Diffenderffer Family Papers, 1691-1963

Call number:  MG-410

1 box    23 folders    .5 cubic ft.

Repository:  LancasterHistory.org (Lancaster, Pa.)

Shelving Location:  Archives South, Side 10

Description:  This collection contains items that have been passed down through generations of the Diffenderffer family. Deeds for tracts of land in New Holland date back to the creation of New Design, the village that preceded New Holland. Correspondence and some manuscripts pertain to J. P. McCaskey’s life and accomplishments. F. R. Diffenderffer’s manuscripts on Easter Day and Conrad Weiser are preserved with this collection, as well as poems, a program for the C. Elvin Haupt School, and a claim of F. R. Diffenderffer & Co. against the State of Texas.

Creators:  Diffenderffer family; Diffenderffer, Fianna; Diffenderffer, David.

Conditions for Access:  Restrictions are noted at the item level.

Conditions Governing Reproductions:  Collection may not be photocopied. Please contact Research Staff or Archives Staff with questions.

Language:  English

Source of Acquisition:  Deeds in folders 1-18 were a gift of Fianna Diffenderffer and the Diffenderffer family, 4 November 2006. Items in folders 19-23 were a gift from David Diffenderffer, 14 August 2006.

 

Folder 1  Deed from William Penn of Worminghurst, County of Sussex, England, to  John Kennerly of Shavington, County of Chester, England for 375 acres of land “cleare of Indian incombrances…towards the Susquehanna River,” Pennsylvania. Original seal is intact. 16 July 1691. (Please use transcription. Use of original requires staff assistance.)

Folder 2  Deed from Melcher and Mary Cook of New Design, Earl Twp. to Leonard Stone of Earl Twp., a cordwainer, for 11 perches of land in New Design. 24 April 1765.

Folder 3  Deed from Leonard and Mary Stone of Earl Twp. to Melcher Cook of New Design, Earl Twp., a laborer, for 12 perches of land in New Design. 24 April 1765.

Folder 4  Deed from Leonard and Mary Stone to the High Dutch Presbyterian Reformed Church in Earl Twp. for 152 acres in Earl Twp. Members and trustees listed are John Dievenderfer Sr., John Dievenderfer Jr., John [Brubaker], John Painter, Christian Sneider Jr., and Henry Markley. 23 May 1771.

Folder 5  Mortgage. James and Sarah Davis of Lampeter Twp., a fuller, and Michael Diefenderffer of Lancaster, are bound to Bernard Hubley of Lancaster regarding the purchase of property on King Street in Lancaster. 11 June 1772.

Folder 6  Deed from Leonard Stone of Earl Twp. to David Defenderfer of Earl Twp., a wheelwright, for a tract of 12 perches and a tract of 2 acres and 16 perches in Earl Twp. 19 July 1784. David Defenderfer conveyed the 12 perches and part of the 2 acres and 16 perches to his son, Michael, and the remaining part of the 2 acres and 16 perches to his son, John.

Folder 7  Deed from Leonard Stone to Henry Grim, both of Earl Twp. for 2 acres and 100 perches in New Design, Earl Twp. 19 July 1784.

Folder 8  Deed from George Stone to Henry [Grim], both of Earl Twp. for 9 acres in Earl Twp. 10 December 1785. Henry Grim bequeathed four acres of the northern part to John Diffenderfer and the remaining five acres to his daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, in his will dated 24 December 1827.

Folder 9  Deed from John Brubaker and John Devenderffer to John Kintzer, all of Earl Twp., for eleven perches in Earl Twp. originally owned by Leonard Stone and then Melchor Kock. John Brubaker and John Devenderffer were executors for Melchor Kock’s estate. 1 March 1787.

Folder 10  Deed from Christina Diefenderfer and Matthias Young, both of Lancaster,  to David Diefenderfer of Earl Twp. for 10 acres in Earl Twp. known as Lot Number 5. Christina Diefenderfer and Matthias Young were the executors of Michael Diefenderfer’s estate, an innkeeper in Lancaster. 1 June 1792. David Diefenderfer conveyed part of the tract to Henry Shirk and the remaining 5 acres and 16 perches to his son, John Diffenderfer.

Folder 11  Deed poll from John and Margaret Brubaker of Earl Twp. to Philip Brubaker of Earl Twp., a wheelwright, for a tract of land in Earl Twp. 29 October 1795.

Folder 12  Deed from John and Magdalena Kinzer of Earl Twp. to David Diffenderfer Jr. of Earl Twp., a house carpenter, for a tract of land in New Holland, Earl Twp. 1 May 1806. “This deed conveys the ground now owned by Philip Brubaker, in the Borough of New Holland, next to the property owned by Mrs. Mary A. Sutters. It covers two of his lots marked on the plat of the land of Michael Diffenderffer when he converted his 263 acres of land into town lots and named the place New Design, about the year [1760]. F. R. Diffenderffer.”

Folder 13  Deed from John and Madlina Kinser of Earl Twp. to John Diffenderfer of Earl Twp., a joiner and house carpenter, for a house and 38 perches of land in New Holland, Earl Twp. including the tract owned by Melchior Koch. 24 August 1813.

Folder 14  Deed from John Winter and Wendel Holl, both of Earl Twp., to Henry Shirk Jr. of Earl Twp. for a house and tract of land in Hew Holland. John Winter and Wendel Holl were executors of Margaret Diffenderfer’s estate, widow of John Diffenderfer. 1 April 1822. (Please use photocopy. Original is very fragile-do not use.)

Folder 15  Deed from Jacob Freymyer to John Diffenderfer of Earl Twp. Jacob Freymyer was the administrator for Phillip Brubaker’s estate, for a tract of land in Earl Twp. originally owned by John and Margaret Brubaker and conveyed to Philip Brubaker in 1795. 19 February 1825.

Folder 16  Deed from David Diffenderfer Sr., a wagon maker, to his son, John Diffenderfer, a carpenter, both of New Holland, Earl Twp. for two lots near New Holland. Land drafts for the two lots drawn on the back. 23 July 1833.

Folder 17  Deed from David Diffenderfer Sr. to his son, Michael Diffenderfer, a wagon maker, both of New Holland, Earl Twp. for a house and 9¼ acres in New Holland. Land draft drawn on the back. 23 July 1833.

Folder 18  Deed from David Stone of Earl Twp. to John Diffenderfer of New Holland, Earl Twp. for 4 acres near New Holland. David Stone was one of the executors of Henry Grim’s estate, a farmer in New Holland. 20 May 1835.


Folder 19     

Insert 1  Program for Changing the Name of the Lemon Street School to be known henceforth as the C. Elvin Haupt School. School located at Lemon Street and Lime Street in Lancaster. Contains order of exercises, biographical information on Rev. C. Elvin Haupt, D.D., history of the school, lists of principals and teachers, and committee members. 20 September 1939.

Insert 2  Claim of F. R. Diffenderffer & Co. against the State of Texas for Supplies Furnished Frontier Forces. F. R. Diffenderffer & Co. had a contract with the State of Texas to furnish supplies, transportation, etc. to the Frontier Forces from 1870-1872, but had not been paid. Hutchings Printing House, Austin. [1888-1889].

Insert 3  “The Flag of Lancaster” with a statement from Mayor McCaskey. No date.

 

Folder 20  J. P. McCaskey

Insert 1  Letter from Harold F. Diffenderffer, class of 1894, to Prof. John H. Rodman, Principal of McCaskey High School, regarding correspondence with Dr. Donald G. McCaskey, son of J. P. McCaskey. 27 November 1961.

Insert 2  “The Untold J. P. McCaskey Story.” No date.

Insert 3  Details of the drowning of Oliver Smith’s brother during a botany field trip along  the Conestoga River at Reigart’s Landing. As remembered by J. P. McCaskey’s son, Donald. 17 July 1961.

Letter from Donald McCaskey to Bill “Tommy” Thomson in care of [Harold] Diffenderffer regarding his father’s life. 17 July 1961.

Insert 4  Handwritten draft of “A Meditation Upon the Life and Times of an Unusual Educator and Honored Citizen of Lancaster Penna.: Dr. John Piersol McCaskey, 1837-1935.” No date.

 

Folder 21  J. P. McCaskey

Insert 1  Photocopy of newspaper article about the reading of Harold F. Diffenderffer’s paper about J. P. McCaskey at the Lancaster County Historical Society. “‘Jack’s Boys’ Never Forget,” Daily Intelligencer Journal. Lancaster. 9 January 1963.

Insert 2  Notes of Harold R. Diffenderffer used before the reading of his father’s manuscript, with some background information on the writing of the manuscript. [1963].

Insert 3  Typed draft with corrections of Harold F. Diffenderffer’s manuscript, “A Meditation upon the Life and Times of an Unusual Educator and Honored Citizen of Lancaster: Dr. John Piersol McCaskey, 1837-1935.” [Typed by his son, Harold R. Diffenderffer, 1962.]

Insert 4  Typed draft of Harold F. Diffenderffer’s manuscript, “A Meditation upon the Life and Times of an Unusual Educator and Honored Citizen of Lancaster: Dr. John Piersol McCaskey, 1837-1935.” [Typed by Harold R. Diffenderffer, 1962.]

Insert 5  Typed draft of Harold F. Diffenderffer’s manuscript, “A Meditation upon the Life and Times of an Unusual Educator and Honored Citizen of Lancaster: Dr. John Piersol McCaskey, 1837-1935.” [Typed by Harold R. Diffenderffer, 1962.] Read at the Lancaster County Historical Society by Harold R. Diffenderffer in January 1963 and published in the Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society, vol. 67, no. 3, 1963.


Folder 22  Two handwritten drafts of articles by Frank R. Diffenderffer which were printed in The Reformed Quarterly Review.

“Easter Day: Its Observance and Customs.” Written on the back of Diffenderffer Brothers, Bankers letterhead. [1874].

“Conrad Weiser: A Neglected Chapter of Colonial History,” [1876].

 

Folder 23  Photocopies of Poems

“My Wish,” by M. E. I. Addressed to F. R. Diffenderffer, Litt.D. No date.

“The Conestoga River,” by James D. Law in Philadelphia. Dedicated to Dr. F. R. Diffenderffer. 15 February 1912.

“‘The Lancaster Dutch,'” by Blanche Nevin. Note that this was read by her at the Bicentenary of the First Settlements, but was not in the regular program nor printed in the official report. Windsor Forges, September 7.

“Down on the Farm,” by Herman E. Hoch in Lancaster. About Lancaster County and mentions several individuals including Frank Diffenderffer. 28 November 1905.