1763: Jacob Alleman Family Killed by Indian Warriors

New York, N.Y. Although most of our ancestors came from the British Isles, every now and then I find some who had come to the American Colonies from the European Continent.

Your 7th great-grandfather, Jacob Alleman, is one of these. He was born and raised in Alsace-Lorraine, a region that borders France, Germany & Switzerland. It belonged to France until 1871 when, after the Franco-German War, it was ceded to Germany. Then in 1919, after WWI, it was ceded back to France. During WWII, it was again ceded to Germany until 1945 when it was finally given back to France.

Anyway, in 1714, Jacob married a woman named Anna Margaretha in Alsace-Lorraine and they had 6 children together – including your 6th great-grandfather, John Christian Alleman. Anna Margaretha died in 1728 at the age of 41 and the following year, Jacob married Anna Maria and had 7 additional children. In 1741, he and the second Anna sailed to America with their younger children, landing in Pennsylvania.

On the 8th of October, 1763, a band of Indians came up the Lehigh River in Northampton County, Pennsylvania and set fire to Jacob & Anna’s house. Jacob and two of his children, Christina and Heinrich, perished in the fire while his wife and daughter, Elizabeth, were attacked by the Indians on their way to church. They were both scalped and left to die in a ditch by the side of the road.

The relationship between the early settlers of Pennsylvania and the Indian tribes living in the area had been relatively peaceful and friendly until the start of the French & Indian War. The first major conflict of that war, the Battle of Monongahela, took place on July 9th of 1755 near Pittsburgh. It was soon to become known as “Braddock’s Defeat”, when 2 out of every 3 British soldiers that crossed the Monongahela River that day were either killed or wounded by the American Indian warriors in the space of just a few hours. 

So there is your history lesson for the week! I love you all and am glad that we only have to deal with a coronavirus and not wild Indians.


This column, written by several including Molly Luce Larkin, focuses on American history through the eyes of one family. In 2010, Jim Luce wrote in the Huffington Post, Mayflower Roots – and a Metrocard – Get One on the Subway. In this piece, he began to explore the impact of Brahmin roots in today’s American soil. Most families, as ours, had both heroes and horse thieves. We cannot change the past, but we can report and reflect upon it.

See: “Our America” – Exploring U.S. History through Family’s Eye

The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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