Genealogy has become a hobby for me over the last 10 years. For me, it's like a puzzle, I love fitting the pieces together. But over the years, I've researched a lot that does not pertain to our family lines. Some for extended family, some for close friends, and some because I was trying to rule out lines to figure out where our line went exactly. I do not want these notes on my Heather's Genealogy Notes blog - because they are not our lines. But I do like to share all of my research, in case it benefits others. That is what this blog is for - research I have done that does not apply to our own family lines, but may be helpful for someone else.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Peter Moyer 1775-1853

There were two Peter Moyers in our area, born less than 10 years apart.  This one is my paternal 5th great grandfather:
The one below is NOT.
I found a word file on (unsourced, I do not know who compiled it, but it is nicely done!) with almost all of the research below, I'm posting it here to help in my research of MY Peter, so I can try to keep the two straight.

Peter Moyer
Son Of John & Margaret Moyer
Born August 25, 1775
Died July 15, 1853
Maria Katherina Gundrum

1775 - Peter is Born 

Peter Moyer was born on August 25, 1775 in Bethel Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania.  He was one of thirteen children of John and Margaret Moyer.

He had the following brothers and sisters.

  • Henry
  • Philip
  • Christian
  • Michael
  • Jacob
  • Anna
  • Elizabeth
  • Rudolph
  • Abraham
  • John
  • Barbara
  • Margaret

In 1793, Peter’s father died.  Without guardianship, the Orphan’s Court in Berks County awarded Philip Moyer guardianship.  Philip was Peter’s older brother.

Peter Moyer married Maria Katherina Gundrum on March 18, 1800.  Maria Katherina Gundrum’s parents were Martin Gundrum and his wife, the former Maria Catherina Boshaar.  They were married by the Reverend William Handel in the Trinity Tulpehocken Reform Church in Jackson Township, Berks County (now Lebanon County), Pennsylvania.

They had four children:

Susan Moyer born 1800
John D. Moyer born 1805
Catherine Moyer born 1810
Peter Moyer Jr. born 1815

In 1808, Peter, his wife, and their first two children moved to Lewis Township (now Gamble) in Lycoming County where their other two children were born.  In 1815, Peter and his family moved on to Jackson Township, Lycoming County and purchased 100 acres of land located in the northeastern third of warrant 842, which he cleared and improved.  Peter was a cabinet maker, wheelwright and farmer by trade and lived upon this farm for about thirty years.  He also kept an Inn and Tavern to board the drovers who were driving cattle up the Williamson Trail, which ran along in front of his house.  Peter owned one male slave to help around the place.

Peter and his wife were members of the Lutheran Church and in March 1835, donated approximately one acre of land fort he erection of the Moyer Lutheran Church of Jackson Township.  The original church was torn down many years ago and another one built called Frieden’s Church.

In 1851, Peter sold his farm to his daughter Catherine and her Husband, John Miller for the sum of $1,500 who owned the land adjoining his farm.  Catherine and John Miller are both buried in a small cemetery on this farm formerly owned by her father.  Sometime prior to the sale of this farm, Peter purchased another farm in Mifflin Township in Lycoming County upon which he died.

Peter Moyer died on July 15, 1853 at the age of 78 years.

Peter’s wife, Maria, died on November 24, 1858.  They are buried side by side in the Dan Meiller Cemetery, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.


Taken from The Records of the Orphan’s Court, Berks County Court House in Reading, Pennsylvania – Dated December 24, 1793

Before the same Judges upon the petition of PETER MOYER, son of John Moyer late of Bethel Township, deceased.  Setting fourth that he is a minor above the age of fourteen years and hath no Guardian to take care of his person and estate therefore praying the Court to admit him to make choice of a Guardian for the purpose aforesaid.  Whereupon he was admitted and made choice of PHILIP MOYER as Guardian which choice was confirmed by the Court.

Before the same Judges upon the petition of HENRY AND ABRAHAM MOYER setting forth that the said Rudolph and Abraham are both minors under the age of fourteen years of age and have no Guardian to take care of their persons and estates therefore praying the Court to appoint some proper person or persons Guardians of the said minors.  Whereupon the Court appointed Christian Frantz Guardian of the said minors.

Before the same Judges upon the petition of MARGARET MOYER, daughter of John Moyer late of Bethel Township setting forth that she is a minor above the age of fourteen years of age and hath no Guardian appointed to take care of her person and estate and therefore praying the Court to admit her to make choice of a Guardian for the purpose aforesaid.  Whereupon she was admitted and made her choice of PHILIP MOYER as Guardian which choice was approved of by the Court.

The Court also issued bonds for the protection of Elizabeth and John Moyer on February 5, 1794.  (Children of John Moyer, deceased).

Last Will of Peter Moyer Sr.

The last will and testament of Peter Moyer Sr. of Mifflin Township, Lycoming County, State of Pennsylvania.  I Peter Moyer Sr. considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound mind, memory blessed by God for the same, do make and publish this last will and testament in manner following to with: First I do commend my soul to God who gave it hoping to be saved by the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ and my body I commit to the earth and my worldly estate I give and devise as followeth:  First I will that all  my just debts which I shall be by me owing at my death, together with my funeral expenses shall in the first place be fully paid and satisfied.  2nd I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Catherine for her support after my death as long as she remains my widow, all the income and interest arising or derived from my real estate situated in Mifflin Township, Lycoming County together with my personal property and the interest of three hundred dollars and in case the above should not be sufficient for her support then the principal, the three hundred dollars shall be at her disposal.  Should my wife Catherine conclude to marry again then she shall have for her support two cows, two beds, the interest of three hundred dollars and one third of the income of the farm with the privilege of living on the aforesaid farm or premises during her natural life.  3rd I give and bequeath to my grand child Mary Moyer daughter of Peter Moyer Jr. one cow, one bed, one borough and one hundred dollars of money to be paid to her when she arrives at the age of eighteen years.  4th I give and bequeath to my youngest daughter Catherine ten dollars to be to her out of the first money that may be placed in the hands of the executors.  5th  I give and bequeath to my three other children namely John, Peter and Susan all the remainder of my property, money or moneys owing to me on note bond or book A to be divided amongst them share and share alike as fast as collected and after the death of my wife Catherine my real estate and personal property which may yet be remaining shall be sold to the best advantage and divided share and share alike among my three children John, Peter, and Susan.  6th I do hereby constitute and appoint my friends Jacob Shugar and Daniel Miller of Mifflin Township, Lycoming County executors of this my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I do hereunto set my hand and seal this thirtieth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one.

Peter Moyer (Seal)

Subscribed by the testator in the presence of us
Solomon Bastress
Boon DeFrance

Recorded July 27, 1853

Note: This will was copied from a copy of the hand written will recorded in the Lycoming County Court House, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, by Marian E Gamble of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania

Peter Moyer’s Death Certificate

LDS Microfilm #1016406
Vital Records – Mercer County, Pennsylvania
Under Lycoming County Vital Records – 1853
Page #19: Death Certificate #44

Registration of Deaths in the county of Lycoming, state of Pennsylvania, A.D. eighteen hundred and fifty three

  1. Full name of deceased:                              Peter Moyer
  2. Color:                                                             White
  3. Sex:                                                                Male
  4. Age:                                                                78 years, 11 months, and 22                      days
  5. Name of father of deceased:                      John Moyer
  6. Name of mother of deceased:                   Margaretta Moyer
  7. Occupation:                                                  Wheelwright and farmer
  8. Place of birth:                                                Bethel Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania
  9. Name of wife of deceased:                         Catharine Guntrum
  10. Name of husband of deceased:
  11. Name of spouse living:
  12. Date of birth and date of death:                 August 25, 1775 – July 15, 1853
  13. Cause of death:                                            Consumption
  14. Place of death:                                             Mifflin Township
  15. Name (Place buried):                                  Dan Meillers cemetery
  16. Name of person returning certificate:       Wm. L. Bath
  17. Residence of such person:                         Jersey Shore
  18. Date of certification:                                     July 27, 1853
  19. Date of Registration:                                   July 27, 1853
  20. Signature of register or his deputy:           A. H. Runyan

NOTE: This Death Certificate shows Peter Moyer’s father named John Moyer.  Genealogical Helps for Blockhouse Area shows his father with the name of Fred Moyer.

Lycoming County Courthouse
48 West Third Street
Williamsport, PA 17701-6519
(570) 327-2258

Berks County Register of Wills
633 Court Street, 2nd Floor
Reading, PA 19601
(610) 478-6600

Wheels must be round above all else
Made of wood and bound with iron, the wheels of the carriages, wagons, and riding chairs that navigated rugged colonial roads had to be strong and tight. But first and foremost, the wheels had to be round.
Trade requires strength and precision
Producing wheels requires strength, ingenuity, and the talents of both a carpenter and a blacksmith. Precise measuring skills are mandatory.
Like their Williamsburg predecessors, the wheelwrights who practice the trade at the Governor's Palace today start with a hub fashioned on a lathe from properly aged wood such as elm. A tapered reamer opens the center to receive a metal bearing; The wheelwright uses a chisel to create rectangular spoke holes around the circumference of the wheel. Carved from woods like ash, the spokes radiate to meet a rim of mortised wooden arches, called "fellies," that join to form a perfect circle.
Colonial tire made of iron
The blacksmith supplies a big hoop of iron precisely matched to the distance around the fellies. The wheelwright heats the iron tire, which expands just enough to be coaxed on with a heavy hammer. He then douses the wheel with water, which causes the iron tire to shrink a bit, which in turn binds the assembly.

Peter Moyer’s Land Deed
This document is the Deed for the land Peter Moyer (1775 – 1853) and his wife, Maria Katherine Gundrum (1781 – 1858) executed when they donated the land for the Moyer Lutheran Church in 1835.  A Perch is the same as a Rod and equal to 5.5 yards or 16.5 feet.


This Indenture made the sixteenth day of March in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-Five between Peter Moyer or Jackson Township, Lycoming County and state of Pennsylvania, gentleman and Catherine his wife of the one part and Jacob Beck, Frederick Bowe and John Kreger, trustees of the Lutheran and Presbyterian Peace Church of the Township, county and state aforesaid gentlemen of the other part and their successors in office Witnesseth that the said Peter Moyer and Catherine his wife for and in consideration of the sum of one dollar to them in hand paid of the said party of the second part the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged and thereof acquits and forever discharges the said Jacob Beck, Federick Bower and John Kreger, trustees and their successors in office by there presents have granted, sold, alienated, enforced, release and confirmed by these presents do grant, bargain, sell, alien, enforce, release and confirm unto the said Jacob Beck, Frederick Bower and John Kreger, trustees and their successors in office all that certain tract or parcel of land situated, lying and being in the Township of Jackson in the County of Lycoming and State of Pennsylvania.

Beginning at a Post in the District line thence east twelve and a  half perches to a Post thence north thirteen perches to a Post thence west twelve and a half perches to a Post thence south thirteen perches to the place of Beginning containing one acres and two and a half perches adjoining lands of Peter Moyer east, north and west and south by land of Jacob Beck it being part of a large tract or parcel of land which the Trustees of the Academy of the Protestant and Episcopal Church in the City of Philadelphia by indenture bearing date the first day of June in the year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred twenty granted and conveyed unto the said Peter Moyer and to his heirs and assigns forever reference to said Deed recorded in the office for recording Deeds in and for said County of Lycoming will at large appear and the said Peter Moyer and Catherine his wife the premises hereby granted with the appurtenances against all and every persons whatsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof to the party of the second part their heirs and assigns shall and will warrant and forever defend by there presents in witness whereof the said parties have to these presents hereunto interchangeably set their hand and seals the day and year first above written Peter Moyer (seal) Catherine X (her mark) Moyer (seal) witness present Robert Allen, John Yoder.  Received the day and date of within Indenture one dollar it being in full for the consideration therein mentioned Peter Moyer present Robert Allen Lycoming Co. Personally before me one of the justices of the peace in and for Lycoming County came Peter Moyer and Catherine his wife.

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