The rest of records in Pennsylvania for our Kuntz ancestors are related to my 5th great-grandfather, Johann Michael Kuntz. He was christened in Middleton, Cork, Ireland on December 27, 1717, and moved with his parents back to Otterberg, Germany, by 1719. Then he and his parents, and at least two siblings — Jacob and Adam — immigrated to America by 1747.
He married a “Maria Elisabetha” sometime before November of 1751, when their first child’s christening and birth date is recorded at the “Conewago Reformed Church in York Co. (now Adams Co.), PA. We have the records of two of their children as follows:
November 19, 1751 (birth); January 25, 1752 (christening); Johann Michael. Parents Michael Kuntz & Maria Elisabetha; sponsors: Johann Michael Danner & Maria Eva
November 17, 1753 (birth); January 13, 1754 (christening) — Johannes. Parents Michel Kuntz & Maria Elisabetha; sponsors: Johannes Schreyer & Maria Margaretha
Birth Date Unknown — Anna Barbara Kuntz
This church is now known as “Christ United Church of Christ” and is located at 131 Christ Church Road in Littlestown, PA, near Gettysburg. I believe they were married some time before 1750, as there are at least three additional children whose birth/christening records have not been found yet — Andrew, Anna Barbara and Philip. It is most likely that they were born before Michael and Johannes.
In 1750 a Michael Kuntz was appointed tax collector for Heidelberg Township, York Co., PA. This is the same area that later became the Conewago settlement of Adams Co., PA. A look at this site will show that Adams Co. formed from York Co. in 1800. But York Co. formed from Lancaster in 1749 and Lancaster formed from Chester Co. in 1729. In addition, this area was a part of Maryland at one time and was originally a part of Digges’ Choice:
“Digges’ Choice” dates back to October 14, 1727, when a grant of 10,000 acres was made to John Digges. On the advice of an Indian chief named “Tom,” he located this grant in what is now Conowago and Germany Townships, this county, and Heidelberg Township in York County. A survey was made in April, 1732, when 6,822 acres were laid off, a patent for which was issued May 25, 1738. In August, 1745, a resurvey was made, and 3,679 acres added to the former survey. This tract was four miles north of the temporary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland, surveyed in 1732. The subsequent disagreements led to the murder of Dudley Digges by Jacob Kitzmiller in February, 1752. From 1735 to 1752 Germans came by thousands. In the fall of 1749 no less than twenty ships arrived at Philadelphia, bringing 12,000 passengers, let hither by the Newlanders-older German settlers of Pennsylvania. [History of Adams Co., PA, Chapter XXXIII, pg. 262-271]
Some of the other townships and burroughs near Littlestown are Germany, Heidelberg, Hanover, Conewago and Union. Click here and here to read other histories of Littlestown.
We know that Michael was on his land near Littlestown by 1762. In the Adams Co., PA Deed Book A, page 64, it was described this way: “Michael Koontz; by the name of ‘Koontz Hill,’ 178 acres and 135 perches; situated in Germany Township, York County, PA; surveyed in pursuance of a warrant being dated May 26th, 1767.” The 1762 document also had references to the word “Dungannon.” “Dun” is an Irish word referring to a fort. This may have referred to his plantation house. Isn’t it interesting that this may reference back to his two years in Ireland as a toddler? Here is a photo of the plat of Michael Koontz land on Koontz Hill in Germany Township, York Co., PA, as surveyed and dated May 26, 1767. This is the first place I’ve seen the name spelled “Koontz” rather than “Kuntz.”
We’re going to see how this family connected with our ancestors in North Carolina, as proved by the excellent research of our cousin, David Reynolds Koontz, who wrote a book about Michael & Catherine’s son, Johannes Kuntz (John Koontz). David said this about the Koontz property in Pennsylvania:
In colonial days, settlers may have been on their land long before warrants and deeds were registered in the 1760′s. When counties were divided, records were also recorded in the new counties. Adams County was formed out of York in 1800.
Johannes Kuntz, born in Littlestown in 1753 to Michael and Maria Elisabetha Kuntz, migrated to Rowan Co., North Carolina about 1774. On November 28, 1775, he was was married in Rowan Co. at the “Ebbles Creek Church” to Dorothea Glattfelder, who was born June 25, 1755 in the town of York, PA to Felix and Maria Sarah Glattfleder. Felix, of Glattfelden, Switzerland, had arrived in Philadelphia, PA, August 30, 1743, on the ship “Francis and Elizabeth,” and had migrated to North Carolina by 1762. One can only wonder if he and Dorothea (nicknamed “Charity”) had met in York Co., PA (or earlier in their travels) and if this was the reason he moved to North Carolina. In 1778 a “John Couns” was listed on Captain Lyon’s Tax District, Rowan Co., NC. The next post will detail several other connections between the Koontz’ in North Carolina and the Kuntz’ in Pennsylvania.