Johannes “John” DOUB was the son of Johannes and Maria Elisabeth DAUB of Littfred, Germany. John was born on March 27, 1743. His parents baptized him as Johannes DAUB on March 31, 1743. Johannes Becker of Litphen was named as John’s godfather. The event is listed on the old parish register for Evanelisch-Reformierte Kirchengemeinde Kromback in Germany. John was only four years old when his father died. John was left with his widowed mother and his sister Maria Elisabeth who was three years older. John’s mother had other children by her first husband but they may have been old enough to be out of the house by this time. John’s mother died in 1770 at the age of 71.
John left Germany for America not long after his mother’s death. On March 21, 1773, John received a letter from the Evangelical Reformed Church dismissing him as a member so that he could join another church. This was probably done just before his move to America. John emigrated from Rotterdam on the Ship Britannia to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, arriving on September 18, 1773. John went to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where he lived for a while with his half-brother before moving on to settle near Bethania in Stokes County, North Carolina. Here John worked as a tanner and established a tan-yard.
Although John was not of the Moravian faith, there are several mentions of him in the Moravian Records due to his living near the Moravian communities around Salem. John is first mentioned in the Bethania Diary for October 29, 1778. The entry records, “Heinrich Schor’s wagon left this morning for Pennsylvania. The teamsters were George Hauser, Jr. and Johann Schor, and with them went the leather-dresser, Daub, who had loaded the wagon with dressed and undressed deer-skins, also the leather-dresser Heil and Peter Moser, five persons in all.” March 2, 1780, the Bethabara Diary records that “A day-laborer by the name of Daub, who had worked here for nearly a year, took his departure. He said farewell with tears, and with regrets that his circumstances did not permit him to stay longer.”
Mary Eve SPANHOUER was born November 30, 1755 in York County, Pennsylvania to Swiss parents, Werner and Elisabeth Spanhouer. Her family migrated to the Bethania region of Stokes County about 1763 when Mary Eve was eight.  John and Mary Eve met in Stokes County and married about 1780 when she was 25 and he was 37. The couple had nine children: John, Jr. (1781), Henry (1782), William (1784), Jacob (1785), Joseph (1787), Mary Elizabeth (1789), Michael C. (1791), Mary Eve (1794), and Peter (1796).
John’s son Peter later described him as being “well instructed in the tanning business and all the arts of skin dressing”. “He had a very good German education and was well versed in the science of chemistry especially in its application to metallic substances. He was well qualified to separate metallic substances so as to obtain the precious metals in their pure state.” “He acquired a good knowledge of the English language after he was fifty years old and read fluently and correctly almost any production of the time…. The Bible was his constant companion and with its contents he was quite familiar.”
Her son Peter described Mary Eve in his autobiography. “She was steadfast and immovable in her attachments and never was known to neglect any opportunity to do good either to the bodies or the soul of men. Her family arrangements were very systematic and very carefully carried out in all their details. Her religion was deeply sealed in her heart and its influence was observable in her daily deportment. It was of a cheering character hence she never appeared melancholy but always cheerful and happy…. In a word, in all her domestic relations, she had few equals and it is believed that she had no superior.”
According to the first United States Census taken in 1790, their household had seven males and 3 females. This is too many people to be just the parents and children. According to the Moravian Records, John Doub took on apprentices at his tannery and the extra persons may have been apprentices. John’s estate record also mentions there being workmen on the tan-yard. In 1800, John and Mary Eve had seven males and four females living with them. Again this is too many people to be just their children. In 1810, John and Mary Eve had five males and two females living in their home in Bethania District.
In Germany, John’s family was affiliated with the Evanelisch-Reformierte Kirchengemeinde Kromback (German Evangelical Reformed Church). Mary Eve had joined as a member of the Dutch Reformed Church when she was 15 years old. Through the influence of Rev. William Otterbein and the traveling Methodist preachers on the Yadkin Circuit the couple converted to Methodism and joined the Methodsit Society. The Doub’s invited the circuit-riding preachers to stay in their home and organized a small society of 6 or 8 members. In 1792, their home became the first meetinghouse for the church later known as Doub’s Chapel. A few years later, John was licensed to preach as a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1802 he was ordained as a Deacon and was qualified to “administer baptism, marriage and the burial of the dead in the absence of an elder and to feed the flock of Christ”. 
John Doub’s house was a regular preaching place on the Yadkin Circuit since 1792. “Camp meetings flourished at this time. The first two decades of the nineteenth century were the days of triumph for the crowds encamped in the forests, ecstatic with religious fervor.”  John Doub participated in the early camp meeting tradition of the “Great Revival” holding his first camp meeting in 1802.
Tradition says that after John Doub learned English, he preached in German at the 11am service and in English for the 2pm sermon. The services were held at the Doub’s home until the congregation grew too large. In 1828, the church erected a building that served as both a church and a school that was called Doub’s Academy. This building was used for the next 28 years. In 1856, a new brick church building called Doub’s Chapel was dedicated. Peter Doub preached the dedication service sermon for the chapel. Doub’s Chapel was rebuilt in 1909 and is now a small Gothic Revival brick church located at 5591 Seward Road in Pfafftown, Forsyth County.
Religion was very important in the Doub home. The children were required to read the New Testament consecutively and to learn and recite to their father or one of the older brothers “A Scripture Catechism”. John and Mary Eve had three sons, Joseph, Michael and Peter, who eventually became Methodist preachers. Their youngest son Peter was a well-known Methodist circuit preacher and was also the founder of Greensboro Female College, later known as Greensboro College. There is a photograph of Peter Doub in the William Clark Doub Collection at Duke University.
John Doub did not serve in the military during the Revolutionary War but he did receive a pay voucher for patriotic service.
There is an interesting reference to John Doub in the Moravian Records regarding a local gold mine. The entry from April 16, 1804 in the Reports of Christian Ludwig Benzien to the Unity Elders Conference reports, “Probably the news has not yet reached Germany that for several months gold has been mined in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, about seventy miles southwest of here (the first in the United States). I have myself seen a piece of ore which was sent to Br. Jacob Loesch, in Bethania, to be smelted, and it was very rich. The report of this discovery is confirmed by so many that the only doubt is how much there may be of it. The reason that I mention it is that in our neighborhood one and another has begun to dig for gold, great hopes having been inspired by the divining rod of an old Methodist preacher, Daub by name, for instance aside of our lot No. 88. Daub supposes that the vein runs into my land, or rather into the unsold portion of the Wachovia land, and while I see no reliable ground on which he should base his assumption I will be careful if the question of a sale comes up, lest I might later regret my haste”. The incident is mention again a year later.“The mine in our neighborhood, which old Daub encouraged with his diving rod, seems to have failed, as the good drinking water which the people found prevented them from digging as deeply as he wished.”
John died intestate on October 26, 1814 and is buried at the old cemetery of Doub’s Chapel. John Doub, Jr. and Joseph Doub served as administrators of John’s estate. John, Jr. took over the management of the tanning business until the youngest son Peter turned 21 in March 1817. At that time, the total valuation of the Estate was $9,986.36. At the settlement of the estate in 1817, it was decided that John, Jr. would buy the tan-yard since his mother could not manage it and she would be permitted to remain in the dwelling at the tan-yard. The inventory of John’s perishable estate is extensive and includes “4 head of horses, 8 head of cattle, 15 head of hogs, 5 hives of bees and 35 or 40 fowls, 1 half-worn Waggon, 5 bells, 1 saddle, 1 shovel plough, 1 flax break, 1 mattock, 1 hoe, 2 iron wedges, 4 axes, 3 grass sythes, 1 pytchfork, 1 dung hook, 5 stall chains, 1 log chain, 1 drawing knife, 1 shoe hammer, 1 desk and bookcase, 1 corner cupboard, 1 dresser, 2 tables, 1 wooden houseclock and case, 2 chests, 2 large spinning wheels, 2 flax wheels, 14 chairs, 1 churn, 1 English and 1 German folio or Family Bible, 1 English and 1 German School Bible, 60 volumes of bound books and 40 pamphlets on various subjects mostly religious, 1 old copper kettle, 1 iron stove, 3 iron pots, 2 Dutch ovens, 1 camp kettle, 2 skillets, 1 bleaching pot, 10 tin cups, 1 trumpet, 2 coffee pots, 5 pewter basins, 3 pewter dishes, 16 pewter plates, 12 pewter spoons, 1 set of tea ware, 3 earthen dishes, 3 earthen pans, 12 earthen crocks, 3 glass bottles, 1 looking glass, 4 candlesticks, 1 wheelborough, 3 pair of cotton cards, 1 pair of wool cards, 4 flatt irons, 1 flattening box, and 7 beds and bedsteds”. The stock in the tanyard included, “about 125 dollars worth of leather, nearly all ready for sale, and in vats that will be ready for sale the ensuing spring, 22 sides of sole leather, 26 sides of harnace, 49 pieces of upper chiefly small skins, stock of hides, 65 large hides, 36 kid skins, 27 calf skins, 5 hog skins, 3 horse hides and 16 sheep skins, with a balance of 358 hides. Ingredient stock includes 12 cord of black oak bark, 5 bushels of lime, one barrel of lye, 200 lbs of tallow, one barrel of brandy, apple. Stock of Provisions on hand for the maintenance of the family and the workmen on the tan-yard included about 3 acres sowed in wheat, about 40 bushels of wheat, about 200 bushels of corn, about 300 lbs of bacon, 85 lbs of coffey, 30 lbs of flax, all of which will be sufficient for one year’s provision”.
Mary Eve wrote her will January 26, 1826. Mary Eve willed that her personal estate be sold among her children except for her “wearing apparel which I give to my beloved two Daughters M. Elizabeth and E. Mary Doub”. She willed that after her just debts were paid that her Estate remaining, be “equally divided between my beloved six sons and two daughters, namely according to age, Henry Doub, William Doub, Jacob Doub, Joseph Doub, Elizabeth Doub, Michael Doub, Mary Doub and Peter Doub. And also that Alvira Doub and John W.W. Doub orphans of John Doub, dec. have one part of my estate”. Mary Eve appointed her two sons Henry and Michael as the executors of her will.
Mary Eve died August 5, 1835 at 8 o’clock in the evening at her home in Stokes County after being bedridden by illness for four weeks. She was 79 years old. An inventory of her personal property at the time of her death included, “1 bed and furniture, 1 chest walnut, 2 spinning wheels, 1 German Bible, 2 German Hymn books, 1 German Meth Discipline, 1 German Pilgrims Progress, 1 brass Box, 3 paper boxes, paper pins, 2 setts knitting needles, 2 tin cups, 2 jars of honey, 1 pewter plate, 1 pewter basin, 2 pieces of selfware, 1 decanter, 6 ½ lbs bees wax, 1 trunk, 1 pine box, 3 baskets, 1 bunch of flax, 1 bunch tobacco, 1 bag, 1 piece of tow linen, 1 chair, 1 pocket book, 1 piece cambrick, 5 towels, 1 ½ yards cotton linen, 1 money purse, 7 1/3 yard flax linen, 1 pot, pair of shears, 4 scains tow thread, 1 ball of yarn, thimble, 1 spool cotton”. These items at Mary Eve’s estate sale brought $58.66 ¼. Mary Eve held notes on debts of her sons Joseph, William, Michael, Henry, Peter and Jacob totaling $1,848.00 ¾.
John and Mary Eve’s house is still standing in present-day Forsyth County. “John, who operated his tannery and brick kiln on his farm, is believed to have built his 2-story brick house ca. 1780-1800.”  The house has a brick façade, two chimneys, one on either end of the house, double front doors, a hall-parlor plan, a front porch and an outbuilding. The house was reworked in the mid-19th century. At the North Carolina State Archives, there is a photograph taken circa 1940 of John Doub’s house.
Footnotes for John and Mary Eve (#23)