Pennsylvania Frontier 1750

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Surnames/tags: Forts, French_Indian Wars, Ballietsville Danielsville
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Pennsylvania Frontier, 1750

... ... ... was an early settler in Pennsylvania.

The goal of this project is to document a few historically interesting areas of Pennsylvania in the years from 1750 to about 1763. Pennsylvania was expanding, people were moving north and west from Philadelphia into land that was mostly just forest, at the same time the Indians that inhabited the land weren't always happy about having new neighbors. Pennsylvania built and stocked a number of forts to try to keep settlers safe when the Indians went on the warpath, a line of forts was built south of the Blue Mountain from the Delaware River to the Susquehanna River and a lot of families lost loved ones in the 1750s to Indian raids in the area. I'm going to be focusing, at least for now, on an area from present day Lehighton to Stroudsburg to Easton then to Allentown as there were a number of families that later came to Luzerne County and Nescopeck Twp from that area that lost family members. This area includes past and present villages of Ballietsville, Danielsville, Slatington, Egypt, Gnaddenhutten (Lehighton), Neffs, Old Zionsville and many others. I'd also like to consolidate, as much as possible, the early church records and land records for that area and hopefully generate a list of people who lost their lives while living there.

Right now this project just has one member, me. I am Butch Smith.

Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them, and could use your help.

  • Add records for churches in the area
  • Document forts that were in the area and add names of people who manned the forts
  • Categorize people who lost their lives

Will you join me? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!

History of the Area

It has been written that Joseph Nutimus was the Indian chief who called the area north of present day Allentown home when, after the Walking Purchase in 1737, the Indians weren't happy with the outcome and left the land to move north. At the same time the French were arming and inciting the Indians to try to stop the settlers from moving any further, this was the beginnings of what could most likely be referred to as the first world war, but we know it now as the French and Indian War.

People started expanding out from Philadelphia by the early 1700s,I believe,at least for a few years they lived in harmony with the tribes but by the 1750s the Indians were causing the settlers some grief and by about 1754 or 1755 the state government directed Benjamin Franklin to undertake erecting forts for people to seek safety when the Indians attacked.

People Who Were Kidnapped

People Who Were Killed


Area Church Records



Fort Augusta

Fort Augusta,built in 1756 was north of the Blue Mountain where the branches of the Susquehanna come together at present day Sunbury,it was a big fort,garrisoned by 400 men and was very important to the settlement of the northern branches of the Susquehanna between 1760 and 1800.



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Hi Butch,

You have Johannes van Etten referenced at Fort Hyndshaw - he was serving there under his brother Jan van Etten (bef.1720-1786) who was the captain at the fort. Jan's profile has links to documents including his letter of commission from Benjamin Franklin, his journal from Dec 1756 to Jul 1757, and a letter reporting to the Lieutenant Governor about an encounter with some Indians. There is some good information on the fort, Jan (John) van Etten, and James Hyndshaw in the footnotes to the letter of commission (

posted by Richard Kyllo
Butch, I have knowledge of several Pennsylvania Land Warrants issued to my 5 great grandfather William Bell in what is now Upper Paxton, Dauphin County (Originally Lancaster county) between 1743 and 1774. Are these the type of records you are looking for?
Any kind of records that pertain to the general area would be great if it's something that people can access and get information from.
posted by Butch Smith
I have made files of the original docs (from Ancestry) but don't know how to get them to you. They are stamped "Poor Original"
1. Name William Bell
Warrant Date 18 Jul 1743
Warrant Place Lancaster
273 acres
Recorded 19 July 1743
2. Name William Bell
Warrant Date 9 May 1763
Warrant Place Lancaster
Recorded 28 May 1773
3. Name William Bell
Warrant Date 19 May 1774
Warrant Place Upper Paxton, Lancaster
300 Acres
Recorded 29 November 1774
posted by Elaine (Walling) Goodner
edited by Elaine (Walling) Goodner
Are there plans to include Forts Le Boeuf and Presque Isle at any time?
posted by Charles Peterson
I can see it eventually including most,if not all of the early forts.I've had the idea for a while and had to start somewhere and I know more about the forts in the eastern part of the state. If you have information that you want to share feel free because this could take me a while. I'm sure that eventually the forts will probably need to be grouped according to what part of the state they're in I'm just not sure how that will be done or how many forts there even are in total,whether everything should be on one page or if it would be less confusing with a couple or a few pages.
posted by Butch Smith
Le Boufe and Presque Isle,if I'm not mistaken,were fairly large forts,forts like that might even need their own page.
posted by Butch Smith

Categories: Pennsylvania Project