The principal source used for this web site was the "Vanleer Papers" stored in the vault at the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, PA.   This research was done by Mrs. Ella Wall Van Leer in the late 1930's.  She left a type-written, draft copy at the Historical Society.  She apparently never completed the final documentation so that this information has never been published.

A second important source was a paper-back book by Estelle Cremers, Reading Furnace 1736.    The image of Capt. Samuel Van Leer was taken from this reference with permission of  Wayne Van Leer Jones.   For the Van Leer information, this book also relies heavily on the "Vanleer Papers" at the Chester County Historical Society.

A copy of Reading Furnace 1736 can be purchased for $10 plus shipping charge of $3.20 from the author at:

    Ms. Estelle Cremers
    1801 Ridge Road
    Pottstown, PA 19465.

Critical genealogical data  has been independently confirmed.  The original documents can be accessed from the following table.   

In addition, several readily available documents are referenced throughout the web site.  Any questions regarding information in the web site should be directed to


Ref. #

Title/Souce Description

Genealogical Importance

1 Zurich State Archives   Coat of arms confirmation.  
2 Historisch-Biographisches der Schweiz Ancient Valär family of the Grisons, Switzerland. Hans Vollers was either a kinsman or bondsman of this family.
3 Zurich article on von Lährs Connects Hans Vollers, hero of Grandson with son Kaspar, a gold merchant and great-grandson, Johann Theobald, family's first scholar.
4 Hessische Staatsarchiv Darmstatdt (Germany) Documents Johann Theobald von Löhr's career as a clergyman in Germany--tying German von Löhrs to the Swiss von Lährs.
5 Vanleer Papers - Europe, Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA. Vanleer lineage "wheel" and notes of European ancestors References sources for coat-of-arms, lambskin certificate,  and details European ancestors.
6 Chester County Archives and Records, Book C, will of John George Van Leer dated Sept. 8, 1740 Proves transition of spelling of name from Johann Georg von Löhr to John George Van Leer.  Names son, Bernard.  Seal is consistent with coat-of-arms granted in Switzerland in 1488.
7 "The Medical Van Leer Family of Pennsylvania and New Jersey," by Dorothy I. Lansing, MD from Transactions and Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 4 Ser., Vol. 38, No. 1, July 1970 Documents medical education and practice of Bernardhus Van Leer and his sons during the American Colonial and Revolutionary periods.
8 History of Chester County, on file at the Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA. Includes biography of Bernardhus Van Leer prepared while at least one of his children was still living and able to contribute to the history.  


Letter from Isaac W. Van Leer dated March 27, 1877.  Original filed at Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA Gives insight into character of Samuel Van Leer and Anthony Wayne.


Chester County intestate document #3349 filed in Pikeland, PA in 1782 Establishes Samuel Culbertson, British prisoner-of-war and patriot, as father of Elizabeth Culbertson, wife of Isaac Van Leer.


"Drouillard Papers," Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN, 1895 Reviews genealogy of Van Leers, Waynes,  and Culbertsons.  Good information on years the Van Leer family spent in Tennessee.


1991 Letter from George Jackson, President, Cumberland Furnace Historical Village, Inc. Dickson, TN Discusses law suits in Tennessee and burial location of  Isaac and Elizabeth Culbertson Van Leer.


Bill of Sale, 1856, Fannin County Court House Black-and-white reminder of slave-owning as part of the Van Leer family history.


John O. Austin Letter, April 3, 1907 Recounts Austin family history from about 1750.