David Mertz
Peter Mertz
Peter Martz, Jr.
Jonathan Martz
Simon Martz
Vandine Martz
Charles M. Martz
James V. Martz

Frederick Braun
Isaac Bubb
Adam Elliot
Following the death of my father, James V. Martz (1904 - 1973) I became more and more interested in my family history and heritage. From 1974 through 1993 I spent all of my spare time traveling to our ancestral locations in New York State and Pennsylvania, notably Northumberland County,  Pa., where several generations of my paternal lines had lived.  This was long before there was an Internet with its easy online access to census and newspaper files. Instead I spent days at a time in county courthouses, churches, the National Archives Branch in Philadelphia, libraries, historical societies and newspaper offices digging out everything I could find pertaining to my ancestors. In 1987 I compiled my notes into what I called "A Martz Family Almanac"  arranged chronologically from the arrival of Johan David and Veronica Märtz in 1733 to the present. I printed several copies to give to my immediate family and continued a little further until 1993 when I moved on to other projects. In 2016 Oakey Mertz contacted me about his research on the Martz/Mertz families and reawakened the sleeping dragon. The following pages comprise the entirety the "Martz Family Almanac" from the last draft of 1993, in what I hope is a better organization. They are arranged by person (see the list at left)  instead of the strictly chronological printed version which I now realize was difficult to follow with all the overlapping lives intermixed. The list at left is primarily paternal Martz/Mertz lines. Clearly there is more to come for the maternal lines.

A word about the spelling of this family line's surname. It is fairly consistently spelled "Mertz" with some variations up until the move from Longswamp, Berks County to Northumberland County. After that move, however, it is becomes less consistently "Mertz" and begins to favor "Martz" which has been the family name in this line since.

There are three criteria that (Biblical) scholars apply to their research generalized as follows:
1) The Criterion of Independent Attestation: Any event that is independently attested in multiple sources is more likely to be historically authentic than one found in only one source.

2) The Criterion of Dissimilarity: Any tradition that doesn't coincide with or that works against the vested interests of the person who preserved it is likely to be historically reliable.

3) The Criterion of Contextual Credibility: Any tradition that cannot be plausibly situated in historical context cannot be historically reliable.
Each entry includes the date of the event, a description of the event or text from the original document, source citation, and often my own commentary. In addition to events directly associated with the person of interest I have included other contemporary happenings such as unusual weather conditions and social observations in order to add some context.
Dick Martz, May, 2016     

"The topflight investigator becomes the person he hunts." -William Dear, The Dungeon Master

I am deeply indebted to Charlotte Darrah Walter and Jack Hetrick of the Northumberland County Historical Society; Fritz Reed, Register and Recorder of the Northumberland County Court; the staff of the Federal Archives Branch, Philadelphia; the staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Joseph Meiser for all of their assistance in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to the Honorable William Harvey Wiest for all those lunchtime conversations about our mutual ancestors and more recently, Oakey Mertz for reigniting my interest, and, of course, all those ancestors who contributed their DNA for making it possible for me to be here at all.  


Burgert, Annette Kunselman; Eighteenth Century Emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America, Picton Press, Camden Maine, 1992

Hinke, William J.; "Church Record of the Longswamp Reformed Church, Longswamp, Berks County, 1762 - 1810", manuscript, 1938

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