Category Archives: Holtz

Update on Johannes Holtz: Help, Please!

Finding possible clues the other day to the parents of Johannes Holtz and Anna Catharina Schaeffer who married in Barbelroth, Germany in 1691 led me to the Heidelberg, Germany church records for 1669-1670.

However, what I’ve found has me a bit confused.

First, MyHeritage has the following entry in its database for a baptismal record of Johannes Holtz:

The GS Film Number corresponds to a Family History Library film  that contains Heidelberg church books that include the 1669 time period.

The first thing that is confusing is the the MyHeritage entry cites “Kirche Christi, Heidelberg.” That gave me pause because the only Christ Church (Christuskirche) that I find in Heidelberg was build in 1904 and I find no mention it replacing an earlier church of the same name.

Johannes Holtz’s entry on FamilySearch cites the same church record:

When I searched the film description, this is what appears:

There is St. Peter’s Church, Schloss Church and Spital Church, but no mention of Christ Church.

Through sheer persistence, I found the record entry:

Johannes Holtz, 2nd Entry on Right

Here is a better view:

I can make out Johannes’s name and those of his parents, but I can’t read the other words.

Look at the upper arrow on the right. Does that word say “Pfaltz” as in maybe the family came from the Pfaltz-Rheinland or Palatinate land? Barbelroth, where Johannes Holtz married in 1691 is part of the Palatinate.

Now look at the lower arrow on the left. In different, darker ink, the minister wrote in Vide 13 Junii – or See June 13 and more words I can’t read.

That later entry is either part of the end of Johannes’ record or placed as the beginning of the following baptismal record, but I don’t know which.

Lastly, I found the first page of this church book on the film, hoping that the name of the church would be written on it:

Again, a better view:

Vor die Kirche (????) (?) Heidelberg

I think the arrowed portion says “For the Church (????) (?) Heidelberg.

A book on old Gothic alphabet variations leads me to believe that the word after Church is Christi.

So, it does appear that this is the church book for Church Christi in Heidelberg, but I am still unable to find anything regarding the history of Christ Church, or ChristusKirche or Kirche Christi that dates back into the 1600s.

Therefore, my help request is threefold:

1. Is anyone able to tell me what the whole baptismal entry for Johannes Holtz says?

2. Does the “See 13 June” inserted comment refer to the entry below? (I can’t look at the entry myself because I need to be in the FHL itself to read this film. Outside the FHL, access is restricted to church members.

3. Can anyone find anything about Kirche Christi that was in Heidelberg, Germany in the 1600s?


Clue to Birth Place of Johannes Holtz Who Married in Barbelroth, Germany in 1691?

Part of the Stufflebean family tree extends back to Johannes Holtz who married Anna Christina Schafer in Barbelroth, Germany on 25 July 1691. The Holtz family eventually married into the Whitmer family, also from Barbelroth, and the extended family group immigrated to Frederick County, Maryland about 1755.

I have estimated the birth year of Johannes Holtz to be about 1670, assuming he married at the age of 21. While I’ve found that New England couples in this time period typically marry at age 25 for grooms and 21 for brides, I’ve also discovered that Germans and Scandinavians often married anywhere between the ages of 21 and 30+ for a first marriage. It’s possible that Johannes Holtz, then, was older than 21 when he married.

However, Johannes Holtz was not born/baptized in the little village of Barbelroth, as those church records survive back into the 1590s. There is no mention of his family in the time frame in which he was likely born.

MyHeritage has a very interesting record in its collection:

There is a baptism for one Johannes Holtz on 19 March 1669 at Kirche Christi in Heidelberg, Germany.

First, Heidelberg is about 50 miles from Barbelroth, so not an impossible distance to move.

Second, it is a proven fact that another Barbelroth family who married into the Holtz clan, the Estermanns, migrated from the Heidelberg area to Barbelroth, making it possible that they knew each other in their former homes.

Third, Germans often followed a specific naming pattern for their children. The first son was named for the father’s father and the second son for the mother’s father. The first daughter was named for the mother’s mother, the second daughter for the father’s mother.

Johannes Holtz and Anna Christina Schafer have but three known children:

1. Johannes Michael, baptized 30 December 1691
2. Anna Elisabeth, baptized 25 December 1693
3. Susanna, baptized 24 February 1696/7

Notice that there is a gap of four years between the births of Anna Elisabeth and Susanna. They might have lost a child.

However, the MyHeritage baptismal record for Johannes Holtz in Heidelberg notes his parents as Hans Michael and Anna Cathrina. Hans is a nickname for Johannes.

Notice the name of Johannes’ first child – Johannes Michael. Note, too, that Johannes born in Heidelberg would have been 22 years old if he is the same person who married Anna Christina Schafer. That’s very close to the estimated birth year of my Johannes Holtz.

The source of the MyHeritage record is GS Film #1189252. I checked the film number in the Family History Library catalog and it corresponds to church records in the Heidelberg area in the correct time period.

FamilySearch brought up a record for one Anna Catharina Schaffer, baptized on 21 August 1670, in Heidelberg. Parents were Hans Adam and Anna Catherina Schaffer. The record source is the same film number as the record for Johannes Holtz on MyHeritage.

The church is named as Kirche Christi. However, online it appears that church was built in 1904. It is certainly possible that the 1904 building replaced one or more earlier churches of the same name. That will take some digging.

Further digging brought up four children for Hans Adam Schaffer and wife Anna Cathrina (MNU):

  1. Rosina, baptized 23 April 1665
  2. Hans Jacob, baptized 28 August 1667
  3. Anna Catharina, baptized 21 August 1670
  4. Anthony, baptized 26 January 1673

Could Anna Christina Schaffer who married Johannes Holtz been a child of Hans Adam and Anna Cathrina (MNU) Schaffer? Since I have no other information on Hans Adam and Anna Cathrina, but they were having children in the correct time frame, perhaps Anna Christina was their daughter and both families removed to Barbelroth.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find any marriage records for the Schaffer children in Barbelroth. However, I didn’t find any that conclusively fit any one of them anywhere else, either.

I think I may be on to something here! More to come later. 🙂



Johannes Holtz & Anna Christina Schafer, Barbelroth, Germany 1600s

Johannes Holtz and Anna Christina Schaffer were the grandparents of at least three immigrants to Frederick County, Maryland c1755. Johannes and Anna Christina are two of my husband’s 8X great grandparents.

Although there are a number of Holtz family members who died in Barbelroth in the early 1700s who were in their 60s and 70s, I have not found Holtz baptismal records there dating before the 1670s. This is in spite of the fact that the Barbelroth records extend back into the 1500s. The family may have come from a neighboring town and settled in Barbelroth.

Johannes Holtz was born c1665, likely in today’s Germany, but apparently not in Barbelroth. He married Anna Christina Schafer on 25 July 1691 in Barbelroth. Anna Christina was born c1670, assuming she was about 21 when she married.

Johannes died on 19 August 1738 in Barbelroth. It isn’t known when Anna Christina died.

Johannes and Anna Christina (Schafer) Holtz were the parents of only two known children:

  1. Johannes Michael, baptized 30 December 1691; died 19 April 1754; married Anna Elisabeth Scheer, 31 December 1715, all in Barbelroth.
  2. Susanna, baptized 24 February 1697; no further record.

Johannes Michael and Anna Elisabeth (Scheer) Holtz were the parents of five known children:

  1. Maria Elisabetha, baptized 7 October 1716, Barbelroth, Germany; died June 1794, Frederick County, Maryland; married Johannes Wittmer (later Whitmer), 2 February 1740, Barbelroth, Germany. Johannes was baptized on 28 December  1710 in  Barbelroth and died after 22 May 1764, Frederick County, Maryland. Johannes and Maria Elisabetha have thousands of descendants today through their son, Johannes (John), born in 1755, about the time they left Germany forever.
  2. Juliana Margaretha, baptized 20 November 1718, Barbelroth, Germany; married Johannes Englehard Nuss, 19 January 1740, Barbelroth, Germany; no further record.
  3. Johannes, baptized 20 July 1721, Barbelroth, Germany; married Anna Maria Wittmer, 12 April 1746, Barbelroth, Germany. This family remained in Barbelroth as their friends and family emigrated to Maryland.
  4. Johan Jacob, baptized 25 August 1723, Barbelroth, Germany; died 16 December 1803, Frederick County, Maryland; married Catherine Ledermann, 2 June 1750, Barbelroth, Germany. Johan Jacob served on a Committee of Observation during the American Revolution and his son served as a soldier.
  5. Anna Catharina, baptized 20 July 1730, Barbelroth, Germany; married Conrad Dick, possibly in Frederick County, Maryland. Conrad Dick was born c1725 and in Frederick County by 15 August 1755 when he had 100 acres of land entered there. Although no marriage record has been found for this couple, Johannes Whitmer and Maria Elisabetha Holtz were sponsors at the baptism of Maria Catharina, daughter of Conrad and Anna Catharina Dick on 28 March 1758 in Frederick County, Maryland. It is assumed that this is Maria Elisabeth Holtz Whitmer’s sister, as almost every record created by events in the Whitmers’ lives involved close relatives. Conrad Dick reportedly died in North Carolina, but dates range from 1774-1795. There is no Conrad Dick found in any 1790 census, so he may have died before then.

The next generations:

Maria Elisabeth Holtz who married Johannes Wittmer migrated with their only surviving child, Johannes, to Maryland sometime between Johannes’s baptism on 24 June 1751 in Barbelroth and the baptism of their son Elias on 20 February 1757 in Frederick County, Maryland. As I mentioned this couple has thousands of descendants today.

Johannes Holtz who married Anna Maria Wittmer remained in Barbelroth, where the baptisms of their five children were recorded: Johannes, 30 October 1750, Juliana, 15 November 1754, Rosina, 4 December 1756, Johannes again, 23 March 1761 and Maria Barbara, 29 December 1765.

Johann Jacob Holtz who married Catherine Ledermann also left Germany for Maryland. They were the parents of at least three children: Johan Jacob, baptized 30 November 1753, Eleanora, baptized 7 November 1756 and Johan Nicholas, baptized 1 August 1762, all in Frederick County, Maryland. Both Johan Jacob Sr. and Jr. are recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution as a patriot and soldier, respectively.