Monday, November 21, 2016

Adam Trach (1749 - 1815)

Trach, Drach or maybe Trough, they are all the same Pennsylvania Dutch name. Our ancestor, Adam Drach was born about 1749 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania several years after his parents, Rudolph and Maria Elizabetha Drach arrived in Philadelphia on August  29th, 1730, aboard the ship "Thistle". In 1770 Adam inherited 300 acres from his father in Bucks Co., where he lived into his adult years when he gave service in the Revolutionary War in the Bucks Co. Milita under Captain William McHenry. After the war he lived in Cumberland County until his death May 10,1815.  His son Michael appears to have moved back to Monroe Co. with his older brothers where he married and reared his family. 

David Henry Keller included a memoir of Adam Trach and his descendants in his book, The Kellers of Hamilton Township.  His research presented here has stood the test of time for almost 100 years.
"The name Rudolph appears with such frequency in this family that it is difficult to tell one person from another. Fortunately this is not the case with the name Adam. There is only one Adam Drach on record and the agreement, will and deeds, show plainly that he was the son of Rudolph and had reached adult life prior to the Revolutionary War. In addition, the baptismal records of the Lutheran Church at Tohicken, Bucks County, show that he and his wife, Eva, had at least two children prior to the war. John Rudolph was born August 19th, 1770, and baptized on the 9th of October of the same year. The other son, John Peter, was born November 4th, 1772, and baptized January 3rd, 1773, the sponsor being Catharine Geres (single).

This church record giving the date of birth of Rudolph, son of Adam, as August 19th, 1770, corresponds exactly to the date of birth on his stone in the Hamilton Church yard, thus proving beyond a doubt that the Monroe County Trachs are directly descended from the Bucks County family.
Adam Trough (thus the name is spelled on the old muster rolls) was an Associator in Captain McHenry's company, Bedminister Township, Bucks County Militia. Satisfactory proof of his service is contained in the Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Vol. 5. It is believed that the information contained in this chapter is sufficient to permit any of his descendants to apply for membership in any Revolutionary Society. While some dates are missing, the line of descent is proven beyond cavile (without a doubt)."(Keller)

On  December 27, 1813, he drew up his will which was probated in Carlisle, PA where the family was living on May 10, 1815.  The will names all his children including Michael, our direct ancestor. "I give and bequeath the same to my children, to wit: Henry, Rudolph, Peter Philip, Michael, John, Elizabeth and Hannah, to be equally divided amongst them, and after the decease of my beloved wife, Eve..." (Keller)

Adam had a son named Michael who lived in Monroe Co., PA and had a son named Jacob. Jacob's  daughter Elizabeth married Edward Graver of Franklin Twp. in Carbon Co., PA. Ed Graver was the  Great Grandson of George Graver, another Rev. War Patriot.  Elizabeth Trach is named by Beatrice Graver Smith as her grandmother in the  family history notes that she so diligently kept.  These notes are in my files. Grammy Smith (Beatrice) always said that her family was from the Moorestown area, in Monroe County, and so they were! Elizabeth married Edward Graver when she was about 22 years old. The children  of Edward Graver and Elizabeth Trach were Oscar, Amanda,  David, Thomas, Carrie, Sarah and Wilson S. Graver, who married Jennie E. Lauer. Wilson and Jennie were the parents of Beatrice Graver Smith
  • PA Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. 5,  numerous pages.
  • Revolutionary War Military Abstract Card File Indexes
  • Keller, David Henry, Kellers of Hamilton Township
,1922. page 106(available at the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society) 
  • Pennsylvania German Pioneers & Palatine Passenger Lists 1727-1808, Ralph B. Strassburger and William J. Hinke, 1934, Pennsylvania German Society, p.32
  • DAR Record of Service for Adam Trough, Ancestor #A116171. National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, online research,
  • Commemorative biographical record of northeastern Pennsylvania: including the counties of Susquehanna, Wayne, Pike and Monroe, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, and many of the early settled families, by J.H. Beers & Co., 1900, page 567
  • Will Book 8, page 329, Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.
  • Image
                           Please see this list of all My Revolutionary War Ancestors.
This page  © 2016, Cynthia H. Smith

Send email to
This site may be linked, but not duplicated in any way without consent. The copyright on this page must appear on all copied and/or printed material.
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. It is with pleasure that I am able to present this information here for you to see. If you discover a relationship here, I would very much enjoy hearing from you.    

Friday, November 11, 2016

Lt. Adam Hamscher (1736 - 1809)

I can not begin to count the number of times I have driven past this Historical Marker on my way home from Easton. And never did I think that a Smith ancestor played a roll in Sullivan's March. In the DAR Record of Service for Adam Hamsher, Ancestor #A050806, it is noted that he served in the Rear Party for the Sullivan Expedition in 1779.

There is no way I would have  known about our ancestor Adam Hamscher and his Revolutionary War service if it were not for one very important person, Ron's Grandmother, Beatrice Graver Smith.
She was our family historian. Beatrice recorded the names and vital statistics of relatives in the pages of her Smith family reunion notebook. She also recorded the linage of her Graver family.  How I wish she were still alive today so that I could ask her  more about these people, but I am thankful for the information that she did record. Because it is her family tree that contains so many of these Revolutionary Patriots about whom I have been writing.

Beatrice provided the name of her grandfather, Ed Graver, who married Elizabeth Trach.  This is where my own research began.  Using the Federal Census records of 1900, 1880, 1870, and 1860, I followed  Edward and Elizabeth Graver back in time until I found young Edward Graver in the 1850 census.  He is listed there as the 15 year old son of John Graver and his wife Bets of Weisport, Northampton Co., PA. Rechecking all of Gram Smith's notes I discovered that she had identified the father of Bets Graver as John Jacob Hower and that Bets was born, Elizabeth Hower.  An internet search for John Jacob Hower pointed me in the direction of the Dreisbach Family Association.  There, I discovered that John Jacob Hower married Magdalena Dreisbach. She was the daughter of John Adam Dreisbach and his wife Maria Margaret Hamscher.  Which brings us the the subject of this post, Adam Hamscher, the father of Maria Margaret Hamscher and a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War.

In the Pennsylvania Archives, 5th Series, Vol. 5, page 163, Adam is listed in 1777 as a 2nd Lieutenant, 6th Company, 1st Battalion, Berks Co. militia in Ruscomb Manor and under the command of Capt. Peter Wanner.  Adam may have served in the Berks militia in 1776, 1778 and 1779 as well, documentation for those years has not been found. Since Adam does not appear in the tax records of Berks County after 1779 he may have moved to Northampton Co.  In 1780, 1781, 1782 and 1783 Adam was a Lieutenant in the 7th Company, 3rd Battalion, Northampton Co. militia according to the PA Archives, 5th Series,Vol. 8, p. 246, 254, 275, 287 etc.  This places him in Macungie Township.  In the PA Archives 5th Series,Vol. 4, p. 655 he is listed as a "Soldier of the Revolution" and he received Continental Line Depreciation Pay according to the PA Archives 5th Series,Vol. 4, p. 32-34. 

Record of his birth is given in the baptismal  records of Gau Heppenheim Evangelical Church in Germany. Adam Hambscher was born on April 18, 1736 and baptized on April 22.  He was the son of Bernhardt Hambscher and his wife Apollonia.  When he was 17 years old he traveled to the New World aboard the ship 'Edinburg' arriving in Philadelphia from Rotterdam on September 14, 1753. He found his way to Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and on November 7, 1758 married Maria Margaret Heckman at the New Goshenhoppen Reformed Church in Upper Hanover Twp., Montgomery Co, Pennsylvania. While his military service records place him in Berks Co., he eventually settled in Northampton County.

Besides farming he was also a weaver as the tax list for 1782 in Lehigh Twp,  Northampton Co.  shows Adam Hamsher, "weaver".   The 1790 Census shows Adam Hamshire in Lehigh Twp.  His household consisted of two males over 16, one male under 16 and three females.  The 1798 tax list in Lehigh Twp. shows us that Adam has a one story 40x48 stone house.  The 1800 Census shows Adam  in Lehigh Township; one male between the ages of 10 and 16; one male between 16 and 26 and one male over 45. Only one female over 45 is living in the household.

Adam Hamscher died in 1809.  His will was dated December 31, 1808 and was probated August 31, 1809 at Easton, Northampton Co., Pa.  He left an estate to his wife, Maria Margaret and equal shares to Daniel, Barnet, Anna Maria, Margaret and Adam, his children.

  • Pennsylvania, Land Warrants and Applications, 1733-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012
  • Recorder of Deeds, Northampton County, Pa.  Deed book C9 p. 756
  • John Humphery, Pennsylvania Gravestones, Northampton Co, PA , published Washington, D.C., 2000
  • PA Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. VIII,  numerous pages.
  • Revolutionary War Military Abstract Card File Indexes
  • Paul Burdick, “Some Hamshers-Homshers of 18th Century PA,” 1965, Repository: LDS Film 525281.
  • LDS Film # 1474867, Church Records: Gau Heppenheim Evangelical, Alzey, Hesse, Germany, Baptisms, Marriages
  • The Dreisbach Family Association, 
  • Pennsylvania German Pioneers & Palatine Passenger Lists 1727-1808, Ralph B. Strassburger and William J. Hinke, 1934,Pennsylvania German Society
  • Sullivan Campaign Historic Marker, Easton, PA., photo taken Nov.3, 2016, Cynthia H. Smith
                               Please see this list of all My Revolutionary War Ancestors.
This page  © 2016, Cynthia H. Smith

Send email to
All Rights Reserved.This site may be linked, but not duplicated in any way without consent. The copyright on this page must appear on all copied and/or printed material.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Thomas Hughes, Pioneer to Northumberland Co. Pennsylvania

Thomas Hughes may have been born  in Windsor Twp., Berks Co., Pennsylvania about 1740.  His exact birth date has not been found. What is known is that he died September 16, 1807 in Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania.  As a member of the group of pioneers who settled in the  Catawissa area, it is known that Thomas was a Welsh Quaker. Therefore it is unlikely that he would have fought in the Revolutionary War and no evidence has been found to show that he did serve in the war.

Thomas  immigrated to  the area of Danville, Pennsylvania near Catawissa and was one of the  original settlers thereabouts.  A number of men named Hughes came from  the Maiden Creek area of Berks Co. to Northumberland County in this time period. He and several of his brothers,  who may have been George, John  and James, were involved in the early settlement of land along the Susquehanna River  near Northumberland.
 WPA Mural by John W. Beauchamp in the Muncy, Pennsylvania Post Office.
The year 1778 was known  as "The Big Runaway" when the Native Americans in the Pine Creek Area caused the pioneers to  flee their homesteads.   This painting is a mural of Rachel Silverthorn's ride to warn settlers along Muncy Creek of impending attacks.  These were turbulent times to be living on the edge of the Pennsylvania frontier.  

I have not been able to determine the parents of Thomas Hughes.
 Thomas Hughes, the father of Jeptha Hughes, pioneer ancestor in Tioga Co. PA,  died on  Sept. 16, 1807    Census records help to determine his whereabouts as an adult and of his birth year being prior to 1755.  (census 1800).  
Census Records 1790 - Thomas Hughes - Northumberland Co.; 1 male over 16 ; 3 males under 16;  4  females.
Census Records 1800- Thomas Hughes - Northumberland Co.;  4 males under 10, 1 male between the ages of 10 and 16, 1 male between the ages of 16 and 26, 1 male over 45. (therefore, Thomas born before prior to 1755)

Early land records show him living in the area of   Maiden Creek, near Reading, PA. Deed dated Aug. 17, 1773  (Vol. A 416 Bloomsburg, PA)  for a 300 acres tract on the west side  of the Northeast Branch of the Susquehanna  in what is now  Northumberland, Co.  "Thomas  Hughes, Maiden Creek twp. in Berks Co.,  carpenter."   From this source it can be determined that he  was a carpenter and that he was living in Maiden Creek Twp., Berks Co. PA.  Also a reference  to the same land is given in Vol. K 399, 1 Mar 1775, Northumberland CO PA, Sunbury  PA. "Thomas Hughes of Augusta Twp., Northumberland Co. Carpenter (original Purchase 1769) 1 and 1/2 miles from the mouth of Catawesy Creek on the Nescopeck Path." 

A petition was filed by Evan Hughes to settle the estate of his father for the sale of a tract  of land containing about two hundred and thirty two acres in 1809.  It stated that Thomas Hughes was the father of nine children: "Thomas Hughes died leaving a widow named Mary who is  yet alive and nine children to wit:Rebecca, intermarried with Jesse Doughtery; Sarah,  intermarried with Benjamin Prall; Evan Hughes, your petitioner; Mary  Hughes; Rachel Hughes; Isaac Hughes; Jeptha Hughes; Jesse Hughes; and Jonathan Hughes according to the order of their   birth and seniority..."

It would appear that Thomas' death was unexpected 
since he did not leave a will. This petition is the only record official of his children that has been located. In 1958, Phoebe Hughes Button, Hughes  family historian,  named  the children of Thomas and Mary Stevens Hughes as:  Sally Hughes (Sarah), Eben Hughes (Evan), Becky Hughes (Rebecca), Rachel Hughes,  Polly Hughes (Mary), Isaac Hughes and Jeptha Hughes. Sons Jesse and Jonathan are not  accounted for in Phoebe's records. Names in parentheses are as given in the Northumberland Co.  Orphans Court reference which named the children in the order of their births which is:  Rebecca, Sarah, Evan, Mary, Rachel, Isaac, Jeptha (born in 1791), Jesse, and Jonathan.  Rebecca and Sarah were married by 1809.  The petition says the  last four of  the children  were still minors.
"A Settler's Cabin"
Thomas Hughes married Mary Stevens around 1773.  Mary was born about 1755 and died after 1812.
 The parents of this frontier women are unknown. She lived on the edge of civilization in  the wilderness of Pennsylvania at a time when your very livelihood hung on a shoestring. Her husband, Thomas came to the area where the East and West  Branches of the Susquehanna River  come together to form the Susquehanna River.  He came to homestead as early as 1773 and it is likely that she  came with him from the Maiden Creek area. No official birth or death dates are known for her, but  it  is known that Mary Stevens Hughes out lived her husband.

Her death  date has to be some time after 1812, since the court  records indicate that she was alive when the  petition was filed to settle the estate. In addition there is a record,  Vol. Q 798, 21 April 1812, 7 Aug. 1812, abstract:  Release Hughs, Mary to James Laughead, lot of land to son Isaac Hughes, Mary Hughes relect  and widow of Thomas by Orphans court of Northunberland Co. PA.

Thomas and Mary Hughes were my great,great,great, great grandparents. I grew up learning the stories of their son Jeptha, who pioneered to Tioga Co.  And of their grandson Frederick and his wife Harriet Van Wey Hughes, who lumbered and farmed with the aide of his large family.  And of Simeon and his wife Fannie B. Westlake Hughes, my great grandparents, who dairy farmed in Tioga. All renowned and honored ancestors in the Hughes family tree.

  • Mural "Rachel Silverthorne's Ride" (1938) by John W. Beauchamp in the Muncy Post Office, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. Online,_Pennsylvania.JPG. visited Sept. 10, 2016.
  • Meginness, John Franklin (1892). History of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania , Chapter 8, (1st ed.). Chicago, IL: Brown, Runk & Co. 
  • Thomas Hughes. Will Book 2, p. 55, Northumberland Co. PA, Sunbury PA.
  • Petition to settle the estate of Thomas Hughes. 1809 Orphans Court of Northumberland Co. PA, Sunbury PA , p. 38 and others.  Researched and recorded by Cynthia Hughes Smith, July, 1993. 
  • "A Settler's Cabin", illustration, p.67. Visited 9.12.16
                                          Copyright This page  © 2016, Cynthia H. Smith

Send email to
This site may be linked, but not duplicated in any way without consent. The copyright on this page must appear on all copied and/or printed material.

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. It is with pleasure that I am able to present this information here for you to see. If you discover a relationship here, I would very much enjoy hearing from you.