Category Archives: Families related to Pannebaker

Philip Wert and Elizabeth Loos

Johann  Philip was born in Dauphin County, the son of J. Adam Wert and Eva Elizabeth Schnug. Born in 1773, he was the tenth of their eleven children.  As per German tradition he was known by his middle name. Around 1802 he married Elizabeth Loos, from another German family. Her parents’ names are not known. She had brothers George and Jacob who lived in Middleton Township, Cumberland County. Since this was quite a distance south of where Philip lived, there is a question of how Philip and Elizabeth met.

By 1810 they had five children, three boys and two girls.1 They were farming in Mahantango Township, Northumberland County. Originally Mahantango was a sprawling township lying along the Mahantango Creek, adjoins Lykens Valley to the south. It was later divided into several townships, in several counties.2  By 1820 Philip and Elizabeth had moved their family across the Susquehanna to Mt Pleasant Mills in Perry Township, Union County.3

Philip and Elizabeth had at least six children, plus several more as counted in the census records. The record of 1820 shows them with two daughters under 10, two sons 10 to 15, and a daughter 16 to 25, plus the parents.4 They almost adjoined Philip’s brother Adam in the census listing. In 1830 they were still in Perry Township, with four children at home, two males and two females. Philip Wert Jr, their son, was listed separately.5

Elizabeth died between 1830 and 1840. In the 1840 census Philip had four people in his household.6 He died on August 5, 1841, at age 68.7 They are buried in St John’s Lutheran cemetery at Mt. Pleasant Mills, like several of their children.8

Only three of their children were known to have married. One did not marry. One died as a youth. If the census records are accurate, they had several other children who died young.

Children of J. Philip and Elizabeth:9

George, b. 1804, d. 1820, buried at St. John’s Lutheran Ch. at Mt. Pleasant Mills10

Mary Magdalene “Polly”, b. 1805, d. April 1846, m. Joseph Pannebaker, son of William & Elizabeth. They lived in Juniata County. Polly died in 1846, leaving Joseph with eight children under the age of fifteen. Joseph married Elizabeth Moist. He died in 1853 and is buried in the Messiah Lutheran Cemetery in Mifflintown with Polly. Children: Philip, Ann, Daniel, Mary, Joseph, Rebecca, Moses, John.

Philip, b. 1806, d. 1877, m. Susannah Daugherty, lived in Perry Township, both buried at St. John’s Lutheran. Children: Magdaline Martha, Catherine, Elizabeth, Fannie, Joseph.

Mary Barbara, b. 1809, d. 1895, unmarried, buried at St. John’s Lutheran.11

John, b. 1810, d. 1897, m. Catherine Womer; he is buried at Lost Creek Mennonite Church. She died in 1865 and is buried at St. John’s Lutheran. They lived in Perry Township, and had children Michael, John and Daniel. After Catherine died, John worked in the household of Napoleon Brosius, a well-to-do farmer in Perry Township.12

Eve, no further information

another daughter, b. between 1810 and 1820

another son, born between 1815 and 1820


  1. 1810 census.
  2. Wikipedia entry for Mahantango township.
  3. This part of Union County became part of Snyder County in 1855.
  4. Philip was indexed in as West instead of Wert.
  5. This time he was indexed as Wert.
  6. He was indexed as West again.
  7. PA & NJ Church and Town Records 1669-2013, Perry County, under Liverpool Charge.
  8. Burial records for St. John’s are at: This was taken offline by Rootsweb in 2017, due to security issues, and is not available as of 2/5/18. Some were compiled by George Wagenseller. See below.
  9. Census records, burial records, Findagrave.
  10. George W. Wagenseller, Tombstone Inscriptions of Snyder County, on as of 2/4/18. Wagenseller noted that the records were taken from the sexton’s record. Although it included George, who died in 1820, for some reason there was no entry for Elizabeth, his mother.
  11. Wagenseller. I can’t find her in any census records between 1850 and 1880. She should appear, in her own household or living with others, but apparently she does not. This raises the question of whether she is actually a daughter of Philip and Elizabeth.
  12. 1870 census.

Johann Adam Wert and Eva Elizabeth Schnug

Johann Adam Wert immigrated in 1753 as a young man.1 Born in 1727 in Westerwald, Germany, he emigrated on the Two Brothers.2 He landed in Philadelphia, and moved westward to the Lebanon valley. There he married Eva Elizabeth Schnug in 1755; Her family was from the same town in Germany and had emigrated in 1740.3 Several of their children were born in the Lebanon area. Apparently he traveled back and forth to the Lykens Valley in Dauphin County, between 1763 and 1768, to claim and settle the land there, before moving his family there permanently in 1768. Johann Adam and Eva Elizabeth had eleven children. Their nine sons all had the first name of Johannes, according to the old German naming tradition of giving sons the saint’s name. Except for the second son, Johannes, all of them used their “middle” name as their customary name.

Johann Adam and his wife eventually owned 1200 acres in Lykens Valley. “One early account states that when he came to Lykens Valley, his family used the broad branches of a stately white oak tree, then monarch of the forest in the valley, for their shelter.”4  This was the frontier, even into the 1760’s. “In the early years armed members of the Church congregation stood guard outside during services to protect the preacher and congregation from Indian attacks.”5 The story is told that he became friendly with the Indians. “In the early settlement a wounded Indian was brought to his home, whom he and his family nursed back to health, and the gratitude of the Indians was shown in their every act thereafter.”6

He and his wife were benefactors of the church.

“According to records passed down through the generations on Wert history, Johann Adam Wirth (1727-1806) had claimed the land above and had constructed buildings on it prior to 1775. One of those buildings was used for a school and place of worship by both the Reformed and Evangelical Lutheran congregations from 1770-1773 with Rev. John Michael Enterline serving as a part-time preacher from 1770-1779. Johann Adam Wirth agreed not to file a claim for the land with the trustees with the understanding that they apply for a warrant and use the land for both congregations to construct their own individual churches and cemeteries. This was why Johann Adam Wirth became known as the benefactor of the churches in Killinger and particularly Wirth’s Evangelical Lutheran church.”7

Adam died in 1806; Eva Elizabeth died before him in 1800. They are buried at Wirth’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Upper Paxton Township, Dauphin County. This is at Killinger, in the extreme northwestern corner of Dauphin County.

The children of Adam and Eva were farmers. Most of them had large families. Most stayed close to Upper Paxton Township where they were raised. The only one to go far afield was the youngest, Joseph, who ended up in Crawford County, Ohio. As far as can be determined, they were Lutherans, like their father.

Children of Johann Adam and Eva Elizabeth:8

The first generation is well-known and documented. The lists of their children given here are taken mostly from Ancestry trees and have not been verified.

Adam, b. 1755, d. 1719, m. Mary Elizabeth Preece, widow of John Philip Nye, lived in Dauphin County, later in Snyder County.9 Had a daughter Mary Elizabeth.

Johannes, b. 1758, d. 1805, m. Anna Maria Miller, lived in Upper Paxton, Dauphin County. Children: Eva Catherine, Anna Christina, J. Adam, John, Margaret “Peggy”, Elizabeth, Anna Maria.

Christian, b. Dec 1760, d. Sept 1819, m. Catharine Bretz, buried at Grubbs Cemetery, Mt Pleasant Mills, Snyder County10. Children: Anna Maria, J. Adam, Susan Magaret, Catherine Magdalena, John Ludwig, Elizabeth, Christina, Sarah salome, Anna Eve, George, Rachel.

Catharine, b. 1762, d. 1832, m. Sebastian Metz, lived in Berrysburg, Dauphin County. Children: Anna Maria, Adam, Christian, Henry, Catherine, George Michael, Eve Maria, Christina Elizabeth.

Jacob, b. 1764, d. 1833, m. Sophia Miller, lived in Killinger, Upper Paxton Township. Children: J. Adam, Daniel, Anna Maria, Jacob, Solomon, Henry.

Peter, b. 1766, d. 1844, m. Elizabeth Sheesley, lived in Carlisle Springs, Cumberland County. Children: J. Peter, Joseph, Phiip, Martin, John, Jacob, William, Eva Barbara.

Hendrich, b. 1769, d. 1846, m. Elizabeth Enterline, lived in Lower Mahanoy Township, Northumberland County. Supposed children: J. Henry, Maria Elizabeth, John, Michael, Christiana, Catherine, J. Philip, Anna Maria, Susanna, Anna Barbara.11

George, b. 1770, d. 1845, m. Anna Catherina Miller, lived in Killinger, Upper Paxton Township. Children: Elizabeth, Anna Catherine, Lydia, J. George, John, Jacob.

Margaretta, b. 1771, d. 1824, m. George Michael Radel, lived in Berrysburg, Dauphin County. Children: Maria Elizabeth, Martha Margareta, Hannah, Catherine, Joseph, Anna Margaret, Daniel, Michael, Susanna, Salome.

Philip, b. 1773, d. 1841, m. Elizabeth Loos, moved to Mt. Pleasant Mills, Snyder County. Children: J. George, Mary Magdalena, Philip, Mary Barbara, John, Eve.

Joseph, b. 1775, d. 1855, m. Barbara Kitch, moved to Crawford County, Ohio. Children: David, Anna Margaret, Daniel, J. Joseph, William Robert, John and Martin (twins), William George, Peter, Adam, possibly two more daughters.


  1. The research on the Wert family was done by Jonathan Wert, of Port Royal, Perry County, who wrote a book on the Wert family. Some of his information is available on the 2004 newsletter of the Wert Family History Association, still online. He generously shared information with me in 2002, via e-mail. The information about Johann Adam and his wife Eva Elizabeth is all from him. The information about the next generation is from various sources and is less reliable.
  2. Johann Adam was the son of J. Jacob Wirth and Maria Eva Sohn, daughter of Peter and Freuen. Jacob and Eva married in 1724. Johann Adam was the son of Henrich Wirth, born about 1670 in Winkelbach, Oberwesterwald, Hessen-Nassau, and A. Gertraut Muiller. None of these people immigrated. (Google Books entry page for Wert Ancestors by Jonathan M. Wert.)
  3. She was the daughter of J. Matthis Schnug and Elizabeth Schall.
  4. Jonathan Wert.
  5. Jonathan Wert.
  6. L. R. Kelker, History of Dauphin County, 1907, p. 625.
  7. Jonathan Wert, History of Wirth’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, online at:, accessed 2/5/18.
  8. Jonathan Wert.
  9. He is believed to have moved to Chapman Township, present-day Snyder County, and to be buried there. There are no probate records online for this period, before Snyder County was divided from Union County.
  10. Findagrave.
  11. There is a discrepancy in dates between the supposed birth of the son J. Henry in 1783 and the birth of his mother in 1771. There is also a large gap between the birth of J. Henry and his nine younger siblings. Either one of these dates is wrong, or he was not the son of Henry and Elizabeth.

John Howe and Hannah North

John Howe was born in 1792, the seventh child of William Howe and Susanna Shoop. In 1814 John inherited his share of his father’s estate, 146 acres on land on the Juniata, valued at $1552.1 His share was valued at more than two of his brothers, and less than his brother William’s share. John married around 1819 Hannah North, daughter of Joshua and his second wife Mary. By 1840 John and Hannah sold their land in Perry County and moved to Milford Township, Juniata County.2 There they appear in the 1840 census with five children, a daughter 15 to 20, a son 10 to 15, and three children five to ten years old. Elizabeth, the oldest daughter, was already married to Henry Goshen.

John was taxed in Milford Township from 1842 to 1845. In addition to farming, he also worked as a plasterer. Two of his sons followed in his trade, and one of his daughters married Simon Basom, a painter. Mifflintown, the county seat, was close to Milford Township; there must have been a building room.

John and Hannah had six or seven children: Elizabeth, Lydia, John, Jesse, Levi, Caroline and possibly Joanna. 3 John died in 1847. He did not leave a will. The administrator of his estate was Edmund Doty, a prominent local lawyer and a kinsman, the son of Ezra Doty and Rebecca North, Hannah’s half-sister.4

In 1850 Hannah was living in Milford Township with John and Caroline.5 Lydia was already married to Simon Basom by then.6 Elizabeth was married to Henry Goshen, a blacksmith, and living in Mifflintown. Jesse was apprenticed to Henry and living with Elizabeth and Henry. Levi was working as a carpenter and living in a nearby hotel.  Hannah was taxed as a tenant in Milford in 1850 and 1851. In 1860 she was living in Mifflintown with her son John, daughter Caroline, and granddaughter Martha Basom, age 11.7 She was still there in 1870. In 1880 she was living with her son John and his wife Priscilla. Hannah died in 1887, outliving her husband by forty years. John and Hannah are buried at Westminster Cemetery in Mifflintown.8

It is noteworthy that none of the children of John and Hannah were farmers or married to farmers. They lived in town, rather than the countryside, and worked as builders or blacksmiths. This was a generational shift that would not reverse itself.

Children of John and Hannah:9

Elizabeth (Eliza), b. 1821, d. 1887, m. Henry Goshen; he was a blacksmith in Mifflintown.

Lydia, b. 1823, d. 1852, m. ab. 1846 Simon Basom; he was a house painter  in Mifflintown.

John, b. 1826, d. 1904, m. Priscilla McWilliams Leiter; he was a plasterer in Mifflintown.

Jesse, b. 1828, d. 1897, m. Lavinia Fasick; he was a blacksmith in Mifflintown.

Levi, b. ab. 1830, in Mifflintown in 1850, d. after 1880, a plasterer and carpenter; moved west to Illinois.

Caroline, b. ab. 1834, d. before 1880, m. Isaac Dysinger; he was a carpenter; moved to Bureau County, Illinois.

Next generation:

Elizabeth “Eliza” married Henry Goshen. They lived in Mifflintown, where he was a blacksmith. They had children John, O. North, Levi, Elizabeth, Ellen Jane, Mary Catherine “Kate”, Florence and Carrie.10 Florence died at the age of nine days. The others appear in census records with Henry and Eliza from 1860 through 1880. Eliza died in 1887; Henry died in 1894. They are buried at Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery, Mifflintown.11

Lydia Howe was the first wife of Simon Basom. They were married about 1846. Simon was a painter; they lived in Mifflintown and had two daughters: Hannah born about 1847 and Martha born January 25, 1849. Lydia died in 1852 at the age of 29, and was buried with her father John Howe at Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery. Simon served in the Civil War, was discharged early due to tuberculosis. He remarried, died in 1874 and is buried in Union Cemetery, Walker Township.

John also served in the Civil War. He was a plasterer and a builder, who later became a butcher.12 About 1863 he married Priscilla McWilliams, the widow of a Leiter. She had a son William, born about 1857. John and Priscilla lived in Mifflintown. In 1870 they had children Charles and Herman. In 1880 John’s wife Hannah was living with them, as well as Priscilla’s sister Malinda McWilliams. By then John and Priscilla had added a daughter Minnie.13 By 1900 only Herman was living with them. In 1910 John was dead, and Priscilla and her son Herman were living with her daughter Mary Elizabeth Crawford . John died in 1904; Priscilla died in 1911. They are buried at Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery.

Jesse Howe was apprenticed to Joseph Patterson at Selinsgrove in 1844 to learn the blacksmithing trade. After two years he went to work in the smithing shop of John Fertig in Millerstown, Perry County. The men of that shop made and dressed many of the tools used to build the Pennsylvania Railroad, which was completed through Perry and Juniata Counties that year. In 1852 he went to work for Joseph Kerlin in a shop in Mifflintown on the Gallaher farm. Later he went into partnership with Henry Goshen, his brother-in-law. Jesse lived with Henry and Eliza and their children in Mifflintown, where he was a smith. Together Jesse and Henry sold stoves and hardware that they had made. Their partnership lasted until 1859 or so, when Jesse set up his own shop.14

Sometime before 1856 Jesse married Lavinia Fasick. Her father William was a hatter in Mifflintown. They had children John W, Jesse, Rebecca Jane, Ellen. Jesse served during the Civil War with the 101st regiment, posted to Roanoke Island, Virginia. He died in 1897; Lavinia died in 1910. They are buried at Westminster Cemetery in Mifflintown with their daughter Rebecca.

In 1850 Levi was living in George Littlefield’s hotel in Mifflintown and working as a carpenter. By 1860 he had gone west with Isaac Dysinger, a fellow carpenter. In 1860 Isaac Dysinger and Levi Howe were living on a farm in Indiantown, Bureau County, Illinois. Sometime after that Isaac returned to Pennsylvania, married Levi’s sister Caroline and took her back to Illinois with him. Isaac and Caroline were living in Wyanet, Bureau County in 1870. It is not clear what happened to Levi after that.15

Caroline married Isaac Dysinger about 1860. By the 1870 census they were living in Wyanet, Illinois, where Isaac was a carpenter. They had children Florence, Jennie, Jesse, Thomas, Sadie and Clemie (a son), all born in Illinois. In an 1877 voters list of Wyanet, Isaac appears, as a Democrat and a Methodist, with a wife and six children.16 By 1880 Caroline was dead and Isaac was raising the children by himself.17

  1. Cumberland County Orphan’s Court Dockets 1815-1825, Vol. 6-7, pages 396-97, 415, 418-21, images 231-34, 241-43.
  2. Obituary of their son John, from the Howe family file at JCHS.
  3. Dexter North, Caleb North Genealogy, 1930; Millard Stipes, Genealogy and history of the related Keyes, North and Cruzen Families, 1914; Federal census 1850 through 1880. Levi is not in either published genealogy, but is in the census records. Both books have Joanna, with her husband as Daniel Trachler.  Dexter North gave Lydia’s husband as Simon Bascom; Stipes correctly spelled it as Basom. The husband of Caroline was given as Dysinger by Dexter North, as Basinger by Stipes. The Rambo Family tree includes Joannah and omits Levi.
  4. Juniata County Orphans Court Docket, Book C, p. 286. He came into court to present vouchers for $63.58. It is not clear how much was left in the estate.
  5. Image 20. Only the first initials are given.
  6. The other Howes in the 1850 census were: Jesse, John (age 16, laborer living with another family), Levi (all siblings of Lydia), and William in Derry Twp.
  7. 1860 census, Mifflin Borough, Juniata County, image 199.
  8. Findagrave.
  9. The published North family genealogies both add a daughter Joanna (see footnote 2). I can find no evidence of her. There is no Trachler family in Juniata County. There are families of Trostle and Troxell, but I can’t place Daniel there.
  10. Census records and Ancestry trees.
  11. Findagrave.
  12. Census records; Margaret Glanding, The House of Howe, 1951, mss at the Lenig Library, Perry County. She said he built some of the most prominent buildings in Mifflin.
  13. They had two more children who died young, according to his obituary on file at the Juniata Co. Historical Society.
  14. His obituary in the Howe family file at the Juniata County Historical Society
  15. There was a Levi Howe in the 1880 census, living in a boarding house in Kansas City, Missouri, a saloon-keeper and a widow. This man was about the right age. We need more evidence to connect him to the Levi of Juniata County.
  16. List online at, under Bureau County. Levi Howe does not appear on the list.
  17. I have not yet found a death record or burial record for them.

Andrew Shoop of Warrington Township

Susannah Shoop, who married William Howe of Warrington Township, York County, was the daughter of Andrew Shoop, also of York County. There are few records of Andrew, only a land warrant and his will. The name of his wife is not known. The name is a common one in the German areas of Pennsylvania, but the various branches do not seem to be connected. 1

Andrew was probably German, but there is no emigration record that can be definitely assigned to him. There was an Andreas Schopp who emigrated in 1754 on the Halifax along with a shipload of other Germans, mostly Protestants.2 They arrived in Philadelphia on October 22. Andreas Schopp was listed on the manifest as sick. William Egle claimed that this Andreas moved to Dauphin County, and had sons Bernard, Jacob and Adam.3

In April 1773 Andrew Shoup got a warrant for 50 acres in Penn Township, Northumberland County.4 He still owned the land in 1784 when he wrote his will. In it he called himself “of the County of York.” He may have moved there recently, because he does not appear in the tax lists from 1779 to 1781.5

His wife must have died before March 1784 when Andrew wrote the will, as he made no provision for her. in the will, proved in December 1789, he named three sons, a daughter, and a son-in-law William Howe.6  He gave to William Howe, “All my Lands situated in Penns Township in the County of Northumberland Adjoining to the South and East of of Stophel Brunks Land”. The daughter Dorrity and the three sons, Peter, Mathias, and Christian, each received one shilling. He must have divided the bulk of his estate before he died; it seems unlikely that the land in Northumberland was his only asset or he would have ordered it to be sold and divided.

The executors of the will were William Howe and Matthias Holopeter. Some researchers have speculated that Matthias was Andrew’s brother-in-law, based on his role as executor and some overlap in the names of their children (Susanna, Mathias, Andrew).7 This seems unlikely. The wording in the will was, “My Son in Law William How and my friend Mathias Holopeter”. If Mathias had been a kinsman, Andrew must likely would have said so.8 Mathias and Barbara Holopeter had four of their children baptized in the Lutheran Church; none of the sponsors were named Shoop. Did Andrew have his children baptized? There are no church records for him; could he have been a Mennonite?

Children of Andrew:9

Susannah, b. 26 September 1761, d. 1825, m. before 1784 William Howe; moved to Perry County

Dorrity, alive in 1784, no further information

Peter, alive in 1784, no further information

Mathias, alive in 1784, no further information unless he is the Matthias Shoup in Frederick County, Maryland in the 1790 census10

Christian, alive in 1784, no further information unless he is the Christian Shoup in Frederick County, Maryland in the 1790 census.

  1. There were many variant spellings of the name including Shope, Shoop, Shupp, Schuppe, Shop, and Schopp. Some researchers claim that there are at least six distinct ancestral lines. (Ref: Mary Shantz, John and Elizabeth Shope and Descendants; posts on the Schupp family forum on GenForum; Roxanna Shope, Bratwurst, bagpipes and tea.) The most informative post was on March 18, 2001 on the Schupp Family Forum on GenForum; it was especially concerned with the family in Dauphin County, as was Roxanna Shope.
  2. Rupp, Thirty thousand names…, p. 342-43, on Ancestry.
  3. William Egle, History of Dauphin and Lebanon County.
  4. PA Land Warrants and Applications 1733-1952, on Ancestry.
  5. Pennsylvania Archives, Third Series, Vol. XXI, on Google Books.
  6. Wills of York County 1749-1819 on This is an abstract. The full text of the will is given on as a Pedigree Resource File, under Andrew Shoup. (Search for Andrew Shoup, died 1789 in York County.) Mathias Holopeter was a witness as well as executor, probably father and son.
  7. Post on the Shoop Family Gen Forum on 9/20/1998. Mathias died in Warrington Township in 1792 with wife Barbara, and children Mary, Susanna, Christiana, Barbara, John, Mathias, Frederick, Andrew and one other. Matthias was born in 1728, about the same generation as Andrew, owned land in Warringtown Township in 1754, married Barbara Rusz in St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, had ten known children. (The Hollopeter Family Record, online)
  8. One of William and Susanna’s sons, Edward, married Catharine Halapeter and moved to Ohio. Edward was not born until 1794, after Andrew was dead.
  9. From his will.
  10. Frederick County is just across the border in Maryland, not far from York County.

Children of William Howe and Susanna Shoup

(See the previous post for the life of William and Susanna.)

Children of William Howe and Susanna Shoop:1

Elizabeth, b. 1779, d. 1858, m. Henry Frank. In 1850 they were living in Oliver Township with an adopted son George Wright, George’s wife and three children. Henry wrote his will in January 1850, leaving half his estate to his wife Elizabeth, and the other half to George’s children. George was also the executor. It was probated on April 10, 1854.2 Elizabeth died in 1858. She and Henry are buried at the Frank’s Burying Ground, Howe Township.3

Abraham Howe, b. 1781, d. September 25, 1848, m. 1813 Rebecca Werntz.4 They lived in Oliver Township. He wrote his will in May 1845.5 He requested that tombstones worth at least $50 be erected over his grave and that of his wife. His wife Rebecca was to have the house and all the estate for her life, maintaining and educating their daughter Lydia Ann and their adopted daughter Elizabeth Forster. At Rebecca’s death Lydia was to inherit the property and Elizabeth was to have the house in Newport borough. He added a codicil the same day. After his death the house was to be rented out and the proceeds paid to Rebecca. In the fall of 1848 Abraham died, and Rebecca died a week later, on October 1. Abraham and Rebecca are buried at Old Newport Cemetery.6 Lydia later married Philip Bosserman.7

Mary Howe, b. 1783,  d. after 1850, m. Joseph McCollum, lived in Niagara County, New York. Joseph and Mary were living in Niagara County in 1850, where he was a farmer. He wrote his will in 1850, “being desirous of discharging that duty which every man owes to his family of making such disposition of my property as shall be just.” In it he named his wife Mary, making provisions for her comfort, including paying for a “suitable female” to live with her, also eleven children: Johanna (deceased), William, John, Abram, Sarah, Mary Ann, Matilda, Caroline, Catherine, Rebecca, and Amanda “whose husband’s name I do not recollect”.8 He died in 1851 and is buried at North Ridge Cemetery, Niagara County. Mary is not buried there; it is unclear where she lived after he died.

Catharine Howe, b. 1785, d. young.

Susanna Howe, b. 1787, d. 1855, m. Thomas Boyd, r. Perry County. According to family stories he was a weaver and had a fine home and a weaving studio.9 Susanna died in 1855 and was buried at the Gunderman Burial Ground in Bucks Valley, Buffalo Township, Perry County.10 Thomas went to live with children in Iowa, remarried, died there in 1871 in Madison County.11 Known children of Thomas and Susanna were: William, Joseph, Rebecca Ann, Clementine Susanna, Delilah, Mary E., Christiana, and Isaac.12

William Howe, Jr., b. 1789, d. 1860, b. York Co., PA, m. 1817 Catharine Yingst. Their oldest daughter Susannah wrote out the family names and dates.13 William was the most prominent of this generation. In addition to farming, he also owned a sawmill. He served as a director of schools, a commissioner to erect a bridge over the Juniata, a tax collector and president of the school board. In 1846 a frame school house was built on the land of his brother Abraham Howe.14 Howe township was named for him when it was created from part of Buffalo Township. He died in 1860, naming his nine living children in his will (Henry, Abraham, Jerome, Harrison, Elizabeth, Priscilla, Catherine, Susanna, Christiana), plus the heirs of his deceased son William. Catherine had died in 1852. She and William are buried at Old Newport Cemetery.15

John Howe, b. July 29, 1792, d. Aug 14, 1847, m. 1819 Hannah North. Moved to Milford Township, Juniata County before 1840. In addition to farming, he also worked as a plasterer. Two of his sons followed in his trade. John and Hannah had children Elizabeth, Lydia, John, Jesse, Levi, Caroline, and possibly Johanna.16  John died in 1846 and Hannah lived with her children until her death in 1887. John and Hannah are buried at Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery in Mifflintown.17

Edward Howe, b. 1794, d. Oct 1, 1863, m. 1823 Catharine Holopeter, moved to Ohio around 1832. In 1850 they were living in Miami County, Ohio with seven children, all born in Ohio except the oldest: Mary, Rebecca, William, Catherine, Elizabeth, Margaret, Adaline. Their neighbor in the census was Simon Hollypeter, probably a relative of Catherine’s.18 In 1860 three of the daughters were still living with them.19 Catharine died in July 1863; Edward died a few months after. They are buried at Beamsville Cemetery, Darke County, Ohio.

Anna Howe, b. 1796, d. Feb 1881, m. James Marshall, moved to Ohio. In 1850 they were in Sandusky County, Ohio, with daughters Letitia and Elizabeth, plus several grandchildren.20 He died in 1870; she died in 1881. They are buried at Beeler Cemetery, Lucas County, Ohio.21

Margaret Howe, b. 1799, d. 1880, m. William Brown, r. Perry County. William served in the War of 1812 and worked on the Juniata Canal, as well as being a farmer.22 They had children Robert, William, Abram, Susannah, and Margaret.23 William died in 1842; Margaret died in 1880. They are buried at Middle Ridge Presbyterian Churchyard, Juniata Township, Perry County.24

Esther Howe, b. 1802, d. 1878, m. David Mitchell. He died late 1849 or early 1850. In the 1850 census Esther was head of the house, in Greenwood Township, with five children living with her. David wrote his will in 1846.25 All his personal property was to go to his wife Esther, at her death to their son George. Esther was to stay in the house unless she remarried. He also named daughters Mary, Hannah, Martha, Susanna, Luisa, Esther and Margaret. Esther died in 1878; she and David are buried at the Mitchell Cemetery, Millerstown, Perry County.26

  1. Margaret Leiby Glanding, The House of Howe, based on a memoir by Susanna Howe Humes, oldest daughter of William and Catherine. She wrote about the family around 1890, and included dates, probably taken from a family Bible.  I had already figured out that there were four brothers – Abraham, John, Edward and William – from their sequence in the 1830 census of Buffalo Township, Perry County. The Glanding mss is at the Perry County Historical Library.
  2. Perry County Will Book B, p. 396, image 532.
  3. Findagrave.
  4. Glanding said that Abraham and Rebecca had no children. His will makes it clear that they had a daughter Lydia, as well as an adopted daughter Elizabeth Forster. She also listed Rebecca’s maiden name as Varns; there is evidence from Ancestry trees that it was Werntz.
  5. Perry County Will Book B, pp. 260-61, available online at FamilySearch under Pennsylvania Probate Records, Perry County, Wills 1820-1854 vol. A-B, image 460.
  6. Findagrave.
  7. Her PA state death certificate (although it gave her mother as Anna Kling); Perry County OC Docket Book F-G, page 205, Image 151. Lydia and Philip are buried at Newport Cemetery, Newport, Perry County (Findagrave).
  8. Niagara County, Will Book 5, page 128. New York state probate on Family Search, Image 459.
  9. Findagrave.
  10. Findagrave. The cemetery is now destroyed, plowed over, and the gravestones disheveled.
  11. Findagrave, where there is a biography of his life.
  12. Findagrave and Ancestry trees. There is disagreement about possible other children.
  13.  There is a biography of William Jr. in John Jordan’s Genealogical and Personal History of Northern PA, vol. 1, p. 379.
  14. Jones, p. 1145,  1163.
  15. Findagrave.
  16. Census records; Dexter North, Caleb North Genealogy, 1930.
  17. Findagrave. The dates of his birth and death are given here from his tombstone; they do not quite agree with those given in the Glanding mss.
  18. 1850 Federal census, Newberry, Miami County, Ohio. Edward was listed as How.
  19. 1860 Federal census, Richland, Darke County, Ohio.
  20. 1850 Federal census, Sandusky, Ohio.
  21. Findagrave.
  22. Glanding, p. 8. She knew some of this branch of the family personally.
  23. Glanding, p. 8.
  24. Findagrave.
  25. Perry County Will Book B, p. 289-90, Image 476-77. It was probated on January 7, 1850.
  26. Findagrave.

William Howe and Susanna Shoop


William Howe appeared in Warrington Township, York County, around 1779, when his name shows up in tax lists. The names of his parents are unknown. Some researchers list William’s father as Abraham Howe who died in 1766 in Menhallen Township, York County. This is a plausible assumption, since William named his eldest son Abraham. The older Abraham left his estate to “all my children”, without naming them. However the evidence seems to rule out William as a son.The Orphans Court records list seven minor children, but there is no William included.1 In addition William’s granddaughter Susanna Howe Humes wrote in 1890 that he was born on October 18, 1735, when Abraham was only fifteen and Abraham’s wife Elizabeth Mummert was not yet born.2 If William was really born in 1735, then he was twenty-five years older than Susanna and he was in his sixties when their last child was born.

Was William English or German? His name could be either one. York County was full of both English and Germans. His township, Warrington, was settled early by English Quakers who established Newberry Friends Meeting House.3  William was not a Quaker. The evidence of his wife’s family suggests that he was German, although Susanna Howe Humes wrote that he was born in England.4

William married Susanna Shoop some time before 1779, when their first child was born. Susanna was born in 1761, probably in York County, the daughter of Andrew Shoup of Warrington Township, York County. In 1790 Andrew died and left a tract of land in Penns Township, Northumberland County to William and Susanna. William was one of the executors of Andrew’s estate.5

William served in the York County militia from 1779 to 1783. He was part of the Fifth Company, First Batallion, and paid a fine of 16 shillings for some infraction, probably for missing drill or guard duty. He continued in the company when it was moved to the Sixth Batallion, and paid further fines. In 1781 he was listed as “infirm” and did not march with the batallion.6

William and Susanna owned 72 acres in York County, where they were taxed for land, two horses and two cows from 1779 through 1795. The property was about a mile north of Rossville, probably on the Old York Road.7 This was far from the largest holding in the township. Mathias Hollepeter, the other executor of Andrew Shoup’s estate, was taxed for 500 acres. By 1783 the township of Warrington had over 1,000 inhabitants. Rossville was a thriving community, with a nearby tannery and eleven mills.8

Land in York County may have become more expensive by the late 1700s. In 1790 William and Susanna moved north to Cumberland County, to a part that later became Perry County. They were probably living on the land inherited from Andrew. He described it as “All my Lands situated in Penns Township in the County of Northumberland Adjoining to the South and East of of Stophel Brunks Land”. Northumberland County had no Penns Township, whereas Cumberland County does. Stophel “Brunt” had 50 acres surveyed for him in Cumberland County in Aug 1755.9 In 1766 Stophel Brunk issued a caveat against a survey of a tract on the north branch of Middle Creek, Cumberland County, alledging that he had a prior warrant.10 All of this suggests that the land was in Cumberland County, probably in present-day Penn Township.

It is possible that William and Susanna moved with their family during the summer of 1790.They were  listed in the 1790 census in Cumberland County  with three males and four females, an accurate count of their family at the time.11, as William Howe.] In the same census they were also listed in Warrington Township, York County, with three males and four females, adjoining Amos Hussey, one of the witnesses of the will of Andrew Shoup.12 The most likely explanation of the two census records is that William and Susanna moved north during that year.13

In 1797 William and his wife sold their 74 acres in York County to Simeon Hutton for 350 pounds. William signed the transaction, while Susanna made her mark.14 They must have journeyed back down the river for this sale.

In 1800 they were living in Buffalo Township, Cumberland County, with ten people in the household.15 Because of township name changes it is hard to certain whether this is the land inherited from Andrew Shoup, but most likely it is further north, in an area that later became Perry County.16 They lived on the north side of the Juniata, on Bucks Valley Road.17 This area had been settled around 1762. There were three early ferries across the Juniata, plus taverns to accommodate travelers.18

By 1810 William and Susanna may have been living with one of their children, as they do not appear in the census.19 William died in 1814 in Buffalo Township.20 Their son Abraham was the administrator. In December 1816 he came into the Cumberland County Orphans Court at Carlisle to produce his account, showing a balance of $1414.44 in his hands, to be distributed according to law.21 The heirs were the widow Susanna and ten children: Abraham, William, John, Edward, Elizabeth married to Henry Frank, Mary married to Joseph McCollum, Susanna married to Thomas Boyd, Ann, Margaret and Esther. Earlier that year the three youngest daughters, Ann, Margaret, and Esther, had come into the same court to request a guardian for their affairs. The court appointed John Holopeter.22

At the time of his death William owned two adjoining tracts of land along the Juniata. Abraham came into Orphans Court in September 1816 and asked the court to make an inquest of the land and whether it could be divided for the heirs, for “separate enjoyment by them”.23 The court did so, and in mid-1817 each of the four brothers came into court to request confirmation on his share. The record sho. Cumberland County, Orphan’s Court Dockets 1815-1825, Vol. 6-7, page 230, image 142, September 10, 1816ws the acreage each one received, with the valuation, and the amount each had to pay yearly to their mother Susanna and their sisters. Strangely enough the four shares were nowhere near equal. Abraham got 104 acres, William 180, John 146, and Edward 88. But these lands, although adjoining, were valued at a range from over $17 per acre to only 77 cents per acre. So William’s share was worth $3189, John’s $1552, Abraham’s $432, and Edward’s only $68.24 Edward’s land fronted on the Juniata, so it would seem to have some value; perhaps his land was poor for farming.

Susanna lived for ten years after William. She wrote her will in November 1818, signed it by mark. In it she left her “household and kitchen furniture, my bed and my cow” to be divided among her three daughters Anna, Margaret and Esther.25 The interest due for her for her dower (one-third share of William’s estate), which her four sons had been paying to her, she left to them. Abraham and William were to be the executors. Several years later she added a bequest. Her son William and a man named George Frank came before the county register to depose that they were at the house of Susanna on the preceding December 18, during her last sickness, when she said that she wanted her son Edward to have her grey mare and the bell cow “for his trouble”.26 The will was probated on January 19, 1824.

She is buried with William in an old graveyard known as the Freeland-Long Graveyard.27 It lies in present-day Howe Township, off Red Hill Road and Gypsy Hollow Road, and close to Howe Run.28 According to Harry Focht, dean of the Perry County Historians, their house was nearby, further up the valley on Bucks Valley Road.29

In 1830 the four sons adjoin each other in the census, all in Buffalo Township. This would not last. Edward moved his family to Ohio before 1832, and the other sons and daughters gradually moved away.

(See the next post for more information on the next generation.)

  1. Estate papers received from York County Archives.
  2. Susannah, born in 1818, was the oldest daughter of William Howe Jr and Catharine Yingst. She wrote down the names and dates of births of William and Susannah and their children, as well as William Jr and Catherine. This was included in a manuscript by Margaret Leiby Glanding called The House of Howe, written in 1951, with additional research and commentary by Glanding. (Lenig Library, Perry County) Some of Susannah’s dates were wrong, so it is always possible that she was wrong about her grandfather William.
  3. John Gibson, History of York County, 1886.
  4. Glanding, p. 1. Glanding speculates about a possible relationship to Lord William Howe, the commander of the British forces during the Revolution. This is wishful thinking. Howe is a common name in England.
  5. Will of Andrew Shoup, 1789, York County Archive.
  6. Glanding, p. 5.
  7. Glanding, p. 4. Glanding believed that William obtained a warrant for 67 acres of land in Philadelphia County in 1767; this is probably a different William Howe. (Copied survey book C76, p. 9, Land Records on the website of the Penna. Historical and Museum Commission.)
  8. Gibson, 1886.
  9. William Egle, Warrantees of Land…, PA Archives, 3:24, p. 633.
  10. Egle et al, Minutes of the Board of Property, PA Archives, 3:2, p. 345
  11. 1790 census, Cumberland County, Hopewell Newton Tyborn Westpensboro [all townships mixed
  12. 1790 census, York County.
  13. The census was a count of people, not lands. They would not have been counted in a township just because they owned land there.
  14. Glanding, pp. 5-6.
  15. 1800 census, Cumberland County, Buffalo Township, image 6.
  16. Present-day Cumberland County includes townships of Penn, West Pennsboro, and East Pennsboro. In Perry County Penn Township is on the Juniata, south of Buffalo Township.
  17. Harry Focht, Perry County historian, Lenig Library, Perry County.
  18. Harry Hain, History of Perry County, 1922.
  19. George Thomas and James Vancamp are known to have owned land adjoining William Howe (from an OC record). Their names appear in the census in Juniata Township, but the only Howe name there is clearly written as Henry.
  20. Buffalo Township was later subdivided, and Howe Township created from part of it. It was named for William Jr.
  21. Cumberland County, Orphan’s Court Dockets 1815-1825, Vol. 6-7, page 263, Image 160, December 10, 1816.
  22. Cumberland County, Orphan’s Court Dockets 1815-1825, Vol. 6-7, page 106, image 79, May 14, 1816. John was probably the son of Matthias Hallopeter of York County, who was an executor for Andrew Shoup along with William Howe. How was he related to the Catherine Holopeter who married Edward Howe in 1823? Matthias named a daughter Christiana in his will; was that Catherine?
  23. Cumberland County, Orphan’s Court Dockets 1815-1825, Vol. 6-7, page 230, image 142, September 10, 1816
  24. Cumberland County, Orphan’s Court Dockets 1815-1825, Vol. 6-7, pages 396-97, 415, 418-21, images 231-34, 241-43.
  25. She left a will, Perry County Will Book A, page 160, available online at FamilySearch under Pennsylvania Probate Records, Perry County, Wills 1820-1854 vol. A-B, pp. 160-164, images 111-113.
  26. She did not mention her three older daughters, Elizabeth, Mary and Susanna, all married by then. Perhaps she had already given them a legacy.
  27. Glanding, p. 6.
  28. Harry Focht, Perry County historian.
  29. Harry Focht, Perry County historian. He said there used to be a schoolhouse there.

Joshua North of Perry County

Joshua North was born in 1745 in Providence Twp, Montgomery County, the third son of Roger North and Ann Rambo. Roger was a tanner and miller and Joshua would also become a tanner. In 1776 Joshua married Rebecca Cloyd, daughter of James Cloyd and Margaret Wilson of Charlestown, Chester County.1 Joshua and Rebecca settled on Wildcat Creek in Greenwood Township. The creek starts in Raccoon Valley, meanders through Wild Cat Valley and empties into the Juniata opposite Millerstown.2 Joshua’s land appears on an atlas of 1863 in Greenwood Township, on Wildcat Creek right where it flows into the Juniata.3 There Joshua and his brother Caleb built a tannery, in Millerstown, just north of the creek.4  Joshua operated it for sixteen years, then in 1816 sold it to Isaac McCord. Several owners later, it was bought by Charles Ripmann. The secret oak-bark recipe for tanning leather won several prizes for the Ripmann family.5 Joshua and Caleb also bought the island known as North Island, at the Rope Ferry Dam.6 There was a dam there, powered by a waterwheel and a rope ferry.7 The road there is still called Old Ferry Road.

From 1780 to 1782 Joshua served in Capt. David Boal’s second battalion, Col. James Purdy’s regiment of Cumberland County militia. Joshua came from a patriotic family with a tradition of military service; he would not have shirked this responsibility. This does not necessarily mean that he saw active duty in the Revolution, as several of his brothers did. Membership in the militia was compulsory for all able-bodied men of the right age, but only a few militia men were called for active duty.8

Joshua and Rebecca had four children together, born between 1777 and 1785. Rebecca died some time after 1785, and in February of 1796 Joshua married Mary Murray or Murphy in Mifflintown. Her family background is unknown.9 She was still having children in 1812, so she was considerably younger than Joshua. He was 67 when the youngest was born in 1812. Joshua and Mary had six children together before his death.

In his will, written in 1813 and proved in 1822, Joshua named his wife Mary and nine children, and referred to his first wife Rebecca. He directed that the farm and other property should be sold and the proceeds be divided into three equal parts: one part for Mary and two parts to pay for the other legacies. The three oldest sons—James, Caleb, and Joshua—were to inherit her third after her death. He left $70 to James, $210 to Caleb, and $10 to Joshua, $20 to his daughter Rebecca Doty, one dollar to Frederick, $100 to Hannah, $100 to John, $100 to Hiel, and $50 to Rodger. The uneven amounts probably show that they had already received part of their inheritance. The money for John and Hiel was to be held in trust until they turned twenty-one. The money for Rodger was to be used for “the most benefit of the said infant”. Roger and his wives were probably buried in the family burial ground off present-day Rt. 322-22. The old stones are gone now.10

Children of Joshua and Rebecca:11

James, b. 1777, d. 1828, m. 1) in 1800, Euphemia Davis, m. 2) in 1808, Rachel Jordan, dau. of Francis Jordan.12 Operated the tannery with Caleb and Joshua at Millerstown, Perry County13.  Children with Euphemia: Thomas, Lewis. Children with Rachel: Caleb, Sarah, Euphemia, Hannah, James, Amos, Rebecca, Elizabeth.

Caleb, b. 1779, d. 1825 in Millerstown, m. Abigail Lewis. In 1820 he was the Justice of the Peace for Perry  County.14 Children: William, Rebecca.

Joshua, b. 1782, m. — Van Camp; served in the War of 181215

Rebecca, b. 27 Mar 1785, d. 2 Feb 1855, m. 1) Daniel Lewis, 2) in 1811 Ezra Doty. All of her children were with Doty: Ann, Edmund, James, Horace. It is said that Ezra Doty, a young doctor from Connecticut, visited the area around 1790, was called upon to attend a patient, and decided to settle in the area.16 Rebecca is buried at Westminster Presbyterian cemetery with Ezra, who died in 1828.

Children of Joshua and Mary:

Frederick, alive in 1813 when Joshua wrote his will. No further record.

Hannah, b. 1796, d. 1887, m. 1819 John Howe, son of William & Susannah. In 1840 they moved from Perry County to Milford Township, Juniata County. John was a farmer and a plasterer. He died in 1847 and Hannah went to live with one of her children. She outlived John by 40 years. They are buried together at Westminster Cemetery in Mifflintown.17 Children: Elizabeth, Lydia, John, Jesse, Levi, Caroline.

John, b. ab. 1799, d. 1872, m. Jane Houston McAllister, r. McAllisterville; taxed in Fayette Township from 1842 to 1850 as a landowner and storekeeper; in the census in 1870 as an inn keeper. He kept the “brick house on the upper side of the square” as a hotel.18 Jane was the daughter of Hugh McAlister and granddaughter of another Hugh McAlister, a major in the Revolution.19 John and Jane are buried at Lost Creek Presbyterian.20 Children: C.B., Hugh, Thomas, Amelia, Samuel, Adolphus, Edmund, Eliza, Jenny, John, Alice.21

Hiel, b. ab. 1801, moved to Illinois, married Sarah Hutchinson or Hutchman in 1843 and had daughters Ann, Mary, Hannah.22 A farmer in the 1850 census in Northern District, Jackson County, Illinois, age 49.  He is said to have died in 1864, possibly in California.23

Ann, b. 1803, probably died young, not in Joshua’s will.

Oliver Rodger, b. 1812, moved to Illinois, d. unmarried in 1907 in St. Clair County.

  1. James Cloyd died in Chester County in 1771, naming Rebecca in his will. Her brother James died in 1807 and left £10 to each of her four children. Rebecca’s sister Elizabeth died in 1818 and left $50 to Rebecca’s daughter Rebecca. John Cloyd of Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, died childless in 1782 and left money to many of his nieces and nephews including Rebecca North. Abstracts of these wills are on the USGenWeb site for Chester County.
  2. Rupp, History & Topography of Dauphin, Cumberland… Perry Counties, 1846
  3. Atlas of Perry, Juniata and Mifflin Counties, 1863. It was later owned by James Patterson. Joshua’s brother William owned land later belonging to Jacob Leas; this is probably the land about halfway up the Juniata from Joshua’s land toward Millerstown. (Wright, History of Perry County, 1873).
  4. Jones, History of the Early Settlements of the Juniata Valley, p. 1138. Joshua, William and Caleb were not the only members of the family to end up in central Pennsylvania. Joshua’s older sister Sophia was living in nearby Mifflin County with her second husband George McElhaney.
  5. The history of the Ripmann tannery was formerly online at There is a profile of Charles Rippman in A History of the Juniata Valley, p. 564.
  6. Rambo Family Tree, online. In 1788 Joshua signed a road petition that refers to North’s Island (file at Lenig Library, Perry County).
  7. Information from Mr. Harry Focht, Perry Historians. He showed me a spike that was part of the dam, now at the Lenig Library, Perry County.
  8. The official page of the Pennsylvania Archives, online at
  9. According to some web sources she was born in 1770. If she was a Murray, the census records of 1790 for central Pennsylvania include Alexander Murray, Cumberland County, Barnabas Murray, James Murray, and William Murray, all of Northumberland County, and others further away. Alexander Murray lived in Toboyne Township, Cumberland County, with a large family.  His will is on USGenweb for Cumberland, along with Andrew Murphy of Lurgan Township who died in 1780 with a daughter Mary and William Murphy of Rye Township, who died in 1817 leaving a daughter Mary Flemming.
  10. Personal communication from Harry Focht, dean of the Perry County historians, Lenig Library.
  11. Dexter North, Caleb North Genealogy, 1930. The Comm. Biog. Encyclopedia of the Juniata Valley, p. 795, claimed that William North had children James, Caleb, Joshua and Rebecca. These were surely children of Joshua’s. His will makes that clear. It is interesting that none of Joshua’s numerous grandsons seem to have been named for him.
  12. A. D. Cloyd, Genealogy of the Cloyd, Basye, Tapp Families in America, 1912, p. 22.
  13. Biographical Encyclopedia of the Juniata Valley, p. 795
  14. Card file, Lenig Library, Perry County.
  15. The Rambo Family Tree, online, suggests that her first name may have been Margaret.
  16. Franklin Ellis and Austin Hungerford, History of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys, 1886, chapter on Mifflintown.
  17. Federal census records for 1850, 1860, 1870; obituary of their son John in the Howe family file at Juniata County Historical Society.
  18. Mary J. Hunt, Old Landmarks in Juniata County, Juniata County Historical Society, p. 5.
  19. Biography of  the attorney Hugh McAlister North, b. 1826, son of John and Jane. In the Historical Catalogue of the Saint Andrews Society, vol. 2, 1913.
  20. Cemetery list, Juniata County Historical Society.
  21. From census records, where there are numerous age discrepancies.
  22. One web tree gives his wife’s name as Sarah Hutchinson. Another has her as Hutchman.
  23. I have seen no evidence to support this statement.

Roger and Ann North

Roger North was born about 1704, in Westmeath, Ireland, the son of Caleb North.1  The family was apparently well off, since the story was passed down that Roger had been educated for the ministry. He instead proposed to go to Pennsylvania, and his father replied, “If you are determined upon that, Roger, we will all go.”2 A receipt for their passage, for 38 guineas, was saved in the family. It was dated May 1, 1729, from Cork, Ireland. They arrived in Philadelphia on July 20. The receipt covered eleven people, which would include Caleb and his wife (whose name may have been Jane), Roger, and his seven younger brothers and sisters, and one other unknown.3

Either Caleb or Roger bought 69 acres from the Penn family at Gilbert Manor, Montgomery County, and settled there.4 The tax list of Philadephia County for 1734 shows the 69 acres in Providence (part of Gilbert Manor) as owned by Roger North. There was no land in Caleb’s name in 1734. Perhaps Caleb died soon after their arrival. If so, Roger supported the family until his brothers and sisters married and left home.

In 1732 Roger married Ann Rambo, daughter of Peter and Magdalena. The Rambos were a well-known Swedish family, founded in Pennsylvania by Peter Gunnarson Rambo in 1640. Roger was an immigrant, while Ann was the third generation of her family born in Pennsylvania. Roger and Ann are said to have lived at the mouth of Mingo Creek, in Providence Township, Montgomery County, where Roger was a miller and a tanner.5 Present-day Mingo Creek flows into the Schuylkill further south, nowhere near Providence Township. Perhaps one of the smaller creeks in Upper Providence Township was formerly known as Mingo Creek.

Roger and Ann were members of St. James Episcopal Church at Perkiomen. Founded before 1710, it served families of the Skippack, Perkiomen and Limerick areas. In 1736 a group of the parishioners sent a petition to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in London requesting that a minister be sent to them. The list of signers included Peter Rambo and Rodger Worth (probably an error for Roger North).6

In 1748 Roger was a lieutenant in the provincial militia. Years later, when the Revolution began, Roger made a patriotic speech at the Trappe Inn supporting it. He is reported to have said that “although disabled himself by age and infirmity to engage in the struggle for human rights, his sons belonged to his country in the day of her need and not to himself, and the liberty of the colonies must and should be defended.”7

Roger and Ann had thirteen children together, including eight sons who may have served in the Revolution.  After the war the sons obtained land bounties and moved to Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, and upstate New York. Several of them had already moved northwest to central Pennsylvania.

In the tax list of Philadelphia County in 1769, Roger was listed as a miller, with 220 acres, five horses and four cows, plus a grist mill. By 1774, he had 180 acres and no mill.8 By the time he wrote his will in 1784, he had only 70 acres. He must have been selling his land gradually.9 Some of his sons lived in Montgomery County initially, but none of them stayed there.

Roger died in 1785. In his will, written on August 27, 1784, he left all the household goods to Ann except for his writing desk, which was to go to his son George. She was to have the middle room in the house, where she would be living with their son Thomas. If she wanted to live elsewhere, Thomas was to pay her £15 yearly for maintenance. He left cash legacies to each of the sons, except Samuel, who had already received his portion. Thomas was to pay the others out of the proceeds from the estate. Thomas received the land (70 acres), the house, the livestock and implements. The daughters were not mentioned in the will; they must have already received their portions. They were presumably already married by 1784.10 The inventory showed a comfortable household, with furniture including a tea table, livestock, farm implements, tools, and a shad seine.11 After his death Ann presumably lived with Thomas in Providence Township.12 She wrote her will on December 18, 1797. Most of the household goods were to go to her daughter Sophia, with other special legacies such as three pewter plates to granddaughter Hannah Humphries, 6£ to grandson Samuel Davis, and the large margin Bible to son Joshua. The bulk of her estate, in the form of cash, bonds, and notes, was to be divided among her four daughters: Sophia, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Ann. If any of the heirs, especially George McElhaney, brought any charges against the estate, then those charges were to be deducted from their one-fourth portion. She signed it by mark. She must have died in the spring of 1798, since the inventory of her estate was taken on March 3. It showed the contents of a comfortable room, with a tea table, tea kettle, and two tea pots, plus £103 in cash and notes.13

All of the sons of Roger and Ann served in the military during the Revolution, either in the regulars or the militia. Eliza Keyes, widow of George North, was still alive in 1857 and she passed on a story about the fighting North brothers.  “Captain North inherited from an older brother, Col. Caleb North, his sword, a pair of pistols used by a progenitor at the Boyne water about 1690, and a black charger which had borne him at the head of his troop on many a hard fought field, especially at Monmouth, in which battle it is supposed that seven of the brothers participated, and concerning which it is said that there is in the family an autograph letter of compliments from Washington himself.”14 She may have confused this with a known letter from Washington to Caleb North complimenting him on taking a French ship from the British, and instructing him on how to deal with the cargo.15

Children of Roger and Ann:16

Sophia, b. 1734, m. 1) Isaac Davis in 1756 at Trappe Church, 2) George McElhaney in 1766, lived in Charlestown, Chester County. George died in 1802. Sophia left a will, proved in June 1819, naming her six surviving children: Lewellin, Roger, Hannah, Elizabeth, Sophie, George.17 Other children had already died.18

Samuel, b. Sept 8, 1735, supposedly d. 177819, had at least three known children (Joseph, Mary, Ann). He fought in the Revolution.20 The name of his wife or wives is in question. Stipes said he married a woman named Adams; the Rambo Tree adds a second marriage to  Barbara Hagermood; however his brother Roger was also supposed to have married Barbara Hagermood.21  Samuel probably lived in Perry County at some point, as his son Joseph married his cousin there. Joseph’s sister Ann married Samuel Harvey, who lived in Chester County, on the Juniata, Harper’s Ferry and Germantown at various times. Harvey became president of the Bank of Germantown.22

Sarah, b. 1737, m. Elisha Davis in 1759 at Trappe Church; he may have been the brother of her sister Sophia’s husband Isaac. The tradition was passed down that Elisha was lost at sea.23 Sarah died June 18, 1813 in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Children: Roger, Sarah.24

Elizabeth, b. Nov 2, 1740, d. 1813, m. George Evans in 1764 in Mifflintown, Juniata County. George was a surveyor. She died Feb. 24, 1813 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Children: Frederick,  Lewis, Caleb, Lydia, William.25 Frederick helped build Fort McHenry, was second-in-command during the bombardment, wrote a vivid account of the shells falling.26

John, b. Oct 5, 1743, d. 1799, m. Catherine Borce or Boyce in 1767, bought land in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1792. Dexter North said that he died in Hocking County, Ohio, but his wife Katherine advertised in a Pennsylvania paper for payments of debts owed the estate on Dec  4, 1799, and a year later advertised “for let” a plantation of 310 acres on the Juniata River, Greenwood Township, Cumberland County, late the estate of John North, adjoining Joshua North.27 Perhaps she moved back to Cumberland County after John died, to sell property he still owned there.28 Children: Sophia, Ann (Nancy), Elizabeth, Catherine, Euphemia, Sarah, Hannah, Abigail, Caleb, John. A family Bible was passed down to descendents with dates. Catherine died in 1816.

Joshua, b. Nov 3, 1745, d. 1822, m. 1) 1776 Rebecca Cloyd, 2) 1796 Mary Murray, lived in Cumberland County (later Perry County). He served in the militia in 1780 to 1782. He started a tannery with his brother Caleb in Greenwood Township. They also owned an island in the Juniata River, known as North’s Island, near the old Rope Ferry Dam. They built the dam and a rope ferry there.29  Joshua wrote a will, proved in 1822 in Perry County, named his wife Mary and children from both wives. Children with Rebecca: James, Caleb, Joshua, Rebecca. Children with Mary: Frederick, Hannah, John, Hiel, Roger.30

William, b. 1747, d. 1834, m. 1778 Catherine Elizabeth Jordan, moved to Greenwood Township, Juniata County after the Revolution. Children: Rachel, Abigail, Catherine, and Wilhelmina.31 He is sometimes confused with his nephew William, son of Caleb.

Roger, b. 1749, m. 1) Elizabeth Todd (her brother was the grandfather of Mary Todd Lincoln), 2) (supposedly) Barbara Hagermood (see the bio of Roger’s brother Samuel). Roger moved to Charlestown, Chester County, was in West Nantmeal for the 1790 and 1800 census, and was buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery there in 1831.32 His wife Elizabeth died in 1803.33 There is no consensus on the names of his children, possibly four by his second marriage.  Roger received an annuity in 1825 for his Revolutionary War service.34

Nancy, b. 1750, d. 1826, m. John Humphreys in 1772, moved to Charlestown Township, Chester County where John bought the homestead of his parents, later moved to Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Children: John, Hannah, David, George W, Roger, Ann, Abigail.35 He died there in 1796; Nancy died in 1826 at the home of her son George Washington Humphreys.36

Caleb, b. 1753, d. 1840, m. Abigail Hockley in 1782, Lydia Lewis in 1795; had a distinguished career in the Revolution, fought at the Battles of Brandywine, Paoli, and Monmouth.  In the charge up the hill at Monmouth, the officer on one side of him was killed and the officer on the other side had two horses shot under him.37 He settled in Coventry, Chester County and was later made High Sheriff of Pennsylvania.38 Child with Abigail: Francis. Children with Lydia: Ann, Sarah, Caleb, Emmeline, George W, Maria, Edwin, Louisa, Ella Harriet. Caleb left a will, written in 1837, proved in 1840 in Chester County, naming his wife Lydia and eight of his children. Francis was dead, leaving a widow. There was no mention of Louisa.39

George, b. ab. 175440, d. 1814, m. Sarah Evans in Jan 12, 1786 at First Baptist Church, Phila, married Eliza Keyes in 1794. He first moved to Chester County, then moved to Keep Tryste Furnace near Harpers Ferry about 1790. Sarah died there in 1793, and he married Eliza the following year. George ended up in Fairfax County, Virginia, and died in Alexandria in December 1814. Children with Sarah: Ann, Lydia, Mary (or Sarah), William41; Children with Eliza: Mary, Sarah, William, Thomas, Eliza, Aurelia, Emily, Nathaniel, George. Eliza was granted a pension in 1851 for his Revolutionary service; she died in 1859.42

Thomas, b. 28 Aug 1757, d. 1815, m. 1783 Naomi Davis in central Pennsylvania, moved to Ludlowville, New York by 1799. Naomi survived him by thirty years, dying in 1844. Possible children: Mary Ann, Joshua, Eliza, Jemiah, Joseph, Rodger.

Hannah, b. 1761, d. 1785, m. James Parker; she died in Kentucky; he was said to be killed by Indians in Kentucky.43 They left a son North Parker, born about 1783 in Kentucky.44

  1. A date of June 3, 1704 is given in Ancestry trees for his birthdate, with no evidence.
  2. Dexter North, Caleb North Genealogy, 1930, pp. 7-9. It is the most complete available source for the family of Roger and his wife Ann.
  3. Millard Stipes, Genealogy of the … Keyes, North and Cruzen Families, 1914. In 1817 the receipt was owned by Joshua North of Tompkins County, New York. Parenthetically, Ron Beatty added a comment to the “Rambo Family Tree” that Dexter North is considered more accurate than Stipes. When there is a conflict, with no records to resolve it, the later book (by Dexter North) should probably get the preference.
  4. Dexter North, p. 7. Another branch of the family settled in Augusta, Maine. (Documented in John North of Framington, Conn.)
  5. Dexter North.
  6. Online history of St James Church, with lists of early pew holders, at USGWArchives for Montgomery County.
  7. Dexter North, p. 9, quoting Dotterer’s Perkiomen Region.
  8. Tax list for Philadephia County, on Ancestry under PA and NJ City and Town Records, Philadelphia, Image 476.
  9. The tax lists are on Ancestry. Roger does not appear in the grantor index to Philadelphia County deeds, at: Perhaps he sold land in early 1784, after Montgomery County was spun off as a separate county.
  10. Montgomery County wills, RW4824, Montgomery County Archives, Norristown, Pennsylvania.
  11. The inventory for Roger’s estate is included in the estate packet for his wife Ann, RW4739, Montgomery County Archives.
  12. Thomas did not stay in Providence; he moved to New York state by 1799.
  13. Her will and inventory are RW4739, Montgomery County wills, Montgomery County Archives.
  14. Solomon Keyes, The Robert Keyes Family, 1880.
  15. Letters of George Washington, National Archives website.
  16. Mostly from Dexter North, 1930, with added information from various sources. Dexter North noted that there are no known birth records of the children, except those provided by descendants. Information here is also from: Rambo Family file, part two, by Beverly Rambo, with additions by Ron Beatty, available online at: This is an old version, but still available as of late 2017. The Rambo/Beatty file added to the work of Dexter North, but did not resolve all of the discrepances between Dexter North and Millard Stipes.
  17. The abstract of her will is at Chester County will abstracts, on, book 1818-9. The birth order of the children is uncertain.
  18. Dexter North, p. 10.
  19. He was supposed to have died in North Carolina; I can’t verify this.
  20. Dexter North, p. 11.
  21. Rambo Family Tree. Barbara Hagermood was the daughter of Mathias Adam Hagermood. Mathias Adam “Hogermued” left a will in Germantown, Philadelphia County (L.504, written and proved 1760), naming a daughter Barbara. And in 1776 John Adam Hogermood left a will naming his sister Barbara North (Q.254). This still does not resolve the question of which North brother Barbara married. Adams may have been her patronymic; some of the Hagermood family used it as their surname. (ref: Stephanie Wolf, Urban Village.)
  22. Samuel’s autobiography in the PA Gen Magazine, vol. VIII, p. 105.
  23. Dexter North, p. 10.
  24. Elisha’s parents were members of St. James Church, Perkiomen (pew chart notes on USGWArchives).
  25. Dexter North omitted William. This is from Ancestry trees.
  26. Frederick’s account is described in John B. Linn, Annals of Buffalo Valley, Penna 1755-1855, published 1877.
  27. F. Edward Wright, Abstracts of South Central PA Newspapers, vol. 3, 1796-1800.
  28. Hocking County was not formed until after 1800.
  29. Personal communication from Harry Focht at the Lenig Library, Perry County. He showed me a spike from the dam.
  30. Rebecca married Ezra Doty. She is sometimes incorrectly assigned as a daughter to Joshua’s nephew William, son of Caleb.
  31. Dexter North, p. 15.
  32. Findagrave.
  33. Findagrave, with a photo of her headstone.
  34. Dexter North, p. 17.
  35. Dexter North, p. 11. He gave dates of birth for all the children.
  36. Rambo Family Tree.
  37. History of the Second Regiment, Continental Line, online, pp. 402-403.
  38. Findagrave has a detailed summary of his life.
  39. Rambo Family Tree.
  40. He is often assigned a birthdate of 1751, but Caleb referred to him as a younger brother.
  41. The last two died in infancy.
  42. Rambo Family Tree.
  43. Dexter North, p. 11.
  44. Rambo Family Tree.

Caleb North of Westmeath

Caleb North was from Westmeath, in the Irish midlands. The North family of Westmeath is supposed to be related to the distinguished English North family, which included the prime minister under King George III, various barons of Guilford, and other notables. The prevalence of the given name Roger in both lines and the similarity in the coat of arms may have led to the tradition of a relationship.1

Caleb is supposed to be the son of Roger, who was in turn the son of John.2 The story is that John North, called “the Cromwellian”, went to Ireland in 1650 with Cromwell and stayed there. Although there is no direct evidence to place him in the English family, he could have been an illegitimate son or a scion of a minor branch.3

John North was part of a group of Cromwell’s officers who got land in Westmeath. According to John McCormack: “In the division of the lands of the Irish chiefs forty nine Cromwellian officers got no land – they rebelled and some of them later got land in Fartullagh. One of them was Mr. John North… The Norths lived in Newcastle until around 1780. They were very industrious and with the help of money from the English branch of the family they developed their land and soon there were Norths in Tyrrellspass, Clonfad, Whitewell and Guilford… They had large families and soon they were  too numerous for the available land. Many of them emigrated to the United States in the 18th century.”4

McCormack added that the Barony of Fartullagh, Westmeath, was known as “Tyrrell’s country”, after the descendants of the Norman barons who owned it since 1173.5 The culmination of their power was in 1650, when they had five castles, at Newcastle, Kilbride, Gaybrook, Tyrrellspass and Castlelost. Because they were Irish chiefs who opposed Cromwell, all of these were seized by Cromwell after the war. All were destroyed except Tyrrellspass, which may have been spared because one of the Tyrrells supported Cromwell. Some of the North family lived at Kilbride Castle, probably in a house there, since the castle was in ruins.6 These places form a cluster, about ten miles across, centered on Kilbride. Tyrrellspass is south of it, as is Castlelost. Gaybrook is north.7 The civil parish was Newcastle. The barony (a larger subdivision) was Fartullagh. Trim, further northeast, where Roger North’s will was proved in 1701, was the former county town of Meath, later supplanted by Navan.

Little is known about John North except that he lived in Kilbride about 1660 and had two sons, Roger and John.8 The sons both married about 1680, but there are no surviving church records for them. Most of the family were Protestants, and many Church of Ireland records were lost in the 1922 fire in the Public Records Office in Dublin.

John’s son Roger “of Newcastle, West Meath”, married and had six known children. His will was proved in 1701 at Trim.9

Children of Roger and an unknown wife:10

Joseph, m. Mary Emor in 1705, will probated Aug 1729, children: Roger, Richard, Philip, Susanna, Emor, Joseph, Sarah, Mary, William, Michael, John, Anne.

Caleb of Newcastle, m. ?Jane, went to Pennsylvania, children: Roger, Caleb, Joshua, Ann, Catherine, Elizabeth, Sarah, Joseph. All of the children were born in Ireland, between 1704 and 1721.11

Elizabeth, immigrated to Maine, married there, Francis Cooper, died 1740.

Roger of Kilbride Castle12, died 1766, m. 1704 Mary Wade, children: William, Joseph13

Susanna, m. 28 Nov 1733 William Smith of County Wicklow

Mary North, ?died before 1748, m.  ab. 1710 Caleb Emerson. He died 1748 in Philadelphia.14 Children: Elizabeth, Joshua, Ann. Elizabeth and Ann went to Pennsylvania, while Joshua stayed in Ireland.15

Some of this generation are named in a three-lives lease in 1726.16 This was a lease from Joseph and Mary North of Newcastle, Westmeath, to Roger North of Dublin, gentleman, for land in Newcastle, for the lives of Richard, Mary, and Caleb North. Since Joseph’s father Roger supposedly died in 1701, this could not have been him. It was most likely Joseph’s son Roger. Richard was Roger’s brother. Mary and Caleb were his aunt and uncle.17 It is interesting that Joseph and Roger are both described as gentlemen in the lease, and that Roger was living in the city of Dublin. In 1736 his marriage settlement from his father-in-law described Roger as of Newcastle.18

Caleb North was born about 1678. He is said to have married Jane Eckersley, supposedly the daughter of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, but this is almost certainly a fraud. It was based on a genealogy by Harriet Bainbridge who made fraudulent claims for her American clients, sometimes involving faked noble ancestry.19 The tree that Bainbridge drew for her client James North of Augusta, Maine, seems to be accurate in the main, but suspect in this detail. The story passed down in the Pennsylvania North family is that Caleb eloped with his wife, making a runaway marriage.20 The Bomford site suggested that she may have been Jane Berkeley. John Berkeley was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for two years starting in 1670, but there is no sign of a daughter Jane in his known children.21 It is possible that Bainbridge simply invented the relationship.

In 1730 Caleb and Jane (if that was her name) moved to Pennsylvania with their children. The story was passed down that Caleb’s son Roger had been educated for the ministry but instead proposed to go to Pennsylvania. His father replied, “If you are determined upon that, Roger, we will all go.”22 A receipt for their passage, for 38 guineas, was saved in the family. It was dated May 1, 1729, from Cork, Ireland.23

They bought 69 acres from the Penn family at Gilbert Manor, Montgomery County, and settled there.24 The tax list of Philadephia County for 1734 shows the 69 acres in Providence (part of Gilbert Manor) as owned by Roger North. Perhaps Caleb died soon after their arrival. He apparently did not leave a will.

Children of Caleb and Jane: (all born in Ireland)

Roger, b. 1704, d. 1785, m. 1732 Ann Rambo, daughter of Peter and Magdalin. They lived in Providence Township, where Roger was a miller and tanner. Children: Sophie, Samuel, Sarah, Elizabeth, John, Joshua, William, Roger, Nancy, George, Caleb, Thomas, Hannah. The story is that eight of the sons served in the Revolution. Ann died in 1798.25

Caleb, did not marry.26

Joshua, m. Susanna Empson in 1754 at Old Swedes Church, Philadelphia.27

Ann, m. — Jansen

Catherine, m. 1731 James Snowden (b. 1711) at First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, had at least seven children.28

Elizabeth, m. 1749 George Plymm at Christ Church, Philadelphia. A George Plim died in 1773 leaving a wife Elizabeth and son George.29

Sarah, no further record

Joseph, b. 1721, d. 1810, m. Lydia Price; lived in Philadelphia, a tanner.

  1. Some of the Irish North family who came to America used a similar coat of arms to the English branch. This is not so much evidence for a connection as it is evidence for a belief in the connection.
  2. “The Coffeys of Newcaster”, excerpt from a history of Tyrrellspass by Bishop John McCormack, d. 1996,  reproduced on the Bomford website at Peter Bomford, who died in early 2017, died extensive work on the Irish Bomford family, which included a connection to the North family. He studied deeds, Burke on landed gentry, extracts of wills, ordnance survey maps, and more. His work, continued and extended by other researchers, is online at
  3. John Dudley North 3rd Lord Kirtling had a son John who immigrated to Connecticut around 1640. (Ancestry trees). So there is a precedent for an immigrant son in the English family.
  4. McCormack. He wrote about the Coffeys, who ended up living in one of the North homesteads, at Newcastle.
  5. A barony in Ireland was a subdivision of a county, larger than a parish. The barony of Fartullagh contained eight civil parishes and part of two others. (Wikipedia)
  6. The reference to Kilbride Castle is on the Bomford site, page on the Irish North Family, in a comment on Roger of Kilbride Castle, son of Roger (d. 1701). The younger Roger was the brother of Caleb North, the immigrant.
  7. Kilbride should not be confused with another Kilbride in County Meath.
  8. Bomford web site. John’s son John, brother of Roger, married in 1679 a woman named Mary or Hannah Watson, and had children Elias, John, William, and possibly Edward. This branch of the family did not stay in the Newcastle area.
  9. Bomford site, Coffeys of Newcastle, Bainbridge tree (reproduced on the Bomford site).
  10. From the Bomford site. Note that this generation scattered.
  11. Dexter North, Caleb North Genealogy, 1930.
  12. A note on the Bomford page for “The Norths of Ireland” pointed out that the Kilbride Castle was probably in ruins by then, and was meant as a defensive structure rather than a manor. Perhaps they lived at Kilbride House, which the locals may have called Kilbride Castle.
  13. William’s family is extensively followed on the Bomford site.
  14. His will, in Philadelphia County Will Books J.43, did not name his wife, implying that she died before him.
  15. Bomford site on “The Norths of Ireland”.
  16. Three-lives leases were granted not for a fixed term, but until the death of all three people named as livers. They generally lasted over fifty years, and were favorable to the renters, since the rent did not increase during the term. (Catherine A. Wilson, New Lease on Life: Landlords,Tenants, and Immigrants in Ireland and Canada, 1994)
  17. From the Bomford site: 1726 50 54 32031 in the Registry of Deeds, dated 7 & 8 June 1726, a lease and release between Joseph and Mary North of Newcastle Gent. to Roger North of the city of Dublin Gent. For £102 Joseph granted to Roger lands in Newcastle to have and to hold during the lies of Richard North son of the said Joseph North, Mary North and Caleb North, son and daughter of Roger North senr.
  18. Bomford site, “The Norths of Ireland”.
  19. Dexter North. Since Harriet DeSalis’ information was discredited, there is no reason to believe that Jane’s last name was Eckersly. Harriet Bainbridge DeSalis was exposed in 1880 when a client became suspicious of the supposed royal ancestry she had found for his Whitney family; he hired a genealogist who confronted her with her forged documents and made her promise not to take any more commissions from American clients. (TAG, 1994, vol. 69, pp. 9-14) Her tree for the North family, made in 1870, was published in a book by James North, History of Augusta (Maine). It can be found on the extensive website of the Bomford family, in chapter 16.4.6, under North Family Tree.
  20. Dexter North.
  21. Wikipedia entry for John Berkeley.
  22. Dexter North, pp. 7-9.
  23. Millard Stipes, Genealogy of the … Keyes, North and Cruzen Families, 1914. In 1817 the receipt was owned by Joshua North of Tompkins County, New York.
  24. Dexter North, p. 7. Another branch of the family settled in Augusta, Maine. (John North of Framington, Conn.)
  25. Dexter North.
  26. Stipes.
  27. Stipes said he died unmarried.
  28. Query to TAG, 1900, vol. 1, p. 145.
  29. Philadelphia County Wills, P.451.

Hans Peter and Barbara Umstead

Hans Peter Umstead, the emigrant, was born about 1650, probably in Kriegsheim, in the Rheinland.1 He was the son of Nicholas Umstat, who lived in Kreigsheim. The father Nicholas was born about 1625. His name was on a register of inhabitants of Kriegsheim in 1661, with no religion listed. The same list included Peter Schuhmacher, Görg Schuhmacher, Gilles Cassel, and Arnold Schuhmacher, all described as Menists (Mennonites).2 Kriegsheim is a small town near Monsheim and Worms, about four miles west of the Rhine.3

A Bible was given to Nicholas in 1652 by his brother-in-law Matthias Wasselet or Wohlvelet, probably from Hohen-Sülzen, a small town near Kriegsheim.4 The exact relationship of Nicholas to Matthias is not known. There are hand-written notations in the Bible, some written by Nicholas and some by his son Hans Peter who inherited it after Nicholas’ death.

One notation said (in translation): “December 16, 1680, the comet star with a long tail was seen the first time.” This was the Great Comet of 1680, bright enough to be visible in the daytime and one of the brightest of the seventeenth century.5 Another said, “In the year 1658 the cold was so great that even the Rhine was frozen up. On the 31st of January so great a snow fell that it continued four days.”6

Other notations gave information about the family. “October 4, 1682, about 4 o’clock in the morning, our father Nicholas Umstat died.” He was about 57 years old. This was clearly written by Hans Peter. Unfortunately Nicholas did not record the births of his children in the Bible. Nicholas probably had another son, Johannes Nicolaus, born about 1647 to 1648. He was confirmed in the Monsheim Lutheran church on June 7, 1663 at age 15.7 Also Hans Peter did not record the death of his mother in the Bible, suggesting that she had died before he inherited it. Her name is unknown.

Hans Peter married a woman named Barbara around 1670. Her last name is not known. They had three known children, born between about 1670 to 1675. The religious affiliation of Nicholas and Hans Peter is unclear; they are “conspicuous by their absence” in the list of Mennonites of Kriegsheim.8 Although it has been suggested that Hans Peter became a Quaker, he does not appear in early Quaker records. Chris Hueneke speculated that “Han’s Peter’s wife Barbara was either a Quaker or a Mennonite and it is because of her religion that they left Kriegsheim.”9 A Mennonite historian assumes that Hans Peter Umstat was a Mennonite, along with the Van Bebbers, Peter Schumacher, Gerhard Hendricks, and others.10

Herr Schmal, a local official, wrote to his superiors about the Mennonites and Quakers; three of his letters have been preserved.11

The first one was sent in July 1684.

There are in Griesheim five households of Quakers who, not just in this town, as is well known, give much aggravation, but also cause much unrest and bother … not to mention that they now and then have given out some little tracts, printed in Holland and England, introducing their sect, and have also tried to teach their poison to others …

… they respect no authority, and throughout (your) gracious reign, have been unwilling to pay any protection money, or to pay tithes to the high-domed cathedral in Worms or to recognize the town pastors’ authority …

… it is difficult to get them to pay the Turkish War tax and they refuse to stand duty as night watchmen as do others in the community, and above all this, when [the authorities] confiscate some livestock or wine or fruit for back taxes or other unavoidable reasons, and sell them, they are not afraid to say that the goods were stolen from them or to accuse those who buy them of buying stolen property …

… then, here in this town, these goods are desirable and can’t [otherwise or normally] be bought with money …

… but these people, who own the most and the best, might better have listened to higher instructions, … that it might have been cheaper to instruct these people to be subject, like other faithful [citizens], or else to sell their belongings and leave the country.12

The next month Schmal wrote again, complaining that they refuse “to pay the assessment, the Turkish war tax, the protection money, the large and small tithes, or the church and school tax…They are a type of people who irritate many, and who respect and serve no one but themselves; therefore, for these reasons and many more, it is wished that they would trade their belongings to other people, those things being desirable in this town, and which can not be purchased with money, (and) that they would follow our desire and leave the area.”13

In another letter, in November 1684, Schmal listed some of the peculiarities of the sect: they were not willing to swear an oath or bear arms; they did not baptise children as infants; and they choose one of themselves to act as “Reminder” and remind the others to do good deeds. He admitted that their faith is similar to his, and that their catechism was based on the Heidelberg Catechism.

In the summer of 1685 Hans Peter and Barbara sought to immigrate to Pennsylvania. Along with Gerhard Hendricks and Peter Schumacher, Hans Peter submitted a request for passports.14

“We the undersigned, with this make it known to the office at Hochheim, under which jurisdiction we reside, as far as it can be allowed by the Amtsschaffner, and is not hindered by God, (our desire) to transport ourselves, along with our households, to Holland, and therefore it is our request of the official, that he grant us an attestation, that we might pass through customs unhindered; then, with a farewell from our neighbors and acquaintances, we would gladly leave. We also earnestly hope that we have good standing with them and them with us, that no one therefore would have any grievances, and we hope that this might be granted to us.” Kriegsheim 8 May 1685

They made their arrangements and probably sold their houses, but heard nothing, since they submitted a similar request in June. They probably received permission eventually, since it would have been difficult to travel without passports for the many border and customs checkpoints along the Rhine. In August they travelled down the Rhine to Rotterdam, where they met with Dirck Sipman to buy land.15 Dirck Sipman was a merchant of Krefeld who bought 5000 acres in 1682, subject to settling families on it. He sold land to Hendricks, Umstat and Schumacher, giving each one an identical deed for 200 acres and a lot in Germantown, to be laid out by Herman Isacks op den Graeff. They would make payment of two Rix dollars to Sipman as ground rent. The condition was they were to settle on the land with their families. He paid for their passage and they left with the “first good wind” for Pennsylvania.16 The next leg of the trip would take them to London, where they sailed on the Francis and Dorothy under the command of Richard Bridgeman.17 They arrived in Pennsylvania in October.

Hans Peter and Barbara sailed with their children John, Anna Margaretta and Eve.18 They settled in Germantown, where they would spend the rest of their lives. Hans Peter worked as a farmer and possibly as a wagon maker.19

In 1691 Hans Peter was naturalized in 1691. (His son Johannes was too young.) In 1692 Hans Peter bought more land in Germantown from Abraham op den Graeff and others.20 The same year he signed the petition against the tax bill, along with many Germantown residents.21 In second month 1692, when Henry Frey married Anna Catherine Levering,  many Germantown residents attended, including Hans Peter and Johannes Umstat. They signed the witness list, Johannes by mark. Hans Peter was evidently successful, as he paid one of the highest taxes in 1693 in Germantown.22 In 1694 Hans Peter transferred 25 acres of his Germantown land to Johannes. If Johannes was actually born in 1673, then this would be his coming-of-age portion.

In 1695 Hans Peter was fined, along with Peter Cleaver, for failing to appear as fence viewers. Johannes refused to serve the following year, claiming that he did not know the fences in his Quarter.23 Mennonites often refused to serve as fence viewers, feeling that it could lead to conflicts with their neighbors.

In 1696 Hans Peter made an entry in his Bible. “February 10, 1696, my daughter Anna Margaretta died.” The absence of a marriage record suggests that she died unmarried, at about 20 to 24 years of age. About 1697 Johannes married a woman named Mary. Once again the absence of a marriage record strongly suggests that they were Mennonite.

In 1699 Eve married Hendrick Pannebecker. An emigrant from the Rhineland, he had arrived in Germantown in September 1698. He was probably Reformed, not Mennonite, and since he and Eve would have most of their children baptized in Reformed Churches, it is clear that she followed his faith. They lived in Germantown at first, then moved up to Bebber’s Township, where Hendrick was a landowner, farmer, and surveyor.

Johannes, son of Hans Peter, married a woman named Mary. They were living in Germantown in 1701 when he served on a coroner’s jury. The verdict of the jury, in 4th month 1701, was that the “cart and lime killed the man, the wheel wounded him and it killed him”.24 In 1704 he was on another jury. Abraham op den Graeff sued David Sherkes for slander after Sherkes said that no honest man would be in Abraham’s company. The jury found for Sherkes.25 By 1708 Johannes was in Bebber Township, further north in Philadelphia County, along with his brother-in-law Hendrick Pannebecker.26 Pennypacker suggested that Hendrick and  Johannes Umstat had a prior understanding with Matthias Van Bebber to settle on his land. It was fertile and well-watered, but far from Philadelphia.27

In 1702 Hans Peter made a final record in his Bible, “August 12, 1702, my wife Barbara died.”28 It is not known when Hans Peter died. In October 1710 he signed a deed conveying 50 acres in Germantown to George Adam Hogermood.29 Perhaps he went to live with one of his children after that.

Children of Hans and Barbara:

Anna Margaretta, b. ab. 1672, d. 1696, m. (?) Gerhard Rettinghaus. This marriage is widely cited, but there is no primary evidence for it. Anna Margaretta’s death in 1696 is noted in the Bible of her father Hans Peter, but he did not give a marriage record for her.30 Gerhard Rettinghaus was widowed about 1696, but the name of his wife is not known.

Johannes, b. about 1673, d. 1747, m. Mary, lived in Germantown, then in Bebber’s Township. It is often claimed that his wife was Mary Pannebaker, sister of Heinrich, but there is no primary evidence for this.31 One researcher suggested that Mary might be the daughter of Herman Bon, an early settler of Germantown, whose lot was close to the Umstead’s.32 They lived in Germantown at first, sold land there in 1704, then moved to Skippack. Johannes died in late 1747, leaving no will. On January 5, 1747/8 Mary renounced her right to administer.  Later that year Mary and the other heirs conveyed land to Henry Umstead, one of the heirs.33 Children: John, Peter, Henry, Jacob, Herman.

Eve, b. 1674, d. 1764, m. Heinrich Pannebecker, the 1698 emigrant. They lived in Germantown, then moved to Bebber’s Township on the Skippack around 1702. Heinrich became the largest landowner there and worked as surveyor. Children: Martha, Catherine, Oliffe, Peter, John, Barbara, Jacob, Henry.

  1. Three families emigrated from Kriegsheim in 1685. Gerhard Hendricks, Hans Peter Umstadt, and Peter Schumacher. Ten generations later a descendant of Hans Peter, through the Pannebaker line, married a descendant of Peter Schumacher, through the Tysons. These were my parents. If Hans Peter and Peter were related, as seems possible, then my parents were related, three hundred years ago in a Mennonite community in a small German town.
  2. Umstat website of Chris Hueneke, at, many pages with much documentation and discussion. A very thorough treatment of the family.
  3. Samuel Pennypacker (in his Settlement of Germantown) believed that the Umstats came from Krefeld, about 220 miles northwest of Kriegsheim on the Rhine. There is no evidence for this, and much evidence to the contrary. Hans Peter, the immigrant, may have passed through Krefeld on his route to Pennsylvania, but he was living in Kriegsheim before he immigrated.
  4. Umstat website.
  5. Wikipedia.
  6. Translations from the Umstat website.
  7. LDS microfilm, citied on the Umstat website, on the page for Nicholas. Apparently there are no birth or baptism records for the Umstats.
  8. Umstat website.
  9. Umstat website, page on 1664 census.
  10. C. Henry Smith, The Mennonites of America, 1909, quoted on the Original-13 mailing list on Feb. 28, 2008.
  11. Umstat website, page on Schmaldocs.
  12. Umstat website, page on Schmaldocs.
  13. Translated by Lou Hueneke, on the Umstead website.
  14. Umstead website.
  15. Umstead website.
  16. Umstat website, page on Rotterdam. The deeds for Hendricks and Schumacher were recorded in Philadelphia County Deed Book E4, vol. 7, p. 180.
  17. Walter Shepard, Passengers and Ships prior to 1684, p. 166. Other passengers included Henry “Pookeholes” (Bucholtz) and his family, Aaron Wonderly, and John Saxby and his family. Hull, William Penn and the Dutch Quaker Migration to PA. Also in “Families who arrived at Philadelphia 1682-1687”, PMHB, 1884, vol. 8, taken from lists of registered arrivals.
  18. Pennypacker, p. 23.
  19. Wilhelm Niepoth’s notes, cited on the Umstead website. Niepoth does not cite any evidence for Hans as a wagon maker.
  20. James Duffin, Acta Germanopolis, 2008.
  21. Hull.
  22. 1693 Philadelphia County tax list.
  23. Acta Germanopolis.
  24. Acta Germanopolis. It was a coroner’s jury. We do not learn the name of the unfortunate man.
  25. Acta Germanopolis.
  26. Philadelphia County Deeds E4, vol. 7, p. 133. Matthias Van Bebber was transferring land to Umstat.
  27. Samuel W. Pennypacker, “Bebber’s Township and the Dutch Patroons”, PMHB, vol. 31.
  28. Samuel Pennypacker, Hendrick Pannebecker, 1894, BCHS. The Bible is now at Pennypacker Mill in Schwenksville.
  29. Philadelphia County Deeds, H17, p. 173, a few pages after a deed from Ban Bebber to Umstett. (Roll 28, Image 214)
  30. Umstead website, page on Rittenhouse. Chris Hueneke does not believe in the Rittenhouse marriage.
  31. Umstead website, page on Johannes.
  32. Umstead website, page on Johannes.
  33. Umstead website, page on Johannes. Note that the original estate papers have disappeared from Johannes’ folder in Philadelphia City Hall (as of 1990), but were quoted by earlier researchers.