|20905||Johann Jurg Meisser, b. ca. 1665 Germany + Unk., d. bet. 1711-1720 PA > Johann Michael Meiser, b. 1703 Germany + Anna Maria Zecht, d. ca. 1747 PA > Johann Heinich "Henry" Meiser, b. 1728 PA + Anna Maria Unk. > d. 1801 PA, John Mizer b. 1779, PA, + 1st Elizabeth "Betsy" Hale, + 2nd Mrs. Susannah Lewis, d. ca. 1849 TN||14||22||15||10||12||14||11||12||12||12||11||29||18||9||9||11||11||22||16||20||27||12||14||14||14||J-M172|
The DYS Numbers in red have shown a faster mutation rate than the average, and therefore these markers are very helpful at splitting lineages into subsets, or branches, within a family tree. DYS 19 is also known as DYS 394. A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) test, which is used to confirm the haplogroup, has been performed on the haplogroups written in bold, red print in the right hand column. It is necessary to do an SNP (commonly called
snip) test for only one individual within a family group in order to determine the haplogroup for everyone in the group.
The MEISSER / MEISER / MISER / MIZER FAMILY
Participant # 771772 represented the following pedigree:
Johann Jurg Meisser (1/1) & Unknown Wife
Johann Jurg Meisser was born between 1660-1670 in the Palatine Region of Germany. The name of his wife is not known.
The Meisser family is fortunate in that there is a documented account of Johann Jurg Meisser who departed England on 28 July 1709 and sailed to New York, accompanied by his wife and three (or four) children. The given name of “Jurg” is what we today would call “George”. Many on his ship died at sea due to unsanitary conditions and a fever that developed, and although the Meisser family arrived in New York some were not healthy . . . (See “ The Genealogy of the Meisser Family,” Volumes I and II., p. 5.)
Information regarding the name of Johann Jurg’s ship and names of his family members are hidden behind a pay-wall at Ancestry.com, with a minimum charge of $3,000 for beginning research. I did not pursue this search, although one online passenger list did include Johann Michael Meiser as a member of Johann Jurg Meisser’s family.
The following accounts leading up to their emigration can easily be found in traditional publications and online historical sources:
The outbreak of the Thirty Years War in Europe in 1618 actually lasted with sporadic fighting for at least 96 years. The year of 1709 is known as the Great Exodus, forcing some thirteen thousand Germans to flee from the Palatinate and float down the Rhine River to England.
Our ancestor, Johan Jurg Meisser, his wife and their children were among those who escaped Germany by floating down the Rhine River. The date of their arrival in England is not known.
Local authorities in London feared that the “Palatines” would be classed as vagrants, who by law the authorities would have to support under the “Poor Laws”. When it was discovered that a third of the immigrants were in fact Catholics and arriving because of poverty and not persecution, sympathy for them drained away. British authorities determined that they needed to be expelled from England.
After some haggling as to where to send the Palatinates, (the Carolinas, Jamaica or Antigua), English authorities decided to send them to New York. Many Palatinates hoped to emulate the success of Rev. Joshua Kocherthal*, a Lutheran minister, who not long after arriving in England led one group of fellow German emigrants to New York, helped by grants of money and land from the British.
Rev. Kocherthal’s first voyage departed England on a ship named “The Globe” in mid-October 1708, and arrived in the New York harbor on 1 January 1709. Although our Meisser family was not aboard this ship, our family later went to the same location in Pennsylvania as those who were previously led by Rev. Kocherthal. (Our Meisser family left England on 28 July 1709.)
Several accounts state that Rev. Joshua Kocherthal was actually Rev. Joshua Haarasch, of Kocherthal, Germany, and that he assumed the name of Joshua Kocherthal due to his birthplace.
Johann Jurg / Georg was an extremely common German name and it has not been determined whether our ancestor was the same person listed as Johann George Meiser on a 1710 English Subsistence List or Johann Georg Mauser/Mayser on a 1711 New York Subsistence List, who soon afterward was on a 1711 New York Death List.
However, family legend is that soon after arriving in New York, the entire family went with other Germans to the Schoharie Valley, Schoharie County, NY. Some believe that our Johann Jurg Meisser died there.
Because subsequent generations of the emigrant Johann Jurg Meisser continued to use the same given names for successive generations, a numbering system was used by historians to that identify the generational distance of a particular person from the immigrant, and also used to identify the birth order of each child born to his/her parent.
Descendants of Johann Jurg (1/1) Meisser are fortunate in that he had numerous descendants who were early family historians, and who formed a network of cousins who collaborated throughout the centuries. They retrieved and published many paper records, including hand-written pedigrees for descendants of his only documented child, Johann Michael (2/1) Miser.
Johann Michael (2/1) Meiser & Anna Maria Sixt/Zecht
Johann “Michael” Meiser (2/1) was born on 13 March 1709 in the lower Palatine region of Germany, and floated with his parents down the Rhine River. On 28 July 1709, at age about seven, he left England and immigrated with his parents and siblings to America. They landed in New York in 1709 and after a stay in a port city they went to the Schoharie Valley, Schoharie County, NY. No siblings of Michael Meiser have been identified. Before 1717, Johann Michael Meisser dropped one ‘s’ from his surname and dropped his first name “Johann.” He thereafter went by Michael Meiser.
Some accounts state that he and his mother left the Schoharie Valley due to the unfriendliness of the Indians and moved about 150 miles southwest to Millbach (Lebanon County), PA, which adjoins Northumberland County, PA.
Since that time there have always been paper records regarding the Meisser family, and even now there is an active Meisser Genealogy Association, headed by Tony Veal, who can be reached by email at email@example.com.
More recent descendants have held annual family reunions to Meiserville, PA, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, California, Oklahoma, and even twice to Germany, with side trips to Austria and Switzerland!
There are at least five publications chronicling the immigrant family and their descendants. Perhaps the earliest account, which I have not seen, was “Meisser Family Research,” compiled and published in 1953 by Hugh Dinsmore Miser, PhD, of Washington, DC.
The next three books, which I own, all bear the same title, “A Genealogy of the Meisser Family (Meiser, Miser, Mizar, Mizer, Myser),” although they provide different information and were published in 1975, 1986, and 1997. For convenience I will call them Volume I (a blue book), Volume II (a green book), and Volume III (a black book). A fifth book has allegedly been published but I have not seen a copy.
Volume I of the above title gave an account of the immigration and known descendants of Johann “Jurg” Meisser up to 1975, with the notation “From the Founding in America by Immigrant Ancestors to the Present Time,” copyright 1975. It was compiled by Joseph A. Mieser, Ph.D., and indexed by Gladys McDonald. The book was given to the Meisser Genealogy Association, Lloyd E. Mizer, MS, Editor, and printed by Forey & Hacker, 248 E. Liberty Street, Lancaster, PA. The commentary and index of Volume I contained 888 pages and listed approximately 33,880 names.
Volume II is a sequel to the above book and copyrighted in 1986. This book begins with the same two-page overview of the emigrant ancestor written by Meiser family historian, Al Boffo, giving information about the previously published descendants. The book then adds information about descendants who have been submitted to the Meiser Genealogy Association between 1975 and 1986. “This book was compiled with new family groups, new photographs, and with additions to previous family lineage.” Compiled and edited by Lloyd E. Mizer, MS, indexed by Lois G. Mizer and Linn H. Mizer, for The Meisser Genealogy Association, typeset by Lisa Miller and Wendy Gordon, printed by Gordon Printing, Strasburg, Ohio. Volume II and its index contain 1,009 pages and list 48,216 names.
Volume III was copyrighted in 1997, compiled and edited by Lloyd E. Mizer, MS, computer compiled by Carol R. Sleighter, and typeset and indexed by Lisa Renee (Miller) Pedersen, Gordon Printing, Strasburg, OH. This volume is a continuation of the 1986 book and includes many more recent family photos. It is 800 pages long, including the index, and goes directly into accounts of approximately 8,075 Meisser descendants as of 1997.
All of the above books give an account of the remarkable journey of the Meisser descendants, including Michael Meiser.
The name of Michael Meiser appears in “The Kocherthal Records” regarding at least one event that later occurred in Northumberland County, PA:
On 6 June 1717 Michael Meiser and a woman named Anna Elizabeth Sixt witnessed the baptism of Anna Elizabeth Savoy, recorded in Kocherthal Records, Vol. 3. *Joshua Kocherthal (1669-1719), listed above, was the same Lutheran minister who previously led the first group of German emigrants from Germany to England, and then to New York.
Michael Meiser later married the above Anna Elizabeth Sixt, daughter of Johann Phillip Sixt/Zecht and wife Anna Elizabeth Gertraud (m.n. unknown), in about 1723. The subsequent 5th volume of a Meisser book allegedly lists additional information regarding the 12 children of Phillip and Anna Elizaeth Zecht.
Michael Meiser was taxed in 1726-1727 in the Tulpehocken area of Pennsylvania. A 1731 deed shows Michael Meiser and three other German men were each sold 100 acres by Safroonan, Chief of the Schuykill Indians.
In 1734 Michael bought 100 acres from Indian Chief Allummapie. There was some dispute as to whether these were legal transfers of title, so legal maneuvering went back and forth as to who owned the property. After many years a compromise was reached partly because the immigrants were too numerous and could not be forcibly removed, but to a greater extent due to their success of clearing the land and turning it into productive farms. It enhanced the tax base that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania badly needed. (See “A Genealogy of the Meisser Family,” written by Al Boffo, pp. 5-6).
According to family records, Michael Meiser died in his 40’s in about 1747, at Millbach, Lebanon County, PA, and is buried on the farm where he settled. However, it was not until 1749 that Anna Elizabeth Sixt Meiser, widow, and their oldest son, Johann “George” Meiser (who was of now of legal age), were appointed guardians of her younger children in Lancaster County, PA.
Michael Meiser’s oldest son, George Meiser inherited the land from his parents, and for five generations the land was handed down to the oldest son, all of whom were named George. This trend was broken in Generation 6, in 1894, when George S. Meiser left the land to daughters Sally A. Seltzer and Alize Brendle.
Generation 3: Johann Heinrich “Henry” Meiser (3/4)
& Anna Maria (Unknown)
Johann Heinrich “Henry” (3/4) Meiser, born 4 July 1728 in Millbach, Lancaster County, PA, was the 4th child born to his parents. He married Anna “Maria” (m.n. unknown) in Pennsylvania before 1754. He discontinued his two given names, shortened the spelling of “Meiser” and went by “Henry Miser.” An account of his life can be found in Volume I of “A Genealogy of the Meisser Family”, pp. 741-743.
Because Henry’s older brother, George Meiser, had inherited their father’s farm in Lancaster County, PA, Henry took his family and personal effects to Cumberland County, PA, in a two-horse wagon and built a tree-bark hut. However, on three different occasions he was forced to move away due to the unfriendliness of the Indians. On one occasion he placed his children in a chaff-bat (bed tick), put them on the back of a horse, and went down the river to the present village of New Buffalo to escape the Indians. Henry was a great hunter and his family seldom lacked venison.
On 9 April 1763 Henry received a warrant of 63 acres of land in Cumberland County, PA, and within a short time three of his brothers moved there. On 19 April 1763 Henry Miser added an additional 100 acres, and on 29 June 1773, Henry took up an additional 110 acres. Henry was granted a survey of 200 acres in Cumberland County. By 1793, his land holdings totaled over 470 acres. The area where Henry lived in Cumberland County, PA, was later broken off to form Northumberland County and then Snyder County, PA, so without ever physically moving, records for Henry Meiser can be found in three different counties.
In 1775 Henry Meiser was a road supervisor for Penn Township. In the same year, and at age 56, he enlisted as a private soldier in the Revolutionary War in the Heidelberg Company at Lancaster, PA, under Captain George Hudson. Numerous of his female descendants trace their DAR memberships through him.
“Henry Miser built a saw mill which still operates near Aline, (Snider County), PA.” See A Genealogy of the Meisser Family,” Volume I, 1975, p. 742.
“Henry Meiser lived in the part of Penn Township that became Mahantango Township and in 1796 he was assessed on land, personal property and a saw mill. The village of Meiserville was named for this pioneer.” Snyder County (PA) Pioneers, by Dr. Charles A. Fisher.
“Meiserville is located in Middle Creek Township on the road leading to Globe Mills. The exact date of the founding of Meiserville is unknown. It may be the same place as the small town of Meiser Station (now named Meiser, PA) which was named for Henry Meiser. It currently has a population of 3,415, and is located in Snider County, PA.” Ibid . (For directions see Google Maps.)
Henry Meisser died on 7 August 1801, and Anna Maria survived him. He is probably buried in the Grubbs-Bottschofts (Gospel) Church Cemetery in Northumberland County, PA. Anna Maria died in August 1807, and an 1807 final probate record for Henry Miser, late of Mahantango Township Northumberland County, was filed by their son, John “Michael” Meiser, Exec.
The children of Henry and Anna Maria Meiser were Mary Elizabeth (4/1), Catherine (4/2), John Michael (4/3), John Philip (4/4), John Henry (4/5), John George (4/6), Barbara (4/7), *John (4/8), Frederick (4/9), and Andrew (4/10).
Henry Miser’s probate said that he owned, among other things, a saw mill named “Globe Mills” in Middle Creek Township in Northumberland (now Snider County), PA. Globe Mills seems to be a very unusual name for a saw mill. Is it possible that Henry named his saw mill after the ship which brought his father and grandfather from England to America?
A review of the facts regarding the emigration shows that Rev. Kocherthal left England with the first group of Germans emigrants in mid-October 1708, and arrived in the New York harbor on 1 January 1709. This was a voyage of two and one-half months. The Kocherthal papers state that Rev. Kocherthal had hoped to immediately return to England and gather more immigrants. However, permission for him to leave America was not granted until 19 June 1709.
The account does not state that The Globe was required to sit in the port in the New York harbor for five months, from 1 January 1709 until June 1709. It only stated that that Rev. Kocherthal was not allowed to leave.
However, if The Globe took on new provisions after arriving on 1 January 1709 in New York, the ship and its captain could have returned to England in time to accommodate the transport of another group of immigrants who left England on 28 July 1709.
This is what I suspect. However, additional research is needed to see what ship “sailed from England on 28 July 1709,” with the Meisser passengers aboard. In either case, it is obvious that memories of both “The Globe” and Rev. Kocherthal triggered important recollections among the Meiser family and surrounding community.
An account of Rev. Kocherthal’s voyages was written by Rev. Lou D. MacWethy, and can be seen here:
Only Henry’s sons, Michael Meiser (4/3) and Frederick Meiser (4/9) remained in Snider County, PA. Most of the descendants of Henry’s other sons moved to Tennessee or Ohio.
See Volume I, “A Genealogy of the Meisser Family,” p. 742, and Volume II, p. 46-47, with much additional information and many photos regarding Henry Miser’s descendants in Volume III.
John (4/8) Miser (1779-1849) & Elizabeth “Betsy” Hail/Hale (1779-ca. 1837)
John (4/8) Miser was born 17 January 1779 in Northumberland County, PA. In about 1797 in Bledsoe County, TN, he married Elizabeth “Betsy” Hale, born 27 April 1779 in Bledsoe County, TN. The date of their marriage is has been placed as 1797 based on the birthdate of their oldest child, Michael R. (5/1) Miser, Sr., who was born in 1798 in Blount County, TN. Although many Early Tennessee marriage records have been destroyed, along with all of the 1800, 1810, and 1820 Tennessee census records, Elizabeth Hale’s maiden name appears in the Bible records of several of her descendants.
Children of John (4/8) Miser & Elizabeth Hale/Hail & Mrs. Susannah Lewis
I have spent several years investigating whether Elizageth Hail/Hale Miser, born 27 April 1779 in Blount County, TN, could have been the daughter of John Hail, Revolutionary War veteran, who was born between 1753-1754 in Bedford County, VA, and died after 1840 in Bledsoe County, TN. No Bible record or Will identifies Elizabeth Hail/Hale Miser as the daughter of John Hail, but strong circumstantial evidence suggests that she was his daughter.
John Hail/Hale, Revolutionary War Soldier (1753-aft.1840)
All eight of the children of John (4/8) and Elizabeth Hale Miser have been meticulously documented in the various Meisser books. The couple had 105 known grandchildren. (After the death of Elizabeth Hale Miser, John (4/8) Miser married Mrs. Susannah Lewis, with whom he had two children. His daughter has not been traced and his unmarried son was killed in the Civil War).
Some of the children of John (4/8) and Elizabeth Hale Miser married their own first cousins, and children of these cousins continued to marry extended kin. They all (and many of their known grandchildren), ultimately moved to Benton County, AR, Gentry County, MO Laclede County, MO, and McDonald County, MO. The Miser/Hale family was also highly interrelated with the Swafford family.
Child # 4: George Washington (5/4) Miser, born 1807, married Mary “Polly” Swafford on 17 October 1826 in Bledsoe County, TN. Polly’s parents were Aaron “Big Aaron” Swafford and Elizabeth Howard. Aaron Swafford was the son of Peter James Swafford and Rennie Howard, and Elizabeth Howard was the daughter of Peter Howard and Sarah Portman. As one can see, Polly Swafford’s parents some degree of cousins.
A Mitochondrial DNA study of this maternal lineage can be seen here:
Until a few years ago I wondered if my lineage of Miser male ancestors would match any Meisser male who had previously taken a Y-chromosome test. However, I could not locate a proven Meisser cousin to take a DNA test. Then several years ago, I became acquainted with a Mizer cousin whose ancestors passed through Missouri, and he and I shared the same early Meiser ancestors! This man readily agreed to take a Y-chromosome DNA test, and his Y-chromosome test matched the four descendants of Johann Jurg Meisser who had previously taken a Y-chromosome DNA, test and had a proven paper trail from the immigrant ancestor.
It was at this point (Generation 4) that my Miser pedigree diverges from that of Participant # 771772, and it can be expected that the participant and I will see a substantial reduction in our shared DNA.
However, I descend from two children of John (4/8) Miser and Elizabeth “Betsy” Hale, so this increases the amount of Mizer/Hale chromosomes I presently carry, and also increases the likelihood that my older-generation Buttram/Miser relatives who took Autosomal DNA tests will match the Autosomal DNA of Participant 771772.
The two siblings from whom I descend are Phebe (5/2) Mizer (1800 -1844) who married Rev. John Buttram in 1821 and had eight children, and her brother, George Washington (5/4) Miser (1807-1861), who married Polly Swafford in 1826 and had eleven children.
These two siblings each had a child who in turn married his/her first cousin on the Miser side. All children of these two couples (and their descendants) will carry significantly more Miser DNA than children of their siblings who married non-relatives.
An expanded account of George W. and Polly Swafford Miser can be seen here:
George W. (5/4) and Polly Swafford Miser
A brief account of Phebe (7/11) Buttram, III, Pitts:
A Time for Grandmother Pitts
Y-chromosome Miser Participant 771772 descends from Elijah Henegar (5/6) Mizer, Sr.,(1811-1865), a brother of the siblings Phebe (5/2) Miser who married John Buttram and George W. (5/4) Miser who married Polly Swafford.
Several descendants of the Meiser family have taken DNA tests at FamilyTreeDNA, and the two types of tests that will be discussed in this report will be the Y-chromosome DNA test and the Autosomal DNA test.
A Y-chromosome DNA test gives a male participant his Y-signature, which is exactly like that of his father, his paternal grandfather, his paternal great grandfather, etc., for many hundreds of years, with minor mutations between generations.
DNA Participant # 771772 descends from Elijah Henegar (5/6) Miser Sr. (1811-1865) brother of the above two above siblings whose children married each other, Phebe (5/2) Miser and George Washington (5/4) Miser.
There is a Meiser Y-DNA Project sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and managed by Charles Meiser. On this site one can see the Y-test results of this participant and his four distant cousins who have also taken a Y-test and uploaded their results to the Buttram surname project at FTDNA. Their results are at the top of the following Y-DNA Chart: https://www.familytreedna.com/public public/Meis/Meiser
Follow the promts to DNA Results, then Colorized Chart. All the men who have taken a Y-chromosome DNA test at FamilyTreeDNA are identified exclusively by their kit numbers. It can be seen that only the first five men are straight line descendants of our Johann Jurg Meisser because their Y-results almost perfectly match each other and also because of the meticulous pedigrees kept by the Meisers. Kit # 15376 has a more descriptive haplogroup ID because he has upgraded his kit to include additional markers. It is extremely likely that if the other men upgraded they would have identical or very similar markers.
Any man of any surname who tests at FTDNA may join any surname project. The first five men listed on the link above carry some spelling of the Miser surname, and can prove their descent from Johann Jurg Meisser with paper records. However, the remaining six of the above men do not match the first five men, and if they carry the Meiser surname there has been an unknown break in their pedigrees. The remaining six men may have joined the Y-project for a variety of other reasons, such as they descend from a Meiser female, or there was not a surname project at FTDNA for their particular surname but it was similar to Meiser. * (Note paternal descent cited from England, Switzerland, and Poland.)
In addition to the Y-test which identifies a particular paternal lineage, this participant also took an Autosomal DNA test, which measures the DNA inherited from both male and female ancestors.
Autosomal DNA tests can be taken by both men and women, and an Autosomal DNA test also given to Participant # 7871772. This test measures the 50% of DNA person gets from each parent, the ~25% a person gets from each grandparent, the ~12.5% a person gets from each great grandparent, continuing with diminishing amounts of shared DNA.
A comparison of the Autosomal DNA of the above proven descendant of Johann Jurg Meisser to other relatives I tested (and those who independently tested), has proven my Meisser descent from Johann Jurg (1) Meisser & his wife.
The Autosomal DNA of this participant had matches of various lengths to eight of my close relatives.
Participant # 771772 has four autosomal DNA matches with Buttram descendants who trace their ancestry back to known descendants of John (4/8) Miser who married Betsy Hale in 1821, through the above two children whose grandchildren married each other. Participant 771772 also had an additional two Buttram males whose pedigrees are not known to me.
Participant # 771772 has Autosomal DNA six matches with persons who are descendants of a Hale. Five of the cousins I tested have autosomal DNA matches to a Hale. (Various participants also matched several Swaffords.) I am deeply indebted to the all the family members volunteered to take a DNA test, those who shared their family records and photographs, and to the compilers who diligently put them in order and published them. However, in the future not every descendant will own a “Meisser Book.” I undertook this DNA project to validate my own pedigree, but wrote this report for future generations who may not have access to historical documents.
Last Updated on 3/18/2023
By Wallace W. Souder