Johann Georg Dollinger (b. 1698, d. September 06, 1769)
Johann Georg Dollinger was born 1698 in Germany or Switzerland, and died September 06, 1769 in Frederick County, Virginia. He married Catherina Krahenbuhl in Germany.
Notes for Johann Georg Dollinger: The following is from pages 107 to 110 of a book entitled:
"Apart From The World: An Account of the Origins and Destinies of various Swiss Mennonites Who Fled from their homelands in Remote Parts of the Cantons Zurich, Aargan and Bern as well as Alsace, the Rurplaz, and later along the edges of the American Frontier in Pennsylvania and Virginia" by J. Ross Baughman. Items that are in parentheses are not from the original text, but added by me to either clarify points or correct some inaccuracies.
"Another Significant name out of past was Dellinger, and this family could be found just north of Susanna Bachman Rinker on the Back Road. In 1728, Mennonites who had recently immigrated from Switzerland and Germany were obliged by the Pennsylvania governor to affirm their loyalty and allegiance to the George II, King of England. Among the list of over 200 signatories from the Conestoga Settlement, Johannes Georg Döllinger and Johannes Bachman were next to each other in line. In Virginia's court records, the men became most commonly known as George Dellinger and John Baughman.
Within ten years, both men went to the Shenandoah Valley where Jost Hite had settled. On 19 October 1736, Hite certified that Döllinger turned in the head of an old wolf and collected a reward of 140 pounds of tobacco for it. Döllinger's bounty may not have been actual bundles of tobacco leaf. Whenever coin became scarce on the frontier, Virginia's eastern leadership simply chose their favorite commodity to stand as an alternate currency. Since very little tobacco was raised in the Shenandoah Valley, the payment was probably made in proportionally valuable weights of corn, wheat, barley or cider.
In the summer of 1747, two German missionaries from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, made a tour of the Shenandoah Valley and came across George Dellinger.
"Today," wrote the Moravian preacher Leonhard Schnell on 22 July, "I went to an elder living at the Schanathor River. I asked him if I could preach in his church. But he hesitated because I was stranger, and an injunction had been issued against strange ministers. But he would allow me to preach in his house, which I accepted, and then he made it known. I went back to Cedar Creek to my dear [traveling partner, Valentine] Handrup."
The next spring, a Moravian named Matthias Gottlieb Gottschalk followed the same trail and stopped at Dellinger's again. He described it as being 30 miles farther into the wilderness than the last place worth stopping. "Some of the people are hostile, others well - meaning, but all timid and suspicious, and for this reason are not willing to listen to the brethen. They have written to Pennsylvania for a true Lutheran minister, but have not been able to secure one.
George Dellinger first bought land near Strasburg (this area was originally known as Tumbling Run and was named Stoevertown in 1767 and later became Strasburg), close to the Shenandoah River from Jacob Funk, but instructed his eldest son Christian to sell it off upon his death. Christian got a land warrant from Lord Fairfax on 8 December 1749 and moved a few miles further west towards the mountains. (Christian actually moved about 20 to 25 miles to the southwest of where his father lived to an area then known as Cabin Hill and is now known as Conicville.) The brook behind his house that fed into Stony Creek was dedicated to the memory of the southern Germany region called Swabia, but, when slurred from a thick Rhineland accent into English became known as Swover Creek.
The early warrants and surveys from Frederick County include the following details:
"Christian Dillinger, heir of George Dillinger, no warrant, survd 3 Mar. 1752; 460 ac. on W. side of N. Shannandoah; adj. his own land. CC (chain carriers) & markers - Henry Piper & Frederick, John & Jacob Dillinger. Surv. Robert Rutherford.
Christian & Frederick Dellinger, sons & exects of George Dellinger, dec'd, direct land to be sold to discharge his debts in case Exects think proper but they find sufficient of the moveable est. & desire a dedd issue in name of Christian Dellinger, eldst son reserving 1/2 to Catherine Dellinger, widow of dec'd.
Frederick Dellinger, assignee of Jacob Reife, assignee of Thomas Langdon; 10 Feb. 1762 - 8 June 1762; 67 a. on N. side of North R. of Shanando on E. bank; adj. Frederick Dellinger's own land. CC (chain carriers) Jno Ba. Reedy & Jno. Nizel. Pilot & marker - Tho. Langdon & Fredk Dellinger. Surv. Robert Rutherford.
After John Baughman died, and his son-in-law needed to have the land near present-day Saumsville resurveyed, Dellinger's son Frederick came to help out as chain carrier.
Many scholars say Swedish pioneers in New Jersey first invented the stacked log walls of the classic American frontier cabin, and that the English and the rest of the Europeans merely copied their good design. The rationing of logs in medieval Switzerland and Germany did result in many farm houses with "half timbered" frames, filled in with a plaster called daub and wattle; but the Swiss needed no inspiration from Scandinavia on how to clear forests and build homes. In Canton Zurich and the higher elevations of the Alps, square-hewn, dovetailed log buildings known to be 600 years old can still be seen.
Christian Dellinger's log house is one of the dozen surviving examples of central chimney architecture in Shenandoah County (all that remains of this house is the central chimney). It has a typical Germanic floor plan of the 18th Century, with three rooms on the ground floor. For reasons unknown, this configuration seemed to have fallen out of favor with builders in the 19th Century. The square-hewn white pine logs were notched into notably tight, full dovetails. Extensions of the gable-end wall logs formed cantilvered supports for front and rear porches. Because the Dellinger built the house on a hillside, the rear porch sat high above the ground. It never had stairs by which to leave it, and so could be thought of in the classic Swiss Alpine tradition as a large boxed balcony.
The front and rear entries to the kitchen were fitted with original Dutch double doors hung on long wrought hinges, a feature still seen at only two other early houses in the county. The puncheon floor of the living room and a small bed chamber behind it were made from halved logs laid side by side, forming both the structure and surface of the floor, a technique also extremely rare in Virginia.
A massive six-foot lintel of hewn wood bridges the top of the kitchen hearth. The flu of the living room's heating stove stuck through a hole still visible on the hearth's back wall. Family tradition holds that long ago this chimney saved the life of a Gramma Dellinger and her baby. The tale describes them home alone when hostile Indians could be heard approaching, and the desperate woman decided to crawl up into the chimney. High inside, a wrought iron bar planted in the stones supported trammel chains, pots and the woman's weight. Her whimpering infant was silenced at the last possible second, and remained hushed the entire time by nursing from her breast. The Indian warriors searched the house, but left without a scalp or a hostage.
A single 30 and a half foot beam ran through the middle of the ceiling to support the crossing joists and the floor above. When stonework for the original chimney was completed, it had to be built around this massive, long "summer beam," was named from the French word sommier or girder. Logs for the long lateral walls stacked up four feet higher, making a "half-story" garret or sleeping loft. In the next century, the walls and roof were raised four more feet to make a complet second story. A board nailed onto the front of the building recorded the initials of the crew - mostly Dellingers - that renovated the roofline.
Among the first things that the Dellingers and their neighbors wanted to do was build a union church. In a warrant from 24 April 1752, George Dellinger, John Painter and Peter Fultz requested a Deed in Trust for 400 acres of waste and ungranted land "including the Dutch Chappel, the said Land being for the use of the Society of Dutch Protestants." Across Swover Creek and up the next hill, Dellinger could see the meetinghouse from his back porch balcony. (Christian Dellinger's house was 2 to 3 miles away from the Zion Church, with several hills between to two places, making it impossible for him to see the church from his porch.)
Named as partners in this society were Christian Dellinger, Ulrich Mire, Nicholus Counts (Kuntz) and 13 other German neighbors. In the early years, it became known simply as Jacob's Church. Valley historian John Wayland theorized that this was meant to honor the name of Jacob Rinker - shared by the pioneer, son and grandson - who all lived but a mile further down the road and all cared for the little chapel. (According to Sandi Yelton, Jacob's Church wasn't established until 1838, after Christian Dellinger Sr. was deceased. The church that Christian Dellinger, Sr. was involved in was designated "Society of Church Protestants" in April of 1753 when Christian Dellinger and 15 others were named as members of the "Deutsche Evangelische Gemeinde" and was known as Zion-Pine Lutheran and Reformed Church. The church was granted land in 1753, however chuch records did not begin until 1788 when a "newly built church" was dedicated. Apparently no deed for the land was issued in 1753, so in 1781, Jhannes Bender, Johann Penneyweight, Peter Voltz and George Dellinger, Christian Sr.'s son, as officers of the congregation were issued the deed on 9 January 1781.)
Although George Dellinger took the oath in Pennsylvania as a Mennonite, the meetinghouse entrusted in his name became a church for the Lutheran and Reformed congregations along the Back Road of Shenandoah County. (There was not a church in the area of the Back Road at the time when George Dellinger lived in the area. It wasn't until 1838 when the Jacob Church was established there. The church acquired the land in 1789 but no church was built for 49 years thereafter. The Zion Church in which Christian, Sr. was associated with is not located on the Back Road, which is today called the Senedo Road, but on Headquarters Road some several miles to the east)
To George Dellinger, the patriarch, fell life's sharpest pain: for a parent to see his child and grandchild die early, and even worse, by murder.
In 1764, John Dellinger was ambushed on land right next to the village of Strasburg by Indians in the company of "a white scoundrel." Rachel Dellinger and her infant child were taken prisoner. Rescuers got to Rachel on South Branch Mountain, but her baby had already been killed at Sandy Ridge, west of the Capon River. Also that day, the killers went on to a whole family - George Miller, his wife and two children - two miles north of the town. An early account preserved the following:
"At the attack on George Miller's family, the persons killed were a short distance from the house, spreading flax in a meadow. One of Millers's little daughters was sick in bed. Hearing the firing, she jumped up, and looking through a window and seeing what was done, immediately passed out at a back window, and ran about two or three miles, down to the present residence of David Stickley, and from thence to Geo. Bowman's on Cedar Creek, giving notice at each place. Col. Abraham Bowman, of Kentucky, then a lad of sixteen or seventeen, had at first doubted the little girl's statement. He however armed himself, mounted his horse, and in riding to the scene of action was joined by several others who had turned out for the same purpose, and soon found the information of the little girl too fatally true.
Thomas Newell...the first person who arrived...found Miller, his wife, and two children weltering in their blood, and still bleeding. From the scene of murder he went to the house, and on the sill of the door lay a large folio German Bible, on which a fresh killed cat was thrown. On taking up the Bible it was discovered that fire had been placed in it; but after burning through a few leaves, the weight of that part of the book which lay uppermost, together with the weight of the cat, had so compressed the leaves as to smother and extinguish the fire... The fire had been placed about the center of the 2d book of Samuel, burnt through fourteen leaves, and entirely out at one end. It has been preserved in the Miller family, as a sacred relic or memento of the sacrifice of their ancestors. On Cedar Creek that same year, a number of other settlers were wiped out.
By 1769, at the ripe old age of 79, the immigrant George Dellinger died. Property in the Shenandoah Valley has remained in Dellinger and Vetter hands since 1749. The Dellinger family Bible, along with court books and personal papers corroborate these accounts. Currently residing next door to the old Christian Dellinger log building is Velma Reedy Vetter, informant for some of these accounts and mother of Vernon Reedy, the owner of the house up until 1996. The Baughman family purchased the building on 13 April of that year.
Copyright 1997 by J. Ross Baughman. All rights reserved under international and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Library of Congress Card Catalog Number 96-072612. ISBN 0-917968-19-0.
Johann Georg was likely born in either Germany or Switzerland, but at this time it has not been determined where he was born or who are his parents.
George died in the part of Frederick Co. that in 1772 became Dunmore Co., but in 1776 was renamed Shenandoah Co., Virginia.
Allender Sybert's letter of 13 January 1992 indicates the will of George Dellinger dated 20 July 1769, provided September 1769 in Frederick Co., Virginia, is listed in "Abstracts of Wills, Inventories, and Administration Account of Frederick County, Virginia, 1743-1800", by J. Estelle Stewart King. The will lists son Christian Dillinger, son-in-law Moses Strickler, daughter Barbara and her husband Lewis Letzer. The aforementioned 1769 will is also citied in the book "Shenandoah Valley Pioneer Settlers" by Gene Paige Hammond, from Strasburg, Virginia on pages 36-40 taken from "Frederick County Wills", book 3, page 507f.
In Frank Crone's book "The Crone and Allied Families" he refers to George's will dated 20 July 1769; proved 6 September 1769 in Frederick County, Virginia. Children are as follows: Christian, Frederick, Jacob, John (deceased), Austin, David, Sybilla, Barbara (wife of Lewis Letzer), Catherine (wife of Moses Stricker), Mary, Elizabeth and Magdalena. Wife is listed as Catherine. Crone also refers to pages 84 and 85 of Wayland's "History of Shenandoah County."
The part of Frederick Co., Virginia in which Johann Georg Dellinger lived later became Shenandoah Co.
Hans Jorg Dellinger signed the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance to King George II at Martin Mylen's house at Conestoga, Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania along with 200 Mennonites and 23 Germans on 1 April 1728 in order to become Naturalized and thus to be able to inherit or convey lands they might purchase to others. Their qualifications did not require that they swear an oath.
The process of Naturalization had been started by Martin Mylen and Wendall Bowman petioning the Chester Co. Court of Quarter Sessions in February 1727/1728. A partial list of Mennonite subscribers appeared in Mennonite Family History Vol 8, No. 3 July 1989.
The following article The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine "German Qualification for Naturalization in Pennsylvania, 1728" was written by Barbara L. Weir a certified genealogical records searcher and Laurie A. Rofini the archivist at the Chester County Archives.
"As Early as 1717 the Commissioners of Property, agents of the proprietor for the sale of land in Pennsylvania, advised the Palatines of Conestoga and Pequea to seek naturalization because of the 'Disadvantage they were under by being born aliens, that therefore their Children could not inherit nor they themselves convey to others the Lands they purchase.' It was not, however, until February 1728/28 that Martin Mylen and Wendall Bowman of the "Congregation of the Menists" began the process of naturalization by petitioning the Chester County Court of Quarter Sessions. Mylen and Bowman requested that they and their fellow Mennonites be allowed 'to sign & subscribe the oaths of supremacy and allegiance' before two justices of the court. Henry Peirce and George Aston, justices, were appointed to arrange a convenient meeting place. On 1 April 1728, at Mylen's house at Conestoga, approximately 200 Mennonites joined by 23 fellow Germans signed the documents qualifying them for naturalization. The Mennonites signed a form of the qualification that did not require that they 'swear' an 'oath.'
The process then apparently stalled for over a year befor moving to the jurisdiction of the newly formed county of Lancaster. On November 1729 a petition on behalf of those who had 'Taken the Loyal Qualifications' was drawn up and forwarded to Governor Patrick Gordon. On 16 January 1729/30 Governor Gordon reported that he had investigated the case and recommended passage of a bill to naturalize the petitioners. At a council held on 28 January 1729/30 some amendments were made to the bill and, finally, on 14 February 1729/30 'An Act of the Better Enabling Divers Inhabitants of the Province of Pennsylvania to Hold Lands, and to Invest Them With the Privileges of Natural-Born Subjects of the Said Province' was passed by the Assembly. Ordinarily Pennsylvania legislation was required to be reviewed by the Privy Council in London, but since the act was never considered by the crown, it became law with the lapse of time as allowed by the propriety charter.
It should be noted that not all of the petitioners who signed the qualifications at Martin Mylen's in 1728 were included in the act passed by the Assembly.
The Oath of Allegiance and Abjuration signed by the non-Mennonites follows:
Wee the Subscribers Do Sincerely promise and Swear that wee will be faithfull and bear true Allegiance to his majesty King George the Second so help us God.
Wee the Subsribers do likewise Swear that we do from our hearts abhor Detest and Abjure, as Impious and herticall, that Damnable Doctrine and posicion, that princes Excomunicated or deprived by the Pope, or any authority of the See of Rome, may be Deposed or Murdered by their Subjects or any other whatsoever, And wee do Declare, That no Foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate, hath or ought to have any Jurisdiction, power Superiorty, preeminence or authority Ecclesiasticall or Spiritual within the Realm of Great Britian or the Dominions thereunto belonging, so help us God."
Among the Mennonites that signed the Qualifications was Hanss Georg Dollinger (with an umlauted o). When comparing this signature to the one on the Will of George Dellinger of Virginia in 1769, and taking into account his age in 1769, the two signatures appear to be of the same man. Both signatures clearly have an umlauted "O" in the last name. In the "D" he brings the loop across the bottom in both. In the "G" in Dellinger, he puts another loop going the same way in each.
A plat of George Dellinger's properties in 1752 is shown on page 60 of "Shenandoah Valley Pioneer Settlers" by Gene Paige Hammond.
The following is a letter from Daniel Bly that clarifies the early records of George Dellinger in Virginia:
The early settlers tended to find a site and stay there, eventually acquiring title to it. They seldom moved around. However, place names changed and county jurisdictions changed. For instance in the 1730s there were no established towns and the earliest settlement in what is now Frederick and northern Shenandoah County was often called "Opequon" for the creek where Jost Hite established his home. Later places such as Funk's Mill Run, Sandy Hook, Great Wagon Road or Three Top Mountain were named and began to be used as landmarks. Strasburg, on the north side of the North Fork of the Shenandoah, across from "Sandy Hook", did not exist as the name of a town until 1761 and even then it was called Staufferstadt by most Germans. Until 1743 all of the Shenandoah Valley was still in Orange County, with the county seat at Orange, east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 1743 the land west of the Blue Ridge was formed into Frederick and Augusta counties. The area of northern Shenandoah County was still part of Frederick County until 1772, when Dunmore County was formed - and renamed Shenandoah in 1776.
Jacob Funk bought over 2000 acres from a man named Willis in 1735 and the land included everything on the west and north side of the river from Tumbling Run north and around Sandy Hook, including the present-day area of Strasburg. By 1736 others had come in and settled the area, including more Funks, the Crabills, Bowmans and Hockmans. This group must have also included George Dellinger (Hans Georg Döllinger). The early settlers did not always buy or record the sale of land until they had lived there awhile. For one thing it was risky business - so they wanted to know if they could survive the hardships before buying the land. Also the county seat was over a hundred miles away - three days over and three days back - just to conduct business - you only went every year or two.
George Dellinger established his home on the "Great Wagon Road", about a mile south of the present-day town of Strasburg, by 1736, and stayed there. The road did not follow the road the way present-day Route 11 does, but instead followed the crest of the bluff west of the river. Traces of the old road are still there and the exact location of the Dellinger home can be determined because it is the only site between the great spring on the edge of Strasburg and the Funk's Mill site on Tumbling Run, where a home could have been located. It is on the 200 acres he purchased in 1740. This bluff is not the top of the ridge but the edge of the higher land west of the river bottom, and there was good land up there. There was also a fine spring, providing water for farm and home. (Rock quarries in the region have lowered the water table and the spring is no longer there - but there are folks who remember it).
We know Dellinger was in the area by 1736 because in May 1736, Johann Casper Stoever, a traveling preacher, baptized six boys and two girls of "Jacob" Dellinger at "Opekon" (more about the name "Jacob" later). This does not mean Dellinger was on Opequon Creek, but what it does mean is he was a member of the early Shenandoah settlements and may have in fact, traveled the ten or more miles with his family to hear Stoever preach and have the children baptized. Dellinger may have had a verbal agreement with Funk regarding the land and by 1740 he did get deed to 200 acres. Several messages expressed interest in a suit between Dellinger and Funk in 1739. We must not think of these suits like we do modern day litigation. If you look at the early court records you will notice lots of suits between relatives and neighbors - usually over fairly small debts. It was simply the only way of collecting debts and such suits did not seem to affect family of neighborly relations very much. The Funks, however, did seem particularly litiginous, taking people to court and being taken to court.
In regard to George's name and signature - we have to realize that standardized spelling did not exist - George could obviously read and write but in German, not English. The English record keepers were generally ignorant of German and could only write down what they thought they heard. As was the German custom, many names included a prefix, usually Johann or Hans for males (versions of the name Johannes - John) From several records it is obvious that George considered his official name to be "Johann Georg" (proper modern German spelling) and signed it as "Hans George Döllinger." But Germans also had different dialects and regional differences in pronunciation and spelling. The proper pronunciation of the standared German name "Georg" is not "Jorg" as we say it in English, but "Gay-York." Generally the Germans create a nickname or short form of a name from the last syllable and in the case of "Gay-York" it is simply "York" (second syllable of the name). So George Dellinger probably pronounced his name "York" since the "g" at the end of a word sounds like a "k". The English record keepers were familiar enough to recognize the name as a form of George and so usually got it right. But some appear to have written the prefix as Johann and others as Hans.
Stoever could easily have gotten the name wrong and written down "Jacob" because - first he probably did not know George, but did seem to know of Jacob Dellinger in York County. Second, the pronunciation of Jacob is Yahkop - and the shortened form is Jock or Jocky (Yocky). So given different regional dialects it is easy to see why Stoever, who probably did not know George Dellinger at all, made a mistake in recording his name. There is not much difference between York and Yock when pronouncing them in German. We all know it is hard to remember names when we first meet folks. Many times I am introduced to people as "Daniel" and then they may say later upon departing "nice meeting you, Donald." Or "pleased to have met you, Darrell." We all have similar experiences. I have found other examples of recording the wrong names in Stoever's records and it is easy to understand why we cannot accept everything he or any other record keeper put down without some critical evaluation.
As far as George's signature is concerned many of the examples of his name are not his authentic signature. All the signatures on deeds, even those he witnessed, are copies, not authentic signatures. The original deeds were drawn up and signed - then left with the clerks office, where they eventually got around to writing a copy in the record book. They copied the deeds in to the book, including the names of the signatories and witnesses. Often they tried to duplicate German signatures they could not even read and usually left out such things as umlauts that might have been there. The original deeds were eventually delivered to the buyer. Many signatures on petitions are original, but just as often we find that four or five names in a row are in the same handwriting and it is obvious the same person wrote them all. The signature by "Hans Georg Döllinger" on the 1728 Martin Meili petition is not in the same hand as the others before or after and may in fact represent an authentic signature. The original will of George Dellinger in Frederick County has his signature as "Georg Döllinger" (without Hans or Johann). The signature on his will would be the only certifiably authentic signature that we know of at this point, with the the Martin Meili petition a good possibility. All others are almost certainly copied or written by someone else.
It is always very important to learn as much as possible about the context, the background, and in the case of the early Shenandoah Valley, the German language and customs, before getting too deeply involved in trying to understand and interpret the early records of the Germans in the Valley.
More About Johann Georg Dollinger and Catherina Krahenbuhl: Marriage: Germany.
Children of Johann Georg Dollinger and Catherina Krahenbuhl are: