History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index



WILLIAM G. MOYER, a venerable and eminently esteemed resident of the borough of Chelfont, for many years an active and potent factor in the agricultural, political and social interests of New Britain township, was born at Pleasant Valley, Springfield township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, February 14, 1834, a son of Abraham D. and Mary (GEISINGER) MOYER.

The founder of the American branch of the family was the Rev. Peter MOYER, who with his brothers William, Jacob and Henry, and their sister and widowed mother, came to America in 1741. The family were natives of Switzerland, and were forced to flee from their native country during the fierce persecution of the Mennonites by the Calvinists, or State Reformed church, to the Palatinate in Germany, where they remained with friends in the vicinity of Kerbach for about one year, when they emigrated to America. The mother married Nickey SCHAAFROTH; no issue. Of the brothers, Peter was the oldest and Henry the youngest. Peter, William and Henry settled in Springfield township, Bucks county, and Jacob settled at Center Valley, Saucon township, Lehigh county. They all became farmers, and were active members of the Mennonite church. The supposition is that Peter was a minister in Switzerland, and he was one of the early ministers of the church in Springfield township; Jacob was also a minister and preached at Coopersburgh.

Rev. Peter MOYER, great-grandfather of William G. MOYER, was born in Switzerland about 1723, married ----------. He settled in Springfield township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, near Pleasant Valley, where on May 28, 1752, he purchased his farm consisting of 107 acres (old measure) from Joseph GREEN. The property was bounded by lands of William BRYAN, Joseph UNTHANKS, and James GREEN, and is owned now by Mary Moyer GEISSINGER, wife of Charles A. GEISSINGER, daughter of Abraham G. MOYER, a great-grandson. Rev. Peter MOYER was one of the early ministers of the Mennonite church of Springfield. Children: Christian, John, Jacob, William, Henry, Isaac, Mary (Mrs. KULP), Barbara. Two daughters married KULPs, and three children died young.

William MOYER, grandfather of William G. MOYER, was born in Springfield township, Bucks county, June 7, 1764. His occupation was that of a farmer. He was united in marriage to Mary OVERHOLT, who was born December 27, 1767, and their children were: Magdalena, Nancy, Hannah, Kate, Mary and Abraham D. The death of William MOYER occurred February 12, 1848; he was survived by his wife, who passed away September 1, 1850.

Abraham D. MOYER, father of William G. MOYER, was born on the old Peter MOYER farm in Pleasant Valley, June 6, 1798. He was reared on the homestead, received a good common school education, and throughout his active career followed farming as a means of livelihood. He was the leader of the singing in the Mennonite church. In 1832 he married Mary GEISINGER, who was born in Upper Milford, Lehigh county, September 18, 1811, a daughter of Philip and Fanny (HESTAND) GEISINGER. Their children are: William G., mentioned hereinafter; Fanny, who became the wife of Nathaniel BECHTEL, of Berks county; Mary and Abraham. The father of these children died September 15, 1871; the mother passed away December 9, 1900. They were honest and industrious people, and in every relation of life performed their duties conscientiously.

William G. MOYER spent his childhood and early manhood years on the farm owned by his father, and his education was obtained in the schools of Springfield and Quakertown. For ten years, from 1855 to 1865, he served in the capacity of teacher, achieving a fair degree of success in this vocation owing to the fact that he was able to impart to others clearly and concisely the knowledge he wished them to receive. From the latter named year until 1872, a period of seven years, he engaged in farming in Springfield township, after which he removed to New Britain township, where he owns a fine farm in the borough of Chalfont. He is practical and progressive in his methods, and being familiar with all the details of this branch of industry, derives a goodly income from his labor. He has been active and prominent in political affairs, and has been choosen the incumbent of several offices of trust and responsibility. He was township auditor for six years; secretary of the school board for a similar period and jury commissioner for Bucks county, having been elected in June, 1903; and was first president of the council of Chelfont, serving three years. For many years he has served as correspondent and reporter for the United States Agricultural Department. He is a prominent member of the Mennonite church, and a Republican in politics.

In 1860 Mr. MOYER was married to Mary SWARTLEY, who was born in New Britain township, in 1835, a daughter of John SWARTLEY. Their children are: 1. Emma, born December 17, 1861, died January 9, 1881. 2. Levi, born May 22, 1864, marriedAnna DETWILLER, and they are the parents of the following named children: William D. born December 25, 1887; Sarah Amelia, born July 27, 1889; Hannah Theresa, born October 23, 1891; Mary Maria, born April 17, 1894; Irene, born February 2, 1896; Enos, born July 5, 1898; Eva, born February 9, 1900; Nora, born in June, 1901, 3. Abraham S., born November 7, 1866, married Susie M. FRETZ, daughter of Eli FRETZ, of Bedminster, and one child is the issue of this union. Alvin, born October 18, 1900. 4. William, born November 29, 1868, a merchant of Chelfont. 5. Menno S., born November 18, 1870, was educated in the State Normal School at West Chester, and Haverford College. After his graduation he taught school for a number of years, and now is a member of the firm of Moyer Brothers, merchants of Lansdale. He married Annie Souder, and their children are: Evelyn Elizabeth and Margarette, born February 2, 1904. 6. Harvey, born March 16, 1877, married Macie JOHNSON. The mother of these children died January 2, 1888. Mr. MOYER married for his second wife Mrs. Hannah SLIFER WEIS, who was born near Quakertown. Richland township, Bucks county. October 6, 1837, a daughter of Joseph SLIFER.

Text taken from page 245-246 of:

Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed July 2001 by Joan Lollis of IN. as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published December 2001 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

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