An American Family History

Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Chester County was one of the three original Pennsylvania counties created in 1682.

Mennonites are Christians who reject infant Baptism. In the early 18th century about 2,500 Mennonites fled to Pennsylvania from persecution in the Palatinate. They opposed the Revolution, resisted public education, and did not approve of religious revivalism. They supported separation of church and state, and opposed slavery.

Settlers often built log cabins as their first homes.

The first European settlements in the Pequa Valley were as early as 1709. It was settled by Swiss Mennonites and French Huguenots.

The first patent deeds in the area were dated June 30, 1711.

The name Strasburg first appeared on land titles as early as 1712.

Recd, Philadelphia, 11:7:1712, of Maria Warenbaner [Ferree], twenty shillings sterling, for one year's quit-rent of two thousand acres of land laid out to her at Strasburg, in this Province.

Judge Landis wrote

It has been asserted that Mary Fiere built her log house at a spring near the township bridge crossing the stream on the road to Intercourse.... This claim is not sustained by proof, but, like many other things, is established by family tradition. Nearby, the first white child, Daniel Lefever, the son of Isaac and Katharine Lefever, was born in 1713.

Hildebrand wrote that

the first house of any pretensions [was] a roomy and comfortable dwelling was built by Martin Kendig in the year 1717, Out Of walnut logs and with a straw or thatched roof.

At the 1st assessment in 1718 Strasburg was in Conestoga Township. In 1720, West Conestoga Township was formed on the west side of Pequa Creek.

Lancaster County was formed from Chester County in 1729. When it was organized in 1729 and divided into townships the name Strasburg was ignored, and Strasburg and Paradise townships were included in Leacock township.

Daniel Ferree and Isaac LeFever took out a patent for 2,000 acres in Strasburg in 1733. In 1734 Casper Bowman took out a patent. In 1735 Mathias Slaymaker took out a patent for 150 acres.

The village grew up along the Conestoga Road. A traveler, who drove through Strasburg during the second half of the 18th century described it as a village of log houses. At one time, the village was known as Bettlehausen (beggar houses). It became a vital way station with as many as twenty hotels and stores as well as a center for locally-oriented, small-scale industries such as blacksmithing, weaving, clockmaking and cabinetmaking. By 1759, there were 32 taxable properties in the town. 

The 1769 tax list enumerated 53 log, 29 brick and four stone houses. About half were two-story.

Several church congregations were formed around the 1760s earlier Strasburg had no churches, and went by the name of Hell Hole. The town served those who travelled along the highway and most residents were connected with the eight or ten public-houses, which offered "entertainment for man and beast."

By 1791 Strasburg had a Scientific Society and a Society Hall.

A post office was established in 1804.

The first church building was built in 1807 by the Methodists. The Mennonites, the Lutherans, the Episcopalians, and the Presbyterians all had churches soon after. About 1808, the first school building was built. 

The town was officially incorporated as a borough March 13, 1816. The boundaries were:

Beginning at a stone, the corner of Widow Herr's land,

thence along lands of George LeFever and John Howery south seventy-four degrees, west two hundred and six perches and eight-tenths of a perch to a stone;

thence along lands of John Howery north sixteen degrees west forty-nine perches and a half perch to a stone;

thence along lands of John Kindig, Widow Longenecker, Tobias Herr and Henry Breckbill south seventy-four degrees west two hundred and seventy-six perches and one-half to a post;

thence along lands of John Kindig and John Breckbill south fifteen degrees and one-quarter of a degree east one hundred and thirty perches to a stone;

thence along lands of Jacob Fritz and John Funk north seventy-four degrees, east two hundred and thirty-nine perches and one-third of a perch to a stone;

thence along lands of said John Funk south seventeen degrees east thirty-nine perches and one-half of a perch to a stone;

thence along Abraham Graff's land north seventy-five degrees and three-fourths of a degree cast two hundred and forty perches and one-half of a perch to a stone;

thence along lands of Widow Herr north fifteen degrees west one hundred and twenty-nine perches and one-half of a perch to the place of beginning.

A land patent is an exclusive land grant made by the government. The certificate that grants the land rights is also called first-title deed and final certificate. In the United States, all land can be traced back to the original land patent.

Europeans began to settle in the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania area about 1710. It was part of Chester County until May 10, 1729.

The Huguenots were 16th and 17th century French protestants. About 500,000 Huguenots fled France because of religious persecution. They relocated to Protestant nations.

Early American Colonists and pioneers had to make everything necessary for daily life and skilled craftsmen were essential.

The rod or perch or pole is a surveyor's tool equal to 5 1⁄2 yards.



Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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