The homeowners discovered a unique item in one of their fields, a broken headstone. Only the name “Eliza” was clearly visible on the weathered stone.
Tip courtesy of West Virginia Cemetery Preservation Association: What Can I Do? http://www.wvcpaweb.org/
An overlay of aluminum foil was used to safely enhance the engraving and bring out the lettering. The stone reads:
Wife of E.J. Miller
Daniel P. &
Eliza was Elizabeth Ziegler, born on July 5, 1845 in Bethel Township, Berks County to Daniel Peiffer Ziegler and Maria (Mary) (Kline) Ziegler. Daniel Ziegler was a minister in the Brethren Church. He was married twice, first to Eliza’s mother, Mary (Maria) Kline. Daniel and Mary had four children, Eliza was their eldest. After Mary’s death, Daniel married Mary Connor, who was 12 years his junior, in 1854. Fourteen additional children were born to this union.
Eliza is enumerated in the 1850 Census in Bethel Township, Berks County at the age of 4.
She is shown living with her father, stepmother, siblings, and step siblings in Bethel in 1860.
By 1870, Eliza is enumerated as “Lizzie” and is living in the house adjacent to her father’s with her husband Edward Miller and her two oldest children. Note that Edward lists his occupation as a cabinet maker and his birthplace as Saxony (Germany).
Eliza's Father, Daniel P. Ziegler:
Eliza married Edward John Miller on June 19, 1865 when she was 20 years old. Eliza had seven sons and a daughter, sadly, three sons and her daughter died very young:
Harry Richard, 1868-1960
John Edward, 1870-1947
Francis Charles, 1871-1872
George Morris, 1873-1946
Charles Frederick, 1874-1892
Eliza also died young, at 32 years, on January 17, 1878 in Jackson Township, Lebanon County. Her youngest, Maggie, died shortly after Eliza in February 1878. No death records or newspaper notices were found to determine how Eliza died, however, we know from accounts of that time, that diphtheria was rampant in Berks County. Eliza is buried at Royers Meeting House in Royersford, Lebanon County, PA with her husband and two of her children.
Eliza’s connection to our subject property lies with her mother’s family:
Maria (Mary) Kline’s parents were Joseph (1796-1854) and Elizabeth (1805-1855)
Joseph’s parents were Joseph Kline (1765-1822) and Christina Stump Kline (1772-1822)
Joseph Sr’s parents were Philip Kline (1742-1815) and Elizabeth Corbman (1745-1787)
Philip and Elizabeth were the original owners of “Philipsburg” and were the great-great grandparents of Eliza Ziegler Miller!
There are plausible explanations for how Eliza’s headstone made its way to the field in Bernville. The headstone at Royers Meeting House (pictured above) is newer than the stone from the field. It is possible that the family member responsible for the newer stone brought the original stone back to Kline lands. It is also possible that a marker for Eliza was added to the nearby Kline family cemetery where her great-great grandparents are buried. No burial or cemetery records could be located to confirm either of these possibilities, however. It is also a strange coincidence that Eliza Miller is also the name of Johnathan Brossman Miller’s wife, who lived in the house from 1882 to 1892.
The family name of Kline appears many times in the deed trail for this property. A search of the Kline ancestry linked not only the Kline owners, but almost all of the owners to the same family.
The first three owners of the property are father, son, and grandson:
Philip Kline and Elizabeth Corbman Kline (owned 17?? To 1804)
Philip Kline and Maria Elizabeth Stoudt Kline (owned 1804 to 1835)
William Stoudt Kline and Margaretha Wagner Kline (owned 1835 to 1873)
The property was then passed down through the families of the wives:
Adam Heck and Sallie Ann Klopp Heck (owned 1879 to 1881)– Margaretha Wagner Kline’s grandfather is the great grandfather of Sallie Ann Klopp; Margaretha and Sallie were cousins
Sallie’s sister, Eleanora, was married to Nathan Klopp Dundore, a relative of Gabriel Dundore, who was Eliza Louise Dondore Miller’s (wife of Johnathan Brossman Miller) father (owned 1882 to 1892)
Henrietta Leiss Groff, married to John Franklin Groff, (owned 1892 to 1893) was a cousin on her father’s side, of Sallie Ann Klopp
Adam Klee. (owned 1892 to 1896) and Mary Susanna Reedy Klee’s daughter, Amelia Kate, was married to Howard L. Groff, son of J. Franklin and Henrietta Groff
No obvious connection was found between the family and Pass Oxenrider or Catherine “Katie” Fredericks Kling (owned 1896 to 1915)
Edwin Daniel Kline’s (owned 1915 to 1951) father was Ezra Kline, son of Adam W. Kline, son of William S. Kline. Edwin, therefore was the great grandson of William S. Kline, who owned the property from 1835 to 1873.
The Gernsheimers (owned 1951 to 2016) appear to have no relation to the Kline family.