The Descendants of Wilhelm Wurtz

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Welcome to the family genealogical site dedicated to the descendants of Wilhelm Wurtz who was born about 1703 in the Tauberbischofsheim, Baden area of Germany. Wilhelm’s journey appears to have originated in Tauberbischofsheim, Landkreis, Baden, Koenigsreich (Herzogsreich) Wuerttemberg (Deutschland). He would have taken a boat down The Tauber, The Main, and Rhine rivers to Rotterdam, where the ship Neptune would have set sail for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania arriving September 23, 1753. With him was his wife Anna Catharina, sons, Wilhelm Wurtz, Jr., Peter Philip Virtzs, Conrad Wirtz and daughter Maria Elisabeth Wurtz. Information on Wilhelm’s origins is based on the authors of the Palatine Pamphlet. According to their research those who arrived on the ship Neptune in September 1753 were from Tauberbischhofsheim, Baden, Germany. They are reported to have settled in Lehigh, Pennsylvania and to be of Lutheran faith. Wilhelm and his family arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the boat the Neptune, John Mason, Master, on September 23, 1753 from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Wilhelm's trip originated in Tauberbischofsheim, Baden Germany. The ships log shows Wilhelm Wurtz, Sr., and Wilhelm Wurtz, Jr. Only male passengers over the age of 16 are listed in the logs. Conrad at the time of arrival would have been approximately 12-13 years old and Peter, even thou 16 based on his calculated birth date, did not sign as he probably noted his age as 15 at the time. Wilhelm Wurtz and Wilhelm Wurtz, Jr. signed next to each other on the Oath of Abjuration list, logged at the Court House of Philadelphia, Monday, the 24th of September 1753. Neither Wilhelm nor Wilhelm, Jr. could write, so their signatures were transcribed for them. Wilhelm, Sr. did place his mark, an X. Wilhelm Wurtz, Jr. signature is noted by the words On Board. It appears that Wilhelm may have spent the first few years in America in the Lancaster, Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania and/or Maryland, because he does not appear in the Loudoun County, Virginia (near Lovettsville) tax list until 1767, along with his son Conrad, and he was shown living in Lancaster when he was naturalized on April 10, 1761 in Philadelphia. Also Wilhelm and Wilhelm Jr. appear in the 1754 Pennsylvania Census as living in Philadelphia. By 1767 there was no trace of Wilhelm Wurtz, Jr. His daughter Maria had married Michael (Laufer) Runner and was living in Frederick, Maryland and would remain there until her death. Son, Peter, who was naturalized in 1775 in New Jersey, appears to have spent a few years in the Middletown, Maryland area for he does not appear in the Loudoun County tax list until 1787. In 1772 Wilhelm leased 100 acres from Lord George William Fairfax in Loudoun County. Wilhelm and his sons would remain in Loudoun County until their deaths. Many of his descendants still live in Frederick County Maryland and Loudoun County area today. Many of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren moved to the Roanoke area of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri, Illinois and Ohio. Over the years the spelling of the last name has taken on many variations such as Verts, Vertz, Virts, Virtz, Werts, Wertz, Wirtz and Wirts. You will also find information on the Hackley, Lay, Leigh, Lynn, Lind and Mann family lines on this site.

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