Saturday, April 2, 2016

From Bischeim, Rhineland, Platz, Germany to Montgomery Co. PA

 Germany to Pennsylvania, USA

Yesterday my sister in law Mary Pentico Nelson learned that John Pentico/off was definitely Germanic.  DNA confirmed a link two years ago to the surname of Benighoff, Benninghoff surname.

It all made sense, because the Benninghoff family was only a short distance away from John and his young family in 1830.  Of course John married a Catherine Young daughter of Henry Young (JUNG).

Amazing how the story got so out of sorts with facts.  If you have the Pentico Family Book done in 1930's 40's by our dear cousin who attempted to piece this family together the story of arrival is fiction totally.  The thirty seven letters she did not use was probably the accurate ones. But against almost 200  letters with the silly story, I understand why she used it.
She told me it would have added 30 more pages to the book and she could not afford it.

I am just grateful she did the book and gathered the many lines of children into the book.
Yes, there are errors in the book but there is so much more to be learned.

John died in 1857 in Pleasant Valley, Scott Co. IA in 18 July 1857.  Mary and I have scoured the book and I talked to the writer prior to her death and attempted to help set the wrongs right.

So how does a story get so out of whack.  ??? Good question, I think. His Grandfather came to USA in some time prior to 1766 when he married in Upper Salford Township Montgomery Co. PA.

Her name was Elisabeth Margareth Schwarn born in Montgomery Co. PA 1 Sept 1752,  her death was pre 1845.

Phillip Jacob Benighoff b 30 Jan 1740, Bischeim, Rhineland, Pfatz, Germany and he died in New Tripoli, Lynn Township, Lehigh Co. PA.

I am sure there were several children because this time frame indicated that as normal.

His son  Johann Phillip Benighoff b 28 Oct 1770, Montgomery Co. PA. He married a Catherine Miller b 23 August 1772,  of Union Co. PA.  He died 26 Sept. 1839 in Union Co. PA. She died 1848 Buffalo Twp. Union Co. PA.

It will take census records to fill in the blanks and church records if they can be found. Maybe other Benighoff, Benninghoff, Penticuff, Penticoff, Pentico family members will come forward with what data they have.  Every one holds a piece of the great big jigsaw puzzle.

So Descendants of these surnames how about sharing what you know so we can complete the puzzle.

More interesting data will be coming.


  1. Steven Penticoff Rockford, Illinois We just returned from Salt Lake City. The complete history of the Benighoff family was traced back to the 1600s by Mary (Penticoff) Ray. I have a copy in PDF form. Let me know if you would like a copy. Steve

    1. Yes, We would love to have access. I have a copy of the Pentico book done by a relative in Kansas in the 1930's completed in the 1940's. I spoke with her on the phone before her death and then goofed and didn't take the data the husband offered. Those 33 letters that did not repeat the myth had to have held the right information. I spent50 years hunting for John Penticoff, cuff , co's ancestors. DNA gave us the answer for the correct original? spelling. I would be glad to copy it and sent to you in return if you wish. or

  2. Not sure if Steven, the previous poster will read this, but I have seen the Mary Joyce Ray book about the Benighoff/Penticoff family also. It is in the history room at the Freeport Public Library. There is incorrect information in it, so it is helpful to know your own family connection. The book has my gg grandmother Sarah Jane Penticoff as having died as a child and she was married more than once and had several children.

  3. I think no matter how hard we try we will have errors but so sad because she had 33 letters with a different story than anyone else and did not have the funds to publish the alternate story. I am just glad she got what she did so we could fix it and work forward and back. Susi