Johann Wendel Kraus
of Stokes Co., NC

Johann Wendel Kraus, son of Melchior KRAUS & Eva Margaretha, last name unknown, was born Oct. 23, 1740, in Lancaster Co., PA, and died Sept. 1803 in Stokes Co., NC. He married Anna Marie PFEIL. Wendel Kraus is buried at the Shiloh Lutheran Church in Lewisville, Forsyth Co., NC.

Children of Johann Wendel Kraus & Anna Marie Pfeil:

  1. Andrew Kraus (Crouse), b. abt. 1760, Lancaster Co., PA; d. 1835, Stokes Co., NC; m. Margaret ALFORD, daughter of William ALFORD.  Children: Mary, William, Anna, Hamilton, Jacob, Emily, Harrison, Elizabeth, Andrew, Mahala.
  2. John Kraus (Crouse), b. June 7, 1762, Lancaster Co., PA; d. Sept. 1825, Davidson Co., NC; m. Louisa NULL, daughter of Michael NULL & Elizabeth KOHL.  John Kraus was baptised as an adult at the Shiloh Lutheran Church in Stokes (now Forsyth) Co., NC, on Sept. 5, 1810, at the age of 47 years, 9 months, 1 day.  Children: Catherine, Maria Magaretha, Andrew, John, Jacob, Maria Madgalena, Anna, Henry, Betsy, Joseph.
  3. Henry Kraus (Crouse), listed in the 1800 census of Ashe Co., NC (age 26-45), then no further records in Ashe Co.
  4. Maria Margaretha Kraus (Crouse), b. abt. 1772, Lancaster Co., PA, or Surry Co., NC; d. aft. 1850, m. Charles HOLDER, son of Joseph HOLDER and Anna Maria VOLLWEILER. They moved to Monroe Co., IN.  The 1850 census of Monroe Co., IN, Indian Creek Twp., p.353, lists Margaret HOLDER age 78, born in NC, with the family of Margaret KIRK (presumably her daughter).
  5. +Adam Kraus (Crouse), b. abt. 1772, Lancaster Co., PA, or Surry Co., NC; d. 1830 in Ashe Co., NC; m. Elizabeth, last name unknown; bur. Major Joines Cemetery, Rd. 1133 near Whitehead, Alleghany Co., NC.
  6. +Jacob Kraus (Crouse), b. abt. 1775, Surry Co., NC; d. bef. 1840, Ashe Co., NC; m. Sarah EDWARDS, daughter of David EDWARDS, Sr., & Elizabeth MORRIS, abt. 1797 (b. abt. 1780; d. 1870-1880.)
  7. George Kraus (Crouse), b. bet. 1776-1784, Surry Co., NC; d. aft. 1820. He is listed in the census of Wilkes Co., NC, in 1800 (age 16-25), 1810 (age 26-45), 1820 (age 26-45).
  8. Catherine Maria Kraus (Crouse), m. George H. LONG.


Johann Wendel Kraus(e) was the son of a German immigrant named Milchior KRAUS who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1739 aboard the ship Friendship.  Milchior Kraus was one of tens of thousands of ethnic Germans who came to America during the 18th century.  Many were from the war-torn upper Rhine Valley in what is now southwestern Germany, especially the Palatinate (Pfalz) and neighboring states along the Rhine River.  "Michael" Kraus signed an Oath of Allegiance in Philadelphia on Sept. 3, 1739.  He probably married his wife Eva Margaretha (last name unknown) soon after his arrival.  Johann Wendel Kraus was their oldest son, born Oct. 23, 1740 and baptised Nov. 6, 1740, according to the baptismal register of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lancaster County, PA.  Milchior and Eva Margaretha had two other children, Johannes born May 19, 1744, and Sabrina born 1749.

Milchior Kraus died before 1751 and his widow Eva Margaretha remarried to Johannes George KAA.  In the early 1770's, the entire family moved to North Carolina, including Wendel and his wife Anna Marie, Wendel's younger brother Johannes, his sister Sabrina, his mother and his step-father George Kaa.  They settled near the Moravian community of Wachovia, then part of Surry County, NC.  The Moravians were members of a German Protestant sect also known as the Bohemian Brethren.  Their settlement, Wachovia, became Stokes County in 1789 and Forsyth County in 1849.  Although the Krauses were not Moravians, the large population of German speakers in this part of North Carolina attracted Germans of all faiths to the area.  The Krauses became members of the Shiloh Lutheran Church, located in the present-day town of Lewisville, now Forsyth County.  The Moravian records contain a number of references to Wendel Krause and his brother Johannes (John) Krause as early as 1776.  Wendel often worked as a teamster for the Moravians, and John was a blacksmith and a captain of the militia.  (See Records of the Moravians in North Carolina translated and published by Adelaide L. Fries).

Wendel Kraus appears on tax lists in Surry County, NC, in 1774, 1775, and 1777.  In 1789, he purchased 100 acres of land on a creek called the No Head Branch in what was then Wilkes County (later Ashe, later Alleghany County).  He is listed in the 1790 census of Stokes County, but relocated to Ashe County by 1800, along with his sons Adam, Jacob, and Henry.  According to the Shiloh Lutheran Church Register of Burials, Wendel Kraus died in Sept. 1803 at the age of 64 years, 10 months.  His estate was probated in Stokes County, where he still owned land, and he is buried in the Shiloh Lutheran Church cemetery.  His gravestone indicates that he was born in Nov. 1739, which conflicts with the date of birth (Oct. 23, 1740) from his baptismal record in Pennsylvania.  These kinds of inconsistencies were not unusual at a time when many people were illiterate and did not have birth certificates or other personal records.

The spelling of the Krauses' surname changed once they left the German-speaking areas around Wachovia, becoming Krows, Krowse, Crows, Crowse, or Crouse.  Most descendants eventually settled on "Crouse."


Nov. 13, 1789. Wilkes Co., NC. James COFFEY to Windle CROUSE, 100 acres of land on the west side of the No Head Branch, for £25. (Wilkes DB B-1, p.131.)

1790 Census, Stokes Co., NC:
-- 3 white males over 16
-- 1 white male under 16
-- 4 white females
-- No slaves

Dec. 27, 1797. Wilkes Co., NC. Land grant to Windal CROUCE, 200 acres on the No Head Branch of Little River. (Land Grant No. 1493; Wilkes DB D, p.381.)  Note, this is probably the 200-acre land entry on "a fork of Pine Swamp" that Windal CROWIS took over from Benjamin HERNDON. (Wilkes Land Entry No. 925.)  The No Head Branch is a fork of Pine Swamp Creek.

Jan. 1, 1798. Wilkes Co., NC. Land grant to Windal CROUCE [rest of grant missing]. (Wilkes DB D, p. 380.)

Geographic Note: Ashe County was created from Wilkes County in 1799.

1800 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.75: WINDLE CROUSE
1 w/m 10-15 1 w/f over 45
1 w/m over 45  
No slaves  

Dec. 14, 1802. Land grant to Windel CROUSE, 100 acres in Ashe Co., NC, on Little River adj. his old line. Entered May 4, 1792. (Land Grant No. 328, Entry No. 273, Land Grant Book 116:302.)

Sept. 20, 1803. The Moravian archives record that on Sept. 20, 1803, "Br. PFOHL was called to the widow of Wendel KRAUSE who died a few days ago. On the very day on which her husband was buried she was taken very sick with the fever and was now very week. Br. PFOHL talked with her yesterday when he visited with her daughter (wife of Charles HOLDER), with whom she is staying at present." (Vol. 6, p.2753.)  Wendel Kraus's death is also recorded in the burial register of the Shiloh Lutheran Church.

Dec. 5, 1803. John KRAUSE, Jr., and Andrew KRAUSE were named administrators of the estate of Windel KRAUSE in Stokes Co., NC.

Aug. 24, 1805. Stokes Co., NC. Heirs of Wendel KROUSE to Henry LONG, 2 adjacent 100-acre tracts of land in Stokes Co., NC, on Lashes Creek and Muddy Creek. Signed: John KRAUSE, Andrew KRAUSE, Henry KRAUSE, Adam KRAUSE, Geo. KRAUSE, Jacob KRAUSE, & Anna Mary (X) KRAUSE, all of Stokes Co. and Ashe Co., NC. (Stokes DB 5, p.93).

Nov. 12, 1824.  Land belonging to Windel CROUSE in Ashe (Alleghany) County is mentioned a deed from the heirs of Daniel HOPPERS, deceased, to James WHITEHEAD.  The deed describes 4 tracts of land (385 acres total) on the Little River adjoining Windel CROUSE, Gabriel FENDER, Nimrod FENDER, and John FENDER. (Alleghany DB 3:180; see also DB 1:98.)  Another deed from Daniel HOPPERS' heirs on the same date mentions "Crouse Knob." (Alleghany DB 3:117.)