|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
- Jacob to Crawford County Pennsylvania about 1838
- In 1844 Leonhart and Fredrich, parting company after landing.
- 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.
- in 1853 Johann Michael, who arrived in Wisconsin with his bride
|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
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
A large family branch descended from Jacob now uses the
spelling "ZILHAVER" resides today in Crawford County and
|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
|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,
Leonhart appears to have bought land there quite soon after
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
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
- Margareta Barbara b.1812, married Johann Peter Walz in
- 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
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
"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,
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.
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!
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
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
Would you kindly give us just a very few minutes?
ONE email ~ with missing basic details of your own ancestors!