7. Frederick Flinchbaugh (1764-1837)

History and Biography of Frederick Flinchbaugh

Frederick Flinchbaugh, the youngest child of Melchior Flinchbaugh and Sophia Catharina Rembold, was born on February 24, 1764 in Lancaster County, PA and baptized on March 12, 1764 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, Lancaster County, PA according to his baptismal record.  Unlike his older siblings, he did not make the journey on the ship “Brothers” in 1753, but was born in the colonies and was a resident of Pennsylvania for his entire life.

Sometime around 1789, Frederick married Christine Pfister, daughter of Jacob Pfister and wife Catherine.  We know these are her parents since the last will and testament of Catherine Pfister lists her trusted son-in-law Frederick Flinchbaugh as on the executors of her estate.  Jacob’s estate file lists a daughter named Christina and when Frederick sold some of his land later in life, his wife Christina signed off on the transactions as well.  Her father Jacob Pfister may be the same Jacob Pfister who arrived on the ship “Brothers” on Septmeber 30, 1754.  The Jacob Pfister on that ship is listed as age 22, making his approximate birth around 1732.  Also on the same ship was a Peter Pfister, age 46, and based on the age could possibly be the father of Jacob.  What lends credence to this possibly being Christina’s father is the fact that there is a church record at Canadochly Lutheran Church in Lower Windsor Twp, York County, PA for a marriage between Jacob Pfüster and Christina Klinedinst in January 1759, with the father of Jacob being listed as Peter Pfüster and Christina’s father as Michael Klinedinst.

If this Jacob is Christina’s father, then we have the discrepancy of the marriage record showing his wife’s name as Christina and the estate papers showing her name as Catherine.  Unfortunately there are several scenarios that could explain the difference in the names such as the fact Jacob could have been married twice.   It’s also possible that his wife’s full name was Catharina Christina (although not very likely since a short  baptismal name like Maria, Eva, or Anna was usually used with both names).  Finally, it’s possible that the church register had her name wrong or that somebody incorrectly translated her name from the church register, which has happened many times.

Photo courtesy of David Flinchbaugh – House of Frederick Flinchbaugh. Story has it that there is a cornerstone with a date of 1776

Unlike his older brothers, Frederick doesn’t have as much tax information available because he was too young to own property to be listed in the PA Tax and Exoneration lists.  The first record we have of Frederick is the 1790 census, which shows Frederick Flinbogh living in Fawn Twp with a female (presumably his wife Christina).  Not long after that he moved it appears him and his brother-in-law Jacob Stabler (who married Christina’s sister Catherine) bought some of their father’s in law land.  The Pfister property was located along the north side of the North Branch of Muddy Creek, mostly in Windsor Twp and some in North Hopewell Township.  This area is just to the west of present day Felton, PA, along Rippling Run Road.  Below is a list of tax records we do have for Frederick Flinchbaugh:

  • 1795 – 250 acres, 1 horse, 4 cows
  • 1798 – 199 acres (Glass Tax)
  • 1799 – 200 acres, 2 horses, 5 cows

Frederick Flinchbaugh also played a role in the formation of Lebanon Lutheran Church in North Hopewell Township.  Him and his brother-in-law Jacob Stabler donated the land for the church and cemetery, and according to different sources a church was established here between 1812 and 1814 (History of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of West Pennsylvania of the United Lutheran Church in America says it was organized in 1812 while the History of York County, Pennsylvania by John Gibson in 1886 says it was organized in 1814).  At first, this church was known as Flinchbaugh’s Church, probably due to the fact that Frederick donated the land for the church and him and his family were prominent members.  In fact, Frederick and his two oldest sons who reached adulthood are buried next to each other and directly behind the church, in the second row (it appears the first row of graves was added later, meaning the row Frederick and his children are buried in was originally the row closest to the church).

Like his other brothers Adam and Martin, Frederick served his new country in the Revolutionary War.  He was a Private in the Second Company commanded by Captain George Long, First Battalion in 1780, at the age of 16.

Determining the children of Frederick and Christina has been difficult, since little records exist.  There was no will for Frederick or Christina, nor are there any Orphans Court records.  There are estate records for when Frederick died in 1837, which help give clues and circumstantial evidence, but nothing definitive.  Baptism records only exist for two children, and all indications are one of them passed away as a young child.

Samuel was born October 1, 1791 and baptized April 9, 1792 at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, PA.  Also baptized at that church was their son John, who was born April 12, 1798 and was baptized on May 10, 1798.  While we know that John lived until 1876 and is buried right next to his father at Lebanon Lutheran Church, we have no additional record of Samuel besides his baptismal record.

The seven year age gap between Samuel born in 1791 and Jacob born in 1798 is rather large, and it does appear that Frederick and Christina had 2 more children born between 1791 and 1798.  All indications point to the Jacob Flinchbaugh that was born March 3, 1793 and married Christina Diehl is the son of Frederick and Christina.  Jacob is buried on the other side of Frederick, opposite John, at Lebanon Lutheran Church.  Jacob served as administrator of Frederick’s estate when he passed away in 1837.  Also, Jacob purchased much of Frederick’s estate before he passed away, along with John.  Finally, the 1850 census shows Christina Flinchbaugh, aged 83 living in his household.  While not 100% conclusive, the fact he is buried next to Frederick, was administrator to his estate, purchased his land and had Christina living with him in 1850 strongly indicates that Frederick and Christina are his parents.

The other child born between 1791 and 1798 that is almost certainly the child of Frederick and Christina is Catherine Flinchbaugh.  According to her tombstone Catherine was born April 1, 1794 and on December 2, 1816 she married Jacob Mitzel at Christ Lutheran Church in York, York County, PA.  The Mitzel family lived just to the southeast of where Frederick owned land, their land was located in what is now the borough of Felton, PA.  None of the other male Flinchbaugh’s alive at that time seem to be a potential father as John (1771-1819) had a daughter named Catherine born in 1807, and Martin’s 3 youngest sons who had families would all be too young to be Catherine’s father (aged 14 and under).  Also, in the estate file for Frederick is the list of debts owed to his estate, and there were two bonds that Frederick paid on behalf of Jacob Mitzel to other people (one of which was the Catherine Pfister).  I can’t imagine Frederick paying two bonds that Jacob Mitzel owed to other people unless he was doing it to assist his daughter Catherine who was married to Jacob.

Finally, the last child that I feel fairly certain is their daughter is Christina Flinchbaugh, born April 11, 1808.  She married Benjamin Tyson on February 16, 1836 by the Reverend Oswald as reported in the Gazette newspaper.  Reverend Oswald was a Lutheran preacher, making it very unlikely that Christina was a daughter of Reverend Frederick Flinchbaugh since he was Brethren (and the Tyson family also attended Lebanon Lutheran Church).  Henry had moved southwest to Springfield Township and Benjamin’s family lived on a farm only about 1.5 miles to the north of where Frederick lived, making it very likely Christina and Benjamin met because they lived basically next door to each other.  Also, Christina was not a named used for daughters within the Flinchbaugh family, making it very likely that she was named after her mother.  Finally, Christina’s older brother John married Rebecca Tyson, who was Benjamin’s sister, so there clearly was already an established connection between the two families.

Frederick almost certainly had other children reach adulthood, but we can’t be certain of who they might be.  Visit the Flinchbaugh Children of Unknown Parentage page to see who some of his possible children could be.

According to his tombstone, Frederick Flinchbaugh passed away on December 8, 1837.  As mentioned previously, Frederick is buried at Lebanon Lutheran Church, with his sons John and Jacob on either side of him.  His wife Christina died sometime between 1850 and 1860, as she was living with her son Jacob according to the 1850 census, but is not listed anywhere in the 1860 census.  Surprisingly she is not buried at Lebanon Lutheran Church with her husband, the “Early History of the Flinchbaugh Family in York County, Penna”, written by Jacob M Flinchbaugh in 1928 mentions that there was a burial ground on the old Fester farm (which became the farm of Frederick and Christina) but the inscriptions were not legible.  If Christina is not buried at Lebanon Lutheran Church, it seems likely she might have been buried in her family’s burial ground on her property.

Frederick Flinchbaugh born February 24, 1764 in York County, PA, baptized March 12, 1764 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pa and died in December 8, 1837 in York County, PA.  He married Christina Pfister, daughter of Jacob Pfister and Catherine on February 16, 1836.  She was born about 1767 in York County, PA and died sometime between 1850 and 1860.

Children of Frederick Flinchbaugh and his wife Christina Pfister:

  1. Samuel Flinchbaugh (October 1, 1791 – unknown)
  2. Jacob Flinchbaugh (March 3, 1793 – March 17, 1875) married Christina Diehl (March 4, 1803-March 1, 1841).  He then married Barbara Shenberger (1801 – November 23, 1884)
  3. Catherine Flinchbaugh (April 1, 1794 – August 11, 1864) married Jacob Mitzel (April 5, 1792 – June 8, 1886)
  4. John Flinchbaugh (April 12, 1798 – August 10, 1876) married Rebecca Tyson (September 24, 1803 – January 16, 1880)
  5. Christina Flinchbaugh (April 11, 1808 – September 4, 1886) married Benjamin Tyson (August 20, 1814 – February 17, 1883)

Tombstone of Frederick Flinchbaugh at Lebanon Lutheran Cemetery

Photo Courtesy of David Flinchbaugh – Plot of Flinchbaugh tombstone at Lebanon Lutheran Church. Frederick’s tombstone is the one in the centers with the flowers on the left side of it. The tombstone directly to the left of Frederick’s is for his son Jacob, the tombstone directly on the right is for his son John

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