Friday, November 15, 2013

Harshbarger line: Peter Shollenberger

This is going to be a very brief sketch because as far as I can see, there is no good documentation for much of the information in this article.  It is taken from copies of copies of information from a book  or article by Marian E Shelenberger called "Shollenberger, Shelenberger, Frantz and Allied Families of Lehigh and Crawford Counties, PA and Stark Co."

Peter was the grandson of immigrants from Albig, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. His grandparents, Johann Friederich and Anna Katharina Hoppach had arrived in Philadelphia on the ship "Loyal Judith" in 1742.  The timing of their arrival means they were likely coming for economic reasons rather than religious reasons.  It was 5 years until Frederick obtained a Land Warrant for 100 acres in what was to become Greenwich Twp, Berks County, Pa.  (This could indicate that he served for a time as an indentured servant, or it could simply mean it took that much time to save enough money to buy land.)

Frederick and Katharina's son Johann Lorenz would have been about 6 years old when the family made this trip. Johann Lorenz Schollenberger married Elizabeth Mertz on August 13, 1763.  They had at least 9 children, of whom Peter was was in the middle, being born December 26, 1771.  Just as his father may have been too young to remember much about his trip from Germany, Peter may have been young to remember the Revolution, at least the early years.  He may have been apprenticed or indentured as a young man, becuase his biography states that he was a pipe organ builder in Philadelphia, Pa, a fine cabinet maker, and then later a farmer.  One does not learn to build pipe organs or fine cabinets without some training. 

His biography states that he lived in Hamburg, Berks County, Pa until 1810 when he moved with his two sons to Plain Twp, Stark County, Ohio. This was early to be moving to Ohio, because of course he didn't know that the War of 1812 was about to be fought.  We don't know the maiden name of the woman he married, but she was Susanna and was born May 4, 1777.  His (and presumably her) daughter Catherine was born September 6, 1796, and John and Joseph were born in 1798 and 1801, respectively.  It is quite possible that there were other children, but no record of them has yet been found. 

Peter probably fought in some capacity in the War of 1812, simply because most of the men in Ohio did fight, either in the militia, as part of the US Army or Navy, or as sort of a home guard.  In any case, this would have been an uneasy time for Peter and Susannah.

Peter and Susannah were apparently good Christian people, because on June 7, 1817, Peter was among the signers of the Constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran and Germany Reformed Church of Plain Twp, Stark County, Oh. On June 17, 1826, Peter and Susanna sold land to the Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches for a building and burial ground.  He later sold his land and moved to Marlboro Township, where he died July 27, 1844. He is buried at the St Peter's Curch Cemetery in Marlboro Township. 

I haven't been able to locate Peter in any census, or in church records, or in any of the other "usual sources" so this story is to be continued, I hope.  In the meantime, it's fun to think that a Harshbarger ancestor built pipe organs! It's fun to wonder how they made the trek to Ohio and how long it took, and it's fun to wonder about a lot of other of the unknowns in Peter's life. 

Here is the line:

Peter Shollenberger and Susanna
Catherine Shollenberger and George Essig
Susannah Essig and Daniel Kemery
Adam Kemery and Nancy Buchtel
Della Kemery and William H Withers
Goldie Withers and Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger and Mary Margaret Beeks