In the Spring of 1763 when Hildebrand and Anna sold 69 acres of land in Cocalico Twp, Lancaster Co., PA, plans were being made to move to Frederick Co., (now Shenandoah Co.) VA, to the area known as the Seven Bends near Sandy Hook. Land was plentiful and there was freedom to live and work one's own land. On July 1, 1763, Hildebrand Inabnet bought 132 acres of land on the north side of the North River from Jonas Little. At the same time, Christian Luther bought 24 acres on the east side of the North River. The deed was in German and witnessed by John Funk. Hildebrand's land was located just east of present-day Mauretown, VA., about 5 ½ to 6 miles South of the Sandy Hook Community, just south of Strasburg, VA on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.
This community was inhabited by members of the Sabbatarian faith who had come from Ephrata, Pennsylvannia, including Henry Sangmeister, Samuel Eckerlin, the Funk monks and perhaps the Kelps. (K:0lbs). As a monk, Sangmeister had been given the name of "Brother Ezekiel" and most records list his name as Ezekiel Sangmeister. Sabbatarians (also called Dunkers), among other things, kept their Sabbath on Saturday instead of Sunday, were mainly vegetarian, did not shave their beards and were thus called "longbeards", and were a very hospitable people. The married Sabbatarians and their families, referred to as "householders", lived in their own homes on their own land, while the monks and celibates (solitaries) lived in the Sandy Hook Community. The monks and solitaries all dressed alike, wearing a type of long robe.
Nearby neighbors in the Seven Bends region, south of the Hook, where Hildebrand lived included: the Speagles (Spiggles), Luthers, Snapps, etc. In 1791, Michael Speagle was one of the appointed guardians to the orphaned sons of John, Hildebrand's son. Michael Speagle was married first to Christina Snapp and married second to Anna Barbara Hamman. In 1789, Michael Speagle bought Hildebrand's tracts from Hildebrand's heirs. The Bakers and Windells (who were closely associated with the Speagles and Snapps) lived several miles northwest of the Sandy Hook in the Mulberry Run vicinity. Jacob Abnet, son of John and grandson of Hildebrand, married Sarah Baker, daughter of Johann George Baker and Charlotte Maria Volkner. More on these and other families of the Seven Bends area can be found on our second Virginia page Shenandoah Valley: Interwoven Families.
In Leben and Wandel, the journals of Ezekiel Sangmeister, we have first-hand knowledge of Hildebrand's life. According to Sangmeister, Hildebrand, a linen weaver, was persuaded to move to Virginia by Sebastian "Bastian" Keller where he joined the Funk brothers in prospecting for ore on Massanutten Mountain. The rigors of life on the frontier, sickness, disease, Indian Attack, etc. all contributed to the uncertainty of life! Hildebrand must have been aware of the dangers that he would be facing, as he wrote his will on October 6, 1763. This will naming his 3 sons (John, Joseph, and Jacob) "as soon as they come of age", was witnessed by John Funk, George Keller and Valentine Bruckmann (Brookman).
Early homes of this time period in the Shenandoah area were usually located near a spring or water source, and were one or two room log houses, chinked with a mixture of clay and wood between the logs to make a tight weather-seal. A stone or rock fireplace was usually used for both heating and cooking. Homes were very primitive both inside and out.
Life was not easy for a woman in late 1763. Anna and Hildebrand and their three young sons had left their friends and the familiar "home" area of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There was little time for visiting among the neighbors, and transportation was difficult, especially for a woman with 3 young children. Sangmeister's Journals tell us that Anna was very unhappy and lonely while Hildebrand was out prospecting for ore in the Massanutten Mountain. In addition, the wilderness brought much sickness and constant attacks by hostile Indians whom Sangmeister referred to as 'Wild Men'.
The 'Ebinet' farm was about 6 to 9 miles from the main settlement. Driven by fear of Indian attacks, Anna fled to another home and there she became very sick. Samuel Eckerlin, the local doctor and druggist, was sent for and she was moved into his home where she died after 14 days, and was buried on Sandy Hook.
After Anna died, Hildebrand and their 3 sons also became quite sick and for 3 months they moved in with Anton Hollenthal and Ezekiel Sangmeister. Sangmeister tells us that they did recover and returned to the their own farm.
Meanwhile, the Indians continued to attack the settlers! On June 1, 1764, there was a fierce attack in which 32 people were either killed or taken captive! The settlers, filled with fear for their lives, were rushing into Sandy Hook, and others were leaving the area to try to find safety elsewhere! Hildebrand died soon after this attack. We are uncertain as to his exact cause of death. With so many people in town, George Adam Martin, a man well-known for his preaching, siezed this opportunity to preach a Revival in the very large, newly constructed Sabbatarian barn at Sandy Hook.
Sangmiester's Journals give us a very good view of all of this. Hildebrand evidently died on his own property, and Sangmeister and others were summoned to help with his body and funeral. The funeral procession of Hildebrand's 3 orphan sons, Sangmeister, John Marty and Christian Luther, walked the 6 to 9 miles from Hildebrand's land to Sandy Hook, bringing Hildebrand's body to be buried next to his wife, Anna. It must have been a very difficult and sad time for the young boys, having so recently lost their mother, Anna, and now their father, Hildebrand also!
Daniel Bly, author, Strasburg historian and Professor at Bridgewater College, gives us this view:"About the funeral procession-- Sangmeister had few possessions- certainly not an ox, horse, mule or wagon. I suspect someone rode thru the nite to inform him (probably one of the Martys or maybe Christian Luther, he walked backup to the Inabnets and then brought him back in his (Inabnet's) ox cart or wagon, along with the children and what ever basics they needed such as clothing, maybe a barrel of flour and some cured meat. They most likely did go out to Valley Pike then 'down' toward Strasburg. At John Funks mill they would have gone up river and crossed over to Sandy Hook on the south side nearer the mountain. There is still an old ford there- it would have come out right on the land the Sabbatarians bought from Jacob Funk in 1758. It must have been a pretty sad and even bizarre procession, three little orphan boys, old cranky Sangmeister, the overzealous and emotional John Marty and Christian Luther- all in panic over rumors of Indian attack and a dead body on a summer day!!"
(Explanation: Usually we think North as being going "up" and South, as going "down". In the Shenandoah Valley, you say you are going "down" when you travel North, and you say you are going "up" when you travel South. This seeming anomaly is due to the terrain. As you proceed North from Augusta County you move downward in elevation, hence North is "down". The opposite is true going the other direction.)
Sangmeister was a very skilled woodworker and he made Hildebrand's coffin. He referred to Hildebrand in his journals as "this man" ie "Ebinet".
With the Revival in progress, and amid the hurried preparations of the Sabbatarians to depart for Ephrata, George Adam Martin preached Hildebrand's funeral, and Vallentin (Valentine) Brookman led the singing. He was buried on the communal property at Sandy Hook next to Anna.
The Sabbatarians continued with their hasty plans to return to Ephrata in Lancaster Co., PA. Some belongings and tools were taken to Winchester for safekeeping, and other possessions were left with Christopher Beeler. Sangmeister concluded preparations and on June 27, 1764, the eve of their departure, Indians attacked and killed the Miller family on the North Fork, two miles from Strasburg. It is recorded that Hildebrand's 3 orphaned sons (John, Joseph, and Jacob) were among the group of 26 persons led by Sangmeister who returned to Ephrata. John is listed in the Journals as being age 16 at this time. On page 59 of The Saint - Adventurers of the Virgiia Frontier by Klaus Wust, we read,"When Sangmeister led the exodus from the Sandy Hook in July 1764, neither he nor any of his fellow travelers considered it a final farewell to Virginia . . . but as it turned out, they never returned to Virginia as a group."We have been given an inside glimpse of the journey back to PA by Ezechiel Sangmeister in his Journals, "Leben and Wandel". In the English translation, Vol. IX, page 5, he writes,"In the year 1764 in the beginning of July we set out on our journey from the Shenandoah with bag and baggage. Immediately heavy rains set in so that the streets were flowing with water."He also tells us that the first day they came to Winchester and because of the continued heavy rain, and all their belongings being wet, they stayed over until the next day. In Sangmeister's words," It seemed as though God and the elements were against us . . . Since together we were 26 persons in number young and old and no one had much to eat, we were forced to leave Winchester despite the continuous rain."At some point, Sangmeister had to leave the group and go to Beeler (where they had previously taken some things for safekeeping), and he tells us that,"I had to take a boy behind me on the horse . . ."We do not know for sure who this boy was, as no name was given. He says that it rained so heavily that they were wet through and through by the time they arrived at Beeler's. The next day they again set out in the rain and caught up to others of their group who were resting in an inn three miles from the Potomac. Sangmeister records that everyone was discouraged and out of humor, and everything on the wagon was wet throughout. Evidently, this was a very soggy journey and must have been very disheartening for all the travelers!
On pages 6 and 7, Sangmeister goes on to say that,"Since there were many of us and the costs in this house ran high, we were forced to carry on our journey, but we could not get very far since the waters had risen and we had to stop at a creek."The next day, wet and tired, they continued their journey. Finally they arrived at Anton's sister's place near Ephrata, and brought their horses and wagons to Salma Höffle to sell them .
At this point, Vallentin Bruckman left the group. The rest of the householders looked around for dwellings. On July 29th, Sangmeister and some of the group journeyed to Germantown to Brother Samuel (Eckerlin) in search of land, but after much deliberation, it was decided to return to the Brethren at Ephrata. This was much against Sangmeister's wishes. They arrived back at Ephrata on Aug. 3, 1764 and settled at Salma Höffle's house. It is not known if Hildebrand's 3 orphan sons journeyed with them to Brother Samuel (Eckerlin) in Germantown. We also do not know whether these boys may have stayed in the Lancaster County, PA area with some of the householder families or perhaps with the Brethren at Ephrata. It is at this point that we seem to lose track of the boys and we are not sure exactly where, or under what conditions, they grew up. Hopefully, further research will reveal more of their early years in PA.
It is known that they returned to the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia in their young adult years and began to raise their families.
From Hildebrand's estate records, we do know that he was not a poor man. His will, dated Oct. 6, 1763 in Frederick Co., VA and recorded in Will Book 3, pp. 280-281 divides his Sandy Hook land in the following matter:"Item-I give my land and all my estate to be equally divided among my three children, Johh, Joseph and Jacob, and that as soon as they come of age, except my son John is to have ten pounds current money of Virginia more than my other two sons."One can only assume that John recieved more money due to fact that he was the oldest. We know from Sangmeister's Journals that in June 1764, John was already 16. The estate records indicate that Hildebrand owned a coffee mill and a tea kettle. These were not common items to own at this period in time. Samuel Eckerlin and John Martin were executors of the will which was recorded in Frederick Co., VA in June 1765. The venue took place in October 1765 where buyers included Samuel Eckerlin, Henry Diny and Abraham Meconnett.
In 1786 Jonathan Clark compiled statistics in a notebook on hundreds of farms in the Shenandoah Valley. This survey was later published by Peggy Shaomo Joyner in "Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys 1697-1784, Vol IV, p. 177. After studying the 27 farms located within the Seven Bends, which included the tract that Hildebrand willed to his 3 sons in 1763, Daniel Bly in Volume II, "From the Rhine to the Shenandoah", made the following observations and conclusions on page 4 of the introductory chapter on the Seven Bends."The Land was cultivated and in bad order 10 acre second rate bottom (land) and 12 acres (second) rate high land; log dwelling worth nothing; very old small stable covered with straw, (and) very bad. A tenant, William Hunter, was living on the land."The buildings and land deteriorated after Hildebrand's death and his sons' return to Ephrata in June, 1764.
Some on this list included:"Martin Black, Peter Black, John Blohee, Frederick Osserman, William Bosserman, David Bowman, John Brown, Robert Chapman, Peter Cline, Isaac Coffman, Benjamin Crabil, Christian Crabil, John Crabil, John Dellinger, Fredk Dillinger, Jacob Enabnett p 619, Joseph Enabnett p 619, Peter Fauber, Casper Hapner, Benjamin Hockman, John Jordan, Conrod Keller, George Keller, William Keneday, John Mauk Jr, Henry Midcar, Edward Miller, Henry Miller, Henry Orts, Jacob Orts, Augustine Ready, Abraham Savage, Adam Shryer, Henry Smith, John Soffer, Michael Speagle then 18 down Henry Funk Jr., Jacob Funk then three down Peter Hockman. Also, these Bakers were listed: James p 623, George p 618, Henry p 623, Henonimus p 620, Jacob p 623, Matthia p 621, Peter p 618, Philip p 622, Philip Peter p 616, and Rudolph p 623."
|The "Seven Bends" of the Shenandoah|
Owners and Tenants about 1786
See Map Below
|1||John & Lawrence Marty||2||Benjamin Hockman||3||Abraham Beydler||4||Abraham Beydler|
|5||Mark Miller||6||David Stover||7||William Bauserman||8||Nicholas Doll|
|9||Ulrich Stover||10||10 to Michael Copp 1795||11||Andrew Copp||12||Conrad Keller|
|13||Rittenour Ridge -land||14||John Crookshank||15||Christian Luther||16||Daniel Spicer|
|17||Geo. Michael Hamman||18||Benjamin Shue||19||Inabnet Heirs to 20||20||19 to Spiggle 1788|
|21||Michael Spiggle||22||(to Ulrich Stover 1796)||23||Lawrence Snapp||24||Casper Hepner|
|25||John Hottel Heirs||26||25 Henry Metzger|
|27||25 to George Copp 1796||28||Daniel Hottel|
|29||Henry Hiser, Sr.||30||Jacob Bruner Jr.,|
|31||Henry Artz||32||Michael Burner|
|33||Adam Darting||34||Joseph Pugh||35||Jacob Miller||36||Jacob Hockman 1752|
|37||Henry Hockman||38||(Adam Funk 1751)||39||Alexander Machir|
Conrad Wakeman -Tenant
In October 1787, Hannah Inabenet, the widow of John, late of Berkeley Co., VA, released her dower rights (SEE EXPLANATION BELOW) to Joseph Inabenett, her husband's brother. Witnesses were Jacob Inabenett, Benjamin Shoe and Mary ( )Shoe. In June 1789, Hannah sold her dower rights to Joseph. Then Joseph and Jacob sold their 2/3 of the land left to them by their father, Hildebrand, to Michael Speagle.
Hildebrand left each of his 3 sons (John, Joseph, and Jacob) 1/3 of his land on Sandy Hook in present-day Shenandoah Co., Virginia. John's 1/3 was later divided into thirds again - 1/3 to his widow, Hannah, 1/3 to son, John, and 1/3 to son, Jacob.
At this time, the remaining 2/3 of John's land (actually 2/9 of Hildebrand's total land) was untouched due to the fact that John's two sons were minors. In Will Book D, page 105, Shenandoah Co., VA Wills, Jacob Inabnit and Michael Spiegel were named guardians to John and Jacob, minor children of John who was deceased.
In March 1802, Jacob Inabnet, son of John, sold his right and title to one-third part of an undivided tract of land situated, lying and being on the north river of Shenandoah ... being part of a tract of one hundred thirty-two acres conveyed to Hildebrand Inabnet. There is no mention of John's oldest son, John. This deed was signed in German.
In Sangmeister's Journals, Volume II, p. 127, he states that:"The two youngest Inebinet brothers returned to the Shenandoah where Jacob married in 1788 and Joseph in 1790."Records of their marriages to the Parkerson/Parkinson girls have been found. Michael Spragle (Spiggle) was the bondsman for Jacob's marriage. They remained in Shenandoah County, Virginia for some time after the selling of Hildebrand's land, but they removed between 1798 and 1804. In Dec. 1798, Jacob Atnipp is shown as receiving a land grant in Lincoln Co., KY, on Buck Creek. We find them next in 1805, living in Pulaski Co., Kentucky.
Hildebrand's grandson, Jacob Abnet (son of John, deceased) remained in Shenandoah and Frederick Counties until after the U.S. Census of 1830. He removed to Indiana before 1840. Evidence shows that some of his family resided in central Ohio prior to their movement to Adams County Indiana. More can be found about Jacob's family on our second Virginia page - The Journey Continues.
- Daniel Bly, Historian at Bridgewater Collete, has written several excellent books on the early families of the Shenandoah Valley. He has graciously given permission for us to use these maps on our webpages! His direct ancestral lineage can be found in great detail on his personal homepage, Ancestors of Daniel Bly. Mr. Bly has written two volumes, "From the Rhine to the Shenandoah" . Anyone studying this area of Virginia should certainly have these books in their library.
- My SPECIAL TEAM!!
- Louis Moses - descendant/researcher of many of these families, scanned maps, visited libraries, researched and wrote some of the text
- Liz Marcello and D. Mitchell Jones - proofread, revised, researched, etc.
- Jonette Severson - whose early help in reserch was invaluable!
- Calvin Sonner -wonderful website has much information on Strasburg area.
- Klaus Wust -books were invaluable for our research!
- Amy Gilreath -books of deeds abstracts were a real asset!
- E.E. Keister - Strasburg, Virginia and the Keister Family (Shenandoah Publishing House, Inc. Strasburg, VA; 1972)
- "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).
- “The Personal Property Tax Lists for the Year 1787 For Shenandoah County, Virginia" by Netti Schreiner-Yantis & Florene Speakman Love (Genealogical Books in Print, Springfield, Virginia, 1987)
- Many others who we owe a great deal to - THANK YOU ALL!
To continue your 'Walk with our In Aebnit (Abnet) Family through Virginia', please see our second page - Shenandoah Valley - Interwoven Families. Here you will also get a glimpse of the early history of Colonial Strasburg and 'visit' with some of our ancestor's early neighbors and friends! You will also find many of our references - books, newslists, and internet sources.
Also, please take time to return to 1763 Virginia and Hilderbrand's land in a present-day quest with our own Louis Moses at our 3rd Virginia site - "Terror In The Massanutten"
Then when you have finished your Virginia Walk, don't forget to return to our main IN AEBNIT PAGE - as there are many more 'walks' to take, cousins to visit, records to view and an outline of the first few generations of the In Aebnit sons!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail Liz Marcello or myself Ann Brown. If you have any questions about the ABNET or BAKER families, I'm sure that Louis Moses would love to hear from you!
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