Thrash Elizabeth Brady
ADDENDUM - Thrash Origins:
Recent research by Robert M. Brady and Howard Brady has confirmed Elizabeth Brady’s conclusion that our Thrash family has the same origins as the Thrush family of southeastern Pennsylvania and of Hampshire and Mineral Counties in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. The original German name was, variably, Dreish, Freish, or Reisch. All three were used, but apparently they were all the same family. (One of the early things you learn when doing family research is that consistent spelling of names is rare.)
Two sources say the family immigrated from Switzerland, but other records have the family immigrating from Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany in 1750. (Darmstadt is a few miles south of Frankfurt). It is probable that the family originated in Switzerland, but then moved to Darmstadt, before emigrating to America.
They were almost certainly Mennonites or related anabaptist Protestants. These people left Switzerland to escape religious persecution, and settled in the upper Rhine valley in Germany. After a generation or so, the Catholic princes of these German states also began persecuting them, and many emigrated to Pennsylvania in the middle 1700’s, including ancestors of the Amish and other “Pennsylvania Dutch.”
The genealogy records of Mary L. Thrush Markley (written in 1944) were posted on the web by a Donald Thrush, now deceased, at:
This record indicates that five adults immigrated from Darmstadt to America in 1750, arriving at the port in Philadelphia. Dates are for immigrant qualification by pledging oath of allegiance to the British crown:
J. J. O. Dreish Aug. 15, 1750
J. Jacob Freisch Aug. 24, 1750
J. Leon Reisch Aug. 24, 1750
Joh. Conrad Reisch Aug. 31, 1750
Jacob Frasch Sept. 29, 1750
Apparently, in spite of the variable spelling, these people were closely related, and the name “Thrush” was soon adopted. Tradition states that they were cousins and brothers. J. Jacob Freish became Jacob Thrush in subsequent records, and J. Leon Reisch became Leonard Thrush. Apparently Jacob (b. 1712) was the father of Leonard (b. 1733). Leonard was old enough at the time of emigration to take the oath of allegiance; the other children of John Jacob were not. Jacob and his son Leonard settled in the Cumberland Valley.
Based on information submitted by Donald Thrush, a tree posted at:
for this family includes a John Thrush II:
JOH. JACOB (FREISCH) THRUSH b: 1712
2 LEONARD (FREISCH) THRUSH b: 1733
2 JACOB (FREISCH) THRUSH b: 1742
2 PETER (FREISCH) THRUSH b: 1745
2 RICHARD (FREISCH) THRUSH
2 JOHN (FREISCH) THRUSH II
+ MARGRET MILLER
3 SUSAN THRUSH
+ JOHN GREENFIELD
3 MICHAEL THRUSH b: 1798 d: 18 APR 1859
+ CATHRINE UMSTOTT
3 RICHARD THRUSH b: 28 SEP 1800 d: 5 MAY 1887
+ FRANCIS ROGERS b: 26 OCT 1810 d: 5 MAY 1868
3 MARGRET THRUSH b. 1807 d 1889
Although this tree does not include John III, it overlaps and confirms the records given by Elizabeth T. Brady in Kinfolk. Both sources state that John II married Margret/Margaret Miller, and web references and our documents confirm that she came from Philadelphia. Other sources indicate that John II was born in 1768 in Lancaster, PA; Margaret Miller was born in 1774, and they were married in 1795 in Lancaster. Records indicate that John II died in 1848. If the combined information from two sources is correct, John II/Margaret had the following children:
Susan (m. Greenfield) [ed. Greenwalt?]
Michael b. 1798 m. Catherine Umstott b.1802
Richard b. 1800 m. Francis Rogers
John III b. 1802 in Lancaster Co. , m. Rachel Umstott b. 1808
Mary Ann b. 1805 in Rockingham Co. Va., m. Staggs
Margret b. 1807 in Hampshire Co. Va., m. George Bane
(Another reference, given later, also lists a Nancy Catherine born in 1812.) Note that the places and dates of birth of the children confirm the moves of John II given in Kinfolk. Although the information from Donald Thrush does not include John III, the census records for Hampshire County in 1830 indicate no people named Thrush, but four Thrash Households, headed by:
John Thrash Jr.
This same Hampshire census also shows five families with the last name of Umpstott, which provided spouses for Michael (Catherine) and John (Rachel). Kinfolk states that Samuel Umstott was Rachel’s father, but other sources indicate that Samuel was Rachel’s brother, and that their father was Jacob. Samuel was born in 1799, and Rachel was born in 1808. This is somewhat confirmed by the recorded family tree at: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mdmalone/Surname%20Pages/umstot.htm.
This family name is spelled in many different ways, such as “Umstadt” in the 1840 census. Additional variants are given in Kinfolk.
The section of Hampshire County where these families lived later became Mineral County, WV. It is unfortunate that U.S. census records include only the name of the head of each family before 1850.
We are confident that John Thrash (Sr.) in the Hampshire 1830 census is the same as John Thrush II, in both the Thrush family records and in Kinfolk, and, of course, John Jr. is the same person as we’ve been identifying as John III.
In the 1840 Census of Hampshire County, the first three Thrash households are still present, but John Jr. is missing. However, a John Thrash does show up in the Harrison County census in 1840, We are certain that this is the same person as John Jr. in the 1830 Hampshire census. Apparently he was living in a section that was split from Harrison County in 1843 to form the western part of Barbour County. In the 1850 Barbour census, John Thrash is listed with his wife Rachel and children with names that match our family records, as given in Kinfolk.
A major problem in these early records is conflict in the assumptions about the parentage of John II. Kinfolk sources list the children of John I as:
Barney [prob. Barnabas]
Daughter [Susan?] (m. Greenwalt)
Daughter (m. Fry)
Daughter (m. Andrew Foor)
John II was said to be the youngest son, and the only son born in America. The record suggests that John I emigrated to America with three sons, and the daughters were also born in America. However, this list of siblings does not match the information given by Donald Thrush for sons of John Jacob Thrush (i.e. Leonard 1733, Jacob 1742, Peter 1745, Richard and John.)
(Incidentally, the Thrush family records suggest that “Andrew Foor” should be listed as “Foose,” )
Another listing of persons named John Thrush is at:
The 1768 birth date of John II fits reasonably with the birth dates of his children (1798-1812). The place and date of his death also are supported by census records, i.e. he appears in the 1840 census of Hampshire County, but not in the 1850 census.
However, if John II is the child of John Jacob Thrush 1712, then John Jacob I would have been about 56 years old at the time of John II’s birth. However, the age gap, in combination with reduces the odds that John 1768 is the son of John Jacob 1712.
Some further light is thrown on this by another section of the Thrush genealogy records, p. 29-30:
John Thrush, son of [John] Jacob Thrush, the immigrant, probably born in America. He was paying tax on 212 acres of land in Hamilton Township, Cumb. Co. in 1780 (S V, Vol. VI, P 313).
John Thrush was a private 1st class in 1781 in Captain Patrick Jack’s Company 6 of the 4th Batt., commanded by Lieut. Col. Samuel Culbertson…
This virtually rules out the 1768 birth date for the immigrant’s son, since he couldn’t have been a tax-paying landowner at the age of 12, or a soldier at 13. However, a birth date for this John Thrush shortly after the immigrants’ arrival in 1750 would be consistent with this listing. Conclusion: John Thrush/Thrash 1768, our ancestor, is not the same person as the John who is the youngest son of the immigrant John Jacob Dreisch/Thrush. The son of the immigrant was born in 1750 or shortly thereafter.
Several given names are used repeatedly within the family, which can be very confusing for researchers. For example, Leonard 1733 has children named Barnabas, Richard, Martin, and Susannah, which fits, more or less, with Elizabeth’s list of John II’s siblings. However, Leonard’s children also include David, Peter, Cathrine, Rosanna, Jacob and Leonard (II). Leonard II, who was apparently the youngest, was born in 1760. And no child named John or Johannes is listed in the rather exhaustive records for Leonard 1733.
The frequent use of the same given names (e.g. Richard, Michael, Barnabas, Martin, Jacob, Catherine, Susan/Susannah), in both our and Donald Thrush’s records confirms that we are, beyond any doubt, related to one of the families that emigrated in 1750. Within the genealogy given by Donald Thrush, there are also marriage links to the Fry and Umstott families, which are also mentioned in Kinfolk.
However, the mismatch in the two siblings lists and other records indicate that there are definite errors in the genealogy given by the Thrush family, and likely errors in that given by Elizabeth.
In addition, if we were to assume Donald’s records are correct, we must throw out Elizabeth’s list of siblings for John II. Since this list has several given names that show up repeatedly in the Thrush genealogy given by Donald, it is likely to be valid.
The extensive records of Donald Thrush deal primarily with the descendants of Leonard Thrush 1733, and Peter Thrush 1791, and they seem to be complete. We apparently are not descended in either of these lines. That leaves other possibilities:
John II 1768 may be the child of one of the other original five immigrants, possibly either J. J. O. Dreish, or Joh. Conrad Reisch, if we assume that the John Thrush who married Margaret Miller had a father also named John, making him John Thrush II. (The Thrush records say “There is a family tradition in the line of Leonard Thrush that five adults of the name Dreisch came to America at or about the same time. The exact relationship of these five is not well established, but they are supposed to have been brothers and cousins. Two of these, it is said, settled in the Cumberland Valley, one in Baltimore, and as to the other two, tradition is indefinite.”) Judging from the records I’ve reviewed, I consider it likely that all of the Cumberland Valley Thrushes are descendants of John Jacob Dreisch, so connections to the other immigrants is unlikely.
Possibly John 1768 was the grandson of John Jacob Thrush (immigrant) through his son John, born on or after 1750. Early marriage and close-spaced generations were common, but this seems a bit too close.
Or John II 1768 may a grandchild of John Jacob, either through Jacob 1742, Peter 1745 or Richard (birth year not known). I consider this by far the most likely possibility. The Thrush family records referred to above state that they make no attempt to trace descendants of these three children of immigrant John Jacob Dreisch/Thrush.
Revised June 6, 2005
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