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

Lydia Ann Tombow

Female 1822 - 1884  (62 years)


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  • Name Lydia Ann Tombow 
    Born 18 Apr 1822  E. Lampeter, Lancaster Co.,PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 26 Jul 1884  E. Lampeter, Lancaster Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Mellinger's Mennonite Cemetery, Row 13, E. Lancaster, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I07259  Tombeau Family Tree
    Last Modified 24 Feb 2007 

    Father William Tombos,   b. Abt 1789, Holland, Netherlands Federation of Republics Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Apr 1858, Tombowtown, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 69 years) 
    Mother 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 
    Family ID F1357  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Benjamin N. Groff,   b. 13 Apr 1820, Lancaster Co, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 26 Mar 1845  Trinity Lutheran Church, Lancaster, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Catherine M. Groff,   b. 24 Sep 1841, E. Lampeter Lancaster County ,PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sterling, Whiteside Co. IL (?) Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Calvin J. Groff,   b. 22 May 1843, E. Lampeter Lancaster County ,PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Aug 1918, Lancaster, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     3. Sydney S. Groff,   b. 1845, E. Lampeter Lancaster County ,PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Penrose, IL Find all individuals with events at this location
    +4. Benjamin Franklin Groff,   b. 31 Aug 1847, Bird-in-Hand, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Jan 1931  (Age 83 years)
    +5. William Penn Groff,   b. 14 Jul 1849, Lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jul 1927, Blairstown, IA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
     6. Lydia Anna Groff,   b. 1851, lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Raynor, NE Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Robert Groff,   b. 1853, lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Cedar Rapids, IA Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Freeland Groff,   b. 1855, Lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location
     9. John Groff,   b. 1857, Lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Ayrshire, IA Find all individuals with events at this location
     10. Mary ("Molly") Groff,   b. Oct 1859, Lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location
     11. Martha Groff,   b. Abt 1861, Lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sterling, IL Find all individuals with events at this location
     12. Rachel Groff,   b. Abt 1863, Lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Pensylvania Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID F2722  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 




    • The Descendants of Lydia A. Tombow and Benjamin N. Groff

      The descendants of Benjamin N. Groff and Lydia Ann Tombow were also traced by Dorothy Tombow Boulware, RR 2, Box 311-B, Argyle, TX, in her book "Tambos Tombo Tombow from 1780's Smith, Weaver/Bowers, Groff, Rudy, Cope" (1992), published by Timber Creek Ltd., RT. 1, Box 242, Miami, OK 74354. A copy of this book may be found in the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society Library.The descendants of Benjamin N. Groff and Lydia Ann Tombow were also traced by Dorothy Tombow Boulware, RR 2, Box 311-B, Argyle, TX, in her book "Tambos Tombo Tombow from 1780's Smith, Weaver/Bowers, Groff, Rudy, Cope" (1992), published by Timber Creek Ltd., RT. 1, Box 242, Miami, OK 74354. A copy of this book may be found in the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society Library.

      It has been pointed out previously in the chapter on the Origins of the Family that the founding parents, William Tombos and Mary Ann Herzkey, had six children: John Tombow, William Tombow, Jr., Mary Ann Tombow, Sarah Tombow, Lydia Tombow, and Catherine Tombow (Miscellaneous Documents. Lancaster County Orphans Court, September, l858, pp. l78-l79).

      This chapter discusses the descendants of William and Mary Herzkey Tombos' fifth child, Lydia A. Tombow and her husband, Benjamin N. Groff of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

      Lydia Tombow was born l8 April l822 according to the records of Mellinger's Cemetery on Lincoln Highway in E. Lancaster, where Lydia is buried. She lived out her childhood years on the property owned by her parents described in the Chapter on the Origins of the Family.

      She was married to Benjamin N. Groff in Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in the city of Lancaster, as Lydia Tombo, on 6 April l84l. Their marriage took place in a Lutheran Church because the State required Mennonites to use ordained clergy for their marriages. Lydia's parents, maternal grandparents, and sister, Sarah, to her first husband, Amos N. Bowers, had been married at this church before her.

      Benjamin N. Groff was born l3 April l820 according to the records of Mellinger's Cemetery where he is buried next to his wife. A Benjamin Groff family lived a few farms away from Lydia's parents in the l840 Federal Census. A search of Wills for this older Benjamin Groff may determine who Benjamin N. Groff's parents were.

      Four years after their marriage, on 26 March l845, Lydia's parents sold an acre of land to Benjamin (Q-l0-397,398). This land was roughly in the shape of a rectangle, 3l8.l5 feet by l36.95 feet, fronting on the old Philadelphia Turnpike Road in East Lampeter Township. The selling price was $l50. There is no mention of buildings on the land, but there is mention of rights to water and water courses which suggests a stream or perhaps just a well existed on the property.

      It was on this land that Benjamin and Lydia raised their numerous children as it is not until 3l March l885, nine months after the death of Lydia, that Benjamin sells this piece of land. (Deeds, T-l2-l39) Benjamin Groff appears as the head of a family for the first time in the l850 Federal Census for Lancaster County, E. Lampeter Township, Pennsylvania (dwelling #ll4), adjacent to the land of his father-in-law and his brother-in-law, William Tombow, Jr. Census data is as of the date 28 August l850:

      Benjamin Groff, 29 years, laborer, real estate value: $700, born in PA.
      Lydia Groff, age 27 years, born in PA
      Catherine M. Groff, 8 years, born in PA
      Calvin J. Groff, 7 years, born in PA
      Cidney S. Groff (female), 5 years old, born in PA
      Benjamin Groff, Jr., 2 years, born in PA
      William, l year, born in PA

      In the l860 Federal Census the following entries for Benjamin and Lydia Tombow Groff and their children have been located:

      E. Lampeter Township, Lancaster Co., PA, dwelling 260 p 347, 25 June l860:

      Benjamin N. Groff, age 38, laborer, real estate valued at $850, personal property at $350.
      Lydia Groff, age 36, born PA
      William Groff, age ll, born PA
      Lydia Groff, age 9, born PA
      Robert Groff, age 7, born PA
      Freeland Groff, age 5, born in PA
      John Groff, age 3, born PA
      Mary Groff, age 8/l2, born PA

      Benjamin and Lydia Tombow Groff's son, Calvin, reported in the l850 Census with his parents, is reported in E. Lampeter Township, dwelling 272, page 359, with the John Freelich Family. He is listed as age l9.

      Benjamin T. Groff and Sidney Groff are reported in the entry of their maternal aunt and uncle Robert and Catherine Tombow Wilson, as follows:

      l860 Federal Census, W. Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, PA. p. 808, dwelling #l33:

      Robert Wilson, age 4l, farmer, born PA, estate valued at $600
      Catherine Wilson, age 35, born in PA
      Benjamin T. Groff, age l3, born in PA
      Sidney Groff, age l5, born PA
      Isaac Gann (?), l9, farmer, born PA

      Catherine M. Groff, Benjamin and Lydia Tombow Groff's oldest child, married Henry M. Zendt 28 February l860 in E. Lampeter township, according to a biographical sketch of the couple found in Chapman Brothers' Portrait and Biographical Album of Whiteside County, Illinois, p. 352.

      Her entry for the l860 Census would be found under Henry M. Zendt's Household.

      No further Census work has been done for members of this family.

      A rare glimpse into the lives of the early Tombows is afforded by an l864 letter, written by Benjamin and Lydia Tombow Groff to her brother John's widow, Sarah Smith Tombow. A copy of this letter accompanies this History. The text reads as follows: (The original spelling in the letter has been maintained.)

      "Mount Rock February first l864

      Dear friend Sarah I take the pleasure of dropping a few lines to you to let you no that we are all reasonabel well at presant The children all had the measels but they are all pretty well again and I and Lydia are midling well. Lydia has not been well for some time but I hope she will soon be well again. We have hird with much sarow to all that William (John and Sarah's son) was cilled and Nathaniel (Tombow, another son) seariusly wounded. Dear friend this is sad tidings for us all to here but it is very harde for you to lose your boys in this way. But we must bare with it as it seems to be our lot and misfortune of this cruel war (The Civil War). But it is the will of god and bair all in good faith and trust in him that giveth and taketh away.

      "But dear friend be comforted in all things and all will be well with you. I showed Smith (Thomas Smith who married Mary Ann Tombow and to whom John and Sarah Tombow sold there land before leaving Lancaster County, PA to live in E. Greenville, Ohio) the letter that Margret (Tombow, a daughter of John and Sarah Tombow) rote to me and it rased his temper but I told him that I thought that she did not say anything out of the way. But he should have said that he would come out and see hir and he said he would make it a dear lesson to her. But I sapose he has cooled off as I here nothing about it at all and I think he would get the dearest part of the afair as I now that he did not do rite in all things with John. I ast him if he gave John that hundred dollars and he said he did not but he did not no what he would do yet. But I donte thinke he will give anything as he did not doo it before this time.

      And Lydia says she thinkes that Smith would get his match if he got in contact with Margret. She says I should stick to her brother to the last as she is in the rite. Lydia says that Margret gave Smith just what he deserved to get. (T)he friends are all well as far as I no. Mary Ann (Tombow) Smith is bad of. She is nearly blinde. Hir eyes are verry bad. Catharin (Groff, their oldest child who married Henry M. Zendt) as going to Sterling, Elanois, and Frank is going along also. And I expect our children will all go out west. We should all like to see you all and I hope the time may cum when we can all see each other once more. So no more. Friends all you must forgive me for my cairlesnes of not riting sooner but I have so much on my minde that I am cairles I no but I shall try to doo better in future. We all sende our love to you Lydia in particular to you and the girls. So no more for this time. Pleas rite soon and let us no all about the boys and all the rest of the famely. "From Ben. and Lydia Groff

      "Yours truly Sarah Tombow and children. So good nite."

      The original of this remarkable letter is held by the great-great granddaughter of John and Sarah Smith Tombow, Dorothy Tombow Boulware of Argyle, Texas.

      When Benjamin Groff sold the land which he had purchased from his father-in-law, William Tombos, in l845, Benjamin is listed as an auctioneer living in E. Lampeter Township. He sold his land to Daniel W. Meyers for $l300. At that time a house and stable were on the property and reference was again made to waters and water courses on the land. (Deeds, T-l2-l39)

      Benjamin was 65 years old at the time of the sale, and was to live another five years. It is not known at this time with whom he lived, but it was probably one of his children.

      Lydia Tombow Groff died 26 July l884 and Benjamin N. Groff died 20 March l890, according to the records of Mellinger's Mennonite Cemetery in E. Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They are buried in row l3.

      A search for a Will for Banjamin N. Groff in the Lancaster County Court House archives was negative. No obituary has been found in the Lancaster County papers by the Lancaster County Historical Society for Benjamin N. Groff or Lydia Tombow Groff.

      Benjamin and Lydia Tombow Groff had the following children according to the l850 and l860 Federal Censuses ( A search of the l870 Census may report further children born after l860):

      V-l Catherine M. Groff, reported above in the l850 Census, was born 24 September l84l in E. Lampeter Township, according to the Chapman Brothers' book, cited above in this chapter, p. 352-3. at the age of l0, she was removed from the care of her parents and raised to womanhood by strangers, according to the above mentioned source.

      She married Henry M. Zendt, born 2l February l825 in Baden, Germany, the son of Jacob Zendt and Elizabeth Down. Catherine Groff and Henry M. Zendt married 28 February l860. Henry Zendt ran a carriage business in Lancaster County for l2 years before relocating with his wife and family in Sterling, Whiteside County, Illinois in the Spring of l864.

      The couple were Mennonites and Mr Zendt was a deacon in the Mennonite Church. Further information about this couple can be found in the accompanying article from the Chapman Brothers' book.

      The following children were born of this union according to the above source:

      V-1-1 Franklin G. Zendt, born 5 January l86l; died l June l864.

      V-1-2 Lydia A. Zendt, born l8 October l863.

      V-l-3 Mary M. Zendt, born l6 June l866.

      V-l-4 Naomi T. Zendt, born 2l April l859 (probably l869 in view of marriage date of parents); died l7 May l873.

      V-l-5 John G. Zendt, born 23 October l87l.

      Marriages of the surviving children may be found in the Whiteside County (IL) index to pre-l9l6 marriages in the possession of Arlene T. Onken, Whiteside County, Illinois, historian and genealogist.

      Nothing further is known about this family at this writing beyond what is written in the Chapman Brothers' book cited above.

      V-2 Calvin J. Groff, born l843, according to the l850 Census and l84l according to the l860 Census. Calvin J. Groff may have been in the Civil war because of his age and his military and pension papers should be sought for further information.

      V-3 Sidney S. Groff (female) born l845, according to both the l850 and l860 Censuses. Nothing further known. Marriages in First Reformed and Trinity Lutheran should be searched for her marriage.

      V-4 Benjamin T. Groff, born l848, according to the l850 Census or l847 according to the l860 Census. Despite his age, he may have served in the Civil War toward the later years and his military and pension papers should be sought from the National Archives.

      V-5 William Groff, born l849 in both the l850 and the l860 Census. His marriage might have occurred in Lancaster County for further information and the Soundex may find this family because in l880 his children would have been under the age of l0.

      V-6 Lydia Groff, born l85l, according to the l860 Census. Her marriage may be found in the Reformed Church or Trinity Lutheran Church records.

      V-7 Robert Groff, born l853, according to the l860 Census. His marriage may be found in the Reformed or Trinity Lutheran Churches. If he remained in Lancaster his family may be found in the l880 Soundex as his children would be under l0.

      V-8 Freeland Groff (male), born l855, according to the l860 Census. Marriage and the l880 Soundex should be researched.

      V-9 John Groff, born l857, according to the l860 Census. Marriage Indexes for Lancaster County and the l880 Soundex should be reviewed for further information.

      V-l0 Mary Groff, born l860, two months old at time of Census. Marriage indexes of Reformed and Trinity Lutheran Churches should be reviewed for her marriage.

      Nothing further is known at this writing of this branch of the Benjamin N. Groff and Lydia Tombow Family and its descendants.

      Ads placed in The Genealogical Helper (Sept/Oct, l989) and Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage magazine in l990 for descendants of this branch of the Tombow Family have not been answered as of this writing.