My West Virginia Pioneer Families
William/Wilhelm and Barbary/Barbara Greathouse of Harrison County Virginia and their Children
For years, this line has been said to descend from a John Adolph Greathouse/Groethausen of Germantown, PA, documented son of Henry Greathouse through Henry's will, where he and other children are named. John Adolph died with a will, but NO CHILDREN are named. Searches of baptismal records have shown no children with him as a father or marriage records with him listed as a father. So, although it is possible William was a son of John, grandson of Henry and great grandson of Herman the original settler, there is no known documentation of these relationships.
Also a son of William of Harrison County, VA has been said to be the same William who lived and died in Mifflin PA. Information now available seems to contradict this information and instead, points to two Williams, with one of them remaining in Pennsylvania and the other living in Harrison County VA.
We know that the William Greathouse in Harrison County Virginia had a son William Jr, from his will. Many have reported that William Jr. in Harrison County was the same William who was married to Mary Owen and spent his last days in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. Another question involves the William who was a father to a William Jr born to Anna Maria Pupp. It is not known whether the William who married Barbara Schutz and migrated to Harrison County VA is the same William, or if the William born in 1748 is the William Jr in Harrison County or the William in Mifflin County, PA. From all records available it appears there was a William Jr in Harrison County VA with William and Barbara at the same time there was a William in Mifflin County PA, and they were about the same age and may have died around the same time. One William appears in Northampton County PA in 1788 while William and William Jr. are in Harrison County VA appearing on tax lists. This continues up through the 1790's. In 1800 William Greathouse/Groethaus appears in the census in Greenwood Township in Mifflin PA while William Jr. continues to appear in Harrison County. The William of Mifflin PA retained the Grothaus/Groethaus spelling throughout his life, and no records showing Greathouse or Gratehouse, the common spellings for the Virginia Greathouses.
From a variety of records it is known that there was a William Greathouse (Sr) in Harrison County by the mid to late 1780's until his death in 1791, and it is believed that this William is the one who was living near Philadelphia in 1749 when he married.
William may have been born in or near Philadelphia because when William married Barbara Schuetz, he was living in Roxborough, near Philadelphia. It is possible that he immigrated earlier as a child or young man from Germany. We find a record of his marriage to Maria Barbara Schuetz 15 February 1749/50 in Christ Church in Philadelphia. .A variety of sources have cited this marriage. There is a record of the birth and baptism of his wife Barbara to Carl Valentine Michael and Juliann Lips Schutz. She was a twin. Her father died around the time of her marriage to William. William and Barbara apparently remained in the area of Philadelphia for a few more years since their son Johannes (John) born 13 Feb 1756, was christened 16 Apr 1756 at St. Michaels Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germantown, PA, as well as their daughter, Catherine, born 23 September 1757, christened 16 Oct 1757. There is a record of a sale of land, believed to be part of Barbara's inheritance, to her brother Jacob in 1762. This is possibly the time that William and Barbara left the Philadelphia area. There is a blank period with no records from 1762 to around 1772. Children William, Mary, Anna and Gabriel were probably born during this period.
In 1772, we find a William, believed to be the same, in Bedford County, PA which, at that time, covered all of southwestern Pennsylvania including some portions that were in dispute with Virginia. William continued to be listed on Bedford County tax lists until 1785. We know from his son John's Revolutionary War pension application that John enlisted from Bedford County in 1777 and served 3 years. John is later listed in Bedford County also. William appears to have been in Turkeyfoot Township which became part of Somerset County, PA. Several families from that area migrated to what are now Harrison and Preston Counties in WV.
We find a William in Harrison County, VA, in October 1786 exempt from working on a highway, and in 1787 a William being appointed constable for the town of Clarksburg in Harrison County Virginia. William also appears on a voter's listing and on the list of tithables for Harrison County in 1787, 1789, 1790 and 1791. In October of 1790 he is showing with 500 acres of land on Zack's Run in Harrison County. His son William was usually listed as William Jr. William Jr. first appears with his brother John on a petition in Harrison County in 1786.
William's will names his wife, sons John, Gabriel, William and daughters Mary, Caty (Catherine) Hartzel, and Anna Melie (Amelia) McCarty. If there were other children, they are not mentioned. Barbary's name is not listed from Philadelphia to Harrison County until after the death of her husband. On January 16, 1792 the will of William Greathouse is recorded. On March 17, 1792, Barbary Greathouse, Joseph Shelton, John Radcliff and Joseph Davisson enter into bond of 500 pounds to proceed on the last will and testament of William Greathouse. In 1792 Barbara appears as a tithable in her own name.
John -- It is believed that John was probably the first born son of William and Barbara and that he was born 13 February 1756 in Philadelphia as recorded. Because he applied for a Revolutionary War pension, we have more information about him than most of the other children. On 19 May 1819 he appeared in court in Harrison County and said he was 60 years old. He said enlisted in Bedford County PA in 1777 in Captain Kilgore’s Company of the 8th Pennsylvania regiment of Regulars and that he served three years and was discharged at Pittsburgh in March 1780, that he was in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown. From Hardesty's History of Harrison Co Elk District: Early settlers of this district (were) Sotha Hickman, Abel and Richard Bond, Stephen Dicks, Major Haymond, Joseph Bell, John McCullough, Samuel Davis, Joseph Jenkins, James McPherson, John Radcliff, Thomas Nutter and John Greathouse. John's marriage is recorded in Harrison County VA 08 Apr 1793 to Milly Gillespy. Another marriage, in error, has been recorded to Pheby Thompson through an error in recording. We have only found the one marriage for John and he was married to her at the time of his death. A record of will dated 12 May 1838 shows wife and children: Mary Cottrill, Sarah Cottrill, Highly Cottrill, Jacob H Greathouse, John Greathouse, Enos Greathouse, Drusilla Ward, Stephen Greathouse, and Augustus W. Greathouse
Catherine Greathouse Hartzel -- was born born 23 September 1757 and christened 16 Oct 1757 in Philadelphia. She is named in her father's will. "also give and bequeath to my Daughter Caty Hartsel one good (?) to be procured by my executors here after mentioned or the value thereof in property as she may choose." It is believed she was the wife of Jacob Hartsell/Hartzel of Pennsylvania and remained in Pennsylvania when her parents moved to Harrison County, VA. In 1786 a Jacob Hartzel is listed in Turkeyfoot Township in Bedford County, PA with a warrant dated 24 October 1786 and a survey dated 15 Nov 1786. A Jacob and Catharine Hartsel were witnesses to a deed (Somerset County, PA, Book 1, p. 257) on 24 November 1789 for land sold to a John Nicola of Turkeyfoot Township in Bedford County, PA. A Jacob Hartzell applied for a Revolutionary War pension in 1833 in Preston County, VA and said he was age 83, born in York County, PA in 1751; lived in Bedford and Somerset Counties in Pennsylvania and later moved to Preston County, Virginia. A Jacob Hartzel applied for a Revolutionary War pension in 1833 in now Preston County, WV. He said he was living in Bedford County, PA when he enlisted in the war.
Anna Melie/Amelia Greathouse McCarty -- This child is mentioned in her in her father's will. "I also give and bequeath to my Daughter Anna Melie McCarty five pounds to be paid in clothing for herself at the choice of her mother". It appears that she was married to Daniel McCarty and remained in Pennsylvania when her parents moved to Harrison County, VA. Daniel McCarty is found on the 1783 tax listing for Turkeyfoot township in Bedford County, PA and again on tax lists from 1788 to 1800. A Daniel McCarty sued *Michael Greathouse 21 March 1792 in Harrison county, but it is not certain this is the same Daniel or the reason for the suit. In a 1799 deed in Turkeyfoot township, land is mentioned adjoining land of Daniel McCartney and Nicholas Harzell. In the 1800 census of Turkeyfoot township Daniel McCarty (McCarther) is listed and on the tax lists until 1802. In 1798 there is a Dan'l McCarty on a tax list in Georges township in Fayette County, PA and other listings there. In 1810 we find an Amelia McCarty listed as head of household in Georgetown, Fayette County, PA.
William -- On Feb 28 1799 a William Greathouse and his wife Mary sold 100 acres of land on Coplin's Run, Harrison County VA to George Roby. In an 1805 land record, the description of a property line is mentioned as being on the corner of land of William Greathouse in Harrison County, VA. Because the two Williams were believed to be the same William Jr, it is now difficult to separate them. Unless documentation shows that William who died in Mifflin County, PA is the son of William who died in Harrison County VA, it will be assumed they are two different people because of the records in both locations during the same time frames. In 1786 William Jr Greathouse is showing in the 1786 Bedford, Turkeyfoot Twp, PA tax list with William and with Jacob Hartzel. In October 1786 William Jr. signed a petition in Harrison County, VA. He continues to be listed on tax lists as William Jr., and in 1798 he signs as father to Rohanna Greathouse in her marriage to John Stackhouse. It is unknown when he died; the William in Mifflin County, PA died around 1804.
Mary Greathouse Akert -- is believed to have married Frederick Akert, although no documentation of this marriage has been found. Mary is mentioned in her father's will, . . daughter Mary the value of the two above mentioned guns to be divided between them and paid to them in property. Frederick Akert was given land in the will of Mary's father which may be the same land mentioned in his will which reads: I, Frederick Akert, of Harrison County and the state of Virginia, . . . I give unto Mary, my beloved wife the tract of land whereon I now live together with its appurtenances to the sole use of and behoof of her, my said wife, during her natural life or the time which she may continue to be a Widow . . .
Gabriel -- is established as a child of William and Barbara through his father's will. It is unknown when or where Gabriel was born, but he was married in Harrison County on 19 Feb 1789 to Nancy Hustead. The previous year he and his brother John were to "aid and assist Andrew Nutter in laboring on the highway." Children for Gabriel and Nancy have been established by a deed where the heirs of Gabriel are listed as James Denison and Sarah his wife, David Greathouse and Peggy his wife, Edmond Denison and Elizabeth his wife, Frederick Greathouse and Sarah his wife, John Greathouse. Eli Divers & Tabithy his wife, Moses Greathouse & Lucrecy his wife. Gabriel first appears on a tax list in Harrison County in 1791 and continues through 1806 and perhaps later. It is believed he died around 1813.
Note: *Although Michael Greathouse has been named as a child of William and Barbara, there has been no documentation that establishes that relationship.