21. Johannes Serfass – Revolutionary War Patriot

Today is July 4th, so deciding who to blog about for the 52 Ancestors challenge was a simple decision. My 5th great grandfather, Johannes Serfass, served in the Pennsylvania militia during the Revolutionary War.

Johannes, or “John” was born in Philadelphia on March 20, 1752 to Philip and Maria Catherina (Altemous) Serfass. Philip purchased land north of the Blue Mountain in Chestnuthill Township in what is now Monroe County, Pennsylvania and moved his family there so he could farm and develop the land around 1753. Philip and his neighbors named the land “Pleasant Valley.”

However, Philip and his neighbors were in danger of Indian attacks. In 1755, the Hoeth family, neighbors of the Serfass family, were massacred by Indians. Philip and his family fled to Nazareth, PA and resided at The Red Rose Inn, seeking refuge from the Moravian Congregation there. Many other of the Pleasant Valley residents followed suit.

The colonial government at the time responded to the growing Indian raids by building a series of forts. One of those forts was built on Philip Serfass’ land and was known as “Fort Norris.” After the forts were built, Philip and his family returned.

About 20 years later, the colonies found themselves in a Revolutionary War with Great Britain. Philip’s son, John, was among the many men that answered the call and went off to fight for their freedom. John served in the 4th Battalion, Northampton County in Captain John Gregory’s company as a clerk and a soldier.

Sometime before 1778, John married Susannah Hone. They had 15 children. John died on July 11, 1825 at his home in Chestnuthill Township. He is buried in the Salem Church Cemetery in Gilbert, PA.

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