Jacob Shingledecker (24 January 1740 – c1820)


Correcting his birth date

The records of his parent’s church show his birth on 24 January 1740 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. 1

There are some internet family trees showing his birth date as 25 September 1736, all of them apparently sourced from a single family tree in the LDS library which gives no evidence for the date.   That date is clearly implausible, being barely seven months after the birth of a sister in the Hinterweidenthal church records.  We know from his father’s will that Jacob was the eldest son and we know from church records in Germany and Pennsylvania that his parents had two daughters born in 1734 and 1736 (neither of whom survived childhood) and a third daughter born in 1738.  Jacob was clearly the fourth child, the second to survive to adulthood, and the first son.

Executor of his father’s will

His father Jacob “Shingledacker” made his will in Frederick County, Maryland on 12 February 1767, and proved on !8 March 1767.2  The will appointed his wife Elizabeth and his “eldest son Jacob Singledacker”(sic) executors, and charged Jacob to provide for and supply his mother.   The will also provided that the sale of his plantation could be deferred for two years, under Jacob’s management in the interim, with Jacob paying £4 annually as rent.  Jacob and his mother took inventory on 6 April 1767 and presented it to the court on 9 August 1767.3  On 13 March 1769 Jacob and Elizabeth “Shingletaker” presented an accounting showing that the plantation had been sold after two years, the estate credited with £8 in rents from Jacob, and debts paid, leaving a balance of £125-18s-8p in the estate.4

The move to Bedford County, Pennsylvania about 1773

His father’s land was about five miles south of the Pennsylvania border.   A few years after his father’s death Jacob and some of his siblings moved a few miles northwest over the state line into the part of Bedford County, Pennsylvania that is now Fulton County.   Jacob appeared on the tax list of Bethel (later Belfast) township in 1774 along with his younger brother George and brother-in-law George Sipes.  His brother Michael began appearing on tax lists in 1776, evidently the year he was 21.

He subsequently appears on surviving tax lists for 1775, 1776, 1781, 1782, 1783, 1785, 1786 and 1787 after which he disappears from Bedford County records.

Revolutionary Service

Among the relatively few militia records that survive is a list of officers who commanded the First Battalion of Bedford County Militia in 1781.  The First Company was commanded by Captain Henry Rush with Lt. John Longstretch and Ensign Jacob “Shingletaker”. 5  John Longstrech was perhaps his brother-in-law who also taxed in Bethel township. (John Longstreth, Phillip Longstreth, and Michael Shingletaker had previously served in the same company in Dunmore’s War in 1774.)  A separate list of the privates in that company included George and Michael “Shingledaker”.6

Another record of Bedford County soldiers who received pay at some unknown point during the war included Jacob, George, and Michael “Shingletaker”. 7  And a separate list of “soldiers who received depreciation pay” includes Jacob, George, and Michael Shingledecker, all listed as privates.8

The move to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

Jacob apparently left Bedford County after 1787, for he did not appear on the tax lists after that year.   In 1788 and 1789 it was presumably the same Jacob Shingledecker who appeared on tax lists several miles north in Frankstown, Huntington County — taxed on livestock but not land.

In 1790 he was enumerated (as “Jacob Singlemaker”) in the federal census several miles to the west in Derry Township, Westmoreland County.  His household included two males over 16, four males under 16, and five females. This household matches the one given by his great-grandson (below) with one extra male.  That extra male may have been his son-in-law Andrew Stewart who lived and owned land in Derry Township but does not appear in the census himself.  Andrew Stewart must have been newly married in 1790 and may have been living with his  in-laws.  I particularly note that Jacob Shingledecker was enumerated immediately adjacent to Thomas and John Wilkins whose land adjoined Andrew Stewart’s.

The biographical statement of a grandson (see below) calls Jacob Shingledecker “a native of Westmoreland County”, suggesting that he must have remained there for several years after 1790.  Indeed, Jacob Shingletaker appears on a 1793 list of militiamen of Derry township.9

To Ohio: A great-grandson’s statement

Jacob Shingledecker does not appear in the 1798 tax list in Westmoreland County or in any county in Pennsylvania.  Nor does he appear in the 1800 census of Pennsylvania, though his presumed son-in-law Andrew Stewart does.  Two statements by descendants explain this by suggesting that he had moved to Ohio, whose 1800 census is missing.

An 1896 biographical history contains a lengthy statement by a great-grandson named Jacob Shingledecker of Dublin township, Mercer County, Ohio.  Speaking of Abraham Shingledecker, it reads in part:

[Abraham Shingledecker] was a son of Jacob and Abigail (Longstroth) Shingledecker, the former of whom was both a farmer and a millwright, and located in Cincinnati when there was nothing there but the fort. Abraham Shingledecker [Jacob’s son] sold quails at Fort Washington to Hull and his men. After the treaty made there with the Indians he removed to Xenia, where he followed his trade the remainder of his life, and there died. He was the father of eight children: Jacob, who served in the war of 1812-15; John, Isaac and Abraham and four daughters.  Jacob Shingledecker was in politics a democrate and awas a member of the Lutheran church. 10 

Fort Washington was built in 1789 on the site of what is now downtown Cincinnati on the Licking River.  Thus Jacob Shingledecker could have located there almost anytime prior to 1800.  The reference to “Hull” is confusing, though, as General William Hull did not arrive in Cincinnati until May 1812, by which time the town consisted of more than 400 buildings.  To add to the confusion, Jacob Shingledecker Jr. by 1812 had moved some distance away to Xenia where he was commanding a militia company.

Another biographical statement, this one published in 1889 regarding a grandson named Jerome Shingledecker, son of Isaac A. Shingledecker, states that his grandfather:

Jacob Shingledecker, was a native of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and was of German ancestry; he was a soldier of the war of 1812, with the rank of Captain.  The mother of Isaac Shingledecker was Mary Ann Rue, a native of West Virginia.11

Final residence in Ohio

Exactly when he died is unknown.  Ohio censuses are missing in 1800 and 1810, and probate records for the pertinent counties are mostly missing for the period.   He was not  a head of household in the 1820 census, and may have died by then.  He was certainly dead before his wife.

His wife Abigail died on 8 August 1838 at an advanced age, according to the Cincinnati Daily Gazette:

Died on the 8th inst. at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Hargraves, near Sharon, Mrs Abigail Shingledecker, aged 103 years, 1 month, and 16 days. She was a native of Pennsylvania, and amongst the earliest settlers of this city.12

Her age may have been exaggerated, as that would not only make her more than four years older than her husband, but also mean she was still having children in her very late forties.   Isaac’s birth in 1784, when she was supposedly 49 years old, probably means that he was the youngest child.


  1. Abigail Shingledecker (c1773 – aft1820) We presume that Abigail, the wife of Andrew Stewart, was a daughter of Jacob Shingledecker. Her birth year is just a guess, based on her marrying and having children by about 1790. She survived her husband, who died in 1805, and two years later married Elisha Chambers in Greene County, Ohio. She was presumably the older woman in Chambers’ 1820 census household, but I did not trace her further.
  2. Jacob Shingletaker (24 September 1774 – 4 Oct 1849)  According to Jerome Shingledecker’s statement, Jacob married Mary Ann Rue (1782-1851).  They are said to have had four children: Margaret Shingledecker (1802-1876), wife of Jacob Bates, Matida Shingledecker, Hampton Shingledecker and Isaac A. Shingledecker.  He is buried in the Old Byron Union Cemetery of Greene County, Ohio where his stone bears his death date and age.
  3. John Shingledecker (c1785? – aft1830)  He married Catherine Knave on 10 June 1814 in Greene County and appears in the 1820 census of Beaver Creek township heading a household of one male and three females.13  He was still living there in 1830.14 Despite several internet family trees that claim a son named Soloman, the 1820 and 1830 censuses show only two daughters in his household.  One of them is said to have been Roxey Ann Shingledecker, perhaps named after his sister Roxanna, who married Asa J Petro in Greene County on 16 February 1835.  The other daughter may have been Amanda Ann Shingledecker who married Jacob Miller a few weeks later on 8 March 1835.  John Shingledecker evidently died sometime in the 1830s but I found no probate record for him in Greene County.
  4. Isaac Shingledecker (c1785? – c1835?) He married Jemima Brown on 19 October 1813 in Greene County.  Her father Samuel Brown died in 1816 in Switzerland County, Indiana leaving estate records that identified his daughter.  Isaac Shingledecker was enumerated in Greene County in 1820 but in Cincinnati, Hamilton County in 1830.  These censuses suggest three daughters and a son who perhaps died young.  His widow Jemima, was head of a Cincinnati household of three females in 1840.  Jemima, age 62, was head of household in 1850 as well.  Jemima died at age 84 on 6 July 1873 according to a local obituary.
  5. Abraham Shingledecker (2 October 1786 – 22 June 1871)  His birth date in Pennsylvania and death dates were included in Jacob Shingledecker’s biography.15  He married Rebecca  Hoover on 9 August 1812 in Greene County, Ohio.   Continuing the statement by his grandson Jacob Shingledecker:  “[Abraham] was reared on the farm, received a common-school education and studied medicine in Cincinnati with D.r Odell.  In 1812 he married Rebecca Hoover, a daughter of Israel Hoover, who was born on the Licking river in Kentucky, and died April 27, 1873 at the age of seventy-nine years.  To Abraham and Rebecca Shingledecker there were born eleven children…”16 The statement goes on to say that Abraham lived in Xenia, Yellow Springs, and Whitewater; he practiced both medicine and was a minister in the United Brethren church but in 1865 joined the Christian Union church.  He fought in the War of 1812.  He removed to Mercer County in 1836 and remained there until his death.  His children, according to this statement, were Cyrus, Ezra, Barbara (Parrent), Anna (Frisinger), Abigail (Piper), Jeremiah, Maria (Frisinger), Rachel (Beer), Lorena (Buckmaster), Harriet (Hays), and John.
  6. Anna (Roxanna?) Shingledecker (c1780 – after 1842) The newspaper report of her mother’s death at the home of Mrs. Hargraves allows us to identify her as the “Ann Hargraves” who was enumerated (age 60-69) in the 1840 census of Sycamore township, Hamilton County, Ohio, for Sharon was a suburb of Cincinnati within Sycamore township.  She was twice married.  According to the biography of a stepson, she married a widower named Seth Cutter in Cincinnati — the article calls her Roxena Shingledecker — by whom she had three children named Abigail, Abijah, and Lorena between 1801 and 1805 before Seth Cutter was killed when a well collapsed.17  A Cincinnati newspaper reported his accidental death in late August 1805.  His widow was called “Anna” in subsequent records.  According to a chancery suit filed by Anna Hargraves in 1842, she was previously married to Seth Cutter, from whom she inherited a dower lot in Cincinnati; she was remarried to Maxwell Hargraves by 1816 and he died in February 1833.18  Anna or Roxanna was not located in the 1850 census and apparently died in the late 1840s.
  7. Elizabeth Shingledecker ( – ) She married John Hoover, perhaps the brother of Rebecca Hoover,  on 30 November 1809 in Greene County.  They were not further traced.
  8. unknown daughter.
  1. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church records, New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Also see Humphrey, John T., Pennsylvania Births, Lancaster County, 1723-1800. []
  2. Frederick County, Maryland Will Book A (1744-1777), page 285-286. []
  3. Frederick County, Maryland Probate Book B2 (Inventories 1763-1771), page 281-282. []
  4. Frederick County, Maryland Administrators Accounts Book B2 (1768-1776), pages 54-56. []
  5. Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Vol. 5, page 82 and page 119. []
  6. Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Vol. 5, page 119. []
  7. Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Vol. 4, page 613. []
  8. Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Vol. 4, page 250. []
  9. Pennsylvania Archives, Series 6, Vol. 5, page 700. []
  10. A Portrait and Biographical Record of Mercer and Van Wert Counties, Ohio (A. W. Bowen & Co., 1896), pages 530-532. []
  11. Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon Counties, Iowa (W. S. Dunbar & Co., 1889) page 724. []
  12. Cincinnati Daily Gazette, issue of 9 August 1838, page 2. []
  13. 1820 census, Greene County: John Shingledecker 000010-20010. His brothers Jacob and Abraham were just a few names away. []
  14. 1830 census, Greene County: John Shingledecker 00000001-001101.  Two names intervene between John and his brother Jacob. []
  15. A Portrait and Biographical Record of Mercer and Van Wert Counties, Ohio (A. W. Bowen & Co., 1896), page 531. []
  16. Ibid., page 531. []
  17. History of the Early Settlers, Sangamon County, Illinois, John Carroll Power (Edwin A. Wilson & Co., 1876), pages 239-40 in an article and Seth Cutter and his son Seth R. Cutter. []
  18. Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Ohio, Volume 16, (R. Clark & Co., 1873), pages 339-348. []