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Jacob Conrad of Sunbury Research

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Jacob Conrad comes to America

Following is a brief history of the Jacob Conrad family. This information has been compiled by many Conrad researchers over the years. Much of it began with the "Conrad Family Chart, Genealogical Information on the Conrad's of Northumberland County", compiled and published by my late father, Robert E Conrad, Jr, who grew up in Sunbury (see his booklet for sources). Special thinks for Robin Sutherland for her updates.

Jacob Conrad signature

Jacob Conrad signatures

"Jacob Conrath," as he spelled it, immigrated from Germany to America on the ship "Boston", arriving 10 Nov 1764 at the port in Philadelphia. It seems he went right to Berks County, Pennsylvania. When his son Jacob Jr was baptized in Reading, PA in 1765, his wife is listed as Anna Catharine (who is also mentioned in deeds) and it would appear that they were married in Germany. If one compares the signatures of Jacob on the ship list, later as the 1786 tax assessor in Augusta Township, and on his will, there should be no doubt that this is the same person. Further, attempts to link our Jacob to other Pennsylvania Conrad families can all be easily discredited. The Jacob Conrad, son of Peter of Montgomery County had a different wife and lived at the same time in Southeast Pennsylvania. The Jacob Conrad's of Berks, Lancaster, and Dauphin Counties also led separate lives.

Jacob's will of 1811 appears to list his children in birth order (as do some of the other early Conrad wills) and from this we can infer that his first two children, Johan Nicholas Conrad and Mary Conrad, were born in Germany. I think Nicholas's age is off in the following, and was likely born a year earlier based on tax records.

Jacob is found in the Oley tax list as a blacksmith but he doesn't make much of a presence in Berks County, other than the baptism of his son Jacob Jr. He began acquiring land in 1769, but the tax list suggests he hadn't moved his family until closer to 1773. It seems he didn't own any land at this time in Berks County and was waiting to acquire cheaper land in the newly released areas in Northumberland County (which would also require going through the warrant process, clearing the land, etc). When he moved to Northumberland County, he bought land alongside Frederick Hill, who was also from Berks County. It's not clear if there is any relationship between them or if they just became friends in Oley Township. Jacob later bought the neighboring Frederick Hill land to extend his holdings along Hallowing Run.

Jacob Conrad 1765

Jacob Conrad Jr, baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church, Reading, Berks Co, PA, 29 Sep 1765

Jacob Conrad 1768

Jacob Conrad, smith, in Oley Twp, Berks Co, PA tax list, 1768

Jacob Conrad NP-1803

Jacob Conrad of Oley Twp, Berks Co, surveys 300 acres in Augusta Twp, Nortumberland Co, New Purchase Registry #1803, 3 Apr 1769

Here Jacob Conrad's son, John Nicholas Conrad (1763-1841) writes about the early years in his own words (tax records suggest he was actually born a year earlier than this says) in the following affidavit from 1830...

Nicholas Conrad 1

"Also came John Nicholas Conrad, who, on his solemn oath duly administered, says he was born on the 15th of October 1764, that in the fall of 1773 his father moved from near Reading Pennsylvania to Mahonoy Township Northumberland County Pennsylvania, and that soon after, deponent became acquainted with Mary M Shaffer, now Mrs. Peiffer, the within application and daughter of John Shaffer who then resided in said township about six miles distant from deponents father."

Nicholas Conrad 2

signed in Crawford County, 1830, "Jo han _ich? las Conroth"

Jacob Conrad 1788

Jacob Conrad, with 300 acres and a saw mill, in Augusta Township tax list, 1788

Jacob Conrad 1799

Jacob Conrad deed, L:122, selling land "Crout Garden" in Augusta Township to daughter Susannna (Hall) in 1799. Note spelling of facsimile signature in deed book "Jacob Conrath" and wife Catharine "T (her mark)" Conrad. Deed index shows "Jacob Conrad".

Charles Elias Conrad tombstone

Charles Elias Conrath (1819-1849) one of the last uses of Conrath

Upon arriving in Augusta Township, Jacob continued to buy land via the Pennsylvania land warrant process as well as a sheriff's sale and later gave this land to his children. In 1796, Jacob bought land in the "big city" of Sunbury and retired there, being listed as occupation "gentleman" in 1810, prior writing his will. Jacob's exact date of death is unknown, but one can presume he died about 2-4 weeks prior to his will was probated, probably dying in June of 1812. There is no known burial location, but a guess would be the Old Sunbury (Spruce Street) Cemetery.

Jacob and his children spelled their surname "Conrath" in wills and deeds, but the county recorded them all as "Conrad". Everyone after the first generation changed their name to "Conrad". Even the John's youngest son has Conrath on his tombstone. Realize that the German 'th' sound is different from English as in "bath". It's a hard 't' sound, more like "bat". My father who lived in Sunbury was told by his grandparents to pronounce the name "Coonrod" (he never did!) and it's interesting that the Christian Conrad family that went to Iowa changed their spelling to "Coonrod".

Note that a German custom at the time was to use a "rufname" which is actually more like a "prefix name". Unlike the modern "middle name", the person then used the full name only in certain formal occasions, and otherwise used only the middle part, dropping the prefix. So "Johan Jacob Conrad" would actually go by "Jacob Conrad" in most cases. Contract this with the longer name "Johannes" which didn't use prefix. Johannes would would be shortened to "Johan", "John," "Hannes," or just "Hans". So don't be confused by the rufnamen used by the early Conrad's. Only someone with first name of Johannes or only John would be found under "John" in later records. By the early and middle 1800's, this practice fell out of favor, depending on the surrounding culture. More Anglicized areas switched to the middle name convention earlier than in the country.

Jacob Conrad land

Jacob Conrad's early land in Northumberland County. Survey IDs shown. More can be found by clicking here.

Jacob Conrad deed

Deed Z:167 from 1834 draws out Jacob Conrad's original land showing houses and barn.

German Roots

I have not seen any credible evidence to show where in Germany he came from or the surname of his wife. However, based on DNA evidence, I have found a moderate match to my DNA with descendants from the Southwest Germany where many Conrad families lived. I am "J39TG" on Ysearch and user "HBXAE" is from Ottersheim. The Peter Conrad family of Falckner Swamp from Southwest Germany came from this same area (as did some of the other Conrad's that migrated to Pennsylvania - see Burgert's immigrant books).

I would also note that a Johan Carl Boley was on the ship Boston with Jacob Conrath. Later in 1766 in Reading, a Carl Ludwig Boley was a baptismal sponsor to the other Jacob Conrad and wife Margaretha from Falckner Swamp in Montgomery County. And finally, in 1806, there is a Nicholas Baily living on Jacob's land in Northumberland County, according to a tax list. Are these families all related in Germany?

Summary of places in Germany of interest:

Conrad's in Germany

Moving West

Here is a list of the early pioneer Conrads who left the comforts of home for opportunities in the West. This started after Jacob Conrad Jr died young, and many of his kids moved on, and others joined them. Birth/death and approximate migration date are shown. You can use this information to try to match Conrad DNA matches.

















Western PA


Serving Proudly


It always feels good to know our ancestors volunteered to keep our country free. Here is a place we can honor them and let other researches know who served in the military. Following is a list of descendants of Jacob Conrad (as best as I can determine), their birth state, birth-death dates, and service. These are grouped by war dates and do not mean to imply that anyone did or didn't serve in a specific theater of conflict. Ranks are highest that I could found they held (so some are likely higher).

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Civil War   medal
Spanish American War   medal
Mexican Border Campaign   medal
World War I    medal
World War II    medal
Korean War    medal
Vietnam War    medal

Various Peace Time (may be in a group of war vets above but info wasn't available)


Let me know of any other conflicts and I'll add them

Jacob Conrad Tax Records

The following tables summarize Jacob Conrad in the tax records of PA. Click on the links to see the original records. Note that tax lists do not exist for all years, and different lists collected different (or no) information. The earliest taxes uses English units of currency and later ones used American dollars and cents.

Location/Link Date Acres Horse Cattle Sheep Tax Notes
Oley, Berks 1768 1 1 "Jacob Kunrad, smith"
Oley, Berks 4 Jan 1772 1 "Jacob Cunrad"
Oley, Berks 1772 2 "Jacob Cunrad"
Oley, Berks 10 Dec 1772 2

Location/Link Date Acres Horse Cattle Sheep Tax Notes
Augusta, Northumberland 1 May 1770 2.4.0, 0.2.3
Augusta, Northumberland 1774 300A, uncult 2 2 1.10.0, 36, 0.7.6
Augusta, Northumberland 1781 240A 3 6 5.0.0, 1.5.0 "Jacob Coonrad"
Augusta, Northumberland 1782 200A 3 2 10 5.13.0 "Jacob Coonrat"
Augusta, Northumberland 1783 3 2 6.16.2, 7.15.0, 1.11.0
Augusta, Northumberland 1785 0.11.0, 0.2.7
Augusta, Northumberland 1786 360A 5 4 0.17.4, 0.8.0
Augusta, Northumberland 1788 300A 5 4 0.12.6, 0.6.3 1 Sawmill
Augusta, Northumberland c1788 0.8.7, 0.4.4
Augusta, Northumberland 1791 300A 6 4 0.6.9 1 Sawmill
Augusta, Northumberland 1791 0.6.? 1 horse died
Augusta, Northumberland 1793 300A 5 4 0.6.7 1 Sawmill
Augusta, Northumberland 1793 300A 0.5.4 1 Sawmill
Augusta, Northumberland 1793 0.16.7
Augusta, Northumberland 1794 300A 6 4 0.5.4 1 Sawmill, 0 firearms, 8 people on farm
Augusta, Northumberland 1795 2.19.7
Augusta, Northumberland 1796 1.60, 0.51, 0.10 "Jacob Conrad Senr"
Augusta, Northumberland 1798 6.76, 0.51, 0.10
Augusta, Northumberland 1799 1.92, 0.18, 0.12
Augusta, Northumberland 1800 5.39, 0.4, 0.4, 2.40, 0.23, 0.15
Augusta, Northumberland 1801 5.39, 0.4, 0.4, 2.40, 0.23, 0.15
Augusta, Northumberland 1802 300A+238A 4 4 2.50, 0.36, -
Augusta, Northumberland 1803 300A+238A 1 1 3.33+0.40, 0.11, -
Augusta, Northumberland 1804 300A+238A 1 1 3.33+0.40, 0.12, -
Augusta, Northumberland 1806 183A+17A 0.30+0.03, -, - also for Baily land
Augusta, Northumberland 1807 183A+17A 0.30+0.03, -, - also for Baily land
Augusta, Northumberland 1809 170A 0.31, -, -
Augusta, Northumberland 1810 170A 0.31, -, -
Augusta, Northumberland 1812 208A 0.25, -, - unseated
Augusta, Northumberland 1813 208A 0.25, -, - unseated

Location/Link Date Acres Horse Cattle Sheep Tax Notes
Sunbury, Northumberland 1805 1 1 0.80, 0.09 2 lots, 2 story house
Sunbury, Northumberland 1806 1 1 0.80, 0.09 2 lots
Sunbury, Northumberland 1807 1 0.80, 0.03 2 lots
Sunbury, Northumberland 1808 1 0.72, 0.03 2 lots, log house and stable, Hurtleberry street
Sunbury, Northumberland 1809 1 0.58, 0.03 2 lots
Sunbury, Northumberland 1810 1 0.58, 0.03 2 lots
Sunbury, Northumberland 1811 1 0.31, 0.03, 0.25 2 lots, log house, Hurtleberry St, gentleman
Sunbury, Northumberland 1812 1 0.31, 0.03, 0.25 2 lots
Sunbury, Northumberland 1813 0.31, 0.06, 0.25 died, 2 lots charged to Nicholas Conrad

Also see this page for Jacob Conrad being appointed tax assessor, Augusta Township, 1785. The role of tax assessor moved around from year-to-year.

Jacob Conrad Land Records

Following are the main land purchases of Jacob Conrad in Augusta and Sunbury. Note that in many cases, the land was partitioned, sold, etc. Shown in the order acquired. The Location link shows the name used on modern overlay. The View link shows Google street view.

Tract Name Location View Warrant Survey Returned Patent Size Purchased Sold
NP-1803 Augusta
3 Apr 1769
17 Dec 1805, C:61
6 May 1783
77A N/A part of land willed to Jacob Jr?
Sunbury Lot 115 Sunbury 3 Jul 1772 this was never executed and hence expired
Hickory Tavern Augusta
view 3 Apr 1769, Thomas Barnes
13 Nov 1786, C7:230 22 Apr 1782
John Lukens
6 May 1783
301A 2 Apr 1783
deed C:493
willed to son Jacob Conrad, Jr
Crout Garden Augusta
11 Nov 1785
18 Nov 1786, T:149 31 May 1792 1 Jun 1792
187.75A N/A 7 Sep 1799, to daughter Susanna Hall, L:122
Jefferson Augusta
10 Jun 1789
19 Jun 1789, C21:237 28 Mar 1803 1 Apr 1803
150.75A N/A 27 Apr 1803, 74A to Jacob Shipman, M:513
? Sheriff's Sale Augusta
by Jacob's land on Holland Run 300A 28 May 1790
is this Hickory Tavern again??
A9:142 (by Crout Garden) Augusta
22 Nov 1792
13 Dec 1793, A9:142 5 Dec 1810 6 Dec 1810
136.5A N/A maybe part of land that Peter gave to son Henry later
C:146 (by Crout Garden) Augusta
10 Jan 1794
23 Apr 1794, C:146 5 Dec 1810 6 Dec 1810
239A (total) N/A maybe part of land Peter gives to son Henry later
Harrison's Folly Augusta
view 15 Mar 1786, John Harrison 13 Nov 1786, A:48 19 Jul 1791 20 Jul 1791
390A 31 Jul 1794
willed to son John Conrad (about 150A)
Sunbury Lots 255/256 Sunbury view lots 254 and 255 2 lots 31 Aug 1799
willed to Nicholas, who sold in 1814, S:318
New Holland C21:192 view 3 Apr 1769, Fred. HillNP-427 Jacob Conrad, C21:192, H:161 26 May 1802 27 May 1802
251A 27 May 1802
willed to Henry, see Z-167

Note that lots 254 and 255 on Hurtleberry Street correspond to modern 238 Walnut Street in Sunbury (Trinity Wesleyan Church). Click here to see the current Google Street view of this area (Jacob lived where the church is on the right - you can pan forward toward the Susquehanna River to see how close Jacob lived to the river in his retirement years).

Family Tree Links

If anyone has complete trees for any branches, let me know and I'll list them here and/or attached to the tree above. In particular, if you have nice descendant trees for the non-Conrad branches (ie, married daughters), let me know and I'll add links to them in the main tree.

Not Our Family...

Back in the 1970's, my father and I were trying to figure where Jacob Conrad came from how he might be connected to other Conrad's. By the early 1990's, I realized this was way too confusing. I believe there were about 50 or so Conrad families that immigrated to Pennsylvania in the 1700's. In the early 1990's, I set out to solve this mystery by researching all the early Conrad families that settled in Pennsylvania and see how they were connected. I uploaded that information (largely untouched since then) here on My conclusion was that most were separate immigrant families, although there were a number of early families that moved from SE Pennsylvania into the interior, but our Jacob Conrad was not one of them. I realized that people had been combining many different Conrad families together and since Conrad was a relatively common name, it was easy to do. To see a a list of all 66 early Jacob Conrads, click here. Following are some links to the different Conrad families easily confused with Jacob Conrad of Sunbury and Augusta Township.

other Jacob Conrad 1760

Other Jacob Conrad, s/o Peter and Rosina Conrad, Trappe Church Montgomery Co, $ contributor on 27 Nov 1760

other Jacob map

Map showing where the theory is that other Jacob had moved to East Town, Chester Co, PA, across the Schuylkill River and only 9 miles away

other Jacob tax

Tax list of Jacob Conrad (likely s/o Peter and Rosina), East Town, Chester County, 1768

I've seen several instances of people associating our Jacob with the militia soldier from Lancaster County, PA in 1779. Lancaster County is nowhere near Northumberland County, so it's difficult to imagine Jacob being about 40 years old with a large family joining a militia unit down in Lancaster. Note that the record says the unit was of "Lancaster" militia and marched "to" Sunbury. Militia troops often practiced maneuvers by marching to the hinterland. Anyways, I'm confident that this record refers to a local Lancaster Jacob Conrad, mostly likely Jacob Conrad of Cocalico Township, Lancaster who was born circa 1757 and was a son of Leonard Conrad from Cocalico Twp, Lancaster County. Note that the other troops in Captain Smuller's Company were also from Cocalico Township, and the militia company's were organized by township at that time. It was silly to not review the other militia members to see where they lived. Sorry, no DAR/SAR here.

other Jacob military

SAR application, 1957, suggesting our Jacob served in the Lancaster County Militia (no!)

Research Links By Location Links

moved here...

Other historic links of interest

Robert E Conrad, Jr

Robert E Conrad, Jr (1925-2011)


This web page is dedicated to my father, Robert Earl Conrad, Jr, who spent considerable time between the late 1970's and his death in 2011 doing research on all descendants of Jacob Conrad. He was doing the original "old school" research of driving to court houses, historical societies, cemeteries, and calling and interviewing people to put this tree together. We both had considerable input from Dr. Joseph Meiser who spent his life dedicating to researching *all* of the early Northumberland County families as well as many others (see Dad's Conrad Family Tree at the Northumberland County Historical Society for the complete list).