Part of the USA Today Network

George Dosch Family Part 1; Uncle of York Co.’s Michael Dosch

Map showing Location of Wertheim in Southwestern Germany and Map showing Detail of Wertheim with Surrounding Communities, specifically Oedengesass (Christopher Dosch) and Sachsenhausen (George Dosch)

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 George Dosch Family is the fourth in a series of posts to provide answers those questions.  Other posts in this series include:

The map above shows the locations of the communities surrounding Wertheim, Germany from which the very likely brothers Christopher Dosch and George Dosch immigrated. Oedengesass and Sachsenhausen are less then 2-miles distance from one another.

I say very likely brothers, because many little things seem to indicate they are brothers; these clues will become apparent throughout my posts about George Dosch.  However I’m not going to say with certainty they are brothers until the records of their parent(s) in Germany have been located.  My search for the paternal records has been unsuccessful thus far; if anyone has discovered these documents, please post a reply.


I titled this blog post “George Dosch Family; Uncle of York Co.’s Michael Dosch.”  I’ll break down the information that I have on George into several parts.  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 uncle George immigrated with Michael’s father Christopher; they are both 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 204:

DOSCH, HANS GEORG – Sachsenhausen (1752)

May 15, 1752: wants to go with wife and 4 children to Pennsylvania.  Still has 444 florins property.  Mentioned as emigrant in the Village Mayor’s Report for Sachsenhausen (1750-1761): “Johann Georg Dosch, with wife and children.” // Hans George (X) Dosh, Ship Phoenix, November 22, 1752 (Hinke, I, 508), with other Wertheimers, including Christoph Dosch.  One George Dosh was resident of Manor Tp., Lancaster Co., Pa., in 1773 (3PA, XVII, 400).

The families of George Dosch and Christoph Dosch attended Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania even while both lived in Manor Township; they show up in numerous communion lists and at baptisms.  Christoph Michael Dosch was recorded as being born on March 19, 1754, and being baptized in this church on April 7, 1754, with parents recorded as Christoph and Elisabeth Dosch.

I am fairly certain this is the Michael Dosch that married during June 1772, he would have been 18-years old when he married; consistent with being married before he would have been listed as a Freeman in the Manor Township tax records.  Michael’s wife may be the Anna Maria Klein who is recorded as being baptized on April 22, 1753 in Lancaster County by Rev. John Waldschmidt; his personal register only recorded the name of her father as Marx Klein.  If this were the correct Anna Maria Klein, she would have been 19-years old when they married during June 1772.

If one looks at family history information on the Internet, one sees instances where early Dosch relationships are stated that definitely are not true.  An errant example was a family tree that stated Christopher Michael Dosch was born on March 19, 1754 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania as the son of Johann Georg Dosch and Maria Ziegelbauer; and that this Christopher Michael Dosch died during May 1808 at Strasburg, Shenandoah County, Virginia.  This errant information on the Internet may have prompted other people to conclude that this Michael Dosch is the son of George Dosch.

George Dosch did have a son Michael, but not the Michael born in 1754; which likely prompted the confusion.  It is evident that the records of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania were never checked when someone placed this family connection on the Internet, because at this church Christoph Michael Dosch was recorded as being born on March 19, 1754, and being baptized on April 7, 1754, with parents recorded as Christoph and Elisabeth Dosch.

Dosch is a German surname.  People who do research on German surnames in Colonial America have to deal with the phenomenon of variant spelling of family names.  One has to remember, ancestors usually did not create the records containing their name.  In most cases English clerks, who were not accustomed to the German sound or spelling, wrote in civil documents the German surname phonetically as it sounded in English.  George Dosch did not sign his name upon arrival in Philadephia in 1752, he only made a mark; thereafter a clerk wrote his name.

The problems with variant spelling of surnames were not limited to English clerks; even those who spoke and wrote German recorded the German language names in various ways.  On these blog posts, Dosch is used pretty much throughout for consistency; although in the original records this surname can be spelled any number of ways, sometimes even different ways in the same document.  Dosch and Dosh are the most dominant spellings in the original documents, however Tosh, Dush and even Tush sometime appear.

Next Friday I’ll continue to examine the family history of George Dosch; the uncle of the Michael Dosch of York County, PA.

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts