Van Gundy Family Tree

Notes for Heinrich WISSLER

The family name has several variants, Wisler/Whisler/Wissler/Whistler, and even within the same immediate family, brothers have chosen to be different from brothers. However, nearly all are related regardless of the spelling. Do you suppose there is a "Whisler's Mother"somewhere in the family?

Heinrich is our immigrant ancestor, coming to America between 1727 and 1730 but not much else is known about him at this time because of the early date of his arrival, before good records were kept. Since Langnau is in the same canton just north of the area in Switzerland where the Van Gundy family lived, and since both families appear in America about the same time, there is a strong possibility they were friends and sailed for the new world together.

Residences & events:

1727 Langnau, Berne, Switzerland. At least one child was born before they left the old country and possibly others, they may have even left children behind. If Heinrich's birthdate is correct as posted, he would have been 37 when their first child was born, an unlikely event for those days.

1730 Lancaster Co, PA, was their address when another child was born.

From the History of Manor Twp, Lancaster Co, PA:

First German Mennonite Settlers in Conestoga Manor -

"During the early years of the eighteenth century many German and Swiss emigrants accepted William Penn's offer, and took up lands in the rich limestone valleys of the Pequea and Conestoga regions, which were a part of Chester County until 1729, when Lancaster County was organized. These emigrants were Mennonites, as the followers of Menno Simon, a worthy contemporary of Luther, were called. The Mennonites of the Palatinate and Switzerland led simple and religious lives as peasants. Their peculiar manners, simplicity of dress and manners, aversion to the use of law and to military services having subjected them to rigorous persecution in their native homes on the banks of the Rhine and among the Alps, they came to seek a refuge from persecution in the English Quaker province of Pennsylvania.

Many of them settled in Conestoga Manor and took up lands therein, after Hill, Norris and Logan had issued a warrant directed to Jacob Taylor, surveyor-general, to survey Conestoga Manor, in 1718. Among the early German Mennonite families who settled in Conestoga Manor were the Herrs, the Baughmans, the Mayers, the Shanks, the Killhavers, the Funks, the Kauffmans, the Hostetters, the Oberholtzers, the Zieglers, the Witmers, the Kendigs, the Lintners, the Wisslers, the Millers, the Newcomers, the Corrells, or Charleses, and others. These German families gradually settled in Manor during the half century before the Revolution."

And again: "The toil and industry of the Swiss and German settlers in Manor soon made that township the most highly productive agricultural district in the county. A Mennonite meeting-house was early erected in the centre of the township, on the land now owned by C. B. Herr."

9/26/1736 His name was among the "Palatines" brought to American aboard the ship St Andrew Galley, John Stedman, Master, from Rotterdam, last from Cowes.

And again: "Palatines imported in the Ship St. Andrew Galley, John Stedman, Master, from Rotterdam, but last from Cowes, (England) as by clearance thence. Qualified the 26th day of September 1737" (after taking the oath of allegiance to England). Heinrich was the only Wissler aboard. Perhaps he had been back home for a visit.

1750 Donegal Twp, Lancaster Co, PA. He was listed on the tax records for his property there, his name was Whisler on the same list in 1751.

5/7/1754 He signed his name as "Heinrich Wister" in German on a contract for deed between Christian Graff and Henrich Miller, his involvement not noted.

He died intestate and his name was Henry in the Will & Intestate Book.

Copyright 2010 by BJ Van Gundy

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