14 Comments

  1. Barbara Hurley

    John’s father is the original Jacob Nissley that immigrated in 1717 (1688-1749). HIs second wife was Mary Funck and they had the children that one reads about everywhere on the internet–including Henry, Martin and Jacob. Henry is often referred to as his oldest son, but that is not true as Jacob had one child, John (1718-1789), with his first wife Veronica Guth. It is very hard to unearth this information, but as my ex-husband is also descended from John I kept at it until I found the full picture–There is a lot on Geni.com. Many of the Nissley genealogies ignore John’s branch altogether and only acknowledge the children from the second marriage to Mary Funck. John was married to Mary Sechrist and Fanny (1759-1813; m. Michael Frantz) was one of their children. My ex is descended from her brother Samuel (1761-1838). Interestingly, I made a notation that John lived in Manheim.
    PS, it is true that the European surname spelling included several variations, and the original Ulrich (1639-1717) who left Switzerland in 1701 for Germany then left for the US with his family in 1717 was known as Nussli. He died during the voyage but his wife Margreth Isler and sons Jakob, Heini and Hans Jakob made it to PA. I have also seen our John’s surname spelled Nissli.
    PPS, my maternal side is Rohrer and Miller from Rapho Township and Manheim, which makes me doubly interested in pursuing information on Pa Dutch genealogies from the 1700’s immigration.


    1. Thank you for the post, Barbara!

      I’ve also seen information from another researcher descended from John and Mary (Siegrist) Nissley who claims that John’s father was Johannes “Hans” Nissley–brother to Jacob Nissley.

      I’m inclined to believe this more than that John was an older son of Jacob’s “first” marriage. Estate records for Jacob clearly state that Henry was the eldest son.[Lancaster, Miscellaneous Book 1742-1760:40] The only way Jacob could have had an elder son was if that son had died before this estate record—-which would not match the known information about our John. Otherwise, legally he would have been an heir and named in the documents regarding Jacob’s estate.

      There were two “John Natts” (Sr. and Jr.) taxed in Conestoga (all Lancaster) in 1718. “Natts” or “Nutt” is a variation associated with this Nissley family. Jacob was identified as “Jacob Nutt” when he took up land adjoining his father-in-law Henry Funk in 1717. Additionally, in his “Swiss and German Mennonite Immigrants from the Palatinate, 1704-1717,” Richard Warren Davis indicates that John Nissley Sr. (age 49) arrived in 1717 with his wife and two sons: John (age 22) and Jacob (age 18).[Mennonite Family History, Jan 1994, pages9-16.] It’s more probable that Veronica Guth was not the “first wife” of Jacob, but the wife of his elder brother Hans, aka John Jr.

      I’m still looking for information, but this theory seems more probably given the data I have from land, tax, and probate records.

      1. Barbara Hurley

        Thank you for this additional information. I find it fascinating that there are so many variations on a theme regarding this one original immigrant family on the internet. I also have Jacob Nissli as aka Nutt in my notes. Now I will have to go back to square one, as a John Nissley, Sr. arriving in 1717 at age 49 does not coincide with any of my notes, which indicate that Ulrich’s sons Jacob and John would have been 34 and 29 when they immigrated in 1717. I have been under the assumption that our branch started with that original Jacob, but now it seems that it is from his brother John. I am really confused as your information on John Sr. does not match my data on ages of the immigrants in 1717 but your email says that the John who married Mary Sechrist is the son of Jacob’s brother John. I will retrace my steps to find Ulrich’s son Johh’s lineage as most of what is out there talks only about Jacob’s lineage.
        Again, thanks for the information. Barbara


        1. Barbara, if you don’t mind my asking, what is the source(s) of the information you’ve got?

          I firmly believe that what you know is only as good as the information you’ve found to date, so I’m always open to new information… But I do like to research and analyze it myself. Sometimes new information can mean new interpretations of information you already have.

          ~Kris

          1. Barbara Hurley

            I went back to square one after hearing from you and I think (repeat think) that I have found the correct information now. It is unbelievable how much confusing information is out there, especially as many of the names are the same plus it appears that some dates are incorrect. I had used Geni.com, but I realize now that a lot of their data is incorrect (they were the ones calling John the son of Jacob and half-brother of his 10 children, but you are correct–they were brothers). I did finally find a source that seems to be accurate and explains a lot of the confusion I had from a lot of other sources that apparently are wrong. It is Genealogy.com, but you need to enter “Genealogy Report: Descendants of Jakob Nussli” The path is Home/User Trees/Dwayne-Larry-Nicely-MI. You need to start with “first page” which is generation 1, Jakob Nussli (1542-1614). Before him is Martin Nussli/Annali Wolfensperger (1520-1542) and before that Martin Nussli/Barbara Nuseli (1499-1559), but those generations are not part of this genealogy. It is somewhat hard to follow as displayed, but the direct line is Konrad Nussli (1570-1648), Hans Jakob Nussli (1596-1653), Jakob Nussli (1628/9-?), Hans Nussli (1662-?; died in Lancaster), Hans Nissley, Jr (1697-1749; this is our John who immigrated with his parents and is the brother of Jacob, 1688-1749, who married Mary Funck), John NIssley (1718-1789; an only child who married Mary Seigrist and had 10 children). That generation is where we part ways as my line is from Samuel, and apparently yours is from Franey.

            There is a separate lineage that splits off with the second wife of Konrad producing Hans Jakob (1608-?), then Ulrich (1639-1717 who died at sea while immigrating in 1717with son Hans Jakob (1688-1789, who died in Donegal). Originally I thought that was the lineage of our John because many sources are confusing about the initial generations prior to emigration. However, the source I note above tracks every generation from the original Jakob in 1542 pretty clearly.

            I hope this helps.


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  3. B. Nuessli

    Did you ever search under the name Nüssli (Nuessli) in Switzerland? The Names you found from Germany was originally emigrated from Switzerland to Germany and some to America and possibly to other places too


    1. No, I’m still trying to find the immigrant ancestor. Without knowing who, it’s unlikely I’d be able to find the where.

  4. Lin Mease

    Hi. Is it possible to get the details from John Nissley’s will? According to your link, the will abstract was “proven” in the court in July 1789, but I am hoping that a death date of May 30, 1789 is also in that document that was proven in court.


    1. Lin,
      I can tell you that wills were usually “proven” after—sometimes months after—a person’s death. They almost never include the death date of the deceased, especially from this time frame. In fact, I’ve only seen the date of death (or a general timeframe) given in probate files from the late 1800s. To get a death date from this period, you’ll need to locate the burial location (and gravestone) and/or church record. Or a family bible record.

      I don’t have a copy of this will. It was recorded in Will Book Y2:487 which is not online nor on microfilm. You can order it from the Lancaster County Archives. Email them and they’ll send you a copy of the will (hopefully translated) and a bill for copying.

      ~Kris

        1. LinMease

          As a descendent of John Nissley of West Donegal, you might like to know that developers working on what was his original property have come across a buried farm cemetery. In it they found what is believed to be Nissley’s tombstone dated May, 1789, another possibly belonging to Mary Nissley, an Ober tombstone, and the first postmaster of Elizabethtown, Michael Kobel’s (Coble) tombstone. Grave Concern of Lanc County attorney 717-393-0671, or 717-627-3736 (phone numbers listed on their fb page) is working with local preservationists regarding the future of the site and its remains. If you are interested, please call Grave Concern. Thank you.


          1. Good to know, Lin! Thanks for posting.


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