Schoharie County NYGenWeb Site

People of Schoharie County, NY

Philip Dreisbach

click here for Philip Dreisbach's will

Philip Dreisbach was born February 3 or 23, 1773 in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, a son of Jost (Yost) Dreisbach, born in Oberndorf, Wittgenstein, Germany and later a colonel in the Continental Army in Northampton County, and Elizabeth Rachenberger, born in Macungie, Northampton County. Philip was one of Jostís twelve children (six by his first wife, whose identity is still unknown, and six by Elizabeth). They are part of the "Simon" line of Dreisbachs, named for Jostís father, Simon Sr., who immigrated with his family to Pennsylvania from Germany in the 1730s.

According to research, Philip came to Albany, New York in 1790 as a young man of seventeen, presumably because his half-brother, John Jost Dreisbach, already lived there. Accompanying Philip was Jabez (Jacob) Kromer, also from Pennsylvania. All three men were married at the High and Low Dutch Reformed Congregation in Schoharie (now The Reformed Church). In 1790, John Jost married Catharina Hochstrasser from Schoharie there, although by 1800 they lived in Watervliet (Albany County). In 1792, Philip married Elizabeth Schneider, daughter of Ludwig and Sara Schneider from Schoharie, at the church; they stayed in Schoharie for the rest of their lives. Jabez Cromer married Christina Man, daughter of Jurgen Man of Cobleskill, in 1793 at the church; they went to Cobleskill, where Jabez became a physician

By 1793, Philip was a mechanic, although he later became a farmer. Philip and Elizabeth had one child, Elizabeth (Betsy), born in Schoharie on August 31, 1794; she is mentioned as an heir in Philipís will. But apparently wife Elizabeth died before 1796, because Philipís wife after that date is shown to be Maria Schneider; the working assumption is that Maria was Elizabethís sister.

Philip and Maria had two children: Adam, born April 19, 1798, and Catharina, born 1801 or 1802. Both were born in Schoharie.

Philipís daughter Betsy married Jacob L. Lawyer (born September 27, 1793, a son of Lambert and Catharina Lawyer). They lived in Cobleskill and had seven children: Anna Eliza, Henry Madison, Jerome, Peter, Chastina (Catharina) Rebecca, Philip Driesbaugh, and Nancy. All these children except Philip (who died as an infant) married, and some had children.

Son Adam married twice: Caty Sagendorf prior to 1818, with whom he had one daughter, Maria Catharina; and then Rebecca Sternburgh (Steenburgh) of Schoharie (born August 25, 1803). Adam and Rebecca had two children: Rebecka, born 1822, and Jacob Lawyer, born 1829. These two grandchildren of Philipís are mentioned as heirs in his will. (No record of marriage has been found for Rebecka; Jacob married Nancy Woodcock of Schoharie, and they had seven children).

Philipís daughter Catharina married John Joost Haverly (Haberly?) after 1820.

Philip died on December 2, 1857, at the age of eighty-four. As Peter Mann, a lifelong friend and one of the testators at the proving of Philipís will, said in court, "He lived and died at Schoharie." Philip, "immigrant" from Pennsylvania, son of a Revolutionary War officer, and an early settler of Schoharie, is the progenitor of all the Dreisbachs from Schoharie and Otsego Counties.

More information on Philip can be found on this site by doing a surname search (the surnameís spelling subsequently changed to "Driesbeck," among other variations). Detailed information about him and his many descendents will be forthcoming from the Dreisbach Family Association (, the official repository of information on the more than 30,000 Dreisbachs in America. Researchers with pertinent details about Philip and his descendants should click the following link to contact the researcher.

Jeanne Finley

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