An American Family History

Bishop Hans Jacob and Eliza Bachtell

  Germany or Switzerland
Pottstown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
Hereford, Berks County, Pennsylvania
Bachtell is also spelled: Bachtel, Baghtel, Baghtol, Bechold, Bechtel, Bechtle, Bechtolt, Bechtold, Beghtel, Beghtol, Buchtel, Pachtel, and Petell.

William Penn (1644-1718) was a Quaker philosopher and real estate developer. He was the founder of the Province of Pennsylvania.

Bishop Hans Jacob Bachtell was born about 1660 in Europe. He was a member of the Mennonite clergy. His father may have been Hans George Bachtell.

He came to America about 1717 with a group of Mennonites who left Switzerland because of religious persecution.

Their children, mentioned in his will, were:
Magdalena Veronica Bachtell Meyer was born about 1705.
Samuel Bachtell was born about 1706.
Bishop George Bachtell was born about 1708.
Martin Bachtell was born on January 26, 1709/10.

On October 8, 1720 Jacob purchased 366 acres near Pottstown, Pennsylvania from Ludwig and Catherine Christain for of 87 £ and 10d. The deed was recorded in Philadelphia on October 11, 1741 in Deed Book 5 G, page 311. It was part of a tract of 25,000 acres that William Penn sold to the Frankfort Company. It was called Ringing Rocks Farm.

He appeared on the list of those Naturalized in 1730 in Pennsylvania.

Jacob's wife probably died before he did since she was not mentioned in his will written on February 14, 1738. It was probated on August 22, 1739. He was buried in Sprogell Mennonite Cemetery.

Montgomery County, in southeast Pennsylvania was created on September 10, 1784, out of land that was originally part of Philadelphia County.


American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.



from The Colonial Clergy of the Middle Colonies by Frederick Lewis Weis

Bishop Hans Jacob Bechtel, arriv, Pa., 1720;
sett. near Pottstown, Pa., 1720;
East Coventry (Chester) Pa., 1720-1739;
East Vincent (Chester) Pa., 1727-1739;
Washington (Berks) Pa, Hereford Chh 1727-1739,
Manatant Chh., 1725-1739;
d. Hereford, Pa., 1739.

Imprimus or imprimis means "in the first place."

The rod or perch or pole is a surveyor's tool equal to 5 1⁄2 yards.

Seals were used to authenticate documents and men were expected to have a personal die. Records in deed books are copies and signatures are usually in the clerk’s handwriting. The clerk drew a circle around the word “seal” to indicate that the original document was sealed.

Will of Hans Jacob Bechtel
Febuary 14, 1738
Probated in Philadelphia on August 22, 1739.        

This 14th day of Febuary 1738, I Hans Jacob Bechtell do hereby make my last will and testament and do by dispose of my goods and chattels as follows to my four children, Samuel Bechtel, George Bechtel, Martin Bechtel,and Fronica Bechtel, wife of Christian Moyer.

Imprimis; George Bechtel shall have and keep the lands surveyed out of my lands aforenow, to him his heirs and assigns forever, provided that the said George Bechtel shall let the above said Martin Bechtel have liberty and full enjoyment of a cart way, or road one perch in breadth on the North East line of or upon the said George Bechtel's land, being about 114 and one half of an acre, be the same more or less; and for an equivalent for said cart way,

the said Martin Bechtel shall give to the said George Bechtel as much land of his own. I here by bequeath to him as follows the said cartway will take, the said equivalent is to be given near the square of dividing line between the said George Bechtel and Martin Bechtel's land, out of the land, in consideration of the said devis,

the said George Bechtel shall give and pay the sum of twenty pounds unto Samuel Bechtel and the sum of 5 pounds unto Christain Moyer, husband of my beloved daughter Fronika, and onto Martin Bechtel,

I do here by devise and give all the plantation and land not otherwise disposed of, being about 205 acres and one half an acre, let the same be more or less, of land with the horses and all the cattle with all and every appuraatus to him, his heirs, and assign forever, in consideration where said Martin Bechtel shall give and pay onto the aforesaid Christain Moyer the summ of 35 pounds lawful money and more over the said Samuel Bechtel shall be empowered to order the execution of the several trusts and payments herein before mentioned.  
Wittnes my hand and seal
Hans Jacob X Bechtel Mark
Wittnesses present at the signing, sealing and publishing here of
Daniel Longenacre                                         
Jacob Hoch                                    
Hans Schweitze

Horse Terms
Foal: less than 1 year old
Yearling: between 1 & 2
Colt: male under 4
Filly: female under 4
Mare: female over 4
Gelding: castrated male
: non-castrated male over 4



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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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