Theobald Fauss (Fouse) was born in 1725 and died in 1765 at the age of 40. He lived in Rheinville, Rheinfelz, Bavaria. About 1746, Theobald married Margaret (last name not known) and moved to Deux Ponts or Zweibrucken. They had four boys and one girl.
The family arriving in this country kept the name Fauss. The German community continued to follow the German language in their community. The revised spelling of the name originated through Mr. Henry Beaver (Blair County, PA) who was the first to teach English in the schools. He seems to have followed the sounds rather than the letters. Once the English form was introduced, it was readily accepted.
The children of Theobald Fauss were Nicholas, born in 1748, Jacob, Valentine, Theobald and Margaret.
These were rough time for the provinces along the Rhine. The Seven Years' War was going on between 1756 and 1763. The many conflicts for territorial aggression and the religious prosecution of the war-ridden provinces, left the citizens in destitute circumstances.
At the time of Theobald's death, 1765, he left a widow and five children to eke out an existence as best they could. Nicholas, the oldest, was confirmed 1762 in one of the Reformed churches in Zweibrucken. All the children stood by their mother until her death in the early part of 1784.
When the Revolutionary War ended, a number of the German mercenaries (Hessians) employed by King George, returned to their native land with glowing accounts of the new world. These accounts inspired Nicholas with the idea of coming to America. Nicholas was a lock and edge toolsmith by trade. The youngest son, Theobald, was a shoemaker, and resolved to accompany his brother. It was not an easy matter for subjects in those petty kingdoms, who were able to bear arms, to leave their country. The rulers were in constant fear of outbreaks on the frontiers, and these being well guarded, it taxed the ingenuity of the young men to get away. In May, 1784, the brothers started out as journeymen and left their home in the quiet of the night.
Of the three left behind, Jacob and Valentine were married, the former kept a hostelry and the latter was a baker. The last those in the states heard from those left behind was sometime prior to 1811. At this time the immediate locality was then all in confusion on the account of the encroachments of the French army, which led to the overthrow of Napoleon in 1815.
Nicholas with a kit of tools for smithing and Theolbald with tools and materials for shoemaking found it an easy matter to make the ordinary guard believe that they were journeymen prosecuting their trades. The critical time came when they reached the border and documents were required to cross the border. No one subject to military duty should leave the country. Carrying their tools and having no luggage they were able to succeed. On their way to Frankfort they were challenged by the officer in command of the forces on the boundary of their own kingdom. After relating the story, he directed a clerk to fill out a passport. The clerk hesitated suggesting that the men might be on their way to leave the country. The officer overruled and the two were on their way.
There is nothing known regarding the date they sailed or the ship, but subsequent events indicate that they landed at Baltimore in October, 1784, after being on the Atlantic ocean fully five months. The brothers had a companion in the person of Conrad Nicodemus. Theobald remained in Baltimore where he obtained a position in the shoemaking trade. Nicholas decided soon after landing in Baltimore that it would be better for him to go to the frontier.
Nicholas left Baltimore soon after landing and went to Sharpsburgh, Maryland and there became the village blacksmith. There he met and married Margaret Brumbaugh. She was born May 5, 1766, the daughter of Jacob Brumbaugh, son of Johannes Henrich Brumbach. Soon after their marriage in November, 1785, they began housekeeping at or near Funkstown, Washington Co, Maryland.
Here Nicholas started smithing and having no apprentice, Margaret helped when needed. When her services were called upon. She was considered an expert with the hammer. Their first child, Margaret, was born October 12, 1786. They remained at Funkstown until 1789.
Margaret's father had taken a trip into central Pennsylvania and found a spot east of the Alleghanies, that was later called 'Morrison Cove.' There in 1788 he preempted a large tract of land and the Brumbaugh family moved there in the same year.
For Nicholas and Margaret hearing of this beautiful country was inducement for them to locate there, also. His friend Conrad Nicodemus, who had made the journey with him from Germany, also, located in the Cove. At the time the land was in Bedford County.
Nicholas and Margaret made preparations to emigrate there early in the spring of 1789. They had to procure a covered wagon and a yoke of oxen. In the wagon were packed the smithing tools, clothing, bedding, food and their other belongings. The wagon provided shelter for the family, now consisting of two children, Margaret and Elizabeth.
The trips distance was about 150 miles through very rough, ungraded roads through the forest. The route was over the old Baltimore, Chambersburg and Bedford road. They turned north at Bloody Run, later Evertt, PA. They entered the Cove at the south end, then proceeded north about 16 miles. There they settled temporarily on land owned by Jacob Brumbaugh. They lived there nearly four years. Two other children, Catherine and Jacob were born at this location.
They selected a place about five miles north of their temporary home and bought 135 acres of land. They paid 56 pounds sterling for the land in gold and silver. In 1793 they built a small log house of four rooms with a crude chimney in the center, with a fireplace on either side for cooking and to provide heat on either side. This was near where Beavertown was later located.
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