Leroy Harrison Richards was born in the small mining community of Tuscarora, Pennsylvania, in Schuylkill County, on November 11, 1915.  His ancestors were coal miners and farmers who lived primarily in northern Montgomery, Schuylkill and eastern Northumberland Counties of Pennsylvania.  He was one of ten children born to William Henry Richards and Minnie E. Yost, and nine of these ten siblings were the first generation of the family to leave the anthracite coal mining region after World War 2 and to settle in the suburbs of Philadelphia, as well as in and around Washington D. C.  This first part of this genealogical history is the story of this family.


The Richards family name in America comes from a coal miner from Cornwall, England, who came to New York City in 1853.  Nicholas Richards settled initially in Wilkes-Barre, PA and then moved to Shamokin, PA.  His daughter-in-law, Ida Minnich Richards, Leroy's paternal grandmother, moved the family about 15 miles east to Mount Carmel, PA around 1900 and when her son William Henry married Minnie Yost, this couple moved to Tuscarora village, living next to her parents.  In the 1920's the growing family moved a few miles west to Kaska, until Leroy's generation began to move away.


While Nicholas was from England, the maternal lines of Leroy's mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, were almost exclusively German, with Minnie Yost's ancestry coming to America in the 1730's.  The three oldest branches, the Yost, Hillegas, and Schellenberger families left the German Palatinate (along the middle Rhine River) and settled in rural German communities in northern Montgomery County (then still considered part of Philadelphia) and our ancestors from these branches, Daniel Yost and Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas, moved to Schuylkill County in 1807.  Their son John Yost moved to Tuscarora village where four generations of Yost and Richards members lived.     


Part One initially describes the early ancestry of the Richards and Minnich branches, then goes into the descendants of William Henry Richards.  Then three chapters give the details of the Yost family, and finally this Part concludes with chapters on the Hillegas and Schellenberger ancestry.  In doing so, the narrative also describes how immigration to America from Germany occurred, the role of the German Reformed and Lutheran congregations in family life,  some of the haesh living conditions and high infant mortality in the anthracite coal mining region, including riots and violence involving the Molly Maguires, the participation of family members in the American Revolution, the Whiskey Rebellion, Civil War and World Wars, and how some individuals were particularly key in keeping the family together through difficult times. 


The Richards family is descended from Nicholas Richards, a coal miner who emigrated from England to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in the early 1850’s. This family now includes seven generations in the United States. The members of the Richards family who are descendants of Nicholas’ grandson, William Henry Richards, have expanded across the country from the Pennsylvania anthracite coal region.

Nicholas and Sarah Richards

Nicholas Richards was born between 1820 and 1830 in Cornwall, England, and both of his parents were born in England. He married Sarah E., who was born in Pennsylvania between 1836 and 1842. Sarah’s parents were also born in Pennsylvania. The range of birth dates is due to inconsistent information in various censuses and cemetery records.

Nicholas and Sarah’s eldest known son James was born in Pennsylvania between 1855 and 1857, and Nicholas does not appear in the 1850 United States census, so it is estimated that Nicholas immigrated sometime after 1850 and married Sarah before James’ birth. There is an immigration record of a Nicholas Richards, listed as 34 years old and a miner, arriving in New York on June 8, 1853 on the ship Constantine out of Liverpool, England and we assume him to be our ancestor. In 1860 Nicholas and Sarah were living in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County,  with three of their children, James, Cecilia and Herbert. In 1870 and 1880 Nicholas and Sarah were living in Shamokin, Northumberland County,  with Nicholas working as a coal miner. In 1880 Nicholas had not worked for a year due to asthma. Shamokin cemetery records and his newspaper obituary indicate that he died October 22nd of that year and give the cause of his death as being miner’s consumption. Nicholas is buried in an unmarked grave in the Shamokin public cemetery.

Sarah remarried about 1885 to Philip Meyer, who was born in Germany in 1860 and became a naturalized citizen in 1880. In 1900 they were living in Shamokin with Sarah’s youngest son, George E Richards. Sarah had 14 children, 8 of whom were living in 1900, and with 7 still living in 1910 (son Herbert W. Richards having died in 1909).

From the census records and Shamokin cemetery records we know something about 11 of the 14 children born to Nicholas and Sarah. Two of these eleven children are known to have died in their first year of infancy. It is assumed the three unknown children also died in infancy and between censuses, since their names never appear in records examined to date. The eleven known children were:

·         James Henry, born between 1855 and 1857 in Wilkes-Barre;

·         Cecilia, born in 1857 or 1858 in Wilkes-Barre and died before 1870;

·         Herbert W., born October 30, 1859 in Wilkes-Barre, and died December 29, 1909 in Shamokin;

·         Charles S., born in 1863 in Pennsylvania;

·         William H., born in 1866 in Pennsylvania;

·         Goben R., born in April, 1867 in Pennsylvania;

·         Nicholas, born and died on October 27, 1870 in Shamokin;

·         Dora, born in 1873 in Shamokin;

·         John F., born in 1875 in Shamokin;

·         An unnamed child, born and died on September 5, 1877 in Shamokin;

·         George E., born in 1879 in Shamokin.

The children of Nicholas and Sarah Richards

Other than James Henry, our knowledge of the sons and daughters of Nicholas and Sarah E. Richards is limited. We do not know of the three additional children not listed above (although one may be a one year old infant named Robert Richards who was buried in the Shamokin cemetery on December 17, 1873). Since no children other than George E. were living with Philip and Sarah Richards Meyer in 1900, it is likely these three were all children of Nicholas, unless Sarah had children in her 40’s between 1885-1900 by Philip who then died in infancy. By not appearing in any of the 1860-1880 or 1900 censuses, it would be assumed all three had died in infancy in the time between censuses. Sarah was in her teens when James was born so it seems very unlikely any of the unknown children were born earlier than he was.

Cecilia Richards, a daughter of Nicholas and Sarah was two years old in 1860 when the family was living in Wilkes-Barre. She was not enumerated in the 1870 census and is presumed to have died before then.

Herbert W. Richards, a son of Nicholas and Sarah, was a coal miner and foreman who married Fredericka E. Schleif (or Schlife) about 1881 and lived in Shamokin until dying of tuberculosis on December 29, 1909. Herbert and Fredericka had a daughter, Lottie, who was born December 12, 1889. The Shamokin cemetery records also include an unknown son of Herbert who was still-born on March 4, 1890 and a son, Herbert O., who died March 10, 1886. Fredericka was born in Pennsylvania on November 8, 1858 and died of cancer on June 14, 1913. Frederika’s parents were Francis and Barbara Schlife who were both born in Bavaria, Germany in 1823 and 1825 respectively. Lottie married Joseph Grill and died March 8, 1965. Herbert and Fredericka had three other children, all of whom had died before 1900. Herbert, Fredericka and Lottie are buried in the Shamokin cemetery.

Charles S. Richards, another son of Nicholas and Sarah, was with the family in 1870 and 1880. In the 1870 census, at the age of 17, he was listed as an actor. His brother, William H. Richards was with the family in 1870 and 1880 and was working as a slate-picker in the mines at age 14.

In 1888, Goben R. Richards, another son of Nicholas and Sarah, married Emma, born in 1871, and they had three children, John (born April, 1891), Philip (born September, 1892), and Mary (born May 21, 1894). They were living at 29 S. 2nd Street in Shamokin in 1900.

Three possible references to Nicholas and Sarah's daughter, Dora Richards, have been found.  A two day old child of N. McArthur and Dora Richards died of heart failure on November 19, 1894 and was buried in the Shamokin cemetery. A family tree on shows Dora Richards married to Hirman R. Kerstetter, who was born December 7, 1868 and died November 30, 1938. He was the son of Daniel and Amanda (Rumberger) Kerstetter who lived in Shamokin. The Sunbury, PA city registers show a Dora Kerstetter as a weaver working in Sunbury in 1912 and 1915.

We know nothing more about John F. and George E. Richards, sons of Nicholas and Sarah.

James and Ida Minnich Richards

James Henry Richards, the eldest child of Nicholas and Sarah E. Richards, married Ida Minnich about 1876 in Shamokin, where they were living in 1880. Ida was born November 25, 1859, the daughter of Daniel Minnich and Susan Grismiller. Ida's father Daniel died in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania in August 1895 and her mother Susan (born December 1829) died there in November 1906.  By 1900 Ida was living at 428 North Chestnut Street in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania. According to that year's census, Ida was a widow.  

James Henry Richards was a coal miner.  Coal was carried by the railroads from the mines to cities for sale and use.  In 1877 there was a major national railroad strike that significantly impacted the economy and was particularly hard on coal miners.  At that time as many as one third of all the miners nationwide were unemployed.  On July 25, 1877, in an event called the Shamokin Uprising, a demonstration by the miners and railroad workers, men and boys, against the Pennsylvania Railroad got out of hand, and stores were looted and the railroad depot was ransacked. In the police response two were killed, 14 injured, and five were arrested. One of those arrested was a James Richards, who following indictment by a grand jury in November of 1877,  pled guilty to riot (a misdemeanor) avoiding prosecution for burglary (a felony) and was sentenced to three months in the Northumberland County jail in Sunbury and a five dollar fine for his actions. This James Richards was not unfamiliar with the court having been acquitted of cruelty to animals in January of 1875. We do not presently know if this was our ancestor as there were more than one Richards family, and more than one James Richards, living in Shamokin at the time.

There is some speculation within the Richards family, as relayed by Sheila Devine Larkin from her mother Violet Richards Devine (James and Ida’s granddaughter) that Ida was not widowed in 1900 as reported in the census, but that James had left the family to pursue copper mining in Colorado. James had evidently done well in this venture and on his death had a significant estate to pass on to his heirs. His son William Henry, unable to reconcile with his father’s abandonment of the family, refused to accept any of this inheritance. In the 1900 census, James’ mother Sarah indicates that 8 of her children were still living. Unless one of the four unknown children of Nicholas and Sarah did not die in infancy as surmised and was still living, Sarah's statement would imply that James was still alive at that time.

Whether due to James’ death, or his wanderlust, Ida Minnich Richards, who could not read or write, was left in her early forties to care for the family  After being abandoned or widowed, she brought up the children at 428 North Chestnut Street, half of a twin house which she rented until she died of cancer of the stomach on October 10, 1918.  At the time of  her death she was survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Betz, and her sons, William Henry and Howard.

Daniel and Susan Grismiller Muench (Minnich)

Ida’s parents were long time residents of Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, and were living there in 1870 and 1880.  Her father, Daniel Minnich, was born Daniel Muench, and used that name at least through 1880.  He was a blacksmith.  Daniel died at the home of his daughter, Lucy Minnich Miller, in Camptown, Pennsylvania on August 14, 1895. His parents are believed to be Jacob and Lavina Muench, who were born in Prussia. Lavina was born in March 1795 and died in Shamokin on September 1, 1862.

Susan Grismiller Minnich (Ida's mother) continued to live in Mount Carmel after her husband’s death, and was living with her daughter, Lydia Minnich Israel, son-in-law William Israel, and a grandson Daniel Minnich in 1900. It is not known which of Susan’s sons this grandson was born to as he is not her son John and his wife Eva Minnich’s son Daniel, who was with his parents in 1900.  Susan had 14 children, only ten of whom we have knowledge and only eight of whom were living in 1900.  Her parents are unknown but originated in Wurtenburg, Germany. Susan died on November 27, 1906 in Mount Carmel and had 59 grandchildren and 34 great grandchildren at that time. The known children of Daniel and Susan Grismiller Minnich, all born in Pennsylvania, are:

·         Martha Margaret (Maggie) born in 1847;

·         John born in October 1848;

·         Mary Ann born in March 1849;

·         Lucy born in 1853;

·         Boyd born in 1856;

·         Ida born on November 25, 1859;

·         George Washington born in August 1860;

·         William born in 1863;

·         Elizabeth born in August 1866;

·         Lydia born in September 1871.

The children of Daniel and Susan Minnich

The widowed or abandoned Ida Minnich Richards was certainly provided support by her older sister, Maggie. By 1910, Maggie and her husband Issac Schlagel occupied 430 North Chestnut Street in Mount Carmel, the other half of the twin home (Ida was in 428 North Chestnut), with five natural children and an adopted son Raymond present. They had lived in Shamokin in 1880 and elsewhere in Mount Carmel in 1900.  By 1920 this couple had divorced with Maggie and the children remaining in Mount Carmel while Issac returned to Shamokin.

Isaac Schlagel, the brother-in-law of Ida Minnich Richards, was born in 1858 and worked as a teamster for the coal mining companies near Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania. Issac and Maggie had 12 children, 6 of whom were living in 1900 and 1910, and seven of whom we know:

·         George, born in March, 1877, worked in the mines, lived in Shamokin in 1930 and survived his parents;

·         Lydia, born in September 1881, in 1898 married Thomas Brokenshire (1881-1952), a son of Nicholas S. Brokenshire (1832-1908) and Honor Carkest (1833-1902) both from Cornwall, England, and she died in Shamokin on November 19, 1952;

·         Ida, born in April, 1882;

·         Daniel, born March 23, 1884;

·         Susan, born about 1890, died in December, 1894;

·         Edna Mildred, born March 2, 1891, in 1910 she married Arthur Jacob Pensyl (1885-1937), who had been a boarder in the Schlagel family home and was a son of William Emerson Pensyl (1857-1916) and Margaret Elizabeth Swank (1859-1936), and she died in Shamokin on August 9, 1976;

·         William A., born November 28, 1893, a coal miner, in 1919 married May Hancock (1893-1978) in Mount Carmel. She was a daughter of George P. Hancock (1851-1923) a Welsh immigrant and Catherine Owens (1857-1912). He died August 8, 1978 in Hulmeville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania;

Raymond, born in 1905 was an adopted son of Isaac and Maggie, and later in life he lived in Brooklyn.

The oldest son of Daniel and Susan Grismiller Minnich was John, who married Eva A. in Pennsylvania in 1873.  The family lived in Coal Township, Northumberland County and John was a coal miner.  Eva died before 1920, when John was living with his deceased sister Ida’s son Howard Richards at the Richards family home at 428 North Chestnut Street in Mount Carmel.  John died in August 1921. The children of John and Eva of whom we have knowledge, and who were all born in Pennsylvania are:

·         Daniel, born January 1878, in 1896 married Emma E. (born in Pennsylvania in 1877), lived in Mount Carmel, and died by 1940;

·         Annie, born May 1884;

·         Samuel, born July 1875;

·         George W., born May 1888;

·         and Alvin, born April 1892.

Mary Ann Minnich, a daughter of Daniel and Susan Minnich, married Benjamin Watkins (1848-1935)  in August 1868. Benjamin Watkins was the son of Mesach Watkins (1829-1893) and Sarah Davis (1831-1898), both of whom were born in Wales and emigrated to Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, where they died. Mary Ann and Benjamin had 13 children, nine of whom were alive in 1900, eight of whom were still living in 1910 and all of whom lived in or near Mount Carmel. In 1910, their ten year old orphaned niece, Susan, the daughter of John H. and Elizabeth Minnich Miller, was living with them.  In 1920 and 1930, as a widower, Benjamin had niece Susan Miller, his widower son Benjamin, Jr. and two grandchildren, Ben III and Myrtle Minnich, living with him at 403 Center Street in Mt. Carmel. In 1940 Benjamin and Mary Ann's children,  Ben, Jr., William Isaac, and Ruth were living in the family home. Mary Ann died February 28, 1918 and Benjamin died November 19, 1935. The children of whom we know (noting that Eva and Sadie’s birth dates given below are not consistent), all born in Mount Carmel, were:

·         Mary, born in March 1870 and died before 1880;

·         Eva A., born in April 1877, married Odillion Buck (born May 17, 1877), a son of Leona Buck, in 1901, and lived in Mt. Carmel with a nephew William Watkins;

·         Sarah (Sadie), born in June 1877, married George Asa John (born February 8, 1877), a son of Gilmore John (1853-1926) and Katherine Davis (1857-1936), in 1899. Kate Davis was from Halifax, Canada. After George died (before 1920) Sarah worked as a janitor at the local school to support the family;

·         Ida, born in September 1879, married Raymond Leslie Reese (born 1879), a son of Darland Reese and Florence Shilling of Philadelphia, in 1912;

·         Adam, born June 1, 1881 in Mt. Carmel, married Edith Maude Edmundson (1882-1969) of Wales (came to US in 1884) in 1903, and died April 2, 1939 in Natalie, Pennsylvania;

·         William Issac, born in January 25, 1884 and lived in Mt. Carmel;

·         Benjamin Franklin, born in August 1886 in Mt. Carmel, and in 1911 married Mary Elizabeth Howells (1889-1918) a daughter of Lewis Howells (1865-1931) and Mary Jane Morgan (1874-1944), both of Wales.  They had four children in the seven years they were married before Mary died.  Benjamin kept the Watkins family home in Mount Carmel after his parents died and he died in 1948;

·         Moran, was born in March, 1888, and is probably the child who died between 1900-1910;

·         Lillian, born in April 1889, married John Mark Buckzo (1889-1969), a son of Susanna (both of his parents were Hungarian immigrants). They married in Philadelphia in 1920 after John returned from serving in World War 1. Lillian died in Trevortown, Northumberland County in 1970;

·         Ruth was born in August 1895, and lived in Mt. Carmel at least until 1940.

Boyd Minnich, a son of Daniel and Susan Minnich, married Elizabeth Spiece (1860-1944) who came to the US in 1872 from Germany, the daughter of Jacob Spiece (1829-1884) and Mary Kathryn Spooler (1825-1899).  The Spiece family emigrated from Bavaria and settled in Coyningham Township, Colombia County, which is just east of Mount Carmel. Boyd and Elizabeth lived in Mount Carmel and in Ashland, Schuylkill County.  They had six children, three of whom were still living in 1910.  These three children, all born in Mount Carmel, are:

·         George Washington, born April 23, 1879, married Winnie L. Wagner (born 1872, died before 1920) in 1900 and later married Bertha Delaney (1885-1964). Bertha was the widow of George Oliphant and worked as George's domestic servant (with both the Minnich and Oliphant families living in the same house) before they married;

·         Bernard, born June 21, 1886, married Theresa Fidler (born 1886), a daughter of John and Sophia Fidler, and they lived in Ashland, Schuylkill County next to his widowed mother. Bernard died in July 1968;

·          Edna C., born March 19, 1895, married John Benjamin Johnston (1895-1970), the son of John Henry Johnston (1852-1928) and Mary Ann Dyke (1856-1928), lived in Ashland, Schuylkill County and died in Schuylkill Haven, Schuylkill County in November, 1980.

Lucy Minnich, a daughter of Daniel and Susan Minnich, married John H. Miller, who was born in Germany and was a marble cutter.  They lived in Shamokin and in Camptown, Pennsylvania.  Lucy died in Camptown on February 2, 1897, just 18 months after her father had died there while visiting her.  John and Lucy Miller had at least four children, all born in Shamokin.  John was born in 1876, George in 1881, Susan in October 1899, and Avella in 1901.  After Lucy died, her daughter Susan was raised in the home of her aunt and uncle, Benjamin and Mary Ann Watkins.

George W. Minnich, a son of Daniel and Susan Minnich, married Louisa Kline (1872-1927), a daughter of Matthew and Benedestine Kline. Both of Louisa's parents were born in Germany (Matthew in 1829 and Benedestine in 1835) and came to Pennsylvania, where Louisa was born.  The Kline's were in Porter Township, Schuylkill County in 1880.  George married Louisa in 1889 and they lived in Mount Carmel the rest of their lives.  They had six children:

·         Bertha M., born in August 1890, lived in Mount Carmel and Conyngham;

·         Frederick Lamar, born on December 1, 1892, and died March 5, 1894;

·         George Sylvester, born September 5, 1895,  married Eva Elizabeth Stibitz (1896-1977) on August 7, 1917. Eva was the daughter of Frank N. Stibitz (1864-1923, born in France) and Anne Teufel (1864-1946). George was a WW1 veteran and died May 9, 1929 in Danville, Montour County;

·         Louisa, born on January 4, 1901 and died before 1910;

·         Avella, born in 1905, and in 1923  married Harvey Elias Wolfgang (born 1901), a son of Harvey Wolfgang (1870-1910) and Mary Freeh (1873-1920).  Avella died in August 1971 in Harrisburg;

·         and Lester, born in 1910 and lived in Conyngham.

We know nothing more of William Minnich, a son of Daniel and Susan Minnich, or Elizabeth Minnich, their daughter.

Lydia Minnich, the youngest daughter of Daniel and Susan Minnich, married William Israel (born in December 1869 in Pennsylvania), a son of Lewis and Mena Israel of Hesse, Germany.  Lewis apparently arrived in New York in 1859 and the Israel’s lived in Coyningham, Luzerne County.  Lydia and William settled in Mount Carmel, at 413 East Center Street, and we know of two children, Norman and David. They did have a George Minnich (possibly their nephew, son of George W.) living with them in 1920, and a niece Bertha, George W. Minnich’s daughter, with them in 1930.  In 1940, the home at East Center Street included a widowed William and his two sons, and the family of Frank and Susan Bachunas.  William was identified as an uncle of Frank Bachunas in the census.

The children of James and Ida Richards

The 1880 census includes James and Ida and their presumed two oldest children, Elizabeth and William.  In 1900 Ida indicated that she had nine children and six of them were living. Four children (William, George, Howard and Florence) were with her in half of the three story twin home which is still standing to this day, and her daughter Elizabeth had married Joseph Betz by 1900.  The sixth child alive in 1900 is unknown, but must have been born after 1880 and was living elsewhere in 1900.  In 1910 Ida told the census taker that five of her nine children were still alive. At the time of her obituary, only Elizabeth, William and Howard survived her. We know Florence died in 1917. Either George, or the unknown sixth child must have died between 1900-1910 and the other died before Ida's death in 1918. Another child, named Daniel, was born in 1887, died of croup at the age of three, and was buried in the Shamokin cemetery in 1891, within his uncle Herbert W. Richards’ plot. We know nothing of the two additional children who must have died in infancy by 1900. The fact that as many as six of Nicholas and Sarah’s children and three of James and Ida’s children passed away in early childhood is testament to the difficult conditions and high infant mortality in the nineteenth century Pennsylvania coal mining regions.

The five children of James and Ida Minnich Richards who we know that grew to adulthood were:

·         Elizabeth, born in 1878;

·         William Henry, born in December 1879;

·         George, born in 1881;

·         Howard, born in 1883;

·         Daniel, born in 1887, died in 1891;

·         Florence, born in 1893.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) married Joseph Betz and had two children, Joseph Hurlow, a son born in 1917 and a daughter Florence, born in 1920. They were living at 414 North Chestnut Street in Mount Carmel in 1918-1920. Joseph was a coal miner working at the Wilburton mine (in Columbia County just east of Mt. Carmel) for the Midvalley Coal Company in 1918 and he died in September 1926. Lizzie and the children were renting on South Hickory Street in Mt. Carmel in 1930.  Joseph Hurlow died in October 1931 and Elizabeth lived in Mt. Carmel until she died in December of 1954. 

George Richards, a son of James and Ida, supposedly moved to Georgia.  According to his mother’s obituary in 1918, he did not survive her.  Howard Richards, a son of James and Ida, was living in Mount Carmel at least until 1920, continued to live at the family home at 428 North Chestnut Street with his uncle John Minnich, and worked in the coal mines. Florence Richards, a daughter of James and Ida, lived with her mother until she died on October 16, 1917 at the age of 24.  She did not marry.

William Henry Richards and Minnie E. Yost

William Henry Richards, like his father, grandfather, and most of his male relatives, was a Pennsylvania anthracite coal miner. This area contains most of the world’s hard coal. The promise of economic prosperity brought an influx of people, from the rich owners, to the operators, miners, and laborers, along with all kinds of activity to support the mines. Ignoring geologist’s warnings about the inaccessibility and therefore marginal ability to mine most of the seams of coal, owners cut costs in safety, ventilation, and operating practices. Underground conditions were grim and dangerous. An excellent description of mining in the area, from the door boys and slate pickers, to the mine bosses and landowners, is given by Anthony F. C. Wallace in his book, St. Clair. An actual mine has been transformed into a museum in Ashland. These provide us with some idea of the lifestyle and conditions the first three generations of the Richards family in America had to live with on a daily basis.

William Henry Richards was tall, of medium build, with blue eyes and brown hair.  He worked as a mine laborer, a driver in the mines, a miner, a fire boss and a mine foreman.  William was born in Shamokin, and grew up in Mt. Carmel. He served in the US Army Coast Artillery from 1901-1904. He married Minnie E. Yost of Tuscarora Village, Schuylkill County in 1907 and the couple initially lived next to her parents. Tuscarora is where their first eight children were born. In 1918 William was working in the Kaska Williams Colliery number 10, owned by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company.  In the 1920’s, the family moved to the town of Kaska where the two youngest children were born.  Minnie died August 13, 1927 of a stroke.  William continued to raise the children and worked in the mines until February 1936.  He married Abbie V. Keller from Tuscarora Village on August 1, 1936 and died August 14, 1937.  The cause of death was myocardial degeneration brought on by bronchial asthma, common in coal miners. He is buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Tamaqua, Pa, next to his second wife, Abbie. 

Minnie E. Yost, the first wife of William Henry Richards, was born in January 1885, the daughter of Daniel P. Yost and Dorothea Mader. The Yost family is a long-standing family in America, having immigrated from Germany in 1738. Minnie represents the sixth generation of the Yost family in America, and there are two additional earlier generations that we know of in Germany.  Caspar Jost, living from 1633-1711 is the earliest known ancestor of Minnie. The Yost family holds an annual family picnic and much of their family history is documented and described in later chapters.

When William Henry and Minnie E. Yost Richards married, they were living next door to her parents, and they were still renting nearby in 1920. Minnie, her parents and her maternal grandparents are all buried in the Tuscarora cemetery. Also buried in that cemetery are her Aunts Sarah Yost and Brigitta (Yost) Link, and members of the Link family. The ancestry of Minnie E. Yost is described in Chapters 3-7.

By 1940  the sons and daughters of William and Minnie had started to marry and/or move away from Kaska.  That year's census shows Ronald, Leroy, Florence and Gladys still living in the family house.  Vi had married Bob Devine, and they were living nearby in Kaska with their first child, Robert, Jr.  Peck had married Marie Foxx, they were raising their two daughters, Ann and Jean, and were also living in Kaska.  Lester had married Amy Herr, and they were living in Collingdale, Delaware County, PA with their daughter Betty Ann.  Dot was a registered nurse working and living in the State Hospital in Coaldale, PA.  Mildred and Lillian were working as waitresses in the Lake Court hotel in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The ten children of William Henry Richards and Minnie E. Yost form the focus of the Richards family as we present members of this line know it today. Although this generation did, for the most part, leave the Pennsylvania coal mining area, they maintained a sense of family unity, coming together at family events, during vacations, and at reunion picnics. These ten siblings and their families are described in the next chapter.



NOTE - Chapter Two includes information on many living members of the Richards family.  For privacy reasons this chapter is not included on the internet version.  If you are researching our family and want additional information please contact the author at the email address on the home page.



 Minnie E. Yost was the mother of the ten brothers and sisters who make up the Richards family from whom we are descended. Minnie married William Henry Richards in Schuylkill County in 1907. Her ancestors were a German family who left the Palatinate in the Rhine Valley in Germany and came to Pennsylvania in 1738.

In 1988 the Yost family held a reunion picnic to celebrate the 250th anniversary of their arrival in America. Minnie’s brother Oliver was in attendance at the age of 95, accompanied by his daughter, Phyllis Anchorstar. Much of the family’s early ancestry was described by Israel A. S. Yost, the family genealogist. Over at least two decades, Israel compiled information and located sources on the Yost family, both in America and in Germany. The Yost family continues to hold an annual family picnic reunion.

Caspar, Hans Nickel and Hans Peter Jost

Hans Peter Jost (the name was to be Anglicized to Yost by his grandchildren’s generation) made the trip to colonial Pennsylvania in 1738 with his wife, son, step-daughter, and her husband. This group arrived in Philadelphia on September ninth on the English ship "Glasgow", which sailed out of Rotterdam, Holland. They probably traveled down the Rhine from the German Palatinate in the spring of that year to make a summer crossing, a common practice of many emigrating Germans at that time. The family settled in Upper Frederick Township in Montgomery County.  Hans Peter had been born in Mambachel, Germany, in 1683. He married Anna Rosina Haus Muller, the widow of Hans Adam Muller, on February 29, 1720. Anna Rosina was the daughter of Hans Conrad Haus (1680-1716) and Anna Eva Konholdt (1680-1743) both of Sankt Wendel of the Saarland in Germany. Anna Rosina was born in 1700 and had a daughter from her first marriage named Margaretha Barbara, who married William Mumbauer. Hans Peter and Anna Rosina had a son, Johannes, who was born in Mambachel in May 21, 1721, and christened seven days later.

Through the efforts of Israel A. S. Yost, we have learned of the two Jost generations preceding Hans Peter Jost in Germany. Hans Peter’s father was Hans Nickel Jost, who lived in Baumholder, Germany, part of the Rhineland Palatinate. Hans Peter’s mother was Maria Margretha Kirsch Jost, daughter of Johannes Kirsch, a censor (church official) in Berschweiler, Germany. Hans Nickel and Maria Margretha were married March 21, 1683. From those marriage records it is known that Hans Nickel Jost’s father is Caspar Jost, a burger (district official) in what is presently  the Rhineland-Pfalz area of Germany. Caspar was 78 years old at his death, and was buried on January 15, 1711, indicating he was born in 1633.

From the information obtained by Israel Yost about the family in Germany, we may make some educated speculation on the living conditions and background of the Yosts. As burgers and censors, Caspar Jost and Johannes Kirsch were definitely free citizens at a time many Germans remained serfs. By arriving in America in September, Hans Peter and his family traveled at the time most favorable to the Atlantic passage. They joined one of the growing German Reform congregations sponsored by the Reverend George Weiss, who encouraged German immigration to Pennsylvania. From this it may be reasoned that the Jost family was more educated and well-off than the average German Rhinelanders, although they were far from being upper class.

The names of family members also raises speculation as to where Caspar may have originated. Jost is both a German and a Swiss name. There were many Swiss Josts who repopulated the Rhineland following the devastation of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). The male forenames of Hans and Johan (which shows up in following generations) and the female forenames of Maria and Anna were used frequently, and served almost as titles. The second names in such cases were the names that differentiated individuals, and the name by which they were commonly known. Furthermore Hans and Maria are Swiss tradition, while Johan and Anna were German. This mixture in the Jost family has led to consideration of the possibility that Caspar Jost may have originated in Switzerland and moved to Germany following the Thirty Years War, as many Swiss did to repopulate the devastated region.

Hans Nickel Jost was Caspar’s only known son. Hans Nickel’s first wife, Maria Margretha died following childbirth difficulties shortly after the baptism of she and their third child, Abraham. The baptism was on February 18, 1867, Abraham was buried on February 20, and her burial was on February 23. Hans Nickel married Anna Margretha Mumbauer on June twentieth of that same year. Her father was Peter Mumbauer.

The children of Hans Nickel Jost

The children of Hans Nickel Jost by his two wives are:

by Maria Margretha Kirsch,

·         Hans Peter, born 1662;

·         Anna Margretha, baptized November 28, 1683;

·         Abraham (see dates above);

by Anna Margretha Mumbauer,

·         Hans Caspar, baptized December 26, 1688;

·         Hans Wilhelm, baptized April 28, 1690, buried March 28, 1697;

·         Hans Caspar, baptized March 5, 1692;

·         Johan Abraham, baptized December 20, 1693, buried February 5, 1694;

·         Johannes, baptized November 28, 1694;

·         Anna Catherina, baptized June 17, 1696; Anna Margretha, baptized September 25, 1698;

·         Johan Jacob, baptized August 31, 1800.

Note that child mortality was high and the re-naming of children with the names of earlier siblings who died was a common practice.

Let us return to the five Josts traveling to America (Hans Peter, his wife Anna Rosina, his son Johannes, his step-daughter Margretha Barbara, and her husband Wilhelm Mumbauer). It appears that Peter knew what to expect when he planned to leave for America. Many Rhinelanders had been emigrating and sending favorable reports back to their homeland. Church leaders sponsored members of congregations to move to a land with more religious freedom and toleration. The Jost group had to proceed 250 miles to Rotterdam, Holland, timing the trip so as to arrive in Rotterdam in June and cross the Atlantic during the favorable summer weather. In the Dutch port they embarked upon the "Glasgow", a merchant ship with William Stirling as captain. Since this was an English ship, it was required to put into an English port before going to the colonies, and did so at Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

The "Glasgow" arrived in Philadelphia on September 9, 1738. At that time all male immigrants 16 years and older had to sign a list repudiating allegiance to all other rulers other than the British sovereign, and specifically decline allegiance to the Pope (religious toleration only went so far). Two such lists existed for this crossing, as well as Captain Stirling’s list of transported adult males. Johannes, Peter, and Wilhelm are on all three, however Peter’s signature appears different on the two "allegiance" lists. Perhaps a clerk recorded his name on one. Captain Stirling recorded the last names of Peter and Johannes as "Joost".

Johannes Jost and Marie Elizabeth (Creth) Schneider

Peter, Johannes, and the Mumbauers settled in Upper Frederick Township, Montgomery (then Philadelphia) County, Pennsylvania. Wilhelm’s will was executed there in 1750, with Johannes Jost as a witness, so we know the families had been established at this location by that time. It is believed that Hans Peter died in 1749 and Anna Rosina in 1750. In 1749 Johannes married Maria Elizabeth Schneider, who went by the name of "Creth". Five members of the Schneider family (Jacob, Sarah, Creth, Susannah, and Veronica) took first communion at the Old Goshenhoppen Church at the same time. It may be that Jacob and Sarah are the parents, listed first, or that all five are siblings.

The Old Goshenhoppen Church in Upper Salford Township in upper Montgomery County is still an active church. The Josts were members of this church and in 1758 Johannes was the first head of household listed among members. Johannes was naturalized (we assume as a British citizen) in 1761. By 1765 he was a deacon of the Falkner Swamp Reformed congregation. That church is still in existence, located on Swamp Pike just south of Route 663. Many members of the Schneider family are buried there. Johannes’ farm bordered on what is now known as Yost Road in Upper Frederick Township, located just south of the township line near Snyder Road. He was a constable in 1767 and 1792, and an overseer of township highways in 1757 and 1770. His property was assessed at 3600 pounds in 1778, and his assets were valued at 440 pounds at his death in 1811. He was outlived by his wife, Creth.

Johannes and Creth Jost had eight children. They are:

·         Johannes, born September 18, 1750;

·         Johan Peter, born July 25, 1752, and died September 22, 1819;

·         George Daniel, born November 12, 1754, and died as an infant;

·         Maria Elizabeth, born March 28, 1757;

·         Daniel, born October 14, 1759, and died November 2, 1839;

·         Christina, born April 11, 1762, and died in 1837;

·         Johan Adam, born February 19, 1765, and died April 24, 1848;

·         Johan Jacob, born February 9, 1765, and died November 30, 1814.

It is this generation of the family that adopted the Anglicized version of the family name, Yost.

The children of Johannes and Creth Jost

Johannes Yost, Jr., the eldest son of Johannes and Creth Jost, married Benigna Dotterer in 1779. Benigna was a granddaughter of Henry and Christina Antes, an important family in Frederick Township. Benigna’s mother was Elizabeth Antes, Henry and Christina’s daughter, who had married George Phillip Dotterer. Johannes, Jr. was baptized as an adult on April 7, 1770, in the New Goshenhoppen Church. He was a Revolutionary War veteran commissioned as a second lieutenant on May 12, 1777, in the sixth company of the sixth battalion of the Philadelphia County militia. He served under a Captain Dotterer, probably a relative of his wife. We know of six children born to Johannes and Benigna between 1781 and 1795 – Elizabeth, John, Jacob, Eva, Thomas, and Daniel. Johannes, Jr. is enumerated as a head of household and a farmer in Montgomery County, where he spent all his life, in the censuses from 1790 through 1820. It is presumed he died before the 1830 census.

Three of the sons of Johannes and Creth Jost married daughters of Conrad and Anna Margaretta Schellenberger Hillegas. Christina Yost, one of Johannes and Creth's daughters, married Jacob Schellenberger, who was an uncle to these Hillegas girls. Life in those days was centered on circles close to home and within community and church congregations. Four German Reformed congregations in upper Montgomery County were the Old Goshenhoppen Church in Upper Salford, the New Goshenhoppen Church in Upper Hanover, the Falkner Swamp Church in New Hanover, and the Indian Creek Church in Franconia. Just across the County line in Bedminster, Bucks County was the Tohickon Union ( Reformed and Lutheran) Church. Marriages between families in these congregations was common.

The first Yost-Hillegas pairing occurred when Johan Peter Yost married Eva Hillegas, the eldest child of Conrad Hillegas and Anna Margaretta Schellenberger. They had at least six children, all born in Frederick Township:

·         Peter, born in 1783, married Magdalena, and he died January 1, 1815;

·         Johannes (Hannes), born October 2 1788, married Sara Hollenbusch, and he died February 4, 1869 in Frederick;

·         Elizabeth, born January 28, 1792, married John Hauck, and she died February 9, 1871 in Frederick;

·         Henrich (Henry), born September 30, 1794, and he died in 1862;

·         Jacob, born March 4, 1798, married Maria Allbright, and he died in 1868;

·         Anna Maria, born September 15, 1805, married John Keck.

Johan Peter appears in Montgomery County as a head of household in the 1790-1810 censuses, and the enumerations are all consistent with the ages of the children listed above. Johan Peter was an ensign in the local militia. His sons Peter, John (Johannes) and Henry (Heinrich) apparently volunteered for the Pennsylvania militia during the War of 1812.  Johan Peter evidently helped to care for his father during the last 9 years of Johannes’ life.

The second of the Yost-Hillegas marriages was Daniel Yost and Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas, on February 7, 1786. This is our family line so it will be discussed in the next chapter in more detail.

The third Yost-Hillegas marriage occurred on May 17, 1789, when Johan Adam Yost married Susanna Hillegas, the sixth child of Conrad Hillegas and Anna Margaretha Schellenberger. Susanna was born May 3, 1771, in Montgomery County. Adam was listed as a head of household living in Montgomery County in 1800, and was the first of the Yost clan to leave that County, moving in 1804 to McKeansburg, Berks (now Schuylkill) County. He was followed two years later by his brother Daniel and these two Yost-Hillegas families remained close all of their lives.

When the Yosts moved into the McKeansburg area, two established German Reformed churches attracted them and each brother apparently joined the one closest to him. Adam joined the Red Church, south of Orwigsburg, and Daniel the Friedens Church, north of McKeansburg. The baptisms of four of Adam and Susanna’s children born after moving to McKeansburg are recorded at the Red Church. Later Adam and Daniel joined others in establishing an English-speaking school (they favored their children using the predominant language of their country) in McKeansburg and eventually a new church and congregation, Christ Church.

Adam and Susanna Hillegas Yost had at least ten children, six probably born in Montgomery County and four in Berks/Schuylkill (Schuylkill County was formed in 1811) County. The ten are:

·         Maria Margreth (1790-1865), married Michael Dimmick (1793-1870);

·         Elizabeth (born 1792), married Isaac Lindeman;

·         Conrad (1794-1875), married Sarah Scholl (1799-1883);

·         Samuel (1797-1867), married Elizabeth Merkel (1803-1883);

·         Rebecca;

·         Susanna;

·         Sarah;

·         Anna Maria (born 1806), married Samuel Apple (1802-1870);

·         Adam (1809-1810);

·         Jonathan (born 1812), married Maria Magdalena Groff;

·         Adam (1816-1859), married Lydia Hollensbusch (born 1819).

We know of descendants from five of these children, Mary Margaret, Conrad, Samuel, Anna Maria and Adam. One descendant of Conrad, a great-great grandson named David Donmoyer, is a pharmacist living in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. Following discussions at the 1988 reunion picnic, David determined that the patriarch of the Richards family, Nicholas Richards, was buried in the Shamokin cemetery.

Christina Yost, a daughter of Johannes Jost and Creth Schneider, and a sister to the three Yost brothers who married Hillegas sisters, married Jacob Schellenberger. He was born February 16, 1764 and was a son of Johannes and Maria Margaret Radelein Schellenberger. The mother of the three Hillegas sisters discussed above was Anna Margaretta Schellenberger, and Jacob was her brother. So he was the uncle of the Hillegas girls. Jacob and Christina had seven children, Maria Margaret, Jacob, Elizabeth, Eva, Daniel, Christina and Maria. The family appears in the 1800 and 1810 census in Hatfield, Montgomery County.  Maria Margaret and Jacob, Jr. died by 1810, but all the other children are enumerated in that year's census.  In 1810 another female over 45 years old was also with them, and perhaps she was Jacob’s mother.

The youngest child of Johannes Jost and Creth Schneider was Johan Jacob Yost. He married Hannah Schwarzlender, the daughter of Philip Schwarzlender and Maria Agnes Trost, on July 10,1798.  In the 1800 census Jacob is listed as a head of household in Montgomery County with two elderly individuals living with them. This may indicate that his parents were living with them. Jacob and Hannah had at least two children, Jacob, Jr. and Anna.


Daniel Yost, the fifth child of Johannes Jost and Marie Elizabeth Schneider, is one of the most notable members of the Yost family. Daniel made a career of public service, serving 25 years as a judge. As a youth, he served in the militia and took part in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. He moved his family from Montgomery County to what is now Schuylkill County, following his brother Adam by two years. He was a strong advocate of German Americans learning English as their primary language. He broke with his church congregation over this issue and helped in establishing Christ Church in McKeansburg. He was one of three Yost brothers who married three Hillegas sisters. Most of the Yost family of which we know of today is descended from Daniel. Some of his papers and correspondence were donated to the Schuylkill County Historical Society in Pottsville.

Daniel Yost and Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas

Born on October 14, 1749 in upper Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Daniel married Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas (born January 8, 1767) on February 7, 1786. They lived on Hoppenville Road, just north of Green Lane in Marlborough Township and were members of the Old Goshenhoppen Church. Daniel was a member of the Pennsylvania militia when, in 1794, one of the first challenges to the authority of the new United States federal government occurred. An insurrection began in southwestern Pennsylvania over a tax imposed on distilled spirits. President George Washington called for the militia to bring this rebellion to a close. Several pages from Daniel’s notebook describe his travel as a member of the militia from his home during the first half of 1794. (As of 1988 these notes were in the possession of Calvin D. Yost, Jr., a great-great-grandson of Daniel) The show of force of the militia was enough to end the insurrection, now known as the Whiskey Rebellion.

Daniel Yost was appointed on March 27, 1797, to be a Justice of the Peace for the Townships of Upper Hanover, Marlborough, and Upper Salford  in Montgomery County. In a 1795 assessment he owned 180 acres with one dwelling, two horses, and three cows. He appears enumerated in both the 1790 and 1800 censuses in Montgomery County.

Daniel and Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas Yost had ten children:

·         Maria Elizabeth, born November 13, 1786,

·         Anna Marie, born September 14, 1788,

·         Catherina, born November 12, 1790,

·         Daniel, Jr., born March 1, 1792,

·         Jonathan, born May 16, 1795,

·         Barbara, born July 30, 1798,

·         John, born August 14, 1800,

·         William, born August 2, 1802,

·         Joseph, born 1805,

·         Benjamin, born December 24, 1807.

In 1806 the family moved to McKeansburg, Berks (now Schuylkill) County and Daniel built the third structure in the village, a large building later converted into a shoe factory. Therefore his last son Benjamin was born after the move, Joseph may have been, but the other children were all born in Montgomery County. The Yost family joined the Friedens Union Church, near the present town of New Ringgold. Daniel frequently performed audits of the financial accounts of this joined Lutheran and Reformed congregation. In 1809 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace for this area, a position he had also held in Montgomery County. At the time of the 1810 census, Daniel, Elizabeth Barbara, and the seven youngest children were living in Brunswick Township, Berks County.

On March 18, 1811, the present Schuylkill County was created from portions of Berks and Northampton Counties. The Yost’s home was within the new County. A judge and two associate judges were appointed for the County at the time of its creation. Daniel was appointed to one of the associate positions and served as a judge for the next 25 years. He resigned his position on December 29, 1836.

Daniel Yost was an advocate of the use of English by the Pennsylvania Germans, particularly in the schools supported by the local churches (there were no public schools as yet). When the members of the Friedens Church refused to replace German with English in their school, Daniel and others began planning for an English school. In 1813 Balthazar Bock, the father of two of Daniel’s sons-in-law, donated land in McKeansburg for a church and school with the proviso that English was used in the school. 105 people contributed to the school building and Daniel was elected as one of five trustees. Those who initiated the English school in McKeansburg remained members of the Friedens Church until 1828 when the Christ Church was organized in McKeansburg.

Judge Daniel Yost, his sons Daniel, Jr., and Jonathan, and his sons-in-law Daniel Bock, Andrew Bock, John Heiser, and George Heiser, are all enumerated as heads of household in Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County, at the time of the 1820 census. Judge Yost supported the re-election of President John Quincy Adams in 1828 and was evidently a Whig by politics thereafter, that party opposing the policies of Andrew Jackson who had defeated Adams. In 1830  Judge Yost and Elizabeth Barbara were living in Orwigsburg, with their son John next to them, Joseph nearby, and one of either William or Benjamin still at home. Judge Daniel Yost died on November 2, 1839, and his wife Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas Yost died February 8, 1847. Both are buried in the Christ Church cemetery in McKeansburg, their tombstones printed in German.

The children of Daniel Yost and Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas

Maria Elizabeth Yost, the eldest child of Daniel and Elizabeth Hillegas Yost, married Daniel Bock, a son of Balthazar Bock and Susanna Margretha Bolich, on February 8, 1807 in Windsor Township, Berks County. Daniel was born December 23, 1783 in Windsor Township and died February 12, 1856 in Butler Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Balthazar Bock was born in Germany, immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1754 or 1755, was indentured to pay for his passage, served in the Revolutionary War and supported Maria Elizabeth’s father in establishing the English-speaking church and school in McKeansburg. Balthazar’s wife Susanna Margretha was the first person buried in that church cemetery in 1814. Maria Elizabeth and Daniel had at least nine children, and one of their grandsons, Samuel Bock (son of Benjamin), was a Union soldier in the Civil War, who was captured at Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, and died at Andersonville Prison, Georgia. Their first four children were born in East Brunswick, and the last five in West Brunswick, Schuylkill County, and were:

·         Jonas, born October 20, 1807, married Sara (1811-1877) and he died on March 12, 1873;

·         Johannes, born July 23, 1810;

·         Daniel, born July 30, 1812;

·         Sophia, born November 2, 1814, and she died August 6, 1841;

·         Benjamin, born December 18, 1816, on October 15, 1840 he married Mary Ann Koch (1820-1886) and moved to Montigau, St. Clair County, Missouri where he died on October 12, 1882;

·         George, born in 1826, and he died in 1850;

·         Louisa Anna, born on April 27, 1828, and she died August 12, 1835;

·         Joseph, born in 1830.

Maria Elizabeth’s sister Barbara (Daniel and Elizabeth Barbara Yost’s sixth child) also married a son of Balthazar Bock, Daniel’s brother Andrew (born August 24, 1792). Barbara was Andrew’s second wife of three. We know of five children of Andrew and Barbara, all of whom married.  Their son Edward served as a Union soldier in the Civil War and was so inspired by General and President Ulysses S. Grant that he named his first five children with names that formed the initials “U.S.” Many of the Andrew and Daniel Bock descendants have remained in the McKeansburg-Orwigsburg area, and others have moved to Missouri, Kansas and California. Barbara and Andrew Bock's children, all born in Schuylkill County, included:

·         Henry, born on February 8, 1829, married Carolina DeWalt (1833-1906) and he died on April 26, 1889;

·         Susanna, born December 27, 1830, and she died on March 17, 1918;

·         Jeremiah D., born April 15, 1833, married Louisa Jane, and he died on August 30, 1903;

·         Edward Yost, born June 5, 1836, on Christmas day in 1866 he married Esther Elizabeth Heim, and died September 8, 1922;

·         Daniel P., born April 27, 1840, married Elizabeth Katherine Zimmerman, and he died in Yates Center, Woodson County, Kansas on March 21, 1922.

The second and third daughters of Judge Daniel Yost also married brothers. Anna Maria married George Jacob Heisler, Jr. and Catherine married Johan Heisler, both born in Pennsylvania. They are sons of  George Jacob Heisler and Anna Kunigunda Hoffman.  George Jacob, Jr. was born June 16, 1784 in Germantown and died December 25, 1848. George Jacob and Anna Maria were living in Orwigburg in 1810. At the time of the 1820 census, the two Bock-Yost families and the two Heisler-Yost families were all residing in Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County. George Jacob, Jr. and Anna Maria lived in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1829.  Both Heisler-Yost families appear in Schuylkill County in the 1840 census.  In 1860, Anna Maria is living in Minersville, Schuylkill county, a widow living with her daughter’s (Maria Heisler Kauffman) family. Anna Maria died in Minersville on October 14, 1861. The children of George Jacob and Anna Maria Yost Heisler, all born in Schuylkill County, were:

·         Joseph H., born April 12, 1808, married Hannah Fidler (1807-1887), a daughter of Johannes Fidler and Magdalena Faust, lived in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties, served in Company A, 129th regiment of PA Infantry in the Civil War, and died April 21, 1887 in Minersville, PA;

·         Anna, born March 24, 1810 in Brunswick Twp., married  George Dreibelbis (1808-1880), a son of George Dreibelbis (1782-1811) and Mary Madeline Weaver (1780-1850), and died August 3, 1858 in New Ringgold Twp., Schuylkill County;

·         George Jacob III, born in 1812, married Anne H. Garner (1833-1903) on September 4, 1855 in Norristown, PA, served in Company E, 48th PA Infantry in the Civil War, lived in Pottsville, Schuylkill County and died by 1891;

·         Anna Maria, born in 1816, married Samuel Kauffman (1811-1887), a son of Samuel Kauffman (born 1797) and Eve Elizabeth Klinger (1789-1834), lived in Minersville, Schuylkill County and died November 19 1893;

·         Daniel Yost, born in 1819, married Leah R. (born 1821), was a minister living in Easton, Northampton County, where he died;

·         David N., born in January 1822, married Anne Elizabeth (born 1822 in Germany), lived in Pottsville, Schuylkill County, and briefly in Atlantic City, NJ in the mid 1850's, before returning to Pottsville and then moving on to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he died March 17, 1894;

·         William Augustus, born in 1823, married Etta Leah (born 1841), was a printer in Philadelphia where he died December 12, 1899;

·         Washington Lafayette, born in 1824, married twice, first to Sarah H. Kurtz (1826-1870) on November 10, 1845, a daughter of Henry Gerhring Kurtz (1799-1850) and Sarah A. Bauman (born 1806), and again after Sarah's death to Anne W. King (1843-1939), a daughter of Joseph Koenig (1815-1897) and Maria Wagner (1815-1896). Much like his grandfather, Washington established English speaking schools and churches in Pottsville and Ashland and also lived in Mifflinburg and Harrisburg, where he died in 1894;

·         Sarah, born in 1828, married Rueben Jones;

·         Benjamin Franklin, born October 7, 1830, married Maria (born 1832), served in Company D, 17th Regiment of PA Infantry during the Civil War, and was a policeman for the railroad in Reading, PA until he died on June 6, 1888;

·         Barbara Ann, born June 1, 1831, married John Henry Kurtz (1830-1905) who was a brother to the first wife of Barbara Ann's brother Washington Lafayette. This couple lived in Minersville and Shenandoah, Schuylkill County with children moving to Connecticut, Ohio and Tennessee.  Barbara Ann died June 20, 1884 but it is not know if she died in Shenandoah, or in Harriman, Tennessee, where her husband moved with their daughter's family.

Catherine Yost and Johan Heisler, the second coupling between the children of Daniel and Elizabeth Barbara Yost and George Jacob and Anna Kunigunda Heisler, lived in Schuylkill County where all their children were born.  John was born May 12, 1786 in Schuylkill County and they had at least eight children:

·         Heinrich, born June 26, 1811;

·         Catherina, born October 3, 1813;

·         Daniel, born March 29, 1818;

·         Johannes, born August 1, 1820, married Katherine Christina and died September 17, 1904 in Schuylkill County;

·         George, born October 18, 1822;

·         Jacob, born in 1824;

·         William, born April 13, 1828, moved to Missouri where on December 4, 1851 he married Martha McConnell (1834-1925), a daughter of John McConnell and Mary Hill. William and Martha took the Oregon trail in 1852 to Wasco County, Oregon where he was a grocer and he died there on August 14, 1905;

·         Sarah, born August 1, 1830.

Daniel Yost, Jr., the eldest son of Judge Daniel Yost, married Susanna Fegley Rothermel, who lived from October 12, 1799, to June 6, 1871. Susanna was the daughter of Jacob Siegfried Rothermel (1751-1833) and Magdalina Priess Fegley (born 1769) of Richmond Township, Berks County. Daniel, Jr., held tavern licenses in the years 1820, 21, 25, 26, and 27. He was on a committee of correspondence to re-elect John Quincy Adams as President in 1828. He may have been a postmaster in McKeansburg in the 1830's. Daniel, Jr., who died August 6, 1880, and Susanna are buried in the Schuylkill Haven cemetery. They did have three children, all of whom died young. Two (Hannah and Jacob) died in their late teens within a month of each other in 1843. Their third child, Daniel A., served in the 173rd regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers during the Civil War and was involved in the pursuit of Lee's army following the battle of Gettysburg. He died June 6, 1871, 37 years old.

The fifth child of Judge Yost and Elizabeth Barbara was Jonathan Yost. By far, the greatest number of Yost descendants that are known to us today are descendants of Jonathan and his wife Mary Marianna Kleckner. They had 13 children and all but two of them had children. One, named Joshua, died in his first year, and their next child was then also named Joshua. The descendants of Jonathan and Mary include Donna Greenawalt Barton, Calvin D. Yost and Israel A. S. Yost, the latter two now both deceased, who did most of the genealogical research  of the Yost family. Family accounts indicate that Jonathan learned blacksmithing, but became a farmer. His homestead is only a short distance from the Smith’s Country Inn on the road to Hecla, near McKeansburg. In 1819 he married Mary (born March 10, 1800), a daughter of Andrew Kleckner (1762-1816) and Catherine Bensinger (1766-1857). Jonathan was a deacon of Christ Church, McKeansburg. Jonathan and Mary lived in East Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County. Jonathan died January 17, 1865, and Mary died on October 5, 1878. Both are buried in the Christ Church cemetery.  Jonathan and Mary's children, all born in East Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County, were:

·         Daniel Jonathan, born July 22, 1820, married twice, first on December 26, 1846 to Charlotte Klotz (1822-1852) a daughter of Christian Klotz (1789-1848) and Elizabeth McDaniel (1795-1826), and after Charlotte's death married for a second time on April 16, 1854 Lydia Bretney (1829-1910), a daughter of Henry Bretney and Salome Beck. He lived in Carbon and Schuylkill counties, was a miller and store owner and died October 16, 1899;

·         Benjamin K., born December 8, 1921, married on March 25, 1848 Mary Wagner (1830-1915), was a shoemaker and inn keeper, lived in Schuylkill County, and he died November 29, 1885;

·         Jonathan K., born October 2, 1823, married in 1850 Susanna Bankes (1825-1906), a daughter of John Bankes (1795-1864) and Barbara Faust (born 1800), was a farmer in Schuylkill County, and he died August 2, 1917;

·         Catherine, born August 1, 1825, married Edward Ringer (1818-1894), she worked as a housekeeper while he was a laborer, and she died June 26, 1900;

·          Maria, born July 30, 1827, and died September 17, 1827;

·         Joshua, born October 25, 1829, and died January 11, 1830;

·         Joshua, born May 11, 1831, on March 22, 1855 married Mary Shuster (1832-1902), was a carpenter and farmer, lived in Schuylkill and Lackawanna counties, and he died on June 15, 1888;

·         Caroline, born March 30, 1833, married John Seltzer (1834-1886), a son of W. Jacob Seltzer (1807-1890) and Sidney Hart (1813-1850), lived in Schuylkill County, and she died on April 24, 1924;

·         Israel, born September 19, 1834, on September 7, 1862 married Sarah Gerber (1844-1914), a daughter of John Gerber (1797-1852) and Sarah Schaeffer (1801-1879), was a miller, farmer and tavern owner, lived in East Brunswick Township and he died on May 27, 1906;

·         Charles S., born September 29, 1836, married Catherine Sheipe (1838-1918), a daughter of Abraham Sheipe (1810-1887) and Hannah Yeager, was a farmer in East Brunswick Township and he died on April 1, 1892;

·         Priscilla, born April 29, 1839, married Daniel Kershner (1830-1906), a farmer, lived in East Brunswick Township, and she died February 16, 1931;

·         Elizabeth. born April 8, 1841, married Jonas Dauber (1825-1900), lived in Reading, PA and she died March 26, 1934 in Berks County;

·         Sarah, born September 5, 1843, on November 15, 1894 married Daniel Kimmel (born 1829), lived in McKeansburg, Schuylkill County, and she died on October 22, 1921.  

William Yost, a son of Judge Daniel Yost, married Ann Elizabeth Martz, born in 1809, the daughter of David Martz (1774-1843) and Mary Margaretha Magdalena Shissler (1778-1846).  They were living in East Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County in 1840, with children. They were members of the Red Church (the same one that William’s uncle Johan Adam had joined in 1804) and at least one child’s baptism (of nine children) is recorded there. By 1850 the family was in Shamokin, Northumberland County with William working as a tinsmith. In 1860 they were located in Coyningham, Columbia County and William was working as a coal miner. He was farming in Upper Augusta Township, Northumberland County in 1880 where Elizabeth died on October 5, 1891 and William followed just over a year later on October 25, 1892.  Their children, all but the last born in Schuylkill County, were:

·         Barbara, born March 10, 1834, did not marry, was a member of the St. Peters Lutheran church and worked as a dressmaker and boarding home owner in Shamokin, Northumberland County where she died on January 25, 1917;

·         Lucy, born in 1836;

·         an unknown daughter, born between 1835-1840 and died by 1850;

·         Rebecca, born July 8, 1838, married David Shoap (born 1826) and lived in Southampton Township, Cumberland County, PA;

·         William, born in 1840;

·         James D., born December 1843, married Caroline Umlauf (born 1847), was a coal miner in Conyngham, Columbia County, and Butler and Ashland, Schuylkill County;

·         Thomas M., born in 1844, on May 4, 1867 married Jane Shannon (born October 1841)  in Ashland and lived in Butler, Schuylkill County;

·         Bethuel David, born in 1846, married Elmira Barbara Van Oimer, lived in Alabama, Indiana and Michigan, and died 1966 in St. Josephs County, Michigan;

·         another daughter, with initial C., born in 1850 in Shamokin, Northumberland County.

Judge Daniel and Elizabeth Barbara Yost’s son Joseph was confirmed in 1821 at the Friedens Church and married Rebecca Elizabeth Miller (born April 15, 1807), the daughter of Peter and Catherina Muller. They had three children, Isabel, Reuben and an unknown son who died as a child. They lived in Schuylkill County through at least 1850.  In 1850, Joseph lived next to his brother John and his wife Elizabeth, and Joseph was employed as a hotel keeper. By 1860, Joseph and the family were living in St. Joseph County, Michigan. Joseph was working as a butcher in 1860 and as a tinner in 1880. They remained in St. Joseph County for the rest of their lives and both their adult children married, had children of their own and died in Michigan as well. Their daughter, Isabel (1831-1899) married William Will, born in April 1826 in Pennsylvania, and their son Reuben (1835-1874) married Mary, born in Michigan in 1836.

Benjamin Yost was the youngest child of Judge Daniel Yost and Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas. He married Mary Stamm who was born in February, 1814. They had several children and between 1840 and 1870 lived in either Schuylkill Township, or East Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County. Benjamin worked as a hotel keeper, a farmer, and a miller. He died on June 14, 1887, and Mary passed away November 23, 1875. Their children were:

·         Sarah Ann, born in 1837;

·         Mary A., born in 1839;

·         Benjamin Franklin, born in 1841 and is discussed below;

·         Caroline, born in 1848;

·         Catherine, born in 1850

·         Amanda S., born in 1853, married Samuel Leiser (1852-1902), a son of Samuel (1802-1880) and Mary Leiser, lived in Pottsville, Schuylkill County; where she died in 1922;

·         Charles William, born on June 25, 1856, and died May 11, 1857 in Schuylkill County;

·         Cordelia, born in 1860.

One of Benjamin and Mary's children, Benjamin Franklin, played an unwilling role in the history of the Molly Maguires, a group of Irish militants in the Pennsylvania anthracite coal mining area. Benjamin’s story enlightens us on some of the violence and living conditions of those times.

The murder of Benjamin Franklin Yost by the Molly Maguires

Benjamin Franklin Yost, born May 24, 1841 and a grandson of Judge Daniel Yost, married Henrietta Boyer, daughter of Joshua Boyer and Susannah Shoener, about 1870 and had two sons. He had been a Union soldier during the Civil War, serving in Company I of the 48th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. He enlisted in 1861 and again in 1864. About the time he married, he became a policeman in the Borough of Tamaqua. It was as a Tamaqua policeman that he would meet a violent death, and the investigation and trial of his murder would be key in the downfall of the Irish secret society, the Molly Maguires.

The story is taken from Wayne G. Broehl, Jr.’s book, The Molly Maguires. On the night of July 5, 1875, Tamaqua was still stirring from the Independence Day celebration, the day before. Many people, including several visitors, were in the streets. Tamaqua had two policemen, Benjamin F. Yost and Barney McCarron. Benjamin had experienced considerable trouble with a James Kerrigan, an unemployed Irish miner, and the leader of the Tamaqua branch of the Molly Maguires. Yost had arrested Kerrigan for drunkenness several times, and had at least once used his club to subdue Kerrigan.

It was the duty of the two policemen to extinguish the town’s gas street lamps while on evening patrol. On the evening of July fifth, they looked in at Carroll’s tavern, and then at the hotel, where Kerrigan provided them a drink. The last gas light they were to put out was the one in front of Yost’s house. While doing so, Benjamin was downed by two shots. McCarron emptied his own pistol chasing two assailants, who escaped.

He was taken into his home and attended to by his wife, by her brother-in-law, Daniel Shepp and McCarron. As he passed in and out of consciousness during the evening, Yost and McCarron confirmed the assailants were two strangers they had seen at the tavern before their drink with Kerrigan. Kerrigan did not carry out the murder. Seven hours after the shooting, Benjamin Franklin Yost died.

The killing brought a wave of indignation over all of Schuylkill County. This was a respected officer of the law who had been gunned down. The funeral at the Odd Fellow’s cemetery at the end of town was attended by a huge number of people and most were of the opinion expressed by the newspaper’s (Miner’s Journal) editor that the assassins should be "remorselessly hunted down." Despite their indignation, the town fathers would not provide a headstone and the grave remained unmarked until the 125th anniversary of the event, which was used as a tourist attraction.

A committee formed to track down those responsible for the killing approached the Pinkerton detective agency. This agency had already been employed by many of the mine owners and had infiltrated the Molly Maguires with an Irish operative, James McParlan, going under the name of Jim McKenna. McParlan learned from within the organization what had actually happened.

Benjamin F. Yost had been involved the previous winter in two incidents involving Kerrigan and another Molly Maguire, Thomas Duffy. A drunken Duffy had threatened Yost before Kerrigan drug him out of harm’s way. A few days later, again drunk, Duffy got into a fight in the street with another Irishman by the name of Flynn. Kerrigan was again with Duffy. The two policemen, Yost and McCarron, came by and Duffy went for Benjamin. The two policemen beat up Duffy in subduing him, and threw him in jail. Kerrigan was knifed by Flynn, later claiming McCarron was holding him when it happened. Kerrigan and Duffy later offered the Coaldale Molly Maguires ten dollars to do away with Yost. This task was carried out by Hugh McGehan and James Boyle in trade for the Tamaqua Mollies murdering a Lansford mine boss, named Jones. Kerrigan planned the deed, choosing the spot, detaining Yost with a drink, and planning the escape route. The Pinkerton agent reported all of this by July seventeenth, only 12 days after the murder.

The trial for the Jones murder occurred first, ending in February in a conviction. Following that, Kerrigan turned informant, trying to place most of the blame on Duffy, McGehan, and Boyle in order to avoid hanging. Kerrigan was granted immunity for his testimony that corroborated McParlan’s. He also implicated Carroll, the tavern owner, and James Roarity, the Coaldale Mollie with whom he arranged the trade.

The first Yost murder trial began on May 4, 1876. For it James McParlan came out of hiding to present his testimony. The defense tried to discredit McParlan and Kerrigan as professional and professed informers, respectively. Even Kerrigan’s wife and family pointed to him as the murderer and turncoat to help the defendants. The case was heavily reported in the newspapers and would today come under criticism as being tried in the press. In the end, this first case was suspended, as a juror became ill and died. Although the case would have to be re-tried, it was this first case that brought the details to light and broke the back of the Molly Maguires as an organization.

In the second round of trials, Duffy was granted a trial separate from the other four. Kerrigan’s wife did not testify for the defense and eventually reconciled with her husband. All five defendants were convicted, the first four on July 24, 1876, and Duffy on September nineteenth. All five were hung on the same day in 1877.



The seventh child of Judge Daniel Yost and the grandfather of Minnie E. Yost was John Yost. All of the Richards family that we know today are descended from this line.

John Yost and Elizabeth Williams

John was born on August 14, 1800, in upper Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He moved with his family to Berks County in 1806, and that area became part of the newly created Schuylkill County in 1811. John was a shoemaker and he married Elizabeth Williams, who according to the 1840 census, could not read or write. They had eight children, the eldest being a daughter who’s name we do not know. The remaining children were:

·         Nathaniel, born March 27, 1831;

·         Brigitta, born March 24, between 1832-1834;

·         Joseph, born June 22, 1835;

·         Anna, born December 13, 1839;

·         Sarah, born September 5, 1839;

·         Abraham, born 1843;

·         Daniel P., born July, 1848.

In 1830, John and Elizabeth were living in Orwigsburg next to his father Daniel Yost. Living nearby was a widow aged 40-50, also named Elizabeth Williams, who may be Elizabeth’s mother or a relative. At this time John and Elizabeth had a female child under five years of age (who’s name is unknown) and had a 10-15 year old male youth boarding with them.

By 1840, John, Elizabeth, and the family had moved to Schuylkill Township, where our Yost ancestors were to remain until the children of William Henry Richards and Minnie E. Yost started to move away. At this time the census indicates 3 males and 5 females in the household, consistent with what we know. In 1850 the family is still in Schuylkill Township, two households away from the hotel run by John’s brother Joseph. By this time, the eldest daughter had left the household, presumably having married.

The 1860 and 1870 census enumerates the family in Tuscarora Village, Schuylkill Township. Since the 1840 and 1850 censuses do not indicate where within Schuylkill Township the family lived, they may have been in Tuscarora from the start. Four generations of the Yost-Richards family therefore lived in Tuscarora, from John, to Daniel P., to Minnie E., to the first eight Richards children before William Henry and Minnie E. Yost Richards moved a few miles west to Kaska (in Blythe Township). By 1870, only Sarah, Abraham, and Daniel P. were still at home, although Nathaniel and his family were living next door. Sarah was working as a seamstress, Abraham and Daniel were working as coal miners. John’s personal estate was valued at $500.00 according to the census.

Because of inconsistent information in censuses, we cannot be sure of Elizabeth’s year of birth, but it would be between 1807 and 1810. We do not know when either John or Elizabeth passed away (although it must be after 1870 as they have not been found in the 1880 census) nor do we know where they are buried.

The children of John and Elizabeth Williams Yost

Nathaniel Yost, a son of John and Elizabeth Williams Yost, on June 10, 1959 married Diana Bitler (born May 10, 1836), the daughter of Markus Bitler (1790-1859) and Mary Anna Reber (1802-1842) of Union Township, Schuylkill County. Nathaniel was a plasterer living next door to his parents in 1870 and a stone mason in Tuscarora in 1880. He had served as a Union soldier in Company A of the 173rd Pennsylvania Infantry from November 1, 1962 to August 17, 1963, and in 1890 applied for a pension as an invalid.  The 173rd was formed from Pennsylvanians in October and November of 1862 and was stationed in Norfolk, VA until just after Gettysburg.  The regiment joined in pursuing Lee’s defeated troops for 3 weeks in July 1863 then did guard duty in Washington until its troops were mustered out in August 1863.  Diana died December 5, 1887 and Nathaniel was with his children Elmira and William and with a nephew Franklin in Walker Township, Schuylkill County in 1890, then moved in with his daughter Elmira Cooper’s family in Ryan Township, Schuylkill County by 1900 and remained with them until his death on January 12, 1917.  Nathaniel and Diana had at least eight children, several of whom died as infants:

·         Harvey, born and died in 1859;

·         Cleveland, born and died in 1860;

·         Oscar, born and died in 1861;

·         Elmira Catherine, born November 25, 1864, married Frederick Cooper, and died in 1937;

·         Frank, born in 1867, died before 1870;

·         twins, Charles and William W., born in May 1870, Charles died before 1880;

·         George O., born in March, 1872, married Kate A. in 1894.

A nephew, Franklin, born in 1879, was living with the Nathaniel Yost family in 1880 and 1890. We only know of descendants through Frederick and Elmira Catherine Cooper (George and Kate had an adopted son).

Brigitta Yost, a daughter of John and Elizabeth Yost, married Moses Link (1827-1891) who was a carpenter and they remained in Tuscarora village until their deaths, living near her brothers Nathaniel and Daniel P. Yost. Moses died in 1891 and Brigitta lived with her son Amos’ family until she died in 1925. Moses and Brigitta are buried in the Zion United Church of Christ Cemetery, as are their son Amos and Amos’ wife Pauline.  Moses and Brigitta had 10 children, 8 of whom were alive in 1900.  The children were:

·         Sarah, born in 1852;

·         George F, born in December 1854, married Annie Decker, has descendants, and died December 26, 1923 in Waterbury, Connecticut;

·         William H., born in 1854;

·         Charles A., born in November, 1859;

·         Emma Misoura, born September 14, 1861 and died September 16, 1863;

·         John Joseph, born in 1865, married Elizabeth (born in England in 1870) in 1887, and has descendants;

·         Lizzie, born in 1867;

·         Amanda, born in June 1870;

·         Lewis Oliver, born in November 1872, married Emma E. Mader (1878-1942), has descendants, and died in Port Carbon, Schuylkill County in 1928;

·         Amos Emanuel, born in February 1875, married Sophia Pauline Crone (1874-1947) daughter of Peter and Sophie Crone, has descendants, and died in 1941 in Tuscarora.

Joseph Yost, a son of John and Elizabeth Yost was living on his own in 1860, staying as a day laborer with an inn keeper in Tuscarora Village.  We do not know anything more of him from that point in time.

Anna (Annie) Yost, a daughter of John and Elizabeth Yost, married George Brodbeck, who was born about 1830 in Germany. Both Annie and George were living in Tuscaroa when they married in the St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church in nearby Tamaqua.  They lived in Tamaqua the rest of their lives. By 1910 Annie was widowed and was living in Tamaqua with her daughter Sarah Amanda Brodbeck Donald.  In 1920 she was staying with another daughter, Anne K. Brodbeck Walter. George and Annie Yost Brodbeck had eight children, seven of whom were alive in 1910:

·         Frank, born in August 1864 and married Margarite A. Garland, and this couple moved back to Tuscarora Village by 1920;

·         Sarah Amanda, born March 5 1866 in Tuscarora, married Edward Donald (born in England and a locomotive engineer) on May 30, 1888 and lived in Tamaqua;

·         Emma Barbara, born January 7, 1869;

·         William Jacob, born December 8, 1969, married Clara G. in 1899, and was a railroad engineer living in Reading, Berks County, PA;

·         Mary Ellen, born about January 24, 1872, married Edward Reed, an oil driller, on November 21, 1894 in Tamaqua, and they lived in Butler and Grove City, Pennsylvania;

·         George Albert, born about 1874, married Anna C, lived in Tamaqua working as a flagman for the railroad;

·         Annie K., born about 1879, married George W. Walter on July 15, 1903 - he managed a livery stable and hauled coal in Tamaqua;

·         Frederick Daniel, born September 10, 1881.

Sarah Yost was a daughter of John and Elizabeth Yost.  Sarah did not marry and at various times lived with her sister, Annie Yost Brodbeck, her brother Daniel P. Yost, and her nephew Oliver J. Yost.  She died in 1939 and is buried in the Zion UCC cemetery in Tuscarora Village.

Abraham Yost, another son of John and Elizabeth Yost, married Catharine (Katie) Gimbi, born in November of 1848. They lived in West Mahanoy, Shenandoah, and Mahanoy City. Abraham worked in the mines and later was a merchant for selling tea. They had three children:

·         Irian, born in 1881,

·         Laura, born in 1884,

·         Roy Oscar, born March 13, 1887.

We know nothing more of Irian (Hiram?) and Laura. Roy Oscar Yost was a carpenter who married Marion R. Wehr (born 1888), the daughter of Dennis and Roxy Wehr. Roy and Marion lived in Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County.  By the time of their 60th wedding anniversary (1944) they were living in Meyerstown, PA.  Roy and Marion are buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Tamaqua. Their children were Dorothy M. (married Monroe M. Miller), Roxie C. (married Daniel Francis O’Leary), Glenn R., and Phaon Allan (a Korean War veteran who married Betty Lou Demier and after her death, Dorinda M. Clement). Roy Oscar Yost died in August of 1984 in Lebanon, PA.

Daniel P. Yost and Dorothea Mader's Family

Daniel P. Yost was the youngest child of John and Elizabeth Williams Yost. Daniel was born, grew up, and died in Tuscarora Village, Schuylkill County. He may be the Daniel Yost who was boarding with Ann Williams (a relative of his mother?) in Girardsville, Schuylkill County in 1880.  Daniel married Dorothea Mader in 1882, the daughter of Jacob and Catherine Mader. The Mader’s settled in Blythe Township (just west of Schuylkill Township) after emigrating from Germany. Daniel worked as a coal miner and as a laborer, and he and Dorothea were living in Tuscarora in 1900 and 1910. Daniel was a widower by 1920. Daniel P. and Dorothea Mader Yost’s children were:

·         Joseph, born April 1883,

·         Minnie E., born January 1885,

·         John Harrison, born December 1888,

·         Roy Daniel., born May 1891,

·         Oliver J., born June 1893.

Minnie was born in Tuscarora Village, Schuylkill County in January, 1885. She was the second of five children of Daniel P. Yost, born July 2, 1848, a coal miner and laborer in Tuscarora, and Dorothea Mader, who was born May 5, 1849, in Blythe Township.  Her older brother Joseph, was born April 12, 1883 in Tuscarora and died in 1960, was a salesman of soap and patent medicines before becoming a preacher at the Grace Reformed Church in Scranton, PA in 1930-31, and the minister for the Reformed Church in Tuscarora in his later life. The former church no longer exists and is not the same as the Grace Reformed Episcopal Church in Scranton. Joe married Clara Louise Brown (born June 16, 1887 and died in July, 1967), the daughter of John L. and Clara M. Brown of Shamokin.

Minnie’s younger brothers were John Harrison (born December 6, 1888 and died in June of 1974), Roy Daniel (born May 4, 1891 and died 1953), and Oliver Jacob (born June 1893 and died 1988). Her brother John Harrison did not marry, and was a teacher and principal in the local public schools. He lived with his brother Oliver, Oliver’s family, and his aunt Sarah Yost in Tuscarora.

Roy Daniel Yost was a coal miner who married Marguerite Faust (1897-1951) and their three children were Arlene (born January 9, 1919 and died April 5, 1985), Ernest R (born September 27, 1920, died August 5, 1997), and Lois (born 1927). Arlene married Girard H.S. Conn (born November 18, 1912 and died May 7, 1975) the son of Goodman and Leah (Weinberg) Conn of Chambersburg, PA and a salesman and officer of an electronics company.  Girard and Arlene lived in Pottsville and Chambersburg, PA. Ernest R. Yost married Helen Hawkins (born in 1916 in Glenside, Montgomery Co., PA and died August 1, 2002) and they had five children, Priscilla, Daniel E., John H., Phillip R., and Peter W.  Earnest and Helen Yost lived in Pottstown and in Silverdale, PA, where they died, and are buried in the St. Peters Church cemetery in Locust Valley, Schuylkill Co, PA.  Ernest worked 35 years for Bell Telephone and was a school director for the Pennridge School District. We do not know any more about Lois Yost.

Minnie’s brother Oliver was a pianist and music teacher and married Bertha. Oliver and Bertha Yost had three children born in Tuscarora, Oliver, Joy, and Phyllis. Oliver Jacob, Jr., was born February 4, 1924 and died in November 1984 in Summerville, SC.  Joy Lorraine was born August 8, 1928 and entered Martha Lloyd Community Services in 1944, a home for those with disabilities and lived there until she died on May 18, 1992. Phyllis M., born May 3, 1939, married Milton N. Anchorstar, Jr. (born April 29, 1929 in Reading, PA), the son of Milton N. and Edna M. Anchorstar. Phyllis and Milton have a son, Kurt, born August 4, 1963. Milton Anchorstar, Jr., was a trucker who was severely burned in an accident.

William Henry Richards and Minnie E. Yost lived close to her parents in Tuscarora after they married. In the 1920 census the two families were separated by only a few entries. Minnie and William were enumerated with their eight oldest children. The four oldest had been attending school that year. Nearby, Minnie’s father Daniel was enumerated with his sister Sarah, and sons John Harrison, Roy, and Oliver. Roy’s wife Marguerite and oldest child, Arlene, were also living with Daniel. Minnie’s mother, Dorothea, passed away on June 12, 1912. Her father lived until March 12, 1923.

In the 1920’s the Richards family moved a short distance west, to the village of Kaska, in Blythe Township.  Minnie died August 13, 1927 and was buried in the Tuscarora cemetery with her parents and her aunt Sarah Yost.

Dorothea Mader's Ancestry

Minnie E. Yost’s mother, Dorothea Mader, was born in Blythe Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania on May 5, 1849, and was a twin to her sister Mary Elizabeth.  The Mader family moved to Tuscarora by 1860 and Dorothea was to reside there the rest of her life. She married Daniel P. Yost (born July 2, 1848) of Tuscarora in 1882.

Dorothea’s parents, Jacob (born January 11, 1815) and Regina (born February 6, 1814), were German immigrants who settled in Schuylkill County, first in Kaska, Blythe Township, then in Tuscarora. There is an immigration record for the arrival of a Jacob Mader from Germany in New York on July 21, 1848 on the ship Narraganset out of Havre. Jacob was a coal miner and died November 15, 1866. Regina was enumerated in censuses with several proper names, namely, Catherine, Rachel, and Rosina, and finally with Regina on her tombstone.  She is the daughter of Christian and Magdalena Cramer, who were born in Germany and immigrated to Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, between 1832 and 1838 and were residing in Cass Township in 1850. Regina had four older brothers, Jacob (born 1827), Christian born (1830), Frederick (born 1832) and George (born 1838).  George was born in Pennsylvania, while the other sons were born in Germany. Regina Cramer Mader died August 18, 1890.

Jacob Mader was the son of Frederich (Jr.) and Charlotte Kilz Mader. Frederich and Charlotte were married in Germany on August 20, 1813 and had seven children. Charlotte was born about 1791 and in 1850 she and her brother Charles Kilz were living with Jacob and his brother Peter in Kaska. Frederich had died in June 1831 in Germany, about six months before their last child, Henry, was born.  Charlotte and Charles’ father was Jacob Kilz.  Frederich’s parents were Frederich Mader, Sr. and Charlotta Grimmin, both born in Germany.

Frederich (Jr.) and Charlotte Kitz Mader's sons, all born in Germany, were:

·         Jacob (1815-1866) married Catherine Regina Rachael Cramer (1814-1890);

·         Fredrich (III) born 1817;

·         Peter (1820-1874) married Dorothy, and two oldest children (born in Blythe Twp., Schuylkill Co.) were William born in 1846 and Caroline born in 1849;

·         William (1823-1887), died in Ashland, Schuylkill County;

·         Phillip born in 1825;

·         Valentine (1829-1860)

·         and Henry (1831-1894), died in Audenreid, Carbon County.

In addition to the twins, Dorothea and Mary, Jacob and Regina Mader had two other children, Jacob, Jr. and Christian.  Jacob was born in Germany on February 4, 1842 and died at the age of nine in Kaska in 1849.  Christian was born October 16, 1853 in Kaska, married Susan Guers on April 7, 1875, and died in Port Carbon, Schuylkill County on December 11, 1922. His wife Susan was born May 6, 1855 in Tumbling Run, Schuylkill County and died June 17, 1938.  Christian and Susan had five children:

·         Emma E. (1877-1942), the wife of Lewis Oliver Link (1872-1928);

·         George, who married Lucy Cooke;

·         Laura, whose husband was Francis Knabb;

·         Edwin, the husband of Mary Davis;

·         and Raymond.

Dorothea’s twin sister Mary married John Daleus, born August 16 1846 in St. Clair, Schuylkill County, on August 30, 1868 in Tuscarora.  They had eight children, and John was a coal miner. Mary died May 30th, 1915 in Tresckow, Carbon County, PA and John died June 11, 1921 in Maryd, Schuylkill County. Their children were:

·         Rebecca, born 1863;

·         Elizabeth, born 1871

·         William F. (1874-1949), married Jane (1874-1941);

·         Ellen, born 1877;

·         Dora R., born 1881;

·         Minnie, born 1884;

·         and Charles Gray (1868-1976);




The third significant ancestral branch of the Richards-Yost family is the Hillegas family. The members of the Hillegas branch are the ancestors of Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas, who was the great-grandmother of Minnie E. Yost and the wife of Judge Daniel Yost. Elizabeth Barbara was born on January 8, 1767 in upper Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, was a member of the Old Goshenhoppen Church, and married Daniel Yost on February 7, 1786. She moved with her husband to McKeansburg, Berks County (Schuylkill County after 1811) in 1806, had ten children, including John Yost who continued our line, survived Daniel by eight years and died of Yellow Fever in McKeansburg on February 8, 1847. Our knowledge of her ancestors include three generations of the Hillegas family and two of the Schellenberger family.

Peter and Anna Regina Hillegas

The earliest known Hillegas ancestor is Peter Hillegas, a citizen and wagon maker of Sinsheim, Germany. Records from that town indicate that on September 7, 1708, Anna Regina, the wife of Peter Hillegas, died at the age of 55. They also indicate that on October 12, 1719, Peter Hillegas died at the age of 70.

Peter and Anna Regina Hillegas had at least six sons, all born in Sinsheim:

·         Hans Konrad, born 1683,;

·         John Frederick, born 1685;

·         George Peter, born 1689;

·         Johan Jacob, born 1692;

·         George Michael, born 1696

·         Johan George, born 1702.

Four of these sons, and the wife of another, left Germany for America, arriving at different times in Philadelphia. We know nothing more of Johan George Hillegas and assume he never left Germany.

The children of Peter and Anna Regina Hillegas

Hans Konrad Hillegas married Anna Margaretha and died in Sinsheim on December 18, 1659.  His wife and a son, Peter, emigrated to America and Anna Margaretha Hillegas died in Philadelphia, and Peter Hillegas, who married Anna Barbara Walwrath (1739-1769) died in Montgomery County, New York.

George Peter Hillegas (1690-1745) married Anna Margaretha Heil (1691-1745), the daughter of Johan Valentein Heil and Anna Elisabeth Ahles of Hesse, Germany. He came to Philadelphia in 1722 with his wife, daughter Anna Margaretha, and sons Johan Jacob, Christof and George Peter, and settled in the Northern Liberties section of the city. More children were born in Pennsylvania. He was a merchant. Their children (those before 1722 born in Germany, those after that date born in Philadelphia) were:

·         Anna Margaretha (1715-1752), married John George Passage (1714-1752);

·         Johan Jacob (1716-1745);

·         Christof  (1718-1741);

·         George Peter (1721-1777);

·         Catherine (1727-1777), married Phillip Tull;

·         Susanna (born 1730), married William Pitts;

·         Elizabeth Barbara (1732-1769).

Johan Jacob Hillegas (1693-1765) married Otilla Johanna Kaempfer (born 1695), the daughter of Johan Heinrich Kaempfer and Johanna Petronella Holtzheimer, in Sinsheim, Germany, on January 30, 1719.  It is not known when they emigrated, but both Johan Jacob and Otilla Johanna died in Philadelphia.  Their children moved to the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area, and from there some of their children and grandchildren moved further west in Pennsylvania, and on to Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The children were:

·         George Albrecht (born 1723), married Catherine Reichert (1740-1804), died in Lancaster;

·         Elizabeth (born about 1737), married Jacob Galletin in Lancaster;

·         Christine Barbara (born about 1743), married John Danner in Lancaster;

·         Conrad (born 1745), married Catherine Hilgert (born 1747) and died about 1830 in Harrison County, Ohio;

·         George Peter (1746-1814), married Mary Hestor and died in Fleming County, Kentucky.

George Michael Hillegas (1696-1749) was a prosperous merchant in Philadelphia, and his son Michael Hillegas, Jr. (1729-1804) became the very first Treasurer of the United States during the Revolutionary War. George Michael, Sr. married Margaret Schiebenstock (1705-1770), the daughter of Hans Michael and Catharina Schiebenstock, and is buried in the old Christ Church burial ground in Philadelphia. George Michael and Margaret’s children were:

·         Michael, Jr. (1729-1804), married Henrietta Cox Boude (1730-1792);

·         Susannah (1733-1769), married Frederick Kuhl (1729-1809);

·         Mary (born 1735), married John Jennings;

·         Frederick (1741-1742);

·         Hannah.

John Frederick Hillegas and Elizabeth Barbara Triegel

The Eppingen Reformed Church records in Germany show that Johan Frederick Hillegas, wagon maker and son of Peter Hillegas, was married on August 28, 1712, to Elizabeth Barbara Triegel, daughter of George Triegel, a citizen of Eppingen, and Anna Barbara Metzer. The Sinsheim Reformed Church records indicate that Hans Frederick Hillegas was confirmed on April 19, 1699 at the age of fourteen. With the relative ease of use in the family of the surnames Hans and Johan, we assume that both of these records refer to our ancestor, who we know as John Frederick Hillegas.

Elizabeth Barbara Triegel’s father George, is believed to be the son of Hans Jacob Triegel, Jr. and Elizabeth Lang.  Hans Jacob in turn is believed to be the son of Jacob, Sr. and Anna Margaretha Triegel. To our best knowledge all three generations were from Eppingen, Germany.

John Frederick Hillegas (1686-1765) and his wife Elizabeth Barbara (-1759), and John Frederick’s sister (name unknown), arrived in Philadelphia on the ship "William and Sarah" from Rotterdam, by way of Dover, England, on September 18, 1727. This was the very first ship where passengers to Pennsylvania were required to sign an oath of allegiance to the King of England. Captain William Hill recorded John Frederick as responsible for 4 ½ souls. Since children were considered as ½, this 4 ½ could account for John Frederick with his wife, his sister, and three of their six children born before 1727. The three children would be Frederick, Eva Elizabeth, and Anna Margaret, since Leopold and John Adam both emigrated individually, a few years after the rest of their family, and since Johan Martin died young. A Jacob Jost was also on this ship, and he returned to Germany, but his relationship, if any, to either the Hillegas or our Yost family is unknown.

Sometime prior to 1734, John Frederick Hillegas purchased 150 acres in the Goshenhoppen area of upper Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. On February 6, 1738, he bought a grist mill and 165 acres from George Gowen. In 1749 he added 363 acres in a purchase from William Parsons. John Frederick and Elizabeth Barbara lived near East Greenville, Pennsylvania during the Revolution. Sons Leopold and Conrad served in the Continental Army. Son George Peter may be Peter Hillegas, Sr., deacon of the New Goshenhoppen Church and enumerated in the 1790 census in Montgomery County. Sons Johan Adam (as Adam), George Peter (as Peter) and Conrad appear in the 1800 census.

The children of John Frederick and Elizabeth Barbara Triegel Hillegas were:

·         Leopold, born Sept. 26, 1714;

·         John Adam, born Jan. 5, 1716, died Jan. 13, 1779;

·         Frederick, born April 2, 1719, died 1800;

·         Johan Martin, born May 20, 1721, died before 1727;

·         Eva Elizabeth (Creth), born 1723, died 1749;

·         Anna Margaret, born August 15, 1726, died Jan. 6, 1773;

·         Ann Regina, born about 1729;

·         Elizabeth Barbara, born Apr. 16, 1732,died Aug.15, 1817;

·         George Peter, born Feb. 2, 1735, died Sep. 24, 1810.

·         Conrad, born Nov. 2, 1738, died Dec. 24, 1824.

Those born prior to 1727 were born in Sinsheim, Germany, those after that date were born in what is now Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

A prominent tombstone has been erected in the cemetery in front of the New Goshenhoppen Church, where the family were members, to both John Frederick and Elizabeth Barbara. It reads:

Pioneer Settlers 1727

John Frederick Hillegas         Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas

Nov. 24, 1685                      October 24, 1694

Died    Jan. 6, 1765                          March 4, 1759

John Frederick Hillegas the progenitor of the Montgy Co branch of the Hillegas family now distributed over the USA was born in Alsace Germany. With his wife Elizabeth Barbara and younger children he sailed from Rotterdam to America with the company including the Rev. Geo. Michael Weiss a Reformed minister. They arrived at Philadelphia Sept. 18, 1727 and settled in this region then known as Goshenhoppen.

Erected by his descendants 1907.

 The Hillegas family had believed their ancestors to be French Protestant Huguenots who fled from Alsace, France to the Palatine of Germany before coming to Pennsylvania.

The children of John Frederick Hillegas and Elizabeth Barbara Triegel

Leopold Hillegas arrived in Philadelphia on September 5, 1730 on the ship Alexander and Anne out of Rotterdam, three years after his parents had made that voyage.  He married Susanna sometime before 1749. Leopold served three years in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, including fighting in the Battle of Brandywine.  He settled in Esopus, Ulster County, New York.

John Adam Hillegas arrived in America on October 11, 1732, five years after his parents. He became a naturalized British citizen in colonial Pennsylvania on March 25, 1764 and then served seven months in the Philadelphia militia during the Revolutionary War.  Adam married twice, first to Margaret Hallman (1720-1754), the daughter of Anthony Hallman (or Heilman, 1671-1759) and Maria Salome Bergheimer (1679-1745).  After Margaret’s death Adam married Anna Catherine Bitting (1727-1810), the daughter of Martin (1697-1756) and Margaret Bitting (died 1780).  John Adam Hillegas had 14 children,

            Five by Margaret Hallman:

·         Johan Michael (1742-1792), married Catherine Geri (born 1749);

·         Johan Augustus (1743-1803), married Anna Maria Geri (1746-1795);

·         Eva (1745-1821), married George Horlacher (1738-1813), a son of Michael and Maria Veronica Horlacher;

·         John George (1749-1806), married Elizabeth Jung (1750-1833), a daughter of Johan Nicolaus and Anna Gertrude Jung;

·         and Catherine (born 1750), married Johannes Greismer (died 1818).

Nine by Anna Catherine Bitting:

·         Adam George (1755-1823), married Anna Schultz (1758-1823);

·         Frederick (1757-1837), married Anna Huber;

·         Anna Margaretha (born 1758), married Charles (Carl) Schellenberger (1751-1832), a son of Johannes Schellenberger (1712-1795) and Margaret Radelein (1722-1800) who will be discussed later in this chapter;

·         Johan Peter (1759-1805), married Susanna Heist (died 1844);

·         Elizabeth (1761-1849), married John Michael Huber (1755-1831);

·         Anna Christina (born 1761);

·         Anna Maria (1763-1813);

·         Maria Margaretha (born 1768);

·         Johan Jacob (1772-1828), married Rosina Schultz (1765-1831).

John Adam Hillegas died on January 5, 1717 in Upper Hanover Township, Montgomery County.

Frederick Hillegas, a son of John Frederick Hillegas and Elizabeth Barbara Triegel, came to Pennsylvania as a child with his parents in 1727.  He moved to the colony of New York and married Anna Margaret Berg (1725-1800), a daughter of Christian Bergh (1700-1780) and Anna Margaretha Wholeben (1701-1782) in Red Hook, Duchess County, New York on October 30, 1742.  Anna Margaret had been born in Rhinebeck, Duchess County, where her parents had immigrated to from Germany. Frederick and Anna Margaret lived in Rhinebeck until about 1765 when they moved to Claverack, Columbia County, New York. Some of their children lived in Rhinebeck, some in Claverack, and some moved to Berne, Albany County, New York. One son, Johannes, fought and died in the War of 1812.  Frederick and Anna Margaret’s children were:

·         Christian (1746-1803), married Anna Hunt (1748-1803);

·         Catherine (1748-1800), married John Simmons;

·         Frederick (1751-1803), married Catherine;

·         Peter (1754-1814);

·         Johannes (1757-1814), married Magdalena Knickerbacher (1761-1849), a daughter of Cornelius Knickerbacher (1720-1774) and Elenore Bain (1722-1774);

·         Maria (Mary) Margaretha (1760-1843), married Heironymous Grad;

·         Elizabeth (born 1763), married Bastian Yeager (married 1760);

·         Rebecca (born 1766).

Frederick Hillegas died in 1800 in the town of Claverack, Columbia County, New York where his will was registered on August 23, 1800.

Johan Martin Hillegas died in Germany before his parents, John Frederick Hillegas and Elizabeth Barbara Triegel, came to Pennsylvania.

Nicolaus Jeger (1720-1765), a son of Johan George Jeger, married Eva Elizabeth (Creth) Hillegas (1723-1749) a daughter of John Frederick Hillegas and Elizabeth Barbara Triegel. When Creth died after giving birth to their third child, Nicolaus married her sister, Ann Regina Hillegas (1729-1779). Creth had traveled with her parents from Germany to Pennsylvania as a child in 1727.  Ann Regina was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Nicolaus must have changed his name from Jeger to Hunter, as all of his children (by both wives) adopted that last name.  One son of Ann Regina, Nicolaus Hunter, served four years in the Revolutionary War, became a major in the Pennsylvania militia following the war, and was a judge in Berks County. The children of Nicolas Jeger and the two Hillegas sisters were,

            by Eva Elizabeth (Creth):

·         Anna Margaret, born 1747, married Frederick Meverly;

·         Anna Mary, born 1748, married Charles Voight;

·         Elizabeth, born 1749;

and by Ann Regina:

·         Catherine, born 1753;

·         Barbara, born 1755;

·         Nicolaus (1757-1828), married Hannah Van Reed (1765-1825);

·         John, born 1759.

Anna Margaret Hillegas, a daughter of John Frederick Hillegas and Elizabeth Barbara Triegel, married Mathys Reichard (1719-1775), a son of John Frederick Reichard (1679-1748) and Anna Maria Wolpert (1685-1756).  They lived in New Hanover Township, Montgomery County.  They had six children, one of whom, George Peter Reichard, was a Colonel in the Philadelphia Militia during the Revolutionary War.  In subsequent generations the family adopted the surname Richards. Anna Margaret and Mathys’ children were:

·         Christina (1749-1778);

·         Elizabeth (1751-1821);

·         John (1753-1822);

·         George Peter (1755-1822), married Magdalene Schneider (1758-1822);

·         Mathias (1758-1830);

·         Anna Maria (1762-1816).

Anna Margaret Hillegas Reichard died January 6, 1773 in New Hanover, Montgomery County.

Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas married John Frey (1731-1820). They were members of the Falkner Swamp Reformed Church in Montgomery County.  They had eight children, all born in Montgomery County:

·         John (1750-1820);

·         Elizabeth Barbara (born 1757), married Samuel Bertoly;

·         George Jacob (born 1759);

·         George (born 1761);

·         Peter (1763-1846);

·         John Michael (born 1766);

·         Henry (born 1767)

·         Sophia (born 1769), married John Bernhard.

Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas Frey died August 15, 1817 in Montgomery County.

George Peter Hillegas married Anna Barbara Hornecker (1737-1812), a daughter of Rudolph and Magdalena Hornecker and who was by family tradition, of Swedish descent. George Peter and Anna Barbara were members of the New Goshenhoppen Reformed Church in New Hanover, Montgomery County.  He served in the Revolutionary War as a private, with the Continental Army from 1778-1780 and again with the Philadelphia County Militia in 1782. Their children were:

·         George Adam (born 1756?);

·         Johan Peter (1756-1827), married Anna Maria Maurer, a daughter of Andrew Maurer;

·         Frederich (1759-1827), married Anna Huber;

·         Anna Catherine (1761-1847), married Johannes Frederick Maurer (born 1766);

·         Elizabeth Barbara (1763-1842), married John Schell (1754-1825), a son of John Shell and Veronica Maurer – John and Elizabeth Barbara moved to Bedford County, Pennsylvania and founded the town of Schellsburg;

·         Johannes, born and died in 1766;

·         Eva Elizabeth (1768-1816), married Abraham Levi;

·         Johan George (1772-1816);

·         Maria Margaretha (1775-1864), married John George Hillegas (1771-1865), her first cousin once removed and the son of John Augustus Hillegas and Anna Maria Geri;

·         Johan Jacob (1777-1848), married Anna Maria Hellbart (1786-1864);

·         Magdalena (1780-1821), married George Ewault ( 1783-1829);

·         Johan Frederick (1782-1864);

·         and Heinrich.

George Peter Hillegas died September 8, 1810 in Montgomery County.

Conrad Hillegas and Anna Margaretta Schellenberger

Conrad Hillegas, the youngest son of John Frederick Hillegas and Elizabeth Barbara Triegel,  married Anna Margaretta Schellenberger, the daughter of Johannes Schellenberger and Maria Margaret Radelein. Anna Margaretta was the sister of Carl Schellenberger, who married Conrad’s niece Anna Margaret (a daughter of John Adam Hillegas and Anna Catherine Bitting). Anna Margaretta was born July 2, 1742 in Hatfield Township, near Souderton, Pennsylvania. Her father, Johannes, was a substantial landowner in Hatfield Township and a founding member of the Indian Creek German Reformed Church in Franconia Township.

Conrad and Anna Margaretta Schellenberger Hillegas had twelve children, as recorded in the 1790,  1800 and 1810 censuses. We know the names of ten of these children. The records of the New Goshenhoppen Church, of which they were members, indicates one daughter, Maria Catherina Hillegas, being born the very same day in 1787 that another daughter, also named Maria Catherina Hillegas, who had been born in 1783, was buried. This is another example of these families regularly naming newborn children after older siblings who had died. As we have described in the earlier chapters on the Yost family, three of Conrad’s and Anna Margaretta’s daughters married three sons of Johannes and Creth Yost. This included Elizabeth Barbara Hillegas and Daniel Yost (our line of ancestry), Eva Hillegas and Johan Peter Yost, and Susanna Hillegas and Johan Adam Yost. Conrad and Anna Margaretha frequently acted as sponsors for their children, nieces, and nephews at the christening of their babies at the Indian Creek and Falkner Swamp Reformed churches. The known children of Conrad and Anna Margaretta Schellenberger Hillegas are:

·         Johannes, born July 13, 1760, died June 4, 1774;

·         Eva, born August 20, 1764, married Johan Peter Yost and they were described in Chapter Three;

·         Elizabeth Barbara, born January 8, 1867, married Daniel Yost and they were described in Chapter Four;

·         Maria Margretha, born August 3, 1769, married Michael Dotterer, III (1766-1824), a son of Michael Dotterer, Jr. (1735-1811) and Anna E. Reiff (1741-1766);

·         Susanna, born May 3, 1771, married Johan Adam Yost and they were discussed in Chapter Three;

·         Fredericus (Frederick), born July 19, 1774, married Susannah Schellenberger (1796-1884);

·         Anna Maria, born August 14, 1775, married Jacob Ache (born about 1765), the son of Johan Herbert Ache (1724-1815) and Maria Paulina Puff (1742-1817);

·         Magdalena, born March 8, 1778;

·         Maria Catherina (I), born January 27, 1783 and died February 1787;

·         Maria Catherina (II), born February 7, 1787;

·         and Elizabeth, married Adam Schneider.

The children of Conrad Hillegas and Anna Margaretta Schellenberger

Maria Margaretha Hillegas and Michael Dotterer had two daughters. Mary Margaret was born October 15, 1795, married Mark Yerger (1792-1872), a son of Adam Yerger (1752-1831) and Margaret Kurtz (1770-1823), and died November 20, 1870.  Sarah Dotterer was born December 2, 1809, married George Kehl (1801-1839), a son of Anthony Kehl (1776-1836) and Barbara Maurer (1773-1852). Michael’s mother Anna died in childbirth when he was born, and his father remarried Anna’s younger sister, Catherine Reiff.  Michael and Maria Margaretha Dotterer and their family lived in New Hanover, Montgomery County.

Frederick Hillegas and Susannah Schellenberger had one daughter.  Margaret Hillegas was born December 18, 1818 in Upper Hanover, Montgomery County and was the first wife of Zebulon C. Gerhart (1815-1907), a son of Abraham Gerhart (1777-1861) and Maria Croll (1782-1874).  After Margaret died on July 24, 1848, Zebulon remarried, to Sarah Schwenk (1830-1891). Frederick Hillegas died August 3, 1826 and Susannah Schellenberger Hillegas continued to live in Upper Hanover, Montgomery County until her death on June 20, 1884.

Anna Maria Hillegas and Jacob Ache married at the New Goshenhoppen Reformed Church on May 31, 1794, had two children and lived in New Hanover, Montgomery County.  Their son Heinrich (1799-1831) married twice, first to Elizabeth and later to Margaret. Their daughter Margaretha (born about 1803) married Abraham Yeager.

We know nothing more of Johannes, Magdalena, Maria Catherina and Elizabeth, children of Conrad Hillegas and Anna Margaretha Schellenberger.

Conrad and Anna Margaretta resided in Upper Hanover Township near the former covered bridge on Knight Road. Anna Margaretta died November 3, 1820. Conrad died December 24, 1824 and left his land, his Bible, and his gun to his surviving son, Frederick.



Anna Margaretta Schellenberger was the wife of Conrad Hillegas and the great-great grandmother of Minnie E. Yost.  She was born July 2, 1742 in Hatfield, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Johannes Schellenberger and Maria Margaret Radelein. The family was a member of the Indian Creek Reformed Church. Anna Margaretta died on November 3, 1820 in Montgomery County. We have knowledge of her generation of Schellenberger's, her parents, and three of her grandparents.

Johannes Schellenberger and Maria Margaret Radelein

Johannes Schellenberger (born June 24, 1712, in Germany) arrived in Philadelphia from Rotterdam on the ship "Pennsylvania Merchant" on September 11, 1732, at the age of 20. Johannes parents were Hans Jurg Schellenberger (about 1685-1779) and Anna Margaretha Hug (born about 1769), both of Germany. Johannes married Maria Margaret Radelein (born April 26, 1722) by 1741, the daughter of Dietrich Radelein and believed to be the sister of Jacob and John Radelein, of the Tohickon Union Church in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Johannes purchased property in Hatfield Township from two of William Penn’s sons, acting as the Proprietors of Pennsylvania, under their fathers grant from the King. The property eventually consisted of 250 acres of the northernmost portion of Hatfield Township, on either side of the present railroad.

Johannes was naturalized on September 25, 1740 along with a number of men who helped found the Indian Creek Church. His name appears on a cornerstone of the Church, dated 1754, that is still part of the present church building. He and each of his sons served in the Hatfield Township Company of the Philadelphia Militia during the Revolutionary War. He and his wife are buried in the Leidy burial ground, across Leidy Road from the Immanuel Leidy Church, southwest of Souderton. Johannes died March 31, 1795, and Margaret died March 3, 1800.

There are some on-line genealogies which indicate Johannes had an earlier wife than Maria Margaret, namely Anna Catherina Kamp, and had two children by her in the late 1730’s.  No documentation of this relationship other than internet family trees has been found.

 The twelve children of Johannes and Margaret Schellenberger were:

·         Wilhelmina, born in 1741;

·         Anna Margaretta, born July 2, 1742, married Conrad Hillegas;

·         Anna Elizabeth, born May 16, 1747, married John George Sheib;

·         Anna Catherine, born 1749, married Phillip Nusspickel;

·         Charles (Carl), born April 3, 1751, married Anna Margaret Hillegas;

·         Conrad, born November 5, 1753, married Eva Leidy;

·         John M., born February 16, 1756, married Elizabeth Sorber;

·         Margarethe, born February 26, 1758;

·         Henry, born October 9, 1761, married Elizabeth Beitman;

·         Jacob, born February 16, 1764, married Christina Yost;

·         Phillip, born 1770, married first a Susanna, then a Magdalena;

·         Eva, born April 18, 1769, married Henry Weisel.

The children of Johannes Schellenberger and Maria Margaret Radelein

Wilhelmina, the first daughter of Johannes and Margaret Schellenberger, died in 1780 at the age of 39.

Anna Elizabeth Schellenberger, the third daughter of Johannes and Margaret, and John George Sheib (born August 10, 1744 in Germantown) married in 1769. George was the son of Johan Adam (1709-1778) and Katherina Scheib, who was Johan Adam's third wife.  Johan Adam emigrated from Germany to Philadelphia in 1741 with his first wife and oldest son. Johan Adam and his sons were all in the Bucks County militia during the Revolutionary War, and Henry, a step-brother of John George, was in charge of 1000 Hessian prisoners captured at the Battle of Trenton. Anna Elizabeth Schellenberger and John George Scheib had five children, all were members of the Indian Creek Reformed Church in Franconia Township, Montgomery County, and all lived nearby in either Montgomery or Bucks County.  The children of Anna Elizabeth Schellenberger and John George Sheib were:

·         John (1771-1818), who in 1795 at Indian Creek married Catherine Heller (1774-1860), a daughter of George C. Heller, Jr. (1731-1808) and Mary Elizabeth Keiper (1735-1800);

·         Anna Margaret (1775-1856), who became the wife of George Ludwig Weisel (1775-1862) in 1796, George being a son of Michael Weisel (1720-1796) and Maria Magdalena Trauch (1732-1796);

·         Elizabeth (1777-1863), who married in 1799 Jacob Gerhart (1775-1840), a son of Jacob Schmidt Gerhart (1750-1829) and Elizabeth Dotterer (1751-1820);

·         Catherine (born 1780) who married Jacob Seipel;

·         and John George, Jr. (1783-1823).

John George Sheib (Sr.) died in Hilltown, Bucks County on September 10, 1815, and Anna Elizabeth Schellenberger Sheib died in Hilltown on October 19, 1834.

Anna Catherine,  Johannes and Margaret Schellenberger's fourth daughter, married Phillip Nusspickel (1752-1793). They were members of the Tohickon Union Reformed Church in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. We only know of one child born from this union, a daughter Elizabeth, who was born on August 13, 1793, after her father had died earlier that year.  Anna Catherine died in 1794, leaving Elizabeth as an orphaned infant. 

Charles (Carl) Schellenberger, the first son of Johannes and Margaret Schellenberger, married Anna Margaretha Hillegas (born February 26, 1758), a daughter of John Adam Hillegas and Anne Catherine Bitting (John Adam and Anne Catherine were discussed earlier).  Carl Schellenberger served in the Philadelphia County militia during the Revolutionary War and his family, including most of his children's families, lived in and around Hatfield, Montgomery County.  There were at least 10 children of Carl and Anna Margaretha:

·         Maria Margaret (1776-1845) married Jacob Helker;

·         Elizabeth (1778-1848) married Martin Funk;

·         Anna Catherine was born in 1779;

·         Magdalena was born in 1781;

·         Anna Maria (1783-1862) married Henry Cope (1786-1864) in the Tohickon Union Church, Bucks County in 1812;

·         Eva (1784-1785);

·         Eva (1788-1825) married Barnt Heller (1781-1868) in 1813 in Bucks County;

·         Susanna (1791-1884) married Joseph Lunn;

·         George (1793-1848) married first, Catherine Scholl (1796-1825) in 1822 in Montgomery County and then Barbara Detweiler (born 1802) in 1827 in Bucks County;

·         Jacob (1797-1867) believed to have married Elizabeth Springer in 1820 in Montgomery County, and later married Mary Magdalena

Anna Margaretha Hillegas Schellenberger and her husband, Charles Carl Schellenberger both died in Hatfield, Montgomery County.  Anna Margaretha died on June 25, 1824, and Charles Carl died on September 30, 1832.

Conrad Schellenberger was the second son of Johannes and Maria Margaret Schellenberger and he married Eva Christina Leidy (1759-1826), a daughter of Carl Ludwig Leidy (1729-1785) and Ursula Elizabeth Seipel (1734-1786). The Leidy's lived in Franconia Township, Montgomery County where Carl Ludwig and Eva Christina were born (Ursula was born in Germany), then in Rockhill Township, Bucks County, and in Hilltown, Bucks County, where they died.  Conrad served in the Bucks County militia during the Revolutionary War. We know of nine children of Conrad and Eva, the first of whom was born in Rockhill Twp., and the remainder were born in Hilltown:

·         Elizabeth (1778-1806), married Jacob Datesman (born 1775);

·         Anna Margaretha (born 1780), married George Mumbaurer in 1824;

·         Eva (born 1782), married John Wart of Bedminster, Bucks County;

·         Mary, born in 1790;

·         John Leidy (1791-1882), in 1815 married Catherine Snyder (1797-1833), a daughter of Jacob Snyder (1765-1823) and Elizabeth Yost (1778-1872), and after Catherine's death married Elizabeth Harr (1805-1884);

·         Hannah (1793-1821), married John Jacob Trauger (1783-1855), a son of Johan Christian Trauger (1754-1804) and Esther Lightcap;

·         Susanna (1796-1884), believed to have married either or both of Fredericus Hillegas (1774-1826), son of Conrad and Margaretha Hillegas (who will be discussed shortly) and John Drumbore;

·         Jacob Leidy (1800-1867), married Magdalena Mumbaurer (1802-1880);

·         Anna (1802-1868), married George S. Mumbaurer (1801-1887), a son of John Phillip Mumbaurer (1749-1834) and Barbara Spinner (1802-1868).

Eva Christina Leidy Schellenberger and her husband, Conrad Schellenberger, both died in Hilltown, Bucks county.  Eva died February 13, 1826 and Conrad died June 2, 1839.

John M. Schellenberger was the third son of Johannes Schellenberger and Maria Margaret Radelein.  He married Elizabeth Sorber in the Tohickon Union Church in Bedminster, Bucks County on February 6, 1781.  Two of their daughters, Elizabeth and Rachel, married immigrant sons of Andreas Hettmansperger (1715-1772) and Christina Eberly (1755-1815) of Germany, who had Anglicized their name to Headman. John and Elizabeth lived in Trumbauersville and Hilltown in Bucks County and had at least nine children, including:

·         Maria Margaret (1782-1784) who died as an infant;

·         Elizabeth (1786-1870), who in 1799 married Andreas Headman (1781-1852);

·         John (1788-1850), who on February 7, 1809 at the Tohickon Union Church married Elizabeth Kolb (1785-1872), a daughter of Michael Kolb (1748-1831) and Maria Margaret Leidy (1758-1835);

·         Jacob (1792-1856);

·         Rachel (1794-1877), who on November 12, 1815 married Michael Headman (1789-1876);

·         Wilhelmina (1796-1800) who died as an infant;

·          Samuel (1797-1868), who in 1832 married Hannah Cressman (1806-1898), a daughter of Abraham Cressman (1781-1863) and Susanna Weldin (1780-1870);

·         Anna Schellenberger (1806 - 1822), who died at a young age;

·         and Maria Magdalena (1811-1879), who on June 6, 1841 at the Tohickon Union Church, married Wilhelm Magel (1795-1844), a son of Daniel Magel (1759-1843) and Maria Heany (1767-1848). Wilhelm died within three years of their wedding, leaving Maria Magdalena with two infants.

John M. Schellenberger died October 12, 1822 in Bucks County.  HIs wife, Elizabeth Sorber Schellenberger died in 1832.

Margarethe Schellenberger, the eighth child of Johannes Schellenberger and Maria Margaret Radelein, died in Hatfield, Montgomery County in 1821 at the age of 63.

Henry Schellenberger, the ninth child of Johannes Schellenberger and Maria Margaret Radelein, married twice.  His first wife was Elizabeth Bietelman (born 1760), who he married at the Tohickon Union Church on June 20, 1783, and who apparently died shortly after the birth of Henry, Jr. in 1785.  His second wife was Barbara Schmid and they married on November 26, 1786 at the Falkner Swamp Reformed Church.  Henry and Barbara had at least four children, John (born November 15, 1787), Elizabeth (born in 1790), Anna (born October 24, 1793), and Susanna (born November 30, 1795). Henry, Jr. married Sarah Rudy and moved to Ohio. The other four children share common names with many of their first cousins, and while we do not specifically know their spouses, some researchers have attributed John to having married Elizabeth Kolb (who is described above as the wife of John, son of John M. Schellenberger) and some have indicated Susanna as having married Fredericus Hillegas (described above as the husband of Susanna, daughter of Conrad Schellenberger). Henry Schellenberger died in January, 1860 in Bucks County.

Jacob Schellenberger, the tenth child of Johannes and Maria Margaret Radelein, married Christina Yost, the sixth child of Johannes Jost and Marie Elizabeth Schneider. This family was described in Chapter Three.

Eva Schellenberger was the eleventh child of Johannes Schellenberger and Maria Margaret Radelein.  She married Henry Weisel (born in 1760) in 1778.  He was a son of German immigrants, who married in Pennsylvania, Michael Weisel (1720-1796) and Maria Magdalena Trauch (1732-1796).  Henry served in the Bucks County militia from May 1780 to July 1781 during the Revolutionary War.  Henry and Eva had six children, all born in Bedminster, Bucks County:

·         Susanna (1788-1862) married John Phillip Fluck (1784-1834) in 1811 at the Tohickon Union Church. He was a son of John Fluck (1750-1841) and Magdalena Leidy (1754-1816);

·         George (1790-1863) married Catherine Fluck (1792-1878), his sister-in-law (the sister of John Phillip) in 1812 at Tohickon Church;

·         Joseph (1793-1873) married twice. His first wife was Maria Vollmer (1799-1828), the daughter of Daniel Follmer (1764-1826) and Catherine Sallade Solliday (1774-1843), and their wedding was at Tohickon Church in 1818.  Within a year of Maria's death, Joseph married Sarah Ruhe (born in 1810);

·         John Henry (1796-1842) married Elizabeth Seipel (1802-1889) in the Tohickon Church in 1820.  Elizabeth was a daughter of Jacob Seiple and Catherine Scheib (born in 1780);

·         Maria (1802-1884) married Henry Eckel in 1820 at the Tohickon Church. Henry was a son of John Eckel (1772-1838) and Magdalena Hartzell (1773-1838). Between 1840-1850 this family moved from Bucks County to Tremont, Schuylkill County;

·         Samuel (1804-1889) married Catherine Solliday (1807-1891) in Tohickon Church in 1829. Catherine was a daughter of Peter Solliday(1783-1869) and Magdalena Godshalk (1785-1851) and was the first cousin of Maria Vollmer, Samuel's brother Joseph's first wife. Samuel and Catherine married 14 months after Maria's death.

Henry and Eva Schellenberger Weisel both died in Bedminster, Bucks County, Henry on May 26, 1830 and Eva on April 8, 1855.

Phillip Schellenberger was the twelfth child of Johannes Schellenberger and Maria Margaret Radelein and he married Elizabeth Susanna Appel (1770-1837). Phillip was a tavern owner.  Their first child was baptized at the Tohickon Union Church in Bedminster, Bucks County.  Later children were baptized at the Indian Creek Reformed Church in Franconia Township, Montgomery County.  Phillip and Susanna had ten children:

·         Magdalena (1789-1802);

·         Maria (born 1790);

·         John (born and died in 1791);

·         George (1792-1848), married Catherine Zearfoss (1801-1877) a daughter of Benjamin Zearfoss and Matilda Weaver, and they lived in Kulpsville, Montgomery County;

·         Elizabeth (born in 1793), married George Solliday (1786-1840), a son of Jacob Solliday (1747-1825) and Barbara Loux (1754-1829), and they lived in Nockamixon, Bucks County;

·         Jesse (born 1793);

·         Henry (1795-1868), married Susan Summers (1797-1871), a daughter of Nicholas Summers (1767-1854) and Ann Hoover (1776-1827), and lived in Philadelphia;

·         Michael (1798-1870), married twice, to Ann Miller and Matilda Ott;

·         John (1800-1864), was a hotel keeper and lived in Philadelphia;

·         Barbara (born and died in 1802).

Elizabeth Susanna Appel Schellenberger died in 1837 and Phillip Schellenberger died in Hilltown, Bucks County in 1850.

Both Johannes Schellenberger and Maria Margaret Radelein Schellenberger died in Hatfield, Montgomery County.  Johannes died March 31, 1795 and Maria Margaret died March 3, 1800.




NOTE - Presently under revision.  Parts on the Gregory, Colonna, and Monks family will be added as they are completed.