Saturday, February 25, 2017

Our German Ancestors: The Utterback (Otterbach) Family

Saxon Steed, adopted by Westphalia
In an earlier blog I wrote that our great-great grandfather Whitman Hill Dyson married our great-great grandmother Elizabeth J. Turpin (b. 1841 - died before the 1870 census), mother of Nancy Dyson Raney. They married 15 May 1858 in Warrick County, Indiana.

Warrick County, Indiana
Elizabeth Turpin, called "Ella", was born in Jackson County, Indiana, the daughter of  Moses Turpin (1812-1898) and Frances "Frankie" Utterback (1818-1865), our 3rd great-grandparents.

Jackson County, Indiana
Frankie Utterback was born in 1818 in Woodford County, Kentucky, and never learned to read (1860 Indiana census). The southern states were slow to institute public education in rural areas; it was especially difficult because settlers were more dispersed in the south than in northern states. 

Moses Turpin's people had lived for a time in Pulaski County, Kentucky, where he was born in 1812.
Pulaski County, Kentucky

They were in Jackson County, Indiana, by 1830, and the Utterbacks were in nearby Lawrence County. Indiana was the new frontier and Kentuckians especially flocked to southern Indiana. In the 1850 censuses for the southern Indiana counties, line after line list heads of families and older children as being born in Kentucky.
Indiana 1795 - 1840: treaties that opened various parts of Indiana for settlement
Moses Turpin and Frances Utterback married in February,1834, in Lawrence County, Indiana.
Lawrence County, Indiana
I do so enjoy seeing how our family moved about from county to county in Indiana. Roads were being built, dusty in summer and quagmires in rainy weather. We'll leave Moses and Frances Turpin as they raise their family, because I want to tell you about Frankie's ancestors, the Utterbacks, originally Otterbach - the only German ancestors in our grandfather Frank Raney's tree.

Hermann Utterback (Harmon Otterbach - and yes the name refers to the otter) was born in 1663 in Trupbach, an outlying village of Siegen, North Rhine-Westphalia. The region was still recovering from the devistating Thirty-Years War - a short history HERE  He married Elizabeth Heimbach in Seigen on August 11, 1685 in a German Reformed Protestant ceremony (a branch of the Presbyterian church). They were our 8th great-grandparents.

North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. Siegen is in the middle of the province, formerly a part of Prussia.

Hermann was an iron miner, but possibly farmed on the side and mined in dry weather. He and other miners of Siegen were approached in about 1711 to come to Virginia, ostensibly to mine for iron. He and six surviving children arrived in Virginia in 1714 with this German colony of miners, numbering about 42, after having been marooned in London for six months without transportation, supported by two London merchants who were reimbursed by Royal Lt. Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia. There is still historical controversy whether Spotswood used a middleman to contract them to come to Virginia to mine what was or would be his own land, but all agree he acted surprised to see them. Nonetheless, Spotswood convinced the Council of Virginia to settle this German colony above the falls on the Rappahannock River at Virginia's frontier as a buffer to protect the more favored Virginia settlements against Indian incursions. He had a small fort built that he named Germanna and the Germans were given two cannon and some ammunition.

Here are their nine houses and across a beaten track their animal sheds. They lived primitively.
There remains a small controversy among descendants of the Germanna founders whether Hermann and his family arrived with the others in 1714 because his name doesn't appear on paper; but since he was a widower, he probably lived with a son-in-law. His family name disappeared from the Siegen church records at that time and three of his daughters married Germanna founders, sufficient evidence to indicate he was among the first settlers. Nowadays there is a Germanna College near where the colony first lived and a Germanna Foundation that take this history very seriously because it was the first German colony in America. Research articles are in abundance on the Internet. Here's an article on the settlement of Germanna with Utterbach and Hermann's wife's surname Heimbach included. Her relatives must have come, also.  HERE

Original site of Germanna or near enough.
People like to say that the colonies allowed freedom of religion, but that wasn't so early on. Virginia Colony's state religion was the Anglican religion. The colony forced out settlers not of the Anglican faith by tithing them to support the Anglican church, fining them for not appearing at services, and denying them their own ministers. Some French Huguenots and Quakers were forced out in this manner. When the Germans came, bringing a minister with them, Lt. Governor Spotswood convinced the Virginia government to pass a law allowing their free worship without having to pay tithes to the Anglican church. The next colony of Germans to come were Lutherans, but our ancestors were mostly German Reform Calvinists, who went to church every day. (Some claim a few settlers were Catholic; if that is true, how they got along is a wonder for there had been armed clashes between the two religions in Siegen a few years earlier).  There were some attempts to search out silver, with no success, and some incipient iron mining.  It wasn't what the Germans had expected. After their four-year indenture to pay off their passage, the Germans abandoned Germanna and moved twenty miles away to found Germantown in Prince William County, which became Fauquier County.
Fauquier County, Virginia
Hermann's son, John Utterback (Johannes Otterbach), our 7th great-grandfather (b. 1702 Siegen - d. after 1772 in what became Fauquier County) lived a long time.  In 1772 he witnessed (with 2 other Germans of his colony, probably his in-laws) the sale of 100 acres in Hamilton Parish on Licking Run from Jacob and Mary Rector to Jacob Utterback for "50 pounds in current money in Virginia." (Fauquier County Deed Book 5, p. 241). Jacob was John's son, as was Harmon Utterback (b. 1724 - d. after 1793), our 6th great-grandfather.  We can assume these men and their families quietly tilled their Virginia fields through most of the 18th century. Of Harmon's four sons, it is Jacob Utterbach (b.1743 in Germantown, Fauquier County, Virginia - d. 1843 in Woodford County, Kentucky) who interests us most. He was our 5th great-grandfather.  In 1766 he married Anna Elizabeth Martin (b. 1746 Germantown, Fauquier County - d. Jan. 21, 1827, Woodford County, Kentucky). They had six boys and four girls that survived infancy.  Jacob Utterbach claimed to have served in the American Revolution on the Virginia Line, but never applied for a pension or a land bounty in Kentucky, and his name doesn't show up on any militia list. That's not to say that he didn't serve. Records can be sketchy. 

His brothers Benjamin and Harmon served on the Virigina Line. Benjamin enlisted in 1777 and served as an orderly sergeant under Col. Thomas Marshall (who lived near the Utterbacks), father of Chief Justice John Marshall.  Having secured discharge papers, he claimed a bounty of 160 acres of land in Woodford County, Kentucky, where he went with other Utterbacks and Germans in 1797. In the 1810 census he had five in his family and possessed one slave.  He moved on to Morgan County, Indiana, in 1822, received a pension in 1832, and died in 1842 in Martinsville, Indiana, having lived  88 years. He is buried in Morgan County, Indiana. 
In honor of Benjamin and Harmon Utterback's service, and Jacob's, also.

Brother Harmon enlisted in 1775 at Culpeper Court House in the regiment of Lawrence Talieferro; and in a company of Minute Men under Cpt William McClanahan, fighting under the famous "rattlesnake" flag at the Battle of Great Bridge. HERE Near the end of the war he fought under Col. William Crawford and Cpt. Handkinson Reed of Culpeper at the siege of Yorktown. He was a Guardsman of British prisoners on the march from Yorktown to Winchester, Virginia, where he was discharged. He moved to Kentucky (probably with his brothers in 1797) and was pensioned in Nicholas County in 1832.  He died in 1854 in Bourbon, Kentucky (maybe living with a relative) at the impressive age of 99, and was buried there.
Harmon's Kentucky cabin, photographed in 1930s by author of Utterback genealogy.
In 1797 our ancestor Jacob Utterbach, his family and other Germans from Germantown, Virginia, crossed into Kentucky to resettle. Jacob had been granted 100 acres at Chester Gap in 1768 by Thomas Lord Fairfax. He likely sold that land rather than abandon it; or he deeded it to an older son or daughter.  He kept notes of their journey. "We started from Chester's Gap on the 13 Oct 1797, and come to Redstone 31st and west to Whelon [Wheeling] by land, and got there 4 November; the boat came the 13th and on the 15th we left Whelon and got to Limestone [now Maysville, KY] the 20 November."  

From the Utterback genealogy book

Chester Gap, sometimes referred to as Happy Creek Gap for the creek that runs down its western slope, is a wind gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the western border of Fauquier County. A highway now traverses it; the Appalachian Trail also passes across the gap. Wheeling, then in Virginia, became part of West Virginia when it was separated from Virginia in 1862. Although the dotted lines in the map below showing Zane's Trace make it appear the Utterbacks crossed what is now Ohio, they actually came on flat boats down the Ohio River (later forming Ohio's state line) from Wheeling to Limestone, Kentucky.

You can read about Limestone (later called Maysville) as a landing for early settlers HERE

Woodford County, Kentucky
In the 1800 Woodford County tax rolls, Jacob and four of his sons appear. Jacob's wife, Mary Ann Martin (1747-1827) our 5th great-grandmother was the granddaughter of John Joseph Martin (Mardten) (b. 1691 Siegen, Westphalia - d. 1758, Germantown)  and Maria Katarina Otterbach (b. 1699, Siegen, Westphalia - d. 1780, Germantown), our 7th great-grandparents on Mary Ann's side.. They were part of the original 1714 colony of 42 at Germanna, Maria Katarina the great-aunt of Mary Ann's husband Jacob Utterback. These German children had to marry one another; there were no other settlers near them.

In the 1820 Kentucky census there were 20 heads of families with the surname Utterback living in Kentucky counties. We can assume most were related and had come from Virginia. 

Mary Ann Utterback died in Woodford County in 1827 when she was 80, a very old age for a woman who'd borne 11 children in 17 years. And what did Jacob Utterback do two yeas later in 1829 at age 75, why he married Quency Hanks, a cousin of Abraham Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks. To be fair, it appears she was old, too. A number of extended Utterback family members married Hanks family members in Kentucky. In 1808 son Benjamin (1784-1846) married Matilda " Matie" Hanks (b. 1788 Richmond County; Virginia, a widow in the Boone County, Indiana 1850 census; died in Mills County, Iowa in 1860; mother of 15 children.).  See photo below of Matie as an old woman. She isn't directly related to us - just thought you might like to see her.
From 1930s Utterback Genealogy book
And so, Jacob Utterback died in 1842 in Kentucky.  His son, Elijah Utterback (b. 1776, at Chester's Gap, eventually part of  Rappahannock County, Virginia) had moved with his father and the German colony in 1797 to Woodford County, Kentucky, and married in 1811 Mary Polly Garnett, born about 1795 there. Her family came from Culpeper, Virginia, to Kentucky about 1794 and was on the Franklin County, Kentucky, tax roll in 1795. Elijah and Polly are our fourth great-grandparents. They had children together, including Frances "Frankie" Utterback, born 1818 in Woodford County.  The family was in Lawrence County, Indiana, for the 1830 census, where Elijah's family numbered 6 children (more must have reached adulthood and left).  He allegedly died that year in Ripley County, Indiana, at the age of 54. Maybe they had moved there or he was looking for new land.  I'm unable to find proof of his death date other than from The history and genealogy of the Utterback family in America, 1622-1937 / William I. Utterback.The author unfortunately allowed our Utterback line to peter out at that point.
Ripley County, Indiana

Elija's and Polly's daughter Frances "Frankie" Utterback married Moses Turpin in 1836 in Lawrence County, Indiana.  I did find the 1840 census for Lawrence County, Indiana, listing Frankie's mother Mary Utterback. She was a widow and had four male children between 9 and 19 living with her. And then she disappears from the record, not even living with a son or daughter in the 1850 census. I've found no grave for her, either. 

Ten years later, what the 1850 southern Indiana county censuses do reveal are 25 male heads of families with the surname Utterback, who were born in Kentucky. These weren't all Elijah's sons, but were also sons of his six brothers, and maybe even sons of his cousins. It seems that for many Utterbacks Kentucky was a way-station on their journey to southern Indiana and beyond.

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