LIGHT, John, of Lancaster, Chester and Westmoreland Counties in Pennsylvania and Clermont Co OH

John Light was born in 1724 in Pennsylvania.[1] He died in 1822 in New Richmond, Clermont Co OH.[2] He was a son of Jacob and Barbara Light, according to the will of his brother, Jacob Light Jr.[3]

            About 1745 John Light married a woman named Catherine[4]; they became the parents of nine children, the youngest two of whom were adopted by John’s childless but wealthy brother Jacob Jr. Oliver Perry Light’s family lists included these two sons.

            The following statement was posted at and appears to be based on Frank L Light, Jacob Light of the Conestogoe, 1996:

John and Catharine were probably married during the 1740’s. It is reasonable to assume that John’s father purchased land from Joseph Williamson (EX E)[5] to give John and Catharine a start in their married life. The farm was actually transferred by deed to John by his father on August 20, 1754, but that record cannot be found. It is believed that John and Catharine lived on this property (#5 EX B) until they removed to Coventry Twp. in Chester County in the 1760’s. This farm is also thought to be the “blue lime” farm mentioned by C. Z. Mast in his Annals of the Conestoga Valley in Lancaster, Berks & Chester Counties, PA. The blue lime, after burning, produced a most excellent whitewash. Residents of Morgantown tell me that evidence of limestone quarrying on this property persisted into the twentieth century. John and Catharine’s children David, Jacob and Barbara would have been born there. Jack may have been born there or may have been born in Coventry.

John accumulated other land in the Conestoga Valley. First the land warranted to John Ford (#6 EX B and EX J) and later “Light’s Darkness” (#7 EX B and EX K). At about the same time, April 20, 1767, John purchased 130 acres of land bordering the Schuylkill River in Coventry Township, Chester County (EX N) from his brother-in-law John Stoner, Jr. (Johannes Steiner, Jr.) who had received it from his father, Johannes Steiner, Sr., to whom it was patented in 1749. The elder Steiner had moved to the area of Waynesboro, PA after the transfer to his son but later was forced to return due to the depredations of the French and Indian War.

Due to the overlapping nature of these land transactions it is not exactly clear when John moved to Coventry Twp. John’s sister Barbara Grumbacher and husband Ulrich had left Coventry about 1764 and his sister Anna and husband John Stoner must have left within a year after the land sale to John. Both of John’s sisters’ families settled permanently in the area of Union Bridge, MD. Two things we do know are that John and Catharine were named as members of the Coventry German Baptist Brethren Church (Dunker) in 1770 (EX C) and that when John sold his Conestoga Valley land (#5 & 7 EX B and EX M) to John Rickabaugh on May 15, 1772 and his Coventry land (EX N) to Sebastian Rutt on April 28, 1773 he and Catharine were named in both documents as from Coventry Twp. The water rights agreement with Jacob Morgan (EX L) indicates that John was protecting his old neighbor’s rights when planning to sell his land and gives us a hint into his character.

After winding up his affairs in the Conestoga Valley and Coventry, John and his brother Peter, on March 30, 1773 as joint tenants, purchased Lick Plantation in what was then Virginia (EX O). This rather large farm lies near Hedgesville about 5 miles northwest of Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia. At this location the brothers were about 40 miles away from their sisters, Ann Stoner (Anna Steiner) and Barbara Grumbacher who resided on Sam’s Creek being near what is now Union Bridge, Carroll County, Maryland.

On January 11, 1778 John sold his half interest in Lick Plantation to brother Peter (EX P) and on February 15, 1779 another piece of property which they had purchased together (EX Q). Even though no gravesite of Catharine Light has been found on the Lick Plantation property it can be logically argued that she died there. John’s older brother Jacob adopted John’s youngest sons Martin and Samuel about this time. Traditions among the descendants of Samuel tell of the older Jacob traveling west over the mountains and, finding his brother John in an impoverished condition struggling to raise his large family, took the two youngest boys back with him, the boys riding behind him on his horse. This tradition also gives Samuel’s age as eight years old. There are many things wrong with this tradition including the three on a horse but if the age was correct the year of adoption would have been around 1778 (Samuel was born February 25, 1770) which coincides generally with the dates of the land sales. Far from being impoverished, John realized 2,500 pounds currency from the sale of his share of Lick Plantation, a substantial sum of money. In fact he almost tripled his investment in five years. In light of the facts it would seem the most likely reasons for the adoption was the death of the boys’ mother or the war. We don’t know if John ever saw his sons Martin and Samuel again but the fact that older brother Jacob bought land in Westmoreland County (EX FF), possibly through John’s agency, indicates that they were in contact with each other.

We can’t be sure of the precise date that John took up residence in Westmoreland County, PA. His son Peter purchased land which was “….situate on the head branches of Jacobs Creek adjoining the Chestnut Ridge….” on August 2, 1778 (EX V-1). Peter is said to be “of Berkley County”. Probably John financed this purchase. John and sons Jack and Peter appear on the Westmoreland County census of 1783 (EX C). That Daniel went to Westmoreland with his father and brothers is evidenced by documents that he witnessed there.

Whether the move to Westmoreland County was precipitated by the death of Catharine or the heating up of the war in the east is a matter for speculation.

John did not purchase land in Westmoreland County himself, probably content to raise some stock of his own and help his sons out around the farm. By this time he was past his mid-fifties.

The family began to drift away from Westmoreland County during the 1790’s. Daniel was wounded down on the Ohio in 1791 and by 1798 Peter( had moved to Maysville, Mason County KY. Probably John had gone with him. Evidently Jack died in the mid 1790’s, he is referred to in the deed at EX Z-1 as the “late John Light” but no record could be found at Greensburg.

After the classic bayonet charge by Anthony “Blue Steel” Wayne routed the Indians at Fallen Timbers in 1794 and the Treaty Of Greenville was signed in 1795, and Ohio secured for settlement, John and his boys moved across the river from Kentucky. John sold a large parcel of land to his son Jacob (EX BB) on which Jacob later founded New Richmond, Ohio. It is not known how or when John acquired this land.

John moved in with his son Jacob at the New Richmond site and resided there until his death in 1822 at the age of 98. Hopefully his life there was one of peace and tranquility, enjoying his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was buried in the Light cemetery which was located in the northwest corner of New Richmond. Sadly, the original gravestones were destroyed during an excavation but have been replaced by the DAR.

Unfortunately, although probably existing at one time, no will or administrative papers concerning John’s estate are on file at the Clermont County, Ohio Court House at Batavia, Ohio. It’s too bad. Such a document could supply us with valuable information.


At one time, John Light was accepted by the Daughters of the American Revolution as a Revolutionary War soldier,[6] although they have now determined that this was a different man. Their rationale is hard to follow since sons Jacob and Daniel are still accepted as the correct men. This writer still holds to the traditional view that John Light served in the War of Independence, Capt John Stone’s 6th Company, 2nd Battalion of the Lancaster County Militia, 1780-1738.[7]

In 1790, John and son Peter were still in Westmoreland Co PA: South Huntington Twp, Westmoreland Co PA, p 108, John Light: 3/0/1, near Peter Light. John’s residence in Clermont Co OH is documented in Clermont Co Pioneers 1798-1812, by the 1802 census and a 1804 deed. He was listed with his son Jacob in the 1820 census: Clermont Co OH, p 34: Jacob Light, 11302/11111.

The children of John and Catherine Light were:

1. Peter LIGHT. Born in 1746 in Lancaster Co PA. Peter died in New Richmond, Clermont Co OH, in 1821. Peter married Barbara HAYES. Born in 1750. Barbara died in New Richmond, Clermont Co OH, in 1822. They had the following children:

                        i.            Susannah (1780-1867)

                        ii.            George Clinch (1785-1860)

                        iii.            David M (1790-1845)


2. Benjamin LIGHT. Born in prob 1750s in Conestoga Valley, PA. Benjamin died after 1808.


3. Jacob LIGHT. Born on 10 Aug 1757 in Conestoga Valley, Lancaster Co PA. Jacob died in New Richmond, Clermont Co OH, on 13 May 1831. About 1782 when Jacob was 24, he married Catherine HARMON, probably daughter of Philip HARMON & Barbara LUTZ, in poss Westmoreland Co PA. Born on 16 Mar 1764 in PA. Catherine died in New Richmond, Clermont Co OH, on 21 Jul 1833. They had the following children:

                        i.            Elizabeth (1783-1858)

                        ii.            Mary (1785-1859)

                        iii.            John (1787-1872)

                        iv.            Susannah (1789-1858)

                        v.            Daniel (1791-1874)

                        vi.            Catherine (1793-1846)

                        vii.            Samuel (1796-1797)

                        viii.            Jacob (1798-1870)

                        ix.            David (1800-1888)

                        x.            Peter (1803-1880)

                        xi.            Benjamin (1805-1874)


4. Barbara LIGHT. Born in 1758 in Conestoga Valley, Lancaster Co PA. Barbara died in New Richmond OH, on 31 Dec 1831. Barbara first married John WILLIAMSON possibly in Berkeley Co [W]VA. They had the following children:

                        i.            John

                        ii.            Joseph

                        iii.            Catherine


Barbara second married Alexander ROBB. Born ca 1757-65 in Westmoreland Co PA or Ireland. They had the following children:

                        i.            James (1788-1863)

                        ii.            Andrew (1791-1847)

                        iii.            Letitia (1792-1859)

                        iv.            Armentine/Araminta (1800-1840)

                        v.            Samuel (1801-1881)

                        vi.            Jane (1801-1872)

                        vii.            Benjamin (ca1805-)

                        viii.            Dawson


5. David LIGHT. David died in IL. Born say ca 1760.


6. John LIGHT. Born in say 1762. John died ca 1798.


7. Daniel LIGHT. Born on 23 Jan 1767 in Coventry Twp, Chester Co PA. Daniel died in Clermont Co OH, on 21 Feb 1846. On 1 May 1799 when Daniel was 32, he married Susannah STEWART in Harrison Co KY. Born on 12 Apr 1779. Susannah died on 16 Jul 1846. They had the following children:

                        i.            Catherine (1799-1869)

                        ii.            Nancy (ca1801-)

                        iii.            Susan (ca1802-)

                        iv.            Elizabeth (1803-1879)

                        v.            John H (1805-1887)

                        vi.            Martin (ca1806-)

                        vii.            Sarah (ca1808-)

                        viii.            Daniel (1809-1887)

                        ix.            Abel S (1810-1883)

                        x.            James Warren (1811-)

                        xi.            Charlotte (1813-1847)


8. Martin LIGHT. Born probably in 1768 in Coventry Twp, Chester Co PA. Martin died in PA ca 1829. He was adopted by his wealthy uncle and aunt, Jacob and Elizabeth Light. On 23 Apr 1799 when Martin was 31, he married Annie HERR. They had the following children:

                        i.            Elizabeth (1800-1841)

                        ii.            Christian (1802-)

                        iii.            Annie (1804-)

                        iv.            Hannah (1805-)

                        v.            Fannie (1808-)

                        vi.            Martin (1810-)

                        vii.            Jacob (1813-)

                        viii.            Maria (1815-1898)

                        ix.            Samuel (1817-)

                        x.            John (1819-)


9. Samuel LIGHT. Born on 25 Feb 1770 in Lancaster Co PA. Samuel died in Clermont Co OH, on 14 Feb 1834. He was adopted by his wealthy uncle and aunt, Jacob and Elizabeth Light. In 1793 when Samuel was 22, he first married Mary LIGHT, daughter of Henry LIGHT, in PA. Born on 30 Mar 1769 in PA. Mary died in Clermont Co OH, on 8 Mar 1815. They had the following children:

                        i.            Elizabeth (1794-1833)

                        ii.            Jacob (1797-1865)

                        iii.            Mary (1799-1840)

                        iv.            Harry (1802-1832)

                        v.            Catherine (1804-1844)

                        vi.            Samuel (1806-2008)

                        vii.            John (1809-1884)

                        viii.            Sallie (1811-1833)

                        ix.            Anna (1813-1885)


Samuel second married Elizabeth LIGHT, daughter of Henry LIGHT and sister of his first wife. Born on 20 Dec 1764 in PA. Elizabeth died on 15 Sep 1834.



© 2009, Kathy Alvis Patterson


[1] There are many references on Betty Light Behr’s newsletter. See SearchLight 1:II:2, IV:4; SearchLight 2:II:3, III:7, 8; SearchLight 3:II:3; SearchLight 4:I:1, II:11, III:7, 9, IV:1, 2, 3, 7; SearchLight 5:II:7, 8, III:3, IV:1, 2; SearchLight 6:I:4, II:2, III:2, 4, IV:7 [with errors], 8, V:4, 6, 8, 9; SearchLight 7:I:7.

[2] Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Ohio, III: 215. A memorial at Greenmound Cemetery, New Richmond, Clermont Co OH, may be seen at

[3] This evidence was discovered by Mary Kemmerle. She found evidence of the family in Pennsylvania at an early date and of the children of Jacob and Barbara Light. The deed of Lancaster Co PA, No. 103, 17 Mar 1735 (which proves the Lancaster Co PA Light family was already in America before the arrival of the Winter Galley family in 1738) was originally given in the name of Jacob Lloyd, and amended to read clearly Jacob Light. Court records (Lancaster Co PA Will Book K, Vol. 1, p. 23, Jacob Light Jr, 11 Nov 1808. Berkeley Co VA Will Book 4, p. 408, Peter Light, dated 9 Sep 1807) establish the children of Jacob Light Sr as Jacob, John, Peter, Benjamin, Christian, Elizabeth (Lasha), Barbara (Ulrich) and Ann (Stoner). Son Jacob’s will lists Samuel and Martin, the children of his brother John whom he had adopted, as his principal heirs, plus bequests to the following: his brother John, John’s other children Peter, Daniel, Jacob and Barbara; his neice Susannah Meyer, daughter of his brother Peter, plus his brother Peter and Peter’s “other children”; his brother Benjamin, and Benjamin’s son John; his brother Christian; the children of his sister Barbara Crumbaugh; the children of his sister Ann Stoner; the husband of his deceased sister Elizabeth Lashey, her children Samuel and Jacob and this Jacob’s five children. He also mentions the First Day Baptist Church of Coventry PA, with which an earlier Jacob Light was affiliated. Son Peter’s will mentions his daughter Susannah Myer, thereby proving that the Lancaster Co PA and the Berkeley Co WV Lights were the same family.

[4] According to Mary Kemmerle’s 1986 book Jacob Light of Caernarvon Township and Some of His Descendants, p 7, the identification of Marget Light (see a photo of her headstone in SearchLight, 4: IV: 2) as the wife of our John Light was made in 1930 by the above mentioned Rev. J. G. Francis in his “Light Family History.” Mary writes: “Rev. Francis, while writing the history, investigated other Light families and apparently was trying to establish whether there was any relationship between the families. In his book (p. 508), he included some information which he attributed to the Caernarvon Township family of [our] history. Although no source or proof was given, this information has been generally accepted as fact by others researching this family. This information has now been proven incorrect. Rev. Francis stated that John lived in the vicinity of Valley Forge and helped gather supplies for the Army during their encampment there. He went on to say that John’s wife, Marget, died while they were living there, and that she was buried at the Coventry Brethren Church cemetery. Marget Light’s headstone, still in good condition in 1983, shows that she died 4 May 1787.

A deed, discovered by Mary Kemmerle, dated 1773, shows that John’s wife was Catharine—not Marget. No one has yet determined where this Marget Light fits into any Light family.

The reference for the deed mentioned by Mrs Kemmerle is Chester Co PA deeds, Vol B-2, p 308, Apr 28 1773, when John and Catherine sold land. They went immediately to Berkeley Co VA and purchased land there on Jun 30 of the same year.

[5] I do not understand Mr. Light’s system of references. “EX” probably refers to exhibits, but although I have the complete, unbound book, which has photocopies of many original documents, I do not locate Exhibit E, Exhibit J, etc.

[6]PA Archives—5th Series, VII: 179. Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Ohio, III: 215. Byron Williams, Clermont and Brown Counties OH, 1913, I: 378.

[7] Frank L Light in his book is adamant that even the sons of this John Light did not serve in the Revolutionary War, but the DAR has recently accepted the service; I consider that acceptance to be good evidence that the service is accurate.

Published on March 14, 2009 at 10:55 pm  Comments (10)  

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  1. I am a decendant of Jacob Light of the Conestogoe. From his son Peter – Samuel, James, Peter, Joshua, Cyril, Daniel.

    Do you have any information where Jacob was buried or where he came from? I am planning my second trip to the area.

    My # is 303-699-5688 I would like to speak with you at your convenience.

    • The Jacob Light who died in 1831 is buried in Clermont Co OH. I do not know anything about the location of the grave of his grandfather, Jacob, who died in 1763. For Jacob of Clermont County, try His father is buried at the same place and his grave can also be seen there, although I don’t think the Revolutionary War facts are currently accepted. I’ll try to call tomorrow.

      • Jacob, the brother of Peter (my line), had a will dated 11 Nov 1808 and may have died then. (Are you saying HE is the one buried near his son in Clermont? Their father, Jacob (Lichty) is who I’m looking for. I guess that could be the “grandfather” you mention in your note above. I’m trying to narrow down the possibilities by researching the churches they attended – some facinating stories if the Jacob I’m looking for was connected. There is a wealth of history about the churches, but it doesn’t really mean anything if I can’t make the link. Jacob and your John, who were brothers, are shown to be members of the Coventry Brethren Church in 1770, if it is the same two Lights. Call me if you can. It might be easier to sort things out that way. 303-699-5688.

  2. I am truly thankful to the owner of this web site who has shared this
    fantastic post at here.

    • Thanks. A lot of people have contributed to our Light family tree. Bertha Minnick, Betty Light Behr and Mary Kemmerlee are three who helped me a great deal. Kathy

      • FYI: Samuel Light and his wives Maria and Elizabeth Light are buried along with several of Samuel and Maria’s children and a few other relatives in a private graveyard just west of Lebanon in Cleona, PA. The site has been abandoned and vandalized. Three granddaughters of the builder of Light’s Fort are buried at this site. We are beginning to restore this site and would be happy to have the participation of any family members. Please contact me if interested. Thanks, Larry

  3. I have a Johannes Adam Seiler 1758-1786 Lancaster and Lebanon, Pa who was married to a Franny Light 1750-1784. Her dates may not be accurate. But I have never been able to find parents for her. Johannes (John) will lists his wife as Franny, and his two brothers-in-law as executors Jacob and Henry Light. One person I corresponded with suggested Feronica “Franny” light b. 1754 to Jacob Light and Elizabeth Landis but she does not have a Henry for a brother and both Jacob’s died young. Does anyone have any idea what Light Family she may have come from? Thanks, Rose

  4. Since I have never received any kind of a reply to my inquiry above regarding a Franny Light I assume no one has any insights to add. Was really hoping someone could help me to identify my Franny Light. Rose
    I can be emailed directly to if you have information you might not wish to post here. thanks, Rose

    • I was hoping someone else could give you some help. I wish I could. Good luck, Kathy

  5. Thanks for the Reply. I was hoping so too. Thanks, Rose

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