Family of Elizabeth Garst Frantz Houtz
By Dwayne Wrightsman
Elizabeth Garst had three sets of children. The first were her children by her marriage to David Frantz. The second were her step-children by her second marriage to Leonard Houtz. The third were the children that she and Leonard had together as man and wife.
Elizabeth Garst married David Frantz about the time that the Garst and Frantz families started moving from Pennsylvania to Virginia. Most if not all of Elizabeth's and David's children were born in Botetourt County, probably in the Masons Creek area where the family lived. Botetourt County land records show that David Frantz bought land in 1791, and that he went on to buy several tracts on Masons Creek during the 1790s.
David's health declined while his children were still young. He wrote his will on November 12, 1814, and died a few months later. The will was probated at Botetourt April Court, 1815. In the language of the will: "I [David Frantz] bequeath my whole estate to my beloved wife, Elizabeth." Other than oldest son Michael, who was named co executor with wife Elizabeth, and an infant son Joseph, who was bequeathed his father's bible, the children were unnamed. However, all were to receive equal shares.
It wasn't until 1828-1830, when the Mason Creek lands of the David Frantz estate were sold that one learns the names of the children of David and Elizabeth. By that time, Elizabeth was a widow a second time. She had married Leonard Houtz in 1815, had given birth to two more children (Magdalene and George), had moved to Logan County, Ohio, in 1818, and had survived her husband Leonard's death in 1824. Her children by David Frantz were all grown up. They were also living in Ohio, some in Logan County and some in Clark County, except for son Samuel who was living in Franklin County, Virginia. Because all the heirs of the estate, except Samuel, were living in Ohio, the legal process of selling the Mason Creek lands was long and involved. Complex legal documents, involving both the Ohio and the Virginia courts, contained numerous listings of the names of the heirs to the David Frantz estate. The names of the children in the deeds of sale were listed in different ways, but the general pattern was as follows:
Anna Frantz, who intermarried with Abraham Garst
Elizabeth Frantz, who intermarried with Henry Houts, deceased
Susanna Frantz, who intermarried with Jeremiah Wolf
Also named in the deeds was Samuel Frantz, the only heir to have remained in Virginia. He was appointed by the other heirs (all living in Ohio) as "attorney" to sell the lands of their deceased father. Joseph Frantz, who was named in the original will as the infant son, was not yet of age.
After Leonard Houtz died, Elizabeth Garst Frantz Houtz continued to live in Logan County. She was listed in the 1830 census as Elizabeth Houtz Sr., living in Lake Township, Logan County, Ohio, one house away from her daughter Elizabeth Houtz Jr. Elizabeth Jr. was the widow of Henry Houtz, who had predeceased his father Leonard. In 1840, only the daughter, Elizabeth Houtz Jr., was still living in Lake Township. It is not known when or where her mother died.
Draft of Nov. 1, 2004, revised Dec. 6, 2005 (© 2006) Dwayne Wrightsman, used by permission.