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KUNSELMAN FAMILY

The surname Kunselman is an Americanized spelling of German Kunzelmann, from a pet form of the personal name Konrad. Konrad is derived from the Old Germanic words conja meaning "bold" and rad meaning "counsel". (Source: Oxford University Press. Dictionary of American Family Names.)

David Kunselman was born about 1808 in Pennsylvania
+ Catharine Ferringer was born about 1815 in Pennsylvania
Margaret Kunselman, born about 1837 in Pennsylvania, died 1903
+ Soloman Schaffner, born 9/7/1832 in Elanon, Pennsylvania, died 2/13/1897 in Munderf, Pennsylvania
Levine A. Schaffner (1878-1955), born 4 June 1878, in Munderf, Pennsylvania
+ Clover O. Baughman (1875-1964), born 27 July 1875, Rose Township, Pennsylvania
Victor J. Baughman (1900-1992), born 4/24/1900 in Conifer, Pennsylvania
+ Sarah E. Painter (1903-1994), born 1/1/1903 in Conifer, Pennsylvania

David Kunselman of Pennsylvania

David Kunselman was a male, born about 1808 in Pennsylvania. At the beginning of the year of David's birth, America is only thirty-two years old and Thomas Jefferson is president. On January the first of this year, on the earliest date possible according to the US Constitution, the importing of slaves is banned. In this year, in Pennsylvania, anthracite coal was burned for the first time as a source of heat. At the end of this year, James Madison defeats Charles Pinckney to become the fourth president of the United States.

He lived all of his adult life as a farmer in Redbank, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Farming was still very difficult as the iron plow was not built until 1837 by John Deere at Grand Detour, Illinois. There were no tractors, cultivators, harvesters, or automation of any kind. Everything was done by the farmer, his family, and the animals he used to pull the wooden plow, rake and wagon that he used to break the ground and haul material and produce.

Not much is known about Davids parents or his early life. But, there was no road noise, no airplanes flying overhead, no television or movies, no computer games. When kids were young they stayed around the house, did a lot of running around, played tag and hide and seek, and wrestling with each other, climbing trees, chasing birds and varmits, throwing rocks, and playing with their dog. On rainy days the stayed indoors and drew pictures, read to each other, and played checkers. But, whatever they did, they got in trouble and tested the rules to see how far they could go before Mom would get after them with a wooden spoon.

As they got a little older they played mumbly peg with their knives, shot with a sling shot, rode the plow horse, and hunted varmits. Mom made dolls for the girls out of whatever materials were available. They had chores like taking care of their siblings; feeding the chickens and pigs, fetching in wood, and water; setting and clearing the table; and Dad built a little stool they could stand on so they could help with washing and drying the dishes. The girls would stand on a kitchen chair and stir to mix something in a bowl while Mom was working on something else.

Then, just as the boys got big enough to feel their oats and start ranging further afield, Dad decided they were big enough to start helping with the farm work. They got reined in and some of them felt this was unfair and became a little rebellious because of course none of their friends had to do this. But, with time, they got over this and began to enjoy working with their father and doing the work that will lead to them becoming adult men. They learned about taking care of the larger farm animals, mucking out stalls, plowing, planting, weeding, and harvesting. They learned about the seasons, seed, fertilizer, the weather, soils, and reducing erosion. Both the pleasant and unpleasant sounds and smells stayed with them forever. The pleasant smell of Mom's lavender plant growing by the back door, the wind blowing through the line of trees north of the house, the clean smell after a rain storm passes by, the earthy smell of the freshly turned soil in the field behind the plow, and the smell of the kitchen when they came in from cold spring day of work.

Based on when their first child was born, David Kunselman (1808-1885) and Catherine Ferringer (1815-1908) were married about 1822. Together they had fifteen children. However, the maternity of one of the children is questionable. The death certificate of Sarah Catharyne (Kunselman) Smith (1854-1916) indicates that her father was David Kunselman and her mother was Margaret Hencel. Sarah Kunselman was David's tenth child. The death certificates of David's children before and after Sarah give Catherine Ferringer as their mother. So, either the name Margaret Hencel was given as the name of Sarah's mother in error or Sarah was born out of wedlock and adopted into the family. Another possibility is that all the other death certificates, either before or after Sarah Kunselman, are wrong.

The War of 1812 was a war with Great Britain that went on for four years. It was just 36 years ago that we fought with them to get our freedom and here it seems they picked another fight by stopping our ships at sea and kidnapping our sailors because they were at war with France and we were not. Battles took place north and west of western Pennsylvania, but it didn't bother these folks too much. They were probably worried and always listening for the latest news, but it doesn't appear they were directly affected.

The 1840 US Federal Census for Red Bank, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, has a record of the David Kunselman family. There were two Free White Persons - Males - Under 5; one Free White Person - Male - 5 thru 9; one Free White Person - Male - 30 thru 39; one Free White Person - Female - Under 5; one Free White Person - Female - 30 thru 39. These six people were being supported by one person who was employed in agriculture.

The Mexican-American War was fought in 1846-1848 over the territory known as Texas. The US Army lost twelve thousand men in combat to the Mexicans five thousand, but won the war by taking Mexico City. In the settlement the US took one-third of the territory of Mexico and paid them about eighteen million dollars in reparations. This war was fought a long way from Pennsylvania and probably was not a concern to the people of Pennsylvania except that they figured their taxes were probably going to go up to pay for it.

In the 1850 US Federal Census for Redbank, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, enumerated the twelfth day of September 1850 by David Wilson, is a record of the David and Catharine Kounselman household. David Kounselman was a 43 year old, male, farmer, born about 1807. Catharine Kounselman was a 34 year old female, born about 1816. Benj Kounselman was a fourteen year old male. [Born about 1836.] Lewis Kounselman was a thirteen year old male who had attended school within the year. [Born about 1837.] Margaret Kounselman was a thirteen year old female who had attended school within the year. [Born about 1837.] Angeline Kounselman was a nine year old female who had attended school within the year. Jane Kounselman was a five year old female who had attended school within the year. [Born about 1845.] Lydia Kounselman was a four year old female. [Born about 1846.] Mary Kounselman was a one year old female. [Born about 1849.] All in this household were born in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania oil rush was a boom in petroleum production which occurred in northwestern Pennsylvania from 1859 to the early 1870s. It was the first oil boom in the United States. The oil rush began in Titusville, Pennsylvania, when Colonel Edwin Drake struck oil there. The appellation colonel in this case was a communal recognition of Drake as a successful businessman, because he certainly never served his country in the military. Too bad the Kunselman family didn't get invested in oil. They might have become wealthy.

The 1860 US Federal Census, enumerated 22 August 1860 by Wm. T. Alexander, for Redbank, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, has a record of the David and Catharn Coonselman household. David Coonselman is a 51 year old male, farmer, born about 1809. Catharn Coonselman is a 46 year old female born about 1814. Jane Coonselman is an 18 year old female born about 1842. Angeline Coonselman is a 16 year old female born about 1844. Lydia Coonselman is a 15 year old female born about 1845 and attended school within the year. David Coonselman is an eight year old male born about 1855 and attended school within the year. Elisabeth Coonselman is a 14 year old female born about 1846. Henry Coonselman was a one year old male born about 1859. All residents of this household were born in Pennsylvania.

The American Civil War was fought from 1861-1865 and it came as no surprise. The southern states had been warning for years that they were going to secede if there were just one more provocation by the north. The election of Abraham Lincoln was, for them, the last straw and they began pulling their freight. I haven't seen any evidence that members of the Kunselman family took up arms in the fight. There was a draft and even if they didn't volunteer they could have been drafted. But, farmers usually received deferments because of the great need for food, so they probably wouldn't have had to serve.

The 1870 US Federal Census for Redbank, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, enumerated the eighteenth day of June 1870 by James J. Frazier, has a record of the David and Cathan Kuhnselman household. David Kuhnselman is a 62 year old [born about 1808], white, male, farmer. Cathan Kuhnselman is a 56 year old [born about 1814], white female, keeping house. Cathan is unable to write. Lidia Kuhnselman is a 24 year old [born about 1856], white, female, working as a cook in a hotel. David F. Kuhnselman was an 18 year old [born about 1852], white, male, working as farm labor. David is unable to write. Sarah C. Kuhnselman was a 16 year old [born about 1854], white, female, working as a domestic servant. She also attended school within the last year. Carline Kuhnselman was a 14 year old [born about 1856], white, female, who attended school within the last year. Felix S. Kuhnselman was an eleven year old [born about 1859], white, male, who attended school within the last year. Andrew C. Kuhnselman was a five year old, white, male. George H. E. Kuhnselman was a four year old [born about 1866], white, male.

The 1880 US Federal Census for Red Bank, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, has a record of the David and Sarah Kunselman household. David Kunselman was a thirty year old [born about 1850], white, male, married, working as a laborer. He and his parents were born in Pennsylvania. Sarah Kunselman was a twenty-eight year old [born about 1852], white, female, wife of David, keeping house. She and her parents were born in Pennsylvania. Sarah is unable to read or write. Mattie, was a six year old [born about] 1874, white, female, daughter of David. Sarah attended school in the last year. Harry W. Kunselman was a two year old [born about 1878], white, male, son of David. Cinnie M. Kunselman was an eleven month old daughter of David [born about 1879]. All three children were born in Pennsylvania.

On the same page of the 1880 US Federal Census for Red Bank, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, is a record of the David and Catharine Kunselman household. David Kunselman Sr. was a 72 year old [born about 1808], white, male, farmer. Catharine Kunselman was a 66 year old [born about 1814], white, female, wife of David Sr. Catharine is unable to write. Felix L. Kunselman was a 19 year old [born about 1861], white, male, son of David Sr. working as a laborer. Felix attended school during the course of the year. Andrew J. C. Kunselman was a nineteen year old [born about 1861], white, male, son of David Sr., working as a laborer. All members of the household were born in Pennsylvania.

After having lived a long life taking care of his family David Kunselman Sr. died in 1885 in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. He was buried in Carrier Cemetery in Summerville, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. His wife survived another twenty-three years and died 31 Aug 1908 in Clover, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. She was buried in Smith Cemetery in Heathville, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.

On 03 Sep 1908, Lydia Luella (Kunselman) Hughes died of cardiac dropsy in Falls Creek, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, at the age of 62 years, 7 months, and 12 days. She had been born 22 Jan 1846 in Red Bank Township, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, to David Kunselman and Catherine Ferringer, who was born in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Lydia had been married and her occupation was that of a housekeeper. The informant who provided the information about the deceased was J. B. Hughes of Falls Creek, Pennsylvania. The mortal remains of Lydia Hughes were buried in Shannondale, Pennsylvania, 05 Sep 1908.

On 27 Sep 1911, Benjamin Kunselman died of stroke apoplexy at the age of 73 years, 11 months, and 11 days. He died in Red Bank, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Benjamin was born 08 Oct 1838 in Pennsylvania and had earned his living as a farmer. He was male, white, and had been married. According to the informant, William Kunselman, Benjamin's father was David Kunselman, born in Pennsylvania, and his mother was Catherine Ferringer, also born in Pennsylvania. Benjamin was buried in Paradise Cemetery on 30 Sep 1911.

On October 28, 1916, Sarah Catharyne (Kunselman) Smith died of acute endocarditis and other factors at the age of 62 years, 6 months, and 26 days. She died in Summerville, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. Her husband had predeceased her. According to the informant named on the death certificate Sarah was born 02 Apr 1854 in Shannondale, Pennsylvania, to David D. Kunselman (born Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania) and Margaret Hencel (born Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania). The informant who signed the certificate was Maurice Smith of Mayfort RFD #3. Sarah Smith was buried in the Smith Cemetery in Heathville, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. on 31 Oct 1916. The undertaker was David Stoner of Summerville, Pennsylvania. [This is the death certificate referred to earlier that is inconsistent in that it the middle of fourteen children borne by Catherine Ferringer to David Kunselman here is one that appears to have been borne by Margaret Hencel.] [Maurice Smith, the informant on this certificate, is the son of Sarah Smith who appears as six year old Morris L. Smith, in the household of John and Sarah Smith, on the 1880 US Federal Census for Clover, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.]

Due to errors made by census takers the Kunselman surname was variously listed as Rounselman, Coonselman, or Kuhuselman. Only in the 1840 and 1880 census was David's given name and surname correct. However, the children's names along with their year and state of birth is consistent from one year to the next. According to all census records the following were the members of the David and Catharine Kunselman family:
David Rounselman, born about 1808
Catharine Rounselman, born about 1815
Benjamin Rounselman, born about 1835
Lewis Rounselman, born about 1836
Margaret Rounselman, born about 1837
Angeline Rounselman, born about 1840
Jane Rounselman, born about 1844
Lydia Luella Rounselman, born about 1845
Mary Rounselman, born about 1848
David Coonselman, born about 1851
Elesabeth Coonselman, born about 1845
Henry Coonselman, born about 1858
Sarah Catharyne Kuhuselman, born about 1853
Carline Kuhuselman, born about 1855
Felix L Kuhuselman, born about 1858
Andrew C Kuhuselman, born about 1864
George H E Kuhuselman, born about 1865


Margaret Kunselman


When Margaret Kunselman was born in 1837 in Pennsylvania, her father, David, was 33 and her mother, Catherine, was 23. Margaret had three sons and two daughters with Soloman Schaffner between 1863 and 1878. In 1850, Margaret Rounselman (Sic.) was 13 years old and lived in Redbank, Pennsylvania. (1850 United States Federal Census) In 1880, Margret Shaffner (Sic.) was 43 years old and lived in Polk, Pennsylvania with her husband, Solamon, 3 sons, and 2 daughters. (1880 United States Federal Census) In 1900, Margaret Schaffner was 62 years old and lived in Polk, Pennsylvania with her daughter, grandson, and granddaughter. (1900 United States Federal Census) She died on December 26, 1903, in Pennsylvania, at the age of 66, and was buried in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.

Margaret Kunselman (1837 - 1903)
+ Soloman Schaffner (1832-1897) born in Elanon, Pennsylvania
Perry Henry Shaffner, born about 1863
Barrett D. Shaffner, born about 1866
Morris R. Shaffner, born about 1869
Lorena C. Shaffner, born about 1873
Levine Abelina Schaffner (1878 - 1955)


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