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The Kresge Family

Early Records

Conrad Kresge’s first years in America have proved difficult to track down. We know that somewhere along the line family researchers put forth the notion that Conrad arrived in Chestnuthill Township in Northampton (now Monroe) county, Pennsylvania around 1740, acquired a homestead and began to raise a family. Over the decades these "facts" became ingrained into Kresge family lore.

The problem is that recent research has exposed several flaws in this notion. First, given that Conrad’s wife, Anna Margaret, was born in 1735, it is likely that Conrad himself was born in the early to mid 1730s as well. In other words, in 1740 Conrad Kresge was likely still a child between 5 and 10 years old. The second problem with the notion that Conrad initially settled in Chestnuthill is that he fails to appear in any of the early tax lists for the township. Clearly the answers to our ancestor's origins in America lie elsewhere.

By taking a look at tax lists and baptism records for nearby townships, I eventually discovered records for Conrad Kresge and family in Forks Township in Northampton County, PA, beginning in the 1760s. Conrad also appears in the 1772 tax list for Forks Township. Given the above, it appears that Conrad Kresge and family likely spent at least ten years in Forks Township before moving to Chestnuthill likely in the mid 1770s, perhaps just before son John was killed in the infamous Indian attack circa 1776.

Below you will find page scans from a book titled, Some of the First Settlers of The Forks of the Delaware and Their Descendants, Being a Translation from the German of the Record Books of the First Reformed Church of Easton, PA. from 1760 to 1852, by Henry Martyn Kieffer, evidencing the baptism of two of Conrad and Anna Margaret’s children, Anna (1763), Sarah Margaret (1767). Unfortunately the church records end abruptly in the late 1760s, although the aforementioned 1772 tax list for Forks Township confirms the family’s presence there during this time, an extract of which is also provided on this page.

 


 

 

 

 

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