Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Travel Tuesday: Lutztown Road

The Lutz line of my genealogy research used to be a huge brick wall for me. It was finally broken down after I was able to look through some things from my great-grandmother's old cedar chest, and then resources from local libraries helped me climb my way up the tree.

Here is my Lutz family tree: 

George Lutz b. 1772 m. Catherine Wolf b. 1777
    - Baltzer Lutz b. 1803 m. Nancy Eby b. 1803
        - Moses Lutz b. 1828 m. Nancy Ann Shafer b. 1833
            - Ervin Lutz n. Ida Slagle
                 - Earl Moses Lutz b. 1886 m. Alma Bertha Bruns
                      - Harold Lutz b. 1920 m. Virginia Bunce
                          - Robert Earl Lutz b. 1944 m. Jacqueline Ann Mulry

This past week we vacationed in upstate New York, and since it was the 4th of July weekend, we decided it would be neat to swing by Philadelphia to see where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Immediately the thought crossed my mind that we would be coming home to Indianapolis heading due west, and the Lutzes were from an area we would be driving through. A quick Google Maps search confirmed this and I headed straight to Findagrave.com to locate the cemetery where George and Catherine Wolf Lutz are buried. They lived in Churchtown, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and are buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery. I also knew from reading in an old county history book that the area where they lived and for three generations engaged in wagon and coachmaking was known as Lutztown. When we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the next road by the cemetery was called Lutztown Road. I was standing in the very area the Lutzes must have lived and worked.

We then took to the cemetery. It was a pretty large cemetery, across from a gas station, otherwise surrounded by cornfields. (I was also excited to discover it was very near to the Appalachian Trail.) For once it didn't take me long to find the graves I was looking for.

It was raining so I didn't stay long at their graves, but it was so neat to see them and feel the rough stone. George is the earliest Lutz ancestor I can trace. He was born around 1772 in Switzerland and came to America because of religious persecutions. He settled in Pennsylvania, eventually making his way to Cumberland County. He married Catherine Wolf, and they had nine children. Our ancestor is their son, Baltzer Lutz, who came to Muncie, Indiana, and his son Moses, who was a blacksmith in Muncie.

(To my Lutz relatives, I have much more information. Send me an email and I can send the rest to you. Let me know if you have any questions too! Someday I will turn this all into a book like I'm doing with the Mulry family.)

Long story short, if you ever find yourself traveling near an ancestral homeland, take the extra hour or two out of your day to visit. It's worth it.

History of Cumberland and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania.
Containing History of the Counties, Their Townships, Towns, Villages,
Schools, Churches, Industries, Etc.; Portraits of Early Settlers and
Prominent Men; Biographies; History of Pennsylvania; Statistical and
Miscellaneous Matter, Etc., Etc.  Illustrated.  Chicago: Warner, Beers
& Co., 1886.


  1. Baltzer Eby is the direct descendant of the Umpqua Community College Student, Jason Dale Johnson.