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Kerchner Genealogy Home Page

Ancestry of Kerchner Family

Copyright (c) 1981-2024
Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.
All Right Reserved
Last Updated: 20 May 2024

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Ancestry of Kerchner Family of Lehigh County, PA
Adam Kerchner, My Immigrant Ancestor
Descendant's Chart for Adam Kerchner
Possible Location of Roots in Germany
Regarding the Erroneous Suggestion That "Dessen" in Germany Is the Place of Birth for Our Adam Kerchner
Typical Snow sailing ship like the one Adam Kerchner arrived on
Location of Adam Kerchner (c1704-1768) Farm Land
Maps for Area Where Kerchner's Settled
Interactive Maps, Lehigh County, PA, and Environs
Last Will and Testament of Adam Kerchner 1704-1768
Frederick Kerchner, only Known Son of Adam
Frederick Kerchner, Revolutionary War Militiaman
Location of Frederick Kerchner (1750-1828) Farm Land in Longswamp Township, Berks County, PA
Last Will and Testament of Frederick Kerchner 1750-1828
Frederick Kerchner 1750-1828 Gravestone at Huffs Church, Huffs, Berks Co PA
Location of William Kerchner's (grandson of Adam) Farm and His 1835 Home in Macungie Twsp, Lehigh Co PA
Last Will and Testament of William Kerchner 1776-1841
William Kerchner 1776-1841 Gravestone at Solomon Church, Macungie, Lehigh Co PA
One Possible Kerchner Coat of Arms
The Meaning of Our German Surname
Similar Sounding, But Unrelated, German Surnames
Possible Connection of Kerchner Name to Carrier Name in Indiana
Kerchner Surname Y-DNA Chromosome Testing Genetic Genealogy Project
PA German, aka PA Dutch, Ethnic Group DNA Project
Other Kerchner Immigrant Descendant Charts
1880 U.S. Census Kerchner Surname (Soundex Code K625) Distribution by State
Links to Interesting Web Sites and Other Surnames of Interest To Me
Links to Reports to Aide You with Your PA German Research
Surnames of Prime Research Interest to Me
How to Contact Me

I hope you find the information posted in this web site useful. If you have additional information on this surname, or if you find typos or other errors, please contact me and let me know so I may update this site and provide useful, accurate information to online researchers of this surname. Thank you.

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View, download, and print a PDF copy of the below report,
Ancestry of Kerchner Family of Lehigh County PA - by Charles F. Kerchner, Jr., P.E. Retired

(of Lehigh County, Pa.)

-- plus --

connections by intermarriage to the early families


Fetterman, Keiser, Egner, Griesemer, Koser, Miller, Wetzel,
Fegely, Gaumer, Rischell, Shankweiler, Berger, Schaub, Fretz,
Stahlnecker, Young, Becker, Truckenmiller, Schwartz, Hittel,
Seibert, Diefenderfer, Derr, Hill, Leinbach, and Lashel.

By: Charles F. Kerchner, Jr., P.E. Retired

Berks County PA Genealogical Society
Lehigh County PA Historical Society
Emmaus PA Historical Society
Macungie PA Historical Society
Upper Milford Township PA Historical Society
Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
National Society Sons of the American Revolution

Research Started: 1975
This Report First Started: 17 Aug 1981
Webpage Created: 01 Sep 1996
Latest Revision: 16 Apr 2022

Errors and omissions excepted. Much effort has been made by this researcher to double check and verify the information in this report. However, erroneous information occasionally slips by the critical eye of every researcher. If anyone reading this report uncovers and can document any errors or omissions, or would like to make suggestions or contributions, please feel free to contact me at the above address. I welcome your input. Note: If you use any information from my research and webpages, please give proper credit.

Copyright (1981-2024)
Charles F. Kerchner Jr.
All Rights Reserved

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                        ANCESTRY OF KERCHNER FAMILY

     It is a rare individual who does not at some point in their life
ponder some of the great questions of life.  Where did I come from?
Why am I here?  Who am I?  And when we reach that point we are not
seeking simplistic answers.  There is a yearning from within that
seeks more.

     Who am I? When someone asks another person that question they will
probably be told their name as the answer. So your name is one answer
to that question. Thus part of who we are as a human being is our name.
But where did we get this name?  The answer given is - from our parents.
But where did they get their name?  From their parents. And they from their
parents. And so on, and so on. But where did they get their name originally
and who were they?

     And so the search begins. To learn more about who we are. And to
do that we must learn more about our name and the people who came before
us who bore that name and passed it on to us. So we pursue the trail of
who we are in part by tracing our name and the ancestors who bore that
name. So in particular, what do we know about our family name - Kerchner.

     The science of onomastics is the study of the meaning of names.
Etymology is the study of etyma or roots of words since its earliest
recorded occurrence in the language where it is found. Using such analysis
techniques, what then is the meaning of our name Kerchner? The Kerchner
name, according to family tradition and discussions with some German
language experts, and learned members in the field of onomastics, is
believed to be derived either from the German word "kirche" which means
"church" or from the German word "karcher" (with an umlaut over the letter
"a"), otherwise spelled as kaercher or kercher, which means "carter",
as in cart driver. But regional variations in the various German dialects
are important to this discussion too.  Very interestingly, in the Pennsylvania
German dialect, which is mostly derived from "Middlelander German" which is
the German dialect spoken in the middle land areas of Germany between the
lowland regions in the north and the highland regions in the south of Germany,
the word for church is "karriche" (with an umlaut over the letter "a"),
otherwise spelled "kaerriche". Thus a "kaerricher/kaerrichner" would be
a church worker in the Pennsylvania German dialect.

      The first theory is that our name was spelled "Kirchner" or "Kircher"
and was misspelled by the English as "Kerchner" when our ancestor settled in
Pennsylvania and since he was not literate he simply continued using the
misspelling. Therefore, our name if originally spelled "Kirchner," would be
translated to mean "of the church" or "church worker" or "church man." Our
immigrant ancestor's name was spelled "Kircher" in two transcriptions of the
original ship lists, but he did not personally write his name. He made a
mark with an (A) next to his name. So one person who heard him say his name
wrote it down as "Kircher". Other ship list recorders have his named spelled
as "Sercher" and "Cheniker". The "Kircher" transcription was made by two
different German script experts in two separate works and is considered
to be the most accurate. However, we shall also see that the name Kerchner
does exist separately, even to this day as a distinct spelling in Germany.
It is treated by some experts in onomastics as a spelling variation of
Kirchner with the same meaning, i.e., a person who worked at or lived near
a church.

     A second theory is the name evolved from Karchner, with an umlaut,
i.e., Kaerchner, and then the "a" got dropped along the way. Another theory
as to how the name would have been changed from Karchner, with an umlaut, to
Kerchner is that spelling was difficult to maintain when translating from
German to English and the name was spelled as close to how it sounded in
English. The pronunciation of the name Karchner, with an umlaut over the
"a", changes the sound of the "a" to a short "e" sound, and thus the name
was spelled Kerchner since that is how it sounded in English.

     The third theory is that the name is a misspelling of the Pennsylvania
German dialect word for church and church worker. The Pennsylvania German
dialect word for church worker is Kaerrichner. So one can also see how this
spelling could have evolved from that to Kerchner.

     Hand me down oral history and family tradition indicated that the name
was derived from the German word "kirche" meaning church.

     If from the German word kirche, the name is thus an occupation derived
name relating to a person who worked at a church. The most logical English
translation of the closest occupation relating to our name would be a
"sexton." The original ancient form was probably in the form of a given
first name seperated from the newly required by law that all males must
adopt a surname by the German word 'der'. For example, using the Adam given
name, it was likely Adam der Kirchner, meaning Adam the church worker.
The definite article 'der' in the name eventually was dropped, and the name
became Adam Kirchner. At some point in history the 'i' was changed to an 'e'
and our surname became simply Kerchner. The most common theory is that our
name was misspelled by the English registrars when the family settled in
America, although this is not certain. It is possible the 'i' evolved to an
'e' in Germany. This possibility will be discussed in further detail later
in this report. The family name being associated with churches correlates
well with the lifestyle of the early Kerchners since they were, as were
many of the early immigrants who came to Pennsylvania, religious people.
You will find several elders, deacons, and trustees of churches among our

     For more information concerning occupation related names such as ours,
consult the German-English Genealogical Dictionary by Ernest Thode, German-
American Names by George F. Jones, the Dictionary of German Names by Hans
Bahlow - 1993 English language edition, and the Pennsylvania-German
Dictionary by Marcus Bachman Lambert, M.A.
Six generation Descendant's Chart for our ancestor: Adam Kerchner.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 2

     When researching this name expect to find it misspelled phonetically
many ways in early ship lists, church records, census records, land records,
tax records, and newspaper accounts, etc. It is also often confused with
other similar sounding or similar spelled names.

     Some examples I have found in my research are: Kercher, Kerger, Kergher,
Kergner, Karchner, Kaerchner, Kershner, Kerschner, Kerscher, Kelchner, Kirchner,
Kirchmer, Kircher, Kirkner, Kurchner, Carrickner, Carricker, and Carchner.
Some of these misspellings occasionally results in confusion of our family
surname with other similar sounding surnames. Also it is often found
misspelled in public records with an 's' in it. In addition, I have found
some records with (at first glance) very far off misspellings such as
"Keiser(?)"  and "Churchner". Sounds way off, but if one says the names
Kerchner, Kerschner, Kercher, Kerscher, and Keiser over and over in one's
mind, with various accented variations of the Pennsylvania German dialect,
one can easily imagine how the Keiser misspelling came about. In the
specific example where Keiser was recorded instead of Kerchner, even the
transcriber was not sure of the name when he wrote down Keiser which is
why he put the question mark after the entry. When the original script was
carefully double checked by myself it was clear that the name written down
was Kercher and not Keiser. With regard to the Churchner entry, interestingly,
Churchner is the half English and half German translation of our name since,
as I said before, "kirche" means church in German. The compound noun literal
English translation of our name would be "Churchman."

     The Pennsylvania German dialect, which evolved in Pennsylvania, is rich
with the mixture of English and German words. In fact it should be noted that
the English language evolved from German many, many centuries ago. One can
see how the person (scribe) who recorded or translated that record of our name
got the name Churchner out of Kerchner by mentally translating a name said in
German to one written in its English meaning. One must really have an open
mind when researching this family name, and any Pennsylvania German family
name. As to the theory of the English registrars misspelling our root name
from "Kirchner," virtually all tombstone inscriptions, and most legal records
of the family found to date in the United States, have consistently been
spelled "Kerchner." All personal family records found in the Lehigh County
branch of Kerchner descendants, after the 1768 Will and estate file of our
progenitor Adam spelled the name as Kerchner, continued to spell the surname
as Kerchner. Therefore, I am not 100% convinced of the misspelling explanation,
especially since allegedly another clan exists in Germany spelled our way.
I will report on this further in subsequent pages.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 3

     A brief comment is in order regarding the similarly spelled and sounding,
but different, family names such as Kershner, Kerschner, and Kirschner. In all
my research so far, in general, except for the occasional misspellings mentioned
above, I find that the Kerchner / Kirchner clan is not related to the Kershner /
Kerschner / Kirschner clan. Their names appear to be derived from the German
word "Kirsche" which means cherry as in the word Kirschbaum which means cherry
tree. In German, our family's root name "Kirch" is pronounced "Kirk" or "Kirc"
with the 'c' on the end sounding like the 'c' in the word can. In German, the
root name Kirsch is pronounced "Kirss" with the 'ss' sound at the end pronounced
'sh', as in the word she. Unfortunately, many English-speaking people in the USA
over the centuries eventually began pronouncing both names the same way; that
is with the 'sh' sound. Apparently the 'sh' sound is easier on the American
English tongue to pronounce. Being raised with very little Pennsylvania
German language spoken in our home, and being under the influence of an English
only education, I have been guilty of this mispronunciation and thus frequently
have to correct people in the way they spell our name, i.e., telling them
there is no 's' in our name. If I pronounce it correctly, with the hard German
sounding of the 'ch' in our name, saying are name rhyming with 'church', they
usually ask me how to spell it. This confusion in the correct pronunciation
of our name could explain the occasional misspelling of our family name (with
an 's' in it) by recorders in the past. Therefore, in doing research on our
family name, one must use extra care if one finds a record which spelled our
name with an 's' in it. If you find different recorders spelling that target
person's name different ways but basically our way without the 's', and find
other records of the same person occasionally spelling it with an 's', then
that person could be part of our clan. However, if the person being researched
personally spelled their name with an 's' in their own signature and if
various recorders predominantly used the 's' in the name, they are probably
not of our clan.

     Now having stated the above general rule, I have found one Kerchner group who
descend from an Isaac Harry Kerchner who changed the spelling of their last name
to Kershner in the late 1800s. Isaac Harry Kerchner moved west to Ohio sometime
after the Civil War. For whatever reasons his descendants changed the spelling of
their surname as Kershner, with an 's'. I was contacted by a descendant and researcher
from this family group who knew about their surname spelling being changed. We checked
his research and historial records and verified their family's oral history information.

    Then in very early 2001 a new tool came on the scene to scientifically aid
genealogy research. Y chromosome Y-DNA genetic genealogy tests were conducted
by me between 2001 and 2004 for my family, this Isaac Hary Kerchner family, and
also for descendants of the large Kershner/Kerschner clan in the USA. Incidentally,
the newly started in March 2001 Kerchner Surname YDNA Genetic Genealogy was one of
the first 10 such YDNA projects in the world using these newly economically available
and practical scientific tools for family name genealogists. It became a widely
known early example in the new field of genetic genealogy as to what could
be accomplished with the new tool. Comparisons were done between a
direct male line descendant of this "Kershner" clan with the Y-DNA YSTR
markers of the other Kershner/Kerschners and with various members of our
known Kerchner clan in the USA. The results showed a 36/37 nearly exact
match to me of the Isaac Harry Kerchner branch and very close matches to
other known Kerchner cousins of mine who agreed to be tested. And the tests
showed the Issac Harry Kershner line did not match at all the Kershner/Kerschner
clan males tested. Thus the Y-DNA testing confirmed the Isaac Harry Kershner
family's oral history that their family indeed originally was a Kerchner
descendant branch and they are not genetically related at all to the Kershners.
The YDNA YSTR Haplotype were not even close. Thus the story of the permanent
surname spelling change of their branch as that branch of our Kerchner extended
family moved west is true. This spelling change by this Kerchner branch will
undoubtedly confuse future inexperienced Adam Kerchner descendants family
researchers in the USA who repeatedly at first think that the Kerchner and
Kershner families are the same family. But we are not the same Germanic family.
The onomastics tells us they are different rooted Germanic family names,
the traditional research proves the main Kerchner and Kershner families are
different families, and now the new scientific Y-DNA testing also proves
they are different families too. Thus we now know this one small group of
Kershners are really Kerchners, as their personal family oral history had
stated all along. So in this case the exception breaks the rule. See the
Kerchner Surname Y-DNA Project for more details about genetict genealogy.
Kerchner Surname Y-DNA Genetic Genealogy Project
     Another point I wish to mention regarding the surname spelled Kershner
is that their is a group of Kershners who lived in the Windsor Township and
Lenhartsville area of Berks County, Pa., who intermarried with the Kerchners.
These Windsor Township Kerchners descend from, Johan Jacob Kerchner, the son
of an immigrant named Johan Andreas Kerchner. Johan Andreas Kerchner arrived
in Philadelphia on the ship Edinburgh on 15 Sep 1749. Johan Andreas Kerchner
settled in Rockland Township, Berks County, Pa. His occupation was listed as
a shoemaker in the 1767/1768 proprietary tax records. His descendants later
settled in the Richmond, Perry, Greenwich, and Windsor Townships region of
Berks County. To this date I have found no relationship between our Kerchner
clan and the Windsor Township and environs Kerchner clan, at least not on
this side of the ocean. It is possible that our progenitor, Adam Kerchner,
who I will discuss more later in this report, and Johan Andreas Kerchner
could have had common ancestry in Germany. So we could be very distant
cousins. Research note: Only a singular YDNA test has been done on a 
Kerchner descendant of Andreas. More direct male line descendants of Andreas
need to be tested to verify their YDNA YSTR Haplotype and the non-match
observed in the first and only YDNA done in this line thus far.
Here is a six generation Descendant Chart for Johan Andreas Kerchner.
     As I said before, some of Johan Andreas Kerchner's descendants in Windsor
Township intermarried with the Kershner family of that same area. The Kershners
of Windsor Township were the descendants of Johannes Kirschner / Kershner,
the son of Conrad Kirschner/Kershner I. This makes research into our clan all
the more complicated. The confusion caused by the intermarrying of this Windsor
Township Kerchner clan and the Conrad Kershner/Kerschner/Kirschner descendants
has led some earlier researchers to confuse the Kerchner and Kershner families
in the USA altogether, thinking that they have common lineage in Germany.
They do not have a common lineage. The Kerchner and Kershner families are two
completely different German family surnames. For more information on the
Kershner/Kerschner family, consult the report "The Kershner Families of
Maryland 1731-1977" by Mary Kershner Maxwell or contact the Kershner Family
Association, c/o William E. Kershner, Jr., 1449 Fox Run Drive, Charlotte NC 28212.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 4

     Another family group, with a name spelled similar to ours, is the
Kelchner family. Though similarly spelled, they are a completely different
family from ours. The root of their family name appears to be from the German word
Kelch which means cup, goblet, or chalice. Therefore, their name possibly
means cup maker or chalice maker. Again, the Kelchners are not related to us.

     Another family group, with a name spelled similar to ours, is the
Karcher family. Occasionally one will find our Kerchner name misspelled in
records as Karchner or Karcher. Even more confusing is that in one case, some
descendants of an immigrant name Johan Andreas Kerchner who lived in Berks
County, Pa., later moved to Luzerne County, Pa., where they locally adopted
the spelling / misspelling of their name as Karchner in subsequent
generations. The family members who remained in Berks County retained the
Kerchner spelling. Though similarly spelled and sounding, the German family
name of Karcher is a completely different family from ours, at least in this
country. The name Karcher is occupation based and means freight hauler, as in
a cart or wagon, a carter. Research note: Interestingly, as mentioned earlier,
some believe that the Kerchner surname could have been derived in Germany from
the German name for a carter, i.e., wagon or cart puller or driver.

     Another family group, with a name which sounds, and is spelled, similar
to ours, is the Kurschner or Kursener family. Though similar in sound and
spelling, this family is completely different from ours. Their name is
occupation based and means furrier.

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     The Kerchners, according to family tradition, emigrated in the mid
1700's from the region of the former Reich State of Palatinate in Southwest
Germany. However, it is not certain our family came specifically from the
Reich State of Palatinate. Early immigrants from the southwest region of
Germany were known as "Palatines" even though many did not come specifically
from the Reich State of Palatinate.
Map of Southwest Germany c1711
     As an example of another province of Germany our ancestors were thought to
possibly have originated from, I had found a later clan of Kerchners, with their
surname spelled exactly like ours, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in
1832. The surname of this immigrant was Michael Anthony Kerchner. He was a
shoemaker. He first settled in Philadelphia. Later he moved to Wilmington, Delaware.
Finally he re-located and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. Michael Kerchner emigrated
in 1832 from the village of Freudenberg, a village along the Main River near present
day Wertheim,  Reich State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. With traditional paper
trail research I could not tie our clan into this clan although some German family
names found in their ancestry were the same as those found near our ancestor in PA.
And since the Palatinate and Baden-Wuerttemberg border each other along the Rhine
River I thought possibly there could be a connection. But there was one major and
noteworthy difference. This later arriving clan was of the Catholic religion for
many generatons while our clan was German Reformed and/or Lutheran. Despite the
difference in religions, it was possible I thought that we came from the same area.
Therefore, I thought, it was possible that our family did not originate from
the Palatinate specifically but instead may have come from Baden-Wuerttemberg.
If so, we could also be very distant relatives of Michael Kerchner's clan. But the
YNDA testing project proved that thought wrong. Y-DNA testing in 2004 and 2005
proved that our Kerchner clan in the USA is not related to the Michael Kerchner
clan of Baltimore MD and/or Freudenberg Germany. See the following linked chart
for more details about the Kerchner family of Freudenberg, Baden, Germany.
Some Descendants of Kerchner clan of Freudenberg, Baden, Germany.
     I also have subsequently found via the internet a group of Kerchners in Germany
which spell with the surname spelled exactly as we do. Their family is from the town
of Spesbach which is near the city of Kaiserslautern in the southern part of
Rheinland-Palatinate, Germany. Unfortunately, they did not know anything of their
ancestry nor was the contact very interested in genealogy. Research follow-up note:
After re-contacting them a few years later he had since married and I then able to
convince him to do the YDNA test in order to help me. I had to pay for the test of
course. The Y-DNA testing in 2004 and 2005 proved that our Kerchner clan in the USA
is not related to the Kerchner clan of Spesbach, Rheinland-Palatinate, Germany. It
turned out that he was however related to the Kerchner clan of Freudenberg, Germany.

     Another possiblity was brought to my attention by another Kerchner researcher
via a Fraktur for a granddaughter of Adam Kerchner named Anna Maria Truckenmiller,
born 7 Oct 1787 in or near Upper Milford in what is now Lehigh County PA. The Fraktur
was prepared by a minister who was writing in a lowlands Old Dutch/Deutsch language type
per the language and genealogy experts in Germany that I consulted about this Fraktur.
The Fraktur has the phrase "Adam Kerchner in Dessen" written at the end. If this means
"of Dessen" then it could be a reference to a village or town of origin in Germany. I
searched for a village named Dessen but found none. But I did find a small village named
Deesen, in Westerwald, Rheinland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz), Germany. With the help of
some individuals in Westerwald, Germany, who I found via the Internet, I pursued this
"in Dessen" lead. No records of any Kerchner or Kirchner families were found in or near
the village of Deesen, Westerwald, Germany, showing any connection to our Adam Kerchner.
I then emailed a scan of the Fraktur image to several German genealogy researchers who
live in Germany. After examining the Fraktur image they said that in their opinion the
"in Dessen" absolutely does not refer to a village or place but that it is an early
lowland Dutch, i.e., Holland Dutch, language formal grammatical and legal type phrase
meaning "in this case". According to these correspondents, one of whom was an expert
in early Dutch writing and language, the "in Dessen" is not referring to a village
but is a formal, legal grammatical phrase being used in this formal Fraktur baptism
document. The official who prepared this Fraktur in Pennsylvania was probably Dutch,
i.e., Holland Dutch, or was from the low Deutsch areas of Germany near Holland. Several
early ministers in Pennsylvania were from the Dutch Reformed Church of Holland which
was sending ministers to Pennsylvania to minister to their German Reformed brethen.
Thus the "in Dessen" lead turned into another dead end as to finding a village of
origin in Germany for our immigrant ancestor, Adam Kerchner.

     In November 2005 it was learned that the person registered next to our immigrant
ancestor in the 1741 ship list, Jacob Fortineux, was from the town of Otterberg, 
Rheinland-Palatinate, Germany. This Jacob Fortineux also had a cousin who married to
a Kirchner. This was an exciting new discovery as finding the home village of other
passengers on the same ship is one way to sometimes find the home village of one's own
ancestor. However, research of the microfilmed church records yielded no specific information
familiar to me and/or no information related to our Kerchner line. Actually there were
very few Kirchner or Kircher entries in the church record. Thus the Kirchner family
mentioned in the marriage to the Fortineux family must have been from another area.

     In February 2006 a friend and fellow researcher and friend named Ann Thompson,
by pure serendipity while looking at some microfilmed church records for the Auenstein,
Baden-Wuerttemberg area, noticed that there were quite a few Kirchner and Kircher records
at that church and nearby churches. She then checked the Auenstein records to see if
there was an Adam Kirchner/Kircher baptized in the records, circa 1704. And to much
excitement she did find a 'Hans Adam Kircher' baptized on 4 Aug 1704, a son of a Georg
and Barbara Kirchner. After very much initial excitement, subsequent research research
indicated this Adam Kircher was a descendant of the Kircher family with earlir connections
to the towns of Ziegelbronn and Geisselhardt, Baden-Wuettermberg, Germany. With the help
of a Kircher contact I made in that area, I was able to get 4 male Kirchers to do the
YDNA test at my expense. We got two sets of YDNA haplotype profiles. Two males matched
each other. And the two others matched each other. And neither one matched our YDNA
haplotype profile.  The testing thus lead to another dead end for our Kerchner male
line origins.  But the tests did help local genealogists in Germany with my help to
sort out the various Kircher male branches intermixed over generations in that area.
Kerchner Surname Y-DNA Genetic Genealogy Project

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 5

     Many early immigrants came to America because of religious persecution,
political tyranny, poor economic conditions, and frequent wars, all of which
were the rule rather than the exception in this area during the 1600's and
1700's. Catholic monarchs and electors fought Protestant princes and electors
to gain control of the south and western areas of Germany and in particular
the Palatinate.

     The "Thirty Year War" (1618-1648) destroyed most of this area and
much of Europe. Over 70% of the population of the Palatinate was lost
in this struggle. The Thirty Year War ended in 1648 with the Treaty
of Westphalia. The treaty guaranteed peaceful co-existence between all
religious denominations. However peace did not prevail. Many territorial
politically motivated religious wars occurred in this area of Germany
in the late 1600's and early 1700's. During the last decade of the
1600's, King Louis XIV, the ruthless Catholic monarch of France,
succeeded in the destruction of the Palatinate. He wiped out it's
military power and installed Roman Catholic control in the area.
This, plus the unexpected conversion to Roman Catholicism (for
political reasons) of Frederick Augustus I, Elector of Saxony, had
reduced German Protestant political and military power to a low point.

     Another war, the "War of Spanish Succession" (1701-1714), saw
armies marching back and forth across this region. The "War of Polish
Succession" (1733-1738), resulted in French armies again overrunning
and occupying this area. Catholic French officers were forcibly
quartered in Protestant homes. Protestant cities and churches were
destroyed and the persecution and economic hardships became
unbearable. This, plus the economic opportunities of the New World,
set the stage for what was to become a massive emigration from the

     Another interesting side note I learned very early on in my
research into why they came to Pennsylvania was that William Penn's
mother, Margaret Jasper of Rotterdam, Holland, had German cousins. This
may have also played a part in why Pennsylvania in 1682 was offered as
a haven for the religiously persecuted of Germany. Once it started,
what started as a trickle ultimately lead to 10's of thousands of 
Palatine Germans traveled down the Rhine River to the ports of Holland
such as Rotterdam, where they boarded ships for immigration to
Pennsylvania. Some stayed in Rotterdam for awhile until they could
earn enough money for their passage to America. Some traveled to
England temporarily until transportation to the New World could be
arranged. Upon arrival in Philadelphia they had to sign an oath of
allegiance to the British Crown. Then they probably walked the six
miles to Germantown, now part of Philadelphia, to be with their own
kind. From here they settled in the inland counties now known as
Lancaster, Berks, Lehigh, Bucks, and Northampton. These Pennsylvania
Germans eventually became known as the "Pennsylvania Dutch" possibly
from a rendering of the German word "Deutsch" which means German.
See the following linked report for more details on that.
To learn more about how this Pennsylvania Dutch misnomer came about read
the report I have written on the subject.
The Pennsylvania Germans also didn't discourage the confusion of their
true nationality during the two World Wars with Germany when a public
backlash against people of German sympathy and/or ultimage nationality
occurred in this country. However it is clear we of the PA Deutsch
ethnic group are mostly of German or German speakers heritage such as
Swiss, not Dutch. And we've been in America since before the Revolutionary
War that founded the USA and many of us are Sons and Daugthers of the
men and women who served their new country in the Revolutionary War.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 6

     Over the years I have had two candidates for the patriarch of our
family in America:

     Candidate No. 1:

     The first early candidate I will write about has since been
proven to definitely NOT to be our family's progenitor but the
information on this individual is provided herein for research evolution
continuity purposes and to correct prior published information claiming
this individual as the progenitor of Kerchner our family which may still
be circulating or may turn up as a suggestion in the future.

     Johan Philip aka Philip Kerchner, was incorrectly assumed, according to
brief information collected by George F. Kerchner, Sr. in 1909 and presented
at a Kerchner family reunion held in the summer of that year, to be the
progenitor of our family. I have a copy of his hand-written report. In
it he reports the speculation that Philip Kerchner was the progenitor
of our family but he admits in the same report he can't prove it. He offers
no circumstantial or anecdotal evidence. However, the late E. Jesse Kerchner,
my cousin once removed (SAR#99810), who gave me a copy of the report, believed
that at the time of the report, George F. Kerchner, Sr. (1868-1929), who was
his father, could possibly have had personal recollections of conversations
with John F. Kerchner (1804-1888), and other Kerchner's from the 1800's, who
would have personally known Frederick Kerchner (1750-1828). Thus he believed
it entirely conceivable that the theory could be true. But it appears from the
1909 report that the real reason George F. Kerchner, Sr., speculated that Johan
Philip aka Philip Kerchner was the progenitor of our family was that he was the
only immigrant ancestor with the surname spelled as Kerchner which was listed
in a reference book available in 1909, "Thirty Thousand Names of Immigrants in
Pennsylvania", second edition, by Professor Daniel Rupp, published in 1876 and
frequently used in the very early 1900s. The three volume set of books
"Pennsylvania German Pioneers", by Strassburger and Hinke were not published
until 1934 so that work was not available to George F. Kerchner, Sr., in 1909.
Also, it appears that George F. Kerchner, Sr., never checked Berks County PA
courthouse records for early wills and estates or he probably would have found
the will of Adam Kerchner there in, with his name spelled exactly that way,
in which it mentions his son named Frederick Kerchner. There are no mentions
of any son named Frederick in the church, or any other records, of Johan Philip
Kerchner, aka Philip Kerchner. George Kerchner in his otherwise very useful
report in 1909 never mentioned doing any courthouse estate file or early church
original records research in his 1909 report and subsequent letters to cousins.
Of course we cannot be too critical. Today we have many more powerful research
tools available to us such as microfilmed and indexed early church records,
census records, and easier access to courthouse records than George did in 1909.

     In order to prove conclusively to myself and others that Adam Kerchner was
our ancestor and Philip Kerchner was not, I did an exhaustive research over
several years of the historical records of both male lines in any and all
records available to me or that I could dig up somehow. 

    The following is what I have compiled on Johan Philip Kerchner. Some
of it I obtained from the 1909 report which was a very good starting resource
for many names of distant cousins, some was obtained verbally from E. Jesse
Kerchner, and some was obtained from my own research in an attempt to conclusively
prove or disprove the 1909 theory of George F. Kerchner, Sr., as to who was
our immigrant ancestor.

     The immigrant to Pennsylvania named Johan Philip Kerchner is recorded
to have emigrated from the Palatinate, Germany, to Pennsylvania in the
year 1744. He sailed from the port of Rotterdam, Holland, on the ship Phoenix.
He landed in Philadelphia. The following is an excerpt from the book,
"A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch,
French, and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776", Rupp,
2nd Edition, published 1876, page 169: "October 20, 1744: Foreigners imported
in the ship Phoenix, William Wilson, Captain, from Rotterdam, last of
Cowes." Appearing in the list of 104 immigrants on page 170 is Johan
Philip Kerchner. A facsimile of his original signature attesting his
oath of allegiance and abjuration is found in Pennsylvania German
Pioneers, Strassburger and Hinke, (3 volume 1992 reprint of 1934 edition),
Vol. 2, published 1934, p.374. I have a copy of the reprint. Because the
immigrant Philip's surname is spelled in the 1876 Rupp book exactly as ours
is now, I believe this was the reason why in 1909 George F. Kerchner, Sr.
incorrectly picked this immigrant as the likely candidate to be our progenitor.
The Strassburger and Hinke work, which is today generally believed to be more
accurate, was not completed until 1934, so it was not available to George F.
Kerchner, Sr. In Strassburger and Hinke's work Johan Philip Kerchner's name
is translated, transcribed, and spelled as Johan Phillib Kercher (sic),
not Kerchner. But name spelling in a single record is never a deciding factor
in genealogy work. We must at all sources and look at other facts.

     I have found records of a Johan Philip Kerchner/Kercher/Kerger and
wife named Catharina Eisenmen(in) (Note: The 'in' on the end of the name
denotes feminine gender in the German language) baptizing their children
circa 1755-1761. The children were:  "Andreas", born 5 Dec 1755 at home,
per the records of the Rev. Daniel Schumacher, "Ana Cath. Kerchner," born
about 30 Apr 1757, baptized 29 May 1757, Moselem Zion Lutheran Church,
Richmond Township, Berks County, Pa.; "Catharina Kercher," born 25 Mar 1759,
baptized 29 May 1759, Old Goshenhoppen Lutheran Church, Salford Township,
Montgomery Co., Pa.; and "Henricus Kerger," born 1 Jan 1761, baptized about
Apr 1761, Old Goshenhoppen Lutheran Church.

     I have found no records to support the 1909 speculation that Philip Kerchner
was the father of the Frederick Kerchner from whom we have descended, or even that
Philip Kerchner ever had a child at all named Frederick. Research note: Even
though George got it wrong per my research, his 1909 report is still a very
useful tool in that it provided dozens of names and relationship to the various
Kerchner branches in existence that George Kerchner was able to track down that
time without the aid of modern communications technology such as the internet.
For that I am forever grateful to George and also to Jesse who saved the copy
and gave me a copy of that 1909 report.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 7

		Where was Our Immigrant Ancestor Buried?

     Our family's progenitor, according to some theories related to me
by E. Jesse Kerchner, is allegedly buried on the old Rauch Farm cemetery plot
located east of Huff's Church, Pa. The plot is accessed via the Cloud Nine
Kennels driveway. He remembered visiting the site with his father when he
was an 8 year old boy but did not remember seeing a specific grave site.
Jesse took me to the alleged burial location. The burial plot is on private
property at the top of a lightly wooded, weed overgrown, knoll a quarter
mile east of the village of Huffs Church, Hereford Township, Berks County,
Pa. It is a few miles west of Seisholtzville, Pa., which is the area near
where our original progenitor settled. Allegedly about 100 people were
buried in this plot. Whether our progenitor is actually buried there or
whether E. Jesse Kerchner's father was speculating on that, one will never
know for sure. I have visited and photographed the site. Only six or so
inscribed markers remain. All the rest must have been destroyed or carried
off by vandals.

     Additional research by me has located another possible burial location
for our Adam kerchner. There was a very early cemetery known as God's Acre
associated with the Upper Milford Reformed Congregation, now known as Old
Zionsville UCC Church. Our Adam Kerchner was affiliated with that congregation.
This old cemetery is in the village of Old Zionsville, Lehigh County, PA.
Ony a couple of tombstones remain. The rest were carted off by vandals.
But the cemetery land is still maintained by the cemetery association of
Old Zionsville UCC Church. More on this old cemetery and its connection
to our Adam Kerchner is discussed later (on page 10) of this report.

     Jesse had a remarkable memory. His personal recollections of family
history and events occurring during his lifetime have checked out to date
during my subsequent research. Therefore, I was initially reluctant to
discount completely his theories and recollections concerning certain of
the information passed on to him by his father. However, at this point,
I do not believe the validity of his father's claim that Johan Philip
Kerchner is our immigrant ancestor and progenitor. The evidence is
overwhelming to me that he is not our family's progenitor and that
Adam Kerchner, candidate #2, is our immigrant ancestor and progenitor.

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     Candidate No. 2:

     Adam Kerchner (c1704-1768), according to my research to date, is
the most likely candidate for progenitor of our family. I have found
very strong evidence pointing to him as the immigrant ancestor and
progenitor of our family in early Pennsylvania and that he is the father
of Frederick Kerchner (1750-1828), the Revolutionary War militiaman.

     That evidence is herein listed:

     (a) Adam Kerchner's will, recorded in the Berks County
         Courthouse in 1768, lists a son, Friedrich Kerchner.

     (b) One of Adam Kerchner's daughters, Eva Elizabeth Kerchner,
         married Johan George Wetzel. The Wetzel's owned land next
         to our Frederick Kerchner's farm when it was sold in 1830.

     (c) When Anna Barbara (nee Fetterman) Kerchner, wife of
         Frederick Kerchner, died in 1841, her death notice stated
         she was living in the home of Peter Wetzel. Peter Wetzel
         was the son of Johan George and Eva Elizabeth
         (nee Kerchner) Wetzel. Eva Elizabeth Kerchner was the
         daughter of Adam Kerchner. Thus, Peter Wetzel was the
         grandson of Adam Kerchner. Anna Barbara (nee Fetterman)
         Kerchner, widow of Frederick Kerchner, was Peter Wetzel's
         aunt-in-law. Peter Wetzel lived very near the farm formerly
         owned by his deceased uncle, Frederick Kerchner, which
         was located north of Seisholtzville, Pa. Frederick Kerchner
         was the brother of Eva Elizabeth Kerchner.

     (d) When Adam died, his wife, who was named Anna Barbara,
         remarried Conrad Schaub/Shoup (his best friend according
	 to Adam's will). Conrad Shoup's 1806 will lists
         a Frederick Kerchner as a debtor to him. It is easily
         conceivable for him to have loaned money to a step-son.

     (e) Adam Kerchner and the Fetterman family were apparently
         members of the "Schoolhouse Near the Old Spring"
         congregation, the predecessor to the Upper Milford Lutheran
         Congregation, which then became the Zion Evangelical
         Lutheran Church in Old Zionsville, Pa. Adam was listed as
         a sponsor at the baptism of Anna Barbara Fetterman,
         daughter of Balthaser Fetterman. This same Anna Barbara
         Fetterman later became the wife of Frederick Kerchner,
         the son of Adam.

     (f) A sister of our known and proven Frederick Kerchner baptized a
	 daughter in which record she named her father as being named Adam.

     For the above reasons and having found no other historical evidence
linking any other colonial times immigrant to our Frederick Kerchner, born 1750,
I have concluded that Adam Kerchner is the father of our Frederick Kerchner,
and thus the progenitor of our Kerchner family in America.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 8

       When Did Our Immigrant Ancestor Adam Arrive in Pennsylvania?

     Given that Adam Kerchner is our progenitor when did he arrive. My
research on a possible Adam Kerchner migrating to America listed in
Pennsylvania German Pioneers, by Strassburger and Hinke, 3 volume 1992
reprint of 1934 edition, yields two possible Adam Kerchners.

     The first prospect is Johan Adam Kircher, on page 316 of the 1980
version: "At the Courthouse Philadelphia, Nov 7, 1741. Present: The
Honorable George Thomas, Esquire, Governor, William Till, Esquire.
The Palatines whose Names are underwritten, imported in the snow Thane
of Fife, William Weems, Master, from Amsterdam, but last from
Aberdeen, did this day take the Oath to the Government, viz."
Appearing in the list of 19 men who took the oath that day was Johan
Adam (A) Kircher. A facsimile of his original signature and mark
attesting his oath of allegiance and abjuration is found in the same
reference (3 volume 1992 reprint of 1934 edition), Vol. 2, page 325.
His age was listed as 37.
Sketch of a typical snow sailing ship in the 1700's.
     The second prospect is Adam Kirchner on page 371 of the 1980
version: "At the Courthouse at Philadelphia, 5th Sept 1748. Present:
William Attwood, Esq., Mayor, William Allen, Esq., Recorder, Robert
Strettell and Benjamin Shoemaker, Esq. The Foreigners whose Names are
underwritten, imported in the Edinburgh, James Russell, Master, from
Rotterdam, but last from Portsmouth, did this Day take the foregoing
Oaths to the Government." Appearing in the list of 127 men who took
the oath that day was Adam (X) Kirchner. A facsimile of his original
signature and mark attesting his oath of allegiance and abjuration is
found in Pennsylvania German Pioneers, by Strassburger and Hinke, 1934,
(3 volume 1992 reprint of 1934 edition), Vol. 2, page 403. I have a copy.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 9

     Which Adam became our Berks County PA Adam? One very significant point is
that in our Adam Kerchner's will, which was signed in August 1768 and recorded
in the Berks County Courthouse in October, 1768, it shows his signature with
an (A) mark. This is a very, very strong link of our Adam Kerchner to the 1741
ship list immigrant prospect I discussed earlier who also made his mark with
an (A) in the ship/snow Thane of Fife list. No other immigrant named Adam
with any surname remotely similar to our surname made his mark with an (A).

     Other tidbits of information suggest slightly confusing and possibly
contradicting theories. An Adam Kerchner in Berks County was the sponsor
at the baptism for Anna Barbara Kurchner, daughter of Friederich Kurchner,
at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church on Oct 7, 1764. What do we know
about this Frederick Kerchner.

     A Friederich (O) Kirchner arrived in Philadelphia on the Ship Brothers
on Sept 16, 1751 embarking in Rotterdam. If related to our Adam, possibly
brothers, uncle and nephew, or cousins, it would seem likely that they both
would have embarked from the same port, i.e., from Rotterdam. Also the 'ner'
in the surname at registration could be significant. This could suggest a
link of this Frederick Kerchner with the later arriving Adam (X) Kirchner,
the one who made his mark with an (X). His surname was recorded with the 'ner'
suffix in the surname. While our Adam was recorded with an 'er' suffix in his
surname, this is all weak circumstantial evidence. Also, it should be noted,
that another group of Kirchners claim the 1748 Adam Kirchner immigrant who
signed his mark with an (X) as being their progenitor.

     Also, we must consider that the person who wrote these names could have
used the "er" or the "ner" suffix based on their German province spelling of
this occupational surname rather than the way the immigrant would have wrote it
if they were literate in writing their own name, which these immigrants were not
since they made their mark and someone else wrote their names. Thus the suffix
could be the scribe's spelling and not the immigrant's correct name spelling.

    At this time, I am convinced that the immigrant Adam who arrived in 1741
is our immigrant ancestor. The use of the "A" mark by him when he signed the
ship list and when he signed his 1768 Will is very, very strong piece of evidence
that this is the correct immigrant ancestor for our Kerchner line. That and he
had a son mentioned in his Will named Frederick And in addition, while someone
else claims the 1748 Adam, no one besides us claims the 1741 Adam. He is our guy.

    That our Adam and the later arriving Frederick in 1751 are related somehow
is also suggested by the fact that the immigrant Adam Kerchner had a son named
Frederick and the immigrant Frederick Kerchner apparently had a son named Adam.
This younger Adam Kerchner may have been the one likely killed at the Battle of
Long Island in the Revolutionary War, where an Adam Kerchner was reported as
missing after the battle and never returned per any records to be found in
history. This Adam who was lost to war may have been the one married to an
Elizabeth. The connection or the two Kerchner immigrant lines, Adam 1741 and
Frederick 1751, was only a theory early on by myself and others. But as was
shown in my later YDNA genetic genealogy project, the YDNA tesing proves these
two immigrant lines are related on the direct male line somehow and somewhere
back in Germany. 

    Another point to be noted is the age factor. Our Adam appears to have been
significantly older than the immigrant Frederick.

    Research also indicates that the 1751 immigrant is the Frederick Kerchner
who later moved to Bedford County, Pennsylvania, where the surname was
misspelled as Karriger and Kariger. Some of his descendants then moved to
Ohio where the name was further misspelled phonetically as Carriher. Later
descendants moved to Indiana where the surname became misspelled again as
Carrier. An interesting evolution of the surname. Starting with the surname
Carrier, it would at first glance be a real leap to surmise that this surname
evolved from Kerchner. But the evidence seems to indicate this is true.

     And then science move dramatically forward and comes to help us sort things
out. In 2001 and 2002 Y chromosome DNA testing of direct male descendants of
Frederick Kerchner, the only known son of our Adam Kerchner, the immigrant,
and the the descendants of the immigrant Frederick Kerchner family who went
west to Bedford Co PA and then who subsequently changed their surname spelling
to Karriger, showed a very close match in their YDNA YSTR haplotypes. This
indicated that the immigrants Adam Kerchner and Frederick Kerchner were indeed
related. See the Kerchner Surname Y-DNA website for more details.

Kerchner Surname Y-DNA Genetic Genealogy Project

Some Descendants of the 1751 Frederick Kerchner immigrant

     Our Berks County Adam Kerchner was still siring children in
years 1750-1763. If it was the first immigrant prospect, who was age 37 in
1741 when he arrived, then he would have been about 59 in 1763 when his
youngest proven daughter, Anna Maria, was born. Adam's wife is surmised to
have been significantly younger than him since she remarried a friend of Adam
Kerchner, Conrad Schaub/Shoup, a year or two after Adam's death. She also
lived until sometime after 1790. It certainly is possible for a much younger
wife to be bearing children with an older husband. Sometimes I also have
speculated to myself that maybe Adam may have been married twice with an
unknown earlier family remaining back in his German home village or dying
on the ship voyage over. All things considered, one must pick a preference.
At this time, based on the similar signature mark (A) recorded at his arrival
and the (A) in his Will, I have strongly decided the 1741 Adam prospect, the
one who arrived in Philadelphia in 1741, is the correct immigrant candidate
for our progenitor. Since he sort of disappears between 1741 and the early
1750's, I have assumed he was sold as an indenture servant to someone and
was lost to history for awhile until he worked off his ship passage debt.
Since he had is only known son in 1750, location unknown. Thus he likely
married circa 1749 after completing his indentured servitude. Indentured
servants were not allowed to marry until they had served out their contract.

     Nothing is known as to the exact date or location of his marriage in
PA, but we do know the names of his wife and children from his August 1768
Will and other records. His wife's full given name appears to be Anna
Barbara, maiden name unknown. She was mentioned in Adam's will simply as
Barbara. However, when she served as a witness at the baptism of Anna
Barbara Fetterman in 1753, her given name was recorded as Anna

     According to The Journals and Papers of David Shultze, a Surveyor,
Adam died on 26 Aug 1768, "on old Seiler's place." His Will was signed
and witnessed the same day he died. Something very sudden or accidental
must have happened, in my opinion. His five known children who grew to
adulthood were: a son Friederich, (1750-1828), married c1773 Anna
Barbara Fetterman, died in Longswamp Twsp., Berks Co., Pa.; and the
daughters Eva Elizabeth, (c1753- c1829), married c1773 George Wetzel,
Sr.; Anna Barbara, (1758-1829), married c1782 Johannes Schaub, died in
Hereford Twsp., Berks Co, Pa.; Anna Margaret, (c1760- ), she may have
died young as nothing is known as to what happened to her nor has any
marriage record been found; and Anna Maria, (1763-1843), married c1782
Jacob Truckenmiller, died in Delaware Twsp., Northumberland Co., Pa.
Another very possible daughter, but not yet conclusively proven, is
Elisabetha Barbara Kirchner (sic), (May 1767-....), baptized at Upper
Milford Zion Lutheran Church, U Milford Township, Lehigh Co., Pa. The
uncertainty in assuming that she is a child of our Adam and Anna Barbara
is that the mother of this child was recorded as Elisabetha Barbara while
the earlier records indicate the wife of Adam Kerchner was named
Anna Barbara. Also there was no child, Elisabetha Barbara, listed in
Adam's will dated 1768, only one year later. This child could have died
soon after birth, or she could be from a different Adam Kerchner/Kirchner
family such as the Adam who was lost at the Battle of Long Island. There
was more than one Adam Kerchner/Kirchner in Eastern Pennsylvania at this time.
As per the example there was an Adam Kerchner reported missing and presumed
killed at the Battle of Long Island in 1776 in the Revolutionary War.
Another possibility is that the Anna Barbara's full given name could have
been Elisabetha Anna Barbara which would explain the various name
variations. Further research is needed into this May 1767 birth and the
who historically really are the parents and what happened to this child.
But my instincts at this time point to this Elisabetha Barbara Kirchner,
born May 1767, being the daughter of the Adam lost at the Battle of Long

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 10

       Where Exactly was Our Adam Kerchner's Farm and Land?

     To date, I have now been able to precisely locate the exact location of
approximately 50 acres of land that Adam Kerchner owned in the mid 1750s in
Upper Milford Township, Lehigh (then Northampton) County PA. To date I have not
been able to precisely locate the 200 acre farm of the 1767 and 1768 tax records
citations as owned by him. Specifically the 1767 tax records for Hereford Township,
Berks County, PA, reports he owned 200 acres, 4 horses, 3 cattle, and 4 sheep.
Tax amount paid was 10 - which is assumed to be 10 English Pounds.

     Based on old survey maps by the early surveyor, David Shultze, one can locate
the properties of many families associated with Adam Kerchner's family and mentioned
in his recorded legal documents over time. Based on the location of these properties,
I have surmised that Adam Kerchner's 1767 200 acres of land was probably located about
one mile south-east of Seisholtzville, Hereford Township, Berks County, Pa., along the
upper reaches of the eastern branch of the Perkiomen Creek and very near the border with
Lehigh County, Pa. I have surmised that at one time he may have owned the land which
at one time was owned by George Seiler. It is recorded in the early Surveyor David
Schultz's diary that in August 1768 he died on the "Old Seiler" property. The early
surveyed plots also verify that Adam Kerchner owned land just across the border in
Upper Milford Township, Lehigh (then Northampton) County, Pa., adjacent to and east
of a tract of land owned by the widow Catherine Eck.

     Another possibility I have considered in reference to him owning 200 acres in 1767
and 50 acres in the mid 1750s is that instead of those being two separated and different
farms, he may have added acreage to his Upper Milford Township tract which abutted it 
but was across the very nearby county line. A person was assessed and taxed for
contiguous land based on the location of the owners master bedroom. Thus if Adam
had added land which crossed the county line and by 1767 had built a new residence
across the county line in Berks County, either because it was a nicer, flatter location
for a home, or maybe Berks county taxes were lower, he would have been recorded as
a Berks County resident and taxpayer even though he still owned the tract across the
border in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh (then Northampton) County PA.  But this 
speculation would only apply if his 200 acres of land in 1767 was contiguous with
and included the 50 acres of land he owned in the mid 1750s.

     In my searchings, the first specific location reference made for any land owned
by Adam Kerchner was in the deed for the land owned by the widow Catherine Eck. Her
land straddled the county line between Lehigh (prior to 1812 Northampton and prior to
1752 Bucks) County and Berks County PA. His name, recorded in her deed description meets
and bounds, was spelled as Adam ?/Kargher/Karghner/Karcher/?. The last name was not 
clearly written in the hand written deed. This mention of Adam's land correlates well
with the survey map found by me in 2007 and in other survey maps found later and shown
via the links below.
Schultze 1768 Survey Image: Survey map dated 1768 made by early surveyor David Schultze found
in 2007 by Charles Kerchner of Emmaus PA showing Catherine Eck's tract of land in Upper Milford
Township and depicting thereon where Adam Kerchner's land is mentioned in the Meets and Bounds description
of the Eck Property as meeting "Karghner" land. I made some annotations on this old survery such as
showing the creek to help orientate the reader such that it is easier to find on modern maps.

Schulze 1767 Survery Image: Survey map dated 1767 made by surveyor David Schulze found in June 2015
by researcher Ursula Wacht of Germany which shows part of Adam Kergher/Kercher (Kerchner) tract of land
in Upper Milford Township abutting land of Catherine Eck, Jacob Christman, and Sebastian Truckenmiller.
Note: The Eck tract of land was later owned by John Shoup who married to Anna Barbara Kerchner,
a daughter of Adam Kerchner.

1828 Deed Survey Map Image: Survey map dated 1828 found in June 2015 in PA Archives by researcher
Michael Miller of PA that shows the Meets and Bounds and acreage of the entire tract of land in Upper
Milford Township which was owned in mid-1750s by Adam Kergher (Kerchner).

1860 Lehigh County Map: 1860 map of southwest corner of Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County PA
with overlayed plot thereon showing location of Adam Kerchner's land. Overlay on the 1860 map made
and provided 23 Jan 2017 by Roy Shreffler of Bethlehem PA.

Google Earth Satellite View of Adam Kerchner's Land Location: This is a plot I did 13 June 2015
of Adam Kergher/Kerchner's original tract of land in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County, PA, onto
a modern satellite view map of the area. I also noted the name of the current owner of the larger portion
of Adam Kerchner's original tract north of Salem Bible Church Road, which at that time of my making this
plot was the John Whitenight Family Trust. Most of the portion of the original Adam Kerchner tract south
of Salem Bible Church Road is part of the Victory Valley Camp grounds which in 2015 was owned by
The Mennonite Brethen Church of Allentown, Lehigh County, PA.

Google Earth Plot Showing Adjacent Landowners c1750-1760: This is a plot I did on 30 July 2017
of Adam Kerchner tract of land onto a modern map. With this satellite view map one can see that
this area is and was a mountainous and wooded area in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County, PA.
On this plot I annotated the family names of adjacent historic early landowners c1750-1760 which
abutted Adam Kerchner's land in the 1750-1770s time frame. When you look at those adjoining property
family names you can easily see and understand where and how Adam's children and grandchildren met
their future spouses. The relative location of the land of abutting land owners family names such as
Fetterman, Truckenmiller, Schoub/Schaub/Schoup, and Christman (into which the Kerchner family
intermarried) are shown along with some other early landowners adjacent to the Kerchner land.

     We also know Adam's son, Frederick Kerchner, in the 1780s had a farm about 1/4 mile
north of Seisholtzville, just across the border in Longswamp Township, Berks County, Pa.
Today there is a large mobile home and pre-engineered home park located on his farm land.

     We also know, Adam Kerchner's daughters married into well known, local families, such
as the Wetzels, Schaubs, and Truckenmillers which also owned land southeast of Seisholtzville.
Adam's only known son, Frederick, married a daughter of the Fetterman family of that area.

     Therefore, From all the information I have compiled over the decades, I have concluded Adam
lived at various times on two different tracks of land located s.e. of the village of Seisholtzville,
in or near what is now known as Victory Valley or Sigmund, parts of which are in Hereford Township,
Berks County, PA, and other parts are across the county line in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County
PA. The names of neighboring or nearby families back in the 1700s at various times were named Eck,
Schaub/Shoup, Truckenmiller, Christman, Seiler, Rauch, Fetterolph, Rothenberger, and Marsteller.

                 Where was Our Adam Kerchner Buried?

     We do not know where for certain Adam or his wife are buried at this
time. It could be at the old Rauch Farm burial plot mentioned earlier. But
no solid evidence exists to support this theory other than the possibility
that at least that part of the family oral tradition was true. Another
possibility is that he was buried on his own farmland. However, another
clue and maybe might be is that we do know, based on his estate papers, which
shows a small fee paid to the Reverend Leydich, that Adam was probably buried
by the Reverend John Philip Leydich, pastor of Upper Milford Reformed
Congregation from 1766-1771. There is also an old cemetery located southeast
of the current church building of the Upper Milford Zion Reformed Church
(now UCC). Research note: Some historical accounts indicated this cemetery
was located north-east of the church. But it should be noted that there were
various locations for the various church building for that church. Also, it
should be noted that the magnetic north pole has moved over the last few
hundred years. This old cemetery, called God's Acre, is about 1/2 mile off
the main King's Highway road and can only be accessed via a small alley and
then crossing over private property. This cemetery, which is on private
property, was adjacent to the original location of the first log church
in use when Adam Kerchner died. For whatever reason the early church when
it moved the church location to along King's Highway never obtained
title to the land on which the cemetery is located. Probably because the
owner of the land at that time said the church could use it in perpituity
and said restrictions were in the deed when the church member sold it.
Since Rev. Leydich was pastor of this church at that time, it is possible
that our Adam and spouse are buried in that old God's Acre cemetery. I have
visited the site and only a couple of gravestones remain. Allegedly the
gravesite was not being maintained for many years and then at some point
in the past most of the old stones were stolen by a contractor, per old-timer's
accounts, who said someone allegedly used them to decorate a stone fireplace.
No one todate has been able to learn the name of the person who allegedly did this.
If true, this is a terrible thing for a person to have done. Research note:
I became a member of this UCC Church circa 1998 and when I learned of the
problems then ongoing with access to the God's Acre Cemetery to do routine
maintenance I helped the church and cemetery association document the deed
record and obtain a court recorded and perfected legal easement over the
private property to the old cemetery to be able to maintain it. It took
several years to accomplish due to strong attempted legal opposition from
the private property owner. But at the end of the ligitation the church won.

                  Some Thoughts Passed Along To The Reader

     Due to some early 1900s antedotal research and comments suggesting a different
immigrant being our ancestor, I will remark here and say at this point in time,
that of course it is remotely possible that neither of the Adam immigrant candidates
aforementioned in this report is our ancestor and progenitor, the father of our Frederick.
No one can be 100% certain and sure of such matters until they can find conclusive primary
source proof such as Frederick's birth and baptism records. And I will keep searching for
that. However, at this point in time as of 2014 I am 99.99% sure that the Adam Kerchner
who died in 1768 in Hereford Township, Berks County, PA, is our progenitor, and that he
is the one who arrived in PA in 1741, and that the Friederich mentioned in his Will
is our Frederick, the Revolutionary War militia soldier. All the other Adam Kerchner
or Kerchner/Kirchner immigrants are claimed by others and all the facts found in decades
of research by me indicate the 1741 Adam Kerchner immigrant is our immigrant ancestor.
Where he was between 1741 and 1750 is unknown. Since he was illiterate, he was probably
sold to some wealthy master upon arrival as an indentured servant to work off the debt
he likely incurred for his ship passage from the Old World to the New World. I am 
convinced he is my direct male ancestor.  I will have to leave it to others once I
am gone to continue to look for the primary source evidence here in Pennsylvania or
in Germany. More and more records are digitized and put online each year. One never
knows what will turn up in the future and change my 99.99% conviction to 100% proven.
Here is a four generation Descendant Chart for: Johan Adam Kerchner.
Here is a three generation Descendant Chart for: Johan Jacob Wetzel.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 11

     Frederick Kerchner (1750-1828), my 4th great-grandfather, was
born March 15, 1750 per his gravestone. The exact birth location is
unknown but it was probably near the area of what is now Hereford
Township, Berks County, Pa., since his probable father, Adam, was taxed
on a 200 acre farm there, near the Berks County and Lehigh (then
Northampton) County line, until 1768 when Adam died. Frederick married,
c1773, Anna Barbara Fetterman a/k/a Barbara Fetterman), the daughter of
Balthaser and Catharina Margaretha (nee Hufft) Fetterman. She was born
7 Jun 1753 in Upper Milford Township, then part of Northampton County,
but now part of Lehigh County, Pa. She was baptized 1 July 1753 by the
Schoolhouse Near the Old Spring congregation, the predecessor of the
Upper Milford Zion's Church.
The Schoolhouse Near The Old Spring
In 1772, Frederick Kerchner is recorded on the tax rolls for Upper
Milford Township as being a laborer in the township. My theory is
that he left his home in Hereford Township to find work nearby
in Upper Milford Township. He possibly could even have been working
for Balthaser Fetterman since Balthaser and Adam Kerchner knew each
other and Adam Kerchner was a sponsor for Anna Barbara's baptism.
Frederick and Anna Barbara probably grew up knowing each other and
probably went to the same church, Upper Milford Zion's Church. The
Reformed and Lutherans shared a church building at that time. Thus,
while working in Upper Milford Township in 1772, Frederick probably
courted Anna Barbara resulting in their marriage in c1773 with their
first child, Johan George, being born in 1774. It was a fruitful
marriage. According to Barbara's death notice published in the May 4,
1841, issue of the Reading Adler, they had a total of 8 children.
However, to date I have only found records of 6 who grew to adulthood:
Johan George, a/k/a George, (1774-1835), married Elizabeth Keiser
c1800, died in Snyder County Pa.; Frederick Wilhelm, a/k/a William,
(1776-1841), baptized at Longswamp Reformed Church, married Salome Egner
circa Jul 1800, died in Macungie Twsp, Lehigh County Pa.; Philip Peter,
a/k/a Peter, (1778-1822), baptized at Longswamp Reformed Church,
married Catharina c1799, died in Longswamp Twsp, Berks County Pa.;
Elizabeth, (1783-1833), baptized at Lehigh Zion Lutheran Church, married
Abraham Griesemer on Jun 7, 1801, died in Hereford, Berks County
Pa.; Jacob, (1787-1836), baptized at Longswamp Reformed Church,
married Catharine Koser on Jan 26, 1808, died in Towamensing Twsp,
Carbon County Pa.; and Maria, (1796-1873), married Jacob Miller in
1816, died in Hereford Twsp, Berks County Pa. Barbara's death notice
indicated they had 52 grandchildren and 57 great-grandchildren.

     Frederick Kerchner owned a 123 acre 98 perch farm divided in 3 tracts.
He undoubtedly farmed his land but his main occupation, which was listed
in his 1796 land purchase deed and in the 1779, 1780, 1784 tax lists
for Longswamp Township published in the Pa. Archives Vol. 18, was that
of a turner (wood lathe worker). His farm was in Longswamp Township
straddling the Maxatawny to Philadelphia road just north of the village
of Seisholtzville, Hereford Township, Berks County, Pa. The farm is on
or very near the border of the two townships. The home and and wood
turning shop were on the 10 acres on the east side of the road. The barn
and the rest of the tract were on the west side of the road. I have
traced the prior ownership and later ownership of the largest parcel
on the west side of the road as follows: Peter Fetterolf (c1752),
Christopher Bittenbender (1777), Frederick Kerchner (1796), John
Reiter (1833), Jacob Moll (1855), Franklin Moll (1881), Angeline Moll
(1892), Sylvester Schmoyer (1905), George Fisher (1907), Willis F.
Walker (1907), Willis B. Walker, and recently to Donald Nielson
(c1968) who built the Mountain Village Mobile Home Park on the property.
The 10 acre tract on the east side of the road on which the home
was situated apparently went to the brothers William and Jacob Kerchner
who then sold it in 1831 to John & George Moll. The barn on the west
side of the road was torn down when the mobile home park was built.
The residence became unoccupied and was allowed to deteriorate and
eventually it was set afire to a couple times by local vandals.
Location of Frederick Kerchner's Farm per Deed Meets and Bounds.
Plot of Land Purchased in 1796 in Longswamp Twsp, Berks Co PA

c1942 Aerial View of Frederick Kerchner Farm Land He Owned in 1796
I have photographed the tracts as they appear today, including the burned out
home. I have also obtained photos from the Walker family of the home
that shows the home when the Walkers owned it. The photo, taken in
the early 1900's, shows the home with what looks like an addition
on the southern most end apparently added in the mid-1900's. You can
see the shop building in the rear. Frederick Kerchner was a wood turner
and that was likely the purpose of that out building and shop. There
also was a bake oven out building on this property south of the main
residence at one time which was used for baking and cooking during
the hot summer months. From the size of the building I have at times
speculated that there may have once been a tavern in this building. It
would have been an ideal spot since it along a reasonably flat area
of the top of the mountain where you can imagine that teams of horses
pulling wagons could have stopped to rest the horses and the owner or
teamster stopping to wet his whistle before making the journey down
the other side of the mountain.  The tavern thought is only speculation
at this time on my part. No evidence have I found to indicate such
other than the size of this building and the strategic location at
the top of the mountain along one of the King's highways. This highway
ran between the fertile land of Maxatawny Township, Berks County, PA,
and larger towns of the southern part of Montgomery and Philadelphia
counties PA and of course, the city of Philadelphia PA.
A three generation Descendant's Chart for Balthaser Fetterman, father and
immigrant ancestor of Anna Barbara Fetterman, is provided on a separate page.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 12

     Frederick Kerchner (1750-1828), 4th great-grandfather continued:

     Frederick served in the Revolutionary War. According to the
Pennsylvania Archives, 5th Series, Vol. 5, he served in various Berks
County militia companies from 1780-1781. In 1781 he received pay as a
private in Captain Jacob Ladich's Company of the Berks County Militia.
His battalion commander was Colonel Samuel Ely. His name appears on
the payroll record listed in the Pennsylvania Archives, 5th Series,
Vol. 5, Pg. 280. His name also appears with spelling variations on
pages 221, 223, and 235 of the same reference.

     Frederick Kerchner is listed in the Pennsylvania Septennial
Census 1779 of Berks County. He is recorded as a married taxable
inhabitant of Longswamp Township in this census. His name appears on
page 20 of the 1989 reprint of this census published by the Berks
County Genealogical Society. Frederick's family is listed in the
first U.S. census in 1790. It recorded 3 males age 16 and over, 2
males under 16, and 2 females. At the time of completion of the
census Maria had not been born. One must remember that ages were often
recorded incorrectly or were deliberately misstated to census takers
for various reasons. Therefore, it is this researcher's best
estimate, that the 3 recorded males over 16 would have been Frederick
and his sons Johan George and Frederick Wilhelm. His second son's
(Frederick Wilhelm) age was probably recorded wrong as being 16, when
he was only 14 at the time. The males under age 16 would have been
sons Philip Peter and Jacob. The 2 females would have been his wife
and their first daughter Elizabeth.

     Frederick died Aug 10, 1828. His death notice was published in
German in the September 2, 1828, issue of the Reading Adler. A copy
of the paper is on file at the Historical Society of Berks County,
Reading, Pa. Frederick and his wife are buried at Huff's Church
Cemetery located in the village of Huffs Church, Berks County, Pa.
His grave (#M22) is in the 13th row of the "old cemetery" on the left
side of the church. It has a soldier's marker beside it. He is listed
in the historical records of the church. His wife Barbara died April
26, 1841, and is buried in grave #M18 which is located in the same row
about twenty feet to the right of Frederick's grave. Frederick's
tombstone is barely readable. Barbara's is still in good shape.
However, both tombstone inscriptions are recorded for posterity in a
book entitled, Tombstone Inscriptions, by Raymond E. Kiebach, Reading,
Pa. I have a copy of the inscriptions. I have also photographed the
gravestones. A copy of Longswamp Reformed Church and Lehigh Zion
Lutheran Church records are on file at the Lehigh County Historical
Society, Allentown, Pa. His will, written in old German script, was
recorded in 1828 in the Berks County Courthouse, Volume 6, Page 223.
I have had his will translated into English. It lists his wife and
children's names and the husbands of his daughters. It is very
interesting reading in the detailed instructions he provided for the
disposal of his assets and the care of his wife.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 13

     Johan George Kerchner, aka George Kerchner, (1774-1835), first
known child and son of Frederick Kerchner, and my 3rd
great-granduncle, was born March 3, 1774, in Berks County, Pa. He was
baptized Johan George but chose to use his middle name as his legal
name. This was a common custom with early Germans. He signed all his
documents George Kerchner, but on his tombstone it is engraved, "John
G. Kerchner," according to Snyder County Tombstone Inscriptions by
George W. Wagenseller. To date I have found no record of his baptism
although his brothers were baptized at Longswamp Reformed Church in
Longswamp Township, Berks Co., Pa. About 1800, he married Elizabeth
Keiser, born January 30, 1783, the daughter of Peter and Gertraut
Keiser. She was also baptized in April 1783 at Longswamp Reformed
Church. They settled in Longswamp Township where four of eight of their
known children were born: Johan George Jr. (Dec 15, 1802 - Nov 21, 1889),
died in Keokuk County, IA; Lydia Kerchner (Dec 22, 1804 - Sep 11, 1883),
died in Perry Twsp, Snyder Co PA; Judith Kerchner (Jan 2 1807), and
Elizabeth (Jun 12, 1809), allegedly died in Liverpool, Perry Co PA.
These four children were all baptized at Longswamp Reformed Church.
His family is listed in the 1800 and 1810 censuses of Longswamp Township,
Berks County, Pa. About 1811 he moved with his family to Beaver Township,
Union County, Pa., where he was listed in the 1820 census. He later was
located in Perry Township, Union County, Pa., later Snyder County. His
family was listed in the 1830 census of Union County. In this area he had
the last four of his eight known children, all boys, the water must have
been different in that area . The boys were: Solomon (Feb 20, 1812 -
Feb 7, 1883), probably died in Perry County, PA; Augustus (Feb 19, 1815 -
Jan 18, 1855), died in Wheatfield Township, Perry County, PA; Reuben
(Apr 7, 1818 - Sep 12, 1883), died in Delaware Township, Juniata County,
PA; and Benjamin (Oct 19, 1820 - Aug 18, 1898), died Walker Township,
Juniata County, PA. His last known son, Benjamin, was baptized at Grubb's
Church (Botschaft) Lutheran Church, Chapman Township, Snyder County, Pa.
Johan George, Sr., died November 10, 1835. His wife died November 25, 1849.
They are both buried at Grubb's Church Cemetery. A baptismal record, an old
German Taufschein, has been found for Augustus Kerchner on which his
mother's maiden name is recorded as Kayser which is a slightly different
spelling but phonetically the same name. I still believe Keiser is the
correct spelling of her maiden name. The Taufschein was purchased for the
sum of about $800 and was donated to the collection of the Perry Historians,
New Castle, PA. I have a photographic copy of it.

     While researching this branch of descendants I have located two
3rd great grandsons of Johan George Kerchner who have also done
research into this branch of descendants of Frederick Kerchner. The
first individual is a direct male descendant of Benjamin Kerchner, the
youngest son of Johan George Kerchner. His name is Jerome E.
Kerchner, Jr. He resides in Stevensville, MD. The second individual
is a descendant of Augustus Kerchner, the 3rd son of Johan George
Kerchner. His name is Clifton P. Hyatt. He resides in Newville, PA.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 14

     Frederick Wilhelm Kerchner, aka William Kerchner, (1776-1841),
second known child and son of Frederick Kerchner, and my 3rd
great-grandfather, was born March 12, 1776, in Berks County, Pa. He
was baptized "Frederick Wilhelm Kerchner" but chose to use his middle
name as his legal name as was the custom of those times. He signed all
his documents, "William Kerchner" but on his tombstone it is clearly
engraved "F. Wilhelm Kerchner." I have photographed the tombstone. The
record of his baptism at the Longswamp Reformed Church is on microfilm
with a facsimile copy on file at the Lehigh County Historical Society,
Allentown, Pa. He also may have chosen to use his middle name to distinguish
himself from his father. He was a farmer. In July 1800, he married
Salome Egner (aka Saloma Egener), born November 12, 1779, the daughter of
Henry Egner and Susanna Romig.
For more about the Egner family visit my Egner web page.
This Kerchner family moved to what is now the Lower Macungie Township area
of Lehigh (then Northampton) County, PA, where they owned a large farm. They
had 4 children who were: Henry (Apr 29, 1802, died age 18), never married;
John Frederick (Feb 12, 1804 - Jul 25,1888), married Maria Christman;
died in Lower Macungie Twsp, Lehigh Co PA, Hanna (Feb 5, 1806 - May 6, 1844),
married Thomas Eisenhart, died in Lower Macungie Twsp, Lehigh Co PA; and
Susanna (Sep 19, 1811 - Apr 18, 1894), married Daniel Christman, died near
Macungie, Lehigh Co PA. Daniel Christman and Maria Christman were brother and
sister and were the children of Johan Henry and Anna Maria (nee Roeder)
Christman. Wilhelm, or William as he was known in English, built the home
located about one mile north of Macungie on the right hand side of the road,
immediately after the entrance to the Mack Truck assembly plant. It was
later owned by the Faust family who are related to the Kerchners. You can
easily see the large "WK" with the year "1835" in the apex of the north wall.
I have a photograph of it. This house and other small buildings on the property
were torn down circa 2005 during development of the land for residential units
in the interior portion and commerical properties along Route 100. Today
a McDonald's Restaurant and a bank are located near where the home stood.
William Kerchner is listed in the 1810 Census of Longswamp Township, Berks
County, Pa., page 792, Wm. 'Kircher'. He is also listed in the 1820 Census
of Macungie Township, Lehigh County, Pa., page 171, William 'Kercher'. Thus
he moved from Berks County to Lehigh County sometime between 1810 and 1820.

     William died on Nov 22, 1841. He was the first person buried at
the Solomon's Reformed Church in Macungie, Lehigh County, Pa., which
was completed that year. He was active in the establishment of this
church and his untimely death is recorded in the historical records of
the church. His grave is in the second row, far left, of the "old
cemetery". His wife, Saloma, who died June 5, 1870, is buried by his
side. I have photographed the tombstones. Records of his children's
baptisms were recorded at Lehigh Zion Lutheran Church near Macungie,
Pa. A microfilm copy is on file at the Muhlenberg College Library,
Allentown, Pa. A facsimile copy is on file at the Lehigh County
Historical Society, Allentown, Pa. His will, written in German, was
recorded in 1841 at the Lehigh County Courthouse, File #1586. I have
had it translated into English. It lists his 3 surviving children,
plus the 2 daughters and their husband's names. Like his father's
will, it is very interesting in the detailed explanation on exactly
how his wife is to be taken care of until she dies. She lived almost
30 more years, until 5 Jun 1870, so the final account to the court of
his estate was not done until 10 May 1871. When William died on 22
Nov 1841, he was serving as the administrator for his mother, Barbara
Kerchner's estate in the Berks County court system. She had recently
died on 26 April 1841. This caused a very complicated estate for
William's son, John F. Kerchner, and the other executors to resolve.
Gravestone for F. Wilhelm Kerchner at Solomon's Church Cemetery, Macungie PA

Gravestone for Saloma (nee Egner) Kerchner at Solomon's Church Cemetery, Macungie PA

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 15

     Philip Peter Kerchner, aka Peter Kerchner, (1778-1822), third
known child and son of Frederick Kerchner, and my 3rd
great-granduncle, was born February 11, 1778, in Longswamp Township,
Berks County, Pa. He was baptized on March 15, 1778, at Longswamp
Reformed Church as Philip Peter, but chose to use his middle name as
his legal name. This was a common German custom. About 1800, he
married Catharina (last name unknown). They settled in Longswamp
Township. His family is listed in the 1800 and 1810 censuses of
Longswamp Township, Berks County, Pa. They had ten children of which
the names of eight are known. They were: Catharina (Jun 7, 1801),
Salome (Apr 1805), Patty (Mar 27, 1807), Anna (Apr 30, 1809), Lydia
(Sep 3, 1810), Judith (Aug 24, 1812), Mathilda (c1815), and Peter
(c1817). Some of the children were baptized at Longswamp Reformed
Church and some were baptized at Zion Lehigh Lutheran Church, Macungie
Township, Lehigh County, Pa. Philip Peter died about 20 Oct 1822.
His estate was administered in the Berks County Courthouse in Reading,
Pa., under the name Peter Kercher. His last name was misspelled.
However, his name is spelled correctly in several of the estate documents
such as the inventory and in the petition signed by his wife to appoint
guardians for the minor children. His wife, Catharine, and his brother,
William Kerchner, were the administrators. I have not found a record
of Catharine's death. As of this date I have not located were they
are buried.

     Elizabeth M. Kerchner (1783-1833), fourth known child and the
first known daughter of Frederick Kerchner, and my 3rd
great-grandaunt, was born May 25, 1783, in Longswamp Township, Berks
County, Pa. She was baptized on July 6, 1783, at Lehigh Zion Lutheran
Church, Macungie Township, Lehigh County, Pa. The daughters were
apparently baptized Lutheran since the mother was Lutheran while the
sons were baptized Reformed since the father was Reformed. This was
common with German "mixed religion" marriages. On June 7, 1801, she
married Abraham Griesemer, born April 16, 1777, the son of Leonard and
Elizabeth (nee Lefebre) Griesemer. They had nine known children:
Rebecca Margaret (Mar 6, 1802), Elizabeth (Dec 22, 1803), Catharine (c1805),
Maria Magdalena (1808), Jennike Eunice (Mar 7, 1810), and John
(Aug 26, 1812), Julia Ann (Aug 1, 1816), Mary (c1820), and Abraham
(Nov 7, 1822). Elizabeth died January 18, 1833. Her husband died October 15, 1823.
They are buried in the same row as her parents at Huffs Church
Cemetery, Huffs Church, Hereford Township, Berks County, Pa. Her
maiden name was misspelled as Kergner on her tombstone.

     Jacob Kerchner (1787-1836), fifth known child and the fourth
known son of Frederick Kerchner, and my 3rd great-granduncle, was born
November 28, 1787, in Longswamp Township, Berks County, Pa. He was
baptized at Longswamp Reformed Church. On 26 Jan 1808 he married
Catherine Koser, born on August 17, 1788, the d/o Johan George and
Elizabeth Barbara (nee Peters) Koser. Initially, Jacob and his family
lived in Longswamp Township but later moved north of the Blue Mountain
to Towamensing Township, Carbon County, then part of Northampton County,
Pa. His family is listed in the 1820 and 1830 censuses of Towamensing
Township. They had nine known children: Jacob Jr. (28 Jun 1808-26 Oct 1831),
never married; Benjamin (8 May 1810-5 Apr 1896), married Elizabeth Box;
Anna Maria (b. 5 Apr 1812), married George Greenzweig;
Catherine (4 May 1814-7 Apr 1882), married George Ziegenfuss;
Judith (27 Mar 1816-2 Jul 1903), married Joseph Christman;
John (24 Mar 1819-27 Mar 1889), married Susannah Serfass;
Salina (9 May 1822-27 Jul 1896), married first to Mr. Arner, married
second to Mr. Wagner; Daniel (1827-12 Mar 1900), married Fannie Hawk;
Susann (c1831), married Peter Meixel; Jacob Kerchner, Sr., died about
March 1836 in Lower Towamensing Township, Carbon (then Northampton)
County, Pa. His estate was administered at the Northampton County
Courthouse, Easton, Pa. His wife, Catherine, died October 2, 1867.
It is not known where Jacob, Sr. is buried. His wife is buried in the
Salem Church Cemetery in Gilbert, Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County, Pa.
Several of their children are buried in the cemetery at Gilbert.
She was probably living with one of her children in that area when she
died. Their first son, Jacob, Jr., who died young at age 23, is buried
at St. John's Union Church Cemetery, Palmerton, Lower Towamensing
Township, Carbon County, Pa.

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 16

     Maria Kerchner (1796-1873), sixth known child and the second
known daughter of Frederick Kerchner, and my 3rd great-grandaunt, was
born January 20, 1796, in Longswamp Township, Berks County, Pa. I
have found no baptismal record for her as of this date. In 1816
she married Johan Jacob Miller, aka Jacob Miller and/or John Miller,
born Sep 22, 1786. They had nine known children: Caroline (Oct 1, 1817),
Jacob (1818), Lydia (Aug 13, 1819), Judith (Sep 11, 1821 - Nov 25, 1895),
William (Aug 25, 1823 - Feb 2, 1881), Charles (Aug 26, 1826 - Jun 10, 1898),
female child (c1833), Edwin (c1835), and Franklin (c1838). Some of the
information on these children was found with their burials records in the
private burial records of Rev. Eli Keller, CLDS Film No. 1305843-05.
Maria (nee Kerchner) Miller died February 19, 1873. She is buried in
the same row as her parents at Huff's Church Cemetery, Huffs Church,
Hereford Township, Berks County, Pa. Her maiden name on her tombstone
is spelled, Kergner. Her tombstone inscription states she was married
to Jacob Miller. However, as of this date, I have not found the burial
location of her husband.

     John F.(Frederick?) Kerchner (1804-1888), my 2nd
great-grandfather, son of F. Wilhelm a/k/a William, and grandson of
Frederick Kerchner, was born February 12, 1804, in Macungie Township,
which was then part of Northampton County, Pa. Lehigh County was not
created from Northampton County until March 6, 1812. He was a farmer.
On March 7, 1830, he married Maria Christman, who was born
November 4, 1805, the daughter of Johan Henry and Anna Maria (nee
Roeder) Christman. They had 9 children who were: William Henry (Mar
6, 1831 - Feb 4, 1879), married Levina Laros; Mary Ann (1832), married
John Bastian; Thomas Franklin (Nov 9, 1833 - May 31, 1884), married
Eliza Miller; Sarah Amanda (Feb 8, 1836 - Feb 3, 1895), married Peter
Faust; Salome Caroline (c1838), married William Eberhard; Eliza
Catherine (c1840), married John Schantz; John Addison (Feb 10, 1844-
Jan 21, 1926), allegedly served in the Civil War, died in Ohio,
married first to Louisa Schwartz and second to Emma Weidner; Susanna
Rebecca (Oct 9, 1847 - May 30, 1854), died age 7; and Jacob Benjamin
(Dec 27, 1849 - Nov 20, 1870), never married. John Kerchner and his
family are listed in the 1850 Census of Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh
County, Pa., page 161, line 17, John Kercher (sic), age 46, farmer.
According to A History of Lower Macungie Township, published in 1976,
and on file at the Lehigh County Historical Society, there were two iron
ore mines located on his property. John Kerchner was active in community
affairs. He was one of the 16 original shareholders in the establishment and
building of the "Macungie Institute" school in 1856. The Borough of Macungie
was known as the village of Millerstown back then. The school was named
after the township of Macungie since it served the whole township area and
not just the village of Millerstown. The original building still stands today
with large additions made in 1871 and 1941, and renovations completed in 2002.
Today the Macungie Institute building serves as a community center and the
home of the Macungie Historical Society.  John F. Kerchner died Jul 25, 1888.
He left an estate of record valued by the court at more than $20,000, a
considerable sum for those times. $20,000 invested at 3% interest would
be worth about $582,000 in 2002. It was divided between the children and
one grandson. He and his wife are buried at Solomon's Church Cemetery.
His grave is in Section A, Lot 54, Grave #7. His wife, Maria, who
died February 15, 1874, is buried by his side. I have photographed
the tombstones. They are heavily weathered. His will, written in
English, was recorded in 1888, at the Lehigh County Courthouse, File
#7028. It lists his surviving children and the husbands of his
surviving married daughters. Also it names one of his grandsons,
Morris R. Schantz. His daughter, Eliza Catherine, who married John
Schantz, had predeceased him. Several other children, including his
oldest son, William Henry, also predeceased him.
Gravestone for John Kerchner at Solomon's Church Cemetery, Macungie PA

Gravestone for Maria (nee Christman) Kerchner at Solomon's Church Cemetery, Macungie PA

Here is a four generation Descendant Chart for Jacob Christman

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KERCHNER ANCESTRY                                                Page 17

     William Henry Kerchner (1831-1879), my great-grandfather, son of
John F., was born March 6, 1831, in Lehigh County, Pa. His occupation
in the 1850 census was listed as apprentice (wagoner?). In 1853, he
married Lovina (aka Levina) Laros (aka Larosch, Larrash, Laurisch), born
October 16, 1833. Lovina was a descendant of an early settler in the
Macungie Twsp area Ludwig Larosch. Lovina Laros was the daughter of Jesse
and Lydia (nee Siegfried) Laros. William and Lovina had 9 children. They
were: Oscar Llewelyn (1855), Mary Alice (c1857), John Henry (Oct 28, 1860 -
died age 24, studying for the ministry), William Jesse (Sep 26, 1862 -
was a blacksmith by trade and owned a blacksmith shop in East Macungie,
PA). The blacksmith shop was continued by his son, William Jesse, Jr. An
account of the their shop and their skills appeared in A History of
Lower Macungie Township, published in 1976, Ellen Louisa (c1866),
George Franklin (Apr 21, 1868), Jacob Benjamin (Dec 13, 1870), Edwin
Alfred (Jan 6, 1873), and Margaret Lydia (Jan 26, 1877). He was a
farmer, carpenter, and made furniture. A cane chair he made was owned
by his grandson, the late E. Jesse Kerchner. He is listed in the 1850
Census of Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County, Pa., page 161, line
13, William 'Kercher', age 19, apprentice. He was living with his
sister, Mary Ann, who married John Bastian, occupation wagoner. Since
William's father, John, owned two iron ore mines on his property, the
wagons were probably used to haul iron ore to Lockridge Furnaces in
Alburtis. William, according to the deed description for the property
he owned, probably lived in the house located at the 'V' intersection
of the road to Alburtis and the road to Trexlertown immediately north
of the entrance to the present Mack Truck facility. The present day
location of this road has been relocated from it's former location.
William Henry died, at the rather young age of 47, on Feb 4, 1879.
His father outlived him. William Henry is buried in the Solomon's
Church Cemetery, Section A, Lot 44, Grave #5. His wife, Lovina, who
died July 20, 1902, is buried by his side. I have photographed the
tombstones. A copy of Solomon's Church records are on file at the
Lehigh County Historical Society, Allentown, Pa. His estate was
administered at the Lehigh County Courthouse in 1879, File #5385.
Gravestone for William Henry Kerchner at Solomon's Church Cemetery, Macungie PA

Gravestone for Levina (nee Laros) Kerchner at Solomon's Church Cemetery, Macungie PA

Here is a three generation Descendant Chart for Ludwig Larosch

     Jacob Benjamin Kerchner (1870-1941), my grandfather, son of
William Henry, was born December 13, 1870, on the "Kerchner Farm" near
Macungie, Lehigh County, Pa. On January 2, 1897, he married Emma M.
C. Derr, who was born September 7, 1877. Emma was the daughter of John
and Lucy Ann (nee Walbert) Derr. Jacob and Emma had 8 children -- Irvin
Jacob (was in business as a painter and paper hanger), Levina Estella
(died in childhood), Verna Ella (married James Heil of Macungie), John
Oscar (died in childhood), Edgar Harold, George Paul, Mildred Emma
(never married), and Charles Frederick. Jacob was a farmer but for a time
it was alleged by my aunt that he worked in Ohio as foreman at a pipe
factory for a short time. But thus far I have found no hard evidence of
that. In later life he owned a home on the west side of the Main Street
in Macungie PA, across from the hardware store. His obituary states
that for 12 years he was proprietor of the Sunset Shirt Manufacturing
Company near Vera Cruz. He was also in partnership with William Kern in
a glove making business in Macungie, Pa. My father, Charles (Sr.),
remembers that for a while he managed several shirt manufacturing
businesses in Emmaus, Pa. and in Danielsville, Pa. He also was in
partnership with William Kern in a shirt factory in Emmaus, Pa. He was a
church elder for many years at Solomon's Reformed Church in Macungie, Pa.
He died on October 3, 1941. He is buried in Solomon's Church Cemetery,
Section B, Lot 23, Grave #5. His wife, Emma, who died November 20, 1956,
is buried by his side. I have photographed the tombstones. A copy of
Solomon's Church records are on file at the Lehigh County Historical
Society, Allentown, Pa. His will was recorded in 1941 at the Lehigh
County Courthouse, File #32110.

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Links to other surnames and web sites of prime genealogical interest to me:
Laudenslager Genealogy Home Page.
Lucy Ann Walbert Genealogy Home Page.
Additional Surnames of Interest to Me Descendants Charts Page.

Rootsweb RSL List surname search engine.
Genetics and Genealogy Information Page
Kerchner Surname Y-DNA Chromosome Genetics and Genealogy Project
Library of Congress online catalog of holdings.
Palatines to America organization home page.
Pennsylvania Deutsch information page.
German-English On-Line Dictionary home page.
German Town Locator - GEO Serv procedures and instructions home page.
Old German Professions, Occupations, and Illnesses
National Genealogical Society organization home page.
National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution home page.
National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution home page.
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet home page.
CLDS Online Ancestral File and IGI Search home page.
Vital Records Division Addresses for the 50 U.S. States.
Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records Address and Contact Information.
Pennsylvania GenWeb home page.
Lehigh County PA GenWeb home page.
Lehigh County Historical Society home page.
Dillingersville School - Union School and Church Association aka The Schoolhouse Near The Old Spring.
Early Lehigh Co PA Surnames, The 1812 Project home page.
Interactive Maps, Lehigh County PA, and Environs home page.
Berks County PA Genealogy home page.
Berks County Genealogical Society home page.

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Other reports written by me:
18th Century PA German Naming Customs
18th Century PA German Nicknames
18th Century PA German Name Spelling Idiosyncrasies
PA Dutch Are Of German Heritage, Not Dutch
Kerchner and Kershner Are Different German Family Names
Kerchner and Kercher/Karcher Are Different German Family Names
Tips and Tricks For The Beginner - Genealogy 101

Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information
and/or have information to share about other descendants or connections with this line.

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Read my Guest Book.

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Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.
3765 Chris Drive
Emmaus PA 18049-1544 USA
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Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.
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Website Created - 01 Sep 1996
Website Updated - 20 May 2024