Sunday, January 27, 2019

Barbara Lesher, 1742- ? Pennsylvania

I haven't written about any non-direct ancestors to date, but I was caught by Barbara's surname. I had seen it spelled as Leisure, and in listening to how it sounded, I was certain it was actually a misspelled German surname, such as Lesher/Lescher.  A-ha, I finally found her as a daughter of the immigrant, Johan "John" Lösher and wife Johanna Maria Yoder. Barbara is the wife of my 4th great-granduncle, Jacob Morgan, Jr.

But the next question was, how did Barbara and her husband meet-?

Johan had been born Jan 5, 1710/11, and emigrated from the Alsace-Lorraine region, having converted to Protestantism, i.e., Huguenots.  He arrived in Pennsylvania between 1726 and 1734 - dates not yet verified. He and Maria Yoder married Sep 25, 1740 in Oley, PA.  Johan was an iron-master, and he partnered with his father-in-law and another investor, opening several large forges in and around Oley, Berks, Pennsylvania. He was very successful financially, owning land as well. During the Revolutionary War, he manufactured cannon balls and musket balls, among other items.

Barbara was born about 1742 in Oley, PA, the eldest daughter of the seven known children. Her mother Maria died in 1762, aged 43. The following year, Nov 22, 1763, Barbara married Jacob Morgan Jr., son of the Revolutionary War hero, Jacob MORGAN Sr., my direct ancestor. They married in Douglassville, Pennsylvania, about 10 miles south of Oley, and roughly 15 miles north of Morgantown.

And those map details immediately confused me. How did a Reformed-Protestant German family meet up with a Welsh family, 10-25 miles away, who emigrated in 1718 with other Welsh families-?

Somehow, somewhere, Barbara and Jacob Jr. met. And they did not require parental  permission to marry when they both turned 21 years of age.

Hmmm. Surely there's an interesting story here. The distance between their several known residences is not inconsequential. I also note there were other forges in the region, other churches as well. It's an enigma, waiting for a logical answer - and more research on my part!

Children of Jacob Jr. and Barbara follow; the birth order is not verified, and there may be another child I've missed. I have very few details on their children, and am not certain of their birthplaces - Oley? Morgantown? Douglassville?
    - Hannah,
    - Elizabeth, m. William Sergeant         
    - Rachel, m. Andrew Douglass
    - Jacob,
    - George,
    - John

The MORGAN and the LESHER families were both anti-British during the Revolutionary War, April 19, 1775 to Sep 3, 1783. The Oley Forge was involved in the manufacture of myriad items needed during the war. Note that Johan Lösher/Lesher was highly respected and was very active in the planning and committee work as well. A "patriot and ironmaster" is one description of him. [Annals of the Oley Valley in Berks County, Pa., 1926, Chapter XVI] 

Barbara's husband, Jacob Morgan Jr, died Sept 18, 1802, in Philadelphia city, and is buried in Christ Church cemetery; Section D, Plot XCIV.  

I don't have death information for Barbara, nor does she show up as Barbara Morgan [widowed], and I have found no will of hers. There is, however, a widowed Barbara Lesher in Oley, on the 1810 Census. This could be her - or a relative of hers. 

She was clearly alive at the time of her husband's death in 1802, and is provided for in generous terms in his will of 1802; with not only the house, goods inside, and the surrounding land, but also a yearly allowance of £1000, to be paid quarterly.  

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If Barbara is one of your ancestors, and you have additional information, please do let me know; you will find contact information at the very bottom of the page. If I've made errors, do let me know as well so I can correct my records. 

Blogger - or my computer - is still not letting me "reply" to your comments, for some unknown reason. If I don't reply to your Comment, please know that I'm totally thrilled you came to read my post and commented!  You truly make my day.

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis