The Ancestors: Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ (Part II)

After Hans Jacob HONEGGER came to America in 1749 he worked off the debts he had accumulated for his passage as well as that of his wife and child who died at sea.

In 1753 at the age of 34 years, he married his second wife Maria GÖTZ (Goetz) in Philadelphia. Their first three sons Jacob, Henry, and Frederick (my 4th great-grandfather) were all born in Philadelphia.

The year following Frederick’s birth, the family of five were in Frederick County, Maryland, where Jacob “bought” land in the spring of 1758 and in the winter of 1761.

Where are the records?

In March 2016 I wrote about how I had found land deeds for another ancestor in Maryland. Following my own directions (it had been nearly four years since I used the site), I went to

My first attempts to get into the site on 27 January 2020 brought up a “This site can’t be reached” window. I tried again the next morning and was able to view and download two records I was interested in. For the past week, I’ve been trying to get onto the site but all attempts have failed. I suspect access may not be available to me as I’m in Europe and my getting in on 28 January 2020 was pure luck. I wrote to the Maryland State Archives help desk about the problem. They have forwarded the information to their IT team to see whether there’s a problem that’s within their ability to fix. Keeping my fingers crossed.

I had planned on transcribing the land deeds I found for Hans Jacob HONEGGER and sharing them in this post. That was not to be.

The handwriting and text were, to say the least, difficult. As I worked on the transcription of the 1758 land deed for 56 acres in Frederick County, Maryland, acquired by my ancestor, I found I needed to refer to the 1765 land deed in which he sold the land. As I read the 1765 land deed I found he was selling three tracts of land for a total of 121 acres. I was missing land deeds for two tracts of land (51 acres and 14 acres) acquired in December 1761.

My not being able to access the Maryland State Archives’ site for land deeds frustrated me so much that I put off the work of transcribing the two deeds I’d been able to access.

I went to the Facebook group Maryland Genealogy Network to ask members if they were having problems with the site. All who replied were US-based and were able to access the site. One of the members of the group offered to send me the missing deed(s).

I now have three deeds, each about three pages long. The transcriptions will be done later. For now, I will share the information I gleaned from reading the records.

Jacob HONOCOR acquires 56 acres in Frederick County, Maryland

An indenture dated 10 April 1758 shows Jacob HONOCOR acquired 56 acres in the county of Frederick in Maryland.1

The beginning of the 1758 Indenture courtesy of Maryland State Archives’ MDLANDREC.NET (see footnote 1)
  • Indenture: dated 10 April 1758
  • Grantor: Thomas Taylor, farmer, Frederick County
  • Grantee: Jacob Honocor, carpenter, Frederick County
  • Amount: …in consideration of the sum of twenty-five pounds…
  • Partial description: 56 acres…a part of a tract of land called the resurvey on part of Addition Hazell Thickett in the county afsd…
  • On the back of the deed was the following endorsement:
    Received this 16th day of March 1758 from Jacob Honocor 25 pounds.
  • Caleb Taylor, the wife of Thomas Taylor, acknowledged her consent
  • Alienation Fine: on 10 April 1758 John Darnell received from Jacob Honocor two shillings and three pence sterling as an alienation fine on the 56 acres of Land by Order of Edward Loyd Esqr. Agent of His Lordship the Right Honourable the Lord Proprietary of Maryland
  • Clerk: John Darnell – witnessed the deed, the endorsement, and duty paid the same day

Jacob HONOCOR acquires 51 acres and 14 acres in Frederick County

An indenture dated 3 December 1761 shows Jacob HONOCOR acquired 65 acres in the county of Frederick in Maryland.2

The beginning of the 1761 Indenture courtesy of Maryland State Archives’ MDLANDREC.NET (see footnote 2)
  • Indenture: dated 3 December 1761
  • Grantor: Thomas Taylor, farmer, Frederick County
  • Grantee: Jacob Honocor, carpenter, Frederick County
  • Amount: eighteen pounds
  • Partial description: 51 acres…a part of a tract of a resurvey on Mount Pleasant
  • Partial description: 14 acres…another parcel of land of part of a resurvey on Addition to Hazell Thickett
  • On the back of the deed was the following endorsement:
    Received this 3rd day of December 1761 from Jacob Honocor 18 pounds.
  • Caleb Taylor, the wife of Thomas Taylor, acknowledged her consent
  • Alienation Fine: on 3 December 1761 John Darnell received from Jacob Honocor two shillings seven pence half penny sterling as an alienation fine on the 65 acres of Land by Order of Edward Loyd Esqr. Agent of His Lordship the Right Honourable the Lord Proprietary of Maryland
  • Clerk: John Darnell – witnessed the deed, the endorsement, and duty paid the same day

Jacob HONNICOR parts with 121 acres in Frederick County

An indenture dated 25 March 1765 shows Jacob HONOCOR did “give, grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeoff and confirm unto” Frederick Eyson 121 acres in the county of Frederick in Maryland.3

The beginning of the 1765 Indenture courtesy of Maryland State Archives’ MDLANDREC.NET (see footnote 3)
  • Indenture: dated 25 March 1765
  • Grantor: Jacob Honnicor, carpenter, Frederick County
  • Grantee: Frederick Eyson, blacksmith, Frederick County
  • Amount: one hundred and twenty-eight pounds fifteen shillings
  • Partial description: 56 acres…a part of a tract of land called the resurvey on part of Addition Hazell Thickett
  • Partial description: 51 acres…a part of a tract of a resurvey on Mount Pleasant
  • Partial description: 14 acres…another parcel of land of part of a resurvey on Addition to Hazell Thickett
  • Signature: the facsimile of the signature reads: Jacob Honeger
  • On the back of the deed was the following endorsement:
    Received this 20th day of March 1765 from Frederick Eison one hundred and twenty-eight pounds fifteen shillings
  • Mary, the wife of Jacob Honnicor, acknowledged her Right of Dower and consent
  • Alienation Fine: on 25 March 1765  Frederick Eysen paid four shillings ten pence half penny sterling as an alienation fine on the 121 acres of Land by Order of Edward Loyd Esqr. Agent of His Lordship the Right Honourable the Lord Proprietary of Maryland
  • Clerk: J. W. Darnell – witnessed the deed, the endorsement, and duty paid the same day

What is an alienation fine and did Jacob own the land?

Maryland was governed under the proprietary system that gave ownership of the soil and jurisdiction over it to the Lord Proprietor. New settlers paid purchase or caution money for the land. In the early days, caution money was at first set at 200 pounds of tobacco for every hundred acres. Land acquired was not owned. It was held in common socage from the Lord Proprietor. Whenever land granted to a tenant was transferred or conveyed to another person, an alienation fine was required to be paid to the Lord Proprietor. The amount of the fine usually was equivalent to a year’s rent.4

I had not planned on doing a second part to the story of Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GÖTZ. However, I wanted to share these land records with other HONAKER descendants. Although I haven’t included full images or complete transcriptions of the records, the footnotes contain enough information to look up the records.

As I was finishing up to this post I received a reply from the MSA Helpdesk. It was pure luck on my part that I was able to access the site last week as out-of-country access to MDLANREC has been restricted due to security concerns.  

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. MDLandRec.Net – A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland (database with images), Maryland State Archives, Annapolis (online, MSA CE 108-3, Frederick County Court (Land Records) 1756-1761, Deed Book F, folio 0429-0431 [3 images]. 1858 Land Deed for 56 acres. ( : accessed 28 January 2020). 
  2. Ibid., MSA CE 108-4, Frederick County Court (Land Records) 1761-1762, Deed Book G, folio 0321 to 0323 [3 images]. 1761 Land Deed for two tracts of land, 51 acres and 14 acres. ( : accessed 4 February 2020). 
  3. Ibid., MSA CE 108-6, Frederick County Court (Land Records) 1763-1767, Deed Book J, folio 1100-1102 [3 images]. 1765 Land Deed for three tracts of land totaling 121 acres. ( : accessed 28 January 2020). 
  4. Elisabeth Hartsook, Gust Skordas, Land Office and Prerogative Court records of colonial Maryland (Annapolis, Maryland : Hall of Records Commission, 1946); imaged, FamilySearch  ( : accessed 6 February 2020) > “Land Office and Prerogative Court records of colonial Maryland” catalog entry > “click here” > “View All Pages 127 pages.” > page 13. 

The Ancestors: Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ (396+397)

Of my known 5th great-grandparents, Hans Jacob HONEGGER (1718-1796) was the only one of his generation on my paternal side to have not been born in America.

[Note: This is excluding the possibility of an immigrant in my unknown DEMPSEY line. The parents of my 2nd great-grandfather William A. W. DEMPSEY, born abt. 1822 in Virginia, are still unknown. He did not live to be enumerated on the 1870 census which included columns for mother and father of foreign birth or the 1880 census which included the birthplace of mother and father. It is therefore unknown if his parents were foreigners.]

The Harbor of Philadelphia seen from New Jersey Shore, based on Scull’s Map of 1754 (From Etching in The Historical Society of Pennsylvania) published in “Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Volume II” (Strassburger, 1934) Courtesy of the Internet Archive

Few families know their history as well as the descendants of Hans Jacob Honegger (Honaker), a Swiss-German immigrant who sailed to Philadelphia in 1749. ~ Honaker Family in America

Hans Jacob HONEGGER came to America in 1749. He traveled from Basel, Switzerland to Rotterdam where he boarded a ship to Philadelphia by way of Cowes with his young wife and baby son. When he debarked from the Crown he was alone as his wife and child perished during the journey. Only three years later my sixth-great-grandparents Johann Jacob RUPP and Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER would arrive in Philadelphia in 1752 also coming from Rotterdam via Cowes with three young boys. Similarities in the lives of the HONEGGER and the RUPP family were helpful in my research for this post.

Not a brick wall!

I wrote Hans Jacob HONEGGER – not really a brick wall in 2013. A short piece in which I included a wish for the Swiss records to be available online at FamilySearch. To this day, I am still waiting to be able to follow up on the research done by Nadine W. Larson.1

The National Association of Hans Jacob Honegger Families has been sending their newsletter to me since the end of 2000. With a PDF collection of the newsletters from 1992-2008 found online, my collection is complete. I also have a PDF of Honaker Family in America edited by Frieda Patrick Davison2 as well as several updates to the book.

With all of this information, what is there left to write about? Then I realized I don’t have a single original document to show Hans Jakob HONEGGER even existed. Everything I have is based on information found by others.

I went in search of records – original records or close-to-original records – that would at least document a few things in the life of my immigrant, Hans Jacob HONEGGER.

The 1749 signature of Hans Jacob HONEGGER

I followed the directions in my post from February 2016, How to Find Your 18th Century Immigrant’s Signature to find the facsimile of the signature my immigrant left on the oath of abjuration (List C) when he landed in Philadelphia on 30 August 1749.

The introduction of the book Pennsylvania German Pioneers in which it was found includes this explanation on how the facsimiles were made.

A brief explanation is herewith offered by the editor as to the manner in which the lists were reproduced. There were two methods of reproduction available, either by half tones or by line etchings. After some experimenting the latter method was chosen, as it seemed to offer several advantages. In the first place, it was possible by this method to remove most of the numerous inkspots, which deface so many of the lists. Then, it enabled the editor to strengthen many thin, hardly discernible lines, which would not have appeared on the half tones at all. And lastly, in the case of many names, which could be read only with great difficulty, with the help of the magnifying glass, the editor was able to trace these names and thus make them stand out from the mass of surrounding inkspots. The latter were then removed by Japanese white. But no names were touched until the whole list had been deciphered and gone over again and again. Many hours of tedious and painstaking work were thus spent in making the lists readable.3

I located the ship List C for the Crown4 in the book and zoomed the page out to get a good screenshot of the signature. I then used PicMonkey to erase the signatures above and below his. I also cleaned up along the lines of the loop of the letter J in Jacob as the next signer had signed his first name Martin with the t in the loop. I used Amberly’s Amazing Signature Silhouettes for the signature presentation.

Hans Jacob HONEGGER marries Maria GÖTZ in 1753

Following several years of working off his debts from the crossing, Hans Jacob HONEGGER, a widower, married Maria GÖTZ (Goetz) on 8 July 1753 in the First Reformed Church in Philadelphia.5

The parents of Maria GÖTZ were not named in the transcription entry. There may be a mention of her in Nadine W. Larson’s book but I have not been able to obtain a copy of this spiral-bound book or the scanned copy on Multimedia CD as the vendor doesn’t ship to my area.

I leave this question open to any of my readers who may have more information on my 5th great-grandmother Maria GÖTZ.

The last document in the life of Hans Jacob HONEGGER

The Last Will and Testament of Jacob HONEEKAR6 was found in Wythe County, Virginia. I used a backdoor link to a collection on Ancestry which is not in the catalog. I credit Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees for sharing the tip in a post on her blog.

1796 Last Will and Testament of Jacob Honeekar, image from

In the name of God amen This twelfth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety (six crossed out) five Jacob Honeekar of the County of Wythe and State of Virginia being at present in a low state of health but of perfect soundness of mind and memory and calling to mind the mortality of my body that it is appointed once for all men to die and to return to the earth out of which they were taken do make and ordain this my last Will and testament. (That is to say) First and principally I recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty god that gave it having firm faith and hope in the resurrection of both soul and body at the last day and next. I leave my body to care and discretion of surviving friends to be buried in a decent and Christian like manner And as touching such worldly estate God hath blessd me with I give and bequeath in manner and form following (to wit) And whereas I have disposed of my Lands and plantation where I now live by Deed in fee simple to Henry Honeekar and his heirs forever the same being hole of Lands I possessed I can make no further mention for the same more than Rank his bo?? for the same amongst my outstanding debts.
My will and desire is that after my discease my beloved wife Mary shall enjoy and possess all and every of my remaining estate during her natural life to her own use and behoofe at her own discrestion and after her discease what is then remaining to be divided amongst all my children and their legal representative of such as might in this time Die (in the following manner) That is to say to my sons Henry Honeekar, Jacob Honeekar, Nicholas Honeekar, Joseph Honeekar,

and Martin Honeekar. These are to have and possess double as much as these children not yet mentioned (that is to say) Frederick, Peter, Benjamin, Isaac, Abraham, Elisabeth, Mary, Christiana, and Anna. And as to my outstanding debts the principal that is Due me is in the hands of my son Henry who hath purchased my Lands (as taken notice of above) my will and desire is that my wife may be supported out of sd bonds due from my son Henry Honacker in and sums not exceeding the tenor of the bonds given one from my said son Henry which was thirty (fifty-five crossed out) pounds per annum lawful money of the State above mentioned which bonds is to have due credit for any sums drawn for the support of my sd wife and if any of those moneys be remaing (sic) in the hands of my said son Henry at the decease of my sd wife that then the balance due thereon shall be brought into the estate according to the laws and usuages of the sd state of Virga. and be disposed of as above mentioned amongst all my children and their legal representatives.
I likewise appoint Mrss. David Sayer and Francis J. Carter of the sd County of Wythe Executors of this my last Will and Testament and I do hereby revoke and disannul all and every other former will or wills ratifying and confirming this and confirming (crossed out) no other to be my last WIll and testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my Seale this day and year above written.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jacob (his mark H) Honeekar Seal
Signed Sealed and acknowledged
by the above Testator Jacob Honeekar 
in presence of
Geo. Carter
John Allen
James Foster
William Foster

At a Court held for the County of Wythe on Tuesday the 10th day of May 1796. This last Will and Testament of Jacob Honeekar Decd. was exhibited in Court and proven by the Oaths of George Carter, James Foster and William Foster three Witnesses thereto and ordered to be Recorded.
Samuel Crockett (Clerk)

Hans Jacob HONEGGER, here seen as Jacob HONEEKAR, mentioned his fourteen living children in his will making further research so much easier for his descendants.

His first and last signature in America

I began this post with the first signature, albeit a facsimile, of my 5th great-grandfather when he landed in America in 1749 and ended it with the last, his mark – the letter H, on his will in 1795. Between these two, he produced land records which may also include his signature.

Stay tuned for the transcriptions of two land deeds I found for Hans Jacob HONEGGER while he was living in Maryland in 1758 and 1765.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Nadine W. Larson, Hans Jacob Honegger: From Switzerland to America, Stevenson’s Genealogy Center, 1987 – 247 pages. 
  2. Frieda Patrick Davison, ed., <I>Honaker Family in America</i>, copyright 1998 by The National Association of Hans Jacob Honaker Families; Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, 1998. 
  3. Strassburger, Ralph Beaver, and William John Hinke, Pennsylvania German pioneers: a publication of the original lists of arrivals in the port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808, Norristown, Penn: Pennsylvania German Society, 1934, Introduction, page v (digital images);,  ( accessed 26 January 2020). 
  4. Ibid., page 439. 
  5. Pennsylvania German Marriages, Marriages and Marriage Evidence in Pennsylvania German Churches, (compiled by Donna R. Irish and published by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Maryland, 1984), page 333, “185: Hoonecker, Jacob, wid’r, Maria Götz 8 Jul 1753.”, Transcription of microfilm records of First Reformed Church, Philadelphia, 1748-1831: Vol. I Marriages by Rev. Michael Schlatter, Part 8, Roll 136-137. The seventh item on film. Copied 1939. The microfilm rolls are not available. 
  6. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (images),, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Wythe County, Virginia, Wills, Vol 1-3, 1790-1831, Volume 1, page 39-41, image 181+182 of 863. 1796 Last will and testament of Jacob Honaker. ( : accessed 22 January 2020). UPDATE (18 February 2020): The database on Ancestry is not showing images of the records. Unknown if this is a temporary issue or the images have been removed permanently as it is not a collection found in the catalog.  

Wowsers! Ancestry Fixed My ThruLines

Last Sunday I gave feedback to Ancestry on my ThruLines™. As I was writing the feedback message I realized it might be good material for a blog post. At the end of the feedback message, I let them know I might use it in a post.

Dear Ancestry, My Feedback on the Step Relationship Bug in ThruLines sat around in my drafts until Wednesday. I took a few moments to check my ThruLines™ as I’ve done every few days since they came out – getting more and more irritated.

Wowsers! Those ugly grrr!! images I’d added to my great-grandfather’s step-mother and all of her ancestors are missing.

Could it be Ancestry took my feedback into consideration and got the step-relationships fixed? Had they been ready to roll out a fix before or after I sent my feedback? Does it matter? Well, yes, I would like to know why it happened so quickly following the feedback I gave. I want to know if this step relationship bug in the ThruLines™ was solved for everyone or just for me.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

I’m seeing Milla Susan PETERS as my great-great-grandmother. I’ve been hoping to see her ever since they gave me Nancy Elizabeth JOHNSON, the 2nd wife of Gordon Washington ROOP, as a potential 2nd-great-grandmother showing half-cousins as full cousins.

Why, you ask, was I so excited about one ancestor being corrected? One right ancestor means I should be seeing her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents in my ThruLines™. All of these ancestors are from lines with many descendants who have had their DNA tested.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

Although Milla Susan’s ThruLines shows only two DNA matches, the next generations have many more matches:

  • 107 DNA matches through Jordan N. PETERS (father of Milla Susan)
  • 33 DNA matches through Rachel PROFFITT (mother of Milla Susan)
  • 68 DNA matches through Zachariah PETERS (father of Jordan)
  • 129 DNA matches through Kesiah LIVELY (mother of Jordan)
  • 113 DNA matches through David PROFFITT (father of Rachel)
  • 110 DNA matches through Sarah COCKRAM (mother of Rachel)
  • 123 DNA matches through Joseph LIVELY (father of Kesiah)
  • 128 DNA matches through Mary L. CASH (mother of Kesiah)
  • 97 DNA matches through Augustine “Austin” PROFFITT (father of David)
  • 97 DNA matches through Elizabeth “Betsy” ROBERTSON (mother of David)
  • 231 DNA matches through Edward COCKRAM (father of Sarah)
  • 232 DNA matches through Mary WORTHAM (mother of Sarah)

It’ll take time to confirm each match is a descendant of the ancestor he/she is listed under as the lines down are only as reliable as the trees ThruLines™ uses to make the connection. The large number of matches for the PETERS, LIVELY, PROFFITT, and COCKRAM lines was expected due to the families being large and having many descendants.

But wait! Not only was the step-relationship corrected for Milla Susan PETERS, but I am now seeing  <<drumroll>>

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

William A. W. DEMPSEY and Sarah Ann WOOD as my 2nd great-grandparents. They’ve been missing from the ThruLines™ since they came out.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

William is my most frustrating brick wall. Sarah Ann’s branch and all matches associated with it are very important. I hope they will help me to sort out all the matches for her side.  This would leave only matches which will point to William’s unknown parents and ancestry. At least that is the way I believe it should work. ThruLines™ is showing potential parents for him which I cannot accept at this time.

Sarah Ann WOOD’s ancestry is bringing in many matches which will also have to be verified.

  • 41 DNA matches through William A. W. DEMPSEY.
  • 45 DNA matches through Sarah Ann WOOD (wife of William A. W.)
  • 87 DNA matches through Elijah WOOD (father of Sarah Ann)
  • 93 DNA matches through Rachel HONAKER (mother of Sarah Ann)
  • 92 DNA matches through William WOOD (father of Elijah)
  • 90 DNA matches through Mary Ann McGRAW (mother of Elijah)
  • 162 DNA matches through Frederick HONAKER (father of Rachel)
  • 154 DNA matches through Rachel WISEMAN (mother of Rachel)
  • 70 DNA matches through Bailey WOOD (father of William)
  • 95 DNA matches through Nancy _____ (mother of William)
  • 147 DNA matches through Martin McGRAW (father of Mary Ann)
  • 109 DNA matches through Margaret “Polly” _____ (mother of Mary Ann)
  • 173 DNA matches through Hans Jacob HONEGGER (father of Frederick)
  • 30 DNA matches through Maria GOETZ (mother of Frederick)
  • 202 DNA matches through Isaac WISEMAN (father of Rachel)
  • 204 DNA matches through Elizabeth DAVIS (mother of Rachel)

Another New Feature

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

ThruLines™ are now connected to the tree linked to a DNA test. On the pedigree view of the tree, there is now a DNA symbol in on the left to turn on this feature which adds a little blue ThruLines™ icon next to the ancestors’ names. William, Sarah, and Milla are ThruLines™ ancestors but in the pedigree view above they haven’t been updated. I discovered this about the same time my ThruLines™ were fixed on Wednesday.

Did the feedback I sent on Sunday to Ancestry on the ThruLines™ help them to get this fixed? I will likely never know. But I believe this was a lesson in giving the best feedback possible to help the team to get ThruLines™ working correctly. As I wrote in my feedback to them, ThruLines™ could be a powerful tool.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

52 Ancestors: #32 Did Frederick HONAKER Use An Alias?

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #32 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #32 Did Frederick HONAKER Use An Alias?

2014-08-08 12.35.24My fourth great-grandfather Frederick HONAKER’s father Hans Jacob HONEGGER emigrated from Switzerland to America in 1749. Hans Jacob left Switzerland with his young wife and one year old son. Both perished at sea and Hans Jacob arrived alone in Philadelphia.[1]

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

Frederick HONAKER was born about 1757 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, to Hans Jacob HONEGGER (1718-1796) and his second wife Maria GOETZ (1737-1805). At the time of Frederick’s birth his parents had been married 4 years and had two sons, Jacob (1755) and Henry (1756).

Frederick County, Maryland

Around 1758 Frederick’s father moved the family to Frederick County, Maryland. Hans Jacob leased 56 acres of land owned by Lord Baltimore at Mount Pleasant on 16 March 1758 for £25. He brought his land holdings up to 121 acres on 3 December 1761 by adding two adjacent tracts of 51 and 14 acres for £18. Not only did he increase his land holdings, he also increased the size of his family giving Frederick two more brothers, Peter (1762) and Benjamin (1764).

Land was getting scarce in Frederick County, Maryland, and the 121 acres of land that Frederick’s father had leased would not be enough to support the growing family. The 7-year stopover in Maryland ended when Hans Jacob and Maria executed a deed for the three tracts of land for £108.15 on 20 March 1765 to Frederick Eyson and headed for the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

Shenandoah Valley in Virginia

Frederick was eight years old when the family made the move to Frederick County, Virginia. They settled on Passage Creek, at what is now Waterlick, where Hans Jacob bought 97 acres on 2 August 1765. Five more siblings were born: Joseph (1765), Nicholas (1767), Mary (1768), Elizabeth (1769), and Martin (1770). In the early 1770s Hans Jacob began the lengthy process of acquiring a land grant from Lord Fairfax. Most of this land had been originally surveyed for Lord Fairfax by George Washington. On 5 March 1773 the grant for 121 acres was deeded to him. It adjoined his 97 acres tract and brought his holdings to 218 acres.

Frederick now had seven brothers and two sisters and the family was still growing. In 1772 the area of Frederick County where the HONAKER family was living became Dunmore County. Frederick’s brothers Abraham (1774) and Isaac (1775) and his sister Anna (1777) were born in this new county. In 1778 the name of the county was changed to Shenandoah County.

American Revolutionary War 19 Apr 1775 – 14 Jan 1784

Honaker, Fredrick Page 1Honaker, Fredrick Page 2“His [Frederick’s] early adult life involved him in an historic event of great importance to America. At about the same time that General George Washington and the Continental Army were emerging from a terrible winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Gen. George Rogers Clark was dispatched from Virginia with a small military force to break British control in the so-called Northwest Territory in the Illinois countery. Among the 178 recruits were three of Hans Jacob Honaker’s sons, Frederick, Henry, and Peter. Frederick was the first of the brothers to enlist with General Clark on 29 August 1777, in Capt. Thomas Buck’s Dunmore Militia in Woodstock, Dunmore (later Shenandoah) County, Virginia while his brothers enlisted on 1 March 1778. The determined force set out from Redstone on the Monongahela River in the spring of 1778, reaching the present site of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky. It continued marching for six exhausting days to Fort Kaskaskia, Illinois, through tackless wilderness inhabited by hostile Indians, in icy, high waters sometimes up to the men’s shoulders, with rations so short that the men were two days without food.”[2]

I am grateful to the researchers who have worked on the HONAKER family and have left a wealth of information. When no citations are given I cannot take the information at face value without searching for documents that confirm the given history. And this is good because it helps me make new discoveries!

Contrary to the above, I found that Frederick and Henry both enlisted on 29 August 1777. By searching through the United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 at FamilySearch I found the original list of persons who enlisted with Capt. Thomas Buck’s Dunmore Militia.

Frederick Honaker enlisted on August 29. Courtesy of [online

Henry Honaker elisted on August 29. Courtesy of [online
Gen. George Rogers Clark’s Illinois Campaign ended with this dramatic climax:

Illustration of George Rogers Clark’s march to Vincennes in the American Revolutionary War, 1779. The Hero of Vincennes: The Story of George Rogers Clark, by Lowell Thomas 1929. Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

“The sudden emergence from this waterlogged wilderness of Clark’s muddy, buckskin-clad warriers, with their flintlock rifles and tomahawks, took the Vincennes garrison so completely by surprise that the fort fell, after a brief struggle. It was one of the most heroic feats of arms ever performed, and it saved Illinois and Kentucky from falling to the British. When the treaty of peace was signed in 1783, Clark’s conquests were the major factor in the award of the entire northwest to the Americans.”[3]

After the Illinois Campaign, Capt. William Harrod spent the winter 1778-1779 building a town at the Falls of the Ohio, present day Louisville. Frederick and Henry HONAKER were listed on this muster roll.[4]

As payment for their services in the Illinois expedition, Frederick, Peter, and Henry each were awarded 108 acres of land in Clark’s grant along the Ohio River in Indiana. They later sold their claims.[2]

Did Frederick HONAKER Use an Alias?

I have a slight problem with the above statement about the three brothers. In William Hayden English’s Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio, 1778-1783 and Life of Gen. George Rogers Clark I found Henry and Peter received 108 acres each (page 846), Henry and P. sold their allotments (page 1072), and Henry and Frederick were on a payroll (page 1034). However what has me puzzled is that, while I haven’t seen a list that includes Frederick receiving or selling his 108 acres, I did find the following on page 1100:

Peter alias Frederick
Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio, 1778-1783 and Life of Gen. George Rogers Clark by William Hayden English (page 1100)

What does “Peter, alias Frederick Honaker” mean? Did Frederick go by the name Peter? Were there only two HONAKER brothers in Capt. Thomas Buck’s Dunmore Militia? If Peter enlisted on 1 March 1778 he would have been only 16 years old.

Frederick Returns Home, Marries, and Begins Raising A Family

Frederick returned to Shenandoah County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth Golliday (1759-1794) of that county about 1782. In 1785, Frederick bought 243 acres of land in Rockingham County, Virginia.[2] In 1788, he was reported to be in Capt. John Ruddell’s Company.[2] In 1790 he was seen on the Rockingham County Tax List as Frederick Honnaken with 4 white souls, 1 dwelling and 1 other building.

Frederick and Elizabeth had Magdalene, Polly, Jacob (1783), and John (1793) before Elizabeth died. These children were listed, in this order, in a deed executed by themselves with their father Frederick, 21 July 1812, when they were all residents of Monroe County, (West) Virginia. The deed conveyed their undivided interest in the estate of Jacob Golliday, Elizabeth’s father, to a William Baserman. This was recorded in Shenandoah County Deed Book T, pp. 383-386.

On 12 August 1795 at the age of 77 years Frederick’s father Hans Jacob executed his last will and testament. The original will is in a file drawer marked “Wills Etc. 1796-1814-1820” in Bundle 2 in Wythe Courthouse, per Rev. Al Elswick, Honaker Family Association Historian. Hans Jacob had moved to what is now Draper in Pulaski County in 1784. At the time that he lived there the area was part of the county of Wythe, formed in 1790 from part of old Montgomery County. The will was probated on 10 May 1796 narrowing the time of Hans Jacob’s death to between August 1795 and May 1796.

As Hans Jacob’s will was probated in May 1796 it is very likely that he was still living when Frederick remarried in September of 1795, a little over a month after Hans Jacob wrote is will.

Frederick Conickor and Isaac Wiseman went bond on 24 September 1795 in Shenandoah County on the marriage of Frederick Coniker and Rachel Wiseman, daughter of Isaac Wiseman of Rockingham County.

Frederick’s second wife Rachel WISEMAN (1769-1821) was born 1 March 1769 in Berks County, Pennsylvania, to Isaac WISEMAN and Elizabeth DAVIS.

From Rockingham County to Monroe County

Following the marriage Frederick made plans to move his family from Rockingham County to what would become Monroe County in 1799. In 1798 he bought a farm from Edward Keenan near the Rehoboth Meeting House in the Sinks in Greenbrier County:

Greenbrier County WV Deeds Book 2 1798-1803 p 66-67
26 Jun 1798; Edward Keenan and wife Nancy Keenan 243 acres for 5 sh to Frederic Honiker land conveyed from Patrick Keenan adj Wiseman, Scarbrough. Wit; William Tennis, John Johnson, John Blanton

As this transaction took place the year before the formation on Monroe County it was recorded in the Greenbrier County.

In 1799 “Frederick Honecor” was listed on the first list of personal property owners in Monroe County, the earliest known list of citizens of the newly formed county.

1800 Frederick Honaker Greenbrier
Library of Virginia

In July 1800, Frederick received a land grant of 57 acres on Lick Run adjoining the land of Edward Keenan and Keenan’s father’s land. The location of the grant is seen (right) as being in Greenbrier. When the land was surveyed it was “lying and being in” that county. Frederick HONAKER now owned 300 acres in Monroe County.

Frederick HONAKER was on the Monroe Voters list in 1800. This was a list of qualified voters for the presidential election of 3 November 1800. It is of interest as the suffrage at that time was very much restricted and a voter was a person of some property and consequence.

Frederick’s mother Maria GOETZ died about 1805 in Wythe County, Virginia.

By the time that the 1810 census was taken Frederick and his wife Rachel had seven children: Isaac M., Elizabeth B., Margaret P., Sarah, Anna, Letty and Rachel, my third great-grandmother. Exact order of birth is unknown as birthdates are not known for all of the children. A son Frederick Styrus was born following the census as no male under 10 is seen in the household in 1810.

1810 U.S. Federal Census
Monroe County, (West) Virginia
Name: Fredk Honaker
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (Isaac M.)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:   1 (John H.)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (Frederick)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 4 (Rachel, Sarah, Anna, Letty)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Betsey, Margaret)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Rachel, age range is off)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 7
Number of Household Members Over 25: 1
Number of Household Members: 10

1820 U.S. Federal Census
Monroe County, Virginia
Sheet No. 171
Frederic Honachar
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 3 (Frederick Styrus, 2 grandsons?)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Isaac)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (Frederick)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 3 (Letty, 2 granddaughters?)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Sarah, Anna)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 3 (Betsy, Margaret, Rachel)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (Rachel)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 2
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 8
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 14
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 14

Frederick’s four children from his first marriage married in 1803, 1808 and 1814. The first of his children from his second marriage Isaac Morgan HONAKER married Rebecca Ann Sams (1799-1860) 28 Oct 1820 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia.

Monroe County Deed Book G shows Frederick and Rachel selling 13 acres to Hugh Caperton and Henry Alexander “near Rehoboth Meeting House where Honaker lives” on 31 March 1821. Frederick died in 1824 without mentioning Rachel in the will he left. Rachel WISEMAN must have died following the land transaction and before Frederick’s will was written on 30 November 1824.

Two of Frederick and Rachel’s girls married before he died: Elizabeth “Betsy” married William SAUNDERS on 15 January 1822 and Margaret “Peggy” married Alexander Campbell on 20 October 1823.

Frederick HONAKER died about December 1824 and left a will naming all of his children.

Will of Frederick HONAKER

In the name of God, Amen. I, Frederick Honicker of the Co. of Monroe and state of Virginia being sick in body but of sound and disposing mind, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say. First I will and bequeath unto my beloved son John Honicker sixty acres of land part of the tract of land whereon I now live to be taken off that part of it where the S. John now lives so as to include the house and improvements which he has made, to him and his heirs forever. Second, I will and bequeath unto my son Isaac Honiker all my blacksmith tools of every description to him and his heirs forever. Third, I will and bequeath unto my daughter, Magdaline Cantley the sum of one dollar to be paid her by my executors. Fourth, after my death and after my children all come of the age of twenty one years I desire that the balance of the tract of land whereon I now live be sold by my Executor to the best advantage, and the proceeds thereof I desire to be equally divided between my children to-wit: Mary Davis, Jacob Honicker, Peggy Campbell, Rachel Honicker, Sarah Honicker, Anna Honicker, Letty Honicker, Betsy Saunders, and Frederick Styrus Honicker and until that event takes place I desire that my son John Honicker see to the management of my affairs and take care of the property which may remain on the place for use of such of my children as any choose to live here until the same shall be sold and such of the perishable part of my estate as may (on the sound discretion of my executor) be of use to support my children who may live on the plantation until the same be sold as aforesaid to be kept and supported on the plantation until the period aforesaid, and the balance of the personal property which may not be deemed necessary for the purpose aforesaid by my executor I desire may be sold immediately after my death, and the money arising therefrom after paying my just debts and funeral charges be equally divided between my last mentioned nine children and whenever my land shall be sold as herein before directed, I desire that all the property which may have been kept for the use of my children as aforesaid be sold and the money be equally divided between the aforesaid nine children to-wit: Mary, Jacob, Peggy, Rachel, Sarah, Anna, Letty, Betsy , and Frederick Styrus. Fifth, it is my will and desire that my son Isaac together with my children who now live with me, still continue to live on the plantation as usual and farm the same as they now do until my plantation be sold as I have before directed and the proceeds thereof be enjoyed in common as usual – I also desire my debts and funeral expenses to be paid out of the money arising from the sale of my personal property which may be directed to be sold by my executor Lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint Richard Shanklin executor of my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other wills by me made and declaring this only to be my true last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 30th day of November 1824. Signed, sealed and ackd. in presence of Charles Keenan, George Whitcomb, and Jno. Hutchinson, Jr. (Frederick signed by mark).
At Monroe Court, December 1824: This last will and testament of Frederick Honiker dec. was presented in Court and proved by the oath of John Hutchinson, Jr. a subscribing witness thereto and the same is continued for further proof.
At Monroe Co., Court, 1825: The last will and testament of Frederick Honiker decd. was further proved by the oaths of Charles Keenan and Geo. Whitcomb two of the subscribing witnesses thereto whereupon the same is ordered to be recorded. (It appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that Richard Shanklin, executor named therein refused to take upon himself the execution thereof and thereupon Hugh Caperton is appointed Admr. with the will annexed, who came into Court and made oath and together with Richard Shanklin his security entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of One Thousand dollars, conditioned as the law directed, certificate for attaining probate thereof in due form is granted him.

Before the appraisement of the personal estate of Frederick HONAKER on 18 January 1825, his daughter Rachel HONAKER married Elijah WOOD on 4 January 1825 in Nicholas County. His daughter Letty died soon after him and later in the year his daughters Sarah and Anna married. His son Frederick Styrus had a guardian, Henry Alexander, and boarded with his sister Anna and her husband Owen DUFFY in 1825.

Appraisement of the personal estate

Bill of Sale

Guardianship of Frederick “Styers” HONAKER and Letty HONAKER

Courtesy of Irene (Rose) Warner (Find A Grave Contributor #46586932)

Frederick’s parents-in-law Isaac and Elizabeth WISEMAN are buried in the church cemetery. Frederick and Rachel’s burial places are not known but must have been nearby, maybe among the many unmarked graves surrounding Old Rehoboth Church. In 1988 the Honaker Family Association placed veterans’ memorial markers in the church cemetery for Frederick and his son Jacob beside the marked grave of Jacob’s son John B. I don’t have a photo of the marker and have not yet received permission to use the photo seen on Find A Grave Memorial# 12277437.

[1] Nadine W. Larson, Hans Jacob Honaker-From Switzerland to America, (1987, 249 pgs)
[2] Frieda Patrick Davison, Editor, Honaker Family in America, (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD, Copyright 1998 by The National Association of Hans Jacob Honaker Families)
[3] Virginius Dabney, Virginia – the New Dominion, (Doubleday & Co., New York, 1971)
[4] Howard L., Leckey, The Tenmile County and Its Pioneer Families, A Genealogical History of the Upper Monongahela Valley, (Apollo, PA: Closson, Press, 1993)
[5] Honaker Family Newsletter, National Association of Hans Jacob Honaker Families, Inc., misc. issues (2000-2014).

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey