Thrifty Thursday: More About Peter Ashenfelter’s Taxes in 1798

1 October 1798 US Direct Tax list for Peter Ashenfelter, Warrington Township, York County, Pennsylvania- Headings.
1 October 1798 US Direct Tax list for Peter Ashenfelter, Warrington Township, York County, Pennsylvania- Headings. (Click to enlarge.)


Helbling Family, Beerbower Family (Click for Family Tree)

Since today is the day third quarter estimated taxes are due in the US, and many property tax bills are due in September, it seemed a good day to post about another tax record found for Peter Ashenfelter.

We previously posted about the taxation on the stone house with real glass windows that Peter Ashenfelter owned in 1798 Pennsylvania. (See Peter Ashenfelter- 1798 Taxation.) Recently, when searching for Beerbower taxation records (Peter’s daughter Elizabeth Ashenfelter married Caspar J. Bierbrauer/Beerbower), we came upon another entry for a Peter Ashenfelter:

1 October 1798 US Direct Tax list for Peter Ashenfelter, Warrington Township, York County, Pennsylvania- tax record.
1 October 1798 US Direct Tax list for Peter Ashenfelter, Warrington Township, York County, Pennsylvania- Tax Record. (Click to enlarge.)

This entry is for one old log house, 24′ by 20 ‘ (you may have a single room that big!), 1 old log barn 48′ by 22′, and 1 new log joiner shop 24′ by 16’. The single dwelling house was worth $53, and the 158 acres were worth $656.

So is this the same Peter Ashenfelter? Or is it the son, also named Peter? The younger Peter would have been just 18 years old- somewhat young to own that much property. But it was possible, and since the buildings were so old, maybe the father had given his older property to his son?

The theory that these records are for two different Peter Ashenfelters is strengthened by the fact that both state a Peter Ashenfelter is occupying the property.

The log home tax record notes an adjoining land owner, Peter Gardner. Looking at property maps might help us determine if these Peters are two different men.

The stone house was on just 2 acres, and Peter was getting older- 54 in 1798. Might he and his wife Elizabeth (Reiser) Ashenfelter have moved to town, but still owned the farm and maybe his son(s) or hired hands helped him work it? Again, looking at property maps may help answer our questions.

One point suggests that these records are for the same man- they are not called “Sr.” or “Jr.” in the records, which was common when there were two men with the same name in the same township or county.

Additionally, there are records for other Peter Ashenfelters in Pennsylvania, and it appears that the son of Peter (1744-1822) also named Peter (1780-1846), was buried in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. Some records, like an 1830 census found, do not have a male old enough to be either of these men. So possibly the son Peter moved to a different area.

Looks like it will take some deeper research and sorting out of these Ashenfelters to find the actual facts about this family.


Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Peter Ashenfelter- 1798 Taxation
  2. There are no page numbers on the tax lists shown above. Both can be found on


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