Weisel Family Association Reunion Programs

Weisel Family Association Reunion Programs


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1937

Weisel Family Association
Sixth Annual Reunion
of All Related Branches
Especially of the Descendents
of the Colonial Pioneers
GEORGE MICHAEL and SUSANNA WEISEL
Who Reached American Shores in 1732

at Forest Park, Chalfont, Bucks County, Penna.
on Saturday, September 4, 1937

Sixth Annual Reunion Approaches

The Committee on Arrangements is looking forward to this year's meeting as the largest and most enjoyable so far. Forest Park, under new management, a beautiful picnic grove, has been chosen because of the many advantages not heretofore available. A modern swimming pool and a few amusements will aid in making the day more enjoyable for all. The location of the park makes it convenient for the Bucks County Weisels as well as the others. Support the plans of the committee by bringing the whole family. Pack a picnic lunch and we will all have a good old Weisel outing.

Origin of the Weisel Family

In early medieval times surnames generally had not yet become fixed. When the sons of noble families left the parental home, they adopted as a surname the name of the place where their new home was established instead of retaining the paternal name as they do in modern times. Indeed, when the new site did not already have a name, they created a name themselves for the new estate Of course, in instances where they took civil office, a different rule might apply as to their derivation of a surname.

Thus, it appears from the records that in the latter half of the 11th century a young nobleman named Volmar von Weiser, upon leaving the parental home. established an estate near the town of Kaub, which is on the Rhine River in Hesse-Nassau. He changed the last letter of his paternal name and gave his new estate the name of Weisel, which means "queen-bee". (Nassauisches Urkundenbuch, No. 130.) What suggested this simple change is not known, since the name of Weiser also means "queen-bee" (as well as "teacher", "guide", "pointer", etc.). Perhaps it was done to avoid confusion of his new estate with his former home. Thereupon, following custom, his family surname became von Weisel, that is, "of (or from) Weisel". It was still a century or so before surnames generally were becoming fixed.

These Hessian people were the ancient Frankish tribe of Chatti, described by the historians, which inhabited the region east of the Rhine between the Main, Werra, and Eder rivers, centering on Upper Hesse. Later their name became changed to the Hessi, from which the modern name is derived. They have inhabited this region since 342 B. C., when they migrated from the Ukraine, where they were a part of the ancient Kimmeric nation referred to by Herodotus. A division of the Chatti was included among the Ripuarian Franks who participated in the conquest of Gaul and the ultimate formation of the present French nation.

In 1071 Volmar von Weisel entered into an agreement regarding estates at Husen and Fischbach. (ibid.) In 1128 the cathedral at Mainz received an income from the church at Weisel through the archbishop. (ibid., No. 176, page 105.) Thus, the new family seat at Weisel was important enough to have its own church and other baronial appurtenances. The name was variously spelled. with such other forms as Wizele or Wizzele, Weizzel, Wizzel, etc.

In 1275 the Weisel barony was divided between the brothers Philip and Werner (of Munzenberg, Hesse), but the church at Weisel was not included. (ibid., No. 889.) Evidently the property at Weisel went to one brother and the Falkenstein -Munzenberg properties went to the other. In 1277 the castle at Weisel (excluding the church) and the town of Kaub Passed to the control of the Pfalz (ibid., No. 921) and in 1289 the Falkenstein-Munzenberg estates also came into the possession of the Pfalz. (ibid. No. 1098). In 1291 Count Heinrich von Sponheim sold in fee to Pfalzgraf Ludwig the estates of Kaub, Weisel, and others. (ibid., No. 1126).

The circumstances surrounding these transactions are not known here. In any event, this Werner von Weisel evidently did not suffer financially, for he either possessed or immediately acquired large areas in Upper Hesse only 5 or 6 miles southwest of Munzenberg, centering on the still existing towns of Hochweisel and Niederweisel, and established his new baronial seat there. In fact, those villages grew up on the barony. The higher village was his summer home and the lower village his winter home, where most of the retainers and employees on the barony lived. He was the ancestor of the subsequent von Weisel family of Upper Hesse, from which the colonial Weisel family of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, descended.

Hochweisel, whose population in 1910 was 700, is situated on the southeastern slope of Hausberg, the "mountain of the house" of Weisel, 1594 feet high, near the southwestern border of Upper Hesse. It commands a view of the valleys on the north and south of the mountain and more directly of the lower lands on the east. Both sides of Hausberg are washed by tributaries of the Wetter River. It is just east of an ancient Roman frontier-wall (or Limes; in the German grenzwall). Niederweisel is at a lower elevation (689 feet) in the main valley, about 2.5 miles east of Hochweisel, on the principal ancient course of travel and on the railway from Butzbach to Friedberg. Its population in 1910 was about 1500.

Among the children of Lord Werner von Weisel were sons named Nicholas and Werner. They appear in the records of the nearby town of Friedberg for the period of 1308-1343, when Nicholas von Weisel was ratsherr and Schultheiss (town councilor and mayor). (Vergl. Feltz, Urkundenbuch der Stadt Friedberg. Nos. 168, 190, 192, 197, 203, 246, 281 and 293). These registers do not extend beyond the year 1410, but von Weisel descendants continued to participate in the affairs of that region. For example, in or about 1554 a Nicholas Weisel was schultheiss (mayor) of Niedermockstadt, a village just east of Friedberg, (Jacob Grimm's Weisthumer, Vol. III, pages 439-447). Its population in 1910 was 700.

Our earliest church records of the family in that region date from the 16th century and show a continuation of the use of the forename Werner (also those of Philip and Nicholas), from which we may infer that the original Lord Werner must have been an able and outstanding man. In the 16th and 17th centuries members of the family were mayors, judges, and preachers in that district. The coat-of-arms came from a document of an Adam Weisel, mayor of Friedberg around 1600, who apparently is in our line of descent.-- C. I K.

                       PROGRAM
11 a. m.-Meeting called to order in hall by President R. Lloyd Weisel
 Song, America (on last page) .............................  Audience
 Invocation ................................... Rev. Willard A. Kratz
 Words of Welcome .................................. By the President
 Business Session:
     Reading of Minutes
     Report of Committees
     New Business
 Piano Solo ........................................ Stanton Althouse

           Intermission for Get-Together Lunch

 1.30 to 2.30 p. m.-Sports Program
                                      Arranged by Miss Margaret Kratz
 2:30-Meeting Recalled to Order  ............................Chairman
 Vocal Solo  .................................Mrs. Jane Weisel Kaiser
 Historian's Report  ... ..........................  On Opposite Page
 Report of Treasurer ..............................  Redden B. Weisel
 Treasury Offering
 Music
 Address
 Volunteer Talks* (not exceeding 10 min.)
 Song, Blest Be the Tic .................................... Audience
 Benediction ........................................... Rev Mr Kratz
                    OFFICERS

President ........................ R. Lloyd Weisel
                                 Sellersville, Pa.

                                    John A. Weisel
                                   Quakertown, Pa.
Vice Presidents ............  Mrs. Norman C. Kratz
                                     Chalfont, Pa.
                                 William Y. Weisel
                                 Philadelphia, Pa.
Secretary ....................  Miss Martha Weisel
                    2007 20th Street, Altoona, Pa.
Treasurer ....................... Redden B. Weisel
                                     Perkasie, Pa.
Historian .......... Lieut. Col. Calvin I. Kephart
           3016 Fifth Street North, Arlington, Va.
Chaplain ................... Rev. Willard A. Kratz
                                   Catasauqua, Pa.
Alternate Chaplain .............. Milton T. Weisel
                                     Perkasie, Pa.

Executive Committee: The officers and the following: 
      Elmer P. Weisel  
         1436 N. 15th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 
      Willard F. Weisel
         Hampton, N. J.  
      Otto Kraft Weisel
         19 Arden Place, Yonkers, N. Y.


1938

Weisel Family Association
Seventh Annual Reunion
of All Related Branches
Especially of the Descendents
of the Colonial Pioneers
GEORGE MICHAEL and SUSANNA WEISEL
Who Reached American Shores in 1732

Menlo Park, near Perkasie, Bucks County, PA,
Saturday, October 15, 1938 at 10:00 a.m.

Seventh Annual Reunion Approaches
The Committee on Arrangements is looking forward to this year's meeting as the largest and most enjoyable so far. Menlo Park, under new management, a beautiful picnic grove, has been chosen because of the many advantages not heretofore available. Menlo Park offers few amusements and adjoins beautiful Lake Lenape, which has been restored, and a mile of Parkway will aid in making the day more enjoyable for all. The location of the park makes it convenient for the Bucks County Weisels as well as the others. Support the plans of the committee by bringing the whole family. Pack a picnic lunch and we will all have a good old Weisel outing.

Origin of Weisel Coat-of-Arms

For six years our Weisel folk have seen their coat-of-arms (or armorial insignia) on the cover page of this announcement and some have heard discussions of its meaning. But their appreciation of it may be enhanced if they are better informed as to how such insignia originated, and when, and why.

In our high school history we learned about the various Crusades of the Christians of western Europe to the Holy Land for the capture of Jerusalem and other places from the Mohammedans. The first Crusaders, composed of several armies recruited in various parts of western Europe, marched to Constantinople during the summer of 1096 and, after combining their forces early in 1097, began their campaign in Asia Minor against the Turks in May, 1097. Firearms were unknown in those days and the knights were armed with long swords and long shields while the other soldiers used the long bow, the javelin, and the pike. The daughter (Anna Comnena) of the eastern emperor Alexius at Constantinople reported in her memoirs that when these knights went through that city their shields were plain and polished. The banners used by the great leaders were difficult for the knights and other soldiers to follow in swift movements and in the confusion of battle. The Turks, under an older and higher civilization, had developed greater skill in warfare than the Europeans, who had never before undertaken such a long march with large armies like this one. Warfare had been local in Europe, usually between small groups and chiefly in feuds. Consequently, when the Turks attacked the Crusaders furiously from the front and both flanks at the same time, they easily threw them into great confusion. Emperor Alexius had solemnly warned them of the Turkish mode of waging war. At the battle of Doryleum on July 1, 1097, it was only the arrival of reinforcements that saved the Crusaders. This new force attacked and drove away the Turks so quickly that the latter abandoned their tents and much equipment. Among the latter were many shields. The Crusaders found these shields painted with various designs, which at first may have appealed to them as works of art, but they soon learned that when a leader was able to turn a shield with a special design on it toward his men, the latter were able immediately to recognize their leader and to follow him without confusion. With an army so equipped, it was possible for the Turks to make their rapid attacks and retain their formation.

The Crusaders did not hesitate long to adopt the same custom of painting special designs on their own shields for its military value. In November, 1097, before the siege of Antioch was begun, at a historic conference of all leaders of the Crusaders, the barons were instructed to design different insignia for their shields, so that each one's men could readily follow him without confusion. Thereafter nothing more is reported about the Crusaders being thrown into confusion by attacks of the Turks or in their own maneuvers. They had adapted themselves to the warfare of the East. After Antioch fell on June 3, 1098, with this aid they were able to win the marching engagements thence to Jerusalem, which city was captured after a bloody battle on July 15, 1099.

These barons recognized that this custom would also have great practical value in strife back home in Europe and it thereupon became a part of their regular military equipment. Obviously, the design that each had adopted and that his followers had become familiar with was the one to be retained by him for that purpose. This continuity of use gave him a feeling of a property right in his own distinctive design and pride in the possession of it. When he returned home, a peace-time use for it in the tournaments was found. His descendants then proudly displayed his device as a family tradition. There were no kings among the First Crusaders, but royalty shortly adopted the custom for the same reasons. Other noble families found it desirable or necessary to have their own emblems and adopted them. Soon many began to be granted to rising warriors for meritorious service. When the sealing of charters and other documents arose, each man's coat-of-arms found a new use as his seal, since few, if any, could write their names in those days. Later these devices were granted by princes for meritorious civil service. Only the nobility, of course, had coats-of-arms.

Thus, the armorial insignia of the barons in the First Crusade are the very oldest in Europe, older than those of any royal family unless a king later descended from one of these barons. They were self-designed and self-adopted and were not granted by any prince. Many had the cross in the design because of the religious aspect of this adventure; others did not. All were simple in style.

We have not yet learned whether our Weisel ancestor was among the knights in the First Crusade. If so, then this coat-of-arms dates from that time. If not, then it was designed and adopted only a generation or two later (probably by 1150), when thousands of other noble families were finding it desirable to do so, for uses in both peace and war. With this historic setting, it is a noble heritage, distinct from all others, and is the emblem of the Weisel clan in the same way that Old Glory is the emblem of the American people as a nation. Its use today is mainly sentimental, chiefly for ornamental purposes, but because of its great age and its meaning it should be prized and be preserved among our other family traditions.

C. I. K.

                            PROGRAM 

10.30 a.m. Meeting called to order
                          By PRESIDENT R. LLOYD WEISEL 
Song, "America -------------------------------AUDIENCE 
Invocation---------------------- REV. WILLARD A. KRATZ 
Words of Welcome -------------------- By the PRESIDENT 
Business Sessio----------------- Reports of Committees 
Piano Solo -------------------------- STANTON ALTHOUSE 
        Intermission for Informal Luncheon
          (Allowing time for games, etc.) 

2.00 p.m. Meeting called to order---- By the PRESIDENT 
Group Singing ------------------------------- AUDIENCE
                                (Led by JOSEPH WEISEL)
Vocal Solo ---------------- PAULINE KERN KNAPPENBERGER 
Reading ------------------------------- DOROTHY WEISEL 
Trio ------------------------------- MRS. M. T. WEISEL
                                 MRS. RAYMOND ALTHOUSE
                                      PHYLLIS ALTHOUSE
                       (Three generations of Weisel's) 
Monologs ------------------------------ MATILDA COOPER 
Treasury Offering 
Musical Selections ----------------- KEPHART QUARTETTE 
Address ------------------------- PROF. PAUL L. GRUBER 
Piano Solo -------------------------- STANTON ALTHOUSE 
Report on deaths, births, marriages during past year
Recognition of oldest and youngest person and the one 
who traveled the greatest distance.
*Volunteer Talks (Not exceeding 10 minutes each.)
Song, "Blest Be the Tie that Binds ---------- AUDIENCE 
Benediction -------------------- REV. WILLARD A. KRATZ

                                        OFFICERS
President --------------------- R. Lloyd Weisel, Perkasie, Pa. 
                                John A. Weisel, Quakertown, Pa.
Vice-Presidents --------------- Mrs. Norman C. Kratz, Chalfont, Pa. 
                                William Y. Weisel, Philadelphia, Pa.
Secretary --------------------- Miss Martha Weisel, 2007 20th Street, Altoona, Pa. 
Treasurer --------------------- Redden B. Weisel, Perkasie, Pa. 
Historian --- Lieut. Col. Calvin I. Kephart, 3016 5th St. North, Arlington, Va.
Chaplain ---------------------- Rev. Willard A. Kratz, Catasauqua, Pa. 
Alternate Chaplain ------------ Milton T. Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.

Executive Committee:                   Membership Committee:
  The officers and the following:        Joseph R. Weisel, 300 N. Lynn
  Elmer P. Weisel, 1436 N. 15th             Blvd., Upper Darby, Pa.
    Street, Philadelphia, Pa.            Milton Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
  Willard F. Weisel, Hampton, N. J.      Oscar Weisel, 1436 N. 15th Street,
  Otto Kraft Weisel, 19 Arden Place,        Philadelphia, Pa.
    Yonkers, N. Y.                     Program Committee:
Finance Committee:                       Blanche Weisel, Nutley, N. J.
  Curwen Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.           Olive Weisel, 7237 Limekiln Pike,
  Norman Kratz, Chalfont, Pa.               Philadelphia, Pa.
  Redden Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.           Estelle Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.


1939

Weisel Family Association
Eighth Annual Reunion
of All Related Branches
Especially of the Descendents
of the Colonial Pioneers
GEORGE MICHAEL and SUSANNA WEISEL
Who Reached American Shores in 1732

Menlo Park, near Perkasie, Bucks County, PA,
Saturday, October 14, 1939 at 10:00 a.m.

World's Fair Offers Opportunity for Weisels
Living at a Distance to Attend Eighth Annual Reunion

The local Weisels are looking forward this year to having a large attendance of Weisels living at a distance who have saved this time to visit the New York World's Fair and stopping at the Reunion to meet relatives they have not seen in a long time.

This is your opportunity for a two-fold purpose and we will he glad to see you. For a bigger and better Reunion we must all be present.

YOUR HISTORIAN'S REMARKS

During the past summer your historian has directed several inquiries to archivists and church officers in the vicinity of Wissembourg, north Alsace, from which district our Weisel pioneers emigrated to America, in an effort to close up some of the genealogical gaps pertaining to their ancestors. One or two replies had failed to arrive prior to the opening of this latest of Europe's periodical wars. Since Wissembourg is situated in the area of present strife, it is unlikely that the desired information will be forthcoming for a long rime. It is now too late to unearth any other new data to supplement what we already have, but we have other important matters to engage our attention, the chief one being that of preserving our democratic form of government rather than wasting our lives and substance by participation in repeated wars in Europe that settle nothing because of the selfishness of all concerned there. In this connection the following quotation from a newspaper report of conclusions of the Dies Committee on Un-Americanism is to the point and very illuminating:

All of the propagandistic slogans to the contrary notwithstanding, both of the principal combinations (London-Paris entente and Berlin-Rome axis) and Russia have certain vital interests to protect, interests which appeal to the American people only when they are shrewdly concealed under false slogans.

When all of the war slogans have been stripped away from the underlying interests which they conceal, it is plain, on the one hand, that certain nations have empires and want to keep them and, on the other hand, that other nations do not have empires (not imposing ones, at least) but want to acquire them. Moscow's special interest -- clearly established by its own propaganda over many years -- is that these opposing combinations shall destroy each other and that proletarian revolution and dictatorship shall be extended on that destruction. These are the issues reduced to their simplest forms.

Wars growing out of recurrent quarrels about land have desolated Europe for 2500 years or more. The present strife is an outgrowth of iniquities of the Versailles treaty of, 1919,-- a vivid example of "action and reaction." Our ancestors came to America and subsequently established this independent government that they might be free of interminable European difficulties. Such disputes are none of our affairs. We should remain out of them. It is no more of our business as to what kinds of governments European peoples want than it is their business as to what kind of a government we desire. It is difficult to understand why so many Americans cannot realize this fact. The so called conflict of ideologies is merely one of those war slogans advanced to induce us to participate. If democracy cannot stand on its own feet in the United States without regard to the political systems in effect in other countries and recurrent quarrels among such nations, then it is inherently weak.

Colonel Leonard Ayres, of Cleveland, Ohio, in a recently published book, says that economically this country cannot stand the participation in another world war. The unbearable tax burden would cause internal dissension. United States Senator Capper and other persons have been quoted to the effect that we would emerge from another war like the last World War under a dictatorship. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as saying that "America's representative democracy was badly damaged by the last war and undoubtedly we will lose it entirely if we enter this war." Mrs. Emil Hurja, upon her recent return from Europe, convinced that this war should not be ours, said she was amazed to find people here in the throes of hysteria that may lead us into the conflict. As Ernest K. Lindley recently said in The Washington Post, the fatalistic notion that we cannot keep out of European wars is a standing indictment against us of a greater weakness than any that has been charged to us by the Nazi-Communistic dictators. We confess that when a big war comes along we just can't keep from fighting, as many small neutral nations near the scene of strife have been able to do. If promiscuity in war isn't paralysis of the will, then nothing is, he well says. It would call into question our competency to maintain an independent government in our own interest.

Our emotional and unjudicial attitude of mind has greatly reduced our moral effectiveness throughout the world. Our emotions are constantly being stirred by column after column of newspaper propaganda detrimental to American interests. It is surmised by many people that much of it arises from undue prejudice or is supported by European money, directly or indirectly. In 1938, according to a newspaper report, one European nation appropriated approximately $1,250,000 for propaganda in the United States, and others may have contributed as much or more . All such matter should be read with great discrimination and doubt. The first consideration of our people should be the preservation of our democratic form of government, of the lives of our people, and of our substance, with honor, in order that we may hold high the beacon-light of government of the people, by the people, and for the people in a world now sorely torn by strife in many regions.

If we maintain a strong defence, we have nothing to fear, because of our situation between two oceans, from any nation or coalition of nations, regardless of who may prevail in any phase of the quarrels now occurring in Europe and Asia. All of the participating nations eventually will become so exhausted by loss of life and substance that their chief concern for many years will be that of preserving the fundamentals of civilization within their own borders. Therefore, why not consider our own interests first? The maintenance of a stable government, with minimal taxation and other burdens, should be our primary aim, regardless of what our feelings with respect to the European situation may be. In other words, why should we not be and think as 100 per cent Americans rather than reflect a diluted form of Americanism? Things may not go well if we are indifferent and "let George do it."

C. I. K.

 
                    PROGRAM
10:00 A. M. to 12:00 Noon -- Greeting old acquaintances and new. 
                             Game's and sports for old and young. 
                             Registration of all present. 
12:00 Noon to 1:30 P. M.  -- Informal Luncheon.
1:30 P. M.--Meeting called to order..By President William Y. Weisel
Song-"America"  .......................................... Audience
Opening Prayer ..................................  Milton T. Weisel
Words of Welcome ................................. By the President
Business Session:   Reading of Minutes.       Reports of Committees
Group Singing-(Led by Joseph R. Weisel) .................. Audience
Recitation ............................................ Jean Nickel
Piano Solo ......................................... Eleanor Weisel
Address by ........................................ To be announced
Musical Selections .............................. Kephart Quartette
Reading .............................................. Olive Weisel
Piano Solo  ....................................... Truman Althouse
Remarks by Historian ................ Lieut. Col. Calvin I. Kephart
Offering-Treasurer's Report ...................... Redden B. Weisel
Volunteer Talent ............................... Weisels or Friends
Report on deaths, births and marriages during year.
Recognition of the oldest and the youngest Weisel present. 
Recognition of the one who traveled the greatest distance.
*Volunteer Talks ....................... (Not exceeding 10 minutes)
Song-- "Blest Be the Tie that Binds ...................... Audience
Closing Prayer ................................... Milton T. Weisel

The committee feels there are a lot more talented Weisels and their 
friends that attend the Reunion and would he glad to perform if they 
had the opportunity therefore we have set aside a part in our program 
for volunteers. The names that appear on the program are members who 
have already volunteered ... so come along, bring out the good old 
Weisel pep, for a bigger and better Reunion.

*Remarks from members, particularly for the good of the association, 
such as suggestions, family history, reminiscences, etc. If you have 
anything to say, do not hesitate to do so. Items of early family 
history are especially desired by the historian, either at the meeting 
or by mail. Every suggestion will further the interest in the association. 
Yours for a bigger and better Reunion.

                         OFFICERS

President ........... William Young Weisel, 6941 Ogontz Ave., Phila., Pa.
                         Curwen Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
Vice-Presidents          Otto Kraft Weisel 19 Arden Pl. Yonkers, N. Y.
                         Willard F. Weisel, Hampton, N. J.
Secretary ........... Beatrice W. Swartley, 254 W. State St., Doylestown, Pa.
Treasurer  .......... Redden B. Weisel, 19 Fourth St., Perkasie, Pa.
Historian ........... Lieut. Col. Calvin I. Kephart, 3016 5th St. North, Arlington, Va.
Chaplain  ........... Milton T. Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
Pianist ............. Mrs. Herbert Weisel, Hellertown, Pa.

Executive Committee:                       Membership Committee:
  The officers and the following:
  Oscar Weisel, 1436 N. 15th St., Phila.     Milton Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
  Joseph R. Weisel, 300 N. Lynn Blvd.,       Marie Weisel, 1220 Fishers Ave., Phila.
    Upper Darby, Pa,                         Martha Weisel, 2007 20th St.,
  R. Lloyd Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.               Altoona, Pa.

Finance Committee:                         Program Committee:
  Curwen Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.               Blanche Weisel, Nutley, N. J.
  Norman Kratz, Chalfont, Pa.                Olive Weisel, 7237 Limekiln Pk., Phila.
  Redden Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.               Estelle Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.


1940

Weisel Family Association
Ninth Annual Reunion
of All Related Branches
Especially of the Descendants of
the Colonial Pioneers
George Michael and Susanna Weisel
who Reached American Shores in 1732

Menlo Park, near Perkasie, Bucks County, PA,
Saturday, October 12, 1940 at 10:00 a.m.

PLAN NOW TO BE PRESENT AT THE NINTH ANNUAL REUNION

The Committee on Arrangements is looking forward to this year's meeting as the largest and most enjoyable so far. Support the plans of the committee by bringing the whole family.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

The new Officers, elected during the Business Session, will assume office immediately thereafter.

OUR KIEFER (OR KEEFER) ANCESTRY
By LIEUT. COL. C. I. KEPHART, Historian

While as yet determined on circumstantial evidence only, it seems reasonably certain that the maiden name of the wife of our pioneer ancestor, George Michael Weisel, was Susanna Kiefer, born about 1693 in the vicinity of Goersdorf, northern Alsace, France, a daughter of Jacob and Susanna (Kuhn) Kiefer. Further proof is desirable before absolute acceptance of this belief.

The last-named couple had the following children at least: (1) Hans Georg (1683-1735), (2) Maria Elizabeth (1685-1687), (3) Johann Georg (born 1687, also stated simply as Johannes), (4) another Maria Elizabeth (born 1690), (5) Anna Christina (born 1691, died in infancy), and then they appear to have moved elsewhere in that region, so that the name of the presumed daughter (6) Susanna is not found in the same records. There must have been still other children.

The colonial immigration records show, among other arrivals of Kiefers and Kuhns, the following Kiefer pioneers, undoubtedly related to each other, viz., Laurens in 1732 (with Weisel), Peter and Daniel in 1741, Johannes in 1749, Nicholas in 1750, Johann Georg in 1752, Jacob in 1764, Johann Jacob in 1769, Andreas in 1770, and Johannes in 1770. Their ages are not known and different generations may have been represented. The Johannes Kiefer of 1749 was born in 1728-1730, married Elizabeth ---- in Bucks County, Pa., in 1752 and had the following children: Elizabeth (born Sept. 2, 1753), John (born 1755), Peter (born 1755), Catherine (born Nov. 1, 1758), Susanna (born Dec. 29, 1760), Daniel (born Sept. 7, 1767), Gabriel (born about 1769), Samuel (?) (born about 1771), Abraham (born Jan. 27, 1773), and Magdalena (born about 1776), many of which names appeared in the early Weisel generations. This Johannes Kiefer was a bondsman in the administration of the estate of pioneer Weisel. Apparently, he was a nephew of the latter's wife Susanna, but a son of which of her brothers is not known. The evidence indicates that the pioneers Peter and Daniel Kiefer of 1741 were her younger brothers and that Johannes was a son or nephew of this Peter, since the names of Peter and Daniel occurred in succession among Johannes' sons, named above. Johannes died on April 10, 1800, and his wife Elizabeth died on March 13, 1812. They attended Tohickon Church along with the Weisels. The spelling "Kieffer" was also used.

The tradition, which seems fairly well authenticated, is that this Kiefer family is of French Huguenot origin in a noble and wealthy family of Paris and that during the religious persecutions a member or members fled from France to Zweibrucken (Deux Ponts), in the Palatinate, where the surname was changed from Tonnelier, which means "cooper", to its Germanic equivalent of Kuefer, later Kiefer, Kieffer, or Keefer. It is known that others named Tonnelier, perhaps of this family, emigrated to England and assumed the equivalent name of Cooper. In this connection, we find on page 251 of volume 41 of the transactions of the Societe d'Histoire Protestantisme Francais that, while preaching at Notre Dame de Paris Church in 1532, Gerard Roussel, the prominent Reformer, who was chaplain and preacher for the Queen of Navarre, was arrested for divulging a pacific speech. One of his colleagues, Conrad, was also arrested. When some merchants, who were gathered for dinner, heard the news, they exclaimed that if anyone dared to touch chaplain Roussel there would be a terrible massacre. Three of them were arrested for holding such design, namely, Claude Yon, Jean Tonnelier, and Guillaume Guillemin. The two preachers were acquitted, but we are not told what happened to the three merchants.

The above tradition has carried down two different families of Kiefers, doubtless branches of the same original stock. One is our own stock from southern Palatinate and northern Alsace and the other is from Kettenheim, near Alzey, Rheinhessen. Both had pioneers to America during the great immigration of the 18th century. It is not known whether both had a common original ancester at Zweibrucken (Deux Ponts). When the French General Turenne began his ravages of the Palatinate in 1674, undoubtedly our Weisel and Kiefer ancestors moved southward to Alsace and it may easily be that the other Kiefer branch then moved to Kettenheim.

It appears reasonably certain that it was the children or later descendants of this Jean Tonnelier who fled to Zweibrucken, since the name John has occurred with great frequency in the Kiefer family, but the traditions differ as to the approximate time of their expatriation. One statement is that it occurred about 1563, during the persecutions of the infamous queen Catherine de Medici, and this time is supported by not only the early date of Jean's escapade at Paris but also by the fact that a Michael Kiefer was living at Zweibrucken in 1571 and a Balthasar Kiefer, perhaps Michael's son, was there in 1583. Michael could well have been a son of Jean Tonnelier of Paris, since his is another frequent forename in the Kiefer family. The other tradition is that the emigration from Paris to Zweibrucken occurred upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, but this date is too late for the birth of the earlier children of our Jacob and Susanna (Kuhn) Kiefer, shown above. The Tonnelier family of Paris was well connected and its data and coat-of-arms are found in the records.

The grandfather of our Weisel ancestor apparently went from Upper Hesse to the Palatinate, where his descendants resided for two generations or until Turenne's invasion of the country in 1674. Both Weisels and Kiefers doubtless then migrated southward to Alsace, where George Michael Weisel and his future wife, Susanna Kiefer, apparently were born about 1690 and 1693 respectively. There they were reared and were married about 1713. and there their children were born and reared until the entire family emigrated to America in 1732.

 
                    PROGRAM

10:00 A. M. to 12:00 Noon -- Greeting old acquaintances and new. 
                             Game's and sports for old and young. 
                             Registration of all present. 
12:00 Noon to 1:30 P. M.  -- Informal Luncheon.
1:30 P. M.--Meeting called to order..By President William Y. Weisel
Song-"America"  .......................................... Audience
Opening Prayer ..................................  Milton T. Weisel
Words of Welcome ................................. By the President
Business Session:   Reading of Minutes.       Reports of Committees
Group Singing-(Led by Joseph R. Weisel) .................. Audience
Recitation ......................................... Kenneth Weisel
Accordion Solo ...................................... Elaine Yerger
Musical Selections .................... Feryl and Hilton Spanninger
Address by ........................................ To be announced
Reading .............................................. Olive Weisel
Piano Solo  ....................................... Truman Althouse
Remarks by Historian ................ Lieut. Col. Calvin I. Kephart
Offering-Treasurer's Report ...................... Redden B. Weisel
Volunteer Talent ............................... Weisels or Friends
Report on deaths, births and marriages during year.
Recognition of the oldest and the youngest Weisel present. 
Recognition of the one who traveled the greatest distance.
*Volunteer Talks ....................... (Not exceeding 10 minutes)
Song-- "Blest Be the Tie that Binds ...................... Audience
Closing Prayer ................................... Milton T. Weisel

The committee feels there are a lot more talented Weisels and their 
friends that attend the Reunion and would he glad to perform if they 
had the opportunity therefore we have set aside a part in our program 
for volunteers. The names that appear on the program are members who 
have already volunteered ... so come along, bring out the good old 
Weisel pep, for a bigger and better Reunion.

*Remarks from members, particularly for the good of the association, 
such as suggestions, family history, reminiscences, etc. If you have 
anything to say, do not hesitate to do so. Items of early family 
history are especially desired by the historian, either at the meeting 
or by mail. Every suggestion will further the interest in the association. 
Yours for a bigger and better Reunion.

                         OFFICERS

President ........... William Young Weisel, 6941 Ogontz Ave., Phila., Pa.
                         Curwen Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
Vice-Presidents          Otto Kraft Weisel 19 Arden Pl. Yonkers, N. Y.
                         Willard F. Weisel, Hampton, N. J.
Secretary ........... Beatrice W. Swartley, 254 W. State St., Doylestown, Pa.
Treasurer  .......... Redden B. Weisel, 19 Fourth St., Perkasie, Pa.
Historian ........... Lieut. Col. Calvin I. Kephart, 3016 5th St. North, Arlington, Va.
Chaplain  ........... Milton T. Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
Pianist ............. Mrs. Herbert Weisel, Hellertown, Pa.

Executive Committee:                       Membership Committee:
  The officers and the following:
  Oscar Weisel, 1436 N. 15th St., Phila.     Milton Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
  Joseph R. Weisel, 300 N. Lynn Blvd.,       Marie Weisel, 1220 Fishers Ave., Phila.
    Upper Darby, Pa,                         Martha Weisel, 2007 20th St.,
  R. Lloyd Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.               Altoona, Pa.

Finance Committee:                         Program Committee:
  Curwen Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.               Blanche Weisel, Nutley, N. J.
  Norman Kratz, Chalfont, Pa.                Olive Weisel, 7237 Limekiln Pk., Phila.
  Redden Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.               Estelle Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.


1941

Weisel Family Association
Tenth Annual Reunion
of All Related Branches
Especially of the Descendants of
the Colonial Pioneers
George Michael and Susanna Weisel
who Reached American Shores in 1732
at Menlo Park, Perkasie
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
on Saturday, October 11th, 1941
At 10 o'clock A.M.


PLAN NOW TO BE PRESENT AT THE TENTH ANNUAL REUNION

The Committee on Arrangements is looking forward to this year's meeting as the largest and most enjoyable so far. Support the plans of the committee by bringing the whole family.

ADDITIONAL WEISEL HISTORY
By LIEUT. COL. C. I. KEPHART, Historian

In the sixth annual program your historian discussed the origin of the Weisel family and referred to the present towns of Niederweisel and Hochweisel, in Upper Hesse, and an indication that the surname was derived from another village of Weisel, near Caub, on the Rbine, in Hesse-Nassau; but, in the light of recently discovered facts, that outline requires revision.

Niederweisel (Lower Weisel) existed already in the eighth and ninth centuries simply as "Weisel" with a variety of spellings. It is the oldest town of the name in all Hesse. Was it the seat of our Weisel family and the course of its surname rather than the Weisel near Caub? Was It a younger member of this family, Dominus Volmar de Wizela (who is said, on the other hand, to have been of the noble family von Weiser, but with no proof given), who In 1073 was seated at Weisel near Caub, probably named for himself, and was engaged in a transaction regarding property of his deceased sister at villages named Hausen and Fischbach? We do not know positively. In 1276 the Weisel property near Caub, perhaps for lack of an heir, was divided between the brothers Philip and Werner von Munzenberg, sons of the overlord, Count Ulrich I von Munzenberg, in Upper Hesse, and in 1277, 1289, and 1291 all of these estates passed to the Palatinate. Whether the Munzenberg and Weisel families were related is not known, but the forenames of Philip and Werner were common in the latter family also.

Prior to 1250 Dominus Anselmus de Hofweisel, knight, was residing at his court (hof) at what took the name of Hofweisel but was misspelled Houewizele, later Hohenweisel (Upper Weisel), and finally Hochweisel, at which time lower Weisel became known as Niederweisel, to distinguish it from the former. Was this Lord Anselmus of the Weisel family or of wholly different stock? Only further European research will satisfactorily clarify these questions. The evidence in Ludwig Bauer's Hessisches Urkundenbuch and J. C. von Hellbach's Adels-Lexikon indicates that early in the twelfth century, after the First Crusade, as civil warfare became widespread, the head of the Weisel family moved up the nearby mountain now known as Hausberg and established a fortified court or castle and adopted the surname of Hofweisel from it (later corrupted to Hohenweisel), but that younger lines that later moved away, such as ours to Friedberg, resumed the simpler form of Weisel, so as to avoid confusion, a rather frequent custom. The Hohenweisel coat-of-arms is different from that of the Weisel family. the latter apparently having been adopted separately for the same reason.

The earliest names that we now have in our line are those of Nicolaus and Werner von Weisel at Friedberg during the period of 1308-1343, in which the former was mayor and town councilor. The fact that our Weisels early dwelt at neighboring places. in Upper Hesse, such as Ostheim, Friedberg, Dorheim, Muschenheim, and Birklar, not far from Niederweisel (the original Weisel), is a strong indication that the last-named village was the ancient seat of the family and the source of its name through the Hofweisel line.

On this tenth anniversary of the Weisel Family Association, it is most fitting to add the following list of early members of the family who attended universities, which shows not only the high status that the family then enjoyed but also a conspicuous intellectual initiative, as evidenced by the number of names. The Weisels who attended Marburg (the oldest Protestant university) and other Hessian and Alsatian institutions of learning, as shown by the matriculation records, were:

Name                               Home	        Institution	        Date

Petrus Weisselius                  Friedberg          Marburg	        1550
Conradus Weisselius                	?             Marburg	        1574
Martinus Wizelius ( ?)             Rotenburg	      Marburg	        1579
Andreas Weisselius                 Friedberg	      Marburg	        1698
Johannes Weisselius                	?	      Marburg	        1601
Nicolaus Weisselius                Muschenheim	      Marburg	        1606, 1608
Johannes Weisselius                Hanau,             High School, Herborn 1627
Johann Daniel Wizelius                  ?             Marburg	        1632
Johann Philippus Weisel            Hanau	      Strassburg	1647
Philippus Weisselius               Dorheim, Hanau     Paedog., Herborn  1652
Joh. Jacobus Weisselius            Dorheim, Hanau     Paedog., Herborn  1652,1653
*Johann Jacobus Weiselius          Friedberg	      Gymnasium Marburg	1657
Henricus Petrus Weissel            Frankfurt	      Marburg	        1657
*Joh. Jacobus Weisselius           Friedberg	      High School, Herborn 1658
*Johann Jacobus Weissel            Friedberg	      Marburg	        1661
*Johann Jacobus Weisselius         Friedberg	      Giessen	        1662
Christopherus Weisselius           Vienna, Austria    Strassburg	1673
Conradus Philippus Weysselius      Hanau	      Marburg	        1682
Johannes Philippus Weizel          Eberstadt	      Marburg	        1696
Johannes Fridericus Weizelius      Darmstadt	      Marburg	        1696
Johannes Hartmannus Weisselius     Naumburg	      Marburg	        1700
Fredericus Christopherus Weiselius Naumburg	      Marburg	        1701
Johann Eberhard Weissel            Birklar	      Marburg	        1703
Nicolaus Georgius Weissel          Gudensberg	      Marburg	        1722
Wilhelmus Ludovicus Weissel        Homberg	      Marburg	        1724
Georgius Philippus Weissel         Eberstadt	      Marburg	        1730
Johann Philippus Weizel            Rosdorf, Hanau     Marburg	        1740
Johann Philippus Weizel            Isenburg-Budingen  Marburg	        1750
Johann Carolus Alexander Weissell  Homberg	      Marburg	        1755
Balthasar Weizel                   Lauterburg, Alsace Strassburg	1766
Theophilus Weissel                 Eberstadt	      Strassburg	1775
Philipp Weizel                     Bingen	      Strassburg	1784

*This Johann Jacob Weisel, born at Friedberg on December 81, 1639, is the man who heretofore has been suggested as our ancestor. His career after completing his studies is not known to us. He probably was a teacber.

                         PROGRAM

10.00 A.M. to 12.00 Noon -- Greeting old acquaintances and new 
                            Registration of all present

12.00 Noon to 1.30 P.M. --  Informal Luncheon

1.30 P.M. -- Meeting called to order:
                                    By President Curwen A. Weisel
Song- "America" ........................................ Audience
Opening Prayer ................................. Milton T. Weisel
Words of Welcome ............................... By the President
Business Session ............................. Reading of Minutes
                                             Report of Committees
Group Singing .......................................... Audience
Recitation ........................................ Donald Weisel
Piano Selections ........................ Jean and Shirley Weisel
Baritone Solo ...................................... Charles Sine
Address ..................................... Prof. A. C. Rutter,
                                     Asst. Co. Supt. of Bucks Co.
                                                 Stanton Althouse
Trumpet Trio ...................................... Bruce Hedrick
                                                 Robert Hunsicker
Violin Solo ..................................... Edward Althouse
Remarks by Historian .............. Lieut. Col. Calvin I. Kephart
Offering-Treasurer's Report .................... Redden B. Weisel
Volunteer Talent ............................. Weisels or Friends
Recognition of the oldest and the youngest Weisel present. 
Recognition of the one who traveled the greatest distance.
*Volunteer Talks ...................... (Not exceeding 10 minutes)
Song-- "Blest Be the Tie that Binds .................... Audience
Closing Prayer ................................. Milton T. Weisel

The committee feels there are a lot more talented Weisels and their 
friends that attend the Reunion and would he glad to perform if they 
had the opportunity therefore we have set aside a part in our program 
for volunteers. The names that appear on the program are members who 
have already volunteered ... so come along, bring out the good old 
Weisel pep, for a bigger and better Reunion.

*Remarks from members, particularly for the good of the association, 
such as suggestions, family history, reminiscences, etc. If you have 
anything to say, do not hesitate to do so. Items of early family 
history are especially desired by the historian, either at the meeting 
or by mail. Every suggestion will further the interest in the association. 
Yours for a bigger and better Reunion.
                         OFFICERS

President ........... Curwen A. Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
                         Willard F. Weisel, Hampton, N. J.
Vice-Presidents          Otto Kraft Weisel 19 Arden Pl. Yonkers, N. Y.
                         Samuel B. Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
Secretary ........... Beatrice W. Swartley, 254 W. State St., Doylestown, Pa.
Treasurer  .......... Redden B. Weisel, 19 Fourth St., Perkasie, Pa.
Historian ........... Lieut. Col. Calvin I. Kephart, 3016 5th St. North, Arlington, Va.
Chaplain  ........... Milton T. Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
Pianist ............. Mrs. Herbert Weisel, Hellertown, Pa.

Executive Committee:                       Membership Committee:
  The officers and the following:
  Oscar Weisel, 1436 N. 15th St., Phila.     Milton Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
  Joseph R. Weisel, 300 N. Lynn Blvd.,       Marie Weisel, 1220 Fishers Ave., Phila.
    Upper Darby, Pa,                         Martha Weisel, 2007 20th St., 
  R. Lloyd Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.               Altoona, Pa.
                                             Beatrice W. Swartley, 254 W. State St.,
                                               Doylestown, Pa.

Finance Committee:                         Program Committee:
  Curwen Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.               Mrs. Norman Kratz, Chalfont, Pa.
  Norman Kratz, Chalfont, Pa.                Mrs. Reddan Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.
  Redden Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.               Mrs. Curwen Weisel, Perkasie, Pa.

End