Allison-Antrim Museum

Archibald Reymer


Philip Roemer, born in Germany in 1760, came to Cumberland County, in 1772, as a five-year indentured servant. Jacob Graff paid for the cost of Philip’s ship voyage. Family records indicate that he was working in the fields during the time a recruiter for the Revolutionary War was in Cumberland County. Franklin County was established on September 9, 1784, from the southwest part of Cumberland County. Therefore, any legal records dated prior to September 9, 1784 would be found in Carlisle, the county seat of Cumberland County. Philip was 5’7” and 17 when he enlisted in the Continental Army on May 25, 1777. The March 1778 muster roll for the company of Capt. Samuel Kearsley, in the regiment of Col. William Malcom, lists Philip Reamer under the heading of “Drums & Fifes.” There were no remarks. The only drummer listed was Lawrence Fry; he was “sick in hospital.” Below his name, under the heading of “Privates” is the name Peter Reamer. Family historian Gary Hawbaker, believes Peter may have been Philip’s brother, both having arrived on a ship, which was quarantined offshore, due to prevalent disease and death during the voyage. At the bottom of the muster roll, in cursive, is “Valley Forge, April 7th 1778.” On another muster roll for September 4, 1778, recorded at Ft. Clinton, Philip is listed under the heading “Fife.” The only drummer recorded was Lawrence Fry, who was “sick in quarters.” Peter Reamer was “sick with wound at Lancaster hospital.” Philip served in two regiments – in Co. 4, under Capt. Lawrence Keene, of the new or “second” 11th Pennsylvania Regiment, and (William) Malcom’s Additional Regiment, which was authorized by the Second Continental Congress. Under the muster roll of Co. 4, Philip was listed as a drummer. Philip was serving during the winter 1777 and 1778, at Valley Forge. The 11th PA was one of three Pennsylvania regiments that were led by Aaron Burr, during the Battle on Monmouth, NJ. Burr was also the Lt. Colonel of Malcom’s Additional Continental Regiment, in which Philip Roemer, also served.


After the Revolutionary War ended, Philip (1760 – 1831) settled in what is now Franklin County, where he married Elizabeth Stotler (1775 – 1849). Jacob and George Reymer were sons of Philip and Elizabeth. George was the father of Michael D. Reymer, the subject of the March 5, 2014 Soldier’s Story.


Jacob and his wife Susan Kuhn had seven children: Charlotte (1830 to 06.22.1877), Catherine (12.11.1831 to 10.28.1907), Peter Reymer, Archibald (05.14.1836 to 12.02.1889), Sarah (b. 1840), and Jacob (1841 to 06.03.1871).


Archibald and Sarah Hawbecker Reymer were the great-grandparents of Andrew “Andy” Reymer of Mount Joy, PA and his brother Robert “Bob” Reymer Jr., Greencastle, PA.


Archibald Reymer is the subject for this week’s Soldier’s Story. Archibald married Sarah Hawbecker (born in 1843) on October 24, 1861, in the German Reformed Church (Grace United Church of Christ), Greencastle. Sarah was the daughter of Henry Hawbecker and Ruhamah Graham. Archibald and Sarah had 10 children: Andrew Peter (1862 to 1918), Mary Ruhamah (1863 to 1939), Hattie Belle (1865 to 1949), Susan Elsie (1869 to 1965), Henry Nathan (1871 to 1951), John Calvin (1873 to 1933), Jacob Franklin (1875 to 1963), Louisa Catherine (1876 to 1960), Anna R. (1878 to 1930), and Sarah Jane (1880 to 1978).


Archibald’s and Sarah’s house is believed to have been located at 4855 Buchanan Trail West, about 3 ½ miles west of Greencastle, on the north side of Route 16. Underneath the clapboard siding was the original log house, or rather a log house with a log-house addition. The original house was the western most part, which originally had three over three bays, across the front of the house. On the first level, it was window, door, window, and the second level was window, window, window. In February 2007, the house was sold and the timbers of the log structure were numbered, cataloged, photographed, dismantled, and taken to its new home, and rebuilt. The addition had a door and window on the first level, and two windows, directly above the first-level bays. The wooden barn and several out-buildings still stand on the property.


Archibald, like all men between the ages of 21 and 45, was required to register for the draft. His name, spelled Raymer, appears, next-to-last at the bottom of page 224, under Peters Township, in Volume 2 of 4, for the 16th U.S. Congressional District. Archibald was 26, married, and a blacksmith.


As Archibald lived about a half-mile from Upton, he, along with his neighbors, was mustered into Co K, 21st PA Cavalry, on August 1, 1863, as a private. The company was in charge of Captain Robert J. Boyd, also from Upton. On December 20, he was promoted to 6th Sergeant and was mustered out, at that rank, with his regiment on February 20, 1864. John Garns, Soldier’s Story on January 29, 2014, was the blacksmith in Co. K. Please refer to Garns’ story to review Co. K’s six-month Civil War history. John and Archibald would have lived about one mile from each other, along PA Route 16. Archibald was east of Upton and John was west of Upton.


On July 28, 1870, during the U.S. Census in Peters Township, the census lists four Reamer (Reymer) children in the household: Andrew (8), Mary (6), Hattie (4), and Susan (7 months). Archibald was working as a blacksmith and his real estate was worth $1,500. Their personal property was valued at $200.


Ten years later, Archibald and Sarah had moved to a farm in Antrim Township, which was two households away from Andrew Greg McLanahan. McLanahan’s farm and property was about one mile west of Greencastle, adjacent to and on the east side of the Conococheague Creek, where it crosses under the highway. The farm still exists today, back a long lane, on the north side of PA Route 16.


The census was recorded on June 28, 1880. Nine of the ten Reymer children were living with their parents. The children ranged in ages from 18 to 2 years old. Andrew, 18, was working alongside his father on the family farm. Sarah Jane was born on August 14, 1880.


A little over 8 months after the birth of her 10th child, Sarah Hawbecker Reymer died on April 25, 1881, at the age of 37 or 38. She was buried in the Cedar Hill Cemetery. Archibald was left with an infant, including five children who were ten years old and under. Most likely the older girls, Mary (17), Hattie (15), and Susan (13), took care of their younger siblings as well as keeping house, for their father. Eight years later, Archibald died on November 12, 1889, at the age of 53. He was buried next to Sarah, in Section F, Lot 54.


None of the oldest children’s names appear, as Archibald’s next of kin, on the 1890 Special Schedule for Civil War Veterans, in Antrim Township. Among the family genealogy are photocopies of legal documents, among which is a “Declaration for Children under Sixteen Years of Age,” dated March 14, 1891. Andy Reymer provided photocopies of numerous affidavits from people who were duly sworn and who personally knew Archibald Raymer. The dates range from March 16, 1891 to April 1, 1891. Those called for the affidavits were Jeremiah Detrich, the undertaker; W. P. Noble, the family physician; Jacob Unger, a close neighbor; Robert J. Boyd and S. C. Boyd, friends of both Archibald and Sarah, who attended their wedding. They also knew them throughout their marriage. Archibald’s older sister, Catherine married a Brandt. Her son, Reace Brandt, was appointed legal guardian of Archibald’s minor children, by the court. Those legally considered minor children were the three youngest daughters – Louisa, Anna, and Sarah. Reace filed for Archibald’s pension on April 1, 1890. Reace and his wife, along with their children, eventually took the six youngest Reymer children – Henry N., John C., Jacob F., Louisa C., Anna R., and Sarah J. west to Naperville, Illinois, then to Kansas, and from there the six youngest children of Archibald and Sarah Reymer scattered.


Andrew “Andy” Reymer of Mount Joy, PA and his brother Robert “Bob” Reymer Jr., Greencastle trace their Reymer lineage back to Jacob Reymer, son of Philip Roemer (Reamer). One of Jacob’s sons, Archibald Reymer, was the great-grandfather of Andy and Bob. Andrew Peter Reymer, the eldest child of Archibald and Sarah, was Andy’s and Bob’s grandfather. Robert C. Reymer Sr., son of Andrew, was the father of Andy and Bob.




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