160. Unknown Beltz


Is this Kaspar of Hergenborte, Nassau?

The Beltz Family Chart (The Chart) as done by Prof. Pleve for cousin Esther (Beltz) Trekell years ago, says that we are descended from a family that came from Hergenborte in Nassau to the colony of Laub arriving 12 July 1767. According to the Laub FSL (First Settlers' List) these were the Lutheran Kaspar Beltz or Pelts who died on 16 September 1767, his wife and then widow, Anna Eleanora age 38, sons Johann 16 and George Philipp 10, and daughter Elisabeta Katarina 8. This List says the remainder of the family went on to Kustareva (Leitsinger) before the 1768 Laub FSL was recorded. Pleve says in The Chart that the family then removed to Kutter in 1788. And the eldest son Johannes and his young family are duly listed in the Kutter census of 1798.

I now doubt that this family includes our ancestors. I suspect that the widow and children did go to Leitsinger and did perish there or were taken into slavery never to be seen again in the Kirghiz raid of 24 October 1774. If they in fact are our ancestors,  they must have left Leitsinger before or just after the raid to go to Kutter ... not in 1788 as Pleve reported in The Chart.

There is reportedly a story in Geisinger's "From Katharine to Krushchev" p.17 which says "A wagon caravan was crossing land toward the new village of Kutter when they were set upon by highwaymen. Of the Beltz family in the caravan, only one boy managed to escape and make it to Kutter. This boy founded the Beltz name there." Except for this story, I now would flatly say that the Hergenborte Beltz family had nothing to do with us and that our Beltz family was from Isenburg and was in Kutter from the founding of the colony onward.


Or is it the deceased husband Beltz of Anna Katarina Unknown of Isenburg?

In the Kutter FSL (as given in Pleve "Einwanderung" II:482 family #28] is the Roehrich [Roehrig] family of the Reformed faith who arrived in Kutter from Isenburg on 8 July 1767 the day the colony was officially founded: Jakob 39, wife Christina 42, son Johannes 15, and daughter Barbara 13. I note that an older wife on the Volga often means that it is her second marriage ... rak. Also in the Kutter FSL (p.490, #59) is the Schmidt farmer family also of the Reformed faith who arrived in Kutter also from Isenburg on 29 July 1767: Anton 49, wife Maria Katharina 42, sons Johann Ludwig 18 and Jacob 8, and daughters Maria Barbara 15 and Anna Katharina 1 1/2. I note that such a long interval between children (7 years between Maria B and Jacob) on the Volga often means that this is a second marriage for the man.

By the 1775 Kutter census, the Roehrig family is household #29: Jakob 46, wife Anna Christina 54, stepson Johnnes Beltz 22 and his wife Maria Barbara 21 [we know from the 1798 census that she was born a Schmidt who is no longer in the 1775 census listed with her parental family in household #13]. In that same census in household #77 living with his mother and younger brother are Johannes Hert [Herdt] 21 and his wife Maria Barbara 20 [whom the 1798 census says was born a Beltz].


One of two things must be true: 

either 1) I am descended from the Hergenborte Kaspar and the Roehrig son Johannes listed in the 1768 FSL died by 1775 while Kaspar's son Johannes Beltz had survived the trip from Leitsinger, been adopted by the Roehrigs [such adoptions often happened on the Volga to ensure that a young male was present to work the family land], married the Schmidt girl, and is now with her living in his adopted parents' household; 

or 2) the Roehrig offspring listed in the 1768 FSL are both Jakob Roehrig's Beltz step-children, the children of his wife Anna Christina (family name unknown) by an earlier marriage in Germany, possibly in Isenburg, to a Beltz who is my ancestor.

The prime objection in alternative 1) is that the Roehrig daughter Maria Barbara seems also to have been a Beltz. The prime objection to alternative 2) is the story of a Beltz wagon train massacre on the way to Kutter.


To get to his son, my ancestor, click here.