Prince/Printz Family History

From "Brentz" in Duehren, Germany to "Printz" in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to "Prince" in Ohio and Beyond

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I post new information or answers to questions I get on this blog.  You can either browse through them or enter a search term in the box below.  Unfortunately because of spammers, I have had to limit comments on these blog posts to site members and I have to approve them before they get posted.  Sorry for the inconvenience. - Victor

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Capt. George Printz House Destroyed by Fire

Posted by Victor Prince on July 31, 2017 at 10:10 PM

I have to report heartbreaking news I recently received from one our our distant Prince/Printz family who still lives in Virginia. The house in Stony Man, Page County, Virginia that Captain George Printz (1742-1834) lived in was recently destroyed by a fire. That house had been in the Printz/Prince family at least into the 1950s or so, I think, based on my memories from my conversations with the late Charles Printz, Sr..

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The Authorship Gene Must Run in Our Family

Posted by Victor Prince on April 8, 2017 at 11:10 AM

In 2012, I made my first visit to the Brentz/Printz/Prince family ancestral hometown in Duehren, Germany. While at the Sunday service at the village’s only church, the pastor made me stand as he announced my visit as a Brentz descendent to the rest of the audience. I was a bit embarrassed, but was glad he did when a woman came up to me after the service to say we wer...

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Wolfhard Ancestor Biking Across USA this Summer

Posted by Victor Prince on June 12, 2016 at 12:55 AM

One of our distant cousins from Germany is biking across the USA this summer. Yannick Wolfhard is from the Wolfhards who are in Germany. We are related to via a marriage between Hans Melchior Brentz and Anna Dorothea Wolfhard in the 1600s in Germany. Hans Melchior Brentz was one of the earliest documented ancestors in the Brentz line that became Printz and Prince after emigrating from Germany to Am...

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Ancestors Posted on Geni.com

Posted by Victor Prince on February 15, 2016 at 12:00 AM

I just entered this family tree line into the genealogy website, Geni.com. I found that site to be quite useful even without paying a subscription fee. Like any website that has user-generated content (e.g., Wikipedia), be wary and question the validity of information you find on there before you take it as fact. 

Best of luck with your research.

Victor

Wolfhard Family History Website

Posted by Victor Prince on April 25, 2015 at 1:20 PM

Manfred Wolfhard is the historian of the Wolfhard family, the German family line that married with our Brentz family line in the 1600s before our ancestors came over to America. (See earlier blog posts to see the link.) I have been in contact with Manfred since we met each other in November 2014 in Duhren. He has built a wonderful website on the Wolfhard family, complete with many illustrations and photos. His website is in German and is at www.wolfhard.info. If you want to see the website tr...

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Wolfhard Family Tree in Geni.com

Posted by Victor Prince on December 30, 2014 at 5:05 PM

The Geni.com website has a family tree that shows where the Brentz family and the Wolfhard family got connected by marriage. It is available here. Clicking around on the names of our ancestors can provide some interesting information. For example, here is information on Georg Johann Wolfhard, one of our direct ancestors.

"About Georg Johann Wolfhardt - Pastor in Euchtersheim in 1626 in Neydenstein in...

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Duhren, Germany Visit in November 2014

Posted by Victor Prince on November 28, 2014 at 6:45 AM

I just visited Duhren, Germany for the second time in two years. Duhren is the small village near Heidelberg that the Brentz family emigrated from in 1751 to start the Printz/Prince family in America. In my first visit, I went to a Sunday service in the church in Duhren and met up with members of the Wolfhard family, who are direct ancestors of the Brentz's. We met up with them again this year and had a wonderful visit with them, including visits to their homes and a very nice luncheon. A hig...

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Good archive on Emigration from Our Area in Germany

Posted by Victor Prince on November 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I just came across a new resource that gives interesting information about emigrants from the German state (Baden Wurtenberg) where our ancestors came from. It is in the Stuttgart Archive library at this link - http://www.auswanderer-bw.de/auswanderer/index.php?sprache=en&suche=1



Upcoming trip to home village of Duehren

Posted by Victor Prince on October 21, 2014 at 11:20 AM

In the next few months, I will be going on my second trip to the village in Germany where the Brentz/Printz/Prince family lived before coming to American in the 1700s. I am planning on going to a couple of the other villages nearby where our Wolfhard ancestors were mayors, religious leaders, etc.. Stay tuned for more pictures.

-- Victor

History of Mount Calvary Church in Stony Man

Posted by Victor Prince on March 24, 2014 at 12:15 AM

The following is from an application to the US Department of the Interior to designate Mount Calvary Church in Stony Man, Virginia to be on the National Register of Historic Places.  This is the Historical Background section of that application and has an interesting description of how the Page County area was very German in its early settlement.

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George Printz's Land Grant signed by President James Madison

Posted by Victor Prince on March 13, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Thanks to Gary Summers for sending in this copy of the land grant George Printz received in 1812 for his service in the Revolutionary War.  The land grant was for land near Steubenville, Ohio.  It is signed by President James Madison and Commissioner of the General Land Office Edward Tiffin.  The Madison signature looks more like initials than a signature, but the M is Madison has the same distincitve slant that can be seen in other Madison signatures.

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Jacob Prince and Gottfried Printz and Elizabeth Evaline Prince

Posted by Victor Prince on March 10, 2014 at 7:25 PM

QUESTION - This is all very interesting. I feel like I am related some way. My 3 great grandmother was Elizabeth Evaline Prince. Born 1820 died about 1897 in Indiana. Her father was Jacob Prince and his father was Gottfried Printz that served in the Revolutionary War. I would love to hear from someone who has these same ancestors in their tree.

ANSWER - Here is what might be your line if Elizabeth was Eliza, she was born a few years after 1820, and she died in VA not IN. That's a lot o...

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Printz's of Liberal, Kansas

Posted by Victor Prince on March 9, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Question  - "My Great Grandfather was John Rockefeller Printz, and I think he was from Liberal, Kansas. At least I know he was there when my Father and Grandfather built houses in Liberal after WWII. John was old at that time. Do you know if our family is part of your clan?

Answer - Bad news, good news.  Bad news - The book does not have any mention of the name "Rockefeller."  That could have been nice on so many levels.  Good news - the book does mention a "John Roc...

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George Printz to Anna Shaffer to Philip Miller Line

Posted by Victor Prince on March 9, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Question -

"I am doing research to join the the Sons of The American Revolution. My line goes from George Printz to daughter Anna Maria Shaffer to Phillip Miller who was my 2nd Great Grand Father. I have no documentation on these people such as birth or death records. If anyone could help secure this information I would be thankful."

Answer - Here is what the book has on that line:

1B3D5E. Anna Maria Shaffer, born c!805; died c!899. She married on Sept. 8, 1821 to Philip Mi...

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Is my "Prince" Family part of this "Prince" Line?

Posted by Victor Prince on March 7, 2014 at 8:40 PM

We often get questions about whether a particular person with the last name Prince is part of this particular Brentz/Printz/Prince ancestry line. So unless you already have a link to the Printz family of Virginia or to the Brentz family of Duehren, Germany, the general answer is "it depends, but probably unlikely".  Here is why...

First, as an example, when I search my own "firstname lastname" on whitepages...

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Pre-Brentz Family Tree and History back to 1375

Posted by Victor Prince on February 17, 2014 at 7:05 PM

During our trip to Duehren in 2012, we met some members of the Wolfhardt family who are our distant relatives.  They shared a bunch of documents with me on the family tree and history.  Here is the family tree that documents ancestors all the way back to 1375. To put the year 1375 in perspective - this was the last part of Middle Ages and the eve of the Renaissance. Black Death just wiped out 1/3 of Europe’s population 25 years earlier. Edward III is King of England in 1...

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Handwritten document from 1500s from an ancestor

Posted by Victor Prince on January 15, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Distant cousin Susan Halen shared the following discovery from her visit to Germany last year:

"Hello Victor, I thought you might enjoy having some documents written by Alexander Wolfhardt in the 1500s. These are stored in the Stuttgart Archives, which we visited on our tour. We actually we permitted to handle them and touch the sealing wax, which was still affixed to the envelope!"

(Note: Alexander Wolffhardt was the Great Great Grandfatherof Johann Heinrich Brentz, who was the ...

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Journal of Another Relative's Visit to Ancestral Homeland Village of Duehren, Germany

Posted by Victor Prince on October 4, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Our Visit to Duehren—Taking a Step back in Time

By Sue Halen

Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013

When I first saw the beautiful choir room in Duehren where our ancestors were married, I had the desire to attend a church service there someday. Today that became a reality! We first had breakfast at our nice hotel Wincent. The weather was quite pleasant, so we decided to walk the short distance to the Lutheran Church. When we arrived, two ladies g...

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Useful Links for Family Research

Posted by Victor Prince on March 7, 2013 at 7:25 PM

If you are doing some genealogy research of your own, I have put up a bunch of useful links on the Other Links page on this site.  Some links are specific for this family line (e.g., link to the local library in Page County, VA).  Some are useful for anyone (e.g., link to a searchable database of all soldiers and sailors in the Civil War.)  You can see them all

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Victor's Thanksgiving 2012 Visit to German Home Village

Posted by Victor Prince on November 24, 2012 at 8:50 PM

I finally made the trip to Duhren, Germany -- the Prince/Printz/Brentz home village in Germany - this Thanksgiving 2012.  My parents and brother and his wife joined me.  I had wanted to do this trip ever since I first found out about it from meeting Charles Printz and reading his book on our family.  To say it lived up to my wildest dreams would be an understatement.  I will give the blow by blow below, but I will...

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