Ancestors of Jesse Landes

There are two theorys regarding the parents of Jesse Landes (1809 - 1894). One theory believes his parents were John Landes and Elizabeth Peacock Landes. Another theory believes his parents were John Landes and Frances (Fanny) Brenneman Landes.

For the theory that Jesse Landes was the son of John Landes and Elizabeth Peacock Landes, the previous earliest mention that this writer has found of this connection is in two places: (1 ) the Lancaster, PA Mennonite Vital Records (ca. 1950), and (2) the "Report of the 33rd Reunion of the Landis-Landes Families" held in Bucks County PA on Aug. 16, 1952. You will need an account on with a username and passord to view the original sources for these links directly. But here they are:

Lancaster, PA Mennonite Vital Records (ca 1950):

Report of the 33rd Reunion (1952):


Of the latter theory, the main proponent is Dr. Emmert Bittinger, noted for his research into the history of the Brethren Church, and especially for his book, Allegheny Passage, Churches and Families of the West Marva District Church of the Brethren, 1752 - 1990 (Penobscot Press, 1990). In a series of articles he wrote for the Mennonite Family History journal, October 1994, January and April, 1995, Dr. Bittinger states that Jesse Landes was the son of John and Frances Breneman (Brenneman) Landes.

Some of Bittinger's research is probably based on information found in A History of the Descendants of Abraham Breneman, by Charles D. Breneman, published by the author in Elida, Ohio, 1939. On page 3 of that volume, Breneman gives a brief description of Frances Breneman along with her children:

No. 5. Second Generation 1: Frances Breneman, b. Oct. 18, 1777 near Edom, Rockingham, Co., Va. She died in Pendleton Co. [at that time, still part of VA], on April 21, 1837, and was buried in Mossy Creek Cemetery in Augusta Co., Va. She married John Landes, b. Aug. 1, 1778, in York Co., Pa. After the death of his wife Frances, his oldest son, Samuel Landes, took his father with them to Putnamville, Ind., in 1837, where he died Feb. 4. 1846. He is buried at Greencastle, Ind. They were married on July 8, 1800, in Virginia. [Following this is a list of their children. The 'Nos' refer to sections of the book containing details of each child's descendants.]:

1. Samuel Landes, b. June 10, 1801. No. 1172
2. John Landes, b. April 1, 1803. No. 1173
3. Abraham Landes, b. _____________, No. 1174
4. Susanna Landes, b. ______________, No. 1175
5. Nancy Landes, b. _______________, No. 1176
6. Hannah Landes, b. ______________, No. 1177
7. Christian Landes, b. April 5, 1814. No. 1178
8. Catherine Landes, b. ____________, No. 1178 1/2
9. Henry Landes, b. _______________, Nol 117

Note that Jesse Landes is not listed as one of her children. Nevertheless, Bittinger wrote in the Mennonite Family Journal, April 1995: p, 55:

John Landes, Jr., m. 1) July 8, 1800, by Rev. Benjamin Ervin, to Frances Brenneman, b. Oct 18, 1777; d. Apr. 21, 1837. Frances was a daughter of Abraham and Maria (Reiff) Brenneman of Linville Creek, near Edom, Rockingham Co., Va. Although Frances died at Brushy Run in Pendleton Co., W. Va., where her son Jessie lived, she was returned to Rockingham Co., Va., and bu. in the Mossy Creek Cemetery.

Later in the same article on pp. 55-56 he writes:

The children of John Landes, Jr., and Frances were:
Y 1325 Jessie Landes, b. 1809; d. Mar. 7, 1894; in Pendleton Co., W. Va.; m. Christina Kimble ca 1849/50; b. Aug. 11, 1831, at Brushy Run; d. July 7, 1911. . .

However, recent (July, 2019) documentation has been discovered that unequivocally confirms that Elizabeth Peacock was indeed the mother of Jesse Landes, and that John Landes was indeed Jesse's father. Jesse and Christina's oldest child was Daniel A. Landes (1851-1934).* Known in the family simply as 'D. A', he was my great-grandfather. Although most often he wrote his name on official documents as 'Daniel A. Landes', his full name was Daniel Andrew Landes, not 'Adam', as eroniously appears on many links. See his full signature here on the final page of his 1890 diary.

In 1877 D. A. married America Rebecca Dolly ("Becca"), the daughter of farmer and land owner, Job Dolly (1833-1905) who lived near Riverton, WV. Sometime around 1894, D. A. and Becca moved to that area and settled in a section of Germany Valley known as The Bland Hills (also the "Dolly Hills"). Somewhere along the way, D. A. acquired the skill of land surveyor, and besides farming, surveying was one of his main occupations from the mid-1870's through to about 1920. After that, until his death in 1934, there are only sporadic accounts of surveying activities in his diaries. Throughout this time (1880 - 1930), D. A.'s name appears on many deeds and other documents filed in the Pendleton County Court House in Franklin, WV, and especially as a witness for land boundary disputes.

For some time, this writer has been hoping to discover surveying records, ledgers, or other documentation that, no doubt, D. A. must have archived in order to conduct his business as a surveyor. However, by the time I became interested in researching my Landes ancestry after 2010, the estate of D. A. and Rebecca Landes had changed hands three times since his death in 1934. His daughter, Zella Landes (1886-1975), inherited the property after his death in 1934. She never married, and consequently willed the property to a nephew, Herbert Landes (1912-1991). The property is currently onwned by Herbert's grand-daughter and her husband.

Herb and his wife, Gae Harper Landes, had only one child, Richard Dale Landes (1938-2017). When Dale died in 2017, one of his daughters went to his funeral in Colville, WA where she discovered a cache of historical documents from D. A. Landes that Dale had preserved. Dale had evidently discovered these in a cedar chest in the original home place in the Bland Hills and had taken them with him to Washington at some point before his mother, Gae Landes, died in 1991.

In July, 2019, my sister contacted Dale's daughter to ask her if she had any Landes family photos or papers, only to discover that yes -- she did. Lots. And, she would bring them to my sister's house so that we could look through them. When she arrived I was stunned to discover her carrying a large box filled with 'wonderful things' including letters, deeds, lots of photos, and especially -- 25 hand-written diaries by Daniel. A. Landes from 1877 - 1930. These are complete diaries listing daily activities for the entire year.

In a diary dated 1917-18, D. A. writes [this is presented exactly as written - preservering errors, capitalization, and punctuation]:

My father Jesse Landes was born February 10th 1909 [sic] [it was actually 1809]. he was a wagon maker and a Star Route Mail Contractor.

My Grandfathers name was Jhon [sic] [John] Landes - was a farmer. his first wifes name.(my Grandmother) was Elizabeth Peacock. his Second wife's name was Catherine Buckelty [sic] [Buckley]

Here are some scans of the 1917-18 diary which contains the above citation:

(click on these images to enlarge)

So far no other references to his grandparents have been found, but he does mention his younger brothers and sisiters, uncles, neices and nephews, and cousins.

This is all I have as of this writing (January 2, 2020). The plan is to transcribe all the diaries, letters, and deeds and to make them available on this site for anyone interested in doing their own research. However the enormity of the task means this will probably take at least a year! Please check back later for updates. In the meantime, here is a copy of a hand-tinted portrait/photo of Daniel A. and America R. Landes, ca. 1920. -- Daniel Landes, Nashville, TN

Click on the image to enlarge.

Click here to see gravestone.

*Note: The middle initial 'A' in Daniel A. Landes is an abbreviation of Andrew, not Adam, as appears on many websites and on This is verified several times when D. A. writes out is full name in several of the diaries. See scan of last page of 1890 Diary.

© 2014, 2018 Daniel Landes, Nashville, TN
Site last updated: January 2, 2020