David Strauss signature 1765
David Strauss is found in colonial records in Pennsylvania beginning with the arrival of the "snow" Betsey in September 1765. It is a small miracle that his entire known family survived the trip from Rotterdam. Contemporary records such as that of Gottlieb Mittelburger who made the trip to America in 1750 provide a picture of the conditions endured during the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. David may have been a Redemptioner - an indentured servant - who paid for the cost of the journey by agreeing to work for someone for a set period of time. It's possible that he learned his trade as a miller and distiller during this time.Spelling was not standardized in the 18th century and the English proprietors frequently listed surnames using phonetic spellings. Even an easy name such as Strauss has many variations - Strauss, Strouss, Strause, Strouse, Strous, Straus, Strows and Strausz - among others.
After 19 September 1765, we lose sight of the Strauss family until May 1768 when the oldest son of David and Philippina, Heinrich, was baptized at Faulkner Swamp Reformed Church in what is now Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. By using civil and church records, we can follow the migration of the family as they moved into Berks and then Northampton County where they finally settled in Hamilton Township, now Monroe County, Pennsylvania.