The Juniata River Valley and the Conrad Geesey Family


The Juniata River Valley and the Conrad Geesey Family
The Juniata River Valley and the Conrad Geesey Family Development of the
Village of Geeseytown, Frankstown Township, Blair Co., Pennsylvania
David L. Geesey (em: [email protected])
Photo of Geeseytown Cemetery (1992), Frankstown Township, Blair Co., Pennsylvania
The Village of Geeseytown, located East of Hollidaysburg on Pennsylvania State Route #
22, also known as the “William Penn Highway”, has evolved from its early Colonial
Period of affiliations with major Indian tribes and expanded the Indian Policies in
meeting William Penn’s plans for the Juniata Valley and western development of Penn’s
Colony. As you enter the hamlet from the west, it is defined by the “Old Lutheran
Cemetery” of Frankstown, however, today it is known as the Geeseytown Cemetery.
Driving into the Village from the east, you will see the Fire Station, which did not exist in
the early days and the Geeseytown Evangelical Lutheran Church to the left of the
highway, a major landmark for the community that recognized the Geesey Family for its
early efforts in building a strong community.
In the Juniata Valley along the Kittanning Path an early German immigrant named Frank
established a trading post called Frank’s Fort, abt. 1743/44. This region of Pennsylvania
was located in Lancaster County established in 1728. Travelers taking the Kittanning
Path, past Frank’s Fort, were natives, pioneers and travelers passing east and west. The
path ran west from the Allegheny Mountains, then eastward crossing the Allegheny
Ridge, west of Altoona at Kittanning Gap, later the location of the Horseshoe Curve,
then to southeast of Altoona to Frankstown on the Juniata River. By 1750, the area was
recognized as being in Cumberland County and later it was changed to Frankstown
Township in Huntingdon County by 1787.
These early settlements were part of the greater providence William Penn received by
deed in 1681 by King Charles the Second of England, and remained an unexplored forest
inhabited by “Native Tribes of Shawnee and Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape residing in the
Delaware Valley where they were called Delaware Indians named by European settlers
from the early 1600s and tributary to the Five Nations negotiations.” 1 With the influx of
pioneers, the area had many small towns and villages developed, especially along rivers
and native trails traveled by early settlers during the last quarter of the Eighteenth
Century. During this time period, the “influx of German Reformed and Lutherans
followed the Susquehanna and Juniata River, while others arrived by way of Forbes
Road after 1758 then north to Fort Louden to Fort Littleton then into what was then the
Frank’s Fort region.” 2
This first 1750s map (see below) drawn by or for Deputy Surveyor, Col. John Armstrong
of Carlisle shows the area of Pennsylvania purchased in 1754 in tribal negotiations which
expanded his holdings to the western border of Pennsylvania. Penn began immediately
to secure the region in building two forts in the region, Fort Grandville and Fort Shirley.
Fort Grandville was built in 1755 on the north side of the forks of Kishacoquillas Creek
and Juniata River about 35 miles from the Susquehanna River-mileage was listed on the
Armstrong Map and Mileage Chart “The second fort, Fort Shirley, was constructed
further west on the side of the Aughwick Creek which flowed north into the Juniata-Fort
Shirley was 35 miles further West and south of the Juniata River. A third fort, Fort
Cumberland, was built on the south side of the southern section of the Rays Town
Branch of the Juniata River at Rays Town.” 3 Also, noted on the map is Harris Ferry
owned by John Harris Sr. an English trader granted the right to operate a ferry service in
1733, which was the second ferry service across the Susquehanna River used by early
Armstrong’s Map of Mother Cumberland 1755
“In August 1756, Col. Armstrong was accompanied by Rev. Charles Beatty, who
served as chaplain of the expeditionary force. A halt was made at the Beaver Dam, at
McCahan’s Mill and there on a quiet Sabbath-day in September, religious
ceremonies were observed as the first in this area. This worship service was probably
within the limits of present Blair County.” 4
Col. John Armstrong, enforcing the tribal negotiation agreement with Thomas Penn in
the autumn of 1756, “marched with three hundred men silently west along the
Kittanning Path (aka Trail) from Fort Shirley on their way to destroy the Native America
village at Kithanink. This action was in response to the Tribe’s unhappiness with the
treaties that took much of their land, used the path to wage war against a British
settlement at the Juniata River in 1755 and, again in August 1756 as they attacked, took
prisoners, and burned Fort Granville (near modern-day Lewistown, Pennsylvania). On
this trip to “Kithanick” ordered by Governor Hamilton, his force camped on the banks of
Cush Cushing Creek not far from the future site of Cherry Tree. “By the following night
they had reached the vicinity of the “Old Indian Spring” and set camp nearby. The trail
then became known as the Armstrong-Kittanning Trail and the spring as Armstrong’s
Spring.” 5
South of the mouth of the Juanita River, along the Susquehanna River, about 75 miles,
was a place known as, Wright’s Ferry, developed by John Wright, a Quaker. Wright
received a charter from the provincial governor Hamilton to conduct a ferry business
between present day Columbia and across the river west to present day Wrightsville,
then Lancaster Co.-service began in 1730. William Penn promised religious freedom and
liberal land policies. He developed laws by September 1727 that required all ship
captains to provide a list of their Middle European passengers who were required to
sign a Declaration of Fidelity and Abjuration to King George of England. Penn’s policies
forbid the immigrants from settling west of the Susquehanna until 1736, when the
Indians agreed to land transfers to the new settlers. “The Penn’s established a land
agent, “Samuel Blunston at a settlement near Columbia, Lancaster County to control
western expansion into the colony. Some early German settlers were permitted to settle
at Kreutz Creek near Hellam and Wrightsville by 1730.” 6 Today, the ColumbiaWrightsville Bridge built in 1832-1834 was known as the world’s longest covered bridge
and carried east-west travel. Today, it is Pennsylvania State Route 30, the old Lincoln
Highway. “Early 1800 tolls were $1.00 per wagon, passengers 6 cents per person”history of the bridge can be found on the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2015) on the
internet. Another historical incident occurred in this crossroad area after the Gettysburg
Battle, 4 July, 1863. The Confederate General Robert E. Lee burned the railroad bridge
that crossed from Wrightstown to Columbia when his army evacuated Gettysburg on his
way back to Virginia on 5 July 1863. The original map can be dated because Fort
Granville was built in January 1755 and the French Fort fell to the British In November
1758, however this is not listed on the map.
Braddock’s Road, built in 1755, was cut through the forest following both animal trails
and Indian pathways West through the Appalachian wilderness. In the summer 1755
General Braddock started west from Fort Cumberland, Maryland to Fort Necessity then
British Territory. “In the Fall of 1758 General Forbes cut and cleared another 300 miles
long road west and constructed Forts at regular intervals, Fort Littleton, Fort Bedford,
and Fort Ligonier along the new road establishing supply lines between forts.” 7 History
of this period shows how difficult it was to secure British control of their land, however,
by November1758 the French withdrew from the fort, thus opening the roads as trading
pathways for travelers and immigrants.
“Col. John Armstrong, son of James Armstrong, was born in Brooke borough, County
Fermangh, Ireland, 9 October 1717.” He died in Carlisle, PA on 8 March 1795. He was
named Colonel on May 1756 and a General of Pennsylvania Militia in April 1777. The
original “Armstrong Map” is part of the Draper Manuscript Collection (Reference 7 ZZ
53) housed at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin Madison. He included mileage
charts (see below) that are remarkably accurate in comparison to modern maps.
(Armstrong Mileage Chart)” 8
Chart 1: Up the Juniata River
Harris’s Ferry -21 miles to
Juniata River -23 miles to
Tuscorora (Tuscarora) Creek -12 miles to
Kishicoquillis (Kishaoquillas) Creek -20 miles to
Aughwick Creek -13 miles to
Rea” Branch of Juniata (Rays) -3 miles to
Standing Stone Creek -6 miles to
Little Juniata -10 miles to
Chart 2: Up the Susquehanna River
Harris Ferry –19 miles to
Sharemans (Shermans) - 2 miles to
Juniata River -17 miles to
Mahantango Creek –8 miles to
Middle Creek –3 miles to
John Penns Creek -9 miles to
Shamokin -10 miles to
Buffalo Creek -12 miles to
White Deer Hole Creek -12 miles to
Muncey (Muncy) Creek -8 miles to
Lywassoch (Loyalsock) Creek -6 miles to
Lycoming Creek 18 miles to
Great Island (Lock Haven)
Chart 3: Overland to the West
Harris Ferry -17 miles to
Carlisle –20 miles to
Shippensburg -24.5 miles to
Anthony Thompson’s (near) Richmond Furnace – 18.5 miles to
Sideling Hill -5.25 miles to
Reas (Rays) Hill -8.75 miles to
Alliliquippies (Alliquiplpa’s) Gap -1.25 miles to
Tusseys (Mt.) -5.25 miles to
Penderfgrasses -1.75 to
Reastown (Bedford) -6 miles to
Shaweone (Shawnee) Cabins -11.75 miles to
Alleghenny (Allellgheny) Mountains -6.5 miles to
South Branch of Yohioganie -18 miles to
Three Forks of Yohioganie (Youghiogheny)-50 miles to
French Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh)
In its geographical development, we find that the Juniata River’s headwaters originate
on the eastern slopes of the Allegheny Front, part of the eastern Continental Divide, at
an elevation of 3000 Feet above sea level. “From there the waters cut through Ridge
and Valley Province for more than 150 miles, dropping 340 feet above sea level at its
confluence with the Susquehanna River. River’s three main tributaries are Little Juniata
aka Sherman’s Creek, Frankstown Branch and the Raystown Branch. 9 “Juniata River
Water Trail,” Internet, 2014. 9
The early settlements were: “Water Street, Spruce Creek, Half Moon, Gatesburg,
Allegheny Furnace, Sinking Valley, Salem (Antis) Williamsburg, Clover Creek. Allenville
and Village of Frankstown. In years of its development, the original Cemetery below the
“Kittanning Trail” in front of the “Old Log Church” was the center for religious
participation by the Lutheran and Reformed early residents of the area. No specific
dates for the establishment of these villages has been located.” 10
The early history begins with Frank’s Fort in about 1745. Frank’s Fort, located on the
Kittanning Trail was a stopping place for natives and travelers who used the Kittanning
Trail, as lands westward path since 1721 to the Allegheny Mountains. “ On 15 August
1748 Conrad Weise Jr., Indian agent and representative of the Penn”s and the governor
of Virginia stopped at Franks Fort on his way to Logtown to a “council fire” with the
Lempe-Delaware, Seneca, Shawnee, and Wyandot Indians who expressed interest in
allying with the British against the French in the region.”11 His trip took him to Kittanning
then south down the Ohio River (now known as the Allegheny) to the junction of the
Monongahela and Allegheny into the Ohio Rivers to negotiate an agreement of
understanding. At the Council Fire, Conrad Weiser, as Pennsylvania’s ambassador of the
Six Nations traveled to Logtown to gain support of tribal chiefs and the allegiance and
support in the Ohio Valley region. The tribes compiled a list thus providing Weiser with
specific numbers in each tribe for his report to Thomas Penn. Logtown was located in
Harmony Township, northwest of the Forks of the Ohio, an area on the east bank of the
Ohio River opposite of Aliquippa, PA.
As part of Governor Hamilton’s instruction to Weiser, as noted in Conrad Weiser and the
Indian Policy of Colonial Pennsylvania, had another difficult task to turn the squatter
from the land in the Juniata Valley and those who are along the Kittanning Path. The
Indians were very uneasy about white people settling beyond the endless mountains on
the Juniata, on Sherman’s Creek (aka Little Juniata River) and elsewhere. Weiser’s task
was very difficult. “He represented the Juniata Indians as being partial to certain settlers
and declares that it was not the fault of the magistrates or sheriff that the governors
orders were not obeyed. It appears that while on his Logtown journey Weiser was
visibly influenced by the Juniata Indian’s partial views about certain settlers and with the
above excuse, did not fulfill his instructions from Governor Hamilton in reference to
squatters.” 12
The Juniata River Valley was the hunting grounds of the tribes. “The governor foresaw a
future problem and decided to council with the Six Nation Council to sell land east of the
Susquehanna. Canassatego, Iroquois Chief of his group, told the Governor that while the
Indians appreciate the efforts which had been to remove those settlers, they knew that
it was all to no effect. “Canassatego, in behalf of his people agreed to sell a strip of land
east of the Susquehanna River parallel with the Blue Mountains to the Delaware River.
After this purchase, the squatters were removed to the land east of the Susquehanna
River and to the Delaware River. Those who did not apply, then were arrested and the
cabin burned.” 13
In the History of Blair County” by Charles B. Clark, 1896 and J. Simpson Africa, 1883,
present “Frank’s town as being no doubt the log hut of Steven Frank or Stephen Frank a
Native and perhaps one or two other Native traders and a fur traders of others who
came with furs to trade for the white man’s tinsel and toys or perhaps a musket and
ammunition. However, “Jesse Sell’s “History of Blair Co.” in 1911, presents Stephen
Frank as a German immigrant and trader, by trade, and was the first white man to make
a temporary home in this part of the Juniata Valley.” 14. John Hart a licensed trader had
Hart’s Sleeping place in Cambria County near the continental divide during this early
Brothers James and Lazarus Lowery, early traders, received a land warrant issued for the
upper part of the Juniata Valley purchased in 1754. The Lazarus brothers were licensed
as Native Traders in 1744 and were temporary residents as early as 1754 and 1755,
about the time of the French War. “It is said that a native village was known in the
Juanita Valley as early as 1730 and that its Native’s name was “Assunnepachia,”
meaning “meeting of many waters.” 15
In the Iroquois negotiations with Thomas Penn in 1767, the Lenni-Lenape Tribe was
added to the Covenant Chain in negotiation for peace. The Lenni-Lenape- meaning
Original People Aka Delaware were tributary to the Five Nations until 1753, shortly
before the outbreak of the French and Indian War (a part of the Seven Year War in
Europe. In 1755 the major part of this tribe went to the Ohio River Valley, and took up
the hatchet for their brothers, the French. In 1754 Thomas Penn’s purchased the Juniata
Valley, besides the greater portion of western Pennsylvania from the Iroquois at Albany
for four hundred pounds. Jesse Sells points out, “this purchase angered the indigenous
tribe of the valley and a major portion of the warriors of “Assunnepachia” took up the
hatchet for their brothers, the French.” 16 As the settlement between the Nations and
the Penn’s was confirmed, on 23 October 1758, the Natives who had joined the French
returned to the wigwam at Assunnepachia and the settlement continued until the army
of General John Forbes marched up the Raystown branch of the Juniata in 1758. The
Indigenous Tribes became concerned with the warlike appearance and strength of the
arms. General Forbes presented a threat, so the entire village broke up and returned
west by the Kittanning Path and bade farewell to the Juniata Valley-convinced it was no
longer their own. “In 1750 Frankstown Township formed part of Cumberland County to
which it belongs until the formation of Bedford County in 1771. During this period, the
area was opened for settlement and homesteads were constructed by many settlers
located at Monessen’s Cove about 1760 and at Hollidaysburg and vicinity in 1768. Some
of these early settlers were massacred by Natives living in the area. The early pioneers
who entered Frankstown found life had many hardships”. 17
Conrad Geesey 3rd and Catharine Etter Geesey purchased their plantation for Five
hundred fifty Pounds (550), sold to them by Lawrence Etter Jr. and wife Elizabeth. The
land sale contract was initiated 13 May 1812 and final sale completed 22 May 1813
when recordation of the sale was filed in York County and Huntington County. The
plantation land was awarded to Lawrence Etter Jr. as part of the estate settlement of his
father Lawrence Etter Sr, 7 May 1805, probated 11 October 1805. Lawrence Etter’s wife,
Mary Etter (nee Swing), estate settlement was 14 October 1816, probated 06 January
Deed release between Lawrence Etter Jr. and wife Elizabeth to Conrad Geesey 3rd
and wife, Catharine Etter. “ Deed Book of Huntingdon Co., PA. p.285 and 286 states: I,
Conrad Geesey and wife of York County, Pennsylvania and Lawrence Etter Jr. and wife
were of Shrewsbury Township, York County, Pennsylvania when the deed to buy was
188 acres and 195 perches in Franktown Township, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania
was made on 13 May 1812. Signed, dated and registered 22 May 1813, provided
herewith below. Original Deed. reads:
“To all people, to all these present, will come Lawrence Etter Jr. Shrewsbury Township, York County,
Pennsylvania, wagon maker and Elizabeth his wife on one part, and Conrad Geesey and his wife of York
Township, York Co., Pennsylvania aforesaid wagon maker of the other part, whereas Lawrence Etter Jr. and
Elizabeth his wife, by this indenture, rents and rates duly sworn therein, dated 13 day of May for the signatures
herein named for consideration there mentioned. The plantation was on the south side of the Frankstown
Branch of the Juniata River in the State aforesaid, containing 188 acres and 139 perches and with allowances of
6% awarded for road improvements and 7 acres and 50 perches of land next to Michael Etter, John Wicks, Jacob
Lewis and John Reimer to be conveyed to the hold to said Lawrence Etter Jr. and Conrad Geesey to their heirs
and assigns, to them their heirs and assigns of acres as in the said in part indenture notation being them unto
had made, make fully and at large appears. “To hold to them and their assigns as in and by the said part in
consideration of the sum of Five Hundred and Fifty pounds to them in hand well and duly paid by said Conrad
Geesey his heirs exercise and admissible by their presents have made and forever grant and quit claim unto said
Conrad Geesey his heirs and assigns.” 18
Deed of the following property sale and transfer 22 May 1813. Recorded in York County
and Huntingdon Co., Pennsylvania. Deed details follow: Official Record of Deed
Property: “Begins at Hickory stump on the south side of branch bounded by land of Michael Etter and John
Wicks, S 18 D, E 190 perches, to a White Oak, cornered thence by land of Jacob Lewis, S 56 D, W 454 perches to
a post standing on one of the outside lanes of the whole tract. Thence along the outside line W 2 D, E 36 perches
to a White Oak, thence by land of Lynn Wicks remaining D 19 D, E 82 perches to a post standing in the bank of
the Frankstown Branch, thence down the said Branch past on the bank S 74 D, E 76 perches to a post and
further down the said bank S 63 D, E 88 perches to a place of beginning containing 188 A and 139 perches the
usual allowances of 6% for road as well the 7 A and 60 perches to be the same of more of less together will all
singular other the building, improvements, write numbers and appearances what too even into belonging or in
any wise thereof…County, Pennsylvania. Before me subscribed…Lawrence Etter and Elizabeth, his wife,
accepting according to law, the amount of Five Hundred fifth pounds from Conrad Geesey and Catharine, his
wife, twenty-second day of May in the year of one thousand eight-hundred thirteen. Signed by: George Parnitz,
Huntingdon Co.. Seal. Witness: Andres Leitner, John Leitner. Deed recorded in Huntingdon Co., PA 22 May
1813.” 19
The rapid growth of new settlers caused the Frankstown Township area to changed five
times as Pennsylvania gained in population. “Original county of representation was
Chester formed in 10 March1680-an original County. The second change was to
Lancaster County formed on 14 October 1728, then on 27 January 1750 a new county
alinement of Cumberland Co. was named and established to include Frankstown. Next
the Penn’s Colonial Government on 9 March 1771 named the area to be represented by
Bedford Co., the fourth change, was completed on 20 September 1787 to became
Huntington Co., and the last change for the township was the creation of Blair County
on 26 February 1846 which we find today.” 20
During the period of the Revolutionary War years, the colonists gained their
independence and began to be governed to some extent by laws of their own framing
within the great body of English law, as applicable to the business and social relations of
the community. During the time of expanded immigration into the Frankstown, an early
influx of German Reformed, Lutheran and Presbyterian who had followed the
Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers, while others arrived by Forbes Road north of Fort
Louden, to Fort Littleton, and on into what was the Frankstown region. As reported in
the 100th Anniversary of the Geeseytown Evangelical Lutheran Church booklet, the early
settlements were: “Water Street, Spruce Creek, Half Moon, Gatesburg, Allegheny
Furnace, Sinking Valley, Salem (Antis) Williamsburg, Clover Creek. Allenville and Village
of Frankstown. These new settlers penetrated the forests and river valleys, hewed out
clearings and built their cabins on land which they claimed or purchased. No specific
dates for the establishment of these villages has been located. Almost immediately,
“they began to hold divine services in their homes, an initiative assumed by laymen.” 21
Conrad Giese 3rd and his son Joseph Henry traveled from York Township north along the
Susquehanna Path, east of the river, then took the Juniata Path west following the
Juniata River until they reached their land near Franks Fort. With the establishment of
the Military Post of Fort Granville and Fort Shirley, it appears that passage along the trail
was much easier and their passage was not delayed. They brought tools necessary for
cutting trees, sawmill and other tools for building their house and other buildings for
their animals. No specific record was found to tell about their trip or timeline, however,
in looking at the family birth development of children. It appears, Conrad traveled to the
plantation in 1814-until August 1817. His daughter Catharine war born 1811 and
Margaret born 3 July 1818 in York Co. In the year 1818, the Huntingdon County Tax
Record’s did not list a record for Conrad. However, Conrad was listed in the 1819 tax
rolls for 200 acres and Joseph was not listed-he was a “Freeman.” Conrad was not listed
in Huntingdon Tax Records in 1820 because he returned to York Township and was
listed in the 1820 Federal Census for York Co., and Joseph was not listed in York Co. He
properly remained in Huntingdon to care for their property. Their task was great in
hewing out clearings, cutting timber to build their cabin and outbuildings. Joseph and
his father were skilled at building and the project took long days to accomplish. Lydia
Geesey, born 1821 was the first child born in Frankstown Township, and sister Sarah
Sally was born in 1825, the last child. The Old Geesey homestead was probably built
about 1814 -1817. Plans for the house were never found. It was a two story structure
with a fireplace on each floor and a ladder to the second. Gary Cruse, Hollidaysburg, PA.
descendant of Eeanor Giese, 2nd child of Conrad and Catharine and Edwin P. “Ted”
Geesey descendant of John Henry Geesey, 6th child b. 18 Jul 1807, provided information
and the homestead pictures. The original building was of log and wood construction. In
22 February 1992 “Ted” Geesey wrote that a Mr. Hite was the current owner. Over the
years, Hite reported that the house was of log construction later enlarged and sided
with wooden lap board. J. Simpson Africa’s Blair County History book described the old
Geesey homestead in Frankstown township over the years served three generations of
Conrad III, Jacob, and only son of Jacob, Michael. “All have occupied and owned it since
Conrad Geesey, the progenitor came to this county from York County. The old Geesey
Homestead in Frankstown Township is one of the familiar landmarks of Blair County and
is located on Rt. 2088, just across the bridge and to the left around the bend on the left
side of the road.” 22 Michael Geesey lived in the Jack’s Hill house, his mother lived in the
“ Geesey Homestead”
No record has been found for the first services conducted at the “Old Log Church,”
however, the Pennsylvania Ministerial (Old Mother Synod) arrived about 1803, and
began to administer Communion, baptize children and perform other ministerial duties
a couple times a year a people’s homes. Historical records, states: “ that circuit riding
Lutheran and Reformed ministers from other areas such as LIGON of Aaronburg and
WALTER of Middleburg came over long distances by horseback to provide religious
services twice a year in individual’s homes until the Frankstown families decided to build
“The Old Log Church.” It is recorded that some years after the congregation was
established, a lot of ground about one-half mile east of the village of Frankstown in
what is now Geeseytown as deeded on June 6, 1813 by Michael Hileman and wife to
Jacob Walter and Henry Leamer, Sr., trustees for the Frankstown German Presbyterian
(Reformed Church) and Lutheran congregations, as per deed filed in the Huntingdon
County Court House. Christian Gast gave a lot of ground on the south side of the old
roadway for a cemetery. John Leamer was the first person buried in it.” That same year,
1813, the congregation built two-story log church about thirty feet square and furnished
it with slab seats and a small table for a pulpit desk.” 23 In this condition the Lutheran
congregation and apparently others, worshipped in it until 1825 or 1826, when it was
finally completed.
The “Old Log Church” appears to have struggled over the many years and on July 1,
1824 shared Rev. George A. Reichert a pastor with Indiana Co., PA. He began the
difficult and dangerous travel in all kinds of weather, which continued until his
resignation three years later. The first book, now with the special collections at
Gettysburg Theological Seminary, the following is inscribed quite likely in Reichert’s own
handwriting: “Kirchenbuch der Evangelic, Christlischen Germeinde, Frankstown,
Huntingdon Co., Pennsylvania.
A list of those persons confirmed after having been instructed and examined are listed.
“Page dated 1 April, 1825.- List of persons confirmed after having been instructed and examined. David
Brau b. Oct. 16, 1793; Marie Brua b. Jun. 1, 1796; Adam Van Alman b. Aug. 6,1796; Maria Kamerling b.
Mar. 16, 1798; Henry Mogel b. May 13, 1800; Elizabeth Lemer b. Apr 25, 1799; Jesse Wolf b. Oct 1,
1804; Susan Lemer b. Feb. 5, 1801; Michael German b. Aug. 7, 1805; Sarah Ketner b. Feb. 11, 1802;
David Young Heilman b. Dec 25, 1806; Eliabeth Kuhn b, Jan. 6. 1803; John Steiner b Jan. 11, 1803;
Catharine Van Alman b. Jun 28, 1804; John German b. Jul 6, 1807; Susan Mogel b. Jun. 16 1806; Joseph
Heilman b. Oct 18, 1808; Elizabeth German, b. Jun. 22, 1809.” “ The last known communion was
administered at the “Old Log Church” on Dec. 18, 1844.” 24
Old Log Lutheran Church
Picture below listed in “Geeseytown Lutheran Church Anniversary Booklet 1983
Conrad Geesey 3rd and Catharine were very active in their church. In the Journal of
Gabriel Reichert, Lutheran Pastor in Indiana, Armstrong, Huntingdon Counties as
reported in “Adjacent Counties 1822-1827, by Paul Ruff”. Konrad Giese as listed in the
following services: 25 (On his headstone, Conrad is listed as Konrad Geesy).
Page 28, 22 Aug 1824: Election of Konrad Giese and Jacob German as ,Elders, Frankstown.
Page 39, 01 April 1825:Continuation at Preparation for Communion At Frankstown, Konrad Giese.
Page 46, 10 July 1825: Johann born 15 Mar 1825, Parents: Leonard George Giese and Elizabeth.
Sponsors: Andrew Kopp and Elizabeth. 26
Pastor Reichert’s resignation began a period of intense controversy and turmoil among
the Frankstown Lutherans that lasted for more than half a century and caused a
downturn in the church’s stability which resulted in a situation where, finally there was
almost no Lutheran preaching at Frankstown until the Rev. David Ryder’s time.
Gradually, a transformation took place. The downward trend was turned around when
Lutherans living in the vicinity did not want to journey to Hollidaysburg, began to agitate
for the reestablishment of the congregation in connection with the old church. The last
known communion for the congregation at the “Old Log Church” was December 18,
1844.” The congregation, especially the older members, re-established church activities
with Rev. David Ryder and he maintained for several years with services in homes. The
Congregation eventually voted to build a new church. “Henry Geesey 2nd l deeded his
land to his sister Mary Ann Geesey Warfel. She held onto the land and when the church
moved back to the Geesey farm, she deeded the land to build a church.”27
The Geesey Homestead property, was expanded with added acreage to increase the
land capacity to two hundred and thirty acres of highly productive land when Michael H.
Geesey was deeded the plantation.
Michael H. Geesey was born January 11, 1829 in Woodberry Township, Huntingdon
County, PA. At the time of his birth, his father Jacob was working with brother Joseph in
the sawmill business. The Geesey family are of Swiss descent, and their name is
identified with the early history of the Juniata Valley. His parents were Jacob Geesey,
son of Conrad Geesey III, and Margaret GAST.
Michael was the only male out of the eleven children, “ He was bred a farmer's boy and
his education was gained in the district school. He was a member of the Lutheran
Church for thirty-five years and held the church office of deacon. He was active and
businesslike in township affairs and served as a school director for eleven years.
February 3, 1854 he married Sarah, daughter of Mathias Weaver, of Frankstown. By that
marriage there were eight children, seven of whom are living. Mrs. Geesey died
November 21, 1873 and January 27, 1876 he married Jane, daughter of Henry Crawford,
of Frankstown township. Of the three children born of the second marriage, two are
living. Michael was 65 yrs., 6 days old when he died 17 January 1894. Burial:
Geeseytown Cemetery, Frankstown Twp., Blair Co., Pennsylvania. 28
Michael H. Geesey
Son of: Jacob Geesey 1802-1857 and Margaret Gast Geesey 1805-1888
August 1883 by Pastor Ryder, assisted by Rev. W.W. Criley and Rev. J.W. Henderson. The
lot was offered to the Church, by John B. Warfel. On 30 June 1884, the Lot was deeded
to the church council-Jonathan Slippey, John B. Warfel Irvin Metzer, John Edgely and
Mary Warfel. Church was Dedicated on 14 June 1885, Rev. E. B. Killinger and the sermon
preached by Rev. J. H. Menges of Philadelphia. 29 ( Ref.: Geesey Evangelical Lutheran
Church, 100th Anniversary Booklet, 1883-1983.) ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION OF THE
COUNTY COURT ON 12 JANUARY 1885.Official Recordation. Picture (1992) of the New
It is evident that Michael H. Geesey carried on the Geesey name in honor. It is believed
he and the Geesey Family will always be remembered for community involvement and
hard work that show it matters when you dedicate your life for the good of others. He
served as a church deacon for many years and served as the Frankstown Township
School director of education for eleven years. Michael was a vigorous worker in the
cause of public education. In searching both Blair Co. and Huntingdon Co. for legal
records as evidence of naming the Village none were found excepted as noted herein.
The Articles of Incorporation of the Geeseytown Evangelical Lutheran Church and the
Geesey Family early History show family involvement and dedication to the future of the
Geeseytown community.
The Blair County Genealogical and Historical Society, in a letter received 03 April 1987
from Sylva L. Emerson, Secretary-Curator, stated that Geeeytown is the largest now that
it has been and there are twenty-three houses, a church and a fire hall. The Geeseytown
Fire Department serves all of the Frankstown Township. Geeseytown is a very small
community and has no government of its own and does not have a U.S. Post Office, but
receives mail from R.D.# route from Hollidaysburg. Taxes are collected by Frankstown
Township and police protection comes mainly from the Pennsylvania State Police.
Frankstown Township is the largest in Blair County. The village built along State Route
22 and all but three of the houses are on that route and the third house off the road, it
becomes Dutch Bottom, which is a series of rural properties not connected to the
village. In the book, 150th Anniversary History Blair County, by Larry D. Smith, “states
that route 2022 cuts off Rt. 22 on the south and follows the course of the now vanished
Juniata Canal, Division-Frankstown Branch.”
In the book, “The Amazing Pennsylvania Canals,” William H. Shank, Published Aug. 1991
outlines the planning and development of the Juniata Canal Division that was officially
opened to traffic with the passage of packet boat, John Blair between Huntingdon and
Hollidaysburg on November 27, 1832.” 30 It was subsequently discovered that some of
the workmanship along that section was faulty and certain locks and several of the
aqueducts had to be rebuilt before full operation was possible the next year. The Juniata
Division required 86 locks to overcome a change in elevation of 584 feet in the 127 miles
between Duncan’s Island and Hollidaysburg. There were 25 aqueducts to carry the canal
over the larger tributaries, mainly wooden structures on stone plies.” The Juniata
Division canal was to have ended at Frankstown “but due to the resistance of a farmer
near where the turn-around canal basin was originally planned, the canal was extended
two miles further to Hollidaysburg. 30 Conrad Giese lived in this area of concern.
Evidence of the old canal ditch can be found today, just above the area where the
homestead was built. “The turn-a-round can be seen just below the Lutheran CemeteryGeeseytown Cemetery today. “The canal ran in front on his property and the turn-around would no doubt have caused great harm to his property and farming operation
had it not been moved a distance downstream. Conrad would have found it difficult to
function if a water basin turn-around was on his property line.” 31
“The Juniata River is a tributary of the Susquehanna River 104 miles to the mouth of the
river with the Susquehanna River which forms the second largest tributary in western
Huntingdon County at the confluence of the Frankstown Branch and the Little Juniata
River, between the boroughs of Alexandria and Petersburg. The river flows southeastern
through Huntingdon and continues to a small village of Ardensheim, where the
Raystown Branch, the longest of the Juniata’s tributaries enter from the southwest. The
Juniata continues southeast through a gap in the Jacks Mountain ridge. On the
southeast side of the ridge it received Augwick Creek from the south then flows
northeast, along the eastern flank of the Jacks Mounain ridge o Lewiston, where it
collects in Kishacoquillas Creed and Jack’s Creek, from Lewiston flows east on a winding
The area of Frankstown Township, and the area of Conrad Geesey’s Plantation under M.
Geesey (Michael H. Geesey-third Geesey to own property and ridge part of their
property of Jacks Hills is shown on the map below. The map is a good representation of
Geesey property in the landscape of the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River and the
Canal System waterway in the 1838 and 1839 Huntingdon Taxable List is showed that
they had 100 acres on the Ridge property, which would show Jack’s Hill that contains
100 acres of their land. An 1873 Map of Juniata River and the Pennsylvania Canal System
are shown of the same Frankstown Branch and the Geesey property. River system
supplied the water to support the canal waterway. Frankstown Canal Branch.
“Juniata River and Pennsylvania Canal System 1873 Map of Blair Co.,PA.”30
Conrad Geesey III (aka Konrad Giese), his father Conrad Giese Jr and his father Conradt
Gysi, (Giese) Sr. were farmers, wagon wrights, wheelwrights, and blacksmiths. Conrad
was born 11 Aug. 1775. birth record: Blymiers (St. John) Union Church, York Twp., York
Co., Pa. He was baptized 28 October 1775, Blymiers (St. Johns) Reformed and Lutheran
Church, York Twp., York Co., PA. His birth was soon after the Revolutionary War began,
Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. In couple years later, his father Conrad Jr, and
brother’s Jacob, John Christian volunteered for service in the Pennsylvania Militia and
served in 1777-1778. Conrad Sr. gave his rifle to be used by the Continental and General
George Washington’s army. The second tour of service found Conrad Jr, Jacob, and
Johannes Jacob and first tour for Reinert (Heinrich-Henricus), the youngest brother, in
Capt. George Armstrong Co. in 1786, 1787 and Spring of 1788.
Conrad Geesey III had a family to assist in his early development and learned the trade
of his father, farming, building wagons, and blacksmith. No specific history was found on
his early schooling, but his family assisted him in learning life skills. Conrad Geesey III
married Catharine Etter 04 Feb. 1798, York, York Co., PA., Christ Lutheran and Reformed
(Trinity) York City, Page 317. Catharine was the daughter of Lawrence Etter (1740-1805)
and Anna Margaretta Swing (1753-1818) of Shrewsbury Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.
Evidence of Conrad’s family in York Township, York Co.
1800 Federal Census: York Twp., York Co., PA Page 1324
1 Male Under 10, 1 Male 26-44, 1 Female Under 10, 1 Female 26-44
Joseph H. -2 Conrad Leanor -1 Catherine
1810 Federal Census, York Twp., York Co., PA
3 M < 10, 1 M 10-15, 1 M 26-44, 2 F <10, 1 F 10-15, 1 F 26-44
Conrad and Catherine had: Children John Henry 3, George 6, Jacob 8: Joseph H. 12: Two Female children U<10:
Elizabeth l, Mary 9, and one female 10-15- Leanor 1820 in York Twp., York Co., PA,
Federal; Census: 1820 Fec. Cen. April 1820
2M 10-15, 2M 16-20, 1M 26-44, 1 F U<10, 2F`10-15, 2F 16-20. 1 F 26-44
John H. Jacob Conrad Margaret Elizabeth Leanor Catherine George Catharine Mary Polly
2 in Agriculture. (It appears that Joseph H. is not listed and was probably left to safe guard the property in
Huntington Co., because he is not home and thus it would indicate he stayed in Huntington Co., PA. to watch the
new house and 200 acre property. The development record of the family would indicate that Conrad moved his
family in the Spring of 1821, his daughter Lydia was born 1821 in Frankstown Township. Huntingdon Co., PA.
1830 Census: Frankstown Twp., Huntingdon Co., PA, Page 149
Conrad Geesey: 1 M 50-59, 1 F <5, 2 F 10-14, 2 F 15-19, 1 F 50-59
Conrad, Sarah, Lydia, Margaret Catharine, Elizabeth, Catharine
1840 Census: Frankstown Twp., Huntingdon Co., PA, Page 344
Conrod Geesy: 1 M 60-69, 1 F 15-19, 3 F 20-29, 1 F 60-69
Conrad Sarah, Lydia, Margaret, Catharine Catharine
In looking at the family, their new plantation purchase agreement and old residence in York Co.,
Federal Census for 1820, we know that the purchase for this property was completed in York Co. and
recorded in York Co., and Huntingdon cover the initial legal affairs for the sale in 1813 between
Conrad Geesey, his wife Catharine Geesey nee Etter, and her brother Lawrence Etter Jr. and his wife
Since the property was within the boundaries of Frankstown Township, Huntingdon Co.,
the agreement was filed as required by that county. We know that Conrad and
Catharine did not move immediately and our next record to indicate their plans showed
up in the Huntingdon tax assessment records.
The Tax Assessment Records 1788-1833 Frankstown Township Huntingdon Co. are on
file at the Huntingdon Co. Historical Society –Researcher David L. Geesey.
The 19 July 1818, Taxable Record for Huntingdon Co.
Show Conrad Geesey’s Assessment Records for Frankstown Township, Huntingdon Co., on the
property, taxed on 200 acres, l horse, l cow and I occupation-not identified.
Joseph Henry, b. 02 Oct 1798 accompanied his father to the new plantation.
The Huntingdon Taxable Record for 1819
Is the same, however, Joseph is not listed and Conrad was not taxed since he did not farm-his land the
first two years.
On the 1820 Taxable Record for Huntingdon Co.
Conrad Geesey is shown with 190 acres,10 acres-house-barn, outbuilding, 4 horses, 4 cows, 1
occupation. Joseph Geesey in 1820 is listed on the “Freemen List. “ (All males 21 years old-Joseph H.
was b. 02 Oct 1798 qualifying him for the Freemen-List-a person who had civil or political freedom, and
who is not a slave or serf.) Joseph relocated to Woodbury Twp., Huntingdon Co., PA as recorded 1826
with a house and 1 occupation. The plantation was ready, thus assessment filed on Conrad the owner
and Joseph the care keeper till the family moved from York Co., in 1821.
In 1821 Taxable List for Huntingdon Co. Conrad is listed with 190 acres, 10 acres,4
horses, 4 cows, 1 occupation. Again, Joseph H. is not listed.
The Taxable List for Huntingdon Co. for 1822 Conrad is listed the same
acres and horses, cows and occupation and Joseph H. is marked crossed off Freemen List. I did not
find the 1822-1825 Woodbury Township, Huntingdon Co., PA tax list. Joseph H. is listed as living in
Williamsburg, Huntingdon Co., Pa and married to Mary Margaret Baker in 1825. Joseph developed a
sawmill business in Williamsburg, Woodbury Township, but the record was not found when he began
that business. On the Taxable Record in 1818 Conrad and his son Joseph had a sawmill at their
plantation to assist in building their home. Joseph to develop his sawmill business in Woodbury
Township abt. 1822 and his brother Jacob is listed working with him in the sawmill business and
building wagons. The wagon making business was not listed on the taxable at this early date.
In 1823 Tax Record Huntingdon Co.,PA., Conrad Geesey is listed with the same data (200
a,3h,3c,1 0cc.) and we have Jacob Geesey listed on the Freeman for the first time. The year 1824
Taxable List Record, Huntingdon Co., PA. Conrad Geesey’s family is listed with the same data
(200a, 3h, 3c,1 occ. ) and Jacob Geesey is listed as a Freeman for the second time. His date of his birth
was 09 September 1802-Blymers Lutheran Church Register, York Twp. York Co., PA, was after the
Taxable listing date, so it appears he was listed a Freeman for two years instead of just the one.
Conrad Geesey III’s 1825 Huntingdon Taxable List was the same (200a, 3h,3c, 1Oacres, except
for Jacob, was crossed off the Freeman List and a marriage is listed for him in this record. Jacob
married in 1825 to Margaret Gast, daughter of Christian Gast and Margaretta (Bohrer Borah) all of
Frankstown Township, Huntingdon Co., PA. J. Africa Simpson, History of York Co., PA Pub. 1883 listed
that Jacob Geesey moved to Williamsburg, Huntingdon Co for some years to carry on the farming and
wagon making. He joined his brother Joseph Geesey in developing their livelihood as the tax record
After several years, Jacob moved back to a small farm near his father and later
purchased the homestead. Africa Simpson listed the purchase in 1838, however, the tax
record for 1838 shows a different picture. Conrad Geesey has maintained the 200 acres,
100 for himself and 100 for Jacob and George to share, so it appears that Conrad was
the Landlord and his sons “paid him in kind” so he would have food for his cows and
horse. Conrad moved into the 2 bedroom house and 8 acres that Jacob had built on the
plantation in 1834, and it appears that Jacob moved into the homestead. The Tax record
indicated an arrangement to exchange living quarters and this landlord arrangement
appears to have been maintained. Huntingdon Co. Taxable list 1839 and 1840 shows
the same land use and living arrangements for Conrad and Jacob. Huntingdon Co. Tax
List for 1841 listed Conrad still living in the house and lot and had 1 occupation, and
Jacob taking control of the 200 acre plantation with 2 horses and 3 cows. George
Geesey was listed with 2 horses, 5 cows, and 106 acres of land, thus showing that
George industry and occupation. Pomeroy and Company Co. 1873 from the actual
survey and under the direction of Beach Nichols. The Village of “Geeseytown” had not
been officially established till 12 January 1885 as noted in church registration. Listed on
the map are the Cemetery near the Canal turnaround and Michael Geesey is shown
twice on the map. He was the third generation to own the plantation. The main House
was to the right and the ridge two bedroom house to the left. Plantation purchased in
1813, opened in 1817- 1819 family moved in Spring of 1822.
The year 1826 Conrad III on the Taxable List for Huntingdon Co., listed (200a, 3h, 3c, 1
Occ) Jacob is no longer listed, however his son George is listed with 1cow. In 1827,
Conrad III is not listed on the tax rolls. Jacob Geesey is listed l house, 1h, 1c. A second
house, two bedroom single level house which I observed on my visit and as shown on
the on the 1859 and 1873 Frankstown Township in all probably was the house built by
Jacob Geesey. Son George is listed with 1c.
In 1828 Conrad III is shown on the Taxable List with 200a, 3h, and 4c. His occupation
was not listed. Jacob Geesey has 1 house and lot, 1h, 1c, and George Geesey 1c. The
Huntingdon Co., Taxable List in 1829 appears very active at the plantation. Listing for
taxes for 1830. Conrad Geesey III shows 215a, 5h, 3c, 1 occ. Jacob Geesey 200 a (for
landlord) 3h, 2c, l occ. Son, George Geesey is listed 200 acres (for landlord) 3h, 3c. Son,
Henry Geesey 5a, 2c. For landlord for Jacob and George may have been renting part of
the plantation for their occupation or another property. The record did not spell this out
and a record of fact was not found. The 1859 Frankstown Township, Blair Co., map
shows that Henry was listed on property near the highway today, and then, on the
Kittanning Trail, later known as a State Road 22.
Taxable List for Huntingdon Co.1831 shows Conrad Geesey III had 215a, 5h, 3c, 1 occ, house and
lot (landlord). Jacob Geesey is listed for 200a, (Landlord) 3h, 2c, 1occ, George Geesey 80a (for
Landlord) 3h, 3c, Henry Geesey 5a, 2c., George Geesey 80a (for landlord) 2h, 2c. This year’s taxable
activity shows some changes in living arrangements on the plantation. Conrad III appears to have made
farming arrangements and living arrangement on a different basis. He appears to be living in the small
house and lot built by Jacob, and Jacob is living in the homestead as shown in the years of 1832 ad
In 1833, the Taxable Record List Conrad Geesey III has 200a, 1 house and lot, 2h, 2c, 1 occ. He
appears to still the overseer of the plantation. Jacob Geesey 280a (for landlord) 2h, 2c. George 105 a
(for landlord) 2h, 2c. Henry Geesey 5a, 21h, 2c.In 1833 Conrad Geesey, b. 1775, would have been 56
years of age, a time when he appears to be slowing down in his efforts to run the plantation and the
related other activities.
In 1834 Huntingdon Co., Tax Record, Conrad Geesey III is listed with l house and 1 lot, 2h, 2c, 1
occ. Conrad Geesey III is crossed out and Jacob is listed with 200a, 1 house 2h, 2c, 1occ.) Jacob became
the overseer of the plantation. George Geesey 2h, 1c, 150a land. Henry Geesey is listed with 5a, 2h, 2c,
Henry Geesey and Issac Slippey, husband of Mary Polly Geesey, listed with land. Conrad is living in the
small house build by Jacob, located near Jack’s Hill.
Taxable Assessment Records for 1835 show some variation from the routine of past years.
Conrad Geesey lll 1h, 2c 1 house and lot; I occ. 200 a land, 100 with George. Jacob 2h, 2c, (280 a.
Landlord) crossed out. George Geesey 2h,1c, 150 land. Henry Geesey 2h, 2c, Joseph Geesey 2h, 1 occ.,
Joseph has moved back to Frankstown Twp.,from Woodbury Twp. and was engaged in the saw mill
Taxable Assessment for 1836 List,iConrad Geesey III,1h, 2c, 1 house and lot, 1 occ. 200 a 100 with
George. Jacob Geesey 4h, 3c, George Geesey listed with2h, 1c., Henry Geesey 2h, 2c., Joseph Geesey
2h, 1 occupation.
List 1837 Tax Assessemnt, Conrad Geesey III 1h, 2c, 1 house lot, 200 acres, 100 with George. Jacob
Geesey 4h,m 2c, George Geesey 2h, 1c, Henry Geesey 2h, 2c, Joseph Geesey2h, l occ.
Taxable Huntingdon Co., Tax List for 1837.
Conrad Geesey Ill 1h, 2c, 1house/lot 1 occ. 200a, 100 with George, Jacob Geesey 4h, 2c, Henry Geesey
2h, 2c, Geroge Geesey 1h, 1c., Joseph Geesey 2h, I occupation.. 1838 Taxable List shows some
variation in shared land use, Conrad Geesey lll 100 acres with George, 112 with w. Jacob/Henry, 100
acres ridge land, 1 house/lot 1occ., Jacob Geesey 2h, 2c, George Geesey 2c, Henry Geesey 1h, 2c.,
Joseph Geesey 2h, 2 c. In the 1839 Taxable List Conrad Geesey 100 a with George, 112 w. Jacob/Henry,
100 acres ridge land; 1 house/lot, 1 occ, 2 c. Jacob Geesey 2h, 3c, George 3c, Henry Geesey 1h, 2c,
Joseph 2h, 2c.
In the year 1840, Conrad Geesey Assessment List, shows some adjustments with sharing 100a
with George, 112a with Henry/Jacob, 100a ridge land, 1 house/lot 2c, l occ.
Jacob Geesey 2h, 3c., George 3c, Henry Geesey 1h, 2c., Joseph 3h, 3c.
In 1841Huntingdon Co. Taxable List, it appears the year that Jacob Geesey took full charge of
the plantation.
Conrad Geesey 8a, 1 house/lot 2c, 1 occ.
Jacob Geesey 200a, 2h, 3c.
George Geesey 2h, 5c, 106 acres of land.
Henry Geesey 1h, 2c, l occupation.
Joseph Geesey 2h, 3c and 1 occupation.
The Huntingdon Co.Taxable Year 1842 ,
Conrad Geesey III 2c, 8a, 1house/lot, 1 occupation,
Jacob Geesey 200a, 2horses, 3cows,
George Geesey 2 horse, 5 cows,
Henry Geesey 1 horse, 2 cows, 1 occupation,
Joseph Geesey 1 horse, 2 cows, 1 sawmill.
Taxable List 1843 8 acres, 1 house/lot 2 cows, 1 horse. (Conrad died 16 Dec 1842)
(Estate Paid Taxes) Catharine Geesey was listed on the tax rolls).
Jacob Geesey 220 acres, 2 horses, 3 cows.
George Geesey 2 horses, 5 cows.
Henry Geesey 1 horse, 2 cows, 1 occupation.
Joseph Geesey 1 horse, 2 cows, 1 sawmill.
Tax Assessment List for 1844.
Catharine Geesey 8 acres, 1 house/lot, 1 cow.
Jacob Geesey 110 acres, 3 horses, 3 cows., Henry Geesey 1 horse, 1 cow, 2 acres, 1
Joseph Geesey not listed.
Assessment List 1845
Catharine Geesey 8 acres, 1 house/lot, 1 cow.
Jacob Geesey 110 acres, 4 horses, 3 cows.
George Geesey 100 acres, 2 horses, 3 cows.
Henry Geesey 1 horse, 2 cows, 2 acres, 1 occupation.
Joseph Geesey not listed.
Tax Assessment 1845
Catharine Geesey 8 acres, 1 hors e/lot, 1 cow.
Jacob Geesey 140 acres, 3 horses, 3 cows.
George Geesey 100 acres, 3 horses, 3 cows.
Henry Geesey 1 horse, 1 cow, 1 occupation.
Joseph Geesey 1 saw mill, lot, stable, 1 horse, 1 cow, 1 occupation.
In 1846 the Huntingdon Co.Tax Assessment, value was added to the tax listing.
Catharine Geesey 8 acres, 1 house, lot 1 cow (Value 500 and cow 9). Jacob Geesey 140
acres, 4 horses, 3 cows (Value 140 acres of land 2628, horses 160, cow 27. George Geesy
100 acres, 3 horses, 3 cows (Value 100 acres of land, 3 horses 90, 3 cows 27 value 2000.
Henry Geesey 1 horse, 1 cow, 1 occupation. (Horse 3. 1 cow
9, 1 occupation, 43 acres value (1290) Joseph Geesey 1 sawmill, 1 lot, stable, 1 horse, 1
cow. Value occupation 125, saw mill 200, l lot and stable 45, 1 cow 9). The record for
1847 was not found.
The 1850 Federal Census, Blair Co., Frankstown Twp., Date: PA. 8 Sep. 1850. Dwelling:
58, Family 58 George Geasy, 47, Farmer, Value of Real Estate $3000, Born: PA, Married:
Cecila Geasy, 31, Married, Born: PA
Catharine Geasy, 12, Born: PA.
Margaret Geasy, 9, Born: PA.
Dwelling: 78, Family 81
Joseph Geasy, 55, Wagonmaker, Real Estate: 800, Born: PA., Married
Mary Geasy, 42, Married, Born: PA. Jacob Geasy 9, Born PA.
Sarah Geasy, 22, Born: PA. George Geasy 5, Born PA.
Franklin Geasy, 19, Wagonmaker, Born: PA. Slias Geasy 3, Born PA.
John Geasy, 17, Laborer, Born: PA. In School. David Geasy 1, Born BA
Matilda Geasy 13, Born PA.
Jacob Geasy 9, Born PA.
George Gessy 5, Born PA.
Dwelling: 129, Family 134
John Henry Geasy 43, Farmer Real Estate Value 1100, Married. Born: PA
Elizabeth Geasey 41, Married, Born: PA.
Willilam Geasey 21, Laborer, Born: PA. Levi Geasey,12, Born:PA, In School
Mary Ann Geasey 18, Born: PA
Sarah Ann Geasey10,Born PA.In School
Christian Geasey 16 Born: PA,In School Henry Geasey 5, Born ,PA.
Rebecca Geasey 14, Born: PA., In School Joseph Geasey 3, Born, PA
Charles Geasey 1, Born: PA
Page 2, FC: Frankstown Twp., Date: 8 Sep 1850.
Dwelling 131, Family 136,
Catharine Geasy 60, Real Estate Value: 600
Lydia Geasy, 30, Born: PA.
Dwelling 230, Family 246
Jacob Geasy 48, Farmer, Real Estate Value; 3630, 800, Born: PA.
Margaret Geasy, 45, Born: PA.
Harriett Geasy, 11, Born PA. In School
Michael Geasy, 21, Born: PA.
Catharine Geasy 10, B. : PA. In School
Margaret Geasy, 19, Born: PA.
Nancy Geasy 8, Born: PA., In School
Sally Sarah Geasy, 16, Born: PA., In School Lydia Geasy 6, Born: PA., In School
Elizabeth Geasy 15, Born: PA., In School Maria Geasy 2, Born: PA.,
Susan Geasy 12, Born: PA. In School
1870 Federal Census. Part 2, Blair Co., Film: 0552808, 0552809, Family History Center,
Frankstown Twp., Blair Co., Pa.
Geesey, Joseph 72, Wagon maker, Val. Real Estate: 3000, Birth: PA. U.S. Citizen
Mary 69, Silas 23
George 25
Mary 18
Geesey, George 67, Farmer Cecila 52, Born: Germany, Father: Foreign Born,
Mary 16
Geesey, Henry 64, Carpenter Real Estate: Value 3000, 400
Elizabeth 62, Charles 20, Lydia 55 (Sister)
Geesey, William 40, Line Burner, Real Estate Value $1000, $3000
Catharine 36 Delia 7, Eleanor 16 Annie 4, Mollie 9
Geesey, Michael 41, Farmer, Value Real Estate $1829
Sarah 38, William 13, Kate 9, Annie 5, Stevens, John 20, Ellen 15, Blair 11, Maggie 7, Jonathan 2, (Farm
The Two Hundred Seventy-Fifth anniversary of the immigration of Conrad
Giese Sr. began with his family’s arrival at the Port in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on
October 2, 1741 from Hassloch, Kurpfalz. The early history of the Palatinate expanded in
the land of the Count Palatine, title held by a leading secular prince of the Holy Roman
Empire beginning with Hermann I in 945. The area was divided between two small
territorial clusters, Upper Palatinate and Rhenish, or Lower Palatinate. The Upper
Palatinate was located in northern Bavaria on both sides of the Naab River as it flows
south toward the Danube and extended to the Bohemian Forrest. The Rhenish or Lower
Palatinate included lands on both sides of the Middle Rhine River between the Main and
Neckar tributaries. Its capital until the 18th century was Heidelberg. Hassloch, Kurpfalz
was about 55 km west of Heidelberg, and east of the Rhine River. The Palatine History,
by Lorine McGinnis Schulze, Copyright 1996 can be read on “The Olive Tree Genealogy,”
on for a greater understanding of the land, leadership, wars and
changes that incurred to the area and it’ s impact on our ancestors.
Conrad Giese’s Immigration: 02 Oct 1741 Qualified Oath to King George II- Kiesie 02 Oct
1741 in Ship List (St Andrew) , Charles Stedman, Commander, Conradt Keyse. Conrad’s
name in Hassloch was Gissy. Wife was listed but not by name. Two children were listed
but not named.
MARRIAGES; JOHANN CONRADT (Sr.) born 27 March 1718, Bapt.: 30 March 1718
Evangelisch, Hassloch, Pfalz. Married 15 April 1738 to (l) Anna Barbara Werles
(Evangelisch) Hassloch, Pfalz, Bayern born abt. 1718, d. of decreased Ulrich Werles and
Margareth Ott. Ulrich Wehrile's father was Nicholas Wehrii and mother Maria Blattner.
Two children born in Hassloch: Catharina Barbara born 3 June 1739, C: 07 June 1739
Hassloch, Pfalz, Bayern and Maria Elizabeth born 16 May 1740, C: 22 May 1 740
Hassloch, Pfalz.
Conrad Sr. married again about 1845 (2): Maria Agatha Bear (nee Bar) born 28 February
1720, d: John Ulrich Bar and wife Anna Klein, daughter of Hans Michael Klein. Maria
Agatha lived with parents on their farm in Elizabeth Township, Lancaster Co.,
Pennsylvania. Conrad and Maria Agatha had eight children and she died about 1878.
Conrad married (3) Magdalena Schwartz on 15 February 1791 and he died 5 February
1802, and Magdalena died 24 March 1830.
The family history for Maria Agath Bear (nee Bar) can be read in the Pennsylvania
Mennonite Heritage, “Title “The Bear Saga (Update) Part One” by Jane Evans Best, Vol
21, Number 3, July 19, 1998, pp. 11-26. The “Bear of Bar Family” history begins in
Canton Zurich, Switzerland and provided the early clue as to the birth of Conrad Gesie
Jr-1750, and opened the door of our early history. The author, Jane Best up-dated the
family again Part two in Heritage publications of the Heritage Volume 21, Number 4.
October 1998 pp. 15 – 28; and another up-date Part Three in Heritage, Volume 22,
Number 1, January 1999, pp. 26 – 36.
Emigration. St. Andrew, a “Tall Ship” 02 October 1741-Charles Stedman, Command, List
of Palatines 103 (Men), 72 (Women), 87.6 (Children),262.6 Total. "Pennsylvania German
Pioneers" by Ralph Beaver Strassburger.LL.D, President of Pennsylvania German Society,
Edited by William John Hinke, Ph. D., D. D. in three
Volumes, Volume I 727-1775, published by the , Pennsylvania German Society,
Norristown, Pennsylvania 1934 (F 160 G3 S8 V-l) German IGI Source Call # 488291 As a
German Immigrant he could not write but made his (X) mark, spelling of his name by
clerks. Ship List: Conradt Gissy.
Tall Ship class: such as this one carried Palatine immigrants to America as shown in an article, 113, Pennsylvania Mennonite
Heritage, Vol 36, No. 4, Oct. 2013, Immigration of Conrad-Gysi St. Andrew 2 Oct 1741
Conrad’s brother, Jacob Gysi, b. 1708 immigrated on the Ship, Princess Augusta, 16 Sep.
1736, Commander Samuel Merchant, Jacob Gysi aka (Kese, Kissy, Keasy), b. April 1707,
Conrad’s brother, immigrated to Penn’s Colony and his family history exploration in
Pennsylvania continues to establish his family line.
Once emigrated, Jacob Gysi (Kissy), Conrad’s older brother and his wife Anna Barbara
Biber appear to have lived in Philadelphia County for a period of time. We know that her
sister Maria Elizabeth Biber married George Hammerich who emigrated to Penn’s
Colony on the Ship Snow Lowther in 14 October 1731. George and Maria Elizabeth
Hammerich lived in the Germantown area Pennsylvania. Jacob and Anna Barbara Kissy
may have lived in the Germantown area or they may have settled in Bucks,
Montgomery, or Berks Counties. George Hammericah was a weaver and his wife, Maria
Elizabeth died before 1737. George Hammericah married (2) Nancy Cook and their first
child was born 1 May 1737. Maria Elizabeth Biber and Jacob Kissy, Kisey, Keasy is an ongoing research project in finding Jacob”s family development and location in
Marriage German IGI Source Call (#488828) Ref: Emigration: Ship: St. Andrew 02 October 1741- Charles
Stedman, Command, List of Palatines 103 (Men), 72 (Women), 87 (Children), 262.6 Total. “Pennsylvania German
Pioneers" by Ralph Beaver Strassburger, LL.D, President of Pennsylvania German Society, Edited by William John
Hinke, Ph. D., D. D. in three Volumes, Volume I 727-1775, published by the , Pennsylvania German Society,
Norristown, Pennsylvania 1934 (F 160 G3 S8 V-l) 488291). As a German Immigrant he could not write his name,
but made his (X) mark-spelling of his name by clerks. (Ship list-Gissy, Port of Entry Keyse, Oath of the King of
England-Kiesie. With these variations, his known original name was GYSI. His date of marriage: 15 Apr 1738 ,
Hassloch, Pflaz. Marriage German IGI Source Call # 488291.
The early record of Conrad Gysi Sr. prior to 1750, has not been found, however, the
record of a second marriage gives evidence that he lived in the Elizabeth Township area
of Lancaster Co., PA. prior to his second marriage. We know that Maria Agatha Bear’s
family had a farm in the Elizabeth Township, Lancaster Co.
Ref: “The Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage, Vol., X, #1, January 1987, page 37. 51a32 Maria Agatha Bar, b Feb.
28, 1720, Ittlingen (date m. not listed) m. John Conrad Gysi, bap. Mar. 30 1718, Reformed Church Hassloch ,
widower of Anna Barbara Werle, Moved to York Co., PA. 51a321, John Conrad Geise, b. 12 July 1750, Bap. First
Reformed Church, Lancaster. Anna Maria Bar’s father was Johann Ulrich Bar and mother Anna Klein. They had
eight children and they attended the Lutheran Church at Ittlingen in the Palatinate, inv. Elizabeth Township
1749, Lancaster Co., PA. Immigrated to American 30 Sep 1732 on the Dragon
The Conrad SR and Maria Agatha Giese settled in York Co., Pennsylvania. They
purchased land and the land record is shown below: Land Record: 13 Nov 1766 in York
Twp., York Co., PA.; On 3 Sep 1767 243.39 acres were surveyed for Conrad Keeser
LAND RECORD WARRANT: Reference: Neil Otto Nively, York Twp., York Co., PA. Land Records, 1997. Conrad
Keeser (Geeesy) (sic) received a Land Warrant on 13 Nov 1766 for 200 acres in York Twp., York Co., PA,
Application #1893. On 3 Sep 1767 243.39 acres were surveyed for Conrad Geesy and named "Big Head." Land is
just West of Bymier's (St John's) Church, York Twp., York Co., PA.
This brief history sets the stages of family development from York Co. to Huntingdon Co.
through the grandson, Conrad Giese III to his issue and attached Family Tree Family
development from Huntingdon Co.
1. The Natiacoke Lenni-Lenape, An American Indian Tribe, “Our Oral History,” P. 2,
2.”The Mansion” Bulletin of Blair County Historical Society, page 2, P.O. Box March 1983, New Series Vol. X, No. 1,
Allegheny Furnace, Altoona, PA. 16603
3 .The Original “Armstrong Map,” part of the Draper Manuscript, Collection (7 ZZ 53) housed at the State Historical Society
of Wisconsin in Madison. The map is an interpretation of the original map, drawn by an Artist not named.
Armstrong’s Map of Mother Cumberland.
4. “Presbyterian Church in Early Pennsylvania”, Preface page, Presbytery of Carlisle, 1770. Book Call # 9273748c - l B56 no
5. “The Long history of the Old Indian Spring,” by Dorie Leathers, Clark House News, Monthly Publication of the Historical
& Genealogical Society of Indiana Co., PA p. 7, March 2015,
6. Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage, Vol. 37, Number 3, July 2014, Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, 2215
Millstream Road, Lancaster, PA. 17602. Subject: ‘Gathering Clouds “ German Diaspora.” p 79; and Banks of the
Susquehanna River pp 84, 84.
7. “Forbes Road,” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Road “Historic Military Roadway,” 26 Jan. 2015.
8, “Mother Cumberland Map,” General explanation of the historic map and mileage chart and development of the Juniata
River Valley. Date 1755.
9. Pennsylvania Water Trail-Juniata River Trail, page 1, Internet Program, 2014.
10 .”The Mansion,” Bulletin of Blair County Historical Society, page 3, P. O. Box, March 1983, New Series Vol 1, Allegheny
Furnace, Altoona, PA. 16603
11. Conrad Weiser’s Diplomacy with Ohio Indians and Logtown meeting, 1748, Explore PA Internet,
12. ”Conrad Weiser and the Indian Policy of Colonial Pennsylvania,” by Joseph S. Walton, Page 203, Copyright, Pub: 1900,
“George W. Jacobs Co., Reprint 2014, Heritage Books, Inc.
13. “Conrad Weiser and the Indian Policy of Colonial Pennsylvania,” by Joseph S. Walton. Page 208. Copyright ,Pub: 1900.
‘George W. Jacobs Co., Reprint, 2014, Heritage Books, Inc.
14. 20 Century “History of Altoona and Blair Co., Pennsylvania ”by Jesse Sells, page 259, Published by Blair Co. Historical
Society, 1911.
15. Twenty Century “History Altoona and Blair Co., Pennsylvania, Jesse Sells Page 259, Published by Blair Co. Historical
Society, 1911.
16. Twenty Century History of Altoona &History of Blair Co. Pennsylvania, Jesse Sells, Page 259, Published by Blair Co.,
Historical Society, PA. 1911
17. 20th Century History of Altoona and Blair County, Pennsylvania, Jesse Sells, p. 37, Published by Blair Co., Historical
Society, PA. 1911
18. Huntingdon Co., Deed Book, PA-9, Geesey & Etter, pages 285 & 286. 1812 and 1813. Sale, Purchase, Huntingdon Co.
Court House, Huntingdon Co., Pennsylvania
19.Huntingdon Co., Deed Book PA-9, page 286, Recordation of Sale of Land to Conrad Geesey and Lawrence Etter 22 May
1813, with witnesses.
20. Handy Book for Genealogists, U.S of America, 10 Edition Pub. By Everton Publication, Draper, Utah, Pub. 2002.
21. “Geeseytown Evangelical Lutheran Church, 100 Anniversary 1883-1983, Compiled by 100 Anniversary Con.
22. History of Huntingdon, Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Pub., Blair County Historical Society , 1883
23.“The Mansion” Bulletin of The Blair Co. Historical Society, Allegheny Furnace, Altoona, PA 16603, Page 2, March 1983,
Vol. X, No., 1.
24.”The Mansion” Bulletin of the Blair Co. Historical Society, Allegheny Furnace, Altoona, PA 16603, page3, March 1983, Vol
X, No. 1.
25. “Adjacent Counties, 1822-1827, by Paul Ruff, pp. 28, 39, 46., Pub. 1996.
26. “The Mansion” Bulletin of the Blair Co., Historical Society, Allegheny Furnace, Altoona, PA 16603 page 3, Col. 3. March
1983, Vol X, No. 1.
27. Geesey “Geeseytown Evangelical Lutheran Church 100th Anniversary 1883-1983, complied by the 100th Anniversary
Book, 1883, and Research of Edwin P. Geesey, 22 February 1922 Mary Ann Geesey Warfel’s Donation of land to
build the church Committee, Evangelical Lutheran Church 1983.
28. “Bohrer-Borah-Borer Family History, by Camden Borah Meyer, Published 1965. Hoelstine Rental Library 414
Montgomery St. Hollidaysburg, PA. 1644. The library closed and the holdings were given to the Bair Co., Historical
and Genealogical Soc.
29. 100 Anniversary of Geeseytown Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1883-1993, Printed 1983. Blair Co., Pennsylvania.
29. “150th Anniversary of Blair Co., Pennsylvania, by Larry D. Smith, Published 1996, Blair Co. Historical and Genealogical
Society, Blair Co., Pennsylvania
30.”The Amazing Pennsylvania Canals” by William H. Shank, Chapter, “The Planning and Development of the Juniata
Division.” Pp. 25,26,30,3 1 Pub. 1991 by the American Canal System, York Co., Pennsylvania 17403.
31. “The Mansion” Bulletin of the Blair Co., Historical Society, page 4, March 1983, Vol X, No. 1. “Picture of Turn-a-round
existing today below the Geeseytown Cemetery.”
32. Ibid, page 4, explanation of Juniata River.
33. Pennsylvania Archives, Vol. 6, p 478 and 487. 3rd Battalion. Capt. George Armstrong. Military Records for John Jacob
Giese. Conrad Giese, Jacob Giese, and Reinert Giese. Pennsylvania Militia, York Co., April 1778-79 Second tour of
service was Conrad Giese, Jacob Giese, and John Christian Giese in the same Battalion with Captain George
Armstrong April 1787, 1788 and Spring 1789. (Reinert Giese brother (Henrich-Henricus).
End Notes represent my evidence for the Real-estate land purchase in 1812, and Recordation in 1813.
Also, Tax Assessment Records for Frankstown Township, Huntingdon Co., Pennsylvania, and Woodbury
Township, Huntingdon Co., Pennsylvania as presented in this paper for Conrad Geesey and his sons Joseph and
Jacob. In addition, endnotes that provide Family genealogical history that provided critical data on family period
development and information that critical in family migration to the colonies in Pennsylvania and beyond.
A. Deed Book of Huntingdon County, PA, 13 May 1812, page 285 and 286. The Recordation of the of property
sale and transfer on 22 May 1813. Recorded in York County, PA and Huntingdon County, PA.
B. Notes of Tax assessment records for Frankstown Township, Huntingdon Co., Pennsylvania 1788 – 1833 page
22 thru 27; represented evidence of Conrad’s death in Dec. 1842.
C. Notes of Tax Assessment Records for Woodbury Township, Huntingdon Co. Pennsylvania 1788- 1833 for
Joseph Geesey and Jacob Geesey as recorded on page 25. Original record for 1822 and Thru 1825 was not
located. Records for 1826 thru 1834 were found and evidence is located in Joseph’s Family History File records.
D. Background history and family development assisted in understanding and making critical Family
identification and expansion in the new colony. Source that influenced the study were: 1-Pennsylvania
Mennonite Heritage available: Phone: (717)-393-9745, em. [email protected]. Ref: “The Pennsylvania Mennonite
Heritage, Vol., X, #1, January 1987, page 37. 51a32 Maria Agatha Bar, b. Feb. 28, 1720, Ittlingen, Wuerttemberg,
Pflaz. (marriage M John Gysi. Mar. 30, 1718, Reformed Church, Hassloch, widower of Anna Barbara Werle,
moved to York Co., PA. Family list number 51a321, John Conrad Geise, b. 12 July 1750. Bap. First Reformed
Church, Lancaster. Jane Evans Best did an up-date to this first study in “ Bear Saga Update Part One”, Published
in the Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage in Vol., 21, Number 3, July 1998, Update Part Two , Vol. 21, Number
4,Oct.. 1898,and Update Part Three, Vol 22, Number 1, Jan, 1999.
E. LAND RECORD WARRANT: Reference: Neil Otto Nively, York Twp., York Co., PA. “Land Records,” Published
1997. Original Warrants can be located at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission bureau of
Archives and History located at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the collection of original warrants, survey, and
patent documentation. See page 31 for Land Warrant.
F. “Pennsylvania German Pioneers" by Ralph Beaver Strassburger, LL. D, President of Pennsylvania
German Society, Edited by William John Hinke, Ph. D. D. D., in three Volumes-Volume I 727 – 1775,
published by the Pennsylvania German Society, Norristown, Pennsylvania, 1934 (F 160 G3 S8 V-I)
488291. Critical early reference as noted on page 29 and 30.