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Subject: Simon Essig
Date: 15 Jan 2002 20:28:01 -0700

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Surnames: Essig
Classification: Biography

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The following is research my mother did from 1970 - 1992. She was researching as a member of the National Genealogical Society. Unfortunately, the citations are incomplete, but the research is good, the theories are interesting, and the location of Hecktown, PA is a whole lot closer to Simon's legendary service during the battle of Trenton and the Crossing of the Delaware than the location of Hagerstown, MD. I beg you read this with an open mind and confirm the research for yourself.


We show here excerpts from (1) a four-page typewritten transcript of an "Account of the Essig Reunion, June 1884" held near Canton, Ohio and (2) a one-page "History of the Simon Essig Family" from the mimeographed publication "Indiana Descendants of the Simon Essig Family That have met in Reunion in Elkhart County since 1896" compiled in 1938. Neither account gives sources, although we suppose they combine word-of-mouth information with family Bible records. History, and records not known about in 1938, disprove some of the "legends" and raise serious questions about others.

Wendell Essig himself documented his arrival at the port of Philadelphia: he signed with his own hand the oath of allegiance papers presented to the governors of the Colony of Pennsylvania by Captain ______ Russell, Ship Edinburgh, carrying ___ "whole freights" (males over 16 counted as one apiece, women and children counted 2-for-l) identified as "Prussians," from Rotterdam on 7ber [September] 15, 1749.1 The ship had reached port the day before, as published in ____________.2

"Wandel Esach" is on a 1772 Northampton Co., Pa. tax list.3 Genealogist Mary Harter (whose husband was a descendant of another Essig) had also seen Wendel's name in church records.

Wendel Essig indeed was a communicant at the Dryland (Union) Church, Nazareth Twp., Northampton Co., from Pentecost 1770 through Easter l782.4 The Jacob (wife Eva Rosina) Essig and Adam (wife Elizabeth) Essig in those same church records 1768-1783 were older than Simon, judging by the dates of their children's births and baptisms. A George Essig sponsored one of those baptisms in 1776. SEE ALSO FOOTNOTE 13. None of this proves relationships, but it is interesting that Simon named his oldest four sons John, Adam, Jacob, and George.

1. Strassburg & Hinke, Pennsylvania German Pioneers ["S&H"] (___), vol. __ pp. __ and vol. __ pp. -. This is a transcript of all available colonial ship lists from Philadelphia; volume 2 contains photographs of the lists. Wendel's fraktur signature is small and precise, that of an educated man -- not the scrawl of someone who knew only how to sign his name.

2. [Cite published work abstracting the newspaper entries]

3. [cite]

4. Dr. William J. Hinke's 1929 handwritten translation of "Church Record of the Reformed and Lutheran Congregation in Nazareth Township, Northampton County, formerly the Dryland Church, now the Trinity Lutheran Church and Dryland Reformed Church, Hecktown, Pennsylvania 1763-1808"; microfilm reel 135 at Evangelical Historical Society, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Mary Harter has also disputed that Simon was Wendell's son; but even though we have no documentary proof of the relationship, his name was known to the family in 1884. Thus, the only known child of Wendel Essig (apparently from Simon's own stories) was Simon1 Essig,5 b. 26 Dec. 1754.6

There is an Indian massacre story, but it involves Simon's wife's family: The Anniversary History of Lehigh County (1914), pp. 1210-11, states that John Sensinger had married Maria Magdalena Kunkle "and had four children: Margaret, b. 1750, Magdalena, b. 1751, Andrew, b. 1753, and Barbara, b. 1755. He was killed by Indians about the year 1756 . . . ."

Richard T. Williams' Index of Wills and Administrations Records (1971) includes the probate (#121) in what was then Northampton Co. of the Will of John Sensinger in 1757; his widow Magdelena was the executor.

The History of Lehigh County. Pennsylvania (____), p. 78, states:

John Sensinger was the son of Ulrich Sensinger,
one of the pioneer settlers of Heidelberg township. He
had a family consisting of his wife and four small
children, Margaret, Magdalena, Andrew and Barbara, a
child of only a few months. For four years after the
massacre of Sensinger and his mother, whose name was
Mary Catharine, the place where he had lived was
deserted, the family having been compelled to live with
relatives and the buildings were in bad condition.

Casper Schnerr, who had married the widow,
Magdalena Sensinger, then [ca. 1760) settled upon the
place and reared the children of the murdered father.

Caspar Schnerr and his wife Magdalena had two daughters:

Anna Maria, b. ____, bp. 9 May 1761, sponsors Johannes Kunckell
and [wife] Margaretha7

Juliana Margaretha, b. "the 15th of April", bp. 28 [Apr.) 1765, sponsors Jurg Kern and [wife] Juliana Margaretha [Troxell?? ]8

5. The superscript "1" after Simon's name designates him as the first generation born in this country.

6. In New Jersey, according to the 1850 Census of Plain Twp., Stark Co., Ohio; age 94; occupation Blacksmith (rather than "at home", as most of the elderly were recorded)!

7. The Four Gospels . . . and Daniel Schumacher's Baptismal Register, transl. with introduction by Frederick S. Weiser, Publications of the Pennsylvania-German Society, vol. 1 (1968), Allentown, Pa. ["Schumacher's Baptisms"], p. 278. On the same page, Caspar Schnerr and Maria Magdelena sponsored the baptism of Maria Magdalena, d/o Johannes Kunckell and Anna Margaretha 8 Aug. 1762. All of these baptisms "at Heidelberg [Twp.]"

8. Schumacher's Baptisms, p. 310.

Caspar's name was spelled "Snare" [?] to match the German pronunciation by the time his will, probated in 1790 in now Adams Co., Pa., was written.9 His gravestone at Bender's Church (SEE FOOTNOTE 13) shows that he was b. 21 Apr. 1732, d. 30 Mch. 1790, and has a Revolutionary War marker; 8 rows away is a stone for Mary Schnare d. 30 Aug. 1839 [if b. 1761, ae. 78]]

Simon's name is on the muster rolls for Northampton County,________________10 As the Pennsylvania Archives makes clear, many of the muster rolls are missing from 1776 through 1781. However, Simon was in the right place that he may indeed have been at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton.

The 1884 account gives York Co. as the place of birth for the first 4 children; Adams Co. for the next 4; this does not necessarily mean that Simon moved as often as it might appear: York Co. included what is now Adams Co. until 1800.

Simon was taxed in Tyrone Twp., York Co. in 1782 (for one cow) and in Menallen Twp., York Co. in 1783 (with three inhabitants). Township lines also changed; the map shows where these townships now are, in Adams Co. Simon Essex appears in the 1790 census for Menallen, Tyrone, etc. townships, York Co., with 2 males under 16, 2 males over 16 (in other words, with an older man besides Simon in the household), and 3 females.

The one move we can document is to a tract named "Liberty”, 203+ acres in West Pennsboro Twp., Cumberland Co., sold to Simon and Juliana Essig by David Ralston in December 1799; sold by them to Jacob Meier 14 Apr. 1808.11

[Add Cumberland Co. militia rolls]

Simon was on the 1800 census for Cumberland Co. with __ males aged ___-___, __ males aged ___-___, __ females aged
___-___, and __ females aged ___-___.

9. [cite]

10. [cite]

11. [cite record, not recorded until ca. 1820] The deedbook entry shows that not only Simon (in English script) signed the 1808 conveyance, but also by Juliana (in fraktur).

The children of Simon1 and Juliana Margaretha (Schnerr) Essig were:12

+ 1. i. Maria Magdalena "Polly" Essig, b. 15 Nov. 1782
+ 2. ii. Elizabeth Essig, b. Ca. 1784
+ 3. iii. John Essig, b. 22 Sep. 1786
+ 4. iv. John Adam Essig, b. 22 Nov. 1788, bp. 8 Feb. 178913
+ 5. v. Jacob Essig, b. 8 Apr. 1791, bp. 22 Apr. 179114
+ 6. vi. George Essig, b. ca. 1794
+ 7. vii. Juliana Essig, b. 1797 }twins?
+ 8. viii. Sarah "Sally'1 Essig, b. 1797 }
+ 9. ix. Samuel Essig, b. ca. 1800
x. David Essig, b. ca. 1800, d.i.
+10. xi. Wilhelm Essig }, twins b. 9 Apr. 1804 and
+11. xii. Catharine Essig} bp. 3 June l80415
+12 xiii. Rebecca Essig, b. ca. 1806


12. The + before the number means that person's family will be traced on following pages.

13. Typewritten copy of Pastor Frederick Weiser's January 1978 translation of 1786-1860 Parish Register of Bender's (Union) Church ["Bender's Church Parish Register"], Butler Twp., Adams Co., Pa., p. ; original translation at Reformed __________ Historical Society, Gettysburg, Pa., copy at National Genealogical Society, Arlington, Va. Jacob and Eva Rosina Essig sponsored a baptism there 4 Nov. 1787, as did Simon and Juliana 24 Mar. 1788. Simon Esig "on the Lutheran side" and Caspar Schnerr "on the Reformed" signed as deacons Jan. 1789-90; Caspar, 17 Mar. 1790; and Simon, 29 Jan. 1791. Caspar and Machtalena Schnerr also sponsored baptism .

14. Bender's Church Parish Register, p. __.

15. Typewritten copy of Dovenmire's 28 Feb. 1927 translation of the records of Ziegler's (Union) Church, Mifflin Twp., Cumberland Co., Pa. "Book in possession of Zion's Church" (sponsors Conrad Wertz and wife); original translation at Reformed _________ Historical Society?, Gettysburg, Pa., copy at National Genealogical Society, Arlington, Va. Simon Essig and wife Juliana also had sponsored baptisms of Christina Jumans 10 May 1801 and of John Wirts, s/o Conrad and Mary Wirts 6 Sept. 1801 (p. 3)

1. Maria Magdalena2 “Polly” Essig, b. 15 Nov. 1782,
m. _________
George Weick (later spelled "Wike", "Wyck")

This family stayed awhile in Adams Co., then moved to Mead Co., Pa. before or after a brief while in Stark Co., Ohio; eventually settled in Pike Co., Ill. [although I think the county history says Polly was buried back in Pa. -- or did it? CHECK]

Pick up Pike Co., Ill. history information; be sure to make note of "his mother [sic] was an Essig" quote re Scott4 Wyck [sic] in the 1884 account; "Julia Market [sic]" given as Simon's wife's name in the county history.

Be sure to include the scant information about Jacob Becher in the early Stark Co., Ohio tax and/or "early settlers" lists

2. Elizabeth2 Essig, b. Ca. 1784,
Jacob Becher (sometimes misspelled "Beecher", "Becker")

Besides the scant information in the 1938 Account, be sure to include the Indiana cemetery/death record for Elizabeth's [probably youngest] son.

John is not mentioned in the 1884 Account as having been in the War of 1812, although he would have been the right age; National Archives / Congressional Records documents show that a John Essig had served from pleasant Twp., York Co., Pa., but we don't know if this is "our" John Essig. This John Essig is not listed among the soldiers in the rolls for the War of 1812 at National Archives because he became ill by the time his unit arrived at [Black Rock?], New York (near Niagara) and he was sent home [describe "safe pass" asking sheriffs along the way home to give him lodging; transcribe pertinent parts of his petition to Congress mentioning his small family, etc. -- and that he was denied a pension because he had never actually fought]: give plenty of cites (this information, whether or not he's "our" John, took a lot of research to find!)

The possibility that this John Essig was Simon's son is furthered by the fact that all of the records about Simon and family's move to Stark Co., Ohio, show that Adam [and Jacob?] went there before Simon did in 1808-- but do not show John [on the 1810? tax lists]; [the first record of John and his family is on the 1820 Census.]

DID I EVER CHECK THE PENNSYLVANIA 1810 CENSUS INDEXES FOR THIS JOHN ESSIG? [some of those indexes are very poorly done, but --

3. John2 Essig, b. 22 Sep. 1786,
Susan(na) Holtz

This John Essig is the one with whom Simon was living in 1850; he also is the one who moved with his sons to Elkhart Co., Indiana [ca. 1857] and died there in ___.

The 1884 Account says the following three boys were in the War of 1812; National Archives records exist for only two of them [check which ones]

4. John Adam2 Essig, b. 22 Nov. 1788, bp. 8 Feb. 1789
Catherine Leichtenwalter (also sp. "Lichtenwalter"?)
See also _____ Co. Pa.? history re Lichtenwalners

5. Jacob2 Essig, b. 8 Apr. 1791, bp. 22 Apr. 1791
Elizabeth Weaver, d/o Valentine Weaver
Pick up Stark Co., Ohio history info re Valentine

George is the one the 1884 Account says was wounded at the Battle of Put-in-Bay [check whether Archives says anything about it] he would only have been 18 at the onset of that War.

6. George2 Essig, b. Ca. 1794
(was this the one who m. Catharine Schollenberger?)

7. Julia(na)2 Essig, b. 1796 or 1798?? 1797?
m.(l) Jacob Troxell, who d.
m.(2) _____ Miller

Combine info from censuses and Powell’s to show how family was split up when Miller died (her Troxell and Miller children taken in by various relatives); her grave in another cemetery from most of the rest

8. Sarah2 "Sally" Essig, b. 1797-8?? 1797?
(was this the one who m. [Samuel?] Trump?)

9. Samuel2 Essig, b.
(was this the one who m. Salome Rank?

10. William Essig, b. 9 Apr. 1804,
Anna Maria Hohn (later spelled "Hane"; "Anna M. Hane"
was then later misread as "Anna McHane")

11. Catherine2 Essig, b. 9 Apr. 1804,
__________ Pontius

12. Rebecca2 Essig, b. Ca. 1806,
__________ Pontius

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