Andrew Gerner was born on November 7, 1839, in Merchingen, Baden, Germany, the son of Andreas Gerner and Christina Gramlich. He was baptized on November 10, 1839, at Evangelisch, Adelsheim, Nosbach church. He received his religous training in the Lutheran faith.
Miss Sophia Barbara Kugler was born in Leibenstadt, Adelsheim, Germany, the daughter of Michael Kugler,and Sophia Barbara (Kunkel) Kugler on October 19, 1842. Here she received her common school education, her instructions in the Christian religion, and was confirmed at the age of fourteen.
On December 7, 1866, Andrew Gerner and Sophia Barbara Kugler were married in Leibenstadt, Adelsheim, Germany. They then moved to a farm near Leibenstadt. The marriage was blessed with seven children. Andrew Jr., Christina, John, Christian, Mary, Caroline, and Sophia.
In 1885, Andrew and Caroline, the eldest children, found sponsorship from the United States, and came to America. Both of them then worked and lived in a bakery in New Ark, New Jersey, as the owners of the bakery had been their sponsor.
On March 3, 1886, the rest of the family came to the United States, joined the two children already here, and came to Benson, Illinois. They lived in Benson for three years, and during this time Andrew worked as a blacksmith. The family then moved to a farm just north of town. After a few years, they moved to a farm four miles west of Minonk.They spent the rest of their farming days on this farm. The farm is now known as the Parks farm.
Just across the road from the Gerner farm, Michael and Katherine Barth lived with their twelve children. And as chance would have it, the four Gerner girls married four of the Barth boys. Christina, the eldest girl, married Henry, Mary Elizabeth married Daniel, Caroline married William, and Sophia married Carl.
All four couples located in the Minonk area. Christina and Henry farmed west of Minonk about 6 miles. Mary and Daniel farmed about 3 miles west of Minonk. Caroline and William farmed south of Minonk about 6 miles and Sophia and Carl farmed southwest of Benson first, then moved to a farm 4 miles west and 1/2 mile south of Minonk. Three of the farms are still in the family.
John and Christian Gerner also married sisters. John married Phoebe Knapp, and Christian married Elizabeth Knapp.
Andrew married Maria Hertle.
Andrew and John, with their families, each moved to a farm near Lowell, Indiana.The descendants of the two brothers are still in Indiana and surrounding areas.
As of today, Andrew Gerner Sr. has 708 descendants.