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.
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: