Monday, December 29, 2014

Johan Adam Dick, 1709 Germany - 1785 PA

This post is extracted from my book, The Mark Family Story; The Story of the Mark and
Other Related Families: Brown, Dick, Gruissy, Heffelfinger, Keck, Ritter & Wolf.

Johan Adam Dick
1 April 1709 Germany – 29 Sept 1785 PA
My 6x Great Grandfather

Johan Adam Dick and his wife, Anna Ottilla (Knack) Dick were born in Germany. They married in 1731. Three daughters, Elisabeth Margretha Dick, Maria Christina (Dick) Brown and Maria Juliana Dick were born in Germany.[1] They came to America on the ship Robert & Oliver from Rotterdam, arriving in Philadelphia on 11 September 1738.[2] Their daughter, Appollonia (Dick) Wolf, was born on board the ship during the journey.[3]
          They became part of the many Germans leaving their homes.

At different periods, various causes and diverse motives induced them to abandon their ‘Vaterland’. Since 1606, millions have left their homes, the dearest spots on earth, whither the heart always turns. Religious persecution, political oppression drove thousands to Pennsylvania – to the asylum for the harassed and depressed sons and daughters of the relics of the Reformation, whither William Penn himself invited the persecuted of every creed and religious opinion.[4]

          Germans landed at the port in Philadelphia and spread from there, venturing further west as more new comers arrived.

About 1728 and 1729, the Germans crossed the Susquehanna, located within the present limits of York and Adams county, and made improvements under discouraging circumstances. … From 1735, settlements in Pennsylvania multiplied rapidly.[5]

          The German Baptists, followers of Alexander Mack, began to settle in the southwestern portion of York County as early as 1738. The Germans were “among the first people to form church organizations in York County[6] This is precisely the time and location our Johan Adam Dick and family can be found.

They transported their families and effects into the interior on rude wagons or ox-carts, the men going ahead and alongside to protect them from surprise by the Indians or wild beasts, and to remove the obstructions by trees and dense undergrowth. When they had determined on a place of location – generally along streams or in valleys where the soil was the richest – they built themselves cabins, with brushwood roofs, or some old wagon-cover, and there they lived until a more comfortable home could be provided.[7]
They brought seeds of various kinds with them from the old country, and others were supplied by the Proprietaries. Indian corn or mace was found almost everywhere in the new country, on which they subsisted for a time. Not in the least, however, were they in want of food … and an hour’s walk in the woods with rifle and basket furnished sufficient game and fruit to supply the largest family for a week, while a mess of fish could soon be secured in the streams, from the luscious shad to the savory trout.[8]

          Adam Dick is listed in the tax records for York County in 1762 and 1772 in the town of Berwick.[9] In York County, on 18 November 1768, Adam Dick became a citizen of the Province of Pennsylvania.

At a Nisi prius Court held at York, for the county of York, Before John Lawrence & Thomas Willing, esquires, two of the Judges of the Supream [sic] Court of the Province of Pennsylvania, on the eithteenth Day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & sixty-eight, Between the Hours of nine & twelve of the Clock in the Forenoon of the same Day, Jacob Lambert, Christian Ratfoun, Adam Dick & Nicholas Yoner being Foreigners, & having inhabited & resided for the space of seven years and upwards in his Majesty’s Colonies in America, and not having been absent out of some of the said Colonies, for a longer space than two months at any one time during the said seven years, And being severally of the People who conscientiously scruple and refuse the taking the oath, did take & subscribe the affirmations & declarations.[10]

On 17 March 1770 Johan Adam Dick purchased 176 acres of land in Hamilton Township, York County.  He called his home “Pleasant Level”.[11] Later that year Adam Dick sold his land to his daughter Appollonia (Dick) Wolf’s husband, Johann Jonas Wolf, and his daughter Susanna (Dick) Horner’s husband, John Horner, both of Berwick Township. The transaction said Adam and his wife would continue to live on the land for the rest of their lives. Jonas and John would make payments to “certain heirs”.[12]

 In 1770 they belonged to the German Baptist Church in Abbottstown, York County, called Upper Conewago Church of the Brethren, Mummert’s Meetinghouse. The German Baptists usually called themselves ‘Brethren’.[13] Johann Adam and Anna Ottilla (Knack) Dick are buried in the Upper Conewago Church of the Brethren Cemetery there, along with other Dick and Wolf family members.

Johann Adam Dick died in 1785. In 1786 Christian Dick filed papers to settle the estate of his father, Johann Adam Dick of Berwick Township, York County. A list of payments against the estate included money for Jonas Wolff “for maintaining a daughter of the deceased”.[14]

1 Johan Adam Dick b: 1 Apr 1709 Germany, d: 29 Sep 1785 in York, PA
.. + Anna Ottilla Knack b: 4 Nov 1711 Germany, m: 12 Jun 1731 Germany, d: 20 Oct 1782 York, PA

....2 Elisabetha Margretha Dick b: 1732 Germany, d: Unknown
....2 Maria Christina Margretha Dick b: 1734 Germany, d: Unknown
.... + Jacob Brown
....2 Maria Juliana Dick b: 1736 Germany, d: Unknown
....2 Appollonia Dick b: 14 Aug 1738 at Sea, d: Abt. 1791 PA
.... + Johann Jonas Wolf b: 27 Dec 1739 Lebanon, PA, m: 1761, d: 21 Sep 1787 Abbottstown, York, PA
......3 Jacob Wolf b: 05 Jun 1762 York, PA, d: 31 Mar 1810 York, PA
...... + Cornelia Knight b: 27 Oct 1765, d: 6 Oct 1806
......3 Appollonia Wolf b: 31 Dec 1763 York, PA, d: Aft. 1787
......3 John Wolf b: 18 Sep 1767 York, PA, d: 28 Aug 1851 Hamilton, Adams, PA
......3 Catherine Wolf b: 21 Nov 1770 York, PA, d: Aft. 1787
...... + Henry Becker
......3 Adam Wolf b: 12 Feb 1773 York, PA, d: 13 Mar 1865
...... + Eva b: 1771, d: 1839
......3 Johan Jonas Wolf b: 08 Feb 1775 Abbottstown, Adams, PA, d: Unknown
......3 Christianna Wolf b: 16 Nov 1776 York, PA, d: Unknown
......3 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
......3 Maria Elizabeth Wolf b: 27 Jun 1782 York, PA, d: Unknown
......3 Andrew Wolf b: 18 Mar 1787 York, PA, d: 28 Apr 1867 Berwick, York, PA
...... + Catherine Dick b: 1795, m: 1829
....2 Christian Dick b: 02 Jan 1740 PA, d: 4 May 1800
.... + Catherine Naugle b: 28 Jun 1743, d: 4 May 1800 York, PA
....2 Susanna Dick b: 1742 Berwick Twp., York Co., PA, d: Unknown
.... + John Horner
....2 Catherine Dick b: 1744 Berwick Twp., York Co., PA, d: Unknown
.... + George Bittinger

[1] Bugert, Annette Kunselman. Eighteenth Century Emigrants from German - Speaking Lands to North America. Volume II: The Western Palatinate. Birdsboro, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania German Society, 1985.
[2] Rupp, I. Daniel. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and other Immigrants in Pennsylvania From 1727 - 1776. Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1965.
[3] 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.
[4] Rupp, I. Daniel. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and other Immigrants in Pennsylvania From 1727 - 1776. Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1965.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Prowell, George R. History of York County, Pennsylvania. Chicago: J. H. Beers & Company, 1907.
[7] Reilly, John T. History and Directory of the Boroughs of Gettysburg, Oxford, York springs, Berwick and East Berlin, Adams County, PA with Historical Collections. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: J. E. Wible Printer, 1880.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Tax Records for Berwick, York County, Pennsylvania, 1762 & 1772, York Heritage Trust, 350 E Market Street, York, PA 18 November 2010. Adam Dick.
[10] Pennsylvania Archives; Series 2; Volume II; Persons Naturalized in the Province of Pennsylvania; pp. 403 – 4. Adam Dick naturalized on 18 November 1768.
[11] 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.
[12] Deeds recorded in the period 1749 – 1850 inclusive; in the Office of Recorder  of Deeds, Court House, York, Pennsylvania. Taken from: Young, Henry James. Genealogical Reports for the Historical Society of York County, evidences of the Wolf Families of York County before the year 1950. Volume XX. The Historical Society of York County, 1938. . Copy of book owned by York County Heritage Trust, 250 East Market Street, York, Pennsylvania.
[13] Prowell, George R. History of York County, Pennsylvania. Chicago: J. H. Beers & Company, 1907.
[14] Administration Bond of the Estate of Adam Dick, deceased, 1786. York County Heritage Trust, York, Pennsylvania.


  1. Wow -- wonderful story to end the challenge! Go out with a bang, as they say.
    Are you ready to continue the challenge?

  2. Wendy, I'm glad I tried & completed the 52 weeks, 52 Ancestors Challenge. However, in 2015 I will go in different directions. I plan to concentrate on my mother's family.

  3. Well written and well documented, a fitting end.

  4. Thanks, Charlie! From you [the master of well documented research] that's a great compliment.


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