julie D. Fuscardo
1). Guitano (Guy) N Sigenfuse, b July 17, 1997
2). Sofia B. Sigenfuse, b December 9, 2001
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3). Gianna N. Sigenfuse, b Dec 12, 2003

b. Margaret LaVerne Hill b May 25, 1971 married Oct 4, 2008 to Gregg Hill

c. Suzanne M. Sigenfuse b Oct. 2, 1969,


First married May 1991 to John A. Fischer, divorced 1995
1) Ryan Christopher Fisher, b September 16, 1991
Second marriage Dec 14 1996 to Joseph Allen Bulf, b Sept 16, 1991
2) Nolan Oliver b. April 6, 1998
3) Booke Marie Bulf b April 29, 2001

d. John T. Sigenfuse b July 26, 1979, married Sept. 20, 2008


to Leaha Shaw White

3. Elizabeth Siginfuse b: _________


First marriage: __________ to Ray Amperan (divorced?)
a. David Amperan, b: d. (16 yrs old in 2009)

Second marriage: approx 1982 to Nathan Apflebaum

Norman Bergey Benner - b. May 17, 1911; d. Mar 27, 1970 (See family Photo 11)
m. March 4, 1933 to Ethel Mae Weaver. b. June 24, 1914, d. Aug 19, 1998
(see Obituary No. 6)

1. Kenneth James Benner b. May 15, 1933, d. Sept. 26, 2009


Married May 23, 1953 to Anna Mary Lapp. B June 13, 1931

a. Sheryl Dianne, b. Nov 22, 1954, m Nov 23, 1974 to Harold (Hud) Hoover
1). Jeremy Wayne, b June 2, 1977; m Courtney Lynn Stone,
Oct 12, 2002
a) Braxton Wayne Hoover, b. Feb 19, 2009
2). Alicia Ann, b Feb 20, 1980, m July 14, 2005
to Chad Michael Williams
b. Jeryl Lynn, b. Jan 14, 1956, m. Jan 27, 1979 to Particia Burkholder
1) Leigh Ashley, b March 17, 1983
2) Mitchell Clark, b April 7, 1986
3) Taylor Ross, b Aug 24, 1988
c. Susan Lavonne. b. Aug 24, 1957 m. Aug 30, 1975 to William Hartman

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d. Lisa Mae, b. April 23, 1969, m. March 18, 1989 to Michael Lee Mast
1) Trenton Michael, b Aug 27, 1984
2) Erin Rachelle, b April 24, 1991

e. Keith Evan, b April 12, 1970, m. June 8, 1991 to Nadine Miller


1). Allison Kate, b Nov 1, 1994
2) Katie Renee, b Aug 6, 1996
3) Kellie Marie, b Aug 6, 1996
4) Kara Michelle, b April 6, 2000

2. Doris Mae Benner – b. July 15, 1935, d. Oct 4, 1991

3. Douglas Eric Benner, b. July 22, 1938 (author of this document)


First married April 27, 1967 to Jacqueline Ann MacGrath, b. April 9, 1944,
d. Oct. 5, 2001
a. Diana Lynn Benner, b. Sept 22, 1968, m. Sept 12, 1993 to James Giddon,
1) Alexander Taylor, b Nov 29, 2007
2) Brooke Ashleigh, b. Mar. 27, 2002

b. Laura Gale Benner, b, June 19, 1970, m. August 2, 2005 to


Eric Steven Langergren
1). Jack Dylan Lagergren, b. Nov 15, 2007

Second marriage to Fabiola Fernandez, Feb 8, 2002, b: July 14, 1954


c. Erika Melissa, b. Nov 30, 1999
d. Nicole Andrea, b. Nov 30, 1999

4. Norman Dale Benner, b. July 29, 1940


First marriage 1962, Loretta DeBatin
a. Cynthia Ann, b. Nov. 3, 1962, m. May 24, 1980, Robert George Boone, Jr.
1). Robert George Boone III, b. July 8, 1981
a) Loralee Rose, b: ______, 2009
2). Alicia Marie, b. Jan 17, 1985
3). Joshua Aaron, b. Oct 5, 1989
b. Kerry Lynn, b. .Oct 6, 1965, m. Nov 24, 1990, James Udinski
1). Ward Ashland, b. July 30, 1993

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2}. Grant Andrew, b. Jan 12, 1996
3). Reece Bates, b. August 29, 1998
Second marriage July 20, 1968 to Elaine Frances King

5. Herbert Lee Benner, b. Nov. 24, 1945, m. May 24, 1968,


Rosiland Kay Gehman b. Dec 30, 1947
a). Steven Kert, b. Dec 20, 1974, d. Jan 2, 1975
b) Jennifer Dawn, b. May 28, 1976
c) Ryan Andrew. b. June 13, 1979

Rena Benner - b. June 22, 1916; d. July 31, 1998, m. November 10, 1934,
to Charles Detweiler Leatherman, b. June 2, 1915, d. October 17, 1977
(See family Photos 8, 9, 10)
1. Charles Robert (Bob) Leatherman, b. June 7, 1937.
First marriage to Ann Robsin in approximately1956. Divorced approximately 1961.
a) Deborah Sue Leatherman, b. April 3, 1957.
First marriage: ? Wise, divorced.
1) Tamara Fern Wise, b. Nov 8, 1978
2) Jessica Dawn Wise, b. March 31, 1986
3) Maddox Lyne Wise, b. May 17, 2005
4) Lisa Ann Wise, b. Dec 25, ?
Second marriage, date unknown, to Robert Mahana)
b) Elizabeth Candace Ann Leatherman, b. January 6, 1959

Second marriage to Elsa Molitor (b. May 13, 1942) on December 30, 1964
c) Pamela Sue Leatherman, b.October 14, 1965
d) Charles Francis Leatherman, b. September 18, 1967
e) Matthew Leatherman, b. May 23, 1970. m. Janae Hamilton on Aug 9, 2003
1) Zachery Leatherman, b. July 6, 2004

2. Herbert Lawrence (Larry) Leatherman, b. August 22, 1940.


First marriage to Linda Holz, divorced.
Second marriage to Sally Skidmore, divorced,
Third marriage to Susan Pacicca, divorced
(No children)

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3. Carol Ann (Carol) Leatherman, b. December 18, 1946, d. June 24, 2007
m. Joseph Mayer
No children

4. Mary Lou (Mary) Leatherman, b. November 16, 1949.


First marriage on July 9, 1969 to Raymond Chester Florczak
(b. December 14, 1942) Divorced 1973
a) Curtiss Ryan Florczak, b. November 30, 1969. m. Sept 4, 2004 to
Annette Bartley (b. March 15, 1974) .
Second marriage to George Anthony Macaluso (b. April 2, 1932)
on February 26, 1977

ADDITIONAL BENNER HISTORY INFORMATION

EARLY HISTORY OF THE BENNER FAMILIES

The most frequently cited article about early the Benner family history is from
a report given by Dr. C. M. Benner, MD. This report was reproduced in part in
Detective Work Among the Benner Family, published by Hannah Benner Roach.
The author was able to procure a copy of the original manuscript (attached as
Photo 15) of the Dr. C.M. Benner report from Dr. William J. Kelly of Tuscon,
Arizona.

The following is a merge of these two sources, which do not conflict, but have
some mutually exclusive sections. Roach deleted some material perhaps because
it was of questionable accuracy, and perhaps because it contains extensive
narrative about European history in which Benner ancestors played only a minor
role. The Dr. C.M. Benner document does not cite any of its sources. The author
has inserted some editing, comments, and subtitles, all in italics to enhance the
readability.

THE BENNER FAMILY ANNUAL REUNION, 1940

The 15th annual Benner reunion was held on Saturday, July 20th, 1940 at
Lost Creek Community Park, McAllstervlle, Pa. (Juniata Co.) President, Dr. C.M.

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Benner; Vice-President, Mrs. Arden Mertz; Secretary, Grace I. Benner; Treasurer;
W. W. Benner; Song Leader, Prof. P. S. Mitchell.

After a business and entertainment program at 2:00 p.m., and address was
delivered by Rev. Robert C. Benner, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Newville, PA.

Some of the history of the Benner family from ancient records was given by
Dr. C. M. Benner, MD, Taneytown, Md. A short sketch of which is given below.

The history of the Benner family is entwined with the History of Europe since
841, Asia Minor since 1095 during the Crusades to the Holy Land, and America
since 1695 or earlier.

EARLY HISTORY OF EUROPE

The family is Teutonic -- dating back to the Frankish nation, which embraced
most of present Germany, France and Italy and all of Austria, Switzerland, and
Belgium. It was the nation which produced Clovis, Charlemagne, Charles Martel,
the Pepins and other founders of the culture, greatness and civilization of Western
Europe of today.

There is a record of an Artois Von Benner, who was a captain of armed


horsemen under King Lothaire, grandson of Charlemagne in 841, and fought in
Fontenailles.1 (King Lothaire I of Italy, 795-8552) There was a Benner who came
to England with William the Conqueror and fought with him at the Battle of Hastings
in 1066 . (This sentence is out of sequence. ) In 814 upon the death of
Charlemagne, Louis the Debonaire succeeds to the throne of the so called Roman
Empire.

In 840 Louis dies, and his three sons, Lothaire, Louis the German, and
Charles the Bald claim the succession; they war for possession of the kingdom.

In 841 there was a “battle of the brothers” fought at Fontenailles, wherein


Louis and Charles defeated Lothaire.

In 843 the three rival brothers make a treaty at Verdun (Northeast France) by
which the Empire is divided into three parts. Lothaire received Italy and Central
Frankish territories, Louis the German accepts Germany and the Eastern Frankish
lands, and Charles the Bald takes France, or the Western Frankish lands.

The Treaty of Verdun marks the beginning of the national history for the three
states: Italy, Germany, and France; also, the beginning of' the middle land of
Lorraine.

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As previously mentioned, in 841 Artois Von Benner, who was a captain of
armed horsemen under King Lothaire, grandson of Charlemagne, fought under
King Lothaire, at Fontenailles.

There are no records of Benner men for the next 200 years. The following
two paragraphs are out of chronological sequence.

The Battle of Hastings, in England, occurred on Oct. 14, 1066. William, Duke
of Normandy, called the Conqueror, triumphs over Harold, King of England, and
established himself as King of England.

There was a Benner who came to England with William the Conqueror and
fought under him at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

THE FIRST CRUSADE

In 1095 was the First Epoch of Crusaders. Councils are held at Placenza
and Clermont by Pope Urban II. He proclaimed a Crusade of Christians for the
recovery of the Holy Sepulcher from the infidel Turks who possessed Jerusalem
and levied a tax on all Christian pilgrims visiting the City of Jerusalem.

In 1096 An army of crusaders, called the Chivalry of Medieval Europe, set


out for the East under Godfried (Godfrey) of Bouillon, Hugh of Vermandois,
Stephan of Blois and others.

Gurth der Benner, a direct descendant of' Oluf der Benner, was the first
Knight of the Benner family who lived on the Benner estate in Upper Bavaria along
the Rhine. Oluf’s name has been preserved in the Chapel near his estate, called
the Chapel of Oluf der Benner. The date of his (Oluf’s) death is registered as 1053.

Gurth der Benner joined the army of crusaders, while still a minor, under the
guardianship of Godfried de Boulllon in 1097. He was made and called the “Knight
of the Morning Star" in Antioch, the legend being that very early in the morning he
rose and slew an antagonist of great size and ferocity.

In 1098 Antioch (southern Turkey) is stormed and wields (yields) to the


Crusaders who in their turn are besieged but rout their foes and open the way to
Jerusalem.

In 1099 Bohemoid is proclaimed Prince of Antioch, and on July 15th,


Jerusalem is stormed and conquered. Godfried of Bouillon assumes the
sovereignty of the city of Jerusalem. Also, the Islamites are defeated at Ascalon by
Godfried and Tancred. Gurth der Benner fought under Godfried of Boullion in all
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these battles in the Holy Land and helped rescue the tomb of Christ from the
Mohammedans (sic).

In 1149 the Christians, after attempting to storm Damascus, are forced to


retreat, and they returned to Europe.

LATER HISTORY OF EUROPE

Odo der Benner was a lineal descendant of Gurth der Benner, and was also
a knight. As a knight himself, he was engaged in the tournaments of the age. It is
said that at the tournament held at Mantz in 1263, Odo der Benner was awarded
first prize.

The Benner family represents vast estates and great, wealth at the beginning
of the fourteeth century. In 1322, Waldemar der Benner was one of the
responsible leaders of the rebellion against King Ludwig. The family fortune was
greatly dissipated as a result of Waldemar’s activities, and his four sons were
obligated to enter the Venetian Army as professional soldiers. Of these, only one
returned. Waldemar entered the Closter of Saint Laurentius, which, in his earlier
youth, he had munificently endowed.

Wernker der Benner, upon his return from the Venetian Army spent a few
years endeavoring to regain the lost estates of his father, and failing to do so also
entered the Cloister of Saint Laurentius with his father. He had at least one son,
Dietselm der Benner, who engaged in the feudal uprisings of the vassels and petty
lords. Dietselm had one son Ulrich der Benner, who in the year 1387, removed to
Holstein, the better to improve his pecuniary condition. He there served at court
and gained certain privileges and grants which enabled him to regain some of the
family’s original possessions. He had a son Eustachius, whose sons and
grandsons carried on the name and family in some of its old splendor until 1500.

By 1520 the Bavarian wars further diminshed the fortune of the family, so that
they became scattered in Germany, Upper Bavaria, Holland, Lorraine and a great
many in Switzerland, and their history as a family lost for a time.

The last of the Benner name to bear the armor of a knight was Dietrich
Benner, who was appointed Field Marshal of a division of the Bavarian Army in
1620. Dietrich was a Protestant and was, no doubt, the same General Benner who
figures so conspicuously in the history of' the Huguenots.

Among the earliest mention of the Benner name in America appears in the
records of 1720 when Valentyn Benner made his residence in Rhinebeck, New
York. He and his wife, Margaret, brought their eldest son with them from Upper
Bavaria. Some time later, Valentyn Benner bought land below Red Hook Village
where he established the Benner homestead, which remained in the Benner family
for four generations. Valentyn was the father of John, Henry, Margaret, Anna and
Catherine.
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BENNER COAT OF ARMS

The Benner coat of arms, as well as the name and family, is of Frankish
origin. The shield consisted at first of merely the six gold and black1 stripes and
was for the purpose of identification only. The red lion was a later grant and was
bestowed for unusual bravery, red
being the color of courage and the
lion rampant its symbol.

The crest or that portion above


the helmet denotes class distinction
rather than family; the black (sable)
lion was the symbol of the Frankish
Knights. They were known as the
“Black Lions of the North” due to
their ferocious bravery, and to the
fact that they wore dark armor rather
than the bright or steel armor usually
worn during that period.
Another early coat of arms,
described in Siebmacher's "
Wappenbuch " vol.5, band 5, Tafel 5,
as " Nach den hand - schrifflichen
nachtragen sun alten sibmacher,"
shows the crusader's cross in gold
on blue field, cornered with four gold
stars. The crest takes the form of a
man rising, supposedly the crusader;
his blue coat bears a gold star on the
breast and he has in place of arms,
gold wings "en fesse " with gold star
superimposed. 7

The surname Benner is


believed to be derived from the
Teutonic root " ben, " meaning
wound; from this stems "Bener" or
"Benner," the giver of wounds or
warrior considering the historical
background outlined by Dr. Benner,
it would appear a singularly appropriate name for the early members of this family!

7. Detective Work Among the Benners, Hannah Benner Roach, Bulletin of the Historical Society of
Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Vol. VII, No. 1, October 1949, page 6

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By the end of the seventeenth century, most of these war-like characteristics
dominant in the Benner family were screened out by the violence of the incessant
warfare of the preceding centuries along the Palatinate Rhine. One of traits which
gained ascendancy was a steadfast adherence to the rapidly growing Protestant
movement engendered by the persecutions of the peace-loving, non-conformist
and sectarian peoples. Another equally strong one to develop was a firm devotion
to the land which the family had turned to in its declining days. The strength of
these two dominant traits is plainly evidenced in the numerous migrations to
America which various Benners undertook between the last decade of the
seventeenth and the middle of the eighteenth centuries.8

The most of the Benner family at present in Europe is in Swltzer1and.


Adolph Benner was President of Switzerland in 1901. (The actual President of
Switzerland from 1901 to 1908 was Ernst Brenner). 8 The Frankish race has never
been totally destroyed; in all the wars it has passed through and is still (a part of)
the backbone of Christian civilization.

17th CENTURY AND BEYOND

The Benner family had its origin in the German Palatinate along the
Rhine River which was formerly a part of the old Frankish nation. The Original
castly (family concentration?) was near Strausbourg, now in Lorraine; branches of'
the original family also lived in Binger and Metz, others in Belgium, and
Switzerland.

During the latter part of the 17th century, due to the religious
persecutions of Louis XIV of France and Leopold I and later Charles VI and
Charles VII of Prussia, the Protestant families in the Rhine district received the
brunt of this intolerance from both the French and Germanic states. Many of the
leading families, both on account of their religious beliefs and political affiliations
were forced to flee their homeland and seek sanctuary elsewhere. The Palatinate
along the Rhine had been ravaged by almost a century of intermittent war, resulting
in Finally in order to establish a vast desert between (wasteland surrounding) the
French and German borders, Louis XIV had ordered all the inhabitants of the
Palatinate along the Rhine, numbering half a million, to leave within three days in
1709.
Some of the Benners were among these. Those near Strausbourg fled
first to Holland thence to America. There are records of six of the name of Benner
who sailed from Rotterdam between 1695 and 1720. Four of these landed at
Philadelphia, one in Annapolis and one in New York. Among those who remained
in Pennsylvania and settled in what is now Montgomery County were Sebastian
and Johannes Benner. Two of those who landed in Philadelphia did not long
remain in Pennsylvania, but joined the great German-Scotch-Irish migration
southward into Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

8. Wikopedia

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When the Baron (Christoph) de Graffenreid brought over his settlement of
Swiss and Palatinate Germans to America and settled near Newbern, NC in 1708,
his two leaders were Mitchell and Benner.
Among those of the name of Benner who fought in the American Revolution
were Christopher, George, Henry, Peter, and John of Massachusetts; Lewis and
Robert of Virginia; Elias, Frederick, George, Peter, Henry, Jacob, Jonathan, Henry,
Jr., James, Martin, Melchoir, Michael, and Phillip of Pennsylvania
Henry, John, Peter, Christopher, Jacob and George are some of the
Christian names most favored by the Benner family for its male progeny.
Among the best known of the Revolutionary War period in Pennsylvania was
Major General Philip Benner, son of Henry Benner, who was imprisoned by the
British in Philadelphia during the Revolution. Philip, a youth in his teens enlisted as
a private under his neighbor and relative General Anthony Wayne. After the
Revolution he went west and was one of the founders of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania,
(Near State College, home of Penn State.) and contributed largely to the
construction of the waterworks in 1808 and erected a number of houses in
Bellefonte, his own residence being among those still standing (1927). According
to reports his house has been converted into a State Shrine by the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania during the last few years.
John Benner, of Gettysburg fought under General Harrison during the War
of 1812. He helped Commodore Perry build boats on the banks of Lake Erie and
also fought in the Battle of Lake Erie when Commodore Perry defeated the British
there.
THE BENNER HOMELAND

Sebastian and Johannes Benner came to America from their ancestral home
in Laubenheim, Germany. Laubenheim is just north of the Palatinate area.
Laubenheim is a small village along the banks for the Nahe River which feeds into
the Rhine River. It is a few miles south of autobahn E42, west of Mainz. The area
is mostly farmland with beautiful rolling hills as far as the eye can see; it is likely
that the Benner ancestors lived in a rural area near Laubenheim. For more
information, go to www.laubenheim.de. This web site is written in German but has
many beautiful color photos. It also has travel directions and satellite images.

The Nahe valley produces wine at several villages. These villages include
Schloss Böckelheim, Niederhausen, Kreuznach, Traisen, Rűdesheim and Bad
Kreuznach. The Anheuser family were producers of wine in Bad Kreuznach before
they migrated to America to become famous beer producers! The vineyards in the
immediate Laubenheim area are listed in www.laubenheim.de. So if you purchase
wine from any of these villages or from the Nahe valley you are patronizing the
Benner homeland!

Sebastian and Johannes Benner came to America from their beautiful


homeland early in the 1700’s, along with thousands of other Protestants from
Germany and northern Switzerland. Why did they all migrate to America at that
time in history? It was because of religious persecution much like the Pilgrims that

17
landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.

HISTORY OF THE MIGRATION FROM THE PALATINE AREA OF GERMANY

The modern Palatinate area area is shown here on the map. The grey image
is the outline of Germany, showing the location in southwest part of Germany. The
boundaries of the Palatinate in the early 1700’s were not the same as they are
today.
The following is the story illustrates the
hardships endured by those who migrated from
the Palatine area, including the Benner ancestors:
The winter of 1708-1709 was very long and
cold in the Rhineland. It was a very bleak period.
People huddled around their fires as they
considered quitting their homes and farms forever.
By early April, the land was still frozen and most of
the Palatines' vines had been killed by the bitter
weather. Since 1702 their country had been
enduring war and there was little hope for the
future. The Thirty Years War lay heavy on their
minds, a period in which one out of every three
Germans had perished .
The Palatines were heavily taxed and
endured religious persecution. As the people
considered their future, the older ones remembered that, in 1677, William Penn had
visited the area, encouraging the people to go to Pennsylvania in America, a place
where a man and his family could be free of the problems they were now
encountering.
To go to America meant a long, dreadful ocean voyage and a future in an
unknown land, away from their past and family. Everyone knew that the German
Elector would stop any migration as soon as it was noticed. Only a mass exodus
from the Palatinate could be successful. Many wondered how they could ever
finance such a journey even if they wanted to attempt it. Small boats, known as
scows, would have to be acquired for the long ride down the Rhine River and then
there was the price for the ocean voyage. While some of the people had relatives
that could assist them financially, many were very poor. Soon enough, their minds
were made up for them as France's King Louis XIV invaded their land, ravaging
especially the towns in the Lower Palatinate.
In masses, the Palatines boarded their small boats and headed down the
Rhine for Rotterdam. It was April 1709 and the first parties were afloat on the
Rhine, many with only their most basic goods and their faith in God as their only
possessions. The river voyage took an average of 4-6 weeks through extremely
cold, bitter weather. By June, 1709, the people streamed into Rotterdam at a rate
of one thousand per week. The Elector, as expected, issued an edict forbidding the
migration, but almost everyone ignored it. By October, 1709, more than 10,000
Palatines had completed the Rhine River journey.
The Duke of Marlborough was assigned by Queen Anne to transport the
immigrants to England. British troop ships were also used. The Queen assumed

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these Protestants would help fuel the anti-Roman feelings developing in England.
The ships from Rotterdam landed, in part, at Deptford and the refugees were sent
to one of three camps at Deptford, Camberwell, and Blackheath outside the city
wall of London. Many Londoner's welcomed the Palatines, but the poor were not,
as they felt their English food was being taken from them to feed the Germans.
British newspapers published mixed accounts of the Palatines, some praising them
while others cursed them.
Over 3,000 of these Palatines were sent to Ireland, again to reinforce the
Protestant faith in that land. The trip from England to Ireland was short, taking only
about 24 hours. They settled on Lord Southwell's estate near Ballingrane in County
Limerick, Ireland. Several branches remained in Ireland, becoming known as the
RUTTLE's. Other branches came to New York in the mid-1700's. To this day there
is a Benner Inn on the Dinglebury peninsula.
Meanwhile, streams of Palatines went to America, with most going to
Pennsylvania. The ocean voyage was harsh, with over-crowded, under-supplied,
and unsanitary ships. What provisons were supplied were generally the least
expensive available to the ship's master. Water frequently ran out, as did food.
Dreadful mortality occurred on many voyages. In addition to those woes, the
Palatines faced robbery, deception, and worse from those transporting them.
Estimates on the number of Germans in Pennsylvania during this period
varies from author to author, but a common estimate is 10,000-15,000 by 1727 and
70,000-80,000 by 1750. A good source for reviewing German arrivals to
Pennsylvania is Rupp's "Thirty Thousand Immigrants in Pennsylvania" which
contains numerous ship passenger lists and has an excellent surname index.
Another good resource is Walter Knittle's "Early Eighteenth-Century Palatine
Emigration".
Immigrants not only came from Germany, but also Bohemia and Switzerland.
Most were either Lutheran, Reformed, or Mennonite in religious belief. 9

The following is a declaration by those who migrated to the Great Britain:


The State of the Poor Palatines As Humbly Represented By Themselves
Upon Their First Arrival In This Kingdom, About June, 1709 (from London,
England)
We the poor distressed Palatines, whose utter Ruin was occasioned by
the merciless Cruelty of a Blood Enemy, the French, whose prevailing Power
some years past, like a Torrent rushed into our Country, and overwhelmed
us at once; and being not content with Money and Food necessary for their
Occasions, not only dispossest us of all Support but inhumanely burnt our
House to the ground, where being deprived of all Shelter, we were turned
into open Fields, and there drove with our Families, to seek what Shelter we
could find, being obliged to make the cold Earth our Lodgings, and the
Clouds our Covering. In this deplorable condition we made our Humble
Supplications and Cries to Almighty God, who has promised to relieve them
that put their Trust in him, whose Goodness we have largely Experienced, in
disposing the Hearts of Pious Princes to a Christian Compassion and Charity
towards us in this miserable condition, who by their Royal Bounties and
large Donations, and the exemplary Kindness of well-disposed Nobility,
Gentry, and Others, We and our poor Children have been preserved from
Perishing; specially since our Arrival into this happy Kingdom of GREAT

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BRITAIN. While not only like the Land of Canaan, abounds with all things
necessary for human Life, but also with a Religious People, who as freely
give to the Distressed for Christ's sake, as it was given to them by the
Almighty Donor of all they enjoy. Blessed Land and Happy People!
Governed by the Nursing Mother of Europe, and the Best of Queens! Whose
Unbounded Mercy and Charity has received us despicable Strangers from
afar oft into Her own Dominions, where we have found a Supply of all
things Necessary for our present Subsistence; for which we bless and praise
Almighty God, the Queen's most Excellent Majesty and all Her good
subjects, from the Highest Degree to those of the meanest Capacity; and do
sincerely and faithfully promise to all our utmost Powers, for the future, to
render ourselves Thankful to God, and Serviceable to Her Majesty, and all
her Good Subjects, in what way soever her goodness is pleased to dispose of
Us: and in the mean time be constant in our Prayers, that God would return
the Charity of well disposed People a thousand fold into their own Bosoms,
which is all the Requittal that can present be made by us poor distressed
Protestants.10

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH/GERMANS

Many Pennsylvania Dutch are descendants of refugees from the Palatinate of


the German Rhine. For example, most Amish and Mennonite came to the
Palatinate and surrounding areas from the German speaking part of Switzerland,
where, as Anabaptists, they were persecuted, and so their stay in the Palatinate
was of limited duration.

However, for the majority of the Pennsylvania Dutch, their roots go much
further back in the Palatinate. During the War of the Grand Alliance (1689-97),
French troops, under King Louis XIV, pillaged the Palatinate, forcing many
Germans to flee. The War of the Palatinate (as it was called in Germany), also
called the War of Augsburg, began in 1688 as Louis took claim of the Palatinate,
and all major cities of Cologne were devastated. By 1697 the war came to a close
with the Treaty of Ryswick, and the Palatinate remained free of French control.
However, by 1702, the War of the Spanish Succession began, lasting until 1713.
French expansionism forced many Palatines to flee as refugees.

The first major emigration of Germans to America resulted in the founding of


the Borough of Germantown in northwest Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in
1683-1685. Mass emigration of Palatines began out of Germany in the early 1700s.
In the spring of 1709, Queen Anne had granted refuge to about 7,000 Palatines
who had sailed the Rhine to Rotterdam. From here about 3,000 were sent to
America either directly, or through England, bound for William Penn’s colony. The
remaining refugees were sent to Ireland to strengthen the Protestant presence in
the country. By 1710, large groups of Palatines had sailed from London, the last
group of which was bound for New York. There were 3,200 Palatines on 12 ships

10. Palatine & Pennsylvania Dutch Genealogy, www.geocities.com/Heartland/3955/palatine.htm

20
that sailed for New York and approximately 470 died en route to America. In New
York, under the new Governor, Robert Hunter, Palatines worked for British
authorities and produced tar and pitch for the Royal Navy in return for their safe
passage. They also served as a buffer between the French and Natives on the
frontier and the English colonies. In 1723, some 33 Palatine families, dissatisfied
under Governor Hunter’s rule, migrated from Schoharie, NY, to Tulpehocken, Berks
County, PA, where other Palatines had settled. During the American Revolution
most of the Pennsylvania Dutch were loyalists. They feared that their royal land
grants would be in danger with a new republican form of government. 11

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH DIALECT

It is safe to assume that the Benner ancestors, after the original immigrants,
spoke Pennsylvania Dutch up to most of generation 7 identified herein. The
author’s father, Norman Benner, spoke Pennsylvania Dutch. What is this dialect?

Pennsylvania German, or more commonly Pennsylvania Dutch, (Deitsch,


Pennsylvania Deutsch, Pennsilfaanisch-Deitsch, Pennsilfaani-Deitsch, Pennsilveni-
Deitsch, Pennsilfaanisch), is a West Central German variety spoken by 150,000 to
250,000 people in North America. It is traditionally the language of the
Pennsylvania Dutch community.

In this context, the word "Dutch" does not refer to the people of the
Netherlands. "Dutch" here is left over from an archaic sense of the English word
"Dutch" (compare German Deutsch, Dutch Duits), which once referred to all people
speaking a non-peripheral continental West Germanic language on the European
mainland.

The Pennsylvania Dutch (perhaps more strictly Pennsylvania Deitsch or


Pennsylvania Germans or Pennsylvania Deutsch) are the descendants of German
immigrants who came to Pennsylvania prior to 1800. According to Don Yoder, a
Pennsylvania German expert and retired University of Pennsylvania professor, the
word "Dutch" in this case owes its origin to an archaic meaning where the word
"Dutch" designated groups that are considered today German and Dutch. Although
Yoder rejects other explanations, other sources, such as Hostetler (1993) give the
origin of "Dutch" as a corruption or a "folk-rendering" of the term "Deitsch". The
difficulty is enlarged by the fact that the oldest native term for the Dutch language
happens to be Dietsch, a stem that also shows up in the derivation of Plautdietsch.
Plautdietsch developed on a mixed Dutch / Low German substrate, according to
the Dutch linguist Ad Welschen (2000), which is certainly not the case with
Pennsylvania Deitsch. So Deitsch means 'German', whilst Dietsch means 'Dutch'

11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Dutch

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See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_German_language,
http://www.geocities.com/trconrad2001/dutch_main.html, and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Dutch.

LETTERS FROM RHINE BENNER

Rhine Wiegner Benner, (see Obituary No. 7) brother of Elmer Wiegner


Benner, was an itinerate minister in the mountains of West Virginia and his life
story is chronicled in the book Allegheny Gospel Trails, by Virginia Crider, Christian
Light Publications, Inc., Harrisonburg, VA, 1971 (ISBN 0-87813-502-2). Rhine
Wiegner Benner, also was the father of Timothy Benner, who married Lois Weaver,
sister of Ethel Weaver, who was wife of Norman Bergey Benner. These letters
were procured from Rhine Benner’s son Timothy, and provide a folksy view of the
Benner family.

Letter 1. The following are verbatim paragraphs taken from a letter written by
Rhine W. Benner, to his nephew Evan Benner Alderfer, on July 15, 1969.

My father Enos Delp Benner, was born October 5, 1840 and


died in April, 1911. His mother was Sarah Delp. His father was
Samuel Benner. Samuel Benner was a stone mason and he died
of TB at the age of 42; grandmother was 83. No other member of
the family had ever had TB.
Samuel Benner built the old homestead, a stone structure,
on the County Line Road south of Telford. The place had about
33 acres. One morning, about 4 a. m., Samuel Benner went to
the barn to feed his horse before going to work. It was still dark
and he had no lantern. He jabbed the fork into a bunch of hay,
whereupon someone yelled "Ouch!" It was a chilly night and a
tramp had dug himself into the hay to keep warm.
Father said they had no 'Sunday suits" and so on Sunday
they put on clean clothes which they then wore the remainder of
the week. All the neighbors did the same. My parents, Enos D. and
Maria W. Benner, attended the Rockhill Mennonite Church
north of Telford and they are buried in the Rockhill Cemetary.
They used to walk to church.
My grandfather, Ezra Wiegner, was a farmer and surveyor.
He died of a heart attack while cutting corn fodder to feed the
horse and cows. My grandmother Wiegner (nee Gehman) died
when mother was two weeks old. Grandfather then married a
Diehl from near Rocky Ridge. I never saw any of my
grand¬parents except grandmother Benner. I missed all that.
Grandfather Wiegner owned all of what is now Telford from

22
Reliance (now, called Rumilla) up to the road leading to the
Indian Creek Reformed Church. He donated a building lot for a
Union Chapel where the Lutheran Church now stands on Main
Street, Telford. The Lutheran Church got it by going to
Norristown and stated that the chapel was no longer in use and
wedged in and took it. All it cost them was the lawyer's fees.
Above I should have mentioned that father, Enos D. Benner,
walked to the Indian Creek Church. In his youth they had only
five months school a year and he had very little education. In
his day they studied a lot from the Bible.

Letter 2, from Rhine Benner, date unknown

My father, Enos D (Delp) Benner was born at Telford, Pa


October 5, 1840. Married to Annie Moyer of Franconia. She died
during or soon after confinement, and was buried at
Frasnconia Menn. Ch. Cemetery. (Note the Annies and Anna
names in our family) Then he was married to my mother Maria
G.(Gehman) Wiegner. (My father’s father was Samuel Benner,
Married to Sarah Delp. He was a stone mason, and made shoes
for his family and friends in winter time. My grandfather
Wiegner was a surveyor and owned all of what is now Telford on
the Montgomery Co. side of Main St. and considerably beyond. I
was born on my grandfather Benner’s home place now Main St.
Telford, but I always give my place of birth as Souderton, because
the latter I think joined our home place before Telford did and
is better known by our church people. Telford always would need
a lot of explaining not being on the “Mennonite map,” so to
speak.
I don’t know if my brother Wilson’s widow is still living or
not. She is a Lutheran and I lost track of her. They had one son
Ralph – a “black sheep.” I think he was married in his teens and
left his wife.
Uncle Sam and Aunt Lovina are buried at Souderton. Also
Elmer and wives, and Elsie, too.
Uncle Ben and Aunt “Tillie” as we always called her were
General Conference Mennonites and buried in Hillsdale
Cemetery just down the hill from Uncle Jacob Stouts place. By the
way, Uncle Jacob and a couple of others spell their name Stout.
Don’t know why. Rine Barndt was Lutheran and saw to it that
sister Sarah was buried there at Indian Field Lutheran Church
out from Telford

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INTERESTING VINGETTE ABOUT ELMER WIEGNER BENNER

In 1997 the author and his wife, Fabiola Benner, along with her friend Kittybel
Rivera traveled to Montgomery County, PA to visit with the aunt of Mrs. Rivera,
who was living in a retirement community there. Both Kittybel Rivera and her aunt,
Mary Brecht, were originally from Puerto Rico. Mary Brecht met her husband
Arthur Brecht, who was originally from Pennsylvania, while he was stationed as a
US Navy Officer in Puerto Rico. During the Montgomery County visit, the author
noticed a beautifully bound book which was The Genealogical Record of the
Schwenkfelder Families, labeled as copy # 3. Upon inspection, the author found
information about Elmer Weigner Benner, who’s mother was Maria Gehman
Wiegner, a Schwenkfelder. Arthur Brecht, spouse of Mary Brecht, was involved in
the compiling of this book! This is a wonderful example of “happenstance,” and
how small our world has become!

24
PHOTO GALLERY

Photo 1: The Enos Benner homestead at 424 County Line Road, Telford, Pennsylvania, Circa
1890. From the left: unidentified woman, unidentified woman Maria Weigner Benner holding Rhine
Benner,unidentified woman, Wilson Benner, and Elmer Benner on horseback.

25
Photo 2. Same Telford house, circa 1940

26
Children of Elmer Wiegner Benner

Photo 3: Rena, Elaine, Norman, Eva and Verna, location unknown

Photo 4: Elaine, Verna, Eva, and Norman at residence of Elaine, Franconia, PA

27
The Eva (Benner) Sigenfuse family

Photo 5: John, Eva (Benner), Edward and Elizabeth Signefuse

28
The Verna (Benner) Bender family

Photo 6: Russel, Jr., Lena, Verna (Benner), and Russell E. Bender, at Elaine’s residence in
Franconia, Pa.

29
Ladies of the Benner family

Photo 7.
Front: Elizabeth Sigenfuse, Lena Bender (daughter of Eva Bender) with???, Patricia Ann Grubb,
Phyillis Jean Moyer, Marie (Grubb) Moyer (daughter of Elaine Grubb:
Back: Eva (Benner) Bender, Verna (Benner) Sigenfuse, Joan Grubb (daughter of Elaine Grubb),
Elaine (Benner) Grubb, Ethel Benner (wife of Norman Benner) and Doris Benner (daughter of
Norman Benner.

Note: The automobile with the California license plate was owned by the Sigenfuse family

30
The Rena (Benner) Leatherman family

Photo 8: Rena, Carol Ann, Charles and Robert Photo 9: Rena and Charles, El Monte, CA, 1963
Leatherman, circa 1948

Photo 10: Larry, Carol Ann, Charles, Mary, Rena, & Robert Leatherman, circa 1970

31
The Norman Benner Family

Photo 11: Bottom: N. Dale, Douglas; Middle: Ethel, Herbert, Norman;


Top: Doris, Kenneth. circa 1946

32
ORIGINAL C. M. BENNER REPORT

33
34
35
36
OBITUARIES
No. 1 Enos D. Benner was born Oct. 5, 1840; died of congestion of the brain at Telford, Pa.,
April 11, 1911; aged 70y. 6m. 6d. He was married to Maria Wiegner May 2, 1868. He leaves a
sorrowing companion, 3 sons, 4 daughters, a brother and 5 sisters with many relatives and
friends to mourn their loss. He was a faithful member of the Mennonite Church for many years.
He will be missed in the home, in the Church and in the community. While we keenly feel our
loss, we believe that for him death was eternal gain. His remains were laid to rest April 17 in
Rock Hill cemetery. Services were conducted in the home by Mahlon Souder and at the church
by Jacob Clemens in English and Samuel Detweiler in German. Text, Jno. 11:26.

Gospel Herald - Volume IV, Number 4 - April 27, 1911 - page 63

No. 2: Children of Enos D. Benner

Four deaths have occurred within the year in the family of Enos D. and Maria Benner. On the
5th of February 1888 Catherine died of catarrhal fever aged 11 months and 10 days. On the Ist
of June, Luellen aged 4 years, 6 months and 27 days, and on the 2d Lizzie Maria, aged 6 years,
3 months and 27 days. Both died of diphtheria and were buried together on the 5th of June. On
the 18th of June Enos also died of the same disease, aged 2 years, 9 months and 29 days. These
children were all buried at the Rockhill Meeting-house near Telford, Bucks Co., Pa., the funeral
services on each of these solemn occasions being conducted by Abel Horning and Samuel
Detweiler. Sorrowful and yet not without its comforting side. The oldest five children are still
left, yet the oldest daughter and the mother are seriously ill of the same diseases.

Herald of Truth , Vol. XXV, Number 14, July 15, 1888 - Page 223

No. 3: Benner, Elmer W., son of Enos and Maria Benner, was born in Montgomery Co., Pa.,
Feb. 6, 1878; died after suffering three weeks from neuralgia followed by a stroke, at his home in
Franconia, Pa., April 16, 1939; aged 61 y. 2 m. 10 d. On May 26, 1900, he was united in
marriage to Annie Y. Bergey of Harleysville, Pa., who preceded him in death Nov. 27, 1929. To
this union were born six children, five of whom survive. On April 12, 1936, he was united in
marriage to Annie M. Hackman of Franconia, Pa., who survives him. He united with the
Mennonite Church and remained a faithful member until the end. He leaves 4 daughters, 1 son, 1
step-daughter, 1 step-son, 1 brother, 1 sister and 8 grandchildren. Funeral services were held at
the Souderton Mennonite Church, April 20, conducted by the brethren Jacob Moyer and Elmer
Moyer. Text, Prov. 10:7. Burial in the Souderton Mennonite Cemetery.

"Gone into that light that shines so fair,


Gone from the earth of sorrow and care;
Resting those hands that did their best,
Gone, dear Father, gone to rest."

---By the Family.

Gospel Herald Obituaries - May, 1939 May 4, 1939 - Vol. XXXII, No.5 - pages 110, 111, 112

37
No. 4: Lester B Benner. - On the 2nd of Feb., 1902, in Souderton, Montgomery Co., Pa., of
heart trouble, Lester B., son of Elmer and Annie Benner, aged 5 months, 18 days. Buried on the
6th at the Souderton Mennonite M. H. Funeral services by M. R. Moyer. Text, Rev. 3:20.
H. C. K.

Herald of Truth, Vol. XXXIX, No. 5, March 1, 1902 - Page 77, 78

No. 5: Maria G. Benner, widow of the late Enos D. Benner, of Soudertown, Pa., quietly fell
asleep early Monday morning April 12, 1926; at the age of 78 y. 1 m. 27 d. She suffered an
attack of plural pneumonia followed by a complication of diseases. She suffered a great deal
during her last illness but bore it all patiently. She seemed to realize that the time of her
departure had come and often spoke of it. The following children survive: Sarah, wife of R.C.
Parndt, Telford, Pa.; Lovina, wife of S.S. Alderfer, Philadelphia, Pa.; Elmer W. Benner,
Franconia, Pa.; Tillie, wife of B. F. Simmons, Telford, Pa.; Rhine W. Benner, Roaring, W. Va.;
and Elsie, wife of Titus Myers, Soudertown, Pa. Funeral services were conducted on April 15,
1926, at the home of her youngest daughter, Mrs. Titus Myers, by Bro. Jacob M. Moyer of the
Soudertown Congregation and at the Rockhill Mennonite Church, where she was a member for
over fifty years, by Bros. Joseph Ruth, of Line Lexington, and Edwin Souder and Alfred
Detwiler of the Rockhill Congregation. Interment in cemetery nearby.

Transcriber's notes: Benner, Maria: note use of word "plural" which is no doubt "pleural"

Gospel Herald - Vol. XIX, No. 6 - May 6, 1926, Pages 126-127

No. 6: Benner, Norman B., son of Elmer and Annie (Bergey) Bender, was born May 17, 1911;
died at the Grandview Hospital, Sellersville, Pa., of cancer, March 27, 1970; aged 58 y. 10 m. 10
d. On March 4, 1933, he was married to Ethel Weaver, who survives. Also surviving are 5
children (Kenneth, Doris, Douglas, Dale, and Herbert), 7 grandchildren, and 4 sisters (Mrs.
Elaine Grubb, Mrs. Eva Bender, Mrs. Ed Sigenfuss, and Mrs. Charles Leatherman). One Dec. 5,
1948, he was ordained to the office of deacon and served the Perkasie Church, where he was a
member. Funeral services were held at the Blooming Glen Church, March 31, with Richard C.
Detweiler, and James M. Lapp officiating; interment in Perkasie Mennonite Cemetery.

Gospel Herald - Volume LXIII, Number 18 - May 5, 1970, page 419, 420

38
No. 7: Benner, Rhine W., son of Enos D. and Maria (Wiegner) Benner, was born near Telford,
Pa., Nov. 7, 1889; died suddenly at the Virginia Home, Harrisonburg, Va., Mar. 3, 1974; aged 84
y. 3 m. 14 d. On June 5, 1911, he was married to Anna Nice Stoudt. She preceded him in death,
June 25, 1959. On July 17, 1960, he was married to Mildred Loucks, who died Jan. 25, 1966.
Surviving are 7 children (James, Timothy, Millard, Daniel, Rhoda-Mrs. Charles Hertzler, Elva-
Mrs. Earl Champ, and Evelyn-Mrs. Lewis Swartzentruber), 28 grandchildren and 20 great-
grandchildren. On May 19, 1916, he was ordained to the ministry and served churches in West
Virginia and Virginia. Funeral services were held at the North Fork Mennonite Church, Cabins,
W. Va., in charge of Lloyd Horst and John Risser; interment in Bethel Cemetery.

Gospel Herald - Volume 67, Number 18 - April 30, 1974, pp. 374

39
BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Benner Family Tree, 1748 – 1985, Janice Dean and Della Benner,
Harrisonburg, VA., privately published and distributed

Detective Work Among the Benners, Hannah Benner Roach, Bulletin of the
Historical Society of Montgomery County Pennsylvania, 1949 to 1953

The Genealogical Record of the Schwenkfelder Families, edited by Samuel Kriebel


Brecht, A. M., Printed for The Board of Publication of the Schwenkfelder Church,
Pennsburg, Pennsylvania. Published by Rand McNalley & Company, New York &
Chicago, 1923

www.geocities.com/trconrad2001/dutch_main.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Dutch

www.immigrantships.net/1700/lydia430919.html

www.laubenheim.de

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

http://bennertree.homestead.com/earlyhistory.html

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~buckscounty/benner_rockhill.html

http://genforum.genealogy.com/benner/

http://www.angelfire.com/ca3/bennersites/

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