Ella Zerbey Elliott.

Blue book of Schuylkill County : who was who and why, in interior eastern Pennsylvania, in Colonial days, the Huguenots and Palatines, their service in Queen Anne's French and Indian, and Revolutionary Wars : history of the Zerbey, Schwalm, Miller, Merkle, Minnich, Staudt, and many other representat online

. (page 1 of 36)
Online LibraryElla Zerbey ElliottBlue book of Schuylkill County : who was who and why, in interior eastern Pennsylvania, in Colonial days, the Huguenots and Palatines, their service in Queen Anne's French and Indian, and Revolutionary Wars : history of the Zerbey, Schwalm, Miller, Merkle, Minnich, Staudt, and many other representat → online text (page 1 of 36)
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(Taken from the original petition for early road shown on

opposite page.)

September, 1727.
To the Honorable Bench.

We whose names are hereunto subscribed, ye inhabitants
of ye North west parts of ye Township of Oley^ Tolpehockan,
and parts adjacent. Having no Road as yet estab-

lished amongst us, by means whereof we suffer diver incon-
veniences and a great part of ye land at present not Settled,
through which ye hereby petitioned road is naturally designed
to go by means of whereof there will be no opposition made in
ye laying of it out.

Wherefore, we your Petitioners humbly request that you
will be pleased to order a High road to be laid out, Beginning
at the Lutherian Meeting House at Tolpehockan to end in the
high road, at ye Quakers Meeting House near George
Boone's Mill in Oley.

And your petitioners shall ever pray.

Frederick Schaeffer,

Adam Lish,

N. Nevs,

Nicholas Rienr,

Mardey Stub,

Anthonn Schadt,

Jacob Korbell,

Johan Henrich Schnchert,

Nicholas Schaeffer,

Michael Ernst Herner,

Johannes Christman, ,,,jBeniamm

Stephan Wjisseicheidt, jVJE^^^^*' fiklc Wis

Adam Walbornn,

Jacob Kobft,

George Lish,

Abraham Link,

Nicholas Rull,

Cunrath Diffenbach,

*Zerbey History, Part 2.

Petter Klub,
Sebastian Fischer,
Lenhart Riet,
Jasper Riet,
Mardin Battdorff,
Lenhart Feg,
Phillip Braun
Michael Aenrich,
Johan Entenfelt,
j^enjamin Boone,

John Collins,
Joseph Baker,
Jonathan Baker,
Hugh Edward,
William Roberts,
Peter Hilton.


In re opening of High Road, at Tulpehocken, &c.
September Sessions, 1727.

I certify the foregoing to be a true and correct copy of
the original petition in the case above stated, as full, entire
and complete as the same now remains of Record in this

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and
afifixed the seal of the said Court this twenty-sixth day of
February, A. D. one thousand nine hundred and twelve,

(Seal) Pro. Clerk.

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Frontispiece— Road Petition, Year 1727. Page

Martin Zerbe's Homestead 1

Pioneer Homestead Map, 1723 36

Early Church, built 1727 42

Conrad Weiser's Signature 48

Patent from John Penn to Seven Stars (Minnich) Property, 1750 72

Land of Early Settlers on Tulpehocken 120

Schuylkill County Erected 141

Site of Mill John4 Zerbe, Tulpehocken 186

Mardin Zarvas Run, 1723, Wm. Penn Grant 200

Rear of Homestead of Martin Zerbe's Land 208

Map George Zerbe Land, Schuylkill Haven 216

George Zerbe Homestead, near Orwigsburg, Pa 232

Water Right Agreement Johannes Zerbe, 1747 268

Site of John Zerbe's Old Mill 308

Conrad Minnich Map, Land Deed 366

Stout Homestead, Settled 1736 392

Ancient Schwalm Castle 414

Andrew Schwalm Homestead, Orwigsburg, Pa 420


Translation of Road Petition. Page

Title Page 1

Foreword 9

Prologue 12

Huguenots and Palatines 15

Settlers in Interior Eastern Pennsylvania, 1750-1752 18

1730-1780 19

German Immigration 22

Huguenots and Palatines:

Come to London 25

Invitation to America 25

Sail for New York 26

Who Settlers Were 27

Settle in New York 29

Queen Anne's War 30



Huguenots and Palatines, Continued: Page

Soldiers in War, 1711 31

Company Lists 34

Their Lands Resold 34

Pennsylvania Pioneers of 1723:

The Thirty-Three Families 36

Settlers Petition Governor 38

First Church Built, 1727 42

Petition for Roads, 1727 43

Tulpehocken Confusion 44

Province of Pennsylvania 50

Organization of Pennsylvania Counties to 1811 51

Petition for New County 54

Remonstrate Against Revising Constitution 56

Failed 56

Constitution Amended 57

Indian Troubles in Pennsylvania:

Indian Troubles 58

Policy 59

Forts 59

First Fort Dupui 60

Fort Augusta 60

Blue Mountain Forts 61

Forts Lebanon and Franklin 63

Chain of Forts 64

Friendly Indians 65

Indian Atrocities 67-69

The Finschers and Millers 70

John Penn Patent to Seven Stars (Minnich) Property, 1750.. 73

Neyman and Other Massacres 74

Indian Stories 75-80

War of the Revolution:

War of the Revolution 81

Oath of Allegiance 85

Recruits From Schuylkill (Berks) Co 85-97

Zerbes, Grubers, Rebers, Stouts, Swartzs, Merkles, Rieths,

etc., in the Early Wars 97-104

Family Traditions 107-109

War of 1812-1814:

Soldiers From Schuylkill County 109-113

Mexican War:

Schuylkill County Represented 114-120

The Early Settlers:

Early Notable Settlers 122

Conrad Weiser's Diary 124-132

Governor Schulze Story I34

Baltznr Gehr, Jacob Morgan, Douglass Family, etc 135-141

Schuylkill County Erected From Berks 141



Who Was Who: Page

First Settlers of Schuylkill County 149

Neuferts, Whetstones, Potts 149

Klocks, Christs, Bresslers 150

Potts, Helms, Hessers 151

The Morris' 154

Boyers, Guldins, Colemans 155

Bocks, DeTurks, Mortimers 159

John R. and Benjamin B. Bannan 160

Lindemuths, Matzs, Roseberrys 163-167

Braun-Brown Family 168

Filberts, Weidmans, Krebs, Tysons 170-171

Spohns, Bechtels, Palmers 173-174

Kaerchers, Kepners, Shippens 175

Hobarts, Bairds, Pattersons 177-179

Zellers, Rahns, Seitzingers 180-182


Genealogical Records:

Origin of the Zerbeys 187-192

Zerbeys in America 192-194

First Generation 194

The Manors 198

Second Generation 200


John Jacob Zerbe 200

John Zerbe 203

Heinrich Boyer 204

Albrecht and John Philip Strauss 204

George Peter Zerbe 207

Third Generation 211

Peter, Jr., Elizabeth, Valentine 211

Michael 212

John George Zerbe 216

(John) George and Anna Barbara Zerbe's Children.. 220

Hon. Daniel Zerbe 222

Herring Family Tradition 225

Daniel Zerbe, Cressona 226

Henry Zerbe, Lewistown, Mifflin County, Pa 227

John Adam Miller 229

Fourth Generation 232

George Zerbe 232

Children 233-239

Rev. Frank Ellsworth Graeff, D. D 238

Wm. Merkle Zerbey 239

John F. Zerbey Fan ily 241

Heber S. Zerbey Family 241

Joseph Henry Zerbey Family 242

"Pottsville Republican" 242

Robert A. Zerbey Family 245



Genealogical Records, Fourth Genration, Continued Page

Frederic E. Zerbey Family 245

"Schuylkill Weekly Republican" 246

Charles D. Elliott 246

Ella Zerbey Elliott 246

Adclia E. Zerbey Family 249

Sara Francos Zerbey Family 250

Rieths or Reeds 250

War Records 254

Ship Lists 257-258

Zerfass, Serf as, Surber, Sarvar, Sevir, Sarvas 258-260

Unclassified Zerbes 259

British Oath of Allegiance 260

Penna. Oath of Allegiance 261

Taxables in Berks County, 1752 262

Early Churches in Schuylkill County 262

The First Census 262

Grubers Intermarried 263

Sontag Family 266


First Generation 266

Lorentz Zerbe Family 267

Second Generation 269

John Zerbe, the Miller, Family 271

Blue Mountain Lands 272

Tulpehocken Confusion 274

Second and Third Generations 276

Dr. Samuel and Maria Isles 277

Leonard Zerbe 279

Valentine Zerbe 280

Christian Zerbe 281

Benton H. Zerbe 282

John Zerbe's Law Suit 284

Nathan Zerbe 287

John Zerbe, Cumru Township 288

Third and Fourth Generations 289

Jonathan and David Zerbe 289-291

Rev. John W. Zerbe 292

George Adam Zerbe, Land and Family 294-297

George Zerbe, Tulpehocken, and Family 297-298

Tyrone and Altoona Zerbes 298

Reading, Pa., Zerbes 299

L'nclassified Zerbes 301

Locution of Land, Early Settlers 303

Host's Church 304

The Jacob Zerbes 304

Joel Zerbe Children 307

Philip Zerbe, of Washington Twp., Schuylkill Co 309

Descendants 309-323

Centre County Zerbes 323-325

Northumberland County Zerbes 325-332

Old Church, and Tombstone Records 333-347




Allied Families 351

Merkles 351

Church Records 351-355

Taxables 355

In Wars 357

Wills and Records 357

Michael and Elizabeth, Children 359

Daniel Bartolet's Descendants 361

Isaac Strauch 362

Michael Merkle Family 363.

Minnich, Muench History 364

Capt. Conrad Minnich 367

Hotel 371

Conrad Minnich, Second 373

Graves of 1776 Men Marked 376

Minnich, Minnig Genealogy 378-387

Phila. Branch Muenchs 387-393

Staudts, Stoudts, Stouts 393

Miller, Filbert, Kershner, Lerch, Ebling, Snyder, Mau-

rer, Wagner and other Families 393-397

Marriages, Land Warrants 397

Muellers (Millers) 398

Henry Miller 399

Family History 399-402

Andrew and Elizabeth Miller, Descendants 403-409

History of the Reber Family 409

Conrad Reber Descendants 409

The Wildermuth Family 411

Origin of the Schwalms 413

First Schwalms in America 413

Caspar Phillips' Children 416

Baptismal Records 417

Andrew Schwalm, Sr., Family 418

Andrew and Hannah Schwalm Family 420

Frederic and Catharine Haeseler Family 421

Haeseler's Ancestry 423

William E. Boyer Family 427

Dr. Francis W. Boyer Family 427

James A. Medlar Family 428

Edmund S. Boyer 428

Boyer Ancestry 429

John Andrew Schwalm Family 430

Dr. Thomas W. Swalm 430

Allen H. Swalm 430

Henry A. Swalm 430

Joseph M. Schwalm Family 431

Sarah L. Schwalm 432

Thomas Clouse and Amanda Schwalm Family 432

Thomas K. Wagner and Susan J. Schwalm Family 432

Hegins Valley Schwalms 433

Hubley Township Schwalms 435





Fottsville Ercctod 437

Great Road or King's Highway 437

Turnpike Roads, Canal, Railways, Stages, etc 438-440

Discovery of Coal 440

Settlers of Norwegian Township 441

Pottsville Erected 443

Pottsville's First Houses and First Settlers 443-445

Old Time Stories 447-455

Hessian Ancestors 455

Wills Probated Before 1800 455-456

Wp Was Hljo






uxt I


In preparing this work, which includes the labor of years,
the author has used only the best means available for the
purpose. The idea of presenting such an array of facts, that
makes of the book one neither entirely for private circulation,
nor yet one solely for public distribution, first occurred to the
writer about ten years ago, when after gathering much
genealogical matter, for the main branch of the family, it was
found that it was so involved with, and a part of, the pathetic,
beautiful and romantic history, of the Huguenots and Pala-
tines of the old world, thousands of whom were subsequently
the founders of interior southeastern Pennsylvania and parts
of other States, that it was next to impossible to divorce the
one from the other.

The early settlers of Pennsylvania were not a showy race,
they were plain and unassuming people, but they made his-
tory and it seemed incumbent upon the author to transmit and
preserve it. We are the descendants of French and German
ancestry. There are those who are inanely ashamed of their
descent and have a horror of being counted among the Penn-
sylvania Germans. We are not of these. We are proud of
our birthright. We have the homely treasure of a dialect
peculiarly our own and we glory in its quaint figures of speech,
so largely corrupted with the English, that as a sub-language
or idiom it must soon be relegated to the archives of the past.

The Pennsylvania Germans and Huguenots were mainly
husbandmen and tillers of the soil. To their untiring industry
and perseverance, that wielded the maul, the axe and the
mattock, felling the majestic monarchs of the forest and turn-
ing the almost impenetrable wilderness into arable fields,
rich with tasseled wheat and ripened corn; and making the
barren wastes green with verdure and the bleak hillsides to



blossom like the rose, to them, is due much of the present
flourishing condition of this our native State.

Plain, but loyal and God-fearing citizens of this Com-
monwealth and the States of the Union in which their de-
scendants have found homes, they possessed indomitable w^ill,
energy and perseverance and were of the stock, from which
subsequently, sprung men in every w^alk of life, from the
highest offices in the gift of the people ; the presidency, the
gubernatorial chair, the Senatorial, Congressional, and Leg-
islative chambers, the highest professions, the brave soldier
and sailor, on land and sea, down to the plain and unassum-
ing civillian who filled his mission by performing his simple
duty in life. All honor to the Pennsylvania Germans !

To the works from which the book has been partly com-
piled : the Pennsylvania Archives, The Pennsylvania German
Society Publications, Transactions of the Moravian Historical
Society, the Pennsylvania Associators, Rupp's and Montgom-
ery's Histories of Berks County, Cobb's Palatines, Koeppen's
Middle Ages, Menzel's Germany, Palatine Refugees in Eng-
land, Wheaton's Northmen, etc., etc., we are largely indebted.

The courtesy of Dr. J. W. Jordan, and his assistant
Librarian. Ernest Spofford, of the Pennsylvania Historical
Society Library, Philadelphia ; Dr. Schulze and Prof. Wm. A.
Schwarze, of the Moravian College and Archives, Bethlehem ;
the officials of the Pennsylvania State Library, Harrisburg,
and the custodians of historical society libraries in Reading,
Lcljanon, Lancaster, and Harrisburg, in submitting original
manuscripts for our inspection, for material, cannot be over-
estimated nor too warmly commended.

The attachees of the Chester, Lancaster, Dauphin, Berks,
Northumberland, and Schuylkill County Courts and the Court
of Quarter Sessions, i'hiladelphia, and the custodians of the
records of some of the early churches, were uniformly oblig-



ing in their oflfers of assistance in the unearthing of records.
Many individuals, too, lent their best endeavors and through
these the work was made possible.

To the chronological and genealogical data of the Zerbe
line, many of the family name contributed and rendered in-
valuable assistance. Others, too, collaborateurs in genealog-
ical lines that were involved with the above, gave aid and the
results speak for themselves.

The many difficulties to be contended with in a work of
this nature, are but little understood by the average critic,
who rarely sees anything to commend but seeks rather to con-
demn or tear down that which he, perhaps, could not origin-
ate or erect, himself; we pass him by and without further
apology, present the work to those interested and to an in-
dulgent public.





It seems singular to the student of the present time, that
only within the last thirty years has the history of the United
States been considered of enough importance to be included
in the curriculum of the large universities, in this country. A
young man could, three decades ago, graduate from a four
years' course in Harvard College, with all the honors and yet
not know, even, of the existence of the Declaration of Inde-
pendence or how the Constitution of the United States was
framed. Other colleges, too, ignored American History. A
boy was required to kno%v of the history of Greece and Rome
and during the term he was permitted to acquaint himself
with the history of England, but that of the United States
was ignored. An inspection of the curriculum of our public
schools at the present time, too, reveals the fact that history
is studied in a formal way for one year only, the eighth. This
condition of things, happily, is passing away ; an effort now
being made to introduce into the schools, as text books, such
parts of Pennsylvania history that are relative to general
school work.

New England history, as written, was largely biased by
prejudice or else the truth was wilfully perverted. In the
minutes of the Proprietary Government of Pennsylvania, and
such reports as have been published in the Archives, there
are fcjnnd facts that i)rove this assertion.

The official records of a State alone can preserve its true
history. The States of New York, Massachusetts, Virginia
and others began the publication of their Colonial and Revo-
lutionary history before Pennsylvania awakened to the fact



that she was lag-ging' behind and it was not until April, 1837,
that the immediate publication of the Colonial Records was
ordered by the Legislature.

In 1752 the Assembly directed the publication of the
Journals of the House, from 1684, which up to that date had
remained in manuscript. These annals are records of the
uninteresting details of the government of the colonies of
Great Britain and much that should have gone down in his-
tory was suppressed, as State secrets, for fear of the displeas-
ure of the British government.

With the opening of the French and Indian wars the
history of Pennsylvania became replete with interest. The
Indian massacres along the frontier, the letters of the British
officers and others higher up in the English government, make
a wonderful story and one that no one who professes to be
conversant with early history dare long remain unfamiliar

No state in the Union has a history of greater import-
ance than Pennsylvania. In her metropolis was located the
seat of the colonial government when liberty was declared
and on her borders and within her domain the decisive strug-
gle for independence culminated. It was in this State that
American Independence had its birth and here, too, when the
cause under Washington was almost hopeless and the New
Englanders deserted it and went home, that Pennsylvania
arose in its supremacy and saved the day.

The commonwealth is slowly unveiling the rich treas-
ures in her possession but many, too, of the invaluable docu-
ments in her vaults were lost, through the ravages of time,
dampness and mildew and through the peculations of dis-
honest custodians, who were the prey of private collectors ;
and some through lack of binding or transmission to print,
and others to the careless methods with which they were



It is a discredit to Pennsylvania that a more thorough
and systematic effort is not made by authorized bibliograph-
ers ; in addition to the transcribers employed on the archives,
to at once rehabilitate what remains of these rich and rare
treasures, as every year of delay means an added loss.

The Moravian, Lutheran and Reformed churches, in the
theological state libraries, at their colleges and seminaries,
too, contain many untabulated original manuscripts in the
German script that remain untranslated and are fast fading

What is true of the State and church, is also true of the
individual. The history of the early pioneers is rich with
information interwoven with the struggles, fortitude, endur-
ance and sterling worth and work of the colonists, that re-
mains uncovered and unhonored, through the apathy and
carelessness of their descendants, and the custodians of docu-
ments that relate to their history.

The early pioneers passed through many stirring and
even thrilling vicissitudes, but they were formed of the fibre
that makes heroes and not only endured untold hardships but
lived and even thrived under them. Without the help of these
rugged and fearless people, the nation under its heroic lead-
ers, in the struggle for liberty, would have sunk into the
depths of thraldom, unknown decay and servitude to an older,
wealthier and more powerful country and liberty would never
have been proclaimed throughout our beloved land.


Huguenots and Palatines

The Huguenots and Palatines

HAT Norsemen and not Christopher Columbus discovered
America and also, that, to the Teutonic race belongs
that honor, is conceded by scholars and historians.

The Norse Sagas embody the real history of the Germanic
race. Greenland has many evidences of their settlement and
farther south there are relics and proofs that the North American
Indians absorbed these races and, as Father Charlevoix, Jesuit
Priest, states, "Taught the aborigines the story of the cross be-
fore the advent of the early missionaries," who have been
accredited with that pioneer work.

A\'riters of American history, thus far, have not accorded
the Germans their due, in regard to the discovery of this Con-
tinent. The injustice of biased statements or else the total ig-
noring 1)y historians of what was done by Germans in the
exploration, development and early settlement of America, has
led the Pennsylvania German Society, a body of men composed
of Pennsylvanians, born of German descent, to decree the com-
pilation of a new and critical history of this Commonwealth. A
large sum of money has been subscribed to enable Savants to
make a thorough research of the libraries and repositories of
learning in the old world ; and particular epochs and sections are
made the especial study of members of the Society appointed
for the purpose and the results forthcoming are of such a com-
prehensive and thorough nature as to revolutionize many hereto-
fore accepted historical facts and add many unknown truths to
the basis of those already proven^

(New History of Penna. The Penna. German Society, Vol. VII., op.


Huguenots and Palatines

The Swedes were the tirst settlers in Pennsylvania in 1638.
The first commissioners from Wm. Penn to treat with the Indi-
ans came over in 1681, and \Vm. Penn, himself, arrived Oct. 27,
1682.- In 1 70 1 a small colony of Swedes settled on the Schuyl-
kill River near the mouth of the Manatawny Creek, 10,500 acres
were surveyed and layed off for them. They built the first
church for religious worship, in interior Pennsylvania, 1716.
and owing to the amicable relations between themselves and the
Indians, called their settlement x'Vmity (Chester County). This
name has been retained as the name of that township, in Berks
County, to the present day. A small colony of Germans came in
1712 and settled on Manatawny Creek. Then another colony
of thirty-three families came in 1723, journeying south from
New York. ^- ^

They were Huguenots and Palatines, who had cast their lot
together, in a common cause, to escape religious persecution, fled
their native land and came to the new world to build up homes
away from the thraldom and dictation of Kings and Princes.

During the middle of the i6th century, the reformers under
Calvin became strong in France, not only as a religious sect but
as a political body. The name Pluguenots was given them in
derision and they were bitterly opposed by the French Court
and disliked by the Roman hierarchy. Strong in their Pro-
testant belief they could not change it to conform with that of
the ruling prince.

Frederic II, the elector Palatinate, was a Lutheran, Frederic
TIT a Calvanist. Ludovic V restored the Lutheran Church, his
bon w ho succeeded him became a Calvinist and he was succeeded
by a Catholic, who cruelly oppressed the Protestants.

In 1634 the city of Heidelberg was taken by Louis XIV of
France. In 1688 the French army invaded Germany and devas-
tated the beautiful Palatinate of the Rhine, causing suffering and

(Note 1 — D. Rupp, Thirty Thousand Immigrants, Appendix.) (Penna.
Archives, Vol. 7, p. 291.)

Online LibraryElla Zerbey ElliottBlue book of Schuylkill County : who was who and why, in interior eastern Pennsylvania, in Colonial days, the Huguenots and Palatines, their service in Queen Anne's French and Indian, and Revolutionary Wars : history of the Zerbey, Schwalm, Miller, Merkle, Minnich, Staudt, and many other representat → online text (page 1 of 36)