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Crecelius • Criscillis

Crecelius is the Latinized form of the surname Krekel. Our earliest known ancestor in this line, Dietrich Krekel, was a cantor and an instructor at St. Severus in Gemünden near Westerwald.

I have seen the documentation for our line from Johann Crecelius, father of our immigrant ancestor Otto Rudolph Crecelius, on down, but my information concerning Johann's ancestors is third or forth hand, and as I understand it, it is based upon the church records and upon research of Dr. Hellmuth Gensicke, who is a Crecelius descendant and the author of many articles on Nassau history and genealogy. There are a few variances in the different charts I have seen, and I have not yet had the opportunity to examine the documentation to see whether I can resolve the conflicts. Some charts, for instance, show Peter Crecelius (abt 1595 - 1635) and Johannes Crecelius (abt 1620 - 1693) as father and son, while others list them as brothers. Of course, it may turn out that there is no definitive answer, but only different people's guesses based on inadequate records. See a map showing where our Crecelius ancestors lived in Germany, along with a table showing which family events took place in each village.

I am indebted to Ed Rose for passing along some of the information from the church records and from Dr. Gensicke, and obviously very indebted to Dr. Gensicke and to the unknown stalwart souls who labored over the microfilms of the church records. I hope to look at the church records myself before too long.


First Generation


1. Dietrich Krekel (Krecelius) was born in 1540 in Wilsenroth, Nassau, Germany. Around 1560/1570, he married Margarethe Weller. From 1577 to 1628 Dietrich was Cantor at St. Severus Stiftskirche in Gemünden near Westerburg (then in Nassau, but since World War II in Rheinland/Pfalz), and was an instructor there at the Institute of St. Severus beginning in 1583. He died and was buried in Gemünden in Sep 1628; he was 88.11 The year after his death, his widow Margarethe was convicted of witchcraft and beheaded. 12 Read about the witch hunts.
       
  They had the following children:11
       
    i. Dietrich. Dietrich died in 1628. (It seems to me there may well be some confusion here between the father and the son.)
       
    ii. Andreas.
       
    iii. Justus ("Jodocus"). Born 1565/1570, Justus was a Lutheran pastor in Mensfelden from 1602 until his death on 20 Apr 1616, whereupon his brother Christian, our ancestor, succeeded him as pastor of Mensfelden.
       
  2. iv. Christian (1565-1635)

Second Generation


2. Christian Crecelius. Born 1565/1570 in Gemünden, near Westerburg in Nassau, Germany. In 1616, upon the death of his brother, Christian became pastor of the Lutheran church in Mensfelden, in which capacity he served until his death on 8 Jul 1635; he was at least 70. Upon his death, his son Peter became pastor in Mensfelden, but died only a couple weeks later. In 1618 Christian married Anita Loos, daughter of another Lutheran pastor, Peter Los & his wife Magdalena. Anita died 1635/1641 in Mensfelden.11
       
  They had the following children:11
       
    i. A daughter born about 1590. She married Johann Jacob Koch, who became pastor at Mensfelden following the death of his brother-in-law, Peter Crecelius in 1635, and served there until 1648.
       
  3. ii. Peter (about 1595-1635).

Third Generation


3. Peter Crecelius. Born about 1595 in Gemünden, Peter studied at the University of Marburg at least in 1626, taught school in Kirberg in 1629, and served as pastor at Nauheim from 1630 to 1635. After his father died on July 8, 1635, Peter became pastor at Mensfelden, but died only a couple weeks later on 24 Jul 1635; he was about 40.11 If Peter and Johannes were brothers rather than father and son, then Johannes was our ancestor, and Peter was not.
       
  Peter may have had the following son (or Johannes could have been his brother, as I mentioned above):11
       
  4. i. Johannes (about 1620-1693).

Fourth Generation


4. Johannes Crecelius. Born about 1620 in Nauheim, Nassau, Germany, Johannes died there on 16 Aug 1693; he was about 73. On 10 Sep 1650, when Johannes was 30, he married Katharina Dreyling, daughter of Georg & Martha Dreyling, in Nauheim. Born about 1629 in Nauheim, Katharina died there on 31 Oct 1700; she was about 71.11
       
  They had the following children:11
       
  5. i. Johann Christoph (Twin) (1652-<1724).
       
    ii. Hans Georg (Twin). Born on 3 Aug 1652 in Nauheim, Nassau, Germany, Hans Georg died on 5 Dec 1694; he was 42.
       
    iii. Anna Margaretha. Born before 24 Jun 1655.
       
    iv. Christian. Born in 1658, Christian died on 16 Dec 1707; he was 49.
       
    v. Anna Katharina. Born on 14 Mar 1660, Anna Katharina died on 4 Aug 1744 at the age of 84.
       
    vi. Hans Wilhelm. Born on 23 Feb 1663, Hans Wilhelm died before 1716; he was not more than 52.
       
    vii. Johannes. Born on 1 Jan 1665, Johannes died on 18 Feb 1734 at the age of 69.
       
    viii. Anna Elisabeth. Born on 3 Mar 1667.
       
    ix. Johann Jost. Born on 13 Jan 1669, Johann Jost died on 13 Apr 1713; he was 44.

Fifth Generation


5. Johann Christoph Crecelius. Born on 3 Aug 1652 in Nauheim, Nassau, Germany, Johann Christoph died before 1724. About Feb 1680, when Johann Christoph was about 27, he married Anna Catharina Conrad, daughter of Hans Dietrich Conrad & Anna Maria Bonart, in Heringen, Amt Kirberg, Nassau, Germany. Anna Catharina was born in 1659/1660 in Heringen.11
       
  They had the following children:11
       
    i. Anna Elisabethe. Born on 25 Feb 1681, Anna Elisabethe married Bartholomeus Kubler.
       
  6. ii. Johann (1682-1760)
       
    iii. Elisabethe Margarethe. Born on 8 Oct 1685 in Heringen, Amt Kirberg, Nassau, Germany.
       
    iv. Johannes Jacob. Born on 27 Feb 1687 in Heringen, Amt Kirberg, Nassau, Germany, Johannes Jacob died there on 8 Dec 1762; he was 75. Johannes Jacob first married Anna Maria Hoffmann, daughter of Johann Adam Hoffmann & Anna Gobel. Johannes Jacob second married Anna Elisabethe Felser, daughter of Johann Wilhelm Felser & Anna Magdalena Reichel.
       
    v. Elisabethe Catherine. Born on 21 May 1689 in Heringen, Amt Kirberg, Nassau, Germany.
       
    vi. Unnamed daughter. Born and died on 16 Nov 1691 in Heringen, Amt Kirberg, Nassau, Germany.
       
    vii. Johann Philipp. Born in Mar 1693 in Heringen, Amt Kirberg, Nassau, Germany, Johann Philipp died there.
       
    viii. Unnamed daughter. Born and died on 14 Jun 1696 in Heringen, Amt Kirberg, Nassau, Germany.
       
    ix. Anna Margarethe. Born on 18 Dec 1698 in Heringen, Amt Kirberg, Nassau, Germany.

Sixth Generation


6. Johann Crecelius. Born on 24 Feb 1682/1683 in Heringen, Amt Kirberg, Nassau, Germany. He was educated at the Gymnasium (academic high school) in Idstein and the University of Gießen. At Easter of 1707 he is hown as a deacon in Kirberg; on 24 Aug 1711, he became a deacon in Mossbach (near Wiesbaden); and on 7 Nov 1715, he became the pastor at Burgschwalbach. On 1 Sep 1716, when Johann was 34, he married in Kirberg Anna Margarethe Senkenberg, daughter of Johann Heinrich Senkenberg, an apothecary; she was born on 14 Feb 1694 in Friedberg, Hessen, Germany. This is the Senkenberg pharmaceutical family whose name was given to the Museum of Natural History in Germany. Johann became pastor of the church in Reichelsheim Wetterau on 23 Jul 1723, and served there for 37 years, until his death on 21 Feb 1760 at the age of 77. Anna Margarethe died in Reichelsheim on 22 Apr 1753; she was 59.11
       
  They had the following children:11
       
    i. Johannes. Born in Burgschwalbach on 14 Sep 1717. He was a student at the University of Gießen in 1736. He was a deacon at Reichelsheim from 1740 to 1760 and pastor at Odenhausen bei Wetzlar from 1760 until his death on 4 Mar 1798 at the age of 80.
       
    ii. Unnamed son.
       
    iii. Unnamed daughter.
       
    iv. Unnamed daughter who married Johann Friedrich Hermann Hoffmann. He was born in 1726 in Freiensteinau, Germany, and upon the death of his father-in-law, Johann Crecelius, he became pastor of the church at Reichelsheim, where he served until his death on 11 Jun 1789 at the age of 63.
       
  7. v. Otto Rudolph (1728-1787)
       
    vi. Philipp
       
    vii. Johann Gotthard. He was a physician's apprentice at the time he served as godfather for one of brother Rudolph's children. Johann Gotthard died on 4 Mar 1798.
       
    viii. Unnamed daughter.

Seventh Generation


7. Otto Rudolph Crecelius. Born in 1728 in Reichelsheim Wetterau, Nassau, Germany,11 Rudolph died in Washington County, Tennessee in Nov 1787; he was 59. Buried at Old Dutch Meeting House. On 13 Jan 1750, when Rudolph was 22, he first married Anna Margareta Zubrodt, daughter of Johann Ludwig Zubrodt, in Reichelsheim.10 Born 2 Dec 1727 in Cronenberg, Germany, Anna Margareta died on 29 Jan 1757; she was 29.10 Rudolph was a storekeeper and clerk of the court in Reichelsheim.10
       
  They had the following children:11
       
    i. Maria Phillipine Wilhelmina. Born on 21 Jun 1751 in Reichelsheim. Since this child was not mentioned in the certificate of legitimate birth which her father obtained from the town council before leaving for America, she probably either had died by that time or stayed in Germany. She would have been 13 when her father emigrated to America with the rest of the family.
       
    ii. Johann Gotthard. Born on 31 Jul 1753 in Reichelsheim,10 Johann Gotthard died in Harrison County, Indiana on 22 Feb 1835 at the age of 81. Buried in Crecelius Cemetery, Harrison County, Indiana.
       
  On 9 Jul 1759, when Otto Rudolph was 31, he second married, in Reichelsheim, Anna Ursula Gerlach, daughter of master cabinet-maker Johann Adam Gerlach of Cronenburg.10 She and Rudolph moved to America in 1764,11 but she died 20 Nov 1765, nearly eight months after the birth of her third child. She is buried at the Emmanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Friesburg, Salem County, New Jersey. We are indebted to Eleanor Edmonson for discovering and sharing the information concerning Anna Ursula's death and burial.
       
  They had the following children:
       
    i. Maria Elisabetha. Born on 9 Jul 1761 in Reichelsheim.10 Mary Elisabeth married Henry Bottles in Washington County, Tennessee, and they brought up their family in Greene County, Tennessee. Their son Jacob married Sarah Bible, another daughter of Christian Bible (Mary Elisabeth's brother Isaac married Christian Bible's daughter Elizabeth, so Betty's daughter-in-law was her sister-in-law's sister).
       
    ii. Wilhelm Christian Heinrich. Born on 14 Nov 1762 in Reichelsheim.10 This child apparently did not survive the voyage to America; he apparently died in 1764 or 1765.11
       
    iii. Anna Magdalena. Born on 30 Mar 1765 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she was christened at St. Michael and Zion Lutheran Church there on 3 Apr 1765.
       
  On 4 Feb 1766, when Otto Rudolph was 38, he third married in St. Michael's and Zion German Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria Elisabetha Diederle, 13 who had also been born in Germany. See their marriage record. As the marriage record shows, he was a schoolmaster in Cohenzy, New Jersey, at the time of his marriage to Maria Elizabeth Diederle, and then from 1767 to at least 1772, the family was in Frederick County, Maryland, where Rudolph taught at the Frederick Lutheran German School. By 1775 they had moved to Culpeper County in northern Virginia. They were still there in 1777 when their son John was born and daughter Maria Elisabetha was confirmed. Rudolph is widely reported to have fought in the Revolutionary War, but I believe we can show that he did not. (see here for details). In 1782, Rudoph had some land surveyed in Rockingham County, Virginia, but by the time of his death in 1787, he owned land and lived in Washington County (then in North Carolina, now in Tennessee). Maria Elisabetha died in Washington County in 1790, and is buried in the cemetery at the Old Dutch Meeting House there.
       
  They had the following children:
       
    i. Maria Barbara "Barbary". Born in Mar 1768 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Barbary married Joseph Harmon Kindle in Washington County, Tennessee. Like her half-brother, John Gotthard, she and her husband raised their family in Harrison County, Indiana, where she died after 1830; she was at least 61.
       
    ii. Catharina Barbara. Born in Mar 1769 in Frederick County, Maryland.
       
  8. iii. Rudolph Isaac (1772-1852).
       
    iv. John. Born on 14 Oct 1777 in Culpeper County, Virginia. John married Susan Kepplinger in Washington County, Tennessee, and remained on the family place there.
       
    v. Dorothea (Dolly). On 26 Apr 1794, Dolly married William Lashbrooks III, in Washington County, Tennessee. Dolly died about 1813 in Jeffersonville, Harrison County, Indiana, and is buried on the banks of Silver Creek in Harrison County, Indiana.
       
    vi. Margaret. She married John Weaver, and they lived in Harrison County, Indiana.
       
    vii. Jacob. He married Christena Lewis and settled in Crawford County, Indiana, where he died 17 Mar 1826 at the age of 43.

Eighth Generation


8. Rudolph Isaac Criscillis. Born on 30 Mar 1772 in Frederick County, Maryland,1 Isaac died in Whitley County, Kentucky on 14 Apr 1852; he was 80.1 Buried in Jellico Creek Cemetery, Whitley County, Kentucky. On 16 Mar 1793, when Rudolph Isaac was 20, he married Elizabeth Bible, daughter of Johann Christian Bible & Catherine Vollman, in Greene County, Tennessee. Born in 1777 in North Carolina,2 Elizabeth died in 1860/1870; she was 83.3
       
  They had the following children:
       
    i. George. Born about 1797 in Greene County, Tennessee, George died after 1853. George married Ruth Bowdoin. Born about 1797 in North Carolina, Ruth died probably in Clinton County, Kentucky after 1870.
       
  9. ii. Catherine (1800-1901).
       
    iii. Elizabeth ("Betsy"). Born on 16 Aug 1807 in Greene County, Tennessee, Betsy died in Pulaski County, Kentucky on 5 Jan 1892; she was 84. Buried in Old Tatesville Cemetery, Pulaski County. On 8 Sep 1825, when Betsy was 18, she married Baptist McKee, son of Mathew McKee & Mary "Polly" Clarke, in Whitley County, Kentucky. Born about 1808 in Tennessee,4 Baptist died in Whitley County, Kentucky in 1860/1865; he was about 52.
       
    iv. William. Born on 25 Dec 1809 in Greene County, Tennessee,1 William died in Whitley County, Kentucky on 27 May 1889; he was 79.1, 5 Buried in Jellico Creek Cemetery, Whitley County, Kentucky. On 27 Mar 1829, when William was 19, he first married Jane ("Jenny") Harmon, daughter of Jacob Harmon & Mary "Polly" Shelly, in Whitley County, Kentucky. Born on 15 Oct 1811 in Knox County, Kentucky. Jenny died in Whitley County, Kentucky on 9 Nov 1872; she was 61.6 On 30 Sep 1875, when William was 65, he second married Rebecca Corder in Whitley County, Kentucky.7 Jenny was born about 1830.7
       
    v. James C. Born on 23 Jun 1821 in Greene County, Tennessee, James C. died in Whitley County, Kentucky on 13 May 1896; he was 74.1 Buried in Jellico Creek Cemetery, Whitley County, Kentucky. On 23 Jul 1835, when James C. was 14, he first married Eliza Campbell, daughter of William Campbell & Elizabeth ?, in Whitley County, Kentucky. Born on 18 Aug 1818 in Whitley County, Kentucky, Eliza died there on 30 Jun 1868; she was 49. On 21 Jan 1869, when James C. was 47, he second married Jane Shelly, daughter of Nathan Shelly & Mary "Polly" Meadors and widow of John Parker, in Whitley County, Kentucky. Born on 18 Mar 1825 in Whitley County, Kentucky, Jane died there on 30 Oct 1903; she was 78.
       
    vi. Susannah ("Susan"). Born on 21 Sep 1821 in Tennessee,3 Susan died in Whitley County, Kentucky on 4 Feb 1880; she was 58. On 19 Dec 1839, when Susan was 18, she married William Ross, son of John Ross & Elizabeth Chitwood, in Whitley County, Kentucky.8 Born on 20 Jul 1813 in Whitley County, Kentucky, William died there about 1863; he was 49.

Ninth Generation


9. Catherine Criscillis. Born on 19 Oct 1800 in Greene County, Tennessee, Catherine died in Whitley County, Kentucky on 11 Jan 1901; she was 100.7 Buried in Jellico Creek Cemetery, Whitley County, Kentucky. On 27 Feb 1823, when Catherine was 22, she married Solomon H. West, son of Alexander West & Sarah Hawkins, in Whitley County, Kentucky.8 Born on 15 Jul 1800 in Greenville District, South Carolina,1 Solomon died in Whitley County, Kentucky on 19 Dec 1866; he was 66.1
       
  They had the following children:
       
  5. i. Allen Russell West (1823-1910). Born on 25 Dec 1823 in Whitley County, Kentucky, Allen Russell died there on 13 Jun 1910; he was 86.1 Buried in Jellico Creek, Whitley County, Kentucky. On 8 Nov 1843 when Allen Russell was 19, he married Mary (Polly) Campbell, daughter of Jasper Newton Campbell & Dinah Green Creekmore, in Whitley County, Kentucky.8 Born on 27 Oct 1826 in Whitley County, Kentucky, Mary (Polly) died there on 23 Aug 1900; she was 73.1
       
    ii. James H. West. Born on 29 Nov 1825 in Whitley County, Kentucky,1 James H. died there on 25 Apr 1909; he was 83. Buried in Jellico Creek Cemetery, Whitley County, Kentucky. On 6 Mar 1845 when James H. was 19, he first married Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of Alexander Campbell & Elizabeth Wilson, in Campbell County, Kentucky.9 Born on 24 Jan 1826 in Whitley County, Kentucky, Elizabeth died there on 26 Jun 1868;1 she was 42. James H. second married Mary "Polly" Jones, who was born about 1842.3
       
    iii. Amanda M. ("Sally") West. Born on 28 Nov 1827 in Wayne County, Kentucky,1 Amanda M. "Sally" died there on 6 Sep 1894; she was 66. Buried in Jellico Creek Cemetery, Whitley County, Kentucky. On 15 Aug 1850 when Amanda M. "Sally" was 22, she married Solomon Rufus Brassfield, son of John Brassfield & Susannah "Susan" Stephens, in Whitley County, Kentucky. Born on 2 Oct 1831 in Whitley County, Kentucky. Solomon Rufus died there on 26 Jul 1898; he was 66.
       
    iv. Emmanuel Carter West. Born on 28 Aug 1829 in Whitley County, Kentucky, Emmanuel Carter died on 1 May 1913; he was 83. On 15 Dec 1850 when Emmanuel Carter was 21, he married Nancy Stephens, daughter of Solomon Stephens & Rebecca, in Whitley County, Kentucky.8 Born on 10 Mar 1833 in Jellico Creek, Whitley County, Kentucky.3 Nancy died in Strunk, Whitley County, Kentucky on 23 May 1907; she was 74.
       
    v. William Arthur West. Born on 26 Jul 1831 in Whitley County, Kentucky, William Arthur died there on 18 Mar 1915; he was 83.1 Buried in Jellico Creek Cemetery, Whitley County, Kentucky. On 4 May 1854 when William Arthur was 22, he married Emily Brassfield, daughter of John Brassfield & Susannah "Susan" Stephens, in Whitley County, Kentucky. Born on 26 Mar 1831, Emily died on 26 Mar 1920; she was 89.1
       
    vi. Isaac Martin West. Born on 9 Aug 1833 in Whitley County, Texas, Isaac Martin died there on 22 Jun 1884; he was 50.1 Buried in Jellico Creek Cemetery, Whitley County, Kentucky. On 28 Oct 1854 when Isaac Martin was 21, he first married Mary Ann Gooden, daughter of William P. Gooden & Mary, in Wayne County, Kentucky. Born on 1 Mar 1830 in Tennessee, Mary Ann died in Whitley County, Kentucky on 4 Aug 1876; she was 46.1 On 9 Aug 1877 when Isaac Martin was 44, he second married Margaret Wilson, daughter of Joshua D. Wilson & Jane Creekmore, in Whitley County, Kentucky. She was born about 1848 in Kentucky.1
       
    vii. Isabella E. West. Born about 1836 in Whitley County, Kentucky,2 Isabella married Thomas Stephens, son of Solomon Stephens & Mary Perkins. Thomas was born about 1842 in Kentucky.17,16
       
    viii. Armelda J. ("Meda") West. Born about 1837 in Kentucky.2 Armelda J. "Meda" died on 4 Nov 1912; she was 75. On 24 Nov 1865 when Armelda J. "Meda" was 28, she married Madison "Matt" Creekmore, son of unknown father & Irena (Cyrena) Creekmore, in Whitley County, Kentucky. Born on 8 Sep 1848 in Whitley County, Kentucky, Madison "Matt" died there on 8 Jan 1878; he was 29.
       
    ix. Martha Ann West. Born about 1839 in Whitley County, Kentucky,2 Martha Ann died in Kansas on 4 Jan 1888; she was 49. On 24 Feb 1862 when Martha Ann was 23, she married Granfield C. Brassfield, son of John Brassfield & Susannah "Susan" Stephens, in Whitley County, Kentucky. Born on 15 Apr 1834 in Tennessee. Granfield C. died in Reno County, Kansas on 4 Apr 1918; he was 83.

Sources


     
1.   Tombstone.
     
2.   1860 census.
     
3.   1870 census.
     
4.   1850 census.
     
5.   DAR application of Jan Belew Howell.
     
6.   Anna Mae Bowman.
     
7.   Carol F. and Daniel Hopper, Whitley County Vital Statistics 1852-1910 (1990).
     
8.   Carol F. Hopper, Tri County Knox-Laurel-Whitley Counties, Kentucky Early Marriages (1987).
     
9.   K. D. McKiddy, Marriages of Whitley County (1983).
     
10.   Certificate of legitimate birth of his first three children dated July 7, 1764, written for Otto Rudolph Crecelius by the village council of Reichelsheim. A translation of this letter was published by Sydney Mike Gardner in Orange County California Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 52-53.
     
11.   Sydney M. Gardner, Manfred Lotz, and Robert L. Crecelius, The Descendants of Dietrich ("Theodor" Krekel 1540 - 1628. This compilation was based upon the research of Dr. Helmuth Gensicke, director of the Familienkundlichen Gesellschaft in Wiesbaden, and also research of Sydney M. Gardner, Lloyd E. Espenscheid, and Manfred Lotz.
     
12.   Lewis Ellingham and Edward J. Rose, The Heymanns of Kaltenholzhausen : a pedigree in Europe of emigrants to America, mid-19th century to Ohio (1995). I believe that this compilation, so far as it pertains to the Crecelius family in Europe, is based of the research of Dr. Helmuth Gensicke.
     
13.   Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, Vol. IX, p. 326.




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