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Descendants of Benedict Brechbuehler
Generation No. 1
 1.  Benedict1 Brechbuehler was born 1621-1666 in Switzerland, and died 1721.  He married Anna Mueller 1646-1700.

1710-Expelled from Switzerland as Anabaptist
1711-Met Frederick, King of Prussia
Native of district of Trachselwald; resided on farm called Krummholtz (double farmhouse) in the Durrangrad (small stream). Family farm seized by gov't. because family dissented from state religion. Gov't. wanted to send group to East Indies. Frederick, King of Prussia offered land in what is now Lithuania; investigation proved it to be marsh land unsuitable for farming. Queen Anne helped the Swiss exiles to emigrate from Holland where the group found temporary refuge before emigrating to America on the ship "Phoenix"; most settled in Pennsylvania. Benedict settled in Chester County with his son Ulrich, who died in a wagon accident on October 19, 1739.
More About Benedict Brechbuehler:
Fact 5-occupa.: Farmer/Taufer Minister (Anabaptist)
Fact 7-resided: Trachselwald, Switzerland; Manheim, Germany, Settled in Chester Co., PA
Fact 13-commt: Swiss, Mennonite

 Children of Benedict Brechbuehler and Anna Mueller are:
 2 i. Barbara2 Brechbuehler, born 1649-1705; died 1666-1784.
 3 ii. Ulrich Brechbuehler, born 1649-1705; died 1667-1782.
+ 4 iii. Christen Brechbuehler, born October 07, 1683 in Switzerland; died 1722-1777.
Generation No. 2

 4.  Christen2 Brechbuehler (Benedict1) was born October 07, 1683 in Switzerland, and died 1722-1777.  He married Anna Steiner January 30, 1705/06.

Notes for Christen Brechbuehler:
Came to America on the ship "Thistle" in 1738, considerably later than his father, Benedict, and brother, Ulrich. Christian was a treasurer in the State Church, however, because of his contacts with his exiled brother, Benedict, he too was arrested, fined and exiled.

 Children of Christen Brechbuehler and Anna Steiner are:
 5 i. Madleni3 Brechbueler, born November 07, 1706; died April 1708.
+ 6 ii. Christen Brechbill, born December 07, 1710; died 1761.
 7 iii. Benedict Brechbueler, born February 18, 1711/12; died 1713-1802.
 8 iv. Anna Brechbueler, born October 06, 1715; died 1716-1809.
 9 v. Hans Brechbueler, born February 25, 1719/20; died  1721-1810.
Generation No. 3

 6.  Christen3 Brechbill (Christen2 Brechbuehler, Benedict1) was born December 07, 1710, and died 1761.  He married Anna (Brechbuehler) 1726-1753.

Notes for Christen Brechbill:
September 19, 1738-Arr. in Phila. on ship "Thistle"
 Feb. 1738-Purchased land from Thomas & Richard Penn

Lived in England to acquire citizenship required to emigrate to America. Wrote ahead to friend, Casper Shirch, to purchase land. On Feb. 6, 1738 Thomas and Richard Penn, sons of William, made out a survey for 108 acres of land in Bethel Township, then in Lancaster County. This land was owned by Brechbills and Brightbills for six generations and is located next to Wolfe's Union Cemetery (sometimes called Brightbill's Cemetery). This land is south and east of Fredricksburg, about ten miles north and east of Lebanon. Christian cleared the heavily wooded land with horses and oxen. He died in 1761 leaving his wife, Anna, several minor children. On April 20, 1769, Christian Brechbill, Jr. purchased the farm for 600 pounds from his brothers and sisters in whose names the farm had been held in trust. A land survey was made by the agent of William Penn's two sons, Thomas and Richard, on February 6, 1738, to Christian Brechbill for 180 acres of land in Bethel Township, Lancaster County, PA, later to become part of Lebanon County. Christen Brechbuehler arrived in America on September 19, 1738, on the ship Thistle.

More About Christen Brechbill:
Fact 5-occupa.: Farmer
Fact 13-commt: Swiss, Mennonite

More About Anna (Brechbuehler):
Fact 1: September 19, 1738, Arr. in U.S. on ship "Thistle"

 Children of Christen Brechbill and Anna (Brechbuehler) are:
 10 i. John4 Brechbiel, born 1731-1757; died 1737-1837.
 11 ii. Abraham Brechbiel, born 1731-1757; died 1737-1837.
 12 iii. Christina Brechbiel, born 1731-1757; died 1736-1840.
+ 13 iv. Christian (Brechbuehler) Brechbill , Jr., born April 30, 1743; died March 12, 1786.
Generation No. 4

 13.  Christian (Brechbuehler)4 Brechbill , Jr. (Christen3, Christen2 Brechbuehler, Benedict1) was born April 30, 1743, and died March 12, 1786.  He married Elizabeth Kreider May 14, 1767, daughter of John Jacob Kreider.

Notes for Christian (Brechbuehler) Brechbill , Jr.:
In the Revolutionary War, Christian joined Capt. Casper Stoever's Company in Colonel Phillip Greenwalt's Battalion as a commissary officer.

 Children of Christian Brechbill and Elizabeth Kreider are:
+ 14 i. Johan5 Brechbill, born October 07, 1767 in Dates taken from tombstone; died October 15, 1843 in Buried: Wolfes Union (Brightbills) Cemetery.
 15 ii. Anna Brechbill, born November 18, 1768; died 1782-1862. married Christian Wolfe 1782-1815.
 16 iii. Christian Brechbill, born April 04, 1770; died 1784-1864. married Suzannah 1784-1817.
1801, Moved to Franklin Co., PA
 17 iv. Barbara Brechbill, born June 22, 1771; died 1785-1865. married Jacob Moyer 1785-1818.
 18 v. Henry Brechbill, born December 02, 1772; died 1773-1866.
 19 vi. Abraham Brechbill, born April 15, 1774; died 1775-1868.
1801, Moved to Franklin Co.
 20 vii. Elizabeth Brechbill, born March 17, 1775; died 1789-1869. married Fredrich Sherch 1789-1822.
Moved to Franklin Co.
 21 viii. Jacob Brechbill, born September 10, 1777; died 1778-1867.
Settled in Franklin Co.
 22 ix. Magdalina Brechbill, born June 13, 1779; died 1780-1873. married Peter Hoffman.
Franklin County
 23 x. Christina Brechbill, born January 07, 1781; died 1782-1875. married Jacob Sollenberger.
moved to Franklin County
24 xi. Maria Brechbill, born August 08, 1782; died 1783-1876.
Generation No. 5

 14.  Johan5 Brechbill (Christian (Brechbuehler)4, Christen3, Christen2 Brechbuehler, Benedict1) was born October 07, 1767 in Dates taken from tombstone, and died October 15, 1843 in Buried: Wolfes Union Cemetery.  He married Magdalena Wolfe.

Notes for Johan Brechbill:
April 15, 1833-Sold family farm to son, John & Catherine

Johan & Magelena Wolfe Brechbill are buried at Union House Cemetery next to Johanes and Catherine Hunsicker Brechbill.

More About Johan Brechbill:
Fact 5-occupa.: Farmer
Fact 7-resided: family farm
Fact 12-burried: : Wolfes Union (Brightbill) Cemetery
Fact 13-commt: Mennonite

More About Magdalena Wolfe:
Fact 12-burried: : Wolfes Union(Brightbill)Cemetery

 Child of Johan Brechbill and Magdalena Wolfe is:
+ 25 i. Johannes (John)6 Brechbiel, born December 05, 1803 in Dates taken from tombstone; died May 02, 1873 in Buried: Wolfes Union (Brightbill) Cemetery.

Generation No. 6
 25.  Johannes (John)6 Brechbiel (Johan5 Brechbill, Christian (Brechbuehler)4, Christen3, Christen2 Brechbuehler, Benedict1) was born December 05, 1803 in Dates taken from tombstone, and died May 02, 1873 in Buried: Wolfes Union (Brightbill) Cemetery.  He married Catherina Hunsicker 1822-1851.

Notes for Johannes (John) Brechbiel:
Union House Cemetery is the same as Brightbill's Cemetery located between Mt. Zion and Fredricksburg, PA

The family farm remained in Brightbill ownership until 1950 when it was sold to Levi and Gideon Fisher, Amish brothers, from Gordonville, Lancaster County.

More About Johannes (John) Brechbiel:
Fact 5-occupa.: Farmer
Fact 7-resided: April 05, 1833, Bought family farm from parents.
Fact 13-commt: Penna. Dutch/Mennonite

 Children of Johannes Brechbiel and Catherina Hunsicker are:
 26 i. John H7 Brightbill, born August 23, 1835; died January 06, 1917.
+ 27 ii. Adam Brightbill, born October 16, 1841; died August 12, 1921.
 28 iii. Levi Brightbill, born 1846; died 1850-1860.
The 1850 Census records show a Levi, 4yrs of age in the family of Johannes and Catherin Brechbill.  He does not show in the 1860 Federal Census.  There is an infant tombstone next to Catherine.
 29 iv. Eve Brightbill, born September 27, 1853; died  . 1854-1947.
Generation No. 7
Adam Brightbill 1841-1921
 27.  Adam7 Brightbill (Johannes (John)6 Brechbiel, Johan5 Brechbill, Christian (Brechbuehler)4, Christen3, Christen2 Brechbuehler, Benedict1) was born October 16, 1841, and died August 12, 1921.  He married Suzanne Eisenhauer 1860-1889.

Notes for Adam Brightbill:
Farmed the Family Homestead Farm

 Children of Adam Brightbill and Suzanne Eisenhauer are:
 38 i. John Adam8 Brightbill, born March 21, 1861; died 1862-1951.
 39 ii. Samuel Brightbill, born June 15, 1862; died  1863-1952.
 40 iii. Lucy Ann Brightbill, born August 04, 1867; died 1868-1961.
 41 iv. Milton Brightbill, born December 26, 1869; died  1870-1959.
 42 v. Harrison Brightbill, born December 25, 1871; died  1872-1961.
+ 43 vi. Edwin Brightbill, born July 05, 1873; died June 25, 1955.
 44 vii. Mary Brightbill, born August 30, 1877; died  1878-1971.
 45 viii. Hiram Brightbill, born March 17, 1882; died 1883-1972.
Generation No. 8
 43.  Edwin8 Brightbill (Adam7, Johannes (John)6 Brechbiel, Johan5 Brechbill, Christian (Brechbuehler)4, Christen3, Christen2 Brechbuehler, Benedict1) was born July 05, 1873, and died June 25, 1955.  He married Agnes Meyer February 22, 1894. The daughter of Solomon and Clara Edris Meyer.
Solomon and Clara (Edris) Meyer and their children
Notes for Edwin Brightbill:
Edwin Farmed his land, in Cleona, Pa., in the earlier years, when his sons were grown and moved on, he purchased property in Lebanon, Pa. and opened his own garage. When the Stock Market crashed and the depression became worse his bank demanded immediate payment of his loan of $10,000. He no one had that kind of money at that time.  His sister helped save the home they lived in, and the children purchase back all the family property that was auctioned. However the business was lost.
Edwin & Agnes Meyer Brightbill & Family
After a period illness, with leukemia, Edwin died June 24, 1955.  His children helped to care for him in his illness, and eventual death.

Edwin’s death certificate states he was born in Bethel Township, Pa; his occupation as farmer; City of Cleona; address at time of death 31 North Lincoln St. Lebanon County, Pa.
Edwin and Agnes are buried in the Union Meeting House Cemetery, Fredericksburg, Lebanon County, Pa.

 Children of Edwin Brightbill and Agnes Meyer are:
 59 i. Ada9 Brightbill, born August 06, 1894; died July 25, 1971. burried: Fryerstown Cemetery
 60 ii. Irvin Brightbill, born June 12, 1896; died July 24, 1969.
burried: Union Cemetery
 61 iii. Anna Brightbill, born April 27, 1899; died May 13, 1899. burried: union Cemetery
 62 iv. Henry Brightbill, born July 04, 1900; died December 31, 1901. burried: Union Cemetery
 63 v. Emma Brightbill, born February 20, 1902; died February 02, 1968. burried: Midway Cemetery
 64 vi. Elmer Brightbill, born August 05, 1903; died March 23, 1980.  He married Helen I Long July 1925 in Host Church, Toplehocken, Pennsylvania.
Elmer & Helen Long Brightbill & Family
Notes for Elmer Brightbill:
Elmer and Helen raised their children on the farm they owned in Sinking Springs, Pa.
Elmer was a farmer and a carpenter by trade.  Helen, along with raising their 10 children, raised chickens and tended a garden that provided her with goods to feed her family and to sell at market were she tended a stand.
Canning was another activity that filled a good deal of her time; 125 quarts were needed for the winter.  The jars contained corn, beets, peaches, pears, dried apples, dried mint tea and "snitz and ep" (told to me by Herbert Brightbill).
Helen’s children tell stories of ‘caramel pie’ and ‘rivil soup’. They remember fondly "hot chocolate with vanilla" and the ‘mint tea’ she would have ready for them after morning chores.  The chores, which started at the break of dawn, had to be completed before school.
Helen would bring a milk bucket full of lemonade, mint tea, and ‘esic punch’(cold apple cider vinegar, sugar, and water... told to me by Herbert Brightbill) to the boys in the field to drink.
Herbert Brightbill had a very touching description of his parents. "Mom was a small woman; she could walk right under Pop’s outstretched arm.  But she gave every one of us a overhaulin’ at some time or other."  As he spoke he looked down at his large strong hands.  The large hands are a trait of their father’s that all the boys share.

"Mom was the disciplinarian," the children all agree, " And doctored most of the injuries, including her own with home remedies."  She gave birth to all but two children at home.  Herbert tells of her trying to deliver one of the twins, Larry, and almost dying till they could get her to the hospital.  They were miles from the nearest medical attention.  They had no car or phone of their own.  They had to find a phone to call an ambulance.  They got her to the hospital, but the child could not be saved.
Elmer Samuel Brightbill, was a quite and strong man.  "He worked hard and long,"  his children said about their father.  He had a large family to feed, shelter and keep in clothes.
Along  with carpentry, he had milk cows, which provided milk for his large family.  He also shipped milk to Liberty Dairy, Shillington, Pa.  Elmer worked as a mechanic in Adamstown, Pa., and during the depression, also worked at the carbonizing plant where he cleaned the machines that wove hats and other things.  He worked there during the War also.
"But he would have fun with us, too,"  Beatrice told me.  "We would be sitting at the table and about finished eating, when he would take his glass with a little water in it an toss  the water across the table at one of us…Then we would start doing the same to him until Mom had enough and sent us outside."  She laughed as she remembered.
Earl and Curtis tell about how they would try to ride the bulls and the hogs.  "When Mom and Pop weren’t around."  They laughed and grimaced as they told about the boys taking turns riding one of the hogs to see how long they could stay on, when the hog died.  "When Pop found the dead hog, he thought it was dead because it was sick.  So he took it out and buried it, instead of butchering it.  It made us feel bad because we could have used the meat. None of us ever told him what we did, or would really have gotten the strap,"  Earl says as he shakes his head.
wonderland for the imagination and dreams.  The sleigh being a romantic carriage or hot rod.  The ropes became the vines of Tarzan’s and Jane’s.
There was an opening in the floor where the bails of hay would be lowered for use, with the animals on the first floor.  However, in  our magical world of play, it was a drop from a rocket ship or Alice in wonderland's hole ,or just a dare for the faint of heart.
One of my earliest memories of the times spent at the farm, was the sleigh that was kept on the second floor of the barn.  In the barn with the sleigh were many bails of hay stacked in a manor that created steps to the roof.  This is one of the places most of the children gathered to play.  They would climb the musty and prickly hay bails to the top and climbing out on the broad wooden beams of the barn.  The ropes, that were connected there, became our swings and imaginary vines.  It was a wonderland for the imagination and dreams.  The sleigh being a romantic carriage or hot rod.  The ropes became the vines of Tarzan’s and Jane’s.
There was an opening in the floor where the bails of hay would be lowered for use, with the animals on the first floor.  However, in  our magical world of play, it was a drop from a rocket ship or Alice in wonderland's hole ,or just a dare for the faint of heart.
I do remember the sleigh, one winter, all decked out in the harness and adorned with bells. Sitting next to grandpop, I was bundled against the weather with the snowflakes catching on my eyelashes. What a mystical event for a very young dreamer.
I remember Helen walking with a limp, her shoe had a three inch sole; it seemed heavy and cumbersome.  She still walked with spark and determination of someone many years younger.  The deterioration of the hip joint was the cause for the need of special shoes. On this otherwise uneventful day, she was driving a load of milk for delivery to the trolley station. As she crossed the trolley tracks, the trolley struck the car.  One of the injuries she was left with caused the deterioration of her leg, that worsened as the years went by.
There are many things about the life style of Elmer, Helen and their children that future generations will not be able to experience.  Progress is wonderful and exciting but it leaves so many wonderful and exciting things behind.
There were many hard times and sorrows, that I hope the future generations will never have to experience.  The want, hardship  and insecurity of the depression had to be the topic of conversation for the young couple at the end of a hard day.  The  concerns of droughts, floods, infestations, and desease were a regular part of their lives as farmers.
There are many things that attack my senses, puts a smile on my face and takes me back to those days: the smell of the farm on the warm summer days; the sound of the excited little voices waiting to crank the ice cream maker; the chill of the water and laughter around the pond in the lower field were we would swim; balancing on the rocks in the creek catching tadpoles and crayfish;  the thrill of sledding down the long and bumpy hill, hanging on for dear life to the back of uncle Kenny or our father;  the smell and warmth of the farm house at the end of the day as we watched "Walt Disney" and "Lassie" while grandmom prepared super, as the adults sat around the large kitchen table;
And the music of Pennsylvania Dutch that they spoke when they did not want us to know what they were talking about.
In conversations with Agnes (Brightbill) Sweigart about the depression and the family, she told that her mother told her many times that "If it were not for the farm and the food we could grow for ourselves, we would have starved."
Agnes also tells about Helen, her mother, skimming the cream off the top of the milk and putting it in a large jar.  When Helen had accumulated enough cream she would have the children sit a distance apart on the kitchen floor and roll the jar back and forth to each other until it formed butter.
The closeness of such a large and extended family through the good times, hard times, battles, and grief is to be cherished.  I hope it will be passed on to the new generations.  For in that closeness is a strength, joy and warmth there that can be found no where else.
Helen Irene (Long) Brightbill died July 1, 1971.  Elmer Samuel Brightbill died February 23, 1980.  Both were cared for through illnesses with cancer by their children, and passed away at the home were they shared many loving memories.  They are buried in the Wyomissing Cemetery, Gouglersville, Pa.
Their children, Larry and Betty Mae, who died in childhood, are buried in Host Church Cemetery, Rehrersburg, Pa.

Notes for Helen I Long:
Helen Irene Long  1903-1971
Helen I Long was born in Burnville, Pa to Katie Haag. However, from a very young age she was raised by William and Katie D. Long, the brother and sister-in-law of her father, Calvin C. Long.
Helen lived with  William and his wife Katie E. in the tenant house of the Harry Stoudt’s Dairy Farm in Rehrersburg, Pa.  William Long was a watch maker.  Helen milked and worked the fields.  I was told, "worked as hard as a man" and helped care for the Stoudt children, one of which was physically disabled.
Helen only spoke Pennsylvania Dutch at home, and when she started school, she could not speak English and had to learn English to communicate in school.
Her son Herbert told me of William Long sitting by a window working on some watches, when lightning struck him.  The lightning went through him and out his foot splitting his shoes apart.  The lightning traveled down through a metal grate in the floor, through the cellar, and into the ground near a row of potatoes and killed the whole row of potatoes.
Calvin Long’s brother, George Long from Denver, Pa., was a shoe maker and made many of the children’s shoes.  And "Pop would repair them when they needed it," Helen’s son Curtis said.  "The shoes were passed on to each child until they could be worn no more."
Calvin had another sister named Matilda Long who also lived with William, Katie D, and Helen.  Matilda was a dressmaker.
Calvin C. Long had moved to San Francisco, California, where he started a very profitable neon sign business. Most of the wealth and the business were lost to a wife in a divorce, but he remarried.  It is not known if Calvin had any other children with these marriages.  He died in California in about 1975.
Katie Haag married Charles Lutz, Katie died when Helen was about 13 years of age.  They had four daughters, two of which maintained contact with Helen until her death.
Harry Stoudt  helped Helen get her first car. In exchange, Helen drove their daughter to Ohio for treatment of a physical disability
Helen took care of William Long until
his death. William and Katie D Long are
buried in the Host Church Cemetery, Rehrersburg, Pa.

Helen I Long met Elmer S. Brightbill at a church picnic; he was Brethren and she was Reform and attended the Host Church.  Shortly after, they were married.

 65 vii. Mary Brightbill, born February 15, 1905.
 66 viii. Harvey Brightbill, born August 08, 1906.
 67 ix. Hiram Brightbill, born July 13, 1908.
 68 x. Carrie Brightbill, born March 16, 1910.
 69 xi. Mae Brightbill, born March 08, 1912.
 70 xii. Saloma Brightbill, born December 06, 1912; died December 08, 1921.burried: Union Cemetery
 71 xiii. Martha Brightbill, born February 16, 1916.
 72 xiv. Grace Brightbill, born November 14, 1919.
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