JOHAN PETER LENHART 1708-1774 (JPL)
Researchers believe that the Johan Peter Lenhart (JPL) who came to America in 1748 is identical to the "Joh. Peter Leonard," of Chumbt Monastery, whose 27 May 1708 baptism appears in the Horn, Hunsruck, Evangelisch-Reformiert records. Other entries refer to Chumbt, Gimbt, Chumbt, Chumb (with or without) Monastery and surrounding areas. This locale is in the Rhineland Palatinate - just south of where the Mosel river joins the Rhine - in the region of Horn Hunsruck (or Hunsrueck).Today there is a village named Klosterkumbd located about 4 miles north of Simmern, the county (Kreis) seat. Klosterkumbd is about 53 miles (85 km) west of Frankfurt am Main, home of the international airport (not to be confused with the Frankfurt near the Polish border).
For those of you who want more details (including latitude and longitude) the following is compiled from various sources including Lenhart researchers Margaret Gonzalez,(1) Jim Lenhart,(2) and Helene Hamm.(3) There are many spelling variations for the below locales; the versions most likely to be found on contemporary maps or web searches are underlined. Note: Statements that JPL was from Prussia/Pressen are incorrect; the area of JPL's birth did not become part of Prussia/Pressen until the 1800's.
Rheinland (or Rhineland) Palatinate (or Pfalz) - The tombstone of JPL's son Jacob says Jacob was born in the Pfalz (Palatinate).(4) The Rhineland Palatinate is the equivalent of a state in the country of Germany and all the alleged JPL locales are in this area.
Horn Hunsruck or Hunsrueck (5) - This is a region in the Rheinland Palatinate. Today there is also a town named Horn about one mile north of Klosterkumbd. According to Jim Lenhart, Horn contains about "30-40 homes all in a clump."
Klosterkumbd/Klosterchumbd (Lat. 50o 2' N, Long. 7o 32' E) - It is likely the monastery was no longer in existence at the time of JPL's birth but it is assumed that JPL's family worked the lands in this area. There is also a nearby village named Kloster/Kloster Wald.
"The Chumd nunnery was located only several kilometers southwest of Horn, between the villages of Klosterkumbd and Neuerkirch. The nunnery has been in ruins since the 18th century." (3) "Today Chumbt Monastery is called Kloster-kumbd with a town nearby called Kumbdchen. Kloster-kumbd is less than 5 km. from Horn. All three locations are in Kreis Simmern." (1)
Jim Lenhart's 2000 report: "Klosterkumbt sits down in a little valley and is 3 kilometers down the street from Horn. The people there want the monastery OFF their local tourist map as it was destroyed/gone in 1600's. The town itself has maybe 20 or so homes and is a very small village. We ate at the local 'guest house' and the lady didn't know a lot as she'd moved there from another area, but a couple of the local drinkers stated about them taking the monastery off - they didn't seem happy about tourists asking about it! . . . . There were no graves! Why? Well, apparently you pay for the land you're buried in after 20 years or so. Then if you don't, they bury someone else on top of your coffin!!! I did find a Wilhelm Bender and a Schultz, but they were in this little courtyard (not even a church) right next to the road before you enter Klosterkumbt."
Simmern (Lat. 49o 59' N, Long. 7o 31' E) - This city does not appear in JPL related records but is the largest city in the Horn Hunsruck area. Kreis Simmern may be the equivalent of County Simmern and/or county seat. Jim Lenhart says, "If you are going to Germany and looking for a small town, the main roads are marked, but buy a map at a gas station for that area as it has the small roads and towns on it. NOTE - the small roads are NOT numbered so you just follow intersections from town to town to find what you're looking for."
Budenbach - Locale listed for other Leonard/Leonhard church entries (relationship to JPL not known).(5) "Budenbach which was mentioned in the church records is still Budenbach and is, (as the crow flies) 50 km from Horn but is still in Kreis Simmern." (1)
Benzweiler (Lat. 50o 1' N, Long. 7o 36' E) - Pensenweiler, Penssenweiler, Pensenweiler, Pennsenweiler, Bennsweiler - Locale listed for JPL's father in marriage record, sponsors of JPL's baptism, etc. (5) "Penssenweiler (or Benssweiler). . . is now called Benzweiler and is in nearby Kreis Rheinbollen. Rheinbollen itself is about 20km (as the crow flies) from Horn so Benzweiler may be closer." (1)
Zweibrucken (unconfirmed). JPL and wife "resided in Zweibruken, before immigrating to America (according to tradition)" (6) Margaret Gonzalez searched some Zweibrucken records but as yet has found no entries for any Lenhart spelling variation.(5) Today, Zweibrucken is a city but at one time it was the name of a larger area that included many villages and towns. Zweibrucken is near the border of Germany and France and appears on most maps (including the above Rheinland map link). It is "over 100 km from Horn (as the crow flies)."(5)
(1) Margaret Gonzalez, April 13, 2000, post to the now extinct Lenhart/listbot, edited. Margaret states she is dealing with "European measurements . . . . using a ruler with inches and trying to convert since the map legend is not in inches" and distances are estimates "as the crow flies." (Thank you to Helene Hamm who saved the post and sent it to me.)
(2) James R. Lenhart post to the now extinct Lenhart/listbot after his ca. June 2000 visit to Germany, edited. (Thank you to Bernard Lenhart who saved the post and sent it to me.)
(3) Private correspondence from Helene Hamm who obtained information from a cousin who obtained it from a friend in Germany.
(4) The Lenhart Family of Greenwich and Albany Twps., Berks County, and York County, PA. By Wm. H. Rinkenbach, A.B., M.S., 1937. (RINKENBACH)
(5) According to a report from Margaret Gonzalez who reviewed records of the Horn Hunsruck, Evangelisch-Reformiert on LDS film 0492974; these records are also the source of certain entries in the LDS IGI. She reported her findings February 2000 to the now extinct Lenhart/listbot. A copy of her original e-mail was re-posted to the LENHART-L RootsWeb mailing list and is in the list archives: 6 Jul 2001(EDT) Subject [LENHART] JPL's Ancestry "German Research" (Margaret's original e-mail).
(6) Dull, Keith A. Early German Settlers of York County, Pennsylvania (Revised Edition), Willow Bend Books, Westminster, Maryland, 2001. See Dull sources.
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