Joseph “Red Joe” Belsly1802 - 1872 (70 years)
Name Joseph “Red Joe” Belsly [2, 3, 4] Birth 28 May 1802 Hellocourt, Maizieres-les-Vic, Moselle, FR [5, 6, 7]
- Hof Hellocourt, the farm at Chateau Hellocourt. Pierre Pelsy gives the date as 28 May 1802--from Christian Belsley’s hymnbook. Joe Staker has it 28 Mar 1802.
Gender Male Immigration 1828 Butler Co., OH [8, 9]
- At age 26
Occupation Farmer Residence 1831 Spring Bay, Washington Twp., Woodford Co., IL 
- Settled there in Partridge Creek Amish settement.
PURC 1832 Worth Twp., Woodford Co., IL [1, 11]
- Purchased from the government for $1.25/acre
Religion Amish Mennonite USR1 Dropsey Death 24 Dec 1872 Spring Bay, Washington Twp., Woodford Co., IL [6, 12, 13]
- At his death he was one of the richest farmers in the county.
Burial Worth Twp., Woodford Co., IL 
- Lourdes Rd., Belsley-Kamp Cemetery on Red Joe’s homestead
Person ID I4844 Schrock-Birkey Connection Last Modified 1 Feb 2018
Father Christian Pelsy, b. 2 Jul 1772, Rhodes, Moselle, FR d. 10 Jun 1836, Rhodes, Moselle, FR (Age 63 years) Mother Catherine Verkler (Wirckler), b. 1 Jan 1778, Oberstinzel, Fenetrange, Moselle, FR d. 4 Apr 1860, Rhodes, Moselle, FR (Age 82 years) Marriage Bef 1802 Family ID F3422 Group Sheet | Family Chart
Family 1 Barbara Schrock (Schrack), b. Abt 1815, Moselle, FR d. Abt 1835, Spring Bay, Worth Twp., Woodford Co., IL (Age ~ 20 years) Marriage Bef 1834 Butler Co., OH?
- abt 1832-33, either in Ohio or Illinois
- Could they have married in Wayne Co., OH?
Children 1. Christian Belsly (Belsley), b. 31 Jul 1835, Partridge Twp, Woodford Co., IL d. 5 Mar 1917, Deer Creek, Washington Twp., Tazewell Co., IL (Age 81 years) Family ID F209 Group Sheet | Family Chart Last Modified 22 Jun 2020
Family 2 Barbara Engel, b. 10 Apr 1803, LaGarde, Chateau Salins, Moselle, FR d. 25 Aug 1881, Spring Bay, Worth Twp., Woodford Co., IL (Age 78 years) Marriage 18 Dec 1836 Woodford Co., IL 
- By Christian Engel
Family ID F3446 Group Sheet | Family Chart Last Modified 22 Feb 2012
Event Map = Link to Google Earth
- Obit: Feb 1873 HofT
In Woodford County, Ill., December, 24th 1872, of dropsy, JOSEPH BALSLY, snr., aged 70 years, 6 months, and 26 days. He leaves a bereaved wife and one son to mourn their loss. Services by Jacob Unzicker, Christian Esh, and Peter Gingerich. Peace to his ashes.
Called “Joe de laRouge” because of his distinctive red hair.
Joe was successful growing clover on his land, which had not been done before in that part of the country.
“As he prospered he continued to buy land. At the time of his death he was the owner of fifteen parcels of land ranging in size from forty acres to three hundred twenty acres.”
“Red Joe’s first wife, who is thought to have been a Schrock, died early after the birth of their son, Christian. According to Tazewell Co. marriage records, he married second on Feb 25, 1840, Barbara Engel, the daughter of Christian Engel and his second wife, Barbara Brunner. According to both Verna Belsly and Ida Belsly, bones of the two wives were interred in the same grave when the graves were moved many years ago a short distance to their present site in the Red Joe Belsly cemetery on Lourdes Road in Worth Township, Woodford Co., IL.”
Joseph (Red Joe) born 28 May 1802 in “Hof Helle Court, France” Lorraine, came to America in 1828, going first to Ohio (according to Verna Belsly in a 1961 letter to H. H. Schrock). He died 1872. His first wife, Barbara Schrock, according to Verna Belsly, died young, sometime after the birth of a child named Christian. He secondly married Barbara Engel (1803-1881), who came to Illinois with her family in 1833. Red Joe was the first Mennonite to settle in Woodford County.
Red Joe amassed a great deal of land (much of it in Marshall County) and left farms in life estates to each of his grandchildren. His favorite grandson, Joseph, received the Red Joe homestead (purchased for $1.25 an acre from the government ), a brick house, now painted white, on Lourdes Road. In the estate file, the name appears as Belsy.
Red Joe’s birthplace, Hellocourt, is today attached to Maizieres Les Vic. (Some say Fribourg) The present structures were built in about 1870 and were used by the Germans in WWI.
Cimetière Anabaptiste-Mennonite de Rhodes - Moselle Jan 4, 2016 post
Some additional information: (Translated by Google)
While their older brothers, Joseph, Jean and Pierre, as well as their sister Catherine emigrated to the us one after the other, Christian, Jacob and Nicolas Pelsy chose to marry and settle in their village of birth. Christian and Nicolas have married two sisters Abresol, Catherine and Barbe, both also of Rhodes. While Jacob has sought his wife, Madeleine Schertz, Meurthe and Moselle to here in the country of baccarat. They're all buried in this cemetery.
While their older brothers Joseph (Red Joe), John and Peter, as well as their sister Catherine emigrated to the USA one after the other, Christian, Jacob and Nicolas Pelsy all chose to get married and settle in their hometown. Christian and Nicolas got married to 2 Abresol sisters, Catherine and Barbe, who were both from Rhodes. As for Jacob, he found his wife Madelaine Schertz in Rehere (Meurthe et Moselle), a village near the town of Baccarat. All of them are burried in the cemetery.
It should be noted the existence in the 19th century on the levee of the pond of the mill (Farm of bachats) of a mill operated by the family Abresol.
This one is now destroyed, only remain the two wheels in the gardens of the field.
Red Joe’s Will
“On July 30, 1872, Red Joe wrote his will. It was a lengthy document covering nine pages 8 1/2 x 11 inches in size. It distributed cash and the approximately two thousand acres of land he owned. His wife Barbara received two thousand acres of land he owned plus her share of all real and personal property allowed by the Statute of the State of Illinois. He left his son Christian one hundred fifty dollars a year for the next twenty years following his death, plus one hundred twenty acres of land. His daughter-in-law Mary, Christian’s wife, received one hundred acres of land. He willed each of his seven living grandchildren the use of land ranging from two hundred to two hundred forty acres. He set other land aside for any unborn grandchildren. Three more were born, two of whom living to adulthood. Unique feature of his will was that no grandchild could own the land but had only a life estate in it. At their death the land had to be passed on to their living heirs. If the grandchildren had no living heirs at their death, the land was to be redistributed among the other grandchildren. He wanted to insure that many more of his descendants would enjoy the fruits of his labors. . . . .Red Joe left a legacy of courage, ambition and success to his son and g grandchildren. His descendants have continued in his example, making the Belsly name something of which to be proud.” [1, 6, 11, 15, 16]
- Obit: Feb 1873 HofT
- [S283] Verna Belsly, Letter to H. H. Schrock, Butler Co. OH.
- [S190] Jean Francois Lorentz, Schrag, Berki, Pelsey:.
- [S686] Descendance de Christian Engel (1690-1765).
- [S139] Verse C. Oyer, photo from Myrna Park, The Christian Zehr Homestead, p. 3. French Anabaptist Documents, Pierre Pelsy.
- [S283] Verna Belsly, Letter to H. H. Schrock, Butler Co. OH, Birth date.
- [S6] Margaret and Verle Oyer, Christian and Catherine (Ulerich) Wagler, Tazewell Settlers.
- [S398] Joseph Staker, Amish Mennonites in Tazewell Co., May 8, 1802.
- [S398] Joseph Staker, Amish Mennonites in Tazewell Co.
- [S283] Verna Belsly, Letter to H. H. Schrock, Butler Co. OH, says 1820 at age 18.
- [S234] Steve Estes, Amish Church letters to Illinois, Page 5.
- [S331] Jean Wallace Sauder, Belsley-Sauder, Woodford Co., IL.
- [S129] Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford County, Illinois, (Chapman Brothers, Chicago).
- [S398] Joseph Staker, Amish Mennonites in Tazewell Co., Deer Creek, IL.
- [S731] Steven R. Estes, Love God and Your Neighbor: The Life and Ministry of Christian Engel, (Robert and Juliet Engel Schertz for IMHGS, Metamora, IL), 18 Dec 1836.
- [S227] Steven R. Estes, Living Stones: a History of the Metamora Mennonite Church.
- [S450] John Robert Belsly, The Descendants of Joseph “Red Joe” Belsly (1802-1982 - 180 Years, A Proud Heritage).
- [S283] Verna Belsly, Letter to H. H. Schrock, Butler Co. OH.