An American Family History

Colonel Johann Jost Dreisbach


"[L]iberty must at all hazards be supported.
We have a right to it, derived from our Maker.
But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us,
at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."

-- John Adams, 1765


Dreisbach is also spelled Dresbach, Dresback, Driesbach, Driesbaugh, Dreisback, and Treisbach.

Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.

The Boston Tea Party was on December 16, 1773. The Sons of Liberty destroyed an entire shipment of the East India Company's tea by throwing it into the harbor.

Colonel Johann Jost (Yost) Dreisbach was born in Oberndorf, Germany and his christening was recorded at the Evangelical Lutheran church in Feudingen on September 18, 1721. His parents were Johan Simon Dreisbach and Maria Katharina Keller. He was born on November 21, 1721 according to his burial card. He was a miller.

According to the History of Carbon County, Pennsylvania

He sailed for this country from Cowes, England, September 20, 1743, on board the ship Lydia, of which James Abercrombie, of Rotterdam, was master.

He had two wives, neither of whom has been identified. His second wife was incorrectly identified by past researchers as Elizabeth Rauschenberger, but this has been proven to be an error. His will does mention a wife named Lisbet.

His children are described in detail in the section on the Jost Dreisbach family. He probably had about twelve children. 

Jost was active in the American Revolution.

He was a member of the County Committee of Observation in 1774, captain of a company from Lehigh township in 1775, and colonel of the Third Battalion of the county in 1776.

The same year as the Boston Tea Party, on November 30, 1773, Jost signed a bond to insure the inventory of the estate of the Reverend John Hecker the pastor of the Reformed Congregation.

Jost died on October 17, 1794 in Allen, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. He is buried at Zion Stone Church Cemetery in Allen Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.
Feudingen is a village in the city of Bad Laasphe and its 13th century church ministered to the entire surrounding area. The church has been Protestant since 1555.
Zion Stone Church is a Lutheran church near Kreidersville, Pennsylvania. It was dedicated on June 18, 1772.
Oberndorf is a village in northwest Germany and part of the city of Bad Laasphe. It was in the feudal country of Wittgenstein in the 18th century.
Children of Johann Jost Dreisbach
  • Appolonia Dreisbach Neuhard
  • Catharine Dreisbach Bauman
  • Elizabeth Dreisbach
  • John Jost Dreisbach
  • Simon Dreisbach
  • John Adam Dreisbach
  • Magdalen Dreisbach
  • Susanna Dreisbach Shafer
  • Mary Gertrude Dreisbach
  • John Dreisbach
  • Philip Dreisbach
  • Michael Dreisbach
  • Children of Johann Simon Dreisbach
    & Maria Katharina Keller
  • Johann Jost Dreisbach
  • Johann Adam Dreisbach
  • Alexander Dreisbach
  • Maria Catharina Dreisbach
  • Anna Elizabeth Dreisbach
  • Simon Dreisbach
  • Georg Wilhelm Dreisbach
  • Johannes Dreisbach
  • Anna Catharina Dreisbach Ulrich
  • 17th and 18th century Germans often gave children two names at baptism. The first was a saint's name. The second a secular name which is what the child was called. The saint's name was usually given to all the children of that family of the same gender. Johannes was rarely a saint's name, but Johann was.

    Pennsylvania German families took an active role in the American Revolution in Northampton County.
    Carbon County, Pennsylvania was created in 1843 from parts of Northampton and Monroe Counties.

    The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.




    History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania

    Jost Dreisbach was born Nov. 21, 1721, and died October 17, 1794. He was a member of the County Committee of Observation in 1774, captain of a company from Lehigh township in 1775, and colonel of the Third Battalion of the county in 1776.

    He married Elizabeth Rachenberger and had children:
    Catharine, born March 5, 1754, m. Henry Bauman;
    Elizabeth, born April 23, 1775;
    John J., born October 20, 1757;
    Simon, born July 10, 1760;
    Adam, born Oct. 25, 1762;
    Jost, born April 11, 1764, died March 18, 1854, m. Margaret Solt, b. 1764, d. 1842, and had sons: John, Daniel, and Peter;
    and Magdalen.

    Lehigh County, Pennsylvania was first settled about 1730 and officially constituted in 1812 with the division of Northampton County.
    American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

    In the name of God, amen.  I, Jost Dreissbach, in Lehigh Township, Northampton County, state of Pennsylvania, the first of April one thousand seven hundred ninety-one,

    since I do not know when it will be the holy will of the almighty God to take my soul, as I believe, to himself in heaven, therefore I shall make here my last will and testament,

    and my son Johannes, (and) my son Adam (having been) designated administrator and executor, they are  to have full power after my death and a Christian burial, above all (illegible)……… demand payment of debts owed me and pay debts  to bring everything into proper order as circumstances permit at that time.

    Secondly, it is my will that my lawful surviving widow Liesbet shall have full right and power to keep the land, mill, sawmill, for her use as long as she lives or it pleases her and she bears my name. Further she shall have fifty pounds of good, hard money, and a cow, six pewter plates, her bed, bed-frame, further her mohark bearers' food and (the) dish-cupboard which my son Jost gave her. 

    In addition, my appointed administrator shall have everything appraised including what I have given to my children additionally of money and property, which is in a book written apart,

    and further what the movable goods consist of, to be divided in three equal parts, and to give my lawful surviving widow Ließbet a third part

    From the remaining two-thirds part my son Johannes shall have five pounds taken out first,

    thereafter (it is) to (be) divided in nine equal parts, thus: to my son Johannes one part, to my son Jost one part, to my son Adam one part, to my son Phielep one part, to my son Miechael one part, to my daughter Abalonia one part, to my daughter Catarina one part,  to my daughter Sussana one part, to my daughter Macktalena one part be given.   

    Further it is my will that the above-mentioned, as far as their understanding and knowledge permit, shall carry out everything in unanimity and peace so that almighty God may give his blessing upon it. I hereby commend all my surviving heirs and my soul to the protection of the almighty God of heaven and earth. Amen

    Kottlieb anderä ( Gottlieb Andre)
    Jacob schäffer     Jost Dreißbach

    (written at bottom in another hand: )
    John + Adam Dreisbach Sworn 20 october 1794 

    A sawmill was an important developmental step in a community. Before sawmills, boards could only be sawn by two men with a whipsaw. In a sawmill, the circular motion of a water wheel was changed to the back-and-forth motion of the saw blade with a pitman arm.

    Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
    Unweaned cattle are calves.
    Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
    Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
    are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

    Pewter is an alloy composed mainly of tin, but can include lead. It was used for dishes and utensils. Some colonists suffered lead poisoning from using it. It dents easily and lasted about ten years. It was expensive and wooden dishes were used most often.

    The American Flag was adopted in 1777.

    Pennsylvania Archives, Volume 14

    At a Meeting of the Standing Committee held at Easton, the 30th day of January, 1777, present, Abraham Berlin, Arthur Lattemore, Anthony Moore, Timothy Reed, Jacob Shoemaker, & Jeremiah Trexler.

    Colo. Yost Dreisbach vs. Wm. Beck, Senr, Fredk Beck, Wm. Beck, Junr, Leonard Beck, Geo. Beck & Martin Ashbach.

    The Colo, complains that Fredk. Beck lately assaulted him at the house of Major Kryder & caught him at the throat, having a stick in his hand, lifted up threatening to Strike the Colo, and that Wm. Beck, Senr, being present said to the Colo, that if he resisted ag'st Fredk. Beck he the Colo, should be a dead man;

    that sometime ago, the Colo, sent to the said Wm's house for a Drum belonging to his Battalion, the sd Wm's son Leonard being a Com'y Drummer, & refused to go with the Battalion; that Wm. Beck replied he should not have the Drum & that if the whole Battalion were to come they should not have it, for he had Powder & Lead in his house for 24 hours & would defend himself;

    Martin Ashbach, being also present, said, yes, & for a much longer time. Major Kryder confirms what the Colo, says, & that all the Becks above named were present at his house & had hold of Colo. Dreisbach.

    Robt. Young saw Fred'k Beck lay hold of Colo. Dreisbach by the Neck and drag him towards the Stair Case.

    Capt. Strouse testifies to the same purpose.

    William Beck upon his examination confesses to the charge laid against him by Colo. Dreisbach and that he is sorry for what he has done.

    Upon hearing the parties and their Evidences, it is Ordered that William Beck, Senr, ask pardon of Colo. Dreisbach & his Officers for offending them in such a Manner, and promise to behave himself for the future, and that he give Security for the same and pay his Costs; And that the other Defnd'ts, being all Associators, return to their respective Battalions, and there be tried by a Court Martial for their bad conduct.

    William Beck, Senr, tent in £40, Samuel Wilson tent in £20, Philip Storm tent in £20, Cond'd, for the good behavior of the said William towards Colo. Dreisbach and his Officers for the space of one year, & pay Costs.

    A surety bond is a promise to assume responsibility for the obligation of a borrower. The person who provides this promise, is known as a surety or security. Bondsmen were usually relatives or family friends.

    from History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and a Genealogical, Volume 2

    . . . By his wife Anna Juliana, Johann Wigand Hecker had, besides other children, a son, John Aegidius Hecker, one of twins, born at Dillenberg, Jan. 26, 1726. He was educated at the University of Herborn, where he graduated in 1750, and the following year emigrated to America in the ship Neptune, which arrived at Philadelphia on Sept. 23, 1751.

    He became pastor of the Reformed congregations in Springfield township, Bucks county and Lower Saucon township, Northampton county, and later of the congregation in Moore township, near Petersville, where he died and was buried beneath the altar of the old church.


    History of Carbon County, Pennsylvania

    The pioneer of his family in America was John Jost Dreisbach, who was born in Germany in the year 1721. He sailed for this country from Cowes, England, September 20, 1743, on board the ship Lydia, of which James Abercrombie, of Rotterdam, was master. His death occurred on October 17, 1794.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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