(Note: The surname appears as Kisling, Kesling, Keesling, Keasler and various other spellings in old documents. We are unsure which spelling was used by the family.)
Our 4th great grandfather Johann Georg Kisling was born February 17, 1734, in Truchtelfingen, Balingen, Württemberg, Germany. He was one of at least six children born to Hans Jakob Kissling and Ursula Katharine Herter.
Georg was only seven years of age when his father died in 1741. We believe the family was fairly wealthy, by the standards of that time, as Georg's mother did not have to marry again after the death of her husband, even though she had children still at home at the time.
Ship records show that on October 17, 1749, Georg and his older brother Hans Jacob (spelled Kisling on ship records) arrived at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, aboard the ship Fane. The brothers traveled under the care of a family friend and neighbor, Martin Muller and his wife and children. Georg was about 15 years of age at the time.
Mrs. Audry Kemper Spence, in her book The Keesling Family, indicated that after their arrival in Pennsylvania, the boys "spent their first winter helping Martin Muller to establish his farm in the wilds of Berks County, north and west of Philadelphia. In the spring, they set about clearing near by plots for themselves."
Georg married our 4th great grandmother Anna Maria Muller in April 1758, in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Anna Maria Muller was born November 7, 1742, in Freuchtelfingen, Balingen, Württemberg, Germany. She was the daughter of Martin Muller and Maria Agnes Schayrer, under whose care Georg and his brother had traveled from Germany to America.
Martin Muller was born June 11, 1705, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany and died 1792, in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Maria Agnes Schayrer was born April 25, 1706, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Martin Mueller ran the mill in Truchtelfingen, Germany. The Mueller name was often spelled Miller after the immigration to America.
After their marriage, Georg and Anna settled on Georg's farm in the vicinity of Kutztown, in Maxatawny Township of Berks County, Pennsylvania, about 15 miles north of Reading, Pennsylvania. Georg's brother Hans Jacob Kisling and his wife Walburga Muller (Anna Maria's sister) settled on Jacob's farm located on the south side of the river in Bern Township of Berks County.
On September 22, 1766, in Berks County, Pennsylvania, both Johann Georg and his brother Hans Jacob took sacrament and subscribed the Oath and Allegiance to King George II, which entitled them to become citizens and natural born subjects of Great Britian.
Georg's mother died March 28, 1769, in Germany. Her will was probated June 17, 1769, in which she named two sons, Hans Jerg (Johann Georg), whose occupation was a mason, and Hans Jacob, whose occupation was a miller, both apprentice in Pennsylvania. Michael E. Keesling relates that Georg received an inheritance of 90 Florins, 26 Kreuzer and 4 Heller German currency, beyond what he had obtained before from his mother's estate.
It is believed that Georg (listed as George Kissling) served in the Revolutionary War in Capt. George Kemp's Company of the Berks County Militia, along with his sons, George, Jr. and Conrad.
Harold Charles Keesling in his writings in 1938, relates that by 1776 Georg had acquired some 600 acres of land, and within another three years he had increased his holdings to 3000 acres and had entered into the liquor business as a distiller. Keesling uses as proof an entry in the Register of Property, Berks County, Maxatawny township, 1779 which shows: George Kessling, distiller, 3000 acres, 11 horses, 12 cattle; tax 4 pounds, 10 shillings, 4 pence (4/10/4). Keesling states that "this may have been a clerical error and should possibly read as 300 acres." In 1781 Georg was taxed on 2 stills and 350 acres.
It is unclear exactly when Georg Kisling moved to Virginia. Georg last appeared on Berks County, Pennsylvania tax records in 1785. Michael E. Kessling relates that Pennsylvania records show "a Funding Tax of over 13 pounds State and over 13 pounds County was assessed on George Kissling and George Kissling, Jr. in 1783. It was recorded that Tax Collector George Kemp was allowed a deficiency upon the items of Georg and George, Jr. According to three different historical researchers that I have spoken to, the deficiency only means that the tax was not collected at that time. The tax assessment could have been contested or payment extension for a later date could have been set at the time of collection. This seems to have been a common occurrence during the Revolutionary War years. In 1784, a Return and Assessment was recorded on Georg Kisling for 2 stills, 200 acres, 5 horses, 3 cattle and 6 sheep. George, Jr. was assessed and taxed on 1/4 acre. A supplies tax of Maxatawny township in 1785 was assessed on George Kissling, Sr., George Kissling, Jr., single freeman and Conrad Kissling, single freeman. A deficiency was allowed to Henry Grim, collector on this tax collection. This was the last recorded record of George Kissling, Sr. in Pennsylvania. George, Jr. and Conrad appeared on the 1786 Maxatawny supplies tax; but this was the last record of them in Pennsylvania."
Georg's older brother Jacob Kisling, drowned in the Schuylkill River, in Berks County, on February 4, 1784. According to the Orphans Court records on March 25, 1784, Jacob Kissling, above the age of 14, son of Jacob Kissling, chooses George Kissling as his guardian. On February 8, 1785, Walburga Kissling, widow and administratrix of Jacob Kissling, dec'd, reported the sale of Jacob's property to George Kissling of Maxatawny township for 1201 pounds.
We believe Georg moved to Montgomery County, Virginia, by late 1785. Records indicate that Georg's two oldest sons, George, Jr. and Conrad, remained in Pennsylvania until about 1786, at which time they also moved to Montgomery County.
The 1787 Montgomery County Personal Property Tax list, dated March 31, 1787, shows George Keasler with 3 tithes, listed as Geo Keasler, Sr., Geo Keasler and Konrad Keasler, 4 horses and 4 cattle. George, Jr. and Conrad were still single and living at home.
Georg Kisling died in Montgomery (now Wythe) County on June 3, 1788. We do not know when Anna Kisling died. We believe she was the female over the age of 45 listed with her daughter Pheobe and husband Jacob Kisling on the 1810 Wythe County census.
Children of Georg Kisling and Anna Muller
1. George Kissling, Jr. was born 1759, in Berks Co, PA.
2. Conrad Kissling was born 1762, in Berks Co, PA.
3. Phillipina Pheobe Keisling was born Feb 9, 1763, in Berks Co, PA. She married her double-first-cousin Jacob Kisling on Feb 6, 1787, in Montgomery Co, VA. Jacob Kisling was born Mar 1764, in Berks Co, PA. He was the son of Hans Jakob Kisling (brother to Pheobe's father Johann Georg Kisling) and Walburga Muller (sister to Pheobe's mother Anna Maria). Muller). Jacob Kisling served in the Revolutionary War in PA. Jacob moved to Montgomery (Wythe) Co, VA abt 1786. He owned a grist mill in Wythe Co. Jacob Keesling was listed on the 1810 Wythe Co census as a male 26-44; 2 males under 10; a female (Pheobe) 26-44; a female 16-25; 2 females under 10; and a female over 45 (probably Pheobe's mother, Anna). The family returned to PA prior to 1820 and settled in Bern Township in Berks County. The 1820 Berks Co, PA, Lower Bern Twp census, dated Aug 7, 1820, shows Jacob Kissling, a male over 45; one male 16-25; one male under 10; and one female (Pheobe) over 45 years of age. Jacob purchased 140 acres in Bern township on Aug 15, 1820. On Apr 8, 1824, Jacob Kissling, yeoman, sold 70 acres of land to Valentine Epler, for $1500, and 70 acres to Jacob Miller for $1500 (Berks Co Deed Book 33). As Pheobe's name was not recorded as being part of either of these Bern township land transactions, it is possible she died between Aug 7, 1820, when the census was taken, and Aug 15, 1820, when the first land transaction occurred. Jacob died prior to 1830, in Bern Co, PA. Jacob and Pheobe had several children. Their children (b. Wythe Co, VA) may have included: (1) George Keesling, b. abt 1790; (2) Anna Maria "Mary" Keesling, b. abt 1794; (3) John Keesling, b. abt 1800; (4) Elizabeth Keesling, b. Sept 30, 1804; m. Gabriel Long in 1828, Lancaster Co, PA; (5) Jacob Keesling, b. abt 1808; and (6) Conrad Keesling, b. abt 1812
4. Anna Maria Kissling was born Apr 17, 1765, in Berks Co, PA. She died a month later on May 26, 1765, in Berks Co.
5. Catherine Kissling was born Sept 11, 1768, in Berks Co, PA. She may have married Abraham Fillinger. It is believed Catherine died May 19, 1832, in Henry Co, IN.
6. Jacob Kissling was born Apr 17, 1770, in Berks Co, PA. He died two months later in June 1770, in Berks Co. (A few years later Georg and Anna named another son Jacob.)
7. Christina Keisling was born 1774, in Berks Co, PA. She married John Miller on Feb 13, 1798, in Wythe Co, VA. John Miller was born 1774, in Berks Co, PA. John may have migrated to VA abt 1786. Prior to 1814, John and Christina migrated to Wayne Co, IN. John died in 1823, in Wayne Co, IN. The 1850 Wayne Co, IN census shows Christina Miller, 74, living with her youngest son, William Miller and his family. Christina died prior to 1860, probably in Wayne Co, IN. We do not know how many children were born to John and Christina, but we believe their children included: (1) Eve Miller, b. Apr 5, 1799, Wythe Co, VA; d. 1870, IN; (2) Rosanna Miller, b. Feb 4, 1801, Wythe Co, VA; d. 1862, IN; (3) Christina Miller, b. 1803, Wythe Co, VA; (4) Elizabeth Miller, b. Feb 5, 1806, Wythe Co, VA; d. 1876, IN; (5) John Miller, b. Feb 2, 1809, Wythe Co, VA; and (6) William Miller, b. Oct 13, 1914, IN; m. Mary Ann Brattain on Dec 19, 1833, Wayne Co, IN
8. Sara Rosanna Keisling was born June 25, 1780, in Berks Co, PA. She married Jacob Goss on Aug 21, 1796, in Wythe Co, VA. Jacob Goss was born July 8, 1779, in Montgomery (Wythe) Co, VA. The family raised their family in Wythe Co. Jacob signed his will on Nov 21, 1845, in Wythe Co. He died January 2, 1846. His will was probated in Feb 1846. He had deeded 140 acres to his son John, but bequeathed to him the sum of $50. Son Levi inherited the plantation on Reed Creek, and son Darius received 300 acres for his share. To his wife Rosana, he left all lands and any personal estate she thought needful, and the balance was sold and proceeds divided among the three living daughters, Rosana Painter (wife of Joel), Sophronia Powers, and Catherine Chatwell. After his wife's death, the land was to be sold. The executer was Darius Gose and witnesses were Joel Painter, George Porter, and James W. Ward. Sara died between 1846 and 1850, in Wythe Co. Jacob and Sara are buried in Zion Lutheran Church Cem, Crockett, Wythe Co, VA. Children, all born in Wythe Co, included: (1) Maria Barbara Goss, b. Feb 28, 1798; d. bef 1845; (2) John Goss, b. Nov 11, 1799; m. Mary Yost on Aug 11, 1825, Wythe Co; (3) Rosanna Goss, b. Dec 5, 1801; d. Mar 20, 1877, Wythe Co; m. Joel Painter on Nov 2, 1820, Wythe Co; (4) Levi Goss, b. June 16, 1804; m. Mary "Polly" Davis; (5) Darius Goss, b. Oct 17, 1806; m. Jane A. Wampler on Oct 29, 1829, Wythe Co; (6) Sophia Goss, b. Feb 5, 1809; d. bef 1845; (7) Sophronia Goss, b. July 17, 1811; m. Joseph Powers on Dec 8, 1831, Wythe Co; (8) Catherine Goss, b. Oct 16, 1813; m. Strother Chatwell on Oct 24, 1833, Wythe Co; and (9) Anna Maria Goss, b. July 25, 1817; d. bef 1845
9. Jacob Keesling was born May 21, 1783, in Berks Co, PA. (our line)