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Greathouse Point > Families
Early Greathouses in America
Submitted by Betty Renick

I. Herman Groethausen/Greathouse

Based on family history and his gravestone, Herman Groethausen/Greathouse was born in Germany in 1670, arrived in Pennsylvania around 1710, and died in Pennsylvania in 1743.

Since the first settlers of Germantown came from the lower Rhine, not far from the borders of Holland, it is believed Herman probably came from that area also. Many land purchases were made through William Penn or his agents who made trips to the Rhineland. Germany was suffering from severe poverty in the late 1690's as well as problems with the government. When Johann Wilhelm became Elector in 1690, he began a systematic suppression of Protestants. A petition signed by Lutheran pastors in 1710 reveals the problems and the poverty of their congregations.

There is a record in the Pennsylvania Archives of Herman securing a grant for 500 acres of land. Land was sometimes acquired before the immigrants arrived.

Minutes of the Board of Property of the Province of Pennsylvania

Meeting of the Commissioners November 19th, 1712

Page 538

At a meeting of the Commissioners the 19th of Nov'r, 1712:
Present, Richard Hill, Isaac Norris, James Logan.
Herman Groethausen, who a few years agoe came into the Prov., having had Deeds from the Prop'r for 500 acres of Land, applied to the late Commissioners (as Some of them inform) for the s'd, upon which a warr't was prepared for him, but instead of Calling for it, he Seated himself on the Mannor of Springfield, in the County of Philad'a, which being rep'sented to the Board the Said Herman was Summoned to appear this day and produce his Authority for so Settling.

Page 539

And for this he produces a Lease under the Proprietor's hand and Seall, bearing date the 30th of the 10th, 1709, for a thousand years, and a Release dated the next day, Granting to the Said Herman for ever five hundred acres of Land Clear of all Indian Incumbrances in the Province of Pensilvania, between the Rivers of Susquehannah and Delaware, there together, w'th all and every the Proffitts, Commodities and Hereditaments whatsoever unto the Same belonging, every acre to be admeasured and computed according to the Statute, 33d Edw'd 1st, Royall mines and all others excepted [This is the whole Grant], paying yearly, and the s'd Herman doth for himself and his heirs Covenant and Grant to pay yearly as a Chief or quitt rent for every acre that Shall be taken up one penny Sterl'g, to Commence within e years after Seating. But in another Paper Signed by the Prop'r, dated 30th of December, the Payment of the Said Rent is released till Seven years after Seating, and by an Indorsement on the Release of the Said 30th of 10, the Proprietor further Grants one-Twentieth part of all Royall Mines and two-fifth parts of all other mines, they paying a Proportionable part of the Charge. The Proprietor also Reserves to himself, &c., free Liberty to Search for Mines in the Said Lands and further by the Said Indorsement grants Liberty to Hawk, Hunt, Fish and fowl, &c.This being the Sum of the whole Grant, in which no Particular Priveledge is mentioned, He is required to remove off from Said Land, otherwise he must be proceeded against without Delay.

Because the Said Herman appears a stranger to our Constitution and he has laid out most of hat he had on a Settlement made upon it, The Board has Considered and are willing to grant that he may enjoy his Improvements for Some years on a Reasonable Rent, He taking up his own 500 acres elsewhere.

Meeting of the Commissioners October 21st, 1715

Page 595

At a Meeting of the Commissioners the 21st 10 mo., 1715.
Present, Richard Hill, Isaac Norris, James Logan.
Herman Groethausen, late of Germany, but now of this Province, having in the year 1709 purchased of one, Coll. Rhedegelt, 9,000 a's of Land, to be laid out in this Province, upon which he repaired to London in order to transport himself and Family hither, and meeting with the Prop'r there, acquainted him with his Design. The Prop'r and he came to an agreement that upon Herman's Resigning of his Right with he purchased of Rhedegelt, he shou'd have in Lien thereof 500 acres laid out amongst the Inhabitants at the yearly Rent of one Penny Sterling p. acre, for which the said

Page 596

Herman took short Deeds of Lease and Release, dated the 30th and 31st days of December in the said Year, and soon after arrived in this Province and laid his Deeds before the Commissioners in order to have his Land laid out, but by his Deeds mentioning no Particular Place (only between the River of Susquehannah and Delaware, for laying out the same, there cou'd be no other Warr't granted but in the Common form, which he not complying with, seated himself on the Mannor of Springfield, which soon after being made known to the Commissioners, they ordered him to remove from thence, but instead thereof he insisted on the Proprietor's Promises to him upon there agreements, and so went to England for Redress, and being now returned with some Depositions of his Resigning his Deeds for the said 9,000 acres for only 500 acres, and that at 1 Penny Sterl'g p. acre, and also with a Letter from Mrs. Hannah Penn to the Commissioners, directing them to make the said Herman Easie in his Setlement, they have thereupon ordered that 500 acres of Land be forthwith laid out to him within the said Mannor, including within the same his Improvement, and accordingly a Warrant is granted and Signed.

Herman settled in a part of Philadelphia now known as Germantown. The first settlers of Germantown were from Crefeld, Germany and settled there in 1685. It appears that Herman stayed in that area until his death. A brochure describing old Germantown states, "At the centre of the town was the market place and at the upper and lower ends were the two public burial grounds. On the east were several mills run by the waters of the Wingohocking, then a considerable stream, and on the west were even a greater number scattered along the Wissahickon. The cross roads of the town connected it with these mills and the ferry over the Schuylkill. The Abington Road, now Washington Lane, led to Abington Meeting."

Jack Murray Greathouse mentions the "List of Philadelphia County Land  Owners" 1734 showing Herman Greathouse with 260 acres in Springfield Township. Greathouse family history says that around 1741, Herman built a manor house, which still stands today, at 901 East Abington Avenue, Wyndmoor, PA. This would have been just before his death.

Anthony Jacob Henckel was an early pastor of the St Michael's Lutheran church where Herman was a member.  It is said about Henckel, "On August 12, 1728, as he was returning home one dark night from the sick bed of one of his congregation, his horse stumbled and threw him off. He was taken to the home of Herman Goothausen where he died that night."  Herman signed the will and testified on August 17, 1728 that he was a witness to the will .

According to Jack Murray Greathouse, Herman Groethausen died October 27,1743 at the age of seventy-three and is buried in the grounds of St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Germantown. He said the inscription on his tombstone reads: "Harman Grothaus, born 1670 - died Oct. 27, 1743."

The will of Herman Groethausen is recorded in Philadelphia Will Book "G", page 76, and is dated October 19, 1743. Jack Murray Greathouse cites the will stating that it is brief and mentions that all his lands are to be divided equally between his two sons Henry and John, who are appointed executors. No mention is made of a wife in the will.

Will of Herman Greathouse

In the name of God Amen the nineteenth day of October in the year of our Lord 1743 I Harman Grothausen of Springfield Manner in the County of Philadelphia Yeoman being very sick & weak in body but of perfect Mind and Memory Thanks be given unto God therefore calling into Mind the Mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to Dye do make and Ordain this my last will and testament That is to say Principally and first of all I give and Recommend my Soul into the hands of God that gave it and for my Body I recommend it to the Earth to (be) buried in a Christian Like and decent
manner at the descretion of my Executors nothing doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God And touching such Worldly Estate whereof it hath pleased God to Bless me in this I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form--Imprimis it is my will and I do order That in the first place all my just debts and funeral Charges be paid and satisfied

Item I give and bequeath unto my well beloved sons Henry & John Grothausen whom I likewise Constitute make and ordain my Executors of this my Last Will and Testament all and singular the Lands messuages and Tenements and moveables to be equally divided and so hereby utterly disallow evoke and disannul every other former Wills and Testaments Legacy's & Executors by me in any ways before this time named willed and bequeathed--

Ratifying & Confirming this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament In witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand & Seal the Day and Year above written

Herman Grothausen {Seal} Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and Declared by me the said Harman Grothausen as his Last Will and

Testament in the presence of us the Subscribers Viz &C. Johan Philip de Bertholt, Wigard Miller & Cornelius Nice the witnesses to the foregoing Will and the said Johan Philip De Bertholt on his Solemn Affirmation and the said Wigard Miller & Cornelius Nice on their oath respectively did declare they saw and heard Herman Grothausen the testator therein named Sign Seal Publish & Declare the same Will to be his Last Will and Testament and that at the doing thereof he was of Sound Mind Memory and Understanding to the best of their knowledge---Coram Pet'd Hodgson D. Reg'r

Be it Remembered that on the 16th. Nov'r 1743 The Last Will and Testament of Herman Grothausen deceased was proved in due form of Law and Probat & Letters Testamentary were granted to John & Henry Grothausen the Executors therein named the said John having first Solemnly Sworn and the sd. Henry having first solemnly affirmed well and truly to administer the said Dece'd entr (?) Estate and bring in an Inventory thereof into the Register Generals Office at Philad'a on or before the 16th. of December next And also to render a true and just accompt, when thereunto lawfully required Given under
the Seal of the said office Pet'd Evans Reg'r Gen'l

A. Henry Groethausen

Henry was a son of Herman Groethausen as indicated in his father's will. He is said to have been born in Germany in 1695. Henry would have come to America with his father at about age fifteen. He married Ann and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and died in October 27, 1745 in Pennsylvania.

Jack Murray Greathouse believes because of the time and place of his will that Henry had gone to Springfield township perhaps to settle his father's estate. The witnesses to his will were residents of Springfield Township, Philadelphia County. Henry's will is dated January 3, 1744, and was probated February 23, 1745 and recorded in Philadelphia Will Book "G", page 170.

Just one month after their father's death, on November 22, 1743, Henry and his brother John had sold part of the land that they had so recently inherited. This transaction is recorded in Deed Book G 6, page 128. "Henry Grothouse, Heidelberg Township, Lancaster County, and his wife Ann, and John Grothouse, Springfield, Philadelphia County, and his wife Amelia, transfer to George Rex, Germantown Township, Philadelphia County, blacksmith, 50 acres, consideration £100, part of 500 acres & Springfield, patented by Thomas Penn, proprietary, Feb. 28, 1733, to Herman Groethausen and devised by his will to Henry and John Grothausen"

Will of Henry Greathouse

In the name of God Amen. I Henry Groothouse of Heidleburg in the County of Lancaster in the Province of Pennsylvania Yeoman being very sick and weak of Body but of perfect mind and memory Thanks be given unto God therefore calling unto mind the Mortality of my Body and knowing that it is appointed once for all men to die Do make and ordain this my last will and Testament Touching such worldly Estate whereof I am in anyways Seized or possessed off Imp'es It is my Will that all my just debts and ffuneral Charges be first paid Item I give unto my dear and well beloved wife Ann in Lieu of her Dower the sum of six pounds a year to be paid to her yearly during her life and during, (a line has been left out of the text), the Same Six acres of Land Situate in Springfield in the County of Philadelphia part of the Lands lately devised me by my ffather Herman Groothouse in any place that there is water John Groothouse and Wiccard Millar part of my Executors herein named shall see convenient also a Logg House to be built by the said John Groothouse and Wiccard Miller on the said six acres for her to live in Item It's my will that all my Real and Personal Estate w'ch I'm anyways seized or possessed of in the said County of Lancaster be sold by John Orts Micheal Shower and John Van housen part of my Executors herein after named whom I hereby Impower to sell the same and to convey the former It being about one hundred and sixty acres of Land Land, (repeat in text), with the appurtenances situate in Heidleburg as afores'd to the purchaser or purchasers his her their Heirs and Assigns for Ever Item It is my will that all the Lands situate in Springfield in the County of Philadelphia (the six acres above devised to my wife Excepted) which my father Hermand Groothouse Lately gave bequeathed or devised me by his last will and Testament with the app'es be sold by John Groothouse and Wiccard Miller part of my Exec'es herein after named whom I hereby empower to sell and convey the same to the purchaser or purchasers thereof his her or their Heirs and Assigns for Ever

Item I give and bequeath the Money arising from the said Real and Personal Estate in Lancaster County and the said Lands in Philadelphia County over and above the payment of my just Debts and the sum of one hundred pounds I hereby direct my Exec'es to put out to Interest and the Interest therefrom annually to pay unto my said wife during her life for and to defray the annuity herein before bequeathed her unto my Ten Children 

Hermand, Magdalene,  Jacob, Peter, Mary, Christian, Katherine,  Elizabeth, Susanna and John

equally to be divided amongst them and the part of such are of full age to be paid in a Convenient Time after my decease and of the rest as they shall respectively arrive at the age of twenty one years or Marry which shall first happen and if any of my said Children should Dye Before the age of Twenty one years or Marriage then in such case it is my Will that the share of him or her or them so Dying shall be Equally divided Amongst the
Surviving Children Item It's my will that my Son Harmand have all my Smith's Tools and Utinsils which he now uses he paying therefore the Sum of Ten Pounds Thirteen Shillings and Six pence Item I give and Bequeath after my said wife's decease unto my Ten Children or such of them as shall be then living the Six acres of Land above devised to my said wife during her life with the Improvements then thereon and the one hundred Pounds above Directed To be put out to Interest during her life and all other of my personal Estate whatsoever not herein before bequeathed to be equally Divided amongst themAND LASTLY I constitute make and ordain John Orts Micheal Shower John Vanhousen John Groothouse and Wiccard Miller Executors of this my Last Will and Testament and I hereby utterly disallow Revoke and disannuall all and every other Testaments Wills Legacies and Executors by me in anywise before this Time Named will'd and bequeathed Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament In Witness thereof I have here unto Set my Hand and Seal this third day of January in the year of our Lord One Thousand and Seven Hundred and Forty four Henry Groothouse {Seal}. Signed

Sealed Published and Declared by the said Henry Groothouse as his Last Will and Testament the words (during the same It being about one hundred and Sixty acres of Land with the appurt'es Situate in Heidleburg af'd Ort being first underlined) in the presence of John Barge Thos York Jacob Gans ---- 3 Philad'a Feb 28, 1744 Then personally appeared John Barge Thomas Yorke and Jacob Gans the witnesses to the foregoing Will and upon their oath did declare they saw and heard Henry Groothouse the Testator therein named Sign Seal Publish and declare the same will to be his Last Will and Testament and that at the doing thereof he was of Sound Mind Memory and Understanding to the best of their knowledge ---- Cordm Pet Evans Reg'r Gen'l

Be it Remembered that on the 28'd of Feb 1744 the Last Will and Testament of Henry Groothouse dec'd was proved in due form of Law and Probate and Lr'es Testamentary were granted to John Groothouse and Wiccard Miller Executors in the said Testament named being first Legally Sworn Well and truly to administer the said Deced'es Estate and to bring an inventory thereof into the Reg'r Gen'l's office at Philad'a at or before the 23d day of March next and render a true Acco't when thereunto Lawfully required Given under the Seal of the said office & Pet Evans Reg'r Gen'l

For the next twenty-five years, after the death of Henry, there are few records of the Greathouses. Most seem to have moved Maryland or to western Pennsylvania or the northern panhandle of what is now West Virginia where we find records of them around 1770.  Some may have gone into Shenandoah and Hampshire County Virginia.

A petition was circulated in the 1770's in the area now included in Fayette, Washington and Greene County Pennsylvania and in Ohio and Monongalia County, VA. This petition was to the Continental Congress for a new state of 'Westsylvania'. This petition was circulated when there were strong feelings as to whether land from the Ohio River to the Laurel Hills of Pennsylvania was in Virginia or Pennsylvania territory. Persons on the list are assumed to be some of the settlers in those counties. Greathouses on the list include Harmon, John and William.

In the 1770's there were Greathouses in the northern panhandle of now West Virginia. In 1770, Daniel Greathouse built a small fort near Newell in Hancock County. The fort, which promised protection to those who lived near it, attracted several other families to the area. The following year, Harmon Greathouse, believed to be Daniel's father, settled on a creek near present-day Weirton that still bears his name, Harmon's Creek.

In 1787 in Ohio County, Virginia, the following persons are showing on the tax list: William Greathouse, Harman Greathouse, Harman Greathouse, and Isaac Greathouse.

There are also Greathouses showing at the same time in tax lists in Pennsylvania.  William and John were in Bedford County where John enlisted in the Revolutionary War and where he returned after discharge.

In Ohio County VA, there are reports that Harmon built a log house on the present day Cove Road. In 1791 a William Greathouse owned 85 acres on Harmon's Creek, Ohio County, VA. This William was probably a son of Harmon and Mary. On August 11, 1772 Harmon Greathouse & wife Mary of Hampshire County sold to Michael Cresap of Frederick Co MD two tracts on the Potomac River for 400 pounds, suggesting they were relocating from Maryland. 

"In 1779 Robert Morris, Lawrence Meredith, George Clymer, Bernard Dougherty entered into partnership to purchase lands on the frontier of which Bernard was agent. He bought from William McMahan two tracts of 400 acres each on Ohio River, in Mingo Bottom in Yohogania County, afterwards Ohio, now Brooke. Long before 1778, Daniel Greathouse had made a settlement and improvement there, and by Deed dated 13th July, 1775, sold to William McMahan. John Greathouse also had made settlement and improvement on the other tract and likewise conveyed by Deed 30th October, 1777." 

Harmon Greathouse is believed to be the first-born son of Henry and was probably born in Pennsylvania. He apparently relocated to Maryland, where he is said to have married Mary Stull who was from Frederick County Maryland. Land records show that Harmon and wife Mary lived in both Maryland and Hampshire County Virginia. Some of their children were born in the 1760's in Maryland. On August 11, 1772 Harmon Greathouse & wife Mary of Hampshire County VA sold to Michael Cresap of Frederick County Maryland two tracts on
the Potomac River in Hampshire County. "Harmon Greathouse was in Holliday's Cove in Ohio County, Virginia about 1771 near where Brown & Caldwell built the woolen factory. The county was originally part of West Augusta. Marshall, Tyler and Brooke Counties were later formed from Ohio County. The land on which Harmon settled was on a creek that he called Harmon's Run. It later became known as Harmon's Creek and flowed into the Ohio River near Holliday's Cove near present day Weirton, WV. Mr. Greathouse, wife and three children and his sister Mrs. Muncy constituted his family."  "One night his home was attacked by Indians. At home on this particular night were Mr. Greathouse, his wife, three of their children, Mrs. Muncy, his widowed sister, and Benjamin Davis, son of Nathaniel Davis, Sr. While the Indians were prying at the door, and Greathouse and Davis were resisting them, Mrs. Greathouse and Mrs. Muncy ran and made a great noise among the chairs and other furniture, and called loudly men's names, urging them to come to the chest and get powder and ball, The Indians heard the calls and supposed the upper story was filled with men. At the proper time, Mrs. Greathouse fired a rifle from the garret window, which dispersed the Indians. The family then fled to Edgington's Fort, protected by the darkness of the night. The following night the fort was surrounded and attacked by Indians, but was successfully defended by twelve men, among whom was Greathouse, three Davis brothers, Huston, Edgington, Griffith and others."

Records show a land patent granted to Harmon Greathouse in 1785 for 800 acres of land in the county of Yohogania, Virginia along Harmon's Creek. Harmon was a member of an organization known as the "Rangers on the Frontier" 1778-1782  and served as a volunteer in Colonel William Crawford's regiment during the expedition against Sandusky in 1782.  In the land records of Yohogania County we find Harmon Greathouse March 8, 1785, 400 acres Harmon Creek. In 1787 Harman Greathouse is showing on a tax list for Ohio County. According to Louise Johnson, "On Aug 4, 1788 Harmon and Mary sold two parcels of land, 195 acres including Cove Pond and part of Harmon's Creek to their son Isaac for l50 lbs and 218 acres of land and a sawmill on Harmon's Creek to their son Harmon, Jr. for 150 lbs. and 387 acres on both sides of Harmon's Creek to their son Jonathan for 200 lbs. Almost immediately after they left Virginia and returned to Maryland." The 1790 Maryland Census lists a Harmon Greathouse.

Male children born to Harmon and Mary Stull Greathouse are believed to be:

Daniel, Jacob, John, William, Gabriel, Harmon Jr. Isaac and Jonathan.

a. Daniel Greathouse

The History of Hancock County says, "In 1770, Daniel Greathouse built a small fort near Newell in Hancock County. The fort, which promised protection to those who lived near it, attracted several other families to the area." Jack Murray Greathouse says Daniel settled on 400 acres located in the Mingo Bottom of the Ohio River in 1771 but sold his rights to this land in 1775. "Daniel improved land in 1776, in now Preston County, West Virginia beside Richard Morris, whose daughter, Mary, he had married that year. 

October 7, 1801: Orator, John Beard of Brooke County, 

"Long before 1778 Daniel Greathouse had made a settlement and improvement there, and by Deed dated 13th July, 1775, sold to William McMahan."20 Daniel is showing as a sergeant in Captain Michael Cresap's Company in 1775  Daniel was involved in an incident referred to as the "Chief Logan Massacre" that happened across the Ohio River from Yellow Creek in 1774 at the cabin of Joshua Baker. Yellow Creek is located about 40 miles above Wheeling. Several versions of this incident have been recorded. Cresap was originally accused of the attack, but due to intervention by friends of the family, Thomas Jefferson made an investigation into the matter, and there are records of people's reports of what they believe happened. As a result of the evidence that came forth, Jefferson substituted the following in his original statement about charges against Cresap. 

"Captain Michael Cresap and a certain Daniel Greathouse, leading on these parties, surprised at different times traveling and hunting parties of the Indians having their women and children with them and murdered many. Among these were unfortunately the family of Logan, a Chief celebrated in peace and war, and long distinguished as a friend of the whites."

Daniel died in now Brooke County in the fall of 1777, leaving a son Gabriel. His widow married Andrew McCreary. There is a record in the court minutes of Yohogania County March 25, 1778 of John Greathouse being appointed administrator for the estate of Daniel. Daniel's estate was filed in Ohio and Monongalia counties. The court records show his widow, John, his brother, and Gabriel his son. It is believed that he had only one son, Gabriel, because of a court action that was brought at a later date in Kentucky. Chris Bailey cites on page 246 of his book, "Gabriel Greathouse declared under oath in his chancery suite in 1802 that he "is the son and only heir and representative of a certain Daniel Greathouse dec'd . . ." Greathouse vs. McCreery, Paris District Court, Bourbon County, Kentucky,1802.

b. Jacob Greathouse

Very little information seems to be available about Jacob Greathouse except for some military information. He may have been in Dunmore's War as a private in John Wilson's company from Fayette County, Pennsylvania. On May 22, 1777 Capt William Heyser's Company Washington County PA included a Jacob Greathouse. This information is from Richards' "The Pennsylvania-German in the Revolutionary War" p 225. However, Jack Murray Greathouse believes this was son of Henry. However, that Jacob was born about 1721 which would make him over 50 years old in the 1770's. A Revolutionary War soldier named Jacob is listed in Georgia records, and it's believed that Jacob, son of Henry, went to Georgia. So it is not clear which Jacob is referenced. An undocumented note shows Jacob, son of Harmon, died before 1780. Jacob, son of Harmon, is believed to have been born about 1752.

c. John Greathouse

Much information about John comes from the writings of Jack Murray Greathouse: "John Greathouse was born in the year 1753 and died during the year 1830. He was 77 years of age at the time of his death. John, in 1774, settled on 400 acres of land located in the Mingo bottom of the Ohio River." According to Jack Murray Greathouse, on October 30, 1777 John sold this land to a Mr. William McMahan.25 He later acquired land in the disputed area between Pennsylvania and Virginia, so the survey of this land is found in Washington County, Pennsylvania., as well as Brooke County, Virginia. However, when the state line was finally established, all of his land was on the Virginia side. It is reported that "John Spivy settled on a farm now owned by his son Nicholas Spivy, in about 1794, and about the same time came the Cochrans, Jesse Ellis, Thomas Philson, John Greathouse, Robert Grafton, the Hamiltons, William Ryon, the Pattersons, who built the first grist mill in the county." This home of John Greathouse was known as "Greathouse Castle" and was even referred to in official documents by that name. About 1815, John, and his wife Elizabeth, sold their holdings in Virginia and moved to Brown County, Ohio." This could be the land referred to as 465 acres on Muchmore's bottom in land records recorded in Book 1, page 499 Brooke County, WV. Jack Murray Greathouse also wrote that in 1827 John made a will, which was probated in 1830. In this will he mentions his wife Elizabeth, four sons whose names were Benjamin, William, Isaac, and Jesse. He also mentions two grandsons, both named John. One of them was the son of William, the other the son of Isaac. A codicil in his will adds "and lastly it is my will further that all the rest of my children have no other or further share in my estate more than that which I have already given them" John lived Brown County, Ohio which is on the Ohio River near Cincinnati.

d. William Greathouse 

Jack Murray Greathouse says that William Greathouse was born in the year 1752 and died in 1791 at age thirty-nine. The courts of Ohio County, Virginia, appointed appraisers and administrators for his estate in 1791. William was a Revolutionary soldier and served in the Washington County, Pa., militia. Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, Volume IV, page 401, shows that William Greathouse was awarded depreciation pay for service during the Revolution." In 1779 a William Greathouse was a private in the company of Captain William Harrod.  On March 7, 1785 land records for Yogohania County Virginia show 313 acres on Harmon's Creek and 400 acres on the Ohio River. His widow, Elizabeth Decker Greathouse, married George Edgington of Ohio County April 30, 1792. In 1795 the courts appointed Mr. Edgington as guardian of William's three minor children. Their names were Harmon, Isaac, and Rachel. Harmon, on March 6 1805, married Elizabeth McColloch. Isaac, on September 6, 1808, married Susannah McColloch. Rachel died in 1809; she never married. The marriages for Harmon and Isaac are recorded in Marshall County VA.

e. Gabriel Greathouse

According to Jack Murray Greathouse, "Gabriel Greathouse was born in the year 1761 in Frederick County, Maryland, and died in Pulaski County, Arkansas, about 1828. He was about 67 old at the time of his death. In the land records of Yohogania County we find Gabriel Greathouse March 8, 1785 400 acres Harmon Creek. On October 13, l798, he and his wife Ruth, then residents of Bourbon County, Kentucky, sold their 400 acres of land in Brooke County, Virginia, to George Edgington of Brooke County for the sum of $1200. Jack Murray Greathouse says that this is the same George Edgington who married Elizabeth Greathouse, widow of William, Gabriel's brother. This transaction is recorded in Deed Book 1, page 463 - Brooke County, West Virginia." 

f. Harmon Jr Greathouse According to Louise Johnson, "On Aug 4, 1788 Harmon and Mary sold two parcels of land -- 195 acres including Cove Pond and part of Harmon's Creek to their son Isaac for l50 lbs." The following is a write-up from a descendant. "Harmon Greathouse Jr., was born in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1762 and died in Nelson County, Kentucky, in 1849. He was 87 years of age at the time of his death. He was married twice. His first wife was Mary Massey of Ohio County, Virginia. His second wife was Mercy or Marcia Bukey, also of Ohio County, Virginia. In the early 1790's he and his wife Mercy migrated to Nelson County, Kentucky, where they reared a large family.

It is believed that Harmon Jr.'s first wife died young and that the mother of all of his children was his second wife, Mercy Bukey. Harmon Jr. and his wife Mercy both died in Nelson County, Kentucky, and are buried near the village of Deatsville on property now owned by the Sorrell's Distilling Company. The headstone at their graves is still standing and the inscriptions thereon read as follows: Mercy Greathouse, born March 19, 1768; Died February 25, 1841 Harmon Greathouse, born June 30, 1762; Died July 5, 1849."

g. Isaac Stull Greathouse is said to have been born in Hampshire County, Virginia in 1763 and to have died in 1838 in Shelbyville, Kentucky.

h. Jonathan Greathouse is said to have been born about 1767 in Hampshire County Virginia and to have been killed by Indians in March 1791 near Maysville, Kentucky.

2. Jacob Greathouse

Jacob was another son of Henry, and brother to Harmon Greathouse. The following information has not been documented but has been reported by several descendants. Jacob Groethausen, born about 1721 in Heidelberg Twp., Lancaster County, PA; died in 1801; married 12 August 1749, Christianity Van Huse. Jacob was a bachelor and a resident of Tulpehocken, PA when he married at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, Lancaster County, PA. In the record, both were noted as Lutherans. It has been said that he migrated to Georgia, and there is a Jacob listed in the Georgia Tax Index 1791 in Pruet District of Wilkes County, Georgia. There is also a Jacob Greathouse showing on a list of Revolutionary war soldiers in Georgia. Believe there is a will dated July 23 1801 and probated Aug 3 1802. John Davis, Jacob Greathouse and William Holder of Columbia County; Catherine Jones and Abraham Perkins of Warren County, all distributees of Jacob Greathouse, deceased, relinquish to John Castle, one of the heirs, 50 acres, part of estate of the late Greathouse. 

3. Peter Greathouse is another son of Henry and is said to have been born in 1726. There is a record of 20 and 60 acres of land recorded in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for Peter Greathouse on June 7, 1750. There is no known record of any children for Peter. No further information is known about Peter.

4. John Greathouse, son of Henry, was born about 1738. Although there are a variety of John Greathouses mentioned in documents, no definitive information is known about this John.

B. John/Johann Adolph Greathouse

John was the second son of Herman Greathouse, the first known Greathouse to America. A descendant of his, William Khendale Greathouse shared the following information: "He came here from Germany in 1710 with the family of his father, Hermanus Harman Gröthaus. Johann inherited the Manor House built by his father in 1742 in Springfield Township at 901 East Abington Avenue, Windmoor, Pennsylvania and lived there with his wife Amelia until 1759 when he sold it to his brother-in-law Christopher Ottinger Jr. who married a sister of Amelia. In the "History of Montgomery County" pages 67 and 68, John Greathouse is listed as one of the 16 landholders within the limits of Springfield in 1784. Johann Grothhauz in Christopher Sower's Germantown
Newspaper offers 'plantation 3 miles above Germantown, in Springfireld, Montgomery County, wherein there has been a tile kiln for a long time, situated on Great Road to Germantown'. Johann died about 1791 in Germantown, PA and is buried in the graveyard of Saint Michaels Evangelical Lutheran Church, Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania along with his wife Amelia, his father and his brother Henry. In Johann's Will, dated September 15, 1777 he left everything to his brother-in-law, Wigardt Miller (Müller) who was a brother of his wife Anna Amelia Miller."

1. Wilhelm or William Sr Greathouse is the only claimed son of John/Johann Adolph Greathouse. It is believed William Sr was born about 1730, probably in Springfield, Pennsylvania. It is believed he married Maria Barbara Schutz about 1750. This William is assumed to be the same William found in Harrison County Virginia in the late 1700's.  In the will of William Greathouse in Harrison County VA, his wife is listed as "Barbary". She died in Harrison County Virginia in 1797. A record in Mifflin County Pennsylvania in 1767 shows two lots for a William Groathouse, with the right to repair the mill-race. It is believed that this is the son of the William Greathouse mentioned.  William Grothouse is showing as a tailor and a taxable in Northampton County, Pennsylvania in 1780, and a William Groathouse is showing in the 1790 census Upper Saucon Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, which may be the son. It is believed that William Sr came to Harrison County Virginia as early as 1787 when he appears on a tax listing. He probably came from Bedford County Pennsylvania. Records show William owned 500 acres of land on Zack's Run at Peel Tree which was then in Harrison County Virginia, southeast of Clarksburg but is now in Barbour County West Virginia, just past the Harrison County line. On October 18, 1790 Joseph & Ann Gregor, of Harrison County Virginia to William Greathouse, of same, for 62 pounds ten shillings, 500 acres on Zacks Run adjoining Benjamin Cutter. Signed Joseph Gregory and Ann (X) Gregory. Recorded October 1792. William died in Harrison County in 1792 and left 200 acres and the house to his wife Barbara, and 100 acres each to his son Gabriel, his son John, and his son-in-law, the husband of his daughter Mary. He left various items to his daughters, Mary, Anna Amelia, and "Caty" and to his son William, but there was no mention of Michael who is claimed to be his son. In Harrison County in 1791 Barbary Greathouse, Joseph Shelton, John Radcliff and Joseph Davisson entered into bond of 500 pounds to proceed on the last will and testament of William Greathouse, deceased. October 16, 1797 Joseph Skelton, executor to William Greathouse, deceased, of Harrison County, Virginia to James McCollough, of same, for $660, 200 acres...Zacks Run...corner to Gabriel Greathouse...line of John Greathouse and heirs of Frederick Akert. Signed Joseph Skelton. Recorded October 1797.

a. Wilhelm/William Greathouse, Jr was supposedly the first-born son of Wilhelm Senior and was probably born out of wedlock on August 2, 1748. Chris Bailey states that William was married to Mary, daughter of David Owen of Upper Saucon Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, and that Mary was mentioned as the wife of William Greathouse in the will of David Owen, her father, proven June 29, 1790 in Northampton, County Pennsylvania. A William Groathouse appears as a distiller from 1794 to 1803 in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. A Mifflin County Pennsylvania website shows "Walter sold the lot he bought, February 28, 1799, to William Groathouse, who erected upon the lot a tavern-house. He kept tavern in this house until his death in
1805." William appears on a tax listing for Harrison County in 1787, and because there are two Williams listed, it is believed it is father and son. On February18, 1799 William & Mary Greathouse, of Harrison Co., Virginia sold to George Roby, of same, for 50 pounds, 100 acres... Coplins Run. Signed William Greathouse and Mary Greathouse. Recorded February 1799. It is believed that they returned to their former home in Pennsylvania , which had become Mifflin County Pennsylvania with the formation of a new county in 1789 from part of Northampton. However, there is a William showing in the 1800 census for Harrison County Virginia. His father William Senior was deceased. Louise Johnson states that in Mifflin County, Greenwood Township,
Pennsylvania, there is a will record for William Greathouse # 1592, Administration 1, 52, 1809.

b. John Greathouse, probable son of Wilhelm Senior and Barbary Greathouse, was born February 13, 1756 and received a pension for his Revolutionary War service. Information from the widow's file in the National Archives shows that John Greathouse enlisted in 1777  PA for 3 years service in Pennsylvania
and was discharged March 14, 1780. His residence when he enlisted was in Bedford County, Pennsylvania and he was discharged at Fort Pitt. John was probably in Harrison County as early as 1787 when he appears on a tax list, and on May 22, 1792 the Harrison County Court charged a John Greathouse with a breach of the Sabbath. A John Greathouse and family appear on the 1800 and 1810 federal censuses for Harrison County, Virginia. His Revolutionary War pension application was dated May 19, 1818 and his residence at the time of application was Harrison County, Virginia, and he was 60 years old. The only record of marriage we have is in Harrison County, Virginia when he was 37 years old. It is possible that he had a prior marriage but there is no documentation of a prior marriage. Hardesty's History of Harrison County reports "The first permanent settlement is said to have been made at Quiet Dell in 1800. Among other noted early settlers of this district was 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."

c. Michael Greathouse Although claimed to be a son of William, Michael is not mentioned as a son of William Sr. in his will, so there is no documentation of the relationship. A Rachel Hustead, daughter of Moses married John Beard on 25 July 1791 Harrison County, VA, and Michael Greathouse married Rachel Hustead on October 12, 1792 in Harrison County, VA. Michael is showing as head of household in 1800 census of Harrison County Virginia. Michael Greathouse owned 25 acres on Berry's Run in Harrison Co in 1838. It is said that his will was probated May 1839, Harrison County, WV Order Book number 2 page 177

d. Gabriel Greathouse Information received from David Houchin, librarian of the Harrison County Library, helps establish the relationship of Gabriel to his father. " In his will, William Greathouse left Gabriel one hundred acres of land, with a general description, to be surveyed as part of the settlement. This was a part of the 500-acre tract William had bought from Joseph Gregory, at the head of Zach's Run of Elk Creek, perhaps a part of it drained by neighboring Fall Run. To the land he inherited Gabriel added 25 ½ acres purchased from Sotha Hickman, Jr. (Harrison County Deed Book 4, p. 600; 15 Feb 1805). These two adjoining tracts make up the 126-acre tract the heirs of Gabriel Greathouse jointly inherited."

Some Unidentified Early Greathouses

In 1750 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Peter Greathouse is shown with 20 acres and 60 acres both recorded on June 7, 1750.

In the 1790 census for Maryland, there is a David Greathouse, head of household in the Lower Hundred, Baltimore Maryland. There is also a Harmon, who is probably the son of Henry mentioned above.

A person in 1998 submitted her Greathouse line as Samuel B. Greathouse born 1768 in Maryland. He married Susannah born 1778.  One known son from the marriage was Josiah I. Greathouse born 1802-1883. This may be the following Samuel. "Samuel Greathouse was, for a number of years, one of the most active and useful preachers in Green River Association. He was of German extraction, and a native of Maryland. He emigrated to northern Kentucky, while a young man, and, after marrying his cousin, Susan Greathouse, became one of the early settlers of Warren county(KY)." 

In 1785 Joseph Wood of New Jersey was an agent and surveyor for the colonization and sale of a large tract of land near Bellville. Wood County was then part of Harrison Co, VA. The first settlers who came with Wood were
from Pennsylvania and from above Wheeling, WV. Those that came with Mr. Wood in 1785 and 1786 were McDonal, Greathouse, Taylor, Jemerson, Andrew McCash, F. Andrews, and Thomas Gilruth. Descendants from some of these families still live in the southern part of this county and in Jackson County. 

In 1790 Shenandoah County listing of heads of households we find John Greathouse with 4 whites; William Greathouse with 2 whites and Jn' Greathouse with 7 whites and 1 black. A Harmon Greathouse shows in the
census for Washington County Pennsylvania October 30, 1850 and lists Harmon Greathouse age 62 born in Pennsylvania which would make him born about 1788. He is shown with wife Mary A. age 59, born in Pennsylvania, and children, some of whom were born in Virginia. It is reported he was born in Fayette County Pennsylvania and died in Marshall County Virginia, although this has not been verified. In 1800, a Harmon is showing in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

A William Greathouse, probably born around 1785, was an early settler in what is now Preston County WV. Preston County was created from Monongalia in 1818. William married Barbara Cale and had children John, Charity, Christopher, Elizabeth, Leonard, Mary and William. "William Greathouse came to Pleasant about 1800, and settled near the John G Harned place. His sons, John, William and Leonard moved to the north of the Valley. Christopher remained in Pleasant, and Jacob lived on the Three Fork near Gladesville." His connection to other Greathouses is unknown. 

Sources for Information:

1 "The Henckel Family Records" from Diary written by Burt Brown Barker about
his research in Germany, 1926

2 "Vol. XIX, First Series of Pennsylvania Archives, comprising the minutes
of the Board of Property of the Province of Pennsylvania" cited by Jack
Murray Greathouse in his Manuscript, 1954

3 "Vol. XIX, First Series of Pennsylvania Archives, comprising the minutes
of the Board of Property of the Province of Pennsylvania", Op. Cit.

4 "The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography", History Society of
PA, Volume IV, No. 1, 1880.

5 "The Hinkle Family", a manuscript prepared by Linda Friend Adams, February

6 "A Partial History of the Greathouse Family in America", Jack Murray
Greathouse, Washington County Historical Society, Fayetteville, Arkansas,

7 "The Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Families", Howard L Leckey, Closson
Press, Apollo Pa, 2nd Printing, 1997, pp. 141-153.

8 History of Hancock County

9 " Sims Index to Land Grants in West Virginia" 1953 by the State of West

10 "More on Greathouse (Groethausen) by Louise Franklin Johnson, Round Rock
Texas - and Raymond Martin Bell, Coralville, Iowa FROM Keyhole, Genealogical
Society of SWPA April 1998

11 Hampshire Co VA Deed Book #3

12  "Beard vs. Henderson" in Chalkley Vol II, page 106

13 "History of the Panhandle, West VA" published 1879 page 358 by Joseph A.

14 PA Archives, Third Series, Vo. XXIII, p 206

15 PA Archives, Sixth Series, Vol. II, pages 153 and 390

16 "More on Greathouse (Groethausen) by Louise Franklin Johnson, Round Rock
Texas - and Raymond Martin Bell, Coralville, Iowa FROM Keyhole, Genealogical
Society of SWPA April 1998

17 "The Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Families" by Howard L Leckey 1997
2nd Printing p. 15

18 Vol XXX No.4, Keyhole, pub by Gen. Soc SW Pennsylvania

19 Diana Johnson Greathouse Researcher in Harrison County, WV.

20 "Lord Dunmore's Little War of 1774 - His Captains and their men who
opened up Kentucky and the West to American Settlement" by Warren Skidmore
with Donna Kaminsky, Heritage Books Inc., 2002.

 21 " History of the Panhandle, Historical Collections of the Counties of
Ohio, Brooke, Marshall and Hancock, West Virginia", by J.H. Newton, G.G.
Nichols, and A.G. Sprankle, Published by J.A. Caldwell, Wheeling, WV, 1879.

22 "Sims Index Land Grants in West Virginia", Edgar B Sims, State Auditor,
State of West Virginia, 1952.

23 Pennsylvania Archives, Sixth Series, Volume 2, page 106

24 "The Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Families" by Howard L Leckey
1997 2nd Printing p. 255

25 Harrison County, West Virginia Deed Records 1785-1810, Compiled by
John David Davis, Heritage Books, Inc., 1993. Page 19

26 "Sims Index Land Grants in West Virginia, Edgar B Sims, State Auditor,
State of West Virginia, 1952.

27 "A History of Kentucky Baptists From 1769 to 1885" by J. H. Spencer,
Manuscript Revised and corrected by Mrs. Burilla B. Spencer, Republished By
Church History Research & Archives 1976 Lafayette, Tennessee. Vol. 2, pp.

28 History of Lee Creek Community (Wood Co, WV) written in 1920's.

29 "A History of Preston County, West Virginia" by Oren F. Morton The
Journal Publishing Company, Kingwood, WV, 1914. page 354

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