Name: William Pott
Given Name: William
_AKA: Wilhelm Pott, Wilhelmus Pott
Birth: Mar 1693 in Enger, Westfalen, Prussia
Christening: 8 Mar 1693 Evangelisch, Enger, Westfalen, Prussia 1
Death: 18 Oct 1781 in Lobachsville, Berks, Pennsylvania, USA 2 3 4
Emigration: 12 Sep 1734 Rotterdam to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 5
Change Date: 20 Nov 2012 at 00:00:00
Re: Maria Catharine Pott/Potts Berks Co, PA
Posted by: Jim McClean/Nancy Schaffner email@example.com
Date: November 5, 2001 at 9:05:19
We are living in and restoring the Pott Mansion, built c. 1734 in Lobachsville, Oley Valley, Berks County, and have been doing ongoing research on the Pott family.
As you probably know, apart from the usual problems with colonial records, you have two added problems: the Potts family, from Wales, was doing the same thing as the Pott family from Germany, i.e. making iron, and in the same geographical area at the same time! Additionally, every generation of the Pott family had a John and a William in it. However, we have examined a suprising amount of still extant records and are using them to correlate the various narrative accounts. We feel we have a fairly good handle on the Pott family in Oley.
Wilhelm Pott, the immigrant, was a successful businessman in Germany. He was a protestant, very religious, and, I assume, was persecuted to some extent in his native land. During a trip to England c. 1732 Wilhelm met agents of John Penn (The American"), who were encouraging people to move to the colony of Pennsylvania. Wilhelm was impressed by their accounts of the iron making possibilities in the Oley area and, in 1734, he immigrated to Pennsylvania. John Penn himself visited Pennsylvania in Sep 1734. ["Penn, his brother Thomas, and their agents were responsible for the infamous 'Walking Purchase,' which swindled the Lenape Indians out of more than one million acres (400,000 ha) of Pennsylvania" --Wikipedia.]
Wilhelm arrived in Philadelphia on 24 Sep 1734 on the ship "St. Andrew" captained by John Stedman. This was the primary immigration of the Shwenkfelders to Pennsylvania, although he was not one of them. Wilhelm was accompanied by his brother Deganhart, sons Wilhelm and Johannes and his wife Gertrude. Gertrude was the widow of Peter Lobach and they brought 14 yr. old Peter Lobach, Wilhelm's stepson, with them. Wilhelm stayed in Germantown for a brief time then moved up to the Oley valley to establish Ironworks. (Wilhelm set Peter up in business in 1746 and the Lobach Family stayed in the area long after the Pott family had died out here. Our village Lobachsville is named after them.)
Accordingly, Wilhelm bought land surrounding Pine Creek and Manatawney Creek for power sources. The deed to our property was transferred to Wilhelm in 1739, but in all likelihood the Pott family was here by 1735. Wilhelm established and/or bought several iron forges, a sawmill and fulling mill. He was in business with the famous Oley Iron Master, Col. John Lesher, but we do not know to what extent. Wilhelm's grandson married Lesher's grand daughter. They were one of the few Berks county families to own black slaves. The Pott family was rich but lived rather plainly. Wilhelm built our house some time between 1735-1745. Wilhelm was very religious and was active in the Oley Moravian movement. He travelled frequently to Montgomery County on religious matters and was a friend, presumably of the famous Moravian, Heinrich Antes.
Wilhelm died in 1781. I have examined his original signed will and estate inventory, which is on record in the Berks County Courthouse. Wilhelm's eldest son William died young and his next son John carried on the family name and enterprise until his death in 1805. I have examined his original will and estate inventory; he lived much more lavishly than his dad!
John's eldest son John, Jr. had been sent up to what became Skuylkill County to run a newly acquired iron works c. 1796. He remained there until his death in 1829 and is credited with laying out Pottsville and utilizing anthracite coal in the production of iron. I should note that Pottstown and Pottsgrove are named after the Potts family, not our people. John left his Oley holdings, including our farm, to his eldest son William in 1805. William, however, relocated to Franklin County (Gettysberg) c. 1808 and the Oley properties came into the possession of John, Jr. in Pottsville, although he never came back to live here.
I presume that William sold his holdings to older brother John to finance his move to Franklin County. Upon John's death his Oley properties were inherited by his son Benjamin who promptly had them surveyed and sold them back to the Weidners in 1830!
The last Pott of influence in Oley died in 1805 i.e. John Pott, Sr. The mansion began a slow descent into oblivion, and from 1959-2000 was often vacant. We are presently restoring it. It is a fine and in many ways unique old Pa. German House. We have located a family grave yard on the property but I doubt anyone was buried there after possibly John Sr.
From "Grave Happenings," A Publication of the Berks County Association for Graveyard Preservation, Vol I, June 2006 http://www.bcagp.org/epi/grave_happenings.pdf
POTTS CEMETERY, LOBACHSVILLE, BERKS COUNTY, submitted by James A, McClean, Jr.
When Nancy and I purchased the old Pott Mansion in Lobachsville in March 2000, we began a journey of restoration of the derelict house and property that continues to this day. We also began to research the Pott family and in the process discovered the Pott family graveyard on our farm.
The following is a brief overview of the Pott family with an emphasis on the graveyard. If anyone is interested in further reading, an excellent chapter of George Meiser IX in "The Passing Scene," Volume III, and an article by Richard Orth in the Historical Review of Berks County, Volume 70, Number 1 (Winter, 2004-2005), consider the Pott family and the development of Lobachsville.
Wilhelm Pott, his wife Gertrude (the widow Lobach), his brother Deganhart, his children, and Peter Lobach arrived in Philadelphia on the Schwenkfelder ship "St. Andrew" in September 1734. Mr. Pott was a successful businessman who had heard about the iron making opportunities in Oley and he moved here in 1736. The Pott family formed marriage alliances with other prominent farmers of the day, including the Hochs, Kreims, and Leshers.
William was a very religious man and active in the Oley Moravian movement and the Brethren of Falkner's Swamp. Wilhelm Pott was an iron master with several forges. He also owned a large plantation (our present farm), grist mills, saw mills and fulling mills. Upon William's death in 1781, his son John Pott Sr took over the family business and continued, until his death in 1805, as a prosperous "man of affairs" in Oley. He sent his son John Pott Jr to run a forge in Schuylkill County circa 1795. John Pott Jr is credited with founding Pottsville and Centerport.
Upon John Pott's death in 1805, the family scattered throughout Pennsylvania, and the Pott name disappears from the Oley Valley shortly thereafter.
When the Pott family moved here circa 1736, there was already a settler's log cabin, built by an unknown hand on the farm. Its stone remains may be seen to this day. Sometime later they built a large (for the time) mansion. It has a date stone placed to the right of the front door that is marked "William Pott, 1755, John Pott."
1755 is the year John Pott Sr married Magdalena Hoch, whose twin sister married Jacob Keim of the neighboring Keim farmstead a year or two earlier. Based on architectural evidence, it is believe that the Pott mansion was built earlier, circa 1740, and raised a full story in 1755 to accommodate the newlyweds.
As mentioned, when we moved onto the farm in March 2000, it was largely derelict and overgrown with no ornamental plants, etc. However, approximately 50 feet west of the house was an area containing the largest tree on the farm, a great ash tree and ancient lilac bushes. As spring came, old style flowers came up, including lily of the valley and an heirloom tulip often found around old Pennsylvania German farms.
We were aware of the Berks County tradition of early family graveyards and, when some landscaping was done, we ordered the workmen to report unusual things they might find.
One morning, a man digging with a backhoe approached and said he had uncovered what appeared to be a remnant of a stone wall around the ash tree. A gentleman working on the inside of the house that day was a dowser and familiar with old graveyards. He borrowed some wire hangers and proceeded to "dowse" the graveyard, identifying a small plot surrounded by a wall and a "graveyard" pattern, indicating the gravesites.
At that point, we called in the BCAGP and Keith Schaeffer came to the farm to re-dowse the graveyard (we had not marked it after the initial dowsing). He identified the same walls and gravesites, including a child's grave. (We later learned that John Pott Sr's first-born daughter Esther died in infancy.) He also marked the perimeters of the graveyard with flags.
Several weeks later, we had the pleasure of a visit from Arthur Conrad, now deceased, who had grown up on our farm in the 1930s. He was able to identify many artifacts on the farm, the various outbuildings, etc. Upon observation of the flagged graveyard, Arthur noted that, when he was a boy, it had been surrounded by a picket fence and he was forbidden to go in, but his parents would never tell him what it was!
One day on business in Pottsville, PA, I visited the Schuylkill County Historical Society and was given a manuscript to review. It was the original of the inaugural address delivered to the Historical Society in 1900, entitled "History of the Pott Family" (it's interesting to note, the document was folded to fit in a vest pocket!) It was noted that living members of the Pott family were interviewed during his research and they spoke of the family's roots in Oley. It was also related that the original settlers, Wilhelm and Gertrude Pott were "buried on the homestead" -- our farm! This is the only written reference to the graveyard known to me, thus far. [This inaugural address was published as D. G. Lubold, "The Pott Family," Publications of the Historical Society of Schuylkill County, Vol I, No. 1 (1907), pp. 31-40, online at http://books.google.com/books?id=uSYUAAAAYAAJ]
There is no surface evidence but probing indicates bricks laid several inches under the ground. Finally, the ancient barn on the farm has a sandstone marker carefully laid in a prominent place by the door. It is engraved "John Pott" but was reduced to fit the wall, cutting off approximately one third of the name. In all probability, a gravestone.
Other notes on Wilhelm Pott . . .
Along with his brother Degenhart Pott, Wilhelmus Pott appears on the 12 Sep 1734 shiplist of the St Andrew, a Schwenkfelder ship arriving in Philadelphia from Rotterdam and Plymouth. (Ships from the continent had to register in England before sailing on to the American colonies.) The Pott names do not appear in the transcriptions at http://www.centralschwenkfelder.com/exile/schwenkfelder_immigrants.htm, probably because they were Moravians, not Schwenkfelders.
Their names do appear on p. 96 of Israel Daniel Rupp, A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776 (Philadelphia: Leary, Stuart & Co, 1898), online at GoogleBooks http://books.google.com/books?id=ihPVAAAAMAAJ& and on p 108 of William Henry Egle MD, ed., Names of Foreigners who took the Oath of Allegiance to the Province and State of Pennsylvania 1727-1775 (Harrisburg: Edwin K Meyers, State Printer, 1892), online at http://books.google.com/books?id=iEAOAAAAIAAJ
Arriving with Degenhart and Wilhelm were Wilhelm's wife Gertrude (not named on the shiplist), their sons Johann Wilhelm Pott and Johannes Pott, and Peter Lobach, Gertrude's son from her first marriage. A daughter Catharina Pott, who is named in William Pott's 1781 will, may have been a member of the party, though she could have been born in Pennsylvania after 1734.
Wilhelm settled initially in Germantown, then moved up the Schuylkill to near Oley in what later became Berks county. The Pott family were active in the Oley Moravian community -- Wilhelm's name appears as early as 25 Aug 1741 in the "Annals of Early Moravian Settlement," Memorials of the Moravian Church, ed. William C Reichel (Philadelphia: Lippincot, 1870), Vol I, pp. 160, 170, online at http://books.google.com/books?id=iU5CAAAAIAAJ.
The 1740s Pott's Mill, located near Lobachsville, still stands. Photos of the mill are at http://www.millpictures.com/mills/details.cfm?millid=150
Two genealogies published just after 1900 say that William Pott died in 1767: See D G Lubold, "The Pott Family," Publications of the Historical Society of Schuylkill County, Vol I, No. 1 (1907), pp. 31-40, online at http://books.google.com/books?id=uSYUAAAAYAAJ and Thomas Maxwell Potts, comp., Historical Collections Relating to the Potts Family (Canonsburg, PA: the compiler, 1901), pp. 427-30, online at http://books.google.com/books?id=5DguAAAAYAAJ
But 1781 is the more likely date of William's death. In fact, both Lubold and Potts refer to the 1781 will of a William Pott of Rockland Twp, Berks Co.
See also the article by George Meiser IX, The Passing Scene, Vol 3 (1984) http://berkshistory.org/gmmix/ and an article by Richard Orth in the Historical Review of Berks County, Vol 70, No. 1 (winter 2004-2005), both mentioned in articles by James A McClean, Jr., the current owner of the Pott Mansion in Lobachsville.
From Berks County Will Abstracts 1781-1785
POTT, WILLIAM, Rockland.
October 18, 1781 - December 17, 1781. B-22.
Mentions that eldest son William had rec'd. his portion.
And gives to his children £125 to be divided among them when 21.
To dau. Catharina wife of Casper SHELL, £25, having had considerable sums. To her dau. Anna Mary £25 for the faithful services done to me.
To son John, one acre and 48 per of land whereon my sawmill was fixed, adjoining other land I have given him by Deed.
Exrs: son John and friend Daniel LEVAN of Oley.
Wit: Jacob KEIM and Peter BLAESER
Abstract from Berks County Will Books, Book B, p. 22
William Pott of Rockland Twp, "Weak in body"
will dated 18 Oct 1781
will proved 17 Dec 1781
Executors: son John and friend Daniel Levan
Witnesses: Jacob Keim and Peter Blaeser.
Names in the will:
Two sons: William (the elder) deceased, and John.
Daughter: Catharina, wife of Casper Shell.
Granddaughter Anna Mary, daughter of Catharina.
[wife not mentioned so she probably died before 1781]
Refers to, but does not name, the children of William,
who died in in 1774 in Huntington Twp, York (now Adams),
1) the testator deeded to William the land on which he had lived
2) 1 acre 48 perches on which was a sawmill; and
3) testator gave to son John by deed of gift land with all buildings
in Rockland Twp, and bounded by Peter Lobach.
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg Richards, The Pennsylvania-German in the revolutionary war, 1775-1783; Publications of the Pennsylvania German Society, Vol 17, pp. 1-542; Part 18 of Pennsylvania: the German influence in its settlement and development (The Society, 1908) http://books.google.com/books?id=kJ1uAAAAMAAJ
The Pennsylvania-German in the Revolutionary War, pp 465-66:
Wilhelm Potts, and wife, Gertrude, reached Philadelphia on September 12, 1734. He was an iron-master of means. He first settled in Germantown, but soon moved to Oley, Berks County, because of the rich deposits of iron ore which were there discovered.
It is asserted that he built the "German," or "District" Furnace, of which a brief account has been given, and that, from him, it descended to John Lesher, the brother-in-law of his grandson. Connected with it was the "District," or "Heilig" Forge. A short distance below the forge he built a stone grist mill, still standing.
Still farther down the stream he put up a fulling mill, on the present site of Lobachsville, which, in 1745, he conveyed to his nephew [step-son], Peter Lobach, who added a dye-house, chair factory and turning mill, and, by his energy, developed the place into the thriving town which bears his name.
Wilhelm Potts died in 1767 . His son, John, on December 23, 1755, married Maria Hoch, and was associated with his father in the iron and milling business. He died in 1804.
His son, John, born in Rockland Township, Berks County, January 16, 1759, was connected with his father in the milling business, and with his brother-in-law, John Lesher, in the iron business. In 1786 he married Maria Lesher, daughter of John Lesher.
Having disposed of his Oley property in 1810, he moved to the present site of Pottsville. Here, in 1806, he had already purchased the "Greenwood Furnace," which stood on the northwest corner of the present Coal and Mauch Chunk Streets. To this he added various works, and houses for his employees, which cluster of buildings was the beginning of the city of Pottsville.
Potts Mill/Reinhart Mill/Lobachsville Grist Mill
Pike Twp, Berks Co., Pennsylvania 1745
Watersource: Pine Creek
The mill was built in 1745 by Willam Pott, the founder of Pottstown. William's stepson, Peter Lobach, operated the mill for many years. Because of its shape, the mill looks smaller than it really appears. The 30'x40' story stone/frame mill features brick decorative arches above the doors on the stone portion. Two strenghtening rods course front to back between the first and second full floors. The mill is built of small evenly shaped rock that almost appear as brick from a distance.
Another name for the mill is the David Reinhart Mill. How he plays into the mill's history is unknown. Several millstones are exhibited in front on either side of the steps to the lower door.
The mill dam is located right next to the mill and is fed by the waters of Pine Creek. The mill has been owned for many years by Stephen Kindig, a long time member of the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills.
Father: Herman Pott
Gertrude Mey b: Apr 1693 in Rengsdorf, Rheinland, Prussia c: 24 Apr 1693 in Evangelisch, Rengsdorf, Rheinland, Prussia
30 Dec 1727
in Evangelisch, Haan Düsseldorf, Rheinland, Prussia 6
- William Butt b: Oct 1728 in Solingen, Rheinland, Prussia c: 2 Nov 1728 in Evangelisch, Wald, Solingen, Rheinland, Prussia
- Catharina Gertrude Pott b: Jul 1731 in Solingen, Rheinland, Prussia c: 12 Jul 1731 in Evangelisch, Wald, Solingen, Rheinland, Prussia
- John Pott b: Apr 1733 in Solingen, Rheinland, Prussia c: 14 Apr 1733 in Evangelisch, Wald, Solingen, Rheinland, Prussia
Title: Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898
Index entries derived from digital copies of originals housed in various repositories throughout Germany
- Title: Hadden Family Tree
Butt family in Tuscarawas Co, Ohio
Title: Pott Family, The
Author: D G Lubold
Publication: Publications of the Historical Society of Schuylkill County, Vol I, No. 1 (1907), pp. 31-40
Paper read before the Historical Society of Schuylkill County, June 3rd, 1904
Page: p 32
Title: Historical Collections Relating to the Potts Family
Author: Thomas Maxwell Potts, comp
Publication: Canonsburg, PA: the compiler, 1901
Title: A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names
of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants in Pennsylvania
Author: Israel Daniel Rupp
Publication: Philadelphia: Leary, Stuart & Co, 1898
Page: p 96
Title: Germany Marriages, 1558-1929
Index entries derived from digital copies of originals housed in various repositories throughout Germany