Hans Jakob Kisling was born September 27, 1729, in Truchtelfingen, Balingen, Württemberg, Germany. He was the son of Hans Jakob Kissling and Ursula Katharine Herter. His name appears as Jacob in old documents.
Jacob was about twelve years of age when his father died in 1741. The family was apparently fairly wealthy, by the standards of that time, as Jacob's mother did not have to marry again after the death of her husband, even though she had young children still at home.
Ship records show that on October 17, 1749, Hans Jacob and his younger brother Georg (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. Jacob was about 20 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."
Jacob married Walburga Muller on March 11, 1752, in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Walburga Muller was born July 11, 1731, in Freuchtelfingen, Balingen, Württemberg, Germany. She was the daughter of Martin Muller and Maria Agnes Schayrer, under whose care Jacob 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, Jacob and Walburga settled on Jacob's farm located on the south side of the river in Bern Township of Berks County, Pennsylvania. Jacob's brother Hans Georg Kisling and his wife Anna Maria Muller (Walburga's sister) settled on Georg's farm in the vicinity of Kutztown, in Maxatawny Township of Berks County, Pennsylvania, about 15 miles north of Reading, Pennsylvania.
On September 22, 1766, in Berks County, Pennsylvania, both Hans Jacob and his brother Johann Georg 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.
Jacob'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 Hans Jacob received an inheritance of 108 florin, 21 Kreuzer and 4 1/2 Heller German currency from his mother's estate.
Jacob served during the Revolutionary War as a 2nd Lieutenant, in the 3rd Battalion, Capt. Jacob Whetstone's Company, under the name Jacob Kislinger.
Pennsylvania tax records show that In 1778, Jacob was living in Bern township on 50 acres of land, with two horses and four cows. In 1779, he was assessed a tax on 25 acres in Alsace township. In 1780 and up to the time of his death in 1784, he was listed as living in Bern township and owning 106 acres with 4 horses and 4 head of cattle.
From 1776 to 1783, Jacob and Walburga were listed often in records of Trinity Lutheran Church in Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1783, Jacob was listed as a Deacon of the church.
Jacob Kisling died February 27, 1784, in a drowning accident in the Schuylkill River near his home in Berks County. He is buried in the old cemetery of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Reading, Pennsylvania.
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 Georg Kisling of Maxatawny township for 1201 pounds.
After the death of her husband, Walburga, sold the land in Alsace township to pay certain debts. Later she sold some of the land in Bern township to her brother-in-law Georg Kisling, for which he paid 1,201 pounds. Walburga's son, Martin Kisling, purchased part of his father's property for 600 pounds, and her son Jacob, Jr., purchased another portion amounting to 102 acres in Bern township for 775 pounds.
The 1790 Berks County, Pennsylvania census shows Walburga living alone in Bern township. It appears that all of her children had left that general area by that time.
Walburga signed her will on January 28, 1795, in Berks County. She died May 26, 1796, in Berks County. She was buried beside her husband in the old cemetery of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Walburga's will was probated June 4, 1796. Michael E. Keesling relates that the will is written in German and mentions sons Martin, John, Jacob, and daughter Maria Ageniss (Agnes). Executors, son Sebastien and son-in-law Jacob Bright, married to daughter Barbara.
Keesling relates that the following was taken from burial records of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Berks County, Pa. I have retained the original spelling of all names. "Waldburga, relict of Jacob Kissling, NEE Miller, born 11 July 1731 in (T)Fruchtelfingen, Balinger Amt., Wurttemburg, Germany. Came to America in her 18th year. Was married in her 23rd year. Had 10 children 4 S and 2 D surviving and 19 grandchildren. Her husband was drowned in the Schuylkill. A widow for 12 years, 3 M, 3 W, and 1 day. Melancholy and finally deranged. Died 26th instant, aged 64 years, 10 months, and 1 day."
All of Jacob and Walburga's children were born in Bern Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Three children, Jacob, Mary Barbara and Anna Maria were baptized at the Trinity Lutheran Church. Three sons, Martin, Jacob and John served in the Revolutionary War.
Children of Hans Jacob Kisling and Walburga Muller
1. Maria Agnes Keesling was born about 1754, in Berks Co, PA. She married Abraham Kissinger. Maria Agnes died Oct 27, 1838, in Berks Co
2. Martin Keesling was born about 1756, in Berks Co, PA. He married Elizabeth Kraemer. Martin died 1822, in PA.
3. John Keesling was born Mar 23, 1758, in Berks Co, PA. He married Eve Miller on Dec 23, 1788, in Berks Co. Eve Miller was born Apr 12, 1865, in VA. Eve died Oct 4, 1806, in Wythe Co, VA. John then married Rosanna Barbara Staley, widow of Abraham Staley, on May 28, 1807, in Wythe Co. John died Dec 31, 1839, in Henry Co, IN. John's children by Eve were all born in Wythe Co, VA, except for the oldest child. Those children included: (1) Jacob Kisling, b. Aug 10, 1789, Berks Co, PA; d. Mar 28, 1855, Henry Co, IN; m. Catherine Shaffer; (2) Elizabeth Kisling, b. Oct 20, 1790; d. Apr 29, 1880, Wayne Co, IN; m. John Raper; (3) Catherine Kisling, b. Oct 20, 1792; d. Jan 1, 1867, Wayne Co, IN; m. Daniel Shaffer; (4) Mary Kisling, b. Oct 15, 1794; d. Nov 12, 1890, Wayne Co, IN; m. Ben Fisher; (5) John Kisling, b. Aug 25, 1796; d. June 13, 1864, Wayne Co, IN; m. Malinda Bulla; (6) Daniel Kisling, b. July 5, 1798; d. Oct 5, 1848, Henry Co, IN; m. Catherine Zeek; (7) Peter Kisling, b. Feb 2, 1800; d. May 9, 1869, Henry Co, IN; m. Nancy Bozworth, then m. Margaret Broombaugh; (8) Susanna Kisling, b. Feb 1, 1801; d. Feb 4, 1889, Minneapolis, MN; m. Ray Rice Price; (9) George Kisling, b. Feb 10, 1804; d. Oct 27, 1861, Henry Co, IN; m. Elizabeth Miller. John's children by Rosanna included: (10) Dortha Keesling, b. Dec 15, 1808; d. Mar 26, 1849, Henry Co, IN; m. Adam Carter; and possibly (11) Solomon Keesling, b. Apr 22, 1817
4. Christopher Keesling was born 1760, in Berks Co, PA. He died May 4, 1796, in Berks Co.
5. Casper Keesling was born 1762, in Berks Co, PA. He married Christina Schoellenberger. Casper died May 17, 1796.
6. Jacob Keesling was born Mar 1764, in Berks Co, PA. He served in the Revolutionary War in PA. Jacob moved to Montgomery (Wythe) Co, VA abt 1786. He married his double-first-cousin, Phillipina Pheobe Kissling on Feb 6, 1787, in Montgomery (Wythe) Co, VA. Phillipina Pheobe Kissling was born Feb 9, 1763, in Berks Co, PA. She was the daughter of Johann Georg Kisling (brother to Hans Jacob Kisling) and Anna Maria Muller (sister to Walburga Muller). Jacob owned a grist mill in Wythe Co. He 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 (all born in Wythe Co) may have included: (1) George Keesling, b. abt 1790; (2) Anna Maria "Mary" Keesling, b. abt Their children, all b. in Wythe Co, VA, 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; (5) Jacob Keesling, b. abt 1808; and (6) Conrad Keesling, b. abt 1812.
7. Mary Barbara Keesling was born June 1, 1767, in Berks Co, PA. She married Jacob Brecht Bright.
8. Catherine Keesling was born Aug 2, 1868, in Berks Co, PA. She died Mar 19, 1832, in Henry Co, IN.
9. Anne Maria Keesling was born Apr 12, 1870, in Berks Co, PA and died about 1771, in Berks Co.
10. Sebastian Keesling was born Jan 31, 1773, in Berks Co, PA. He married Catharine Schmidt. Sebastian died Mar 25, 1843, in Berks Co.