The Mennonite Connection

Theodorus Eby

We like to think, and with some justification, that we can trace our ancestry back to one Theodorus Eby1 who first arrived in Lancaster County, PA in 1712.  This “Durst” Eby was a member of a “persecuted but steadfast Mennonite family” originating in Berne, Switzerland.

Our information comes from The Eby Report (Vol. II, Number 1): The First Four Generations in America, 1978.  This report is but one of several genealogical studies published on the descendants of Theodorus.

Theodorus, according to reported family tradition, was born 25 APR 1663, probably in Berne, Switzerland.  He appears on the assessment rolls for Conestoga twp., Lancaster Co., from 1718 through 1727.  "Durst" Eby built his first home in 1727, at the line of Earl and Leacock townships, on Peters Road near the Zeltenreich Church.  He lived in this

home for a short time before his death in late 1727.

Theodorus' children were John, Peter, George, Jacob, Christian, Barbara, Mary and Elizabeth Eby.  More on each of them can be found in the printed Eby materials.  We are interested in son Christian.

Christian Eby

Christian2 (Theodorus1) was probably born in Germany on 12 FEB 1704.  He married Elisabetha Mayer on 26 APR 1730 and in 1754 built a beautiful home located in Warwick twp, Lancaster Co., and placed a plaque over the front door reading:  "Christian Ebi - Elisabetha".  Christian Eby died 15 SEP 1756 at the age of 52 and was buried in the cemetery at the rear of his home on Hammer Creek.  In 1760, Orphan's Court rules that the mill and 249 acre plantation was valued at 1,400 pounds.  His wife Elisabetha, born about 1714 in Germany, died 12 DEC 1787 at Lancaster County.

Children of Christian Eby listed at that time were Christian Jr., John, Barbara, Peter, Anna, Andreas, George, Elizabeth, Samuel and Michael.

We are interested both in son Andreas and son Michael, because we believe sons of both of them found their way to Ohio.

Andreas Eby

The interesting thing about Andreas Eby3 (Christian2, Theodorus1) for us is that two of his sons ended up living in Ohio.  Johannes became a farmer in Perry County and Christian became a farmer in Hocking County.

Andreas had a brother Michael and Michael's children were also the venturesome types.  Michael's sons Christian and Jacob became fishermen in Baltimore County, MD; Samuel left for Kitchener, Ontario, Canada; George Moses married a Philadelphia girl; and son Benjamin Eby, reportedly born in New Castle Co, DE, was living in a place that family historians designated as "unknown."

These brothers Andreas and Michael both lived in Delaware for a time and their families were probably close.  Andreas was in Delaware when his father's estate was settled (1760) and Michael was there for his son Benjamin's birth (1789).  Michael eventually returned to Lancaster County, PA, where he died sometime after 1810.

In the meantime, it is possible that Michael's son Benjamin followed two of his cousins to Ohio.  Cousin Johannes was already farming in Perry County, where he died in 1830.  Our Benjamin Eby shows up in the 1850 Perry County census.  Benjamin's son Andrew (named after Uncle Andreas!), 19, is listed as born in Ohio, making Benjamin's arrival no later than 1831.

Michael Eby

We believe we are descended from brother Michael3 (Christian2, Theodorus1), born 29 DEC 1755 at Warwick Township, Lancaster County, PA and died after 1810 in Drumore Township, Lancaster County.  Michael married 18 APR 1781 Barbara Baehr at Lancaster City, Lancaster County.  Barbara was born about 1762 and died after 1831 in Baltimore, MD.  Among the children of Michael and Barbara was: Benjamin Eby.

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