The Worland Family in America and Beyond

I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Grater House, Pennsylvania

The Grater house was erected circa 1724. The property on which the house was built was bought by Abraham Op den Graeff in 1706 from Matthias Van Bebber.
The house on the property was built by Jacob, son of Abraham, and Anneken Op den Graeff around 1724. This was not your normal farmstead for the 1700's. This was considered a "plantation" where they, more than likely, grew apples, pears and peaches.
The property, of 100 acres, was in the Op den Graeff family until 1816, when the great grandson of Abraham Op den Graeff died and the property was sold to Abraham and Mary Tyson by Ann Op den Graeff, great granddaughter.
The Tyson’s resided in the house until 1847 when they sold it to Josiah Bechtel. Bechtel lived in the house until 1866 and during this time, he built an addition on the rear of the house, doubling it's size. Bechtel also split the land up, selling about four different pieces off for large sums of money. He sold the parcel containing the house to Abraham and Mary Grater. The land was now 26 acres and 124 perches.
While the Grater family lived in the house, the Underground Railroad was put through the basement. Also, the Grater's added the back addition including the kitchen, dining room and 2 bedrooms. Abraham Grater was very influential in the Mennonite church and caused a reform around the mid 1860's. Within 10 months of the Grater’s moving in, they sold the house to Jacob and Mary Gerges for $4,550. Gerges owned the property until 1875 when he sold it to John H. Tyson for $4,200.
The Tyson’s owned the house with two parcels of land until 1907. In the fall of 1907, Franklin Tyson, executer of estate, sold the now 82 acres of land containing the house to Christian and Susie Bean.

(Abraham Op den Graeff is my first cousin 10 times removed.)

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