Phillip Frederich Eichelberger was born on April 17, 1693 in Ittlingen, Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. He was one of nine children born to parents John E. and Maria Barbara Eichelberger. He went by his full name while living in Germany and then by his middle name Frederick throughout his time in America.
The family was raised as members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ittlingen, Germany, which was then in the Grand Duchy of Baden and is now in the Empire of Germany. On November 11, 1714, Phillip married Anna Barbara Dorners. They went on to have five children together:
- John Martin (b. 1716, Ittlingen, Germany – d. 1781, York, Pennsylvania)
- John Frederick (b. 1722, Ittlingen, Germany – d. 1823, South Carolina )
- Anna Margaretta (b. 1724, Ittlingen, Germany – d. 1770, Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
- Anna Barbara (b. 1727, Ittlingen, Germany – d. 1814, Jefferson, Kentucky)
- John George (b. 1729, York, Pennsylvania - d. 1752, York, Pennsylvania)
In 1828, the family decided to emigrate to America, as many Lutheran Germans were doing at the time. At the time it was required that in order to get a passport and permission to emigrate, Frederick had to supply a reference of character. On May 11, 1728, an Ittlingen official provided the following testimonial in a Certificate of Good Behavior speaking quite highly of Frederick and his family. He is described as being honest, industrious, true and honorable. A great-great grandson of Frederick, living in Maryland, has the original document.
On June 22, 1728, Frederick and family including four children boarded the ship named the Albany in Rotterdam, Holland, along with approximately one hundred other emigrants. The ship stopped in Cowes, England and then arrived in Portsmouth, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 4, 1728. A listing of the ship’s passengers can be found here. 1728 Albany Ship Passenger List
Frederick also swore an Oath of Allegiance in Philadelphia on that day.
The family originally settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, near the Pequa Creek, where they lived among many other German families. It is here that Frederick’s wife, Anna, died.
In 1736, Frederick remarried to a woman named Mary Magdalene Becker. They had ten children together:
- Adam (b. 1739 – d. 1787)
- Maria Eva (b. 1739 – d. 1823)
- Hans (b. 1740)
- Anna Maria (b. 1741 – d. 1823)
- Hans Michael (b. 1744)
- Jacob (b. 1746 – d. 1811)
- Anna Elizabeth (b. 1748 – d. 1794)
- Leonard (b. 1750 – d.1811)
- Lewis (b. 1751 – d. 1801)
- Maria Magdalena (b. 1757)
On May 19, 1739, Frederick became a naturalized citizen of American Colonies. The family moved to a farm near Abbotstown, Pennsylvania on land granted to him by Thomas, William and Richard Penn. They stayed there until they purchased a 220-acre farm in York County, Pennsylvania from Conrad Low on April 28, 1761. This land remained in the Eichelberger family at least through 1900, possibly still today. In 1770, Frederick purchased in Hanover Village, just south of Hanover, Pennsylvania.
On September 19, 1776, Frederick passed away. He is thought to be buried in the old historic burial ground, Winebrenner Graveyard, just one mile north of Hanover but the marker is no longer there to accurately find his remains. Family members found it fitting that he passed in the year of the American Revolution. He had come to love America and considered it his own country and had passed this love of country down to his sons as all that were of age were soldiers in the war.
In his will, dated February 5, 1776, Frederick was sure to take care of his wife, children and grandchildren. The will also tells us several things. First, in it, he lists his occupation as yeoman (farmer). Also, Frederick had to use a mark to sign the will, telling us that he was not able to write and probably couldn’t read.
Extracts from the Church Records of the Evangelical Congregation at Ittlingen – Births and Baptismal records – Phillip Frederick Eichelberger
“The Historical Sketch of Phillip Frederick Eichelberger” (1900)
U.S. and International Marriage Records Database, 1560-1900
U.S. Sons of the Revolution Membership Database, 1889-1970
Hinke, W.J., Pennsylvania German Pioneers, I, 21
Pennsylvania Statutes at Large ch.CCCXLIX, IV, 350
History of Lancaster County 1883 by Ellis & Evans, pg. 979
York County Will Abstracts 1749-1819
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