Jacob Shingletaker (c1705 – 1767)

This surname is quite unusual.  As best I can determine, only one family in pre-Revolution  America sported this surname.  It was “Schindeldecker” or something similar in Germany but, owing to the immigrant’s illiteracy, was rendered in a variety of forms in early Pennsylvania and Maryland records.   By the second generation the name had morphed to “Shingletaker” or “Shingledacker” or “Shingledecker” though it also appears in other variants.  By 1800 or so, particularly among the Ohio branches of the family, the spelling of “Shingledecker” seems to have predominated.

The earliest record I’ve found — admittedly with very little effort — was the marriage of a man who might have been his father or grandfather in the same parish that Jacob was married in sixty-odd years later.

The familysearch.com IGI files of submitted genealogies — with no sources identified — contains this genealogy.  It seems to be mostly confirmed by the records of the Gersbach and other churches within the Permasens parish:

  • Hans Jacob Schindeldecker (? – 1699) and Anna Catharina Mueller (or “Seegmuller)  This is confirmed by church records, as Hans Jacob Schindeldecker was married on 20 June 1671 to a Maria H. and again on 27 September 1676 to Anna Catharina Mueller.1
  • Hans Jacob Schindeldecker (1679-1749) — Anna Maria Lang
  • Johann Jacob Schindeldecker (1705-1767) — Elisabetha Schiessler

Our Johann Jacob Schindeldecker was born 27 August 1705 and baptized in a church in Gersbach in the Pirmmasens parish.

Marriage in what is now Rhineland-Palatinate

Johann Jacob Schindeldecker, identified as the son of Johann Jacob Schindeldecker, married Maria Elisabetha Schiessler, daughter of Johann Georg Schiessler, in the Evangelische Und Militar church, Pirmasens, Pfalz, Bayern on 17 February 1733. 2  (Pirmasens is located west of the Rhine near the southwestern German border within the modern district of Südwestpfalz in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The extent of Pirmassens parish at that time is unknown.)  The couple evidently made their home in the adjacent village of Hinterweidenthal where two children named Maria Elisabetha and Christina Elisabetha were baptized in 1734 and 1736.3  It is likely that neither child survived, as their surviving daughter named Elizabeth appears to have been born in late 1738.

Despite internet postings to the contrary, all of their surviving children must have been born after their arrival in America in 1737.

Immigration to Pennsylvania

Jacob Schindeldecker — and presumably his wife — arrived in Philadelphia, along with his father-in-law George Shiessler, on 21 September 1737 on the ship St. Andrew Galley from Rotterdam via Cowes.  Although the ship’s lists were dated 26 September, the ship’s arrival was noted in the Philadelphia newspaper several days earlier on 21 September “from Holland with 415 Palatines.”4

The St. Andrew Galley was owned by Londoners but managed and usually captained by Philadelphia merchants named Charles and John Steadman; it left Philadelphia several weeks later bound for South Carolina and eventually Europe.5  It was recorded to have made at least six voyages carrying Palatinates to Philadelphia between 1733 and 1750, sometimes as St. Andrew Galley and sometimes simply as the St. Andrew.6

The ship arrived on a Saturday but for some reason the male passengers were not sworn at the courthouse until the following Thursday. 7  All three ships lists fortuitously survive, although they list only males above the age of 16 and ignore women and children.  All three lists were recorded in Philadelphis on 26 September 1737.  The manifest usually produced by the Captain before sailing (List A) shows “Georg Schisler” and Joh. Jacob Schindeldeker” listed consecutively. 8  Both men were illiterate, signing with their marks “S” to the oath of allegiance (List B) which spelled their names as “George Shissler” and “John Jacob Shindeldecker”9   They again made their “S” marks on the oath of abjuration to the Pope and Stuarts, with a clerk rendering their names as “George Schissler” and “John Jacob Schendeldeker”.10

If we can believe internet genealogies of Jacob Schindeldecker’s siblings, he was the only member of his family to leave Bavaria.

Initial residence in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

The family evidently lived in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania as the births of their childrnen were recorded in the records of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of New London from 1739 through 1742.   At some point they moved west across the river into the part of Lancaster that became York County in 1749.  The births and baptisms of their last two children were recorded in the records of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church of York in 1749 and 1752.  (Between 1742 and 1749 the family may have attended some church between New London and York whose records no longer survive.)

To Frederick County, Maryland

By early 1760 Jacob had moved down the road connecting Lancaster to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, stopping just over the border in Frederick County, Maryland.  He was assigned a warrant for land in the Stony Branch Valley just south of the town of Emmitsburg and on 20 February 1760 100 acres on the northeast side of Stony Branch were surveyed for him.  The patent for what he named “Long Swamp” was issued eight days later.11  Four years later he resurveyed the land, adding 120 acres of adjoining vacant land to the west but the patent for the full 220 acre parcel was never issued.12

As “Jacob Shingledacker” he made his will on 12 February 1767 in Frederick County, signing with his mark — the same stylized “S” that he had used in 1737. 13  He left one-third of his estate to his wife Elizabeth and divided the rest of the estate into eight equal shares two shares for his “eldest son Jacob Singledacker (sic)” and the other six shares to his six children George Shingledacker, Andrew Shingledacker, Michael Shingledacker, “Elizabeth Bower the wife of Christian Bower”, “Cathrine (sic) Cypes, now wife of Charles Cypes”, and “my youngest daughter” Margaret Shingledacker.  The will speaks of “my wife and minor children”, implying that Andrew and perhaps George were still under 21.   He appointed his wife Elizabeth and son Jacob as executors.  A few weeks later on 18 March 1767 the three witnesses, John Misner, Philip Kiplinger, and Michael Smith, proved the will in court.

The will identifies Elizabeth as the mother of his children, as it directed the eldest son Jacob to provide for and supply “his mother” and her horse and cow that were separately bequeathed to Elizabeth.  It also provided that the sale of his plantation could be deferred for two years, under Jacob’s management.

An inventory was taken on 6 April 1767 and presented to the court by the executors on 9 August 1767.14  It consisted of the modest goods of a farm family valued at just over £50.   On 13 March 1769 Jacob and Elizabeth “Shingletaker” presented an accounting showing that the plantation had been sold at about the two-year mark, and debts paid, leaving £125-18s-8p in the estate.15  No further records were found.

Some, if not most, of the family moved within a few years a few miles over the county and state line into the part of Bedford County, Pennsylvania that is now Fulton County.   The eldest son Jacob Shingledecker appeared on the tax list of Bethel township in 1774 and was subsequently taxed there through 1787.  His brother George Shingledecker and brother-in-law Charles Sipes were taxed in adjacent Ayr township in 1773 but in Bethel township 1774 and thereafter.  Michael Shingledecker apparently a much younger brother, first appeared in Bedford County tax lists in 1776.  All four families lived in the part of Bethel township that became Belfast township in 1785, and were enumerated in that township in the tax list of 1785 and thereafter.

It is possible that the widow remarried, but no records of it survive.


At least two children born in 1734 and 1736, and perhaps others, appear to have died as infants.  There were seven children named in the will, at least three of whom were minors:

  1. Elizabeth Shingledecker (25 December 1738? – 15 March 1815)  Her parents had a daughter named Maria Elisabetha born 18 January 1734 and a daughter named Christina Elisabetha born 7 February 1736, both baptized in Hinterweidenthal but Elizabeth was evidently a third daughter with that name because her death record puts her date of birth more than two years later in 1738 (see below).  Whether that birth date is correct or not, it is close, as she was baptized on 25 February 1738 /9 in the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lancaster County.16  Her father’s will identified her as the wife of Christian Bower (Bauer), whom she probably married about 1763 as their first child is thought to have been born in early 1764.     A fortuitously preserved record left by their son John, who was born in 1772,  reads in part: “Births and Baptisms of Johannes Bauer who was a son of Christian Bauer. Johannes Bauer’s mother was Elizabeth, born Schindeldecker. He had nine brothers and sisters, namely, Elizabeth, Ludwig, Christian, Catherine, Maria, Augustin, Margaretha, Philip, and Barbara.17  The family migrated into Shenandoah County, Virginia where Christian and Elizabeth Bauer appear in a variety of records.  Elizabeth is buried in the Solomon’s Lutheran Church Cemetery near Forestville, Shenandoah County, Virginia where her gravestone bears the death date 15 Mar 1815 with the full notation “”GSRO 15 Mertz 1815 Alter, 76 Jahr 2 Mo 18 Tag”.   If that age is correct, and we count backwards, it puts her birth date at 25 December 1838.  Christian Bauer (as Bowers) has a neighboring sign in the same cemetery that is clearly a modern one, and therefore of questionable validity, reading “1736-1815”.18
  2. Jacob Shingletaker (24 January 1741 – ?)  He was the eldest son, according to his father’s will, and is discussed more fully in a separate page.  Jacob, George, and Michael appear consecutively, along with Charles Sipes on a list of Bedford County soldiers who received pay as “Rangers on the Frontier” at an unspecified date between 1777-1783.19
  3. Catherine Shingletaker (31 January 1742 — ?)  Her birth was recorded in the records of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lancaster County.20  Her father’s will identified her as the “now wife” of Charles Cypes (Sipes).  (This would typically mean a second wife, though it might have been intended to mean recently married.)   Charles Sipes went to Bedford County, Pennsylvania with his brothers-in-law, where he appeared on tax lists adjacent to his Shingletaker in-laws from 1773 through 1784 after which he was missing.  His name appears with the Shingledeckers and three other Sipes (apparently his brothers) on a list of Bedford County soldiers paid as “Rangers on the Frontier” at an unspecified date between 1777-1783.21 Whether he died or moved elsewhere is uncertain  He was not further traced.

  4. George Shingletaker (c1745? – 1788)  His birth date is uncertain; he may have been a minor when his father wrote his will in 1767.  He was taxed in Ayr township of Bedford County in 1773 but in Bethel (later Belfast) township thereafter.  Along with Jacob and Michael, his name appears on a list of Bedford County soldiers paid as “Rangers on the Frontier” at an unspecified date between 1777-1783.22  George died in January 1788 according to a petition to partition his land filed by a daughter and son-in-law in August 1812.23  The petition by Daniel and Elizabeth Straight states that George Shingletaker died intestate leaving a widow Hannah and seven children, all of whom were still living in 1812:  George Shingletaker, Jacob Shingletaker, Andrew Shingletaker, Mark Shingletaker, Elizabeth the wife of Daniel Straight, Mary the wife of George Decker, and Abigail Shingletaker.  He died possessed of a tract of 465 acres in Belfast township, Bedford County, which in 1812 was occupied by several tenants including the Straights, who requested that the court force a partition of the land since the widow and children could not agree on its disposition.

    Hannah and the family continued to live in Belfast township for several decades.  In 1790 Hannah was head of a household of only four.24   By 1798 both Hannah and the eldest son George were taxed.  In 1800 George was not separately enumerated and Hannah headed a household of four males and four females.25.  In 1810 two of the sons were apparently still living with Hannah with Andrew and Jacob separately enumerated.26 She was still alive in 1820 heading a similar census household.27  In 1820 Mark and George were still apparently living with Hannah and she was enumerated in the age 100-110 column.!28

  5. Margaret Shingletaker (7 November 1749 – ?)  She was apparently the “Mary Magdalena Shindeldecker” whose birth was recorded in the records of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in York County.  She was still single when her father wrote his will, which called her “my youngest daughter”.  She was not further traced.

  6. Andrew Shingletaker (19 April 1752 – ?)  His birth and baptism are recorded in the records of Christ Lutheran Church in York County.29 He either remained in, or returned to, Maryland after his father’s death.  According to two surviving muster rolls of the 6th Company of the German Regiment of Foot he enlisted on 25 August 1776 and deserted the same day.30   On 23 April 1777 Capt. George P. Keeport, the company commander, posted a reward notice in Maryland newspapers for the capture of 14 deserters from his company in the German battalion.  $20 was offered for Andrew Shingledecker’s capture and $10 each for the other men.  The notice described him as “Andrew Shingledecker, aged about 25 years of age, about 6 feet high, fresh complexion, sandy hair which curls, by trade a house-carpenter, lived near Winchester, in Maryland when enlisted.31It appears that he had deserted in order to join a different unit closer to home.  In late 1776 he was actually serving in a Frederick County militia battalion under Col. Norman Bruce, as on 28 December 1776 the Committee of Safety confirmed the promotion of several officers in that battalion, one of whom was Andrew Shingletaker promoted to 2nd. Lieutenant. 32  Records of the unit evidently do not survive.  It is possible that Andrew died in service, as I found no further record of him.

    I note that Winchester, Maryland lies only about four miles south of what was then Bethel township of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.   Winchester was in Frederick County until 1776, then in Washington County until 1789, after which it was in Allegheny County.

  7. Michael Shingletaker (c1755? – after 1833)  “Michael Shingletaker” and several of his neighbors served in a company of militia in Dunmore’s War in 1774, as their names appear among those paid at Romney and Winchester in 1775.33   He evidently served in the Bedford County militia during the Revolution as well, appearing on at least one militia list. And along with Jacob and Michael, his name appears on a list of Bedford County soldiers paid as “Rangers on the Frontier” at an unspecified date between 1777-1783.34 In 1833 the Pennsylvania legislature awarded “Michael Shingledecker, of Mercer County” a pension of $40 for his Revolutionary service.35  No estate records were uncovered.

    “Michael Shingletacker” was taxed as a single man in Bethel (later Belfast) township in 1776 and 1779, and may still have been single in 1783 when he was taxed as an “inmate” (a renter) but was married by 1789.36  Probably around 1786 or so he married Mary Hoop, daughter of George Hoop, according to a November 1812 petition requesting a partition of Hoop’s land. 37  The petition states that Mary Hoop Shingletaker had died leaving children named Michael Shingletaker, Barbara Shingletaker, John Shingletaker, Catharine Shingletaker, and George Shingletaker, the last three of whom were minors in 1812.  Michael’s 1800 census household included two young male and two young female children, the son George evidently having been born after 1800.  By 1815 both Michael Shingletaker Senior and Junior, and John Shingledecker, had moved to far western Pennsylvania where they appeared on the tax list for North Beaver township of Beaver (later Mercer and now Lawrence) County.38 The minor son George, born about 1802, accompanied his father, as George “Shindledecker” is said by a local history to have arrived in 1830 at Mahoning township, Mercer (later Lancaster) County and died there in 1874. 39

  1. “Germany, Select Marriages, 1558-1929” database at ancestry.com and familysearch.com. []
  2. Images of parish record within the ancestry.com database “Germany, Lutheran Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1564-1938 (in German)”.  Also see “Deutschland Heiraten, 1558-1929” database, FamilySearch.org which mentions the marriage twice, once in Pirmasens and once in Hinterweidenthal. []
  3. “Germany, Lutheran Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1564-1938 (in German)”, ancestry.com []
  4. American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) issue of Sunday, 29 September 1737 which noted the ship’s arrival “on Saturday last”. []
  5. American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) issue of 3 November 1737, page 3.  See also the issue of 20 October 1737, page 3. []
  6. There are six voyages listed by Strassburger and newspaper records.  It was not the only ship to bear the saint’s name but seems to be the only one based in Philadelphia, according to contemporary American newspaper and port records. []
  7. It is possible that docking or swearing was delayed, as at least one other ship had arrived the same day and one other was already docked. []
  8. Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808, by Ralph Beaver Strassburger, edited by William John Hinke (Pennsylvania German Society, 1934) , Vol. !, page 178. []
  9. Ibid., page 180. []
  10. Ibid., page 183. []
  11. Maryland Archives, plats.net patented certificate 2502PP dated 28 February 1760.  The warrant was assigned by George Heatter or Hedar.  Maryland required that all land patents have names, hence “Long Swamp”. []
  12. Maryland Archives, plats.net unpatented certificate 677 dated 24 March 1764. []
  13. Frederick County, Maryland Will Book A (1744-1777), page 285-286. []
  14. Frederick County, Maryland Probate Book B2 (Inventories 1763-1771), page 281-282. []
  15. Frederick County, Maryland Administrators Accounts Book B2 (1768-1776), pages 54-56. []
  16. Records of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Holland, Lancaster County. FHL microfilm 1,305,845. []
  17. Posted online with this message: “Bower Family Document belonging to Solon Bower, 548 N. 12th St., Muskogee, Oklahoma 74401. Translated by Christina Walton, wife of Fred J. Walton, a ggggson of John Bauer; and compiled by S. Parker Gay Jr., October 1968, a ggggson of John Bauer.” []
  18. According to photos at Find-a-Grave. []
  19. Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Vol. IV, page 613. []
  20. Records of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Holland, Lancaster County. FHL microfilm 1,305,845. []
  21. Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Vol. IV, page 613. []
  22. Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Vol. IV, page 613. []
  23. Bedford County Orphans Court Dockets, Volume 2 (1779-1814), page 290. []
  24. Hanah Shingletracker 0-2-2.  Adjacent was Micael Shingletracker 1-1-2. []
  25. Hannah Shingletecker 11200-00112 []
  26. Widow Shingledecker 00201-00011; Andrew Shingledecker 00010-00010; Jacob Shingledecker 30010-00100. []
  27. Hannah Shingletecker 000011-00002.  Andrew Shingletecker (000010-001) and “John” Shingletecker (000100-201)were separately enumerated. []
  28. Hannah Shingledecker 00000010001-0000000100001.  Andrew was enumerated adjacent, aged 40-50. []
  29. Ancestry.ciom database: “Baptisms, marriages, and deaths for Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pennsylvania.” []
  30. This appears on surviving musters dated 22 May 1777 and 18 July 1777. []
  31. Dunlap’s Maryland Gazette issue of 6 May 1777, page 4. []
  32. Maryland Archives, Vol. 12, page 555. []
  33. Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers, Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988), page 140 lists the 1775 pay roll of Captain James Morrison’s company, which includes a few names that also appear on Bedford County tax lists.  His name also appears, from the same record but without the context, on page 709 of Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution, John H. Gwathmey, ed., (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1959). []
  34. Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Vol. IV, page 613. []
  35. “An act for the relief of sundry soldiers and widows of soldiers of the revolutionary war”, Laws of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: 1833, page 26.  He was to be paid $40 twice yearly commencing 1 January 1833. []
  36. Pennsylvania tax lists followed the convention of differentiating among landowners and renters and among married and single men.  “Single freeman” or sometimes simply  “freeman” normally designated a single man who owned land; married men were “residents”.  “Inmate”, a word derived from the Latin for “lodger”, designated a renter who owed tax on land owned by another. []
  37. Bedford County Orphans Court Dockets, Volume 2 (1779-1814), pages 315+ and 328+, petitions filed in November 1812 and January 1813 by George Hoop Jr. stated that George Hoop had died in 1803 and the heirs could not agree on dividing the land. []
  38. 1815 tax list, North Beaver township, Beaver County: Michael Shingledecker Senior (no land); Michael Shingledecker Junior 100a;  John Shingledecker – single man, []
  39. History of Lawrence County Pennsylvania, S.W. and P.A. Durant (1877), page 91. []