Jacob Frederick Sr. was born three days after Christmas in 1796 in Rockland Township, Berks County, PA, the son of George "Adam" and Sarah (Meinder) Friedrich.
He married Hannah Yoder Angstadt (Oct. 14, 1803-1865), daughter of Abraham Kolb and Catharine Keim (Yoder) Angstadt.
The couple's known offspring were Abraham Frederick, Joel Frederick, Jacob Frederick Jr., Elizabeth Frederick, Carolina Frederick, Matilda Frederick and Catharina Frederick.
Jacob worked over the years as a farmer in the Dryville area of Rockland Township, as shown in the federal census enumeration of 1860.
Hannah passed away the day after Christmas 1865 in Dryville. Her remains were placed into rest in the Mertz Church graveyard. [Find-a-Grave]
Jacob survived by another nine years and was considered "a well-known and aged citizen" of the township. During his final years, he dwelled with his son Jacob Jr. in Rockland Township.
Sadness blanketed the family when one of Jacob's daughters died in January 1874. The grieving Jacob was "on his way to attend the funeral [when] he fell dead on the road," reported the Reading Times. "His funeral took place on Monday and was largely attended." His death date is believed to have been Jan. 19, 1874. Burial was in the Mertz Church in Dryville, today known as the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery.
~ Son Abraham Frederick ~
Son Abraham Frederick (1828-1879) was born on March 12, 1828 in Rockland Township. At his baptism, he was sponsored by John and Rebecca Ketterer. He was friends in boyhood with neighbor Reuben Heist, and they remained acquaintances during their lifetimes.
On Sept. 12, 1852, at the age of 24, he was united in matrimony with 17-year-old Hester "Hettie" Breidegam (Feb. 22, 1835-1893), also known as "Esther," daughter of Solomon Breidegam of Rockland. Officiating at the wedding, held at his home in Maxatawny Township, was Rev. Isaac Roeller, pastor of the Lutheran congregation of Rockland (thought to be what today is the Christ Mertz church). The Fredericks spoke German and English in the family.
Their union produced 11 children -- among them Nathan Frederick, Mary Ann Wartenluft, Charles W. Frederick, Amos F. Frederick, Emma Feeney, Sarah C. Miller, William Frederick and Jonathan Frederick. The three youngest children were born dead -- Hettie called them "abortions" -- the last of which was in September 1875. Hettie is known to have been attended by Dr. Bobb (in 1864) and Dr. F.K. Spang (in 1868). Sadly, son Jonathan passed away at the age of 10 months in October 1871.
Although Abraham apparently did not know how to write, he managed to keep a written record of his children's names and their birthdates. When a traveling peddler stopped at their house, selling blank taufschein forms for more formally recording births and baptisms, the Fredericks purchased a number of the sheets. The salesman "added the names of the parents, the name of the place of birth and the name of the minister that had baptized them," Hettie said. "The original papers from which these records are copied are lost."
When the United States Census was taken in 1860, Abraham earned a living as a laborer. He helped farmers dig wells and install pumps as well as labored in local iron ore mines, working under a boss named Wilig. Recalled friend James Schlegel of Rockland, "He often worked for me before he became a soldier. He was a good worker, sound and healthy in every respect." After the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined the Union Army on Aug. 25, 1864 and was made a member of the 198th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company G. One of the other men joining the same regiment was ore mine co-worker Jeremiah C. Keller and notary Isaac Eckert.
While in camp after the Battle of Hatcher's Run, VA, in February and March 1865, Abraham began to experience severe bouts of diarrhea. Recalled friend Keller, "After he had got somewhat over that he commenced complaining of pain in back across the kidneys. This trouble got worse from day to day until he became entirely unfit for military duty. On account of this trouble in his back he was detailed as cook and never after that did do any duty with the company." At some point he was in such agony that he could no longer function as a cook. Friend Eckert recalled that he had "seen him when he was as helpless as a child." Abraham was treated by the regiment's surgeon and never was sent to a hospital. Keller surmised that the back pain was a result of cutting logs for corduroy roads and bridges or exposure to cold and rainy weather that winter. Neither Abraham nor Hettie could write, and did not exchange letters during the war. Rather, some of his company mates did send letters home letting family and friends know that he was ailing and working as their cook.
After the war's end, he returned to Berks County, where they often moved. Hettie later remembered that they were in Dryville for about six or seven months, thence to Lyons (for four or five years), Longswamp, Rockland (for two years), Oley near the Oley Furnace (under a year) and Richmond. While at Richmond, they are believed to have owned a 10-acre tract which Abraham tried to farm, with the help of an old horse, but he was in too much discomfort. He went back to the business of digging wells and installing pumps, often involving going into the shaft and doing heavy lifting, and his physician Dr. Lewis R. Lentz advised him to give up this occupation.
Hettie would place plasters across the small of his back, trying to bring relief. When he could not urinate, she placed hot towels across his stomach, would helped. Later, they relocated to Fleetwood. He often told friends that his health was broken and complained of great pain in his back, and was unable to do a full day's work. When friend Schlegel gave him a quarter share of beef meat, Abraham said he could not pay but would have his sons barter for it by working. He also drank, at times heavily, but was too poor to keep much liquor in stock. Dr. Spang treated him for spinal problems in May 1874 to Oct. 1876, and later recalled that the patient "always looked to me to be a feeble man." Dr. P.W. Wertz, who prescribed medicines for Hettie in the spring, summer and fall of 1865, recalled seeing Abraham one day, walking along a road, hunched over. Wrote Wertz: "I was called professionally to Wm. Zwoyer in Nov. 1866 and while on my way there I saw a tall, emaciated looking man walking very slowly. I asked Mrs. Zwoyer who that man was, whereupon she told me that it was Abraham Frederick. I asked her, 'What is the matter with that man?' She answered, 'Er klagt über sein ruck" - 'He complains of his back'... He looked and walked like a sick man." He was unfit to resume work in the ore mines but was employed for a short time to operate one of the mine (rail?) engines.
For the last two years of his life, Abraham was virtually always bedfast from the pain. He was treated by Dr. A.N. Fretz, who later stated that "When I first commenced treating him I considered his case of a rheumatic nature, but I soon discovered that it was a spinal affection, which grew worse very rapidly and terminated fatally." Fretz also noted that Abraham was "without sensation in the lower part of his body." Toward the end, Dr. Lentz also made several house calls on Oct. 5 and Oct. 8, 1879, and saw that Abraham was either unconscious or "rather in a perfect helpess condition," he wrote. "I did not think that he could possibly live much longer." He succumbed to the Angel of Death at the age of 51 on Oct. 9, 1879. Interment was in the Mertz Church Cemetery, later renamed the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery. A short death notice was printed in the Reading Times. Hettie outlived her husband by 14 years. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, Hettie lived in Richmond Township, Berks County, with only her daughter Emma in the household, providing domestic work. In June 1886, she was awarded a federal pension as compensation for her husband's wartime service, receiving monthly payments of $8. [Widow App. #341.561 - Cert. #249.144]. Special examiner A. Fegethoff, sent to interview Hettie about her matter, wrote that she "is a sickly looking woman and bears a good reputation for reliability and for her general good conduct. Her memory is very poor by reason, probably, of her poor health." Hettie is known to have endured fits of epilepsy. The pension case created controversy, as she was billed in the amount of $543.50 by Dr. A.H. Fretz and justice of the peace David H. Klein of Fleetwood for securing the pension on her behalf. She filed a formal complaint, and in July 1889 the case was heard before the United States Pension Commissioner Edmunds in Philadelphia. She claimed that when initially approaching Klein for help, he "informed her that possibly she might get a few hundred dollars or perhaps a little more," a witness wrote. "That she was alone with him, but that if she would give him said Kline the half of what she received, he would work out five or six hundred dollars for her. This she did not like to do, but said Kline then remarked he would stop the whole proceeding if she did not comply." She also claimed that, unbeknownst to her, the pension checks were not sent to her usual post office of Fleetwood, but rather to the post office at Pricetown, two miles from her home, where they were taken by Klein and cashed. Her son-in-law Thomas E. Feeney testified in the matter. She succumbed at the age of 58 on July 27, 1893.
Son Nathan Frederick (1853-1908) was born on Feb. 13, 1852 in Richmond, Berks County. He developed epilepsy which he carried through his life. Nathan was married to Mary ( ? - ? ) and dwelled in Maidencreek, Berks County. He earned a living as an engineer. On the fateful day of May 13, 1908, while working on a house, he suffered a seizure and fell, fracturing his spine. He lived for another week but the damage was beyond repair, and died on May 20. Burial was in Blandon Cemetery.
Daughter Mary Ann Friedrich (1854-1930) was born on Nov. 18 or 19, 1854. She was joined in wedlock with Daniel Wartzenluft (March 6, 1852-1932), often shortened to "Wartluft." He was the son of Joel and Hannah (Miller) Wartzenluft of Exeter Township. They bore four known children -- Beulah S. Ritter, Charles Henry Wartzenluft, Alice Rahrer Ritter and Howard Daniel Wartluft. The family lived at Kutztown, Berks County in 1887. Interested in local politics, he was a member of an independent democratic committee in 1905 to promote the elction of D. Nicholas Schaeffer as judge. Mary Ann was named in the Reading Times obituary of her sister Emma Feeney in 1924 and, at that time, lived in Lorane, Exeter Township, Berks County. Then by 1930, they had moved to Mt. Penn, Berks County, with an address of 2451 Filbert Street. Having sunk into dementia in her later years, Mary Ann contracted uremic poisoning and succumbed at the age of 75 on Feb. 10, 1930. Howard Wartzenluft of 428 Washington Street, Reading, was the informant for the death certificate. After a funeral in the home of their married daughter Alice Ritter, her remains were lowered into repose in the Schwarzwald Cemetery in Jacksonwald. Daniel lived beyond his wife by two years and dwelled in Shillington. Suffering from chronic kidney problems and cirrhosis of the liver, he passed into eternity at the age of 80 on May 20, 1932. An obituary in the Times noted that he was survived by nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren
Son Charles W. Frederick (1858- ? ) was born in about 1858.
Son Amos Frederick (1859-1918) was born on Feb. 9, 1859. Unmarried in 1880, at the age of 21, he earned a living as a servant in the home of Benjamin and Eliza McQuade in Penn Township, Lancaster County, PA. The following year, in 1881, he wedded Louisa E. Angstadt (Feb. 9, 1864-1917), daughter of William and Elizabeth (Suger) Angstadt. They produced a family of 11 offspring, of whom only five seem to have survived childhood. The known names were Katie Emma Porr, Daniel H. Frederick, Walter W. Frederick, Stella E. Martin and Sallie M. Halkier. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, the Fredericks dwelled in Longswamp Township, Berks County, with Amos working as a laborer in the local blast furnace. The couple separated by 1910, with Louisa and daughter Sallie moving into the Alsace Township home of iron works laborer Samuel Delp, where she worked as a housekeeper. He is thought to be the same "Amos Frederick" who, in the summer of 1911, was arrested, jailed and charged with stealing seven dozen eggs from former sheriff Frank Schmeck. Then in the state capitol of Harrisburg, in 1912, he was "arrested there and wanted in Reading on the charge of stealing the horse owned by Bechtel Brothers, ice dealers, of this city," reported the Reading Times. He was confined to the Lehigh County Jail in Allentown and escaped in June 1915, only to be caught at the home of his daughter Stella Martin. At the age of about 57 in 1916, having suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, he was admitted as a resident of the Berks County Almshouse in Cumru Township, Berks County. The Times stated diplomatically that he "has a wife residing somewhere in Berks county." Sadly, Louise became deathly ill from pneumonia and was admitted to Reading Hospital. She died there after a week's stay, on St. Patrick's Day 1917, at the age of 53. Funeral services were held in the Martins' home at 427 Tulpehocken Street. Said the Times, "The body was in a cream silk shroud and rested in a square-corjnered solid oak casket with silver extension handle bars and silver plate with name and age. Rev. Mr. Kline, of Topton, officiated." Burial was in Charles Evans Cemetery in Reading. Amos remained in the county almshouse for nearly two years and succumbed at the age of 59 on Dec. 29, 1918. The remains were placed into repose in Charles Evans Cemetery.
Daughter Sarah C. Frederick (1862-1931) was born on June 1, 1862. She married John N.B. Miller ( ? - ? ). The four known children born to this marriage were Clara E. Frey, Dora Foose, Irvin Miller and Eva Moyer. The Millers were members of the Mertz Church in Dryville. John made a living over the years as a laborer, performing jobs for, among other customers, the town of Fleetwood, Berks County. Their home in 1924 was in Blandon and in the early 1930s was on South Franklin Street in Fleetwood. In her later years, she was burdened with chronic kidney disease. When she suffered apoplexy of the heart, just a few weeks before her 69th birthday, she succumbed to death on May 13, 1931. Her remains were interred in the Mertz Church burying ground, with an obituary appearing in the Reading Times. John outlived his wife by a number of years. On New Year's Day 1935, he attended a wedding dinner for his granddaughter Arlene Frey who had married Kenneth W. Snyder.
Daughter Emma Frederick (1864-1924) was born on Nov. 29, 1864 in Richmond Township. Dr. Bobb assisted in the birth, and her father immediately wrote her name and birthdate on a paper where he had recorded family information. When she was about four months old, Emma was baptized in the family church by Rev. Benjamin E. Kramlich. At some point, the record of her birth and baptism was transferred to a decorated broadsheet called a taufschein, which was common among Pennsylvania Germans. The language read as follows in German, with the English translation provided here:
Emma wedded Thomas E. Feeney (Feb. 19, 1863-1930). The Feeneys produced five children -- Charles Feeney, James Feeney, Herbert Feeney, Ralph Feeney and Clarence Feeney. The couple made a home in Fleetwood for two years and in Blandon for 19 years before relocating into the county seat of Reading in about 1910. In Reading, they lived at 827 Greenwich Street. Thomas supported the family through his longtime labor as an ironworker at the Reading Iron Company's Oley Street Mills. Grief blanketed the family when Emma contracted gangrene -- written as "auto-antoxication" by a physician -- and was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Reading. She died just a few days before her 60th birthday, on Nov. 10, 1924. Herbert Feeney signed the death certificate. Interment was in Laureldale Cemetery, and the Reading Times published an obituary. Thomas lived for another six years as a widower, residing with his son Herbert at 526 Johnson Street. Stricken with bladder cancer, at the age of 67, he was swept away by the Grim Reaper of Death on Aug. 22, 1930.
William Frederick (1868- ? ) was born on June 11, 1868 in Rockland Township. The baby's father immediately wrote his name and birthdate on a paper where he had recorded such details. William was baptized on Aug. 30, 1868 by Rev. Benjamin E. Kramlich, with the baby's parents serving as sponsors. At some point, the record of his birth and baptism was transferred to a decorated broadsheet called a taufschein, which was common among Pennsylvania Germans. The language read as follows in German, with the English translation provided here:
At the age of about 15, he began working away from the home to provide income for the family. He was alive circa 1888, at the age of 20, when mentioned in his mother's Civil War pension investigation. Research is underway to confirm whether he is the same "William Frederick," age 32, who in 1900 was confined as an inmate in the Berks County Almshouse. Nothing more is known.
~ Son Joel Frederick ~
Son Joel Frederick (1832-1901) was born in about 1832 in Longswamp Township, Berks County. He stood 5 feet, 4½ inches tall and weighed 160 lbs. Evidence suggests that at the age of 18, in 1850, he and Benjamin Powall were apprenticed as carpenters to Peter Shoemaker and lived in the Shoemaker residence in Sadsburyville, Chester County, PA. At sometime during the 1850s, he returned to Rockland Township and earned a living as a farmer.
Joel was married three times. His first bride was Susanna Romig (1830-1875). The couple did not reproduce. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1860, Joel and Susanna made a home in Rockland, and 23-year-old Jefferson Rider boarded under their roof.
During the Civil War, Joel joined the Union Army, perhaps enlisting in 1862 or in February 1865. He was assigned to the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company G. Nothing about his service is known, except that after the war's end, he was discharged near Alexandria, VA on July 17, 1865.
He returned home to Berks County and, at some point relocated to Pottsville, Schuylkill County. Federal census records for 1870 show that Josephine Hoffman, age 22, worked in their home as a domestic servant. Sadly, Susanna died on May 14, 1875, at the age of about 45. The U.S. Census for 1890, of military veterans and their widows, shows that Joel, a veteran of the 48th Infantry, resided in Pottsville.
In 1891, he began receiving a military pension as compensation for his physical ailments. [Invalid App. #1.030.015 - Cert. #762.666] Longtime friends Thomas R. Romig of Longswamp and Augustis Fry of Fredericksville, Berks County provided affidavits of support in his case. They both stated in 1898 that they had known Joel for 45 years and that he was "a sober, steady and peaceable man, and one of very good habits." His work in Pottsville involved supervising the placement of heavy curb stones, which he said had caused severe hernias. When examined by military physicians later in life, they observed that Joel's hands were slightly calloused but that he had hernias of both his right and left groin, one 10 inches long and 8 niches wide.
As an older man, he made his home in Fredericksville and was considered a "well-known resident," said the Reading Times. The identity of his second wife is not yet known, but she died on Feb. 28, 1888.
On Nov. 22, 1900, at the age of 67, Joel wedded his third wife, 44-year-old Fredericksville resident Louisa (Troutman) Roberson (1856- ? ), a German immigrant and daughter of Frederick and Anna Troutman. Rev. D.K. Humbert officiated at the wedding, held in Fredericksville. Among the witnesses were Meana Hilbert and Mantilla Frey. Their marriage license application clearly states the names of Joel's parents as Jacob and Hannah. Louis's first husband (James Roberson) had passed away on July 26, 1883, so she had been a widow for 17 years before wedding Joel.
During the months of the brief, third marriage, Joel was despondent. On the fateful day of Sept. 26, 1901, after his wife had gone to visit a neighbor, the 68-year-old went upstairs in his house and tried several times to shoot himself with a shotgun. The first few shots failed. "Here he kneeled in front front of a trunk, and, placing the gun in position, pulled the trigger," said the Times. "Mrs. Frederick heard the reports of the gun and hurried home. When she entered the room on the second floor she was horrified to find the prostrate corpse of her husband on the floor. The charge had entered the forehead and a portion of the brain had been blown out. Deputy coroner Henry B. Bauer of Huff's Church held an inquest and ruled that Joel's act was a result of "melancholia." Burial was in New Jerusalem Cemetery, with Rev. Humbert again officiating at the service. J.C. Schmoyer, of Bowers, PA received the contract to make Joel's grave marker.
~ Son Jacob Frederick Jr. ~
Son Jacob Frederick Jr. (1837-1900) was born in March 1837 (or 1838). Prior to marriage, he learned the trade of carpentry and continued in this work throughout his life.
He wedded Amelia Geisweit (Aug. 10, 1841-1931), daughter of John and Mary B. (Breining) Geisweit of Rockland Township.
The children born to this couple were Mary Katie Mast, Ellen Frederick, Percival Frederick and Amanda Frederick.
The federal censuses of 1870-1880 and 1900 show this family in Rockland. They were longtime members of the Christ Mertz Evangelical Lutheran Church in Dryville.
In 1900, Jacob passed away, with burial in the Christ Mertz Church Cemetery.
Amelia lived as a widow for another 31 years and lived with her daughter Mary Katie Mast in the Borough of Lyons. In about 1928, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and bore the illness for three years until death claimed her at the age of 90 on Nov. 13, 1931. Following funeral services in her home, interment was in Dryville, officiated by Rev. William H. Kline. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that her survivors included five grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Daughter Mary Katie Frederick (1860- ? ) was born in about 1860. She was joined in wedlock with (?) Mast. In 1931, their home was in Lyons, Berks County.
Daughter Ellen Frederick (1864- ? ) was born in about 1864.
Son Percival Frederick (1866-1900) was born in about 1866 in Oley Township. He married Amanda Ruppert (Nov. 1, 1869-1925), daughter of Obadiah and Rebecca (Angstadt) Ruppert. The Fredericks were the parents of five, among them a son Charles R. Frederick and daughters Ella R. Conrad and Emma Frederick. They resided in Topton. Sadly, while in Topton, PA, at the age of 33, Percival succumbed on New Year's Day 1900. Burial was in Christ Mertz Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery. Over the span of the next three-and-a-half months, three of their children died, among them four-year-old Emma on April 13, 1900. Reported the Philadelphia Inquirer, Amanda "has lost four members of her family by death since Christmas. Her husband died in January, and three children since." Amanda survived for a number of years and in 1901, living in Dryville at the age of 32, married again to 35-year-old widower Amos W. Miller ( ? - ? ), son of Henry and Mary Miller. His first wife had died n March 30, 1894. In the second marriage, their children were Walter R. Miller and Maude Fenstermacher. Circa 1915, she made a home at 933 Union Street in Fleetwood. Amanda was burdened with cirrhosis of the liver and heart valve disease and, at the age of 55 suffered acute enlargement of the heart, leading to death on Feb. 21, 1925. Interment was in Dryville.
Daughter Amanda Frederick (1868- ? ) was born in about 1868.
~ Daughter Elizabeth Frederick ~
Daughter Elizabeth Frederick (1840- ? ) was born in about 1840. Unmarried at the age of 20, in 1860, she lived with her parents in Rockland Township.
~ Daughter Carolina Frederick ~
Daughter Carolina Frederick (1842- ? ) was born in about 1842. At the age of 18, in 1860, she resided at home.
~ Daughter Matilda Frederick ~
Daughter Matilda Frederick (1843- ? ) was born in about 1843. She grew to womanhood in Rockland Township and was there in 1860.
~ Daughter Catharina Frederick ~
Daughter Catharina Frederick (1845- ? ) was born in about 1845. When she was 15 years of age, she dwelled with her father and mother in Rockland Township.