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Conrad Kuntz Brecht (1563-1612) family

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  • George Washington Bright (c.1845 - c.1913)
  • David Bright (1740 - 1808)
    findagrave (Charles Evans cemetery) DAR Patriot Number: A014480Sketch of David Bright (1740-1808)From "The Bright Ancestry of Sarah" OOOOOOOLLLLD family document David Bright, 1740-1808, remained with ...
  • Cyrus George Bright (1848 - 1936)
  • Peter Bright (1774 - d.)
    Reference: MyHeritage Family Trees - SmartCopy : Sep 18 2019, 14:39:58 UTC
  • John Bright (deceased)

Kuntz Conrad Brecht (1563-1612)

Haplogroup I - Lineage I Conrad Brecht, b. abt 1563 Germany

Brecht One-Name Study

Roots of Brechts & Brights in the USA

The Coordinator of the Rootsweb Message Board (for the Brecht and Bright names), Frank Logue, has advised me:

"As far as we can tell the BRECHT name is German in origin, however, there have always been "hints" there is an English connection! Our records (from the groups combined family tree - shown below) start with Conrad (Kuntz) Brecht and his wife Catherine of Neudorf.

Here in the States we have several BRECHT branches going, not all of which are tied together!

Our first immigrants are Anna Catherine Hoffman/Brecht the widow of Johann Michael Brecht. She and 2 sons, Stephen and Johann Michael, came to America in 1727, directly to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then shortly afterwards each son purchased sizable tracts of land in Berks County, PA to the northwest of Philadelphia.

In 1730 Susanna Margaretha Brecht and her husband Gabriel Roescher, Johannes Brecht and his wife Anna Margaretha Roemer, brought over Stephens two sons, David (my line) and Wendell Brecht. It is also possible that sister Apolonia Brecht and her husband Johann Jacob Eichleberger came over at this time. The reason I mention this is that, it appears this Brecht Family had some money from the sale of the family vineyards and tavern, and were able to pay for passage to Philadelphia.

This is NOT how the vast majority of Germans immigrated to the "New World"!

Are you familiar with the "1709'ers"? I mention this because it may be how the German Brecht name got to England! During the 30 Years War, our William Penn invited the stricken Germans to come to his colony. The British Queen Anne sent the fleet to Holland and retrieved thousands of starving Germans, and brought them to London. From there they were shipped to either N. Ireland or to New York.

I would assume some Germans stayed in England!

Frank Logue Montrose, PA USA" May 2005

12,000 descendants of Kuntz (Conrad) Brecht who was born about 1563 in
Schriesheim, Germany

I wanted to let all know a major contributor in the Bright Brecht family genealogy research has passed away recently Frank Logue has done a big bunch of research and has contributed to many groups, people, events and foundings in Brecht Bright genealogy he will be missed. Anyone using or appart of Yahoo group he started may have issues getting in I heard some say they were unable to assess it.

Taken from the paper presented November 13, 1900 by A. G. Green, Esq. before The Historical Society of Berks County, PA. "...The first emigrant to America was Michael Brecht. He came from Schriessheim, a market town in the Palatinate. Born in 1706, he left his native town for America when he was 20 years of age and came to Germantown, Pa., in October, 1726. It is not often that a family is so fortunate as to trace its remote ancestors beyond the first emigration. But in the case of the Bright family, by the recent effort of George D. Bright, of Philadelphia, a great-great-grandson of the emigrant's eldest son Jacob, the dusty and mutilated records of the Lutheran church of Schriessheim have been carefully searched at some expense. From them it appears that a certain Christoph Brecht died there in 1665, at the age of 74 and his wile Anna in 1683 at the age of 85, and had removed thither from Neudorft where he was born in 1591. The same records further disclose that Christoph Brecht had a son named Balthaser, born in 1636, who was married on the 24th of August, 16u8, to Anna Margareta Christman; that he was a councilman and almoner of the town; and had fourteen children, and that his death occurred September 9, 1703, at the age of 67. Of the fourteen children, the third was named Johannes. He was born October 12, 1662, and was married July 29, 1684, to Anna Katharine, daughter of Hans Yost Hoffman, a councilman of the village. Among the children of Johannes Brecht was one named Johann Michael, who was born, says the church record. May 30, 1706, and who had for sponsor at his baptism Hans Michael Hoffman. It would appear that Johann Michael dropped his pre-nomen, probably to distinguish him from his father Johannes, as he was known after he left his home for America only as Michael Brecht.This Michael Brecht was the emigrant who first settled at Germantown. His stay at that place was brief. As the impelling desire of the German emigrant of that day was liberty and land, the new-comer soon pushed his way westward until he found fertile, unoccupied lands in the Lebanon valley. Here, at the head waters of the Millbach, a small tributary that flows into the Tulpehocken creek at the present town of Sheridan on the Lebanon Valley railroad, b° settled. The locality was known as Heidelberg township, originally in Chester county, but by the organization of the county of Lancas ter in 1729, it became -art of the latter county. In its immediate neighborhood the village of Shaefferstown, now in Lebanon county, was afterwards laid out by Alexander Shaeffer, who also emigrated from the Palatinate in 1740. Here Michael Brecht first met Margareta Simone, the daughter of Jacob Simone, a newly arrived emigrant from France. She was somewhat his junior in years, but after a short courtship they were married. After this happy event, which took place in April, 1728, Mr. Brecht turned his attention to the business of future support. Following the example of his neighbors he had already marked out a tract of vacant land. It contained by a subsequent survey, 78 acres and was located in the rich limestone region of the Lebanon. After building a log dwelling for the use of his family, he began the work of clearing the land. Year after year portions of the tract were brought under cultivation, buildings for his horses and cattle erected, and an increasing family provided for. It was the ambition of every settler to get a title to the land he occupied, but it was only after 12 years of severe toil and rigid economy that Mr. Brecht accumu lated sufficient ready money to pay for his holding. On the 30th of July. 1741. he obtained a patent from John. Thomas and Richard Penn. for the 78 acres he had occupied as a settlar as stated in th° patent, which is recorded in Patent Book vol. 8, page 353. In 1749 Mr. Brecht acquired by purchase from the Penns two other tracts of land in the same neighborhood, one of 100 acre?, the other of 64 acres, making the extent of his landed estate about 250 acres. The patent is dated November 27th. 1749, and duly recorded in Patent Book, vol. 14, page 334. At the time of hip last purchase his children were still at home, assisting in the work of the farm. Jacob, the oldest son, being then 20 and David, the youngest, nine years of age. From the fact of the lines in the patent being bounded bv adjoining owners, it is evident that the lands included therein were taken up and large ly brought under cultivation long before the title was acquired.As a rule when the children of a farmer become of legal age they desire to set up for themselves, and the family of Michael Brecht formed no exception. Jacob, the oldest son. was the first to leave the old homestead. He goes to Philadelphia, and is married in the German Reformed church of that city on February 1, 1751. to Susanna Rittenhouse. a near relative 01 the celebrated .David Riuenhouse L±-enna. Archives, 2d series, vol. S, p. 6iO.] When his second son, George, lett home does not appear, but from his adventurous disposition it is not likely that he worked on the farnj after his majority in 1752. In 1754 we find Michael, his third son, a resident of the town of Heading, to which ^lace his fifth son. Peter, loilows him in 1760. In the same year his fourth son, John, marries a daughter of Alexander Shaeffer, the founder of Shaefferstown, and his remaining son, David, a few years after, engaged in the milling business on the Swatar" in Pinegrove township, Berks county, within 20 miles of Shaefferstown. His daughters have all married; Katharine to Peter Sheetz, of Heidelberg township; Maria to Ludwig Witte meyer, neighbor; Sarah to a Mr. Jones, who subsequently removed to Pitts burg. His youngest daughter Christina, finds a husband in Philadelphia whan she was but 18 years of ai*e. Her marriage to Christopher Pechin on April 4, 1765, is recorded in the First Baptist church of that city [Penna. Archives, 2d series, vol. 8, p. 752.]From the statements in Michael Brecht's will that he had already given his several children "as much as he wanted or could give them," it may be inferred that they were each advanced a portion of his estate as they severally left home to seek new relations in life— such advances consisting' mostly of a family outfit usual in those days. In 1762 most of his children had drifted from the paternal domicile, and the stay of those who still remained (probably Sarah and Christina, being uncertain) Mr. Brecht concludes to give up his farm and on the llth of May of that year he sells his estate of 246 acres and allowance which he had bought from the Penns to Yost Hoffman, for £1,200. He continues, however, to reside at Shaeft'erstown until after the death of his wife Margareta in 1778. She was buried in the graveyard of the Heide'berg Reformed church, located at the village of Heidelberg, afterwards called Shaefferstown. There being no longer any of his family in the neighborhood— his son John having changed his place of residence to Frederlcksburg. now in Lebanon county, Pa., in 1782, Mr. Brecht about this time removes to Reading, where his sons Michael and Peter were living with their families. In 1789 he makes his will, calling himself in the preface "Michael Brecht, Sen., of the town of Reading," and on September 13, 1794, at the ripe age of 88 years, he is gathered to his fathers, his remains being deposited in the German Reformed burying ground, then located at the northeast corner of Washington and Sixth streets. Whether a tombstone marked his grave is not known, but if so it was lost in the removal of the dead to the Charles Evans cemetery, and his place of burial is unknown..."

"... * * *But if anything were wanting to establish the genuine character of the document in question, it will be found in the correspondence of its statements with theWILL OF MICHAEL BRECHT, THE ELDER.Written in 1789 in German it was proved September 29, 1794, before Jacob Bower and is on file in the office of the Register of Wills, and contains the names of his ten children in the same order in which they are given in the registry above described, except that the sons are named first. It is a long document, and appears to be the testator's own composition. As it contains so many material facts as to his own life and his children's history, we give a summary of it with some fullness of details. He begins by calling himself Michael Brecht, the elder, of the town of Reading. Next he orders his executor to give to each of his ten children, viz., Jacob, George, Michael, John, Peter and David, and his daughters Katharine Sheetz. Maria Wittemeyer, Sarah Jones and Christina Pitchin, as much as he shall hereafter direct. He then gives Jacob five shillings because he is his first born son; and after reciting that he has already given to his several children as much of his estate as he chose or could, according to his means, he provides for a settlement of accounts with them by his executor as follows: Having loaned to his son Jacob £150, in August, 1786, for which h= takes his bond with interest, the executor is directed to collect from Jacob £50 with interest, and then give him back his bond. As to his son George, the executor is to give to his lawfully begotten children £40, in equal shares. To Michael, who had given his father a bond dated April, 1784, for £150, the executor was to return his bond upon the payment of £50 with interest. In the case of his son John, he recites that as he has aleardy before given to him for his portion the same as his brothers and sisters received, and has since lent him In ready cash £40 for which he gave his bond dated October, 1786, he directs his executor to return his bond upon payment of the interest in full. As to Peter to whom he loaned £200, and took his bond, dated in April, 1788, he directs that upon his paying £100 with interest his bond should be returned to him. To his son David he had loaned "in ready cash £27. anno 1765." He accordingly directs that his bond be handed back to him and that he should be paid in addition £80 for his inheritance. For his daughter Katharine, he provides that in addition to what he has given her, she shall yet receive the sum of £30 for her portion. For his daughter Maria, inasmuch as he holds the bond of her husband Ludwig Wittemeyer for £50, dated in April, 1773, she is to receive back the said bond with the interest accrued and in addition the sum of £20 for her inheritance; and to his daughter Sarah Jones, in addition to what he had advanced her, she is to be paid the sum of £80. To his youngest daughter Christina Pitchen, he directs that £100 be paid in addition to what she has already received.* * *Perhaps nothing so clearly shows the peaceful and fatherly character of the testator, as the closing portion of his will. Apprehensive that some of his children might be dissatisfied with the division he has made of his estate, he "advises such to have patience and to learn from his own mistakes and be wise; and that each of them may at once do right and be at peace." He then appoints his loving son Michael as his executor, with full power to give satisfaction to any just and reasonable complaint which may be made. NATURALIZATION.By the act of Parliament of the 13th of George the Second, Chapter 7, it was provided that from and after July 1, 1740, all persons who shall reside for seven years or more in any of His Majesty's colonies, and take the oath of allegiance to the sovereign of Great Britain, and make, repeat and subscribe the Declaration of Fidelity, and affirm the abjuration oath and subscribe his profession of the Christian belief (for which he was to pay two shillings), he should be given a certificate of naturalization under the great seal. A some what similar law was enacted by the Pennsylvania assembly in 1742. In pursuance of these acts, Michael Brecht, of Lancaster county, appeared before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, held September 24-25, 1744, took and subscribed the several oaths prescribed and became a naturalized citizen of the province. [See 2d vol. Penna. Archives (second series), page 368 and also page 347.]* * *It does not appear that naturalization was a prerequisite to the holding of title to lands in Pennsylvania, as Michael Brecht had received a patent to his tract of 78 acres from the Penns as early as July 30, 1741, which was duly recorded in the Patent Book of the province, and gave an indefeasible title to the purchaser and the fact will be recalled that as early as 1682 William Penn, while yet in England, sold 15,000 acres near Philadelphia to the Frankfort company, of Germany, represented by that prominent pioneer Francis Pastorius. who accompanied the German emigrants sent by the company to America as early as 1684. In this purchase the lands in and about Germantown were included and after an official survey, deeds for lots were granted to the settlers by the company, which are to this day the foundation of titles to land in that neighborhood.But the Act of Naturalization had its significance in that it gave political rights to the foreign settlers in the Piovince, who were always eager to avail themselves of the privilege. And so extended did the right of suffrage become in the German and Scotch-Irish settlements before the War of Independence, that the foreign element hai1 a decided voice in the Colonial Assembly, and forced the retirement of the Quakers from the dominant position in political affairs they had so long enjoyed under the Proprietary government. PRIMOGENITURE.In the charter granted by Charles II. to William Penn in 1681, it was provided that the common law of England should be in force in the province until altered by Penn, his successors or assigns or the Colonial Legislature. At the four days' session of the Provincial Assembly, held at Chester in 1684, a series of laws was enacted for the government of the province. Among these enaements was a law in reference to intestate estates, which gave the widow one third of the personal property, and the interest of one third of the real estate of her deceased husband, after payment of debts, and the remaining two-thirds to be divided equally to his children, except that the eldest son was to have a double portion. The provision in reference to giving a double portion to the eldest son was reaffirmed by the legislature in 1693, and again in 1705 and continued to be the law of the common wealth until 1794, when this relic of feudalism was abolished and the children of an intestate shared equally in the property of their deceased parents. It is well known that the sentiment of the German settlers was opposed to all forms of primogeniture, even to the limited extent of preferring the oldest son by giving him a double portion, and they generally managed to defeat this provision of the law by disposing of their estate by last making a will. In the will of Michael Brecht, the elder, there is a recognition of the law giving a preference to the eldest son, for to avoid all cavil, the testator gives his son Jacob five shillings beforehand "because he is my first born son." In the will of Peter Brecht, the fifth son of the emigrant, made in 1793, when the law was still in force, there is a similar provision in which the testator "gives to Jacob twenty Spanish milled dollars, co be in full of his birthright as my oldest son," after which he directs the remainder of his estate to be equally divided among all his children. THE NAME "BRIGHT."The original spelling of the family name was B-r-e-c-h-t, as is shown by the Lutheran records at Schriessheim in the Palatinate, in which the names of the ancestors of the emigrant for three consecutive generations are so written. In addition to this, the emigrant always wrote his name "Brecht" as appears in all extant documents. In his application to be naturalized in 1744, in the deeds of lease and release of lot on the corner of Thomas and Callowhill streets, in the town of Reading, to his son Michael in 1761, in the writer's possession, as also in his last will and testament on file in the Register's office, the same spelling is preserved. His son Peter has also signed himself "Brecht" in his last will. It is for this reason that I have designated them in the preceding sketch as Michael Brecht the elder, and Peter Brecht. In the second generation of the Bright family in America, the sons of the emigrant retained the same spelling in early life, as witness the marriage record of the Reformed church at Philadelphia in 1751, of his eldest son Jacob, the deeds of lease and release by Michael the elder to his son Michael, Jr., in October, 1761, above referred to, and the early official assessment rolls of his sons John and David, and the signature of his son Peter to deeds executed by him in his lifetime, as well as his signature to his last will filed in the Register's office at Reading in 1793. These all recognize Brecht as the original family name.* *When the change from Brecht to Bright was made is uncertain. It began, however, in the second generation. The first use of the word Bright I find in the signature of Michael, the third son, to the administration account on the estate of Conrad Bower, whose wid ow he married, filed in 1768, which he signed jointly with her. He there signs his name Michael Bright, and in the deed to him for a tannery and twelve acres of land in Alsace given to him as grantee by James Boone in 1775. he is likewise named Michael Bright. So in a deed to him from his son Jacob, for <t lot in Reading in 1793 he is named as Michael Bright, and in all documents subsequent to 1778 signed by him. including his last will in 1814, he signs his name Michael Bright, which after his father's death in 1794 is changed to Michael Bright, Sen., as he had a son by the same name. He does not appealto have written his own name as Michael, Jr., probably for the reason that his father used Brecht as the family name while he wrote Bright. His oldest brother Jacob, of Philadelphia, seems to have changed his spelling of the family name to Bright at an early day. as in a commission to him as captain in 1776, he is named as Captain Jacob Bright. In the third generation the use of Bright as the family name appears to have been generally adopted. The name Brecht has entirely disappeared.• • •Why in anglicising the word Brecht. it took the form Bright is not clear. The word Brecht is not to be found ,;n the German lexicon. The nearest approach to it is Pracht, signifying pomp, splendor, magnificence, and figuratively brightness. In its adjective form of praechtig, we have the family name by a change of the first letter. Its meaning is the same as the noun form, viz., splendid, bright, and it is frequently used in connection with Tag or Morgen, signifying a fine, bright day or morning. It is not unlikely the Bright family of England may have been descended from the Brechts of Germany, and that this change in the name was known to the emigrant's family. With this explanation we conclude the sketch of the FIRST GENERATION IN AMERICA. VIZ.,1) Michael Brecht. 1706-1794, 2nd, 1728 Margareta Simone, 1708-1778.The next generation is made up of the children of the emigrant, whose names and births, taken from the family registry above described, are as follows:Jacob Brecht. b. April 13, 1729.George Brecht. b. February 9, 1731.Michael Brecht, b. March 24. 1732.Katharine Brecht, b. April 6, 1734.John Brecht, b. February 20, 1736.Peter Brecht, b. May 13. 1738.David Brecht, b. August 9, 1740.Marie Brecht, b. August 1. 1742.Sarah Brecht, b. January 19, 1745.Christina Brecht, b. August 12, 1747.* * *The above children constitute theSECOND GENERATION of the Bright family in America, and so far as the facts relating to their biogra*ihy and the names of their Immediate descendants have been learned, they are given in the order of birth...."

 QAfM8oqmSjuombq5NjLhr_6PD3E02Apb5zKeB9ZCRQKGmLXQa_4ldB7ia7U1i2te DeSimone and Brecht Family story

Here Michael Brecht first met Margareta Simone. the daughter of Jacob Simone, a newly arrived emigrant from France. She was somewhat his junior in years, but after a short courtship they were married. After this happy event, which took place in April. 1728, Mr. Brecht turned his attention to the business of future support. Following the example of his neighbors he had already marked out a tract of vacant land. It contained by a subsequent survey, 78 acres and was located in the rich limestone region of the Lebanon valley, and covered with primeval forest of white oak and hickory. We give here a diagram of the tract on which he settled to show its su