An American Family History


Henry Kesser and Barbara Kenoyer

North Codorus Township, York County, Pennsylvania
Rockingham County, Virginia
German Township, Clark County, Ohio



The first Europeans settled in the Northwest Territory in 1788. Migrants came from New York and New England. Ohio was admitted to the Union as the 17th state on March 1, 1803.

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.

In 1607 the London Company established Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony.

Henry Kessler and his wife, Barbara Kenoyer, were married in the 1770’s in York County, Pennsylvania.

Their older children were christened at St. Paul's Church in North Codorus Township, York County, Pennsylvania.

Henry Kessler was born in 1776.

Simon Kessler was born in 1778. In March, 1778 Leonhard and Barbara Kneyer, were his sponsors at Zeigler's (St. Pauls) Lutheran Church in Codorus.

Barbara Kessler Beary was born in 1780. In May, 1780 Leonard and Barbara Kenoyer were her sponsors at Zeigler's (St. Pauls) Lutheran, North Codorus.

Catherine Kessler Smith was born about 1780.

Henry Kessler appeared in the 1780 and 1781 tax lists of Codorus Township. In 1780 he had 50 acres and two heads of cattle.

In January, 1780 Henry was the executor of John Jacob Scholl's estate along with John Ottman. The heirs were Jacob's wife, Catharine Scholl and children: John, Dorothea, Mary and Catharine.

In 1781 Henry had 50 acres, 1 horse and 2 cows.

Mary Elizabeth Kessler Baker was born in 1782, John Kessler was born in 1784, and Mary Magdaline Kessler Myers was born in 1786.

Henry was listed on the 1788 tax list of Cordorus.

In 1790 the household was in York County, Pennsylvania. The household consisted of a man over 16, a boy under 16, and 5 females.

Before Anna Maria (Mary) Kessler Kemp was born on June 3, 1794, they moved to Rockingham County, Virginia where their older children married. Barbara married in 1798, Mary Elizabeth and Catherine married in 1803, and Mary Magdalene in 1804.

They were associated with Frieden's Church while in Virginia.

John was still living in Rockingham County, Virginia, in 1810, with his wife, his mother, or mother-in-law, a daughter and 2 sons

The family moved to Champaign/Clark County, Ohio in about 1813. They acquired two quarter sections in Champaign/Clark county in the Cincinnati district. On December 23, 1813, Henry Kesler of Champaign County, Ohio bought the north east section of 160½ acres between the Miami Rivers (NE¼ Section 21, Township 4, Range 10) for $2.00 an acre from the land office for a total of $323.00. Barbara Kesler bought the northwest quarter (NW¼ of Section 21, Township 21, Range 10) from Lewis Huffman for the same price. They finished paying for the land on May 7, 1816.

In 1820 the widow, Barbara Kesler, was in Green Township, Clark County, Ohio. She was living by herself. Henry Baker, John Baker, John Kesler, Henry Kesler, Joseph Bearey and Philip Baker were close neighbors.

On September 17, 1823, Henry and Barbara sold part of NE Section 21, Township 4, Range 10 to John Kessler. On November 3, 1824 Henry and Barbara sold NE¼ Section 21, Township 4, Range 10 to Abraham Rust.

In 1830 Barbara Kessler (Kesler) appeared alone in German Township in the Ohio Census as one female between 70 and 80. She was a close neighbor of John Kesler who was between 40 and 50 years old. He was married and had seven children at home.

Zeigler's Cemetery

Clark County, Ohio was formed March 1, 1817, from Champaign, Madison and Greene Counties. The first settlement was in 1796. The inhabitants of German Township were German Lutherans who came from Virginia.

St. Paul's (Ziegler's) Evangelical Lutheran Church was located in North Codorus Township in York County, Pennsylvania. It was organized in 1771. When the congregation came into being, the colonial era was near it's end and the spirit of independence was gaining momentum. The German farmers in Pennsylvania joined in.

Friedens was originally a Reformed Luthern church. It is in the southeast part of Rockingham County near Mt. Crawford. Members of the Kessler and Baker families were associated with Friedens.

Shays's Rebellion was an armed uprising in Massachusetts in 1786 and 1787. Daniel Shays led four thousand rebels (Shaysites) in rising up against perceived economic injustices.

Daniel Shays and Job Shattuck
from Bickerstaff's Boston Almanack
The Public Land Survey System is used to survey and spatially identify land parcels in the United States.
  • Range is the distance east or west from a referenced principal meridian in units of six miles.
  • A Section is approximately a one-square-mile block of land. There are 36 sections in a township.
  • A Township is a parcel of land of 36 square miles or a measure of the distance north or south from a referenced baseline in units of six miles.
  • York County is in south central Pennsylvania and was created on August 19, 1749 from part of Lancaster County.

    Buildings in Clark County, Ohio ranged from simple log cabins to sophisticated Italianate and Gothic Revival structures.
    Rockingham County, Virginia was established in 1778 from Augusta County. European settlement began in the 1740s.
    Women played an essential role in American society as mothers and homemakers.