The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

Pangle Pioneers

By Russel E. Pangle © 1987

Issue: November, 1987

Johann Henrich Bengel registered, as required by law, at the courthouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 21, 1742. He had just arrived on the ship Frances and Elizabeth from Rotterdam, by way of Deal, England that date. All new arrivals in the colonies, regardless of their country of origin, were required to take the Oath of Allegiance to the British Crown when they registered.

On June 28, 1747, five years after his arrival in Pennsylvania, Johann Henrich Bengel and Catherine Kohlerin were married in a private house ceremony in Germantown near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the presence of two witnesses.

Johann was an Evangelish and Catherine was a member of the Reformed Church. They asked for and were granted permission to have their marriage registered in the St. Michael's and Zion Church records in Germantown.

During the ensuing five years Johann and Catherine recorded the birth of five children at St. Michael's and Zion Church. They were Henrich, Frederick, Johann, Christina and Sussanah.

The vicious sectarian conflict that erupted in Southeastern Pennsylvania in 1752 was still going strong in 1772. In order to escape the militant bishops of the Reformed Church, the Bengles joined the Pennsylvania Dutch migration to Northern Virginia. Many of the Pennsylvanians continued down the Great Shenandoah Valley into the Carolina's and Georgia.

No records indicate why Johann Henrich Bengel did not arrive at Powell's Fort Mountain in 1772, he did not sign in at Camp Roosevelt in what is now Page County, Virginia. His eldest son, Henrich, signed in as head of the family with mother Catherine and four dependents.

Johann Henrich Bengel does not appear on the records at Camp Roosevelt or any of the other camps then or at a later date. According to the records the name Bengel was possibly misunderstood for Pangle early on because the name Pangle was written on several documents and then a line was drawn through it and the name Bengel written below it.

Bengel was apparently anglicized to Pangle just as Bausermann became Possermann. The "B" sound in the German language comes out as a hard "P" which also allowed for the Bidlers to become Pidlers. The name Kibler was changed to Pibler along with many other name changes as shown in Alexander Hite's list of families in the Shenandoah Valley in 1783.

Nicholas Bengel arrived at the Port of Philadelphia shortly after Johann. His port of origin was also Rotterdam; he was probably Johann's brother. Nicholas descendants were also anglicized to Pangle and some chose Bangle. The Bangles surfaced in California many years later.

Henry Pangle (formerly Henrich Bengel), was born in 1750 in Germantown, Pennsylvania so he would have been 22 years old when he arrived at Camp Roosevelt in 1772 with his mother, Catherine, and four dependents.

Henry and Sussanah Keiler were married March 21, 1773. They bought land at Buffalo Marsh, north of Marlboro, Virginia and moved there from Camp Roosevelt.

Catherine Pangle (formerly Bengel) was listed as the head of the family in the Virginia Census of 1786. Fredrick Pangle was listed as her eldest son with three dependents. Two Ailshite brothers were also listed as living with the Pangles.

Henry and Sussanah Pangle were recorded as living at Buffalo Marsh until their deaths. Henry served in the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War. He is listed in Volume 2 DAR Patriot Index 1979 Edition on page 160. He served as a drummer at the age of 27. This is an old age for a drummer, but Henry's small stature was probably the reason he got the drummer's position.

Henry and Sussanah had eight children. Vance Pangle, their first child has descendants as far west as Omaha, Nebraska.

Jacob Pangle, Henry and Sussanah's fourth child, bought property on a mountain top north of Marlboro, Virginia between Funkhouser Knob and Huffman Hollow and established a village there. The stone foundations of a small church and several houses are still there today. The mountain ridge is officially designated Pangletown Ridge on the Virginia State Topographical maps.

Vance and Jacob Pangle, along with five of their brothers and sisters, David, Joseph, Catherine, Elizabeth, and John, married and have many descendants scattered from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Jacksonville, Florida and Lafayette, Louisiana. Susan Pangle, the seventh child never married.

Henry Pangle was an auctioneer (called a Crier in those days) after the Revolutionary War. His name appears on many property documents in the Shenandoah County, Virginia courthouse. Both names, Henry Pangle and Henrich Bengel appear on some of the same documents as if he were still having difficulty with the name change.

Sussanah and Christinia Pangle were married to the two Ailshite brothers, Conrad and Christian, who were living on the Pangle property when the 1786 Virginia Census was taken. They were married in a double wedding on March 24, 1786.

Fredrick Pangle and Elizabeth Van Houser were married February 23, 1797 and moved to Eastern Tennessee. Their many descendants can be found from Yellsville, Arkansas to Merkle, Texas.

John Pangle, youngest son of Johann Henrich and Catherine Bengel (Pangle) was married twice. He and Margaret Rhinehart were married in Shenandoah County, Virginia on December 12, 1788. They had nine children whose descendants can be found from Strasburg, Virginia to North Carolina and Georgia.

John's second wife was Ester Lane. They were married in Jefferson County, Tennessee on January 4, 1817. Their many descendants can be found from Chattanooga, Tennessee westward. John probably followed Fredrick to Tennessee.

Richard Strother and Isaac Newton Pangle, great grandsons of Johann Henrich and Catherine Pangle (Bengel) and sons of Jacob Pangle were kept busy during the Civil War with their father's farm on Pangletown Ridge and raiding the Federal Troop supply trains in the valley to 'borrow' horses and stock feed.

Harvey Preston Pangle, son of Richard Strother Pangle (and grandfather of this writer) is listed with a "C" number for the Spanish American War. He enlisted at Stephens City, Virginia and trained at St. Francis Barracks in Florida. He was a Virginia Volunteer who accepted land in lieu of money for his service so no pension records were kept.

There are many Pangle families, traceable to Johann Henrich and Catherine Bengel (Pangle), in Arcola, Winchester, Lebanon Church, Stephens City, Tom's Brook and many other pioneer communities of Northern Virginia. More families can be found in Waynesboro, Virginia and Roanoke.

At last count there were Pangle families in 32 states that can probably trace their ancestry back to Johann Henrich and Nicolas Bengel.