Archiver > BRETHREN > 2002-12 > 1040224000

From: "Dwayne Wrightsman" <>
Subject: [BRE] Children of Michael Frantz of Little Swatara Creek
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 10:06:40 -0500


The Michael Frantz who lived downstream on Little Swatara Creek from his
brothers Christian II and John, in the Bethel/Tulpehocken area of Lancaster
County, was the son of Christian Frantz I (b.c1685). Michael's neighbor on
Little Swatara Creek was John Nicholas Garst. This geography we know from
land records--warrants, surveys, patents, and deeds--in the Pennsylvania
State Archives in Harrisburg. Tax records for Bethel Twp. indicate that
they were neighbors from about 1750 to about 1790.

Not much is known about Michael Frantz's immediate family except that he had
four sons--Christian, Daniel, David, and Peter--who married daughters of
John Nicholas Garst. This we know from the March 1808 Botetourt Co., VA,
settlement records of the estate of John Nicholas Garst.

The extended Frantz-Garst families moved from PA to VA in the early 1790s.
This we know from the early land and tax records of Botetourt County. The
four Frantz men who married Garst women--Christian, Daniel, David, and
Peter--were all listed as Botetourt taxpayers from the mid-1790s. A fifth
Frantz man, named Michael, was also listed as a taxpayer during this time.
This Michael was not the father, but rather an older brother of the four who
married Garsts. This we know from documentation in James Arthur Shanks,
"The Shanks Family from Pequea Creek," 1985. This Michael was married to
Elizabeth Sollenberger.

The documented evidence limits the Michael Frantz family to five sons:
Michael Jr., Christian, Daniel, David, and Peter, of which the latter four
married daughters of John Nicholas Garst.

Compare this to the conventional view that the family included a wife and
mother, Magdalena Zug, and four more children--John, Jacob, Abraham, and an
unnamed daughter. Also included in this view was the notion that the
husband and father was the son of the famous Michael Frantz, who was Elder
of the Conestoga Congregation of German Baptist Brethren from about 1734 to
about 1748. This conventional view originated from an early unpublished
manuscript of Dore M. Frantz. This manuscript was essentially published by
being incorporated in Lorraine Frantz Edwards, "Frantz Families -- Kith and
Kin," 1996.

In the 1996 book, Lorraine F. Edwards questioned whether John and Jacob were
of this family, and rightfully so, as these two have been more recently
identified as belonging to the Hans Frantz line.

Abraham Frantz is an enigma. According to Cocalico marriage records, kept
by Rev. John Waldschmidt, this Abraham was probably the son of the Michael
Frantz who lived in Cocalico, who, in turn, was probably the real son of
Michael Frantz I, Elder of the Conestoga Congregation. There is no
evidence, however, that he was from the Little Swatara area, born in the
line of Christian Frantz I. My own view is that Abraham was not a sibling
of the Frantz men who married Garsts.

That leaves the unnamed sister. According to William Tell Garst, "Our Garst
Family in America," 1950, John Nicholas Garst had a son, Jacob Garst, who
married an unnamed Frantz woman. Most Garst and Frantz researchers have
concluded that she was probably a sister of the four Frantz brothers who
married Garsts, so that the marriages between the two families numbered
five. Although this cannot be proven, circumstances suggest that the
unnamed Frantz daughter was probably in the family of Michael Frantz, son of
Christian I.

That leaves the alleged wife, Magdalena Zug. As far as I can tell, there is
no evidence to support this marriage. In an earlier post, entitled "The
Myth of Magdalena Zug," I invited readers and researchers to defend the
marriage. Thus far, no one has come forward to do so. The myth continues,
awaiting either proof or disproof.

Finally, there is the matter of the paternal grandfather of the Frantz men
who married Garst women. The conventional view points to Michael Frantz I.
This view remains undocumented. Alternatively, ship records, land records,
and church records, all point to Christian Frantz I. This view, which I
have been presenting in emails to readers for many months, enjoys the
support of considerable documentation.

To summarize, the children of Michael Frantz of Little Swatara Creek
included sons Michael, Christian, Daniel, David, and Peter, and probably a
daughter who was wife of Jacob Garst. There is no evidence that it included
a John Frantz, a Jacob Frantz, or an Abraham Frantz, as commonly thought.
John and Jacob were in the line of Hans Frantz. Abraham was seemingly in
the line of Michael Franz I. The children of Michael Frantz of Little
Swatara Creek were in the line of Christian Frantz I.

Dwayne Wrightsman
Lee, NH

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