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Stentz, Johan Heinrich
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Ancestor of the Month
February 2007

 

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. 

 

First Marriage

 

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. 

 

Second Marriage

 

After 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

 

When 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.

 

Refugees 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 .”     Dorothea  was listed as “Maria Stamce   age 31.”    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 allegiance

 

Arrival in PA

 

The 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. 

 

Revolutionary War

 

Several 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).

 

Juliana

 

The 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.

 

As a 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 Creek

 

Not 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.

 

Since 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

 

As time 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.

 

Life’s End

 

Heinrich 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.

 

Heinrich 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.

 

Line of Descent from Heinrich Stentz to Eli McCarter

 

Heinrich Stentz (1694-1758) + Maria Dorthea Bossert (1702-1782)

Juliana Stentz (1741-c1810) + Dr. Martin Shultz (1735-1787)

Julia Ann Shultz (1775-1846) + Richard Ragan (1776-1829)

Daniel Wesley Reagan (1802-1892) + Nancy Ogle (1810-1844)

Marriah Reagan (1842-1923) + Thomas Hill McCarter (1842-1923)

Eli McCarter (1886-1955) + Mary Elizabeth Hatcher (1889-1969)

Sources

 

“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

 

“Ships Lists Online.”  http://ShipsLists-Online.rootschat.net/

 

Stantz”  Ancestry World Tree Project.  awt.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?surname=Stantz&given=Catherine+Elizabeth&ti=5538

 “Stentz:”:   genforum Stentz

Sentz, Howard W.  Genealogical Chronolog of Heinrich Stentz (1690-1758)  Get Textbooks.com

www.gettextbooks.com/author/Howard%20W%20Stentz

 

Stentzwww.jenforum.com/cgi-bin/print.cgi?hertzog::225.html

 

Table of Contents for Library of Congress Control number 89063347

www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/fy0610/89063347.html

 

“Table 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

 

thor.genserv.net/sub/deck/fam_315.htm

 

“Vermeer”  vermeer.hostiz.com/genealogy/paf/pafg99.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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