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Stover Brethren

"The Family of Elder William Stover of Antietam"

by Richard R. Weber, published by the Author, 2001

A REVIEW - by Betty Naff Mitchell
Published in the September, 2002 issue of NEFF NEWS

This monumental work of genealogy and history is obviously the product of many hours of research and labor. The genealogy is an invaluable resource for the general historian as well as the genealogist searching for the many surnames contained therein. The book has an excellent binding, is quite well presented with many charming illustrations reminiscent of old woodcuts or engravings, and appropriate black and white illustrations. Maps, photos and copies of pertinent documents are also included.

The facts presented in Stover Brethren are very well organized and presented, particularly considering the complicated order of events necessarily encountered in the telling of the tale. The book is quite readable with many interesting facts other than the genealogical data. Richard Weber has done a commendable job in the documentation of his work, with more than 1300 end notes.  My main criticism of the documentation is with references such as "Obituary of husband."  The main function of a foot or end note being to give the information necessary to locate that reference and verify it, is entirely missing in these cases.  Furthermore, Weber gives many references to John Boitnott's book, Naff and Related Families, but never gives a page number for the reference.  More than once I have located the reference in Boitnott's book and discovered that the information referred to by Weber is not exactly the same as in Boitnott's work. These mistakes, some of which are probably typographical, are not tremendously misleading and would never be noticed by someone who did not have access to John Boitnott's book.

The most important new information presented in the book are the identification of the true identity and facts regarding Elder William Stover (also known as Elder Johann Wilhelm Stober), the correction of the identity of the mother of Elizabeth Stover who married Jacob Naff, Jr., and the corrected information regarding the marriage of Elizabeth Naff to Abraham Barnhart.  Some genealogies incorrectly show this Elizabeth married to Joseph Flora. This information had previously been discovered by members of the Neff Family Association and was reported on the association's web site. Further information concerning these facts will be found below.

Richard Weber points out the inaccurate information passed down in previous genealogies regarding William Stover and points us toward the truth through several illustrations. These include the baptismal record of William Stover1 He also gives copies of land warrants, surveys and deeds. Although Elder William Stover was baptized into the Lutheran faith, he became associated with the Dunkers soon after he moved to Antrim Twp, PA.2

The main interest to the Naff (E1) line is with Dr. George Stover (also known as Dr. Johann Georg Stober), the son of Elder William Stover and his wife, Anna Margaretha Süss.1  Dr. George Stover was born 29-Sep-1747 in Lancaster, PA, and died 12-Jul-1826 in Bedford County, VA. His first wife was Catherine Price, daughter of John Price and Mary Ann Stoner. Their marriage date is not given.2

Weber quotes from the journal of George Stover's grandson, Rev. Thomas Stover: "Grandfather moved from Penn. to Botetourt County, Va., and settled on the waters of the Catawba River. This was after the death of his first wife & by whom he had ten children." Rev. Thomas Stover also states in this passage that the daughter of Dr. George Stover, Elizabeth, married Jacob Naff [Jr.].3

The Genealogy

All of the Naffs listed in Stover Brethren trace their ancestry back to Johann Wilhelm Stober, and his wife, Anna "Margaretha" Süss, immigrants from Stattfort, Baden, Germany, to Lancaster, PA., through the daughter of their son, Dr. George Stover, [#447] Elizabeth Stover, who married Jacob Naff, Jr.

From this point forward we will attempt to set forth any new information or corrections made to previously published genealogies as shown in Richard Weber's book. Accordingly, I shall attempt to list these below as closely as possible to the order in which they are presented.

In a group of siblings wherein the daughters are married and their children are not named Naff, I shall list only the names of the children of that marriage, retaining the numbers used by Richard Weber to facilitate locating persons in his book.

Fifth Generation

Dr. George Stover (Dr. Johann Georg Stober) - Born 29-Sep-1747 in Lancester County, PA; died 12-Jul-1826 in Virginia.8 He married:  (1) Catherine Price,9 daughter of John Price and Mary Ann Stoner. Catherine was born ca. 1752, died 1792. Dr. George Stover married (2) Margaret Beaver10 Margaret was born 1774; died after 1832.3

Children of Dr. George Stover and Catherine Price:3

446. John Stover
447. Elizabeth Stover
448. Jacob Stover
449. Susan Stover
450. Mary "Polly" Stover
451. Daniel Stover
452. George Stover
453. Catherine Stover
454. Hannah Stover
455. Col. Abraham Stover
456. Infant daughter Stover, born 1792. George's wife, Catherine, evidently died in child birth.
       or shortly thereafter.
Sixth Generation

447. Elizabeth Stover4,5 - Elizabeth Stover, daughter of Dr. Johann George Stover (hereinafter known as Dr. George Stover),  was born in Franklin County, PA in 1773, and died there 29-Aug-1855.11 She married Jacob Naff, Jr.,6 son of Jacob Naff, Sr. and Eva Catherine Flora, 30-Dec-1792. Jacob Naff, Jr. was born 1769 and died 1829. His estate was probated 2-Mar-1829 in Franklin County, VA.7

The first discrepancy between the information in Richard Weber's book and previously published Naff genealogies occurs regarding the mother of Jacob Naff, Jr.'s wife, Elizabeth Stover.  Richard Weber gives Elizabeth's parents as Dr. George Stover and his first wife, Catherine Price.3 [ Dr. George Stover's second wife was Margaret Beaver, ca. 1789, daughter of Nicholas Beaver and Katherine Simmer.]3

John Boitnott previously published the name of Elizabeth's mother as Hannah (Price) Stover.12  Boitnott's reference is to the unpublished "Autobiography" of Rev. Isaac N. Naff, son of Jacob Naff, Jr. On page one of the "Autobiography,"  Rev. Isaac N. Naff states that his mother's name was "Elizabeth," and later on that page that "she was the daughter of a Dr. George Stover and her mother's maiden name was Price." Isaac N. Naff does not mention the given name of his grand mother, wife of Dr. George Stover. Catherine and Hannah Price were sisters, and daughters of Dr. George Stover.3 A photocopy of the page in Isaac N. Naff's "Autobiography" regarding his parentage may be seen at

In Weber's information for the marriage of Elizabeth Stover, daughter of Dr. George Stover to Jacob Naff, Jr., son of Jacob Naff, Sr. and Eva Catherine Flora, Weber gives the date of the marriage as 30-Dec-1792, same as John Boitnott13 but his source is Wingfield Marshall's Pioneer Families, no page given. Weber gives the date of birth for Jacob Naff, Jr. as 1769 14, death 182911 There is no discrepancy between Boitnott and Weber regarding the date of death of Jacob Naff, Jr. Weber gives the probate date for Jacob Naff, Jr.'s estate as 2-Mar-1829.7

Children of Elizabeth Stover and Jacob Naff, Jr.7

878. George Naff15 - There is no discrepancy with previous records regarding George Naff's date of birth. Previous records give the date of death as between 1860-1870 in Franklin County, VA. Weber gives the previously unpublished date of death as 24-Jun-1866 in Franklin County, VA.11,30

Children of George Naff and Hannah Bowman:30
1701. Jacob D. Naff:16 - Newly published date of death for Jacob is 1-Sep-1864 in Franklin County, VA.11 He Married Hannah Montgomery.17 Hannah Was born 7-Jan-1826 in Franklin County, VA. She died 19-Oct-1922 in Howard County, IN. They married 02-Dec-1820 in Franklin County, VA. See Children of this marriage in the Seventh Generation of Stover Brethren by Richard Weber.18
1702. Elizabeth Naff16 - Born 16-Apr-1822, died 18-Oct-1873 in Franklin County, VA.11 She married19 Abraham Flora20 7-Dec-1840.  Elizabeth and Abraham are buried in the Rutrough Cemetery, Franklin County, VA. See children of this marriage in the Seventh Generation of Stover Brethren.18
1703. Elder Benjamin Neff16 - John Boitnott has given the first marriage for Benjamin as Elizabeth Fisher and the second marriage to Fanny (Kingery) Young, a widow in Indiana. 21 Richard Weber gives the following new information regarding the marriages of Elder Benjamin Neff:  He married (1) Martha Teel,22 3-Feb-1849 in Franklin County, VA.  She died in 1850. He married (2) Elizabeth Fisher24 24-Dec-1857 in Wabash, IN. She was born 5-Apr-1839, died 1-May-1873 in Wabash County, IN.25 Benjamin and Elizabeth resided near John B. Neff in the 1860 census of Wabash County, IN. Benjamin was advanced to elder in 1884 in the Roann Brethren Church, Wabash, IN. He married (3) Fanny (Kingery) Young) in IN.  See children of the last two marriages in the Seventh Generation of Stover Brethren, by Richard R. Weber.23
1705. Abraham Naff16 - Born 6-May-1827 in Virginia, died 29-Sept-1896 in Franklin County, VA.26 He married19 Elizabeth Naff on 25-Nov-1850 in Franklin County, VA. See children of this marriage in the Seventh Generation of Stover Brethren.23
1706. Hannah Naff16 - Born 13-Nov-1830 in Franklin County, VA, died 19-Mar-1900 in IN.26 She married Isaac Bowman19 New information on children of this marriage will be found in the Seventh Generation of Stover Brethren.23
879. Catherine Naff15 - Born 10-Sept-1796, died 17-Apr-1878, Franklin Co., VA. She married19 Elder Daniel Bowman2414-Nov-1817 in Franklin Co., VA.  There is no discrepancy in the previously given facts regarding Catherine Naff or her birth, death and marriage to Daniel Bowman.  There is a discrepancy regarding the day of Daniel Bowman's death, given by Richard Weber as 28-Sept-1883.11 John Boitnott gave the date of death as 23-Sep-1883.27 Daniel and Catherine are buried in The Bowman Cemetery. Richard Weber gives the location of this cemetery as NW of Rts. 739 & 742 in Franklin Co., VA.30 "Daniel and Catharine Bowman appear in the 1870 census of Maggodee Twp, Franklin Co, VA, post office Rocky Mount. Beside them resided son David, with wife Sarah and son Joel."30
Children of Catherine Naff and Daniel Bowman:30
1708. Elizabeth Bowman
1709. Jacob Bowman
1710. John Bowman
1711. George W. Bowman
1712. Isaac Bowman
1713. William Bowman
1714. Rebecca N. Bowman
1715. David Bowman
1716. Susannah Bowman
1717. Elder Daniel Bowman
880. Elizabeth Naff15- Born 17-Mar-1798 in Virginia, 28 died 26-May-1882, daughter of Jacob Naff, Jr. and Elizabeth Stover, married 21-Oct-1818 in Franklin County, VA19 Elder Abraham Barnhart.29 Abraham Barnhart, son of Daniel Barnhart and Elizabeth Naff, was born 16-Oct-1795, died 12-May-1872. Elizabeth and Abraham were born, married and raised all their children in Franklin County, VA. Several of the dates of birth and death in this family are new or corrected from previous genealogies.30

Here Weber gives full, corrected information on the marriage of Elizabeth Naff to Abraham Barnhart. "Some genealogies incorrectly show this Elizabeth married to Joseph Flora. Her first cousin, Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac Naff,  married Joseph Flora; Isaac Nafe and Joseph Flora cosigned the Franklin Co., VA marriage bond for the Flora-Naff marriage. The will of Isaac Naff names Joseph Flora an executor.31  The administration of the will of Isaac Naff's unmarried daughter, Mary, names Mary's sister Elizabeth Flory.30,32

Children of Elizabeth Naff and Abraham Barnhart:30
1718. Elder Daniel Barnhart
1719. Hannah Barnhart
1720. Elder Jacob Barnhart
1721. Rebecca Barnhart
1722. Rev. John Naff Barnhart
1723. Elder Abraham Barnhart
1724. Elizabeth Barnhart
1725. Elder George Barnhart

881. Jacob Naff,[III] son of Elizabeth Stover and Jacob Naff, Jr., was born ca.1800 in Franklin Co., VA.   Weber gives the previously unpublished date of Jacob's death as 11-May-1873 in Franklin County, VA. His reference is death records of Franklin Co., VA.  Boitnott has the birth of this Jacob Naff as ca. 1800 in Franklin Co., VA, death between 1870-1880.  Boitnott's reference is from the census of 1870 and 1880.27,30 He married Susannah Webster 28-Feb-1828.19 There is no discrepancy between Weber and Boitnott regarding the date of marriage, nor is there any disagreement regarding the date of Susannah's birth, ca. 1805, in Franklin County, VA. Weber gives the previously unpublished date of death for Susannah as 14-Jan-1890 in Franklin County, VA.11,30

Children of Jacob Naff, III, and Susanna Webster:33

1726. Abraham Irving Naff - New date of death 25-Dec-1908.14 Weber gives the name of Abraham's wife as Annie (Turner) Muse34, widow of Charles Muse who died in the Confederate Army. She died 29-May-1917. John Boitnott had previously given the name of Abraham's wife as Anne (Turner) Muse. The tombstone of Abraham Irving Naff and his wife in Franklin County, VA, gives her name as Anne M. Naff.35 There is no discrepancy regarding her parents, Gideon Turner and Ruth (Fields) Turner, or that she was the widow of Charles Muse. Abraham Irving Naff enlisted in Company F, 57th Virginia Infantry. He was promoted to first sergeant on 20-Oct-1864.33 The children of Abraham Irving Naff and Anne (Turner) Muse are listed in the Eighth Generation of Stover Brethren.

Children of Abraham Irving Naff and Anne "Annie" Turner Muse:
1727. Daniel N. Naff - Died before 1918.36 He had no children.30
1728. Jacob Naff [IV] - Born June, 1831 near Boones Mill, VA.37 He died 1900 in Neosho County, KS.  See children of Jacob Naff and Mary Beard in Generation Eight.33
1729. Joseph Naff - No new information.24,33
1730. Mary L. Naff - Died before 1918. 30,31
1731. Susan E. Naff - No new information. Died unmarried.30
1732. Magdaline Naff - No new information. Died unmarried.30
1733. John Warren Naff - No new information. Died unmarried.30
1734. Isaac Naff - No new information. Died unmarried.30
1735. George Naff - No new information. Died unmarried.30
1736. William C. Naff - No new information. See children in Generation Eight of Stover Brethren.33

882. Hannah Naff -  "Born 1803 in Franklin County, VA, Died 2-Sept-1867. Burial in Nofsinger Family Cemetery, Fincastle, Botetourt County, VA. She married19 Peter Noftsinger,38 son of Jacob Nofsinger and Elizabeth Snider.39 Peter and Hannah, both age 51,  were living with no children in the 1860 census of Botetourt Co., VA. Peter, 61 resided with his father and siblings in the 1870 census of Botetourt Co., VA.  Peter died 9-Sept-1885. There were no children."7 John Boitnott had previously published the same date and place of marriage.40

883. Elder Abraham Naff - No new information.41

Children of Abraham Naff and Hannah Peters:
1737. Elizabeth Naff - New information: date of death 4-Apr-1915.26 Abraham is buried in the Sink Cemetery, Franklin County, VA. Elizabeth married19 Abraham Naff,(#1705) 25-Nov-1850. He was the son of George Bowman and Hannah (Peters) Naff. See children of this marriage in the Eighth Generation of Stover Brethren by Richard Weber.33
1738. Elder Joel Naff - No new information. The Children of Elder Joel Naff and Mary Emily Boone, his wife,24 will be found in Generation Eight of Stover Brethren.33
1739. Susanna Naff - Married George Flora born 12-Aug-1834, died 5-Jun-1895 Franklin County VA.11 Place of burial for George Flora is Flora-Teel Cemetery, Franklin County VA. Children of Susanna Naff and George Flora will be found in Generation Eight of Stover Brethren by Richard Weber.42
1740. Sarah Naff - New date of death 12-Aug-1867 in Franklin County, VA.11 She married David Bowman(#1715)42
1741. Rebecca Naff - John Boitnott has given the date of birth for Rebecca as 20-Feb-1841 in Franklin County, VA.43  Richard Weber states that she was born 19-Feb-1841 in Franklin County, PA44 Weber gives her full date of death as 2-Dec-1861.11,41
1742. Jacob P. Naff - Married Mary Magadalene Naff/Neff(#1780). Richard Weber does not give any information for Mary Magdalene other than the date of marriage as 8-Oct-1865, which is the same date given by John Boitnott on page 64 of Naff and Related Families. Children of this marriage are listed in the Eighth Generation of Stover Brethren .42
1743. Elder Daniel A. Naff - John Boitnott gives Daniel's date of birth as 27-Jan-1848. His reference is Marvin Neighbor's, Franklin Co., Va., Census of 1850, published by Book Mart, Salem, VA. 1975. Richard Weber gives Daniel's date of birth as 27-Jun-1848, near Boones Mill. Weber's source is the 1850 Census of Franklin County, VA. The discrepancy regarding the month of birth [Jan or Jun] appears to be a typographical error. Whereas Boitnott gives the date of death as 30-Nov-1928, Weber gives the date of death as 30-Nov-1924.26 Children of Elder Daniel A. Naff and Hannah Bowman are listed in Generation Eight of Stover Brethren.45
884. Mary "Polly" Naff - Richard Weber furnished the following new information:41 Mary "Polly" Naff, born ca 1806, Franklin County, VA, died after46 1859. She married19 on 4-Nov-1828 Luke Smith.47 Luke was born ca. 1803 in Franklin County, VA, died after 1859.41,46
Children of Mary "Polly" Naff and Luke Smith:41
1744. Josiah Smith
1745. Elizabeth Smith
1746. Martha Smith
1747. John Smith
1748. Christina Smith
1749. Shelby Arthur Smith
1750. Hannah Smith
885. Rebecca Naff - Born 5-Jul-181128 in Franklin County, VA, died 5-Nov-1887 in Franklin County, VA.  She married John Montgomery, son of Samuel Montgomery and Elizabeth Bowman, 26-May-1831.19 [Note: Boitnott and Weber give the same marriage date] John Montgomery was a blacksmith. He was born 1-Nov-1807 in Franklin County, VA, died 27-May-1877 in Franklin County, VA.11 Rebecca and John were buried in Hale Cemetery, Franklin County, VA.41
Children of Rebecca Naff and John Montgomery:41
1751. Rev. Abraham Montgomery
1752. Elizabeth Montgomery
1753. John B. Montgomery
1754. William Montgomery
1755. Martha Montgomery
1756. Jacob Montgomery
1757. Cyrus L. Montgomery
1758. Mary Ann Montgomery
1759. Samuel Montgomery48
1760. Rebecca C. Montgomery48
886. Susannah Naff - New date of death for Susannah Naff is 1901 in Franklin County, VA and her burial in Montgomery Cemetery, Franklin County Virginia.14 She married 19 James Montgomery,11 son of Samuel Montgomery and Elizabeth Bowman on 27-Aug-1835, in Franklin County, VA. James Montgomery was born 21-Feb-1812 in Franklin County, VA, and died there 8-Aug-1891.48 There is significant new information regarding the birth and death dates of the eleven children of this marriage.  John Boitnott did not have the full dates of birth and death in his book, nor did he list their son, James Robert Montgomery.
Children of Susannah Naff and James Montgomery:49
1761. Elizabeth Montgomery
1762. Elder George Montgomery
1763. Isaac Montgomery
1764. Samuel Montgomery
1765. Lucy Frances Montgomery
1766. Martha Jane Montgomery
1767. Irene Montgomery
1768. Peter N. Montgomery
1769. John S. Montgomery
1770. James Robert Montgomery
1771. Cynthia Margaret Montgomery
887. Rev. Isaac Naff - No new information given.49
Children of Rev. Isaac Naff and Cynthia Mary Wysor:48
1772. Fanny Naff
1773. Henry "Harry" Naff
1774. Mary Eunice Naff
1775. George Jacob Naff
1776. Edith Elizabeth Naff
 1777. Frederick Joseph Naff
888. Elder John B. Neff - New dates and places of birth and death for John B. Neff:  Born 5-Aug-1819 in Franklin County, VA, died 22-Feb-1876 near Leesburg, Kosciusko County, IN.17 Elder John B. Neff married Sarah Naff, daughter of David Naff and Magdalene "Polly" Brower 1-Mar-1881.49
Children of Elder John B. Neff and Sarah Naff:49
1778. Lucy Ann Neff
1779. Martha Neff
1780. Mary Magdalene Neff [married Jacob P. Naff(#1742)]
1781. Hannah Neff
1782. George Neff
1783. Sarah Ellen Neff
1 Richard Weber, Stover Brethren, published and copyrighted by the author, 2001
2Weber, page 24.
3Weber, page 76.
4Shirley Stover Dasher,A Stover Genealogy, Media, PA: Author, 1988.
5Lancaster County, PA Deed Book X:621, signed 1-Dec-1783, recorded 1-Mar-1784.
6Marshall Wingfield, Pioneer Families of Franklin Co., VA, Berryville, VA: Chesapeake Book Company, 1964.
7Weber, page 121.
8A. J. Fretz, Descendants of Henry Stauffer & Other Stauffer Pioneers, Harleysville, PA, "Harleysville News" 1899.
9George Wanger, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Rev. Jacob Price, Harrisburg, PA: Evangelical Press. 1926.
10Irvin M. Beaver, The Bieber-Beaver Family, Reading, PA. Author. 1939.
11Death Records of Franklin County, VA.
12John Boitnott, Naff and Related Families, published by the Author, Park View Press, Harrisonburg, VA. 1979, p. 28.
13Boitnott, page 25.
14No Reference Given.
15Annette Burgert, Eighteenth Century Immigrants, v1. Breinigsville, PA: The Pennsylvania German Society, 1983.
16The Penngermania, v13, p. 737, 1912.
17Obituary in The Vindicator, publication of the Old German Baptist Brethren.
18Weber, page 378.
19Marriage Records of Franklin County, VA.
20Joel Cephas Flora, Genealogy & History of the Descendants of Jacob Flora, Sr., of Franklin County, Va., Dayton, Ohio. Author, 1951
21Boitnott, page 55.
22History of Preble County, Ohio, Cleveland, OH: H. Z. Williams & Brothers, 1881.
23Weber, page 379.
24Boitnott, no page given.
25Obituary of husband.
26Obituary in The Gospel Messenger, publication of the German Baptist Brethren, now the Church of the Brethren.
27Boitnott, page 34-35.
281860 census of Franklin County, VA.
29Josephus Barnhart, Barnhart Family Record, New Carlisle, OH. c. 1925. Reprint 1991.
30Weber, page 196.
31Franklin Co., VA Will Book 6:93.
32Administration No. 2021, Sangamon Co., IL, 31-Aug-1868.
33Weber 391-392.
34Boitnott, page 61.
35Family photos of Betty Naff Mitchell.
36Obituary of sister.
371900 census of Neosho County, KS.
38Will of grandfather, Peter Nofsinger.
391918  License, 6-Dec-1841,in Franklin County, VA.
40Boitnott, page 39.
41Weber, page 197.
42Weber, page 393.
43Boitnott, page 64.
441850 census of Franklin County, VA.
45Weber, page 394.
461860 census of Floyd County, VA.
47Virginia Fendrick, "Small Family book." Kittochtinny Historical Society.
48Weber, page 198.
49Weber, 198-199.

Stover Brethren "The Family of Elder William Stover of Antietam," by Richard R. Weber, published by the Author, 2001. The book is hard cover, 702 pages, available by mail from the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society's Book Shoppe, Dept NN, 2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster, PA  17602-1499.  Cost is $50.00 plus $4.50 shipping.  PA Residents add $3.30 state sales tax.

© by Betty Naff Mitchell - September 27, 2002