© Nelson R. Sulouff 2006

Abridged list, in German, of Hessian soldiers who evaded capture when Washington's forces crossed the Delaware River and attacked Trenton on 26 December 1776. The Zulauf name is on line 33, third from the bottom. Since Hessian records show there was only one soldier named Zulauf who came to America during the Revolutionary War, this most certainly refers to our ancestor, Johannes Zulauf. The record showing his escape at Trenton is the earliest mention of his name found in any record in America. (Copy of document supplied by Dr. Fred Vickerson, Montreal, Canada.) 

Abridged list, in German, of prisoners from the Knyphausen Regiment taken off the storm-damaged British ship named TRITON, which was captured at sea on 26 September 1779. Johannes Zulauf's name is on line 90, second from the end of the list, among four soldiers listed as "Bedienst" (servant to officers). (Copy of document provided by Mark Schwalm, Secretary, Johannes Schwalm Historical Assn.)

Abridged list, in English, of the Knyphausen Regiment prisoners taken off the TRITON and held in the "Philadelphia Gaol" on 10 October 1779. Johannes Zulauf's name appears 6th from end of list, among names for five other servants to officers. (Document published in Journal Of The Johannes Schwalm Historical Assn.)

The journal of German Reformed pastor, Rev. J. William Boos, begun on 15 March 1782, includes an entry dated 28th March 1783 about the marriage of Johannes Zulauff to Maria Margaretha Spahr. Indiscriminate alternations between the two spellings "Zulauff" and "Zulauf" for this surname are found frequently in old German records. (Document copied by the author from original pastoral acts book of Pastor Boos, Schaff Library, Lancaster PA.)

The 1783 tax record for Robeson Twp., Berks Co. Pa. includes an assessment for "John Sulouf." This is the earliest record in which a spelling other than Zulauf or Zulauff has been found for Johannes Zulauf's surname. Under English law spelling of personal names was determined by "custom and useage," without recourse to court sanctions. (Document copied by the author in Berks Co. Historical Soc. Library, Reading PA.)

A 1792 document (in Pa. Archival Library, Harrisburg) shows that on 11 March 1791 "John Zulauff" received a conveyance of 142 acres of land in Newberry Twp., northern York Co., Pa. Evidently, circumstances had led to an exceptionally good deal on this property! For payment of only 20 pounds, 16 shillings and six pence, ownership of this property was transferred to John from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A majority of payments due on the property had been paid to the Commonwealth by Charles West before he died but the sale had never been finalized. After West died, during settlement of his estate, Zulauf was allowed to pay the Commonwealth the small remaining balance in order to obtain ownership of the land, which had been warranted and surveyed by West three years earlier, in 1788. All evidence indicates that the family moved from Berks Co. to this farm in York Co. before the end of 1791. According to a baptismal Taufshein held today by their 3rd great-grandson, James Robb of Falmouth MA, the Zulauf's second son, John, was born in this York Co. location in January 1792. (Document copied by the author, Nelson R. Sulouff.)

A surveyor's plot (in Pa. Archival Library, Harrisburg) diagrams the property of Charles West in northern York Co. Pa. that was conveyed to "John Zulauff" in 1791. Notice the plot shows a spring at the head of a stream which flows westward from the center of the property. The spring and stream were found and photographed during a visit to this property by the present writer in 1997. They provide double assurance that the location of the Zulauf farm has been determined correctly. The street address is 741 Ironstone Road. (Document copied by author Nelson R. Sulouff.)

The 1792 Newberry Twp. tax record shows the Zulauf property as 120 acres, 22 acres less than acreage shown in the deed. Whether the taxed acreage contained an error, or whether a parcel had been sold off, or whether acreage was lost to provide for a public road, etc., has not been determined. This 1792 tax list shows "2 horses, 2 cows, value 108 pounds, tax 7s 3p." Earlier tax returns listed only one horse for John Sulouf, so another guess might be that 22 acres of land had been swapped for an additional horse. The Zulaufs moved further west to Mifflin Co. in 1802. In 1803 Fairview Twp. was taken off the southern half of Newberry Twp. Since that time the former Zulauf property in York Co., Pa. has been in Fairview Twp. (Document copied by author in York Co. Historical Soc. Library, York PA.)

The 1798 Federal "Glass Tax" includes a listing for the John Zulauf farm in Newberry Twp. This strongly suggests the Zulauf house had glass windows rather than the oiled paper or parchment normally used at the time in that area. The house is shown as 18' x 15' with the barn shown as 31'x 20' and constructed of wood. The nearest neighbor is shown as Arthur Irwin, which agrees with the surveyor's plot (above). (Document copied by author in York Co. Historical Soc. Library, York PA.)

This view of headstones comemmorating the first Sulouffs in America is taken from the east facing west in Old Church Hill Cemetery, Port Royal, Pa. Between the headstones is a new bronze memorial plaque erected in August 2006 by author, Rev. Nelson R. Sulouff. The stones are located near the north end of Row 15, counting rows eastward from highway Route 76 that borders the western side of the cemetery. (Photo provided by Terrie Lee (Wise) Reed, 4th great-granddaughter of John & Margaret Sulouff, as retouched by author.)

Closeup of headstone for John Sulouff in the "Rice Section" of Old Church Hill Cemetery, Port Royal Pa. (Photo by author, Nelson R. Sulouff)

Closeup of headstone for Margaret [nee Spahr], wife of John Sulouff, in the "Rice Section" of Old Church Hill Cemetery, Port Royal Pa. (Photo by author, Nelson R. Sulouff)

The "Zulauf Bible" is actually a New Testament printed in Philadelphia in 1743 by Christopher Sauer. It is shown here in the hands of its owner, Jim Robb, of Falmouth MA in 1999. It contains family records, written in German. (Photo by author, Nelson R. Sulouff)

Closeup of family records written inside cover of the "Zulauf Bible." This page contains dates for the births of "sons" and "daughters" but unfortunately it does not include their names! (Photo by author, Nelson R. Sulouff)


Earliest Family History

About the author

Correspondence and inquiries about SULOUFF>SULOFF family history should be sent to Rev. Nelson R. Sulouff by clicking this E-mail link:    SEND E-MAIL