Frantz Family

c 1745 - 1894

Frantz is an older spelling of the German personal name Franz, which in English is known as Francis.

Paul Frantz was probably born about 1745 or earlier given that his first child was born in 1766. The name of Paul’s wife is currently unknown but they had at least two children together before Paul died sometime between 1777 and 1796:

  1. Jacob (b. 1766)
  2. Tobias (b. abt. 1777)

Jacob Frantz was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania which means probably either father Paul or his parents had immigrated from a German speaking nation. On March 7, 1796, thirty year old Jacob took First Communion at the Indian Creek Reformed Church in Franconia Township, Montgomery County. Presumably, he was converting from another denomination. His brother Tobias followed in his steps in 1801. Jacob married Susanna Lewis on October 21, 1800 at Tohickon Union Reformed Church in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She had been born in 1781 in Pennsylvania, making her nineteen when she married the thirty-four year old Jacob. They presumably had several children but at the moment, the only name we know of is their son:

  1. James (b. Oct 11, 1816)

The family initially settled in Hilltown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania but by 1840, had moved to Columbiana County, Ohio. Jacob died here on March 18, 1846 and his wife Susanna died exactly 11 years after her husband on March 18, 1857, also in Columbiana County. They are both buried in Trinity Reformed Church Cemetery.

James Frantz married Anna “Nancy” Knepper sometime before 1843 when they started having children. Nancy, which is a common nickname for Anna, was born on March 7, 1812 in Pennsylvania making her four years older than her husband. They first lived in Hanover Township, Columbiana County, Ohio where James was a laborer but by 1860, they were living in Center Township where he became a farmer owning 147 acres. Their first known child, Catharine, was born about 1844 but this would have made Nancy thirty-one years old so it’s possible they were married and had undocumented children prior to this. Their known children include:

  1. Catharine (b. 1843)
  2. Susan E. (b. abt. 1845)
  3. Issac H. (b. abt. 1846)
  4. Abijah (b. November 1847)
  5. James Jr. (b. 1850)
  6. Mariah (b. abt. 1852)

James Jr. died as an infant on December 2, 1850 and Mariah also died young in 1853. Their daughter Susan married Wilson S. Ramsey on April 11, 1872. To read more about their life together, see the Ramsey Family Chapter. Catharine didn’t marry until she was about 48 years old to next door neighbor Isaac Hastings Jr., who was even older than her at 63. He had previously been married and had one child who was already grown so he may have only been looking for companionship from his second marriage.

On December 22, 1884, Nancy died in Lisbon and was buried in Trinity Reformed Church Cemetery at the age of 72. James followed her ten years later on July 2, 1894 and he is buried in the same location. By the time of his death, James owned 163 acres which he left entirely to his sons Isaac and Abijah, along with all his personal property too, though he did give $1,400 to his daughter Catharine and $200 each to his Ramsey grandchildren to be paid upon their reaching 21 years old. His daughter Susan had died before the will was made which is why he left money to her children instead. James’ son Abijah was named as executor of his will, which was made June 12, 1894, less than a month before his death. This suggests he was ill for at least a month before his death.

© Robin Bauer 2010-2013