Johann Paul Jünger arrived in Philadelphia on September 15, 1748 aboard the ship named “Two Brothers”. He is the main character of this entire web site which seeks to give the history of his descendants who settled initially in York County Pennsylvania. Later some of his descendants spread into counties adjacent to York including Lancaster, Cumberland and Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. He is, therefore, the “patriarch” of the “Yingers of York County”.
Paul is my great, great, great, great, great, great, (6 times) Grandfather. He was a first generation American. As one of his descendants, I am, therefore, a ninth generation American. I was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania which is in Cumberland County in 1954. I have lived in the Nashville, Tennessee area since 1972 when I came to Nashville to attend college. I suspect that other descendants of Paul Jünger have also migrated to distant locations throughout America. However, a review of telephone directories indicates that a heavy concentration of Yingers still reside in the York, Lancaster, Cumberland and Dauphin County areas of Pennsylvania.
Toward the end of 2002 I began to research my Yinger family ancestry in earnest. In another section of this web site more detail is provided about the motivation I had and the hurdles I faced in attempting this project. At some point in my journey of research and discovery it occurred to me that it would be important to share my findings with other descendants of Johann Paul Jünger. That motivation is the primary purpose of this web site: to share what I have discovered, and continue to discover, with my “distant cousins” most of whom I have never met or known personally.
In researching and writing about my newly discovered Yinger family history I feel like I have begun to know them personally. That has been an unanticipated but major benefit of this project. What began as an academic exercise has, bit by bit, become deeply personal and rewarding. It is hard to put it into words, but I increasingly feel a close connection to these ancestors even though we never had the chance to meet face to face. The more I learn of their lives, challenges and perseverance, the more I have come to appreciate my ancestors who came before me.
When I was a child I would love to sit with my aunts and uncles and grandparents and parents and be enthralled and mesmerized as they told personal stories of the “olden days”. My maternal grandfather James A. Baty was an amateur historian and I suppose I have inherited a bit of his interest in that regard.
I hope other Yingers who descend from Johann Paul Jünger will similarly benefit from and enjoy getting to know their Yinger ancestors from my research and writing which are summarized on this web site. At the top of each page of this web site is an e-mail link for interested distant relatives to correspond with me if they want to provide additional family tree or other information. Perhaps I can also be helpful to those who think they may be descendants but are unsure how to connect back to the earlier Yinger ancestors.
This web site is organized into major sections as follows:
In this section of the web site various family trees are presented to help keep the characters straight as other sections of the web site are read. Family Trees
Johann Paul Jünger’s Journey to America:
In this section of the web site I will attempt to share as much information as possible that I have learned about the journey Paul Jünger made in leaving his homeland in German speaking Europe to come to America. Journey to America
From Philadelphia to York County:
This section of the web site focuses on the migration of Johann Paul Jünger from Philadelphia in 1748 to his final stop in Newberry Township of York County, Pennsylvania in 1780. From Philadelphia to York County
The Family Farm in Newberry Township of York County, Pennsylvania:
This section of the web site discusses the 140 acre farm acquired in 1788 by Johann Paul Jünger’s eldest son George Yinger. The Family Farm
Estate File Documents:
One very valuable group of original source documents toward helping piece family history together are estate documents for ancestors. This section of the web site presents estate file documents for early members of the Yinger family of York County and other closely connected families who intermarried with the Yingers. Estate Documents
In addition to possibly helping pinpoint Paul Jünger’s European village of origin, Y-DNA test results also may help other Yinger family members establish a connection to Johann Paul Jünger. This section of the web site explores this relatively recent and rapidly developing area in family history research. DNA
Eight descendants of Johann Paul Jünger the Germanic immigrant patriarch of the Yingers of York County, Pennsylvania participated in the American Civil War from 1861 through 1865. They were either great grandsons or great-great grandsons of Johann Paul Jünger. This section of the web site presents in-depth information regarding the participation of these Yinger ancestors in the Civil War. Civil War
Finding Yinger family grave site locations was an interesting and rewarding research project. This section provides information about many of the earliest generation's final resting places for my Yinger ancestors. Cemeteries
Future additional sections are planned:
There will be other sections I will add to this web site as time permits additional research and writing opportunities. Those later additions will probably include:
1. The search for Johann Paul Jünger’s home village in Europe
2. Our Yinger ancestors in the Revolutionary War
3. Occupations of our Yinger ancestors
4. Religion of our Yinger ancestors
5. Short biographies of some of the major characters among our Yinger ancestors
About the common top border and its symbolic significance:
Each page of this web site shares a common top border that conveys certain fundamental truths to keep in mind while navigating and reading the contents of this story. The web site domain name is Yorkyingers.com. The font I selected for this heading in the common top border of each page is Gothic. That choice was made because Johann Paul Jünger was a German speaking immigrant from the Rhineland area of Europe. German language documents, tombstone inscriptions, newspapers, etc. of the 18th century in which Paul lived where printed in this Germanic font.
Four pictures appearing in the top border of each page of this web site beneath the heading and domain name Yorkyingers.com were also selected for reasons of symbolic significance.
1. The first picture is of a street scene in Germanic Europe with a half timbered structure prominent in the print. This is a reminder that Paul came from a land where this type of architecture was and still is prominent.
2. The second iconic picture in the common top border is of a ship depicting the reality that our 18th century Germanic immigrant ancestor to America came on a wooden ship with sails across a vast ocean fraught with many dangers and potential hardships.
3. The third picture of a farmer working in the fields was chosen to symbolize the fact that Paul and his fellow Germanic immigrants came to the “promised land” of America in hopes of one day owning their own land upon which they might work hard and enjoy the rewards for their labor. Either as tenants or ultimate owners of farm land, most 18th century Germanic immigrants spent long days from sun up to sun down “farming, always farming” as one published writer has summarized their lives.
4. The fourth and final symbolic picture is of a “family tree” which depicts the reality that from this one lone Germanic immigrant, Johann Paul Jünger, many descendants have been born. Because of Paul’s decision to leave his German “Heimat” (homeland) and come to America, those of us who descend from Paul Jünger are indebted to him for his courage, faith, optimism and perseverance. He chose the road less taken and that has made all the difference for us. We are privileged to reap the rewards of his decision to come to America, the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Acknowledgements and appreciation:
Many people and organizations have been very helpful to me during my genealogy project researching my Yinger family history. My mother, Edna (Baty) Yinger has contributed untold hours of her time and support. She typed transcripts from all of the source documents for estate file documents, tax lists, land deed transcripts, etc. Often the original document copies were difficult to decipher making this task very challenging. The large amount of material in transcript form on this web site is a direct result of her efforts.
Mom also served as a proofreader for my narratives which are based in large part on the transcripts of the documents she typed for me. Beyond all of that essential support, she was a constant source of encouragement throughout. That did not surprise me at all because she and my father Gerald A. “Bud” Yinger have always encouraged me in every worthwhile endeavor I was involved in throughout my entire life. Without my mother’s help, this project might have mired down. Certainly, it would have been significantly delayed without her assistance. Her contributions to the project gave me the freedom to concentrate on research and writing narratives of what my research had uncovered.
After my mom, another person who provided key specialized help to me was my first cousin Ken Heiser. Ken’s mother and my mother are sisters. Their parents were James A. and Kate (Baird) Baty. Ken tutored me in many areas. He taught me how to research a trail of property ownership by tracing deeds at the appropriate court house. He taught me how to plot a deed based on the description in the document. He escorted me on several trips from his home in Cumberland County to York County on visits to the York County Court House, the York County Heritage Trust facility, also to Philadelphia and on visits to Yinger family cemeteries and the family farm near Yocumtown.
Furthermore, Ken often gave helpful advice on how to approach my research and the hunt for records about my Yinger ancestors. Ken’s paternal ancestry traces back to another Germanic immigrant named Johann Adam Heiser who came from the Rhineland to Philadelphia in 1751, just three years after my ancestor Johann Paul Jünger arrived in 1748. Ken has Pennsylvania German craftsmanship in his DNA. He is the owner of several business enterprises related to master craftsmanship in cabinet making. He often acts as a consultant to the Williamsburg Foundation on matters of early American antique furniture history and restoration. Thanks Ken for all your wise counsel and support.
Another person I want to thank is a fellow descendant of Johann Paul Jünger who I met in the course of my research. Rhonda (Yinger) Mariano and I connected via e-mail based on postings she had made on the internet at ancestry.com about research she had done on our common ancestry. She kindly shared copies of estate file documents for Anthony Yinger’s estate with me. Anthony was the middle son of the immigrant Paul Jünger from whom both Rhonda and I descend. Rhonda and I are third cousins. Her great grandfather, Jacob U. Yinger and my great grandfather, David U. Yinger were brothers. Jacob was the eldest son and David was the youngest son of George K. and Hannah (Updegraff) Yinger. The family tree section of this web site completely illuminates these connections.
Rhonda also shared copies of tax lists she had compiled from the original documents from the York County Heritage Trust’s archives. Those tax lists helped identify and sort out early male Yinger ancestors in Newberry and Fairview Townships of York County in the early 1800’s. More importantly, she taught me about the existence of estate file documents and tax lists. Before my contact with Rhonda, I was such a novice in genealogy; I did not know anything about these two very important sources of documentation for family history discovery. Thanks Rhonda for starting me off on a good path on this family history project.
I would also like to express appreciation to the staffs at the York County Heritage Trust www.yorkheritage.org and the York County Archives www.yorkcountyarchives.org. On my visits to their facilities they were always very helpful in assisting me in searching for clues and documentation about my Yinger family history.
It has often been asserted that the family is the backbone and foundation for every culture. The family represents the grass roots heart and soul for all civilizations. As the family goes, so goes society. America, like all great nations before it, owes its lofty position within the annals of human history in large measure to the strength of its families.
In my own experience my immediate family and extended family of Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins have provided me with many important benefits throughout my entire life. They fed, clothed and sheltered me and provided my education in the home and in schools. They nurtured me emotionally and spiritually. My family has provided me “deep roots” of love and support.
Every human being faces many challenges throughout the course of a lifetime. This has been true in every culture throughout the duration of human history; from Adam and Eve to the present, and it will be true as long as the Earth exists. According to Job 14:1 “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble”. No one can escape the inevitable storms of life. The family is where skinned knees and broken hearts and dreams are best mended.
Because of these important truths about the essential value of the family unit, I believe that it is important to show appreciation and respect for our forefathers. This is natural to do for those family members we have known in our lifetimes. Though more abstract, I have learned from this Yinger family history project that there is also significant benefit in learning about those ancestors who came before our parents and grandparents.
I not only want to pay honor and respect to my Yinger family ancestors I have come to know through this project, but I also feel compelled to share their lives, challenges and stories of perseverance with my children and future generations of descendants. That is my goal in presenting this Yinger family history on the internet where any family member can access this discovered family history anywhere at anytime with any internet connected computer.