14 October 2005

Great Philadelphia Wagon Road

The enticement of land grants drew many families to the unsettled boundaries of the colonies. Most of these settlers traveled by way of the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road often taking one of the many adjoining trails to their destination. Urban was no different, by 1766 he took his family and settled in Mecklenburg Co., NC where he acquired a land patent, although he may have settled as early as 1762 no documentation had been found to confirm this circumstance. During this time North Carolina offered Crown Grants to the colonists. This may have involved several steps over a lengthy period of time and the payment of money for several services. A claim, application, or petition would have been made which would have involved marking the proposed boundaries and notifying the granting authority of the desired claim of which there may have been a fee paid. A period occurs when other claimants or neighbors identify and settle disputes. Improvements to the land may have been required as a condition to retain the property. There may have been additional waiting periods built-in as some patents were being processed in batches. The granting authority would then make a land warrant entitling the land to be surveyed. This order, sometimes issued directly to the surveyor would then be carried out. A survey or plat made by the surveyor would either be copied into or attached to the final grant documents. A fee was usually paid to the surveyor. The formal issuance and recording of the title would then be made by the granting authority in the form of a patent. Final fees were probably paid to close the deal.

Urban's Life in York County, PA

Little is known about Urban's life in York Co., PA. On 7 March 1746/1747 Urban was involved in a boundary dispute with ________ McCOOKSON over land which sold for £ 5.0.0. Details of this dispute or its settlement are unclear but abstracts listed him as "Urbanus ASHLEBRENER". In 1749 Urban appeared as a witness in the will of John HENDRICKSON of Dover Township on 21 January. This will record his name as "Urban ASHBURNER". The most important remnant of his life in York County happened on 12 April 1754. John BALTE of Roxbury [Roxburro], Philadelphia Co., PA, died and left a will that was probated on 23 September 1758. In this will the following family members and abstracts were recorded:
  1. Mary Sophia - "To wife Mary Sophia my improvement and personal estate. At her death it is to be sold and divided into 2 equival parts, one to Urban Eschennbrenner and the other to Conrad Krider. If Conrad dies before his age or has no issue, his share goes to children of Urban."
  2. Jacob (his son)
  3. Urban ESHENBRENNER - "to son-in-law Urban Eshenbrenner after my wife's decease my great Dutch Bible and one small iron pot."
  4. Abraham KRIDER (son-in-law)
  5. Conrad KRIDER (nephew)
  • Executors: Mary Sophia BALTE, Thomas Looslee MILLER
  • Witnesses: Daniel BERNDELLER, Benjamin LEVERING, John BOWMAN

This will solved many important issues and framed some abstract clues into chronological sense. I would be very interested in finding John BALTE's great Dutch Bible. This bible might hold keys to understanding where this family originated from. If Urban received this bible and it survived through time, it may have gone down one of the STAMEY family lines. I also have some belief that it is possible that his wife, Mary Sophia, is of the KRIDER family. Conrad was a nephew but I have not found any evidence to confirm which side he comes from.