Sunday, March 23, 2014

Johannes Zulauf (1753-1838)

Flag of the Von Knyphausen Regiment of Hessian Soldiers

Johannes Zulauf
Believed to be the son of Walter Zulauf who died in the 7 years war
Born 1753 in Germany
Died 1838 in PA
married  28 March 1783
Maria Margaretha Spahr
daughter of Johann Frederick & Anna Margaretha (Schnaeder) Spahr
Born 14 Oct 1766 
Died 4 June 1841

See Nelson Sulouff's photos & records for this generation here:

Jacob Sulouff 1783 – 1849 m. Eve Thomas
Mary Zulauf 1785 – 1828
Unknown Male #1 Born between 1786 & 1790
Unknown Male #2 Born between 1786 & 1790
John Sulouff 1792 – 1859
Margaret Rebecca Zulauf 1794 – 1850
Susannah Zulauf 1795 – 1828
Elizabeth Sulouff 1798 – 1888
David Suloff 1799 – 1875
George Zulauf 1802 – 1874
Unknown Female born between 1800 & 1805

Time Line


Believed to have been born in Elbenrod, Hesse, Germany.  
    The Family likely migrated from Switzerland to Germany  

Oral tradition, from Elizabeth, his youngest daughter, says that Johannes father was named Walter and that Walter was killed in Germany during the 7 years war.

1776 - Age: 23

15 Aug
Staten Island, New York, USA 
Per Hessian millitary records, arrived in the Minnegerode (3rd) company of the Knyphausen Regiment.

Drawing of the uniforms of Hessian troops, Von Knyphausen Regiment, Rall's Brigade - 1776. Uniform on the right is that of the "Gemeiner", a Private

A great article on the Hessians, and the  Knyphauen Regiment in December of 1776

A Hessian Sketch of the first Battle at Trenton

The Battle Of Long Island

Zulauf's name is on a document in the Marburg
archives (reference # 4h 328,113f.3a) that lists those who escaped from 
the Trenton debacle.

A Search at HETRINA shows the following:
Zulauf, Johannes – appointed, 12.1776
Zulauf, Johannes – captured, 9.1779
Zulauf, Johannes – captured, 9.1782
Zulauf, Johannes – captured, 11.1782
Zulauf, Johannes – captured, 5.1783

This is at odds with the research done by Nelson Sulouff, who is the expert on this family line, and only lists Johannes as being captured once. Since I have never researched a Hessian Soldier before, I am unsure how reliable the HETRINA search is, and I'm having a hard time interpreting the results. Make your own interpretations, and please let me know if you understand it better than I do.  :-)

1783  - Age: 30
March 29 1783
Marriage to Maria Margaretha Spahr
Alsace, Berks, Pennsylvania, United States
Record can be found in the records of the Spies German Reformed Church, Alsace TWP, Berks County PA

The journal of German Reformed pastor, Rev. J. William Boos, begun on 15 March 1782, includes an entry dated 28th March 1783 about the marriage of Johannes Zulauff to Maria Margaretha Spahr. Indiscriminate alternations between the two spellings "Zulauff" and "Zulauf" for this surname are found frequently in old German records. (Document copied by the author from original pastoral acts book of Pastor Boos, Schaff Library, Lancaster PA.)

1783 -Age: 30
Robenson Twp, Berks County Pa
Taxed for 5 shillings & 5

1784 Age:31
Robenson Twp, Berks County Pa
Taxed for one cow.

1786 - Age 33

Pennsylvania, Tax and Exoneration, 1768-1801 about John Zulauf
Name: John Zulauf
Year: 1786
Town or Ward: Earl
County: Lancaster

Archive Rollname: 329

1791 - Age: 38

Newberry Twp., York Co., Pa. 
In late 1791 family moved west across the Susquehanna River into northern York County in what is today called New Market or Fairview Twp.

1793 - Age 40
Pennsylvania, Septennial Census, 1779-1863 about John Zulauf
Name: John Zulauf
Residence Year: 1793
Residence Place: Newbury, York, Pennsylvania

1798 -  Age: 45

Tax List

Residence Newbury, York, Pennsylvania, United States
1 House, 18 by 15.  Barn wood 30 x 20

1800  - Age 47
1800 United States Federal Census about John Zulaff
Name: John Zulaff
Home in 1800 (City, County, State): Newbury TWP, York, Pennsylvania
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10: 2
Free White Persons - Males -10 thru 15: 3
Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44: 1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10: 2
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15: 2
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44: 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 9
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 11

1802 - Age: 49

Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, USA 
Bought a farm near Perrysville, now Port Royal in Juniata Co.


1810 United States Federal Census about John Zulauf
Name: John Zulauf
Home in 1810 (City, County, State): Milford, Mifflin, Pennsylvania
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 15: 2
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44 : 1
Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15: 2
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44: 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 6
Number of Household Members Over 25: 3

Number of Household Members: 11


1820 United States Federal Census about John Suloff
Name: John Suloff
Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Milford, Mifflin, Pennsylvania
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 18: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25: 2
Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 45 and over : 1
Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture: 2
Free White Persons - Under 16: 1
Free White Persons - Over 25: 3
Total Free White Persons: 7

Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other:

In 1820 John's son John Jr, and his son Jacob, are listed right under him in the census

1821 - Land Warrant
Pennsylvania, Land Warrants and Applications, 1733-1952 about John Zulouf
Name: John Zulouf
Warrant Date: 8 Dec 1821
Warrant Place: Milford, Mifflin

Pennsylvania, Land Warrants, 1733-1987 about John Zuloaf

Name: John Zuloaf
Acreage: 0.75
Warrant Date: 8 Dec 1821
Warrant Location: Mifflin

Nelson writes a good deal about the farm, based on the inventory that was made after Margaretha's death, as well as records involving the settling of the estate after John's death.  Jacob, the oldest son, took 41 acres from the west side of his fathers property, as his inheritance.  Land records in 1850 may show where exactly Jacob's land was, and help narrow down the location of John's farm.  Nelson also notes that  the "206acre farm located near the confluence of the Tuscarora and Licking Creeks, just south of present-day Port Royal. " and that in 1841 when it was appraised at 200 acres, that may have been due to an "east west  public road laid out across the property."

A satellite view of the area, from google maps, in 2015.  

If the farm was indeed "south" of Port Royal, but also bordered to the south by the Tuscarora Creek, the farm land to the left is a possibility.  3010, Groninger Creek Road, is an east west road, and Mayer Road is also a possiblity for the "east west road".  This is pure conjecture at this time, I've been trying to find a reference on an old land map, but so far have not found the right location.

In Nelson's book, on page 22, we learn that Jacob's property was "immediately north of his father's farm, not far from the confluence of Licking Creek & the Tuscarora Creek"  That could possibly place Jacob's farm right near Mayer Road?

1830 States Federal Census about John Zouloaff
Name: John Zouloaff
[John Zulouff] 
Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Milford, Mifflin, Pennsylvania
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 70 thru 79: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 60 thru 69: 1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored)

John Zulouff is the first line here, his son Jacob is the last line shown

1831 - 
Juniata County was formed out of Mifflin County
John Sulouff's property was now located in the newly formed Juniata County.

1838- Age: 85

Port Royal, Juniata, Pa., USA 

Burial - 

Johannes  And Anna Margaretha are buried in Row 15
Old Church Hill Cemetery 
Port Royal (Juniata County)
Juniata County
Pennsylvania, USA


Info taken from Find A Grave:

The information below was provided by Rev. Nelson R. Sulouff- His headstone actually looks as if the death year inscribed was 1839 but Juniata Co. court documents in JZ's estate file prove unquestionably that he died in 1838. I believe the discrepancy is accounted for by the fact that the gravestones for JZ and wife were erected about 58 years after JZ died: grandson, David M., of Akron OH returned to visit his birthplace in Port Royal in 1896 and the existing headstones on his grandparents' graves appear to date from ca. 1896 rather than ca. 1838. David M. was by far the most active Sulouff family historian of all known relatives who lived in the 19th C. Without his preservation of baptismal records for his parents, the connection between the Sulouff>Suloff family and the Hessian immigrant named Johannes Zulauf might never have come to light.


Nelson Sulouff posted the following to the RootsWeb AMREV-HESSIAN mailing list:

I have done extensive research on the Knyphausen Regiment and will be happy to assist other researchers who learn that their immigrant ancestor was in the the Knyphausen Regiment. I will especially enjoygetting to know and comparing notes with descendants of those Hessianswho were in the Minnigerode (3rd) Company of the Knyphausen Regiment.Here's a wee bit of history, mostly dug out of surviving Hessian records: 

My immigrant Hessian ancestor, Johannes Zulauf (JZ), was in the Minnigerode (3rd) Co. of the Knyphausen Regiment. The Knyphausen was one of the regiments in the Mirbach Brigade, First Division. They marched out of Hesse-Cassel on 29 February 1776, followed down river valleys northward to the sea, and began boarding ships in Bremerlehe(Bremerhaven) on 23 March. There were no precedents to follow and thelogistics of the operation was learned as they went along. Duringboarding it was learned that the ships assembled at Bremerlehe wereinsufficient to carry the entire First Division, so the troops ended up sailing in two separate convoys. As a consequence, 3-2/3 companies of the Knyphausen departed Bremerlehe on 17 April and the remaining 154 men of the Knyphausen sailed in a hastily organized second convoy out of the mouth of the Weser River on 18 May. The two convoys joined up outside New York (Raritan) Bay on 12 August, and the Knyphausen Regiment was set ashore on Staten Island on 15 August 1776. For the next four months the Mirbach Brigade was engaged in the campaigns of Long Island, the New York mainland, New York (Manhattan) Island, and New Jersey. The Mirbach Brigade was renamed the Rall Brigade shortly before it moved into Trenton on 14 December 1776. JZ was with the Rall Brigade in Trenton when it was surprised the morning of 26 December 1776 by Washington's famous attack across the ice-laden Delaware. He was one of the 753 soldiers who evaded capture by Washington's army that day, and before the end of December these remnants of the Rall Brigade were mustered into a temporary unit called the "Combined Battalion." The Combined Battalion went into garrison on New York Island for a month of rehabilitation, and by early February 1777 the unit was once again fit for duty. During the summer campaign season of 1777, the new battalion sailed out of New York Bay with about 18,000 British and German troops on about 250 ships headed for Philadelphia. Access to Philadelphia was denied by a chain of fireboats across the Delaware, so they sailed around to the Chesapeake and disembarked on the north bank of the Elk River. JZ, in the Combined Battalion, was among those assigned to cross the Elk and move east along the southern shores of the river, foraging for livestock and food to sustain the invading army during their march against Philadelphia. During the battle of the Brandywine, the Combined guarded the supply wagons, after which they were engaged in holding Wilmington as a hospital and supply point. After Philadelphia was secured by the main force, the Combined moved to the Schuylkill River and crossed to the Philadelphia side in the early hours of 23 October. They spent the winter in Philadelphia, then marched across New Jersey, were engaged in protecting the supply train during the battle of Monmouth, marched on to Sandy Point, sailed across the Bay and reached New York Island the second week of July 1778. The year following their return to New York was uneventful. The Knyphausen Regiment was reconstituted in the Summer of 1779, and the second week of September it was shipped out of New York in a convoy headed for Canada to oppose the French. The fleet ran into a hurricane, and on 26 September 1779 the entire Knyphausen Regiment was captured at sea aboard storm-damaged ships. JZ was among those POWs who were put ashore at Little Egg Harbor in Jersey, held briefly in Philadelphia, and then were sent on to Reading in Berks Co. PA. With hostilities finally ended four years later, the units of the Knyphausen Regiment were rounded up, marched to New York, from which they sailed for their homeland on 15 August 1783. However, the name of Johannes Zulauf was not on the roster of those who sailed. He was back in Berks Co. with his bride of six months. He had found what he wanted in this fledgling new nation. He spent the remainder of his life as a Pennsylvania farmer. He changed his name to Sulouff in the beginning of the 19th Century and became the founding patriarch of a singular family with two spellings for their surname, Sulouff and Suloff. All persons with these surnames are descended from Johannes Zulauf, one of some 6000 immigrant Hessian soldiers who chose to remain in North America after the Revolutionary War. 

Nelson R. Sulouff
Raised in Pennsylvania; retired in Arizona http ://

Maria Margaretha Spahr (Johann Frederick Spahr4, Maria Catrina Kauffman3, Anna Maria Buehler2, Agatha Marie1) was born 14 OCT 1766 in Earl Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and died 4 JUN 1841 in Port Royal, Juniata County, Pennsylvania. She was buried in Old Hill Cemetery, Port Royal, Juniata County, Pennsylvania. She married Johannes Zulauf 28 MAR 1783 in Spies Church, Alsace Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, son of Walter Zulauf. He was born 1753 in Elberfeld, Germany, and died 23 MAY 1838 in Milford Township, Juniata County, Pennsylvania.

Child of Maria Margaretha Spahr and Johannes Zulauf is:
+ 6 i. David Zulauf was born 15 NOV 1799 in Newberry Township, York County, Pennsylvania, and died 19 MAR 1875 in Milford Township, Juniata County, Pennsylvania.

For over a year Johannes Zulauf was classified as a POW in Reading, during which time he and three other men served as attendants to the two Minnegerode Company officers, Captain Wiederhold and Lieutenant Breide. As officers' attendants, they would have been in the private employ of the officers, would essentially have been civilians with a pseudo-military status, and would not have worn military uniforms. Johannes' duty with these officers ended when the officers were exchanged and returned to New York Island (Manhattan) in November 1780, at which time Johannes remained in Reading. Between that time and 1783 his name appears on a few Hessian rosters with the consistent notation, "POW, Location unknown." His name does not appear on the rosters drawn up in the Summer of 1783 in preparation for return of the Hessians to their homeland.

Pastoral records explain what Johannes was doing instead of answering the musters that rounded up Hessian POWs for return to their homeland. Johannes' marriage record, written by Reformed Pastor William Boos and dated 28 March 1783 (pastoral acts book preserved in Reformed Church Archives, Schaff Library, Lancaster, Pa.), states Johannes was then a resident of Brecknock Twp., which lies adjacent to Robeson Twp. in Berks Co. His wife was Maria Margaretha Spahr, daughter of Johann Frederick and Anna Margaretha (Schnaeder) Spahr. The Spahrs were residents of Robeson Twp. according to tax records. Johannes' wife went by her middle name, Margaret. Her Spahr ancestry has been traced back to the late 15th C. in Germany and Switzerland. Tax records for 1783 and 1784 show Johannes was a farmer in Robeson Twp., Berks Co. On these records his name is spelled "John Sulouf," the earliest known deviation from the earlier surname spellings, Zulauf and Zulauff.

Johannes and his wife had at least a son, Jacob, and a daughter, Mary, born in Berks Co. before the family moved west across the Susquehanna River to northern York Co., Pa. in late 1791. A 1792 deed (preserved in Pennsylvania Archives, Harrisburg Pa.) shows that 142 acres in Newberry Twp., York Co., had been conveyed to Johannes on 11 March 1791. Since ownership of this acreage was transferred from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we presume Johannes built the 2-story log house situated on the property. The house is still in use at 471 Ironstone Road, which now lies in Fairview Twp., York Co. The old log house now serves as the front portion of a frame building that triples the size of the original residence. The 1798 federal 'glass' tax return listed the Zulauf house at this location as 18'x15' and the barn as 31'x20'. This listing in the 1798 federal 'glass' tax appears to indicate that the house had glass panes in the windows rather than the translucent window coverings of vellum or oiled paper which, at that date, were more frequently used for homes built in that area. The 1800 census shows Johannes with wife, five boys, and four girls in the Zulauf household at this location.

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