Dietz, Johannes

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Johannes Dietz marker 1781


Johannes Dietz was born in Vielbach, Parish of Nordhofen, Westerwald (now Rheinland-Pflaz, Germany), son of Johann Peter Dietz and Anna Eva Becker. He was baptized 12 Sep. 1717 at the Nordhofen Parish Church.


Johannes immigrated with his widowed mother and siblings about 1730. The family first settled in Greene County (created 1800 from Albany and Ulster Counties). Johannes and his family moved to the Switzkill Valley in 1752 and began to farm lot 476 on the 1787 Van Rensselear Survey Map.


Johannes was a farmer.

Marriage & Children

Johannes married Anna Maria Oberbach 26 Dec. 1742 in the Katsbaan Reformed Church, Saugerties, Ulster Co., NY. Anna Maria was the daughter of Peter Oberbach and Elizabeth Stein. The Oberbach family was from Zurbach, Westerwald, near the Vielbach where the Dietz family originated. (After Anna Maria's mother Elizabeth Stein died, her father Peter Oberbach married Johannes' widowed mother Anna Eva Becker Dietz.)

Children of Joannes and Anna Maria were:

  • Peter Deitz, was baptized in 1743 at Zion Lutheran Church,Athens (Loonenburg), Green, NY. He was born 26 Aug 1743 at Kisketom, Green, NY . He died before 4 Mar 1780. He was a Captain. He began military service in 1767. He began military service circa 1776.
  • Elisabetha Deitz was born in 1745 at Green, NY. She was baptized on 12 Dec 1745 at Zion Lutheran Church, Loonenburg (Athens), Green, NY. She married George Ball, son of Peter Ball and (Anna) Margaretha (-?-), on 21 )ct 1763 at Dutch Reformed Church, Schoharie, Albany (now Schoharie), NY. She died at presumably, Grimsby Twp., Ontario, Canada. She died after 1778.
  • William Deitz b. 1747 was baptized on 8 Nov 1747 at Reformed Church, Germantown, Columbia, NY. He married Maria Magdalena Cregeler circa 1772. He died in captivity circa Oct 1781 at Ft. Nigara, NY. He began military service in 1767. He was (an unknown value). He was a Captain when he was captured by Indians and his family and parents were massacred on 1 Sept 1781 at Switzkill Valley, Beaver Dam (now Berne), Albany, NY.
  • Jacobus (James) Deitz was born on 16 Feb 1751 at Green, NY. He married Anna Elizabeth Ecker, dau of Peter Ecker and Marie Elizabeth Rickert, on 3 Apr 1781 at Schoharie Lutheran Church, Schoharie, Schoharie (then Albany)County, NY. He died on Feb 1825 at Otsego, NY, at age 73. He was buried after 13 Feb 1825 at Cooperstown Junction Cemetery, Cooperstown Junction, Otsego, NY. He began military service circa 1780. He took over the operation of his massacred father's farm in Sept 1781. He lived in 1787 at Switzkill Valley, Beaver Dam (now Berne), Albany, NY. He ended military service in 1790 at Tyron, NY. He appeared on the census of 1790 at Albany, NY. He erected log buildings and selected a very desirable situation. He soon erected a double lof house and commenced to keep a tavern, the first on the east side of the river in town. Alout 1802 he erected a new two story framed house which he painted red. It was one of the most conspicuous public houses in the country before 1800 at Schenevus, Otsego County, NY. He painted a picture of the Dietz Massacre from his view of the scene the day after. He grew up on that farm and knew the buildings and grounds.
  • John Michael Deitz. was born on 10 Mar 1754 at Beaver Dam (now Berne), Albany, NY.


About 1752 the family moved to Beaver Dam, where most of his siblings had previously settled. He homesteaded Lot 476 at the south end of the Switzkill Valley.


Johannes Dietz and his wife Anna Maria were massacred by Indians led by a British soldier on 1 Sept. 1781. Living with them at the time were his son, Capt. William Deitz and his wife and four young children. The family of Capt. Deitz were massacred and scalped before his eyes. Capt. Dietz and two young Brice boys from Rennselaerville who were staying with the family were made prisoners and taken to western New York. Capt. Dietz died shortly thereafter as a prisoner in Fort Niagara. Johannes Dietz was a member of the Committee of Safety during the Revolution.

Sources The Dietz Massacre