Ancestor of the
Johan Heinrich Stentz
b. 16 Jun 1690 d. 14 Oct 1758
Johan Heinrich Stentz was born 16
Jun 1690 in Evangelisch, Insheim, Impflingen, Pfatz, Germany. He was the son
of Johan Rudolph Stentz (1669-?) and Eva Barbara (c1782-?) His parents were both born in Pfalz, Bayern, Germany.
In about 1718 Heinrich married his
first wife, Anna Maria Appollonia (c1702 -1730) The couple had three daughters, Anna Maria (1719-?), Anna Cathrina (1723-?), and Maria Dorothea (1726-?) The Stentzes followed the German practice of naming each child a religious or saint’s
name followed by a given name by which the child would be called. All three girls,
like their parents and grandparents before them, were born in Pfalz, a part of the war-torn Palantine area of Germany.
Heinrich’s first wife died in 1730, he married his second wife, Maria Dorothea Bossert (1702-?) on 4 Apr 1731. Dorothea was bornin Pfalz in 1702. She was the daughter of Hans and Margaretha Lucas Bossert also of Pfalz. Heinrich and Maria Dorothea had a son a year
after they were married. According to most sources, the boy was named Johan Jacob
Stentz (1732-?) Some sources, however, give the name of the son as Hans Jacob
Stentz which is more likely since his name on board the ship the family took to America is listed as Hance Jacob.
Reasons for Moving to the Colonies
Jacob was a little over a year old, the family decided to migrate to the British colonies in America. Although the Palantine area had once been a wonderful place to live, by the late Seventeenth and early
Eighteenth centuries it was a place or horror. (For information about the Palantine area and the Palatines, see our “Ancestor
of the Month” for December, 2006, Johannes McInterfeer.) In general, the
Palantine area was basically the Rhine River area of Germany which had been devastated by year after year of war. The people were persecuted, tortured, and killed because of their religious beliefs. The land, buildings, towns, agriculture, businesses and so forth were destroyed. People lost everything. The first to leave were those who
left for religious freedom. After 1729 or 30, however, the refugees also were
almost all destitute because of the wars.
fled to England, Ireland, Russia, and the American colonies. Because the people
of the Palantine area were known as very skillful, hardworking, people, they were welcomed to many places. William Penn traveled in Germany and spoke of the wonderful lands of Pennsylvania. South Carolina advertised for German immigrants to come there for free land. Pennsylvania and New York both offered free land for the refugees. England was deluged with refugees, and
Queen Anne sent thousands on to the colonies. The passenger list of the ship Elizabeth, which the Stentz family took to America, shows the variety of workers available to the colonies: farmers,
tailors, weavers, joiners, carpenters, shoemakers, fiddlers, saddles, smiths, coopers, wagoners, butchers, millers, and strangely
enough, a bonemaker. These men were not unskilled laborers. Only nine men on board the Elizabeth did not name an occupation, and three of them were 45, 53,
and 60 years old.
Sailing on the Elizabeth
Like so many Palatines before them, the Stentz family traveled down the Rhine to Rotterdam and arranged passage to America.
They sailed on the ship Elizabeth, captained by Edward Lee. As
usual, the German names provided difficulty for those recording them. Heinrich
was listed as “Heinrich Stance, shoemaker, age 39.” The children
were listed as “Anna Maria Stance age 11, Maria Catrina Stance age 7, Maria Dorotea Stance
age 4, and Hance Jacob Stance age 1 ½ .” Dorothea was listed as “Maria Stamce age
The ship embarked from Rotterdam with 162 people on board, but by the time they reached Philadelphia, sixteen passengers—all
children—had died. After about two months at sea, the ship arrived in Philadelphia on August 27, 1733. There they were “qualified” to become citizens of the colony when Heinrich signed an oath of
Sentz family settled in the Kreutz Creek area of Hellam Township, York County,
Pennsylvania where Heinrich began practicing his occupation of shoemaker. During the next eight years, Henrich and Dorothea added six more children to their
family, bringing the total to ten: Philip Daniel (1735-1807), Johann Leonard (1736-1805), Maria Catharine Elizabeth (1738/9- 1782); Judith (1739-?), and Juliana (1741-c1810) Another daughter was born about 1740, but her name is unknown or she did not survive.
of Heinrich’s children are of special interest to us today. Two are Johan
Leonard and Philip Daniel Stentz. They are of interest because both fought in the Revolutionary War. Philip Daniel (1735-1807) fought in the 7th Co
1st Batallion, and John Leonard (1736-1805) fought in the 6th Co. 4th Batallion of the Pennsylvania
forces. In addition, Maria Catharina Elizabeth’s husband Johan (John) Peter
Snyder (1729-1807) was also a veteran of the Revolution as was Judith’s husband Anthony Snider (1724-1803) (Judith was
his third wife). Catherine’s (Maria
Catrina on the ship’s list) husband, Captain John Conrad Snyder also served in the Revolution. It is quite likely that other children and sons-in-law of Heinrich were also veterans. The variant spellings and similarities of names (ie: Maria
Catharina Elizabeth Sentz and Maria Catherine Stentz—two different people) make locating all participants a bit confusing. Possibly even some of Heinrich’s grandsons served in the Revolution—particularly
Henry (Heinrich) (1762-1829) and Philip (1764-1814).
third of Heinrich’s children of particular interest to us is Juliana because she is our ancestor. Juliana probably met her husband Johan Martin Shultz through her father.
Martin’s father, Johan Veltan (Valentine) Shultz had brought his
family to Philadelphia from the Palatine area of Germany two years before the Stentz family had arrived. They had come aboard the sailing ship Pennsylvania Merchant, part of a group of 175 passengers. They landed 10 Sep 1731 in Philadelphia and signed the lists 11 Sept. The Shultz family had not come alone, but with a large extended family. Later, this safety in numbers would probably influence Martin when he and Juliana left Philadelphia and
moved South. They took with them a number of other families who had been friends
of theirs in PA.
young man, Martin learned the art of shoemaking and was apprenticed to a cordwainter to learn his craft. Cordwainers were considered on a higher standing than cobblers or shoemakers. They dealt in fine leathers and expensive shoes. Since Julia’s
father Heinrich was a shoemaker—and perhaps a cordwainer—he probably knew young Martin. In fact, it is not impossible that Martin was apprenticed to Heinrich.
There is, however, no documentation to back up this supposition at this time.
(See Ancestor of the Month for March, 2006 Dr. Martin Shultz for more information)
Both Juliana and Martin were born in America, and Martin, like his two
brothers-in-law Philip and Johan Leonard, participated in the Revolutionary War. By
the 1770’s Martin had become a doctor to serve a need on the frontier where there were few if any doctors. He was a private under Col. John Sevier as part of the Over Mountain Men in the Battle of King’s
Mountain. He also served as a surgeon during the war.
Family Life in Kreutz
much is known of Heinrich and his family’s life in the Kreutz Creek area of Hellam Township. However, we do know that
at that time York Co., PA was considered the “western frontier of the nation.” Thus, the hardships of pioneer
life would have been part of their daily lives. Heinrich’s profession
of shoemaker would have been financially helpful to the family, but all would probably have had to help build a cabin, clear
land, and farm, too. We must not forget that in addition to the other hardships
of pioneer life, the Stentzes also had to battle the language problem. John H.
Reagan in his Memoirs mentioned that his grandmother preferred her German Bible in her devotions and that she spoke German. His grandmother, Julia Ann Shultz, was Heinrich’s granddaughter, so the family
by that time had been in America for three generations and the German language was still a part of their lives.
the Stentzes had been persecuted for their religious beliefs in Germany, they were probably quite devout, and church was probably
important in their lives. The family were probably Lutherans or members of the
Reformed Church because (1) Germans arriving in PA after 1730 were usually Lutherans or Calvinists, (2) Juliana and Martin Shultz were married in Christ Lutheran Church, York, York Co., PA, (3) Heinrich
was buried in the Reformed Church Cemetery, Kreutz Creek, Hellam
Township, York, Pennsylvania
(4) Philip was christened in a Lutheran church and (5) Catherine was married in Christ Lutheran Church in York, PA
passed, the children married and moved away from home--some close by and some, like Juliana, far away to NC and eventually
to a part of western NC that would become TN.
died 14 Oct 1758 at the age of sixty-eight. He had had two wives, ten children,
and dozens of grandchildren. He left a war-ravaged land with his young family,
traveled thousands of miles on a dangerous sea voyage where sixteen people died, established a home and business in a new
land, and lived out his final years. His life was full. He probably thought of himself as leading a normal life, but from our perspective, he was a brave
and strong individual.
Stentz was Papaw’s 3 great grandfather.
Juliana Stentz Shultz was his great great grandmother. If you are Eli McCarter’s great, great grandchild, Heinrich Stentz is your 7 great grandfather.
of Descent from Heinrich Stentz to Eli McCarter
Stentz (1694-1758) + Maria Dorthea Bossert (1702-1782)
Stentz (1741-c1810) + Dr. Martin Shultz (1735-1787)
Ann Shultz (1775-1846) + Richard Ragan (1776-1829)
Wesley Reagan (1802-1892) + Nancy Ogle (1810-1844)
Reagan (1842-1923) + Thomas Hill McCarter (1842-1923)
McCarter (1886-1955) + Mary Elizabeth Hatcher (1889-1969)
“Clark-Woodward and Related Families” http://worldconnect.genealogy.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=grandmalolo&id=I3676
“Family Group Sheet.” www.mydeskbbs.com/genealogy/f1392.htm
“German Pioneers.” freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~pagermanpioneers
“Ship Elizabeth” www.rootsweb.com/~GENHOME/shiphtm
“Stantz” Ancestry World Tree Project. awt.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?surname=Stantz&given=Catherine+Elizabeth&ti=5538
“Stentz:”: genforum Stentz
Howard W. Genealogical Chronolog of Heinrich Stentz (1690-1758) Get Textbooks.com
Table of Contents for Library of Congress Control number 89063347
of Contents” Genealogical Chronolog of Henrich Stentz (1690-1758) and
His Family by Howard W. “Buster” Stentz http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/fy0610/89063347.html