David Hartzell (1805-1865), son of
Adam & Christina (Sink) Hartzell

(A summary.)
By James Dwight Hartsell, great-great grandson. Updated May 31, 2012.
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See the latest at www.jdhartsell.com or

Left: Gravestone of David & Barbara Hartzell, Ash Grove Christian Church, Windsor, Illinois.
On the east side of the church, next to grave of their son, James A. Hartsell.

                  DNA PROOF OF ANCESTRY!

David Hartzell's ancestry was the puzzle of 3 generations. I first saw his grave in 1953 and was filled with curiosity. For most of my life, it seemed he was an orphan. Many years were wasted looking for his father "Ferdenand Hartzell" of our family folklore. It took major finds by my 2nd cousin Thelma Price-Papillo and me. It took the internet, but mainly my website (for people to find me & my genealogy info and share theirs). My "Evidence For Ancestry of David Hartzell" clearly put David in Adam's family, but no hard evidence. The clincher was an ancestry.com Y-chromosome 46-marker DNA test between me and 4th cousin Dwight David Hartzell in 2008, and an undisputable second clincher with 4th cousin Robert Neal Hartzell in 2010. My y-DNA matches these direct male line descendants of two of Adam Hartzell's sons, John and Leonard. This means I have the same ancestor, which would be Adam Hartzell, thus David Hartzell's father.

Adam Hartzell (1765-1833)
John Hartzell
born 1793
David Hartzell
born 1832
Newton Hartzell
born 1880
Conrad David Hartzell
born 1905
Dwight David Hartzell
born 1934
David Hartzell
born 1805
James Alexander Hartsell
born 1837
James Oran Hartsell
born 1881
James Daniel Hartsell
("J.D.") born 1910
James Dwight Hartsell
born 1939
Leonard Hartzell
born 1797
Willis H. Hartzell
born 1827
Daniel Lewis Hartzell
born 1857
Ralph Miles Hartzell
born 1900
Robert Neal Hartzell
born 1937

So who was Ferdenand Hartzell? David's youngest child Sarah recalled him in the 1920's, and that he was born in East Prussia. I believe this to be a mixture of vague memories. East Prussia wasn't formed until 1773, and it was in extreme NE Germany (divided between Poland and Russia in 1945). Christina Sink's father Michael came from Württemberg, Germany as a small child in 1725 with his father Jacob Henry Zinck. Württemberg is in SE Germany. For a long time I've felt she was remembering David's uncle Abraham Hartzell, a frontiersman and probably much talked about. But, with the "broken English" story, the Sink family would be more likely, probably Abraham Sink, brother of David's mother Christina, and David's uncle. Abraham Sink was closely associated with David's grandfather Philip Hartzell in the move to Virginia. Sarah also recalled Frederick as David's brother, and David had an uncle Frederick Hartzell.

Quick summary of David Hartzell's life:
David Hartzell's great-great grandfather Hans George Hirtzel came to America in 1727, along with David's great-grandfather Hans Jacob who was 11 years old. The family first settled in Pennsylvania, and our branch moved to Virgina in 1792. David Hartzell was the son of Adam and Christina (Sink) Hartzell. David was born Nov. 20, 1805, west of Boones Mill, in the Blackwater River Valley, Franklin County, Virginia, about 10 miles south of Roanoke. He was 10 when the family moved in 1815 to Ellerton, Montgomery County, Ohio, about 10 miles SW of Dayton. David was still with his parents in Ohio in 1830, and was in Rush County Indiana around 1833, the year his father Adam died. David was a shoemaker. He married Barbara Nipp on May 15, 1836 in Connersville, Fayette County, Indiana. They lived on the north edge of Jennings Township, near Springersville, about 3 miles east of Connersville. In 1860, David and his family moved to Shelby County, Illinois, in the vicinity of Windsor. David Hartzell died Mar. 5, 1865 in Windsor Township, Shelby County, Illinois.

The following SUMMARY was written for descendants of David Hartzell. It is an overview of the previously unknown life of my great-great grandfather, which is extensively covered on my website. His father Adam Hartzell is our connection to Paul Swan's Hartzell Chapter, which has Adam's detailed ancestry back to Jacob Hirzel (pronounced Hirtzel), 1580-1634, Switzerland. A link is on my website.

David Hartzell's line of descent:
Hans Georg Hertzel > Hans Jacob Hertzel > Johann Philip Hartzell > Adam Hartzell > David Hartzell

Adam Hartzell's great-grandfather Hans Georg Hertzel was born in Reihen, Germany in 1686, 18 miles southeast of Heidelberg. He married Anna Margaretha Conrad in 1713 in Reihen. She was a midwife for the community. In 1727, at age 41, he arrived in Philadelphia, along with his family of seven, on the ship William & Sarah. One son, our ancestor Hans Jacob Hertzel, was 11 years old. Hans Georg settled first in uncharted territory about 30 miles north of Philadelphia, then 50 miles north of Philadelphia in 1735. His 300 acres was on the East Branch of Saucon Creek, south of the Lehigh River, and 3 miles east of the future site of Bethlehem, PA. This area was so remote it was called "the end of the wilderness", but eventually became part of Lower Saucon Township, Northampton County, PA. This land is now partly covered by the slag dump of Bethlehem Steel Company. Hans Georg died about 1755 at this location.

Adam Hartzell's grandfather Hans Jacob Hertzel married Barbara Ritter about 1743 in Northampton County and moved about 1755 to Bethlehem Township, Northampton County (just north of Lower Saucon Township). His land went from the site of Newburg to the site of Hecktown, on the west side of what is now Route 191. He ran an Inn, still in operation (Newburg Inn), at the site of Newburg, formerly called "Hertzels". Hans Jacob died in 1781 in Bethlehem Township.

Adam Hartzell's father Johann Philip Hartzell was born in 1743 and christened at the Old Williams Lutheran Church, Lower Saucon Township, Northampton County, PA. He married Christina Barbara Kreiling in 1765 in Bethlehem Township. He died after 1820 in Franklin County, VA.

Adam Hartzell was born about 1768 in Bethlehem Township, PA, presumably at Newburg. The Revolutionary War was from 1775 to 1782, when Adam was from age 7 to age 14. He was about thirteen years old when his father moved the family to Franklin Township (Arendtsville), York (now Adams) County, PA in 1780. By 1783 they were in Cumberland County (Gettysburg area). Adam Hartzell married Christina Sink in 1786 in York (Adams) County, PA. They were still in York (Adams) County in 1790, but by 1793 they were back in Northampton County.

Christina Sink was born about 1768 in Lower Saucon Township. She was very likely the daughter of Micheal and Mary (Ryel) Sink. Most of their children were born in Northampton County. Micheal Sink, born in 1722 in Germany, probably Württemberg, arrived in America at age 3 with his father Jacob Henry Zinck in 1725. Jacob Zinck was born in 1698 in Germany. There is an old story in our family that a close ancestor of David Hartzell spoke broken English. It could have been David Hartzell's maternal grandfather Micheal Sink.

In 1792, Philip Hartzell, for £160, purchased 150 acres in Franklin County, Virginia, just south or southwest of Boones Mill. Settling near Philip at the same time was Abraham Sink, son of Micheal Sink, and probable brother of Christina. Adam and his family arrived in Franklin County after 1799.

On November 20, 1805 (derived from gravestone), David Hartzell was born, the youngest and 9th child of Adam & Christina. He was probably born where the family was located in 1810. Thomas Jefferson was President. The Lewis & Clark expedition had just reached the Pacific Ocean.

Adam and Christina Hartzell had the following children, brothers and sisters of David Hartzell:
    Philip, born 1787 PA, married Mary Elizabeth Miller about 1809.
    Catherine (Kate), born ____ PA, married ____ Burlachers/Murlachers.
    Jacob, born 1790 PA, married Hannah Capper in 1818, Franklin County, VA.
    John, born 1793 PA, married Susanna Heck in 1819, Montgomery County, OH.
    George?, born about 1797? PA, married Nancy Goode? in 1823? in Virginia
    Elizabeth, born 1798 PA, married Moses Rentfrow in 1819, Montgomery County, OH.
    Leonard, born 1799 PA, married Delilah Weiss in 1825, Montgomery County, OH.
    Daniel?, born about 1802 VA. (The Daniel in the old leather-bound Bible?)
    David, born 1805 VA, married Barbara Nipp in 1836, Fayette County, IN.

In 1810, Adam Hartzell and his family were living in the Blackwater River Valley, due west of Boones Mill, and due north of Algoma, Virginia. To see where they lived, and where David Hartzell was a young boy, do a Mapquest aerial image for what would be "4500 Dillons Mill Road, Boones Mill, VA" (not a real address). It is a narrow, remote valley. Living nearby was Adam's cousin George Hartzell, son of John and Catherine (Schneider) Hartzell of Northampton County, PA. I believe George lived with Adam before he married in 1809 to Susannah Toney. This George was a major factor in finding David Hartzell's ancestry, and more on him later.

In 1815, the Adam Hartzell family moved by wagon train to Montgomery County, Ohio. The distance was 480 miles and took 4 months. David was 10 years old and surely remembered this. Adam's father Philip and Adam's son Jacob stayed behind in Virginia. On arrival in Montgomery County, they first headed to George Sink's home, possible uncle of Christina. This area, at the north central edge of Montgomery County, was called the Stillwater Settlement, where George had settled in 1802.

By 1820 the Adam Hartzell family was living at the future site of the town of Gettersburg, Jefferson Township, Montgomery County, about 10 miles southwest of Dayton, Ohio. Nearby was Bear Creek, where David surely played as a child. He certainly hauled household water from the creek.

Gettersburg was later renamed to Ellerton, but the Hartzell family only knew it as Gettersburg. It wasn't until 1879 that a post office called Ellerton was established at Gettersburg.

But, Adam wasn't the first in the family to move to Ohio. Virtually all the land in Montgomery County was taken by the end of 1804. Adam's younger brother Abraham Hartzell was in Kentucky by 1798, at which time he settled on the site of Gettersburg in Montgomery County. He married Eve Houtz in Franklin County, Virginia, and their son David A. Hartzell (our David's cousin) was born there in 1802. Abraham has been described as a "frontiersman", and I wonder if he guided the Adam Hartzell family to Ohio. Abraham's family later settled in Cincinnati but Abraham "went west" before 1820. It is thought he went to Kansas, but he returned to Montgomery County around 1840. He died in 1842.

Adam's brother Frederick Hartzell was in Butler County, Ohio before 1810, where at about age 24 he married Sarah Houghman in 1810. Butler County is just south of Montgomery County. I believe this Frederick to be the "brother of David Hartzell" in our family folklore, but actually David's uncle. Frederick later bought land in the area of southwest Indianapolis.

Also, Adam's brother-in-law Jacob Mullendore, who married Adam's sister Katarina/Catherine (Kate), settled on the site of Gettersburg, Ohio in 1802, log cabin and all. He is recognized as one of the earliest pioneers. During the war of 1812, he hauled flour to the soldiers at Greenville. He carried on an extensive tannery in the days of the early pioneers, on Bear Creek.

From Rev. Merle C. Rummel's "The Virginia Settlement or the Four Mile Church of the Brethren" (a link on my website), we know that many of the families from Adam Hartzell's area in Franklin County Virginia migrated to the Miami River Valley in Montgomery County, Ohio, and Union County, Indiana, some of whom migrated before 1810.

In the 1820 Census for Jefferson Township, Montgomery County, Ohio, Adam's immediate neighbors were Adam's son John (m. Susannah Heck), and Adam's daughter Elizabeth (m. Moses Rentfro). Two names away were Catherine Heck, and John Moyer. John Moyer owned a large amount of land. Still at home in Adam's family were his sons Leonard (21), name unknown (17-18), and David (14).

About this time, Gettersburg was not yet a town, but a cluster of log cabins and houses. Adam's family was very likely living in a log cabin vacated by earlier settlers. The family surely got water from Bear Creek. This is the same Bear Creek mentioned above for Jacob Mullendore's tannery.

There is no known record of Adam Hartzell or any Hartzell buying or selling land in Montgomery County, Ohio. However, Adam was renting land or working as a farm hand for John Moyer in section 27, just east of Gettersburg (west side of section 27). John Moyer was married to Eve Houtz's sister Catherine, so he was the husband of Abraham's sister-in-law. I suspect Abraham played a role in setting up Adam at this location.

In 1830, there were two younger males age 20-29 in Adam's and Christina's household (census was mismarked). These were the son, name unknown (27-28), and David Hartzell (24). The youngest child was usually the one who took care of the parents, which would explain why David married late.

Going by the names in the 1830 Census, Adam's family was still in the same location as in 1820. Nearby were David's brothers Leonard and John, who lived next to each other. Next door was John Getter, who arrived after 1820 and apparently bought John Moyer's land. Gettersburg, on John Getter's land, was named after him. Adam Hartzell's presumed arrangement with John Moyer apparently continued with John Getter. In the 1850 Census, John Getter owned $14,300 in real estate (in 1850 money). This would include his house and outbuildings.

More evidence that Adam Hartzell's family was close to or within future Gettersburg, the 1850 census shows many households directly above John Getter's name with the following occupations: lawyer, preacher, tavern-keeper, cooper, tailor, gunsmith, potter, tailor, carpenter, doctor, gunsmith, cooper, clerk, plasterer. Down a few names below John Getter was a wagon maker and shoemaker.

From the above, we know that David Hartzell spent his early adulthood up to the age of 27 at home in Gettersburg (Ellerton), Ohio. David's second cousin George Hartzell had been living just across the Indiana state line in Union County, Indiana, just east of Kitchel. He was surrounded by people from Franklin County, Virginia. He died in late 1830. As mentioned above, David's brother Leonard moved to Rush County, Indiana in 1832, just east of Carthage. In 1828, David's uncle Frederick bought land and lived just southwest of the new town of Indianapolis (founded 1821).

Note that going west from the Ohio-Indiana border, there is Union, then Fayette, then Rush County.

Little known on the internet is that Adam Hartzell died Aug. 30, 1833 (Montgomery County Ohio German Church Records, Volume 1). He was buried at Ellerton Cemetery. Long before I found his date of death, I had a theory that Adam and Christina died about 1832-1833. In 1832, their son Leonard moved to Rush County, Indiana. In 1833 there was a cholera epidemic. David left about 1833-34. It is as if David was no longer needed at home. I think Adam and Christina both died in the epidemic. There is no trace thereafter of the son, name unknown, which could mean he never married. If he also died in the cholera epidemic, he would have been the oldest of the two sons caring for the parents. I have reason to believe that this son, name unknown, was Daniel. In the family is an old leather-bound Bible. In it was written, after 1910, "From Daniel Hartsell to David Hartsell to James Hartsell to Minnie A. Hart", probably by James' wife Sophronia (Walker) Hartsell. This son could be the Daniel who, before he died, passed the Bible on to David. Minnie wrote "Property of Great Grand Father Hartsell", which to her would be Adam, but she apparently didn't know his first name.

George Nipp (m. Rebecca Townsend), presumed uncle of David's future wife Barbara, was living in Rush County, a little northeast of Rushville, and about 9 miles from Leonard Hartzell. Barbara arrived in Rush County in 1831 at the age of 15 from Wythe County, Virginia. Barbara's father was apparently unable to care for his daughter, so it is believed she lived with her uncle George. George was a shoemaker in the winter, farmer in the summer. Because of all this, I believe David Hartzell arrived in Rush County soon after his father Adam Hartzell died, by 1833-34. David probably lived with Leonard for a while. Leonard Hartzell and George Nipp may very well have attended the same church. Or George Nipp and David Hartzell met through their common occupation of shoemaker (or this is how David became a shoemaker).

Barbara Nipp's parents were Phillip and Catherine (Lindemuth) Nipp/Knipp of Wythe County, VA. Phillip was born in 1775 in Pennsylvania. Catherine Lindemuth was born in 1786 in Shenandoah County, VA. Phillip married Catherine before 1815 in Wythe County. Phillip seems to have had a brother named Verner Knipp, who was born in 1765 in Germany. Maybe the broken-English story relates to this family. On Phillip Nipp and his inability to care for his daughter Barbara, there are court records from 1840 to 1848 allowing county money for his support. In 1840, overseers of the poor furnished Phillip with 15 bushels of wheat on his application at the Poor House.

David Hartzell married Barbara Nipp on May 15, 1836 in Connersville, Indiana. In 1840 they were living in Jennings Township, Fayette County, about 3 miles east of Connersville, on Walker land. In 1837 their first child was born, a boy. They named him James Alexander Hartzell.

What is significant about the name James Alexander is that up to late 1830, David's second cousin George Hartzell, over in Union County, surely stayed in touch with his cousin Adam Hartzell in Ohio. George was also a shoemaker. George's daughter Catherine married James Alexander (last name Alexander) in Union County in 1827. We find this very interesting, that David Hartzell had high respect for, or a close bond with, his "cousin-in-law" James Alexander.

David and Barbara Hartzell had the following children:
    James Alexander Hartsell, b. 1837, m. Sophronia Walker 1868.
    Margaret Hartsell, b. 1838, never married.
    Rebecca Ann Hartsell, b. 1839, m. Timothy Small 1858.
    Eliza J. Hartsell, b. 1841, may have died young.
    Barbara Anna Hartsell, b. 1842, m. Samuel Walker 1859.
    William Hartsell, b. 1848, m. Harriet Robinson.
    Mary Celestia, b. 1852, m. Alex Walker 1870.
    Sarah Elizabeth, b. 1854, m. John Walden.

In 1853, David Hartzell finally purchased his own land, for $500.00. It was 20 acres, 3.5 miles east of Connersville, and 1 mile west of Springersville. 8 acres in the NE corner of Section 21, and 12 adjacent acres in the NW corner of Section 22, Jennings Township, right on the border of Waterloo Township. There are pictures and maps on my website. In 1983 a local farmer said there used to be a log cabin in the timber (woods), where I found an old stone-lined well. I think they lived in this log cabin, in fact from the Census, they were living there by 1850.

In 1860, David Hartzell moved with his son James to Shelby County, Illinois, in the vicinity of Windsor. Daughter Barbara stayed behind in Indiana. On this trip, one of the children yelled "Hurrah for Lincoln", and was admonished with "don't make trouble". David, Barbara and daughter Margaret lived with son James' father-in-law Joseph Walker in Windsor. In 1863 David sold his Indiana land.

David Hartzell died March 5, 1865 at the age of 59, at Windsor, Illinois. He is buried 3 miles southeast of Windsor at Ash Grove Cemetery, east of the church. The gravestone is shown above. David died 6 weeks before the assassination of Abrahan Lincoln, and 2 months before the Civil War ended. David's wife Barbara and daughter Margaret continued to live on with Joseph Walker.

Some history on connecting David Hartzell to Adam Hartzell:

Of all my life's quests, finding David Hartzell's ancestry was by far the toughest. Twenty years after first seeing David Hartzell's grave, I found in Feb. 1973, in the 1810 census the Adam Hartzell family in Virginia with a son David's age, but it was dismissed for many years because we were looking for Ferdenand. In 1986 my brother Bob sent information from Rocky Mount, Virginia, but I didn't recognize it's extreme value for about 15 years because we were looking for Ferdenand. My second cousin Thelma Price-Papillo joined the search around 1995 and made many vital discoveries. Then, with the internet, things started to move. I started my website in 1998 to document and share my genealogy findings. Internet search engines came along, and people who found my website shared their information. Then in 2001, I found Paul Swan's Hartzell Chapter. Adam Hartzell's ancestry back to 1580 Switzerland! It showed Adam Hartzell with a son named David, which came from the "Hartzell Ancestral Line" document. Amazingly, I found this David, who married Margaret Nieval in 1830, was actually some other David, a Hetzel, and not our ancestor, but it still turned out Adam had a son named David. In 2004 I published my web page "Evidence for Ancestry Of David Hartzell" claiming 99.9% proof. It is 46 pages when printed. In Nov. 2008, 4th cousin George Nieman contacted me and facilitated a y-DNA test for his cousin Dwight David Hartzell via ancestry.com (George was not a direct male-line descendant, but his cousin was). My y-DNA test results were already on record at ancestry.com.

Amazing coincidences:

Considering the ancestry of David Hartzell being my life's greatest challenge, his birth date of Nov. 20 is the same as my wife Connie's. His date of death March 5 is the same as my birthday. I was born exactly 888 months after David died. There are 8 letters in "Hartzell". The three "8's" could stand for the three intervening generations before I came along. It took 57 years for the second DNA clincher. I graduated from high school in the class of '57 (1957). David bought his first piece of land in 1853. I first saw his grave in 1953. My website was monumental in finding David's ancestry. My career was software engineer for Hewlett Packard, which gave me the background to create a website.

Be sure to read my "Life of David Hartzell", 34 pages when printed, on my website. It is his life and times, with maps and pictures.

Also "Our Ancestor Hans Georg Hertzel, 1727 Immigrant From Germany To America", 18 pages when printed. His life and times, with maps and pictures.