An American Family History

Samuel Bachtell 1706

Bachtell is also spelled: Bachtel, Baghtel, Baghtol, Bechold, Bechtel, Bechtle, Bechtolt, Bechtold, Beghtel, Beghtol, Buchtel, Pachtel, and Petell.

Mennonites are Christians who reject infant Baptism. In the early 18th century about 2,500 Mennonites fled to Pennsylvania from persecution in the Palatinate. They opposed the Revolution, resisted public education, and did not approve of religious revivalism. They supported separation of church and state, and opposed slavery.

The American Flag was adopted in 1777.

Samuel Bachtel was born about 1706 in Europe. His parents were Hans Jacob and Eliza Bachtell.

He married Maria Oberholtzer. Maria's parents were Jacob Oberholtzer and Barbara Fretz.

Maria Bachtel (1744),
Barbara Bachtel (1746)
Anna Bachtel (1749),
Samuel Bachtel (1751),
Catherine Bachtel (1753),
Elizabeth Bachtel, (1756),

On April 11, 1744, he was living in Upper Hanover Township, Philadelphia, County, Pennsylvania.

In 1747 Samuel was one of Trustees and ministers of the Old Mennonite Church at Coopersburg, Lehigh County.

In 1750 he purchased a copy of Martyrs Mirror for 40 shillings.

In 1764 he bought land in Rockhill Township, Bucks County.

Samuel Bechtel was the minister of Rockhill Mennonite Church from 1764 to 1802. The church was near Telford, Pennsylvania and was a part of the Franconia Mennonite Conference, formerly called Bechtel's, then Gehman's.

From 1765 to 1796 he traveled to and preached at the Franconia Church.

On March 16. 1773, the year of the Boston Tea Party, Samuel and Mary Bechtel sold Michael Dierstine, and Abraham Gehman, Elders and Trustees of the Mennonite Congregation of the Township of Rockhill half an acre for a meeting house and a burial ground.  

In 1777, during Samuel's tenure as pastor, Christian Funk urged Mennonites to pay the revolutionary war tax and he did not oppose the the oath of allegiance. His beliefs conflicted with the nonresistant Mennonite establishment. The Rockhill congregation split over this issue.

Samuel wrote his will on March 12, 1796 and it was proved May 3, 1802.

He left his land to his grandson, Samuel Gehman, and directed him to pay 700 pounds to the other grandchildren.
Upper Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania separated from Hanover Township in 1741. It was in Philadelphia County until 1784.


Martyrs Mirror is a history of the deaths of Christian martyrs. It was published by The Ephrata Cloister at the request of Mennonites from Montgomery County.

The Boston Tea Party was on December 16, 1773. The Sons of Liberty destroyed an entire shipment of the East India Company's tea by throwing it into the harbor.




from History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania edited by J. H. Battle

. . .The oldest religious body is Gehman’s Mennonite church. The earliest recorded datum concerning it is a deed executed June 2, 1773, by Samuel Bechtel and wife to George Derstine and Abraham Gehman, trustees, for one-fourth of an acre of ground. The first meeting-house, built in 1773, was used for sixty-five years. It was built of logs, plank, and light weather boarding, but was quite substantial. . .

The above-named Samuel Bechtel was one of the first ministers. He was ordained prior to 1773, probably at the Franconia church, which was popularly known as Bechtel’s, and his name is mentioned in connection with the Funk controversy of 1777. . .
The Pennsyvania Gazette


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

Samuel Bechtel, son of Bishop Hans Jacob and Elizabeth Bechtel;
sett. Coopersburg, Upper Saucon (Lehigh) Pa., 1748-1764;
sett. Hanover (Northampton) Pa. and Hellertown, Lower Saucon (Northampton), Pa.1750-1764;
Rockhill (Bucks), Bechtel's or Gehman's Chh. 1764-1802; Menn.;
d Rockhill, Pa., 15 Jan. 1802.

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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