Frederick Wegley

Frederick Wegley is my great-grandfather. He was born on August 20, 1887, in Kane, Pennsylvania, and died on November 28, 1950, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

Frederick Wegley married Tillie Blanch Edwards on February 4, 1920, when he was 32 years old. They married in Huntington, West Virginia.

Frederick Wegley marriage announcement to Tillie Wegley

Together they had at least 6 children, including my grandfather,  Raymond Wegley.

  • John Wesley (1923-1982)
  • Betty A (1924-2010)
  • Raymond Edward (1925-1992)
  • Ruth Minerva (1928-?)
  • Dora Mae (1930-1970)
  • Gretta L (1935-?)

Frederick Wegley served in both World War I and in World War II as did his sons John Wesley and Raymond Edward.

Here is a blurry copy of his WW1 draft registration card which tells us that he is of medium height, slender build with light brown hair and light grey eyes.

fred wegley - draft registration card

It also says he was employed as a laborer doing woodworking for a manufacturing company. It also reveals he was in the national guard in the infantry division for 1 year prior to this form being filled out (June 5, 1917) at which time he was 29 years old.

At 54 years old he filled out another draft card to join the fight during WWII. Notice on the document he lied and say he was 52, born in 1889, not his actual year of birth of 1887.

 fred wegley - draft registration card wwII -1 fred wegley - draft registration card wwII -2

These two documents tell us a little more about the man. He was 5 foot 7 1/2. Again we learn he has brown hair and grey eyes and his complexion is described as “ruddy”, as compared to sallow, light, dark, light brown, etc.

This was signed on April 27, 1942. Fred’s eldest son John Wesley would join the war on February 19, 1943, so almost a year later.  Then his youngest son Raymond would join on November 29, 1943 when he was only 17.

So the father lied and said he was younger so he could join the war and fight for his country and his son would lie sand say he was older to do the same.

Fred died in 1950 and was buried in a grave in Okmulgee, Oklahoma where his youngest son was living at the time.

fred wegley grave

His wife Tillie would die in 1984 and would be buried nearby.

tillie wegley

Now here is something interesting … notice his gravestone said his year of birth was 1889. But we know from countless census records he was actually born two years earlier. Well actually now that I examine the records more closely, I don’t know for sure.

  • In the 1900 census it tells us that he was 12 years old at the time and he was born in August of 1887. 1900-12 actually puts him born in about 1888
  • In the 1910 census however he was 21 at the time and it says he was born “about 1889”.
  • In the 1920 census it tells us he was 30 at the time and that means he was born about 1890. During this census he was still living with his parents and was a box maker and a window and glass factory.
  • In the 1930 census it tells us he was 39 years old and that he was born in about 1881.
  • In the 1940 census it tells us he was 50 years old and that he was born about 1890.

I am told that it wasn’t uncommon to estimate things back then when you were for sure. But every time it has something different so I’m not sure what to say about it.

The 1900 census and the WW1 draft registration card says August 1887. So for now we’ll keep it at that.

John Wesley Wegley

John Wesley Wegley was born on June 29, 1858 in Indiana, Pennsylvania and he died on December 15, 1927 in Shade, Somerset, Pennsylvania.

John Wesley Wegley is my 2nd great grandfather

He married Helen Elizabeth Bessie Swanson (who was from Sweden) and together they had at least 8 children.

  • Minerva Pearl
  • Frederick
  • Clarence John Leroy
  • Ruth Leona Victoria
  • Raymond W
  • Howard


Here is what we can say for sure. John Wesley Wegley died when he was 69 years old. We know this because we have an actual copy of his death certificate.

john wesley wegley death certificate

It verifies that he died on December 15, 1972 from a cerebral hemorrhage, due to high blood pressure. In other words, he died from a stroke.

The death certificate also shows us that his father was Joseph Wegley and his mother was Eva Berkible.

This is important because when tracking John Wesley Wegley we must remember there is another man at that time also named John W. Wegley who was married to a Sarah Wegley.

Our John W. Wegley was married to Helen Elizabeth Bessie Swanson also known as simply Bessie. During the 1920 John Wesley was 62 and his wife Bessie was 54.

Living with them was Fred (30), Rush (23), Raymond (19), and Howard (17). They were living at the time at 507 Biddle Street in Kane, Pennsylvania. He was working as a Grocer and he owned his home. He was able to both read and write.

By the way the house at 507 Biddle Street still exists to this day. It was originally built in 1890 and today is a 2,258 square foot single family home.

I’m not sure how accurate this record is, but apparently in November of 2013 someone bought the home for $19,000. Looks like it went up for public auction on September 29, 2013. The owner at the time “Erma” had lived there for more than 50 years prior to the sale.

The average house in that area is thought to be worth about $150k and it shows a property tax value of about $64,480 as of 2015.

507 biddle kane pa

507 biddle kane pa-2

The auction listing states the home is a 6-bedroom 2-story home with two kitchens (former 2 apartment), 2 full baths, full basement, detached 2 & 3-car garages. That sounds like a lot for a house that is less than 3k square feet but that’s what it says.

The 1910 US Census has them living at 507 Biddle Street (same place as the 1920 census). This time it says his job was a pumper (oil wells).

John W (50)

Elizabeth (44)

Frederick (21)

Ruth (16)

Clarence (10)

Raymond (8)

Howard (6)

Now here is something interesting about the 1910 and 1920 census records. In theory if someone was 50 when they did the 1910 census then when they did the 1920 census they would be ten years older – 60. Right? Well that isn’t the case here.

In 1910, John was 50 but in the 1920 census he was 62. That’s a 12 year difference. His wife was 44 in during the 1910 census and ten years later, she aged 10 years as you might expect.

  • John W 40 – (50) – 62
  • Elizabeth 34 – (44) – 54

Frederick aged 9 years, Ruth only aged 7 years, Clarence was 10 in the 1910 census but didn’t exist in the 1920 one. Both Raymond and Howard aged 11 years.

  • Frederick (21) – 30
  • Ruth (16) – 23
  • Clarence (10)
  • Raymond (8) – 19
  • Howard (6) – 17

It probably doesn’t mean anything but I did find it interesting nonetheless.

John Wesley was eventually buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Kane, Pennsylvania.


Jonathan George Wegley

Jonathan George Wegley was born on September 3, 1836, in Somerset Pennsylvania. He died on March 1, 1892, in Lockington, Shelby County, Ohio. We know this date of death from his gravestone.

Jonathan George Wegley is my 2nd great grand uncle

Jonathan George Wegley married Sarah Circle in Mercer County, Ohio on November 21, 1857, when he was 21 years old. Together they had at least 11 children.

jonathan wegley - sarah cirlce marriage

  • George Wegley (1859 – 1862)
  • James E Wegley (1860 – 1937)
  • Mary C. Wegley (1863 – 1932)
  • Emanuel Wegley (1864 – 1936)
  • Fredrick Wegley (1866 – 1951)
  • Joseph Wegley (1867 – 1946)
  • Eva Jane Wegley (1869 – 1939)
  • infant Wegley (1870 – 1870)
  • Adeline (Sarah) Wegley (1871 – 1948)
  • Daisy May Wegley (1876 – 1940)
  • Olive Alta Wegley (1884 – 1960)

Here is the death certificate for his son Fredrick Wegley. This shows us that we have the right family – Jonathan Wegley and Sarah Circle.

Jonathan George would have one son (Joseph) that would go on to be mayor of Williston, North Dakota and another son who ran a local watering hole or gathering place. Only problem was that it seems the area was “dry” and he was caught or at least accused of selling liquor. He would later be acquitted. Here is the text from the local paper at the time about the incident.

‘Grand Forks Herald’, Grand Forks, North Dakota.  8 Nov 1907

Williston, N. D., Nov. 7 – A warrant has been issued for Fred Wegley, a brother of the mayor, the charge being the illegal sale of intoxicating liquors in what is commonly known as “Wegley’s Pig,” the joint in the lower regions of the concrete building on East Broadway.  The warrant was issued this morning and is now in the hands of the sheriff, who will serve it as soon as the defendant can be found, the understanding being that he has left the city temporarily.

‘Grand Forks Herald’, Grand Forks, North Dakota.  10 June 1909

Williston, N. D., June 9 – Fred Wegley has been acquitted.  The jury in the case was out just three minutes this morning when it returned a verdict of not guilty.  This case has attracted attention for the last year and a half on account of the accused being a brother of Former Mayor Joseph Wegley, who has the reputation of being the man who cleared Williston of blind pigs, and it was asserted that the mayor was protecting his brother and allowing him an exclusive righty to conduct a “pig”.

  The accused was tried three times before justices of the peace and each time found not guilty, and then was indicted by the grand jury, on which indictment he was just found not guilty.

  The outcome of the case convinces Wegley’s friends that the case was only a piece of spite work on the part of those opposed to Mayor Wegley to throw suspicion on the sincerity of his administration.

Here’s a crazy story about how he became mayor in the first place.

Fact: First North Dakota mayor accused of horse rustling

Williston’s first mayor, William Denny, did a lot to make it the state’s fastest-growing city during the first decade of the 20th century, growing from 763 people in 1900 to 3,124 in 1910, a rate of more than 300 percent. Denny was also suspected of being the ringleader of a large horse-rustling organization.
Denny established the first bank in Williston when he arrived in February 1899. He also had a large ranch on which he raised horses and Hereford cattle. He had connections in Montana where large numbers of horses were brought to his ranch and sold to him at $10 to $30 a head. Because northwestern North Dakota was rapidly filling up with homesteaders, Denny was able to sell each of the horses to the settlers for $150. Initially, most Williston residents considered Denny a shrewd businessman.
In June 1904, Denny was elected mayor and went to work to provide electricity and running water for the residents. He ran unopposed for re-election in 1905, and later that year, Denny was arrested, convicted and sentenced to prison for being the fence of a large horse-stealing enterprise in Montana. He appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court for a retrial, which was granted to him since key pieces of evidence against him had disappeared. With the major evidence missing, a new trial never occurred, and Denny was set free.
William Henry Denny Jr. was born in New Auburn, Minn., on March 17, 1870, to William Sr. and Marian (Joslyn/Josline) Denny. William Sr. was a gunsmith, and the family moved to the larger town of Glencoe soon after William Jr.’s birth. In 1885, William Jr. attended Anoka Business College and after graduating two years later, “worked at various stores in St. Cloud.” In the fall of 1889, he traveled to Montana and found work as a ranch hand on the Diamond G Ranch, which was owned by J. D. “Dad” Williams. Also working for Williams was “Dutch Henry” Jauch (pronounced Yaw), who later organized “the largest horse stealing operation in eastern Montana.”
Williams found Denny to be trustworthy and asked the youngster to drive horses to central North Dakota to be sold. On his drives, Denny established friendships in Benson County, and he developed a romantic interest in Kate Huffnail, a school teacher in Minnewaukan. He moved to Minnewaukan in 1897 and, in July, went to work for the Benson County State Bank. After working for a couple of years, learning how to operate a bank, Denny began exploring new opportunities. Seeing that the Great Northern Railway had reached Williston in 1898 and that it was about to establish branch lines from there to towns in the northwestern part of the state, he knew that settlers were soon to follow. Williston did not have a bank, and the town was ideally located, near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers. In 1898, Denny contacted Charles Hilton Davidson, a wealthy Canadian real estate dealer, and Thomas L. Beisaker, a Fessenden banker, who also owned a number of other banks in North Dakota and Minnesota, and the two men agreed to finance the establishment of a bank in Williston. When the Williams County State Bank opened on Feb. 19, 1899, Denny was named cashier and manager. Feeling financially secure, he married Kate on March 8. From the money Denny was making at the bank, he began purchasing land, between Williston and the Montana border, on which to raise cattle and horses. His plan was to buy horses brought in from Montana and sell them to the homesteaders who were coming into northwestern North Dakota. Denny also began selling real estate and, in 1903, established the town of Trenton on his property. On Feb. 3, 1904, Williston was incorporated as a city, and four months later, the newly elected councilmen chose Denny as mayor. According to Joseph Wegley, Denny’s successor as mayor, Williston was a wild-west town. Wegley wrote, “There were eleven saloons or blind pigs on Main Street and lots of them in the alleys … blind pigs prevailed and ruled the city.” Wegley also pointed out that Denny was in support of the saloons. In 1905, Denny was re-elected, and he sent out bid proposals for the construction of city waterworks and an electrical plant. Besides serving as mayor, he also was kept busy buying and selling horses. On Oct. 26, law officers from Montana went to Denny’s ranch and discovered stolen horses. Denny and Art McGahey, the man who delivered the stolen horses, were arrested. Denny’s lawyers pointed out that the lawmen had presented insufficient evidence, and the arrest was rescinded. Suspicion that Denny was the fence and possibly the kingpin of a large horse-rustling organization surfaced in September when Jack Teal, a Montana lawman, and George Hall, the stock inspector for the Montana Stockmen’s Association, arrested a horse thief. When the thief tried to escape, he was shot and killed. Teal and Hall went through the dead man’s belongings and discovered a letter that named Denny as the “chief fence” for stolen horses. This information was corroborated by George Miller, a saloon owner whose establishment had recently been robbed by horse thieves. He told Hall and Sheriff William Griffith about an incident in which Tom Ryan, who had injured his writing hand, had Miller write a letter to Denny. “Ryan was the major rustler in eastern Montana now that Jauch had disappeared.” The letter stated that Ryan was having McGahey deliver horses to Denny. Miller agreed to work with the lawmen. To make certain that the horses had been delivered, he went to the mayor’s ranch, posing as Ryan’s friend. Denny confirmed to Miller that the horses had arrived and had been sold. Denny also told Miller to tell Ryan to stop visiting his bank because “Montana authorities were breathing down his neck.” Armed with this additional evidence, law officials returned to Denny’s ranch in mid-November to arrest him, but he was gone. He had been tipped off and fled to Benson County. The lawmen located Denny in Churchs Ferry and arrested him, but they were unable to take him into custody because the district judge, John Cowan, issued a habeas corpus decree declaring Denny needed to appear in court before he could be detained. A trial was scheduled for August 1906, but Montana authorities did not believe justice would be served. In December 1905, Montana’s governor, Joseph Toole, made a request to Elmore Sarles, governor of North Dakota, that Denny be extradited, and Sarles agreed. However, Denny’s lawyers were able to get the extradition order rescinded. At his trial on Aug. 9, 1906, Denny was found guilty of selling stolen horses and sentenced to three years in prison. However, Denny’s lawyers appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court for a retrial. The letters showing Denny’s involvement disappeared, before the court met on Oct. 11, 1908, and the court ordered a retrial. Since the prosecution no longer had their most important evidence, a new trial never occurred, and Denny no longer feared conviction. Although Denny was basically free, “he was a broken man and he never recovered.” He resigned his positions at the bank and as mayor. Denny remained in Williston and sold real estate until the 1930s, when he lived in Montana and California for short periods of time. He returned to Williston where he died on July 9, 1936.

Joseph William Wegley

Joseph William Wegley was born on October 14, 1802 in Brothersvalley, Pennsylvania and he died in June of 1880 in McKean, Pennsylvania. Joseph William is the first recorded use of the Wegley spelling of our family name and that’s what makes him special. We can say he is, in fact, the first “Wegley”.

Joseph William Wegley-1850

During the 1850 US Census, we get the first piece of valuable information. It shows Joseph and Eve along with 7 of their children.

When you have a person whose family is so big, you can start using historical records of all of their children, to help you piece together his life. Such is the case of Joseph William Wegley and his wife Eve.

Their daughter, for example, Mary Amanda has a death certificate that gives us some valuable information.

Mary Amanda died when she was 80 years old, but it also shows us that her birthday was July 30, 1847, in Somerset, PA. It also tells us that her parents were, in fact, Joseph and Eve.

Joseph William married Eve Berkebile in 1831 or 1832 when he was 30 years old and together they had a whole mess of children. I question the date of birth for Theresa by the way.

    • Theresa (1831-?)


  • Jonathan S (1835-1918)
  • Jonathan George (1836)
  • Josiah (1837-1930)
  • Jonathan (1837-1907)
  • Susanna (1841-1920)
  • Frederick (1843-1889)
  • Adeline (1845-1893)
  • Mary Amanda (1847-1926)
  • Austin (1851-1916)
  • John Wesley (1858-1927)

Johan Frederik Weigley

Johan Frederick Weigley was best known as Fred Weigley or Johan Fridrich Wegerlein. He was born on May 22, 1773, in Brothersvalley, Somerset, Pennsylvania and he died in 1836 also in Brothers Valley, Somerset county, Pennsylvania, when he was around 63 years old.

fred weigley

Fred’s parents were Philip Wagerline and Anna Dorothea Krafft, aka Fronica. His mother was born in Germany and first came to America in 1744.

We know that his parents were Philip Wegerlein and Fronica based on the “Source Citation for Maryland, Births and Christenings Index, 1662-1911 – FHL Film Number 14145“. This tells us not only when he was born, but also when he was Christened (October 20, 1773). Oh, by the way, he was christened at the Reformed Congregation, in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Fred was baptized on October 20, 1773 at the Reformed Congregation, Hagerstown, Washington, Maryland. We know this from the “,Maryland, Births and Christenings Index, 1662-1911″.

He appeared in the United States census in 1800, 1820 and 1830. He also appeared in the Pennsylvania, Septennial Census, 1779-1863.

Johan Frederik was named after his grandfather on his mother’s side – whose name was Johann Frederick Krafft.

He married a lady by the name of Catharine but we aren’t sure when the marriage took place. All we can say for sure was that it was some time before 1801, which was when their first child was born.

  • Anna Marie (1801)
  • Joseph William (1802)
  • Henrietta (1804)
  • Lydia (1807)
  • Theresa (1809)


Philip Weigley

Philip Weigley (aka Philip Wagerline aka Philip Wegerline aka Philipp Waegerlein) is my 5th great grandfather.

He is not to be confused with Georg Philipp Waegerlein from Germany who is married to Anna Katharina who had a daughter named Anna Katharine Waegerlein – Hoeppel (born in 1818).  Georg Philipp Waegerlein is a different person.

What makes tracing the material family tree so complicated is the very fact that the Wegley name has so many variations. It also doesn’t help that when you go so far back in time, you don’t have as many records. But what complicates matters, even more, are when two people who have similar names happen to live in the same area.

Most sources list his birthday as September 15, 1731, and his death on September 15, 1831. That would mean that he died on his 100th birthday. The problem with that is that other documents don’t support this data.

What we can say for sure about Philip Weigley is that his gravestone which is in the Berlin Reformed cemetery aka the Weigley cemetery says he died on September 18, 1831, in the 92 years of his life. It also says “In memory of Philip Weigley, who departed this life. ”

Other records of the time state he was the “First permanent settler in Berlin Region and was formerly spelled Wegerline.”

So now we can say for sure one fact about Philip, we died on September 18, 1831, and he was 92 when he died. That means that he was probably born in 1739 and not as other records show, September 15, 1731.  

Philip Wagerline -Weigley

Next we have an interesting document from the website  It tells us that he was one of the earliest settlers in the Brothersvalley area of Pennsylvania. The story goes on to say that he had a small farm which he grew Rye on.

Brothersvalley Settled 1769 (30 at this time)
brothersvalley Incorporated 1771

On October 5, 1784 he was issued a land grand in Bedford, Pennsylvania. There are at least two different government documents that back this up. This would have made him about 45 at the time. Google maps shows us that Bedford and Brothersvalley Township are about 40 miles apart.

1831 – wrote will

Old Mr. Philip Weigley must have been among the earliest settlers, perhaps the next after Rhoads. He came to Brothersvalley, built a house, cleared five or six acres of land and sowed it in Rye. The next winter the snow was five to seven feet deep and lay without a thaw for nearly four months. Without a thaw for nearly four months be intolerable and that he would take for his land what he could get, so that he might get off as soon as possible in the spring. He had paid $50.00 for it, and he thought if he could get that much he would be a fortunate man. Soon after spring opened, three persons came along exploring the country for a place to locate themselves, and seeing his field of rye, which was a remarkable promising crop, they asked him what he would take for his place. He was afraid to put his price of $50.00 upon it lest it might frighten them, and he therefore told them to make him an offer. They offered him $150.00 and it astonished him so much that he broke the negotiation short off and told them he would not sell.

Now it is true, he could have moved from Bedford to Brothersvalley, since it’s not really that far away. But we know for a fact he lived in Bedford until 1790, which we can verify through the 1790 US Federal Census. His first listing in Brothersvalley was in 1800, which means he would have been almost 70 years old at that time.
He went his entire life until he was 70 years old using the name Philip Wagerline. Why would he suddenly change it to Philip Weigley? That part I don’t understand. And another thing …. why did he move when he was 70 years old to start up a new farm?
However to note, Brothersvalley is in Bedford county. So is it possible he didn’t in fact live in Bedford the town in the 1790 census but instead Bedford county in the yet to be named area that one would day be Brothersvalley?


WILLS: Philip WAGERLINE, 1830, Brothersvalley Twp., Somerset County, PA
File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Margiee Wegley April 13, 2007, 11:02 pmCopyright 2008.  All rights reserved.
Philip FrederickJohn son in law Peter Glessneralso paying unto my daughter Susana Markly two hundred dollars four years aftermy son-in- law Joseph Markly,Source: Transcribed From Sampubco Copy By Margiee Wegley, Somerset County, PaWritten: October 23, 1830
Recorded: October 1, 1831Transcribed from SAMPUBCO copy by Margiee Wegley, Somerset County, PA
Brothers Valley, Will Book Vol. 3-1  Surnames: Wagerline, Moyer, Glessner, Hay,
Markley, Davidson, Good, MusserWill of Philip Wagerline, DeceasedIn the name of God Amen.  I Philip Wagerline the Eldest of Brothers Valley Township, in the County of Somerset, and State of Pennsylvania Yeoman being in health of body and of sound disposing mind memory and understanding blessed be God for the same.  Do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manor and form following to wit:First it is my Will and I do order and direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be duly paid and satisfied as soon as conveniently can be after my decease.  Items I give and devise unto my son Philip Wagerline his heirs and assigns forever.  All that certain plantation and tract of land whereon he now lives according to the boundaries as laid off by actual surve y including the piece of meadow originally laid off to my son Frederick Wagerline as the same is fenced off for which said piece of meadow the said Philip Wagerline is to lay off to the tract of land sold by the said Frederick Wagerline unto my son John Wagerline the same quantity of land at the upper end of the place next to the town of Berlin so as to be of the least injury to the said Philip Wagerline’s plantation the said tract containing about two hundred and twenty acres be the same more or less situate in Brothers Valley Township aforesaid and bounded by lands of Michael Moyer, John Wagerline and others together with the appurtenances.  He or the paying there out unto my son John Wagerline and heirs or representatives six hundred dollars thirty days after my decease: and also paying to my son in law Peter Glessner or his heirs seven hundred dollars, three hundred dollars one year after my decease and two hundred dollars per annum until the said seven hundred dollars are paid.  And also paying unto my daughter Susana Markly two hundred dollars four years after my decease.Items I give and devise unto my son John Wagerline all that certain plantation and tract of land whereon he now lives as laid off containing about one hundred and sixteen acres together with the appurtenances adjoining lands of Michael Moyer, Peter Hay, Philip Wagerline and others to have and to hold the same to him his heirs and assigns forever and also my eight day clock.  Items I give and devise unto my son Frederick Wagerline and to his heirs and assigns the proceeds in full which arose from the sale of a tract of land that he sold unto my aforesaid son John Wagerline and which proceeds he hath heretofore received.  Items I give unto the heirs of my son-in-law Joseph Markly, deceased, the proceeds in full which arose from the sale of a tract of land warranted in the name of Samuel Davidson containing four hundred and eighty nine acres and which proceeds the said deceased hath heretofore received.  And Item it is my will and I do order and direct that my son John Wagerline shall within thirty days after my decease deliver up to my Executor hereinafter named all my personal estate that may be within his possession or knowledge of nature or kind so ever it may be or that I am in anywise entitled to and it is my will that the said herein after named Executor make sale as soon as convenient  of such property as may be delivered unto him by my said son John Wagerline and that the proceeds thereof be divided equally between my son-in-law Peter Glessner and my daughter Susan Markly and lastly I nominate constitute and appoint my trusty friend Jacob Good of Brothers Valley Township Executor of this my Last Will and Testament hereby revoking all other wills, legacies and bequests by me heretofore made and declaring this and no other to be my last will and testament.  In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this twenty third day of October in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty. 1830.Philip (his mark) Wagerline {seal}Signed sealed and delivered published pronounced and declaring by the Testator to be his Last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request and in his presence have hereunto subscribed our manes as witnesses.Tobias Musser
Peter MusserRegistered 1st October 1831, C. Forward, Register

Somerset County SS:

This first day of October 1831 before me Chauncey Forward, Register for the probate of Wills and Granting Letters of Administration in and for said County personally came Tobias Musser and Peter Musser the subscribers witnesses to the foregoing will and being affirmed according to law did depose and say that they were present and saw and heard Philip Wagerline the Testator sign seal publish pronounce and declare the foregoing instrument of writing as and for his testament and last will and that at the time  of so doing he was of perfect and sound mind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge observation and belief.

Affirmed and subscribed before
me           }                                          Tobias Musser
Sam Glessner for C. Forward,
Register      }                                          Peter Musser

Letters Testamentary Estate of Philip Wagerline

Somerset County, ss:

By the tenor of these presents, I Chauncey Forward, Register for the probate of wills and granting letters of administration in and for the County of Somerset in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do make known unto all men, that on the day of the date thereof at Somerset before me, was proved, approved and insinuated the last will and testament of Philip Wagerline late of said County deceased: (a true copy whereof is to these presents annexed) having whilst he lived and at the time of his death, divers goods, chattels, rights and credits within the said Commonwealth.  By reason whereof the approbation and insinuation of the said Last Will and Testament, and the committing the Administration of all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits, which were of the said deceased, and also the auditing the accounts, calculations and reckonings of the said Administration and a final dismission from the same, to me are manifestly known to belong; and that the Administration of all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits, which were of said the deceased any way concerning his last will and Testament was Committed to Jacob Good, Executor in the said last will and testament named Jacob Good having been first affirmed according to law well and truly to Administer the goods and chattels of the said deceased; and make a true and perfect inventory thereof and exhibit the same into the Registers Office at Somerset, on or before the 1st day of November next, and to render a just and true account, calculation and reckoning of the said Administration on or before the first day of October next ensuing.  In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and the seal of the said County of Somerset, this first day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one.

C. Forward, Register

Registered 1st day of October 1831


PHILIP WAGERLINE — 155 ½ acres called “Pyramid” located on Buffelow (Buffalo) Lick Creek in Brothers’ Valley Twp., Bedford County, adjoining lands of Philip WAGERLINE, Jr., Tilman SHITZ, Peter GRAFF, Jacob FISHER, Francis HAY, and William MILLER. Surveyed 04 Dec 1784, pursuant to a warrant dated 05 Oct 1784, for 147 acres.

(Source: Land Warrants of Somerset County, Survey Book I, Somerset Co., Pa. [being part of Bedford County until 1795], page 163.)


Philip married Anna Dorothea Fronica Krafft (1746-1792) on April 20, 1767. Together they had at least six children.

        • Susanna Eva (1769-1841) Died when she was 72
        • Frederick (1773-1836) Died when he was 63
        • Catharine (1774-1834) Died when she was 60
        • Philip (1775-October 26, 1836) Died when he was 61
        • Joseph (1779- 1836) Died when he was 56
        • John (1781-March 11, 1836) Died when he was 54

1836 was a rough year for the Wegley family, notice that Philip lost 4 of his 6 children that year. Of course he died 5 years prior to that so he wouldn’t have actually known his children died, but that’s not really the point. 😛

What I wonder is, how did they all die that year? What possibly could have been going on at that time in history to have caused so many deaths? The only war I could find was the Second Seminole War but that took place in Florida.

His parents were most likely Paul Wegerline and Ottilia. In all he had six siblings (not 100% verified – but current research shows these might be accurate).

Katharine Wegerlin (1727-1800)

Ottilia Wegerline (1729-?)

Anna Clara Wegerline (1731-1784)

Johan Jacob Wegerlin (1731-?)

Johan Simon Wegerle (1736-?)

Adam Weigley (1744-1798)

      • I should note that it was this generation that still sometimes used the last name Wageli (or Wägeli), specifically Johan Simon.

Valentin Weigel

The name Weigel has a long and complicated history. According to some sources it dates back to medieval times and belong to a prominent family that played a large part in shaping European history.

First let’s start with what we know. We know, thanks to our research into Zacharias there are several ways to spell the Weigel family name, which would in time many many years later become the Wegley family in America. Here are just some of the ways people have spelled the Wegley name over the years.

  • Wegley (1900s)
  • Weighley (1800s)
  • Weigley (1700s)
  • Wageli (1600s)
  • Weigel (1600s)
  • Weichel (1500s)
  • Weigle
  • Van Veigle
  • Weagley
  • Wegerlin
  • Wagerline
  • Wegerle
  • Weygell
  • Weigele
  • Wegerle
  • Weckerly
  • Freigley (obvious typo)

Silesia is located in the historical region that is now in southwestern Poland. This is where we are told is the first recorded use of the Weigel name. You can view the map here.

The Weigel family was very well established in this area. Then at some point at history they migrated to other places, perhaps due to the political unrest going on in the Silesia area.

At one time they Weigel’s were one family so we can assume it was during this time in Silesia, but that again is not confirmed data so take it for what you will.

Eventually the family separated and branches settled in different places. We know of three main branches of the family. There are the Bavarian Weigls, Saxon Weigels, and further north, along the Baltic Sea, the name appeared as Weigele.

The Bavarian and Saxon Weigels preoccupied themselves mostly with matters of religion and in printing and publishing books. The Bavarian Weigls remained Catholics, but some of the Saxon Weigels became followers of the Lutheran religion.

Valentin Weigel was born on August 07, 1533 in Hayn and died on June 10, 1588 in Zschopau.

He was a German theologian, philosopher and mystical writer, and an important precursor of later theosophy. In English he is often called Valentine Weigel. Valentin Weigel, who was of the Saxon branch of the family, is also been referred to as “Der Grosse (Great) Herder”.

He was born at Hayn, near Dresden, into a Catholic family. Now I should point out that there are other sources which say he was born in Naundorf near Grossenhain – this I tend to believe more because it is in Saxony and well Valentin was of the Saxon branch of the Weigel family, so wouldn’t it make sense that he was born in Saxony, instead of in Hayn, some 118 miles away?

That issue aside, what we do know that in 1533 the Weigel family of the Saxon branch were still Catholic. However that obviously changed because in 1567 he became a Lutheran pastor at Zschopau, near Chemnitz. So now we know that sometime between 1533 and 1567 the Saxon branch of the family went from Catholics to Lutherans. We don’t know why, or the exact dates.

We also know that he studied at Meissen, Leipzig, and Wittenberg. And after becoming a Lutheran pastor in Zschopau at the age of 34, he lived out a quiet life, engaged in his writings. He would spend the rest of his life in Zschopau and would eventually die there in 1588 at the age of 55. I wondered how old the average person lived to be in the 1500s and found out that the peasantry could expect to live to be about 40-45 years while nobility would average 50 years and anything beyond that was considered fairly ancient. So in terms of the sixteen century, Valentin Weigel lived to be an old man.

Valentin Weigel was best known for his belief that the Virgin Mary was herself the product of a virgin birth. He based his belief on the idea of the immaculate conception, which required that Mary must also be sinless in order to bear God in the flesh. He kept his ideas secret, entrusting them only to personal friends. He carried out his parishioner duties in the Lutheran church and kept a low profile.

But all the while he had very profound beliefs that he documented extensively. When he died he left around 6000 pages in printed or manuscript works.

His ideas on human nature were only gradually and posthumously published. Johann Arndt, Gottfried Arnold, and Gottfried Leibniz helped to spread Weigel’s ideas. His mysticism was marked by that of Johannes Tauler and by doctrines of Paracelsus; he was also a follower of Sebastian Franck and Caspar Schwenckfeldt. Like these two latter, he emphasized the inner life. He advocated a “spiritual church” in which one could know Christ without books or scripture. When he died, his followers spread his word and those followers were called the “Weigelaner.”

Valentin Weigel emphasized the necessity of internal unction (an anointing of Spirit; see 1 John 2:20) and illumination. He taught … that knowledge does not come from without, but from the Spirit operating upon our spirit within. In cosmology, Valentin Weigel stands near Paracelsus … (After his death), his writings were published in various places, and Weigelanism became widely spread. His opponents represented him (falsely) as a dangerous revolutionary who aimed at the overthrow of all political and social order.”

Valentin Weigel’s father was Michael Weigel. At least one sort lists Michael’s wife as Anna Katrina Van Veigle, but the English translation of Katrina is Catherine. Also, in German, a “v” is prounounced as a “w”, so that would account for the spelling of her last name. However this information may not be accurate. There is also – Michael Johannes HABLUZEL and Anna Katherina Van Veigle (1750 – 1820) so if this is the person they speak of then Anna Katherina couldn’t be his mother because she was born way after his death. It is worth mentioning however due to the unique spelling of the name.

More About Johannes Michael Hablutzel:
Census: 1764, Colonial America 1607-1789 Pennsylvania Census Index.
Estate Inventory: May 03, 1796, Woodford County Will Book B 1796-1807.
Immigration: 1764, Sailed from Rotterdam on the Ship Chance.

Marriage: Catherine Weigle 1770, Pennslyvania. / Johannes married 1, 3, 6 Anna Katrina Van Veigle (Weigle) “Caty” in 1780 in , Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States.

Anna Katrina Van Viegle
Catherine Weigle
Anna Katherina Van Veigle
Anna K. Van Veigle (Weigel)
Anna Catherine Weigel
Anna Catherina Weigle
Anna Katrina “Caty” Van Veigle (Weigle)

Johann Paul Wegerlin

The first Wegley to come to the US, at least in my line is Johann Paul Wegerlin.  He is my 6th great grandfather and was born on May 10, 1699, in Lampertheim, Bergstrasse, Hessen, Germany.

When I first started this website, I was sure I knew everything I could about him. but in time I learned that just because someone else says something is true, doesn’t make it so.

Is Johann Hana Paul Michael Wägeli the same as Johann Paul Wegerlin or Paulus?

That’s really what I needed to try and figure out. Only it’s not exactly that easy. The Germany birth, death and marriage records are hosted by Family Search and not a single image is available. The translated data is, but as we all know, that is very possibly wrong. My question is simple … what is our real family name … not our anglicized name, but our original name? Simple enough question, right? Well not so easy to answer.

In the same batch of Germany records, here are the 15 common variations of our family name.

  • Wegerlin
  • Wegelin
  • Wägerlin
  • Wegerlein
  • Wägele
  • Wägeli
  • Waegerlen
  • Waegerlin
  • Weckherlin
  • Weekerlin
  • Wegerle
  • Weikhelin
  • Wiegerlin
  • Wigerli
  • Wigerlin
  • Waeckherlin
  • Wuekherlin

I actually went as far as to hire someone from Germany who does translations to ask him who you even pronounce the name Wägeli. Was it why-gull or wu-ghel-ly or something different altogether?

He ended up telling me that the “ä” has a sound that is unique, there is no way to write it correctly for an English speaker but if you had to sound it out like why-gull, he said the closest would be the one that you said “wu-ghe-ly” but it’s only close and not the right way.

Here is a recording of his saying it so you can hear it said in his nature German tongue. 🙂

What I can say for sure is that Johann Paul came to America, specifically the Port of Philadelphia when he was 33 years of age, on September 18, 1732. Once in America, he would become known as Paul Wegerline. This “Americanization” of names wasn’t uncommon. More specifically he  arrived in the Port of Philadelphia on board of the Johnson Galley of London. We have the passenger list that tells us on that day he had with him his wife, Ottilia and four of their children … three girls, one boy.

And we aren’t even sure if her name was Ottilia or Obtilia or Otella or Otelia. I will say this though, Lancaster County, PA records her death in the year 1763. They have a copy of her will on file in book J, volume 1, page 344, again listing the spelling of her name as Wegerlin, Obtilia.

  • Katharine Wegerlin became Catherine Wegerline

    1727 – 1800
  • Ottilia Wegerline
    1729 –
    Anna Clara Wegerline
    1731 – 1784
  • Jacob Wegerline
    Born sometime between 1716 and 1732

When they came to America the original oath translations listed them as

Paul Wegerllue, (husband)
Jacob Wegerline, (son)
Otella Wegerline, (wife)
Oteliea Wegerline.. (daughter)
Katharine Wegerline. (daughter)
Anna Clara Wegerline. (daughter)

See how easy it is to lose track of someone when names are often times so misspelled? Also, I should note there is a separate entry for a Paulus Wegerlin.

We have a birth record for Anna Clara and on that record, it tells us that her mother’s name is Ottilia and her father’s name is Johann Paul Wegerlin. This record tell us that Anna Clara was baptized on April 16, 1731, in the city of Darmstadt in Germany, which is just south of Frankfurt.

The exact record reads “Evangelisch,Lampertheim,Starkenburg,Hesse-Darmstadt” but this is a translation mistake. “Evangelisch” tells us that she was baptized in the Evangelical Church in Germany. The identifying location is “Lampertheim, Starkenburg, Hesse-Darmstadt” which is actually the city of Darmstadt, in the province of  Starkenburg in the German state of Hesse. I asked a few different people from Germany and got varied results. While most agree it was in the city of Darmstadt a few said it meant she was baptized in the town of Lampertheim, a small town near Darmstadt in Germany.” Google maps tells us that Lampertheim is about 25 miles south of Darmstadt.

So now we’ve matched the mother, father and at least one child in two different records – the immigration passenger list and the child’s baptismal records. So this tells us that his full name is “Johann Paul Wegerlin” and when he came to America it became Paul Wegerline.

Next, we have the baptismal records of their daughter Ottilia. She has her mother as Ottilia but the father is Johann Paul Wegerle. This is a perfect example of why I wished we could see the actual records because obviously, the person who transcribed the data made a mistake. We know from other sources though that Wegerle is a common misspelling of Wegerlin / Wegerline.

So moving forward we now have three records that group this family together. It may not seem like a lot but keep in mind these are records from hundreds of years ago and there were a lot of people with similar names.

There was a Johann Nicklaus Wegerlin or married a Clara and had a daughter named Ottila who also happened to be baptized in the exact same place as our own Ottila Wegerlin. Of course, we know this wasn’t our Ottila because this one was was baptized in January of 1735 and by then our Ottila was already in America. There was also a Paulus Wegerlein who married an Ottila Beyer and came to America but they are not the same as our Paul and Ottila.


It is possible his full name is Johann Hana Paul Michael Wägeli or Johann Hana Paulus Michael Wägeli or Johann Hanß Paul Michael Wägeli.

It is possible that his father is Zacharias Wägeli and his grandfather is possibly Hanß Wegerlin …. although at this time I can not say for sure. It could be that Zacharias is his grandfather making his father possibly Han Philipp Wegerle, which to me seems far more likely if you do the math.

So is Johan Michel Weigel the same as Paulus Wegerline?

I’m sorry to say but Johan Paul and Johan Michel Weigel are not the same person. And I can prove it with old obscure German birth records.

Johan Michel Weigel was married to Anna Elisabetha and yes they had a child named Anna Catharina but it’s not the same.

Johan Michel Weigel

Paul or Paulus Wegerlin was married to Otillia. We know this because they came to America together and we have a zillion records to prove that they came over together with two of their daughters that we also have old German birth records for.

Johann Paul Wegerlin

Another bit of proof is that during the 1736 PA Early Census Index, Johan Michael Weygell lived in Philadelphia County, and we already knew Paulus was leaving in nearby Lancaster County during that time period.




Zacharias Wegerle

Life as we know it, for my family at least all leads back to a man by the name of Zacharias Wegerle aka Zacharia Weigel or Zacharias Wegerlin.  He is my 8th great grandfather and he was born in or around 1638 in Lampertheim, Bergstrasse, Hessen, Germany which turns out means he was born in the town of Lampertheim within Bergstraße district.  Lampertheim is a town in the Bergstraße district in Hesse, Germany. You can click here to view the map of the town as it exists today.

What makes doing research on the Wegley family line so complicated is that there are so many spellings and misspellings of the last name.  Here are just some of the ways people have spelled the Wegley name over the years.

  • Wegley (1900s)
  • Weighley (1800s)
  • Weigley (1700s)
  • Wageli (1600s)
  • Weigel (1600s)
  • Weichel (1500s)
  • Weigle
  • Weigel
  • Weagley
  • Wegerlin
  • Wagerline
  • Wegerle
  • Weygell
  • Weigele
  • Wegerle
  • Weckerly
  • Freigley (obvious typo)

I haven’t proven who his father is yet but it looks like it may be a man by the name of Hanß or Hanss, Han or Hana.  Hanß could have been known by the last name of Wegerlin or Wageli.  To avoid confusion for now we are going to call him Han Wageli as this is what most of the other researchers are calling him.  The only thing I can really do now is get all the records from the 1600s for the town of Lampertheim within Bergstraße district in Hesse, Germany.

So what do we know about Zacharias?

We know that he died and was buried in Germany (1638-1695)

Zacharias Wegerlin


Lampertheim, Kreis Bergstraße, Hessen, Germany
DEATH 1695 (aged 56–57)

Lampertheim, Kreis Bergstraße, Hessen, Germany
Lampertheim (Friedhof Huettenfeld)

Kreis BergstraßeHessenGermany

Zacharias Wägeli was born in 1638 in Lampertheim, Germany and died in 1695, in Lampertheim, Germany. He appears to have married a woman by the name of Anna Elisabeth Treiber (1636-1720) on May 8, 1660 when he was 20 years old. 

They possibly had 14 children.

  • Han Philipp Wegerle (1664 – 1747)
  • Anna Catharina Wegerlin (1665 –)
  • Han Georg Wegerlin (1667 – 1668)
  • Nicolaus Wegerle (1675 – 1731)
  • Johann Heinrich Wageli (1678 – 1678)
  • Johann Peter Wegerle (1678 – 1678)
  • Johann Martin Wageli (1679 –)
  • Paulus Wegerle (1684 – 1684)
  • Euphrosina Wegerle (1686 – 1686)

Zacharias Wegerlin was born in 1638 in Lampertheim, Starkenburg, Hesse-Darmstadt the only known child of Hana Wegerlin and his wife (UNKOWN NAME??). He married Anna Elisabeth Treiber on May 8, 1660 in Lampertheim, Starkenburg, Hesse-Darmstadt in the Lutheran Church. They had four children in 14 years. He died in 1695 in Lampertheim, at the age of 57.