Name: Lepley Lineage

Lepley Lineage by Rodney Lee Gibbons

Research Beginning: January 1983

Last Revision: December 2004

Researchers and Contributors:

Marguerite Lepley Cockley, historian, genealogist, curator of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County, PA (where the bible of Adam Lebele - 1776 is stored), and librarian out of Meyersdale, Pa. Currently her records and resources can be found at the Meyersdale, PA Public Library Phone (814) 634-0512. (ask for Lepley Family File).

Lepley Line, Don & Millie Lepley, genealogists
616 Second St., Conception Junction, MO 64434-7106, email

Konrad Läpple, genealogist, historian, and researcher in Germany
Stephanienufer 18, 68163 Mannheim, Germany, Phone 06-21/82-2871.
See his research and letters at Letters from Konrad Läpple

Pennsylvania German Pioneers, by Ralph Beaver Strassberger LL.D. President of Pennsylvania German Society.

Other attributors include myself (Rodney Lee Gibbons) and other family members as indicated under comments (e.g. Attr. MC).

Mary Lepley Wahl holder of Samuel and Ida Lepley's family bible.



Some of the oldest Lepley's, that we know of to date, before 1600 wer about 100 different Leplins found in about 20 villages. Amoung them were found:

1470, Hanns Läpplin, Zainingen, Oberamt Urach
1474, Conrad Lepplin, Schwaikheim, Oberamt Waiblingen

They lived there 100 years befor eth French Civil War begun.

Our known first was Hans Lep(p)lin born approximately 1520. This was gathered from records aquired by Konrad Läpple. Next in our line was Michael Leplin born 1544. Next was Balthaser Läpplin born 1601 who was a shepherd and soilder. Next was Michael Läpplin who was a shepherd with wife Anna Kalblin.

They had Hans Caspar Läpple or Lepplen from Rietenau, Germany. The name "Lepley" was the Americanized version of Läpple. Hans was baptized May 13, 1671 in Furstenhof, Germany, and we assume he was born a few days before. He married Elisbeth Hockner October 25, 1692. Hans died in Diefenbach, Germany on December 31, 1738. We only have a record on one child to Hans and Elisabeth -- Hans Michael Läpple.

We know very little about Hans and Elisabeth except for the church parish records which list their baptismal, marriage, and death dates. There is a possibility that the family may have been French Huguenots who fled France during the french civil war (1560-1789) for religious reformation. Many fled to Germany for refuge a generation before coming to America. (Such a tradition has surfaced during our searching, but not backed with facts. MC)

Their son, Hans Michael Läpple was baptized 1701 in Diefenbach, Württemberg, Germany, a dukedom, later a kingddom in the south-west corner of Germany, and died Nov. 18, 1750 in the same area. He was the first husband of Margaretha Ursula and they bore 11 children:

Dorothea, born Dec. 12, 1734

Agnes Dorothea, born September 24, 1736

Johann Michael, born March 2, 1738, killed by Indians in America

Johann Jacob, born December 11, 1742

Johann Adam , born February 6, 1745

Maria Catharina, born November 24, 1741 and died July 10, 1744 at the age of 3

Johann Georg, born April 22, 1744 and died at the age of 8 months

Margaretha, born November 23, 1745 and died as an infant after 3 days

Maria Juliane, born February 20, 1739 and died Jan. 2, 1745 at the age of 5

Euphrosia Catharina, born October 25, 1740 (records show her dying young)

Maria Barbara, born October 26, 1746

"Johann" was a christening name.

Their mother, Margaretha Ursula, married Adam Schatzmann Aug. 24, 1751 and emigrated to America with Michael's children (Dorothea, Agnes Dorothea, Johann Michael, Johann Jacob, Johann Adam, and Maria Barbara) Sept. 27, 1753 on the ship Windsor commanded by Captain James Good. The ship sailed Rotterdam via Cowes to Philadelphia. This is recorded on the ship's register out of Diefenbach, Germany before 1900. The ship's register is recorded as

A collection of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727-1778 by Prof. I . Daniel Rupp, Published 1931 by Degener & Co. Leipzig. First edition in America before 1850, know under the name Strassburger ship lists.

Johann Adam Läpple was our line, and became Adam Lebele in America. His brother Johann Michael Läpple became Michael Lebele. Michael belonged to the state militia serving at Fort Freeland, Pa. where he was slain by Indians during a mission to milk cows outside of the fort. In Northumberland County, Pa. records at Sunbury, Pa. we found the original application of Mary Anne, widow of Michael Leipley asking for help because of Michael's death. She states that he was killed by the Indians on April 16th, 1779 near Fort Freeland and was aged 41 years. This record is also contained in the Pennsylvania archives. In the Orphan's court records, Sunbury Book 1, page 43, we find that John Ney of Cumberland County was appointed guardian for goods and chattels of Jacob Leipley, Elizabeth Leipley, Christina Leipley, and John Leipley. Also same date and page, Michael Mason was appointed guardian of Michael Leipley and Mary Leipley minor children of Michael Leipley.

Adam Lebele became a pioneer and settled in Somerset County, Pa. (this was still considered the wild open west at that time) He married Barbara Bucherin in Frederick County, Maryland. The marriage record from the Lutheran Church of Frederick, MD reads, "Adam Lebele, the late Michael Lebele's legitimate son, to Barbara Bugherin, Peter Bucher's legitimate single daughter, both of Frederick Co., Maryland, Proc. 3rd, 7th, and 14th of March, married March 14, 1773, Oculi Sunday." Note that the Proc. were formal announcements of the impending wedding giving people the opportunity to show cause why the two should not be joined.

The "in" added to Bucher was to show the feminine form of the last name.

Adam and Barbara bore 9 children:


Adam II

John Jacob

John Michael

Catherine (known as Caty)





The entire family as well as Adam's brother and sisters moved to Ohio about 1806. Their son Adam (Adam II) remained in Sommerset County, Pennsylvania where he owned a considerable tract of land.

Adam and Barbara's son Adam became Adam Lepley (the spelling we have today). Adam Lepley was born August 5, 1776 near Willards Gap, Somerset County (formerly Bedford). He married Elizabeth Horn on April 8, 1798. Adam was baptized, confirmed, and member of the Luthern Church. He was a farmer, blacksmith, tailer, also had a still in 1810 according to the tax list, and built a stone house in Southampton still standing in 1983. Adam had been appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1809 by the Governor of Pennsylvania and served in that capacity for many years. This is recorded in the Adam Lepley (1776-1853) family bible. The bible was printed in 1813 by Frederick Goeb in Somerset, PA. It was one of the first bibles printed in America west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Adam and Elizabeth bore 11 children:

Daniel (record #164), born August 12, 1799 -- became Justice of the Peace & county commissioner

Jacob (record #192), born June 7, 1801 -- moved to Ohio in 1825

Valentine, born April 23, 1803

Johannah, born February 2, 1805

Catherine, born September 18, 1807

Susannah, born June 3, 1810

Joseph, born November 26, 1812

Barbara, born November 18, 1814

Adam (Adam III), born March 5, 1821

Harmon Horn, born September 18, 1824


Adam II died on March 7, 1853 and is buried at the Lepley cemetery in Southampton Township, Sommerset County, Pa.

Adam and Elizabeth's son Adam (III) was born on March 5, 1821 in Southampton Township, Pa. He became a farmer and married Sarah Comp on April 27, 1851. They bore 12 children:

Simon Alexander, born April 27, 1852

Susan Matilda

Elizabeth, born August 4, 1855

Jacob, born February 1, 1857, died at the age of 17 from a common cold

Emma Frances, born May 19, 1859 -- moved to Iowa

Samuel, born January 29, 1861

Minerva Jane, born 1862, died at birth

Norman Lincoln, born April 15, 1864

Missouri, born December 29, 1866 -- never married

Effie Lou Ellen, born March 13, 1868

Adam, born March 13, 1868, Effie's twin -- died at birth

Sarah Alice, born 1871 -- died at birth

Adam (III) and Sarah's son Samuel Lepley was born January 29, 1861. He was a farmer all his life in Southampton Township, Pa. This is the same location as the Lepley cemetery. Great-Grandpap James Albert Lepley always referred to this as the Old Billy Smith Place. I have pictures of this area on file. Samuel married Ida Elizabeth Emerick and the bore 10 children:

Cora, born 1884

Earl Theodore, born July 6, 1886

James Albert, born November 8, 1888



Harvey V., born August 28, 1895

Alonza S., born April 30, 1899




Samuel and Ida's son James Albert Lepley was born November 8, 1888. He lived in Kennel's Mill, Pa. 1914-1924. Worked a large farm in a house he built, all his life in Hyndman, Pa. I helped him many times to do chores at the farm when I was a boy. He taught me to drive my first tractor, taught me how to load a hay wagon, how to kill snakes with a pitchfork (which for me usually resulted in braking the fork instead of the snake), and many other things around the farm. He was a tough old man, still able to heave a haybale on top of the wagon at the age of 70. I remember gathering hickory nuts with him. I always thought it was neat the way he constructed the spring on the hill above the house so gravity would make the water flow through the pipes into the house. I remember him speaking words of romantic phrases in the Pennsylvania Deutsche language such as "How are you today my fine maiden," I wished I remembered the Deutsche version. He had a sense of humor like any old Deutschman should. One day, in his later years, he walked out of the outhouse with his fly open. My mother asked, "You better close your barn door before your horse gets out." He would reply, "he can't get out if he can't get up." That was the Pennsylvania Deutsche Jim sense of humor. His life was always the farm. I remember him telling me of traveling door to door in Cumberland selling eggs, milk, cheese and other things made on the farm. He told me how when he was young he used to make corn whiskey in the cellar of the house. My fondest memories of him are by being awakened early in the morning by the sounds of him loading fresh coal into the furnace to get the house warm in the morning--the sounds of scraping shovel over a concrete floor, opening and closing of the furnace door, and best of all was the sound of the furnace grates as he shifted them back and forth to pass the spent ashes. That was a sound unto itself and with that unforgettable smell of coal burning brought warmth and the signal of a new and fresh day. He was my great grandfather, my one and only, I loved him and cherished him, and I will miss him. I only wish I had grown to know him more.

James married Emma Catherine Delbrook. They bore 5 children:

Victor Louis, born June 29, 1913

Gladys, born April 23, 1916

Wilbert Hendry Samuel, born February 25, 1918

Thelma Ida Catherine, born December 22, 1921

Lucille Emma, born December 11, 1923

James and Emma's daughter Gladys was born April 23, 1916. She worked for at the Pentagon most of her life, diing of cancer on December 14, 1979.

Gladys' daughter Verna Lee Lepley was born April 18, 1937. Verna was a housewife and worked for C&P Telephone most of her life. She married Clifford Claud Gibbons in 1956. They bore 2 children:

Rodney Lee, born May 18, 1957

Tina Louise, born March 22, 1962

Rodney Lee Gibbons was a member of the Boy Scouts of America for over 11 years starting at age 8, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1978 but was discharged for medical reasons, was a Virginia State Trooper from 1979-1981, earned a Bachelor of Science in Commercial Art degree from Fairmont State College in 1986.

To date he is owner and operator of Creative Arts Photography, a photography company in Winchester, Virginia.

Rodney married Darlene Annette Schmitz in 1989.