BRETHREN-L ArchivesArchiver > BRETHREN > 1998-12 > 0914804281
From: "David Christopher" <>
Subject: Re: Dunkers communities
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 16:18:01 PST
>>I am David Christopher, a descendant of the FANSLER surname. I seek
>>information pertaining to Dunker communities in Bates County, MO;
>>Caldwell County, MO; Bond County, IL; &/or any such communities that
>>anyone may know. This could include historical, biographical,
>>genealogical, pictorial, or any other pertinent data. I have
>>Fansler genealogy & some Dunker photos to trade for those interested.
>OK -I'm not real heavy on Missouri Church History (my dad pastored
>when I was a kid -we lived in Johnson Co, south of the River, then
>Stet, in Ray Co, north of the River.)
>I wish you had given me some dates:
>I have some information down near Bates Co --in Cedar County the first
>preacher was a Thomas Miller -who moved from the Four Mile Church
>west of Oxford OH) to the Raccoon Church, 1832, Ramp Creek, Putnam Co
>Then about 1850 he moved to Cedar Co MO. (Indiana and Missouri Church
>history says about 1847, but we have a letter from him, from Putnam Co
>in 1849.) Family info says that in 1863, he was shot while trying to
>escape the southern persecution in Missouri, and died at Ft Scott KS.
>1853, Elder William Gish (also of the Raccoon Church), moved to Cedar
>There is a History of the Church of the Brethren in Southern Missouri
>Arkansas -which tells some of these churches.
>For Caldwell Co -I know of no churches in the county. The Bethany
>at Stet MO, where we lived for a couple years, is just south of the
>corner of Caldwell Co, and the Plattsburg Church -is about 10 miles
>in Clinton Co. I've heard of no Fansler families at either church.
>Merle C Rummel
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This will give you some background in the early Fansler family and some
of their church affiliations:
"Johan Philip Fernsler Family
The year of 1727, brought the first Fernsler to the United States. He
like so many of these immigrants came on a Palatine ship seeking a new
life in Pennsylvania. Arriving on September 27, the William and Sarah
brought Johan Philip Fernsler born in 1704 in Wuertemberg as the son of
Frederick and Barbara Fernsler. Early church records indicate the
spelling as Firnssler. Johan Philip married Maria Barbara Georg and to
them were born 10 children. Research shows that the family were members
of the Lutheran congregation at Warwick, now Brickersville and presently
called Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
In 1728, another Palatine ship arrived with Pastor John Casper Stoever
who became the first Lutheran minister to be ordained in the United
States. Stoever was responsible for the establishment of many of Lebanon
County's Lutheran churches including Hill and Salem. Stoever's daughter,
Anna Christina was married to John Philip Fernsler II [October 6, 1734 -
May 1808] on April 18, 1762. Baptism records by Pastor Stoever are found
at Hill Church.
The family lived in South Lebanon township and [John] Philip became one
of the first 5 trustees at the newly established Salem Lutheran Church.
Salem records indicate that the Fernsler family was active for many
generations in this congregation. Children of this family intermarried
with the Hortle, Huber, Peter, and Ellinger families of Lebanon County.
In the next generation, John Philip Fernsler III, [April 12, 1770 -
October 9, 1821], married Margaret Barbara Ellinger and settled in North
Annville Township on a farm of 145 acres of land adjoined by Henry
Frank, Leonard Alleman, John Stoever, and others. To them were born 10
children. When John Philip died in 1821, his land was sold to Adam
Ulrich. His obituary gives Hill Church as his final resting place.
Johannes Fernsler, one of the sons of John Philip and Barbara was born
November 13, 1799. The old Jerusalem Lutheran Church was their church
home and recorded the baptisms of their children, Henry H. of
Bellegrove, Johannes a shoemaker in Londonderry township, Rebecca, and
Moses later to become pastor of St. Lukes in Schaefferstown in the late
1800s. Johannes died July 23, 1830.
Henry H. Fernsler [Feb 21, 1821 - Jan 27, 1865] - lived in Bellegrove,
then called Belleview on land adjoining Henry Frank. He was by
occupation a tailor. He and his wife Sarah Haupt left the Lutheran
Church and became members of the Bellegrove United Brethren Church very
near where they lived. The small cemetery behind the church became is
where they were laid to rest.
Henry H. Fernsler [Jul 20, 1850 - Jan 15, 1912], Jr., Henry youngest
son, lived on land owned by John Runkel, who married who married his
sister, Lydia Ann. In Bellegrove, he ran a grist mill and later worked
on the canal. Like his father, he and his wife Lydia Ann Walborn also of
N. Annville township, were member of the United Brethren Church. Sunday
School records show that Henry Jr. served as the church treasurer and an
active member of the German class. An old ledger book passed down
through the family lists business transactions of the Franks, Yorty,
Horst, Runkel, Sherk, Alleman, Emerich, Stoner, and other of the names
of the families in the church and around Bellegrove.
Other siblings of Henry Jr. were John who established the trade of
saddler in nearby Londonderry township and Amos H. Fernsler who became a
tailor like his father and resided in Palmyra.
Frederick Haupt, an uncle had moved west to Ohio in the mid 1800s. In
1883, Henry H. Fernsler and family moved their family to Frederick
Haupt's farm in Darke County, Ohio where they became farmers near the
village of Nashville, Ohio. 1910 land ownership map shows Henry H.
Fernsler as a landowner in Darke County OH.
Other cousins in the 1870s and 1880s in N. Annville township were Samuel
Fernsler another tailor in Bellegrove, Isaac a carpenter, and Abraham
Fernsler a farmer with his son Henry B. Fernsler in the Northeast part
of the township.
The Ohio family expanded, but several of the next generations had few
males. Today, there no Fernslers in Ohio, and only two from this branch
in Indiana. Several Fernslers from Henry Jr.'s son Harry are now living
In the early 1900's, Harvey Fernsler born in 1900 through one of John
Philip Fernsler II, sons left Lebanon County for Northern Indiana. A few
sons from this branch still reside near Mishawaka, Indiana.
Other Fernsler Families
On the same ship with Pastor John Stoever in 1728, was Matheus/Matthias
FERNSLER left the same area of Wuertemberg, Germany to come to the
United States. His family settled as well in the Lebanon County PA area.
It is not known who his wife was nor his father's name, but it is
possible that he may have been a brother or a cousin of Johan Philip
FERNSLER. Many of his descendants records were also preserved at
Bindnagles Lutheran Church by Pastor STOEVER.
Berks County records a Dietrick Fernsler whom research by the Fansler
family shows him to be originally from the Pfantzler family. One
possibilty could be Ludwig Pfantzler who came to the US on the Charming
Nancy in 1738. Since many variation of the spelling of the Fernsler
surname can be found, it is difficult to know to which family many of
these early people belong.
Today, the Fernsler surname is not common. It is estimated that only
300+ people bear the name. Pennsylvania is home to more than half of all
the Fernslers today. Many state cannot claim even one.
Submitted by Ronald E. Fernsler seventh great-grandson of Johan Philip
Fernsler." [Ron is one of the leading members of our research group]
I, personally, descend from a branch of this family that moved from PA
to VA in the early 1700's; they changed their name to Fansler. I have
seen a Fansler family listed in the records of Rader's Church of
Shenandoah Co, VA in 1748; the church is Lutheran, as I understand it.
There were Fanslers in Rockingham Co & in West Virginia, too.
My direct descendant Samuel Fansler left VA about 1850 with his family
(headed for CA gold); but his wife succumbed to the hardships of this
journey. He took this as a sign from God that his lust for gold was a
sin. He settled with relatives already living in Bond Co, IL [his
sister Mary, I believe]. There is a Dunkers Cemetery there in Bond Co; I
wish I knew all those that it contained.
More later, Dave
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