Leichtenbergers of Pittsburgh





George Leichtenberger was born on January 22, 1737 in Wuerttemberg, Germany, came to America during the French and Indian War, settled in Pittsburgh, PA, and died in June 1814 in Allegheny County, PA.


George had two children with his first wife (Native American?) before they separated:


1. Thomas Leichtenberger.


2. Elizabeth Leichtenberger who married James Glancy.


George had three children with Margaret, his second wife:


1. Catherine Leichtenberger, born about 1777 in Allegheny County, PA, married Francis Rudolph, born about 1791 in Germany.


2. John George Leichtenberger, aka George Lighthill, born about 1780 in Pittsburgh, PA, married Sarah Adams, born about 1787 in Pennsylvania. George and Sarah had a son John Lighthill who had a son Charles W Lighthill. (The family anglicized the name.) 


3. Margaret Leichtenberger




The life of George Leichtenberger is well documented.

According to CD #32 from the LDS Family History Resource File Johann George Litchtenberger is listed in the records of Brotzingen, Baden as leaving that town in 1766 to go to America on ship # 4.

Markgräflerland is a region in the southwest of Germany, in the south of the German federal state (Bundesland) of Baden-Württemberg, located between the Breisgau in the north and the Black Forest in the east. The river Rhine marks the frontier to France in the west and Switzerland in the south. This region, also called the Dreiländereck (border triangle), includes many towns, but it is generally accepted that the center of the region is the town of Müllheim.

The villages Britzingen, Dattingen, Feldberg, Hügelheim, Niederweiler, Vögisheim, and Zunzingen are parts of Müllheim. Muggardt and Güttigheim are parts of Britzingen, Gennenbach and Rheintal are parts of Feldberg.

Markgräflerland is the culmination of three duchies: Badenweiler, Rötteln and Sausenburg. In 1526 the Markgraf (Duke) decided to be religiously reformed following the actions of the German monk Martin Luther.


On Oct. 13, 1766, on the Ship Betsey (John Osmond, Master) from Rotterdam, last from Cowes, George Leichtenberger arrived in Philadelphia, PA. He was one of 154 passengers.

Johan Georg Lichtenberger 

Source: A Collection of upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and other Immigrants in Pennsylvania From 1727 to 1776; Prof. I. Daniel Rupp, Second Revised Edition, 1876, Philadelphia.


Did George Leichtenberger have relatives already in America?

According to CD #32 from the LDS Family History Resource File, Johann Casper Lichtenberger immigrated from Brotzingen, Baden to America in 1752.

The Ship Two Brothers 1752, List 177 C, At the Court House at Philadelphia. The Foreigners whose Names are hereunder written, imported in the Ship Two Brothers, Commanded by Thomas Arnot, from Rotterdam but last from Cowes in England, took the Qualifications to the Government in the usual Form.

Caspar Lichtenberger was one of 101 passengers.

Ralph Beaver Strassburger & William John Hinke (editor); Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808; Norristown, Penn., Pennsylvania German Society: 1934; Vol. 1, List 177C.

Johann Casper Lichtenberger and his descendents settled in York County, Pennsylvania.

Johann Casper Lichtenberger named one of his sons Johann George Lichtenberger (b: 1 APR 1754 in Bottstown, York, PA; d. 30 Oct 1820)



Descendants of Johann George Lichtenberger


Note: We have no documentation that our George Leichtenberger is the son of Johann George Lichtenberger and the brother of Johann Caspar Lichtenberger.




Author: Parke, John E., 1806-1885.
Title: Recollections of seventy years and historical gleanings of
Allegheny, Pennsylvania / by John E. Parke.
Originally Published: Boston : Rand, Avery & Company, 1886.



Pages 335 – 337 Bio of George Leichtenberger


Title: History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: including its early
settlement and progress to the present time; a description of its
historic and interesting localities; its cities, towns and villages;
religious, educational, social and military history; mining,
manufacturing and commercial interests, improvements, resources,
statistics, etc.; also, biographies of many of its representative
citizens. Originally Published: Chicago: A. Warner & Co., 1889.

History 1889


Pages 565 and 566 contains a bio of Charles W Lighthill, great grandson of George Leichtenberger.


The following is from "Abstracts of Deed Books I & II, Allegheny County, Pa" compliled by Helen L. Harris, 1984
Deed Book II, page 108
Sept 5, 1787 Indent.
John Penn, Jr and John Penn to George Lettenberger, yeoman of Pgh
10 pounds
#384 in Wood's Plan on Diamond Alley and Fifth Street
Recorded May 26, 1790

Allegheny County Warrantee Atlas
Penn's Manor
Thomas and Richard Penn
Warrant Jan 5, 1769
Surveyed March 27, 1769
Patented May 19, 1769

The following is from the Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, Volumes I-III
Penn Family

By his second wife, Hannah Callowhill, William Penn had John Penn, "the American", b. Philadelphia, Jan. 29, 1699-1700, d. unmarried at Hitcham, county Bucks, England, Oct. 25, 1746; under father's will and "a deed of appointment" thereunder by mother, he became vested in one-half of the Proprietary estate in Pennsylvania; the Three Lower Counties and "elsewhere in Pennsylvania." He came to Pennsylvania in Sept., 1734, and returned to England in Sept., 1735, to attend the litigation with Lord Baltimore over the Maryland boundary and never returned to America. He dying without issue his estate in Pennsylvania descended to his next brother Thomas Penn, Esq., who for many years resided in that Province for carrying on the settlement thereof.

Thomas Penn, b. at Bristol, Eng., March 9, 1701-2, d. 1775; was joint proprietor with brothers John and Richard, and at death of former inherited life-right in the one-half interest held by John; gave more attention to Proprietary affairs than either of his brothers; came to Pennsylvania in Aug., 1732, and remained until 1741, when he returned to England, and never again revisited the Province.

Thomas Penn m. Aug. 22, 1751, Lady Juliana Fermor, fourth daughter of Thomas, first Earl of Pomphret. One of the eight children of Thomas Penn and Lady Juliana was John Penn.

John Penn, b. Feb. 23, 1760, d. unmarried June 21, 1834; graduated at Cambridge, 1779; after coming into his inheritance traveled extensively in Europe; was a liberal patron of art, "something of a poet, an idealist and reformer." He came to Pennsylvania in 1783, and returned to England in 1788.




In 1904 Ellis Beaver Burgess in the "History of the Pittsburgh Synod of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1748-1845-1904" wrote that among the earliest German families was Georg Lichtenberger.





In 1931 Frank C. Harper in "Vol.2 Pittsburgh of today, its resources and people" wrote that the German Evangelical Protestant Church in Pittsburgh was established in 1782 and that George Lichtenberger was in the first congregation.





In 1932 the Pittsburgh (Pa.) German Evangelical Protestant Smithfield Church Congregational) published an “Historical and descriptive statement published on the occasion of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the church."

The article mentions that Georg Lichtenberger was a member of the congregation in 1783.

Congregational_ Title

Congregational_ pg10

Congregational_ pg11




In 1908 John Newton Boucher in “A century and a half of Pittsburg and her people, Vol 1” discusses the legislative action to create Allegheny County. On page 245, he identifies Johann Gorg Lichtenberger as one of the signers of the 1787 petition from western Pennsylvania residents asking for legislative action.









Author: Craig, Neville B., 1787-1863.
Title: The history of Pittsburgh, with a brief notice of its facilities
of communication and other advantages for commercial and manufacturing purposes, with three maps, by Neville B. Craig, esq.
Originally Published: Pittsburgh : J.R. Weldin Co., 1917.

Page 269
"Fifth Street (West of Wood) - Leightenberger and two others"


George Leichtenberger (Lightenberger, Lichtenberger) was listed on the 1787, 1788, and 1789 tax lists for Pitt twp, Allegheny County, PA.


1790 census PA Allegheny Co Pittsburgh

George Lestabarer
1 white male 16 and up
3 white males under 16
3 white females



Amount of Tax
Leghniberger, Geo., 2 .2

NOTE: The numbers in the 'Amount of Tax' columns represent shillings and pence.


Allegheny County Warrantee Atlas

Plate 7 City of Pittsburgh, Northside
George Leighthebearger 100 acres
war May 21, 1792
Sur June 5, 1793
Pat Oct 8, 1838

Plate 41 Ross Township
George Leighthebearger 100 acres
war May 21, 1792
Sur June 5, 1793
Pat Oct 8, 1838

Plate 42 Shaler Township
George Leighthebearger 100 acres
war May 21, 1792
Sur June 5, 1793
Pat Oct 8, 1838


Records of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Land Office WARRANT REGISTERS, 1733-1957. [series #17.88]
The number in front of the name is the warrant number; it is essential for locating the original warrant. Warrants are filed by county, then alphabetically by the first letter of the warrantee's surname, and thereunder by warrant number (e.g., G45 in Fayette County would be the 45th warrant filed in that county for a warrantee whose name started with the letter "G"). 
The letter and numbers in the column "Where Recorded" refer to the patent book and page number. Every patent book reference will have a letter and a number for the book citation and a page number. For example, "H / 39 / 389" should be interpreted as Patent Book H-39, page 389. There are only four lettered series of patent books: "A," "AA," "P" and "H." 
The letter and numbers in the column "Where Survey is Copied" refer to the survey book and page number. Every survey book reference will contain a letter and usually two numbers for the book citation and a page number. For example, "D / 17 / 177" should be interpreted as Survey Book D-17, page 177. If the survey book reference has only one number, then only a letter was used to identify that survey book. For example, "L / 195" is Survey Book L, page 195. 

Allegheny County - North and West of the Ohio River
Number of warrant #7; Name of Warrantee Lighthebearger; Description of Warrant Entry Survey; Quantity 100; Date of Warrant May 21, 1792; Date of Return October 8, 1838; Acres Returned 100; Name of Patenter George; Where Recorded Vol. H, Number 40, page 129; Where Survey is Copied Book B, Page 484, Crawford


In 1794 George Leichtenberger purchased from West Elliot out-lots 23, 24, and 272 in the "Reserve Tract opposite Pittsburgh." Built a log cabin on # 23 and relocated from Fifth Avenue. The property in old Allegheny City is mentioned in his Will. 


Database: 1800 United States Federal Census
Name: Lightberger, George 
Township: Pittsburgh 
County: Allegheny 
State: Pennsylvania 
Roll: M32_35 Page: 10 Image: 52 

Males 10 - 15 one
Males 45 and over one
Females 10 - 15 one
Females 45 and over one

Source Information:
Ancestry.com. 1800 U. S. Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States. 1800 United States Federal Census. M32, 52 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. 




Notes from the Borough of Bellevue website.

* Prior to 1795 there were no settlers on the north and west side of the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers.
* After the Revolutionary War, veterans were give access to this land. [The Commonwealth purchased the land from the Indians in 1784.]

"Robinson, a soldier, was one of two settlers living on the North Shore of the Allegheny River across from Pittsburgh in 1799, the year he received his patent. He operated a tavern and a ferry at the north end of the present-day Sixth Street Bridge. His son, William, 14 years old at this time, became the first Mayor of Allegheny City in 1840. Their only neighbor on that side of the river was J. Lichtenberger who was growing buckwheat on Smokey Island."

Notes from 
Killbuck and Killbuck Island
by Margaret Pearson Bothwell

* Killbuck Island was orginally known as "Smokey Island". Located in Allegheny River nearly opposite "the point" at Pittsburgh. About 20 or 30 acres.

* Named after Killbuck, a Delaware Indian Chief who sided with the English during the French and Indian War and with the Patriots during the Revolutionary War. He was born in 1737 near Lehigh Water Gap, baptized by the Moravians, and took the name William Henry. Was sometimes called Colonel Henry.

* 1782 - Killbuck was still living on Smokey Island.

* 1803 - Killbuck sold the island to Abner Parker. Petitioned Governor of Pennsylvania for undisputed title to island. Said that Colonel John Gibson of Fort Pitt gave it to him. Also Colonel John Gibson directed that part of the island be cleared, ploughed, and planted with corn for Killbuck. Stated that the Delaware Nation recognized his ownership of the island, and that he lived on the island, or had "rented it out at a stipulated annual rate, to a tenant". [Tenant by the name of Rody McKinney?]

* Flood of 1832, washed away some of the island. Later the back channel between the island and the north shore was filled in and the remainder of the island became part of the northside.


List of Articles Presented to the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania 
    426—Old Map Pittsburgh 1795 giving the location of property owners, Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt
        41 James Robinson       Franklin Road & Allegheny River.
        42 J. Lichtenberger     Smoky Island on Ohio River.







In 1918 Charles W. Dahlinger in “Rev. John Taylor : the first rector of Trinity Episcopal Church of Pittsburgh and his commonplace book” describes Rev. Taylor’s school. 

In 1801 Rev Taylor opened a night school at the Pittsburgh Academy. Among the students were “well-known” names including Lichtenberger.






On January 20, 1832 Rev Taylor married John Lichtenberger (grandson of George Leichtenberger and father of Charles W Lighthill) to Nancy Kelso (daughter of Charles Kelso and Sarah Staples).


Western Pa Genealogical Society Quarterly, vol 30, #4 Spring 2004
pg. 38 Trinity Episcopal Church Of Pittsburgh
Registry Of Marriages, Baptisms, Funerals
By Rev. Dr. John Taylor
pg. 55 "...20 Jan 1832 John Lichtenberger to Miss Nancy Kelso..."




Database: 1810 United States Federal Census 

Geo Leteberger Ross, Allegheny, PA 1810 1-x-x-x-1 x-x-x-1-1-x-x
Males 10 and under one
Males 45 and over one 
Females 26 thru 44 one
Females 45 and over one

George Letebarger Ross, Allegheny, PA 1810 1-x-x-1-x x-x-1-x-x-x-x
Males 10 and under one
Males 26 thru 44 one
Females 16 thru 25 one 

Image Source: Year: 1810; Census Place: Ross, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: 44; Page: 292; Image: 150.00.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1810 U.S. Federal Census [database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States. 1810 United States Federal Census. M252, 71 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. 


Author: Chalfant, Ella.
Title: A goodly heritage : earliest wills on an American frontier / Ella Chalfant. Originally Published: [Pittsburgh] : University of Pittsburgh Press, [1955]

Leightenberger, George


Will dated Jan 12, 1814

Allegheny County Register of Wills

Russell Index section 710
Will Book II, page 28


According to CD #32 from the LDS Family History Resource File, George's will was proven February 15, 1814.
· His second wife, Margaret, was to have the property until she dies.
· His son, John George Leichtenberger, to have the property with house and 100 acres on Saw Mill run.
· His daughter, Catherine Leichtenberger, to have the back lot. (at the time she was unmarried and living with her brother John George Lichtenberger, aka George Lighthill.)
· His daughter, Margaret Leichtenberger, and her husband John Donnally to have one lot above the home place on the river.
· His daughter, Elizabeth Leichtenberger Glancy, to have $60.
· His son, Thomas Leichtenberger, to have $100.
Note: the two children from his first marriage did not inherit any property. CD #32 from the LDS Family History Resource File suggests that this wife may have been Native American or part Native American.




On December 6 & 7, 2012 visits to the Wills/Orphans' Court Division of the Department of Court Records in the City/County Building in Pittsburgh, PA, the following records were copied:


The Will of George Lichtenberger


The Will of Catherine Rudolph (the daughter of George Leichtenberger)


The George Rudolph Estate Papers showing that on January 11, 1862, Sarah W Rudolph, Rowland A Persale and William Gibson put up eighty dollars for bond regarding the administration of the estate of George Rudolph (the son of Francis Rudolph and Catherine Leichtenberger)






Click here to return to WAM Founders home page


Copyright © 2000, Nose4bs.com, All Rights Reserved.    

Copying or Publishing this information strictly prohibited without written permission from the author.