- Johann is often called John Casper. He is listed in the LDS file # AFN:93X1-SN
Johann was probably born in Germany. It is believed he may have arrived in Pennsylvania on Friday, May 3, 1752 on the ship "Queen of Denmark". This is not a proven fact as the passenger listed was named John Ohnsheild.
The problem with the spelling of many names probably arose from the translations from the German records or in the inability of the recorder to understand the accents of the parties involved. Many of these people spoke only broken English.
Johan Caspar "Hounshield" and Christina "Messerschmiedin" were married on April 13, 1757 by Rev. Pastor Friedrich Schultz in Conrad Yost's house. (Source: PENNSYLVANIA GERMAN CHURCH RECORDS by Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983, p.448)
In the Burg Lutheran Church baptismal records of both Mary's and Andrew's baptism, Johann is listed as John "Unschild". On another record of the same church believed to be for this same family, it is spelled "Unchild". This record, however, does not give the father's name or the name of the child being baptised. The birth date is given as May 20, 1759, which is too far off to have been that of Johann's son John, who was born Oct. 3, 1756. (Speculation: Could this have been another child as yet unknown? Possibly the Anna Maria "Polly" Elizabeth who is always confused with Mary Christina or if Polly and Mary, who was born June 6, 1762, are the same person, then who is this child? Was it a girl or a boy?)
Sometime between 1766 and 1769, Johann was one of 31 inhabitants of Reedy Creek, Augusta Co., VA who signed a petition addressed to the Worshipful Court of Augusta County asking that the roads to their lands be improved. This petition was undated but since Johann was in Pennsylvania for at least part of the year (by Andrew's baptismal record), it had to have been signed sometime after November 2, 1766 but before 1769 when Augusta Co. became Botetourt Co. (Source: CHRONICLES OF THE SCOTCH-IRISH SETTLEMENT IN VIRGINIA by Lyman Chalky, 1965)
In 1771, Johann appears on a list of tithables which was ordered by the Botetourt Co. Court to be taken by Walter Crockett from William Sayers (property) to the head of the Holston River. This list was to include Captain Doack's and Crockett's companies. He appears again in 1772 on the same list taken by Crockett for the same 2 companies in Botetourt Co. On these lists his name is spelled "Hownshell". In 1773, spelled "Ounshell", he is listed on Capt. Doack's list of tithables ordered by the newly formed Fincastle Co.as having 2 tithable persons. (Source: GLIMPSES OF WYTHE COUNTY, VIRGINIA by Mary Kegley, Vol. 2)
There is a John Hounshell mentioned as a Private in "A List of Robert Doack's Company of Militia" on June 2, 1774 but it is not certain if this was Johann or his son, John who would have only been 17 at the time. (Source: ANNALS OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, by L.P. Summers.)
There is also a John Ownshell listed on Aug. 30, 1780, as a member of Captain William Doack's Militia Co. but again it is not known if this was Johann or John. (Source: MILITIA OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, VIRGINIA 1777-1790, by Mary B. Kegley, 1975)
Johann was a farmer by trade and in 1774 had 247 acres of land surveyed which was granted to Leonard Straw. In 1798, he sold 113 acres of land to his son, Andrew for $500. The deed was witnessed by William Ward, Lewis Straw and Peter Ketts. This same land had been surveyed in 1753 by the Loyal Company but was not granted to John until 1791. The land was located on the south fork of Reed Creek and was called Rocky Springs. This 113 acres remained in Andrew's possession through 1806 according to tax records.
On August 11, 1810, the heirs of Johann Hounshell, named as John, Andrew, Martin Wyrick and his wife Mary, sold 113 acres to Lewis Kegley for the sum of $1.00 according to a deed found in the Wythe Co. Deeds, book 5, p. 298. It was also located on the South Fork of Reed Creek and Mr. Canfield thinks it was the same 113 acres.
Since all of the heirs made their "mark" (X) it is probable that they could not read or write English.
Provided by Jane Fairburn on the Hounchell Family Forum, GenForum.com:
The "Kimberling Church, Wythe Co, VA: Annotated Baptismal & Cemetery Records" by Hoch, Kegley & Smith lists the sponsors of Henry & Magealena (Magdalena?) Lambert's child, Johannes, as Johannes Haunshchell & his wife Christina Haunschelin, neighbors of the Lamberts & whose son Andrew had married Louisa, daughter of Henry Lambert.