This is where Johannes and Mary lived from about 1704-1747. It is where their children John, Peter, Jacob, Herman, Henry, Margaret (Van Fossen), and Elizabeth (Hoover) grew up. Since we have so many mysteries connected with the children and grandchildren of Johannes and Mary, we rely heavily on their relationships with the families into which we know the Umsteads or their siblings married, and the following selection of purchases in Van Bebber's Twp. reflect this. We call these "Allied Families"and they are marked with (*). Some additional information on these families will be added as we show the records. All dates listed in the early records are based on the old calendar with the new year beginning March 21.

The Townships included in the early records below were often referred to as the "Perkiomen Region". Van Bebber's Twp., patent to Matthias Van Bebber in 1702, became "Skippack" in 1725 and was soon linked to land referred to earlier on deeds as "near the Skippack" or "on the Parkahomy", to become Perkiomen and Skippack Twp. [or Skippack and Perkiomen as it sometimes appears in early land recs.] The land was bounded by what became Providence Twp. (including the 2500 acre Lane Tract to Edward Lane, 1701); and the areas that were to become Worcester Twp., called "New Bristol" early; Towamencin Twp.; Harleysville early, (Salford Twp. 1741); a corner of Limerick Twp.; Telner's Tract, at a corner of Van Bebber's Twp., sometimes referred to as the "Dutchman's Twp.". Deeds also include the 22,000 acre tract of John Henry Sprogell, adjacent to Limerick Twp., referred to as Hanover Twp. (later Lower Pottsgrove and Hanover Twps.)


  Map Rendition by Donald Mayfarth

 Map Betsy Umstattd #14, p. 47


1704-1725 Van Bebber's Twp
[The following records have been read and transcribed by Eleanor Mayfarth, using Barker's 1929 Index #9 of the land in these books that was later in Montgomery Co., which reflects the #s in the books as of now.]

1702 "twentieth day of twelfth month to Claus Johnson/Jansen* of Crevelt in the Co. of Philadelphia 306 acres granted by Matthias Van Bebber To be presented by Matthias' attorney Henry Sellen * of Creisham in Germantown. The description shows only the line of John Krey and Van Bebber's other land. Recorded 1706. (E3- 6: 31) In 1707 he purchased another 50 acres between John Krey and Thomas Wiseman. ( E5-7: 14) The map (#10) shows that this land was adj. to what was to become the land of the Mennonist Society in 1717.
Claus was married to Catharine Conrad, sister of Isabella Conrad, who married Hermanus Custer. His children included Gertjen, who married Peter Bon as his second wife. (Johnson #21; Johnson Vol. X. p.110)

1702 ? As seen in the land record below sometime prior to 25th day of Twelfth month Van Bebber had sold Henry Pannebecker land. As Henry served as surveyor and attorney for the absentee landholder Matthias Van Bebber, a part of his payment for this service was land, which often was not recorded at the time, but evidenced in later records.
The children of Henry and Eve (Umstadt) Pannebecker were: Martha* m. Anthony Vanderslice. . . . Catherine. . . . Adolph* m. Agnes ( ). . . . Peter U. m. Elizabeth Keyser . . . . John, Col.* m. Annetje Keyser, sister of Elizabeth . . . . Jacob* m. Margaret Tyson, dau. of Matthias and Barbara (Sellen) Tyson . . . Henry Jr.* m. Rebecca Custer, dau. of Hermanus and Isabella Conrad Custer . . . . Barbara* m. Cornelius Tyson, son of Matthias and Barbara (Sellen) Tyson .
(Chart of the birth of his children written by Heindrick Pannebecker, reported and shown in Pennypacker Mills Newsletter March 2008)
[Note: as the records of the sons above and their descendants became “Pennypacker” at various times for each line, they will hereafter be listed as various spellings of the name as shown in the records.. There are many instances of this family marrying into the same families as their cousins, the children of Johannes and Mary Umstadt]

1702 - 25th day of Twelfth month - John Krey purchased land adj. Claus Johnson/(Jansen)
and Henry Pannebecker's land. Recorded 1706. (E3- 6:32)
John Krey's wife was Syltge Op den Graff, dau. of Herman Op den Graff and Deborah Van Bebber, sister of Matthias Van Bebber.
{Will of John Krey, written 17 Feb, 1719/20, proved 18 Mar 1719/20, Phila Co. Will Book D:148.)

1706 - Deed of lease and release 9th and 10th day of December: Matthias Van Bebber sells to John Newbry * (Viz) [Newberry] of Philadelphia, husbandman, a certain peice (viz) or tract of land situate lying and being in the County of Philadelphia beginning at a corner stake of the land of Edward Beer, from thence by a line of marked trees and the same land NW 300 perches to another corner stake of the sd. Edward Beers Land from thence by a line of marked trees dividing it from other land of the sd. Matthias Van Bebber NE 237 perches to another stake of marked trees SW 237 perches to place of beginning containing 450 acres of land, being part of 6,166 acres of land confirmed to Matthias Van Bebber. George Lowther, David Powell. 23rd day of of the tenth mo. [December] (E3-6:45)

1706 - (Written 9th day of December) Dirke Remberg and William Remberge both of Mullheim (viz) upon the Schllkill (viz) in the Co. of Philadelphia in the Province of PA, yeoman, purchased from Matthias Van Bebber of Bohemia River in the Province of MD all that parcel or piece of land situate lying and being in Van Bibber's Twp. Beginning at a stake being a corner of John Newberry's land thence NW by a line of marked trees and the same land 300 perches to another stake being another corner of the sd. land being another corner of the sd. Newberry's land, thence NE by a line of marked trees dividing it from other land of sd. Mathias Van Bebber 160 perches to a 3rd stake for a corner, thence SE by the outside line of the sd. Van Bebbers Great Tract of Land 300 perches to a white oak being the main corner of the sd. Tract from thence SW by a line of marked trees 160 perches to the place of beginning containing 300 acres of land including all messuages houses buildings orchards gardens ways meadows pastures Marshes Waters, water courses etc...Recorded 23rd day of the tenth mo. [December] (E3-6:36)
[The family of Matthias Van Bebber in Cecil Co. MD. :]
1691 - 1701 Isaac VB, brother of Matthias, and wife Franika have children Hester... Peter.... Christiana.... Isaac baptized. at St. Mary Ann's Episcopal Church, Cecil Co.
1705 Jacob VB Sr. of Bohemia River is buried at St. Stephens Epis. Ch., Cecil Co., his wife Christiana is buried there in 1711.
1705 Nov. 17- Haramontee /Araminta, dau. of Adam Peterson of Newcastle Co., DE marries Matthias Van Bebber, St. Stephens Epis. Church 1706-1730 their children Jacob ....Elizabeth....Christiana....Matthias....Henry are Baptized there. Matthias dies 1739.
1745 will of Araminta shows additional children: Adam...Rebecca....Thorny... Hester Naudine. Christopher Pugh was the witness.
Adam Peterson died in 1702. His will shows his children as: Garrett ... Adam ... Andrew .... Aramintie .... Eleanor .... Elizabeth. The wills of other allied families show that Adam was a descendant of an early Swedish family.
(On site research of Registers of St. Stephens' and St. Mary Ann's in Cecil Co. by Eleanor Mayfarth and FHC materials at SLC: [Registers also available SLC film # 13887, item 4 and item 2]; Cemetery Records of Cecil Co. by DAR, FHC film #895276, item 4; Will Abstracts Cecil Co. MD, abstracted by Leslie and Neil Keddie, FHC Book: 975.238 P28k, v. 1-3; New Castle Co. DE will abstracts on line: Adam Peterson, B-279, Sarah Cutout, Sarah, widow, B:321, Elizabeth Locier, B:346.)
1710- Garret Peters of North Wales Twp. bought 310 acres from Abraham Op den Graff.
(McAllister #13)

1706 - [About] Abraham OpdenGraff was living on a tract of Jacob Telner's land, whose tract abutted a corner of Van Bebber's Twp. Abraham's wife was Trintje /"Catherine" Jansen, who d. between 1704 and 1709.

1709 - 27th day of August- Abraham Op den Graff* (no wife) sold to Thomas How* and Margaret How, daughter of sd. Abraham 300 acres of land to be surveyed and laid out in the "Dutch Township". (E5-7:337)
This is part of the 830 acres owned by Abraham "on the Parkahomy" that were part of the 2,000 acres of land sold to Abraham and his brothers by Jacob Telner in Germany in 1683. Part of the 2,000 acres were in Germantown and part in the "Perkiomen Region". He was by this time the sole owner of the land, his two brothers being deceased. (Phila. Co. Deed Book H-18:105.)
Addam McAllister, #13, p. 3-5 says: "When Abraham and Trintje his wife sold their brick house in Germantown in 1704 he was a linen weaver of Germantown . Thereafter in deeds he was a weaver of Parkahomy, Phila. Co., having taken up his residence in the Dutch Township. ..." Additional information from McAllister shows that he died seized of 530 acres that were sold by his living children 2 Mar 1731. (Phila. Co. Deed Book I-2:88.)
The children of Abraham and Trintje were: Gertian m. Richard Adams, she d. pre 1726... Jacob Op den Graff m. 1712 Anneke DeHaven. d. pre 1740, sister of Herman Dehaven. ... Margaret m. Thomas How, he d. by 30 Mar 1755, when "Margaret Opdegrave widow of Thomas How" age 63 years was confirmed at Augustus Lutheran Church... Anneke. m. Herman DeHaven... Isaac Opdengraff m. Mary ( ).

17?? - Though we have no extant record to confirm the exact date, at some time after 1702, when he sold his land in Germantown, and before 1722 Richard Adams and his wife Gertien moved to the "Perkiomen Region" and owned land as evidenced by the following land record: 9 Feb 1722 William Lane {son and heir of Edward Lane descd] of Parqueaming, yeoman, to Richard Adams of Parqueaming, yeoman, a 280 acre plot along the Skippack Creek, it being part of the 2,500 Edward Lane Tract, by the lands of William Lane and Peter Rambo [on part of Lane Tract] and John Umstad [of adjoining Van Bebbers/Skippack Perkiomen Twp.].
(Phila. Co. Deed Book G:11:406, Rec. 6 Apr 1749 after the death of both William Lane and Richard Adams; Land Rec. verified by 2004 plotting of the Lane Tract by Barbara Wentz and Eleanor Mayfarth, #}
The children of Richard and Gertien, including Ann, wife of Jacob Umstatt, are discussed in Gertian Opdengraff However, 3 of their children are not discussed: William ( July, 1705- May 26, 1773) m. 1729 Anne Lane, dau. of Edward Lane, father of Wm. Lane above... Abraham d. April 5 1738, aged 31 years, bur. at St. James. His dau Abigail. listed in his father's will m. 1753 Herman Umstadt, widower, had son Abraham Umstattd.... Isaac m. Edith ( ).
1706 24th day of the tenth mo. Matthias Van Bebber sold to Gerret and Harmon DeHaven*, both of Whitpain Township, husbandmen, 440 acres of land adjacent Dereck and William Remsberg's land. The name is shown as "Inden Hoofen", but Barker (#9) corrects it. (E3- 6:41)
Harmon DeHaven m. Anneke Op den Graff, dau. of Abraham Op den Graff* and Trintje Jansen. Their children included among others: Jacob married Eleanor Davis, dau. of John David/Davis of Limerick Twp. Margaret married Wm. Davis, brother of Eleanor, Katharine* married Enoch Davis Esq.*, brother of Eleanor, Abraham married Rebecca Pawling, Elizabeth married John Pawling Jr., brother of Rebecca, Harmon* married Mary Umstead, Edward married ( )*. This family is such an important part of our Umstead story as the families migrated westward, that for several years there has been a joint team of Umstead and DeHaven researchers working together. Often the only way to trace the line of an Umstead family that migrated west is to check the family surnames with which they have migrated. Very few families migrated alone!
1706 Hermanus Kuster and his brother Johannes had a "right to purchase". Hermanus' land was not recorded and described until 1708, and Johannes' land was not purchased, as shown below.

[The following deed to John [Johannes] Umstat includes 2 deeds in one record. Matthias Van Bebber is selling to John Umstead, and so is John Kosters* [The name is recorded as Rosters, but Barker (#9) corrects it to Kosters, and it is clearly Kosters in the deed to Henry Pannebecker, (E4 -7:147 below]

1708 (E4-7:133): "Mattias Van Bibber requests that a whole history of the land be presented in this deed":
(1) Mattias Van Bebber sold to John Kosters 204 acres of land granted with the appurtenances [no buildings or houses mentioned]. Beginning at a Hickory Sapling being a corner of Edward Lane's land, from thence Northwest by a line of marked trees dividing it from other land of Van Bebber, then to some more marked trees dividing it from Henry Pannebecker's land.....AND whereas the sd. John Kosters by deed poll bearing date with the sd. recited Deed Poll did grant and convey the sd. 204 A. back again to sd. Matthias Van Bebber PROVIS in the sd. last recited Deed poll contained that IF the sd. John Kosters his heirs executors and administrators or any of them should and did well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto the sd. Matthias Van Bebber the sum of Thirty three pounds, two shillings, and six pence at or upon the fifth day of the 11th mo., 1707 the last recited deed should be utterly void. [In other words this was a "right to buy" like a "Mortgage".] This deed being acknowledged in the court 9 Sept. 1703.

(2) 1708, Recorded "Twelfth day of the fourth Month"- This indenture, Tripartible, made 9 June Mattias Van Bebber of Cecil Co. MD, merchant, of the first part, and John Rosters (Kosters) of Craven in Germantownship, yeoman, of the second part, and John Umstead of Bebber Twp., yeoman of the 3rd part. John Umstat of Bebbers Township, YEOMAN, 204 acres, situate lying and being in the sd. County of Philadelphia beginning at a Hickory Sapling being a corner of Edward Lane's land from thence NW by a line of marked trees 300 perches to a stake set in the ground in the sd. Lane's line, from thence by a line of Marked trees dividing it from other lands of sd. Matthias Van Bebber NE 109 perches to another stake in the ground, then by a line of marked trees dividing it from Henry Pannebecker's land SE 300 perches to a stake set in the ground , from thence SW by a line of marked trees 109 perches to the place of beginning, including all houses, buildings and improvements for the sum of 32 pounds to Van Bebber and 6 pounds to John Kosters.
[There is no evidence that John Kosters ever lived on this land. The fact that there is a house on the land and Johannes is listed as "yeoman " would indicate that there had been an earlier "lease and release agreement" between John Koster and Johannes.]

1708- Recorded Fifteenth day of the fourth month- Matthias VB acknowledges that he has sold 204 acres to Henry Pannebecker* of Van Bebber's Twp. on John Krey's corner and line and corner of John Kuster's land. This record is signed June 12th 1708, but was obviously written before the land was sold to John Umstat and not formalized until that date. It is obvious that by the 25th day of the 12th mo. Henry owned the land in Van Bebber's Twp., but no record of his original arrangement for it has been found. (E4-7:147)

1708 Recorded 27th day of Nov., Henry Pannebecker of Bebbers Township, yeoman, to Peter Bon* of the same township, Planter, sells 100 acres of the 204 acres above, Nov. 20th 1708. Beginning corner of Johannes Umstat, then NW by marked trees to middle of a creek, then by marked trees to corner of John Rey's land (Krey's land), all lying on the forestside of the creek. Using the standard map of Van Bebber's Twp. early landholders map, Peter Bunn should be shown as owner of half of the 204 acres shown as Henry Pannebecker's land lying on the side of the Creek closest to the future Worcester Twp. line, and extending from the Creek to that line. This deed was not included in Detweiler's map. #10 ( E-4 7:189)
It is interesting to note that later records indicate that, although they owned land in other townships, Peter Bunn, Johannes Umstatt, and Henry Pannebecker, maintained their home "messuages" on at least part of this land until their deaths.

1708 12th June, Matthias Van Bebber sold to William DeWees of Germantown Township in the Co. of Phila., paper maker, and Cornelius DeWees of Van Bebber Twp., husbandman, 293 acres lying adj. to Thomas Wiseman, John Newberry, Christopher Zimmerman, and Hermanus Custer. (E4-7: 145)

1708 -10th -day of the month called June Matthias Van Bebber sold to Christopher Zimmerman of the County of Philadelphia, Yeoman, a tract of 100 acres in Bebber's Twp. Beginning at a post a corner of Daniel Telman's land thence Southwest 54 and ½ perches, to a post thence SE 293 perches to a post in John Newberry's land Then NE 54 and ½ perches to another corner sd. Telman's land, thence NW 293 perches to place of beginning. (E4-7:136)
This is a strange land record. It must have been a "right to purchase" situation or "something" as shown in the three following deeds in 1712:

-1712: 6th day of 4th Mo. (June) William Dewees, paper maker of German Twp, & Ann Christian his wife,. and Cornelius Dewees, of Van Bebber Twp., yeoman, and Margaret his wife sign deeds to their land in Van Bebber Twp. to Matthias Tyson* and Jacob Christian Zimmerman* with Mathies Wilson and Jacob Engle affirming they had witnessed the signing of the deeds: To Matthias Tyson* of Germantown at a corner in Skippack Creek in the line of John Newberry's, then by Thomas Cornwallis's land, SW by Hermanus Custer's land 193 acres. (E7-9:9)

-1712 6th day of 4th Mo. (June) William Dewees & Ann Christian his wife, paper maker of Germantown Twp. and Cornelius Dewees, of Van Bebber Twp., yeoman, and Margaret his wife to Jacob Christopher Zimmerman of Germantown Twp., beginning at a corner post being a corner of Matthias Tyson's land, thence by the same SE 300 perches to another corner post, thence SW 25 perches and one foot being a corner of the land which the sd. Jacob Christopher Zimmerman newly purchased of Thomas Wiseman thence by the same land NW 500 perches to corner post and thence NE 25 perches and one foot to the place of beginning, containing 56 acres more or less. Wit. Matthias Tyson, Jacob Engle. (E7-9:56)

-1712 16th day of Feb. [11th mo.] Thomas Wiseman and wife Elizabeth of Roxborough Twp. to Jacob Christopher Zimmerman of Germantown a certain tract in Van Bebber Twp. beginning a corner post Claus Johnson's land, thence by the same NW 300 perches to a corner post 28 (?) perches to a corner post, thence by the land of William and Cornelius DeWees and that of Matthias Tyson, SE 300 perches to a corner post thence SW 48 perches to place of beginning. containing 90 acres. (E7-9:54)

1708 10th day of the month called June Matthias Vanbebber sold 200 acres of land to Hermanus Kuster of Germantown adjacent to Christopher Zimmerman, Thomas Wiseman and John Schull. This land was adjacent to the land sold to him and other trustees for the Lower Skippack Cemetery and school in 1717. Detweiler (#II.2) lists it on his map as 1706, but it was not finalized until 1708. (E5-7:16). The will of Hermanus, proved in 1760, indicates that he bought additional land in Van Bebber Twp. from John Krey, and land in Worcester Twp. adj. to the Umsteads.

The children of Hermanus and wife Isabella (Conrad) Custer were: Peter Custer m. Ann Godschalk..... Gertrude Custer m. Henry Umstadt/Umsted, son of Johannes and Mary Umstadt.... Margaret Custer m. Geshart Bohr.... Modlen/Magdalena Custer m. Henry Tyson, son of Matthias and Barbara (Sellen) Tyson, Henry and Modlen had daus. Sabella and Barbara.... John Custer Sr. m. 1st Esther Johnson about 1750, Goshenhoppen Church; m. 2nd . Catharine Miller 9 August 1785..... Rebecca Custer m. Henry Pennebacker, son of Henry and Eve (Umstadt) Pennebacker..... Paul Kuster Sr. m. Gertrude Johnson.
Hermanus was the son of Paulus Custer, immigrant to Germantown, who died 1707. His nuncupative will was administered by his sons Arnold*, Johannes*, [who m. Elizabeth Cassell*], and Hermanus* and was proved 23 Feb 1707/8.
(“Descendants of Paulus and Gertrude Kusters", publ. 1991 by Castor Association of America: marriages of Children; Phila. Co. Will Books: L:394, 1760 will of Hermonus Kustar; N:530, 1758 will of Matthais Tyson, L:362, will of Jacob Sellen ; Johnson #21, Vol. X p. 110, Elizabeth Cassell.)


1713 - Both Arnold Van Fossen and his son Arnold Jr. signed a petition for a road through Van Bebber Twp. and in 1714 he sold the rest of his land purchased from William Rittenhouse in Germantown as "of Van Bebber Twp., husbandman". No will or estate records have been found for Arnold, and no land records of purchase in Van Bebber's twp. It is possible he lived with a son or son-in-law there. The descendants of the Zimmerman family have strong circumstantial evidence that Jacob Christopher Zimmerman's wife, Sibilla was Civilia/Sibilla Van Fossen, dau. of Arnold and Mary Van Fossen of Germantown and Van Bebber Twp. Arnold, Mary, and their dau. Civilia were on the Mennonite list of Germantown in 1708. Two of Christopher and Sibilla's children were Arnold Zimmerman, who married Mary Engle, and a daughter Mary Zimmerman. Our research team has found records to support this theory, but it remains a riddle, as shown later in the stories of Herman Umstead, his sister Margaret (Umstead) and her husband Leonard Van Fossen. ("Pa. German Soc." Vol XXXV p. 96; Phila. Co. Deed Books: I-8:282, I-9:193: History of Land: Jacob Christopher and Sibilla Zimmerman; Detweiler #2, Pannebecker p. 12 Petition)

1717 Matthias Van Bibber and wife Araminta conveyed 100 acres to Henry Sellen, Claus Jansen, Henry Kolb, Martin Kolb, Jacob Kolb, Michael Ziegler and Hermanus Kuster trustees of the Mennonite Church, which was to be used for building a Church, and also a burying ground and school which was to be used by all members of the Township regardless of religion. The Church building was completed in 1725. This land was to be "reserved" land not to be sold as the land changed from patent to patent through the years.
(Detweiler #2: Pennypacker, p. 7.)

1717 [ unrecorded deed] Matthias Van Bebber sold to Johannes Umstadt 183 acres of land adjacent to the other 204 acres of Johannes' land, Derick Jansen, and a small part of Henry Pannebecker's land. [ from Detweiler map (#1)] It was contiguous to the part of Edward Lane's land, which was sold to Richard Adams in 1822. Johannes sold this land to his son Herman 13 May 1738. Herman lived on this land until his death in 1768. The name of the grantor as Van Bebber, the date of the purchase as 1717, the date of the sale to Herman comes from a history of the title of the land included in Montgomery Co. Deed Book 7:13-15 when his grandson Jacob Frohnfield sold 13 acres of the land, including the messuage, to John Kunders in 1792. The description of the relationship of the land to the land of Edward Lane, also comes from the same land record. Somewhere the original deed must have gotten "lost in the shuffle".

Additional Adjacent Land in what was to become part of Worcester Township in 1733.
1720 18th May Thomas Shute and James Steel to Johannes Umstat for 119 acres part of 1000 acres that had been released for survey by them on 30 Dec 1718. This land was an adjacent addition to the 204 acres he owned in Van Bebber's Township. The original house that Johannes built there in 1729 was demolished in the 20th century. Johannes sold this tract of land to his son Henry 22 Feb 1739. Recorded 9 Nov 1795. (Montgomery Deed Book 9:219_221)

Peter Bunn also bought 119 acres the same day that was an adjacent addition to his land in Van Bebber's Township [thus adjacent to Johannes]. The other purchasers in this 1,000 acre tract were: Adam Van Fossen, who in 1720 purchased 150 acres, John Bull [in 1745 Thomas Bull owner], Jacob Ingle [Engle], Hermanus Kuster, and Hugh Pugh. The Bull family and Hugh Pugh were early members of St. James Perkiomen Church.
The Van Fossen brothers, John, Adam, and Conrad, also purchased land there.
(Research of Betsy Umstattd *14, p. 54): "Worcester" Sec. 1, 12, Worcester Historical Society; A History of Worcester Township 1976, Worcester Historical Society, Boyertown Publishing Co., Boyertown, PA, Second Printing, 1986, copyright 1978 Worcester Historical Society pp. 358-61.)

1724 Apr. 8th Johannes Friedt purchased 123 acres from Matthias Van Bebber and Araminta his wife. He is shown on the map nearby, but not adjoining the land of Paul. Johannes is adjacent to 150 acres of John Kolb, and 150 acres of Jacob Kolb, who both purchased from Van Bebber in 1710, and also Martin Kolb, 50 acres in 1724, and Henry Kolb, 50 acres in 1724. Samuel W. Pennypacker says that in the deed of Matthias Van Bebber and his wife Araminta to Johannes Friedt, April 8, 1724, for 123 acres "now in my [Johannes'] possession", they describe Pannebecker as their attorney with power and authority to deliver sale of the land." Johannes Friedt shows as still living there on the 1734 tax list. Johannes m. Christina ( ), d. 21 Dec, 1744, bur. Lower Skippack Cemetery.
The Johannes Friedt/Freed family are especially important to the Umstead family because they give a key to the relationships and therefore Montgomery County tie ins to the Umsteads who married into the family both in Mont. Co. and on the Western migration trail.
(Phila. Co. Deed Book E-6 7:134, 135, Kolb; Detweiler #2: Pennypacker p.5; Freed, Jacob A., History of the Freed Family and Connecting Families, Elroy, PA, 1923; South Laurel Cem. Recs., Philadelphia; 4" x 7 1/4" handwritten fragment found online in an 1873 Campion bible in German, presented online by a Campion descendant of a sister of Elizabeth (Freed) Umstead)


Note: The following land of Johannes appears to lay mostly in Lower Salford and some in present day Upper Salford. (Heckler #22; Alderfer #23). However, the original warrants refer to the area as "upon or near the branches of the Perkiomen", and the early land sales refer to it sometimes as "Skippack" and sometimes as "Harleysville"in Lower Salford.

1719 "Agreed with John Humsted of Skepeck for 300 acres of land on or near the branches of Parkeaccoming, for which he is to pay thirteen pounds ten shillings money of this province, and one shilling sterling quit rent to the proprietor, for each Hundred acres. The warrant is signed, dated ye 2nd 3 mo., 1719." (Egle #24, pp. 652-3) Also included on page 653: "1st 3 mo., 1719 Henry Pannebaker of Skepeck received a warrant for 500 acres up on or near the Branches of Parkeacomming Creek". " 5th 3rd mo. 1719 Derrick Jansen, of Germantown received 800 acres of land back of the Settlements and Surveys recently made." Alderfer's map #23 shows the land of these three with contiguous tracts: Johannes on the left, Derrick in the middle, and Henry on the right. Janson sold Price 200 acres adj. Johannes in 1720.

1723 - 25 Mar- Johannes had 300 acres surveyed as shown in a Deed of Gift to his son Jacob in 1735. (Phila. Co. Deed G-1:146) I have transcribed this land record below "as is" except for the long "anno domini" dates and the long form of the land description "Northwest two hundred and seventy perches".
Jno Umsted Deed of Gift to Jacob Umsted
To all whom these presents shall come: Jhon Umsted of Bebbers Township in the county of Philadelphia yeoman sendeth greeting. Whereas by virtue of a Proprietary Warrant dated 2 May, 1719, there was surveyed unto the said John Umsted 25 Mar 1723 a certain tract of land situate in the said County on a branch of Perkiomy Creek beginning at a white oak in a line of Jacob Price's land thence extending by the society land NW 270 perches to post at a corner of Derick Johnson's land, thence by the same NE 189 perches to a hickory thence by vacant land
270 perches to a post, thence by the said Price's land SW 189 perches to the place of beginning, containing 300 acres and 150 perches with an allowance of six percent [for roads and streets] as by the sd. warrant and reference thereof remaining in the Secretary's office at Philada appears. Now know ye that the said John Umsted as well for and in consideration of the natural love and affection which he beareth for his son Jacob Umsted and for his better preferment in that as of the payment of the rent and performance of the agreement in and by the said warrant mentioned at and reserved, he the said John Umsted doth give grant, assign set over and confirm unto the said Jacob Umsted and heirs...
In witness whereof the said John Umsted hath hereunto set his hand and seal dated 22nd day of December 1735. John Umstead (seal). Sealed and delivered in the presence of us Henry Pannebecker, Henry Umsted. Be it remembered that on the second day of January A.D. 1735/36 Henry Umsted personally appeared before me Dirk Johnson one of the justices of the peace for the city and county of Philada and upon his solemn affirmation did declare and say that he was personally present and saw the within named Johan Umsted sign seal and as his agent of deed deliver this writing or conveyance and that his name subscribed as a witness was his own handwriting. In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal the day and year aforesaid Dirck Janfen [viz]. Recorded the 5th day of f br [Feb] 1740.
[There is neither the signature nor mark as written by Johannes on this deed.]
"16 Jany. 1735, Jacob Umstad, had the 301 acres resurveyed and renewed the patent in his name. The Warrantee, is listed as "John Humstad (alias Umstad) 2 May 1719". (#25)

"Jacob having reconstituted the Proprietary Warrant and having the land resurveyed, Jacob and his wife Ann by their Indenture of release bearing date the eighteenth day of February Anno Domi 1736 [/7] did grant release and confirm unto Isaac Kline in fee as in and by the same indenture of release relation being thereunto had doth do more at large appear."
This deed to Isaac Kline was not recorded. However, 11th day of March, 1758 Isaac Kline divided the 301 acres, by indentures, between his sons Jacob Kline and Richard Kline. Their deeds when they sold the land include the above quote in the history of the land. It appears that the fee/quit rents for the patent warranty continued through 1758.
(Heckler #22; PA Co. Deed Book H-10:150: Jacob Kline and H-10:152: Richard Kline.)

It is probable that Jacob and Ann (Adams) were living on this land by abt.1730, when Jacob was 21. Prior to 1725 Henry Pannebaker sold Conrad Custer and his wife Susanna (Adams) abt. 180 acres of land (the record is missing so exact dates and acreage are missing and taken from existing boundaries of neighbors.) Using Alderfer's map key and scale that would mean that Ann and her sister were living about two miles from each other for several years!!!!!

Land of Johannes in Limerick Township:
7 Feb. 1725/6 Johannes bought 256 acres of land in Limerick Township from James Steel, part of a 512 acre tract that John Steel had bought from Thomas Hackney.
This is a very strange land record. It begins with the deed of Peter selling his land to Adam Prutzman. But Peter had also kept all of the deed records that related to Johannes and Mary's purchase and sale to him unrecorded and they are included per se in the record of Peter's sale in 1775. In the 50 or so ensuing years most of the witnesses to them were deceased, so they had to scramble to confirm the witnesses!!!!
1. Deed of John Umstatt and Mary to son Peter 29th day of April 1741 .
Between John Umstatt of Bebbers Twp., yeoman and Mary, his wife of the one part and Peter Umstatt of Limerick Twp., their son of the other part. James Steel and wife Martha sell to John Umstatt 256 acres of said 512 acres. Now this indenture John and Mary sell 126 of the 512 acres to their son Peter. Wit. John Ewald and Thomas Bull. [The other 126 acres were sold to their son John "NS" at the same time. (Will of John "NS")]
The 8th day of June 1774 came before me Jacob Duche Esq. J.P. John Bull Esq. who declared that he was well acquainted with the hand writing of Thomas Bull, one of the subscribing witnesses as he was the son of the sd. Thomas Bull, and that this was his writing.
2. Deed of James Steel to John Umstead:
2nd Feb 1725 This indenture made between James Steel of the City of Philadelphia, yeoman and John Umstatt of Skepack of the other part... Signed James Steel and wife Martha ...Sealed in the presence of Henry Pennebecker and John Duborow (his mark).
The 26th day of May, 1775 came Mary Todd, the wife of John Todd before Peter Miller Esq. and daughter of John Duborow, late of the city of Philadelphia, witness, and affirmed that this was her father's signature. (Philadelphia Co. Deed Book I-15: 105-113, SLC Film #0021905, Rec. 6 Dec., 1775.)

[Historical Background]
1714 John Henry Sprogell began settling a tract of 22,377 acres recovered in "Manatawny" in an ejectment suit against Pastorius [of the Frankfort Co.] , which also included additional land in Germantown. These 22,377 acres in the "Perkiomen Region" lay in what were to become the Pottsgrove Twps. and Hanover Twp. John Henry Sprogell had come to PA in abt. 1700 from Germany with his brother Ludwig Christian* and his sister Elizabeth (Sprogell) Hoppe* {1668-1760), a widow with two daughters, including Susanna Hoppe. Elizabeth's husband had been a Lutheran minister in Germany. John Henry established his residence in "Manatawny" [Often referred to as "Hanover Twp."]. His wife Dorothy d. 1718, and he went to London and Germany for a time, leaving his brother Ludwig Christian as his attorney. .He returned to "Manatawny" before he died in 1739.
The settlement of this tract by this family had an impact on both Henry Pannebecker and his land, and on the Umstead Story!
{Detweiler #10: Pennypacker, p.10-11; Smith #11, pp. 3-4. )

1714, Addam McAllister says, "1 Feb. Arnold Custer*, the son of immigrant Paulus, and brother of Hermanus Custer, purchased 316 acres in 'The Perkiomen Region', part of a tract of 22,377 acres from John Henry Sprogell. ....."

He also says, "Arnold Custer, bricklayer of Hanover Twp. died in 1739. Letters of administration were granted to his brother Hermanus* Dec. 22, 1739. In 1740 the heirs of Arnold Custer: Conrad and Susanna (born Adams)*, Paul and wife Sarah (born Ball), George and wife Mary (born Rhoades), Nicholas and wife Susanna (born Hoppe)*, Arnold and wife Barbara, the sons of Arnold Custer, dec., and John Jenkins and wife Katherine, dau. of Arnold, and Dorothy and Hannah Custer, also daus. sold 200 acres of this land to James Brooke of Hanover Twp., yeoman. This 1740 deed was proved 28 Jun 1740 before Owen Evans J.P., but it was not recorded until 1815."
(Mont. Co. Deed Book 32:90: Proved before Owen Evans J.P., 28 June, 1740, Rec. 20 Apr. 1815.)
Two of the heirs who signed this deed are important parts of the Umstead story: Conrad Custer* and his wife Susanna [dau. of Richard Adams and sister of Ann (Adams) Umstatt , wife of Jacob.].....Nicholas Custer* and his wife Susanna [dau. of Johann Hendrick and Anna Elizabeth (Sprogell) Hoppe.] This family was connected both to the later land purchases of Henry and Eve (Umstatt)* Pannebecker and the migration of the children of Herman Umstatt, son of Johannes and Mary..
(Addam McAllister #13; "Descendants of Paulus and Gertrude Kusters", publ. by CAOA, pp. 213-215.)

1715 - June 21st John Henry Sprogell had sold to his brother Ludwick Christian Sprogell 666 acres of his 22,377 acres. Now Ludwick Christian is selling 100 acres to Henry Wenger (Wanger)* a Swiss Mennonite. Henry lived here until his death in 1753. All Wanger marriages to descendants of Peter Umstead of Berks Co., and to descendants of Jacob Pennypacker and Hannah Umstat are descended from this Henry Wenger.
(Smith #11. Vol. VIII, No. 2, George F. P. Wanger's biographical sketch at HSMC; Research of descendant Lynn Marshall descendant of this family on both Jacob and Ann (Adams) Umstatt line and Peter Umstatt of Berks Co. line.)

1723- 1st day of Oct.- Up until this time all of the land that we have seen Henry sell has been sold only by him as Van Bebber's agent, without any mention of his wife Eve. But this changes after 1723, with the following purchase tripartite deed:
Henry Gouldney, Joshua Gee, John Woods, John Field, all of London in Great Britain, and Thomas Oad of Bristol in Great Britain, of the 1st part; and Richard Hill of Philadelphia Isaac
Norris of Fairhill in the Co. of Philadelphia, and James Logan of Philadelphia of the 2nd part grant and confirm to Henry Pannebaker of Co. of Philadelphia of the 3rd part a certain piece or parcel of land situate lying and being in the Co. of Philadelphia beginning at a post in a line Bebber's Township and a corner of Michael Zeigler's land, thence running by sd. Van Bebber's Twp. SE 210 perches to a corner post of Peter Tyson's land then by the same NE 160 perches to another corner post, then NW by John Shull's land 210 perches to another corner post, then SW by vacant land and the sd. Michael Zeigler's land 160 perches to the place of beginning containing 200 acres. [This makes him the "sole owner and proprietor" of these acres.!] Rec. 15 Jan 1724. (F-4: 297-300)

1724- 16th May- Henry Pannebaker Co. of Philadelphia, Yeoman and Eve his wife sell to Hans George Reiff* of Skippack, Smith, the 200 acres described above [but keeps the proprietary quit rents]. Henry Pannebaker's seal "Elsa" [her mark "E"] Pannebaker's seal, recorded and delivered in the presence of Clas "Yansen", Johannes "Winstat", Hermanus Rusters.
12th day of August, 1724 Henry appeared with the deed before William Fishbourne, J.P., whose clerk obviously had a little trouble with the German names like Eve, Claus Janson, Umstat, and Kusters!!! Rec. 31st day of Aug., 1724. [Note how much better a clerk in 1730 did on that date below. (F-4:241)
1727 The end of an era for Van Bebber Twp.
By 1725 Henry Pannebecker had teamed up with his friend Lodowig Christian Sprogell.
Samuel W. Pennypacker describes this era:
"Matthias Van Bebber, as an absentee owner, was turning over more and more of the responsibility to Henry Pannebecker, who was acting as his agent and his attorney. The area had grown and developed so much, and Van Bebber was tired." Lodowig and Henry Pannebecker "conceived together the great scheme of getting control and possession of Bebber's Township, and their efforts resulted in success"....

"On the 7th of July, 1727 Van Bebber conveyed to Sprogell alone, though with knowledge that it was in the interest of both, all the remaining part of the sd. 6,166 acres of land which was unsold and not conveyed by the sd. Matthias Van Bebber at the date of the sd. Lease and Release together with appurtenances excepting 120 acres of land in the sd. Release reserved.... "For Sprogell it was a short season of importance....He died 5 June 1729 and Henry had virtual control of the Twp". .
."1731 17th Nov. Catherine Sprogell, the widow, and John Lodowick Sprogell and Susanna Catharina Sprogell, the children, heirs of Lodowig Christian Sprogell, conveyed to Hendrick Pannebecker of Bebber's Twp., all of the remaining land of Matthias Van Bebber and Lodowig Christian Sprogell."
"In 1732 Van Bebber issued a statement to those who had purchased from him, [which included the following:] '7th day of July 1727 I sold & conveyed unto L.C. Sprogel notwithstanding that all the unsold Land was to be conveyed to sd. Sprogel yet ye True Meaning & Agreement was that Henry Pennebecker was to have a Share of sd. Land he paying his share also of ye consideration into sd. Van Bebber.."(Detweiler #10:Pennypacker, pp.10, 11)

[Note The following deeds reflect this strange arrangement of Henry receiving land. There is a fluctuation between "of Bebbers Twp." and "of Skippack" in these records.]

1728 10th day of Jan- Henry purchased land as shown in the "history of Land" in the following 1736 deed: 1736 14th Aug Henry Pannebaker, of Bebber's Twp., yeoman, and Eve his wife sell George Scholtze of the City of Philadelphia, merchant and David Scholtze of New Hanover Twp., yeoman, a certain messuage Plantation and tract or piece of land thereunto belonging Situate in New Hanover Twp. Beginning at a post Martin Funk's land and Christopher Wagenseils land containing 260 acres...., it being the same tract which Joshua Tresse by his Attorney Lodwick Christian Sprogell by indenture of release the 10th day of Jan. 1728. In this deed Henry retains the right to all quit rents. Rec. 22nd Day of August, 1737. (F-9:279)

1728- 25th day of Feb. - Henry Pannebaker of Bebber's Twp., yeoman, and Eve his wife sell to Joseph Groff , weaver, of Perkiomiy, a certain tract situate on a branch of Perkiomi, beginning at a black oak on a corner of Michael Herringer's land, and then proceeding SE by vacant land 82 and ½ perches to a black oak at a corner of George Peter Harp's land, Thence by the same SW 242 and ½ perches to a post in the line of John Jacob Fout, thence by the same NE 242 and ½ perches to the place of beginning containing 125 acres (part of a tract, their quantity being 622 acres, or the one of them, which were unto the sd. Henry Pannebecker in fee by patent of the proprietary under the hands of his commissioners and great seal of the providence 1st September, 1727 and recorded at Phila. Patent Book A Vol. 6, page 68). [Henry keeps the quit rents on this.]
Signed in the presence of Richard Taylor, Wm. Robinson, Peter Bon and Henry Umstat.

1730- 14th day of Apr.- Henry Pannebaker of Skepack, yeoman, and Eve his wife, sell John Myers, of Salford, yeoman, a certain tract of land situate in Skepack afsd. Beginning at a post by a corner of Christian Myer's. Thence extending by the sd. Myer's land NE 240 perches to a post in the line of James Steel's land, thence by the sd. Steel's land , SE 141 perches to a post at a corner of Christian Stouffer's land and by sd. Stouffer's land SW 240 perches to a post in the line of John Isaac Klein's, Thence NW 141 perches to the place of beginning, Containing 212 acres (part of the first described of two tracts of land granted unto the sd. Henry Pannebecker in fee by patent from the Proprietary Commissioners of the 1st of September 1727 under their Hands and the Proprietary Great Seal entered in the Rolls office at Philadelphia in Patent Book A Vol. 6 p. 68)..... Under the proportional part of the Yearly Quit rent by the sd. recited patent reserved as hereafter to grow and payable. signed Henry Pannebecker and Eve, her mark, in the presence of Claus Jansen, John [Johannes]Umstat ( ) [his mark] [ recorded 1st day of Dec., 1730.] (F-5: 138-140)



Will of Peter Bunn Written July 1, 1745, probated Aug. 12, 1745: Phila. Co. Will Book H:18.
First - To Peter Jr. my eldest son_ part of my tract of land situate in the Twp of Worcester. at the Northeast corner of my land adj. Thomas. Bull and Vanderslice_, or Herman Kestard's tracts of land- containing 56 acres to be laid out to my son Peter where he now lives.
Ibid - - To my wife Gurthan and my son Harmon (who are also my executors) all remainder of plantation where I live containing 160 acres_ to be held by them jointly until youngest son, Henry comes of age___ then the value to be divided between my five sons: Harman, Nicholas, John, Jacob, and Henry, when youngest 21__
Ibid - - To dau. Elizabeth now wife of John Van Fossen the sum of 10 lbs. to be paid within 2 years of my death before distribution of my estate.
Ibid - - To dau. Ankin, now wife of Conrad Van Fossen the sum of 4 lbs., to be paid within 2 years of my death as before distribution of my estate.
Ibid - - To dau. Mary the sum of 14 lbs. to be paid out of the last part of my estate after my youngest son has reached the age of 21.
Executors, wife Gurthan, son Harmon
Wit. Jacob Umstall [Umstatt], Harman Umstall (his mark) [Umstatt)]; Thomas Bull.
[We know that it is Umstatt by the mark of Harmon which is the same as his mark in his will.]
(Will abstracted by Eleanor Mayfarth 1 Dec 2006)
"The inventory of Peter's possessions, dated 12 Aug 1745, included such things as a spinning wheel, weavers loom, loom and spooling wheel, gun and powder horn, an old red cow with a white face, a brown cow, 2 milk cows, 2 hogs, a sow and 6 pigs, a sythe and cradle, 7 swarms of bees, blind halters for 2 horses, 15 sheep, old bayhorse and colt, 6 yards of striped linen, etc.
A History of Worcester Township 1776, Worcester Historical Society, Boyertown Publishing Co., Boyertown, PA, Second Printing, 1986, copyright 1978 Worcester Historical Society pp. 358-61.)

1748 11 Nov. 2 tracts of land were conveyed to Jacob Umstatt. "100 acres in Skippack/Perkiomen adj. to Johannes Umstatt and John Fry, and 69 acres in Worcester adj. Peter Bunn Jr., Thomas Bull and Henry Umstatt were conveyed by Harman, John, Nicholas, Jacob, Henry, Bunn plus Gurcham and Mary Bunn to Jacob Umstead.
(Mont. Co. Deed Book, 7:702, to Jacob, 7:762 to P. Jacob.)

1754 - Henry Pannebecker b. 21 Mar 1674, d, 4 Apr 1754. Eve b. 1 Mar 1673/74, d. 14 Apr 1754. And so ends the story of Johannes and his two best friends and neighbors.


It's time to move on to the next generation:



Back to Generations

Back to Johannes Main

Johannes Bibliography

Glossary of Land Terms

Top of Page





last updated 1 April 2007