There has never been a documented link back to Germany, but the Isenbergs most certainly originated there. (See “In Germany” from the 1991 book.) Since the 1991 book, circumstantial evidence gives us reason to believe the most likely family origin has been located in Markershausen, Werra-Meissner-Kreis, Hessen, Germany. More to follow . . .
The first documented records of the Isenberg family in America begins with Gabriel.
Gabriel Isenberg was born in 1720 in Germany, he married Eve (no record of maiden name) in 1742 in Philadelphia PA. They had eleven children: John George (John) born 1747, Maria (Mary) born 1748, Anna Philippina born 1750, Susannah unknown birth date, Phillipus Jacobus (Jacob) born 1751, John (Henry) Henry born 1753, Gabriel Isenberg Jr born 1755, Nicholas born 1757, Enoch born 1761, Maria Eva born 1765 and Catherine unknown birth date. See the Isenberg page for more details regarding the Family in Maryland.
Enoch Isenberg, born April 17, 1761 to Gabriel and Eve married Dorothea (Darethy) Smouse born in 1764 to Henry and Catherine Smouse. Enoch was the youngest son and the tenth child in the family of Gabriel and Eve. Enoch went to Maryland with his parents.
In 1804 he moved from Maryland to a farm of 189 acres in Huntingdon county, PA. In later years, Enoch and Dorothea moved into the town of Alexandria, PA where they died. Dorothea was a daughter of Heinrich and Catherine Smouse. Enoch and Dorothea had eleven children: George born 1785, Henry born 1787, Daniel born 1789, Catharine born 1791, Susanna born 1793, Joseph born 1795, Abraham born 1795, Anna born 1799, Samuel born 1802, Enoch born 1804 and Anna Mary born 1807.
Abraham, son of Enoch and Dorothea was born February 14, 1795. He married Nancy Grove at Waterstreet, Huntington County PA on December 13, 1821. They had ten children: Susannah “Susan” born 1823, Thomas G born 1824, Catherine born 1827, Dorothy born 1829, Jacob Miller born 1831, Solomon Hamer born 1834, Joseph Grove born 1836, John Harnish born 1838, Samuel Baker born 1841, and Benjamin Franklin “B.Frank” born 1844.
Jacob Miller, son of Abraham and Nancy was born October 15, 1831 in McConnelstown, Huntingdon County, PA. He married Susannah Wolford, born December 16, 1837, daughter of Daniel and Anna Nancy, on May 7, 1856 in her home in Barree PA. They were married for more than 50 years. They had seven children : Augustus Rupley born 1857, Annie Edna born 1858, John Wolford born 1859, Lucy Ella born 1861, Herbert Grove born 1866, Ralph Bertrand born 1873, and Henry Wise born 1876.
Jacob Miller Isenberg was a blacksmith and master mechanic. He held several patents, long lost. He lived in Barre, PA. and lived in Johnstown PA, McClenny Florida, and Alexandria PA. Jacob and Susannah attended the Keller Church in Canoe Creek.
Around 1894 they moved to McClenny Florida to live. JM took all of JM’s blacksmith tools for his business there. They did not stay long as they moved back to Pennsylvania because Susannah couldn’t tolerate the hurricanes. They also lived in Ormenia or “the mines” as it was known. This house stands today. Susannah was known to welcome and serve anyone who would come by asking for handouts.
They lived out their later years in a house in Alexandria, PA purchased for them by their children. This house is also still in use.
Don Berkebile, on the occasion of the US Bicentennial, created an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute that portrayed the products of a blacksmith/carriage maker shop during 1776 and thought it only appropriate to use the name of his great grandfather J.M. Isenberg on the exhibit. As of this writing the exhibit still exists in the Transportation building at the Smithsonian in Washington , D.C.
Augustus Rupley, son of Jacob Miller and Susannah was born March 17,1857. He married Maggie Jeanette Shultzabarger, born in 1861, in 1878 in Altoona, PA. They had four children; George Frederick born 1884, Mary Edna born 1879, Ethel Blanche born 1881, and Bruce Miller born 1866.Augustus was a foreman at the Pennsylvania Railroad Altoona shops. He loved model trains and built an entire model railroad in the attic of his home on 18th Street in Altoona. A hand built farm house, barn and chicken coop still remain in the family, the last remains of his handiwork. He was also known for having the latest gadgets and technology of the day. Always referred to as ‘Grandfather’ he was adored by his grandchildren.
George Frederick, son of Augustus Rupley and Maggie Jeanette was born March 8, 1884. He married Anna Mary Dunn born 1891, the daughter of Francis Xavier and S Ellice Law, in Altoona PA in 1918. They had two children; Lola Ellis born 1918 and Francis Rupley born 1920.
George Frederick known as ‘Fred’ was a Locomotive Engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He always enjoyed life to the fullest and is remembered for his sense of humor. He was a member of the Frohsinn Singing Society where he met Anna. For many years he had a Newfoundland dog and later a mutt named ‘Sporty’. The apple of his eye, I have many fond memories of my Pappy.
Francis Rupley, son of George Frederick and Anna Mary Dunn was born July 1, 1920. He married Olive Grace (Gracie), youngest daughter of Daniel Robert Grace and Daisy Mae Eichelberger, in Akron Ohio on June 24, 1948. They had two children: Ginette Kathleen born 1950 and George Francis born 1960 (died in 1960).
Ginette Kathleen was born in 1950 and married Peter Smith Cluck on September 5, 1976 in Bellefonte, Center County PA, at the home of David & Laurie Cluck Talmas. They have two children; Jonathan Isaac born in 1983 and Alexander Morgan born in 1987.
Lola Ellis Isenberg, daughter of George Frederick and Anna Mary Dunn born 1918 married Charles Andrew Justice born 1910, in 1952. They had two children: John Frederic born 1952 (died in 1952) and Frederick William Justice born in 1954.
© 1995-2014 Ginette Isenberg