Charles Wellbaum

Charles Wellbaum (Karl) was born approximately 1753-1754 in Rohden, Germany. He and his brother came to America as British soldiers to fight in the Revolutionary War. During one battle his brother fell wounded and cried out in German, “mein Gott, Karl Ich bin geschossen.” Translated in English, “my God, Charley, I am shot. With ill feelings Charles escaped from the British to join the American army. Charles’ name is next found on tax lists in 1789 at Frankstown township in Huntington County, Pennsylvania. (Now part of Blair Co.) On these lists his name was spelled Weelboon. (Spelling errors were quite common.) He married Mary Magdalene Knieley and raised a family of eight children around the area of Frankstown, which in the 1780s was a Brethren settlement. The Brethren and other sects would later comprise the Pennsylvania Dutch.

His name continues on the tax lists through 1813 and is next found in Montgomery County, Ohio in 1815. Charles must have acquired money in America possibly from his wife’s family to fund all of the land he bought in Ohio. He deeded four farms to three Wellbaums and one Kniely in 1818. His son Christian Wellbaum I bought 160 acres for $1.00. At the time one acre of land sold for $1.25.

After a visit to the cemetery where Charles and Magdalena are buried I was happy to find both of their tombstones. However, I am now sad to report that Charles tombstone was missing at a second visit. This prompted me to do a tombstone pencil rubbing of Magdalena’s stone. A copy is featured in the book. A copy of a will of Charles Wellbaum also follows.


  • Hesfiche Truppen Im Amerikanischen Vol. 2, Also in the Autobiograpgy of Samuel Murray (1891)
  • Brookville Historical Museum
  • Gale Honeymon

The Last Will and Testament of Charles Wellbaum, May 23, 1821