Deardorff/Dierdorff History

Benjamin Deardorff Fruit Farm, Mummasburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania

Our Immigrant Ancestor, ANTONY DIERDORFF was born 1683-1684 in Swartzenau, Chur-Pfalz, Germany, and died Abt 1745 in Amwell, New Jersey. He married CHRISTIANA.

Per "The Palatine Families of New York and New Jersey", Page 64, Anthony Dierdorf and Henrich Dierdorf - This family undoubtedly came from the Neuweid/Westerwald region (in which the town of 5419 Dierdorf is found) as did so many other Hunterdon Co, NJ settlers. However, intensive village-to-village searches over many years in extent chbks of the area have failed to document the NJ Dierdorfs. With this in mind, it is very possible that the family originated at 5450 Feldkirchen near Neuwied (4 km s.w. of Segendorf), the chbks for which are missing. The Furstl. Wied Archiv at Neuwied has several old documents which give names of 17th and 18th century Feldkirchen parish citizens. In the parish of Feldkirchen, for example, a Johannes Dirdorf of Wollendorf with 4 sons and 3 daughters was enrolled on a document dated 1690-1700; Johannes Dierdorf was then on a guard-money-list dated 1696 there (#27-7-3). Later members of the family at Wollendorf included Christian, Andreas, Peter, and Johann Wilhelm Dierdorf there in 1740. A Nicklas Dirdorf of Fahr had 5 sons and 2 daughters on the 1690--1700 roll, paid money on a "Zehentpfennig List" dated 1693, was on the guard money list for Fahr in 1696, and then on a 1709 Fahr roll with a Michael and Johann Con. Dierdorf. Conrad and Johannes Dierdorf of Fahr were registered in 1740 there (#27-2 & #27-7-3); perhaps they were related to the Johannes Dierdorf at Fahr found on lists dated 1669 &O1670 (#64-12-4). A Wilhelm Dierdorf had 1 son at Gonersdorf on the 1690-1700 list; A Paulus and a Michael Dierdorff also were of Gonnersdorf in 1740, and an Anthon and Georg Wilhelm Dierdorff also were listed that year nearby. It is my belief that Anthony and Henrich Dierdorf might have come from any of these Feldkirchen families.

Both Anthony and Christiana were born in Germany. Lived in Germantown, PA. Then on to Amwell, New Jersey. Came to American in 1719. Per letter from Hinrich to brother in law, Johann Diedrich Fahnestock, "My father is a devout and intelligent man who does many good works and has been here 15 years."

From "The Palatine Families of New York and New Jersey":

Hendrick Dirdorf, and Anthony Dirdorf and his four sons, namely Peter Dirdorf, John Dierdorf, Anthony Dierderf, and Christian Dierdorf (all sic) were naturalized in colonial NJ in 1730 (NJ Nat). Antony Deardorff of Amwell was for candidates John Emley and Benj'n Smith in 1738 (Hunterdon Co. Candidates List). Anthony and Henry Deerdoffe were both freeholders of Amwell in 1741 (Hunterdon CO. Freeholders). Anthony Dierdorff bought a plantation of 150 acres from Nathan Allen in 1742; he and his family were members of the German Baptist or Dunkards, founded by Alexander Mack (A History of East Amwell 1700-1800, p. 194). In a list of deaths written by Alexander Mack Jr. of those Brethren he had known were noted: Bro(ther) Henry Dierdorf and his wife, the sister. The Dierdorf surname is known in York Co., Pa., also particularly near the Conewago settlement. The will of Anthony Dirdorff was written 19 Feb. 1745 and probated 15 March 1746/47 in Hunterdon Co., NJ (Hunterdon Co. Wil #198J). Christiana, w/o Anthony, although not named in the will as administrator, was acknowledged in a bond of 7 May 1747 as having prior rights.

Per Bob Langdon, 1995: 8 July 1730, Antony and male members of the DirDorf family are naturalized by an act of New Jersey Assembly at Perth Amboy, NJ. New Jersey archives, Trenton, NJ, third series, Volume II, Laws of the Royal Colony of New Jersey 1703-1745 page 418. These are Antony Sr, Peter, John, Anthony, Christian, Henry. Some books have the same date for Henry, but list him separately. (It was necessary to be naturalized in order to own land). The male family members were naturalized in the province of New Jersey by an act approved by the council on 25 June 1730, the general assembly on 6 July 1730 and signed by the Governor on 8 July 1730. Peter was one month short of being 21, thus was listed as a minor with his younger brothers.

Per Bob Langdon, 1996, Raymond Martin Bell, was a professor at Washington and Jefferson College, thinks that John Trimmer, married 3 times, may have 1st been married to Mary Dierdorff, sister to Anthony Dierdorff. Bob has never been able to get anything out of Germany on this. She may have died on the way to America.

Deardorff/Dierdorff Name and Immigration

By Lori Deardorff Marquette

It is hard to discuss the spelling of our name without going into a lengthy article. I am going to quote from what I consider to be several reliable sources. The next 5 paragraphs, I am quoting from "Our Dierdorff Ancestors in Early America" by Richard F. Deardorff, 1984, (with permission) regarding our immigrant ancestors, Antony and Christiana Dirdorff, and their descendants' variations and explanation of surname spelling.

"Antony spelled his name on his will Dirdorff. The children wrote Dir Dorff. Peter signed his name on his father's will as Petter Dir Dorff.......his tombstone, in German, was fairly well worn in 1984, but Peter Dierd---- was still legible."

"English scribes, who wrote legal documents for recording deeds, wills, etc. spelled the surname 3 different ways in the same document: Deardorff, Deardoff and Deardroff. Other spellings abound. For example, the first half of the name varied such as Dir, Dier, Dirr, Deer, and the last half could be found as dof, doff, dorf, dorff, dough, and even dorph."

"Peter's son Johannes tombstone reads Hannes Dierdorf. Anthony, son of Peter's wife's tombstone reads Maria Dierdorff."

"There is a small village in West Germany, east of the Rhine River near Coblinz and Neuwied which is spelled Dierdorf..........the minister of a local Protestant church said (told the the author) that people who left there in the 1700's often assumed the name of the town as their own. It was a way of changing identity to escape persecution."

"Dorf in German means "village" or "small town". The proper name has 2 ff's. Dierdorff, in German, means someone from (the village of) Dierdorf. And, Deardorff is the English spelling of the German Dierdorff."

In "A History of the Descendents of Jacob and Maria Eva Harshbarger of Switzerland" prepared by the Secretary of The Harshbarger Association" (written ca 1909) I quote "It is said that nearly two centuries ago a Dunkard preacher named Anthony Thierdorf lived near Heidleburg, in Germany. Being persecuted he fled to Holland and soon after came to Germantown, PA, with three sons. We find them in York County, Pa. in 1738." I do not have any idea where the author got this information. My copy of the book (not a very good copy) does not have references to any sources, unfortunately, a very common problem...

Edna Britton DeLong's book, "The Deardorff-William Family" New London, Iowa, 1968, echo's the Harshbarger book stating the Thierdorff surname. I had the same question on the surname. Lee H. Dierdorff, Jr., in a letter some 15 years ago told me he thought Edna probably got that information out of the Harshbarger book, as she was a Harshbarger descendant. Again, no sources were given.

"Genealogical Facts and Stories of the Dierdorff Family, No. 1", by Lee H. Dierdorff, 1962, does briefly mention the following: "Some time after the first World War, I met a member of the Army of Occupation in Germany who had been stationed at the village on the Rhine named Dierdorf. I do not recall whether he met any people of that surname, but more likely the village was named for its situation above the Rhine - High Village, or Tierdorf."

Also from "Our Dierdorff Ancestors in Early America" comes the following information regarding the Dirdorff/Dierdorff's arrival to America. "It was not possible to determine precisely when or where Antony and his family arrived in America. They were not listed on any ship records that I could find. However, all the publications on German immigrants made it quite clear that not everybody was listed on the ship's rolls. The lists were prepared carelessly; few gave complete lists; and many were lost. Others, who reported sick, did not sign, and, therefore, were not listed."

A highly thought of Deardorff researcher, Miss Sudie Wingert of Waynesboro, PA, (1875-1962) sited that per a letter from Heinrich in the year 1734, to brother in law, Johann Diedrich Fahnestock, "My father is a devout and intelligent man who does many good works and has been here 15 years", which would be 1719. Many researchers have based the year of immigration by this information. There is more detailed speculation on immigration and naturalization in "Our Dierdorff Ancestors in Early America". It is no longer in print. I would be happy to send interested researchers a copy for the cost of copying and postage, as I feel it is a solid foundation in which to base our heritage. The book "The Palatine Families of New York and New Jersey", Page 64, also gives speculation on the Dierdorff's arrival in America.

My own personal answer to Rosemary Conner's question of August 13th: "My question is would this Henrig Dierdorf be any relation to Anthony Tierdorff the first know Tierdorff to come to America?   Could be, but more that a couple of Dierdorff/Deardorff researchers in the past 150 years have not been able to concretely link any previous or subsequent Dierdorff/Deardorff's to Antony and his immediate family, which I feel, without better evidence, arrived in 1719, possibly by ship with Peter Becker. Chester A. Peters, author of "Some Descendants of Anthony Dierdorff Jr." agreed with this speculation.

As an end note, also from Lee H. Dierdorff's book, "There is another Dierdorff history, of an entirely different family, springing from another Peter Dierdorff, who came from Germany in 1848 and settled in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Some of his descendants may have been confused with the descendants of Antony."

After 20 years of correspondence, I have found that Dick Deardorff, Lee H. Dierdorff, Lee H. Dierdorff Jr., Sudie Wingert and Bob Langdon to be the most reliable sources of early information, as I know they have seen many of the original documents personally.

Many things are subject to speculation, which makes all the data more challenging!

Children of Anthony Dierdorff and Christiana are:

i. HEINRICH DIERDORFF, b. 1701, "Duchy of Newwitt" (near) Neuweid, Germany; d. November 23, 1749, Ephrata, Cocolica Twp, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; m. (1) ANNA CATRINA FAHNESTOCK, Abt 1729, Hunterdon (Somerset?) , New Jersey; m. (2) ELIZABETH MOORE, November 03, 1746, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

ii. PETER DIERDORFF, b. August 12, 1709, Neuweid, Pfalz, Germany; d. November 30, 1786, Washington/Paradise Twp, York County, Pennsylvania, USA; m. MARY AHARD, Abt 1739.

iii. MARGARET CATHARINE DEARDORFF, b. 1711, (near) Neuweid, Rhineland, Pfalz, Germany; d. Aft 1770; m. BERNHARDUS ACHENBACH.

iv. JOHANNES DEARDORFF, b. Abt 1715, (near) Neuweid, Rhineland, Pfalz, Germany; d. 1776, Reading Twp., York/now Adams County , Pennsylvania, USA; m. ANNA MARGARETHA ERHARDT, May 22, 1740, Conewago, Christ Reformed Church, York, Pennsylvania.

v. ANTHONY DEARDORFF, b. February 15, 1716/17, (near) Neuweid, Germany; d. August 16, 1800, Dover, Washington Twp., York County, Pennsylvania; m. ANNA MARIA YAEGER, Amwell Twp, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey.


vii. ANNA E. DEARDORFF, b. February 1723/24, Amwell, New Jersey/Germantown, PA.; m. WELLEM ECKER, January 1739/40.

viii. CHRISTINA DEARDORFF, b. May 21, 1728, Germantown, PA.; d. November 21, 1787; m. PETER MOORE, January 17, 1754.

Descendants of Anthony Dierdorff to Lori Deardorff Marquette

Generation 1: Anthony Dierdorff  was born 1683-1684 in Swartzenau, Chur-Pfalz, Germany, and died Abt 1745 in Amwell, New Jersey. He married CHRISTIANA.

Generation 2: Peter Dierdorff  b: August 12, 1709 in Neuweid, Germany, d: November 06, 1786 in Washington Twp, York, Pa, Buried: Washington, York, Pa.  Married to: Mary Ahard/Ehardt b: 1712 in York, Pa, m: Abt 1739 d: Abt 1786 in York, Pa, Buried: Washington Twp, York, Pa.

Generation 3:Anthony Dierdorff   b: March 23, 1746/47 in Paradise Twp, York, Pa, d: April 12, 1806 in Washington Twp, York, Pa Buried: Washington Twp, York, Pa.  Married to: Mary Trimmer, b: October 06, 1747 d: March 06, 1817, Buried: Washington Twp, York, Pa.

Generation 4:  Anthony Deardorff   b: 1783 in Adams, Pia, d: August 21, 1857 in Franklin Twp, Adams, Pa,, Buried: Arendtsville, Adams, Pa.  Married to: Elizabeth Schloshler/Slusser b: 1783 d: 3 November 1855 in Arendtsville, Adams, Pa,Buried: Arendtsville, Adams, Pa

Generation 5:  Benjamin Deardorff   b: June 06, 1816 in Franklin Twp, Adams, Pa d: March 23, 1905 in Butler Twp, Adams, Pa, Buried: Mummasburg, Adams, Pa.  Married to: Anna Hershey ,b: February 05, 1818 m: March 12, 1840 in Franklin Twp, Adams, Pa, d: June 16, 1850 in Adams, Pa, Buried: Mummasburg Cem, Adams, Pa (First of his 5 wives) - Home shown above. Click here for copy of 1870 census record for this family

Generation 6: John H .Deardorff   b: December 12, 1845 in Pa d: November 20, 1878 in Adams, Pa, Buried: Mummasburg/Menne, Adams, Pa.  Married to: Lydia Elenora Raffensperger b: February 17, 1840 in Arendtsville, Adams, Pa, m: May 13, 1866 in Adams, Pa. d: June 17, 1874 in Adams, Pa, Buried: Mummasburg Cem., Adams, Pa.

Generation 7:  Charles Anderson Deardorff   b: September 17, 1866 in Mummasburg, Frnkln Twp/Adams, Pad: March 10, 1941 in Overbrook, Osage, Kansas, Buried: Carbondale Cem, Osage, Kansas.  Married to: Lena Eliza Foshay b: January 14, 1878 in Ridgeway, Osage, Kansas, m: August 02, 1899 in Osage, Kansas, d: November 02, 1948 in Monrovia, Los Angeles, California, Buried: Carbondale Cem, Osage, Kansas. Home shown below.

Generation 8: John Alfred Deardorff   b: April 19, 1900 in Carbondale, Osage, Kansas, d: May 04, 1959 in Lyons, Rice, Kansas,Buried: Carbondale, Osage, Kansas.  Married to: Francis Belle Regina Stevens b: March 27, 1905 in Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas, m: June 18, 1925 in Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas, d: September 01, 1987 in Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas, Buried: Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas.

Generation 9:  Steven William "Bill" Deardorff   married to Nadine Nancy Carol Cox

Generation 10:  Lori Linn Deardorff   married to Timothy David Marquette

Generation 11:  William Michael Marquette and Jackson Dean Marquette

Home of Charles Anderson Deardorff, Overbrook, Kansas

Nadine, Lori, Mike, Bill Deardorff, 1970

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