Pre-American Ancestory


Our ancestors were among those that invaded and conquered England.

Later, the Klingensmiths were one of the first consecrated Protestant families in the early 16th century. They were active in the reformation movement in Leipzig in 1519. As such, they were good friends of Martin Luther, who opposed the Holy Roman Church. Pope Leo X, put forth a bill denouncing Luther’s teachings, and the Klingensmiths helped hide Martin while he translated the Bible into German.

Religious persecution followed.  Many Klingensmiths disappeared, and some were beheaded, yet they stood firm in their beliefs and continued to make bells. Protestantism grew in Leipzig but many people were brutally slaughtered in their own homes, fields and workplaces, sacrificing for their religious freedoms.

Andrew Klingenschmidt  • 

Andrew, his wife and 3 of his 6 children were killed in the religious crusade in 1670. His sons Andrew and Joseph escaped to the Americas, not ever knowing what happened to their family that had to stay behind.


Joseph and his brother Andrew, and some of their families, evaded the soldiers of the Pope and the Emperor with the help of many friends and neighbors. His father’s devotion and previous aid to Martin Luther marked their family for death by the Pope and Duke of Saxony. While there was a treaty of Westphamia in 1648, which ended some religious uprisings, the Klingensmith family was still hunted and killed.  Joseph and his brother had to leave home quickly and escape to the United States; They said good-bye and never saw their father again.

As they made rapid advances through North Germany, partly via Seale, Wecer and Rhine Valleys, they were joined by many other families fleeing Germany. They walked 300 miles, slept in fields, lived off the land and were assisted privately at various points.
Their plan was to sail to the new world from England, but arriving at Amsterdam, weeks later and without harm, they were told of plagues and fires which had all but destroyed London and the country, and although this happened a few years prior to their departure from Germany they were not properly informed and made other arrangements, so left from Holland to America.

 religious freedom

Disembarking, however, in the Port of Delaware, PA. the same year 1670, they gave thanks to God and settled in the Rivers West Bank. Hudson’s Bay Company was chartered in 1670 and PA was not yet a province. Quite a few years would pass before there was any frame of a government.

12 years passed before William Penn founded his Quaker settlement in “Pennsylvania.” Named by the English King, Charles II, those territories where chartered for the “Holy Experiment.”

The Klingensmiths knew that they were in the promised land. Having come to peace hitherto unknown to them and to a prosperity by hard work at house building, at laboring, planting, harvesting, and hunting, they gave thanks to their Savior, as they transplanted their home to the Delaware Bay.

Joseph Klingensmith  • 

Joseph and his wife married in 1697 and had 3 children

Religious Persecution

After  family suffered persecution and death because their Lutheran beliefs (three of his children: Elizabeth, Adlier, and Mary were killed in the religious crusade of King Louis XIV in 1670).

Flight from Germany

Joseph and Elizabeth, along with their other children: Katherine, Andrew, and Joseph Jr. and members of the Reichart family fled the area known now as Germany.

Immigration to Pennsylvania, USA

Sailing from Amsterdam, they arrived in Philadelphia in 1670. They settled on the Delaware River. There is some record that Joseph had been a factory owner in 1655.

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Fearless Leaeders

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