Search billions of records on

Early German Property Owners in Ross County, Ohio

OHGenWeb NOTICE: In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or for presentation by other persons or organizations.

Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than stated above must obtain the written consent of the file contributor. 

This file was contributed for use in the OHGenWeb Ross County

From article Die Deutschen Pioniere des Scioto-Thales published in Der Deutsche Pioniere, a monthly magazine published by the Deutsche Pioniereverein.  This is a source of information often relied on for the early history of the Germans in the United States. It  is a German-language periodical, Der Deutsche Pioniere, which was published in Cincinnati from 1869 to 1887. This series of articles ran in 1875 under the above referenced title and has proved, however, to be at times untrustworthy.  For instance, in reference to the War of 1812-14 passage used by Albert B. Faust in The German Element in the United States (Boston, 1909), I, 423-424, the information given has been published in other sources to be incorrect. But, I still felt it to be a valuable resource for tracking your Ross County German Ancestors. 


Wilhelm SCHNELL purchased lot 191 in Chillicothe from Lavid SHELBY on 30 Mar 1798 for $500

Johann COLLET received a deed for lot 261 from Nathaniel MASSIE on 30 Jun [1798], paying $10.

On 28 Jun 1798 Johannes MOELLHAUS bought 100 acres of land in Springfield Township on the Scioto River from Nathaniel MASSIE for 25 pounds Kentucky currency.

Johann FENEL bought lot 192 in Chillicothe from Nathaniel MASSIE for 3 pounds on 23 Jun 1798

Eberhardt HEKR (spelled HARE in the "Real Estate Records of Ross County," volume 1, page 5; this was the fourth deed in the county) bought the east half of lot 263 in Chillicothe, with its blockhouse, from Samuel HARRIS and his wife for $150.

Joseph LAMANN who had built one of the first of twenty blockhouses on lot 223 in Chillicothe, sold his to James FULTON for $35 on 20 Jun 1798. The deed gives the name as LEMING, but the signature is LAMANN.

Ludwig IGO, who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1785, had moved in 1794 from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to Kentucky, and in 1798 from Kentucky to the Scioto Valley, where he bought the first piece of land on Twin Creek from General McARTHUR. His youngest son. Wilhelm IGO, born in 1811 on this land, told Mr. Rufus PUTNAM the following story which he had heard from the mouths of his parents:

His father had fed his family from game killed in the forest. In order to buy flour [the father] had gone afoot to Limestone (now called Maysville) in Kentucky, but the old Indian path between Pee-Pee and Old Chillicothe. To Ludwig IGO and his wife was born the first white child in Ross County, named Paul IGO, who was still living in Illinois in 1871.

Johannes FRIEDLER, who bought half of building site 181 from Thomas GREGY (Gregg) on 10 Apr 1799 (the purchase
price is not given in the deed).

Georg WOLF bought building site 167 for ten dollars on 5 Sep [1799].

Andreas PONTIUS bought a 150-acre farm on 9 Oct [1799] on the north fork of Paint Creek from George
for $125.  Another German, Georg STRAUB, was already living on the land as lessee and had cleared
it, for which he was allowed to remain for five years.

Somewhat further up Paint Creek is Heller's Valley, a large area claimed by the brothers Georg Vincent HELLER and Jacob HELLER. Vincent at one time had numerous lessees on his land.

Herr Wilhelm LAMB, who had a tavern in Chillicothe, bought building site 5 on the northeast corner of Paint and Second streets for $550 Kentucky currency on 18 Apr 1800, whereon he built his tavern, and [also] building site 86 on the south side of Wasser [Water?] Street, between Pain and Mulberry, where he built a barn.

Christian PLATTER bought a 1000-acre farm on the south side of Paint Creek for 450 pounds sterling, Kentucky currency, on 1 May 1800. [Since most business in the Scioto Valley was carried on with Limestone, Kentucky, Kentucky currency was widely in demand. One dollar Kentucky currency was worth 15 dollars federal paper money in the spring of 1800]

Jacob AUL bought two parcels of land from Samuel BRODERICK in the so called Military District in May [1800], on the right bank of the Scioto River, altogether 750 acres for $1500.  Aul had previously lived in Parton Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. In the two deeds of 12 and 20 May [1800] his surname is spelled AUL, ALL, and AWL, but Aul is correct.

Friederich RITTER came with Jacob AUL  and bought a 500-acre farm from Samuel BRODERICK for $1000.

On 12 Jun [1800] Lucas REBECKER bought building site 223 in Chillicothe for $20; a month previously Daniel VIETNER? [BIETNER?] bought building site 280 and the blockhouse thereon for $50.

Adam HOLLER bought two horses, three cows, eight calves, eighty hogs, two saddles, thirty pounds of tin plates, two rifles,
three copper kettles, an oven, three hooks, four axes, a pair of iron wedges, a harrow, and bed clothing from John HARGUS for $700 on 18 Apr 1800.

The first emancipation of a negro slave in Ohio is recorded in county records, Book 1, page 76:

This deed [Urkunde], which is enacted on the 11th day of February in the year of Our Lord
1799, attests that I, Johannes KRUG, of Ross County, in the territory of the United States
northwest of the Ohio River, hereby emancipate and release from my service the male negro 'NOCO'
previously owned by me. He is 30 years of age, 5 feet 6 inches tall and of dark skin complexion. I transfer to him all rights enjoyed by a freeman.

                                                                                                                (signed) Johannes Krug.

First volume of the Ross County land ownership register:

[The youngest of these documents bears the date 13 Feb 1802]

Herr Mathias DENMANN, originally a Cincinnati landowner, bought land in the fall of 1801, after having long since sold his interest in the Cincinnati settlement [a 4000-acre parcel on the right Scioto bank of the Virginia Military District]. Whether
Herr Denmann ever lived there, the sources do not reveal.  The numerous land patents of the Denman family are listed in the first three volumes of Clifford Neal Smith, Federal Land Series. However, the 4000-acre parcel in the Virginia Military District is not listed in volumes 4, parts 1 or 2, because Denman apparently was not a veteran of the revolutionary war
from Virginia.

Among the first settlements in Ross County was that of Highbank Prairie, now within the village of Liberty. As early as 1798 Jacob KILGORE planted wheat [Welschkorn] here. Among the other settlers was Bernhard KERNS.

Georg RUFNER, a companion of Ludwig WETZEL, whose parents were among the first settlers near Wheeling, VA came
here to make permanent settlement in 1798. He bought a farm on the shore of Paint Creek near Chillicothe.