Hieronymus and Christina Haas

Hieronymus Haas was born about 1680, probably near Freinsheim, Germany, in the Rhineland Palatinate.1 There is no birth record known for him, so his birthdate is estimated from the baptism of his only known child in 1714.

Hieronymus was probably the son of Johann Heinrich Haas.2 When Hieronymus and his wife Christina had a son Johann Henrich baptized in 1714 at the Freinsheim Lutheran Church, one of the sponsors was Johann Eberhardt Haas, possibly a brother of Hieronymus. When Johann Eberhardt married Anna Catharine Seidemann in 1719, the marriage record said that he was the son of Johann Henrich Haas.3 It would be traditional for a brother to sponsor the birth of a nephew, especially if the nephew were named for his grandfather, who was probably deceased by then.

Around 1713 Hieronymus married the widow Christina Krause. She was first married to Alexander Krause, of Laumersheim, a town just north of Freinsheim. Christina and Alexander were married on October 22, 1698, in the Reformed Church in Freinsheim.4 Christina and Alexander had four known children, born between 1700 and 1709: Anna Barbara, Valentin, Niclas, and Catherina. After he married Christina, Hieronymus became a stepfather and later a step-grandfather.5

Hieronymus and Christina had a son Johann Henrich baptized on July 15, 1714 at Freinsheim Lutheran Church. The sponsors were Johann Eberhardt Haas and Anna Margaretha ?Männgin.6  Since Johann Eberhardt was not yet married to Anna Catharina Seidemann, Anna Margaretha may have been another relative (or a family friend).

Sometime between 1714 and 1727, Hieronymus emigrated to Pennsylvania, with his wife Christina, her sons Niclas and Valentine Krause, and their son Johann Henrich. They may have come with other Krause children of Christina’s as well, but only Niclas and Valentine left definite records in Pennsylvania.7

Hieronymus bought land in Limerick Township, in northern Montgomery County. In 1734 he was taxed there for 250 acres, a middling land holding in the township, the same number as Oliff Penybacker and Peter Umsted.8 He was a Lutheran, and one of the founders of Trappe Evangelical Church. A stone in the wall of the church building named him as one of six elders who erected it.9 In 1740 Hieronymus and his son Henrich were both naturalized as citizens. Henrich died in 1751, before his father.

Christina died before 1758, when Hieronymus married the widow Margaret Krohn. She and her first husband Martin Krohn, had a son, Jacob Lawrence Krohn, born about 1737, and another son Jacob Henrich, born in 1745.10 By this marriage Hieronymus gained two young stepsons. In 1758 Jacob Lawrence was confirmed at Trappe Church as the stepson of Hieronymus. Four years before, Catherine Krause, age 18, the daughter of Nicholas Kraus and granddaughter of Hieronymus, was confirmed there, with a note that she reads fairly well. The same year Christian Krause, son of Nicholas, was also confirmed, age 20, with a note that he cannot read fluently.11

Heronimas Hans wrote his will on October 21, 1760. In it he named his wife Margaret and seven grandchildren, all the known children of his late son Johan Henrich. He did not name any Krause or Krohn stepchildren. Anna Margaret was to have 50 acres of land in Limerick, “where I now live on”, along with all the household goods and one-third of the rent from the estate of their son Henry deceased. After Margaret’s death the land was to be sold and the proceeds shared among the seven grandchildren. He left a bequest of 20 shillings to the church of Providence, Limerick Township.

After Hieronymus died, there was a caveat against the will filed on behalf of the heirs, and Henry Vanderslice had to testify about the signing of the will. Vanderslice testified that Hieronymus said what he wanted, then Vanderslice read it to him and he approved it. He got out of bed to sign it, helped by his wife and a friend. When Vanderslice asked whether he knew what he was doing, Hieronymus said that “he thought he was of sound mind” and noticed that there was no ink in the pen, then signed it. Based on the testimony, the caveat was denied and the will was proved on April 10, 1761.12

The inventory was taken on December 21, 1760. It included the usual goods of a farmer of the time: his livestock, farming implements, kitchen goods, furniture, pork, apples, wheat and rye, and furniture,  plus bonds and book accounts for £44.5.0. The 50-acre plantation was assessed at £150.0.0.

A church record in 1777 said that “the old Mrs. Haas” was buried, age 75 years. This would have been Margaret.13

Child of Hieronymus and Christina:

Johann Henrich, bapt. 1714 at Freinsheim Lutheran Church, died 1751 in upper Montgomery County, married Anna Elizabeth, had seven children.

Children of Christina and Alexander Krauss: (surname Krauss)(step-children of Hieronymus)

Anna Barbara, bapt Jan. 1700

Valentin, bapt Nov. 1701, immigrated, a member of Trappe Church

Niclas, bapt April 1705, married and had known children Catherine and Christian

Catherina, bapt Jan. 1709

  1. Bertha Neumueller, Haas Family tree on Ancestry, suggested that he was born in Aichalden, Wurttemberg, but does not give any evidence. Aichalden is so far north of Freinsheim that this seems unlikely. Her research was better documented than many web trees, but was incomplete. (World Connect Tree on Ancestry, db=1596985)
  2. Some web trees give his parents as Martin Haas and Christine Ruoff, with no evidence. This seems very unlikely.
  3. The record was in Evangelische Kirche Freinsheim – Heiraten, Volume: Kirchenbuch 2, quoted on the website of Helen Erika Bachmann at zandergenealogy.com. According to Bachman, Johann Eberhard was born about 1686 in Wieseck, Hessen-Darmstadt, the son of Johann Heinriech Haas. He married Anna Catharina Seidmann in 1719 in Freinsheim, had five known children with her (Johanna Jacob, Johann Georg, Johann Mattheus, Paulina, Anna Paulina), and died in 1770. There is an entry for Johann Eberhard Haas in the Bergischer Datenpool, at datenpool-bff.de, the online database of the Bergische Family Association.
  4. Annette Burgert, records of the Freinsheim Reformed KB, part of her series of German church records. The record gave his name as Alexander Kraus of Lamersheim and did not give Christina’s last name. Their children were: Anna Barbara, bp Jan 10, 1700; Valentin, b. Nov 26, 1701, bp Nov 30, 1701; Niclas, bp 13 April 1705; Catherina, bp 28 Jan, 1709. Velten Shaffner or Shoffner was a sponsor for two of the children.
  5. A Catherine Kraussin sponsored the baptism of a child in 1757 at Trappe Church; was this an unmarried daughter of Christina and Alexander? (Pennsylvania German Church Records, vol. 1)
  6. Annette Burgert, German Church Records, the records of Freinsheim Lutheran KB. The question mark on the name is from Burgert.
  7. The 1727 cutoff date comes from Burgert, who described Haas as “pre-list”, one who immigrated before 1727 when passenger lists were kept at Philadelphia. Niclas left records through his children Christian and Catherine. Valentine was an early member of Trappe Church. See footnote 5 for a possible record of Catherine.
  8. 1734 tax list of Philadelphia County.
  9. The Old Trappe Church 1743-1893, edited by E. T. Kretschmann, p. 11.
  10. The baptism of Jacob Henrich was from the Records of New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church, in PA & NJ Church and Town Records, on Ancestry. Note that New Hanover Township adjoined Limerick Township in Montgomery County.
  11. Annette Burgert, citing records of Trappe Church.
  12. Philadelphia County wills, book M, p. 86. His name appears in some abstracts as Hause or Hans.
  13. Meldrum, Marriages and Deaths of Montgomery County 1685-1800.  It could not have been the wife of Johan Henrich, from the age given.

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