Sarah Schmidt/Smith (Nee Eschbach)
b. Circa 1750d. unknown
Early research by Louis Duermyer speculated that Sarah might have married into the Rev. Dr. William Smith family, the founder of Huntingdon.William Smith was an Anglican priest and he married Rebecca Moore, daughter of William Moore.Duermyer made these speculations under the belief that the Eschbach family had only farmed in Adams County before moving to Huntingdon.Louis advised us that he had spent hundreds of hours looking in the Adams County area for some reference related to Sarah, unfortunately, he was likely looking all the wrong places, as the saying goes.
Henry Eschbach’s original farms were in Berks County.Warranted while the area was still Philadelphia County.The farms were situated in Greenwich Twp., Berks Co.I have inserted the warrant and survey descriptions of the farms below, from an earlier post.
“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.”
I believe Sarah’s birth date is an estimate based on circumstances.However, even with a flexible birth date, she would have been old enough for marriage while the family was living on the farm in Berks Co.
On a previous post, repeated below, I reported a baptismal record, from Daniel Schumacher’s Baptismal Register, in which Sarah and Michael Schmidt baptize a daughter Maria Sarah.That record reports that Sarah was born as an Eschbach.I also, found a second record for Sarah and Michael in the same source, as well as, two further records on the web page Strausstown Roots.Strausstown is about seventeen miles west of Grimville.Kathy Stefanic, of Strausstown Roots, kindly sent me the original references.
A search of the farmers in Greenwich Twp, during the years Henry lived there, revealed a Michael Schmidt/Smith owing a farm less than a mile north of Henry’s farm.The Smith farm was over 200 acres and included the area that is now Grimville.
On October 17, 1753, Michael Smith warrants 100 acres for survey in Greenwich Twp. Berks Co. (see survey A19-186).The warrant was returned to two individuals.On 20 January 1831,10 acres, 53 perches were patented to George Hiddle (see survey C175-69).On 26 September 1884, 169 acres and 78 perches were patented to Daniel P. Green (likely Grimm), (see survey C204-276).
On Google earth, the triangle field visible above the farm of Henry Eschbach, was owned by Rudolph Ziemer (see survey D60-40).Just to the east and north of Henry’s farm, was the farm of Matthias Reamer (see survey D58-215).The north-east corner of the Reamer farm, just crosses the current I-78, and the northern border is tilted to the south as it moves west, similar to the Henry Eschbach farm.The west border passes to the east of the triangle field.This farm can still be traced today on Google Earth.On the north side of the Reamer farm was the farm of Michael Smith. (see survey A19-186)
The Michael Smith farm was 224 acres and 30 perches.In 1761, he sold, or gave, 2 acres of land, on the east side of the farm to the Evangelical Lutherans of Greenwich Township.In 1778, he sold an additional 50 acres of land adjoining the previous 2 acres to a shared congregation of Lutheran and German Reformed.In 1844, the church became a Union Church.The land sold to the Greenwich Union Church, now the Mount Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, which was originally part of the Michael Smith farm, is clearly shown in survey C204-276.The church reports these purchases on their web page.
It is far more logical that Sarah Eschbach married this Michael Schmidt/Smith, a local German farmer, rather than marrying into the English family of William Smith in Huntingdon.At times, Michael and Sarah even appear to be following the old German style of using a Saints name and a given name for their children.
The baptismal records found thus far, for Sarah and Michael, are as follows:
1. Susanna, of Michael Schmid and Sara, b. March 29 1766.Bapt. May10, 1766.Sponsors: Philipp and Susanna Baumann.Source: (Strausstown Roots) Berks County, Pennsylvania Church Records of the 18th Century, Vol. 5, Page 3, (Greenwich Union Church). By F. Edward Wright.
2. Johan Jacob of Mical Schmitt and Sara, b. February 12, 1769; bapt. March 26, 1769.Sponsors: Jacob and Maria Eva Hill.Source: (Strausstown Roots) Berks County, Pennsylvania Church Records of the 18th Century, Vol. 5, Page 6, (Greenwich Union Church).By F. Edward Wright.
3. Eva Catharina Schmid, b. 1 April 1771.
“The 19th of May on Pentecost Sunday baptized Eva Catharina, born the 1st of April, Windsor Twp.Father & Mother: Michael Schmid and Sarah.Sponsors: Jurg Kamp and Catharina Rauschen.”Source: Daniel Schumacher’s Baptismal Register, page 358.
4. Maria Sarah Schmidt, b. Feb 16, 1773.
“The 16th of May baptized in Windsor Church, Maria Sara, 10 weeks old today Sunday.Father & Mother: Michael Schmidth and Sara born Eschbachen (Eschbach).Sponsors: Jacob Gurtner and Anna Catherine Hillen (Hill), single state.”Source: Daniel Schumacher’s Baptismal Register, page 371.
The remainder of the Smith farm was patented to Daniel P. Grimm, September 26, 1884 for 169 acres, 78.6 perches, (see re-survey C204-276) and George Hiddle, January 20, 1831, for 10 acres, 53 perches, (see re-survey C175-69).The date of purchase by Hiddle and Grimm are unknown, at this time.
I have obtained the land record for both patents, however, the dates when Smith sold to Hiddle and Grimm are not mentioned.In fact, on one of the surveys, C175-69, a notation is recorded, “late Frantz Arnold now Dan Grimm.”This notation is written in the large plot plan that shows the residue of Michael Smith’s survey, indicating that this land now belongs to Daniel Grimm but that it previously belonged to Frantz Arnold.It appears Michael Smith sold the remainder of his farm before1831 and very likely years earlier, possibly to Hiddle and a Frantz or France Arnold, who then sold that section to Daniel Grimm.
The fact that Michael and Sarah Smith baptized the first two children noted above, in 1766 and 1769, in Greenwich Twp., and the last two children, in 1771 and 1773, in the Windsor Church, Windsor Twp., may indicate a change of residence, but travel this far for baptism is not out of the ordinary.The sale of the above properties to Hiddle and Arnold/Grimm are likely closer to the baptism dates than to the actual patent dates.
Between 1767 and 1779, a Michael Smith does not appear on the tax list for the neighboring Windsor Township.In 1780, a Michael Smith appears on the tax list and again in 1781, owning 250 acres.By the1784 tax year a Michael Smith no longer appears.Has he died?Finding his will would be a great asset.At this point, it is speculative that this is the same Michael Smith. Further investigation is required at the church record and county level.
Louis Duermyer further felt that Sarah Smith had moved to Huntingdon Town as a widow, to be close to family, before 1789.At the time, Sarah was reported to have two children under 10 years.I believe I have found the Sarah that Louis was referring to on the 1800 census.She is scored as being between the age of 26 and 45 years and living in Frankstown Twp. There is also a person scored as a non-tax payer.Frankstown Twp., is now a part of Blair County but was in Huntingdon County at the time of the census.But Frankstown Twp. is several miles from Huntingdon Town.
Also, Sarah, is believed to have been born circa 1750.If her first child was born in 1766, she would have been around 16 to 18 years of age when she married.In 1800, she would have been over 45 years of age and should have been scored in the next age group.Could this be a scoring error?Or, the non-taxable person is Sarah and she has a daughter living with her with children.I am not sure if people scored in the non-taxed column are separate persons or an indication that one of the people scored in the other columns does not pay tax.Possibly someone can post how this scoring worked in 1800.
If Sarah was living on land belonging to a son, for example, she would not pay tax.So this could be our Sarah Smith, with a son living close by on a farm.There are Jacob Smiths farming in the area but I have not made a connection.I would like to follow these leads up before I return home but I have been unable to borrow the required books through the local library.The libraries in Texas and Utah that have copies of the local church records in book form, will not loan them to out of state libraries.Also, I will be traveling most of the next month or so.So, until I travel to Pennsylvania next summer to investigate local county records, I will likely not have anything further to add to the above.
David R. Ashbaugh