We have been learning about several of our more illustrious ancestors, people with strong Christian convictions. Now it's time to hear about one of the more "colorful" characters in our family tree!
Dirck Pennybacker (1737-1802) was married to Hannah DeHaven (1737-1825), the daughter of Abraham DeHaven (1714-1771). Hannah's grandfather, Herman DeHaven (1682-1752) came to America as a small boy with his father, Evert DeHaven (1650-1728). The family came to escape religious persecution for their Protestant beliefs. Some researchers believe that the DeHavens had originated in France and fled to Germany. Evert's marriage to Elizabeth Shipphauer on May 21, 1675 was recorded in the Evangelical Church in Mulheim on the Ruhr, Westphalia, Germany. They arrived in America in 1698 and settled in Germantown, PA. Evert and Elizabeth were charter members of the Whitemarsh Presbyterian Church, established June 4, 1710.
The family name is sometimes written as In De Hoff, in Hoffe, In Den Hoffen, or Endehoven, or Ten Heuven.
Herman and his brother Gerhardt built a stone house on the banks of the Skippack Creek in 1725, and it is still standing. The stones came from the creek, held together by a mortar made from the red creek clay mixed with horse hair, straw, and rope. Eventually, Herman moved on to another property. He operated an inn on the main road of the town of Trappe, PA.
Herman deeded the tavern to his son, Abraham, and that is where the story becomes interesting! The inn and tavern became quite the place for the locals to spend time discussing current events. The tavern was a constant source of irritation to the pastor of the nearby Augustus Evangelical Lutheran Church.
oldest unchanged Lutheran church building in constant
use by the same congregation in all of America.
The pastor stated in a letter to his superior that Abraham conducted horse races right in front of the church during the worship services. Abraham was also accused of allowing cards and dice, fiddling, dancing, swearing and fighting at the tavern. But the straw that broke the camel's back happened on July 19, 1752. "A company of young people coming out of church were given too much rum and punch, so that they got fuddled and beat one another bloody, behaving themselves in a scandalous manner!"
In 1736, Abraham married Rebecca Pawling and Hannah was born the next year. I guess we can't say they "settled down," because the shenanigans above happened when his daughter Hannah was 15 years old! By 1761, Abraham sold his property and moved to Leesburg, Loudon County, Virginia. He died April 8, 1771.
Here is a pedigree chart for Hannah DeHaven Pennybacker and her ancestors.