Sollenberger ~ Bentz Families
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All of our research papers on these families are in Adobe “pdf” formats, and can be downloaded.

Our Taylor ~ Graham family line is not related biologically by blood to the Bentz family. Our maternal Grandmother, Irene Mary Wrightstone-Klinger, was born to Edwin Underwood Wrightstone and Hattie Amelia Arnold. It was Hattie's mother, Anna (Annie) Mary Sollenberger, who married Tobias Bentz, who then became a step father to seven year old Hattie Arnold. Our Wrightstone ~ Arnold lineage dates back to the 18th century Colonial Pennsylvania.

Before we tell the brief story of Hattie having the Arnold name, we want to explain the Sollenberger ~ Bentz relationship.

Connecting the Sollenberger family with the Bentz family involves Tobias Bentz and his two wives who were from two different 1870 Sollenberger families of Northern York County Pennsylvania. One wife is related to Cyrus Sollenberger, and the other relates to Jacob M. Sollenberger.

Cyrus and Jacob are 3rd cousins, whose great-great grandfathers were brothers; Michael and Samuel, who were the sons of Ulrich Sollenberger (1717-1767) .

•    Michael Sollenberger (1745-1810), is our lineage through Jacob M. Sollenberger (1832-1899). Jacob's daughter, Anna Mary, is our great-great grandmother who was the 2nd wife of Tobias Bentz.

•    Samuel Sollenberger (1760-1811) is the lineage through Cyrus Sollenberger (1820-1904), and his daughter Alice Barbara was the 1st wife of Tobias Bentz.

Tobias Bentz married Alice Barbara Sollenberger about 1874 in York County Pennsylvania. [1]  Alice was born in 1855 to Cyrus Sollenberger and Martha Fortney while the family was living in Carroll Township York County Pennsylvania. [2]  Tobias and Alice lived in Monaghan Township York County Pennsylvania. Alice died June 2nd 1887 from complications with the birth of her son, William M. Bentz, who also died June 2nd 1887.

After Alice died Tobias hired Anna (Annie) Mary Sollenberger [3]  to help him around the house. Annie got pregnant, and on March 18th 1890 Tobias and Annie where married by Reverend Heisler.  [4] 

This is the brief story of how Hattie Amelia Arnold has the Arnold name.

Annie Sollenberger had a daughter to Luther H. Arnold, who was born in 1868 to John Arnold and Harriet Kinter. The Arnold family were friends and neighbors of the Sollenberger ~ Diller families. In 1867 these families became the founders and builders of the South Mountain Union Church, which was funded by Annie's grandfather, Samuel Diller, on a section of Samuel's farm. [5]  The heads of these families would eventually become the church's superintendents, clergyman, and trustees.

In 1877 John Arnold purchased a farm from Samuel Diller's son, also named Samuel C. Diller, [6]  who was moving to Michigan with his brother Cyrus.  [7]  Cyrus remained in Michigan, but Samuel returned in 1878 to farm in Franklin and Cumberland County.

In the fall of 1882, Annie and Luther were attending the church their families had built and attended. Luther also worked as a farm laborer on the Sollenberger and Diller farms. The family story is that Anna, who was 18, was raped by 15 year old Luther. This story may or may not be accurate, but you can read and organize the timeline within the case file, and form a different opinion. We think a marriage was still trying to be arranged, but given the religious undertow, Luther's age, and other circumstances unknown to us, there was no marriage.

On March 9th 1883 a warrant was issued for Luther H. Arnold, charging him with criminal connection with Annie between the 10th and 17th of September 1882, which resulted in her pregnancy. On March 10th 1883 Luther posted bail for $1000.00, but because he was a school boy, his father John also had to post a $1000.00 bail. The warrant also indicated a Justice of the Peace hearing to be held April 16th 1883, where nothing was resolved. On July 25th 1883, a York County charge against Luther was filed, court case #041, for the August 1883 court docket. [8]  The charge against Luther was fornication and bastardy. I the case testimony, Luther admitted to having forced fornication with Annie on September 12th 1882, which resulted in a bastard child. [9] 

That bastard child was our great-grandmother, Hattie Amelia Arnold, who was born June 7th 1883 in the Sollenberger home on present day South Mountain Road Dillsburg, Franklin Township York County Pennsylvania.

So, this is how we are not biologically related to Tobias Bentz, but we are to Luther H. Arnold, and his Arnold ~ Kinter lineage. Not only does our Kinter lineage come from Hattie Arnold, but through her daughter Irene Wrightstone, and her marriage to Edwin Klinger. Ed's mother is Emma Kinter, whose lineage is the same as Luther Arnold's mother, Harriet Kinter. Our connection with the Klinger ~ Kinter Families is yet another link in our strong German heritage

Michael Bentz (1830-1895)

Here's a paper on Michael Bentz (1830-1895).

Michael Bentz was born March 8th 1830 to Jacob Lau Bentz and Elizabeth Slothour. Michael married Susanna Heiges, who was born in 1835. Michael died March 13th 1895, and Susanna in 1925. They were both laid to rest at the Barrens Church, 232 Kralltown Road, York County Dillsburg Pennsylvania.

Michael's will, dated May 3rd 1887, indicated he had four children. Tobias and Erwin Bentz were named as Administrators. His daughters were Cordelia who was intermarried with John Hartman, and Bertha who was intermarried to George Firestone, who bought Michael's farm for $2000.00. Some researchers have mixed up Michael's marriage and his children. Michael's will contradict the other researchers.

Michael and Susanna Bentz had four children.

i.    Tobias Bentz was born December 5th 1853 to Michael Bentz and Susan Heiges in Warrington Township York County Pennsylvania. He had a confirmation on May 3rd 1884.

Tobias married Alice Barbara Sollenberger, who was born to in 1855 to Cyrus and Martha Sollenberger. Alice died June 2nd 1887, and Tobias married Anna (Annie) Mary Sollenberger on March 18th 1890. Anna was born November 22nd 1864 near Churchtown, Monroe Township Cumberland County Pennsylvania to Jacob M. Sollenberger and Mary Ann Diller.

ii.   Cordelia Bentz born about 1857, she married John Hartman and lived in Mechanicsburg.

iii.  Ervin Heiges Bentz was born 1858 to Michael Bentz and Susanna Heiges in Warrington Township York County Pennsylvania. Ervin married Louise Hershey on March 10th 1881. She was born March 28th 1858 to Edward Hershey and Sara Detter.

iv.   Bertha Albertis Bentz was born April 9th 1865, and married George M. Firestone of Mount Airy area of Monaghan Township on August 22nd 1882.

Tobias Bentz (1853-1934)

Here's a paper on Tobias Bentz (1853-1934). We have many photos of Tobias and his family. Here's one photo of Tobias's family with his wife Annie Sollenberger taken 1905.

•     Our grandmother, Annie Sollenberger's grand-daughter, wrote on the back. Front Row Left to Right: Tobias and Anna's first daughter Nettie; Tobias and Anna Bentz; Back Row Left to Right: Tobias and his first wife's children: Gertrude (Gertie); Albert; and Laura

Tobias Bentz was born December 5th 1853 to Michael Bentz and Susan Heiges in Warrington Township York County Pennsylvania. He had a confirmation on May 3rd 1884.

Tobias married Alice B. Sollenberger about 1874 in York County Pennsylvania. Alice Barbara Sollenberger was born 1855 to Cyrus Sollenberger and Martha Fortney in Carroll Township York County Pennsylvania. Tobias and Alice lived in Monaghan Township York County Pennsylvania. Alice died June 2nd 1887 resulting from the birth of her son, William Michael Bentz, who also died June 2nd 1887.

After Alice died Tobias hired Anna (Annie) Mary Sollenberger to help him around the house. Annie got pregnant, and on March 18th 1890 Tobias and Annie where married by Reverend Heisler. Anna was born November 22nd 1864 near Churchtown, Monroe Township Cumberland County Pennsylvania to Jacob M. Sollenberger and Mary Ann Diller.

For a time Tobias and Anna lived in Warrington Township York County. By 1915 the family moved to 518 Forrest Street in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, where Tobias worked as a Stable Boss for the local Coal Company.

On March 25th 1920 Anna was visiting her daughter Hattie and her new born baby at the Wrightstone farm in New Cumberland. Anna returned home on the local Trolley, and later that evening Anna Mary Sollenberger died at age 54 of heart failure. She was laid to with Tobias's 1st wife and children at the Barrens Lutheran Church and Cemetery, Warrington Township York County Pennsylvania.

After Anna died, Tobias began working as a janitor for the local school, and Anna's sister, Julia Sollenberger, moved in with Tobias. Both Tobias and Julia would continue to live at 518 Forrest Street in Harrisburg, when Tobias went to visit his daughter in Kralltown York County. While visiting Tobias was suddenly stricken Friday afternoon at his daughter's home in Kralltown, and died of cerebral apoplexy the next day, July 14th 1934, without regaining consciousness. Tobias was 80 years, 7 months, and 9 days old when he died. He was laid to rest with his family at Barrens Lutheran Church and Cemetery, Warrington Township York County.

•    "Tobias was a well known retired farmer of Kralltown. He had been visiting with a friend Cornelius Krall, a local blacksmith. He then left for home, and stopped across the street from his daughter's home, to talk to her neighbor, Daniel Wonders. After a brief conversation, Tobias said, "I must go home as we're going to Dillsburg tonight to hear the Loysville Orphans' Band." His grandson was a member of the band.

As Tobias crossed the street, he fell to the ground. He was carried to his daughter's home, and Dr. H. B. Hetrick of Wellsville was summoned. Tobias was a son of the late Michael and Susan Bentz, of near Wellsville, and was the first of the four children to die.
Tobias leaves a brother and two sisters, all of whom are past the three score and ten year mark. Surviving are four daughters; Mrs. Joseph Smith at whose home death occurred; Mrs. Roy (Nettie) Firestone, Mechanicsburg; Mrs. Harry (Gertrude) Burgard, Dillsburg R. D.; and Mrs. Samuel (Margaret) Sweigert, New Cumberland; one son Albert Bentz, Homestead; seven grandchildren; a brother, Ervin H. Bentz, Dillsburg; two sisters, Mrs. Bertha Firestone, Dillsburg, and Mrs. Cordella Hartman, Mechanicsburg.

Funeral services were at the home Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock with further services at 2:30 o'clock in Barrens Lutheran Church. Reverend J. O. Weigle, pastor of the Mechanicsburg Church of God, assisted by the Reverend George A. Livingston of the Dillsburg Lutheran church, will officiate. Burial will be in the cemetery adjoining the church."

Tobias Bentz and Alice B. Sollenberger had five children.

i.    Berta A. Bentz was born 1875 and died in 1878.

ii.   Albert Earl Bentz (1878-19)

iii.  Gertrude V. Bentz was born March 1881. She was 21 years old when she married 27 year old Harry Jacob Burgard on June 25th 1903 in Dillsburg York County Pennsylvania. Harry was born April 1875 to John and Mary Burgard.

Gertie and Harry lived at the Burgard home on the Mountain Road area of Monaghan Township York County Pennsylvania. Harry and Gertie were laid to rest in the Fileys Church Cemetery, near Siddonsburg and Dillsburg Pennsylvania. Harry and Gertie Burgard's children were:

a.  Robert Lee Burgard was born on June 14th 1903. He died in 1979, and was laid to rest next to his parents at Fileys Church Cemetery.

b.  Evelyn M Burgard was born May 12th 1904. Evelyn married Paul Myers, and they had two boys.

c.  Clair B. Burgard was born November 28th 1906. He died in 1984, and was laid to rest next to his parents at Fileys Church Cemetery.

d.  Laura V. Bentz was born October 1879. She married Joseph H. Smith April 19th 1898. They made their application for marriage on April 19th 1898. Their children are: Verna A. Smith was born October 1897; Ida J. Smith was born 1903; Child that had died; Romaine G. Smith was born 1908. Joseph and Laura lived on Mine Bank Road and Wellsville Road Washington Township York County Pennsylvania. In 1930 they lived in Kralltown; this is where Tobias died while visiting in 1934.

e.  William Michael Bentz was born and died June 2nd 1887.

Tobias Bentz and Annie Sollenberger had two children.

vi.   Nettie A. Bentz was born September 4th 1890. Here's a photo of Nettie as a teenager. Nettie married Roy Henry Firestone on March 29th 1908. They made their application for marriage on March 24th 1908. Roy was born April 6th 1888 in Dillsburg York County Pennsylvania to Jacob A. and Addie M. Firestone. Jacob and Addie married in 1883.

Nettie and Roy lived with Roy's parents on Stevenstown Road Carroll Township York County Pennsylvania. Nettie and Roy were laid to rest in the Mechanicsburg Cemetery.

Roy and Nettie Firestone's children were:
a.  Gertrude E. Firestone was born October 28th 1908, and at age 20 in 1929 she married John W. Neff. John was 32 years old and was born in 1897. At that time Gertrude and John lived with her parents Roy and Nettie Firestone in Upper Allen Township Cumberland County Pennsylvania.

Gertrude had been employed at the former Grantham Sewing Factory; was a cook at several restaurants in the Mechanicsburg area; and was a member of Shepherdstown United Methodist Church and the Marine Corps League Auxiliary.

She was 86 years old when she died Tuesday December 27th 1994 died Tuesday at the Holy Spirit Hospital. She was living at Bethany Towers, Lower Allen Township Cumberland County Pennsylvania. Gertrude was laid to rest next to her husband in the Mechanicsburg cemetery in Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania.

Gertrude and John Neff had two daughters: Shirley Albright of San Antonio, Texas, and Judy Miller of Shermans Dale.

vii.  Margaret L. Bentz was born on August 15th 1905. Here's a photo of Maragret as a young girl. Margaret married Samuel Henry Sweigert Jr. August 30th 1929 in Harrisburg Dauphin County Pennsylvania. Samuel was born May 13th 1908 to Samuel H. Sweigert Sr. and Emma M. Nicholson. Samuel died July 18th 1981. Margaret was 95 years old when she died December 2nd 2000 while living in Carlisle Pennsylvania. She and Samuel were laid to rest in the St Johns Church Cemetery in Hampden Township Cumberland County Pennsylvania.

Albert Earl Bentz (1877-19)

Albert Earl Bentz was born September 28th 1877 to Tobias Bentz and Alice Sollenberger. He was baptized March 19th 1893 at Barrens Lutheran Church.

In 1900 Albert was living with his Uncle Christian F. Sollenberger and his wife Emma at 170 North Street Harrisburg Pennsylvania. Christian was an older brother of Albert's mother, Alice Barbara Sollenberger. At the time Christian was a commercial trader of dry goods, and Albert was a piano salesman.

Albert married Hettie A. Culbertson in 1907. This was Hettie's second marriage. She was born Novemebr 28th 1881 in Pennsylvania. Albert and Hettie lived in Homestead Allegheny County Pennsylvania. We have a decorative cardboard framed photo of Albert wearing what appears to be a Knights of Columbus outfit. The frame of the photo is marked Homestead PA. Here's another photo of Albert taken in Harrisburg Pennsylvania.

In 1910 Albert, Hettie, and their son Clair lived in Homestead Park, Mifflin Township Allegheny County Pennsylvania. Albert is a motorman on a street car. In 1920 they lived in R.D. #1 Homestead, Mifflin Township, and Albert was a conductor and assistant superintendent for Homestead and Mifflin Railway.

By 1930 Albert, Hettie, and Clair lived on Main Street in the borough of Munhall Mifflin Township Allegheny County Pennsylvania. At that time Albert was a dispatcher for the street cars out of the car barn.

Albert was listed in the 1939-1940 Homestead Borough Directory, but he was not in the 1941 directory. In 1939-40 directories Albert and Hettie lived at 4000 Main Street. He was listed as a dispatcher for the electric railway, and would have been 63 year s old. Hettie would have been 58 years old. We lost them after that.

Albert died July 16th 1941, and Hettie died December 26th 1956. They were both laid to rest in Plot Section G29 Oak Knoll Lot 439 and Section G41 John the Baptist, Lot 327 in the Jefferson Memorial Park cemetery located in Pleasant Hills, Allegheny County Pennsylvania.

Albert and Hettie had one child.

i.    Clair Culbertson Bentz was born May 2nd 1908. There is a newspaper article; Big Damage Suit involving Clair Bentz of Munhall Pennsylvania. From Pittsburg Common Pleas Court, W. Roy Wilson and his wife were seeking $50,000 in damages for the death of their son, Wilbert R. Wilson, 28 years old from Munhall Pennsylvania. Clair Bentz is named as the defendant in the suit. In August 1931, Wilson was a passenger in the car driven by Clair, when it hit a tree on Clairton Road, and Wilson was killed. Clair was laid to rest next to his parents in Plot Section G29 Oak Knoll Lot 439 and Section G41 John the Baptist, Lot 327 in the Jefferson Memorial Park cemetery located in Pleasant Hills, Allegheny County Pennsylvania.

End Notes

[1.] Alice Barbara Sollenberger: Some researchers believed that Alice B. Sollenberger is the sister of Tobias's 2nd wife, Anna Marry Sollenberger. This is inaccurate; Anna's sister is Alice Susan Sollenberger who married Calvin Knaub in 1890. This information came from two sources: Christian and Catherine Sollenberger Shultz Family Bible; and the biography of Jacob M. Sollenberger (1832-1899), Taylor ~ Graham Library, 479 County Line Road, York Springs PA, 17372.

[2.]  Alice Barbara Sollenberger Name and Family: A number of sources were used to determine her name.

a.  Alice B. is identified on the Tobias Bentz family headstone located at the Barrens Lutheran Church and Cemetery, Warrington Township York County Pennsylvania.

b.  The 1900 Christian Sollenberger Federal Census Record for Harrisburg Dauphin County cited in the bibliography, identified Tobias's son Albert A. Bentz as a nephew to Christian and Emma Sollenberger. Also living with Christian and Emma was a niece, Alice A. Hildebrandt, who was single.

c.  In 1870 Christian is living with his parents Cyrus and Martha Sollenberger in Carroll Township York County Pennsylvania, and Alice is living in York Pennsylvania with John and Magdalena King.

d.  In 1860 Christian Sollenberger and his sister Barbara were living with Cyrus and Martha Sollenberger of Carroll Township York County Pennsylvania.

e.  Cyrus Sollenberger is not directly related to Tobias's 2nd wife's family; Jacob M. Sollenberger and his lineage to John Sollenberger (1771-1855) and Barbara Yockey (1775-1836). However, Cyrus and Jacob are 3rd cousins, whose grandfather's were borthers of Ulrich Sollenebrger.

[3.] Anna Sollenberger: Anna is not directly related to Tobias's 1st wife, Alice B. Sollenberger.

[4.] Tobias Bentz and Anna Sollenberger Marriage: Marriages (1885-1929), Application #3361, License Book I, Page 166, York County Archives, 150 Pleasant Acres Road, York, PA 17402; Bentz Marriages, Taylor ~ Graham Families, Boog Graham Library, 479 County Line Road, York Springs PA, 17372

[5.] Samuel Diller Church and Details: Page 663 The Churches, Churches, Area History, Franklin Township York County Pennsylvania, History of York County, Pennsylvania. John Gibson, Historical Editor, Chicago: F. A. Battey Publishing Co., 1886; Taylor ~ Graham Library, 479 County Line Road, York Springs PA, 17372

[6.] Samuel C. Diller and his son Samuel C. Diller: This was a father and son, who both where clergyman. The son, then moved to Michigan, but later returned to Monroe Township Cumberland County Pennsylvania.

[7.] John Arnold 1877 Land Purchase from Samuel C. Diller: Rev. S. Diller and Samuel C. Diller, Page 109, The Biographical History of York County, edited by John Gibson, Originally Published as Part II of History of York County Pennsylvania, Chicago 1886; Taylor ~ Graham Library, 479 County Line Road, York Springs PA, 17372

[8.] Annie Sollenberger Charge: Clerk of Courts Quarter Session Dockets (1877-1949), case #041, Docket IR, Page 232, York County Archives, 150 Pleasant Acres Road, York, PA 17402; Taylor ~ Graham Library, 479 County Line Road, York Springs Pennsylvania, 17372.

[9.] Fornication and Bastardy involves an illicit carnal connection, and is called by different names according to the situation that occurred, and in which it would be applied in the suit. If the suit is without facts and is aggravated by the plaintiff it, it is simply fornication. When it causes the birth of an illegitimate child, it is fornication and bastardy.

Bibliography

1. Page 39, Descendents of John Sollenberger, Born 1771 – Died 1855, Six Generations, Compiled by D. L. Sollenberger, Shamokin Pa., 1921, as written by the families of John Sollenberger.

2. Michael W. Lau's volume "Bentz Families (Includes Pentz Families) of York County, Pennsylvania And Surrounding Areas", (October 1998) Bentz Families (Includes Pentz Families) of York County, Pennsylvania And Surrounding Areas", (October 1998), York County Heritage Trust, 250 East Market Street, York, PA 17403.

3. 1870 Michael Bentz Census: Warrington, York, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1470; Page: 398B; Image: 84; Family History Library Film: 55296, 1870 United States Federal Census, Provo, UT, USA; Original data: 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.; Minnesota census schedules for 1870. NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

4. 1880 Michael Bentz Census: Warrington, York, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1206; Family History Film: 1255206; Page: 257A; Enumeration District: 5;1880 United States Federal Census, Provo, UT, USA; Original data: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

5. 1880 Tobias Bentz Census: Monaghan, York, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1205; Family History Film: 1255205; Page: 211A; Enumeration District: 2; 1880 United States Federal Census, Provo, UT, USA; Original data: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

6. 1910 Ervin H. Bentz Census: Warrington, York, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1434; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 102; Image: 856; 1910 United States Federal Census, Provo, UT, USA; Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.