Monday, February 13, 2006

Plank History, My History

I consider myself fortunate in that both sides of my parents families trace their ancestry in this country to before the Revolution. My mothers side of the family is a litany of Pennsylvania Dutch, Amish and Mennonite names, Plank, Lutz, Kurtz, Yoder, Hartzler, and Mast.
Jacob Mast was the great-grandson of Bishop Jacob Mast, the first Mennonite Bishop in the United States, who immigrated from Switzerland in 1750 to Berks County, Pennsylvania. In Pretty Prairie, LaGrange County Indiana, Jacob met and married in 1879 Ellen R. Plank, my Great grandmother and Grand grandfather. This is a history of the Plank's.
Somehow the original five typewritten pages from 1900 came into my possession. I'll post it in segments over the period of several days so hopefully you won't get bored. It is my family, but it is at the same time, the story of many pioneer families whose hard work made this country great.
The story of the kidnapping is somewhat confused as these family stories often are. Another version has Melchor saying farewell to shipboard friends, falling asleep and finding the ship at sea. There are other versions but somehow the Plank family found themselves on a ship bound for America with no money to pay passage.

LIFE AND PROGRESS OF THE PLANK PIONEERS

Read a the Reunion at Ike Schrocks in August, A.D. 1900

Melchor Plank and wife were born in Switzerland in the early Seventeen Hundreds, emigrated to America in about the year 1745. Were kidnapped and brought to N. Y., sold to a man near N.Y. to pay their passenger charges; afterwards taken to Lancaster Co., Pa., where they paid the balance of their fare charges at hard labor.

Here they began their career of life. To them were born in America, four sons and two daughters, namely, John Jacob, Peter, and Christian, Barbara and Margaret, all born in Lancaster Co., Pa. About the year 1800, perhaps earlier, they moved to Miflin Co., Pa. Melchor Plank died in about the year 1817 (His wife dying several years later). All their children were married in Pa.

Not being able to learn anything of the life and progress our Great Great Grandfather, we will begin the consideration of his son Jacob, the second generation. His family consisted of six sons and six daughters , vis: John, Christian, Jacob, Jeptha, David and Abraham, Fannie, Magdalina, Barbara, Rebecca and Saloma. (one, being an invalid, died young) The others all grew up to manhood and womanhood and all reared large families, with the exception of Rebecca's family, who all died in infancy.

Jacob Plank, during his life in Penn. Operated a cabinet shop, not certain that he farmed any, his records showing that he transacted considerable business the settling up estates, etc. In about the year 1820 he, with the younger members of his family, moved to Wayne Co, O. Those already married, soon followed their parents and all settled in Wayne Co., O. Joan and Christian beginning their career of live in Pa., and , according to the old records John worked at the carpenter trade and Christian was a farmer, who leased a farm for several years and occupied same until he moved east. His landlord, after the expiration of his lease, presented him with a fine young horse, as a reward for his faithfulness and honesty as a renter. By this we see that he had already established a character above reproach.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mrs Lifecruiser said...

Wow, must be really nice to have that history. It's so interesting with "old stuff" and with the family connection too.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous larry planck said...

hay do you now if any of your family moved to ky.

10:40 AM  

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