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First Generation

1. HANS HEINRICH "HENRY' FREY1,2,3,4 was born on 17 June 1663 in Altheim, Alsace Province, Germany.5,6 He died in 1734 at the age of 71 in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.5 He was buried in Frey-Bertolet Cemetery, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.7

The Evangelical Church of Altenheim, whose records date back to the 1500's, had Sippenbuch, or a family history book. There is a Hans Heinrich Frey baptized 17 Jun 1663, whose parents were Jacob Frey and Anna Hirtzeller who had been married 26 Jun 1657. Four other children were baptized.

The father of Jacob was Friedrich Frey of Gunderswill [Gundetswil] in the Canton of Aurich, Switzerland. The father of Anna was Jacob Hirtzeller of Hinterwill, Canton of Aargau, Switzerland.

There are no other entries for a Frey family except the death in 1828 of a Christian Frey, so apparently the family left Altenheim after 1666 when the child Friedrich was baptized.

Update from Hank Adams gives date of birth as 17 June 1663. 1658 was previous date and now seems too early. This new date is a baptism date, not a birthdate. These children of Jacob and Anna Frey appear to have been baptized shortly after their births. It is presumed this is the baby baptized in the Evangelical Church of Altenheim as Hans Heinrich Frey. If he is the same, he came to America at about age 22 and was about 29 when he married 19-year-old Anna Catherine.

Heinrich Frey arrived in Philadelphia on the ship "ffrancis and Dorthea" on 12 Oct 1685 [this date has been changed to emulate New Style dating]; he was listed as the servant of Gerhard Hendrichs who came with his wfie Mary and daughter Sara. Hendrichs was from Krefeld in Germany and had petitioned for his passport in 1679.
The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. VIII, 1884, "A Partial List of the Families Who Arrived at Philadelphia Between 1682 and 1687, p.328-340. The original papers said to be in the possession of the Historical Society. [I believe some spelling has been altered in the paper.]
"The ffrancis and Dorothy ffrom London. Richard Bridgeman Commander Arived at Philadelphia the 16th of the 8th month 1685..... Garret Hendrix and Mary his wife and Sarah his Daughter. Henry Fry his servant."
The introduction to the article states that Penn offered liberal terms to those bringing servants with them to Pennsylvania - each was to have fifty acres when the servant's time should expire. The servant wasn't necessarily to perform menial duties - they were often farm hands or skill mechanics or even overseers to act for purchasers that remained in England.

Also on the Frances and Dorothy were the families of Hans Peter Umstadt and Peter Schumacher. Said to have come from the Historical Society of PA Collection, "On 8 May 1685, Gerhardt Hendricks, Hans Peter Umstadt, and Peter Schumacher petitioned the Palatine government at Hockheim for permission to leave Kriegsheim [Krefeld]. Three months later all three men were in Rotterdam signing contracts with Dirck Sipman for land in Germantown, arriving in Philadelphia in October." It would be very interesting to know how Heinrich Frey became acquainted with this group, and in particular the Hendricks family.
Hans Peter Umstadt brought is wife Barbara, son John, and daughter Margaret and Eve.
Peter Shoemaker brought his Mary, his daughters Mary & Sarah, his "cousin" [could have a nephew] Francis and his daughter Gertrude.

Rev. Henry Melchoir Muehlenberg, Lutheran minister, in his report dated 9 Jul 1754 stated, "In the first period, namely from 1680 to 1708, some came by chance, among whom was one Henry Frey, whose wife is said to be still living. He came about the year 1680."

Frey was naturalized at Germantown, PA, 7 Mar 1691; Wigard Levering, soon to be his father-in-law was in the same group. Record of his marriage in Germantown identifies him as "Henry Frey of Altheim in the province of Alsace in high Germany". Soon after Heinrich Frey received Lot #18 in Germantown. His Germantown property was acquired by the drawing of laats, owned by the Frankfort Land Company. It was 25 acres, part of 200 granted Johannis Blychers 8 Jun 1683. On 10 Jul 1693, Henry deeded the 25 acres to John Doeden.

Levering book says Frey bought his land (100 acres), 1 Oct 1692, from John Jennett one of the Patentees. Sold to John George Wood 9 Mar 1729, recorded 27 May 1752 DB H2, p.214. In this deed Heinrich is referred to as a turner, living adjacent to Van Bebbers Township in Philadelphia County.

Heinrich Frey is known to have owned three pieces of property: Germantown, Roxborough [100 acres] and Towamencin [200 acres]. The Towamencin property was bought from one Benjamin Fairman, written 12 Oct 1724, recorded 12 Mar 1743 - the property had passed through several owners but Frey was the first actual settler on the land. The Freys may have settled in Towanmensing Twp as early as 1713 when a survey was made of it for Thomas Fairman.

In 1732, Heinrich Frey and Anna Catharine entered into an article of agreement with several of their children to provide for the necessities of life. 12 Oct 1732. Henry Free, of County of Philadelphia, Yoeman, and Kathrin his wife to Jacob Free of the same place, turner [apparently he turned wooden jars] one of the sons of said Henry & Kathrin and Eliza, Rebecca and Amaly, three of the daughters of said Henry and Kathrin. Do sell unto Jacob all livestock, household goods, etc. In consideration Jacob Free will sufficiently maintain and keep the said Henry & Kathrin with good sufficient and competent meat, drink, washing, lodging, apparel, etc. during their lives and the life of the longer liver of them and will provide and maintain the said Elizabeth, Rebecca and Amaly until they reach the age of eighteen or marriage and give to each of them a legacy or portion as their eldest sisters have had. Signed in the presence of Jacob Levereing: Henry [X] Fry, Kathrin [X] Fry, Elizabet Fry, Rebecka Fry, Amelee Fry, George Fry.
Rec'd 18 Aug 1735 of Jacob Fry the sum of 10 £ becoming due unto the within named Elizabeth Fry now my wife. Signed: Johannes Muller
19 Nov 1737 Rec'd of Jacob Fry, 10 £ due Amely Fry now being my wife. Signed: Frederich Leinbach, Amelia Leinbach

Ann Catharine was still living in 1742 when her father Wigard Levering made his will as he gave to his "daughter Catherine ye sum of tenn pounds".

Heinrich and Anna are buried in the family cemetery which was on their farm in Towamencin Township. [Charles Burgess, Historian of HFFA as given in Comments & Corrections to Notes on the Twigs of the Tree.]

HANS HEINRICH "HENRY' FREY and ANNA CATHERINE LEVERING were married on 26 April 1692 in Germantown, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.5,8,9 ANNA CATHERINE LEVERING2, daughter of JOHN WIGARD LEVERING and MAGDALENA BOEKER, was born on 15 March 1676 in Mulheim on the Rhur, Bruch, Westphalia, Germany.8,10 She died about 1754 at the age of 78 in Zieglerville (Skippack), Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.3,8

A Lutheran minister, Henry Muhlenberg, was sent from Germany to Philadelphia in 1742. Jul 9 1754, he wrote, "In the first period, namely from 1680 to 1708, some came by chance, among whom was one Henry Frey, whose wife is said to be still living. He came about the year 1680."

Anna Catherine's parents were John Wigard Levering and Magdalena Boeker.
Between 1671 and 1685, they lived in Wesel, Gemen, and Mulheim, Germany. They immigrated to Germantown PA in 1685, and moved to Roxborough in 1692.

Levering is probably buried upon his farm which became the churchyard and burial ground of the Baptist Church, organized in 1789; now known as Leverington Cemetery.

His will of 23 Aug 1742 named Catherine - Anna Catherine who married Heinrich Frey. In a prior will, dated 10 May 1735, she was named as Catherine Frey.




William FREY.






Elizabeth Catherine FREY was born about 1697.11

There is some doubt this Elizabeth existed, but it seems reasonable that a daughter would have been named for her mother.



Henry FREY.



Abraham FREY2 was born in 1700 in Roxborough, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.8 He died in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Abraham is said to have been a son but no proof has been found. He was supposed to have moved to Chester Co PA. There was an Abraham "Free" in Newtown, Chester Co who died in 1738, leaving land in Philadelphia Co, presumably that is this man. His wife was Anne and the children were John, William, Abraham, Mary and Martha.



John FREY.



George FREY2 was born in 1705 in Roxborough, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.8 He died in 1750 at the age of 45 in Virginia.8

The name of George appears on a 1734 deed as a witness. This is the only tie to the family; he is presumed to have been a son. There was a George Fry who lived at Moreland in Philadelphia Co PA that died in 1750.

NOTE: "...nothing is known of him. His signature is appended as a witness to the written agreement between his parents and brother Jacob and sisters, dated October 12, 1732, as copied into the biography of Heinrich Frey."-"The Levering Family History and Genealogy" by Col. John Levering, page 107

Find A Grave Memorial# 45732881
Said to have married Elizabeth Hechler/Hecklerin about 1708. Children suggested are George, Sarah, Susannah, John, Mary, and Rebecca.

A George Frey is on a Philadelphia tax list with 60 acres, 2 horses, 4 cows, 6 sheep. There are two lists, one for 1769 and one for 1774 - this is obviously NOT this George Frey since he was deceased.



Jacob FREY.



Amelia Elizabeth FREY.



Rebecca FREY was born in 1718 in Roxborough, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.8

"Rebeka Fry" signed her father's deed to her brother Jacob in 1734. She signed between her two sisters. Nothing else is known about her.



Elizabeth FREY.