An American Family History


Leonard Kenoyer & Anna Barbara Buck

North Codorus Township, York County, Pennsylvania
“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Kenoyer is also spelled Canarryer, Gnärr, Gnaer, Kanayer, Kenoyer, Knaer Knayer, Knawyer, Kneier, Kneir, Kneoyder, Kneyor, Kneuger, Kneuyer, Knoyer, Knier, Knyer
The Palatinate is a region in south-western Germany. Many thousands of Palatine immigrants were driven out of Germany by war, famine, despotic rule and disease. They were attracted to Pennsylvania by the first settlers who sent back favorable reports.
American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which 1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

York County is in south central Pennsylvania and was created on August 19, 1749 from part of Lancaster County.

A spinning wheel is a device for making thread or yarn. and was an essential part of Early American life. An unmarried woman would often take on the important job of spinning for the household, thus the term "spinster."
It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.

Stilyards are weighing scales.


Leonhardt (Leonard) Kenoyer was born about 1725 in Germany.

He (Gnarr) sailed on the ship Anderson from Rotterdam, Holland, to Portsmouth, England, to Philadelphia arriving on September 27, 1752. The ship's captain was Hugh Campbell.

In 1752 a Leonhardt Gnarr was on the tax list of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

He married Anna Barbara about 1753.

Barbara Kenoyer Kessler was born about 1754.

According to the Evangelical Lutheran minister, the Reverend John Casper Stoever's records, Leonard and Barbara were sponsors when Maria Barbara daughter of David Dreher of Lebanon was baptized on January 25, 1756.

Johann Ulrich Kenoyer was born about 1758.

Leonard Kenoyer was born about 1759. He was baptized on June 22, 1759 in York County, Pennsylvania. by the Reverend Schlegel at Daniel Wotring's (Vautrin) meeting room. Leonard's sponsors were Melchior Schmidt, Adam Hoff, Christopher Haller, and Peter Pinckele.

In 1759 they received a warrant for 150 acres in Codorus and Manheim Townships where they had been living. They called it Kneier's Valley. Their land was adjacent to the church lands of St. Jacob's Old Stone Church.

In 1762 Leonard was in the Codorus Township tax list.

Catharine Elizabeth Kenoyer Clouse was born about 1761 and baptized in June, 1762 by the traveling minister, Reverend Jacob Lischy. Her sponsors were Frederich and Catharina Röhmer.

Frederick Kenoyer was born about 1765.

Christian Kenoyer was born on January 1, 1766 He was baptized on April 6, 1766 the first Sunday after Easter at St. Jacob's.

Anna Maria Kenoyer was born about 1767.

In March, 1770 Leonard and Barbara were sponsors for Johann Frederick Schuss and in November, 1770 they were sponsors for Anna Barbara Ungerer at St. Jacob's.

On November 3, 1774 130.91 acres were surveyed for Leonard Kenoyer and given the name of "Kneier's Valley." The survey map shows a house and a large barn.

The family was active in the Revolution. Leonard and Ulrich were in Captain George Hoover's Company.

In March, 1778 Leonard and Barbara were sponsors for their grandson, Simon Kessler, the son of Henry and Barbara Kessler at Zeigler's (St. Pauls) Lutheran Church in Codorus.

In 1779 Leonard Kenoyer owned 60 acres, 2 horses, and head of 3 cattle and was taxed £12.10.0.

In May, 1780 Leonhard Kenoyer and wife, Barbara, were sponsors for granddaughter, Barbara Kessler Beary, daughter of Barbara and Henry Kessler, at Zeigler's.

In 1780 Leonard owned 50 acres, 2 horses, and 3 cattle. He was taxed £10. In 1781 he owned 45 acres, 2 horses, and 2 cattle. He was taxed £1.10.6. In 1782 he owned 100 acres, 2 horses and 2 cattle. He was taxed £2.19.3.

In 1782 Leonard died intestate. His funeral was conducted by the Reverend John Daniel Shrödter.

The "Inventory of the goods and effects of the late Leonard Kenoyer, Dec. of Codorus Township" was filed on April 14, 1783. The value of the estate came to £81.19.3. Four items were added valued at £4.8.6. The document was signed by Barbara Kenoyer (her X mark) and Ulrich Kneier.

The inventory included:

  • Clothing and old schoos & buckls.
  • Household goods: including furniture, utinsils, a flat iron, a coffy mill, a tee kittel, a butter churn, pewter, spoons & plates, tin vaire, crockery vaire, iron pots, pans & kittels, a stone juge, 2 chists, 2 bells, a spinning weehl, a spooling weehl & vorper, a weevers loome, and several kasks, pailes, krocks, pots, baysons & baskets. 2 pare of specktickles, a Testiment, an expensive book, 6 other books & some small broken books, old cards, and a litle box & resor.
  • Work tools: 2 hemp heckles [comb], a flax brake [a machine for separating the woody stem tissues from the fiber], shoomakers tools and a smiths tools, plus a compass.
  • Farm tools including: a block vagon, a plow, a groine stone, a lantarn, 2 sheers, 4 sickles & 2 sithes, an iron hand saw, an awger and chissels and a pare of stilliards.
  • Animals: A rone mare & 2 saddels, 7 cows & a bull, 6 sheep, 4 pigs, and 3 behives.
  • 22 apple trees

George Dehoff, who appraised the estate, was paid £0.14.10. George Wehrly, was paid £4.6.3 for making Leonard's coffin and for appraising and writing the list of auction items and the advertisement for the auction. The Reverend John Daniel Shrödter was paid £0.15.10 for the religious service. Christopher Shroth, the auctioneer. was paid £3.15.10 for "crying the vendus." Henry Ponsler owed Leonard £4.

On June 3, 1783 the court named Captain John Wampler of Manheim Township as the guardian of Frederick age 17 and Mary age 15. The eldest, Ulrich Kenoyer was named

heir at law of Leonard Kenoyer late of York County deceased. Said Inteste died owner of an improvement and tract of land containing 130 acres in Codorus adjoining lands of Jacob Bare [Bear], Church land, lands of George Smith & Nicholas Kauffels. [Cauffeldt].

The estate appraised at about £104.

In 1783 Anna Barbara Kenoyer owned 100 acres, two houses, and one outhouse, valued at £65. She was taxed £1.7.1. There were three members of the household.

The first of the great floods of the Codorus was in March, 1784. It is called the "Ice Flood" and the water and ice rose to extraordinary heights and did considerable damage.

In 1785 Sheriff Henry Miller appraised 130 acres in Kneier's Valley at £135 and granted it to Ulrich Kenoyer. The value was set at £135. In 1785, Frederick was in the York County, Pennsylvania militia. He was in 7th Company in the 7th Battalion under Captain John Wampler, his former guardian.

Another great flood was in October, 1786. This flood destroyed every bridge on the Codorus.

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

17th and 18th century Germans often gave children two names at baptism. The first was a saint's name. The second a secular name which is what the child was called. The saint's name was usually given to all the children of that family of the same gender. Johannes was rarely a saint's name, but Johann was.
Choosing a Godparent sponsor was not just a formality in 17th century Germany. Each child had one Godparent of the same gender. It established ties between families that were near kinship. The Godparent was expected to provide spiritual support and material support in times of need.

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.

A scythe or a sickle is a hand tool for reaping crops. The handle of a scythe is a snead.


Pewter is an alloy composed mainly of tin, but can include lead. It was used for dishes and utensils. Some colonists suffered lead poisoning from using it. It dents easily and lasted about ten years. It was expensive and wooden dishes were used most often.
Tools were an important legacy because they were essential part of daily life.
A militia is a military unit composed of citizens who are called up in time of need.

Horse Terms
Foal: less than 1 year old
Yearling: between 1 & 2
Colt: male under 4
Filly: female under 4
Mare: female over 4
Gelding: castrated male
: non-castrated male over 4



Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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