Giesy Family

About the Giesy Family

Providing the Home Base

Andrew Giesy, of Swiss heritage, lived in Pittsburg.  He and his wife Barbara were the parents of fifteen children.  Andrew was so impressed by Dr. William Keil that he let him preach out of his home.  Several of Andrews’s sons, including Christian, became itinerant preachers for Keil, and in that work traveled throughout western Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio.

Spreading the word

As a result of these trips made by Christian Giesy and others Keil came into contact with dissidents from George Rapp’s Harmony Society. These former Rappists, experienced with communal living and skilled at some trade, provided much of the practical information required by Keil to form a communal society. The larger percentage of other members committed their money and skills to the colony after being converted by Keil or one of his preachers.

Leaders in the Colony

Several of the Giesys held prominent leadership roles at Bethel and Aurora. The Giesy’s generally honored the Colony and paid homage to it throughout the years until it was dissolved. Andrew Jr. acted as Keil’s deputy at Bethel after Keil had migrated to Oregon. Martin Giesy was trained as the Aurora Colony doctor. The historical society library has amassed a large research section concerning the Giesy’s.


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