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Peter Huetsch (1808-1863)

From Bremen to Baltimore
A Biography of Peter Huetsch/Hitch, 1808-1863

By Peggy Link Green, 2007

Johann Peter Hütsch (without the umlat it is written Huetsch) was born 8 Jun 1808 in Margretenhaun, Fulda, Hessen, Deutschland (Germany in English). The birth register states that he was baptized Johann Peter, the son of the single Maria Eva Margaretha Übelacker, born in Böckels. The birth happened in the early morning hours. Nicolaus Hütsch, single, from Margretenhaun, was declared to be the father of the child and expressly promised that marriage will follow. The baptismal sponsor was the single young man and brother of the woman in childbed, Johann Peter Übelacker.

An older sister was born 23 Oct 1803 to these parents and baptized Eva Catherina. The entry states that she was the child of Eva Margaretha Übelacker, who was born in Böckels, and Nicolaus Hütsch, who was born in Margretenhaun. They confess that she was born outside of marriage at about 10 o'clock in the morning. The godmother was Eva Catherine Schaefer, aunt on the mother's side, of Margretenhaun.

The marriage finally took place 19 Dec 1814 (when Eva Catherine was 11 years and Peter was six). After no one objected against the proclamation, and by free decision, the marriage was performed in the Catholic church of Margretenhaun. Married was Nicolaus Hütsch, the groom, and a citizen, born in Margretenhaun, son of the deceased married Caspar Hütsch from here, born and raised in Dammersbach, and Maria Orf. Bride Eva Margaretha Übelacker, daughter of the married, but already deceased, Johannes Adam Übelacker from Künzell, born and raised in Waldaschach, and Ottilia Ruth Schmidtt. Witnesses were the honorable men from Margretenhaun, Johann Adam Bolz and Philipp Schram.

One reason the marriage may have taken place long after their children were born is that in order to marry, the groom had to have been declared a citizen by owning a certain amount of money.

The Hütsch family lived in House Number 7 in Margretenhaun as an “Einsitzer.” This is a person who can live in a particular house because of an arrangement, for example that of inheritance arguments. The person has a right to live there as long as he lives. The record of the household, states that Nikolaus Hütsch, from Margretenhaun, born 11 Dec 1767 and died 3 Jul 1837 was married since 19 Dec 1814 to Eva Margaretha Übelacker, from Künzell, born 27 Mar 1775, and died 17 Feb 1825. Their children include Eva Katharina, born 23 Dec 1802 (not a virgin anymore,) moved to America; and Petrus born 8 Jun 1808, moved to America. It also states that Eva Katharina gave birth to an illegitimate daughter she called Maria Katharina on 1 Nov 1834. The child died two days later on 3 Nov 1834.

They lived with the owner of the house Georg Anton Halsch from Margretenhaun, born 30 Mar 1792, and married since 10 Jun 1834 to Anna Margaretha Schäfer from Margretenhaun, born 25 Aug 1798, and their children. The surname Schaefer is also the married name of Eva Margaretha's sister who was godmother for Eva Catherine Hütsch, which may be the connection.

Both Peter and Eva Katharina Hütsch are named in the Auswanderer in the Seelenstandregister for the village of Margretenhaun as living at #7, and emigrating to Amerika in 1841.Neither Peter's wife Charlott nor his daughter Agnes are listed on the Auswanderer. At that time, the people of Germany could not just wander around the country. They were required to inform the magistrate of the area in which they lived of their comings and goings in and out of their village.

So it was necessary for Peter, his wife Charlott, daughter Agnes, and sister Eva Catherine to go first to Fulda in order to emigrate. From there it was about a 240-mile trip to Bremen where they boarded the ship.

Peter is not listed in the passenger list index for the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, but Eva Catherine was listed as a servant girl from Fulda, who arrived on the ship Luise 2 Jun 1841. However, Peter Hütsch is listed on the passenger ship list itself as being 33 years old, a farmer, along with wife Charlott, aged 27, and daughter Agnes, 1 year. They brought with them 2 boxes and 2 beddings. Their last residence was Fulda. They boarded the ship Luise in Bremen, traveling with others from that area including Conrad Vogel, 29, a farmer; Elizabeth, 27, his wife; Eva Catherine Hütsch, 39, a servant girl; Adam Goldbach, 40, a tailor. Together they brought 2 boxes, 1 bed, and 1 arm gun. The ship arrived at Baltimore, Maryland 2 Jun 1841.

From Baltimore, a family that emigrated in 1839 to Johnstown, took a stage and then traveled by way of the canal, which went up the Susquehanna River on the east side and then followed the Juniata River to Hollidaysburg. From there the boats were loaded onto incline planes and pulled over the mountains by steam engine (this was the Allegheny Portage Railroad). It climbed an elevation of 1400 feet within three miles. On the west side of the mountains at Johnstown, the boats then were lowered into the Conemaugh River.

The earliest recorded information about Peter Hütsch (now Americanized to Hitch) in Cambria County, Pennsylvania is a marriage record dated 15 Apr 1842 that occurred at St. Joseph's, Hart's Sleeping Place. Here he married Charity/Catherine Schart/Schade. Also married on this day and in this place were Adam Goldbach (Americanized to Colebaugh) to Peter's sister, Eva Catherine Hütsch. Therefore, Peter's first wife Charlott must have died sometime after they arrived in Baltimore and before this date.

I believe that Charlott and Adam were somehow related, possibly brother and sister, although there was a 13-year difference in their ages. On daughter Agnes' death certificate, her mother is listed as Catherine Colebaugh. This leads me to believe that Agnes always thought of Catherine Schade as her mother, since she was all of 1 or 2 when Charlott died, her father apparently remarried shortly thereafter.

The umlat over the “u” in the spelling of Huetsch in German is pronounced like the “u” in Franch. It is a sign that can't be produced by Americans, as well as by Germans in the Swabian district. The Swabians pronounce the “ü” of official German as i or ee and in that way it could sound like “Hitch.”

On 5 Jan 1844, a daughter Eva Catherine was born to Peter and Catherine. She was baptized 3 Mar 1844 in St. Michael's Catholic Church, Loretto.

On 22 Oct 1846, a son Augustine was born. He was baptized at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Newry, Blair County. He died sometime prior to the 1850 federal census.

Together, Peter Hitch and Adam Colebaugh purchased 122 acres and 13 perches on 27 Apr 1848. This was part of a larger tract of land known as “Hickory Bottom.” They paid a sum of $122 to Coleman Fisher and his wife, W. Fisher, attorney for the estate of Samuel W. Fisher. This land was bounded by the property of Bruno Himmell and Chest Creek.

Three days later, on 30 Apr 1848, Peter went to the Cambria County Courthouse to file a declaration to become a citizen of the United States of America.

About two-and-one-half months later, on 8 Jul 1848, a daughter Maria Anna Barbara was born and baptized at St. Michael's, Loretto.

When the Federal Census was taken on 15 Aug 1850, Peter and his family were living in Carroll Township, Cambria County, PA. Peter was listed as 42 years old and a farmer, born in Germany; wife Catherine was 38 and born in Pa; Agnes, was 9 years old and her birthplace is listed as Pa; Mary A, age 2, born in Pa. Daughter Catherine was 7 years old and living on the neighboring farm with Adam and Catherine Colebaugh.

That same year, a son, John Adam was born 6 Sep 1850. He was baptized 29 Sep 1850 at St. Joseph's, Hart's Sleeping Place.

On 7 Oct 1851, Peter went to the Cambria County Courthouse, this time to become a citizen.

Evidently of strong Catholic faith, Peter and Catherine acted as godparents at the baptism of Peter Weiss, son of Bernhard Weiss and Eva Kohlhepp on 1Oct 1854. And on 10 Jun 1855, Peter and Adam Colebaugh stood as godparents for Christian Miller, age 8, and George Miller, age 5, sons of Henry Miller, a non-Catholic, and Augusta Berg at St. Benedict's Catholic Church, Carrolltown.

On 5 May 1857, daughter Agnes married John B. Teufel (Devil) at St. Benedict's, Carrolltown. In 1866, John B.'s father went to the Cambria County Courthouse to have the family surname legally changed to Harvey because Agnes became very upset when her friends constantly teased her about being “hitched to the Devil.”

The 1860 Federal Census for Carroll Twp, Cambria, PA was taken 1 Aug 1860. At that time, Peter was 51 years old, a farmer, born in Hesse, value of real estate $1000, value of personal property $450; Catherine was 48, born in Hesse, Mary A. was 12, born in Pa; Adam was 10, born in Pa. Daughter Eva Catherine was 16 years old, a servant, and again living with Adam and Catherine Colebaugh.

Daughter Agnes was enumerated with her husband John Devil on the 8th day of August 1860 also in Carroll Twp. He is listed as John Devlin, age 22 years, a laborer, owning $200 worth of personal property, born in Pa; Agnes, age 20, born in Hesse; son John, 1 year, born in Pa.

According to records at St. Benedict's Catholic Church in Carrolltown, Peter's wife Catherine Hitsh was buried 6 Jun 1861 in the church cemetery. She was 48 years old.

On 19 Mar 1863, Peter was still alive according to his estate papers. But he died between that date and 30 Mar 1863. It was on 30 Mar that Agnes Devil asked to have his estate settled, and Adam Golbach witnessed her signature. The estate administrator George Crook arranged a crying sale to sell off the family household. It was held on 9 Apr 1863, netting the amount of $257.73.

On 14 Mar 1864, Anna Hitch, age 14, made a choice of John Cole, who was believed to have been a judge, (and William Cole) as her guardian. At this time, John Cole posted a $400 bond. The judge wanted to adopt her, but she refused. Adam Hitch was under the age of 14 and therefore the Cambria County Court named John Cole as his guardian.

On 28 Sep 1864, Catherine Hitch and John and Agnes Devil sold a certain tract or parcel of property belonging to Peter Hitch, deceased, to Peter Earhart. The land, containing 54 acres, was bounded by the lands of Peter Earhart, Paul Strittmatter, and Himmel Henry Holfsensetter.

On 13 Jun 1867, a girl was born and baptized on 14 Jun 1867 as Philomena Rosa Hitsch. The church record does not list the names of the parents. Godparents were Andrew and Catherine Hauck. Other records of the time, name the parents, so I believe the child could have been the daughter of Eva Catherine Hitch, daughter of Peter and Catherine Shade, possibly born out of wedlock. Perhaps this child died or Andrew and Catherine Hauck adopted her.

On 23 Sep 1891, Catherine Hitch et al sold to Peter Earhart another parcel of property that once belonged to Peter Hitch.

A descendant of Anna Barbara Hitch and her husband John Long said that her family was told that Peter and Catherine Hitch died of smallpox.

Agnes and John B. Teufel/Harvey went on to have 12 children: John Adam Gabriel, born 26 Mar 1859, who married Margaret Rieger; James, born 2 Jul 1860; Mary Catherine “Kate,” born 25 May 1862, who married William Isenberg; Augustine, born 31 Aug 1864, who married Christina Long; Peter, born 17 Aug 1866; Christian, born 21 May 1868; Anna Barbara “Annie,” born 4 Aug 1879, who married George Moore; John Valentine Aloysius “Jack,” born 2 Jun 1872; Mary Margaret Elizabeth “Mary,” born 9 Jul 1874, who married Rueben Edward Waite; Anna Barbara Cecilia “Celia,” born 21 Jul 1876, who married Frederick John Frank; Joseph Michael “Mike,” born 14 May 1878, who married Catherine Flynn; Anthony Stephen “Andrew,” born 25 Mar 1881, who married Margaret Mary Michels.

John B. and Agnes bought property in Blacklick Township, which became part of Barr Twp. Agnes died 12 Sep 1917 at the age of 77 years from arteriosclerosis but a contributing factor was a fractured femur due to a fall. John B. died 22 Jun 1902 at the age of 64 years from cancer of the stomach.

Not much is known about Eva Catherine. The last information is from 1891 at which time, she was 47 years old and unmarried. I have been unable to locate mention of her on federal censuses after 1860.

Mary Anna Barbara “Annie” married John W. Long on 13 Jan 1874. They lived in Barr and Chest townships and later Patton. John died 28 Mar 1936. Annie died 21 Dec 1945 at the age of 97 years and is buried in Patton. Their children were: Catherine A, born 29 Oct 1874, who married Aloysius W. Smithbauer; Albert William, born in 1877, who married Laura Dietrick; Joseph Francis, born 15 Jan 1879, who married Lydia M. Durbin; Anna Mary, born 2 Feb 1881, who married Harry Owens and Daniel Patrick Sullivan; John Edward, born 22 Feb 1882, who married Bertha Nagle; Agnes, born 3 May 1885, who married Alonza D. Gauntner; Philomena, born 25 Oct 1887, who married James Peter Link; and George W, born 2 Sep 1890, who married Helena V. Gauntner.

John Adam, “Adam” married Ann Agnes Mary McCann on 24 Jul 1877. Their children included Thomas Albert, born 14 Jul 1878; Joseph James, born 30 Jun 1879, who married Mary Melinda Duffy; Mary Agnes, born 30 Jun 1879, who married Leo M. Murphy; Mary Rose, born 20 May 1881, who married Urban M. Gill; Mary Margaret, born 26 Apr 1994, who married Robert Sincox; Mary Susan, born 25 Aug 1887, who married George William Hiergeist.

After her death 15 Apr 1891, Adam married Catherine Matilda Wirtner Jan 1892. Their children were: John Francis, born 23 Oct 1892, who married Alma Marie Dumm; Regis Sylverius, born 13 Jan 1894, who married Eleanor A. Swartz; Catherine Mary, born 6 Aug 1895, who married John Sherman Krise; Anna Maria, born 9 Jan 1897, who married Herman D. Stoltz; Mary Antoinette, born 1 Dec 1898, who married Oliver Semelsberger; Mary Grace, born 11 Feb 1900; Ethel B, born 17 Jul 1901, who married August Joseph Ehlinger; Vincent Modestus, born 17 Mar 1903; Mary Fabiola, born 18 Oct 1904; Mary Rita Flora, born 7 Nov 1908, who married David Ernest Burkitt; and Mary Musetta, born 12 Sep 1912, who married Maurice Joseph Bender.

Matilda died 21 May 1919. Adam outlived two wives and died on 14 Feb 1929 having fathered 17 children and having lived in Chest Twp. his entire adult life. He is buried in St. Augustine.

Page Created: 15 Sep 2007, Last Updated: