Johan Balthasar Jr married Anna Apollonia Zehner in 1699, and they began their family soon after.1 Johann Andreas was born in 1700, Johannes Phillip was born in 1702, then Johann Friedrich was born in 1708. Then things turned sad for Balthasar and Anna. Little Andreas died in 1709 at the age of 9 years old. Their grief was soon replaced by happiness as a fourth son was born, Nicolaus Hartmann in 1710. Nicolous was followed by their first daughter Anna Apollonia born in 1713. Poor Anna barely lived to her first birthday, dying in 1714. Little Friedrich died the next year at the age of 7, but in November Jacob Friedrich was born. In 1717, Nicolaus Hartmann died, also at the age of 7, followed by the birth of their last son Nicolaus in March of 1718. So, as 1720 dawned, only Johannes Phillip, now 18, Jacob Friedrich, aged 5 and Nicolaus age 2 were still part of the family.
No doubt another factor influencing decisions about the future for the Liebrich boys was the fact that they had lived in a state of war for most of their lives. Before they were born, the so-called 30 Years War stretched from 1618 through 1648, ending with the Peace of Westphalia. The 30 Year War started as a conflict between Protestants and Catholics and then as regional powers saw lands starting to change hands, they got involved to protect their interests. Butzbach was fortunate during the early years of this war, because their ruler, Landgrave Philip III was able to keep them somewhat protected from the war.3 Nevertheless, the consequences for Germany were disastrous - when the war started in 1618, Germany had 24 million people, and England 12 million. Thirty years later England's population was 13 million but Germany had only 12 million.4 Then there was the war of Spanish Succession between 1701 and 1713 and the War of Austrian Succession 1740-1748.
It was in this environment that Johann Phillip married and raised his family. In the uneasy time between the Spanish and Austrian wars, Johannes married Maria Schauer in 1735.5 She died four years later in 1739, apparently without children. Johann married the next year Margarethe Catharina Sauerbier, and to that union were born five children. Anna Appolonia born in1741, died in 1745. Anna Veronica born in 1745, died the same year. Nicolaus Philipp born 1747 lived to adulthood. Johann Heinrich, born 1749, of whom nothing more is known. Christiane Maria born in 1752, died at the age of 10. Finally, Johannette.
We'll probably never know what the final straw was for this family that had played such a important role in the government and economic health of Butzbach. No doubt the Liebrichs were aware of the flood of immigrants that making their way to the New World. In fact, 1754, the year they left, was the heaviest immigration year up to that time. No doubt it involved a lot of soul searching of who all would go. Would Johann take only his family, or would dad and mom come along also? Would they take the well proven route down the Rhine to Rotterdam, or would they take the less well traveled road to Hamburg? Would they go in the dark of night, or would they ask official permission to emigrate?
In the life of German hometowns, it was not only hard to get into a community; it was also hard to get out. According to Walker6, to renounce citizenship in a town, one had to pay an emigration tax: something on the scale of 10% of a citizen's property. The emigration tax was justified on the ground that a citizen's departure removed him from the citizen tax rolls, so that he should leave a share of his property in the communal town treasury; the same reasoning applied in prohibitions of property sales to outsiders.
What we do know, is that in 1754, probably as soon as the roads were passible, Johannes Phillip Liebrich, his family and his father, made their way to Hamburg, boarded the ship Adventure, and made their way to Philadelphia. Hamburg was nowhere near as popular as Rotterdam as a departure port to Philadelphia. In fact, according to records in Philadelphia for 1752-1754, only nine ships arrived in their port from Hamburg.
Why the Liebrichs chose Hamburg is unknown. One can speculate that if they left their home illegally, then they would have had no papers to show at all the toll booths along the Rhine. It may have just been simpler and safer to go overland to Hamburg. We do know that the Liebrichs probably didn't travel to Hamburg alone, because everyone on their ship was from the same area, also known as the duchy of Franconia. This area extended eastward from the Rhine along both sides of the Main river, above Mannheim to the south and below Worms to the north9.
It is likely that there were delays in Hamburg while their ship, the "Adventure," was provisioned and contracts for conveyance were signed. A contract for another ship for the same year included the following provisions10:
1. Shipmaster promises to those persons who wish to be taken to Pennsylvania that he will transport them from Heidelbronn, Neckareltz and Heidelberg through the port of Rotterdam...Each person who has reached the twelfth year is to pay ten Gulden (written 10 fl.); however, in the case of persons under twelve years, two shall be taken at the above price for one; and those who are still drinking at their mother's breast shall travel free.
2. The above mentioned Shipmaster Horst promises that the following may be taken for free: for household goods consisting of five or six loads, two chests, each chest loaded as is customary, four and a half to five shoes long, two shoes wide and two shoes high, as well as a half Ohm of wine (Ohm = about 35 gallons).
3. The Shipmaster mentioned above will allow to be taken free of charge such provisions as bread, meat, flour and the like so that each will have the necessities of life on the trip.
4. Concerning household goods above and beyond those given above, those who wish these shall make an understanding and come to terms with the Shipmaster based on the fraction of the total freight involved.
5. The Shipmaster mentioned above promises to provide a properly covered ship and resting places, with 5 « shoes width for each four persons and 6 shoes where the ship makes it feasible.
6. The often mentioned Shipmaster promises after a properly carried out trip and landing to stop at Rotterdam for 8 to 14 days so that the people can make arrangements for the continuance of the journey.
7. It is hereby and expressed condition, that the people shall pay their freight not with small coins, but with coins of the gold or hard silver type, such freight to be paid immediately upon boarding the ship.
Finally, should one of the other of the two contracting parties break off this agreement, the same shall protect the other party listed below from resulting harm and proceed in a blameless manner, in good faith, without deceit and causing risk.
For proper record of this, two agreements written the same have been made ready, signed by the agreeing parties on both sides here present, with each to be given a copy thereof, so took place in Heydelberg on the 7th of February 1754.
The "Adventure" was no stranger to trans-Atlantic crossings; it had been making crossings since 1727 at least. Before heading across the Atlantic, the "Adventure" stopped in Plymouth, England. It left Plymouth with 245 passengers, 76 of them men. This was nearly 100 more passengers than any of its earlier trips, so conditions were extremely crowded. One can only imagine the difficulty of making the transatlantic voyage with young children. The need to start a new life in the New World must have been very strong, indeed.
The "Adventure" docked at the port of Philadelphia on September 25, 175411. The port must have been especially busy that week, since records show that six other immigrant ships also arrived that week. Fortunately, the required medical examination was conducted without delay, and all 76 adult men were found healthy. Later that day, the Oath of Allegiance was administered to all 76 men in the Philadelphia Court House and they all signed it12.
How the Liebrichs spent their first few years in Pennsylvania is not known, but they likely did as so many other German immigrants did: clearing land and farming. We know that, for some reason, the Leebrick family ignored the thriving German settlements north of Philadelphia. Instead, they came to what was then the frontier of Pennsylvania: Rapho township in Lancaster County. That area, which was to become home to the village of Manheim, was "a fine natural meadow with few trees except in the surrounding hills. Parts of the land were swampy with wild growths of alder, hazel and blackberry bushes. Travel was along the streams and over narrow winding trails through the forest."13 The area bears striking similarity to the farmlands near Mannheim, Germany, so it was no doubt an easy choice to put down roots in that place. The area responded well to the attention and persistence of the German farmers. In 1789, Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote the following of the new German farmers.
"How different is their situation here from what it was in Germany! Could the subjects of the princes of Germany, who now groan away their lives in slavery and unprofitable labor, view from an eminence in the month of June the German settlements of Strasburg or Mannheim in Lancaster County, or of Lebanon in Dauphin County, or of Bethlehem in Northampton County,--could they be accompanied on this eminence by a venerable German farmer and be told by him that many of these extensive fields of grain, full-fed herds, luxurious meadows, orchards promising loads of fruit, together with the spacious barns and commodious stone dwelling-houses which compose the prospects which have been mentioned, were all the product of a single family and of one generation, and were all secured to the owners of them by certain laws, I am persuaded that no chains would be able to deter them from sharing in the freedom of their Pennsylvania friends and former fellow subjects".14
The village of Manheim was formally laid out in 1762 by "Baron" Henry William Stiegel. The Stiegel glass works in town and the Cornwall iron works a few miles north were major sources of non-farm employment in those early years. The Liebrichs built a house on the town square, indicating that they were one of the early village residents.
Baron Stiegel not only had commercial interests at heart, but also looked after the intellectual and spiritual needs of the young town. In the fall of 1767 he financed the building of Manheim's first school house. "He was also of a deeply religious nature and .... in the chapel of his Manheim Mansion in 1769, the first permanent Manheim Lutheran Congregation was formed and continued to meet there for years with the town school teacher and visiting pastors from Lancaster and Tulpehocken as the preachers. Members of this congregation were Wherleys, Hentzelmans, Marzalls, Heffleys, Breams, Smiths, Leibrichs, Druckenmillers, Bartruffs, Keysers, Beidlers, Schaners, Eremans and Schroeters."15 In 1772 a wooden structure was built, and this likely was the place of worship for the Leebricks in their remaining years in Manheim.
The next record of John Phillip Leebrick that I can find is of his second Oath of Allegiance. It was administered on July 8, 1777 in Lancaster County, no doubt as a defensive measure on the part of the colonial government.16The text of that oath is as follows:
"I do swear or affirm that I renounce and refuse all Allegiance to George the Third King of Great Britain his heirs and Successors and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a free and independent State, and that I will not at any time do or cause to be done any matter or thing that will be prejudicial or injurious to the freedom or independence thereof as declared by congress and also that I will discover and make known to some one Justice of the Peace of the said state all Treasons or Traitorous Conspiracies which I now know of or hereafter shall know to be formed against this or any of the United States of America."
Anticipating his death, Johannes drew up a will in April of 1785.17 The text in English reads as follows:
In the Name of God Amen. I, John Liebrich of Rapho Township in the County of Lancaster and State of Pennsylvania, being old and weak but, God be thank'd, of sound memory and understanding, I therefore commit my soul into the hands of my Creator trusting upon the mercy of my Redeemer and my Body to the Earth from whence it came. First, I order and direct that my Funeral expenses and just debts shall be paid out of my Estate after my decease. Secondly, I order and it is my will that my beloved wife Catherine shall have all my Estate in her Hands and Possession until after her decease. Further, I give and bequeath to my only son Nicholas the sum of Five Pounds aforehand for his Birth Right which said five Pounds shall not be paid to him until after the decease of my said wife Catharine. Then I give and bequeath unto my fourth Daughter Margret the sum of Five Pounds aforehand which said five Pounds shall not be paid to here until after the decease of my said wife. Then it is my will and order that after the decease of my said wife and not sooner (that is when my son Nicholas and my Daughter Margret each of them have received five pounds as aforehand) the remainder left after the decease of my said wife shall be peaceably divided in equal shares amongst my children, viz, my Daughter Apolonia, second Daughter Mary Elizabeth my son Nicholas my third Daughter Hanetta and my fourth Daughter Margret. Lastly I nominate and appoint my said beloved wife Catharin Executrix of this my last will and Testament making hereby null and void all former and other wills by me heretofore made declaring this and no other to be my last will and Testament. Done this thirtieth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand and seven hundred and eighty five. Signed sealed published pronounced and declared by the said John Liebrich in the presence of us and upon his ... have subscribed our names as witnesses. Godlieb Spohm [and] Charles Smith.
John Phillip Leebrick died in 1785. His gravestone is still identifiable in the cemetery of the Zion Lutheran Church in Manheim, Pennsylvania. It is located in about the middle of the fifth row back from the street. The text of the stone is very hard to read due to the shallow relief of the letters, but the first nine lines can still be made out as follows:
When a man died, it was necessary to take an inventory of his estate, and this was conducted on October 5, 1785.18 His assets were valued at 323.12.00 (pounds.shillings.pence) and included the following:
|Item||Value||Item||Value||Coat, jacket, breeches||2.00.00||Good bed and bedflatt||4.2.6||4 pair of trousers||6.0||Another bed||3.10.0||4 petty coaths||1.2.6||3 keeberlings||?||Bonnet and beaver hat||5.0||23 pounds of wool||1.11.9||24 women's shifts||6.0.0||3 bed covers||1.0.0||6 different jackets||7.6||44 pair of fulled stockings||6.12.0||2 pair of stockings/2 hatts||5.0||38 pair unfulled stockings||3.16.00||10 short gaunds||15.0||6 bushels of wheat||1.13.0||11 men's shirts||3.0.0||88 pounds of bacon||1.2.0||10 pounds linnen yarn||1.2.6||Copper kettle||2.0.0||23 sheetings||6.18.0||Silver buckle/tea spoons||1.4.0||4 more petty coaths||1.0.0||2 cloacks||0.7.6||1 apron/6 handkerchiefs||0.10.0||1 pair of man's shoes||0.0.6||3 aprons||0.6.0||10 kaaps||0.7.6||2 pair of linen stockings||0.7.0||38 Nettings||2.16.0||4 tables||1.13.0||A barrell with a little salt||0.1.6||2 3/4 lb Flax||0.2.9||A copper kettle||2.0.0||Spinning wheel & Yeal||0.7.6||A cagg with dry apples||0.1.6||2 barrells with flour||0.7.6||Donsdraufs(?) and basket||0.3.0||9 Baggs||0.3.9||Woolen Yarn||0.6.0||24 Table Cloaths||3.12.0||Hand towls||0.6.0||1 Chest||0.2.0||Iron Curtain Sticks||0.0.0||3 pr of Wooll Casts(?)||0.4.0||Little cage/half bushel cage||0.6.0||12/1/2 Hemp Linnen||1.5.0||5 Cheers||0.12.6||1 Ten plate stove||4.10.0||Wooden ware||0.10.0||Pewter Ware||1.10.0||Tin Ware||0.6.0||A pair of Hillyards||0.6.0||Coffe Kettle/Handle/Lamps||0.11.6||2 fire hoals(?) And Mortar||0.4.0||Linnen ware & Koffe Mill||0.6.0||Netting Needles/Siscors||0.2.6||Bible and 3 Him books||0.18.0||23 sheetings||6.18.0||A chest||0.15.0||Bonds and notes||192.7.11||Cash||40.12.4|
In addition to these items, iron potts, pans and ladles, shouffell and tonge and a pair of pleating irons valued at 2.0.0 were found, as well as a Continental Loan Office Certificate dated 21 May 1779 for 800 dollars and other miscellaneous items. Whether that was ever repaid by the United States government is unknown.
This is obviously not the inventory of a poor man, but was that of a successful farmer. In fact, his probate records describe Johannes as a "yeoman". Unlike today's association of that term with the navy, the term "yeoman" then described a landowner who farmed his own land and who had respectable social standing. This must have stood in stark contrast to what would have been his lot had he stayed behind the walls of his birthplace. So it seems that Dr. Rush's assessment of the prosperity of the German farmer applies well to John Phillip Liebrich, the first.
Johannes' wife Catherine died just a few short months after he did. Her gravestone stands next to that of Johannes in the Zion Lutheran Church cemetary. The text of her stone reads in part:
This completes the known record of Johannes Phillip Liebrich in America. His determination and unrelenting search for spiritual and political freedom, peace and prosperity should stand as encouragement to all of us as a new millenium begins.
As for the children of our immigrant ancestor, they were named in his will, presumably in birth order: Apolonia, Mary Elizabeth, Nicholas, Hanetta and Margret. John Phillip Nicholas Leebrick will be the focus of the following chapter of this saga. The daughters were noteworthy in their own right, however.
Apolonia, who is sometimes referred to as Abigail, and who is believed to be the oldest, married Valentine Gardner of Manheim in 1764. Valentine was a tanner. After starting their family of eleven children in Manheim, they moved to the city of Lancaster. Based on christening records at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, the family resided there at least from 1770 through 1781. After that, the family can be found in nearby Martic Township, in what is sometimes known as "Conestoga Center". In Martic Township, the family was associated with the Mt. Nebo church. Valentine, Sr. died in October 1804 intestate, that is, without a will. Court documents dated March 25, 1805 ordered an inventory of his estate.19 It appears that the Gardner children did not agree with the court's division of the estate, so it was eventually sold. One third of the proceeds were reserved for the support of Apolonia and the remainder was divided among the children. For some reason, possibly due to the family strife caused by the settlement of the estate, Apolonia eventually returned to Manheim. There she purchased lot #126, adjoining that of a Leebrick family friend, Benjamin Nauman20, which included a one-story log dwelling. Lot 126 had a 57 foot frontage on Charlotte Street and extended 270 feet back toward Pitt street. Apolonia died in 1812, and like her husband Valentine, she died intestate. Dr. John Eberle, a brother-in-law, was assigned to administer her estate on 14 April 1813.The court found that the property could not be divided between the children, so it was sold at auction for œ86. The children of Valentine and Aplonia are as follows : Joh, born 1765, died 1805, married Isabell Thomson; Mary Salome, born 19 May 1767, married Lewis Stoneroad (Steinweg); Valentine Jr., born 5 Feb 1769, died August 1849, married Elizabeth Good; Catarina, born 4 Nov 1770; David, born 27 Sep 1772, died 29 Sep 1857, mrried Elizabeth; Heinrich, vorn 27 Dec 1774; Hannah, born 23 Feb 1777,. died 11 Dec 1811, married Adam Litzenberger; Nicholas, born 2 Oct 1781; Joseph, born 23 Nov 1783; Sarah, married Lewis Stonerode; and Phillip.
The second daughter, Mary Elizabeth, married Daniel Nauman (Newman) in 177521 in St. Michael's and Zion Church in Philadelphia. Daniel was born Nov 4, 1747 and died Mar 25, 1787. Daniel and Maria followed Apolonia and Valentine Gardner and moved down to the city of Lancaster and attended the same church, Holy Trinity Lutheran. Daniel was a medical doctor and served as Captain in the 6th Company, 1st Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. Stephen Chambers and Major Fredrick Hubley. Daniel also saw service as a surgeon at Ft. Pitt, from 14 April 1777 until 3 April 1778, and also in 1781 as part of the Northumberland Expedition.
Three children were born in Lancaster and christened at Holy Trinity: Daniel Jr, born 23 Oct 1779, Anna Maria, born 30 Oct 1781 and Catherina, born 8 Nov 1783. Catherina lived only 3 months, and was buried at Holy Trinity Lutheran in Lancaster. Johannes and Catherine Liebrich came down from Manheim for Daniel's christening, and were his sponsors. Valentine Gardner and his wife were the sponsors at Anna Maria's christening, and pastor Henr. Muhlenberg and wife were sponsors of Catherine. In addition Daniel and his wife were sponsors of one of Valentine and Apolonia's children, Joseph, born 23 Oct 1783. Daniel and his wife came up to Manheim for the christening of Nicholas and Catherine's daughter Maria at Zion in January of 1786, and were sponsors at the ceremony. Possibly Maria was named after her aunt. So it is clear that the Liebrich family remained close during these years, sharing in important events in each other's lives. Unfortunately, Daniel Sr. met an early death, dying in 1787.
Daniel's death was unexpected, and so he had not prepared a will. Letters of Administration were granted by Lancaster County to his wife on 8 May 1787. It appears that the estate was finally settled in 1792.
After Daniel's death, Mary and her young family moved to Philadelphia, where two other sisters were already living. She established a shop at 176 North 2nd Street.22 When Daniel Jr. was old enough to help, he assisted in the store as a hatter.23 Mary continued to maintain the shop until her death on 1 August 1810. Unlike her husband, Mary wrote a will before her death. Her probate records refer to a daughter Mary, and to her son Daniel, his wife Lucy and their daughter Mary.
The third daughter was Haneta, or Hannah. Hannah married Charles Wilstach in 178424 at St. Michael's and Zion Church, and then moved there. Before emigration to the colonies, Charles was a sail cloth weaver. He left London on the ship "Free Mason" between June 14 and 21, 1774 to seek new employment there. He took the Oath of Affirmation of Allegiance to the state of Pennsylvania on October 9, 1786. This was Charles' second marriage. Hannah was by then something of an "old maid" and walking into an existing family was probably something of a challenge for her. Hannah and Charles established a shop at 85 North 2nd street in Philadelphia, where they enjoyed a prosperous business. They moved to 178 North 2nd in 1797, and then to 190 North 2nd in 1808. Their only son was John Andrew Wilstach, who worked as a tin and copper smith, just around the corner from his parents at 2nd and Vine. Charles died in 1807 in Philadelphia.
Upon her husband Charles' death, Hannah apparently ran the business. One finds her listed at the proprietor of the business at 190 North 2nd street from 1810 through 1819. Her estate inventory suggests that the business had become what we would call a dry goods store, with large amounts of yarn, dry goods, thread and ancillaries being inventoried. It is interesting that her sister Margaret and husband Daniel Brautigam lived at 194 North 2nd, and her sister Mary Newman lived at 176 North 2nd, after her husband died.
Anticipating her death, Hannah wrote her will in April 1823. She died in 1824. Only their daughter Joanna survived her parents. Property at the corner of Delaware 2nd and Wood was given to Joanna, as well as all her mother's personal property. Property at 2nd and Vine was given to the two grandsons by Charles Andrew, as well as property at 6th and Callowhere. Among the claimants to the estate was Dr. John Eberle. It appears that Hannah lingered for some time before her death at Philadelphia Hospital, and that Dr. Eberle attended her during that time.
One of her grandsons, William P. Wilstach, became a prominent merchant in saddlery hardware25 in Philadelphia and became an art collectors. Upon his wife's death, the collection was donated to Philadelphia's Fairmont Park Commission, with the stipulation that a suitable building for displaying the art be constructed.26 That building was the first of what is known today as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Wilstach Collection continues to be an important part of the museum's repertoire. Other Wilstach descendants moved to Washington DC and then to Lafayette and Tippecanoe counties in Indiana, where they were doctors and lawyers. Yet another was the Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio during the civil war.
The youngest daughter was Margaret. She married Daniel Brautigam, who was born in 1754, and they lived at 194 North 2nd Street in Philadelphia. Therefore, three of the four Liebrich daughters lived on the same side of the street, in the same block, and this continued for almost 10 years. Daniel practiced the publishing trade in Philadelphia. Among the more widely read products of his shop was the "Der Neue hoch deutsche americanische Calender..." for the years 1780 through at 01. This almanac was published several places in Pennsylvania, including in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia printers varied, but they always included Hrn. Daniel Br„utigam. According to Philadelphia City directories, about 1800, Daniel moved on to be a bookseller, rather than a bookbinder, but remained at the same address. Listings in city directories continue at that address through at 18. Daniel died in 1830, Margaret in 1838. Both are buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery, St. John's Lutheran Church in Philadelphia. At last two daughters and two sons are known to have lived: Daniel Jr, born 30 Mar 1788, moved to Northumberland county; Elizabeth, born 1790, died 1844; George, born 1796, died 1836; and Anne Margret, born 1800, died 1877.
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