Hundreds of Becher ancestors found in Pennsylvania church and census records from 1700 to 1940 are represented in the family trees on this genealogy website. Before you begin to explore our Becher family trees, read this page to learn about the earliest known Bechers in Pennsylvania, listed on the bottom of this page with links to their trees. (If you are a male with surname Becher or variant spelling, you can take a simple saliva test by mail to learn which 1700’s Bechers you are related to.)
We’ll first summarize the earliest Becher records we’ve found in Pennsylvania, then at page bottom we’ll name the earliest know Becher ancestors with links to their trees. All these Bechers likely should join into one tree, but we are still looking for evidence to learn how to connect the branches we’ve found.
Pennsylvania German Becher Ancestors
My Beecher/Beacher family began researching Becher ancestors in the 1960’s when Bruce Franklin Beacher Ph.D suspected that the Becher ancestors living in the 1700’s near New Holland, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania might be related to his Beecher/Beacher/Bicher ancestors found in the same churches at the same time. They are discussed in detail on the Pennsylvania Beecher page on this site.
It’s was logical to assume the Bechers and Beechers might be the same because in some cases later generations in the Becher tree branches change their surname to Beecher. But other Becker surname researchers assume these Becher ancestor records are just Beckers, and so place them in Becker family trees. That assumption occurs because often in handwriting an h and a k can look one and the same, so it’s not uncommon to find a Becker transcribed later as Becher or vice versa.
We’re uncertain if Bechers are really Beckers because of one fact: in Germany, the surname Becher is usually pronounced like Besh-shur and most often there is no hard K sound involved. Listen here.
To solve our Becher mysteries, in 2003 Jonathan Beacher (webmaster of this site) started a Y-DNA project at FamilyTreeDNA.com, hoping that brand-new technology might provide answers. We are searching for living male Bechers who descend from the original Pennsylvania ancestors so we learn how to join together the various branches of Bechers found in early records, plus, learn which Bechers are related to any Beechers or Beckers.
As of January, 2014, our Y-DNA testing has revealed that the Becher family found in New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in the 1700’s that has Beecher descendants is unrelated to the other Beecher/Biecher/Beicher/Bicher ancestors found in Lancaster, Berks, York, Adams and Chester counties and described on the Pennsylvania Beecher page, and is unrelated to the New England (Connecticut) Beecher family described on the Connecticut Beecher page. The New Holland, Pennsylvania Becher/Beecher family is a unique Beecher family in America. Listed below are possible immigrants for this family, and other Becher ancestors whom our research has yet to link into this family. Hopefully, future Y-DNA tests will help identify connections, and even prove where in Europe the New Holland Becher ancestors came from.
As we continue Y-DNA testing Becher/Beecher males, our results showing unique families in America are published at our Bucher/Beecher Y-DNA Project Results.
Becher Immigration Records
When immigrants arrived by ship in the 1700’s in Philadelphia, before they were allowed ashore, they had to appear in court to sign their name to an oath of allegiance to Pennsylvania. These records have been printed in several books, and going through them, here are all the Becher-like immigrants.
The source code is explained at bottom and indicates which books the list is printed in. Ships link to online passenger lists, so you can see everyone who traveled with them. This is important as we often find our ancestors lived and later intermarried with indicating where the Becher immigrant came from or settled.
|Ship||From/To||Source Codes||Becher Immigration Notes|
|Johann Martin Becher||10/8/1737||Charming Nancy||Rotterdam by Plymouth to PA||NF142, TT111, PG191|
|Heinrich Becher||1738||Carolina||LS95, LS114, LS116||AKA Hans Heinrich Buecher|
|Hans George Becher||9/28/1738||Nancy and Friendship||Rotterdam by Dover to PA||TT123|
|Johann Andreas Becher||9/9/1751||Patience||Rotterdam by Cowes to PA||TT250|
|Johannes Becker||9/30/1754||Edinburgh||PG615, NF435, TT331|
|Casper Becker||9/30/1754||Edinburgh||PG615, NF435, TT331|
|Philip Becher||11/5/1764||Prince of Wales||Rotterdam by Cowes to PA||TT366|
|Gottlieb Becker||11/5/1764||Prince of Wales||Rotterdam by Cowes to PA||TT366|
Source Codes for Becher Immigrations:
Two letters correspond to a book below and the number is the page within it.
Example: TT316 above is page 316 within Thirty Thousand Names of Swiss Immigrants.
|LS||Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the
|Faust, Albert B.|
|NF||Name of Foreigners Who Took The Oath of Allegiance||Egle, Henry|
|TT||Thirty Thousand Names of Swiss Immigrants||Rupp, Daniel|
|PG||Pennsylvania German Pioneers||Strassburger, Ralph Beaver|
|PI||Pal-Index: A Surname Index
of Eighteenth-Century Immigrants
|Hall, Charles M.|
Eldest Becher Ancestors
Following are Becher ancestors in Pennsylvania who are the heads of the family trees on this website. We cannot join them into one tree for lack of church, tax, land, census, cemetery or Y-DNA evidence. Many of these Becher ancestors were found by viewing the microfilmed records of churches and cemeteries in Lancaster county.
Muddy Creek Church, Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, PennsylvaniaPhilip Becher’s Tree
Philip Becher, son of Philip, was christened 12 May 1734 in Muddy Creek Church in East Cocalico Township, just north of New Holland. (This is the same church where the earliest records for Beecher ancestors are found, and some are buried here.) The eldest Philip would be born perhaps 1715 or earlier to have a child in 1734. He might be the ancestor of all the Bechers found in Lancaster county, if they are one family.
Emanuel Becher (1776-1868)
New Holland, Lancaster County, PennsylvaniaEmanuel Becher’s Tree
An Emanuel Becher was born 1776 in Lancaster County in New Holland and was buried in 1868 at Zeltenreich (Seltenreich) Cemetery where many Bechers are interred. We don’t know his parents. Emanuel heads a family with descending two branches adopting the Beecher surname in later generations. Emanuel Becher is most curious to Beecher researchers because a John Beecher b.1759 whose children are christened in New Holland reportedly is the son of an Emanuel Beecher for whom no records can be found. Perhaps Emanuel Becher b.1776 is the son or grandson of the Emanuel who sired John Beecher?
Emanuel might be a brother of the Daniel or John Becher listed next, although we have no proof to connect them.
Daniel Becher (1777-?)
New Holland, Lancaster County, PennsylvaniaDaniel Becher’s Tree
Daniel was born 3 May 1777 and christened 22 Jun 1777 at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Holland, Lancaster, PA. His father was a Jacob Becher, mother Mary. Father Jacob would be born 1760 or earlier?
John Becher (1780-1846)
New Holland, Lancaster County, PennsylvaniaJohn Becher’s Tree
John is buried with wife Mary at Seltenreich cemetery in New Holland, born 21 Nov 1780, died 21 Apr 1846. If you know his parents, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicholas Becher (abt.1804-1881)Nicholas Becher’s Tree
Nicholas Becher was born about 1804 according to the 1850 to 1880 census records. He died 20 Jan 1881 and is buried at Seltenreich cemetery in New Holland. Father is unknown.
He is found in the 1850-1860 census in Leacock Township, Lancaster county living with a brother, Jacob, born about 1803. In 1860 next door is a Daniel Becher born about 1823, and in the 1880 census in Leacock Daniel is identified as a cousin of Nicholas, and they are living together.
Bechers in Maryland
Frederick County, Maryland
Peter Becher’s Tree
Conrad Becher’s Tree
Frederick Becher’s Tree
Because we have already found relationships between Beecher families in 1700’s Maryland and Pennsylvania, we have recorded the Becher families found just across the border, since it was not uncommon for some immigrants arriving in Philadelphia to settle there.