Christoph Geist
Anna Margaretha Plowhead
Andraes Geist Sr.


Family Links

1. Maria Christina Schneider

2. Elizabeth Dornmeier

Andraes Geist Sr. 1 2 3 4

  • Born: 26 Jan 1755, Frederick Twp., Montgomery, PA 4
  • Marriage (1): Maria Christina Schneider 1
  • Marriage (2): Elizabeth Dornmeier in 1783 in Weisenberg Twp., Lehigh, PA 2
  • Died: 19 Dec 1849, Greenbrier, Northumberland, PA at age 94 4
  • Buried: Rebuck: Himmel's Church, Northumberland, PA 4

   Another name for Andraes was Andrew Geist.1

   FamilySearch ID: L87H-GJJ.

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Residence: Lehigh County before moving near Greenbrier in Northumberland County. 5

2. Military in 1777: during the Revolutionary War as Sergeant in Capt. Andrew Graff's Philadelphia Co., Militia. 6 Text from the DAR book:
Granddaughter of Peter Smith and Elizabeth Geist, his wife.
Gr-granddaughter of John Geist and Elizabeth Faulke, his wife.
Gr-gr-granddaughter of Andrew Geist and Dormeirer -, his wife.
Andrew Geist (1745-1840) was engaged in the battle of Brandywine serving in the Pennsylvania militia with three brothers. He was born in Pennsylvania; died in Greenbrier.

3. Book: Genealogical & Biographical Annals of Northumberland County by J.L. Floyd, 1911. 7
Andrew Geist and wife, Christina Snyder, parents of Mrs. Jonas Eisenhart, had children as follows: John, George, Andrew, Daniel, Josiah, Peter, Abraham, Elizabeth (married Isaac Sheaffer), Christina (married Paul Gerhart), Susan (married Frederick Kahler), Lydia (married Mr. Bixler), Polly (married Jonas Eisenhart), Sallie (married Soloman Falck), Rebecca M. (married Solomon Shankwiler) and Mary (married Joseph Feger). Mr. Geist reared his family at Greenbrier, Northumberland County, where he lived and died.

4. Book: The Geist Relation, 1940. 8
page 210

The fifth son in this family was Andrew Geist. The late Mrs. Amelia Geist'97-Erdman, a granddaughter of this Andrew Geist, has told us personally that her grandfather "Andrew Geist" came from Montgomery County and that his father was Christoph Geist. Jesse Geist a great-grandson of Mathias Geist, when a young man of about 25 years, and before the Civil War made a trip from Fagleysville, Montgomery County to Greenbrier, Northumberlnd County, to visit Andrew Geist then a very old man and to visit his relatives. Now Andrew Geist and his family were the only Geists around Greenbrier, Northumberland County at that time and therefore these people were related to this Jesse Geist from Montgomery County, and since Jesse was a descendent from Mathias Geist, we have proof here that Andrew Geist was related to Mathias Geist, yes, a brother. It was during this visit of Jesse Geist to his relatives in Northumberland County that statements like the following were made'97

"The escape from the Battle of the Brandywine."
"The new residence in Weisenberg Township, Berks Coimty."
"The trip across the mountains to Northumberland County."
"The first night in the wilderness of Northumberland County."
"The new neighbors and the name Greenbrier."

These statements were made by Jesse Geist to George W. Geist, formerly of Frankford, Philadelphia, and who made a note of them. This George W. Geist was interested in the history of the relation and we quote these statements from his manuscripts.

page 215

Andrew Geist (5-2) the fifth son of Christoph Geist (1-1) was born in Frederick Township, Philadelphia County, now Montgomery County, Pa., on January 26th, 1755. When a young man he joined the Continental Army, in the Philadelphia County Militia, in 1777 and saw service under General George Washington in the battle of the Brandywine on September 11, 1777. He was a teamster in the army at that time and as the history of this battle tells us-The British attacked the Continental Army in front while Cornwallis stole around to the rear, thereby trying to surround the Continental Army. It was here where Lafayette, the French, and Count Pulaski, the Polish general voluntarily helped to defend Philadelphia from the British, but the British were too strong and the battle of the Brandywine was lost to the Americans. It was here in this battle where Andrew Geist (5-2) was a teamster, and realizing that the battle would be lost, he quickly took his pocket knife and cut the harness loose from his best horse and before the British could surround the Americans, Andrew Geist (5-2) had disappeared on the back of his horse and the Continental Army under General George Washington, withdrew to the city of Philadelphia.

Tradition is that after his escape from the battle of the Brandywine he paid a certain amount of money for his release as a Continental soldier. The following winter 1777-1778, the Continental Army was encamped at the world famous Valley Forge, and while the Geist home was only fifteen miles away it is reasonable that the Geist soldiers, Mathias, John and Andrew, went home for winter quarters. We do not find any more records of Andrew Geist (5-2) in the Continental Army, however, the Government records are very few about this war for Independence, and we cannot say just what happened with these Geist soldiers.

The next record we have of Andrew is found in Weisenberg Township, Berks County, now Lehigh County, Pa., where he was a jointer and a farmer. He had married now and had at least two children, and becoming dissatisfied, he got the idea of traveling. It seems probable that he had relatives, first cousins, living in the wilds of Northumberland County, Pa., as tradition is that Christoph Geist (1-1) had two brothers who came to America a little later than he did. One of them, Freid. Wilhelm Geist, came in 1749 and in the Archives we find there were two Continental soldiers, Christian and Nicolas Geist living in the extreme northern part of Berks County, Pa., now Schuylkill County, probably known at that time as the southern part of Northumberland County, and these two, Christian and Nicolas Geist, may have been boys of Pried. Wilhelm Geist, or first cousins to Andrew. The other supposed brother of Christoph Geist was Hans Jacob Geist, who came to America in 1754 and it seems his descendents settled to the west from Philadelphia.

We find Andrew Geist (5-2) assessed as a jointer in the Weisenberg Township, Berks County, now Lehigh County, assessment list as late as 1787, but not later, so evidently he must have left Weisenberg Township in 1788 making an allowance that he may have left a year sooner or a year later but 1788 is a fair mark. It is said that he and his wife packed up their belongings into bundles and on foot and horseback they traveled with their two children and belongings west from Weisenberg Township and followed the Tulpehocken Trail to Bethel, Berks County, across the Blue Mountains to Pine Grove, north to Keffers, then northwest to the Valley View Gap, on to the Klingerstown Gap, all in Schuylkill County, but at Klingerstown Gap he came into Northumberland County and he took a course north across the hills and finally settled at Greenbrier, Northumberland County. None of these towns were in existence at that time, it was nothing but wilderness and a few stopping places along this Tulpehocken Trail. When he came to Greenbrier in 1788, he, his wife and two children slept under a big oak tree the first night. The reason that he stopped here and did not continue further north to Sunbury, Pa., which was then an Outpost for the early settlers, is probably for the fact that he found a few scattered German settlers in this part of the country and decided to stay with them and from this place the largest branch of any Geist started to grow up and spread to all parts of the United States. This section of the country was then a hunting ground for the Indians of the Six Nations and not more than a half mile from where Andrew and family slept the first night in this wilderness was an Indian Camp. These Indians had a cemetery which adjoined Andrew's farm and later became a part of his tract. It is said that he got along with these Indians very nicely. His own house, not far away from the Indian Camp, was a log house, and through the cracks he could watch and shoot at them, but he did nothing of the kind. He made friends with them and it is said that these Indians soon were seen to form into two groups, the first group were the tame Indians, and the second were the shy Indians. The tame Indians used to come to the farm houses and pick up the food the farmers set out for them, carry it back to their camp and sharing it with the shy Indians. However, this Indian Camp did not remain many years and they soon moved to other sections. The exact time of their moving is not known.

Andrew was married twice. Soon after he came back from the Battle of the Brandywine he married a woman whose last name was Dornmeier, her first name was never found, neither do we know her birthday or the time she died. She must have lived between 1750 to 1795, and one of Andrew's granddaughters told the writer of this article, that his first wife is buried at the side of Andrew but she has no tombstone, and his second wife is buried on the other side of him. The same granddaughter also says he had four children with the first wife and thirteen children with the second wife, but she also says he had twenty-one children in all, so four must have died in infancy of whom we have no records. We might mention the fact that this granddaughter, mentioned above, personally knew Father Andrew as he is known to his descendents. His second wife was Marie Christiana Schneider. She was born on February 8th, 1778, and died on September 12th, 1859. She is buried aside of Father Andrew at the Himmel's Church, near Rebuck, Northumberland County. She has a tombstone to mark her grave. Both his wives had a little German education, which they got from their parents, and were both housewives. Inscriptions on tombstone are in German, and as his father was a German, naturally his little education which he received from his parents was in German. The children who have been traced are the following:

John Geist
Catherine Geist
Susanna Geist
Elizabeth Geist
George Geist
Anna Margaret Geist
Andrew Geist, 2nd
Samuel Geist
Christina Geist
Peter Geist
Mary Geist
Daniel Geist
Salome Geist
Abraham Geist
Lydia Geist
Jesse Geist
Magdalene Geist

After Father Andrew had settled at Greenbrier for a while and looking the farm land over, he decided to stay and then he bought close to three hundred acres of land. The first tract he bought from Adam Schlick and contained 216 acres and another he bought from Henry Miniam, both tracts were acquired in 1795. Now these gentlemen had their land rights from the Penn Colony and in 1795 when Father Andrew bought it the Penn Colony was no more. We had a United States in its infancy and these gentlemen could not give a clear deed to Father Andrew so he waited and was looking into the matter when finally in the year 1800 he got a Patent Deed from the Governor of Pennsylvania, from Governor Thomas McKean who was then the second Governor of Pennsylvania. On this large farm he had two dwelling houses both built on the same style. They were in a rectangular shape, a large kitchen at one end and a sitting room and a bed room at the other end. The front of both houses faced the South and each had a porch on this side, the entire length of the house. They were weather boarded crosswise with wide heavy boards before he died and inside all the walls were made of boards. Homemade doors, floors, windows and all were probably made, with the help of others, by Father Andrew, the jointer of Berks County.

Father Andrew belonged to the Himmel's Church and his children were confirmed here. He and some of his children are buried at the same church. He died on December 19th, 1849, aged 94 years, 10 months and 23 days. He has a tombstone to mark his grave.

This church was founded in 1772 and is the oldest church for many a mile in that section. Three buildings have been built, the first a log church and stood to the north of the present church, the second was a stone church which stood on the same site as this one does and the third is a wooden church built in 1903. The stone church was built in 1817-18.

Father Andrew settled here at Greenbrier and raised his family of seventeen children and as Greenbrier is mentioned quite frequently in this history, a short account of this memorable place will be given:
It was in the time William Penn and his children had charge of this land known as Pennsylvania, when it was difficult to find the different places which these early settlers had occupied, so in order to find this place where this church was organized and where these early German settlers built their homes in the wilds of Northumberland County, the officials from Harrisburg and elsewhere were directed to come up along the Susquehanna River to a certain big creek, now known as Mahantongo Creek, then follow this creek east, ward until it made a bend through a gap in the mountains, known as Klingerstown Gap. Prom this bend in the creek they were directed to go north across the hills and then the traveler would come to a section of the country full of nothing but green briers, therefore it was called Greenbrier. These green briers were cleared away and the settlers soon had nice farms and it was known to them as Swoben Creek after the Swabian Tribe. It is a little valley eight or ten miles long with a stream of fresh water running through it.

This was the home of Father Andrew and his family. He sold a part of his farm in 1825 to one of his sons, George, and on this deed we have his own handwriting In German.

His son George soon sold it back to his father in 1830 and he with his family left Greenbrier to make their home in Jefferson County. Eight out of his seventeen children left Greenbrier from 1825 to 1850 and settled in said Jefferson County, in the western part of the State. The reason these eight children went to Jefferson County was the fine virgin White Pine Forests which were found by one of them and which will be called to your attention later on. These forests were a wonder, and people can still see an example of them by visiting the Cook State Forest in Jefferson and Clarion Counties and following the Longfellow Trail. You surely will see a wonderful sight of White Pine Forests and no wonder these early Geists wanted to go to Jefferson County. It seems traditional that the Geists wanted to work at metals, timber or tanneries.

Father Andrew was the great-grandfather of the writer and his granddaughter mentioned tn this writing was an old Aunt to the writer and she had a great deal to do in recalling these facts and to establish this history.

Andraes married Maria Christina Schneider, daughter of Johann Nicholas Schneider Sr. and Anna Maria Bordner.1 (Maria Christina Schneider was born on 8 Feb 1778 in Bethel Twp., Berks, PA 1 9, christened on 22 Feb 1778 in Rehrersburg: Altalaha Evangelical Lutheran Church, Berks, PA, died on 12 Sep 1859 in , Northumberland, PA 1 9 and was buried on 13 Sep 1859 in Rebuck: Himmel's Church, Northumberland, PA 9.)

Andraes next married Elizabeth Dornmeier in 1783 in Weisenberg Twp., Lehigh, PA.2 (Elizabeth Dornmeier was born about 1758.)


1 Floyd, J.L., Genealogical & Biographical Annals of Northumberland County (1911 online at, Page 776.


3 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, International Genealogical Index (R) (Copyright (c) 1980, 2002, data as of December 11, 2002).

4 Find A Grave,

5 Genealogy Research conducted by Bruce Franklin Beacher Ph.D. (1919-2004).

6 Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Books (Online register at, Page: Vol. 49, page 62.

7 Floyd, J.L., Genealogical & Biographical Annals of Northumberland County (1911 online at, Page 645, biography of John H. Eisenhart.

8 Geist, A. Frank, The Geist Relation, 200 years in America (Valley View, Pa.: 1940, 925 pgs.), page 210, page 215.

9 Find A Grave,

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