We also have information available on Kreuzwertheim, and sources upon request.
In the spring of 1752, Michael Lutz of Kreuzwertheim Germany, born there on the 7th of April 1723, applied for permission to immigrate to the new world. He was 29 years of age. He had been married in 1747 to Anna Walburgis Weissler and had two children: Anna Catharina, born 11 January 1749, and Peter, born 12 March 1751.
In the fall of 1752, with his wife and two small children under four years of age, he set out for the new world, sailing down the river Main and making the difficult journey down the Rhine to Rotterdam. There they took the boat Phoenix, and on November 22nd 1752 they landed in Philadelphia.
They say people left the old country because of religious persecution or because of compulsory military service; no doubt there were many reasons. I believe Michael came to the new world seeking land, but Philadelphia was the great port of entry of that period and free land in and around Philadelphia was gone. There were already many listed as husbandmen and vinedressers, weavers, carpenters, wheelwrights, coopers, brewers, etc. We assume that Michael was a husbandman, that is, a man of the land.
One John Bernard Lutz, a bank president in Pittsburgh, was born in Germany, his father was an architect. John Bernard was educated as a civil engineer, so we see engineering as being a profession of long standing in the Lutz family.
Through the centuries, the Lutz family has spread all over Europe and beyond. When buying at the Frankfurt Trade Fair, I met and dealt with Lutz participants on several occasions. I remember once going by taxi down a street in Wiesbaden in West Germany and seeing Lutz Jewellery (in German of course) on a store window. I made it my business to get back there. It was a beautiful store, very expensive; and like so many people in Europe, the clerk spoke English. She told me "yes, four hundred years ago a Lutz came from Mainz and established this firm, but there are no longer any Lutz in the firm".
In medieval days, when reading and writing was not a common art, they had signs to distinguish families. If you search, you will find ten for the Lutz families in various places in Europe and fourteen more that have "Lutz" as part of the name. When I first saw the Lutz coat of arms for Bavaria, which is the area that Michael came from, it had a sword and a plowshare in it. I said, "that is ours", for the Lutes have always been fighters and farmers. They can be found in practically every other known occupation and profession as well. There is a famous clinic in Washington run by a Dr. Howard Lutes.
They have fought in all the wars, one of George Washington's army officers in the American Revolution was Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Lutz, born in Germany in 1740. He later became a member of the general assembly. But most of all they fought for a better life for their families wherever they settled.
In the last census of the United States, there were nearly 35,000 of the name Lutes, so you can often read of Lutz activity in the current press. For instance, quoted from the 'New England Pattern', The Lutz public school system does a great deal of work with travelling exhibitions. This institution came into existence as a result of the efforts of Miss Hazel Lutes, art supervisor.
There is a Lutes room in the Peabody Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. In January of 1766, Michael signed an agreement with the Benjamin Franklin and Hughes Associates to go to Nova Scotia to settle on their properties. In the spring of 1766, Michael, his wife and four children, Anna Catharina, Peter, Margaret, and John -the last two born in Philadelphia- sailed north with a Captain Hall and landed where Moncton now stands. They named the creek where they first stepped foot on land, after the Captain, so we now have Hall's Creek. This was part of Nova Scotia, how it became New Brunswick is another story.
I have a copy of the letter written by Captain Hall on June 13th, 1766, saying he had landed the settlers on June 3rd, and that they now had their potatoes planted.
I remember in Germany seeing people eat huge servings of potatoes, I know how well we like potatoes in our family. I can well believe those German settlers were in a hurry to get a crop of potatoes in the ground.
These settlers were promised that the boat would return before winter with supplies and equipment. It never came.
The ill-equipped Lutz's and other families had to struggle for survival. In our anecdotal history, we have heard that a Frenchman named Belliveau helped them. He taught them how to snare rabbits and other things important for their survival. In 1765, the Belliveaus had returned to what is now Dieppe, which wasn't far from where the little band of German settlers were struggling to survive on the west side of Hall's Creek.
Survive they did... That's us!
This is how I found the information about the Michael Lutz Family:
Starting with Dr Esther Clark Wright's "Samphire Greens" and "The Petitcodiac" giving the date of their arrival in 1766 coming from Philadelphia.
I made several trips to Pennsylvania finding there the name of the ship Michael came on and the date he arrived in Philadelphia. Also found there the letter written by Captain Hall, June 13th 1766, and the place where Michael came from Germany.
So, I went to Germany finding much more about Michael, the dates when he and his family were born and where, the dates he was married, the names of his father and grandfather, etc.
John Lutes visited Kreuzwertheim Germany in 1984 and took a picture of the church where Michael was married in 1747.
THE DAY OF DECISION
(excerpts from 'Samphire Greens' by Esther Clark Wright)
Heinrich Stieff wrote his name in the careful, upright German script he had learned in his homeland, and yielded place to the next man. His decision was made. He would go to Nova Scotia and take up land under his scheme proposed by John Hughes, the Philadelphia merchant. There were eight others who had made a similar decision. Mattias Somers, Vallon Tin Miller, and Charles Jones had already signed the Articles of Agreement. Andrew Criner, Michael Lutz, Jacob Cline, Matthias Lentz, and Jacob Trietz were scrawling their signatures below his.
It was the Twenty Seventh Day of January in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Six, according to the document the land seekers were signing. How long had Heinrich Stieff been in Pennsylvania looking for land? Since his name had not been deciphered from among the thirty thousand or more names of immigrants from the German States who arrived in Pennsylvania during the course of the eighteenth century, it is impossible to answer that question. He had certainly been there for more than four months. On September 22, 1765, he had taken the sacrament in the church at Roxborough, Philadelphia County, a necessary preliminary to naturalisation in the September-October Court of the country.
One tradition current in the family is that six of the seven sons of Heinrich Stieff, Jacob, Christian, Frederick, Henry, and Lodovic or Lewis, had been born in Europe, and only the youngest, Matthias, in Pennsylvania. On the other hand, in agreement signed on January 27, 1766, the census of 1767 set down the seven sons as Americans. It seems probable that Heinrich Stieff had been a comparatively late comer to Pennsylvania and had found the available land near Philadelphia taken up by earlier comers. One of his descendants had heard a tale of Heinrich Stieff's having farmed in Virginia and suffered a crop failure.
It would be interesting to know if Heinrich Stieff had met, previous to this fateful day in January 1766, any of those who signed the articles of Agreement. Were any of them related? Did they worship together? In years to come the families of Lutz, Somers, Trites, Jones, and Steeves were to become very closely linked. Had other ties than land hunger brought them together? The other four signers, despite the ominous sentence at the end of the agreement, that the parties bound themselves "each to the other in the Sum of One Thousand pound Sterling . . . . for the Neglect or Nonperformance . . . . . in all or any part of the above Agreement", failed to carry out their part of the undertaking. No evidence has turned up to indicate that Vallon Tin Miller, Andrew Criner, Jacob Cline, and Matthias Lentz sailed to Nova Scotia in the spring of 1766, or at any other time.
For those four, then, January 27, 1766, was not a day of decision. For Matthias Somers, Michael Lutz, Jacob Trietz (Trites), Charles Jones, and Heinrich Stieff, it was a turning point in their lives. They made their decision and they stuck by it. For them, and for that part of Nova Scotia, later the southeastern part of New Brunswick, to which they went, the consequences of that decision were immense and far-reaching.
Samphire Greens is 'The Story of The Steeves' written by Esther Clark Wright. In this account of those legendary figures, Heinrich Stieff and his seven sons, Mrs Wright weaves fact and fancy into a vivid and readable story of those settlers who came before the Loyalists. As a descendant of the youngest of the seven sons, she has a special interest in the story here told: as historian and sociologist, she is concerned to analyze family lore and to examine the relationship of the Steeves to the times and the places in which they lived.
More recent information can be found in “The Search for Heinrich Stief: A Genealogist on the Loose ” by Les Bowser. Copies are available for purchase at the Lutz Mountain Heritage Museum.
Jacob (Treitz) Trites Sr. was born about 1731 in Germany. After he arrived in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada (at the time it was called 'The Bend', part of Nova Scotia) in 1766, he never left but remained at the eastern end from 1766 until his death in 1791. This Jacob Trites may well be called "The Father of Moncton". He was the last of the heads of the nine families to sign the agreement in Philadelphia in 1766. Although he remained on his original 200-acre town lot for the first few years, he was later granted 2190 acres at the Eastern end of the Township. It was basically the land between the two creeks in modern-day Moncton. Although the family of Jacob Trites appears to be complete, three sons and one daughter, in some quarters there are suggestions that there was a second daughter, born after their arrival at the Bend (now called 'Moncton'). I believe that this was Elizabeth, the daughter of Rosanna and Robert Cumming and not another offspring of Jacob and Elisina. Although very little is known about Elisina, it is assumed they were married about 1748/49 in Pennsylvania. We have learned of four different ways in which to spell her name. Elisina is the best known and it's abbreviated form of Elisha. A declaration signed in her presence gave her name as "Christiana", while she signed "Christina" in June 1790. The burial place of Jacob and Elisina is unknown however, it is suspected that they are buried somewhere in Albert County, NB. Jacob Trites Sr. would have been about 36/37 years old when he arrived at the Bend and Elisina a few years younger. Jacob Jr., the oldest son, would have been 16 or 17 years old when they arrived and Abraham 15 years old. Rosanna, the only daughter was 13 years old and Christian, the baby of the family would have been 7 or 8 years old. They were a small family, but one well equipt to start a new life in a new land where every pair of hands would have a task to perform. The three sons, all old enough to be able to help Jacob prepare the land and build a shelter for the family and a daughter old enough to be a good and willing "mother's helper". So with that, the Trites family started a new life as the first settlers of Moncton.
Nine generations of Trites descendants are available for research at the Museum. If you have any questions about the Trites family, please don't hesitate to contact us. If you have any additional information about the Trites family, let us know; we take pride in keeping our records updated.
About the Somers Family
Name: Mathias Sommer – Anglicized: Matthias Somers
Born: 6 Apr 1715 in Freistett, Baden, Germany, oldest son of Matthias Sommer and Anna Barbara
Huebster (surname spelling varies)
• Maria Magdalena Sommer, 1715-1741, married 18 Sep 1736 in Freistett, Germany. Maria was
from another Sommer family in the same area, presumed to be related, but the exact connection
has not yet been established. Two known children came from this marriage, one son, one
• Anna Barbara Gramp, dates unk., married 3 Apr 1742 in Freistett, Germany. Three known
daughters came from this marriage, one died young.
• Christiana Null, dates unk., married 23 Oct 1749 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Colony. Two
daughters whose baptism records in Philadelphia can still be found: Anna Catharina and Eva
Magdalena, the latter probably did not survive. A 1766 Nova Scotia accounting of five settler
families recorded five other Sommer children who traveled to Monckton with their parents:
Eva Salome (Sarah), Sophia, Christiana, Andreas, and Rekena (Regina or also Rachel).
Story: Mathias Sommer was the oldest son of a Freistett innkeeper, also named Matthias Sommer.
Matthias Sr. operated an establishment called the Krone, which still stands today, though not as an inn.
Matthias Sr. died in 1732, and his widow, Anna Barbara, remarried to Mathaus Haas in 1733, a butcher
from a neighboring village of Freudenstadt. It is not known if they had children.
Mathias Sommer, son of the Freistett innkeeper, came to Philadelphia between 1746-1749. His second
wife likely died either before or shortly after arrival in Philadelphia. Mathias’ younger brothers, Hans
Georg, Johannes, and Martin, arrived in Philadelphia in 1752. In both Freistett and Philadelphia, the
Sommer brothers can be found in the Lutheran church records. Before his departure to Nova Scotia,
Mathias was a trustee of the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Barren Hill (Philadelphia area).
Mathias Sommer did not survive through the first winter after arrival in Monckton. His widow,
Christiana, remarried to another settler, Jacob Ricker, and there were no known children from that
marriage. Jacob Ricker, however, represented the Sommer survivors during legal proceedings with the
government to retain Mathias Sommer’s family claim on the 2100 acres originally promised by the
Philadelphia proprietors. A 1792 deed has recently been discovered showing where Mathias’ son,
Andrew (Andreas), registered his share of 1050 acres with the new colonial government of New
As provided by:
George S. Somers
We also have genealogical information pertaining to the following families: