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Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania
Settlement of German-Speaking Swiss and Palatines

(Song PLAYING is Pennsylvania by Eddie Khoury and Ronnie Bonner) - Words

Hildebrand in Lancaster County (Abt. 1740 - 1763)

Hildebrand Settles in Lancaster County

Though records indicate that our ancestor, Hildebrand In Aebnit departed Grindelwald, Switzerland for Carolina, no official records have been discovered so far to indicate that he ever lived in the Carolinas. Our first record of Hildebrand in the colonies comes from "List of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies" - Volume I and II by Albert Bernhardt Faust, A.B., PhD. He is mentioned several times between the years of 1738 and 1744. On page 56, we find:
"Emigrated to America from Switzerland with his sister Catharina (Cathri ) Inaebnlt and her husband Hans Muller, from Grindelwald, Switzerland to Lancaster Co., PA"
We find the following entry also on page 56.
"Emigration tax was paid by a Peter inAebnit in the name of Hiltbrand Inabnit, listing as 'departing for Carolina'. This was March 9, 1744 in Interlaken. This Peter inAebnit is also designated as 'Carolinian' by the Landvogt. Settled in Cocalico Twp., PA. Tax was 100 pounds on property of 1000 pounds. At the same time 50 pounds on property of 500 pounds was paid by Hans Muller."
We also find this reference on page 55.
Interlaken-Buch K, 717/27.

"Johannse Christe, who was born in the canton of Basel, but who has been living for many years in Pennsylvania (Lancaster), appeared before the Landvogt of Interlaken in order to take possession of the property of Hiltbrand in Aebnit which is still in this country. The latter is also residing in Pennsylvania. He is a linen-weaver by profession. The property amounts to 1200 crowns. From it are to be paid 620 crowns to the relatives of a certain Brunnisholz, who live in Wahlern in the district (Amt) of Schwarzenburg. Hiltbrand gave Brunnisholz, who also lives in Pennsylvania, a note for that amount.

. . . According to the warrant of authority to be found among the documents, Hiltbrand in Aebnit resides in "Cocalico taunship" (township). His father's name was Peter, his mother's Anna, nee Brawand. As witnesses to the drawing up of the warrant Fred. Stone and John Barr are mentioned. The warrant was attested by the mayor of Lancaster, James Bickham."

So from these early Swiss records by Faust, we are given an early account that shows Hildebrand did in fact emigrate to Pennsylvania from Switzerland. These same records also show that Anna Schlegel came to American about the same time as Hildebrand, or soon after, and that she married Hildebrand in the colonies. Though the exact location is unknown, it is believed to have been somewhere near Lancaster Co., PA. Lancaster Co., PA Hildebrand initially settled in Lancaster County, PA. which is known to have had a large element of German speaking immigrants. This was especially so in Cocalico Township, and we can SURMISE that Hildebrand, like his neighbors, continued to speak his native language of German. Cocalico Township formed in 1729, was rather large and was given the Indian name, "Hoch Kalelung". This township was in the NNE section of Lancaster County, which was originally part of Chester County. It was divided into East and West Cocalico in 1838, and today it borders on Berks County.

Hildebrand lived in this area from about 1740 to 1763. Lancaster County was very large, and other counties have since been formed from it, which include Berks in 1752, Cumberland in 1750, Dauphin in 1785, Lebanon in 1813, Northumberland in 1772 and York in 1749.

Tax Lists (1756 - 1759)

We have found no official records of Hildebrand, except for the early Swiss information mentioned above, until 1756 when he appears on the tax and agricultural records of Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Thomas Mayhill, who transcribed and compiled the Lancaster Co., PA deeds, says in his books,

"Those using this book should especially study adjoining owners as misspelling was common. Names were often misspelled by the recorder or lawyer who often used phonetic spelling. Some of the witness signatures were impossible to translate, and the compiler consulted experts on German script on some of the more difficult, without success. It is believed the recorder did not always make an accurate copy of the German script from the original document because of handwriting illegibility. In these cases, it is copied as it appears in German, even though it is obviously not a correct name."

A study of the Lancaster County, PA tax and agricultural lists of 1756 - 1759 indicates this is true. Many family surnames are found with a variety of spellings, and our's is not an exception. The following information from Lancaster Co., PA Tax Lists, Cocalico Township FHL Microfilm 449272, was transcribed several years ago by D. Mitchell Jones, and is shown here as it was transcribed, including all spelling variations.

22 Dec 1756 - Adam Brau, Em' Bralier, Hildbrand Inbind 30, Abraham Stofer, Christn Brinnestubs, Paul Fruthman, Jacob Sprigle, Derick', Rudy Bollinger, Mich Andreas, Henry Moller, Henry Moller Jur

1757 - George Bedick, Adam Brua, Eman Brallew, Hilderbrand Ebinet 7-6, Jacob Sprigle

1758 - Inemet, Hidebrand 060 while another list shows spelling as Inabnet, Hildebrand 060

1758 - Housekeeps Inebnit, Hildeb - Poor Land 50, clearland 9 winter grain 0, no horses, no mares, no sheep 3 horned cattle, weaver

1759 - Inebenet, Hildebrand - unpaid land 70 clear 10 2 horned cattle

1759 - Inebenit Hildebrand 050

The 1760 - 1762 Lancaster Co., PA tax records are missing. Hildebrand does not appear on the 1763 tax year.

Hildebrand Sells Pennsylvania Land - 1763

We next find Hildebrand and Anna on June 24, 1763, as they are preparing to sell their land in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and also as witnesses to another deed. A week later, on July 1, 1763, they purchased property in Frederick Co., VA.
Lancaster Co.,PA Deed Book L, page 50 and page 57

Hildebrand and Anna affirmed their signatures as Grantors. Also on the same day Hildebrand was a witness to the deed of Frederick Glass, Sr. of Roan Co., NC to Conrad Kuel

Shortly after his arrival in Virginia, Hildebrand made his will in October 1763. Neither Hildebrand nor Anna ever returned to Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, they both died in Virginia before July 1764. Their sons returned to Pennsylvania following the deaths of their parents.

Boys Return to Pennsylvania (Summer 1764)

Sons Return to Pennsylvania with Sangmeister - June 1764

"Leben und Wandel", the English translation of the Journals of Ezekiel Sangemiester, tells us that the boys returned to Ephrata, Pennsylvania in June 1764, with a group of 26 persons from Sandy Hook in Frederick Co., Virginia. More information on this trek back to Pennsylvania can be found on our "Virginia Walking Pages". Both Hildebrand and Anna had recently died and the area where they lived in Virginia was under constant Indian attacks. We also find in these journals that John was 16 and the oldest of the 3 boys. In Volume 8, page 147 Sangmeister writes,
"Christel's, Hans Martin's and Luther's household and Hildebrand's three children moved with us, for S. and H. Martin were the guardians over the deceased Hildebrand's things and children."
Other references in the journals indicate that S. is Samuel Eckerlin, and that he lived part of the time in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Hildebrand named Samuel Eckerlin and Hans Martin as executors of his will.

So far, we have not found any records of the boys from the time of their return to Pennsylvania in 1764 until the mid 1780s. We do believe that they were raised somewhere in the Ephrata - Germantown area of Pennsylvania.

Boys Show Up in Records Again!

When we find the boys again with any documentation, they are grown men. The first record we have of John is actually a record of his widow, Hannah, in October 1787, in Berkley Co., VA (present-day West Virginia). John is deceased and has left two minor children - Jacob and John. We believe that John had returned to Virginia by 1781, as his son Jacob was born in Va. at that time

Jacob, son of Hildebrand, is next found in the 1785 tax records of Lancaster Co., PA

A History of Shenandoah County Virginia by John W. Wayland , p. 233

Jacob Innepnet (district taken by Michael Speagle) - listed with 6 white souls, 1 black, one dwelling, and one other building

This district had many names of German origin. From these records, it appears that Speagle's list was compiled of the present-day localities of Maurertown, Saumsville and Pugh's Run. Jacob is not on the 1786 Lancaster Co., PA tax list. Jacob later married in 1788 in Shenandoah Co., Virginia.

Joseph appears on several records in Lancaster Co., PA. Between 1785 and 1787, there is a record of Joseph signing a petition. The Trinity Lutheran Church Records of Lancaster, PA, translated by Debra Smith and Fred Weiser, lists Joseph's first marriage.

March 28, 1785 - "Joseph Inaebinet and Elisabet Habecker, - marriage by proclamation"
In Lancaster Co., PA Deed Book FF, pp 295-297, we have this deed,
May 30, 1785 - "Transfer of 440 acres in Lancaster County, PA from Joseph Inebenet and Eliz., his wife, to Daniel Habecker. Joseph and Elizabeth lived in Bern Twp., Berks Co., Pennsylvania."
Checking on the map above, we can see that Berks Co., PA is adjoining Cocalico Township, Lancaster Co., PA.

Sometime between May 1785 and June 1787, Elizabeth died. We know from Jonathan Clark's 1786 survey of the Sandy Hook land in Shenandoah Co., VA, that Hildebrand's land is now being listed as the land of Joseph Enepnit, Hidebrands tract. By 1787, Joseph is listed on the Shenandoah Co.,VA Tax List with four horses and one cattle. He was also charged with the tax for his brother Jacob.

It is believed that Joseph joined his brother, Jacob, in Virginia about the time of Elizabeth's death. In 1790, Joseph remarries in Shenandoah Co., VA.

Elizabeth and the Hawbeckers (1780 - 1787)

Family of Elizabeth Habecker (Hawbecker)

We don't know much about Elizabeth's short life. Though her surname was spelled as Habecker or Hawbaker in Pennsylvania, the original spelling was Habegger. Elizabeth is believed to have been born in Warwick Township of Lancaster Co., PA, the daughter of John Hawbecker and Elizabeth Erisman. Her father was born in Emmen Valley, Bern, Switzerland. Alhough the Habeggers were from the same general area of Switzerland as Hildebrand, we do not know at this time whether the In Aebnits and Habeggers knew each other there. Elizabeth Erisman was the daughter of Melchoir Erisman and Edith Addy. There were several marriages between the Habecker and Erisman families.

The children of John Habecker are very well documented in the estate and orphan records of Lancaster Co., PA. John died intestate about 1782-1783. His children included 1) Christian Hawbecker who married Anna Huber, 2) Elizabeth who married Joseph Inebenet, 3) Daniel Hawbecker, 4) Ann Hawbecker who married Leonard Shick, 5) Barbara Hawbecker who married Michael Mayer and 6) Joseph Hawbecker who married Barbara Erisman.

Elizabeth's Death

It is from the orphan records of Lancaster Co., PA that we learn the approximate date that Elizabeth Hawbecker, wife of Joseph Inebenet, died. From the Lancaster Co, PA Orphans Court docket (Misc. Records) p. 456, we find a document relating to the settlement of John Habecker's estate.
June 8, 1787 - "settlement of John Habecker's estate indicates that Daniel Habecker is the surviving administrator of his father's estate -- stating that Christian, Joseph, and Elizabeth have since died. It also indicates that Ann has since married Leonard Shick (from Lancaster Reformed church records -- Anna Habecker m. Leonard Shick on Sep 26, 1786)"
The above document proves that Elizabeth was deceased by June 8, 1787. When the estate of John Habecker was distributed, Joseph Inebenet received a share in right of his wife. Apparently Joseph and Elizabeth had no children, for if so, Joseph would have received the share in right of their children.

Pennsylvania Sources!

State of Pennsylvania

PA Tree Books and References

  1. "List of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies" - Volume I and II by Albert Bernhardt Faust, A.B., PhD and Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh (National Genealogical Society -1925)

  2. Lancaster Diary 1776 - Compiled by Walter F. Ayars III for the Greater Lancaster Chapter Of The Lancaster Bicentennial Committe, 1976. (This diary is compiled of excerpts from diaries, day books, journals, newspapers, and court records of the daily life in Lancaster County in the year 1776.)

  3. "Life and Conduct of the late Brother Ezechiel Sangmeister" translated from the German Leben and Wandel by Barbara M. Schindler. (Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley, Ephrata, PA 1986) For ordering instructions, please e-mail Liz or myself (Ann).

  4. Journal of the Lancaster Co. Historical Society -see internet site below for complete online index!

  5. Rouse, Jr., Parke, "The Great Wagon Road",with sub title "From Philadephia To the South", The Dietz Press, Richmond, VA, 1992.
PA Flower Internet Sites and Newslists
  1. Lancaster Co., PA GenWeb - created 1729 from Chester Co., PA. Counties which have been formed from parts of Lancaster include - Berks (1752), Cumberland (1750), Dauphin (1785), Lebanon (1813) and Northumberland (1772). These counties have since been divided into more counties; so you can see that Lancaster, between 1750 - 1785, was much bigger than it is today.

  2. Lancaster Area Newslists - Subscription instructions for all the different newslists that Rootsweb has for this area

  3. Lancaster Co., PA Historical Society Page - (Links on this page can be found to Journal of the Historical Society, On-Line History of Lancaster Co., PA, Earliest Churches of Lancaster Co., Origin of Township names, Map of earliest townships)

  4. Lancaster Co, PA Rootsweb Resource Page - Discover for yourself any site on Rootsweb that contains information on Lancaster Co., PA. Much to explore here! (a must site for anyone researching this county)

  5. Bookstore of the Lancaster County Historical Society - (list of many genealogical books on Lancaster Co, PA that you can purchase)

  6. PA -Genealogy and Culture of Swiss Mennonite and German Palatine Immigrants -Contains much local history! This is a site for the real history bluff who wants to know more! You could be here for weeks - exploring the many sites!

  7. PA GenWeb Project - Entry Page for ALL of PA counties! This is a MUST PAGE for anyone researching any KY county!

  8. PA Visitor Centre - GenConnect Boards -Click on County researching!

  9. Ephrata Cloister and More Ephrata Cloister Read all about this unique historical place!

  10. Early Life of the Pennsylvania Germans - Site for the History Bluffs!

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Ann (Jobe) Brown
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