Conrad Ritter / Rutter:  Pennsylvania Pioneer

Children of Conrad Ritter / Rutter

Conrad Ritter / Rutter Jr.

Birth Unknown (but probably circa 1710) [i]
Death Will dated Mar 2, 1765 and proved Mar 13, 1769 (Leacock Twp.)[ii]
Parents Father: Conrad Rutter; Mother: name unknown
Siblings Andrew, Elizabeth, Joseph, Peter
Wife
1st: Unknown
2nd: Catharina Wilken (m. April 30, 1751 at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Holland, PA);[iii] maiden name Lytle or Little (see Other Info below.)
Children (6)
     Martha Elizabeth
  Birth Born circa 1740-1745 [iv]
  Death Snyder Co., PA? (Husband John reportedly died 1816 in Snyder Co., PA) [v]
  Marriage John Rutter (son of Peter Rutter), married before 1765 [vi]
  Children  John, Elizabeth (married George Michael Wolf Jr.), Mary, William, Henry, Charlotte, Jenny
     William
  Birth Circa 1745 [vii]
  Death Unknown
  Marriage Margaret Stitlze? [viii]
  Children Johannes, Charlotte, plus one unnamed child (Peter Ritter may also have had a son named possibly  William who also married a Margaret; if so, unclear which children belong to which parents.)
     Henry
   Birth  Circa 1748-1750 [ix]
  Death Unknown
  Marriage Unknown
  Children Unknown
     Margaret Rebecca
   Birth Born after 1747 [x]
  Death Unknown
  Marriage Joseph Evitts [xi] (probably son of Jeremiah Everts and wife Elizabeth (nee Rutter, daughter of Conrad Rutter Sr.)
  Children Conrad, Henry, Margaret, William, Susanna
     Barbara
  Birth  Born after 1747 [xii]
  Death Unknown
  Marriage Unknown
  Children Unknown
     George
  Birth Born after 1747 [xiii]
  Death Died intestate before coming of age [xiv]
  Marriage Not married
  Children No children

 Other Information

Conrad Ritter and his three sons, Joseph, Peter and Conrad Jr., all of adult age, settled on their land in Leacock Township, Lancaster Co., PA, about the year 1728. By consent of the Commissioners of Property, they took up 588 acres and procured a survey and division as follows: 208 acres to Conrad Rutter (the father), 191-3/4 acres to Peter Rutter, and 188 acres to Joseph. [xv]

Conrad Ritter Jr. was a sponsor at the birth of Wilhelm Scheill [Skiles], son of Heinrich Scheill, born Nov 20, 1730, and baptized Dec 6, 1730. [xvi] Other sponsors included Jeremias Ebert [Everts, husband of Conrad Jr.’s sister, Elizabeth] and Magdalena Leitnerin [wife of Adam Lightner]. Baptism recorded at Trinity Lutheran Church (New Holland, PA)

Conrad Rutter served as the main administrator for the estate of Jeremiah Evetts (Everts), the first husband of his sister Elizabeth. [xvii] Conrad Rutter, together with brother Joseph Rutter and Matthew Leary, signed an administration bond on March 27, 1746. Conrad Rutter Jr. also submitted an estate account and distribution statement on Mar. 4, 1747.

“Conrad Ritter, a widower on the Peque [Pequea], and Catharina Wilken, a widow from the same region, publicly proclaimed at various times, and married April 30, 1751, in my room.” [Recorded by Pastor Gerock of the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster.] [xviii]  The marriage may have been undertaken by the Lutheran minister because St. John’s Episcopal Church was in the process of seeking a new minister after the death of Rev. Richard Backhouse. Further research is required. 

Many genealogy sites report that Conrad Rutter Jr. married Catherine or Catharina Lytle (aka Little). The source of this information is unknown, but Little may have been the maiden name of the widow Catherine Wilken . An Andrew Little did witness Conrad Jr.’s will, and also served as co-executor of Conrad Jr.’s estate, together with the widow Catharina. Andrew Little was the son of Archibald Little. However, no records exist of a Catherine or Catharina among Archibald Little’s siblings or children.  

Conard Retter [sic] and Peter Rutter, his brother, appeared on subscription list for rebuilding St. John’s Episcopal Church in 1753. Each offered to contribute 2 pounds. Conard [sic] and Peter Rutter were also listed jointly holding a pew in the new church, paying an annual pew-rent of 1 pound, 10 shillings. [xix]

Conrad Ritter and wife Catharina served as sponsors at the baptism of Rebecca, daughter of Joseph and Barbara Ritter, baptized Jan. 14, 1754, at Trinity Lutheran Church (New Holland, PA). [xx]

The heirs of Conrad Rutter (Sr.), deceased, signed a deed dated Apr 5, 1762, the purpose of which was to officially acknowledge that Conrad Jr. was the sole owner of the 208 and ¼ acre section of the plantation where he and his family resided. [xxi]

In a similar deed dated the same day, the heirs of Conrad Rutter (Sr.), including Conrad Rutter Jr. and his wife Catherina, also acknowledged that Joseph Ritter was the sole owner of the 188-acre section of the plantation that he and his family resided on. [xxii]

Conrad Rutter Jr.’s will was signed on Mar. 2, 1765. [xxiii]'

  • Distributions:
    • Catharina (wife): Northern section land and eastern side of meadow until she marries, dies or until son Henry comes of age; 40 pounds in lieu of her dower if she remarries
    • Henry (son): Northern section of land and eastern side of meadow once he comes of age
    • William (son): Southern section of land and western side of meadow (stay of possession for two years after date of will), plus a horse
    • Son-in-law John Rutter (in right of daughter Martha): 40 pounds (to be paid by son William 4 years after date of will), plus a colt and a cow; also a large press to be provided after wife Catharina’s remarriage or death
    • Rebecca (daughter): 40 pounds (to be paid by son Henry when she arrives of age)
    • Barbara (daughter): 40 pounds (to be paid by son Henry when she arrives of age)
    • George (son): 40 pounds (to be paid by son Henry when he arrives of age)
    • Executors: Henry Skiles and Nathaniel Lightner [neighbors and close family friends]
    • Witnesses: Stewart Herbert, Joseph Ritter [Conrad Jr.’s brother], Barbara Ritter [wife of Joseph Rutter]

Conrad Ritter Jr. served as sponsor at the baptism of John Ritter, son of John and Martha Ritter, bap. Oct 25, 1767. The baptism was recorded at Seltenreich Reformed Church in Lancaster Co., PA. Martha and John were cousins; Martha was Conrad Jr.’s daughter and John was the son of Conrad Jr.’s brother, Peter. [xxiv]

Conrad Rutter Jr.’s will was proved on Mar. 13, 1769, when Joseph and Barbara Ritter appeared before the Subscriber of Lancaster County and attested to the validity of the will. Henry Skiles and Nathaniel Lightner both renounced executor rights on Mar. 15th, and Catherina Ritter and Andrew Little were granted executorship in their place. They were directed to submit a true inventory by the following April 13th and an account of their administration by Mar. 13, 1770/71. [xxv]

Conrad Ritter’s widow served as a sponsor at the baptism of Dina Lee, daughter of William and Rachel Lee, baptized on April 18, 1781 at Trinity Lutheran Church (New Holland, PA). [xxvi] William and Rachel Lee’s son William and other daughter Jane were also baptized on the same day. Sponsors at William’s baptism were William Ritter [Conrad Jr.’s son] and wife Margret. Sponsors at Jane’s baptism were Betsey Skiles, wife of Thomas Skiles. On the same day, Mary Skiles, daughter of Thomas and Elisabet Skiles was also baptized (spon: Margaret Ritterin, wife of William above). Also on the same day, baptisms were performed for William and Margaret Ebets (Everts), children of Joseph and Margret Everts [Conrad Jr.’s daughter]. Sponsors were Ignatius Leitner and wife Margaret [daughter of Joseph and Barbara Ritter], as well as William Ritter and his wife Margaret. This was a big day for the Rutter’s, Skiles, Lightners and Everts!

Henry Ritter, Conrad Jr.’s son, failed to fulfill the terms of his father’s will and pay his siblings Margaret Rebecca, Barbara and George 40 pounds each when they arrived of age. As a result, the siblings went to court and caused Henry’s section of the plantation (comprised of the 143 acres and 91 perches) to be auctioned off by the High Sheriff of Lancaster in 1789.[xxvii] Joseph Ritter [Jr.], son of Joseph Ritter and cousin of Henry, purchased the land for 155 pounds, then resold it to Nathaniel Ellmaker on June 16, 1790. [xxviii]

With the proceeds, Joseph paid Margaret Rebecca and Barbara the 40 pounds due each of them from the will. Each of the sisters also received an additional 20 pounds, corresponding to the share due brother George, who had died before reaching maturity. In a deed poll dated June 15, 1790, Barbara (spinster) and Margaret Rebecca (then wife of Joseph Evitts) alienated any rights or claims to the land.[xxix] A second deed poll was signed the same day, in which the two other surviving children of Conrad Jr. - William Rutter and Martha Rutter (wife of John Rutter) - also alienated any claims they had to the land. [xxx]

William Rutter, who received the remaining 63 acres and 100 perches on the south side as part of his father Conrad Jr.’s will, later sold the land to neighbor John Lightner.[xxxi] However, it remained unpatented until 1829, when John’s son Joel patented 45 acres and 43 perches, James Rogers patented 9 acres and 55 perches, and Nathaniel Rutter patented the remaining 9 acres and 105 perches.   Thus 97 years passed from when Conrad Jr.’s land was first warranted by the Proprietors in 1733 until all of it fully and properly patented.


 [i] The preamble to Joseph Rutter’s patent, granted in 1763, states that Conrad’s sons (Joseph, Peter and Conrad Jr.) were all of full age in 1728, when they settled on the 588-acre farm in Lancaster Co.

[ii] Lancaster County Historical Society, Lancaster, PA, Lancaster County Will Book C, Vol. 1, pg. 35

[iii] Debra D. Smith, Frederick S. Weiser, Trinity Lutheran Church Records, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Vol. 1, 1730-1767 (Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1995), pg. 238

[iv] Based on the fact that Martha Elizabeth was married at the time her father’s will was written in 1765 and that she had her first child by 1767.   Assumes she married in her early 20’s.

[v] Source unknown

[vi] Husband John identified in Conrad Rutter Jr.’s will dated 1765, so married must have been before then.

[vii] In his will, Conrad Rutter Jr. specifies that the southern section of his land is to go to son William two years from date of will (written in 1765), possibly indicating that William would come of age at that time (1767). It is unusual for bequests in wills to be executed on a specific date, rather than upon the writer’s decease.

[viii] Trinity Lutheran Church records indicate that a “William Retuter” (Reuter?) married Margaret Stitlze on Dec 21, 1764. (This may be daughter or other relation of William Sitzler; see section on Joseph Ritter.) Source: need to find again

[ix] Henry was not of age at the date of father’s will in 1765, but of adult age when the will was proved in 1769.

[x] Margaret Rebecca was not of age at the date of father’s will in 1765, but first child born 1768.

[xi] Deed poll dated June 15, 1790, identifies Joseph Evitt as the husband of Margaret, daughter of Conrad Rutter Jr. The deed also notes that Margaret was “late Margaret Ritter alias Rebecca Rutter.” Source: Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds, Lancaster, PA, Deed Book MM, pg. 176 (view online at http://www.lancasterdeeds.com/onlineefilmreader/)

[xii] Barbara not of age at date of father’s will in 1765

[xiii] George not of age at date of father’s will in 1765

[xiv] George is noted as having died intestate, unmarried and without issue in the deed poll described in endnote #11

[xv] Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Bureau of Archives and History, Pennsylvania State Archives, Records of the Land Office, Lancaster County Patent Books, series AA, Vol. 4, pg. 369-372

[xvi] Robert L. Hess, F. Edward Wright, Lancaster County Pennsylvania Church Records of the 18th Century, Vol. 6 (Lewes, DE: Colonial Roots, 2012), pg 2

[xvii] See 1747 Administration Bond, 1748 Administration Account, and 1748 Account of Distribution for the estate of Jeremiah Everts

[xviii] Debra D. Smith, pg 238

[xix][xix] Chester Ross, Two Hundred Years of Church History (The Intelligencer Printing Co., reprint 1989), pg. 22; and Martha Reamy, Early Church Records of Chester County, Pennsylvania, Vol. 3 (Lewes, DE: Colonial Roots, 2003), pg. 144, 146

[xx] Robert L. Hess, pg. 25

[xxi] Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, PA, Lancaster Co. Deed Book GG, pg. 43 (view online at http://www.lancasterdeeds.com/onlineefilmreader/)

[xxii] Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, PA, Lancaster Co. Deed Book UU, pg. 779 43 (view online at http://www.lancasterdeeds.com/onlineefilmreader/)

[xxiii] Lancaster County Historical Society, Lancaster, PA, Lancaster County Will Book C, Vol. 1, pg. 35

[xxiv] F. Edward Wright, Lancaster County Pennsylvania Church Records of the 18th Century, Vol.1 (Lewes, DE: Colonial Roots, 2009), pg. 156

[xxv] Conrad Rutter Jr. will; Lancaster County Will Book C, Vol. 1, pg. 35

[xxvi] Robert L. Hess, pg. 52

[xxvii] Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds, Lancaster, PA, Deed Book MM, pg. 173 (view online at http://www.lancasterdeeds.com/onlineefilmreader/)

[xxviii] Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds, Lancaster, PA, Deed Book MM, pg 184 (view online at http://www.lancasterdeeds.com/onlineefilmreader/)

[xxix] Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds, Lancaster, PA, Deed Book MM, pg. 176 (view online at http://www.lancasterdeeds.com/onlineefilmreader/)

[xxx] Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds, Lancaster, PA, Deed Book MM, pg. 181 (view online at http://www.lancasterdeeds.com/onlineefilmreader/)

[xxxi] Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, Bureau of Archives & History, PA State Archives, Records of the Land Office: Copied Surveys, 1681-1912, survey no. A-56-91; www.phmc.state.pa.us/