Thursday, March 12, 2015

Harshbarger line: Daniel Sayler, Immigrant 1708-1778

I opened up my file folder to write about this gentleman today and found nothing.  I had no notes, no print outs, no documentation, nothing.  So what I've found in the last hour on the internet will be the basis for this blog post, with a go to the top of the list requirement that I find documentation for this.  Much of the information I am using I found on a site by Stewart Saylor of Friedens, Pa, headed "Descendants of Josepth Seiter and (---) Unknown.  I found a little more on Ancestry and on Find a Grave, but please note, all of these are secondary sources. And to make it worse, some of them appear to be contradictory.

Daniel Sayler was born June 15, 1708 in Sembach (also known as Lembach, also known as Schaumburgh), Lippe, Nordhien-Westfalen, Germany.  I tried to pull this up on Google but only got more confused.  I think, though, that it is in southern Germany, somewhere close to the border with Switzerland.  Daniel's father was Joseph Seiler, born 1687 in Willenstein, Germany, and his mother is unknown.  He had three brothers but two died young, leaving Jacob as his sole brother through most of his life.  He also had three sisters, at least one of whom died young.  The family appears to have moved from place to place as the children were born in four different locations.  It would be interesting to know the story behind that, because for the most part, unless they were refugees, families stayed in one location. 

There are reports that Daniel was in the New World by 1730, and also there appears to have been a Daniel Seiler who came on the Muscliffe Galley in 1744.  If this is our Daniel, he may have returned to the "Old Country" to settle or claim an estate, since he was the oldest surviving son.  Joseph had died in 1740 but it is unknown when his mother died.  There is conflicting information as to the name of his wife.  Most trees on Ancrestry give her name as Hanna Gerber.  I also found one tree giving her name as Hanna "Anna" Barbara Hahn.  He is supposed to have married each woman in Lancaster County, Pa, in either 1735 or 1738.  Since one child, the one we are interested in, was born in 1736 it is possible that the first wife died in or shortly after childbirth, and he remarried.  More research needs to be done.  Daniel had eight children, all born in Pennsylvania: Catherine, Johannes, Jacob, Christian, Daniel, Julia, Mary, and Daniel.

His last known child was born in 1749, in Lancaster County, where the family had settled.  This is noted in one site as Lebanon Township, so apparently it eventually became Lebanon County.  He had purchased land there before 1761, but sold it at a cheap price to two of his sons, John and Christian, and moved to Frederick County, Maryland in 1772.  Both of these would have been "frontier" locations, and Daniel would likely have had to clear his second farm, build his second home in the wilderness, and start all over again there.  He was 64 years old at the time, so perhaps he depended on his youngest son Daniel to do the heaviest work. 

Daniel died in 1778 in Frederick County, Md. and is buried at Johnsville, Frederick County, Md.  In his will, which is written in German, he advises that he had sold his Pennsylvania land to his two oldest sons at a very good price so they would get nothing further from him.  (If they contested this, they were each to get a shilling, as payment in full.)  He left his Maryland land to his youngest son, Daniel, and asked that each of his daughters be paid "three and thirty pounds, six shillings, eight pence) beginning three years after the death of both himself and his wife, one daughter a year.  Since his wife died in 1791, payments would have begun in 1794 or 1795, when presumably the farm was producing a good profit.  It is likely that at least one of the crops that was grown was tobacco.

There is so much research I need to do here.  Who was his wife, and who was the mother of each of his children?  Where, exactly, were his farms?  What prompted him to come to America, establish a farm, and then move yet again to Maryland?  What religion did he practice? 

It sometimes seems premature for me to put a sketch like this in a blog post, but I hope the Harshbarger descendents will think of this as an outline for research, if someone should so choose and if I don't make much progress myself.  At least we know where he came from, and have some idea of how and where he lived his life, and that is more than we had when I started this post.  If someone reading this has additions or especially corrections, please contact me:  happygenealogydancing AT gmail DOT com.

The line of descent is:

Daniel Sayler (Seiler)-Hanna or Anna
Catherine Sayler-Johannes Buchtel
Solomon Buchtel-Maria Margaretha Reber
Benjamin Buchtel-Barbara Long
Nancy Buchtel-Adam Kemery
Della Kemery-William Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendents