An American Family History

Pence Families from Shenandoah
in Clark and Champaign Counties, Ohio

Champaign County, Ohio was created March 1, 1805 from Greene and Franklin counties.On March 1, 1817 the present boundaries were established when Logan and Clark counties were formed. An 1800 census counted 100 settlers.
Lutherans are Protestants who follow Martin Luther's religious teachings, especially the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
Frederick County, Virginia was formed in 1743 from Orange County. Old Frederick County included all or part of four counties in present-day Virginia: Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, and Frederick, as well as five in present-day West Virginia: Hardy, Hampshire, Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan.

The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America and was ratified in 1789.

Jacob Pence was born on December 14, 1727 in Germany. His wife was named Barbara.

Jacob and Barbara's children included:
Frederick Pence (1752),
Lewis Pence (1754, married Barbara Kibler),
Susannah Pence (1760),
Mary Pence (1760),
Emanuel Pence (1762),
Daniel Pence (1764),
Barbara Pence (1770, married Adam Kibler),
Jacob Pence (1771, married Eve Printz),
Eve Pence (1773, married John Kibler),
and Elizabeth Pence (1773).

John Pence
John Pence Jr. was listed as a member of Michael Reader's company during the Revolution and was listed on the 1785 tax list of Shenandoah County as the head of a family of eight.

John's widow, Elizabeth Pence, was granted a land patent on August 30, 1780 for 358 acres in the Northern Neck of Virginia. This tract was in her name on the landowner's list of 1782, but on the 1789 list it belonged to Elizabeth Prince.

Lewis Pence bought 49 acres in Frederick Count on August 26, 1754. He sold this land on June 2, 1767. On November 7, 1757 he was granted a patent for 440 acres on Hawksbill Creek. Lewis died before May 15, 1779.

His oldest son, John Pence sold his father's land to Rudolph Baker. John joined some of the Kiblinger family in moving to Clark County, Ohio. His son Abraham's daughter, Mary (Polly) Pence, married Henry Branstetter, on June 27, 1827 in Clark County,

Jacob Pence received a grant for 262 acres on the branches of the Hawksbill Creek in Frederick County on August 30,1766. His wife was named Barbara and that his oldest son was Frederick Pence.

Among communicants of the Reformed congregation of the Hawksbill Church on October 15, 1817, were Louis Pens, Frederick Penss, Martin Penns, Jackson Penss, Magdl. Penns and Barbara Penns. Reformed communicants in 1819 included Barbara Bens. These probably are all descendants of Jacob.

Some researchers believe that the Lewis Pence who married Barbara Kibler was the son of the first Lewis Pence. However Frederick Pence, oldest son of Jacob and Barbara, divided his father's land in two and deeded half of it to this Lewis Pence (who later deeded part of it to Emanuel, another brother) makes it likely that this Lewis was the son of Jacob and Barbara. A Barb. Bens was a Lutheran communicant at the reformed church on September 20, 1817, and again on Apr. 8, 1819. She was probably Barbara Kibler, the wife of Lewis Pence, son of Jacob. He moved to Champaign County in 1820, where he purchased the land of John Pence, son of Henry.

Henry Pence was born about 1740. He was granted 474 acres at the head of the Hawksbill in Frederick County on March 30, 1770. Henry and his children were part of a group of German settlers who were converted to the Baptist faith by Elder John Koontz and the Rev. Martin Kauffman Sr. Henry's children married children of these well-known ministers. The church they attended was Mill Creek.

He moved with his family and neighbors to Champaign County, Ohio over a period several years. According to The History of Champaign County, Ohio

Henry and Mary Pence settled in the township [Mad River] about 1805. Members of the Pence family who settled in Mad River Twp. were Benjamin, Isaac, Henry, Abram, John, Samuel and Reuben. . . The daughters were all settled in Mad River Twp. - Susannah, Annie, Elizabeth, Mary, Magdeline and Barbara. The parents of all these children were among the first families that settled here. Henry was born in 1740 and Mary Blimly, his wife, in 1746. They emigrated from Germany to America in their youth. Two of their children died in infancy and were not named. Consequently they were the parents of 19 children.

He bought land in Champaign County on December 31, 1805. Jacob and John Pence, Henry's sons, bought land in the county on November 4, 1805, and March 25, 1806.

Abraham Pence was the last of Henry's children to go to Champaign County. He went in 1811. He was born September 7. 1769 in Frederick County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth Mauck on February 11, 1791 in Shenandoah County, Virginia.

He was called out as a scout during the early Indian troubles and was stationed in what is now known as Logan County. He was a faithful member of the Baptist Church [Nettle Creek], and held the position of Deacon for many years.

He died in 1838 in Mad River Township, Champaign County and was buried in Nettle Creek Cemetery.

Abraham's daughter, Mary Pence Loudenback's daughter, Elizabeth Loudenback, married William Baker.

Henry's family was instrumental in establishing the Nettle Creek Baptist Church in Champaign County on land obtained from his son Henry. Many of the family is buried at the cemetery there.

Shenandoah County, Virginia was established in 1772. It was originally Dunmore County.

In 1831 Page County, Virginia was created from Rockingham and Shenandoah Counties. Originally it was part of Frederick County.

A land patent is an exclusive land grant made by the government. The certificate that grants the land rights is also called first-title deed and final certificate. In the United States, all land can be traced back to the original land patent.

Clark County, Ohio was formed March 1, 1817, from Champaign, Madison and Greene Counties. The first settlement was in 1796. The inhabitants of German Township were German Lutherans who came from Virginia.


The American Revolutionary War (17751783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.

Logan County, Ohio is just north of Champaign County..

Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.

Many settlers in the Shenandoah Valley were Germans from Pennsylvania called the "Shenandoah Deitsch."
American pioneers migrated west to settle areas not previously inhabited by European Americans.
The Homestead Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862. It gave an applicant 160 acres of undeveloped land outside of the original colonies. Anyone who had never taken up arms against the United States could file an application. They had to live on the land and make improvements to receive title.

The Reverend John Pence
Excerpts from Obituary

. . .Rev. John Pence (written originally Bentz), son of Henry Pence, and his wife Catharine, whose maiden name was Manger, was born in Rockingham County, Va., December 13th, 1799. He descended from Christian parents, his father being a member of the Lutheran Church, and his mother of the Reformed Church.

. . . conscious of the responsibility of the sacred office, he entered upon his pioneer work with zeal and devotion, and soon became "abundant in labors." His first field of labor was the Union charge within the present limits of Miami Classis, consisting of three congregations, namely, Frieden's (now Mt. Pisgah at Lawrenceville) in Clark Co., Salem in Champaign County, and Stillwater in Montgomery County. In the winter of 1824-25 he organized a new congregation near Hyattsville, in Miami County, known as Worman's, until in 1845 when it was called Emanuel's. These four congregations properly constituted the Union charge, though occasionally including one or two others for a few years, but his missionary operations extended to other points, which, in course of time, grew into congregations. Between 1830 and 1834 he commenced preaching in Shelby County north of Sidney, and has to travel forty miles every four weeks in going thither. In 1835 he began to serve the New Providence congregation, continuing his pastorate three years, and also had to travel forty miles every four weeks to meet his appointments. He also preached at some other points, and his labors ultimately extended over five counties. Thus, in connection with his regular charge, he operated a large mission field, and out of his charge in the broader sense, and on the territory he originally traveled and seeded, gradually grew the St. Paris, the Port Jefferson and the Salem charges.

His pastorate in the Union charge continued from 1824 to 1847, a period of about twenty-three years, and during the period, being full of vigor and energy, he achieved the best results of his ministry, as his reported statistics show, viz: Baptisms, 1,165; confirmations, 407; communions, 4,357; and funerals, 266.

In 1826, during his pastorate in the Union charge, he was appointed as the first missionary of the Ohio Synod, and during that and the three succeeding years, he made an exploring tour through southern Indiana, visiting different points, preaching the gospel to he destitute, administering the ordinance of baptism and the Lord's Supper, and imparting instruction, consolation and encouragement to the "scattered flock of Israel.". . .

He was married, June 7, 1827, at the residence of the bride's parents to Miss Margaret Jones, by Rev. David Winters; and in this union they had nine children, three sons and six daughters, of whom one son and three daughters preceded the father to the "world beyond"-- leaving as mourners a devoted wife, two sons, and three daughters, nineteen grand-children and seven great grand-children, together with a large circle of friends.

Soon after his marriage he secured a pleasant homestead, including ten acres of land, nearly two miles west of Tremont, Clark County, Ohio, and became permanently settled there, continuing to live there during the succeeding years of his long and eventful life, and having Tremont for his post-office (now called Tremont City).

Father Pence inherited a vigorous constitution, and with little exception enjoyed continuously good health, manifesting even after having passed the goal of "four score years" much of the vigor and spring of youth. Nor was he called at the last to endure a lengthened period of sickness and suffering. Twelve days previous to his final departure he preached a funeral sermon, and he was in the enjoyment of his usual health up to Saturday, April 16th, at 9 o'clock a.m., when he was suddenly taken with a heavy chill, assuming somewhat of a congestive nature with a slight tendency to pneumonia. He gradually grew weaker, without any pain or suffering, and on Wednesday morning, the 18th of April, 1883, at 7:30 o'clock, he calmly fell asleep in Jesus, aged 83 years, 4 months and 5 days.

The funeral occurred on Friday, April 20th. On a silver plate on the coffin lid, besides his name and date of death, was engraved this significant motto: "Rest in peace." His remains were conveyed from his late residence to the Mt. Pisgah Reformed Church at Lawrenceville (formerly Noblesville), a distance of about two and a half miles, where a large concourse of people assembled to manifest their respect for their aged pioneer father, and this sympathy with the bereaved family, as well as to unite in the solemnities of the occasion. . .

Rockingham County, Virginia was established in 1778 from Augusta County. European settlement began in the 1740s.
Shelby County, Ohio is in western Ohio and was formed in 1819 from Miami County.

Most Americans were farmers in the 18th and early 19th centuries.





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©Roberta Tuller 2017