From Family of Peter and Elizabeth
(Yoder) Hershberger (1810-2002)
by David Miller
"The Amish-Mennonite Hershberger family descend from Immigrant Christian Hershberger who came to America in 1737 with his family and settled in Berks Co., Pa. This impressive volume covers the descendants of Peter and Elizabeth (Yoder) Hershberger who had four children."
And from the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online:
"In 1754 the oldest Amish congregation in Pennsylvania along the Northkill in Berks County had a Christian Hershberger in its number, and by the close of the 18th century the name Harshbarger was found among the Mennonites of Virginia. Hershbergers were among the pioneer Amish settlements in practically all of the states west of Pennsylvania."
"The family history of the Hershbergers was found in a manuscript at the Somerset Historical Society. The connection to the Summy Family, and thus the Stairs Family, is given in a personal letter written by Abraham Summy to his niece ( daughter of Fannie Kaufman).
Christian Hershberger accumulated 219 acres located on Molasses Hill in Berne Twp., Berks county, Pa. This land was conveyed to his two sons, Peter and Christian Jr., in 1770. Peter signed over his half to Christian Jr. and moved to Dauphin County. Christian Hershberger Jr. and his wife Magdelena farmed this property until about 1815. Then they split the property in two and sold them to their sons Peter and David. Three or four years later the two sons sold their respective properties out of the family and moved and settled in Mifflin County, Pa.
The brothers of Peter and David also moved and settled in Somerset Co., Pa. Benjamin, Daniel, Henry and Abraham went to Conemaugh Twp. and John, Christian III, and Jacob went to Elk Lick Twp. Christian III had nine children as enumerated by Abraham Summy in a letter to his niece. One of these offspring was Eve Harshberger, wife of Christian Summy, and mother of Abraham Summy.
Elk Lick Township was and is a center of Amish families, who include descendants of Michael Summy and the Harshberger families."
Residences & events:
Lancaster Co, PA.
Was this item from Larry D Smither about this Christian Hershberger? "As early as 1773, John Flick, David Georffery, Christan Hershberger, John Markley and Philip Nolled were owners of taverns in Elk Lick Township." (Did the Amish approve of drinking back then?)
1790 Dauphin Co, PA. The family probably never moved as Dauphin Co was carved from Lancaster in 1785. The only Christian "Harshbargers" in the state were in that county and there were 3, along with John, Peter, and Daniel.
1800 Berks Co, PA. At census time Christian Hershberger was over 45 years old and living with him were 1 male under 10, 2 age 10-15, 2 at 16-25, 1 female age 10-15, 2 at 16-25, and 1 also over 45. He was the only Hershberger in the county.
1810 Berks Co, PA. The census listed Christn "Herchberger" with a household containing 1 male age 16-28, Chrstian, over 45, 1 female at 26-44 and 1 also over 45. Sons David and Peter were still there. They were the only ones by the name in the county.
From Bob Harshberger:
In "1815 he and his wife Magdalena sold 131 acres including the house... Also in 1815, Christian and Magdalena sold the other 91 acres to their son David for 900 pounds."
Descendants say Christian was born in Bern, Berks Co, PA but Berks county did not exist before 1752 when it was carved form Chester, Lancaster, and Philadelphia counties.
It is not known if Christian and Magdalena moved to Somerset with the children or if she moved there after he died.