Now here comes another interesting part about the Koontz ancestry. My 2nd great-grandparents were Philip and Sevele (Koontz) Koontz (cousins). As I said before, they had the same grandparents — Johannes Koontz and his wife Dorothea (“Charity”) Glattfelder (in NC this was changed to “Clodfelter”). We looked at the immigrants on Philip’s maternal side — Hedrick, Bringle, Hege, Frey. Now we’ll look at the immigrants on Sevele’s maternal side.
Sevele’s parents were David Koontz and Sevele Magdalena Sowers. Her parents were Johann “Michael” Sowers and his wife Maria Barbara Sink. We don’t know much about Michael but he was born in 1772 to Johann Phillipus Sowers and his wife Christianna Faust. Philip Sowers or “Sauer,” 1735-1784, came from Germany in 1749. He was born about March 9, 1727 in Katzenbach, Baden, Germany, to Christian and Anna Eva Sowers. A family historian named Ruth Sowers Owen of Lexington, NC, wrote this about him:
Late in the year 1749 a small German boy was nearing his 16th birthday and his anxious parents were eagerly discussing the future, knowing this small lad’s fate lay in their decision. It was compulsory for all males upon reaching the age of 16 to enter the German Army. These peace loving parents did not wish their son to become a part of the War Machine. At this tender age they would rather he pursue education and freedom of thought and action. Long hours they pondered, debated and prayed over this problem before them. They had heard of America, the land of freedom of Thought, Religious Worship and Pursuit of Happiness. Others had gone before them, leaving family hearths and friends forever seeking this great land and they sent glowing messages back. Also, William Penn was begging for pioneers to populate Pennsylvania…Thus after much consideration PHILIPUS SAUER was sent to Rotterdam in the Netherlands where he took passage on the ship “TWO BROTHERS” — Thomas Arnot, Master — and arrived at the Port of Philadelphia late in 1749. It is not known whether he had relatives here that came previously (there were Sowers from Germany in Old Germantown as early as 1708). Little is known of his early days there but it is thought he tarried there some few years. He was first known to be in Rowan County, North Carolina about 1754-1756. There could have been many neighboring boys or friends and relatives that came from the same section as he did, but he was the only Sowers listed among the ship’s passenger list…Philip Sauer took up land North of present day “Old Pilgrim” United Church which was founded in 1753-54. Philp Sauer’s first deed was in 1763. At this time the German element was coming in vast numbers from a land torn between strife and persecution of religious freedom. These German people were mostly Reformed, Lutheran or Moravians. One of the first ideas of theirs was to build churches and schools, many being shared by both Reformed and Lutheran congregations. Thus we find Philip Sauer together with Peter Karn and Martin Shiddles, elders of the established church, legally entering the lands in the name of the Pilgrim Congregation on October 8, 1783.
Poem: OLD PHILIP To America’s Shore
Old Philip came In his heart no malice nor a trace of hate, He came to old Rowan the land to populate. He took a wife, he built a home. The babies came by the dozen, he settled no more to roam. He hunted, he fished, the fields he cultivated. He served his Church as well, highly rated. He took his gun and to old Salisbury town went, There the prisoners from the war were sent. He guarded them well, no one was lost, For if they left Old Philip knew what a cost. He lies beneath Old Pilgrim’s sod, He was called and went to meet his God.
Philip took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States in Lexington, NC, on March 22, 1764. He died August 21, 1784 in the area of Davidson Co., NC known as “Welcome.” It is not known where exactly he is buried, but there are historical markers for him at two cemeteries.
Here is the most interesting thing I discovered in my research. The Sowers lived next to Daniel Boone and his father, Squire Boone, Sr. near the Yadkin River. Sometime after Squire Boone’s death, and Daniel’s departure to Kentucky, the Sowers came into the possession of the Boone property, because they are the ones that later deeded the land over as a historical site. When a replica of the Boone cabin was built by the Daniel Boone Memorial Association the keys to the cabin were held by the Sowers family. There is a spring on the property, a cave (where people imagine Daniel and his siblings playing) and some dishes, rocks and artifacts from the original hearth and chimney.
How did I discover this interesting connection to Daniel Boone? Well, one of my quilting buddies here in Wyoming — Cathy — is descended from Daniel Boone’s brother, Squire, Jr. While I was looking up information for her I was surprised to discover that her ancestor lived right next to mine in the 1700’s! What a small world this is.