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MATHIAS KLEISER (GLEISER) was born in Baden-Wurttenberg, Germany in 1765, he died in 1825 in Page County, Virginia. Early Virginia records indicate that he could both read and write German. Mathias married Barbara (Nail) Nagel, daughter of William & Salome Nagel of Shenandoah Valley, Virginia on April 17, 1790. In 1794, William & Salome Nagel sold 104 acres of land to Mathias Kleiser for the sum of 15 pounds. The deed indicates that the property is located in Shenandoah County (now Page County) Virginia along Pass Run. Pass Run begins at the top of the Blue Ridge mountains near Thornton Gap and runs through the foothills down to the little hamlet called Kimball, near Luray, Virginia and on to the Shenandoah River. In doing research it was clear that spelling variations were very common. Mathias Kleiser was also recorded as Gleiser, Clizer, Cliser & Klizer. On two documents, Mathias' marriage record as well as his last will & testament, Mathias signs his last name as GLEISER.

Mathias & Barbara Kleiser had 9 children, all born in Virginia. They are also recorded in the Hawksbill Reformed Lutheran Church records and the 1820 Census, they are:

1. MARTIN CLIZER - born January 1, 1792. Married to Sarah Fletcher on December 26, 1826. Later Martin purchased 1,166 acres of land on top of the mountain bordering Rappahannock County & Page County in 1833. Martin died in 1849.

2. JOHN(JOHANN) CLIZER - born in January 1795. Married to Arisba Wood on August 12, 1828. They both lived in Page County and later moved to Missouri. John died in 1847.

3. MARY (MARIA) CLISER - born in 1796. Married to Robert C. Lampton in 1821. Mary's brother Martin was bondsman in their marriage.

4. EVE (EVA & EFFERINA) CLIZER - born in 1797, died April 5, 1876. Married to James Harvey Lehew in 1826. See link below for this family line:

5. CATHERINE (CATARINA) CLIZER - born 1798. Married to Martin Frank (Fronk)

6. DAVID CLIZER - born 1799 in Shenandoah County, Virginia. Married to Philadelphia Fletcher, a widow with six children. They moved to Bates County, Missouri. See DAVID & PHILADELPHIA CLIZER blog.

7. MAGDELINA CLIZER - born 1800

8. NATHALINA CLIZER - born 1801

9. SAMUEL CLIZER - born 1803

Mathias worked in the blacksmith trade in relation to farming and so did his sons, Martin and John. In 1824, Mathias made up his last will and testament in which Martin & John were named to inherit the wagons and team as well as the blacksmith tools. The land was to be equally divided between Martin, John & David. His daughters, who are not mentioedn my name, was to receive 100 dollars each. His wife Barbara, was to receive all the personals.

Link to photograph of the cemetery and tombstones of Mathias & Barbara Klizer. (pictured are L-R: Charles B. Clizer, Charles Edward Bowen & Ed Bowen -- all related. photo was taken in 1979 when Charles & his wife Merilyn came to visit Ina Jane Shenk & Merle Fox, also distant cousins.

Mathias died in 1825 and his wife Barbara died in 1828. They are buried side-by-side in a small family cemetery in Kimball, on top of a hill below Kibler Knob overlooking the valley. This little family cemetery has 10 tombstones; buried there are Kibler's, Shenks, Samuel Cliser and Mathias & Barbara Klizer.

JOHN CLIZER was born in January 1795 in Shenandoah County, Virginia to Mathias & Barbara Kleiser. As a young man, John attended the Hawksbill Reformed Lutheran Church where his name was found to be listed as Johann Gleiser and Kleiser on the church records. John was raised in the blacksmith trade in realtion to farming with his older brother Martin Clizer. At the age of 34, John married Arizba Wood on August 12, 1828. During this union they reared 10 children, all born in Virginia.

John along with his brother Martin inherited their father's farm in 1825, he later sold his portion and bought land to the north in Warren County. Soon afterward, John and his family headed out to Missouri in May, 1847, traveling by team to Parkersburg, Virginia (now West Virginia), where they took a boat and traveled by water. They reached the western part of Missouri in July and first located at Fillmore, Andrew County, Missouri, where he homesteaded 160 acres of timberland, (this farm was sold in 1980 by it's current owner, Kenneth Clizer to the Wood Family). See link below of Andrew County map.

John was not long permited to enjoy his new home, as his health failed and he died October 18, 1847 at the young age of 52. His remains were enterred upon the family cemetery on the farm. John Clizer was a soldier of the war of 1812, a democrat in politics and an upright honorable man.


1. JAMES MATHIAS CLISER, born May 16 1829, Page County, Virginia. Died Feb 19, 1901. Married to Louisa Best 12-28-1854. They lived in Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri.

See link below for this family line.

2. LOUISA CLIZER, birth date unknown

3. CASSANDRA CLIZER, born circa 1830. Married to John Brand.

4. SARAH (SALLIE) M. CLIZER, born 1831 in Page County, Va. Married to William Arthur Gibbons on 9-22-1868 in Andrew County, Mo. They headed west in May 1880 to Washington. See link below on her move west.

5. JOHN E. CLIZER, born October 15, 1842 in Page County, Virginia. Died 10-25-1924 in Latah, Washington. Married Nancy Walker on 8-16-1867 in Andrew County, Mo. They also teamed up in May 1880 and headed west.

Click on link below on their move west.

Click on link below for John E. Clizer family line:

6. JOSHUA WOOD CLIZER, born 1837 in Page County, Virginia, Died 11-2-1899 in Andrew County, Mo. Married Mildred Foultz.

Click on link below for more information on this line.

7. ELIZA CLIZER, born circa 1838. Died 1880

8. CHARLES B. CLIZER, born 1843 in Page County, Virginia. He served in the Civil War. As a soldier he lost both his arm and leg.

9. JULIA S. CLIZER, born 1845, died 1865

10. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN CLIZER, born 3-31-1847 in Page Co., Va. Moved to Missouri with family in 1847 as an infant. Married Susan Pennille Howell 1-27-1867. They moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1880. Benjamin died 2-17-1910 in Tekoa, Washington. See link below on their move west.



MARTIN CLIZER, the eldest son born to Mathias & Barbara Kleiser / Cliser, was born January 1, 1792 in Shenandoah County, Virginia. Martin was raised in farming and worked in the blacksmith trade. As a young man he attended the Hawksbill Reformed Lutheran church where records spell his name also as Kleiser & Gleiser.

See link below of Martin's wife Sarah Fletcher Cliser, dated 1875

Martin, along with his brothers, John and David inherited the farm from their father in 1825. Shortly thereafter, Martin married to Sarah Fletcher December 25, 1826. From this union Martin and Sarah reared 9 children.

Martin later purchased 1,166 acres of land in 1833 near Thornton Gap. This very land was later divided between three of his children, Martin Mathias, Ambrose George and Barbara Bowen. each one received approximately 400 acres.

Martin passed in 1849, 2 years after his brother John Clizer passed away in 1847. Martin Clizer's wife Sarah, lived with her son Samuel D. Cliser until her death around 1880.

Martin and Sarah are buried on their old farm, which is now part of the Shenandoah National Park. Even though they physcially lived in Page County, most all of the legal records of land deeds, marriages, etc are in Rappahannock County, Virginia, town of Washington.


1. BARBARA JANE CLISER, born 1830. Married Jacob Bowen on 11-14-1882. There are several books written and are available at the gift shop at Shenandoah National Park mentioning Barbara or Barby Cliser would feed the troops at her place during the Civil War.

2. JOHN WILLIAM CLISER, born 1832. Married to Jane Agnes Hisle on 2-21-1878.

3. SAMUEL DAVID CLISER, born 12-30-1833. A soldier in the Civil War, 12th Virginia Calvary, 12th Regiment, Company G. Died 2-19-1912. Married Laura Shenk, divorced in 1910.

Samuel David Cliser, born 1833, son of Martin & Sarah Clizer. Samuel was both a farmer as well as a school teacher. Married to Laura Shenk in 1873. They had six children. 1) Herbert Melanchton Cliser, born 9-6-1874. 2) Caroline Mary Cliser, born 1876, died 1878. Twins 3 & 4) Quinton Samuel Cliser & Zeumon Cliser, born 1880, died 1881. 5) Arthur V. Cliser, born 7-31-1883, died 9-10-1883. 6) Ernest Calum Cliser, born 7-6-1884, died 2-22-1969. Married Julia Faust, lived in Illinois.

Herbert Melanchton Cliser, born 9-6-1874, he was the son of Samuel & Laura Cliser. Melanchton was a school teacher at the Rocky Branch school. He later became well known during the late 1920's early 1930's as he fought for his land that was later taken over to in the establishment of the Shenandoah National Park. See CLISER EVICTION STORY LINK BELOW:

4. AMBROSE GEORGE CLISER born 3-14-1836. A soldier in the Civil War. 12th Virginia Calvary, 12th Regiment, Company G. Married Martha Jane Mussellman, they both lived in Kimball, Virginia. Ambrose was a school teacher. Ambrose Died 2-14-1914.

see link below of their house in Kimball, Kuray, Virginia

5. LUCY MARGARET CLISER, born: 1842. Married William Franklin Bowen on 1-22-1873.

6. MARTIN MATHIAS CLISER, born 8-4-1846 and a soldier during the Civil War. He died 2-17-1895. Married to Gracy Ann Mildred Pullen on 1-3-1877. They lived on Thornton Gap and raised ten children there.

Martin Mathias Cliser, born 8-4-1846, died 2-17-1895, is son of Martin & Sarah Clizer. They had eight children and lived on Thornton Gap. 1) Sarah E. Cliser, born 11-10-1878, died 3-10-1937. 2) Louisa Della Cliser, born 7-8-1880, died 4-24-1934. 3) Melvin Mathias Cliser, born 3-13-1882, died 8-24-1886. 4) Emma Susan Cliser, born 1-22-1884, died 7-9-1958. 5) Anna Mary Cliser, born 9-29-1886, died 7-8-1895. 6) Elmer Lee Cliser, born 9-12-1888, died 5-25-1952, 7) Oliver Jett Cliser, born 1-1-1891, died 4-24-1970. 8) James E. Cliser, born 3-13-1893, died 2-17-1894.

Link to Martin Mathias Cliser section

Oliver Jett Cliser, born 1-1-1891, died 4-24-1970, the 7th born to Martin Mathias Cliser & Gracie Pullen Cliser. Oliver married Elizabeth Jewell on 4-28-1910 and reared a family of fourteen children. They all attended the Rocky Branch one room school in Kimball, Virginia. 1) Sarah Kathleen Cliser, born 2-13-1912. 2) Amy Bertie Cliser, born 3-19-1913. 3) Elbert Lee Cliser, born 3-31-1915, died 10-5-1981. 4) Melvin Martin Cliser, born 3-2-1918 5) Neva V. Cliser, born 11-23-1916. 6) Mary E. Cliser, born 8-20-1920, died 1-29-1964. 7) Grace Marie Cliser, born 2-4-1922 8) Elsie Marie Cliser, born 9-14-1923, 9) John Russell Cliser, born 3-14-1925. 10) Bernard William Cliser, born 6-12-1927, died 2003. 11) Dorothy L. Cliser, born 3-6-1929. 12) James Vincent Cliser, born 9-24-1930, died 6-18-1973. 13) Fern Elizabeth Cliser, born 9-12-1932 14) Franklin Delano Cliser, born 6-13-1934

Click on link below for Oliver Jett Cliser line:

Click on link below for Elmer Lee Cliser line:

7. ASSINETH CLISER, born 1847. Married james Addison Fletcher on 8-17-1884.

8. EDITH ANN CLISER, born 1848, married to Lorenzo Mussellman. Later moved to Newark, Licking County, Ohio.

9. CHARLES CLISER, born circa 1848.