Main content

Brake and Wineman families papers


Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Brake (Brecht or Break) family of Letterkenny Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, descended from Adam Brecht, a German immigrant who settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Adam's son, Christian Brake (1755-1825), moved to Franklin County during the eighteenth century and bought two farms. Christian married Mary Roller (1757-1836) of Frederick County, Virginia, and the couple had a large family of six daughters and and three sons. One of the sons, John Brake (1795-1858), helped maintain his family's farms and eventually bought his own 300-acre farm in partnership with one Frederick Deck. John married Catherine Sleighter (Schlichter or Slighter) (1794-1857) and together they had seven children: Magdalena, Christian, Catharina (or Katie), John S., Solomon, Jacob, and Jeremiah. This branch of the family became connected to the Wineman family through the 1882 marriage of Solomon (1828-1919) and Sarah Bell Wineman (1855-1925). Sarah's own large family included father Matthew Wineman (1818-1893), mother Catherine Boch (1818-1899) and eight older siblings. Matthew Wineman was also a German immigrant and served as an elected official of Franklin County. Sarah's brother George (1840-1863) served during the Civil War and died at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Solomon Brake eventually took possession of one of the original family farms in Letterkenny Township. Solomon and Sarah had one son, Frank Wineman (1883-1901), and one daughter, Stella Belle (1886-1973), and both were born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Stella's husband, James F. Slyder (1881-1965) assisted Solomon on his farm and cared for the farm equipment.

Stella's and James's daughter, Sarah Belle Slyder (1904-1965), and son-in-law, Paul R. Mehring, eventually brought this family line to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where some later family members are interred. Solomon and Sarah Brake are both buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

The Brake and Wineman families papers span from the 1760s to the 1940s, though the bulk of the material dates from the nineteen century. The papers are housed in five boxes and five volumes. Prior to arriving at HSP, the papers had been generally grouped according to type or family member and inventoried. At HSP, for the most part, the individual groups of papers were simply transferred to folders; however, the order of the papers was changed so that papers attributed to specific family members appear first, in Box 1 and part of Box 2. The rest of Box 2 and Box 3 contain papers of the families, either the Brakes or the Winemans. Box 4 contains an assortment of collected material, such as Colonial currency and printed matter, as well as photographs of the family and Solomon Brake's Letterkenny farm. Most of the collection documents the family's farms and interactions with each other through correspondence and photographs. There are several school note books in the collection, including those of John Brake (Box 1, Folder 2), Magdalena Brake (Box 1 , Folder 17), George Wineman (Box 1, Folder 18), and Frank W. Brake (Box 2, Folder 4); papers on the family's genealogies; photograph albums; and daguerreotypes.

The first group of papers is made up primarily of material from John Brake, Solomon's father. There are bills, receipts, property agreements, correspondence, bank books, a few military papers. A copy of Brake's citizenship certificate from 1814 is also included, as well as papers relating to jury duty and the position of Inspector of Letterkenny Township. Many of these papers are intermixed with those of his sons, Solomon, Jacob, and Jeremiah. Additionally, there are also papers of the Sleighter (Schlichter or Slighter) family (Box 1, Folder 1), George Wineman's Civil War letters (Box 1, Folder 19), and a short biography of Solomon Brake done for a Franklin County newspaper (Box 2, Folder 3). Additionally, Volume 1 is a daybook that belonged to John Brake. Loose papers from this volume have been removed to Box 1, Folder 7. There is also a folder of a few German letters to John Brake's father, Christian Brake (Box 1, Folder 16).

Comprising the second group of papers are general family materials, such as receipts, deeds, financial papers, wills and other legal documents, insurance policies, and genealogical papers. Several of the Brake family's farm account book can be found in Box 3, Folder 2. They contain records of items bought and sold and money paid to workers. There is also a small group of lodge papers and booklets, mostly by-laws of the George Washington Lodge No. 143, the Columbus Lodge No. 75 of the International order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), and Olive Branch Encampment No. 13 of the IOOF (Box 3, Folder 8). Papers of the Wineman family include a selection of correspondence between family members on their genealogy (Box 3, Folder 12) and a family bible, 1838-1922 (Volume 2).

The final group of papers contains an assortment of items that were apparently collected by the family, such as Colonial currency (Box 4, Folder 2) and paint samples (Box 4, Folder 8). There are also a few more papers in German (Box 4, Folders 1 and 3) and printed obituaries (Box 4, Folder 4). Box 4, Folder 7 contains two 1901 pencil drawings that may have been done by one F. Slyder, possibly James Slyder's father Frank Slyder, who died in 1904. The signature on each is difficult to read. One depicts a village scene, while the other shows a horse-drawn cart and driver.

Lastly, the collection contains an array of family photographs, and most have been labeled with either the person or place. In addition to small snapshots, there are formal portraits, mounted images, cabinet cards, cartes de visite, tintypes, and daguerreotypes. The photographs are housed in Boxes 4 and 5 and in three photograph albums, Volumes 3-5.

Gift of Joyce S. Mehring, 2010.

Accession number 2010.075.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Cary Majewicz
Finding Aid Date
; 2012
Processing made possible by a generous donation by Randall M. Miller.
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Collection Inventory

Sleighter (Schlichter or Slighter) family papers, (1784, 1885, 1839, undated).
Box 1 Folder 1
John Brake copy book, (circa 1810).
Box 1 Folder 2
John Brake citizenship certificate [copy], (1814).
Box 1 Folder 3
John Brake and Jeremiah Brake military papers, (1815, 1862).
Box 1 Folder 4
John Brake and Solomon Brake newspaper subscription receipts, (1816, 1830, 1851-1883).
Box 1 Folder 5
Penal bills, mortgage of John Brake to Christian Brake, (1817-1828).
Box 1 Folder 6
John Brake daybook, (1818-1840).
Volume 1
Loose papers removed from John Brake daybook [Volume 1], (1818-1840).
Box 1 Folder 7
John Brake receipts for tuition, recommendation, teacher request, (1821-1850, undated).
Box 1 Folder 8
John Brake and Solomon Brake papers relating to jury duty, (1822-1865).
Box 1 Folder 9
John Brake property agreements, (1825, 1827, 1829).
Box 1 Folder 10
John Brake incoming letters, (1825-1876).
Box 1 Folder 11
John Brake and Solomon Brake papers relating to inspector of Letterkenny township, (1842, 1846, 1861).
Box 1 Folder 12
John Brake and Solomon Brake bank books and notices, (1848-1850, 1866, 1876, 1880, 1886).
Box 1 Folder 13
John Brake papers concerning Franklin County schools, (1854, 1856-1857, 1870).
Box 1 Folder 14
John Brake receipts for farm supplies, (1869-1882, undated).
Box 1 Folder 15
Letters to Christian Brake [in German], (1817, 1825).
Box 1 Folder 16
Magadalene Brake copy book, (circa 1830).
Box 1 Folder 17
George Wineman copy book, (1856).
Box 1 Folder 18
Civil War letters, mostly of Pvt. George Wineman, (1862-1863).
Box 1 Folder 19
Katie Brake incoming letters, (1866-1877, undated).
Box 1 Folder 20-21
Sarah Belle Wineman (Brake) incoming letters, (1867-1884, undated).
Box 2 Folder 1
Solomon Brake incoming letters, (1875-1889).
Box 2 Folder 2
Solomon Brake and Sarah B. Wineman marriage certificate [rolled], (1882).
Box 5
Biography of Solomon Brake, (1886).
Box 2 Folder 3
Frank W. Brake Pleasant Hill School notebook, (circa 1889).
Box 2 Folder 4
James Slyder receipts, letter, license for new car, (1906, 1909, undated).
Box 2 Folder 5
Stella B. Brake Slyder and James Slyder papers, (1912-1933, 1966, undated).
Box 2 Folder 6
David Wineman essay, (undated).
Box 2 Folder 7
Brake family articles, surveys, and other legal papers, (1762, 1803-1847).
Box 2 Folder 8
Patents to Adam Brake, James McConnel, and Caspar Langle, (1785, 1806, 1810).
Box 2 Folder 9
Deeds - John Brake, Christian Brake, Jacob Brake, Solomon Brake, and others, (1786-1879).
Box 2 Folder 10-14
Brake family wills and related papers, (1813-1881).
Box 3 Folder 1
Brake family farm account books, (1817-1870).
Box 3 Folder 2
Letters of Brake and Deck families, (1830-1878).
Box 3 Folder 3
Brake family receipts for grain and straw, (1833, 1868-1882).
Box 3 Folder 4
Letters of other Brake family members, (1837, 1842, 1855, undated).
Box 3 Folder 5
Brake family medical receipts, (1838-1852).
Box 3 Folder 6
Wineman family bible, (1838-1922).
Volume 2
Brake family household receipts, (1840-1891, undated).
Box 3 Folder 7
Brake family lodge papers and booklets, (1842-1882).
Box 3 Folder 8
Brake family funeral receipts, (1857-1881).
Box 3 Folder 9
Brake family insurance papers, (1867, 1869, 1877).
Box 3 Folder 10
Miscellaneous Brake family papers, (1771-1911, undated).
Box 3 Folder 11
Correspondence relating to Wineman family genealogy, (1946-1947).
Box 3 Folder 12
Miscellaneous German papers, (circa 1770, 1818, undated).
Box 4 Folder 1
Currency, (1772, 1773, 1775).
Box 4 Folder 2
German receipts, (1778, 1815-1826).
Box 4 Folder 3
Obituaries, (1857-1919, undated).
Box 4 Folder 4
Mailing cards and empty envelopes, (circa 1860-1888, undated).
Box 4 Folder 5
Miscellaneous printed matter, (1854-1937, undated).
Box 4 Folder 6
F. Slyder(?) drawings, (1901).
Box 4 Folder 7
Print sample, (undated).
Box 4 Folder 8
Photograph albums, (circa 1850-1890).
Volume 3-5
Letterkenny photographs - farm and people, (circa 1880-1910).
Box 4 Folder 9
Family photographs, (circa 1880-1910).
Box 4 Folder 10
Pleasant Hill School group photograph and souvenir booklet, (1917, undated).
Box 4 Folder 11
Daguerrotypes, (circa 1850-1860).
Box 5

Print, Suggest