Michael A. O’Neill
Copyright 6 January 2017
First published 27 Apr 2015
Seattle, King, Washington, USA
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Genealogists studying the family of Johann Philip Schlauch have posited a theory that he was born in the village of Adelshofen in the Kraichgau (modern Baden-Württemberg), and that he and three of his siblings emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1732.
Whomever thought to look in Adelshofen parish records was either lucky or clever or had some clue passed down orally through generations. Or maybe all three. Without that insight, finding that village fits the cliché of a needle in a haystack—for me at least. With it, there is some evidence to consider.
For Philip Schlauch and his sister, Anna Maria Schütz geb. Schlauch, parish, immigration and Pennsylvania property records provide strong evidence that the people in Adelshofen parish records are the same as those in Pennsylvania records.
For both Andreas and Jacob Schlauch, there were two pairs of brothers with these names born about the same time in Adelshofen, but a review of the evidence suggests that Philip’s brothers are the men who immigrated with him 1732.
Kirchenbuch, 1655-1963. Evangelische Kirche Adelshofen (A. Eppingen). FHL 1189094
The Adelshofen parish register lists birth and baptismal records for the relevant offspring of three Schlauch men.
- The children of Ernst Bernhard Schlauch and Anna Elisabeth Frick
- Johann Andreas, b. 25 February 1708.
- Johann Philip, b. 11 June 1710.
- Johann Jacob, b. 3 August 1715. The cross on his baptismal record, combined with the name of his brother born in 1717, indicates he died young.
- Johann Michael, b. 14 March 1717. The cross on his baptismal record indicates his death was known to the Adelshofen parish pastor. Additionally, the cross is rotated as an “x” or pair of crossing swords, suggesting that Michael’s death was related to military action.
- Johann Jacob, b. 14 March 1717.
- Anna Maria, whose baptismal record I could not find, but whose marriage to George Ludwig Schutz on 25 June 1726 names her father as Ernst Bernhard.
- The children of Johannes Jörg Schlauch and Anna Barbara Keckner (?)
- Johann Jacob, b. 15 August 1708.
- Johann Michael, b. 21 Nov 1713, died of epilepsy in September of 1734.
- Johann Andreas, b. 21 Jan 1716.
- The baptismal records of five children born to Johann Andreas and Albertina Schlauch, which show that one Andreas remained in Adelshofen.
Heinrich, Rudolph; Mall, Adolf; Rocker, Benrd; Wolfmuller, Wilhelm. 700 Jahre Adelshofen 1287-1987. Eppingen: Stadt Eppingen. 1987. p. 125.
This history (in German) of the village of Adelshofen includes a list people who left the village for North America, including:
|Name||Number in family||Year||Destination|
|Schlauch, Hans Jacob||1||1728||North America|
|Schlauch, Andreas||1||1732||North America|
|Schlauch, Johann Philip||1||1732||North America|
|Schütz, George Ludwig||5||1732||North America|
Rupp, I. Daniel. A collection of upwards of thirty thousand names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and other immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727. Leary Stuart & Co. Philadelphia, 1927.
The information from this source is repeated in other secondary sources, with minor variants of primary source. As these alternate sources add no additional information of value, citations are omitted in the interest of brevity.
p. 82-83: “30 September 1732. Palatines imported in the ship Dragon, Chas. Hargrave, Master, from Rotterdam, last from Plymouth.—In all 185.” [excerpted list]:
- Andreas Schlauch
- Johann Philip Schlauch
- Georg Ludwig Schütz
p. 436-8: Swiss and German Settlers in Lancaster County from 1709 to 1730
1719: Jacob Schlauch
Burgert, Annette Kunselman. Eighteenth Century Emigrants from German-Speaking Lands to North America. Publications of the Pennsylvania German Society, 16/19. Birdsboro, PA: The Pennsylvania German Society. Vol. 1: The Northern Kraichgau. 1983. 461p.
Schutz, Georg Ludwig; wife Anna Maria Schlauch; Daughter Catharina Ursula; Son Johann Georg.
Williams, Mildred C. & Janet R. Brittingham. Warrantees of Land in the County of Bucks, Pa. 1733-1889. Penna. pp. 43, 45
- SLOUGH, Jacob; 100 acres; Aug. 10, 1744
- SCHLAUCH, Andreas; 150 acres; Dec. 6 1734
- SCHLAUCH, Philip; 150 acres; Dec. 6, 1734
- SCHLOUGH, Andreas; 50 acres; May 8, 1749
- SCHLOUGH, Philip; 20 acres; Aug 16, 1751
- SHLOUGH, Philip; 100 acres; Nov. 3, 1739
Anderson, Candace E. Abstracts of Deeds and other Property Records Northampton County Pennsylvania, Vol. 3. Closson Press. Apollo, Penna. 2002. Vol 3. p. 2.
Deed Poll, 15 November 1779, for 6698 pounds (pages 4-5)
Grantor: Jacob SLOUGH, Macungie Township, yeoman
Grantees: Leonhard SLOUGH and Joseph SLOUGH, 2 sons of Jacob, both of Macungie Township
Property: 209 acres, 63 perches, tract adjoining Baltzer YEAKLE, John SHREFFERT, Edward SHIPPEN
- 10 Aug 1744 warrant to Jacob Slough for 168 acres, 112 perches; surveyed 11 May 1746.
- 16 Aug 1734, warrant to Jacob Slough for 40 acres, 111 perches; then survey made.
Smith, Debra D. and Frederick S. Weiser. Trinity Lutheran Church Records, Lancaster, Pennsylvania Vol. I 1730-1767. Closson Press. 1995. p. 276, 280
Died and Buried on our Cemetery
- Johann Jacob Schlauch, born August 15, 1708, entered holy matrimony with Ursula Elisabeth Stein on January 2, 1733. He had seven children with her, of whom 4 are still living, died quietly and gently after a very lengthy and agonizing illness on May 24, 1750, the festival of the ascension of Christ, and was buried the 26th with an extraordinarily large funeral attendance of all sorts of persons, and a funeral sermon on Psalms 68:19, which was given to edify those present.
Johann Philip Schlauch was born on 11 June 1710 in Adelshofen to Ernst Bernhard Schlauch and Elisabeth Frick, and baptized on the 12th of July that same year. He was the only man recorded in the Adelshofen parish register with that name in that generation. In 1726, his father passed away, and six years later in 1732, he left Adelshofen for North America along with two other Adelshofen men, Andreas Schlauch and Georg Ludwig Schütz.
Pennsylvania immigration records note that a Johann Philip Schlauch arrived in Philadelphia aboard the Dragon on 30 September 1732. The same ship carried men named Andreas Schlauch and Georg Ludwig Schütz.
Two years later on 6 December 1734, Philip purchased land in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which at the time was a massive, unsettled triangular region bounded on the east by the Delaware River starting northeast of Philadelphia, on the west by a line running due northwest of Philadelphia through Williamsport to the border with New York, and on the north by the colony of New York. In other words, it included modern-day Northampton and Lehigh Counties.
The swift purchase of land may indicate the financial status of the Schlauch family in Adelshofen. Most ethnic German immigrants to Pennsylvania, while not the poorest in their village, probably expended most if not all of their wealth to reach Pennsylvania, selling themselves into indentured servant contracts to pay remaining debts. Philip, however, was able to purchase 150 acres about a year-and-a-half after arriving, meaning he was a rare immigrant who arrived with a surplus of funds.
The source? It was possibly from the estate of his father. Ernst Bernhard is referred to in parish records as “gericht” which was a village council/court made up of respected village citizens. He also served as Bürgermeister of Adelshofen on several occasions–an important local official responsible for managing a towns fiscal assets and real property. (Scheer, Teva J. Our Daily Bread: German Village Life, 1500-1850. Adventis Press. B.C. 2010). From these it is reasonably safe to infer that Bernhard may have been a moderately wealthy man by village standards.
Maria Schütz geb. Schlauch
On 25 June 1726, Anna Maria Schlauch—daughter of Ernst Bernhard Schlauch—married Georg Ludwig Schütz in Adelshofen. I was unable to find her baptismal record, but other trees state—without citation—that she was born in 1698, and that her mother was Ernst Bernhard’s second wife, Julianna Dorothea Sigfried.
In 1732, Ludwig Schütz left Adelshofen with a family of five, but the Parish register in Adelshofen indicates the couple only had two living children in 1732.
On 30 September 1732, a Ludwig Schütz was recorded arriving in Philadelphia aboard the Dragon, along with Philip and Andreas Schlauch. A detailed list of immigrants from the Kraichgau noted that he was traveling with his wife, Maria Schlauch and two children, Catharina Ursula and Johann Georg, one less than upon departure.
Ludwig and his family eventually settled in Milford, Lehigh County close to Philip Schlauch, where he was godfather to Philip’s daughter, Maria Catharina in 1741.
Two men named Johann Andreas Schlauch were born in Adelshofen, one in 1708 to Ernst Bernhard, and a second in 1716 to Johannes Jörg.
One of these men remained in Adelshofen, marrying a woman named Albertina. The couple had the first of their five children, Johannes George in 1741 (who died in Adelshofen, probably at a young age). If this were Ernst Bernhard’s son, he would be thirty-three, while Jörg’s son would be just twenty-five. The latter is a much more probable age for a newly married man, especially considering that the children of poorer families were more likely to marry later in life (Scheer. Our Daily Bread). Additionally, Andreas and Albertina’s second son also carried the name George (Georg Andreas)—ethnic Germans often named their first son after his paternal grandfather, and if a child passed away, they might give the next-born child of the same gender the name of his/her deceased sibling.
The other Andreas Schlauch left Adelshofen in 1732, arriving in Philadelphia aboard the Dragon on 30 September 1732, along with two Adelshofen men, Philip Schlauch and Georg Ludwig Schütz, who were brothers-in-law. Ernst Bernhard’s son would have been twenty-four, while Jörg’s son would have been just sixteen. Not only is the former more likely to be the immigrant based on their ages, but the latter would probably have been too young to considered an adult and appear independently on ship lists.
This Andreas also purchased 150 acres in Bucks County on 6 December 1734, the exact same amount of land and on the exact same date as Philip, from which it can be inferred they were acting in concert.
As a final thought, Bernhard and Jörg had different fathers (Jörg and Elias, respectively), meaning the closest possible relation between two Andreas Schlauches would be second cousins, at least via paternal lines. While small villages meant that extended families would be closer than modern families, it still seems more probable that brothers (rather than second cousins) would take such major life events together.
Several men named Johann Jacob Schlauch were born in Adelshofen, two to Bernhard (1715 & 1717) and one to Jörg (1708), with an additional man—a younger brother of Bernhard—born in 1671.
Two can be removed quickly: The eldest (Bernhard’s brother) was born in 1671, doesn’t appear in any further Adelshofen records, while Bernhard’s son (born on 3 August 1715) died on 14 March 1716.
The Adelshofen parish register’s baptismal entry for Jörg’s son matches nicely with the burial record from Lancaster, Penna.’s Trinity Lutheran parish register—both list a 15 August 1708 birth date.
Determining when Jörg’s son came to Pennsylvania, however, is challenging. One list of ethnic German residents in Lancaster County in 1719 includes a Jacob Schlauch, but he would have been just eleven—a surprisingly young, though not unheard of, age for immigration alone. Even if he did come to Pennsylvania at that young of an age, such a list would probably only include grown men, not children. More probable is the 1728 departure of a twenty-year-old Hans Jacob Schlauch from Adelshofen.
Despite the apparent mismatch on the spiritual name (his baptismal record named him Johann Jacob), it’s important to note that Hans, Johannes and Johann were often used interchangeably. For example, on Jörg Schlauch’s baptismal record in Adelshofen, his father was named Hanß Elias, but for his youngest sister, Anna Ursula, it was Johann Elias.
The younger Jacob, Ernst Bernhard’s son, is a bit tougher: assuming we have the right man, he purchased fifty acres of land in Old Bucks County in August of 1734 when he was just seventeen, six months before Philip and Andreas purchased larger tracts of land. At that young of an age, he would probably only appear in immigration records if he had traveled alone. He could be the Jacob who left Adelshofen in 1728 at the age of twelve, but Jörg’s son is really a stronger match for that particular record.
Assuming the records aren’t simply lost, the most probable scenario for Ernst Bernhard’s Jacob would be that he was included in the family group of his brother-in-law, Ludwig Schütz and half-sister Maria. While the Schützes had three children in Adelshofen, one died in infancy years before they boarded the Dragon, meaning they had a family unit of just four. But records list Ludwig’s family unit at five individuals, leaving space for Jacob.
The record is, admittedly, not as strong, but additional circumstantial evidence supports the case. First, both Jacob and Philip were congregants at the Williams Township Lutheran Church in Northampton County. Second is onomastics: Jacob named one son Philip (presumably after his older brother) and another Bernhard (presumably after his father). Finally, Jacob’s last known residence in Macungie was just six miles from Lower Milford Township where Philip first acquired land in 1734.