Thursday, December 29, 2016

Estimating Birth Years for 14 Siblings

My last post was about Michael Kline of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, my 6th great grandfather, and a 1781 indenture which listed his 14 children. Finding estimated birth dates/years would be difficult since they were born in the mid-1700's and census records would not be of much help. So, how did I estimate the birth years for Michael's 14 children?

How I estimated the birth years for the 14 children of Michael and Dorothea Kline:
  • used the birth dates of the two children I knew: Frenia, who was born in 1748, and Michael, who was born in 1764
  • assumed Dorothea gave birth approximately every two years
  • assumed the children were listed in order on the 1781 indenture listed on an earlier post which appears to match the births of Frenia and Michael and the fact that last four children were listed as minors
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book X, page 413, "Dorothea Kline & Al to Nicholas Kline."

List of the fourteen children and their estimated birth years:
  • 1744 - George Kline
  • 1746 - Leonard Kline
  • 1748 - Frenia/Frances Kline m. Michael Quigley/Quiggle
  • 1750 - Catharina Kline m. George Wilt
  • 1752 - Magdalena Kline m. Adam Reist (or Treish?)
  • 1754 - Margaret Kline m. George Bowman
  • 1756 - Dorothea Kline m. John Bowman
  • 1758 - Barbara Kline m. George Giger
  • 1760 - Susanna Kline m. John Brown
  • 1761 -Nicholas Kline
  • 1763 - Daniel Kline
  • 1764 - Michael Kline
  • 1766 - Jacob Kline
  • 1768 - Gertraut (or Gertrude) Kline m. Herman Morrett
(I had to slightly adjust these dates to have Michael born in 1764, and not 1766 as the method would suggest.)


One of Ancestry's "shaky leaves" led me to a FindAGrave record for Gertraut "Gertrude" (Kline) who married Hartman Morrett according to other documents I received from the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. The memorial is by a 4th great granddaughter of Gertraut and Hartman. She explains that, although the tombstones in this cemetery have all been removed, someone made a list of all who were buried there sometime in the past.

I had Gertraut's birth year calculated as 1768. Her birth year according to this FindAGrave record: 1768. In fact, it says Gertraut was born on March 10th, 1768 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and that she died on July 17th, 1836, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Although it is highly unlikely I have the correct birth year for each of these 14 children, I believe the example of Gertraut shows that my method worked pretty well. As I continue to research this family, these estimates will be useful.

Are we related? I'd love to talk to you! Please leave a comment or email me at

1 comment:

  1. I'm so impressed that you were able to hit the nail on the head with Gertraut's birth year. Your method seems to have worked quite well.


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