The American elder of the Kern family, John Yost Kern was born in Freischbach, Germany, in 1746. He was married in Germany to Eva Marie Weiss. They emigrated to America in 1771, and settled in the MIddlecreek valley, now the township of Franklin, Snyder Co., Pa.
On June 24, 1772, he obtained a warrant on lands containing 165 acres. Here he settled with his family. On December 31, 1805, the land was conveyed to their son , John Kern. At the time John Yost Kern settled here the Indians still roamed through the valley, and when at work in the fields the rifle was protection to the settlers.
In 1790 John Yost Kern bought a farm containing 150 acres from John Swift, near where Beavertown now stands. This town was laid out in 1810, then called Swiftown. In 1806 John Yost conveyed this farm to his son, Henry, Sr. John Yost Kern died in 1815. It is believed that both he and his wife are buried in the old cemetery at Christ’s church. This is one of the oldest burial grounds that part of the state. Here many of the pioneers are buried in unmarked graves.
They had six sons , Henry, John, Adam, Peter, George Jacob, and Philip. They had three daughters, Anna Mary, Loswana and Christina. Henry Kern, Sr., first son of Johan Yost, was born Nov. 17, 1769, and lived on his farm near Beavertown, which he had bought from his father John Yost, in 1806. He died March 21, in Seneca county, Ohio, in 1835, at the house of his brother, Peter. He was married to Catherine Lepley, who survived him twenty years. Catherine, was a niece of Michael Lepley, who with Jacob Gift and others, was killed by the Indians at Port Preeland, Pa. in 1779, while serving as soldiers under George Washington in the Revolutionary War. Henry and Catherine had one son Henry, Jr. and seven daughters. Henry, Jr. was born in Beaver Twp. in 1814. He died in 1894, aged 80 and is buried in the Beavertown Cemetery.
Of the seven daughters, Margaret married George Fall and accidentally shot in Marshall Co.
In the year 1834, about a year after, Peter and Jacob Kern emigrated to Ohio. Their brother Henry, who had traveled twice to Germany, made his first trip on foot, a distance of 450 miles to Seneca and Huron counties, Ohio, to see his brothers, Peter and Jacob. While there, he entered some government land at the rate of $1.25 per acre, and entrance fees. He returned in the same manner as he had come. He made a second trip on foot in 1835. A few weeks after his arrival, he was taken sick and died at the home of his brother, Peter, in Seneca county, Ohio.
Source: Genealogical History of the Gift, Kern, and Royer Families by Aaron Kern Gift, Middleburg, Pa. Copyrighted 1909.