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Johann Teufel (1824-1905)

The Devil Got Hitched
The Biography of Johann Teufel/Harvey


By Peggy Link Green, 2007


On 2 May 1808, a son, their sixth of ten children, was born to Johann Teufel and his wife Rosa Wehle of Diessen, Haigerloch, Sigmaringen, Hohenzollern. He was baptized at St. Martin Catholic Church in Diessen, Diocese of Freiburg. The little village lay west of the Neckar River on the edge of the Black Forest or Schwarzwald, as it is known in Germany. At the time, that portion of Hohenzollern was ruled by Austria, while the other was ruled by Prussia.

Hohenzollern was at one time an independent entity. Its crescent shape lay alongside the southeastern part of Wuerttemberg. It was fairly small and, in the 19th Century, it was divided into two principalities, the Catholic Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Hohenzollern-Hechingen. Today (2007), it lies within the present borders of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, about 63.47 kilometers southwest of Stuttgart (about 54 minutes by car).

Johann's siblings would come to include Maria, born 7 Mar 1799; Joseph, born 18 Sep 1801; Martin, born 6 Feb 1803; Leogard, born 21 Dec 1804, married Augustin Armbruster; Michael, 22 Sep 1806, married Katharina Schroetter; Jakob, born 30 Apr 1810; Georg, born 4 Apr 1812; Maria Anna, born 5 Jul 1815, married first to Martin Armbruster, second to Gregor Armbruster, and third to Johann Kurn. She immigrated to America in 1861, but I have no further information about her. And then there was Joseph, born 5 Aug 1818, who married Franziska Schroetter.

The child Johann was destined to become one of the Pennsylvania Dutch (Deutsch), so named because they came from Deutschland (the German name for Germany) and settled in the American state of Pennsylvania.

And so Johann was baptized on the day of his birth through St. Martin's Catholic Church in Diessen with Joseph Ege, Jr. and Leogarda Wehle Mettgett serving as godparents.

At the age of 27 years, Johann emigrated from Diessen, probably through Sigmaringen, where he would have traveled to receive papers allowing him to leave the country. From Sigmaringen, he traveled to Bremen where he boarded the Bremen Brig Charlott heading for America and the port city of New York. His occupation was listed at wagoner.

Fellow travelers included people from the village of Weildorf, which also lay within Sigmaringen-Hohenzollern, but located about 10 miles east of the Neckar River. They also would have had to travel first to Sigmaringen. Perhaps Johann met up with the group there and traveled with the little band, which would all settle in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. They included Carol Leibfried, 26 years, a linen weaver; Daniel Kirn, 22, a master brick layer; Theresia Minger (Winzer), 22, a maid servant from Gruol (Daniel Kirn married Theresa 19 Jun 1836 through St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Hart's Sleeping Place, Cambria County, PA.); Barbara Belzer, 26, a maid servant from Gruol (Carol Leibfried married Barbara 7 Aug 1836 through St. Joseph's Hart's Sleeping Place, Cambria County, PA.); Augustin Kappler, 26, a master brick layer from Binsdorf; Michael Reible, 20, a master brick layer; Lacharias Horn, 25, a cooper; Windolin Horn, 21, a master brick layer; Anton Huber, 21, a linen weaver; and Raphael Fischer, 30, a master brick layer, his wife, Margaretha, 28, and daughter Gezilia, 3. Margaretha probably died shortly after their long voyage as Raphael married Margarita Klunse 8 Sep 1836 through St. Joseph's, Hart's Sleeping Place.

Johann also traveled with his future wife and her family on his voyage to America. Martin Kirn, 45 years and a farmer, the man who would become his father-in-law, emigrated from Weildorf with his wife Kunigunde (Soell), age 47, and their children Elizabeth, 19; Peter, 17; Jacob, 15; Georg, 11; and Marianna, 9 years old. Kunigunde's married sister and brother-in-law traveled with them also. Their destination listed as Ohyo Staat (state of Ohio), for whatever reason, Marianna (Soell), 40, and Caspar Beuter, 44, a farmer, decided to settle in Cambria County, Pennsylvania instead. While the Kirn family died out, the Beuter or Beiter family counts many members even today. Their children were Veronica, 19; Johannes, 17; Mathias, 16; Ignatz, 14; Marianna, 11; Philipp, 10; Susanna, 7; Otto, 4; and Donatius (Donelly), 2.

The group arrived at the Port of New York on 3 Jun 1836 and from there traveled to their final destination of Cambria County. Caspar Beuter and his family settled in Washington Township, but Johann along with Martin Kirn and his family went on to Johnstown, Johann lived there until about 1839.

On 4 Feb 1838, Johann or John, as he was now known, married Martin's oldest daughter Elizabeth in Johnstown as recorded on the books of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Hart's Sleeping Place from which the priest traveled the county performing marriages and baptisms.

Not quite six months later, their son Johann was born in Johnstown, and baptized 25 Jul 1838 through St. Joseph's, Hart's Sleeping Place with godparents Carol Leibfried and Barbara Leibfried. Rather than his parents having a shot-gun wedding, which is indeed possible, I believe they wed in the eyes of God rather than wait for the priest to arrive, for who would know when that would be. This Johann became known as John B. (B. is probably for Baptist).

By now the family had moved on to Allegheny Township as their daughter Kunigunde was baptized at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Loretto 14 Nov 1839, having been born 14 Oct 1839. She died as an infant or very young child.

I was unable to find a Johann Teufel or John Devil, as he was now called, on the 1840 Federal Census living in Cambria County. The word Teufel translates into English as Devil, and you will begin to understand the problem of having such a name as you read on.

On 5 Jul 1841, John and his father-in-law Martin Kirn went to the Cambria County Courthouse to declare their intent to become citizens of the United States. On the document, he is listed as John Dibble, birthplace, Hohenzollern, age, 32 years, allegiance to Austria, migrated from Bremen, intended settlement, Pennsylvania. They signed each other's papers verifying that each had lived in the county, state and country for two years.

On 7 Jan 1842, a son they named Martin was born to John and Elizabeth. He was baptized 18 Jan 1842 at St. Benedict's Catholic Church in Carrolltown, Cambria, PA. He died as an infant or very young child.

John became a citizen of the United States on 2 Oct 1843 with his residence confirmed by Caspar Beiter and Martin Kern.

On 1 Mar 1844, daughter Rosannah was born and baptized 4 Apr 1844 at St. Michael's, Loretto.

And on 23 Apr 1846, a son George W. (or H.) was born. He, too, was baptized at St. Michael's in Loretto.

On 24 Jul 1847, John Devil purchased a tract of land containing 28 acres and 40 perches in Allegheny Township, Cambria, PA from Morris Shoemaker and his wife for $300. This land bordered the properties of John Littell, George Littell, and Peter Eckenrode. His property was part of a larger tract called the Chest Farm, situated on the waters of Chest Creek on the southwest side of said creek, that was surveyed and warranted to Richard Porter 17 Jun 1773. That larger tract about a mile and a half above the first forks of the Creek and about four miles above where the old path from Frankstown to Kittanning crossed the Creek in the County of Bedford

On 12 Jan 1848, daughter Mary (Elizabeth) was born. She was baptized at St. Michael's. Loretto.

And on 12 Feb 1850, son Joseph was born and baptized at St. Michael's.

The Federal Census of Allegheny Twp., Cambria, PA was taken 5 Sep 1850. On page 51, it lists John Devel as 41 yrs old, a farmer, born in Germany; Elizabeth, 33, keeping house, born in Germany; John, 12, born in Pa; Elizabeth, 8, born in Pa; Rosannah, 6, born in Pa; George, 4, born in Pa; Mary, 2, born in Pa; Joseph E. (G.?), 4/12 months, born in Pa.

On 23 Apr 1852, daughter Catherine was born. She was baptized at St. Michael's, Loretto.

And on 24 Apr 1853, son Celestine was born. He was baptized 8 May 1853 at St. Benedict's Catholic Church, Carrolltown with godparents Carol Flick and Margaret Turnelson.

Life changes. And four years later, son John B. married Agnes Hitch (Huetsch), daughter of Peter and Katharina, natives of Hesse, on 5 May 1857. Their witnesses were William Thomson, of Loretto, and Theresia Shenk. (I believe Katharina was actually Agnes' step-mother as, according to the passenger manifest for the ship Louise, Agnes arrived at the Port of Baltimore 3 Jun 1841 with her parents Pieter Hütch, his wife Charlott.)

Between Apr 1853 and Jul 1860, John's wife Elizabeth died.

The Federal Census of 1860 was taken in Allegheny Twp., Cambria, PA on 17 Jul 1860. On page 151, John Devil is listed as 51 yrs old, a farmer, born in Prussia; daughter Elizabeth, 20, was the housekeeper, born in Pa; Rosanna, 16, born in Pa; Mary A., 12, born in Pa; Joseph, 10, born in Pa; Catherine, 9, born in Pa; Celestine, 7, born in Pa.

On 10 May 1863, daughter Mary Elizabeth Teafel married Thaddeus Horne at St. Michael's in Loretto.

On 25 Jun 1865, daughter Rosana Devlin married Frederick Horlock (Hohlock), non-Catholic, at St. Mary's, Hollidaysburg, Blair, PA. Their witnesses were Carol Young and Maria Budler (Beiter?).

Because John B's wife Agnes was constantly being teased by their neighbors that she was “Hitched to the Devil,” John's father, who carried the name Teufel from Germany, petitioned the Cambria County Court on 3 Apr 1866 to change his surname legally from Teufel to Harvey (which my mother said she heard was taken from an English relative although I've, thus far, been unable to corroborate that story).

“That while his name in the German dialect, he being an immigrant from Germany, though now a naturalized citizen of the United States, has no improper meaning, yet by means of its translation into English, and by the usage of the neighborhood in which he resides, it has become an unseemly and profane word, for which reason he is desirous to change his name to John Harvey.”

On 5 Jun 1870, daughter Mary A. married Edward F. Schilling at St. Michael's Catholic Church, Hollidaysburg, Blair County.

The 1870 Federal Census was taken in Allegheny Twp., Cambria, PA on 1 Jul 1870. On page 24, John Harvey is listed as 62 years old, a farmer, born in Germany; daughter Catherine, 18, born in Pa, is keeping house; son Celestine, 17, born in Pa, was laboring on the farm.

On 17 May 1871, son George W. (H.?) married Catherine Ellen Murray at St. Michael's, Loretto.

Two years later, on 7 Oct 1871, son Celestine married Mary Jane Troxell, daughter of Henry and Hannah Troxell, at St. Michael's, Loretto.

In 1873, son Joseph left Loretto to enter into the oil business near Butler, Allegheny, PA. He later operated a paint store and then a hotel, which was located at 368 E. Jefferson Street, Butler.

About 1874, Joseph married Mary, whose last name is unknown, and with whom he had at least three sons Charles J, born Nov 1878; Francis Aloysius Xavier, born about 1878; and Joseph L, born Sep 1880. By the Federal Census of 1900, he had married another woman, also named Mary. Together they had at least 7 children including Eleanor E, born Jul 1893; Emma Rose, born May 1895; George, born May 1896; Florence, born Aug 1897; Francis, born about 1902; Agnes, born about 1908; and Lillian, born about May 1910. Joseph died about 1935.

I can find no mention of daughter Catherine after the 1870 Census. Either she died or she was married, but thus far, I have found no record of either.

By the time of the next Federal Census taken 3 Jun 1880, John was living with his son George and his wife Catherine in Gallitzen, Cambria, PA. On Page 6, the family is living on Sugar Street. George was 34 yrs old, born in Pa, and working as a railroad switch tender; Catherine was 38 and born in Pa; their son D.G. (Demetrius) was 8 and born in Pa; and George H., was 2 years old and born in Pa. John, the father, was now 72 years old and listed as born in Wurtemberg.

John Teufel/Devil/Harvey died sometime between 3 Jun 1880 and 31 Dec 1880. He is buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery in Gallitzen.

Son John B. and his wife Agnes had at least twelve children including John Adam Gabriel, born 26 Mar 1859, who married Margaret Rieger; James, born 2 Jul 1860, died when a child; Mary Catherine, born 25 May 1862, who married William Isenberg; Augustine A, born 31 Aug 1864, who married Christina Long; Peter, who was born 17 Aug 1866, died when a child; Christian, born 21 May 1868, died 5 Feb 1885; Anna Barbara, born 4 Aug 1870, who married George Moore; John Valentine Aloysius, born 2 Jun 1872; Mary Margaret Elizabeth, born 9 Jul 1874, who married Reuben Edward Waite; Anna Barbara Cecilia, born 21 Jul 1876, who married Frederick Frank; Joseph Michael, born 14 May 1878, who married Catherine Flynn; and Anthony Stephen “Andrew,” born 25 May 1881, who married Margaret Michels. The family lived first in Carroll Twp, then Blacklick Township. Their area of Blacklick Twp. later became known as Barr Twp. They owned a farm of apple orchards on what became known as Duman's Dam. John B died of cancer of the stomach 22 Jun 1902 and is buried in St. Nicholas Cemetery, Nicktown, Cambria, PA.

Daughter Mary Elizabeth had three children with husband Thaddeus Horne. She died between 1866 and 1872. Their children all died young. They were Celestine Thaddeus, born 04 Dec 1863, died before 1880; Mary Magdalene, born 25 Apr 1866, died 9 May 1887; and John, born 12 May 1868, died before 1880. Thaddeus then married Rebecca McConnell and lived with her and their children in Altoona, Blair, PA

Daughter Rosannah had six children with husband Frederick Hohlock. The family lived in Hollidaysburg, Blair, PA. She died in 1917. None of their children ever married. They were Margaret D, born Sep 1867; George Edward, born 10 Sep 1869; Helen Elizabeth, born 23 Apr 1873; Charles C, born 8 Nov 1874; Mary Rosannah, born 1 Oct 1878; and Stella A, born 6 Jul 1883.

Son George and his wife Catherine Ellen had three children, the youngest died shortly after birth. They included Demetrius Aloysius, born Mar 1872, who married Jane Younkins; George H, born 30 Sep 1877, who married Christina Sutherland; and Robert born 1881. Ellen died in 1887, and by the 1900 Federal Census, George had married Mary E. Stevens. He died 5 Jan 1929 in Gallitzen, Cambria, PA.

Daughter Mary Ann and husband Edward Schilling had at least five children. They began married life in Gallitzen and then moved to Newry, Blair, PA. Their children included Anna, born 27 Mar 1871, who married Francis Flick; Clara M, born 24 Oct 1876, who married Blair Sell; Charles B, born 17 Apr 1877, who married Margaret Seisk; Leo Sylvester, born 6 Oct 1883, who married Anna McClosky; and Coletta, born 5 Aug 1890, who married Bud Sell. Mary Ann died 19 Nov 1930.

Son Celestine and wife Mary Jane had seven children who were Ada M, born 16 Oct 1874, who married Hans Larson; Morgan, born Jun 1876, who married Mary Hunter; Cyrus, born 1878; Charles Walter, born Dec 1879, who married Maud Reed; Mary Maud, born 21 Jan 1883, who married Charles Rabuck; Esther Elizabeth, born 2 Aug 1885, who married Isadore Bender; and Hannah, born 22 Sep 1887, who married George Leonard. The family lived in Gallitzen. Celestine died 2 Oct 1887, and is buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Gallitzen.


Page Created: 18 Sep 2007, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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