Dear Kinfolk, with the advent, or should I say explosion of the home computer in the late 1980's and early nineties, the finding of family information is much easier compared to when this document was originally produced in 1934 by Ezra Kuhns. In 1963 my grandfather Read McFall Kuhns Sr., brought these records up to date, but without the narrative, "lacking Uncle Ezra's literary style."
What could you add to the introduction below and the ending paragraphs?? This is a work in progress document and in the future I will be taking the liberty to expand on some of the items listed, duly noted at the end, a history lesson of sorts on our family and life in America. What follows is his privately published notes on the Kuhns Family.
David William Kuhns 1999
The following noted have been prepared primarily for the use and pleasure of the descendants of George and Susanna Hubert Kuhns, yet as they be of interest and value to others, may be freely used and cited by any persons so inclined. The records relied upon are somewhat fragmentary, but it is thought that the story has been correctly stated in the main, and any records which may become available later on will be confirmatory rather than otherwise.
It is of interest to note that many of the persons mentioned participated in the Revolutionary War, and at least three of them, Francis, Christian, and George were in actual battle, although in different commands. They left Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for the front at about the same time, reaching Long Island in time to engage in that battle on August 27, 1776. The American troops were under the direct command of Washington. Francis was probably the first to volunteer, and Christian and George enlisted soon thereafter. The service of other members of the family is mentioned in its proper place.
The writer wishes to extend thanks to those who assisted in collecting the data, or graciously permitted the use of several of the illustrations.
Dayton, Ohio, April, 1934 Ezra McFall Kuhns
These notes supplement, and in some respects correct, those of the late Professor Oscar Kuhns published in the issue of "The Pennsylvanian-German" magazine of June, 1909, which contain some valuable data on the Kuntz family. The information has been gathered chiefly from the records of the First Reformed, Trinity Lutheran, and Moravian churches of Lancaster, PA.; also Rupp's Collections, Pennsylvania Archives, County and Court Records, and in a limited degree from family traditions and personal recollections of statements made by persons of earlier generations no longer living. It must be remembered however, that unless one has definite knowledge, it is sometimes difficult to establish with certainty the connection with these immigrants, since there is great variety of spelling, and much crudeness in the autographic lists. The writer has endeavored to employ this genealogical tool as little as possible.
The family came over in that tide of emigration which moved from western and southern Germany during the eighteenth century, due in large measure to the severe economic conditions growing out of the cruel and devastating religious wars which continued almost without interruption over the greater part of the seventeenth century. The hardships endured by these simple folk as they sought a new home across the sea defy description. In addition to the discomforts of a long sea voyage, with hazards incident to the miserable boats in which they were carried, the passengers were compelled to submit to every manner of imposition, as well as to insufficient provision and lack of facilities for even ordinary human comforts. This lead to a very high mortality rate, especially among the women and children. Even after the arrival conditions were often quite shocking, so that to meet them endurance of an exceptional kind was needed; and it was noticeable in gathering this data that longevity was the exception rather than the rule.
The family had its origins in the province of Zweibrucken, Upper Palatinate, Germany, and Professor Kuhns and the writer are of the same degree of descent from Johann Frantz Cuntz, who was the son of Hans Mattheis Cuntz, who was a member of the Reformed Church of Ostbrucken, a small village not far from Waldmohr, in the above mentioned province, and who, according to the parish register of the Reformed Church of Waldmohr, married on November 15, 1708, Anna Elisabetha, daughter of Johann Kirsch, a member of the Waldmohr parish. The church register discloses that Johann Frantz was a carpenter. These villages and the parish are near the Lorraine border, and the names of immigrants from that region, as well as the original spelling of the name under discussion evidence a French influence, due perhaps to Huguenot refugees. The descent is through George Kuntz (Kuhns), the nearest common ancestor, who was the son of Johann George Cuntz, and who died in Lancaster Pennsylvania on January 18, 1835, aged 72 years, 1 month, and 21 days. Professor Kuhns is in error in supposing that the descent is through Theobald or Ewald, whose marriage to Mary Margaret Fortine' is noted in the Reformed Church register. Ewald is given there as the son of George. Anyhow, Theobald was hardly of a marriageable age at the date of the above marriage, May 5, 1745. The Ewald and Mary Margaret referred to cannot be traced further in Lancaster, unless it is she whose death is recorded in the church register on October 6, 1801. It is clear, however, that it was not this Mary Margaret whose will was probated in August 1802, in which sons Michael, George, and Peter are named, as that testatrix was Maria, presumably the widow of Johann George of Zweibrucken, as explained later on.
It is fair to assume that Hans Mattheis above, was born about 1650. The children of Frantz and Anna Elisabetha, as shown by the parish register, were as follows:
Anna Elizabetha, born May, 1710
Johann Jacob, born October 7, 1712
Johann Heinrich, born November 9, 1714
Anna Catharine, born March 14, 1716
Maria Barbara, born September 27, 1717
Anna Dorthea, born November 20, 1719
Johann Nicholas, born November 11, 1721
Elisabeth Margaretha, born December 17, 1723
Johann George born, January 13, 1726
Johann Christian Theobald, born, February 5, 1728
Johann Michel and Frantz Killian, twins, born, November 6, baptized November 8, 1730
The writer has a letter from the pastor of the reformed Church at Waldmohr under the date of August 17, 1933, enclosing copies of the entries on the church register which relate to the birth and baptism of the sons of Johann Frantz Cuntz and Elisabetha, his wife, and stating that there are no entries as to the emigration of any of the persons mentioned. He says "that in the 18th century many people emigrated from Waldmohr but there are no entries in the church books to that effect. However, the books do frequently note the arrival of immigrants from Switzerland."
The names of witnesses or god parents, as shown by the church records above mentioned, are in several cases, Swiss, and this leads to the thought that the Cuntz family reached Waldmohr from Switzerland at some earlier date. It is well known that many Swiss Protestants left their native country during 18th century because of religious persecutions, and settled in Palatinate. Ex-president Hoover's ancestors were among these.
Of the above sons and daughters, several found their way to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and the following gives in some detail much of the data which has come into the writer's hands, in regard to this family, after much effort and some cost, considerable patience, care in forming the conclusions, and the elimination of such data as did not seem to apply.
No attempt is made to identify the daughters, but at least two, it seems reasonably certain, came to these shores, the one Anna Dorothea, who married John Geiger on July 5, 1752, and Elisabetha, who married John Geissinger on July 14, 1754, both in Lancaster.
JOHANN JACOB. This son arrived at the Port of Philadelphia on the ship "Samuel" on August 30, 1736. He was twenty-three years of age, and probably was accompanied by his wife. Jacob settled in Lancaster, and owned property on Queen Street and in Manor Township. He, like his father, was a carpenter by trade; was naturalized in 1743, and died in 1763. From the depositions of the will it would appear that Jacob was twice married. The issue of the first marriage were Elizabeth, Francis, Margaret, Catharine, and John. The mother of these children whose name is unknown, must have died shortly after John's birth which occurred February 17, 1746. For his second wife, Jacob took Anne Margaret, family name unknown. It was she perhaps, whose death on October 6, 1801, is noted in the Reformed Church register under the name "Mary Margaret". At one time she kept a tavern in Lancaster, but this was after her husband's death. Their first child, Maria Barbara, born in 1749, died in infancy. This couple had other children as follows: Jacob, Anna Maria, Christian, John George, and William. Of these, John George, and William also died in infancy. Jacob, who was born in 1752, is described in his father's will as a "weekly child." He died in 1778, leaving a will, and naming therein his mother and brothers and sisters.
Anna Maria was born in 1754, and married Jacob Candel in 1772. Christian was born in 1756, married Christine Bauer in 1785, and died in 1797 in Donegal Township, Lancaster County, his widow and daughter Mary surviving. He was a weaver by trade. Christian served in the Revolution as a corporal in Captain Abraham Dehuff's Company of Col. Atlee's Musketry Battalion of State troops, in 1776. Elizabeth married Casper Shafner on December 2, 1760. He was the oldest son of John Casper Shafner (Shaffner), who landed on August 17, 1733, and Anna Maria his wife, who was the daughter of Johann Peter Knobel, who arrived on the same ship. This marriage was performed by the Reverend Johann Casper Stoever on December 30, 1735. Casper and Elizabeth Shafner were the parents of several children one of whom was also named Casper. Elizabeth died on October 15, 1783, and on June 20, 1786, Casper, senior married again, this time Mary Esther Kuntz, the widow of Frantz or Francis Kuntz, who was the youngest brother of Jacob, the father of Elizabeth. Thus Casper married the aunt (by marriage) of his first wife. Casper Shafner died in 1826, being over 88 years old. He was a worthy and upright citizen, and a leading member of the First Reformed Church. His son Casper died in 1825, aged 58 years. Francis, son of Jacob, the second child, married Elizabeth Spangler in the St. James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, on November 5, 1764. He lived in York Town, York County; in 1767 he deeded to his brother John, his interest in the property on Queen Street, and probably lived and died in York County. Margaret, the third child, married first, John Jacob Yeiser, and second Daniel Frank. She died January 20, 1819. Catharine, the fourth child, married Michael Gardner of York County, on December 13, 1763. John, the youngest child of Jacob the first wife, married Margaret Krug, the daughter of Valentine Krug, the tanner, and Eva Maria, his wife, in St. James Episcopal Church on September 15, 1767. John and Margaret had the following children:
Margaretha, born July 15, 1768
Elizabeth, born October 4, 1769
John, born December 14, 1772
Valentine, born July 7, 1774
George, born February 23, 1776
Elizabeth, born April 18, 1778
Valentine, born 1780
Abraham, born June 18, 1783
Eva Margaret, born April 21, 1785
David, born February 23, 1787
From the repetition of the first names, it is clear that some of these children died in infancy. John died on September 27, 1787, aged 41 years, 10 months, and 10 days. He was a butcher by trade, and served in the Revolution. On June 21, 1789, his widow married Peter Shafner, younger brother of Casper Shafner whose first wife was Elizabeth, eldest child of Jacob Kuntz, the elder. Both Casper and Peter Shafner were Revolutionary soldiers.
NICHOLAS. It was this person who furnished the clue to the old country home of the family, for in the Moravian Church records of Lancaster, his home is given as Waldmohr. He arrived on the ship "Francis and Elizabeth" on September 21, 1742. His marriage to Anna Felicitas occurred on January 3, 1744. They had children as follows:
Michael, born January 1, 1745
Elizabeth, born August 25, 1748
With the record of these births, the story of Nicholas and Anna closes. Whether the son Michael whose name appears in several Revolutionary lists of the borough of Lancaster, or that one mentioned in baptismal records of one or the other churches of Lancaster, is not certain, since there was another Michael Kuntz, son of Michael who died in 1750, and the son, in 1779, bought property on Queen Street which formally belonged to his father. This Michael had sisters Sophia, born in 1748, and Elizabeth born in 1750; the latter died in infancy. But it is reasonable to assume that Michael, whose wife Margaret died on February 9, 1782 was the oldest son of Nicholas above. The wife's death is recorded in the Reformed Church. On the same day was baptized the young child, Ann Margaret, born on February 2. They had other children as follows:
Heinrich, born June 2, 1776
Peter, born October 25, 1780 (died 1781)
It happens that Michael remarried, and with reasonable certainty can be identified with Michael and Catharine, who had the following children who were baptized in Trinity Lutheran Church:
George, born January 25, baptized December 26, 1785
Maria, born September 22, baptized October 2, 1786
Elizabeth, born January 17, baptized April 1, 1788
Anna Maria, and Eva, twins, born March 20, baptized April 20, 1790
JOHANN HEINRICH. Evidently this son of Frantz and Anna Elisabetha arrived on October 20, 1744 in the ship "Phoenix". Perhaps he can be identified with Heinrich Countz, a private in the company of Samuel Perry which belonged to a provincial regiment recruited in 1746 for service against Canada. This regiment discharged at Albany, the expedition having been abandoned by order of His Majesty. The muster roll gives Henry's birthplace as Germany. Samuel Fortney, son of Jonas Fortney, (Fortine') both of whom arrived on September 3, 1742, on the ship "Loyal Judith", was also a member of this company. Jonas Fortney was one of the early members of the Reformed Church in Lancaster. As against the above, however, this son of Frantz and Elizabetha may have been the Johann Heinrich Cuntz who arrived on August 21, 1750, in the ship "Anderson". The spelling of the name corresponds to that of the parish register, and the date of the arrival would indicate that at least three of the brothers, two to be mentioned later on, departed from the old country at approximately the same time. In the journal of the Reverend John Waldschmidt (Pennsylvania Archives, Series VI) is an entry of the marriage of Anna Elizabeth, daughter of Heinrich Kuntz, on October 19, 1762. This is presumably the Heinrich, one of the immigrant brothers from Waldmohr. He probably lived in the north part of Lancaster County, where Rev. Waldschmidt conducted a parish.
MICHAEL. The arrival of Michael, one of the twins, can be placed at October 7, 1749, on the ship "Lesbie". The passengers were from Zweibrucken. The writer has not been able to identify this immigrant with any of the Michael's of the Borough of Lancaster. There was a Michael who served in the Revolution from Northampton County, but an examination of the pension rolls in Washington discloses that he was born in Virginia. This Michael died in Northumberland County. His wife's name was Juliana and he had a son named Peter.
CHRISTIAN TEOBALD and FRANTZ. These two brothers arrived on August 13, 1750 in the ship "Edinburgh". The writer has been unable to develop further information as to the first named. Jacob named one of his sons Christian, and two of his brothers had daughters named Christina. He may have gone to Northampton County and had a family there, as the name Theobald appears often in the revolutionary lists of that county. It is Frantz, or Francis, however, who furnishes more facts and arouses greater interest.
As stated in the early part of these notes, Frantz and his twin brother Michael were the last children of Frantz and Anna Elisabetha. He was born on November 6, 1730, and baptized on November 8 of the same year. He must have gone direct to Lancaster County upon arrival in this country, where at least one brother Jacob and probably Nicholas and several sisters were then living. On July 7, 1755 he married Maria Esther, daughter of Henry and Mary Esther Bollinger (or Bullinger). Henry came to this country on September 5, 1738. He was a tobacconist in Lancaster, and probably fairly well to do. His will, which was probated in 1773, mentions the addition to the widow, one son Peter, and the daughter Mary Esther Kuntz, wife of Francis Kuntz. The son died in 1782, leaving a son Peter and a daughter Elizabeth, while the widow died in 1786. Francis was naturalized in 1762. At one time he owned property on Queen Street which he sold on May 4, 1764, to Casper Shafner, his nephew by marriage. He is described as a tobacconist. From the First Reformed Church records the children of this couple were as follows:
Elizabeth, born September 20, 1758
Jacob, born March 5, 1761
Christina, born October 1, 1762
Jacob died March 2, 1778. Christina was confirmed at Easter, 1772, and Elizabeth at Easter 1773, while Esther was confirmed (and probably baptized) at Easter, 1781. As to Elizabeth and Christina, nothing further has been definitely traced. Esther married George Doebler in 1799, and is mentioned in the will of the above Casper Shafner, Sr. There is no certain record of any other children of Francis and Mary Esther.
In the early part of the year 1776, Francis the past 45 years of age, enlisted in the Third Battalion of the State Troops, under Col. Shee, and it quite likely that he did not return to Lancaster until late in 1782. His leg was amputated as the result of hard service. The Third Battalion was in the Battle of Long Island, covering the retreat of Washington's army, then reorganized, a part going to the third regiment of the Line, and Francis followed the fortunes of the third regiment under Col. Thomas Craig, which was in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, at Valley Forge and Monmouth; and it was probably in this battle that the wound was received which resulted in the amputation. In 1779, Francis was transferred to the Invalid Regiment from which he was discharged 1782. On April 19, 1786 an application supported by medical certificates was filed in the Orphans' Court of Lancaster County, for the relief of this veteran who was at the home of Martin Bard, in the outskirts of Lancaster, and desperately sick, but on April 21 he died, and was buried by the Reformed Church minister on April 23, 1786, aged 55 years, 5 months, and 17 days. On June 20, 1786, his widow married Casper Shafner before referred to, whose first wife Elizabeth, the daughter of Jacob Kuntz the elder, had died in 1783. Mary Esther Shafner died in 1814, aged 79 years. That all was not well in this household appears from the will of Mary Esther Bollinger in which she declares that he, Francis Kuntz, should be utterly cut off from the property willed by her to Mary Esther Kuntz, the wife of Francis. Regardless of the causes which led to Francis' leaving home and abandoning his family as he appears to have done, this soldier served his country for six years, passed through some of the hardest battles and most trying experiences, having been seriously wounded, and died at last in the home of a friend in the outskirts of the borough which became his home on his arrival from Germany 35 years earlier.
JOHANN GEORGE. As stated in the first part of these notes the writer's early ancestor seems to have been Johann George, the fourth son of Frantz and Anna Elisabetha. This conclusion is supported both directly and inferentially. This person arrived on the ship "Polly" October 8, 1766. His wife's name was Anna Maria. She died on July 18,1802, and an entry on the register of the Reformed Church records her burial by the minister of that church. She is described as a "Lutheran", and was buried in the "English" graveyard, where no doubt, her husband had been laid away at an earlier date. Her will was probated in August of the same year, and she names as her children Michael, George, Peter, Margaret, Barbara, Christina, and Mary Smith. The will was witnessed by Casper Shafner and Casper Shafner, Jr. The relationship of these parties to the Kuntz family has been mentioned above. With the exception of Peter, the names of Anna Maria children were the same as those of the children of Frantz and Anna Elisabetha, and from these and other obvious circumstances, as well as some rather vague oral tradition, the descent can be reasonably inferred. The chief circumstances on the traditional side no doubt refer to Francis, who was, as will be remembered, a one-legged veteran. The writer's grandmother (born 1808) stated vaguely the great grandfather George, who himself was a Revolutionary soldier, had a near relative in the army, who had been "half-killed". Johann George lived in the outskirts of Lancaster, and paid a small tax in 1772, and 1773. The following relates to the children of Johann George and Anna Maria:
MICHAEL. This son married Elizabeth Ackerman in 1792. He was a Lutheran and their children, all baptized in the Lutheran Church, were as follows;
Michael, born February 28, baptized March 9, 1796
Catharina, born December 25, 1798, baptized February 4, 1799
Johann Wendel, born July 28, 1801, (died 1802)
Jacob, born September 21, 1803
Elizabeth, born October 23, 1804
Rebecca, born September 13, 1807
Maria Sophia, born June 1, 1809, baptized March 24,1810
Anna Maria, born October 1, 1812, baptized May 27, 1813
The date of Michael's death is unknown, but his wife Elizabeth died in1850. This Michael and Elizabeth were evidently the parents of Henry also, whose wife was Anna Maria, and they were the parents of the following children.
Elizabeth, bon October 14, 1817, baptized October 1, 1818
Maria, born July 10, 1820, baptized January 23, 1821
Anna Maria, born December 6, 1822, baptized February 2, 1823
Sophia, born February 23, 1825
Rebecca, born February 19, 1828
PETER. This person, one of the sons of Johann George and Anna Maria, Married Maria Summy on August 3, 1802. As the church records show nothing further concerning this couple, they probably moved away from Lancaster, and no attempt has been made to investigate or trace them further.
MARY. This daughter was married to George Schmidt on July 5, 1780. She was the executrix and chief beneficiary in the mother's will. George Schmidt was a Revolutionary soldier.
MARGARET. This daughter married John Shultz on November 19,1780. He, also, was a Revolutionary soldier.
GEORGE. This son, the great grandfather of the writer was born in the old country. There are no records here of the birth or baptism of himself or any of his brothers and sisters and the family Bible cannot be found. If the entry of his death correctly states his age, George was born on November 28, 1762. He died on January 18, 1835, and was buried in the Lancaster Reformed Church graveyard. His wife Susanna, daughter of Casper and Gertrude Hubert, survived her husband many years passing away on August 27, 1856, and was buried in the new cemetery. The inscription on the tombstone gives the date of her birth as November 28, 1767. The church entry says she was over 89 years of age. There is something confusing in the stated ages of these good old people, The pension application of Susanna, the widow of George, filed in December 1842, states her as 81 years. With it was filed a sworn statement of the minister of the Reformed Church certifying to the marriage of George Kuhns and Susanna Hubert on July 23, 1776. Except for this certificate, the year obviously stated wrongly, there is no other record of the marriage. The year was probably 1786 instead of 1776. Susan Hubert was confirmed in the Reformed Church at Easter in 1785. The following certificate is on file with the pension application in the Revolutionary Records Department in Washington:
I, George W. Glessner, Pastor of the German Reformed Congregation of the City of Lancaster, County of Lancaster, and the State of Pennsylvania, do certify that the following extract showing the marriage of George Kuhns and Susan Hubert taken from the records of said church with the exception of the date and which is expressed on the record in fair legible figures is a true copy of the record;-
"George Kuhns and Susan Hubert were married on the twenty-third day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy six"
I, George W. Glessner, the above named do depose and say that I do now hold the office of Pastor of the German Reformed Congregation in the City of Lancaster, County of Lancaster, State of Pennsylvania, and that the above is a true extract from the records of said Congregation, with the exception of the date above named, which are expressed in the said record in the figures as follows;-
"23rd day of June 1776"
G.W. Glessner, Pastor.
Sworn and subscribed to this 15th day of December, AD 1842, before me,
George Musser, Ald.
However, in 1855, on an application for a land warrant the marriage is given as 1781. The following is an extract from the affidavit of Jacob, a son, and of George S. Ball, a son-in-law:
"They believe they were married about the year 1781, at Lancaster by the German Reformed clergyman stationed there, that they know they lived together as man and wife for many years and had many children together, who are now living here, that she is of the age stated 87 years - George Kuhns her husband in his life time was reputed by his fellow soldiers of the Revolutionary War, and his neighbors, as having served in the "Flying Camp" for six months in the year 1776-7, and afterwards in the militia companies of Captain Wirtz and Crawford for about six months more in 1777, as a private and a teamster, and received honorable discharge each time."
Evidently the original record of the marriage had become lost or mislaid at the date of the foregoing affidavit.
The pension application of the widow with supporting affidavits of George Leonard, Phillip Mick, and Peter Brunner set forth the military services of George Kuhns. He enlisted in Captain George Graef's company of the Pennsylvania "Flying Camp" in July, 1776, being then only thirteen and a half years old. The regiment under Col. James Cunningham reached Washington's army in New York in time to take part in the Battle of Long Island, where it was severely handled. The "Flying Camp" was an intermediate body of troops raised in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey for a period of six months, and the exigencies of the situation called them to New York and Long Island before they had been fully organized or equipped. On the morning of the battle, the Pennsylvania troops of the "Flying Camp" were on picket duty under Major Burd and were driven in by the British, at considerable loss in killed, wounded and prisoners. The following is an extract from the affidavit of Phillip Mick dated December 23, 1842, given in support of the application of Susan Kuhns for a pension, and the course of the campaign is indicated in what he says:
"In the year 1776, I joined Captain Graeff's company in the City of Lancaster, and was called the "Flying Camp". Mr. George Kuhns of the City of Lancaster also belonged to Graeff's company. We were marched from Lancaster to Philadelphia and from thence we crossed the Delaware and marched to Elizabethtown (New Jersey), and from thence to Amboy, and from thence we were marched to Kingsbridge, and thence to New York Barracks, and from New York we marched to Long Island where we got into a warm engagement with the British in which we were defeated. We retreated to New York City and we retreated to Ft. Washington and from thence to Ft. Lee (the British still pursuing us) and from thence we crossed the Hudson to New Brunswick, and thence proceeded through the Jersies to Trenton, and arrived as the Hessians were taken. We aided in brining the Hessian prisoners from Trenton to the Lancaster Barracks. George Kuhns was with us during the entire campaign until we were discharged in December, 1776."
Affiant says that he enlisted in Lampeter Township. The date of the affidavit is December 23, 1842. It further discloses that George Kuhns later stood guard at numerous times at the stockades and powder house. He hauled flour to the stockades and performed other military service, and also was in other campaigns.
His son William's wife, grandmother of the writer, often repeated his experiences, (which she heard personally from him) at the Battle of Brandywine where he drove a regimental wagon. It seems that his horses, being alarmed at the booming of the cannon, became unruly and gave him much trouble. It appears that he was also at White Plains and Germantown. She also related that when General Lafayette passed through Lancaster in August 1825, George Kuhns with other Revolutionary soldiers, was on the platform front of the Farmer's Bank at King and Duke Streets and as the General's carriage approached, they arose and saluted him, whereupon the procession halted, and Lafayette delivered a short address to the veterans. She described Lafayette as a tall man with a very red face. In the evening a banquet as tendered the illustrious guest which only the select who could afford the price were able to attend, but as midnight drew on, it was whispered to Lafayette that some of his old but less opulent comrades in arms had assembled at the home or tavern of Leonard Eicholtz, and were desirous of seeing him, whereupon he slipped away and met with these men. George Kuhns was there.
Susan Kuhns was pensioned by the State of Pennsylvania at $40 per year, beginning January 1, 1843, and drew a pension of $33.33 per annum from the United States, on account of her husband's revolutionary service. James Buchanan, senator from Pennsylvania, afterwards President of the United States, vouched for the petitioner. The application was granted in 1843. In 1856 she was granted a quarter section of the land for her husband's services. The warrant was sold, and the land was located by the purchaser in Wisconsin.
George and Susan had children as follows:
(Lutheran Church) George, born August 10, 1790, baptized September 5, 1790
(Reformed Church) Jacob, born August 30, 1793, baptized September 15, 1793
Elizabeth, born September 3, 1795, baptized September 27, 1795
Anna Maria, born October 27, 1797, baptized December 3, 1797
John, born December 11, 1799, baptized January 26, 1800, and died 1800
William, born November 30, 1801, baptized December 25, 1801
Margaret (Rebecca), born January 25, 1804, baptized February 26, 1804
Sophia, born July 3, 1807, baptized July 13, 1807
John, born December 2, 1809, baptized January 15, 1810
The following additional information relates to the children of George and Susan:
GEORGE married Magdalena Maria Evans, April 26, 1818 (Reformed Records). Their children were as follows:
William, born February 26, 1819, baptized March 21, 1819
John, born August 17, 1821, baptized August 23, 1821
George Jacob, born July 11, 1824, baptized July 25, 1824
Susan, born July 2, 1828, baptized July 19, 1828
Edward, born June 19, 1827, baptized July 2, 1827
JACOB married Ana Maria Boos on April 15, 1818 (Reformed Records). Their children were as follows:
Maria, born July 7, 1819, baptized August 1, 1819
Henry, born December 4, 1820, baptized December 24, 1820
William Jacob, born January 23, 1823, baptized February 16, 1823
Benjamin, born January 26, 1825, baptized February 21, 1825
Emanuel, born May 31, 1827, baptized July 2, 1827
Susan, born April 4, 1829, baptized May 28, 1829
Catharine, born September 20, 1830, baptized October 17, 1830
Ann Eliza, born November 29, 1832
Margaret, born January 31, 1835
Amanda, born August 10, 1837
Edward, born November 3, 1840
Maria Cecelia, born April 11, 1844
As several of the sons and daughters of Jacob removed to Dayton, Ohio, the home of the writer, and were well known by him, the following additional facts relating to such as were married, are furnished.
MARIA (or Mary) married George Ball; Henry married Noretta Flint; William married Rebecca Brown;
Benjamin married Mary Nauman; Susan married Jacob Spindler; Catherine married James Pasco; Margaret married Edward J. Zahm; Anna married (1) Samuel Fraim (2) Edward J. Zahm; Edward married Margaret Waring; Amanda married Norman Altick, and Maria Cecelia married Harry Underwood.
ELIZABETH married Henry Flick on October 27, 1814. He was the son of William Flick, a Revolutionary soldier. Their children were: George, Frederick, Mary (wife of Robert M. Morrow),Jacob, Kate, and Elizabeth (wife of Joseph Brillhart), Henry, and Margaret (wife of George Spurrier).
ANNA MARIA married George Gundacker on May 5, 1816. Their children were as follows:
Susan, born October 4, 1818
Maria, born August 28, 1822
George, born February 8, 1825
Jacob, born February 7, 1827
Henry, exact birthdate unknown, but probably about 1830
JOHN married Maria Shindel on March 10, 1833. Their children are as follows:
Henry, born February 23, 1834
John, born April 29, 1836, baptized January 10, 1837
Sarah Ann, born December 23, 1837, baptized August 27, 1838
Mary Ann, born January 31, 1840
Juliana, born April 29, 1843, baptized January 24, 1844
Amos, Born December 5, 1845, baptized October 20, 1846
MARGARET (also known as Rebecca) married Andrew Gump on March 1, 1826. Andrew was a gunmaker in Lancaster, and in his boyhood while about the workshop of his father who pursued a similar calling, made the acquaintance of Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat, who was a native of Lancaster County, and often visited the shop of the elder Gump. The children of Andrew and Margaret Gump follow:
Emanuel, born July 20, 1827, baptized August 13, 1826
Mary, born January 28, 1830, baptized March 10,1830
Catharine, born December 8, 1831, baptized March 23, 1832
Susan, born December 17, 1833, baptized May 19, 1834
Margaret, born December 28, 1835, baptized June 13, 1836
Andrew Jackson, born October 1837, baptized April 8, 1838
Elizabeth, born March 18, 1840, baptized November 3, 1840
Josephine Cecelia, born November 3, 1849, baptized May 22, 1850
SOPHIA married Henry Gast on October 14, 1827. They had the following children: Maria, Henry, William, Levi, and Sophia.
WILLIAM, the writers grandfather, married Juliana Jaeger, daughter of Jean Gottlieb and Fredricka Jaeger, on October 8, 1826. The marriage was performed by a Methodist minister in Lancaster or thereabouts. This couple had the following children:
Elizabeth, born September 15, 1827
William, born August 7, 1829
Daniel, born September 30,1831
Harriet, born November 3, 1833
Rebecca Fredricka, born October 30, 1835
Sarah Ann, born December 7, 1837
Lydia Ann, born May 16, 1840
Christina and William, twins, born March 29, 1843
Adeline, born April 15, 1844
Susanna, born March 13, 1846
Christina, born September 30, 1848
Charles William, born May 2, 1851
Of these, William, Christina and William (twins), and Charles William died in infancy. Elizabeth married Jacob Landis; she died at an early age in Lancaster; Harriet married (1) Isaac Teel, a Reformed minister of Martin's Creek, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, and (2) John H. Smith; Rebecca married John Vannatta; Sarah Ann married Joseph Michael; Lydia Ann married Henry A. Smith; Adeline died in 1925 unmarried at the age of 81, the last survivor of the children of William and Juliana; Susanna married George Bolender, and Christina (Christie) married Israel Staley. Daniel married on May 10, 1862 at Williamsburg (Stone Church), Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Reverend Ilgin Burrill, pastor of the Lutheran Church at Stone Church, performed the ceremony. Their children are as follows; Flora May, William Jesse, Albert Shull, (deceased), Charles Arthur, Ezra McFall, and Miles Standish.
William Kuhns died on September 21, 1872, Juliana on January 2, 1890; Daniel died April 23, 1893, and Leanora McFall died January 17, 1924; and all lie buried in Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.
SUSAN HUBERT was the daughter of Casper and Gertrude Hubert . Casper was a Palatinate who arrived at the Port of Philadelphia in the ship "Forest" on October 11, 1752. Gertrude's family name is unknown. He probably proceeded, on arrival in this country, direct to Lancaster, where he died, in 1775 or 1776. Gertrude died on August 24, 1814, aged 79 years, 1 month. Casper was a joiner by trade, and a taxpayer in Lancaster. This couple had three sons, Jacob, John, and Casper, and at least one daughter, Susan, all being born in America, and being members of the First Reformed Church. Jacob was in the revolution. In enlistment papers dated September 15, 1777 he is described as "twenty-one years of age, five feet eight inches high, black hair, black complexion, and born in America." His wife was Dorothea Diffenderfer, to whom he was married on January 1, 1785. Jacob who was a tailor by trade, died on March 16, 1828, aged 71 years, 7 months, and 6 days. This couple had children as follows;
Catharine, born October 1, 1788
Henry, baptized January 2, 1791
Margaret, born February 20,1792
Jacob, born February 24, 1792
Susanna, born April 21, 1786 (Trinity Lutheran)
Elizabeth, born July 4, 1794 (Trinity Lutheran)
JOHN HUBERT was born on January 17, 1760, and died April 29, 1813. His wife was Elizabeth, last name unknown, and they had children, Elizabeth, born November 13, 1792, and John, born November 30, 1798. There were no doubt other children, but no record of them appears. John the elder, served in the Revolution.
CASPER HUBERT was born in 1762, and died on April 12, 1842, aged 80 years. His wife was Mary Ann Brabant, to whom he was married on July 26, 1789. They had children as follows:
Elizabeth, born May 4, 1790
John, born January 8, 1792
Jacob, born April 2, 1794
George, born October 1, 1796
Maria, born June 13, 1799
Anna, born February 7, 1805
These were all baptized on March 20, 1808. There were other children, William, born January 20, 1809, and Henry, born May 20, 1812, and these were also baptized in the Reformed Church. Whether Casper served in the Revolution has not been ascertained, but as he was of military age, he probably rendered service, as did his brothers John and Jacob.
This portion of the narrative would be incomplete without referring again to Susan (or Susanna), wife of George Kuhns. She was a very pious and sweet-spirited woman, humble to be sure, but much loved by all. She lived on Mulberry Street in the town of Lancaster, on a plot of land her husband bought in 1791. She is said to have raised flowers and medicinal herbs, baked cookies and knickknacks, for which she had a nice trade. She lived to be very old, and in the application for a land warrant filed in1855, is mentioned as a "lively old lady".
The only memento of George Kuhns so far as know, is a shoelast which is in the writer's possession. It would indicate a rather small foot, taking not over a number seven shoe. Aside from the pension records in Washington, the Act of the Pennsylvania Legislature granting a pension, and the granting of the land warrant by the United States above referred to, there is no other known record of the Revolutionary services of George Kuhns. No roll has been found of the company to which he belonged in the "Flying Camp", or in the Brandywine campaign. Some of the facts relative to Col. Cunningham's regiment of the "Flying Camp" have been gleaned from the pension applications of others in the regiment, particularly that of Philip Mick, above mentioned.
George Kuhns seems to have been a teamster at one period of his Revolutionary service, and this was probably his occupation although this is not now definitely known. His will was executed in April 1829 and probated in 1835. He gives his property to Susanna the wife for her life, and thereafter to his children in equal proportions. His sons George and Jacob are made Executors. The division of the property followed the wife's death in 1856.
It is an interesting fact that all of the children of George and Susan with one exception were baptized and confirmed and, with the exception of William, married in the First Reformed Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. All of them raised large families, the children being baptized and confirmed in that church, as well. At one time there were as many as fifty persons of this family who belonged to the church referred to.
JULIANA FRIEDERIKA JAEGER, wife of William Kuhns, was born in Waiblingen, a small town near Stuttgart, in the Kingdom of Wuertemberg, Germany, on October 16, 1808. She was the daughter of Johann Jean Gottlieb and Johanna Friederika Jaeger. The parish register of the Lutheran church in Waiblingen records the ancestral line as far back as May 20, 1651, when Bartholomaus was born, being the son of Hans Martin Jaeger, baker, and Anna Maria, daughter of Werner Weisser, citizen and harness maker of Waiblingen. On June 1, 1681, at Waiblingen, Hans Jacob was born, the son of the above Bartholomaus and Anna Barbara, his wife; on September 4, 1703, also in Waiblingen. Jacob, described as a baker, married Magdalena, daughter of Johann Aldinger, citizen of Fellbach, and on January 10, 1717, their son Johann Mattheis was born. This person, a baker married on August 2, 1740, Virgin Anna Dorothea, daughter of Johann Jacob Krauss, baker. On July 5, 1749, there was born to this couple a son named Ferdinand Friederich, and this son, on October 29, 1771, married Dorothea, daughter of Johann Georg Holzwerth, a "religious worker", in Unterweissach, and Katharina, maiden name Erlenbusch, from Burgstall; their son Johann Gottlieb, was born on June 11, 1781. He married on September 3, 1806, Johanna Friederika, (born June 24, 1783) the daughter of Johann Michael Kaufman, keeper of The Royal Tavern, and his wife Rosina Magdelena Tueppler. Of five children born to this couple, two survived to accompany their parents to this country in 1816. These two were Juliana and Elizabetha Katharina. The former married William Kuhns of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as given above, and the second daughter who was born on April 12,1811, married Henry Pickel, a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
JOHANN GOTTLIEB JAEGER was a baker by trade, as were his paternal ancestors for at least one hundred and fifty years. The ancestral home and birthplace of Juliana is still in the family, the first floor being used as a bakery. He had brothers and sisters, several of whom died in early life. Among the brothers, was were Daniel, Mathaes, Ferdinand, and Ludwig. There was a sister named Christine.
During the Napoleonic wars when Wuertemberg was an ally of France, Johann Gottlieb was in the army, and in 1806 was discharged at Neufchatel in Switzerland. His French passport issued on April 15 of that year, and signed in clear handwriting, as Jean Gottlieb Jaeger, describes him as follows:
"Occupation, baker; age, 24 years, 5 months, 6 days; hair and eyebrows blonde; eyes gray; nose sharp, face round, marked with smallpox".
This ancestor lost his life in the harbor of Philadelphia in an effort to rescue a comrade who had fallen off the gang plank when landing. The widow with the two small children proceeded to Lancaster County where she later married Frederich Faber. They lived at or near Millersville, in the above county, and her death occurred on June 8, 1864. Henry and Katharina Pickel gave two sons to their country in the Civil War. Henry, aged about 22 years, was killed June 27, 1862, at the Battle of Gains Mills, Virginia and Samuel, aged about 28 years was killed at Petersburg, Virginia on June 17, 1864. They were Corporal and First Sergent respectively in Company D, of the First Regiment of the division of Pennsylvania Reserves. This was one of the very reliable divisions of the Army of the Patomac, and saw much hard and important service. The writer has in his possession a letter written by Henry in the winter of 1862, to his cousin Sarah at Lancaster, which is given here in full:
Camp Pierpoint, January 19, 1862
For the first time I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well and I hope these few lines will find you, and all the rest in the same state of good health. As this is Sunday, and I have nothing else to do, I thought that I would let you know that I am still in the land of the living. We are now on Old Virginia, the weather is very bad here, it has been raining for the last week, and it is very muddy. There has been no snow of any account yet. We had a few sprinkles, but it did not amount to anything. Dear Cousin, the soldiers have it hard now, as they are out in all kinds of weather, wt or dry. They have to be tramping around, but I hope it won't last long, for I think the Rebels are getting tired of war, as they come to our lines to give themselves up every day, three or four come to our lines besides them that come to the other lines. I suppose you heard about the Drainesville affair. We had a fine time of it that day, we run about five miles to the assistance of our fellow soldiers, but we got there a day after the affair. Cousin, I hope I shall soon see the day that I can enjoy home pleasures once more. I should like to be home tonight instead of laying on the soft side of a board, but still this is nothing in time of war. There is some report of out regiment going to the City of Washington to guard it. I hope it is true, then we won't have it so hard, but I think it is true, as our Colonel is promoted to provost martial, and I think he will get his regiment in there. So I must close as there is nothing going on in Camp tonight, but give my love to your father and mother, and to all the rest of the family. So no more at the present, but I remain your Cousin till death. Write soon and excuse me for not writing sooner.
Signed Henry Pickel
JULIANA JAEGER KUHNS had a distinct recollection of Napoleon, who, as she stated, passed "to the north of our country," during her childhood in Waiblingen.
In 1923, at the time of the severe economic depression in Germany, which followed the World War, the writer in memory of the very good grandmother, made a contribution of $30 in gold through a business friend in Germany to the little church in Waiblingen, which he visited the following year. This was converted into the inflated currency of the country, amounting in all to ninety million marks!
The Johann Arndt prayer book of this family is still in existence, dated 1711: also a very old German Bible which belonged to Juliana's mother; both showing much use.
DANIEL Y. KUHNS
DANIEL Y. KUHNS, son of William and Juliana Kuhns was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, September 30, 1831, and died at Dayton, Ohio, April 23, 1893. He attended public schools of his native town, and afterwards learned the carpenter trade. Having served his apprenticeship in that occupation, he together with several companions including his cousin Henry Gundacker, left Lancaster for the west. His journeys carried his as far as Iowa and Nebraska, and in 1858 while at Quincy, Illinois, working at this trade, he was privileged to hear the debate of Lincoln and Douglas at that town. He returned to Lancaster several times in the interim, but in 1860, came to Dayton, Ohio, where several of his cousins had preceded him, and this place became his home until death. The parents and several sisters came to Dayton to reside in 1864. In April 1861 he enlisted in Company G, 11th O.V.I. three months' service under Captain Michael Nolan, and then served in various lines of duty in the National Guard, a state organization for performance of home military duty. In 1864, he reenlisted in the 131st O.V.I., Company G, James Turner, Captain, John G. Lowe, Colonel, and as a member of that regiment, performed military duty in Maryland and West Virginia. He was for many years employed in responsible positions by The Farmers Friend Mfg. Co. and The Stoddard Mfg. Co., of Dayton, Ohio, makers of agricultural implements, and while in the services of the former, took out several valuable patents relating to improvements on farm machinery. The following letter is from one of his boyhood associates, upon learning of his death:
Ezra M. Kuhns Lancaster, Pa.
Sept. 16, 1897
Yours of the 14th just received and I thank you for replying to my letter to your father. Little did I think that when he wrote it, that he had passed away. I imagined him enjoying, in peaceful retirement, the merited reward of a well spent life, for such his was. He was one of the most upright and honorable persons, as a boy and man, I was associated with him, and I knew him as both. I am glad I have our old picture. It is that of your father, his cousin, Henry Gundacker, also deceased, and myself; an old daguerreo-type taken in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1853. In the spring of that year six of us young chaps went west, as we then considered it, with no particular object in view, but for a little experience I suppose. I was in my 22nd year. One dropped out at Pittsburgh and I think stayed there. The rest of us went as far as Cincinnati, but things did not suit us there, and we went up into Indiana. I stopped to see a friend in Hope and stayed there. I soon heard that another of the party Zecher by name, was back in Lancaster, Pa. after a trip of two weeks. Soon after I heard that a third one of us, Spong, was back into Penna. At Mufflin. I think where he remained quite a while. When next I heard from Kuhns and Gundacker , they were at work at Covington, Ky. By fall of that year, I too, concluded to come back to Lancaster, and I have always been glad I did, for my beloved mother did not live very long after that. Before I started home, the boys K. and G. had gotten back too, and were at work in Indianapolis. I went there and spent a couple of days with them, and that is the Last I ever saw of them. Gundacker got to St. Louis, and died there as I learned from his brother George. Of the six, only two survive, Spong and myself. I can hardly convince myself that the two robust friends on the picture are gone, and that I, the frailest, should still be here. I don't think I knew any of your father's sisters except the eldest. How much I wish he could of made that rip to Lanc. And what a pleasure it would of been to grasp his honest hand. But, he has gone to test the truth of our blessed Christian religion, the stay and consolation of old age, and of youth too, for that that matter, although we do not realize its value then as we should.
Again thanking for your kindness, I remain
John B. Allbright
These people, whose simple annals are given in the foregoing pages, were industrious, honest, and God-fearing. They pursued the humbler callings of life, such as small artisans and tradesmen, although several entered business in a larger way, or assumed other important responsibilities; yet so far as the writer has been able to find, there were no professional men among those of the earlier generations in America, and they were villagers or city dwellers, never farmers. The church records of Lancaster attest their interest in, and fidelity to, the affairs of religion.
The church in the spelling of the name from that shown in the parish register at Waldmohr to its present form was no doubt a matter of growth, due somewhat to influences existing only in Pennsylvania, where the admixture of other tongues and nationalities brought about many modifications both in spelling and pronunciation of the surnames. In a deed of Francis Kuntz executed in 1764, the name is spelled "Koons", and the name is so spelled in several muster rolls
In 1826 George Kuntz, the great grandfather, was a member of a committee of aldermen in Lancaster which conferred with another civic committee of which his son Jacob Kuhns was a member. In 1828 Rebecca "Coons" was a sponsor at the baptism of her niece Rebecca Kuntz. Susan's name was spelled Kuhns in the application for the U.S. pension (1842) and in the grant of a pension by the State of Pennsylvania (1843). In one of the militia lists of the Revolution, John, the son of Jacob the elder, appeared as Kuhns. The church records are confusing, but show a gradual tendency towards modernizing the spelling, and the generation following George and Susan with rare exceptions knew and used no other spelling than Kuhns, pronounced Coons. The present spelling of the name, with the pronunciation as recognized by later generation, has behind it the authority of at least one hundred years.
The record of this family closes at this point so far as the writer is concerned. The present generation has the scribes in sufficient numbers to gather the current data and give it form for the next generation, and so on. It is hoped that this will be done. With the marriage of Daniel Y. Kuhns to Leanora McFall, the mixture of Pennsylvania-German and Scotch-Irish begins, but the genealogical story of the latter strain is for separate treatment.
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