The Johann Adam and Anna Maria (Mertz)


Family of Berks and Schuylkill Counties, Pennsylvania

What the Reviewers Are Saying....

The following critical review appeared in the June 2010 edition of the the prestigeous National Genealogical Society Quarterly on page 153, and is reprinted here with permission.

Johann Adam and Anna Maria (Mertz) Zehner Family of Berks and Schuylkill Counties, Pennsylvania. By William J. Zehner. Published by Tennessee Valley Publishing; Post Office Box 52527; Knoxville, TN 37950-2527; 2009. Order from the author: 1022 Paton Lane; Lynn Haven, FL 32444; or http://www.northwestfloridagenealogy. com/zehnerfamily. 307 pp. Illustrations, index, maps, photographs. Hardcover. $37 (shipping included).

As Zehner acknowledges, his book's original version was submitted as part of a Board for Certification of Genealogists portfolio. Additional information, maps, and illustrations have been added to the present volume. The result is a thorough and well-documented treatment of a German immigrant family of the mid-eighteenth century to Pennsylvania and their descendants through three subsequent generations, roughly to about 1880.

Zehner begins with detailed information on the book's contents. He describes and explains the organization of the material, sources, names and their variants, and land record terminology, and he outlines others' work on the subject family.
Nothing definitive regarding Adam Zehner's German origin is known, and the narrative begins with his arrival in Philadelphia in 1754. From Adam's marriage about 1759, the bulk of the book is a compiled genealogy. Virtually all factual statements are fully sourced in the extensive footnotes.

The thirty-two plates of illustrations collected in the center of the book complement the text admirably. Among them are land patents, a Civil War soldier's muster record, tax lists, land surveys, newspaper obituaries, photographs of family groups and gravestones, and a colored map showing the spread of Zehner descendants to other states from Pennsylvania. The index of place and personal names is well organized.

William Zehner has produced a four-generation study of the family of a German immigrant to colonial Pennsylvania that ably serves as a model for other such endeavors. The book lacks only a place of origin for Adam Zehner. Anyone who has sought the hometown of a German ancestor knows the many pitfalls such research engenders. Such a frustrating lacuna does not, however, detract in any way from the usefulness of this book, whether for Zehner descendants in a narrow sense or for a wider audience to whom the style and methodology are equally instructive.

Norman D. Nicol, Ph.D.
Harvey's Lake, Pennsylvania

What the Readers Are Saying....

... the book arrived and I love it. Congratulations! I am looking forward for the next edition. — DZR, Danville, Pennsylvania

mr zehner, i just received my books yesterday! beautiful! i can not say enough how tickled i am with them. one is a father's day gift for my dad ... thank you for all your hard work, it is really outstanding! — JZS, Mansfield, Ohio

Your research is simply amazing.... People have so many weird reasons for sticking to their incorrect information, but have no sources or documentation that they can cite. That is what makes your book SO VERY delightful.... — JT, Seneca Falls, New York

Thanks so much for sending me your book. It's a wonderful source of information ... Thanks for all the hard work you put into your research. — KMM, Huron, Ohio

I have never seen a genealogy lineage so thoroughly and well-documented. [It] dispels many "myths' by using very sound arguments.... I highly recommend this for anyone with any connections to the Schuylkill County (PA) Zehner line. — JT, Seneca Falls, New York

I received my copy of your Zehner family genealogy and am extremely pleased with it. It obviously was a tremendous effort on your part. ... Again, you should be congratulated on the beautiful piece of work on the Zehner Family genealogy. — DEZ, Amissville, Virginia

Just recently received your wonderful "Volume One" of the "Johann Adam and Anna Maria (Mertz) Zehner Family History." It is much better than I expected. Superb, really, and I look forward to reading especially the first portions in some detail. — EZ, Canton, New York

I just received your book. Though I've just read a few parts, I must say this is an outstanding, scholarly work, and beautifully made (to the eyes of a bibliophile and husband of a librarian). It is informative in ways I had not anticipated (How to Use this Book; Family Overview) and meticulously documented. You should be very proud of your accomplishment. I look forward to the second volume. — DW, Redmond, Oregon

It is hard to imagine the amount of research, analysis, persistence, insight and organization it took to create this handsome, well ordered package out of tens or hundred of thousands of bits of data, each meaningless in itself, but together the story of a family, and a part of the story of America. — WCW, Suffolk, Virginia

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