DNA profiling has established that Leonhardt's roots lie in Württemberg although it is still possible he was not born there. Circa 1735 he married Anna Margaretha Klein somewhere in Germany, and they probably had a child there. Leonhardt immigrated into Philadelphia on 9 Sept 1738 on the snow, 'Two Sisters'. He was educated because he signed his name quite legibly to the Oath of Allegiance, and a facsimile thereof can be viewed in Vol. II of Strassburger and Hinke. He was elected as one of the deacons of Zion Moselem Church in 1740, and he later served as 'treasurer' of Windsor Castle Church indicating his education included basic mathematics. His name appears in various land and tax records of colonial Philadelphia and Berks Counties, and he died testate in the summer of 1778. A copy of his estate file can be obtained from the Registrar of Wills for Berks County, and all his known children are named in it except for Philippina which implies she died young. Because of his age at marriage to Margaretha, it is possible Leonhardt had a previous wife.
The church records for Ravolzhausen, Mittelbuchen, Langenselbold, and Hanau in Hessen have been searched for Leonhardt, and he simply isn't mentioned therein. Nowhere in the PA records is there any indication he was actually identified as Bernhardt; Morris Reber was guilty of sloppy genealogy. DNA analyses show that the descendants of Leonhardt and Bernhardt are completely and indisputably unrelated. Bernhardt never emigrated; he lived, died, and was buried in Langenselbold.
More recently, the Württemberg church archives in Stuttgart were searched for a Johann Leonhardt Reber born ca. 1706 with special attention paid to the one born in Sulzbach in 1705. However, the entry in the church record contains the dreaded sign of the cross indicating that this child was either stillborn or died soon after birth thereby eliminating him as possibly being our forefather.
The Rev. M. Tobias Wagner was godfather for at least five of Leonhardt's and Margaretha's children which was - and still would be - highly unusual. This seems to indicate that a close relationship existed between the Reber and Wagner families, but its nature remains unknown despite extensive research.
Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.
On 13 Dec 2013 at 09:05 GMT Daniel Schewe wrote:
On 21 May 2012 at 01:13 GMT Lindsay (Stough) Tyrie wrote:
bought his farm (143 acres) on 21 July 1740 and was elected deacon of the Zion Moselem Church that same year.
He was naturalized on 28 March 1747.
On 20 Feb 2012 at 19:04 GMT Lindsay (Stough) Tyrie wrote:
Leonhardt is 22 degrees from Claude Monet, 17 degrees from Gigi Tanksley and 20 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.