Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Harshbarger line: Conrad Reber

We're going back a ways here, since Johann Conrad Reber was born in December 10, 1751 in Langenselbold, Main-Kinzig-Kreis, Hesse, now Germany.  His parents, Johann Conrad Reber and Anna Margaret Conradt, emigrated to America shortly after his birth, as another of their children was born in 1754 in Upper Tulpehocken Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. 

Conrad grew up in a typically large German family of 8 children.  He would have worked hard on the family farm and his early years would have been spent with one eye out for warring Indians, as well as wolves, panthers, bears, and other more natural dangers.  There is a Conrad Reber who was a private in the Militia during the time of the Revolutionary War, but I am not sure whether it was this Conrad. He would have been the right age and this is the right location, but another Reber family claims this as their Conrad, and I haven't yet found proof one way or the other.  Conrad most likely would have been in either the militia or the American army.  I found a listing for a Conrad Reber in 1779 who was taxed for having two cattle, and I think this may be our Conrad Reber because he was listed just two names above Peter Pontius, who was probably his brother in law.  In this list, Conrad is listed under occupation as "joiner", which is a skilled carpenter.  Conrad would likely have served an apprenticeship to learn this skill, unless his father taught it to him.

Conard married Mary Margaret Pontius, daughter of Nicholas Pontius and Anna Margaret Shuey, probably in Berks County but date and location as yet not located.  By the 1790 census, his household shows three males under the age of 16, and a total of five females, one of which would have been Margaret.  I show a total of ten children for them, with four being born in the 1790s.  Known children are Christina, Margaret Elizabeth, Magdalena, Daniel, Maria Margaretha, Conrad, Thomas, Catherine, John, and Henry.  Of course there

The History of Centre County by John Blair Linn states that Conrad Reber came to Miles Township, Centre County, in 1801, where he remained some 8 or 10 years.  This is where daughter Maria Margaretha met and married Solomon Buchtel in 1805.  A Conrad Reber acquired land in Ohio in 1806 but it appears this was not our Conrad, as he stayed in Miles Township for about 10 years before moving west. Before he moved, he laid out the town of Rebersburg, in Centre County, Pa. It was not hard to choose a location for the town, as he situated it near two churches, a tavern, and a couple of other buildings that were already there. He also deeded some of his land to the Reformed Church, for the erection of a building. 

Sometime around 1811, it appears that he and much of his family moved on to Uniontown, Ohio in Stark County.  They lived some miles from the nearest town, Canton, and were apparently in Ohio during the War of 1812.  By now the Rebers would have been in their 60's, so military service would not have been expected.  Conrad died in Lake Township, Stark County, Ohio on September 7, 1823, and Margaret died in 1831.  I don't have their burial information or their estate information at this time, but I need to locate that.

I also need to find a marriage date and location and the baptismal/birth date information for their children.  Once again, we don't know a lot about this family.  I have the feeling that they were not dirt poor since they paid taxes in Berks County and since they could donate land for the church in Centre County, but estate and land records would also give us clues there. 

The line of descent is:

Conrad Reber-Mary Margaret Pontius
Maria Margaretha Reber-Solomon Buchtel
Benjamin Buchtel-(brick wall) Barbara Long
Nancy Buchtel-Adam Kemery
Della Kemery-William Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Harshbarger children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren