Piper Family in the Harpers Ferry Area


My Piper Line

My maternal line second great-grandmother was Mary Ellen Piper wife of Robert Harper.

She was born about 1827 and died in Martinsburg West Virginia.

The Berkeley County death record for Mary Ellen Harper born about 1827 died 1866. Her death record gave her parents as George Piper and SARAH Near (NEER) from Jefferson County, West Virginia.  There is a marriage record for George Piper and SUSAN Near in Jefferson County in 1824.  I have found no Sarah Near or Piper in Jefferson County but Susan Piper is listed in both the 1840 and 1850 census there.  Susan is also a party to a Deed with Robert and Mary Ellen Harper in 1852 Jefferson County Deed Book 32 page 387.


When I gathered the information on the Pipers in Jefferson County including tax, land, census and marriage records a picture immerged of connected relatives living in the same small area, across the Shenandoah River from Harper’s Ferry called Pipertown. 


Marriage Records

West Virginia, Marriages Index, 1785-1971 Jefferson County (West) Virginia

At Ancestry.com


Christiana Piper and William Scarlet     1807 

Mary Piper and James Hughes          1815 

Lewis Piper and Mary Graves/Groves 1816           

Margaret Piper and John Thomas    1817 

Christian Piper and Ann Dillow       1820           

John Piper and Mary/Polley Ott    1821           

Catherine Piper and John Cogle       1824           

George Piper and Susan Near      1824           

Ann Piper and John Knox        1824


That is nine Pipers who might be siblings and I added Jacob Piper born about 1791 who appears in census and land records and whose probable second marriage took place in 1848.


Federal Census

Records for Christian Piper

1800 and 1810 Washington County Maryland

1820 Jefferson County, (West) Virginia

These Census records for Christian don’t list children by name but do indicate about 10 children in his household born between 1785 and 1820


Tax Records

Christian Piper is listed in the 1815 to 1824 tax list in Jefferson County, along with men I believe are his sons.


DEEDS Jefferson County

In 1822

Christian and George Piper from the administrator of the estate of Fernando Fairfax.  Jefferson County Deed Book 12 page15

Lewis Piper Book 12 page 6 same grantor

John Piper Book 12 page 17 same grantor

In 1834

Lewis Piper to his children John, Washington, Mary Ann, Nancy and Kitty Book 19 page 194

Jacob Piper to his children Nancy and Jacob Book 19 page210

Note: This is the land of Christian and George and the deed states that there are 11 heirs so I assume both Christian and George have died by then.  I have not found a list of these heirs. 1832 - A deadly cholera epidemic sweeping the nation hit Jefferson County. Cholera struck again in 1850


Starting in 1844

John Piper son of Lewis from his siblings

George Washington Piper Book 27 page 311

Thomas Dillow husband of Nancy Book 28 page 448

Mary Ann Piper Book 30 page 395

Of the land in these deeds I am only able to pinpoint the location of the land of Christian and George, which is labeled C. Piper on early maps



Probable Children of Christian Piper born about 1760 and wife Maria Margaretha Aegener


Christiana Piper (Scarlet) 1787–1880

John Piper 1790–

Lewis Piper 1790–

George W. Piper 1790–1840

Jacob Piper 1791–

Mary Piper (Hughes) 1795–

Christian Piper (Junior) 1800–

Margaret Piper (Thomas) 1800–

Catherine Piper (Cogle) 1802–

Ann Piper (Knox) 1807–1880


Note: I do not believe that the oldest three sons were all born in 1790 but there is just not enough information to be more exact.



Before Jefferson County in Washington County, Maryland


Some time before 2004 I was given or found information on a Deed from Washington County MD from 1791 that listed the heirs of Ludwig Aegener which included Christian Piper and his wife Margaret (Aegener).  Since there is a Christian Piper in (the same area as the other Aegener descendants) in the 1800 and 1810 Census for Washington County, who appears to be the same as the Christian Piper in Jefferson County Virginia in 1820 I thought this was my ancestor.  Checking my DNA matches shows several Aegener descendants from different children of Ludwig Aegener. This indicates I am also a descendant of Ludwig and I have the correct line from Mary Ellen Piper to George W, Piper 1790 to Christian Piper and his wife Margaret.


Research on the Aegener family has been done by Celia L. Hartmann and can be found on Ancestry.com and Rootsweb.com.



My George Piper born about 1790 and probably died after 1832.

He married in 1824 and his daughter Mary Ellen was born about 1827

In the 1830 census he was listed in Washington County, MD just across the Potomac River and a few households away from John Harper father of Mary Ellen eventual husband Robert.

He and his wife probably also had a daughter Sarah born about 1832 who married James Rigg in Taylor County WV and died in 1874. I have very good DNA matches to several of Sarah’s descendants.

In Jefferson County I found several land records which named a Washington Piper as a son of Lewis Piper.  I first thought this might be my George Piper but when I learned more about Lewis Piper I realized his son (George) Washington born about 1822 was too young to be the George Piper my ancestor. I believe my George is the son of Christian Piper.


Two Younger George W. Pipers

Both were in the 1850 census in Jefferson County but later moved to Ohio.

George Piper (1) married Ann (Dillow?)


George age 32

Ann 25

Hannah J. age 4

William W. age 1


George age 39

Ann 34

Hannah J. age14

William W. age12

Joseph age 10

Margaret 6

Ann 1


George age 51 and Joseph age were in Logan County Ohio

(William W was married living nearby)

1880 George age 61 is in Shelby County, Ohio with Joseph and family.

I have recently learned that George probably has two sisters who also lived in Logan County Ohio with a mother named Nancy or Ann.  I believe these are children of Christian Piper Junior.


George Washington Piper (2) frequently listed as Washington Piper married Elizabeth Hughes in 1851 in Jefferson County

1850 he was listed as George W. Piper in the home of John Piper

1860 age 36 and 1870 age 46 he is listed as Washington Piper with his family in Somerford, Madison County Ohio

1880 I can’t find the family except one married son George W with his family in Somerford.

1900 Elizabeth “Pifer” is in Logan County, Ohio lodging with her three youngest children with a married daughter Sarah Kimbrell (Kimbell).

The fact that this George Washington Piper age 23(?) was living with John Piper age 60 in 1850 has lead him being listed as John’s son in numerous online family trees. However there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.  John Piper in listed in the 1840 census as having no young males in his household in fact he doesn’t appear to have had any children.  In 1834 Lewis Piper (probable brother of John) had a Deed recorded were he deeded his land to his children and there names were John, Washington, Mary Ann, Nancy and Kitty.

In the 1860 census Washington Piper and his wife’s first son was listed as George and their second son Lewis, often older children were name for their grandparents.

I believe this George Washington Piper is the son of Lewis Piper born about 1790.  


Two Nancy Ann Pipers who married Dillows

Nancy Ann (1) married Thomas Dillow

1850 with John Piper son of Lewis (Ann Dillow age 22 name indexed as Billow)

1860 with 2 daughters Mary Elizabeth and Sally (Nancy Dillow age 37)

Mary Elizabeth married William Pearl

Sallie married William Henry Hardy

1870 not found

1880 next household after Mary Pearl (Nancy age 58)

1910 with married daughter Mary E Pearl (Nancy Dillow age 83)

Thomas Dillow and wife Nancy sell interest in land that was Lewis Piper’s to John Piper indicating that this Nancy Ann was the daughter of Lewis. Jefferson County Deed Book 28 page 448


Nancy Ann (2)

Married Lee Humphrey Dillow in 1852 as Nancy Wilt 

It appears it was the second marriage for both as the 1860 census shows Dillow children born before 1852 and a Henry Wilt age 14 as well as Dillow children born after 1852.

Ten years earlier in 1850 I found Lee with wife Susan but I did not find Nancy and the Wilt family

In 1860 Nancy was lists as age 32, in 1870 48 and in 1880 60 so I assume she was born around 1820.

I do not have any direct evidence that this Nancy Ann was in fact a Piper.  If she was a Piper she could be a daughter of Jacob who did have a daughter Nancy or perhaps Christian Piper Junior who is listed in the 1830 census as having 3 females under 10 years old in his home