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Graff Family Record Book

Identifier: SC MS 0299

Scope and Contents

The notebook measures 16 x 9.5 x 1.5 cm. There is only one grayish tan cardboard cover. The first entry begins June 28th 1802 on a page with no cover and entries follow until November 20th 1813. Turning the notebook over to the side that has a cover the entries beginning October 14th 1802 to June 7, 1834 are signed by members of the Livingston family. These Livingston family entries end with a printed obituary (in German) of the death of Johann Philip Wind (1759-1841) of Upper Saucona. The notebook again resumes entries with a tipped in receipt given to Catherine Graff, Allentown July 18th 1839 for County and School Tax for year 1838. In total there are only 31 pages used out of the notebook. The entries are handwritten by various persons of various spelling skills with a few entries in Pennsylvania German. Considering that Catharine Graff seems not to have observed the misspellings of her name, perhaps she was not literate. The currency recorded is both pounds and dollars.


  • Creation: 1802-1865
  • Creation: Majority of material found within June 28, 1802 to June 7, 1834
  • Creation: Majority of material found within July 18, 1838 to July 25, 1865

Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

The Graff Family members represented in this receipt notebook are Johann George Graff and his daughter Catherine Graff, the seventh of eight children of George and Barbara Kohler Graff. George Graff was born in Killendorf, Alsace, Germany (1747-1835). His parents, Jacob and Eva Catherine Graff arrived in Philadelphia in 1754 with George and his three siblings and proceeded to Whitehall Township, Northampton County. In 1770/72 he married Barbara Kohler, daughter of Jacob Kohler of Whitehall. In 1773 they moved to Allentown (Northamptontown) where they had a store on Hamilton Street somewhere in the vicinity of Eighth Street or the Square. George served as a captain in the Revolutionary War. Following his service in the war, he served Northampton County as collector of excise 1778 to 1787, as sheriff 1787 to 1790, as a member of Legislature 1793 to 1796 and burgess of Allentown from around 1813 to 1814 when Lehigh County was formed from Northampton County and became county seat. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution. George died in Allentown and buried in Old Union Cemetery.

Some of the receipts in the notebook indicated that George Graff paid rent to H. W. (Henry Walter 1768-1810) and Mary Masters Allen 1776-1855) Livingston. The rental location indicated two town lots and two out lots. Mary Livingston assumes receiving the rents in October 1811. In 1824 her son Walter C. Livingston (1799-1872) takes over receiving the rents now only two lots. Walter married Mary Livingston Greenleaf in 1824 and in 1839 moves his family to Philadelphia. An assortment of tax collectors begin collecting on behalf of the Livingstons in 1818 specifically Peter Rhoads – a Peter Rhoads Jr. was married to Barbara Graff, daughter of George. The Livingston Family was a member of the original landowning families in Allentown being related to the Penn and Allen families by marriage.

Catherine Graff was the only daughter not to marry of the six Graff daughters. She assumed usage of the receipt notebook in 1838 paying taxes for the year 1837 and continued its usage until July 1865.


0.5 Linear Feet ([1] notebook) ; 16 cm.

Language of Materials



Amounts listed for borough, county, poor, school and state taxes and rents paid by George Graff and his daughter, Catherine Graff as well as payments to companies for items purchased. The rents were paid to members of the Livingston Family.


The entries are chronological

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Alibris May 6, 1999.

Related Materials

1902. Hauser, J. J. “History of Lehigh County.” Allentown: Jacks, the printer. 974.827 H376h 1914. Roberts, Charles Rhoads. “History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania and a Genealogical and biographical record.” Allentown: Lehigh Valley Publishing Co. Ltd. SC LXR643h v.1-v.3. 1883. Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution. “Annual Proceedings – 1916-1917” Philadelphia. 1886. Board of Trade. “Past, Present and Future of the City of Allentown, Pennsylvania”

Graff Family Record Book
Ilhan Citak and Eleanor Nothelfer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)