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Hans 'Melchior' Hartzell
(1718- ? )


Hans Mellinger "Melchior" Hartzell (1718- ? ) was born on April 10, 1718 in Reihen near Sinsheim in Baden, Germany. He is said to have been the son of Christoph and Maria Magdalena (Duringer) Hirtzel -- grandson of Clemens and Anna (Sinter) Hirtzel -- and great-grandson of Hans "Heinrich" and Maria (Steiner) Hirtzel. 

Melchior's parents and grandparents were residents of Reihen. The Hirtzel roots went back several more generations to Pfaffikon near Zurich, Switzerland, dating to the 1580s. They are all named in the 1977 volume A Book of Life: A Hartzell-Hertzel-Hirtzel-Hirzel Family History & Genealogy, authored by a direct descendant George Turner Hartzell of the family of Ulysses Simpson "Grant" and Mary Etta (Hilling) Turner

The name Melliger roughly translates to “Melchior” in English. He was baptized in infancy in Reihen. Two of his uncles emigrated to the American colonies, aboard the William and Mary, arriving on Sept. 18, 1727 in the Port of Philadelphia, followed by another uncle who came on the Pink Plaisance, docking in Philadelphia on Sept. 21, 1732.

Melchior appears to have emigrated to America twice, first at the age of 21 in 1739. After seeing the new world first hand, he apparently returned to Germany making plans for a return trip for good.

At the age of about 24, in September 1742, Hans Melchior again made the voyage, traveling aboard the Snow Betsy (or the Francis & Elizabeth), embarking in the port city of Rotterdam to Philadelphia.

He was an early settler of Bedminster Township, Bucks County, PA and possibly also Northampton County, PA. He was married three times.

Hans Melchior's first wife was Esther Schuch ( ? -1755). Their marriage is believed to have taken place circa 1750 in the Tohickon Reformed Church in Bedminster Township.

They produced three children between 1751 and 1754 – Jacob Hartzell, George Hartzell and Magdalena Hartzell.

Sadly, Esther is believed to have died circa 1755. Further heartache swept over this family in 1758 when daughter Magdalena died at the age of four.

By 1757, Hans Melliger had wed his second bride, Anna Maria Barbara Lauder ( ? - ? ). Their nuptials were held on Oct. 7, 1756.

Their two children, born in 1757 and 1760, respectively, were Johannes Heinrich “Henry” Hartzell and Elizabeth (Hartzell) Ankeny.

Circa 1760, they left Bucks County and migrated to the wooly wilds of southern Somerset County.

The second marriage ended with Anna Maria Barbara's death sometime in 1760 or 1761.

On Feb. 5, 1761, Hans Melliger was joined in wedlock with his third spouse, Margaret Zolin ( ? - ? ), also spelled "Zorlin."

Their only known son was Nicholas Hartzell Sr.

Hans Melchior may have been alive in 1800 when the Turkeyfoot Township tax assessor levied a tax on “Melchor Hartzel,” who was listed as above the age of 45.

Information about this family was published in the May 1982 edition of the Laurel Messenger newsletter of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County, PA.

Nothing more is known.


~ Son George Hartzell ~

Son George Hartzell (1753- ? ) was born on April 18, 1753 in Bucks County, PA.


~ Daughter Magdalena Hartzell ~

Daughter Magdalena Hartzell (1754-1758) was born on Sept. 28, 1754 in Bucks County.

She was not destined for a long life. Sadly, as she neared her fourth birthday, she died on July 31, 1758.

Magdalena is named in two Laurel Messenger articles -- in August 1970 (unconfirmed) and May 1982.


~ Son Johannes Heinrich "Henry" Hartzell ~

Son Johannes Heinrich "Henry" Hartzell (1757-1801) was born on Oct. 10, 1757 in Bedminster Township, Bucks County, PA. He migrated to southwest Pennsylvania with his father and stepmother and settled in or near Harnedsville.

While in Turkeyfoot, circa 1780, he married Anna Elizabeth Sochrous ( ? -1830).

Their children were Mary Magdelana Bird, John Hartzell, Jonas Hartzell Sr., Anna "Elizabeth" Oursler, Henry Hartzell and Melchior "Malachi" Hartzell.

They resided in Addison Township, Somerset County.

Johannes Heinrich is believed to have died in June 1801 in Addison Township, Somerset County. Research by the late Eber Cockley establishes his burial site as the Ream Cemetery in Ursina, Somerset County.

Anna Elizabeth outlived her husband. She too succumbed to death, in Addison Township, in about 1829 or 1830.

Was son Jonas the same man said to have “figured so extensively in the early history of the Western Reserve, in northeastern Ohio, and a few years since died in Davenport, Iowa,” as recorded in The Disciple publication?

This family was the subject of a genealogical query in 1981 in The Connecticut Nutmegger, published by the Connecticut Society of Genealogists.

Daughter Mary Magdalena Hartzell ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). Research by others shows that she married Andrew Bird ( ? - ? ).

Son John Hartzell ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He wedded Elizabeth ( ? - ? ).

Son Jonas Hartzell Sr. (1782-1833) was born on March 12, 1782 in Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County. On Nov. 27, 1804, when he would have been age 22, he was united in matrimony with Sarah Ankeny (Jan. 9, 1787-1842). The couple produced a large family of childen -- Otho Hartzell, William Hartzell, Charlotte Schaff, Hilary Hanna Hartzell, Julia Hartzell, Matilda Hartzell, Sarah Hartzell, Jonas Hartzell Jr. and Elsie Hartzell. Jonas died in Pennsylvania on June 23, 1833. Sarah survived for another nine years and relocated to Etna, Licking County, OH. There, she passed into eternity on Aug. 3, 1842.

Daughter Anna "Elizabeth" Hartzell ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). Evidence suggests that she wedded (?) Oursler ( ? - ? ).

Son Henry Hartzell Jr. (1790- ? ) was born in about 1790. He was joined in wedlock with Hulda "Huldy" (May 19, 1792-1828). Sadly, Hulda died at the age of 36 on Oc. 6, 1828.

Son Melchior "Malachi" Hartzell (1795?-1837?) was born in about 1795 in Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County. He was married but the identify of his bride is not yet known. The couple produced at least three children, but the details are obscured by the misty haze of the past. Grief blanketed the family when she died an untimely death in 1821. Malachi married the following year, in 1822, to Mary Magdalena "Polly" Lange (Dec. 3, 1798-1870). They bore six more children of their own -- Catherine Hartzell, Jerome Hartzell, Margaret Elizabeth Hartzell, Mary Hartzell, Sarah Louise Hartzell and Isabelle Hartzell. He spent his final years in Ligonier Township, Westmoreland County, PA. There, he was carried away by the Angel of Death circa 1837.


~ Daughter Elizabeth (Hartzell) Ankeny ~

Daughter Elizabeth Hartzell (1760- ? ) was born on June 10, 1760.

She married David Ankeny ( ? - ? ).

They made a home in Somerset County, PA and produced one son, David Ankeny.


Copyright © 2020, 2023 Mark A. Miner

The website DJSmith.com, the Somerset County GenWeb and the late Eber Cockley of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County [PA], Inc. all have researched this family.