The mystery of the founder of Chartersville

There were three metals in 2011 Keystone marker Along the roads of the Upper Bern Township, “Shartlesville was named after Colonel Peter Shartles. Settlers and soldiers of the pioneers. Founded in 1765.”

Information about who Peter Châtres was and whether he really existed was elusive for a man who shared his name.

67-year-old Bill Châtres grew up in Harrisburg with his brother and two sisters and discovered a family tree bug early on.

“I think I was 12 or 13 when I noticed Chartlesville,” he said. “So I went to my grandfather and said,’Do you know anything about it? Are we connected to it?” And he just didn’t know. “

Bill’s grandfather Abraham Châtres knew that his father, Jacob Châtres, had been married for the second time after his first wife died in the Civil War. Abe was the product of his second marriage to Adeline Beard. Unfortunately, Jacob died when Abe was 12 years old. As a result, Jacob couldn’t get to know him very well.

If you were lucky, Bill’s neighbor was a genealogy scholar. Retired math teacher Walter Q. Banderman published a book on the genealogy of his wife’s family in 1948.Flow Leaf Laura Fleury Family History 1948.. “

Bill associated his information and questions with Banderman, and the geneticist was to take him to the State Library and Archives during the summer.

“I scrutinized the microfilm and census information and helped him,” Bill said. “He did most of his work. As a result, he was able to trace our lineage back to 1732. At least in this country, the first Châtres arrived in 1732 Bernhard Châtres. was.

“He set sail from Rotterdam (Netherlands) to Philadelphia on a ship adventure,” Bill said.

Bernhard (T is not another spelling) eventually moved to Berks County, where he set up a farm and family. Johannes, or John, was his eldest son, and Jacob was his second son, the captain of the Berks County Civilian Corps, who served in the War of Independence.

Map of Shartlesville Berks County, Pennsylvania

Adam Richter — Reading Eagle

Shartlesville is a census-designated area of ​​the Upper Bern Township. (Adam Richter — Reading Eagle)

All three had large farms in the area and built and operated a place called the Log Cabin.

“It was the Chartles Bill Inn,” Bill said. “I don’t know if it’s correct to say that Jacob is the founder of Schartlesville, because I think it’s a collection of Jacob, John (John), and Bernhard.”

According to, Jacob was born in 1741 and died in 1819. From this line, Bill becomes a descendant.

Bill states that, according to pension records, Jacob listened to muskets during the War of Independence and was paid $ 125 a year in disability allowances from 1793.

He found that there were many Jacobs in his pedigree and many spellings of his name.

“Shartle’s spelling is spelled by Sch and Sche, D, T, tel, tle, etc., but this actually adds to the challenge,” Bill said.

“Our family, after getting all this information, said,’Let’s go on a trip to Chartersville.’

“We went, forgot what the graveyard was, but found Jacob’s grave and a kind of tool around the Supper’s Building. Where we think it was called the Supper’s Building Hotel. We had a supper — a big family style supper. And we went to town and saw this marker. “

As mentioned at the beginning, it is a memorial to Colonel Peter Châtres.

Susan E. Mears Smith — Reading Eagle

A historic metal marker installed by the Pennsylvania Highway Authority along Old Route 22 in Shartlesville, Upper Bern Township, on Saturday, April 2, 2022. Colonel Peter Châtres, a pioneer and soldier. The document showing his existence was elusive. (Susan E. Mears Smith-Reading Eagle)

“Here I was 13 and did all this research with a professional genealogy scholar. I’ve never heard of this guy’s name,” Bill said. “So I scratch my head,’Well, you know, someone knows what I don’t know,’ because I’ve never heard of him.”

He went with him and lived his life, but Colonel Peter Schartl always stayed behind his heart.

Fast forward to COVID-19 pandemic. Bill began talking to his younger brother John, 57, about the mysteries of his family’s history.

Bill was involved in the 23andMeDNA test and John was involved in the test.

“We actually started putting together some things we didn’t have before,” Bill said.

Still, there was no mention of Peter.

After reading Burke’s Place feature in ChartlesvilleBill contacted Reading Eagle..

He also contacted President Jack Graham. Keystone Markers TrustTry to find the origin of the marker.

“So he couldn’t explain why this guy’s name was there,” Bill said. “Anyway, it was not uncommon for those markers to be wrong.”

Bill said Graham said markers were placed in Shartlesville at some point in the 1930s by the Pennsylvania Highway Authority, the predecessor of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.Please note that the marker is different from Large metal blue and gold historic sign Built by the Pennsylvania History Museum Commission. PHMC takes a long time Application process To build one.

According to Graham, common cast iron Keystone Markers were first referred to in the Pennsylvania Highway Biennale Report from 1926 to 1928.Its purpose Explained At “The department is also practicing to mark the boundaries of the autonomous region with cast iron signs, which are some facts about the date the community was founded and the origin of its name.”

Since 1943, no mention of them has been found in departmental reports.

Searching the Berks County Recorder of Deeds database does not show any Peter Shartle / Schartle / Scherdel / Scherdle / Shertle. However, Jacob Schadel and Jacob Châtres are profitable, and one of those certificates refers to the adjacent land of Bernhard Châtres.

Bill is not alone in questioning the existence of Peter Châtres.

“It is alleged that Colonel Châtres, whose first name is Peter, founded the town. Some say Jacob instead,” Adam J. Kirschner wrote on his dedication page. 2017 booklet “Chartlesville: A brief history of Chartlesville and its surroundings,” Bill said. “The historian I spoke to found it difficult to find a record about Peter Châtres.”

Kirschner also continues that one of his relatives is believed to have served under Jacob Châtres in the War of Independence, and Bill Châtres was able to record it.

Bill, who now lives in Wilmington, NC, never insists on removing or changing the Keystone Markers in Chartersville, but said he really wants to know why the wording is behind.

He also said that if anyone had evidence that Peter Châtres was a real person, he would like to hear about it.

The mystery of the founder of Chartersville

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