On this day Johann David Hornef born

Image of Otterberg Germany with the Abbey Church center
The Otterberg Abbey Church (center) where the Hornefs were baptized and married. (image source)

On this day in 1754, my 5th great grandfather Johann David Hornef was born in Otterberg, Bayern (Bavaria), now of the Rhineland-Palatinate state of Germany.

He was the son of Wendel Gottlieb Hornef and Maria Louis. He married Susanne Weber in Otterberg and they had at least seven children there.

His grandson, Jacob Hornef, emigrated to Philadelphia in 1846 with his wife Katherina (née Faber) and infant daughter Catherine who would later marry Elon Carman.

Last Will and Testament of Jacob Hornef

Last Will & Testament of Jacob Hornef

Transcribed by Alexander Conrad from digital scans


No. 494 1895
Estate of Jacob Hornef (Deceased)
Application for Probate and Letters Testamentary
Filed March 25 A.D. 1895
Elias P. Smithers, Register


I Jacob Hornef of the 31st ward of the City of Philadelphia and State of Pennsylvania, Laborer, being of sound mind memory and understanding, do make and publish my last Will and Testament in manner and form following.

First I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be first paid and satisfied by my Executrix herein after named.

Item, I give devise and bequeath unto my beloved wife Catharine Hornef her heirs and assigns forever, all my property real, personal, and mixed of what nature and kind soever and wheresoever the same shall be at the time of my death.
And I do nominate and appoint my said wife Catharine Hornef, Sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament.

In witness whereof I Jacob Hornef the Testator have to this my Will written on one sheet of paper set my hand and seal this Ninth day of March A.D. One Thousand Eight hundred and Seventy six. (1876)
Image of Signature of J Hornef[signed] J Hornef

Signed sealed published and declared by the above named Jacob Hornef, as and for his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names at his request as witnesses thereto in the presence of the said testator and of each other.
Frederick Koons
Frederick T. Koons


(Form 4.)
City and County of Philadelphia, ss.
Register’s Office, March 25 1895

I do swear that as the Executrix of the forgoing last Will and Testament of Jacob Hornef deceased, I will well and truly administer the goods and chattels, rights and credits of said deceased, according to law; and that I will diligently and faithfully regard and well and truly comply with the provisions of the law relating to Collateral Inheritances. That the said Testator died on the 3rd day of June A.D. 1894 at 3 o’clock, AM.

Sworn and subscribed before me the date above, and letters testamentary granted unto her.
[signed] Chas Irwin

Image of signature of Katharina Hornef

[signed] Katharina Hornef
2246 Taggert St.

(Katharina Hornef) [written on the bottom probably because she signed in German script]


(Form No. 4 1/2)
State of Pennsylvania
City and County of Philadelphia

Be it Remembered That, on the Twenty fifth day of March A.D. 1895, before me, Elias P. Smithers, Register of Wills for the City and County aforesaid, after due proof and hearing had, according to the Laws of the said State, It is ordered and decreed, that the last Will and Testament of Jacob Hornef late of the City and County, deceased, be duly admitted to probate and filed of record in the Office of the Register of Wills of the said City and County.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, the day and year above written.
[signed] Elias P. Smithers, Register


(Form 6.)
City and County of Philadelphia, ss.

Register’s Office, March 25 1895

Then personally appeared Frederick Koons and Frederick T. Koons the subscribing witnesses to the forgoing last will of Jacob Hornef deceased, and on their solemn oath did say that they were present, and did see and hear Jacob Hornef deceased, the Testator therein named, sign seal, publish and declare the same as and for his last will and testament and that at the doing thereof he was of sound disposing mind, memory, and understanding, to the best of their knowledge and belief.

Sworn and subscribed before me, the above date.
[signed] Chas Irwin, Deputy Register

[signed] Frederick Koons
[signed] Frederick T. Koons



Family Memory

Last night over at Geneamusings, Randy Seaver had for his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun a game of ancestor roulette. The ancestor he landed on was his great-grandmother about whom he had this to say:

I called her “Nana” – as did my mother. She was the earliest born person that I remember being with.

She was born in 1868, so I was impressed by that. The earliest born person I remember is my Great-Uncle Milt who was born in 1900. I had some great-uncles born in the 1890’s whom I probably met but don’t remember. My Uncle Milt had no other family living besides us. He never had children and his only brother, my grandfather, had only my mother. So, Uncle Milt would join us for Thanksgiving and other holidays. When he passed away, I went with my mom to his house and it was like stepping into another time. I came away with a penny from 1919, an old fountain pen and three old 78 records. None of those things have survived to present day, I am sad to report.

Compared to 1868, 1900 is not that long ago. My grandmothers were born in 1904 and 1905 and I knew them better than Uncle Milt. Through the stories of my grandmother Naomi Carman Garrison especially, the early twentieth century was not so far removed.

What about my grandmother? Who was the oldest person she knew? My mind went immediately to her grandmother Catherine Hornef Carman. This was not likely the oldest person in her family my grandmother ever met, but she is the only one my grandmother told me about. It is not much, but this may be all that is ever “remembered” about my 2nd great-grandmother. My grandmother told me she remembered her grandmother as a large, happy German woman and remembered her cooking in the kitchen. My grandmother was only seven years old when her grandmother passed away, so one can forgive the vagueness.

Some things I have learned about Catherine Hornef Carman since:

  • She was born 1 July 1845 in Otterberg, Germany to Jacob Hornef and Katharina Faber.
  • She was christened at the Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche in Otterberg shortly thereafter.
  • They immigrated to Philadelphia when she was a baby and they left Germany “secretly.”
  • She had two sisters Eva Amelia who married Andrew Mahla and settled in Marcus Hook and Mary who has proven elusive.
  • Her sisters were both born in Pennsylvania.
  • She was married in 1862 to Elon Carman at the First Independent Christian Church in Philadelphia.
  • She died 9 April 1913 and is buried in Mt. Moriah cemetery in Philadelphia1