History and Biography of Adam Flinchbaugh
Adam Flinchbaugh, the oldest son of Melchior Flinchbaugh and Sophia Catharina Rembold, was born on January 15, 1741 in Grossgartach, Germany according to his baptismal record. At the age of 12, he made the journey with his parents and younger siblings on the ship “Brothers” in 1753 and arrived in his new country on September 26, 1753 in Philadelphia. Adam stayed close to his parents and siblings, as his marriage to Magdalena Seig on November 8, 1763 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, PA is the same church where his youngest brother Frederick will be baptized a couple of months later.
Adam and his wife Magdalena then followed Melchior over to York County where they lived and raised their family. The earliest record we have for Adam in York County is for the birth of his oldest known child, John Adam. John Adam was born on November 26, 1769 and baptized December 9, 1769 at Blymire’s Church in York Township, York County. Witnesses to the baptism of John Adam were Adam’s brother Ludwig and his sister Rosina.
Speaking of John Adam, after thorough research I have come to the conclusion that many people have mistaken him with his younger brother John, who was born May 1, 1771, baptized June 9, 1771 at Blymire’s Church and later married Magdalena Blymire. The naming convention at the time was that if someone, for example, was named John (or Hans/Johan/Johannes) with another named after that like Adam, the person would be called Adam, not John. Therefore the son born in 1769 would have went by Adam and the one born in 1771 would have been called John.
With that being said, all evidence points to John being the one who married Magdalena Blymire. I can’t find census records for an Adam Flinchbaugh (in York County or anywhere in the United States) that would match this birth date. All the birth records at Blymire’s for the children of John and Magdalena list his name as John, not Adam. A will for John Flinchbaugh in 1819 lists his wife as Magdalena and mentions the children who are listed in the Blymire’s church records. Also, John Flinchbaugh spoke to the court in reference to the estate of Christian Blymire, his father in law. Finally, the York County History Center (formerly York County Historical Society) has a translation of the will of their father Adam, and it only lists 1 son named Hans (John), no mention of Adam. Based on this information, it appears John Adam born in 1769 probably died in childhood, and almost certainly died before he could get married and have children since he was not mentioned in his father’s will nor are any children of him mentioned either.
When Melchior died in 1772, Adam was one of the administrators of his father’s estate. According to Orphans Court records in 1785, at the time of his death, Melchior was owner of 3 improvements, plantations and tracts of land containing about 235 acres. Adam purchased this land from his father’s estate. The following tax records show what Adam was taxed for as being the owner of:
- 1779 – 150 acres, 2 horses, 4 cows
- 1780 – 100 acres, 2 horses, 1 cow
- 1781 – 100 acres, 2 horses, 4 cows
- 1782 – 100 acres, 2 horses, 4 cows
- 1783 – 100 acres, 2 horses, 2 cows, 5 sheep,1 house, 1 barn (household consisted on 3 males and 5 females)
- 1785 – 180 acres, 2 horses, 3 cows
- 1786 – 180 acres, 2 horses, 2 cows
- 1787 – 100 acres, 2 horses, 3 cows
- 1788 – 100 acres, 2 horses, 4 cows
- 1793 – 200 acres, 2 horses, 3 cows
- 1795 – 200 acres, 2 horses, 4 cows
- 1798 – 100 acres, 1 wood house (Glass Tax)
- 1799 – 350 acres, 3 horses, 4 cows, 1 house, 1 barn, 1 mill
Like his younger brothers Martin and Frederick, Adam served his new country in the Revolutionary War. At first, he was fined on May 10, 1777 for failure to “meet and exercise in order to learn the art military”. However, he was a Private in the Fourth Class, Sixth Company commanded by Captain George Long, Third Battalion, York County Militia in 1778. He remained a member of this unit when in 1780 it became the Second Company, still commanded by Captain George Long, of the First Battalion.
Back to the children of Adam and Magdalena, they also had 4 daughters to go along with the 2 sons they had. We know this because he mentions his four daughters in his will and their are birth records at Blymire’s church for the birth of three of them. Their oldest daughter is probably Catherine, her date of birth is unknown but in his will he lisys his daughters as Catherine, Elizabeth, Magdalena and Eve. It is common tradition to list your children from oldest to youngest, and the order for the other 3 daughters lists them from oldest to youngest. Elizabeth was born May 30, 1772 and baptized at Blymire’s Church. Anna Magdalena was born October 3, 1776 and baptized November 17, 1776 at Blymire’s Church. Finally, Eve was born October 6, 1779 and baptized March 27, 1780.
According to his tombstone at Blymire’s Church, Adam passed away on January 7, 1820. His will does not mention his wife, and that is because she died almost exactly 1 year before him, on January 11, 1819 and she is buried next to him at Blymire’s church. It is unclear if Adam could read, write or speak English, as his will was written in German. His will appoints 2 of his son-in-laws, Henry Sechrist and Werner Leight, as executor of his estate. It also shows he did not like his other son-in-law Jacob Geesey, as he says that he shall not be an heir to Adam’s estate.
Children of Adam Flinchbaugh and his wife Magdalena Seig:
- John Adam Flinchbaugh (November 26, 1769 – unknown)
- John Flinchbaugh (May 1, 1771 – 1819) married first Catherina Waldman. He then married Magdalena Blymire (November 1, 1771 – after 1850)
- Catherina Flinchbaugh
- Elizabeth Flinchbaugh (May 30, 1772 – unknown) married Jacob Geesey (March 28, 1770 – unknown)
- Anna Magdalena Flinchbaugh (October 3, 1776 – between 1820 and 1827) married Henry Sechrist (July 7, 1772 – April 22, 1856)
- Eve Flinchbaugh (October 6, 1779 – July 30, 1835) married Werner Leight (about 1769 – July 1831)
Translation of Adam Flinchbaugh’s will from German to English (translation found in the Flinchbaugh family report at the York County History Center):
In the name of the Almighty Father, Amen. I, John Adam Flinsbach of Hopewell Township, York County in the state of Pennsylvania, have decided in present weakly condition of body (although in full possession of my senses and powers of mind, for which I am heartily grateful to God), to make this my last will and testament, thus: First of all I commend my immortal soul into the hands of my creator and Saviour, who gave the same to me and I give my body to the earth (whence I was taken) for Christian burial, in the certain hope of a joyful resurrection to come. As to the temporal property with which it has pleased God to bless me I give and bestow the same in the following manner and form, viz: I will and ordain that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid first of all. I further bequeath to my four daughters and to the heirs of their bodies or to their husbands all the ______ and yarn in equal shares. My five children shall have my books, share and share alike, and shall together hold a sale thereof. I further give and bequeath to Jacob Blymire fifteen pounds, if he survives. I further give and bequeath to my four daughters and to the heirs of their bodies and to their husbands (with the exception of Jacob Giese: the names of the daughters are Catharina, Elizabeth, Magdalena and Eva) the total sum from the place that John holds, also the total sum from the place that Jacob Giese holds, also the interest that was supposed to come thence. The remainder of my estate I give and bequeath to my five children, share and share alike. The share which I bequeath to my son shall be his entire share, in full payment of all claims against me. It is further my will, that my executors shall retain in their hands that part which falls to my daughter Elizabeth as above directed and shall give here thereof according to their good judgment from time to time when she comes into poverty or need. Should she however die in her present marriage relation then her children shall inherit the residue in equal parts, and it is my will that Jacob Giese shall not be an heir to my estate at all. Whoever buys my daughter and her children’s share of my books, _____ and yarn shall have them right after my death. Lastly I nominate and appoint my sons-in-law Werner Leucht and Henry Siegrist my executors of this my last will and testament, and do publish, declare, sign and seal this as my last will and testament in the year A.D. 1819, the 12th day of March.