The Trumbos From Alsace-Lorraine to Virginia and Kentucky

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The McDonald and Trumbo families join through several couples and one single mother. The descent is as follows:

This page is about Hans Jacob Trumbo and Mary Dorthea Custer and their son and daughter-in-law, Andrew Trumbo and Margaret Harness. The other couples can be found by clicking on their links.

Hans Jacob Trumbo (1714-1783) and Mary Dorthea Custer (1718-1755)

Jacob Trumbo was born in 1714 in either Alsace, France, or Palatinate, Germany. However, these areas border each other and so without further research, it is difficult to know precisely where he was from.

It is assumed that Jacob immigrated to the United States sometime before his marriage, perhaps as a child but some time before 1740. As yet, no records have been found of his arrival date.

Jacob Trumbo married Mary Dorthea Custer in 1739. She had been born in 1718 in Rockingham County, Virginia. She was the daughter of Conrad Custer and Susannah Adams. She would have been 22; Jacob, 26. They appear to have spent most of their lives in Virginia, and in particular Rockingham County, where Mary was apparently born.

Rockingham County was established in 1778 from Augusta County, so Jacob and Mary would not have referred to it as Rockingham County but rather Augusta County. It is named for the Marquis of Rockingham, a British statesman. Their home was “on the very edge of the frontier at that time. The wilderness was just over the mountains on the west side of the valley. [it was] a time of war. [In 1758], the Indian massacres occurred at Upper Tract and Ft. Seybeter. There appears to be no record of the family having suffered at the hands of the Indians. It is quite possible that for a time the family had to seek safety from the Indians.” They settled in 1774 on the “west side of the Monongahela and later on Peter’s Creek, near Pittsburgh” (from A Centennial History of Alleghany County, p. 212)

Jacob and Mary had several children:

Mary lived until at least 1755 when her son, Jacob, was born. Jacob survived until 1783 and died in Brock‘s Gap, Augusta County (later Rockingham), Virginia, at the age of 69. It is still uncertain whether Jacob was in the present-day Augusta County or Rockingham County.

Andrew Trumbo (1743-1827) and Margaret (Kate) Harness (1749-1827)

Andrew Trumbo was born on 22 April 1743 in Brooks Gap, Augusta County, Virginia. He was the son of Hans Jacob Trumbo and Mary Dorthea Custer.

Andrew either migrated from Augustus County to Hardy County with his parents or went there as a young man.

He married Margaret (Kate) Harness, probably in 1768 in Moorefield, Hardy County, West Virginia. Kate had been born 16 May 1749, also in Moorefield, Hardy County, West Virginia. She was the daughter of Michael Harness and Elisabetha Dieffenbach. Andrew would have been about 26 years old; Kate, 21.

According to A Centennial History of Alleghany County 5, Andrew bought 600 acres on the South Fork in Pendleton in 1771, but went to Kentucky in 1787. In another source — a scrapbook compiled by Ernest Bracken — Andrew and Margaret conveyed 232 acres of land in Rockingham County, Virginia by deed on August 23, 1781, to Peter Harness, son of old Michael Harness, Sr. This would have been, of course, Kate’s father and brother. Andrew and Kate migrated from Virginia to Kentucky, but the date is unknown. They remained there until their deaths.

At the time of their deaths, they lived in Clintonville, but it is not known what Andrew did for a living, so they may have moved around within the county. There are no sizable lakes in the county, but several streams. Primary among these is Stoner Creek, on which the county seat is situated. This large stream is a principal tributary of the South Fork of the Licking River. The county's topography is predominantly gently rolling hills. Due to agricultural development, very little of the county's land area can be characterized as forested, though deciduous trees are a common feature of the landscape.

Andrew and Margaret had eleven children, but information about them is thus far quite limited:

Kate Harness died, at the age of 78, in about 1827. The exact date of her death is not known, however.

Andrew Trumbo died (perhaps the same year) on 15 Oct 1827 in Clintonville, Bourbon County, Kentucky.

[This page researched and written by Susan Overturf Ingraham, a descendant of Hans Jacob Trumbo and Mary Dorthea Custer and Andrew Trumbo and Margaret Harness. Last Updated February 13, 2016.]

Return to Table of Contents for Exploring Ancestral Roots: Overturfs, Hansens, McDonalds and Mahoneys

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  2. For more information about Elizabeth and Abraham's lives, click on their names. 

  3. For more information about Mary's life, click on her name. 

  4. For more information about Martha and William's lives, click on their names. 

  5. page 212 

  6. For more about information about the Hornbacks, click on Abraham's name.