We received the following from Dr. Loren Johns great great great great grandson of Joseph Schantz the founder of the City of Johnstown, PA. ------------webmaster
"I am writing to object to some misinformation about my great great great great grandfather, Joseph Johns, the founder of Johnstown.
The "Jantzin" (Johnson) in the family Bible records is really Schantzin. Joseph used the old German stylized script form of the "Sch" that admittedly looked like a "J" to the untrained eye. "Schantzin" was the feminine form of the name in German, so it was used only for the women and girls in the family. Joseph himself consistently spelled his name "Schantz" on all extant deeds that we have. For two generations, courthouse recorders Anglicized the name to "Johns" in the legal documents, such as deeds and federal censuses. In one deed it was Anglicized to Johnston and in another to Jones. However, most deeds listing the family in the first two generations Anglicized the name to "Johns." The confusion about the gender differences in German and the varieties of Anglicization used in the first two generations no doubt are what led W. Horace Rose, the first mayor of Johnstown, to say at Johnstown's centennial celebration, "While [Johns] did not seem to be sure of his correct name, he knew a good dollar when he saw it" (History of the Centennial Celebration of Johnstown, Pa. [Johnstown, Pa.: Centennial Executive Committee, 1900], p. 34). It was not Joseph who was uncertain about his name!
About this time, the Johnstown city council took action in 1834 to formally rename the town "Johnstown." The constant Anglicization of the name in official records and the renaming of Old Conemaugh Town to "Johnstown" led the family in the third generation simply to accept the Anglicization "Johns."
Dr. Loren Johns
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