THE GRAF FAMILY

revised December, 2000

The early generations of the Graf family are extracted from "The Groff Book" volume 2 by Jane Evans Best (1997).

Hans Graf of Barëtswil, east of Lake Zurich, married Elsbeth Peter on March 22, 1612. They had six children. The father and two of these children may have died in the 1629 plague as the widow and four remaining children were listed in the census of 1634. The previous year the widow, aged 45, registered as required as an Anabaptist. The surviving children were Rychli (1614), Jakob (1616), Adelheid (1618), and Hans Jakob (1623). Elsbeth Graf died between 1637 and 1640.

Jakob Graf was baptized January 28, 1616 at Barëtswil. He married June 21, 1636 Anna Spörri, a daughter of Hans Jacob Spörri. In 1651 he moved with his wife and seven children to Germany, dying in Steinsfurt before 1683. Their surviving children were Hans (1636), Hans Heinrich (1639), Marx (1640), Susanna (1644), Barbel (1645), Jakob (1647), and Elizabeth (1649).

Marx Graf was baptized November 1, 1640 at Barëtswil and died before April 26, 1716, his spouse being listed as a widow in Steinsfurt on that date. Their known children were Michael (c1675), Jacob, Hans (c1675), Martin (c1685).

Hans Graf, born about 1675 is believed to be Hans Groff who purchased 84 acres of land in Philadelphia in 1704. He increased his land then sold it and settled on 1419 acres in Conestoga Township. He was a trader. He died in 1746, the inventory of his estate being dated May 5. His son Jacob (b c 1699) by his first wife, his second wife, Susanna, and her nine children survived him - namely Peter (c1702), Hanna (c1707), Samuel (c1708), Fronica (c1710), Marcus (1712), Daniel (c1714), John (c1715), David (c1720), and Mary (c1722).

David Groff (born 1720-21), distiller, was granted the 200 acre homestead plantation by Han's heirs. He died November 17, 1784 and was buried in the Groffdale cemetery, Earl Township, Lancaster County. His wife, Barbara Moyer, was born 1722 and died in 1814, her estate being inventoried January 5, 1815. Their children were John (1745), Anna (c1747), Barbara (c1749), and David (1757).

John Groff was born in 1745 and died in Earl Township on February 27, 1796. On February 27 of that year he gave his land in Lampeter Township to his sons John and David. His wife, Anna, was born March 1, 1747 and died August 1, 1822. Their children were John (c1767), David (1771), Abraham (1773), Christian (c1776), Anna (1777), Magdalena (c1779).

John Groff was born about 1767 in Earl Township. In 1797 he sold his brother David the land which had been deeded from his father. He resettled his family in Northumberland County as described below in a sketch of Daniel C. Grove in the "History of Centre and Clinton Counties" by John B. Linn.
"John Grove married the only daughter of William Stover , Catherine, May 11, 1794, and died in 1809. He had by her John, William, George, and a daughter, Christina. Christina, born June 30, 1795, in Centre Township, married Samuel Weaver, and died in Gregg Township in 1859. William and George also came up to Centre County with their grandfather. William married Mary M. Hosterman, and died November 7, 1866, in Gregg Township. He was born April 21, 1799. George, born October 25, 1800, married Elizabeth Stover, daughter of Frederick, and lived in Harris (now College) Township. He died January 22, 1846."
The sketch states that the family came from Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, to Centre Township in Northumberland (now Snyder) County, and in 1810 to Centre County, to Haines Township. The 1800 census of Penn Township, Northumberland County recorded John Grove (over 26), and wife (under 26), with 4 sons and a daughter all under 10. Apparently John Grove died just before this final move and it was William Stober who took his daughter and four grandchildren. Catherine Grove died in Haines Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania, on January 12, 1845, and was buried at Wolf's Chapel Cemetery.

George Grove and his wife Elizabeth Stover had the following children, according to his will and records of the Lutheran Church at Aaronsburg, Centre County - Michael (1821), William, Anna, February 9, 1826 (Christina Stober was the sponsor), Maria (1828), Elias (1830), David (1832), Elizabeth (1834), Samuel, Daniel (1836), and Catherine. A document relating to the estate of George's mother, who had died the year before him, gives his children as Catherine, Michael, William, Polly, Anna, who married Wilson Poorman, Elias, Daniel, Elizabeth, Samuel. In Deed Book W of Centre County, Wilson and Anna Poorman release land willed by her father George Grove. It is noted there that Elizabeth Grove, wife of George, died on May 6, 1859.

 

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