Our Patriot Ancestors
. . . Biographical Sketches
Peter Stiffler, Sr.
The Allemani were an ancient Germanic tribe that lived during the 4th Century A.D., primarily in the region of present-day Switzerland and southwestern Germany. A family descended from the Allemani near the present-day town of Tubingen, Germany; their name was 'von Stöffler.' The von Stöfflers were barons under the Palatinate Duke of Tubingen. The family name apparently is derived from the Old German root for 'towering craig'; the ancestral lands, complete with castle, were located in present-day Wurttemberg, a mountainous region.
The von Stöffler family thrived from the 13th through the 16th Centuries. By the early 1700s, the family had lost its baronial status. When Peter Stiffler was born, his family made a living as farmers.
Although emigration records have not been found to provide the factual evidence of his journey, Peter Stiffler is believed to have emigrated from Germany about the year 1742. He is believed to have come to America with his younger brother, Jacob, and the two are believed to have initially taken up residence in New Jersey. Later they would both move westward into Pennsylvania, both finding their ways to Bedford County via Lancaster and York Counties.
Some researchers have claimed that Peter was born about 1735, but a more accurate assumption is that he was born in the year 1727. He married Catharine prior to 1765. Their two oldest children's birthdates are not known, but the third child was born on 14 April 1765. The couple would bear eleven children, with the youngest one born in the year 1784.
Peter Stiffler moved his family to Bedford County in the year 1772. His name appeared in the 1773 tax assessment return for Bedford Township and so it can be assumed that he arrived during the previous year in order to have a house constructed and be assessed as a resident by the spring of 1773. His farmstead was located along Dunnings Creek in the northern portion of present-day Bedford County. In 1802 Peter was recorded as a resident in Greenfield Township, Bedford County (present-day Freedom Township, Blair County).
Peter Stiffler served in Captain William McCall's Company, the 7th Company, 3rd Battalion of the Bedford County Militia in 1781.
Catharine Stiffler outlived her husband, being mentioned in his will. Peter Stiffler made out his will on 01 March 1808, but it was not 'proved' until 26 November 1810. While many researchers claim that Peter Stiffler died on the 1808 date, because of him having made out his will at that time, the date that a will is proven denotes that the individual had recently died, and the will was proved to be the final document stating how the deceased wanted his/her estate to be settled. Therefore, it can be assumed that Peter Stiffler Sr., died perhaps a day or two before 26 November 1810.