groff Genealogy

Descendents of Hans Groff

Since books have been written, and organizations formed for the descendents of Hans Groff, I'm not going to list all of his descendents here! It would be pages and pages long, and probably pretty boring. I am going to follow the line of Hans' son John, who married Elizabeth Carpenter. On this line, I'll concentrate on Jacob. It was this third generation that you see the name changed from Groff to Grove.

For further references on the Groff line, please see my notes at the bottom of the page.

First Generation:

Hans Groff, b. about 1675, Switzerland, d. 1746, Groffdale, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, m. (1)unknown wife, 1 known child from this marriage, m. (2) about 1700 to Susannah Kendig,(?) b. about 1678, d. after 1746, 9 known children from this marriage

Second Generation

Child from the marriage of Hans Groff and Unknown Wife

Jacob Groff, b. 2 April 1699, d. about 1740, Cocalico Twp, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, m. Elizabeth Unknown, d. after 31 January 1745, 5 known chldren

Children from the marriage of Hans Groff and Susanna Kendig

Peter, b. about 1702, d. between 1761 and 1764, Earl Twp, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, m. Barbara Unknown, 7 known children
Hannah or Anna, b. about 1707, d. between 1746 and 1750, m. about 1728 to Peter Good, b. about 1690, 2 known children
Samuel, b. about 1708, d. between 1768 and 1774, m. Christina Huber, b. about 1711, d. between 1786 and 1802, 3 known children
Fronica, b. about 1710, d. between 1746 and 1754, m. about 1731 to Henry Landis, b. 1700, d. about 1761, 11 known children
Marcus, b. August 1712, d. before 2 November 1791, m. Anna Huwer, d. after 1779, 9 known children
Daniel, b. about 1714, d. before 10 March 1772, m. Mary Unknown, 4 known children
John, b. about 1715, d. before 10 June 1797, Frederick County, Maryland, m. (1) Elizabeth Carpenter, b. about 1716, at least 12 known children
David, b. 1720/21, d. 17 November 1784, m. Barbara Moyer, b. 1722, 4 known children
Mary, b. about 1722, d. after 30 July 1746, m. John Kry, b. 30 July 1746, 6 known children

Third Generation

Jacob Grove, b. 4 June 1737, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, d. 14 August 1819, Sharpsburg, Maryland, m. 1758 to Catherine Stalie b. 5 March 1742, d. 25 September 1823, Sharpsburg, Maryland, 9 known children
John, b. about 1740, at least 1 child
Christina, d. after 1787, m. Peter Flack
Mary, m. Peter Shriner
Elizabeth, b. 1750, d. 25 May 1825, Emmitsburg, Maryland, m. John Troxel, b. 17 September 1747, d. 21 April 1830, Emmitsburg, Maryland, 9 known children
Henry, b. 7 December 1758, d. 31 January 1827, Germantown, Pennsylvania, m. (1) Louisa/Lovice Kuhn, d. before 1795, m. (2) Juda Elizabeth Kephart, b. 12 August 1770, d. 2 August 1855, Frederick County, Maryland, 12 known children
Francis, b. 15 Jan 1762, d. 28 Aug 1847, m. Catherine Bishop
Franciscus, bapt. 1 May 1763, German Reformed, Germantown
Anna Susannah, b 24 Feb 1764, d. af 1787, Germantown Reformed
Catherine, m. Adam Good, lived in Taneytown, MD.
Barbara, b. l772, d.4 Jan 1809, bur in Silver Run, MD, m. to Peter Erb.
Isaac, b Oct 1771, d. 21 Dec 1793, bu in Silver Run, MD

Fourth Generation:
Elizabeth, b. 29 November 1759, Sharpsburg, Maryland, d. before 1850, Millerstown, Perry County, Pennsylvania, m. 9 July 1780, York, Pennsylvania to Peter Wolf, b. 14 May 1757, York, Pennsylvania, d. September 1838, Millerstown, Perry County, Pennsylvania, 9 known children
John, b. 2 May 1761, Sharpsburg, Maryland, d. 8 July 1811, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, m. 6 February 1786 to Mary Brown, b. 15 September 1768, d. 15 January 1842, 10 known children
Jacob, b. 25 June 1763, Sharpsburg, Maryland, m. 16 March 1788 to Anna Maria Cookerly, b. 1769, 8 known children
Peter, b. 12 January 1767, d. November 1823, m. Catharine Aucker, b. 13 January 1776, d. 1857, 8 known children
Philip, b. 16 April 1775, d. 13 June 1841, Maryland, m. (1) 8 March 1800 to Cathrine Hess, b. 28 March 1792, d. 6 April 1815, m. (2) to Susan Locher, d. 10 Septgember 1827, 10 known children
Catherine, b. 23 December 1780, Sharpsburg, Maryland
Stephen, b. Sharpsburg, Maryland, m. to unknown wife, 4 known children
Paul, b. in Sharpsburg, Maryland
Henry, b. in Sharpsburg, Maryland

Fifth Generation:

For descendents of Elizabeth Grove and Peter Wolf, see the Wolf Family Genealogy.

This is one of the names that started my interest in my family research! At the turn of the century, Carrie Carvell Niess, my great grandmother, and her half sister, Rosa Gantt Hamilton, were trying, along with their aunt Julia Ziegler Keim, to trace the fortune of "Baron von Graff." According to their letters, (now in my possession) there was a pile of money to be split among his heirs and they were trying to establish themselves in that number! Whether they ever did is not known, but rather doubtful!

The first letter from Aunt Julia, dated Newport (PA), March 8, 1900, tells Rosa:

"Grandma Lemon's (Mary Wolf's second husband was Daniel Lemon) mama's name was Graff and her father was an Earl, born in Wales, and when a youth, there was a war broke out between the Catholicks and Protestants, and he ran off. And never dared to go back, or according to the laws of their country would have been killed. They say he left a large fortune as his parents were worth millions, and no one else could touch his share and they say it is sixty or more million." Spelling is hers!

Aunt Julia in a letter dated Newport, March 13th, 1900 states that:
"I wrote to Carrie yesterday and told her if she was writing to you to please correct my mistakes. She said I had in your letter that Grandpa Graffe was from Wales, well it is a sad mistake. He was from Holland, Germany." She goes on to lament "if only I could remember the one quarter of the many things she would tell me (referring to Grandma Lemon) when I was young, you know the poor old people them days, would sit and talk for hours and turn themselves clean rong side out in order to make them selves interesting to you. I remember too, of her saying that they landed in Maryland, but I do not know what part of it they settled in. And from there they moved to Little York and from there to Millerstown. I also heard her say, when her father would go after the interest of his money, he would come riding home with his saddle bags full of Gold and silver, and she often told me of the beautiful clothing she and her sisters wore when they were young. She said it was nothing to them to wear the finest of silk crape dresses, and crape shals and kid slippers and aways the best of material for everything. and had abundance of everything that was made to use of. Even to owning of slaves, for they were by no means common people. They were very aristocratic and well cultured . . . .I often heard Grandma say that her relations over in the old country were imensly wealthy, and when her Grandparents came across the watters, that there was a dreadful storm and when her Grandparents came across the watters, that there was a dreadful storm rose at sea and all were likely to be drowned and that everything on the ship was soked with watter. She said that was the cause of all their old german books being so ragged and stained. and she often talked of hearing her Granma saying she brought a bag of dry nudels across to this country and when they got them here they wer all green moldy."

Another account of the voyage was found in a letter from William R. Wolf of Shelbyville, Indiana dated March 23, 1900 in which he talks of a Bible belonging to John Grove "who came to Lancaster Co. Penna in 1744 giving a description of the stormy voyage ect. while crossing the ocean. "My Father ( Wolf's) thinks his grandmother was a direct descendant from this John or Hans Grove." Wolf's father was Jacob Grove Wolf, son of Jacob Wolf, who was the son of Peter and Elizabeth Wolf.

In the third letter from Aunt Julia dated April 11th, 1900, we find out that

" the names of my parents, Fathers name was Philip Zieglar, Born in Adams County near Getysburg, and my mothers maiden name was Ann Eliza Troup born in Oliver Township Perry Co. - and was said by all who knew her to be one of the purest of ladys and an elegant Christian woman. . . . you asked me what Grandma Lemons maiden name was, her name was Mary Woolf, before she maried Philip Troup, who was my mothers father."

Later on in this same letter she talks about getting a letter from a "Dr. Woolf who is also interested in this fortune. Information from him via her:

"Dr's letter also stated that they had learned that the Earls name was Hans Graff and had sailed from the old country with eight children and died and was buried in Maryland in the old German Graveyard." She also talks of an old German Bible that "Cousin Phill Troups had, but it has no family record in it. But on a fly leafe is written in this wise, Peter Woolf was born May the Fourteenth 1757 and Elizabeth Woolf was born November the twenty ninth 1759, and the Old Bible is 1749 years old." (?)

We now move forward a couple of years, and letters between Carrie and Rosa. The first letter is dated - except for Thursday morning - and in one part of it Carrie says:

" I wrote seven letters Wed. trying to find out where Elizabeth Graff and Peter Wolf were married, but it seems that is where we are stuck, we have their births but no death or mariage record. But Cousin Julia Grove says Elizabeth Wolf was the sister of Philip Graff who was her grandfather and the son of Jacob who was the son of John the son of Hance or Hans, see it is direct."

Another letter from Carrie to Rosa not dated, says:
"This is your line Hans, son John, grandson Jacob, great grand daughter Elizabeth Wolf, Grandma Lemon, Grandma Ziegler, Mamma, you."

Now the story changes a bit. In a letter to the Niess' from Dr. William A. Wolf, Dentist, Shellbyville, Indiana dated March 23rd 1900, we find:

"In a letter from Jacob F. Grove, Baltimore, Feb 1st 1866 to my father, he stated that he had been traveling in Pennsylvania a short time previous and attended a meeting of the Grove family and learned that Hans Graff fled from Switzerland to England in 1695, and finally came to this country.
he had 6 sons, Peter, David, John, Daniel, Mark, and Samuel.
The above John had 2 sons - Jacob and Henry,
the above Jacob had Catherine - Elizabeth - Philip - John - Stephen - Paul, Henry - Jacob and Peter, all born in Sharpsburg, Washington Co. Md.
Stephen Grove had William, Elizabeth, Catherine and Jacob F. the writer of the letter mentioned herein.
I also have in my possession a letter from Daniel L. Grove of Baltimore written in 1866 who says the original name was Graff not Grove, and tha a Mr. Wolf married a Miss Grove near Sharpsburg, but he did not state the given or first name of Wolf.

From another letter from Carrie to Rosa (date unknown) she says that they have
"found from records in the Library that Hans Graaf came to this country in 1696 and first settled in Lancaster County and the original homestead is now occupied by Levi W. Grove, a lineal descendant of Hans. Hans was given a thousand acres of ground in 1716 and another in 1717 by the King and the papers given him are still in possession of this Grove family. This is the same man. Mr. Wolf says he left Switzerland for England in 1695 and came to this country later, which this paper shows was the year following."

So! In summation, this seems to be what they knew of their ancestry:

Hans Graff went from Switzerland to England in 1695. From there he sailed (on rough seas) to America with six sons, Samuel, Peter, David, John, Daniel and Mark. No mention is made of a wife or daughters.
Hans is buried in the "Old German Graveyard in Sharpsburg, Maryland. (This is wrong)
John, our ancestor, had two sons, Jacob and Henry. Again, no mention of a wife or daughters.
Jacob, his son was the father of Elizabeth who married Peter Wolf.
In addition to Elizabeth, he had eight other children, all born in Sharpsburg, Maryland. They were: Catherine, Henry, Jacob, John, Peter, Paul, Philip and Stephen.
In this generation the Graff name changed to Grove with several of the children.
Elizabeth married Peter Wolf in York County on July 9, 1780. She had 11 children according to one account. When and where she died they did not know. John, our ancestor, had two sons, Jacob and Henry.

How far we've come! Thanks to the research of people like Carrie, Rosa and Julia, we have been able to build files on our ancestors. We now know the answers to most of their questions!

This page is still under construction! I have more to add as time allows . . . .

If you have any additions or corrections, please e-mail me. I may have typographical errors or I may have erroneous information. Please don't take this page as the gospel truth, rather a starting point for your own research! I can only verify information that I have obtained from primary sources; other information is passed on as it is received!

Information for this page was obtained from:

Wolf Family Association, Ray Wolfe - for more information, contact me
Family letters dated turn of the century in my possession
Information in file at Perry Historians
Information in file at York County Historical Society
Copies of various wills and deeds in my file
Cemetery Records of Millerstown Cemetery
The Groff Book, Volume 1 and 2, in my possession
Various Groff family researchers

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