This page is dedicated to my father, Robert H. Christman, of whose Pennsylvania German heritage I am extremely proud, and to my mother, Barbara (Burritt) Christman, whose "Family History Box" sparked an early interest in what we would later learn is genealogy!
My father's ancestors came from Germany, Alsace-Lorraine and Switzerland to America via the port of Philadelphia Pennsylvania before the Revolutionary War. They settled in Berks and Northampton (later Lehigh) Counties. The Lehigh County families migrated into Berks County.
The primary and (secondary) surnames included are:
Baer (Miller, Williams)
Balthaser (Baer, Kissling, Greth, Dewald)
Christman (Babb, Hafer, Schmeck)
Greenawalt (Fillhauer, Hepper, Shollenberger, Stambach)
Moyer (Edris, Noll, Pfeiffer)
Saul (Reber, Greenawalt, Hartman)
Stoudt (Kutz, Moyer, Wolf)
Reber (Hoy, Haver, Kline)
Rentschler (Balthaser, Geiss, Schock, Wagner)
Schock (Nunnemacher, Himmelberger, Hicks/Hix)
12 May 2010 - I retired today and should have more time for genealogy. Lately I've been working on my husband's family. You should see all of the documents and pictures left to us by his aunt. Hopefully, I can start a similar web with his family info. I recently found out that a branch of his family settled in Germantown, Ohio - where we currently live. Sure enough, there are Coffmans in our local phone book - probably relatives! There were also families from Berks Co. PA who settled here and were among the founders of Germantown, Ohio. I met a Grunewald here in Germantown, Ohio whose ancestors knew my Rentschler ancestors in Berks County. They served on the board of directors of the same church!
2 July 2006 - I haven't been able to add information to this page in some time. But I have updated my e-mail address and hope you will contact me with leads or for additional information on anyone you find here.
12 July 2003 - Finally got the rest of the Moyer ancestors entered.
4 July 2003 - On an incidental tip from Don Moyer in an e-mail relating to the pronunciation of the name "Pfeiffer," I checked the unofficial web site of the Tulpehocken Settlement Historical Society maintained by Steve Mundell. A link has been added below. After years of searching for the ancestors of Mary Moyer and her father, Peter, there they were and apparently well documented. Along with more ancestors named Pfeiffer, Edris and Noll! Many thanks Don and Steve for your help!
I've also added a picture of George Christman (1838-1914), father of Benjamin.
- Caroline N. Schock (16 KB)
Caroline Nunnemacher Schock (1833-1885) was the mother of James Washington Rentschler. She was the daughter of Michael and Elizabeth (Nunnemacher) Schock. She was the wife of Michael Geiss Rentschler.
- Levi and Sarah (Baer) Balthaser (55 KB)
Levi Kissling and Sarah Williams (Baer) Balthaser were the parents of Laura. Levi (1833 – 1899) was the son of Samuel G. and Mary (Kissling) Balthaser. Sarah (1843-1921) was the daughter of John and Ann (Williams) Baer.
- Irma R. (Stoudt) and Paul O. Christman (22 KB)
Paul and Irma Christman were my grandparents. They and their ancestors are the subject of this page. Paul Owen (1906-1963) was the son of Benjamin and Lillie (Saul) Christman. Irma Rentschler (1905-1981) was the daughter of Robert and Mary Ann (Rentschler) Stoudt.
- Zion's (Spies') Church, Alsace Twp, Berks Co, PA (41 KB)
This photo of Spies Church, Alsace Twp., Berks Co. was taken c1887 shortly before the building was razed to build a new, brick building. Benjamin Christman’s ancestors worshipped at this church for at least five generations.
- Benjamin Franklin Christman (33 KB)
Benjamin Christman (1861-1923) was the father of Paul Christman. He was the son of George and Mary (Hafer) Christman and the husband of Lillie Ida Saul.
- Zion's (Spies') Church, c1908 (44 KB)
Although the Christmans had moved to Reading by 1908 when this photo of Spies Church (Alsace Twp., Berks Co. PA) was taken it is included because it shows the location (in the foreground, across the road from the church) of the old cemetery. The old cemetery no longer exists. Among those buried there were Benjamin’s ancestors, George Christman (1775-1853), Johannes Babb (1749-1815) and Catharina (Gerhart) Babb (1753-1815).
- Lillie Ida Saul (38 KB)
Lillie Ida Saul (1868-1912) was the mother of Paul Christman. She was the daughter of Elias and Mary (Reber) Saul and the wife of Benjamin Christman.
- St. John's German Reformed Church, Reading, PA (12 KB)
This is the church where Benjamin Christman and Lillie Saul worshiped. The presence in the church records of marriages and deaths of extended family members (parents and siblings) indicates that both of their families may have worshiped there before and after their marriage. Benjamin and Lillie’s marriage is recorded in the church records as is the marriage of Benjamin’s father, George's to Emma Nein in 1884. Their children Lillie, John, Earl, Bessie, Bertha, David, George and Paul were baptized there. Earl’s and John’s funerals in 1893 and 1899 were recorded as were those of Lillie in 1912, her father, Elias in 1917 and her brother Joel in 1899. Marriages of Bessie Christman to Harrison Levan in 1926 and George Christman to Esther Huff in 1928 were recorded.
- Lillie Ida Saul and her children (60 KB)
This picture of Lillie (Saul) Christman and 5 of her children was taken in about 1910. The children (counter clockwise from the top) and their ages in 1910 are: Bessie (16), Bertha (13), Paul (4), George (7) and David (10). The oldest daughters (not pictured) were Lillie (24) and Mary (Mayme) (26). Two sons, John and Earl died young.
- George S. Christman (61 KB)
George is in the lower left corner, making a basket. The picture was probably taken between 1900 and 1914.
- Mary Ann (Rentschler) and Robert Franklin Stoudt (78 KB)
This picture was taken c1904 at the time of the marriage of Mary Ann Rentschler (1885-1968) and Robert Franklin Stoudt (1879-1965) Mary Ann was the daughter of James and Laura (Balthaser) Rentschler. Robert was the son of George and Anna Maria (Rentschler) Stoudt. Mary Ann and Robert were second cousins. They were the parents of Irma Stoudt.
- Elias G. Saul (48 KB)
Elias Saul (1836-1917) was the father of Lillie Ida Saul and grandfather of Paul O. Christman. He was a farmer in Maidencreek Twp. until about 1873 when he moved to Reading. In Reading he owned a business dealing in ice.
- James and Laura (Balthaser) Rentschler (45 KB)
James Washington and Laura Amelia (Balthaser) Rentschler were the parents of Mary Ann. James (1858 – 1936) was the son of Michael and Caroline (Schock) Rentschler. Laura (1866-1952) was the daughter of Levi and Sarah (Baer) Balthaser.
- Michael G. Rentschler (18 KB)
Michael Geiss Rentschler (1825-1893) was the father of James Washington Rentschler. He was the son of Johannes George and Anna Maria (Geiss) Rentschler. He was the husband of Caroline Nunnemacher Schock.