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1755 Penn's Creek Massacre and the Aftermath

Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 20:44:48 -0800
From: (Ramsey, Lynne)

Hi Listers,

I am a descendant of Adam BERNHARD/BARNHART, b. ca. 1775, PA.; m. Elizabeth LININGER; the first record I have of them is on the 1850 West Salem Twp., Mercer Co., PA., census, living near their daughter and her family, Lovina (BARNHART) and William NELSON (my GGGgrandparents). Also living in Adam and Elizabeth's household is Joseph BARNHART, age 33, and Margaret BARNHART, age 20.

Several days ago, I received a wonderful story from Chris MORELAND, a descendant of Joseph and Margaret (MORELAND) BARNHART, which told about
Joseph's mother, Elizabeth LININGER'S, grandfather and young uncle being murdered by an indian party, and two of her aunts, Barbara and Rachel Lininger, abducted by the indians. Barbara was exchanged three years later, after escaping, and Rachel seven years later. There was also one brother who was spared because he had gone to town with their mother. This brother married and had a large family; Elizabeth Lininger was one of his children. Only two of Elizabeth's brothers, George and Henry, are known to exist, although it is thought that there were other siblings who stayed in York Co., PA.

Does anyone have any connection to this family? I am trying to compile a list of the children of Adam and Elizabeth (LININGER) BARNHART. So far I have three known children: Catherine, b. 1804, Joseph, b. 1817, and Lovina, b. 1824. Since there is a lot of time between these children, I'm fairly certain there were other siblings. Can anyone shed some light?

Regards to all,
Lynne Ramsey

 Early in the year 2003, I found this email at the right ►on as I was researching an ancestor, Adam Barnhart and his wife, Elizabeth Leininger.  I hadn't had much luck in finding Adam's predecessors.  I read with interest the part of the email about Elizabeth's parents and grandparents and their horrific encounter, including kidnapping and murder by Indians, in Pennsylvania.  I too, thought it a grand story but needed to make clear and definite connections with Adam and Elizabeth.  I set it aside until 2010.

I have since added at least two more children of theirs to the list given in the email from Lynne Ramsey.  They are Elizabeth, b. 1810 and Saloma, b. 1812.  I believe I have made some headway into the ancestry and descendants of Adam Barnhart which the reader can find by clicking the middle two hyperlink buttons at the top of this page.  I believed I have figured out a plausible theory as to his parentage and have dug up, with luck and help, the ancestry of Elizabeth. 


I tried to connect with Lynne Ramsey and the "Barnhart-L" email addresses given at the top of the letter but to no avail. I wanted to find out if they had learned anything new. Perhaps they will someday see my website when searching online and then connect up with me.


Here below ▼I have several hyperlink connections to various historical documents that show further details and give credence to the first part of the email account about Barbara and her sister Rachel/Regina and their father, Sebastian Leininger, who I have come to believe is Elisabeth Leininger/Lininger Barnhart's Grandfather. Read all and tell me what you think.


 Just click here ▼to connect to me:

      Marla Hembree at

Here is an overview of what happened that fateful day on Oct 16, 1755.  It is a excerpt from John Blain Linn's book entitled, Click here ► the ANNULs of Buffalo Valley, Pennsylvania  It was published in 1877 and shows that Linn had done his research homework. He sites many historical documents and looks as if he interviewed people and close relatives of people who lived though those dangerous days including years of the French and Indian Wars precluding the Revolutionary War.  What you will see here is just a short excerpt of the book (pages 7-12) pertaining to the massacre at Penn's Creek and the Leiningers and Le Roys.  Click on the title of this book. 

This next document here is named: The narrative of marie Le Roy and Barbara Leininger, who spent three and one half years as prisoners among the indians.  This is the personal deposition of two young colonial girls who in 1755 suffered the murder of their families, the separation from their siblings, and the hardships of captive servitude among a very different culture than their own. It shows their bravery and fortitude which led one of them to attempt an escape and face a dangerous unknown wilderness while fleeing their captors and to return home unguided but for their own instincts, resourcefulness and a unfailing faith in God.   Click on the title of this book, above. It is a good read.

Please click on the button below to find out what happened to Barbara after her return from 3 years of Indian captivity.

Barbara Leininger comes home

Below is a short Genealogy Report for Marie Le Roy, her father and her brother. If Marie married when she returned, I do not know. Once she marries, her maiden surname is lost on census records. If anyone should read this and has reliable account of what became of her, I would be glad to record it here.
           Jean Jacques Le Roy or John King b. 1704. wife unknown
Children of Jean Jacques Le Roy
               i.  Jacob Charles Le Roy (King) b. 1730 in Switzerland. He was also captured at the same time as Marie by the

 Indians on Sept 16. 1755. he married Charity Pennington b. 1735 - d. 1776. Jacob died Feb or March of 1789.They had eight children, all whose surname is King

ii.  Marie Le Roy, b. 1743

Click here if you wish to see the historical marker placed where Jean Jacques LeRoy was murdered by Indian in 1755.

What happened to Barbara Leininger's younger sister Regina (anglicized "Rachel"), named after her mother, who also was kidnapped that fateful day in 1755?  In the late 1700s and 1800's, the story of the Penn Creek Massacre including Barbara and Regina Leininger became quite sensationalized.  We today can understand how that may have occurred.  What is written on the following link is an investigative report into the matter accepted and read before the Berks Co. PA Historical Society in 1905.
Click on title Transactions of the Historical Society of Berks County: embracing papers contributed to the society, Volume II, Pages 130 -140