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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLLAM BARNITZ, for many years president of the Farmers’ Bank, now the Farmers’ Trust Company, of Carlisle, is of old Pennsylvania-German stock. The name is frequently spelled Bernitz in the records. His great-grandfather, John George Karl Barnitz, was born in Alsace, in the Hessian Palatinate, in 1722, and came to America, by way of Baltimore, about the year 1740, settling in York county; he died in York according to the record in the Lutheran church yard in that city, Dec. 14, 1796. According to the records of the same church, he was married to his wife, Anna Barbara, Nov. 11, 1750; she is also mentioned in his will, together with their children, Charles, John, Michael, George, Daniel, Jacob,. Susanna and Barbara.

Daniel Barnitz, the grandfather of William Barnitz, was born in 1755. He served in Capt. Rudolph Spangler’s Company of Associators in 1776. He married Susanna Eichelberger. After his marriage Daniel Barnitz resided in Hanover, Heidelberg township, engaged in various occupations, tavernkeeper, brewer, farmer, etc., and died there in 1827.

Martin Eichelberger, father of Mrs. Susanna (Eichelberger) Barnitz, was the oldest son of Philip Fredrich Eichelberger, who was born near Sinsheim, Baden, in 1693, and in 1714 married Anna Barbara Dorners. They emigrated to America, by way of Rotterdam, in 1728, landing in Philadelphia, and he died at Hanover, 1776. He had nine children, six being sons, and was the ancestor of many influential families.

Martin Eichelberger was born in Germany, and came with his father to America. He purchased Lot No. 120, in York, when it was laid out in 1741, and was one of the original members of the Lutheran Church there. He was a very influential citizen; was commissioned Court Justice by George II, and also by George III; and subsequently justice of the peace; and the latter also by the convention that framed the first constitution of Pennsylvania. He was one of a committee of eighteen prominent citizens, who joined in a communication to Benjamin Franklin, President of the Committee of Safety, Sept. 15, 1775, relating to the forming of new Battalions, choosing officers, and so forth. He also filled many other positions of trust. He died in 1781.

Jacob Barnitz, the father of William, according to the family record, neatly kept by Daniel, was the oldest of nine children who lived to maturity, six being sons, and was born in Hanover, April 6, 1777. He married Miss Mary G. Etzler, and resided on a farm, purchased by him near Hanover, until 1836, when he removed to Cumberland county, where he had purchased a mill property on the Yellow Breeches, in Dickinson township, at present the station Barnitz on the Harrisburg & Pittsburg branch of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad. This station is now operated by U. Grant Barnitz, son of William. Jacob Barnitz was a man of enterprise in his day. He was one of the originators of the Carlisle & Hanover Turnpike, and was interested in education. He died in 1863, aged eighty-six. His children were, Henry, Charles. Eliza (married to Michael Bucher, of Hanover), Mary (married to Michael Carl, of near Hanover), Jacob Elder, Daniel, Susan, William, Alexander, Jane, and Augustus.

William Barnitz, the subject of this sketch, was born near Hanover, July 29, 1817. He received his education at Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, and Dickinson College, being a member of the class of 1840 in the latter institution. After his graduation he taught school in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Since his marriage he has resided in Carlisle, actively engaged in various manufacturing and business operations.

In 1851 William Barnitz married Miss Caroline Wonderlich, daughter of John and Susanna (Hetrick) Wonderlich, old settlers of Middlesex township, Cumberland county. His children, all born in Carlisle, are: John A. H., deceased, born in 1853, graduated at Dickinson College, 1875; Jacob Edwin is a prominent lawyer of Carlisle; S. Marian was educated at the Moravian Seminary, at Bethlehem, Pa.; U. Grant graduated at Dickinson College in 1888, and at present is engaged in the merchant-milling and forwarding business at Barnitz, and is a director in the Farmers’ Trust Company, of Carlisle.

William Barnitz is esteemed in the community in which he has spent the greater part of his long and useful life as one of its leading business men, highly intelligent, and always thoughtful and practical in his methods, and of unquestioned integrity. He was one of the original stockholders of the Farmers’ Bank, now the Farmers’ Trust Company, and for seventeen years was the president of the original corporation. He has always been a prominent and influential member of the Lutheran Church in Carlisle.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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