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Rockingham Co, VA Family Histories



Christopher Kisling settled in the neighborhood of the present McGaheysville in 1762 or earlier. He died in 1774, probably as the result of an accident, as the records of Augusta County show that an inquest was held over him. His inventory indicates that he was a dyer by trade. He left a widow, Christina, who married John Herdman in the Dayton neighborhood; and he had several sons and daughters, among them, John and Christopher Kisling. Reuben Kisling, who lived on the Lawyer’s Road, was probably a son of John Kisling. The most prominent member of the family was Jacob Kisling, who was an orphan in 1778 and was bound to Philip Lingel to learn the trade of a wagon-maker. He served as a soldier in the War of the Revolution in the campaign against Arnold in 1781 and~ in the siege of Yorktown. He was a noted rifle shot, and after the Revolution was a captain of Rockinghain militia. He married Barbara Lingel, widow of Philip Lingel, in 1782, and they had the following children: Henry Kisling, who married his cousin, Miss Miller; Christina Kisling, who married Colonel Joseph Mauzy, a captain of the War of 1812; Ann Kisling, who married, first, John Pence, and second, Rodham Kemper of Cross Keys; Mary Kisling, who married Philip Hopkins, a merchant of Staunton, Virginia; Elizabeth Kisling, who married Edward Stevens.

Henry Kisling had two sons: George J. Kisling, for years county surveyor of Rockingham County; and. Whitfield Kisling, a captain in the Tenth Virginia Regiment and adjutant of that organization. He was killed at the battle of Spottsylvania Court House in 1864.




Notes from Mrs. JOHN S. MACY 3353 N. New Jersey Street, Indianapolis, Indiana
Jacob Kiesling came to America
in 1759 or earlier. He owned a small farm on the west bank of the Schuylkill River in Berks County, Pa., north of Reading. He married Walburga Miller in 1754. She came to America in 1749. He was drowned in the Schuylkill February 4, 1784. The story goes that during a flood he was trying to save some. of his stock when his boat upset and be was drowned. His wife witnessed the tragedy. His body was found the next day.
The children of Jacob Kiesling and Walburga Miller were:
Martin, John (born 1758 or 1759), Jacob, Sebastian, Agnes
(~), and Barbara (?).
The first census taken in Pennsylvania (1790) lists the name “Widow Kiesling” in Reading Township, Berks County. Tradition has it that the Widow Kiesling and her sons went to Wythe County, Va.
One historian lists Jacob Kiesling’s children as Jacob, Conrad, George, John, Priscilla, and Catherine; states that the Sons George and Conrad lived and died in Wythe County, Va.; also that Priscilla married a Miller and lived in Boston Township, Wayne County, md.; that Catherine married Abe Fillinger; that she died March 19, 1832, and was buried on Daniel Keesling’s farm, west of Mechanicsburg, Henry County, MD/

 Others affirm that Priscilla and Catherine were not Jacob’s daughters, also that Conrad (Hugh Conrad) and George were sons
of George Kiesling who took the oath of allegiance September 22, 1766.

Penna. Archives, 5th series, give the names of Jacob, Conrad, George, Martin, and John Kisling as soldiers of Berks County, Pa., in the Revolutionary War. Joseph Hiester was colonel of Berks County militia. An enlistment qualified one for the war even if he did not participate in battle.

Conrad Kiesling, Maxatawny Township, Berks County, Pa., single, appears on the 1785 tax list.
Conrad Kisling was in Joseph Hester’s company and on the pay roll of Capt. Jacob Bauldy’s company.

From Pennsylvania Archives.
John Keesling, son of Jacob Kiesling,
was born March 23, 1758 (tombstone record 1759), in Berks County, Pa.; died December 31, 1839, in Berks County, Pa. Died December 31, 1839, in Henry County, MD, a pensioner of the Revolutionary War.


John Keesling married first Eve Miller, who was born April 12, 1765, and died in Preble County, Ohio, about 1806; second, Barbara Staley, widow, about 1807.

Children of John and Eve (Miller) Keesling: Jacob, 1789, m. Catherine Shaffer; Elizabeth, 1791, m. John Raper; Catherine, 1792, m. Daniel Shaffer; Polly, 1795, in. Benj. Fisher; John, 1796, m. Melinda Bufla; Daniel, 1797, m. Catherine Zeek; Peter, Feb. 9, 1800, m. Nancy Bosworth; George, 1804, m. Elizabeth Miller; Susannah, 1806, m. Rice Price, Jr.

Children of John and Barbara (Staley) Keesling: Dorotha, born in Preble County, Ohio, Dec. 15, 1808; in. Adam Carter.
Some of John and Eve (Miller) Keesling
*s children were born in Wythe County, Va. They left Wythe County after 1800.
The Keeslings, Millers, Shaffers, Zeeks, and Rapers all lived in Wythe County, Va., before coming to Preble County, Ohio, and Wayne County, md., 1801 and later. Several of Christopher Kisling
*s descendants settled in Wayne County, Ind, and other Indiana counties after leaving Preble County, Ohio.
Following is the lineage of Mrs. John S. Macy, a member of Caroline Scott Harrison Chapter D. A. R., through service of John Keesling:

(1) Jacob Keesling and Walburga Miller
(2) John Keesling and Eve Miller
(3) Peter Keesling and Nancy Bosworth
(4) Martin Keesling and Adaline Moore
(5) Sarah M. Keesling and N. W. Sourwine
(6) Alma E. Sourwine and John S. Macy

Following is the lineage of Harold C. Keesling, Fredonia, Kansas:

(1) George (?)
(2) Conrad Keesling, Wythe County, Va.
(3) Martin Keesling, Muncie, md.
(4) Morrison H. Keesling
(5) Charles E. Keesling, Kansas
(6) Harold C. Keesling

Personal data concerning some of the foregoing:

(1) Jacob Kiesling, naturalized Sept. 22, 1766
(2) John Keesling, Revolutionary soldier
(3) Jacob Keesling, settled in Wayne Couflty, md.
(4) Elizabeth Keesling,
in. "Muncie" Dan Keesling
(5) Martha Keesling, m. Morrison H. Keeslirig
(6) Charles E. Keesling
(7) Harold C. Keesling, Fredonia, Kansas

NoTE—John Keesling, Revolutionary soldier, had a son Daniel Keesling who settled in Henry County, md., about 1825. "Muncie" Dan Keesling lived in Delaware, a county directly north of Henry, near Muncie, therefore the appellation "Muncie" Dan, to distinguish him from the other. It is said that “Muncie” Dan was a son of Conrad Keesling of Wythe County, Va. 

John Keesling was a private soldier in Col. Hiester’s company; enlisted at Reading, Berks County, Pa.; applied for a pension May 116, 1833. his claim was allowed. At date of application he resided in Fall Creek Township, Henry County, md. Age at date of appli­cation—born March 23, 1758. Was a son of Jacob Kiesling.

Remarks. He died about Dec. 25, 1840, leaving a widow, name not stated. There is no further family data On file.
The above statements follow an official report. See page 376.

The will of Conrad Keesling was made Oct. 24, 1817; probated May 12, 1818. See Will Book 2, page 245, Wythe County, Va., court records.
On January 23, 1930, Mrs. Spence was referred by Mr. Harold 0. Kesling of Fredonia, Kansas, to Penna. Archives, Series Five, Vol. V, page 234, for Revolutionary services of Conrad Keesling. Jane Sikes. Sons-in-law, James Forehand, John Lambert, Wm. Sikes, Isaac Sawyer. Grand-daughter, Esther Lambert. Mentions Nancy Sawyer, daughter. Probated at August court, 1785. William Spence, Pasquotank, Co., 1785: wife Judah; children, Thornton, Joseph, Sarah and Elisha Spence. (These two “Wills” are here in the Historical Commission.) Jeremiah Symons, wife Rachel, daughter Ann Spence. Will in Pasquotank Co., 1749. Henry Spence m. Dec. 1, 1829, Huldah Herring, Duplin Co. Cary Spence m. Martha Fulford, Dec. 31, 1861, Currituck Co. Additional counties searched, Tyrrell, Bertie, Currituck, Duplin, Caswell, Northampton, Rowan, Orange, and Pasquotank. John Spense m. Sally Burney, Feb. 19, 1822, Guilford Co. Alvis Spense m. Isabella Shelrutt, Jan. 28, 1826, Guilford Co. James Spense m. Peggy Lester, Feb. 21, 1820, Guilford Co. Witness Wm. Lester. Malachi (I) Spence was born March 5, 1806; died Dec. 6, 1880. Elizabeth Minerva (Ramsour) Spence was born Sept. 15, 1808; died March 8, 1876.


Wythevifle, Va.
Mr. Harold C. Keesling, P. 0. Box 126, Fredoiiia, Kansas, is compiling a Genealogy of the Keesling Family. He invites
correspondence on time subject. He contributes a part of the following: Tradition has said there were three Kisling brothers wh? came
to this country, and from whom we all are descended. In this case, tradition seems to be substantiated by fa.ct and record.
On Oct. 17, 1749, the ship Farme docked in Pennsylvania having sailed from Rotterdam, via Cowes, and carrying 596 passengers.
Among those listed were Jacob Kelling (Jacob Kisling, from Pa. Archives). Again, the same route with apparently an unlisted
number of passengers, among whom was Christopher Ensling, from Rupp’s Thirty Thousand names, Christoph Kistling—or Kisling,
from Pa. Archives.
The item next in order, I think, is the following, copied verbatim: “In Pursuance of an act of Parliament made in time thirteenth year
of the Reign of his present majesty King George, the second, Entitled an Act for naturalizing such Foreign Protestants, and others there-in
mentioned, as are settled or shall settle in any of his Majesties Colonies in America. “At a Supream Court held at Philadelphia, before William
Alien, William Coleman and Alex. Stedman, Esquires, Judges of the said court, on the twenty-fourth day of Sept. in the year of our Lord
one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six, between the Hours of nine and twelve of the clock in the forenoon of the same Day, the
following persons, being Foreigners and having inhabited and resided the space of seven years and upwards in his Majesty’s Colonies in
America, and not having been absent out of some of the said Colonies for a longer space than two months, at any one time during the said
seven years, and having produced to the said court Certificates of their having taken the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper in some
Protestant or Reformed Congregation in this Province within three months before the said court, Took and Subscribed the Oaths, and
did make and repeat the Declaration prescribed by the said Act, to entide them to the benefit thereof, and thereby became natural born
Subiects of Great Britian, as the same is certified into this office by the Judge of the said Court, viz.:
Berks County Jurors’ namesTownship Sacrament When taken
Jacob Kieslimig Bern 22 Sept.,1766
George Kiesling Bermi 22 Sept.,1766

Edw. Shippen, Jr. Probably from the Pa. Archives, Series 2, Vol. 2, pages 164-5.
These two are all the items I have been able to locate up to the present having to do with our forefathers and their immigration.
However, I do find the following, which may serve to carry the line farther:
Page 187—Christofull Kislin’s will, of Lick Run, Will Book No. 5, Augusta County, Virginia; of Chalkley’s Record of Augusta
County, Va. Page 190—Jacob Keslinger, orphan of Christian (probably his mother was named Christina) Keslinger, to be bound to Philip Lingle.
From Augusta County Records, Order Book No. 16.Christopher Kisseling and wife Christina mentioned as standing
sponsor for a Lingle baby.

From William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. 13, page 253:
Private Conrad Kisling listed in the roll of Col. Hiesters’ Battalion, Capt. Baldy’s Company of Sixth Berks Company Militia
in the service of the U. S. from Aug. to Sept. 7, 1780.It is my opinion that Hugh Conrad (of Wythe County, Va.)
was a son of George Kisling. This George Kisling was brother (supposedly) of one Jacob Kislirig. The two brothers were
naturalized in 1766, in Reading, Pa. Jacob Kisling had a son John, whose services in the Revolutionary War have been proven. His is
the only branch of that particular family of which we have any considerable trace.

Hugh Conrad Keesling was one of the first children of George,h ence old enough for service at the time of the Revolutionary War,
which would be attested by the last reference. He died in Virginia prior to the pensioning of the Revolutionary soldiers, and hence we
have not, as yet, been able to verify his service, other than shown. Shortly after the Revolution (about 1785) the Keeslings seem
to have been smitten with a trans-migratory urge. We find that some of them settled at Max Meadows, Va., and some at Cedar Springs,
Va. John and Conrad settled east of Wytheville, and George (a brother of Conrad) stopped about an equal distance west of the same
Hugh Conrad Keesling was born at Reading, Berks County, Pa. He married Rebecca Ann . She was buried at the flees
Cemetery, near Muncie, Indiana. Their children were 1. John, drowned in the Arkansas River in Arkansas, left Jacob, Joseph,
Conrad, daughter and David.2. Catherine, married David Cassefl; see Cassell Data.
3. Jacob Keasling, born April 11, 1796; died Jan. 12, 1848, Johnson County, md. Buried at the Miller Cemetery. Married
Anna Deck; issue, Jacob, Abraham, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Mary, Susan.
4. David, married a Lewis.
5. Sarah.
6. George Keesling, married twice, both wives were Cassell sisters, the daughters of John Cassell of Bethel Church. His first
wife must have been Anna or Ameda Cassell, whom he married Nov. 29, 1825. They had three children, Mary, John and Eliza Jane.
By his second marriage, to Matilda Cassell, he had the following children, James H., Ephriam, Melvina, Mariah, Almeda, Gustavis,
Martha, Joseph, Robert Thomas, Virginia. This George Keesling remained in Virginia and resided near Keesling’s Bridge in east
Wythe County, where he has descendants today. See Bible dates for the family.
7. Martin, born May 11, 1802; died Dec. 16, 1867, at Muncie, md. Buried in Rees Cemetery; married Coracy Rees, who was born
April 3, 1810, and died Aug. 10, 1880, at Muncie, md. Buried at Eees Cemetery. Issue, Morrison H., Lewis, Sophia, infant, Mary,
Mahala, George, Lee C., Henry, Clay, Stephen C. “A native of West Virginia, he came to Delaware County (md.) with his mother,
brother (Daniel) and sister (Sophia), being comparatively poor; but he was a shrewd, hard working man, and owned at the time of his
death 756 acres of land.”
8. Barbara, died before 1865, in Pike County, md.; married John Penner, died 1868 in Pike County. Issue, Peter, Joseph,
James, Hugh, infant son, infant son, Polly, infant daughter.
9. Christena, born Sept. 28, 1809; died May 16, 1871; married Peter Doty, Feb. 17, 1831, who was born Nov. 13, 1800, and died
May 1, 1871. Issue, William, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Mary Margaret, Jacob, Sarah Ann, Harrison, Jane, Christena, Peter, Morrison.10. Joseph, married Betsy ; issue, Joseph, Susan. This man moved to Delaware County, md. Later he went to Kansas, where I understand he designed the state bank notes.
11. Daniel, born Dec. 28, 1810; died April 2, 1882; married Elizabeth Keesling, daughter of Jacob Keesling, Feb. 6, 1834, who was born Oct. 1, 1814, and died Sept. 10, 1890. Married in Delaware County, md. Issue, Sophia, John, Sara Ann, Martha, Isaac, Jacob,
Hugh, Mary C., Daniel, Anna, Elizabeth, Lutitia, Clarissa, Rosaima.
12. Rebecca Keesling, born May 13, 1813, in Wythe County, Va.; died Aug. 13, 1863; married David Keesling, Jan. 1, 1833, son
of Jacob Keesling, born Aug. 7, 1811, died Oct. 12, 1892, buried in Wayne County, Indiana.
13. Sophia, married Bowen Rees. Issue, Rebecca Ann, Samantha, Mahala, Morris, William, Hiram, Charles, Robert.
Dates from the Keesling Bible, owned by Mr. Charles Keesling at Keesling’s Bridge, near Fort Chiswell, Wythe County, Va.:
Mary Keesling born Oct. 22, 1826, married John Fink. She died Feb. 5, 1867. John born Sept. 22, 1827. Killed in the War between the
States, Sept. 20, 1862. Eliza Jane born May 30, 1830, married Mr. Blessing. She died
Sept. 19, 1860. Henry Blessing died July 1, 18 James H. born Jan. 30, 1832, married Umberger.
Ephriam born June 11, 1833, not married. Melviria E. born Nov. 16, 1836, married David Fink.
Harriet A. born M— 10, 1838.
Almeeda C. born Aug. 17, 1839, married Mr. Umberger.
Gustavus, born Mar. 11, 1840.
Martha E. born Dcc. 15, 1841, married Jas. L. Repass.
Virginia Martha Repass died Sept. 23, 1872.
Joseph E. born July 15, 1843, died Aug. 30, 1864.
Robert T. born May 10, 1845, married Julia Fisher; one child, Charles.
Virginia F. born Aug. 5, 1852, married James Perkins.
Maria A. died unmarried.

Dates from the Keesling Cemetery:
Robert F. Keesling, born May 116, 1845, died May 13, 1921, aged 76 years and 3 days.
Julia A. (Fisher) wife of Robert F. Keesling, born ~—, died —, 52 years, 3 months, 29 days.
John F. Fink, born March 21, 1829, died April 23, 1921.
Malvini F. wife of David V. Fink, born Nov. 16, 1836, died Nov. 15, 1905. Aged 68 years, 11 months, 29 days.
Mary Keesling (daughter of George) wife of John F. Fink, born Oct. 22, 1826, died Feb. 5, 1867.
George Keesling, born March 31, 1801, died July 2. 1876. Aged 75 years, 3 months, 1 day. Buried with a wife on each side of him
(both wives were said to have been Cassells).
Matilda, wife of Geo. Keesling, born July 8, 1814, died May 1, 1887
Maria A. Keesling, born Mar. 10, 1838, died Sept. 19, 1900, age 62 years. 6 months, 9 days.

Wythe County Court records:
Nov. 22, 1791, George Kisling and Mary Gooss.
Feb. 13, 1798, Jacob Gost and Susanna Cesling.
Feb. 13, 1798, John Miller and Christena Keesling.
Dec. 20, 1804, Jacob Keesling and Caty Philhipi.
Deed Book 4, page 56: Feb. 8, 1803, Koonrad Keeslin~ and Margaret. his wife, to Daniel Lockett, on Mine Mill Creek, in Wythe
County, Va. Signed in German.
Feb. 10, 1807, Bargain and Sale, Conrad Keeshirig and Rebecca to Stephen Sanders, Jr.
George Keeshing and Anna Cassel were married Nov. 29, 1825, by Samuel H. McNutt.
Joseph Keesliig and Polly Moyer. Feb. 24, 1825.
May 28, 1807, John Keesling and Barbara Stailey.
Feb. 2, 1808, John Raper and Elizabeth Keeshing.
1818, John Kis1ing and Barbara Sprecker.
July 26, 1823, William Keesling and T)icy Smith.
sept. 29, 1825, David Keshing and Harriet Butler.
Stephen Keisling and Anna Painter, June 9, 1825.
William R. Buchanan and Catherine Keesling, Mar. 4, 1830.
 May 14, 1799, Jacob Keesling and wife Phebe to George Keesling, 14 acres on Peak Creek, a branch of New River.
Also a deed for 231/2 acres, same date, being a part of the tract the said Jacob Keesling now lives on, lying in Wythe County, on
Roberson’s tract fork, a branch of Peak Creek; $100.00.
Nov. 11, 1817, Bargain and Sale. Peter Keesling et al. Jas. and Nancy Williams.
June 2, 1796, Bargain and Sale from John Baxter and Jean, his wife, to John Keasling.
“The Mauzy-Kisling Families,” by Col. Richard Mauzy, can be procured from Mrs. Ella M. Bader, of McGaheysville, Va. This
history deals with Jacob Kisling of Rockingham County, Va., and his descendants. Said Jacob Kisling was a soldier of the American
Revolution, and his services have been proven and papers accepted by the D. A. R. Society. Mrs. Audrey K. Spence of Wytheville, Va.,
is one of those descendants whose papers have been accepted.

The following notes are by another descendant of his, namely. Mr. Charles E. Kemper of Staunton, Va.
Christopher Kisling appeared in 1759 at a sale. His widow, Christena, married second John Hindman and lived
near Dayton, Rockingham County, Va. Jacob Kisling, the Revolutionary soldier, is said to have been the son of John Kisling, son of Christopher, but of this I am not certain. Jacob Kisling was bound to Philip Lingell and taught the trade
of a wagon maker, and married, in 1782, Lingeli’s widow, who was about 18 years older than himself. He owned and resided till
his death on the farm, known as “Cave Hill” farm, one mile east of McGaheysville, Va. Jacob Kisling was a Lutheran, and his children were reared as Lutherans. His wife was Barbara Bear, daughter of Jacob Bear and Barbara (Miller) Bear. She was a grand-daughter of Adam
Miller, who was born in Schrisheim in Baden, Germany, on Nov. 17, 1703. He died in Rockingham County, Va., in the year 1783.
Miller was the first white settler in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, in 1726.
John Bear, brother of Jacob Bear, was riot naturalized until 1774. The court order states that he was a native of Switzerland.
Of the other descendants of Christopher Kisling, I have little knowledge. The family undoubtedly came from Pennsylvania.
What became of Frederick Kisling’s descendants, I do not know. Christopher Kisling left sons, Christopher, Jr., Mathias (?) and
John, also one dauirhter Christiana or Christena. Jacob Kisling Mauzy, grandson of Jacob Kisling of the Heroin-
tirni. once sent me a description of his grandfather. He stated that he was rather low in stature, inclined to be corpulent, had blue eyes,
and very fair complexion.

An old tax ticket was found loose in Will Book No. 11, of Wythe County, Va., court records, of George Keesling. B~e was taxed for
5 slaves, 1 tithable, 755 acres, I clock (metal), in the year 1845. Wythe County, Va., court records.
Nov. 22, 1856, near Fort Chiswell, William M. Umberger, Ameda Keesling, 20 and 16 years old, both single, of Wythe County, Va.
Both born near Fort Chiswell. Son of Andrew and Peggy Urnberger; daughter of George and Ameda Keesling; farmer; by Jas. A. Brown,


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