Sunday, August 22, 2010

Theodorus Eby (b. 1663) settles in Pennsylvania

Theodorus Eby is my 8x great-grandfather, a Swiss Mennonite settler who was one of the first Mennonites in Pennsylvania. He arrived in Lancaster in 1715, lured by William Penn's promise of religious tolerance to anyone who came to Pennsylvania. Theodorus (also referred to as "Durst") Eby left Switzerland as a result of religious persecution in Switzerland - he originally went to Germany, but faced similar persecution there and left for America.

From a family history written by Ezra Eby in 1889:


Dawn Eby Quast maintains a remarkable collection of descendants of Theodorus here, and the Eby Family Association's website is here. In 1727, Theodorus built a house with his sons which still stands in Lancaster, Pennsylvania:

Eby Family home, built in 1727.
(Originally found at the Eby Family website.)

(Until I started this family tree research, I had no idea of this connection to the Eby family. Two weeks ago, my grandmother mailed me some family tree research other relatives had done, and on one of those pages was my grandmother's great-grandmother, Sophronia Eby. Ancestry.com made tracking backwards from Sophronia pretty easy, and from there the connection to Theodorus became apparent.)

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