By Bruce Whitaker
Theobald Pfautz was born in Rohrbach, Kris Sensheim, Palatinate, Germany in 1722. He was the son of Hans Michael Pfautz born in Palatinate in 1682. Hans was an innkeeper and the son of the local mayor. He died in Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pa., on February 2, 1741. Hans married Ursula Muehlenhauser (name changed to Millhouse in America). She was born in Steinsfurt, Germany in 1682. She died May 14, 1772 in Strasburg. Theobald Pfautz sailed with his parents to America aboard the ship William and Sarah in 1727. At this period of time, the Pfautz family were all German Lutherans. Theobald Pfautz’s German nickname was Dewald. It eventually became David and the spelling of Pfautz became Fouts.
Theobald (now called Dewald) Pfautz married Catrina Spengal on May 27, 1743 at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Hanover, York County, Pa. Catrina was born in 1725 in Alsace, Berks County, Pa. Dewald and Catrina Pfautz moved to Pipes Creek in Fredrick County, Maryland. Dewald Pfautz was still a Lutheran as late as 1753 when he swore a court oath in Frederick County, Maryland as a witness in a local law suit. I say this because by 1755 Dewald Pfautz was a Dunker. Dunkers were not allowed to take an oath in court or anywhere else.
Dunkers called themselves The Brethren. The public, in derision, called them Tunkers, derived from the German word Tunken, which means to dip bread in gravy. They were also called Dunkers, Tunkers, Dunkards and Dumplers.
The Baptist Rev. Morgan Edwards visited many Dunker/Tunker churches in the 1770s. He said they kept no written records nor did they record the names of their founders, baptisms, membership roles, or even their beliefs. He wrote, “They use great plainness of language and dress like Quakers, and like them, will neither swear nor fight. They do not go to the law nor take interest for the money they lend.”
A border conflict developed between Maryland and Pennsylvania. The vague wording of Lord Baltimore and William Penn’s Royal grants brought discord between the two states. A 20-mile-wide strip of land between the two states was claimed by each state. As a result, both states were selling the same land to different settlers. This resulted in the Walton War between North Carolina and Georgia over what is now Transylvania County. The dispute was the cause of many lawsuits between settlers on both sides of the line. King George sent two surveyors, Mason and Dixon, to America to settle the dispute. The Mason-Dixon line was completed in 1768. The line favored Pennsylvania and the Maryland deeds became worthless.
The Dunker settlement at Pipes Creek, Maryland decided to move to North Carolina. Dewald Pfoutz sold his property on Pipes Creek and joined a wagon train led by Rev. Daniel Leatherwood. Andreas Huber and his wife Margaret Fouts (Dewald’s sister) were also members of the wagon train. Andreas Huber changed his name to Andrew Hoover when he arrived in North Carolina. President Herbert Hoover descended from Andrew and Margaret. Peter Garren and his sons Jacob, Andrew and James were also with this group. The Hooper’s Creek Garrens descend from Andrew and the Garren Creek Garrens from James . They settled on the Uwharrie River in what is now Randolph County. Randolph County, along with Lincoln and Catawba Counties, became the three German Counties of the Piedmont.
Dewald Pfautz started appearing on Randolph County records as David Fouts Sr. He and his brothers Michael and Jacob bought 1,000 acres of land from Henry McCulloh, who had a vast Royal land grant in the area. David Fouts was the only one of the German Dunkers to interact with his English neighbors. He was appointed Overseer of the Roads in 1768. David’s property bordered the road from the Uwharrie River to Caraway Creek, which he was in charge of maintaining. He is believed to be the only German in the settlement who knew enough English to understand the road maintenance assignment.
The Moravian missionary George Soelle wrote that he spent the night at the home of David Fouts in November 1771 and met many of the his neighbors. “This is a unique species of people,” wrote Soelle. “They have Moravian, Quaker, Separatist and Dunkard principles, know everything and know nothing, look down on others, belong to no one and spurn others.” When the Revolutionary War came, the Dunkers, including the Fouts and Garrens, refused to take the Oath of Allegiance, bear arms, or pay taxes to support the war.
David Fouts Sr. died in Randolph County North Carolina around 1784. David and Catrina Fouts had the following children:
John Daniel Fouts was born in Maryland in 1744, married Mary Garren. He died in 1802 in Randolph County. He was a Baptist.David Fouts Jr. was born 1745 ca in Maryland, married Elizabeth Hoover, daughter of Andrew and Margaret Fouts Hoover. They were the parents of the five blind Fouts children. He was a Dunker. David died in 1821 in Randolph County, NC.
Jacob Fouts was born 1747 ca in Maryland. He married Mary Waymire. Jacob died in Clark County, Indiana in 1829. He was a Universalist Dunker.
Andrew Fouts was born in 1749 ca in Maryland. He married Elizabeth Garren. He died in Randolph County in 1782 ca. They were Quakers.
John Fouts was born in Maryland 1755 ca, married Catherine Shearer. They were Dunkers.
Lewis Fouts was born in Maryland 1761 ca. He first married Mary Gallimore and next Christina Lingle. He died after 1840 in Cabarrus County, NC.
Peter Fouts was born 1767 in Randolph County, NC. He married Catherine Younce. He died in 1838 in Carroll County, Indiana. They were Dunkers.
Barbara Fouts was born 1769 in Randolph County, NC. She married Jacob Mast. She died in Wilkes County, NC, 1796 ca. They were Baptist.
Hannah Fouts was born July 11, 1771 in Randolph County, NC. She was married to John Garren, son of James Garren, from February 18, 1769–April 14, 1843. John and Hannah moved to Fairview. They settled on what was then Woods Creek that soon became known as Garren Creek. Hannah died in Fairview in November 1855. Both are buried in Cane Creek Cemetery. They were Baptist.
Local historian Bruce Whitaker documents genealogy in the Fairview area. He can be reached at 628-1089 or [email protected]