A Pefley Family Lineage of 450 Years-Signau to Las VegasUpdated October 29, 2006
It took thirteen generations to arrive at where we are according to the title of this web site. In starts and stops for over 40 years I have inquired into the lives of three people who lived in the early 18th century in Europe and British Colonial America with the goal of tracing where they came from in Europe, how they got to America, and what they did with their lives in America. Two of these people are my direct
ancestors,i.e.,Nicholas Pfaffli,Paffli,or, according to the ship's list spelling, Peffel or Peffell, and his wife Barbara. Barbara's second husband, Peter Bicksler,Sr.,played a most important part in the lives of my first two American ancestors.
Recently published genealogical data on the Pefley family has provided authoritative confirmation of the spelling of the family name in Europe and the places the family resided as early as 1552.
We are now in the close range of the 300th anniversary of the births of all three of the subject individuals. It is entirely appropriate to remember and celebrate the lives of these brave pioneer settlers who helped create the beginnings of the United States of America.
A "late in the study" interpretation of the relationship between Peter Bicksler,Sr. and Barbara Peffley, daughter of Nicholas and Barbara, provides an element of genealogical intrigue. Read on!
When I began this investigation in earnest about six years ago,this being 02/19/06, I had no idea that this study would become involved with the earliest Bicksler/Bixler genealogy, but the trail has led in this direction and I have followed it.
What follows on the Family Tree Maker's Genealogy site represents my understanding of how the lives of Nicholas and Barbaraunfolded. The factual pieces of the picture are few and far between, but when the documented facts are placed in the historical context of the times, both in Europe and America, the story is quite plausable.
This started out being a study to satisfy my curiosity, but has evolved into what is a link for my children and grandchildren to their Pefley heritage. The factual material and pictures of the family cemetery and original log house, graciously provided by John S. Bicksler, have added a warm, human dimension to the story. He also loaned me his copy of the Bicksler/Bixler Family book, long out of print. This allowed me to add dates to the early Peffley/Bicksler children thereby making the story chronologically correct.
During the Summer of 2002, the original homestead house was dismantled, see new photographs.
HOMESTEAD LOG HOUSE
BETHEL TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA
1737 - 2002
There are no very early surviving drawings of the 265 year old log house built by Nicholas Pfaffli and Peter Bicksler, but the pictures we do have that were taken just before its disassembly in July,2002 show very clearly what it looked like in the early days
Mr. William B. Yates, a professional barn and log house restorer, of Pipersville, PA is going to rebuild the house to its original specifications on his property north of Philadelphia.
During its life in Bethel Township the log house has progressed from a pioneer settler's home through several generations of prosperous farmers, and now finally back to its original appearance as the home of a dedicated log house restorer.
To open the book "Signau to Las Vegas" from this page click on the book name; then click on Contents, and in the Table of Contents go to Register Report of Nicholas Peffley. This will open the main discussion. The Family Photos open by clicking on the title. Unfortunately, FamilyTreeMaker does not allow the photographs to be placed in a logical sequence.Try as I may, I have not been able to include Barbara in the list of the five children ofNicholas and Barbara in the Register Report of Nicholas Peffley. I will keep working on fixing this glitch. The Barbara information in the text and charts is correct. Also, Jensen Beach should read Las Vegas.
2071 Mountain City Street
- A new spelling of our name, #12 (85 KB)
The best way to use this list is to print it out and refer to the warrantee map. #12, A,B,warrent dated March 2,1737 to Nicholas PESSELY, also note warrent 55 to Peter Bixler and warrent 54 to Peter Bixler,jr.
- The Granite Plaque (136 KB)
This plaque marks the site of the family grave yard and provides the link between the Pfaffli and Bicksler families.
- Last Pictures (69 KB)
This is one of several pictures taken three weeks prior to the final disassembly of the homestead log house.
- Other Bixler Warrants (122 KB)
Please print out and use with the Warrantee Map
- Modern DairyBarn (164 KB)
This photograph, taken by David Pefley in 1986, is a view of the modern dairy barn which replaced the barn destroyed by fire which was built by Peter and Nicholas in the early 1700's.
- Another Final Picture (170 KB)
Another view in June 2002 just before the log house was dismantled
- Signiture and Marks (110 KB)
Signiture of Jacob PAFFLI, son of Nicholas and Barbara, and marks of Barbara II and Peter,Sr.
- Original Homestead House (145 KB)
The original house has been "modernized" with siding, etc. Photograph taken in 1986.
- Log House, June 2002 (199 KB)
My last visit a few weeks prior to dismantling. Diana Pefley and Bogey are included
- FAMILY CEMETERY 2001 (58 KB)
Here are three generations of Bickslers preparing to perform the annual beautification of the Pfaffli/Bicksler family cemetery. This much appreciated work was donethis year by Dennis Ray Bicksler, his son Andrew Dennis Bicksler and (on the right) great grandpa John Samuel Bicksler.
- Hand Hewn Logs (97 KB)
Hand hewn logs are revealed when the "modern" siding is removed. Photograph taken in 1986.
- WIESLOCH, GERMANY 2005 (55 KB)
Preserved town wall & David Pefley
- CemeteryBeautification In Progress 2001 (47 KB)
Here John and Andrew Bicksler are mowing the knoll which contains the graves of our first American ancestors. Note the granite plaque and just above it one of the plain stone grave markers.
- Topographic Map, Bethel Twp (73 KB)
The Hole Among the Hills farm and the 300 acre Jacob/David farm are highlighted
- WIESLOCH, GERMANY (46 KB)
Remains of Wiesloch town wall.
- Homestead Area Map & Granite Plaque (64 KB)
Area map is from the 1938 Frost book; the Signau postmark was aquired on a trip to Switzerland.
- Aerial Photograph (103 KB)
Hole Among The Hills farm and 300 acre farm are in the central part of the circles.
- WIESLOCH, GERMANY 2005 (50 KB)
Preserved town well & Diana Pefley
- THIS OLD HOUSE (63 KB)
In November/December 2001, Mr.William B. Yates of Pipersville,PA was in the process of dismantling the 265 year old Pfaffli/Bicksler homestead house. Mr. Yates intends to rebuild the original story and a half log cabin. Picture dated December 1, 2001 courtesy of John, Dennis, and Dale Bicksler. Mr. Yates recently (03-30-02) sent me three "rose-head" hand made nails, circa early 1700's, taken from the homestead house. What a treasure!
- Another Aerial Photograph (78 KB)
A closer view of The Hole Among The Hills farm.
- COMPOUND DOVETAIL JOINTS (99 KB)
The compound dovetail joints at all four corners of the log cabin connected the squared oak and chestnut hand-hewn adzed logs. Clay caulking completed the wall. Two layers of much later added siding are stripped away. Bicksler photo,12/1/01
- This is about as close as we can get. (84 KB)
Pioneer cemetery is shown. John S. Bicksler lovingly cares for the cemetery site with frequent mowings and landscaping. He reports (08-15-01) there are 11 stones for the nine burial sites. The granite marker, dedicated by John S. Bicksler in 1985 is located at the cemetery; the picture of the cows, barn, with Blue Mt. in the background was taken in 1986 from the cemetery site.
- FIRST FLOOR INTERIOR (102 KB)
This picture of the interior first floor shows the lath and plaster stripped log walls and early ,and much latter. window frames. Bicksler photo, 12/1/01.
- BETHEL TWP. WARRANTEE MAP (175 KB)
This is a part of the Connected Warrantee Township map of Bethel Township, Berks County, PA.
- SUMMER KITCHEN (111 KB)
The Summer Kitchen/ bunkhouse attached outbuilding appears to have been nearly completed c.1840. The story and a half original log cabin started 265 years ago was truly a work in progress, through a major expansion in c. 1840 right up to the adding of the TV antenna. Mr. Yates estimates it took Nicholas and Peter,Sr. one and one half years to build the original log cabin. In conjunction with this construction they were also building a log barn. Bicksler photo,12/1/01