Monday, July 10, 2017

Christopher Witman 1700-1770

Heather's 8th Great Paternal Grandfather

Christopher Witman
Reported to be the son of Hans Mathias Martin & Catharina (Scholl) Weidman
Born abt 1700 in Germany
Died ABT 1770 in Lancaster Pa
Rosina Barbara (possibly Heidrick?)
Daughter of

As named in Christophers Will in 1765 - 
Adam Christopher Witman
John Witman
Michael Witman
Henry Witman
Rosina Witman wife of Detrick Kremer (Deitrick Greiner?)
Madlena Witman wife of Lugwig  Imler

1739 Naturalization
Philadelphia County, PA

From Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Southeastern Pennsylvania, p. 273.

Name: Christopher Witman
Arrival Year: 1739
Arrival Place: Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania
Source Publication Code: 6664.11
Primary Immigrant: Witman, Christopher
Annotation: Date and place of naturalization. Extracted from records in the Division of Archives and Manuscripts at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission located in the William Penn Memorial Museum and Archives Building in Harrisburg, PA. Colonial Records
Source Bibliography: [PENNSYLVANIA COLONY.] Abstracts of Pennsylvania Records of Naturalizations, 1695-1773, Found in Colonial Records (Minutes of Provincial Council), Volumes 1, 2, 3, 9, & 10, Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania, Volumes II, III, IV, VI, VII, & VIII, and Pennsylvania Archives, Series 1, Volumes 1, 3, & 4. York, PA: South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, 1983. 24p.

Page: 13

1753 - Land Warrant
Name Christopher Witman
Acreage 10
Warrant Date 8 Oct 1753

Warrant Location Berks

1765 - Wrote Will

1767 - Land Warrant


From The Find A Grave Entry:
Regina was buried at the Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery.

My first visit to the church was in February, 1998, to find the graves of Johann (John) and Regina Kurtz. After searching for a cemetery at the church, in vain, I finally met a local historian who explained that the church expanded in 1963 - right on top of the then church cemetery. It was a controversial expansion but the graves there, and I don't know any other than John and Regina, were moved a couple hundred yards away, two blocks, to the main cemetery.

When they went to disinter the remains they were astonished to find no remains other than discolored soil. Still, they moved the soil/remains along with the gravestones to the new site. Apparently by 1963 Regina did not have a stone but from "Life of Johann Nicolaus Kurtz, with notes on his brother, Johann Wilhelm Kurtz (1925)," p. 47. it is noted that on her stone was "Kinder 10." (Margaret A. Cruikshank, edited by Benjamin Kurtz Miller"

The church record reads as follows: 

Regina Kurtz geboren im Jahr 1738 den 3 April in Falkner Schwam. Ihr Eltern waren Chr. Witman und dessen Ehefrau, Rosina Barbara, Getauft, Confirmit & 1759 den 1 sten Nov trat Sie in die Ehe mit Ev. J. Wilhelm Kurz. Kinder 10. Wittwen stand, gelebt 13 Jahr und 3 Tage. Krankheit Auszehrung. Gestorben den 30 sten May 1812, alt 74 J. 1 m. w 21 T. Berd. In Jonestown, June 1, 1812.

The Moravian Connection 
Many years ago, my uncle, Eugene A. Kurtz (1923-2006), told me that the Kurtz family was descended from Moravian followers of Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake in 1415 because he spoke out against the Catholic Church years before Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli. After Hus was martyred, many of his followers, including our Kurtz ancestors, were also burned at the stake and their survivors had their property confiscated and fled for their lives.
For over 40 years I have searched for information to verify this story, and finally I have found it. Regina Witman (1783-1812) who married Johann Wilhelm Kurtz (1732-1799) was the daughter of Christopher Witman, whose ancestors spelled their name variously as Widman, Weidman, and Weidemann. They are said to have fled from persecution in Zurich to the Palatine area of Germany, and thence to Pennsylvania. Johann Hus’ followers were ethnic Germans living in Moravia and Bohemia, and they rallied around Hus at the University of Prague. Some fled to Saxony, some to Zurich or Bern, some to Hungary, and some to Strasbourg. Zurich and Bern later became centers of intense persecution for Moravians, Baptists, Anabaptists and Mennonites, many of whom were the ancestors of the “Pennsylvania Dutch.” Members of these groups fled from Moravia to Zurich and Bern, and then back to Moravia, as the waves of persecution ebbed and flowed in the 1400's.
Much of this information is from Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss and German Settlers of Southeastern Pennsylvania by Henry Frank Eschleman, Parts of it are also referenced in Martyr’s Mirror by Thielemam J. Van Bracht, and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe. There is specific information about Christopher Witman’s father, Mathias Martin Weidman, and his grandfather, Isaak Weideman, who fled from Zurich to Baden, in a book called Markham 1793-1900, by the Markham, Ontario Historical Society. However, one of the descendants doing research on disagrees with the name of Isaak Weideman and says this should be Peter Weideman. All of these sources are available on the internet. Since I have not yet been able to trace Christopher Witman’s ancestors with any certainty, I am hopeful that someone later will do this. These ancestors deserve to be named and remembered, to live on in our records, and to be blessed in our memory.
Laurie Kurtz Visher

German Martyrs and Refugees
Posted 14 Mar 2016 by Laurie Kurtz
German Martyrs and Refugees

Many of the “Pennsylvania Dutch” are descendants of the earliest Protestant martyrs and their survivors, who fled from persecution in Switzerland, especially the areas around Zurich and Bern. Early in the Protestant Reformation, dissenting religious factions broke from the established church because they refused to baptize infants or to pay money to priests to intercede for them and “secure” God’s forgiveness for their sins. These dissenters were variously known as Baptists, Anabaptists, Mennonites, and Moravians. Many fled from Switzerland to Moravia, and from Moravia to Switzerland, depending on where the persecution was most intense at the time. Dissenters were thrown into dungeons, were tortured, and if they refused to recant, were sentenced to death by beheading or were burned alive at the stake. Their property was confiscated by the state, their children were declared illegitimate and not able to inherit, and the survivors were forced to flee for their lives. The Palatine area of southwestern Germany provided a safe haven for these refugees, who later emigrated to Pennsylvania. 
  Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993
  Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-1999

Friday, July 7, 2017

Reading The Ethnicity Estimates At

Most of us here in central PA assume with are German.  And most of us also believe we have Native American somewhere in our lines.  So when we get the ethnicity estimates from, there are often a lot of questions and confusion.

Wait - Where's the German?
Those of us with German roots will find our results higher in the "Europe West" category.  That includes:  Belgian, French, German, Dutch, Swiss, Luxembourgian, Liechtenstein

I've been surprised, using paper trail genealogy, to find that a lot of our "German" roots are not so German. There are a lot of French Hugenots, and Swiss, that came to America from Germany, but were only in Germany for a few years, or possibly one generation, before their arrival in America.  But for the purposes of an ancestry dna estimate, they are all Europe West.

Then there is the timing.  WHEN were my ancestors German?  What generations are giving me these results?  The blog below covers this more in depth, in her critisim of ethnicity estimates:

"It’s difficult to determine which of the matching populations are more recent and which are less recent.  By way of example, many Germans and others in eastern Europe are descendants of Genghis Khan’s Mongols who invaded portions of Europe in the 13thcentury.  So, do we recognize and count their DNA when found as “German,” “Polish,” “Russian,” or “Asian?”  The map below shows the invasions of Genghis Khan.  Based on this, Germans who descend from Genghis’s Mongols could match Koreans on those segments of DNA. Both of those people would probably find that confusing."

But I KNOW My 4th Great Grandmother Was Native American!

"So how much of your great-great-grandmother’s DNA are you likely to have?  Probably around 1.5625%! And that may not be enough to detect Native American ethnicity."

You may know, but your DNA may not.  It's possible you simply did not inherit that part of your parents DNA.  This chart here shows how little DNA we inherit from our ancestors - and explains why.

And even if your test results show Native American DNA - it may not mean you are American Indian.  This is a common theme on genealogical forums - " My uncle, who was born in Peru, recently tested and is 87% Native American. Ancestry very accurate detects Native American heritage from Mexico, Central and South America, but not so much Native Americans from US tribes".

There's a MUCH more in depth (but not over your head technical) post about Native American DNA here-

"One of the most important things you must remember is that having Native American DNA is different from having Native American ancestry. This is because your potential inheritable Native American DNA could be lost every generation but you could still have real Native American ancestry in your family history. " 

So How Is Ancestry Coming Up With These Results?

They are estimating, based on averages.

" plasters its home page with pie charts that promise to give you a “sense of identity” with decimal-point precision.

The problem is that DNA snippets, or markers, are inconsistent. Sometimes they are passed on and sometimes they are not, and whether they are or aren’t is random. Sure, a large percentage of Native Americans may share certain genetic markers. But many Native Americans may lack the same marker, and many non–Native Americans may carry it by coincidence.

So when a DNA test comes back saying you are 28 percent Finnish, all it’s really saying is that of the DNA analyzed (most companies don’t analyze all of your DNA), 28 percent of it was most similar to that of a completely Finnish person. In the end, these comparisons are a fun but ultimately unreliable way to think about the possibilities of whom your ancestors might have been, rather than definitive proof of your ethnic background."

"We’ve assembled one the of most comprehensive DNA datasets in the world, with thousands of DNA samples from people with deep roots in each of our 26 different regions. This dataset makes up what we call a “reference panel.” Each person in the reference panel is from a specific location and has a documented family tree indicating deep ancestry in a particular region. To estimate your genetic ethnicity, we compare your DNA to the DNA of the people who make up the reference panel and then upload the results to your Ancestry account. These results can go back 500+ years and are an estimate based on current research. You can expect them to change and become even more refined as we do even more population genetic research."

Hang On - Where did the Scandanavian Come From?
If you do not have scandanavian in your genealogy research, and you tested through, it's most likely part of a KNOWN error in Ancestry tests.  You can read more about that here  -

"The problem is that their admixture percentages are simply WRONG.  Period.  Not a “tiny error”, not “needs tweeking,” utterly, entirely wrong.  Throw it out and start over wrong.  There are no secret Scandinavians hiding in the bushes, or in everyone’s family tree, and the fact that they are embracing their error and trying to turn a dime by telling people that they DO have a huge amount of mythical Scandinavian blood and they just need to use Ancestry’s tools to search longer and harder is not only infuriating, it’s unethical and self-serving."

And that makes it hard to trust ANY of ancestry's results, doesn't it?

So How Can I Get Better Ethnicity Results?
I'm not sure you can get "better" at this time.  I think everyone is still learning, and the calculations are still improving. But I could be wrong.  :-)

Some other sites to try for more break downs include:

Gedmatch.  Really, if you had a dna test done anywhere, you should download the raw dna and upload it to gedmatch.  They have the most free toys and best comparison tools.  Basically, anyone doing any DNA research should have a gedmatch account.  It's the basics.

DNA Tribes.  This is a suggestion from another blogger.  I have not used them.  I feel like I was in over my head just reading the descriptions.  So if you try this, please let me know how it works out for you.

Family Tree DNA - This one is not free.  I read that you can upload your Raw DNA from ancestry and have it analyzed here for  $39.  But I also have not tried this one.  This site does have the most comprehensive tests.  

Why Siblings Are Not The Same Genetic Ethnicity - Simplified

My brother in law took an ancestry dna test after Christmas, and then my husband took one later this year.  My nephew (very reasonably) asked if he could add his dad's percentages to his uncles percentages, and have the result tell him HIS ethnicity.

You really would assume it would work that way.  But the answer is no.  Not only is it no, but I explained to him that if him and his sisters took the test, they could get very different results.  (In this particular case, he does have an identical twin. Their results should be the same.  Our twins, his cousins, are NOT identical, and would likely not have the same results)

That's because although we inherit 50% of our dna from each of our parents, we do not necesarily inherit the SAME 50%  that our siblings inherited.  

Think of it as an estate.  If our farm is split 50/50 between two of our children, one child may take a goat, a cow, and the china.  Another child may take 5 goats, a chicken, and a bedroom set.  Equal value, but different items.  

This is a great article from Ancestry, where 4 sisters took a DNA test, to see "who is more Irish".  It helps explain this concept a bit better than my farm inheritance analogy, but without being too in depth or overly technical.  :-)

There's another great article here, with visuals (colored beads), explaining how DNA can be inherited differently by siblings who have the same parents:

Oh, one more thing to keep in mind.  The estimates on ancestry are just that - estimates.  They are based on the averages, and those estimates keep evolving.   

Thursday, July 6, 2017

I've Done a DNA Test, Now what?

I am not an expert at DNA research. I'm barely a novice at this point.  I have found a few experts though, and I am learning from them.  These are the steps and resources I recommend.  

The first thing you will want to do is download your raw DNA.  I'm using ancestry as an example, because that is where most people test.

Go to
choose settings

Then on the right hand side you will see something like the photo above.  Choose "Download Raw DNA Data"

They will send you an email, you will have to click on the link in the email to confirm you want to download your data.

Once downloaded, it will be a zip file.  Do not unzip it.  But you may wish to rename it.  I rename each of ours with the person it belongs to, so I don't confuse the files later.

Next you will want to go to
This is where you can compare kits against each other to see which strings of chromosomes you have in common.  I know that sounds complex, but don't quit on me yet.  Even if you decide not to do the matches here, if you upload your dna, other researchers can perform the match and connect with you, and if they have more knowledge than you, you could get easy answers without too much effort.   Or, if you are interested, there are still lots of resources for learning how to interpret and compare your dna results.

  This is the main gedmatch page, once you have an account and login.
Up at the very top, middle, choose "Generic Upload Fast" and you can upload the zip file of your raw dna.  

From there, it does get a bit more complex.  But it's still do-able for the average researcher!  This post will cover in more detail than I care to, how to proceed:


If you have any interest in genetic genealogy research at all, I suggest this facebook group:
This is a group of people actively using dna for genetic resarch, and they share tips as they work.  It's an immensely helpful resource!

And then you will want to read Blaine Bettingers Blog - The Genetic Genealogist.  He has some amazingly helpful charts to help explain things.  He also has information so far over my head that I'm just not yet able to process it.  I'll probably work on learning more from him this winter, when I spend more time indoors.
DNA Detectives is a facebook group specifically for those using their DNA to search for adoptive family members -

Genetic genealogy group focused on using DNA to find biological family for adoptees, foundlings, donor-conceived individuals, unknown paternity and all other types of unknown parentage cases - recent and more distant. 

Now please keep in mind, we do NOT inherit an even 50% of our ancestors DNA.  DNA is not a set percentage.  But if we DID inherit an exact set amount, this gives you a rough idea of how much that might be.  
"The chart above shows how much of a particular generation of ancestors’ DNA you would inherit if each generation between you and that ancestor inherited exactly 50% of that ancestor’s DNA from their parent. This means, on the average, you will carry less than 1% of each of your 5 times great-grandparents DNA, shown in generation 7, in total. You’ll carry about 1.56% of each of your 6 times great-grandparents, and so forth."   This is better explained in the rest of her post here:

Another great resource:

"A few years ago The Genetic Genealogist Blaine Bettinger posted several versions of X‑DNA inheritance charts. Colored blocks on the charts indicate which ancestors might contribute segments to a person's X chromosome(s). The percentage of X‑DNA that each ancestor might contribute was shown in one of the later charts.1 Blaine explains X‑DNA inheritance in those posts as well as providing the charts.

I formatted this information into a Microsoft Word table so I can type the names of the ancestors of a person who has tested for use in X‑DNA analysis. "


The Shared CM Project
"You might be familiar with the Shared cM Project, which produced this chart. The Project relies on submissions from genealogists just like you! I will soon be working on an annual update to the Shared cM Project, and I would greatly appreciate tons of new submissions! I am accepting all submissions, and I am especially looking for relationships more distant than 2C (as well as all half relationships). Because I have limited time, I can ONLY accept submissions through the submission Portal: THANK YOU to everyone! (If you'd like to share this post, copy & paste rather than clicking "share" so it can reach more people)."

If you are not familiar with the shared CM project, you can read more about it here.  This is a little more advanced, not a beginners project.  


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Our Ancestors From Palatine Germany

Today I was invited to join a facebook group, Palatinate German DNA and Ancestry.  Description - "A group to help us determine our German Palatinate ancestral roots in PA, NJ, NY, and anywhere else they may have ended up. We are primarily utilizing DNA to determine our connections."

I immediately joined.  And then I immediately realized I have no idea who our palentine German ancestors are (ok, so I have an idea, but I'm not really certain) nor, with the ever changing definitions and borders, was I completely clear on what Palentine Germany encompasses.  But hey - at least I have our dna results on gedmatch, right?  Nope, not quite.  I have two tests there (one is my brother in laws) but I have yet to upload my husbands and mine are not finished processing at ancestry.    First things first, lets get the results I DO have on gedmatch.  Then I will research the Palentines a bit, and try to make a list of our Palentine Ancestors.
Our Palentine Ancestors, by Gedmatch Kit

Related to Heather Kit # (still being processed)
Paternal 7th great grandfather Matthias Bruch immigrated in 1736 on ship Harle

Related to Heather's Maternal Line (Mother) Kit #A814099

Possibly the Welliver Line, although I have not yet documented the lineage that is given in several sources, and I am not SURE.  Yet.

Related to Daniel Truckenmiller  Kit #A827792

Sebastian Truckenmiller, Dan's 6th great paternal grandfather, immigrated here in 1732 on the Ship Pink, John & William.  He was from the Rhineland area of Gemany.

Anna Maria Maurer - Dan's 6th great paternal grandmother
Probably Johannes Sechler, her husband, as well?

Elias Lang/Long, Dan's Paternal 8th great grandfather

Possibly the Schmeck Line


Next, lets research Palentine Germany.  I strongly recommend reading The History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp.  I've quoted it extensively below, but tried to trim it down to the parts that I believe directly relate to our families, and in doing so, I have missed a lot of interesting facts, such as the settlements in Ireland and Virginia.

Where are they from?  What brought them here?  How can we find them in the records?  And what has been written on them as a whole?


According to Wikipedia (not a completely reliable source, but an ok place to start my research) The German Palantines were 18th century (January 1, 1701 to December 31, 1800) emigrants from the Middle Rhine region of the Holy Empire, including a minority from the Palantine."  Why the entire group became "German Palantines", if it was a minority from that region, I do not know.

So, WHERE was the Palentine Region of Germany?
The Palatinate, or German PFALZ, was in German history, the land of the Count Palatine. I don't know about you, but that definition was not exactly helpful for me.  So I found this map:

But I have to admit that I still am not understanding all of this completely and I may not have a map that encompasses all of the right area for the right time period.  You can see this map, and read more about it (which might be helpful!) here:

 Geographically, the Palatinate was divided between two small territorial clusters: the Rhenish, or Lower Palatinate, and the Upper Palatinate. The Rhenish Palatinate included lands on both sides of the Middle Rhine River between its Main and Neckar tributaries. Its capital until the 18th century was Heidelberg. The Upper Palatinate was located in northern Bavaria, on both sides of the Naab River as it flows south toward the Danube and extended eastward to the Bohemian Forest. The boundaries of the Palatinate varied with the political and dynastic fortunes of the Counts Palatine.

The Palatinate has a border beginning in the north, on the Moselle River about 35 miles southwest of Coblenz to Bingen and east to Mainz, down the Rhine River to Oppenheim, Guntersblum and Worms, then continuing eastward above the Nieckar River about 25 miles east of Heidelberg then looping back westerly below Heidelberg to Speyer, south down the Rhine River to Alsace, then north-westerly back up to its beginning on the Moselle River.

(That description is obviously well beyond my attention span, and I obviously cut and pasted it from somewhere, but unfortunately, I can't remember where.  Possibly wikipedia)

Why Did They Move?

Towards the end of the 17th century (so, late 1600s) this wealthy region of Germany was repeatedly invaded by troops from France, which caused widespread devastation and famine.  Around 13,000 formerly wealthy, but now "poor palentines", migrated to England between May and November of 1709.  (Why 1709?  What was the final straw that sent them all to a new country?)

Of the large number that came to England, in 1708 and 1709, seven thousand, after having suffered great privations, returned, half naked and in despondency, to their native country. Ten thousand died for want of sustenance, medical attendance, and from other causes. Some perished on ships. The survivors were transported to English colonies in America. Several thousand had embarked for the Silly Islands, a group south-west of England; but never reached their intended destination.  (History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp)

And How Can We Find Them?
In 1710, the English transported nearly 3,000 German Palantines in 10 ships, into New York.  Many were first assigned to work camps along the Hudson River to work off their passage.

A list of ships carrying Palatines from Germany to Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808.

Before leaving on ships from England to New York, many of the Palatines stranded there received Letters of Denization. These were dated 25 August 1708 before the first wave of immigration from England to New York. Since the first ships passenger lists carrying Palatines to New York have not survived, we can refer to these Letters of Denization for the names of some of the first 52 German Protestants (Palatines) sent at Queen Anne's expense to New York.

Denization Records of Palatines (Germans) from England to NY 1708 Can be found here:
DENIZATION - English Law. The act by which a foreigner becomes a subject of England but he does not have the rights either of a natural born subject, nor of one who has become naturalized. DENIZEN - An alien born, who has obtained letters patent to make him an English subject.

More Records, Palatines from England to New York 1709

Pennsylvania German Pioneers Pennsylvania German Pioneers contains the original lists of Palatine German pioneers who arrived at the port of Philadelphia from the years 1727 to 1808.
This is also searchable on -

Palatine Children Apprenticed by Gov. Hunter in New York 1710-1714

Those settled on Hudson river were under indenture to serve Queen Anne as grateful subjects, to manufacture tar and raise hemp, in order to repay the expenses of their transport and cost of subsistence, to the amount of ten thousand pounds sterling, which had been advanced by parliamentary grant. A supply of naval stores from this arrangement, had been confidently anticipated. The experiment proved a complete failure. There was mismanagement. (History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp)

Next, the Palentines headed to the Schoharie Valley.  The Schoharie Valley is a corridor that runs through Schoharie County from Schoharie, New York to Gilboa, New York.

Why Did So Many End Up In Pennsylvania?

The Germans, being unjustly oppressed, became dissatisfied both with their treatment, and with their situation. Governor Hunter resorted to violent measures to secure obedience to his demands. In this, too, he failed. One hundred and fifty families, to escape the certainty of famishing, left, in the autumn of 1712, for Schoharie Valley, some sixty miles, northwest of Livingston Manor. They had no open road, no horses to carry or haul their luggage - this they loaded on roughly constructed sleds, and did tug those themselves, through a three feet deep snow, which greatly obstructed their progress - their way was through an unbroken forest, where and when the wind was howling its hibernal dirge through leaf-stripped trees, amid falling snow. It took them three full weeks. Having reached Schoharie, they made improvements upon the lands Queen Anne had granted them. Here they remained about ten years, when owing to some defect in their titles, they were deprived of both lands and improvements. In the spring of 1723, thirty-three families removed and settled in Pennsylvania, in Tulpehocken, some fifteen miles west of Reading. A few years afterward, others followed them.
The other dissatisfied Germans at Schoharie, who did to choose to follow their friends to Pennsylvania sought for and found a future home on the frontier in Mohawk Valley.  (History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp)

From 1682 to 1776, Pennsylvania was the central point of emigration from Germany, France and Switzerland. Penn's liberal views, and illiberal course of the government of New York toward the Germans, induced many to come to this Province (History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp)

Or, here's anotherversion of the above, from Peter Kalm's Travels in America, in 1747 and 1748, Vol I, pp. 270,271

Why Did German speaking Immigrants settle in Pennsylvania?
Though, says Peter Kalm, the Provices of New York has been inhabited by Europeans much longer than Pennsylvania, yet it is not by far so populous as that colony. This cannot be ascribed to any particular discouragement arising from the nature of the soil, for that is pretty good; but, I am told of a very different reason, which I will mention here.

In the reign of Queen Anne, about the year 1709, many German came hither, who got a tract of land from the English government, which they might settle. After they had lived there some time, and had built houses, and made corn fields and meadows, their liberties and privileges were infringed, and, under several pretences, they were repeatedly deprived of parts of their land. This at last roused the Germans. They returned violence for violence, and beat those who thus robbed them of their possessions. But these proceedings were looked upon in a very bad light by the government. The most active people among the Germans being taken up, they were roughly treated, and punished with the utmost rigor of the law.

This however, so far exasperated the rest, that the greater part of them left their houses and fields, and went to settle in Pennsylvania. There they were exceedingly well received, got a considerable tract of land, and were indulged in great privileges, which were given them forever. The Germans, not satisfied with being themselves removed from New York, wrote to their relations and friends, and advised them, if ever they intended to come to America, not to go to New York, where the government had shown itself so inequitable.

This advice had such influence that the Germans who afterwards went in great numbers to North America, constantly avoided New York and always went to Pennsylvania.

It sometimes happened that they were forced to go on board of such ships, as were bound for New York, but they were scarce got on shore, when they hastened on to Pennsylvania in sight of all the inhabitants of New York.

On The Hardiness Of The Germans:

We come from "hardy German Stock", according to my ancestors.  And according to several historians to, as I have come to find:

After 1716, Germans, a few French and Dutch, began to penetrate the forest or wilderness - some twenty, thirty, forty, others from sixty to seventy miles, west and north from the metropolis. Large German settlements had sprung up at different points within the present limits of Montgomery and Berks counties. At Goshenhoppen there was a German Reformed church, organized as early as 1717. Some Mennonites coming from the Netherlands, settled along the Pakilmomink (Perkioming) and Schkipeck (Skippack) a few years later.

The Germans were principally farmers. They depended more upon themselves than upon others. They wielded the mattock, the axe and the maul, and by the power of brawny arms rooted up the grubs, removed saplings, felled the majestic oaks, laid low the towering hickory; prostrated, where they grew, the walnut, poplar, chestnut - cleaved such as suited the purpose, into rails for fences - persevered untiringly until the forest was changed into arable field. They were those of whom Governor Thomas said, 1738: 'This Province has been for some years the asylum of the distressed Protestants of the Palatinate, and other parts of Germany; and I believe, it may truthfully he said, that the present flourishing condition of it is in a great measure owing to the industry of those people; it is not altogether the fertility of the soil, but the number and industry of the people, that makes a country flourish.'

England understood well the true policy to increase the number of the people in her American colonies - she retained at home her own subjects, encourage the emigration of Germans; by this England was the gainer, without an diminution of her inhabitants.
Unreasonable as it may seen, it was this class of Germans, that were so much feared, "whose numbers from Germany at this rate, would soon produce a German colony here, and perhaps such a one as Britain once received from Saxony in the fifth century." (History Of Palentine Immigration To America by Daniel Rupp)

About 1728 and 1729, the Germans crossed the Susquehanna, located within the present limits of York and Adams county, and made improvements under discouraging circumstances.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Carl Andrew Keller 1750-1803

7th Great Paternal Grandfather of Heather

Carl Andrew Keller
Son of Johan Peter & Anna Maria Keller
Born July 14,1750, in Germany (or switzerland?)
Died February 21, 1803, at Lancaster, PA
Barbara Judith Bigler
Daughter of
Born  August 9, 1755 in Lancaster Pa
Died August 15, 1831, at Lancaster, PA

(Nine Children, as listed in his will)
John Peter Keller 1776–1859 1st Catharine Schaeffer; 2nd Mrs. Rachel Cochran.
John Keller 1781–1816 m. Susanna Nye
Andrew Keller 1783– m. Stahl
Johan Adam Keller 1784–1863 m. Harriet Trissler,  Elizabeth Schaeffer.
Jacob Keller 1786– m. 2nd Catherine Heisley
Sophia Keller 1788– 1st David Kauffman; 2nd Samuel Kling
Michael Keller 1790–1861 m.  Margaret Schaeffer
Rev,. Benjamin Keller 1793–1864 1st Eliza Craver Schaeffer; 2nd, Maria

Carl Andrew Keller was born
Born in Germany

Carl Andrew Keller
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Mennonite Vital Records, 1750-2014

Source : Biographical annals of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania 

1760 - Came to America
with his father

1774 - Carl Andrew Keeler Married Judith Barbara Bigler
Name: Andrew Keeler
Event: Marriage
Marriage Date: 29 Apr 1774
Marriage Place: Lancaster Co., PA
Church: St. James Episcopal Church, Lancaster Co., PA
Role: Groom
Remark: License.
Household Members:
Name Role
Andrew Keeler Groom

Juda Barbara Kiebein Bride

Source Information Pennsylvania, Church Records - Adams, Berks, and Lancaster Counties, 1729-1881 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

Original data: Extracted from microfilmed transcriptions of the original church records. The microfilmed records are located at the Family History Library.

1790 Census
Andrew Keller
[Andrew Kellers] 
Home in 1790 (City, County, State): Lancaster Borough, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Free White Persons - Males - Under 16: 6
Free White Persons - Males - 16 and over: 2
Free White Persons - Females: 3

Number of Household Members: 11

1799 - Andrew Wrote His Will

1800 Census
Name: Andrews Kuhler
Home in 1800 (City, County, State): Manheim, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10: 2
Free White Persons - Males -10 thru 15: 3
Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over: 2
Free White Persons - Females - 45 and over: 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 5
Number of Household Members Over 25: 3

Number of Household Members: 8

1808 - Land Deed
Estate Land Deed


Name: Carl Andrew Keller
Relationship: Father
Household Members:
Name Relationship
Johann Adam Keller Head
Charles B. Keller Child
Carl Andrew Keller Father
Barbara Judith Bigler Mother
Harried Trissler Spouse

Name Range : Keefer, Dewalt - Keylor, Milton
Source Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Mennonite Vital Records, 1750-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Genealogical Card File. Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

John Peter Keller DDS John Peter Keller was born February 20 1831 at Harrisburg Pa, He was the son of John Peter Keller February 25 1808 to December 13 1837, who was son of John Peter Keller September 28 1776 to October 1 1859 who was son of Carl Andrew Keller July 14 1750 in Switzerland to February 21 1805 at Lancaster Pa, who was son of Johann Peter Keller died January 6 1782 at Lancaster Pa who emigrated to America in 1735 from Zurich Switzerland and settled in Lancaster county Pennsylvania His mother was Lydia Kunkel November 9 18 11 at Harrisburg Pa to February 10 1866 at Harrisburg Pa who was daughter of Christian Kunkel July 10 1757 in the Palatinate Germany to September 8 1823 at Harrisburg Pa and wife Anna Maria Elizabeth Welshofer or Welshoever December 1 1773 York county Pa to July 24 1862 Harrisburg Pa Christian Kunkel was son of John Christian Kunkel who came to America from the Palatinate of Germany September 23 1766 and settled in York county Pennsylvania John Peter Keller his grandfather son of Carl Andrew Keller and wife Judith Barbara Bigler moved to Harrisburg Pa in 1796 where he began business as a brass founder and rope maker later dealing in general merchandise in all of which he was successful He was a member of the Borough Council from 18 10 to 1824 and was prominent in all the public affairs of his day taking part in various early enterprises such as the Harrisburg Bridge Company and the Harrisburg and Middletown Turnpike Company He was the last surviving member of the original Board of Directors of the Harrisburg Bank He was a man of thrift industry and indomitable energy upright honored and respected by his fellow citizens decided and influential as a Christian being one of the founders of the Lutheran Church in Harrisburg His first wife was Catharine Schaeffer daughter of Rev Frederick Schaeffer DD of Lancaster Pa He had thirteen children Christian Kunkel his maternal grandfather was reared to mercantile pursuits During the Revolutionary War 1777 he was in active service with the militia Col Slagles battalion around Philadelphia He also was one of the prime movers in the organization of the first Lutheran Church in Harrisburg He was Burgess of the borough in 1796 and frequently a member of Council elected in 1809 a director of the Bank of Philadelphia at Harrisburg and in the same year appointed by Governor Snyder one of the commissioners for the erection of a bridge over the Susquehanna river He had thirteen children Dr Keller's education was in the public schools of Harrisburg and at the Harrisburg Academy Upon its completion he spent several years as clerk in his uncle's store at Shippensburg Pa In 1849 ne chose dental surgery as his profession and studied under the direction of the late Dr JC Stock with whom he practiced until the death of the latter when he succeeded his preceptor and eventually became the leading dental practitioner of the city He retired in 1875 and lived quietly until the day of his death which occurred during the night of December 23 1907 He was married June 20 1861 to Emeline Croll daughter of John and Eliza Lauman Croll of Middle town Pa He is survived by his wife his brother Christian K Keller and the following children John Peter Jr Croll CK Jr Dr William L and Miss Helen Keller Dr Keller was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church all his life serving in its vestry in all the positions of trust and responsibility He was frequently elected a lay delegate to represent the church in the East Pennsylvania Synod and also a delegate to the General Synod of the United States held at Allegheny Pennsylvania He served several terms on the board of directors of the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and for years was a member of the board of directors of the Lutheran Observer serving as such at the time of his death Since the inception of the Dauphin County Historical Society he was always an active and interested member serving for many years as Chairman of the Executive Committee Upon the death of the Hon JW Simonton he was elected as its President serving as such continuously until his own decease In January 1895 he was elected to membership in the Pennsylvania Society Sons of the Revolution He was the last surviving charter member of the Young Men's Christian Association of Harrisburg Pa and in its early history filled all the offices save that of president He became a member of the Pennsylvania German Society on January 13 1892 and served as its Vice president in 1 901 - HMMR 
Proceedings and Addresses, Volume 17
The Society., 1908 - German-Americans