Saturday, December 21, 2013

St. Peter's Tohickon Union Church

     In 1743, German immigrants established St. Peter's Tohickon Union Church in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  (Tohickon - an old Indian term) A wooden church was built in 1746 and a stone church was built in 1766.  The church that is still in existence today was built in 1838.  The current church actually housed two distinct congregations when it was built.

    Most of my maternal grandfather's ancestors entered Pennsylvania in the first half of the eighteenth century.  Philadelphia was the port of arrival and shortly after arriving they migrated northwest to Bucks County.  They must have all lived in or around Bedmeister Township since all of them ended up a members of the Tohickon Union Church.   Michael Fabian and his wife, Dorothea Welz; Nicholas Neely and Margaret Fabian;  Paul Flick and Catherine Fabian; John Hugus and Margaret Shoup; Paul Neely and Veronica Shupe;  All of them are mentioned in the church records1
     At least three of them served in the Revolutionary War.  (Paul Flick, Nicholas Neeley, John Hugus)  Several famous  Revolutionary war sites are located within a few miles of the church.

     Not all of them stayed in the area.   After the Revolutionary War, several of the families moved to western Pennsylvania.  A number of them migrated to Westmoreland County.  Several of the Hugus and Neely families are buried there.  Later generations moved on to Allegheny and Clarion Counties. 
     One research technique that was reenforced when I was looking for names in the book and burials in the surrounding cemeteries was the need to be aware of different spellings.   
Schupp, Shupe, Schub, Shupp, Shoup, Shoupp, Schup, Schaup.  In my list of names above I need to figure the relationship between Veronica Shupe and Margaret Shoup.  Sisters? Cousins?       Further research is due.     

1. Hinke, Rev William, A history of the Tohickon Union Church, Bedminster Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania : with copy of church records, Tribune Publishing, Meadville, 1925

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