Christina "Dina" (Fegely) Pilgert -- sometimes also known as "Diana" -- was born on Oct. 23, 1806, the daughter of Heinrich and Catharine (Gaumer) Fögle, also spelled "Fegely." She never learned to write.
Their children were Willoughby Pilgert, Henry Edwin Pilgert, Isabella Wetzel, George Madison Pilgert, Judith Pilgert, Reuben F. Pilgert, Rebecca Jacobs, James Pilgert, Anna C. Pilgert and Charles D. Pilgert.
The 1850 and 1860 federal censuses show George and Christiana residing in Longswamp. They owned a 15-acre tract, which included what some called a "Mansion House." The Allentown Leader said that Diana "enjoyed good health all her lifetime" and spent her life at home, only once visiting the county seat of Reading.
George's occupation in 1850 and 1860 was recorded as "tailor" by the census taker.
He was retired by 1870. That year, four-year-old Ida Ohl lived under their roof.
At the age of 96, living in Longswamp, Dianah grieved at the death of her eldest son Willoughby. In the fallout, she felt she was not receiving adequate support from her living children. She filed a petition with the Berks County Court in September 1901 to "compel" them to provide support, with the news printed in the Allentown Democrat.
Sadly, though, she only lived for another three months. She contracted what the Leader called "a slight cold" which she endured for the final dozen weeks of her life. She died two days before Christmas 1901 in the home of her son Henry in Mertztown. Her remains were interred in St. Pauls Union Cemetery in Mertztown, and in an obituary, the Leader reported that "Four children survive."
~ Son Willoughby Pilgert ~
Son Willoughby Pilgert (1828-1901) was born on Aug. 13, 1828.
He grew up in or near Longswamp, Berks County, and counted Ananias Shoemaker and Harry Brensinger as childhood friends. As a young man, he stood 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighed 150 lbs.
On June 15, 1852, when he was 24 years of age, he was united in holy wedlock with 18-year-old Mary Ann "Annie" Eck (Oct. 14, 1833-1916), daughter of John and Marie Eck. The nuptials were performed at Goshenhoppen (Bally), Berks County by Father Augustin Bally, a Belgian immigrant and Catholic priest of the Most Blessed Sacrament Church. Witnesses were John and Catharina Rohrbach. The marriage record was kept in the church for many years, with Willoughby's name spelled "Piliot."
Annie never learned to write. They young couple lived in Henningsville, Berks County.
During the Civil War, Willoughby was drafted and joined the Union Army on Oct. 27, 1862. He was placed in the 167th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H. The clerk writing the enrollment papers scribed Willoughby's last name as "Bilgert" and "Bilgerd" which led to problems later on.
Among his friends in the regiment were Samuel B. Reppert and Aaron Richert of Mertztown. While on duty at Suffolk, VA in the cold months of February-March 1863, Willoughby was stricken with severe diarrhea and kidney disease. His captain, Abraham H. Schaffer, noted that the problems "became much worse by the latter part of July and beginning of August of same year. -- By that time it was very bad. At that time he worked himself along with the Co. with the provision or wagon trains. He was the cook of the Co." Then at Yorktown, VA on June 20, 1863, he began to suffer from rheumatism. He was left behind when his regiment was ordered to a new location.
These infirmities plagued him for the balance of his term of service. While at Culpeper, VA on Aug. 1, 1863, he was so exhausted and in such pain that he was unable to take on any further duty. When his enlistment ended 11 days later, in Reading, Berks County, on Aug. 12, he was honorably discharged.
Toward the end of the war, on Feb. 28, 1865, Willoughby was drafted a second time, but paid to be released. Remembered Annie, "At that time a number of people in the vicinity formed a club and if one of them was drafted, the club paid the amount necessary to release him from the service."
The couple produced these known children -- Mary Amanda Brensinger, Sarah Elizabeth Long, John James Pilgert, Ida Jane Fisher, Annie Maria Miller, Emma C. Yoder and Helen "Ella" Scharadin.
When the federal census was made in 1870, the census-taker recorded Willoughby's name as "William Pilliard," with the family living in Longswamp. He was employed that year as a cigar-maker, but did not spend much time in that occupation.
Then from 1888 to 1890, he labored in local iron ore mines alongside Marcus Warmkessel, who noted that Willoughby was so badly disabled that he could not work three-quarters of the time. Another co-worker, Augustus Isamoyer, said that he knew Willoughby to drop his tools and take a rest, and that in June or July 1898 he stopped working altogether.
The diarrhea and heart valve disease contracted during the war got no better over time. One of his physicians, neighbor Dr. James F. Wertz of Shamrock, wrote that Willoughby's bowel movements were frequent and painful and that he was confined to his bedroom for weeks.
In 1889, in recognition of his physical ailments during the war, Willoughby was awarded a soldier's pension. [Invalid App. #706.400 - Cert. #866.126] He thus received monthly checks from the federal government for the rest of his life. His initial checks were $6 monthly. He received medical care over the years from Dr. P.W. Wertz of Mertztown and Dr. M.S. Long, also of Mertztown.
The Pilgerts owned six acres of farmland and lived in a stone house measuring 20 feet by 30 feet. It was one and three-quarter stories high, containing four rooms. On the grounds were a stable and pig sty. Their holdings of livestock included two cows, two pigs and 50 chickens of all sizes. All of the crops produced were used to feed the family. He took in odd jobs to help generate income, including local road repair.
In April 1900, Willoughby is known to have borrowed $250 from his son John, at 3 percent interest, payable at an indefinite time in the future.
Toward the end of his life, Willoughby bore heart valve disease and congestive heart failure. This caused him to breathe heavily and rapidly -- called "short-breathed" -- and his legs became swollen. He also was afflicted with colitis, an infection of the colon. Friends noticed bluish patches on his face, the size of a silver dollar, and on his ears. One day in the spring of 1901, he fell back into his chair when trying to get up, and became unconscious for about half an hour.
Then just six weeks later, on June 25, 1901, while "in haymking time,"sister-in-law Maria Pilgert, grandson Albert Pilgert and neighbor Franklin DeLong ("Frank Long") came to help Annie cut hay and haul it to the barn. Willoughby was too infirm to work, but he dressed himself and was able to be up and around the house and yard. After a lunch break, before going back to the field about 3:30 p.m., Annie placed a chair by the window so that Willoughby could sit and watch. She also gave him a glass of milk. After they left, Willoughby apparently got up and started walking across the yard, headed toward the outhouse. Without warning, he collapsed. Neighbor Abraham Reeder arrived around that time, discovered the scene and hurried to the field to ask Annie what was the matter with Willoughby. They ran to see what had happened, and found him dead. A newspaper reported that burial would be in Mertztown "if arrangements can be made with the pastor," and in fact his remains were interred there. Maria remained with her newly widowed sister-in-law for several days until after the interment.
It was commonly said among the Pilgerts' Pennsylvania German family and friends that the cause of death was "heart-schlag" (sudden heart stoppage or apoplexy).
Annie then applied to receive her husband's monthly pension payments. A government investigator paid a visit to interview her, Maria Pilgert and Franklin DeLong. At the time, she was away visiting in Orwigsburg, Schuylkill County but they finally met. There was some confusion over the English interpetation of "heart schlag." Wrote the special examiner, "The claimant [Annie] says as do also the witnesses that the soldier died from 'schlag' pronounced as 'schlock.' From the best information I can obtain as the meaning of this word as used by the Pennsylvania dutch it is applied to most anything where death occurs suddenly and may mean apoplexy, paralysis or any sudden death." Family physician Dr. Isidore J. Weida added that the term was common and "in its general sense means a blow" and that Pennsylvania Germans used it also in the term "brain schlag."
Fortunately, her pension finally was approved. [Widow App. #744.449 - Cert. #542.499] She survived her husband by 15 years, becoming senile toward the end. She suffered from a building in her bile duct ("bilary calculi") which led to gangrene. She died at home south of Longsdale at the age of 82 on June 9, 1916. Interment was in Mertztown. An obituary in the Reading Times reported that she was survived by a brother, Manoah Eck of Lebanon, PA.
Daughter Sarah Elizabeth Pilgert (1853-1931) was born on July 31, 1853. Unmarried at the age of 17, she worked with her father as a cigar-maker in Longswamp. She wedded Stephen Long ( ? - ? ). Their three children were Jacob Long, Amandus Long and Clara Boyer. The Longs' residence in 1901-1931 was in Longsdale near Mertztown. Sarah died at home at the age of 77 in March 1931. Burial was in Longswamp Cemetery, with Rev. William L. Meckstroth officiating. An obituary printed in the Allentown Morning Call said that her survivors included four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Daughter Mary "Amanda" Pilgert (1857-1936) was born on Jan. 7, 1857. She married John Brensinger (June 12, 1848-1921), son of Harry and Hettie (Oswald) Brensinger. Their only known children were Jennie H. Derr and Willoughby H. Brensinger. John earned income over the years as a carpenter. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the Brensingers resided in Longswamp Township, Berks County, and their 12-year-old nephew Harris Hammel (or "Hummel") lived under their roof. Circa 1901, their home was in Palm, PA and in 1916-1931 in Bally/Huff's Church. Sadly, suffering from heart valve disease, John died at age 72 on April 21, 1921. His remains were placed into rest in Huff's Church Cemetery. As a widow in 1936, she dwelled in Huff's Church. She became senile in her final years and moved into the Barto home of her married daughter Jennie Derr. died at age 79 on Feb. 21, 1936. Burial was in Huff's Church Cemetery, with Rev. W.F. Bond preaching the funeral service. Daughter Jennie Derr was the informant for the death certificate.
Son John James Pilgert (1860-1936) was born on June 21, 1860. His wife was Sarah A. Shoemaker (1861-1948), daughter of Annanias and Rosetta (Long) Shoemaker of Longswamp. They were the parents of 11 known children -- Howard S. Pilgert, Rosa DeLong, Ella Kemp, Morris Pilgert, Eva Keim, Milton Pilgert, Frank Pilgert, William Pilgert, Albert Pilgert, James Pilgert and Charles Pilgert. They lived in Henningsville, Berks County in 1900-1901 and at Pilger School House in Mertztown in 1916. During the decades, John labored as a carpenter. He is known to have built new roofs on the Henningsville Hotel in 1911 and on the home of his brother Frank in 1912, made of slate and adding a cornice. Among his other customers were Alfred Reppert (1913) and Dr. W.F. Long (1919 and 1930). They were members of the Lutheran congregation of St. Paul's Church in Mertztown. Just before Christmas 1926, John purchased a drayage (transport) business from Frank Dunstan in Allentown. They are known to have been in Mertztown in 1928 and in 1935 in Henningsville, where he was considered a "well known resident," said the Allentown Morning Call. The family threw a surprise home-coming reunion for John and Sarah in July 1930. Among the children and grandchildren attending, reported the Morning Call, were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Pilgert, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Pilgert, Mr. and Mrs. William Pilgert, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Pilgert, Mr. and Mrs. Alfin F. Kemp, Mr. and Mrs. George Keim, Grace Pilgert, Helen Pilgert, Carrie Pilgert, Eva Pilgert, Lena Pilgert, Geraldine and Lillian Keim, Lloyd Pilgert, Russel Pilgert, Carl Pilgert, Frank Pilgert, Milton Pilgert, Charles Pilgert, James Pilgert and John and Robert Keim. On March 29, 1936, John suffered the first of two strokes. He was felled by a second one on Aug. 11, 1936, causing paralysis on the right side. He passed away in Longswamp two days later at the age of 66 on Aug. 13, 1936. Funeral services were held in the Pilgerts' home and in St. Paul's Church at Mertztown, led by Rev. W.S. Dry, with burial in the church demetery. Son Milton Pilgert of Topton signed the certificate of death. An obituary in the Morning Call noted that he was survived by 24 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Sarah outlived her spouse by a dozen years, reaching the age of 86. She died in the home of her son William in Mertztown on July 31, 1948.
Great-grandson Lloyd Ralph Pilgert (1921-1985) was born on Aug. 20, 1921 at Huff's Church. He married Althea A. Huber ( ? - ? ). The couple did not reproduce. In young manhood, he was employed by Leeser Motors in Topton as a mechanic. He served in the U.S. Army as a technician corporal during World War II and was stationed at Camp Howze, TX in August 1942. Then, after the death of his father in 1934, he helped his widowed mother operate Huff's Church Store. The couple dwelled in Hereford, Berks County and were members of the Lutheran wing of Huff's Church. Lloyd endured the deaths of his mother and aunt in the span of four days in May 1985 and only to be swept away himself by the Grim Reaper just two months later, at the age of 63, on July 10, 1985 in Allentown Hospital. An obituary appeared in the Allentown Morning Call.
Great-granddaughter Grace M. Pilgert ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). On Sept. 29, 1951, in nuptials held at Huff's Church, she was united in marriage with Ray F. Schaffer ( ? - ? ), son of Walter Schaffer of Haffsville, PA. Rev. Alfred Mertz officiated, and she was given in marriage by her undle Ray Leeser Sr. The reception was held in the Kutztown Grange Hall. Grace was pictured in a story about the wedding in the Allentown Morning Call. The Schaffers lived in Huff's Church in 1985.
Daughter Ida Jane Pilgert (1861-1901) was born on Valentine's Day 1861 in Longswamp Township. At the age of less than two months, she was baptized by Rev. William Barly, with Francis and Mary Reeser serving as sponsors. On Sept. 25, 1879, when she was age 18, she was united in matrimony with David G. Fisher (Nov. 4, 1859-1947), a native of Hancock, Berks County and one of eight children of Amos and Eva (Ginginger) Fisher. Their wedding ceremony was presided over by Rev. B.E. Kramlich. The couple bore eight children, of whom two sadly died in infancy. The surviving six offspring were Morris Sylvester Fischer, Annie Collins, Silas L. Fisher, William H. Fisher, Mary Esther Schweyer and Ralph Emerson Fisher. Circa 1900, they lived in South Bethlehem at 724 East Fourth Street, and David earned a living as a day laborer. On the first of February 1901, as she approached her 40th birthday, Ida Jane contracted a deadly case of pneumonia. Said the Allentown Morning Call, "she grew gradually worse, although under the best medical care, until she sank to her last sleep." Death swept her away on Feb. 4, 1901. An obituary in the Morning Call referred to her as "esteemed." David outlived his bride by almost half a century and apparently never remarried. He worked for Bethlehem Steel as an ingot foreman and belonged to the Mertztown Church. At the age of about 68, he moved to Allentown in about 1927. His final address was at 225½ North 14th Street in Allentown. At his 71st birthday in 1930, his daughter held a roast turkey dinner for the family, and the following year the birthday meal was a rabbit dinner. Burdened with acute heart disease and senility, he passed away at age 86 on March 10, 1947. Burial was in Mertztown Cemetery, with an obituary published in the Allentown Morning Call. He was survived by 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Daughter Annie Maria Pilgert (1866-1935) was born on July 26, 1866. She was joined in wedlock with Peter Miller (Dec. 20, 1856-1923), son of William and Catherine (Hilbert) Miller of Longswamp. The couple produced three offspring, Ella Miller, Ida Miller and Harvey Miller. They dwelled in Longsdale in 1901, Topton in 1916 and Mertztown in 1923, where Peter earned a living as a laborer. From about 1917 to his death six years later, Peter worked as a sexton for the Mertztown Church. The Millers were members of the Lutheran wing of St. Paul's Church in Mertztown. Grief swept over the family when Peter, already stricken with influenza, was felled by a stroke of apoplexy at the age of 66 and passed away on March 16, 1923. Funeral services were held in the family home, led by Rev. W.S. Dry, with interment in the Mertztown Cemetery. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said he was survived by two brothers, four step-brothers, one sister and one step-sister. The widowed Annie outlived her husband by a dozen years. She spent her final time in Mertztown. Having contracted chronic heart disease, she suffered a heart attack and died at age 69 on Sept. 25, 1935. Interment was in Mertztown, following funeral services again preached by Rev. W.S. Dry. An obituary appeared in the Allentown Morning Call. Daughter Ida Miller of Mertztown was the informant for the official certificate of death.
Daughter Emma C. Pilgert (1868-1945) was born on Nov. 4, 1868. She married Horace R. "Harry" Yoder ( ? - ? ). Their known children were Henry W. Yoder, Mahlon Yoder, Paul W. Yoder, Eva Croll, Helen Warmkessel, Jennie Sell, Evelyn Heiter and Neida Reppert. Their home in 1901 was in Wellerstown and in 1916-1935 in Mertztown. The couple were members of the Lutheran congregation of the Longswamp Church, where Horace served as an officer. The Yoders are known to have attended the third annual reunion of the Yoder family at Mertztown on Aug. 31, 1912. After his death, Emma went to live with her married daughter Mrs. Floyd Warmkessel in Alburtis. She died in the daughter's residence at the age of 77 on Nov. 10, 1945. Rev. Wilson Hartzel led the funeral service and burial at the Longswamp Church Cemetery. In an obituary, the Allentown Morning Call said she was survived by 15 grandchildren and 18 grandchildren.
Daughter Helen "Ella" Pilgert (1873-1965) was born on Oct. 29, 1873 in Hensingersville, Berks County. She wedded Morgan Scharadin (June 24, 1864-1940), the son of Reuben and Eliza (Gackenbach) Scharadin of Crackersport, PA. The couple bore these known offspring -- Minerva Henninger, Arthur Scharadin, Raymond Scharadin, Alfred P. Scharadin and Frederick M. Scharadin. They resided in Orwigsburg, PA in 1901 and at 1414 Chew Street in Allentown in 1916-1940. Morgan earned income for 35 years as a foreman in the upholstery department of Mack Manufacturing Company. They belonged to the Salem Evangelical United Brethren Church in Uniontown, and he was a member of the Knights Templar, the Allentown Owls Club and the Orwigsburg lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows. He was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate and underwent surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown. At some point he suffered a heart attack, and on Nov. 3, 1940, at the age of 76, Morgan died in the hospital. Burial was in Old Allentown Cemetery. The Allentown Morning Call reported in an obituary that he was survived by seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Ella survived as a widow for a quarter of a century and remained in their Chew Street home. She passed away in the home of her daughter Minerva at the age of 92 on Nov. 7, 1965. Minerva signed the death certificate.
~ Son Henry Edwin Pilgert ~
Son Henry Edwin Pilgert (1830-1917) was born on June 6, 1830.
He married Maria Schmidt (1838-1891), Americanized to "Smith."
They dwelled in Longswamp Township, Berks County and were the parents of Sarah A. Pilgert, Helena Ketterer, Henry Payne Pilgert, Kate A. Ketterer, George S. Pilgert and Maria Isabella Fritch.
Sadly, Maria passed away in 1891.
Henry survived her as a widower for more than a quarter of a century. He went to live with his married daughter Maria Isabella Fritch in Mertztown. He became bedfast in the early months of 1917 and remained so for the last 14 weeks of his life. Already burdened with kidney disease, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was swept away by the Grim Reaper at the age of 86 on May 27, 1917. Daughter Isabella of Mertztown was the informant for the death certificate. Burial was in Mertztown Cemetery, with Rev. Bernd and Brensinger co-officiating. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call.
Daughter Sarah A. Pilgert (1858-1873)
Daughter Helena Pilgert (1862-1906) was born in 1862. She married (?) Ketterer.
Son Henry Payne Pilgert (1864-1947) was born in 1864. He made a home in Mertztown in 1917.
Daughter Kate A. Pilgert (1868-1961) was born in 1868. She wedded (?) Ketterer (or "Kettinger"). She dwelled in Reading in 1917.
Son George S. Pilgert (1874-1947) was born in 1874. His home in 1917 was in Allentown.
Daughter Maria Isabella Pilgert (1876-1970) was born in 1876 in Longswamp Township. On Nov. 8, 1902, she was united in marital union with Luther Fritch ( ? - ? ), son of Tilghman Fritch. The news was reported in the Allentown Leader. The couple raised a foster son, Arthur B. Miller. They were members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Mertztown. Luther passed away in 1950. Isabella survived him by two decades. Toward the end of her life, she went to reside in Berks Heim near Reading. She died at age 94 on Aug. 30, 1970.
~ Daughter Isabella (Pilgert) Wetzel ~
Daughter Isabella Pilgert (1833-1921) was born on Oct. 4, 1833.
She was united in marriage with farmer Washington Wetzel (1836-1910), believed to have been the son of John and Hetty Wetzel of Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County.
They were the parents of a son, George Washington Wetzel.
Evidence suggests that the couple divorced soon after the birth of their son, between 1864 and 1867. Isabella book back her maiden name, and in 1870, with her six-year-old son, lived in the household of 72-year-old farmer Daniel DeLong (or "Dolong") in Longswamp Township, Berks County. The census-taker spelled her name "Pilliard."
Ex-husband Washington married in 1867 to Catharine A. "Kate" Fegley (Sept. 20, 1844-1900), daughter of George F. and Anna (Lichtenwalner) Fegely. The Wetzels lived in Maple Grove in Longswamp in 1870-1900, with Washington laboring in a local coal mine and farming. They had more children of their own, James A. Wetzel, Henry Wetzel, Martha A. Miller and Mrs. Benjamin Roth.
Isabella lived in Longswamp in 1917 and in Boyertown in the early 1920s, using the surname "Pilgert." In 1920, federal census records show her at the age of 86, boarding in the household of Luther and Maria Fritch. She was diagnosed with a tumor and in June 1920 underwent surgery. The gossip columns of the Allentown Leader reported that the operation had been conducted by Dr. J.A. Brobst and Dr. D.D. Fritch.
Suffering from heart disease and rheumatism, she died at age 88 years, one month and four days, on Nov. 8, 1921. David Moyer of Boyertown signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Interment was in St. Paul's Union Cemetery in Mertztown.
Son George Washington Wetzel (1864-1954) was born on April 23, 1864 in Longswamp Township. In about 1886, when he would have been age 21 or 22, he married Emeline Trexler (April 23, 1862-1936), daughter of John and Marie (Geist) Trexler of Longswamp. They were the parents of John Oscar Wetzel and Frank Erwin Wetzel. The family belonged to the Lutheran wing of the St. Paul's Union Church of Mertztown. George was employed by D.D. Fritch Milling Company for 39 years, retiring at the age of 70 in 1934. He was a charter member of the Washington Camp of the Patriotic Order of America lodge in Macungie. Emeline was considered "a highly respected resident of Macungie." Sadly, Emeline was burdend with arthritis and heart disease. She was felled by a heart attack and passed away at the age of 74 on Nov. 1, 1936. An obituary said that "Although in failing health for six years, Mrs. Wetzel had been able to be around and attended to some of her household duties. At 10:30 yesterday morning she complained of feeling ill and collapsed soon afterward." Rev. William Dry preached her funeral sermon. George outlived her by 18 years and resided with his son John at 44 Locust Street in Macungie. When he celebrated his 90th birthday, he was pictured in a local newspaper article, which reported that he "is a great reader, enjoying his daily newspaper, and is a television fan." At the age of 90, George died in Macungie on Nov. 10, 1954. His remains were lowered into repose in St. Paul's Union Cemetery in Mertztown.
~ Son George Madison Pilgert ~
Son George Madison Pilgert (1835-1881) was born on Sept. 28, 1835.
He was joined in holy matrimony with Maria Hohe (1834-1906), daughter of William and Magdalena (Miller) Hohe.
The couple is not known to have reproduced.
On a fateful day in June 1901, the 68-year-old Maria was visiting her husband's brother and wife, Willoughby and Annie Pilgert, helping them with a hay harvest. When the brother-in-law dropped dead that afternoon in the yard of his home, Annie stayed with the family for several days until after the burial. Later, when she was interviewed by government investigators in connection with the deceased man's Civil War pension, she cited the cause of death as "heart-schlag" (apoplexy). When asked to translate the term into English, she replied "I can't speak english. I don't know the english name for 'schlag'."
He may have served as an elected supervisor of Longswamp Township, Berks County, and to have been arrested in December 1878. The cause of his arrest was failure to comply with a judge's ruling in a case involving "trover and conversion" (where George unlawfully took possession of his brother Willoughby's personal property and sold it for gain, and the brother sued to recover the money but not the item).
Sadly, George passed away at the age of 45 on April 8, 1881. He rests under a broken stone in St. Pauls Union Cemetery in Mertztown.
Maria outlived her spouse by a quarter of a century. She joined him in death in 1906.
Daughter Judith Pilgert (1838- ? ) was born in about 1838. She is believed to have died young.
~ Son Reuben F. Pilgert ~
Son Reuben F. Pilgert (1842-1912) was born on Aug. 4, 1842. In infancy, he was baptized in the Lutheran Church.
He married Sarah Ann "Sallie" Schoedler (March 3, 1845-1904), also spelled "Schedler." The couple made a home in Shamrock near Longswamp Township, Berks County and were members of St. Paul's Church in Mertztown.
Their four known offspring were Ida R. Romig, S. Elizabeth "Lizzie" McCollum, Ellen "Ellie" Pilgert and George Pilgert. Sadness blanketed the family when their only son George died at the age of seven.
Reuben was once referred to by the Reading Times as "a well known citizen of Shamrock."
When the United States Census was taken in 1870, the federal census-taker recorded Reuben's last name as "Pilliard." That year, he earned a living laboring at a local coal mine in or near Longswamp Township.
On July 19, 1904, when she was age 59, Sarah Ann passed away. The cause is not yet known.
At the age of 70, having been burdened earlier with an attack of acute articular rheumatism (strep throat), which led to heart valve failure, he died on Sept. 8, 1912. Daughter Ella Pilgert of Allentown signed the Pennsylvania certificate of death. The remains were laid to rest in Mertztown's St. Pauls Union Cemetery, following funeral services in the church led by Rev. F.K. Bernd of Kutztown. An obituary appeared in the Times.
Daughter Ida R. Pilgert (1869-1954) was born on Oct. 1, 1869 in Longswamp Township. She was united in wedlock with Milton Samuel Romig (March 4, 1848-1926), son of Abraham and Lydia (Walbert) Romig. The bride was more than two decades younger than the groom. The couple bore two offspring, Florence Troxel and Harry G. Romig. They were farmers and lived in Shamrock Station for many years and were members of the Reformed wing of the Longswamp Union Church. Milton became burdened with diabetes and passed away at the age of 78 on Nov. 15, 1926. Funeral services were held in the home and at Longswamp Church, co-officiated by Rev. W.L. Meckstroth and Rev. William F. Bond. His pallbearers were Lemon Witmer, Harvey Shoemaker, Nathan Miller, ReubenReinert, Benneville Eck and Austin Fritch. An obituary appeared in the Allentown Morning Call. Ida outlived him by nearly 30 years. In about 1944, she relocated to Allentown, making a home with her married daughter at 1417 Hanover Avenue. She fell in February 1954 and broke her left remur and was hospitalized at Sacred Heart. She died there several months later at the age of 84 on June 8, 1954. Interment was in Longswamp Cemetery.
Daughter S. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Pilgert (1871-1948) was born on New Year's Eve 1871 in Longswamp Township, Berks County. She married George McCollum ( ? - ? ). They resided for decades in Allentown, with an address of 711 South Fifth Street in the 1940s. Having been diagnosed with heart disease, she suffered a heart attack and was admitted to Allentown Hospital in August 1947. She remained there for 218 days. After contracting pneumonia, her health declined and at age 76 she died on March 11, 1948. Burial was in Mertztown Cemetery, with an obituary printed in the Allentown Morning Call. Her nephew Harry G. Romig served as executor of the estate.
Daughter Ellen "Ellie" Pilgert (1874-1944) was born on New Year's Eve in 1874 in Longswamp Township, Berks County. She apparently never married. At the age of 13, in about 1888, she moved to Allentown, the county seat of Lehigh County. She often returned home for visits. With her father's health failing, she moved back into the residence of her parents in Shamrock in 1912. Ellie was a longtime member of the Mertztown Lutheran Church. She spent her final years living with her niece Florence Troxel at 1417 Hanover Avenue in Allentown. In her last years, she suffered from chronic heart and kidney disease. At the age of 69 years, 10 days, she was gathered in by the Angel of Death on Nov. 11, 1944. Burial was in Mertztown Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Allentown Morning Call. Her niece's husband, Russel Troxel, was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
~ Daughter Rebecca (Pilgert) Jacobs ~
Daughter Rebecca Pilgert (1844-1905) was born in Sept. 1844.
In about 1870, when she was 25 years of age, Rebecca married 36-year-old widower William Henry Jacobs (1834-1898), a farmer and reputedly the son of John and Catharina (Hittel) Jacob.
He had been married previously to Susanna Heisinger (1830?-1870?), daughter of Peter Hensinger. Thus he brought these offspring to the second marriage -- Henry Jacobs, John Jacobs, James Jacobs, Oswin Jacobs and Franklin "Frank" Jacobs.
Rebecca and William produced these additional children of their own -- Mary Ann Smith, Josephine Sarah "Sallyann" Reinert, Clara Geist, Ida Heist and Victoria Savanna Reinert.
Their home in 1870 was in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County. By 1880, they had relocated to Longswamp Township, Berks County, with their dwelling-place located between Maple Grove and Alburtis. Rebecca's aged mother resided in the household in 1880.
William earned a living as a carpenter in 1870-1880.
Sadly, William suffered a stroke, lingered for seven weeks and died at the age of 65 in Oct. 1898. Funeral services were held in the Jacobs home, with Rev. Dr. Horne officiating. Interment was at Lehigh Church. Obituaries were printed in the Allentown Leader and the Allentown Democrat, the latter of which referred to him as "a well known citizen of Lower Macungie."
Rebecca lived for another seven years. Toward the end she went to live in the home of her married daughter Josephine Reinert. She was swept away by the Grim Reaper of Death in November 1905. Rev. I.B. Ritter preached the funeral sermon. She rests in Lehigh Zion Cemetery in Alburtis, Lehigh County.
Stepson Henry Jacobs (1858- ? ) was born in about 1858. He migrated to Oelwein, Fayette County, IA by 1898.
Stepson John Jacobs (1859?- ? ) was born in about 1859. He relocated by 1898 to Oelwein, Fayette County, IA.
Stepson James Jacobs (1860- ? ) was born in about 1860. He lived in Wilmington, DE.
Stepson Oswin A.H. Jacobs (1865-1949) -- sometimes misspelled "Oscar" -- was born on St. Patrick's Day 1865. In January 1887, when he was age 22, he was joined in holy wedlock with Mary Weidner (Jan. 21, 1868-1955), daughter of William and Mary (Grant) Weidner. The wedding was held in the Lutheran Church parsonage at Bowers, officiated by Rev. David Humbert. The couple eventually produced an astonishing 14 children, outliving five. The known offspring were Frances Weidner, Mrs. Edwin Hagen, Oswin D. Jacobs, John W. Jacobs, Mrs. Charles Haring, Helen Kreitz, Mrs. Paul Reinert, Mrs. John Beech and Mrs. Harvey Thomas. Immediately upon marriage, they moved into Allentown, where Oswin worked as a bartender at the Merchants Hotel. He eventually turned to flour milling and labored at a number of mills in Lehigh and nearby counties. The Allentown Democrat reported in November 1894 that they had relocated from Maple Grove to Little Oley, near Boyertown, PA. They remained in the Boyertown vicinity for many years. While in the early years in Boyertown, Oswin "erected a coal yard and dwelling," said the Allentown Morning Call. "He served as secretary of the permanent relief committee after the big fire at the Rhoads Opera House at Boyertown for along period. He was also justice of the peace, water commissioner, and assessor for eighteen years." His name again was in the gossip columns of the Democrat in February 1917 when he attended a lunch meeting of the Men's Society of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church at which Dr. G.T. Ettinger, dean of Muhlenberg College, made remarks on "What the Man Can Do for the Church." He remained an active volunteer with the St. Stephen's Church for many years, and in July 1931 chaired the refreshments committee for the annual picnic of the Sunday School, held at Dorney Park and drawing some 500 guests. Oswin and Mary celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in January 1937 with a family gathering in their home. In reporting on the event, the Morning Call said that "Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs are both in fairly good health and are looking foward with happy anticipation to the celebration of the wedding anniversary this week-end." Their address in the 1930s and '40s was 404 South Reading Avenue in Boyertown. In older years, Oswin operated a chicken farm and orchard. For the last decade of his life, he suffered from hardening of the arteries. Death carried him away at the age of 84 on July 2, 1949. Signing the official Pennsylvania certificate of death was John W. Jacobs of 1302 Queen Street in Pottstown, PA. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery in Boyertown. Mary survived her spouse by six years and in early 1952 moved to 649 South Reading Avenue in Boyertown. At the age of 87, she succumbed to hardening of the arteries on Aug. 1, 1955.
Stepson Franklin "Frank" Jacobs (1866- ? ) was born in about 1866. He moved to Wilmington, DE.
Daughter Mary Ann Jacobs (1871-1924) was born on Oct. 25, 1871. At the age of nine, in 1880, the census-taker recorded that she suffered from "Tropsy." At the age of 18, on Feb. 9, 1891, she married 26-year-old laborer George Smith ( ? - ? ), son of Martin and Catharine Smith of Dale, Berks County. Rev. D.K. Humbert officiated at the wedding, held at Bowers Station. They lived in Rittenhouse Gap, Berks County in 1898 and in Washington Township, Berks County in the 1920s. Her final home was in Bath, PA. Mary Ann was burdened with diabetes in her early 50s, and gangrene set in to her right foot and leg. She succumbed at the age of 52 on May 18, 1924. Burial was in Zions Lehigh Congregation Cemetery. Mrs. Oswin Gerhart was the informant for the death certificate. A short funeral notice was published in the Allentown Morning Call.
Daughter Josephine Sarah "Sallyann" Jacobs (1877-1931) was born on March 4, 1877. On Nov. 26, 1892, in nuptials held at Bowers Station, the 15-year-old Sarah wedded 19-year-old William W. Reinert (1873-1926), son of Benneville and Catharine (Wean) Reinert of Longswamp Township. Rev. D.K. Humbert officiated. Both Sarah and William worked as laborers at the time of marriage. They dwelled in Maple Grove and Topton, Longswamp Township and were the parents of Ella Butz and William Reinert. William supported the family over the years through his work as a molder at the Topton Foundry Company. The family belonged to the Reformed congregation of the Longswamp Church. Sadly, suffering from heart valve problems, William died at the age of 3 on April 30, 1926. On a visit to the home of her son William at 728 Filmore Street in Allentown, she became ill with kidney failure and died on April 14, 1931. Burial was in Longswamp Cemetery, with funeral services led by Rev. W.L. Meckstroth.
Daughter Clara Jacobs (1881-1946) was born on Jan. 22, 1881 in Longswamp Township, a twin with her sister Victoria. She married Jonas Alfred Geist (April 23, 1877-1939), a native of Longswamp and the son of John and Maria (Eck) Geist. They resided in the Hancock community near Mertztown and were longtime members of the Longswamp Lutheran Church. The couple were the parents of 11 known children -- Verna Schmoyer, Helen Oswald, Alice Hoppes, Edna Mory, Herbert A. Geist, Elwood Geist, Earl Geist, Raymond Geist, George Geist and Carl Geist. Sadness blanketed the family when Jonas, suffering from fibroid tuberculosis, died at the age of 61 on Jan. 22, 1939. Her home in the 1940s was on Hancock Street in Mertztown. Sadly, Clara contracted colon cancer and was admitted to Allentown Hospital, where she was treated for 70 days until cut down by death at the age of 65 on Feb. 24, 1946. Funeral services were led by Rev. Wilson H. Hartzell, and interment followed in Longswamp Church Cemetery. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said she was survived by 30 grandchildren. Son Herbert, of Smith Street in Topton, was the informant for the Pennsylvania death certificate.
Daughter Victoria Savanna Jacobs (1881-1947) was born on Jan. 22, 1881 in Longswamp Township, a twin with her sister Clara. She was united in matrimony with Walter P. Reinert (July 7, 1882-1935), son of Alfred and Sarah (Stauffer) Reinert. The couple produced eight known children -- Solon A. Reinert, Luther P. Reinert, Warren E. Reinert, Maude M. Reinert, Mrs. John Moll, Mrs. Howard Lafaw, Mrs. Henry Derr and Mrs. Herman Funk. Walter worked over the years as a laborer. They lived in Alburtis, Berks County for many years and in about 1919 moved into their last home in Longswamp Township. They were longtime members of the Lutheran wing of the Longswamp Church. Tragically, while on a walk on the highway at Maple Grove near Topton, Walter struck by a moving automobile on the night of Feb. 17, 1935. He was rushed to Allentown Hospital, where doctors discovered a fractured skull and ribs on his right side causing fluid buildup in the lungs. Unable to recover, he passed into eternity three days later on Feb. 20, 1935. Interment was in Longswamp Cemetery. Victoria lived for another dozen years as a widow. For the last four years of her life, Victoria was burdened with rheumatic heart problems. At the age of 66, she succumbed at home on Feb. 28, 1947. Luther Reinert of Alburtis signed the death certificate. Interment was in Longswamp Church Cemetery, officiated by Rev. Wilson Hartzell. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that her survivors included 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Daughter Ida Jacobs ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She wedded (?) Heist. In 1931, her home was in Allentown. Nothing more is known.
~ Son James Pilgert ~
Son James Pilgert (1847- ? ) was born in about 1847.
At the age of 13, he lived with his parents in Longswamp Township and attended school. Evidence suggest that he died at a young age.
~ Daughter Anna C. Pilgert ~
Daughter Anna C. Pilgert (1853- ? ) was born in about 1853.
Nothing more about her is known.
~ Son Charles D. Pilgert ~
Son Charles D. Pilgert (1856- ? ) was born in about 1856.
His life has faded from view.
Copyright © 2000, 2009, 2017-2019 Mark A. Miner