The following was taken from a synopsis written by Gary K. Weeter.
Recent DNA testing proves the existence of a “blood relationship” between early Franklin County Pennsylvania residents:
(1)Christopher “Stophel” Witter/Widder
b. 1758Lancaster CountyPennsylvania
d. 1825Union CountyIndiana
* current descendant: Witter
d. 1843Clarion CountyPennsylvania
* current descendant: Weeter
In 1794, 36-year old Christopher “Stophel” Witter (Widder), a resident of Earl Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania moved from Lancaster County to lower Path Valley, Metal Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. “Stophel’s” Franklin County land was located on the east side of the west branch of Conocoheague Creek, just north of Stumpy Run along the Tuscarora Mountains.
In 1806, “Stophel” left lower Path Valley, Franklin County, Pennsylvania and moved to what is today Center Township, Union County, Indiana.
As the crow flies, Path Valley, Franklin County, Pennsylvania is about 12 miles northwest of the town of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
In 1798, 38-year old Peter Weeter (Witter/Widder), a resident of Hog Trough Valley, Peters Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania moved a few miles northwest to lower Path Valley, Metal Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Peter’s newly-acquired Metal Township land was but a short walk to the north of land settled upon four years earlier (1794) by Christopher “Stophel” Witter.
In 1805, Peter left lower Path Valley and moved to what was then Toby Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania (now part of Licking Township, Clarion County, Pennsylvania).
In 1800, 56-year old John Wieder (Witter/Widder), a resident of Tom’s Creek Hundred, Maryland moved 30 or so miles north to lower Path Valley, Metal Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. John’s newly-acquired land shared a common border with land of neighbor Peter Weeter (Witter/Widder) and thus was a short walk north of land owned by Christopher “Stophel” Witter (Widder).
The last record documenting John’s presence in Metal Township, Path Valley, Franklin County, Pennsylvania was in the year 1810. It is not known where John resided after 1810.
Thus, by the year 1800, three Witter/Widder families:
lived in Path Valley in extremely close proximity to one another. Although it has long been “believed” that a “blood relationship” likely existed among the three, there was no proof. This all changed last week when the results of DNA testing of 81-year old Robert Witter were released.
DNA test results showed that Name Withheld Witter-- a direct descendant of Christopher “Stophel” Witter (b. 1758) “MATCHED PERFECTLY” in all 12 Y-DNA categories with the DNA Name Withheld Weeter -- a direct descendants of Peter Weeter (b. ca. 1760). A comparison of the DNA of both the Witter and Weeter descendant prove conclusively that Christopher “Stophel” Witter (b. 1758) and Peter Weeter/Witter (b. ca. 1760) shared a common ancestor. That is, Christopher “Stophel” and Peter could have been brothers, cousins or were otherwise directly related.
For years, those pursuing the Peter Weeter/Witter/Widder (b. ca. 1760) line have been absolutely stymied in their efforts to determine their ancestor Peter’s whereabouts during the first 30 years of his life (ca. 1760 – 1790). Armed now however with the knowledge that Peter (b. ca. 1760) indeed shared a “blood relationship” with Christopher “Stophel” Witter (b. 1758) AND that Christopher “Stophel” was born in and lived for a time in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the Peter Weeter (Witter/Widder) researchers can (with good reason) swing their research efforts to focus more intently on LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA as they look for evidence of Peter Weeter/Witter/Widder’s whereabouts during the first 30 years of his life.
Over the years, I have “accumulated” the following information on:
Christopher “Stophel” WITTER/WIDDER (b. 1758)
•1758 (5 July)Cocalico TwpLancaster County Pennsylvania
[Christopher “Stophel’s” father was Christopher Witter and mother “perhaps” was Christena (Roeser/Roesser). Records show a 27 April 1742 marriage in Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, Pa. of one Christopher Witter Sr. to Christena Roesser. This marriage was performed by the Rev. John Waldschmidt].
•1782 (23 May)to Anna Mary/Maria Ulrich (Oulrey). Christophel Witter
and Anna Maria Ulrich were married in a ceremony performed by the Rev. John Waldschmidt (Cocalico Moden Krick, Weisseichen Land and Seltenreich Gemeinde, Lancaster County, Pa.). Anna Maria Ulrich, the daughter of Georg Ulrich, was born 9 March 1762/1763.
Children of Christopher “Stophel” Witter
•Johnb. 29 October 1782Lancaster County, Pa.
•Elizabethb. 3 October 1784
•Samuelb. 18 December 1785
•Jacobb. 31 May 1791
•Maryb. 26 November 1792
•Sarahb. 9 May 1795
•Georgeb. 4 September 1796Franklin County, Pa.
* Robert Witter of West College Corner, Indiana said he is a descendant of George Witter
•Susannahb. 31 May 1798
•Catherineb. 24 December 1799
Perhaps just a “coincidence”, but Peter Weeter/Witter/Widder (b. ca. 1760) and his wife Catherine (Ober/Over) had 11 children – many of whom shared the same first name as children of Christopher “Stophel” Witter (b. 1758). For example, each family had boys named John, Samuel, Jacob and George and girls named Elizabeth, Sarah and Catherine.
•although there is both a DAR plaque on Christopher “Stophel” Witter’s tombstone and reference to Christopher Witter in the DAR Patriot Index as “Private Pa.”, none of the biographies of several of Christopher “Stophel’s” descendants make mention of “Stophel’s” service during the American Revoluationary War.
•on 8 April 1794, Stophel Witter “late of Earl Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania” purchased 156 acres from David Armstrong (see Franklin County Deed Book 3, page 355; grantee index item #331). The 156-acre tract was located in lower Path Valley, Fannett (now Metal) Township, Franklin County Pennsylvania .
•in 1796, Christopher “Stophel” Witter was the only German surnamed resident among Metal Township’s 120 families -- all others were of Scots-Irish descent.
1794 – 1806
•Christopher “Stophel” Witter owned 156 acres in what is today lower Path Valley, Metal Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He was taxed for ownership of a cabin, cabin barn, saw mill, hemp mill and had at times as many as 4 horses and 4 cows.
The U.S. Census for 1800 reported the following data for the Christopher “Stophel” Witter family:
2 males under 10; 1 male 10 to 16; 1 male 16 to 26; 2 males over 45 one of which was an “aged” male; 4 females under 10; 1 female 10 to 16; and 1 female 26 to 45.
It is not known “who” the “aged” male over 45 may have been.
•On 14 April 1806, Christopher “Stophel” Witter sold his lower Path Valley, Metal Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania property to Christopher Hoe and moved to Four Mile Creek in what is now Center Township, Union County, Indiana (see Franklin County Deed Book 9, page 545 and grantee index item # 582). Christopher is believed to have been affiliated with the Dunker/German Baptist faith and was a stalwart member of the Four Mile Church in Union County.
1806 – 1825 (death)
•Christopher “Stophel” resided in Center Township, Union County, Indiana
•1825 (4 May)Center TwpUnion County Indiana
•Witter cemeteryCenter TwpUnion County. Indiana