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This is the ONE HUNDREDTH 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.

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This Page Contains Notes 2476 through 2500.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 100

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Nr. 2476:

*[Wie alt bist du?]

To go to a new family, this Note starts a little bit about John Rector (Richter), who at the age 26 arrived at Philadelphia, 23 September 1734, on the ship Hope with 19 other Nassau-Siegen Colonists.  This John Rector may have married a daughter of John and Mary Spilman of the First Colony.  John Rector died in 1742 and left a young family.  Dr. Holtzclaw thought that John Rector was a nephew of the 1714 immigrant, John Jacob Rector.  From an examination of the church records in Nassau-Siegen, it is not possible to infer any relationship between John Rector and John Jacob Rector, even though the surname and point of origination suggest there may be one.

B. C. Holtzclaw observes that birth records of 1707 or 1708 could apply to John Rector.  Only one is to found.  “Johann Jacob Rector was born March 31, 1707, at Siegen and baptized at the Evangelical [here Evangelical means Protestant Reformed] Church in Siegen on 10 April 1707.  His father was Joerge Henrich Richter and his mother was Anna Maria.  The godfather was Johann Jacob Druepler, single.”  (Statement by Siegen District Church Office on 8 August 1977.)

Dr. Holtzclaw identified the father above, Joerge Henrich Richter, as the Henrich Richter who was born the 6th Sunday after Trinity in 1681.  This identification is probably based on the age, which would be about right, and the common occurrence of the name Henrich; however, there exists the following marriage record:  “Joerge Richter and Anna Maria Druepler were married on 20 July 1706.  The groom’s father was Christoff Richter, formerly a citizen of Magdeburg, foot soldier in the royal palace guard at Siegen.  The bride’s father was Daniel Druepler, citizen of Siegen.”  (Also from the Church Office.)

It is extremely probable that this marriage record pertains to John Rector’s parents.  The most telling factor is that Johann Jacob Druepler was a godfather for John Rector.  This name ties the marriage to the birth.  The godfather was very probably the mother’s unmarried brother.  Dr. Holtzclaw assigned a Hermann as the father of Heinrich who was equated to Joerge Heinrich but the church records do not support this.

Joerge Richter, married 20 July 1706, has not been identified yet as being related to the 1714 Richter, Johann Jacob.

This note is substantially the work of James F. McJohn, who wrote an article in volume 4 of Beyond Germanna on p. 194f.

(To be continued.)

*[How old are you?]  (Sehr alt hier.)
(09 Mar 07)



Nr. 2477:

*[Das ist privat.]

Ben Hoyle writes that he is a descendant of the John Rector who came in 1734.  He adds some information about the family in America.  He believes that his 6Xgreat grandfather was this John Rector who arrived at Philadelphia in 1734.  The fact that he appears soon after this in Virginia in the area where the First Colony was settled would indicate that he had been in contact, and perhaps was related in an unknown way, to members of the First Colony.

The original 1734 John Rector had at least one son, another John Rector who was born in 1738 and married in 1758.  This Junior had four sons born in Culpeper Co., VA.  Since the Little Fork is in Culpeper Co., this probably indicates he lived in the Little Fork, where several descendants of the First Colony lived.  The four sons of John, Jr., were Benjamin, John, Lewis, and Ephraim.

Ephraim was born in 1768 in Culpeper Co.  At some time early in life Ephraim moved to Surry Co., NC (later to Burke Co., NC).  He married, in 1795, Martha ___, who was also born in VA, perhaps in 1765.  Both are buried in the Enon Baptist Church Cemetery in Burke Co.  He died in 1815 and she died in 1857.  All of their children were born in Burke Co., with several of their marriages recorded in the Burke Co. Marriage Records.  The children were:

John, *1797
Adam, *1799
Polly, *1801
Jane, *1803
Franny, *1806
Eli, *1809
James, 1811

Adam married Barbara Grider 21 December 1823 in Burke Co.  He died in 1847 and was buried in the same cemetery as his parents.  Barbara died in 1890.  They had:

Ephraim, *1824
Trudy, *1825
Wyona, *1827
Levi, *1831
Lewis, *1832
Hiriam
Jacob, *1835
John A., *1839

Mr. Hoyle has information from Levi down to the present.  Contributors to the information were Earl D. Rector, Frank Smith, and Randy Gibson.

As an aside, the name Richter (from which Rector is derived) is a popular name in Germany.  The Rectors in America could come from many branches who might not be closely related.  DNA studies might be useful to sort them out.

*[Das ist privat.]  (The similarity between the German and English is so strong that I typed the German for the translation.)
(12 Mar 07)



Nr. 2478:

*[Hast du auch gute Schuhe?]

Alexander Spotswood has been mentioned several times recently here.  First, to correct one error, Spotswood did not leave Virginia for England in early 1723.  There is on file, in the Public Record Office in London, a letter written by Spotswood from Germanna on June 16, 1724, to the Council of Trade in London.  I have a copy of this letter which was reprinted in Beyond Germanna.  I believe there is a record in the Trade files dated late in 1724 which refers to Spotswood as lately arrived.  He had asked the Board to notify him if any business concerning him came before the Board.  His marriage must have been in March 1725 by the new style calendar.

There is a Robert Spotswood in Virginia who has never been identified.  This Robert obtained a patent for 400 acres of new land dated 27 June 1726.  The land, as best I could estimate it from my land plots, would have included the land that the present Culpeper County Courthouse sits on.  (See Patent Book 12, page 472.)  I believe this land was adjacent to the land of Alexander Spotswood.

This is probably the same Robert Spotswood who had a patent for 525 acres on both sides of Black Walnut Run on the south side of the Rapidan River in 1727 (Patent Book 13, page 92).

Paula Felder has told me that when Alexander Spotswood went back to England that he gave permission for two people to transact business in his name.  One of these was Mrs. Russell and the other was Robert Spotswood.  (Later, a cousin of his came out to run his affairs.)

It has been said that this Robert Spotswood was a natural son of Alexander Spotswood by Mrs. Russell.  Perhaps, at the time Robert Spotswood was born, Mrs. Russell was not yet married.  Or it may have been that she was never married but the title “Mrs.” was a cover up to protect the boy that she was raising.  Please note that the comments of this paragraph are speculations.  The other items that have been mentioned are facts.

It does seem very probable that Alexander Spotswood had a natural son who was born in England before he came to Virginia.  Whether this son Robert had any children is unknown.  Or could Robert Spotswood who is known to later historians not be a son of Butler Brayne?

*[Do you have good shoes?]
(13 Mar 07)



Nr. 2479:

*[Gehst du gerne einkaufen?]

When the First Colony settled into Fort Germanna, services in accordance in with the German Reformed Church would have been held.  This was the church of all members of the Colony and the preacher was Rev. Haeger whose last position in Germany (before he retired) was the pastor of the Oberfischbach Reformed Church.  As soon as the blockhouse was built in the fort, it was used as a meeting place for church services.  We know from John Fontaine’s description of Germanna in 1715 that the Germans were very dedicated to their church.  They held daily services in the evening and two services on Sunday.  (It was probably a comfort to them to have familiar elements in such a strange land where they were isolated.)

At Oberfischbach, Rev. Haeger kept a record of his actions including baptisms, marriages, and deaths.  It was accepted that this was the thing to do.  Surely, at Germanna he would have kept similar records.  The only limitation might have been a paper source, but I would guess that they could have solved that problem.  When the First Colony left, the Reformed Church at Germanna essentially disappeared.  It would have reappeared at Germantown with the same congregation and preacher.  They would have kept or continued the same types of records that they kept at Germanna.

[There is a possibility that for the first few months that the First Colony was at Germantown that Rev. Haeger was not with them.  As old as he was and with his health problems, he may have remained behind in Germanna until a home for him and a church were built at Germantown.  Since the other people at Germanna were busy with building shelters for themselves and clearing land on which to grow food, it may have taken a little while to get things ready for Rev. Haeger.  If he remained at Germanna, he might have served the Second Colony by holding services for them.]

Since the Church at Germanna was the first of that denomination in America (so we are told), there would have been no place or authority to send any records.  After Rev. Haeger died in the 1730's, the lay members would probably have continued to use the Record Book to record baptisms, marriages, and deaths, the items which were usually recorded.  They could perform baptisms and bury the dead, and though they could not perform marriages, they could have recorded the information.  So what happened to these records?

*[Do you like shopping?]  (Literally:  Do you gladly go shopping?)
(14 Mar 07)



Nr. 2480:

*[Wie geht es dir?] oder [Wie geht’s?]

I have heard it said that records are never lost (well, some are burned).  One must look very hard but somewhere the records are to be found.  If this philosophy were true, where would be the best or most likely places to look for the records of the Fort Germanna/Germantown Church?

After Rev. Haeger died, Jacob Holtzclaw became the religious leader in the Germantown community.  He was not ordained, but, more than anyone else, he attempted to keep the church at Germantown going.  He would have had the Book of Church Records which most likely would have been passed on to one of his descendants.  If the record book does still exist, it would not necessarily be in the possession of a family surnamed Holtzclaw because of the likelihood that a daughter inherited it.

Some idea about the religious services in the days after Rev. Haeger died is obtained from the Moravians, whose missionaries visited Germantown.  In 1743 and 1744, Rev. Schnell and Robert Hussey wrote that they visited a “reader” in Germantown by the name of Holzklo.  He, Holzklo, said that Mr. Rieger had come twice every year to preach for them and to administer Communion but he had returned to Germany and no one came now.  The people at Germantown had attempted to obtain a minister from Germany but none were willing to come.  Rev. Schnell preached and said the officers of the church offered a home and land if someone would come and be their minister.

In the spring of 1747, Rev. Schnell made another visit.  He described the visit as starting at the Little Fork with Jon Jung [Young] and [John Henry] Hoffman who accompanied him across the North River of the Rappahannock.

"Very late in the evening I came to the old Mr. Holtzklo in Germantown.  After I had sat for a short while with the man, he asked me if I were a preacher.  I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Would you stay with us till Sunday and give us a sermon?’  Since I had other appointments for Sunday, I told him that I could not.  Then he asked me if I could preach on Friday and I said that I could."  As Holzklo is getting old he is becoming religious.  He asked his children to come into the room, and by various questions gave me an opportunity to tell them something about the Savior.  On Thursday I rested.  I had several visitors during the day, especially the old schoolmaster of the place who came to see me.  He begins in his own way to prepare himself for his departure, because he sees that there is no other way, nor any possibility to remain in this world, but that he must die."

*[How are you?]  (Literally:  How is it going for you?) or [How goes it?]
(15 Mar 07)



Nr. 2481:

*[Hast du einen blauen Rock?]

Brother Gottschalk of the Moravians visited Germantown in the spring of 1748.  He wrote:

"It was like a village in Germany in which the houses are far apart.  The people were from the Siegen district and were all Reformed people.  They lived about ten miles from the Little Fork of the Rappahannock [River].  They have as their reader the old Mr. Holtzklo, who receives annually from each family thirty pounds of tobacco as a salary.  A church and a school are there.  He preached at the church with the approval of all.  They wanted him to be their regular pastor.

"In the summer of 1748, Bros. Joseph Spangenberg and Matthew Reuz visited Germantown where they stayed with an old friend by the name of Holzklau.  The little village is settled with Reformed miners from Nassau-Siegen.  They live very quietly together and are nice people.  On Sunday, July 31, Bro. Joseph preached in the forenoon in their church and Bros. Reuz in the afternoon."

All of the Moravians agree on one point, namely that Jacob Holtzclaw was getting old.  Actually in 1748 he was only 65 years old which we might not think of as “old”.  To the Moravians he was old and thinking about the approaching end of his life.  He actually lived for another twelve years as it was not until 1759/60 that he died.  But in 1748, he was in Germantown, he was the reader, probably he was the school teacher, and he was envisioning that life was drawing to a close.

Under these circumstances, I find it incredible that some people today believe that Jacob Holtzclaw lived at Ashland Farm some ten miles or so from Germantown.  He was needed at Germantown.  He could live in Germantown in some ease as the land was cleared, the house was built, there was a school and a church which gave him some income.  And he was needed in Germantown.

The testimony of the multiple Moravian missionaries would be that Jacob Holtzclaw lived and died at Germantown.  The historical marker that has been placed at Ashland has several errors in it.  The Holtzclaw family probably acquired the land before Jacob died (from the proprietor of the Northern Neck, not from Alexander Spotswood).  I cannot believe that Jacob Holtzclaw built any substantial house at Ashland.  Yes, a small house was probably built there for the people who farmed and worked on the land.  But did Jacob Holtzclaw live there?  No way.

*[Do you have a blue shirt?]
(16 Mar 07)



Nr. 2482:

*[Der Fruehling kommt.]

I have spent most of the weekend at the combined meeting of the Pennsylvania German Heritage Festival and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Palatines to America.  In the course of that, I heard four talks by Henry Z. “Hank” Jones.  That’s a lot of Hank Jones.  Perhaps even more fun was to have dinner two evenings with him.

I may have learned more about one of our Germanna families.  If it turns out as seems probable, we may find that one of our later Germanna families was one of the earliest Germanna families to leave Germany.  The trip of this family took a very roundabout way route before they ended up in Virginia and not all of the details are known.  First, though I want to research a little in a village in Germany before I report any details.

The question was asked if all of the members of the First Colony were naturalized.  I think it would be safe to say, “No.”  The records are very incomplete, so an authoritative answer is not possible.  We know three members who were naturalized.  These were Jacob Holtzclaw, John Huffman, and John Fishback, who were the first to be naturalized.  They obtained their naturalization quite early in order to buy the 1800 acre Germantown tract.  (Actually, one did not have to be naturalized to own property, but one was supposed to be naturalized in order to will property.)  Of these three men, I am aware of the naturalization document for only one of the men, Jacob Holtzclaw.  He took the trouble to file his naturalization papers in a courthouse where it was preserved.

Even though Jacob was living in Stafford County in 1722, he filed the document in the Spotsylvania Court House.  It appears there in Deed Book A, Part I, (1722-1729) on page 165.  The document is dated 11 July 1722, but it was not filed in the Court until 5 October 1725, when, upon the motion of Jacob Holtzclaw, the Naturalization was admitted to Record.

This particular naturalization (and also one to Nicholas Yager) was issued by Alexander Spotswood.  The date is just before Spotswood left for the Indian conference in New York.  Thus, the Holtzclaw and Yager naturalizations were among his last official acts as (Lt.) Governor.  Some of the pertinent language is (to paraphrase it), “Jacob Holtzclaw is a native of Nassau-Siegen in Germany who has settled and inhabited for several years in the County of Stafford.”

This, in itself, is evidence that the First Colony moved to Stafford County (i.e., Germantown) quite early, probably about January of 1719 (NS), because several years before 1722 would push their departure back to the end of their work in mining and quarrying in December 1718.

*[Spring is coming.]  (None too soon for me.)
(19 Mar 07)



Nr. 2483:

*[Ist das Leben nicht schoen!]

In the last Note we saw that Jacob Holtzclaw filed his Naturalization Certificate or letter in the Spotsylvania Court rather than in the Stafford Court.  Stafford would be appropriate since he lived there.  I have sometimes wondered if there was any significance to this.  He wasn’t thinking of his descendants who knew that he lived in Stafford and therefore would look in the Stafford Court house for documents about him.  Sometimes it pays to look in adjoining counties.

Some people today tend to confuse the Headright Applications with the Naturalization process.  The two were entirely differently.  One did not have to be naturalized to obtain or to own land.  There are headright applications in the Spotsylvania Court House for Holscrow, Camper, Martin, Spellman, Fitchback, Huffman, Cuntz, Fitchback, Rickart, Brumback, Weaver, and Hitt.  These were all filed in 1724 at two different times.  Again, these people were living in Stafford County but they filed in Spotsylvania County.  Why?  Was the Spotsylvania Court House closer than the Stafford Court House?  Several of these people said they came in 1714, but the applications of Holtzclaw, Kemper, and Martin said they came in April of 1714.

Catherine Russell Thomas Holtzclaw is certainly under-documented.  I am not aware of the evidence that she was born a Russell and married a Thomas.  Which Russell was her father?  Was the Thomas a German or an English person?  Was she really married to him?  It is true that she had a son, Jacob, whose surname was Thomas.  Is Jacob more likely to be an English or a German name?  It is suspicious that two brothers of her Holtzclaw husband married German Thomases.  There are certainly questions in the family of Jacob Holtzclaw.

*[Isn’t life wonderful?]
(20 Mar 07)



Nr. 2484:

*[Du musst viele Apfel essen.]  [Das ist gesund.]

In a recent discussion with a Baumgartner/Baumgardner/Bumgarner descendant, I had to consult my notes.  There were some points which I might relate here.  Frederick Baumgardner was baptized as Johann Frederick on 5 June 1706 in Schwaigern.  He was the son of Hans Jacob Baumgartner and Catherine Willheit.  She was the sister of Johann Michael Willheit, the early Virginia immigrant.  Frederick had a brother Gottfried who settled in Pennsylvania.

(Brothers did not always settle in the same state.  Another instance of brothers in different states is Wilhelm Hofman who settled in Pennsylvania and who did not join his brothers John and Henry in Virginia.)

Frederick Baumgardner arrived at Philadelphia on 19 September 1732 on the ship Johnson.  The particular style of the ship, determined by its size and rigging, was a “pink”.  So it would not be unnatural to say Frederick arrived on the pink Johnson.  The name of the ship though was just Johnson”.  Some reports say that the captain sold Frederick as an indentured servant, but this does not hold water because Frederick obtained land in the Great Fork of the Rappahannock River in 1736.  For this to be possible, his servitude, if any, would have had to be very short.  Most probably he was not indentured.

The land in Virginia (see Virginia Patent Book 17, p.122) has been plotted and was adjacent to Peter Weaver.  The descriptions of the land that Weaver and Baumgardner had changed from time to time and it looks as though they did some horse trading of land.

Frederick married Catherine whose maiden name is unknown.  On 28 January 1743 he was naturalized along with Peter Fleshman, whose son Robert later married Frederick’s daughter Dorothy.  Frederick’s will was dated 8 September 1745 in Orange County.  He left 100 acres to each of his four sons and to Dorothy the value of her share.  The administrator was Catherine.  She married John Deer (Hirsch).  There was a sixth child, Eve, born posthumously.  The four sons repatented their father’s land and found that it contained 993 acres, not the 400 of the original patent.

The spelling of the name followed the typical pattern of having several variations.  Eventually, many members of the family spelled it Bumgarner.  Many of these moved to southwestern Pennsylvania.

*[You must eat many apples.]  [That’s healthy.]
(21 Mar 07)



Nr. 2485:

*[Lachen ist die beste Medizin.]

There was a difference between how the Germans in Pennsylvania and Virginia were treated.  In part, the numbers of Germans made the difference.

By 1717, a significant number of Germans had arrived in Pennsylvania.  Klaus Wust estimated that in 1717 that the better part of a thousand Germans came to Philadelphia.  This alarmed the English who began to feel that they could be swamped by the Germans.  The colony could become German not English.  Then the inhabitants might vote to associate with Germany, not England.  The language of the colony might become German, not English.  This struck fear into the government and they voted to have a registration of all the foreigners (i.e., all from outside Great Britain) and to require all of these foreigners to take an oath of allegiance to the English Crown.  Though they voted this in 1717, it was not enforced until 1727.  The lists of German immigrants that we have today date from 1727.

William Penn welcomed everyone.  He was a real estate promoter and he had millions of acres of land to sell.  He needed immigrants to buy the land.  He was of a liberal turn of mind and his own religion was outside the walls of conventional English religion.  He knew what it was like to be different.  He welcomed the Germans to whom he had pitched his colony.

The number of Germans who came was remarkably large.  Of all the colonies in American, they regarded Pennsylvania as the most favorable.

In Virginia, the number of Germans was small.  The English did not feel threatened by them.  In fact, in the time of Lt. Governor Spotswood, he welcomed them as being good workers who would strengthen the colony.  Again, the crown had a lot of land to sell.  Selling it was more important than getting hung up about the nationality of the buyer.

A large number of Germans did come to America through Philadelphia.  There were such large numbers that the shippers automatically specified the destination of their ships as Philadelphia.  At the time of the Revolution, some of the German-speaking British auxiliaries kept diaries in which they recorded their experiences.  One wrote with respect to Philadelphia, “If you closed your eyes, you would think you were home.”  The numbers of Germans were so large that they overflowed to the adjoining Colonies, especially to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.  This did not particularly alarm the government in Virginia which was Tidewater oriented.  The Valley was too far away for them to become excited about the Germans living there.

*[Laughter is the best medicine.]
(22 Mar 07)



Nr. 2486:

*[Wie streiten uns oft.]

One of the sights in Neuenbuerg is the cemetery and the Jewish headstones in it.  These are not really old.  One (or more) clearly says 1945.  Since the village is very Catholic (the only church in the village is Catholic), it leads one to wonder how the Jewish gravestones got there.

I have reported before but I will repeat the essence of two stories told to me by two people.  Both of these people were, in a sense, victims.  My first story was told by a young boy who was in the village in April of 1945.  One afternoon, several trucks arrived, led by a French officer.  The residents were told that they had 15 minutes to leave the village.  They could take whatever of their possessions they could carry out.  The boy and his aunt walked to Oberoewisheim taking a bicycle and as much as they could carry.  They stayed with relatives in Oberoewisheim.  On the way out of the village, they saw several trucks carrying people who looked very weak and sick.  They learned that these people had been rescued from a labor camp.  Many of these people did not live long.  When the original families in the village were allowed to return, they found that all of their possessions that they had left behind were gone.  The “boy” who told me this now lives in Canada.

The second story was told to me by one the people who was moved to Neuenbuerg from a labor camp.  He was a young eastern European Jew who had survived a series of labor camps in part due to the kindness of some German citizens.  Though Neuenbuerg was intended to be a place where the prisoners could be cured, many of them were in such poor health that they did not live.  Not all of the people from the labor camp were Jewish.  Some of the non-Jewish people had opposed the German government.

Eventually, those that did survive and regain their strength, were distributed around Europe according to their origins.  The “boy” telling me this story had some difficulty at this point as his home was now occupied by the Russians.  He managed to escape this fate and eventually he emigrated to the United States where he works for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East.

If the convalescents in the village did not live, they were buried in the local cemetery.  Later, some relatives or organizations were able to trace the fate of these people and they put up the gravestones.  Probably, the gravestones will be left permanently as a memorial and not recycled as they normally are in Germany.

Neuenbuerg is on the very edge of a region that was formerly controlled by the Bishops of Speyer.  Just down the road about two miles, perhaps less, is Oberoewisheim where the Protestants (generally Lutherans, but not all) who lived in Neuenbuerg went to church.  For a long period of time, the church book in Oberoewisheim was divided into two parts, one for each village.

*[We argue a lot.]
(23 Mar 07)



Nr. 2487:

*[Ich habe fuenf Toechter.]  (Nein, ich habe eins Tochter.)

In the last note we were talking about Neuenbuerg.  From the Ortssippenbuch for Oberoewisheim and Neuenbuerg, there are the following names:

Blanckenbuehler Bender Blanck
Christler Debelt/Debold/Debolt Diehl
Finck/Fink Fischer Fleischmann
Gerhard Hepp Hirsch
Jaeger Kaefer Kappeler
Kiefer Klar Krieger
Lang Lederer Lepp/Lipp
Mack Maier/Meier/Meyer Oestreicher (which means Austrian)
Rauch/Rausch Reiser Ruecker
Sauter Schad Schaible/Schaiblin/Scheiblin
Schluechter Schneider Schoen
Schueck Sieber Silber
Thoma/Thomas Uhl Vogt/Voigt
Weidmann Weingard Zimmermann

It sounds like there was a reunion of the Robinson River Folk.  (A few, but only a few, of the names are not associated with the Second Colony.)  When you dig into these names, most of them were residents of Oberoewisheim or Neuenbuerg later than 1717.  Still, one is left with the feeling that this region was a hotbed of emigration to America.  In the index, these places are mentioned:

America (more than 150 times and none of these were in 1717),
Bayern (Bavaria),
Bern,
Bonfeld,
Boennigheim,
Brackenheim,
Cleebronn,
Eppingen,
Falckenburg,
Gemmingen,
Hueffenhardt,
Jefferson USA,
Klings,
Langenbruecken,
Menzingen,
Mosbach,
Muehlbach,
Oberderdingen,
Odenheim,
Sulzfeld,
Unteroewisheim,
Werth bei Dinkelsbuehl (Dinkelsbuehl was close enough to the home of Andreas Garr to walk to and back in one day),
Zaberfeld,
Zaisenhausen.
These are names we have heard.

In Gochsheim (a few miles SE of Neuenbuerg) we find these names in their Ortssippenbuch:

Becker Bender Berler Buehler
Crueger/Krueger Fink Fischer Gebhard
Hirsch Jaeger Kappel/Kepler/Keppel Kircher/Kirchner
Koch Lang Lepp/Lipp Merkle
Neudeck Nonnenmacher Ruecker Siber
Sieber Schneider Schoen Uhl
Vogt Weber Ziegler Zimmerman

All of these are suggesting that the area or region was distributed with many Germanna names.  Many of these were from families who were distributed throughout the region.  So anytime you speak to a German citizen in the fat triangle from Hueffenhardt to Neuenbuerg to Oetistheim, you are probably speaking to a cousin.

In Elsenz, a few miles NW of Eppingen, there was a Krieger family.  Also, there was a Hans Georg Meier, Reformed, born about 1650 at Adelshofen.  He died in 1706.

Every time I read the Ortssippenbuch for this region, I feel that I am close to the origins of many of the Germanna families.  These Ortssipenbuch are fun to read, but the number of them that are available in the US is very limited.  It would be my ambition to reprint these on CDs which would make them more widely available at a more economical price.

*[I have five daughters.]  (No, I have one daughter.)
(26 Mar 07)



Nr. 2488:

*[Der Apfel faellt nicht weit vom Stamm.]

It always fascinates me to know why individual families, who might have a choice as to where they settled in America, did choose Virginia, in particular, in the Germanna area.

Let’s take a specific case.  Andreas Gaar and his wife Eva Seidelmann came in 1732 to Pennsylvania and the first winter he lived in Germantown, now a part of Philadelphia.  Within about a year of arrival, he moved down to the Robinson River Valley (RRV).  What was wrong with Pennsylvania, if anything?  He did not have to move.  So far as we know, he knew no one in the RRV.  Or did he?

We do know that the ship that he arrived on also brought Johann Christian Schultz, a Lutheran minister.  Now at that time, Schultz was about the only ordained German Lutheran minster in Pennsylvania.  Andreas was of a religious turn and perhaps he sought out Schultz to attend services.  Schultz was holding services at several places.

At about this same time, Johann Caspar Stoever had agreed to become the minister of the Lutherans in the RRV.  There was a problem since Stoever was not ordained.  (His son in Pennsylvania was acting as a minister and the son was not ordained.  In fact, the son relinquished the congregations he had to Schultz when Schultz came.)  So the RRV congregation sent Stoever, Sr., and George Scheible up to Pennsylvania to seek ordination for Stoever, Sr.  They found Schultz, who agreed to ordain both father and son and to marry the son, all in one day.  Not long after this, Schultz returned to Germany on a fund-raising trip.  This left Stoever, Jr., as the only German Lutheran minister in Pennsylvania.

Because Andreas Gaar knew Schultz (they had traveled together for several weeks on the same ship and they both came from the same region of Germany), Gaar may have attended the ordination services and the wedding for the Stoevers.  At least, he was probably aware of them.  So it may be that when Schultz returned to Germany, Gaar decided to move to where there was a Lutheran minister.  And so he moved to the RRV.

This seems to make sense to me and it does give me a reason for the move of the Gaar family to Virginia.  I don’t know of any other reason they might have had for moving.

*[The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.]  (Or the English say, “Like father, like son.”)
(27 Mar 07)



Nr. 2489:

*[Gestern war ich Tennis spielen.]

I continue with the exploration of why people may have moved to the Robinson River Valley, to which exploration others also made contributions.  The case in this Note also involves the Stoever/Stöver family.

Theobald (Dewald, David) Christler (Crisler) purchased land in Orange County, Virginia, in 1736.  He was not a newcomer to America, as he had arrived in Philadelphia as a boy in 1719 with his parents who settled in Philadelphia County (now Montgomery County).  In the early 1730s, land was still available in Pennsylvania.  Also, the Shenandoah Valley was attracting attention as a place to find good land.  So why did Theobald Crisler go to the RRV?

Johannes Bender, blacksmith at Lambsheim in Germany, married Anna Helena ____.  Three daughters, known from the marriage records at neighboring Frankenthal, included Anna Maria, b. c1686, m. Leonhard Christler; and Anna Catharina, b. c1688, m. 1707 Christian Merkel.  Leonard Christler (or Christele) had three children baptized in Frankenthal.  One was Johann Theobald, who was christened 18 August 1709.

Johannes Bender, his son-in-law Leonhard Christler, and his son-in-law Christian Merkel, sold their property in 1719 and emigrated to Pennsylvania.  Johann Caspar Stoever, Jr., married Maria Catarina Merkle on 8 April 1733 at Trappe.  Her death record at Hill Lutheran Church in Cleona, Pennsylvania, says she was born 14 May 1715 at Lambsheim, the daughter of Christian Merkling and Maria Cath.  A Stoever genealogy gives her maiden name as Merkle and Merckel.

I suggest that Theobald Christler and Maria Catarina Merkel might have been first cousins.  There are points for and against this suggestion.  The marriage record from Frankenthal suggests that Christian Merkel married Anna Catharina.  The death record for the widow of Johann Caspar Stoever says that her mother’s name was Maria Cath.

In favor of the relationship are the common elements, Lambsheim and the name in common, Merkle.  The Christler family settled in Francois Township, which was about eight miles from Trappe, where the Stoever-Merkle marriage is said to have taken place.

One possible implication to be drawn from the suggestion is that Theobald Christler became aware of the Robinson River community and church through the marriage of his cousin to Johann Caspar Stoever, Jr.  His cousin’s father-in-law was the minister there.  Theobald might have attended at the wedding.

The Gaars knew Johann Christian Schultz, who married Johann Caspar Stoever, Jr.  The Garrs went to the RRV.  There, the daughter Rosina Gaar married Theobald Christler.  More evidence is needed but it looks like a promising area to study.

*[Yesterday I played tennis.]
(28 Mar 07)



Nr. 2490:

*[Wie lange kannst du die Luft anhalten?]

I wish to add a comment or two to the previous Note.  Research on the Christler family was done by Gary Zimmerman and Johni Cerny in the “Before Germanna” series and it has some obvious errors but the general picture looks OK.  Other information was drawn from “An Account of the Ancestry and Descendants of Johann Caspar Stoever of Pennsylvania” by Vernon Stiver and Patricia R. Donaldson.  Lambsheim is a small village of one church.  It is a few miles west of the Rhine River and northwest of Ludwigshafen.  Members of the Lotspeich family came from Frankenthal, but they are probably unrelated to the families we are discussing.

The Razor family may have known individuals in the Robinson River Valley (RRV) before they moved there.  Gene Dear did some research on the family and I repeat some of it here.  The immigrant was George Adam Raueser who came to America on the ship Mary and Sarah in 1754.  He settled in New Jersey, where he lived until he moved to the RRV.  In 1774, the bought 100 acres there from Frederick and Sarah Baumgardner.  The family can be found in the German Lutheran Church records from 1776 to 1788.

I have noticed that the ship Loyal Judith, which brought Andreas Gaar in 1732, also brought a man by the name George Adam Raueser, the same name as Gene Dear reported arriving in 1754.  Were these two people related?  Could there be some relationship between the Rauesers and the Gaars, even just an awareness of each other?

The pastor at Illenschwang, where the Gaars had been living, wrote that Andreas Gaar and three hundred other souls emigrated to America.  It has always been my desire to research the church records of Illenschwang to see if any of the names there duplicate the names on the ship Loyal Judith.  These records are not available on microfilm here in America.  They are on microfiche in Regensburg in the Lutheran archives there.

On one trip of Eleanor and myself, we went to the Regenburg archives.  A German friend had phoned ahead to set an appointment time.  When we arrived, our reception was chilly but I asked for the Illenschwang records.  What I wanted were the comments of the pastor in the front of one of the books and it wasn’t difficult to find these.  We had three pages printed and we were finished in less than a half hour.  The director of the archive was amazed that an American had found what he wanted in such a short period of time.  His attitude changed and he brought out his picture book of an extended visit to America.  So we sat with him while he went through the trip.  It would be nice to go back and spend lots of time with the Illenschwang records.

*[How long can you hold your breath?]
(29 Mar 07)



Nr. 2491:

*[Die Tulpen bluehen schon.]

There is an interesting genealogy group called the International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists! Their motto is, “A baaad ancestor is good to find. . .”

There is an excellent purpose to the Society.  First, it is a way to overcome the “wall of silence” that impedes family history research.  Rather than hide the facts, bring them out into the open and admit that your ancestor was not a noble creature.  Once the facts are exposed, one can normalize the views of the black sheep family members.  Then one can understand the factual place the person had in the family regardless of the ancestor’s behavior.

One could say that one’s ancestor occupied an electrifying chair at a New York higher institution, or one could say that one’s ancestor was electrocuted at Sing Sing prison.  Once you admit the truth of the facts, you can openly proceed to discuss the case and you have grounds to join the IBSSG.

To join, you need an ancestor who qualifies.  If your spouse has a black sheep ancestor, you may also join.  If the direct ancestor had black sheep siblings or a spouse, then that ancestor can get you into the Society.  At the extreme, the ancestor need only have lived in the same household as black sheep.  The general rule is that the direct ancestor of you or your spouse need only be tainted by a close connection to a black sheep if the ancestor were not a black sheep.  (The society has a "once removed" rule.)

What makes a black sheep?  Murder, kidnaping, armed robbery, treason, major theft, membership in a famous gang, assassin, felon, FBI most wanted list, extreme public embarrassment, involvement in witchcraft trails, bigamy, and being expelled from normal society can you in the society.  You may have other reasons that will have to be examined.  Living with a partner without the benefit of marriage probably won’t do it.  Being a pirate is problematic.

If you think you might qualify, you can investigate at this web site:  blacksheep.rootsweb.ancestry.com/main.htm.

If you do qualify and you join the society, you may add the letters IBSSG after your name.

Now, the next question is, “Are any of the readers here members already?”  And the next question after that is, “Do you think you might qualify?”

*[The tulips are already blooming.]
(30 Mar 07)



Nr. 2492:

*[Ein wunderschoener Tag heute!]

I had some replies to my questions about Black Sheep ancestors but I doubt that most of them would qualify the writer for membership.  Some were serious but they occurred under conditions of war time which clouds the issues.

Let me introduce a new topic now.  This particular strain of thinking is one that is pertinent for me considering my age.  By now it is becoming very clear that I do not have time left in my life to do everything that I would like to do.  So I need to put some priorities on my efforts.  The first question is, “What is my number one priority for the rest of my life?”  I lay aside some of the mechanical questions like cutting the grass, brushing my teeth, etc.  Or maybe I should omit some of these?

My number one priority job is one over which I have no control.  Klaus Wust spent the last decades of his life writing a book about German emigration, including, I believe, the movements of people within the Germanic regions prior to emigration to other lands.  He claimed to have the book written when he died but he admitted that work was needed on the references.

When he died, the manuscripts of course became the property of his family.  I volunteered at this point to help with getting the book ready for publication but the family preferred to keep it in their own hands.  One of the principal workers is a grandson (a very bright boy it seems) who is in the midst of college right now.  So work is slow.

When I used the plural word manuscripts, it was for a good reason.  Apparently there were three copies of the manuscript that did not all agree.  The first task of the family was to compile all of these into one which would become the master.  At the same time, this would be the first time that the manuscript would in a machine-readable form (keyboards were the nemesis of Klaus).  Probably the work has advanced to this point but the problem of combining or merging in the references will be a major task.  I am afraid that the grandson views the book as a doctoral project which means it may be many years before it is finished.

I continue to volunteer but the family apparently feels that I couldn’t do much.  In the last few months of Klaus’ life, Andreas Mielke and I visited with him and we talked about the book.  We volunteered to help him but he felt that he did not need any help.  I am afraid that he was overly confident about how quickly he could finish it.

So my priority project must be some other activity.

*[It’s a beautiful day today!]
(02 Apr 07)



Nr. 2493:

*[An Ostern essen wir viel Schokolade.]

If I could, I would choose to spend some of the days remaining to me working on Klaus Wust’s final book.  I probably will not get the opportunity to do that.

When I look at the aspects of my life that interest my children the most, I find they would like to know more about an episode of my life that occurred about thirty-five years ago.  This was when I built the Kenbak-1 computer which is recognized as the first commercially available personal computer.  I thought that one way of doing this and to help gain a wider recognition for it would be to put up a website describing the endeavor.  Since the first of this year, I have done this and it is available for all to see.  The essence of the URL is www.kenbak-1.net.

If you look there, you will see that I still own two of these machines, the original prototype and one from the tail end of the production run that was never completed.  The prototype still works but I need to work on the incomplete unit.  If I can get it working, I could leave two machines to three of my children.  Normally, this would not have been a time-consuming task but the lack of parts means that it will be more time consuming.

Speaking of leaving things for the children (which won’t include money), it would be nice to leave a few notes about my life and to organize some photos.  Another thing that I would like to do would be to put out a book of the experiences of my great-grandfather and his brother in the gold fields of Colorado and Idaho.  The brother left a diary of which a major part was printed by the Idaho Historical Society about 1930.  This would be the basis of the book which I would like to publish.

Eleanor and I have decided that we will try to live in our present house as long as we can. So there is some effort to put the grounds and the house into a better condition now.

In general, these are things that I want to do for the benefit of my family.

Now I have not forgotten genealogy and history.  I have a microfilm from Germany on order right now, but whether I can get it is uncertain. The notes pertaining to the film say, “Available only to members of the LDS in Europe.”  Does that exclude everyone outside Europe or does it mean that in Europe only LDS members can look at it?  I put in an order for the film about two weeks ago and they have not yet rejected my application.

*[We eat a lot of chocolate for Easter.]  (The word order between the German and English is very different in this instance.) (03 Apr 07)



Nr. 2494:

*[Warum lachst du?]

I have spoken and written about Ortssippenbuechen (i.e., place + genealogy + books) and about the general lack of these important books here in America.  The number of libraries which hold them is very limited.  After the LDS FHL in Salt Lake City, the Library of Congress, and the New York Library, there aren’t many libraries that have copies.  (If you are visiting the Germanna Foundation Library, I believe there is one for Sulzfeld.)  I have used them at the LoC and I own one (for Diefenbach).  A search on Google will turn up a large number of these books, especially for southwestern Germany.  When one does this, you will very often find that the limited press run has been sold out.

It seems to me that it would be good to convert these books into PDF files on a CD.  This is exactly what I did with Beyond Germanna where I had 917 pages of printed material.  A typical Ortssippenbuch does not have this many pages.  One would want to establish that German is the language of the material because the conversion program converts the optical scan to text.  Since these books are all in German, the conversion process should recognize this.  Some of the more recent Ortssippenbuch may be in a machine-readable form which would make the process even simpler.

Is the German language any problem for use in America?  I don’t think so.  These books use a lot of symbols and a very limited vocabulary.  There is no need to convert them to English to make them useful.

If the Germanna Foundation were to undertake a program of this nature, I would gladly volunteer my services to help make the translation possible.  The market should be quite large considering how many libraries there are in the US and how many people have some German ancestry.  It might be necessary to pay the owners of the copyrights a fair share of the proceeds.

Surely, someone has considered putting the contents of these Ortssippenbuechen online.  To protect the owners of the copyrights, it might be necessary to make this a fee service.

I have been told that the LDS is considering putting their microfilms of the German Church Records online.  That is, they would digitize the material and make it available to users.  I don’t know whether this is true; it would not surprise me.  Still, the conversion of the Ortssippenbuechen would be useful.

*[Why are you laughing?]  (The subject of this note is NO laughing matter.)
(04 Apr 07)



Nr. 2495:

*[Erzaehle mir etwas von dir.]

First, I should correct the spelling of a word I used in the last note.  It is one Ortssippenbuch but it is two Ortssippenbücher.  To make the plural, the umlaut is added to the “u” and “er” is added as the ending.

Next, I have a question for someone who is at the Germanna Foundation Visitor Center Library.  It involves the Ortssippenbuch for Sulzfeld.  The question is, “Is there a Johann Georg Forckel to be found there in the 1717 time frame or slightly before?”

The reason I ask this question is that Johann Georg Forckel was a sponsor for a son of Matthias Schmidt at St. Marys in London on 31 August 1717.  And this same day, Mathias Schmidt was a sponsor for a daughter of Johann Georg Forckel.  The choice of the sponsors may have been influenced by the coincidence of the children’s birth on the same day (August 29).

We have one other record of Johann Georg Forckel.  In the petition of 16 September 1717 [found by Hank Jones] asking for money to aid their return to Germany, we find the following sequence of names:  Johann Georg Forckel, Christofle Uhl, Frederic Kapler, and Hans George Long.  We know the last three of these names came from Sulzfeld.  Perhaps Johann Georg Forckel did also.  Though Matthias Schmidt is associated with Gemmingen, I would hesitate to associate Forckel with Gemmingen.  First, he is not on the departure list, and the mutual sponsorship was probably a result of the same birth date for the children.

So far on this petition, which was signed by about fifty heads of households (on behalf of a total of 200 people), we know something about six of the heads.  Three are from Sulzfeld, Forckel is named in the St. Mary’s records, and the other two are George Heer (probably Herr from the Unterbiegelhof farm) and Hans Martin Volck who may have been from the Wagenbachhof farm.  The last two names are together as it appears the farms are.

Puzzles of this type interest me, even more than my own genealogy.  I can’t lay claim to being a genealogist even though I have broken down several brick walls.  My interest arose from the puzzle and not from the attempt to fill in spaces on my Ahnentafel.  In response to the last Note, it is clear that I am not aware of what is happening in the world of genealogy.

Still, there is one line in my ancestry which I would like to pursue just because it MIGHT lead to Hans Jacob Holtzklau.  There is a minor activity for my senior years.

*[Tell me something about you.]  (The word order here is the same as the English.)
(05 Apr 07)



Nr. 2496:

*[Es ist sehr kalt heute.]

Many of these Notes, some time in the past, have been devoted to the records to be found in the Public Record Office (and similar depositories) in England.  Some of these are very informative.  (My special delight would be to have the records for the Debtor’s Prison in 1717, but they say the records for two years around this time are missing.)  I have used several of these records in articles in Beyond Germanna and in Seminar talks.

These were helpful in deciding that Andrew Tarbett was the master of the ship Scott and that it was probably this ship which brought about eighty people to Virginia.  Another record contributed a lot to showing that no iron was shipped from Virginia before 1724, which helped show that the story about the First Colony being employed to make iron for Spotswood is false.  Other documents by Michel and von Graffenried make the true reason clearer.

The good thing about these documents from the PRO is that they seem to be in excellent shape and very readable.  In theory, all of the items which pertain to Virginia have been microfilmed and are available in the Virginia State Library but my experience with these has not been good.  Many of them are not clear, whereas the originals are very good.

The list I mentioned in the last Note, which was a petition for financial help in returning to Germany, is an example of a document which had not been previously known to the world at large.  It was found by Hank Jones.  This, in conjunction with the St. Mary’s church records in London, has been very helpful in understanding the history of the Second Colony, including those who were delayed in getting to Virginia.

It would be fun to look in the PRO for more documents that might be informative.  The English records are readable.  There are German records in some very unlikely places in Germany which are very helpful.  Andreas Mielke has worked on finding these and translating them.  They too show some light on our history.  He correctly interpreted the Johann Justus Albrecht poll deed which has been misinterpreted, and he found a letter of the Second Colony history.  But I have to leave the German records (and Dutch records and the Swiss records and the Austrian records) to someone who speaks the language.

I could, given some time, look for and publish English documents that bear on our history.  There are a surprising number.  (It helps to have been involved with a Lt. Governor who was in hot water.)

*[It is very cold today.]  (Identical word order.)
(06 Apr 07)



Nr. 2497:

*[Heute hat meine Schwester Geburtstag.]

I have recounted, in recent Notes, a series of activities that I would like to be engaged in in the few years of rational thought and physical strength left to me.  There is something that I think would please a lot of people and that is the finding and “restoration” of the Germanna fort and blockhouse.  Our description of what they looked like comes from John Fontaine’s description.

Dr. Doug Sanford of Mary Washington University found what appeared to be the footing of a small section of the palisade wall.  This was underneath a portion of the house that Alexander Spotswood built.  This is not surprising since Spotswood probably took advantage of the land that had been cleared for the fort.  By the time that the house was being built, the First Colony had left and the fort itself was redundant.  The Indian trouble never developed.

Apparently, the houses that the First Colony lived in remained for some time for William Byrd reported seeing them in 1732.

So how will the extent of the palisade be found?  By a lot of careful digging.  First though, some aerial infrared photography may show or give some hints of parts of this palisade.  Once the palisade is found, the blockhouse can be easily located, for it was in the center.  Again, there ought to be traces of its setting.  The houses would seem to be on the far side, away from Spotwood’s home, for they were preserved for a number of years after his house was built.

This all needs to be done carefully by trained people who know what they are doing.  This is going to take money.  Once the site has been found, it will be desirable to build our best approximation of the palisade, blockhouse, and homes.  This will take a lot of money.

But what is the possible eventuality?  The Germanna Reunion in 2014 could be held in the reconstructed fort!  Wouldn’t that be the dream of a life time?  What is the budget for this?  It will be in the millions of dollars to locate, build, and provide access to the public, but it would be a major attraction in Virginia.  And it would be the sentimental voyage of our lifetime.  I could grow weepy eyed just being there in 2014.

People leave a piece of granite with a few details about their lives.  Wouldn’t it be better to leave a monument showing where it began in America?

*[Today is my sister’s birthday.]  oder  [It is my sister’s birthday today.]
(09 Apr 07)



Nr. 2498:

*[Er ist nicht sehr witzig.]

My archeological wishes are not fulfilled entirely by seeing Fort Germanna found and recreated.  Several years ago, I put together several references in the literature that I had found and came to the conclusion that the first homes of the Second Colony were not where people were saying.  All written references at the time said they were on the south side of the Rapidan River (the same as Fort Germanna).  But many points in the literature were at a variance with this.  It became clear that they lived on the north side of the Rapidan River, as suggested by Fleshmans Run and German Run.  The land plot of the Spotswood’s Spotsylvania tract and Spotswood’s comments support this.

I made arrangements with property owners and Prof. Sanford, and some of the owners and I made a walking survey over this land.  It was a delightful day for me; it would be hard to remember a day of more pleasure.  Later, Prof. Sanford and a few of his students made a more detailed examination, though it was still cursory.  They did find one location which was consistent with Eighteenth Century occupation.

Still later, documents in the Orange Courthouse were more explicit.  One of them showed the locations of two homes which would have been occupied by members of the Second Colony.  This did show that the Second Colony was in the Great Fork but spread out more extensively than had been estimated previously.  Spotswood had said they were settled “closely together”.  This turned out to be one-half mile apart.

The point now is that we have good clues as to the location of perhaps three of the original homes.  There is the one that Prof. Sanford found and there are two on a plot of a lease.

Now I think it would be fun to try and find some of these and perhaps do an extensive survey and search for some of the homes.  Unfortunately they are too far from the Germanna Visitor’s Center for a walking tour and they are on private property.

The first step might be to do infrared aerial photography to highlight ground disturbances.  Some of the area is covered now by trees so this might be a limiting factor.

With the work being done at Germantown, and that can be done at the Fort, and might be done around the Second Colony first homes, we could have a great story to put before the public.

*[He is not very funny.]  (The word order is the same in English and German.)
(10 Apr 07)



Nr. 2498b:

(This is technically NOT one of John's "Germanna Notes", but he posted it to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List and I feel it deserves posting here.  It contains some very important documents where useful genealogical data might be found for us Germanna researchers.  GWD-Website Manager)

From John Blankenbaker:

I pulled this from the website for National Archives of Great Britian which includes the Public Record Office:

"19.1.  America and the West Indies

"References to the settlement of America before 1782 can be found in our Research Guide American and West Indian Colonies.  In addition a considerable amount of information on emigrants to and settlers in America and the West Indies can be found in printed works available as above.  The Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, America and West Indies, 1574-1738 (London 1860-1969) includes brief descriptions, which are indexed, of the Colonial Papers, General Series (CO 1) and the Board of Trade Minutes 1675-1704 (CO 391); the Journals of the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, 14 volumes (London, 1920-1938) contain a full printed version of the Minutes from 1704-1782.  Original correspondence as well as Sessional Papers, Entry Books, and Miscellanea are described in the Public Record Office Lists and Indexes No XXXVI List of Colonial Office records (New York, Kraus Reprint 1963) and C. M. Andrews Guide to the Material for American History to 1793 in the Public Record Office of Great Britain, 2 volumes (Washington 1912 and 1914), although the references in this may need to be converted to modern references.  The Calendar of Treasury Books 1660-1718 and the Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers 1729-1745 as above should also be consulted.

"Many authors have used the Public Records to compile lists of immigrants, and in addition there are numerous composite lists which include American records of passengers and immigrants which were compiled on arrival.  Ship Passenger Lists (California, 1977-80) edited by Carl Boyer and Passenger and Immigration Lists Index (Michigan, 1981) edited by P. W. Filby are two of the more important as well as the continuing series of volumes published by the Genealogical Publishing Company.  The Colonial Papers, General Series, as well as the Registers for Passengers Requiring Licences to Travel to New England, Barbados, Maryland, Virginia, and Other Colonies 1634-1639 and 1677 (E 157) were used by J. C. Hotten to compile Original Lists of Persons Emigrating to America 1600-1700 (London 1874).

"Lists of names of Palatine subjects who emigrated to America via Holland and England in 1709 are contained in several series of records of the Colonial Office and the Treasury, many being printed in W. A. Knittle's Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration (Philadelphia, 1937), L. D. MacWethy's The books of Names Especially Relating to the Early Palatines and the First Settlers of the Mohawk Valley (New York, 1933), and in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Records, vols XL and XLI (New York, 1909 and 1910).

"P. W. Coldham's Bonded Passengers to America (Baltimore, 1983) covers all the available manuscript material on convicted felons who were transported from Middlesex (1617-1775) and the Western, Oxford, Norfolk, Northern and Midland Assize circuits (1663-1775).  See also our Research Guide Transportation to America and the West Indies, 1615-1776.

"David Dobson's Directory of Scottish Settlers in North America 1625-1825 (Baltimore, 1984) used Audit Office accounts(AO 3), Prince Edward Island Original Correspondence (CO 226/23), Home Office Correspondence and Papers, Scotland (HO 102), and the Treasury Registers (T 47) amongst other sources from elsewhere.  Much detailed work on emigrants listed in the Registers in T 47/9-11 (1773-1776) has also been published by Bernard Bailyn, Voyagers to the West (I B Tauris, 1986).  There is a card index to the same in the Reference Room at Kew.

"An index to American Loyalist Claimants from the Minute Books of the Claims Commission (T 79) is printed in Public Record Office Lists and Indexes No XLVI Records of the Treasury, the Paymaster General's Office, the Exchequer and Audit Department and the Board of Trade to 1837 (London 1922) p 105-110; a similar list of East Florida Claims for Compensation for Territory Ceded in 1783 to Spain is in the same volume, p 95-97.

"West New Jersey Society records 1675-1921 (TS 12) relate to tracts of land in West and East New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New England, and elsewhere divided up as shares of the West New Jersey Society, a company formed about 1691.  The records contain many names in original correspondence, minute books, registers of shares, original deeds, papers about claims, etc.

"Ira A. Glazier has edited Lists of Irish Immigrants Arriving at the Port of New York in The Famine Immigrants (Baltimore, 1983).

"Maps of early divisions of land often provide names of emigrants.

"For further information check the website for the US National Archives and Records Administration at www.archives.gov.  External website - link opens in a new window."
(10 Apr 07)



Nr. 2499:

*[Ich weiss.]

There isn’t enough time left to me to do all that I could wish.  Another project that I think would be appreciated would be more land mapping.  I have plotted more of the original patents in the Robinson River Valley for public distribution than anyone.  In doing this, I did not take advantage of some of the tools available today, especially the aerial photos.  I have plotted some of the Little Fork, again more than anyone else.  Extensions to the west of the Little Fork area into what is now Rappahannock County would be desirable.  More needs to be done in the area of the First Colony which I have omitted because a start here has been made by others.  This start is only a small part of the lands that the First Colony took up.

What would be especially desirable is to extend the original Patent Maps by using the land transfers that are recorded at the courthouses.  It would be great to see how the ownership changed and who inherited what.  For example, Philip Chelf sold a piece of ground but no one knows how he had come to own this land.

Next to finding ancestors, finding the land where the ancestors lived is the dearest to the descendants.

In a somewhat similar vein, it would be desirable to have a complete database of deeds; wills; church records; and legal instruments, such as bonds, marriage licenses, and you name it.  If this was really complete, one could search by a given name and see all of the names who are associated with that given name.  Then one could ask the question as to why the associated person was chosen.  Most of the time there is a family reason but in emergencies the choice might be dictated by other concerns.  (When the immigrant William Carpenter wrote his will on the occasion of being kicked by a horse, the need for witnesses was so urgent that it appears the nearest neighbors were called upon.)  In general these associations tell us something but we need to know the associations.  Perhaps this project might consist of digitizing all of the records that can be found.  It would be convenient to have a code name besides the name actually written.  One does not want to search on every conceivable spelling of a name such as the variations of the name Blankenbuehler.

So much to do and so little time.  In many of the projects that I have been naming, note that we are studying the community, not an individual family.  We need more people studying the community, not an individual.  Plotting an ancestor’s land is good but whose land adjoins it?

*[I know.]  (Don’t I wish that.)
(11 Apr 07)



Nr. 2500:

*[Das ist ja interessant.]

On January 6, 1997, I wrote the first of these Notes.  Today, April 12, 2007, I am writing the last of them.  So that makes 2,500 of them in a period of more than ten years.

When this list was first formed, the moderator was someone else besides George Durman.  One individual claimed that we had no right to use the word “Germanna” as she seemed to think that she owned the word.  The first moderator soon gave up the job and Sgt. George took up the work.  Interest in the Notes picked up very slowly and in an attempt to secure more subscribers, I ran a contest which involved estimating how many ships made the trip between England and Virginia each year in the early Eighteenth Century.

My contest did little to build interest and then I realized it would take a longer process to build interest in the List.  Being a person that liked to write, I decided to issue a series of Notes to build interest and to correct errors in our history.  Little did I realize how long it would go on.  At first, I kept very close to events that were immediately involved with the Germanna Colonies.  However, when I read the story of the Moravian missionaries in traveling down the Great Wagon Road I decided that I would use that material in the Notes.  I don’t think that any mini-series was as popular as that one was.  So I decided to branch out from the Germanna Colonies into broader subjects.  Which was good because I was needing new subjects.  In the end I was repeating myself.

George Durman has been our moderator for more than ten years.  I thank him for this devoted effort especially because he undertook to archive the Notes in a searchable depository.

I have never regarded the Notes as authoritarian though I did try to adhere closely to the truth.  One should not take the Notes as an authority but one should regard them as a secondary source to be used as a guide.  George and I can vouch that these archives have been the means to interest a lot of people in the Germanna Colonies.

I expect to issue some Research Comments in the future.  These will be infrequent but perhaps more carefully researched and perhaps more original.  In just over an hour I expect to be down at the local FHC trying to find some information about one of our Germanna families.  It is not an ancestor of mine, but that doesn’t detract from an interesting story.  I need more evidence and that is why the search in the German records.  If I don’t find the information that I want, I will still issue a report so the information we know now doesn’t get lost.  The particular family which is involved here is probably the first of the Germanna families to leave Germany.  The family predates the members of the First and Second Colonies.  It just happens that some people were delayed in route.

*[That sounds interesting.]
(12 Apr 07)



[Closing comments by Sgt. George, AKA George W. Durman]

It was with much sadness that I read John's last Note.  He and I go a long ways back, back before the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List had become "popular", back before this Germanna Colonies Family History website was anything more that a few pages of loosely connected information.  When he started sending his Notes to the List, I suggested to him that it would be a good idea to publish them on this website so that other Germanna researchers could find them and read them.  He gave his blessing for the project and the rest is, as they say, history.

Yes, John, 2500 Germanna History Notes are a "whole big bunch".  I thank you for them, even though I've had to edit every single one and do the HTML formatting for them.  (GRIN)  But it has been a labor of love, love of you and love of your Notes.

Sometimes I wonder if you readers here really appreciate what John has done over the past 10 years.  There is no one in the world who has produced more information on the Germanna Colonies than John.  I truly hope that he does continue to publish information in the form of future "Reports", and you can be assured that they will be posted here too.

I feel that I have been blessed by being allowed to know John and to participate in just a small way in his endeavors.  Working with and reading his Notes has been akin to sitting at the feet of a great Guru, waiting with bated breath for his next revelation. 

John, old pal, we're going to miss your "Notes".  Just know that we all love you for what you've done -- and we expect great things from you in the future. You're the greatest!

Your buddy,
Sgt. George.

(Just in case anyone ever wondered why I am so involved in Germanna research, my mother's maiden name was BROYLES.  Sarge)


(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 ONE HUNDREDTH set of Notes, Nr. 2476 through Nr. 2500.)

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 700 subscribers and there are bound to be users here who can help you.  If you are interested in subscribing to this 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, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 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 2476 through 2500.

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