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Johan Wilhelm Best (1733 - 1823)

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Johan Wilhelm (William) Best
Born in Germanymap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Westmorland, PAmap
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Clarion County, Pennsylvaniamap
Profile last modified | Created 9 Sep 2015 | Last significant change: 12 Dec 2018
11:25: James Rugh deleted a message from James Rugh on the page for William Best. [Thank James for this]
This page has been accessed 437 times.

Categories: Winter Galley, arrived 5 September 1738 | Palatine Migrants.

William Best was a Palatine Migrant.
Join: Palatine Migration Project
Discuss: palatine_migration


Birth: 1733 Death: 1823

Following is from Find A Grave: Memorial #8271877

On 13 Oct 1812 Johan Wilhelm received a deed for 370 acres in what is now known as Clarion County, Beaver Township, Pennsylvania. On 11 Sept 1813 he conveyed 125 acres to his brother Henry Best of this land. St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Beaver Twp., Clarion County was built on 2 acres of this plot donated by Henry Best.
Later, leaving the homestead to his brother, Henry, William III moved to western Pennsylvania, Westmoreland County, where he cleared and cultivated a large farm and had a grist and saw-mill on the north branch of the Sewickley River. He was Captain and Court Marshall of a Westmoreland County military company to defend the frontier settlements against raids of the British and Indians during the Revolution. He was a member of the Harrold Lutheran community, and later a deacon and elder of the Lutheran Church in Greensburg. He lived in Greensburg, Westmoreland County until he was quite old and then, about 1821, he went to Clarion County where most of his children had already settled. The Clarion County Bests were the nucleus of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church near Knox, Beaver Township, which was at one time called “Best’s Church.”
There is some controversy about the women to whom William Jr. was married. Historically he was married twice, first in 1763 to Anna Catherine (perhaps nee Kuster, daughter of Ludwig Kuster, or perhaps Anna Catherine Haag, or Hawk). She died about 1776 and William remarried about 1778 to his much younger cousin, Anna Catherine Dorn. Five children are known of the first marriage, seven by the second.
However, a son who is our direct ancestor, Cornelius Best, is known in none of the histories or records left in Pennsylvania. He was supposedly born in 1762, but all church birth and marriage records from around this time were burned in a fire in 1812. It is possible there was another wife, presently unknown, who would have been the mother of Cornelius. Two children have never been located by name in the Best research, one was possibly our ancestor, Cornelius.
William Best Jr. died in 1823 at the age of 90 and was buried in St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, Beaver Township.
From the Journal of Gabriel Adams Reichert, Traveling Minister on Sept. 22, 1823 AM with Wilhelm Best in the sick communion and the celebration with 44 communing there was a total of 45.

Wilhelm Best III was born in the Palitinate district in Germany in 1733 and came to America with his parents in 1738. I have no information on where Catherine was born or when they were married. Chances are they were married in the late 1750's.

Catherine died in 1773 and I do not know who Wilhelm married after that. He did move his family to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1774 which at the time, was a district of West Augusta, Virginia.

During his life, Wilhelm ran a grist mill and a saw mill. He was a Captain of a Ranger Company in the French and Indian War and was a Court Martial man in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

He died in 1823 in Clarion County, Pennsylvania and is buried with Catherine in St. Paul's Cemetery 1 mile west of Knox, Pennsylvania.


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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with William:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.


On 30 Oct 2015 at 05:17 GMT Julie (Fiscus) Ricketts wrote:

Best-1653 and Best-1593 appear to represent the same person because: These two profiles are duplicates -- it looks like there may be a discrepancy about the wife's name.

William is 26 degrees from Rosa Parks, 24 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 19 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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