BY Calvin L. Weddle
April 2006

    According to the Weddle family legend, Elijah Weddle was the father of Benjamin Weddle and Michael Weddle was the father of Elijah.

    In my research, I have not found an Elijah Weddle.  In Martin Wadle’s will which was probated in Botetourt County,  VA,  13 March 1783, Book A, pages 168 and 169, he mentioned “…Benjamin Wadle, my beloved son,” daughter Barbara Pickleshimer and her husband John, and his wife Kathrean.  The will is signed Martin Wettil.  It is believed that Kathrean was a second wife and Martin’s first wife was Elizabeth Wise (daughter of Jacob Wise) of Lancaster County, PA, and Elizabeth was the mother of Benjamin and Barbara.  See Orphan’s Court Book Misc.1754, Volume 1742-1760, page14, Lancaster County, PA.

    The part of the legend involving Michael Weddle is probably the only true part of the legend.  Michael Wetel gave his property to his children as stated in Deed Book A, page 207, dated 21 July 1756,York County, PA, wherein he mentioned my son Martin Wetel of  Lancaster County, my son-in-law Jeremiah Wolf of Lancaster County and my daughter Catherina his wife,  and my son-in-law Mark Farne (Forney) of Manheim Township and my daughter Barbara his wife. On 24 January 1757, Michael Wetel requested that the deed be recorded.

    Another portion of the family legend indicates that Michael Weddle came from Alsace-Lorrain on the banks of the Rhine River.

    Dr. Martin Jordan of Heidelberg, Germany, did some research for me.  In his letter of 27 July 1987, he stated:

“22.3.1726, Michael WEDEL, citisan, requests emigration to the ‘Island of
Pinssfania,’ request was denied, the Schultheiss ordered to take care that he
remained in Dossenheim.”
“6.5.1726, John Michael the younger, without means, is granted the same
    In the book New World Immigrants,Volume II, page 17,  EARLY EMIGRATION from the COUNTY of HEIDELBERG, in the ELECTORATAL PALATINE, to AMERICA 1726-27, permits to emigrate granted to MICHEL WEDEL, a resident of Dossenheim.

    In another letter from Dr. Martin Jordan dated 19 September 1994, he states, partly:

“After receiving your letter of Aug. 4th, I began to dig into the Dossenheim registers of that time, helped by Mr. Fritz Reibel, Dossenheim.
         “In that time the Wedels seem to have been a widespread family
          in Dossenheim.
“Hans Georg, citisan and acciser, + before 1708.  He was
married to Barbara NN, + 11.11.1722, 61 years old. Their children:
“Hans Georg,* 16.1.1699, + 1753, oo 16.6.1702 Anna Margarete Popp
“Georg, conf. 1701, oo 16.1.1706 Eva Katharina Schlepp
“Elisabeth, *(1671), + 11.6.1740, oo 1.11.1708 Johannes Frisch
“Hans Michael, oo 24.1.1713 Anna Margarete Schlepp
“Valentin, *(1679), + 4.11.1741, oo 22.1.1707 Kathar. Elisab. Burgemeister
“? Maria, oo 14.1.1716 Hans Michael Rimsberger
“? Johannes, *(8.2.1687), + 18.2.1715
“Hans Michael, oo 24.1.1713 Anna Margarete Schlepp,
d. of. the late Hans Peter Schlepp, (* 1.1.1697)
  “Maria Katharina, * 2.10.1713
  “Martin, * 10.12.1715.
  “Hans Martin, * 24.4.1718, Godfather Martin Weissmehl
  “Hans Michael, * 30.3.1721
  “Anna Barbara, * 2.2.1725
  “?Elisabeth * (19.5.1729), + 3.4.1733
“I underlined the persons who might be your ancestors and marked
with asterics (*) the possible emigrants in Hacker’s list.  As you see
from these excerpts the parishioner was not too exact with his notes.  There are children who died without their baptism being registered, deaths of children often were not noted – there were so many!  The Hans Martin Wedel you found in the Handschuhsheim register probably followed his brother, who died within a year’s time.  Now the question of emigration.  The Michael Wedel, listed in Hacker’s emigration list, possibly tried to emigrate illegally and succeeded.  Of all his family there are no deaths and marriages registered in Dossenheim with the possible exception of the youngest daughter whose filiation is doubtful.  If she was his daughter, he was still in Dossenheim as late as 1733, to have her death registered there, if not, the latest registered date is 1725, prior to his request for legal emigration.”
    There is a document entitled By the Proprietaries, No. 145, dated 29 May 1739, located in the Pennsylvania Archives at Harrisburg, stating “Whereas Michael Weidle of the County of Lancaster hath requested that we would grant him to take up Two Hundred Acres of Land Situated at Little Codorus on the Westside of Sasquahannah including his Improvements in the said County of Lancaster.”  This land is in present day York County, PA.

    When I was in the York County, PA courthouse, I found a small book on the shelf (I failed to get the title of the book and page number) that contained mortgages.  In this book was a  document that begins:  “THIS INDENTURE made the Sixteenth day of December Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and Sixty nine BETWEEN Martin Wetel of Manheim Township in the County of York in the Province of Pennsylvania Yeoman of the one Part and Mark Farne of the same place Yeoman of the other part.”  The document also states:  “…Martin Wetel…DOTH …Sell…unto the said Mark Farne…a certain…Plantation and Tract of Land Situate in Manheim Township in York County…adjoining the Lands of Andrew Hersey, Peter Dicks and the Pidgion Hills Containing two Hundred Acres be the same more or less (It being the same which Originally was granted unto Michael Wetel, Farther of the said Martin Wetel …by Warrant bearing date at Philada the 29th May 1739.)”  I have a copy of this document if anyone wishes to see it.

    The family legend also indicates that Benjamin Weddle was involved with the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774.  There is no proof of that.

    Benjamin Weddle’s son, David, stated in the 1850 Federal Census for Floyd County, VA, that he was born in Maryland.  David was born 1 May 1774.  What complicates this somewhat is the fact that some of David’s children stated in the 1880 Federal Census for Floyd County that their father was born in Pennsylvania.

    There is a tax list for Manheim Township, York County, PA, dated 8 December 1774, Mark Furney, tax collector.  On the tax list are the names Martin and Benjamin Wettel.

    Before Martin Weddle died, he was in possession of 300 acres on the south branch of Back Creek in Botetourt County, VA (present day Roanoke County).  His will was probated 13 March 1783.  His wife was to remain in the dwelling house until her death, which was probably around 1794.  That is when John and Barbara Weddle Pickleshimer took possession of the 300 acres which was left to them in the will.  Benjamin was already given his share before the will was written.  John and Barbara were living in Franklin County.  They later removed to Ohio.

    Before John and Barbara sold the 300 acres, they had to secure a title from the Commonwealth of Virginia.  See Grants No. 31, 1793-1795, Reel 97, pp. 110, 111.  They sold the land to Isaac Naff , 5 November 1798.  The title to this land is interesting, in that it states:  “…Martin Wattle who was assignee of Jacob Hellam a certain Tract or parcel of Land containing three hundred acres by Survey bearing date the twenty fifth day of February one thousand Seven hundred and seventy eight lying and being in the County of Botetourt on the South branch of Back creek….”  This would indicate that the Weddles were living in Virginia by 1778.  This might also indicate that Jacob Hellam was the forefather of the Franklin County and Floyd County Helms family.

    Martin Waddle was taxed on 300 acres in Botetourt County in 1782.  See EARLY SETTLERS, Botetourt County, by Charles Burton.

    Benjamin Weddle’s involvement with the American Revolution was his participation in the militia that guarded the western frontier.  He may have been stationed around the New River area and also at Point Pleasant, which would indicate how that became part of the family legend, but not as result of Dunmore’s War.

    Benjamin Waddle is on the 1785 Enumeration of Botetourt County, VA, Joshua Martin’s District, as having nine people in his household, one dwelling house and two other buildings.  This enumeration was taken in February and March 1785 and included a large portion of present day Floyd County.

    The family legend further indicates that Benjamin Weddle was granted land by Patrick

    In Montgomery County, VA courthouse, Deed Book B, page 53, is “This Indenture made this twenty Seventh day of February in the year of our Lord one Thousand Seven hundred and Ninety between James Hines of Botetourt County of the one part and Benjamin Waddle of the Sd. County of the other Part, Witnesseth that the said James for and Inconsideration of the sum of two Hundred Pounds to him in hand paid the Receipt Whereof he doth hereby acknowledge hath Bargained and Sold given Granted and Confirmed & by those Presents doth…Sell…Sd. Waddle…Land Containing…Patent one thousand four hundred and sixty Eight Acres…Lying…in Botetourt County on the West fork of Little River adjoining the lands of  William Spurlock, James ?, ? Ritchardson & Elijah Helton….”   Patrick Henry had signed the document Hines passed on to Benjamin Weddle when he bought the property.  Benjamin Weddle had no involvement with Patrick Henry.

    Another part of the family legend I have been unable to verify is that some of the family members died on the voyage from Europe and were buried at sea.

    I trust the above will show that my Weddle family left Dossenheim, Germany, around 1726 for present day York County, Pennsylvania, remained there until their move to present day Roanoke County, VA sometime around 1778 and to present day Floyd County in 1790.