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Roots 1


Š2013 All Rights Reserved First Edition Printed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 3

I have thirty five great aunts and uncles, twenty seven aunts and uncles and twenty three cousins and five grandparents, two of which I never met. As children, my brother, Daniel, and I would quiz each other during family events on who was a cousin and who was an aunt or uncle and who wasn’t related to us at all. It took us years to figure it out entirely. I’m fairly certain sure Daniel still doesn’t know. Beyond immediate family gatherings, we would also go to extended family events which exponentially adds to the confusion, as we met my parents’ aunts and uncles and cousins and wives of cousins and our second cousins, etc. etc. That being said, this book in no way covers the entirety of my family. A book that did so would exhaust the attention of even the most focused person, so only the best pictures and most interesting stories are in here. You’re welcome. Also, there are a lot of pictures of me because I was cute. This book is dedicated to my aunt, Cindy Wilson, who has a slight obsession with family hertiage and was willing to give me photos and documents. It is also dedicated to my parents, who allowed me to tear apart family albums and ask too many questions. This book is also for my little brother, Daniel because he exists.


Table of Contents Eshleman




Immediate Family

38-56 5

Johannes Christian Eshleman (1714-1780) arrived in Philadelphia on September 21, 1731 aboard the ship Britannia.


Ship List: BRITANNIA, 1731: Passengers who took the oath of allegiance At the Courtho. of Philadia., Sepr. 21st, 1731. Present: The Honble PARTICK GORDON, Esqr., Lt. Govr Clement Plumsted, Esqr., Member of Council Thomas Laurence, Esqr, Member of Council Derick Jansen, Esqr., one of His Majties Justices of Peace for the county of Philadelphia. A list was presented of the Names of One hundred & six Palatines, who with their Families, making in all Two hundred & sixty nine Persons, were imported here in the ship Britannia, of London, Michael Franklyn, Mr., from Rotterdam, but last from Cowes, as by Clearance from that Port. The Master being Examined said he had no particular License for their Transportation. They were then called in, & having declared that their Intentions were to settle & live Peaceably in this Province, the several persons whose Names are subjoyned, did repeat and sign the Declaration inserted in the Minute of the 21st of Septr., 1727, & likewise took & subscribed the Declaration of Fidelity & Abjuration. Johannes Bartholomay Rieger Hans Michael Willhelm Louis Timothee Joseph Beyer Geles Gelesen Hans Georg Gunt Gisbertus Boors Hans Georg Friedle Johannes Boors Jacob Gunt Jacob Swenkoel Hans Peter Garner Henric Geber Hans Michael Henninger Johannes Geber Rudolph Holsinger Johan Henric Geber Hans Leonard Haltzarfall Jacob Ritsch Erasmus Haltzarfall Lucas Vetter Henric Herbertz David Vetter Jacob Hachman Johannes Alberts Johan Heinstand Abraham Allshousen Michael Horsch Johan Henrick Bahn Daniel Hubert Hans Michael Blatnert Christian Hubert Veith Bruninger Jacob Carl Johan Jacob Beyer Ulrick Keyser Johan Adam Beyer Henrick Kram Henrick Blicker Nicolas Kennell Leonard Bock Jacob Kobell Hans Boshung Abraham Kern Hans George Ebert George Dietric Kohl Hans Michael Ebert Johannes Kirkner Johannes Eshleman Gottfried Krafft Johannes Agender Valentine Klain Johannes Frey Wilhelm Kerkes Hans Michael Deibellbissin Wendel Lautermilch Hans George Deibellbissin Christopher Lehman Leonart Steininger Johan Philip Lutz Michael Nehs Hans Peter Lederman Hans Georg Muller Michael Meyer Johan Leonard Bihlmeir Hans Jacob Mentz Johan Martin Sakreider Jacob Meyer Johan Michel Schrotner Christofall Meyer Michel Stocker Johan Thomas Meyer Georg Wilhelm Schwartz Hans Henrick Martin Henric Lutwig Schwartz Jacob Mier Johan Adam Schroter Michel Moths Valentine Siegmund Johan Casper Muntz Jacob Sumaker Johannes Smiedt Christofall Trubar Mathias Nehs Hans Vogler Johan Nehs Leonard Virohn Dewald Nehs Oswald Wald Hans Georg Nehs Hans Martin Wetzell Mathias Nehs, junr. Georg Wanamaker Georg Passage Johan Jacob Weynand Gabriel Roscher Casper Weis Johannes Roth Jacob Wirtz Jacob Rohr Jacob Nehs Johan Adam Ruppert


(top left) Henry and Elizabeth Eshleman family.1819-1897. Jasper County, Missouri (top middle) Samuel Eshleman.1830-1902. (top right) Benjamin Franklin Eshleman 1830-1909. (bottom left) Elizabeth Eshleman. 1855-1920. (bottom 2nd from middle) John Sheridan Eshleman.1865-1930. (bottom middle right) William Henry Eshleman family. 1866-1957. (bottom right) William Henry Eshleman.1866-1957.


Eshleman is the Americanized spelling of the Swiss German name, Aschlimann. Some authorities believe it to be a topographic name for someone living by a prominent ash tree. In Old High German ‘asc’ refers to ‘ash’. Others derive the name from Oschli, a pet form of the personal name Oswald. The Eshleman family can be traced back to Basel (or Basle), Switzerland, which is the country’s third most populous city. It is located at the intersection of the borders of Switzerland, France and Germany. The Eshlemans were Anabaptists and part of the Radical Reformation in the 16th century in Europe. Many Anabaptists were killed for their beliefs and were persecuted by the government and other Christians. The family moved to America because it gave them a chance to practice their faith without hinderance. They chose to settle in what is now Lancaster County because it reminded them of Switzerland. (top right) Elias Eshleman of Lancaster County, Pa. “19 years old today. Wednesday May 5th, 1880” written on the back. (top left) Harriet Ellen Eshleman 1863-1932. (bottom right) Emma Francis Eshleman. born 1869 (bottom left) Leroy Montdale Eshleman. born 1894



Dad and some of his siblings, Jay, Brenda and Earl with their cows.

The Wolgemuth Farm. This is a family farm that was purchased from William Penn.


Great grandparents, Roy and Mary Kaylor.


My grandfather, Kenneth Eshleman and his wife, Melva.


family dinner / Jay being weird


A fraction of the Eshleman family dressed up for church.

Great grandparents, Roy and Mary Kaylor.

back row: Sandi, Donna, Linda, Janie, Brenda / middle row: Grandmother (Melva), Earl, Grandfather (Ken) / front row: Kevin (Dad) and Jay

Great grandfather Kaylor.

Grandparents with my cousin, Angie, Uncle Earl and cousin Laura.



In June of 1987, my grandfather, Ken Eshleman, married Verna Bruckhart. The left side of the photo is her children and the right side is my aunts and uncles.


DARKES The Darkes family can be traced back to West Germany and Eastern France. They can be specifically traced back to a town named Darmstadt in the state of Hessia, West Germany. Census records indicate that Darkeses have been living in the area that is now Lebanon County since 1790. Henry Darkes, Sr. and Henry Darkes, Jr. took the oath of allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania in 1778. That is the earliest reference to the Darkes name that can be found. It appears in A History of Lebanon County by Egle.



20 Wolf Family / front row: Susanna Wolf Darkes, Abraham, Susanna, Isabella Wolf Blouch, Emma Wolf Hostetter / back row: Andrew, Daniel Henry, C.P. Geary, John, Samuel (great great great grandparents and family)

Family of John and Suzanna Darkes (great great grandparents and family)


22 Family of Harry and Annie Darkes. My great grandmother, Annie, wanted this photo taken because she didn’t know if there would ever be a time when the whole family would be together again. With her older sons in the military, she feared they that not all of them would make it home alive. All eleven of her sons went to war. Every one of them survived.

The same porch that the adjacent photo was taken on, many years later.


The family of Harry and Annie Darkes (my grandfather, Lester, is fourth from the left).


Paul, Leo and Warren Darkes (great uncles)



Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

Russel, my great uncle, wrote a memoir about his time spent in the United States Army entitled ‘Twenty-five Years in the Military’ in which he recalls his time in North Africa, the Italian Campaign, Southern France and the United States. The following page is an exerpt from his memoir, revisiting his experiences in Southern France.

S 26


SARAH CORNIELE LILLIE MAE PORTER (1898-1993) born in Schaal, Arkansas Great grandmother

“Nannie [commonly called Deedie] went to a small school, and at recess she and a friend would sit under a tree and dip snuff. Throughout her life, she would have empty tin cans all over the house for spittoons. Her Mom died when she was young, and her Dad remarried. Her Dad couldn’t afford to have all of the kids, so Nannie was basically sold (dowry??) to an older man when she was 13. It was very shameful for the family at the time, but it wasn’t unusual back then. Her brother Dave rescued her and brought her home – she was barefoot, in the woods in winter. Nannie always liked living in town, and hated the sound of the whippoorwill, probably because of being alone on the mountain (and that bird has a sad song). She was always close to her brother Dave, and his wife Sarah.” -Cindy Wilson

One of Deedie’s childhood homes in Arkansas.


(top left) She regularly attended church--Church of Christ--but always had her snuff prepared for the end of the service. (top middle) May 1994. (top right) My mom and my aunt, Monica, have a strange sense of humor. This is mom laying on top of her grandfather’s grave to ‘be next to Nannie.’



Josie with friends.

AMELIA JO PORTER (1933-1971) born in Chapel Hill, Arkansas Grandmother

Though she never had a drivers’ license, Josie loved to drive.

I’ve always had a facination with my grandmother because I never knew her. She died on at age 38 of stomach/uterine cancer. My mother was nine-years-old at the time. My aunt Cindy told me that my grandmother’s one regret upon death was that she would not live to meet her grandchildren. From stories I’ve heard, she seemed like a warm-hearted, adventurous, slightly crazy lady. I would have liked to know her.


32 Pappy (my grandfather, Lester) with Aunt Cindy on Easter.

(top left) Aunt Cindy and Uncle Dwight (top right) Aunt Cindy at age three (bottom left) Uncle Dwight, Aunt Cindy and their mother, Amelia (bottom left) Aunt Cindy and her Uncle Ammon. He died in Janurary of 1967 from a selfinflicted gunshot wound. He planned his suicide carefully and ended his life in a shed for horse and buggies at Kimmerling’s Church.


(top left) Cindy, Stephanie, Monica and Dwight (top middle and right) Monica and Cindy posing on top of their parent’s car.

(bottom left) Cindy, Monica, Pappy, Mom and Dwight. August 1994. (bottom middle) Monica joined the U.S. Army in 1976 at age 18 (bottom right) Dwight posing with a lamp and Cindy.


(left) Aunt Cindy (right) Aunt Monica in Barcelona, Spain.

I remember a day when my aunts, Cindy and Monica were at the house and we wanted to do a makeover. My mom went upstairs to get her makeup and came back, producing the only three items she ever used. Monica and Cindy then proceeded reveal a giant bag of makeup and dump it onto the table--lipstick, mascara, blush, nail polish, eyeshadow, etc. etc. Everything. I had a tendancy when I was younger to gravitate towards being a tomboy. That was entirely counteracted by my aunts. They introduced me to flat irons, makeup, manicures, pedicures, spas and shopping days. Monica lives in Washington State so I don’t get to see her very often but when all three of the sisters are together, things get weird. They all have a very unique, rather sick sense of humor, which perhaps has been passed down to their children. They’re some of the coolest people I know.




My grandfather, Lester Darkes (Pappy, to me) owned the Market Basket in Elizabethtown, Pa. They were known for their fried chicken. On the anniversary of his birthday, May 5th, the family eats some fried chicken, though we are all in different places. He died of mantle cell lymphoma on Janurary 8, 2008.

with animals.

Amelia Jo Darkes (grandmother)





in cars.




Stephanie Lynn Darkes Born September 2, 1963 Raised in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania Two sisters: Cindy and Monica Five brothers: Kent, Kerry, Kerby, Keith and Dwight Father: Lester Darkes (Pappy) Mother: Amelia Porter Stepmother: Evlyn (Mema) Krieder

Third grade school photo

Current Occupation: Bookkeeper/Accountant at Ephrata Community Church


A l way s

w i th

do gs. . .

Mom and I, roughly around the same age, both covered in animals.

(top left) A prom photo with her father, Lester. April 30, 1983 (top right) sisters. left to right: Cindy, Stephanie and Monica (bottom) mom in Janurary 1981.



Roy Kevin Eshleman Born August 5, 1962 Raised in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania Five sisters: Brenda, Sandi, Mary Jane, Donna and Linda Two brothers: Jay and Earl Father: Kenneth Eshleman (Grandpa) Mother: Melva Kaylor Stepmother: Verna Bruckhart (Grandma) Current Occupation: Pastor at Ephrata Community Church 42

(top right) Dad at age one, (top middle) Dad and Uncle Earl (top right) Dad’s 1970 T/A Challenger (above) Dad on a road. August 1984 (bottom left) Dad and his two brothers with the neighbors

bicycle v. 1100 LTD Kawasaki


“We met at a Valentine’s party given by a mutual friend, Fred. We were both there with other people. I thought he was so much fun but didn’t think twice about him because he was with a girl he’d been dating for years. Everyone always assumed they would get married. About a month later Fred’s mom, Mabel, told me that Kevin’s mom had just died of cancer. I wrote him a letter empathizing with him because my mom had died of cancer when I was 9, so I felt I could relate in a small way. He called me up to thank me for the letter and asked me out. I turned him down because I was dating someone else at the time. About 15 months later he saw me working at the grocery store where I worked for my dad. We had a short conversation and after that I knew I had to break up with my boyfriend because I could no longer be true to him in my mind. So I broke up with him, and the following week I went to visit Mabel, who was like a second mom to me. Fred was there with his girlfriend, and while I was talking to Mabel he quickly called Kevin and told him to come over. So Kevin came over to visit, and the four of us went to see Kevin’s Charolais beef cattle. It was dusk and Kevin’s herd of one bull and his sixty girlfriends didn’t recognize him. They literally chased us through the field and I was scared to death. I was not used to large animals at all and thought I was going to die in a very unique way. But it was a very fun night and he officially asked me out a few days later.” -Stephanie Eshleman (top) Mom and Dad during their dating years, on the couch at her parent’s house with her dog, Heidi. August 1984 (bottom) engagement photos


My parents were married on December 29, 1985.




I was born at 11:36 am on April 9, 1990.

(top left) Me and a puppy. February 1991. (top right) Dressed in my grandfather’s clothes. April 1992.


Reading “The Little Kitten” with Dad. September 1991.

Mom and I. April 1991.

Being a rockstar. April 1991.

Sneaking up on Dad with a plastic hammer. 1993.

Holding a pig. May 1992.

March 1992. The day we moved out of Mount Joy and onto the farm my dad had just purchased.


a brother is a friend given by nature. -jean baptiste legourve


Daniel joined the family at 12:27 pm on May 19, 1992. Since we lived in the middle of nowhere and there were no other kids, Daniel and I spent all our time together.

Me staring at the camera. The chicken staring at Daniel. Daniel staring at the chicken. 1992.


September 1992.


November 1993.



Aerial view of the farm. 90 Project Drive. Denver, Pa

when you grow up on a farm without a TV...

(top left) I drew an eyeless, noseless mask of a ‘pig’ and taped it to Daniel’s forehead. My costume was a bit more confortable. (top right) Two-year-old me rolling some dough. September 1992. (above) Me holding one of the thousands of pigs that we raised on the farm. I only liked the babies. August 1996. (bottom left) Another strange day in the fashion world. October 1995 (bottom middle) Wearing a blanket as a robe. Apparently, I was into aviators and sunhats. November 1995 (Bottom right) Daniel and I both wearing my dad’s high school football jersey. We fought over who got to put their head in the sleeve. May 1997.


the rest of my life in one page...

(l-r) Cousin Mark, me, Daniel, cousin Scott. Cape Disappointment. Washington State. 2000.

Photo from our Christmas card with our yellow lab, Samson. 2003.

(l-r) Emelia, Sawyer, Daniel, Laurel, me. From about age eight until nineteen, my best friends were my neighbors. We did everything together. Here, we are all inhaling, in order to keep the Morning Glories on our noses. There’s no way to make that sound normal. 2005. Pa Grand Canyon. Daniel, me and Mom. 2010


Junior Prom with Brandon Miller. 2007.

the end.