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Johann Heinrich Kipp -- The Pennsylvania Kipps

First American Generation

The Lancaster / York Pennsylvania Kipps

Johann Heinrich Kipp

(about 1733 – 1807)

Johann Heinrich Kipp -- John George Kipp – George Kipp – George William Kipp Jr. – John Wilbert Kipp – Earl Lloyd Kipp


Johann Heinrich Kipp arrived in America shortly before he took the oaths of allegiance to the British Crown before Joshua Maddox, Esquire on September 26, 1752. He arrived on the ship Richard and Mary, John Moore, Master. Johan 
Heinrich Kipp Immigration Signature This ship originated in Rotterdam, Netherlands, stopped in Portsmouth, England, and then continued on to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

There was a large immigration of Germans to Pennsylvania in the 1700’s. The reasons for this migration included political, economic, religion, and even recruitment. Some of those that emigrated from Germany stayed in England as ships were required to stop there on the way. Others went onto Ireland after debarking in England, while still others came to the American Colonies. Typical sailing time from England, during the summer months, took 60 to 90 days. The voyage was long and difficult. Various articles indicate food and water were of poor quality and sometimes ran out during the voyage. The accommodations were crowded and unsanitary leading to illness and disease. Many on board died and were buried at sea.

Those Germans that immigrated to and settled in Pennsylvania during this time period were referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch. The term “German” may better be identified as those that came from an area that spoke German so includes many more areas than just what is now known as Germany. The term “Dutch” was really “Deutsch” and which means German. The term “Dutch” does not refer to what we now know as the Netherlands.

The naming custom in Germany was to make the first given name that of a saint, and the second given name, the name that person would be known by. Therefore, Johann Heinrich would have gone by the name of Heinrich (Henry). It is believed that this Henry Kipp is the most distant American ancestor of our specific Kipp ancestry line.

The oaths of allegiance and abjuration were only required of those who were age 16 years or older. Since Henry Kipp was listed as taking the oaths we know that he must have been at least 16 at the time of immigration. In reviewing other immigration records from Germany, where age was available, the average age appeared to be from the late teens to early 20s. This information would indicate that Henry Kipp was born at least by 1736 and most likely in the early 1730s.

I have researched current German directories to see where the Kipp surname is common. Germans with the surname Kipp are mostly located in Steinfurt, North Rhine-Westphalia, or in Borken, Minden-Libbecke, and Herford in North Rhine-Westphalia. (47%) There is also a concentration of the Kipp surname in Rottwell, Baden-Württemberg (13%). There are lesser concentrations in other parts of Germany. There is also a Kipp Farm located in North Rhine-Westphalia. There is a Kipp hill located in Lower Saxony.

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania in an article titled German Settlement in America, An Overview stated that “Most early German immigrants came from the southwest region of Germany, the areas known as the Rhineland, Palatinate, Wurtemberg, Baden, and German Switzerland.” The directory information and this article would both indicate that the most likely origin of Henry Kipp was southwest Germany. It is hoped that in the future, the specific origin of Henry Kipp can be identified.


Subsequent to immigration the first record that I could find of Henry Kipp was in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where he shows up in the church records of Blaser’s Reformed Church in Donegal, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. This congregation was founded in 1752. The Blaser Reformed Church was named after Peter Blaser. Peter Blazer and his wife donated one acre of land, upon which the church was built, for the consideration of 20 shillings. Documents state "All the members of said congregation, their heirs and assigns forever yielding and paying to the said Peter Blaser, his heirs and assigns on the first day of September the yearly rent of one grain of wheat." Peter Blaser was also a direct ancestor of the Kipp family.

The records of Blaser’s Reformed Church record the birth of two sons: John Henry (1761) and John George (1763), and four daughters: Anna Maria (1759), Mary Magdalena (1765), Anna Catharine (1768), and Marie Gertrude (1772) to Henry and Anna Maria Kipp. Since the first known child was born in August 1759 Henry Kipp was most likely in the area by at least 1758. I have not found any records of his location from 1752 to 1758.

Many German immigrants were indentured servants, “redemptioners”, who sold their labor for a number of years (normally three to seven) in exchange for payment of their passage to America. Once they paid off their passage they then set out on their own. Joshua Rosenbloom, University of Kansas states in Indentured Servitude in the Colonial U.S. “Because of the cost of passage—which exceeded half a year’s income for a typical British immigrant and a full year’s income for a typical German immigrant—only a small portion of European migrants could afford to pay for their passage to the Americas. They did so by signing contracts, or “indentures,” committing themselves to work for a fixed number of years in the future—their labor being their only viable asset—with British merchants, who then sold these contracts to colonists after their ship reached America.” This could account for the time period from 1752 to 1758.

Henry’s wife, Anna Maria, was born on February 24, 1738 to John George Schmidt and Catharine Jung (Young). John George was born in 1712, and Catherine in 1716, both in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.


Land records show that Henry Kipp purchased about 65 acres of property in York County on April 12, 1798 for 295 Pennsylvania Pounds.Henry Kipp Land 
Plot His will states that this purchase was for his daughter Catherine. While the Revolutionary War was over, the use of the pound currency was still in place. Note that these were Pennsylvania Pounds and not British Pound Sterling. The land was purchased from Gabriel Beaker and his wife Carhareena.

There are also land records that show a Henry Keep owning a parcel of land in Lancaster County. After additional research, it is my belief that the spelling of the last name is in error and that it should be Henry Kipp. The property consisted of 200 acres and was purchased on June 11, 1763. The land is located on Conoy Creek in Donegal Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A plot map is provided as a document attached to Henry Kipp on the Kipp Family Web Site.

Tax information of Donegal Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for the year 1782 states that Henry Kipp owned 200 acres. This would support his ownership as stated in the prior paragraph. He also had three horses, and four cows. His tax for the year was 12 pounds, 8 shillings, and 10 pence.


Henry Kipp was a member of the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Militia during the American Revolutionary War. All men age 18 to 53 capable of bearing arms were required to serve two months active duty on a rotating basis. He was in the 7th Battalion of the Lancaster Militia, in Captain Boggs Company.

If one chose not to serve they would be subject to a fine. The process recognized that some may not serve because of position, religion, convenience, or that they were just unable to serve. The fine was not punitive, but a way to raise funds to pay for a substitute to serve in his place. I have found records that Henry Kipp paid fines in the amount of 62 pounds, 15 schillings for 1780 and before, and 15 pounds, 10 schillings for the 1781-82 time period. This would indicate that while he was a member of the militia, he did not serve on active duty. I have found records that other close friends and members of the same church also paid fines. It should also be noted that during this time he had six children under 18, a 200 acre farm, and was about age 50 at the end of the war.

Serving in the militia during this time would qualify descendants, if lineage could be proven, to be members of the Daughters or Sons of the American Revolution. DAR does not currently have Henry Kipp listed in their files as being in the American Revolutionary War. It doesn’t mean he wasn’t, it just means no descendant has applied to be a member and provided acceptable evidence.


What does the will tell us about Henry Kipp and his family? Henry and Anna Maria had six children and only four are mentioned in the will. It is therefore most likely that the two not mentioned in the will, Henry Jr. and Anna Maria, preceded Henry in death. The remaining son, and the three remaining daughters and their husbands are mentioned. It tells us that he also sold some of his land to his son George Kipp and also to Frederick Hipple, a son in law, for 400 pounds. The will mentions that he still had land that he owned which appears by the wording to have two houses located on it. In addition the will mentions land that he has purchased for his daughter Catharine.

The will provides to his beloved wife “one bed and one cow and of my household and kitchen furniture as much as she may have need for her use and also the kitchen closet and the stove”, the interest from 200 pounds of money, and shall have her dwelling on his land in which house she may choose.

What does the estate inventory tell us? The dominant item seems to be the amount of money that he loaned to others which are listed in the inventory as Bonds and Notes. One Note in the amount of 90 pounds is identified as being to a particular individual.

The inventory lists basic items one may expect to see in a house in the very early 1800s. A stove, cooper pot, bedstead, and other furniture items are noted. The inventory listed over 50 yards of linen cloth, a lot of books, a clock and case, a heckle, and a wool comb.Heckle or Flax Comb Also included in the inventory were two cows, one horse, a saddle, and a wagon. No other animals were listed.

Based on the will and estate inventory I think we can assume that he had some degree of wealth, as least compared to other families at that time. The ownership of a clock and case may also indicate a level of wealth. He was likely a generous man as he loaned money to others but did so with proper loan papers. Even gifts to his children were documented in a book record he maintained.

We can assume he was a farmer as there was no significant mention of live stock. It is likely that he raised flax as they had a heckle with which to smooth and comb out the fibers of flax. The fibers would normally be sent to a weaver who would weave them into linen. The weaver would keep part of the linen for his services. The remainder went back to the farmer. The linen that was in the estate inventory may have been the as yet unused yardage from the weaver. Henry may have had other endeavors which helped him accumulate the assets he held.

The estate inventory done by two close friends was in English but written using German script. German 
Script This could indicate that there was still a strong presence of German language in the family and those close to the family, over 50 years after Henry’s arrival in the colonies.

The will terms directed that settlement of the estate would be necessary in three phases. The first was at his death. The second was after the death of his wife so that those processions could be distributed according to his will. The third was after the death of his daughter Catherine to distribute certain assets she received from his will. The estate settlements give us information on the year that Henry died (1807), that Anna Maria died (1811) and that daughter Catherine (1826) died. George, the son, died in early 1826 prior to Catherine. No clues are provided to Gertrude’s date of death. The estate inventory, after Anna Maria’s death, stated that she had close to 100 yards of linen, many table clothes and sheets, and a spinning wheel.


The first federal United States census was taken in 1790. Henry Kipp was listed on that census as living in Donegal Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was also the only Kipp listed in the entire Pennsylvania 1790 census. The census listed the following information.

1790 Census

    16 and over 3
    Under 16 0
    All Ages 2

No other Free Persons or Slaves were listed.

The second federal United States census was taken in 1800. Henry Kipp was listed on that census as living in Donegal Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The census listed the following information.

1800 Census

    Under 10 1 0
    10 thru 15 0 0
    16 thru 25 0 0
    26 thru 44 0 0
    45 and over 1 1

One other “Free Persons” and no “Slaves” were noted.

Henry Kipp was not listed in any future census beyond 1800.

Copyright 2009 by E. Michael Kipp, All Rights Reserved

Revised July 31, 2009


Rupp, Daniel L. “Thirty Thousand Names of Immigrants in Pennsylvania”

Wright, F. Edward. “Church Records of the 18th Century, Lancaster County Pennsylvania”

Grubb, Farley. “The Market for Indentured Immigrants: Evidence on the Efficiency of Forward Labor Contracting in Philadelphia, 1745-1773.” Journal of Economic History 45, no. 4 (1985a): 855-68

US Federal Census of 1790, Donegal Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

US Federal Census of 1800, Donegal Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Inventory Henry Kipp deceased 1807

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Will of Henry Kipp 1807

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Administrative Account, Henry Kipp deceased, 1807

Pennsylvania State Archives, Land Records, Lancaster County, Volume AA, No. 5, Page 65

Pennsylvania State Archives, Returns and Valuations, Lancaster County 1782 Taxes

Pennsylvania, York County Land Records, Indentures, Volume 2T, Page 296, 1809

Christ Church USS, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania – Remembering the Past

Linked toKipp Henry; Schmidt Anna Maria

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