A professional abstractor has traced the Deed records of 1215 McCormick Rd. to 1846 and, by reference, 1839. This is as far back as deeds go in the Cumberland County Recorder of Deeds office. Obtaining the names of all prior owners is recommended by a local historian as part of preparing a Historic Resource Survey Form on the property. It isn’t clear if we should go further back than the 1846 deed at this point. The emphasis was on deeds that contain the farmhouse parcel or tract.
There have been more owners of the property than expected as shown by the 17 deeds listed below. The main takeaways are that the Lambert Farm had the same 1830’s ownership as the Glen Allen Mill (George Lantz) but was not part of the original mill tract or the later McCormick holdings.
The deeds prior to 1939 are all handwritten and most are difficult to decipher. The farm went through several Estate and Sheriff sales in its history which make for lengthy deed references. The latest deed from Thomas, Barbara and Helen Martin to Upper Allen Township, reads “Deed In Lieu Of Condemnation”. Township Commissioners have said this was done to save on transfer taxes and that the consideration was $1,100,000.00.
The property was part of the larger 237 acre Crall property prior to Michael and Mary Lambert’s purchase in 1855. The other part of the Crall property was apparently used to build what is known as the Scherich farmhouse in 1852. William Lambert had an adjacent farm around the same time and it is referenced in the boundary descriptions as well. William and Michael Lambert likely were brothers but this has not yet been verified.
The Crall ownership came by way of George Lantz who purchased the property from the Estate of Christian Scherick. The date of Lantz purchase isn’t yet known. Other deeds reference Scherick’s ownership of land in the Lisburn area in 1807.
The Scherick or Scherich, Crall or Krall, Lantz and Lambert families were related in various ways per the Lantz Cemetery listing by Sharon Frank. It isn’t clear when or why the spelling of Scherick became Scherich or Crall became Krall. The deeds also show family relationships; i.e. Christian Crall was administrator of Christian Scherich’s Estate. Anna Crall assumed ownership after Christian died and sold some of the land to Michael and Mary Lambert. Anna Crall died on 03-13-1859. Anna Lambert (wife of William) was the daughter of Christian and Anna Scherich. Anna Lambert died on 11-16-1857 at age 42 and William Lambert died on 6-4-1890 at age 78. Anna and William lost four of their children (ages 1, 3, 7 and 10) in the Fall of 1850 apparently due to influenza. These were clearly trying times.
Michael and Mary Lambert sold the property, then referred to as a “plantation”, on March 29, 1861 to Abraham Witmer. The deed says the Lambert’s lived in Monaghan Township at the time of sale. Why they sold the farm after only 6 years of ownership and on the eve of the Civil War is food for thought.
The Michael Lambert in the Lantz cemetery listing died on 2-9-1852, age 66. The Mary Lambert in the listing died on 1-15-1861, age 42. There is no stone for Michael next to Mary or anywhere nearby that can be read. So, it is unlikely these are the same Michael and Mary Lambert who have their name on the farmhouse or who sold the property on March 29, 1861. More research needs to be done to determine what happened to Michael and Mary Lambert and where they are buried.