Overview of the Homestead of Johann Heinrich Eschbach in Pennsylvania
September 5, 1738 Philadelphia
Johann Heinrich Eschbach arrived in Philadelphia on the Winter Galley, Sept 5, 1738, from Rotterdam with a stop in Deal, England.Following German naming customs of the day, when two first names are given, then the first, Johann, is a Saint’s name and the middle name Heinrich was his call name.If only one name is given then that is the call name.Heinrich or Henry is recorded as being 32, which puts his birth date around 1706, likely somewhere in or near Germany.
The Canadian Ashbaugh family has insisted for the last few generations that Henry came from Upper Palatine in Germany.However, I have learned that this means different things to different people and different researchers, and can be construed as referring to different areas of Germany.This family tradition can only be considered speculation until proven.
Henry’s signature was recorded on the ships log and on an Oath of Allegiance to the King.The signature on his will of 1781 is the same signature.Henry signed his name Johann Heinrich Eschbach when he arrived in Philadephia but his usual signature would have been Heinrich Eschbach.The Captain of the Winter Galley, Captain Paynter, did not record the names of the 113 women or children on board so we don’t know if he traveled alone or not.Also, Captain Paynter claimed 252 passengers but he may have altered the figures somewhat to save paying landing fees.Some sources claim there were 360 passengers on the Winter Galley.
Henry may have been accompanied by his wife, Maria Elizabeth or he may have met her on the ship or after arriving.There is a possibility that at least one child and possibly more than one, could have been on board with them, but again this is speculation until proven through documentation or circumstance.
Early settlers of Pennsylvania where known to write letters home advising family and friends of the opportunities in the new world.It is very likely that Henry had relatives or at least good family friends already in Pennsylvania, where he could go for support and guidance until he could establish himself.It is also possible that Maria Elizabeth had family or close relations in Pennsylvania.Maria Elizabeth’s maiden name is still unknown.While there are several possible leads in this area, as of yet proof has not been published and they all remain unproven.
March 4, 1742, Philadelphia County
Henry Eastbauch applies for a warrant for survey in Philadelphia County for 100 acres of land.The only farm matching the survey description is situated approximately one mile south of Grimville, in Allemangel township, (as noted on the register), which is now Greenwich Twp, Berks Co.No survey date is recorded on the survey.The survey was returned on October 23, 1782, for 101 acres and 153 perches, including 6% for roads (original survey), and patented to Frederick Hammon.Recorded in Patent Book, Vol P, No 1, Page 471.(LDS Film # 1028841) Survey A8-203 in the name of Henry Eshbock.
This farm looks almost square and the square is slightly tilted a few degrees toward the west from due north. The original survey can be found on the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission website under Land Records and viewed through the inter-net link of Copied Survey Books, Land Records of Pennsylvania.On Google Earth, the farm is about a mile south of Grimville, which is situated on I-78.Look for a small light brown triangle field.The original farm is just to the south and east of the triangle field and in comparison, several times larger.The Sittler Valley Road cuts through the bottom third of the farm.
February 14, 1744, Philadelphia County
Henry Etchbaugh applies for a warrant for survey on 50 acres of land adjacent to and just south of his101 acre tract.No survey date is recorded on the survey.The survey was returned on October 23, 1782, for 94 acres and 105 perches, including 6% for roads (original survey), and patented to a Frederick Hammon.Recorded in Patent Book, VolP, No 1, Page 470. (LDS Film # 1028841)Survey A8-204 in the name of Henry Eshbock.This survey is also available on line.
1756 Berks County
Berks County was organized in 1752 from Allemangel and Philadelphia Counties.Henry Eschbach is listed as a taxable residing within Greenwich Township in the book, “History of the Counties of Berks and Lebanon,” pages 186 and 187.Greenwich Township is described as being mainly settled by German families and is approximately 6.5 miles, west to east, and 4.5 miles north to south.The Henry Eschbach farm was close to the center of the township.It is reported there are several mills, tanneries and one forge, as well as, a pottery in the township.Through Louis Duermyer’s work, we know that Henry was a potter and that he passed this trade on to his children.This pottery has not, as yet, been connected to Henry Eschbach.Frederick Hammon, the eventual patentee of these farms, does not appear on this tax list.
May 14, 1758, Allemangel County
Maria Elisabeth Eschbach sponsors the baptism of Catharina Haffner in the Allemangel Church.The Allemangel Church is approximately 2 miles east of Kempton and approximately 5 miles north of Henry’s farm.This frontier area was likely still referred to as Allemangel, after Greenwich was organized, and the spelling varies.
“Baptised Catharina, illegitimately born, 7 weeks old, baptized in the Allemangle Church.Mother: Dorothea Haffnerin.Sponsor: Maria Elisabeth Eschbachen.
Source: Daniel Schumacher’s Baptismal Register, Pennsylvania German Society, Vol. 1, page 244.
On older German Baptismal lists, usually a wife is listed with her husband without a surname, such as, “Heinrich Eschbach and Maria Elizabeth.”Sometimes the female name is followed by a designation, such as,“wife” or “single.”When single the surname is given.Surnames of females on German baptismal records are often identified as feminine by adding an “in” as a suffix to the name. Eschbachin is the feminine for Eschbach, although Pastor Schumacher added an “en,” as in Eschbachen, on many of his records, possibly a phonic interpretation.
The accuracy of early church records was also dependant on the registers or Pastor’s ability to write and spell.The frontier was expanding rapidly and there was a shortage of Pastors.To meet the need, some were ordained with minimal education or religious preparation, or just preached without authority to perform sacraments, to meet the need.Many settlers could not read or write and most German settlers did not speak English. Their names were often phonically written by those who could.
During the French-Indian War, travel in Berks County and the adjoining counties, was dangerous.The northern part of the Allemangel area, near the Blue Mountains, was especially dangerous.Many of the Indian raids originated in this frontier area. The victims of these raids were often women and children, and being a non-combatant gave no protection.The fact that Maria Elisabeth traveled into this area and away from the protection of the farm, to be a sponsor at a baptismal ceremony of a child, speaks to her courage and character.Also, it is easy to imagine that an illegitimate birth was frowned upon in some sectors of the community.
September 9, 1759 (Likely 19th) Greenwich County
Henry Eschbach and Maria Elisabeth are sponsors at a christening.During this time frame, 1738 to 1759, we are not aware of any other Henry Eschbach, or surname variant with Henry as a given name, old enough to be a sponsor, and with a wife named Maria Elisabeth, in Pennsylvania.
“Johann Henrich baptized in Greenwich.Father: Hans Adam Puss. Mother: Catharina.
Sponsors: Henrich Eschbach & Maria Elisabeth.”
Source: Daniel Schumacher’s Baptismal Register, Pennsylvania German Society, Vol. 1, page 254.The date was likely September 19th, 1759, as Adam’s brother Peter Puss also baptized a child on that date.Also, Pastor Schumacher’s schedule, as recorded in his register, makes it unlikely that it was the 9th, due to travel times between locations.
The Adam Puss or Buss farm was a short distance north of Henry’s farm.The baptism likely took place in a private residence or meeting place in Greenwich Twp.If it took place in a church, then Dunkel’s Lutheran, south of Lenshartsville, was approximately 5 miles west of Henry’s farm in Greenwich Twp.The Jerusalem Red Church was 5 miles north of Henry’s farm in Albany or Allemengel Twp., and Zeigle’s Church was 4 miles northeast in Lehigh Twp.There was also a Lutheran Church near Kutztown in Maxatawany Twp., situated about four miles to the south.The Bethel-Zion Church is only 1 mile north of Henry’s farm in Grimsville, but it is reported that it did not open until 1762.
May 11, 1762
Henry Eshbaugh sells both farms in Berks County to Wiliam Feigle by deed on May 11, 1762.In turn, William Feigle sells both farms to Frederick Hammon, on June 3, 1766, also by deed.Recorded in Patent Book, Vol P, No 1, Pages 470 and 471.(LDS Film # 1028841)
Page 470 “…to the first mentioned Stone and place of Beginning, Containing one hundred and one Acres, one hundred and fifty three Perches, and allowance of Six percent for Roads with the appurtenances [which said Tract of Land was surveyed by Virtue of a warrant dated the 4th March 1742, granted to the said Henry Eshbaugh, who by deed dated 11th May 1762, conveyed the said Tract of Land to William Feigle who by deed dated the 3rd June 1766, conveyed the same to the said Frederich Hammon in ffee].”
Page 471“...and Place of Beginning, Containing ninety four Acres and one hundred and five perches and allowance of six percent for roads with the appurtenances [which said Tract of Land was surveyed by virtue of a warrant dated the 4th of February 1744 granted to the said Henry Eshbaugh who by deed dated the 11th of May 1762, conveyed the said Tract of Land to William Feigle who by deed dated the 3rd June 1766 conveyed the same to the said Frederich Hammon in ffee]”.
1767 Berks County Tax List
In the “Propriety and State Tax Lists of the County of Berks, PA - 1767 to 1785,” Henry Eschbach no longer appears on the tax list in Greenwich Township.During the years from 1754 to 1762, there had been considerable Indian unrest due to the French-Indian war with Britain.Several raids had taken place in Berks and Lebanon Counties by Indians loyal to the French cause, where basically innocent women and children or farmers caught in the open, had been murdered or kidnapped.The practice of taking scalps was common.The first wife of Adam Puss, mentioned above, Mariah Sara, along with a child were kidnapped and held for several years before being released.Upon her and her daughter’s release, she found that her family had believed her dead and her husband had remarried.Could this unrest have been motivation for Henry to move his family?This is speculation on my part.
As of 1767, Frederick Haman, the eventual patentee of Henry’s farms, appears on the Greenwich tax list owning 100 acres of land.In 1779, the taxable Haman farmlands were increased to 180 acres and were patented in 1782.This increase may have been due to the completion of a survey revealing the actual size of the farms.
February 18, 1768 Mt. Joy Twp., York County
Henry Eshbach applied for a warrant of re-survey and division in York County, on February 18, 1768.This land was originally warranted to James Sample, on July 22, 1746.The location at the time of the warrant was described as “on Conewago Creek,” Lancaster County, which in 1749 became Mt Joy Twp, York County and then in 1800 became Mt. Joy Twp, Adams County.James Sample had named the tract “Speedwell.”The naming of farms was an idea hatched in the Land Records Office to assist them with keeping track of various tracts of land.
Henry Eschbach likely purchased this farm sometime after 1762 and before 1766.James Sample, the original warrantee of approximately 200 acres, had sold a small part of his warrant, approximately 50 acres, to an Adam Linn, sometime before 1766.The remainder of the Sample land was sold to Henry and Andrew Eschbach.
The land records do not record the exact date that Henry Eschbach purchased the farms from James Sample.The date would likely be after the sale of the Berks County farms on May 11, 1762, and likely sometime before August 25th 1766 when a Board of Property for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania carried out a survery for the Linn family.Adam Linn had died after their purchase of the farm and the family requested a survey likely to establish clear title.During the survey, the property description of the Linn tract included the location of markers or stones, on both Henry’s and Andrew’s land.Henry and Andrew had possession of their farms by 1766 and likely earlier.
The Mt. Joy farms are located about a mile south of Two Taverns near the intersection of Hoffman Home Road and King Road.The original surveys can be found on the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission website under Land Records and the Copied Survey Books link.The shape of Andrew’s farm is similar to a pointed toed boot, with the toe pointing west across Hoffman Home Road.These farms can be found on Google Earth by first checking the survey and then looking for the boot shape near the above intersection.Henry’s farm is to the west of Andrew and the Linn farm is to the west and south of Henry.
The Eschbach re-survey, and Linn survery, broke up the Sample warrant in the following manner:
1)Henry Eshbach, 121 acres and 120 perches, surveyed in June 1768, returned on October 2, 1787 and patented to Francis Helm.Recorded in Patent Book, Vol P, No 11, Page 244.Survey B-194 in the name of Henry Asbach.The farm was not given a named by Henry.On the survey under Henry’s name, the word “Called” is written followed by a stoke of a pen.Noted on the survey, originally warranted by James Sample.
Henry did not patent the farms in Berks County or Adams County.Many early warrantees did not understand that the warrant and survey did not give them ownership.After the warrant and survey, they were required to patent the land and pay for it, as well as any back quitrent.Or, many did understand this process and chose to save the money required to pay for a patent by selling the farm to others after working the land for a few years and only paying yearly quitrent, a form of tax.The new owner would be required to pay for the land to acquire a patent.On some patents, I have noticed a reference to interest being paid by patentees to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, possibly interest on the cost of the land between survey and a late patent application or overdue quitrent.
The entry in Patent Book Vol. P, No 11, Page 244, (LDS Film # 1028845) notes,
“….which said tract was surveyed in pursuant of a warrant granted to James Sample dated 22 July, 1746, and, a warrant of re-survey granted to Henry and Andrew Eshbach, dated 18 Feb, 1768, who made a Division, whereby the said tract fell to Henry, who by deed, dated 30 March, 1773, conveyed the same to the said Francis Helm.”
The tract was patented by Helm on Oct 8, 1787.
2)Andrew Eshbach, 121 acres and 92 perches, surveyed on June 17, 1768, patented on October 4, 1810, to Andrew Eshbach.Recorded in Patent Book, Vol H, No 3, ¬Page 726(LDS Film # 1028866).Survey C232-49 in the name of Andrew Ashback and called “Andrews Burgh” on the survey.Noted on the survey, originally warranted by James Sample.It was German tradition that the oldest son inherited the family farm.As Andrew settled on at least a part of the family farm in Mt. Joy Twp., this may confirm him as the oldest son.
The Patent Book notes’
“….said tract of land was surveyed for the said Andrew Eshbach in pursuance of a Warrant of Resurvey and Division dated the 18th February, 1768, granted to Henry and Andrew Eshbach founded upon the original Warrant of James Semple dated the 22nd July 1746.”
3)Richard McAllister purchased the farm from Adam Linn’s heir.The farm was surveyed in June 1768, as 35 acres and100 perches, and returned August 19, 1785, patented to Richard McAllister.Recorded in Patent Book, Vol P, No 3, Page 499. (LDS Film # 1028842)Survey C50-178, in the name of the Heirs of Adam Linn.There are several notations on this file that indicate that Adam Linn was deceased and the Board of Properties had transferred the land right to his heir, James Linn, who then sold the property to Richard McAllister.Also noted on the survey, originally warranted by James Sample and ticket sent to McAllister.
The patent description of the Linn/McAllister property, on August 19, 1785, mentions measuring “to a Corner Stone of Henry Ashbach’s land, and “to a Corner white Oak of Andrew Ashbach’s Land.Andrew was still in place, however, Henry had sold his farm to Francis Helm on March 30, 1773.Francis Helm did not patent until two years after the survey, on Oct. 8, 1787.At that time, he would have presented the deed proving his ownership through the sale of the farm to him by Henry, as well as, paying 47 pounds, fourteen shillings and six pence lawful money for the land, as noted in his patent.At the time of the survey, as far as the land office knew, Henry was still the owner, thus the reference.
Henry purchased the Mt. Joy farm from James Sample, (also Semple) sometime prior to requesting the warrant for re-survey and division into two farms.Andrew renamed his portion Andrew’s Burg.Henry then sells his farm to Francis Helm, in 1773, and eventually moves to the town of Huntingdon where he is listed as, Mr. Ashbaugh, one of the first settlers of Huntingdon in “Historical Collections of the State of Pennsylvania,” page 370.“When Mr. McMurtrie came to this place, in 1776 or ‘77, there were only 5 or 6 houses here, one of which was the town tavern kept by Ludwig Sills.”“The first settlers of Huntingdon were his father in law, Benjamin Elliot, Abraham Hayes, Frank Cluggage, Mr. Ashbaugh and Mr. (Ludwig) Sills.”As far as we know, Henry Eschbach spent the rest of his life in Huntingdon Town, Huntingdon County, passing in 1789.
May 16, 1773, in Berks County
Sara Schmidt (Nee: Eschbach) baptizes her child, Maria Sara, at Windsor Church, Windsor Twp., Berks County.The Windsor Church, St. Paul’s, is approximately 2 miles east of Hamburg and 9 miles west of Henry’s farm in Greenwich Twp, Berks County.
“Baptised in Windsor Church, Maria Sara, 10 weeks old today, Sunday.Father: Michell Schmidt.Mother: Sara, born Eschbachen.Sponsors: Jacob Gurtner, Anna Catharina Hillen, single state.
Source:Daniel Schumacher’s Baptismal Register, Pennsylvania German Society, Vol. 1, page 371.Sara was the youngest daughter of Henry Eschbach.She is noted on other family pages as marrying a William Smith.This is the first hard evidence that I have found that indicates she may have married a Michael Schmidt of Berks County.Naming her daughter Maria Sara follows the family tradition.It is possible that her name was also Maria Sara, however, this is speculation on my part without proof.
A Michael Smith (Shoemaker) is listed as a taxable on the Greenwich Twp., Tax and Census List for 1767.Michael owned 50 acres, 1 horse and 2 cattle.Is this the same Michael Schmidt?
While Sara, born circa 1750, was the youngest daughter of Henry, another child, Elizabeth, was believed born the previous year in 1749.Elizabeth apparently died in 1751 at 2 years and 7 months.While researching another topic, I found a reference that may affect the status of Elizabeth as Henry Eschbach’s youngest daughter.
In the book, Marriages and Deaths of Montgomery County Pennsylvania 1685-1800, on page 156, under, “Faulkner Swamp Reformed – Burials,” the following passage:
“Nov 22, 1751 in the evening, died; Nov 24 buried; Elizabeth, dau of Mr. John Eshbach, age 2 yrs, 7 mos.”
If, this child is a daughter of the John Eschbach, that signed the petition of 1728, and married Elisabeth Antes, then this would be a second daughter named Elizabeth.That John Eschbach previously baptized a daughter Elizabeth in Faulkner Swamp in 1734.Or, this could be a grandchild from a son named John or possibly a John from another family.In any event, Henry was in Greenwich Twp., in Berks Co., and would not likely go to Faulkner Swamp to bury a child.This leads me to believe that Elizabeth was not Henry’s daughter.Other references to this death, mention the death notice contained more information about a relationship to the Antes family.This citation is as shown.There may be a newspaper clipping yet unfound with more information.
1819 The Adams Sentinel, Gettysburg PA
Public Sale: Tract of land late the estate of Andrew Ashbaugh, deceased, 130 acres in Mount Joy Twp. The improvements are: log dwelling house and barn, spring house on a never failing spring and an excellent orchard.
Source: Adams Sentinel.Transcribed by Christine Spencer, April, 2008
I believe that these references show that Johann Heinrich Eschbach was not a preemptive settler or squatter in York or Adams County.Henry warranted land in Berks Co., in 1742 and in 1744, as soon as was practical after arriving in Pennsylvania in 1738.He sold the Berks Co. farms and purchased land in Mt. Joy Twp. York Co. shortly after 1762.Henry split the Mt. Joy farm into two separate farms.He established Andrew, likely his oldest son, on one of the farms.He then sold the other farm and moved to the town of Huntindon sometime after March 30, 1773 and before 1776.When Huntingdon County was formed, in 1787, Henry Ashbaugh is listed as owning a lot.
It now appears that most of Henry’s children would have been born in what is now Greenwich Twp., Berks County.One or two of the older children may have been born elsewhere, such as, in Germany, the Netherlands, on board the Winter Galley, or in a temporary residence during the first few years while traveling to Berks County.
David R. Ashbaugh