The Brinker Family History

Jacob Michael Brinker 1727

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The village of Elsau, Switzerland

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Susannah Hinkle 1727 – 1798

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Brinker's Mill --- Sciota, Pa.

Click picture to see video of Brinker's Mill

On Business Route 209 in Sciota, Hamilton Co. Pa. stands a mill centuries old. Built by Jacob Brinker in the 1750s, this old mill was originally a log structure. By 1800, the mill had been replaced by the stone structure which stands today.
 
Jacob Brinker and his mill played an early role in the shaping of America.

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In June 1779, General John Sullivan was ordered to march north through Pennsylvania into New York to “subdue”and “punish” the Iroquois Indians. The Iroquois were at that time allies with the British and had organized various raids in the northern frontier against the new nation. Sullivan and his army of 2000 men began their march in Easton, Pa. and after two days of marching reached Sciota and Brinker’s Mill.

Months before Sullivan’s arrival, the mill served as a storehouse, holding provisions for Sullivan’s Expedition upon its arrival. According to various journals owned by Sullivan’s officers, the mill was referred to as “Sullivan’s Store.” After supplying his troops, General Sullivan continued the mission into New York, but he did stop at Brinker’s mill on the return trip to Easton in October 1779.

Following the activity of the Sullivan Expedition, the mill returned to business as usual. By 1790, the mill was passed to John George Keller (founder of Kellersville) and then onto Barnet Fenner in 1800, who was responsible for the stonework seen today.

The 2 story mill houses a large overshot wheel which was used to produce flour. Water from the McMichaels Creek provided power to turn the large wheel and grind corn to make various types of flour and feed. Two millers were needed to operate the mill.

By 1830, the Snyder family took over the mill and operated it over the next 100 years. Will Snyder was the last of the Snyder family to work the mill until he sold the building to Eugene Heller in 1954. Heller eventually sold the mill to Karl Hope. In 1974, Hope generously donated the mill to Hamilton Township with the understanding that the old structure would be used for “historical, cultural, and governmental purposes.”

The mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 13, 1976.

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Jacob's Childhood

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The village of Elsau, Switzerland

Jacob Michael Brungger Sr was born Nov. 9, 1727 in Elsau Parish, Canton, Zurich, Switzerland. He was the Fifth child of Andreas Brungger and Regula Herter.

Source: Globally unique Identifier: 4A249C6B-7E3B-4651-9933-A017F7EC2FBA Record ID Number: MH:IF1071618

 

On November 4, 1734 at the age of 6, Jacob and his family left their home in a tiny village in the foot hills of the Swiss Alps on the banks of the Rhine River, in route to America.

Source: Letter to Barbara J. Brinker of San Francisco, CA from Swiss Archives, dated 1986)

 

No doubt, at the age of six, Jacob, like his brothers knew of the oppression being put on his father and realized that their home was being taken away from them but, as we read the story of his father's hardships, we can only imagine what it was like for a boy six years old, traveling 375 miles to a huge bustling city, were the people treated him like common cargo or live stock. Then being loaded on a ship with very little room to move around, over looking nothing but the waters of the Atlantic Ocean for 8-10 weeks and watching his four year old sister, Maria Elizabeth, die and be thrown over board. 

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Click to enlarge

On June 28, 1735 again we can only immagine the excitement this young child felt when he spotted land, as the Brigantine Mary pulled into the Bay of Delaware and docked at Fishbourne's Wharf in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Source: Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, Vol. 8, p. 186-189

 

With 41 passengers, 8-10 crew members, all of their baggage and enough food and supplies to last the 8-10 week voyage on board that 88 foot boat, imagine what Jacob felt as he stepped out on solid ground and began to walk, with his family, two blocks up the street to the courthouse, where his father was required to take the oath of allegiance to the state of Pennsylvania. 

The State of Pennsylvania required all male immigrants over the age of sixteen to take this oath immediately, upon arrival. Being only six years old Jacob did not have to take the oath. 

 

It was at this point that his name was changed to the English translation “Jacob Brinker”. The Brinker surname was spilled Brungger in the German dialog and Braucker in the Swiss dialog.

Along with his father and brothers Jacob was one of the first Brinkers recorded in the United States.

The Pennsylvania Early Census Index shows Jacob and each of his family living in Philadelphia Twsp. Philadelphia County in 1735 but, we do not know the date the census was enumerated. We do know he arrived there June 28, 1735.

Source: Jackson, Ronald V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. Pennsylvania Census, 1772-1890  

 

No records that I have found show evidence of the exact location were Jacob and his family lived in Philadelphia, but as we seen in the story of his father all indication are that this family temporarily lived in Germantown, on the northwest side of Philadelphia, until moving to Bucks County, Pa.

 

On March 5, 1739 Jacob’s father, Andreas, received a land warrant for fifty acres located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, about 51 miles north of Philadelphia. It was here that Jacob lived and helped his father clear land and build a home and farm until he was grown.

The exact date is unknown but, in the early part of 1744, some time before June 15, Jacob’s two older brothers Henry and Conrad left home in route to Frederick Co Va.  During their trip, on June 15, 1744 Henry married Anna Catherine Kreutzberger at Christ Lutheran Church in Stouchsburg, Berks Co. Pennsylvania.

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Begining His Family

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Brinker Family Tree on Ancestry.com

 Click here to see my Brinker Family Tree
6,333 persons--1,657 photos--2,998 records--345 stories

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