ABRAHAM FLURY YORK COUNTY, PA
Abraham Flury is one of the
three families featured in Walter Bunderman’s
classic text on the Flory families in
Those who want to drive by the colonial home Abraham and Susanna built in 1771 should go soon. While it sits in a pastoral setting that has changed very little since the colonial period, this will not last forever as the property is just off a major highway that will eventually be converted to other uses. While it is an occupied private residence, it can be seen from the street. Direction to the home and property is provided. The house and cemetery where Abraham, Susanna and many of their children are buried is on the original 250 acres and was once known as the Flury cemetery. For more about this house, click on the Abraham Flury home.
If you are interested in this family, please contact me:
DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MY FATHER, JAMES HORACE FLORA, AND ANOTHER DESCENDENT OF DANIEL FLORA, ALMA FLORA MOSBY
As a student I disliked history, which focused mostly on wars, until my father showed me how it affected our family. It took only one trip to the history center of the Knox County, Tennessee library to learn that my dad's father served in the Spanish American War, his grandfather had served in the Civil War and his great-grandfather had served in the War of 1812. When we visited the log cabins, cemeteries and churches in the hill country of upper East Tennessee, I knew I was hooked on family history.
All of us who descend from Abraham's son Daniel Flora (b. 1741) of Rogersville, Tennessee know of the passion of Alma Flora Mosby in researching the family. She provided me and others with many of the colonial estate records of Abraham and Susanna. I think of her first when I make a major discovery like finding their colonial home in Wrightsville and making the European connection.
FLURY/FLORY (1710 - 1777) & SUSANNA NEFF (1717- 1777) WRIGHTSVILLE,
In 1743 Abraham and his wife Susanna lived with his father Jacob Flury/Flory in Bally (Berks Co) PA. Information about the early life of Abraham and Susanna Flory is in that section. Their descendents are fortunate to have factual evidence that vividly portrays their family, home and life style in the Providence of Pennsylvania. These legal records and documents, combined with histories of the families they bonded with through church and intermarriage, provide a window into their world more than 275 years ago.
The names and birthdates of their 14 children were listed in the old German bible that named Jacob as the father of Abraham. When the estate was settled, 12 of the 14 children were named in the estate documents. These dates correspond with cemetery records and other legal documents. German speaking people wrote their documents in Swiss German but the law required an English translation.
1. ISAAC (
2. JACOB (
3. BARBARA (
4. ABRAHAM II (
5. ELISABETH (
6. HENRY (
7. ESTHER (
8. JOHN (
9. DANIEL (17 DEC 1753 –1841) m. Anne Beidler (ca 1762-bef 1850)
10. PETER (13 APR 1755- BEF 1777). Not in estate settlement
11. SUSANNA (
12. FRANZ (
13. LIES (
When Abraham and
Susanna first moved to Hellam Twp in the summer of 1743 it was
called Springettbury Manor after Springett Penn, the son of William
Penn. The large three-story, clapboard covered
colonial home (reminiscent of
This house has an unusual date stone. Date stones usually contain the year and the first and last initials of the male, or the name of the male, but not the name of the wife. The Flory date stone has five centered lines with the following information: Erbauer, Von Abraham Flory, and Susana F in Jahr, 1771 (Built by Abraham Flory and Susana F in Year 1771). I believe this date stone was added later. All cemetery records and signatures of Abraham and his children spell the name Fluri (with an umlaut) or Flury but never Flory. The house became the property of one of Abraham's sons when the estate was settled. A later descendant probably added the date stone.
Directions to the
house from the town of
Abraham owned 685
acres. The house sits on the first 250 acres
bought from Quaker John Wright 14 May 1741. This
date comes from the will of John Wright. It is
not known where on Hwy 462 the Flory property started.
Another researcher included all of part of the Cool Creek Country
Club property as belonging to Abraham. I have not confirmed that.
If so the house is situated in the center of the original 250
John Wright owned all of the property from the Susquehanna River
west along Hwy 462 to about Strickler Lane. All
the land along the southside of Hwy 462 between
In 2002, I was able to
view the original colonial documents and maps of the Abraham Flory
property. They are contained on enlarged brown
parchment paper. Some outlined the entire
property. Other documents related to the estate
settlement and transfer of property. These
documents are in the possession of a local Mennonite family whose
ancestors purchased the property from the Jacob Flory estate
(Abraham’s son). With these maps and documents it is possible to
determine approximately where each of Abraham’s sons lived and the
property each owned. Those who acquired their
father’s property were Isaac, Jacob, Abraham II, John and Henry
(before he moved to
These lands once owned by the Flury and Beidler family are in the very beautiful and pastoral Kreutz Creek valley. Most of the land and colonial period homes built by them and their descendents have been preserved. Kreutz Creek meanders through both of these properties. Even today green pastures meet woodlands that support lush vegetation and wild life. This is about to change. There is a struggle between those who would like to maintain their peaceful existence in this idyllic place and those who realize the value of this property and want to sell to developers, industrialists and etc. If you plan to visit, go soon before it changes forever.
The names and birth
dates of their fourteen children come from the old German bible.
These names and dates are verified by cemetery and public
records. The Flory family held family reunions
SIGNATURE OF ABRAHAM FLURY ON LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Abraham was living in
Berks CO (then
English court document in York Co shows that on
Beidler died intestate in 1749 and the estate was settled in
1757. His wife was Barbara and her maiden name
is unknown. Barbara chose Abraham Flury
and Michael Swartz as witnesses. They
affirmed the age of Anna Beidler, the oldest daughter who was
born in 1728 when all three of these families lived in Phil/Berks
County. In 1757 all three of them owned
adjoining properties in
3. In 1775 Abraham and Susanna sold 10 acres to Jost Reep. This land had been bought two years earlier from Daniel Naef (no relation). This signature is the last available and is also in Swiss German.
DEATH OF ABRAHAM AND SUSANNA
Both Abraham and
Susanna died between Jan – Jun 1777 without leaving a will.
Their executors and/or administrators were to
appear before the July session of the Court. On
Administration were granted to Isaac Flury and Abraham Flury for the
Estate of Abraham Flury (the elder) late of York county Yeoman
deceased; Inventory to be exhibited into the Registers Office at
Since the court met quarterly, Abraham and Isaac probably appeared in the April court to have a date set for the July court. This would indicate that Abraham and Susanna died unexpectedly between Jan and Mar 31. Given the size of the large estate, it seems that Abraham would have made a will if he expected to die soon. Abraham was age 67 and Susanna about age 60.
This must have been a
difficult time for the family as the Revolutionary war was raging
all around. The British entered
ABRAHAM FLURY ESTATE INVENTORY (PARTIAL)
CLOTHING: 57 LBS. The first item is the clothing of the old man deceased. It included a great coat, hat and boots valued at 16 LBS. The clothing of the old woman deceased 41 LBS. This is quite a large amount.
BOOKS: 16 LBS. This is also quite a large amount.
BEDS: 27 LBS. The home had seven beds with bedsteads. Bedding, pillow cases and blankets were also mentioned.
KITCHEN FURNITURE AND UNTENSILS: 13 LBS. The kitchen furniture and utensils were lumped together. The house had built in kitchen cupboards and shelving.
OTHER FURNITURE AND ITEMS: 26 LBS. Clock, (8 LBS) stove and pipe, (9 LBS) three dressers, walnut chest, chest of drawers, another chest, table cloths, tea cups, teapots and cupboard in the stove room (parlor).
WORKROOM ITEMS AND MATERIALS: 32 LBS. 2 Spinning wheels and a big wheel, 2 weaver looms and faklins (?), linen for tablecloths, 60 yards of linen cloth, 39 yards of yarn, linsey (?) and white flannel cloth, 38 lbs. of wool, 22 lbs. of woolen yarn, 4 lbs cotton, three miscellaneous boxes with sundries.
LIVESTOCK: 143 LBS. 8 Horses and Colts 83 LBS. 17 cows and calves 42 LBS. 15 Sheep and lambs at 13 LBS. 5 Hogs 5 LBS.
MAJOR CROPS: 147 LBS. Winter grain 37 LBS. Clean wheat: 30 LBS. Hemp: 44 LBS. Oats: 30 LBS. Flax: 6 LBS.
FARM AND MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS: Wagon (15 LBS – it may be a plantation wagon). Note from John Dorman. Continental dollars: 16. Windmill, small still, brass kettle and washing tub, old stove, man saddle and side saddle, riffle with powder horn, gun, walnut boards, clap boards, pine boards, wagon, carts, numerous tools, barrels, 45 lbs. soap, bees wax, deer skin, plow and sled, wide assortment of farm implements tools and miscellaneous items.
The inventory referred to a stove room and the other room. Visitors were normally entertained in the stove room which the English called parlor. The other room might be like our present day family room. The records mention the plantation home as well as the old house. The outline of the old house can be seen at the back of the colonial home. It underwent renovation and change over the years. With such a large family, it is doubtful that they lived in the same house for 28 years before building the plantation home. When their family was small they may have lived in a small house for a few years and either added on to it or built a replacement house. Like the house, their possessions exceed most of the estate inventories for 1775-1785 in the area. The inventory is expressed in English Pound Sterling, Shillings and Pence. Value 574:4:6 LBs.
LOCATING THE ABRAHAM FLURY REAL ESTATE
Acquiring land in PA in
the Colonial period was a three step process starting with a
warrant, survey and patent. The warrant gave the
right to occupy the land. The survey granted
more land than was requested to allow for roads and water rights.
The patent was expensive and was not acquired for years due
to legal difficulties peculiar to the Penn Colony.
The Penn family did not want to banish the Indians from their
land and took great efforts to try and secure an acceptable treaty
that took years. Then there was a dispute
Abraham II and Isaac transferred 658.75 acres of land to their siblings. Transfers of deeds occurred in 1781 and the final settlement took place in 1785. All the signatures are in German except for Abraham Flury II which is in English. The husbands of the daughters signed in German.
The property is as follows:
250 Acres purchased from John Wright – 1741 (Deed Book B, p. 118)
This land was taken from two pieces of land owned by John Wright. John Wright died before he received the patent he had applied for. This land is listed in the names of James Wright (brother) and Eleanor Wright (widow) who were the executors of the estate. Since this land was taken from two separate tracks owned by John Wright, both are mentioned. The actual acreage was 250 acres plus a 6% increase for roads, etc.
Survey S-379, Lancaster Warrant Register: B43, Warrant 22 DEC 1736, 350 acres to Samuel Blunston. Survey (not dated), 353 acres to Samuel Blunston Patent: (SP 578) DEC 29 1736 (date applied) James and Eleanor Wright AA-2-185; c-224-75, 76.
Survey S-380, Lancaster Warrant Register: B-43
Warrant: 22 DEC 1736 300 acres to John Wright, assignee of Samuel
Blunston. Survey (not dated) to John Wright.
Patent: (SP =579)
In 1741 John Wright sold Abraham Flury 250 acres for 250 English LBS and gave him a receipt. Since John Wright had not been granted the patent, he could not give Abraham a deed. Since Quakers did not swear oaths, he gave his written bond that stated he would give Abram Flury title to the property whenever the Proprietors enabled him to do so. In 1749 John Wright made a will and instructed his executors (wife Eleanor and his brother James Wright) to see that Abraham Flury got his title to the property:
1749 John Wright will: “Memorandum that the above named “Abraham Flury has paid and discharged the sum of two hundred and fifty Pounds being the full purchase money for the land mentioned in the above Bond to be sold to him by me the Subscriber and that whenever I am enabled to make him a Title I will do it without any further demands of payment for the said land as witness my hand this 20th day of June 1749. John Wright.
This property lies
145.5 ACRES GIVEN BY THE PROPRIETORS
Survey: Jan 18, 1753, 145.80 acres to Abraham Fleuree
This property adjoins the above property on the
back. To view it, go down
118 acres Patented by Penn Agent John R. Coates
Warrant: Blunston License,
Patent: March 6, John R.
Coates (Penn agent)
145.25 Acres Patented to Henry Flory
Henry acquired 145.25 acres of property in the
estate settlement but sold it to George Ernold/Arnold
and moved to Perry Co.
For persons wishing to
trace all the property listed above, the ADC YORK County Street Map
book contains 55 enlarged pages of maps for
The Strickler cemetery
is on land originally owned by Abraham Flory. It
is near the corner of
Jacob Flury (1685-aft
1749), the father of Abraham was age 64 in 1749.
He and his wife are probably buried here. Annele
(Abraham’s sister) is buried here. She may have
buried her first and second husbands in the cemetery (Cornelius
Cooper died 1759 and Reist).
The two sons of Abraham and Susanna that died in childhood
(Peter and Lies) would be buried here along with Franz (d. 1785) and
In the early 1990s, I had a chance to talk to the caretaker about missing headstones. He pointed to the back wire fence and told me that many old broken fieldstone markers had been thrown across the fence. He outlined where the oldest had been buried that no longer had stones. Their graves were just behind the Flury family plots. They were in the direction of the house and toward the back fence.
Abraham Flory II (1746-1822) acquired the property that ran along the turnpike (highway) from his father’s estate and that included the family cemetery. In his will (Deed Book O, p. 495, Nov 5, 1822,) Abraham II made provision for the cemetery to extend to the turnpike. He also made provision for two head stones for $20. These stones were for him and his wife. He left $100 to the Menoist (Mennonite) congregation. The rest was to go to his children. The cemetery was not extended to the turnpike and his heirs sold that property. A brick house was built on that property before the civil war. About 2002 the property was completely renovated and a tall garage was added. Since then the view of the cemetery from the highway is blocked by the house, separate garage and the tall cedar trees that surround the cemetery.
Unfortunately the headstone for Abraham Flury broke and has now been cleared away. He and Susanna had identical shaped field stones. His said "Abraham Flury 1777." Her stone said "Susanna F." It is still possible to locate Abraham’s burial site as he was buried between his wife Susanna and daughter Esther Steiner (E. Steiner 1783). Annele Reistin, Abraham’s sister, (died 1775) is buried in the oldest section near Abraham and his family. The “in” is sometimes placed after the last names of Swiss females. Son Abraham II (d. 1822) was buried in the oldest section near his parents. Son Isaac (d. 1809) has the most ornate stone marker with German writing. Some of the descendents of Abraham II and Isaac are also buried here. In the 1930s, this cemetery was surveyed and the Flury/Flory names are listed in the survey (p. 193-195). This survey is among the holdings of the York County Historical Society library.
ANCESTORS OF SUSANNA NEFF FLURY
Parents: Henry Neff (ca
1683-1750) wife Barbara of Hempfield Twp. (Manor Twp earlier)
Grandfather Heinrich Naf
(ca 1650 –aft 1685). He was an apprentice
carpenter living with his father at
Great grandfather: Adam
Naf (13 May 1613-1669).
He was born at Kappel, Canton
Zurich, Switzerland. He died in
(1) Elisabeth Naf
(2) Dorothea (
(3) Adam (
Ragula (b ca 1652) was living in