Andreas and Johanna Guisbert

Andreas Guisbert immigrated to Pennsylvania before 1727, when he bought land there.1 The first definite record is when he bought 150 acres in 1727 in New Hanover from Jacob Fisher, as Andres Guisbert.2 His name sounds Dutch, with Guisbert as a patronymic. It appears in various records as Guisbert, Gisbert, Kusbary, Gisbus, and Gilbert.

He was taxed in 1734 in Hanover as Andreas Gisbus, with 100 acres.3 In early 1742, Andreas’ land adjoined that of Elias Affe and Mathew Hollebaugh (Hollenbach).4 In 1746 he sold 150 acres to Hollenbach.5 When Andrew died, he owned 100 acres in nearby Limerick.6

His wife was named Johanna or Hannah. She is sometimes said to be a Dotterer, but she is not in the Dotterer Family Genealogy.7 They were probably married about 1730 to 1735, and went on to have six known children. Andrew was naturalized in 1739, along with many other foreign-born men of Philadelphia County.8 He died in early 1757 in Limerick Township. He did not leave a will. Letters of administration were granted on January 24 to his widow Johanna. The sureties on the bond were Bernd and Philip Dodderer.9

The inventory of his state was taken on February 11, 1757 by John Koplin and Peter Panebecker. It included the usual clothing (“waren and baren”), household furniture, kitchenware, farm implements, lifestock. It included “a man 29 years of age”. Was this a slave or more likely an indentured servant? The plantation of 100 acres was valued at £200.20.0. The next largest items were debts due from Andrew Pall and Rineer Vanderslice. The total of over £366 and the long list of goods suggests some prosperity.10 After Johanna paid his debts, there was £147 to be shared by the heirs, plus the plantation.

On Sept. 1759 Hannah Guisbert came into the Philadelphia County Orphans Court to request that her account be settled, that his land in Limerick Township be valued for sale, and that guardians be appointed for the three youngest children. 11 Two of the daughters were married by then, Johanna and Paittin. The only son, Guisbert, wanted to buy the plantation. The court agreed to this on condition that he pay the shares of his mother and sisters.12 It is not known when Johanna died.

Children of Andreas and Johanna:13

Johanna, b. ab. 1735, married by 1756 Philip Dodderer (b. ab. 1729, d. 1790), buried at the Dodderer Burying Ground, Columbia County, Pennsylvania. Children: Johanna, Elizabeth, Abraham, Susanna, Catherine, Philip, Anna, Sarah, Mary, Magdalen.14 When Johanna (the first child) was baptized in 1756 at Falckner Swamp Reformed, the grandmother Johanna Gisbertin was the sponsor.15 When Abraham was baptized in 1760 at Germantown Reformed Church, the sponsors were Abraham Paul and Beeltje his wife. Beeltje (or Paittin) was Johanna’s sister.16

Guisbert, of age in 1759, wanted to buy the plantation after his father’s death. No further definite records.17

Paittin, b. ab. 1740, d. 1827, married by 1759, Abraham Paul (d. 1816), buried Market Square Presbyterian in Germantown, had children  Andrew, Susanna, Mary, Joseph, Abraham, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Hannah.18

Catharine, a minor in 1759, married David Paul of Limerick, she died 1822. Children: John, Elizabeth, David, William, Susannah, Hannah, Samuel, Daniel, and Henry.19 There was a David Paul in the 1786 tax list of Montgomery County.20

Susanna, a minor in 1759

Hannah, under 14 in 1759, confirmed in 1766 at Falckner Swamp Reformed Church, married in 1768 Samuel Pennebacker at Evangelical Lutheran Church at Trappe21. She died in 1837 and was buried at Lower Skippack Mennonite Cemetery.22 The house of Samuel and Hannah, inherited from his father Peter, was the center of activity for Washington’s army before and after the Battle of Germantown. Some relics and stories are preserved at the house, now called Pennypacker Mill.


  1. He is sometimes said to have immigrated about 1739, based on a naturalization record in Lancaster County. This seems impossible.
  2. Henry S. Dodderer, Dodderer Family, 1903.  I have been unable to find this deed in the Phila County deed indexes of grantors and grantees. Presumably the earlier transaction is known only through the recital in the later one (1746).
  3. Philadelphia County tax list for 1734.
  4. Elias Affe sold a tract to John Benner in January 1741/42. Hollebaugh and Andrew “Kusbary” were named as adjoiners. (Phila County Deed Book D6, p. 193, Roll 39, Image 283)
  5. Dodderer Family. Hollenbach was born in 1718, died in 1778, buried at New Hanover Lutheran Church. I cannot find a record of this deed.
  6. I cannot find a record of his buying this tract.
  7. This could be a confusion with her daughter Johanna, who did marry a Dotterer. There are parallels between the Guisbert and Dodderer families, for example the lack of church records for the birth of the children of the Guisberts and George Philip Dodderer and his wife Veronica. George Philip Dodderer was a generation older than Guisbert. However, the names in his family are firmly German, while the Guisberts sound more Dutch.
  8. Henry F. Eshleman, Historic background and annals of German and Swiss Pioneers…,  1917, p. 269. Eshleman suggests that many of the men were Mennonites. They were naturalized in response to a petition to the Assembly; the Proprietors were attempting to deal with squatters and others in arrears on their payments.
  9. Dodderer Family. The presence of Berndt and Philip may be the source of the idea that Johanna was a Dodderer. She might have been, but there is no evidence other than this.
  10. Johanna reported in her estate account in January 1758 that the goods sold at vendue for £24 more than appraised, giving her assets of £396.
  11. Philadelphia County OC Records, microfilm at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
  12. Philadelphia County OC Records, microfilm at HSP. The sheriff took the usual twelve men to view the land; they valued it at £160, over and above the widow’s share of £30.
  13. Orphans Court records, church records.
  14. Dodderer Family, pp. 99-103.
  15. Dodderer Family
  16. Dodderer Family. Her name is given in different forms that appear to refer to the same person.
  17. There was a Guisbert Guisbertson who died in Monmouth County, New Jersey, in 1766, leaving children and at least one grandchild. From the dates, it is impossible for this to be the same Guisbert.
  18. Burial records of Germantown Reformed Church (on Ancestry) give his death record. In 1767 their son Joseph was baptised at Falckner Swamp Reformed (records on Ancestry).
  19. Hannah B. Roach, “Skippack Deaths”, in Bulletin of the Montgomery County Historical Society, 1953, 8(4)
  20. Tax records on Ancestry. David Paul was confirmed at Falckner Swamp Church in 1766.
  21. Pa. German Church Records, Vol. 1, p. 460.
  22. Roach, “Skippack Deaths”.

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