The Powwow Guy

Home of Robert Phoenix and Traditional Christian Pennsylvania German Powwow


Family history

Posted by Rob Phoenix on April 24, 2023 at 10:25 PM

I've been piecing together my family history for over twenty years and am very proud of what I've managed to find.

My family is sacred to me; particularly through my father's side.

In the mid 1800's, Solomon and Sarah Koenig fled Austria to Pennsylvania so that they could honor their German Reformed religious beliefs. 

Here in Pennsylvania, they gave birth to three children; two of whom we know their names are Henrietta and Mary. The third child is "unnamed" in our family tree.

Henrietta met a man named George Whitley from Wales. Together, they had at least two children: Arthur (my grandfather) and Olive, my Great Aunt.

Meanwhile, Mary married a Catholic from the Lancaster area with the last name Chretian. Because of this association with the Catholic church, she was "persona no grata" in my family. However, Mary is interesting because history records her as a Braucher!

Mary's daughter, Emma, is also recorded in history as a Braucher. From her, the records are lost. However, she would be my Great Aunt.

I remember when I was young, my Great Aunt Olive (who lived in Wales), reached out to my grandfather Arthur that she would like to travel to Pennsylvania to visit and meet his family (they were brother and sister, after all). My Grandfather said "no" and she never came; thus cutting us off from that piece of the family tree.

My grandfather's aunt Mary, the one who married the Catholic in the Lancaster area, was a subject that was not allowed in my family. He simply refused to speak of her because she married a Catholic.

And so that's the story of the religious animosity within my paternal family. The Koenigs are traced through my great grandmother, Henrietta Koenig, and her sister, Mary (the braucher). 

I am very proud of my family history. I don't alway agree with the positions held by my ancestors, but I am grateful to God for all of them.

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