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Seilhammer Surname

The Seilhammer surname is German in origin. It seems that the Seilhammers originated in the area of Germany called Hessen. Over the past several hundred years, the spelling of the name has changed. Spellings have ranged from Seilheimer (probably the most “authentic” German spelling), to Seilhammer, to Salehamer (anglicized).

1st Generation:

Johann Phillip Seilheimer was born in September 1674 in Framersheim, Hessen, Germany. He died on February 7, 1743/4 in Framersheim, Germany.

He spent his whole life in Framersheim, Germany. He was married there on June 22, 1700 to Anna Catherine Beckenbach. They had at least one child: Johann Christoffel (see next generation). Johann Phillip died on February 7, 1743/4. His wife had died in 1724.
Johann Phillip married Anne Catherine Beckenbach on June 22, 1700 in Framersheim, Germany. She was born on February 18, 1680/1 in Kongernhein, Germany. She died on June 3, 1724.

They had at least one child:

1 Johann Christoffel Seilhammer

2nd Generation:

Johann Christoffel Seilheimer was born on December 1, 1715 in Framersheim, Germany. He died on March 31, 1758.

Father: Johann Phillip Seilheimer
Mother: Anne Catherine Beckenbach

He married to Maria Juliana Haas on January 30, 1741/2 in Framersheim. He had at least one son: Johann Nicholas (see next generation). Johann Christoffel died on March 31, 1758, his widow Maria died in 1760.
Johann Christoffel married Maria Juliana Haas on January 30, 1741/2 in Framersheim, Germany. She was born on March 31, 1724 in Neider Saulheim, Germany. She died in 1760.

They had at least one child:

1 Johann Nicholas Seilhammer

3rd Generation:

Johann Nicholas Seilheimer was born circa 1749 in Framersheim, Germany. He died on October 17, 1822 in Licking Creek Valley, Mifflin (now Juniata) Co., Pennsylvania.

Father: Johann Christoffel Seilheimer
Mother: Maria Juliana Haas

He decided to come to America as a young man and was married to Marsilea Elisabeth Pohl in September 1773 in Rotterdam, Holland. Then Johann and Marsilea left Rotterdam aboard the ship “Charming Molly.” They arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 22, 1773. Johann Nicholas and Marsilea settled in Pennsylvania. Nicholas served in the American Revolution in Captain Bartholomew Von Heer’s Company. He enlisted on July 11, 1777 and was discharged in 1781 at Trenton, New Jersey.

Nicholas and his family first settled at Berks County, Pennsylvania. They had at least 3 children: Johann Conrad (see next generation), Johann William, and Susanna. They eventually settled in the Licking Creek Valley in Mifflin (now Juniata) County, Pennsylvania. Johann Nicholas died on October 17, 1822. His widow Marsilea died in 1849 in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

Johann Nicholas married Marsilea Elisabeth Pohl in September 1773 in Rotterdam, Holland. She was born in September 1751 or December 1749 in Hanau, Hesse, Germany. She died in July 1849 in Lurgan Twp., Franklin Co., Pennsylvania.

She always went by her middle name, Elizabeth. Apparently she also used the pet name, Betsy. At various times in her old age (1839, 1841, 1844, 1848) she applied for widow's pensions for her husband's Revolutionary War service. The declarations of herself and others in these applications provide many rich details about her life.

In a declaration on August 17, 1839, she indicated that she would be "eighty eight years of age next September", which would calculate to a birth date in September 1751. She also indicated she was born at "Hononsland (about six miles from Frankford) in Germany)" [my educated guess is that she was referring to what is now called Hanau, which is near the city of Frankfurt]. Apparently when she was 22 years old, she left her home town and decided to come to America and sail from the port of Rotterdam, Holland. The inference is that she made the trip by herself. Then in Rotterdam, she was married to a young man named Nicholas Salehammer, who was also on his way to America. Since they came from the same general area of Germany, but about 60 miles apart, they probably did not meet each other until the trip to America. According to Elizabeth, they were married and immediately embarked for America and arrived in the port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to her, they arrived in America just after the Boston Tea Party [December 1773] and found their new country in an uproar.

They had at least 3 children:
1 Johann Conrad Seilhammer
2 Susanna Seilhammer was born circa 1790.
3 Johann William Seilhammer was born in September 1776 in Heidelberg, Berks Co., Pennsylvania. He died on September 18, 1826 in Licking Creek Valley, Mifflin (now Juniata) Co., Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth Houltry.

4th Generation:

Johann Conrad Salehamer was born on February 5, 1785 in Heidelberg, Berks County, Pennsylvania 5. He died sometime between 1815-1820 in Jefferson Co., Virginia (now West Virginia).

Father: Johann Nicholas Seilheimer
Mother: Marsilea Elisabeth Pohl

He always went by his middle name, Conrad. He was baptized at the Cacusi/Hain's Reformed Church in Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Tax lists during the 1780s indicate that the family lived in Heidelberg Township. According to a declaration from his mother many years later, the family lived near Reading, Pennsylvania during that time, which was a city nearby. In about 1788, when he was a small child, the family moved to Middle Spring in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Conrad spend most of his childhood and formative years with his family in the Middle Spring area. Then when he was 15 or 16 (circa 1800-1801) Conrad was sent away to become an apprentice paper maker, like his older brother William. Conrad was probably sent to live with his brother William in Cocalico Township in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In 1800, he was probably enumerated in his brother William's household there. Conrad is next found in records in March 1803, in Cocalico Township.

Conrad was married to Sophia (maiden name unknown) probably in about 1802, when he would have been 17 and she about 14. Considering how young they both were, and how soon it was after starting his apprenticeship, it may have been something of a shotgun wedding - perhaps after an unplanned pregnancy. Conrad and Sophia continued to live in the vicinity of Cocalico Township, where they had three children baptized between 1803 and 1807. Then in 1810, they were living in Brandywine Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania. One source suggests that they also lived in Berks County, Pennsylvania at some point during this time period (c. 1800-1812). They were still somewhere in Pennsylvania in February 1812.

In 1812 or 1813, Conrad and his family moved to Virginia. In April 1813, Conrad enlisted in the Virginia Militia at Craney Island, Virginia. Conrad served in the War of 1812, although it is unknown under what capacity or when his service finished. However he survived the war for a few years. Conrad died sometime between about 1815/1816 (when his youngest known child was conceived) and 1820 (when his wife was the head of their household). In 1820, Sophia was head of the household in Lee Township, Jefferson County, Virginia (now a part of West Virginia). The family had probably settled there after Conrad's war service had finished. Sophia never remarried and later moved to Ohio.

He married Sophia circa 1802 in Pennsylvania. She was born circa 1788 in Pennsylvania. She died on September 21, 1856 in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio 6.
Sophia was of German origin, although no known source indicates who her parents were or what her maiden name was. An educated guess is that she was somehow related to William Schneider and his wife Elizabeth Daudrich of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Sophia married Conrad Salehammer in about 1802, when she was about 14. Sophia's husband died in the late 1810s and in 1820, she was head of household in Jefferson County, Virginia (now West Virginia). In 1830, they were living in neighboring Berkeley County, Virginia (West Virginia). Sometime between 1840 and 1850, Sophia moved with her youngest daughter to Dayton, Ohio, where she died.
They had the following children: They had the following children:
1 Elizabeth Salehamer
2 Anna Maria Salehamer was born on August 14, 1805 in West Cocalico Twp., Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania 2. She died sometime between 1805 and 1820 in Pennsylvania or Virginia.
3 John William Salehamer was born on June 2, 1807 in West Cocalico Twp., Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania 2. He married Mary Morgan on September 2, 1835 in Berkeley Co., Virginia (now West Virginia).
4 Sarah Salehamer was born on June 19, 1810 in Brandywine Twp., Chester Co., Pennsylvania 6. She died on March 29, 1888 in Wapakoneta, Auglaize Co., Ohio 6.
She married Archibald Butt on May 11, 1834 in Berkeley Co., Virginia (now West Virginia).
They had multiple children.

The Dayton Herald, Mar. 31, 1888, Pg. 3:
"Death of Good Woman.
Mrs. Sarah Butt, relict of the late Archibald Butt, died on Thursday evening at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Jacob Brown, in Wapokoneta, after a protracted illness of dropsy. She was a native of Berk's County, Penn., in 1810, and came to this county in 1835. Mr. and Mrs. Butt resided on Newcomb street, this city, for ten years, before the death of Mr. B., about five years ago. She leaves seven children and a large relationship. Mr. Wm. Butt, of Butler Township, is one of her oldest children. She was an excellent woman and an affectionate wife and mother, and a Christian in the best sense of the term."

5 Julia Ann Salehamer was born on February 14, 1812 in Pennsylvania. She died on March 7, 1905 in Martinsburg, Berkeley Co., West Virginia.
She married Jacob Siler on October 26, 1837 in Berkeley Co., Virginia (now West Virginia). (He was born on November 15, 1816 in Virginia (now West Virginia) and died on December 10 or 15, 1895 in Berkeley Co., West Virginia.)
They had the following children:
John W. Siler (c. 1839-???)
Eliza Jane Siler (1843-1922)
md. William F. Amey
George D. Siler (1844-1891)
md. Isabella Rebecca Amey
Joseph A. Siler (1848-1939)
md. Clara V. Roe

Shepherdstown [WV] Register, Mar. 9, 1905, Pg. 3:
"Mrs. Julia Siler, one of Berkeley county's oldest residents, died at her home west of Martinsburg Tuesday night, in the 94th year of her age. She was the widow of Jacob Siler, and is survived by one son and one daughter, Joseph Siler, of Greensburg, and Mrs. Eliza Amey, of Kearneysville. About the same hour of the death of the above-named lady her daugther-in-law, Mrs. Margaret A. Siler, widow of David Siler, died at her home in Martinsburg, after a brief illness, aged 77 years. Three daughters and one son survive her."

6 Phebe Salehamer was born circa 1816 in Jefferson Co., Virginia (now West Virginia) 7. She died on April 8, 1881 in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio 6. She married Alfred Hooper on April 18, 1839 in Berkeley Co., Virginia (now West Virginia).

5th Generation:

Elizabeth Salehamer was born on March 19 1 or June 22 2, 1803 in West Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She died on September 21 3 or 24 1, 1866 in Shelby Twp., Ripley Co., Indiana.

Father: Johann Conrad Seilhammer
Mother: Sophia

The correct spelling of Elizabeth's last name is not easily determined. The name was spelled SELHEIMER in her baptism record and SAILHAMER in her marriage record. It appears that SALEHAMER was the spelling adopted by her father and most of his descendants. In her early childhood, Elizabeth moved with her family to what is now Berkeley County, West Virginia. There, Elizabeth, married to Isaiah Custer on June 5, 1825. Then in about 1829, she moved with her family to Ohio, where they lived in both Seneca and Montgomery Counties. In 1836, Elizabeth moved a final time to Shelby Township, Ripley County, Indiana.

Isaiah and Elizabeth were farmers and were members of the Hebron Baptist Church in nearby Jefferson County, Indiana. Isaiah Custer died on August 17, 1862. Elizabeth died on September 24, 1866. Both were buried in the Hebron Baptist Church Cemetery in Monroe Township, Jefferson County, Indiana.

Elizabeth married Isaiah Custer on June 5, 1825 in Berkeley Co., Virginia (now West Virginia) 4.
For more information on their children, see his page.


1. Tombstone inscriptions, Hebron Baptist Church Cemetery, Jefferson Co., Indiana
2. Swamp Reformed (Little Cocalico) Church, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1788-1822. (
3. DAR records
4. Virginia Marriages, 1740-1850. (
5. Berks County, Pennsylvania, 1745-1805: Cacusi or Hain's Reformed Church
6. Online gedcom family files
7. Assorted US Federal census records