William Herzkey Tombow
William Herzkey Tombow
My Family Tree, by Patrick Tombeau, PhD White Feather
White Feather

William Tombos

Male Abt 1789 - 1858  (~ 69 years)


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  • Name William Tombos 
    Born Abt 1789  Holland, Netherlands Federation of Republics Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 10 Apr 1858  Tombowtown, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Mellinger's Mennonite Cemetery, E. Lancaster, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I03727  Tombeau Family Tree
    Last Modified 24 Feb 2007 

    Father William (?) Tombos,   b. State of Holland, Netherlands Republics (?) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Sarah ?,   b. State of Holland, Netherlands Republics (?) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1359  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Mary Ann Herzkey,   b. 21 Oct 1793, Lancaster Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Apr 1858, Tombowtown, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Married 17 Jan 1811  Lancaster Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. John Tombow,   b. 20 Sep 1808, E. Lampeter, Lancaster County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Aug 1863, E. Greenville, OH (burial: E. Greenville, OH, Cemetery) Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years)
    +2. William Herzkey Tombow,   b. 6 Jul 1813, Lampeter, Lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Apr 1865, Sterling, Whiteside Co. IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 51 years)
    +3. Mary Tombow,   b. 21 Oct 1814, E. Lampeter, Lancaster County ,PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Jul 1874, Lancaster County ,PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years)
    +4. Sarah Tombow,   b. 1 May 1820, E. Lampeter, Lancaster Co.,PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jun 1906, Lancaster, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years)
    +5. Lydia Ann Tombow,   b. 18 Apr 1822, E. Lampeter, Lancaster Co.,PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jul 1884, E. Lampeter, Lancaster Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)
     6. Catherine Tombow,   b. 23 Jun 1825, E. Lampeter Lancaster County ,PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 May 1911, Lancaster City, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
    Family ID F1357  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Elizabeth Foose 
    Married 4 Apr 1850  St. Mary Catholic Church, Lancaster, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1452  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
    Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
    William Tombos and Mary Ann Herzkey married here on January 17, 1811
    Witmer's Tavern
    Witmer's Tavern
    Located near the home of William Tombos
    Drawing of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
    Drawing of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
    Drawings of Lancaster, PA and St. Marys Catholic Church
    Drawings of Lancaster, PA and St. Marys Catholic Church
    William Tombos and Elizabeth Foose were married at St. Marys Catholic Church in Lancaster, PA

    Documents
    Death Record of William Tombos and Mary Herzkey Tombos
    Death Record of William Tombos and Mary Herzkey Tombos
    Excerpt from the bible of Thomas Smith and Mary Tombow Smith
    Certificate of Naturalization for William Tombos
    Certificate of Naturalization for William Tombos
    Lancaster County, Pennsylvania court document confirming the citizenship of William Tombos
    Deed from John and Elizabeth Petersheim to William Tombos
    Deed from John and Elizabeth Petersheim to William Tombos
    Page One
    Deed from John and Elizabeth Petersheim to William Tombos
    Deed from John and Elizabeth Petersheim to William Tombos
    Page Two
    Deed from John and Elizabeth Petersheim to William Tombos
    Deed from John and Elizabeth Petersheim to William Tombos
    Page Three
    Deed to William Tombos from James Wilson
    Deed to William Tombos from James Wilson
    Marriage Record for William Tombos and Elizabeth Foos
    Marriage Record for William Tombos and Elizabeth Foos
    From St. Mary Catholic Church, Lancaster, PA
    Members and Descendants of the Tombow Family buried in Mellinger Mennonite Cemetery, Lancaster, PA.
    Members and Descendants of the Tombow Family buried in Mellinger Mennonite Cemetery, Lancaster, PA.
    Mennonite Marriages and the Lutheran Church
    Mennonite Marriages and the Lutheran Church

    Headstones
    Tombstones of William Tombos and Mary Ann Herzkey Tombos
    Tombstones of William Tombos and Mary Ann Herzkey Tombos

    Histories
    William Tomow home map
    William Tomow home map
    Lampeter Township, Lancaster Co PA where William Tombos and his wife Mary Ann Herzkey lived the first half of the 19th Century, raising six Tomow children to maturity. This document includes county maps, dimensions and shape of the William Tombos property and tax records related to the property
    Meet the Mennonites in Pennsylvania Dutchland
    Meet the Mennonites in Pennsylvania Dutchland
    A description of the life of the Mennonites in Pennsylvania
    William Tombos Tombstone
    William Tombos Tombstone

  • Notes 
    • The Family Origins

      Our Family History begins with William Tombos who settled in E. Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. His naturalization papers, dated l November l852, indicate that he came to this country at the age of 9 years in the year l802. In these papers he forswears any further allegiance to the "King and Stadtholder of Holland". On this evidence our Family is of Dutch descent. Oral traditions carried down to this day by the descendants of John Tombow of E. Greenville, Ohio, confirm this conclusion. Similar statements are recorded by a descendant of another branch of the Tombow Family, Lydia Tombow Fluck, in the Chapman Brothers' Portrait and Biographical Album of Whiteside Co., Illinois.

      The exact place of origin in the Netherlands is unknown. However, his naturalization papers in 1852 indicate that he foreswore allegiance to the Stadtholder of Holland. At this time in history, the Netherlands consisted of a loose federation of independent states ruled over by William of Orange. One of these states was called Holland. Today this state has been divided into two provinces of today's Netherlands: North Holland and South Holland. Other clues to his origin may be in the fact that he did not settle in Philadelphia, the most likely port of entry, but in the rural farmland surrounding the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This suggests that he probably came from a rural community in one of the current provinces of Holland. Research has yet to determine the ship on which William Tombos came, or who he came with at the age of 9, which might provide further clues. The likely port of entry is nearby Philadelphia.

      We do have some other clues that might assist us. Based on the naming of the children, which followed certain patterns in the Nineteenth Century among German and Dutch ethnic groups, William Tombos' parents were probably William and Sarah Tombos. This conclusion is drawn from the custom of naming the first born son and daughter after the maternal grandparents and the second born son and daughter after the paternal grandparents. The first born son and daughter in this family were named John and Mary. And, indeed, the maternal grandparents were John and Mary Herzkey. The second born son and daughter were named William and Sarah.

      Another clue is provided to us in the religion of the founding parents. Catholics generally reside in the southern sections of the Netherlands, while Protestants reside in the north. William and Mary Tombos were buried in Mellinger's Mennonite Cemetery as were several of their children, and some grandchildren. Family oral traditions in the John Tombow descendants confirm a Mennonite tradition in the early Family. William Tombow, Jr., was buried in Science Ridge Mennonite Cemetery in Sterling, Whiteside County, Illinois, and some of his children were farmed out to Mennonite families. Further, no baptisms, but only marriages, of the early Family have been found in the Trinity Lutheran Church Records in the city of Lancaster. As the archivist of this church, Debra D. Smith, CGRS, pointed out to me in a letter, dated December 4, l989: Mennonites had no ordained clergy so the State directed them to marry in churches with ordained clergy, but their adult baptisms were done in their own churches.

      The Mennonites are a Protestant group formed during the Reformation by a Swiss Catholic priest, Menno Simons, in l536. The Netherlands became a site of Mennonite religious growth. Mennonites believe in adult baptism, objected to the state religions in Europe at the time of their founding, believe in non-resistance and are pacifists. Mennonites consider themselves non-conformists, separating themselves from all political activities. They are strongly allied to the Amish people in their belief in the simple life apart from the world and a brotherhood among believers who practice mutual aid. So important to the Mennonites and Amish is the concept of the "plain life" unadorned by worldly pleasures that more conservative factions have broken off again and again over the years from the Mennonites, starting with the Amish in l693, in order to follow a more rigorous interpretation of the simple life.

      Issues which have led to splits from parent groups have included whether buttons were too worldly to use to fasten clothes and only hook-and-eye fasteners should be used. The Amish feel any color other than black is worldly, while the Mennonites hold to a less conservative dress code.

      While our founding parents, William and Mary Tombos, and their children held to the Mennonite beliefs, it is clear that they were abandoned by their grandchildren as their many grandsons, six bearing the Tombow name, marched off to the Civil War on the Union side, abandoning the pacifist beliefs of their parents and grandparents.

      Today the Family belongs to the main line Protestant groups: Congregationalists, Methodists, and Presbyterians. One branch, the descendants of my grandfather, have reverted back to Catholicism.

      As we puzzle over the origins of our Family in Europe, an understanding of influences in the political and economic areas must be considered. In l802, when William Tombos came to the United States, according to his naturalization papers in the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas, the Netherlands was no longer the mighty sea power she had been a century before. Seaport towns were dying all along the coast and the mercantile class had fallen on hard times. Politically, the House of Orange, ruled over by a series of men named William, had been deposed by Napoleon's armies in the name of democratic reforms. These were hard times for royalists and merchants.

      The evidence indicates that William Tombos was a merchant, or trader, rather than a farmer during most of his years here. His land and animal holdings provided him only with food for his family and none for the marketplace. His name, and the probable name of his father, also suggests royalist sympathies.

      The name William has remained a popular name in the Family for two hundred years. At this writing the writer has come across 10 men bearing the name of William Tombow or Tambeau.

      William Tombos was born in the Netherlands in l787. This date was arrived at from an entry in the Smith Family Bible which records his death in l858 at the age of 7l.

      The Smith Family Bible was owned by the Family of Thomas Smith and Mary Ann Tombow, a daughter of William Tombos. Its current owner is a descendant of this couple, Irene Westphal of Marshall, Minnesota.

      If l787 is the date of his birth, this does not agree with his statements on his naturalization papers which state he was nine years old in l802, making the date of his birth l793. In the l850 Census, his age is given as 6l, making his birth year, l789. The writer is inclined to give more credence to a Family Bible Record than a Census or William's memory of his age at immigration 50 years after the event.

      We know nothing at this time of his early years between l802 and his marriage date. On l7 January l8ll in Trinity Lutheran Church in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, William Tombos married Mary Herzkey, or Herskiel, the daughter of Johan Henrich Herzkey and the widow Mary Holzhausen. This latter couple themselves were married in Trinity Lutheran Church on 2 September l788.

      According to entries in the Smith Family Bible, Mary Herzkey Tombos was born 2l October l793, most likely in Lancaster County where her father owned land.

      William Tombos and his wife Mary Herzkey settled in E. Lampeter Township, east of the city of Lancaster, where they lived out the rest of their lives. The site of their homestead is believed to be the site of the current day Locust Grove Mennonite School on the Old Philadelphia Turnpike, but confirmation awaits a closer inspection of Deeds in the Lancaster County Court House. If this is the site of their home, then nothing today remains of the frame buildings, orchards and out buildings described in William Tombos' l858 Probate Records.

      A review of Lancaster County Deeds indicates that the couple's first land purchase was made on 7 September l825 from John Weidle and his wife Catherine. Catherine was Catherine Herzkey Weidle, Mary Herzkey Tombos' sister. The land was originally their father's and had been in the Herzkey Family since l793. The land was a small parcel 3/4 of an acre plus six perches, or rods, a rod being equal to l6.5 feet. The land was located in E. Lampeter and the sale price was $l (Deeds, S-5-222). Six years later this land was deeded to Hyman Meyers on 30 March l83l. In this Deed William's last name is spelled Tombos (Deeds, S-5-220).

      The next purchase of land made by William and Mary Tombos was made on 2l April l828 from John Petersheim and wife for $60l.65. This land is described as being l4 acres and 52 perches and was located on the Old Philadelphia and Lancaster Road in Lampeter Township. In this sale William's last name is spelled Tombow (Deeds, N-5-286).

      William and Mary added to this purchase on l April l84l by purchasing a small parcel, "one acre and 6 perches neat measure" from their neighbor, James Wilson for $l08.93. William's name was spelled Tombos in this Deed (S-6-74).

      (William Tombos' youngest daughter, Catherine Tombow, married Robert Wilson. It is has not been established whether William's son-in-law was his neighbor's son.)

      It is on the above two purchases in E. Lampeter that William and Mary Tombos raised their families and lived out their lives.

      In all, at the time of his death, William Tombos owned l5 acres of land, described as follows by his daughter, Lydia Tombow Groff, in her petition to the Orphans Court of Lancaster County in September l858 (Miscellaneous Records, pp. l78-9): "Tract No. 1 containing about l4 acres (more or less) on which are erected a two storey frame dwelling house, a frame barn, and other improvements, also a well of good water and an orchard bounded on the north by the Philadelphia Columbia Railroad, on the south by the old Philadelphia Road ...."

      "Tract No. 2 containing one acre (more or less) on which are erected a one and one half storey Dwelling House (frame), stable, and good well of water and bounded on the north by Tract No. 1 and on the South by the old Philadelphia Road...."

      Both the Old Philadelphia Road and the railroad tracks remain to this day defining the boundaries of the ancestral land.

      An l847 Tax record (which spells the name Tombo) indicates that William, Sr., is in possession of Tract No. 1, which is valued at $l450 and his son, William, Jr., is in possession of Tract No. 2, valued at $250. William, Sr., owns two horses, valued at $40, l cattle valued at $l5. His total state taxes for that year were $4.85 and his county taxes were $2.32. William, Sr., is listed as a trader by occupation. He is also noted as a trader in the l84l purchase of property mentioned above.

      In a letter to this writer, dated l5 January l989, the President of the Lancaster County Historical Society, John Ward Wilson Loose, states of William Tombos:

      "Your ancestor was sufficiently prominent that the village near his home was called Tombowtown! Today it is known as Mount Rock... and even at that very few persons know the area as anything but Smoketown!"

      It is not until l830 that William Tombos appears in the Federal Census. The l8l0 Census records only heads of households and William was not married until 1811. The l820 Census for Lancaster County has been lost or destroyed.

      The following entry is found in the l830 Federal Census for Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania:

      Tamboo, William

      Male l (l0-l5 years) Male l (l5-20 years) Male l (40-50 years) Female l (under 5 years) Female 2 (5-l0 years) Female 1 (l0-l5 years) Female l (30-40 years)

      The following entry is found in the l840 Federal Census, Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (p. 386, dwelling #4):

      Tombo, William, Senior:

      Male l (0-5 years) Male l (50-60 years) Female l (l0-l5 years) Female l (l5-20 years) Female l (20-30 years) Female l (40-50 years)

      The following entry for William Tombos in the l850 Census is found under the name Dombo. The Census was taken 28 August l850 for this dwelling in E. Lampeter (p. 202, dwelling #ll6):

      Dombo, William, 6l years, farmer, real estate valued at $2,500. Dombo, Elizabeth, 54 years, born in Pennsylvania Dombo, Samuel, l4 (?) years, born in Pennsylvania, attends school Dombo, Mary, 8 years, born in Pennsylvania, attends school Wilson, Robert, 32 years, laborer, born in Pennsylvania Wilson, Catherine, 25 years, born in Pennsylvania

      Samuel and Mary are William Tombow, Jr.'s oldest children. Samuel is actually l0 years old at this time and is also recorded on September l0, l850 in Dwelling 34l, E. Lampeter, with John Weaver, age 3l, farmer. Samuel is listed as Tombo in this entry (p. 206).

      Catherine Wilson is Catherine Tombow Wilson, daughter of William Tombos and his wife, Mary. Robert Wilson is Catherine's husband.

      Elizabeth, listed above, is the second wife of William Tombos, Elizabeth Foos.

      William Tombow, Jr., is listed as living in dwelling #ll5, probably Tract No. 2 mentioned in the Orphans Court petition cited above. Lydia Tombow Groff, a daughter of William Tombos, is listed with her husband Benjamin Groff and their family in dwelling #ll4. Thus a family compound had built up around the Family Patriarch which may have been the reason for calling the area Tombowtown.

      It is certainly tempting to consider William Tombos as a kindly Family Patriarch. On 26 March l845 he sold a parcel of his land to his daughter, Lydia Tombow Groff and her husband, Benjamin N. Groff. (Deeds, Q-10-397) On this same date, he also sold a parcel to his son, William Tombow, Jr., and his wife (Deeds , G-7-8l). In this latter Deed, William Tombos, Sr., notes his intent to sell an adjoining parcel of land to Amos N. Bowers, his daughter Sarah Tombow's first husband.

      And, as noted in the l850 Census, William Tombos, now in his 60's, not only has the above two children and their families living next to him, but he also has his youngest daughter, Catherine Tombow and her husband, Robert Wilson, living with him, as well as his 10 year old grandson, Samuel Tombo (the writer's great-grandfather) and his 8 year old granddaugther, Mary Tombo, both children of his son, William Tombow, Jr.

      Truly this was not only Tombowtown, but a town of Tombows, living in E. Lampeter on l5 acres of land in l850.

      In the l850 Census there were 34l houses, 360 families and l,980 people in East Lampeter Township. William Tombos is not mentioned in the l860 Census, as he died two years prior to the Census.

      According to the Probate Records to settle William Tombos' estate, found in the Miscellaneous Records of the Lancaster County Orphans Court, William Tombos and his wife, Mary, had six children, named in this order, which is presumed to be the birth order, as is the custom in legal records of this nature: John Tombow, William (H.) Tombow, Jr., Mary Ann Tombow, Sarah Tombow, Lydia Tombow, and Catherine Tombow. (Misc. Records, Orphans Court, September l858, pp. l78-9)

      Mary Herzkey Tombos died 24 April l849, aged 55 years, 6 months, and 3 days old, according to the Smith Family Bible. She is buried in Mellinger's Mennonite Cemetery, l9l8 Lincoln Highway, E. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Row 5. Her tombstone still survives with a lengthy inscription, but it is not known whether it is still legible.

      She was unable to write as she made only her mark on Deeds to their property.

      William Tombos remarried on 4 April l850 to Elizabeth Foos in St. Mary's Catholic Church in the City of Lancaster. Elizabeth had been twice widowed before she married William Tombos and was to outlive him, dying in January, l869 (Deeds, T-9-3l0).

      The entry in St. Mary's records unfortunately gives no parentage for the parties:

      "Married on 4 April l850 Mrs. Elizabeth Faust to William Tambo, according to the rites of the Catholic Church in the presence of Ann Kienan and Benjamin Groff. Sacerdotus (Priest) Kienan."

      Ann Kienan was the priest's sister and housekeeper. Benjamin Groff was William's son-in-law, married to his daughter Lydia Tombow.

      There were no children of this second marriage, Elizabeth being beyond the child-bearing years. A review of her Will mentions no children of this marriage.

      The couple signed a marriage settlement, or pre-nuptial agreement, on the same date as their marriage which is recorded in the Lancaster County Court House (Deeds, N-7-498), but a copy of this record is not available to the writer at this time.

      William Tombos died l0 April l858, age 7l years, according to the Smith Family Bible. His grave is in Row 5, Mellinger's Cemetery, next to his first wife, Mary. His tombstone also has a lengthy inscription, but it is not known whether it is legible.

      The Will of Elizabeth, William Tombos' second wife, is recorded under the name of Elizabeth Tombo. The settlement of her estate is recorded in Deeds Z-9-393. Her Will, with several codicils, indicates that she was married to Benjamin Wallace and Jacob Fufs who pre-deceased her.

      There were children from both marriages mentioned in her Will. The settling of Elizabeth's estate is also referenced in Deeds, U-9-496.

      Elizabeth was a devout Catholic who requested that she be buried in St. Mary's Cemetery with an iron fence around her grave. A visit to this Cemetery in l989 by the writer failed to find the grave. Further search may be required to find the grave site through the Sexton's records. Papers to probate her estate were filed on 25 January l869.

      The l860 Federal Census for Lancaster County records Elizabeth Tamboo, age 73 as living with her son-in-law, John Mendler, victualer, and her daughter, Elizabeth, in the City of Lancaster (p. 953, dwelling l30).

      William Tombos' estate took many years to settle. He died without a Will and the marriage setlement, or pre-nuptial agreement, he signed 4 April l850 (Deeds, N-7-498) the day he married his second wife Elizabeth Foos, allowed his widow the use of the property until her death in January, l869.

      Further complications arose with the death of William Tombos's son, John Tombow, in l863, prior to the death of William's widow. John's sons then became heirs to their grandfather William's estate.

      While William, Sr., died in l858, it is not until June of l880 that the last of John Tombow's sons, Daniel Webster Tombow, came of age. On 9 June and 22 June l880, Daniel signed the last of the Patriarch's land away to Daniel Buckwalter (Deeds, M-ll-424) and to Catherine Herr (Deeds, M-ll-465).

      The gradual transfer of the ancestral homestead to others outside the family is also recorded in Lancaster County Deeds X-8-l7l, X-8-l72, A-9-l42, G-l0-339, T-9-3l0, X-l0-440, and X-l0-441. These Deeds need to be examined for further information about the Family. Nineteenth Century Deeds were filled not only with legalistic descriptions of the property sold, but extraneous and interesting information about the people involved in the sale.