History and Biography of Francis Sechrist and Veronica Feiser
Francis Sechrist was the 2nd child of John Sechrist and Anna Wildberger. Based upon the information from his families emigration records from when they left Rafz, Switzerland, Francis was born in 1738. Francis didn’t live in Rafz, Switzerland long, as he left his hometown in March 1744 and had arrived in America with his family sometime by 1747, as evidenced by his sister Maria Dorothy’s baptism at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, PA. Sometime before 1760, Francis married Veronika Feiser.
In 1765 Francis and Veronika were living in York Township, as Francis had applied for a warrant for 100 acres for a property called “Snowy Walk” on April 30, 1765 and had it surveyed on November 14, 1765. The survey indicates that his older brother Jacob was his neighbor to the southeast side of the property of his property. According to the connected draft map for York Township completed by Dr. Neal Hively, the location of the “Snowy Walk” tract owned by Francis covered part of the northern and western section of what is now the borough of Dallastown. According to “The Five Sisters: Our Sechrist Heritage, 1705-1999”, Francis was on the tax list for York Township in 1769 for 50 acres, indicating he probably still lived here.
By 1779, tax records indicate that Francis had moved his family to Hopewell Township. His property in Hopewell Township was located along and to the east of Winterstown Rd (Route 24), and covered both the north and south side of Herbst Road and the beginning of the North Branch of Muddy Creek. He would remain in Hopewell Township for the remainder of his life. When Francis passed away, this property was passed down to his son William. When William died in 1830, the land was passed down to his oldest son William Jr. By 1839, William Jr. sold the land to William Neff. Below are the tax records for his property in Hopewell Township:
- 1779 – 100 acres, 1 horse, 2 cows
- 1780 – 100 acres, 1 horse, 2 cows, 2 sheep
- 1783 – 150 acres, 1 horse, 3 cows, 2 sheep
- 1785 – 180 acres, 2 horses, 3 cows
- 1786 – 200 acres, 2 horses, 2 cows
- 1787 – 150 acres , 3 horses, 3 cows
- 1788 – 200 acres, 2 horses, 3 cows
- 1789 – 200 acres, 4 horses, 6 cows
Francis and Veronika were the parents of eleven children; Anna Maria, Catharine, Veronica, John, Francis, Michael, Anna, William, Henry, Peter and Barbara. This is verified by Francis’s will, which lists all his children. Anna Maria was baptized by Rev. Jacob Lischy in December 1760, no date of birth was given with this record. Catharine was born January 17, 1762 and baptized on May 16, 1762 at Trinity Reformed Church in York. Veronica was born February 10, 1763 and baptized on April 3, 1763 at Trinity Reformed Church in York. John was born August 8, 1764 and baptized on November 18, 1764 at Christ Lutheran Church in York. Francis was born July 12, 1766 and was baptized at Blymire’s Church in York Township. Michael was born about 1768 and Anna was born about 1769. William was born May 14, 1770 and was baptized on June 24, 1770 at Blymire’s Church in York Township. Henry was born on July 7, 1772. Peter was born February 5, 1777 and was baptized June 8, 1777 at Blymire’s Church in York Township. Finally, Barbara was born February 10, 1779 according to the records at Blymire’s Church in York Township.
In regards to their children, nothing further is known on their daughters Anna Maria and Barbara. Veronica married Jacob Bitner/Bidner and they moved to Lancaster County.
Not much is known about their son Francis except that he was married to someone named Margaret and had a daughter named Elizabeth born September 23, 1791 and baptized November 10, 1791 at Blymire’s Church in York County, PA. I have not been able to locate any additional records for this Francis in York County (that includes church records, estate records, deeds, tax records and census records), so it is likely that he moved the family to another location and the spelling of the name may have changed.
Little is known about their son Peter as well, except that he was married to someone named Margaret and had a daughter named Barbara born March 24, 1799 and baptized at Blymire’s Church in York County, PA. The only additional records for a Peter Sechrist in York County show up in the 1828-1831 time frame, as he is listed as a resident in Chanceford Township tax records (doesn’t own any property) and is listed as a neighbor to his brother Henry Sechrist on the 1830 census.
Additional information about the other 6 children will be provided on their own pages.
It is unclear when Veronika passed away, but it was probably around 1815. That is based upon the marriage record of Francis to Susan Catherine Lang at Trinity Reformed Church in York on July 23, 1816. Francis and Catherine did not have any children. According to his estate record, Francis then passed away around June 1819. At this time, the graves of Francis and Veronica have not been located.
Children of Francis Sechrist and his wife Veronika Feiser:
- Anna Maria Sechrist (born about 1760 – unknwon)
- Catharine Sechrist (January 17, 1762 – unknown) married Peter Sentz (January 18, 1751 – 1797)
- Veronica Sechrist (February 10, 1763 – March 10, 1853) married Jacob Bitner (1758 – 1848)
- John Sechrist (August 8, 1764 – 1841) married Veronica Rieman (March 14, 1767 – November 16, 1841)
- Francis Sechrist (July 12, 1766 – unknown)
- Michael Sechrist (about 1768 – April 3, 1832) married Barbara Pfister (about 1765 – unknown)
- Anna Sechrist (born about 1769 – September 1827) married William Saylor (about 1764 – May 13, 1824)
- William Sechrist (May 14, 1770 – August 22, 1830) married Esther Sadler (about 1780 – December 10, 1859)
- Henry Sechrist (July 7, 1772 – April 22, 1856) first married Anna Magdalena Flinchbaugh (October 3, 1776 – unknown). He then married Catharine Weinhold (August 25, 1794 – October 16, 1856).
- Peter Sechrist (February 5, 1777 – unknown) married Margaret
- Barbara Sechrist (February 10, 1779 – unknown)
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