This a great story. It demonstrates the character and fortitude of Regina Leininger. 


She will need all this and more in her life as a pioneer wife and mother in 18th century Pennsylvania.


Is the "Agnes" (married to Hans Leininger) mentioned as one of the sponsors, Regina's Mother-in-Law or is she a Sister-in-Law married to a brother of Sebastian?

v.  JOHN LEININGER, b. 1727, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuettemberg, Germany.  Christening: 22 Mar 1727.  This John was probably also "Johannes" as a first name and another middle name.  As I have mentioned before, it was customary to name all or some of your male children the same first name with another family name as a middle name. We do not know his middle name.  It could be that this John died young and that is why a later John is given the same name.


vi. ANNA MARIA LEININGER, b. 1728, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuettemberg, Germany.  Anna Maria may have followed the same path in life as did her older sister, Anna Barbara.  In 1748 she would have been 20.

vii. JOHN CONRAD LEININGER, b. 23 Sep 1730, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuettemberg, Germany; d. 16 Oct 1755, Pennís Creek Massacre. Snyder, Co., PA.  Because this Johannes Conrad has the same two given names as did an older brother who was born in 1725, I would bet that the older son died young.  Again, It was a common custom in those days to give a later child the same name as an earlier child that had died. This is the John Conrad who sailed, at age 17, to America with his parents.  Conrad was working at clearing the fields when he and his father were attacked by Indians and massacred. (From the notes of Rev. Henry M. Muhlenberg's sermon in Switzerland about the Massacre.)

iii.   JOHANNES LEININGER, baptized. 20 Dec 1733, Hechingen, Zollernalbkreis, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. This Johannes is the only child of Sebastian and Regina that was not baptized at the Reutlingen Evangelical Church. When he was born the Leininger family was living in Hechingen, about 15 miles south of Ofterdingen, Germany. This is the Leininger who I believe was my long departed ancestor.  Below left is an excerpt from Dr. Thomas Leininger's article Ancestors Lost - Others Survived: the Sebastian Leininger Family Story found in the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, pg. 336, Volume 41- #4 Fall / Winter 2000. 

In I. Daniel Rupp's volume of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French Immigrants in Pennsylvania from I727 to 1776, Sebastian and his son Conrad are listed as having arrived on the ship "Paliena" with the same Master or Captain, John Brown and date, Sept. 16, 1748 as above.  This is apparently an editing error.  Below on the left is an excerpt from page 187 of I. Daniel Rupp's book. ▼ However, later researchers (Ralph Beaver Strassburger and William Hinke, authors of Pennsylvania German Pioneers, 3 Vols, (Birdsboro, PA, Pennsylvania German Society, 1934; List 122C, I:385) find that the name of the ship was indeed Patience.  Later genealogists find that Stassburger and Hinke is the more reliable source. (Thanks Jim Scott, an old HS classmate, for pointing that out to me. ) Below on the left is a copy of page 420 from Strassburger and Hinke's book showing the actual signatures of Sebastian and Conrad sent to me by Jim Scott.   Notice on the same page there is a man named "Ruben Bernhart.




Christ Lutheran Church  at Tulpehocken Creek, PA

 as it looks today     ►



Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg (considered to be the Patriarch of the Lutheran church in America) helped establish this church.  Rev. Johann Nicholas Kurtz was its Pastor from 1748 to 1770.  Its membership was primarily Palatine Germans. 
Notes for SEBASTIAN LEININGER - also spelled on various different records as Leynenger, Lyninger, or Lininger that I know of.  Sebastian Leininger immigrated to America with his wife and 5 youngest children in 1748. They arrived at Philadelphia on 16 Sep 1748 carried by the ship "Patience" originating from Rotterdam.  The ship's master was John Brown. According to his now known birth records, Sebastian would be be age 52 on that arrival date.

  Sebastian and his son Johannes Conrad Leininger take the loyalty oath at the same time. Both Sebastian and Conrad are able to write their own names without the help of a supervising clerk. According to his birth record Johannes Conrad would be within 7 days of his 18th birthday in 1748.



              Source: EGLE, WILLIAM HENRY, editor, Names of

Foreigners Who Took the Oath of Allegiance to

the Province and State of Pennsylvania, 1727-1775,

      with the Foreign Arrivals, 1786-1808. (Pennsylvania

           Archives, ser. 2,vol. 17, Harrisburg. PA)

Indian Paths Colozed.jpg


Descendants of Hanns Leininger (Father of Sebastian)

Itís important to note that most of the major research about the Leininger family in Germany, through the first two generations and into the 3rd generation was compiled by the recognized Leininger family genealogist and historian, Dr. Thomas H. Leininger of Mohnton, Berks County,  PA.  Dr Leininger was a retired dentist and is now deceased. Though he was not a direct descendant of Sebastian Leininger, he had done extensive research in the family because of his fascination with the story.  He was a member of Zion Evangelical Congregational Church in Mohnton PA a suburb of Reading, PA. He personally traveled to Germany and uncovered Sebastianís family church records in Offerdingen, Germany. Most of their children, except for Barbara and Johannes who is listed in the Christian in records in the Reutlingen Evangelical Church where Regina Wurcherer Leininger, their mother, was born.  ďDr. TomĒ was a fine writer; i.e., his article called Ancestors Lost - Others Survived: the Sebastian Leininger Family Story found in the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, pgs. 333-345 Volume 41- #4 Fall / Winter 2000.  Much credit is due to his skills as a researcher as he started long before the advent of the Internet.  This was his first published article in the magazine. It is 12 pages of fascinating Leininger history and I gleaned much new information from it which brought clarity to much of the smattering of information I had found elsewhere.  If you would like a copy of article, just contact the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. Phone: 215-545-0391 Or email them at: or

I too, have ferreted out much information concerning the Leiningers from Internet sources and from Ancestry.Com.  I suspect that most of that information had its roots in Dr. Leininger's research. Wherever possible, I will denote information I believe to be Dr. Leininger's in dark green type. 


                                                     Generation No. 1 

1.  HANNS1 LEININGER was born 1675 in Ofterdingen, Tubingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.  He married ANNA MARIA ETT. She was born 18 Jan 1674/75 in Zang, Heidenheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, and died 1750 in Paradise, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA.           
Child of HANNS LEININGER and ANNA ETT is:            
i.   SEBASTIAN LEININGER, b. 06 Aug 1696, Ofterdingen, Tubingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany (abt. 12 miles southwest of Reutlingen); d. 16 Oct 1775, Penn's Creek Massacre in Snyder Co., Buffalo Valley PA.  Sebastian probably had siblings but I do not have those records.   Generation No. 2 
2.  SEBASTIAN2 LEININGER (HANNS1) He married MARIA REGINA ROSINE WURCHERER possibly about 1720 in Reutlingen, Germany, daughter of LAURENTIUS WURCHERER and ANNA WITTAM.  She was born 02 Jan 1698 in Reutlingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, and died in York Co. PA. we are told.  (Other sources above say she died at Paradise, in Lancaster Co., PA ). She is also said to be buried at Christ Lutheran Church at Tulpehocken Creek, PA alongside her daughter, also named Regina (Rachel is her anglicized name). This church was a major Lutheran congregation in Marion Township, Berks Co., PA, 1/2 mile west of Stouchsburg, begun in 1743 by members, from Reed's (Rieth's) Church who lost their property to the Moravians.  It is this congregation which is generally meant when the simple term "Tulpehocken Church" is used today.  The parsonage, erected in 1771, and a massive stone church begun by this congregation in 1786 are still standing.  

Back to Miller Family Page       Back to Barnhart/Bernhart Page         Go to Ancestors of Adam Barnhart         Back to Hover/Hoover Page

ix.    GEORG LEININGER I, b. 26 Jan 1737, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuettemberg, Germany; d. Bef. 02 Mar 1782, Manheim Twp., York Co., PA. More on Georg (George) later. Click here for more information about George and his descendants.

MARIA REGINA (RACHEL) LEININGER, b. 08 Oct 1739, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuettemberg, Germany. Dies in Berks Co., PA. More on Maria Regina (anglicized - "Rachel") later.
 BARBARA LEININGER, b. 1743, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuettemberg, Germany; d. 06 Sep 1805, Cumru, Berks Co., PA. Barbara's gravestone in Alleghany Church cemetery in Brecknock Twp., Berks Co states that she died at age 62 on 06 Sep 1805. Church records say she died of dysentery, a common ailment in those days.  According to this date on her stone,  she would have been born in 1743 when her mother Regina is 44-45 years of age. Not impossible even then. If this is true, that means that Barbara would have been about age 12 or 13 at the time of the 1755 massacre on Penn creek and her sister, Regina b.1739, age 16. Perhaps then Barbara being a young preteen may have escaped any Indian's sexual ravages or that Regina may have been "married off" to a Indian male or given as a slave to a male member of the tribe. These things, from all accounts, did happen during these years. The two girls were separated early in their captivity. Barbara escapes the Indians while a captive in Ohio (along with several other young captives) 3 1/2 year later which would make her about 15 or 16 years old. Regina is returned 7 years later with a child clinging to her. Is it possible that the child is her own? Did her mother and sister Barbara protect her from disgrace and ostracism by white people when she returned as there was much antipathy against Indians, and visa-versa in those days. Barbara's birth date is guesswork based on what was written in The Journals of Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, (dated: 1765.)  Rev. Muhlenberg reports, after talking to Mrs. Leininger and her daughter Regina, that both had indicated Barbara was older than Regina (b. 1739).  Many other reports of the story suggest that Barbara was the older girl but I feel strongly that just the opposite may be true based on her death record and what was recorded on her grave stone.  If anyone has supporting evidence that I am wrong, please let me hear about it.


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


Barbara Leininger comes home

The Penn's Creek Massacre occurred on October 16, 1755.  By that date in history about 25 immigrant families had settled into the area along Penn's Creek.  Although there are many other family stories to tell, these pages on my website recall what happened to the Leininger Family.  Many of the other family's identities have been lost forever.  For further details of the Leininger's amazing survival, click here to go to page 2.

          If you have questions or if you want to make additions or corrections to these pages, please contact me, Marla Hembree at:




The map below ▼is a small excerpt of a map copied from a large PA State map drawn by Reading Howell in 1792. When J. B. Linn wrote his book in 1877, he apparently enlisted the assistance of artist R.F. Brown to hand-copy Howell's map and to draw in further names and places on that copied version that Linn wanted to insert within the pages of his book.   (You can find his book online)  Most of the names and places are original to Howell's map (such as Weiser's) but "Leroy killed in 1755" (in yellow) for instance, was added by Brown.


All the colored designations were added by me to draw the viewer's attention to those highlighted areas.

Below you will see a Cumberland Co., PA Land warrant register (cropped to fit web page) showing that Sebastian Leininger purchased 100 Acres of land on Big Mahoney Creek dated 3 Feb 1755.  Soon after this, the Creek's name was changed to Penn's Creek. The smaller print says "20 miles from the Susq'hanna".  In today's measurement scale, the land was about 12 miles upstream on Penn's Creek from the river. The warrant is never "returned" and the patent is never granted.  It does say "appropriated" (by whom ???? the state?) where the return date should be.

When I first read this warrant register, I was confused by the "On B. Mahoney Cr." designation.  Many other records show that the Leiningers lived along "Penn's Creek", named for William Penn and his heirs.  On modern maps there is also a Big Mahoney Creek on the east side of the Susquehanna River.  It wasn't until I discovered and read John Blair Linn's book
ANNULs of Buffalo Valley, Pennsylvania, published in 1877 that the name confusion thing was cleared up.  Below on the right see a short excerpt from page 7 of that book.  (More from this book on the next page 2)



Before 1755, the Indians and whites living along the Susquehanna River valley enjoyed fairly peaceful relationships. When Sebastian Leininger and many other immigrants bought and settled land in what was known as Buffalo Valley along Penn's Creek west of the Susquehanna, many Indians considered that those families had encroached too far into their territories and violated a treaty agreement.  Gen. Braddock's defeat on July 9, 1755 near Fort Pitt in Western Pennsylvania emboldened many tribes to unite and act upon their outrage.  Thus the French and Indian War against the British Colonies began.

To show how important the area, including Penn's Creek and Buffalo Valley, was to the Pennsylvania Indian Tribes, see the drawing at the right. ► It outlines all the historic Indian "Paths" or trails (dotted lines) that at one time converged in the area.  A large Indian trading post was located at Shamokin near Sunbury, PA today shown just below where the Susquehanna River divides into eastern and western flows.


  Also I have marked the area along Penn's Creek in orange
            where the 1755
massacre occurred.

Sebastian (probably with his wife and their last 5 children, though they are not mentioned) was recorded on an early census record in 1748 as residents of Philadelphia City, Philadelphia Co., Pa. They stay there as late as 1749 as Sebastianís name is listed in the church records of St. Michael's and Zion Church at the wedding of Anna Penering and Johannes Ott on May 29th of that year. On the church records of this wedding Sebastian is recorded as a weaver by trade.  The name Ott may be another spelling of the surname "Ett", a relative of Sebastian Leininger's mother whose maiden name was Ett.

The Leininger family moved from Philadelphia into the Tulpehocken Creek area perhaps as early as 1750.  They were among people of Palatine heritage with language and reformed faith in common.  There they probably become acquainted with a prominent citizen of that community, Conrad Weiser.  Weiser was one of the comparatively few men of his time familiar enough with the Indian character, languages and customs to carry on negotiations intelligently and efficiently, and at the same time possessing a reputation which made him the trusted agent of both the red and the white men. He died in 1760.  An old map, drawn in 1792 by Reading Howell, pinpoints a "Weisers" on the east bank of the Susquehanna River located what looks like at the mouth of Mahoney Creek (difficult to read on this old map).  This location may be one of many things, perhaps a blockhouse, trading post, or ferry location.  The Weisers were a wealthy and industrious family when John and Thomas Penn (sons of William Penn) rewarded Conrad for his loyal service to the colony with a large tract of land on the Susquehanna River. However, in serving their own best interests, the Penns, Weiser, and the Iroquois often ignored the interests of the Delaware and other Pennsylvania Indians.  I has been said that Weiser encouraged pioneers to move into areas that some Indian tribes regarded as "theirs" by treaty agreement.  You can find much more information about Conrad Weiser on the internet.

Children (11) of Sebastian and Regina Wucherer Leininger

JOHAN SEBASTIAN3 LEININGER II, b. 1722, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuettemberg, Germany; Christening: 17 Mar 1722 Reutlingen, Germany, d. 04 Jul 1722, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuettemberg, Germany.

ii.   ANNA BARBARA LEININGER, b. 1723, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuettemberg, Germany. Christening: 12 Jul 1723 Reutlingen, Germany.  Since Anna Barbara is age 25 by the time that the rest of her family sails to America in 1748, we can assume that she has died earlier or that she is married. Perhaps she and her husband, under his name, may have sailed to America on the same ship or on a later arrival.


iii.  JOHN LEININGER, b. 1724, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuettemberg, Germany.  Christening: 1 Sep 1724 Reutlingen, Germany.   By 1748 this John is either dead or married with a new life or he travels to America on another ship.  His German name was probably Johannes or Hans.


iv. JOHANNES CONRAD LEININGER, b. 23 Sep 1725, Reutlingen, Baden-Wuettemberg, Germany.  Christening: 4 Nov 1725, Germany.  This is not the Johannes Conrad that sails with his parents to Philadelphia in 1748.  I would guess that this John Conrad dies early as another son is given the same first and second names later as was German custom.

Sebastian Leininger and his descendants