THEOBALD MECHLING
(7th Great Grandpa)

Theobald Mechling and his brother, Jacob, arrived in Philadelphia on 11 Sept. 1728 aboard the ship, the "James Goodwill", David Crockett, master. Since they were numbered among the 90 some Palatines aboard, it has widely been believed that the Mechling brothers came from the Palatinate, which is the southwestern part of Germany. A great-great-grandson gives credence to this theory, listing their home as being in Rheinfels, Bavaria, which today is part of Baden-Wurtenberg, on the Rhine River. However, since Dewalt, eldest son of Theobald, named two of his properties in Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania "Mechlinburg" and "Strelitz" respectively, place names in the province of Mecklenburg in the northeastern part of Germany, doubt has been cast upon the Palatinate origin. Also the Palatinates were mostly Catholic, while Mechlinburg was mostly Lutheran, the religion of the Mechlings. Only further research will determine their correct origin.

The "James Goodwill" sailed from Rotterdam, Holland to Deal, England, where on 15 June 1728, it left for America. Aboard were 42 men above the age of 16, comprising 37 families. Theobald's name is spelled as Teobald Mekeling on the ship's manifest. Upon arrival in Philadelphia, they went before the Provincial Council to declare their intent to settle peacefully in this country. They then signed a declaration of allegiance to King George II of England. Theobald signed his name with the letter "D", for Deobald or Dewalt, the German spelling. Theobald and Jacob went to Germantown, at that time separate city from Philadelphia, where they engaged in the tannery business for a few years. It is quite likely that an older member of the family was already living in Germantown then, as buried in Germantown is a Maria Mechlin, wife of Samuel, who died 18 June 1759, aged 61 years, 2 months and 4 days. As there is no record of a Samuel Mechlin in Germantown at that time, one can suppose that this Samuel had preceded the Mechling brothers to Germantown, probably establishing the tannery business, which may have attracted them to Germantown in the first place. The name Samuel is carried down in the Mechling family. Nothing definite is known about Theobald for the next few years, but apparently he married sometime during that period to Anna Elizabeth Lauer, daughter of John Peter and Anna Margaret Laurer. In 1731, his eldest son, Dewalt, was born, presumably in Germantown. In 1734, he obtained a grant of 125 acres in Bucks County, from Thomas and Richard Penn, sons of William Penn, and proprietors of the province of Pennsylvania. According to the record of land patents, warrants and purchases filed in Bucks County, Theobald secured land as follows:

June 29, 1734 - warrant for 125 acres (an estimate)
June 12, 1737 - 144 acres and 120 perches surveyed
Jan. 22, 1744 - warrant for 20 acres
July 17, 1744 - 23 acres and 18 perches surveyed
Apr. 29, 1747 - warrant for 11 acres
May 5, 1747 - 11 acres and 18 perches surveyed
Sep. 16, 1757 - 17 acres and 116 perches surveyed
Oct. 6, 1757 - warrant for 25 acres

Theobald moved to this land in Bucks County and built a log cabin, which is still standing, now incorporated into the body of a much larger house, on the property near Zionsville. The original log cabin is now the middle room in this house, with the original fireplace. The house has been placed on the Pennsylvania Inventory of Historical Places, as being one of the few pre-Revolutionary houses in that area. The log cabin was located near a stream, called Mechling's Creek (later Walter's Creek). A dam was erected across the stream and a mill built. In 1735, the Provincial Council ordered a road built, to be called the King's Highway. It passed close to the Mechling cabin. In 1737, Theobald signed a petition to have Upper Milford district, in which his property was located, assigned to a seperate region, which was finally done in 1752, when Northampton County was formed. It became part of Lehigh County in 1812. Theobald was one of the founders of the Upper Milford Lutheran Church, donating 30 acres of land for the site of the church and a burial ground. His donation of fifteen shillings towards the pastor's salary in the years 1756, 1757, 1758 and 1759 made him one of the three largest contributors. But by 1757, differences of opinion arose in the congregation and several members, including Theobald, broke away and started a new congregation some two miles away, in the vicinity of present day Zionsville. Nothing is known concerning any active military participation on the part of Theobald, but there is one brief item in Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Volume 1, page 222, a report of the constable sent to patrol the frontier during the French and Indian War, mentions that Dewalt Mechlin of Upper Milford township had a horse returned. The report is dated June 10, 1758. He died in April 1765, leaving a will, which was signed "Davold Mechlin" and his mark "D". He is buried, along with his wife, Anna Elizabeth (the death date not known) in the old graveyard near Dillingersville. The graveyard is still preserved, but the Mechling stones have long since vanished.


COURT: Will of Theobald Mechlin

In the name of God Amen, I
Devold Mechlin of the township of Ubermilford, in the county of Northampton in the province of Pennsylvania, being old and weak in body, but of a sound & perfect mind and memory, Blessed be God for ye same and weile (sic) it is appointed for all Men to Die and to Leave their Worldly Estates behind, Do I this Nineteenth Day of September in ye year of our Lord one Thousand Seven hundred and sixty-three make & Publish this my Last Will and Testament. In the manner and form following, after my Just Debts be fully Paid and Discharged, that is to say, first I Give & bequeath unto my beloved Wife Elizsabeth Mechlin one complete Bed and Bed Stead with all the furniture, one Cow, one Side Saddle to be worth Three Pounds and ten Shillings, one Chest, one Spinning Weal (sic), Two Iron Pots, a black one and one Small one, all the flax which is Not Spun into yarn at my decease, & two butter dishes, three plates, six spoons, one tea pot, two bureaus, one pine. Then it is my will That Soon after my Death, all the money Due to be Divided in the following, whereas I have Given to my oldest Son Daobold Mechlin, the Sum of one hundred pounds, when he was married. Likewise the Said Sum of one hundred Pounds I have Given to my Second Son Peter Mechlin when he was married. Also I have Given to my Daughter Elizabeth who is married to Lenhard Stininger, the Sum of Seventy-two Pounds, the Remaining Twenty-eight shall be paid after my Decease, if I do not pay in my Life Time, to make up the hundred pounds. Receipts Shall be produced of them all. Item, one hundred Pounds, I Give unto my Son, Jacob Mechlin together with the Lawful Interest for the Same from the Twenty-seventh Day of November Last. Also I Give unto my Two other Sons, Philip Mechlin and Thomas Mechlin, Each of them the Sum of one hundred Pounds with Lawful Interest aforesaid which shall be Lend out upon Interest By my Executors hereafter mentioned & to be paid unto them as Each of them Come of his full age of Twenty-one years. Item, I Give and bequeath unto my oldest Son Dabold Mechlin, the Sum of five Pounds of Good and Lawful money of Pennsylvania to him in hand paid within one month after my Decease by my Executors. Item, I Give and bequeath unto my Son Thomas Mechlin, the Plantation which I now Live on, Situated in ye Township of Ubermillford in the County aforesaid, containing one hundred and Seventy acres being the same more or less together with all ye improvements there on for ye value or Price of four Hundred Pounds of Lawful Money of Pennsylvania to be Paid. In the manner following one year after his Taking it in possession when he comes to his full age of Twenty-one years, he shall pay the first payment, the Sum of Twenty-five Pounds, and Every year Twenty-five Pounds to full payment is made for whole, which Said Sum of Four hundred Pounds Shall be Equal Divided among my Six Children before mentioned. Every payment yearly as they become Due. Ye said Plantation To be possessed by him, the Said Thomas Mechlin, his heirs and Assigns forever. Further it is my will that in Case he Should Die before he will Come to his full age aforesaid and Leaving no Lawful heirs, Then I give and bequeath the Same to my Son Phillip Mechlin, his heirs & assigns for Ever, and in Case he Should not Live to be Enjoyable and Leave No heirs as aforesaid, then I Give and bequeath the same to my Son, Jacob Mechlin, by the Conditions above mentioned. Further it is my will that if one or Either one of my three Sons as Jacob, Philip and Thomas Mechlin Should Not live, he or them be of their full age, then his share shall equal be divided among the remaining of my Children or their heirs and assigns. Item, I Give unto my three Last Subscribed, Each of then when they Come of age, one young mare at the value of Thirteen Pounds, one good New hunting Saddle, one bridle, one new Shmoot (sic) Gun, one Chest, one asct (sic) one Grubin (sic) hoe, two small Rings and two wedges. Item, I Give and bequeath unto my beloved Wife Elizabeth Mechlin all the third Part of my Personal Estates, all the Remainder of my moveable Estates, I Give and bequeath to my Six Children to be Divided Shear and Shear (sic) Alike among them. Item, I give to my son Jacob Mechlin, my great Coat. Further it is my will that after my Decease, my wife shall have one good Room in the house to Live in and a bed in the Garden next to the old house about thirteen feet broad up the whole length of the Garden & one long Row of apple trees In the orchard for her own Use during her natural Life if She Remains a widow and no Longer. Item, I give unto my said wife Elizabeth ye third share of the Rent of my Plantation as long as she Remains a widow but no Longer, which yearly to be Paid to her. Further Provided a true Inventory Shall be made Soon after my Death, of all my moveable Estates, money, Bonds, Bills from the highest to the Lowest by my Executors hereinafter mentioned; further it is my will that my Executors shall make sale of my moveable Estate for the best price that Can begotten and Enable them to Discharge my Debts and to Rent out my plantation till my Son Thomas Comes to be of age aforesaid. I do here by make, Constitute and appoint my Second Son, Peter Mechlin and my Wife, Elizabeth Mechlin, Sole Executors of this my Last Will and Testament to Take Care of my Children and their Estates and for everything herein before mentioned performed according to my true Interest and meaning thereof and In case If my Said Wife Elizabeth Should marry again, then I make and constitute and appoint my Loving friend, Samuel Mechlin ** in heir Room (sic) to act for my Sole Executor with my son Peter. And in Case any Dispute Should arise Between my Children among themselves or between my Children and My Wife or between them of my Executors Then in Such Case I do Hereby order that they Shall Not go to Law with Each other to Dispute, But it is my will and do order That all Disputes Shall be Settled between three men in ye neighborhood chosen by them as arbitrators and according them, three men their Judgments, Each Party Shall Stand do & be Satisfied accordingly. And I Do here by declare This only to be My Last Will and Testament and all Former Wills and Testaments to be Void. In Witness whereof, I the Said Davold Mechlin have to this my Last will and Testament Set my Hand and Seal the Day and year above. Written, Signed, Sealed, Delivered by the Said Davold Mechlin as and for his Last Will and Testament in ye Presence of us Who were present at the Signing and Sealing Thereof.

Davold his Mechlin

D

mark Peter Heildeman Johannes Johns

Philadelphia, May 8th 1765. There Personally appeared Peter Heildeman & Johannes Johns the Witnesses to the forgoing Will and the said Peter Heildeman on Oath & Johannes Johns on his Solemn affirmation according to Law did Declare and affirm they Saw and heard
Davold Mechlin the Testator therein named Sign, Seal Publish and declare the same Will for and as his last Will and Testament and that at the doing that he was of Sound Mind, Memory & Understanding to the best of their knowledge.

** This is probably the Samuel Mechlin of Germantown, whose wife Maria died in 1759. Although called "friend", this term was often used for close relatives.




The Ship: THE JAMES GOODWILL

[List 8 A] List of the Mens Names above 16 years old aboard ye James Goodwill, Master David Crokatt, Commander, from Rotterdam to Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, arrived the 11th September 1728.

Ullerig Engelar, Thomas Koppenheffer
Andries Krafft, Christoff Graff
George Graff, Martin Valk
Jan Lenndr. Holstiender, Hans Michl. Ruiter
Michael Neff, Martin Moeser
Jacob Fucks Henderik, Phillip Seller
Matthias Firrumsler, Frederik Sholl
Egidius Grim, Jacob Beyer
Johannes Gurts, Michl. Korr
Johan Leendt. Keller, Adam Engeler, sick
Isaac Crison, Loerens Durr
Jacob Herman, Sebastian Durr
Bartel Eberle,
Teobald Mekeling
Sebastian Eberle, Hans George Seyler
Hans Adam Moesser, Jacob Sinc
George Shoemaker, Hans Veery Bants
Jacob Kun, Andries Stickeler
Leondr. Hicker, Hans Jacob Slauss
Johan Caspr. Steffer, Sr., Johannes Ruspag
Johan Casper Steffer, Jr., Hans George Mettler
Jacob Mekeling, Adam Summer

Thirty seven families produces Forty Two persons above 16 years. David Crokatt.

"At a Council held in the Courthouse of Philadelphia, September 11th, 1728..... A List was presented of the Names of Forty two Palatines, who with their Families, making in all about Ninety persons, were imported here in the Ship James Goodwill, David Crockat, Master from Rotterdam, but last from Deal, as by Clearance from the officers of the Customs there, bearing Date the Fifteenth day of June, 1728." From the Minutes of the Provincial Council, printed Colonial Records, Vol. III, p. 331.

[List 8 B] Palatines imported in the Ship James Goodwill, David Crockatt, Master, from Rotterdam, but last from [Deal] as by clearance dated...... Subscribed the forgoing declaration 11th September 1728.

Johann Caspar Stöver, Miss. ** Madtheus Fernssler
Johann Caspar Stöver, Johann Egidius Grimm
Ss. Theol. Stud. Joannes (O) Gurts
Ulrich Englert Johann Leonhart Keller
Andres Krafft Isac Crison [?]
Gorg Graff Jacob (X) Herman
Johannes Leonhart Holsteiner Thomas (X) Kopenhaver
Michel Neff Johann Christoph Groff
Jacob (X) Fucks Hans Martin Valck
Hans Mich. (X) Rider Jacob Kuhn
Martin Moser Leond. (O) HIcker
Philips Henrich Söller Jacob Mec[kling]
Friedrich Scholl
Theobald (D) Mechling
Jacob (X) Bayer Hans Jerik (O) Seyler
Michel Kur Jacob Zenck
Laurence (O) Dur Hans Virech (O) Bontz
Sebastian Dörr Andreas Strickel
Bartell [Eberle] Hans Jacob Schlauch
Bastian Eb[erle] Johannes (O) Ruspag
Johan Adam Moser Hans Jerg Mettler
Jerg Schuhmacher Adam Sommer

NOTE: ** These two Stoevers are famous Lutheran ministers. Stoever, Sr., the father, labored in Virginia; Stoever, Jr., the son, in Pennsylvania.

You can see a picture and read info about Theobald Mechlings homestead at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/5604/