According to immigration records, John Adam Staub, or Adam Staub, arrived in America in 1738, on board the ship Winter Galley, arriving at the port of Philadelphia on September 5th of that year. He and his family settled first in Berks County, Pennsylvania, where the birth of two of his children were recorded by the Goshenhoppen Registers. Later the family settled in the Conewago Valley of what would eventually become Adams County, Pennsylvania. In Conewago, Adam Staub, or "Staab" as the name was often written in the 18th century, purchased land, and, like most people in the valley, engaged in farming. As such, Adam Staub's story is an ordinary one, and his experiences were not unlike those of other families who chose to settle within the shadow of the Catholic mission at Conewago. Although the story of his life should have been no more noteworthy than those of his other fellow settlers, the circumstances surrounding Adam Staub's death dictate otherwise.
Adam Staub died as the result of a dispute involving conflicting land patents issued to different individuals. In the days prior to the drawing of the Mason-Dixon Line that defined the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania, conflicting patents between the two states, along with dishonest surveyors, created tensions along the border that at times ended in violence and even death. Unfortunately, Adam Staub was a victim of one such incident. Whether or not his death was murder is up to the reader to decide.
At first I considered writing about this incident myself, however I eventually came to realize that it would be impossible to write a more through and well-researched narrative than the one written in the late 1980s by Arthur Weaner of Gettysburg, Pa. His essay titled "The King v. Henry Hartman, for the Murder of Adam Staub" remains the definitive narrative regarding Adam Staub, and is found immediately below, while some of the documents and maps (Exhibits) mentioned in Mr. Weaner's essay are presented as links immediately below the essay. Finally, other exhibits relating to Adam Staub are found in Section III.
I think most would agree that the life and times of Adam Staub serve as both an interesting family narrative, and as a valuable history lesson on the perils of 18th century colonial America.
Section IThe King v. Henry Hartman, for the Murder of Adam Staub, by Arthur Weaner
Exhibits From the Essay AboveExhibit A: a copy of the applicable area under study from the 1792 Reading Howell map.
Exhibit D: drafts of the surveys, as recorded in Draft Book A, Page 52, Office of the Prothonotary, Adams County, Pa.
Exhibit E: topographical map showing (the) location of various tracts.
Exhibit G: a map showing the original Staab surveys on the property owners map of today.
Exhibit I: a connected survey map made by Archibald McClean, D.S., 1773.
Exhibit K: a map of Digges Choice, on which are shown the location of the three Adam Staab tracts.
Exhibit L: the locale from the wall map of Adams County, 1858 (reprint)
Exhibit M: Conewago Township from the 1872 Atlas of Adams County, Field & Co.
Additional ExhibitsMarriage listing of Adam Staab to Catherine Bewerts (4 April 1741), from the Goshenhoppen Registers, 1741-1819.
Christian Hare's 1766 Caveat against the acceptance of a survey made for Adam Staub, 5 July 1762, PA Archives, Third Series, Vol. II.
Last Will & Testament of Adam Staub, written 13 July 1773: Copy of the actual will, along with a translation. (MS Word rtf file).
Estate Inventory of Adam Staub. First and second page from the estate inventory of Adam Staub, listing our ancestor's household goods at the time of his death.
Last Will & Testament of Catherine, widow of Adam Staub, written 24 Sept 1784: Copy of the actual will (in German), along with an English translation (MS Word rtf file).
Philip Staab's Caveat against his mother Catheine's will, filed 10 Feb 1784, withdrawn 27 March 1787.
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