Seitz Site

Although I have gathered these German-speaking immigrant ancestors on a single page, they actually came in different eras for different reasons. The earliest were Swiss Mennonites, some of whom may have spent some time in German lands along the Rhine before immigrating to America to escape persecution. Later immigrants appear to have come primarily to improve their economic situations, although I cannot dismiss other motives. I have included only those ancestors about whom I have information beyond their names.

Nicholas Beery (1697-1762)
John Cradlebaugh (c1750-1810)
Anna Mary Engels (1807-1866)
Hartmann Hunsaker
Catherine Rueb (1741-1820)
George Schnetzler (1839-1909)
Johannas Seitz (1740-1793)
Lewis Seitz (1763-1823)
Anton Heinrich Tillman (1807-1859)
Francis Tillman (1842-1910)

Nicholas Beery Sr. (Bieri) was born 6 April 1704, the eighth of 15 children born to Hans Bieri and Madlena Roht of Oberdiessbach, Canton Bern, Switzerland, according to Helen Ummel Harness in an article in the July 2006 issue of Mennonite Family History. Nicholas died 1 Oct. 1762 in York County, Penn. I am descended from two of Nicholas' sons, John and Nicholas Jr.

It is probable that Nicholas was raised in the Palatinate as his parents were almost surely driven out of Switzerland permanently during severe persecution of anabaptists in 1710-11. He migrated to Pennsylvania in 1727, arrived in Philadelphia from Rotterdam, Holland, on 16 Oct. aboard the ship Friendship after a four-month voyage against adverse winds in which a fifth of passengers died. He probably spent his first winter in America with Mennonites of the Pequea Creek settlement in Conestoga (now Lancaster County), Penn. Possibly as early as 1728, he settled on virgin land on north bank of Codorus Creek, a mile or so north of present city of York in what became Manchester Township but was then known as Springettsbury Manor. Nicholas married Barbara George on 1 Dec. 1728 (Note that Barbara's last name is not Miller as given in earlier Beery histories. Harness cites Judith Jasper as the source of this finding).

Nicholas appears to have been an unusually prosperous farmer. He was arrested in 1736 or 1737 and taken to Annapolis by Maryland authorities during a land title dispute that led to drawing of Mason-Dixon line. Pennsylvania colonial records report 1747-48 hearings concerning "Nicholas Pieri" and an unsuccessful attempt by a Capt. Higginbotham to evict Pieri on the basis of a Maryland land grant.

Nicholas and Barbara had nine children.

Notable descendants:

Not my line: The actors Wallace Beery (1885-1949), Noah Beery (1882-1945) and Noah Beery Jr. (1913-1994) are descendants of Nicholas and Barbara through their son, Nicholas Jr.

John Cradlebaugh (originally Kriedelbach) was born c.1750 in Germany. He died about 1810 in Fairfield County, Ohio. Johannes Kriedelbach arrived 9 Aug. 1775 in Philadelphia aboard the ship King of Prussia, which sailed from Rotterdam via Falmouth, England. Ten months later, on 12 Aug. 1776, he enlisted in Capt. John David Woelpper's Company of the German Battalion, Continental Troops. He was appointed sergeant 1 Nov. 1776. While engaged in the early stages of the Battle of Princeton on 2 Jan 1777, he and others were captured by British forces. He was a prisoner of war until May, when he returned to his unit. However, poor health caused his being dropped from the rolls in December 1777. Between 1782 and 1784, he is found in Bedford County, Penn. By 1790, he is in Washington County, Penn. (listed as Crigglebaugh). He became a German Reform minister after the Revolution. In 1800, he is found in Whiteley township, Greene County, Penn. Within a decade, he was in Fairfield County, Ohio, where some of his children had moved earlier. He is described in 1876 book as very influential member of community by a grandson. [note: John's Revolutionary War service as outlined above differs from the tradtional, and faulty, tale found in some books and the records of the DAR.]

John married Dorethea Mundschaner (later Moonshiner) in 1782. They had at least five children. She was probably born 1750-55 and died after 1839, probably in Fairfield County, Ohio.

Notable descendant:

Not my line: John's and Dorethea's grandson, also John Cradlebaugh (22 Feb. 1819-1873), was the federal judge who investigated the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre in Utah and later served as the colonel in charge of the 114th Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. Mark Twain wrote of Cradlebaugh's role in the massacre investigation in "Roughing It."

Anna Mary Engels was born 2 Sept. 1807, in Geseke, Westfalen, Germany. She died 2 March 1866 in Loose Creek, Osage County, Mo. She married Anton Heinrich Tillman and had at least four children before coming to United States in 1846. They had at least one child after arriving.

Hartmann Hunsaker immigrated from the Palatinate of Germany or from Switzerland, arriving in Philadelphia on 10 Sept. 1731, on the ship Pennsylvania Merchant with wife, Anna, and six children. They settled in Lancaster County, Penn. He is my direct ancestor through daughter Catharina, who married John Beery, but I'm also related by marriage through Hartmann's son John, who married Magdalena Beery, a sister of my Beery ancestors, John and Nicholas Jr.

Anna Catharine Rüb/Rueb [or Ripp] was born 21 Oct. 1741 in Adelshofen, Baden, Germany, a daughter of Johannes and Anna Maria Rueb. Catharine married Johannes Seitz 8 May 1764, in Adelshofen and left for America eight days later. She died 20 Feb 1820, probably at the family home in Strasburg (now Shrewsbury township), York County, Penn. and is buried Mt. Zion cemetery near Glen Rock. Apparently lived with daughter, Catherine, and son-in-law, Henry Keller, from 1793 or 1798 to 1806 (Henry bought Johannes' farm from his estate in 1798 and sold it to John Jr. in 1806, two years before moving to Fairfield County, Ohio). Widow Seitz probably lived with John Jr. until her death. See Johannas Seitz for more details about her origins.

George Schnetzler was born 18 Dec. 1839 in Basel, Switzerland. He died 16 Aug. 1909 in Lincoln County, Tenn. He is buried in Macedonia Cemetery on Old Huntsville Road. George enlisted as private in Company C, 7th Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry on 16 May 1864 (Civil War), the same day he arrived in New York City from Switzerland on the ship St. Bernhard from Antwerp. He was honorably discharged 11 Aug. 1865. Discription at enlistment: age 24, blue eyes, blonde hair, fair complexion, height five feet five inches; occupation given as bricklayer. George married Mary Jane Poe 29 April 1869 in Huntsville, Madison County, Ala. After marriage, bought small farm just past Hazel Green, Ala. in Lincoln County, Tenn. Raised sheep, kept bees and farmed. Received disabled veteran's pension. His wife, Mary Jane Poe was born 1 May 1852 in Duckspring, Ala. (then DeKalb, now Etowah County), only known child of Andrew W. Poe and Sarah Denham Poe. She died 3 June 1934 and is buried next to George in Macedonia Cemetery, Lincoln County, Tenn. Mary Jane received widow's pension for George's Civil War service.

Johannes Seitz was born 30 Jan 30 1740 at Adelshofen, Baden, Germany, a son of Johann Andreas and Anna Dorothea (Welck) Seitz. He died about 1 April 1793 in Strasburg (now Shrewsbury) township, York County, Penn.

Johannes may have received his education in Baden at the nearby Lorsch or Herrenalb monasteries. He married Catharine Rueb 8 May 1764 in Adelshofen and left for America eight days later. Johannes and Catharine took with them Lewis, a child whose exact origins are unknown although DNA tests involving his descendants prove the child's father was a Seitz. For more on the effort to prove Johannes' origins, go to The Search for the German Origins of Johannes Seitz.

Johannas, his pregnant wife and Lewis, arrived in Phildadelphia 20 Oct. 1764 aboard the ship Richmond from Rotterdam, Netherlands. It's not clear that Johannas settled immediately in York County, but he bought 283 acres in Shrewsbury township 28 April 1786. His house was still standing until the late 1980s although the original log walls were weatherboarded, when it was dismantled, reportedly to be rebuilt elsewhere with other log cabins. Johnannas is buried at St. Peters Reformed church near Glen Rock. Johannas and Catharine had nine children.

Notable descendants (also see Lewis Seitz entry):

Not my line: Clarence Cleveland Dill (21 Sep. 1884 - 14 Jan. 1978) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives 1915 -1919, representing Washington's 5th Congressional District. He served as U.S. senator from the state of Washington, 1923-1935 He is descended from the oldest daughter of Johannes and Catharine, Cartherine Seitz, who married Henry Keller.

Not my line: Samuel Franklin Leib (18 Jan. 1848 - 26 Dec. 1924) was a lawyer and judge in San Jose, Calif., having moved there from his native Fairfield County, Ohio in 1869. He served on the Stanford University Board of Trustees from 1891 to 1923, becoming board president for seven years when the president and co-founder of the university, Jane L. Stanford, died in 1905. He is a grandson of Joseph Leib and Elizabeth Seitz, a daughter of Johannes and Catharine.

Not my line: Roland Forrest Seitz (14 June 1867 - 29 Dec. 1946) was a composer and music teacher. Best known for his marches, he lived almost his entire life in York County, Penn., although his musical education was at Dana's Musical Institute in Warren, Ohio. His best known composition may be the "University of Pennsylvania Band March," written in 1901. He is a grandson of Andrew Seitz, son of Johannes and Catharine, and Catherine Klinefelter

The birth of Lewis Seitz Sr. is cloaked in mystery. For a detailed look at what we have uncovered using a combination of old records and modern DNA testing, go to The Mystery of Lewis Seitz.

We do know that Lewis came to America with Johannes and Catherine Seitz on the Richmond, arriving at Philadelphia on 20 Oct. 1764, and that he was raised as their oldest son.

Lewis died of bilious pleurisy on 10 May1823, at the home of John Schaeffer in Washington, Penn., while returning to his Fairfield County, Ohio, home from Pennsylvania and/or Virginia. Lewis married Anna Beery, probably in York County before moving to Rockingham County, Va., in 1788 or 1789.

Lewis and his family moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1801. This move was done with the congregation of a Baptist church that opposed slavery. Some books say it was the congregation of the White House Church, located in present-day Page County, Va. However, the earliest reference that I know of to the Pleasant Run church states that the Rockingham County, Va., congregation came out of the White House Church in 1790. In other words, it was a daughter church of the White House Church, which makes sense given the distance Lewis and the others lived from the White House Church and the fact that Massanutten Mountain is in between.

(The Pleasant Run reference is found in the Ohio chapter of "A General History of the Baptist Denomination in America, and Other Parts of the World" By David Benedict, published in London in 1813. Clicking on the link should open a new window or tab in your browser and take you to the contents page for the book on The Reformed Reader Website. Scroll down to the link to Ohio and the Western Territories (near bottom). Follow the link and scroll down to the section on the Scioto Association. Closing the window or tab will return you to this page.)

Lewis became a prominent Baptist preacher in Ohio. His Pleasant Run Church was one of four founders of Sciota Baptist Association in 1805. The association refused to correspond with churches that permitted members to have slaves. Several of his sons were pioneers in Seneca County, Ohio, in 1820s. Son John founded Bloom township. Son Lewis Jr. was also a preacher. Most, but not all, siblings had large and prosperous families. Sisters Catherine, Elizabeth, Eleanor and Barbara moved with families from York County, Penn., to Fairfield County, Ohio, in early the 1800s.

The wife of Lewis, Anna Beery, was born 30 Jan. 1768, probably in Shrewsbury township, York County, Penn., a daughter of John and Catharina (Hunsaker) Beery. She died 30 Sept. 1831 in Fairfield County, Ohio. They had 15 children, 14 of whom married and raised families.

Notable descendants:

Enoch Beery Seitz, a grandson of Lewis, achieved some fame as a mathematician and teacher in the 19th century. An article about him can be found elsewhere on this site at Teacher of the Great.

Not my line: Don Carlos Seitz (4 Oct. 1862 - 4 Dec. 1935), a great-grandson of Lewis, was a top aide to newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer. In addition to his editing and business management duties, Don C. Seitz wrote several nonfiction books.

Not my line: Rev. Edward Seitz Shumaker (30 July 1867 - 25 Oct. 1929), a nephew of Enoch Beery Seitz and great-grandson of Lewis, was a prominent leader of prohibition forces in Indiana in the early 20th century. A Methodist minister, he was head of the Indiana Anti-Saloon League.

Shumaker was also a genealogist and worked with Don C. Seitz on a Seitz genealogy that was never completed. Although Shumaker wrote an unpublished autobiography that is in the DePauw University Archives in Greencastle, Ind., no further evidence of his Seitz genealogy work has been found beyond some references in his 1924 book, "Descendants of Henry Keller of York County, Pennsylvania and Fairfield County, Ohio." Henry Keller married Catherine Seitz, oldest daughter of Johannes and Catherine and sister of Lewis.

Not my line: John Seitz (12 March 1829 - 6 Sept. 1915) was an Ohio legislator and gubernatorial candidate. Seitz served in both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate in addition to running unsuccessfully for U.S. representative, governor and state treasurer. Known as "the watchdog of the treasury," his best known piece of legislation was "the Seitz election law," which made it a felony to bribe or intimidate any voter and made the guility candidate ineligible to hold office even if elected. Grandson of Lewis through Rev. Lewis Seitz Jr. and Barbara Kagy

Anton Heinrich Tillman was born 18 Jan. 1807, in Geseke, Westfalen, Germany. He died 1 Jan. 1859, in Osage County, Mo. Anton came to United States with his family and other relatives in 1846, arriving in New Orleans aboard the Theodor Korner on 15 May. They apparently immediately went to and settled in Linn township, Osage County, Mo. Anton became a U.S. citizen in 1852.

Francis [Frank] Tillman was born 9 Dec.1842, in Geseke, Westfalen, Germany, a son of Anton Heinrich Tillman and Anna Mary Engels. Frank died 15 Oct. 1910, after falling from a horse in Osage County, Mo. Farmer. He came to United States in 1846 with his parents. Frank married c.1867 Mary Elizabeth Hoerschgen, daughter of Michael Hoerschgen and Anna Maria Schram, both immigrants from the Westfalen area. Frank inherited father's farm in 1859 and apparently turned it over to son William between 1900 and 1910. Frank was living with William at time of 1910 census. According to 1900 census, Frank was not a naturalized citizen, although other sources say his father was. Frank served in the Missouri militia during the Civil War. Frank and Elizabeth had nine children.

The youngest child of Frank and Mary is my grandfather, Frank P. Tillman, born 24 March 1889, who served as superintendent of the Kirkwood, Mo., school system from 1924 until shortly before his death 9 May 1947. Frank P. Tillman Elementery School is named in his honor. The link should open a new window or tab.

Notable descendant: Frank's brother, Benjamin William Tillman, was captain of the 1907 University of Missouri football team and later a long-time farm agent in St. Clair County, Ill.

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Created by Karl Seitz

Rev 12/14/2013