Who were the five Patriots honored on July 24?

Following are the biographies of the five Revolutionary War Patriots who were recognized in the July 24 grave-marking ceremony at New Jerusalem Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Johannes (John) Axline  (presented by Dr. Donald Cooper of Leesburg and Fairfax Resolves Chapter SAR):

SAR AxlineJohn Axline married in 1771 in Loudoun County Christena Mertz the step-daughter of his brother Adam.  With Christena, he had 10 children David, John, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Jacob, Daniel, Catherine, Philip Henry, another John after death of the 1st, and Ann Maria

John served as a private in Lt. Col. Thomas Posey’s Battalion of the 3rd regiment.  He was on muster roll in 18 April 1782 for 41 days / 6 months.    In September 1784 a certificate states that a sum of 16 pounds 19 shillings was given to him as payment for his services.   He also provided beef to the cause.

I am a descendent of:

John Axline

Charlotte & Philip Everhart—brother of Lawrence (Patriot)

Deliah & John Copeland—grandfather John C Copeland (Patriot)

Sara & George Washington McGaha—grandfather William Bagant

Rosa & Thomas Riley

Lula Virginia &William Joseph Coffman

Catherine Coffman & Charles Cooper (my parents)

(For more background on John Axline, see our History Mystery.)


Adam Housholder  (presented by Edward Spannaus,  Sgt. Lawrence Everhart Chapter SAR):

SAR HausholterAdam Householder was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on 16 Sep 1746, and was baptized at the Warwick Lutheran Church, Brickerville, Pennsylvania, on 22 Sep 1746. He was the son of Johan Adam Householder and Maria Elizabetha Weidman. Johan had emigrated from Europe to Pennsylvania in 1739.i

During the 1750s the family – the parents, Adam, and his siblings – moved to Berks County, Pennsylvania. About 1770, Adam married Catharine Bechtel. Adam, age 27, was listed on the 1773 tax list of Cumru Township in Berks County. He was listed as a farmer holding 100 acres of land, 50 of which he cultivated; ten acres of those were cornfields.

In 1777, Adam sold his land in Berks County, and soon after that, he moved his wife and family to Washington County, Maryland, where he took the Oath of Fidelity and Support to the Government of Maryland.ii He was enlisted in the Washington County Militia, Captain Peter Swingle’s Company (Number 3, Second Battalion), 2d Class.iii

In 1780, Adam and Catherine were listed as baptismal sponsors at the Zion (German) Reformed Church in Hagerstown, Maryland. Shortly after that, Adam and Catharine and their children moved across the Potomac River to Loudoun County, Virginia, to the area then known as “The German Settlement” but now known as Lovettsville.

Adam was on the Virginia Taxpayer List, 1782-1787.iv He leased land from George William Fairfax by a Deed of Assignment dated 3 Jan 1781. In 1798, Adam’s son Daniel bought this leased land, which remained in the Householder family into the 1900s.v The house, enlarged a couple of times, still stands on its original site today.vi

Adam purchased additional land in 1789, on which he grew wheat and raised hogs.

Adam was a member of the German Lutheran Church at the Short Hill, later known as New Jerusalem Lutheran Church in Lovettsville, established around 1765 on land donated by George William Fairfax. In 1797, Adam was one of five Trustees for the Church when George William Fairfax’s nephew Ferdinando Fairfax deeded the land to the church.vii

A few years before this, in 1794, Adam’s wife Catharine died. The translated church burial record reads: “Adam Haushalter’s wife Catharine, buried Sept. 10, 1794, aged 44 years, 6 months less 7 days.”viii Catharine was buried at New Jerusalem. Her headstone inscription reads: “In memory of Catharine Housholter, the wife of Adam Housholter of Loudoun County, who died Sept. 10th, 1794, aged 44 years.”ix

In 1796, Adam married his second wife, Susannah Rickard, widow of Simon Rickard, who was most likely Johann Simon Rückert, a Hessian soldier who deserted and settled in Lovettsville.x Susannah had three children from her first marriage.

Adam died eight years later, in 1804, and was buried next to his first wife Catharine. The entry in the Parish Register reads (as translated): “Adam Hauschalter, 55 years.”xi The inscription on his headstone reads:

In memory of Adam Housholter, who departed this life September 27th, 1804, aged 55 years. Farewell, my spouse and children dear; As you must yet remain. The Lord of Host be your defense, Till we meet again.”xii

Adam left three children by his first wife: Adam (b. 1772), Daniel (b. 1774), and Eve (Axline) (b. 1776). Adam also had three children with his second wife Susannah: Susannah (Kalb) (b. 1799), Gideon (b. 1800), and Solomon (b. 1804).

i Unless otherwise noted, this biographical material comes from descendant Jane Farrell Burgess, The Householder Genealogy: Householder/Housholder/Haushalter, Vol. II (Rockville, Md., 1989) (copy at Lovettsville Museum).

ii Ms. Burgess’s source for this is: Gains Brombaugh and Margaret Hodges, Revolutionary Records of Maryland, Part I (Washington DC, 1924), pp. 14, 20.

iii S. Eugene Clements and F. Edward Wright, The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War (Heritage Books, 2006), pp. 248-249. (copies of relevant pages are attached)

iv Ms. Burgess’s source is: Ronald Vern Jackson, Heads of Families at the First Census of the U.S. taken in 1790 – Enumeration 1782-1785 – Virginia (Bountiful, Utah, Accelerated Indexing Systems, Inc., 1908).

v Deed of sale from Ferdinando Fairfax to Daniel Householder, 20 Jul 1798, Deed Book Z, p. 15.

vi I have had a tour of this house, which is located on Householder Road near Lovettsville. See the photo at the end of this article: http://www.lovettsvillehistoricalsociety.org/index.php/the-german-american-zweiturhaus/

vii New Jerusalem Lutheran Church, A People of God, 1765-1965 (Lovettsville, 1965), p. 14.

viii New Jerusalem Lutheran Church, Parish Register 1765-1836, p. 231.

ix Catherine and Adam are buried are buried at sites KK15 and KK15. See https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/42916559/catharine-householter

x Johann Simon Rückert was a prisoner-of-war in Frederick, MD, and deserted 15 Oct.1781. He married Susanna Meyer, and they had three children baptized at New Jerusalem. He died in 1793 and was buried at New Jerusalem as Simon Rickert. See list of “Unconfirmed” in the article “Hessian Soldiers in Lovettsville,” http://www.lovettsvillehistoricalsociety.org/index.php/hessian-soldiers-in-lovettsville/

xi New Jerusalem Lutheran Church, Parish Register 1765-1836, p. 237.


Conrad Roller (written by David E. Cook, presented by David Huxsoll, both of  Fairfax Resolves Chapter SAR):


SAR RollerConrad Roller was born 03 Mar 1752 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania[i] to Johannes/John Andreas David and Rosina Roller.[ii]  Conrad’s father, John, was born 28 Nov 1730 in Katholisch, Geisingen, Villingen, Baden-Wurttemberg (now Germany).[iii]  His mother is presumed to have been born in what is now Germany too. His parents had initially resided in Philadelphia County in 1750,[iv] moved to Bucks County, then Montgomery County where his sister, Anna, was baptized at the New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church, on 26 Aug 1753.[v]  The family appears to have moved from Pennsylvania to Maryland as John Roller became a naturalized citizen in Frederick County, Maryland on 11 Sep 1765.[vi]

The Roller family then moved to Loudoun County, Virginia.  John roller is listed as one tithable in the 1768 List of Tithables for Cameron Parish.  He remains on the Tithe Lists until 1784.[vii]  However prior to that John Roller secures a lease from Sarah Fairfax that he mentions in his will.  In the will he mentions a fish pot suggesting this was his likely his main source of income.  John asks that the remainder of his estate (less movables) be sold to the highest bidder provide his executors secure license to do so from the agent for Sarah Fairfax.[viii]  There are no references to farm implements, slaves or animals in the probate records.  The lease is valued at 125 pounds.[ix]

Conrad Roller is first mentioned in the 1771 Tithe Lists for Shelburne Parish as a single tithable.  The Shelburne Parish was formed from Cameron Parish in 1769.[x]  Like his father, Conrad appears to have paid taxes through the Revolutionary War period and with further research may be proven to have performed a patriotic service by doing so.

Conrad Roller’s military service consisted of two tours in the army.  According to his wife’s pension file, he served as a private for four to six months in Pennsylvania before they were married.[xi]  (Conrad married Elizabeth Slates of Pine Run Hundred, Frederick County, Maryland in Loudon County on 21 March 1779.)[xii]  On 19 March 1781, he and his brother, John, (identified as planters) were drafted for an 18-month period.  They were inducted into the Virginia Continental Line at the Old Albemarle Court House on that date.[xiii]  In April 1782, both he and his brother were listed in the 1st Company [possibly under the command of Capt. William George][xiv], 3rd Virginia Regiment commanded by LTC Thomas Posey.  According to LTC Posey’s service record the Regiment had just returned to Camp Ebenezer from service in Georgia under the command of General Anthony Wayne.[xv]  Both Conrad and John appear not to have been mustered out until December 1783, a period considerably longer than his term of enlistment.”[xvi] This record confirms statements found in Elizabeth’s pension record that he did not return for a long time after serving his 18 months, that he helped guard prisoners at Frederick Barracks in Maryland.[xvii]

Again, like his father, Conrad initially leased property from the Fairfax family.  On 1 April 1785, he was able to secure a long-term lease from George William Fairfax for 105 acres on the Dutchman Creek which is just west of the present town of Lovettsville.  The rent of 2 Pounds, 7 Shillings and 5 Pence was paid on 31 May.

As part of the contract, Conrad was required to build a 15 by 20 ft. dwelling house, a 20 by 20 ft. barn, “after the manner of Virginia building,” and to plant an orchard of 100 winter apple trees and 50 peach trees [?].  He must maintain the buildings, orchards, and fences and replace any trees that decay or die.  He is to leave 15 acres of woods untouched.[xviii]

The 1789 tax list shows Conrad as the sole tithable and that he owned five horses.[xix] In 1802, he is taxed along with son, John.  They both are taxed for two horses apiece.[xx]

Later in life, Conrad purchased 54 acres from Ferdinando Fairfax for $328.  This property acquired in July 1803 was described as a tract of wooded land on the southeast side of Short Hill. The property was described as Lot No. 17, part of Shannondale, in a Deed of Relinquishment of Dower Rights by Elizabeth B. Fairfax, wife of Ferdinando Fairfax.[xxi]  In 1815, the property is listed as being on the east side of Short Hill, 13 miles northwest of the courthouse.[xxii]

Conrad Roller, passed away 08 October 1824, aged 72 years, 7 months, 1 week and 5 days.[xxiii] Elizabeth passed away 25 February 1845, aged 83 years, 2 months and 11 days.[xxiv]

The couple had eleven children. Two died young.  The surviving nine children were named in Conrad’s will. The children are Elizabeth born 26 January 1784, Frederick, Maryland. All the rest were born in Loudoun County and include Conrad, Jr., b. 07 February 1786; Catherina, b. 29 December 1787; Frederick, b. 17 Feb 1790; Jonathan/John, b. 08 July 1792; Christian, b. 18 September 1794 (died 05 November 1794); David, b. 30 August 1796; Daniel, b. 18 August 1798; Priscilla, b. 25 October 1800; Samuel, b. 07 November 1802 (died 01 January 1803); and Israel Roller, (mentioned in the will).[xxv],[xxvi]

[i] “Register & Description of Noncommissioned Officers & Privates at Chesterfield Court House, Powhatan Court House, Carter’s Ferry, Albemarle Old Court House, Cumberland Old Court House, Winchester Barracks. Enlisted at different times from 1777 to 1783,” vol 1, p. 75.

[ii] Loudoun County Will Book F, pp. 457-458, at: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89P6-RK1?i=597&cat=415823.

[iii] Ancestry.com, Germany, Select Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 [database on-line], Provo, UT, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014

[iv] Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, U.S., Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1772-1890 [database on-line], Provo, UT, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.

[v] Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, U.S., Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 [database on-line], Provo, UT, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

[vi] Maryland State Archives, mdsa_s1414_1.pdf at https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/stagser/s1400/s1414/000000/000001/pdf/mdsa_s1414_1.pdf.

[vii] Hopkins, Margaret Lail, “Index to The Tithables of Loudoun County, Virginia and to Slaveholders and Slaves, 1758-1786,” Baltimore, 1991, p. 68.

[viii] Loudoun County Will Book F, pp. 457-458, at: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89P6-RK1?i=597&cat=415823.

[ix] Loudoun County Will Book G, pp. 26, 97-99, at https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99P6-RQCZ?i=59&cat=415823.

[x] Hopkins, Margaret Lail, “Index to The Tithables of Loudoun County, Virginia and to Slaveholders and Slaves, 1758-1786,” Baltimore, 1991, p. 68.

[xi] NARA, “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files,” Pub. M804, Group 15, Roll 2078.

[xii] NARA, “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files,” Pub. M804, Group 15, Roll 2078.

[xiii] “Register & Description of Noncommissioned Officers & Privates at Chesterfield Court House, Powhatan Court House, Carter’s Ferry, Albemarle Old Court House, Cumberland Old Court House, Winchester Barracks. Enlisted at different times from 1777 to 1783,” vol 1, p. 75.

[xiv] NARA, “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files,” Pub. M804, Group 15, Roll 2078.

[xv] NARA, “Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army Durian the Revolutionary War,” Group 93, Roll 0907, No. 221, 222.

[xvi] “Register & Description of Noncommissioned Officers & Privates at Chesterfield Court House, Powhatan Court House, Carter’s Ferry, Albemarle Old Court House, Cumberland Old Court House, Winchester Barracks. Enlisted at different times from 1777 to 1783,”  pp. 225, 343.

[xvii] NARA, “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files,” Pub. M804, Group 15, Roll 2078.

[xviii] Loudoun County, VA, Deed Book P, 1 Apr 1785, p. 280.

[xix] Loudoun County, VA, 1798 Personal Property Tax List B, at http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Loudoun/1789PersonalB/18.jpg.

[xx] Loudoun County, VA, 1802 Personal Property Tax A, p. 16 at http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Loudoun/1802PersonalA/16.jpg.

[xxi] Loudoun County, VA, Deed Book 2D, _Jul 1803, p. 56.

[xxii] Ward, Roger G., “1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazetteer)”, Athens, 1999, p.116.

[xxiii] Find a Grave, Memorial 28050281, at https://images.findagrave.com/photos/2012/41/28050281_132898531163.jpg.

[xxiv] Find A Grave, Memorial 28050336, at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/28050336/elizabeth-roller.

[xxv] Loudoun County Will Book F, pp. 457-458, at: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89P6-RK1?i=597&cat=415823.

[xxvi] New Jerusalem Lutheran Church Records at: https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/291345-new-jerusalem-evangelical-lutheran-church-lovettsville-loudoun-county-virginia-parish-registers-1784-1836?viewer=1&offset=0#page=1&viewer=picture&o=&n=0&q=.


Conrad Stautzenberger (written by Edward Spannaus, presented by Fred Michel, both of  Sgt. Lawrence Everhart Chapter SAR):

SAR StautzJohannes Conrad Stautzenberger was born on April in 1762 in York County, Pennsylvania. His parents were Conrad Stautzenberger and Catherine Firestone, and he was the second of 19 children.

On July 26, 1777, when he was but 15 years old, John (as he was called by then) enlisted as a “musician of artillery” – a drummer — into Capt. Nathaniel Irish’s Company of Artillery Artificers. His enlistment was for three years, but it seems to have lasted “for the duration.”

John rose to become the company drum major—a highly responsible position charged with relaying commands to the troops.

Earlier in 1777, George Washington had directed Col. Benjamin Flower, the Pennsylvania Commissary of Military Stores, to recruit a Regiment of Artillery Artificers. This organization was originally established in York, Pa. – and it is likely that this is where young John enlisted.

The regiment, which manufactured cannon, guns, ammunition, and wagon carriages for the Army, moved at some point to Carlisle Pa. – today’s home of the U.S. Army War College — and Captain Irish’s Company moved with the regiment. This company, also known as Company “B,” was what was known as a “depot company,” and operated from a fixed location – at Carlisle – until sometime around 1780.

At that point, Capt. Irish was sent with some others, to Westham, Virginia, in Henrico County near Richmond, to set up an armory to supply two companies of Artillery.

Although Captain Irish was sent to Virginia, most of his company was absorbed into Co. E of the Regiment of Artillery Artificers, led by Capt. Thomas Wylie, which was still at Carlisle. We know that John Stautsenberger was there, because he is listed on a roll of the company “late commanded by Capt. Nathaniel Irish,” which was signed by Capt. Wylie on the 10th of April, 1780.

In 1782, Capt. Wylie’s Company was also sent to Virginia. They went to New London, near Lynchburg. This was the site of a state arsenal which became a federal arsenal, and which supported both the Southern Campaign of General Nathaniel Greene, and the Ohio Campaign of George Rogers Clark. (In the 1790s, this arsenal was moved to Harper’s Ferry, where it remained until the Civil War.)

Although John’s three-year term of enlistment would have been up in 1780, he seems to have continued in service, since at one point in his military pension record, he is listed as serving in the “Virginia Line.”

In 1784, following his military service, he married Maria Margareta Ritschi. Her name was mis-translated as “Kitchen” in the church and other records. The error was discovered by Michael Zapf (who is here today).

We don’t know exactly when Stautsenberger moved to Loudoun County. He purchased land here in 1789, which is also the first year that he appears on the Loudoun County tax rolls.

He owned a number of properties in the Taylorstown-Hoysville area, which is a few miles east of here.

In 1796, he acquired land between along Lovettville Road and Taylorstown Road, where he built a house in the German style, which still exists today, and is known as the “Fowler House.” Another house was on the “Stoutsenberger Farmstead,” located in Eco-Village north of Taylorstown.

In the 1790s, he served as a Captain in the Loudoun County militia, and he operated a store at Hoysville, north of Taylorstown.

John and Maria and their family were active members of New Jerusalem Lutheran Church, as is shown in the church records.

John and Maria had seven children between 1787 and 1801.

Stautzenberger received a military pension of $104 per year, beginning September 1831, that lasted until his death in 1837.  Maria received a widow’s pension that lasted until her death in 1847. They are buried next to each other in this cemetery, as are some of their children.


Peter Phillip Virtzs/Wertz  (presented by W. Forrest Crain, Fairfax Resolves Chapter SAR): 

SAR WirtzThey arrived in the port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 23 September 1753 sailing from Rotterdam via Cowes, England aboard the ship Neptune, Master John Mason.  Both his father, Welholm Wertz, and Peter are listed in the ship’s manifest.[4]

Many of those who arrived on the ship Neptune in September 1753 were from Tauberbischhofsheim, Baden, Germany. They are reported to have settled in Lehigh, Pennsylvania and to be of Lutheran faith.[5]

Peter was reportedly naturalized in New Jersey in 1755 and married in Frederick, Maryland in 1758.  His wife, Christina is believed to be the daughter of an Unknown Eberhart/Everhart.  He and his wife had as many as eight children; Michael, John, Christina, Wilhelm, Jacob, Anna Mary/Marie, George Peter and Catharina.[6]

They apparently settled initially in Maryland for a period of time, because it was there that Peter Werts gave Patriotic Service to the American Revolution by providing supplies to the Continental troops in 1782 while living in Frederick County, Maryland in the form of 10 bushels of wheat.[7]

Following the American Revolution, the family moved to Virginia.  Peter Virtzs first appears in Loudoun County, Virginia in the 1787 Census of Virginia, Loudoun County, and is recorded in the Personal Property Tax List for the Year 1787 for Loudoun County, Virginia.  He resided on a 136 acre tract of land near Lovettsville, Virginia, “…five miles from Harper’s Ferry, and six from Waterford in Loudoun County, Virginia.”[8]

Upon Peter’s passing in 1798, he was buried in the New Jerusalem Lutheran Cemetery, Lovettsville, Virginia where both his father and mother had previously been buried.  His wife, Christina, would be laid to rest near him after her death on 20 June 1813.  Several of his children would also be interned in the same cemetery including Michael, Jacob, Anna Mary/Marie, John and Christina.

[1] There are several variations of the spelling of the surname for Peter Pillip depending on the source.  The SAR PRS records it as Virtzs/Wertz – P316619; the DAR GRS records it as Wertz – A123069; the receipt for supplies provided to Continental troops by Peter records his surname as Werts; the original tomb stone and Find-A-Grave records it as Virtzs; the VA marker at the grave site records it as Wirtz; and his will records it as Wirts.  Throughout this biography, the version of the spelling will reflect that used in the respective source.

[2] The inscription on the tombstone of Peter Philip Virtzs reads, “Peter Virtzs d. 22 May 1798, at 60y 1m 9d.”  From this inscription, his date of birth is calculated as 13 April 1938.  The tombstone is located in the New Jerusalem Lutheran Cemetery, Lovettsville, Virginia, Row KK stone 3.

[3] Hall, Charles M, compiler, The Palatine Pamphlet, Heratige International publisher, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1985, p. 27.

[4] Strassburger Ralph Burger & Hinke, William John, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Volume I, 1727- 1775, Second Edition, Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc, Baltimore (1980), p 539.

[5] Hall, Charles M, compiler, The Palatine Pamphlet, Heritage International publisher, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1985, p. 27.

[6] Will of Peter Wirts, Loudoun County, Virginia written 6 January 1798, probated 10 September 1798, Charles Binn, clerk.

[7] Receipt from Commissary Thomas Price Frederick County to Peter Werts dated May 17, 1782 for the sale of 10 bushels of wheat to the Continental troops. The original is in the Hall of Records in Annapolis, MD. MSA S 1004-57-14490 MdHR 6636-42-34/1 Location 1/7/3/52.

[8] Frederick-Herald, Notice of Sale of Peter Wirtz Property, 12 March 1812.

Peter Philip Virtzs b. 13 Apr 1738 Baden, Germany d. 22 May 1798 Lovettsville, Virginia: Verts Virts Werts Wirts Hackley Leigh Lind Lynn Mann Families Genealogy (virtsfamilies.com); http://virtsfamilies.com/getperson.php?personID=I69&tree=tree1#cite1.