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Christopher Dosch Family; Father of York Co.’s Michael Dosch

Christopher Dosch Signatures: 1752 Signature on Ship Arrival List in Philadelphia, 1769 Signature on Deed in Lancaster County, PA and 1775 Signature on Will in Shenandoah County, Virginia

Following my talk on the Dosch Burial Grounds in Lower Windsor Township, several people asked for more details on several of the families noted in my talk.  This post on the Christopher Dosch Family is the third in a series of posts to provide answers those questions.  Other posts in this series include:


I titled this blog “Christopher Dosch Family; Father of York Co.’s Michael Dosch.”  Michael Dosch is the person who first came to York County from Lancaster County as a tenant farmer after his uncle George Dosch purchased 386 acres in 1773.  Michael started to purchase his own York County property in 1780 and by the time he died in 1799, Michael owns 712 acres in Eastern York County.

In working back through Lancaster County records at the Court House and Historical Society, I’m fairly certain Michael’s father Christopher is the immigrant and is the person noted in the book “Pennsylvania German Immigrants, 1709-1786.” Don Yoder edited this book; it contains a section “Pennsylvania German Pioneers from the County of Wertheim.”  This section contains the 1931 research of Otto Langguth, historian and genealogist in Kreuzwertheim-am-Main, Bavaria; which was translated and edited by Don Yoder, Ph.D. from Muhlenberg College for his book published in 1980. Quoting from page 203:

DOSCH, CHRISTOPH – Oedengesass (1752)

Rosenberg Archive, Br. 387b, and Br. 554, Sheet 54 ff., May 8, 1752: has still to pay to Johann Mich[ael] Bach, citizen and tradesman in Wertheim, 50 florins 21 kreuzer, and gave a mortgage on it, but sold his goods to Paul Schlessmann in Nassig, who also emigrated and went into bankruptcy. // Christoph Dosch, Ship Phoenix, November 22, 1752 (Hinke, I, 507), with other Wertheimers.  Christoph Dosch and wife Maria Elisabeth evidently settled in or near Lancaster, Pa., where they appear as parents of children baptized 1754-1765, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Lancaster (PGS Proceedings, III, 215, 228, 247, etc.).  Later in the century, in 1783 and 1785, one Christopher Dosh appears with Dan[iel] Dosch as resident in Shenandoah Co., Va., in 1783 (Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790 – Records of the State Enumerations: 1782 to 1785 – Virginia, pp. 63, 105).  One Josh[ua] Dush appears as resident in Frederick Co., Va., in 1782 (Ibid., p. 19).

When I found this passage, I was already reasonably confident that Christopher Dosch emigrated on the Ship Phoenix, arriving in Philadelphia November 22, 1752. The 1752 signature in the illustration comes from List 195C associated with the Ship Phoenix; source is Pennsylvania German Pioneers by R. B. Strassburger, Volume II, Page 609.

Don Yoder’s passage contains a hodgepodge of information; some relevant and some not relevant.  However this passage started me looking into the Shenandoah County, Virginia connection; with trips to their courthouse.  This proved to be a correct move.

The second Christopher Dosch signature shown at the beginning of this blog comes from the February 23, 1769 deed where Christopher Tush [Dosch] of Manor Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and Maria Elizabeth, his wife, sell 257 acres of land to William Wright of Manor Township for 280 Pounds.  It noted that this is land where Christopher Tush [Dosch] now lives and that the frontage along the Susquehanna River is 118-perches (1,947 feet).

The connected warrant map of Manor Township shows that this land is down the Susquehanna River from Turkey Hill; about half-way between Turkey Hill and where Safe Harbor Dam now exists, Christopher’s land straddled Frys Run.  The survey made March 14, 1761 for Christopher Dosch, noted that the lower half of the property was 118-perches along the Susquehanna River; that it was “poor stony hilly land” and that the upper half of the property contained “thin soil but level.”  Christopher Dosch did not get very good land for farming; maybe this is why he eventually moved on to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

I believe that Christopher Dosch left for Virginia shortly after selling his Manor Township land in 1769.  Sons Friedrich and Michael Dosch chose not to make the trip for whatever reason; they are not noted in their father’s will. Looking at the four youngest children of Christopher and Elizabeth Dosch; Lancaster’s Holy Trinity Lutheran Church baptism records indicated that they are:  Barbara (born March 23, 1758), Mary (born August 23, 1759), Catharine (born November 17, 1761) and Magdalena (born February 22, 1765).

When wills list the surviving children, they are usually listed from oldest to youngest.  The Shenandoah County, Virginia will of Christopher Dosh, Sr. lists his wife Elizabeth, then the very likely older children progressing to the youngest child.  This will lists his last four children as “Barbara, Mary, Catharine and Magdalena;” pretty substantial proof that the Christopher Dosh, Sr. in Shenandoah County, Virginia is the same Christopher Dosch previously living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

The third Christopher Dosch signature shown at the beginning of this blog comes from his Will dated December 11, 1775.  Christopher Dosh, Sr. died sometime prior to his will being probated August 1778.  The 1783 and 1785 Christopher Dosh that Don Yoder noted in his book passage is the son Christopher Dosh, Jr.  Although the signatures do not match precisely, they are similar; however when tied together with the other discoveries noted, I’m confident all these signatures are from the same individual.

Christopher Dosch Family History

Christopher Dosch (b. unknown – d. 1778) of Oedengesass, Wertheim, Germany immigrated with his wife Maria Elisabeth and most likely several small children.  They arrived on the Ship Phoenix, November 22, 1752 at the port of Philadelphia.  In Virginia during his later life; records indicate the death of Christopher Dosh [Dosch] Sr. during 1778, with his wife surviving him.  They had 9 children (2 or 3 children oldest children likely were born in Germany):

  • Christopher Dosch Jr. (b. unknown – d. May 1808)
  • Regina Dosch (b. unknown – d. after 1778)
  • Elizabeth Dosch (b. unknown – d. after 1778)
  • Friedrich Dosch (b. unknown – d. unknown); In 1788 Fred Dosh ran a two horse stage between Lancaster & Philadelphia.  Fred is the only child not listed in either Christopher Dosh Senior’s Will or in Baptism Records with Christopher & Elizabeth as parents.  His listing is only included here because I’ve seen several family histories noting that Michael Dosch had a brother Friedrich that rode post between Lancaster and Philadelphia.  In addition, I found the records about the stage line that he operated between the same two cities.
  • Michael Dosch (b. 19 Mar 1754 –d. 1799); Married Anna Maria Klein (b. possibly 1753 – d. 1809).
  • Barbara Dosch (b. 23 Mar 1758 – d. after 1778); Married George Cooper (b. 1745 – d. 1821)
  • Mary Dosch (b. 23 Aug 1759 – d. after 1778)
  • Catharina Dosch (b. 17 Nov 1761 – d. after 1778)
  • Magdalena Dosch (b. 22 Feb 1765 – d. after 1778)

Christopher Dosch (b. unknown – d. 1778) is my Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather; his son Michael Dosch (b. 19 Mar 1754 – d. 1799) is my Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather. Next Friday I’ll start to examine the family history of George Dosch; the uncle of the Michael Dosch.

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