- From, "The Balliet, Balliett, Balliette, Balyeat, Bolyard, and Allied Families," by Stephen Clay, Published by Thos. J. Moran's Sons, Inc., Baton Rouge, La. 1968. Call No. RG 929.2 Bal Library of Congress #68-23012
"Johannes Balliet was married in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, October 7, 1771 to Maria Barbara Schneider, a daughter of Daniel and Catharine Schneider. She was born in 1755 and baptized October 5 of the same year as recorded in the records of the Egypt Reformed Church of Lehigh County.
They remained in Lehigh county, where seven of their nine children were born, until the spring of 1784. Members of the party that went to bury the dead of the Sugar Loaf Massacre of 1782, on returning home, told Johannes of 'the beautiful and fertile valley'. These stories 'so fired Balliet's imagination, that he was determined to seek it out and make a home for himself and his posterity'. At the time the two youngest children were Maria and Daniel, and although they were not mentioned, the five older children undoubtedly accompanied their parents on this journey through the enchanted paths and trails into Sugar Loaf Valley.
Johannes Balliet was a remarkable man. From 1784, where he 'solitary and alone' became the first white settler in Sugar Loaf Valley, until 1800, a period of only 16 years, he and his family with their bare hands hued a 'castle' from the virgin land and forest. He built the first log cabin, which, with all it contained, was destroyed by fire in 1786. Not to be discouraged, he then erected the first frame house in Butler (Township), which was still standing a hundred years later. He was the first to till the soil; set out the first orchard; constructed the first saw mill. he was the first pioneer inn-keeper of Butler Township; set up the first blacksmith shop; helped organize the St. John's Reformed Church, which he supported both morally and financially; and he fathered the first white child, Abraham Balliet, born in Butler Township. In this interval of time he also acquired over twenty-three hundred acres of land."
The original warrants for these lands are on file in the Department of Internal Affairs of Pennsylvania at Harrisburg and can be found in: Patent Book "P", Vol. 54, p. 313; Patent Book "H", Vol. 36, p 44; and Patent Book "H", Vol. 28, p. 513."
"JOHANNES Balliet was a soldier of the Revolutionary War. He served as Captain (or clerk) of the First Battalion of Northampton county under Lt. Col. Henry Gieger; and as a Court Martial Man under Col. John Sigfried of the 4th Battalion of Northampton County."
"In the same volume, (PA 5S, V8, p 54), pages 43 and 63, in "A Muster Roll of 5th class of the 1st Battalion of Northampton County militia, under the command of Lt. Col'l. Henery Giger, November 15, 1781" is listed "John Balliet (JOHANNES Balliet) Clark (Clerk - with the rank of Captain). Time of entry Nov 15. Time of service 1 month 18 days". This is from November 15, 1781 to January 1, 1782."
"Johannes Balliet died December 25, 1831 in Newport Township, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania. His will, written January 24, 1800 was registered on April 23, 1800 and is on file in Will Book A, page 34 at the county court house, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. It was probated February 28, 1832. . .The original will is in German. A literal translation and a legal interpretation of the translation was prepared by Blythe H. Evans, Jr., Attorney of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania."
"Johannes wrote his will in 1800. Nicholas' children Jacob & Elizabeth were mentioned in his will. Johannes left Nicholas 358 acres in Hazel Twp., Lehigh Co., Pa. when he died in 1831."
From "Polliard Family History" by Barbara Oswald
"North Whitehall, Pa. was changed to Ballietsville on March 7, 1876. Ballietsville is the oldest village in North Whitehall Township. Stagecoaches changed horses at the Ballietsville Inn. The Ballietsville Inn and the stages are sill across the street from each other. The Indians received their supplies from the State there.
Union Church (combined Reformed & Lutheran) in North Whitehall Twp. was originally known as Schlosser's Church. It was erected in 1755. Original pulpit is on second floor of present church, located at Neffs, Pa. May 27, 1797 the cornerstone of the next church was laid. Present church was built May 28, 1971. Balliets are buried there.
Paulus Balliet was listed as a Palatine imported on the ship Robert and Alice of Dublin, Walter Goodman, Commander, from Rotterdam, last of Dover. There were 320 passengers, Walter Goodman signed the list. (From book, Thirty Thousand Names of Immigrants in Pa., page 118). 1800 Census lists Jacob, Joseph Sr., Joseph Jr., Leonard, Stephen, Jacob, John and Stephen in Luzerne County."
Barbara Oswald also found record of a "Paulus Balliet deed from Richard & Thomas Penn to Paul Polyard, 12th April 1749 for 97/100/160 Acres of land in Whitehall Twp., Northampton Co.) he was called Nicholas Balliet now called Polliard (Polyard, Pollyard) in Clarion County."
There is a town in Eastern Pennsylvania known as Ballietsville. There is an inn there known as the Ballietsville Inn. An early map of the area showed several Balliet families living in the area. The following is copied from the flyer in the Ballietsville Inn. THE NAMES MENTIONED IN THIS STORY DO NOT MATCH OUR FAMILY LINEAGE, HOWEVER THERE IS ONE INTRIGUING SIMILARITY. The wife of our Stephen Balliet, son of Johannes Balliet, married a Margaret Wottring, born in 1777. This story has a Maria Magdelena Wotring married to a Paulus Balliet. Could they be related?
From the above mentioned book there is quoted a report by a Michael Bisline, Road Supervisor of work completed in 1810. It is "the oldest document giving us information of who were in the township at that time. . . The list contains about thirty names, only those of interest are given 'George Drum, Jacob Spath, Phillip and Nicholas Wottering, Joseph Parke, Michael Knouse, Jacob Rittinhouse, Abraham and Stephen Balliet, etc."
"The Ballietsville Inn has been in continuous operation since 1750; and its history is the history of Lehigh and Northampton Counties and the townships of North Whitehall, South Whitehall and Whitehall.
Paulus Balliet received his first known license on June 22, 1746 to 'operate an inn on a frequently traveled road.' the inn which opened on June 14, 1750 was built in the virgin forest as a sturdy log cabin which stood 90 years before the present brick structure replaced it. Social life on the frontier was centered in the church, in the school and in the inn. The center of business was often at the inn.
First called the Whitehall Inn, the building also housed a post office; was a thriving trading post for the Indians and served for over 100 years as a station for the stagecoaches traveling between Philadelphia, Easton and Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe.)
Down through the years, as the inn passed from person to person, it has been enlarged, redecorated, restored -- somehow the inn has kept its twin quality of hospitality and readiness for any action that may come. One can imagine the jolly repartee of early colonists; the earnest and urgent conversation about revolution; the heavy tread of the Militiamen; the call of the stagecoach masters.
Today, the inn continues to give its guests a warm welcome, extend its hospitality and give a delicious repast fit for the most discriminating gourmet."
. . . "Paulus Balliet, founder of the Inn, was born in 1717 in France. At the age of 21 he was compelled, with many other French Protestants, to seek refuge in foreign countries, on account of the terrible persecutions of the Huguenots. He embarked for America on board Ship Robert Oliver on September 10, 1738. He located on a tract of 97 acres of what became known as the Old Balliet Stand, about 8 miles North of Allentown where the village of Ballietsville is now located. Paulus Balliet married Maria Magdelena Wotring who was also of unquestionable French Huguenot Stock, at a date unknown. Tradition has it that Paulus and Maria were wed in 1749. The Wotrings like the Balliets who were forced into exile and deprived of their worldly goods, became farmers, tradesmen, innkeepers and professional men in their new found homes.
Paulus Balliet, in addition to his plantation, carried on a mercantile business as well as that of an innkeeper. As early as 1750, he was licensed as an Innkeeper in what is now Ballietsville. On June 14, 1750 Paulus was allowed a license On a frequently traveled road. The old county court records show that the license was renewed on June 22, 1756 and again on June 22, 1759. The original log building was in use until 1840 when the main portion was replaced by a brick structure. As I mentioned before, it was called Whitehall Inn and he had a huge sign of a foaming bowl painted and hung on a high post. After Paulus Balliet died, the record shows the successive proprietors were Colonel Stephen Balliet, Paul Balliet, Dr. Jesse Hallman, John Schantz, Joel Lentz, Charles Leinberger, John Smith, David Kline, Edwin Deibert, Sylvester Mosenheimer, Elmer Hassler, John Roth, Clinton Frantz and Joseph Poplaskie. The present owners since 1971 are my partner Richard Wotring Gemmel - a direct descendent of Paulus's wife, Maria Magdelena Wotring Balliet and myself and it is now known as The Ballietsville Inn.
Whitehall Inn served as a post office and for over a hundred years it was station for the stage coaches traveling between Philadelphia, Easton and Mauch chunk or Jim Thorped, as it is now called. The horses were changed there, leaving a foursome to rest while a fresh team took the coach on to the next station.
Before the Revolution, Paulus did a thriving business trading with the Indians, who called him Bowl Balliet. It was thought by some that the Indians, in the massacre of October 8, 1763, intended to attack his home but by mistake went to homes of his neighbors, the Schneiders, Marks and Mickleys. It is stated that the Indians were returning home from Bethlehem, Pa. where they had exchanged their furs for supplies and stopped at Stenton's Tavern for the night. The next morning they discovered most of their supplies missing; when they complained they were driven off. The Indians, when wronged by a white man, took revenge on their enemies without regard to age or sex. It therefore happened frequently that the innocent suffered many times for the deeds of the guilty.
The Indians, on the way home the morning of October 8, 1763, proceeded to the home of John Jacob Mickley where they met three of his children in the woods and immediately murdered two of them. They then proceeded to the homes of Marks and Schneider, both of which were burned down after they had murdered Schneider, his wife and three children, and wounded two daughters, scalping one, and leaving both for dead. Marks and his family escaped. These homesteads were less than 2 miles from the Paulus Plantation. By the way, this was the last Indian massacre in Lehigh County.
During these Indian raids the settlers would leave their homes and seek refuge in forts like Ballietsville. The actual fort of Ballietsville is still located underneath the Inn's kitchen. Paulus Balliet was very active in the protection of the community from these attacks. He formed and equipped companies of soldiers to fight the Indians. The Pennsylvania Archives reveal disbursement by the Assembly in payment of supplies furnished by Paulus Balliet. '1757, November 8th to Balliet, for provisions supplied Provincial forces and Indians 550 pounds 19 shilling and 8 pence There is an endless list in the Pennsylvania Archives of such payments.
In September 1757, Margaret Frantz and another girl named Solt were taken prisoners by the Indians while washing flax in a creek on her father's land near Ballietsville. The Solt girl, daughter of Paulus Balliet's sister Maria Catherina, lived with the Indians for a number of years before she was restored to her parents. It is said that she never married but used her gained knowledge of Indian medicine to take care of the ill in the community.
Paulus Balliet died on March 19, 1777. In the years he acquired hundreds of acres of land. In his will he 'bequeath unto his son Stephen all that Plantation in Towamensing Township, over the Blue Mountain. His son Paul received all that tract of land which he bought of Samuel Morris together with about 100 or more acres to be joined and to his son John, the Old Plantation whereon I live now.'
Colonel Stephen Balliet was born in 1753 in Whitehall Township as the 4th child and 3rd son of Paulus Balliet. It is apparent from the accounts and records that 'Colonel Stephen assumed much of the responsibility of managing the plantation, store and Inn some years before the death of this father. Colonel Balliets's home was surrounded by immense forests, the winning of which into fruitful fields meant incessant toil, to which the children contributed their daily chores.' The distant Blue Mountains, with the Lehigh Water Gap and the Wind Gap in full view, was pictured in young Stephen's imagination as regions of great peril and adventure to the brave who would dare to explore them. Colonel Balliet had much to do with the development of this section. While doing that besides running the Inn he also devoted much time to fighting the Revolutionary War.
In 1776 when Pennsylvania joined the other colonies in the war with England, a new State Government was organized. During the troublesome time a lot of activities of colonel Balliet can be traced. I will not make the attempt to list each and every reference, but only those that will tend to illustrate his diversified ability and accomplishments. 'On January 31, 1777 to pay Capt. Stephen Balliet 422 pounds. This payment for expenses incurred in taking into custody persons disloyal to the newly formed government Colonel Stephen was appointed ag agent for forfeited estates, etc. During this time he was also commanding troops to fight not only against the English, but also equally important, against Indians and colonists called Tories who favored the English.
In 1777, as the British approached Philadelphia, the Headquarters of the Government was moved to Lancaster. General Washington had ordered the Army supplies and equipment moved to the Lehigh Valley where he intended to set up Winter quarters. The plan was later changed and Valley Forge was selected. The Liberty Bell was "secreted in a load of hay" as part of the baggage train of the Army. According to tradition Colonel Stephen assisted in the planning and brought the wagon train with the Liberty Bell to Allentown, where it was buried beneath the floor of the Zion Reformed Church. Records show the Colonel Stephen Balliet commanded a Company at the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777 and at the Battle of Germantown in October 1777 and finally in May 1780 he was appointed to command the 1st Battalion, Pennsylvania Northampton County. It has to be noted that Lehigh County was not founded until 1812, so all records before that date refer to Northampton County from which in 1812 Lehigh County was taken.
Stephen Balliet died August 4, 1821. He had two sons Stephen Jr. and Joseph. Joseph Jr. had a son, Paul Balliet, born May 11, 1811 in Ballietsville. He attended school in the area's first English school. It had been built by his father on their property in Ballietsville. Private tutors not only were teaching the Balliets but also all the neighbors' children. The building was erected in 1816 about 100 yards Southeast of Ballietsville, and was plastered within, which was quite an innovation as others of the time were generally rude structures of logs. The schoolhouse was used until 1865 when a new brick building was erected. In later years he attended school in Easton, after which he was in charge of a store in Heidelberg Township, which he managed in connection with his father's iron furnace. Finally in 1857 he was the landlord of the Old Whitehall Inn at Ballietsville until his death in 1886."