Person:Johannes Knörtzer (1)

m. 25 Jan 1700/1
  1. Johannes Balthasar Knörtzer1701 - 1769
m. 25 May 1722
  1. Georg Christoph Knörtzer1723 - Est 1793
Facts and Events
Name Johannes Balthasar Knörtzer
Gender Male
Birth? 1701 Treschklingen, Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Marriage 25 May 1722 Treschklingen, Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, Germanyto Maria Dorothea Meyer
Death? 1769 York, Pennsylvania, United States

Balthasar's first wife was Maria Dorothea Meyer aka Mayer, born August 13, 1703 in Hohenstadt, Bad Wimpfen; the daughter of Hans Georg Meyer (aka Hanns Mayer) and Maria Dorothea Zwick. She and Balthasar were married on 25 May 1722, in Treschklingen and had eight children there:

1. Georg Christoph Knortzer (b. 31 Aug 1723; d. by 24 Aug 1793, Rutherford Co., NC); 2. Maria Catharina Knortzer (b. 9 Feb 1724/25); 3. Catharina Dorothea Knortzer (b. 23 Oct 1727, d. after 1778, York Co., PA), m. Andreas Miller (aka Andrew Miller, Andreas Muller), April 8, 1753; 4. Maria Christina Knortzer (b. 22 Aug 1728; d. 30 Jul 1729, Treschklingen); 5. Johann Balthasar Knortzer [Jr.] (b. 14 Jul 1730; d. 1803, Morgantown, [West] Virginia), m. Maria Barbara Rudisil (aka Barbara Rudisille), 22 Sep 1754, York PA; 6. Eva Barbara Knortzer (b. 10 Jan 1732/33), m. Johann Georg Schubler (aka Johann Georg Schussler), 6 Aug 1767, Treschklingen; 7. Johann Georg Knortzer (b. 29 Mar 1735; d. between 1753 and 1767 in Pennsylvania; 8. Christina Knortzer (b. 14 Sep 1736)

On April 17, 1738 an inventory was made in Treschklingen of Balthasar Knortzer's property (including "cattle and other animals, and odds and ends") in preparation for selling everything that could not be taken to America. Because of religious persecution and the upheaval of the times they sold all of their goods and property and left Germany in 1738. Balthasar and Maria Dorothea were accompanied by only the four oldest of their seven surviving children. As children under eight seldom survived transatlantic crossings, the three youngest were left in Germany.

The Knortzers embarked upon an English ship, the Charming Nancy—out of Rotterdam via Cowes, captained by Charles Stedman—and it was Maria Dorothea, wife and mother, who died during the voyage and had to be buried at sea. The survivors arrived in Philadelphia on November 8, 1738.

Balthasar married again in 1739, to the widow Maria Anna Catherina Wolff Grass (aka Anna Maria Catharina Wolff; Maria Katharina Wolff; Anna Catherine Wolff; and Maria Anna Catherina [Wolf] Grass). She was born 1703 in Germany, and had a son Andreas Grass by her first marriage. Joining Balthasar and his children, they settled across the Susquehanna in what would become York County. There Balthasar became a prominent landowner, buying and selling over 1,200 acres plus three lots in York Town. In 1741 he was one of twenty-four founders of Christ Lutheran Church at 29 South George Street in York. There two of his children would be married and several grandchildren christened. Balthasar became a naturalized citizen on September 25, 1751; around 1762 he and his wife settled in a house built on lot No. 84, east side of Beaver Street, in York Town.

Johann Balthasar Knortzer died before September 18, 1769 (when his will was probated) in Newberry Township, which is north of Conewago Township, northeast of Dover. Maria Anna Catharina Wolff Grass Knortzer died in York around 1774.

Excerpts from Johannes Balthasar's Last Testament:

I Baltzar Knertzer of the Town of York in the County of York in the Province of Pennsylvania, Yeoman, being well in Body, and of Perfect Mind and Memory, Thanks be to God for the same, but farr advanced in years and calling to Mind the uncertainty of this transitory Life, and that all Flesh must die and hereby revoking all former and other Will and Wills, Testament and Testaments heretofore by me made and declared, Do make, ordain, Publish and declare this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following, that is to say, First and Principally being penitent and heartily Sorry for my Sins, I commit my soul into the Hands of Almighty God, in whom and by whose Mercy I trust and assuredly believe to be saved and my Body I commit to the Earth to be decently buried by and at the discretion of my Executors herein after named, and for the disposing of such Temporal Estate which it hath pleased God to bless me with...

I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Catharina Knertzer All that House and lot of Ground locate[d] on the East side of Beaver Street, being the same wherein I now dwell... the Bed now Use [sic] with the Bolsters, Pillows and all other Furniture belonging thereto Also a large Brass Kettle, and the Washing Tubs, two Iron Potts a large one and a little one, a Brass Pann, a Frying Pann, two little Panns, one Skillet, two Pewter Basons, a large one and a small one, two Pewter Dishes, one Dozen of Pewter Plates and one Doz of Pewter Spoons, one Skimmer, two Ladles and a Flesh Fork, three Pails one Pair of Tongs, a Fire Shovel, one Pott Rack, two Pewter Tankerds , and one Pewter half Pint, one Watering Pott, Four Pieces of Linnen Cloth, two of which are of Flax, one of Hemp and the other of Tow, one Chest which she shall chuse, one Table and all the Chairs, Stools and Benches In the House and one Churn, Also the Cow I shall leave at the Time of my decease, as long as she shall think Proper and convenient to keep her, and then to be returned to my Executors to be sold. And also two little Spinning Wheels, six Table Cloths, six hand Towels, a Dough Trough and six of the least of the Baggs one Barral, a small bagg, her Side Saddle and Bridle, and to keep all her Wearing Apparel, Also to have the Sum of five Pounds, at and immediately after my decease...

One fifth of Balthasar's estate was left to son Balthasar Jr., one fifth to "my oldest daughter Catherina Opp," one fifth to daughter Dorothea Miller, one fifth to stepgrandson Andreas Grass, and one fifth to the children of eldest son Georg Christoph when they came of age. But Georg Christoph himself was bequeathed exactly "one English Shilling Sterling Money of Great Britain, and no more, which is to be in full of his Share out of my whole Estate both Real and Personal."

The photos below are of unknown origin but are reportly pictures of the Knoertzer Family home in Treschklingen, Germany and the Church located in the same town. Photos courtesy of Jean Wheeler.

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