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This is the Second page of John BLANKENBAKER's series of Short Notes on GERMANNA History, which were originally posted to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Discussion List.  Each page contains 25 Notes.

(See bottom of this page for Links to all Notes pages.)
This Page Contains Notes 26 through 50.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 2

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Nr. 26:

When Alexander Spotswood repatented his 28,000 acre tract, he used the headrights of 48 German immigrants.  From his comments, reported here earlier in a letter to Col. Harrison, we understood that he was a partner with several individuals in land speculation.  He had been expecting to get the land for free, but that is another story.  He had to pay, and the headrights were a partial payment in accordance with the law.  Since some of the individuals were on the Gemmingen list, it is assumed that all of these names on this list are 1717ers.  The names may be found in Virginia Patent Book 15, p. 378ff.  The immigrants, structured into families were:

Pale (Paul or Balthasar) Blankebuchner, his wife Margaret.

Mathias Blankebuchner, his wife Anna Maria Blankebuchner,

son Hans Jerich B.
Wolf Michel Kefer.

Hendrich Schucter.

Hans Jerich Chively, wife Maria Clora,

daus. Anna Martha, Anna Elizabeth, Anna Maria.
Michel Cook, wife Mary.

Henry Snyder, wife Dorathy.

Hans Jerich Otes (Utz), wife Barbara, son Ferdinandis,

step-daughters Sylvania and Anna Louisa (Volck or Folg).
Joseph Wever, wife Susanna Wever,
son Hans Fredich, daus. Maria Sophia, Wabburie.
Michel Cloar, wife Anna Maria Parva, son Andrew Claus,
dau. Agnes Margaret, son Hans Jerich.
Hans Michael Smiedt, wife Anna Creda Smiedt,
son Hans Michael Smiedt.
Hans Jerich Wegman,
Anna Maria Wegman, Maria Margaret Wegman, Maria Gotlieve Wegman (relationships unknown).
Hans Nicholas Blankebuchner, wife Applona,
son Zachariahs.
Coz Jacob Floschman, wife Anna Barbara,
son John Peter, dau. Maria Catharina.
Hans Michel Milcher (perhaps Milcker), wife Sophia

Catharina, (unk) Maria Parvara Milcher.

Since Spotswood said there were seventy-odd people, this list of names is only about two-thirds of that number.  Presumably the balance of the names had their transportation paid by the other partners.

Combining the Gemmingen list with this does not come close to the seventy-odd names.  Therefore, it is necessary to look at other clues which we will in following notes.

In the list above, there were more blood relationships than even appears from the names.  Anna Barbara Fleshman was the mother of all three Blankebuchner men, plus Henry Schucter, and also Peter Fleshman, and Catherine Fleshman.  She was also the mother of Anna Maria Blankebuchner, who had married John Thomas, and was to marry later Michael Kaifer in Virginia.



Nr. 27:

More information about the names of the Germans who came is provided by the Proofs of Importations, commonly called Head Rights.  These originated early in the 1600's, when it was desired to encourage immigration (to Virginia).  For every person, man, woman, and child, who came into the colony of Virginia, one could claim 50 acres of the Crown's land.  These rights were transferrable, and it quickly became the practice that the person who paid the transportation would get the headright.  To actually get the headright certificate, one went to court and swore to his arrival.  A certificate was issued to whomever was designated.

A number of these are recorded in Spotsylvania Co., Virginia.  Twelve heads of family from the First Colony went on either the 7th Apr or the 3rd June, both in 1724, and told who came and when they came; however, not all forty-two people are identified; there are gaps.

Among the Second Colony families, the following made their proofs of importations:

John Motz, wife Maria Pelona (Appollonia)

Hans Herren Burgud (Harnsberger), wife Anna Purve, son Stephen

Christopher Zimerman, wife Elizabeth, sons John and Andrew

Henry Snyder, wife Dorothy

Matthew Smith, wife Katherina

Michell Cook, wife Mary

Andrew Kerker, wife Margeritta, dau. Barbara

Christopher Parlur (Barlow), wife Pauera

All of the above stated they came in the year "one thousand seven hundred and seventeen".  Next, there are a group of people who stated they arrived "nine years since in Capt. Scott".  These statements were made 2 May 1727.  Exactly nine years earlier would have been May of 1718; however, just two months prior to that would have been, by the calendar then in use, 1717.  Thus it would appear that the following people also arrived in 1717 with the others:
Jacob Bryoll, (alone, but a member of the following family)

John Bryoll, wife Ursley, children Conrad and Elizabeth

Nicholas Yager, wife Mary, children Adam and Mary

Phillip Paulitz, wife Rose, children Margarett and Katherin.

Also, one man testified in 1729 (October, actually) that he came "about twelve years since in the ship called the Mulberry".  Exactly 12 years earlier would have been October 1717 and it is very unlikely that the 1717ers had even left London yet.  For a couple of reasons, including the above, it is doubtful that the following are 1717ers but for completeness here are names:
Georg Lang, his wife Rebecca.
At this point the evidence is an embarrassment of riches and there is evidence of still others.



Nr. 28:

Starting in 1724, and extending through 1726, Spotswood sued many of the Germans, claiming they owed him money, though the basis of the suits has never really been clear.  Some believe the suits were to prevent the Germans from moving away from his land to land of their own.  It does seem that the foundation on which his claims were based was weak.  For example, he sued Conrad Amburger for 32 pounds sterling and a jury of Spotswood's peers awarded Spotswood under 3 pounds sterling.  More than anything, the suits say something about the character of Spotswood.

Right now, though, we are more interested in whom he sued, and not the reason why.  These are the men:

Conrad Ambergey,
Andrew Ballenger,
Balthasar Blankenbaker,
Matthias Blankenbaker,
John Nicholas Blankenbaker,
John Broyles,
Michael Clore,
Michael Cook,
Jacob Crigler,
Cyriacus Fleshman,
Michael Holt,
George Moyer,
Phillip Paulitz,
George Sheible,
Michael Smith,
Henry Snyder,
George Utz, and
Nicholas Yager.

There is quite a bit of overlap between the Gemmingen list and the importation list.  Both of these are thought to consist of 1717ers.  The assumption is usually made that all of the men who were sued by Spotswood came in 1717.  This adds more names to the list.

Many of the men, who are on one or more of the three lists above, received their patents to land in 1726.  Therefore, the names of men receiving land in 1726 adds another dimension; however, only one new set of names is added, John Thomas and his brother Michael Thomas, both of whom were under age, but did receive land in 1726.  It is not known whether their father, another John Thomas, came or not.  His wife did, because she eventually became the wife of Michael Kaifer, by whom she had five children.  The argument that the Thomases came with the 1717ers rests on the fact that Anna Maria Thomas was the sister of the three Blankenbaker men, and the daughter of Anna Barbara Fleshman, who all came.  If Anna Maria and her family stayed a while longer in Germany, they were the only members to do so.

Among the land records, Conrad Amberger (Amburgey) received his land patent in 1728, but it was located in another area where the surveyor may have been delayed.  He was sued by Spotswood.  Andrew Kerker did not get his patent until 1728, but it may have been delayed by the fact that it was for more than 400 acres.  In these cases, approval of the Council of Virginia was required.  Kerker's land was in the midst of the 1717ers, and could not have been staked after the others had staked theirs.  George Lang did not get his land until 1732, and this is another reason that he is a doubtful Second Colony person.

Spotswood, in his letter to Col. Harrison, said there were seventy-odd Germans.  I believe the Germans later said about 80 had come in 1717, but they were notorious for simplifying their presentations.  The number of candidates above for membership in the Second Colony is about 90.  Getting the count down to 80 would be very hard because the rationale for eliminating anyone is difficult.  Some of the people have better evidence than others to support their case but a definitive list will probably always allude us.



Nr. 29:

Mention has been made that the Second Colony members took up land.  This was located in two sites, one now in Madison County, VA, and the other, a much smaller location, now in Culpeper Co., VA.  The location which is now in Madison Co., on both sides of the Robinson River, was sometimes called the Robinson River settlement.  The church which they built eventually became known as the Hebron Lutheran Church, and so some modern writers call it the Hebron community.  The other location, now in Culpeper Co., was a just to the southeast of Mt. Pony, which itself is just to the southeast of the town of Culpeper.  This latter site was unrecognized as a settlement location by the Germanna Foundation writers until I showed it was the case.  In both of these cases, the land at the time was in Spotsylvania County.

Germantown, where the First Colony settled, was at a little distance from the sites just mentioned.  Willis Kemper, in writing the Genealogy of the Kemper Family in 1899, made much of the fact that the Second Colony did not chose to settle beside the First Colony.  Searching for a reason, he finally ascribed it to the religious difference between the German Reformed First Colony members and the Lutheran Second Colony members.  He missed the mark, though, in this belief.  What he did not realize is that land was free in Spotsylvania County at the time the Second Colony was ready to move.

This free land was not due any altruistic action by Spotswood toward the Germans.  Instead, as a patentee of many square miles of land in the area which was to become to Spotsylvania County, he proposed legislation to create two new counties, Spotsylvania and Brunswick, and in both of these counties, land was to be "free of levies" for ten years.  The term "free of levies" was not clearly defined, and it resulted in Spotswood's own claim to land being clouded for many years.  But for the smaller landowner, it meant free land.  The Second Colony Germans took advantage of this and patented their land in Spotsylvania Co., and not adjacent or near to Germantown, where the First Colony lived.  Thus the decision of the Second Colony to settle apart from the First Colony was not based on religious questions, but it was based on economic questions.  Most of the people took out patents for 400 acres, some for more, and several for less.  But many of them went back again and patented more land.

The Robinson River community was located about 25 miles west of Germanna and New Germantown.  By 1725, when it appears the move of the 2nd Colony took place, the original New Germantown was no longer "New", since the 2nd Colony's settlement was a still newer Germantown, which caused the original "New" Germantown to be known simply as Germantown.  At the "new" New Germantown, the Second Colony members were the western-most point of English Atlantic seaboard civilization.  After Germantown was founded, it was a more remote location, if not a more western point.  After the Second Colony move to the Robinson River, they were clearly the frontier community.  Being the "frontier community" did not last for long, though, as the Shenandoah Valley was soon settled (from the north, not the east).

It is said that the Indians were still living east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and that they interacted with the Second Colony people.  Probably, this was true.  About the time the Germans moved in, a few English moved in also, but the community was dominated by the Germans.  Some English speaking people patented lands before the Germans (in modern Madison Co.), but these were speculative ventures, not a settlement pattern.  Usually they were forfeited because of a lack of settlement.



Nr. 30:

Before the Second Colony had moved from New Germantown to their new and permanent homes, more immigrants were moving in.  Some of these individuals came in a remarkably short time.  Remember that the Second Colony members had planned to go to Pennsylvania, so if more Germans arrived in Virginia within a couple of years, they were either accidentals (as the bird watchers say), or they knew they wanted to go to Virginia.

Apparently, the Second Colony members wrote home immediately after their arrival, so their friends and relatives knew where they were (in VA, not in PA, as originally intended).  That they were friends or relatives (or even both) seems obvious by the case of Christopher Zimmerman and Nicholas Kabler.  Both of these families were from Sulzfeld.  Christopher said he came in 1717, while Nicholas said he came in 1719.  Both settled in the Mt. Pony area, and both were described as being coopers.  It would appear that Christopher Zimmerman wrote home as soon as he arrived and told the folks in Sulzfeld where he was.  Considering the pace of mail then, which had a hit or miss aurora to it, it seems that Nicholas Kabler must have made his decision to go almost immediately upon receiving the news.  It is certainly hard to escape the conclusion that he was influenced by a knowledge of Christopher Zimmerman's location.

Some writers have referred to a Third Colony, and even implied that it was larger than the either of the first two colonies.  It does not appear that there was an organized "3rd" group.  There were several families that came in the time period of 1718 to about 1755.  It is a mistake to refer to a Third Colony, but the Germans did continue to come.  By 1724, Spotswood could say there were about a hundred Germans, implying they were at New Germantown.  Since the original contingent was seventy-odd (or eighty-odd, or ninety-odd,depending on whom you include), the increase would probably consist of two elements, natural net growth of the original group, plus new comers.

The new comers are best described as a series of individuals who either were coming at the invitation of friends and relatives, or of accidentals, who, for one reason or another, found themselves in Virginia.  At the same time, it appears that some individuals were already leaving Virginia, perhaps under the cover of a dark night.  On a net balance the German communities grew steadily until the time of the Revolution, when both immigration from Europe stopped, and migration within the Colonies probably slowed.

Many, perhaps most, of these new individuals never lived anywhere near the fort at Germanna, which, strictly speaking, is the one spot that can be called Germanna.  So the question is raised and debated, "What is a Germanna Colonist?"

Readers Comments:

Elke Hall points out that among the reasons our ancestors came was "forced deportation".  Sometimes a city council would become so fed up with the behavior of a family, or the cost of maintaining a family, that they sponsored a trip to the New World as a cheaper alternative.  (Christoph von Graffenried got started in colonizing plans because he had a contract with the city fathers of Berne to take a number of Anabaptists out of Berne.)  Elke also points out that when a person left Germany, he surrendered his citizenship and could not go back to his old home.  This was the case of the First Colony members in London, when Graffenried defaulted on his promises and suggested they go home.  At that time, they had no home.



Nr. 31:

Continuing the discussion of what is a Germanna colonist, there were several more immigration movements from Nassau-Siegen.  A group came in 1734 and landed in Philadelphia, which had become a favored landing spot.  These people worked their way down to the First Colony and took up land in the adjoining county of Culpeper.  Several of the names are recognizable for their relationship to the earlier members, as they were Fishbacks, Hoffman/Huffman, Otterbach, and Richter/Rector, but also Youngs and Nays.

Another group left Siegen in 1738.  Individuals left in other years, again most commonly arriving at Philadelphia, but sometimes in other ports.

There was a whole series of individuals who came into the area of the Second Colony settlements.  For purposes of illustration here, let's take the Reiner family.  The wife of Michael Cook was Mary Barbara Reiner, and they came in 1717.  In 1750, 33 years later, her brother, Hans Dieterich Reiner, and his family came to Philadelphia.  The youngest son purchased 530 acres of land in that same year in Culpeper Co.  Two of the daughters were married within the year in Culpeper Co.

These names illustrate that immigration was planned with a clear objective of where the people were going.  It is obvious there was communication taking place between Virginia and Germany.  The newcomers were a continuation of the movement started by the earlier Colonists.  Often they were members of the same families.  Henry Huffman came about 20 years after his brother John had come.  Dieter Reiner came 33 years after his sister had come.  While Henry and Dieter never had anything to do with Fort Germanna, most people would say that they should be included in the group of Germanna Colonists.

The common elements of all of these individuals is that they were German, and they lived east of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the modern counties of Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, and Rappahannock.  West of the Blue Ridge Mountains there was the Shenandoah Valley with its own settlement pattern.  There were some Germans east of the Blue Ridge Mountains in other counties.



Nr. 32:

Today I thought we might revisit the reasons that our Germanna ancestors came.  The answers are complex.  And how do you read the minds of people who lived almost three hundred years ago?

One of the best treatments in book form is "Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration", by Walter Allen Knittle.  The book has been reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Company and is available in many libraries.  Don't let the title mislead you; the comments apply to all areas of Germany.

After one reads and studies the question of why did they come, the first comment is usually, "Why didn't they leave sooner?", and not, "Why did they come?".

Germany, in the first half of the sixteen hundreds, was a land torn by war, the Thirty Years War, which lasted from 1618 to 1648.  All countries of Europe were involved in that they sent armies, but Germany was the battlefield.  And Germany suffered most of the losses.  It is said that areas or regions of Germany were reduced to one-third of their previous populations.  Disease was the major reason, but this arose from several causes -- lack of food, crowded living conditions as civilian moved ahead of the armies, and the level of movement which spread the diseases.

Late in the sixteen hundreds, and in the early seventeen hundreds, the armies of France ranged over the Palatinate and Baden.  Though the area of battle was more restricted than for the Thirty Years War, the intensity of the war was bad.  The town of Heidelberg was burned to the ground, with only a handful of buildings left standing.  (One of the effects of these campaigns was the destruction of the church books, and of gaps of information in the books.)

So "Germany" was not a very peaceful place to live, and a person might well have wished that he were somewhere else.

As a consequence of war, there were many migrations of people.  Sometimes people moved to get out of the way of the armies.  More importantly, after the war, there was vast, underpopulated regions, with vacant farms and vacant houses and barns.  The rulers of these regions sent out "invitations" for people to settle there, emphasizing the favorable conditions that could be had if one moved into their Principality.  Vast numbers of people did move, across the Germanic regions, and from one country to another.  Many Swiss Anabaptists moved into Baden and Württemberg (also to Alsace and the Palatinate).  Some people moved from the eastern regions, such as Austria, to the lands along the Rhine.  One of the Germanna families who moved from Austria to Germany was the Blankenbakers (the move may have been motivated by religion as much as anything, since Austria became a Catholic country after the Thirty Years War).  All of this movement had an important repercussion in that families were, perhaps unknowingly, being trained to relocate as a means of settling problems.



Nr. 33:

In the last note, war was mentioned as a contributing factor to the causes of emigration, but, perhaps more in an indirect way than in a direct way.  Today I discuss another unusual factor in the early 1700's which was to have an influence on the early Germanna colonists.

The several decade period in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries has been called a little ice age.  Temperatures were below the average for many years in a row.  The lowest temperatures were reached late in the year of 1708, and continued in the ensuing winter season.  The cold weather was in force by the beginning of October, and by November 1 it was said that firewood would not burn in the open air.  In January the alcoholic beverages were freezing.  Birds on the wing fell dead; saliva congealed before it hit the ground.  The rivers were all ice bound.  But most surprising, the oceans froze along the coast to the extent that a heavy wagon could travel on the ice.  The cold was not just intense, it lasted for several months.

Consequences of this cold were many.  The grape vines were killed.  The trees in the orchards were also killed.  The recovery from these adverse affects took years.  During the recovery, economic times were hard because incomes were sharply reduced.  There was no wine to sell, there was no fruit to sell.  Even such industries as iron smelting in the Nassau-Siegen area were hit because they needed trees to make charcoal to run the furnaces and forges.  Growing enough trees was always a problem.  So even industry felt the multi-year depression which resulted from the cold snap.  Briefly, it was hard to make a living in the years following the winter of 1708/1709.

This is one of the reasons that emigration in the spring and summer of 1709 reached epidemic proportions.  There were other reasons for the 1709 emigration fever, but certainly the weather played a role.

Though our Germanna colonists did not leave in 1709, this cold wave had a strong influence on them.  The depression-like years of the economy were a factor.  There was another factor, perhaps almost as important.

Up to this point, few Germans had been leaving Germany, and one reason was that the path had not laid out.  No one was familiar with what was required.  How much money would it take?  How long would it take?  What were the dangers?  What would the reception be in America?  This all changed in 1709, when lots of Germans did get to America.  It could be done apparently.  One just had to take the first steps.

If one draws a fifteen mile circle around the town of Siegen, over 200 people have been identified who left in 1709, and did make it to America.  Some of these names occur in the family histories of the First Germanna Colonists.  So when Johann Justus Albrecht arrived in Siegen about 1710, the citizens were aware that others were making the trip, and probably even knew some of the people who had left.  Knowing a few people who had left, and facing a bleak economic outlook, a semi-receptive audience was found by Albrecht.

The Second Colony, who came a few years after the First Colony, would have been subject to many of the same reasons.  They too knew people who had left, and the economic times were still bad.  So, the cold weather had a role, and people left, not because they were trying to find a warmer climate, but because of secondary effects engendered by the "little ice age".



Nr. 34:

Continuing our look at the causes of the early 1700 German immigration, religion has been cited as a reason.  But it has been overemphasized by descendants who wanted to give their ancestors a noble purpose in coming to America.  In fact, it is almost non-existent as a cause, certainly among our Germanna Colonists.

Still, there were groups, such as the Anabaptists, for whom religion was an important factor.  We know some of these people today as Mennonites and Amish.  In some cases, on a very significant level, they were forced unwillingly to depart their homeland.  Earlier, the role of Christoph von Graffenried in finding a new home for the Berne Anabaptists was mentioned.  The city fathers of Berne were exporting Anabaptists; Graffenried held the contract to find them new homes.

Earlier, Anabaptists had been expelled from Switzerland, or had chosen to leave, when land became available after the Thirty Years War.  Many of these were living in Baden, Württemberg, The Palatinate, and Alsace.  The special restrictions upon them there were onerous.  These included, by way of examples, special taxes, no church buildings, and meetings limited to a few people.  The Anabaptists were very receptive to William Penn's offer of cheap land, and the free exercise of religion.

Among the Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed Germans, religion was not a significant cause of emigration.  In fact, the Catholics were not welcomed by the English.  While the existing treaties among the countries said the religion of the ruler would be the religion of the country, there was a varied degree of toleration of other religions, and in only a few cases was it intolerable.

Of about 100 Germans who passed through London in 1708, none of them cited religion as a cause for immigration.  They were outspoken about the ravages of the French armies in the Neckar region in 1707.  Of about 1500 German families tallied in 1709, they were about equally divided among Catholic, Reformed, and Lutheran.  Many of these came from The Palatinate, which had a Catholic ruler.  If religion were the cause of emigration, then it would leave unexplained the large number of Catholics.  Many, perhaps a majority, of these Germans, were under a Protestant prince.

A German pastor who visited the families in London in 1709, observed that prayer books and Bibles were not in evidence.  A report at the same time from Holland said the Protestants and Catholics agreed with each other very well, with many mixed marriages.  In this vein, I believe it was Hank Z. Jones who said he encountered (in the records, not in person) a man was born a Catholic, married in a Reform church, and later was an elder in a Lutheran church.  The details of the religion did not seem to matter that much.

Also, the Germans learned quickly that it was "profitable" to tell the English that they were persecuted as Protestants.  The English had their prejudices and the Germans took advantage of this.

Except for the Anabaptists, religion was not a major cause of emigration, and probably it was not even a minor cause of emigration.



Nr. 35:

In this series discussing motivations for going to America, mention must be made of a reason which is simple to understand.  That was a desire for adventure, most evident in the single males.

Looking at the First Colony, there were several bachelors:  Melchoir Brumbach, John Hoffman, John Kemper, Joseph Martin, and John Spilman.  Two of the Fishback men could have qualified as bachelors, but it would be unfair to count them, since they came with their total family of six.  The bachelors probably could rationalize their investment in the trip by saying they could always return if it didn't work out.  When they left Germany, they were under no particular pressure to provide for a family.  One has to feel that a spirit of adventure contributed to their decision to go.  That so many young single men were in the party may also say something about the economic conditions.  Perhaps Albrecht, in his recruiting, may have attempted to maximize the return on the investment by recruiting bachelors without any overhead in the form of wives and children.  To the bachelors, who had probably accumulated little capital, it was a means to get to America cheaply.  On balance, the desire for adventure surely paid some part.

In the Second Colony, there were few bachelors.  Mostly it was young families of a husband, wife, and a few children.  One true bachelor was Michael Kaifer, and he was not totally alone.  It could be said that he came with his sister Appollonia Kaifer, who was now married to John Nicholas Blankenbaker.  Whether she was to watch out for him, or he was to help his sister and brother-in-law, or he was completely independent, is not clear.

A family could hardly rationalize a trip to America as adventure.  Individual members of a family felt the pressure of the group.  Within my own namesake family, it was headed by an older couple with three subfamilies from the wife's first marriage, an unmarried son by her second marriage, and two children from her third marriage.  There may have been a daughter's family also, but we have no proof of that.  It is just that we feel the pressure would have been intense on the daughter and husband to join the group.  In this situation, where all of the family was going except for one member, pressure could have intense.

As we continue to look at the reasons that people came, we see that no single reason applied to all.  Each individual had a mix of reasons in varying proportions.



Nr. 36:

In the last note, adventure was mentioned as possible reason for immigration, especially among single males.  In the families, a more conservative outlook prevailed.  They would more likely have been motivated by a desire for land.  In Germany, little land remained for purchase.  Sons had to depend upon an inheritance.  The Germans tended to divide their estates among all of the sons, or even all of the children.  There was no primogeniture as in England, so the land had been divided to below an economically profitable unit size.  In the Siegen area, where a more industrial outlook prevailed, the furnaces and forges could not be physically divided, so a time division was used instead.  A son might inherit a right to a furnace for one day a month.  Many of the industrial jobs were only part time while the family also farmed.  So in all regions, the families wanted to acquire land for their own use and they wanted to be able to give farms to their children.

It was difficult to accumulate capital in Germany.  Taxes were high.  Remember that Germany was not a single entity; rather it was a collection of Principalities of all sizes (it was not even called "Germany").  Many of these units or governments were too small to be economically viable, especially when the ruler wanted to emulate one of the Princes or perhaps even the "Sun Monarch".  Still, this was probably the only condition that many citizens of the principalities had known.  They had difficulty in imaging there could be a government with low taxes.  Later, relatives and friends wrote home from the colonies and told how small the taxes were they paid, then the citizens of Germany realized it could be better.  But the role of taxes did not become important until later.

Advertising was wide spread and sponsored by many agents.  One of the most active and best conducted campaigns was by William Penn for his new colony.  He personally visited Germany and extolled his province of Pennsylvania.  He also had pamphlets printed and distributed.  Some of these would have put today's real estate promoter to shame.  The pamphlets were printed with covers of "gold" which made them very impressive, and the booklets became known and referred to by these covers.  Penn used two major selling points, free exercise of religion, and plenty of cheap land.  Except for some sectarians who were anxious to have more freedom to practice their religion, cheap land was the stronger appeal.

Later, advertising was conducted by the shipping companies, i.e., the owners who were trying to fill their ships with people to take to the new world.  But at the times of the first Germanna colonies, this was not an active process.  When they did refine the process, they made use of "newlanders" who were living in America, but who had gone back to Germany on a temporary basis.  These newlanders were paid on a commission basis and they were thought to be effective because they had a first hand knowledge of the colonies which they could convey to the prospective emigrant in his own language.

Of course, for the First Germanna Colony, Albrecht would have fallen into the role of promoter and salesman of the venture.  I know of no evidence that he had ever been to the Colonies, but he was self-assured and confident.  Still, he found it necessary to adopt a special measure to obtain help in promoting the silver mining venture.  He signed an agreement with the church leaders of Siegen, promising to provide them with income from the projected mines in America.  Presumably this would make the venture look more attractive.



Nr. 37:

Trying to summarize the reasons for the emigration of the Germanna colonists, no single reason will cover all people.  Even more strongly, hardly any individual had only a single reason for coming.  But it seems to me that the dominant reason for coming was a chance to improve one's economic condition.  For some people, they could be the beneficiaries.  For others, there would be little opportunity to improve their own position in life; instead, they could look forward to lots of hard work and few rewards.  They were probably more motivated to improve the opportunities for their children and grandchildren.

When we start handing out the awards, the blue ribbons go to the women.  Being more oriented to family and tradition, the decision to go to America was probably harder for them than for the men.  My blue ribbon to the woman in the First Colony for fortitude goes to Anna Catherine Friesenhagen, the wife of Rev.  Hager (Haeger or Häger).  She was fifty years old, while Rev.  Hager was sixty-nine and retired because of ill health.  Two daughters were sixteen and eleven.  She was leaving a home with three servants in it.

In the Hager family, economics was less important than for the other emigrants.  Going to the New World was a step down for them on the comfort scale, though they were perhaps unaware of this.  The Hager parents had one motivation that none of the other emigrants had; they had a son in New York, their only surviving child besides the two daughters.  Thus the journey could result in a reunion, not a split of the family.

In the Second Colony, the blue ribbon goes to Anna Barbara Schöene, to give her maiden name.  At fifty-three years of age, she packed up with her seven children, and their children, and her husband, and set off for a new life.  She made it to Virginia but it is unknown whether she lived past the seven years at New Germantown and made it to the lands which her family purchased in the Robinson River Valley.  One would like to think that she made it to the promised land.  In this case, I would think the family was economically motivated and Anna Barbara joined in to preserve the family as a unit.  (I get weepy-eyed when I think about Anna Barbara who an ancestor of mine in three different ways.)

As the emigrants are examined, we could ascribe many different motivations to them.  But we would keep coming back to the general theme that they were trying to improve their own or their children's station in life.  Adventure and a discomfort level arising from war and cold weather could be included.  But the religious situation was not that bad for Lutherans and Reformed people in Nassau-Siegen, the Neckar region, and in The Palatinate.  (Nassau-Siegen was mixed in religion.)

After a few more years, in some cases only a very few years, the situation changed.  A new factor appeared, letters started going back to Germany.  More reports appeared telling how it could be done.  Generally the letters were encouraging, and, with more information about how it could be done, friends, relatives, and total strangers joined in.  Still they were motivated by the same old reason, there was a better life to be had across the Atlantic.



Nr. 38:

Having decided to go to the Island, or Carolina, or Pennsylvania (the names were used almost interchangeably as synonyms for the New World), a departure was usually made in the spring of the year.  For the first two Germanna Colonies, it was well into summer before they left.  The trip was made almost exclusively by water.  The First Colony people went down the Sieg, the Second Colony went down the Neckar, and in both cases they went to the Rhine, which they took then on to Rotterdam.  Some of the Second Colony people were near enough to the Rhine that they may have started on it.

Gottlieb Mittelberger made the trip in 1750, when emigration had reached the size that the operation was becoming better "organized".  He wrote a small book which described the trip and his life in America.

"I took the usual route down the Neckar (from Heilbronn) and the Rhine Rivers to Rotterdam in Holland.  The trip from home to Rotterdam, including the sojourn there, took fully seven weeks because of the many delays encountered on the Rhine and in Holland.  The reason for this (seven weeks) is that the Rhine boats must pass by thirty-six different customs houses between Heilbronn and Holland.  At each of these all the ships must be examined and these examinations take place at the convenience of the customs officials which hold up ships for long times.  This involves a great deal of expense for the passengers and it means that the trip down the Rhine takes from four to six weeks.

"When the boats with their passengers arrive in Holland they are held up once again from five to six weeks.  Everything is expensive in Holland and the poor people must spend nearly all they own during this period.

"In Rotterdam, the people are packed as closely as herring, so to speak, into the big boats.  The bedstead of one person is hardly two feet across and six feet long, since many of the boats carry from four to six hundred passengers."

The Germanna colonists had a variation to the basic pattern being described here.  They had to catch a boat in Rotterdam to London, and there they had to find another boat to cross the Atlantic.  By 1750, the ships which were to carry the people across the Atlantic were calling at Rotterdam to find the passengers.

Herr Mittelberger notes that it took from eight days to four weeks to cross to the final port in England, where stores were taken on.  During time in port everyone had to spend his money and consume the provisions that he meant for the ocean voyage.

"When the ship weighs anchor for the last time, then the long sea voyage and misery begin in earnest", Mittelberg writes "This portion of the trip takes from eight to twelve weeks to cross the ocean to Philadelphia.  The voyage from Rotterdam to Philadelphia took fifteen weeks."



Nr. 39:

Herr Mittelberger was an individual whose glass was half-empty.  Others might see the glass as half-full, but he tended to see the dark side, which he painted a bit blacker than others did.  Still, I can't say that he made up any part of his description of the journey.  Let's hear his story of the crossing itself.

"...the long sea voyage and misery begin in earnest.  (After weighing anchor) the ships take eight, nine, ten, or twelve weeks sailing to Philadelphia, if the wind is unfavorable.  But even in the most favorable wind, the vogage takes seven weeks.

"During the journey the ship is full of pitiful signs of distress -- smells, fumes, horrors, vomiting, various kinds of sea sickness, fever, dysentary, headaches, heat, constipation, boils, scurvy, cancer, mouth-rot, and similar afflictions, all of them caused by the aged and highly salted food, especially of the meat, as well as by the bad and filthy water, which brings about the miserable destruction and death of many.  Add to that the hunger, thirst, frost, heat, dampness, fear, misery, vexation, and shortage of food, as well as other troubles.  Thus, for example, there are so many lice, especially on the sick people, that they have to be scraped off the bodies.  All this misery reaches its climax when, in addition to everything, one must also suffer through two to three days and nights of storms with everyone convinced that the ship will all aboard is bound to sink.  In such misery all the people on board pray and cry pitifully together.

"...when wind and waves permitted it, I held daily prayer meetings with (the passengers) on deck and, since we had no ordained clergyman on board (Mittelberger was an organist), was forced to administer baptism to five children.  I also held services, including a sermon, every Sunday, and when the dead were buried at sea, commended them and our souls to the mercy of God.

"Among those who are in good health, impatience sometimes grows so great and bitter that one person begins to curse the other or himself and the day of his birth, and people sometimes come close to murdering one another.  Misery and malice are readily associated, so that people begin to cheat and steal from one another.  And then one blames the other for having undertaken the voyage.  Often children cry out against their parents, husbands against wives, and wives against husbands, brothers against sisters, and friends and acquaintances against one another.

"...warm food is served only three times a week, and at that is very bad, very small in quantity, and so dirty as to be hardly palatable at all.  And the water distributed in these ships is often very black, thick with dirt, and full of worms.  ...toward the end of the voyage we had to eat the ship's biscuit which had already been spoiled for a long time.

"When at last, after the long and difficult voyage, the ship finally approachs land and one gets to see the headlands which had been longed for so passionately, then everyone crawls from below to the deck, in order to look at the land from afar.  And people cry for joy, pray, and sing praises and give thanks to God.  The glimpse of land revives the passengers ..."

There were voyages that were better than Mittelberger's, and there were voyages that made his crossing look like he was on a cruise ship.  The facts that he describes are probably typical; he has just one color with which to paint, black.



Nr. 40:

Mittelberger gave some prices for the cruise across the Atlantic Ocean.  To have a measure of what a pound Sterling was worth, a carpenter's wages in Virginia was two and one-half shillings per day.  There are twenty shillings in a pound Sterling.  Thus, a charge of ten pounds for the Atlantic trip represents 80 days of wages for a carpenter, who could be considered a craftsman.  To put these into perspective, 80 days today would be 16 weeks of work, which might represent a gross income of $16,000.

From Rotterdam to Philadelphia, anyone older than ten years had to pay ten pounds for the passage.  Children between five and ten paid half fare, or five pounds.  Children under five got free passage.  For this they had their transportation across the ocean and board while they were at sea.  But this was only the sea voyage.

The cost from home (in Germany) to Rotterdam was six to seven pounds no matter how economically one tries to live on the way.  And this does not include the expense of any extraordinary contingencies.  Mittelberger reports that some people spent thirty pounds from home to Philadelphia.  When one puts the parts together, say for the parents and two children over five, one sees that the trip represents many months of wages for someone who is a skilled artisan.  In short, the trip was expensive.

I have usually used the figure of six pounds for the trans-Atlantic crossing of our Germanna people, a figure somewhat less than Mittelberger is using.  One of his purposes in writing his book that I have been quoting was to discourage Germans from emigrating.  He believed they were better off to remain in Germany.  He may have colored his facts to support his argument better.  Also it should be noted, Mittelberger's story is based on a crossing in 1750, some thirty-odd years later than the earlier Germanna people.  Prices may have suffered some inflation in that time.

I understand that ship captains still expected payment even if the passenger died in route.  Some people, where several members of the family died, faced impossible financial burdens at the destinations.

For reference purposes, the book by Mittelberger is entitled "Journey to Pennsylvania", which was translated and edited by Oscar Handlin and John Clive, and published by the Harvard University Press in 1960.

A longer version of Mittelberger's report will appear in the issue of Beyond Germanna which is due out March 1.



Nr. 41:

What did our Germans find when they arrived in Virginia?  They perhaps landed at Jamestown, the port for Williamsburg.  Already this was thirty miles inland up the James River.  So before they had landed they would have discovered two characteristics of Virginia.  The one that surprised them the most was the number of trees.  Chances are they saw some ground being cleared for growing tobacco, and the trees were being burned.  They were not used to so many trees, nor were they used to seeing them being burned just to get rid of them.  This was difficult for them to accept; trees in Germany were scarce and bordered on being precious.

The trip up the James River would have exposed them also to another aspect of life in Virginia.  Civilization was based on the major river systems.  In the early 1700's, ships could sail up the four major rivers to the limits of settlement.  From the north, there was the Potomac, the Rappahannock (to be very important to them later), the York, and the James.  Commerce took place on these rivers.  Some of the plantations fronted on the rivers (as Mount Vernon was to do later), but many were set back slightly, with only a landing to mark where ships could call.

It perhaps took a while for the Germans to appreciate it, but there was only one town, Williamsburg, the capitol city where the Governor had his home.  The assembly, or the House of Burgesses, met here and enacted legislation.  The Council was both an advisor to the Governor and a partner in the legislative process.

Outside of Williamsburg, life centered on the larger homes which were surrounded by the buildings necessary for a self-contained community of specialized labors.  A traveller would be welcome to stay in one of these homes, especially if he brought news from the larger world.  If he could tell a few good stories, he might be invited to stay another night.

The road network was limited, and tapered off in quality as one moved away from Williamsburg.  When Lt. Governor Spotswood went to Germanna in 1716, he travelled the first part of the way in a chaise.  Then he transferred to a horse.  The road network was used mainly for people, not for commerce.  The largest amount of freight was tobacco going to market in England.  From the farms it was rolled in large casks to a warehouse at a river bank.  There it could be traded for a warehouse receipt, and the warehouse receipt could be used as money.  Even the tithes of the church were assessed in pounds of tobacco and could be paid with actual tobacco.

The importance of tobacco would have been a surprise to the Germans but, as soon as they were on their own, they too adopted the culture of tobacco.  It was the one cash crop in Virginia which dominated everything else.  Mini-depressions could result if the crop was poor or the price was low.  Tobacco even had its own network of roads, called rolling roads.  These had to be laid out very carefully to avoid hills which would make the pulling hard or the braking difficult.  These roads also needed to be smooth to avoid breaking up the casks.



Nr. 42:

For a description of early 18th century Virginia, some contemporary accounts are good.  The first is from John Fontaine's Journal (referenced earlier).

On November 9, 1715, (a Saturday) John Fontaine and (John?) Clayton left Williamsburg to go to Germanna.  The objective was not so much Germanna as it was to scout for land, since Fontaine wanted to buy a farm there for his family.  At nine in morning, after breakfast with Spotswood, they left by horseback and travelled 31½ miles that day, including crossing the York River, which was over a mile wide at the crossing point.  They stayed that night with Mr. Augustine Moore.

On Sunday, they stayed with the Moores.  Fontaine's horse ran away and Moore loaned one to Fontaine.

On Monday, they continued, and crossed the Mattapony River in a large dugout canoe, which was novel to Fontaine.  (The horses went in a boat.)  Muskrats were a new animal.  That night they reached the home of John Baylor, prominent citizen.

On Tuesday, a servant of Moore returned the lost horse of Fontaine.  They visited an Indian village.  That night they reached Robert Beverley's house.  (He is often called the "Historian", from the history of Virginia that he wrote.)

On Wednesday, they remained with Beverley and visited his vineyard (he was a partner with Spotswood in the settlement of the Second Germanna Colony, and he encouraged the Germans to raise grapes).  This year he has made 400 gallons of wine.

Thursday, the weather was very bad and they stayed over with Beverley and sampled the wine.  Beverley is said to be rich, but he lives simply, using stools for chairs, for example.  Everything he needs is made or grown on his land.

Friday, the weather was so bad Beverley would not let the men go.  Beverley describes his bet that he could make 700 gallons of wine within seven years.  It seems as though he will win the bet.  "We were merry with the wine.."

Saturday.  They went hunting with Beverley and saw deer, squirrels and partridges.

Sunday.  Went to church, seven miles distant, with Beverley.

Monday.  Beverley's son, William, wanted them to stay and go hunting and so they did.  Turkeys and deer are mentioned.  Visited neighbors.

Tuesday.  They left, and William Beverley went with them.  They made it to Mrs. Woodford's, about ten miles below the falls in the Rappahannock River, which are at today's Fredericksburg.  Saw ducks, geese, and water pheasants.  Kindly entertained.

Wednesday.  Mrs Woodford packed food for them and sent them on.  About five they crossed a bridge made by the Germans and in another hour were at Germanna.



Nr. 43:

On Thursday, November 21, 1715, John Fontaine, John Clayton, and William Beverley left Germanna about noon and went to Augustine Smith's house, which is almost upon the falls of the Rappahannock River.  He was not home but his housekeeper entertained the men well and gave them a turkey for dinner and beds to lie in.  From Germanna to Smith's house, nineteen deer were spotted.

On Friday, they continued but met two huntsmen and fell in with them.  They shot a buck and a doe.  About four in the afternoon they arrived at Richard Buckner's place on the Rappahannock.  They had good punch and were very merry.

On Saturday, they met Mr. Beverley and looked at land.  Later they continued on to the home of Beverley.  Saw lots of turkeys.  The next day, they continued travelling from Beverley's place, without William Beverley, until they reached Thomas Walker's place on the Mattapony River.

On Monday, they reached King and Queen Court House and spent the afternoon.  Capt. Joshua Story invited them to spend the night at his house, which they accepted, but found the entertainment indifferent.

On Tuesday, November 26, they crossed the York River on the ferry and ate at Fourrier's ordinary.  After lunch they continued on and reached Williamsburg about five.

The round trip journey to the Germanna settlement was estimated at 292 miles, which is consistent with Spotswood's estimate of the distance.  Fontaine spent three pounds and ten shillings.  Much of this money would have been as tips to the servants in the homes where they stayed.

Every night was spent by invitation at someone's home, except at Germanna, where they probably slept in the blockhouse.  Outside a day's travel from Williamsburg, no inns or ordinaries were mentioned, and probably there were very few.  There were no towns after leaving the capital.  Overall, Virginia was very rural and all opportunities for visiting were welcomed.

On the average, in the settled parts, the number of inhabitants per square mile was very limited.  Farms tended to be good sized, but varied considerably from the family farm, of perhaps a couple of hundred acres, to "quarters", of perhaps several hundred acres, on which the labor was mostly servants and slaves.  Without regard to size, all farms were called plantations.

A report to the King in 1721 (see Beyond Germanna, v.8, n.2) estimated the number of white souls in Virginia at 84,000.  In 1714, quit rents were paid on 2,619,773 acres.  This would yield 30 acres per white person.  But no quit rents were paid to the King in the Northern Neck, which consisted of five counties as compared to twenty counties in the Royal domain.  Also, much land was not taken up yet.  Thus, in the land divided into counties, the population was probably about ten souls per square mile.  One sees why Beverley travelled seven miles to go to church.



Nr. 44:

In August of 1716, a party of men was formed, from several parts of Virginia, to go over a pass recently discovered in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  John Fontaine joined in and left comments in his diary, which is good because no one else left any description of the trip.  In this note I continue with selections which give some idea of what Virginia was like.  The assembly point for the trip was Germanna.  Fontaine left Williamsburg with Spotswood, and the trip to Germanna was very similar to the one described in the last two notes.  Five days of travel were required to reach Germantown.

At Germanna, Fontaine came down with a violent fever for which he took the bark.  From the symptoms and the cure, he had, as many newcomers to Virginia did also, malaria.  The second day out from Germanna they had venison for dinner, in abundance, which they roasted on wooden forks before the fire.  Two days later they killed a bear and more deer.

The next day the troop was besieged by hornets, which were very troublesome to the horses.  On September 2, a Sunday, they saw another bear, but, it being Sunday they did not endeavor to kill anything.  The next day, a thicket was so well laced together that their clothles and baggage were much damaged.  At this point they were near the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Progress was very slow and they made only eight miles.

On the fourth, one of the horses was bitten by a rattlesnake.  The sides of the hills were so full of vines and briars that they had to clear a way for men and horses.  As they ascended, they killed four rattlesnakes.  The camp that night was called, familiarly, "rattlesnake" camp.  The next day they crested the Blue Ridge.  They found marked trees marking a trail which they presumed to have been made by the Indians.  Over the mountains, they found tracks and bedding places for buffaloes and elk.  They found grapes very good for the eating.

At the Shenandoah (they called it the Euphrates) they caught fish.  Others killed deer and turkeys.  On the way home, at one camp, there were deer, bears, and turkeys.  On Sunday, September 9, they killed three bears.  Fontaine could not easily eat bear and says it would have tasted better if he had not known what it was.  He did compare it to veal.  On the next day they were back at Germanna.  At Germanna, Fontaine caught fish in the Rapidan (he calls it as it was originally named, the Rappahannock).  On several occasions on the trip, Fontaine mentions large snakes which he seemed determined to kill.

Because the First Colony of Germans arrived so late in the year, it was impossible for them to raise any crops in 1714.  To help them (and perhaps avoid having to supply them with food), Gov. Spotswood had legislation passed declaring there was to be no hunting by others within a five radius of Germanna.  Assuming the Germans took advantage of the game, they could have been eating venison, bear, and turkey meat.  They could also have caught fish in the river.  If they went farther afield they might have had buffalo and elk.  But it sounds as if they would not have lacked protein in the vicinity of Germanna.

Both the First and Second Colonies would have encountered, or met, Indians.  As has been commented before, the Germans were the vanguard of civilization, the western edge, living under primitive conditions.  Basically, if they couldn't grow it or make it themselves, they did without.



Nr. 45:

On September 8, 1721, the Lord Commissioners for Trade and Plantations sent a representation to the King [George I] upon the State of His Majesties Colonies & Plantations on the Continent of North America.

The State of Virginia in 1721.

"The Government of this Colony was at first under the direction of a Company; but they being dissolved upon the mal-administration, in the year 1626, His Majesty King Charles the first took the Government into his own hands and settled such laws and constitutions in that province, as were agreeable to those in this Kingdom.  Accordingly the nomination & appointment of the Governors, as well as the Council which consists of 12 persons is in your Majesty, & the General Assembly consisting of fifty-two Burgesses has been always chosen by the freeholders.

"The strength and security of this Colony, in a great measure, depend upon their Militia; their plantations being usually at too great a distance from one another to be covered by forts and towns.  James Town and Williamsburg are the only Towns [they could be considered as twin cities] in the whole Country; & there is no Fort of any consequence for the security of their great navigation & trade, but at James Town.

"However for their protection against the Indians, who inhabit amongst them, & that live to the Westward they have erected Christianna, & some other Forts; & the Council & Assembly have lately proposed to your Majesty a scheme for securing the passes over the great ridge of Mountains which lie on the back of this Province ..."

The militia in 1690 was 6,570; in 1703, 10,556; and in 1715, about 14,000 in all.  The report used the ratio that the militia (all white males 16 to 50) were one-sixth of the whole population; the total number of white inhabitants was computed as 84,000.  The entire province is divided into 25 counties but 5 of these counties belong to the late Lord Colepepper.  In the King's 20 counties, 2,619,773 acres of land have been taken up.  The holders pay an annual quit rent of two shillings [about a day's wages] or 24 pounds weight of tobacco for every hundred acres.  The proceeds to the King vary widely because the price of tobacco can vary almost two to one from year to year.

Levies are made upon every person over 16 years of age except white women.  In 1714 the number of tithables was 31,540.  [From this, one concludes a large fraction of the population was under 16 years of age.]

"The principal product of Virginia is tobacco ... the Virginia planters [have] exported to this Kingdom at least 30,000 hogsheads per Annum ...  The other branches of trade between this kingdom & Virginia consist in pitch & tar, pipe & hogsheads staves, skins & furrs, & a few drugs... their dependence is almost wholly on the produce of tobacco."

This material was taken from J.R. Brodhead, "Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York", edited by E.B. O'Callaghan, vol. V, p.591f, Albany, 1855.

Note that every member of the militia produced about two hogsheads of tobacco.  A good trade to be in would be cooperage.  Christopher Zimmerman and Frederick Kabler of the Germanna Mt. Pony settlement were coopers.  No iron is mentioned in the trade items.  Probably the furnaces had not come on line yet.  The Second Colony members were involved in the Naval Stores.  There is no mention of Fort Germanna, which probably had been destroyed by then so Spotswood could build his home.  The trip to and over the Blue Ridge Mountains had been five years earlier and no progress had been made on security.  Most likely the Virginians were more motivated by land speculation than by security.



Nr. 46:

Continuing with excerpts from the Representation to the King by the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations in London, the trade with all of the plantations (colonies) was examined.  Besides the colonies on the North American continent, England was also active in Antigua, Barbadoes, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nevis, and St. Christopher.  That these were important is shown by the amounts imported to England.  There was more imported from Barbadoes and Jamaica each than from Virginia and Maryland combined.

Of the North American plantations, Virginia and Maryland dominated the imports to England.  Together they exported to England about four times as much as New England did.  Most of this from Virginia was tobacco.  From Virginia and Maryland, the annual value of their exports was about 250,000 pounds Sterling.  New England ran a trade deficit with England; as a consequence, the merchants of New England developed a lively trade with other locations.

In the three years from Christmas of 1714 to Christmas of 1717, 340 ships cleared English ports for Virginia.  This is almost exactly a ship every three days.  From the total tonnage in this three years, one can compute that the average size of a Virginia bound ship was 138 tons.  This is not very large; it compares in volume to a 2000 square foot house.

Altogether, England imported a little less than 400,000 pounds Sterling from North American colonies, and over one-half of this was tobacco.  Other items in order of their value were pitch and tar, logwood, other, rice, skins and furs, turpentine, brown sugar, train oil, and whale fins.

British goods exported to the colonies included woolen goods (147,000), worked iron products (35,000), silk (18,000), wrought leather (15,000), linens (11,000), cordage (11,000), and other (44,000), to the value given in the parenthesis in pound Sterling.  These were goods of British origins.

Foreign goods sent to North America from non-British sources include linens (86,000), callicoes (10,000), and other (22,000).

The report noted that exports to the Continent of America exceeded the imports from there by about $200,000 per annum.  The Lord Commissioners noted this imbalance was an advantage to Great Britain.  Also the trade increased His Majesty's revenue from the Customs very considerably.  Also it was noted that many of the imports to England from America were exported to other nations which helped the balance of trade very considerably.  For example, about 8,000,000 pounds (weight) of tobacco were consumed annually in England while 17,000,000 pounds were re-exported to other nations.  (From this we deduce that a hogshead of tobacco weighed over 800 pounds, a very cumbersome quantity.)  Nearly all of trade was carried in British ships.

When a European war developed, the impact on Virginia was severe because the demand for tobacco was reduced.



Nr. 47:

The Rev. Hugh Jones came to Virginia in 1717 and returned to England in 1722.  In 1724, he wrote a small book, "The Present State of Virginia".  It is considered that he was writing of events that occurred no later than 1722.  He was at Williamsburg associated with the College of William and Mary, and he was a friend of Spotswood.  On some occasions he goes overboard in his praise of Spotswood.

Suppose that we want to go into the business of raising tobacco.  Here is how to go about it.

"When a tract of land is seated, they clear it by felling the trees about a yard from the ground, lest they should shoot up again.  What they have occasion for they carry off, and burn the rest, or let it lie and rot upon the ground.  The land between the logs and stumps they hoe up, planting tobacco there in the spring, inclosing it with a slight fence of cleft rails.  This will last for tobacco for some years, if the land is good, as it is where fine timber, or grape vines grow.

"Land when tired is forced to bear tobacco by penning their cattle upon it; but cowpen tobacco tastes strong, and that planted in wet marshy land is called nonburning tobacco, which smoaks in the pipe like leather, unless it be of a good age.  When land is tired of tobacco, it will bear Indian corn, or English wheat, or any other European grain or seed, with wonderful increase.

"Tobacco and Indian corn are planted in hills as hops, and secured by worm fences, which are made of rails supporting one another very firmly in a particular manner.  Tobacco requires a great deal of skill and trouble in the right management of it.  They raise the plants in beds, as we do cabbage plants; which they transplant and replant upon occasion after a shower of rain, which they call a season.

"When it is grown up they top it, or nip off the head, succour it, or cut off the ground leaves, weed it, hill it; and when ripe, they cut it down about six or eight leaves up a stalk, which they carry into airy tobacco houses; after it is withered a little in the sun, there it is hung to dry on sticks, as paper at the paper-mills; when it is in proper case, (as they call it) and the air neither too moist, nor too dry, they strike it, or take it down, then cover it up in bulk, or a great heap, where it lies till they have leisure or occasion to stem it (that is pull the leaves from the stalk) or strip it (that is take out the great fibers) and tie it up in hands, or streight lay it; and so by degrees prize or press it with proper engines into great hogsheads, containing from about six to eleven hundred pounds; four of which hogsheads make a tun, by dimension, not by weight; then it is ready for sale or shipping.

"There are two sorts of tobacco, viz.  Oroonoko the stronger, and sweetscented the milder; the first with a sharper leaf like a fox's ear, and the other rounder and with finer fibres; but each of these are varied into several sorts, much as apples and pears are; and I have been informed by the Indian traders, that the inland Indians have sorts of tobacco much differing from any planted or used by the Europeans."

When our Germanna ancestors came to Virginia, it was essential to learn how to do this to have a cash income.  I made the observation here that, on the average, each militia man would have grown two hogsheads of tobacco.  I didn't mean to imply that each man would have grown tobacco; the quotation was only an average.  From the size of the hogshead above, this is a lot of tobacco.



Nr. 48:

We have seen the principal means of earning cash in early eighteenth Virginia.  Today we examine Jones' comments upon raising food.

"The Indian corn is planted in hills and weeded much as Tobacco.  This grain is of great increase and most general use; for with this is made good bread, cakes, mush, and hommony for the Negroes, which with good pork and potatoes (red and white, very nice and different from ours) with other roots and pulse, are their general food.  Indian corn is the best food for cattle, hogs, sheep and horses; and the blades and tops are excellent fodder, when well cured, which is commonly used, though many raise good clover and oats; and some have planted sanfoin, etc.

"In the marshes, and woods, and old fields is good range for stock in the spring, summer, and fall; and the hogs will run fat with certain roots of flags and reeds, which abounding in the marshes they root up and eat.  Besides, at the plantations are standard peach-trees, and apple-trees, planted out in orchards, on purpose almost for the hogs.

"The peaches abound, and are of a delicious taste, and apple-trees are raised from the seeds very soon, which kind of kernel fruit needs no grafting, and is diversifyed into numberless sorts, and makes, with good management, an excellent cyder, not much inferior to that of Herefordshire, when kept to to a good age; which is rarely done, the planters being good companions and guests whilst the cyder lasts.  Here cherries thrive much better (I think) than in England; though the fruit trees soon decay, yet they are raised to great perfection.

"As for wool, I have had near so good as any near Leominister; and it might be much improved if he sheep were housed every night, and foddered and littered as in Urchingfield, where they have by such means the finest wool; but to do this, would be of little use, since it is contrary to the interest of Great Britain to allow them exportation of their woolen manufactures; and what little woolen is there made might be nearly had as cheap, and better from England.

"As for provisions, there is an excellent variety of excellent fish in great plenty easily taken; especially oysters, sheepheads, rocks, large trouts, crabs, drums, sturgeons, etc.  They have the same fowl as in England, only they propagate better; but these exceed in wild geese and ducks, cohoncks, blew-wings, teal,swans, and mallards.

"Their beef and veal is small, sweet, and fat enough; their pork is famous, whole Virginia shoats being frequently barbacued in England; their bacon is excellent, the hams being scarce to be distingused from those of Westphalia; but their mutton and lamb some folks don't like, though others extol it.  Their butter is good and plentiful enough.

"Their venison in the lower parts of the country is not so plentiful as it has been, though there be enough and tolerably good; but in the frontier counties they abound with venison, wild turkies, etc., where the common people sometimes dress bears, whose flesh they say, is not to be distinguished from good pork or bacon.  They pull the down of their living geese and wild and tame ducks, wherewith they make the softest and sweetest beds.

"The houses stand sometimes two or three together; and in other places a quarter, half a mile, or a mile, or two, asunder, much as in the country in England."

The food picture above probably reflects the German tastes also but it does not show the vegetable preferences where there were differences.



Nr. 49:

The Rev. Hugh Jones had a few comments about our German ancestors.  Quoting him:

"Beyond Colonel Spotswood's furnace above the falls of Rappahannock River, within view of the vast mountains, he has founded a town called Germanna, from some Germans sent over thither by Queen Anne, who are now removed up farther; here he has servants and workmen of most handycraft trades; and he is building a church, court-house, and dwelling-house for himself; and with his servants and Negroes he has cleared plantations about it, proposing great encouragement for people to come and settle in that uninhabited part of the world, lately divided into a county."

Jones errs slightly in some of the facts.  The Germans who settled at Germanna had been invited over by Baron de Graffenried to come to Virginia to a colony which he was planning to form, but which failed (see earlier notes).  Queen Anne had authorized the governor to furnish the Baron's company, or enterprise, with land upon their arrival, but it can hardly be said that she sent them over.  The passage of the Germans was paid in part by the Germans and in part by Spotswood, in return for which they agreed to work four years for him.

Jones wrote this in 1724, but he left Virginia in 1722, and most commentators believe he is describing Virginia as he understood it in 1722.  This is consistent with the building activity he describes at Germanna.  Jones continues with a new paragraph,

"Beyond this are seated the colony of Germans or Palatines, with allowance of good quantities of rich land, at easy or no rates, who thrive very well, and live happily, and entertain generously."

In this last paragraph, Jones is describing the Second Germanna Colony, who were at New Germantown on the north bank of the Rapidan River, about two miles west of Germanna.  At this time, Spotswood was still hopeful that the Germans would remain on his land and lease it from him.  Jones makes it clear that this 'colony of Germans or Palatines' was involved in wine making and the naval stores programs which Spotswood himself had described as the activities of the Second Colony.  (See Note 22 for additional comments.)

A little bit about the government of Virginia follows.  Each county elected two burgesses (by the freeholders), plus another for James Town and for the College.  These proceeded, as a General Assembly, in many ways similar to the House of Commons in England.  The equivalent of the House of Lords was the Council (of 12), appointed by the King, who advised the Governor and approved legislation.  While Virginia was self-governing, the King did not forfeit his right to veto legislation.



Nr. 50:

Ted Walker of Mesa, Arizona, sent material on which this note is based.  I thank him and all others who respond with comments and questions.

We are aware of Johannes Hofmann of the 1714 Colony, and of his brother, Johannes Henrich Hofmann, who came to Virginia in the period 1739 to 1745.  We were aware from Germanna Record 5 that they had a brother Johann Wilhelm Hofmann who was about three years younger than Henry (Henrich) Huffman, and nineteen years younger than John Huffman.  What was not so well known was that William (Wilhelm) also came to America, but to Pennsylvania, not to Virginia.  Even more interesting is that William wrote a short account book, or diary, in which he recorded significant events over a period from Germany to America.  This has been translated and microfilmed and is available as such as film 193014 from the Family History Library of the Latter Day Saints.

William chose to record scattered events which seemed to have had a major impact on him.  He did not record the story of his life.  Still what he has to say tells us a lot.  For example, he makes the point once that the reason he came to America was, "I left the Principality of Nassau-Siegen in Europe several years ago [written in 1760] and moved to Pennsylvania in this land America in the hope of being able to live without the burden of war."

Still there was more to his decision to emigrate than the question of war.  In an interrelated way, there were also religious questions, servitude questions, and taxation questions.  To expand on the "servitude" aspect, in 1733 when he was 22 years old, John William recorded:

"God, the creator of all things has so ordained, for every land, great or small, overlords to rule over the peasant and [they demand] services from them at their command.  Whereas it has pleased Thee, my God and Father, to make me a peasant in my fatherland, the Catholic part of which land has a government under the imperial administrators ..., may God, therefore grant health, good fortune, and abundance and permit me to live here in peace in this land .... [I] intend to record the services I give to the [overlords]."

There followed a long list of services which John William had to render to the overlords, such as mowing, making hay, hauling wood from the forest, hunting, military service.  John William owned a young horse, so many of his duties revolved around the services he could render with a horse.  For example, he had to haul stones to be used in casting a bell for the Catholic Church [the Hofmanns were German Reformed].

As a member of the German Reformed Church, living in a Catholic region, he felt the burden imposed on the Reformed members because of their beliefs.  When soldiers were stationed in the village, it was the Reformed households who had to quarter the soldiers.  Also the Reformed people had to conform to the Catholic holidays, and could not spin on the Catholic feast days.  If they did, they were fined.

Most of his outbursts of feelings were directed to the military, and to the burdens imposed by the overlords, often in conjunction with a military action.  At the same time he felt these were directed against the Reformed people just because they were Reformed.  Very severe penalties or fines were attached for failure to comply.

In America, John William lived in Lancaster County, PA, just west of the town of York.  He had little to say about life here until the outbreak of the French and Indian War, and then he recorded many events in connection with it.  Never once did he mention that he had brothers living in America.  He came about the same time as his brother, Henry, did, but it is unknown if they traveled together.

Shortly before coming to Pennsylvania, he mentions "Pastor Heltsklaw", which sounds like he might have meant Holtzclaw, a family in the First Germanna Colony.  He also mentions his brother-in-law, "Heide", in Siegen.  This is the German name of another First Colony member, Peter Hitt.


(To see John & Eleanor Blankenbaker's May, 2000, and May, 2002, Germany and Austria photos, click here.)

(To see maps of villages in Germany and Austria from which our Germanna ancestors immigrated, click here.)


(This page contains the Second set of Notes, Nr.  26 through Nr.  50.)


John and George would like very much to hear from readers of these Germanna History pages.  We welcome your criticisms, compliments, corrections, or other comments.  When you click on "click here" below, both of us will receive your message.  We would like to hear what you have to say about the content of the Notes, and about spelling, punctuation, format, etc.  Just click here to send us your message.  Thank You!

There is a Mailing List (also known as a Discussion List or Discussion Group), called GERMANNA_COLONIES, at RootsWeb.  This List is open to all subscribers for the broadcast of their messages.  John urges more of you to make it a research tool for answering your questions, or for summarizing your findings, on any subject concerning the Germanna Colonies of Virginia.  On this List, you may make inquiries of specific Germanna SURNAMES.  At present, there are about 1200 subscribers and there are bound to be users here who can help you.

If you are interested in subscribing to this List, click here.  You don't need to type anything, just click on "Send".  You will shortly receive a Welcome Message explaining the List.

(GERMANNA History Notes, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 John BLANKENBAKER.)
(GERMANNA History Web Pages, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 George W.  DURMAN.)
This material has been compiled and placed on this web site by George W.  Durman, with the permission of John BLANKENBAKER.  It is intended for personal use by genealogists and researchers, and is not to be disseminated further.

Index Links to All Pages of John's GERMANNA NOTES and Genealogy Comments
INDEX Links to All Pages of John's GERMANNA NOTES
Pg.001-Notes 0001-0025
Pg.002-Notes 0026-0050
Pg.003-Notes 0051-0075
Pg.004-Notes 0076-0100
Pg.005-Notes 0101-0125
Pg.006-Notes 0126-0150
Pg.007-Notes 0151-0175
Pg.008-Notes 0176-0200
Pg.009-Notes 0201-0225
Pg.010-Notes 0226-0250
Pg.011-Notes 0251-0275
Pg.012-Notes 0276-0300
Pg.013-Notes 0301-0325
Pg.014-Notes 0326-0350
Pg.015-Notes 0351-0375
Pg.016-Notes 0376-0400
Pg.017-Notes 0401-0425
Pg.018-Notes 0426-0450
Pg.019-Notes 0451-0475
Pg.020-Notes 0476-0500
Pg.021-Notes 0501-0525
Pg.022-Notes 0526-0550
Pg.023-Notes 0551-0575
Pg.024-Notes 0575-0600
Pg.025-Notes 0601-0625
Pg.026-Notes 0626-0650
Pg.027-Notes 0651-0675
Pg.028-Notes 0676-0700
Pg.029-Notes 0701-0725
Pg.030-Notes 0726-0750
Pg.031-Notes 0751-0775
Pg.032-Notes 0776-0800
Pg.033-Notes 0801-0825
Pg.034-Notes 0826-0850
Pg.035-Notes 0851-0875
Pg.036-Notes 0876-0900
Pg.037-Notes 0901-0925
Pg.038-Notes 0926-0950
Pg.039-Notes 0951-0975
Pg.040-Notes 0976-1000
Pg.041-Notes 1001-1025
Pg.042-Notes 1026-1050
Pg.043-Notes 1051-1075
Pg.044-Notes 1076-1100
Pg.045-Notes 1101-1125
Pg.046-Notes 1126-1150
Pg.047-Notes 1151-1175
Pg.048-Notes 1176-1200
Pg.049-Notes 1201-1225
Pg.050-Notes 1226-1250
Pg.051-Notes 1251-1275
Pg.052-Notes 1276-1300
Pg.053-Notes 1301-1325
Pg.054-Notes 1326-1350
Pg.055-Notes 1351-1375
Pg.056-Notes 1376-1400
Pg.057-Notes 1401-1425
Pg.058-Notes 1426-1450
Pg.059-Notes 1451-1475
Pg.060-Notes 1476-1500
Pg.061-Notes 1501-1525
Pg.062-Notes 1526-1550
Pg.063-Notes 1551-1575
Pg.064-Notes 1576-1600
Pg.065-Notes 1601-1625
Pg.066-Notes 1626-1650
Pg.067-Notes 1651-1675
Pg.068-Notes 1676-1700
Pg.069-Notes 1701-1725
Pg.070-Notes 1726-1750
Pg.071-Notes 1751-1775
Pg.072-Notes 1776-1800
Pg.073-Notes 1801-1825
Pg.074-Notes 1826-1850
Pg.075-Notes 1851-1875
Pg.076-Notes 1876-1900
Pg.077-Notes 1901-1925
Pg.078-Notes 1926-1950
Pg.079-Notes 1951-1975
Pg.080-Notes 1976-2000
Pg.081-Notes 2001-2025
Pg.082-Notes 2026-2050
Pg.083-Notes 2051-2075
Pg.084-Notes 2076-2100
Pg.085-Notes 2101-2125
Pg.086-Notes 2126-2150
Pg.087-Notes 2150-2175
Pg.088-Notes 2176-2200
Pg.089-Notes 2201-2225
Pg.090-Notes 2226-2250
Pg.091-Notes 2251-2275
Pg.092-Notes 2276-2300
Pg.093-Notes 2301-2325
Pg.094-Notes 2326-2350
Pg.095-Notes 2351-2375
Pg.096-Notes 2376-2400
Pg.097-Notes 2401-2425
Pg.098-Notes 2426-2450
Pg.099-Notes 2451-2475
Pg.100-Notes 2476-2500
Pg.101-Comments 0001-0025


INDEX Links to All Pages of John's GENEALOGY COMMENTS

(As of 12 April 2007, John published the last of his "Germanna Notes"; however, he is going to periodically post to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List in the form of "Genealogy Comments" on various subjects, not necessarily dealing with Germanna.  I'm starting the numbering system anew, starting with Comment Nr. 0001.)

Pg.101-Comments 0001-0025
This Page Contains Notes 26 through 50.

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