The Ancestors: A New Approach

The Ancestors series is taking on a new look and perspective.

I finished writing about all of my children’s 5th great-grandparents in January of 2018. Those posts were part of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. I’d planned to continue with the next generation, their 6th great-grandparents, with my series The Ancestors but dropped the ball several times.

Family history research will never be finished or ready to publish. Share what you have, make corrections and additions, write about your ancestors. Yes, it probably will remain a work in progress or a draft of a family book. By sharing what you think is incomplete, you may reach someone who has the missing information or the key to open the door in your brick wall.

This closing paragraph from my final post on my children’s 5th great-grandparents, 52 Ancestors: #47 Michel Trausch and Catharina Hames of Mamer, is my new approach for the posts I’ll be doing on their 6th great-grandparents.

The Ancestors – 9th Generation
6th Great-grandparents

The list of 6th great-grandparents is LONG. I’ve spent a lot of time researching a few of them, as seen in the number of posts I’ve written for the maternal ancestors (my side of our children’s tree) at the end of the list. Ancestor numbers in bold indicate those that have been featured on this blog.

(256 & 257) Adami MEDER and Elisabetha ESCH
(258 & 259) Joannes REINERS and wife Maria (parents of Susanna REINERS aka LAMBERT)
(260 & 261) Michaelis WILMES and Barbara JACQUEMIN
(262 & 263) Mr. SCHEID (SCHOOD) and Anna Maria FETH
(264 & 265) BRICK WALL (paternal grandparents of Théodore REIFFER)
(266 & 267) BRICK WALL (maternal grandparents of Théodore REIFFER)
(268 & 269) Joannes CLOOS and Anne Marie KLAREN
(270 & 271) Nikolaus THEWES and Gertrud LESSEN
(272 & 273) Joannis ADAM and Margaritha (first married to THOMMES)
(274 & 275) Jacobi WOLTER and Marie Elisabeth MEYERS
(276 & 277) Joannes SCHENTEN x KOECHER and Catharina KOSTERS
(278 & 279) Parents of Cathérine OBERECKEN
(280 & 281) Mathias LORENS and Eva FRENTZ
(282 & 283) Petri STENGENFORT and unknown wife
(284 & 285) Joannis PREISER and Anna Maria FETH
(286 & 286) Petrus SCHRANTZ and Anne Marie HAMEN
(288 & 289) Jean “Joannis” SCHWARTZ and Maria HEINZ
(290 & 291) Mathia HALER and Angela ALENTS
(292 & 293) Johann Gerard TRIERWEILER and Elisabeth KERSCH
(294 & 295) Carl HOFFMANN and Angela ROSPORT
(296 & 297) Philippi SCHMITT and Apollonia MATTES
(298 & 299) Matthias PLEIN and Margaretha VALERIUS
(300 & 301) Johann WOLLSCHEID and Anna Maria WILLWERT
(302 & 303) Johann BARTHELMES and Eva BARZEN
(304 & 305) Johann Peter GORGES and Anna Maria HORSCH
(306 & 307) Nikolaus RODENS and Anna SCHUE
(308 & 309) BRICK WALL (parents of Caspar BOTZ)
(310 & 311) BRICK WALL (parents of Magdalena MASEN)
(312 & 313) Nicolaus SCHERFF and Helena OTTO
(314 & 315) Dominique STEIMETZ and Helena “Magdalena” KOCH
(316 & 317) Daniel and Elisabetha CLEMENS
(318 & 319) Matthias WEBER and Anna Margaretha FEILEN
(320 & 321) Henri and Magdalena  CREMERS
(322 & 323) Joannes VENANDI and Maria HOSINGER
(324 & 325) Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH and Catharina FEDERSPIEL
(326 & 327) Martin HUNTGES and Marguerite MAY
(328 & 329) Johann Heinrich “Henri” MERKES and Anna ROSS
(330 & 331) Anton WAGENER and Catharina PIRSCH
(332 & 333) Mathias HASTERT and Anne NIEDERKORN
(334 & 335) Jean SCHMIDT and Maria LENTZ
(336 & 337) Leonard GRITIUS and Marie NEIEN
(338 & 339) Jean SCHETTERT and Anna Catharina SCHAACK
(340 & 341) Jean Baptiste SCHAEFFER and Catherine SCHAACK
(342 & 343) Nicolas GREISCH and Susanne ROLLINGER
(344 & 345) Michel WECKERING and Anna Maria DALEYDEN
(346 & 347) BRICK WALL  (parents of Marguerite LASCHEID)
(348 & 349) Jacob BERNARD and Jeanne CAPPUS
(350 & 351) Valentin GREBER and Christina STEFFEN
(352 & 353) Dominique PEFFER and Marguerite SINTGEN
(354 & 355) Nicolas PIERRET and Anna Maria ROBINET
(356 & 357) Nicolas GRASSER vulgo REUTERS and Elisabetha WINANDY
(358 & 359) Léonard HOSCHEID and Marie Catharina REULAND
(360 & 361) Pierre ZWANG and Anne Marie HUSCHET
(362 & 363) Johann WELTER and Anna Maria FELTES
(364 & 365) Jean DHAM and Marie WELTER
(366 & 367) Nicolas KIMES and Anna Maria STRENG
(368 & 369) Peter MERTES and Marguerite BIVER
(370 & 371) Johann DONNEN and Barbara CHRITOPHORY
(372 & 373) Casparus ERPELDING and Gertrudes JEHNEN
(374 & 375) Peter CONRADT and Anna Catharina ROEDER
(376 & 377) Petrus RUCKERT and Anna Catharina SPEYER
(378 & 379) Petrus MICHELS and Susanna MARTIN aka MERTES
(380 & 381) Peter SCHMIT and Rosa CLEMENS
(382 & 383) Nicolas WEICKER and Anne Margarethe HARTMANN
(384 & 385) BRICK WALL (great-grandparents of William A. W. DEMPSEY)
(386 & 387) BRICK WALL (great-grandparents of William A. W. DEMPSEY)
(388 & 389) BRICK WALL (great-grandparents of William A. W. DEMPSEY)
(390 & 391) BRICK WALL (great-grandparents of William A. W. DEMPSEY)
(392 & 393) Bailey WOOD and Nancy, his wife (8 January 2020)
(394 & 395) Martin McGRAW and Margaret “Polly”, his wife (22 January 2020)
(396 & 397) Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ:
The Ancestors: Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ (396+397) (29 January 2020)
The Ancestors: Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ (Part II) (6 February 2020)
(398 & 399) Isaac WISEMAN and Elizabeth DAVIS:
The Ancestors: Isaac WISEMAN (1738-1818) and Elizabeth DAVIS (1738-1807) (10 March 2020)
(400 & 401) Ester INGRAM – an assumption
(402 & 403) John KINCAID and Elizabeth Hannah GILLESPIE
(404 & 405) William JOHNSON Sr. and Amy NELSON
The 1806 Administrator Bond for the Estate of William Johnson Sr. (1755-1805) (13 September 2019)
(406 & 407) James SIMS and Phebe (see the link to the page with all posts for James SIMS) (April to September 2018)
James SIMS (1754-1845) Pioneer of Nicholas County, West Virginia (biography written in 2002)
(408 & 409) Susannah (maiden name unknown) DEMPSEY and her BRICK WALL husband
(410 & 411) James LANDRUM and his unknown wife
(412 & 413) Phillip GOING and Judith POTTER
(414 & 415) William CRISP and his wife Lucy
(416 & 417) Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL
Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL ~ The Early Years in Maryland (1765-1793) (19 March 2016)
Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL ~ The Years in Rockbridge (1793-1801) (26 March 2016)
Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL ~ At Home on the Old Henry Roop Place (3 April 2016)
Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL ~ Family Life in Montgomery County, Virginia (9 April 2016)
The Last Will and Testament of Henry RUPE 1765-1845 (16 April 2016)
Henry RUPE’s Estate and his Widow Catherine’s Last Days (23 April 2016)
A Date of Death for Catherine Barbara NOLL (1768-1859) (1 March 2017)
(418 & 419) Robert CARROLL and his wife Anne
(420 & 421) John LESTER II and Mary Ann TERRY
(422 & 423) Owen SUMNER and Sarah NEWTON
(424 & 425) John PETERS and wife – Can this be proven with DNA?
(426 & 427) Joseph LIVELY and Mary L. CASH
(428 & 429) Augustin PROFFITT and Elizabeth “Betsy” ROBERTSON
(430 & 431) Edward COCKRAM and his wife Mary
(432 & 433) Jeremiah CLAUNCH and his wife
(434 & 435) BRICK WALL (parents of Nancy BEASLEY)
(436 & 437) BRICK WALL (paternal grandparents of Mary E. DOSS)
(438 & 439) James DOSS Jr. and Elizabeth LESTER
(440 & 441) BRICK WALL (paternal grandparents of John COOLEY)
(442 & 443) BRICK WALL (maternal grandparents of John COOLEY
(444 & 445) Edward TREDWAY and Nancy MAGNESS
(446 & 447) BRICK WALL (maternal grandparents of Sarah Ann TREADWAY)
(448 & 449) Michel WILTINGER and Margaretha DIESBURG
(450 & 451) Michael WELTER and Katharian KLEIN
(452 & 453) Matthias SCHRAMEN and Anna Barbara LEIBRICH (BURG)
(454 & 455) Sebastian SCHMITT and Maria LORANG
(456 & 457) Nikolaus WEYMAN and Maria Katharina HUSS
(458 & 459) Gerard MALAMBRÉ and Barbara BIESDORF
(460 & 461) Johann Bernard WELTER and Maria BRIMERS
(462 & 463) Johann HENNES and Magdalena MÜLLER
(464 & 465) Peter BUBELREITER and Gertrud LAMBERTI or BOSEN
(466 & 467) Johann BOMMES and Anna Maria Luzia THIELEN
(468 & 469) Peter MERTSCHERT and Susanna “Anna”SCHNEIDER
(470 & 471) Theodor MERGEN and Gertrud THELEN
(472 & 473) Johann Nicolaus WAGNER and Anna Maria KLEIWER
(474 & 475) Johann HARTERT and Elisabeth HEINZ
(476 & 477) Peter KERSCHT and Eva SCHMIDS
(478 & 479) Gerhard EWEN and Barbara THEILEN
(480 & 481) Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU
(482 & 483) Jean SCHMIT and Eve DUCKER
(484 & 485) Jacques PHILIPPART and Catherine SINGER aka KETTER
(486 & 487) Henri MEUNIER and Margaretha KILBOUR
(488 & 489) Joseph SCHLOESSER and Catherine ARENDT
(490 & 491) Nicolas TRAUDT and Barbe BILL
(492 & 493) Johann CONSBRÜCK and Barbara SCHMIDT
(494 & 495) Sébastian LANSER and Maria Catharina HASTERT
(496 & 497) Nicolas Frantz and Angélique Bartel of Semming, Rodemack, France (10 May 2021)
UPDATE to The Ancestors: Nicolas Frantz and Angélique Bartel of Semming, Rodemack, France (18 May 2021)
(498 & 499) Nicolaus Küffer and Susanna Schiltz of Mamer, Luxembourg (3 May 2021)
(500 & 501) Joannes FRISCH (1713-1759) and Margaretha ZEIMES (1727-1792) of Huncherange (25 April 2021)
(502 & 503) Peter HUBERTY (1718-1794) of Mamer and Anna BERNARD (1742-ca1763) of Nospelt (14 April 2021)
(504 & 505) Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER
A Hidden Index for Luxembourg City’s Parishes and Garrison (24 May 2019)
How the Jean MAJERUS Brick Wall Crumbled – The Keys and Doors Which Made It Happen! (2 June 2019)
The Farm Where the Majerus Family Lived in the 1700s (11 June 2019)
Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER from Gronn to Strassen (21 June 2019)
Proving the True Identity of Jean Baptiste BREGER 1738-1805 (28 June 2019)
(506 & 507) Hubert CORNELY and Margaretha EVEN
Hubert CORNELY and Margaretha EVEN of Wickrange, Luxembourg (4 May 2019)
The Key that Opened the Door in the Schintgen Brick Wall (4 May 2019)
Luxracines’ Marriage Database Helps Solve the Confusion of John Monner’s Marriage(s) (19 May 2019)
(508 & 509) Remacle TRAUSCH and Theresia BRAUN (COLLING)
Part I: Remacle Trausch (1761-1804) and Theresia Braun (1766-1798) of Colmar (26 July 2019)
Part II: Why was Theresia BRAUN also seen as Theresia COLLING? (2 Ausgut 2019)
Part III: “Maison dite” Leads to Parents and Grandparents of Magdalena SCHMIDT (1743-1782) (9 August 2019)
Part IV: The Parents and Siblings of Remacle TRAUSCH (1761-1804) (16 August 2019)
Part V: A Horrific Crime in the Fortress City of Luxembourg (23 August 2019)
Part VI: Tying up the loose ends (30 August 2019)
Was the Verdict in the 1816 Murder Case a Miscarriage of Justice? (6 September 2019)
(510 & 511) Johannes HAMES and Agnes BOUR alias HEITZ (8 July 2019)

128 sets of 6th great-grandparents

Fourteen couples are brick walls, i.e. names are not known, and fifteen couples have already been featured. That leaves 99 known couples who have been looked into (some research done) who still need to be written up.

Blogging has helped me to improve my research skills. As I worked on the posts, I found that I was doing deeper and more thorough research into all couples’ children, siblings, and parents. This was taking up a lot of time as I documented each new piece of evidence. New research questions came up as the records were analyzed. Interesting facts were found and asked to be researched further – taking me down some very interesting rabbit holes.

At a rate of one post a week, it would take two years to get this generation of ancestors done. Researching, analyzing documentation, citing sources, and putting everything together to write the post (as I have been doing them) now takes much longer than a week.

The length of my posts has also become an issue. I need to choose between too much information in one post, writing multiple posts, or trying a new concept.

I’ve decided that for the 3/4 of my children’s tree that is Luxembourgish, I will be featuring the marriage record of each couple and a list of known children. The records will be more easily located for their maternal side as they are from the mid-1700s to about 1800. For their paternal side, these will be records from the early to mid-1700s. If they are non-existent, I will have to use substitutes to “prove” the marriage. The Genealogy Sketch box will be included at the end of each post, bringing together all articles written for the direct line of the ancestral couple to my children.

I’m thinking of working my way up the list from the bottom to the top, starting with ancestors 494 & 495: Sébastian LANSER and Maria Catharina HASTERT. Hopefully, this will get me back to blogging and give me a little more time for the other important things in my life.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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.  

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Hannah

An autosomal DNA match with a distant cousin with the surname Landrum in their family tree had me looking into the parentage and ancestors of my 4th great-grandmother Margaret “Patsy” Landrum who married William Dempsey in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1799.

Patsy was the orphan daughter of James Landrum who was mentioned in the will of his mother Elizabeth Landrum in 1755.1

Elizabeth Landrum’s last will and testament was written on 22 October 1755 and presented to be recorded on 18 November 1755. The executors/administrators’ bond followed the will and was dated 18 November 1755. A condition of the bond was the inventory and appraisal of the estate. The inventory ordered on 18 November 1755 was recorded on 16 December 1755.

1755 Appraisal and Inventory of the Estate of Elizabeth Landrum of St. Anne’s Parish in Essex County, Virginia

Inventory of the estate of Elizabeth Landrum (part 1)

The inventory included one Negro woman called Hannah and valued at £20.2

Inventory of the estate of Elizabeth Landrum (part 2)

Hannah, the enslaved woman mentioned in this inventory, was not mentioned in the estate of Samuel Landrum who predeceased his wife Elizabeth in 1750. He did not leave a will and his wife was the administratrix of his estate.3 An appraisement and inventory of the estate was duly recorded and did not include any enslaved persons. One-third of the estate was allotted to the widow.4

Samuel Landrum predeceased his mother Mary Landrum who wrote a will after his death in which she mentioned his being deceased.5 Neither the will nor the inventory ordered to be made included slaves.6

Samuel’s father James Landrum died about 1739 leaving a last will and testament which included the names of two enslaved persons. Their names were shared in Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Willobey and Plimoth.

Samuel did not receive a slave from his father which makes me believe Hannah may have been acquired by Elizabeth after the death of her husband  Samuel. Another possibility being that Elizabeth inherited Hannah from her parents. Unfortunately, at this time, the maiden name and parentage of Elizabeth Landrum are not known.

True's statementFollowing my three-part series on the slaves of my 5th great grandfather James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors.

These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project (About the Project) administered by Schalene Jennings Dagutis who also blogs at Tangled Roots and Trees.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (images),, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, page 77, image 473 of 519. Last will and testament of Elizabeth Landrum dated 22 October 1755, presented and recorded on 18 November 1755. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  2. Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, pages 81 and 82, images 475 and 476 of 519. Appraisal and inventory of the estate of Elizabeth Landrum. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  3.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, page 385, image 215 of 519. Administrators’ Bond for the estate of Samuel Landrum. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  4.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, pages 397-399, images 221-222 of 519. Appraisal and inventory of the estate of Samuel Landrum. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  5.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 9-10, 1750-1756, 1760-1761, page 310, image 315 of 539. Last will and testament of Mary Landrum. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  6.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 9-10, 1750-1756, 1760-1761, pages 322-323, images 327-328 of 539. Appraisal and inventory of the estate of Mary Landrum. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 

Rewriting the Biography: James SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

I would like to begin this new series of notes with an analysis of the households of James SIMS and his sixteen children in the U.S. Federal Census from 1810 to 1880.

Generally, when doing census work I start with the most recent and work my way back to the earliest listing, hopefully finding the person of interest with his or her parents.

My 5th great-grandfather James SIMS died before the 1850 census. He was born in 1754 far too early to be found on a census with his parents. As will be seen, even the children of his first marriage born between 1777 and 1794 were not found with him, be it only tick marks, on the pre-1850 census. The reason being six of the eight children were already married and had their own households in 1810.

James was found on four pre-1850 census sheets: 1810, 1820, 1830, and 1840. This was only possible as he was the head of a household. He died between 12 August 1845 and 10 March 18461 missing the 1850 census, which would include his place of birth, by about four to five years. However, four of his youngest children from his second marriage lived long enough to be enumerated on the 1880 census, the first to include the place of birth for parents. Three of the four children had Virginia as the place of birth for their father James SIMS. Only daughter Jane’s listing shows West Virginia which is incorrect as the state was only formed in 1863, 109 years after James’ birth.

In the weeks to come, I will be analyzing the census records of James SIMS’ sixteen children in order of birth. Today I would like to start with James’ listings.

Census Analysis for James Sims 1754-1845

The 1790 and 1800 U.S. Federal Census

In 1830, Congress passed a law requiring the return of all decennial censuses from 1790-1830. At the time it was discovered that many of the schedules had been lost or destroyed. Virginia is one of the states with a complete loss of the census schedules for 1790 and 1800.  Tax lists can be used to re-create the schedules which were lost.

1790 U.S. Federal Census substitute: 1789 Tax List

It is known that James SIMS owned land in Bath County, Virginia, and lived there before going farther west. Bath County was created in 1790 from parts of Augusta, Botetourt, and Greenbrier counties.

1789 Tax List B for Botetourt County, Virginia (headings)

On 6 October 1789, James SIMS was in William Davidson’s district in Botetourt County and listed on the Personal Property Tax List B. To be a bit more certain this was the correct person I looked up Benjamin COTTON who would become James SIMS’ father-in-law in 1796. He was also found on the tax list of Botetourt in 1789.

1789 Tax List B for Botetourt County, Virginia

James SIMS was listed with 1 white, 1 black over 16 years of age, and 1 horse.2 The fact that he was a known slaveholder gives some support to this being his tax record.

1800 U.S. Federal Census substitute: 1802 Tax List
1802 Tax List for Kanawha County, Virginia (headers)

In 1802 we find James SIMS on the list of taxable property within the County of Kenhawa (Kanawha) of which Fleming Cobbs was the commissioner.3

1802 Tax List for Kanawha County, Virginia

James SIMS was listed with 1 white person over the age of 16 years and 3 horses. The two columns for blacks over 12 and over 16 are empty. The slave who was with him in 1789 would have been 29 years or older in 1802. As no slave was listed on the 1802 tax list, this brings up questions which need to be researched. Did James SIMS bring slaves with him when he moved from Bath County to Kanawha County? Or did he acquire the slaves seen in later census schedules only after 1802?

In 1802 James’ oldest sons Martin and William were also seen on this list indicating they were 21 years of age or older. In James’ household, there was one son who would turn 17 during the year, Edward born in June 1785. There is no date listed on any of the 24 pages of the Kanawha tax list.

If the tax list was drawn up after Edward turned 17 why was he not counted? Conclusive evidence that Edward was a son of James has not to date been found. He will, therefore, be included in this census work as well as future posts in relation to the James SIMS family.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

Column headers for the 1810 census of Kanawha County, Virginia.

In 1810 James SIMS was 56 years old had been married 16 years to his second wife Elizabeth COTTON. If she bore him children in the first four years of the marriage, they did not survive as no children age 10 years or older were seen on the 1810 census.

1810 U.S. Federal Census for Kanawha County, Virginia. Sheet 207A/132 (penned in) with the SIMMS households at the bottom.

In 1810 when the census was taken, James SIMS and his children were found in Kanawha County in western Virginia. Only one child, his oldest son Jeremiah (1777-1824) had remained in Bath County when the SIMS family moved to Kanawha. Jeremiah moved to Champaign County, Ohio around 1804.

1810 U.S. Federal Census, Kanawha County, Virginia

James was seen on the bottom of sheet 207A followed by his sons Martin and William from his first marriage. In James’ household were his second wife, their four children, and five enslaved persons.

1810 U.S. Federal Census 4
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 207A, Line 23
Name: James Simms
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1 (James Jr.)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 3 (Margaret, Sarah, Mildred)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Numbers of Slaves: 5 (Isaac, Jude, Fanny, Robert, and ?)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 4
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 11

In 1810 James SIMS had a dozen living children. Eight of these children were from his first marriage. Six of these were married and had their own households. The remaining two would marry after 1810 and did not have their own households. As each of the children are discussed in future posts we will see the two unmarried children were likely in siblings’ households.

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

In 1820 only James’ son John was still in Kanawha County. Had James and his married children pulled up stakes and left the area?

One of the first things I was taught when I began doing genealogy research for my American families was to consider the formation of new counties and the changing county lines of established counties.

Nicholas County, West Virginia, was originally created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on 30 January 1818, from parts of Greenbrier, Kanawha and Randolph counties. This was 45 years before West Virginia became a state. The county’s boundaries were disputed and altered to its current status by another act of the Assembly on 29 January 1820. The county was named in honor of Wilson Cary Nicholas (1761-1820) who was Governor of Virginia 1814-1816.

Therefore, in 1820 James SIMS, his wife, and their minor children were found in Nicholas County on the same land he bought in 1800 in what was then Kanawha County.

1820 U.S. Federal Census, Nicholas County, Virginia

When the census was taken the information was recorded as of 7 August 1820. (As can be seen in the image above, it was not the easiest to decipher.) James was 66 years old and his wife Elizabeth was less than 45 years old (likely 36-39 as will be seen below per 1830 census). They had two sons and four daughters at home. Their oldest son James was about 19 years old and not seen in this listing. Also in the household were nine slaves, two of whom were young men 14 thru 25 years of age. Three persons in the household were engaged in agriculture. As most of the children were under 10 years old with the exception of two daughters who were 10 thru 15, the three persons engaged in agriculture could only have been James and the two enslaved men. These two men were likely Isaac SIMS and perhaps his brother Robert.

1820 U.S. Federal Census 5
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Page No. 204A, Sheet 152, Line 19
Enumeration Date: 7 August 1820
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Dryden, Charles)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Jane & Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Margaret, Mildred)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Slaves – Males – Under 14: 2 (unknown)
Slaves – Males – 14 thru 25: 2 (Isaac and Robert)
Slaves – Females – Under 14: 3 (unknown)
Slaves – Females – 14 thru 25: 2 (Jude and Fanny)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 16: 6
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total Slaves: 9
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 17

Slaves of the Sims family, black Jude and black Fanny were members of the senior class of the Bethel Methodist Church at Poe on Laurel Creek in 1821.6 The five young male and female slaves under 14 were likely not yet born in 1810 when only five slaves were counted on the census.

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

The decade between the 1820 and 1830 census brought a change in the statistics of the family of James SIMS. His wife Elizabeth gave birth to their eighth and last child about the same time their oldest son James Jr. married Elizabeth STANLEY. This was in 1821. James was now the father of sixteen children born from 1777 to 1821. A range of 44 years.

Besides James Jr., three of James and Elizabeth’s daughters married during the decade. Margaret in 1822, Sarah in 1825, and Milly in 1826. Four children were still at home, a daughter and three young sons. James was by this time 75 years old and Elizabeth was in her late forties.

1830 U.S. Federal Census, Nicholas County, Virginia

1830 U.S. Federal Census 7
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (George W.)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 2 (Dryden & Charles)
Free White Persons – Males – 70 thru 79: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Elizabeth 46-49)
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 1 (1 of 2 seen in 1820?)
Slaves – Males – 24 thru 35: 1 (Isaac?)
Slaves – Females – 10 thru 23: 2 (July Helen and another from 1820?)
Slaves – Females – 24 thru 35: 1 (Jude or Fanny)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total Slaves: 5
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 11

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

During the 1830s the last single daughter of James and Elizabeth was married as well as one of their three unmarried sons. Jane married Joseph DARLINGTON in 1831 and Dryden married Rebecca BAYS in 1837. This left two unmarried sons Charles, who had his own household, and George.

James, Elizabeth, their youngest son George, two young boys who may be grandsons, and a young slave made up the household. Four persons were engaged in agriculture. James was by this time 86 years old. Was he included in the count of working persons? It seems likely as only 5 males were in the household with the youngest being under 5 years of age.

The decline in the number of slaves in the household in 1830 to only one in 1840 can be explained. By March 1836 James SIMS had disposed of all slaves with the exception of Isaac who he emancipated in July 1836.8

The sale of one woman slave was recounted to June Settle Ciocca by Lawrence M. Huddleston in 1990. In 1833 a young girl July Hulen (per bill of sale) was sold by James SIMS to John HUDDLESTON. July Helen’s mother had been sold to the Huddlestons earlier and both mother and daughter were so heart-broken that James SIMS agreed to sell the child as well. Mr. Huddleston was in possession of the bill of sale for the young girl.9

1840 U.S. Federal Census 10
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: James Sims Sr.
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (George W.)
Free White Persons – Males – 80 thru 89: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Elizabeth)
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 1 (poss. a male age 20 thru 23 from 1830)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 4
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total Slaves: 1
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6

James SIMS’ wife Elizabeth predeceased him and like James would not be found in the 1850 census. Elizabeth’s date of death is unknown. James lived to see his last two children marry: Charles married Minerva J. SUMMERS in 1842 and George married Margaret Jane DORSEY in 1845.

Coming next…

The census work of James SIMS and his first wife Phebe’s oldest son Jeremiah SIMS.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

U.S. Federal Census Analysis of James SIMS 1754-1845

  1. The range for the date of death was explained in Rewriting the Biography: When Did James Sims Die? 
  2. 1790 / 1800 Virginia Tax List Censuses (Binns Genealogy, original records from Library of Virgina, Richmond, Virginia or Family History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah), Botetourt, 1789 Personal Tax List B, page 13. ( : accessed 13 March 2018). 
  3. Ibid., Kanawha, 1802 Personal Tax List, image 21. ( : accessed 13 March 2018). 
  4. 1810 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, FHL 0181429, roll 69, image 405, Virginia, Kanawha, Kanawha, page 129, sheet 207A, line 23, James Simms ( : accessed 6 February 2018). 
  5. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_130, image 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204A, line 19, James Sims. ( : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  6. William Griffee Brown, History of Nicholas County, West Virginia, Dietz Press, 1954, p. 166. 
  7. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film: 0029677, NARA Roll M19_198, Nicholas, Virginia, image 35+36 of 42, page 189A+B, line 17, James Sims. ( : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  8. Isaac SIMS was featured in Black History Month: The Slaves of James SIMS, Part 2 and Black History Month: The Slaves of James SIMS, Part 3 
  9. A photo of the bill of sale for  July Hulen can be found in Black History Month: The Slaves of James SIMS, Part 1 
  10. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Nicholas, image 26+27 of 67, page 10A+B, line 8, James Sims. ‎( : accessed 5 March 2018). 

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Mary, Isaac, Charles, and John

I’m rewriting the biography of my ancestor James Sims. The first set of documents being perused are the census. As I study the pre-1850 census listings of my 5th great-grandfather and his children, I’m paying close attention to ALL persons in the households including enslaved persons.

James Sims was known to have had slaves. They were featured in my three-part series on the slaves of James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015. Today on the anniversary of these posts, I would like to feature four more enslaved persons found in a Sims household.

RELEASING Kate, Isaac, Charles, and John

James’ oldest son Jeremiah Sims had three colored persons in his household in Clark County, Ohio, in 1820.1 The headings of the columns are nearly impossible to read and do not match up with the census extraction form for 1820.2 There are too few columns for Slaves and Free Colored Persons. On the page with Jeremiah’s entry, there are two columns with the numbers 2 and 1 – separated by a double line. Could this be to distinguish the number of slaves from free colored persons? Or male from female? The ages and gender of these persons cannot be obtained from the sheet due to the lack of columns. Who are these people?

1820 U.S. Federal Census, Ohio, Clark, German Township, Jeremiah Sims

The answer may lie in the history of Ohio. Slavery was abolished in Ohio by the state’s original constitution when it was formed in 1803. Jeremiah did not settle in Ohio until about 1804. The 1810 census for Ohio with the exception of the county of Washington is lost. This means no record of Jeremiah having slaves in 1810. Who could these people be and were they free or enslaved?

Jeremiah Sims’ Relationship to Thomas Milhollin

Jeremiah was married to Sarah Milhollin, daughter of Thomas Milhollin and Jane McClintic, on 26 November 1800.3 Her mother Jane died about 1801 and her father was living at the time Jeremiah and Sarah went to Ohio around 1804. When did Thomas Milhollin die? Did he own slaves? Did he leave a will?

The Will and Codicil

The Last Will and Testament of Thomas Milhollin
The Last Will and Testament of Thomas Milhollin

The Last Will and Testament of Thomas Milhollin dated 21 September 1818 was witnessed by Charles Cameron and Charles L. Francisco.4 It was probated in Bath County, Virginia, in the December Court 1818. Executors were Charles Cameron, Robert Kincaid, and Charles L. Francisco. Thomas made the following bequests:

  • All private property (except slaves) to be sold together with the gristmill, sawmill and everything pertaining thereto
  • To daughter Mary all other lands adjoining part sold, with the gristmill, sawmill, and everything pertaining thereto. Daughter Mary to pay executors $200 within two years
  • To Mary featherbed and furniture already claimed by her, all cow beasts claimed by her, falling leaf table and small trunk
  • To son Thomas all other lands, including the part he lives on, son Thomas to pay executors $300 within two years
  • Executors to pay $100 each to sons William and Patrick and to daughter Elizabeth
  • To daughter Sarah $500 “this I give her in compliance with a promise made at the request of her mother”
  • Executors to pay son William $100 to be applied in schooling a son of Mary Akeman’s (now Mary Hoover) which son Andrew was said to be a child of my son Patrick, on condition of the mother’s consent and the child being bound to son William
  • (see Bequest Concerning Slaves below)
  • Balance to daughters Sarah and Margaret and to John Milhollin, a natural son of daughter Esther, dec, who now lives with my brother Patrick Milhollin

Codicil to the will: two tracts being purchased from John Bollar are also to be sold. Dated 8 November 1818 and witnessed by Charles and Rachel Cameron.

The Inventory

The Inventory of the Estate of Thomas Milhollin
The Inventory of the Estate of Thomas Milhollin

The Inventory of the Estate of Thomas Milhollin was submitted on 18 December 1818 by Adam Givin, Charles Cameron, B. Thomson, and Alexander McClintic.5 It included the following items: cart, farm implements, tools, kitchen furniture, saddle and saddle bags and pair of stillards, household furniture, shoemakers tools, gun and shot pouch, old books, wearing apparel, hemp, rye, broke flax, barrels, still, 2 axle tres, oats, wheat, corn, 5 stacks of hay, 13 hogs, 3 horses, 19 cattle, and Negroes named Kate, Isaac, Charles, and John.

Section in the inventory with the names of the enslaved persons

In the middle of page 233 we find:

1 Negro Woman named Kate 150.00
1 negro boy named Isaac 500.00
1 negro boy named Charles 400.00
1 negro boy named John 250.00

The Sale of the Estate

The Sale of the Estate of Thomas Milhollin

The sale of the estate was on 8 December 1818.6 Three pages of items with the names of the buyers and the price they paid. The enslaved persons were not sold.

A Bequest Concerning Slaves

Thomas Milhollin made the following bequest in his last will and testament concerning the slaves found in his inventory.

As it is my desire that my slaves to wit. Kate and her three children Isaac, Charles, and John, should not be retained in Slavery after my decease I will and direct that my daughter Mary and my son Thomas out of the legacies left them do furnish my said slaves Kate and her three children with two suits of strong new cloths and with money necessary for conveying them to the state of Ohio and that my said son Thomas carry them there and deliver them to my son-in-law Jeremiah Sims and that said Jeremiah Sims bind the said Isaac, Charles, and John to learn some trade agreeable to the Laws of that commonwealth until they severally arrive to the age of twenty one years, at which time it is my will that they be free and that the said Jeremiah Sims have and enjoy the services of the said Kate until her residence there under the laws of that state and my will now intitle her to her freedom and also should it be necessary upon the introduction of my said slaves into the State of Ohio to pay any tax to the commonwealth it is my will that the said Jeremiah Sims pay the same out of the legacies left by me to his wife Sarah.

The three children were to be bound to Jeremiah Sims to learn a trade until the age of 21, then freed. Kate was to work for Jeremiah Sims until freed under the laws of Ohio.

1820 U.S. Federal Census, Ohio, Clark, German Township, Jeremiah Sims

On the 1820 census, three persons of color were in the Sims household in Germantown in Clark County, Ohio. Were they the three sons of Kate? Two sons and Kate? Was Kate living in a different household? Had Isaac already reached the age of 21 and freed?

By 1830 Jeremiah was deceased and his widow Sarah had her own household with 2 sons and a daughter. Next door was her son William. Her oldest son Thomas who had married in 1822 has not been located in 1830. Sarah and William did not have slaves or free colored persons in their household.

Is it possible Jeremiah Sims, who died in 1824, left a will including bequests concerning the young men bound to him?

The Last Will and Testament of Jeremiah Sims

On 8 January 1824, Jeremiah Sims wrote his last will and testament.7 No mention was made of slaves. There was, however, a codicil to the will.

Codicil to the Last Will and Testament of Jeremiah Sims

I, Jeremiah Sims, do further add this codicil to my last will and testament, that is to say, it is my will that the two coulered boys living in my family to wit Charles and John shall be bound out at the discretion of my executors aforesaid. Witness my hand and seal to this day above written (8 January 1818). Jeremiah Sims
Saul Henkle
John Callison
James Callison

By 1824, it would appear that Isaac had reached the age of 21 or for some other reason was no longer living in the family of Jeremiah Sims. Charles and John had likely not yet reached the age of 21.

Jeremiah Sims did not include surnames for the two young men living in his family. What surname or surnames did Kate, Isaac, Charles, and John choose to use? Did they remain in Clark County, or even in Ohio?

This was written in hopes of the names of Kate and her sons Isaac, Charles, and John being familiar to a descendant searching for them.

True's statementFollowing my three-part series on the slaves of my 5th great grandfather James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors.

These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project (About the Project) administered by Schalene Jennings Dagutis who also blogs at Tangled Roots and Trees.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_88, image 33, page 18, Ohio, Clark, Green, German, image 3 of 3, line 41. Jeremiah Sims ( : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  2., U.S. Census Forms, 1820 census,;
  3. Eliza Warwick Wise, Bath County Marriage Bonds and Ministers Returns 1791-1853 (Bath County Historical Society, Inc. 1978). 
  4. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (images),, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Bath Will Books, Vol 1-3, 1791-1830; Vol 2, pages 229-232, images 439-440 of 746. Last Will and Testament of Thomas Milhollin. ( : accessed 25 February 2018). 
  5. Ibid., pages 232-233, images 440-441 of 746. Inventory of Estate of Thomas Milhollin. ( : accessed 25 February 2018). 
  6.  Ibid., pages 236-238, images 442-443 of 746. Sale of the estate of Thomas Milhollin. ( : accessed 25 February 2018). 
  7. “Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998,” (index and images),, citing original data from Ohio County, District and Probate Courts,, Clark Wills, Vol A1, 1819-1835; Vol 2, 1835-1855, p 94-96, images 56-57 of 565. 1824 Last Will and Testament of Jeremiah Sims and Codicil. ( : accessed 26 February 2018). 

52 Ancestors: #11 The Wollscheid-Barthelmes Family of Kirsch, Germany


Longuich-Kirsch is situated on the Moselle River, one of Germany’s most beautiful river landscapes. No less than nine roads lead from the old Roman road to this place founded around 100 A.D. Later, the village was governed for over 1200 years by the Trier Abbey of St. Maximin.

Longuich and Kirsch, the second being where the WOLLSCHEID-BARTHELMES family lived, are two places of Roman and Celtic origin which have grown together to form a place now known as Longuich-Kirsch. Longuich comes from the Latin longus vicus meaning long village; Kirsch, the German word for cherry, was formerly cressiacum, a Latinized Celtic word. Another interpretation of the name Longuich says it is of Celtic origin and derived from lunc-wich meaning crooked creek. The Mosel River actually curves and bends around the piece of land Longuich-Kirsch lies on.

The two yellow icons on the map above show the location of Kirsch and Longuich in relation with the Kalberger Hof (green icon) featured last week.

The WOLLSCHEID-BARTHELMES family lived in Kirsch before the two places grew together and formed what in German is known as a Doppelort, a double place or location.

Jacob’s Childhood

Johann WOLLSCHEID (1725-1773) married Anna Maria WILLWERT (1728-1789) on 10 January 1747[1] in the Catholic Church St. Michael in Trier, Germany. Trier, or Treves as it is known by the French and English, claims to be the oldest city in Germany.

Johann and Anna Maria had only two known children. Both were born in Tarforst on the outskirts of Trier. Johann Peter was born in 1748[2] and nearly 18 years later his brother Jacob was born on 13 March 1766.[2] I suspect more children were born to the couple. Family books for the towns in the area need to be consulted.

Little Jacob was barely eight years old when his father died on 24 April 1773.[2] His mother died when he was 23 years old on 27 October 1789.[2]

Katharina’s Childhood

Johann BARTHELMES (1728-1802) married Eva BARZEN (1729-1789) before 1758.[3] They had two sons and a daughter in 1758, 1760, and 1762 before their daughter Katharina was born on 12 July 1763 in Kirsch.[3] Her godparents were Peter GEIBEN and Katharina BARTZEN of Kirsch, a maternal aunt. Katharina’s birth was followed by two more sons and a daughter born in 1765, 1769, and 1771.[3] Katharina was 25 years old when her mother died on 13 February 1789.[3]

Jacob and Katharina Marry

Jacob “Jacobus” WOLLSCHEID married Katharina BARTHELMES on 25 January 1797 in Longuich, Rheinland, Germany.[4] Jacob was 30 and Katharina was 33. Their religious ceremony may have taken place in one of two churches. In the Kirsch Chapel, the succursal church of St. Sebastian, built in 1781 on the site of a former church built nearly 200 years before, or the St. Laurentius Parish Church built in 1771, also on the site of a former church. Both churches still stand today in [Zoom in on the yellow icons on map above for the locations of the churches.]

A little more than two years later they started their family with a son Johann Peter who was born on 7 April 1799 in Kirsch and was baptized the next day in Longuich.[4] The father was 33 years old and the mother was going on 36.

The following year their next child, a daughter, was born in Kirsch on Christmas Eve, in a new century. Anna Maria was baptized on Christmas Day 1800 in Longuich.[4]

A year later their second daughter Christina was born in Kirsch on 5 January 1802 and was baptized the next day in Longuich.[4]

Katharina’s father Johann BARTHELMES was about 74 years old when Christina was born. He’d outlived his wife by more than a dozen years. But by the time winter came around that year his death was being reported by his son-in-law Jacob on 15 November 1802.[3]

Seven months later death visited the little family once again. Their youngest, Christina, died on 2 June 1803 in Kirsch at the age of 17 months. She was buried the following day in Longuich.[4]

For two years Johann Peter and Anna Maria were the only children of Jacob and Katharina. Then on 24 November 1805, their last child, a daughter, Katharina was born in Kirsch and baptized the following day in Longuich.[4] Jacob was 39 years old and his wife Katharina was 42 years old.

Jacob’s only known brother Johann Peter WOLLSCHIED died 16 December 1821 in Morscheid. He left a widow and one son. Like his brother Jacob, he had also had three daughters but they all died when still young.

Exactly one year later Jacob’s wife Katharina BARTHELMES died on 16 December 1822 in Kirsch. Jacob followed her three years later on 5 January 1826. He was buried two days later on 7 January 1826.[5] He left a son and two daughters.


A double wedding took place on 17 January 1827, a year after the death of Jacob WOLLSCHEID. His first daughter Anna Maria married Nicolaus SCHMITT[6] and his youngest daughter Katharina married Caspari FERGER.[7] Both marriages took place at the church in Longuich. Katharina’s civil marriage took place the previous day. A mention of Anna Maria’s civil marriage was not found in the family books which were viewed.

After the girls’ marriages, their brother Johann Peter waited another year before marrying Angela KOCH on 7 February 1828 in Longuich.[8]

Katharina, the youngest of the WOLLSCHEID children, gave birth to six children in ten years. Three months after giving birth to her last child she died at the age of 34 years on 23 December 1839 in Kirsch.[9]

The only son, Johann Peter, died on 16 December 1854 in Longuich.[10] He was the father of seven children, two of whom died young. His wife outlived him by nearly 17 years.

My children’s fourth great-grandmother Anna Maria, also known as Marianna, was the last living WOLLSCHEID child. After living with her husband Nicolaus SCHMITT on the Kalberger Hof and raising a family, she died in Osweiler, Luxembourg, at the home of her son-in-law Johann SCHWARTZ on 3 November 1857.[11]

Two Grandsons Go to America

Jacob and Katharina’s only son Johann Peter had five children who grew to adulthood. The two youngest sons went to America a little more than a decade after their father died. Nicholas was the first to go after requesting permission to emigrate on 18 July 1865. His younger brother Paul applied on 29 May 1867 saying he would be able to live with his brother who was already in America. Paul was underage and had to have permission from three persons from his paternal and three persons from his maternal family. His application to emigrate was approved however, I have found no evidence he went or lived in America.[12]

His older brother Nicholas who came to America a few months after the end of the Civil War enlisted in the U.S. Army in Petersburg, Virginia, with Capt. Nicodemus on Valentine’s Day 1866. He was 24 years old, a 5-foot 4-inch wagon maker with brown eyes, light hair. He was discharged three years later in Winchester, Virginia when his service expired.[13] Less than two weeks later, on 27 February 1869, he married Johanna C. Schroeder,[14] a widow with a six years old daughter. Nicholas, his wife, and step-daughter lived in Bloomery, Hampshire County, West Virginia in 1870. By 1880 they had settled in Dunbar, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. There were no children in their household, the 16 years old step-daughter was married and living in the area. Nicholas died in 1899[15] leaving his widow Johanna who lived with her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters. Johanna died in 1909.[16]

When Nicholas died the connection to America for this family ended. There may be some who would question this as the step-daughter’s death certificate suggests Nicholas Walsche was her father. Her mother is listed as Joana Roth which would have been her first married name and the surname of Ernestine’s father, John P. Roth.

Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964. : accessed 17 March 2017.

Ernestine’s death certificate shows she was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Her obituary, below, gives White Front, Virginia. In the 1870 to 1940 census listings found for her, she was born in Maryland except in 1940 which has Pennsylvania. It is not the place of her birth which is important. She was born in 1863 in America and Nicholas did not apply to emigrate to America until 1865.

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) 22 December 1956; : accessed 17 March 2017

With this aside on the grandsons of Jacob WOLLSCHEID and Katharina BARTHELMES, I would like to end this post. It was fun getting into the U.S. records and following up on the possibility of there being WOLLSCHEID descendants of this couple still in America but the search was to no avail.


[1] Germany Marriages, 1558-1929 / Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 530,205. ( : accessed 12 March 2017), Joannes Wolschie… and Anna Maria Wilwerts, married 10 Jan 1747; citing Waldrach, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; father of bride Petri Wilwerts.
[2] Armin Giebel, compiler, Familienbuch Standesamt Ruwer-Waldrach, (Stand: Sept. 2016), page 3991, family 20387. Wollscheid-Willwertz family group.
[3] Ibid., page 83, family 310. Barthelmes-Barzen family group.
[4] Ibid., page 3996, family 20406. Wollscheid-Barthelmes family group.
[5] Ibid., page 3994-3995, family 20400. Wollscheid-Dehen family group.
[6] Germany Marriages, 1558-1929, FHL microfilm 469,141. ( : accessed 1 August 2015), Nicolaus Schmidt and Maria Anna Wolschett, married 17 Jan 1827, parents of groom Friderici Schmidt and Elisabethae Plein, parents of bride Jacobi Wolschett and Catharinae Barthelmaes; citing Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany.
[7] Ibid., ( : accessed 10 March 2017), Casparus Ferger and Catharina Wolschet, married 17 Jan 1827 in Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; parents of groom Matthiae Ferger and Gertrudis Biver; parents of bride Jacobi Wolschet and Catharinae Barthelmaes.
[8] Ibid., ( : accessed 10 March 2017), Joannes Wollscheid and Angela Koch, married 07 Feb 1828; parents of groom Jacobi Wollscheid and Cath. Barthelmes; parents of bride Joannis Petri Koch and Barbarae Horsch.
[9] Germany Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958 / Deutschland Tote und Beerdigungen, 1582-1958, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 469,141. ( : 28 November 2014), Catharina Wolscheid Ferger; age 44; died  23 Dec 1839 in Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; buried 26 Dec 1839; marital status married; spouse Caspari Ferger.
[10] Germany Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958. ( : accessed 15 March 2017), Petrus Wollscheid; died 16 Dec 1854 in Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; age 55; marital status married; spouse Angelae Coch.
[11] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Rosport > Décès 1853-1891 > image 52 of 510. 1857 Death Record No. 24. ( : accessed 13 March 2017).
[12] Armin Giebel, Ortsfamilienbuch des StA Longuich bis Okt. 1931 (June 2013), page 2378-2379, family 11530. Wollscheid-Koch family group.
[13] Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M233, 81 rolls); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C. : accessed 15 March 2017
[14] Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940, database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 March 2017), Jno. P. Wollscheid in entry for …id…olar Wollscheid and Johanna Schraider, 27 Feb 1869; citing Winchester, Frederick, Virginia, reference 106; FHL microfilm 2,048,496.
[15] Find A Grave Memorial# 100851368, Find A Grave ( : accessed 16 March 2017)
[16] Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964, database, : accessed 17 March 2017.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Rupe/Roop/Ruppe/Rupp Migration in the Years 1752-1820

The immigrant Johann Jacob RUPP came from Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Northern Alsace, present-day France, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1752 with his wife Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER and their three sons Johann Jacob, Johann Michel, and Johann Martin.

The Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg connection and the ship they came on will be discussed in later posts.

In the Beginning, There was Family Tradition

Public domain, released by David Dilts, a Family History Research Wiki user.

From the following report given by Johann Jacob RUPP’s great-great-grandson Redmond Ira ROOP at a family reunion in 1927 in Carroll County, Maryland, the family very likely took the Great Valley Road in green in the map above (with some continuing on the dotted green road).

Traveling on what was once the Baltimore and Memphis Turnpike, the Rupe caravan crossed the Potomac at Harper’s Ferry in 1796. The caravan included Henry, his wife Catherine, and their family of several sons and daughters, the three older brothers of Henry, and their families. In crossing the Potomac the cattle and other larger animals were forced to swim, and the sons of Henry held the ropes attached to the horns of the cows. One wild cow pulled one of the unsuspecting Rupe boys overboard while crossing and he might have been lost had they not missed the cow, which finally reached shore with the boy swinging to her tail some distance down stream. The three brothers of Henry split with one of them going to Ohio, one to Western North Carolina, and the other to Georgia. Henry and family journeyed through the Shenandoah Valley and into Rockbridge County, bound for the southwestern section of the state, then rather sparsely settled. When they reached Buffalo Creek, four miles north of Natural Bridge, a great flood overtook them and they were forced to remain for several days. A report reached them that Natural Bridge had washed away, and it being the only passage, it would require four years to restore the bridge. They settled on Buffalo Creek and built a mill there, which they operated for years before they learned that the report of the bridge destruction was like Mark Twain’s comment on the first report of his death, considerable exaggereated (sic). Early in the year 1800 they left Rockbridge Co. and wound up in Lunenburg Co., VA where they had at least one child before settling on Pelham’s Branch, near Little River, about eight miles southwest of Christiansburg, Montgomery Co., VA. The first recorded document for Henry in this area was the purchase of 326 acres on Aug. 17, 1804 from Abner Lester, to whom it had been granted by the Commonwealth in 1795.

Who doesn’t have a story of several brothers? My 5th great-grandfather Henry RUPE was the youngest son of Johann Jacob RUPP and Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER. I would like to believe he traveled with three older brothers but this may be “exaggereated” (to use Redmond’s spelling). To simplify things I’m dropping the Johann from the father and his three sons’ names as, after they came to America, the second name was found in records.

Descendants of the 1752 immigrant Johann Jacob RUPP used different spellings of the surname — RUPP, RUPE, ROOP, ROUP, ROOPE, ROUPE, RUPPE — from one generation to the next, even in the same family and same generation.

This is where I’m seeing the families from 1752 to 1820.

  1. Henry’s parents Jacob and Barbara and his three oldest brothers Jacob, Michael, and Martin came to America in 1752 arriving in Philadelphia.  This will be discussed in a later post. The length of time they remained in Pennsylvania is unknown.
  2. Henry’s father Jacob RUPP was in Frederick and Baltimore County, Maryland, from about 1759 to 1792. Church records[1], as well as three sets of newly found records, confirm his residence in Pipe Creek Hundred in Baltimore County. They will be discussed in more detailed upcoming posts.
  3. Family tradition (above) tells of Henry and his brothers crossing the Potomac at Harpers Ferry in 1796. The transcript of the report by Redmond ROOP may not be reliable. The information has been copied many times and cannot be traced back to its origin. Theron Rupe, another researcher for the family, wrote the family left Maryland in 1793 after Henry sold 100 acres of the original 115 acres owned by his father Jacob.
  4. Family tradition (above) tells of Henry’s family remaining at Buffalo Creek in Rockbridge County, Virginia, until about 1800. I have not found proof of this or of their building or running a mill at this location. Henry ROOP was in Rockbridge County on 13 January 1801 when Polly NULL, from Baltimore County, Maryland, and daughter of Anthony NULL married James HART. Henry gave an oath of the bride being of age. [I have images of both records] The 1800 census for Virginia is not available and tax lists have been used as substitutes. The 1801 tax list for Rockbridge was used as a substitute. James HART was listed but Henry RUPE/ROOP appears to have already left the county as he was not on the list. There for the marriage, gone for the tax list!
  5. Henry RUPE was seen in Montgomery County buying land in 1804 from Abner Lester. He continued to acquire land and deeds show his name spelled Roop. In the 1810 through the 1840 census, the surname was spelled Roop, Roope, and Rupe. He lived in Montgomery County until his death in 1845.
  6. Martin RUPE was a resident of Surry County, North Carolina from 1795 to about 1810. He may not have taken care of all business in the county before moving on as he was seen on the 1812 tax list. George WEAVER was a resident of Stokes County, North Carolina in 1800. By 1820 the WEAVER family was living next door to Henry RUPE in Montgomery County, Virginia. George’s wife was the sister of Henry RUPE.
  7. Martin ROOP (indexed Roap) was in Union County, South Carolina, by 1810. The area became Cherokee County. Many of his descendants lived there as well as across the state line in Rutledge and Cleveland counties in North Carolina. His descendants in the Carolinas used the surname spelling RUPPE.
  • Places of birth of the children of Henry RUPE indicate he was in Maryland in 1786-1792, Virginia from about 1794.
  • Places of birth of the children of Martin RUPP indicate he was in Maryland in 1779, Pennsylvania 1780-1788, Virginia 1790, North Carolina 1796-1805.
  • Places of birth of the children of George WEAVER indicate he was in North Carolina in 1778* and back in Maryland in 1781-1790.

*Another family tradition, which I will be discussing in a future post, suggests Jacob RUPP and his family, during the American Revolutionary War, “bought land in a  North Carolina land company and after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783 the family resurfaced in Baltimore County.” Records I’m finding show Jacob was in Baltimore County during this time and do not support the theory of his being in North Carolina. George WEAVER’s oldest child was listed on the 1850 census as born abt. 1778 in North Carolina. She died before 1860, her children died in 1848, 1865, and bet. 1860-1870. This left no possibility of confirmation of the mother’s place of birth on the 1880 census.

It was important for me to map the migration pattern of the family during this period. I am convinced it will help me prove or disprove the family tradition by pointing me in the right direction at the right time. Of course, any suggestion on a course of action would be greatly appreciated.

[1] C. T. Zahn and Frederick S. Weiser, translators and editors, Maryland German Church Records Volume 10, subtitle: Zion Church “The German Church”, Manchester, Carroll County — today Trinity United Church of Christ Records, 1760-1836 and Immanuel Lutheran Church Records, 1760-1853 (published by the Historical Society of Carroll County, Westminster, Maryland).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Johann Jacob RUPP
Parents: Johann Jacob RUPP Jr. and Maria Apollonia FETZER
Spouse: Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER
Parents of spouse: Johannes NONNENMACHER and Maria Barbara STAMBACH
Whereabouts: Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Pennsylvania, Maryland
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 6th great-grandfather

    1. Johann Jacob RUPP
    2. Heinrich Thomas “Henry” RUPE Sr.
    3. James ROOP
    4. Gordon H. ROOP
    5. Gordon Washington ROOP
    6. Walter Farmer ROOP
    7. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
    8. Fred Roosevelt Dempsey
    9. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Do you feel responsible for errors in others’ family trees?

This door symbolizes the research done on the immigrant Johann Jacob RUPP of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Northern Alsace, France. The first door is open showing a passageway leading to another door that is closed.

The First Door Opens

Theron A. Rupe found records in the 1990s for RUPP individuals in the Family History Library’s International Film #775041:

Steinseltzrecords Parish registers, in German, of baptisms, marriages, and deaths for Steinselz, Elsaß-Lothringen, Germany; now Steinseltz, Bas-Rhin, France, including Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg were filmed in the Strasbourg Archives. Note: As of 20 July 2010 these records are browsable online at the Archives Départementales du Bas-Rhin.

Theron’s research opened the first door. We corresponded by postal mail as he did not have internet access and a few emails were passed along by his son-in-law. In 2001 he shared photocopies with me of the records he found showing Johann Jacob RUPP b. 1723 was the son of Johann Jacob RUPP Jr. This, in turn, led him to Johann Jacob RUPP Sr. who he found had remarried and was fathering children at the same time as Johann Jacob RUPP Jr.

At the time I was more concerned with proving my grandmother’s ROOP line back to RUPE and the RUPP immigrant. Theron was “satisfied with information we have on family in America” and would “appreciate only information relating to Oberhoffen.”

I visited Steinseltz and Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg on a day trip in December 2001 but did not have the time to visit and/or do research at the archives in Strasbourg. This put an end to our collaborating as I did not have access to the records needed to satisfy his interest in the family of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg.

A Second Door Opens

Fast forward a dozen years, in June 2013 I learned the church records were online in the Bas-Rhin Archives. I learned later they had been online for several years as noted above. I’d canceled my subscription the previous month and had plenty of time to delve into the church records.

I searched the baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and deaths beginning in 1685, the earliest records available, until 1752 the year my 6th great-grandfather Johann Jacob RUPP (b. 8 March 1723) came to America. I found about 130 church records for RUPP related individuals in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and Steinseltz. This included any record with a RUPP mentioned, for example, as a godparent on a baptismal record. Here a name, there a name, and before you know it you are connecting the dots and can see the whole picture.

What I found completely changed the RUPP family tree. I attempted contacting Theron with the new information however he is no longer doing genealogy. Without a subscription to Ancestry®, I wasn’t able to contact the people who had trees with the wrong information which I felt responsible for.

Why did I feel responsible?

In 2001 I entered the information found by Theron into my family tree. At the time, with the few photocopies of the old church records he shared with me, it looked good [to the new to US genealogy researcher] as the information was also included in Louise Roop Anderson Akers’ book The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope  (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016). Although many other genealogists researching the family also bought the book I was one of the first to share the information online.

On 6 December 2002, I uploaded my GEDCOM file to RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project for the first time and it included the Roop information. A few years later I discovered my file had been included in the Ancestry Family Tree (later becoming a part of the OneWorldTree). Over the years dozens of owners of family trees on have merged the incorrect information into their trees.

Yesterday I was looking at some of the trees and was reminded of why I do not want my family tree on I wish a user’s license was the prerequisite for using the family tree feature as well as reviewing and accepting hints. I can understand how people new to genealogy will make mistakes but there is no need to accept all hints without question.

What has changed in the RUPP family tree?

After sleeping on it, I’ve decided against contacting owners of trees with the incorrect information. My 1752 immigrant was not the only RUPP to come to America. Others came before and after him which only adds to the confusion seen in the trees found online.

To begin I plan to write about my 5th great-grandfather Heinrich Thomas “Henry” Rupe Sr. 1765-1845. There are several aspects of his life I would like to discuss in separate posts. They may not be done in this particular order but will include the migration from Maryland to Virginia, his life in Virginia, his children, and his siblings.

A post on how the connection was made between the immigrant and the ship he came over on will hopefully clear up the “it cannot be” comment I found on one of the “stories” attached to several trees on ancestry.

Once the ship has sailed I’ll write about the three RUPP generations found in the French archives who changed the family tree. Hopefully, by writing their stories I will no longer feel responsible for mistakes seen in other people’s family trees.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

In 2016 I’m Going To….

….get my money’s worth out a 6-month subscription.

I believe one of my ancestors was looking out for me over the holidays. was offering $10 off their regular $99 price for the 6-month gift subscription of the US collection and I wanted it.

gifttinyI tried to get the offer but was thrown in a loop going from Choose gift to Pay now to Choose gift to Pay now to Choose gift. I could NOT get to the billing page. I was told to try another browser or call in. I gave up before the offer ran out on Christmas Day even after I found a browser I don’t use which worked. I’m kind of stubborn that way.

Two days after Christmas I see 50% off on the regular $99 price!! Stubbornness on my part or someone looking out for me? Whatever, this time billing worked!

In May 2013 when Ancestry said, “We’ll be seeing you” they didn’t know it would be two and a half years later. 🙂

ancestryThe four Virginia Vital Records databases at Ancestry, primarily “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,”  were the reason I finally caved in and took this great deal for six months. Let the research work begin….

© 2016 Cathy Meder-Dempsey