The Tegardens United with the Debolts

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George Debolt marries Elizabeth Tegarden

When George DeBolt married Elizabeth Tegarden, two large families united.

When Elizabeth's family came to America, many spellings of her surname were used — a common problem when families first came to America. This was often because of poor copying of the names, choice of spelling, or simply misunderstanding the name because of the person's accent. A few of the variations are: Tegarden, Tiegarden, Tecart, Tegard, Teegarden, Teegardin, Teeguard, Teeguardin, and Teagarden.

Family history suggests that in all probability the Tegardens were members of the cutlery guild of Solingen, Germany. But the Tegarden name is also found in Great Britain and some Tegarden families today feel that their ancestors are from England, not Germany. It is possible that the purges of Cromwell and the Puritans started a migration of some of the family to Solingen, Germany, and then to America.

Elizabeth knew who her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were, and this page discusses those three couples:

Christian Tegarden and Maria Tilmans (Elizabeth's Great-Grandparents)

Christian Tegarden was born in 1650 in Meigen, Germany. Meigen is probably Meissen (German Meißen) and is a district in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. The map at the right is of Saxony; the darker area locates Meigen.

The district dates back to the Amt Meißen, which was first mentioned in 1334 and ruled by the Wettin dynasty. This area was not changed until 1835, a hundred years after Christian died there.

Perhaps as a young adult, Christian moved to Westphalia, probably to Solingen. He married Maria Tilmans in 1675 in Solingen, North Rhine, Westfalia, Germany. She was born in 1648 — also in Meissen, Germany. Thus, he was 25 and she was 27, two years older, when they married.

Genealogical research indicates that Christian and Maria had at least seven children, one of whom (Abraham) would immigrate to the United States. Based on the locations of the births of their children, it is apparent that, after marrying in Solingen, they remained there for much of their lives. They are:

Christian died on 22 Oct 1702. He was 52 years old. His youngest son, Abraham, was only thirteen at the time of his death.

Maria survived twelve more years, dying on 25 Nov 1714. She was 66 years old, and managed to see her youngest son reach the age of 25. She would not see him marry, however, nor know about the births of many of her grandchildren.

Neither Christian nor Maria would live to see their youngest son, Abraham, immigrate to the United States in September of 1736. Eighteen years later, Valentin Oberdorf, at the age of 18, would also leave Germany for America. These two families would intermarry just a few generations later.

Abraham Tegarden I and Anna Albrecht (Elizabeth's Grandparents)

Abraham Teagarden, the son of Christian Teagarden and Maria Tilmans, was born in Solingen, Germany, on 19 Apr 1689.

He married Anna Margaretha Albrecht on 17 Feb 1716 in Meigen, Suburb Solingen, Germany. He was 27; she was 18.

Anna was the daughter of Daniel Albrecht and Margaretha. She had been born Sep 1698 in Clauberg, Germany.

Abraham and Anna Margaretha made their home in Germany for twenty years. During that time, Anna gave birth to ten children, although one, a twin, died at birth. They were:

At the age of 48, with a wife and several of his children, Abraham immigrated to America. The S.S. Harle under the command of Ralph Harle, Master, departed from Rotterdam and arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 1 September 1736.

“The female passengers were not required to swear allegiance, but the name of ANN MARGARETH DECKART, age 43 and wife of Abraham, is on the list of passengers embarking on The Harle from the Palatinate, an electorate of the old German Empire lying along the Rhine beginning at Mainz and extending up the river with Heidelberg as the ancient capital.” It is believed that on the ship Abraham and Margaretha used the last name of Deckartin. Teagarden is no doubt the change made to the name after arrival in America.

The ship stopped at the Island of Wight to take on provisions before the final crossing to America. There were 388 persons on board.

It is assumed that at least seven of their children accompanied them:

It is possible that the two oldest — Johannes Peter, 20, and Joseph, 19 — did not travel with them, as there is no evidence they took the Oath of Allegiance, but Abraham (at age 18) did. The other children were too young to take it, and women and girls were not required to.

Margaretha was at least seven months pregnant when they arrived. “It took courage and strength to travel by foot, on horseback, or by wagon through forests and over mountains.” Before settling eventually in Maryland, Anna gave birth to her eleventh child, two months after their arrival: Maria Margaret b. 15 Dec 1736 in Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

“The Abraham Tegardens explored their new homeland [going south from Pennsylvania to Maryland] and traveled the Monocasy Trail until 1739 when they purchased 150 acres in Prince Georges County, Maryland, to be known as Tecarts Delight. The old settlers called this district ‘Cony-co-jug.’ Pure springs were located in this area and the limestone meadows were very fertile.”

“It is a well supported tradition that a great part of the best lands in the Conococheague Valley were, when first settled, more like the prairies of the western states without timber, covered with rich luxuriant grass, with some scattered Hazel bushes, wild plumbs and crab apples. The timber was found near the water courses and on the slate soil.”

Abraham and Anna settled in Washington County, located in the red area on the map of Maryland above. 2 “The Conococheague Valley was one of the extreme western settlements and when Major General Edward Braddock was defeated in 1755 [two years after Abraham and Anna’s death], the settlers in the area were abandoned.” Although Abraham and Anna would no longer have been there, it is possible that some of their children still were.

“Supplies were sent from Philadelphia to Conococheague by wagon and from thence by pack horse to Fort Pitt. For many years Bedford was the principal stopping place for all persons and packers going from the east to Fort Pitt. All government stores as well as groceries and goods of every description were carried west on pack horses. One man would sometimes have 100 horses under his control. For their protection, guards were needed to accompany them from one fort to another and Bedford usually furnished the militia for this guard. It took a month to make the trip from Hagerstown (also know as Elizabethtown) Maryland.”

“Many biographical sketches have been written about the Teegardens and their descendants. The early pioneers were usually farmers but if timber and water were available, saw and grist mills were soon developed by the Teegardens. They were a very industrious and inventive clan. Many of the buildings they built stood for more than a century.”

“From the beginning the Teegarden men bore arms in defense of their country [Two of Abraham and Maria’s grandsons would fight in the American Revolution]. Enlistments during the latter part of the 18th century were for as short a term as thirty days or just long enough to get the job done and be discharged in time to plant or harvest. Several times the records indicate that the Teegardens were paid by the government for the use of their horses, wagons, and firearms. This service was usually classified as ‘militia’ and, therefore, was not recorded as war service in Washington, D.C.”

“[For the most part], they were adventuresome explorers always moving west or into new territory. They reached California just before the Gold Rush of 1849 and it is possible to find the descendants of Abraham in every state of the Union.”

At some point, the more rugged life on a farm became perhaps too difficult for Abraham and his wife of 37 years, Maria. They moved into town — Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland — perhaps to live with an adult child who could care for them. It’s possible they lived with their son, Abraham, and his wife, Mary Parker.

Both Abraham and Maria died in Hagerstown the same year, 1753 — Abraham in March and Anna in an unknown month. He was 64; she, 55. They were married for 37 years.

Sources for Abraham and Mary’s Story are:

Abraham Tegarden II and Mary Parker (Elizabeth's Parents)

Abraham Teagarden was born in 1718 near Solingen, Germany. He was a son of Abraham Teagarden I and Anna M. Albrecht.

Solingen is in North Rhine-Westphalia, located on the northern edge of the region called Bergisches Land, south of the Ruhr area. It is called the "City of Blades", since it has long been its manufacturing of swords, knives, scissors, and other cutlery made by famous firms such as Wüsthof and Zwilling (J.A. Henckels).

The town’s image was created in Medieval times by the swordsmiths of the time. Much later, in the 17th century, a group of swordsmiths from Solingen took their sword-making secrets with them to County Durham in England; however, it is estimated that even today, some 90% of German knives are produced in Solingen.

At the age of 18, Abraham came to the United States with his parents and several younger siblings, on The Harle, arriving on 1 September 1736. There were 388 persons on board. It is not known for certain where they settled, but since he married in Maryland, that is probably where he settled, perhaps first in Annapolis and then in Hagerstown. There is no doubt that that is where his father and mother settled, and it’s likely that he went with them at first.

Abraham married Mary Parker in August of 1743 in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. From the middle of the 18th century, just seven years after Abraham and Mary’s marriage, until the War of Independence, Annapolis was noted for its wealthy and cultivated society. However, there must have been some reason why Abraham chose to leave. It’s entirely possible that he simply preferred a more “wilderness” lifestyle. At the time of their marriage, he would have been 25, and Mary, 23.

Mary was the daughter of William Parker and Zerviah Stanley. She was born in 1720 in Scotland, but it is not known when she immigrated to the United States.

Hagerstown is located where the large metropolitan area of Baltimore now exists. It is the county seat for Washington County and was the first county to be named after the country’s first president.

Based on the location of their children’s births, Abraham and Mary remained in Hagerstown, Maryland for several years, but also lived in Germantown, Pennsylvania, for a short time. It is believed that Mary gave birth to ten children, but possibly two or three did not survive infancy or childhood. These children were:

According to some sources, Mary died at the age of 28, just four years after they were married, in 1748. Perhaps this was during childbirth. It is the same year that their daughter, Elizabeth, was born. However, there is evidence of six more children. These are either the son of Abraham and a second wife, or Mary did not die in 1748. Some sources indicate she died after 1765. If she died in 1765, she would have been 45 years old.

What Abraham did for a living is unknown, but his moving from place to place would indicate he might not have been a landowner. He did not actually go very far away as Hagerstown, Maryland; Washington County, Pennsylvania; and Frederick, Maryland; are not that far apart. Other Tegardens were known for their work with mills. He could have been a farm laborer or a businessman.

Abraham died at least 18 years after his wife, at the age of 65, in 1783 in Washington County, Pennsylvania, perhaps back in Hagerstown. He would have lived to see the American Revolutionary War. It is not known if he participated in the military, though unlikely at his age. However, Teagardens did fight in the war and/or “donate” cattle, horses, or food to the military when they passed through.

[This page researched and written by Susan Overturf Ingraham, a descendant of the Tegardens. Page last updated on February 14, 2016.]

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  2. Map courtesy of Wikipedia. 

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