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The Klingers


"A good sharp sword - May it bring you much honor"

The Klinger ancestors originated from Pfaffen-Beerfurth, located in a mountainous region of Odenwald in the modern state of Hesse. The town lies roughly midway between Frankfurt to the north and Heidelberg to the south. According to numerous sources, the Klinger surname appears in Pfaffen-Beerfurth as early as 1426. Our ancestor can be traced back to Georg Klinger, a mayor of Beerfurth who was born around 1610 and died around 1694.


Between 1749 and 1751, three Klinger brothers and a cousin (Johannes) emigrated with their families to Pennsylvania. Alexander Klinger and his wife Anna Elizabeth (my 6th x great grandparents), along with a number of relatives, arrived in Philadelphia, PA on 2 September 1749 aboard the "Albany." He settled near Reading, PA.


His brother Johann Philip "Philip" Klinger and his wife Anna, along with their elder brother Johann Peter Klinger and his family, arrived in Philadelphia aboard the "Neptune." Anna died aboard the ship apparently around the time the ship arrived in Philadelphia on 23 or 24 September 1751. She was buried in the Trinity Church Cemetery in Philadelphia.


Philip joined his brother Alexander in Reading while Peter settled about 10 miles southeast of Reading in Exeter Township, Berks County, PA. Their cousin Johannes settled in Chester County, PA. Philip returned to Germany where he married Eva Elizabeth Beilstein of Brandau, Hesse on 21 May 1754. They returned aboard the "Neptune," returning to Philadelphia on 30 September 1754.


On 17 June 1753, at a service where the Trinity Lutheran Church's first building was dedicated, Alexander was installed as a deacon. It was a log church with a modest bell tower and clock built on a land grant received from the sons of William Penn.


A 1767 Berks County tax list included both Alexander and Philip who were listed as "Taverners." Alexander owned two houses with two lots, and one cow.


Both would serve in the Berks County militia during the American Revolution.


Philip and his family relocated to the west, in an area that now lies at the intersection of three counties - Northumberland, Dauphin and Schuylkill and were off the Reading property records by 1779. Alexander and his family remained in Reading.


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