JOHANN DIETRICH STRUBLE
Dietrich Struble was born in Albig, Rheinhessen,Germany on May 15, 1714, the son of Andreas and Anna M. Gruber Strubel.
His occupation was that of a stone mason. He was the chief builder or contractor in the building of the Odernheim Reformed Church of Odernheit, Amglan, Rheinland, Pfalz, Germany. This church was finished and dedicated in the year 1739 and his wedding to Elizabeth Catherina Pfort, daughter of Johann Nichalas and Maria Angelica Haas Pfort on April 21, 1739 was the first held in the new church building. He was not of this town, but, he with his wife and their first four children remained there until coming to America.
The family sailed from Rotterdam, Holland and arrived at the Port of Philadelphia, Pa. on September 5, 1748, on the ship “Edinburgh”. The ship’s master was Captain James Russell.
Dietrich and his family remained in or near Philadelphia for sometime and he worked for William Allen (for whom Allentown, Pa. and New Jersey were named) as a stone mason.
About 1752 he pitched
his camp on Smith’s Hill in the old township of Newton, now Hampton township of
Sussex County, New Jersey. According to Snell’s history of Sussex and Warren
Counties, New Jersey, that the ruins of the old log house in which Dietrich
lived were said to be yet visible in 1881.
William Allen owned extensive land in northwestern New Jersey, from whom Dietrich purchased 310 acres for 166 pounds on December 17, 1770. This farm was apart of the Budd Tract and was located in the Upper German Valley near Bartleyville, New Jersey.
Dietrich was an Elder in the German Valley Reformed Church, which was built in part by him.
On January 9, 1769, Dietrich was one of the witnesses of the will of Morris Allback, of Roxbury, Morris County, New Jersey.
Dietrich and his wife Elizabeth were Baptismal Sponsors for Elizabeth, daughter of Conrad and Anna Maria Risch on May 17, 1772 at the Zion Church in New Germantown, New Jersey.
According to W. W. Munsell’s “History of Morris County, N.J. page 386 shows articles of agreement that were drawn up and signed by the representatives of two churches.
“Whereas we the members of the Evangelical Reformed Congregation, and we the members of the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, who by reason of the preachen which we have with Germantown, by reason of the money expended for the church and parsonage house are members of Zion’s Church, living in the Dutch Valley, Roxbury township, Morris county, are willing to build a meeting-house jointly;
“Be it hereby known to all men that the following conditions were agreed to by the subscribers, representing both congregations, viz.:
I. Both parties have agreed to build the meeting-house at their united expense so that none of the parties may throw up anything to the other.
II. As the church is built jointly, so it shall be kept by our posterity jointly. The friendship of both congregations giving us hope that in case of the necessary repairs of the meeting-house the weaker party will be supported by the stronger.
III. Bath parties with respect to have an equal right; in case both preachers should meet together, then alternately the one must wait till twelve o’clock on the service of the other.
IV. For the good of both congregations none shall be permitted but such as are under a regular church government.
V. Whereas, we do not only concern ourselves for ourselves, but for our posterity also, it is our will and opinion that none of the parties shall or can sell their right in any way or manner.
Acted the 4th day of February 1784, which is testified to by Frederick Dalliker, V.D.M., Henry Muhlenberg, Jr., Deputy rector of Zion’s corporation: Wilhelm Welsch, Diedric Strubel, Conrad Rorick, CasparAnthon Waldorf, Adam Lorenz, Philip Weise, Christopher Karn, Leonard Neighbour, Roulof Roulofson, John Schwackhammer, Andrew Plucky.”
Dietrich removed to Northumberland County, Pennsylvania along with four of his sons Adam, Conrad, George and John.
On October 5, 1784 he acquired, by pa tent conveyed to him by the State of Pennsylvania, two hundred sixty six and one half acres. Five years later, on March 26, 1789 an agreement between Dietrich and his four sons was drawn for the purpose of Conveying title to the plantation “Struble’s Delight” to the sons for consideration of L300 and for the agreement of the Sons to care for Dietrich and Elizabeth in their old age. The deed for this transaction was drawn April 11, 1789. Northumberland County tax record show that Dietrich paid taxes on 566-1/2 acres.
During 1795 & 1796 sons George and John sold their shares to Adam and Conrad with whom Dietrich and Elizabeth remained for the rest of their lives.
Elizabeth was alive in 1789 when the above agreement was made but was not living according to the 1790 census. This should place her time of death either late 1789 or early 1790.
There is a question as to Elizabeth’s age and the bearing of children into her sixties. The following is a reasonable explanation: In some writings, Dietrich was known as Peter or Peter Dietrich. It is possible that one of Dietrich’s younger brothers Peter (more than likely), Joachim, Johann or Matthias also immigrated to America, although no immigration records prove this, and died leaving John, George and Pegga, who were possibly adopted or raised by Dietrich. Dietrich did refer to John and George as his sons in the 1789 agreement. The limit for bearing children, as I have been able to find out, is fifty two.
Frederick Langford was able to obtain the records in Germany concerning Dietrich’s emmigration to America, the sale of his property, permits, taxes, in fact, the complete schedule of events Dietrich went through as well as the other families, of the area, that came to America in that particular group. When obtained, this information will be recorded.
Dietrich was suppose to have lived to the age of 101 years. No proof of this has been located as of this writing. Some Struble researchers believe this is not factual because the will of Dietrich’s son Johann Peter dated June 19, 1810 stated that Dietrich was already deceased. A portion of the will is as follows:
366 NEW JERSEY COLONIAL DOCUMENTS
1810, June19, Struble, Peter, Sr.*, of: Newton Twp., Sussex Co., farrier;
will of. Wife, Eve, to have maintenance while my widow, the house I live in and household furnishings, use of barn and stables, with firewood brought to her door by my son Jacob; also ˝ profits of farm which my son Jacob and myself are now working, all this in lieu of dower. Son, Jacob, the house he lives in on homestead farm, with ˝ acre adjoining for garden; this addition to his share. To said son Jacob and son, Peter, all residue of property, it being 260 ares, as tenants in common they to pay following bequests; to sons, Henry and George, $1,000 each; son John $750; daughter Mary (Wife of Philip Waldorf); and youngest daughter, Elizabeth Struble, $500 each. My share of the estate of my LATE** father, Dietrich Struble and residue of my own estate to be divided equally between my live sons two daughters, as above. Executors—wife, Eve*, son, Jacob , and son-in-law, Philip Waldorf. Witnesses—John Van Doren, James Mattison, Peter Smith. Proved Aug. 2, 1810.
1810 July 30. Inventory $753.74 made by Benjamin Griggs, Samuel Griggs Jr.
File 1249 S. * Signed by mark.
** Word added by Robert Struble – The original will states “Late father Deiterich” thus making Dietrich at the most 96 years old.
His grave is located in the Pontius family cemetery in Union County, Pennsylvania, being located about l-1/2 miles southeast of Mifflinburg. But no headstone could be found, only his son Conrad’s. However, about a dozen of the headstones are worn and show no inscriptions.
Through writings of David Galloway Struble in 1902, a visit to the Pontius Cemetery with long time resident of the area, Mr. John Line9ln, locates Dietrichts grave as beside the stone of Conrad.