Andreas Staab was born about 1685 in Gimmeldingen, Germany, located southwest of Heidelberg in an area called the Rhineland-Palatinate in the middle of the Rhine River Valley. Prior to German unification in 1871, parts of the area were called the Rheinpfalz and owned by the kingdom of Bavaria. These people were known as the Palantines. This area borders France, Luxenbourg, and Belgium on the south west and west. In 1890, the area was 47% Evangelical and 49% Catholic. Our family name was presumed to have been spelled "Staab" orginally. According to various online postings, there is a very good possibility that the family originated in Switzerland.
Andreas was one of seven children born to Ludwig Staab (1646) and Anna Maria Keller. He had three additional siblings born to Ludwig and his second wife, Anna Catherine Stippen. Andreas married Maria Elizabeth Keller 8 Nov 1711 and had 4 children. Of the four children, Johan Adam (1717-1773) is this Staub family's branch.
The New World
Johannes (John) Adam Staab arrived into the Port of Philadelphia about 1738. According to the Palantine Project data, he would have arrived about 1738 on the passenger vessel, Winter Galley. In the following year, a young lady by name of Anna Catherine Berwerts arrived into the Port of Philadelphia with her father and siblings on the passenger vessel the Loyal Judith. Her mother died before making the journey.
Johannes and Anna Catherine were married 4 Apr 1743 in the house of John Utzman, located in Faulkener's Swamp. This area was known as Goshenhopen, (Berks County), PA and now called Bally.
Adams County Connection
Johannes and Anna Catherine moved to what is known today as Adams County. They raised their 8 children here and are buried in the Conewago Chapel cemetery. Of their 8 children, the namesake we will focus on is Jacobus and from whom our family ancestral line is of importance to us.
The how and why Johannes and Anna Catherine came to Adams County is yet to be researched.
It is noted in several accounts that the first property this couple owned was in Berks County. The reason that they may have left was because of Indian depredations at the beginning of the French and Indian War.
Extensive information was found online through another Staub family ancestral line, who also have roots to Ludwig Staub. Documents were found regarding land that Johannes bought in Mount Pleasant township, dated October 17, 1755. According to surveyor's notes, land to the north side of his land was draught for Patrick Henry in Mount Pleasant Township. Land to the southwest was identified as land patented under Maryland to John Digges. The draught is signed by George Stevenson, D. D. It is possible that the land that Johannes bought was in the vicinity of Brushtown in Mount Pleasant Township and totalling 281.49 acres. Because of this uncertaintity, a dispute arose over ownership.
Staub and others went to Philadelphia to dispute a land issue. They had challenged 3 prominent men - George Stevenson, Thomas Armor, and George Ross. Together these three owned a forge and furnace. In 1763 they requested the York County Court to build a public road between the forge and furnace. After several attempts were made to receive approval and went unheeded, they built their own road, which crossed over the farmers' land, including that of Johannes.
Being German they felt they were treated as second class citizens, and that the colonial officials were not honest with the land transactions. It was also noted that they did not receive payment for use of their land. The three officials had notable friends in court, making the Germans' accounts less credible. Stevenson, as revealed later on, was already in trouble with a land violation
In the end, all the German farmers and the officials met in Philadelphia, and Stevenson was found discredited and moved to Carlisle.
On July 12, 1773, Henry Hartman of York County, a Yeoman, stole grain from Johannes' field. Finding this, Johannes was struck and wounded. This incident was the result of an ongoing grudge between the German farmers and the local residents who had land patents and were the heirs of John Digges of Maryland. He held a 10,000+ acre propert.
On July 13, 1773, Johannes made and signed his will. On July 19 he died as a result of his wounds. Inquiries were made and later Hartman was found not guilty of killing Johannes. According to the account, several Germans wrote to John Penn complaining about the conditions in Digges Choice and feared for their lives.