Jacob Burkholder, Sr.

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Jacob Burkholder, Sr.

Birthplace: Bern, Bern, Canton of Bern, Switzerland
Death: March 02, 1817 (69)
Barton Mountain, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Place of Burial: Hamilton City, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of Ulrich Burkholder and Esther Burkholder
Husband of Sophia Burkholder
Father of Christian Burkholder; Jacob Burkholder, Jr.; Barbara Burkholder; David Burkholder; Magdalena "Mattie" Neff and 2 others
Half brother of Barbara Burkholder; Anna Burkholder; Ulrich Burkholder; Elizabeth Schenk Sensenig; Peter Burkholder and 2 others

Occupation: Farmer/Weaver
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jacob Burkholder, Sr.

Jacob Burkholder was born of Mennonite parents who moved to Germany soon after his birth. This was in order to escape religious prosecution. He was educated in Mannheim, in the province of Baden,

Jacob, along with his two brothers John and Christian, sailed for the Americas in 1765 on the ship Myrtilla. They landed at Philadelphia the 21st day of September 1765. John and Jacob settled in Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylavania. Christian settled near Newberry in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Several French Huguenot refugees were among the Myrtilla’s 81 passengers. Abraham and Sophia De Roche. Sophia was a French girl, supposedly of Huguenot descent. Their signatures may be seen in Pennsylvania, where they took the oath of allegiance to the British Crown in 1765. Jacob married Sophia De Roche in 1765 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

When the war broke out and after the 13 colonies had won their freedom from England Jacob had been loyal to the English king so life became unbearable to him and his family. It was decided to make another move to Canada. Jacob sent his oldest son, Christian, to explore Canada for a new home. Christian traveled on foot both ways! He came back with a very favorable report so the family packed their belongings into an ox drawn wagon for the move to Canada.

Jacob and Sophia with their family of three boys and two girls crossed the Alleghenies by ox-team, with a cow alongside. Progress was slow as they had to stop each day for the animals to graze. In all it took about three weeks to reach upper Canada at Qeenstown to cross the Niagara River. The crossing was very difficult as the wagon had to be floated across while the animals had to swim! The cow proved to be very valuable as she was a main article of food. When milk was left over it was placed in a Dutch Churn in the bottom of the wagon, Through the motion of the wagon it became a butter churn. this same cow probably was the one that Joseph fell onto, breaking his back and finally succumbing to in death.

Some of their friends, notably the Damude Family, stopped off near Fonthill. It was then called Shorthills, the higest point in the peninsula and both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario were able to be seen from there. Peter later later married Susanna Damude. The Burkholder family skirted along the southern shore of Lake Ontario. In October of 1794 they reached the head of the lake. The very first family to settle at the east end of Hamilton Mountain! This was south of where the town of Hamilton now lays.Jacob Sophia and their children were granted between 800 and 1000 acres of land. The Burkholder settlement was founded!

The year after they had settled on Hamilton Mountain, on February 24, 1795, Peter was born. Peter is the base for our lineage of the Burkholder Family. Peter eventually inherited the home place, Jacob and Sophia had seven children / Christian in 1772 / David in 1774 . Jacob in 1776 / Barbara in 1778 / Magdalena in 1781 / Joseph in 1784 / Peter in 1795, Peter being the only one born on Canadian soil all the others were born in Lancaster Pennsylvania.

Mabel wrote that Joseph was in the process of setting Hickory Nuts up on the shed roof. He lost his footing, fell off the roof and landed with his back on a cow standing there! it was broken and with no doctor he eventually died of his injury. Making Joseph the very first one to die in this family. Jacob’s trade as a weaver helped support his family in difficult times. During the first winter, he turned to tailoring and Peter Horning who had been wearing buckskins up to this time was reputedtly his first customer. Once they became settled, the Burkholders espoused the Methodist faith. They were probably influenced in part by the circuit riders who visited the district. The family made their home available for religeous meetings. A family cemetery was established by 1800. The earliest entombment being the son, Joseph, who died of a broken back from falling off a shed roof. He had been drying walnuts on the roof and fell on the back of the family cow.

The family gave it’s name to a small community, the Burkholder Settlement which developed at the intersection of what is now Mohawk Road and Sherman Avenue in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1839 a small log building was erected to serve both as a church and school. It was replaced by the Mountain Chapel in 1850. It was renamed Burkholder Methodist Church in 1866. After 1926 it became known as the Burkholder United Church.

The actual date of the death of Jacob Burkholder is not certain. Different sources give the dates of 2 March 1812, 1813, or 1817 as possible dates.

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Jacob Burkholder, Sr.'s Timeline

April 3, 1747
Bern, Bern, Canton of Bern, Switzerland
December 14, 1772
Lancaster, PA, United States
November 8, 1774
Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
September 30, 1776
Lancaster, Lancaster, PA, United States
July 3, 1782
Manchester, York, Pennsylvania, United States
February 24, 1795
Hamilton, ON, Canada