Rainy Day Sleuthing
It’s been a gloomy day out, so it was just as well that I had some research to do. My friend Rob had gone to the dedication of the Revolutionary Vet Adam Swigart recently and wanted to find out where his property was located. We knew that the property had belonged to Russell Pieffer and his wife back in 1949 as the property was part of the DAR House Tour at that time:
“‘Mount Lofty Homestead,’ near Uniontown, is the next in line and is a portion of 250 acres which was sold by George Etzler, of Heidleburg, Pa., to Adam Schweigert for 665 lbs. English money on November 3, 1794. The house was built on or about 1800. The property is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Russell B. Pieffer, Waynesboro, Pa., members of Mrs. Pieffer’s family, the Roops having brought it in 1845. During the Civil War, Grandmother Roop and her daughter, Mary Englar, baked bread in the oven, now in good condition, for soldiers of the 1st and 11th Corps of the Army of the Potomac, as they passed through June 29, 1863. The herb drier is one of the few now in existence in Maryland.”
Since the handout from the dedication mentioned that the property had been in the Roop and Englar families during the Civil War, we took a look at the 1862 Atlas and could see that there was a property belong to Daniel Roop there along what is now Jasontown road. The 1873 Atlas also showed Daniel as the property owner, so yesterday morning, we took a ride down Jasontown Road to see if there was a property there that look like it could have been Adam’s property. Sure enough, there’s an old homestead at about the right location to correspond with the one listed for Daniel Roop on the old atlas pages. Unfortunately, the research section of the Historical Society in Westminster isn’t open on Mondays, so we had to wait until today to do some more research.
As it turns out, our trip to the research library didn’t quite give us all the information that we wanted but it give us enough clues that I could figure out the rest. A 1916 property map showed the owner than as being as Esther Roop, who turns out to be one of the daughters of Daniel and his wife Lydia. The three of them are buried together at Pipe Creek Church of the Brethren, along with another of Daniel’s daughters, Mary E. and her husband, Solomon P. Englar. Though Esther had married John Cornell in 1870, they were divorced sometime before the 1880 census and she is living with her parents. Also included in Daniel’s household in 1880 is his grand-daughter, Ida Englar. Oddly enough, Ida is also shown in the 1880 entry for her parents, Solomon and Mary E. (Roop) Englar in New Windsor. I really don’t know why she is listed in both households, but since the listing with Daniel shows her as being at school, perhaps she split her time between both households.
Ida is the pivotal point to the Peiffers in 1949. She married Edwin E. Snader and they are found in the 1900 Censusin Waynesboro, PA with three children: Elsie, Earl and Guy. We find them again in 1920 in Waynesboro - Edwin and Ida, now in their 50;s, share their home with son Guy, daughter Elsie and her husband, Russell Peiffer. So the trail is complete up to the point of the DAR tour in 1949.