Adolph Schmachtenberger’s Parentage

Regarding Adolph and his relation to a father named “Adam” who fought in the revolution…

Some general information about the earliest Schmachtenbergers states that Adolph’s father was named Adam and that Adam’s parents died on a ship sailing to America in 1745.

The first Schmachtenbergers to come here from Germany were in 1745. The couple had a son born en route. The parents died on the ship and were buried at sea. The son was taken in by another couple aboard and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. The family kept the baby’s name as Schmachtenberger in case any family might come looking for him. The boy sired a large family of which 7 were sons who served with distinction in the American war of the Revolution. One son was Adam and he was Adolph’s father.

I added Adam as Adolph’s father in my original tree, but I have since found reasons to believe that this story was made up from information in two biographies I found, and that the Adam referred to is actually Adam Rupert, father of Adolph’s wife, Margaret.

Here are two biographies. The first is the biography of his grandson Ottomer in City of Decatur and Macon County, Illinois: a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, by Nelson, William Edward. (Although Adolph is misnamed “Rudolph.”)

It says Otto was the son of Samuel Schmachtenberger and was born on a farm in Canton, Ohio to Rudolph [sic], who was born in Germany…

On the journey across the Atlantic both of his parents died while on shipboard when making the voyage in one of the old-time sailing vessels. They had a son and daughter who, on arriving in New York, became separated…

Rudolph [sic] Schmachtenberger first settled in Pennsylvania and afterword to Ohio. 

The second piece of information probably comes from the biography of Jacob Schmachtenberger, Adolph’s son:

The boy had many children, of whom 7 were sons who fought in the revolution.

Here’s that article:

Here are the flaws in the story:

  1. I have found no record of seven Schmachtenbergers who served in the Revolutionary War. 
  2. The biography of Jacob states that “his grandfather, Adam, was one of seven brothers that figured quite prominently as soldiers in the American Army during the Revolution.” Jacob’s maternal grandfather was named Adam Rupert. I have found records that Adam Rupert, Margaret’s father, definitely served (and it would be a coincidence-but is possible-that both Jacob’s grandfathers were named Adam).

I no longer will list “Adam” as Adolph’s father’s name until I can find some record to prove it. Adam Rupert definitely served in the Revolutionary War. I have not yet found more than two brothers who also served, but Adam Rupert is possibly be referring to Jacob’s grandfather “Adam” Rupert, and not Adolph’s father.

There is more information about Adam on Find a Grave, but a lot of is it speculation. It does mention several Rupert brothers who fought in the Revolutionary War. Read it here.