Jacob Lentz (1783-1870), The Brick Wall Falls, 52 Ancestors #122 Part 2

You remember Jacob from last week, you say? What is he doing back again?  What more could there possibly be to tell?  Hold tight, because a huge, huge brick wall fell this week.  Behind that wall, a gateway to the past with generations of family waiting to be discovered.  Come along…let’s crawl over the wall rubble and see what’s on the other side!

Remember my opening in Jacob’s original article where I said, “…if they (my deceased cousins, family and ancestors) are listening…well…I still have some questions that need answers that I think can only come from beyond.”

You’ve probably guessed what happened already. I don’t know exactly WHO in the beyond is responsible for this, but I very clearly know who in the here and now was inspired to deliver this gift.

One of my blog subscribers named Thomas (who I didn’t know personally until this week) is a retired specialist in German records, and, as it turns out, can read German script and knows what he is doing a whole lot better than I do. Thomas took the Jacob Lentz puzzle upon himself as a challenge – one that had stumped me and the other Lentz researchers for decades now.

I quite freely admit that I don’t read German, I can’t decipher the script, and I have limited, as in very limited, experience with German records. Thomas has every qualification that I don’t.

Let me say, Thomas has won first prize, and the Jacob Lentz family is clearly the benefactor.

The Brick Wall

One blog commenter said, “It’s a shame the tribute doesn’t mention a village nor Jacob’s parents’ names, it probably meant the info was already lost by the grand-children’s time. If Jacob even bothered to tell his own children…”

I thought the exact same thing myself, but thanks to Thomas, we’ve overcome that obstacle. However, it turns out that the obstacle was much larger than I had imagined, and there were multiple obstacles.

The Red Herring(s)

Remember the tribute that Jacob’s grandson penned said that Jacob Lentz had married Fredericka Moselman?

Here’s the quote:

“Jacob Lentz was born in Wuertemburg, Germany May 5, 1783 and he died in Dayton Ohio April 10, 1870 and is buried 13 miles northwest of Dayton. He married Frederica Mosselman who was born in Wuertemburg, Germany March 8, 1788. She died March 22, 1863.”

Well, guess what, Jacob’s grandson was wrong. Fredericka’s surname was NOT Moselman, or Mosselman, or Musselman or anything close.  Where he came up with that name, I have no idea, because it was entirely inaccurate.  This just goes to illustrate how inaccurate family stories, with the very best of intentions, can be, and how twisted information can become in just two generations.

That also means that for the past 20+ years, I’ve been searching for the wrong couple. It’s no wonder that I never found that marriage, because it didn’t exist.  That erroneous surname steered me far off course, and caused me to disregard the correct information.

I even went so far at one point as to compile a study of locations in Wurttemberg where the surname Lentz and Moselman were both common – and I came up with a big fat zero, except for large cities. There were just no records of any Lentz-Moselman marriages during the right timeframe.  So my assumption (there’s that word again) was that either the records had been lost or not yet transcribed.  After all, there was a lot of warfare in Germany.

There was another small issue too. Lentz wasn’t spelled Lentz in the German records, it was spelled Lenz, and Jacob was spelled both Jakob and Jacob.  Oh, and Fredericka was spelled Fridrica and she was baptized as Johanna Fridrica.  Jacob’s birth date was wrong too, but the year was accurate.  But hey, other than those 6 little problems, I had all the correct information to work with.  It’s amazing that anyone found them, but Thomas did.

So, the first thing, after I picked myself up off the floor and started breathing again, was to ask Thomas how he did it.

How Did He Do It?

The first clue to Thomas was that Jacob’s eldest son would never have been baptized Jacob Franklin Lentz in Germany. Franklin was not a German name and Thomas postulated that it might actually be Jacob Friedrich Lentz.

Jacob Friedrich Lentz typically went by Jacob F. during his lifetime.  His son’s name was Jacob Franklin, so perhaps it was assumed by someone that Jacob’s middle name was Franklin too.  Regardless, I’m very glad for Tom’s sharp eye and intuition fueled by years of experience, because he was right.

We did have a birth date for Jacob F., son of Jacob Sr., the immigrant. Of course, that too could be incorrect, but at least it was a guidepost by which to perhaps light the way.

Secondly, Thomas mentioned that Moselman was an extremely uncommon surname in that region, so he had some suspicion it might not be accurate.

So Thomas began by looking for Jacob Friedrich Lentz born November 28, 1806 in Wuerttemburg to a father named Jacob Lentz and a mother named Fredericka, with no surname. As it turns out, Jacob Friedrich’s birth date was accurate.  I think that was our saving grace, because it was the breadcrumb Thomas needed to begin to connect the dots.

Once Thomas found Jacob Friedrich with a matching birthdate, and potential parents, he used the other children whose names and birth dates I had noted in the article. We had 4 children total to work with:

  • Jacob “Franklin” Lentz born November 28, 1806
  • Fredericka Lentz born July 3, 1809
  • Elizabeth Lentz, birth year unknown but born in Germany
  • Barbary Lentz born August 21, 1816

Scattered German Records

Another challenge was that the records for this family were not all in one place online.

Thomas started out searching at MyHeritage and wound up utilizing both Ancestry.com and FamilySearch for records and trees with record sources. Family Search has indexed many records, but there are no images.  Ancestry has the images, but their indexing leaves much to be desired.  Additionally, names are not spelled or indexed consistently.  However, by working back and forth with both record groups, you can make headway, as I’ve discovered in the past couple days.

Thomas says:

“I decided to check the Wuerttemberg records on Ancestry.com. I found Jacob Friedrich Lenz’s baptism and that he was illegitimate but the father acknowledged his son.  I also noted the term ausgewandert and noted this.  Looked for the other children and they reasonably matched.  I then looked for the parents and they reasonably matched datewise.  I found their marriage after the fact in 1808.”

Ausgewandert means “immigrated.” The entire family as noted above were marked as such in the church records.  Bless the church clerk or Reverend, whoever took the time to go back and note on their baptism records that they had immigrated. The German clergy often took great care to note what happened to their church members.

Thomas continues:

“The handwriting is not too bad but the ink bleed through and ink stains are atrocious and make deciphering the information very difficult.  For example, Fridrica’s surname is given as Ruhl(in) and Ruhler and can sometimes even be read as Ruhla.  The surname appears to be Ruhl/Ruhle. I’ve seen what also looks like Ruhler at times but Ruhl(in) seems to be consistent.

Similarly with her mother’s maiden name as Wolflin in baptismal records but something else at her marriage to Johann Adam Ruhl.  I thought his name Adam also tied to the child born in America.”

For those who don’t know, the surname for an unmarried German female is noted with an added “in.” So an unmarried daughter of Jacob Lenz, in a marriage record, would typically be recorded as “Margaretha Lenzin, daughter of Jacob Lenz and Fridrica Ruhle.”  When Fridrica married, her name would have been referred to as Ruhlin, but later just as Ruhl or Ruhle.”  Of course, there were exceptions to just about every rule, pardon the pun.  Just to keep things interesting!

Thomas sent this information:

Jacob Lenz, bapt 15 March 1783 in Beutelsbach, Schorndorf, Wuerttemberg, son of Jacob Lenz & Maria Margaretha Grubler. Jacob was a vinedresser.

Fridrica Ruhler, bapt 14 March 1788 in Beutelsbach, d/o Johann Adam Ruhler, vinedresser & Dorothea Katharina ?

 Had the following children together without the benefit of marriage:

  1. Jacob Friedrich Lenz, born 28 Nov 1806 in Beutelsbach.
  2. Johannes, born 9 Dec 1811 in Beutelsbach; died 9 May 1814 in Beutelsbach.
  3. Elisabetha Katharina born 28 March 1813 in Beutelsbach.
  4. Maria Barbara, born 22 August 1816.

Hmmm, maybe now we have a clue as to why Jacob Lentz might not have said too much about life in Germany to his children.  I bet not one of them knew about that “without benefit of marriage” tidbit.

A few hours later, I received even more information. Thomas had found the family at FamilySearch where, apparently, someone was working on the Ruhle line.  Even though daughter Fredericka was missing from the records above, she wasn’t missing in actuality, so that completes the 4 children we knew about, plus one, Johannes, who died as a toddler in Germany, that we didn’t know about previously.

This link is to the tree at FamilySearch. You must be a member, but you can set up a free account very quickly and easily, and the sheer number of records there are quite worthwhile.


Lentz Family Search

Here’s the tree at Family Search which so generously begins with Jacob’s daughter, Fredericka as “Friderike,” the child missing from Thomas’s record searches elsewhere. These individuals and their children in this tree are all tied to church records as sources.  What a Godsend!

The Record

Jacob’s actual baptism record is shown below. It’s the last entry on the left hand page.

Lentz Jacob baptism

Very difficult to read. Believe it or not, this is one of the better pages in terms of legible information.  I’m sure glad Thomas has more experience at this than I do.

Lentz Jacob baptism crop

Here’s a closeup of the actual record.  Jacob’s birth date in the tribute was recorded as  May 5th, 1783, but he as baptized on March 15th.  You can’t, to the best of my knowledge, be baptized before you are born.  However, they were close.  Perhaps he was born on March 5th and the family remembered May instead of March.  Both are spring M months.

Jacob and Fredericka had son, Jacob Freidrich, in 1806, before their marriage, shown in the record below.

Lentz Jacob Friedrich baptism

Having a child before marriage wasn’t terribly unusual in Germany, and while there was some social stigma attached to an illegitimate birth, most of the time, the parents subsequently married, as soon as they could afford the fees and the requisite red tape was taken care of. The stigma both legal and social disappeared at that time.

Johanna Fredericka Reuhle (Ruhle) and Jacob Lenz officially married on May 25, 1808.

Lentz Jacob marriage Family Search

Family Search source reference shown above and the actual record at Ancestry shown below.

Lentz Jacob and Fredericka marriage

These church records tell us that Jacob was a vinedresser, as was his father. What do we know about vinedressers?


A vinedresser is described as a person who trims, prunes and cultivates vines. Also described as one who works in a vineyard.

This German depiction of a vinedresser from 1568 shows him using a tool known as a fork-hoe.

Lentz vinedresser

Vinedresser is an ancient term, used by Jesus in the Bible. In John 15:1, according to E. Rademacher, theologian, in his article “The Vine and the Vinedresser” which tells us the following:

Jesus begins His analogy of the vine and branches by saying that He is the “true vine” and God the Father is the “vinedresser” (or husbandman). He has mentioned the Father twenty-three times already in the immediately preceding context. Now He pictures the loving care of His Father for Him and the disciples through the picture of a vinedresser’s concern for his plants.

A vinedresser, or husbandman, is more than a mere farmer. Grapes are more than an annual crop. The vinedresser’s grape vines remain with him for decades. He comes to know each one in a personal way, much like a shepherd with his sheep. He knows how the vine is faring from year to year and which ones are more productive or vigorous than others. He knows what they respond to and what special care certain one’s need. Every vine has its own personality. And the vinedresser comes to know it over the years. The vinedresser cares for each vine and nurtures it, pruning it the appropriate amount at the appropriate times, fertilizing it, lifting its branches from the ground and propping them or tying them to the trellis, and taking measures to protect them from insects and disease.

So, when Jesus calls His Father the Vinedresser, He is describing Him in terms of His relationship and attitude as well as His actions in the lives of the disciples. We cannot stress enough how important it is to recall the attributes and actions of the Father from the previous context. To call Him a vinedresser is to tell them He cares for them personally and is wise to know exactly what to do to make them fruitful. With such a Vinedresser, the branches can experience complete confidence and security.

When Jesus describes Himself as the vine, He calls Himself the “true” vine. By “true” He means, “genuine.” But why does He use this picture of Himself? And, what does He mean by this? He uses the definite article to describe Himself and thereby says I am “the” vine, not “a” vine. This use of the article may indicate that He has a specific image in mind. He is “the” true vine in contrast to something that the disciples might consider the true vine. This emphasis may indicate He is alluding to something in Scripture to which the disciples would be familiar.

This painting by James Tissot is titled “The Vinedresser and the Fig Tree” and was painted between 1886 and 1894, purporting to show the life of Jesus Christ.

Lentz vinedresser painting

In Greek mythology, a vine-dresser is mentioned in the Illiad, written in about 1100 BC, so a vinedresser is indeed an ancient occupation, reaching back at least 3000 years.

We don’t know how far back vinedressers reach in the Lenz line.  Based on the records, Lenz men were vinedressers for several generations.  I wonder if the occupation was heritable in that the father taught the son much like an apprentice, or if sons became vinedressers not because their father taught them the trade, but because there was nothing else to become.

Germany is renowned for beer, not wine. How did Jacob and his ancestors become  vinedressers?  Perhaps the history of Beutelsbach will give us a hint. 


Beutelsbach is a town district or Stadtteil within the town of Weinstadt (“Wine City”) in Rems-Murr district, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.  Beutelsbach was first mentioned in 1080 and was one of the oldest properties of the House of Württemberg.

The settlement was founded around 1080 in a tributary valley of the Rems on the banks of the Schweizerbach. Little did Konrad von Beutelsbach suspect that he was to be the first in a line of lords, counts, dukes and – much later – even kings, who would go down in history as the Royal House of Württemberg. To this day the former village of wine growers in Beutelsbach is still known as “The Cradle of Württemberg”.

Lentz 1800s map

This map from the 1856 shows Beutelsbach and neighboring Schnait both as important villages.  Of course that was long before the formation of Weinstadt.

The Beutelsbach history project tells us that in earlier days, pre-1900, Beutelsbach had from 500 to 2000 residents and has been entirely Protestant since the Reformation.

The Beutelsbach coat of arms was first displayed on the town hall gate archway in 1577 as a market town symbol.

Lentz Beutelsbach coat of arms

Today, Beutelsbach has about 8,000 residents, while the entire city of Weinstadt has about 25,000.


Weinstadt, literally “Wine City,” is located in the Rems Valley approximately 15 km east of Stuttgart.

The town is composed of five districts or Stadtteile which were formerly independent towns and villages. They are Beutelsbach, Endersbach, Großheppach, Strümpfelbach, and Schnait. The five towns were combined to form the new city of Weinstadt in 1975.  Jacob and Fredericka have connections to at least 4 of those 5 former towns.

As the name implies, Weinstadt is best known for its vineyards and production of wine. The Remstalkellerei (Rems Valley Winery), in the Beutelsbach neighborhood of Weinstadt, is a cooperative owned by the local growers and is the tenth-largest winery in Germany.

Lentz winery

The Remstalkellerei web page, above, has some beautiful photos of the area.

Lentz Beutelsbach photo

This view shows one of the districts surrounded by the vineyards on the hills.

The city limits of Weinstadt span the river Rems, which flows through the Rems Valley (Remstal) into the Neckar Basin. The Stadtteil Großheppach lies to the north of the Rems, while the other Stadtteile lie to the south. At the southern part of the city, the vineyards climb the slopes at the edge of Schurwald. All Stadtteile have vineyards; that is the source for the name “Weinstadt.”

Lentz Weinstadt screen grab

The picture above, from the Weinstadt webpage shows the beautiful area.  the inscription on the arch says something like, “In the cellar deep ripens in the barrel of the noble wine.”  Sometimes online translators aren’t wonderful, but they are the best option we have.  Even if the words aren’t exact, I still get the idea and this heart of German wine country is exquisitely beautiful.

On the map below, you can see Beutelsbach and Weinstadt, with the Rems River running through Weinstadt. Beutelbach is clearly the hillside where the grapes grew in the vineyards.

Lentz Beutelsbach map

You can see on this satellite view that yet today, the surrounding hillsides are still vineyards. The vineyard where Jacob and his ancestors for generations were vinedressers is very probably in this very picture.  He walked and lovingly cared for the vines on this land.  Grape vines, properly cared for, can live for more than 100 years.  Jacob may have known some of these vines personally as did his ancestors.

Lentz Beutelbach satellite

The vineyard patterns are very artistic and poetic in and of themselves.

Lentz Beutelsbach vineyards

The records of the Lenz family intertwine with families from the village of Schnait. Looking at this map, I can clearly see why.  It’s only one and a third miles away.  You can see the villages from each other, I’m sure.  Just as I’m sure the resident of both villages worked in the vineyards.

Lentz Beutelsbach to Schnait

Other Lenz Males to America

As I mentioned in Jacob’s original article, we know that Jacob’s DNA matched that of my now deceased cousin, Paul Lantz, so we know that these men probably shared an ancestor from this part of Germany. We also know that our line of Lenz men reach back in time to Schnait as early as 1601 when Johannes Lenz, probably born about 1570, married Margaretha Vetterlin.  Lenzs were likely living there earlier, before church records, as well.

It’s possible that Paul’s Lantz ancestor, originally a Lenz, of course, came from Beutelsbach. If he came from Schnait, we won’t have that record.  Paul’s ancestor, Michael Lanz, according to the 1850 census was born in 1773 in Pennsylvania.  That means his father, whoever it was, had to have been born before 1753, probably before 1750, assuming a marriage at age 23, which was relatively young, and immigrated before 1773.

Michael Lantz was first found in Washington County, Maryland when Michael’s daughter was baptized in 1794 with Elizabeth Lantz, a widow, as her sponsor. Washington County, Maryland was settled mostly by people from Pennsylvania.  Coincidentally, I have researched that county for another one of my ancestors, the Millers, the family my Jacob Lentz’s daughter married into.  No small irony there.

I checked the census for Washington County, Maryland in 1790. We don’t know if Michael Lantz’s father was living (at all) or living there at that time, but it’s probably a good bet given that 4 years later, Michael had married and was having a child baptized.

I searched for Lentz, Lantz, Lenz, Lance, Lens, Lans, etc.

We find these men with the census categories; free white males over 16, free white males under 16, free white females, all other free, slaves

  • Jacob Lantz – Washington County, Maryland 1, 4, 3, 0 ,0
  • John Lantz – neighboring Frederick County, Maryland 1, 0, 4, 0, 0
  • Leonard Lentz/Lantz – Frederick County, Maryland – 4, 4, 6, 0 , 3
  • Christian Lance – Washington County, Maryland – 1, 3, 2, 0, 0
  • George Lance – Washington County, Maryland – 1, 4, 3, 0, 0
  • Elizabeth Lance – Washington County, Maryland – 1 female, herself

All of these men except John Lantz have male children who could have married between 1790 and 1794.

In the 1800 Census, we fine Michael Lantz in Williamsport, Washington County MD:

Michael Lantz: 1 male over 26, 2 females under 10, 1 female under 26

By 1810, according to the census, Michael was living in Indiana Co, PA.

Between 1800 and 1810, several Lantz individuals married in Washington Co., MD with the first names of:

  • Barbara
  • Christian
  • Elizabeth
  • Magdalena
  • Mary*
  • George
  • Elizabeth*
  • Catherine
  • Henry*
  • Christina

We don’t know if these people were related to Michael through siblings or other family members, or just happen to share the same surname.  Two of them* appear to be children of Jacob Lantz who died in 1801, and one may be Jacob’s son’s widow, Elizabeth.  There is obviously at least one other Lantz family with marriage age children during this time.

Jacob Lantz’s will was written in Washington County in 1797, probated in 1801, and mentions son Jacob (who had died and left his wife Elizabeth), Henry and Mary along with married daughters Elizabeth, Magdalena and Barbara. Names are important in German families, because they repeat.  Everyone is named “after” someone.

Given that the “widow Elizabeth Lantz”, probably son Jacob Jr.’s wife, was a witness to Michael’s daughter’s baptism in 1794, these families were connected.

If Michael was Jacob’s son, he is omitted from the will.

Jacob could have been Michael’s uncle or other family member.

According to Paul Lantz’s work, Michael Lantz’s children are as follows.  Too bad there isn’t a Christian Lantz among the children.

  • Susanna
  • Elizabeth
  • Jacob
  • Julia Ann
  • Margaret
  • John
  • George
  • Catherine
  • Martin
  • Nancy
  • Fredrick
  • Mary
  • Sarah

Let’s look at the Beutelsbach church records to see if there are any males who could have been either Michael’s father or grandfather who immigrated to America.

According to the Beutelsbach heritage book page for Lenz, which indicates all of the individuals to immigrated to “Amerika,” there is only one male of the right age who immigrated at the right time and either was or had sons of an age that they could have been the father to Michael Lantz.

Christian Lenz born in 1699 in Beutelsbach immigrated in 1746 to Pennsylvania, according to the church records. He had two sons, Christian born in 1728 and Johann Jakob born in 1729 in Germany who came to America.  Daughters were Maria Barbara and Anna Maria.  We don’t know if he had other children after immigrating.

Given that we find a Christian in Washington County, and a Jacob who died in 1801, this is likely the same family, if not those same individuals. We could be one more generation down the tree, so to speak.  Jacob who died in 1801 had three married daughters, so he would have been at least 50 years old and likely older, so born 1750 or earlier.  He could have been the son of either Jacob born in 1729 or Christian born in 1728, or he could have been Jacob born in1729, the son of Christian who immigrated.  If Jacob was Christian’s son, he would have been 69 when he wrote his will and 72 when he died – a reasonable scenario.  If the Christian living in Washington County, Maryland in 1790 was Jacob’s brother, he would have been 62 in 1790, a reasonable age to have had a son, Michael, in 1773 at age 45.

A Common Ancestor?

Christian, the 1746 immigrant, may not be the ancestor of Michael Lantz, but he’s the best and only candidate we have from Beutelsbach. Of course, another Lenz from another village close by could have immigrated as well.  Christian is a much more unusual name than Jacob.

If Christian is Michael’s ancestor, how does the Christian who was born in 1699 connect to our Lenz family?

End of Our Line

Our Lenz line ends with Hans Lenz and Margaret Vetterlin who were married in 1601 in Schnait. The record states that they no longer live in Schnait, but doesn’t say where they do live.  Hans would have probably been born around 1570, or earlier, or perhaps as late as 1580.

End of Michael’s Line

Michael’s line extends back to a Hans Lenz born in 1630 in Schnait who married Gertraud Glaudner.

My Hans, born in 1570 and marrying in 1601 could have been the father of Hans born in 1630, if he had a second marriage to a younger wife. Otherwise, unless his wife was having children when she was 50, my Hans was not the father of Michael’s Hans.

So it appears likely that our common Lenz ancestor reaches farther back yet into antiquity, in the village of Schnait, in the vineyards of Germany.

Another branch of Michael’s lineage is well documented on this page by Joe Hartley. If any of these Lenz/Lenta/Lantz men take the Y DNA test, they should match our line too.


I have barely slept this week, and have thought of nothing other than these families in Buetelsbach and the wine country along the Rems River. I have read and absorbed so much history and I still can’t find enough.

It has been and continues to be a very emotional journey. Finding my ancestors has that effect on me, and finding a cascade of 7 or 8 generations on both sides is nothing short of overwhelming, in the best of ways.  I feel that they have been brought to life again, connected and now their lives can be documented and they can be remembered.  No longer is there a blank space beside Jacob Lentz’s birth location.   Fredericka now has her correct surname and has been reconnected with her family.  I can just hear her breathing a huge sigh of relief.

I have to thank Thomas, again, and the unnamed transcribers who have worked so hard on the Beutelsbach records. The records on this site are in German, but they include the notes which give information about when the person immigrated, their occupation, and anything else in the old, nearly unreadable, records. There are several free German to English translators on the internet to help with those most valuable notes.

Is Oenophilia Hereditary?

Oenophilia, the love and appreciation of wine – is it heritable?  Did I inherit it from Jacob and Fredericka?  Is it in my DNA?

As I’ve lived the discovery of both the Lenz and Reuhle lines this week Beutelsbach, heart of the German wine country, the irony hasn’t missed me that my former husband and I used to make and bottle wine under the name of “Ore Creek Winery.” We lived on Ore Creek at the time.

Lentz wine bottles

I even hand stitched bottle label “jackets” for when we entered the wine into competitions, although most of the wine never made it outside of the house, truthfully.  Our production capacity was very limited.

Lentz wine bottle jackets

I’ve always had a passion for wine, beginning when I lived overseas as a teenager in 1970. You couldn’t drink the water so you had to drink wine, beer or scotch.  That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it:)

I came home, having studied overseas, thinking we should have wine every evening with dinner – nearly giving my mother a heart attack, since the legal drinking age in Indiana at the time was 21 and let’s just say I was no place close. Wine in Europe, at that time, was a regular part of a meals.  Felt right at home to me!  Now we know why.

My fascination with grapes and the beauty of grapevines and vineyards has continued throughout my life.  Wherever we travel, we always visit the wineries, even though I don’t care for dry wines.  Now ice wines and Catawbas, those are TO DIE FOR, but I digress…

My passion for wine and vines extends beyond wine itself.  I made a grape quilt for a couch cover, which is currently in the possession of my daughter and grand-puppies who like it as much as I do.

Lentz grape quilt

My current husband, Jim, and I were married outside a beautiful old stone building in the shade of ancient trees with wine casks in the background at the Mon Ami winery on Catawba Island in Lake Erie. Vineyards and wineries speak to some very primal place in my soul and I am drawn to them like a moth to the flame.  Jim had no idea when he asked me here, to have dinner at the winery for our first date, exactly what he was doing.  Eight years later, we would be standing beneath the boughs beside the vineyards, just like my ancestors.

Lentz Mon Ami wedding

This was a glorious day, and the last time that the entire family was together. My children stood up with me, my mother, seated in blue at left, walked me down the aisle, although I’m not sure who was steadying whom.  My granddaughter and brother, also Jacob’s descendants were guests but not visible in the photo above.  However, you can see the wine casks in the background.  Little did I know how appropriate this really was – perhaps even prophetic.

Our reception was in the cooking school at the winery with a professional chef who was also an entertainer.

Lentz reception

The wine flowed freely all evening, with the winery pairing their wonderful variety of wines with the various courses – and there was a full evening’s worth of scrumptious courses. The reception was most memorable and the most fun I’ve ever had at any wedding reception. It also generated the largest bar bill I’ve ever seen!  Jacob would have been proud!  We kept several vinedressers gainfully employed, I’m sure.

Lentz reception me and Mom

Mom and I were having a great laugh about something. Jacob was mother’s great-great-grandfather, passing away 52 years before she was born.  I’m sure Mother has been assisting with ancestor hunting from the other side, but I surely do miss her.  She would probably be very upset with me publishing this picture because she doesn’t look “very ladylike.”  I love the candid photo because we are both laughing and it reminds me of our many adventures and escapades together – many of which were indeed, laughable.

Lentz 3 generations

Three generations of Jacob’s descendants.

Apparently, judging from my grape, vineyard and wine-related affinities, and those of my family, the grape does not fall terribly far from the vine, even after several generations.



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46 thoughts on “Jacob Lentz (1783-1870), The Brick Wall Falls, 52 Ancestors #122 Part 2

  1. Roberta, Not sure if this is helpful, but there is a Christian Lentz mentioned in the Peffley family book that is both online and on Ancestry. He lived and married in PA and had step-children in 1790. I’m not sure where he lived, as he is not my ancestor and I never attempted to follow him. He merely had the audacity to marry my ancestress after her husband died.

      • Hi Roberta, Great information on the LEnz/Lentz family!! I am also a descendant of the Lentz family of Beutelsbach, my ancetors left Germany and came to Phila Pa in 1778.This is from an article by Walter Lee sheppard jr: “Johann Jacob Lenz (variously Lentz and Lens), son of Hans Jacob, was born in Beutelsbach, Württemberg, 7 janary 1727. In the local records he is referred to as “bachbecken” (baker on the brook) through the year 1758 (the year of the baptism of his eldest surviving son). After this date he appears either as “weingärtner” (vinedresser), or with both descriptions. He married four times, his first three wives each dying at or shortly after the birth of a child. His fourth wife, whom he married as Gross Hepach on 14 June 1757, was Anna Maria Löffler, daughter of Johann Melchior Löffler, born 17 May 1735 in Gross Hepach. She was the mother of his three surviving sons.”

        My DNA is on Ancestry, I have connected with two other Lentz family members.

        AL Gremmel

        • This is exciting. You are my first Lentz cousin outside of the Jacob Lentz line. I’m at Ancestry, but it’s a lot easier to do a comparison at GedMatch where we can see the actual segments we match, if any. I also have my Lentz cousins DNA there as well. Are you at GedMatch, and if not, would you transfer your results so we can see if we match or if you match with any of the Lentz cousins.

          Did you find the historical site about Beutelsbach that has all of the lines transcribed and assembled from the church books? Someplace our line surely meshes with each other.

  2. Beautiful dress, bride and story. Thank you for sharing another labour of love and reminding us we may need to do a little more digging.

  3. This is such an incredible entry, thank you for sharing! And thank you Thomas for your work! I just learned a lot of clues from the description of your efforts and I will use that in the future. I am inspired!

  4. Earlier this year your encouraged people to drop breadcrumbs. You followed your own advice and it worked! This is a wonderful story, but also it is a good example that many sources and many tools are needed. FamilySearch.org is not often mentioned, but they are a very good resource. You can’t thank your angel enough !!!

  5. Roberta, you continue to amaze me. Not only do your stories contain the history and genealogy, but you also bring closure with information that ties it all together for the reader. Keep up the great work that you do so well.

  6. Fabulous! No wonder you haven’t slept! Congratulations.

    My cousin’s paternal line is Lantz. The family emigrated to America, arriving in Baltimore in about 1846-1850, settling in New Palestine, Indiana, by about 1858. John George Lantz, b. 1830 in Hesse-Darmstadt/Hessia/Germany (depending on which census you look at). Darmstadt in Hesse is roughly 120 miles from Schnait.

    My cousin is in FamilyFinder, but no male in her family has Y-DNA tested (to my knowledge).

  7. What a great find and post Roberta, you lucky girl! I’ve enjoyed reading your lengthy posts and hope to review them in more detail now that I’m retired with some more time. Mon Ami was our special place to go for dinner growing up in the 1960s and although the remodeling changed it quite a bit, the memories are still there. 🙂

  8. There is a Lantz family in York Co. PA who intermarried with my Liebenstein (changed to Livingston in America) family. Here’s a snip from a long genealogy: “John George Liebenstein married Elizabeth Barbara LANTZ13,14. Married November 3, 1767, Strayers Lutheran Church. Source York County Church Records of the 18th Century, Vol. 3, p. 98. Elizabeth Barbara a daughter of Philip Lantz.” I haven’t followed them backward as its not a direct line, but my Liebenstein/Livingston ancestor is buried in the Lantz Cemetery just outside of Blacksville WV on Dunkard Creek. Will send you a photo. Janet S.

  9. You may have another clue here. When I found that an ancestor’s cousin gave his mother’s name as Sarah Test on his marriage application I wondered how he could have done that. Her maiden name was Sarah Beans. This cousin even grew up in the same township as Sarah’s brother, Joseph Beans. Then it occurred to me! I had lost Sarah’s parents (Amos and Rachel (Kugler) Beans) after the 1840 census. Maybe the cousin remembered his mother’s mother as Grandma Test and used that last name as his mother’s maiden name. Sure enough! I found Rachel Test (the grandmother) living in the same township on the 1850 census. So maybe your Frederika’s mother had a later marriage to a Mr. Mosselman.

  10. Kudo to Thomas for all these finds, that’s one nagging hole filled. The biggest one on your mother side if I remember well.

    Beside the four 4x great-grand-parents, did you find complete branches of ancestors? The family search tree isn’t quite whole, but maybe you and Thomas manage to fill more blanks.

    • Indeed, it is, or was, the biggest one on my mother’s side and we’re in the process now of filling in the blanks. And yes, full lineage back several generations. Thomas said today he feels like he’s in the Twilight Zone and so do I.

      • If only he could do the same with Elizabetha Mehlheimer, like find her parents. Or even better, a son which emigrated to the United States and left plenty of info on who his father was….

        If only…

        I notice you forgot a very important picture in your oenophilia section. There is no picture of the victory bottle you opened to celebrate this unexpected brick wall smashing. ^_~

  11. Since you first mentioned the name “Mosselman” it occurred to me that it might be a descriptor rather than a surname. Doesn’t it mean Muslim, or as they used to say, Mohammedan?

    • Native German here. In this case it is more likely to be Moselmann, man from the Mosel (=Moselle) river. The Mosel is another important wine growing region that is not too far away, especially if you travel by ship along the Rhine river. It is not inconceiveable that a person from the banks of the Mosel ended up in the wine-growing regions of Württemberg.

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  13. Totally loved reading this story! So happy for you! I wouldn’t be able to sleep either, if this had happened to me. Wonderful.

  14. There was a fairly large RUHL family in York County. They’re in the book EARLY GERMAN SETTLERS OF YORK COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA by Keith A. Dull. I’m descended from a branch of this family who went to Eastern Ohio

  15. Wonderful article! I am a descendant of Jacob and Fredericka as well, through their daughter Fredericka. I am very excited to share this with my mother, very interesting!

    • There’s another article coming on Sunday about Fredericka. Do you know if your mother (who I presume is your connection) descends from Fredericka through all females? If so, she would carry Fredericka’s mitochondrial DNA and could test for that, if she hasn’t already.

  16. Pingback: Fredericka (Not) Moselman, But Ruhle/Reuhle (1788-1863) and The Voyage From Hell, 52 Ancestors #123 | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  17. Ooh, time for a language geek-out! 🙂

    Keller is in the genitive case there (possessive), and Grunde is in the dative (indirect object). Looks like the archaic “masculine dative -e” form of Grund (ground). Fass is also dative, and singular (im Fass = in dem Fass = in the barrel).

    So, “In des Kellers tiefem Grunde reift im Fass der edle Wein” = “In the cellar’s deep ground, the noble wine ripens in the barrel.”

    Love the quilt, BTW. And congratulations!

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  21. My Ancestors came in through Canada and most including my Grandparents settled in Longbeach Washington around the turn of the century. I was born in Portland, Oregon in 1953, my father was born in Longbeach March 17, 1913.

    • I wonder if your Lentz line is the same. If you want to know, order the Y DNA 37 marker test from Family Tree DNA. If you match this line, then we’ll know. You can click on the link on the sidebar of the blog to order.

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