A tract of five hundred acres, extending one and a quarter miles along Stenton Avenue from Paper Mill Road to Willow Grove Avenue and three-quarters of a mile from Stenton Avenue to near Cheltenham Road, belonged to Herman Groethausen. He had obtained from one of Penn’s agents in Germany a patent for five thousand acres in Pennsylvania. Meeting him in London, Penn Induced him to exchange it for a patent for give hundred acres in the settled part of the State not already granted to any one else. When Groethausen came to Philadelphia he found the nearest unoccupied land was in Springfield Manor and settled on it without any deed. His possession was disputed and after a long fight he went to London, and Madam Penn authorized the Court in Pennsylvania to grant him a deed for the five hundred acres in Springfield Manor (now Springfield Township).
At St. Michael’s Lutheran Cemetery, Germantown may be found the grave of Herman Groethausen.
Pennsylvania Archives, second series, Vol. 19, pages 595, 596.
History of Early Chestnut Hill by John J. Macfarlane, A.M., published by City History Society of Philadelphia, 1927.
The Initials I.G.H.
the date 1742
appear on the date stone of the East side of the house.
On such stones, it was customary for the initial of the last name to appear in the middle between the first initial of the wife of the owner and the owner’s first initial which came last.
The initials of the oldest son and his wife were often included.
Hermanus Grothausen died in 1743 a year after the house was built. As Hermanus Grothausen transferred the property to his son, John or Johanus, in the year 1740, the initials are apparently those of his son and his wife, Amelia, who died November 1, 1774 at the age of 74 years. This is apparently conclusive.
Grothousen’s daughter, Maria Catharina, married Christopher Ottinger, the next owner of the house.
ADDED INFORMATION: It is said to be that “one Colonel Regelt sold the original land to Hermanus Grothausen:”
In “Hannah Penn And The Proprietorship of Pennsylvania” by Sophie Hutchinson Drinker published in 1958, on page 70, a letter from Hannah Penn to Thomas Story dated Ruscombe, February 27, 1715, states:
“…I shall be sorry if thou cannot have the sight of those papers I am, by my kinsman, in pursuit after and on which and some other urgent affairs, I have thoughts of seeing London this week but whether before thou goes or not I cannot be sure but will endeavour it if my husband’s helath holds and nothing unforeseen hinders. However, I would not keep thee an hour past thy time from thy poor father.
But this I desire that if thou should go before 5th day that thou will be so kind as to live me in writing (tho in never so rough a draft) thy opinion how I ought to proceed in the case and in favour of this Groathousan. I shall not farther enlarge expecting yet to see thee, but if I should and with renewed salutations of dear love from me and husband I conclude and am…”
Husband was not well enough to receive the messenger nor read the letter, so (for) the trouble of hearing his case I was forced to enter upon and to clear myself and answer their request. I have troubled you with a letter by him to desire he may be made easy either in his present plantation or somewhat to answer my husband’s intention therein, which was to settle him upon five hundred acres of good land in lieu of (the) nine thousand he surrendered for it, as Thomas Grey and another make oath he did.”
LINE OF TITLE
Premises 901 E. Abington Ave., Wyndmoor
Springfield Township, Montgomery County, PA
Feb. 28, 1733 - Patent by the Penn Family to Hermanus Grothousen – 500 acres.
Nov. 24, 1740 - Deed by Hermanus Grothousen to son, John Grothousen.
Apr. 10, 1746 - Deed by John Grothousen and wife to Christopher Ottinger.
Dec . 7, 1790 - Deed by Christopher Ottinger to William Ottinger.
Sep. 25, 1832 - Will of William Ottinger authorized his executors to sell.
Apr. 1, 1839 - Deed by Henry Sheetz, Charles P. Fenton and George Piper, Executors of Will of William Ottinger, Deceased, to Benjamin Sykes.
Apr. 14, 1854 - Will of Benjamin Sykes left Estate to wife, Ann, for life, and after her decease, all his real estate to be sold and divided into four parts:
¼ to son, John Conlen; ¼ to daughter, Sarah Bond (who died in lifetime of Benj. Sykes); ¼ to daughter, Caroline Sykes (who married Joseph LeFevre);
¼ to son, Samuel Sykes (who died 1865, a minor, unmarried, and without issue).
Jan 4, 1867 - Deed by Ann Sykes, widow and surviving Executrix of Will of Benjamin Sykes, Deceased; John Conlen and wife; and Joseph LeFevre and Caroline, his wife, to John C. Stewart.
Jan 9, 1867 - Deed by John C. Stewart to John Conlen and Joseph LeFevre.
Dec 29, 1884 - Deed by Joseph Le Fevre and wife to John Conlen for his half interest.
Dec 29, 1884 - Deed by John Conlen and wife to Joseph LeFevre
Harmon Grothaus b 1670; d 27 October 1743 bur St. Michaels, Gtn, Luth.
Henry Grothaus b 1695; d 1745 bur St. Michaels, GTN, Luth
St. Michals Luth, Gtn:
p. 1098 bur Nov 1 1774 Amelie Grothausen 74 yrs (wife of John)
p. 223 Herman Grothaus und Anna Maria Baret sp for Michael schellmeier June 2 1745
p. 237 Elizabeth Brothaus sp for George and Barbara Rieger May 19 1746
p. 243 Herman Grothaus and Maria: Rahel b Feb 20 1747; bap Apr 12 1747 sp Jurg & Barbara Rieger
p. 263 Johan and Amalia Grothaus sp for Christopher Ottinger Ref and Maria Catharina June 24 1750
Phila W. BK G/76 #49 1743
Will of Harmon Grothausen of Springfield Manor, Phila Co. dated Oct 19 1743; proved Nov 16 1743
All estate to sons Henry and John to be divided equally Sons Henry and John extrs
Wit: Johan Philip De Bertholt, Wigard Miller, Cornelius Nies
Phila DD Bk G-6/128:
22 Nov 1743 HENRY GROETHAUS of Heidelberg, Lancaster Co and Ann and John Groethaus of Springfield, Phila Co and Amalia to George Rex of Germantown, blacksmith
Whereas by virtue of 28 Feby 1733 500 acres were granted to Harmon Groethaus. (Pat Bk A-10/94) Herman by will devised to sons Henry and John the 500 acres to be divided equally, with messuages
Now for £110 to George Rex
1-Begin corner of Joseph Harmer and by Springfield Manor line NW 200p
2-WSW by Christopher Ottinger 45p
3-SE by part of same 218p
4-along same NE 38p 10’ being 50 acres part of the 500 acres
Recorded 3 Jany 1774
Phila W Bk G/170 #140
Will of Henry Grothausen of Heidelberg, Lancaster Co dated Jan 3 1744/5 proved Feb 23 1744/5
Wife Ann to have 6 ac in Springfield devised to me by my father; log house to be built on same for her
Children Herman, Magdalena, Jacob, Peter, Mary, Christiana, Katherine, Elizabeth, Susanna, John. About 160 acres in Lancaster County. To be sold. Son Herman to have my smith’s tools which he uses.
Extrs: John Orts, Michael Showers, John Van Housen; John Groothouse,Wiccard Miller
Wit: John Barbge, Thoms Yorke, Jacob Gans
Sower’s Newspaper, issue 19 Feb 1757:
JOHANN GROTHAUSE offers to sell plantation 3 miles above Gtn in Springfield whereon there has been a tile kiln for a long time; situated on the Great Road to Philadelphia
Hist Socy Penna Parsons MSS, Common Place Book Third Floor
HENRY GROTEHAUSEN 58-41 Jn Boyer, P. Reed 161 ac 71p
Pa Arch 2 Vol 2 p 296ff
HENRY GOOTHOUSE, Lancaster county Spet 26-27-1740
Pa Arch 3 Vol 2 Old Rights
HARMON GRATHAUSEN wart 500 acres 27-10-1715
Harmon Grathausen draft 500 acres 27-12 1715
Herman Grathausen return 500 ac May 2 1726
Phila Adm Bk C
Anthony Jacob Henkel’s non-cupative will
Entered Aug 17 1728 on oath testators declared that the testator Anthony Jackob Henkel on the 12th day of this Instant August fell off his Hoese on the Road from Philadelphia to to his house in Hanover twp which disabled him and was carried to the house of the depont HERMAN GROOTHOUSEN in the Manor of Springfield where the testator lying very ill bid the depont take and notice that the contents of the within and above writing was his will
Herman Groothausen, Hasn Michael Schivenstock, George Ruger, witnesses Aug 12, 1728 letters granted Sept 14, 1729 to widow Maria Elizabeth Henkel.
Nov 24 1740 Herman Groethausen of Springfield Phila co yeoman to John Groethausen son of same for £13,10 land in Springfield
1-Begin corner of Samuel Adams and by land late Wm Harmer SW 89p
2-NW 192p; NE 38p; NW11p last 3 courses joining on other land of Herman Groethausen
3-By Christopher Ottinger N 66 E 60p
4-By Adams I and SE 196p being 109 acres, nowin his passion part of 500 acres to Herman Groethausen Pat Feb 28 1733 A-10/94