Ancestor 147 Mary Reger

When Mary Reger was born on April 1, 1748, in Hampshire, West Virginia, her father, Ensign Antoni Reger II, was 34, and her mother, Catherine Shook, was 34.

Maybe Mary Reger married Johann George Simon and likely in Hampshire or Hardy County, Virginia about 1765 but there is no marriage record and only circumstantial or dna evidence supports it*.  They had the following children in order of their birth:  Leonard, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine “Kate”, George B, Benjamin Allen, Jacob, and Christian.

She died on April 11, 1804, in Hardy, Virginia, at the age of 56.

*There is a controversy over whether Mary Reger was the wife of George Simon. Land grants and wills seem to suggest a closeness between the Simons and Regers but some dispute that, including one commentator who said:

George married Mary —-, probably just prior to 1770, as his eldest child was born Jan. 1770. It is easily proven via multiple deeds that George’s wife’s name was Mary, I have not found any evidence as to her maiden name. Many researchers have repeated the account that George’s wife was Mary Reger, a daughter of Anthony Reger II. The earliest mention I have found suggesting this comes from Lewis B. Rohrbach’s Rohrbach Genealogy (1970). Unfortunately, there is no evidence therein to support this suggestion, much less prove it. It is not clear to me what this suggestion was based upon, unless it was the receipts discussed shortly. Further, Rohrbach wrongly connected the Simon family to the Simmons family in southern Pendleton County . Even more unfortunate is that the Simon-Reger bit has been repeated ad nauseam. While there is some circumstantial evidence to hint at the Reger connection, ultimately it does not hold up to scrutiny. Anthony Reger II was bonded with the widow Catherine Simon to administer the estate of Jacob Simon in 1772. Reger then died in 1778, also in Hampshire County . Reger’s will identified sons Anthony, John, and Martin, and “my three daughters . . . to receive £20 each . . . excepting my daughter Madeline, who is to receive a young calf . . .” This seems to suggest that Madeline was one of the three daughters [rather than a fourth daughter]; there is nothing else in the will or estate to suggest any more daughters. This issue of three daughters becomes significant shortly. Further proceedings of Anthony’s estate are found on microfilmed Hampshire County court records at West Virginia University (the second film for 1780). Therein are a number of receipts for persons being paid “in full satisfaction of the moveables of the estate of Anthony Reger.” Most of the persons paid were children of Reger, and among the payments were payments to George Simon and to Martin Shobe. It is clear that both Simon and Shobe had claims against Reger’s estate, but the nature of those claims are not stated; they could have been debts, bonds, or something else. While it is tempting to guess that Simon and Shobe were somehow heirs to the Reger estate, no other evidence supports that. In fact, there were several Martin Shobes living at the time, and each’s wife is accounted for, and was not a Reger; so Martin Shobe definitely was not an heir, and we seem forced to conclude that neither was George Simon. For what it is worth, George Simon also witnessed the receipt of disbursement to son Anthony Reger. Further corroboration of Anthony Reger II’s three daughters is found in his son John’s estate proceedings in the 1830’s in Muskingum Co., OH. Again, he identified three sisters: Judith, m. John Ulrich Spohr; Madeline, m. Joseph Scott; and Barbara, m. John Rohrbaugh. With John Reger dying childless, his estate descended to his siblings, or their heirs; it is an excellent source for delineating that branch of the Regers. NO mention is made in that estate proceeding of any Simon heirs, which effectively eliminates any possibility that George Simon had married a daughter of Anthony Reger II and sister of John Reger. So, while George Simon clearly had a close relationship with the Anthony Reger II family in the 1775-85 time period, it must have been a social/friendship on, since nothing supports a familial one. For now, the maiden name of George Simon’s wife remains unknown.

[Note: As a counter-argument, it is worth noting that not all children were always named in wills.]