EYSTER, Jacob, of Adams Co PA

Jacob Eyster was born 28 Nov 1789, in Hanover, York Co PA, the son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Reiff) Eyster.[1] He died 22 Oct 1839 and was buried in Benders Cemetery, Adams Co PA. He left a will naming his children.[2]

Possibly in 1813 or 1814, Jacob married Catherine Wentz.[3] She was born 9 Feb 1794 in Carroll Co MD and died 4 Jan 1855 in Adams Co PA.[4] Donna Yake identified her as a probable daughter of John Frederick Wentz Jr and his wife, Anna Maria Magdalena.[5] Further weight maybe given to this identification by one of Ancestry’s GEDCOM files, which has a John Wentz-Elizabeth Sheely marriage; Elizabeth was the daughter of Nicholas Sheely and Elizabeth Reiff, a first cousin of Jacob Eyster’s. Jacob Eyster was witness to the 1818 will of a member of this family.[6]

Jacob Eyster was listed with his parents in the 1790 census (York Co PA, Daniel Oyster: 2-3-6) and in 1800 (widow Eyster: 01200-02101). By 1820 he was in McSherrytown township, Adams Co PA, p. 64: 201110-20010; the man aged 16-18 (therefore listed twice) is unidentified. His mother, Elizabeth Eyster, was a page away, on page 65 in Conewago Township. In 1850 his widow Catherine Eyster is in dwelling #781, family #810, on p. 59 of Menallen Township, Adams Co PA, as follows:

Catherine 55 f w farmer PA

George 35 m w PA

Willemina 18 f w PA

Sarah 15 f w PA

George Kann 2 m w PA

Next door, dwelling #780, family #809:

Samuel 32 m w farmer PA $1600.

Sidney 24 f w PA

Hosanna 3/12 f w PA

Jacob and Catherine (Wentz?) Eyster had the following children:

  1. George EYSTER. Born on 18 Apr 1815 in Adams Co PA. George died in Abilene, Dickinson Co KS, on 10 Apr 1893. Buried on 12 Apr 1893 in Abilene, KS. He was a church elder for the Brethren in Christ Church,[7] schoolteacher, and farmer. On 22 Nov 1855 when George was 40, he married Margaret RAMP, daughter of Samuel RAMP & Elizabeth WORST, in Carlisle, Cumberland Co PA. Born on 24 Feb 1834 in Cumberland Co PA. Margaret died in Thomas, Custer Co OK, on 26 May 1904; she was 70. George was the only member of his immediate family not to live his entire life in Adams Co PA. They had the following children:
  2. Lavinia (1859-1925)
  3. Anna Margaret (1860-1920)

iii.        Emma Elizabeth (1864-1945)

  1. David Ramp (1866-1955)
  2. Levi (1868-1868)
  3. James Ramp (1870-1949)

vii.       Jesse Ramp (Twin) (1874-1958)

viii.      Silas (1874-1874)

  1. Mary (1876-1946)
  2. John A (1879-1930)


  1. Anna Maria EYSTER. Born on 7 Apr 1816 in PA. She died in PA on 12 Dec 1905. On 18 Dec 1834, she married Daniel LONGENECKER Jr. Born on 8 Oct 1808 in PA. Daniel died on 22 Oct 1883. They had the following children:
  2. Joseph (ca1834-)
  3. Jacob (ca1835-)

iii.        Eliza C/Lisabeth (ca1838-)

  1. Lydia A (ca1843-)
  2. Mary J  (1846-1857)
  3. Daniel (1848-1865)

vii.       Samuel V (1852-1857)

viii.      Sarah Margaret (1855-1862)

  1. Susan Emma (1858-1862)


  1. Samuel W EYSTER. Born on 23 Dec 1817 in PA. Samuel W died in Arendtsville, Adams Co PA, on 4 May 1904. About 1846 Samuel married Sidney BENDER in Adams Co PA. Born on 11 Jul 1826. Sidney died in Arendtsville, Adams Co PA, on 9 Jun 1898. They had the following children:
  2. David Franklin (Died as Infant) (1848-1849)
  3. Rosanna Magdalena (1850-1935)

iii.        Sarah Catherine (1853-1898)

  1. Ella Louise (1857-1916)
  2. Lizzie Jane (1861-1937)


  1. Eliza EYSTER. Born on 12 Dec 1819 in PA. She died in Bendersville, Adams Co PA, on 28 Sep 1894. On 24 Oct 1840 when Elisa was 20, she married Samuel BREAM in Adams Co PA. Born on 25 Dec 1815. Samuel died in Adams Co PA, on 24 Nov 1881. They had the following children:
  2. William Howard (1841-)
  3. Henry Jacob (Twin) (1845-)

iii.        Mary Ann Catherine (1845-<1850)

  1. Samuel Wesley (ca1848-)
  2. Sarah Jane (1849-)


  1. Catharine EYSTER. Born in 1823 in PA. Catharine died in Adams Co PA, on 9 Oct 1845. On 30 Jan 1845, only eight months before her death, she married George B HEWITT in Adams Co PA. Born on 23 Jan 1817. George remarried and had a son George Hewitt Jr. He died in Adams Co PA, on 7 Dec 1868.


  1. Henrietta Lucetta EYSTER. Born on 13 Apr 1825 in Adams Co PA. Henrietta died in Adams Co PA, on 22 Feb 1849. On 23 Dec 1843 she married Daniel KANN in Adams Co PA. Born on 9 Sep 1822. Daniel died on 26 Nov 1864. They had the following children:
  2. William Howard (1845-)
  3. George Oliver (1848-)


  1. Jacob E EYSTER. Born on 26 Nov 1827 in Adams Co PA. Jacob E died in Adams Co PA, on 4 May 1855, unmarried.


  1. Lucinda Amanda Clarissa Ann EYSTER.[8] Born on 3 Feb 1830 in Adams Co PA. She died in Adams Co PA, on 20 Apr 1907. On 21 Oct 1847, she married William B MILLER in Adams Co PA. Born on 13 Oct 1825 in PA. William B died in Adams Co PA, on 23 Nov 1906. They had the following children:
  2. Samuel (1850-)
  3. Sarah (1853-)

iii.        Ellen (1859-)

  1. Isaac (1862-)


  1. Willimina Elizabeth EYSTER. Born on 25 Sep 1832 in Adams Co PA. Willimina Elizabeth died in Adams Co PA, on 2 Mar 1855. On 28 Oct 1852 when Willimina Elizabeth was 20, she married Nicholas G WILSON in Adams Co PA. Born on 6 Oct 1832. Nicholas G died in Adams Co PA, on 5 Dec 1907. They had one child:
  2.           Sarah R (1853-)


  1. Sarah Jane EYSTER. Born on 7 Feb 1836 in Adams Co PA. Sarah Jane died in Hanover, York Co PA, on 15 Jul 1906. Her death certificate does not given her mother’s name. On 29 May 1859 when Sarah Jane was 23, she married Jerome W J MELHORN in Adams Co PA. Born on 18 Aug 1830. Jerome W J died in Hanover, York Co PA, on 15 Dec 1902. They had one child:
  2. Harry M (1860->1906)



© 2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] Transcription of Bible of Daniel and Elizabeth Eyster, manuscript files at NSDAR Library, Washington DC. I received copies of this and other documents from Arthur Weaner (Adams Co PA Historical Society, PO Drawer A, Gettysburg PA 17325) to Kathy Patterson, 27 Mar 1974. Mr Weaner included a transcription of Eyster inscriptions at Benders Cemetery, Butler Twp, Adams Co PA, taken 1932, which provides the birth and death dates for Jacob and Catherine Eyster. Unfortunately, alone among Daniel’s children, the family Bible fails to identify the last name of Jacob’s wife, Catherine.

[2] Jacob Eyster will, Adams Co PA, filed 4 Nov 1839, microfilm copy on file Adams Co Historical Society. The will was transcribed and Xeroxed by Donna Yake and reads as follows: [outer cover] 2127   Last Will and Testament of Jacob Eyster, Deceased. Filed, November 4, 1839.

Letters of Probate $1.00   Registering Will, .32   Copy & Seal 1.27   Oath, .12   Tax to State .50   Filing, Inventory 00.25   $3.46   Paid by John Bender

[page one] Know all men by these presents that I Jacob Eyster of Menallen Township of Adams County and State of Pennsylvania Being of sound mind and memory do constitute this my last will and testament (revoking all former wills by me made) First I order all my just debts and funeral expenses to be paid, item I leave to my wife Catherine the use of the farm that I now live on and the mountain land belonging to it with all my stock farming utensils household kitchen goods and the grain in the ground and in the bushel to have to My youngest child arrive at the age of twenty-one years my said wife is to maintain & school the children xxx but if my wife should Marry then my will is that she leave the premises and to have 1 cow 1 bull 1 stove 1 spinning wheel in full and to receive no interest or dower from my estate and further I leave to my said wife the interest of all my money to my youngest child arrives at the age of twenty-one years or so long as she remains my widow, then the land is to be appraised and my sons Samuel and Jacob to have the privilege of taking it at the praisement and if they refuse to take it then I order it to be sold at public sale to the highest and best bidder, but if my wife should marry or die then I order & direct that all my real estate and personal (property) to be sold reserving for Samuel and Jacob the privilege of taking it at the appraisement. Item I leave to my sons Samuel and Jacob each one hundred and fifty dollars and also my daughters Eliza, Catherine Henrietta Lucinda Wilmina and Sarah Jane each one one hundred dollars to be paid as soon as the property is sold. then the balance of my estate to be divided between my sons George, Samuel and Jacob and my daughters Polly, Eliza, Catherine Henrietta Lucinda Wilmina and Sarah Jane share and share alike. I will one eagle and one rifle gun and half my wearing apparel to my son Jacob and to my son Samuel one half eagle and half my wearing apparel. If my wife should live and remain my wife…

[page two]           To the youngest child arrives at the age of twenty-one years Then I order that one thousand dollars remain in the land and she to have the interest so long as she lives or remains my widdow and if my executors think propper to weather board and Plaster the log end of the house and build a small addition To it I order that she take as much money of my estate as Will pay the expense. My will is that my daughter Polly intermarried with Daniel Longenecker has received from me one hundred and eighty Dollars that she receive no more out of my estate than will make her share and share alike with the rest of my daughters And I do hereby appoint my Wife Catherine and John Bender executors of this my last will and testament.   Witness my hand and seal this nineteenth day of October D 1839   Jacob Eyster

[page three] Adams County, Sd.   Before me, Jacob Lefever, Register for the Probating Wills and Granting Letters of Administration, in and for the said County, in the State of Pennsylvania, personally came Samuel Eyster and James J. Wills, who, on their solemn affirmations, do severally say, that they were personally present and saw and heard the therein named Jacob Eyster, sign his name unto, and seal and publish the forgoing Instrument of Writing, as and for his last will and Testament; and at the time of doing this, he, Jacob Eyster, was of a sound mind, memory and understanding, to the Best of their knowledge, observation and belief; and that they subscribed their names thereto as Witnesses, in his presence, and at his request and also in the presence of each other, at the same time.   Affirmed and Subscribed before me at Gettysburg, the 4th day of November, A.D. 1839.    Samuel Eyster   Jas. J Wills

Jacob Lefever, Register.

[3] Death certificate, Sarah J (Eyster) Melhorn, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

[4] Death notice in Adams Sentinel, 15 Jan 1855, Adams Co PA; agrees with death date but not birthdate (60/10/20 = 15 Mar 1794).

[5] Letter from Donna Yake (50 Pfeiffer Lane, New Oxford PA 17350) to Kathy Patterson, 21 Jul 1983. Additional letters 15 Mar 1984, with family group lists for Jacob Eyster-Catherine [?Wentz], 18 Aug 1985. Also, 14 Mar 1997 and 16 Apr 1997. These letters contain Donna’s findings on the Wentz family, “Wentz Family from Basal, Switzerland.” Donna used the sponsors at children’s baptisms as her key evidence.

[6] Kevin L. Greenholt, Abstracts of Adams Co PA Wills (1800-1826), 1988, p 52, shows Jacob Eyster as a witness at the 1818 will of Christian Rife, father of Elisabeth, Mrs Nicholas Sheely. The man making the will was the grandfather of Mrs John Wentz, his likely brother-in-law.

[7] See https://alvispat.wordpress.com/2008/08/31/testimony-of-george-eyster/

[8] It interests me how the daughters’ names became more and more elaborate as more daughters were born to this couple. Or have the earlier daughters’ full names been lost to us?

Published on December 21, 2008 at 8:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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