Friday, January 27, 2017

Harshbarger line: Jacob Whetstone born 1738

At last, here's another Harshbarger ancestor with information available, at least a little bit.  Jacob Wetztein was born in either Pennsylvania or Germany in 1738.  His parents were Isaac Wetzstein and possibly Anna Maria Maag, although there is some confusion as to his mother's name.  Isaac was supposedly born in Wuerttemburg, Germany and Anna Maria was born in Zurich, Switzerland.  Both are believed to have died in Pennsylvania but I've found little documentation for that at this point. 

Jacob, however, did live in Brunswick Township in what was Berks and then became Schuylkill County in Pennsylvania.  He married Anna Maria Schaeffer (various spellings) on January 23,1770at St. Gabriel Church, Douglasville.  She was the daughter of Johann Jacob Schaeffer and Maria Barbara Kobel.  While Jacob was either an immigrant as a young child or a second generation Pennsylvania, Anna Maria was in the third generation in America. (Possibly grandparents, parents, and children all came together.)

Jacob was 32 years old when he married.  This may indicate that there was an earlier marriage, or it may indicate that he waited to marry until he had found the right woman and had the means to support a family.  The family started arriving in 1771 and by 1775 three sons had joined the family.  It would have been a happy time for the couple, except for the war clouds on the horizon.

Jacob joined the Pennsylvania Militia, the associators, and was a Captain under Colonel Daniel Houser, in the first company of the Fourth Battalion.  This unit fought under George Washington at the battle of Germantown, so Jacob is not only a Revolutionary War soldier, but a hero.  Although the unit was on active duty for only a few months, Jacob was still listed as a captain (second company, this time, I don't know what happened to the first) in 1780.  I haven't been able to determine whether he served additional time but he would have been subject to regular drills and border patrol, if nothing else. 

I'm not going to hazard a guess as to how many children this couple had, because some of the information I'm finding on line is contradictory.  I'm willing to guess that there were more children than the three mentioned above, though.  The Whetstones are stated as living near McKeansburg, but church records are either incomplete or inconclusive.  I've found a church record for only one son. 

Both Jacob and Anna Maria lived long lives, with Anna Maria dying in 1818 and Jacob in 1833.  They are believed to be buried on or near their farm, but perhaps if their church could be identified more records could be found. 

I'm glad to have found this man, my children's ancestor.  If this is all I ever learn of him, we know that he was respected enough to be elected captain of his unit, and to have served honorably in what was a very difficult battle.  That is enough reason to give him honor and respect.  Thank you for your service, Jacob Whetstone!

The line of descent is:

Jacob Whetstone-Anna Maria Schaeffer
John Whetstone-Mary Magdalene
Catherine Whetstone-Henry Cook
William Cook-Elizabeth Brown
Barbara Cook-William Withers
William Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

From Catherine Whetstone-Henry Gook on down through Cleveland Harshbarger, these are all people who were born or died, or both, in Whitley County, Indiana.  It's a deep history the family has there!