THE LANDIS CONNECTION:
the Jacob Coomler (Ohio-Indiana) branch of the family is related to the Landis family. It is related first by marriage, though not closely. A descendant of Heinrich/Henry Kumler (born January 3, 1775, third son of Hans Jacob Kumler and Elisabetha Jung) married a Landis, which is where the Kenesaw Mountain Landis (first U.S. baseball commissioner) connection comes from. But the descendants of John Henry Coomler and Susan Thomas Coomler are directly related to the Landis family via the wife, Susan Thomas.
Susan Thomas Coomler
The parents of Susan Thomas were Benjamin Thomas and Anna Good. The parents of Anna Good were John Good and Magdalena Landis. Magdalena’s parents were Frederick Landis and Elizabeth Hoch.
Fredrick Landis was born on March 4, 1739, in German, and immigrated to Pennsylvania as a boy of about 10. Elizabeth Hoch was his second wife. This marriage produced eight children, three dying young. The surviving children were:
Philip Landis, born May 6, 1764, married Elizabeth Kurtz. They had eight children; Eliza, Jacob, Samuel, Phoebe, Joseph, Mary and Philip Kurtz.
Elizabeth died in 1810, and in 1812 Philip Landis took for his second wife Catherine Beary. They had three children; Sarah, Fredrick and Abram Hock.
Abram Hock Landis was born February 14, 1821. He married Mary Kumler (August 27,1832-1912) daughter of Dr. Daniel Kumler. their sons were:
Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Federal judge and U.S. Baseball Commissioner
Charles Beary Landis, Congressman
Fredrick K. Landis, Congressman
The Landis family is Swiss and very old. It originated in villages on the western shore of Lake Zurich. It is said that the name Landis comes from “land” and “oesen” meaning “land destroyer,” and that it was originally spelled Landös. Though the Coomler / Kumler ancestry was largely Swiss Reformed, the Landis ancestry was Mennonite, and in fact the early Landises were persecuted by the Swiss Reformed Church for being “anabaptists” — for non-acceptance of infant baptism. One of the early Landises was the last Christian martyr in Switzerland. That was Hans Landis, who was an anabaptist preacher from Hirzel, in the Swiss canton of Zurich. He was beheaded for his faith in 1614, and his sufferings are described in the old book The Martyr’s Mirror, which traditional Mennonite families keep in their homes along with the Bible(*1).
The Coomlers and Kumlers today vary widely in their religious beliefs and absence thereof, but historically the family has been Protestant since very early in the Reformation. The ancestors of the Jacob Coomler branch, which moved from Ohio to Indiana, were thus in General Swiss Reformed / German Reformed, Mennonite, Lutheran, and of course In the early Ohio and Indiana days they were United Brethren, the first denomination created in the United States, in contrast to those brought from Europe.
THE HOCH FAMILY:
The HOCH/High family is related to the Kumlers via the Landis connection.
One way of tracing it is like this:
SUSAN THOMAS was The wife of John Henry Coomler, who lived in Indiana and was a 1st Sergeant in the Civil war.
The parents of Susan Thomas were Benjamin Thomas and Anna Good.
The parents of Anna Good were John Good and Magdalena Landis.
The parents of Magdalena Landis were Frederick Landis and Elizabeth Hoch.
From here on, it is Elizabeth and her ancestors that we want to follow.
There was more than one Hoch family represented in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and I thought at first that Elizabeth might be related to the Hochs from Liestal in Switzerland, but that does not seem to be the case.
Instead, Elizabeth Hoch seems to be a daughter of a certain Hans/Johannes Georg Hoch/Hock/Hauk, who emigrated from Webenheim in what is now the Saarland region of Germany.
Hans Georg Hoch came to Pennsylvania from Webenheim on the ship “Pennsylvania Merchant” in 1733.
The tentative information on Hans Georg Hoch/Hock is that he was born in Webenheim, Saarland, Germany, on September 4, 1704 (or 1709) and died in 1789 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He was married on 22 July, 1732, to Juliana Sophia Schwarz. They were married in the village of Mimbach, just a very short distance south of Webenheim. Their children were:
Catherina Sophia Hoch/Hock, born December 5, 1732;
Charlotta Elizabetha Hoch/Hock, born August 28, 1735 in Pennsylvania; the consensus seems to be that Charlotta Elizabetha Hoch/Hock is the “Elizabeth” who married Frederick Landis; she died in Tredyffin, Chester County, Pennsylvania on August 31, 1808.
Elizabeth Hoch/Hoke, born March 29, 1741 in Pennsylvania’
Rachel Hoch/Hock, born September 29, 1751 in Pennsylvania;
Maria Hoch/Hock, born circa 1755;
Susanna Hoch/Hock, born circa 1757;
Georg/George Hoch/Hock, born August 18, 1754 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania; he married first Christina Zinn, and second /Susannah Margareta Theis.
The parents of Hans Georg Hoch/Hock were Johann Andreas Hoch/Hock, born 1684 in Webenheim, Saarland, Germany, died January 25, 1750 or 1751 in Webenheim, and Anna Catherina [last name not given].
The parents of Johann Andreas hoch/Hock were Johann Georg Hoch /Hock, born about 1659 In Zweibruecken, German (not too far from Webenheim) /and Anna Maria [last name not given].
The parents of Johann Andreas Hoch/Hock were Jacob Hoch/Hock, born in Einod, Germany, some time before 1592, died in Webenheim, and Elizabeth Wolff, whom he married on February 19, 1644 or 1645, in Zweibruecken, Germany.
The parents of Jacob Hoch/Hock were Hans Hock, born sometime before 1524 in Ottweiler, Germany, and Appolonia Apel. Hans Hock/Hock is said to have died in Limbach, Germany, death date uncertain.
The father of Jacob Hoch/Hock was Hans Hock, born circa 1498 in Ottweiler, Germany.
Now as you can see, this takes the Hochs/Hocks back to the time just previous to the Reformation.
That is about as far back as I have tentatively been able to trace them. Now obviously this is just a quickie lookup done off the Internet and not double-checked, so there there are no doubt errors in all of this, but I hope it may be of some help to those who want a beginning point for looking into this Hoch/Hock branch of the Coomler ancestry more carefully.
There are numerous spellings of the Hoch/Hock name, including Haak, Haag, and Hack, and of course later the anglicization “High.”
* * *
here are some relevant extracts from the (public domain) book The Martyrs’ Mirror: First, here are some brief mentions of these Landis ancestors from Canton Zurich in Switzerland:
“Felix Landis (the son of Hans Landis) dies of hunger and want in prison Othenbach, A. D. 1642; his wife delivered out of her bonds.
Rudolph Suhner, a young lad, follows in the footsteps of the aforesaid Felix, and also dies of want, A. D. 1643.
A number of women suffer much for the truth, namely, Elizabeth Bachmanni, Elsa Bethezei, Sarah Wanry, Verena Landis, Barbara Neff, and Barbly Ruff, about A. D. 1643.”
Here is the account of the martyrdom of Hans Landis:
HANS LANDIS, A. D. 1614
That the bloody constraint or dominion over the consciences of men still obtains, is a sad thing, and especially is it to be deplored, that those who boast of being, more than others, followers of the defenseless Lamb, have not more the nature of the lamb, but much rather that of wolves in them. It certainly cannot stand as an excuse, that such a course is conducive to the maintenance of purity of the church; but it appears to be a hot zeal to weed out the tares (or what thev iudLye to be tares):
whereas the servants of the lord, when their zeal urged them to root out the tares, did not venture to do it; but asked permission, and when they were forbidden to do it, they forbore. If these would also ask, or examine the law book of their Lord, they would find there, that the Shepherd does not teach His flock to devour, but sends them as sheep among wolves; that it is also not His will, that the erring should be destroyed, but that they should be .guided into the true way; and that He also does not desire the death of the sinner, but that he should repent and live. And many other similar doctrines, all of which tend to the salvation and not the destruction of men. But it is very evident that there is still a veil before their hearts, so that they cannot understand this; or that a frantic zeal has inflamed their hearts to such bloodthirst, that they cannot tolerate it, that any one should walk the way to heaven in any other manner than just as they have chosen it, and in which they want to compel every one to walk, as was seen in the year 1614, at Zurich, in Switzerland, in the case of a pious witness of the divine truth, named Hans Landis, a teacher and minister of the Gospel of Christ, who had gone up the river Rhine, where he had his place of residence, to feed and refresh with the Word of the Lord some souls that were hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
When the council at Zurich learned of this, they, instigated by the disposition of the envious scribes and Pharisees, could not tolerate this, but instantly caused it to be forbidden him, as though they had thought thereby to hinder the true progress of the word of the Gospel. But he, who knew with Peter, that we must obey God’s commands more than the commandments of men, had such love to the truth, and to the young sucklings on Zion’s breasts, that no human threats could induce him to forbear feeding them with the true food of the soul. Hence the enviers of the same apprehended him, and sent him ironed from Zurich to Solothurm, to the papists, expecting that he should forthwith be sent to sea or upon the galleys; but through the help of goodhearted people he was there released; but subsequently apprehended again and taken to Zurich, where he was rigorously examined concerning his doctrine, and when he would in no wise desist from his godly purpose or from his faith, they showed in him, that their decree of eighty-four years previous was not yet forgotten, neither had the spirit of it died of old age; for, according to the import of the same, they sentenced him from life to death, and hence, in the month of September of the aforesaid year, 1614, for the sake of the truth he was beheaded as a true follower of Christ. Which they nevertheless would not acknowledge, but pretended, and persuaded the common people, to deceive them, that he was not punished and put to death for his religion, but for his obstinacy and disobedience to the authorities.
In this they evinced their old nature of Pharisees; who, when they condemned to death the inno cent Lamb, the Saviour of us all, did not say that it was for His virtuous doctrine by which He converted man to God, but that He had to die for His blasphemy. And this is the nature of all tyrants, to heap upon the innocent, besides sufferings and death, also false accusations. But when the last day of judgment shall come, when they must also expect and shall receive a sentence for their inconsiderate sentences, and shall lament in amazement, “Behold these whom we once had in derision, and a proverb of reproach, how are they now exalted”; then they shall too late repent of their wicked course, and lament it forever with gnashing of teeth.
But on the other hand, this pious martyr and witness of God, and all the righteous that are still under the altar and wait for the fulfillment of the number of their brethren who shall also make their robes white in the blood of the Lamb, shall receive a glorious reward, and shall then together, in shining raiment, with great boldness, as valiant heroes and confessors of Christ, with the wise virgins, be admitted by the Bridegroom to His marriage, where they shall enjoy eternal happiness, and possess the kingdom of the Father, prepared for them from the beginning. Amen.
FURTHER OBSERVATIONS TOUCHING THE PERSON AND DEATH OF HANS LANDIS
Having through our good friends B. Louwr and H. Vlaming come into possession of a certain extract from a letter dated, A. D. 1659, July 19-29, from one of the preachers at Zurich, who witnessed the death of the afore-mentioned martyr, we have deemed it well to add it here, that is, as much of it as is necessary to be given here for fuller information., “Further you remember,” he writes,”that Hattavier Salr. witnessed the beheading of Hans Landis, which I also still remember well, having seen it myself in the Wolfsstadt, the whole transaction being as fresh in my recollection, as though it had happened but a few weeks ago.”
Continuing, he speaks of his personal appearance and the manner of his death, saying., “Hans Landis was a tall, stately person, with a long black and gray beard, and a manful voice., “When he, cheerful and of good courage, was led out, by a rope, to the Wolfsstadt (being the place made ready for his execution), the executioner, Mr. Paull Volmar dropped the rope, and lifting up both of his hands to heaven, spoke these words, “‘O that God, to whom I make my complaint, might have compassion; that you, Hans, have come into my hands in this manner; forgive me, for God’s sake, that which I must do to you.’, “Hans Landis comforted the executioner, saying that he had already forgiven him: God would forgive him, too; he well knew that he had to execute the order of the authorities; he should not be
afraid, and see that there was no hindrance in his way., “Thereupon he was beheaded. After his head had been struck off, the executioner asked: ‘Lord bailiff of the Empire, have I executed this man rightly according to imperial law and sentence?’ Otherwise it was customary to say: ‘This poor fellow,’ etc. As though he believed that he died saved and rich., “The people were of the opinion, that the executioner by dropping the rope meant to indicate to Hans that he should run away, it was also generally said: that if he had run away, no one would have followed him, to stop him.” So far the aforementioned extract.
Further Statement.-It is also appropriate to give here what has been stated to us through credible testimony, namely, that when the aforementioned Hans Landis was standing in the place of execution, to be put to death, his dear wife and children came to him with mournful crying and lamentation, to take a last and final adieu and leave from him. But when he saw them, he requested them to go away from him, in order that his good resolution and tranquillity of heart for the death awaiting him might not be disturbed or taken away by their weeping and grief; which having been done, and he having commended his soul into the hands of God, the quickly descending stroke of the sword put an end to his life.