ABRAHAM FLURY YORK COUNTY, PA
| Abraham Flury is one of the three families featured in Walter Bunderman’s classic text on the Flory families in America. For the past few years I have been busy researching and updating information about the family and am sharing the revised material here for the first time. It is now divided into four sections: (1) York County PA (Abraham); (2) Philadelphia/Berks County (Jacob): (3) Rhineland Palatinate, Germany; and (4) Hagendorf, Canton Solothurn Switzerland. To view the other sections, click on the appropriate link.
Those who want to drive by the colonial home Abraham and Susanna built in 1771 should go soon. While it sits in a pastoral setting that has changed very little since the colonial period, this will not last forever as the property is just off a major highway that will eventually be converted to other uses. While it is an occupied private residence, it can be seen from the street. Direction to the home and property is provided. The house and cemetery where Abraham, Susanna and many of their children are buried is on the original 250 acres and was once known as the Flury cemetery. For more about this house, click on the Abraham Flury home.
If you are interested in this family, please contact me:
DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MY FATHER, JAMES HORACE FLORA, AND ANOTHER DESCENDENT OF DANIEL FLORA, ALMA FLORA MOSBY
As a student I disliked history, which focused mostly on wars, until my father showed me how it affected our family. It took only one trip to the history center of the Knox County, Tennessee library to learn that my dad’s father served in the Spanish American War, his grandfather had served in the Civil War and his great-grandfather had served in the War of 1812. When we visited the log cabins, cemeteries and churches in the hill country of upper East Tennessee, I knew I was hooked on family history.
All of us who descend from Abraham’s son Daniel Flora (b. 1741) of Rogersville, Tennessee know of the passion of Alma Flora Mosby in researching the family. She provided me and others with many of the colonial estate records of Abraham and Susanna. I think of her first when I make a major discovery like finding their colonial home in Wrightsville and making the European connection.
ABRAHAM FLURY/FLORY (1710 – 1777) & SUSANNA NEFF (1717- 1777) WRIGHTSVILLE, HELLAM TWP, YORK, PA
In 1743 Abraham and his wife Susanna lived with his father Jacob Flury/Flory in Bally (Berks Co) PA. Information about the early life of Abraham and Susanna Flory is in that section. Their descendents are fortunate to have factual evidence that vividly portrays their family, home and life style in the Providence of Pennsylvania. These legal records and documents, combined with histories of the families they bonded with through church and intermarriage, provide a window into their world more than 275 years ago.
The names and birthdates of their 14 children were listed in the old German bible that named Jacob as the father of Abraham. When the estate was settled, 12 of the 14 children were named in the estate documents. These dates correspond with cemetery records and other legal documents. German speaking people wrote their documents in Swiss German but the law required an English translation.
1. ISAAC (1 FEB 1740 – 9 Jul 1809) m. (1) Marilis (2) Elizabeth
2. JACOB (30 OCT 1742 – Mar 1813) m. Eve
3. BARBARA (29 AUG 1743) m. John Barnhart
4. ABRAHAM II (4 JUL 1746 – Nov 1822) m. Martelena
5. ELISABETH (3 NOV 1746 – Nov 1822) m. Christopher Newkomet (Newcomer)
6. HENRY (19 JUL 1749 – 4 Aug 1819) m. Rosanna Reiter (12 Feb 1760- 28 FEB 1854)
7. ESTHER (9 FEB 1751- 1785) m. Johannes Steiner
8. JOHN (22 JUN 1752 – Apr 1823) m. (1) Anna Kaufman (2) Anne Furry
9. DANIEL (17 DEC 1753 –1841) m. Anne Beidler (ca 1762-bef 1850)
10. PETER (13 APR 1755- BEF 1777). Not in estate settlement
11. SUSANNA (26 SEP 1758) m. John Newcomer
12. FRANZ (19 SEP 1760 – 7 MAR 1785)
13. LIES (10 JAN 1763-BEF 1777). Not in estate settlement.
14. MAGDALENA (20 FEB 1764 – 21 MAR 1787).
When Abraham and Susanna first moved to Hellam Twp in the summer of 1743 it was called Springettbury Manor after Springett Penn, the son of William Penn. The large three-story, clapboard covered colonial home (reminiscent of Williamsburg) was built by Abraham and Susanna in 1771 and is still occupied today as a private residence. The street sign is Bair Road and the maps say Bairs Mill Road. In addition to the house, there is a large barn, smoke house and the old house. There are many unusual things about their large stylish home. Later owners, Harry and Lois Daugherty, were thrilled with their home. It was featured in a 1973 York newspaper article that is in the York Historical Society library.
This house has an unusual date stone. Date stones usually contain the year and the first and last initials of the male, or the name of the male, but not the name of the wife. The Flory date stone has five centered lines with the following information: Erbauer, Von Abraham Flory, and Susana F in Jahr, 1771 (Built by Abraham Flory and Susana F in Year 1771). I believe this date stone was added later. All cemetery records and signatures of Abraham and his children spell the name Fluri (with an umlaut) or Flury but never Flory. The house became the property of one of Abraham’s sons when the estate was settled. A later descendant probably added the date stone.
Directions to the house from the town of Wrightsville: West on Hwy 462. Turn left on Bair Road after passing Cool Creek Country Club. It is the second house on the right. The once large stone house in the Germanic style is covered in clapboard. In 2002 the paint is pale blue with white trim and has been that for some years. When the Daugherty’s lived there it was painted brick red. From the front it appears to be two stories but the side view reveals three stories. The four windows above are centered over the windows and door below. The date stone is on the upper level to the left of the door below. It has 21 large windows and most have 12 (3 x 4) individual panes. This would have been expensive as homes were taxed on the number of window panes. This is now a private residence and the current owner wishes to protect her privacy.
Abraham owned 685 acres. The house sits on the first 250 acres bought from Quaker John Wright 14 May 1741. This date comes from the will of John Wright. It is not known where on Hwy 462 the Flory property started. Another researcher included all of part of the Cool Creek Country Club property as belonging to Abraham. I have not confirmed that. If so the house is situated in the center of the original 250 acres. Quaker John Wright owned all of the property from the Susquehanna River west along Hwy 462 to about Strickler Lane. All the land along the southside of Hwy 462 between Bair Road and Strickler Lane belonged to Abraham Flory. The first two parcels of land were adjoined, making a total of 410 acres.
In 2002, I was able to view the original colonial documents and maps of the Abraham Flory property. They are contained on enlarged brown parchment paper. Some outlined the entire property. Other documents related to the estate settlement and transfer of property. These documents are in the possession of a local Mennonite family whose ancestors purchased the property from the Jacob Flory estate (Abraham’s son). With these maps and documents it is possible to determine approximately where each of Abraham’s sons lived and the property each owned. Those who acquired their father’s property were Isaac, Jacob, Abraham II, John and Henry (before he moved to Perry County). They bought the shares from their sisters and their brother Daniel. All the sisters married into other Mennonite families. Daniel and his wife Anna (Nancy) Beidler moved to the State of N. C. which later became the Territory South of the Ohio River and then the state of TN.
These lands once owned by the Flury and Beidler family are in the very beautiful and pastoral Kreutz Creek valley. Most of the land and colonial period homes built by them and their descendents have been preserved. Kreutz Creek meanders through both of these properties. Even today green pastures meet woodlands that support lush vegetation and wild life. This is about to change. There is a struggle between those who would like to maintain their peaceful existence in this idyllic place and those who realize the value of this property and want to sell to developers, industrialists and etc. If you plan to visit, go soon before it changes forever.
The names and birth dates of their fourteen children come from the old German bible. These names and dates are verified by cemetery and public records. The Flory family held family reunions in York County and Perry County for many years. Frank Flory, historian for the Flory reunion, credits his great uncle Levi Flory, born 1830, with copying the names and converting them to English (Bunderman). These were passed out at the family reunions. The names from the list made their way across America.
SIGNATURE OF ABRAHAM FLURY ON LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Abraham was living in Berks CO (then Phil. CO) when he took the oath of allegiance in the city of Philadelphia in 1743. His signature was written in High German (Swiss) as Fluri with an umlaut). His signature stayed the same throughout his life time. In 1775, two years before his death, his signature looked just as it did in 1743. His signature was listed in York County on the three documents below. These documents also provide information about his relationship with others in Hellam Twp.
1. An English court document in York Co shows that on Jan 17 1759, Anna Elisabetha Cooper renounced her rights to be the administrator of the estate of her husband, Cornelius Cooper (deceased). She chose Abraham Flury and Jacob Strickler as administrators. Abraham’s signature is seen once on the estate inventory and again on the estate settlement. More about Annele is included in the Jacob Flury section.
2. Ulrich Beidler died intestate in 1749 and the estate was settled in 1757. His wife was Barbara and her maiden name is unknown. Barbara chose Abraham Flury and Michael Swartz as witnesses. They affirmed the age of Anna Beidler, the oldest daughter who was born in 1728 when all three of these families lived in Phil/Berks County. In 1757 all three of them owned adjoining properties in York County. Michael Swartz bought property adjoining Peter Beidler, Ulrich’s brother. This suggests a family relationship. Michael may be her brother. He does not fit into any of the Schwartz/Swartz families listed in the R. W. Davis books. I think the wives of Abraham Flury and Ulrich Beidler may be sisters with the last name Schwartz. More will be said about this in the Jacob Flury section.
3. In 1775 Abraham and Susanna sold 10 acres to Jost Reep. This land had been bought two years earlier from Daniel Naef (no relation). This signature is the last available and is also in Swiss German.
DEATH OF ABRAHAM AND SUSANNA
Both Abraham and Susanna died between Jan – Jun 1777 without leaving a will. Their executors and/or administrators were to appear before the July session of the Court. On July 25 1777, Isaac Flury, Abraham Flury II, Christian Stoner and Peter Boyer (witnesses) appeared before Archibald McLean, Register for the Probate of Wills and paid a 1,000 LB. bond. :
“Letters of Administration were granted to Isaac Flury and Abraham Flury for the Estate of Abraham Flury (the elder) late of York county Yeoman deceased; Inventory to be exhibited into the Registers Office at York on or before the Twenty fifth Day of August next and an account or Reckoning on or before the Twenty Fifth Day of July next. Given under my hand and the Seal of the said office at York the 25th day of July 1777. Arch. McLean Register.
Since the court met quarterly, Abraham and Isaac probably appeared in the April court to have a date set for the July court. This would indicate that Abraham and Susanna died unexpectedly between Jan and Mar 31. Given the size of the large estate, it seems that Abraham would have made a will if he expected to die soon. Abraham was age 67 and Susanna about age 60.
This must have been a difficult time for the family as the Revolutionary war was raging all around. The British entered Philadelphia on September 25. In 1777 and the Continental Congress fled to York town to set up their new headquarters. They would have taken the Great Road (Hwy 462) from Philadelphia and passed by the Flury property on their way to York town.
ABRAHAM FLURY ESTATE INVENTORY (PARTIAL)
CLOTHING: 57 LBS. The first item is the clothing of the old man deceased. It included a great coat, hat and boots valued at 16 LBS. The clothing of the old woman deceased 41 LBS. This is quite a large amount.
BOOKS: 16 LBS. This is also quite a large amount.
BEDS: 27 LBS. The home had seven beds with bedsteads. Bedding, pillow cases and blankets were also mentioned.
KITCHEN FURNITURE AND UNTENSILS: 13 LBS. The kitchen furniture and utensils were lumped together. The house had built in kitchen cupboards and shelving.
OTHER FURNITURE AND ITEMS: 26 LBS. Clock, (8 LBS) stove and pipe, (9 LBS) three dressers, walnut chest, chest of drawers, another chest, table cloths, tea cups, teapots and cupboard in the stove room (parlor).
WORKROOM ITEMS AND MATERIALS: 32 LBS. 2 Spinning wheels and a big wheel, 2 weaver looms and faklins (?), linen for tablecloths, 60 yards of linen cloth, 39 yards of yarn, linsey (?) and white flannel cloth, 38 lbs. of wool, 22 lbs. of woolen yarn, 4 lbs cotton, three miscellaneous boxes with sundries.
LIVESTOCK: 143 LBS. 8 Horses and Colts 83 LBS. 17 cows and calves 42 LBS. 15 Sheep and lambs at 13 LBS. 5 Hogs 5 LBS.
MAJOR CROPS: 147 LBS. Winter grain 37 LBS. Clean wheat: 30 LBS. Hemp: 44 LBS. Oats: 30 LBS. Flax: 6 LBS.
FARM AND MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS: Wagon (15 LBS – it may be a plantation wagon). Note from John Dorman. Continental dollars: 16. Windmill, small still, brass kettle and washing tub, old stove, man saddle and side saddle, riffle with powder horn, gun, walnut boards, clap boards, pine boards, wagon, carts, numerous tools, barrels, 45 lbs. soap, bees wax, deer skin, plow and sled, wide assortment of farm implements tools and miscellaneous items.
The inventory referred to a stove room and the other room. Visitors were normally entertained in the stove room which the English called parlor. The other room might be like our present day family room. The records mention the plantation home as well as the old house. The outline of the old house can be seen at the back of the colonial home. It underwent renovation and change over the years. With such a large family, it is doubtful that they lived in the same house for 28 years before building the plantation home. When their family was small they may have lived in a small house for a few years and either added on to it or built a replacement house. Like the house, their possessions exceed most of the estate inventories for 1775-1785 in the area. The inventory is expressed in English Pound Sterling, Shillings and Pence. Value 574:4:6 LBs.
LOCATING THE ABRAHAM FLURY REAL ESTATE
Acquiring land in PA in the Colonial period was a three step process starting with a warrant, survey and patent. The warrant gave the right to occupy the land. The survey granted more land than was requested to allow for roads and water rights. The patent was expensive and was not acquired for years due to legal difficulties peculiar to the Penn Colony. The Penn family did not want to banish the Indians from their land and took great efforts to try and secure an acceptable treaty that took years. Then there was a dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland over who owned the land west of the Susquehanna River. And there was the big problem of the Penn Family Quit Rent System. Abraham lived in the heart of Springettbury Manor, a special reserve set aside for the Penn family. Due to the Revolutionary war and problems mentioned above, lengthy court battles ensued. Titles for the last two tracts of land could not be obtained until 1810. For more information on these issues, The Manor of Springettbury, York, County, Vol. 6, by Neal Otto Hively is an excellent source.
Abraham II and Isaac transferred 658.75 acres of land to their siblings. Transfers of deeds occurred in 1781 and the final settlement took place in 1785. All the signatures are in German except for Abraham Flury II which is in English. The husbands of the daughters signed in German.
The property is as follows:
250 Acres purchased from John Wright – 1741 (Deed Book B, p. 118)
This land was taken from two pieces of land owned by John Wright. John Wright died before he received the patent he had applied for. This land is listed in the names of James Wright (brother) and Eleanor Wright (widow) who were the executors of the estate. Since this land was taken from two separate tracks owned by John Wright, both are mentioned. The actual acreage was 250 acres plus a 6% increase for roads, etc.
Survey S-379, Lancaster Warrant Register: B43, Warrant 22 DEC 1736, 350 acres to Samuel Blunston. Survey (not dated), 353 acres to Samuel Blunston Patent: (SP 578) DEC 29 1736 (date applied) James and Eleanor Wright AA-2-185; c-224-75, 76.
Survey S-380, Lancaster Warrant Register: B-43 Warrant: 22 DEC 1736 300 acres to John Wright, assignee of Samuel Blunston. Survey (not dated) to John Wright. Patent: (SP =579) Dec 29, 1736, 302 acres to James and Eleanor Wright, AA 2- 185, C-224-75, 77 York 6104.
In 1741 John Wright sold Abraham Flury 250 acres for 250 English LBS and gave him a receipt. Since John Wright had not been granted the patent, he could not give Abraham a deed. Since Quakers did not swear oaths, he gave his written bond that stated he would give Abram Flury title to the property whenever the Proprietors enabled him to do so. In 1749 John Wright made a will and instructed his executors (wife Eleanor and his brother James Wright) to see that Abraham Flury got his title to the property:
1749 John Wright will: “Memorandum that the above named “Abraham Flury has paid and discharged the sum of two hundred and fifty Pounds being the full purchase money for the land mentioned in the above Bond to be sold to him by me the Subscriber and that whenever I am enabled to make him a Title I will do it without any further demands of payment for the said land as witness my hand this 20th day of June 1749. John Wright.
York County Court House, York, PA, Deed Book b, p. 118. Testimony of James Wright: “We the subscribers do certify that the above memorandum or receipt is a true copy of a certain writing endorsed or wrote upon a certain Bond or writing obligatory entered into by and within mentioned John Wright deceased to the said Abraham Flury conditioned that he the said John Wright and his heirs executors or administrators should make title to the said Abraham Flury for the two hundred and fifty acres of land within mentioned when a Patent for the same could be procured and for quiet enjoyment in the meantime which memorandum or receipt was signed by the said John Wright in the presence of the subscriber James Wright and the same Bond bearing date of the Fourteenth Day of May Ano Dom 1741 now remains in our hands.”
This property lies along the Lincoln Hwy (462) and includes at least the crooked loop from Bair Road to Strickler Road to Strickler Lane to Hwy 462 and back (left) to Bair Road. Sons Isaac, Jacob, John and Abraham II all lived along this crooked loop.
145.5 ACRES GIVEN BY THE PROPRIETORS
Survey S-360 Lower Windsor – Hellam Twp.
York Warrant – May 10, 1751, 100 acres to Abraham Fleuree
Survey: Jan 18, 1753, 145.80 acres to Abraham Fleuree
Patent: March 6, 1804 to John R. Coates (Penn Representative)
This property adjoins the above property on the back. To view it, go down Bairs Road and turn on to Strickler School Road and go up the hill toward Mt. Pisgah.
118 acres Patented by Penn Agent John R. Coates
Survey S-345 Lancaster Warrant Register: G1-A
Warrant: Blunston License, Oct 30 1736, 200 acres to Methusalem Griffith
Survey: 16 Jan 1763, 234.98 acres to above.
Patent: March 6, John R. Coates (Penn agent) 12 Dec 1810. 118 acres conveyed by deed to Abraham Flory, York Deed 2-V298. Also York Deed 2-B-274. (SP 121.64 acres to John Houser.) This property is on a hill on the right side of Hwy. 482 going west from Wrightsville. This property was sold to John Hauser/Houser. It can be reached by going north on Cool Springs Rd. to Dark Hollow Rd to Hauser school Road.
145.25 Acres Patented to Henry Flory
Survey S-346, York Warrant Register S-47,
Warrant 31 May 1762, 100 acres to John Demott
Patent: March 6, 1804 to John R. Coates (Penn agent) D-63-225
Henry acquired 145.25 acres of property in the estate settlement but sold it to George Ernold/Arnold and moved to Perry Co. York deed: 3-1-476. This Arnold property adjoined the property sold to John Houser on the back side and is on a high ridge opposite the side from Mt. Pisgah. The 1750 Anderson Ferry Road goes through this property. This is also the start of Kreutz Creek. It flows downhill, crosses the Lincoln Hwy and meanders through the Ulrich Beidler property, the Abraham Flury property and the Eleanor Wright (widow) property before emptying into the Susquehanna River.
For persons wishing to trace all the property listed above, the ADC YORK County Street Map book contains 55 enlarged pages of maps for York County. Without it, I would not have found many of these places. These maps are sold locally at gas stations that sell snacks and other items.
FLURY CEMETERY RENAMED STRICKLER CEMETERY
The Strickler cemetery is on land originally owned by Abraham Flory. It is near the corner of Strickler Lane and Hwy 462. A black wrought iron fence encloses the front of the cemetery and an old wire fence in the back. The Flury family and children were buried on this property for many years before anyone named Strickler was buried there.
Jacob Flury (1685-aft 1749), the father of Abraham was age 64 in 1749. He and his wife are probably buried here. Annele (Abraham’s sister) is buried here. She may have buried her first and second husbands in the cemetery (Cornelius Cooper died 1759 and Reist). The two sons of Abraham and Susanna that died in childhood (Peter and Lies) would be buried here along with Franz (d. 1785) and Magdalena (d. 1787). There is no evidence that sons Jacob (1740-1813) and John (1752-1823) are buried here. Daniel (1805-1893) and his wife Lydia (1818-1865), along with their son William (1850-1852), are the only descendents of Isaac Flury buried here. Isaac’s only son Jacob is buried in the Freystown Reformed Cemetery. Abraham III (1777-1832) and wife Catherine Herr (1780-1849) are here.
In the early 1990s, I had a chance to talk to the caretaker about missing headstones. He pointed to the back wire fence and told me that many old broken fieldstone markers had been thrown across the fence. He outlined where the oldest had been buried that no longer had stones. Their graves were just behind the Flury family plots. They were in the direction of the house and toward the back fence.
Abraham Flory II (1746-1822) acquired the property that ran along the turnpike (highway) from his father’s estate and that included the family cemetery. In his will (Deed Book O, p. 495, Nov 5, 1822,) Abraham II made provision for the cemetery to extend to the turnpike. He also made provision for two head stones for $20. These stones were for him and his wife. He left $100 to the Menoist (Mennonite) congregation. The rest was to go to his children. The cemetery was not extended to the turnpike and his heirs sold that property. A brick house was built on that property before the civil war. About 2002 the property was completely renovated and a tall garage was added. Since then the view of the cemetery from the highway is blocked by the house, separate garage and the tall cedar trees that surround the cemetery.
Unfortunately the headstone for Abraham Flury broke and has now been cleared away. He and Susanna had identical shaped field stones. His said “Abraham Flury 1777.” Her stone said “Susanna F.” It is still possible to locate Abraham’s burial site as he was buried between his wife Susanna and daughter Esther Steiner (E. Steiner 1783). Annele Reistin, Abraham’s sister, (died 1775) is buried in the oldest section near Abraham and his family. The “in” is sometimes placed after the last names of Swiss females. Son Abraham II (d. 1822) was buried in the oldest section near his parents. Son Isaac (d. 1809) has the most ornate stone marker with German writing. Some of the descendents of Abraham II and Isaac are also buried here. In the 1930s, this cemetery was surveyed and the Flury/Flory names are listed in the survey (p. 193-195). This survey is among the holdings of the York County Historical Society library.
ANCESTORS OF SUSANNA NEFF FLURY
Parents: Henry Neff (ca 1683-1750) wife Barbara of Hempfield Twp. (Manor Twp earlier) Children: Magdalena, Barbara, Henry, Elisabeth, John Susanna, Daniel and Jacob.
Grandfather Heinrich Naf (ca 1650 –aft 1685). He was an apprentice carpenter living with his father at Markirch, Alsace (tax lists). He was living at Ohnenheim in 1679. He was listed as an Anabaptist on census lists at Ibersheim, Germany for 1683 and 1685 with four children.
Great grandfather: Adam Naf (13 May 1613-1669). He was born at Kappel, Canton Zurich, Switzerland. He died in Ohnenheim, Alsace. He was reported to be an Anabaptist living in Alsace in 1659. He was the father of Heinrich above and the five children below:
(1) Elisabeth Naf (b 6 Oct 1639), Kappel.
(2) Dorothea (18 Jul 1641).
(3) Adam (29 Jan 1643 – 7 Jan 1647), Kappel.
(4)Hans Jacob (b 20 Oct. 1644), Kappel. He moved to Alsace and then to the Pfalz.
(5) Ragula (b ca 1652) was living in Baldenheim, Alsace when she converted to the Reformed religion and claimed her father’s confiscated property in Kappel, Canton Zurich, Switzerland (RWD, III, p. 361).