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Joseph Sevits & Elizabeth ? of Macungie Twp.
Posted by: Kevin Campbell (ID *****2381) Date: April 06, 2003 at 09:49:54
  of 823

I am searching for the family name of Elizabeth ? who married Joseph Sevits of Macungie Township. Joseph was born about 1772. They are referenced in the following article from the Laurel Messenger of the Somerset Historical Society.

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Sevitz Tavern was a Popular Place by Leslie R. Gray - Laurel Messenger, November, 1972

Joseph Sevitz, who came to Somerset County, with his wife Elizabeth in 1803, opened a tavern in Stonycreek Township and died there in 1807.

He is the same Joseph Sevitz whose tavern as early as 1780 was a popular meeting place in Millerstown (Macungie) Lehigh County, PA.

Joseph's grandfather, George Sevitz, came to Pennsylvania about 1727. Soon after he built a gristmill and saw-mill which stood for over 230 years and was torn down to make way to widen highway No. 309.

One of George Sevitz's oldest sons was Abraham, who settled by 1763 near the present site of Allentown and helped to defend that settlement against Indian attacks. His wife was Elizabeth and his known children were JOSEPH, Anna Barbara, and Esther, who married George Henry Grumbach.

Abraham Sevitz served in the Revolutionary War under the command of Capt. Henry Hagenbuch. He died on April 18, 1777, probably as a result of wounds received in battle. His wife, Elizabeth was named administratrix of his small estate.

His son JOSEPH Sevitz was born about 1757. He was just 19 when his father joined the army and Joseph was persuaded to stay and carry on his father's tailoring business.

When his father died, Joseph became briefly the all-too-young head of the family. In 1778, his mother Elizabeth married Jacob Gintz freeing Joseph of family responsibilities.

About 1779, Joseph decided to marry and settle on land in Macungie Township, where by 1780 he had estalished a tavern which he was to operate for over 25 years. He prospered and when Peter Miller, founded Millerstown in 1789, he purchased a lot No. 3 for 20 pounds … nearly opposite his tavern.

Michael Sterner had lot No. 2 (M. Sterner also came to Somerset County. Ed) Joseph Sevitz tavern at Macungie was a two story log boarded building, 24 ft. by 22 ft. with a kitchen. In 1798 it was valued for tax purposes at $650.

Joseph's wife Elizabeth may have been a Romig as there was a close association with his family for a number of years. This is pure speculation, but John Romig of Macungie had a daughter Elizabeth, born 1768.

Early in 1793 land fever struck Joseph and he made at least two trips to Philadelphia to secure warrants for large tracts of land for his family and the Romigs.

On April 29, 1793 Joseph Sevitz received warrants for a combined total of 560 acres. His wife Elizabeth also received a warrant for 423 acres adjoining Joseph's property. Adjoining lands were held by John Romich, Michael Werin, Mathias Gangware and Jacob Leder. This land is located in what is now Carbon County.

On February 1, 1794 warrants were taken out for 3,280 acres in Huntingdon County, Western Pennsylvania, in the names of Joseph Sevitz and wife Elizabeth, George Sewitz of upper Saucon, (now Allentown), Frederick Romig, his sons John and Joseph and Joseph's son Joseph Jr., and lastly Rebecca Smith, wife of Henry smith, 400 acres each.

This was definitely speculation land for all eight sold their warrants on February 22, 1794 to James Wilson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who was one of the great land speculators of this period.

Why Joseph, Elizabeth and their children left Macungie Township for Somerset County is a mystery. We can only assume it was a sudden decision probably caused by financial collapse… There are apparently no deeds disposing of his Macungie property...

When he arrived in Stonycreek Township in 1804 be apparently had no funds to buy property, but we assume he brought with him his tavern furniture as his tavern inventory at his death in 1807 is quite extensive. In addition to this he had a considerable number of cattle and several horses. In 1805 and 1806 he was granted tavern licenses.

Joseph did not live long to enjoy the new home and tavern, he died 1807.

The land they lived on in Stonycreek Township and the tavern they operated cannot be exactly located as no deeds were registered. The administrators chosen by Elizabeth, to settle her husbands estate, Robert Philson and George Johnston were from the village
of Berlin, in adjoining Brothersvalley Township.

After Joseph's death, the tavern was operated by his wife Elizabeth to whom the license was issued in February 1808, but by September the eldest son Benjamin had taken charge.

Besides Benjamin, there were at least two other sons. One was Joseph, apparently the second son and Moses the youngest. Joseph was above the age of 14 years and chose Jonathan Sawer as his guardian. His mother asked that a guardian be appointed for Moses and Daniel Sawer was appointed. It is likely there were also other children. The 1800 census indicates two males in the family older than Benjamin and one older daughter. [This family is later known as Sorber - Ed.]

It is evident that Joseph, the second went with, Jonathan Sawer his guardian to Ohio sometime around 1810.

Moses Sevitz remained in Somerset County at least for a number of years. In a list of Militia officers of 1821-24 his name appears as a 1st Lieut. in the 13th regiment, 2nd Brigade of Somerset County militia. Moses and his family moved to Indiana about 1830.

Benjamin Sevitz. the oldest son of Joseph was born in Macungie Township, Northampton (now Lehigh County in 1786 and confirmed in the Lutheran Church at Zionville, Upper Milford Township (same County) on April 1, 1803 at the age of 17 years. The next year the family moved to Somerset County. Today there are a number of descendants of Benjamin still living in this county. The name is spelled Sevitz or Sevits.

No land sale for property in Stonycreek Twp. has been found, but a sale of goods in 1819 is recorded. Among other things, Benjamin sold to John Flock (Flick?) 2 spotted cows at $16 each; 1 brown mare at $40; 1 ten-plate stove and pipe at $10; 2 beds at $8 each and a large spinning wheel for $4.

Benjamin married Catherine Nye (before the 1810 census in which they are shown, as having one son under 5 years of age.) Known children are: William, Abraham, James, and Catherine, who married Joseph Shrock and Elizabeth who married a Riseling. Tradition says there were ten children.

William and James appear to have stayed in Somerset County. Another brother, Abraham has been mentioned but no records for him are available at present.

Benjamin's brother Joseph (son of Joseph died 1807), moved to Ohio shortly after 1810 and apparently died young. His children were Joseph (1819-1912) who married in 1841 Sara Shrider of Perry County Ohio. Later they lived in Allen County Indiana; a son James was born in Ohio in 1817; Jacob Sivits, born Jan. 17, 1821 in Perry County. Ohio, married in 1838 Mary Humbarger. A Charles Sevitz married Mary Anspatch in 1838.

The obituary of Joseph Sevitz (1819-1912) says that there were five boys and one girl in his father's family.

Moses Sevitz born in 1779. (must have been, later, under 14 in 1807 ed.) died in 1854 in Cedar Creek Township in Allen Co., Indiana where he had moved about 1830. His children were: Moses b. 1821 in Penna.; Jonathan b. 1827; Daniel b, 1831; Sophia b. 1834 married William Madden; Eliza b.1838; Elizabeth b. ____ married Hezekiah Ruth in 1849; Jacob b. 1839 and Joseph b. ____?

Joseph. son of Moses married Sara A. Paff, June 11, 1846. A son Henry was born December 3, 1847. Shortly after this both parents died and Henry was brought up by his aunt, Mrs. Hezekiah Ruth. Henry married Mary Delagrange in 1874. Descendants of this family are mainly around Leo, Indiana.

Any additional information on the Sevitz. Sivits, Savitz families will be appreciated by Mr. Leslie H. Gray, Y17 Hillcrest Drive, London 62, Ontario, Canada.


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