This week, we have a guest blogger, our one and own Ed Ziegler.
Because given names in the families were the same from generation to generation, middle initials are used to identify the different generations.
The early German immigrants to Pennsylvania are an example of immigrant communities creating enclaves in their new homeland. The early Germans who came to America to escape religious persecution and moved into the central part and upper parts of Montgomery County, were no exception. The Schwenkfelders, Mennonites and Dunkards all mixed in this area, but settled close to their religious brethren and rarely did they intermarry.
My Seipt ancestors, Schwenkfelders, are a great example of immigrant communities sticking together, living in the same area for 280 years.
The Schwenkfelder Church in Towamencin
David Sepit, the immigrant, came to America in 1734 and bought 140 acres in Towamencin Township, along the Towamencin Creek.
In 1751 David’s son, Casper, bought 135 ½ acres from his father, who died in 1765. He lived on the farm, along with his parents. When he died in 1773, his children were minors living on the farm with his wife and mother.
In 1789 a conveyance was made to his two sons: David Y. received 118 acres and Abraham Y. received 41 acres.
In 1816 David Y. died intestate with no issue, so the farm reverted to his brother and 4 sisters. His brother Abraham Y. bought the rest of the farm from his sisters. In 1852, Abraham Y.’s children, George, Susanna and Joseph, sold 88 acres of the Towamencin farm to their brother Abraham A. In 1853 George A. bought the farm from his brother Abraham A. In 1863 George A. sold the Towamencin farm to his brother-in-law Jacob Erb.
An "A. Seipt" appears at the border of Towamencin and Worcester
The same George A. married Anna Heebner in 1824. In 1831 George A. bought 2 contiguous tracts of land from his father-in-law, Balthaser Heebner, at Trooper and Potshop Roads.
In 1880, George A.’s will had his estate sold and the proceeds divided among his children.
George A.’s son, William H., married Amanda Schultz in 1871. In 1883, William H. bought a farm and 79 acres from his Father-In-Law Samuel Schultz. This farm was on the corner of Skippack Pike and Hollow Road. His son, William S., farmed the land until 1932 when William H. died. Because of the depression William S. could not purchase the farm, and the estate sold it to Blanche Schweiker, William S. Seipt’s cousin.
In 1932, William S. bought the Dr. Meschter farm from the Doctor’s widow. The Meschters were also Schwenkfelders. When William S., my grandfather, moved to a smaller home, they ended the tradition, which lasted for more than 200 years.
This was typical of the German part of Montgomery county because the Mennonites and Brethern did the same.