Johan Eberhard Ream was born on October 1687 in Leimen, Germany. After growing to manhood, he became a baker. On April 5, 1712, he married Anna Elizabeth Schwab, born October 10, 1692, the daughter of Jost Schwab, also a baker.
In order to have complete freedom to worship Almighty God after the dictates of his own conscience, and with an eye open to the promise of a richer life in the new world, Eberhard took his wife and their 2 children and moved to America late in the year 1717.
The minutes of the Board of Property of the Province of Pennsylvania dated February 24, 1724, state that Eberhard Ream of Conestoga requested a grant of 200 acres of land along a branch of Conestoga Creek, the land including an Indian settlement named Cocalico. It also stated that he had the Indians’ permission and that he could pay the purchase money.
In the summer of 1724, Eberhard moved his family which later grew to include 11 children, into this new country, inhabited only by a colony of Indians living along Cocalico Creek. Ream’s wagon load of furniture and household goods was halted under a large oak tree and under the spreading branches he pitched his tent. He lived there with his family until he cut trees and built a log cabin. Conjecture is that Eberhard chose this location because it was close to a good spring of water.
For the first few years, the Ream family lived by themselves with their nearest neighbors residing 12 miles to the north along Mill Creek which is the present site of Newmanstown. The Indians along the Cocalico Creek were friendly and the Ream children grew up playing, hunting, and fishing with the Indian children.
The Reams were not a poor family for the old records show that Eberhard Ream was gradually acquiring more property. By the Autumn of 1750, he had already received patents for more than 900 acres of rich farm land adjoining his original homestead.
To be continued . . .
Adapted from the text of “Historical Sketch of Reamstown, Pennsylvania” published in 1952 by the Ream Family Association, Inc., of America.