Today, I will post a transcription of the entire article and a photo of Matthias’ grave in Peiffer Cemetery, a modest burial ground near Saegertown, a borough in Crawford County, Pennsylvania.
The reason for revisiting my ancestor is that my grandson Matthew (note the name similarity) will soon be studying the Revolutionary War at school. His mother asked if I had info, and I quickly responded with a positive answer.
Here is the complete transcription of the German newspaper report on Johan Matthias Flaugh:
German Newspaper Article about Johan Mathias Flaugh
Odewald Weekly Paper, Thurs Jan 16 1987 pg 8
Rimhorner Fought for America’s Freedom
Johann Matthias Flach left his native country in 1773;
Peiffertown Cemetery last resting place
By Ella Gieg, Rimhorn
Johann Matthias Flach came into this world on Apr 8, 1752 in Rimhorn. His parents were the baker Johann Philipp Flach and teacher’s daughter Hanna Elisabeth Merckel. To be sure, Matthias Flach never met his father, as the baker owner died ten weeks before the birth of his son. As for the parents’ house, it became what is today the estate of the Hans Fleck family on Goldback Street in Rimhorn. This comes from the “Rinhorner Broullion,” a draft copy of a map from the year 1753 (Wertheim state archives) in which Philipp Flach’s widow is shown as owner of the plot of land. The married couple Flach had acquired the house with a farm that belonged to it on May 14 1745 at a public auction for 436 builders [guilders?].
The widow with her three small children came through the early death of the husband Philipp Flach with difficulty and presumably she couldn’t keep her property. A daughter, Eva Maria, in 1760 married Johann Leonhard Gebbard who lived in the neighborhood, while of the second son Johann Georg there is no trace.
Also not much was known of the emigrant Matthias until later times; it seemed certain that he was lost without a trace. Not until two Americans appeared in Rimhorn in 1986, with instructions from Miss Sara E. Flaugh, Meadville, Pa, and searched for the origins of their ancestors, could the related details of the whereabouts of Matthias Flach become known. Thus was his further journey through life carried out.
On the ship “Union” under Captain Andrew Bryson, the 19-yr old sailed over the great water and arrived in Philadelphia, where under the name of Johan Madas Fla on Sep 27, 1773, he gave his oath of loyalty to the English king in the business-place of Mr. Robert Ritchie.
On July 13, 1776, he signed himself up as a common soldier on the Roll of Muster for the War of Independence and fought for America’s freedom from the English crown in Captain George Hubley’s Company, which belonged to the German battalion of Colonel Nikolaus Haussegger that was composed mainly of settlers from Lancaster, Berks Co.
According to documents he participated in the battles at Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. He also fought in the campaign against the Iroquois, who fought on the side of the Loyalists and came to a decisive battle at Newton in Aug 1779.
Later he wed a Marie Arnold, who perhaps likewise came of Odenwald. They had four children prior to coming to Crawford County where he acquired 200 acres and here they had four more children. His final rest is in Peiffertown Cemetery two miles south of Saegertown. His gravestone still exists and it contains in translation the following inscription: In memory of Johann Matthias Flach, a soldier of the American Revolution, born in Rimhorn, Germnay, on April 8, 1752 and died on Jan 20, 1834 at the age of 81 years, 9 months, and 12 days. Merciless death, unerring arrow, you have penetrated the old veteran’s heart. His whole life long he steadfastly defended freedom, which he fought to secure under the “great” Washington.
Miss Sara E. Flaugh, a descendant, is to be very sincerely and warmly thanked for sending informational materials. (End of article)
Note: I also want to thank Miss Sara Flaugh for graciously loaning this article to me. She also had a more legible slab laid in front of the original stone with a bronze medal of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Miss Flaugh also gave me the following: Wilhelm Flach–citizen and member of the court at Nacket. On Nov 27, 1732 his son, Johann Philip Flach, baker married Johanna Eliszabeth Merckel, daughter of Hans Adam Merckel, a teacher. Johann Philipp Flach born at Rimhorn, Jan 4, 1710, died at Rimhorn, Jan 23, 1752. Johanna Elisabeth Merckel born at Rimhorn Feb 12 1713, died at Rimhorn Sept 25, 1776.
The newspaper article was transcribed and comments added by Mary Jane Thomas.