Deitz, Jacob (Jack)

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Crayon picture of cabin of Jack Deitz, former slave in the Berne Museum, Berne Historical Society[1]

Birth

Jacob (Jack) Deitz was born a slave in 1788 at Coxsackie, Greene, NY.[2]

Occupation

Jack was sold as a slave to Johan Jost Dietz in 1792 when he was four years old.[2] He appeared on the census of 1800 in the household of Col. Johan Jost Dietz at Town of Berne, Albany, NY. He appeared on the census of 1830 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY, was the only free coloured family in the Town of Berne not residing in the home of a former master. After becoming free, he continued to live in the same small slave cabin on the Dietz farm for the rest of his life and worked as a paid laborer for his former master.

Marriage & Children

Jack married Elizabeth Acker[2] before 1816 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY. There were no known children of Jacob (Jack) Deitz and Elizabeth Acker. A neighbor of Johan Jost Dietz was Johannes Ecker; it is possilbe that Elizabeth "Acker" was a slave of Johannes Ecker who in 1810 owned 1 slave.[3] Perhaps that was Elizabeth; he also had a free non-white person in the household. Elizabeth died on 1 Sept. 1816, (perhaps in childbirth?) and is buried in the Beaverdam Cemetery[2]

Jack married Diana Abbott[2] say 1818. Children of Jacob (Jack) Deitz and Diana Abbott were as follows:

  • Eliza J. Deitz was born circa 1818 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY. She married (--?--) Willis. She died on 20 Jul 1862. She was buried at Beaverdam Cemetery, Town of Berne, Albany, NY.[2]
  • (--?--) Deitz was born between 1820 and 1830 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY.[4]
  • (--?--) Deitz was born between 1820 and 1830 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY.[4]
  • Jinnet Deitz was born circa 1823 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY. She married (--?--) Sturges. She died on 21 Oct 1862. She was buried at Beaverdam Cemetery, Town of Berne, Albany, NY beside her mother and father.[2]
  • Sarah Abigle Deitz was born circa 1826 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY. She died on 18 Apr 1828 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY. She was buried at Beaverdam Cemetery, Town of Berne, Albany, NY beside her mother and father.[2]
  • Venna Ester Deitz was born circa May 1828 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY. She died on 20 Mar 1832 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY. She was buried at Beaverdam Cemetery, Town of Berne, Albany, NY beside her mother and father.[2]
  • Abraham Jansing Deitz was born on 13 Oct 1832 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY. He was baptized on 18 Jun 1833 at Lutheran Church, Town of Berne, Albany, NY. He was the son of a freed slave.[5]

Dianna Abbot, born 13 Dec. 1801, died 7 Feb. 1834, leaving Jack with at least five children to raise.[6]. She is buried beside Jack and his first wife.[2]

Death

Jack died on 22 Nov 1848 at Town of Berne, Albany, NY. He was buried at Beaverdam Cemetery, Town of Berne, Albany, NY.[2] The stone is located near the top of the knoll,the old section, on the west side, near the woods. That side faces west and borders the farm that was owned by Johan Jost. It is a tall monument in great condition, writing on 3 sides (2 wives and children). Placed there in 1862 when two of his daughter's died, (coincidentally it was the year of Emancipation of slaves). Four short, white columns surround the stone, once chained together. Jacob's side faces the woods.[7]

Additional Media

The will of Johannes Shafer was proved and recorded Dec.12,1853 , but another date given (maybe after decease) is Dec.28, 1858. He left land to St. Paul's Lutheran Church and also gave Jacob Deitz, coloured man, one hundred dollars one year after his decease. The will was obviously written before Jacob Deitz died in 1848.



Bottom half of picture by Cynthia Ann Engle Deitz (Mrs. A. V. Ball, daughter-in-law of Robert Ball mentioned below.) Jack Dietz Sketch-bottom.jpg

In Memory of Jack Deitz, and Dinah his wife.
Jack was sold a slave in the year 1792, to John Jost Deitz.

of the town of Berne; This little Cabin was built

on the bank of the creek, passing(?) through Berneville one mile
north of the village. In 1848 Jack died. Robert Ball of Switzkill
bought the Cabin and contents, and this old Chair was
Jack´s taken from the wood shed loft, by Mrs. A. V. Ball 1883

as a relic.
This poor old slave has gone to rest.
I hope that he is free;
Disturb him not, let him rest,
Down in Berne Cemetery.

Sources

  1. the sketch of the cabin of Jack Deitz was made by Mrs. A. V. Ball. She refers to herself in the description of the cabin as having taken Jack's chair from the loft in 1883, presumably one that Jack had made himself. The chair is pictured in front of the cabin. Mrs. Amber Velia Ball was Cynthia Ann Engle, daughter-in-law of Robert Ball and his wife, Anna Barbara Deitz. Her father-in-law, Robert Ball, had bought the Jack Deitz cabin after Jack's death. The cabin was probably on the bank of Fox Creek, near the end of Rock Road. It was found in The Jacob Ball House when it was being torn down in 1960 to build the Catholic Church. The original is now at the Berne Historical Society. Found at the same time was a late 19th Century drawing of the Beaverdam Cemetery believed made by the same artist. The Jacob Ball House is believed to have been owned in the early 20th Century by her brother Wallace Engle. [HHMiller]
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 tombstone of Jacob Deitz in Beaverdam Cemetery
  3. 1810 federal census
  4. 4.0 4.1 1820 and 1830 federal census
  5. Baptism record
  6. 1810 federal census
  7. Allan Deitz