CORRECTING THE KRATZERS
Some notes about the families of the two Philip Kratzers and
the two Henry Kratzers originating in Northampton Co., Pennsylvania
The purpose of this article is to try to clear up the rash of incorrect information found online regarding a couple of the Kratzer families that originated in Upper Mt. Bethel Twp., Northampton Co., Pa. I hope anyone claiming a descent from a Philip or Henry Kratzer from this area will read carefully.
A list of the surviving children of Benjamin Kratzer of Upper Mt. Bethel Twp. can be found in a petition on his estate in the Northampton Co., Orphan's Court on 5 Oct 1797. The petition states that he died 'about 12 years ago.' The children listed in the record are:
1. Philip, eldest son, petitioner
2. Maria Catharina, wife of Jacob Wehr
5. Margaret, wife of Evan Evans
8. Mary Magdalena, under 21
9. Christiana, under 21
10. John David, under 21
The records of the Stone Church in Allen Twp. allow us to fill in the birth dates for 8 of these ten children:
2. Maria Catharine 1 Jan 1765
3. John Henry 27 Oct 1766
4. Elizabeth 6 Jan 1768
5. Maria Margaret 23 Jan 1771
6. Johannes 15 Mar 1773
7. Johann Jacob 9 Apr 1775
8. Maria Magdalena 25 May 1778
9. Christiana 7 Jun 1781
10. John David
As the children from the data above appear to be named in the estate record in perfect order of birth, it can be assumed that Philip was born around 1763 and David around 1784.
It is Philip and his brother Henry who have heretofore presented a problem for Kratzer researchers, which has resulted in a messy mismatch of countless GedComs. Let's see if we can untangle them...
In the same church we find records of the baptisms of the following children of Philip and wife Catherine and of Henry and wife Margaret:
Philip and Catherine:
1. Margareth 3 Jun 1787
2. Johann Heinrich 11 Sep 1788
3. Johann 4 Oct 1790
4. Joh. Abraham 10 Jun 1792
Heinrich and (Maria) Margaret:
1. Magdalena 7 Jun 1792
2. Joseph 20 Sep 1794
3. Elizabeth 16 Dec 1797
The 1790 census for Allen Twp. shows both Philip and Henry. Henry, newly married, only had one male and one female listed. His brother Philip has 1 male over 16 (himself), 1 male under 16 (Heinrich) and 3 females (his wife Catherine, daughter Margareth and probably his widowed mother Elizabeth, who is also named in the father's 1797 probate).
So far so good. But come 1800, things get hairy...
In 1800 there are now TWO Henry Kratzers found in Northampton Co., one in Upper Mt. Bethel Twp., and one in Allen Twp. There is one Philip Kratzer found in Upper Mt. Bethel. Searching other local church records we find some more children for a Philip and Catherine Kratzer and some more for a Henry and Margaret:
Philip and Catherine:
Lower Saucon Congregation:
1. Susanna 20 Sep 1792
Upper Mt. Bethel Congregation:
2. Sarah and Maria 5 Aug 1800
3. Jacob 31 Aug 1802
4. Henry 14 Oct 1804
5. Anna 9 Feb 1807
6. Magdalena 29 Mar 1812
Henry and Margaret:
Tohickon Reformed, Bucks Co.:
2. Jacob 11 May 1792
Upper Mt. Bethel Congregation:
1. John 2 May 1788
3. Elizabeth 16 Apr 1795
4. Maria 6 Aug 1797
5. Samuel 25 Oct 1802
Looks good, right? But wait a moment, some of these childrens' birth dates are clashing!
Joh. Abraham 10 Jun 1792 (Stone Church)
Susanna 20 Sep 1792 (Lower Saucon)
Jacob 11 May 1792 (Tohikon Church)
Magdalena 7 Jun 1792 (Stone Church)
Maria 6 Aug 1797 (Upper Mt. Bethel)
Elizabeth 16 Dec 1797 (Stone Church)
Now...there couldn't be TWO Philip and Catherines and TWO Henry and Margarets, right? Or could there?
Let's look at some more records of the Upper Mt. Bethel Church:
Confirmations 16 Apr 1802: Catharine Kratzer, age 17, d/o Philip
Confirmations 19 May 1804: Frederick Kratzer, age 17, s/o Philip
We now have two more children for Philip; b. ca. 1784/5 and 1786/7 which are not listed at the Stone Church in Allen Twp. Something is beginning to look fishy. Now, in Snyder County Pa., a short ways to the west, there is a town called Kratzerville, and there are Kratzers coming out of the woodwork. A look at the 1800 census for Penn Twp., Northumberland Co. (later Snyder) reveals:
1 male 26-45
1 male 10-16
4 males under 10
1 female 26-45
1 female 10-16
2 females under 10
Also found in the same Township are Benjamin, Lewis, Jacob and John Cratzer, all names found in the Stone Church records. So it appears that the Allen Twp. Kratzers made a mass exodus to the (now) Snyder Co. area prior to 1800, except for Henry, who remained for a time in Northampton Co. and was still living in Allen Twp. (there was also a widow Kratzer nearby in Allen, who was probably Benjamin's widow).
In 1810 we find a Philip Kratzer in Upper Mt. Bethel Twp., Northampton Co., as well as the one in Penn Twp., Northumberland Co.
Philip Kratzer of Upper Mt. Bethel was the youngest son of Henry Kratzer, who died in 1778. Henry resided in Lower Saucon Twp. In a petition to the Orphan's Court on 23 Dec 1778, Henry's son Philip, a minor over the age of 16 requests a guardian. A Bible record in the possession of descendants of this Philip Kratzer states:
"To Henry Krotzer and his housewife Elizabeth, was born a son on the 27th of December, 1763. He was named Philip according to a name previously selected. He was mated to Catherine, who was born Jacobs, on September 28, 1784."
There is also a petition on the estate of Henry Kratzer in the Orphan's Court on 17 March 1779, filed by Henry Kratzer, eldest son, stating that the deceased left a widow and 7 children (not named). So we can see that both Benjamin Kratzer of Upper Mt. Bethel (d. ca. 1785) and Henry Kratzer of Lower Saucon (d. 1778) had sons named Philip (both b. in 1763) and sons named Henry.
Philip, son of the Henry, has one child christened at the Lower Saucon Reformed Church on the same day that his middle brother Anthony does. Anthony has four other children also christened there. Philip, Henry and Anthony, sons of Henry, eventually all remove to Mt. Bethel and all are found in the records of the Mt. Bethel Lutheran and Reformed congregation. Henry was married to Margaret Jacobi, elder sister of his brother Philip's wife Catherine. At the time of the marriage she was the widow of Leonard Wollenschlager, and had one daughter Sarah.
The 1810 census for Upper Mt. Bethel shows Philip:
1 male over 45 (Philip)
2 males 16-26 (Frederick and John [b. 1790])
2 males under 10 (Henry and Jacob)
1 female over 45 (wife Catherine Jacoby)
3 females 16-26 (Catherine, Hannah [b. 1791], Susannah)
2 females 10-16 (twins Sarah and Maria)
2 females under 10 (Anna, Margaret [b. 1809])
In Lower Mt. Bethel we find Philip's brother Henry:
1 male over 45 (Henry)
2 males 16-26 (John and Jacob)
1 male under 10 (Samuel)
1 female over 45 (wife, Margaret Jacoby)
2 females 10-16 (Maria, Elizabeth)
Benjamin's son Henry Kratzer is now found in Plainfield Twp., Northampton Co., and youngest son David is in Fork's Twp. His eldest son Philip as well as the rest of the original Allen Twp. bunch are still all in Penns Twp., Northumberland Co.
In the Kratzerville cemetery, in what is now Snyder Co., we find two of this Philip's sons:
Kratzer, Jno. b Oct 4, 1790; d May 31, 1861, aged 70 y 7 m 27 d.
Krotzer, Henry, b Sept 11, 1788; d May 19, 1864, aged 75 y 8 m 8 d.
Note that the birth dates exactly correspond to the dates given at the Allen Twp. Church in Northampton Co.
Philip, son of Benjamin Kratzer died in Snyder Co., in the year 1843. His wife was Catherine, but her maiden surname is unknown. Philip, son of Henry Kratzer, eventually followed his sons John, Henry and Jacob west to Clarion Co., Pa., where he died in 1841. His tombstone is found in the Churchville cemetery and contains the following inscription:
Philip Krotzer b. Dec 27, 1763 d. 1841 aged 78 yrs.
Catherine Jacoby, his wife, b. Mar 20, 1768 d. Dec 5, 1840, aged 72 yrs 8 m. 15 da
The problem is that many online sources mix and match the two Philips and two Henrys. Many GedComs show Philip, son of Benjamin, marrying Catherine Jacoby and show a daughter Maria who married Henry Kline being identical with the other Philip's twin daughter Maria who was chr. at Upper Mt. Bethel in 1800. While it is probable that Philip, son of Benjamin, did have a daughter Maria or Mary who was the wife of Henry Kline, she would have been born in what is now Snyder Co. and is definitely not the same person as the daughter of Philip and Catherine of Upper Mt. Bethel. Likewise, online sources frequently show a Sarah Kratzer, b. 1810 in Union Co. and marrying a Jonathan Brouse as being the daughter of Philip and Catherine (Jacoby) Kratzer, and Anna Kratzer who married Frederick Herman as being their daughter also. Again, I presume these two girls were indeed the children of Philip Krtazer, but rather the one who settled in Snyder Co. and his wife Catherine (maiden name unknown).
For the record, Philip and Catherine (Jacoby) Kratzer's daughters of those names made the following marriages:
Sarah Kratzer b. 5 Aug 1800, Upper Mt. Bethel d. 6 Oct 1863, Venango Co. m1) Edward Eaker m2) Valentine Meyers. (The widowed Sarah Eaker, along with her young son, Philip Krotzer Eaker, followed her parents to Clarion Co., where her son was apprenticed to his grandfather for a number of years)
Maria Kratzer b. 5 Aug 1800, Upper Mt. Bethel d. 22 Mar 1874, Seville, Medina Co., Ohio. m1) ____ Kinsley m2) Anthony Yeakley (Maria left no issue)
Anna Kratzer b. 9 Feb 1807, Upper Mt. Bethel d. 9 Dec 1867 Lenawee Co., Mich. m1) _____ Brown m2) George Durling (Anna's second husband was the brother of Gerret Durling, who married her sister Margaret. The Durlings went first to the vicinity of Seneca Co. NY [where her brother Frederick had also settled] then went to Medina Co., Ohio [where sister Maria Yeakley was living], then finally to Lenawee Co., Mich. After Anna's death, George Durling married Elizabeth Siegel, his wife's niece - daughter of Hannah Kratzer).
For further information on Philip and Catherine (Jacoby) Kratzer and their children, please see my GedCom (with full sources provided) at:
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