Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
Samuel D. Betzner

Samuel D. Betzner

Male 1771 - 1856  (85 years)

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  • Name Samuel D. Betzner 
    Born 1 Mar 1771  , Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Interesting pioneer, story 
    Land Bef 1831  Waterloo Township - Beasley's Old Survey Lot 05, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Land Bef 1831  Waterloo Township - Beasley's Old Survey Lot 11, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Land Bef 1831  Waterloo Township - German Company Tract Lot 106W, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Eby ID Number 00006-0912 
    Died 10 Aug 1856  Flamboro West Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 4, 5
    Buried Betzner Family Cemetery, Christies Corner, Flamborough, Wentworth, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I8030  Generations
    Last Modified 29 Nov 2020 

    Father Samuel Betzner,   b. 1738, Merspurg, Wurtenburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1813, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Mother Maria Detweiler,   b. 1744, Of, Franklin Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1806, Near Blair, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Family ID F2387  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth Brech,   b. 1 May 1768,   d. 17 Mar 1848, West Flamborough Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Children 
     1. Catharine Betzner,   b. 26 Jan 1798, , Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Jun 1873, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     2. David Betzner,   b. 9 Jan 1801, Blair (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Mar 1886, West Flamborough Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
    Last Modified 30 Nov 2020 
    Family ID F2393  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Samuel D. Betzner
    Samuel D. Betzner

  • Notes 
    • Samuel D. Betzner, "the second son, was born probably in 1770, and was married to Elizabeth Brech* . In 1799 he and his family in company with Joseph Schörg* and family, moved to Canada, and in spring of 1800 he settled on the farm now known as the "B. B. Bowman Farm" on the west bank of the Grand River and adjoining the village of Blair. He afterwards sold his farm to Rev. Joseph Baumann and moved to Flamboro West Wentworth County, where he died, leaving a family of several children, viz:* ".


      Eby, Ezra E. (1895). A biographical history of Waterloo township and other townships of the county: being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin: as also much other unpublished historical information chiefly of a local character. Berlin [Kitchener, Ont.]: [s.n.].

      * now spelled Break
      * now spelled Shirk and Sherk. See notes pages 20, 21
      * we have the names of only two, maybe there never were more

      _________________________


      "The Late Samuel Betzner"

      A few biographical remarks in the reference to the well known Samuel Betzner of Flamborough West, who died on the 10th day of August, 1856, will, we are well assured, be highly acceptable to the majority of our readers. Samuel Betzner emigrated from the State of Pennsylvania to this province at the early period of 1799, in the month of October, and stopped in the township of Ancaster for the winter. He brought only a small capital with him, and we regret to say that small capital was reduced to almost nothing by the misfortune of having his house, with all its contents, not excepting his money, consumed by fire. But Mr. Betzner was one of those men not easily discouraged by trifles. The following spring he pressed his way through a total wilderness to the Township of Waterloo, and he may fairly be numbered among the first settlers of that important place. Without anything in truth that could be called a road-without a saw or grist mill nearer than Flamboro' West


      Berlin Chronicle 27 Aug 1856


      _________________________


      BETZNER, SAMUEL D., settler and district constable; b. 1 March 1771 in Lancaster County, Pa, a son of Samuel Betzner (Bezner) and Maria Detweiler; m. before 1798 Elizabeth Brech, and they had a son and a daughter; d. 10 Aug. 1856 near Flamborough (West Flamborough), Upper Canada.

      A native of Württemberg (Federal Republic of Germany), Samuel D. Betzner's father immigrated to North America in 1755 and settled in Franklin County, Pa. In the fall of 1799 Samuel D. and his brother-in-law Joseph Schörg left that county for the Jordan area of the Niagara district of Upper Canada, where a number of other Mennonites from Pennsylvania had already settled. Betzner spent the winter in Ancaster and that spring set out with Schörg to explore the valley of the Grand River, which had been recommended to them as being attractive for settlement by Jacob Bechtel, an earlier visitor. Proceeding by way of Brant's Ford (Brantford) they came to block 2 (Waterloo Township), which had been purchased in 1796 from the Six Nations Indians by Richard Beasley*, James Wilson, and John Baptist Rousseaux* St John.

      In August 1800 Betzner bought from them land adjacent to the site of the village of Blair. A disastrous fire at Ancaster had destroyed most of his possessions but despite this misfortune he took steps to establish a farm on his chosen lot by clearing land and erecting buildings. Joseph Schörg settled near by, on the east bank of the Grand, and these two men are credited with being the first to establish homes in the area which became Waterloo County in 1850. They were followed by other Pennsylvania Mennonites who sought not only reasonably priced land for farms for their sons but also the continuation of the exemption from military service they had received under British rule before the American Revolutionary War. Most purchased their land from Richard Beasley, who had bought out the interests of Wilson and Rousseaux.

      Early in 1803 it was reported that the land these later settlers had bought had been mortgaged by Beasley, Wilson, and Rousseaux to trustees for the Six Nations in 1798 and therefore the settlers would not be able to secure clear title. Betzner and Jacob Bechtel were engaged to go to Niagara (Niagara-on-the-Lake) where they learned to their consternation that the report was true. The matter was resolved when Beasley agreed in 1803 to sell to the Mennonites a parcel of 60,000 acres of land in block 2 for the sum of £10,000 to pay off the mortgage. The settlers sent representatives back to Pennsylvania, where they eventually persuaded a group of affluent co-religionists and other investors to form a joint-stock company, the German Company, to raise the purchase money. A number of the early settlers, including Betzner, who did not have the mortgage problem remained on their original lots and had no financial interest in the German Company.

      A leading member of the Mennonite community, he was made a constable for the Home District in 1800 and was a charter member of the church formed by Benjamin Eby in 1813. In 1817, however, Betzner sold his farm in Waterloo Township and settled on lot 3, concession 1, in West Flamborough Township, where he spent the rest of his life. In 1828-29 he transferred title on this farm to his son, David.

      Perhaps Betzner's only claim to recognition is as one of the earliest settlers in Waterloo County, where heavily forested lands were reached by trails that could scarcely be called roads. He is, nevertheless, representative of those pioneers who, through perseverance and industry, overcame disasters and hardships in order to establish productive farms for succeeding generations of their families.
      Grace Schmidt

      PAC, RG 1, L3, 33: B6/45; RG 31, A1, 1851, Flamborough (West) Township: 45 (mfm. at AO). Waterloo North Land Registry Office (Kitchener, Ont.), Abstract index to deeds, Waterloo Township, Beasley's old survey, concession 1, lot 5 (mfm. at AO, GS 3023); West Flamborough Township, concession 1, lot 3 (mfm. at AO, GS 1472). "Minutes of the Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace for the Home District, 13th March, 1800, to 28th December, 1811," AO Report, 1932: 44. Berlin Chronicle and Provincial Reformers' Gazette (Berlin [Kitchener]), 27 Aug. 1856. Laura Betzner Edworthy, The Betzner family in Canada: genealogical and historical records, 1799-1970 (n.p., n.d.; copies at AO and Kitchener Public Library). E. E. Eby, A biographical history of Waterloo Township . . . (2v., Berlin, 1895-96); repub. as E. E. Eby and J. B. Snyder, A biographical history of early settlers and their descendants in Waterloo Township, with Supplement, ed. E. D. Weber (Kitchener, 1971), 1. A. B. Sherk, "The Pennsylvania Germans of Waterloo County, Ontario," OH, 7 (1906): 98-109.3a

      3aDictionary of Canadian Biography Online 2000 University of Toronto/Université Laval

  • Sources 
    1. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 240.

    2. [S2173] Find A Grave, Samuel D. Betzner, Jr (1771 - 1856) - Find A Grave Memorial. (2017). Findagrave.com. Retrieved 11 April 2017, from https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=51363528.

    3. [S1322] Land - Founding Families of Waterloo Township 1800-1830, 12.

    4. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 241.

    5. [S14] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Berlin Chronicle (1856-1860), August 27, 1856.

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1 Mar 1771 - , Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLand - Bef 1831 - Waterloo Township - Beasley's Old Survey Lot 11, Waterloo County, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLand - Bef 1831 - Waterloo Township - German Company Tract Lot 106W, Waterloo County, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 10 Aug 1856 - Flamboro West Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Betzner Family Cemetery, Christies Corner, Flamborough, Wentworth, Ontario Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth