Welcome to our Pethel Family website

Please let me introduce myself-I am Brady W. Kerr and I live in Flowery Branch, Ga.;married with two grown children. My grandfather was Alva Devon Pethel;born in KY but grew up in Rowan Co., NC. I have been researching the Pethel family for ten years and have been able to obtain a lot of information especially information to tie my Pethel family of North Carolina to the Pethel's of Georgia. I hope by posting this information on a website-we will meet new members of our family and the Pethel family will continue to grow.

The first know Pethel in Rowan Co., NC would be my 5th Great Grandfather and is the ancestor to most all of the Pethel's in North Carolina and Georgia. The only Pethel ancestor I knew was my Grandfather for when I was born his father had been deceased for 10 years. I did not get into genealogy until after all of my grandparents and parents were all deceased, but my Grandmother Merle Shoaf Pethel dabbled into genealogy and had a lot of records to help me get started on the venture.

Do yourself a favor and if you are lucky enough to have grandparents and great grandparents living today-talk to them, find out all about their lives, for one of these days you might wish you had found out how they lived, where they lived and what they did for a living. As with my grandparents, I never asked anything so all of that great information is lost forever other than the information my grandmother documented.

I want to thank all of you out there who have been so generous of your time to send me information on your immediate family and other related families. I would not be able to have all the data I have if it had not been for all of you. You will never know how much I appreciate everything and again, THANK YOU ALL!

History of our Pethel Ancestors

Notes for Andrew (Pahel, Pahal, Paheal, Baighel)Pethel

As I got into searching for my Pethel ancestors, I found the name changed from census to census. I think the reason for this is the German language being spoken by our Pethel ancestors. The English were taking the censuses and writing down what they heard. In 1790 it was Baighel, in 1800 Bechtel, in 1810 Bechtel and in 1820 it was Pichell. All of these censuses were for the same person. In 1830 we find the name spelled Pahel. By the 1840 censuses we found Pethell, Pethel, etc. We know this is all of the same family. In Tennessee the name went from Pahal in 1840 to Pethel in 1850 and 1860 then to Pahel in 1870 and Pahell in 1880(all for one Andrew Pethel.

Andrew Baighil, Bechtel,Pechel, Pahel, Pichell or Pethel, Sr. thought to have been born between 1740 and 1750 in PA or Germany and to have died before 1840 in Rowan County, North Carolina. If our Andrew is the son of Hennery Pethtel then he was most likely born in Delaware Co., PA. There is an Andrew Baighel living in Rowan Co. during the 1790 census. Sorry to say the 1790 US census does not require place of birth for the head of household. Listed in household is one male over 16, and 3 females over 16. Living around him in 1790 are the Beaver and Bostian families. 1800 census of Rowan Co., NC listed an Andrew Becthel with 3 males under 10, 1 male 45+, 1 female under 10, 2 females 10-19 and one female + 45. In the Rowan County, NC census of 1820 (pg. 10), there was listed and Andrew Pichell, age 45+, with 1 female age 45+, 1 male age 10-16, and 1 female age-10 in the household. In another household, there was an Andrew Piheal age 20-30 listed with one female age 20-30, 1 female age -5 and one male age -5 in the family. This would indicate that Andrew Jr. came of age, married and began his own family and that Andrew, Sr. is his father.[Pethel Family]. In 1830 Census there was Andrew Pahel, Sr. listed with one male 80-90(himself), one female 15-20; 1 female 30-40 and one female 50-60.

Some sources state the name " Pethel" is a derivative of the true name of Pahel. The new spelling was derived over the early years of record keeping by people writing what they thought they heard and not what they knew.

There is documentation that a Nicholass Peffel and Barbara Peffel are on a list of Palatinate Passengers, Imported into Philadelphia in the Ship Mortonhouse, James Coultas, Commander, from Rotterdam, August 17, 1729. Could this be our ancestors-we have no proof to date. Also I have found a hint in the book written by Rheba Pethtel our Pethels may come from the family of Hennery Pethtel and Elizabeth Unknown. Henry and his wife lived in Darby township, Delaware Co., PA. Her book states the following " Hennery Pethtel, Paskell, Pessell, Pizzel, Pathel, Pethol, Pieghtle, Peffell, Pachel, Pichtell, Bachtel, Pethtol, Pestel or any of the varieties which can add up to thirty different varieties by moving the consonants and the vowels, wed Elizabeth ?; probably, in Germany, before he set sail for the new world to claim some of Wm. Pitts 25 cents per acre land in the State of Delaware. The area which he chose was later to become a part of Pennsylvania, Darby township, Delaware County. These German settlers had an extremely difficult time as pioneers and the State of Pa., by an act of the Legislature, directed the Commissioners to distribute food, money and clothing to those Emigrants and "an aged man Pestel" was one of the recipients; act passed January 13th, 1796. In 1790 US census, Hennery Paskall, was listed with a full house; Darby township, Delaware Co., Pa. Sons John, Jacob and Henry all served in the American Revolution during the war; the older two, John and Jacob, from Somerset and Bedford Counties and Henry, apparently too young for regular duty went along anyway (he, "had to stand on brush to keep his ammunition dry.") Hennery and Elizabeth were not very evident; a couple of times one of the early census listed an over 45 year resident in the sons' homes but by 1850c she is not visible. One of Henry and Mary Bradford Pethtel's sons lists Henry's parents as Hennery and Elizabeth Pethtel.

There are many conflicting stories as to the exact place from which Hennery migrated, but he was at the right place and time to be of the Palatines; many of which were from Rhineland. All the issues which are listed under him and Elizabeth moved from the Pennsylvania/Delaware area; John went north from Bedford County and settled about the area of State College, Pa. Jacob moving in that direction also but must have changed his mind and floated on down to Tennessee (not even a territory at the time), The Pethel, al, le's of North Carolina and Georgia, early 1850s, came from the Tennessee issues of Jacob Valentine. Many Valentines in the Northern Penn. Pethtel families. Samuel came over to Huntington Co., Pa and started his issues out there where they still reign as Peightel, le, al, etc; he died in Frederick Co., Md and Samuel, Jr. took over operations in Huntingdon. George was in the Rev., so it appears, in the south, of PA and returned to the Philadelphia as Pichtell and Pizel, etc. Henry, too young to be enlisted, was acquainted with the Bradfords , during the Revolutionary times and opted to settle in Greene Co., with one of the soldier's daughters, Mary Bradford; he was called Pastel in Robert Bradford's will, and Pachel in an agreement with Pioneer Developers. Elizabeth is found in court records in Frederick Co., Md; she uses Pizzel, Pethelle and Petesell, naming Henry as her father."

The name has changed many times along the way. Some families went with Pahel, Pahal , Pahol, PehelPethell and others with the name Pethel or Pethell. Have tried to document the different spelling in parenthesis of how the different individuals names were spelled in the many censuses taken.

1790 Rowan Co., NC Census shows in household(Ancestry.Com Image # 15) Name spelled Baighel

1800 Rowan Co., NC Census shows in household(Ancestry.Com Image # 67)Name spelled Becthel

1810 Rowan Co. NC Census shows in household(Ancestry.Com Image # 66)Name spelled Bechtel

1820 Rowan Co., NC Census shows in household(Ancestry.Com Image # 6)Name spelled Peheal & Pichell

1830 Rowan Co., NC Census shows in household(Ancestry.Com, Image #113)Name spelled Peheal

It has been an interesting project researching my Pethel ancestors for when I first started I never dreamed I would find so many Pethels. I thought this to be a very uncommon name but to my surprise there are literally thousands of living Pethels in the U.S. alone. Over the last seven years through the wonderful tool of the Internet I have met hundreds of Pethel distant relatives. All of these contacts helped in the compiling of this research. I have tried to document all proven data as correctly as possible and have asked the help of many to review my data and offer any changes or additons to help this family tree grow to what it is today.

When the Pethels first arrived in North Carolina being of German nationality, they were part of an area which was only of German descent. They were very clanish and did not venture away from there kind for the next 50+ years. Not until the 1850 census do we know their occupations, but we assume they were farmers, blacksmiths, carpenters,etc. It is interesting to see many of our Pethels after the railroad came into North Carolina went to work for the railroad and some lost their lives building the lines for the railroad.  In modern day we have talented doctors, musicians, ministers, lawyers, nurses, military personal and yes, there are still farmes among our large Pethel family and they are spread from the east to west coast and are found living in almost every state in the Unites State. The name has changed and some ended up with our Pethel name-some took Pethell, Petchell, Pahol  Pahal and Pahel but no matter the variation of the spelling-we are still all of the same family. My family ended up with the spelling Pethel and most of this line is still living in North Carolina mainly in Rowan and Cabarrus Counties. We have distant relatives still in AR, CA, FL,  GA,  LA, PA, TN,and TX. 

Contact Information

You can contact me at jbk6397@bellsouth.net or call me at home before 6 PM at 770-967-3907