This family covers the history of America from the Mayflower landing to today.
Ancestors include patriots, soldiers, European Royals, French, Scotch, Irish,
German and Italian immigrants, Revolutionary, Civil and World War veterans,
farmers, tradesmen, doctors, lawyers, architects, college professors, engineers,
teachers, nurses, and such. Famous ancestors include:
- Eliza Jane Weikal, mother to John William Weaver and
descendant of a family lineage that can be traced back over 2000 years to the
Roman Empire. Her lineage includes kings, queens, and other royals of Europe
and Asia. If you believe the reliability of this lineage her ancestors include
the kings and queens of England, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Poland, and
practically every other country with a monarchy in Europe and Asia. That link
(between the Rittenhouse's and the Habsburg Monarchy) is very controversial.
In more recent times, her ancestors included some of the first German settlers
to the new world that built Germantown, Pennsylvania and effectively the early
nation and Pennsylvania itself. Some of those ancestors were close friends to
Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.
- William Rittenhouse was born in what is now Germany, near the
Dutch border. His name was then Wilhelm Rittenhausen, later changed in America.
He apprenticed in a paper mill in the German city of Mulheim-Ruhr-Broich. Later
he moved to Holland to stay with his older brother. Here he learned the Dutch
methods of fine paper making. William emmigrated to Pennsylvania in 1688 with
his son Nicholas. In 1690 he started the first paper mill in America. It became
the major paper manufacturing mill in America for over one hundred years and was
carried on by later generations of Rittenhouses. William was one of the first
German settlers in America, arriving five years after the first Germans arrived.
He was a religious man and became the first minister at the Germantown Mennonite
Meetinghouse. He held this position until his death in 1708.
- David Rittenhouse was the great-grandson of William Rittenhouse.
David was a self-taught mathematician who was a professor of astronomy at the
University of Pennsylvania and built the first telescope in America. He was
also one of the early American surveyors and was responsible for drawing the
state lines of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. David was the first president of the
United States Mint. He was also a clock and mathematical instrument maker. The
Rittenhouse crater on the moon is one of his discoveries. He was a close friend
of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. He was regarded as the Dean of Early
American Men of Science.
- Myles Standish (the first soldier in America, who was noted to be one
of the shortest soldiers, and hero of the Mayflower Company). He was one of the
earliest traceable ancestors of the Schiefferle family.
- John Loomis (member of the Mayflower Company); was an ancestor to the
Weaver's by marriage and to the Schiefferle's by blood.
- More Schiefferle ancestors, Jacque de Muehle's uncles and father were
nearly 7 feet tall and were selected by Napoleon as his body guards;
- Joseph Weaver, a true American hero being the first person from his
region to volunteer for Civil War duty, was a corporal in Company G, 39th Regiment, 10th Pennsylvania Reserves
and later Company I, 191st Regiment after
volunteering to extend his tour beyond his original 3 years of duty. The 39th had a 53% casualty
rate during its tour! Joseph served from April 1861-September 1865 and was part of McClellan's army
that saw action throughout Virginia, Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania. The 39th's battle flag included
the battles of:
- Gaines Mill
- 2nd Bull Run
- Mine Run
- Bethesda Church
Joseph later fought in the Peninsula and Richmond campaigns (Pope's Army), and
returned for a second time to Richmond, and Petersburg where he was wounded.
The siege of Petersburg was the final big campaign of the war as what followed
culminated in the surrender of Lee and his troops at Appomattox Court House.
On June 19, 1864 Joseph was wounded at the Battle of Petersburg (VA) when a mini-ball pierced his
left forearm. When he recovered he was transferred to Company 85, 2d Battalion of
the Veteran Reserve (Invalid) Corps in January 1865 until he was mustered out in
September 1865. Being left handed, he was disabled the rest of his life
and survived on a federal invalid pension, although he did work as a farmer and
carpenter. He also suffered from chronic dysentery, dizziness, and deafness -
all as a result of the war. (Joseph's obituary stated that he was wounded twice.)
- Henry Weaver, brother of Joseph, farmer and stock-raiser, Cedar
Point, Kansas was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, November 22, 1835. Like
his brother Joseph, he was raised on a farm, and before attaining his majority
learned the trade of carpenter, which together with farming, he followed until
August 3, 1861 when he enlisted as a private in Company F, 57th Regiment,
Pennsylvania Volunteers; was assigned to the Army of the Potomac. Henry was
promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant. On the 14th of December the 57th
moved to Washington, and encamped on the Bladensburg Pike, near the toll gate.
Considerable sickness prevailed before leaving Camp Curtain (PA), and the
exposure of the men on the journey, confined in box cars without fire, contributed
to increase it. The new camp, unfavorably located on low wet ground, and the
inclemency of the weather while there, caused a still further increase of the sick
list, and several died. Henry was discharged for disability in January, 1862.
In June, 1863, he re-enlisted as a private in his brother Joseph's 10th
Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserves, and participated in the battles of Gettysburg,
the Wilderness and the campaign against Petersburg and Richmond. He was
taken sick in the fall of 1864 and sent to a hospital at Philadelphia, from which
he was discharged in December, 1864. He then returned to Mercer County and
there with his brother Joseph, followed his trade until 1870, when he moved to
Kansas; located in Cottonwood Township in June and engaged in business
as a carpenter and builder at Cedar Point, continuing until 1876, when he
engaged in farming until his death. He operated a farm of about 500 acres,
of which about 300 acres were cultivated. His principal crops were corn and
wheat. He also raised cattle and hogs. He owned a residence in the village
of Cedar Point where he resided. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church. He married Miss Lorana A. Keen, of Mercer County, Pa., December 29,
1858, by whom he had two children - Ida Jane and Joseph Edwin. Ida Jane
married Captain Orlo Drinkwater. Captain Drinkwater was a decendent of John Loomis.
- Jacob Schiefferle (a private in Company F, 116th New York Volunteer
Infantry Regiment in the Civil War) was seriously wounded by a mini-ball striking
his musket and arm (he lost part of the arm). He was also shot through the other
arm during this incident. Jacob was wounded in battle in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Jacob's wounds were very much like that of Joseph Weaver and he too was disabled
for life. Like Joseph he struggled throughout life as a result of his wound. Jacob
died in North Warren Home for the Insane in Warren, Pennsylvania of dementia.
- Edwin Weaver was a regionally famous architect who designed landmarks in Sharon and
Meadville, PA. He was one of only a few architects commissioned to design the Mercer County
courthouse. He lost that competition to an outside firm. But his work can still be seen in buildings
in the region. At one point he moved to Akron, Ohio, where he worked for a bank land company. He
returned to Meadville where he lived the remainder of his life. Edwin received his bachelors degree
in architecture from the once famous Fredonia Institute.
- Many of the Weaver and Shafers were teachers. All of Joseph's children were well educated. Most attended the Fredonia
Institute and taught school in the area. Grace Shafer Weaver was trained at the institute and at Grove City College to
be a teacher. She taught in the one-room school houses at Big Bend and Kile from 1916 to 1918.
- Wayne Weaver was born in Greenville (Mercer County) PA on June 29, 1922. He
was the son of Grace Shafer Weaver and John Weaver, Sr. He graduated from Penn High
School in Greenville in 1940. While in high school he was an athlete (gymnast), a
member of several clubs, and a good student. Upon graduation he worked for a short time
at the Greenville Steel Car (like his grandfather and father). But with World War II in
full swing he enlisted (1943) in the US Navy and was eventually promoted to a second
class machinist's mate. He was stationed on the USS Cebu which sailed from Norfolk, VA
for the Pacific Theater the same year he enlisted. Wayne survived major battles in the
Pacific war with the Japanese, starting in the Phillipines and onward to Japan until
the war ended in 1945. He and his shipmates endured a Kamikaze attack, the explosion of
the USS Hood, and a major typhoon. They joined the occupation forces in Japan from
1945-46. Wayne left the service in 1946 and married Virginia Malizia. He raised
three children and lived in Salem Township of Mercer County. Wayne worked as a
pipefitter and eventually as the Superintendent of Maintenance at the Greenville Steel
Tubes. He was part owner of Salem Stainless - a spin-off company that used waste steel
from the Steel Tubes to make fittings. He eventually sold his interest in that company
to his partners and retired from his job at the steel tubes company. He then started
Wayne Weaver's Sporting Goods business. He continued to work other jobs (while running
his sporting goods business) including teaching at a local reform school. In 1977,
while working on a job at his old company (Salem Stainless) his right arm was almost
severed by a malfunctioning machine. While recovering from the injury he died at home
in the evening of February 2, 1978.
Heck there may even be a link between the Malizia's and the Grimaldi Royals
of Monaco. Francois Grimaldi, was known as "Malizia" ("the Cunning")
when he seized Monaco in 1297. Did you know there was a movie named "Malizia - A
Piece of Mischief from Italy"? Not only that but if you Goggle the word
"Malizia", you find the Malizia Lingerie and Cosmetics Company - a search
produces mostly pictures of women in their underwear. What a family! There are
plenty of heroes and lingerie magnets still to come and it is these descendants
that will carry on the history of our family and make us proud. Their
descendants will one day proudly record their many contributions. In the
meantime, enjoy reading this record and if you have anything to contribute to
this history, please contact me... M. J. Weaver, 2007.