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Wilhelm (William) Bloom Sr. 

By Richard Lee Gleason a fourth great grandson 

Much has been written in the history books and passed as family tradition from 
generation to generation about William Bloom Sr. Listed among the earliest pioneer 
settlers of Clearfield county, Pennsylvania William's posterity now numbers in the 
tens of thousands. 

Tradition says William was born in Neuwied, Rhine Valley, Wurttemberg, Germany on 
February 26, 1752. He was the first of sixteen children born to his parents Johann 
Peter Bloom and Eva Ann Wagner. William immigrated with his grandfather and 
parents to the United States as a seven-month old infant. In those days members of 
the Bloom's German Reformed Church were driven out of Europe by French 
devastation from the seven-year war and other related conflicts. 

The names of John Peter Blom and John Peter Blom sen appears among the more 
than one-hundred names of passengers on the ship "Two Brothers." Commanded by 
Thomas Arnot the vessel arrived in Philadelphia on September 15, 1752 from 
Rotterdam, Holland, by way of Cowes, England. Only one entry appears on the 
passenger list for a John Blom and is marked by an X indicating he could not sign his 
own name, and the entry made by a clerk. 

Following their arrival to the colonies the family first settled in Hunterdon County, 
New Jersey. Church records show William was baptized at age 19 in the German 
Reformed Church of Alexandria, Hunterdon County, NJ on May 19, 1771. Later that 
year there are records showing that William's father was using the Americanized 
name Peter Bloom and had dropped his first name altogether. His headstone at the 
Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Alexandria Township, New Jersey reads in part "Peter 
Bloom Who departed this life May 7 th in the Year 1814." 

Revision dated April 2011 

Richard Lee Gleason - Seattle, WA, U.S.A. 


Family tradition 1 indicates that during the Revolutionary War William served six years 
until the end of the conflict, mostly in General Wagner's Brigade from New Jersey. It 
is said that William fought at the Battle of Monmouth in June of 1778 and sometime 
during his service for the country's independence was wounded on his cheek by a 
bullet fired from a British musket. At least one history book of the early 1900s 
reports in the archives of the State of New Jersey are recorded the names of William 
and four of his brothers 2 who all served in Baxter's Brigade of New Jersey volunteers. 
His 23-year old brother Isaac reportedly was killed in action. 

On April 2, 1778 in Mt. Pleasant, New Jersey 26-year old William married Mary Ann 
Mettler and in the early 1780's, as many families did in those days following the end 
of the Revolution, some of the family began to move west. William's brother Peter it 
is said remained in New Jersey, while three moved to Pennsylvania. Of these, a 
Stephen reportedly settled in the Shamokin Hills, in Northumberland County while an 
unknown second settled in a valley near Bellefonte, Centre County. 

Prior to 1783 William's family first migrated by ox-team to Penn's Valley in Potter 
Township, Cumberland County (now Centre County), PA. There the Blooms lived for 
the next eighteen years where they are listed in the 1790 and 1800 U.S. census and 
on the tax assessor's list in 1801. 

William with at least two sons John and Benjamin, along with a daughter Elizabeth, 
traveled by canoe up the West branch of the Susquehanna River to Clearfield 
county, sometime probably between 1801 and 1803. William made the move to join 
a former neighbor Paul Clover from Hunterdon County, New Jersey who was married 
to William's sister-in-law Nancy Mettler. Clover was among the first settlers on the 
site that is now Curwensville, arriving there in 1797 where he built a house and a 
blacksmith shop. 

William immediately began clearing a small tract of land at what today is a 
recreational area along the Susquehanna River called "Pee Wee's Nest" at Irvin Park 
in Curwensville. Sometime before 1911 Colonel E. A. Irvin, descendant of another 

1 See "Fact or Fiction" which follows this biography. 

2 Isaac, Adam, Peter & Abraham 

Revision dated April 2011 

Richard Lee Gleason - Seattle, WA, U.S.A. 


Clearfield County pioneer family, had the site of this settlement marked by a sign 
that was said to bear "a suitable inscription." The Clover family were the Bloom's 
only neighbor and lived about three-fourths of a mile away at the mouth of Anderson 
Creek at the Susquehanna. 

Owing to some misunderstanding about the ownership of the land, William waived 
his claim and moved. The family then settled on bottom land above Anderson Creek, 
on what was once the "Irvin farm," one mile up the west branch of the Susquehanna 
River from Curwensville. Here he proceeded to make a clearing and succeeded in 
producing a five-acre field of wheat and a few turnips preparatory to returning in the 
fall to Penn's Valley for the rest of his family. William would remain on this farm for 
the remainder of his life and largely aided in opening up the region to civilization. 
Many years later in 1911 the property was owned and occupied by his great 
grandson, C. Judson Bloom. 

Some of William's family were grown and married, but all located and established 
their own homes on or near the Susquehanna River, in what is now Pike Township. 
Clearfield County had not yet been organized and at the time was a part of Lycoming 
and Huntington counties. A large part of the county and the young country was a 
vast heavily wooded wilderness, with wild animals while Indians, said to be 
numerous and hostile, roamed the area at will. There were no roads, and such 
conditions prevailed that only men and women of courage and endurance could have 
been content to make the untamed region their home. It was this courage and 
strength of will which William Bloom was said to possess "to a remarkable degree." 

In his day William's community was small with just over one-hundred residents. He 
could not have imagined that his family name was destined to become the most 
common one in what would develop into a rich and populous county with a 
population today of nearly eighty-three thousand inhabitants. William and his wife 
Mary were blessed with eleven children, seven boys and four girls, with names 
rooted in the Bible. All lived to become adults and died at the average age of 78 

Revision dated April 2011 

Richard Lee Gleason - Seattle, WA, U.S.A. 


years. 3 Of the eight children, whose places of death and burial locations are known, 
all of them are in Clearfield County. 4 

By 1887, more than eighty years after William's arrival, it was written the Blooms 
were almost all farmers and the largest family in Clearfield County. Prior to this 
date, at one Bloom family reunion, it was estimated there were more than three- 
thousand descendants living within the county. William's son's and their 
descendants would play major roles in local government and the business affairs of 
the area. Pike Township, in the late nineteenth century, was the stronghold of the 
family where probably two-thirds of them were located. Today William's posterity is 
numbered in the tens of thousands. Stretched far beyond the bounds of Clearfield 
County to points across the country there are those who can trace their lineage back 
to this pioneer family. 

Bloom Township (organized in 1860) and the village of Bloomington in Clearfield 
County PA are both named after the family of William Bloom. 

William was described as a large man wearing a full beard of dark color. A spot on 
one cheek was white where it was said he had been wounded during the war. He 
died on May 4, 1828 at Pike Township, Clearfield County, PA and is buried next to his 
wife in the McClure Cemetery of Curwensville. His gravestone bears this simple 



May 4 1828 


76 years 2 mo 

and 8 ds 

3 Anne (1779-1855); Isaac (1780-1859); William (1782-1871); Elizabeth (1784-1875); John 
(1786-1872); Peter (1789-1840); Benjamin (1790-1877); Mary (1792-1877); Abraham 
(1795-1874); Sarah (1796-1871); James (1798-1866). 

4 Anne, Peter and Sarah's place of death and burial locations are not known by the author. 

Revision dated April 2011 

Richard Lee Gleason - Seattle, WA, U.S.A. 


The Gravestones of William and Mary Ann Mettler Bloom 

Revision dated April 2011 

Richard Lee Gleason - Seattle, WA, U.S.A. 


Fact or Fiction 
Did William Bloom Serve in the Revolutionary War? 

Internet posts, forums and emails are common today from Bloom descendants 
asking for some kind of proof that the stories regarding William Bloom's (1752-1828) 
Revolutionary War service are true. There have been claims for years of William's 
service, but unfortunately, if documentation once existed validating those claims, 
they have been lost to today's researchers. 

The New Jersey State Archives once was said to have a record of William and his four 
brothers serving in Baxter's Brigade and one of them killed in battle. However a 
Bloom descendant and family researcher says New Jersey, in reply to a recent 
inquiry on the subject, reports they have no such record of William's Revolutionary 
War service, and no information about the brother who was killed in action. "Queries 
to the State of New Jersey Archives were sent expressly asking these 
questions. Their answer was that they had no records on the Brigade, all they 
showed was Johann Peter and one son serving in the local militia. The interesting 
thing was that the militia company was commanded by Philip Mettler, the brother of 
Mary Ann, who was Wilhelm's wife." Another researcher says the New Jersey 
Archives may have suffered a fire destroying many of their records. That needs to 
be looked into which might explain the contradiction. 

Regarding more on Baxter's Brigade. I nor any other researchers I'm aware of have 
been able to find any such units that came out of New Jersey during the Revolution. 
One did however exist during the Civil War. There's also information of William 
having served in "Wagner's Brigade" but again, no such unit can be found except for 
one that fought in the Civil War. 

The story is told that in 1904 Clearfield County celebrated it's centennial. A number 
of things pertaining to the early history of Clearfield County were on exhibit. Among 
them, it is said, was a paper showing the discharge of William Bloom from the 
Revolutionary Army. Unfortunately efforts to locate this discharge have been 

Revision dated April 2011 

Richard Lee Gleason - Seattle, WA, U.S.A. 


In the past many of William's female descendants were able to join the Daughters of 
the American Revolution, using published history book references 5 and older D.A.R. 
applications and records to validate his service. However today that is no longer the 
case and the organization labels the claim as "Service based on tradition only." 

Despite what has been passed down through the generations by history book, 
handwritten notes or word of mouth, until something concrete can be found that 
proves this claim, family history is better served by following the D.A.R. 's lead. All 
references to William's war service should be referred to as unproven "family 
tradition", "legend", "myth" or whatever other word one deems appropriate. 

Any input that might shed additional light on this subject is welcomed and 
encouraged. It would be a great find, if one could point to some original 
documentation that could prove once and for all that William Bloom served in the 
War of Independence. 

Richard Lee Gleason 
Seattle, WA 
April 2011 

5 Including Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record; Swoope's Twentieth Century History; 
and Aldrich's History of Clearfield County. 

Revision dated April 2011 

Richard Lee Gleason - Seattle, WA, U.S.A. 



Book: Aldrich, Lewis Cass, Editor, History of Clearfield County Pennsylvania, 
Syracuse, NY, D. Mason & Co., 1887, See a fully transcribed and illustrated version 
at: http: //www .usqwarch ield/lpicts/aldrich/ald rich -history, htm . 

Book: Bell, Herbert C, Editor, A History of Northumberland County PA, Chicago, IL, 
Brown, Runk & Co., Publishers, 1891, Published on the Internet at . 

Book: Caldwell, J. A., Caldwell Atlas of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, J. A. 
Caldwell, Condit, Ohio, 1878, transcribed at: , 
copyright © Clearfield County PA USGenWeb Archives. 

Book: Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania: Including the 
Counties of Centre, Clearfield, Jefferson and Clarion, Containing Biographical 
Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens ..., Chicago, J.H. Beers & 
Company, 1898, Published on the Internet at . 

Book: Curwensville, PA 150th Anniversary (1799-1949), Published for the 
Curwensville Sesqui-Centennial, July 3rd to 8th, 1949, 177 pages, Scanned version 
150.htm . 

Book: Genealogical and Biographical Annals of Northumberland County Pennsylvania, 
Chicago, J. L. Floyd & Co., 1911, Published on the Internet at 
http://www.archive.orq/details/qenealoqicalbioqQQfloy . 

Web Site: John & Rosemary Mort's Searchable Genealogy Data, John Mort, Contact 
compiler John Mort, 2504 Rt 44, Salt Point, NY 12578 <>, . 

John Mort above cites the 5 Volume set of material by the Apgar Family Association 
at . 

Parish Register of the German Reformed Church of Alexandria, Hunterdon Co., New 
Jersey 1763-1802. 

Revision dated April 2011 

Richard Lee Gleason - Seattle, WA, U.S.A. 


Web Site: Pennsylvania Trails, Northumberland County Pennsylvania, copyright © 
Genealogy Trails, All Rights Reserved with full rights reserved for original contributor, . Retrieved 1 April 2011. 

Book: Rupp, I. Daniel, Thirty Thousand Names: Immigrants in Pennsylvania From 
1727 to 1776, Reprint, Baltimore, MD, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1965. 

Book: Snyder, Frank J., Clearfield County-Pennsylvania One Hundred Years' Growth 
1804 - March 26, 1904, Clearfield, Pa., Raftsman's Journal, 1904, Published in 
celebration of Clearfield County's Centennial - July 26-29, 1904, . 

Book: Straw, Albert Y., Some Genealogies and Family Records, Clearfield, PA, Press 
of Clearfield Republican, 1931, Reprinted by Clearfield Historical Society. 

Book: Swoope, Roland D., Twentieth Century History of Clearfield County, 
Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens, Chicago, IL, Richmond-Arnold Pub. Co., 

Web Site: U.S. Census Bureau - State & County QuickFacts, United States 
Government, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, 2008 estimate. . 

Book: Wall, Thomas Lincoln, Clearfield County Pennsylvania Present and Past, 
Clearfield, PA, Published by The Author, 1925, . 

Revision dated April 2011 

Richard Lee Gleason - Seattle, WA, U.S.A. 


Final Notes 

I've tried my best to interpret the many sources of information, some of them 

contradictory, on the life of William Bloom and to organize them into an easily 

readable narrative. Any failure to do so along with inaccuracies or 

misinterpretations made from those records are purely my own. 

Please direct any comments, questions or observations to me at: 

Check for future revised versions of this biography at the following link: 

To ensure that accurate information is disseminated earlier dated 
versions of this biography should be destroyed. 

See My Family Tree posted at: 
http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry .com/eg i-bin/iqm.cqi?db=richard lines 

A Bloom Family Reunion is planned for the summer of 2015 
in Clearfield County, PA. Contact Chrissie Van Tol for more information at: 

A special thanks to cousin Lee Bloom who's untiring interest, research and 
foresight will go a long way to preserving and validating the Bloom family history. 

The author Richard Lee Gleason is a descendant of William Bloom 
through the following lineage: 

William Bloom (1752-1828) father of 

James Bloom (1798-1866) father of 

Mary Ann (Lines) Bloom (1836-1932) mother of 

Eli Monroe Lines (1859-1930) father of 

Harry Wilbur Lines (1880-1974) father of 

Richard Delmont Lines (1924-1955) father of 

Richard Lee Gleason (adopted) 
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. 


Revision dated April 2011 

Richard Lee Gleason - Seattle, WA, U.S.A.