Based on the findings of the UM "Special Research Team"

We show parts of the John "NS" family differently than what one sees on most Umstead genealogy charts in circulation now and on those of earlier researchers. Our more recent research indicates the following corrections:

ERROR: Her name shown as Deborah Koplin

CORRECTION: John (son of John "NS") m 1st Mary; m 2nd Catharine
ERROR: Shown as having married Gwenefred, daughter of Owen and Mary Evans of Limerick

CORRECTION: Herman (son of John "NS") b 1740/41 m Elizabeth Francis
ERROR: Shown as having married Ann Vanderslice
This item also includes "Straightening out the Early UM Hermans"


Here are the FACTS …
Note that ORIGINAL wills and land records have been used whenever possible. They are generally more reliable than those recorded by court clerks. Original spellings have been used in some transcripts....they are NOT typos!!!



Documentation of all facts regarding the Koplin family courtesy of Koplin researcher Barbara Wentz of PA, who has done extensive work in the libraries, archives, and cemeteries of Philadelphia and surrounding areas for many years. Luckily for us, several of the Koplin lines include Umstead marriages, so we too have benefited from her finds on the Umstead family.

FACT: JOHN "NS," son of Johannes and Mary, married a woman named DEBORA(H). They had a DAUGHTER Debora(h) who married Christian KOPLIN. John "NS" (presumably with wife Deborah) also had a son named JOHN.

The original of the will of John "NS," written 8 Nov 1759 and signed with his mark "NS," proved 5 Dec 1759, includes the following:

"ITEM I bequeath unto my beloved wife Debora..."(furniture, household items etc) "...and it is my will & I do order that my wife shall have the maneging of my plantation where I now live on untill my son Herman arives to the age of Twenty two year."

"ITEM I give unto my son John Umstad that plantation whereon he now lives on in Uper Sulford Township containing one hundred & fifty Acres of land be it more or less…" "...providing he paying out of it to my Executor the sum of eighty pounds lawful Money of Pennsylvania when my son Herman arived at age of Twenty two Years..."

"ITEM I give to my son Harman Umstad when he arived to Twenty two year that plantation where I now live on in Limerick Township containing two hundred & fifty Acres be it more or less ..."

"ITEM It is my will & I do order that at the time when my son Herman is arived to Age of Twenty two year then my Execurs Shall put to sale all my personal estate...." "... and all of money arising out of my personal estate shall be divided in manner & form following, That is to say, my beloved wife Debora shall have first of all Eighty pound Current money of Pennsylva. out of the same for her maintenance and the Residue to be Divided in four Equal shares to my daughters that is Mary Vandershlise, & Debora Koplin, & Susanna Waggener, & Elizabeth Umstad...."

"I do hereby make & ordain my only & Sole Executors of this my last will and testament my beloved wife Debora & Jacob Umstad"

The will was signed in the presence of the Subscribers Nicholas Bunn, John Custer, John Koplin. (Original will; Philadelphia Co Will File 1759 #226, also recorded Philadelphia Will Book L:355 )

FACT: DEBORAH, DAUGHTER of John "NS," born 1732 married about 1752 CHRISTIAN, youngest SON OF MATTHIAS KOPLIN, and brother of John Koplin. Christian died in 1766 testate. (Original will; Philadelphia Co Will File 1766 #273, also recorded Philadelphia Co Will Book N:514)


Matthias Koplin arrived at Philadelphia 4 Sep 1728 on the ship "Albany." He acquired his first tract of land in Providence Township 24 Sep 1728. Current research on the Koplin family shows no other immigrant with surname Koplin in Philadelphia Co or the surrounding area in the time frame of the marriage of John "NS" to Deborah.


The original will of Matthias Koplin, written 18 May 1769 and probated 31 Dec 1774 shows that he had only two children who matured and had issue: John, from whom he was estranged in 1769, and Christian (deceased). His "Daughterinlaw Debora the widow of my said Son Christian" is mentioned often in his will and was one of the beneficiaries of his estate. The will is quite detailed and very explicit in naming all of his heirs and exactly what they were to receive from his estate. The children of each son are named and he includes married names and those who were deceased. There are no Umstead heirs. (Original estate papers ? will and inventory; Philadelphia Co Will File 1774 #73, also recorded in Philadelphia Co Will Book Q:87)

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FACT: Between 4 Nov 1753 and 10 Sep 1758 GWENEFRED/WINIFRED EVANS, daughter of Owen and Mary Evans of Limerick married a JOHN UMSTAT.

The will of Owen Evans of Limerick Twp, yeoman, written 4 Nov 1753, codicil written 8 Nov 1753, Proved 18 Dec 1753, includes:
- To wife Mary 60 lbs, raised and levied out of estate, ½ of household goods, two cows
- To daughter GWENEFRED 105 lbs. To be given her on demand. Also the residue of the sum of 20 lbs in household goods, which is already allotted and provided for her use.
Other Legatees included sons David, Thomas, and Benjamin, and daughters Ann Lane, wife of Edward Lane, Mary Brooke, wife of James Brooke, and Jane Evans.
(Philadelphia Co Will Book K:128)

The will of Mary Evans, Widow of Owen Evans, Limerick Twp, written 10 Sep 1758, proved Apr 1761. Legatees include same children as in her husband's will, but Gwenefred is listed as the wife of John Umstat. (Philadelphia Co Will Book M:93)

FACT: 26 Apr 1751 John "NS" bought the land that he later willed to his son John in 1759. The land description clearly states that the land is in Frederick Township. The description in the will of John "NS," which shows the land as being in "uper Salford" Twp, is reasonably explainable. Frederick and Upper Salford Townships adjoin each other and are divided by the Perkiomen Creek. John's land bordered the Perkiomen Creek, but was located on the Frederick Township side.

"26 day of April, 1751 between Nicholas Biddle of Frederick Twp., yeoman, and Mary his wife, and Henry Reed of Upper Salford, Miller, and John Umstad of Limerick, yeoman, ... whereas 4 April, 1741 John Penn, Thomas Penn & Richard Penn Esq ...did grant to Jacob Freeh late of Frederick Twp., 150 A. and the allowance of six acres psent(???) lying and being in Frederick Township aforesaid... and whereas Jacob Freeh and wife Catherine did by deed dated 10 and 11 Feb 1743 grant to Nicholas Biddle the sd. 150 acres with the sd. allowance...and the sd. Nicholas Bibble bargained and sold, but did not actually convey the sd. 150 acres plus allowance to Henry Reed, now sd. Nicholas and his wife Mary and Henry Reed are selling the sd. 150 acres with the allowance to John Umstad: Beginning at an Elm Tree by Perkiomen Creek on the South West side thereof and thence extending by Wycom Teels land South West sixty seven perches to a Hickory tree Thence South East by lands of Gerard Lyn and Christian Steinbaugh two hundred and one perches to a Spanish Oak thence by the sd. Christian Steinbaugh's land North seventy Degees East forty one perches to a Spanish Oak by the aforesaid Creek, thence west by the several Courses of the same creek hundred and fifty perches to the place of beginning."

Wit. Anthony Vanderslice and Nicholas Bunn. That same day Anthony and Nicholas affirmed the deed before Justice Owen Evans. Recorded 23 Nov 1763. (Philadelphia Co Deed Book H 18:448-450)

FACT: 1756 "John Umstadt" was elected constable of Frederick Township. (Bean, History of Montgomery County, Vol 2 p 838.)

FACT: 6 Jul 1763 Deborah Umstad and Jacob Umstad, executors of the 1759 will of John "NS," release to John Umstad the 150 acres willed to him by his father in 1759 will:

"Whereas he was willed the land with the stipulation that he pay to his father's executors the sum of 80 pounds, which he has now paid." Deborah signs with her mark and Jacob with his signature. Wit. Renear Vanderslice and (Unreadable) 29 Oct 1763 Deborah and Jacob "Umstat" appear before John Bull, Justice, and affirm that they are well satisfied with the release. Recorded 23 Nov 1763. (Philadelphia Co Deed Book H 18:450-451)

FACT: 16 Nov 1763 JOHN UMSTED and HIS WIFE MARY sold 25 acres of the 150 acres of land that had been willed to him by his father JOHN "NS" IN 1759.

"Between John Umsted of Frederick Township...YEOMEN, AND MARY HIS WIFE of the first part and Christian Hepler of the same place, Cordwainer of the other part.... Whereas the Honorable John Penn..." From here the record goes through the patenting of the land in 1741, the sale to Jacob Freeh in 1743 to "...Whereas the said Nicholas Beidle and Mary his wife and one Henry Reid (unto whom Nicholas had agreed to sell the land) by indenture dated the 26 day of April, 1751)...sold the 150 acres...unto one John Umsted of Limerick Township ... Yeoman, (who was the father of the said John Umsted party hereto...who by his will written 8 Nov 1759 devised the sd. 150 acres unto said John Umsted." Now John and Mary are selling 25 acres of the land. MARY signed the deed with "M" (her mark), John with his signature. The 29th day of August, 1764 John and Mary appeared before John Koplin, Justice, and affirmed the sale of the land, John Koplin having spoken "secretly" with Mary. Deed Recorded 14 Sep 1764. (Philadelphia Co Deed Book H 19:411-41)

FACT: 2 Feb 1766/7 GWENEFRED/WINIFRED nee EVANS was still alive and married to a DIFFERENT JOHN UMSTAT/UMSTED.

Will of Jane Evans, spinster, written 2 Feb 1766/7, proved 17 Mar 1766/7. David and Thomas Evans 20 shillings. "Unto my cousin Hannah Brooke, dau. Of my brother-in-law James Brooke," bedding, furniture etc. "Remainder equally divided between my 3 sisters Ann Lane, wife of Edward Lane, Mary Brooke, wife of James Brooke, and Wennefred Umsted, wife of John Umsted. James Brooke and John Umsted executors." Witnesses Jacob Baumann and Nicholas Bunn. 17 Mar 1766/7, James and John Umsted appeared and became executors. (Philadelphia Co Will Book N:493)

FACT: 20 Sep. 1771 JOHN UMSTAD and CATHERINE, his wife sold the other 126 and ½ acres of the land willed to him by his father John "NS."

"Between John Umstad of Frederick Twp...Yeomen, and Catherine his wife of the one part and John Hildenbeidel of Upper Salford Twp...farmer. John Umstad and his wife Catharine do hereby bargain and sale unto John Heldenbeidel...a certain piece of land situated and lying in Frederick Twp. ....containing 126 ½ acres of land and of six precnt(Sp.?) for roads and highways. (It being part of 150 acres)." The description that follows shows the same history of the land from 1741 patent through 1751 sale by Biddle and Reed to John Umstad, the willing of John Umstad in 1759 will to his son John Umstad with the 80 pound paying stipulation, which is fulfilled (Deed Book H 18: 450-51 quoted), so the land belongs to John who is selling. The original deed shows that John signed and Catherine made her "X" mark. The signature of John appears to show "Umstead." Witnesses were John Delavan and Jonathan Custer. 20 Sep 1771 John and Catharine appeared before John Bull, Justice, and affirmed the deed. The deed was not recorded until 2 May 1793. (Original Deed file 183.5, Deed 85, Schwenkfelder Library; also recorded Montgomery Co Deed Book 7:416)

PA Archives, 2nd Series, Vol 2, shows that Umsted, John and Catherine Miller applied for a marriage license 22 Jan 1768 (p 251). A researcher who has studied these licenses makes this entry: "John Umsted, resides Frederick Township" for this license.

FACT: The Family Record of JOHN UMSTAT/UMSTED of PA/NC shows that he married WINIFRED EVANS the "19th day of June, 1754." (Umsted, David, N.C. R11801, National Archives)

The above documentation clearly indicates that John of PA/NC who married Gwenefred Evans was NOT John the son of John "NS." Because his true parentage has not yet been determined, further information on John and Gwenefred and their family will appear in Orphans.

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ELIZABETH FRANCIS NOT ANN VANDERSLICE and Straightening Out the Early Hermans

The four Hermans/Harmons in the early Umstead lines have caused a great deal of confusion for researchers over the years.

FACT: Herman "h" (his mark) son of Johannes and Mary Umstadt, born abt 1711, married 1st Margaret (last name unknown); married 2nd Abigail Adams, daughter of Abraham Adams, son of Richard Adams and Gertien Op Den Graff, 22 Feb 1753 at Trappe Church. This Herman used "h" as his mark when he signed his will. Will proven 1768. Research of Elizabeth ("Betsy") Coles Umstattd: (Estate sale of the land of Johannes Umstadt; Will of Herman Umstat, Philadelphia Co Will Book O: 227-9; Philadelphia Co Deed book H-5, p. 606)

FACT: Herman, son of Henry and Gertrude Custer Umstat and grandson of Johannes and Mary, was born 7 Mar 1744/45 Skippack, Perkiomen Twp, Philadelphia Co, PA, and died 25 Mar 1823 in Worcester Twp, Philadelphia Co, PA. He married Barbara Kiter 1786. She was born 14 (or 16?) Sep 1754 and died 12 Jun 1840. (Cemetery Records Lower Skippack Church, Creamery, PA)

FACT: Herman, son of John "NS" and Deborah Umstad and grandson of Johannes and Mary, born 1740/41 married 1 Feb 1765 Elizabeth Francis, died 11 Nov 1822. Will written 1819, probated 14 Dec 1822. (Umstead Chart of Charles Major; Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd Series, Volume 2 p. 251, Marriage Licenses issued; Montgomery Co Will Book 6:96)

FACT: Herman Umstead born 16 Mar 1726, married abt 1752 Ann Vanderslice born 14 Jan 1728, daughter of Anthony and Martha (Pannebecker/Pennypacker) Vanderslice. In 1752 Herman purchased land in Providence Twp, which he and Ann sold in 1760. In 1763 he appears on the tax list of Berks Co PA, where he died in Robeson Twp, 14 Apr 1806. Research of Elizabeth "Betsy" Coles Umstattd. (Augustus Evangelical Lutheran Church, Trappe, PA, records from "Pennsylvania German Church Records," Vol.1, Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc, Baltimore, 1983, p 402; "Along the Perkiomen in the Former Gilbert's Manor," an article in "The Bulletin of Historical Society of Montgomery County;" Trappe Burial Records; Philadelphia Co Will Books J: 478, M:200; Philadelphia Co Deed Book I 13:117)

More on Herman who married Ann Vanderslice will appear in Orphans. His parentage has not been determined.

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It is NEVER our intention to disparage the work of earlier UM researchers. Rather, it is with deep gratitude that we strive to pick up where they left off and continue it in a way that would please and honor them.

One widely-referenced source is "Perkiomen Region," Vol X, No 2, April, 1932, Whole No 37, owned and published by the Historical and Natural Science Society of the Perkiomen Region, an article entitled "Ancestry of Abram Clemmer." This article covers the Koplin family on pp 47-50 and the Umstat family on pp 50-51. The only mistake made on the Koplin family was in the transcript of Matthias Koplin's will. The transcript omitted an inheritance to Esther, daughter of Matthias' son John Koplin, which does appear in the original will.

The mistakes made on the Umstead family have had a great influence on later research. Col Calvin I Kephart (1959), L D Cook (1948), and Ray Sullivan (1950s), have all referenced pages 50-51 of this article as the source of their information on the family of John "NS" and Deborah Umstad.

On page 50, the Umstat line begins with a brief history of the family in America, which carries solid documentation in footnotes 1-4. Footnote #4 is Philadelphia Administration Book F: 114, the appointment of John and Jacob Umstat as the administrators of their father's estate. No last name is given for Mary, wife of Johannes. Mary's last name will be discussed elsewhere on this site.

Footnote #5 documents the 1759 will of John Umstat as PA Will Book G:355, which should be Will Book L:355. It is the author's not having included one of the items in the will, and the two undocumented additions made to the family, that have caused the trouble. Item 2 of the will, in which the land is left to John when Herman is 22 provided he pay Deborah the 80 lbs, is completely left out.

On page 51- The children of JOHN and DEBORAH UMSTAT (name Koplin not used), it shows:
1. John m Gwenefred Evans, daughter of Owen and Mary Evans of Limerick Township. Lived in Upper Salford Township. THIS IS INCORRECT.
2. Herman m Ann Vanderslice, daughter of Anthony and Martha Vanderslice. THIS IS INCORRECT.

Mid 1950s to present:
The widely-circulated 1950s research of E. Ray Sullivan (see EARLY UM RESEARCH BIBLIOGRAPHY) includes two of the ERRORS that have been corrected on these pages: that John married Deborah Koplin, and that John, son of John "NS" married Gwenefred, daughter of Owen Evans.

Back to John "NS" Main

Back to John of NC

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Last Updated 26 March 2010