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The Troutman Family of North Carolina

A Genealogy from 1690 to 1850 with some records up to 1900

Melchior Troutman (1729) of Rowan County, North Carolina

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First Revision: 27 Sep 1998

Melchior Troutman (1729) was the son of Adam Troutman (1690) and Anna Margaretha Hartmann.

For more information on Melchior Troutman (1729), refer to Descending Jacob's Ladder.


1. John Melchior TROUTMAN was born on 24 Apr 1729 in Gross Gumpen, Hesse, Germany. He was naturalized on 24 Sep 1751 in Philadelphia, PA. He died before 9 Nov 1778 in , Rowan, NC. He was married to Anna Elisabetha HEIST BET 1751/1752 at sea or in PA. Anna Elisabetha HEIST was born about 1730 in , , Germany. She died between 1790 and 1810 in , Iredell, NC. John Melchior TROUTMAN and Anna Elisabetha HEIST had the following children:

First, let me discuss the origin and spelling of the name "Melchior."

In the book German-American Names, author George F. Jones discusses miracle plays, which were shows in Europe in which Bible stories were acted out. According to Jones, "miracle plays may have contributed to the popularity of the names Adam and Eva, Maria Magdelena, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar (the Three Kings who brought gifts to Jesus), and other favorite roles in the plays." Adam, Eve, and Mary Magdalene were fairly common names in the early Troutman families.

Most of the early Troutman names were names which are still with us today. Some were names from the Old Testament. However, the name "Melchior" was not Biblical and is certainly not common in America today. I looked up Melchior as a last name and found it came from one of the Three Kings, and that variations were Melcher, Melchers, Melchert, Melger, and Melken. From my Unabridged Webster's Dictionary, I looked up Magi:

Magi. The three wise men from the East who brought presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the infant Christ (Matt. ii.). According to tradition they were Eastern kings, and were named respectively Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar. It is said that their bodies were brought by the Empress Helena to Constantinople, but that they were subsequently interred at Milan and Cologne. From this last circumstance they were called the Three Kings of Cologne.

Note that the three wise men were never given names in the Bible; these names were simply European tradition. Melchior was the name of at least three different individuals in my Troutman family. English-speaking clerks could not spell Melchior, and thus it was rendered as Melcher, Melker, Melkiah, Milker, etc. A very common misspelling that I see in many genealogies is "Melchoir." The name is pronounced Mel - key - or.

Melchior Troutman (1729) sailed to America in 1751 with the family of his half-brother, Peter Troutman (1716), and with his mother, Margaret (Hartmann) Troutman. Melchior (1729) apparently met and married Anna Heist while at sea or shortly after landfall in Philadelphia, since their first child, Adam (1752), was born 28 Oct 1752 in Northampton County, Pennylvania (the part which became present-day Lehigh Co, PA in 1811).

As of yet, no civil records have been found for Melchior (1729) in Pennsylvania, but he is mentioned a few times in church records:

Pennsylvania Church Records

Trautman, Trautmann, Troutman
birth records, Lehigh Co, PA (then part of Northampton County)

Anna Barbara    11 Feb 1770    Adam     A. Margareth     13
Anna Elisabeth   1 Aug 1757    Peter    Anne Elisabeth    6
Marie Catherine  2 Aug 1755    Melchior Anna              3
Anna Elisabetha 27 Sep 1761    Melchior Anna              3
Anna Margrethe   1 Jul 1759    Peter    Anna Elisabeth    6
Eva Maria        7 Aug 1755    Peter    Anne Elisabeth    6
Johan Adam      28 Oct 1752    Johan Melchior  Anna       3
Johan Jacob      2 Mar 1767    Melcher  Anna              3

3 - records of St. Paul's Lutheran and Reformed Congregation in Upper Saucon Twsp, 
    also known as St. Paul's Blue Church.
6 - records of the First Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Upper Milford Twsp.
13 - records of the Zion Lutheran Congregation, Zionsville, Upper Milford Township.

Peter Troutman (1716), half-brother of Melchior (1729), had received a land warrant for some property in Upper Milford Township of present day Lehigh County, PA (then Northampton County). It is possible that Peter (1716) sold his land in Upper Milford Township to Melchior (1729). See Peter Troutman (1716).

According to Descending Jacob's Ladder, Melchior Troutman (1729) migrated south to Rowan County, North Carolina about 1769. However, his nephew, Adam Troutman (1743), son of half-brother Peter (1716), had daughter Barbara (1770) baptized in 1770 in Northampton Co, PA. Possibly, Melchior (1729) and his family went south a few years before Peter (1716) and his extended family. There was a very large flow of Pennsylvania Germans to the Rowan/Mecklenburg (later Cabarrus) area from the 1750s to the Revolutionary War. The first civil records for Troutmans in North Carolina are from 1778, and the first church records are from 1775.

Melchior (1729) apparently owned land in Rowan at one point in time, but not the 400 acres on John Nicholas Shuping Branch, as attributed to him in Descending Jacob's Ladder. A study of deed records, the Klutz maps, and the McCubbins maps, show that this land was owned by Melchior Troutman (1744), nephew of Melchior Troutman (1729). See Melchior Troutman (1744).

However, some Rowan County Vacant Land Entries shed some light onto land once owned by Melchior (1729):

Vacant Land Entries
#1244.  4 Aug 1778.  Michael Overkersh 400 A adj John Josey's entry on waters of Second 
       Creek, including the improvement he bought of Melchor Troutman.

#1245.  4 Aug 1778.  Fredrick Mourer 250 A on waters of second creek adj Michael 
       Overkersh's entry and Rudolph Mourer's entry, including his own improvement.  
       [Deed Book 10, page 139].

A Melchior Troutman (either Melchior (1729) or Melchior (1744)) cleared some land and later sold it Michael Overcash in Vacant Land Entry #1244. The very next land entry, #1245, has Frederick Moura applying for land adjacent Michael Overcash. Frederick Moura, along with Peter Faust, provided security for the administration of Melchior's (1729) estate in 1778. The Klutz maps show the land of Frederick Maurer a little east and north of land owned by Michael Troutman (c1773) and Peter Troutman (1780), who inherited their land from their father, Melchior Troutman (1744). Because of the Frederick Moura connection, and the separation of Moura's land from that of Melchior Troutman (1744), I believe that the land bought by Michael Overcash was sold by Melchior (1729). Both Melchiors lived within a mile of one another, a fraction of a mile north of present-day Highway 152, and about a mile and a half west of the present town of Rockwell.

The 1778 tax list of Rowan County shows two Melchior Troutmans, both as polls with no land. I do not know at what time of year the list was taken, but assuming it was made in early or middle 1778, Melchior (1744) had not yet made application for his Vacant Land Entry (application dated 3 Aug 1778), and Melchior Troutman (1729) may have already sold his land to Michael Overcash and perhaps others.

The only "service" seen by any of the Troutmans during the Revolutionary War was as guards at the "gaol" at Salisbury, where captured British soldiers were held:

1778 - Prison guards at the Salisbury gaol [jail]
13 Aug 1778 - from Capt. Henry Berger's Company
Melcher Troutman, Sr.
Melcher Troutman, Jr.

The Junior and Senior in the above record do not imply a father and son relationship. These terms are simply used to differentiate two men with the same name, one older than the other. In this case, Melchior Troutman, Sr. was Melchior (1729) and Melchior Troutman, Jr. was his nephew, Melchior (1744).

Melchior (1729) was apparently in decent health to serve as a prison guard 13 Aug 1778, the last known record of Melchior (1729) still alive. He must have fallen ill and died suddenly, intestate, as he is mentioned as dead in Rowan Court Records 6 Nov 1778.

Rowan P&Qs.

6 Nov 1778.  Letters of administration on the Estate of Melcher Troutman dec'd issued to 
             Anna Troutman & Adam Troutman who qulified and gave L500 bond, Peter Faust 
             and Frederick Moura securities.

4 Feb 1779.  Melcher Troutman estate balance: L374.10.7.

7 Nov 1797.  Melcher Troutman's Administrators vs. Peter Faust, L14.10.5.

The assessment of Melchior's (1729) estate at over 300 pounds could indicate he died with a large amount of real estate, but he could also have had personal estate and cash on hand. If he had sold his land only a year or so before his death (and before the 1778 tax list), he may very well have had a lot of cash on hand at his death. Also, he may have had many cattle and horses, but on someone else's land. There is no evidence that any of the value of Melchior's (1729) estate came from slaves. Possibly, Melchior (1729) owned land in Pennsylvania at the time of his death.

Adam Troutman (1752), son of Melchior (1729), travelled from where he had settled in Burke Co, NC (present day Alexander Co, NC) to administer his father's estate along with his mother, Anna (Heist) Troutman. However, Adam (1752) had died by 7 Nov 1797 when Melchior's (1729) administrators sued Peter Faust. Perhaps Adam's (1752) death had complicated the administration of Melchior's estate, resulting in the suit.

Elizabeth Troutman (1761), daughter of Melchior (1729), was confirmed at Organ Lutheran in 1780:

Organ Lutheran Church, Rowan Co, NC
Confirmation Records of Troutmans

1st White Sunday 1780, 2nd Creek
Elizabeth Trautman

I have no idea of the date of the First White Sunday in 1780. Elizabeth (1761) may have remained at home, caring for her widowed mother, Anna (Heist) Troutman, perhaps never marrying. It was fairly common for younger daughters to remain with their widowed mothers or fathers, caring for the parent in his or her old age and never marrying. Jacob Troutman (1767), son of Melchior (1729), had bought land in western Rowan County (the part which became Iredell Co, NC in 1788). Anna (Heist) Troutman moved to western Rowan near her son where she was enumerated as "Widow Troutman" in the 1790 census of Iredell Co, NC:

1790 Census
Iredell Co, NC
p.     widow       1 0 2 0 0

M ^16    unknown
F        Anna (Heist) Troutman (c1730), widow of Melchior (1729) - age 60
F        unknown, probably one of Anna's daughters

The other female was likely Elizabeth Troutman (1761), just shy of 29 years old when the census was taken in August 1790. The male was probably a hired hand. He may have been Elizabeth's (1761) husband, but then the household would probably have been listed under his name. Elizabeth (1761) possibly married or died before the 1800 Census as no further trace of her can be found. Anna (Heist) Troutman may be the woman over 45 years old in the household of Jacob Troutman (1767) in the 1800 Census:

1800 Census
Iredell Co, NC
p.653  Jacob       0 1 0 1 0 / 0 0 1 1 1 / 0 0

M 26-45 Jacob Troutman (1767) - age 33
M 10-15 unknown 
F ^46   unknown, possibly Jacob's mother, Anna (Heist) Troutman (c1730)
F 26-45 Margaret (Fesperman) Troutman (1771) - age 29
F 16-25 unknown
missing: Henry (1797) - age 2, John Jacob (1799) - age 1

Anna (Heist) Troutman apparently died after the 1800 Census.

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