What did Ulrich do after he arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1749?
While this time period of his life is very sketchy we can surmise that by the mid 1750’s he joined other Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants as they moved into the then undeveloped areas of what is today Carroll County, Maryland. Since his first marriage occurred about 1757 he was probably hoping like many of the settlers to lease land from Lord Baltimore for one cent an acre, clear and plant crops and eventually purchase a small farm for his growing family. The first record we have for him is in 1766 when he purchased 100 acres from Joseph Dyer. This acreage was part of a tract of 1,169 acres called “Dyer’s Mill Forest” patented to Joseph Dyer in 1763. Several German families resided on portions of “Dyer’s Mill Forest”. They included the Bankert, Yingling, and Leman families. We can speculate because settlers often traveled in closely related family groups that one or all of them may have been related to Ulrich either from Switzerland or through his first wife whose surname, regrettably, we do not know. Our best guess then is that between 1749 to 1766 Ulrich was working hard, clearing land for a farm and beginning a family.
The tiny community growing up on Dyer’s Mill Forest took its name from a creek that flowed through it called Silver Run. Social activities revolved around common interests and included gathering in homes to worship God although several different denominations were represented. As they grew the lack of a local church was remedied in the autumn of 1761 when a small log building was erected along Silver Run using 15 acres from Dyer’s Mill Forest deeded to the “Dutch Congregation of Silver Run” by Joseph Dyer. The church, called St. Mary’s, was known as a Union Church because it served two different congregations, Lutheran and Reformed. The crude log structure was well built and survived for almost 60 years until 1821 when replaced by another building. While there is no evidence Ulrich Huffstutter ever belonged to a church we can be certain he participated in community activities around Silver Run and in the log church thus providing a small insight into his life during this time.
Continuing with the research clues provided by a study of Dyer’s Mill Forest it is good to examine old maps showing the patent tract names for surrounding farms. Close by was the adjoining tract called “Lewis’ Luck” just to the northwest of “OHaras Inheritance”. They were near “Youngblood’s Choice” which has a date of 1743, and “Resurvey on High Germany” 1752/53. Further details of the surrounding tracts are given by a deed made in 1837 when Abraham Koontz sold real estate to Joseph Warner for $1,188.77. The land in this sale included tracts totaling over 172 acres neighboring each other. These included Dyer’s Mill Forest, part Shumaker’s Lot, part Brown’s Neglect, and part Lewis’ Luck. Also mentioned are a boundary corner of St Mary’s Church [sic Silver Run] and lines running to the beginning of Bell’s Choice. Another detail was a stone on the south side of the turnpike leading from Westminster to Littlestown. [Carroll County, Maryland – Land Record Abstracts Liber WW-1 – 1837-1838 243]. The land tracts offer an interesting clue to Ulrich’s background by studying the owners surnames. For example “Brown’s Neglect” was owned by Daniel Brown who died and left a will in Frederick County, Maryland. Witnesses to Brown’s will included, Henry O’Hara, George Koontz, Mathias Snyder and Jacob Yingling who was named executor. Looking more closely a consideration of the possible Brown inter-connections reveals Henry OHara Jr., b.1767, married Margaret Brown, the daughter of Henry Brown, born circa 1740. Henry's sister was Rachel Brown, b. l742, who married Capt. Michael McGuire discussed in a previous blog on this site. It was to Michael McGuire that Ulrich Huffstutter sold his acreage in Dyer's Mill Forest.
These families were neighbors of Ulrich providing more names to consider for kinship to Ulrich, his first wife as well as a glimpse of how he may have met his second wife Mary Baxter, whose mother was a Brown. Perhaps, through learning more about the “neighborhood” of Silver Run we can discover the details of Ulrich’s personal life between 1749 to 1766.