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Conrad Eisenhart

Conrad Eisenhart arrived in Philadelphia on October 16, 1751 aboard the ship Duke of Wirtemberg, by way of Rotterdam and Cowes, England. However his place of birth is unknown. Since the 1940s there has been speculation about his relationship to the other 18th Century immigrants, Andreas and George. The presence of men named Conrad Eisenhardt (Ysenhart) in and around the village of Dachtel in the Black Forest district as early as 1471 suggests that it was a favored given name in this area. Furthermore, the family of Conrad’s wife Catharina Maul came from the village of Dagersheim, a community only a few miles from Dachtel. On the other hand, a diligent search of the baptism records in Dachtel and some adjacent villages shows no sign of Conrad’s baptism, and one might also speculate that if he had left one of the villages in the district, he would have traveled with Andreas Eisenhart and his family since they arrived in Philadelphia less than a month apart.  The Eisenhart YDNA Project has brought some clarity to this mystery in that it has been found that descendants of Conrad and descendants of Immigrant George Eisenhart/Isenhart have an almost identical marker configuration suggesting that they were brothers or half brothers, an idea first postulated by Willis Wolf Eisenhart. He based this theory on the fact that George joined Conrad in York County after his 1759 immigration and the two men and their families remained very close until Conrad’s death. The DNA marker patterns of Conrad and George are also a match with descendants of Immigrant Andreas, but descendants of Andreas show a bit more variation. Current thinking is that Conrad, George, and Andreas all had a common ancestor in Dachtel, but that subsequent ancestors of Conrad and George left the village relatively early, probably well before 1700, and settled in a town or village some distance from Dachtel. One of the primary goals of our research activity remains to discover the birthplace of brothers Conrad and George.

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Records indicate that Conrad was born about 1718. His age at the time of immigration and the fact that he traveled alone led Willis Wolf Eisenhart to speculate that he was a widower at the time he left for the American Colonies, but this is unproven. He settled in York Co. and initially earned his livelihood as a blacksmith. He married Anna Catharina Maul in 1757 or 1758. HeHome of son George and Catharina became the parents of six children, George, Jacob, Anna Maria, Maria Elisabetha, Conrad II, and Peter. The family lived in East Manchester Twp. and Conrad and a fellow immigrant named Simon Widenmire/Wittmyer acquired a tract of land totaling 300 acres. A resurvey some time later showed that Conrad’s portion totaled 163 acres. He continued his trade as a blacksmith, but also reported farm income. He served in the American Revolution in the York Co. Militia.

Conrad Eisenhart was a valued and trusted member of his community, frequently sponsoring at baptisms and often serving as a trustee or executor when the estates of friends and neighbors were settled. Church records indicate that he was an active member of the Christ Lutheran Church congregation in York Co. On December 25, 1781 he signed his will stating that he was “very sick and weak of body” and apparently died later that day. Although there is no memorial stone existing today, it is believed that he is buried in Bott’s (also known as Wolf’s) graveyard in East Manchester Twp. where one finds the final resting places of a number of Eisenhart family members.

Willis Wolf Eisenhart (1877-1970), a descendant of Conrad Eisenhart, was the first major researcher to shed light on the ancestry of the Eisenhart family. At a time when records were mainly in private hands and there were few clues to family origins in the German States, Willis Wolf began to assemble preliminary American Eisenhart family tree data, and was also the first to make the connection to the Black Forest region in Württemberg.

Luther P. Eisenhart

Luther P. Eisenhart, Professor and Dean of the Graduate School, Princeton University. Descendant of the Conrad Eisenhart family group.




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Last Updated June 4, 2016