The Family of Rosa Anna Abbott and John Joseph LaValle

Christian and Magdalena Schmeltz Abbott

Christian AbbottMagdalena Schmeltz Abbott
Christian and Magdalena Schmeltz Abbott, ca. 1885. Rosa Anna Abbott Collection.
Glass Blowing Team
Glass blowing team

Christian Abicht/Abbott son of August and Rosa Ott Abbott, was born in 1825 in Saxony, Prussia. His wife, Magdalena Schmeltz was born in 1831 in Elbersdorf, Hesse Cassel, Germany. See Saxony and Hesse in a 1815-1871 map of Germany. It is not known if Magdalena traveled to America with other family members, or came by herself. Christian came to America with his parents, Augustus and Rosa Ott Abicht (Americanized to "Abbott"). The family came from Saxe Coburg, Kreis of Saxony, Kingdom of Prussia, Germany, in about 1835. Augustus and Rosa traveled with their children,Charles, Christian (9 years old at the time), Frederick, and possibly two daughters, Wilhelmina and Mary. One family branch has passed down the story that they arrived in Philadelphia, however another family gave Baltimore as their port of entry. This has not been established, as yet [2004].

Christian's son, Edward, passed down the story, in an interview with the Pittsburgh Press in 1937, that the ocean voyage was 6 weeks long and the family traveled from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh in a wagon and on foot. This was the only way of travel at that time. Their route would have taken them on dirt roads over the Allegheny Mountains as they traveled across the state of Pennsylvania, where they settled in Lower St. Clair Township, Allegheny County, near Pittsburgh.

In Allegheny County Memoirs, 1904, Christian's son, August, mentions that Christian was a glass blower at one time. It is possible he worked at one of the glass plants during the winter off-season from farming. Or, possibly, he hired on to earn money to buy his first farm at the age of 27 years. Glass blowing was an important industry in early Pittsburgh history. There were many glass facilities on the South Side of Pittsburgh, with a number in the South Hills, also. The glass blowers formed their own teams and often employed young boys to assist them.

Christian Abbott married Magdalena Schmeltz in about 1851 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In 1852, Christian purchased a farm consisting of 25 acres in Scott Township from the Rev. Clokey. He received the deed in exchange for $2000. It bordered on the land of George Kennedy and William Espy. The land had previously belonged to Andrew and John McFarlane. Andrew McFarlane, from Ireland, was one of the first permanent settlers in the area. He was a justice of the peace in 1774, probably the first in Scott township1. See the Abbott Land Transaction History for more information about the McFarlanes. Christian's son, Edward, told his grandaughter, Charlotte Abbott Dudt, that it was a working farm when Christian purchased it. Christian's and Magdalena's first home was a log structure, near the springhouse. Their first four children, Caroline, August, Amelia, and Edward, were born there. Their hard work paid off, and they were able to build a beautiful, and larger farmhouse in 1856, the year Edward was born.

Log house
Log house

In 18602 Christian, 34, and his wife, 29, (shown as Caroline) were listed in Upper St. Clair Township right before the listing of his older brother, Charles. Christian's Real Estate was valued at $2220, and Personal Property at $400. They had 6 children: Caroline, 8; August, 7; Emma (Amelia) , 5; Edward, 4; Catherine, 2; and Charley, 7/12 of a year.

In 18703 Christian, 45, and his wife, 39 (listed as Caroline) were listed in Scott Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with Real Estate valued at $15000, and Personal Property valued at $750. Still at home were sons, August, 17, and Edward, 14; and daughters, Amelia, 15, Catherine, 12, and Elizabeth, 7. Christian's father, August Abbott, died in 1872. In his will August mentioned all Christian's loving kindnesses shown to his sister, Mary. Christian's mother, Rosa Ott Abbott, died in 1875. Christian and Magdalena were very proud of their new house and commissioned an artist, Austin Wooster, in nearby Green Tree to do a painting of the farm in 1875.

In 18804 Christian, 54 and his wife, Magdalena, 49 were listed in Scott Township. They had 4 children still at home: Edward, 24; Lizzie, 17; Annie, 14; and Rosa, 11. About 1881, their son, Edward, married Elizabeth Jacob of Collier Township. At one time the Mt. Lebanon Abbott farm was in two sections. In 1880 a sectionwas owned by Christian's brother Charles, but Christian apparently bought the second section from Charles. The 1905 Atlas map for Scott Township shows one section deeded to Christian and the other section deeded to Edward, whose children always said that they were born and raised on the farm. But that doesn't necessarily mean in the house in the painting, since there were two houses on the land at that time. Christian's obituary, in 1897, states that he had been living continously on the same land until he bought a house in Carnegie in 1895.

Christian Abbott Signature
Christopher/Christian Abbott/Abicht's signature from his will, April 7, 1897.

In 1896, Christian and Magdalena transferred the deed to the farm in Mt. Lebanon to their son, Edward Adolph Abbott. They bought a house in Carnegie, at 67 Main Street, (opposite the old Presbyterian Church on Main and Hays Streets). Christian held office in the Lutheran church and served the Borough as assessor and school director5. The obituaries of both Christian and Magdalena state they were members of the Lutheran church from early on in life. Magdalena died 12Aug18966 and Christian died 10 months later, 22Jun1897.7 They are both buried in the Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. See Christian's funeral memorial card and Magdelena's funeral memorial card.

At the time of Christian's death he held personal property valued at $300.00 and real estate in the value of $11,000.00. The real estate consisted of 1 lot (100 x 110 feet) in Carnegie Boro, having erected thereon 1 double-frame house and 1 brick house; and 2 farms in Scott Township containing 58 acres with two houses and barns erected thereon.8

Christian and Magdalena Abbott had 11 children: Caroline , August, Amelia, Edward, Katherine, Charles died before he was 10 years old, Elizabeth, Anna, Albert lived to age 11, Rosa, and William.

See Augustus and Rosanna Ott Abicht/Abbott for information about the lives of Christian's parents. Christian's siblings are described in The Family of Augustus/August and Rosanna Abicht/Abbott.

See More about The Family of Christian and Magdalena Abbott for information about their children.

See the story of Edward and Elizabeth Jacob Abbott, for more about the Abbott farm, (son of Christian and Magadalena).


1 History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Vol. II. Published by A. Warner & Co., Chicago, ILL., 1889.

2 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Upper St. Clair Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Post Office Mt. Lebanon. Reel #1061, pg. 7; Dwelling 50; Family 54; Enumeration Date: 4Jun1860 by Jn. Bausman.

3 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Scott Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Reel #1299, page 38; Dwelling 290; Family 262; Enumeration Date: 14Jun1870 by William Cartwright.

4 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Scott Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Reel #1090, page 1; Dwelling 12 ,Family 13; Enumeration District: 53; Enumeration Date: 2Jun1880 by J. S. McKnight.

5 Biography of grandson, August, Memoirs of Allegheny County, Northwestern Historical Association, 1904. Madison, Wis.

6 Obituary in Carnegie Signal-Item, 14Aug1896

7 Obituary in Carnegie Signal-Item, 24Jun1897

8 Will of Christian Abbott, dated April 7, 1897. No. 246, Will Book 52, Page 437. Filed July 3, 1897 with Registrar of Wills, Pittsburgh, PA.