CONRAD KNAPPENBERGER FAMILY
OF WESTMORELAND COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
Heinrich "Henry" (1768-1841
Maria or Anna Barbara (1772-1854) > 10 Children
Johannes "John" (1774-1863) > 9 Children
Catherine (1777-1863) > 9 Children
Elisabeth (1779-1834) > 10 Children
J. Philip (1783-1867) > 8 Children
Salome "Sarah" (1788-1849)
William (1791-1839) > 7 Children
Conrad Knappenberger, son of J. Michael, was born 21 October 1747 in Macungie Township, Northampton County (later Lehigh County), PA. He died 20 November 1818 in Franklin Township, Westmoreland County, PA and was buried in Denmark Manor Church, Westmoreland County, PA. Conrad's gravestone lists his birth year as 1747 and not as 1748 as was previously believed. Conrad married Eva "Barbara" BLOSE about 1768 in Macungie Township, Northampton County, PA Barbara was born about 1750 and died January 1823 in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio and is buried in Carey's Run Cemetery.
Conrad Knappenberger's gravemarker with Denmark Manor Church In background
Denmark Manor Church Cemetery, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
[photos graciously provided by Henry Hensley and Sue Appleton]
Conrad's father, J. Michael, died in 1751 when Conrad was quite young. In 1762 Conrad was listed in court papers as being over age 14 and having a guardian of John Egener, perhaps the father-in-law of his older sister, Maria Barbara.
During the Revolutionary War, Conrad was listed as a Sergeant with the Northampton County Militia, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Company. The Captain of the company was his older brother, George. The militia was called to duty on May 14, 1778. This same militia was called up twice more for frontier duty in 1781 and 1782.
From Vinnie Knappenberger's family history of 1916 we read, "Conrad and Barbara came to Westmoreland County in 1788 where he settled on three hundred acres of ground bought from the Penn brothers from a track known as Manor of Denmark. For this he paid three hundred fifty-nine pounds and thirteen shillings with a quit rent of one peppercorn per year forever after when demanded." In Vinnie's history, she mistakenly concluded that Conrad was the son of J. Erhart.
German settlers came early to this region known as Westmoreland County which at that time covered a much larger portion of western Pennsylvania than it does today. For a long time the family was part of the Brush Creek parish but by 1808 they had established a school and church services closer to where they lived. By 1809 the effort had begun to build a church and by 1815 the church was completed.
Conrad Knappenberger along with Jacob Brinker donated the land for Denmark Manor Church were he is buried. The area served by this church was originally part of Franklin Township (later part of Penn Township). The name Denmark Manor was applied to this section because the Penns had set it aside to be sold to a Danish aristocrat who intended to, but never did, start a Danish settlement there.
Westmoreland County Townships
From Vinnie Knappenberger's family history of 1916 we learn, "Besides the land Conrad bought from the Penns, he also secured from President James Madison a letter patent for a half section or more of land in Tuscarawas County, Ohio about the year 1800. He gave while still living a portion to his oldest son Henry in 1811; but Henry later sold this to his brother Philip for $348.00 Conrad had already given Philip 222 acres in Ohio lands and to his son William he gave in 1816, a quarter section along Sugar Creek, Ohio and $200.00. To his daughter Elizabeth who married David Gharky he gave in 1803 land in Ohio. These bequests were during Conrad's lifetime to these four children with the other four receiving their shares at his death in 1818. Conrad possessed considerable property, both personal and real estate and died without a will. His personal property at his death amounted to $1,988.28. His estate was finally settled in 1821 in the courts of Westmoreland County at which time his widow received $597.77."
After Conrad's death, Barbara moved to Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio and lived with her daughter, Elisabeth Gharky where Barbara died in 1823. Research continues on Eva Barbara's parents. Conrad and Barbara had ten children of which eight reached adulthood.
HEINRICH "HENRY" KNAPPENBERGER (1768-1841)
Henry was born 1 October 1768 in Macungie Township, Northampton County (later Lehigh County), PA and died 7 July 1841 in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County, PA. Henry married Maria "Elisabeth" SCHULER who was born 17 April 1760 in Upper Milford Township and died 9 November 1849 in Lehigh County, PA.. Henry was 20 years old when the family moved, but he stayed in Lehigh County, PA. Perhaps since he was the eldest son, he took over the family land there. He sold the property in Ohio that his father gave him to a younger brother, Philip. Henry and Elisabeth had no children.
This couple is buried in a private cemetery located on what is sometimes called the "Marsteller Farm" which is approximately located at 6342 St. Peters Church Road in Lehigh County, PA The markers are about 200 ft south of the road located in someone's family yard. The structure is unique in that it has 3 walls of stone laid 18 inches thick. The two sides, north and south, are 15 ft in length and from 4 ft to 2 ft high in the rear, near the head stones. The front was 12 ft wide and probably had a wall of 18 inches high with probably an entrance way. The grave markers are written in German.
MARIA or ANNA "BARBARA" KNAPPENBERGER (1772-1854)
Barbara was born 15 September 1772 in Macungie Township, (later Lehigh County), PA and died 12 August 1854 in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, PA. She married Jacob WALTHOUR, son of George and Elizabeth Walthour, about 1794. Jacob was born 23 January 1763 in Lancaster County, PA and died 8 January 1839 in Westmoreland County, PA. This couple had 10 children. They are both buried in Brush Creek cemetery. More information on this family can be gained by clicking on her name above.
JOHANNES "JOHN" KNAPPENBERGER (1774-1863)
John was born 8 March 1774 in Macungie Township, PA and died 27 November 1863 in Franklin Township, Westmoreland County, PA. As the eldest son of Conrad's in western Pennsylvania, he primarily inherited the family lands in Westmoreland County upon the death of his father. John married Hannah L. CORT (KORTH), daughter of John Yost Cort and Anna Margaret KEMERER, in 1796. Hannah was born January 1775 in Port Royal, PA and died 18 March 1850 in Westmoreland County, PA. They are both buried in Denmark Manor Church cemetery. John and Hannah had nine children. More information on this family can be gained on clicking on his name above.
CATHERINE KNAPPENBERGER (1777-1863)
Catherine was born 20 January 1777 in Macungie Township, PA and died 30 November 1863 Wetzel County, West Virginia. Catherine married John Jacob FAIR (FEHR), son of Christopher Fehr and Maria Barbara EUCHLIN, about 1792 in Westmoreland County, PA. Jacob was born 1767 in Manchester, Maryland and died 1838 in Somerset County, PA. Jacob and Catherine moved to Maryland and then Somerset County where they raised their family. This couple had nine children. For more information on this family, click on her name above.
ELISABETH KNAPPENBERGER (1779-1834)
Elisabeth was born 9 August 1779 in Macungie Township, PA and died 4 June 1834 in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio of cholera. Elisabeth married Samuel "David" GHARKY (GEHRCKE) on April 1, 1800 in Westmoreland County, PA. David was born 13 February 1775 in Stargard, Pomerenia (Germany), the son of Johan Gehrcke and Elizabeth Warburg and died 9 August 1850 in Ohio. They are both buried in Carey's Run Cemetery. For more information on the story of this couple and their 10 children, click on her name above.
CONRAD KNAPPENBERGER (1781-1782)
Conrad was born 21 October 1781 in Macungie Township, Northampton County, PA and died at the age of 3 months.
J. PHILIP KNAPPENBERGER (1783-1867)
J. Philip was born 30 May 1783 in Macungie Township, PA and died 19 October 1867 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio where he is buried in Grandview Cemetery, Strasburg, Ohio with his wife Mary. Philip had a son with Martha SWANGER, daughter of Abraham Swanger and Elisabeth Wagner, in 1809 named John Knappenberger who became the founder of the Armstrong County, PA branch of the family. Philip married Mary BEACOM, daughter of John and Margaret Beacom, about 1810 in Westmoreland County. This couple moved to Tuscarawas County, Ohio and raised their six children. After Mary's death, Philip married Susan HARTSHORN FITZGERALD, a widower, and had a son. For more information on J. Philip's families, click on his name above.
SUSANNA KNAPPENBERGER (1786-?)
Susanna was born 10 September 1786 in Macungie Township, Northampton County, PA. It is believed that Susanna died in early childhood because she is not listed in her father's estate settlement and no further records were found.
SALOME "SARAH" KNAPPENBERGER (1788-1849)
Salome also known as Sarah or Sally was born 10 November 1788 in Macungie Township, PA and died 20 July 1849 in Westmoreland County, PA and is buried in Denmark Manor Church cemetery. Her gravemarker reads, "Sarah Silvis, wife of John of Ohio". Sarah received her share of her father's estate after his death in 1818. It seems that she married John SILVIS upon the death of her father. John SILVIS, son of John Silvis, was born about 1772 and died 22 June 1845 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio and is buried there in Bunker Hill Cemetery.
After Sarah and John married, they moved to Tuscarawas County, Ohio where her brothers, Philip and William lived. This couple had no children. John's will dated 1845 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio does not mention any children, but left all his property to his wife "Salomi" and upon her death, the property was to go to his brother's children. After John's death, Salome returned to Harrison City, Westmoreland County, PA and died a few years later.
In her will dated 1849 in Westmoreland County, she mentions no children and states "I give and bequeath to my beloved nephew, Henry Knappenberger, all the residue of my estate real and personal... And I make and ordain my beloved nephew Henry Knappenberger Executor of this my will." This Henry is the eldest son of her brother, John.
WILLIAM KNAPPENBERGER (1791-1839)
William was born on 6 April 1791 in Westmoreland County, PA and died 1839 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. William settled on land given to him by his father, Conrad, along Sugar Creek, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. He married Elizabeth BURCHFIELD, daughter of Mathias Burchfield and Barbara Overholt, about 1816 and had three sons. Elizabeth was born 21 December 1800 in Westmoreland County, PA and died about 1825 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. William then married Nancy BALES on 14 November 1826 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. This couple had four children. She was born 4 May 1812 and died 15 August 1850 in Ohio. The next generation of this family moved onto Indiana. For more information on William and his family, click on his name above.
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GERTRUDE AMBER MURPHY KEIRN
Gertrue was born 4 November 1929 in Westmoreland County, PA and died 26 December 2000 in Allegheny County, PA. She was the daughter of Mary Amber Zee Knappenberger and Harry Clayton Murphy, Sr. - descendant of Conrad (1748), J. Philip (1783), John of Armstrong County, PA (1809), Jacob (1836), John Hester (1869), and Mary Amber Zee (1893). She was a genealogist extraordinaire! Without her efforts, support, dedication, and research this family project would never have happened. We miss you, Gertrude! Thanks for everything!