Genealogy has become a hobby for me over the last 10 years. For me, it's like a puzzle, I love fitting the pieces together. But over the years, I've researched a lot that does not pertain to our family lines. Some for extended family, some for close friends, and some because I was trying to rule out lines to figure out where our line went exactly. I do not want these notes on my Heather's Genealogy Notes blog - because they are not our lines. But I do like to share all of my research, in case it benefits others. That is what this blog is for - research I have done that does not apply to our own family lines, but may be helpful for someone else.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Andreas Oberdorf 1730-1821 & 1731-unknown

Andreas (Andrew) Oberdorf
Born 1730 in Wertheim Germany
Died Jan 1 1821
Married 25 Jun 1748
(1) Magdalena Dihm
Married April 4 1783
(2)Elizabeth Barbara Fuchs


to First Wife Magdalena Dihm:

Johann Michel Overturf (b.Abt 1757-Lindelbach,Wertheim,Germany)

Henry Oberdorf/ Overturf (b.1761-Lindelbach,Wertheim,Germany)
M Maria Chute (b.Abt 1775 d.Bef 1830)

to Second Wife Barbara Fuchs:

John Overturf m.  Mary Jordon

Andrew Overturf m. Hannah Jordon

Time Line:

Born  in Wertheim, Germany

25 Jun 1748
 Age: 18 Marriage to Magdalena Dihm in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

1 Oct 1773
Age: 43, Arrival in Philadelphia
Sailed from Rotterdam aboard the English ship "Hope", Captain George Johnston,Master.

Oath of Allegiance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Name: Andreas Oberdorf
Year: 1773
Place: Pennsylvania
Source Publication Code: 4525
Primary Immigrant: Oberdorf, Andreas
Annotation: Date of emigration and intended destination or date and port of arrival. Extracted from manuscripts in the princely archive of Lowenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. Also in source nos. 4517 and 9964 (indexed in PILI 1991 and 1983, respectively).
Source Bibliography: LANGGUTH, OTTO. "Pennsylvania German Pioneers from the County of Wertheim." Translated and edited by Don Yoder. In The Pennsylvania German Folklore Society [Yearbook], vol. 12 (1947), pp. 196-289.
Page: 250

Name: Hannah O'Scullion
Date: 17 Jan 1772
Residence: Philadelphia
Occupation: Apprentice, taught the leather breeches maker's business (note 5, have clothes to the value of pound 3 money of Pa.).
Whom Indentured: Andrew Overturf and His Assigns
Term: 2 yrs., 2 mo.

1773 Census

Name: Andreas Oberdorff
State: PA
County: Philadelphia County
Township: Philadelphia
Year: 1773
Database: PA Early Census Index

4 Apr 1783

Age: 53, Married to Elizabeth Barbara Fuchs in  Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
Trininty Lutheran Church (2nd marriage for Andreas Overturf)

Source:  Pennsylvania, Marriage Records, 1700-1821 Record for Andreas Oberdorff
         Philadelphia > St. Michaels’ and Zion Church, Philadelphia, 1745-1800


Age: 61, in Selinsgrove, Snyder, Pennsylvania
Operated a grist mill which he later sold to Major Anthony Selin
(the mill later became the Schnure's Mill which was in operation until 1920)

1 Jan 1821
Age: 91, Died in  Driftwood, Pennsylvania, USA

Research Notes:

 "Pioneers of Second Fork" by James P. Burke

"Andreas Oberdorff (Andrew Overturf) resided in the village of Lindelbach, Weilheim County in the ancient Providence of Palatinate (now the state of Baden-Wurttenburg), Germany, a hilly, forested land that nears the border of France.  The people of the Palatnates were severely depressed economically by many burdensome taxes.  There were land rents, grazing fees, hunting fees, watch fees, plowing fees, food tax, tax on second hay harvest, tax on hand work rendered, the Prince's personal tax, chimney tax and water tax.  Taxes were only limited to the imagination of those who ruled the land, and if one didn't have a creative imagination, he would copy a tax in an adjoining province.  There was the Manumission Act, which in essence was a tax for those migrating from the province.  Peasants worked from the dark hours of early morning to the dark hours of the evening to obtain a meager existence at best.

During this period of mass migration from Germany, there were agents known as Newlanders.  These Newlanders would roam the countryside signing up people for passage to America, then known as New England.  These Newlanders normally worked on a commission and to induce people to sign up they would quite often exaggerate the opportunities and life in the Promised Land.  Many peasants entered into arrangements, indenturing themselves and members of their families for passage to the New World.
[Indenturing themselves meant binding themselves to work for another for a given length of time, as an apprentice to a master, or an immigrant to service in a colony.]

Andrew Overturf decided to migrate to America and bring his family with him.  On January 17, 1772, he indentured himself and his six children to Hannah O'Scullion in Philadelphia, for a term of two years, two months.  They were to serve as apprentices to learn the trade of making leather breeches.

On March 30, 1773, Andrew, now a widower with six children applied to the Count of Lowenstien, to whom he was subject, for a Certificate of Manumission to give him and his family permission to leave the County of Wertheim.  On April 26, 1773, Andrew received from his father-in-law 210 florins (a unit of German currency in the form of gold and silver coins).  Of the 210 florins, he had to pay a 5% Manumission tax amounting to 10 ½ florins, plus an additional 20% supplement tax on the balance of
199 ½  florins (40 florins).  The ironical situation in Andrew's case was that if he had just ½ florin more, he would only be required to pay 10%, as all amounts 200 florins, or more were subject to a 10% tax; less than 200 florins, the tax rate was 20%.

Andrew departed Lindelbach and left behind a debt of 819 florins.  The family began their journey to America from Weilheim and traveled down the Rhine River which flows north to Rotterdam, Holland.  This leg of their trip took about four to six weeks to complete.  One account contends that the Overturf's encountered a number of tollhouses on the river.  After arriving in Rotterdam, the family was again detained, waiting for the ship Hope to sail for America to the port of Philadelphia.

Sailing from Europe, across the Atlantic to America in the 1700's was a long, hazardous trip, exposing the passengers to many hardships and dangers.  On October 1, 1773 the hazardous and long ocean journey began.  Listed on the ship's manifest were Andreas, Johann Michael Oberdorff, and Johann Berhart Rau.  The ship manifest included males over 16, without reference to women and children under sixteen.  Johann Michael (Andrew's oldest son) was born 1757, which would make him over 16 at the time of departure.   Johann Berhart Rau applied for a Certificate of Manumission at the same time as Andrew, and it is likely the Rau family accompanied Andrew and his family from Weilheim.

When the Overturf's finally arrived in Philadelphia they had to go through a process of naturalization, swearing their allegiance to England and becoming subjects of the King. The next step was serving out their indentureship making leather breeches under the stewardship of Hannah O'Scullion.   Andrew then acquired 100 acres of land in Northampton County.

On April 4, 1783, Andrew married for the second time to Elizabeth Barbara Fuchs in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  This union brought forth five children.

In 1791, Andrew was operating a gristmill in Selinsgrove, PA.  The tax records indicate he was assessed for 200 acres of land, two horses and a cow.  Andrew sold the mill and shortly after, Andrew and his immediate family disappeared from the tax records for a period of time, as they apparently returned up the Susquehanna into the wilderness of Pennsylvania.  Sometime between 1804 and 1806, he came to the Driftwood area to plant crops for shares during the summer months.  In 1806, he came up the Sinnemahoning Creek to settle.  Andrew built a two-room log hewn cabin on the left side of the river near the confluence of Bennett's Brand and the Sinnemahoning, becoming the second resident of Driftwood.  He was quite well known throughout the area by the early settlers as the "Dutchman", as the elderly German spoke with a strong accent.  His family and friends affectionately referred to him as "Uncle Billy".

When Andrew built his home at the entrance to Bennett's Valley, then known as the Second Fork, he established himself, so to speak, as keeper of the gate for the early arriving settlers to Bennett's Valley.  The Dutchman's cabin was a regular stop for those proceeding up the Bennett's Branch, as well as those traveling on up the Sinnemahoning. It was also a favorite stop for those who enjoyed the homespun stories of the area's famous Dutch raconteur.  Among others, William Luce and Captain Potter stayed overnight at Uncle Billy's on their way up the Bennett's Branch to settle.

There is a lengthy story about a preacher who came to Uncle Billy's home around 1820.  He arrived on Saturday, and proposed to hold a preaching service on Sunday.  Word was spread, and the worshipers gathered in, donned their toggery, which at best was but scanty habiliments, and congregated at Uncle Billy's bringing their dogs and guns.  The congregation was seated - the service commenced - the text announced, and the preacher fairly engaged in its elucidation, when the dogs that were outside startled a deer, and drove him rapidly by the house.  The congregation, forgetful of the proprieties of the occasion, sprang to their feet, crowded out of the house, and joined the dogs in rapid pursuit.  Uncle Billy was too rheumatic and lame to join in the chase, but he hobbled to the door and seated himself with his back to the speaker.  The minister quite chagrinned and mortified in a despondent tone remarked, "It's all in vain, in vain".  Uncle Billy replied in his broken English: "I does not know by sure I tinks dey vill victim dem bees goot dogs, dere I Jordan's drive, and Coleman's bitch after im, and den tere is dem Jordan poys, dey been hell hounds der scires."  As Uncle Billy predicted, the deer was captured.  The minister never visited the area again for the purpose of preaching.

Andreas Oberdorff, having lived a hearty four score plus years, died January 1, 1821, leaving a number of descendants to carry on the Overturf name.  His home in the wilderness of the western Pennsylvania frontier was the site of the first organized religious service in the Driftwood area, and served as the first election house for the first organized Township elections in Bennett's Valley"

From Snyder County Pioneers:

ANDREW OBERDORF (also Overdorf, Overdorff, Oberdorft etc..) was born in Germany. He sailed for America from rotterdamHolland, In the British ship “Hope” Captain George Johnson, master. Be arrived at the port of Philadelphia where he took the oath of allegiance on October 1, 1773. He was assessed In Penn Township for the first time in 1791, and lived In Selinsgrove, where he operated a gristmill.  In the same year he sold his mill to Major An­thony Selin, The mill  later was known as Schnure’s mill and was in operation until about 1920. Andrew served as a private in the 6th Pennsylvanian Regiment of the Continen­tal Line but was discharged for physical disability. Henry and Herman may have been sons of Andrew.
HENRY OBERDORF, mason, was assessed in Penn Township for the first time in 1799. It is believed that he was a son of Andrew, mentioned above. No military data was found for Henry.
HERMAN OBERDORF may have been a son of Andrew Oberdorff. He was assessed in Beaver  Township and died there. His will was recorded at LewisburgPa., on November 22, 1823. His wife was named Rosina, and his children were: George, Rececca, Mathias, Polly (Mrs. George Becker or Baker), Sallie (Mrs. John Treaster), Catherine (Mrs. Christian  Knouse), and Lydia (Mrs. Booth.)


The Second Andrew Oberdorf

Andrew Oberdorf
Born About 1731
Married 1758
(1)Anna Maria Esther Verdion
(2) Eva Catherine Doenstein

John Michael 1767 (died at 7 months)
Andrew (died age 6)
Anna Maria Esther  1733- Aug 14, 1777

in the same church records as shown above for the first Andreas, there is an Andreas Oberdorf, widower, marrying Eva Catherine Doenstein on March 5 1782

Oberdorf Researcher Lauren Brantner has this to say regarding the two Andreas - 

·  Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005 21:45:18 -0700
·        From: Lauren Brantner 
·        Subject: Re: Andreas Oberdorf
The Andrew Oberdorf who married Anna Maria Esther Verdion in 1758 is the first immigrant Andrew who came as a single man in 1750. He married in 1758 - quite a few years before our Andrew came to America - in   records she is Esther, or Maria.   Don Yoder of the PA GermanSociety indicates that the Andrew who came in 1750 is married to Esther Verdion.  The second marriage reads in the records if I recall correctly Andreas Oberdorf the widower.  The last time I went to Salt Lake to the Mormon library I followed the other earlier Andrew Oberdorf through the records.  He also belonged to the First Reformed Church  .  His wife died, he was widowed and I believe he remarried again to Eva Dorstein.  The interesting thing is the Andrews were probably contemporaries in age and other Oberdorff researchers believe they were related.  I found baptisms and burials of their children in the 1760’s before our Andrew came (probably when he was having some of his children too - Johan Michael would have been 16 in 1773 to be listed on the ship’s passenger list - bd. circa 1757).  In total I found baptisms/and or burials for 7 of his and Esther’s children in First Reformed Church of Christ in Philadelphia.  One of their sons was JohnMichael Oberdorf  [same name as our Andrew’s oldest son] - he died in 1767 at age 7 months.  There is also a 6 year old Andrew who died. Anna Maria Esther died and was buried Aug. 14, 1777 age 44 years.  he then married Eva Dorstein.  So each of them was married, lost a wife and married again.  I have to tell you another researcher believes that our Andrew’s second wife was Eva Dorstein and she indicates that Johan Michael, Henry, Andrew and Jacob are the known children from the first wife, but she doesn’t say where she got that information.  She also lists no children from the second marriage andshe has Andrew from our Andrew’s second marriage tangled up in the mix.  She says Henry was born 1770, Married 14 Nov. 1794 and died in1853 in Penn Township Snyder County.  She lists Henry’s wife asCatherine. She lists his children as John, Andrew Sr., Michael who married Mary Miller in Clinton Co. Pa and John Christian b. 26 January 1826 who died in 1905 in West Buffalo twp.  Union Co. PA. and Elizabeth.  John Christian married Sara Ann and he would have gone by Christian.  

I have not further traced the Andrew and Eva Dorstein in the PA Churchrecords.  I don’t believe the first immigrant Andrew ever left Philadelphia. have these two Andrew Oberdorf marriages one in 1782 and the other in 1783.  Other researchers including me believe that thebaptism below which occurred roughly a year after the marriage in 1784 is our Andrew Oberdorf.  His oldest son from his second marriage, John Overturf was baptized in the Trinity Lutheran Church in LancasterPA.

“Johannes Oberdorf, s. Andreas and Elizabeth; b.  May 27, 1784; bapt.Aug. 7.”  I think Barbara Fuchs was probably Elizabeth Barbara or Barbara Elizabeth and she too went by both her names.  In the 1800 voting list she is listed as Elizabeth Overturf. Other  scenarios are Eva died and he married within a year to Fuchs, but I don’t think thatis likely.  Also possible is that he had a son named Andrew from his first marriage who gets into the mix - he certainly had a son Andrew inElk/Cameron Co. - that is supported by the Orphan’s Court Document.  I can’t think he’d have had two but stranger things have happened.  [Inthe German naming patterns if your name is John you are Johannes - if you have John as a saint’s name as in Johan Michael, your name isMichael and you never use your Saint’s name Johan for everyday use.]
What you get forced to do is to track all of the early Oberdorffs andtry to keep them separate.  The earlier the time period, the fewer of them there are.  That is why I followed the first immigrant Andrew’strail in the church records from 1758 to 1782. Since our Andrew was an indentured servant along with his whole family - he too was stuck in Philadelphia for awhile.  I believe he then entered the Rev. War and was discharged (wounded). Many of the colonies could not pay wages to their rev war soldiers so they gave them military land bounties in lieuof their army pay.  I think that is how our Andrew got out in the middle of nowhere in Driftwood, PA from Phildelphia. There are other Rev. War vets in the area too.  It is very difficult to findin formation about it, but I haven’t given up looking.
Life is messy - so genealogy follows along!


#32 on the photo above
Name: Andreas Oberdorff
Birth Date: abt 1731
Event Type: Other
Age: 29
Other Event Date: 1760
Other Event Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Organization Name: St Michael´s Congregation

Passenger List for Priscilla, arrived in Phila. 12 Sept 1750
1750 Priscilla
[List 156 C] Priscilla
Captain: Wm. Wilson
From: Rotterdam
By Way of: Cowes
Arrival: Philadelphia, 12 Sep 1750
Persons 210.
Johann Henrich Ritzd
Johann Wilhelm Reutzel
Christian Reutzel
Johannes Grack
Conrad Grack
Peter Hartman
Friederich Steinberger
Nicolaus Weininger
Georg Cunkel
Andreas Schuster
Hans Michael WissnerGundelshausen, BadenYod1980Wisher, Wiesner, To Berks Co., To Montgomery Co.
Johann Georg WissnerGundelshausen, BadenYod1980To Bucks Co.
Valentin Born
Nicklaus Schffer
Johannes Guckel
Johann Henrich Rössler
Georg Henrich Rösch
Georg Ernst Rish
Johannes Tranck
Johannes Meyer
Conrad Hertzog
Johann Georg Keyser
Caspar OberdorffDertingen, Bayern-PfalzYod1980Arrived with Andreas and Johann Simon Oberdorff
Daniel Resseler
Johann Geörg Rössler
Joachim Gottschalck
Eberhard Steygerwalt
Johannes Stang
Johann Adam Börner
Johannes Huth
Wilhelm Adelman
Görg Ernst Becker
Johannes Mauss
Hans Andreas KachelDertingen, Bayern-PfalzYod1980To Montgomery & Berks Co.
Andreas Oberdorff   
Friederich Schneider  Shnyder
Johann Jacob Newman
Wendel LeimeisterNiclashausen, Bayern-PfalzYod1980Lawmeister, ToYork Co.
Johannes Ommerth
Johannes Kraushaar
Valentin Corngiber
Balsatzer Simmon
Henrich Lotz
Christian Hartting
Michael Roth
Thomas Bertholt
Johann Melchior Orth
Johann Adam Roth
Johann Baltzer Stockel
Gerort Philipp Kirscher
J. Peter Günder
Johannes Schlott
Johannes Heyl
Johannes Hügel
Barbara Hirtzel (Bürgy)
Johann Conrad, 13 (twin)
Maria Magdalena, 13 (twin)
Stephan, 12
Catharina Margaretha, 10Herbitzheim, Alsace-LorraineBur1992To Montgomery Co.
Georg Wachdel
Ludwig Schmit
Johannes Schumann
Johann Peter Muth
Baltzer Jäger
Nicklas Berninger
Johannes Föller
Melchior Kleinfeller
Johannes Müller
Balsatzar Filler
Johannes Lamb
Carl Russ
Andreas Oetzel Dietenhan, Bayern-PfalzYod1980To Montgomery Co.
Johann Simon Oberdorff  on board
Carl Müller  on board
Johannes Diener
Johann Michael Stoffel  on board
Johann Henrich Rully
Johann Henrich Luft
Simon Schiercher
Conrad Rössler

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