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Lancaster County - A Brief History

As with the page on the other county pages, it's not my intent to get bogged down with too much detail about this-and-that concerning historical data, but to just offer you a few bits and pieces of the history of Lancaster County. All the information herein is paraphrased from other sources which will be listed at the bottom.

Lancaster County was created on May 10, 1729 from part of Chester County and it was named for Lancashire, England. The Lancaster county seat, also named for its English counterpart, was laid out in 1730. It was chartered as a borough on May 1, 1742 and as a city on March 10, 1818.1

Lancaster County

The area was settled after 1709 by a mix of peoples: Swiss Mennonites, Huguenots, Scotch-Irish, English, Welsh, and Rhineland Germans.

The county was part of William Penn's 1681 charter.2

Native tribes in the area included the Shawnee, Gawanese, Lenape (or Delaware), and Nanticoke.

Among the earliest recorded inhabitants of the Susquehanna River valley were the Iroquoian-speaking Susquehannocks, whose name meant "people of the muddy river" in Algonquian.

Being immediately north of the Mason-Dixon line, Lancaster County was an important stop on the Underground Railway.

The people of Lancaster county, especially the Scotch-Irish settlers of Paxton and Donegal townships, suffered terribly from Indian outrages during the whole ten years of the French and Indian War.3

Captain John Klugh (not the Butler John Klugh), was a native of York County, Penn.4 He was born May 11, 1816, and is a son of George and Hannah (Klugh - does this mean he married his cousin?) Klugh, of Lancaster and York Counties respectively. His grandfather came from Germany, and settled in Lancaster County, where he engaged in farming. George Klugh was a carpenter, and followed his trade in Franklin Township until 1878, when he died at the age of eighty-four years. He was a Captain and then later a Major in the Civil War. He was married in 1848 to Henrietta Ritter, daughter of Henry Ritter, one of the earliest settlers of York County, they had the following children: Mary, Alice, Harry, John and Milton B. They belonged to the Lutheran Church in Franklintown.

The Lutheran Church in Lancaster

The following bit of church history is from the book, "A Congregation Named Saint John's - Two Hundred Years of Parish Life in Saint John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Maytown, Pennsylvania, 1767-1967" by Frederick S. Weiser of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

The first Klug entry (note that it's for "Klug" not "Klugh") is dated 1803 and found on p.34 where the author mentions Philip Klug taking part in writing the baptismal list. The others (the first four are "Klug"; the last two are "Klugh") are as follows:

1. Source - Lancaster PA History
2. Source - Wikipedia.org
3. Source - Pa Roots.com
4. Source - Biography of John Klugh

(c) July 4, 2011: (All rights reserved)