||Christian Hersche was a Palatine Migrant.|
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Granted 1000 acres just west of Lancaster PA in 1717. Bishop in the Mennonite church
Scott Funk Hershey reports 2 immigrants: Christian immigrated in 1709 with children Benjamin, Andrew, and Anna (page 17); and brothers Andrew and Benjamin who immigrated in 1719 with their father Hans and another brother Christian who arrived later (page 17). The first immigrant family (apparently the Christian Hershey in these notes) is followed 1709 Christian Hershey, a Bishop in the Mennonite Church, and his three children, Benjamin, Andrew, and Anna, located in Lancanster County, Pennsylvania. .
Chapter LVII. East Hempfield Township (pages 867-868)
Early Settlers.-Hance Brubaker located near the west bank of Little Conestoga, and his land extended on both sides of the creek, and lay principally between the Lancaster and Harrisburg and Lancaster and Marietta turnpikes. He also owned one hundred and fifty-one acres where the Lancaster and Columbia turnpike crosses the same stream. Upon this tract he erected a grist and saw-mill, which was contemporaneous with the one erected by Dr. Neff five miles further east upon Big Conestoga.
On the 27th day of September, 1717, Hance Brubaker and Christian Hershey took out a warrant for one thousand acres, which they held as tenants in common. In the year 1718 they agreed to divide the above tract, the former to take the lower half, containing five hundred acres, and the latter the upper five hundred acres. On the 13th day of May, 1729, he sold the mill and the lower farm of one hundred and fifty acres to Christian Stoneman (at the time of his decease, however, ho owned nearly eight hundred acres), Jacob, the son of Hance, having married Susannah, the sister of Stoneman.
Hance Brubaker and Christian Hershey agreed to make an equitable division of their land, but before titles were executed Mr. Hershey died, and some years later Mr. Hershey’s eldest son died, before the actual division was made.
Christian Hershey came with the Brubakers. He was also a Mennonite. He was the head of a long line of descendants, who retain the name and are scattered over a number of States. In 1717, he was well advanced in years and his children were grown up. He died in 1729 and left a widow, “Oade,” and three children, Benjamin, Andrew, and Ann, who married Herman Long.
Benjamin was a Mennonite preacher. He married Magdalena, a daughter of Ulrich Rhode, He resided upon the homestead farm. Their children were Benjamin, Elizabeth (Landes), Mary (Neff).
Andrew (1702-92), also a Mennonite preacher, took up five hundred acres of land east of Big Chikis Creek and south of the Lancaster and Harrisburg turnpike, in West Hempfield township. He married and had two sons, Christian, a preacher, who lived in Manor, and Andrew, who married Magdalena Bachman. In 1768, Christian Hershey, of Manor, bought two hundred acres of land from James Ewing, the son of Thomas Ewing, on the west side of Little Chikis Creek, and along the Marietta and Lancaster turnpike.
Ann Hershey, who married Herman Long, was the mother of eleven children, John, Christian, Herman, Abraham, Joseph, Jacob, Benjamin, Martin, Ann (Hoffman), Elizabeth (Landes), and Samuel. Benjamin was a large landholder. The latter purchased fifteen or twenty acres from James Anderson and divided it into building lots along the northeastern boundary of Marietta. Upon the plan of the town it is marked “Long’s Addition.”
Christian Hersche immigrated to America in 1709 along with other Swiss Mennonites. He was accompanied by his wife Adelheit Scholi, sons Benjamin and Andrew, and daughter Anna. Christian Hersche and Hans Brubaker jointly obtained 1,000 acres along the Little Conestoga Creek in Chester (now Lancaster) County in 1717. See C. Henry Smith, "The Mennonite Immigration to Pannsylvania" p. 170 and Pa. Archives Sec. Se. XIX, 628.
Christian Hersche's Will 146 (unsigned and undated) is filed in Chester County as "Christian Heiser." The will's cover bears a "pd" (proved or probated) date of 8th: 6 mo: 1722 (interpreted in the courthouse index as August 8, 1722): Chester County Archives, West Chester, Pa. The will mentions wife "Ati Scholi" and children "Bennadick Herse, Andreass Herse and Anna Herse." "Ati" is likely the daughter of Benedict Schölli who lived at Friedelsheim with the Hershey family. See "Friedelsheim: A Town in the Palatinate Index" in Ellen Risser Farrell, "Risser Families in the Palatinate and in America," Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage (PMH) 10 (April 1987): 21 at 23.
A 1729 Lancaster deed identifies the heirs of Christian Hirschi as the widow "Oade" (a garbled form of "Ati"), eldest son Benjamin, youngest son Andrew, and daughter Ann married to Herman Long (Deed Q-2-510, Lancaster). Christian's son Christian did not immigrate to America until 1739.
See PMH Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 6 "The Early East Petersburg Area Hershey Family" and correction in PMH vol. 1, No. 2, p. 24. The children of Christian Hershey are also recorded in the Wenger Book, pp. 1067-1068. See also Beers p. 62, 63 and 141.
Following is a translation of a Hershey family record written in German script:
"Grandfather Andrew Hershey was born in Switzerland in the year 1702. From there, his father [i.e. Christian Hirschi] ... moved to Friedensheimer Hoff in the Palatinate. In 1719 he [Andrew] moved to America with his father and brother Benjamin where he settled near Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. His brother Christian had to remain at the Hoff till 1739 when he also came to America. These three brothers - Andrew, Benjamin, and Christian - were ordained ministers in the Mennonite Church. Andrew died in the year 1792 at the age of 90." From PMH Vol. 4, no. 3, p. 30.
A description of the Hersche home in the Emmental, Canton Bern, is found at MFH (April, 1988) p. 44. The farmhouse/barn combination (called Hohlenfluh) was built under an overhanging bluff. Tentative ancestry for Christian Hirschi is in Richard W. Davis, "Emigrants, Refugees and Prisoners" Vol. 1, p. 209.
First Mennonite Bishop in Lancaster Co., Pa.
• In Switzerland the name was spelled HIRSI as well as HIRSCHI — they’d have been pronounced the same. A Hans HIRSCHI with wife Anna ULRICH came from Guggisberg in Bern but the HIRSCHI home area was around Schangnau in the Oberemmental, Bern, and reportedly also Canton Appenzell. – Many HIRSCHIs emigrated to Zweibrücken, where a Christen HIRSCHI from Oberauerbach appears in the Lambsborn church book – Bruce Fosnocht thinks [ca. 2011] he may have been the son of Hans HIRSCHI and Anna ULRICH of Guggisberg. • The Mennonite Encyclopedia has no article on Christian but one on his son Benjamin indicates the family had fled from Switzerland about 1671, to Friedelsheim in the Kraichgau, Pfalz. • The name HIRSCHI appears infrequently in Guggisberg in Schwarzenberg, Kanton Bern. By the last half of the 1600s, Swiss emigrants of the name are showing up in Altstadt bei Homburg, Klarenthal, and Sulzbach in the Saar and St. Arnual bei Saarbrücken; Miesau, Wolfersweiler, Züsch, Kusel, Mörsbach, Schöneberg, Kübelberg, and Wellesweiler in the Pfalz; and in Contwig near Zweibrücken but owned by the Bishopric of Basel. • Christian was age 47 when he immigrated with wife “Oade” and 3 children (Benjamin 21, Anna 19, Andreas 15) among the large group of Mennonites who arrived at Philadelphia on 3 ships on 24 Aug 1717.￼ A third son, Christian (b. 1700) stayed behind on the farm in the Kraichgau (Friedelsheim) and did not come to America until 1739 — but when the older Christian HERSHEY died about 1720 [?] in America, his will reportedly did not mention a son Christian remaining in Europe. • A letter dated 7 July 1717 at Philadelphia, from James STEEL to the surveyor Isaac TAYLOR says: “John FUNK & Christian HEER applyed yesterday on behalf of their Countrymen that are lately arrived for several parcels of land near their settlements...for Abraham HEER 3 or 400 acres...Christian HEARSEY 400 acres...Henry PARE 500 ac....” ￼ (shows portion of handwritten list).
LAND HOLDINGS • Christian HEARSEY had lands on NW side of Conestogoe River in what became Lancaster Co, and paid taxes from 1717, recorded as "Christian & son." Early tax records: Christian HERSEY 1717 ‘lands on the NW side of Conestogoe River’; Christia HEARSE & Son 1718 ‘Conestogoe rate, Dutch inhabitants’; Christian HIERSIE / HOURSE & Son 1719 ‘Conestogoe rate’ [entered twice]; Christian HARSEY 1724 ‘Connestogoe rate (Freemen)’, 1726 ‘Conistogoe rate’.￼ • 19th Century historian Rupp, on Lancaster history, said a Christian HEARSEY immigrated by 1717 and 500 acres were surveyed to this man Oct 1717 in Chester Co in the area that in 1729 became Lancaster Co PA. • In 1717 Christian HERSHEY and Hans BRUBAKER jointly purchased a 1,000 acre tract located west of Lancaster Borough along present PA Rte 23, bisected by the Little Conestoga Creek.￼ • A Christian HERSHEY had land in what is now Hempfield Tp west of Lancaster Borough. 1,000 acres that were patented to Hans BRUBAKER & Christian HERSHEY included 150 acres that Hans BRUBAKER and his wife Ann granted 13 May 1729 to Christian STONEMAN [STEINMAN]. A meeting house and burial ground for Mennonites had already been put there when the tract passed from STONEMAN to the Society of Mennonites 14 May 1750.￼ See Deed Book A196. Note that Hempfield lies just north of present Manor Tp, which was then part of the Conestoga area, being on Conestoga Creek, and that STONEMANs later lived in Manor Tp.
• His will: When Christian HERSHEY died, the Conestoga area was still in the original Chester County so his will is recorded in Chester Co archives. See Christian “HEIRHIE / HIRSCHI estate: Will#146, unsigned and no date, Chester County Archives, West Chester PA. Its cover bears the “pd” (proved or probated) date of “8th: 6 mo: 1722”, interpreted in the courthouse index as 8 Aug 1722, and filed as “Christian HEISER.” Accompanying inventory dated 10 July 1723. Will mentions wife “Ati SCHÖLI”, children Benß [Bentz], Andereß [Andreas], and “Ana”, and father Christian. Copy in possession of David R. Johnson, Oxford PA, March 2005.￼ • Note that Christian’s will did not mention a son Christian remaining in Europe (not emigrating until 1739).
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