The Original Town of Elizabeth

It is well documented. Elizabethtown is named after Barnabas Hughes’ wife. The land descended from the William Penn Family down thru several owners to Barnabas on Jun 15, 1753. Sometime before Oct 4, 1763 Barnabas laid out his new town of Elizabeth and by that date had sold his first lot. Barnabas died Jan 2, 1765. His real estate, including his surveyed lots, descended to his sons, who released their rights to their brother Samuel on Jul 20, 1786. Samuel continued the sale of the remaining lots.

 

Neither the original town plan nor a copy have ever been found. What did the original plan look like? What were its dimensions? How many lots were there? After reviewing a mountain of deeds and other historic sources, we think we know (See below diagram).

Barnabas Hughes’ Original Town Plan 1/

(not to scale)

Barnabas’ son, Samuel is believed to have added lots 65-80 to the original plan.  Also note that “Manheim Street” is now High Street.

We believe Barnabas’ plan included 64 lots divided into 16 blocks. Each block measured 198 feet by 240 feet. The frontage or width of the lots depended upon their orientation, north-south (49.5 feet) or east-west (60 feet). We, also, believe Samuel added an additional 16 lots (same dimensions) to the plan to the west of what he named Poplar Street sometime between Oct 28, 1790 – Jun 10, 1791. These lots were numbered 65-80.

 

To date, we have been able to identify deeds that either directly or indirectly relate to the owners of 64 of the 80 lots sold by Barnabas and his son Samuel. For the 16 remaining lots we have been able to locate documentation of ownership back to within the period 1783-1884 for all except one lot.

 

Barnabas sold his lots as perpetual leases. We have identified 10, of his perpetual leases sales, of which 2 are referred to in his 1763 deed to a John Blazor (original is held by the Seibert Library) and 4 are inferred in deeds written by his son Samuel, after his father’s death. We have located 22 deeds relating to 55 lots signed by Samuel on 5 different dates between 1787 and 1793.

 

Our review of the remaining “mountain of deeds”, which are now cataloged by town block, helped identify the numbering system and street layout for the town plan.

 

Much can be read about the early lot owners in Richard K. MacMaster’s book “Elizabethtown, The First Three Centuries”. Our deed research has confirmed much of what he wrote as well as brought to light some new facts. Did you know?

 

– Market Street follows the old Lancaster-Middletown-Harrisburg Turnpike as it was laid out by 1738. Prior to the incorporation of the Town of Elizabeth in 1827, owners of lots to the east of Market Street were residents of Mount Joy Township and to the west of Market Street residents of Donegal Township.

 

– Barnabas’s town encompassed about 25 acres. It was situated south of Conoy Creek and did not straddle nor border on it.

 

– St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church on Cherry Alley is located on Lot #1.

 

– The original, log Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church on East High Street, through a mix-up, was built on a lot other than the one sold to its Elders (lot #16) by Samuel Hughes in 1787.

 

– The second owner of lot 16, whereon the Winters Heritage House Museum is now located, served in the Revolutionary War. His father was killed by Indians.

 

– St. Peter’s cemetery’s eastern boundary, which slants to the northwest, coincides with the slanted boundary of the original 252+ acre patent granted by the Penn Family to Thomas Harris in 1746.

 

– Many of the known original lot owners may still have descendents living in Elizabethtown today, including those with the surnames: Auker, Balmer, Bishop, Blazor, Brant, Coble, Derr, Frey, Gross, Jamison, McLaughlin, Myer and Sheaffer.

 

The deeds researched for this project now form the foundation of a Seibert Library historic property database. If you are interested in researching the history of your property please call the Seibert Library staff. They would be pleased to assist you.

286 Families Live in our Library!

The Seibert Genealogy Library houses, amongst all the other tidbits of Elizabethtown history, a good quantity of family histories. Over the years, snippets of information on family trees and people have come to us in all forms. Most of these records are unique, and cannot be found online or in other libraries. Some reside as hand-written lists of names and dates that perhaps turned up in grandpa’s attic, or a box of family photographs simply labelled “Risser Photos.” Some are professionally researched family trees compiled into formal manuscripts, others were dissertations done for someone’s degree. In all, there are 286 families residing in our library!

Recently, the Seibert Library staff has finished scanning our complete collection of family records into our computer system, making them much easier to search and organize.

 

Here is the list of surnames we have information on (several are missing…we could also use some help in the library, lol.)

List of Surnames Found in the Seibert Library of the Winters Heritage House Museum, in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

ACKER

ALBERT

ALDINGER

ALLEMAN

ANDERSON

ANDREWS

AUE

AUKER

AX

AXER-AUXER

BACHMAN

BALSBAUGH

BARNES

BARNHART

BAUGHER

BAUM

BEARD

BELSER

BINKLEY

BISCHOFF-BISHOP

BLASSER

BLAUCH

BOGGS

BOMBERGER

BOOZ

BOSSLER

BOWMAN

BOYER

BRADLEY

BRANDT

BRENEMAN

BRENNER

BRICKER

BROWN

BROWNLEE

BRUBAKER

BURKHART

BUTTERFOSS

CAMERON

CAMPBELL

CARPENTER

CASSEL

CLARK

COBLE

CONNER

COX

CROMAN

DeFrance

DIEFFENBACH

DIEHM, DIEN, THIEM

DIFFENDERFER

DuBois

EABY

EAGLE

EARHART

EASH

EBBECKE

EBY

ECKENRODE, ECKENROTH

ECKINGER

EISENHOWER

EMENHEISER

ENGLE

EPLER

ERB

ESHELMAN

FARVER

FERREE

FLEISHER

FOLTZ

FOSTER

FRANTZ

GALBRAITH

GARBER

GARNS

GEBHART

GEIB

GERBER

GIBBLE

GILMORE

GRINDER

GISH

GOODLING

GORGAS

GRAYBILL KRAYBILL

GREENAWALT

GREIDER

GRIMM

GROFF

GROSH

HACHENBERGER

HACKMAN-ZUG

HAIN

HALDEMAN

HARPER

HARRIS

HARROUF

HASSINGER

HAWTHORN

HAWTHORNE

HEILMAN

HEIN

HEISEY

HERCHELROTH

HERR

HERSHEY

HERTZLER

HERTZOG

HESS

HOERNER

HOFFER

HOFFMAN

HOLLINGER

HOLLSINGER

HOLWAGER

HORST

HOSTETTER

HUGHES

HULSTINE

HUMMEL

IBAUGH, IBACH

IBBERSON

IERLEY

ISHLER

KAPP

KAUFFMAN

KAYLOR

KEESEY

KELLER

KETTERING

KOBEL

KOSER

KRAYBILL

KREIDER

KRETZING & LYONS

KRICK

KRISSINGER

LANDIS

LANDVATER

LEADER

LEHMAN

LEICHT

LEMAN

LESH

LICHTY

LINDEMUTH

LONGENECKER

MARTIN

MASTERSON

McBRIDE

McDANNAL

MEASHEY

MECKLEY

MILEY

MILLER

MINNICK

MUHLENBERG

MUMPER

MURPHY

MYERS

NAGEL

NAUMAN

NEUFER-NUFER-NUFFER-NOOVER

NISSLEY

NOBLET

NOLT

NORNHOLD, NOHRENHOLD

OBER

OBERHOLTZER

OLWEILER

ORENDORF

PARTHEMORE

PATTERSON

PATTON

PEIRCE

PFAUTZ

POORMAN

REDSECKER

REEM

REESE

REIDER

RIDER

RISSER

RITTENHOUSE

ROLAND

ROSENBERGER

ROSS

ROYER (INDEX ONLY)

RUHL

RUTT

SANGREY

SAUDER

SCHAEFFER

SHAFFER

SCHELL

SCHENCK

SCHNEITMAN

SCHREINER

SCIGLOWSKI

SEIBERT

SHANK

SHOEMAKER

SINGHAUS

SNAVELY

SNYDER

SOWER

STAUFFER

STEINER

STEINMAN

STERN

STEWART

STRAUSS

SWEIGART

TEGGART, McLURE

THOME

TREICHLER

TRUMP

TYSON

ULRICH

WAGNER

WEALAND

WEAVER

WENGER

WERNER

WESTAFER

WILL

WILLIAMS

WINTERS

WITMER

WOLGEMUTH

YOUNG

YOUTZ

ZEAGER

ZIEGLER

ZIMMERMAN

ZUG