Monday, March 31, 2014

Henry Jacoby (1733 - 1809)

Henry Jacoby was born in 1733 in Zweibruecken, Pfalz.  This region was known as the Palantine, an area of present day Germany which had been devastated by years of conflict  and war. He was the son of Peter Jacoby (1709 – 1761)  and Maria Elizabeth Jacoby (1708 –1790) who immigrated here in 1741  when Henry was a child of 8 years. 

The Jacoby family resided in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where they, like so many German immigrants, made a living farming.  Sometime around 1760, Henry married Maria Kern, the daughter of Frederick and Anna Margaret Kern.  She was born in 1742 in Rockhill township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Henry Sylvester Jacoby, in his book, The Jacoby Family Genealogy, 1930 provides comprehensive detail of all records regarding Henry and his family.  Tax records show that he lived in several places as the family migrated north out of Bucks County into Northampton County.  In 1761 they were living in Springfield Twp., Bucks Co., and  from 1762 to 1772  various records  locate the family in Salisbury township where in 1766 the birth of his son Peter is recorded in the Jerusalem Church.   By 1775 he is found in  Lower Mount Bethel Township, Northampton Co. where the tax list for January 1775 shows, “Henry Jacobe, 200 acres of land, 100 acres cleared, 20 acres sowed, 2 horses,  3 horned cattle, no sheep, 4 mills, no inmates, no negroes and no bond servants.”  (Jacoby, 99) While these records are referenced in the book, they can be located online through different sources like, Heritage Quest, and Family

Henry and Maria were the parents of six children who were: John, 11 December 11,1761;   Peter, September 11, 1766;  Catherine, August 31, 1769; Elizabeth,  April 17, 1772;  Mary, born in 1774;  and Susanna, born about 1776.

Henry was involved in service to the Militia throughout the duration of the Revolutionary War.  His name appears many times with different spellings in the Pennsylvania Archives, 5th  Series, Vol. 8, p. 406, 412,426,  429, 559 and others. Henry Jacaoby, private, 1st class, 3rd Company, 6th  Battalion, Northampton Co. Militia, Captain John Nelson, May 14, 1776. Henry Jacobie 1st class, in the Muster Roll of the 6th , Battalion of Northampton Co. Militia, for May 14, 1778, 3rd Company, Capt. John Nelson.   Henry Jacobe , Private, 1st  class, 3rd Company, 5th  Battalion, Northampton Co. Militia, Captain Hugh Gaston, 1781. And  Henry Jacoby, 1st  class,  Capt. Hugh Gaston's, Company of Militia, 5th  Battalion of Northampton Co.,1782 among others.  His service is recognized by both the DAR (Ancestor #: A061388)  and  The Sons of the American Revolution  (membership # 75838)

Henry Jacoby is found on the Census records of Lower Mount Bethel for 1790 and 1800.  He died November 12,  1809 and is buried in the Scotch Irish Cemetery in Martins Creek, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.  His wife, Maria Kern Jacoby,  died August 25, 1812 and is  buried in the Warrior Run Presbyterian Church Cemetery, near McEwensville, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. “In memory of Mary wife of Henry Jacoby who died August 25 , 1812 in the 71 year of age.” (Jacoby 104)

Their son Peter Jacoby, born 1766, also gave service in the Revolutionary War.   Peter's daughter Mary  married Joseph Snyder and had a daughter named Amanda.  Amanda Snyder married Jacob Fangboner. They were the grandparents of  Edna Frey Good.  More about Peter on the next post.

  • Find A Grave Memorial# 11934648,
  • Jacoby, Henry Sylvester. The Jacoby Family Genealogy - A record of the Descendants of the Pioneer Peter Jacoby of Bucks Co., PA,1930. 
                                      Please see this list of all My Revolutionary War Ancestors
This page  © 2014, Cynthia H. Smith

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Why I Do Family History Research

We Are The Chosen

My feelings are in each family we are called to find the ancestors.
To put flesh on their bones and make them live again,
To tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.
To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead,
Breathing life into all who have gone before.

We are the story tellers of the tribe.
We have been called as it were by our genes.
Those who have gone before cry out to us:
Tell our story.
So, we do.
In finding them, we somehow find ourselves.

How many graves have I stood before now and cried?
I have lost count.

How many times have I told the ancestors
you have a wonderful family, you would be proud of us?

How many times have I walked up to a grave
and felt somehow there was love there for me?
I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts.
It goes to who I am and why I do the things I do?
It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever
to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this happen.
The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh.

It goes to doing something about it.
It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish.
How they contributed to what we are today.
It goes to respecting their hardships and losses,
their never giving in or giving up.

Their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.
It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation.
It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us
That we might be born who we are.
That we might remember them.
So we do.
With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence,
Because we are them and they are us.
So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family.

It is up to that one called in the next generation,
To answer the call and take their place in the long line of family storytellers.
That is why I do my family genealogy,
And that is what calls those young and old to step up and put flesh on the bones.
Author: Della M. Cumming Wright, circa 1943
Born Jan. 24, 1922,  Died April 5, 2001

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Michael Kressler 1740 – 1796

It is good to remember those who came before us.  As I write these tributes to my Revolutionary War ancestors, I am amazed to learn of the difficulties they endured in life.  For some, their whole lifetime was marked by turbulent times. It was not easy to live on the frontier back then.  Michael Kressler and his family was no exception.  Imagine hearing reports of marauding Indians  who were attacking and  killing neighbors.  Some of the stories I have read are spine chilling.  

There are several records that record the  service of Michael Kressler.  He is credited by some as having served in the Pennsylvania Line and by others for service as a Ranger of the Frontier.  Men who enlisted in the Pennsylvania Line served for at least six months and were prepared to face battle in conflict with the enemy.  Often, as was the case in Northampton County,  special troops called Rangers were recruited to serve long periods of enlistment to protect the frontier against Indian attacks.
“They (the Rangers) were kept continually on the alert, marching to and fro, to protect the country from the enemy who was only known by his sudden burning and murders and escape to the depths of the forest…”  (Knouff)

Kressler's name appears in various lists in The Pennsylvania Archives 5th Series, Volume 8.  On 14 May 1778  Private Michael Cressler, 1st class, appears on the general muster roll of the 2nd Company, 4th Battalion, Northampton County Militia under the command of  Lieu't Co'l.  Nicholas Kern and  Captain George Edelman. p. 367.  On September the 6th, 1780, he is listed as a member of the 4th Class, 8th Company, 3rd Battalion. The Company was commanded by Captain Paul Knauss. pages 240, 241 and 289.  Again on  May the 1st,  1781, Private Michael Kressler,  2nd Class, 8th Company, 3rd Battalion.  p. 249.  These records show us that Michael Kressler was prepared to provide service for the protection of his family and neighbors  throughout  the period of the Revolutionary War. He is recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution as Ancestor #: A067507 and also by the Sons of the American Revolution, Membership:90643.
Michael was born several years after his father’s arrival here in 1732.  Born in 1740 in Frederick Township, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania, he was the son of  Hans Philip Kressler.  Michael Kressler (Cressler)  married Elizabeth Halloway on December 6, 1761 at the Old Goshenhoppen Lutheran Church, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania.  They became the parents of  eight children, who were born in Allen Township, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania.  They were:  Phillip, born Sept. 14, 1763; George, born April 24, 1768; John, born April 28, 1771; Valentine, born Feb.1, 1774;  Jacob, born Dec. 20, 1775; Michael, born Aug. 20, 1778; Adam, born May 8, 1781 and  Elizabeth, April 3, 1783. Their births are recorded in the records of the Zion's Stone Church at Kreidersville.

Time has weathered his original tombstone in the cemetery at Zion's Stone Church in Kreidersville, but  a new one was put in place by his descendants in 1984.  His grave is also marked by a bronze Revolutionary War Veterans marker and flag by the DAR.

My great grandmother, Clara Illick McEwen is a descendant of Micheal Kressler.  Her mother was Henrietta, a daughter of John Kressler and Mary Seidel.  John was a son of Jacob Kressler, son of Michael and Elizabeth.  I welcome your comments and would love to hear from anyone descended from Michael Kressler. 

                                 Please see this list of all My Revolutionary War Ancestors.
This page  © 2014, Cynthia H. Smith

Send email to

This site may be linked, but not duplicated in any way without consent.  The copyright on this page must appear on all copied and/or printed material.