The very make up of who I am is not just about the man and woman who saw me take my first breath. Who I am, and who you are, is a combination of thousands of humans that created a flow of genetic material down through thousands of years that ended up in us.
My Great-Grandmother Martha E. Graham is seated to the far right in the photograph. She died in 1923, most likely not too many years after this Graham family photo. She was born in 1857 as Martha E. Farner to Margaret Jane (Phillabaum) and Henry Farner.
I want to share with you the story of Martha's 3rd Great-Grandfather or what would be my 6th Great-Grandfather on my mother's side. His name was Conrad Phillabaum (Felbaum on ship's manifest) and he was born in 1723 near the Switzerland-Germany borders. He emigrated to America and arrived in Philadelphia, PA in September 30, 1743. He would live for 39 years in America. He would settle in Lancaster County, Donegal Township, Pennsylvania.
I wish I had a sketch or painting of Conrad or one of his sons, but I do have my great-grandmother, and her son standing next to my grandmother in this photo... he is in all of them.
Some of his and his wife Salome's children were baptized at Muddy Creek Reformed Church, Lancaster County. Since they were emigrants from a German-speaking country sailing to a British colony, Conrad originally took the oath of allegiance to the British King in 1743. By 1777, after 34 years of living in Pennsylvania, Conrad and his older son George took allegiance (to the American Revolution) in Ohio County, Virginia after they settled in and around Ulster-Scottish settlers at Buffalo Creek's Dutch Fork, PA in 1774. He was a patriot.
He raised a family for 39 years before he was killed and scalped at Fort Rice, Washington, Pennsylvania, September 16, 1782. Conrad was noted as one of the last person to be scalped toward the ending of the American Revolution. This was startling to learn and read, but it was a violent time from many factions. Six-month earlier, 50 miles away from where Conrad died, a massacre of Moravian Indians took place. What is one left to feel 234 years after so many good people, natives and emigrants were massacred.
My Sixth Great-Grandfather, Conrad Phillabaum (aka Felbaum), hailed from my mother's side of my genetic material. He is a part of my cellular make-up. He emigrated to America from Switzerland-Germany area. These people were often referred to in history as Pennsylvania Dutch even though they were not Dutch. He came in on the Ship Phoenix September 30, 1743, and was noted in the Philadelphia County census of sorts for the time.
*You can read about the harshness of these ocean crossings that Conrad Phillabaum and thousands of others took at www.berksmontnews.com. Google Robert Wood; The Historian - A trip down the Rhine, Part III, The Crossing.
Conrad and his wife Salome gave birth in 1764 to a son Christian Phillabaum, my Fifth Great-Grandfather.
Christian and his wife Elizabeth (? surname) gave birth in 1813 to Issac Phillabaum, my Fourth Great-Grandfather. Christian died 1835.
Issac and his wife Jane Harvey in 1834 gave birth to daughter Margaret Jane Phillabaum in 1834.
Margaret Jane Phillabaum, my Second Great-Grandmother married Henry Farner and gave birth in 1857 to Martha Farner, my Great Grandmother. Margaret Jane (aka census Jane M.) died in 1907.
Martha Farner, married David Theodore Graham and they gave birth to my grandmother, Zora Graham in 1895. Martha died in 1923.
Zora Graham, my grandmother, married Frank Hoch and they gave birth to my mother, Verna L. in 1924. Zora died in 1968; Verna died in 1992.
That is only one line if my lineage: Conrad Phillabaum who came to America on Palatine Immigrant Ships. Most of these immigrants were of German, Swiss, Dutch and French origin. Conrad's ship the Phoenix, in 1743, sailed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The ship was commanded by William Wilson from Rotterdam. It was the last ship from Cowes. All immigrants going to the British Colonies (America) had to pass through British customs and pay tariffs.
Online you can google my Sixth Great-Grandfather and read even more detailed history. I will try and do a basic summary:
Conrad Phillabaum (aka Felbaum) b. 1723, d. 9/16/1782, and his wife Salome (aka Sarah) b.1730 d. 1803 had five daughters and three sons. Salome remarried after Conrad's death to Jacob Rice.(Reis in German and Salome Risson in her will)
On September 16, 1782, Conrad and his oldest son George were killed by Tories/loyalist and Shawnees and Wyandots Indians in an attack on Fort Rice in the Dutch Fork Buffalo Creek Settlement in Donegal Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. This happened 10 miles east of the Ohio River. Their oldest son George was also shot and killed through a porthole at the fort. Conrad was outside the fort with a child from the Fullenwider family, when they were overrun by upwards of 60 Native Americans and Tories. Both were killed, and Conrad was also scalped.There were previous attacks at this fort and nearby prior to this attack.
In my Sixth Great-Grandmother's own words after her husband's death this was written in Conrad's estate papers, File P-6, 1787, Washington County (PA) Courthouse: "We being greatly on the frontier line, this horrid scene happened as we were all forted at Mr. Rice's and between our cabin and his blockhouse. This happened, my husband and son as they fell in enemy' hand, my husband scalped, lying in his blood, which was to me a great surprise and affecting sight, the loss of a good husband and an obedient son."
Conrad Phillibaum, and his son George, died one year before the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
Noted at history.com:
"Although the war persisted on the high seas and in other theaters, the Patriot victory at Yorktown effectively ended fighting in the American colonies. Peace negotiations began in 1782, and on September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed, formally recognizing the United States as a free and independent nation after eight years of war."
Read online for free at http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com www.rootsweb.ancestry is a worthwhile reading venture for perhaps your own history.
Here is a postcard type rendition of Fort Rice in PA. Image found at accessgenealogy.com It doesn't quite show the three blockhouses that made up the fort. There is nothing on the grounds today. A road sign is place as a historical marker of its once existence. It's a shame, it looks like any other overgrown mess that dots America's historical past.