The Family Felker

In the beginning:

Philip Felker, born 1800, Bavaria, Wurtenburg, Germany, died 1848, Manhiem, Lancaster, PA, USA; married:

Rebecca Bender, died: in North Manheim, Lancaster, PA, USA. Couple married in Wurtenburg, Germany.

BIOGRAPHY: Title: Felker Bible of Andrew Bender Felker, b. 1839, Lillian Felker Tyndal, Mt. Joy, PA.

Date: 11 Jan 2003

Title: Felker Memory: Aunt of Charles Bowman (son of Minnie Felker 1898-1967)

Text: "Three brothers came to America in 1820. She couldn't remember whether it was from Austria  near the German border or Germany near the Austrian border. We do believe it was from Germany because we know that Philip was born in Wurtenburg, Germany. Anyway the brothers' names were Jacob, Philip and Samuel."

Recorded by: Charlie & Ginny Bowman, Lititz, PA, 1980.

Marly Porter’s Musings

On 21 SEP 1732, the "Pink Plaisance" captained by John Parrett put into Philadelphia from Rotterdam with a full passenger list of German immigrants including a "sick" John Jacob Felker, age 16.  John eventually recuperated because two years later he was joined by his father, John Jacob Felkerin, mother Anna Barbara, and sisters Marie Eva and Marie Sarah.  The original ship document also shows as "invalid" brother Hans George Felker.  They arrived SEP 1734 on the St. Andrew Galley, Captain John Stedman.

We lose track of the family until 1749, when father John Jacob Felker dies and leaves full power of his estate to wife and Hans George so that "my helpless son Hans George Felker may live and be maintained."  The estate at that time consisted of a "plantation situated on Tulpehocken." Shortly after the father's death, Anna Barbara died and son Hans George sold the land to Jacob Volmer Jr., but died before there was any actual conveyance.  With both Hans George and Anna dead, the balance of the estate now is divided among the children and their heirs to wit:  "Jacob Felker, only surviving son.  To Michael Graff in right of his wife, Sarah, only surviving daughter of John Felker.  To Jacob Hormell, John Hormell and Catherine Hormell, children of Henry Hormell by his wife Eva, who was the other daughter of John Felker."

Again, I lose track of the Felkers and do not pick them up again until the 1870 U.S. census where a Jacob Felker is listed in Bucks Co., PA, with two sons under 16 years of age and one daughter.  Our original John Jacob would now be 75 years.  This could be his son, or even grandson.

In 1796, Michael Kunkle of Westmoreland Co., PA passed away and named, as one of his heirs, his daughter Margaret, wife of Jacob Felker.

By 1800 we find John Felker in Dauphin Co. as head of a household comprised of himself (age 26-45), his wife, two boys under 10 years and a man and a woman over 45 years.  These could be John's parents or his wife's parents.

In 1810, John Felker is innLebanon borough, Dauphin Co., PA.  There are now two males under 10 years, four males 10-16; one 16-18, one 18-26. There is one female 10-16, one female 16-26.  No wife listed.

In 1830 we find a Frederick Felker and George Felker each heads of households in West Dougal twp., Lancaster Co.  They live next to one another and could possibly be sons of the above mentioned John.  They are both between 20-30 years of age.

Frederick died 4 DEC 1847 in Lancaster Co.  I have court papers showing that George died intestate in 1828 leaving seven children.

Philip Felker in 1830

In the 1830 census, Philip Felker is living in Rapho twp., Lancaster Co. He is between 30-40 years old as is his wife.  They have one son under five years, three boys between five and 10, two girls under five, one girl between five and 10.  We feel that Philip is one of John's sons but so far we are unable to prove this.

In the 1840 census Philip Felker still lives in Rapho twp. and has living in his home a wife age 30-40, three boys under five, three girls between 5-10, and one girl 10-15.  Philip is between 40-50 years old.

In 1848, aged 48, Philip Felker died intestate leaving 15 children and a widow, Margaretha.  He owed $381.08.  The personal estate was inventoried and found to be worth $59.02.  Since the estate was still $322.06 in debt, the court ordered the two-story log house on Colbrook Road, Rapho twp., along with stables and so forth to be auctioned to the highest bidder.  Jacob Shub purchased the real estate for $805.12.  All debts were paid, the remainder to go to the maintenance and education of the minor children, of whom there were nine.

The petition to the Orphans Court states that one third of the balance goes to the widow during her lifetime and then to her heirs.

"Remembered he died a free man and he owned four acres of land which, years before in Europe, you couldn't do," says genealogist Clyde Groff. The two story log house contained only four beds for this sizable family.

The Felker Offspring

Children of Philip and Rebecca Margaretha:

Jacob Felker

Born: 8 Jun 1821; died: 10 Mar 1895,Lancaster, PA; married: Sarah Conrad, born: 6 Jan 1821; died: 7 Jan 1908 in Lancaster, PA; is 29 in 1850 census, Warwick twp., Lancaster Co, wife:  Sarah, 29; Daniel, 7; Ann, 5; Catherine, 3; Rebecca, 1  (named after Grandmother Felker?).


            Daniel C (B: 1843)

            Susanna (B: 1843)

            Anna (B: 1844)

            Mary Ann (B: 1847)

            Rebecca (B: 1848)

            Eliza (B: 1851)

            Jacob Conrad (B: 1852)

            Henry (B: 1855)

            Samuel (B: 1857)

            John Edwin (B: 1860)

            Adams (B: 1862)

            Annie (B: 1863)

Michael Felker

Born: 17 Oct 1822; died: 14 Feb 1904, Lincoln, NC; married: Catharine Kaufman, born: 28 Oct 1836; died: 4 Mar 1911 in Lancaster, PA; marriage: 1858 in Cornwall.





            Elizabeth, (B: 1858)

Rosina Anna Felker 

(See Shullaw Family. It is interesting to note that Jacob Shullaw and Annie Felker were married on 18 DEC 1848, the same day the Orphan's Court processed her recently deceased father's "estate.")

Samuel Felker

Born: 2 OCT 1825 in Manheim and baptized in Zion Lutheran Church; after breakup of family, Samuel worked as a laborer for Peter Brubaker, a very prosperous miller, and lived in the Brubaker home. Samuel listed as 23 in 1850 census, Rapho twp., laborer in the home of Peter Brubaker.  (Brubaker may have been in error regarding birth year.)

Samuel and wife Catherine Felker, and baby son Abraham, are buried in the Chiques Cemetery near Manheim.  1880 census, Lancaster Co: Samuel, 54; Katie, 47; John, 12; Barbara, 8; and John Shank, 51, brother (probably brother-in-law).





John Felker

Born: 20 JAN 1827; was 21 years old in 1850 census.

Margaret Felker

Born 27 FEB 1828; married Daniel “Liking”; Daniel Lehich (Lehig) buried in Zion Evangelical Lutheran churchyard, East Petersburg, Lot 76-4, born January 19, 1827; died February 11, 1850. This is definitely husband of Rosina's sister Margaret.  So now we know how little Mary Ann came to be living with her Grandmother Felker.

Sarah Felker

Born: 12 SEP 1829; was 22 years old in the1850 census, Rapho twp. and was a servant in the home of David Shelley.

Philip Felker

Born 10 DEC 1830; Letort, Lancaster, PA; was christened 6 May 1837; was 20 years old in 1850 census; married Faronica KAUFFMAN; "Fanny" was born 7 Dec 1840 and died 13 Feb 1920; Philip died 12 Feb 1899.

Child:  Elizabeth, born May 1875 in Peoria, IL; died 12 Apr 1946; married Christian Rohrer, born Nov 1864, Rapho, Lancaster, PA and died 1943. Christian published notice of marriage 13 Nov 1896 in Home Of The Brides Parents--- Lancaster, PA.

Catherine Felker

Born: 1832

Caroline Diana Felker

Born:1 SEP 1833; "Diana" was 18 years old in 1850 census for Rapho twp., and a servant in the home of merchant John Metzler.  (Name change?  Age fits Caroline.)

Elizabeth Felker

 Born: 21 MAR 1835; was 16 years old in 1850 census.

Peter Felker

Born: 1837

Andrew Bender Felker

Born 11 JAN 1839; died:  22 May 1914; married: Mary Ann Easton, born: 27 Feb 1839; died: 4 Mar 1915; Andrew Felker was 10 years old in 1848; aged 12 in 1850 (listed in his mother's household; aged 11 in 1850 census (listed in the home of Christian Shitz and is attending school that year.)

1870 census, Lancaster Co.: Andrew Felker, 31, "itinerant"; Lydia, wife, 31, keeps house;

Fanny, 10, attends school; Mary, 8, attends school; Melia, two months; Lizzie, five; Maria, three; Mary Easton, 26, domestic servant; (Mary becomes 'wife" in 1880 census.)

1880 census: Andrew Felker, 41; Mary, 41; Daniel, 6; Andrew, 3; Mollie, 7 (Melia?); Emmanuel, three months. (Where are Lydia's children?)

Combined Children:

            Fannie (B: 1860)

            Mary (B: 1862)

            Amelia (B: 1865)

            Elizabeth (B: 1867)

            Martha (B: 1871)

            Daniel (B: 1875)

            Andrew E (B: 1878)

            Franklin (B: 1880)

Joseph Felker

Born: 1840.

Christina Felker

Born: 1843; five years old in 1848.

Fianna (Fanny) Felker

Born: 1844; Fiana Felker was six years old in 1848; aged eight in 1850.

Daniel Felker

Born: 5 APR 1846; one year old in 1848; age 36 in 1880 census, Clay twp., Lancaster Co,; wife: Lucinda, 33;


            Prunella, 10

            Benjamin, 6

            Daniel, 3

In 1850, Rebecca Felker, age 40?, is head of a household in East Hempfield twp.., which includes John, 21; Philip, 20; Caroline, 18; Elizabeth, 16; Christina, 17; Andrew, 12; Fianna, 8; and Mary Ann Lehnig (grandchild.)  The two youngest, Fanny and Daniel are not with her.  We locate Daniel in the 1880 census.

In February, 1850, Margaretha, widow of Philip Felker, petitions the court to appoint guardians for Eliza, Fianna, Fanny, Andrew and Daniel, all of whom were under 14 years of age.  It could well be that when the census was taken, Fanny and Daniel had already been placed in other homes.

Christian Shitz was awarded a Guardians Bond which read that he and John Shitz will pay $300 each for the use of the minor children.  Were they then indentured servants?

It is believed that Margaretha and Rebecca Felker are one in the same person.  In all the legal papers (probate, Orphans Court, etc.), her name is recorded and she signs her mark as Margaretha.  However, from then on, she appears as Rebecca in the census, on her tombstone, and in the biographical sketch of her son-in-law Jacob Shullaw.  Her maiden name is listed as Bender in that article.

Rebecca Felker appears again in the 1860 census as a seamstress living alone in Manheim, PA.

Marly and Carl Porter made a trip to Lancaster and spent most of their time at the Court House and the Historical Society.  As they were scanning the cemetery lists, they found a Fretz Cemetery located "SW side of  Shumaker Rd. between Oak Tree Rd. and Kilmer Rd., Rapho twp."

Whoever compiled this information noted, almost as an afterthought, that there was another stone next to the Fretz marker:  that of Philip Felker.  Marly and Carl found the cemetery, which was actually two monuments located in a cornfield.  One belongs to the Fretz family and is all in German.  The other is the Felker marker which is comparatively new.  The Porters cut back the corn stalks in order to read the following:

Philip Felker


Rebecca - His Wife

Erected by Descendants

In August 1987, Marly Porter submitted an item for the "Scribbler" column of the Lancaster paper regarding her search for Felker descendants.  To her delight, she received a letter from the daughter-in-law of Dorothy Boyce Fry who is the great granddaughter of Philip and Rebecca Felker, through Andrew.  Mrs. Fry was under the impression that Mary Easton was Andrew's only wife and that they had had eight children.  We know from the census that the five older girls were daughters of Lydia, whereas the three younger boys are probably children of Andrew and Mary Easton.  Mrs. Fry's mother was Elizabeth. She very kindly sent Marly a family tree of this line.

Mrs. Fry's daughter-in-law, Carolyn Fry, also provided the following information on a Christmas card:

"I'm so sorry I haven't had the time to answer your letter.  I do intend to get back to you -- hopefully by spring.  I work for Manheim National Bank of Lititz.  I am working a great deal of overtime and I also am in training for Customer's Account Rep.  That and trying to get ready for the holidays has me beat.

"You asked about the "Felker Scandal."I'll try to find out for you from Mother Felker but I'll be frank, Mother is a true Felker, and by that I mean they have the oddest ways about them -- very cool and aloof.  A very cynical outlook on life.  Everyone in the family talks of the Felkers. Every time some one does something strange, they say, "That's the Felker in them," or "You're acting like a Felker."  Plus the Boyce's are cold -- English and Indian -- so she is an odd combination.

"I must pussyfoot around to get any answers for you, but I'll try my best. You wanted to know what the Felkers were like -- so I'm telling you like it is.  My husband says they're from another century.  My husband knew Frank and Ellie Felker.  He says that Frank was jolly -- a house painter -- didn't have much -- but you had to sit in the house in the dark!  Olivia and Louise were his daughters -- both dead now.  I knew Olivia, nice, but odd.

Mother Fry (Dorothy), sister Ruth, very nice, do anything for you, but peculiar!

"Felker peculiarities:

                        1.         Very negative on everything;

                        2.         Very withdrawn;

                        3.         Afraid of life;

                        4.         Good people though, would help neighbors but very introverted, and they ALL seem to be that way;

                        5.         Hard to get to know.

"Hope this helps to tell you why people don't talk about them.  They keep to themselves."


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