Thursday, December 19, 2013

Frederick Seiler (1748 - 1826)

I hate to hear someone tell me “but the name is spelled wrong” when they are doing genealogy research.  I say if it sounds or looks anything like the surname you are looking for,  examine it for a connection to the surname you are researching. And remember, German naming customs often gave children the same first name, but the child was known by their middle name.  

Frederick’s name can be found with many different spellings.  I have found Seiler, Seler, Sehler, Sailer, and Saylor, just to name a few.  Seems like every record I find shows a different way to spell the name.  But really, I think it is because the person who had to transcribe those various old records which were all handwritten in German and in the old German script was just doing the best job they could.  Deciphering that old script was a challenge indeed.  We can be happy that someone did make the attempt to read and transcribe those old records!

Frederick was 30 years old and a married man with children when he and his brother Daniel signed the Oath of Allegiance on May 30, 1778, in which they renounced the authority of King George the III. Frederick lived in the vicinity of Hecktown in Lower Nazareth Township. He must have become a man of considerable means as we learn he owned 145 acres in 1788 and by the time he died in 1826, he was able to leave each of his children a farm. 

The Michael Shoemaker Book provides  some good information about Frederick.
“Frederick, son of Lieutenant Colonel Johan Peter and Anna Margaret (Maurer) Seiler, served as a private in Captain George Nolf's company, Northampton  County Militia, in the Revolution, and was a member of the company June 5, 1780.  This company was organized in Middle Bethlehem Township, where Frederick Seiler  lived.  The name of his wife was Dorothy.  In 1780 he was assessed in Bethlehem at £360, and his Federal assessment in 1788 was 17 shillings and 9 pence on 145 acres of land, 3 horses, and 2 horned cattle.” 

Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. VIII

Frederick's obituary appeared in the Friday, June 30, 1826, edition of the "Easton Centinel" newspaper; "Died on Sunday last in Bethlehem Twp., Mr. Frederick Sailer, age 82. Buried Tuesday following in graveyard near Dryland Church. Rev. Mr. Kemmerer delivered sermon".

Not much more is learned about his wife Dorothea from her obituary  dated  December 24,  1830.  It too appeared in the "Easton Centinel" newspaper of Easton, Pennsylvania.  All we read is: she died "in the 81st year of her age".  Well, that does help us figure her birth year as 1749.  I haven't found her parents yet... another challenge.

Frederick Seiler was the son of Dr. Peter Seiler.  Records show that he was born in 1748 and died June 25, 1826.  He and his wife, Maria Dorothea, are buried in the Dryland Church Yard Cemetery.  This cemetery is located behind the Trinity Lutheran Church near Hecktown in Lower Nazareth township, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania.   There are no grave markers to be found here.  At some point in time it was decided by the good people to erect a monument to all persons buried here and  turn the burial grounds into yard.  Well, at least there is a written record.

Frederick's will was  probated  October 6, 1826 in Northampton County.   He provided for his wife and left his  estate, to his ten surviving children.  The Michael Shoemaker Book gives detailed information about the children of Frederick and Dorothea Seiler.

“His will, in which, following the example of his father, he gave a farm to each of his eleven children, was made April 1, 1818, and was probated at Easton, Pa., Oct. 6, 1826. It names his wife, Dorothy, and the following children:
1, Peter, born Jan. 15, 1770, died March 16, 1809, married to Margaret, daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Jacob and Elizabeth (Arndt) Schumacher;
2, Adam, married to Anna Maria, born July 20, 1782, daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Jacob and Elizabeth (Arndt) Schumacher;
3, Abraham, born Dec. 11, 1781, died Nov. 23, 1842, married April 2, 1809, to Eve Arner (or Avaur) ;
4, Frederick, Jr., married to Susannah;
5, Isaac, married to Margaret;
6, Jacob, born March 7, 1793, baptised April 23, 1793, was married to Mary;
8, Sarah, married to George  Dech;
9, Elizabeth, married to Peter Kocher, June 21, 1807;
10, Catharine, married to Henry Buss; 
11, Margaret, married May 7, 1815, to Peter Hess.
Abraham Seiler and Frederick Seiler, Jr., of Bethlehem Township, Pa., were named executors.”

Elizabeth Seiler, daughter of Frederick and Dorothea, was  born August 13, 1779.  She was confirmed at Dryland Union Church, Hecktown, Pennsylvania, on March 27, 1796 at the age of 16 where she is listed as Elizabeth Seler, daughter of Frederick Seler.    She married Peter Kocher on June 21, 1807.  They became the parents of three daughters, Julianna and twins Dorothea and Elizabeth.   Dorothea  Kocher married Michael Engler and they became the parents of Camelia who married  Edmund Smith. Edmund and Camelia  were Ron's great, great grandparents.

  • International Textbook Press, Williams T. Blair,

  • Newspaper Extracts, 1799-1851, Northampton Co. Genealogy and Historical Society, Easton Pa. 
                Please see this list of all My Revolutionary War Ancestors.I welcome your comments.                       
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  1. Hi Cynthia,
    I am in Ocean City, NJ, visiting with my sister. Yesterday she took me in to the Philadelphia Historical Society. I was searching for information on our Chambers family. You come through Jane and I come through her sister Elizabeth, who md Robert Adams.

  2. Happy to meet you cousin. Hope you have enjoyed the blog.