Genealogy - projects

Genealogy is not just about looking at census records and visiting cemeteries. Sometimes it's about the preservation of historic artifacts.

In learning about my family history, I came about the book, "Gilbert - Knappenberger - Jarrett & Allied Families" by Dorothy "Darcy" Worman. It is a wealth of information, but as I read it a few things stood out. I became intreated in certain items in the book.

Two of the items are below. So what started as a family history project, has turned into preservation projects as well.

John Jarrett datestone

John T Jarrett pedigree

John Jarrett Sr.

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Isaac Jarrett

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John T Jarrett

In the "Gilbert - Knappenberger - Jarrett & Allied Families" book on page 401 there is reference to a datestone on the house of John T Jarrett.

The John Jarrett homestead, built in 1804, was located along the Swabia Creek near the crossroads of Sauerkraut Lane & Macungie Roads in Lower Macungie Township, Pennsylvania. The Jarrett family occupied the farm for many years, until the Raedler family took over the operations until the early 1980’s. The farmland was sold off to the Weiner family & leased to other farmers in the area for use.

The inscription on the stone reads: “GE BAUT VON JOHANNIS T. SCHERRET DER MEISTER VON DENMAURA CUNRATH NEUMEIER” (built by John T. Jarrett, the master of the stone mason Conrad Neumeyer) installed in the walls of the house. In November, 2011, with the help of Ann Bartholomew from the Lower Macungie Historical Society I set out to find the house and see if the date stone still existed.

The house had been abandoned for close to thirty years and was in very bad shape but the stone was completely intact. I was so excited, I felt like I discovered the Holy Grail! I started researching how to get the stone out. I wanted to make sure it was removed by someone with experience in historic masonry preservation - the last thing I wanted to do is damage the stone while it was being removed from the house after 207 years. I contacted Carol Bostian with Preservation Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, who recommended talking with Andy deGruchy of Limeworks, a specialist in masonry preservation.

Andy was very excited about the project because while there are still a few of these date stones still in existence, upon further research it turns out that this date stone is the only known existence where the stone mason is credited on the stone as well as the owner of the house.

Once I had a mason in place, I contacted Connie Ream, administrator for the Wiener family, the current owners of the farm. They gave permission for us to remove the stone under the condition that it be donated it to the Lehigh County Historical Society.

On the morning of December 5, 2011, over a course of 2 hours, Andy and his team was carefully removed the stone from its resting place of over 200 years. It now resides at the Lehigh County Historical Society where I hope it helps other members of the Jarrett family feel the tangible connection with the past and their ancestors that it has brought to me.

As of March 25th the house is still standing.


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18 November 2011- John T Jarrett house
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John T Jarrett house as photographed on the 18th November 2011
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December 5, 2011 - Date stone being removed.
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John T Jarrett house as photographed on the 18th November 2011
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December 5, 2011 - Andy deGruchy (right) with his team, after the removal of the date stone.


1767 Indenture

Augustus Jarrett pedigree

John Jarrett Sr.

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Isaac Jarrett

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John Jarrett

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Benjamin Jarrett

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Augustus Jarrett

After the interest generated in the datestone, I turned our attention to finding a deed issued by the Penn family in 1737. It was on of four deeds that were issued to John Jarrett.

The deed was referenced in a May 20th 1902 new story from the Morning Call Newspaper. The story was referenced on page 361 of the book "Gilbert - Knappenberger - Jarrett & Allied Families" by Dorothy "Darcy" Worman.
The late AUGUSTUS JARRETT, of near Macungie, was at the time of his death some years ago, the possessor of a deed drawn 165 years ago. It is written on parchment, and bears date the 5th day of October 1737-—”the tenth year of the reign of King George the Second over Great Britain, etc., and the 19th of the said Porprietaries Government,” as the instrument has it. It conveyed to JOHN JARRETT, SR., the great-grandfather* of the late deceased owner of the farm, which is situated about a mile north of Macungie, of the county of Bucks (now part of Lehigh) in the province of Pennsylvania, 100 acres of land in consideration of the sum of 15 pounds and 10 shillings (nearly $80) lawful money of Pennsylvania to them, the Penn’s, John and Richard, “true and absolute proprietors and governors of the province of Pennsylvania, and counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex on the Delaware,” paid in hand by the sail JOHN JARRETT, SR., yeoman of the county of Bucks, now Lehigh. The instrument is signed by Robert Hunter Morris, lieutenant governor of the province of Pennsylvania, and was entered in the recorder’s office in Philadelphia, November 13, 1755. The document is ribboned and adorned with seal and the writing is very plain and legible, not withstanding its great age. It was highly prized by its late owner, so much so that under no consideration could he have been induced to part with it. Faded relics of this kind carry us back to a period long before the republic was given its tenure of life.
May 20th 1902 - Morning Call Newspaper
AUGUSTUS JARRETT was a son of BENJAMIN JARRETT and a grandson of JOHN JARRETT. He was a great-grandson of ISAAC JARRETT and a great great grandson of JOHN JAPRETT SR., original owner of the deed.

My fellow Jarrett genealogists along with the help of the Lower Macungie Historic Society, worked on Augustus' decendents until we started coming into living generations. From there, Lower Macungie Historic Society, started tracking down those desendednts that lived locally.


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