Welcome to the site.
My interest in Fross Family genealogy began around July 4, 1976, the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. I was 7 years old when my grandfather, Jack Fross, told me about our 'Hessian' ancestor, who came to America to fight for the British against the rebelling colonialists. The story of this 'Hessian' had been passed down through several generations. The only other piece he knew was that the 'Hessian' was captured at the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia in Oct.1781. That information stayed with me over the years and when old enough, I began the search for him.
I was fortunate that others before me had also done their research that helped me along the way. I eventually found the 'Hessian', his name was Johaan Georg Fraas. And, he wasn't actually from Hesse. He came from the German principality, Anspach/Bayreuth, in what is present day Bavaria, Germany. From the begining, all German soldiers that fought in America during the Revolutionary War have been called Hessians.
Johaan Georg Fraas eventually decided to stay in America after the war. There is record that he deserted his regiment on May 18, 1783 while they were marching to New York to return to Bavaria. He made his way back to Frederick, Maryland where he had been kept as a prisoner of war between November 1781 and March 1783. He married a local girl in 1787, became a US citizen in 1797 & changed his name to George Washington Fross, had a family, and they eventually settled in Clark County, Ohio around 1805. George died there in January 1827.
I began my search back in the early and mid-90's. I didn't even have a computer yet, so all my notes were hand written or photo copied. Along the way in my search for Johaan, I also found out more about my family line and various other branches and have included all that I learned here on this site. Over the years I've been to Frederick, MD, Donellesville, OH and Yorktown, VA to learn and experience. My search for George's past in Germany hasn't ended. I would still like to find where he came from in Bavaria, and hopefully find more information about his family from there. The 'quest' continues.
I would like to acknowledge a few folks that have helped along the way. I corresponded with Ralph Fross (not related though) of Mentor, Ohio who shared with me a packet about my Fross Family line. This packet literally became my 'bible' as it had a large amount of information that was already put together. It also included George's Will. The packet was compiled between 1936 and 1956 by Mrs. Nellie Wheedon. Nellie was related to the Fross family thru George's wife, Anna Maria Boone. Anna Maria and Nellie's g-g-g-grandmother were sisters.
Also would like to acknowledge Wanda Hackney of Witchita,Kansas. Her husband was decended from George William Fross(bn.1834). This George and my g-g-g-grandfather, John Fross(bn.1828), were brothers. Both were grandsons of the 'Hessian'. Wanda had found a lot of records from Frederick, MD and kindly shared all with me. She also contributed a picture of George William taken in the 1870's that I have linked to this website.
Third, Connie Cascales, of Monticello, Indiana. Connie was a Fross and her line and mine connected thru her g-grandfather Jacob M Fross and my g-g-grandfather, Charles(bn.1877). Both were sons of John Fross(bn.1828). Connie was curator of the White County Historical Society in Monticello. She also sent me copies from her grandfather's collection of records. More importantly she sent me pictures of John's children. I have also shared those on this website.
The Johaanes Schwalm Association(http://www.jsha.org/)was helpful to me in 'nailing down' George's military service and linking him to the name Johaan Georg Fraas. There is a book/diary written by a soldier that was in the same regiment as George. They were in different companies but shared a lot of the same experiences during the Revolutionary War. The book is called, A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution, written by Johann Conrad Dohla. Unfortunately George is not mentioned in the book.
Most recently, Mary Ann (Fross) Sutton contacted me in January 2012 and asked me to search thru my old, hand-written records to find a link and help add to her records. Turned out that Mary and I are related thru John(bn.1828) and George William's(bn.1834) father, George Jr.(bn.1798). Mary's ancestor was Daniel Fross(bn. between 1819-1826), an older brother to John and George William. I want to thank Mary for getting me back into the search after 16 years and 'reminding' me that I need to get my information on to the internet so I don't have to keep going thru a box of papers everytime someone wants to exchange Family info.
And of course I want to thank my family who have shared with me their histories, or what they could remember when questioned 'on the spot' about this or that little detail.
Please enjoy and feel free to ask questions. I don't have all my research on this site yet. Eventually I will get there. If you have something I don't have listed, please share with me. I am always thrilled to find out more about my family. Also, please be sure to sign the Guest Book. I'm always curious to see who's visited. Thanks.
John A Fross Jr