THE JÄGER FAMILY

It is ironic that a history should serve to create confusion in presenting its facts. Such is the case in "A Brief History of the Yeager, Buffington, Creighton, Jacobs, Lemon, Hoffman and Woodside Families and their Collateral Kindred of Pennsylvania" by James M. Yeager (1912). The book outlines family lines, giving dates and relationships with a sense of authority, but does not generally name the source of the information. Research shows that many of the relationships given are incorrect, so one must be cautious in accepting any of the data. Records at Lachen in the District of Neustadt in the Palatinate, Germany, show that, on February 11, 1755, Andreas Jäger, being Jacob Jäger's son left behind, was married to Anna Barbara, being Philipp Schuster's daughter. "Anna Barbara was born February 15, 1733, to Philipp Schuster and Anna Helena, citizens from here."

The births of four daughters have been found - Johanna Maria, November 24, 1755 (died), Anna Maria, January 10, 1757, Maria Christina, November 27, 1758, and Anna Barbara, January 24, 1761. Andreas Jager and his growing family left Germany for Pennsylvania on the ship, Brittania, arriving on September 26, 1764. His signature on signing the oath of allegiance corresponds to that on a deed in Northumberland County twenty two years later. Records at the Reformed Church, Whitpain, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, show that a son John, was born January 28, 1766; while those at the Wentz Reformed Church, Worcester Township, show that a daughter, Elizabeth, was born February 26, 1768.

In 1772 Andreas and Barbara Yager bought 49 acres of land in Worcester Township, which they sold on December 5, 1774. They then settled in Lancaster County, in the township of Upper Paxtang, which was to become part of Dauphin County in 1785. Andreas served in the Militia during the Revolution, being recruited into the 4th battalion of the Lancaster Associators in 1776. His wife died on July 27, 1779, her death being recorded at St. David's Reformed Church, Killinger. Andreas is also supposed to be buried at St. David's but there is no stone there now. Documents on file at the D.A.R., Washington, D.C., state that he was born on July 5, 1730, in Lachen and died on August 15, 1790, in Dauphin County. The source may well have been a tombstone. It is a fact that Andrew Yeager witnessed the will of George Neagle of Upper Paxtang on July 28, 1790, and that he was not listed in the first U. S. census, taken that summer. Andreas had remarried after his first wife's death. A deed dated August 3, 1786, between Andreas and Catherine Jäger and Michael Moyer gives their residence as Mahoney Township, Northumberland County. This is just across the county line from Upper Paxtang, where they were selling their 225 acres. However there are no estate papers filed in either Dauphin or Northumberland Counties.

For the children of Andreas and Barbara Jäger we are forced to return to the J. M. Yeager book. He gives them as Matthias, Christopher, John, Daniel, Mrs. William Swabb, Mrs. Shoop, Mrs. Moyer. It is not known where this list originates; however, the description of the daughters by married names suggests a will or other estate related documents. The source could also be the memory of some grandchild. We believe that Christopher Jäger of upper Paxtang was in fact the son of Andreas. The land conveyed to Michael Moyer by Andreas was later in the same year conveyed from Michael and Barbara Moyer to Stophel (i.e., Christopher) Yeager. Barbara Moyer therefore seems to be the Mrs. Moyer above, and the Barbara born 1761 to Andreas. She and her husband transferred Andreas' land to brother Christopher for some reason. There are also examples of Christopher acting as sponsor at baptisms of grandchildren of Andreas. Christopher was confirmed at St. David's in Upper Paxtang in 1780, aged 17. This would place his birth in 1763, probably just before the family left their home in Germany. In 1782 the next two children Johan, 16, and Elizabeth, 14, were confirmed at the same church. We know from the will of Christian Snoke in 1786 that his daughter Eva Catherine was married to Christopher Yeager. The Schnug family is described in the records of the Bindnagle Church in Derry Township, Lancaster County. Christian was born August 18, 1740, and was married by J. Caspar Stoever, the famous lutheran preacher, to Catarina Boyer (Beyer), on April 10, 1764, at Lebanon. Eva Catherine was born on October 10, 1767. The births of the children of Christopher and Eva Catherine Jager were recorded at three churches in the Upper Paxtang area - St. David's, at Killinger, St. John's at Berrysburg, and the Lutheran Church at Salem. Anna Maria was born in 1787, Elizabeth in 1788, Johannes in 1791, Christopher in 1792, Elizabeth in 1797, Salome in 1799, Margaret on December 28, 1802 (at St. David's), and Daniel in 1808. Christopher Jäger died in 1811, Letters of Administration being filed on August 23rd. Orphan's Court Records note that the widow was Eve Catherine and children were - Christopher (eldest), Daniel, Catherine (married to Henry Myer), Mary (married to John Shoop), Susanna (married to George Shoop), Ann, Elizabeth, and Margaret. Margaret's court appointed guardian was her uncle, John Yeager. She later petitioned the court, on reaching the age of fourteen, to permit her to name Jacob Werth as her guardian. Being unable to write she marked a cross on the document. No record of her marriage to John Schwab has been found. The death certificates of both Catherine Durst and Mary Jane Wion of Centre County, Pennsylvania, name their parents as John Swabb and Margaret Yeager. What is known of the married life of Margaret is described in the Schwab Family.

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