Family of Catherine Garst Frantz
By Dwayne Wrightsman
Catherine Garst is possibly the least well known of all the Garst siblings. There is no record of when she was born, married, or died. The estate records of her father, John Nicholas Garst, reveal that she was married to Peter Frantz. The marriage was probably about 1790, which was the time that the Garst and Frantz families moved to Virginia. The five deeds of sale of Botetourt County land by Peter Frantz and wife reveal that Catherine died sometime between June 10, 1800, when her name appeared on a deed of sale of ten acres of the 100 acres that Peter had purchased in 1792, and June 12, 1809, when 25 more acres of the same 100 acres were sold with Peter's wife's name given as Barbara. In all, Barbara's name appeared in four consecutive deeds of sale. Barbara [nee Glick/Click] was the second of Peter Frantz's four wives.
Although Peter Frantz was married four times, most Frantz and Garst researchers believe that Peter's children were born by his first wife Catherine. If so, the children listed as heirs in Peter's will were also the children of Catherine Garst. These were listed in the will as follows:
Mary Fullhart, or heirs
Magdalena "Christ" [Crist], or heirs
Given that Peter Frantz listed his children in a birth order consistent with their birth years from other records, and given that these other records show all the children except Barbara being born by 1807, it is not unreasonable to assign all of Peter's children except Barbara as children of Catherine Garst.
Peter's daughter Barbara is a different matter. She is sometimes reported as having been born in 1811, which was after Catherine had died and after Peter had married his second wife Barbara. The daughter Barbara also had the same name as Peter's second wife. All things considered, there is reason to question whether Barbara was a daughter of Catherine Garst Frantz.
Most of the children of Peter and Catherine Garst Frantz ended up in Indiana, primarily in the North Manchester area of Wabash County. Son Nicholas became a well known Brethren leader, first among the Donnels Creek Brethren of Clark County, Ohio, but mostly among the Eel River Brethren of Wabash County, Indiana.
Daughter Sally Frantz married her first cousin Frederick Garst II, son of Frederick Garst and Magdalena Rauch. She did not move to Indiana with her siblings, but settled with her husband in Washington County, Tennessee. Also, while Sally's Garst mother and three of her four Garst aunts married Frantz men, Sally Frantz did it the other way around: She married a Garst man.
Draft of Nov. 1, 2004, revised Dec. 6, 2005 (© 2006) Dwayne Wrightsman, used by permission.