Retracing Our Family Legacy

Melchior Buhrly (Bierly)
(c1713 - ?)

Origin of the Byerley Name

There are several different opinions as to the source of the Byerley name. It may be from an old Germanic word for farmer. The name could also be a variant of Baierle, which means Bavarian. This name applied to someone who moved from Bavaria in the eighth thru twelth century. The "le" implies little, younger, junior, such as son of Beyrer. In modern Germany, the prevalant spelling has been Beierle and Beyerle.

According to Col. Henry W. Schoemaker, a relative of the Byerleys via his aunt Hannah Shoemaker (married to Daniel Byerley of Schuylkill, PA), the earlier roots of the family name appears among the Hugenots of France in a Roman tribe named Berlius. In an address to the Bierly family reunion at McElhatte, Pennsylvania on August 16, 1922, he provided information about this family. In that address Col. Schoemaker stated this:

"In A.D. 49, to be exact, when Pompey carried on his successful rebellion against Caesar's lieutenant, Trebonius, there was a certain Roman tribune named Berlius who was one of the provost guards of the ancient city of Massilia, now called Marseilles, which was wrestled from Pompey's rebels. Berlius was a Roman of the old type, sturdy and uncompromising, and it is from him that the Bierlys of today, in France, Germany and Italy claim descent."

"The immediate descendants acquired considerable property in the vicinity of the Rhone Delta. As the family spread, the name took on varied spellings. In the mountains of Northern Italy the name was Berli and Borelli; In Switzerland, Beyerely, Baehrli, or Barly; In England and Ireland, Byerly; In the Germanic Rhineland area, (from where most of the Byerlys came), Beyerle, Beierle, Beyrer, Bierly, Bahrle, Bierleh and other spellings."

Dr. Alpheus E. Byerly states that the Byerly family entered England at the time of or shortly before the Norman Conquest in 1064. In England the name is associated with the war-horse, Byerley-Turk. The horse was brought from Turkey to England in 1688 by Captain Robert Byerley.


Source of the Above
Teresa Barley. Page last updated on Friday, August 30, 2002.


Oct. 7, 1743. Foreigners imported in the ship St. Andrew, Robert Brown, Captain, from Rotterdam, last from Cowes.

Jacob Walter *
Friderich Stoll
Johannes Moak *
Andreas Wollinger *
Ulrich Wechlid
Adam Heyler
Jacob Striey
Joseph Hartman
Johannes Hauser
Herman Busch
Georg Gartner
Lenhart Stein
Leonhart Dewalt *
Gottlieb Zigel *
Johan Mergel *
Gottlieb Schleer
Jacob Clausser *
John Nicklas Zeisinger *
Joh. Adam Gerber
Geo. Mich. Weiss Muller
Hans Georg Maurer
Johan Simon Kern
Hans Peter Grumbach
Hans Michel Striey
Friederich Jayter
Georg Philip Kurr
Hans George Eatter *
Hans Martin Fischer
Philip Jacob Buttman
Johan Michel Wagner
Hans Adam Sommer
Georg Friederich Zugel
Johann Jacob Ringer *
Daniel Meidinger
Jacob Eichhorn
Lenard Fuchs *
Andreas Gullam
Martin Ruth
Jacob Hesse *
Heinrich Brunner
Hans Burger
'Ernst Amon *
Christle Casper
Johannes Ulerich *
Frederick Hubely
Johannes Mayer
Peter Werner
Johannes Widmann
Leonhardt Kern
Heinrich Wagner
Friederich Ziegler
Johannes Rieger
Anthon Krauss
Ludwig Dewys
Abraham Holler
Valentin Shutter *
Henry Shutter *
Jacob West *
Johannes Eberhart
Hyronimus Trauttmann
Bernhart Dubinger *
Joh. Ludwig Kraft
Hans Ulrich Hegli
Hans Jerg Backastos *
Hans Ulrich Jakly
Hans Ulrich Odt
Hans Henry Bossart *
Jac. Fried. Dochterman
Hans Jacob Goldner *
Hans Jerg Amon
Melchior Buhrly
Johan Georg Wittmann
Hans Georg mahler
Michael Wolfgang *
H. Peter Fronkhousen *
Johan Henrich Knauss
Daniel Debus
Joh. Henrich Gackenbach
Han Adam Zimmerman
Niclaus Kobelentz
Johan Philip Schneider.

From original German signature unless marked with *

* From name written by clerk

? Original German signature difficult to decipher

Source: A Collection of upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and other Immigrants in Pennsylvania From 1727 to 1776; Prof. I. Daniel Rupp, Second Revised Edition, 1876, Philadelphia.


Immigrant: Buhrly, Melchior

Location: Pennsylvania

Year: 1743
Page Number: 247

Document Type: Immigrant Record

Source: Passenger and Immigration Lists Index
Publication: EGLE, WILLIAM HENRY, editor. Names of Foreigners Who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the Province and State of Pennsylvania, 1727-1775, with the Foreign Arrivals, 1786-1808. (Pennsylvania Archives, ser. 2, vol. 17.)
Harrisburg PA: E.K. Meyers, 1890. 787p. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1967.

Taken from original manuscripts in the state archives. Names given throughout pages 1-677. Foreigners arriving in Pennsylvania named on pages 521-667. No. 3776, Kelker, supplements this.


Pennsylvania Census, 1772-1890
State: PA
County: Philadelphia County
Township: Philadelphia
Year: 1743
Database: PA Early Census Index


Pennsylvania Census, 1772-1890

This collection contains the following indexes: 1772 Tax List (Northhampton County); 1790 Federal Census Index; 1800 Federal Census Index; 1810 Federal Census Index; 1820 Federal Census Index; 1830 Federal Census Index; 1840 Federal Census Index; 1840 Pensioners List; 1842 Chester County Census Index; 1850 Federal Census Index; 1857 Chester County Census Index; 1860 Federal Census Index; 1870 Federal Census Index; 1890 Naval Veterans Schedule; Early Census Records.

Extended Description:


By constitutional requirement, the federal government of the United States conducts an enumeration of the nation every ten years. Since the first census in 1790, the returns from these censuses have become an invaluable source of information for genealogists and others. This collection of census records contains a vast amount of information on millions of Americans.

Although the questions asked and information provided has changed since that first census, there is some basic information provided in all indexes. The name of the head of the household is provided from the first census. In 1800, age categorization and residence was added to the other questions regarding slaves, and number of males and females. In 1820, categorization of occupation was added. In 1830, categorization of deaf, dumb, and blind persons was added. In 1850, the name, age, sex, color, place of birth, and literacy was added to the questionnaire. In 1860, the value of real estate was an added feature of the enumeration. And in 1880 the census added questions relative to marital status, and parents' place of birth.


In 1840 an enumeration of living Revolutionary War veterans was included in the census. This was a list of names recorded on the back of the original printed census forms. Beginning in 1870, the enumerators asked questions regarding Civil War veterans and lists were compiled from these records. In both cases, only the name of the veteran is available.


At the 1850 and 1860 censuses, an enumeration of slaves was performed. Full names were rarely recorded, yet each slave was numbered. Organized by owner, each person was listed with age, sex and color. With these details, along with other facts gathered outside the schedule, it is possible to locate a specific person without actually finding their name.


Despite the wealth of information available in census indexes, there are limitations. These include incomplete information, mis-transcribed information, mis-recorded information, and incorrect information. Reasons for these problems include persons who refused to answer the enumerators questions, persons who lied in answer to the enumerators questions, persons missed by the enumerators, and human error in writing down the information originally or transmitted incorrectly.

For further, more detailed, information refer to Chapter 5 (pg. 103-146) in The Source, edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, or Chapter 9 (pg. 301-352) in Printed Sources, edited by Kory L. Meyerink.

Source Information:
Jackson, Ronald V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp. Pennsylvania Census, 1772-1890. [database on-line] Provo, UT:, 1999-. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.

Obtained this information from AncestryPlus


ID: I01446
Name: Johann Melchior BUHRLY
Sex: M
ALIA: Melchior /Bierly/
Birth: 1713 in Pfalz, Bavaria, Prussia
Death: Deceased in Pa.
Emigration: 7 OCT 1743 Ship- St. Andrew, Robert Brown, capt., - age 30
Occupation: 1778 From Snyder Co., Pa. to Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania. worked at Iron Works
PROP: 1772 Owned land- Augusta Twp., Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania.
Medical Information: After 1775 wife is an invalid

Marriage 1 Maria Anna Barbara OCKER b: APR 1711 in Prussia
Married: 15 JUL 1738 in Kleingartach/ Heilbronn, Germany

Children Catherine Barbara BIERLY b: 16 AUG 1739 in Pfalz, Bavaria Prussia
Nicholas BIERLY b: 1741 in Pfalz, Bavaria, Prussia
Johanna Friderica BIERLY b: 10 MAR 1742 in Pfalz, Bavaria Prussia
Valentine Elizabeth BIERLY b: 24 OCT 1744 in Falchner Swamp, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania
Maria Barbara BIERLY b: 26 JAN 1746 in Falckner Swamp, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania
Johann Anthony BIERLY b: 22 DEC 1747 in Falchner Swamp, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania

*Source: Ancestry Plus
Updated: Thu Nov 27 10:29:06 2003 Contact: Arlene Secrist

The early history states Melchior had four son: Nicholas (unmarried, moved to OH), Anthony (our Subject), Jacob (unproved) and John (unproved).

Anthony was said to have been born in 1743 in Germany. A Melchior BIHRLE married at Kliengartach/Heilbronn 15 July 1738 Maria Barbara OCKER, born 1711. Church records show a daughter, Catharine Barbara, born 16 Aug 1739 Kleingartach, Germany (just north of Stuttgart) and a son, Johann Franziska, born 10 Mar 1742, died 17 Mar 1742. In order to arrive in America in Oct. 1743, the family had to leave Pfalz in March or April 1743. It is possible but unlikely, that they had a child two months old when they sailed, as stated in the early Bierly history.

The following baptisms are found in the records of the New Hanover Lutheran Church (Falckner Swamp), Montgomery County, PA. Children of Melchior/Maria Barbara:

Valentina Elisabeth BIERLE b 24 Oct 1744 bapt 18 Nov 1744,
sponsors: Valentine Rupert & wife

Maria Barbara BIRLE b 26 Jan 1746 bapt 30 Mar 1746,
sponsors: Yelden RUPPERT and wife Elisabeth

Joh Antoni Berly b 22 Dec 1747 bapt. 5 Jun 1748,
sponsors: Antoni GEIGER & Barbara

Melchior, Anthony and Nicholas Bierly were taxed on land in Augusta Twp., Northunberland Co. in 1772. In 1778, Nicholas sold his land in Sunbury to Ann Margaret GEIGER, widow.( perhaps a relative of the above)

In the records of Williams Township Congregation, Northampton County, PA., Melchior Bali, W. Barbara, and Anthony BIERLY were communicants 15 Jun 1771, Also, Anthony BEERLI and Anna Maria LADEMACHER were sponsors to Elizabeth Kessler, daughter of Peter/Eliz., baptized 25 May 1772, and Anton BIERLI, 21, was confirmed 4 Oct 1770.

*Source: Suzanne Walkowiak Rice, c.1995, Maidson, Wi., The Descendants of Anthony Bierly 1743-1825 and his wife., page ii.

Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776
Viewing records 6,855-6,874 of 26,337 total records
Melchior B-hrly ,
Johan Georg Wittmann ,
Hans Georg OEhler ,
Michael Wolfgang , name written by clerk
H. Peter Fronkhousen , name written by clerk
Johan Henrich Knauss ,
Daniel Deb-s ,
Joh. Henrich Gackenbach ,
Han Adam Zimmerman ,
Niclaus Kobelentz ,
Johan Philip Schneider .
103) Nov. 10, 1743 . Foreigners imported in the snow Endeavor, Thomas Anderson , Captain, from London .
Matheis Braunefelder ,
Adam Schaub , name written by clerk
Jacob Frounwalder , name written by clerk
Matheis Braunefelder jr.,
Hans Ulrich Schaub .

Note.--Sometime in the summer of 1743 , the ancestor of the Kelkers (Swiss) left his native country for America . His great-grandson, Rudolph F. Kelker , son of Frederick , has in his possession interesting family papers, from which the Editor has made some extracts. Among others is a certificate of church-membership, viz: L. B. S.

It is shown by these presents, that Heinrich K”llicker , born in 1705 at Herrliberg , on Lake Zurich , is the son of estimable parents, and has, by holy Baptism, been united with the Reformed Christian Church. Likewise, it is also the intention of Barbara Br„tscheri , his wedded wife, together with their three sons and two daughters, all of good repute, as far as is known, to leave their fatherland of their own accord and emigrate to Pennsylvania or Carolina , in order there permanently to settle and herewith take with them their churchright for themselves and for their descendants.

To this journey we wish them success, the divine blessing, health and the attainment of their object. For the sake of greater security I have written the above with my own hand and certified it with my seal.


Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776

This book contains a variety of lists of names of early Pennsylvania immigrants, prmarily those with German, French, Swiss and Dutch decent . Many are from ship passenger lists between 1727 and 1776. Some historical notes also accompany the lists. Most of the names are male but some female names are included too. Other extras include, some ages, acreage owned in certain townships, and a list of name interpretations.

Source Information: Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. [database online] Provo, UT:, 2001. Original data: Daniel Rupp, A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776..

Obtained from AncestryPlus

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