Lion-Hearted Duke

The Ever-Changing World in Which We Live !

History in Depth

The following is Barbara's first draft of My Mom's family History.
Very wonderful!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Georg Simon, II Martha (Gebhardt) Simon
b - Oct. 25, 1825, Germany b - Oct. 18, 1834, Germany
m - Martha (Gebhardt), Sept. 3, 1856 m - Georg Simon
d - Feb. 26, 1870, Penna. Frank Miller
John Gaessler (Gessler)
d - June 15, 1915, Penna.


Margaretha (Maggie) C. Simon CHILDREN:
b – Feb. 19, 1857, Germany Frank
m - John HENZEL John, Jr.
d – Jan. 3, 1944, Penna. George W.
Adelaide SMITH

Ludwig (Louis) Simon CHILDREN:
b – July 22, 1858, Germany

Johann (Adam H.) Simon CHILDREN:
b – Jan. 9, 1861, Germany John
m - Anna Maria LOACHER, Feb. 1885 Matthew B. Tim.
d – May 7, 1936, Penna. James W. Koch
William Gessler
Martha TEBBS
Adam Emanuel
Frank Henzel
Charles Geo. Henry

Elisabeth Simon CHILDREN:
b – April 26, 1863, Germany Estella GARIS
m – Lycurgus L. HEDRICK Martha WOLFORD
d – October 3, 1896, Penna. Sarah
Josaphine W.
Ella S.

Anna Ottilia (Matilda) Simon CHILDREN:
b – Sept. 22, 1865, Germany Jenny
m – Malachi HEATON Annie PEARSON
d – Aug. 16, 1889, Penna.

Enos George Simon # CHILDREN:
b – July 9, 1868, Penna. Anna Mary
m – Ellie MC CLUSKEY, Dec. 1, 1887 Francis William *
Kathryn KASSI, Apr. 17, 1930
d – Oct. 10, 1950, Virginia

George Gephart Simon, II CHILDREN:
b – Feb. 28, 1870, Penna. George, III
m – Mary Ann GAUGES, Feb. 28, 1890 Earl
Mary Ellen WOOD Willis
d – Dec. 4, 1909, Penna. Frank
Mary Ellen

* * * * * * * * * *


One seed was planted years ago for $2.50 and from that seed we now have a tree, a family tree.

I was told by my uncle, JOHN SIMON, (now deceased), that Enos Simon, the writer’s great grandfather, died in Virginia, USA. An ad was placed in a Virginia newspaper asking for information on the death of Enos Simon.

*writer’s grandfather # writer’s great grandfather

MARGARET FRAZIER of Tappahannock, Virginia, and a great niece of Enos’s, wrote a letter to me asking what my interest was. I responded and she wrote again referring me to MRS. ADAM SIMON in Sharon, PA (now deceased). MRS. ADAM SIMON or MARGARET SIMON was the second wife of REV. ADAM SIMON, a nephew to Enos. I wrote to Margaret and she wrote with information on the family referring me to MRS. CATHERINE SODERLUND in Broomall, PA (just 3 miles from my home) for more information. She indicated that Catherine would be the best source of family information. Needless to say, she was right. Catherine (now deceased) was the daughter to Adam Simon, Sr., and a niece to Enos Simon. I contacted Catherine, we met and I started building my history from there. It also turned out that Catherine had been trying for years to find out where her Simon relative lived who worked at Westinghouse in Lester, PA. That was FRANK SIMON, the writer’s grandfather and son to Enos Simon. A few years later I met her son, CHUCK SODERLUND, who is an assistant researcher on my family history. (Notice how Chuck spells his last name, Soderlund. That is the Finnish spelling of Soderland in honor of his father’s Finnish heritage). I could go on and on from here but I think the history that follows will tell the story quite adequately of the birth of a tree from one seed.


Roots…Trees…Genealogy…Biology…there are many correlations between the two. Genealogy is the tracing of one’s roots leading to family trees. Biology is the tracing of life through the evolutionary ages leading to trees, on the one hand, and phylums and families within the phylums, on the other. Both ancestral life and biological life existed in certain areas or ecosystems. Because of natural selection, genetics, heredity and life as a whole, each ecosystem, cell, organism and finally, each part of life itself, is unique. That is what makes genealogy and biology interesting and alike. To find out why each organism is different from the next yet the same and why they lived where they did and their work on earth--this is the mystery.

However, this is not a study in Biology--but rather a study in Genealogy. This is a study of the Simon family with its many roots, including those of the Gebhardt family who married into the Simons. There are characteristics of some of the people that are different from their predecessors yet very much the same as their predecessors. The location in the ecosystem is the same for some individuals and yet different for others. This is definitely a tracing of one’s roots--the Simon/Gebhardt roots. Many points are still unproven and probably will be for many years. However, the quest for more answers goes on.

One of the goals of my family research was to cross the ATLANTIC BRIDGE TO MY HOMELAND, namely Germany, and hopefully find family. This has been accomplished due to the travels of my cousin, Chuck Soderlund and his wife, Bea, in Germany and in particular Pirmasens. They made acquaintance with Hans Kupper and Anna (Simon) Koelsch, among other Simon friends. It now turns out that quite a few of them are definitely family, in particular Hans and Anna. One of them, Otto

Simon, has been corresponding with me for some time. There has been a problem with this, however, but not a problem that could not be solved. Whenever he sends me a letter or info, it is always in German, and I don’t read or understand German. Therefore, with the help of cousins, Elmer Christensen, from Salt Lake City, UT, (now deceased), Bill Hildebidle (from the Steigner family), also deceased, Dick Pinkerton (from another side of my family, deceased), and even my former boss, Bill Zulker, (himself of German descent), my history is put in writing. There are many sources for my info and they are listed in the bibliography.

With this information in hand, I have attempted to outline the Simon family and its many varied branches, including GEBHARDT, (cir. 1660 in Zurich, Switzerland), from the beginning of its history, which is about the 12th Century when the Simons may have been Counts to the present day 21st Century, where they are common every day citizens. The following is not only the story of the Simon and Gebhardt families of Germany but also of those families that were born in America of Foreign Cells.


According to legend and information received from my cousin, Otto Simon, who resides in Eppenbrunn, Germany, the FAMILIE VON SIMON, may descend from 12th Century Counts from the Rheinland/Palatinate (Pfalz) area of Germany. However, it is not known for sure what noble family, if at all, they descend from. There were many noble families in Germany and France at this time in history, among them being, Fleckenstein, Zweibrucken, Saarbrucken, Heinrich, Eberhard, Reinhard, Friedrich, Lichtenberg, Siegbert, Lothringen, Hannemann, Wecker, and Bitsch as well as others.

If true, the Simons were supposably considered Counts until the 15th Century. It was sometime between the 15th and 16th Centuries that they became common citizens and remain as such today. However, Manfred GEBHARDT, who is assisting with my research in Germany, disputes the fact that the Simons were Counts at any time in history. He is a cousin on both sides of my family. This matter needs more research.

The first documented proof of the original homestead of the FAMILIE VON SIMON was from records obtained on the French village of Neunhofen, near Bitsch, France, about 40 km. (or approximately 25 miles) from Eppenbrunn. This was the original homestead of Valentin Simon, the father of Theobald Simon. Valentin was born in Neunhofen in 1640. Although it is in disrepair, the house is still standing today, but is soon to be torn down. The last Simon family lived in the house until around 1831 at which time they moved toward the Eppenbrunn and Pirmasens areas of Germany where many reside today. There are branches of the FAMILIE VON SIMON living today in other areas of Germany as well as France, namely, Einoderwiesenhof, Hilst, Walschbronn, Waldhousen, Breidenbach, Bitsch, Saareguemines, Kroeppen, Vinningen, Metz, Sturzelbronn, Obersteinbach,

Niedersteinbach, Niederbronn, Strassbourg, Hochstellerhof, and Trulben, as well as Puerto Rico, Ghana and numerous states in America.

The maps at the end of this book will show the towns that the Simons and Gebhardts populate in Germany, France and Switzerland.

One area of importance is Pirmasens, and in particular, Eppenbrunn, as this is where the Simons moved after living in Neunhofen, France.

Pirmasens, the German shoe-capital, and a town of approximately 51,000 inhabitants, is situated in the southwest area of the Rheinland-Pfalz on the edge of the Pfalzer Wald National Park. Actually an industrial town, the town is set in green surroundings with clear air uneffected by smoke, soot or noise. It has a pleasant stimulant climate, and the air is rich in oxygen and has been called the nicest, most pretty and most picturesque part of the Palatinate wood area. Pirmasens and Eppenbrunn are located near the French border and today is mostly a resort area.

Georg Simon, II, born October 25, 1825, in Eppenbrunn, Germany married his second cousin, Martha (Gebhardt) on Sept. 3, 1856, in Eppenbrunn, Germany, which is in the Palatinate District near the border of France. Martha was born in Kettrichhof, Germany on October 18, 1834, also the Palatinate area of Germany. From this marriage, seven children were born, five born in Germany. The last two, Enos George and George Gephart Simon, III, were born in Saucon, Lehigh County, Penna. You will note that George’s middle name is Gephart. This is the American spelling variation of Gebhardt. Georg, II, resided in Rodalberhof, Germany before his immigration to America. Rodalberhof is approximately 50 km. (or 35 miles) west of the The Rhein River and north of Pirmasens in the Palatinate. It is also in the German Alps and was where Margaretha (Maggie) Simon was born.

Although this is not the first time that the Simon and Gebhardt families have intermarried, it does make their children not only their children but cousins to each other as well. The Seegmuller/Lang/Anstett chart in the appendix will show the connection through Arbogast and Eva Seegmuller, (see Page 7 for the Seegmuller Family History).

It appears as though Georg sailed from La Havre, France to New York on the Ship Wm. Frothingham and arrived in America on August 27, 1866. There were no family members with him. Whether he came to America for reasons of lack of employment, political repression and upheavel, religious persecution or just to make a fresh start in a new land is unknown, but apparently he came here first and sent for the family later. Martha and four of her children left Germany in 1867 via La Havre, France and London on the Ship Atalanta and arrived in America on September 7, 1867, through the Port of New York. Her given destination was Indiana State. Why she was going there is unknown unless relatives settled there. Johann N. Gebhardt (her uncle) and family did immigrate in 1747 but settled in Lehigh County. After 1780, I lose track of the family so perhaps they moved west to Indiana State. Georg had a number of brothers and sisters, (Page 14), and perhaps some of them came to

America prior to 1866 and settled in Indiana State. Three of Martha’s siblings immigrated to America. Her sister, Louisa (Elisabeth Luisa, her real name) settled in New Jersey. When she came here, however, I do not know. It appears as if her brother, Peter, arrived in America on June 25, 1862 on the Ship SS Bremen from Bremen, Germany into the Port of New York. He was a passenger in steerage so probably had very little money. Christian immigrated in 1870. It is not known where Peter and Christian settled. Christian’s descendants, however, settled in Kansas and spread out from there. Woody Collins (another family researcher) is descended from this branch. Since Peter was already here, perhaps Martha was going wherever he was with the idea of settling there.

Nevertheless, Georg and Martha, settled in Lehigh County where they entered the Lehigh County Home on May 12, 1869 until August 15, 1871, at which time some of the children were indentured out and some stayed with Martha. Georg died on February 26, 1870 from TB, 2 days before the birth of their last child. I do not know if Georg came to this country with TB or if he came in contact with it on ship or once here, but apparently he could not work because of ill health and this may be why they were in the Home. It is also noted that Martha had a cabin on the voyage to America which meant that either someone paid for her voyage or she did. If she did, what happened to her money once here. Was it spent on medical bills for Georg? Recent information shows that Margaretha (Maggie), Georg and Martha’s oldest child, immigrated to America a year later, on November 16, 1868, coming from Bremen into New York on the Ship Hermann. She, however, was never in the home.

Between 1871 and 1880, Martha and her family were somewhere between Lehigh County and Philadelphia. In 1880, Martha was living with her second husband-to-be, John Jacob Gaessler, (Americanized to Gessler), in Philadelphia. Two children were living with them: John, 10, and Charles, 8. It has been said that Martha was married to: Georg Simon, Frank Miller, and John J. Gessler in that order. However, I have only found descendants of Georg Simon and John Gessler. Who was Frank Miller and where did he come from? If she married Georg Simon in 1856, had seven children and became a widow two days prior to the birth of her last child on February 28, 1870, married John Gessler on July 15, 1882, then it is possible that she could have been married to Frank Miller. On the 1910 census, Martha and John Gessler were living with Margaret Henzel, her daughter, on 11th and Jessup Street in Philadelphia. At that time, the census indicated that Martha had been married for thirty years and that it was her second marriage, which would make it in the 1880’s when she married John Gessler. But John Gessler, Jr., was born in 1870. As indicated on John, Sr.’s, Civil War papers, Martha did marry John Gessler in 1882. Did she know John in the 1870’s and did she have both John, Jr., and Charles by him? If not, and she did marry Frank Miller, could John and Charles be children of Martha’s and Frank’s but adopted by John Gessler at the time of their marriage? The case could also be that John Gessler was married before, and John and Charles could be sons from that marriage, but his Civil War papers do not indicate this. These theories have yet to be proven.

Coming to this country after them were people by the name of Steigner/Stegner. According to family, they were cousins in some way to the Simons. I believe it is through Hannah (Simmons) Steigner, which I think should be Simon. However, through further research, it appears the Steigner/Stegner line comes into the family in 1666 when both the Simon/Gebhardt family become interconnected as a result of the Seegmuller family. (See page 11-13 for Steigner family history).

The Seegmuller (Segmuller, Saegmueller) Family first appears around the 1580’s when children of Hans Peter Seegmuller and Maria Salome Becker marry.
Eventually the two families would find themselves related to one another through their son, Arbogast who married Ottilia Christ in 1642 (Simon family) and their daughter, Eva who married Nicolaus Glass in 1641 (Gebhardt) family. (See appendix). Later on in the history of the Simon and Gebhardt families, they connect again through Kelsch and Diehl. A daughter of Arbogast and Ottilia, Salome, married Oswald Stegner (Steigner) in 1666 and this is the first recording of this
family. This may be how the Steigners became related to the Simons. Hans Peter was kind of a notorious person as the following will attest to.

“Hans Seegmueller, from Pirmasens, Lutheran, born abt 1575, was convicted to wheel and fire along with three others because they had disarmed four imperial soldiers, had killed and shot them and then a village partially fired; because of their submissive begging they were executed by sword and buried at Buchsweiler in a Christian way. They died on Friday, Oct. 4, 1622.”

There is our first skeleton in the closet.
Ludwig, Georg and Martha’s oldest son, also left the Home on February 7, 1870, just a few weeks before his father died. He became indentured to John Tinboman and then on the 1870 census was listed as a farm laborer for John Fuhrman from Bavaria in Perkiomen, Montgomery County, Pa. John Fuhrman’s wife, Mary was a Gehringer by birth. The Gehringer family married into the Simons and Gebhardts so it is possible that this Mary Gehringer who was married to John Fuhrman was a cousin to Louis and this is how he came to be with them. Further research leads me to believe that Louis was indentured as a laborer to a Joel F. Harrar in Horsham, Montgomery Co., PA in 1880. He was listed as Louis Simmons at that time. It seems as though he stayed in the Montgomery Co. area but nothing more has been found on him at the present time.

Adam, their second oldest son, left the Home on February 7, 1870, a few weeks before his father died. He became indentured to A. W. Stettler. Stettler would later
marry into the family (see Page 17 and Appendix G) by marrying two Gebhardt sisters, daughters of the mysterious Daniel Gebhardt. Adam married Anna Maria
Loacher on February 18, 1885 in St. Pauls Lutheran Church in Philadelphia. Anna Maria was born in Bavaria. At the time of his marriage, he was living at 422 Richmond Street in Philadelphia and later moved to Hilltown, PA sometime between 1894 and 1896 where four of his children were born. I was told by Sarah (Steigner) Jester that 422 Richmond was a big place where she and her family visited often. When Adam was naturalized on September 23, 1884 he was living at 627 St. John Street in Philadelphia. Adam worked at various jobs, from being indentured out on a farm to pretzel baker for Henry Sigel in 1880 in Phila to working for the Reading Railroad, where he retired from the Shipping Department in 1930. Three of his children would later work for the Reading Railroad.

Their son, Adam, Jr., was a Lutheran Minister in Western Pennsylvania. It has been said that Adam, Jr., tried to so some research on the family but just how far he progressed is unknown. It was Adam’s wife, Margaret that put me in contact with Catherine Soderlund who was very interested and helpful to me in my research of the Simon family.

When Enos (Permenus) George Simon, their sixth child, left the Home with his mother in 1871, he went and worked for William Fretz on a farm in Hilltown, Bucks Co., before living with his future inlaws. He would later marry his first wife, Ellie McCluskey from Philadelphia, on December 1, 1887 in St. Peters Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. Two children were born to Enos and Ellie, one daughter who died shortly after birth and one son, Francis William. Around 1906, he left Ellie and went to live with his second wife-to-be, Kathryn Kassi in New Jersey. He married her on April 17, 1930. Like his brother Adam, Enos worked at various jobs but retired from the Pennsauken Water Works in Merchantville, New Jersey.

His son, Francis William, married Ethel Lafferty and had four children. Their first daughter, ELLEN C., married John Easterday and had three children. Ellen’s only daughter, Barbara, is the genealogist in writing.

Elisabeth Simon’s (or Mary Elizabeth, her given name) family also lived in the Hilltown and Souderton area of Pennsylvania. Before her marriage, Elisabeth was Lutheran like her parents. After she married, she attended the Hilltown Baptist Church where she and her husband, Lycurgus L. Hedrick, are buried in the Lower Cemetery. She had ten children total--four children died very young, all less than a year old. Their daughter, Estella (Stella, as she was called), married John D. Garis and is buried in the Souderton Mennonite Cemetery. I feel Estella was Lutheran or Baptist before her marriage to John but afterward attended the Mennonite Church because John Garis was Mennonite. Elisabeth died very young, at the age of 33, I believe, due to typhoid fever. She was not living at the time of her daughter, Bertha’s marriage to James Keller on October 14, 1907.

George Gephart Simon, III, married Mary Anne Gauges on February 25, 1890, in the St. Paul Independent German Lutheran Church in Philadelphia. They resided at 1413 Hancock Street in Philadelphia with John Henzel, Jr. George, III, married a second time as a result of the death of Mary Anne probably in 1902. His second wife was Mary Ellen (Snovel) Wood. She had four children at the time of her marriage to George and seven additional children resulted from this marriage, the oldest being George, IV. They resided in Glendon, PA., a small borough just outside Easton, PA and attended the Glendon Methodist Episcopal Church. George worked for a machine shop in Easton and was terribly hurt and subsequently died on December 4, 1909 as a result of a machine related accident. George and his second wife are buried in Hays Cemetery in Easton, PA. In addition, he, his wife (which one is unknown) and three children suffered from TB. It has been said that he was in the war, probably Spanish American, and could have contacted TB that way. However, it is more likely that he inherited it from his father. They were a very poor family, with their son, George, only earning $8 per month.

Like her brother Adam, Anna Ottilia, (Matilda, as she was called) Simmons or Simon was indentured to Henry Sigel in Phila. in 1880. She later married Malachi Heaton and had two children. She did not live long. When her daughter, Annie married Harvey Pearson on April 18, 1904, Matilda was not living. Her other daughter, Jennie, did not live very long either--died when she was 26 years old. Matilda, Malachi, and Jenny are buried in the Hilltown Baptist Church Cemetery. Due to the recorded name given at birth, I also feel that Osella, which was listed on the 1870 census, is another name given for Matilda or Anna Ottilia.

Maggie Simon, the oldest child of Georg, II, and Martha, came to America from Germany a year after her mother and four months after her brother Enos was born. She arrived via the port of New York from Bremen on the Ship Hermann on November 16, 1868 at the age of 11. Her marriage to John Henzel, probably around 1880 produced eight children. Her first child, a son, was by another union, and once she married John Henzel the child was adopted by John and renamed Frank Henzel. When Adelaide, Maggie and John’s youngest, was very young John passed away. Eventually, the children started to marry leaving Maggie unable to keep her home going. Even the Candy Store on Girard and Howard was not much help. Maggie, therefore, moved from one place to another, all the time taking turns living with her children. She would also spend some time with her cousin, Rose Schmidt. Rose was a daughter to a sister of Martha Gessler, Maggie’s mother. (See Page 16). Maggie’s youngest daughter, Adelaide, married Franklin A. Smith on April 22, 1916 in Philadelphia and had four daughters. Adelaide was living in Lindenwold, New Jersey at the time of her mother’s death in 1944. Adelaide’s daughter, Dorys, has given me much of this information. Maggie’s other daughter, Martha, married William Christman and had one daughter, Dorothy. Dorothy is now deceased but was very helpful and informative in my research of our family roots.

Martha’s marriage to John Jacob Gessler on July 15, 1882 produced four children: John, Charles, William and Frederick. John and Charles were born before their marriage in 1882 so it is questionable if they were Martha’s children by John (see Page 6). Frederick married a girl by the name of Anna (Schnaufer) and had three children: Louise, George, and Frederick, Jr. Louise, now deceased, married a man by the last name of Gilpin. According to John’s Civil War Papers, John and
Martha moved around quite a bit within a twenty-year period and several times resided with Maggie Henzel and her family.

Even though legend has it that we are descended from Counts there is also a rumor that we may be descended from the Kaiser. Many times when Maggie Henzel visited Louise (Gessler) Gilpin she would bring her items about the Kaiser. She would also defend his actions. Perhaps the rumor that we are descended from the
Kaiser is true as well as the legend on the Counts. More needs to be done to prove both theories conclusively.

It has been said by a family member that the owners of the Gephart Wagon Works which was located at 2756-74 Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia in the early part of the 1900’s were members of our family. The names of the owners were Alec and Amelia (Alderfer) Gephart. I believe the only way they could have been connected is that Alec was a nephew to Martha. They did not have any children that I know of. Alec and Amelia lived at 17th and Tioga Streets in Philadelphia.

I have not found Alec and Amelia Gephart listed in the street directories. However, a man unrelated to the family knows of the Gephart Wagon Works and he indicated that there were two men, probably brothers, who had some connection with the business. He thinks their names were Tom and George Gephart. Were these two men also family?

Through records that I have searched at the Stake House in Broomall, PA., (branch of the Mormon Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City, UT), and through the help of a cousin, I have found Martha’s brothers and sisters, which are shown below.

Christian born Nov. 21, 1832 in Kettrichhof, Germany
Peter born May 13, 1840 in Kettrichhof, Germany
Nicolaus born June 18, 1842 in Kettrichhof, Germany

Anna Maria Barbara born Apr. 22, 1845 in Kettrichhof, Germany
Elisabeth Luisa born in Kettrichhof, Germany

Martha (author’s line) born Oct. 18, 1834 in Kettrichhof, Germany

As you can see, there was no Alec, Tom or George listed as being brothers to Martha. Since Peter came here after Nicolaus Gebhardt (Pg 5) came in 1747, more than 100 yrs later, perhaps Alec, Tom or George were descended from his family. They were not from Christian’s family and Nicolaus remained in Germany. In addition to Nicolaus’s arrival in 1747, there might have been other families who came here and they could be from their family. These families, if they did exist, have not been found at this point. What is known about the Colonial Gebhardts is detailed in a later section.

Catherine Steigner married James Madison Bloom on April 24, 1880. A copy of a receipt dated May 5, 1880 shows items bought to set up housekeeping. From this marriage six children were born. Catherine died April 19, 1900, very shortly after her daughter Katie was born. As a result of Catherine’s death, Katie was raised by Anna and Christian Steigner. Anna was Catherine’s sister and the Steigners were cousins to the Simons. A fascinating high-light to this story is that Katie was sent in a
basket from Philadelphia to the Steigners in Quakertown. I believe she was only two weeks old. She was then picked up at the Railroad Station in Quakertown. The Steigner family history is as follows:

Georg Simon and his sister (?) Hannah Simmons (Simons)
married Martha Gebhardt married Christian Steigner
had had
Margaretha * Annie
Ludwig (Louis) # Katie
Elisabeth Peter Steigner (Christian’s
Anna Ottilia (Matilda) brother) (?)
Enos George married Anna M. Goehringer
George Gephart had
* Christian (who
later married Annie Steigner)

Katie S. Steigner (#) and James Madison Bloom had the following children:

Alice WARD


Christian and Annie (Steigner) Steigner (*) had the following children:

Harvey & they also raised Katie Bloom because her
Markus mother died at her birth
Rose died very young
Katie died very young

Even though passenger lists indicate that our Christian Steigner arrived here on June 22, 1882 on a steamship called the S. S. Switzerland, I have since found
information to disprove this theory. According to the census schedules, this Christian Steigner was of Russian descent and not German. He was 25 years old and a laborer. His last name at that time was Steigmayer but family members have told me that his name before he came here was Schteichmer. Whether the Christian Steigmayer that was found on the passenger lists is ours has yet to be proven. However, once here in America, he Americanized his name to Steigner. Shortly after arriving here, he married Annie Steigner on November 25, 1882 in Worcester, Penna. From this marriage seven children were born with two girls dying very soon after birth. His
Oath of Allegiance to this country was made on August 1, 1887. Both Christian and Annie are buried in the Lower Skippack Mennonite Church Cemetery, Christian in 1934 and Annie in 1941. Three of their children are buried there also as well as other family members, namely, Gehringer, Kelsch and Simmons. This would appear as if they were Mennonite but it can also mean that they were just buried there and not members of that Church at all. More research needs to be done to prove this point.

Lena (Steigner) Ziegler, a sister to Christian Steigner, and Annie (Goehringer) Steigner, Christian and Lena’s mother, were both born in Germany. However, Annie (Steigner) Steigner, Christian’s wife was born in Skippackville, Penna. I don’t
believe that Annie (Goehringer) Steigner came to this country with Christian. As was previously stated, the Gehringer (Goehringer) family is buried in the Lower Skippack
Mennonite Church Cemetery although I have never found Annie (Goehringer) Steigner there so this may prove definitively that she never came to America at all. There are other Gehringers in that cemetery, however. One in particular is Matilda Gehringer who married Martin Kelsch. It appears as if Martin’s sister, Catherine, married Jacob Gehringer and they are also buried in the Lower Skippack Mennonite Church Cemetery. Matilda and Jacob Gehringer were brother and sister as were Martin and Catherine.

It is interesting to note one thing. The family of Steigner first appears in 1666 as part of both the Simon & Gebhardt families so exactly how the above Steigners are related, if at all, to the earlier Steigners, not to mention the Simons, remains a mystery. I have not made any contact with any Steigners in Germany at this time.

As stated above, Matilda Gehringer married Martin Kelsch. They resided most of their married life in Skippack, Montgomery County, probably not far from Adam Simon when he lived in Hilltown. Mary Elisabeth (Simon) Hedrick and her family also lived in the Hilltown area so they were all very close to one another. This is not the first appearance of Kelsch in connection with my family. Kelsch first appears in the Simon family in 1692 and the Gebhardt family in 1668, both grandparent lines. Martin descends from the Simon Kelschs. I do not know if the two Kelsch families are related but I wouldn’t doubt it. This is a very mixed up family.

Now, there is another interesting twist to the family above and it happens to be with a Simon/Gehringer connection. Elizabeth Gehringer intermarried Jacob Simon and Margaret Gehringer married Philip Simon. Elizabeth and Margaret were sisters to Matilda and Jacob Gehringer who married into the Kelsch family. I have not been able to determine how Elizabeth and Jacob are related outside of marriage. Like my Georg Simon, Jacob’s grandparents were Joannes Adam Simon and Maria Anna Kelsch so it could be from the Kelsch family. However, I have not found a direct connection to Kelsch for Elizabeth. So more work needs to be done.

I also do not know who Philip Simon descends from and wonder if he could be the Philip Simon that is written about below. This is the first time that a Philip Simon actually appears in the family so perhaps there is a connection somewhere. Philip was listed as a farmer on the 1880 census for Montgomery County. He has not been found on the 1900 census as of this writing. LEE HARRINGTON, from Chalfont is researching this family further and hopefully some of these mysteries will be solved.

“What a tangled web of mystery this family weaves, with yet another web to follow.”

Catherine (Simon) Soderlund has told me that Philip Simon was related to her father, Adam Simon, Sr. I think that perhaps he could have been a nephew to Georg and Martha making him a cousin to Adam, Sr. She also said that Philip ran and/or owned the Simmons Butter and Egg Business that was located on Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia. The following is a brief history of a Simon family.

Christian and Charlotte (Bodine) Simon were probably married around 1870. (At times, Christian was recorded as Christopher) Five children resulted from this marriage, one of them being Philip Simon. The other four were girls. Phil married Louise Koch on July 14, 1904 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Philadelphia. This is

very coincidental because Louise’s maiden name of Koch is the same as James Simon’s, (Adam Simon’s son’s), middle name. It has been said that his middle name was a family name carried down. Was Louise (Koch) Simon related by marriage or blood?

According to the Philadelphia Street Directories from different years, there was a Samuel and John Simon living with Christian and Phil Simon. Who were
they? Samuel Simon married Margaret Ann Read and had 11 children, one being Charles Gessler Simon (see below). He was born on Aug. 3, 1883 and baptized on November 26, 1883 at Trinity Lutheran Church. Here I have the name of Gessler coming back into the picture. Were they related to the Simons, Gesslers or both?

If the Philip Simon that Catherine (Simon) Soderlund asked about so often was related to us in some way it could have been through a brother of Georg. Georg had two brothers and two sisters. They were, in order of birth:

Anna Maria born Apr. 24, 1824 in Trulben, Germany
Maria Anna born Oct. 2, 1828 in Eppenbrunn, Germany
Philippus * born Apr. 28, 1830 in Eppenbrunn, Germany
Franciscus born Sept. 16, 1832 in Eppenbrunn, Germany

Georg (author’s line) born Oct. 25, 1825 in Eppenbrunn, Germany

Is this the Philip Simon who owned the Simmons Butter and Egg Business and could he have been named after Philippus? * Or, he is from the family from Passyunk Twp. written about below? Philippus could have married and had a son
named Christopher and in turn he could have married, as above, and had Philip. It is not certain if any of Georg’s brothers and sisters immigrated to America and where they settled. Perhaps they settled in Indiana, state or county, unknown.

A question that comes to mind regarding Georg’s sister Anna Maria, is if she could have been called Hannah in Germany. I am assuming that the Hannah (Simmons) who married Christian Steigner, (see Pages 11-13), was a sister to Georg. This is the only way that I can see where the Simons and Steigners would be cousins. Hannah has not been found on the birth records so more research needs to be done to determine if Hannah or Anna Maria is one and the same person.


In research carried out by a German Genealogist, the two previous generations of the Simon family and one previous generation of the Gebhardt family were found. They were Georg’s parents and his grandparents, both maternal and paternal, and Martha’s parents. The families were as follows:

Andreas Simon & Anna Maria Koelsch Thomas Eisbach & Katharine Kupper
Married October 20, 1778 in Burgalben, Germany

Georg Adam Simon & Anna Maria Eisbach
Married on May 13, 1823 in the Trulben Parish, Germany

Georg Simon married Martha Gebhardt
Hannah Simon ? married Christian Steigner

Christian Gebhardt and Sophia Koelsch Married March 23, 1830 in Ketterich
Martha’s parents

Christian Gebhardt was a musician, although what kind I do not know. An interesting but rather confusing bit of information is whether Georg Adam Simon married Katharine Elisabeth Eisbach or Anna Maria Eisbach. From what the
German Genealogist indicated, it was Katharine who married Georg Adam but from a cousin of mine, (Elmer Christensen, deceased), it was Anna Maria Eisbach who married Georg Adam. Anna Maria is listed as being the mother of Georg. Perhaps she died at a young age and Georg Adam then married her sister, Katharine Elisabeth. This would have been the same family only two different women, sisters, in particular.

From info found by the German Genealogist, cousins here in America and in Germany, I was able to find earlier grandparent generations. They are shown in
Appendices B through H with appendices E, F, and G a further elaboration of what is currently known of branches descending from these grandparent lines. They show
the children of these various branches and in some cases great and even great great grandchildren of them. As far as I can tell, most of these families remained in
Germany, Switzerland and France. There are, however, numerous families that did immigrate to America besides GEORG and MARTHA, and they are shown in Appendix G. In addition to Gehringer and Kelsch some other families that immigrated to America were Guth, Knerr or Knorr, Schindeldecker, Brandstetter, Gampfer, Mauss, Daude, and Schmidt. At this writing, some of these families are not included in the appendix. They will be included in a later edition.

Elisabeth Luisa (Gebhardt), Martha’s sister, and Friedrich Roth were married on November 4, 1858 in Luthersbrunn, Pirmasens, Germany. Three children were born to them: Katherine, Magdalena and Rose M. It is not known whether Katherine or Magdalena immigrated to America. However, I do know that a granddaughter of Elisabeth and Friedrich was born in America.

Maggie (Simon) Henzel occasionally visited and stayed with her cousin, Rose (Roth) Schmidt in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Maggie’s granddaughter, Doris WARD, has indicated that Rose was a daughter to a sister of Martha Gessler, Maggie’s mother. That sister was Elisabeth Luisa (Gebhardt) Roth.

Rose (Roth) Schmidt was born in Oberseitten, Germany, on December 10, 1878 to an Elisabeth Luisa Gebhardt and Friedrich Roth. Rose then married
Gottfried Peter Schmidt, (when and where is unknown), and had one daughter, Rose Schmidt, Jr., who never married. Rose is the granddaughter that was born in America on October 13, 1900. At the time of her death in 1982 she was living in

Elizabeth, NJ with a cousin, G. Whitfield Smith, who was a son to Katherine (Roth) Smith, (father unknown).

It is not known if and when Elisabeth and Friedrich came to this country. They were in the Linen and Lumber Business and perhaps they never came at all.

There were numerous families who immigrated to America and Penna., in particular, in the 1700’s. Some of them were Gebhardt ancestors and some were Simon ancestors. As was previously stated, it is not known why Martha Simon gave Indiana as her destination in America unless some of these people settled there. There are also some other immigrants where a date of entry is not known, only that they immigrated to America. (See appendix _______ for list of family who immigrated to America).

One family in particular that is of interest to me is JOHANN NICOLAUS GEBHARDT who immigrated to Penna. with his family on Oct. 13, 1747 and settled in Lehigh County. He appears to have been the first to come to America although the Guths arrived earlier.

Johann Nicolaus was Martha’s fourth great uncle and was a brother to Johann Rudolf Gebhardt, Martha’s gr-gr-grandfather. Prior to Johann Nicolaus’s arrival in America, a nephew to Lorentz Gebhardt and Veronica Gut (h), (Johann Nicolaus and Johann Rudolf’s mother), immigrated to Lehigh County on Sept. 19, 1738. His name was Lorentz Gut (h). Having family already here made it easier for Johann Nicolaus to come to America and settle in Lehigh County, the same area where his family was. There was also other family in nearby counties and towns by the name of Simon and Kelsch, as well as other Gut (h) family. The Gut (h) family has been traced back to 1370 in Zurich, Switzerland and have been found to be a very
prolific family. As my Gebhardt and American indexes will show, there are many Gut (h) descendants.

The Guts and Gebhardts were of the Mennonite faith and many of them today who still live in Switzerland remain Mennonite. Many Guts who immigrated to America changed their name to Good and settled in Lancaster and further west to Westmoreland Counties in Penna. They also were Mennonite. However, I have gotten quite a lot of family information from a cousin, Karen Varuolo, on the branch that moved to Westmoreland County in Pa. They appear to be of the Lutheran and Reformed faith so some did change their faith once in America.

Some Guts and Gebhardts did stay in Lehigh County but after about 1780, I lose track of the families so I don’t know if they moved from Lehigh County as well and where they moved to. It could have very well even been Indiana. It is very interesting to note one thing, however. I do not know if Martha was going to Indiana County or Indiana State as was stated earlier. It has been said that there were many Gebhardts in Clearland County, PA. In looking at a map of Penna, Clearfield,

Indiana and Westmoreland Counties are right next to each other so it is entirely possible that Martha meant Indiana County and not state. After all, Martha did not come here until 1867, more than a hundred years later. She would have known of the connection to Johann Nicolaus and probably would have wanted to find his descendants once here.

There is a mystery with this family, however. Daniel Gebhardt, a son to Johann Nicolaus and his wife, Anna Margaretha, (maiden name unknown) was born
on July 26, 1768 in Lehigh County, PA. He was baptized into the Reformed Faith, even though the Gebhardts were originally Mennonite like the Gut (h)’s. I believe he grew up in Lehigh County and married Elisabeth Rauch (Rausch) on Nov. 29, 1795 in the Weisenberg Church in Lehigh County. Here is where the mystery comes in. I have been told and it has been researched, supposably, by a History professor, that the Daniel Gebhardt that I feel is connected to my family is also connected to another Gebhardt family but with different parents.

This is not possible but to prove it definitively is a real challenge. So for now, because of a preponderance of evidence Daniel Gebhardt belongs in my family. The biggest piece of evidence is the fact that two of Daniel’s daughters, Catherine and Polly, both married into the Stettler family, a family in which Adam Simon, a brother
to my great grandfather, Enos Simon, was indentured to once he left the Lehigh County home.

A picture has been passed down through family members of a log cabin that was the homestead of a Michael Simon as late as November 10, 1894, (Appendix A). As quoted from the newspaper article, “It stood at what is now 62nd and Westminster Ave., West Philadelphia.” The actual caption on the picture is “original home of Seibert family on farm, Market Street between 60th and 69th Streets.” There is a rather interesting correlation to this historical homestead. It was the homestead of a Michael Simon and the home of the Seibert family. The Simons were, according to legend, supposably descended from counts or nobility. Seibert or Seigbert, as recorded in German records, were nobility. Could this be the noble family that is connected to the Simons and was Michael Simon a part of our Simon family as has been indicated by family members? Could it be that the house was jointly owned by the Simons and Seiberts and they were totally unrelated but living together? Could it be that they were related and owned the house at different time periods, even though only one date is given? More research needs to be done to determine this connection.

Should Hannah (Simmons) Steigner’s maiden name be Simon and should her name be Anna Maria, Maria Anna or Maria Hannah? Where is she buried and when did she die?

Francis Simon, a son to Enos, said that if you were to trace his family back you would find that they descended from the Kaiser. Family members indicate that Adam, a brother to Enos, had strong resemblances both in looks and manner to Kaiser Wilhelm, 2nd. In addition to Maggie Henzel, Louise Gilpin, and Francis Simon, has any one else heard this and can you shed any light on this? It is possible that this theory could be from the fact that the Simons may descend from Counts, or so legend would have it, and this is where the confusion is.

Who was the Charles Simon living at 1322 South 7th St. across the street from Enos Simon at 1319 South 7th Street in Philadelphia in 1890? Was he a family member.

Louise (Gessler) Gilpin tells me that there was an Emily or Emma Simon in her parents’ wedding. Her parents were Fred and Anna Kathryn Gessler. Samuel Simon (Pg 14) also had a daughter, Emma Rebecca Simon, born in 1881. Even though Emma was married in 1906, could it really have been Emma Simon and not Emily Simon in Fred and Anna’s wedding?

How are Alec, Tom and George Gephart related to the family?

Was Christian Steigner’s real name Schteichmer or Steigmayer?

A POINT TO PONDER: In checking records of Germany for the 1800’s, 1700’s, and late 1600’s, I have found that there were many Koelschs, Gebhardts, Simons, etc. in the same town. It is conceivable that they could have inter-married in those times. Take for a moment the case of our family. Georg Simons’s gr-gr-grandfather, Joannis Nicolai Roth, married and had Christian Roth who married Johannes Koelsch. They in turn had Maria Anna Koeslch who married Andreas Simon and had Georg Adam Simon who later had our Georg Simon. The mystery person is Joannis Nicolai Roth. Could he have had more children who in turn would have had a Friedrich Roth who would have married a Louisa Gebhardt (Martha’s sister)? This could be a possibility in light of the case where two Diehl girls married into the family and two Koelsch girls married into the family, namely, Maria Anna Koelsch and Sophia Koelsch and Martha and Elisabeth Louisa Diehl.
Maria Anna and Sophia were sisters as well as Martha and Elisabeth Louisa. All of this makes our Georg and Martha, cousins as well as husband and wife.


One of the branches, Matilda Heaton, used Simmons as her maiden name. I have been told that this one branch changed their name because they did not like the name of Simon. This seems to be the case with Hannah (Simmons) Steigner. Many of
George, IV’s, sons did the same thing by changing their name from Simon to Simmons. In fact, Simon and Simmons was used interchangeably quite often by many. What their real reason was is unknown. The fact is, Simon and Simmons was used interchangeably quite often by many in this family.

The name of Rothschild has been mentioned as possibly being some part of the family. Could they have shortened it to Roth?

Appendices E, F and G will show the ancestors and descendants of the Simon and Gebhardt families along with their vital statistics.


A special word of thanks goes to the following cousins who have been very willing and kind to share what they know in order to help me in my research and
make this book a reality. This is the third printing of my history. Anything that you can share on the family will be gratefully appreciated.

Catherine (Simon) Soderlund
John Simon
James Simon
Mrs. Adam Simon
Alverda (Keller) Derstine
Sandy Ott, Oley, PA
Dorothy (Keller) Kile
Sarah (Steigner) Jester
Margaret Steigner, Lansdale, PA
Frances (Steigner) Lawton
Eleanor (Hildebidle) Schaible
Benjamin Ziegler, Berlin, MD
Eugene Fleming, East Riverdale, MD
Louise (Gessler) Gilpin
Doris (Smith) Ward, Lindenwold, NJ
Mary (Transue) Simons, Easton, PA
Laurie (Simmons) Raible, Grafton, OH
Craig Gilpin, West Chester, PA
G. Whitfield Smith
Ruth (Simon) Counts
David Marthaler, Saginaw, MI
La Mae Harwicke, Coopersburg, PA
Julian Simon, Puerto Rico
Luann Zambanini, Bally, PA
Edna Walzelek, Frederick, PA
Doris McCracken, Norwood, PA
Elwood Long (Lang), Collegeville, PA
Lee Harrington, Chalfont, PA
Karen Rex, New Tripoli, PA
Dyonne Brys, Steger, IL
Barbara Hacker, Houston, TX
Richard Peterson, Pittsboro, NC
Craig Guth, Erlanger, KT
Sally Jessop, Herriman, UT
Larry Knarr, Cincinnati, OH
Dale Schmolinsky, Miamisburg, OH
John/Charlene Vonder Meulen, Fort Thomas, KY
Jim/Sandy De Waal Malefyt, Poestenkill, NY
Mike Ziegler, Henderson, NV
Terry Smith, North Tonawanda, NY
William Brian Sharkey, Carmel, IN
Lance Ware, Mesa, AZ
Tom Luce, Bethel, OH
Karen Varuolo, Frankford, DE
Wendy Wright-Cao, Durham, NH
Rae Herbolsheimer, Doylestown, PA
Barbara Savidge, Palmyra, PA

A very special word of appreciation goes to the following relatives for their support services and financial assistance in my research.

Ellen (Simon) Easterday
Dorothy (Simon) Hartzog, Rio Hondo, TX
Charles Soderlund, Solomons, MD
Charles Soderlund, Jr., Arlington, VA
Richard Hartzog, Houston, TX
Dorothy Christman
William J. Hildebidle
Margaret (Simon) Frazier, Tappahannock, VA
Charles Simon
Otto Simon, Eppenbrunn, Germany
Hans Kupper, Eppenbrunn, Germany
Elmer Christensen
Manfred Gebhardt, Hochstellerhof, Germany
Woody Collins, San Jose, CA
Paul Soderland

If you wish to add to this history, you can send your info to Barbara Easterday, 500 Wesley Road, Springfield, PA 19064-2013, 610-544-4785.


A big thank you is extended to Charles (Chuck) Soderlund, Catherine’s son, for employing the services of a German Genealogist to help get me back into Germany. With the information that was found by the German Genealogist, it enabled me to trace it further back to the early 1600’s and on into the present day. I
am very thankful to Chuck for his continued interest and help. Again, Chuck, many thanks!


Although this history could be dedicated to many people, namely, my cousins and assistant researchers Chuck Soderlund, Otto Simon, Manfred Gebhardt, Woody Collins and M. Elmer Christensen, it is being fully dedicated to my mother, Ellen

(Simon) Easterday. Mom’s love for family history really showed. She loved research and was an extreme help to me. I will always remember the day she found out that she was of Swiss descent, boy was she ever excited. For all her help and enthusiasm for what I was trying to accomplish, I give her my thanks. She was a real blessing.

NECROLOGY (1960 to present)

George Simon, III 7/09/1962 68 yrs.
Rose M. (Roth) Schmidt 3/03/1963 84 yrs.
Estella (Hedrick) Garis 5/19/1965 81 yrs.
George W. Henzel /1967 84 yrs.
Martha (Hedrick) Wolford 9/19/1967 76 yrs.
John Adam Simon 10/16/1968 82 yrs.
James Wm Koch Simon 7/13/1971 81 yrs.
Kate (Bloom) Hildebidle 3/27/1973 73 yrs.
Frank William Simon (writer’s grandfather) 9/17/1973 83 yrs.
Miriam Bloom 9/25/1973 90 yrs.
Adam Emanuel Simon, Jr. 1/26/1975 73 yrs.
William Gessler Simon 11/11/1975 81 yrs.
George Fred. Gessler /1976 65 yrs.
Norman Simon 12/26/1979 73 yrs.
Adelaide (Henzel) Smith 5/03/1982 84 yrs.
Alice (Bloom) Ward 8/23/1983 88 yrs.
Frank Henzel Simon 10/31/1983 79 yrs.
Katie Bloom (Simon) Soderlund 11/03/1988 92 yrs.
Dorothy (Keller) Kile 12/22/1988 79 yrs.
Sarah (Steigner) Jester 12/03/1989 85 yrs.
John Hurley Simon 1/01/1992 71 yrs.
Eleanor Schaible 7/00/1993
Charles George Henry Simon 1/13/1999 90 yrs.
James Lawrence Simon 5/16/2001 83 yrs.
M. Elmer Christensen 6/17/2002 99 yrs.
Naomi Simon 10/29/2002 69 yrs.
Ellen (Simon) Easterday (writer’s mother) 1/14/2003 84 yrs.
Paul Soderland 11/10/2004 81 yrs.

Narrative: Names in parentheses are maiden names.
Names in all caps are marriage names.

Note: Two websites, listed below, are devoted to showcasing the Simon and Gebhardt families of today and one website in particular, earlier generations. They are as follows:

Website of Great Grandson to ENOS SIMON, Richard Hartzog,
Website of Great Grandson to ADAM SIMON, Charles Soderlund, Jr.,

(Enos and Adam were brothers and Enos is the writer’s great grandfather.)