John Beecher Sr.
(1757-1819)
Mary Ann Albrecht
(1762-1834)
Jacob Graef
George Beecher
(1790-1842)
Maria Barbara Graef
(1792-1848)
William Beecher
(1817-1881)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
1. Sarah Anna Reifsnyder

William Beecher 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  • Born: 22 Aug 1817, , , PA 3 4 6 7 9 11 12
  • Christened: 26 Oct 1817, Reading: First Reformed Church, Berks, PA, USA 7
  • Marriage (1): Sarah Anna Reifsnyder on 8 Sep 1838 in , Berks, PA 1
  • Died: 14 Sep 1881, Penn Twp., Berks, PA at age 64 6 9 13
  • Buried: Wernersville: St. John's Cemetery, Berks, PA 6

   Other names for William were William Beacher,11 William Bicher 12 and William Buecher.14

   FamilySearch ID: LDLM-5B2.

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Baptism on 26 Oct 1817 in Reading: First Reformed Church, Berks, PA, USA. William Beacher [sic], b. 22 Aug 1817 parents George & Barbara Beacher 7

2. Census in 1840 in Heidelberg Twp., Berks, PA. 12 William Bicher is listed in the 1840 Census with this household:
Males (born)
Under 5 (1836-1840) = 1 son
20-29 (1811-1820) = 1 father William
Females (born)
20-29 (1811-1820) = 1 mother.

3. He appeared as a sponsor at a baptism on 21 Aug 1842 at Wernersville: St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Berks, PA. 15

4. He appeared as a sponsor at a baptism on 27 Feb 1844 at Wernersville: St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Berks, PA. 16

5. He appeared as a sponsor at a baptism on 26 Oct 1845 at Wernersville: St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Berks, PA. 17

6. He appeared as a sponsor at a baptism on 2 Aug 1846 at Wernersville: St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Berks, PA. 18

7. He appeared as a sponsor at a baptism on 9 Sep 1849 at Wernersville: St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Berks, PA. 19

8. Census in 1850 in Lower Heidelberg Twp., Berks, PA. 11 William Beacher, age 33, blacksmith, is living with wife Sarah, also 33; Reuben, 11; Mary, 7; John, 3; Levi, 1. Also in the home are William's sister, Mary Beecher, 23; and William's brother Harrison Beecher, 17, also a blacksmith. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania.

9. He appeared as a sponsor at a baptism on 18 May 1850 at Wernersville: St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Berks, PA. 20

10. He appeared as a sponsor at a baptism on 5 Aug 1855 at Wernersville: St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Berks, PA. 21

11. Census in 1860 in Lower Heidelberg Twp., Berks, PA. 3 William Beecher, 42, blacksmith, is listed in the 1860 Census in Lower Heidelberg Township in Berks County with real estate valued at $350 and possessions worth $175. With him is Sarah, 43; Reuben, 21, mason; Mary, 17; John, 13; and Levi, 11. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania. The post office is listed as Stouchsburgh.

12. He appeared as a sponsor at a baptism on 30 Mar 1862 at Wernersville: St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Berks, PA. 22

13. He appeared as a sponsor at a baptism on 27 Oct 1862 at Wernersville: St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Berks, PA. 23

14. He appeared as a sponsor at a baptism on 8 Aug 1869 at Wernersville: St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Berks, PA. 24

15. Census in 1870 in S. Heidelberg Twp., Berks, PA. 25 Two Beecher households are found on as neighbors in the 1870 Census in South Heidelberg Township in Berks County. The post office is Wernersville.

William Beecher, age 52, blacksmith, is living with wife Sarah, 52; Levi, 21; and Levi's wife Ellen, 16. With them is a Sarah Strunk, age 4, and Harrison Beecher, 37, no occupation listed. William's real estate is valued at $1,800 and his possessions worth $400.

Reuben Beecher, 30, farm laborer, is living with wife Emma, 26, and George L., 7 months old, born in Oct. 1869. He has no real estate and $400 of possessions. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania.

16. He appeared as a sponsor at a baptism on 13 Nov 1870 at Wernersville: St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Berks, PA. 26

17. Census in 1880 in Penn Twp., Berks, PA. 27 The 1880 census recorded Levi R. Beecher, blacksmith, 31, living with wife Ellen L., 26; son William L., 9; and son John A., 4.

Next door is William Beecher, blacksmith, 62, with wife Sarah A., 62; and servant Sallie M. Strunk, 14. Also living with them is Grandson Goerge L. Beecher, 10.

Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania.

18. Tombstone: 14 Sep 1881, Wernersville: St. John's Cemetery, Berks, PA. Beecher, William, born Aug. 22, 1817, d. Sept. 14, 1881 (son of George). O. (Children: Reuben, b. Feb. 27, 1839, Ellen Eliza, b. Dec 29. 1840; Mary K., b. Feb. 5, 1843; John, b. Oct. 28, 1846; Levi.).

19. Newspaper: Reading Times: Found Dead, 16 Sep 1881, Reading, Berks, PA. 13 Found Dead. John Beecher, a blacksmith by trade, aged about 64 years, was found dead on the farm of George Kauffman, in Penn township, on Wednesday. He lived in the tenant house of Mr. Kauffman. 'Squire H. S. Machmer, of Bernville, was summoned and impanelled the following jury: Benton K. Bright, of Bernville; Dr. H. S. Mohr, of Mt. Pleasant; Jacob Snyder, Jacob Althouse, George Kauffman and John Wollenbach, of Penn township, who found that the deceased died from heart disease.

20. Book: Historical and Biographical Annals of Berks County, 1909. 28
[NOTE: Y-DNA testing on a Beecher descendant of William L. Beecher has proven that the following biography is not correct in stating William L. Beecher's family descends from the Connecticut Beecher line. Instead, his Y-DNA matches the PA German Beechers who immigrated into Pennsylvania in the 1700's. See http://www.SearchTrees.com/beecher for more.]

William L. Beecher, who is the incumbent of an important position in the United States Custom House at Philadelphia, Pa., is a descendant of the well-known Beecher family in America, and traces his ancestors to the Beechers in England.

They were noted as "blacksmith-preachers", and Nathaniel Beecher, the first of the family in America, had his anvil set on the stump of a wide-spreading elm under which the famous John Davenport preached his first sermon before the New Haven Colony in Connecticut; and in a direct line the trade was followed by each succeeding generation in this family until 1903, when William L. Beecher's father retired in Berks county.

William Beecher, the grandfather of William L., who was a son of George Beecher who settled in Berks county about 1800, was a blacksmith by trade, and married Sarah Reifsnyder, by whom he had four children, the only survivor of whom is Levi R. Beecher, the father of William L.

Levi R. Beecher, who was for many years a blacksmith of Heidelberg township, where he is now living retired, married Ellen Louise Lake, a native of London, England, where her father carried on the business of a contractor for a time and whence he emigrated to America when she was a young girl. Mr. and Mrs. Beecher became the parents of four children: William L.; John A. m. Elsie Dundor; Katie E. m. Isaac Luckenbill; Howard died young.

William L. Beecher was born Oct. 1, 1870, in Lower Heidelberg township, Berks Co., Pa., about three miles north of Wernersville. He received his early education in the township schools, and then attended the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown, Pott's Shorthand College at Williamsport, and the Reading Business College. When fifteen years old, he entered the Reading Hardware Works to learn the trade of molder, and while following this trade was licensed to teach public school. This was in 1889, and he taught for twelve terms, in West Reading, and Perry and Cumru townships, nine terms being in the last named, and during the summer months he worked at his trade.

In the summer of 1900, Mr. Beecher passed a very creditable examination for a position in the Philadelphia Custom House, and May 1, 1901, received an appointment as messenger. After serving in this position several months he was promoted to a clerkship and detailed for duty in the Custodian's office, where he has continued to the present time. His spare time is devoted to photography, entomology and painting. During the past five years, he has visited many battle-fields of the Army of the Potomac in the Civil war, photographing prominent places for the purpose of illustrating a book entitled "From Bull Run to Appomattox," of which he is to be the compiler. He has a fine collection of butterflies at his home, which he secured in his travels and mounted.

Mr. Beecher took an active part in the Pennsylvania National Guard for a number of years, having been a sergeant of the Reading Artillerists, and serving as company clerk. He participated in the suppression of the labor troubles in the coal regions in 1900, having been summoned from his school in Cumru township, and was engaged in this service for forty days.

In 1891 Mr. Beecher married Clara S. Moyer, daughter of the late Elias Moyer of Robesonia. One child has been born to this union: Lew Wallace, who is now attending the high school in Philadelphia, preparatory to taking up the study of medicine. He is quite an athlete, has participated in a number of cross-country runs, and at one time, in company with his father, walked from Philadelphia to Reading in less than twelve hours. The father and son have a great fondness for music, both playing the cornet very efficiently, and the son assisting in the orchestras attached to the high school, and Palatinate Reformed Church.


William married Sarah Anna Reifsnyder, daughter of George Reifschneider and Elizabeth Spengler, on 8 Sep 1838 in , Berks, PA.1 (Sarah Anna Reifsnyder was born on 8 Apr 1817 in , , PA,9 11 29 30 31 died on 22 Dec 1881 in Centre Twp., Berks County, PA 9 30 31 and was buried in Wernersville: St. John's Cemetery, Berks, PA 29.)


Sources


1 St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Wernersville, Berks County, PA (Lower Heidelberg Township), http://berks.pa-roots.com/cemetery/StJohns-HainsChurchCemetery.html.

2 1880 United States Census.

3 1860 United States Census, Pennsylvania, Berks County, Lower Heidelberg Township, Series: M653 Roll: 1075 Page: 388.

4 1880 United States Census, FHL Film 1255100; National Archives Film T9-1100; Page 144C.

5 Berks and Schuylkill Journal (Reading, PA) (Reading, Berks, Pennsylvania.), August 24, 1878.

6 Find A Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=30816140.

7 Jacqueline B. Nein, First Reformed Church, Reading, Pennsylvania, an alphabetized compilation of baptisms, marriages, and funerals from 1771-1905 (Jacqueline B. Nein, 4701 Saint George Street, Reading, PA 196060 1988. Book viewable online at LDS family history centers.), page 8.

8 Reading Adler Newspaper (Reading, PA) (Reading, Berks, Pennsylvania.), 4 Feb 1879, obituary of Reuben Beecher.

9 Research of John Franklin Beecher (1877-1971) (File GA-B-414 at Berks History Center library, amily tree dated 1961 of the descendants of George Beecher (1791-1842) created by John Franklin Beecher.).

10 FamilySearch.org, Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2V4-JKK Reuben Buechert, 1839.

11 1850 United States Census, Pennsylvania, Berks County, Lower Heidelberg Township, Series: M432 Roll: 753 Page: 456.

12 1840 United States Census, Pennsylvania, Berks County, Heidelberg Township, Series: M704 Roll: 438 Page: 443.

13 Reading Times (Reading, PA) (Reading, Berks, Pernnsylvania.), 16 Sep 1881, page 4. Found Dead.

14 St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Wernersville, Berks County, PA (Lower Heidelberg Township), http://berks.pa-roots.com/books/HainsChurch/Hains8a.html.

15 Kershner, W. J. (William Jacob), 1852-1926; Lerch, Adam G., joint author, History of St. John's (Hain's) Reformed church in Lower Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Penna (Reading, Pa., I. M. Beaver. 1916. Online at http://archive.org/details/historyofstjohns00ker .), 21 Aug 1842, page 181.

16 Kershner, W. J. (William Jacob), 1852-1926; Lerch, Adam G., joint author, History of St. John's (Hain's) Reformed church in Lower Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Penna (Reading, Pa., I. M. Beaver. 1916. Online at http://archive.org/details/historyofstjohns00ker .), 27 Feb 1844, page 222.

17 Kershner, W. J. (William Jacob), 1852-1926; Lerch, Adam G., joint author, History of St. John's (Hain's) Reformed church in Lower Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Penna (Reading, Pa., I. M. Beaver. 1916. Online at http://archive.org/details/historyofstjohns00ker .), 26 Oct 1845, page 235.

18 Kershner, W. J. (William Jacob), 1852-1926; Lerch, Adam G., joint author, History of St. John's (Hain's) Reformed church in Lower Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Penna (Reading, Pa., I. M. Beaver. 1916. Online at http://archive.org/details/historyofstjohns00ker .), 2 Aug 1846, page 190.

19 Kershner, W. J. (William Jacob), 1852-1926; Lerch, Adam G., joint author, History of St. John's (Hain's) Reformed church in Lower Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Penna (Reading, Pa., I. M. Beaver. 1916. Online at http://archive.org/details/historyofstjohns00ker .), 9 Sep 1849, page 171.

20 Kershner, W. J. (William Jacob), 1852-1926; Lerch, Adam G., joint author, History of St. John's (Hain's) Reformed church in Lower Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Penna (Reading, Pa., I. M. Beaver. 1916. Online at http://archive.org/details/historyofstjohns00ker .), 18 May 1850, page 218.

21 Kershner, W. J. (William Jacob), 1852-1926; Lerch, Adam G., joint author, History of St. John's (Hain's) Reformed church in Lower Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Penna (Reading, Pa., I. M. Beaver. 1916. Online at http://archive.org/details/historyofstjohns00ker .), 5 Aug 1855, page 191.

22 Kershner, W. J. (William Jacob), 1852-1926; Lerch, Adam G., joint author, History of St. John's (Hain's) Reformed church in Lower Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Penna (Reading, Pa., I. M. Beaver. 1916. Online at http://archive.org/details/historyofstjohns00ker .), 30 Mar 1862, page 193.

23 Kershner, W. J. (William Jacob), 1852-1926; Lerch, Adam G., joint author, History of St. John's (Hain's) Reformed church in Lower Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Penna (Reading, Pa., I. M. Beaver. 1916. Online at http://archive.org/details/historyofstjohns00ker .), 27 Oct 1862, page 178.

24 Kershner, W. J. (William Jacob), 1852-1926; Lerch, Adam G., joint author, History of St. John's (Hain's) Reformed church in Lower Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Penna (Reading, Pa., I. M. Beaver. 1916. Online at http://archive.org/details/historyofstjohns00ker .), 8 Aug 1869, page 195.

25 1870 United States Census, Pennsylvania, Berks County, South Heidelberg Township, Series: M593 Roll: 1306 Page: 423.

26 Kershner, W. J. (William Jacob), 1852-1926; Lerch, Adam G., joint author, History of St. John's (Hain's) Reformed church in Lower Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Penna (Reading, Pa., I. M. Beaver. 1916. Online at http://archive.org/details/historyofstjohns00ker .), 13 Nov 1870, page 177.

27 1880 United States Census, Year: 1880; Census Place: Penn, Berks, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1100; Family History Film: 1255100; Page: 144C; Enumeration District: 035; Image: 0288.

28 Montgomery, Morton L., Historical and Biographical Annals of Berks County Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1909. Online at: http://archive.org/details/cu31924097286300), Page 853.

29 Find A Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=30816132.

30 St. John's (Hains) Reformed Church, Wernersville, Berks County, PA (Lower Heidelberg Township), http://archive.org/stream/historyofstjohns00kers/historyofstjohns00kers_djvu.txt.

31 Reading Adler Newspaper (Reading, PA) (Reading, Berks, Pennsylvania.), 3 Jan 1882, obituary of Mrs. Sarah A. Beecher.



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