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John W. Lutz/Groll

Orange Beads
22 November 1839
Neckarweihingen, Württemberg, Germany
Son of:
Gottlieb GROLL and Karolina ECKSTEIN
Rosa Schübel or Schiebel/Schivel in America
4 February 1874
Lebanon, Lebanon Co., PA
18 August 1919
Lebanon, Lebanon Co., PA
21 August 1919
Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Lebanon, PA
58th New York Infantry, Co. H


As of October 2005, I seem to have solved the mystery regarding this ancestor. I received a very good clue, thanks to Volume 8 of the Wuerttemberg Emigration Index, as found on Ancestry. Volume 8 listed a Johannes GROLL coming to America in May 1863, and born 2 November 1839 in Neckarweihingen, Wuerttemberg. Given how close this is to the actual birth date of John (22 November 1839), I knew I had to take a look at the microfilm of Neckarweihingen, as found in the LDS Family Search Library Catalog at the LDS Family Search Site. I am very glad I ordered this microfilm from our local LDS Family History Center. The actual church records give this Johannes GROLL born on 22! November 1839. (It always pays to check the original source!) He is the illegitimate son of Gottlieb GROLL, a soldier and mason from Möglingen, about 5 miles away from Neckarweihingen, and Karolina ECKSTEIN of Neckarweihingen. In April 1843, Karolina married for the first time, to Johannes LUZ/LUTZ! Thus, Johannes/John GROLL would be the son of Gottlieb GROLL and the step-son of Johannes LUZ. I have been researching the church records of Möglingen, now, and am having difficulty finding much on the GROLL/KROLL family in these church records. (In the records of Möglingen, the family is recorded as KROLL. Gottlieb's parents are Jakob Friederich KROLL and Margaretha HÖGER, and supposedly Jakob Friederich's father, Jakob KROLL is from Möglingen, but I am not finding his marriage record or the baptism of Jakob Friederich. Since writing this, I have now found that the family's origins are Beihingen, Württemberg, Germany and Jacob/Jakob Friederich was baptized 25 February 1769 Beihingen. (born 24 February 1769) Jacob Friederich KROLL is the son of Johann Jacob KROLL and Catharina Rosina BOMMERLY. In one of the Familienregister notations, it stated that Jacob Friederich KROLL was born Beihingen. Johann Jacob's parents are Johann Jacob KROLL and Dorothea WALTHERS. In turn, Johann Jacob's parents are Hans Jerg KROLL and Anna Maria KROLL. Hans Jerg's parents were Albrecht and Maria KROLL and in turn, Albrecht's parents were Albrecht KROLL the elder, and Maria.. The roots of this KROLL/GROLL family definitely seem to be Beihingen. Anyone with interest in this family, please contact me at DRistenbatt@dejazzd.com.)

John W. Lutz/Groll is the great great grandfather of David Ristenbatt. For the longest time, this ancestor was one of the "puzzles" in David's ancestry. The reason? - He went by two different names at the same time! He entered the military service as Johannes (John) Groll,(American War Between the States) applied for citizenship in 1865 in New York City as John Groll, got married as John Lutz, appeared on the 1880, 1900 and 1910 US Federal Censuses as John Lutz, received his pension under the name Johannes Groll while living at the exact same address as John Lutz, and is buried in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Lebanon, PA as John Lutz, with his Civil War Regiment engraved on his gravestone! (same Regiment and Company as Johannes Groll) In addition, he was invited to the 1913 Gettysburg Reunion under the name Johannes Groll and his invitation was addressed to the place where John Lutz was living! He did make one "slip-up" on his Civil War pension application. When asked to list the names and birthdates of his children, he started to make an "L" for his children's last name, then changed the letter to a "G" and wrote Groll. The names and birthdates of the children match perfectly his children under the name John Lutz.

Over the years, my genealogical instincts were leaning towards this ancestor *originally* being Johannes GROLL, not John LUTZ, as far as his surname is concerned. (He could even have changed *that* name as well, having adopted the GROLL name as his "coming across the ocean" name.) The name change from GROLL to LUTZ seems to have occurred between 1865, when he applied for citizenship in New York City, and February 1874, when he married Rosa Shivel in Lebanon, PA. As of the above note, I found that my instincts were correct- He was baptized as Johannes GROLL in Neckarweihingen, Württemberg, Germany on 27 November 1839 in the Evangelische Church.

On 10 November 1865, he became a citizen in New York City under the name of John GROLL in the Court of Common Pleas for the city and county of New York. On 11 September 1897, however, the said applicant was given a duplicate of his citizenship paper- I am not sure why at this point, but it is clearly marked duplicate. At the time of his becoming a citizen, John GROLL was living at 37 Park Place, New York City. (Not Park Avenue, but Park Place.)

Also found among John LUTZ's possessions was a ticket issued by the Battle of Gettysburg Commission commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, issued from Harrisburg, PA, May 15, 1913. This ticket was issued to Johannes W. GROLL, who enlisted 12 February 1864, and was 74 years old, 5'2" and 120 lbs. The celebration was July 1-4, 1913. John's regiment was the 58th New York Volunteer Infantry, which was present at the Battle of Gettysburg, but since John did not enlist until February 1864, he would not have been present at this battle.

On the 1880 Federal US Population Census, one first finds John Groll, now listed as John LUTZ, living in the 2nd Ward of Lebanon, Lebanon County, PA with his wife Rose, and children Augustus (just Rose's child?), John, George and Michael. John's occupation is now given as brushmaker (Civil War Pension papers give his occupation as shoemaker.) and his birthplace erroneously as New York, whereas his parents' birthplace is given as Württemberg, but is crossed out and has Germany written over it. It is still readable as Württemberg, however.

On the 1890 Veterans census, John is listed as John LUTZ, living in North Lebanon Township, Lebanon County, PA. His regiment is not listed, but instead there is the notation that his discharge paper was burned in a building in New York. This could possibly be the reason why John had to get a duplicate of his citizenship paper, as referenced above. The 1900 Federal US Population finds John Lutz living in North Lebanon Twp., Lebanon County, PA with his wife, Rose, and younger children Paul, Caroline and Walter. This census erroneously gives Rose's immigration year as 1866, (It was actually 1860.) but no year is given for John Lutz. It does give John's birthdate as November 1839, the same date given on his Civil War pension papers under the name Johannes Groll. I have since found out the John GROLL immigrated to the United states in 1863.

The 1910 Federal US Population Census is the first one which finally gives John Lutz's birthplace as Germany and his immigration year as 1858. (It should be 1863.) It also states that he has been naturalized. Both the 1900 and the 1910 census give his occupation as labourer, and specifically with nuts and bolts on the 1900 census.

According to John's Civil War pension file, he was born 22 November 1839 in Germany. (As previously mentioned, one of the US Federal Population Censuses has his birthplace as New York and in another place in his pension file, his birthplace is erroneously given as New York.) I did not see how he could have applied for citizenship in 1865, however, if his birthplace were New York. Johannes Groll, alias John Lutz, served in the 58th NY Infantry Regiment, Co. H, and he lived in Brooklyn, NY, when enlisting before moving to Pennsylvania. He enrolled on 12 February 1864 in New York, and was honorably discharged at Governor's Island, NY, on 1 October 1865. (In another place in his pension file, it says he was discharged in Alabama. Still another source gives Nashville, Tennessee as the place of mustering out for the 58th Regiment, Company H.)

John Lutz/Groll describes himself as only 5 feet, 2 inches tall, having light brown hair, hazel eyes, and light complexion. At the time of his enlistment, he was a shoemaker. He applied for a Civil War pension on the basis of "diseased" eyes, lumbago and "ruptured" sides. Johannes explains his ruptures as follows:

He says that on June 14, 1865, at Bridgeport, Alabama, he was walking across a railroad bridge and tripped, falling through the railroad ties. He hurt himself and was unable to rise until two men came to his aid and pulled him out. He claims he was "ruptured" on both sides.

Also in Johannes (John's) pension, the question is asked (as in all pensions), if the applicant is a sober man. He answers: "My motto is strickly tuch taste nor hand any intoxicate drink!" [sic]

After the War, Johannes (John) married Rosa Schübel or Shiebel/Shivel on 4 February 1874 in Lebanon, PA at the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church - under the surname Lutz. Rosa and he raised eleven known children, including Augustus, who was born to Rosa in 1872. Their other children included John, William, George, Michael, Kate R., Albert, Paul, Mary, Caroline, and Walter, all taking the surname Lutz.

John's obituary, taken from the Lebanon County Historical Society, reads as follows: From the Lebanon Daily News on microfilm at the Lebanon County Historical Society; Wed., August 20, 1919. "John LUTZ, veteran of the Civil War, died on Monday at his home, 32 Hoffman Street, as a result of general debility. He had been employed at the Bethlehem Steel Co., and was in failing health for some time. The deceased was aged 80 years and was a prominent member of the Salem Lutheran Church. The following children survive: Mrs. Caroline STOLL, Mrs. Mary KERN, John, George, Michael, Albert, Paul and Walter, all of this city."

If anyone has any information that might add to the family of Johannes GROLL, alias John LUTZ, kindly let me know. Perhaps someone has information on the GROLL family as living in Württemberg and could aid with that information. Any additions would be most appreciated and I can be reached at DRistenbatt@dejazzd.com.)

Pension Application from the National Archives, Washington, DC.

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