Kochersperger Genealogie Projekt

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Kochersperger, Johann Martin I * Nov. 11, 1752


  Of Johann Martin Kochersperger, the first emigrant of the family to the New World and patriarch of the Philadelphia branch, is no image in our possession. During his lifetime  photography was not yet developed far enough. Whether a portrait was painted in oil, is not known and in view of his frugality rather unlikely.

Johann Martin KOCHERSPERGER was born on November 11, 1752 in Rittershoffen, Alsace [at that time was it a part of the county of Hanau-Lichtenberg, a territory of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation], as the first of eight children of Johannes II Kochersperger and his second wife Anna Maria, nee Grässel.

About 18 years old, in about 1770, he emigrated as the first family member to the New World, to the United States  of America. He settled in Strasburg Township, Lancaster County, near Philadelphia and married there on July 5, 1756  Maria Christina Seyfried, born in Philadelphia. To the couple were born eleven children. Thus he laid the foundation for today's largest group of our family in the United States and became the patriarch of the so-called "Philadelphia branch".

The children:

Anna Maria
 Kochersperger
 * Aug. 22, 1773
 Strasburg Township, Lancaster County, PA
 
John I
 Kochersperger
 * ab. 1774
 Strasburg Township, Lancaster County, PA
 
Martin Henry I
 Kochersperger
 * Nov. 1, 1779
 Strasburg Township, Lancaster County, PA
 
Jacob I
 Kochersperger
 * ab. 1780
 Strasburg Township, Lancaster County, PA
 
Maria Eva
 Kochersperger
 * ab. 1783
 Bart Township, Lancaster County, PA
 
Rachel
 Kochersperger
 * Aug. 13, 1785
 Passyunk Twp, Philadelphia, Phil. County, PA
 
George I
 Kochersperger
 * Aug. 23, 1788
 Passyunk Twp, Philadelphia, Phil. County, PA
 
Daniel I
 Kochersperger
 * May 28, 1791
 Passyunk Twp, Philadelphia, Phil. County, PA
 
Henry I
 Kochersperger
 * Dec. 17, 1793
 Passyunk Twp, Philadelphia, Phil. County, PA
 
Elisabeth
 Kochersperger
 * Sep. 9, 1796
 Passyunk Twp, Philadelphia, Phil. County, PA
 
Rosina
 Kochersperger
 * Dec. 25, 1798
 Passyunk Twp, Philadelphia, Phil. County, PA
 

When the American Colonies declared their independence, he joined in August of 1776 Colonel John Feree's First Rifle Battalion and in May of 1777 became a 7th Class Private in Captain John Slaymaker's 5th Company seeing action in various skirmishes during the American Revolutionary War.

After the war, Johann Martin Kochersperger relocated to the outskirts of the city of Philadelphia to farm in what was then called Northern Liberties Township. He acquired a vast tract of farm land near Gray's Ferry on Darby Road, on the west bank of the Schuylkill River.

Johann Martin died on Oct. 26, 1822 at his home and got his final resting place at the "German Lutheran cemetery" in Philadelphia. His wife followed him in death four weeks later on November 24, 1822.

Johann Martin wrote a testament, which identifies him as a wealthy man. May be he was a thrifty man, may be even  closefisted. In an articel in Harper's Magazin, puplished more than 30 years later, Judge Duncan is quoted as saying that Johann Martin was a skinflint. He has been his client and in his testament he took him into account with a legacy. But the story ended differently.

Source: Research by Daniel Guggisberg