Tracing the Ownership of the Daniel Korns, Jr. farm

Introduction
This web page traces the ownership history of the farm of Daniel Korns, Jr. of Southampton township, Somerset County, PA back to James Rose in 1767. This farm is of interest to me because it was the farm of my grandfather Allen Lester Korns, and before that Allen's father John Wilson Korns, and before that Allen's grandfather Daniel Korns, Jr.. It is presently owned by one of Allen's sons, and is being farmed by Allen's grandaughter and her husband.

The real estate documents that are linked from this page were provided by the Rev. Ken Korns, son of Lester, grandson of Earl, great-grandson of John Wilson Korns. The reason Ken has these documents is because at one time, due to a timber sale, there was a need to know the boundary between his grandfather Troutman's farm and the adjacent Korns farm. The property owners didn't know where the boundary was exactly, so with the aid of these old deeds and drafts, they were able to accurately establish the boundary, locating the original stone piles that were used as markers.

By family tradition, Daniel Korns, Jr. moved to the farm circa 1870-71
On July 19, 1998 I visited for the last time with Lester Korns, a much-loved Somerset County patriarch, who was well versed in local Korns history and genealogy. Lester died of pneumonia on Saturday Dec. 5, 1998, on his 89th birthday following a barnyard fall that broke his hip. He was the son of Earl T. and Ella (Lepley) Korns.

Lester told me that Dan Korns, Jr. (father of Wilse Korns) lived on a farm back in Richy Hollow, (My father hiked back there many years ago with Allen Korns to see the foundations) and said that the Daniel "Dan" Korns, Jr. family moved to the Sturtz farm when Dan's son Wilse was 12 years old. John Wilson Korns was born March 10, 1858, according to his tombstone, so according to the oral tradition, the family would have moved sometime between March 10, 1870 and March 10, 1871. Daniel Korns, Jr. was born April 6, 1820, according to his tombstone, so according to the oral tradition, he would have been about 50 years old when he moved his family to the farm.

Lester also said that Dan Korns, Jr. sold the Richy Hollow farm for three thousand dollars and bought the Sturtz farm for four thousand dollars after the Sturtz's died. The man who bought the Richy Hollow farm had only paid Dan Korns, Jr. two thousand dollars, than moved on to Philadelphia. Dan Korns, Jr. went to Philadelphia after the debt, and came back with the one thousand dollars he was owed. Richy hollow is along the Gladdens creek or run that is north of the Daniel Korns, Jr. farm.

Daniel Korns was living on the farm by 1876
We know from the 1876 F.W. Beers & Co. "Atlas of Somerset County Penn." that Daniel Korns, Jr. was already living on the farm by 1876, because on the map of Southampton Township, the house is labeled with his name. Click here to see an enlargement of the relevant portion of the map.

Daniel Korns paid a judgement on the farm in 1883
Click here for a document that shows that Daniel Korns, Jr. paid a judgment on the farm in 1883. The document reads "Meyesrsdale Pa Dec 14 1883 Received of Daniel Korns thirteen hundred & twenty nine & ______ seven cents Being Principle amount of Judgement (sic) in the Real Estate of John Sturtz Died Shown & entered to No 234 Aug __, 1879 16 May 1884 ______ _______ Dennis Cook trustee for the sale of the Real Estate of John sturtz decd". We can only guess at this late date, but the reason for the judgment may have been the tardy payment by the person who bought the farm in Richy Hollow from Daniel Korns. In any case, it is clear that the farm was previously owned by John Sturtz, and not by Daniel Korns, Sr. In the 1949 book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County Pennsylvania" by Charles Byron Korns, Sr., M.D., this farm is said to be the home of Daniel Korns, Sr.. The 1883 judgement document shows that the Korns book is wrong. Daniel Korns, Jr. clearly bought the farm from the estate of John Sturtz.

According to page 101, 103 & 104 of the Korns book, a John Sturtz married Rebecca Beal (b. Aug. 11, 1805), who was the daughter of John & Mary Magdelene (Korns) Beal, and was the grand daughter of Michael Korn, Sr.. I am no expert on Sturtz genealogy, but I assume that the John Sturtz she married was the son of local resident Christian Sturtz, Sr.. If this assumption is true, then that makes one additional generation that this farm was lived on by the descendants of Michael Korn, Sr..

Click here for a draft, which reads "Copy of draft made by A.J. Colborn 3rd Decr 1860 at the instance of Sherrif Walker & being the real estate of Adam Sturtz decd, - Per Orphans Court Docket of Somerset County Penna vol. 7 page 386. The part in blue - 108 as & 114 ps. Was sold by S. Boyer Trustee &c to D&M Hay, now owned by J.A Korns 28th May 1886. D. Meters, Sur." The name "J.A Korns" seems like an error, it seems like it should have been "J.W. Korns" (John Wilson Korns) unless this still-mysterious Jac. or Joe Alfred Korns owned it, or part of it. John Wilson Korns, the son of Daniel Korns, Jr., was born in 1858, and died Sept 13, 1926. Daniel Korns, Jr. died July 7, 1901 at the age of 81 years, 3 months and one day.

Click here for a draft that shows the aforementioned 108 acres & 114 perches, which reads "Situate in Southampt Township, Somerset (&c) County, ajoining (sic) other land of Adam Sturts (sic)".

Documents showing purchase of the farm by John Sturtz
A number of real estate documents show that John Sturtz was an administrator in the estate of Christian Sturtz, and bought the property from others who had a joint right to the property. Some of the people he bought the farm from were obviously heirs, as would be expected. They are probably all heirs, but I have not researched Christian Sturtz to see who his descendants were. Links to the documents are provided below:
1832, Peter Close and wife to John Sturtz, their right to real estate of Christian Sturtz
1834, Daniel Sturtz to John Sturtz, his right to to real estate of Christian Sturtz
1834, Christian Sturtz to John Sturtz, his right to to real estate of Christian Sturtz
Abstract, 1838 grant, Abraham Kerns & wife to John & Adam Sturtz, administrators of Christian Sturtz
Click here to see a PDF of a two page document showing land taken by John Sturtz in 1838, and a Valentine Sturtz grant to John Sturtz in 1848, granting his right to to real estate of Christian Sturtz.

1815 deed of Christian Sturtz
Click here to see a PDF of the two page ledger-sized 1815 grant from Samuel Riddle to Christian Sturtz. This document traces the ownership of the land back to James Rose in 1767. Samuel Riddle was evidently a business associate of Christian Sturtz and Daniel Korns, Sr., as shown by an 1814-1818 real estate record in Somerset County Deed Book 8 pg. 191. Samuel Riddle also sold real estate to Michael Korns, Sr., as referenced in pages 39 and 40 of "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County Pennsylvania".

The part of the 1815 grant that traces the previous land owners states "(It being the same tract of land which was surveyed for James Rose upon a Location N. 2488, dated the twentieth day of January one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven, and which the said James Rose by his Deed Roll duly executed, bearing date the eighth day of June one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven, for the consideration therein mentioned, granted and conveyed to John Boynton, Samuel Wharton and George Morgan, and which the said George Morgan, who survived the said John Boynton and Samuel Wharton, by his Deed duly executed bearing date The twenty eighth day of April one thousand eight hundred and two, for the consideration therein mentioned, granted and conveyed to a Michael J. Simpson; and which the said Michael J. Simpson by his Deed duly executed, bearing date the twenty fourth day of July one thousand eight hundred and two, for the consideration therein mentioned, granted and conveyed to the said Samuel Riddle in fee)".

L. Dietle
January 20, 2008

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