In 1999 I received a copy of Newland DeVault's amazing treatise on the DeVault family from Douglas DeVault Roseborough. The work was so amazing because I had just become interested in genealogy and had no idea that any work and been done on my family. Here was a family history that had taken a lifetime to compile. In a few hours I learned about ancestors that went back to the 1700's. Especially interesting to me was the information it contained on my more immediate ancestors that had moved to Nebraska. Within a few days of receiving my copy, I was able to solve an eighty-year-old family mystery: What had become of my grandfather, Henry Graydon DeVault, after he and my grandmother separated shortly after my dad was born? Many genealogy buffs have wished that they had become interested in their forefathers earlier in their life. I'm no exception. One thing that I regret is never having met Newland DeVault. It turns out that we lived within 50 miles of one another for a number of years. Since he lived close to a major freeway, I probably drove within a quarter mile of his house on many of occasions. Here was a man who knew the secrets of my family and I never had the opportunity to meet him. The data contained in this website comes initially from Newland's 1975 report with a few corrections and many additions. The copy I received of Newland DeVault's Genealogy of the Henry Dewald Family was, in a photocopy sense, a number of generations from the original. The pictures were awful and the text was barely readable. I first decided to retype his report, word-for-word, just as Newland had written it. However, it soon became clear that although it had taken a lifetime to compile the data, it had been written in a hurry; probably most of it in the year before Newland's death. Also, it read as if he had written it just as the words occurred to him; with afterthoughts hung onto the ends of sentences. In Newland's defense, it was typed in 1975; years before word processors were available to the general public. What can be done now, in a few minutes, on my computer, would have taken him days to do with a typewriter. I reluctantly decided to alter the text from its original form. The reader should note that this is still Newland's work. What I've done is some reorganizing, mostly eliminating or combining redundant thoughts, and changing sentence structure and punctuation. In all this I've tried to keep the original tone and flavor Newland's writing intact. When the text says "I," that's Newland talking to the reader. In the few cases where I (Tracy DeVault) have added something of substance to his work, I have clearly noted what was added. The reader will notice that Newland has spent a great deal of energy in proving that Henry Dewald, our common ancestor, was of German origin. Today, most of Henry's descendents spell their name "DeVault;" a common name in France. Newland felt it was exceedingly important to establish the German ancestry and the evolution of the name. I have tried to retain the emphasis he put on establishing this fact. Tracy DeVault
Henry and Mary Catherine Dewald
Of Manheim Township
York County, Pennsylvania
Their Eleven Children
Many of whom spelled their names as DeVault
Especially those seven and son and daughter of an
eighth who settled in Washington County and
Sullivan County, Tennessee
Including the Kitzmillers of Tennessee
Centered around the area on the Watauga River later
known as "DeVault's Ford"
Arrival in America
Henry Dewald, as the name is spelled in his will and on his stone, or "Henrich Dewalt" as the name is spelled and written in the ship's register, was born April 10, 1733 in the Palatinate, within the Black Forest of Germany, which borders the Rhine River, and is close to Alsace in France. He married a "German Woman", Mary Catherine Greaver. In 1766 the couple emigrated to America on the ship, Chance; Charles Smith, Master. With them were their eldest daughter, Margaret, age 5; their eldest son, Phillip, age 1; and Henry's brother, Phillip. Also on the same ship were Henry's brother-in-law, Gabriel Greaver, and his wife, Elizabeth. The entire trip, from the time they left their home along the Rhine River to Rotterdam, thence to London and finally to America took six months. They landed in Philadelphia and took the oath of allegiance to the King of Great Britain and fidelity to the Proprietary of the Province of Pennsylvania on September 23, 1766. This cargo of human beings was consigned to Messers. Willing & Morris of Philadelphia; who shortly afterwards published in the papers a list of those who could not pay their passage money nor borrow it from their friends. Henry, however, paid for his passage which cost $1500.00. Henry's signature, made upon his arrival, will be found in Ralph Strassburger's Pennsylvania German Pioneers, page 813. The only other signature of his is to be found in his will; both are signed in German as Dewald.
Henry and family and Gabriel Greaver and wife soon settled in Manheim Township, York County, Pennsylvania. On December 1, 1766, Henry made application for 100 acres of land in Manheim township, adjoining Hans Meyer, Jacob Meyer, Nicolas Ferney and Andrew Flickenger. If Henry's brother, Phillip, settled in York County, it was for a short time, for he later settled in Ohio, near where Cincinnati now stands. There he had two children: Catherine and Phillip. Nothing further is known of them. Henry's first application for land was in December of 1766. This first acquisition was "Seifers-Bach," 104 acres surveyed for Henry Dewald, May 19, 1768, by application No. 20, dated December 1, 1766. The second acquisition, a purchase, was "Ter-Bach," 110 acres surveyed for Henry Dewald, May 19, 1768, by warrant dated April 27, 1768. He also purchased another tract of land, partly in Heidelberg and partly in Manheim Township, on which his brother-in-law, Gabriel Greaver and family lived. The location was about three miles south and west of Hanover in York County. Part of this homestead became located in German Township, Adams County, when Adams was formed from York County in 1880. Henry was involved in a number of occupations. In his will he listed his profession as tailor. In the year 1783 he was Tax Collector for Manheim Township. He was also a land owner and farmer, being taxed in most years for 200 acres in Manheim Township and, in addition, the farm upon which his brother-in-law, Gabriel Greaver lived. Also, there is no doubt but that he was in the distillery business. At the time of his death he possessed two stills, one apple mill, 13 casks and 9 old hogsheads. Many farmers of that time were also distillers of spirits. And so, there, on his farm in Manheim Township, Henry Dewald and family lived, and there he died. All we know about his life comes from four sources: first, the genealogy of Louise Kitzmiller and Dr. Guerrant, which gives few facts and dates concerning Henry Dewald, his children and grandchildren; second, from his long will, the longest ever recorded in York County; third, from the many tax records and land grants that still exist; and forth, and most important of all, the Baptismal records of St. Mathews Lutheran Church in Hanover, the Christ Lutheran Church in Littlestown (where 18 of his grandchildren were baptized), the Emanuel Reform Church in Hanover and Sherman's Church, later known as St. David's Church in Hanover.
The Revolutionary War
Within a few years after his arrival in America the Revolutionary war was in progress. Henry immediately enlisted in the York County Militia, composed largely of friends and neighbors, and served through the war, being appointed a Lieutenant one year after date of enlistment. The following is a copy of a letter concerning his war record:
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
July 2nd 1936
Mr. Newland DeVault
945 East Drive,
Oklahoma City, Okla.
In the Pennsylvania Archives, Series 6, Vol 2, pages 540, 564, 629, and 688, the
name of Henry Dewald appears in the York County Muster Rolls. He was an ensign in
the Third Co of the Sixth Battalion, York Co., Militia, receiving his commission April 5
1778. On June 17th 1779, he was commissioned Lieutenant in the Third Co of the
Seventh Battalion, York Co. Militia. Later in 1871 Lieut. Henry Dewalt was on the pay
roll of Captain Abrahams Furry's Co., between July 16 and Sept 16. On page 18, Vol 12
in our Manuscript collection of Revolutionary papers, there is a account of payment in an
account of the state of Pennsylvania against the United States for sundry disbursement by
Richard McAlister, Esquire, Sub-Lieut, of York Co., showing where Henry Dewalt was
paid on April 4th, 1778, for services warning the Militia to march.
We trust this information will be of assistance to you.
Yours very truly
Joseph L Rafter, Director
State Library and Museum.
There is another reference in the library's manuscript collection which is interesting: Series 6, Vol 3, pages 629 and 1473, in which Henry Dewald is listed, with his future (or present) brothers-in-law George Kitzmiller and John Kitzmiller, Sr., his son, Phillip Dewald, and his future son-in-law, John Kitzmiller, Jr.
The religious affiliations of the family of Henry & Catherine Dewald and their children are most interesting. On September 26, 1767, one year and three days after the family's arrival in America, the second two of their children were born. Gabriel and Ann Elizabeth, twins, were baptized the 16th Sunday after Trinity in Sherman's Lutheran Church, later known as St. David's. The transcribed records of this church have not been located, but it is likely that some of Henry's other children were also baptized here. Henry and Mary Catherine Dewald had 72 grandchildren; 22 of whom were baptized in St. Matthew and Christ Reformed Churches in and near Hanover. The other 50 we have no knowledge of their baptisms; though we know the dates of births of most all of them. The majority of their names were of Biblical origin, the next number being Teutonic, which reflects two things: the influence of the Church and the German influence of the mother, who was definitely German, and who greatly influenced the family. Sometime before 1780 Henry became affiliated with and had the position of Warden at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Hanover. He was one of four men in whom the title for the lot of the present St. Matthew Lutheran Chruch was placed as follows: "23 May 1780. Richard McAlister, of the town of Hanover, Esquire: to George Carl, Leonard Eichelberger, Andrew Wetzler and Henry Dewalt all of the same County, Yeomen, the Vestry and Wardens of the High German Lutheran Congregation in said town of Hanover: for 300 pounds, Lot no 154 on a street called Chestnut, for the use of said congregation forever, providing, that they pay a yearly rent of eight schillings sterling forever and erect a substantial building in two years."
Henry Dewald and his wife were originally buried in the St. Matthew Churchyard. Many years later, about 1918, when the Church was enlarged, many graves were removed. Among those were the graves of Henry and his wife. They were re-buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery; permission being given by a granddaughter, Miss Lucy Forney. Mt. Olivet was organized in 1858. Two years later, David Wortz, son of Jacob and Julia (Dewald) Wortz, purchased five large plots (139 to 143, inclusive). Here he moved the bodies of his mother and father, who died in 1856 and 1858. Between their two tall monuments are the two small original gravestones of Henry and Mary Catherine Dewald. Henry's daughter, Margaret Long and husband, Samuel, are buried in St. Matthew's Churchyard, but two of their children are buried on the Wortz lots: Susan and her husband, David Bixler and Anna Marie Long and her husband, Joshua Flickenger. The following are the inscriptions as copied from the original gravestones: In memory of Henry Dewald who was born April 10 1733 and departed this life April 16 1817, aged 84 years and 6 days. Death is a blessing to all mankind. It is the evening of that restless day which we call life." "In memory of Mary Catherine wife of Henry Dewald who was born August 8 1737, died October 2nd A D 1830, age 93, one month and 24 days." Today, Henry's grave also has a marker placed by the D.A.R. It reads as follows: "Henri DeVault, 1733 - 1817. Placed by Col Richard McAlister Chapter of the D.A.R." The same Richard McAlister who sold the lot to St. Matthew Lutheran Church of which Henry was a Warden. In the Churchyards adjoining Christ Reformed Church and St. Matthew Lutheran Church are buried two of Henry's children and a number of his grandchildren. I spent three days in Hanover checking the transcribed Church records and one day in York at the Court House.
The Will of Henry Dewald
When Henry died in 1817, he left the longest will recorded to that date in York County, Pennsylvania. It is nine pages of legal size paper, written in longhand by one other than Henry, in English, and signed by him in German script. He probably spoke English but, evidently, he did not write it. According to Frederick Russell DeVault, his grandfather, Frederick DeVault, one of Henry's sons, did not read or write English either, but he spoke it, as well as German and possibly French. Henry's name appears many times in the will and is always spelled as "Dewald." What is of special interest in the will is the vision that Henry had in requiring his sons to care for their mother. He provided that she should have the use of the house upon the "plantation" for the rest of her natural life. The lands of the plantation being given to his youngest son, Jacob, but Jacob had to give his mother, each year during her widowhood, the following items from the plantation: "Ten bushels of merchantable wheat, ten bushels of clean shelled flax, and as many pounds of clean flour and one hog, that shall weigh at least one hundred and twenty pounds when killed and cleaned; which shall be given her alive and must be lund in the time when it is usual for farmers to kill their hogs. She shall also have liberty to take apples, pears and peaches, as much as she may want for her own use; firewood reddy cut for the use of her stove and delivered to her door sufficient for her use. One cow kept in fodder pasture & stabling as good as the best that shall be kept on my own plantation; and my son Jacob's wife or maid, shall milk my wife's cow and bring her the milk into her house, and in the time when the cow shall give no milk -- she is to give her milk sufficient for her coffee, and is also to give her whiskey as much as she may use herself in a reasonable manner." Imagine a will today going into such detail about furnishing one's wife cream for her coffee, detailing who was to deliver the cream, and making provision for the time when the cow would give no milk; also giving her sufficient whisky for her own use. There is no doubt about Henry being a shrewd business man. The manner in which he willed the farms to his four sons in Tennessee is evidence of that. Henry bought or obtained this land in Tennessee from grants. When his sons left home he gave each one a tract of land, or rather the use of the land, for he, Henry, still retained title. Henry, Jr. and Gabriel each got adjoining farms in Sullivan County on the Holston River. Frederick and Valentine were given the use of one large tract, 637 acres, in Washington and Sullivan Counties. This land was located on the Watauga River not far from Gabriel and Henry, Jr.'s farms. None of the sons came into possession of these lands until the will was probated. Even then there were strings attached. Prior to Henry's death, Frederick and Valentine had jointly paid 200 pounds upon their farm. (Remember, they lived together, had married sisters and all property, including slaves, was held jointly.) Now, to take possession of their land under the terms of the will, they had to pay 50 English pounds each year to their sisters, Catherine Keefauver and Mary Kitzmiller, until each sister had received 200 pounds. Catherine and Mary lived close to their brothers, Frederick and Valentine. Also, the two brothers were to contribute jointly, to pay the sum of 20 pounds each year to their mother during her widowhood, and she lived 13 years after Henry's death. The farms of Henry and Gabriel were smaller than that of Frederick and Valentine, so they had no payments to make. Henry's son, Jacob, who inherited the plantation lands, also had to make payments. He had to pay the sum of one thousand pounds, lawful Pennsylvania money, before receiving title to the land. The money was to be paid out in 50 pound gales or yearly payments. The will specified a payment schedule that distributed the first 640 pounds: to his sister, Mary Margaret, who married Samuel Long; to his sister, Julia who married Jacob Wortz; to his sister, Elizabeth, who married John Kitzmiller; and to his brother, Phillip. After that, the remaining 360 pounds was to be distributed equally to Henry's eleven children with Jacob getting a share. The farm that Jacob inherited must have been very valuable, for he had to pay out 1000 English pounds to collect his inheritance. That, however, was not the end of Jacob's obligation. He, along with brothers Valentine and Frederick, were to pay for the keeping of a maid for Henry's widow. Jacob was also to provide for his mother: "one fourth part of the garden reddy tilled and dunged, and a least three pounds of wool spun, and if ever she wants her cream jurned, to jurn her cream and bring the butter to her." Another provision in the will pertained to his late brother-in-law's family, Elizabeth Greaver and her daughter Catherine. They were still living on the farm that Henry had provided for Gabriel and his family many years before. Henry, however, still had title to the farm. His will provided that they were to live there on the place rent free, less tax, for the rest of their lives. And, if the place did not support them, it was to be rented out, and Elizabeth and her daughter, Catherine to be maintained by his executors during their lives. It was only after the death of the survivor that the land was to be sold and the proceeds distributed to Henry's heirs. Elizabeth or Catherine must have lived until 1846, for it was then that the land sold for $800.00 and the final distribution of Henry's estate took place. The Personal Inventory is interesting with a few words written in German. It is divided into two parts: first, the part that his widow, Mary Catherine, wishes to keep for her own use; and second, the part that is to be sold. The part that she kept had a total value of $135.75. One item that is of particular interest was a Bible valued at $5.00; it was probably the family Bible. (See: More About the Family Bible, below.) The most costly item she kept was a "Clock and Case" valued at $40.00; this must have been a grandfather clock. Other items she kept were 15 books, a "Kitchen Ansfer," and 10 pewter dishes and 15 plates. Among the articles sold were two stills; one apple mill, thirteen casks and nine old hogsheads. Evidence enough that Henry distilled much more "spirits" than he needed for his own use. Also to be sold was a gun valued at $4.00; one man's ladle, $2.00; 19 shirts, $8.00; butter boxes, mold and seal, 37 1/2 cents; a lot of smith's tools, $16.00; and other items of interest. The total value of the personal goods listed was $675.36. The inventory was made out and signed by Jacob Dewald. This leads us to believe that Jacob probably spelled his name as Dewald until the year 1829; when he moved to Tennessee after the death of his wife. It was after the move that he changed the spelling to "Davault" and later to "DeVault." The first settlement of the estate was recorded on March 2, 1819, and was signed by Jacob Dewald, in English, and his brother-in-law, Samuel Long, in German script. Some of the expense items listed were: gravestone, $30.00; administrator's fee (paid to Jacob and Samuel), $60.00; appraisers' fee, $2.00, attorney's fee, $5.00; and funeral expenses, $18.00. The final settlement of the estate was in June of 1846, twenty-nine years after Henry's death. The reason it took so long was that Henry's sister-in-law, Elizabeth Greaver, and her daughter, Catherine, were to live on a tract of land that Henry owned, until their death, which had just occurred. The land was sold to George Rabenstein for the sum of $800.00. The net of $682.21 was distributed to his heirs. My great-great-grandfather, Frederick DeVault, of Leesburg, Tennessee, (one of Henry's sons) stated in his will filed in 1847: that $50.00 was due him from Pennsylvania (from the settlement) and was to be paid his wife. What is important about this settlement is that it names Henry's heirs, his sons and daughters, with their married names, and in case of their death, their children and who they married. So we have listed in this settlement a number of grandchildren of Henry and Mary Catherine Dewald.
The Family Bible
When Henry Dewald died in 1817, among the items the widow kept was a Bible, valued at $5.00. If this was the family Bible, it means that when the children left home, none took the family Bible with them. After Mary Catherine's death it probably went to one of the children living close by, such as her youngest daughter, Julian Wortz, with whom she probably lived in later years. Mrs. Bertha F. Newcomb, of Hanover, Pennsylvania had this to say: "When my grandmother, Louise (Wortz) Forney, (daughter of Julian) died all of the household effects were sold, and we, of course, were young and did not care for antiques, and did not try to buy anything. Later, we found that there was a Bible belonging to grandmother's family. We have since tried to find it but have not been successful." There is, however, another possibility. In 1949 I visited at Henry Dawalt's old homestead near Salem, Indiana. It was then the home of Earl and Charlie Dawalt. I was shown an old German Lutheran Bible. Earl said his father told him it was the original family Bible of Henry Dewald of York County, Pennsylvania; brought over from Germany in a box. There were no names nor dates in the Bible. Earl said that their father had not allowed anyone to handle the Bible, especially the children.
The DeVault Family Genealogy by Kitzmiller & Guerrant
(Compiled summer of 1875)
The DeVault family is greatly indebted to that most remarkable woman, Louise (Dewald) Kitzmiller, daughter of Phillip Dewald (and granddaughter of Henry and Mary Catherine Dewald). Louise married John Kitzmiller, and they lived, after their marriage, in "Stone House B." There is an interesting story concerning them: Martin Kitzmiller, John's father, sent his son on a business trip to Pennsylvania. It was either there, or on his way to or from there, that he met his first cousin, Louise Dewald, daughter of Phillip Dewald. The result was their marriage later on in Tennessee. Martin built for his son and bride a stone house, later known as "Stone House B", a story and a half home on a part of his farm; and there Louise lived until her death in 1883. It is now necessary to introduce the first DeVault Tavern. In 1821 Frederick Davault (as he then spelled his name), son of Henry Dewald, completed construction of a large, two story, brick building in Leesburg, Tennessee. Leesburg is a few miles west of Jonesboro and is located on the old Memphis to Washington Stage Road. In 1825 Frederick received a permit to operate his place as a Tavern and "to keep a quiet and orderly house." Frederick died in 1847 and the Tavern was inherited by his son, John. We're now ready to start another story. This one was told to Newland DeVault by Russell (Frederick Russell) DeVault, son of John DeVault: "One day, about noon, a Confederate soldier, on horseback, rode up to the DeVault Tavern, requesting food, and, as there were several bands of Union Soldiers nearby, he did not dismount. The meal was prepared by Mary DeVault, daughter of John DeVault, who owned the tavern. She served it on a tray, placed on top of her head, while the soldier ate. He thanked her; asked her name, and after the war was over, wrote to her father asking permission to call. Permission was granted, and the result was a marriage. The soldier was Dr. E. O. Guerrant, a surgeon in the Confederate Army during the Civil War." (Russell DeVault was Mary's brother.) For several years after the war Dr. Guerrant practiced medicine in Kentucky, and then decided to study for the ministry and become a preacher. He left Mary and the children at the Tavern, Mary's old home, while he went to school. During the summer of 1875, he went over to the home of Henry's grandaughter, Louise (Dewald) Kitzmiller. Louise, at the age of 77, and all from memory, gave Dr. Guerrant the genealogy of the DeVault family. The genealogy consisted of a few remarks about Henry Dewald and wife, when they came to America (which was wrong by two years) and the cost of the journey. She referred to Henry as: "Henry DeVault, a Huguenot, born in France, and married to Catherine Marie Greaver, a German woman." She listed all of their children, who they married, listed all the grandchildren and in most cases whom they married. The only date of birth of any of the children was that of Henry, Jr. of Salem, Indiana, for which she had his dates of birth and death. It was just a list of names only, but most remarkable, as all were given from memory. The information was taken down by Dr. Guerrant. He gave his father-in-law, John DeVault, a copy and Louise Kitzmiller had a copy. Over the years a number of copies were made from these two. The Kitzmiller copy came into the hands of her brother's family (Daniel Dewald) of Washington County, Tennessee. This copy had probably been kept up to date more than any other. James D. Dewald had it in his possession for many years. The copy of John DeVault had been partly brought down to Frederick's branch as well as other branches he knew. Frederick Russell DeVault, Dr. Guerrant's brother-in-law, gave me my first copy, through his nephew John DeVault of Mexico, Missouri in the year 1935. I wrote to two of the daughters of Dr. Guerrant in regard to the genealogy. In 1939 I received a letter from Anna (Guerrant) Green of Kentucky, in which she stated that her father did not keep a copy and all he had among his papers (that had not been destroyed by a housekeeper) were some notes such as "Henrich Dewalt, born in the Palatinate Country in the Rhine April 19 1745, married Mary Catherine Greaver in 1768 in Montgomery Co PA near the Trappe." Also: "settled about 20 miles north of Philadelphia." These two statements are very much of interest. The date of birth is wrong, but appears in all the early genealogies. We know that Henry came to America in 1766 instead of 1764 as stated in Louise's genealogy, and that he had a son age 1 and a daughter about age 5. The "Trappe" referred to is the oldest Lutheran Church in America, built of stone in 1743 at Trappe, Pennsylvania. About 20 miles west and slightly north of Philadelphia is the town of DeVault, and about 12 miles north of DeVault is Trappe, the location of the Church. If Henry did settle near Philadelphia he only remained there a few months, for in December of 1766 he made entries to purchase land in York County. The above statement concerning his marriage at the Trappe was only in Dr. Guerrant's notes and not in the genealogy. I visited the town of DeVault and found it was named for a man whose first name was DeVault, and as far as he was able to determine, of no relation to Henry. In Missouri records found the statement that Henry settled about 20 miles from Philadelphia. Although I was unable to find any of the Trappe Church marriage records, I've often wondered if Henry had a civil marriage in Europe and then a Church wedding at the oldest Lutheran Church in America? In 1938, Nora and Eva Dawalt of Indiana compiled data about the family, and the two statements appear in their notes -- which she obtained from Dr. Guerrant's daughters. Their data for the most part concerned the genealogy of Henry Dawalt, Jr. of Indiana.
The Nationality of the DeVault Family
The nationality of the family and the spelling of the name are closely related, one depending on the other to a great extent. Louise Kitzmiller's genealogy simply stated: "Henry Devault, a Huguenot, born in France" and that he married "a German woman." Other family genealogies stated that he was born in the "Kingdom of France;" and still others that he was born in the "Black Forest." The Nora and Eva Dawalt notes state he was a native of Germany, born in the Palatinate along the Rhine River and near the Black Forest. In the family of Peter Davault of Missouri, a grandson of Henry, the statement is that he was born in Alsace, France. Yet my grandfather always insisted that the family was German. So did the family of Henry's third son, Henry Dewalt, of Salem, Indiana, whose picture is that of a typical German man-see picture. I've also read in several old histories of Missouri that the family was of German origin. These histories often referred to the "Black Forest," as did Dr. Guerrant's notes. Yet, other references were to Alsace-Lorraine along the Rhine. Phillip, the eldest son of Henry Dewald, had a son, Daniel, and a daughter, Louise (Dewald) Kitzmiller, who both married, settled in Washington County Tennessee, and lived a few miles apart. While Louise Kitzmiller said the family was French, her brother, Daniel Dewald was just as emphatic in stating that the family was of German origin. In the 1880 census, Daniel listed his father, Phillip, as born in Germany; his sister, Louise, did not answer that question. One of the reasons Daniel Dewald would not change the spelling of his name, according to his grandson, James D. Dewald of Jonesboro, as told to him by his Aunts (who were born 1825 & 1832) is as follows: They claimed that "Daniel had papers to show that Henry Dewald came to this country from the Black Forest of Germany and that he was born there." Again quoting James D. DeVault: "Daniel Dewald had always kept the 'Dewald' way of spelling the name because prior to that time there were estates that had been left in Germany, and it was hard to find the relatives that had emigrated to America, due to the fact that they had changed the spelling of their names." This is important, under old European laws, Daniel, as the eldest son of the eldest son (Phillip), would be in line to inherit any estates left to Henry Dewald. Daniel had said that the family had always spelled their names as "Dewald," had long been established in Germany, and that some members of the family were wealthy. Again quoting James D. Dewald: "My Aunts also claimed that the word 'Wald' meant woods in German and that the prefix 'De' meant 'son of', thus the name 'Dewald' meant 'son of the woods'." Also, that woods in French was spelled as 'Vault' and as they migrated south from Pennsylvania, they ran into the French who pronounced the name DeVault. All of the old records that I have seen were written in German. It was the custom of the day for emigrants to settle in an area with others of their nationality. It may be just a coincidence, but Henry Dewald settled in York County, Pennsylvania, in Manheim Township, and in Heidelberg Township he had another farm. The family crest that I have shows the origin of the family roots as being Austrian -- or of Germanic origin. Until further evidence is found, I would say that the family is of German origin, and that wherever they lived also lived some French people, because Henry Dewald spoke German and French. The towns of Manheim and Heidelberg are on or just east of the Rhine River in Germany, and just to the west and south is the present German Palatinate. Forty miles south of these two towns, on the east side of the Rhine, is the beginning of the Black Forest, and, on the west along the Rhine, the district of Loraine, France . Somewhere in here Henry Dewald lived before coming to America.
The Spelling of the Name
In Pennsylvania, on all legal records, Henry's name is spelled "Dewald." In his will his name is written many times, and each time, including his signature at the bottom, it is spelled "Henry Dewald." However, on some of the militia records, it is spelled as "Davalt," and on some of the church records his name is spelled "Thebald." When his five sons first came to Tennessee they began using the English way or "Davault" spelling of the name. The first of Henry's sons to move to Tennessee were Gabriel and Henry, Jr. (Gabriel was baptized in Sherman's Church, York County, Pennsylvania as "Gabriel Dewald." Three of his children were baptized in St. Mathews Church as "Thebald.") The brothers initially settled on a farm their father had purchased in Washington County. It was located on the Wautaga River at a place later known as DeVault's Ford. I have checked the records in the courthouse at Jonesboro, Washington County, Tennessee. Here I found a few records that have Gabriel's name spelled "Davault." The first of these is dated 1798, and is a record of a permit issued to Gabriel Davault to operate a ferry across the Watauga River. About 1800 the brothers moved to farms in Sullivan County. We have no land transfer records from Sullivan County, for the courthouse was burned during the Civil War. However we do have the 1850 and 1860 Federal Census records for Sullivan County. In these Gabriel's name is spelled as "Davault." Gabriel's decendents, still living in the area today, use the "DeVault spelling. However, two of his sons moved to Missouri. One retained the "Davault" spelling while the other changed it slightly to "Davalt." There are many descendents of these two of which we have a record. Gabriel's brother, Henry Dewald Jr., moved to Salem, Indiana shortly after moving to Tennessee. Here he spelled his name as "Dewalt" as did all his descendents. Today, however, the male line, with the "Dewalt" spelling is almost extinct. The next two sons to move to Tennessee were Frederick and Valentine Dewald. They took over the farm in Washington County on the Watauga River. From 1800 to 1833, they owned property together. On all deeds made out to them, for land they purchased, their name is always spelled "Davault." On land they sold, most often (over ninety-five percent of the time), the signatures and names within the document are spelled "Davault;" a few times as "Dewald" and once or twice as "DeValt." Frederick used the Davault spelling for the rest of his life. His son, John, was born with the Davault spelling and used it all his life. However, when John died, the name placed on his stone was "DeVault" -- a name he never used. Frederick Russell DeVault of Leesburg, Tennessee, a grandson of Frederick Davault, in a letter to me in 1937 had this to say: "The first I remember of the family spelling the name "DeVault" was in the year 1875 when Louise Kitzmiller gave the genealogy to Dr. Guerrant. She told him she thought the family to be of French origin, and he said, if so, the name should be spelled "DeVault." Most members of Frederick's and Valentine's families took up the "DeVault" spelling, especially after 1875, as Frederick Russell DeVault stated. Two exceptions were Frederick's sons, Henry and Peter, who moved to Missouri in 1831. They, for the most part, retained the "Davault" spelling. Jacob Dewald, the youngest of Henry Dewald's sons lived in Pennsylvania until his wife died. On all legal documents found in Pennsylvania he spelled his name as "Dewald." In 1829, Jacob and his nine children moved to Tennessee Here he change the spelling of his name to "Davault" and later "DeVault." In the census of 1850 and 1870 the name of all his children are spelled "Davault". Today, however, all of Jacob's descendents use the "DeVault" form. Phillip Dewald was the only one of Henry's sons that did not settle in Tennessee. His only son, Daniel, did move to Tennessee and always kept the Dewald spelling, as do all of his descendents to this day. We do have one deed, dated 1812, signed by Phillip in Hampshire County, West Virginia as "Davault." Today the most popular spelling is "DeVault." Other common spellings are "Davault-Davalt" "and "Dewald". The least common spelling is "Dawalt."
Forefathers of Henry Dewald
Nothing definitely is known about the origin of the family. Most of what has been written is speculation; some rank speculation. One story that has been told is that Henry was the son of Count Francois Joseph Devault, Governor of Lure, France. It goes on to say that at one time the Count had an argument with King Louis the 15th, hit him over the head with a mace and then fled to Holland with his two sons, Henry and Phillip, where he lived for several years. Other stories say the family was of German origin; that they had lived in Germany for several generations and that the family was wealthy. Then there is the tradition that "four brothers came over to America," and there may be an element of truth in this. I have seen references that say that four brothers originally came over from Germany: Henry, who settled in Pennsylvania; Phillip, who settled in Ohio; and two others. There were two other Dewalds who settled in Manheim Township, York County, Pennsylvania. There names were Frederick and Valentine Dewald. It is very likely that these two men were brothers of our Henry. What we know about them is this: Frederick came over in 1770 and Valentine in 1771. They were about Henry's age. In the census of 1790, eight persons are listed in Valentine's family and six in Frederick's family. In the 1800 census are listed five in Valentine's family and three in Frederick's. The most important thing we have to go on is that Henry had two sons he named Frederick and Valentine; probably named after these two men, who were probably there uncles. Col. LeRoy Reeves, in his book: "Ancestral Sketches" of the Reeves, DeVault, and related families, states that Mr. Francois Joseph DeVault, Governor of Lure, France, was most likely the father of our Henry Dewald. He suggests another possibility, though less likely, that Mr. Francois Eugene DeVault, General, was Henry's father. Both of these men lived in or near the province of Lure and around Dole at one time. He had worked on this theory with Mr. David Sullins DeVault, who had told Col. Reeves about the family in France. David Sullins DeVault, in letters to me, stated that he had spent several years in France, where he had obtained this information. He seemed certain that Francois Joseph DeVault was the father, and on this I did some checking. I wrote to the Archives of France, the Ministry of Education, the Library at Dole and to an individual, Mr. Charles Hanus, Secretaries General, Hotel De France, Lure (Hauta-Saona), France, and from the latter I received most of my data. This I give for possible use by others interested in the early origin of the family: Concerning the first possibility, as mentioned by Col. Reeves, that Francois Joseph DeVault was Henry's father, I offer the following information received in a letter from Mr. Charles Hanue. (Charles could not read nor write English, but his son could.) He states: "I found all right, that in the registers under the date of March 15 1757, that Mr. Francois Joseph DeVault, was Governor of de Lure. I did not find the birth of Henry nor Phillip in Lure. On the other hand I found other children of Mr. Francois Joseph DeVault, which I enclose." The following are the baptismal records (with Godparents) of Francois Joseph DeVault's three children. You will note that the first birth was in 1752, while our Henry Dewald was born in 1733, a difference of 19 years. No 792 Avite Honnore Claude Francois, son of Noble Francois Joseph DeVault, Judge, and Governor, for the King, of the City of Lure, and of Madame Marguarite Bressard, born and Baptized 17 June 1752. Godfather: Claude Francois Marguis Cure d Hugier, son of M Nicholas Felix DeVault, pretre, doctor de theologie cure de Lure, Uncle paternal de l'enfant Godmother: Delle Rosalie Jeanne Baptists Gertrude DeVault No 985 Alexander Victor Blaise Joseph, son of Noble Francois Joseph DeVault, Judge and Governor, for the King, of the City of Lure, and of Madam Marguerite Bressard, born July 25 1754. Godfather: Albert Raphel Eugene Francois DeVault Godmother: Delle Jeane Felix Scholasique Adelaide DeVault No 1448 Charles Marie Louis, son of Noble Francois Joseph DeVault, Superior Judge and Governor, for the King of the City of Lure, and of Madam Marguerite Bressard, his wife, born Nov 28 1757 Godfather: Charles de Rohan, Prince of Soubisem, represented by Mr. Nicholas Felix DeVault, Priest, Doctor of Theologie, Pastor of Lure. Godmother: Princesses Marie Louise de Rbhan Soubise, Countess of Marson, represented by Miss Jeanne Antonio DeVault. The baptismal records of the children of De Noble Francois Joseph DeVault, bailley et governour la Roy de la Ville de Lure (Judge and Governor for the King of the City of Lure) contain their names, dates of births, names of Godparents, and, in one case, the relationship of the Godparents to "l'enfant." Francois Joseph DeVault's wife was Marguerite Bressard. In these records are listed the following names: Nicholas Felix DeVault, Priest, Doctor of Theologie; Eugene Francois DeVault; Delle Jeanne Antonio DeVault; Della Rosalie Jeanne Baptistte Gertrude DeVault and others. Nicholas Felix DeVault, the Doctor of Theologie, is a brother of the Count and Governor. He is also a brother of Eugene Francois DeVault, who is mentioned below as being of Swiss origin. From a later letter from Mr. Hanus: "I am a little in arrears to reply, but I wanted to search again the old registers to give you satisfaction to your demands -- I was not able to find the birth of Phillip in 1737 or 1733 -- I also looked under these dates for Henry but without success." The dates and births of the above listed children are twenty years later than the birth of our Henry Dewald, so our Henry is not the son of the Count, unless by a much earlier marriage. Concerning Col. Reeves' second possibility, that Francois Eugene DeVault was the father of Henry Dewald, I offer the following information received from the Archives of France: "DeVault or rather devault, Family of Swiss origin, established in Franche-Comte since the reunion of this province to France. Francois Eugene DeVault, born in Lure, Feb. 6, 1717, started on a military career and took part in all campaigns since the seige of Philipsborough (1734) and until 1762, when he was still employed as camp master. Made Lieut-General in 1780. Commander of the order of the Holy Spirit in 1787; he died in Paris in 1794. He was Lord of Hugier, Sornay, Bege and LaVaive in 1798." (There seems to be a problem with these last two dates - TLD.) The above Francois Eugene DeVault, born in 1717, could not be the father of our Henry Dewald for he would have had to be married at 17 to have had a son born in 1733. The reference to the Swiss origin is interesting and is discussed further in the section discussing the nationality of the Dewald family. So both Francois Eugene DeVault and Francois Joseph DeVault are ruled out as being the parents of either Henry or Phillip Dewald.
The Will of Henry Dewald
March 6, 1817 IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN. I, Henry Dewald of Mankine Township in the County of York and State of Pennsylvania, Taylor, being old and weak in body, but of sound mind, memory and understanding (blessed be God for the same) and considering the uncertainty of this transitory life, do make this and publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following to wit: Principally and first of all I command my immortal Soul into the hands of God who gave it and my body to earth, to be buried in a decent and Christian like manner at the discretion of my Executors herein after named, and as such worldly Estate, wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I give and dispose of the same in the following manner to wit, first, it is my will and I do order that all my just debts and funeral expenses be duly paid and satisfied as soon as conveniently can be after my decease. Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Mary Catherine, all my whole Personal Estate in manner following, that is to say, all my household goods and furniture of what kind or nature they may be, all which she is to have for her own use during her widowhood, but such articles as she does not want for her own use, shall be sold by way of Public Sale, and then out of the money arising from said sale and out of the Cash which I may die possessed of, my said wife shall have equal one third thereof as and for her own Estate, the remainder thereof to be equally divided amongst all my children, share and share alike, and after my wife's decease or marriage, the remainder of my Estate which she had in hand, shall also be equally divided amongst all my children & further I give a full right and privilege unto my said wife to and unto my now dwelling house, to have the use thereof during her natural life or widowhood and further I give and bequeath unto my said wife & unto my now dwelling plantation to have on, from and out of the same following articles necessary and things for her maintenance Yearly and every year during her widowhood (that is to say) Ten bushels of good merchantable wheat, ten bushels of rye, six bushels of Indian corn, six bushels of potatoes, twelve pounds of clean shelled flax, and as many pounds of clean flour and one hog that shall weigh at least one hundred and twenty pounds when killed and cleaned, which shall be given to her alive & must be Lund in the time when it is usual for farmers to kill their hogs. She shall also have liberty to take apples & peaches as much as she may want for her own use, firewood reddy cut for the use of her stove and delivered to door sufficient for her own use. One cow kept in fodder pasture & stabling as Good as the best that shall be kept on my now dwelling place, and my son Jacob's wife or maid shall milk my wife's cow and bring her the milk into her house and in the time when her cow gives no milk, she is to Give her milk sufficient for her Coffee and is also to give her whiskey as much as she may use herself in a reasonable manner. And fifty schillings in money yearly and in case my said wife should be sick or too infirm to do her Business, that then my three sons, Valentine, Frederick and Jacob shall keep her maid. My two sons Valentine and Frederick are to pay the one half equal part of the Expenses & my son Jacob the other half, and further my said wife shall have the forth part of the garden yearly reddy tilled and dunged and at least three pounds of wool spun and if ever she wants her cream jurned to jurn her cream and bring her the butter. She shall also have one Bushel of fine salt which said article my wife shall have yearly and every year during her widowhood and her grain to be brought to the mill & the meal and bran home again whenever she doth want it. Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Jacob Dewald, all my now dwelling plantation Lands and tenements with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, adjoining the lands of Michael Bare, Andrew Bollinger, Solomon Beeler, Samuel Goldbreath (or Goldbretch) and John Gross and others Containing as by the writings may appear. To hold to him my said son Jacob Dewald his heirs and assigns forever upon that condition that he doth or else sufficiently secure the following payments and maintenances as aforesaid, viz, that he shall therefore pay and Give out the sum of one thousand pounds lawfull money of Pennsylvania to be paid in fifty pound gales or yearly payments the beginning therefore to be made on the first of April next after my decease, the first and second gales or payments to be paid to my youngest daughter, Julian, intermarried with Jacob Wortz and to her heirs. The third gale to be paid to my eldest daughter, Mary Margaret, intermarried with Samuel Long or to her heirs & the forth gale or payment to be paid to my son Phillip Dewald or to his heirs & the fifth Gale or payment to be paid to my daughter, Elizabeth, intermarried with John Kitzmiller or her heirs, and the sixth gale or payment to my youngest daughter Julian and further again to my oldest daughter Mary Margaret and the further next to my son, Phillip, and the further next to my daughter Elizabeth and the further next to my youngest daughter Julian again and then further that my son Jacob shall pay the sum of sixty pounds in one year only for the space of two years, the first sixty pound gale to be equally divided between my eldest daughter, Mary Margaret and my son Phillip, and the second sixty pounds to be equally divided between my two daughters, Elizabeth and Julian and the next Year after that my said son Jacob shall only pay the sum of twenty pounds for the space of one year only, which shall be paid to my son Phillip instead of a horse to make him even with my other sons and the remainder of the aforesaid one thousand pounds Shall be divided into eleven equal parts and to be paid to my children according to their succession of age whereof my said son Jacob shall draw his share also, and thereupon my said son Jacob Dewald is to hold my deeded plantation lands and Tenements with the appurtenances thereunto belonging and that to him his heirs and assigns forever, in as full and complete manner as I the said Henry Dewald held and enjoyed the same, and that exonerated and discharged from all further claims and demands of all my other children. Item, I give and device unto my two sons Valentine and Frederick Dewald, all that plantation and track of land which I have purchased from a certain John Been lying in Washington County in the State of Tennessee, containing six hundred thirty seven acres of land to hold to them their heirs and assigns forever upon condition that they do make or else sufficiently secure the following payments, that is to say that they shall therefore pay and give the sum of Six hundred pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania, whereof I have already received the sum of two hundred pounds and the other four hundred pounds they shall pay in the following manner, in fifty pound gales or yearly payments, the beginning therefore to be made on the first day of April next following my decease and the first payment thereof to be given to my daughter Catherine, intermarried with Nicholas Keefauver & in one further the sum of Fifty pounds to my daughter Mary Elizabeth and so on until each of the two daughters hath received the sum of two hundred pounds each, and I do hereby mention that I have already given unto my son in law, Nicholas Keefauver one wagon, wherefore I charge him the sum of thirty pounds and further I mention that I have given unto my two sons Valentine and Frederick one Copper Still and one Iron apple mill and a rifle, wherefore they shall be charged for the sum of eighty dollars which they shall pay to my daughter Mary Elizabeth to bring her even with my daughter, Catherine, which money is to be paid on demand, further my will is that my two sons Valentine and Frederick shall yearly pay unto my wife the sum of twenty pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania to assist to maintain my said wife during her widowhood which money is always to be sent her in October in every year & in making these payments to the true intent and meaning thereof my said two sons Valentine and Frederick Dewald is to hold said track of land in an equal right to them their heirs and assigns forever and exonerated and discharged from all other claims I demand of all my other children. Item, further my will is concerning another track of land which I hold lying partly in Manheim and partly in Heidelberg Township in York Co and State of Pennsylvania on which my late brother in law Gabriel Greaver, named the elder, deceased lately resided, and that the said Gabriel Greaver's wife named Elizabeth and her daughter Catherine shall remain on said place during their or either of their natural lives to support themselves, they doing no injury or damage to the buildings or place at all but may have firewood for their use as much as they want cutting no wood fit for rails or saw locks, but may cut wood for rails to keep the fences in repair on said land, but no wood to be taken from the land on no account, and if the said land will not maintain the said Elizabeth Greaver or Catherine her daughter, or the survivor of them, then in such case it is my will that my executors shall rent out the place, the tax always to be paid out of said land, to the best advantage and maintain said women or survivor of them, to the best advantage they can either by public or private sale, and I do therefore authorize and empower them or the survivor of them to make and deliver a deed for the same as any other writings that may be necessary for conveying that, same shall be as valid as if I had done it in my lifetime. And lastly I do hereby nominate and appoint my said son Jacob Dewald and my son in law, Samuel Long, to be the executors of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills made by me. In writing whereof I have set my hand and seal the Sixth day of March one Thousand eight hundred and seventeen. Signed, sealed, published and declared by the Testator as his last will and testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence and at the request of the said Testator, and each other. Adam Glydens SIGNED Peter Overdeer Henry Dewald (in German script)