Rev. Jacob Gottshall and Descendants
[I] Rev. Jacob Gaedschalk, the common ancestor of the numerous Gottshall families in America, was born about 1670. Came from Gog, in the community of Cleeves [Webmaster's note: present-day Kleve, Germany], * near the border of Holland and the Rhine country, came to America, some historians say in 1699, but it is more likely that he came and settled in Germantown, in 1702. Here he united with the Mennonite congregation and was soon elected a deacon of the church and later he was elected a minister. At the same time Hans Neus was also elected a minister, but he failed to accept the call and soon separated himself from the church on account of a difficulty he had with one of the members, feeling that injustice had been done to him and never returned. In 1720 Neus purchased a tract of land, 750 acres, in Frederick Township and made that hishome where he became the ancestor of the numerous Nice family.
In 1708 Gottshall wrote to Holland in which he gives the history of the origin of the Germantown Mennonite church, also stating the fact that Rev. William Rittenhouse had died in the month of March, 1708, to the great sorrow of the congregation; and that now he was the only surviving minister. On May 9, 1708 eleven persons were baptized and addd to the church, and two weeks later, May 23, 1708, the communion of the Lord's Supper was administered. At these services Rev. Gottshall officiated. These two services were the first baptismal and communion services conducted by Mennonites in America.
On October 21, 1702, Gottshall purchased a tract of fifty acres of land from Isaac Shoemaker. On this tract he erected a quaint, low but substantial house and lived here for twelve years when he removed to Towamencin Township. The house fronted on Germantown Avenue. The exact spot is now 5273 Germantown Avenue, a close neighbor to Dennis Conrad, one of the original settlers in Germantown, who came in 1683 to America on the good ship Concord.
A deed on record in Philadelphia recites the fact that Rev. Gottshall purchased 120 acres of land from James Shattuck in Towamencin Township. The consideration of this purchase being 36 pounds. The deed bears date of February 30, 1713-4 and was acknowledged April 20, 1714.
At the same time his son Gottshall Gottshall purchased from the same party 120 acres, adjoining his father's tract. The consideration was the same and the deed bears the same dates as that of his father's.
In 1708 Gottshall joined with four other brethren in a letter to Amsterdam, asking for some catechisms for the children and little testaments for the young, stating that only one Bible was among the membership of the church.
In 1728 the Mennonite confession of faith was translated into English and printed by Bradford, in Philadelphia, and Gottshall was one of the signers testifying to the correctness of the translation.
Again on October 19, 1745, he joined with five others asking for assistance to translate Martyr's Mirror from the Dutch into German. Altho no answer came from Holland the brethren in America arranged for the translation and had the book printed at Ephrata. Gottshall and Dielman Kolb carefully read and corrected the proofs. Rev. Gottshall was a literary man and capable to use three languages, Dutch, German and English.
Rev. Gottshall made his Will in 1760, indicating that he was a man of great age and as to occupation he says, "Formerly while I was able a turner." He died in 1763, aged about ninety-seven years. While it is not known where his mortal remains are buried, but it is only natural to suppose that he was buried in the grave yard adjoining the Towamencin Mennonite Church, near Kulpsville. His wife, whose name is not known, died prior to 1706.
Rev. Gottshall had five children, three sons and two daughters, viz.:
Gottshall Gottshall married Eva Custer.
John Gottshall, died in 1759 . Married Helena ________
Anna Gottshall married Peter Custer. No doubt the brother to Gottshall's wife.
Magdalena Gottshall was the second wife of William Nash. She died prior to 1763.
Gottshall Gottshall, son of Rev. Jacob, was born in 1693 and died in 1748. He married Eva Custer and had 14 children, viz.:
Jacob Gottshall married Helena _______. He died 1798.
William Gottshall married Gertrude Hunsicker. He died 1781.
Syken Gottshall married Goshen Schrawger.
Mary Gottshall married John Johnson.
Catharine Gottshall died unmarried.
Margaret Gottshall married Henry Cassel. He was born 4-9-1726; died in 1797. They were married by Michael Croll, Justice of the Peace.
Garret Gottshall married Edia Bohrs.
Jane Gottshall died unmarried.
Magdalena Gottshall married John Hendricks.
Gertrude Gottshall married Matthias Hendricks.
John Gottshall married Hannah ________
Ann Gottshall married Melchoir Yoder.
Eva Gottshall married Jacob Swartz.
Peter Gottshall was a minor when his father died.
William Gottshall died in 1781. He married Gertrude Hunsicker and had six children:
Gottshall Gottshall married Elizabeth Ziegler.
Gottshall Gottshall, born 4-8-1753; died 3-15-1824. Married Elizabeth Ziegler, daugher of Dillman and Elizabeth Kolb Ziegler. His brother Garrett Gottshall married Hester Ziegler, the sister to Gottshall Gottshall's wife. After the death of his father, William, he purchased land in Frederick Township, near Schwenksville, and moved there in 1781. He purchased land from time to time until he owned 400 acres. Most of this land had belonged to the Perkiomen Copper Mine Company, chartered by Act of Assembly in 1772. At his death he had left 246 acres of land. This was equally divided between his two sons, Dillman and William. That part of the land has been in the family five generations for 143 years, 1781-1924. The present owner is Newton S. Gottshall.
Gottshall Gottshall and his wife Elizabeth had three children: Dillman, William and a daughter who died young.
Dillman Z. Gottshall, who was born 3-26-1787. He was married to Hannah Umstead. He died 10-31-1860 and his wife died in 1867. They had nine children, viz.:
Jacob Gottshall, born 2-27-1812. Married Harriet Mabry, 11-26-1846. Three children: Washington, Kate and Sylvester.
Nancy Gottshall, born 1814; died 12-29-1891. Unmarried.
Joseph Gottshall married Rebecca Hauck. He died 3-19-1889. Children: John and Joseph.
Jessie Gottshall, died single.
Dillman Gottshall married Pheobe Meninger, 11-19-1843. Three children: William, Washington and Hannah.
William Gottshall, married first Susanna Rowe, second Anna Cope. Three children: William, Henry and Lizzie.
Richard Gottshall married Margaret Pierson. They had seven children: Richard, John, Henry, Hannah, William and Catharine.
Lydia Gottshall, died unmarried.
Israel Gottshall, born 2-12-1827; died 9-19-1899.
William Z. Gottshall, born 8-25-1784; died 3-25-1875. Married Magdalena Hunsberger, daughter of Abraham and Catharine Tyson Hunsberger, 10-18-1807. She was born 12-30-1787; died 1-7-1864. They had thirteen children:
Abraham H. Gottshall, born 1809; died 1815.
Dillman H. Gottshall, born 4-30-1810; died 12-28-1892
Elizabeth Gottshall, born 1-4-1811; died 9-6-1892.
William H. Gottshall, born 10-8-1812; died 5-19-1906.
Adam H. Gottshall, born 12-14-1813; died 7-12-1889
Rev. Moses H. Gottshall, born 3-25-1815; died 10-26-1888
Gottshall H. Gottshall, born 10-8-1816; died 8-10-1900.
Catharine Gottshall, born 2-13-1818; died 3-2-1858.
Jacob H. Gottshall, born 6-15-1819; died 10-3-1864
John H. Gottshall, born 8-24-1820; died 4-14-1871
Joseph H. Gottshall, born 5-20-1822; died 9-25-1899
Andrew H. Gottshall, born 3-16-1825; died 3-17-1909
Rev. Abraham H. Gottshall, born 8-25-1826; died 4-1-1901.
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