Pennsylvania Archives

Pennsylvania Archives


Find Jacob Erb, of Warwick Township, Lancaster County, PA, in the Pennsylvania Archives.

Jacob Erb in the Pennsylvania Archives.

  • Warwick Tp., Lancaster Co., PA

Warwick Township is located in the north-central part of Lancaster County, which is in the south-east part of Pennsylvania. Lancaster County is known for its Amish and plain inhabitants, but it is also the home of one of my ancestors, Jacob Erb. The Erb family is one of those traced in the book, A Biographical History of Waterloo Township (Ontario, Canada) by Ezra E. Eby. Since this book was published a century ago, it has been put online and updates are requested ( I was able to go back 6 additional generations to about 1545 in Switzerland!

Jacob Erb was born 25 Jan 1768 in Warwick Township, and died 20 Mar 1834 near what was then known as Berlin (now Kitchener), Waterloo County, Ontario. His parents were Christian Erb  (born 1734 in Warwick; the first one in his family to be born in America) and Maria Scherch (born 1737). Jacob's grandfather, Nicholas Erb, emigrated from Switzerland in 1722. He was a Mennonite. Jacob married Salome Graybill 8 Aug 1778, probably in Warwick Tp., and they had 9 children between 1797 and 1817 (David, Anna, Magdalena, Salome, Lydia, Susannah, Hannah, Abraham and Elizabeth).

The Pennsylvania Archives on Footnote is a treasure-trove of information. This publication contains 135 volumes, in 10 Series, of minutes, acts, reports, papers, journals, charts, maps, letters, accounts, tables, and transcripts regarding the military, British prisoners, baptisms, marriages, naturalizations, Constitutional Convention, Revolutionary War, Whisky Rebellion, defense, colonies, French occupation, boundary disputes, ethnic groups of settlers, names of foreigners, donations, commissions, tax rolls, valuations, land warrantees, governors, traders, and election returns. And all this is searchable by name or place or date or event on Footnote!

For example, I found the name of Jacob Erb on the list of persons chosen for an election committee from Warwick, Third District, in 1774. This is likely the brother of Christian Erb. On Wednesday, November 8th, 1775, John Erb from Warwick was chosen as a committee-man; he may have been a brother of Nicholas.

A number of Erbs appear in military rolls in 1789, including a Daniel, Jacob, Peter, John, and a "Christian Erb (son of Jacob)". And a Jacob Erb, soldier, is mentioned in the Executive Minutes of Governor George Wolfe, 1832-35 as the recipient of relief on 7 March 1833. John, Jacob and Daniel Erb were enlisted with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Company, Lancaster County Militia.

Warrantees of Land in the County of Lancaster, 1733-1896 show Nicholas Erbe having 285,140 acres of land surveyed May 12, 1742. Two years later, he had another 150 acres surveyed. John Erbe had 200 acres surveyed Jun 8, 1743. Christian Erb had 100 acres surveyed Nov 8, 1752.

In Series 6, Vol. VI, appears the marriage of David Brucker, son of the deceased Peter Brucker, and Magdalena, daughter of Jacob Erb, on Nov 8, 1780. Again, this Jacob may be the brother of my Christian Erb. They were married by the Reverend John Waldschmidt in Cocalico (now East and West Cocalico townships), which was a township east of Warwick.

Series 2, Vol II includes lists of people naturalized, including Jacob and Mary Erb in Heidelberg Township of Berks County on 6th April 1764.

And then, of course, we have our "interesting" folk! In a list of people owing fines between April 1777 and February 1778, Jacob Erb appears owing 42 pounds sterling. On Wednesday 22 April 1789, he owes 1 pound 13 shillings "upon conviction of larceny"!

All in all, if your ancestors lived in Pennsylvania, the Archives are something you definitely want to investigate!

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