Since I requested this page, let me be the first to post to it.
Johann "George" Au was the first Au immigrant to America from Germany between 1779 and 1784. He left behind three daughters (presumed to be married) and brought with him two sons, John and Hermanus plus a daughter, Eva.He settled and died in York Co, PA in 1785, leaving a wife, Anna Catherina (Thomas), and children John, Hermanns and Eva.
His son, Hermauus, the subject, above married 3 times; children by his first two wives; buried beside his second wife, Christina Faust at the Stiffler Church Cem., Berringer, Indiana Co, PA.
This following sketch was copied from a letter dated May 1897, addressed to Edith Ow, daughter of George Ow & Mercy Merrik. The letter was written by Edith's cousin, Alexander R. Ow, son of Joseph Ow and Ruth Anna McGregor.Alexander R. Ow was born about 1845. This letter is probably the most significant document that established the backbone for determining the early structure for this familyn and has been proved to be accurate except for a few minor details which have been annotated when they appear.
AMERICAN ANCESTRY OF THE OW FAMILY
On the 17th day of February, 1777, in the village of Oberisen, in the Parish of Birinbaugh, in the County of Houghenberg, Germany, was born HERMANNS, the youngest of two brothers, and one sister, being three children of GEORGE AU, who emigrated to America in 1785, and settled and died in York County, PA, Hermanns being 7 years old. At manhood, his older brother, whose name was John Au, located in Richland Co, OH.John Au, raised two sons whose names were Christopher Au and Henry Au. The name of the sister of Hermanns and John is not known.
HERMANNS AU was regularly apprenticed and learned the tailor trade. He mastered the English language and when his time was out of apprenticeship, he went into business for himself.He got an Dutch-American to paint him a sign in gilt letters, When the sign was completed and put up, Hermanns discovered that it was spelled "OW",instead of "AU". He remonstrated about the way it was spelled, but the painter told him that OW was the English way to spell the name, so the sign was not changed and the new way of spelling became known to the world. It was adopted by Hermanns Ow and all his descendants to this day, but the descendants of his elder brother, John Au, still cling to the old way. Hermanns Ow embraced the Moravian Faith in religion and after many years became a United Brethren minister of the gospel. He located in Shirley Township, Huntingdon Co, PA, and on October 17, 1797, married Catherine Gilbert. To this union were born six children, named in seniority as follows:
I. GEORGE OW, who lived and died in St. Clair Twp, Bedford Co, PA, was married to Betsy Way. No children. He died in 1859.
II. HENRY OW, twice married (first to a Gilbert(*), second to Maria Middleton), raised two boys and two girls. Resided in Indiana, PA; died February 9, 1877, at that place.
(*) Proved later to be Elizabeth Good, widow of Samuel Smith.
III. MARY OW, married Hambright Reese and raised a family. Lived and died near North Manchester, Wabash Co, IN.
IV. EVE OW, married Benedict Stevens. Raised eleven children, six boys and five girls. Boys' names were: Asa, William, Wesley, Frank, George, and David. Girls' were: Hanna,(m) Strains; Rachel,(m) Heck; Rebecca,(m) Weigh; Belle,(m) Heater; and Catherine, (m) Cobert. Lived and died near Three Springs, Huntingdon Co, PA.
V. SAMUEL OW, married Martha Potts. Raised five children as follows:
1. JOHN P., married Nancy Grimes, raised two girls and three boys; Annie M.,(m). Temperance,Daniel Webster, Edward E., and Samuel Ray.
2. CATHERINE GILBERT OW, married James Bradley, had 8 children as follows: Samuel G.,Webster, William K., Nattie, Margaret A. (d) 1920, May 0., Charles, and Bertha L. (m) Engle.
3. MARGARET LINN OW, married Charles A Conger, had 4 children, one girl, 3 boys: Olive, JohnW., George S., and Albert.
4. GEORGE OW, married Mercy Merrick, had one girl, Edith.
5. MARTHA A. OW (PET), married Oscar Eads, had two girls:
(1) Merna, (m) Ralph Ward, 3 children: Zetta Ward Blackhall of Sterling; Loren Ward - dead; andOscar Ward - lived in Alden, KS.
(2) Osee Eads, (m) Carl Godshalk, 2 children: Rita, (m) Wayne Davis of California, two sons; and Estel who in California.
VI. CATHERINE OW, married James Bowers, raised family, lived and died near North Manchester, Wabash Co., IN.
HERMANNS OW buried his first wife, Catherine (date unknown), and on March 18, 1811, married his second wife, Christina Faust, to whom were born four children,three girls,and one boy,named in seniority as follows:
VII. LYDIA OW, (m) James Hannawalt, raised a family, lived and died near Spring Meadow, Huntingdon Co, PA.
VIII. JOSEPH OW* , (m) Ruth Anna McGregor, raised a family, ten, six girls and four boys, named in seniority as follows: Lavina E., Alex R. (the writer of this sketch) (m) Luke, Anna C. (m) Ferrier, Hermanns B., Mary J., Margaret E. (m) Gibson, Joseph A. (?), Christina V. (m) Keirn, Henry A. (m) Singer, Hanna M.S. (m) Stumpff.* Joseph Ow, Sr, only one yet living of third generation, is now (1897) in 84th year, lives near Cookport, Indiana Co, PA.
IX. ANNA OW**, (m) Peter Kessler, raised seven children, four girls and three boys,names:Christina,John(m)Davis, Lucinda (m} Connor, Hermanns, Adolphus (m) Ralston, Martha (m) George, Sena (m) Berringer. **Anna (Ow) Kessler lived and died in Green Township, Indiana Co, PA.
X. HANNA OW***, (m) Michael Ickes, raised five children, three girls and two boys, named: Joseph H., Anna M. (m) Oswald, and Sarah.(The two boys were left out of this sketch for some reason).*** Hanna (Ow) Ickes lived and died near Winters Station, Sandusky Co, PA.
HERMANNS OW buried his second wife, Christina, in 1856 and in 1857, again married. His third wife's name was Rebecca Wilson. He lived and died near Cherry Tree, Indiana Co, PA on July 20, 1861, aged 83, and was buried beside his second wife (Christina Faust) at Stiffler Church Cemetery, Berringer, Indiana Co, PA.
The following is a transcription of Hermanns' Will, courtesy of Chris Kale Corcoran.
In the name of God, Amen.I, Hermanus Ow, of Green township, Indiana county in the state of
Pennsylvania, minister of the Gospel of the United Brethren in Christ, being in good health of body, and sound and disposing mind & memory (praised be God for his mercy) and being admonished by my adviced [sic] age to settle my worldly affaires [sic], while I have time, thought, and capacity to do so.I make and publish this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and making void all other will heretofore by me made, and first and princable [sic] I comend my soul into the hands of Almighty God my Creator, hoping for pardon and remission of all my sins and to enjoy everlasting happiness in his Heavenly Kingdom, through Jesus Christ my Savior, my body I comend to the earth from which it came.And as such worldly estate as it has pleased God to interest me with, I dispose of them as follows to wit: And first I will that all my just debts as shall be by me owing at my death, together with my funeral expenses shall in the first place be fully paid and sadisfied [sic] out of the first money which shall come into the hands my executor herein after mentioned.
Item.I order and direct that my wearing apparel shall be parted and divided equally between my two
sons, Henry and Joseph Ow.
Item.I order and direct that my books shall not be sold, but be equally divided among all my children
and the heirs of my departed daughter Lidia Hanawalt, as the share of their mother.
Item.I order and direct that one hundred and fifty dollars be charged to my son George Ow and
deducted from his share of my estate that being in full of all demands.
Item.I order and direct that one hundred dollars be charged to my son Henry Ow and deducted from
his share of my estate being in full of all demands.
Item.I order and direct that one hundred dollars be charged to my son Joseph Ow and deducted from
his share of my estate that being in full of all demands.
Item.I order and direct that one hundred and twenty fife [sic] dollars be charged to my daughter
Anna Kessler and deducted from her share of my estate that being in full of all demands for a house
sold to her.
I trust that the above will get some of you Ow researchers off to a good start.
Feel free to cantact me on or off the list.