Abraham  Cable

Abraham Cable (abt. 1729 - 1805)

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Lt. Col. Abraham Cable
Born about in Zürich, Switzerlandmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Berlin, Somerset County Pennsylvania, USAmap
Profile manager: Roger Wehr private message [send private message]
Cable-77 created 7 Feb 2012 | Last modified
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Birth: 1729 Zürich, Switzerland Death: 1805 Berlin Somerset County Pennsylvania, USA

Lt. Col. Abraham "Keble" Cable, Esq. Patriot, American Revolution 1776-1783


D.A.R. #113068 - Abraham "Keble" Cable, Esq., was the son of Philip [Filbs], Kobel, 1700-1780, and his wife, Maria Brede [Brady]; German speaking Swiss Pietist's who had immigrated from Switzerland to the Rhineland, most likely to avoid religious persecution. They arrived at Philadelphia with their son, Abraham, and Daughter, Barbara on September 11, 1732 aboard the Brigantine "The Pennsylvania Merchant", John Stedman, Master.

They eventually settled in York County, where they became "Householder's" in Christian Mystic, Conrad Beissel's sabbatarian monastic society at the Ephrata Cloister in 1735 or 1736. The Ephrata Cloister was where the Sabbatarian "Seventh Day German Baptist Church" was founded out of the Brethren, or "Dunker" Church. Philip and Maria were also founding member's of the sabbatarian Bermudian Church in York County, an offshoot of the Cloister, where Beissel also preached until just prior to his death in 1768. The Ephrata Cloister is mentioned in Philip's will (he requested that his son, Abraham "provide a meal to the Congregation at Ephrata"). Philip's name Is listed on the Cloisters' "Death Register", as follows:

1780 - Bro. Filbs Kobel, 16 January.

Over time, the Cloister became renowned as a place of learning; a "Latin Academy" was established, and prominent families from Philadelphia began sending their son's to Ephrata to be educated. Because of the Kobels' association with Beissel and the Cloister at Ephrata, their son, Abraham was able to begin his education from an early age.

Abraham Cable, Esq. was a very highly educated man for his time; could speak fluently, and could read & write in all three major European Languages; German, French and English, and it being a time when most of the English speaking settler's were illiterate, Abraham Cable became known as, and gained a reputation for being a "Scribner" or "Scribe", after which, virtually every document found with his name includes the title "Esquire". Dr. H. Austin Cooper states in his book* that Abraham Cable, Esq. was a "Mathmatician" and "Surveyor", and that during his youth: "He traveled far and wide among the Indians".

A petition sent to the Provincial Council, requesting that Abraham "Keble" be appointed as their Magistrate, was signed by over seventy of his neighbors; English, German's & Scots-Irish alike, (virtually the entire male population), who had settled at "The Stony Creek Glades" as the beautiful valley over the mountains was known as by the English speaker's, or conversely, as Bruedersthal [Brother's Valley], by the German speakers. Abraham "Keble" [Cable], was appointed as a Magistrate and Justice of King George II, by Governor Richard Penn, who was present as the Executive Council met in Philadelphia, on November 23, 1771. Governor Penn signed the writ, which reads as follows:

"Abraham Keble, who is recommended as a man of property and reputation, and the best qualified of any person in that quarter to execute the duty of a magistrate". "His Honor [Governor Penn], accordingly issued "a special commission appointing the said Keble a Justice of the Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace and of the County Court of Common Pleas- for the said County of Bedford."(he additionally served as a Magistrate for the County's Orphans-Court).

This legal writ, established Abraham "Keble" Cable, Esquire in 1771, as the first Magistrate and Justice, whose jurisdiction was located entirely West of the Allegheny Mountains, in Bedford, [now Somerset], County, Brothers Valley District, Pennsylvania (Note: the next county, created after Bedford, Westmoreland wasn't created until 1773).

The "Valley of Brother's" where Abraham had settled as early as 1762, was at the extreme Western edge of the volitile Pennsylvania Frontier; where surprise attacks by the Native American Allies of the French, and later the British, were frequent and brutal with death or captivity often being the most common result. He joined the Brother's Valley Militia in 1775, and trained at Fort Bedford and Fort Ligonier.

After serving as a Captain at Ft. Pitt, [now Pittsburgh], Abraham was commissioned by the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, as a Sub-Lieutenant (Lt. Colonel), of the Bedford County Militia of Pennsylvania on March 21, 1777, and he also served with the 1st Regiment of the Continental Army (Source: Fold 3). He was present during Washington's siege of Boston and later at Valley Forge and Yorktown.

Politically, he was a Democrat-Republican, (adherent to Thomas Jefferson, and his policies), the forerunner of today's Democratic Party. After a suspicious tie that occurred in Bedford County during the election for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, (the House of Representatives), he was infamously denied a seat**, he was later overwhelmingly elected to the Assembly, where he served four consecutive terms, 1790-1794, which at the time was the maximum one could serve according to Pennsylvania law.

In 1795, he was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Mifflin to serve as a judge representing the Fifth Judicial District for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; a lifetime appointment, which he served with honor until his death in 1805, at the age of 76 years. He also played a major role in the founding the Borrough of Berlin, Pennsylvania in 1788, and later Somerset County, when it was created from Bedford County, Pennsylvania in 1795.

His son's Philip (Captain), & Jonathan, both served and fought as Patriot's during the American Revolution, and Philip, like his father, became a highly respected and prominent judge in the Northwest Territory [later, Ohio], after the Revolution.

There is a prominent bend in the Ohio River, where Philip built a Block House and raised his family, after the war. By consulting older map's, this is labeled "Cable's Bend", and on the Ohio shore an area labeled as "Cable's Landing" can be found.

Ephraim Cable, the eldest son of Philip fought during the war of 1812.

If you have any questions regarding the Cable Family, (or one of the many, many spelling derivatives of the same), who settled primarily in York, Lancaster, Bedford or Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania, please send an email to: keble@outlook.com

A special word of thanks, goes out to Donna Tivener, also a descendant of this remarkable man; for her knowledge, kindness and willingness to share.

Bruce D. Cable


Burial: Cable-Schrock Cemetery Berlin Somerset County Pennsylvania, USA Plot: Cemetary one mile north of Berlin, PA


  • Roger Wehr, firsthand knowledge. Click the Changes tab for the details of edits by Roger and others.


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Memories: 5

On 9 Jan 2013 Roger Wehr wrote:



On 7 Feb 2012 Roger Wehr wrote:

Abraham Cable (2nd son of Philip & Maria Brady Cable) was in Stony Creek, prior to summer of 1762. He moved into the area from Germantown about 1760. He settled at the juncture of the two Indian trails, one running north and south to Niagara Falls and Canada; the other going south from Brotherton, to the Indian villages in Tennessee. This crossing at Brotherton was a very important spot in the life of the Indians and later the early settlers. Henry, George and James Brotherton were there when Cable and his large family moved to the "crossing".

Abraham Cable built a log cabin just across the Indian trail from the Brotherton boy cabin. They had located at a spring, where now the milk house of Mr.& Mrs. Robert Bauermaster, or about where the barn now stands. It seems that when the Stony Creek road (now Rt. 31) was built through the settlement and it was located in the Bauermaster meadow, north of the house, before the present site was located, that it was planned that way in order not to pass through the Brotherton, Cable holdings. Nevertheless, the eldest son, Jonathan born at Brotherton, 1761, later built his log cabin in the field just east of his father. By 1762 there must have been at least seven or eight cabins at the Brotherton crossing. There are four old foundation scars in the area; just across the road from the Church parsonage is an old hay barrack. This was located on the Christian Cable cabin foundation. (Christian was born, 1766, died 1828), buried on Calvin Will Farm).

Abraham was born in 1729 in Switzerland. (Abraham was listed on the 1800 Belin, Penn. roster of citizens of the 1800 Census as being past 45 years of age.) He was naturalized in 1762, which caused a stir among the Brethren at Germantown because a member had to take the "Oath of Allegiance to the King of England" this was against the order of the Church for they followed the strict letter of the Scriptures which said: but above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by other oath; but your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation." James 5:12. The Naturalization Act declared that the applicant had to have a signed statement from the clergy that he had attended a Communion Service within a period of three months. No elder at Germantown would sign the record. It is alleged that Rev. Conrad Beissel signed the document. From that date on Abraham Cable was denied fellowship with the Brethren although he was baptized and reared in the Faith; indeed it is the belief of the author that he never really accepted all the teachings and beliefs of the Church of Brethren. When he settled in Bruedersthal he became a part of the Brethren fellowship for it was the convenient and practical thing to do. From the very beginning of the Church in Brothers Valley there was separation in may fields and may practices. Cable became the clerk as it was called in that day for the Brethren. Abraham had attended the Ludwig Hoecker Sunday School at Germantown, and the school held by Conrad Beissel at Ephrata. He had been indoctrinated very well by the Seventh day teachings at Ephrata. He played a large role in Martin's Church in Stony Creek.

Abraham was a well-read man for his day, he could read and write German, French and English. He was a surveyor and mathematician. He had traveled far and wide among the Indians besides being familiar with the law. In fact, his neighbors thought so much of him and his ability as a scribe and counselor that in October, 1771, they signed the following paper: (referred to in Minutes of council of November 23, 1771) read in council 23d Nov., yr 1771; & a Commission issued to Abraham Kebles a Justice of the Peace & for the County of Bedford. (This is a direct quote as copied from the original document) (It is said that he was the first such Justice East of the Alleghany Mountains.) Abraham Keble is a Person in whom they have Confidence, is a Man of Proper and Reputation,and understands both Languages (German & English). They therefore - Request your Honor will be pleased to commissionate and Appoint he said Abrahm Keble or some other Person your Honor may approve to be a Magistrate in that Quarter. (Note; there was two pages of names on the petition. Two of these names were: Jacob & Peter FISCHER.)

He was one of the original members of Stony Creek Baptist Church, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The Stony Creek Congregation remained Seventh Day Baptists until 1774, then went with the German Baptist Brethren about this time. However, many of the fore parents of the members here lived and worshipped in the Stony Creek Congregation and had remained staunch Brethren all their lives. It was not uncommon that the Brethren and the Sabbatarians (Seventh Day Baptists) worshipped together in many communities, except that the Brethren never kept the seventh day as the Sabbath. There is no written record of the congregation between the dates of 1762 and 1825. These histories of Somerset County and South Western Pennsylvania conclude that from 1763 to 1770 a general Indian outbreak caused many families to be scattered and driven out in these formative years of their history. It does see true, however, that some of the old families remained in spite the dangers. There is much evidence both in family histories and the 1770 tax roster that many of the named families did remain within the Stony Creek area, such as the Rhoads, Cables, Kimmels, Kneppers and others.


On 7 Feb 2012 Roger Wehr wrote:

Abraham Cable (1729-1805)

The judicial jurisdiction of the new county of Somerset was assigned to the Fifth Judicial District, over which the famed Alexander Addison was presiding. Governor Thomas Mifflin appointed Abraham as an associate judge. He was the first Justice of the Peace commissioned in the territory now known as Somerset County. He was commissioned as the signors requested on November 23, 1771 and served that position until his death, (his will #8 Somerset Co., 1805) except for his war years as he served in the Patriot Army of the American Revolution under General George Washington. (He migrated from York Co, PA, to Somerset Co, PA before the Revolutionary War. He served as Associate judge in 1795...History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties 1884) Jefferson Co., Ohio history states Abraham was promoted to the rank of Col. in Bedford Co., PA in the Revolutionary War he was present at the battle of Yorktown. He loaned the Government a large sum ($50,000) of gold to assist the financing of Washington's Army. This was never repaid, this has been certified in the papers of George Washington, now in keeping of the Government in Washington, D.C.

[Note from Howard C. Maxwell; " David G. Maxwell the third great grandson of Abraham Cable, sent to Washington D. C. an attorney - charged with finding the facts about the loan made by Abraham to the Rev. War Effort. The report brought back:

(1) Yes the congressional (or some) acknowledges that indebtedness due heirs.

(2) It would take an affirmative by Congress of a bill drafted to require the treasurer to release the funds.

(3) The fund would be of unbelievable size and destabilize the treasury.

(4) By the time the heirs - Cables, Balls, etc. and all the rest make such a total of heirs that, by the time taxes and attorneys were deleted each heir might get 50 cents each.

Abraham Cable & wife Mary V, June 14, 1779 purchased land for 500 pounds from James Black, in Quemahoning township, Brotherton, Pa. Note: D.A.R. proven #113068 Lt. Col. Abraham Cable 1777. 1784 census lists 8 persons. Bedford Co. in the American Revolution by James Whisker. Shows Wood Rangers Appointed by the Court April session 1780 Abrham Cable Bedford Co. true copy of entries & appointments of Wood Rangers, 28 May 1795. David Espy, Clerk.

Abraham Cable died in about 1805 in Brothers Valley, Somerset County, PA.

On 7 Feb 2012 Roger Wehr wrote:

Lt. Col. Abraham "Keble" Cable, Esq.

Patriot-American Revolution 1776-1783

D.A.R. #113068 - Abraham Cable, Esq. commissioned Sub-Lieutenant (Lt. Colonel), Beford County, Pennsylvania Militia on March 21, 1777. Present at Yorktown and Valley Forge. Educated at the Ephrata Cloister, York County, Pennsylvania. The first Judge West of the Allegheny Mountains, Bedford, (now Somerset) County, Brothers Valley District, Bedford Township, Pennsylvania on November 23, 1771. Pennsylvania State Legislator 1790, 1793, 1795. Two of his son's, Philip (Capt.) & Joseph, also fought & served as Patriot's of the American Revolution. A large amount of information can be found regarding this Patriot and the Köbel/Cable family in the book entitled "Two Centuries of Brothers Valley" by H. Austin Cooper, 1962.

On 7 Feb 2012 Roger Wehr wrote:

CABLE, Abraham Lieutenant Colonel PA Cable Cem on Calvin Will nr Berlin, Somerset County, PA 1729 1805 Revolutionary War Graves Register. Clovis H. Brakebill, compiler. 672pp. SAR. 1993. Also SAR Revolutionary War Graves Register CD. Progeny Publishing Co: Buffalo, NY. 1998 SAR appl 1 Magoline, Mary

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Abraham by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Abraham:

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American Revolutionary War Veteran
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Abraham Cable
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