Notes for JACOB MINERD, SR.: JACOB MINERD, WHO IN THE YEAR 1796 FOUND A RUDE PICK-AS, STONE POTS, HATCHETS WITH OTHER IMPLEMENTS IN A CAVE IN THE MOUNTAIN-SIDE, ABOVE OUR MODERN "EGYPT". "EGYPT" -- our modern Egypt probably refers to the Egypt District of Stewart Township, Fayette County, a political subdivision at the time. The Egypt District was mountainous and located just over 3 miles from where the Minerds lived.
JACOB [SR.] UPON MOVING FROM MARYLAND TO THE RECENT JOSEPH KLINK FARM** AT NICOLAY, PA., PITCHED HIS CAMP UNDER A LARGE TREE UNTIL HE BUILT A CABIN. HE LABORED REARING A HOME AND CLEARING LAND. HE ALSO BOILED SALT AT VICTORIA. MARY, WHILE YET A GIRL CARRIED PROVISIONS TO HIM AT THE SALTSPRING BOTTOM. ** - This farm is now owned in part by Ray Steyer, staddling the Springfield and Stewart Township borders. At the time the Minerds lived there, the farm contained 393 acres. [Swrngen.FTW]
Jacob and Maria (Nein) Minerd Sr., were our pioneer ancestors who settled in Fayette/Somerset Counties, PA, the epicenter of our family's explosive growth the past 210 years. Jacob is newly acknowledged as a Revolutionary War patriot by the federal government's Department of Veterans Affairs and the prestigious Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
To give you a sense of what they produced, they had 12 children, of whom 8 are identified. At last count, those 8 children had at least 87 grandchildren, 434 great-grandchildren and 1,004 great-great grandchildren, for a total of 1,537 lives, virtually all born before the year 1900. Today, their descendants (and spouses) number 13,600, and counting, and probably in reality add up to 40,000 or more.
Jacob was the son of German immigrants Friedrich and Eva (Weber) Meinert, who came to Oley Twp., Berks County, PA in about 1730. Maria's parents were Casper and Barbara NeŁn, also German immigrants who settled in Oley. Whether Jacob and Maria were born in Germany or America is not known.
Jacob and Maria settled in Western Pennsylvania in the year 1791. Part of their large farm, near Mill Run, PA, is seen here circa 1988.
The Minerds had 12 children, of whom we know the identities of only 7 -- John Minard Sr. (born 1766, of Harrison County, OH); Burket Minerd (born 1774, of Preston County, WV), Daniel Miner Sr. (born 1776, of Perry and Morrow Counties, OH), Frederick Miner Sr. (born 1777?, of Perry County, OH), Jacob Minerd Jr. (born 1780, of Somerset County, PA), Martha Imel-Harbaugh (born 1789, of Somerset County, PA); and Henry Minerd (born 1790, of Fayette County, PA). The Minerds had at least 3 unidentified daughters, one of whom married John Ream, founder of the village of Ursina, Somerset County, PA.
Jacob and Maria started married life in Oley Twp., where their son Burket (or 'Burkhard') was born and baptized in a Lutheran church. During the American Revolution, Jacob took an oath of allegiance, and served in the Berks County Militia, Captain Foch's Company, 3rd Class.
During the war, Berks County's German community was a mixture of activism and pacifism. In fact, shortly after the war's inaugural battles, in Lexington and Concord, MA, Berks soldiers "were among the first troops to report to the newly appointed commander-in-chief, George Washington." Yet 2 years later, after the Declaration of Independence was signed, says Frantz and Pencak's 1998 book, Beyond Philadelphia, anyone who refused to support the war was "fined and imprisoned."
Such perceived [pacifism] encouraged the Revolutionary leaders of Pennsylvania to pass an Act of Allegiance (known as the Test Act) in June 1777. All white male inhabitants of the state were required to take an oath of allegiance... if they wanted to preserve their civil rights. By the beginning of July, almost 5,000 Berks County males over 18 years of age had sworn allegiance to the new government.
The war caused prices and taxes to inflate greatly, and many Berks farmers were unable to cope. This may be a reason why the Minerds made the decision to move again. In 1780, they were in Emmitsburg, Frederick County, MD, where daughter Martha was born. Yet in 1791, they moved again to Maple Summit near Mill Run, PA, where they settled permanently.
Seen at left is the highest point of land on the Minerds' large farm of 393 acres. They did not own this property, but perhaps rented it from its lawful but absentee owner, Job Nob. In 2001, the Steyer family, current owners of this farm, leased the ridgeline to Mill Run Windpower, which in turn erected a series of large windmills. According to a feature article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, each windmill towers 210 feet in height, and the blades themselves measure 100 feet in length. The mills are a renewable energy resource for thousands of homes in the region. At an elevation of 2,900 feet above sea level, they can be seen for miles in every direction, and are an interesting tribute to the memory of our early Minerd pioneers.
After putting down roots in Fayette/Somerset Counties, says a history penned by great-grandson Allen E. Harbaugh, Jacob "pitched his camp under a large tree until he built a cabin. He labored rearing a home and clearing land. He also boiled salt at Victoria. [His daughter Martha], while yet a girl carried provisions to him at the Saltspring bottom [along the Youghiogheny River]." Though Indians had largely left the region by this time, we can only imagine how difficult life must have been in these unsettled wilds.
A U.S. Geological Survey map, shown here, pinpoints the exact location of their farm, outlined in pencil. The farm was irregularly shaped like a "U." The dotted line running diagonally, from top right to bottom center, is the mountainous and often vague boundary between the counties of Fayette (left) and Somerset (right).
Jacob is known to have boiled salt in the spectacular Victoria valley, seen here, along the Youghiogheny River, of Fayette County, PA. The saltspring was several miles from their home, and was an important site known beyond the region. President Thomas Jefferson, in his famous Notes on the State of Virginia, stated in 1787 that "A salt spring has been lately discovered at the Turkey foot on Yohogany, by which river it is overflowed, except at very low water. Its merit is not yet known." Tim Palmer's Youghiogheny: Appalachian River says that the spring attracted deer, which may have pleased hunters, and that locals "collected the water and boiled it down for salt."
The mountainous frontier to which Jacob and Maria moved in 1791 was blessed with rich natural resources -- coal, timber, land and water -- which provided income for generations of descendants. The region also was rich in historical sites, such as Jumonville, where the French and Indian War began in 1754, and Fort Necessity, where young Lt. Col. George Washington was soundly beaten in his 1st battle. Later, Washington helped bury his commander, Maj. Gen. Edward Braddock, who was mortally wounded in battle by the French and Indians at what is now Braddock, PA. Braddock's grave, along Route 40 at Chalk Hill, PA, is marked by a huge monument, and is today a national monument.
Another famous resident of Fayette County of that era was Albert Gallatin, future Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison. Gallatin resided at Friendship Hill, and as Treasurer helped finance the Louisiana Purchase, and construction of the National Road (Route 40) which later provided employment for many other Minerd descendants.
Sometime between 1811 and 1815, Jacob died. While Ellis' History of Fayette County tells us that Jacob died 20 years after his settlement (which would thus have been 1811), we have a clue that he may have lived at least until 1814. For one, his name disappears from the Fayette County tax rolls in 1815, and his wife appears as "Widow" in the 1816 lists. Also, the Jan. 4, 1815 Uniontown Genius of Liberty reports that there was an unclaimed letter at the Uniontown post office for "Jacob Mynerd." This suggests he may have died around that time, perhaps in December 1814. The clipping is seen above, the oldest known newspaper reference in our family.
Jacob was buried in what is now the Indian Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Mill Run. Maria is thought to have lived at least until 1820, though her final fate is unknown. Her name disappears from the county tax rolls after 1819. The photo shown here is of the older part of the cemetery where their daughter Martha and many of her offspring are known to rest, and where Jacob and Maria are presumed to lie also.
In 1882, a brief biography of Jacob was published in Franklin Ellis' History of Fayette County. This paragraph was excerpted in Velma Byrum Keller's Immel and Imel Families in America. Jacob and Maria are also mentioned in a paragraph on her Nein family in Beers' 1909 Historical and Biographical Annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania.
The following timeline provides a chronology of Jacob and Maria's known activities:
1766 - Son John Minard born in either Pennsylvania or Frederick County, MD. [Source: Censuses of Harrison County, OH for 1850 and 1860.]
1767 - Taxed in Oley Twp., Berks County, PA. Spelling: Meiner. [Source: Pennsylvania Archives Series]
1771 - May 22 - Named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed at Reading, Berks County. Casper Krisimer charged that Miner and others illegally "felled & cut down" Krisimer's trees that were valued at £50. Miner and others were accused of having "carried away" the timber and wood and converted it "to their own property and use." Spelling: Miner [Source: Berks County civil court]
1774 - Jan. 26 - Son Borckhart [Burket] Minerd born, and later baptized at the Zion-Lehigh Church at Alburtis, Lehigh County, PA. Spelling: Meinert. [Source: Baptismal records of the Zion-Lehigh Church.]
1776 - Son Daniel Miner Sr. born in Pennsylvania. [Source: Census records of Morrow County, OH for 1850.]
1777 - May 30 - Took an oath of allegiance with "Frederick Meiner" in Berks County. Spelling: Meiner. [Source: The Names of Persons Who Took the Oath of Allegiance in Berks County, Pennsylvania, Book D, Vol. I.] Later, joined the Third Class of Capt. Focht's Company for military service in Berks. Spelling: Minor. [Source: State of the Accounts of Jacob Morgan, Senior, Late Lieutenant of Berks County]
1777 - Son Frederick Miner Sr. born in Pennsylvania. [Source: Frederick's grave marker; death certificate of his son Frederick Miner Jr.]
1779 - Oct. 11 - Purchased 5 acres from Abraham and Anna Maria Stein in Hanover Twp., Lancaster County, PA. Was a resident of Exeter Twp., Berks Co., PA, at the time. Spelling: Minert. [Source: Berks County Deed Book 11]
1780 - Son Jacob Minerd Jr. allegedly born in Emmitsburg, MD. [Source: Harbaugh's 1913 Minerd History]
1787 - Daughter Martha (Minerd) Imel-Harbaugh born (presumably) in Emmitsburg, MD. [Source: Harbaugh's 1913 Minerd History]
1787 - June 11 - Named in the will of father in law, Casper Nein: "...I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Maria Intermarried unto Jacob Meinert the sum of Forty Pounds money as aforesaid Four Years + a half after my decease." The will also bequeathed £40 to "my Daughter Catharina Intermarried unto Fredrick Meinert" to be paid two and a half years after his decease. [Source: Berks County Will]
1790 - Listed on the census of Frederick County, MD. Living in his household were 1 male over 16, 3 males under 16, and 5 females. Spelling: Meinhard. [Source: U.S. Census] Eugene Podraza doubts that this is our man.
1790 - Son Henry Minerd born in Somerset County, PA. Spelling: Minerd. [Source: Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County, Pa. by Samuel T. Wiley, Chicago, 1889.]
1791 - Settled on the "Fulton Farm" at what is now Maple Summit, straddling the Fayette/Somerset County (PA) border. [Source: History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Franklin Ellis, 1882] After settling, he "pitched his camp under a large tree until he built a cabin. He labored rearing a home and clearing land. He also boiled salt at Victoria. [His daughter Martha], while yet a girl carried provisions to him at the Saltspring bottom." [Source: Harbaugh's 1913 Minerd history]
1793 - Listed on the tax rolls of Turkeyfoot Twp., Somerset County, and was assessed 1 shilling. Spelling: Miner. [Source: The Somerset County Outline And Supplement, by John C. Cassady, 1955] Note - Turkeyfoot Twp., Somerset County, abuts what is now Springfield Twp., Fayette County, right at the site of the Minerd farm.
1795 - First listed on the tax rolls of Bullskin Twp., Fayette County, with 300 acres. Spelling: Minor.
1796 - March 1 - Named as next door neighbor of Francis Moriarty in a deed where Moriarty sold 400 acres to Abraham Stauffer in Bullskin (now Springfield) Twp., Fayette County, PA. [Source: Fayette County Deed Book C-2, Pages 792-793]
1796 - Either he or son Jacob Jr. found a "rude pick-ax, stone pots, hatchets with other implements in a cave in the mountain-side, above our modern Egypt." This site was in the steep hills above the town of Victoria, PA along the Youghiogheny River. [Source: Harbaugh's 1913 Minerd history]
1798 - Oct. 1 - In the 1798 Direct Tax for Pennsylvania, was assessed for 1 cabin and 1 cabin barn on a 400-acre tract, and on a 100-acre tract, on Laurel Hill in Saltlick (now Springfield) Twp., Fayette County. The 400-acre tract was owned by John Moriarty, and the 100-acre tract was owned by Matthew Hardford. Spellings: Minard and Minerd. [Source: General List of Lands, Lots and Buildings that Were Owned, Possessed, or Occupied on the First Day of October, 1798 Within the Second Assessment District, Composed of the County of Fayette in the Ninth Division in the State of Pennsylvania]
1800 - Named on the census of Saltlick (now Springfield) Twp., Fayette County. In his household were 1 male under 10, 2 males between 16-26, 1 male over 45, 2 females between 10-16, 1 female between 16-26 and 1 female over 45. Spelling Minard. [Source: U.S. Census]
1800 - Nov. 19 - Mother in law Barbara Nein died in Berks. In her will, written years earlier, she wrote: "I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Maria Miner, [Wife of Jacob Miner] my beft new Bed, Bedftead, Bed clothes & Curtains thereunto belonging." She also willed to her daughters "Wearing Apparel, together with all my Linen & Linsey Woolsey". She also willed them their fair share of £7, 6 shillings and 6 pence divided equally. The will was witnessed by James, Moses and Sarah Boone, uncle and cousins of famed frontiersman Daniel Boone. Spelling: Miner. [Source: Berks County wills]
1801 - Listed in the tax rolls of Saltlick Twp., Fayette County. Also listed is a "John Minor" who was said to have "Moved."
1802 - First taxed on 93 acres of land in Saltlick Twp., Fayette County.
1803 - Listed in the tax rolls of Saltlick Twp., Fayette County. Also listed is "Philip Minor," identity unknown.
1804 - Named as a next-door neighbor of Benjamin (a.k.a. Benoni) Harris in a deed where Harris sold 400 acres of land to Samuel Sisler in Saltlick (now Springfield) Twp., Fayette County. Spelling: Miner. [Source: Fayette County Deed Book G, Pages 35-36] Note - it's conceivable that this same Sisler was the father of Hester Sisler who married Jacob Minerd's son Henry.
1800 - Listed in the tax rolls of Saltlick Twp., Fayette County. Also listed is "Jacob Minor Jr."
1810 - Listed on the federal census for Saltlick (now Springfield) Twp., Fayette County. In his household were 1 male between 16-26, 1 male over 45, 1 female under 10, 1 female between 16-26 and 1 female over 45. Spelling: Minard. Also enumerated was "John Minor" in a household of 2 children and 2 adults. [Source: U.S. Census]
1811 - May have died in Springfield Twp. -- "Twenty years after his settlement [in 1791] he died, and was buried in what is now the Baptist graveyard at Mill Run." [Source: Ellis's 1882 History of Fayette County] However, tax records strongly suggest he may have lived as late as 1814.
1812 - Listed in the tax rolls of Saltlick Twp., Fayette County. Also named was "Henry Minor" who was listed as "Single."
1814 - First taxed for 393 acres of seated lands in Saltlick (now Springfield) Twp., Fayette County. Assessed as a farmer with 1 horse, 3 cattle, 1 dog. Also was assessed for 225 acres of unseated lands with the tax "Paid to J. Roberts on the 4th October 1814 together with Jacob Immel's tax." Spelling: Minard. [Source: Fayette County Tax Assessors Records]
1815 - Name does not appear in tax assessment records of Fayette County. "Henry Miner" is listed as a farmer with 300 acres with the "Land transferred from William Hardy" (or Handy).
1815 - Jan. 4 - Listed in a Fayette County newspaper among recipients of mail whose letters were sitting undelivered in the post office at Uniontown. This also suggests he may have recently died. Spelling: Mynerd. [Source: Uniontown Genius of Liberty]
1816 - Wife "Margaret," listed as "Widow," was assessed for 1 cattle, 1 dog and 300 acres of seated lands in Saltlick (now Springfield) Twp., Fayette County. "Henry Miner" also is listed, with an occupation of "Labor." Spelling: Miner. [Source: Fayette County Tax Assessors Records]
1819 - Widow "Mary" is listed in the tax rolls of Saltlick Twp., Fayette County. Also listed is "Henry Miner", with 300 acres.
1820 - Widow Mary's name does not appear on the tax rolls of Saltlick Twp., Fayette County. "Henry Miner" is listed with 300 acres, and his occupation given as "Farm."
1823 - "Henry Miner" is taxed for 93 acres in Saltlick Twp., Fayette County, appearing to possess the tract Jacob had occupied starting in 1802.
1882 - Described in a paragraph in Ellis' History of Fayette County.
1909 - Named in the Historical and Biographical Annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania (Chicago, J.H. Beers & Co.) in a chapter on David D. Nein. Spelling: Miner.
1913 - Aug. 8 - Described in Sketch of Minerd Families Historical and Traditional written by great-grandson Allen Edward Harbaugh of Mill Run, Pa., and read aloud at the Minerds' 1st Annual Reunion.
1990s - Acknowledged for the very first time by the Daughters of the American Revolution as a Revolutionary War militia veteran.
2001 - Honored as the featured theme at our National Minerd-Miner-Minor Reunion, including with a visit to the Indian Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Mill Run, PA, where he is said to be buried.
2002 - Acknowledged for the very first time by the federal government as a Revolutionary War militia veteran.
More About JACOB MINERD, SR.: Burial: Unknown, Indian Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Mill Run. Military service: May 30, 1777, American Revolution, served in the Berks County Militia, Captain Foch's Company, 3rd Class.
Children of JACOB MINERD, SR. and MARY (MARIA) (Nine) NEIN are: