An American Family History

Henry Brandstetter


Branstiter Table of Contents
Other spellings--Brandstatter, Brandstetter, Brandsteter, Brandstaetter, Bransletter, Branstatter, Bransteeter, Branstetter, Branstiter, Branstitter, Branstitre, Branstudder, Broadtsteddler, Bronstetter, Brunstetter, Brunsteter, Brunstautton

Lehigh County, Pennsylvania was first settled about 1730 and officially constituted in 1812 with the division of Northampton County.

Pennsylvania is one of the 13 original states and was originally founded in 1681 as a result of a royal land grant to William Penn, the son of the state's namesake.

Henry Brandstetter was born about 1777 in Heidelberg Township Northhampton County (now Lehigh County), Pennsylvania. He was the son of John Jacob Brandstetter and Maria Margaretha Bloß.

He married Mary Magdalena Neff (Polly). She was born in the 1770s in Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Conrad Neff and Elizabeth Freeley.

Their children included:
Henry Brunstetter (1798-1872, married Sarah Yager) and
Mary Brunstetter Strock (1799-1868, married Samuel Strock).

At the time of the 1800 census, the household was in Heidelberg Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. The household consisted of a man and a woman between 16 and 25 and a boy and a girl under 10.

Henry was one of the early settlers of Canfield. They left Pennsylvania in 1804 with 16 family members including Polly's parents. They made the journey in Conestoga wagons and found a settlement of only 16 log houses. They settled in the southeast of the township. Henry was one of the first members of the German Reformed Lutheran Church. It was organized a few years prior to 1810. The first meetings were held at the member’s homes.

According to the History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties by H .Z. Williams Henry Bronstetter was a private in the First company First regiment, Third brigade, Fourth division Ohio militia under Captain Joshua T. Cotton.

Henry, John and Jacob’s families all appear in the 1820 and 1830 census in Austintown, Trumbull County, Ohio.

Henry (Bronstetter) died on January 9, 1833. in Austintown, Trumbull (now Mahoning County), Ohio, when he was about 56 years old. A barn fell on him. He left a wife and two children.

Melancholy Accident
On the 9th instant, Henry Bronstetter, of Austintown, aged about fifty six years, while in the act of throwing down an old log barn, was thrown by a log to the ground, which broke his scull, causing instant death: he has left a wife and two children and a large circle of friends and acquaintances who mourn his untimely death. (Trumbull County Ohio Newspaper Obituary Abstracts 1812-1870 Clegg, Michael, Volume 1, 1981)

In 1850 Mary was living with her son Henry and his wife, Sarah in Austintown.

Heidelberg Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania originally included Washington Township and Slatington. It is located on Trout Creek and Jordan Creek.

Children of
John (Johan) Jacob Brandstetter
and Maria Margaretha Bloß
  • Maria Barbara Brandstetter Peter
  • Henry Brandstetter
  • Daniel Brandstetter
  • Margaretha Brandstetter Schneider (Snyder)
  • Solomon Brandstetter
  • Jacob Brunstretter
  • Settlers often built log cabins as their first homes.

    The first Europeans settled in the Northwest Territory in 1788. The Miami Company managed settlement in the southwest and the Connecticut Land Company managed settlement in the northeast. Migrants came from New York and New England. Ohio was admitted to the Union as the 17th state on March 1, 1803.




    Joseph Strock was born September 25, 1831, in Austintown township, Trumbull county. His father, Samuel Strock, was a native of Pennsylvania, Cumberland county, and came to Ohio in 1814 with his father, Joseph, who first settled in Tuscarawas county for one season, then came to Trumbull county and settled in Austintown, where he lived till his death, which occurred in 1832, leaving a family of twelve children. Mrs. Strock died in a few weeks after the death of her husband.

    Mr. Samuel Strock came to Newton in 1840 and lived upon the farm where his son Joseph now resides, till 1878, and died in this year. Mrs. Strock died in 1868. Mr. Strock, the subject of this sketch, has always lived in what was old Trumbull. He has an excellent farm of two hundred and one acres.

    He was married in 1853 to Miss Susan Kistler, daughter of Michael Kistler, of Newton township. There were nine children by this marriage. Mrs. Strock died in 1868. His second marriage was in the fall of 1868 to Miss Almira Powers, daughter of William Powers, of Ohltown, Ohio. There were five children by this marriage. Mrs. Strock died in 1876. Mr. Strock is an enterprising man.

    American pioneers migrated west to settle areas not previously inhabited by European Americans.

    When a mark is used for a signature, the person was probably illiterate, but may not have been able to sign because of age or infirmity.

    Deed Book I, p. 239
    July 16, 1807
    "76 acres and 52 rods of land; lot number 22 in Canfield Twp."

    Henry Brounstetter and Polly Brounstetter, wife, are named as sellers of property to Henry Chrum [Crum].

    Henry Brandsteter and Mary Brunsdsteder, wife signed. He signed and she used her mark.

    The rod or perch or pole is a surveyor's tool equal to 5 1⁄2 yards.


    Trumbull County Estates; Probate Book 8, p. 6-7
    Henry Bronsteter Deceased Final Settlement
    Date of final settlement Oct. 15, 1834

    Samuel Strock and Henry Bronsteter Jr., were administrators of estate. Henry Jr. signed his name in German and clerks, in parentheses, added the translation of the name. Funds were paid to Magdalena Bronsteter, widow of the deceased. The total amount of the estate was $253.98.


    Trumbull County Ohio Deed Book 33, p. 406-407
    Date of deed is 14 May 1835

    The deed is signed by Henry Brunstetter Jr. and Samuel Strock, administrators; Magdalena Brunstetter, widow; Sally Brunstetter, wife of Henry Jr.; and Magdalena Strock, wife of Samuel Strock and daughter of Henry Sr. and Magdalena Brunstetter.

    Northampton County, Pennsylvania is on the eastern border of the state in the Lehigh Valley. It was formed in 1752 from parts of Bucks County. Easton is the county seat.

    from History of the Upper Ohio Valley, Volume II, 1890. pp 601-602

    . . .Conrad [son of Hans Ulrich Neff] and Elizabeth (Feeley) Neff, [were] natives of Maryland and Pennsylvania, respectively. Conrad Neff was a carpenter by trade. After leaving Maryland he settled in Pennsylvania, and was married. After three years married life his wife died, leaving two children, one boy and one girl, Henry and Hannah.

    Thence he moved to Ohio, where he married Miss Feeley. By his second wife he had eleven children, eight sons and three daughters, five of whom survive, they are:
    Benjamin and
    Jacob. Those who are deceased are:
    Ann and

    At Conrad Neff's demise the old homestead was left to his wife during her life, and on her death it was sold to the youngest son, Jacob, who still owns and resides on it. The proceeds were divided among the heirs. Besides the home property, Conrad left a large amount of land. During his lifetime he gave each son a farm, George's land being situated in York township.

    Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.

    The German Reformed Lutheran Church
    This church was organized a few years prior to 1810. The first meetings were held at the houses of Peter Lynn, George Lynn, and other members. Among the first members were John Neff, Conrad Neff, Peter and George Lynn, John Lynn, Jacob Ritter, Philip Borts, John Harding, Henry Ohl, Jacob Frank, Simeon Gilbert, Benjamin Butt, Philip Stitel, Charles Gilbert, Philip Arner, Martin Dustman, Henry Neff, David Ohl, Henry Brunstetter, Henry Crum, and others, for the most part with their wives and families. . .

    The first church building erected in Canfield was the German Reformed and Lutheran, built in October, 1810, of hewn logs, 40x50 feet in dimensions. It was situated one mile north of the village. The house remained in an unfinished condition three or four years. It was then completed and continued to be occupied by the two congregations until April, 1845, when it was destroyed by fire. A new and more substantial house was built during the summer and autumn on the side of the road opposite the site of the old one. In 1857 the congregation placed a pipe organ in this church at a cost of $800, which is believed to be the first organ of its size ever placed in a country church in this county. Father Mahnensmith and Father Hewitt ministered in the church for many years. Father Becker also served a long term. In the early years of the settlement the Canfield church was the religious home of the church-going Germans for miles around. For fifty years or more the services were conducted exclusively in the German language. The needs of the rising generation have caused change, and of late years the services are half the time in English. . .from Trumbull, Mahoning Counties, Volume II, p. 24

    Lutherans are Protestants who follow Martin Luther's religious teachings, especially the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

    Conrad Neff. . .was the pioneer of the Neff family in the Western Reserve, to which he came, from Berks County [Northampton now Lehigh Co.] Pennsylvania in 1802 [1804]. The Pennsylvanians who accompanied him numbered 16 souls and they made the journey in the strong old Conestoga wagons, which were built to traverse forests and cross unbridged streams, as was necessary in traveling through this section of Ohio in those early days.

    The travelers found a little settlement of 16 log houses where now stands the flourishing town of Canfield. Conrad Neff purchased 140 acres of land in the adjacent wilderness and erected a small log cabin near the site of the present comfortable home of his grandson. It took hard work and considerable time before any crops could be raised and in the meantime, the family subsisted on wild game, which was very plentiful, deer and wild turkey being easily secured.

    Conrad Neff was a mason by trade and he did a large part of the mason work for his neighbors in those days, his sons doing the larger amount of clearing and land cultivating. Both Conrad Neff and wife died on this place, having reached the age of 70 years.
    20th Century History of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio, And Representative Citizens," 1907, pp 963-964


    North Carolina was one of the thirteen original Colonies. It was first settled by small farmers and grew quickly in the mid 18th century.

    Hans (Johann) Ulrich Neff was born in Zell, Canton Zurich, Switzerland, April 5, 1709. He he immigrated in 1739.

    He married Elizabeth Ott. Elizabeth and Ulrich had at least five children.

    1. Conrad Neff was probably the oldest child, was born about 1742.
    2. Maria Neff, b. about 1745, married Christian Krum about 1765. A few years ago there is said to have been a gravestone at Heidelberg marked Maria Krum 1789, but this has disappeared.
    3. Susanna Magdalena Neff, b. about 1750, married Dewalt Hunsicker and moved to North Carolina where they established a sizeable family now called "Honsucker".
    4. Ulrich Neff, born probably in the late 1750s, died in December 1799. Will probated in Easton on December 22, 1799. He was married to Dorothea Gabel.
    5. Bernardt Neff, In a deed dated July 19, 1799 he was mentioned as a son of Ulrich Neff. He reached militia age of 18 years between 1780 and 1782 and was therefore born about 1764. He was married to Margaretha Peter January 18, 1791.

    He died in Heidelberg about 1778. His will was dated December 23, 1773 but not probated until 1778.



    A militia is a military unit composed of citizens who are called up in time of need.


    Bauman & Dreisbach

    ©Roberta Tuller 2017