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Friedrich Meinert Jr. (Meinder)
( ? -1816)

Frederick Meinert Jr. was born in the late 1730s or early 1740s in the Oley Valley of Philadelphia County, now Berks County, PA, the son of Friedrich and Eva Maria (Weber) Meinert Sr.

Probably out of ignorance on how to spell German names, local officials frequently wrote the name of this branch of the family “Meinder.”  Some members of this family who moved west to Wisconsin and Iowa in the 1850s eventually dropped the "e" and spell the name “Minder.”  In addition to these two spellings, on some of the land records in Berks County the name is spelled "Miner" or "Meiner."

In 1763 Friedrich married Catherine Nein, the daughter Casper and Barbara Nein, German immigrants of the Oley Valley. (The two families were close, and Friedrich’s brother Jacob Minerd Sr. married Catherine’s sister, Maria Nein. The adults siblings of Catherine and Maria Nein included Sylvester Nein, Susanna Margaretha Leinbach, Barbara Schwartz, Daniel Nein and Elizabeth Schwartz.

Nearby Reading, Berks County, 1840s


Record of "Fridrick Minner's" oath, 
sworn to Samuel Ely on June 1, 1777

Frederick and Catherine had six known children: Elizabeth Meinter, Burkhart Meinder, Susan Sigfried, Sarah Friedrich, Anna Maria Wertz and Friedrich Meinert (Frederick Miner) III.

Frederick owned a farm in Rockland Township, which was created out of the larger Oley Township in 1758. On his tract, he ran a grist mill and a saw mill and also labored as a "cordwainer." In September 1769, he purchased a 290-acre farm in Oley Township from a group of investors in London, known as the Pennsylvania Land Company.  In 1775 they acquired more acreage. One of the contracts was written completely in German. The total amount of land he owned was l,108-acres.

When the Revolutionary War broke out, Frederick joined the Berks County militia.  He was in the First Battalion of Captain Focht’s company.  The militia was composed of civilians, men who could not reasonably be called upon for any prolonged tour of duty or for travel far from home.  Such men could give but limited service and were used chiefly to garrison nearby forts, guard prisoners, serve in local campaigns, or temporarily support the Continental Army.  Avoiding militia calls was not difficult. A man who failed to report for drill paid an “exercise fine.”  On the Berks County list of fines most of the men paid 20 to 60 species, the monetary unit used in the colonies during this time.  Frederick “Meinter,” as he is listed, paid only 6 species which indicates that he was a responsible man and took his civil obligations seriously.

Nines by the Numbers  
book (1993 edition)

When the Revolutionary War ended, all males had to sign the oath of allegiance to the new government. Frederick Meiner, as his name was written, is listed in the book The Names of Persons Who Took the Oath of Allegiance in Berks County Pennsylvania, and signed June 1, 1778.  Since he was illiterate, someone else wrote out the name, spelling it "Fridrick Minner." Frederick made an "X" between his first and last names as his mark. The original book containing this record (Book D, Volume 1) is on file today at the Berks County Historical Society in Reading, PA.

Tax records of 1780 show that Frederick's fortunes must have fallen after the war. That year, he only owned two horses and no cattle.

Frederick died in 1816, leaving no will. Longtime family friend Jacob Egolff was named to administer the estate, settling debts and paying due taxes.

Because many of their children were baptized and took communion at the Mertz Bieber Church in Rockland Township, in all probability Frederick and Catherine, and perhaps other family members, are buried there, but no grave markers exist there today. 

Frederick and Catherine are named in the book Nines by the Numbers, and also are mentioned in a newsletter of the Nein family, 9's in America, both published in 1993 by the late Jacqueline Nine. 

Copyright © 2000, 2011-2013, 2015 Eugene F. Podraza and Mark A. Miner

Sketch of Reading by Thomas Sinclair, Philadelphia, from History of the Counties of Berks and Lebanon, by I. Daniel Rupp, printed by G. Hills, Lancaster, PA., 1844