David PROFFITT and his great-grandfather Silvester PROPHET

Door23These doors represent David PROFFITT and his great-grandfather Silvester PROPHET.

I’ve been putting off doing research on David PROFFITT and Sarah “Sallie” COCKRAM [4th great-grandparents] for so long. Married in 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia, they were the parents of Rachel PROFFITT, 3rd wife of Jordan N. PETERS.

Yesterday I began by attaching the census records for 1820-1870 to David PROFFITT b. abt. 1793 d. aft. 1870. Next step would be to transcribe them or at least go through the pre-1850 to determine ages of possible children. This will help when comparing children seen in other family trees for this couple. Normally I would try to follow each of the children by checking for marriage records, census, and death records to see if there is proof of parentage. But I’m not interested in the children (at least right now). I want to know who David’s parents and ancestors were.

Online searches show that David was the son of Augustine PROFFITT b. abt. 1770 and Elizabeth ROBERTSON of Amherst County, Virginia. Their marriage transcript shows that Augustine was the son of David PROFFITT b. abt. 1730. The elder David was married in 1757 in Goochland County, Virginia, to Elizabeth SMITH, and was the son of Silvester/Sylvester PROPHET/PROFFITT and his wife Alice. Silvester PROPHET, a Scottish rebel, came to America in 1716 on the ship “Elizabeth and Ann”.

As a guide, I like to consult families trees found online. I have not checked Ancestry.com because I am not a fan of the trees grown using their shaky leaves. The trees I found on Rootsweb nearly all had the same text attached to Silvester PROPHET but without a source citation. I did not check all spelling variations of the name so there may be other trees with more information and better citations.

Searching a portion of the quoted text online turned up a hit on a message board. Bonnie Mann, the author of Prophet Progeny (July 1983), posted the text of the chapter Prophet Beginnings in Virginia. In this 1999 post, she wrote, “Some of the information I wrote in 1983 has been passed on to others who are doing research on their Proffit/Proffitt genealogy. I am writing a copy of that story so everyone will now have it in its entirety and know that this was written by me.” [Source: Proffitt Family Genealogy Forum message #324, online https://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/proffitt/324/]

These quick searches gave me a framework for four generations of the PROFFITT family from David PROFFITT to Silvester PROPHET. Further research has to be done to fill in the blanks but at least the groundwork is done.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Johan Anton NOLL (aka Anthony NOLL)

Door19Johan Anton NOLL (aka Anthony NOLL)
b. abt. 1720 Palatinate d. 1801 Baltimore County, Maryland

Where was his place of origin?

The ocean voyages were harsh, over-crowded, under-supplied, and unsanitary. Provisions supplied by the ship’s masters were generally the least expensive available and frequently ran out. We cannot imagine the suffering endured by our immigrant ancestors: the cold, wet, stench, sickness, disease, and even death. Survivors needed to be strong and healthy as well as courageous.

In 1744 some of the emigrant ships were captured by French and Spanish privateers and the emigrants were not able to continue to North America. Johann Anton NOLL, his wife Magdalena and daughter Elisabetha Margreth made the voyage and survived. They came from Rotterdam by way of Cowes arriving in Philadelphia on 8 October 1744 on the ship “Aurora” captained by Robert Pickeman. Another NOLL couple was also on the ship: Matthias and Elsa Catharina. Johan (sic, Anton) NOLL and Matthis (sic, Matthias) NOLL were two of the foreigners imported in the ship Aurora who took the Oath of Allegiance.

The annotated ship list on The Palatinate Project – Pennsylvania German Pioneers (broken link as of 6 February 2016) shows that their place of origin was “Gönndersdorf, Hessen-Nassau”. Gönndersdorf is not a known place name. In Annette Burgert’s book “WESTERWALD to AMERICA, page 161, there are two paragraphs concerning Anthon Noll & Matthias Noll. I believe that Burgert’s book is the source of the place of origin seen as an annotation and needs to be consulted to determine the correct spelling and possible location. [A lookup needs to be requested]

Since recruiting for the colonies generally occurred in a fairly localized region from which a group would travel together to Rotterdam and then on to the colonies, identifying the origin of others on the same ship may give clues as to the origin of a particular family. In the case of this ship list, annotations show that most of the families came from the Westerwaldkreis in Rheinland-Pfalz. I believe that the place name may be Gönnersdorf which is found three times in Rheinland: 1) Kreis Uhrweiler, 2) Kreis Neuwied, 3) Kreis Daun city. The last, in the Vulkaneifel, was also known as Gondersdorf, Gundersdorf, and Gundeszdorph in earlier times.

Other possibilities per Betseylee Browning [Germany/Prussia Genealogy Research]: Gebersdorf, Gittersdorf, Ginseldorf, Guntersdorf, Grebensdorf, Gersdorf, as well as Gronaunerhof and Guntershof.

The annotated list shows that Anton Noll’s wife’s maiden name was Brental. Did Anton and Magdalena and their daughter flee the old country because they were not allowed to marry? On 3 April 1753 Anton NOLL and Magdalene BRENTEL were married at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Penn Township, York County, Pennsylvania. In March 1757 their daughter Elisabeth Margreth Noll was baptized. I have wondered if this entry in the Jacob Lischy’s Private Pastoral Records (York County, PA) may have been for her confirmation instead of baptism. She would have been at least 13 years old – close to the age that confirmations were performed in the Lutheran Church.

Anton Noll and his family moved from Hannover, York County, Pennsylvania, to Manchester, Carroll County, Maryland, sometime between 1757 and 1760. From 1760 Anton, his first wife, his second wife, his children from both marriages, as well as grandchildren are seen in Manchester in church records. [Source: Maryland German Church Records, Volume 10, Zion Church, “The German Church”, Manchester, Carroll County, MD]

In 1768, the year that my 5th great-grandmother, Catharine Barbara NOLL was born, her father Anton as well as her future-father-in-law Jacob Rub (sic, Johann Jacob Rupp) signed a petition to transfer the county seat from Joppa to “Baltimore Town”.

My big discovery this week while preparing this post was finding the entire “estate package”: will, administration bond, widow’s renunciation, inventories, orphans court record, accounts. It pulled everything together. Proves that there was only one Anton Noll who was married twice and all children mentioned in the church records are indeed his.

Anthony NOLL, as his name was written in his will dated 3 January 1801, was survived by his wife Catharina, 6 daughters, and 2 sons. In his will, he mentions his wife, his daughters Lovis, Elisabeth, Magdalena, and Betsy (no married names were given), his sons Francis and John and his daughter Catharina (clearly separated from the other children as she was the only child of his 2nd marriage). Catherine Barbara (Noll) RUPE, the only child no longer living in Maryland, was not mentioned in the will. Administration bonds were taken out and his will was probated 10 January 1801, inventory was dated 16 January 1801, widow’s renunciation dated 7 February 1801, and other accounts of his estate 1802-1808.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.