Historical Documents

Historical documents of the Overholser Family Association are available in PDF format. The OFA website search includes all of the contents of these documents. Some documents and letters are provided in JPG format.

Family Coat of Arms – Oberholzer of Wald

The coat of arms on this letterhead is the coat of arms which was adopted at the annual reunion of the Overholser Family Association on August 14, 1958 at Long’s Park, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This coat of arms was recommended by Dr. Hans Klaui, Genealogical Investigation Office, 287 Rychenberg Street, Oberwinterthur, Z.H. in a letter dated February 29, 1956 to J. Spencer Overholser after several conversations with Dr. Winfred Overholser, then Supt. of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. and after several exchanges of letters with Spencer Overholser.

OFA Coat of Arms 1
OFA Coat of Arms 2

Wappen Oberholzer von Wald/ZH

Historical Notes on the early days of Terre Hill

This folder is issued for THE 1977 OVERHOLSER FAMILY REUNION held at Memorial Park, Terre Hill, Pennsylvania Saturday, August 27, 1977

Lineage of Samuel Oberholtzer

Samuel Oberholtzer, Jacob Oberholtzer, Martin Oberholtzer, Elizabeth Oberholtzer, Ann Oberholtzer, Magdalena Oberholtzer, Veronica Oberholtzer

Abraham Overholser Who Died in 1971 in Morrisons Cove, Bedford Co, PA

Abraham Overholser, his wife, and his family were part of a group of members of the Church of the Brethren who lived in the Morrisons Cove area of northern Bedford County, Pennsylvania. It appears that Abraham served as minister to the congregation there. Page 126 of James M Sell’s A HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN IN THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA states, “In a manuscript written by Samuel Teeter who lived at New Enterprise and died in 1901, the following statement is made concerning the beginning of the Yellow Creek congregation.

A Surveyors House in Paradise Township, Lancaster County, PA

The year of 2010 was the 300th anniversary of the first German Settlement in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. There has been monthly activities in which to celebrate the first major group of Europeans who were willing to make the sacrificial journey from their familiar homelands to an unknown territory only known as a “wilderness”. The dangers of unfamiliar Indian tribes as neighbors, the old time superstitions they brought along from Europe, the erratic weather at the end of the Little Ice Age, and multiple countries mingling together as they competed for “new lands”, all played an integral part in the emotional struggle in which the settlers had to struggle and survive.

OFA Reunion Program (1960)

50th Annual Overholser Reunion Program
August 11, 1960
Long Park, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

OFA Reunion Announcement (1976)

Dear Relatives and Friends: Happy Bicentennial to you all, and here is our second letter of this momentous year. We’re reminding you of our special Overholser 66th Reunion to be held, as I’m sure you’ll remember, at the home of our President, and his wife, Spencer and Ruth Overholser, in Oley, Pa. on Saturday, August. 21, 1976 (the third Sat. in August).

OFA Reunion Announcement (1978)

Dear Members of the Overholser Clan: This is perhaps early for an announcement of the Overholser Reunion which will be held at Terre Hill, Pa., on the 4th Saturday in August. However, there are two items that I want to bring to your attention at this time.

OFA Reunion Announcement (2004)

CALLING ALL OVERHOLSERS! You read about it in the Overholser Family Association “Bulletin”, now come see it in person! The 95th Annual Overholser Reunion is coming soon and has been expanded to become the biggest and best gathering of our clan ever!

OFA Reunion Announcement (2006)

Greetings! Thank you for attending the 96th reunion of the Overholser Family Association on August 5 & 6! We are glad that you could come and hope that you enjoyed the weekend as much as we did. It is always a treat to spend time with our very extended “family”.

OFA Reunion Attendees List (2000)

GREETINGS! It was gratifying to see so many wonderful people at the 91st Overholser Reunion in Terre Hill on August 19. Thanks for coming!

OFA Reunion Minutes (1985)

The 76th annual reunion of the Overholser Family Association was held on Saturday, August 24, 1985, in the Terre Hill Fire Hall. After a delicious covered dish luncheon, President Spencer Overholser called the meeting to order.

OFA Reunion Minutes (2014)

The 108th reunion of the Overholser Family Association convened at St. John’s Center United Church of Christ on Saturday, August 2, 2014. Thirty-six people were in attendance.

OFA Reunion Minutes (2015)

The 109th reunion of the Overholser Family Association convened at St. John’s Center United Church of Christ on Saturday, August 1, 2015. Twenty-five people were in attendance.

OFA Reunion Minutes (2017)

The 111th reunion of the Overholser Family Association convened at St. John’s Center United Church of Christ on Saturday, August 5, 2017. Twenty-seven people were in attendance.

OFA Task Force Meeting Minutes (1986)

1986 Reunion, 1987 Reunion, Fund Raising, Saleable Items, Consolidation, Addendum

Overholser 50th Birthday Song

Let’s toast 50 years,
And most without tears,
Our friends — Overholsers,
Let’s give them three cheers!

The Oberholsers Origin

The Oberholsers are undoubtedly of Swiss origin. The family is represented in at least one Canton of Switzerland (Zurich) to this day. Kuhns says that the name had its origin in one or all of several villages by that name in Canton Bern. It is a matter of history that, together with a large body of defenseless Mennonites, Martin Overholtz and Michael Oberholtz fled from relen tless persecution in Canton Zurich, Switzerland into Alsace, above Strasburg, about 1672, where they remained till they emigrated in 1709 to London, where they received assistance from Quakers to go to Pennsylvania. In 1710 the party to which these Oberholtzers belonged received a grant of 10,000 acres of land in Pequea, now included in Lancaster County. They were among the first settlers in this region.

OFA Bulletin – 1984 Bulk Mail Rates

Postage rate: 11¢/piece (5.2¢ non-prof. orgn)

Letters to Reverend Jacob Oberholtzer (JF)

Alderfer-1, Alderfer-2
Alice-Wood-1, Alice-Wood-2
Family-Tree-1, Family-Tree-2
H-M-Oberholtzer-1, H-M-Oberholtzer-2
Hatfield-1, Hatfield-2, Hatfield-3, Hatfield-4
Houston-Texas-1, Houston-Texas-2, Houston-Texas-3, Houston-Texas-4
I-E-Oberholtzer-1, I-E-Oberholtzer-2
I-H-Oberholtzer-1, I-H-Oberholtzer-2
Letter-1, Letter-2, Letter-22
M-L-Oberholtzer-1, M-L-Oberholtzer-2
Marshall-Oberholtzer-2, Marshall-Oberholtzer-22, Marshall-Oberholtzer-23, Marshall-Oberholtzer-24, Marshall-Oberholtzer-25, Marshall-Oberholtzer-26
Overholser-Family-Tree-1, Overholser-Family-Tree2

The Christian Oberholser Story by David Ray Heisey

The Christian Oberholser, Jr. Family Letter to the Jacob E. Heisey Family Describing the Confederate Invasion of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in 1863

The original was a presentation by Dr. David Ray Heisey at Messiah Village in 2008, and an edited version by Franklin County Historical Society is in their 2009 publication Kittochtinny.

In looking through some old papers from my father’s collection recently, I discovered a ledger book with many handwriting exercises, arithmetic exercises, and handwritten essays that obviously had been written by a schoolboy. The name at the top of the papers was Henry L. Heisey (1844-1912). I knew from my genealogy records that he was my great-grandfather, but I never had known anything about him. I then learned that he was a bishop in the Brethren in Christ Church in the Manor-Pequea District, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The finding of his papers sparked my interest in discovering more about him. My subsequent research resulted in a published biographical article, “Henry L. Heisey: Bishop of Manor-Pequea District, Lancaster County,” in Brethren in Christ History and Life (2007).