It has been well established that Peter Eichenberg (1731 -1812), son of the immigrant Martinis Eichenberg, was a resident of Cocalico Township in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It was for land in that township that Peter acquired a patent for 106 acres on 31 Oct 1765.1 But Peter was not the first person bearing the name Eichenberg/Eichelberger to reside in that township, nor was he the last.
A line by line search of the tax lists for Cocalico Township in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania reveals that the first person bearing the surname Eichelberger or some variation thereof was a John "Eighelbarger", who was listed as a "poor inmate" with "no trade" in the 1758 tax rolls.2 After studying the tax lists of surrounding communities, it appears likely that John was the same man who, along with Martin Eichenberg, was a resident of Bethel Township, Berks County from 1752 to 1756. (It was in 1756 that Peter "Ealberger" joined John and Martin as a taxpayer there.) These three men: Martin, John and Peter, are assumed to be the immigrant Martinis Eichenberg and two of his sons.
After 1758, the Eichenberg/Eichelberger surname does not appear in Cocalico Township again until 1763 when two, a Martin "Echenberg" and Peter "Eichenberg" were found. Peter was listed as a "poor inmate", ie. not a property owner and a resident of another man's home, presumably his father's. By this time Peter was married and the father of two young children. Two years later Peter acquired his land patent for 106 acres and he is listed as the owner of this amount of land on tax lists until 1792. Peter appears in the 1791 list, but his name is lined out. It is presumed that it was about this time that he moved his family to Franklin Co., Virginia.
With Peter Eichenberg's departure from Cocalico Township by 1792 there were no persons by that surname left among the taxpayers there until 1800 when Martin "Eichelberger" is listed.(3) The federal census for that year lists just one Martin Eichelberger in all of Lancaster County and he was, indeed, a resident of Cocalico Township. That year Martin was between the ages of 26 and 45 and his household included four males under the age of ten years, one male between the ages of 10 and 16, one female between the ages of 10 and 16 and another female between the ages of 26 and 45.
The identity of Martin Eichelberger of Cocalico Township has not been proven. This writer believes that he was the same man who was listed as a "freeman" (at least 21 years of age and unmarried) in the 1786 tax rolls for Mount Joy Township in Lancaster County. No other Martin could be found as a resident of the county at that time . Records of the First Reformed Church of Lancaster reveal that a Martin Eichelberger was married there on February 6, 1787. His bride was listed as Catherine Zanck "of Mount Joy."4 The couple disappears from the Mount Joy area after that and no trace of them is to be found until the birth of their son, John, in 1789 or 1790 5. Then they disappear again until 1800.
The same year that Martin Eichenberg/Eichelberger first appeared in Mount Joy Township as a free, unmarried man (1786), Johannes Eichenberg/John Eichelberger married a young woman, Catherine Kober, who was a resident of the Mount Joy area. This couple continued to live there where they raised their family.6 By 1798 another Eichelberger was briefly in that community. Peter Eichelberger/Eigelberger was a "freeman" in the tax list written that year. His identity and his whereabouts both before and after that year are uncertain. Was he the Peter Eigelberger who married Elizabeth Mertel of nearby Londonderry Township, Dauphin County?
So, who was Martin Eichelberger of Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania? This writer believes there was some connection between him and the immigrant Martinis Eichenberg family. But, to date, this is only a theory. A framework of a Family Group Record for his family has been constructed based on tax lists, census and other records.7 Any information to prove or disprove this theory is welcome and may be sent to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To view the theoretical genealogical record of this line of Eichelbergers click HERE
JoAnn Eichelberger Bauer
1. Lancaster Co., PA. Patent Map A6-557: Peter "Eychenberger", 106 ac., Cocalico Twp.
2. Microfilmed copies of the original tax lists for Lancaster County, PA. are on file at the Lancaster County Historical Society. To view a transcript of the Cocalico Twp., Lancaster Co., PA. tax lists (from their beginning to 1846), click HERE
3. Federal census: Lancaster Co., PA.: 1800-1860.
4. Records of the First Reformed Church of Lancaster, PA.: Marriage Records 1752-1806; 1866-1906 (transcription).
5. Notes and Queries; Lancaster Co., PA. Historical Society; p. 124: In Records of St. Mary's Catholic Church: John "Eichelberg", son of Martin and Catherine (nee "Zinkey), bap 17 Jun 1790; Sponsors: James and Catherine Whapley.
6. Johannes and Catherine (Kober) Eichenberg/Eichelberger are the web site owner's ancestors. To read their genealogical record click HERE
7 To view Martin Eichelberger/Catherine Zanck/Zink Family Group Records click HERE
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