ABOUT 1702 - 17 Apr 1746

Family 1 : Mary RUFFNER

  1. +Jacob STRICKLER
  2. +Joseph STRICKLER
  3. +Benjamin STRICKLER
  4.  John STRICKLER
  5. +Mary STRICKLER
  6. +Isaac STRICKLER
  7.  Abraham STRICKLER


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|--Abraham STRICKLER 
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From Forerunners: A History or Genealogy of the Strickler Families Their Kith and Kin, by Harry M. Strickler (Harrisonburg, Virginia: 1925), pp. 17-19:

"Mesenuttin on Gerundo"

Abraham Strickler, the ancestor of most of the Stricklers in Virginia, was born in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, most probably in the town of Horgen, on the west shore of Lake Zurich. He was born before 1700, probably as early as 1670, and died in Virginia in 1746. The church records at Hogen might disclose the exact date of the birth, as I understand they date back to 1550. Abraham came to the Province of Pennsylvania about 1700, locating in the County of Chester (now Lancaster), near the Susquehanna. Before 1730 -- probably as early as 1726 <ftn: Adam Miller's naturalization paper states that he came to Virginia about 1726. Wayland's History Rock Co., p. 35. Strickler and miller were both interested in the Massanutten Patent and doubtless came to Virginia about the same time.> -- he migrated to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia -- locating at "MESENUTTIN ON GERUNDO," a place now known as Massanutten, in Page County, about four miles west of Luray. William Penn came to America in 1682 to extablish his Holy Experiment. Abraham was one of those kindred spirits who followed him across the Atlantic to assist in establishing that glorious undertaking. He was of a different nationality, he spoke a foreign language, but he was Penn's brother in spirit. Their religion, stripped of the name, was one and the same <ftn: The Swiss and Dutch were kindered spirits. The Swiss Mennonites were also called Holland Baptists (Holland Tauger). Penn's mother was Dutch. So we see a kinship between Penn, the Quaker, the Holland Baptists and the Swiss Mennonites.>

Adam Strickler says that Abraham was an expert weaver. This fact would indicate that he grew to maturity in the land of his birth and learned his trade there. It is not likely that he learned this trade in America. He was probably thirty years old when he left Switzerland, and he may have resided in Holland for a time as many of the Swiss emigrants did. Perhaps he learned his trade in Holland. The Dutch were great weavers. These Swiss immigrants soon made Germantown, we are told, famous as a center of cloth industry. They, no doubt were experts along other lines also, as almost all of them were artisians.

The Swiss first settled in 1710 on Pequa Creek in Lancaster County (then Chester), but some had arrived with Daniel Pastorius as early as 1683 and had become a part of the settlement of Germantown, near Philadelphia. Abram Strickler arrived, no doubt, about 1700, as Adam Strickler says, and was one of the first Swiss settlers in America.

Abraham Stickler may have had other children than the four named by Adam; in fact, he says that there may have been others but that he only knew of four, all of whom came to Virginia. I am very much inclined to the opinion that he had a son Abraham, as it was a very favorite name in the family. In 1782, when the first census was taken in Virginia, there was living in the neighborhood of Massanutten an Abraham Strickler, Jr., with six white persons in his household. There were two Abram Stricklers in the same neighborhood, with six and eight white persons, respectively, in their households. Abraham, Jr. I am inclined to think, was the son of Abraham the first. Further investigation might disclose this fact. <ftn: In 1747, shortly after Abraham Strickler died, an Abraham Strickler was a land processioner at Massanutten, with Mathias Selser. This was probaby a son of Abraham who died in 1746.




From Forerunners, page 39:

"Mesenuttin on Gerundo"
(Massanutten on Shenandoah)
His plantation was known as Egypt.

Abraham Strickler, I, the pioneer, b. in Switzerland, came to America about 1700, first locating in Pennsylvania, near the Susquehanna River, in Lancester County, and later, about 1729, in Page County, Virginia, where he died in 1746. His deed from Jacob Stover for a thousand acres is dated 1735, but we have evidence that he was on this land five or six years earlier. His plantation has always been known as Egypt. He is probably buried in Egypt where his eldest son, Jacob, is buried, opposite the mouth of Mill Creek.

He had at least four sons and a daughter; Jacob, Joseph, Benjamin, John, and Mary and possibly a fifth son, Abraham. Isaac was also a son or grandson. He may have had other children.


I. Abraham Strickler m. tradition says, Peter Ruffner's only sister.

1. Jacob located in Egypt.

2. Joseph located in Egypt.

3. Benjamin located in Massanutten.

4. John located in Pitt Spring Bend.

5. Mary m. Joseph Roads, son of John killed by the Indians.

6. Isaac, a son or grandson, located in Massanutten.

7. Abraham may have remained in Pennsylvania.




From Forerunners, p. 8:

On Dec. 15-16, 1734 (D. B. No. 1, p. 210, Orange Co.), Jacob Stover sells 1,000 acres to Abraham Strickler, part of this Massanutten patent.

Jacob Stover derived his title from the Colony of Virginia, and after the death of Abraham Strickler it was discovered that this land was on the domain of Lord Fairfax who made deeds to the sons of Abraham Strickler, each receiving his share of the 1,000 acres.



From Forerunners, pp. 2 - 4:



"I am the oldest and the only one of the old stock of the Strickler family in this County. I was born on the 5th day of March, of 1812, and am in my 74th year. I will try to give a short genealogy of the Strickler family as nearly correct as I can give it at this late date. My great-grand-father, whose name was Abraham and by trade a weaver, came with three other brothers from Switzerland to America and settled in the Colony of Pennsylvania. I cannot give with certainty the date but I think it was about the year 1700. I have in possession a deed from John Daugherty to Abraham Strickler for 160 acres of land situated on the Susquehanna River in Chester County, Pa. bearing date, 1728; also several receipts dated 1732, 1733 and 1734.

"There is an old German Bible at Martin Kauffmans (Mill Creek), whose wife was a Strickler, which has on it the inscription "Zurich Switzerland, 1536." This would make the Bible 349 years old, and it was brought to America by the Stricklers and has remained in the family for more than 300 years. It is quite a curiosity and may be seen at any time.

"My grand-father whose name was Jacob [It was Abraham who purchased the 1,000 acres], son of Abraham Strickler, came to this Valley, then Orange County, in the year 1731, and bought 1,000 acres of land in Massanutten, of Jacob Stover (grant land) Also another tract of 640 acres on the South River opposite the mouth of Mill Creek, where he lived and died. He was a Mennonite preacher [The second or third generation of Stricklers became Baptists apparently and now are found in all churches]. He married a Miss Kauffman by whom he had several children, viz: John, Samuel, Joseph and David. The later being my father. I cannot remember but one daughter, Catherine by name. She married Brumback and was the mother of Tobias and Jacob Brumback.

"My father was born April 10th, 1771, and died March 30th, 1815, not quite 45 years of age. After grandmothers death, grandfather went to Pennsylvania and married a Miss Moomaw who was the mother of Daniel Strickler (known as Col. Daniel Strickler). He I think was born April 10th. 1777, and died May 24, 1845. I think that he had one or two sisters but I cannot recollect it with certainty.

"Grandfather and both of his wives were buried opposite the mouth of Mill Creek, four miles west of Luray, on the farm now owned by Wm. J. Shenk. When grandfather died, the old English law as still recognized in this County and that gave to the oldest child all the land. But Uncle John would not have it so. He helped his three brothers to good homes on Smith's Creek, near New Market. He also helped his half-brother Daniel to a good home on the River at New Port, now owned by some of the Koontz family. Daniel traded it to Abraham Heiston for the stone house property near Bixler's ferry and died near there.

"The Strickler family is a numerous one and some of them are to be found in nearly all the states of the Union. The old stock of Stricklers were an intelligent and highly respectable people. Some of them held high offices, both civil and military with credit to themselves and this country and I have never heard of one of the name arraigned for any capital offence.


April 5, 1885.


Sketch written by Adam Strickler shortly before he died. This sketch varies but slightly from the predating one.


"I hear give the genealogy of the Strickler family as near as I can at this late date. My great-grandfather, whose name was Abraham came to the Colony of Pennsylvania, with his brother Conrad from the City of Zurich in Switzerland in about the year of 1705, the exact date not now known. He was a weaver by trade and was an adept at the business, it was said. He could weave any figure or draft known to the trade. He wove a table cloth with figures representing a plate, knife and fork and spoon inside the border at each place around the table cloth and it is said that he used as many as 16 treadles in his loom in weaving some figures.

"I cannot give any account of his brother Conrad but I suppose he lived and died in Pennsylvania. I have papers showing that Abraham Strickler had a store and a farm. I have a deed from John Daughery to Abraham Strickler of a hundred and sixty acres of land situated on the Susquehanna River, Chester County, Pennsylvania, the deed being dated 1728. We do not know what my great grandmother's family name was nor how many children they may have had but I know of four sons who came to Virginia and located on the west side of the Shenandoah River, now Page County. Their names were Jacob, Joseph, Benjamin and John. Jacob, the oldest of the brothers owned the farm now owned by Jacob C. Bowers situated four miles west of Luray and opposite the mouth of Mill Creek. His deed dated 1731. His brother Joseph owned the valuable land in the upper part of the bend of the river now known as Egypt. Benjamin located the land now owned by Martin Shirley in Massanutten. John owned valuable property on the west side of the river between New Port and Grove Hill. Grandfather Jacob Strickler was a Mennonite preacher and was married twice. His first wife was a Kauffman by whom he had four sons and one daughter. His sons names were, John, Samuel, Joseph and David. His second wife was a Miss Moomaw of Pennsylvania by whom he had two children, a son and a daughter. John the oldest of grandfather's children, who was born under the old English law, inherited all the land estate. He married a Miss Brumback, by whom he had three children. Susan married Henry Shaver and died near Salem, Va. Frances married a Mr. Selvege and Henry died a young man in New Market, not married. Uncle Samuel Strickler married a Miss Meggot and had three children: Jacob married a Miss Kegey and lived and died near Floyd Court House, Va.; Mary married Dr. David Neff and had four children; Abraham married Annie Hottel near Woodstock, Va. Joseph Strickler and David, brothers and sons of Jacob Strickler, lived on and owned the farm now known as the Harper Rice farm near New Market. They married sisters, Misses Groves. Catherine, the only daughter of the first wife of Jacob Strickler, married John Brumback. They had two sons, Tobias and Jacob, and owned the valuable property known as Spring Farm near Luray. Daniel Strickler, also known as Col. Daniel Strickler, was married twice, his first wife being a Miss Buswell, his second a Mrs. Elizabeth Painter (widow). They had no children. He had one sister, Magdalene, and she died a young woman not married.

"I have given the location of grandfather's brothers, Joseph, Benjamin and John, on the South River, but cannot give the details of their families. I am aware that my friend Miley knows more in detail than I do.

"My great grandfather Abraham Strickler was the great patriarch or progenitor of all the Stricklers named in this section of the country. The old stock of Stricklers were an intelligent and highly respected people and some of them held high offices, both civil and military, with both credit to themselves and to their country.

"I, Adam Strickler, was born the 5th day of March, 1812, and am now in my eighty-second year.



He died March 12, 1894, and hence this sketch was written between March 5, 1893, and March 12, 1894, very probably the early part of 1894.



From Forerunners, pp. 19-20:


Mr. Lee Strickler tells me that his father, Adam Strickler, had in his possession at one time a very old paper known as a passport or a trader'spass that enabled Abraham Strickler to pass from Pennsylvania to Virginia. He thinks his father gave the old paper to a relative from the West when on a visit in Virginia. I am sorry it was not preserved, as the date on it might disclose when Abraham first came to Virginia. It is quite likely, I think, that the first settlers made many trips to the Massanutten country before deciding to locate there. They doubtless hunted and traded with the Indians. In 1744 Abraham Strickler brought suit against one Garret Pendergrass for twenty-two pounds and ten shillings, the price of three hundred pounds weight of good merchantable deer skins (Order Book No. 1, p. 76. Winchester). The old paper was called sometimes a "trader's pass," and no doubt Abraham Strickler traded with the Indians at Massanutten many years before he located permanently in Virginia and needed the pass as he traveled from one colony to the other. Some one informed me that he was of the opinion that the old paper had been photographed. If this be true, a negative might be found in Luray.

Mr. Lee Strickler also tells me that his father had quite a number of old deeds and papers; that he remembers the passport especially; that it was a curiosity and enabled Abraham to travel between Pennsylvania and Virginia with a load of fur. He also thinks it was photographed. He says his father was a good marksman and that he thinks Chas. Brubaker has his father's old rifle. He gave his father's powder horn to Frank Strickler and has preserved his father's pocket inkstand and case with the quill pen he made.




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This page created on 07/16/01 11:02. Updated 06/06/05 21:15.