Mary Webster's Germantown Founders Ancestry
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Mary Webster's Germantown Founders Ancestry

John Miller of New Garden married in 1798, before a magistrate, Mary

Webster of Middletown, Delaware County, the daughter of Joseph Webster

and Rebecca Kester. John Miller and Mary Webster had among others Mary 

Webster Miller, who married Ezra Thompson about 1832 in London Britain,

Chester Co, PA.  Joseph Webster came from New Jersey Quaker families.

Rebecca Kester came from founding families of Germantown, including the

Mennonite Quaker Op den Graeff and Doors/Thiesson/Tyson families from 

Krefeld, Germany.

 Webster line  This Webster family, like John

Miller's line of the Millers, seem to have had a reputation for being

extremely quiet, instrospective people, inclined at times to be studious.  

 Kester and associated lines (ie, Cassell) 

 The Doors/ Thiesson/ Tyson clan from Krefeld and

Kaldenkirchen, Germany 

 The Op den graeff clan from Krefeld, Germany 

I belong to a mailing list for people researching the Original

13 (and other early) families of Germantown. Their main

web site, with research information and links, is at 

 Original13 site .  

The founder of the Opdengraeff line, Herman, was a wealthy weaver and 

merchant and a Mennonite

leader and bishop, one of the signers of the 1632 Mennonite Confession of

Faith.  He appears to have been an extreme mystic with more than a touch

of egomania.  Both he and his wife were born to Mennonite families as yet

few in number in a group of villages on the border between Germany and

Holland, these families were closely interrelated. Oddly for a 

prosperous and religiously ascetic merchant's family able to put stained 

glass windows in their house which stood for a very long time, almost half

of his eighteen children did not live long enough to see age two; most of  

those who died did not live to see age one. There was not just the pattern of 

children dying young but at any age that reflects some susceptibility to 

contagious disease, in people who ate poorly, took poor care of themselves 

or had allergies (it isn't hard to trace which lines my allergies and asthma 

came from) or the pattern of several people dying together that 

marks an epidemic when alot of people were dying, and it was a prosperous 

little village and not the ghetto of a city. 

HIs granddaughter Gertrude 

Doors, who is my direct ancestor, had a very serious bout of mental illness 

that coincided with the birth of one of her children recorded in the child's 

baptismal records; her parents had had to take responsibility for caring for 

the child. 

Three other grandchildren by another son of the bishop migrated

to Germantown (with a number of immediate descendants of Gertrude's parents,

she and her husband went a little later). Abraham, Herman and Derek 

Op den graeff, and particularly Abraham and Herman, were intense and

cranky people who consistently followed the most intense religious sect

around, though being Quaker was intense enough for their brother, took

prominent roles both in the government of Germantown andin all of its

controversies, more often than not on the unpopular side, and frequently

got into trouble with neighbors and with government and court officials

for being cranky, difficult, and hard to get along with. When I was 

exploring the intense, high-strung and volatile temperament with a tendency

to mental health problems and family trouble that plagues all of the 

Dehaven lines (another of the Germantown families),  the almost half of the

Dehaven descendants who are descended from Abraham Op den Graeff were

telling me that they thought this set of problems came from the Op den 

Graeff's because they're notoriously like that!  

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