The Family of
Johann Friedrich Boyer
This section of the report on the Boyer Family of Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, focuses on the children of Johann Friedrich Boyer, who was discussed in the preceding chapter. This provides known information about what apparently were ten children, and gives special emphasis to the eighth child, Johann George Boyer, known as George. George was in the second generation of the line of Lewis Elmer Boyer (1869-1948) of Easton, Pennsylvania, and he was Lew's great‑grandfather.
The chief question to be addressed is how many children were born to Johann Friedrich and Anna Maria Boyer. The American Boyers versions of 1915, 1940 and 1963 said there were five children: Frederick (born about 1750), George (born in 1752 or 1769), Johann Gottfried (1771), Johann Jacob (1774) and Peter (1777). But the 1986 version, based on new research, suggests that there were ten children ‑‑ nine boys and one girl. Peter was removed from the original list. One might expect that there was more than one female child, since females often were not remembered in the genealogies of male‑oriented family lines. Separate from the American Boyers version, there are indications of other children who may have been offspring of Johann Friedrich and Anna Maria. In all cases, hard proof is difficult to obtain.
A major puzzle has existed over the spacing in the Boyer family, at least in the versions of American Boyers thus far published. In the 1940 edition, the book contended that the second child, George, was born in 1752 but the third child, Johann Jacob, not until 1771. This left 19 years of space between the second and third children. The 1963 version changed George's birthdate to 1769, but that then left 19 years between him and the reported birthdate of the first child, Frederick, in 1750. This did not seem to be normal family practice.
The 1986 version cited 1754 as the birthdate of the first child, Johann, 1756 for Frederick, and 1774 for the last one, Gottfried. Ten children spread over 20 years would seem more reasonable. However, if the dates are correct, they mean that Johann Friedrich Boyer was aged 53 and 56 at the time of birth of his last two children, and wife Anna Maria was 43 and 46 (provided that 1728 is taken as her birthdate and not 1718).
There are numerous conflicting facts, but the family chronology given by the 1986 American Boyers account seems to be this:
1. Johann was born in 1754 in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County, the baptism record marking the first written appearance of Johann Friedrich after his arrival in America in 1752.
2. George Frederick (known as Frederick) was born in 1756, also in Lower Macungie Township.
3. Johann Peter apparently was born about 1758, location unknown.
4. George Michael (known as Michael) was born in 1760, and baptized in Rockland Township, Berks County, which is adjacent to Ruscombmanor Township. Baptismal records suggest that Johann Friedrich and family had moved some 30 miles from Lehigh County between 1756 and 1760.
5. Johannes also was baptized in Rockland Township, in 1763. Apparently this was a second child with the same name. This may indicate that the first Johann had died young, although there is also some evidence that he lived a substantial life.
6. Maria Barbara, the only reported female child, also was baptized in Rockland Township, in 1765.
8. Johann George (known as George) was born in 1769, place unknown, but possibly also in Rockland Township. He died in 1867. He was the great-grandfather of Lewis Elmer Boyer of Easton. See the genealogical chart for George.
9. Johann Jakob (known as Jakob) was born in 1771 and baptized near Orwigsburg, indicating another family move about this time. He died in 1852.
10. Johann Gottfried (known as Gottfried) was born in 1774, also near Orwigsburg. He died in 1826.
Details on members of Johann Friedrich’s Boyer’s family follow:
1. Johann Boyer. The only known evidence of this person is the baptismal record for Zion's (Lehigh) Lutheran Church, Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County. Even then, the record is somewhat obscure. In handwriting that was very difficult to decipher and had been traced over, it seems to say only that a child named Johann had been baptized on "Pfingfest," or Trinity Sunday, apparently in 1754, and that his father was "Fridrich Bayer." There was no mention of his mother, nor any other fact relating him to Johann Friedrich. Because another child later was given the same name, the 1986 American Boyers suggested that he died young.
However, there is a "Johannes Boyer," whose death is recorded on August 14, 1842, and who is buried in "Flowery Field," Pottsville. That Johannes is listed as having been born in 1754, and he reportedly was a sergeant in Captain Wills' Company. There is no guarantee that this is the same person, but at least the years of birth coincide.
2. George Frederick Boyer. This man, with given name "George Frederick," was known as "Fredrick," just as his young brother, "George Michael," was known as "Michael." Tracking down the man known as Frederick Boyer who was the son of Johann Friedrich produces only mystery after mystery. Probably there were three Frederick Boyers who are confused. There was the immigrant Johann Friedrich Boyer, known as Friedrich. There was his son called Frederick. And apparently there was another Frederick Boyer living in the Orwigsburg area at about the same time.
It seems clear that there was a Frederick who was a son of Johann Friedrich. In Orwigsburg, Michael, George, Gottfried and Frederick Boyer served as sponsors at the baptisms of each other's children. Since the first three were certainly among the children of Johann Friedrich, it may be presumed that all four were brothers.
The earlier versions of American Boyers contended that Frederick was born in 1750, using as evidence a war record that says a Frederick Boyer of Brunswick Township was 85 in 1835. However, the American Boyers 1986 text said that Frederick the son was born in 1756. This record from Zion's church in Lehigh County says that on May 29, 1756, there was a baptism of "Georg Friedrich," the son of "Jerg Friedrich Bayer" and "Hanna Maria"; the sponsors were Georg Merckel, a miller, and his wife Margaretha. In contrast to the record for Johann, born earlier, there is more detail, bringing the names of the parents closer to those in the Orwigsburg records. This is the first discovered written record of Anna Maria.
However, the birthdates of the children of Frederick call into question this birthdate, and one may wonder whether the Frederick who appeared at their baptisms in Orwigsburg was the same one born in Lower Macungie in 1756. Clear baptismal records indicate that Frederick’s children were born over a range of years from 1802 to 1820. A man born in 1756 would have been aged 48 to 64 at that time, and the birthdates of the children therefore seem strangely late in his life. There definitely was a Frederick Boyer who was father to the children during this period. It would seem more likely that that Frederick would have been born around 1770 to 1780, closer to the birthdates of his brothers, but there is no Frederick of that age who has appeared in records of the area.
Is it possible that the Frederick born in 1756 had a son, also named Frederick, born in the mid‑1770s, who fathered the children recorded in Orwigsburg in the early 1800s, and that those children were great‑grandchildren of Johann Friedrich, rather than grandchildren? Is the Frederick born in 1756 not related at all? Or was Frederick simply deterred from fatherhood until he recovered from participation in the Revolutionary War?
American Boyers says that the Frederick of Orwigsburg married Margaret Rabenold, of Paradise, Pennsylvania, near Danville, and took her to his home in North Manheim township in Berks County, which borders Orwigsburg (as does Brunswick Township). Other evidence of this marriage may be found in Red Church baptismal records which cite Frederick and "Margaret," or "Margaretha," or "Maria Margaretha," as the parents of four children.
A burial record has been located at St. John's Reformed Church in Orwigsburg for a Margaret Boyer born on July 3, 1773. This Margaret died on January 24, 1873, just a few months shy of her 100th birthday, and presumably she is buried in the Reformed Cemetery, the same place where Frederick is said to be buried. Her birth in 1773 makes it logical that she could be the mother of children born from 1802 to 1820, when she would have been aged 29 to 47. This woman was 17 years younger than the Frederick born in 1756, but she could well have been his wife. Or, she could have been the wife of another Frederick born in the mid-1770s if an additional generation had existed.
In a second major mystery, American Boyers contends that Frederick, as a soldier in the Revolution, remained in Virginia through the war. Afterward, the book says, he moved to North Manheim Township, and that he took up 800 acres of land, in an area called "Tumbling Run." Tumbling Run crosses the extreme northern border of the township, just south of Pottsville and about seven miles north of Orwigsburg. The book reported that a "Thomas" family lived on parts of that same land in 1910. If Frederick were born in 1756 and not 1750, he would have been 20 when participating in the war in 1776; although he would have been young, this is certainly a possibility. If he were born in the 1770s, as the birthdates of his children would suggest, then he wouldn't have participated in the war at all, and thus the mentions of his war record might be in error. The 1986 version of American Boyers attributes to Frederick all of the conflicting sources of information ‑‑ the war record that he was 85 in 1835 (i.e., born in 1750), his 1756 baptism, and the baptism records of his children in the period 1803‑1820, indicating either very late fatherhood or a much later birthdate.
There are tax records of Brunswick Township, cited in the preceding chapter, relating to a Frederick Bayer, but those are believed to refer to the immigrant Johann Friedrich and not his son. Although there is no record of a Frederick Boyer in tax records of Manheim Township, documents of that Township were in some cases combined with those of Brunswick Township, and thus the possibilities of his mention are presumably covered. There is no record of any tract of 800 acres attributed to any Boyer in the area. There is only one mention of a Frederick Boyer (or person of similar name) in the land records of Schuylkill County up through 1915. This record shows that a Frederick Boyer of Manheim Township paid 40 pounds to George Orwig on May 12, 1803, for certain real estate and sold it for $200 on November 19, 1812; the land is not described in the deed books, but the prices indicate it was somewhat less than 800 acres.
On the other hand, there is a record of a Frederick Boyer in Manheim Township in the census reports of 1790, 1800, 1810 and 1820. Again, there is confusion between Johann Friedrich Boyer and his son Frederick. The 1790 census, first in the United States, shows “Fredk Boyer” in a household of ten: five males over 16, one male under 16, and four females. Which Frederick is this? The 1800 census for Manheim Township shows a Frederick Boyer in a household with one male and one female aged 16-26. This could have been a Frederick born about 1775, married but not yet with children. The 1810 census shows a Frederick in a household with one male and one female over age 45, and two males and two females under age 10. The 1820 census shows Frederick in a household with one male over age 45, one female 26-45, one female 10-15, and four males and one female under 10. See the text in the preceding chapter relating to the census and whether the immigrant Johann Friedrich is actually the one who is addressed.
It is also possible that there existed another, unrelated, Frederick Boyer. One report cites a Frederick born in 1733 who died on March 6, 1827, when he would have been 94; he is buried at the Old Lutheran Cemetery in Orwigsburg. It is contended that this other Frederick Boyer of Schuylkill County was a private in the 4th Regiment of the Continental Line during the Revolutionary War and that he was a pensioner. Pennsylvania Archives says that this Frederick Boyer was 85 when his pension was processed on October 21, 1818, and from this it is derived that he was born in 1733.However, no confirmation for these reports can be found. The Lutheran Church in Orwigsburg was not founded until 1843, and thus it may be doubted whether the cemetery existed in 1827. There is no mention in the St. Paul's Church records of any Frederick Boyer at that time. The American Boyers accounts claim the same military service for the Frederick who was the son of Johann Friedrich. But those accounts omit mention of the Pennsylvania Archives pension record that would have indicated birth in 1733 and instead cite a different entry in Pennsylvania Archives,, a record of privates in the Revolutionary War which includes a "Frederick Boyer" who "resided in Schuylkill County" who was 85 in 1835. That age and date would indicate that the man was born in 1750, and that is the conclusion drawn in the early versions of American Boyers for Frederick, the son of Johann Friedrich. It is the 1986 version of American Boyers that concluded that the baptism record contained the correct birthdate, 1756, and therefore that Frederick was not born in 1733 or 1750.
Is there an error in the Pennsylvania Archives? Do these Pennsylvania Archives records refer to two different people, or the same man? The periods indicated for their life spans are approximately the same. They are credited with having the same military service ‑‑ that of a private from Schuylkill County. They both are believed buried in or near the town of Orwigsburg. Was there a mistake in the Pennsylvania Archives, indicating in one place that this man was 85 in 1818 and in another place that he was 85 in 1835? Or was neither of these "Fredericks" Johann Friedrich himself or his son? Johann Friedrich probably was too old to have participated in the War (if born in 1718, he would have been 58 in 1776), and there is no claim that he did. If there were two Fredericks, which one was the Frederick who appeared in the tax records and census for Brunswick and Manheim Townships, as indicated in the previous chapter? Was it Johann Friedrich, or was it his son Frederick, or was it a different Frederick Boyer who lived from 1733 to 1827?
The DAR Patriot Index contains five Frederick Boyers in the Revolutionary War, all of them from Pennsylvania, but unfortunately none appears to correspond to any known Frederick of Orwigsburg. See details at the end of the preceding chapter on Johann Friedrich Boyer.
Finally, it must be added that American Boyers (1986) said that Frederick died in North Manheim Township and was buried at the "White Church" in Orwigsburg, where a red gravestone behind the church marked the spot. However, as indicated in the preceding chapter, the site of the White Church, which burned down in 1911, was occupied in 1985 by two private homes near the corner of Tammany and Washington Streets. A small cemetery remains next to one of the houses, but virtually every one of the two dozen tombstones there is illegible, and not one of them is red. If the grave was there and was moved across the street to the larger Reformed Cemetery, there is no evidence of it, or of the tombstone of Frederick's wife Margaret. And there is no evidence in the St. John's Church records of a burial or any other participation in Reformed Church affairs. Thus the mystery of the real Frederick is unresolved.
From various sources, it appears that the eight children of Frederick were the following:
A. George Michael Boyer, known as Michael, was baptized on May 9, 1803, at St. Paul's Church in Windsor Township, Berks County, not far from Orwigsburg. The sponsors were "Deacon Michael Boyer," apparently Frederick's brother, and his wife Gertrude. The American Boyers 1986 text says that Michael was born "above the Big Dam at Tumbling Run," in North Manheim Township, and that he was a miner and worked for about 20 years with his son, Daniel S. Boyer (1830‑1916). Michael is said to be buried in the Old Lutheran Cemetery in Orwigsburg, next to his wife, the former Barbara Little, but no tombstone could be found in 1985. St. Paul's church records in Orwigsburg mention the death on April 15, 1877, of a "Michael Boyer," almost 72 years old, described as "a Lutheran, irregular." He would have been born in 1805, and allowing for error, it could be the same person as the one baptized in Windsor Township in 1803; however, the man buried there might also be a cousin of the same name, the son of Frederick's brother Michael. The 1986 version of American Boyers indicates that George Michael and Barbara Little Boyer had seven children and that they lived at one time on a farm in Walker Township, Schuylkill County, and also in a house near an old saw mill close to the home of a Simon Merkel.
B. Marie Salome "Polly" Bayer was baptized at the Red Church on October 27, 1805, with parents listed as "Friederich and Maria Margaretha Bayer." She married George Stoudt. They had two sons who died single.
C. Sarah Boyer married James Lyons, and they are buried at Laudertown, near Port Carbon.
D. Johann Boyer was born on January 9, 1809, in Tumbling Run, and baptized at the Red Church on April 9 of that year. He was a wood chopper, and married Kate Schmidt. Both were buried at Laudertown. Their three sons were all involved in the Civil War; sons Daniel and Frank, both single, were captured at South Mountain, Little Round Top, Pennsylvania, and perished in Andersonville prison, while son John, as a war veteran, later resided in a soldiers' home in Norfolk, Virginia.
E. Daniel Boyer, born about 1811 in Schuylkill County, was a gunsmith and farmer who went to Maumee, Ohio, before the Civil War and afterwards went to Gratiot County, Michigan, according to the 1986 American Boyers text. Census records in 1860 and 1870 show him in Pine River Township, Gratiot County, where he died in 1874. His wife's name was Elmira. This may be the Daniel Boyer who is confused with gunsmith David Boyer, born in 1806, the son of George Boyer (1769-1867).
F. George Boyer, born on April 14, 1814, was baptized at the Red Church on June 12 of that year. Sponsors were George Boyer, the brother of Frederick, and his wife, Anna Maria. In the absence of other data, it is possible to conclude that he died young.
G. Maria Katharina Boyer was born on March 2, 1816, and baptized at the Red Church on April 14. Sponsors were Gottfried Boyer, Frederick's brother, and his wife Maria. She married Peter Singley, and both are buried at Laudertown.
H. Benjamin Baier, born on May 18, 1820, was baptized on July 2 at the Red Church.
3. Johann Peter Boyer. Although virtually nothing is known about this man, he is believed by the 1986 American Boyers to be the third child of Johann Friedrich and Anna Maria Boyer. The account says that he was probably born in 1758, apparently an estimate based on the record at the Red Church that he was confirmed in 1775, on "the Sunday of the Good Shepherd"; however, no information on his parents was given. The Red Church records show a Peter "Boger," born June 9, 1752, in Weisenberg Township, Lehigh County, who died on July 11, 1818, at the age of 56 and was buried at the Red Church. Allowing for misspellings, this could have been the same man confirmed in 1775.
4. George Michael Boyer. The evidence for this son, the fourth child of Johann Friedrich and Anna Maria, known as Michael Boyer, is a baptismal notice found in records of Christ (Mertz) Lutheran Church, in Rockland Township, Berks County. This is adjacent to Ruscombmanor Township, where Johann Friedrich is believed listed in the tax records at about the same time. The church record says that "Geo. Mich.," son of "Baier, Frederick, and wf, Maria," was born September 4, 1760, and baptized on October 2 of that year. This is the first of three baptismal entries at this church that appear to refer to children of Johann Friedrich.
This apparently is the man who became a deacon at St. Paul's Church in Windsor Township, Berks County, not far from Orwigsburg. Beginning in 1789, when he would have been 29, and up through 1811, Michael Boyer's name appears in several instances in the records of St. Paul's Church, either as parent or sponsor at baptisms. His sponsorship of George Michael Boyer, son of "Friederich and Margaretha," on May 9, 1803, supports the theory that Michael was a brother of Frederick. There is no record of the death or any other activities of Michael.
Michael and his wife Gertrude are said by the 1986 American Boyers text to have had four children:
A. Daniel Boyer is said to have been born March 10, 1785, and died February 16, 1829. It is reported that he was confirmed in 1801 at St. Paul's Church in Windsor Township, where his father was deacon. Although there is no evidence that this man was a gunmaker, there is one report among gun historians that a gunmaker named D. Boyer was the son of a Michael Boyer; perhaps this is the one. A son, Benjamin, was born to Daniel and his wife Elizabeth on November 23, 1809. At the baptism on December 3, Michael Boyer and his wife, the grandparents, served as sponsors. The 1986 American Boyers says there was also a son named Solomon. Daniel Boyer is reported buried at Trinity Lutheran Church in Reading.
B. Hannah Boyer was baptized on March 3, 1789, at St. Paul's Church in Windsor Township.
C. Maria Catharina Boyer, was born on November 17, 1790, according to Red Church records, which cite "Michael and Gertrude Beyer" as the parents. The site of the baptism seems somewhat strange, since her older sister and her younger brother were baptized at St. Paul's Church in Windsor Township. This baptism may simply have occurred on the occasion of a visit to the grandparents in the vicinity of the Red Church.
D. George Michael Boyer, the fourth child cited for Michael Boyer, was born August 10, 1795, according to baptismal records at St. Paul's. There is a possibility that he is the "Michael Boyer" buried at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Orwigsburg on April 15, 1877. The church record says that that Michael Boyer was almost 72 years old. That would have meant he was born in 1805, which is ten years away from the 1795 baptismal record; however, the person buried there might also have been his first cousin of the same name, the son of Michael's brother Frederick.
5. Johannes Boyer. Like his brother Michael, Johannes was not mentioned in previous editions of American Boyers but he does appear in the 1986 version as the fifth child of Johann Friedrich. The new evidence is the entry of a baptism record at Christ (Mertz) Lutheran Church in Rockland Township, for a child named "Johannes," born July 26, 1763, to "Baier, Fred, and wf. Anna Maria." His wife was named Catherine. More substantial evidence of the family connection is the baptismal record for three children of "Johannes and Catharina Bayer" at the Red Church in Orwigsburg, in 1792, 1794 and 1795; Johannes would have been aged 29 to 32 at the time of these births. Also, at one of the births, the grandparents, Johann Friedrich and Anna Maria Boyer, served as sponsors.
This may have been the "John Boyer" listed as the owner of 250 acres of land in Berks County surveyed on July 18, 1788; he would have been 25 at the time. It is likely this is the John Boyer found in Brunswick Township by the U.S. census in 1790, residing with one adult female and no children (a description that fits his family of the time). The 1794 tax records of Brunswick Township also indicated that a "Johannes Bawyer" owned 50 acres of land there. Several records of large real estate transactions seem related to this man. American Boyers (1986) says this is the "John Boyer" of Brunswick Township who on June 1, 1803, paid 300 pounds to John Berger for 280 acres of land in Schuylkill Township (which was then in Berks County but in 1805 became part of Schuylkill County); the property bordered on land owned by Frederick Greiner, John Myer (who later sold property to Johann's brother George Boyer), Henry Settle and Jacob Smith.
On November 5, 1805, John bought (along with Frederick Greiner, apparently his neighbor) 309 acres of land called "George's Retreat," along a branch of the Schuylkill River in Brunswick Township, bordering on land of Jacob Smith. They paid $1,333.33. The owner, a paper hanging manufacturer named Thomas Hourly (Fenley?), had secured the land from Nicholas Rash, who obtained it by Letters Patent granted on April 5, 1785. The land had changed hands frequently. Rash sold it to John Renney on April 28, 1804. Only six months later, on February 11, 1805, Renney sold it to Thomas Hourly (Fenley?), who in turn held it only nine months before selling it to John Boyer and Fred Greiner. Six years later, on December 20, 1811, Greiner sold his share to John Boyer for 450 pounds. On October 1, 1818, when he was 55, John sold most of his land. For 800 pounds, he sold 63‑plus acres to William Yoh. For 600 pounds, he sold 161 acres to his son, "John Boyer, Jr." And for 250 pounds, he sold 71 acres to his daughter, Catharine.
There is no record of the death of either Johann or his wife. There is a Catharina Boyer who died on March 10, 1826, and is buried at the Red Church. The record says she was 76 when she died, indicating that she was born on February 5, 1750; that would have made her 13 years older than Johann, and so it is unlikely this was his wife. There is a John Boyer who secured a tavern license from Schuylkill County authorities for 1826‑27, but it could not be learned if this was the same person. The children of Johann and Catharine are believed to be these:
A. Anna Maria Boyer was born March 23, 1792, and baptized at the Red Church on August 16 of that year. The sponsors were her grandparents, "Fridrich and Anna Maria Bayer." She may have died young, since she apparently did not share in the division of her parents' land when it was given or sold to a brother and a sister in 1818.
B. Johannes Boyer was born July 1, 1794, and baptized on July 31 of that year at the Red Church. On October 1, 1818, Johannes bought from his parents 161 acres of the same land purchased by his father in 1803. American Boyers believes that Johannes moved to Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, in 1842, and died there in 1855, at the age of 61. He was a Lutheran, a farmer, and the father of six children.
The land records of Schuylkill County contain an interesting item concerning a "John Boyer" who apparently was about the same age as Johannes. On March 30, 1815, when Johannes would have been almost 21, an Elizabeth Hantner of Brunswick Township recorded that she had received $160 from John Boyer of Manheim Township in return for her renunciation of all actions, suits or causes that might be brought against him "concerning a certain Bastard child for which I have charged the said John Boyer with being the father of said child and for my lying in child bed of and from all other action." This could, of course, have been a John Boyer in a different family.
C. Catharina Boyer was born November 15, 1795, and baptized on May 5, 1796, at the Red Church. The record says that the sponsors were "Jacob and Catharina Beyer." Probably this was her father's brother, Johann Jacob, although Jacob's wife was named Maria Magdalena and not Catharine. Like her brother Johann, she took title on October 1, 1818, to land (71 acres for Catharina) that belonged to her parents; she was 23 and still single at the time. When she sold the land 16 years later, on August 2, 1834, the deed indicated that she had married first a "Mr. Culp," and then Daniel B. Crist of Norwegian Township, Schuylkill County.
D. Johannes Boyer, the son of "Johann and Catharina Boyer," was baptized at the Red Church on December 25, 1811. There is some doubt as to whether this is the same family. Father Johann would have been 47 at the time, and the birth occurred 16 years after the birth of the previous child, Catharina. Further, there already was a child named Johannes, and it appears that only two children, the first Johannes and Catharina, shared in the division of their father's property. Still, this could be another member of the same family.
6. Maria Barbara Boyer. This is believed to be the sixth child of Johann Friedrich, and the third child baptized at Christ (Mertz) Lutheran Church in Rockland Township. The record shows that Maria Barbara was born on April 25, 1765, to "Baier, Fredrich, and wf. Maria." No other information is available.
7. (Unnamed) Boyer. American Boyers indicates that there was a child born in this sequence of family births. However, no other information on such a person has been presented.
8. Johann George Boyer. The man known as George Boyer, the great‑grandfather of Lewis Elmer Boyer of Easton, is the subject of many changing reports in American Boyers. The 1915, 1940 and 1963 versions contended that George was the second child of Johann Friedrich and Anna Maria and that he was born around 1752, in Germany, the same year that his father traveled to America. 
However, the 1986 revision gave a different story, contending that George was the eighth, and not the second, child of Johann Friedrich, that he was born on April 6, 1769, and that he died on August 9, 1847, at the age of 78. The burial records of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, located in the center of Orwigsburg, give those dates. The 1915 and 1940 American Boyers versions said that George belonged to the “Red Church” but was buried at the "White Church" (Reformed) in Orwigsburg. The 1963 version said he was buried at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, but the 1986 text reverted to the earlier version and said his tombstone was in the Reformed Cemetery. Given the presence of the burial record at St. Paul's Church, it might be expected that the burial place was the Lutheran cemetery. However, a printed list of tombstone inscriptions shows the grave of "Johann G. Boyer" and his wife in Row 4 of the Reformed Cemetery. This is correct. The tombstones of George and his wife, both inscribed in German, are in the Reformed Cemetery about 20 feet from the intersection of Tammany and Washington Streets in Orwigsburg.
All of the American Boyers accounts have said that, according to his descendants, George lived on a large farm before the Revolutionary War, "just across the Second Mountain" from the place where his brother Frederick afterward settled, in what is now Schuylkill County. This account also said that George went to Virginia with his brother Frederick, but that he was not a soldier. There has been no revision of this information. Is all of this a mistake? If George was born in 1769, he would have been only seven at the time the Revolutionary War began. Was he really “living on a large farm before the Revolutionary War” when he was seven? Was that the farm of his father, Johann Friedrich? Would he have gone off with his brother Frederick to Virginia at that age? That story would make more sense if he had been born in 1752 and was 24 in 1776, but the tombstone and other records make it clear that he was born in 1769. Thus, the report that George went off to Virginia, first included in the 1915 American Boyers and continued through the 1986 version, appears to have been based on the erroneous information that he was born in 1752 and seems questionable, even though the 1986 version agreed with the tombstone that he had been born in 1769. No other evidence about the trip to Virginia has been located.
The place of George's birth is not known. It appears that the family did not move to the Orwigsburg area until 1771 or 1772, and thus it is possible he was born in Rockland Township, where three of his younger siblings were born. However, his name is not included among the baptisms of the Christ (Mertz) Church there. A study of one of George's grandchildren, published in 1916, said that George was born in Germany and moved to Schuylkill County as a boy; this apparently is incorrect, judging by his lifespan and the birthdates of his brothers. The same study said that when George died, it was on his farm, near Orwigsburg.
Census reports of those times do not shed much light on the family because they identify only the head of household and, in some cases, provide the number of residents in the household distributed by age. The only reasonably relevant George Boyer in the 1790 census was located in Hereford Township of Berks County, which is on the southern side of the Blue Mountains against the Lehigh County border, a considerable distance from the Orwigsburg area. The household consisted of four males 16 years and older, one male under 16, and three females. George was only 21 in 1790. It is believed his first child was not born until 1798, and so this is not likely the George Boyer of this family.The 1800 census for Manheim Township shows a George Boyer in a household with one male and one female over 16, one male and one female under 16. This could have been George, then aged 31, his wife Anna Maria, 25, and children Catharine, 2, and Daniel, 1.
The 1810 census for Manheim Township shows a George Boyer in a household with one male over 45, one female 25-45, one female 10-15, and four males under age 10. These could have been George, who was then 41; Anna Maria, 35; Catharine, 12; Daniel, 11; Henry, 7, and David, 4.
In 1820, the census shows one male and one female over 45, one female and two males 16-25, one male 16-18, two males 10-16, and one female and one male under 10. These could have been George Boyer, then 51; Anna Maria, 45; Catharine, 22; Daniel, 21; Henry, 17; David, 14; William, 11; Magdalene, 7; Polly; and Peter, 4.
In 1830, the census shows the family of George Boyer consisting of one male between 60 and 70, one female 50-60, one male 20-30, one male and one female 15-20, and one male 10-15. These could have been George Boyer, then 61; Anna Maria, 55; Henry, 27; William, 21; Magdalena, 17; and Peter, 14.
The 1840 census for Manheim Township shows a George Boyer household with one male between 60 and 70, one female between 50 and 60, one male between 20 and 30, one male between 10 and 15, and one female between 5 and 10. These could have been George Boyer, who was then 71 and would die seven years later; and his wife Anna Maria, who was 65. It is possible that the man between 20 and 30 was Peter Boyer, then 24, who was the youngest known child of George. The younger people present in the household were most likely grandchildren. St. Paul's Church records mention that "George Boyer (Sen.)" took communion on March 23, 1845, about two years before his death. The "senior” apparently was to distinguish him from his grandson, George B. Boyer, then aged 6.
Not much else is known about George. If it is accepted that he was not born until 1769, then the report that he went off to Virginia during the Revolutionary War with his brother Frederick must be an error, since he would have been only seven in 1776 and his parents were still living. Whether he resided in Manheim or Brunswick township is at issue. A 1798 tax valuation sheet for Manheim Township listed five Boyers, and possibly they were five brothers: The property of George was valued at $135, John $585, Jacob $180, Godfrey $500 and Michael $200. In Brunswick Township at the time, the only Boyer was Christopher, who was not part of the family.
On the other hand, in Brunswick Township, there were two real estate transactions that may have involved this same George. On May 27, 1806, when George would have been 47, a George Boyer paid $100 to John Myer for (undescribed) land in Brunswick Township; this may have been land that adjoined property of George's older brother, Johann, indicating they may have decided to live next to each other. And on April 22, 1824, when George would have been 55, a George Boyer of Brunswick Township paid $100 to Henry Orwig for 27 acres in Brunswick Township running along land already owned by George Boyer as well as land of John Scherry and Adam Fried (Adam was a sponsor at baptisms of a niece and nephew of George). It should also be noted that on June 30, 1814, land surveyed at 400 acres was recorded as belonging to a George Boyer of Schuylkill County.
There is a report that sometime in the period 1805‑09, a George Boyer was charged with assault and battery in the Berks County court in Reading, but the charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence. George would have been aged 36‑40 at that time, but there is no way to tell if this might be the same George. There is an 1817 newspaper notice about a George Boyer who was planning to sell out his stock of goods in order to bring his business to a close, but there is no way to tell if this was the same man either.It is possible that George may be confused by historians with another George Boyer, who was a son of Daniel Boyer (born in 1784) in the other main line of Boyers living in Orwigsburg. This one was George D. Boyer, whose lifespan (1817‑1864) actually made him a contemporary of two different George Boyers in the Johann Friedrich line. Although he was only 47 when he died, there is ample record of the life of George D. Boyer, since he was a prominent politician of his time, serving as county commissioner in 1841, county treasurer in 1852, and representative in the state legislature in 1845, 1846 and 1848. George D. and his wife, Coletta Orwig (1818‑1896), are buried in the Old Lutheran Cemetery in the center of Orwigsburg, along with numerous Daniel Boyers, probably including George D.'s father.
George and Anna Maria Boyer are believed to have had eight children, as drawn from several sources. If the dates are correct, George was aged 29-47 when they were born, and Anna Maria was 23-41.
A. Catharine (Kate) Boyer was born in 1798 and died in 1884 at the age of 85. She married Thomas Schock, and they lived in Lewistown Valley, Walker Township, in Schuylkill County. They had three children. One of them, Henry Schock, born on January 27, 1832, married a cousin, Violetta Boyer, daughter of George's son David; they are buried in the Old Lutheran Cemetery in Orwigsburg.
B. Daniel Boyer is said by the 1986 American Boyers text to have been born on December 11, 1799. In a third Boyer‑Schock intermarriage, Daniel married Elizabeth Schock, apparently the sister of Thomas, who was married to Daniel's sister Kate. Daniel was a Lutheran and he owned a saw mill; they lived in Deep Creek Valley, Pennsylvania. Daniel died on February 13, 1874, at the age of 74. Elizabeth, born on January 20, 1803, died on March 7, 1874, three weeks after her husband, at the age of 71. They are buried in Frieden's Cemetery in Hegins. They had one boy and six girls. The boy, Joseph Boyer (1828‑1905), married Salome Bixler; Joseph and Salome had 11 children, including several now buried in Orwigsburg. There is a photograph of 13 members of the family on page 592 of Volume II of American Boyers 7th edition (1986).
C. Henry Boyer, according to the 1986 American Boyers text, was born on September 12, 1803, probably in Oley, and he was a blacksmith, living in Pottsville; he married Sarah Rishel (1811‑1851) and, after her death, Sarah Frayzer (1825‑1893). He had seven children with his first wife, two with his second. Henry died on February 22, 1869, at the age of 66. He is buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Pottsville, with both wives.
D. David Boyer, who was the grandfather of Lewis Elmer Boyer and is the focal point of the next chapter, was born on April 8, 1806. The Red Church records note his baptism on August 10, 1806, the son of "George and Maria Boyer." David married Susannah Montgomery and later Hannah Beck, and it is estimated that he had 10 children. David was a gunsmith in Orwigsburg. He died there on June 23, 1883, and is buried in the Old Lutheran Cemetery with his wife Hannah and several children.
E. William Boyer, born on March 5, 1809, was baptized as "Wilhelm Bayer" on June 18, 1809, the son of "George and Maria Bayer." The sponsors were "Michael Bayer," the brother of George, and his wife Gertrude. The 1986 American Boyers text says William died on October 11, 1830, at the age of 21, and was buried in the Reformed Cemetery in Orwigsburg, where his tombstone was inscribed in German as "William Beier." The tombstone was not located in 1985. However, it is possible that his is the small and illegible tombstone in the Reformed Cemetery immediately next to the stones of his parents, George and Anna Maria Boyer.
F. Magdalena Boyer, according to American Boyers (1986), was born on February 7, 1813, and died on April 30, 1835, at the age of 22. She is buried at the Reformed Cemetery in Orwigsburg. Her grave was not located in 1985. (The records of Frieden's Church in New Ringgold list the baptism of Maria Magdalena, daughter of Jacob and Maria Boyer, on September 15, 1808, but it is not likely this is the same person.)
G. Maria (Polly) Boyer was born in 1814 and married George Traub (or Troup). They resided at one time in Upper Mahantongo Township in Schuylkill County and later in Hegins Township, also in Schuylkill County.
Boyer, born on
January 1, 1816, was
baptized on May 23 of that year at the Red Church, the son of "George
Marie Bayer." According to the 1986 American Boyers
text, he lived
on his father's farm and married Esther Anna Hollenbach
He died August 15, 1895, at the age of 79. His will, filed on
August 30, 1895,
said he was from North Manheim Township and left property to his
Louisa (1834-1911), the wife of John Potts.
Peter and Esther (1819‑1885) are buried in the Old Lutheran
Orwigsburg. Esther is listed as "a faithful Member" of St.
Church. They are buried along with their son James
died at the age of 20, possibly a casualty of the Civil War.
Another daughter, Rebecca, died at the age of 5
tombstones of Peter, Esther
and son James are easily located in the northwest corner of the
Cemetery, near the graves of Peter's brother David and some of the
See the family genealogical chart for George and his children.
9. Johann Jakob Boyer, known as Jacob, is said to be the ninth child of Johann Friedrich and Anna Maria. He was born November 20, 1771, and baptized on May 28, 1772, at the Red Church. He was the first of Johann Friedrich's children to be baptized there, probably soon after the family moved to the Orwigsburg area. The baptism is also recorded in Daniel Schumacher's Baptismal Register, which says that this "son of Friderich Bayer and Anna Maria" was born "across the Blue Mountains."
The American Boyers account of 1915 and 1940 said that the grave of Johann Jakob could not be found, nor could his wife be identified. This was curious, since the graves of both Johann Jakob and his wife are not far inside the gate of the Red Church Cemetery, immediately next to the graves of Johann Jakob's parents, Johann Friedrich and Anna Maria. The 1986 revised text indicated that the tombstones had been found.
Much of Johann Jakob's tombstone is illegible, but what can be seen appears to read, in English translation from the German: "In memory of the life of Jakob Bayer, husband and widower of Maria Magdalene Hartinger, born November 20 1771. Married to her for 53 years, 4 Sons and 1 Daughter, and many descendants. Died January 24, 1852. Age 80 years, 2 months and 4 days." By this accounting, Johann Jakob would have died on January 24, 1852. The burial record at the Red Church says that Jacob died of apoplexy, and gives that date for his death. However, it says that Jacob was born on May 4, 1767, and that he died at the age of 84 years, 8 months and 20 days; this is likely an error, since baptism records appear in two places, and both say he was born in 1771. It is curious that the record of Jacob's death also appears in the burial records of St. Paul's Church in Orwigsburg; that record says that Jacob was "born in Brunswick Township," but gives the same erroneous date for his birth. The St. Paul's record book says that Jacob died "suddenly by a paralysis stroke."
The tombstone of his wife, in English translation, reads: "Here rests Magdalene Hartinger, honored wife of Jacob Boyer, born on 4 May 1771, died 27 September 1849. Age 78 years, 4 months and 23 days. Scripture: John 14:13." She was thus born about six months before Johann Jakob. Daniel Schumacher's Baptismal Register also records the baptism of "Maria Magdalen Hartinger," on the 23rd of November, 1771, in Windsor Township, daughter of Peter and Catharina Hartinger. As noted earlier, she was the sister of Anna Maria Hartinger, born in 1775, who married Jacob's brother George. The records of St. Paul's church in Windsor Township indicated that Maria Magdalene was confirmed in 1787, when she was 16.
If Jakob and Maria Magdalene had been married for 53 years, as on Jakob’s tombstone, they would have been married in 1796 (counting the 53 years backward from the date of her death three years before Jakob). However, that would put the marriage one year after the birth of their first child. Perhaps the intention of the tombstone author was to count backward from Jakob’s death – to say that he was married 53 years ago – and that would put the marriage in 1799. The tombstone also says that they had four sons and one daughter. However, information has surfaced on six children:
A. Jacob Boyer, known as Jacob Jr., was born on October 20, 1797, and died on January 15, 1828, at the age of 30, according to the burial records of the Red Church. His estate was administered by a friend, Benjamin Bucher, and his widow Salome. Red Church records include baptisms for three children of "Jacob and Salome Boyer." Laise, or Heloise, later known as Eliza, was born on January 28, 1824. Lydia was born July 12, 1825, and Jacob Boyer Sr. and Magdalena served as sponsors at her baptism. She was married to John Heim and died on February 23, 1903, at the age of 77; they are buried in the Red Church Cemetery. Solomon was born on May 6, 1826; a sponsor at his baptism was Philip Boyer, single, possibly the son of Gottfried Boyer, who was then 22. Solomon apparently did not live long, since the records of the Orphans' Court noted that Jacob Jr. had left only two children when he died in 1828. That record also noted that Jacob died without a will, that there had not been sufficient money to pay Jacob's debts and educate his two children, and that it was necessary to sell his barn and 23 acres of land.
B. Andreas Boyer is known only from baptismal records of his children. Maria Boyer, daughter of "Sarah and Andreas Boyer," was born November 23, 1834, and baptized on December 14 of that year at the Red Church, with her grandparents, Jacob and Magdalena, as sponsors. Another child, Susannah, was born on May 14, 1836, and baptized at the Red Church on August 2; Andreas' brother Benjamin and wife Leah were sponsors in the double baptism ceremony. Anna Maria Boyer, born November 10, 1837, is listed in the 1986 American Boyers text. A Sarah Rebecca Boyer was born to "Andrew and Sarah Boyer" on February 31(?), 1845, and baptized on January 5, 1846, according to records at St. John's Reformed Church in Orwigsburg, but she may belong to a different family.
C. Mary Boyer, according to the 1986 American Boyers, married a man named Rider. This may be the Maria Magdalene Boyer, born to "Jacob and Maria" on September 15, 1808, and baptized at Frieden's Church, New Ringgold, in East Brunswick Township.
D. Peter Boyer, according to the 1986 American Boyers text, was born in 1802 and died in Harrison County, Ohio, in 1875. He was a farmer in the Orwigsburg area, married Susannah Fritz, and had 11 children. Jacob and Magdalene were sponsors at the baptism of one of them, Ruben, in a Reformed service at the Red Church on August 30, 1829.
E. Benjamin Boyer, born on November 25, 1805, and baptized at the Red Church on July 24, 1806. According to the 1986 American Boyers, he was a farmer on "Sculp's Hill," near the Red Church, married Leah Schrader, and had seven children. The baptism on August 20, 1836, of their daughter Sarah, born on May 1, 1836, is recorded at the Red Church; Benjamin's brother Andreas and wife Sarah were sponsors. Leah, born on December 22, 1812, died on April 29, 1887; she was 75 years old. Benjamin died January 14, 1893, at the age of 87, and is buried at the Red Church. Two of Benjamin's grandchildren, sons of Jacob Boyer (1841-1906), were named patriotically George Washington Boyer (1863‑1893, married to Emma Zuber, and both buried at the Red Church cemetery), and Benjamin Franklin Boyer (1867‑1933, married to Christiana Faust, also buried at the Red Church).
F. Christine Boyer, by Red Church records, was born October 13, 1807, and baptized January 24, 1808. It is believed she died young.
10. Johann Gottfried Boyer, known as Gottfried, is believed to be the tenth and last child of Johann Friedrich Boyer. He was born on January 2, 1774, ("one day after New Years," according to the baptismal record) and baptized on April 26 of that year at the Red Church. Sponsors were Johann Peter and Anna Magdalena Schmelger, the same people who sponsored his brother Jacob. His name appears in various records as Gottfried, Godfreid, Gotfry and Geofred. He was married to Anna Maria Paul, who was born on May 11, 1771, and died on November 30, 1848. A private researcher concluded that she was apparently the child of Philip and Juliana Paul, who settled in the area of the Red Church between 1774 and 1790, and that Gottfried and Anna Maria were probably married about 1791-92.
Records at the Schuylkill County Courthouse contain numerous transactions relating to Gottfried, indicating that he was probably well‑off and that he and his family did business by the official rules. A survey of "warrantees" on January 9, 1804, showed that "Godfrey Boyer" possessed two tracts of land in Berks County, of 11 and 8 acres respectively. It appears that the elder Gottfried Boyer bought other property on July 22, 1818, for $740 "in gold or silver money," from a Jacob Dreibelbis. The deed says this was part of a larger tract of land which bordered property already owned by this "Godfrey Boyer." In the customary way, the deed conveyed the land with all "houses, outhouses, barns, stables, gardens, orchards, meadows, fields, fences, ways, woods, waters, water courses, rights, liberties, privileges, hereditaments and appurtanences."
The will of Gottfried's son Abraham, who died in 1869, shows that Abraham possessed 145 acres of land in North Manheim Township which had belonged to his father, Gottfried. Abraham in turn passed 38 acres of that land to his son Henry and the rest to his son Gottfried. When Gottfried the grandson of the original Gottfried died in 1898, his very detailed will left 33 acres to his wife Amanda, including "the old Boyer timber tract of about 10 acres and the Eiler timber tract of 10 acres on the Schuylkill Mountain."
Further evidence of Gottfried’s landholdings is information that he also possessed a parcel of land just west of the town of Carroll, in Fairfield County, Ohio. Gottfried’s son Daniel migrated to Ohio in 1833, initiating a large number of descendants there with the name Boyer. According to one descendant, many in the family wondered why Daniel would have moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio, but then a study of his possessions revealed that one parcel had been owned by his father, Gottfried. The indenture and plat, dated 1816 (when Gottfried was 42) was considered by the family as probably a speculative venture. Ohio statehood had been declared in 1803, and many early landowners were absentee. One estimate is that Daniel inherited this parcel when his father died in 1826, and this stimulated him to move to Ohio.
Gottfried died at the age of 52, much younger than his siblings, on September 19, 1826, in Manheim Township, according to the 1986 American Boyers, and he and Anna Maria are buried in the old Jerusalem Church Cemetery, adjoining the Union Cemetery in Schuylkill Haven. His tombstone, inscribed with "Godfred Boyer," was in English, indicating it had been erected some years after his wife's, which was in German (although he died 22 years before she did). Courthouse records show that Abraham and Philip, two of the sons of "Godfried Boyer," as well as "Anna Maria, the widow," were named administrators of the estate.
The 1986 American Boyers listed nine children of Gottfried and Anna Maria:
A. Anna Maria Boyer was born on January 4, 1793, and died on December 27, 1837, at the age of 44. She was married on July 9, 1816, to John Rudy, a shoemaker in Schuylkill Haven. Both are buried in the Union Cemetery in Schuylkill Haven. They had six children. Their son Henry Rudy moved to Salt Lake City, where he died after founding a long line of the Rudy family in Utah.
Boyer was born on December
20, 1795, in Schuylkill Haven, and died on September 24, 1870, at the
age of 74.
Although American Boyers (1915) and (1940) said he
died on September 24,
1880, ten years later, the 1986 version pointed out that
Abraham’s will, recorded
at the Pottsville Court House, was made on May 3, 1869, and probated on
8, 1870, obviously after his death, and so the death must have been in
Abraham and sisters Maria and Rebecca, were all confirmed at the Red
the same day, May 11, 1809. He was married to Susannah
and they had five children. Abraham and Susannah were buried
in the Union
Cemetery in Schuylkill Haven. Abraham apparently inherited
property from his
father and passed it on to his own children, as mentioned
above. The large
farm is now covered by the town of Schuylkill Haven. Abraham
also willed a 106‑acre
farm in Wayne Township to his son George, and his farm and grist mill
Manheim Township to his son Daniel, who was to provide for Abraham's
The wills of his children Gottfried, Henry, George
(a surveyor) are recorded in the Schuylkill County Courthouse.
A long line of the Boyer
family was established by Abraham, especially
branch descending from his son George Boyer (1822‑1892), who married Philippine
"Phoebe" Yohe and had 10 children. One of George's
D. Boyer (1864‑1932) had 18 children. The line is
in the 1986 revision of American Boyers. Another
son of Abraham and Susannah was Gottfried
Boyer (1826-1899), clearly named for his grandfather. His
tombstone in Union Cemetery, Schuylkill Haven, (below) spells his name
"Godfrey." He first married Mary Ann
(Polly) Reed (1831-1894), and American
Boyers (page 631)
identifies 13 of their children. After Polly's death, he married Amanda, as known from the
will he wrote on May 6, 1898. In his will, he
asked that he be buried next to his first wife, and he was, as shown in
the photo below.ow.
C. Catharine Boyer married Andrew Willouer of Schuylkill County. They had five children. Catharine apparently preceded her mother in death, and thus died before 1848.
D. Maria Magdalena Boyer was born on October 10, 1801, judging by her tombstone, which said she died on January 29, 1863, at the age of 61 years, 3 months and 19 days. She was confirmed in 1809. Magdalena married Samuel Bowen, of Schuylkill County. Samuel was born on May 3, 1804 (his tombstone said May 9, 1804), and baptized at Zion Lutheran (Red) Church in Orwigsburg on September 3, 1804. He was confirmed at the Red Church on May 31, 1821. Samuel died on September 3, 1880, at the age of 76 years, 3 months and 24 days. Both Samuel and Magdalena Boyer Bowen were buried in Union Cemetery, Schuylkill Haven. Magdalena reportedly at one time was a lock tender on the Schuylkll Canal. Samuel owned a number of properties in Schuylkill County. Samuel was one of three sons of John Bowen (1777-1837) and Susannah Hartman Bowen (1782-1861). John was employed at the Schuylkill Forge near Port Clinton. His death in 1837, at age 60, was noted as due to an accident. Details could not be found. John Bowen did not leave a will. In 1843, after his death, his five tracts of land in North Manheim Township were re-surveyed and divided among his three sons -- Samuel, John and Martin Bowen. Four daughters received money generated by the sale of property to their brothers.
One of the parcels of land owned by John
Bowen, purchased at a sheriff's sale in 1819, bordered
property owned by
the Gottfried Boyer who died in 1826 and his son Abraham Boyer. It
is thus likely that Magdalena Boyer and
Samuel Bowen, children of Gottfried Boyer and John Bowen, were
neighbors of about the same age. Both families attended the Red Church.
The first child of Magdalena and Samuel was born in 1823, when
she would have been 21 and he 19, and
thus they probably were married about 1823. Known children of Magdalena
and Samuel Bowen were Anna Maria
Bowen Palsgrove (1823-1892), Elizabeth
Bowen (1827-1901), Louis
(Lewis) Bowen, a twin (1830-1831), Edward Bowen, a twin
(both died at the age of 5 months in
1831), Louisa Bowen Hazel
(1832-1930), Magdalena Bowen
(1833-1837), and Rebecca Bowen Detwiler
(1837-1875). This information on the Bowens was developed by Ruth Laubenstine Yablonski
a descendant of Samuel Bowen's brother Martin Bowen. She also provided
the photographs in this section on Johann Gottfried Boyer.
E. Rebecca Boyer was born on May 3, 1802, and died on September 22, 1833, at the age of 31. She is buried in Jerusalem Church Cemetery, Schuylkill Haven. Rebecca died unmarried and with an illegitimate child. Official documents in the Schuylkill County courthouse record an agreement in which Rebecca's mother, Maria Paul Boyer, apparently sold her claim to Rebecca's estate for $5.00 to her son‑in‑law John Rudy, a Schuylkill Haven shoemaker who was married to Rebecca's sister, Anna Maria. It seems possible to infer that Rebecca was made pregnant by her brother-in-law, John Rudy (“I, Maria Boyer,” the document began, “mother of said Rebecca Boyer, for $5 paid by John Rudy, of Schuylkill Haven, shoemaker . . . . “). The agreement, dated December 27, 1833, noted that "Rebecca Boyer, late of Schuylkill Haven in Schuylkill County, deceased, single woman, who died intestate without lawful issue, but leaving a Mother and Brothers and Sisters and . . . the said Rebecca Boyer was before her death delivered of an illegitimate male child which said child is called Jared Schitz . . . ." The 1870 census shows a “Jared Sheetz,” 43-year-old married shoemaker in Schuylkill Haven, thus born about 1827. He would have been 6 when Rebecca died, but he could be the same person. While the text suggests Rebecca died in childbirth, it is possible she died of other causes six years after Jared’s birth, and the settlement took place then. The 1870 census also showed a John Rudy, retired shoemaker in Schuylkill Haven, age 75, living with his 73-year-old wife Catherine, apparently his second wife since Rebecca’s sister, Anna Maria, had died at age 44 in 1837. It appears possible that Jared went to live with John Rudy and learned the shoemaker trade from him.
F. Phillip Boyer was born on May 2, 1804, and baptized on December 2 of that year at the Red Church in Orwigsburg. He was a farmer. He was married first to Maria Wildermuth (1811‑1829), who died at the age of 17 or 18 (the tombstone information is confused) after having two children, Edward and Maria. He then married Catharine Heffner (1810‑1861). Phillip died on May 16, 1863. Catharine and Phillip are buried in the old Jerusalem Church Cemetery in Schuylkill Haven; Maria is buried in the adjoining Union Cemetery. In 1832, Phillip and Catharine sold 72 acres of land to Christian Kennedy of Manheim Township; this was the same land Phillip had received in 1829 from the administrator of the estate of John Berkheiser. Phillip and Catharine had three children, William, Lewis and Rebecca. One of them, Rebecca Boyer (1838‑1913), for reasons not revealed, legally chose her father Philip as her guardian on March 9, 1855, when she was 14, at a time when her mother was still living; Rebecca married Alfred G. Yeager and named one of her children L. Boyer Yeager. A long line of Boyers stems from Philip and his children.
G. John B. Boyer was born on March 23, 1808, as recorded in the baptismal records of the Red Church. On December 26, 1826, three months after their father, Johann Gottfried died at the age of 52, his three youngest children – John B., Elizabeth and Daniel -- chose guardians at the behest of the Orphan’s Court. This apparently was to protect their property interest any future husband of their mother in the event she remarried. John, then aged 18, chose Peter Berkheiser as his guardian. About 1828, John married Susan Rodebaugh (1807‑1877). After five children were born to them in Pennsylvania, they loaded their young family and household effects into a wagon and drove to the vicinity of Carroll, in Fairfield County, Ohio, arriving there in 1838. John apparently went there to join his brother Daniel. Three additional children were born there, and a long line of Boyers can be traced to the children of John and Daniel who grew up in Ohio. John and Susan are buried in the Betzer Cemetery in Bloom Township, Fairfield County. One of their children, George (1842‑1890), a farmer at Lockville, Ohio, is reported to have been fatally shot by a neighbor during an altercation.
H. Elizabeth Jane Boyer was born on June 18, 1810, and baptized at the Red Church on September 9 of that year. In the Orphan's Court at Pottsville, on December 25, 1826, when she was 16, she chose her brother‑in‑law, Andrew Willouer, husband of her sister Catharine, as her guardian. Elizabeth's father, Gottfried, had died three months earlier, on September 19 of that year. Elizabeth married John Adam Boyd. Their first child was born in Pennsylvania in 1832. Previous versions of this paper and of American Boyers Volume II, said erroneously that Elizabeth was married to John A. "Boyer." However, research by Gayle Pahl, a descendant of Elizabeth, showed that in fact Elizabeth married John Adam Boyd, who had been born on February 12, 1810, in Pennsylvania. This was confirmed by new research for American Boyers. They had at least eight children. A deed dated 1850 indicated that Elizabeth and John moved to Rock Island, Illinois. They later went to Davenport, Iowa, where John was the mayor in 1853. He was mayor when work started on the bridge between Rock Island and Davenport. Later, according to Gayle Pahl, they farmed in Clinton County, Iowa. John Boyd died on August 16, 1872, and Elizabeth Boyer Boyd died on April 20, 1897. They were both buried in Boyd Cemetery, near Calamus, Olive Township, Clinton County, Iowa. Their children included Catharine, Elizabeth, Henry, Thomas, Charles, William, Fletcher, Sarah and John Edward Boyd. Gayle Pahl's full listing of the family can be found in Ancestry's Family Trees under John Adam Boyd.
I. Daniel Boyer was born on March 30, 1812, and baptized at the Red Church on June 14 of that year.  Daniel died on October 25, 1884, at the age of 72, in Carroll, Fairfield County, Ohio, where he had moved in 1833. His move there apparently is what led his brother John to move to Carroll five years later. Like his brother John, Daniel chose Peter Berkheiser as his guardian after their father died in 1826. Daniel was a farmer. Daniel apparently was stimulated to move to Ohio through his inheritance from his father, Gottfried, of a parcel of land west of Carroll in Fairfield County. In 1844, Daniel purchased Lot 39 in Carroll, and this was the basis of a vast amount of land he accumulated. According to American Boyers, at one time, he owned over 1,000 acres of land in Fairfield and Henry Counties, Ohio, and in Wells County, Indiana.
Daniel was married in 1834, just after his move to Ohio, to Margaret Showalter, who had been born in Virginia in 1816. Margaret’s father, George Showalter, had migrated to Bloom Township, Fairfield County, after the birth of their six or seven children. George and his wife, Nancy Kauffman, might have been influenced to migrate from Virginia to Ohio because her older brother, John Coffman, had done so. As it turned out, Daniel Boyer’s property was adjacent to that of John Coffman and only two miles from the Showalter property. Daniel, age 22, married Margaret, age 18, born in 1816, only one year after he arrived in Ohio. The properties of the Coffman family, George Showalter, Daniel Boyer and his son Marquis (Marcus) were all located on the main road, within three miles of each other, the Columbus-Lancaster Road, known in 2005 as Route 33. The Pine Hill Golf Course in 2005 was located on what was Daniel Boyer’s property.
Daniel and Margaret had nine children, including one named Marquis Lafayette Boyer (1836‑1886), also known as Marcus. Two of Marquis Lafayette’s great‑grandchildren -- Dorothy Weiser Seale (born in 1916) and Mark Louis Saylor (born in 1921) – did extensive genealogical work that contributed much to the history of this branch of the Boyer family. Margaret's last three children died within 20 months of each other, in November 1851, June 1852 and June 1853, at the ages of 3, 2 and 10 weeks. Margaret herself died four weeks after the birth of the last child. After her death, Daniel married Henrietta Giddings, born in England in 1835, 23 years after Daniel was born. She died in 1903, without children. A photo of Daniel and Henrietta appears in American Boyers (1986), page 640. Daniel and both wives were buried in Betzer Cemetery, in Bloom Township.
The Unknowns. Were there other children of Johann Friedrich and Anna Maria? Perhaps not, but several hints in record books deserve mention:
There is a baptism record of John Adam Boyer, born about 1752, the son of Frederick and Anna Maria Boyer. This appears in the records of Ziegel Church in Weissenberg Township, Lehigh County. Apparently, the conclusion that Johann Friedrich Boyer arrived in America in 1752 led the editors of American Boyers to decide that this was a different Johann Friedrich Boyer, and he was not included in the book.
Early editions of American Boyers contained a section on a Peter Boyer, who was listed as a child of Johann Friedrich Boyer. Peter was born on September 10, 1777, and married to Anna Maria Kamp (1782‑1871). He died on March 5, 1851, and was buried in Schuylkill Haven. However, the 1986 version of American Boyers changed this information and listed this Peter Boyer as one of the children of Christopher Beyer and Catherine Reifschneider, the other main line of Boyers living in Orwigsburg at the time. This family was descended not from Johann Friedrich Boyer but from Johann Andreas Beyer, who had been born in 1681 and who had a history similar to that of Johann Friedrich. Both arrived by ship in Philadelphia, both settled in Berks County, and both families resided near Orwigsburg. Andreas arrived in Philadelphia aboard the Winter Galley in 1738. Efforts to trace the genealogy of the two Boyer families in Orwigsburg leads to many intersections and much confusion between them.
"Johann George Beier," son of "George Beier," was baptized by the Reverend Daniel Schumacher on May 10, 1756, at St. Paul's Church in Windsor Township, Berks County. This is the same church where a grandson of Johann Friedrich, the son of Frederick, was baptized in 1803. This is the same year, 1756, when Johann Friedrich’s son Frederick was born in Lower Macungie Township, and so it is not likely this is a child of Johann Friedrich.
"Johann Daniel Beyer" was baptized by Daniel Schumacher on August 22, 1756, also in the same year. He was then seven weeks old, and his parents are listed as "Johannes Beyer and Anna Maria Beyer" of Schwarzwald, which is five miles east of Reading in Exeter Township, Berks County. The 1984 American Boyers text indicated that this man was in a different family line, a child of John and Anna Maria Boyer who were descended from the immigrant Christopher Boyer. Nevertheless, the name of the parents, the date, and the location of the baptism not more than 30 miles from Orwigsburg suggest at least the possibility of a connection to the Johann Friedrich Boyer under review here.
Leonhart Boyer is mentioned in the 1940 American Boyers, but not in the 1986 text, as possibly a child or a brother of Johann Friedrich. Leonhart lived in Brunswick Township and died in 1777. Letters of administration were granted on May 14, 1777, to a "Magdalene Boyer." The family registry of the Mormon Church says that "Leonard Boyer" died on that date, and that he was married to Magdalena. There is a record at the Red Church that "Leonhard and Maria Magdalena Beyer" served as sponsors at a baptism on October 20, 1776, the year before his death. If this is the same person, Leonhart likely would have been too old to be a child of Johann Friedrich and probably is related to another Boyer line.
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