The family of W.S. Seitz, builder of the Ruse bank barn


Although the Seitzes were not one of the pre-Revolution German families in Lovettsville, the family’s roots were thoroughly grounded in Pennsylvania German and Swiss immigrants. They came from Pennsylvania to the Lovettsville area via northern Baltimore County, not through Frederick County as did most of the local families.

But, unlike the family of Christian Ruse, which was almost impossible to trace, the Seitz family is well-documented back to its immigrant origins.

Winfield Scott Seitz (or “W.S. Seitz” as he seemed to prefer to be known) was a son of Andrew Seitz (Jr.), who was in Lovettsville at least by 1848 when he married the widow Amanda Yakey. Andrew then spent the rest of his life there, except during the Civil War years when he took refuge in Morgan County, West Virginia. Andrew died in Lovettsville in 1888 and is buried in Lovettsville Union Cemetery, as are Winfield and ten other Seitz family members.  (Additionally, Amanda Russell Seitz is buried in the Lovettsville German Reformed Cemetery, and Mary Seitz Goodhart is buried in Leesburg Union Cemetery.)

Andrew Seitz [Jr.], Winfield’s father, was born in 1823 in Gorsuch Mills, Maryland, a small town in Baltimore County which is about a mile south of the long-disputed Pennsylvania-Maryland border.  His father, Andrew Seitz [Sr.] had moved there from Hametown, in York County, Pa., which is only about ten miles from Gorsuch Mills. His grandfather Johannes Georg Seitz was a “Palatine” immigrant, having been born in Baden-Württemberg (now Germany), in 1740, and emigrating to Pennsylvania in 1764 with his new bride, Anna Catharina. There is even some direct Swiss ancestry there, through Catharine Klinefelter, the wife of Andrew Seitz Sr.

We know a lot about Winfield’s father, Andrew Seitz Jr., because of the availability of records from his post-Civil War claims to the Southern Claims Commission, in which he sought compensation for timber and lumber taken by the Union Army from his farm in Morgan County, WV.[1] Morgan County is along the Potomac at the beginning of the Panhandle; from northern Loudoun County, going west, are Jefferson, Berkeley, then Morgan County.

Why were Andrew, and Winfield, there? According to testimony in the claims case, Andrew was living in the Lovettsville/Hoysville area until the Spring of 1861. In May 1860, he had been elected one of four Magistrates (or Justices of the Peace) for the Lovettsville District, running in opposition to the Democratic machine candidate. He was also the local School Commission for the Literary Fund, a position which he relinquished in 1861 at the outset of the Civil War.[2]

Andrew Seitz's notice of resignation as School Commissioner, dated March 12, 1861. Image courtesy of Gary Clemens, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Historic Records Department.
Andrew Seitz’s notice of resignation as School Commissioner, dated March 12, 1861. Image courtesy of Gary Clemens, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Historic Records Department.

Seitz was strongly opposed to secession and said he would leave Virginia if it seceded from the Union.  It did, and he did, staying in Morgan County until the end of the war – except for a short trip to Pennsylvania in 1863.  According to testimony in the claims case, Seitz returned to Loudoun in 1868 and was “made” a deputy Sheriff by the military authorities of the state.  It is not known if that is true, but the well-researched book, Between Reb and Yank, reports that, in the elections after Virginia was re-admitted to the Union in 1870, Seitz was defeated in the race for sheriff, thus keeping that office “safely in `Confederate’ hands.”[3]

Following is a genealogical summary for Winfield Scott Seitz and his direct ancestors:

Winfield Scott Seitz (b. 1850, Morgan Co. WV[4]; d. 1901, Lovettsville)

Married 13 October 1874[5] to Annie Belle Ruse (1856-1927), at New Jerusalem Lutheran Church; she was the daughter of Emanuel and Harriet Ruse.  Their children were:

  • Bertha Viola Seitz (1875-1912) married to John D. Brown; he succeeded Elijah Goodheart in the undertaker business; his sons owned the Brown Funeral Home, now the location of 1836 Kitchen and Taproom
  • Ernest Miller Seitz (1879-1903)
  • Luther Merton Seitz (1883-1907)
  • Nora Londell Seitz (1887-1921) married Terence J. McCormick in 1913

Winfield’s father was Andrew Seitz (Jr.) (b. 1823 Gorsuch Mills MD; d. 1888 Lovettsville VA)

Andrew Seitz married Amanda Russell Yakey/Yeaky (1817-1883) on 9 Nov. 1848 at New Jerusalem Lutheran Church in Lovettsville; she was a widow with at least three children who went to live with Andrew and Amanda after their marriage. Amanda’s maiden name was Russell. She had married Martin Yocky/Yakey (1815-1846) on 1 Nov. 1836 at New Jerusalem. Martin Yakey died 3 Jan 1846, and is buried at the German Reformed Cemetery.  Andrew and Amanda had a daughter, Sallie Ann (1853-1939), who married Charles T. Williams.[6]  They lived on Pike Street (now South Loudoun St.).

Winfield’s grandfather: Andrew Seitz (Sr.) (b. 1779 Hametown, York Co. PA; d. 1835 Gorsuch Mills, MD). Winfield’s grandmother: Anna Catharina Klinefelter (b. 1784, York Co., PA, d. 1859 York Co., PA). They were married in 1764.

Winfield’s great-grandfather: Johannes George Seitz (b. 1740, Heilbron, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; d. 1793, York Co., PA)  Winfield’s great-grandmother:  Catherine Rüb/Rueb (b. 1741 Baden-Württemberg, Germany; d. 1820 York Co., PA). Johannes and Catherine were married May 8, 1764, and emigrated shortly after, arriving in Philadelphia on Oct. 20, 1764 on the ship Richmond.

Great-great-grandfather in Winfield’s grandmother’s llne:  Peter I. Klinefelter (b. 1757 Berks Co., PA; d. 1796 Berks Co., PA). Great-great-grandmother: Elizabeth Schaffer (b. 1760 Berks Co., PA: d. 1842 Berks Co., PA).  Peter and Elizabeth were married in 1777 in York Co. PA.

Great-great-great-grandfather:  Johannes George Klenefelter (b. 1725 Hesse-Nassau, Germany; d. 1794 York Co., PA).  Great-great-great-grandmother: Anna Maria Barbara Keller (b. 1734 Berne, Switzerland; d. 1795 York Co., PA).  Johannes and Anna Maria were married 1755 at Lancaster, PA.

Several members of the Seitz family are buried at Lovettsville Union Cemetery. Photos are courtesy of Betty Frain from and the author.

–Edward Spannaus

Seitz Ruse monument full
Seitz-Ruse monument in Lovettsville Union Cemetery. Names on the marker include W. Scott Seitz and his wife Annie (Ruse) Seitz;; W.S. Seitz’s father Andrew; Annie’s father Emanuel Ruse and mother Harriet Ruse.


W. Scott Seitz (top) and Annie B Seitz (bottom)
W. Scott Seitz (top) and Annie B Seitz (bottom)




"Tree trunk" monument for Charles T. Williams and his wife Sallie Ann Seitz.
“Tree trunk” monument for Charles T. Williams and his wife Sallie Ann Seitz.





















[1] Andrew Seitz Southern Claims Commission file, Lovettsville Historical Society.

[2] The state Literary Fund was created by Charles Fenton Mercer, as part of his advocacy for public schools in opposition to Thomas Jefferson; it was intended for the education of the poor, and was the closest thing Virginia had to a public school system until Reconstruction.  When Andrew Seitz resigned as Commissioner, he was replaced by J.C. Rust. Literary Fund School Commissioners file, Loudoun County Clerk of Court, Historic Records Division.

[3] Between Reb and Yank: A Civil War History of Northern Loudoun County, Virginia.  Chamberlin, Taylor M. and Souders, John M., p. 353.

[4] Some sources say he was born in Lovettsville; but in one of the Southern Claims Commission files, it was said that Winfield was born on Morgan Co. WV, as does his Find-A-Grave record; his baptismal record is from the Reformed Church in Lovettsville on 23 March 1851. (Family Search)

[5] Virginia, U.S. Select Marriages, 1785-1940.

[6] Virginia, U.S. Select Marriages, 1785-1940.  Sallie Ann and Charles are buried in the Lovettsville Union Cemetery.