Search billions of records on

John Limberger, unknown artist

The Limberger Deal

Ann Holland remembers well her aunt Cornelia Randall Holland's stories about the "Limberger Deal."

The story -- perfectly plausible but as yet unverified by documents -- is that Henry Limberger was an unwilling immigrant who came to America as a conscript of the Hessian army. The story goes that he was caught by a press gang and captured while trying to flee through the back garden of his home, somewhere in what is now Germany or the Netherlands. He was then brought against his will to New England to fight for King George III. Whatever his motives, this is one ancestor who is unlikely to get us into the DAR.

According to the stories, he stole a horse and deserted. He hid in Weed's Tavern on the Boston Post Road, in Stonington, Connecticut, and eloped with the tavern-keeper's daughter, Rhoda.

I have not been able to locate a Rhoda Weed in Stonington. Although there is definitely a Weed family there, the daughters have other names. It is possible, and some evidence suggests, she was an indentured servant in the family.

Amazingly, a citrine and seed pearl ring datable to the period and said to be Rhoda's wedding ring, has been handed down in the family and your scribe is proud to wear it now.

Henry and Rhoda apparently spent part of their married life in Hackensack, New Jersey. A Limberger descendant who has been kind enough to share his research reports that according to records kept by the Rev. James C. Romayn, Henry and Rhoda Limberger became members of the First Reformed Church of Hackensack on October 16, 1800.

Henry again appears in a public record dated February 20, 1805, in which he and another man conducted an inventory in Hackensack.

The will of one David S. Demarest of Hackensack, dated April 1, 1809, mentions "a tract of land on the west end of my farm, adjoining Henry Limberger" and further mentions land of Beekman Van Beuren -- the father of Henry's daughter-in-law.

On March 7, 1811, Henry was a witness to the will of Beekman Van Beuren, which left 150 pounds to his daughter Rachel. The will was proved June 4, 1812.

Henry, at least, moved to Greenwich Village sometime after that date. Henry Limberger appears in a New York City directory for the years 1829-30, living at 97 Amos, while his son, John Limberger, was a baker at 41 Vesey. Several bills -- unpaid by John Randall at the time of John Limberger's death -- suggest that John Limberger sold not only bread, but spirits.

John Limberger's portrait, or at least a watercolor sketch for a portrait, pictured at the top of the page, is owned by a descendant.

The Limberger family, as best I can reconstruct it is:

First generation

Henry Limberger, possibly Johannes Henrik Limberger, was born in Germany, and died about 1830 in New York City. He married Rhoda Weed, said to be of Stonington, Connecticut, and lived with her in Hackensack, N.J.

Only child of HENRY LIMBERGER and RHODA WEED is:

     2.    i. JOHN HENRY LIMBERGER, born about 1785; died in New York City December 20, 1838.

In a letter to her daughter Emily Gregory in 1872, Sara Ann Randall mentions her grandfather: "Do not be too bitter toward the Germans for there is a little of the blood running through your veins. Your great grandfather was from Holland but he had not a relative in America. My father was his only child."


Second generation

2. JOHN HENRY LIMBERGER was born about 1785, and died December 20, 1838. He married (1) RACHEL VAN BEUREN, daughter of BEEKMAN VAN BEUREN and AGNIS VREELAND. She was born July 14, 1784, in Bergen County, New Jersey, and died in 1821 in New York. He married (2) MARY BUCKLEY, April 5, 1824 in Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village.

His death notice in the New York Herald, published Dec. 22, 1838, reads: 'On the 20th instant, John Limberger, a native of this city, aged 53 years.'

Rachel Van Beuren was baptized August 22, 1784, in the Dutch Reformed Church of Schraalenburg, in Bergen County, N.J. The death of Rachel's sister, Margaret, in 1809, in New York City suggests that the Van Beuren family had relocated to New York City by that time.

The following is a tentative reconstruction from the records of the Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village:


         i. AGNES LIMBERGER, who married RICHARD N. WENMAN, April 24, 1823, Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village, N.Y. Richard Wenman was the executor of John Limberger's estate.

        ii. HELEN LIMBERGER, who married BERNARD E. WENMAN, October 5, 1824, Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village, N.Y.

       iii. MARGARET LIMBERGER, who married EDWARD D. WEST, 1829, Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village, N.Y.

The name Edward D. West reappears in the name of Sarah Ann Randall's second son, Edward D. West Randall.

       iv. SARAH ANN LIMBERGER, born September 16, 1813, New York City; died December 26, 1899, Cooperstown, N.Y.; she married JOHN RANDALL in 1833.

       v. CHARLOTTE LIMBERGER, born March 25, 1818; married CYPRIAN SOUTHACK in 1836, New York City.

       vi. JOHN HENRY LIMBERGER, baptised: May 13, 1821, Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village. This gentleman kept a low profile; the only further reference to the name discovered so far is a John H. Limberger living at 94 Henry St., in Trowe's City Directory of New York for 1859. Because we can find no death or burial for John in New York, it is not impossible that his demise is referenced in a Davenport, Iowa, newspaper item dated September 4, 1873: "Last evening at six o'clock, John H. Limberger, bar tender at the saloon of Jenne & Co., on Third street, died of the cholera. He was taken sick on Tuesday afternoon at two o'clock, and continued in great pain until his death. Limberger came here from Hannibal, Mo., about a year ago, was a cutter by trade; was about fifty-four years of age; and had no relatives or friends in Davenport." Further research may definitively graft this unfortunate to our Limberger tree.


This picture, from a Randall family album, is captioned "Aunt Helen Wenman." "Margaret West, Sister of Sara Ann Randall" "Aunt Agnes Wenman" from a different album


John Limberger married (2) MARY BUCKLEY April 5, 1824, in the Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village, New York. She was born about 1795, probably in Connecticut, and died after 1870. Mary Buckley was still a resident of New York City's 8th Ward in the U.S. Census of 1840. She is mentioned in letters from Sara Ann Randall to her husband.


i. WILLIAM BUCKLEY LIMBERGER, born December 28, 1824; baptized March 6, 1825, in the Dutch Church, Greenwich Village. He seems not to have married, but lived out his adult life in the town of Unadilla, N.Y. It is probable that he is the William Limberger from Unadilla who enlisted in the state militia's response to the "Rent War" of 1845. A Thomas Limberger, also enlisted from Unadilla, may be a brother of whom we know nothing else yet.

2. ii. JOSEPH G. LIMBERGER, born about 1826, New York City.

3. iii. CHARLES LIMBERGER, born about 1836, New York City; died in Danville Pa.

Mary Buckley Limberger


Second generation

2. JOSEPH G. LIMBERGER was born about 1826 in New York City. He married (1) CLARISSA ----. He married (2) ELIZABETH READ December 6, 1868, in Greene County, N.Y.

In the 1850 U.S. Census, Joseph is 22 and a carriage-maker by trade. Living with him in Unadilla is Mary Limberger, 55, presumably his mother. In the 1860 U.S. Census, Mary is still with him, as well as his first wife, Clarissa. She is evidently the mother of William, born in 1861. His second marriage, to Elizabeth Read, was reported in the Chenango Telegraph of December 16, 1868. No issue known of this marriage. In the 1869-70 Greene directory, he is still in Unadilla, in business with nephew Edward D. W. Randall, son of his half-sister Sara Ann Randall. In the 1870 U.S. Census, he is 42, living with his wife, Elizabeth, 39, son, William, and his mother, now 75. This census records that Mary was born in Connecticut.


4. i. WILLIAM B. LIMBERGER, born about 1861.

3. CHARLES LIMBERGER was born about 1836 in New York, and died in Danville Pa. He married HANNAH REGINA EPHLIN, daughter of William and Mary Ephlin of Danville. She was born in January 1841, and died May 17, 1901.

In the 1850 U.S. Census, Charles, 14, a student, boards with a family in the town of Butternuts, Otsego County, N.Y. In the 1860 U.S. Census, he is 23, working in Danville, Pa, for saddler Eli Wilson. In the 1880 U.S. Census, Charles, 43, is a saddler and harness maker in Danville. in the 1900 U.S. census, adult children Anna, William and Joe are still living with their parents.


i. ANNA LIMBERGER, born 1864. Never married; she became a Methodist missionary in Mexico.

ii. WILLIAM E. LIMBERGER, born 1868.

iii. JOHN LIMBERGER, born 1871.

5. iv. HENRY LIMBERGER, born 1876; died 1905

6. v. JOSEPH MORGAN LIMBERGER, born October 17, 1878, Danville Pa; died July 23, 1940, Wilmington, Del.

Third generation

4. WILLIAM B. LIMBERGER was born about 1861 and died in 1921. He married KATHERINE HYDE. She was born in 1870, and died in 1922. The couple appears to have separated. In 1910, he is a boarder in the Woodruff home, Randolph, N.Y.; in 1920, William is a resident in the Homeopathic Hospital, Middletown, N.Y. He presumably died there. He is buried in the Randolph Rural Cemetery, Cattaraugus N.Y., as is his daughter. His widow is buried in the Lee Cemetery, Lee, Oneida County, N.Y.


i. MARGARET LIMBERGER, born September 1889; died October 16, 1889.

5. HENRY LIMBERGER married LUCY CAMPBELL, daughter of ELIZABETH H. CAMPBELL. She was born about 1872. Henry died in 1905; in the 1910 and 1920 censuses Lucy is a widow raising her children in West Chester, Pa.

6. JOSEPH MORGAN LIMBERGER was born October 17, 1878, in Danville Penna, and died July 23, 1940 in Wilmington, Del. He married, November 6, 1905, in Danville, ALETTA HELLER, daughter of ANDREW HELLER and SARAH ANN DIEHL of Mahoning Township, Montour County, Pa. Aletta was born May 24, 1874 in Danville and died December 16, 1943 in Wilmington, Del.

Grandchildren of these marriages are living, and your scribe is grateful for their help in expanding this page of our genealogy.

This page is maintained by Emily Randall. Comments, corrections and additions are welcome. All letters will be answered. Write to me at: