Morton L. (Morton Luther) Montgomery.

Historical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. online

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Online LibraryMorton L. (Morton Luther) MontgomeryHistorical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. → online text (page 76 of 227)
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dress, "Wlicre Did the Pennsylvania Germans Come
From and Why Did They Leave Their Fatherland?"
At the second reunion Flarry D. Schaefifer, Esq., of
Reading, delivered an address, "Some Character-
istics of the Schaeffer Family," and Rev. William



FAMILY REUNIONS



321



C. Schaeffer, a professor of the Theological Semin-
ary at Lancaster, delivered an address entitled,
"My Recent Trip Through Germany"; Rev. David
I. Schaeffer delivered an address entitled, "Histori-
cal Side Lights."

The Schaeffer family holds its reunions triennial-
ly. It is one of the largest, most honored and intel-
lectual families of the county. The officers of 1908
were:

President, George D. Schaeffer, Fleetwood, Pa.

Secretary and Historian, Rev. David I. Schaeffer.

Executive Committee, Rev. C. E. Schaeffer,
James D. Schaeffer,
Joel M. Schaeffer,
Daniel B. Schaeffer,
James Schaeffer.

Seaman. — The Association of Descendants of
Johan Ludwig Seaman was formed in 1903, and
held its first reunion on ancestral grounds in Tilden
township.

Johan Ludwig Seaman, the progenitor, was a
native of Alsace, France. At the age of twenty
he enlisted in the service of Frederick the Great,
of Prussia, as bo dy-g uard. After efglit years he
married, and in 1748 emigrated to Pennsylvania,
locating in Bern township, in that part of the
district now embraced in Tilden township. He was
a large land owner and owned a considerable por-
tion of the township, which his descendants colon-
ized in large measure. His remains are interred at
St. Michael's Church. His wife, Catharine, bore
him three sons, namely : Eberhart, John and Lud-
wig, each of whom reared families. John located in
western Pennsylvania, where his descendants are
very prosperous people, while Eberhart and Lud-
wig remained on ancestral homesteads. The Sea-
mans are very numerous in upper Berks county
and are a very representative and enterprising fam-
ily. The second reunion was held at West Ham-
burg in 1904, and was largely attended. The family
expects to publish a genealogical history. The per-
manent officers of the Association are :

President, Maj. Charles F. Seaman, Hamburg, Pa.

Secretary and Historian, A. S. Klein, Upper Bern, Pa.

Treasurer, William Seaman, Fleetwood, Pa.

Executive Committee, Dr. J. K. Seaman, Reading, Pa.,
Levi B. Seaman, Berks, Pa.,
A. S. Seaman, Frackville, Pa.,
Joseph S. Seaman, Pittsburg, Pa.,
A. S. Becker, Berks, Pa.

Schneider (Snyder). — Reunion of descendants
of Hans (Johann) Schneider.

The Snyder family reunions were begun by the
descendants of David Snyder, a great-grandson of
the first settler of the Snyders, Hans (Johann)
Schneider. The first reunion was held on the old
David Snyder estate, now owned and occupied by
Jackson Snyder, one mile northeast of Oley Line,
in September, 1904. In 1906, at the annual reunion,
a historian was elected. Rev. Elam J. Snyder being
chosen. The first history of the Snyders was read
in connection with the reunion in 1907. At the
same time it was decided to embrace in the reunion

31



not only the descendants of David Snyder, but all
Snyders who trace their ancestry to Hans Schnei-
der.

The old family burial plot near Oley Line, in
which are buried the first generations of the Sny-
ders, was recently improved. It is the purpose of
the organization to keep it in excellent order.

The officers at present are:

President, Harrison Yoder.
Vice-President, D. S. Brumbach.
Secretary, Samuel Reiff.
Treasurer, George W. Brumbach.
Historian, Rev. Elami J. Snyder.

Strauss. — The reunion of the descendants of
Albrecht and Philip Strauss, who emigrated from
Wurtemberg in 1732, was founded by B. Morris
Strauss, Esq., of Reading. The organization com-
mittee met on Thanksgiving Day, 1902, at the home
of Joseph Strause, near Bernville. In September,
1903, on the Albrecht Strauss homestead, now em-
braced in Penn township, the first Strauss reunion
was held on the one hundred and seventy-first an-
niversary of the landing at Philadelphia of Albrecht
and Philip Strauss, who located in Bern township,
in Berks county, soon after their coming to Amer-
ica. They were farmers, and reared large and
honorable families, record of whose progeny is
found in these volumes. The reunions of 1905,
1907 and 1909 were held at Strausstown, in Upper
Tulpehocken township. This town perpetuates the
family name in the county.

The historian has found practically complete re-
cords of these two pioneers, which will finally be
published in book form. The officers of the reunion
are:

President, James W. S. Strause, Reading, Pa.
Secretary, Cameron E. Strauss, Reading, Pa.
Treasurer, Adam W. Strause, Bernville, Pa.
Historian, B. Morris Strauss, Esq., Reading, Pa.
Executive Committee, Henry N. Haas, Bernville, Pa.,
Milton M. Strauss, Strauss-
town, Pa.,
Frank B. Saul, Reading, Pa.,
J. Morris Strause, Auburn, Pa.,
Charles Ney, Schuylkill Haven,

Pa.,
Josiah K. Strause, Strausstown,
Pa.

Trexler. — The first reunion of the Trexler fam-
ily was held at Kutztown Park, Berks county. Pa.,
on Aug. 28, 1907. It was largely attended. The
officers of this reunion are:

President, James B. Trexler, Lewistown, Pa.

Vice-Presidents, Dr. Jacob Trexler, Lancaster, Pa.,
B. F. Trexler, Allentown, Pa.,
J. Allen Trexler, Allentown, Pa.

Secretary, Claude Trexler Reno, Allentown, Pa.

Treasurer, Morris D. Trexler, Topton, Pa.

Historian, Hon. Frank M. Trexler, Allentown, Pa.

This meeting was called to order by Claude Trex-
ler Reno, Esq., and the history of the family was.
then read by Judge Trexler, the historian. His
paper showed considerable research and gives to
posterity a true record of the Trexler family, which
is an honored family of the State, a number of no-



■i;i-i



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



table personages being found among its members.

Peter Trexler, the forebear, came to America
prior to 1730, and located in Oley township, Berks
county. His name, among others, appears upon
the petition for the erection of Oley township in
1720. Shortly afterward he removed to what is
now Upper Macimgie township, Lehigh county.
In 1729 he obtained, through Casper Wister, land
agent, a patent for land upon which he lived. He
died in 1758. His last will bears date 1744. He
disposes of his estate to his widow, Catharine, and
his three sons and three daughters, named, respec-
tively : Jeremiah, John, Peter, Anna, Catharine and
Margaret.

Jeremiah Trexler (son of Peterl as early as 1732
had a public house at Trexlertown. He and wife,
Catharine, had sons John and Peter.

Peter Trexler, the second son 6f the first Peter,
occupied a tract near Breinigsville. He was justice
of the peace from 1752 to 1776, and in the Colonial
system sat at the courts at Easton. His son, Peter,
the third Peter in line of descent from the first set-
tler, was known as the Mertztown Peter. In 1783
he was lieutenant-colonel of the militia. Pie had
eleven children, and his posterity is known as the
Berks county branch of the family. The names



of his children as they appear in the family Bible
(in the possession of Edwin H. Trexler, of Mertz-
town) are as follows: Maria, John Peter, Jacob,
Reuben, Benjamin, Catharine, Jonas, Anna, Nathan,
Daniel, Judith.

The minutes and proceedings of the first re-
union of the Trexler family are published in pamph-
let form. They were compiled by Claude Trexler
Reno, of Allentown, Pa., and are valuable.

Wamsher. — The Wamsher family has been
holding annual reunions or picnics since 1906. It
held its last meeting at Monocacy, in 1908. An
effort is to be made to trace the family to the an-
cestor, and ultimately to publish a book. The of-
ficers of the reunion are :

President, Jasper Wamsher, Monocacy, Pa.

Secretary, Norman B. Wamsher.

Treasurer, Frank McDermond.

Executive Conanittee, Harry A. Riegel,
Howard Seidel,
Eugene Manger,
Rev. Ruddy Millard.

Yeich. — The Yeich family held a reunion at
Mineral Spring in the summer of 1908. Four gen-
erations of the family were represented in Mrs.
William Yeich, Mrs. William Mauger, Mrs. Flor-
ence Miller and Miss Evelyn Miller.




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BIOGRAPHICAL



J. GLANCY JONES was born Oct. 7, 1811, in Caernar- your name to the Senate for that highly respectable
von township, Berks county. His ancestors were of and important mission immediately after my cabinet shall
Welsh origin. His great-grandfather, David Jones, set- have been confirmed. And permit me here to add that
tied in 1730 upon the Conestoga creek, near Morgan- I think your mind and qualities are admirably adapted
town, and there he erected and carried on one of the to that branch of the public service." This position Mr.
first forges in that section of the State. His grand- Jones declined. He continued his service in Congress
father, Jonathan Jones, was captain of a company of as chairman of the committee on Ways and Means,
troops belonging to the Continental Line, enlisted by and was the zealous advocate and supporter of President
authority of Congress, and rendered distinguished ser- Buchanan's administration on the floor of the House,
vices in the expedition- against Canada in 1776. After- In the year 1858 he was unanimously renominated for
ward he was lieutenant-colonel. His death was occas- Congress, his opponent being Maj. John Schwartz, the
ioned by the hardships of that campaign. Jehu Jones, candidate of the anti-Lecomptori Democracy, which unit-
son of Jonathan and father of the subject of this sketch, ed with it the strength of the Republican party. Mr.
was for many years engaged in the profession of teach- Jones being the special representative of the policy of
er, for which he was qualified by a classical education, the Federal administration, the contest in Berks, as else-
He died in 1864, at an advanced age. where, was conducted largely upon national issues. One

J. Clancy Jones was educated at Kenyon College, Ohio, of the most exciting campaigns in the history of the
and in 1833 was ordained to the ministry of the Pro- county ensued, which resulted in the election of Maj.
testant Episcopal Church, to which his family had for John Schwartz by a majority of. nineteen votes. The
generations belonged. His inclinations, however, led him total vote in the district was upward of fourteen thou-
to prefer the profession of the law; and having under- sand. Immediately after the result of the contest was
gone the necessary course of preparation he was ad- known, President Buchanan tendered to Mr. Jones the
mitted to the Bar. He commenced practice in 1842, at Austrian mission, which he accepted. Upon his con-
Easton, Pa. The judicial district was composed at that firmation by the Senate, he resigned his seat in Con-
time of the counties of Berks, Lehigh and Northamp- gress, and left, with his family, for his post in Janu- ■
ton, and was presided over by Hon. John Banks. After ary, 1859. Upon the accession of the Republican party
a residence of three years at Easton he removed to Read- to power, in 1861, Mr. Burlingame was appointed by
ing, and was admitted to the Bar of Berks county Jan. President Lincoln to succeed Mr. Jones at the court of
7, 1845. He was appointed district attorney for Berks Vienna; but, having been almost immediately recalled,
county, under the administration of Governor Shunk, Mr. Jones, at the request of the administration, remain-
in March, 1847, and served in that capacity until Janu- ed in the embassy until the arrival of his successor, Hon.
ary, 1849. During that period he was tendered by the John Lothrop Motley, in the month of December. At
Executive the president judgeship of the Chester and the period of the outbreak of the Civil war in the Unit-
Delaware District. ed States the subject of the belligerent relations of the

Though successful in the practice of his profession, he two contending sections devolved duties of a peculiarly

very early inclined to politics. Being a decided Demo- delicate and responsible nature upon our diplomatic re-

crat, he became active in the affairs of the dominant presentatives abroad, and, so far as Mr. Jones's sphere

party in his native county, as well as in the State at of service was concerned, he sustained his official trust

large. He was the warm personal friend and poHtical in a manner highly satisfactory to the administration and

supporter of Morris Longstreth, the unsuccessful com- the government of the country.

petitor of Governor Johnston in 1848, and the follow- Upon his return home, where he arrived in January,

ing year was chairman of the Democratic State Com- 1862, the period of Mr. Jones's public life practically

m'ittee. Irr 1850 he was elected to Congress from the terminated, though he did not cease to participate in

Berks District. Having declined a renomination, the the councils of his party for many years afterward.

Hon. Henry A. Muhlenberg, the younger, was chosen He resumed the practice of the law, and carried it on

as his successor for the term beginning in December, for about ten years, when declining health compelled

1853. Mr. Muhlenberg having died shortly after tak- him to retire from all employments of a public nat-
ing his seat, a special election was held in February, ure.

1854, to fill the vacancy, when Mr. Jones was chosen Mr. Jones was, for a long period, prominent in the
for the unexpired term. He was reelected for two sue- councils of the Protestant Episcopal Church, having been
ceeding regular terms, in 1854 and 1856, thus holding frequently a delegate to diocesan conventions, and hav-
the position of representative, with but a brief inter- ing taken a leading part in the measures which led to
mission, for the period of eight years. As a member the establishment of the new diocese of Central Penn-
of the committee on Claims, he was author of the bill sylvania in 1871. During his entire political and pro-
establishing the United States Court of Claims. In 1857 fessional career he preserved a character of unblem-
he 'was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means, ished integrity, and in his private relations to his fellow-
a position of leadership which necessarily secured for its men was equally above reproach. He had many warm
incumbent a national reputation. and zealous friends, and succeeded, as few public men

After the election of Mr. Buchanan to the Presidency, succeed,, in preserving the personal esteem of his politi-

in 1856, Mr. Jones was selected as a member of his cal opponents, against whom he never cherished ani-

cabinet. This selection, was ratified by the Democratic mosity or resentment. He was well fitted to be a leader

press^ and party throughout the country with great un- of men, and those who differed most radically from him

animity, but Mr. Jones declined the appointment. In in poHtical opinion did not hesitate to acknowledge the

February, 1857, he tendered to Mr. Jones the mission winning power of his personal influence. He was a

to Berlin. "It is my purpose," he wrote, "to present very social man. His domestic life was especially hap-



:!-34



HISTORY OF BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



py and attractive. His wife, Anna Rodman, a daughter
of the Hon. William Rodman, of Bucks county, for-
merly a representative of that district in Congress, was
a lady of superior refinement and most estimable Christ-
ian character, and her decease, in 1871, severed the ties
of a peculiarly united and affectionate household.

Mr. Jones died at Reading, March 24, 1878, in his sixty-
seventh year, and upon that occasion the Bar of the
county united in a testimonial, of marked respect to his
memory and appreciation of his public services.

Two of his sons, Charles Henry and Richmond L.
Jones, were admitted to the Berks county Bar in 1863,
having studied law in their father's office. The latter
was a representative from the county in the Legisla-
ture from 1867 to 1869," and the former became a resi-
dent and practitioner at the Bar of Philadelphia. Mr.
Jones's eldest daughter, Anna Rodman, married Far-
relly Alden, of Pittsburgh, and died there in December,
1885. His youngest daughter, Katharine, married Wil-
liam Thomas Wallace, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

BERKS COUNTY ANCESTRY OF ABRAHAM
LINCOLN. Concerning the historical fact that the pa-
ternal ancestors of President Abraham Lincoln were resi-
dents in the Eighteenth Century of Berks county, whence
they migrated to Virginia, Louis Richards, Esq., president
of the County Historical Society, in a recent paper read
before it, wrote in part as follows :

Among the early immigrants to the Colony of Massa-
chusetts — or Massachusetts Bay, as it was called in colonial
times — were the Lincolns from old England. The first of
the name from whom the President's descent can be traced
was Mordecai Lincoln, who is said to have been born
at Hingham, near Boston, in 1657. The tradition that he
was an "ironmonger" is strengthened by the fact that his
son Mordecai follov«d that occupation. The latter, who
was by the first wife, was born in 1686, and had two
brothers, Abraham, born 1689, and Isaac, born 1691. The
preference for Scriptural Christian names was followed
in the family through many succeeding generations. Presi-
dent Lincoln, writing a brief autobiography in 1860, said
that an effort to identify his Quaker ancestors in Pennsyl-
vania with the New England family of the same name
ended in nothing more definite than a similarity of
CTiristian. names in both families. 4uch as Enoch, Levi,
Mordecai and Solomon. Since that date the connection
of the families has been reliably established. By a second
marriage, Mordecai, Sr., had other children, some of whose
descendants remain in Massachusetts at this day. The son
Mordecai, Jr., removed with his brother Abraham to East
Jersey about 1717, acquiring lands in Monmouth county.
He resided there until probably 1720, at which date, and
down to 1726, he is found assessed as a taxable in Nant-
meal and Coventry townships, Chester Co., Pa. That he
was possessed of considerable estate, and was an iron-
master, appears from record evidence of his association
with Branson and Nutt, pioneers of the iron industry in
that State, in the erection of a forge at Coventry, on French
creek. His one-third interest in that establishment, and the
lands appurtenant, he sold to Branson for £500, in De-
cember, 1725. In 1726 he is designated as a resident of
Chester county in a conveyance to him in that year of
certain lands in New Jersey. On May 10, 1732, he obtained
from Thomas Millard, of Coventry, a conveyance of one
thousand acres of land in that part of Amity township,
Philadelphia county, now included in Exetef township.
Berks county; the tract being a portion of sixteen hundred
acres formerly belonging to Andrew Robeson. The date
of this deed is conjecturally that of his first residence
in what is now Berks county, though it is possible that he
may have come there earlier. In 1733-33 he is found in
commission as one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace.

His will dated Feb. 22, 1735 (O. S.), was proved June
7, 1736,_ indicating very nearly the date of his death. By
it he divided his land in Amity township equally between
his sons, Mordecai and Thomas, making provision con-
tingently for an expected child, which, if a son, was to



share the inheritance with his two brothers, each to take a
third part. A certain tract of three hundred acres of land
in the Jerseys he devised to his son John, and other lands
in the same Province to his daughters Ann and Sarah,
leaving bequests to his remaining daughters, Hannah and
Mary. His wife Mary received the residue of his personal
estate, and the use of his plantation for' life, being also
constituted executrix. His friends Jonathan Robeson and
George Boone were designated as her assistants in that
office, according to a custom then prevalent.

The son John, who was by a former wife, was the lineal
ancestor of President Lincoln. He subsequently sold his
land in New Jersey, ani emigrated to Rockingham county,
Va., in 1765. This date is established from the tax lists
of Berks county and the local records in Virginia in cor-
respondence therewith. John had a son Abraham who
went to Kentucky in 1782, and two y-ears latei- was killed
there by the Indians. Abraham left three sons, Mordecai,
Josiah and Thomas. The president was the son of the last
named, by his first wife, Nancy Hanks.

The posthumous son of Mordecai of Exeter, named
Abraham, half-brother of John, was born Oct. 29, 1736.
He became the most prominent member of the Berks county
family in public life. From 1773 to 1775 he was
a County Commissioner; served as sub-lieutenant
of the coiinty in 1777, was a member of the
Pennsylvania General Assembly from 1772 to 1786 ;
delegate to the Pennsylvania Convention of 1787 to
ratify the Federal Constitution, and a member of the
convention which devised the State Constitution of 1790.
He died at his residence in Exeter township Jan. 31,. 1806, in
his seventieth year. He married in 1761 Anne Boone,
daughter of James Boone, and his wife Mary Foulke. Her
father's brother. Squire Boone, was the father of Daniel
Boone, the pioneer of Kentucky, and a native of Berks
county, to whom she was thus first cousin. Thomas Lincoln,
brother of Abraham, was a thrifty landholder, and was
sheriff of the county in 1758 and 1759. Mordecai Lincoln,
the other brother, remained a resident of Berks county up
to about 1789, removing to Dauphin and subsequently to
Fayette' county, Pennsylvania.

President Lincoln referred to his Pennsylvania ancestors
as Quakers. There is no evidence of the connection of
the New England Lincolns with the Friends. Some of the
members of the branch which came to Pennsylvania became
affiliated with that denomination through intermarriage.
Anne Boone, wife of Abraham Lincoln, the county com-
missioner, was brought under mild censure for marrying
out of meeting. The Boones were of English descent, and
staunch Quakers. George Boone, a native of Devonshire,
who emigrated to the Province in 1717, belonged for a time
to the Gwynedd Monthly Meeting, in Philadelphia county.
Having acquired lands in what is now Exeter township,
Berks county, in 1718, and settled there, he was appointed
in i723 by the Gwynedd Meeting to keep the accounts of
births and marriages of Friends in his vicinity. He do-
nated the ground for the meeting-house and burial-place of
thfe Oley Monthly Meeting, since called the Exeter Monthly
Meeting, constituted in 1737. The Boones were a prolific
race, and, together with the Lincolns, left numerpus d-e-
scendants, who were among the most intelligent' and re-
spectable of the county stock. The two families were close-
ly associated, and in the Exeter Meeting Ground the earlier
generations of both lie buried.

Squire Boone, father of Daniel, removed in 1750 with
his family to North Carolina, on the Yadkin river. Thence
after he had grown to manhood, Daniel went to Kentucky,
and entered upon his famous career as pioneer of that
remote border land of civilization. From the connection of
the Boones and Lincolns in Berks county, the inference is
reasonably certain that the Southern migration of John,
the President's ancestor, in 1765, was the direct result of
that of the Boones, fifteen years previously.

A theory regarding the maternal ancestry of President
Lincoln is that his mother, Nancy Hanks, was descended
from a family of that name traceable in Berks county at
the period when the earlier generations of the Lincolns



BIOGRAPHICAL



325



were seated there. Nancy Hanks was a daughter of Joseph
Hanks, of Nelson county, Ky., and one of her aunts on
the maternal side married Abraham Lincoln, of Virginia,
the grandfather of the President and son of John. All
that is positively known upon this head is that a family
by the name of Hanks appears in the records of the Gwy-
nedd Monthly Meeting of an early date, and that the name
of one Joseph Hanck is found upon the list of taxables of
the town of Reading between 1758 and 1763. Whether the
latter was identical with the Joseph Hanks of Kentucky,
father of Nancy, is a matter of conjecture. In the absence
of more definite facts, either for or against the supposition,
no positive conclusion can be reached upon the subject.

[On page 299 may be seen a cut of the building where
the children of Mordecai Lincoln. Sr., were born. It is
situated about a mile below Lorane Station, several- hun-
dred feet north from' the Philadelphia & Reading railroad,
near a small stream. An extension was built to the west



Online LibraryMorton L. (Morton Luther) MontgomeryHistorical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. → online text (page 76 of 227)