In the course of researching my ancestry, I was led to Christian Grim. Most researchers with whom I've corresponded have given me the same basic data. Christian came to the United States, possibly served in the Revolutionary War with Hessian troops, and married Mary Morgan, sometimes referred to as Margaret. They had 9 children: Charles, Catherine, Adam, Christian, Elizabeth, Thomas, Mary, John B., and Rebecca. Christian and his family may have lived in Maryland for a while, moved to Winchester, Virginia, and eventually to Greene County, Pennsylvania.
Beyond these basic facts are a lot of speculation and conflicting data based on research. I am presenting what I know here in the hopes of others finding it and perhaps providing some definitive clues.
1. Olive Grim: "Christian was the first of the Grims to settle in the US. He was uncle to Jacob & William [sic] Grimm, authors of German dictionary and Grimm's fairy tales." [see below]
2. Helen Hunt: "Christian L. (Ludwig?) Grim from Hohegeiss, b. ca 1749/51; d. about 1723 [sic; must mean 1823]; buried Allegheny Church, Cumberland Co., PA? He was uncle to Grim brothers of fairy tales, Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm Carl Grimm, whose parents were Philipp Wilhalm Grimm and Dorothea Zimmer. Phillipp's parents, also Christian's parents) were Philipp and Catherine. This Philipp was pastor of a Reformed Church in Steinau for 50 years." [see below]
3. Helen Hunt, again: "Christian Grimm was the son of Fredrich Grimm & Christiane Elizabeth Heilman of Bitberg. Fredrich was a minister of the Reformed Church in Steinau Germany for 50 years & also an Inspector of churches. His dates 1707-1777. They had 11 children. Fredrich was a son of Hermann Grimm who was son of Heinrich Grimm. He had control of lords & collected taxes on them, a royal post..." She goes on to say that "Christian came to America in 1776 with the Hessians, probably with two brothers. Christian deserted & joined American Army 2/6/1777 & then deserted that 3/16/1777 probably when his first son Charles was born in MD." [see below]
New information on the above three statements:
I found a book in Michigan State University's library entitled Verzeichnis des Nachlaßbestandes Grimm in Hessischen Staatarchiv Marbug by Werner Moritz, (Marburg, 1988: Hitzeroth Verlag), apparently part of a series entitled Quellen Zur Brüder Grimm-Forschung: herausgegeben im Auftrag der Brüder Grimm-Gesellschaft by von Egbert Koolman and Werner Moritz (Marburg, 1988: Hitzeroth Verlag). While I couldn't understand much of the book since it was in German, I did understand Brüder Grimm as the brothers Grimm. There was a pedigree chart in the book of the brothers with their ancestry and descendants. The chart is very clear and understandable. See the sidebar for the chard. Mrs. Hunt was correct in that Jacob and Wilhem Grimm's parents were Philipp Wilhelm Grimm (Sept. 19, 1751-Jan. 10, 1796) and Dorothea Zimmer (Nov. 20, 1755-May 27, 1808. However, she was incorrect in statement 2 above as to Philipp Wilhelm Grimm's parents. They were not Philipp and Catherine, but Friedrich Grimm (Mar. 3, 1707-Mar. 20, 1777) and Christiane Elisabeth Heilmann (Oct. 22, 1715-Feb. 17, 1754). This does agree with Mrs. Hunt's statement 3 above.
In addition, the book shows only two children for Friedrich Grimm and his wife, Christiane, not the 11 suggested by Mrs. Hunt. They were Philipp Wilhelm, father of the Grimm brothers, and Philipp's sister, Juliane Charlotte Friederike Grimm (Aug. 3, 1735-Dec. 18, 1796). If this is correct, then Christian Grim was not a brother to Philipp Wilhelm Grimm and thus was not an uncle to the Grimm Brothers.
***Note: In the article on Friedrich Grimm in the German version of Wikipedia, it is stated that Friedrich and Christiane had eleven children, one of which was Philipp Wilhelm Grimm, which agrees with Mrs. Hunt's statement 3 above. It goes on to say that eight of the children died as children or adolescents. That would leave Juliane Charlotte Friederike Grimm (see chart at right), Phillipp Wilhelm Grimm, and one other child surviving to adulthood. Was this surviving child Christian? I have not yet managed to track down the names of the other children. However, this does leave the possibility open, in spite of my conclusion in the paragraph above.
4. Fred Schultz: "Mrs. Hunt points out that there is a Christian Grim listed on the military rolls of Lancaster Co., ______nour Twp., 7th company, 3rd Batallion in 1783. There is a Christian Grim registered on the militia rolls of (London)derry Twp. in Bedford County as of Jan. 23, 1789." Fred poses the question: are these different Christian Grims or are the above references to the same man?
Fred goes on to share Jack Poland's proposal: "Christian is possibly the son of a German immigrant named Andreas Grim, the son of Frederick and Christiana Grimm. Andreas, or Andrew, came to America before 1758 and was naturalized on Apr. 14, 1762 at Antietam Furnace near Lewistown in Frederick Co., MD. Andreas is thought to have the following children: Christian, Peter, Armstrong, Charles, John (Johannes), Margaret, Sarah and Daniel." Poland states that Andreas may have married an Armstrong. The above proposal would rule out the tradition that Christian Grim was a Hessian deserter. There seem to be two Christian Grims mentioned in the Pennsylvania archives as veterans of the Am. Rev. One, Christian L. (Ludwig?) Grim, may have deserted. Jack Poland indicates that Christian Grim was born about 1758, while the Hunts give a date of about 1748. [see below]
New information on the Andreas Grim theory
Tammy Williams lists the will of Andreas Grim at her site at RootsWeb.com's WorldConnect Project. In the will, he names sons Daniel, Martin, John, Peter, and Andrew, along with daughter Margaret. Tammy also lists as daughters Catherine, Elizabeth and Sarah. This would negate Christian as being a son of Andreas.
5. Glenna L. Grim posted a query on FamilyTreemaker regarding Christian Grim. She wrote that Philip (or Andrew) Grim married Catherine Eva Thomas. They were the parents of Christian Grim, b. in Germany, Jan. 30, 1750, and that he was the father of John Grim who was married to Jane Grandon. In an email to me she said that a cousin of her husband, a Gwendolyn (White) Ritchie had passed that information on to her. I have no further information on this theory.
6. In a book entitled German-American Genealogical Research Monographs, Number 1: Brunswick Deserter-Immigrants of the American Revolution by Clifford Neal Smith, (Heritage House, 1973), there is an Andreas Grimm (b. Hohegeiss, age 39 years, 11 months), who deserted in Potomac, 1778. Also, there is a Christian Grimm (b. Hohegeiss, age 27 years 0 months) in the service of the American enemy, but no place or date of capture. Given the relatively short span for the Revolutionary War, this Christian could not have been the son of the Andreas also listed; the ages are too close together.
When I shared this last paragraph with another researcher, Ken Grim, he wrote back: There's another book that mentions a Christian Grim as a captured Hession soldier, according to a search for Christian Grim conducted through the Family Tree Maker web site. It's called German-American Genealogical Research Monographs No. 5: Mercenaries from Hessen-Hanau Who Remained in Canada and the U.S. After the American Revolution by Clifford Neal Smith. This Christian Grim was apparently captured at the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777.
New Information on Revolutionary War Service
In the summer of 2002 Lanny Grim sent me a scan of some papers from the National Archives regarding a Christian Grim. It shows a Company Muster Roll for Christian Grim, of Cap. James Taylor's Co., 5th Pennsylvania Regiment of Foot, commanded by Col. Francis Johnston. The roll shows that Christian enlisted on Jan. 1, 1777 and deserted on March 16, 1777. Lanny said that "The muster record was dug out by Harper Grimm Sr several years ago. He found it in the Archives. I believe it fits perfectly. Christian was part of the Hessians that were brought to Trenton to 'man the fort'. Washington crossed the Delaware on 12/26/1776 and captured Trenton. On 1/1/1777 Christian enlisted in the PA regiment. He then deserted in mid-March." An interesting theory, but still not proof. See the photo above right for the muster roll.