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New Propst History Book
Posted by: Bill Brobst, Probst Family Historical Registry Date: January 29, 2000 at 14:12:54
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For Propsts and Propst descendants:

I am no longer following the American Propst family in great detail. That task has been taken over by Dianne Camp, as Curator of the Propst Family Registry; she has done a magnificent job as keeper of the master Propst records. I continue keeping the Probst and Brobst records, which occupies all my spare time and effort.

However, I am still receiving numerous questions about the Propsts. I refer most of them to Dianne, unless it is obvious that I have the current information here in my files. I have decided to share the historical information about the several Propst families on which I do have information, and collect it, with pictures, into a short book which I am offering for sale at $6.00 per copy, plus $1.00 for postage and handling, or a total of $7.00. The book is available from the Brobst Family Historical Registry.

Information on the family of Johann Michael Propst, the first of the Propst immigrants, who settled Propstburg, Pendleton County, West Virginia, in the mid-1700s, is the most detailed. The history of that immigration and settlement, along with genealogical details on his ancestors and the first three generations of his descendants, are included. This represents a compilation of the research done by dozens of Propst researchers and published in their reports as well as in various governmental histories.

Did you know that the evangelist Martin Luther had a friend named Jacob Propst with whom he corresponded several times in his later life? Or that the Propst families originated in northern Germany (not Switzerland) in the 1400-1500s, mostly in the region of Saxony? Do you know what the name "Propst" means? Are you aware that the Propst and the Probst/Brobst families are of quite different and unrelated origin? It's all in the book.

Several other Propst families immigrated in the 1800s, and settled in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Virginia, and Illinois. The immigrants Knott Knelse Propst, Johann Erhardt Propst, Dr. Henry Propst DVM, Dr. Heinrich Propst MD, Lewis Frederick Propst, and Johan Nicholas Propst are included. Some of their stories are most interesting. The book includes their histories, along with their lineage charts, although I do not have the depth of detail for them that I have for Johann Michael Propst.

It must be understood that only a little of this Propst information, other than some for Johann Michael Propst, is based on my own research. I have relied almost totally on the work of others, such as Walter Eye for the West Virginia Propsts and the various published Virginia and West Virginia County history books, as well as individuals such as Doug Hammerling, Phyllis Zachow, Cynthia Jones Reese, Lorraine Robinson, JoAnn Lomax, Dan Patterson, Barbara Propes McCollum, David Jones, Pamela John, Ann Propst, Violet Wilcox, Garnet Propst Vance, James Miller, Erhardt Propst, Ronald Brubaker, and many others; and (of course) Dianne Camp who keeps the master Propst records. I am deeply indebted to each of them for their contribution to the American Propst Family History.

There is a companion book called The Brobst Chronicles which gives a detailed history of the conditions in Europe which led to the migration of so many German Probsts and Propsts to America, and discusses in detail the conditions they found when they arrived here. William Penn never told them about the horrible conditions of the sea voyages, the primitive conditions they would find here, or the Indians who would attack them! That much longer book is also available from the Brobst Family Historical Registry for $18.00, postage paid.

Feel free to visit the Propst website at, or contact Dianne Camp directly at or You'll probably find your Propst roots there.

Or call me to chat about Propstology.

William A. Brobst, Curator, National Brobst Family Historical Registry,
6072 Currituck Rd, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949 252-261-3068


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