was born in 1698. He married Catherina Krahenbuhl
. He petitioned the court to become a citizen at Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania
, in 1728. Johann Georg Döllinger was land contract in 1762 at Frederick Co., Virginia
; A plat of George Dellinger's properties in 1752 is shown on page 60 of "Shenandoah Valley Pioneer Settlers" by Gene Paige Hammond. He made a will at Frederick Co., Virginia
, on 20 July 1769.
Johann died on 6 September 1769 at Frederick Co., Virginia
. The following is from pages 107 to 110 of a book entitled: "Upart From The World: An Account of the Origins and Destinies of various Swiss Mennonites Who Fled from their homelands in Remote Parts of the Cantons Zurich, Aargan and Bern as well as Alsace, the Rurplaz, and later along the edges of the American Frontier in Pennsylvania and Virginia" by J. Ross Baughman. Items that are in parentheses are not from the original text, but added by me to either clarify points or correct some inaccuracies.
"Another Significant name out of past was Dellinger, and this family could be found just north of Susanna Bachman Rinker on the Back Road. In 1728, Mennonites who had recently immigrated from Switzerland and Germany were obliged by the Pennsylvania governor to affirm their loyalty and allegiance to the George II, King of England. Among the list of over 200 signatories from the Conestoga Settlement, Johannes Georg Döllinger and Johannes Bachman were next to each other in line. In Virginia's court records, the men became most commonly known as George Dellinger and John Baughman.
Within ten years, both men went to the Shenandoah Valley where Jost Hite had settled. On 19 October 1736, Hite certified that Döllinger turned in the head of an old wolf and collected a reward of 140 pounds of tobacco for it. Döllinger's bounty may not have been actual bundles of tobacco leaf. Whenever coin became scarce on the frontier, Virginia's eastern leadership simply chose their favorite commodity to stand as an alternate currency. Since very little tobacco was raised in the Shenandoah Valley, the payment was probably made in proportionally valuable weights of corn, wheat, barley or cider.
In the summer of 1747, two German missionaries from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, made a tour of the Shenandoah Valley and came across George Dellinger.
"Today," wrote the Moravian preacher Leonhard Schnell on 22 July, "I went to an elder living at the Schanathor River. I asked him if I could preach in his church. But he hesitated because I was stranger, and an injunction had been issued against strange ministers. But he would allow me to preach in his house, which I accepted, and then he made it known. I went back to Cedar Creek to my dear [traveling partner, Valentine] Handrup."
The next spring, a Moravian named Matthias Gottlieb Gottschalk followed the same trail and stopped at Dellinger's again. He described it as being 30 miles farther into the wilderness than the last place worth stopping. "Some of the people are hostile, others well - meaning, but all timid and suspicious, and for this reason are not willing to listen to the brethen. They have written to Pennsylvania for a true Lutheran minister, but have not been able to secure one.
George Dellinger first bought land near Strasburg (this area was originally known as Tumbling Run and was named Stoevertown in 1767 and later became Strasburg), close to the Shenandoah River from Jacob Funk, but instructed his eldest son Christian to sell it off upon his death. Christian got a land warrant from Lord Fairfax on 8 December 1749 and moved a few miles further west towards the mountains. (Christian actually moved about 20 to 25 miles to the southwest of where his father lived to an area then known as Cabin Hill and is now known as Conicville.) The brook behind his house that fed into Stony Creek was dedicated to the memory of the southern Germany region called Swabia, but, when slurred from a thick Rhineland accent into English became known as Swover Creek.
The early warrants and surveys from Frederick County include the following details:
"Christian Dillinger, heir of George Dillinger, no warrant, survd 3 Mar. 1752; 460 ac. on W. side of N. Shannandoah; adj. his own land. CC (chain carriers) & markers - Henry Piper & Frederick, John & Jacob Dillinger. Surv. Robert Rutherford.
Christian & Frederick Dellinger, sons & exects of George Dellinger, dec'd, direct land to be sold to discharge his debts in case Exects think proper but they find sufficient of the moveable est. & desire a dedd issue in name of Christian Dellinger, eldst son reserving 1/2 to Catherine Dellinger, widow of dec'd.
Frederick Dellinger, assignee of Jacob Reife, assignee of Thomas Langdon; 10 Feb. 1762 - 8 June 1762; 67 a. on N. side of North R. of Shanando on E. bank; adj. Frederick Dellinger's own land. CC (chain carriers) Jno Ba. Reedy & Jno. Nizel. Pilot & marker - Tho. Langdon & Fredk Dellinger. Surv. Robert Rutherford.
After John Baughman died, and his son-in-law needed to have the land near present-day Saumsville resurveyed, Dellinger's son Frederick came to help out as chain carrier.
Many scholars say Swedish pioneers in New Jersey first invented the stacked log walls of the classic American frontier cabin, and that the English and the rest of the Europeans merely copied their good design. The rationing of logs in medieval Switzerland and Germany did result in many farm houses with "half timbered" frames, filled in with a plaster called daub and wattle; but the Swiss needed no inspiration from Scandinavia on how to clear forests and build homes. In Canton Zurich and the higher elevations of the Alps, square-hewn, dovetailed log buildings known to be 600 years old can still be seen.
Christian Dellinger's log house is one of the dozen surviving examples of central chimney architecture in Shenandoah County (all that remains of this house is the central chimney). It has a typical Germanic floor plan of the 18th Century, with three rooms on the ground floor. For reasons unknown, this configuration seemed to have fallen out of favor with builders in the 19th Century. The square-hewn white pine logs were notched into notably tight, full dovetails. Extensions of the gable-end wall logs formed cantilvered supports for front and rear porches. Because the Dellinger built the house on a hillside, the rear porch sat high above the ground. It never had stairs by which to leave it, and so could be thought of in the classic Swiss Alpine tradition as a large boxed balcony.
The front and rear entries to the kitchen were fitted with original Dutch double doors hung on long wrought hinges, a feature still seen at only two other early houses in the county. The puncheon floor of the living room and a small bed chamber behind it were made from halved logs laid side by side, forming both the structure and surface of the floor, a technique also extremely rare in Virginia.
A massive six-foot lintel of hewn wood bridges the top of the kitchen hearth. The flu of the living room's heating stove stuck through a hole still visible on the hearth's back wall. Family tradition holds that long ago this chimney saved the life of a Gramma Dellinger and her baby. The tale describes them home alone when hostile Indians could be heard approaching, and the desperate woman decided to crawl up into the chimney. High inside, a wrought iron bar planted in the stones supported trammel chains, pots and the woman's weight. Her whimpering infant was silenced at the last possible second, and remained hushed the entire time by nursing from her breast. The Indian warriors searched the house, but left without a scalp or a hostage.
A single 30 and a half foot beam ran through the middle of the ceiling to support the crossing joists and the floor above. When stonework for the original chimney was completed, it had to be built around this massive, long "summer beam," was named from the French word sommier or girder. Logs for the long lateral walls stacked up four feet higher, making a "half-story" garret or sleeping loft. In the next century, the walls and roof were raised four more feet to make a complet second story. A board nailed onto the front of the building recorded the initials of the crew - mostly Dellingers - that renovated the roofline.
Among the first things that the Dellingers and their neighbors wanted to do was build a union church. In a warrant from 24 April 1752, George Dellinger, John Painter and Peter Fultz requested a Deed in Trust for 400 acres of waste and ungranted land "including the Dutch Chappel, the said Land being for the use of the Society of Dutch Protestants." Across Swover Creek and up the next hill, Dellinger could see the meetinghouse from his back porch balcony. (Christian Dellinger's house was 2 to 3 miles away from the Zion Church, with several hills between to two places, making it impossible for him to see the church from his porch.)
Named as partners in this society were Christian Dellinger, Ulrich Mire, Nicholus Counts (Kuntz) and 13 other German neighbors. In the early years, it became known simply as Jacob's Church. Valley historian John Wayland theorized that this was meant to honor the name of Jacob Rinker - shared by the pioneer, son and grandson - who all lived but a mile further down the road and all cared for the little chapel. (According to Sandi Yelton, Jacob's Church wasn't established until 1838, after Christian Dellinger Sr. was deceased. The church that Christian Dellinger, Sr. was involved in was designated "Society of Church Protestants" in April of 1753 when Christian Dellinger and 15 others were named as members of the "Deutsche Evangelische Gemeinde" and was known as Zion-Pine Lutheran and Reformed Church. The church was granted land in 1753, however chuch records did not begin until 1788 when a "newly built church" was dedicated. Apparently no deed for the land was issued in 1753, so in 1781, Jhannes Bender, Johann Penneyweight, Peter Voltz and George Dellinger, Christian Sr.'s son, as officers of the congregation were issued the deed on 9 January 1781.)
Although George Dellinger took the oath in Pennsylvania as a Mennonite, the meetinghouse entrusted in his name became a church for the Lutheran and Reformed congregations along the Back Road of Shenandoah County. (There was not a church in the area of the Back Road at the time when George Dellinger lived in the area. It wasn't until 1838 when the Jacob Church was established there. The church acquired the land in 1789 but no church was built for 49 years thereafter. The Zion Church in which Christian, Sr. was associated with is not located on the Back Road, which is today called the Senedo Road, but on Headquarters Road some several miles to the east)
To George Dellinger, the patriarch, fell life's sharpest pain: for a parent to see his child and grandchild die early, and even worse, by murder.
In 1764, John Dellinger was ambushed on land right next to the village of Strasburg by Indians in the company of "a white scoundrel." Rachel Dellinger and her infant child were taken prisoner. Rescuers got to Rachel on South Branch Mountain, but her baby had already been killed at Sandy Ridge, west of the Capon River. Also that day, the killers went on to a whole family - George Miller, his wife and two children - two miles north of the town. An early account preserved the following:
"At the attack on George Miller's family, the persons killed were a short distance from the house, spreading flax in a meadow. One of Millers's little daughters was sick in bed. Hearing the firing, she jumped up, and looking through a window and seeing what was done, immediately passed out at a back window, and ran about two or three miles, down to the present residence of David Stickley, and from thence to Geo. Bowman's on Cedar Creek, giving notice at each place. Col. Abraham Bowman, of Kentucky, then a lad of sixteen or seventeen, had at first doubted the little girl's statement. He however armed himself, mounted his horse, and in riding to the scene of action was joined by several others who had turned out for the same purpose, and soon found the information of the little girl too fatally true.
Thomas Newell...the first person who arrived...found Miller, his wife, and two children weltering in their blood, and still bleeding. From the scene of murder he went to the house, and on the sill of the door lay a large folio German Bible, on which a fresh killed cat was thrown. On taking up the Bible it was discovered that fire had been placed in it; but after burning through a few leaves, the weight of that part of the book which lay uppermost, together with the weight of the cat, had so compressed the leaves as to smother and extinguish the fire... The fire had been placed about the center of the 2d book of Samuel, burnt through fourteen leaves, and entirely out at one end. It has been preserved in the Miller family, as a sacred relic or memento of the sacrifice of their ancestors. On Cedar Creek that same year, a number of other settlers were wiped out.
By 1769, at the ripe old age of 79, the immigrant George Dellinger died. Property in the Shenandoah Valley has remained in Dellinger and Vetter hands since 1749. The Dellinger family Bible, along with court books and personal papers corroborate these accounts. Currently residing next door to the old Christian Dellinger log building is Velma Reedy Vetter, informant for some of these accounts and mother of Vernon Reedy, the owner of the house up until 1996. The Baughman family purchased the building on 13 April of that year.
Copyright 1997 by J. Ross Baughman. All rights reserved under international and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Library of Congress Card Catalog Number 96-072612. ISBN 0-917968-19-0.