Photos of postcard shown below were provided by Harold R. Hartman in February, 2007.
(Postmark shows April, 1910)
The following information was provided by Dennis Byerly in February 1997
According to J.L. Floyd in his History of Northumberland County, Penna. published in 1911, DORNSIFE, Pennsylvania was named for Henry H. Dornsife, a miller who had a gristmill (a mill for grinding grain) nearby on Mahanoy Creek. In 1911 Dornsife, Pennsylvania was a station on the Herndon branch of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad and was a village of about 100 people. Henry H. Dornsife was the grandson of David Dornsife, a Hessian soldier who remained in America after the Revolutionary War and settled on the east side of the Susquehanna River south of Sunbury, Pennsylvania along the base of Mahanoy Mountain. David Dornsife married Elisabeth Kahwel(1761-1827) who bore him two sons; Daniel Dornsife & Henry Dornsife. After DavidDornsife's death at a comparatively early age, Elisabeth remarried to a John Dunkelberger and moved through the gap to Little Mahanoy Township. Both DanielDornsife and HenryDornsife and many family members are buried in the cemetery of Immanuel Lutheran and Reformed Church at Hunters Station about 3-4 miles east of Dornsife, Pennsylvania on Pennsylvania route 225.
It is difficult to find information about the Hessian soldiers who remained in America because they had a fear and distrust of anything that had to do with the government. For the most part they settled in remote areas along what was at that time the frontier. If someone such as a census taker would arrive, they would find no one around or would be given misinformation. Quite a few Hessian soldiers settled in the northern part of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania and the southern part of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.
Emmanuel/Immanuel (Lutheran & Reformed) Church Cemetery
Hunter's Station, Pennsylvania
(On route 225, 3-4 miles east of Dornsife, Pennsylvania)
Children of Frederich DUNKELBERGER & Catharina HAUER
Christofel 02/27/1773-01/29/1827 + Eva FERSTER 07/08/1780-11/30/1830
Barbara 04/07/1779-12/17/1838 + Conrad RAKER 06/07/1778-09/04/1849
Elizabeth 02/18/1784-02/10/1861 +Leonhard RIED 03/10/1790-02/22/1852
Eve C. 09/28/1786-04/09/1867 +J. George HENSYL 09/05/1787-12/20/1863
Samuel H. Dornsife
Harriet (Raker) Dornsife
Harriet was the first Sunday school teacher at the Lutheran Church in Hunter's Station. Hunter's Station and Dornsife are neighboring villages.
It is rumored that
Harriet Raker Dornsife
was the first Sunday school teacher at the
Little Mahanoy Lutheran Church.
The Charcoal sketches from the 19th century (shown above) were provided by
Samuel J. DORNSIFE (1916 - 1999) and forwarded by Peter DORNSIFE in Sept 2000.
Grave site photos provided by Peter DORNSIFE June 2001
Front Row: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Daniel Ellen Mary Harriet Felix Lizzie
Back row; Jeremiah Samuel Fred Henry Katie Riley David.
R. R. A.
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
According to information published in Rootsweb, about 30,000 German mercenaries were hired by the British to participate in the war against the American colonies and since the majority of them were from Hessen-Kassel, they are generally referred to as Hessians, but they also came from Braunschweig, Hessen-Nassau, Ansbach, Waldeck, and Anhalt-Zerbst. Some of the men deserted the English army in favor of their cousins in Pennsylvania. Sometimes during and just after the American Revolution an entry will be found in church records referring to "Brunszwickers." About 6,000 mercenaries remained in the country after the war.
The Lutheran Church
at Hunter's Station
The photograph below was taken in the autumn of 1900 and was given to Peter D. Dornsife in 1999 by Martha Matchett (age 96). The photo shows Harriet Raker Dornsife with 12 of her children. Harriet was first married to Israel Dunkleberger and she had four children with him. Harriet Raker Dornsife married Samuel H. Dornsife, in 1864 "and to him, she bore 12 children, including one still born."(Samuel J. Dornsife (1916 - 1999), son of Henry A. Dornsife shown in photo , was the family historian.)