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Guide to Determining Your Kessinger Family Line
Posted by: Ila Deloris (Kasinger) Chestnut (ID *****9366) Date: April 27, 2007 at 01:53:49
  of 1003

What follows is a section from our "someday" to be published book. We hope it will be of some help to those of you who are new to genealogy and to the search for your Kessinger/Kasinger family line. -- Deloris

Segment from: THE KESSINGER-KASINGER FAMILY IN AMERICA .... [Copyright 2006 by I.D. Chestnut]


.......................................Guide to Determining Your Kessinger/Kasinger Family Line ........................................

One of the first questions that someone new to genealogy asks is: “How do I find out who my ancestors were?”

We’re going to take this time to try and show you some of the things to look for when your attempting to trace which branch of the Kasinger / Kessinger / Kissinger family you may come from.

Before we begin, we need to make a few things clear about the information that follows.

First and foremost: These suggestions, or guidelines, are all only “generalities and hints”, and nothing is to be interpreted as “being in stone”. They’re just a place to begin from; for every suggestion, there are other instances where they are not true.

Second: As we have stated other places, we (and other researchers) have found 35 spellings of the Kessinger name in America; and in many cases it is very difficult to see the connections. We will show you some of the ways to “get started” in your search.

Third: “Almost” all of the individuals and families who have used the 35 ways of spelling the name Kessinger, are all part of the Andreas Kessinger family line; (with the few exceptions, that will be mentioned later.)

Now, we will fill you in on a little of the background information that you’ll need to know.


Hans Jacob Kiessinger

The earliest members of our family who emigrated from Germany was Hans Jacob Kiessinger and his family. They arrived in the Province of Pennsylvania in 1726-1727. It is believed that this might have been a misspelling of his family name, as almost all of his children have the spelling as Kissinger.

The descendants of Hans Jacob number in the thousands. Among these are many that have distinguished themselves in many walks of life. Many served their newly adopted country by enlisting in the Continental Army during our War for Independence.
This family line has been well researched and documented, and is easily found on-line.

It appears, from what we have been told by Charles Edward Kissinger, Jr. and Flora Jean (Kissinger) Buckalew, that a “majority” of Hans Jacob’s children and their immediate descendants remained in the Pennsylvania and Maryland areas of the country, even to the present day.

The more common spelling of these descendants last name remains as Kissinger.
Kessinger is also used by many. There are a very few, but there are some, that spell their names as Kasinger and Kaysinger.

If your grandparents (or as far back as you do have a record of) spelled their names as Kissinger and if there is a family tradition of having lived in Pennsylvania or Maryland; and possibly of having had family members as soldiers that served in the Revolutionary War, -- then it is a very strong possibility that you can trace your family to Hans Jacob Kiessinger through one of his children.


Andreas Kessinger

The next members of the family to immigrate to the Province of Pennsylvania were Andreas Kessinger and his family; and his older brother, Johann George Kessinger and his family. They arrived in Pennsylvania in 1737 aboard the ship WILLIAM.

(We have not been able to trace Johann George Kessinger’s family of 6 children, or their descendants, beyond the birth of a daughter in Lancaster County in 1741.)


Andreas Kessinger is the “Progenitor” or “Founding Father” of the vast majority of the Kessinger and Kasinger branches of the family. He and his wife Susanna had a family of 9 children (6 boys and 3 girls).
Of these children, only those descendants of Mathias Kessinger and his younger brother Solomon Kessinger, have been traced. Information on the other children remains meager.
( Probably, after this work is published and distributed, several descendents from these other 7 children will write us wanting to know why their lines weren’t included. – That will be great, we look forward to hearing from them.) .



Mathias Kessinger

Mathias Kessinger was born about 1731 in Germany, and he accompanied his father and mother to Lancaster County in the Province of Pennsylvania. Mathias lived in Lancaster (and possibly in Maryland) until his father Andreas died in 1760. Mathias and his wife Judith, and their 6 children moved to Greenbrier County, in the colony of Virginia; where they had 3 more children. There has been a great deal of research done on Mathias’s family line; so we will not include much information on this line in our current work.
However, let us tell you that Mathias’s family used, and are still using, primarily the Kessinger spelling of our name. That is not to say, that there aren’t numerous examples of many of the other spellings of the name; but not nearly as many different spellings as are found in Solomon’s descendants.

If your family had spelled their name as Kessinger or Kesinger, and were from the Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Ohio areas, -- then it is a good possibility that your family line can be traced back to Mathias Kessinger, through one of his children.



Solomon Kessinger I (or Old Sol)

Solomon Kessinger I was born in 1745 in Lancaster County, in the Province of Pennsylvania.
He married Elizabeth about 1765; they moved to Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in 1768-1769, (which later became Bedford County in 1773).

Solomon I and Elizabeth had a total of 11 children – 8 sons and 3 daughters. Their first 5 children were born in the Province of Pennsylvania between the years of 1769 and 1776; (We have not been able to locate any of the children’s birth certificates, or any census reports naming those that were born in Pennsylvania. We only have county tax rolls naming Solomon’s holdings -- to determine his movements.)

An additional 5 children were born in Jefferson/Nelson County, Virginia between 1781 and 1788. And their last child was born in the State of Kentucky in 1795.

In the spring of 1778, at the height of our Revolutionary War, and amid murderous Indian raids – Solomon, with his family and friends, ventured onto the Ohio River and floated on a 500 mile trip to a point that would later become the city of Louisville, in the state of Kentucky.

After several years of living in, or near forts (due to the continued Indian raids,) the family finally cleared some land for a home and planted crops on a 400-acre section of land that had been awarded to Solomon by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1781. This land was probably near the new village of Louisville. (It is believed that this was the land that was taken away from Solomon I for “non- registration and non-payment of taxes due”. It has been reported that this began a feud between the Kessinger/Logsdon families -- and the Craddick family, that continued for almost 100 years; but that story will be told later.)

As “Old Sol’s” sons came of age, they also obtained homesteads of their own. Of the 8 boys, 5 remained in what became the Commonwealth of Kentucky; (those that remained were: Joseph [B], Solomon II [C], Jacob [E], John [F] and William [H]). Their descendants number more than a thousand today.

The largest number of Solomon I’s descendants still live in Kentucky.

The primary spelling of the name is Kessinger or Kesinger; however, there are a very large number that use the Kaysinger, Kasinger, Kassinger and Kassiner spelling.

If your family, or your ancestors came from Kentucky, no matter what the spelling of the name is, you can be 95% certain that your line is traceable back to Solomon I.


The Move West

During the years from 1829 through the 1850’s we find 15 to 20 of “Old Sol’s” grandchildren moving themselves and their families to Illinois.

(Roger Kessinger [C10-7-8-3] who lives in Cub Run, Kentucky – only a mile or so away from Kessinger, Kentucky and the old log cabin that is believed to have been Old Sol’s -- is of the opinion that so many of the family moved from the area because the land was better for growing crops in Illinois; and because the earliest Kessingers that migrated there had set up a form of “family-aid” system called the “Pepper-mill project” (?) to assist their brothers and cousins, who moved to the area, to get a start.)


The only one of Solomon I’s sons to move to Illinois was Andrew [A] and his wife Catharine, who followed some of their children (Solomon [A1], Peter [A3], Jacob [A6], Elizabeth [A7], Joseph [A8] and Henry [A9] ) in about 1830. In 1836 Andrew (at the age of 67) died of smallpox in Morgan County, Illinois.

Many of the children of Joseph [B], Solomon II [C] and Jacob [E] also moved to Illinois during this period.

Today there are hundreds of Kessingers; (and to a lesser extent, Kasingers) in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Kansas that can be traced to those family members that migrated from Kentucky.


There were several of Solomon I’s descendants that used the move to Illinois as their first step in following the “western movement” of the country. We will only mention a few here that were instrumental in geographically diversifying our Kessinger family.

One of Joseph’s [B] sons was Solomon “Monie” Kessinger [B5]. He is most important to the large number of Kessinger and Kasinger families in southwestern Missouri, and northern Arkansas -- as he was the ancestor of "many" of them.
Solomon “Monie” married his first wife, Frances Isaacs Clark in 1824 in Kentucky; moved to Illinois, where 2 more of their children were born. Then in 1830 the family moved to the Poplar Bluff area of Missouri, where 5 additional children were born.
After the death of Frances about 1867, Solomon “Monie” moved to Randolph County, Arkansas and married his 2nd. wife, Margaret Ann Hancock; they had three children.

Many of Solomon “Monie” ‘s grandchildren moved to other states; so that today, many of the Kessinger, Kasinger and Kasiner families in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Idaho, Michigan, Wisconsin and California can trace their families back to Solomon “Monie” Kessinger.


One of Joseph’s [B] grandson’s was Solomon Colfax Kessinger [B7b-5]. Solomon Colfax was born in Illinois in 1861; married and moved to Kansas; and then in 1889 he moved his family to Yakima, Washington. His 9 children spread out to Oregon, Washington and California. Evidently the west (or Mrs. Kessinger) didn’t agree with Solomon Colfax, so in 1901 he returned to Illinois to marry a “2nd.” wife, and they had 4 children.
Those of you from this area of the country can probably trace your line back through Solomon Colfax Kessinger.



Two of Solomon I’s sons, Peter [J] and Isaac [G] had owned farms in Hardin County, Kentucky in 1810; they moved to Calloway County in SW Kentucky about 1828.
Land records show that they had both moved to Randolph County, Arkansas in 1837. The 1840 Census shows Peter and his wife Nancy and their 6 children as living in the Current River Township, Randolph County, Arkansas. Today there are several families in that area that are descended from Peter and Isaac.
In this area there are Kessinger, Kassinger, Kasinger and Casinger names used.

If your family was from this part of northeast Arkansas, there is about a 70% chance that your family is from the Peter or Isaac line. The remaining 30% possibility is due to Solomon “Monie” Kessinger [B5] (mentioned above) who also moved to Randolph County about 1870.

One of Peter’s grandsons-Thomas Eugene Kasinger [J1b-3] moved to La Grande, Oregon in 1905, where he and his wife Sophronia raised their family of 9 children. Anyone living in that area may be able to trace the family line back through Thomas Eugene.



Non-related Kessinger/Kasinger families.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this section, “Almost” all of the individuals and families who have used the 35 ways of spelling the name Kessinger, are all part of the Andreas Kessinger family line. What follows are the exceptions.


Allen Belden, author of the book The Kessinger and Stillie Families, mentions two Kessinger families that arrived in America in the 1850's that are not descendents of the Andreas Kessinger line; these are:

Agustus C. Kessinger who states that: "He, Augustus, was born at Altenkirchen, Rugen, Prussia on February 25, 1842; and at the age of 10 came with his parents to Rome, New York." (Rugen is a small Baltic Sea island in East Germany.)
(From: The History of Oneida County, New York-- A biographical sketch of Augustus C. Kessinger Printed by S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1912.)


Lawrence Kessinger relates in his book: History of Buffalo County, Wisconsin that: "Lawrence, and his brothers Charles and Joseph Kessinger were born in Gottmadingen, Baden, Germany and settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin in 1857-59."
(It is interesting to note that Gottmadingen is located in the southern part of Baden; now, Badden-Wuerttemberg, Germany--which is about a hundred miles from Sandhofen, the European home of Jacob Kiessinger, Andreas and Johannes George Kessinger.)
(From: History of Buffalo County, Wisconsin Published at Alma, Wisconsin, 1888.)


We have no knowledge of these families, and have never had any contact with their descendants. Those of you that trace your lines back to the above-mentioned areas in Wisconsin and New York -- may be descended from one of these Kessinger families.


We hope that this has been of some help to you in finding your individual family line.
If any one has any additional comments or suggestions that may illuminate a family searcher’s path, please contact us so that we might add it to this.

Best wishes to all of you in your search.


Dan and Deloris (Kasinger) Chestnut

[idkasinger@aol.com . . . . . Last edited version on 4/27/2007]




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