INTERESTING FACTS ON THE FERTIG FAMILY
The following discussion is a diverse compilation of various interesting facts relating to the Fertig family.
John Anthony Fertig was blessed with the following number of known descendants: 5 children, 30
grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren, 80 second great-grandchildren,
136 third great-grandchildren, 238 fourth great-grandchildren, 191 fifth
great-grandchildren, 31 sixth great-grandchildren and 2 seventh great-grandchildren for a total
of 762 recorded descendants in less than 200
Anthony traveled to America with his children and his second wife
Mary Anna. He was over 41 years old when he united in marriage
Anna. At the time, she was only 18 years old, less than half
of John Anthony's age.
The four sons of John Anthony each spelled their surname uniquely: Anthony Förtig, Adam Joseph Fertich, Francis Matthew Ferdig and John
Fertich settled in the Lavelle,
Schuylkill County area
and was rewarded eight sons from two different marriages. Three of his
sons; Jermiah T., Daniel B. and Benjamin Franklin have numerous
descendants who settled in the areas of
Lavelle, Shamokin, Sunbury and Allentown in addition to Richmond,
Virginia. The descendants of Jermiah changed the spelling of their
name back to Fertig. The lines of Daniel and Benjamin chose to maintain
the Fertich spelling.
Matthew Ferdig resided in the area of Shamokin Dam, Snyder County.
He married twice and was blessed with three sons and five daughters.
Francis Matthew had a son also named Francis "Frank" who has many descendants
living in the Lewisburg and Selinsgrove areas. The living
relatives currently spell their surname Fertig.
Fertig had settled in Snyder County along with his brother Francis
Matthew. However in 1879, John Joseph relocated to Pawnee County, Kansas. He
begat three sons and three daughters, of
whom three died young. Two of his sons, Simon Henry and John
William have many descendants still living in the Pawnee County area.
Many of the Fertig family descendants settled in the coal regions of
Pennsylvania and were coal miners as well as farmers. Several also worked on
the Pennsylvania Railroad. The family members that resided in Kansas were mostly all
farmers by occupation. Several descendants have become pastors,
received doctorate degrees and one descendant is currently the president of a
Christian college in Canada.
Adam Joseph Fertich had married Anna Bolich, the daughter of Michael Bolich
from Lavelle. Michael was the pioneer settler of that region and owned the land on
which Lavelle is now situated. Lavelle was first called Salome, in honor
of Michael's wife, Salome Helper Bolich. Michael was a preacher of
most likely the Baptist persuasion.
His hands were the first to swing the ax in the surrounding forest and his log house was
the first dwelling in the region. It had door and window frames but
no doors or windows. Michael kept his livestock in the house with him,
since he didn’t have a stable. At night, he had to prop up boards at the windows
and doors because the wolves would try to enter in and attack his cattle. Michael had an old flintlock
muzzleloader, which he used to chase the wolves away.
Relative Amelia Jane “Millie” Fertich, a granddaughter of Adam Fertich,
united in marriage to William Allen “Bill” Eyster in March 1911 at Sunbury. On
their first date, Bill picked Millie up and they went for a ride in a
horse drawn carriage. The horse had been accustomed to pulling a wagon
used to deliver milk in the neighborhood. The date lasted quite some
time; since the horse decided to stop automatically at each house it
came to, thinking it was on another milk delivery trip.
Dale Wayne Fertich, another descendent of Adam Fertich, was the first to the scene of a
bad accident in which a car ran into a large truck and caught on fire.
Dale ran up to the car and was trying to free the trapped driver, when
another car hit Dale and pinned his knees into the burning car.
The second car backed up and Dale was still able to walk, even though in
pain. Dale and the driver that hit Dale then both worked together
to free the trapped driver inside the burning car. They pulled the
driver out and drug him to safety. Less than one minute later, the car
exploded in a large fireball.
Also, one time Dale was castrating young piglets in a barn. The old sow
hog was apoplectic since she heard the panicked squeals from her little
ones. The 400 pound sow broke out of her pen and came snarling
and charging after Dale to get a piece of him. Dale didn’t have time to run and he knew that
it was either the hog or him.
So he scurried to grab the two by six board he was working on and gave the
hog a hard whack across the snout. The farmer was not too happy when he
heard the news of his prized hog, but Dale walked away unscathed, thanks
to the grace of God.
On a sorrowful note, there have been several tragedies in the family. Leon Auther Fertig and Leo Walter Fertig, twin grandchildren of Adam
Fertich, worked in a
coal mine in the mountain adjacent Lavelle. In March 1940, Leon was killed in a mine
collapse, at the age of 27. His brother Leo was directly by his side and
tried his best to save his brother. The funeral was one of the largest ever
held in Lavelle.
Sadly enough, Benjamin Franklin Fertich, son of Adam Fertich, died on Christmas day 1891,
at only 34 years of age. He left behind a wife and six children, the
youngest of whom, Maude Alice, was still in her mother’s womb. A tragedy
also occurred to relative Matthew Wilson Krick, of the Adam Fertich
line, who was murdered in Norfolk, Virginia
while on a temporary military leave.
In addition, John C. Ferdig, son of Francis Ferdig, was married to Mary A. Long and had two sons: Samuel and John
William. Tragically, John died of tuberculosis at the age of 52, and soon after, his sons
at the ages of 20 and 19, also died of the same disease. In a time period of less than 14 months, Mary had
lost her husband and her only two children. She lived as a widow for
the next 33 years.
Roy Joseph Fertig, a grandson of John Joseph Fertig, became a widower at the age of
only 35 with five children
ranging in age from 12 years down to nine months. The following is
a recollection of unique events concerning Roy's experience raising an infant
daughter by himself:
When he went to the field to work with the
John Deere tractor he would take Mary Lou a supply of diapers and a bottle
of formula he had prepared. I don't know if he ever took anything
for himself. He always thought of others needs. Daddy had
prepared a special safe place for my baby sister right where he could keep
his eyes on her. He took an apple box, lined it with soft material,
put a special pillow in the bottom of it for a mattress, covered it with a
small sheet, wrapped her in a baby blanket (when appropriate, or another
sheet) and sat the box between the steering wheel and the motor; then he
worked the fields. When she needed attention he would stop and care
for her needs, then proceed to go on with the work in the field.
When hungry her food was warm as he had figured out a way to capture heat
from the manifold sufficient to bring the formula to luke warm.
Franklin "Frank" Fertig was a first cousin of Roy Joseph. Frank was very
prosperous financially. He farmed numerous parcels of land in
Kansas, dealt in oil wells, invented farm equipment and used his savvy
in trading stocks. He passed away as a multimillionaire.
Many descendants of John Anthony Fertig have served in various different
wars of our country. John
Andrew J. Fertich, the eldest son of Adam Fertich, served for Lincoln’s Army in the Seventh
Pennsylvania Cavalry during the Southern War for Independence.
He survived numerous combat missions in Tennessee and Georgia
for almost four years. Ironically, John Andrew J. was
killed in a railroad accident less
then five months after returning home from the war.
members served in World War I and 15 relatives fought in World War II.
Three relatives also served in the Korean Conflict and seven family
members fought in Vietnam. Three different families, from the lines of
Adam, Francis and John Joseph, had multiple children who served in World
War II. John Henry Fertich/Fertig had four sons and a daughter who
served, George Franklin Ferdig/Fertig had four sons and in addition,
John Phillip Fertig had three sons who all fought in WWII.
Sergeant Charles Henry Fertig, Jr., of the John Joseph Fertig line, was
a highly decorated war veteran and a career soldier. He served with the
79th Infantry Division in Europe during World War II and was also in the
Normandy Landing. Again he saw action in the 8th Engineering Battalion
during the Korean War. MSgt. Fertig retired October 1, 1967 after 26
years of service. However, on February 1, 1969, he accepted a recall to
active duty and was assigned to the Signal Battalion in the Vietnam
War. He retired for the second time on February 1, 1972 after 30 years
of service to his country. He was a highly decorated soldier, having
been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star with two oak
leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, the Purple Heart with one oak
leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters,
the Good Conduct Medal 8th Award, the WWII Victory Medal, the Army of
Occupation Medal-Germany and Japan, the National Defense Service Medal
with oak leaf cluster, the ETP Campaign Medal with five stars, the
Korean Service Medal with seven stars, the Vietnam Campaign Medal with
seven stars, and the United Nations Service Medal (Korea).
decorated war veteran was Jerome Edward Fertig, of the Francis Ferdig
line, who served as a Tech 5 in the Army 304th Infantry during World War
II. He fought in the Rhineland, Ardennes and the Central Europe
campaigns. Jerome was engaged in the Battle of the Bulge and received
the Bronze Star for his heroism in rescuing the lives of his comrades.
He was also awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the European African
Middle Eastern Service Medal with three stars.
Another interesting fact is that our Fertig family can be directly traced
to other Fertig family members currently living in Germany. Several of
those relatives also served in World War I and World War II, not on the
American side however.
Numerous Fertig relatives
were prosperously blessed with the ability to procreate.
Jermiah T. Fertich, son of Adam Fertich, and his wife Sapronah Isabella Conrad were rewarded
with 11 children and adopted
three more for a
total of 14. They accomplished this significant task by uniting in marriage
while Sapronah was only 16 years of
George Franklin Ferdig/Fertig, the grandson of Francis Ferdig, and his
wife Margaret Rebecca “Maggie” Kline were also
blessed with 11 children together.
Several Fertig relations were also honored and blessed with very long early lives. The three longest
living Fertig descendants were all siblings from the line of Adam
Fertich. Isobel Irene
(Slotterback) Kulick lived over 94 years from December 1907 to February 2002.
William Clifford "Cliff" Slotterback lived over 92 years from March 1911
to November 2003 and Edward Earl "Ed" Slotterback lived over 88 years
from March 1915 to December 2003. Interestingly enough, their
father lived over 94 years as well.