ZellTree Home
zellree.NET - Zellhöfer Research
Zelltree.NET (formerly Zelltree.com), researching Zellhöfer Zellhofer Zellhoefer Zilhaver Zelhofer, Austria > Bavaria > USA , and much more!
Who is "Pater"?

Scroll down for
family tree formats

Main Pages:

ZellTree Home
Parent Page
ZellTree News
Search For..
Autobiography by GGZ
Dodge/Jefferson Gen Soc WI
Permission to Leave
Mike,  "Anna" & Elnora
Early Z-list from Judith
Zilhaver History
Zellhofer / Kitzman
Klipstein / Petzke
Lautenbach / Zelhofer
Wellhoefer Main Page
Maps, Places & Pics
Source Documents
Bavarian Docs
Miscellaneous Finds
Legacy by Millenia
Gen Websites
GedView Database

(changes as you surf)

Parent Page

Family Tree Formats
Zelltree Data

Gedcom > Family
Tree  Legends
Download Files
Permission to
Leave 1846-53
Lost & Found
My other Websites
Great USA Collapse!
Blogger Website

After the Collapse!
Living well without
Force or Ruler


Truly Passive Solar
Homes by RonKZ

Critical Gen-Helpers

LDS Website!


There are at least 4 Zellhoefer families known to have migrated from Mittelfranken to the USA in the mid-1800's.  We are concerned here with the family of Johann Joseph Zellhoefer and Anna Margaretha Hofmann, my own g.g.g.grandparents.  Joseph had died, and several of that family migrated to the USA
  1. Jacob to Crawford County Pennsylvania about 1838
  2. In 1844 Leonhart and Fredrich, parting company after landing.
  3. In 1846 the mother Anna Margaretha with George, Christina Eva, Eva Maria, Anna Margareta & husband George Scherer, along with two young ladies Bensin or Benz, brides-to-be, all to Wisconsin.
  4. in 1853 Johann Michael, who arrived in Wisconsin with his bride Anna.
In "Autobiography of the Zellhoefer Family", "Pater" is George Jacob, and his family was first formulated from that document.

HOWEVER, in the LDS IGI records we found "Joseph" from Brachbach b.Obernzenn.  "Johann Joseph" has been verified in records from Brachbach b.Obernzenn.  The families are almost certainly the same families.  As GGZ, author of the "Autobiography", was a grandson born in the USA.  His grandfather had died in Bavaria long before, and his grandmother in Wisconsin and some years before GGZ's birth.  The records found in Bavaria seem the more credible, so perhaps GGZ just had the wrong name!

The link to the parent's pedigrees is Johann Joseph OR George Jacob Zellhoefer-[2500]

Whatever be the correct name, these are the children:

Johan Jacob Zellhoefer --"Jacob"-- the oldest son, was first to come to the USA.  Our two source documents conflict as to the year ~ 1835 or 1841.  He was in NY State for 2 or 7 years, then settled in Crawford County in northwest Pennsylvania south of Erie. 

A large family branch descended from Jacob now uses the spelling "ZILHAVER" resides today in Crawford County and elsewhere.  

Frederick Zellhoefer --"Fred"-- arrived in 1844 and settled in Newark NJ. 

His probably descendants are found today in New Jersey and Maryland, spelling the name ZELLHOFER.   I've had little time to focus on that branch, and there are many blanks and "loose connections".  A correspondent of that branch could help immensely!
Johann Leonhart came to the USA with Fred in 1844, planning to continue on to Wisconsin.  However, Fred decided to stay in Newark (it appears he may have already found a bride!), and the upset Leonhart traveled on alone to Rome, Jefferson County, Wisconsin. 

Leonhart appears to have bought land there quite soon after arrival. 

In 1846 other family members and two prospective brides came from Brachbach to join Leonhart in Rome, and on 1 Sep 1846 Leonhart and George married (sisters) Bensin's.  Both wives and others soon died in a cholera plague that winter.

On 13 April 1847, Leonhart married Christina Pfeifer from Brachbach Bavaria in Milwaukee Wisconsin ~ had Christina just arrived? 

Christina's obituary names EIGHT children, but we have found and posted THIRTEEN children on ZellTree.  Perhaps the 8 children were all who had survived to that 1901 death?  Reconciliation this is needed ~ please help with anything more you might know!

Per GGZ, two Sisters had married by migration-time and remained in Germany.

We found that 3 sisters had married;

  • Anna Margaretha b.1810, married Johann George Scherzer in Unteralterbernheim in 1843; they migrated with the others to Wisconsin in 1846.
  • Margareta Barbara b.1812, married Johann Peter Walz in Ansbach. 
  • Maria Barbara, b.1822, twin of Maria Eva (below), married Johann Leonhard Leupold in Obernzenn.

Further information on these three women and all that follows would be most welcome!

Other family members from this "Ansbach" homestead also migrated 1846 to Rome, Wisconsin.  GGZ mentioned 3, but there were probably 4, who died of cholera that first cold, horrible winter, and were buried in the snow on an acre outside Rome, the beginnings of what is now now known as the Riverview West cemetery.  Due to both plague and weather, their graves were unmarked, they being among 37 people so demised and disposed.

  • "Mother" - whom, assuming that "Pater" really was Johann Joseph, was Anna nee:Hofmann, b.1769 in Burgfarrnbach, Bavaria.

  • Eva Maria, b.1822, but it would sure be nice to find some old record containing the names of those 37 people, but it's doubtful that will really matter!

  • "Anna", later found as Walbiergis Bensin,married George.
  • "Charlotte", later found as Margaretha Bensin, married Leonhart.  GGZ did not say "Charlotte" died in the plague, but Leonard remarried Christina Pfeifer just 8 months later, so it seems a good assumption!

The survivors of that plague in Rome, Wisconsin were:
George Leonhard Zellhoefer;  following his brief and unfortunate marriage to "Anna", remarried to Frederica Tartsch, daughter of a well-heeled family from Selesia.  Along the way it would seem that George was overcome by evangelistic fervor, and that he & Frederica eventually relocated to Waterloo, Iowa.  Their 8 children  now spawned numerous more Z's (including our GGZ of "Autobiography" notoriety), and their descendants have scattered to many states in the USA.  Those in California via South Dakota, and perhaps those in Missouri, Colorado and Texas, are of this union.
Christine Zellhoefer, youngest of the family, married John "Veit" Debereiner - also found spelled Debriner and Dobereiner.   A farm mailbox very near the Riverview cemetery shows that surname by what is almost certainly the original 40 acres purchased by Veit about 1848.  Several other Debereiner's were found on the www, so it would appear much can still be learned. 

The work of identifying their descendants has begun, but so far there are  plenty of blanks.  Needless to say, your input on the Debereiner descendants is sorely needed!

John Michael Zellhoefer ~ "Mike" was my g.g.grandfather.  GGZ had said he came with the last of the family in 1846, but we have found he actually did not leave Bavaria until March 1853, listed as single at that time - so of course he survived -- he wasn't there!

But Mike is next found in Sullivan Township with wife "Anna" of Urphertshofen, Bavaria (just a modest hike from Brachbach) and their first child was born in 1854.

We are seeking some VITAL information about his wife ANNA, and about what happened to their 4 children when Anna died in 1858 and Mike died in 1865.

Mike was NOT the John Michael Wellhoefer who married Elizabeth Pfeffer - that is disproven, as you will find here elsewhere.  We have much more about Mike - follow his links!

There was one more Zellhoefer there in Jefferson County Wisconsin ~  Margaretha Zellhoferin (the "-in" turns out to be a church tag) is shown in a land patent record some time after the cholera plague.   She was not mentioned, at least by name, by GGZ.  A research helper in Jefferson County told me her probate papers were of record, and hopefully they'll show up one day!  Was she perhaps a cousin??

Some obvious possibilities - Mother Anna Margaretha nee:Hofmann did not die in the plague as per GGZ; Nawwwwwwwwwwwwww!  or

Maybe "Charlotte" did not die in the plague as I surmise, so this was  Margaretha nee:Bensin now Zellhoefer - that would mean she and Leonhard didn't cut the mustard!  Nawwwwwwwwwwwww!

We must also note that two of the kinder/siblings in this family were Anna Margaretha and Margareta Barbara.  That seems far-out to consider, as both were found married in Bavaria and not known to have migrated to the USA.  But "facts" of genealogy are not always so perfect, as we all know!

Would you like to learn more about YOUR branch of this tree?

Would you kindly give us just a very few minutes?
ONE email ~ with missing basic details of your own ancestors!


The names ZellTree, SolarSense Designs,  and all works within this website, are copyright 1998 thru 06 Dec 2009 by Ron Klotz Zellhoefer.   Permission is given to copy & print for private archival purposes only.  Republishing of DATA ONLY (not webpages!) to other websites is permitted IF credited to Ron Klotz Zellhoefer and ZellTree.  Please, let's verify and collaborate first!