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JACOB HUBLER at age 30 came to America along with his wife, Anna Barbara age 25, and three children: Anna Barbara age 3 years, Anna Maria age 2 years, and Francis (Frantz) age 3 months. They arrived onboard the English Ship Elizabeth at the port of Philadelphia on August 27, 1733. The Jacob family probably came from Bavaria in what is now southeast Germany, but they boarded the ship in the port of Rotterdam, Holland in the spring of 1733. Jacob is the first recorded "Hoobler" that immigrated to America. After arrival, Jacob and Anna had two additional children; Johannes John Sr. born between 1735 and 1739 and Anna Margareth born July 27, 1746.
The Hubler name is of Bavarian-Tyrol origin (southeast Germany). The name in English means, "hill", or literally "from a dwelling place (or small farm) on a hill". Jacobís German name was spelled "Hubler", but in America it became "Hoobler". This happened because it was very common in those days not to be able to read or write. Jacob could only sign his name with a block letter "H". The shipís logger at Rotterdam recorded the name around Jacobís mark as Jacob Koobler. Upon arrival in Philadelphia, it was corrected to "Hoobler". However, depending upon the source, both spelling of Jacobs name are interchanged until the 1830s. Where Jacobís naturalization papers were required (land records, wills, and other legal records outside the Pennsylvania German settlement), the spelling Hoobler is recorded. But on less formal records (church and tax records recorded inside the Pennsylvania German settlement) the spelling Hubler is found.
The journey from central Europe to America was long and hazardous. It could take from first spring until the end of summer to make the journey. Jacob and his family would have had to make their way to the nearest river that flowed into the Rhine River. There they could catch a barge or boat to take them to the port of Rotterdam, Holland. Germany then was divided into several independent provinces with their own Kings and foreign policy. Consequently a journey to Holland meant many forced stops along the way for searches and paying tariffs. When they finally made it to Rotterdam, they would have to wait for days if not weeks for the next available ship for passage across the Atlantic. When an English ship could board them, it would stop at Dover, England for fresh provisions to sustain approximately 200 or more people crowded on the ship. Finally, after leaving Dover there was no guarantee for favorable winds. They could sit off the coast of England again for days or weeks before favorable winds could carry them out to sea. The Atlantic crossing could be as short as three weeks or as long as 3 months. No matter, food would spoil quickly if not run out completely on the longer voyages. Water would spoil, being infested with worms. Overcrowding made ship conditions horrible with communicable diseases spreading easily. It was recorded that 16 children died on Jacobís voyage. The low number must mean the voyage wasn't one of the longer ones.
Upon arrival in Philadelphia, England required that German speaking immigrants take an immediate oath to the King. After that, Jacob would have himself bound into indentured servitude to pay for his fare across the Atlantic. Jacob and his family would have to work at the buyerís home or farm to pay off their debt under a four-year contract. This practice, known as redemptionism, was not a hardship. Protected by law, they were well treated by the buyer who was required to shelter, feed, and give aid while serving out their contract. They would even eat with the buyer at the same table. At the end of their service, Jacob and Barbara would have been awarded means to be on their own. In August of 1737, Jacob is recorded to have completed his obligation.
In that same month (August 1737), Jacob quickly claimed 200 acres of land in the newly acquired Tulpehocken Valley from the Indians just northwest of Reading, Pa. It is located today in Jefferson Township of Berks County about 1Ĺ miles east of Rehrersburg and 1 mile west of New Shaefferstown. The New Shaefferstown Road (State Road 4016) runs through Jacobís property today as it has since 1749. In 1739, his land was re-surveyed for 191 acres. Finally, on January 31, 1752, Jacob was issued a patent (original owner deed) for the amount of "52 Pennsylvania pounds".
Following German farm skills, Jacobís first order of business after claiming his land was to painstakingly clear it of all trees and brush, leaving no tree stumps or roots in the ground that was to be plowed. This would make the land fit and ready for cultivation after the winter. The next order of business would be to build a barn. This would be done before any thought of building a permanent home for his family. Then a temporary home would be built with logs. A more permanent home would take years, made of rock and wood. Usually, it would take two generations to erect a permanent family homestead.
In 1753, Jacob began appearing on the Berks County tax records. No other Hubler (or Hoobler) appears on these records until 1760 when the name Johannes Hubler (Hoobler) appears next to Jacob. In 1762, Frantz Hubler begins to appear on these tax records. From the 1740ís through the 1790ís, three generations of the Hubler (Hoobler) family appear in church records of the reverend John Casper Stover and H. William Stoy. Jacob & Barbara sponsoring their grandchildren and neighborís children at baptisms, and their own children being married. They were members of the German Reformed Church. Today this church is merged into the United Church of Christ. Most of these church records come from the Host Church, which is still located today just around Summer Hill about 1Ĺ miles south of Jacobís farm. The church is now named the St. Johnís United Church of Christ.
The strict honesty that William Penn and his successors had dealing with Native Americans let Pennsylvania pioneers live peaceably on their land. Native Americans moved gradually and peacefully to the other side of the Blue Mountains of the Appalachians. But this would all change when war broke out between England and France in Europe (the Seven Years War) and carried over into America (the French & Indian War). The frontier settlements out in the Tulpehocken Valley were vulnerable to native Americans influenced by the French. From 1754 to 1763, defenseless farms were attacked in search and destroy type raids with all the horrors that involve Indian warfare. Jacob Hoobler had the unfortunate task of being executor of the will of Peter Keysinger who was the first to be killed by an Indian raid while plowing his field in June of 1754. Tragically, Jacobís own son, Frantz and his family were one of the last to be attacked in September of 1763. Frantz survived the attack and one child was still listed alive after being scalped, but two other children were dead, and his wife, Carolina, and 3 other children were kidnapped.
When the Revolutionary War broke out in 1776, the Jacob Hoobler family was contributing patriots to the cause. In 1777, oaths of allegiance were recorded by the Pennsylvania Province Legislature. Jacob, Johannes, and Adam Hoobler (father, son, and grandson respectively) were recorded taking the oath. Johannes is recorded on the muster roll of Capt. George Miller of the Berks County Militia from Tulpehocken on duty at the Battle of South Amboy, Long Island in Sept; 1776. In the oral tradition of Margaret Hoobler-Bair family (granddaughter of Johannes), the Hooblers contributed supplies to the Continental Army.
There isn't any record of Jacob or Barbaraís death. The church cemeteries that surround Jacobís land show no markers standing prior to the 1820ís. Any marker standing before the 1830ís is unreadable. Today areas of unmarked graves, lost forever, stand out amongst the newer markers. We can only speculate on what records are left. In 1785, Jacob for the first time appears as a godparent of a neighborís grandchild without Barbara. It is possible that Barbara was deceased by this date. And Jacob appears for the last time in the 1789 Berks County tax list and not in any later list. Possibly he died later in 1789 or 1790. Unless other records appear, we can never know for sure.
The Known Children of Jacob & Barbara
Johannes (John) Hoobler 1735 continued below:
ANNA MARGARETH b. 27 July 1746, married Bernhardt Heu, and at least 5 children: Johan George b. 1771, Frederich b. 1776, Elizabeth b. 1783, Johan Jacob b. Oct 1786, and Catherine Elizabeth b. 1 Apr. 1789.
JOHANNES (JOHN) HOOBLER was apparently the first in the Hoobler family to be born in America. There is no record of his birth in the Tulpehocken area church records (though a lot of records are missing). It may be that he was born while his father was under indentured servitude between 1733 to 1737, at a location yet to be determined around Philadelphia.
The first record of Johannes appears in 1760 on the Berks County tax list from Tulpehocken. It abnormally states that he is "married". From church records, we know his wifeís name was Anna Margaretha (Margaret). Judging from the 1790 census record, they had at least 9 children.
With his older brother, Frantz, off on his own farm (in Upper Bern Township in 1760ís and then in Pinegrove Township from the 1770ís), Johannes became head of the Hoobler farm in Jacobís elder years and after his passing. Johannes appears on Berks County tax lists along with Jacob from 1760 to 1789. On the 1764 tax list, Jacob and Johannes appear jointly on the same record. From 1790-1794, Johannes appears on the tax lists but without Jacob.
During the American Revolution, Johannes was a volunteer from Tulpehocken in the Pennsylvania Militia, 6th Battalion, 3rd Company from Berks County. The Militia was not part of the Continental Army of George Washington, but a reserve force much like todayís National Guard, called into active duty only when needed. Johannesí name appears on the muster roll of this company on duty at the Battle of South Amboy, Long Island in September of 1776. This was first battle that the British got serious with the colonials after the Declaration of Independence in July earlier that year. George Washington called up all the Militia forces in the area of New York to repel the British reinforcements that landed at Long Island. This proved to be unsuccessful as this initial British advancement went through New York City all the way to Philadelphia by the spring of 1777.
But Johannes volunteered again in June of 1780 to serve until July of 1781. Unfortunately, many revolutionary war records are missing today. And for Johannes, no other records have survived about his service during the war. Consequently, the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg list his record as "inactive".
In the early spring of 1795, Johannes and his childrenís families moved west about 75 miles to the beautiful Sherman Valley south of the settlement of Blain in Toboyne Township of Cumberland County. Today this is in Jackson Township of Perry County, Pa. Johannes purchased 66Ĺ acres while his childrenís families purchased land nearby.
After Margaretís death, possibly in 1799, Johannes would sell his land in April of 1800 to a Frederick Briner and move in with his eldest son, Adam. Johannes does not appear on the 1800 census. But on son Adamís census record, an elder male appears. This elder male appears on Adamís census records through to 1820.
In the spring of 1813, the Johannes Hoobler family would split up for the first time. Three of his sons, Adam (probably along with Johannes), John Jr., and Michael would buy new land in Jefferson County, Ohio. One son, Jacob, remained in Pennsylvania where he died in July of 1814.
The last positive record of Johannes is in the probate records of his son, Jacob, in 1815.
But if Johannes is the elder male that appears in Adam Hooblerís census records, then Johannes was living until at least June of 1820. In the family tradition of son Jacobís line, it was always believed that Johannes had died in Ohio.
His grave has not been located as all graves before the 1830ís are difficult to find. If he was living with Adam, it is possible that his grave is now unmarked near Adamís grave at Buffalo Hill Cemetery, in Harrison County, Ohio.
The Known Children of Johannes & Margaret Hoobler:
(Our thanks to Gene R. Hoobler for the research, chronology and the writing of this page)
1 Berks County Tax Records, Berks County Historical Society, Reading,
(Again, our thanks to Gene R. Hoobler for the research, chronology and the writing of this page)
1 Published Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, vol. 1, p. 111,
Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pa.