Beck, Jeffrey
Beverley, Capt. Harry
Beverley, Major Robert
Bosley, Sophia
Crowson, Robert
Crowson, William
DeWalt, Daniel Sr.
DeWalt Daniel, Part II
Durck (Derrick), Simon
Fouracres, John
Fouracres, Mary Ann
Fox, Adam
Hatcher, Elder Israel
Hatcher, Reuben Sr.
Hatcher, William
Hixe, John
Krebil, Jakob
Koone, Nicholas
Kuhn, Benedictus
Magill, William II
Martin, Martin
McCarter, James
McInturff, Christopher
McInturff, Israel Sr.
Meckendorfer, Johannes
Mosby, Edward
Ogle, John (of Delaware)
Ogle, Thomas
Ogle, Thomas J.
Owenby, James
Ownby, John
Porter, Ambrose
Ragan, Richard
Ragan, Timothy
Reagan, Daniel Wesley
Robinson, Christopher, I
Robinson, William
Shultz, Dr. Martin
Shultz, Valentine
Sims, Capt. William
Sitton (Sutton), Joseph
Stapleton, Robert
Stentz, Johan Heinrich
Sutton, John
Webb, Merry II
Weigand, Michael
Woodson, Dr. John and Sarah
Wormeley, Elizabeth

Ancestor of the Month     

April 2008


Robert Stapleton

b. c1690  d. between 25 Oct 1754-06 May 1755


For some time now, Robert Stapleton has remained one of our most elusive ancestors.  Within the past two years  I have tried to write his biography at least five or six times; yet, each time I have given up in frustration because of the many conflicting theories about his background and life.  Conflicting theories of family history is nothing new to McCarter researchers.  Many of our forefathers have a number of theories about their lives.  Robert’s, however, is beyond belief.  At one point I even tried to write an article just about the various discrepancies, contradictions, and theories concerning his life, but that in itself was confusing.


The Challenge


I’ve finally decided to jump into the controversy and choose what to me is the most logical theory or set of theories.  Being wrong hasn’t dissuaded me in the past, and if it turns out I am wrong this time, so be it.  Thus, take the following information with a grain of salt and realize that there is a plethora of other Stapleton theories out there on the web.


Parents and Place of Birth


For our purposes, I am going to say that Robert Stapleton’s parents are at this point unknown.  They did, however, come to the New York colony before 1700 because Robert was born c1695 in “Yorck Eyland” [York Island] New York or what is now Manhattan.  We know this because when he was married in 1715, he had to give his place of birth.  In addition, his marriage records at that time indicate that he was probably a widower whereas his wife was marrying for the first time.


First and Second Marriages


I am going to guess, speculate, and/or surmise that Robert’s first wife may have been Anna Maria Turkin.  I do not have a shred of evidence on which to base this assumption other than the insistence of so many researchers that she was indeed his wife (and perhaps his only one.)  Whether or not Robert and his first wife had children is unclear. When  his first wife died, Robert married Anna Maria Weigand, and by doing so we learned his place of birth.  The controversy over which Anna Maria was Robert’s wife can be easily solved by assuming that they both were.  (I realize that this is not in the best research “procedure,” but it’s a “could be.”)


Though we do not know for certain the name of Robert’s first wife, there is a wealth of information about his second.  (There is also a wealth of information about Anna Maria Turkin; we just don’t know whether or not she was his first wife—or if she was his wife at all.) 


The Weigands


Robert’s second wife, Anna Maria Weigand,  was the daughter of Michael and Anna Catherina Weigand.  (There are numerous spellings of Weigand)  She was born in Hessen, Germany c1695, and in 1708 at age 13, traveled with her family to the English colonies in America on board the ship Globe.  In addition to her parents, her brothers Tobias and George, ages 7 and  5, made the trip, too.  Her family’s trip was historic for a number of reasons.  They were part of a fairly famous group of German Palatine refugees led by the Lutheran minister Rev. Joshua Kocherthal.  As such,  they had been befriended and partially financed in their journey by Queen Anne of England.  The Globe arrived in the New World during a cold winter when the river was frozen.  After the ship arrived, Governor Lovelace wrote to the Queen:

Our winter sets in very hard, the Ports and Rivers are full of Ice; I am in pain for the Germans and Recruits on board the Globe they wanting water and the Weather not permitting us to assist them. This coast is so terrible in the Winter I think no Ship ought to be sent hither from England after August at Fartherest. . . .

Because of the severity of the weather, Anna Maria and the rest of the Palatines had to spend the winter in New York City.  When weather made travel possible, the Weigand family moved to the Highlands of New York, where Anna Maria grew up and met Robert Stapleton.

Family Life in New York


On 02 Jun 1715 at Trinity Lutheran Church in  New York, NY. Robert and Anna Maria Weigand were married by Rev. Justus Falckner.  They set up housekeeping in the Highlands of New York, and the births of some of their children were recorded in the Lutheran church records there by the same Rev. Justus Falckner.


  1. Tobias b. 15 May 1717
  2. Elizabeth b. 3 April 1719
  3. Catherine b. 7 June 1721


Five other children were born, but their birthplaces and dates were not recorded in New York.  They were:  Hannabeth, William (b. 1720), John, Mary, and Sarah.  (It is possible that some of these children might have been products of Robert’s first marriage.)


Move to Pennsylvania


Some time around 1724 Robert and Anna Maria sold their land in New York and moved their family to Berks County, PA.   Anna Maria’s family, the Weigands, moved to Oley, PA with the Stapletons.   Robert and Anna Maria purchased land in Oley, PA in 1727 that was located near the Oley Forge and also received some land from the Penn brothers.  Son Tobias received land from the Penns as well.  The Stapletons apparently did well financially since the house they started building in Oley around 1730 was the first totally brick house in the area.  Later additions to the house included a second floor and a kitchen that was attached to the house.


In Berks County PA Robert and Anna Maria had two other children:  Johannes George (Charles) born 13 Jun 1731 and Anna Margaretha who was born 10 Aug 1734.  Both babies were baptized by Rev. Johan Casper Stoever in Oley, PA. 


Later Years


Sometime between the birth of Anna Margaretha (our ancestor) and 1748, Robert’s wife died.  After her death, he did two very important things.  First of all he wrote a provisional will.  In it he named his children and told how he wanted his estate settled.  Secondly, on 20 Nov 1748 he remarried.  This time his wife was a widow, Catharine Bender Reichard (Richard).  Mr. Reichard’s first name is unknown, but he and Catharine had two children, Jakob and Margaret.  Robert took Catharine’s children as his own.  He and Catharine were married in the Augustus Lutheran Trappe Church.


Most settlers in PA were farmers, and probably this was also Robert’s occupation.  In fact, he called himself a farmer in a second will which he wrote and recorded in VA.  However, at least one source insists that Stapleton first made his money in the freight hauling or drayage business.  Apparently two of his sons-in-law (Simon Derrick and Ulrich Moyer—and possibly others) worked for him in this business. 


The Move to Virginia


Around 1749 or 1750, Robert and several of his grown children and their families moved to Virginia.  This group included another of our ancestors, Simon Derrick, and his wife Catherina who was Robert’s daughter.  Three of Robert’s sons—Tobias, John, and William-- remained in PA and did not go to VA with the rest of the family.  (Tobias became quite prosperous in PA.  One large farm was passed down through the Stapleton family for four generations before finally being sold to an “outsider.”  On the land was a house build over a spring, a German custom that we learned about from another of our German ancestors, Dr. Martin Shultz.  To read about German settlers, go to the top of this page and click for previously published articles.  When you reach the Archives, scroll down the left navigation bar until you reach Martin Shultz.) 


More land and a New Will


When the family moved south, Robert purchased 428 acres of land on 3 Feb 1749 in Augusta County, VA.   He transferred 200 acres of this land to son Charles in 1750.  Around 1754 he wrote a second will and recorded it in Virginia.  In this will he left the bulk of his estate to Catherine to be used during her lifetime and then to be divided among his children.  Robert wrote the will in October and must have died shortly thereafter for his sons began court proceedings in January of 1755.


The Confusing Part


Now, what is there about the life just described that can be called maddening or confusing?  Simple.  The confusion comes from the parts I have left out.  If you really “get into” Robert Stapleton, you will discover that he was many different things to many different people.  Just try to make all the following “facts” fit and come up with a reasonable story.


1.         He was born in New York; Yorkshire, England; Pennsylvania, and Germany

2.         His parents were (a) Philip Stapilton and Margaret Gage Stapilton, (b) Robert Stippledown, (c) an aristocratic English couple, and (d) a German couple   (Stapleton—or Stapledon--is not a German name, but we know from our other German ancestors that that does not matter.  McInturff and deWalt started out as the German names Meckendorfer and Theobald but were morphed into something else)

3.         He was married in Germany, England, New York, and Berks Co., PA

4.         He was the child of an aristocratic English family, but he was ostracized by them when he became a Quaker.  As a result he moved to Germany, married Anna Maria Turkin, and had two or three children.  He then moved to the colonies. 

5.         He was a Lutheran and had his children baptized by a Lutheran minister. 

6.         His children’s names were the same no matter which wife he married; their dates of birth vary considerably, however.

7.         Robert was British (unless he was German or American), but his wives were German and his children tended to marry Germans.  Robert was also named Reuben, and was born in New York.

8.         Robert’s occupation was farmer, sea captain (unless that was his father’s occupation), ordinary owner, and/or a freight company owner

9.         He was married to (a) an unknown German (b) an unknown American (c) Anna Maria Turkin (d) Anna Maria Weigland, and (e) Catherine Reichard.  (d) and (e) are correct but two of the other three are incorrect.

10.    I could go on, but ten sounds like a good stopping place, and my head is beginning to spin again.


Whatever the details may include, Robert Stapleton managed to live and thrive in early colonial America.  He married, reared a family and provided for them.  His children prospered and contributed to society.  We can be proud of him as one of our ancestors.  Maybe someday we will know his real story.


Robert Stapleton was Mamaw McCarter’s 5 great grandfather.  If you are Mary Elizabeth Hatcher McCarter’s great great grandchild, Robert Stapleton is your 9 great grandfather


Line of Descent from Robert Stapleton to Mary Elizabeth Hatcher McCarter


Robert Stapleton (1690-c1755) + Anna Maria Weigand (1695-1747)

Catharina Margaretha Stapleton (1722-1796) + Simon Derrick (1718-1787)

Johannes (John) Frederick Derrick (1740-1790)  + Anna Maria Dunkelberger (1742-1796)

Elizabeth Derrick  (1762-bef.1830) + Adam Fuchs (Fox) (1760-bef.1830)

Johannes Fox (1784-1852) + Nancy Patterson (1787-bef. 1860)

Christina “Ticey” Fox (1813-?)  + Joseph Sutton (1812-?)

Russell Merritt Sutton (1834-1874)  + Elizabeth Ann Headrick (1836-?)

Susan Sutton (1866-1903) + Israel Alexander Hatcher (1860-1950)

Mary Elizabeth Hatcher (1889-1969) + Rev. Eli McCarter (1886-1955)




“Ancestors of James Monroe Stapleton”  http://www.csbvp.com/Stapleton/stapleton.htm


“Genealogy Data Page 22 Notes Pages”



“George W. Lutz”



“Immigration Trends are Divided into Three General Periods”



Knittle, Walter Allen, Phd.  (Dept of History, College of the City of New York)  Early Eighteenth Centuy Palatine Emigration.  A British Government Redemptioner Project to Manufacture Naval Stores.  Philadelphia: 1937.  Reprinted on line 1998, -- 2003. Berry Enterprises



McCarter Family Charts and Traditions


New Papyrus Publishing Company's On-Line Catalog:
Shenandoah County Virginia



PA-1767-Township Tax Lists http://www.ourfamilyhistories.com/hsdurbin/tax-lists/1767Patax1.html


PABERKS-L Archives



de Stapleton, de Stapelton, Stapilton, Stapylton



Stapleton Family Genforum.






“Stapleton, Robert.” http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~schweissguth/d0005/g0000193.html#I28494


“Turkin, Anna Maria.”  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~schweissguth/d0006/g0000193.html#I28495













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