Tuesday, November 25, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; Week 47; John Frederick Wolf

This prompt comes from Amy Johnson Crow at her blog, No Story Too Small. I began with my grandparents and am working my way back in time through the generations of my direct ancestors. Now I am writing about my 4x great grandparents.

John Frederick Wolf
30 June 1779 PA – 24 April 1872 PA
My 4x Great Grandfather

John Frederick Wolf was born during the Revolutionary War. His father was a Second Lieutenant during that war. John lived during the administrations of the first eighteen presidents of the United States, from George Washington to Ulysses S. Grant. He outlived three presidents who died in office:  President William Henry Harrison died a month after being sworn into office; President Zachary Taylor died after a brief term of office; and on 15 April 1865 President Abraham Lincoln was shot.

John Frederick Wolf was the son of Johann Jonas Wolf & Appollonia Dick. His siblings were: Jacob, Appolonia, John, Catherine, Adam, Johan Jonas, Christianna, Maria Elizabeth & Andrew. The children are mentioned in the estates of their parents, recorded in York Co., PA.[1],[2]

John Frederick Wolf was a member of the second generation of ourWolf family to be born and live their lives in Pennsylvania. To understand where the family of John Frederick Wolf lived it is necessary to have a basic understanding of the history of that section of the state. The family’s lives were centered in Berwick. When John Frederick purchased almost two hundred acres of land there in July 1796 it was in York County.[3] On 22 January 1800 Adams County was formed from York County. The new county, named after President John Adams, is twenty–four by twenty–seven miles, containing five hundred and thirty–one square miles. The lower portion of the county was settled by the Germans. Berwick was now in Adams County with York County bordering it on the north and east. Further confusing the location of this family, on 29 August 1810 Hamilton was formed from parts of Berwick. Therefore, the family’s residence had changed from Berwick in York County to Hamilton in Adams County without ever moving.[4]

The 1795 Berwick Township tax list shows John Frederick Wolf with 155 acres of land, three horned cattle and two horses.[5] A 1799 tax list shows his tax assessment as $692.[6]

On 8 April 1800 John married Esther Barbara Shaffer.[7],[8] They had at least ten children together.

John Frederick and his family can be found in the Berwick area in 1820[9] and 1830[10]. 1834 land records show him owning land in Berwick Township.[11] In 1850 John Frederick was a farmer in Huntington Township[12]. He was 73 years old and his wife, Esther Barbara (Shaffer) Wolf was 72.  Their real estate was valued at $2,500. 

In 1850 John Frederick Wolf owned one hundred acres of land. Seventy five of those acres were ‘improved’ acres on which he had three horses, three milk cows, two other cattle, and seven swine.[13] He made two hundred pounds of butter and grew 250 bushels of wheat, 10 bushels of Indian corn, 30 bushels of oats, 12 bushels of Irish potatoes and 15 tons of hay.[14] Their son, John Jonas Wolf lived next door.[15] Another son, Frederick Wolf, was a blacksmith in Abbottstown.[16]
In 1860 John Frederick Wolf was still a farmer in Huntington.[17] Ten years later he was 92 years old.[18] Although the census tells us he had retired from farming, he now had one hundred improved acres of farm land generating an estimated $2,300 of farm products.[19] Nearby lived a twenty three year old John Wolf who worked as a farm laborer.[20] It would not be unreasonable to guess this was a grandson or other relative who worked the farm. In 1870 the farm produced 50 bushels of winter wheat, 100 bushels of Indian corn,100 bushels of oats and 8 tons of hay. They made 100 pounds of butter.[21]

In 1867 John Frederick Wolf wrote his Last Will and Testament. The cost of the will with copies, the seal and tax was $6.38.
I, Frederick Wolf of Adams County, of Huntington township and the State of Pennsylvania, yeoman, being of Sound mind, memory and understanding Do make and publish this last will and testament herby [sic] revoking and making void all former wills by me at any time heretofore made void. And first I Direct my body be Decently interred in a burying ground according to the rites and ceremonies of the church and that my funeral be conducted in a manner corresponding with my estate and Situation in life. As to such estate as it hath pleased God to in trust me with I Dispose of the Same as follows:
I will and Bequeath to my children all my estate to be divided equally Share and Share alike, except my son Henry shall have one Hundred Dollars less than the rest of my children.
Lastly I appoint George H. Smith and Jonas Wolf my Son to be the executors of this my Last Will and Testament. In witness where of I Frederic Wolf the testator have to this my will written on a sheet of paper Set my hand and Seal this the twenty eighth Day of December A. D. one thousand eight hundred and Sixty Seven.[22]

John Frederick Wolf died in 1872. The papers for his estate show a long list of debts left behind, totaling over $1,000, including money owed to: Jonas Wolf ($13.75), Henry Wolf ($158.29), Frederick Wolf ($24.10), Jonas Wolf ($100) and Jonas Wolf ($50). The petition to the court said, “That the personal estate will nearly all be required to pay debts and expenses of settlement.”[23]

He and his wife are buried in the Emanuel Reformed Church Cemetery in Abbottstown, Adams County, Pennsylvania.[24],[25]

1 John Frederick Wolf b: 30 Jun 1779 Berwick Twp., York Co., PA, d: 25 Apr 1872 York Springs, Adams, PA
... + Esther Barbara Shaffer b: 29 Dec 1777 PA, m: 8 Apr 1800, d: 16 Oct 1866 York Springs, Adams, PA

......2 John Adam Wolf b: 28 Aug 1800 Berwick, Adams, PA, d: 14 Aug 1825 Adams, PA
......2 Louisa Wolf b: 14 Aug 1802 in Berwick, Adams, PA, d: Unknown
...... + Hanes
......2 Frederick Wolf b: 9 Sep 1804 Berwick, Adams, PA, d: 29 Oct 1891 Adams, PA
...... + Louisa C Goetz m: 13 Feb 1825 PA, d: 03 Oct 1861
......2 Jacob Wolf b: 21 Dec 1806 Berwick, Adams, PA, d: 11 Jun 1891 Anderson, KS
...... + Matilda Kinert
......2 John Franklin Wolf b: 11 Apr 1809 Berwick, Adams, PA, d: 10 Mar 1883 Hinckley, Medina, OH
...... + Elisabeth Burkholder b: 24 May 1814 Little York, York, PA, d: 22 Jun 1856 OH
...... + Caroline Orwig b: c 1820, m: 6 Nov 1856 Wayne, OH, d: 1888
......2 John Jonas Wolf b: 29 Jun 1811 Adams, PA, d: 16 Feb 1895 York Springs, Adams, PA
...... + Sarah Ann Chronister b: 14 Apr 1824, d: 1891
......2 Esther Barbara Wolf b: 27 Jan 1814 Adams, PA, d: 12 Dec 1903 Adams, PA
...... + Isaac Meyers
......2 Ninetta Wolf b: 18 May 1817 Adams, PA, d: 18 Jul 1890 New Chester, Adams, PA
...... + George H Spangler
......2 Henry H Wolf b: 20 Nov 1820 Adams, PA, d: 1860
...... + Maria Magdalena d: 1852
......2 William Wolf b: 20 Apr 1824 Abbottstown, Adams, PA, d: 02 Apr 1888 Conway Springs, Sumner, KS




[1] Young, Henry James. Genealogical Reports for The Historical Society of York County: Evidences of the Wolf Families of York County before the Year 1850, 1938. From York County Heritage Trust, 250 East Market Street, York, PA.
[2] York County PA Abstracts of Wills; 1749-1820; Genealogical Society of PA; pp 570-71; FHL book US/CAN 974.841 P2y; NOTE: Will of Jonas Wolf, 1787. [Researched by Tad D. Campbell, Gilroy CA].
[3] Hively, Neal Otto. Original Pennsylvania Land Record Series: Berwick, Oxford, Hamilton, Reading, Tyrone, Huntington and Latimore Townships. Volume II. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: The Adams County Historical Society, 2009.
4Reilly, John T. History and Directory of the Boroughs of Gettysburg, Oxford, York Springs, Berwick
and East Berlin, Adams County, PA with Historical Collections. Gettysburg, PA: J. E. Wible Printer, 1880.
[5] Vital Record Index Cards from the York County Heritage Trust, York, Pennsylvania.
[6] 1886 History of Adams County, Pennsylvania. 1977 Reprint. Chicago: Warner, Beers and Company, 1886.
[7] Letter and family group sheets from Ethel (Johnston) Barnes, Louisburg KS, to Tad D. Campbell in Gilroy CA; Letter dated 10 Jun 1992; in poss of Tad D. Campbell, Gilroy CA.
[8] Wolfe, J. Arthur. Jonas Wolf of Berwick Township, York County, Pennsylvania: A History and Genealogy of a Colonial Ancestor and Some of His Descendants. Privately Published: 1987. Copy of book owned by York County Heritage Trust, 250 East Market Street, York, Pennsylvania.
[9] 1820 United States Census, Hamilton Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, page 52, M33, Roll 96, National Archives. Frederick Wolf.
[10] 1830 United States Census, Huntington Township, Adams Co., PA, page 130, M19, Roll 96, National Archives. Frederick Wolf.
[11] Frederick Wolf in Berwick Township, Land Records from York Co. Heritage Trust, 350 East Market Street, York, Pennsylvania.
[12] 1850 United States Census, Huntington Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Frederick Wolf.
[13] 1850 United States Agricultural Schedule, Huntington  Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, Microfilm #T1138, Roll #1 Line 8; National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives Building, Washington, D. C. Farmer, Frederick Wolf.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid.
[16] Ibid.
[17] 1860 United States Census, Huntington Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, Page 63. Frederick and Ester Wolf.
[18] 1870 United States Census, Huntington Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Frederick Wolf.
[19] 1870 United States Agricultural Schedule, Huntington  Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, Microfilm #T1138, Roll #20 Line 39; National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives Building, Washington, D. C. Farmer, Frederick Wolf.
[20] 1870 United States Census, Huntington, Adams County, Pennsylvania. John Wolf.
[21] 1870 United States Agricultural Schedule, Huntington  Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, Microfilm #T1138, Roll #20 Line 39; National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives Building, Washington, D. C. Farmer, Frederick Wolf.
[22] Last Will & Testament of Frederick Wolf, 28 December 1867, Huntington Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Original held at Adams Co Historical Society, 111 Seminary Ridge Road, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
[23] John Frederick Wolf, Will, Inventory, Petition and other Estate Papers held at Adams Co Historical Society, 111 Seminary Ridge Road, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
[24] Wolf family papers and charts from Christine Ann (Klessins) Zengler, Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.
[25] Lau, Michael W. Wolf families of York County, Pennsylvania and Surrounding Areas. Privately Published, 1997. Copy of book owned by York County Heritage Trust, 250 East Market Street, York, Pennsylvania.

1 comment:

  1. I love the layout of your posts and your blog too, Colleen. It's one of the nicer ones. One of the disadvantages of using Feedly, is that I miss out on this.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by my blog & for leaving a comment. It is always good to hear from visitors, cousins & fellow bloggers,