An American Family History

Jacob Brandstetter and Anna Magdalena Spitelmaier

Richmond Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania
Greenwich Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania


Branstiter Table of Contents
Other spellings--Brandstatter, Brandstetter, Brandsteter, Brandstaetter, Bransletter, Branstatter, Bransteeter, Branstetter, Branstiter, Branstitter, Branstitre, Branstudder, Broadtsteddler, Bronstetter, Brunstetter, Brunsteter, Brunstautton


The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763 and was the North American phase of the Seven Years' War.

The Palatinate is a region in south-western Germany. Many thousands of Palatine immigrants were driven out of Germany by war, famine, despotic rule and disease. They were attracted to Pennsylvania by the first settlers who sent back favorable reports.

Johann Jacob Brandstetter and Anna Magdalena Spitelmaier were born in Germany and married in the mid eighteenth century in Pennsylvania. They lived in frontier, colonial Pennsylvania in Greenwich Township.

They were in Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War. There were a number of Indian raids near where they lived.

Religious needs of the early settlers, such as baptisms, funerals, and weddings, were performed by circuit-riding preachers, missionaries, and lay preachers. Early ordained ministers had as many as six churches.

The Brandstetter children’s names are from Church Records of the 18th Century. Their oldest child, whose name is unknown, was born on June 12, 1744 in Richmond Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. This christening was recorded at Zion Moselem Church and Dunkel's Church. Melchoir Biehl and Catherine Alspach were the sponsors.

Matthius Brandstetter was born on March 9, 1745/46. He was christened at Dunkel's Church. The sponsors at his baptism were Mathius and Anna Barbara Alspach.

In 1746 Matthaus Brandstaetter, son of Jacob B. and wife Magdalena Spitelmajerin, baptized Dom Jubilate, 6 weeks old tomorrow, Sponsor Matthaus Alspach and wife Barbara.

John Jacob Brandstetter was born in 1748 and was baptised at Dunkel's Kirche.

The same year the family settled on 122 acres of land in Greenwich Township. Documents in the state archives in Harrisburg show a

draught of a tract of land situate in Maxatawney Township Berks County. Containing one hundred and twenty two Acres and forty six perches and the allowance of six per cent for roads and &ce. surveyed to Jacob Branstedner the 10th day of August 1748 & by warrant dated the 12th day of May 1758 returned the same day into the Secretary’s Office" and “ Situate in Greenwich Township, Berks County Containing Forty two acres, one hundred and thirty four perches and the allowance of six per Cent for roads and &ct part of a larger tract of one hundred and twenty two acres & forty six perches & allow surveyed to Jacob Branstedner the 10th of August 1748 & by warrant dated the 12th of May 1758—divided the 6th October 1815 for Jacob Grim.

Anna Margaretha Barbara (or Margaret Barbara Brandstaetter) Brandstetter was christened July 15, 1751 at Hill Evangelical Lutheran Church or Quitophahilla.

Pennsylvania Land Records shows a land warrant for Jacob Burnstedner on May 12, 1758 in Swatora Township.

First printed in Boston 1745
Choosing a Godparent sponsor was not just a formality in 17th century Germany. Each child had one Godparent of the same gender. It established ties between families that were near kinship. The Godparent was expected to provide spiritual support and material support in times of need.

Greenwich Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania was first settled in 1749. It is north of the current town of Reading.

The rod or perch or pole is a surveyor's tool equal to 51⁄2 yards.

Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

Berks County, Pennsylvania was formed on March 11, 1752 from parts of Chester County, Lancaster County, and Philadelphia County. Northwestern parts of the county became Northumberland County in 1772 and Schuylkill County in 1811.
Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.
Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.


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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