Monday, March 12, 2012

Johannes Sechler 1700-1777

Our Concise Sechler Line

Johannes Sechler 
Born 1700
Died 1761
married 1728
Anna Maria Maurer 
daughter of Andreas & Sophia Maurer
Born 11 Dec 1707
Died 5 Jan 1777

Buried in the New Goshenhoppen Cem, East Greenville Upper Hanover Twp, Philadelphia (Now Montgomery) County PA

Franey/Veronica  Sechler  b. c 1727
Barbara  Sechler  b. c 1729
Abraham  Sechler  b. 5 Oct 1729, d. 5 Dec 1783
John  Sechler b. 2 Mar 1739, d. 24 Dec 1831
Jacob  Sechler b. 24 Sep 1740
Johan Andreas  Sechler   b. 2 Sep 1742, d. Sep 1830
Th. Friedrich  Sechler b. 5 May 1744, d. Feb 1825
Rutolph  Sechler  b. 4 May 1747, d. 24 Sep 1776
Samuel  Sechler b. 13 Jan 1748, d. 12 Aug 1761
Joseph  Sechler b. 30 Jul 1749, d. 1804 m. Elizabeth Stump
[S109] Georgia Cobb, Register of Huguenot Ancestors


St. Michaelis and Zion Congregation of Philadelphia
1747 26 Jul: Rutolph, parents: Johannes Sechler and wife. Witnesses, Rutolph Maurer and wife.


Land Warrant
14 Jan 1737 John Sickler
Warrant #28 (s) Philadelphia County PA

By the Properties

Whereas John Sickler of the county of Philadelphia hath requested that we would grand him to take up 150 acres of land situate about 1 mile and a half from Richard Gregory and adjoining George Castor's line in the said county of Philadelphia, forwhich he agrees to pay to our use at the rate of 15 pounds 10 shillings currentmoney of this Province for 100 acres,and the yearly Quit-rent of one halfpenny sterling for every acre thereof, these are therefor to authorize and require thee to survey or cause to be surveyed unto the said John Sickler at the place aforesaid according to the method of townships appointed, the said quantity of 150 acres, if not already survey'd or appropriated, and make return thereof into the Secretary's office in order for further confirmation, for which this shall be they sufficient Warrant; which survey, in case the said John Sickler fulfil the above agreement within --- months from the date hereof, shall be valid, otherwise void, given under my hand, and the latter seal of our Province, at Philadelphia, this 14th day of January anno dom 1737.

To Benjamin Easiburn, Surveyor General

Vacated for want of compliance and warrant of the 3rd August 1744 the survey ordered to be made for the use of George Suller

(Johannes purchased new property in 1749, probably shortly after vacating this property in 1744)


The Will of John Sechler, Dated June 1761

In the Name Of God, Amen.
I, John Sechler, of the township of upper hanover and county of Philadelphia, Yeoman, being weak in body but of sound memory blessed be God and putting to mind human mortality and that it is fit every man once to die make and publish this my last will and testament the 20 day of June in the year of our Lord 1761 in manner following:

First, it is my will that all my just debts be paid off, and that my beloved wife Anna Maria shall have the use and possession of the place whereon I now live during her natural life and my children under age shall be and remain under the tuition and care of my said beloved wife till they arrive to their respective age, but in the case my said wife should die before such time, the said children shall be brought every one as far asthey may be, to a good and honest trade.  And after the demise of my said beloved wife, I do give and bequeath the said my plantation containing 100 acres situated between the lines of Mechoir Seizholt, Andread Mowrer, George Shultze as by my deed for the same of Wm Parsons, John Ross, and Robt Greenway bearing date the 16th day of May 1749 will move at large appear as also another tract of about 28 acres situate in Douglas township between the tract of Samuel Sechler, Mess McCall and Michael Read.  I say I do give and bequeath unto my son John at the rate or price of 200 pounds of currant lawfull money of Pennsylvania for the said first tract and 43 pounds for the other tract in terms following: on every year to pay 15 pounds to my Executors for the use of my heird all the whole be paid off, unto my said son John, his heirs and assigns forever, and also I five to the said my son Joun as into the bargain or to the said land 1 horse and a mare, 4 cows, and a old waggon and other utensils for tilling the land being on the place.

And also I give and bequeath to my sons Jacob and Andreas my lands and plantation situate by the Blue Mounains in the township of Linn, Northhampton County, containing 240 acres with allowance as by my deed for the same will appearts together with the corn int he field, 1 horse and a mare 2 cows, 2 heifers and 2 young calfs and all the husbandry now being on the said place to be appraised unto them at the sum of 320 pounds, current lawfull money of Pennsylvania in terms following: as to pay ever year following the sun of 20 pounds till the whole be paid off.  To have and to hold the same by the said my 2 sons Jacob and Andreas for themselves their heirs and assigns forever.

(continued, need to find the next page to type it in...)


The 18th Century Colonial Sechler Homestead
Its Historical Significance in the Affairs and Activities of Lynn Township
By: Richard K. Miller

Sechler Homestead Built about 1750

To date, no one has yet been able to stop the element of time. As each generation of mankind travels along life's pathway, time is always in control and unyielding. Therefore, it is not unusual for us as individuals, not always to remember historical events that occurred generations and centuries ago. The recollection of past significant events has a tendency to erode and fade into the shadows of the succeeding years of time, and eventually those events in question, if only temporarily, are forgotten. As someone once said: "Significant historical events of years past are gradually relegated to the dustbin of history." How true those words are. The historical events and activities of Lynn Township's 18th century colonial Sechler homestead are no exceptions to this fact of life. Therefore, we feel it would be worthwhile for us, the members of the Lynn/Heidelberg Historical Society and others, to recall and provide a retrospective review of some significant historical events that involved the Sechler homestead and many of its occupants, taking into account the indelible imprint they left upon the social and economic affairs of Lynn Township for 163 years (1757-1920).

The exact date of the construction of the Sechler homestead is not known. However, the structure, consisting of three rooms on the ground floor and a loft for additional sleeping quarters, was erected during the high tide of the German immigrations, probably sometime between 1740 and 1750. Its exact location was on a tract of farmland along present day Sechler Road, seven tenth of a mile from its juncture with the New Tripoli-Lynnville highway. The dwelling nestled in the shadow of Schochary Ridge's northern slope, where it provided shelter and lodging for many Germans and Pennsylvania Germans farm families throughout the years. The dwelling was finally abandoned for family use in 1919. Regrettably, the homestead was not destined to be preserved for posterity. As a result of human neglect and the ever eroding forces of nature, it gradually fell into disrepair in the early decades of the 20th century and finally met its demise in 1976(?).

Sechler Homestead interior

Although the Sechler dwelling is no longer an existing reality, it still serves as one of Lynn Township's historically significant icons, a reminder of the harsh, treacherous and frequently brutal frontier life that our pioneer forefathers had to endure as they struggled to tame the wilderness and to provide shelter and food for their families and livestock. In addition to battling the unforgiving environment, they also had to deal with the marauding Indians, especially in 1756 and 1757. Entire families were in danger of being murdered and their homes and possessions being destroyed. The Sechler homestead and its occupants were not to be spared from those deadly incursions. It was on July 9, 1757 that the plundering savages struck the homestead, its occupants and several visiting farm helpers. Hardly had they gathered for their noonday meal when they were subjected to the full wrath and destructive fury of the invaders. The raid lasted but only a few moments. Yet in that time ten human beings were massacred and scalped. Within a few hours after the tragic event, a Lieutenant Jacob Wetterholt, a recent German immigrant and a security officer stationed at nearby Fort Everett, was summoned to the site to prepare a written report of the deadly incident for his superior officer. His report provides us with a fairly accurate account of the results of the attack. Unfortunately, the lieutenant's English writing skills were not yet too well perfected. Therefore, we have taken the liberty to make some orthographical and grammatical modifications of the original report for the sake of clarity and legibility. The transcription, therefore, reads as follows:

"Honored Sir:
This is to acquaint you of a murder that happened this day at the home of Adam Clauss in said township of Lynn, where three or four neighbors were cutting said man's corn. As they were eating their dinner, they were attacked by savage Indians, and 5 of the whites took to their heels, 2 men, 2 women, and a girl. They escaped unharmed. Killed and scalped were Martin Yeager and his wife and her three children. Abraham Sechler's wife was scalped, yet still alive and seriously wounded in the side and thigh. One of Sechler's children was also killed, as was one child of Adam Clauss. Also one child of Philip Anthony was killed."

Curiously, we note that in the very first line of the lieutenant's report that the massacre took place "at the home of Adam Clauss." His insertion of this quoted phrase creates a somewhat murky account of the homestead's ownership at the time of the massacre. Furthermore, it is also of interest to note that 2 members of the Abraham Sechler family were among the victims of the assault. Could Lt. Wetterholt have erred in his report? It is possible that the property could have been owned by the Sechler family at the time of the massacre and Adam Clauss was merely a tenant. The first legal document that conveys ownership to a Sechler clan member was recorded in Northampton County, April 2, 1772. At that time, Christian Christ and wife, who had been granted a warrant and patent of the property by Richard and Thomas Penn 7 years after the massacre (1764), conveyed ownership to a Federick Sechler, who owned the property until 1785.

Sechler Homestead as it appeared in 1948. Owner at the time was Charles Sittler.

As a result of the event that occurred on that day in 1757, the Sechler homestead and its victims have forever left their indelibly heartbreaking, painful mark upon the history of Lynn Township. On that fateful day, their destiny was quickly determined. To all the future generations of Lynn Township citizens, the Sechler homestead and its victims were to serve as an icon and a remembrance of the suffering and the loss of life our forefathers had to endure as they labored to carve out a livelihood on the township's rugged frontier. Yet, in spite of its infamous and tainted reputation during the colonization years of America, the homestead and its occupants were destined to become more than just a symbol of tragedy. Time was in control and recollections of the Indian attacks gradually began to erode and fade into the shadows of the succeeding decades. Brighter days were in store for the Sechler homestead and its future occupants. We plan to discuss them in a future issue of the Lynn/Heidelberg Historical Society's quarterly bulletin.

As we conclude, we wish to extend our sincere gratitude to our lifetime friend, Carl Snyder, for his counsel and his assistance in providing historical and legal documents as well as the photographs that appear in this essay.

Letter  written by Lieut. Jacob Wetherhold to Major Parsons at Easton:
From the "History of Lehigh County, PA. pub. 1914. Vol. I, pp 90 and 91. on 9 July 1757 at Lynn Twp., Northampton County, Pennsylvania.
Honored Sir:
"These are to acquant you of a murder hapened this day at the houce of Adam Clauce, in said Township of Lynn, whaire three or fore nabors was cutting said man's corn: as they was eating theaire dinner, they waire fell one by a perty of saviges, Indians, and five of the Whits took to there heals, two men, two women, and one gerl, and got saf out of theire hands. Was killed and scalped, Martin Yager and his wife, and John Croushores wife and one child, and the wife of Abraham Secler was sculpt and is yet alive. But badly wounded, one sho thro the sid and the other in the thy, and two children kild belonging to said Croushere, and one to said Secler, and one belonging to Philip Antone not scullpt, and this was don at least three miles within the out side settlers, and 4 miles from John Everett's and Philip Antone's wife was one that took her tilit and came hom and acquainted her husband, and he came and acquanted me and I went emeditly to the place with seven men besides myself and saw the murder. But the IIndians was gon and I derectly purs'ed them about 4 miles and cam up with them in the thick groves weaire wee met with nine Indians, and one sprung behind a tree and took site at me and I run direct at him, and another one the sid flast at me, and then both took to there heals, and I shot one as i goge thro the body, as he fell on his face. But I loaded and after another that was leding a maire, and ye meane time he got up and run away and I fired on the other, and I think I shot him in ye Buttux, and my soldiers had oppertunity to shot three times, and then they got out of oure site in the thick groves, and wee cold not find them no more, but I got from them one maire and two saddels, one bridel and halter, and one bag with a cag of stil licker in it, and cloths and one brace cittel and four Indian Cake baked in the ashes of wheat meal and to aquat you further, that I have several new soldiers that has no guns, and were little powder and led, and I have sent this express to you hoping that you wold help me with arms and ammenishan, and so I remaine yours friend and humble servent. Jacob Wetherhold."

On July 9, 1757, occurred the last invasion of Lynn Twp by Indians that is recorded. On this day ten persons were killed at the house of Adam Clauss in Lynn Twp. They were Martin or Adam Yeager and his wife [one account gives the name as Martin and another as Adam]. Abraham Sechler's wife and one child, John Kauhaar's wife and three children, a child of Adam Clauss and a child of Philip Anthony. The house in which the Sechler family resided is still standing and is now owned by Senator Miller. It has been reproduced on this page, showing the yard, in which tradition says that Mrs. Sechler was killed. Philip Anthony lived in Lynn twp. and was the owner of 150 acres of land. It was his wife that brought the alarm to her husband who at once hastned to where Lieut. Jacob Wetherhold was stationed and informed him of the attack. Wetherhodl on the same day wrote the previous letter to Major Parsons at Easton which was reproduced verbatim.


Look for a copy of :
Robert G. Sechler's paper "250 Years of Sechlers in America"

Johannes Sechler married Anna Maria  Maurer circa 1728 at Pennsylvania. Johannes Sechler was land Listed on the Philadelphia County Landholders. His name was spelled SEECLEAR. in 1734 at 100 acres, Hanover, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. He was buried circa June 1761 at New Goshenhoppen Church, Upper Hanover, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

Johannes Sechler died betweenJune and Oct 1761 at At his Plantation, Upper Hanover, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.


    Anna Maria Maurer was baptized on 11 December 1707 at Freinsheim Reformed Church, Freinsheim, Palatinate, Germany;

     Anna Maria Maurer married Johannes Sechler circa 1728 at Pennsylvania.

     Anna Maria Maurer died on 5 January 1777 at Upper Hanover, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, at age 69. She was buried on 6 January 1777 at New Goshenhoppen Church, Upper Hanover Twp., Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

Andreas Maurer1
M, b. 11 March 1711
     Andreas Maurer Listed in Heads of Families of New Goshenhoppen.2 He was baptized on 11 March 1711 at Freinsheim Reformed Church, Freinsheim, Palatinate, Germany; His wife, Sophia. was also a witness.1
Children of Andreas Maurer
Johan Andreas Maurer+ b. 27 Mar 1737
Margreda Maurer b. 5 May 17443
Christina Maurer b. c 1757
Jacob Maurer b. 8 Mar 17584
Anna Maria Maurer b. 8 Mar 17584
[S112] Annette Burgert, Col. Im. from Freinsheim in the Palatinate, Pg. 13.
[S23] William John Hinke Rev., History of the Goshenhopen Reformed Charge, Rev. George Michael Weiss.
[S23] William John Hinke Rev., History of the Goshenhopen Reformed Charge, pg. 285, Rev. Dorsius.
[S23] William John Hinke Rev., History of the Goshenhopen Reformed Charge, New Goshenhoppen, pg. 289, Rev. Weiss.

No comments:

Post a Comment