Miesser Genealogy (Meiser, Miser, Mizar, Mizer
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Meisser Genealogy (Meiser, Miser, Mizar, Mizer, Myser)
Wait… Where Am I? “I thought I was at the Taylor Reunion?!?” If you are so young that this thought is going through your mind right now, then relax. You are at the right reunion! We need to bring you up to speed. Our more experienced guests can just follow along on the next slide.
Once Upon A Time Young ‘uns: Your grandma Taylor’s (or great grandma’s) maiden name was Jean Ellen MIZER. At our reunion in 2010, we reviewed our paternal family history (Taylor side). The slide show is available online at www.tomahtaylors.com . This year, we will be reviewing our maternal family history.
Origins Over the years, the spelling of Mizer was changed many times, and known related spellings are: Meisser, Meiser, Miser, Mizer, Mizar & Myser. Experts believe the surname Meisser comes from the city of Ottweiler, Germany.
Useful Information Germany used to be called Palitinate & the people were called Palatines. In the old days, many boys were named after their father, but called them by their middle names to avoid confusion.
– For example: John George would have been called “George” while his son John Adam would have been called “Adam”.
Map of Palatinate
Palatinate was separated into two sections: Rhineland-Palatinate & Palatinate.
Map of Germany The star marks the approximate location of Ottweiler, where the Meissers originated.
Setting the Scene Life in Germany during the sixteen & seventeen hundreds was harsh. The people & lands had been devastated by the Thirty Years War, the War of the Palatine Succession & the War of the Spanish Succession. The Thirty Years War alone cost the region 30-50% of its population. Plague & famine followed.
Setting the Scene The remaining Palatines were very heavily taxed to pay for the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by their rulers. The winter of 1708 further devastated the region. It is written that the “cold was so intense that wine & spirits froze in solid blocks; birds on the wing fell dead, and it is said, saliva congealed in its fall from the mouth to the ground.”
Reproduction of Winter of 1708
Setting the Scene Queen Anne encouraged emigration to England. More subjects meant more income for the monarchy. William Penn (founder of PA) personally made several trips to the Palatinate region, distributing pamphlets that promoted the lifestyle & climate in America.
Queen Anne Boleyn
Greener Grass! Palatines did not need much convincing that the grass was greener elsewhere! Before they could leave their homeland, they had to get a recommendation from the local authorities. Recommendations usually came from the mayor, clerk, or other official & were testaments of a person’s good character.
Money Talks Once they received recommendation, there was the matter of payment. There were many fees & tolls along the way. Some people had to sell everything they owned before making their journey. Others who could not afford to pay would borrow money from an agent. In exchange, they would become servants for a number of years.
Safe Travels Between 1708 & 1710 about 13,000 Palatines left their homeland. The trip Northward on the Rhine River to Holland (the Netherlands) took 4-6 weeks. Once they arrived in London, they were probably housed in makeshift camps.
London in the Early 1700’s
First Generation Johan Jurg Our first maternal ancestor to emigrate to America was Johan Jurg Meisser (1/1) . Johan was born in Palatinate around 1668. On July 28, 1709 Johan sailed from Holland to London, England with his wife and 4 children. In the passenger list entitled “The Embarkation Lists from Holland” Johan is listed as “Mauser, Johann Georg”.
First Generation Johan Jurg This record indicates they arrived in NY by June 30, 1710 – 302 years ago today! Little is known about Johann Jurg’s life, but we do know that he settled in the Scoharie Valley, NY. He would have been an original settler in the area.
Map of Scoharie Valley, NY
The red highlighted area represents the Scoharie Valley.
Second Generation Johann Michael
Johann Jurg Meisser & his wife had four children, one of whom was our direct ancestor, Johann Michael Meiser (2/2). – Note the spelling change
Johann Michael (2/2) was born in 1703 in Palatinate. He married Anna Elizabeth Zecht. They had 10 children, one of whom is our direct ancestor, John Johannes Meiser 3/6.
Second Generation Johann Michael Johann Michael 2/2 relocated from NY to Millbach, PA. This was no easy task! He had to brave the wilderness, elements & hostile Native Americans. Luckily for the Mizers, they built their home next door to Fort Zeller, the strongest building in Millbach, PA. Residents would take refuge there during attacks by Native Americans.
Modern-Day Photo of the Original Meiser Homestead in Millbach, PA
The Deed In 1731, Johann Michael 2/2 was given a deed to his land by a Native American Chief named Allummapie. The land and home remained in the Meiser family for five generations, which was always passed down to the first born son. Upon his death in 1745, Johann Michael was buried on the family farm.
Know all men that I Allummapie alias Safroonan Chief of the Schuylkill Indians and Indian Owner of the land lying on the branches & upper part of the said River Schuylkill In consideration of the love & goodwill that I bear to my friend James Logan do by this writing give & grant full & free liberty to Christopher Stump, George Graef, Hans Zeller & Michael Mizer their heirs asigns to live upon ? & ? Five hundred acres of land where they are now settled Southward of ? From this day for all time to come & forever without any further claim or demand to be made for the same or any part thereof by me or by any other Indian whatsoever. In witness whereof I have hereinto left my hand & seal the eleventh day of August in the year 1731.
Fort Zeller in Millbach, PA
Historical Marker for Fort Zeller
Third Generation: John Johannes Johann Michael 2/2 & Anna had 10 children, one of whom was our direct ancestor, John Johannes Meiser 3/7. John Johannes was born in 1732 in Millbach, PA. He married a woman named Catharine. He was the road supervisor in Penns Township in 1778.
Third Generation John Johannes In 1781 he was assessed with 100 acres of land & personal property. John Johannes 3/7 served in the Northumberland County Militia during the Revolutionary War. He & his wife had 8 children including our direct ancestor Johannes Adam Meiser 4/2.
Third Generation John Johannes John Johannes died in 1795. At the writing of his will which was probated at Sunbury, PA, he was building a new house. He left 90 pounds to his first born son to finish construction of the home.
Fourth Generation Johannes Adam Johannes Adam Meiser 4/2 was born in Millbach, PA. He was baptized at the Millbach Church on April 2, 1760. He married Rosina Eckhart and they had 8 children. In 1806 they relocated to Jefferson County, OH where Johannes Adam purchased 160 acres of land.
Church in Millbach, PA
He died in 1812 and is buried on the farm he owned in Harrison County, OH.
The red highlighted area represents Harrison County, OH
Fifth Generation George Mizer
George Mizer 5/5 was born in 1792 in Northumberland, PA. – Note name change.
He moved with his father to OH around 1800. He served in the War of 1812 with the Ohio Militia. His duty was to guard prisoners of war.
Fifth Generation George Mizer George married Catharine Markley on August 28, 1816. He acquired a farm in Auburn Township, OH from his uncle Adam Miser. His uncle received the original land patent from the US General Land Office during President James Madison’s administration.
Reenactment of War of 1812
Fifth Generation George Mizer George & his wife Catharine had 9 children including our direct ancestor Mathias Benjamin Mizer 6/5. George died in Auburn Township, OH and is buried in the family cemetery on his farm.
Sixth Generation Mathias Benjamin Mathias Benjamin Mizer 6/5 was born December 12, 1821 in OH. He married Mary Ann Miller on April 19, 1846. They had 14 children including our direct ancestor, John Wesley Mizer 7/10.
Sixth Generation Mathias Benjamin In 1873, lumber barons advertised cutover land at very low prices. Matthias & Mary Ann moved to Yuba, WI when he was 55 years old by riding in wagons & driving their cattle with them. The distance between Ragersville, OH & Yuba, WI is approximately 630 miles, or 12 hours by car!
The red dot pinpoints Yuba, WI which is located in Richland County. The orange star pinpoints Oakdale, WI, where the Taylor family eventually settled.
Sixth Generation Mathias Benjamin Mathias Benjamin first raised potatoes, and later tobacco. He purchased another farm at LaFarge, WI in January 1893. Mathias died in 1904. He is buried in the Jug Creek Cemetery in Rockton, WI. The burial of his wife Mary Ann has been verified by a grandchild who recalled her burial there around 1896.
Seventh Generation John Wesley John Wesley Mizer 7/10 was born August 5, 1866 in Auburn Township, OH. At the age of 13 he relocated to WI with his parents, and as a boy he worked on the family farm. John became a professional prize fighter (boxer) and later, a detective for the Pinkerton Detective Agency.
Seventh Generation John Wesley Mizer John married Ada Payne on August 24, 1900 in Vernon County, WI. They had 3 children, one of whom was our direct ancestor, Jean Ellen Mizer 8/3. John Mizer died in 1909 at the age of 43, when Jean was just 1 year of age.
Maternal Lines Ada Payne Ada Payne was born in New York in 1874 to Joseph Payne & Wealthy Canady. As a young girl she relocated with her family to a farm in LaFarge, Wisconsin. She had two children with her first husband. Their names were Inez & Vivian. Ada remarried John Mizer, and together they had three children: Delores Ann (who passed away as a teen), Edward, and Jean Ellen (who was called “Lena”).
Maternal Lines Ada Marie Payne After John’s death in 1909, Ada remarried James Bird Jerry. She was a member of the Adventist church at LaFarge. Ada passed away of pneumonia in Lakeland, WI in 1932 & is buried at Lakeside Cemetery in Cumberland, WI.
Eighth Generation Jean Ellen Jean Ellen Mizer was born on February 7, 1908 in LaFarge, WI. Jean first married Francis McKittrick, and they had 2 children together: Betty Vivian & Geraldine Marie. In 1931 Jean Ellen remarried Walter Harold Taylor, and together they added 13 more children to their family: Jacqueline Jean, Mary Lou, Meredith Ann, Walter Harold Jr., Robert Harlow, Laureen Delia, Donald Allen, Patricia Lea, Richard Raymond, Sheryl Mae, Larry Lynn (died at birth), Ralph Eugene & Terry Dean.
The Walter Taylor Family
Row 1 (seated): Pat, Rick, Don Row 2: Laureen, Skip, Jean, Sherry, Walter Sr., Terry, Meredith Row 3: Mary Lou, Geri, Bob, Junior, Betty, Jackie
Did You Know…? There is a national Meisser Genealogy Association. They publish genealogy books & newsletters about the family. They host an annual reunion each June that changes locations. The 2013 reunion is slated for New Orleans. Anyone up for attending?
National Meisser Association http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ance stry.com/~keller/meisser/work/index.html Facebook: “Descendants of Johan Jurg Meisser”
Tomah Taylors Have you visited our family website yet? www.tomahtaylors.com View news & birthdays Stay current on reunion information Download a copy of the family tree, genealogy presentations, or other family documents Visit us on Facebook at “Tomah Taylors”
Thank you for watching the Meisser Genealogy presentation (Meiser, Miser, Mizar, Mizer, Myser)
Created & presented at the 2012 Taylor Family Reunion by Coreen (Smith) Traverzo, proud grand-daughter of Jean Ellen (Mizer) Taylor