Michael A. O’Neill
First published 2 July 2016
Last updated 6 March 2019
Redmond, King, Washington, USA
Special thanks to
- Elizabeth Tice and Edward Wevodau for their help with George Slough [K] of Ontario.
- Denise Batey for her help with George Slough [J] of Ohio.
This research note will attempt to establish basic genealogical facts—with a focus on identifying parents and children—for all of the George Sloughs born before 1800 who lived in Pennsylvania during and immediately after the Colonial period.
A. The son of Jacob Slough and Elisabeth Stein, who was born in 1735 in Lancaster County, and who probably died without issue before 1749.
B. The son of Philip Slough and Margaretha Hertzel, who was probably born in Northampton County, and who died without issue between 1755 and 1768.
C. The son of Andreas Slough who was born in 1743 in what is now Montgomery County. No further records exist.
D. The son of Matthias Slough and Mary Gibson, who was born in 1759 in Lancaster, Penna., and who died in 1840 in Harrisburg, Penna., probably without issue.
E. The man born in 1775, probably in Europe; who married Catherine Stely with whom he had at least seven children; who lived his adult life in Brecknock Township, Berks County; and who passed away in 1848.
F. The son of Philip Slough (and nephew of George [B]), who was born in 1777 in Northampton County, and probably died there before 1840.
G. A loose-end who appears on tax records in Loyalsock, Penna. in 1798.
H. A loose-end who appears in Mifflin, Penna. in the 1810 U.S. Census.
I. The son of Leonard Slough and Magdalena Wetzel, who was born in 1792, probably in Northampton County. No further records exist.
J. The son of Jacob Slough and Catherine Gensimer, who was born in 1796 in Lancaster, Penna. He may have lived most of his life near Springfield Ohio, having anywhere from five to ten children with a woman named Catherine (possibly Shenk).
K. The man who married Catherine Gieg in Berks County in 1764; had at least eleven children; moved to Pelham, Ontario around 1789; and died there in late 1811 or early 1812. He was born in the village of Nehren near Tubingen to J. Michael Schlauch and A. Maria Luechtl, immigrating to Pennsylvania with his family in 1747.
M. A loose-end born to Jacob and Margaret Slough on 20 Dec 1777 in Whitpain, Montgomery County.
Listing a full bibliography for this research note would be excessive. In addition to the easily searchable census and other records available on Ancestry.com, I reviewed over 30 microfilms of “evangelische” parish records for Pennsylvania, and consulted every volume covering central and south-eastern Pennsylvania in both the Seattle Public Library’s Genealogy section and the Fiske Genealogical Library in Seattle.
A note on naming
Ethnic Germans and Pennsylvania Dutch of the period often had a “spiritual” name as their first name (used only in church records), and a middle “secular” name by which they were referred in daily life. I am omitting the spiritual/first name unless I believe it is relevant to the analysis.
There are multiple spelling variants of the Schlauch surname, including Slaug, Schlough, Schlowch, Slaugh, etc. For the sake of clarity, I will only use the Anglicized spelling “Slough” in this note.
George Sloughs of Pennsylvania
A. J. George Slough, son of J. Jacob Slough and U. Elisabeth Stein
George Slough [A] was born 12 April 1735 to Jacob Slough and Elisabeth Stein, according the parish register of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, Penna. He was baptized on 4 May 1735, with J. George Klein and his wife Anna Klein as godparents.
George [A] pre-deceased his father, dying before the age of fourteen, though it’s unclear exactly when he passed.
Trinity Lutheran Church’s parish register includes a detailed note about Jacob’s death, stating that Jacob “had seven children with her [Ursula Elisabeth Stein], of whom 4 are still living” and that he “died quietly and gently after a very lengthy and agonizing illness on May 24, 1750.”
In Jacob’s will, dated 20 September 1749, he explicitly names his four living children in multiple places, for example stating “I give to my son Matthias the House and Lot whereon I now live, he paying or securing to be paid to each of his three sisters Elisabeth, Margaret and Catherine as they respectively arrive at the age of twenty-one.” George is not named.
Jacob’s death notice and probate record combine to indicate that George [A] predeceased his father, dying sometime in his first fourteen years of life, well before he would be old enough to have children.
B. George Slough, son of J. Philip Slough and A. Margaretha Hertzel
George [B] was born to Philip Slough and Margaret Hertzel, probably in or before 1738 in Northampton County, Penna., and died sometime between March 1759 and 1 June 1769.
George [B]’s fate is crisply and succinctly established in the probate settlement of his father, who died intestate sometime before 1755. A 1 June 1769 Northampton County Orphan’s Court record lists “seven children” including “George the eldest son (who died since without issue).”
George’s birth year can be estimated with a mix of Pennsylvania probate law and his mother’s birth date. State law established that George [B] could only petition the Northampton County Orphan’s Court for possession of his father’s plantation when he reached the age of 21. Assuming George [B] made his March 1759 petition shortly after turning 21, this would place his birth in early 1738.
Considering his mother’s often reported birth in 1719 would have made her just nineteen in 1738—six years younger than the average age of 25 at marriage for women amongst Pennsylvania Dutch—each year prior to 1738 becomes more improbable.
Note: A 1996 family history published by Eugene Singer concludes that George [B] did not pass away without issue before 1769. Without any supporting documentary evidence, Singer wrongly asserts that George [B] was the same man as George [K], starting a family in Berks County then moving to Ontario, Canada.
C. George Slough, son of J. Andreas Slough
George [C] is a loose end: a single, September 1743 baptismal record from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Red Hill, Montgomery County establishes his birth. No mother is mentioned, but his father was Andreas Slough.
Andreas is almost certainly the elder brother of Philip and Jacob Slough of Northampton County, born in Adelshofen, Baden Wurttemberg in 1708, who arrived in Pennsylvania aboard the Dragon on 30 September 1732, and purchased property on 06 Dec 1734 in what was then Bucks County (which encompasses most of northeastern Pennsylvania today).
I have been unable to find any probate records for Andreas Slough in either FamilySearch.org’s or Ancestry.com’s extensive collections to establish whether George (or any other children) survived. In fact, after Andreas purchased an additional 50 acres of land in Bucks County on 8 May 1749, Andreas disappears from the documentary record with only one exception: a 1782 tax record in Philadelphia for an Andrew Slough which is probably for a different fellow.
There is also no further record of George in Montgomery County (then Philadelphia County).
D. George Slough, son of J. Matthias Slough and Mary Gibson
George [D] was born 27 June 1759 to Matthias Slough and Mary Gibson. When he passed away on 23 October 1840 in Harrisburg, Penna., his mortuary notice added that he was “formerly of Lancaster.”
With several different Slough families in the proximity of both Harrisburg and Lancaster, some indirect evidence supports the connection between the George Slough who died in Harrisburg and Matthias Slough’s son of the same name.
- Matthias Slough, George [D]’s father, died in Harrisburg in 1812, having followed several of his children there in 1806.
- Mary Slough née Gibson, George [D]’s mother, died in Harrisburg in 1814.
- Frances Catherine, George [D]’s sister, married James Peacock in Harrisburg on 25 September 1813. James was recorded living in Harrisburg in the 1820 and 1830 U.S. Census, and interestingly enough, a man of George [D]’s age appears living with him in the 1830 and 1840 U.S. Census. Frances herself appears in an 1826 parish register for St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Harrisburg, where she was buried in 1837.
George [D] apparently did have one other sister—Elisabeth Clendenin—but I have been unable to find either her or her husband Joseph.
There is no obvious record for George marrying. A review of Dauphin County probate records yielded no will or administration for George Slough.
George [D] appeared in only one census record in 1800, but tax records place him in Lancaster Borough in 1785, 1786, and 1798. The 1798 record places associates Matthias and George [D] together.
Note: George [D] and his brothers made a variety of land claims across central Pennsylvania in the 1770s and 1780s. I believe these were all initiated by their father, Matthias Slough Sr.
E. George Slough of Berks County
George [E] was born on 11 December 1775, probably in Germany—of his four children recorded in the 1880 U.S. census, two say he was born in Germany, two in Pennsylvania. As of December 2016, I have been unable to find a baptismal record for a George Slough/Schlauch born around this date in either Pennsylvania or Baden-Württemberg, nor an indication of immigration.
He married Catherine Stely at the Schwartzwald Reformed Church in Robeson Township, Berks County on Halloween. No year is listed, but it was probably in 1797 when he was twenty-one. The two had six children together in Pennsylvania:
- Philip (b. 16 December 1798), who married Elizabeth, and passed away on 1 January 1853.
- Elizabeth (b. 23 March 1800), who married Jacob Glass, and passed away on 17 May 1865.
- Catherine (b. 25 September 1801), who may have married John Tothero, and passed away on 2 May 1887.
- George (b. 20 October 1803), who married Elizabeth (probably Seifrit), and passed away on 9 April 1890. (This particular George doesn’t qualify for this analysis, as he was born after 1800).
- Christina (b. 25 March 1807), who may have married Jacob Schweitzer, and passed away on 1 January 1885.
- Justina (b. 28 March 1811), who married Christian Treat, and passed away on 12 February 1895.
, for whom there are no records beyond a mention in George [E]’s will.
George [E] appeared living in Berks County in the 1800, 1810, 1830 and 1840 U.S. Census.
George [E] made out his will on 11 June 1847, which named all six of his children by first name only, along with a son-in-law, Christian Treat. 
George [E] passed away on 22 July 1848, and is buried in Berks County. His gravestone was carved in German rather English, a fact which does not preclude a birth in Pennsylvania. It does, however, suggest that he held strongly to his German ethnicity and identity, lending some circumstantial support to the argument that he was born somewhere in what is today Germany.
F. John George Slough, son of Philip Slough Jr.
George [F] was born on 23 April 1777 to Philip and M. Catharina Slough, and baptized at the Dryland Church in Lower Nazareth Township. George [F] was the nephew of George [B] and a grandson of Philip and Margaret Slough.
There is little record of him before 1830, when he appears in the 1830 and 1840 U.S. Census living in Easton, Penna. (where his brother also resided). His household had eight people, including himself that year—he must have had children, though I have been unable to identify them.
Either or both George [G] and George [H] could help fill in the pre-1830 gap for George [F].
I was unable to find any probate proceeding for George [F] in the Northampton County Orphan’s Court record index from 1840 to 1860.
G. George Slough living in Loyalsock, Penna. in 1798
George [G] is a loose end, represented by two 1798 taxation lists from Loyalsock Township, Penna., just north of Williamsport in Lycoming County. The tax lists include no demographic information, meaning this could be any George born before 1777 (assuming he was at least 21), namely [C] or [D]. I believe [D] to be the most likely individual—please see the appendix covering land speculation—despite his appearance on Lancaster Borough tax records in 1798 as well.
H. George Slough living in Mifflin, Penna. in 1810.
George [H] is a loose end, represented by a sole 1810 U.S. Census record in Mifflin, Penna. (then Northumberland County, now Juniata County). He had a household of five, including two boys under fifteen; a girl between ten and fifteen, and an adult female between 26 and 44. George is probably the man between 26 and 44 suggesting a birth year between 1766 and 1785. If the three minors were his children, then his birth year would be closer to the late 1760s and early 1770s. His profession is listed as “Lab” or laborer.
George [H] is too young to be George [D] (son of Matthias Slough) or George [C] (son of Andreas Slough). Of the three Georges close to his approximate age, we know where [E] was in 1810, leaving only [F] and [G] as possibilities.
I. George Slough, son of Leonard Slough and Magdalena Wetzel
George [I] was born on 28 January 1792 in Northampton County, Penna. to Leonard Slough (a first cousin of Georges [B] and [C]) and his second wife, Magdalena Wetzel. He was baptized on 28 February 1792 at Zion’s Lutheran Church in Macungie, Penna.
George [I] doesn’t seem a solid match to any nineteenth century records. I have been unable to obtain details of his father’s 1808 intestate probate file from Berks County, so can’t definitively prove that George [I] died young.
J. George Slough, the son of Jacob Slough and Catherine Gensimer
George [J] was born on 25 March 1796, and baptized on 25 March 1796 at the First Reformed Church in Lancaster Borough, Penna to Jacob Slough and Catherine Gensimer. One source notes that George was illegitimate, as was his older brother, Jacob (1793-1882). Their younger sister Elisabeth (b. 1800), however, was not flagged as illegitimate. (For more, see Jacob Slough [G] in Sorting out the Sloughs: Jacob Sloughs).
A child born out of wedlock carries her mother’s surname, rather than her father’s, though George [J]’s brother, Jacob, broke the pattern, using the surname Slough throughout his life. His tombstone in Peoria, Illinois lists how many years, months and days that he lived, and this matches perfectly with the date of his recorded birth. (For more, see Jacob Slough [N] in Sorting out the Sloughs: Jacob Slough).
Why Jacob broke this pattern is unclear, but a simple explanation is that one or both of his parents, Jacob and Catherine, were legally constrained from marrying by an indenture contract that helped pay for passage to America. Pennsylvania law required an indentured servant to obtain the permission of his/her master before marrying. If the spouse was another servant, a year of service could be added to both of their indenture contracts if they married without either or both of their masters’ consent. If the spouse was free, s/he had to pay hefty monetary compensation to the servant’s master.
Assuming George [J] also carried the surname Slough, the story of the rest of his life is not so cleanly bracketed by a tombstone as was his brother’s. That said, a George Slough born in Pennsylvania in about 1797 does appear in the 1840, 1850 and 1860 U.S. Census living in Ohio. With no other George Slough known to be of this age, I consider it a reasonable leap of faith that these are the same men.
If my conjecture is correct, George [J] married a woman named Catharine (possibly Shank/Shenk), and had at least three children, judging by the 1850 U.S. census:
- Christina (b. ~1828 in Ohio).
- Abraham (b. Feb 1833 in Pennsylvania), married Sophia Mollener, and died 26 September 1904. He lived out his adult life in Springfield, Ohio.
- Martha (b. ~1841 in Ohio).
George [J] probably had two other children:
- Catherine, (b. ~1820), who was confirmed at Rohrerstown, Lancaster County, Penna on 28 May 1838.
- George Jr. (b. 27 Aug 1821 in Lancaster County, Penna.), who married Elisabeth Seibert, and died on 9 March 1898.
He is probably also the father of Henry Slough, a twenty-five-year-old born in Pennsylvania and recorded in the 1850 U.S. Census as living in the same town.
Ancestry.com family trees list several other children, including daughters Susan, Fanny and Elizabeth, and a son Christian (or Christopher), but provide no supporting evidence.
George [J] first appears in the 1820 and 1830 U.S. Census in East Hempfield Township just outside Lancaster Borough where he was baptized.
The 1820 census shows two young adults between 16 and 25, and two girls below 10 (providing support for two more daughters).
The 1830 census shows five children:
- Two boys under five (Henry, b. 1827 and another)
- One boy between five and nine (George Jr., b. 1821)
- One girl under five (Christina, b. 1828)
- One girl between five and nine (Catherine, b. ~1820)
- Two girls between ten and fourteen (the two girls in the 1820 census)
Catherine’s confirmation in 1838 is the last record of the family in Pennsylvania—conveniently, Rohrerstown is part of East Hempfield Township.
George [J] moved his family to Mar River Township, Ohio, just west of Springfield, where they were recorded on the 1840 U.S. Census. The family then had expanded to eight (excluding George and Catharine), including six minors:
- One boy between five and nine (Abraham, b. 1833)
- Two boys between ten and fourteen (Henry, b. 1827, and another)
- One boy between fifteen and nineteen (George Jr., b. 1821)
- One man between twenty and 29 (unknown, wasn’t with them in 1830)
- One girl between ten and fourteen (Christina, b. 1828)
- One girl between fifteen and nineteen (Catherine, b. ~1820)
- One woman between twenty and 29 (one of the two girls from the 1830 census)
In 1850, George [J] was recorded living German Township, Montgomery County, just north of Springfield, along with the couple’s three youngest, Christina, Abraham & Martha.
By 1860, all of George [J]’s children had moved out, and he and his wife were living in Springfield, fairly close to their daughter Catherine May.
George [J] does not appear in any U.S. Census records after 1860, so he probably died before 1870. Clark County, Ohio probate records available at FamilySearch.org do not record any will or estate settlement for a George Slough.
K. George Slough, who lived in Berks County and died in Pelham, Ontario
George [K] was the fourth child born J. Michael Schlauch and A. Maria Leuchtl. He was baptized as Johann Georg Schlauch in the village of Nehren near Tübingen, Germany, on 8 March 1738. George [K] immigrated to Pennsylvania with his family in 1747. For more details, please see “Ancestry of George Slough of Pelham, Ontario.”
In 1752 at the age of fourteen years and eight months, George [K] received his first communion and confirmation at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster.
George [K] married Catharina Gieg at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Holland, Lancaster County on 28 August 1764. George was noted as residing in Caernarvon, Lancaster County, while his bride’s father, Adam Gieg lived in Brecknock Township, which today exists in both Berks and Lancaster Counties.
George and Catherine had at least eleven children, all listed by their first names only in George [K]’s 1811 will. The children are listed below in order they appeared in the will:
- George (1777-1850).
- Michael (d. 1857).
- Rosina (1766-1847), who married George Hansler.
- Elizabeth, who married Jacob Bessey.
- Mary (1770-1843), who probably married Andrew Jones.
- Barbara (1775-1849), who probably married John Kennedy.
- Phoebe, who may have married John Stiers.
- Catherine, who married Jacob Tice.
- Julianna (1784-1867), who probably married J. Jacob Bouk.
- Susannah (1785-1813)
- Christiana (b. ~1786 or 1787), who married Jacob Gainer.
I have only been able to find a single baptismal record for one of George and Catherine’s children: the 29 March 1785 baptism of Susanna Slough recorded by the Rev. Traugott Frederick Illing in his personal register. Transcriptions of the record say that Susanna was born to “George & Susannah Schlauck” on 28 January 1785, but Illing’s original, handwritten entry records the mother as Catharina. Rev. Illing ministered in Lancaster and Dauphin Counties, specifically at the Caernarvon Episcopal Church in Lancaster County, which is located close to where George and Catherine were married.
Susannah’s baptismal record is critical to tying George [K] to both Pennsylvania and Ontario. In his 1811 will, George appears to have followed the typical convention of listing his children in birth order (or at least, he appears to have do so for his nine daughters, judging by the six birth years I have been able establish). The last daughter George names, Christina, was recorded as being born in 1786 or 1787 according to the 1851 and 1861 Canada census, respectively. Third to last was Julianna, who was born in 1784 (assuming she married a Jacob Bouk). George named Susannah second to last, suggesting a birth around 1785, matching the 28 January 1785 baptismal record.
From their marriage in 1764 to about 1788, George [K] and Catharine probably lived in or near Brecknock Township (of which there are two, one on either side of the Berks/Lancaster county line). George [K] appears there in four types of records in the 1770s and 1780s:
- He appeared on tax lists in Brecknock Township, Lancaster county in 1772, 1773, 1779 and 1783.
- He transacted for 20 acres in Brecknock Township, Berks County in partnership with Nicholas Jost, filing a warrant for the land on 8 December 1773, and then surety 31 July 1774.
- He appeared in the Pennsylvania Septennial Census in 1779.
- He was named as the executor of his father-in-law, Adam Gieg’s, estate in his October 1782 will. (Coincidentally, Gieg’s estate paid Rev. Illing to perform the funeral).
After 1785, there is no further record of George [K] in Berks, despite the explosion in tax, census and land records that came with the founding of the new republic in 1789. Either George passed away, or he left the Brecknock township area.
According to 1957 history of the immigration to the Ontario, Canada region just west of Niagara Falls, The Trail of the Black Walnut, the “Sloughs” arrived in the area in 1789 from Pennsylvania. George [K] received 200 acres of land shortly after arriving, and then in 1797 petitioned for an additional land grant from the government. His petition included affidavits that he was a loyalist, but the local government noted that he was not on any list of United Empire Loyalists.
George passed away sometime between 22 November 1811, when he wrote out his will, and 20 May 1812, when his will was recorded.
M. Johannes Georg Slough, born on 20 Dec 1777 in Montgomery County
George [M] is a loose-end: his birth was recorded at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Whitpain Township, Montgomery County.
George [M] does not obviously appear in other Montgomery County area records.
A chronologically confusing story from a biography of a Percival Slough (1837-1933) published by his daughter in 1956, suggests George may have lived to adulthood. In the story, Percival relates that his grandfather, John Slough (1773-1856), told him that his two brothers, George and Adam died while serving during the Revolutionary War. No baptismal record exists for Adam, but the other siblings were all born between 1766 and 1777 — too young to have served during the Revolution. If we push that service back to the War of 1812, Percival’s great-uncle George could be the same man his grandfather described, meaning George [M] lived into the early 1800s.
No War of 1812 era military records appear to match either George [M] however. Fold3.com does show a Capt. George Slough from Lebanon County militia, but Georges [D], [G], [I] and [J] from neighboring Lancaster, Berks and Dauphin Counties would be a better fit geographically. Considering rank, George [D] is the best match, as officer positions tended to go to middle-aged men of influence and connection. George [D]’s father was a militia Colonel in the Revolutionary War, while his brother was a Captain in the Northwest Indian Wars (1785-1795).
As to Adam, he did serve in the Second Division, 6th Class, 36th Regiment of the Pennsylvania militia in the War of 1812,. Volunteers from Montgomery and Bucks formed the Second Division of the Pennsylvania Militia.
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1830; Census Place: East Hempfield, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Series: M19; Roll: 153; Page: 338; Family History Library Film: 0020627.
 Schwalm, Glenn P. & Frederick S. Weiser (trans. & ed.). Record of Pastoral Acts at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1730-1799. The Pennsylvania German Society. Breinigsville, Penna. 1977. p. 212.
Lineage Book : NSDAR : Volume 166 : 1921.
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 Illing, Frederick Traugott. Marriages and Baptisms kept by the Rev. Traugott Frederick Illing in connection with the Churches of St. Peter’s, (Lutheran), Middletown, and Caernarvon, (Episcopal) Lancaster County, Penn’a. Harrisburg Publisnhing Company. Harrisburg. 1891.
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 Niagara Settlers. Land Petitions of The Niagara Settlers “Beardsley to Bouck”. Accessed via https://sites.google.com/site/niagarasettlers/petitions-beardsley-to-bouck on 2 July 2016.