An American Family History

Magdalena Veronica Bachtell Meyer

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

Veronica Bachtell Meyer was born about 1705 in Europe. Her parents were Hans Jacob and Eliza Bachtell.

She married Christian Meyer, Jr. (Mayer, Moyer). Christian was born about 1705. He was the son of Christian Meyer.

They settled in Franconia Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania where they bought 179 acres in 1729. Christian was one of the founders of the Mennonite meeting at Franconia in 1738 and was later a minister there.

Veronica and Christian's children included:
Christian Meyer (1728, married Susanna Detweiler),
Jacob Meyer (1730, married Barbara Kolb),
Samuel Meyer (1734, married Catherine Kolb),
Anna Meyer Kratz (1736, married John Kratz),
Maria Meyer Detweiler (1738, married Martin Detweiler),
Veronica Meyer (1739-died young),
Esther Meyer Gehman (1742, married Christian Gehman), and
Barbara Meyer Katz (1744, married Abraham Katz).

Christian wrote his will on April 26, 1782. It was probated on May 31, 1787. His son, Samuel, and his son-in-law Abraham Kratz, were the executors of his estate.

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

Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.




Pennsylvania is one of the 13 original states and was originally founded in 1681 as a result of a royal land grant to William Penn, the son of the state's namesake.

from Genealogical and Personal History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Christian Meyer, supposed to have been a native of Switzerland, founded an asylum from religious persecution in the Netherlands prior to 1700, and some time after that date emigrated from Amsterdam to Pennsylvania and settled in Lower Salford township, Montgomery county where he was a landowner prior to 1719. He was an ardent Mennonite, and one of the founders of the earliest Mennonite congregation in that locality. He died in June 1757, leaving children Christian, Jacob, Samuel, Elizabeth, Ann and Barbara.

Christian Meyer, Jr., was born in the year, 1705, probably in Holland, and was reared in Lower Salford. On attaining manhood he settled in Franconia township, Montgomery county, where he purchased 170 acres of land in 1729, most of which is still owned and occupied by his descendants. He was first deacon and one of the founders in 1738 of the Mennonite meeting at Franconia and was later a minister there. He died in May, 1787.

By his wife, Magdalena he had children: Christian, Jacob, Samuel, Anna, Maria, Fronica, Esther, Barbara, all except one of whom married and raised families.

Samuel Meyer, third son of Christian, Jr., and Magdalena was born in Franconia, June 10, 1734, and became a widely known Mennonite preacher. He settled in Hilltown township, Bucks county, early in life and spent his remaining days there, living to a venerable and highly respected old age. He married Catharine Kolb, and reared a family of nine children.

Personal property can be called personalty (personality), goods, chattels, articles, or movable property. It includes both animate or inanimate property.
Imprimus or imprimis means "in the first place."

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.

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.

from A Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Christian and Hans Meyer and other Pioneers by A. J. Fretz.
. . .The old homestead proper where Christian Meyer, Jr., lived is located ½ a mile s. w. of the Franconia Mennonite church. . .

Christian Meyer, Jr., was a very prominent Mennonite, and stood front in the church. He was one of the founders of the Mennonite meetinghouse in Salford, the ground for which was purchased in 1738 by Henry Funck, Dielman Kolb, ministers, and Christian Meyer, Jr., and Abraham Reiff, deacons. He was later chosen to the ministry and served at Franconia. He was also one of the chief actors in the controversy with his nephew, Rev. Christian Funk, who was expelled from the church on account of his attitude toward Congress, and conducted an examination into the matter at the Plain Mennonite meetinghouse.

Christian Meyer, Jr., was a deacon when the Salford Mennonite church was orgaized in 1738, and it is quite evident, to the author's mind at least, that he was later chosen to the ministry at Franconia, and in his capacity as minister, no doubt, conducted the examination at the Plains meetinghouse in the controversy with his nephew, Rev. Christian Funk, which is clearly intimated in Christian Funk's "Mirror to All Mankind."

He made his last will and testament Apr. 26, 1782, and which was probated May 31, 1787. He probably died in the early part of 1787. His son Samuel Moyer, and his son-in-law Abraham Kratz, were the executors of his estate.

The following is a copy of the will:

In the name of God Amen. I Christian Moyer of the township of Franconia in the county of Philadelphia Yoeman, being aged and infirm of Body but of sound mind and memory thanks be to God do this twenty sixth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty two make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form as follows.

Imprimis I commend my soul into the Hands of Almighty God . . . I disposed thereof as follows, that is to say;

First is my Will that my just Debts and funeral Expenses shall be paid and satisfied.

Item I give and bequeath unto my beloved Wife Magdalena Mayer the sum of one hundred and twenty five Pounds (in Gold or Silver) to be paid unto her by my Executors out of the first money that comes into their Hands from my Estate, and also our Feather Bed and Bedstead, with all the furniture thereunto belonging, and her Chest with all that is in it and one Milch Cow to chuse which she pleases in lien of other Dower.

Item I give to the Congregation to which I belong the Sum of ten Pounds, to be distributed by the Elders thereof to the Poor and needy of the Same.

Item I give unto Philip Lauterbach the sum of five pounds, all which Legacies I order to be paid in Gold and Silver in the following manner that is to say, a golden half Johannes weighing nine pennyweight, to be paid and received for three Pounds & a milled spanish Dollar for seven shillings and six Pence, and all other Gold and silver Coin in the same Proportion.

Item I give and devise unto my son Samuel Mayer all my Tract of Land situated and being in the Township of Franconia ...Samuel Mayer or his Heirs or Assigns, shall pay or cause to be well and truly paid for the Said Tract of Land, the sum of eight hundred Pounds. . .

And whereas I have heretofore given and paid unto each of my sons and Daughters. Goods and Chattles and sums of money, a true account whereof I have entered in a Book, therefore is my Will and do ordain and direct, because some have received more than others, that those or their Heirs that received less than others shall first receive Goods or money to the value of so much, until they all have equal shares. . .

first to all the children of my oldest son Christian Mayer deceased, one full seventh part. . .

and Margareth my great Grand Daughter (only child of his son Jacob also deceased) of my son Jacob Mayer deceased one full Seventh Part thereof. . .

and to my son Samuel one full and equal seventh Part thereof.

And my sons in Law John Kratz, Abraham Kratz and Martin Detweiler to each one full & equal Seventh Part thereof.

And also one full and equal Seventh Part thereof to the Children of my Daughter Esther Gehman (late Wife of Christian Gehman) deceased, to be paid into the Hands of their father who is to have the same in his use until their marriage or respectful lawful ages, also to be equally divided to them share & share alike,

which said several shares I order to be paid . . .according to their Seniority,

And I do hereby nominate and appoint my son Samuel Mayer and my Son in Law Abraham Kratz to be Executors of this my last Will & Testament, and I do hereby revoke all other or any former Will or Wills by me heretofore made.

In Witness whereof I the said Caristian Mayer have hereunto set my Hand and Seal the Day & year first above written.

Chrishan Mayer [seal]
Signed Sealed published and declared by the land Christian Mayer to be his last Will & Testament in the presence of us who have subscribed our names as Witneses hereunto in his presence & at his request.

Isaac Dorstone,
Abr. Stout,
Menyo Hass.

Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
Unweaned cattle are calves.
Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

A yeoman was a man who owned and cultivated a small farm. He belonged to the class below the gentry or land owners. A husbandman was a free tenant farmer. The social status of a husbandman was below that of a yeoman.

A Dower is a provision for a wife's support should her husband die before her. Her dower right was the use of ⅓ of her husband's estate. The dower was settled on the bride at the time of the wedding. A drowry was the property a bride brought to her marriage.

The Homestead Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862. It gave an applicant 160 acres of undeveloped land outside of the original colonies. Anyone who had never taken up arms against the United States could file an application. They had to live on the land and make improvements to receive title.
Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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