The Eichholtz Family

In constructing this site I have tried to arrange the families in reasonable ways, which has sometimes meant combining more than one on a page, especially if they are families that I know less about.  I don't know nearly as much as I would like about Eichholtz, but since I am connected to them in more than one way, some of which I have only recently found out about, it seems best to have a separate page for them.

Until recently, I had always thought of myself as having essentially two separate groups of Pennsylvania German ancestors:  One is Frank and its associated families such as Bischoff, Dietrich, Eberman, Kuntz, Schaffner, and others, centered originally in Philadelphia and later mostly in Lancaster, with some branches in York and Berks Counties.   The other is Schultz, Cassel, Ensminger, Heffelfinger, Keller,  Wolfersberger and others, centered in Dauphin and Lebanon counties.   And the twain did not meet until 1868, when my greatgrandfather Penrose Frank 1844-1914, of the Lancaster group,  married my greatgrandmother Mary Elizabeth Schultz 1849-1913, of the Lebanon-Dauphin group.

This was a reasonably neat story, as genealogical stories go, while it lasted, but I have now found out that it is not really true, and Eichholtz is the reason.   Eichholtz is connected to both of these groups.  My 6th greatgrandfather was Hans Adam Eichholtz, born in 1691 in Nekarbischoffsheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg.  He came to Philadelphia in 1749 on the ship "Jacob" along with his son Martin, who was my 5th greatgrandfather.  Both signed their names on the list:

Adam's youngest daughter and Martin's sister, Maria Ursula, born in 1729, and her husband Johann Adam Hittenbeittel, also came to Pennsylvania on this ship.

Martin is a little hard to trace; he apparently had two wives and several children.  I believe he settled first in Lancaster County and later in Berks County.  I am descended from his daughter Catherine, born to him and his second wife Anna Maria in 1761, who married Philip Heffelfinger, one of my ancestors from Lebanon county.  That much is very straightforward.

Now, however, it gets more complicated.  Two other sons of Adam Eichholtz, Johann Jacob, born in 1712, and Johann Friedrich, born in 1723, had come earlier to Pennsylvania.  Jacob arrived on the ship "Samuel" in 1737, and Friedrich on the galley "Ann" in 1746.  Both signed their names on the ship's lists:

Jacob Eichholtz, the immigrant and brother of my 5th greatgrandfather Martin, settled in Lancaster, where he was a butcher.  He married Anna Catharina Reichart and had seven children that I know of.  The first four were christened at Lancaster Moravian church, the last three at Trinity Lutheran.

Their eldest son, another Johann Jacob Eichholtz, born in 1744, married Anna Maria Schaffner b 1740.   Many of the Schaffners are cousins of my Franks, by way of the Kuntz sisters:  two daughters of Jacob Kuntz,  who had also been on the "Samuel" in 1737 with Jacob Eichholtz, Maria Elizabetha born in 1740 and Anna Margaretha born about 1743, had married, respectively, Johann Caspar Schaffner, Jr and my 4th greatgrandfather, Daniel Frank (Franck).  The Frank and Schaffner families were close, and frequently mentioned in each other's wills and things like that.

Another of their sons, Leonhard, born in 1750, was a contemporary and, I guess, competitor, of my 4th greatgrandfather Daniel Frank in Lancaster in the 18th century.  They were both tavernkeepers there, and often show up in the same places, for example on the committee to organize the celebration feast of the election of Governor McKean in 1799, during the time when Lancaster was briefly the capital of PennsylvaniaClick here for the story of that.

One of Leonhard's sons, another Jacob Eichholtz 1776-1842, was a well-known portrait painter of his day; he painted many citizens of Lancaster and also some prominent people such as the governor of Pennsylvania.  I bought a book of his paintings in hopes that he might have painted my 4th great grandfather Daniel Frank, who was living during the early part of his career, but if he did it has not been identified.  Apparently there are quite a few of his paintings that have not been identified, so it is still possible, but I have no way to know.

 Friedrich Eichholtz the immigrant and other brother of Martin,  settled in York County.  He married Anna Catharina Reichart and had at least seven children.  I do not believe I am connected to him, although it may be that I just haven't found the connection yet.


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