A short history of the Frederick family who came from the Rhine Palatinate to Pennsylvania and finally Wayne and Medina County, Ohio

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Our Frederick Family History

The original form of the name was Friederich, from German meaning "son of a peaceful ruler", derived from frid- "peace" and ric- "ruler". Several rulers of Prussia, Germany and the Holy Roman Empire have borne this name, including the 13th-century patron of the arts Frederick II of Germany, and the 18th-century Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. In the early records of Pennsylvania the name is spelled as Friederich.

Our ancestor Johann George Friederick was born in the Rhine Palatinate about 1710. The Palatinate was given its name when Emperor Frederick I bestowed the title of Count Palatine on his half-brother Conrad in 1156. The area covers about 2,100 square miles extending from the left bank of the Rhine River and the borders France on the south and Saarland and Luxembourg on the west. Today it is known for its wines. The Rhine Palatinate flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries but the Thirty Years War and the war with Louis XIV devastated the region in plunged it into poverty. In the early 18th century many Palatinates left Germany for America. George Frederick and at least one son, Noah, made their way from Germany to Rotterdam, Netherlands and in 1732 sailed aboard the "Loyal Judith" crossing the Atlantic and sailing up the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River to Philadelphia, arriving in Pennsylvania on September 25, 1732. The journey would have taken several months. George took the oath of allegiance to Pennsylvania, as was required by all foreign immigrants, and apparently settled in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. He died in Earle Township in 1771 outliving his son Noah by fifteen years.

Noah was born a few years before his father brought him to America. He married Margaretha Becker in 1751 and settled on Swatara Creek at Swatara Gap north of today's Lebanon, Pensylvania. Until the beginning of the French and Indian War, the southern ridge of the Allegheny Mountains marked the traditional boundry to Shawnee Indian lands to the north and white settlements to the south. In 1756 a raiding party of Shawnee, as part of their alliance with the French, attacked many of the farms and settlements in the area of what was then Lancaster County, on the leading edge of the American frontier. On October 12, 1756 ten Shawnee warriors attacked Noah and his family while he was plowing his field. His five or six year old son Thomas and perhaps two other Frederick children were carried off. Noah died of his wounds shortly after the attack, but was able to make a will, which was probated in Lancaster County in 1759. Noah's wife and daughters survived the attack and she later moved to Baltimore and remarried.

A few days after the attack Adam Read of Lancaster County wrote to the Pennsylvania Provincial Council pleading for assistance and protection from the attacks. He wrote, "Friends and fellow subjects, I send you, in a few lines, the melancholy condition of the frontiers of this county. Last Tuesday, the 12th of this month ten Indians came on Noah Frederick plowing in his field, killed and scalped him and carried away three of his children that was with him, the eldest but nine years old, plundered his house and carried away everything that suited their purpose, such as cloths, bread, butter a saddle and a good rifle gun [his house] being two short miles from Captain Smith's fort at Swatawro Gap, and a little better than two from my house." Read's account was not entirely accurate and the number of kidnapped children seems questionable since no other source mentions them.

Thomas Frederick lived among the Indians for several years and given the Shawnee name Kee-saw-so-so. In 1763 when he was twelve and after the French and Indian war had ended, the British forced the Indians to return their white prisoners. Young Thomas was upset to lose his foster Shawnee family. The British took the former prisoners to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to be reclaimed. There was no one in Lancaster to claim young twelve-year-old Thomas, and a Quaker shoemaker named Benjamin Stone took him in. Thomas took the Stone name and as a young man worked as a traveling shoe repairman. During his journeys Thomas talked about his past in the hopes of finding his mother. Eventually someone who knew his mother, heard his story and lead him to her. His mother recognized Thomas by a scar on his neck from a boil that his father once lanced. Thomas married Ann Margaret Tibbins about 1773 and the couple lived for a while in Laurelton, Union County, Pennsylvania. Thomas served during the Revolution as part of the Pennsylvania Militia Frontier Rangers. After the war, he and his family moved to Northumberland County sold his farm goods by moving them down river on barges. Later, Thomas moved his family west following the American frontier and settled in the newly opened lands of Ohio and in 1807 he acquired land in Columbiana County, near Lisbon, Ohio. Thomas and Ann had eight sons, Thomas, Jacob, George, Henry, William, Noah, John and Samuel. The names of his four daughters are uncertain but it is likely three were Elizabeth, Margaret and Polly (Mary). All of his children were probably born in Pennsylvania. Thomas Sr. died in Columbiana County in 1808 at the age of fifty-seven. Shortly before his death he purchased twelve parcels of land, one for each of his children.

Thomas Jr. was born in (Union County?), Pennsylvania on December 1, 1778 and on May 2, 1804 he married Elizabeth Shank. When the second war with Britain errupted Thomas volunteered (August 24, 1812) with Captain Samuel Martin's Company, 2nd Regiment (Hindman's) of the Ohio Militia, formed to protect the Ohio frontier from the Indian allies of the British. Brother Noah also joined Captain Martin's company and Jacob was a Major in charge of supplies for General William Henry Harrison during the campaign in the Northwest Territories during the autumn of 1812. Thomas and Noah were discharged from the militia on November 30, 1812. Three times, 1854, 1855 and 1871 Thomas applied for a pension based on his service. Thomas and his family removed from Columbiana County to Chippewa Township, Wayne County, Ohio in 1813. He and his family were among the earliest settlers in northern Wayne County. Ben Douglass' History of Wayne County, Ohio, published in 1878 says of Thomas, "He planted the first cherry-tree in the township, which grew to the height of one-hundred feet and is now living. He was a famous pedestrian, and equally famous hunter, killing bears, wolves, deer in immense numbers. He was a member of the Lutheran church and a worthy citizen and Christian Man." On February 2, 1836 Thomas bought land in the north half of section 69 in Sharon Township and owned the land until his death in 1871. He died in the home of his son Henry in Chippewa Township. His will was probated on August 11, 1871 and his estate was appraised at over $34,000, a very large sum for the time. His wife Elizabeth died some years before Thomas. The children of Thomas and Elizabeth were Harriet, Margaret, Reason, Dorothy, Rachael, Mathew E., William F., Henry, Catherine, Sarah A., Elizabeth, Mary A., Jacob and Sophia.

My great great grandmother Sophia Frederick was born about 1808 in Columbiana County, Ohio and grew up mostly in Chippewa Township in Wayne County. She married Charles Wall on December 17, 1829 in Baughman Township, Wayne County. Sophia died on August 23, 1886 in Sharon Township, Medina County and is buried in the cemetery south of Sharon Center. Sophia and Charles had ten children, Jonas, John, Christian, Saloma, Thomas, Reason, Charles who died in infancy, William who died at the age of four, Margaret who died at the age of one and Franklin Wall.

Ronald N. Wall
Modified: 05 July 2020