Updated: May 29, 2020
I've been obsessed looking back to the ancestors from the William Penn period. I thought it might be a bit too much detail, but it was so interesting to see when those families first came to America. I never focused much on when their came to Montgomery County, specifically Ambler, Whitpain, and Lower Gwynedd.
This time, I will discuss about the Weidner family and when they first came to Whitpain Township. For many years, I've past by this property on the way to school and home, and I never understood its history. I love passing by buildings like this: I get a curiosity about how old the property was, and who lived there. Were they important? So far in my research, I thought the people were interesting, but they somehow connect to important events and people in US History.
Let's dig into the Weidner family!
The Weidner family were actually from Bucks County, PA, and their ancestors were German. The first Weidner to live in Whitpain was Leonard Weidner with his wife Christiana Hinckle, and their 4 children: Samuel, Hannah, David, and Maria. We'll talk more about the eldest son: Samuel.
Samuel Weidner was born in Bucks County, specifically in Quakertown, in 1790. He was raised there in in his early life until he turned 18 years old, he moved to Whitpain with his parents where his father purchased a farm that is currently standing today.
Samuel was a farmer according to the 1850 census data. He took over the farm after his father passed, and lived there with his wife Mary Sechler (1800-1890), and his big family.
Samuel was a quiet man. He was originally a Democrat until the American Union was menaced by rebellion. He became a Republican ever since, and voted for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. He considered himself a prohibitionist, and he was the first to dispense with liquor on all occasions. He fought in the War of 1812 as a corporal*.
*corporal- a noncommissioned officer ranking in the army above a private first class and below a sergeant and in the marine corps above a lance corporal and below a sergeant
He retired from farming in 1853, and sold his farm to Saunders Lewis, and purchased 5 acres on the other side of Morris Road where he spent the rest of his life.
His son Uriah (1828-1911) was born and raised in the farm, and was involved in agricultural pursuits until he was 22 years old. According to the 1850 census data, Uriah was a laborer, which summed up what he did in his early life.
Uriah attended common schools in Whitpain, with an addition of taking courses at Treemount Seminary, conducted by Reverend Samuel Aaron. After leaving school, Uriah became a teacher, and it lasted for 14 years. He spent 12 years teaching at Mount Pleasant School, where he attended at a young age. For 2 years, he taught at Marble Hall school in Whitemarsh Township. Due to his failing health, he abandoned teaching in 1866, and went back to farming in Worcester Township, PA.
In 1869, Uriah moved to New Britain, Bucks County, PA, and purchased a farm of 60 acres. He resided there until 1881.
Uriah had a strong religious background: Going back to his ancestors, they left their homeland because of religious persecution. His father Samuel was a long-time member of the Reformed Church and the Methodist Church as a class leader and steward. He followed his father footsteps, and became a member of the Methodist church until 1875 where he held the office of deacon. On that same year, he was ordained a minister in the Reformed Church and at the Pleasantville Church. He was a minister for 14 years until he resigned in 1889.
In his personal life, Uriah married Margaret I. Supplee in 1855, and raised a big family.
"Distance Calculator." DaftLogic. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.
Hopkins, G.M. Atlas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Page 031, 1871.
Mueller, A. H. Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., Plate 28, 1916.
Roberts, Ellwood. Biographical annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, containing genealogical records of representative families, including many of the early settlers and biographical sketches of prominent citizens. (New York: T. S. Benham, 1904), 331-333.
Smith, J. L. Montgomery County 1893, Whitpain and Worcester Townships, Bethel Hill, Fairview, Cedar Hill, Washington Square, Broad Axe Left, 1893.
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