The basis for Andrew Mellick’s conclusion that Tunis was Johan Peter’s oldest child: “The records of Palatine arrivals at Harrisburg do not show that he brought with him either wife or child.”(SOF, p.682) The PA archives has the list of those arriving on the ship Mortonhouse that took the oath of allegiance (males 16 and over) AND the “original list” of the Mortonhouse. Peter is listed as “Johan Peiter Melch” on the original list. (Series 2, Vol XVII pp. 12-14) NO WOMEN OR CHILDREN were included in the original list of the Mortonhouse, nor, with the exception of one female name, were women and children included on the surviving lists of the vessels arriving earlier than the Mortonhouse.The first time women and perhaps children -ages not listed- were included on the original lists was in 1729. Consequently Peter’s marital status at the time of his arrival is an unknown so one cannot conclude, on the basis of marital status, that Tunis was Peter’s oldest child. John, whose birth date is unknown, may have been born as early as 1728/1729. This also leads to the possibility that on 21 March 1751 (Molig - LeFeber marriage) Peter’s son John might actually have been 21 or slightly older.
See Proceedings, Vol 15 -New Jersey Historical Society snippet under “Johannes Moelich, Jr.”
The order listed for the brothers in the Proceedings entries is certainly not proof of age, but it does cause one to wonder since, generally speaking, the older of two is usually the first one named.