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Christina 'Diana'
(Fegely) Pilgert

(1806-1901)

 

Christina "Dina" or "Diana" (Fegely) Pilgert was born on Oct. 23, 1806, the daughter of Heinrich and Catharine (Gaumer) Fögle, also spelled "Fegely." She never learned to write.


She wedded George Pilgert (1804-1875), also spelled "Pilgard" and "Pilliard."

Their children were Willoughby Pilgert, Henry Edwin Pilgert, Isabella Wetzel, George M. Pilgert, Judith Pilgert, Reuben F. Pilgert, Rebecca Jacobs, James Pilgert, Anna C. Pilgert and Charles D. Pilgert.

The 1850 and 1860 federal censuses show George and Christiana residing in Longswamp. They owned a 15-acre tract, which included a "Mansion House." The Allentown Leader said that Diana "enjoyed good health all her lifetime" and spent her life at home, only once visiting the county seat of Reading.

 

1862 atlas map of Longswamp Township, showing the farm of "Geo Pilgart" south of Egnersberg and the Mary Ann Furnace. Courtesy Library of Congress.

 

George's occupation in 1850 and 1860 was recorded as "tailor" by the census taker.

He was retired by 1870. That year, four-year-old Ida Ohl lived under their roof.


George passed away in 1875. The farm was sold through the Berks County Orphans Court, with son Willoughby serving as the administrator of the estate.


Christina survived him by more than a quarter of a century. In 1880, federal census records show that at the age of 72, she was in the household of her daughter and son-in-law Rebecca and William Jacobs in Longswamp. The 1880 census-taker spelled her name "Dianah Pilgard."

At the age of 96, living in Longswamp, Dianah grieved at the death of her eldest son Willoughby. In the fallout, she felt she was not receiving adequate support from her living children. She filed a petition with the Berks County Court in September 1901 to "compel" them to provide support, with the news printed in the Allentown Democrat.

Sadly, though, she only lived for another three months. She contracted what the Leader called "a slight cold" which she endured for the final dozen weeks of her life. She died two days before Christmas 1901 in the home of her son Henry in Mertztown. Her remains were interred in St. Pauls Union Cemetery in Mertztown, and in an obituary, the Leader reported that "Four children survive."

 

~ Son Willoughby Pilgert ~


Son Willoughby Pilgert (1828-1901) was born on Aug. 13, 1828.

He was united in holy wedlock with Mary Ann "Annie" Eck (Oct. 14, 1833-1916), daughter of John and Marie Eck. She was unable to write. They lived in Henningsville, Berks County.

During the Civil War, with his name spelled "Bilgard," Willoughby joined the Union Army and was placed in the 167th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H.

The couple produced these known children -- Mary Amanda Brensinger, Sarah Elizabeth Long, John James Pilgert, Ida Jane Fisher, Annie Maria Miller, Emma C. Yoder and Helen "Ella" Scharadin.

When the federal census was made in 1870, the census-taker recorded Willoughby's name as "William Pilliard," with the family living in Longswamp. He was employed that year as a cigar-maker.

In 1889, Willoughby was awarded a Civil War soldier's pension. [Invalid App. #706.400 - Cert. #866.126]

He died from the effects of congestive heart failure at the age of 72 on June 26, 1901. A newspaper reported that burial would be in Mertztown "if arrangements can be made with the pastor."

Mary Anna then began receiving his monthly pension payments. [Widow App. #744.449 - Cert. #542.499] She survived her husband by 15 years, becoming senile toward the end. She suffered from a building in her bile duct ("bilary calculi") which led to gangrene. She died at home south of Longsdale at the age of 82 on June 9, 1916. Interment was in Mertztown. She was survived by a brother, Manoah Eck of Lebanon, PA.

Daughter Sarah Elizabeth Pilgert (1853-1931) was born in 1853. Unmarried at the age of 17, she worked with her father as a cigar-maker in Longswamp. She wedded Stephen Long ( ? - ? ). Their three children were Jacob Long, Amandus Long and Clara Boyer. The Longs' residence in 1901-1931 was in Longsdale near Mertztown. Sarah died at home at the age of 77 in March 1931. Burial was in Longswamp Cemetery, with Rev. William L. Meckstroth officiating. An obituary printed in the Allentown Morning Call said that her survivors included four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Jacob Long lived at home with his parents in Longsdale near Mertztown in 1931.
  • Grandson Amandus Long made his residence in the early 1930s in Mertztown.
  • Granddaugter Clara Long married (?) Boyer. She dwelled in Mertztown in 1931.

 

Old organ in Huff's Union Church
Historical Souvenir of the Huff's Union Church

Daughter Mary "Amanda" Pilgert (1857-1936) was born on Jan. 7, 1857. She married John Brensinger (June 12, 1848-1921), son of Harry and Hettie (Oswald) Brensinger. Their only known children were Jennie H. Derr and Willoughby H. Brensinger. John earned income over the years as a carpenter. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the Brensingers resided in Longswamp Township, Berks County, and their 12-year-old nephew Harris Hammel (or "Hummel") lived under their roof. Circa 1901, their home was in Palm, PA and in 1916-1931 in Bally/Huff's Church. Sadly, suffering from heart valve disease, John died at age 72 on April 21, 1921. His remains were placed into rest in Huff's Church Cemetery. As a widow in 1936, she dwelled in Huff's Church. She became senile in her final years and moved into the Barto home of her married daughter Jennie Derr. died at age 79 on Feb. 21, 1936. Burial was in Huff's Church Cemetery, with Rev. W.F. Bond preaching the funeral service. Daughter Jennie Derr was the informant for the death certificate.

  • Granddaughter Jennie Brensinger (1880-1946) was born on March 4, 1880 in Longswamp Township. She married Charles A. Derr ( ? - ? ). The couple produced three daughters, Reta Frey, Ida Gehris and Dorothy Houck. In about 1935, they moved to a new home in Barto, also known as Huff's Church. They were members of the Lutheran wing of Huff's Union Church, and Jennie volunteered with its Ladies Aid Society. Burdened with chronic heart disease, she passed away on May 23, 1946 at the age of 66. Interment was at Huff's Church Cemetery, with the funeral co-officiated by Rev. W.H. Hartzell and Rev. James H. Kratz. Daughter Reta A. Frey of Emmaus signed the death certificate.
  • Grandson Willoughby Brensinger ( ? - ? ) was born in (?) in Longswamp Township and was named for his mother's father. He wedded Minnie E. ( ? -1957). They were the parents of one son, Nelson Brensinger. For decades, they were farmers near Herberts, Hereford Township and members of Huff's Union Church. Sadly, Minnie passed into eternity in 1957. Willoughby survived her by four years and spent his final time in Perkiomenville. He died at home at the age of 76 on Dec. 15, 1961. Funeral services were held in the family church.

Son John James Pilgert (1860-1936) was born on June 21, 1860. His wife was Sarah A. Shoemaker ( ? -1948), daughter of Annanias and Rosetta (Long) Shoemaker of Longswamp. They were the parents of 11 known children -- Howard S. Pilgert, Rosa DeLong, Ella Kemp, Morris Pilgert, Eva Keim, Milton Pilgert, Frank Pilgert, William Pilgert, Albert Pilgert, James Pilgert and Charles Pilgert. They lived in Henningsville, Berks County in 1900-1901 and at Pilger School House in Mertztown in 1916. During the decades, John labored as a carpenter. He is known to have built new roofs on the Henningsville Hotel in 1911 and on the home of his brother Frank in 1912, made of slate and adding a cornice. Among his other customers were Alfred Reppert (1913) and Dr. W.F. Long (1919 and 1930). They were members of the Lutheran congregation of St. Paul's Church in Mertztown. Just before Christmas 1926, John purchased a drayage (transport) business from Frank Dunstan in Allentown. They are known to have been in Mertztown in 1928 and in 1935 in Henningsville, where he was considered a "well known resident," said the Allentown Morning Call. The family threw a surprise home-coming reunion for John and Sarah in July 1930. Among the children and grandchildren attending, reported the Morning Call, were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Pilgert, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Pilgert, Mr. and Mrs. William Pilgert, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Pilgert, Mr. and Mrs. Alfin F. Kemp, Mr. and Mrs. George Keim, Grace Pilgert, Helen Pilgert, Carrie Pilgert, Eva Pilgert, Lena Pilgert, Geraldine and Lillian Keim, Lloyd Pilgert, Russel Pilgert, Carl Pilgert, Frank Pilgert, Milton Pilgert, Charles Pilgert, James Pilgert and John and Robert Keim. On March 29, 1936, John suffered the first of two strokes. He was felled by a second one on Aug. 11, 1936, causing paralysis on the right side. He passed away in Longswamp two days later at the age of 66 on Aug. 13, 1936. Funeral services were held in the Pilgerts' home and in St. Paul's Church at Mertztown, led by Rev. W.S. Dry, with burial in the church demetery. Son Milton Pilgert of Topton signed the certificate of death. An obituary in the Morning Call noted that he was survived by 24 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Sarah outlived her spouse by a dozen years, reaching the age of 86. She died in the home of her son William in Mertztown on July 31, 1948.

  • Grandson Howard Sylvester Pilgert (1885-1934) was born two days before Christmas 1883 in Longswamp Township. He wedded Elda Leeser ( ? - ? ). They bore two children -- Lloyd Pilgert and Grace Pilgert. As a young man, he labored at the Benfield flour mill near Huff's Church, at the Catasaqua flour mill and in Fullerton at the Dent Hardware Company. Then, in about 1920, they relocated to Huff's Church, Barto, Berks County, where he became proprietor of a general store. They were members of the Lutheran congregation of Huff's Church. Howard was considered a talented musician, and he was a member of the Marine Band of Allentown and later of Robert Fritch's Orchestra of Longswamp. Active in the community, he belonged to the Independent Order of Americans of Landis Store and the K.G.E. of Boyertown. At the age of 48, Howard was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, and his health declined rapidly. He was admitted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, where he entered eternity on May 24, 1934. Funeral services were held in the family home and church, "amidst a large attendance of relatives and friends," Reported the Allentown Morning Call. "Four pastors took part in the services. The scripture lesson in the church was ready by Rev. Daniel Wetzel, pastor of the First Reformed church in Reading; Rev. W.F. Bond, the deceased's pastor followed with prayer and an English sermon; Rev. J.N. Blatt, the widow's pastor, who offered the prayer at the house, delivered a German sermon. Rev. Fred D. Wentzel, Philadelphia, superintendent of leadership training of the Reformed church in the U.s., spoke words of appreciation for the charitable dealings of the departed with Camp Mensch in past years. Rev. Alfred N. Sayres, Lansdale, one of the camp officials, was also present." Led by Raymond G. Albitz, the Huff's Church choir performed several hymns. Burial followed in Huff's Church Cemetery, and serving as pallbearers were brothers Morris, Frank, Albert and Milton Pilgert, brothers-in-law Robert DeLong and George Keim, and M. Ray Leeser and Ira L. Leeser.
  • Granddaughter Rosa Mary Ann "Rosie" Pilgert (1889-1938)  was born on Jan. 17, 1889 in Longswamp Township. She married Robert DeLong ( ? - ? ), a.k.a. "Long," son of Dewalt DeLong of near Topton. They dwelled in Farmington, PA in 1917. The couple produced two children, Vernon D.K. DeLong and Helen DeLong. The family were members of the Reformed Christ Church of Bowers. Robert is known to have helped his father-in-law bind wheat in July 1919, as reported in the gossip columns of the Reading Times. Tragedy swept over the family in the fall of 1929 when their son Vernon contracted appendicitis. He underwent surgery in Allentown Hospital, but the infection had turned into a deadly peritonitis. He died there at the age of 19 on Oct. 14, 1929. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that "Sincere regret was manifest on all sides over the untimely death of the young man, who was a popular figure among a wide circle of friends. He was a faithful member of Christ Reformed church, Bowers. Before he was taken ill, he had worked for a time on hs father's farm." The teen's funeral was held at their home and at the family church, with burial in the church cemetery. Tragedy again visited the family in the summer of 1938. On July 3, 1938, at the age of 49, Rosa was killed an a vehicular accident, suffering a fractured skull, legs and hip. After funeral services were held in the family church her broken remains were placed into eternal rest in the adjacent Bowers Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Ella C. Pilgert (1894-1980) was born on Jan. 15, 1894 in Longswamp Township. She wedded Dr. Alvin F. Kemp ( ? -1961). He had been married previously and brought two children to the union, Viola Reinert and Harvey Kemp. They belonged to the St. Joseph's (Hill) Lutheran/United Church near Bechtelsville. Circa 1928-1934, Alvin served as superintendent of schools for Berks County, and they made a home in Mertztown. Alvin is known to have spoken at the homecoming services at Huff's Union Church in 1928. In June 1953, they are known to have vacationed with Ella's bachelor brother James at Peck's Pond in Pike County, PA. Alvin made news in January 1956 when he was elected president of Mertztown Building and Loan Association. His fellow officers included vice president Jacob F. Greiss, secretary Henry A. Fegely, assistant secretary-treasurer David W. Mabry and legal counsel Emerson B. Rasbridge. In his spare time, Alvin enjoyed working in his wood shop at home and was pictured in the Jan. 13, 1957 edition of the Allentown Morning Call. Alvin died 17 days after his 85th birthday on July 5, 1961. Funeral services were held at St. Joseph's, with burial in the adjacent cemetery. A death notice appeared in the Morning Call. Ella survived as a widow for 19 years. Toward the end, she became a patient at Liberty Nursing Center in Allentown. At the age of 86, she passed away at Liberty on Sept. 20, 1980. An obituary in the Morning Call numbered her survivors as four step-grandchildren, seven step-great-grandchildren and 10 step great-great grandchildren.
  • Grandson Morris L. Pilgert (1883-1943) was born on Nov. 9, 1883. Circa 1914-1915, he earned a living as a carpet weaver. He was joined in marriage with Anna M. Freeby (April 15, 1896-1916) of Longswamp, the daughter of Lewis and Eliza (Harner) Freeby. News of their marriage license was printed in the Reading Times in February 1915. Whatever hopes the couple may have had for a long married life were dashed when the pregnant, 20-year-old Anna threw a blood clot and died in childbirth on May 17, 1916. Her remains were lowered into repose in Mertztown. The widowed Morris was united in matrimony in a year or two with Daisy Moyer ( ? - ? ). They have resided in Topton in 1918. In about 1928, they moved to Mertztown, where he worked as a moulder for the Topton Foundry Company. Sadly, Morris was burdened with chronic heart disease and suffered a stroke on or about July 22, 1943. He lingered for 17 days, but his body gave out on Aug. 8, 1943, at the age of 59. Interment was in Mertztown's Union Cemetery.
  • Grandson Milton J. Pilgert (1884-1947) was born on Oct. 27, 1884. He married Annie Reinert (July 22, 1886-1949), daughter of Lewis and Emma L. (Berky) Reinert. The couple produced five children -- Mrs. George Snyder, John Pilgert, LeRoy Pilgert, Robert Pilgert and Ralph Pilgert. They made a home in Topton in 1936-1947 on Furnace Street. For 17 years, he worked as a foundry laborer for Caloric Stove Corporation in Topton. They belonged to the Lutheran congregation of the Longswamp Church. Burdened with heart disease, hardening of the arteries and hypertension, he died at the age of 63 on Nov. 26, 1947. Burial was in Longswamp Cemetery, with Rev. Wilson Hartzell officiating and preaching. As a widow, Annie moved into the home of her married daughter in rural Collegeville in Montgomery County.  She contracted cancer of the left breast and underwent a mastectomy in March 1947. She lived for another nearly two years until the Grim Reaper cut her away on Feb. 3, 1949, at the age of 62. She joined her husband in repose in the Longswamp Cemetery, with son John signing the Pennsylvania death certificate.
  • Grandson Frank P. Pilgert (1887-1964) was born on Oct. 5, 1887 in Longswamp Township. He married Minnie L. Kemp ( ? - ? ), daughter of A.L. Kemp. The couple produced two daughters, Carrie Gamler and Helen M. Pilgert. They resided at or near Landis' Store in Henningsville in 1917-1964, sometimes known as Alburtis Route 1. They were members of the Lutheran wing of Huff's Union Church, and Frank regularly attended its Sunday School. In his early working career, he was a baker. He also was a farmer and obtained employment as a lineman for Mountain Telephone Company. When Mountain merged with Conestoga Telephone Company, he continued his work with the combined firm. Stricken with prostate cancer and lymphatic leukemia for the last four years of his life, Frank succumbed at the age of 76 on Aug. 14, 1964. Burial of his remains was at Huff's Church Cemetery, with the Allentown Morning Call publishing an obituary.
  • Grandson William A. Pilgert (1890-1984) was born on Aug. 28, 1890 in Longswamp. He was united in holy wedlock with a distant cousin, Carrie M. Fegely ( ? -1996), a native of Mertztown and the daughter of Hiram and Kate (Miller) Fegely of the family of Heinrich and Lisetta (Fegely) Fegely. The couple's five offspring were Carl W. Pilgert, Russell H. Pilgert, Eva B. Radcliffe, Lucy S. Braun and Ruby R. Koch. See the Fegely biography link for more on this family.
  • Grandson Albert E. "Allie" Pilgert (1892-1972) was born on July 27, 1892 in Longswamp Townshipo. During World War I, he served in the American Expeditionary Force. He married Verna Miller (Sept. 24, 1902-1938), daughter of William and Catherine (or "Carolina") (Hauck) Miller. They produced two children, Lena DeLong and Frank W. Pilgert. In March 1921, they moved into the tenant house belonging to Stephen Long in Longswamp. They made a home in Mertztown in the 1930s and enjoyed visits with family. Grief shrouded the family when Verna was stricken with acute appendicitis and rushed to Allentown General Hospital. During an appendectomy, doctors discovered that the infection had become deadly peritonitis, and at age 35, she died a day later on April 4, 1938. Funeral services were held at St. Paul's Church in Mertztown, preached by Rev. W.S. Dry, and her remains were laid to rest in the adjacent cemetery. In addition to the children, said the Allentown Morning Call, she was survived by her mother, six sisters and two brothers. Albert survived her by more than 34 years. During World War II, son Frank joined the U.S. Army in February 1943. Albert later obtained employment with the Long Valley Rug Mill in Mertztown and, after retirement, worked as a steward at the Ray A. Master American Legion Home in Topton. While working at the Legion home, he was considered "courtly" and made news in the Morning Call in September 1959 for his chilvalry when ordering a specially cooked meal from cook Esther Shoemaker. Albert passed away at the age of 79 in June 1972.
  • Grandson James A. Pilgert (1896-1967) was born in 1896 in Longswamp Township. He appears to have never married. In November 1931, at the age of 35, he is known to have been admitted to Allentown Hospital for surgery for appendicitis. He lived at Henningsville in 1938. Then in about 1949, he moved into the residence of his married sister Ella Kemp in Mertztown, Longswamp Township, where he remained for the final 18 years of his life. He succumbed at home at the age of 71 on July 13, 1967. An obituary ran in the Allentown Morning Call.
  • Grandson Charles Henry Pilgert (1897-1943) was born on Aug. 30, 1897 in rural Mertztown. He suffered from heart valve insufficiency, perhaps caused by rheumatic fever, and the Allentown Morning Call once referred to him as "a lifelong invalid." Charles never married. He became bedfast in the home of his mother in Henningsville, Longswamp Township in 1938 and remained so for the final five years of his life. He succumbed at the age of 45 on April 25, 1943. His tired remains were interred into peaceful repose in St. Paul's Cemetery in Mertztown.
  • Granddaughter Eva Pilgert (1899-1988) was born on Aug. 20, 1899 in Longswamp Township. She was united in wedlock with George Keim (1902-1968), son of Hoch R. and Cora A. (Angstadt) Keim of Oley Township. Their offspring are believed to have been Geraldine Conrad, John W. Keim, Lillian M. Reese, Robert C. Keim, Clifford J. Keim, Marian George and Shirley A. Miller. George earned a living as a route salesman for the Charles Shoemaker Bakery. For decades, they were in Longswamp, considered rural Alburtis. She belonged to St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Mertztown and he to the Lutheran wing of St. Paul's Church of Lobachsville. George died at home at the age of 66 on Dec. 7, 1968. Interment was at the Lobachsville Church Cemeter. Eva outlived her husband by nearly two decades. As a patient in Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, she passed away at the age of 88 on June 5, 1988. The Allentown Morning Call published an obituary.

Daughter Ida Jane Pilgert (1861-1901) was born on Valentine's Day 1861 in Longswamp Township. At the age of less than two months, she was baptized by Rev. William Barly, with Francis and Mary Reeser serving as sponsors. On Sept. 25, 1879, when she was age 18, she was united in matrimony with David G. Fisher (Nov. 4, 1859-1947), a native of Hancock, Berks County and one of eight children of Amos and Eva (Ginginger) Fisher. Their wedding ceremony was presided over by Rev. B.E. Kramlich. The couple bore eight children, of whom two sadly died in infancy. The surviving six offspring were Morris Sylvester Fischer, Annie Collins, Silas L. Fisher, William H. Fisher, Mary Esther Schweyer and Ralph Emerson Fisher. Circa 1900, they lived in South Bethlehem at 724 East Fourth Street, and David earned a living as a day laborer. On the first of February 1901, as she approached her 40th birthday, Ida Jane contracted a deadly case of pneumonia. Said the Allentown Morning Call, "she grew gradually worse, although under the best medical care, until she sank to her last sleep." Death swept her away on Feb. 4, 1901. An obituary in the Morning Call referred to her as "esteemed." David outlived his bride by almost half a century and apparently never remarried. He belonged to the Mertztown Church, and moved to Allentown in about 1927. He worked for Bethlehem Steel as an ingot foreman. His final address was at 225½ North 14th Street in Allentown. At his 71st birthday in 1930, his daughter held a roast turkey dinner for the family, and the following year the birthday meal was a rabbit dinner. Burdened with acute heart disease and senility, he passed away at age 86 on March 10, 1947. Burial was in Mertztown Cemetery, with an obituary published in the Allentown Morning Call. He was survived by 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Morris Sylvester Fischer (1879-1913) was born on New Year's Eve 1879 in Topton. In 1900, unmarried, he lived at home and made a living as a day laborer. At the age of about 21 or 22, in 1901, he is believed to have married Florence (1880- ? ). They made a home in 1910 in Fountain Hill, Lehigh County, where he toiled as a bartender in a hotel. Over-exertion and alcoholism led Morris's heart to fail in the spring of 1913, and he was admitted to the Station House in Columbia, Lancaster County, PA. There, at the age of 33, he succumbed on May 27, 1913. His remains were transported for burial to South Bethlehem.
  • Granddaughter Anna "Annie" Fisher (1881-1940) was born in May 1881. At the age of 19, she lived at home and worked as a silk winder. Annie was united in matrimony with Patrick Collins (June 11, 1877-1936), son of Dennis and Mary (Turner) Collins, immigrants from England. Their children were Marion Hipple, Terrence Collins, Harold Collins, Ralph Collins and Beatrice Collins. Circa 1914, they relocated from South Bethlehem to Allentown, where their address in the late 1930s and 1940 was at 430 Chesnut Street. They were members of the Immaculate Conception Church. Patrick was employed as an engineer with the Bethlehem Steel works in Allentown. In about 1932, he was diagnosed with asthma and then in 1934 with chronic heart disease. He died just four days before his 59th birthday on July 7, 1936. Burial was in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, with daughter Marian Hipple signing the Pennsylvania death certificate. Annie's health failed during the Christmas holiday of 1939, and she became bedfast on New Year's Day 1940. A little more than four months later, on April 11, 1940, she died at home.
  • Grandson Silas L. Fisher (1882-1957) was born on Sept. 6, 1882 in Topton. He was wedded to S.F. Fisher ( ? - ? ). Silas worked as a silk winder at the age of 17 in 1900. Eventually he learned how to operate cranes and worked for Bethlehem Steel. Silas suffered a fall from a crane at the Bethlehem works and fractured a rib in October 1905. He eventually moved to Covington, KY, where he was located in 1923, and in about 1929 moved to South Charleston, Kanawha County, WV, where he was employed as an electrician at a naval ordnance plant. His address in the 1950s was 16 Rhodes Avenue in South Charleston. He became ill in 1956 with hardening of the cerbral blood vessels and spent the final year of his life in Highland Nursing Hospital, where death cut him away at the age of 74 in Nov. 1957. An obituary was printed in his old hometown newspaper, the Allentown Morning Call. He was laid to rest in Cunningham Memorial Park in St. Albans, WV.
  • Grandson William H. Fisher (1887- ? ) was born in April 1887. He earned income at the age of 13 as a silk winder in South Bethlehem. By 1909, he worked as a clerk. In June 1909, at the age of 22, he was joined in holy wedlock with Lillian A. Hein ( ? - ? ), daughter of Oscar Hein granddaughter of Jacob Rohrbach of Topton. Rev. J.O. Henry officiated at the nuptials held in the Rohrbach home. Lillian was employed prior to marriage at the Hartley silk mill. Their address in 1947 was 125 North 10th Street in Allentown.
  • Granddaughter Mary "Esther" Fisher (1891-1967) was born in Feb. 1891 in Topton. She married John O. Schweyer ( ? -1951), son of John O. and Elmira (Shankweiler) Schweyer of Topton. Their two offspring were Marie E. Wismer and William Schweyer. John was an alumnus of Allentown Business College and in 1902 of Kutztown State Teachers College. For 33 years, John built a career as a bookeeper for the planing mill of A. Albright and Sons. In his spare time, he enjoyed singing over the span of 28 years as a member of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem and the Arion Society, performing as "a tenor soloist with various local church choirs for many years," among thyem Christ Lutheran Church, said the Allentown Morning Call. John belonged to the Jordan Lodge of the Masons. Their address in 1947 was 225½ North 14th Street in Allentown, and they belonged to St. Stephens Evangelical Lutheran Church of Allentown. Sadly, John suffered a heart attack at home and was rushed to Allentown Hospital, where he succumbed on July 9, 1951 at the age of 66. Esther outlived her spouse by 16 years, and relocated to 725 Pennsylvania Avenue in Bethlehem. As her health declined, she became a resident of Reinmiller Convalescent Home in Emmaus. She died at the age of 77 on June 12, 1967. Daughter Marie wedded Claude B. Wismer of Bethlehem.
  • Grandson Ralph Emerson Fisher (1893-1937) was born on April 27, 1893 in Topton and may have been named for the famed American transcendentalist poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. As a teenager, he joined the U.S. Navy and in 1915 was a midshipman aboard the U.S. Patapasco. He remained with the Navy for a quarter of a century, and at one point spent a year serving on President Woodrow Wilson's presidential yacht Mayflower. At some point he married Marjorie Morrison ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Ralph Emerson Fisher Jr. and Sarah Jane Fisher. His Navy assignments over the years took him to China for three years, Siberia for a year and on board the ship circa 1927 which accompanied Naval aircraft on a round-the-world flight. "During the World War he convoyed troop ships through submarine zones," said the Allentown Morning Call. "For this work he received a decoration from the Naval department." After retiring from the military with the rank of chief petty officer in about 1931, he returned to his native Pennsylvania. He joined the Midvale Steel Company, working as a rigger at its Nicetown plant near Philadelphia, located at Wissahickon Avenue and Bristol Street. Their home in 1937 was at 4853 North Bouvier Street. Tragically, Ralph suffered a serious accident at work in mid-January 1937 when a bolt broke while he was operating a winch, causing some sort of reaction which struck and fractured his skull. He was admitted to Germantown Hospital, but nable to recover, he died there on Jan. 19, 1937. A coroner's inquest ruled the death accidental. His remains were placed into eternal repose in National Cemetery in Philadelphia. Marjorie, who signed her husband's death certificate, gave her mother-in-law's maiden name as "Pilgred."

Daughter Annie Maria Pilgert (1866-1935) was born on July 26, 1866. She was joined in wedlock with Peter Miller (Dec. 20, 1856-1923), son of William and Catherine (Hilbert) Miller of Longswamp. The couple produced three offspring, Ella Miller, Ida Miller and Harvey Miller. They dwelled in Longsdale in 1901, Topton in 1916 and Mertztown in 1923, where Peter earned a living as a laborer. From about 1917 to his death six years later, Peter worked as a sexton for the Mertztown Church. The Millers were members of the Lutheran wing of St. Paul's Church in Mertztown. Grief swept over the family when Peter, already stricken with influenza, was felled by a stroke of apoplexy at the age of 66 and passed away on March 16, 1923. Funeral services were held in the family home, led by Rev. W.S. Dry, with interment in the Mertztown Cemetery. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said he was survived by two brothers, four step-brothers, one sister and one step-sister. The widowed Annie outlived her husband by a dozen years. She spent her final time in Mertztown. Having contracted chronic heart disease, she suffered a heart attack and died at age 69 on Sept. 25, 1935. Interment was in Mertztown, following funeral services again preached by Rev. W.S. Dry. An obituary appeared in the Allentown Morning Call. Daughter Ida Miller of Mertztown was the informant for the official certificate of death.

  • Granddaughter Ella Miller resided at home in Mertztown circa 1935.
  • Granddaughter Ida Miller was unmarried and lived with her mother in the mid-1930s.
  • Grandson Harvey Miller dwelled in Shamrock, Berks County.

Daughter Emma C. Pilgert (1868-1945) was born in 1868. She married Horace R. "Harry" Yoder ( ? - ? ). Their known children were Henry W. Yoder, Mahlon Yoder, Paul W. Yoder, Eva Croll, Helen Warmkessel, Jennie Sell, Evelyn Heiter and Neida Reppert. Their home in 1901 was in Wellerstown and in 1916-1935 in Mertztown. The couple were members of the Lutheran congregation of the Longswamp Church, where Horace served as an officer. The Yoders are known to have attended the third annual reunion of the Yoder family at Mertztown on Aug. 31, 1912. After his death, Emma went to live with her married daughter Mrs. Floyd Warmkessel in Alburtis. She died in the daughter's residence at the age of 77 on Nov. 10, 1945. Rev. Wilson Hartzel led the funeral service and burial at the Longswamp Church Cemetery. In an obituary, the Allentown Morning Call said she was survived by 15 grandchildren and 18 grandchildren.

  • Grandson Henry W. Yoder ( ? -1969) was born in Longswamp Township. He wedded Annie L. Gehringer ( ? - ? ). Their only daughter was Mae E. Erb. They lived in Topton, where for many years he operated a grocery store, retiring in 1951. They were members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Mertztown. Later, they resided with their married daughter and son-in-law George F.R. Erb at 204 Noble Street in Kutztown. Sadly, Henry died at home at the age of 79 on May 18, 1969.
  • Grandson Mahlon Yoder resided in 1945 in Topton and in 1949 in Mertztown.
  • Grandson Paul W. Yoder (1898-1949) was born in about 1898. He married Mary Landis ( ? - ? ). The couple bore two children, Keith L. Yoder and Beverly D. Yoder. Paul made a living as a machinist with Caloric Gas Stove Corporation in Topton. The family were members of the Lutheran wing of the Longswamp Church, and Paul belonged to the fire companies of Topton and Lyons. They made a home in the 1940s in Topton. Sadness enveloped the family on Dec. 10, 1949 when Paul went deer hunting with 14 other men at a camp about 18 miles south of Dushore, Sullivan County. After arriving, but before the hunt could begin, the 51-year-old suffered a heart attack and died before help could arrive. The Allentown Morning Call printed an obituary.
  • Granddaughter Eva Yoder dwelled in Allentown in the late 1940s. By 1969, she had married Archer Croll ( ? - ? ) and dwelled in Allentown.
  • Granddaughter Helen Yoder married Floyd A. Warmkessel (1907-1956), son of Aaron and Neda (DeLong) Warmkessel. The couple did not reproduce. In the 1940s and '50s, they lived in rural Alburtis and were members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Mertztown, and Floyd served on the church council. He also belonged to the fire departments in Alburtis, Lyons and Topton, the Eagles Club, the rod and gun clubs of Rockland and Mertztown, the Alburtis Fire Fighters and the American Legion in Topton.. Floyd became deathly ill and was admitted to Allentown Hospital, where he died on June 16, 1956. Funeral services were held in the family church.
  • Granddaughter Jennie Yoder (1902-1978) was born in about 1902 in Longswamp Township. She wedded Simeon C. Sell ( ? - ? ). He brought a son to the marriage, Delano V. Sell. Jennie and Simeon did not have any children of their own. Their residence in the mid-1940s was in Topton. Later, for more than two decades, they owned and operated the American House Hotel in Alburtis, retiring in 1973. Jennie was a member of the Longswamp United Church of Christ in Mertztown. She spent her final years as a widow, living in the home of Milton Wetzel in rural Alburtis. She succumbed at the age of 76 on Sept. 29, 1978. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call numbered among her survivors four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
  • Granddaughter Evelyn "Eva" Yoder was married twice. She first was united in matrimony with Adam Heiter. Their home was in Topton. Later, by 1969, she was joined in marriage with Max Croddy ( ? - ? ) and continued to reside in Topton.
  • Granddaughter Neida Yoder was joined in holy wedlock with Warren Reppert. They dwelled in 1945 in Mertztown.

 

Morgan Scharadin's employer, the Mack shops of International Motor Co.

 

Daughter Helen "Ella" Pilgert (1873-1965) was born on Oct. 29, 1873 in Hensingersville, Berks County. She wedded Morgan Scharadin (June 24, 1864-1940), the son of Reuben and Eliza (Gackenbach) Scharadin of Crackersport, PA. The couple bore these known offspring -- Minerva Henninger, Arthur Scharadin, Raymond Scharadin, Alfred P. Scharadin and Frederick M. Scharadin. They resided in Orwigsburg, PA in 1901 and at 1414 Chew Street in Allentown in 1916-1940. Morgan earned income for 35 years as a foreman in the upholstery department of Mack Manufacturing Company. They belonged to the Salem Evangelical United Brethren Church in Uniontown, and he was a member of the Knights Templar, the Allentown Owls Club and the Orwigsburg lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows. He was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate and underwent surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown. At some point he suffered a heart attack, and on Nov. 3, 1940, at the age of 76, Morgan died in the hospital. Burial was in Old Allentown Cemetery. The Allentown Morning Call reported in an obituary that he was survived by seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Ella survived as a widow for a quarter of a century and remained in their Chew Street home. She passed away in the home of her daughter Minerva at the age of 92 on Nov. 7, 1965. Minerva signed the death certificate.

  • Granddaughter Minerva Scharadin ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She wedded John Henninger ( ? - ? ). Circa 1940, John served as warden of the Lehigh County Jail, a position held earlier in the century by Minerva's distant cousin by marriage, James B. Garman of the family of Jesse and Elizabeth (Baer) Fegely.
  • Grandson Arthur W. Scharadin ( ? - ? ) made a home in Stroudsburg, PA in 1940 and in Allentown in 1965.
  • Grandson Raymond R. "Ray" Scharadin ( ? - ? ) dwelled in Coplay, PA in 1940 and in Florida in 1965.
  • Grandson Alfred P. Scharadin (1902- ? ) was born in about 1902 in Orwigsburg, PA. He learned the electrician's trade. On June 24, 1939, at the age of 37, he was joined in matrimony with 24-year-old textile worker Arlene M. Von Steuben ( ? - ? ). She was the daughter of John and Sarah (Werner) Von Steuben. The wedding was held in Allentown with Rev. Dr. Simon Sipple officiating. Their residence in 1965 was in Emmaus, Lehigh County.
  • Grandson Frederick M. Scharadin (1907- ? ) was born in about 1907. As a young man, he earned a living as a chauffeur and lived with his parents at 1414 Chew Street in Allentown. At the age of 32, on Oct. 28, 1939, he was united in wedlock with 34-year-old Mildred J. Erich ( ? - ? ), daughter of Charles and Minnie (Honsberger) Erich. Rev. J.J. Schaeffer officiated. At the time, Mildred's home was at 625 North 16th Street in Allentown. The Scharadins lived in Bethlehem in 1965.

 

~ Son Henry Edwin Pilgert ~

Son Henry Edwin Pilgert (1830-1917) was born on June 6, 1830.

He married Maria Schmidt (1838-1891), Americanized to "Smith."

They dwelled in Longswamp Township, Berks County and were the parents of Sarah A. Pilgert, Helena Ketterer, Henry Payne Pilgert, Kate A. Ketterer, George S. Pilgert and Maria Isabella Fritch.

Sadly, Maria passed away in 1891.

Henry survived her as a widower for more than a quarter of a century. He went to live with his married daughter Maria Isabella Fritch in Mertztown. He became bedfast in the early months of 1917 and remained so for the last 14 weeks of his life. Already burdened with kidney disease, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was swept away by the Grim Reaper at the age of 86 on May 27, 1917. Daughter Isabella of Mertztown was the informant for the death certificate. Burial was in Mertztown Cemetery, with Rev. Bernd and Brensinger co-officiating. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call.

Daughter Sarah A. Pilgert (1858-1873)

Daughter Helena Pilgert (1862-1906) was born in 1862. She married (?) Ketterer.

Son Henry Payne Pilgert (1864-1947) was born in 1864. He made a home in Mertztown in 1917.

Daughter Kate A. Pilgert (1868-1961) was born in 1868. She wedded (?) Ketterer (or "Kettinger"). She dwelled in Reading in 1917.

 

Allentown, PA, 1876, on North Seventh Street as seen from Center Square.
History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania

 

Son George S. Pilgert (1874-1947) was born in 1874. His home in 1917 was in Allentown.

Daughter Maria Isabella Pilgert (1876-1970) was born in 1876 in Longswamp Township. On Nov. 8, 1902, she was united in marital union with Luther Fritch ( ? - ? ), son of Tilghman Fritch. The news was reported in the Allentown Leader. The couple raised a foster son, Arthur B. Miller. They were members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Mertztown. Luther passed away in 1950. Isabella survived him by two decades. Toward the end of her life, she went to reside in Berks Heim near Reading. She died at age 94 on Aug. 30, 1970.

 

~ Daughter Isabella (Pilgert) Wetzel ~

Daughter Isabella Pilgert (1833-1921) was born on Oct. 4, 1833.

She was united in marriage with farmer Washington Wetzel (1836-1910), believed to have been the son of John and Hetty Wetzel of Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County.

They were the parents of a son, George Washington Wetzel.

Evidence suggests that the couple divorced soon after the birth of their son, between 1864 and 1867. Isabella book back her maiden name, and in 1870, with her six-year-old son, lived in the household of 72-year-old farmer Daniel DeLong (or "Dolong") in Longswamp Township, Berks County. The census-taker spelled her name "Pilliard."

Ex-husband Washington married in 1867 to Catharine A. "Kate" Fegley (Sept. 20, 1844-1900), daughter of George F. and Anna (Lichtenwalner) Fegely. The Wetzels lived in Maple Grove in Longswamp in 1870-1900, with Washington laboring in a local coal mine and farming. They had more children of their own, James A. Wetzel, Henry Wetzel, Martha A. Miller and Mrs. Benjamin Roth.

Isabella lived in Longswamp in 1917 and in Boyertown in the early 1920s, using the surname "Pilgert." In 1920, federal census records show her at the age of 86, boarding in the household of Luther and Maria Fritch. She was diagnosed with a tumor and in June 1920 underwent surgery. The gossip columns of the Allentown Leader reported that the operation had been conducted by Dr. J.A. Brobst and Dr. D.D. Fritch.

Suffering from heart disease and rheumatism, she died at age 88 on Nov. 8, 1921. David Moyer of Boyertown signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Interment was in St. Paul's Union Cemetery in Mertztown.

Son George Washington Wetzel (1864-1954) was born on April 23, 1864 in Longswamp Township. In about 1886, when he would have been age 21 or 22, he married Emeline Trexler (April 23, 1862-1936), daughter of John and Marie (Geist) Trexler of Longswamp. They were the parents of John Oscar Wetzel and Frank Erwin Wetzel. The family belonged to the Lutheran wing of the St. Paul's Union Church of Mertztown. George was employed by D.D. Fritch Milling Company for 39 years, retiring at the age of 70 in 1934. He was a charter member of the Washington Camp of the Patriotic Order of America lodge in Macungie. Emeline was considered "a highly respected resident of Macungie." Sadly, Emelinewas burdend with arthritis and heart disease. She was felled by a heart attack and passed away at the age of 74 on Nov. 1, 1936. An obituary said that "Although in failing health for six years, Mrs. Wetzel had been able to be around and attended to some of her household duties. At 10:30 yesterday morning she complained of feeling ill and collapsed soon afterward." Rev. William Dry preached her funeral sermon. George outlived her by 18 years and resided with his son John at 44 Locust Street in Macungie. When he celebrated his 90th birthday, he was pictured in a local newspaper article, which reported that he "is a great reader, enjoying his daily newspaper, and is a television fan." At the age of 90, George died in Macungie on Nov. 10, 1954. His remains were lowered into repose in St. Paul's Union Cemetery in Mertztown.

  • Grandson John Oscar Wetzel (1887-1972) lived in Macungie in 1936 and at 44 Locust Street in Macungie in 1954.
  • Grandson Frank Erwin Wetzel (1892-1978) resided in 1936 in Macungie.

 

~ Son George M. Pilgert ~

Son George M. Pilgert (1835-1881) was born on Sept. 28, 1835.

He was joined in holy matrimony with Maria Hohe (1834-1906), daughter of William and Magdalena (Miller) Hohe.

The couple is not known to have reproduced.

 

Atlas map of Longswamp showing the farm of "G.M. Pilger," 1876, south of Shamrock and west of Red Lion Station.

 

He may have served as an elected supervisor of Longswamp Township, Berks County, and to have been arrested in December 1878. The cause of his arrest was failure to comply with a judge's ruling in a case involving "trover and conversion" (where George unlawfully took possession of his brother Willoughby's personal property and sold it for gain, and the brother sued to recover the money but not the item).

Sadly, George passed away at the age of 45 on April 8, 1881. He rests under a broken stone in St. Pauls Union Cemetery in Mertztown.

Maria outlived her spouse by a quarter of a century. She joined him in death in 1906.


~ Daughter Judith Pilgert ~

Daughter Judith Pilgert (1838- ? ) was born in about 1838. She is believed to have died young.

 

~ Son Reuben F. Pilgert ~

Son Reuben F. Pilgert (1842-1912) was born on Aug. 4, 1842. In infancy, he was baptized in the Lutheran Church.

He married Sarah Ann "Sallie" Schoedler (1845-1904), also spelled "Schedler." The couple made a home in Shamrock near Longswamp Township, Berks County and were members of St. Paul's Church in Mertztown.

Their four known offspring were Ida R. Romig, S. Elizabeth "Lizzie" McCollum, Ellen "Ellie" Pilgert and George Pilgert. Sadness blanketed the family when their on ly son George died at the age of seven.

Reuben was once referred to by the Reading Times as "a well known citizen of Shamrock."

When the United States Census was taken in 1870, the federal census-taker recorded Reuben's last name as "Pilliard." That year, he earned a living laboring at a local coal mine in or near Longswamp Township.

At the age of 70, having been burdened earlier with an attack of acute articular rheumatism (strep throat), which led to heart valve failure, he died on Sept. 8, 1912. Daughter Ella Pilgert of Allentown signed the Pennsylvania certificate of death. The remains were laid to rest in Mertztown's St. Pauls Union Cemetery, following funeral services in the church led by Rev. F.K. Bernd of Kutztown. An obituary appeared in the Times.

 

Old covered bridge in Allentown

 

Daughter Ida R. Pilgert (1869-1954) was born on Oct. 1, 1869 in Longswamp Township. She was united in wedlock with Milton Samuel Romig (March 4, 1848-1926), son of Abraham and Lydia (Walbert) Romig. The bride was more than two decades younger than the groom. The couple bore two offspring, Florence Troxel and Harry G. Romig. They were farmers and lived in Shamrock Station for many years and were members of the Reformed wing of the Longswamp Union Church. Milton became burdened with diabetes and passed away at the age of 78 on Nov. 15, 1926. Funeral services were held in the home and at Longswamp Church, co-officiated by Rev. W.L. Meckstroth and Rev. William F. Bond. His pallbearers were Lemon Witmer, Harvey Shoemaker, Nathan Miller, ReubenReinert, Benneville Eck and Austin Fritch. An obituary appeared in the Allentown Morning Call. Ida outlived him by nearly 30 years. In about 1944, she relocated to Allentown, making a home with her married daughter at 1417 Hanover Avenue. She fell in February 1954 and broke her left remur and was hospitalized at Sacred Heart. She died there several months later at the age of 84 on June 8, 1954. Interment was in Longswamp Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Florence Romig (1890-1951) was born on June 17, 1890 in Shamrock Station, Berks County. As a young woman, she graduated from Dorney's Business College. On June 22, 1912, she wedded Russell B. Troxel Sr. They were the parents of a son, Russell B. Troxel Jr. They moved to Allentown in about and lived at 733 Nelson and in the 1940s and early 1950s at 1417 Henover Street. Florence helped earn income as a stenographer for White Lilly Cement Company. She also operated a grocery store in their home for many years, retiring in 1941. They were members of Zion Reformed Church. Sadly, Florence contracted breast cancer and died at the age of 61 on Aug. 10, 1951. Her remains were placed into repose in Longswamp Church Cemetery. Their son was a member of the Allentown Police Department circa 1951.
  • Grandson Harry G. Romig (1892-1964) was born on May 18, 1892 in Shamrock Station. He was united in holy matrimony with Pearl A. Eck ( ? - ? ). They lived in Shamrock Station for years. At the age of 72, he was stricken with acute meningitis and was admitted to Allentown Hospital. Unable to rally, he succumbed on June 6, 1964. Interment was in Longswamp Church Cemetery.

Daughter S. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Pilgert (1871-1948) was born on New Year's Eve 1871 in Longswamp Township. She married George McCollum ( ? - ? ). They resided for decades in Allentown, with an address of 711 South Fifth Street in the 1940s. Having been diagnosed with heart disease, she suffered a heart attack and was admitted to Allentown Hospital in August 1947. She remained there for 218 days. After contracting pneumonia, her health declined and at age 76 she died on March 11, 1948. Burial was in Mertztown Cemetery, with an obituary printed in the Allentown Morning Call. Her nephew Harry G. Romig served as executor of the estate.

Daughter Ellen "Ellie" Pilgert (1874-1944) was born in 1874. At the age of 14, in about 1888, she moved to Allentown. With her father's health failing, she moved back into the home of her parents in Shamrock in 1912. She apparently never married. Ellie was a member of the Mertztown Lutheran Church. She spent her final years living with her niece Florence Troxell at 1417 Hanover Street. She died on Nov. 11, 1944. Burial was in Mertztown Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Allentown Morning Call.

 

~ Daughter Rebecca (Pilgert) Jacobs ~

Daughter Rebecca Pilgert (1844-1905) was born in Sept. 1844.

In about 1870, when she was 25 years of age, Rebecca married 36-year-old widower William Henry Jacobs (1834-1898), a farmer and reputedly the son of John and Catharina (Hittel) Jacob.

He had been married previously to Susanna Heisinger (1830?-1870?), daughter of Peter Hensinger. Thus he brought these offspring to the second marriage -- Henry Jacobs, John Jacobs, James Jacobs, Oswin Jacobs and Franklin "Frank" Jacobs.

Rebecca and William produced these additional children of their own -- Mary Ann Smith, Josephine Sarah "Sallyann" Reinert, Clara Geist, Ida Heist and Victoria Savanna Reinert.

Their home in 1870 was in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County. By 1880, they had relocated to Longswamp Township, Berks County, with their dwelling-place located between Maple Grove and Alburtis. Rebecca's aged mother resided in the household in 1880.

William earned a living as a carpenter in 1870-1880.

Sadly, William suffered a stroke, lingered for seven weeks and died at the age of 65 in Oct. 1898. Funeral services were held in the Jacobs home, with Rev. Dr. Horne officiating. Interment was at Lehigh Church. Obituaries were printed in the Allentown Leader and the Allentown Democrat, the latter of which referred to him as "a well known citizen of Lower Macungie."

Rebecca lived for another seven years. Toward the end she went to live in the home of her married daughter Josephine Reinert. She was swept away by the Grim Reaper of Death in November 1905. Rev. I.B. Ritter preached the funeral sermon. She rests in Lehigh Zion Cemetery in Alburtis, Lehigh County.

Stepson Henry Jacobs (1858- ? ) was born in about 1858. He migrated to Oelwein, Fayette County, IA by 1898.

Stepson John Jacobs (1859?- ? ) was born in about 1859. He relocated by 1898 to Oelwein, Fayette County, IA.

Stepson James Jacobs (1860- ? ) was born in about 1860. He lived in Wilmington, DE.

 

Bause drug store, a Boyertown landmark

Stepson Oswin A.H. Jacobs (1865-1949) -- sometimes misspelled "Oscar" -- was born on St. Patrick's Day 1865. In January 1887, when he was age 22, he was joined in holy wedlock with Mary Weidner ( ? - ? ), daughter of Edwin G. and Ida (Shirey) Weidner (or of William and Mary (Grant) Weidner). The wedding was held in the Lutheran Church parsonage at Bowers, officiated by Rev. David Humbert. The couple eventually produced an astonishing 14 children, outliving five. The known offspring were Frances Weidner, Mrs. Edwin Hagen, Oswin D. Jacobs, John W. Jacobs, Mrs. Charles Haring, Helen Kreitz, Mrs. Paul Reinert, Mrs. John Beech and Mrs. Harvey Thomas. Immediately upon marriage, they moved into Allentown, where Oswin worked as a bartender at the Merchants Hotel. He eventually turned to flour milling and labored at a number of mills in Lehigh and nearby counties. The Allentown Democrat reported in November 1894 that they had relocated from Maple Grove to Little Oley, near Boyertown, PA. They remained in the Boyertown vicinity for many years. While in the early years in Boyertown, Oswin "erected a coal yard and dwelling," said the Allentown Morning Call. "He served as secretary of the permanent relief committee after the big fire at the Rhoads Opera House at Boyertown for along period. He was also justice of the peace, water commissioner, and assessor for eighteen years." His name again was in the gossip columns of the Democrat in February 1917 when he attended a lunch meeting of the Men's Society of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church at which Dr. G.T. Ettinger, dean of Muhlenberg College, made remarks on "What the Man Can Do for the Church." He remained an active volunteer with the St. Stephen's Church for many years, and in July 1931 chaired the refreshments committee for the annual picnic of the Sunday School, held at Dorney Park and drawing some 500 guests. Oswin and Mary celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in January 1937 with a family gathering in their home. In reporting on the event, the Morning Call said that "Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs are both in fairly good health and are looking foward with happy anticipation to the celebration of the wedding anniversary this week-end." Their address in the 1930s and '40s was 404 South Reading Avenue in Boyertown. In older years, Oswin operated a chicken farm and orchard. For the last decade of his life, Oswin suffered from hardening of the arteries. Death carried him away at the age of 84 on July 2, 1949. Signing the official Pennsylvania certificate of death was John W. Jacobs of 1302 Queen Street in Pottstown, PA. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery in Boyertown.

  • Granddaughter (?) Jacobs married (?) Weidner. Either her name or his was "Francis/Frances." She lived in Reading in 1937.
  • Grandson Oswin D. Jacobs (1889-1942) was born on March 28, 1889 in Hereford Township. He married Katie F. Renninger ( ? -1966), daughter of Henry and Lizzie (Fry) Renninger of Sassamansville, Montgomery County. The couple produced three children -- Dorene A. Jacobs, Freeman O. Jacobs and Emerson D. Jacobs. They first made a home in Philadelphia but then in about 1914 relocated to Allentown, where Oswin made a living over the years owning and operating an electrical and refrigerator business. In about 1934, in the grip of the Great Depression, he went to work for H.N. Crowder Jr. Company as a refrigeration serviceman. They made a home in Allentown at 1414 Lehigh Street in the late 1930s and early '40s. The couple were "devout and active" members of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, said the Allentown Morning Call, with Oswin serving on church council, serving as financial secretary, teaching a Sunday School class and attending the Men's Bible class. He was stricken with cancer of the lungs, liver and lumbar vertebrae in early 1942. His health declined for six months, and he received initial treatment in Philadelphia's graduate hospital until transfer to Sacred Heart Hospital at the end. Death claimed him at the age of 53 on Oct. 22, 1942. Interment was in Grandview Cemetery. Katie survived for another 24 years, living at 1420 Turner Street in Allentown. She died in Allentown Hospital at the age of 72 on Jan. 13, 1966. Her obituary was published in the Morning Call.
  • Grandson John Jacobs dwelled in Pennsburg in 1937 and in Pottstown in 1942.
  • Granddaughter Mabel Jacobs (1897-1944) was born on May 24, 1897 in Gablesville, PA. She married Edward L. (or "Edwin") Hagan ( ? - ? ) and made a home in Reading at 308 South 17th Street. Mabel was diagnosed with an enlarged right kidney and was admitted to Reading Hospital, where she died on Nov. 29, 1944. Her remains were lowered into repose in Forest Hills Memorial Park in Berks County.
  • Granddaughter (?) Jacobs was united in marriage with Charles Haring. Their residence was in Pottstown.
  • Granddaughter Helen Jacobs ( ? - ? ) was joined in wedlock with (?) Kreitz (or "Greitz"). In the 1930s and '40s, she lived in Boyertown.
  • Granddaughter (?) Jacobs married Paul Reinert (or "Heinert"). They resided in Boyertown in the 1930s and '40s.
  • Granddaughter (?) Jacobs wedded John Beech ( ? - ? ). Their home in 1937 was in Boyertown and in 1942 in Reading.
  • Granddaughter (?) Jacobs was joined in matrimony with Harvey Thomas ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in Boyertown in 1937 and in Morysville in 1942.

Stepson Franklin "Frank" Jacobs (1866- ? ) was born in about 1866. He moved to Wilmington, DE.

Daughter Mary Ann Jacobs (1871-1924) was born on Oct. 25, 1871. At the age of nine, in 1880, the census-taker recorded that she suffered from "Tropsy." At the age of 18, on Feb. 9, 1891, she married 26-year-old laborer George Smith ( ? - ? ), son of Martin and Catharine Smith of Dale, Berks County. Rev. D.K. Humbert officiated at the wedding, held at Bowers Station. They lived in Rittenhouse Gap, Berks County in 1898 and in Washington Township, Berks County in the 1920s. Her final home was in Bath, PA. Mary Ann was burdened with diabetes in her early 50s, and gangrene set in to her right foot and leg. She succumbed at the age of 52 on May 18, 1924. Burial  was in Zions Lehigh Congregation Cemetery. Mrs. Oswin Gerhart was the informant for the death certificate. A short funeral notice was published in the Allentown Morning Call.

Daughter Josephine Sarah "Sallyann" Jacobs (1877-1931) was born on March 4, 1877. On Nov. 26, 1892, in nuptials held at Bowers Station, the 15-year-old Sarah wedded 19-year-old William W. Reinert (1873-1926), son of Benneville and Catharine (Wean) Reinert of Longswamp Township. Rev. D.K. Humbert officiated. Both Sarah and William worked as laborers at the time of marriage. They dwelled in Maple Grove and Topton, Longswamp Township and were the parents of Ella Butz and William Reinert. William supported the family over the years through his work as a molder at the Topton Foundry Company. The family belonged to the Reformed congregation of the Longswamp Church. Sadly, suffering from heart valve problems, William died at the age of 3 on April 30, 1926. On a visit to the home of her son William at 728 Filmore Street in Allentown, she became ill with kidney failure and died on April 14, 1931. Burial was in Longswamp Cemetery, with funeral services led by Rev. W.L. Meckstroth.

  • Granddaughter Ella Reinert ( ? - ? ) married Harry Butz ( ? - ? ). They lived in East Texas, PA in 1931.
  • Grandson William Reinert dwelled at 728 Filmore Street in Allentown.

Daughter Clara Jacobs (1881-1946) was born on Jan. 22, 1881 in Longswamp Township, a twin with her sister Victoria. She married Jonas Alfred Geist (April 23, 1877-1939), a native of Longswamp and the son of John and Maria (Eck) Geist. They resided in the Hancock community near Mertztown and were longtime members of the Longswamp Lutheran Church. The couple were the parents of 11 known children -- Verna Schmoyer, Helen Oswald, Alice Hoppes, Edna Mory, Herbert A. Geist, Elwood Geist, Earl Geist, Raymond Geist, George Geist and Carl Geist. Sadness blanketed the family when Jonas, suffering from fibroid tuberculosis, died at the age of 61 on Jan. 22, 1939. Her home in the 1940s was on Hancock Street in Mertztown. Sadly, Clara contracted colon cancer and was admitted to Allentown Hospital, where she was treated for 70 days until cut down by death at the age of 65 on Feb. 24, 1946. Funeral services were led by Rev. Wilson H. Hartzell, and interment followed in Longswamp Church Cemetery. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said she was survived by 30 grandchildren. Son Herbert, of Smith Street in Topton, was the informant for the Pennsylvania death certificate.

  • Granddaughter Verna Geist ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She married George Schmoyer. They made a home in rural Alburtis.
  • Granddaughter Helen Geist ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She wedded Warren Oswald. Their residence in 1946 was in Mertztown.
  • Granddaughter Alice Geist ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was joined in wedlock with Howard Hoppes. They dwelled in rural Mertztown.
  • Granddaughter Edna Geist ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was united in matrimony with Conrad Mory. They lived in Allentown.
  • Grandson Herbert A. Geist ( ? - ? ) resided in Topton.
  • Grandson Elwood Geist ( ? - ? ) made his home in Mertztown.
  • Grandson Earl Geist ( ? - ? ) dwelled in Topton.
  • Grandson Raymond Geist ( ? - ? ) lived in rural Alburtis.
  • Grandson George Geist ( ? - ? ) served in the U.S. Army in the aftermath of World War II. In 1946, he was stationed at Keesler Field in Mississippi.
  • Grandson Carl Geist ( ? - ? )  made a residence in Allentown.

Daughter Victoria Savanna Jacobs (1881-1947) was born on Jan. 22, 1881 in Longswamp Township, a twin with her sister Clara. She was united in matrimony with Walter P. Reinert (July 7, 1882-1935), son of Alfred and Sarah (Stauffer) Reinert. The couple produced eight known children -- Solon A. Reinert, Luther P. Reinert, Warren E. Reinert, Maude M. Reinert, Mrs. John Moll, Mrs. Howard Lafaw, Mrs. Henry Derr and Mrs. Herman Funk. Walter worked over the years as a laborer. They lived in Alburtis, Berks County for many years and in about 1919 moved into their last home in Longswamp Township. They were longtime members of the Lutheran wing of the Longswamp Church. Tragically, while on a walk on the highway at Maple Grove near Topton, Walter struck by a moving automobile on the night of Feb. 17, 1935. He was rushed to Allentown Hospital, where doctors discovered a fractured skull and ribs on his right side causing fluid buildup in the lungs. Unable to recover, he passed into eternity three days later on Feb. 20, 1935. Interment was in Longswamp Cemetery. Victoria lived for another dozen years as a widow. For the last four years of her life, Victoria was burdened with rheumatic heart problems. At the age of 66, she succumbed at home on Feb. 28, 1947. Luther Reinert of Alburtis signed the death certificate. Interment was in Longswamp Church Cemetery, officiated by Rev. Wilson Hartzell. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that her survivors included 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Solon A. Reinert lived in Alburtis.
  • Grandson Luther P. Reinert dwelled in Alburtis.
  • Grandson Warren E. Reinert resided in Alburtis
  • Granddaughter Maude M. Reinert made a home in Alburtis.
  • Granddaughter (?) Reinert married John Moll. They lived in Alburtis in 1947.
  • Granddaughter (?) Reinert wedded Howard Lafaw. Their residence in 1947 was in Catasauqua.
  • Granddaughter (?) Reinert was united in matrimony with Henry Derr. They dwelled in Topton.
  • Granddaughter (?) Reinert was joined in holy wedlock with Herman Funk. Their home in 1947 was in Mertztown.

Daughter Ida Jacobs ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She wedded (?) Heist. In 1931, her home was in Allentown. Nothing more is known.

 

~ Son James Pilgert ~

Son James Pilgert (1847- ? ) was born in about 1847.

At the age of 13, he lived with his parents in Longswamp Township and attended school. Evidence suggest that he died at a young age.

 

~ Daughter Anna C. Pilgert ~

Daughter Anna C. Pilgert (1853- ? ) was born in about 1853.

Nothing more about her is known.

~ Son Charles D. Pilgert ~

Son Charles D. Pilgert (1856- ? ) was born in about 1856.

His life has faded from view.

 

Copyright 2000, 2009, 2017-2019 Mark A. Miner