The Mumma-Moomaw-Mumaw-Muma-Mumaugh-Momma Surname Page
(and all other weird spelling variations)
created and maintained by Doug Mumma

Mumma Fruit Farms BasketTABLE OF CONTENTS

Welcome to the Mumma-Moomaw-Mumaw-Muma-Mumaugh-Momma surname page!

This web site is devoted to people whose ancestor's family surname was MUMMA or one of its many spelling variations. Surname spelling variations in the database include Mewmaw, Moma, Momma, Mooma, Moomau, Moomaw, Moomaugh, Mughmaw, Muma, Mumah, Mumau, Mumaugh, Mumaw, Mumma, Mummah, Mummau, Mummaugh, and Mummaw. The most common spellings of the name have hyperlinks that will show you a map of the United States and the population density for that particular name spelling as derived from census data. Another interesting link allows you to create a surname map based on the distribution of frequency of any surname found in US telephone directories. This works for any surname spelling.

Since there are at least 18 different ways to spell the surname, it is also pronounced many different ways, but there are a few more common pronunciations. There is the 'classic' Moo-maw, Moo-ma, Mew-ma, Mum-ma, Mow-maw and the Mom-ma pronunciations. If you would like to hear me speak these different variations, click on the speaker. speaker.gif

The purpose of this site is to serve as a focal point for people researching these surnames and to improve our knowledge of our ancestors' genealogies, history, and stories about their lives. This activity will never be completed and you are encouraged to participate. Near the top of this page are three hyperlink buttons that will take you to several other pages of interest. The "Mumma Database" button links to the searchable database which contains over 85,000 Mumma descendants. The "Data Archives" contain various documents that I have collected or written regarding Wills, bibles, cemetery records, and various other stories of interest. Copies of the previous "Bulletins" I have distributed are located in the archives. The last button links to my "MUMMA Surname DNA Project". 78 men have provided DNA samples and these results are being used to help identify various branches of the Mumma family. I think you will find this project very interesting and exciting. So far we have been able to identify specific branches and specific "DNA signature/fingerprints " for the three Mumma immigrants and the ancestral Momma family. The remainder of this page provides general background information about the Mumma family including all alternate surname spellings as verified by DNA testing that they descend from a recent common Mumma ancestor.

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Our Ancestors

The first known Mumma progenitor to arrive in America was Jacob Mumma who arrived with his family aboard the ship "Pennsylvania Merchant" on September 10, 1731. The second progenitor was Leonhard Mumma and his family who arrived aboard the ship "Johnson" on September 18, 1732. Johann Lorentz Momma arrived in America on October 13, 1747 aboard the ship "Two Brothers" and finally, Peter Mumma, a single man arrived on September 16, 1748 aboard the ship "Patience". There has been speculation that a Mumma female arrived prior to 1731, but confirmed documentation is not available.

Of the four early progenitors, Jacob Mumma was a Mennonite and family legends suggest he emigrated directly from Switzerland. Leonhard (Leonard) Mumma is believed to have come from Großkarlbach (see map) in the Pfaltz-Rhineland area of Germany. He was a member of the Reformed Church. Lorentz Momma and Peter Mumma were both claimed to have been from the Alsace-Lorraine area. Peter was also a member of the Reformed Church where his children were baptized.

Of course, a major interest is where the Mummas originated in Europe? The family lore is as varied as the number of different spellings of the name. The Canadian Muma's have a story in which it is claimed three brother's put ink in the holy water of a Roman Catholic church. When they were found out, they were driven out of their homes and into the mountains. Not having money for passage to America, they managed to get aboard as stowaways. Being found out, they were sold into bound servitude to pay for their passage upon arrival in Philadelphia. Lancaster County, they served their time to pay the passage. During the Revolutionary War, they refused to fight the British soldiers and their land was seized because of this. They escaped by migrating next to Canada.

Another Canadian story suggests that there were two slaves named "Mumma" that came across the Atlantic ocean from Scandinavia. One stayed on the east coast and kept the Mumma spelling and one ran away to Canada and changed the spelling to Muma.

A third Canadian legend suggests there is even evidence to indicate that the Muma name came from Ireland. Ireland is the only country where the name Muma is clearly identified. In the Encyclopedia Britannica, 1944 edition, an old map of Ireland shows the southern part as a MUMA kingdom, which was later changed to Munster. Munster was divided into two parts, North and South. From the south sprang the MacCarthys of Desmond (Des Mumha), while from a kindred stock came the Dalcassian Kings of Thomond or North Munster (Tuadh-Muma).

Even in my own family, my great uncle wrote in 1892, "Shrouded in mystery is the remote past of this race, but two theories are extant, one that long ago some where in the early part of the 17th century three Mumma brothers came across from Germany near the boundary of France, and the name is thought to be French instead of German. They settled probably near Baltimore. One brother returned to Germany and these are thought to be the progenitors of the Mumma race. - This is known as the 'Moomaw' theory. The other 'Mumma' theory is that about 1675 Mumma's emigrated across from Germany and we are about the 7th generation. One of these, probably our great, great, great, great, grandmother died on the journey across the ocean."

There is even a suggestion in several accounts that the name is of Latin or Roman derivation. Possibly it is the changed form of the Roman name "Mummius". Mummius is the famous Roman general who destroyed Corinth during the wars between Greece and Rome in pre-Christian times. The feminine of this name would be Mummia or Mumma.

So as you can see, the lore regarding the origins of the Mumma family and name are rich and varied. While the family legends differ somewhat as to the possible origin of the Mumma name. Holland; Alsace-Lorraine; Sweden; and Switzerland have been strongly mentioned. You always have to ask yourself as to the time period is being discussed. There will be different answers  depending whether you talking about just prior to their arrival in America or of their previous migrations in Europe. Always keep in mind that Germany, as we know it today, didn't exist during this time period. and the borders and kingdoms of Bavaria and France were constantly changing. It has been suggested that the Mummas of America descended from the Momma family. DNA testing has now confirmed that suggestion and we must look towards the towns of Aachen and Stolberg as these are the primary areas where the Momma family originated and lived. The Mommas of Aachen and Stolberg are thought to have been French Huguenots who were driven north into Belgium and city of Aachen in the late 1500's. Possibly the name was spelled as Mommal in Belgium. The Mommas were very influential people who were major manufactures of brass. This is where the Momma spelling of the name is still predominantly found today. Searches of telephone books of Europe yields essentially no one who spell their surname as 'Mumma'. This spelling only exists in America.

There is circumstantial evidence that Leonhard Mumma lived and raised his family in the area around Grosskarlbach, Germany prior to emigrating to America. The church records of Gerolsheim record the marriage of a David Mumma to a Gertruad Neumann in 1789. The record further states that David is a widower from America and that he was born in Grosskarlbach. Many researchers are confident that this David is the son of the immigrant, Leonhard Mumma. At one point, I too believed that this David Mumma was his son, but I now doubt it. My reasoning and evidence is presented in an article I wrote on the subject. You can read this article which is stored in the Mumma archives. It is entitled, Origins of the Mumma Family. This is a large PDF file (638 KB) which includes several images from the church records in Germany. Much effort and study remains to identify and verify where each of the Mumma progenitors lived in Germany prior to emigration to America.

In January of 1998, James Buell Mumma Jr. was in Germany and made a brief visit to the village of Grosskarlbach. An account of his visit can be viewed by clicking on his name.

In fall of 1998, I visited Germany for a week and I was joined by Stefan Momma, whom I had met via the Internet. I even had the pleasure of spending two nights in Grosskarlbach. Stefan and I visited a number of archives and spent several days in Stolberg. Here we visited the Finkenberg Church and photocopied the original record book of the church from it beginnings in 1611. Click on this to view an account of my trip.

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The Searchable Mumma database

For several years, a "Mumma-Moomaw Project" was worked on to assemble a database containing as many Mumma descendants and their spouses as could located from printed books, GEDCOM files submitted by various people and other sources. This phase of the project was completed and the initial release of the data on the Internet was made on 11 September, 1997 with 31,211 Mumma descendants and their spouses. The number of people in the database now contains over 67,000 individuals and is continually growing as new data is added. It consists of three primary trees, one for Jacob Mumma, one for Leonard Mumma and one for Peter Mumma. Additional "unknown" trees are contained in the database, but they do not link to the trees of any of the original Mumma progenitors. You may search the database for your ancestors by clicking on this hyperlink or on the yellow hyperlink at the top of this page called "database" plus a revision date.

The database may be easily searched for any name. Even though the GEDCOM file is about 20 megabytes in size, name searches are completed in just a few seconds. The is a HELP file located at the top of the database search page.  After viewing the data for an individual, there are options available at the bottom of the page which allow you to create a pedigree or descendant chart for that individual! These charts can be printed.  An interesting use of the charts is to simply highlight the information in a pedigree or descendant chart and copy it to a word processor or you can copy and paste it into an e-mail message you might be sending to someone.

A reference number has been assigned to all Mumma descendants. This reference number is the same reference number and system that was started by H. Werner Kloepfer in his 1965 Moomaw-Mumma Genealogy and continued by Robert A. Moomaw in his 1990 edition of the book. The system is a modified "Henry" numbering system for uniquely identifying a person and shows his position in a generation. The oldest Mumma progenitor who arrived in America is given a single digit number. Jacob Mumma, the first confirmed Mumma progenitor who arrived in 1731, was assigned number 1. Leonard Mumma, who arrived in 1732, was given number 2 and so on for the other Mumma immigrants who followed. For their children, another digit was added to the father's number, generally in birth order, if known. Therefore, Jacob's first child has the number of 11, Jacob's second child is given the number of 12 and the process is repeated for his remaining children. Jacob's first child's child is therefore number 111. If you find a person with an eight digit number, you know that they are 7 generations away from the original immigrant. If there are more than 10 children for a family, the 10th child is given the number 0, the 11th child is given the letter "a", the 12th is given the letter "b" and so on until the last child is numbered. By looking at a person's reference number, you can quickly determine from which immigrant he descends and the rest of his lineage. On some occasions, the number may be wrong according to the correct birth order. Such errors are usually caused by discovering correct birth dates or additional children are found. No attempt has been made to change the numbers from those originally assigned unless there was an error because the person is in the wrong generation.

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Database History & Acknowledgements

This project was started several years ago as a dream I had when I was trying to find people in Richard Huffman's book called "Genealogy of the George Muma Family" and Robert A. Moomaw's book called "Moomaw * Mumma * Mumaw * Mumaugh Genealogy". I was frustrated because Huffman's book was not indexed and much of his data was left out of Moomaw's book. I called Bob Moomaw and shared my dream of a large common database and asked whether he could send me a copy of his data file so that I could import it into a genealogy software program. He was excited about the concept as he wanted the data from his book to be shared with all Mumma/Moomaw researchers. Unfortunately, his data was not created using a standard genealogy program. This meant that either his raw data had to be converted to a lineage linked format or it had to be re-input into a lineage linked program so that a universal GEDCOM file could be created. Because of the complexity of the task, the concept and various implementation methods rattled around in my head for several years before the project was started.

After some inspiration and support from Jed Allen of the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (they are responsible for the GEDCOM standard), I decided to plunge ahead and try to accomplish the task of electronically converting the data in Bob's book. This was not an insignificant task, since Robert Moomaw's book contains data about 20,000 individuals.

At about the same time, I learned from Bob Moomaw that a fellow by the name of Chuck Grife was hand inputting all of the data from Bob's book into the genealogy software program called PAF. Since I was not that confident that my approach would succeed and Chuck's effort was sure to succeed, I talked to Chuck, told him of my plans and encouraged him to continue his effort. I knew that his method would serve as a backup in the event I failed. It took Chuck well over a year to finish by inputting 25 to 100 records into PAF each night. Early in 1997, Chuck completed his task and he did a great job. I took his file and used some error checking routines to deal with simple input errors and minor errors that were in Bob Moomaw's book. At last, a GEDCOM file was available containing all of the data in Bob's book. The only technical problem with the finished GEDCOM file is it did not include any of Bob's new data nor did it incorporate any of Richard Huffman's data. It is simply a duplicate of Robert Moomaw's book, but in a GEDCOM format with a searchable index. This was a valuable contribution and it later proved to be of great benefit to me in my conversion project.

My approach was to extract the data from Bob Moomaw's old multi-tasked program called INTUIT, and create a GEDCOM file directly. I discussed this concept with a fellow genealogist and programmer, by the name of George Anderson, and he felt that it was possible. First, Bob Moomaw corrected his database of known errors and input all of the additional data he had received since his book was published in 1990. In addition, he added all of the data from Richard Huffman's book plus several thousand names that I provided as supplied by various relatives. I then extracted and merged Bob's data into a comma delimited text file. After making some minor corrections, the file was passed on to George Anderson. George developed some "Basic" programs to examine and revise the data to insure that each field contained consistent information, in the correct format, that met the standard protocol used by most genealogy programs. Fortunately, Bob's data contained a reference number for each descendant that George was able to use in his method of "linking" people in marriages and assigning the correct children to that marriage. Since an individual's gender was not tracked as an item in Bob's book, some ingenuity was required. George took Chuck Grife's PAF data and extracted the name and gender information that it contained for the 20,000 individuals that were in the original book. This provided a "lookup" table that showed the likely gender for any given name. If the gender choice wasn't clear, as in the case of given names such as Lee, Lynn, Leslie, or Kelly, then a second test was performed against a spouse's given name or gender, if the person was married. Only a small number of individuals had to be examined and assigned by hand. After several months of work, the data was corrected until we felt it was relatively free of obvious errors. George extracted the data and created a 28,887 individual record GEDCOM file. For interest, George and I had the added complexity that George uses a Macintosh computer and I use a Windows machine which required that we exchanged the data files by e-mail. I took the new GEDCOM file and imported it into Family Origins to check for general data errors, unlinked individuals, and duplicate individuals that were caused by "cousin" marriages. After the duplicate individuals were merged, the file size decreased to 28,815 individuals. This data was exported as a GEDCOM file and imported into Family Tree Maker. I chose Family Tree Maker to maintain the database because of its ability to exclude certain tags, such as addresses or telephone numbers, during the creation of a GEDCOM file. To this file, I merged additional people from GEDCOM files that people had sent to me during the last year or so. This was the basis for the initial release of the database.

My next problem was how to present the data on my web site in a way that would be convenient for people to use, yet fast and efficient. Fortunately I was introduced to a program called the "Indexed GEDCOM Method" which was originally written by Tim Doyle and enhanced by Randy Winch <>. For over a month, Randy was of great assistance to me by modifying the program to accommodate my particular needs. He has also taught me a few UNIX and PERL commands, and hand held me through the trials of uploading the files to the CGI-bin area on my server.

Special thanks are given to Robert (Bob) A. Moomaw for sharing with me all of the data that he had diligently gathered for his book and entered into his computer; to Richard Huffman for providing me a copy of his book and allowing me to use that data; to Chuck Grife for providing me with the GEDCOM file containing all of the individuals in Robert A. Moomaw's book; to George Anderson for all of his clever programming and hard work converting the comma delimited data that I extracted from Bob Moomaw's book into a GEDCOM file; to Randy Winch for helping me use his modified Indexed GEDCOM Method programs; and to all of you who have provided me with helpful suggestions, GEDCOM files and e-mail messages of encouragement. And last but not least, very large thanks are due to my wife, Joan, who has been a "widow" this last year and a half while the Mumma-Moomaw project consumed me.

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Errors, Omissions, Additions & Changes

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Momma Coat of Arms

Information about the Momma Coat of Arms is now a separate docment located in the Mumma Archives. The archives are located at:

You can go directly to the Coat Of Arms document by clicking on this link:

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Family stories, trip reports, diaries, and miscellaneous items

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A variety of miscellaneous photographs

A variety of photographs can be viewed by selecting the appropriate link below. Individual photographs for a few people are also displayed on their informational sheets generated by the Mumma-Moomaw database search engine. Some of these files are fairly large and will take time to load. You can always stop the loading process by pressing the "STOP" button on your browser.

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If you would like your name added to this list of Mumma-Moomaw researchers, please send me a note.

  • Douglas M. Mumma
    2121 Farmington Place
    Livermore, CA 94550
Doug maintains this web site and is an active Mumma researcher of all Mumma descendants and ancestors. He is especially interested in determining our European origins.
Pamela is researching all of the Mummas who originated in Franklin & Fulton Counties, PA. There are two "unattached" Mumma branches known as "U46" and "U25". If you have any information regarding Fulton/Franklin County Mummas, please contact Pamela. 
Beverly is interested in any information regarding the descendants of Simon Mummah
Lester descends from Leonard Mumma, son of John Leonard Mumma, the son of the immigrant, Leonard Mumma. He is interested in information about any descendants on this line.
Researching ancestry and descendants of Heinrich Mumma born March 17, 1787. As an adult, lived at West Cocalico, Lancaster County, PA. Buried in Swamp Reformed Church Cemetery, West Cocalico Twp., Lancaster Co, PA
Steven is researching the line of John Christian Mumma (1725-1754) who married Margaret Zimmer and Anna Marie Dorr.
  • Leora Rabuck
    1920 3rd Avenue
    Altoona, PA 16602
    (no E-mail)
Leora is researching the line of Peter Mumma (1771-?) who married Anna Gramm (1769-1846) in 1789.
David Pitsch's wife is Lynn Susan Mumaw and she descends from Abraham Mumaw and Mary Shank. He would be interested in communicating with any other descendants.
  • Ellen Copper
    1841 Walnut Grove Drive
    State College, PA 16801-8441
Ellen is searching for descendants of Sarah Rees and William Mumaugh of Fairfield and Allen Counties, Ohio. "I am compiling a Rees family history of the descendants of several of Sarah's ancestors. If you have other Rees lines in these counties, they might also connect."
Theresa is researching the descendants of Elias Mughmaw/Mumaugh who was born in Ohio, but resided most of his life in Miami Co., IN.   The unusual spelling of Elias' surname as, Mughmaw, appears in the 1870 & 1880 census records. A few of his descendants retained the "Mughmaw" spelling, but most use "Mumaugh".
  • Robert Glenn "Bob" Allen
    22470 N. Newberry Court
    Killdeer, IL  60047-7946
Bob's main focus is on John Conrad Moomaw/Mumma, his wife Anna Barbara (Maria) Ranck and their descendants - especially those descended from their daughter, Margaret "Maggel" Moomaw and George Manlon Ohmart.
  • Patricia Hickin
    300 Westminster-Canterbury Drive, #410
    Winchester VA 22603-4278
Pat's special interests are the descendants of Christian Moomaw, 1774-1847, son of John Conrad and Anna Barbara Ranck Moomaw, Botetourt County, VA.

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- These are reference books and papers in my personal library. Where they are available at the Mormon Church Family History Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, I have included the call number for the book as well as the microfilm or microfiche number, if available in that format.

Locations of visitors to this page

16 Feb 2018, 00:16:41

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