"Zimmerman" Ancestors

Ancestors of James McClellan Ross (1878-1940)


The Zimmerman surname entered our ancestral line when Mary Zimmerman married Andrew Supplee.  We can only go back four more generations at the present time in her ancestry.  As usual, I will start with the earliest known ancestor of the surname and follow their offspring until our first Zimmerman ancestor enters our lineage.

Mattaius Zimmerman

At this point I know very little of Mattaius.  He was born in 1591 in Germany and was married to Anna (surname unknown).  Mattaius and Anna had the next in our lineage, Johann Jacob Zimmerman.

Johann Jacob Zimmerman

Johann Jacob Zimmerman was born on November 25, 1642 in Wurttemberg, Germany.  

There is no lack of information on this ancestor as he became quite well known as a Lutheran Minister (1671-1684), a scholar of mathematics, astronomy and astrology, and for his unorthodoxy in religious matters in general.  As an independent thinker, he became a member of the "pietist" movement that felt the established church had become a "Babylonian Whore". 

He was deposed from the ministry, and then became a mathematics professor at Heidelberg University (1684-1689).  His radical religious and philosophical views got him in trouble again, and he was dismissed from that position also.

He came to the conclusion that the world was going to end in 1694, formed a group called the Chapter of Perfection to go to the New World (specifically Philadelphia), where they would wait for Jesus' coming back to earth.  Had it not been for this belief, our Zimmerman ancestors may not have become our ancestors.  He died the night before the group left, but his wife and children and the rest of the group continued the journey.

I have done a much more detailed essay on Johann Jacob Zimmerman's life and beliefs on my www.rossancestors.com website.

Jacob Christopher Zimmerman

Jacob Christopher was born on May 14, 1683 in Bietigheim, Wurttenberg, Germany, and died in 1759 in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.  He had come to America in 1694 with his mother, his siblings, and the followers of his father's Chapter of Perfection group and had settled with them in Germantown, Pennsylvania.  He married Sibella VanFossen  betwen 1708 and 1709 and had our next ancestor, Jacob Zimmerman in 1710.  As you can see, Jacob was quite a popular name in our ancestry.

Jacob Zimmerman

Jacob was  born in Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1710 and died on March 15, 1796 in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  He married Catherine Earnhardt and the eighth of their nine children Mary, became the first Zimmerman to enter our lineage.

Mary Zimmerman

Mary was born in 1742 and died on March 2, 1777.  She was buried in Bethel Burying Ground, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  She married Andrew Supplee on January 4, 1764 at St. Michael's  Lutheran Church in Philadelphia.   Apparently, by the time  Mary was born (or maybe because of the Supplee family), they had returned to the more traditional church which her great grandfather had left.   Their daughter, Magdalena Supplee, became the first of the Supplee line to enter our ancestry.


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