Jacob Valentin Keffer, Sr.

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Jacob Valentin Keffer, Sr.

Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Hesselberg, Germany
Death: May 4, 1802 (66)
Vaughan Township, Ontario, Canada
Place of Burial: Pine Hills Cemetery, Somerset Co, PA
Immediate Family:

Son of Hans Adam Keffer
Husband of Anna Maria Keffer
Father of Johann Jacob Keffer, Jr.; Michael (Mike) Keffer; Valentine Keffer and Anna Elizabeth Keffer
Brother of Johann Simon Keffer and Johann Nickel Keffer

Managed by: Private User
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About Jacob Valentin Keffer, Sr.

During the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) large areas of today's Middle Franconia were devastated and depopulated. It was not until the end of the 17th century that the economic and financial situation of the margraves improved. The margraves allowed Austrian and French religious refugees to become nationals and supported Jewish merchants in building up an existence, therefore a large number of Jews settled down in villages around Hesselberg. In addition the margraves ran mercantilistic politics and expanded agricultural education. The last margrave Alexander handed over the principality, now free from debt, to the Prussians in 1791.



this is probably different guy but looks relative

John Jacob Kieffer, among the first emigrants to Milton township, was born October 16, 1759, in the Provisdiction of Zweibricken, Europe. His great-great-grandfather, De Wald Kiener, was a native of Paris, and of wealthy and noble ancestry. He was the fifth child and oldest son of Michael Kieffer, and left Europe with his parents on April 15, 1773. They first settled in Bedford county, Pa., and lived there for about eight years, then crossed the Allegheny mountains and settled in Somerset county. Here, on September 2, 1787, he was married to Anna Eva Fritz, by whom he had nine children, viz: Michael, Margaret, Elizabeth, Adam, Mary, Jacob, Susanna, Joseph and Eva, who were all born in Somerset county, Pa. In the spring of 1815 he, with his family, immigrated to Wayne county, Ohio, and settled upon the northeast quarter of section 35 of Milton township, there being but few settlers in advance of him. He died there February 23, 1828. His wife died September 29, 1843, aged 75 years.


Johann Jacob Keffer Sr was born 3 Jun 1734 in Zeselberg, Germany. He died in 1817. Sailed on the "Sally" 1767 with a cousin, Georg Adam Keffer.


He is usually listed as "Jacob Keffer Sr" in PA records. Came to America in 1767 on the sailing vessel "Sally" , as per the research of Lee Arnold, Janet Foster and several others. Apparently fought in the Rev War in PA (unless DAR records are referring to his son). Settled in Brother's Valley Twp Bedford / Somerset Co PA by 1779. Was one of the founders of the town of Berlin, Somerset Co PA, and a member of the German Reformed/ Evangelical Lutheran church of Berlin.

"The supreme council of Pennsylvania granted to JACOB KEFFER (in trust) for the Calvinistic and Lutheran congregations, for the support of schools, forty acres of land at the headwaters of Stony Creek, where the Lutherans and Calvinists had laid out a town called Berlin. "

"These settlers finally decided to form the first town, Berlin, in 1778. They gathered at Pine Hill and planned out the town. However, after much festivities, one of the young men was accidentally killed during a horse race. The town's formation was put off - until JACOB KEFFER decided to try to organize a town later."

Source: History of Bedford & Somerset Co PA by Blackbur

Widowed wife and two of his sons Michael Keffer & Johann Jacob Keffer Jr moved to Ontario, Canada after his death; two other children Valentine Keffer & Anna Elizabeth (Keffer) Huber migrated to Ohio.

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Jacob Valentin Keffer, Sr.'s Timeline

June 3, 1735
Hesselberg, Germany
June 25, 1763
Age 28
Zesselburg, Germany
February 1766
Age 30
Brothersvalley, Pennsylvania, United States
October 13, 1769
Age 34
on the 'Minerva'
October 6, 1777
Age 42
Berlin, PA
January 21, 1780
Age 44
Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, United States
Age 54
Bedford Co, PA
Age 64
Somerset Co, PA
May 4, 1802
Age 66
Vaughan Township, Ontario, Canada