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This is the THIRTEENTH 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 301 through 325.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 13

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Nr. 301:

At these half-century marks, it is appropriate to review what these notes are all about.  First, I would hope they are interesting and informative to our Germanna descendants.  But who are our Germanna descendants?  There is the rub; we are still looking and counting.  Every time we turn over another stein (sorry about that, I meant a stone),  we find more.  It is so easy for a German to get lost behind an English spelling of his name.  A man by the name of Stein becomes a Stone, obviously an English name, right?

One thing becomes clearer.  Many of our records are to be found in other colonies and in other states.  Some Germanna people had a history before they came to the area which we identify specifically with Germanna.  And certainly a lot of them left the area.

So not knowing just exactly who all the Germanna people are and where they may have lived, I hope that these notes are of interest to a broader audience.  We may be able to help them and they may be able to help us.  Along the way let's have some fun.

While we are finding the bones and how they connect, let's try to put some flesh on our ancestors and make them real.  Did you have an ancestor who sailed on the last voyage of the ship Oliver?  If you did, you are very lucky to be here.  After you know the story of the Oliver, you will have a better appreciation of the hardships and dangers that our ancestors faced.  Were your ancestors indentured?  If they were, all the more reason to feel proud of them.  They sacrificed so that their descendants would have a better life.

The first intention of these notes is to make this list an interesting place to be.  But is also a place to get questions answered.  That is its primary purpose.  But if these notes encourage more people to follow the list, then the chances are better that a question will be answered.  Perhaps we should see more questions here.  I think too many people are bashful about being an author and generating questions.  This is how we all learn, by either asking questions or trying to answer questions.

(NOTE FROM THE CURATOR OF THESE WEB PAGES:  Above, John is referring to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List at RootsWeb.  This List is the equivalent of a "Community Bulletin Board", where subscribers may send queries for others to read, answer, and perhaps give some help.  Chances are that at least one of the other subscribers will have some pertinent data that the requester needs.  Then, the subscriber with the information posts it back to the Mailing List for the requester and all other subscribers to read.  This way we make our information available to all Germanna descendant subscribers to the List.  Below, you will find specific information on how to subscribe to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List.)


Nr. 302:

[The source of these comments is a series of articles in "The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography" written by Rev. William J. Hinke and Charles E. Kemper.  The first issue, of a series, was in October 1903.  The subject was 'Moravian Diaries of Travel Through Virginia.'  The Moravians, with a home base at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, sent out missionaries to surrounding colonies.  Typically, the mode of travel was on foot and the men, usually a pair, depended upon finding resources along the way to sustain them.  Selections to be presented will emphasize the living conditions in Virginia that the missionaries found.  The first trip records the experiences of Brother Leonard Schnell and John Brandmueller who left Bethlehem on October 12, 1749.]

Oct. 26.  (Started at Monocacy, MD)  In the evening I conducted a song service and baptized a small girl, the daughter of my host, George Gumpf, with whom we were staying the night.  Germans I saw during the day included Bro. Rosen, Frederick Ohnsell, Jacob Weller, Adam Gamb.

Oct. 27.  (Conococheague Mountains, Antietam River).  Germans included Jonathan Haeger, Peter Reusch.

Oct. 28 was a Sabbath (Jewish) and the day was spent at the house of Haeger.

On Sunday, Oct. 29, I preached at Haeger's house and later in the day went a little farther.  Saw Hackemeyer and Henry Wehr, who was the host for the night.  The family was poor and we had to sleep near the fire, in an uncomfortable manner.

On Oct. 30, we started early and reached the Potomac River for breakfast with Isaac Gerison, a cousin of our Bro. Gerison.  For food, we had a fried squirrel, a first for me, which tasted well.  With a lighter heart we traveled some twenty miles up along the Potomac, wading through creeks which we had to cross.  On the way we came to a German house, where we found the whole family clothed in Indian fashion.  The woman complained that she had not heard a sermon for five years.  A boy took us past the next creek (Conotowans), using his horse.  In the evening we arrived at the house of Carl Bock where we stayed the night.  An English schoolmaster was especially friendly because I had promised to assist him in getting his son to Bethlehem where he could study Latin.  There was much confusion in the house during the night, because all kinds of young people were there among whom whiskey circulated freely.

On Oct. 31, we passed no house for thirty-five miles, but indescribably high mountains.  We started early, having some Johnny cakes in our knapsack.  The mountains wearied me but cold water refreshed me along with the thought that Christ sent his blessing.  After more creeks (near Cumberland, MD), we came, at night and very tired out, to Colonel Cresop.  He received us very courteously and asked if there was any response to his letter to the Brethren notifying them that he had large tracts of land for sale.

[Commentary.  One is struck by the primitive conditions of travel and especially of the hardships which a traveler on foot encountered.  Generally, there was a welcome mat out for the traveler even when the family had no particular beds or food to offer.  Inns are as scarce as hen's teeth.  All accommodations were in homes.  West of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, there were no churches and all sermons were delivered in homes or outdoors.  Notice that communication among people at long distances was common, though not perfect.]


Nr. 303:

[Continuing the journey with Bros. Schnell and Brandmueller, Nov. 1, 1749.]

We left Mr. Cresop and went over the North Branch and came to Urban Kraemer who was not home.  So we crossed the South Branch and came to the place of a Hollander, Peter Peterson, where we stayed the night.

On Nov. 2 we intended to rest, the day being the "Elders' Festival", but we found no good place to lodge, so we traveled the whole day up along the South Branch.  We passed no house for twelve miles.  We stayed over night with Henry Van Meter.  These people related their escape from a recent flood.  The wife had climbed alone upon the barn which was carried away by the river.

Nov. 3.  We met John Becker (an ex-Moravian) accidentally.  Finally we came to the house of Matthias Joachim, who was not home, but the wife and children received us kindly.  She told us, after a while, "We hear much evil of you; we have a book which says bad things about you."  But the son said, "Let that be; we have never heard anything wrong from these people in their sermons."  We were allowed to stay overnight and passed the next day, a Sabbath in quietness.  We bled each other.

On Sunday, November 5th, I preached in Joachim's house.  A considerable number of people were present, including some English who asked me to preach to them in English.  I repeated parts of the German sermon for them.  The people on the South Branch lamented their poor religious condition, not having heard any sermons for three years.  In the afternoon we continued our journey and stayed with Michael Ernst.

Nov. 6.  We continued along the South Branch through the Gap.  On the way we visited the sister of my father-in-law.  They related how they had saved themselves during the flood.  The man and his wife with their six children had climbed into a tree, which had fallen half way down.  There they spent the whole night.  Above the Gap we came to the Germans where we called on George Zeh.  We agreed to deliver a sermon the next day.  When the neighbors heard of our arrival, several came at once to implore us to baptize their children.  I refused and our host asked why I refused.  I told him because these people had given their children such a poor training.

Nov. 7.  More people came wanting their children baptized.  Brandmueller preached.  I did baptize two girls and a boy.  On the next day, I preached at Joachim's.  There were more urgent requests for baptism.  In the afternoon we traveled several miles up the South Branch and stayed with Michael Stump.  On the 9th, he gave us a horse to cross the many creeks.  We met a Swiss, Anton Richert, who had read sermons and baptized his own children.  We reached the home of Peter Rith, the father of Sister Schmidt.  He was away hunting bears.

[Commentary.  The Moravian movement had been seeking union among all of the German denominations.  The other groups did not trust the Moravians, whom they viewed as wanting to dominate the union.  This was the basis of the opposition to them.  At about this time (1749), the Moravians abandoned the union movement and declared themselves as another denomination.  This increased the opposition to them by church leaders in other groups.  However, the Moravians were generally accepted, in a land where there was a shortage of preachers, by the lay people.]


Nr. 304:

[Walking south with Bros. Schnell and Brandmueller through the Shenandoah Valley]

Nov. 9, continued.  When we inquired about the way in an English house, the woman asked us for an English sermon, but we answered that we were German preachers.  We stayed overnight with Roger Dayer.

Nov. 10.  We had to cross the South Fork several times.  Then we came to several German families, where we appointed a sermon for the next Sunday.

On Nov. 11, I was sick.  We lodged with Michael Probst.  On the next day, I preached.  About ten children were present, whose baptism was urgently requested, but I refused as most of the men were away hunting bears.  The women complained very much.

Nov. 12.  We had great difficulty to find out the way to New River.  At night I went to see an Englishman who told me how to go.  But he did not want me to return alone, because it was very dangerous on account of the wild beasts.  He therefore accompanied me with two dogs to my lodging place.  On the way we met a large wolf.

Nov. 13.  We started early.  A German woman gave us a piece of bread and cheese for our way.  A man who traveled our way was of assistance to us as we had no house for twenty miles.  Moreover, the forest was very dense and it was difficult to find our way.  Today we came to the source of the South Fork, having crossed the water more than thirty times.  We had been urged not to go this way without a horse but we were safely through with the aid of the Lamb.

[Note:  The Brothers would have been in the extreme southern portion of Pendleton County, West Virginia, at this time.]

In the evening we lodged at an English cabin (this being what they call their houses here).  It was very cold but the bear skins upon which we rested and the fire before us kept us warm.  We had a piece of bread left, and as the people had none, we divided it with them.  They gave us some of their bear meat which can be found in every house in this district.

On Nov. 14, we went on our way with a happy feeling though we had to wade through the water frequently.  We stayed with a Welshman overnight but he did not trust us.  The next day we engaged him and his horse to take us through the river.  On the next day, we traveled with another Welshman who took us twelve times through the river.  Traveling was difficult as we crossed high mountains and it rained on us.  Furthermore, night overtook us before we reached a house.  Fortunately we found a little hut where no one was home.  We made fire and dried our clothes but we had to fast as we had nothing to eat.

[Commentary. These dates are before the calendar reform took place in the colonies.  Unless the Brothers were using the German calendar, all dates should be advanced eleven days to find the correct time within the year.  At this break, the date is November 25, quite late in the year to be traveling on foot.  The Moravians observed both the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sabbath; hence there may be some confusion in the story as there seem to be too many "days of rest."]


Nr. 305:

[Walking south with Bros. Schnell and Brandmueller through Virginia.  Note:  Apparently I was mistaken; the dates have been converted to the new style calendar so they do represent the true position in the year.]

Nov. 16.  We started early and hurried to the next house to get breakfast.  The good people there had no bread, but they served us Welsh corn (hominy?) and buttermilk.  After breakfast we crossed the mountains and came to the James River which we had to swim across.  Toward evening we crossed another river and came to a house where we had to lie on bear skins around the fire like the rest.  The manner of living in this district is poor.  Clothes are deer skins and the food consists of Johnny cakes, deer and bear meat.  (The missionaries are now in the present counties of Bath and Allegheny which was the frontier country with Indians immediately to the west.)  The white people live like savages and hunting is their chief occupation.

Nov. 17.  Our path led through the mountains.  The wolves could be heard and were quite near.  A Quaker walked with us for three miles.  In the afternoon we came to the mill of Justice Robeson.  We had expected to get some bread but he said there was no bread in the house.  We went on for two miles and, on hearing that the next house was twelve miles away, we camped.  That night it snowed the whole night.

Nov. 18.  The way was narrow and wet on account of the snow.  We crossed the Catawba Creek and a branch of the Roanoke more than thirty times.  There was one house at twelve miles and the next was fifteen miles.  We were wet the whole day.  We stayed in an English house and enjoyed the comforts of a good fire and a pleasant conversation with our host.

On Sunday, Nov. 19, we were pleased in anticipation of seeing the New River and the Germans living there.  Jacob Hermann received us with joy.  It was too late to preach today so a sermon was appointed for tomorrow.  On Monday I preached and on Tuesday we stayed quietly at Hermann's house and spoke with him.  On Wednesday, I was supposed to preach again but the weather was so cold that no one came.  Nov. 23. Mr. Hermann went with us to visit Jacob Goldman whose wife is the sister of my father-in-law.  On Saturday I kept the Sabbath and on Sunday I preached.  Some Seventh Day Baptists (Dunkers) lived at New River but we had no desire to visit them.

Nov. 27.  We could learn no information of any German settlements to the south within the next 150 miles, so we resolved to turn our faces toward Pennsylvania and return to Bethlehem.  The rain soaked us and we stayed that evening with Robert Lewis and dried our clothes.

Nov. 28.  We made thirty miles again and crossed the Catawba and Roanoke about that many times.  We stayed with a tanner who resoled Bro. Brandmueller's shoes.  The next day we got a late start but we arrived at the James River by evening.


Nr. 306:

[Bros. Schnell and Brandmueller have turned back north and are now headed to Bethlehem, their point of departure.  The year is 1749.]

Nov. 30.  We heard many wolves.  We had to travel about thirty miles to find a house where they had bread.

On Dec. 1 we passed through the Irish settlement (Augusta County).

On Dec. 2 we traveled all day so we could be with the Germans on Sunday.  Late at night we arrived at the house of Stopfel (Christopher) Franciscus.  On Sunday, the young Franciscus went with us to show the way to Mattias Schaub who, upon hearing my offer to preach, sent messengers through the neighborhood.  In a short time, a considerable number of people assembled and I preached.  Toward evening, Adam Mueller came and I asked him if I come to his house and preach.  We set the date at Dec. 5 and he notified his neighbors.

On Dec. 6 we stayed with Philip Lung but he would not let me preach at his house saying no one would come since Rev. Klug (from "Hebron") had warned people to be on their guard against us.  We left.

On Dec. 7 we walked twenty miles before breakfast before we could find food.  In the afternoon we reached George Daelinger who would not let us preach because of Rev. Klug.  We stayed with Caspar Funk.  On Dec. 8 we visited a Mennonite and later came to the house of N. Schmidt Stepfa, a Catholic, in whose house we wished to preach because there were several Germans in the neighborhood.  But he assured us that the people were much incensed against us.  He had heard how Rev. Klug warned people to be on their guard.  He believed we were sincere and he welcomed us into his house.

On Dec. 9, we went ten miles to Benjamin Frey.  As Bro. Brandmueller had fallen into Cedar Creek, it gave him a chance to dry himself.  On the next day, Sunday, we hastened early to old Mr. Funk where we had appointed a sermon.  When we arrived there was already a good crowd.  One of Mr. Funk's sons told us that a man had come to them, having traveled fourteen miles, to ask them not to permit us to preach.  But the son told him it was too late.  Later we went on and stayed with a Mennonite.  But as he was under the influence of whiskey, we could not speak of anything sensible to him.

On Dec. 11, we visited the old Jost Hayd (Hite).  We did not stay but continued on to Fredericktown where we called on a German shoemaker.  We then traveled another ten miles to an Englishman with whom we stayed the night.

On Dec. 12, we left two hours before dawn and came to the Potomac where the ferryman (at Watkins' Ferry) took us over.  He asked for one of our books and we promised to send it to him.  Thus we left Virginia.

[Commentary.  By 1749, the Reformed and Lutheran church leaders had become distrustful of the Moravians and were warning people against listening to them.  Notice how many times that the name of Rev. Klug is invoked by the people that the Moravians visited on this trip.  However, when the people formed their own judgments, they were often very favorably inclined to the Moravians.  Rev. Klug visited the valley many times so that the eastern and western sides of the Blue Ridge were well acquainted with each other.  On other trips the missionaries traveled on the eastern side, the Germanna side, of the Blue


Nr. 307:

[In 1753, fifteen Moravian brothers left Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for their new home in North Carolina.  They traveled with a team and wagon to carry supplies and goods.  This trip duplicates the routes and the troubles that many of our Germanna people would have encountered as they moved to the Carolinas and Georgia about this same time.]

Oct. 12, still in Pennsylvania.  We rose at four o'clock and after the morning worship we breakfasted at five.  At six o'clock we left.  In eight miles a dead tree happened to fall on our horses which caused considerable commotion, but the horses and the brother riding one of them were unharmed.  Today we shot several pheasants, quails, and squirrels.  We pitched our camp one mile before the Susquehanna River.  Made a fire, cooked supper, appointed the night guards, and spread our blankets and slept.  The next day we crossed the Susquehanna at Harrisburg.  Our first destination was York, thirty miles beyond.  It was getting difficult for the horses, so the brothers had to help push the wagon.  That night we pitched our tent because a thunderstorm was expected.  We got the storm but then we got up at midnight and continued on our way.

Oct. 14, a Sunday.  We pitched our tent four miles beyond Carlisle in order not to be an eyesore to the Irish Presbyterians.  We spent the day in attending to our personal needs.  Monday, we started on our way at three o'clock.  We had moonlight and a good road with about eighty miles to go to Frederickstown (Winchester).  For twelve miles though we had no water.  The tongue of our wagon needed fixing and the blacksmith was very expensive.  That night we stayed at Col. Chamber's mill at Chambersburg.  On the 14th Bro. Grube led the morning worship and we continued on our way at four o'clock.  On the way we bought ten bushels of oats from an Irishman.  We passed out of Pennsylvania and have only six miles to go to cross Maryland.  We have encountered a lot of Irish people.  Late in the day we came to a German tavern where we bought some hay and had our dinner.

On Oct. 17 we continued our journey at five o'clock.  In two miles we reached the Potomac which we forded though we had great difficulty in getting the wagon up the opposite bank.  On the 18th we reached (Winchester) which consists of about sixty houses, poorly built.  Beyond the town we stopped and bought some bread and corn.  We soon reached Jost Hite's mill.  One of the brothers visited plantations to buy bread and oats but found little.  We were out of horse feed.  On the 19th we rose at six o'clock but we had not had much sleep because of smoke.  In a mile we stopped to have some bread baked for us.  Some of the brethren bought bread and hay from Christian Neuschwanger and brought it to the "great road."  In a short while we came to George Bauman's mill.  We bought oats but had to wait for it to be threshed.  Germans to whom we talked told us that the road was very bad beyond the Augusta Court House.  We had many visitors come and see us that evening.  We had lost a sack of oats but some of the brothers found it and brought it up.


Nr. 308:

[En route with fifteen Moravian brothers from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, 1753.]

Oct. 20.  We started at five o'clock.  At once a considerable mountain arose before us.  We had to help faithfully by pushing our wagon.  Before daybreak we reached the top.  We heard that we would find no house for twenty miles, but water every three or four miles.  Several brethren went hunting but returned empty handed.  We took our dinner at a creek and we heard that Jacob Mueller lived in the neighborhood.  The road grew very narrow and the wagon could not turn out.  We camped on "Shanidore" Creek.

Oct. 21.  In five miles we crossed the "Shanidore."  We camped close to the bank and observed Sunday.  Bros. Loesch and Kalberland were not well so we bled them.  For a treat in the afternoon we had tea to drink.  Two Germans from the upper valley stopped and stayed the night with us.

Oct. 22.  Some of the brothers went to a plantation where we are will help thresh today.  They returned with eleven bushels of oats.  It is said that we are two hundred miles from this point to Williamsburg.  We had difficulty in finding water and were compelled to travel five miles during the night.  The horses were completely fagged out and we had to help push the wagon.  We arrived late at Thom. Harris's plantation where we bought feed for our horses and pitched our tent.  The people were very friendly and lodge strangers very willingly.  [Perhaps the brothers were at Harrisonburg.]

Oct. 23.  We started at daybreak.  We had bought a small barrel of milk but it broke and we lost all.  Two miles farther we bought some meat and went six miles farther to the North River (of the Shenandoah) where we ate our dinner.  In the afternoon we traveled straight south.

Oct. 24.  We had a difficult time crossing the Middle Branch due to the high banks.  Farther on we came to Augusta Court House, a little town of some twenty houses, surrounded by mountains on all sides.  The whole district is settled by Irish.  [They should have said Scots-Irish].  Immediately the bad roads begin.  In the fork in the road here, the right-hand road goes to Carolina.  The road ran up and down continuously and we either had to push the wagon or keep it back with ropes which we had fastened to the rear.  There was plenty of water but we could not buy feed for the horses since the people had none.

Oct. 25.  We continued our journey.  In the evening we pitched our tent on a height and we had to fetch our water from a considerable distance.  We found a free negro, who is a blacksmith, and he shod one of our horses.  He and his wife, born in Scotland, were very friendly to us and she baked some bread for us.  They had met some Moravians before and read some of our material.  The blacksmith understood German very well.  Our tent served us well as it rained all night.  Several of the brothers had breakfast with the negro who considered it an important event to have several ministers with him.  On the way in the day we had several hills which required our help to ascend and to descend.  That night we were soaked by the rains which got into the tent.

Oct. 27.  The road was very bad, constantly going up and down hill.  The country is very beautiful and fruitful.  We had to unload half of our baggage because it is impossible to ascend the mountain with the whole load.  The road was slippery and horses fell many times.  We traveled along the summit of a mountain but it was difficult to get water and food.  We had our first turkey for dinner.


Nr. 309:

[Continuing the trip with fifteen Moravian brothers from Pennsylvania to North Carolina in 1753.]

Oct. 28.  One of the horses took sick.  We were able to buy corn at a house.  By noon we had made six miles.  In the afternoon we had a stony and bad road and we had to hold the wagon back continually with ropes, lest it be overturned on the steep road.  Four times we crossed creeks with high banks that made it difficult.  The Blue Ridge and North Mountains are within two miles of each other.  Toward evening we saw the James River.  To descend a steep mountain, we attached a large tree to the wagon, locked both wheels, and had the brothers hold fast to the tree.  Still we went down so fast that most of the brethren turned somersaults but without injury to anyone.  We were very tired in the camp for, in spite of the bad road, we had covered sixteen miles.  A man came by the camp and told us we could have used another road which was better.

Oct. 29.  Our first frost of the journey.  We passed safely through the James River.  We shortly passed a house where we stopped for the day because the people baked bread for us and sold us a pig which we butchered on the spot.  Mr. Illisen came to us (we had purchased corn once from him) and asked us to shoe his horse which we did.  He said he was going to Philadelphia and would take anything along which we wanted carried there.  Bros. Gottlob and Nathanael wrote several letters to our brothers at Bethlehem which they addressed to Sam. Powel in Philadelphia.  [The location of the traveling party at this time is given on the Fry and Jefferson map as "Looneys Ferry."]  Toward evening we went four miles farther.

Oct. 30.  Bad weather today with rain and snow.  We stayed in the tent.  Some of the brothers had to spend the day in looking for our horses which had run off.  We tried to bake bread in the ashes.

Oct. 31.  We had to climb a high mountain which was hard on the horses because the ground was frozen and covered with snow.  From the top of the top of the mountain we had a beautiful view.  The road was miserable and sometimes very steep.  We had to cross creeks.  We came to Joseph MacDonnell's house and he kindly pointed out the roads to us.  The road to the right goes to New River but we wanted the road to the left.  Toward evening, we met an old man, named Mueller, who gave us turnips when we asked about buying some.

Nov. 1.  Two of our horses were sick and we believe the change in feed may cause it.  During the day we heard the distance to Roanoke was nine miles.  The road grew very narrow and we had to use our axes to get through.  It was necessary to find a new way or improve the old way.  We met three men who had been in Carolina and were returning to Pennsylvania.  They told us it was hard to find provisions along the way.  The men agreed to take a letter and Bro. Nathanael wrote a note to Bro. Rauch.  It was very hard to ascend the banks of the creeks.  In a little bit we reached a buffalo lick (now Roanoke).  At another fork in the road, the right branch leads to "Grain Brayer" [the brothers had difficulty understanding the Scots-Irish pronounce Greenbrier].  At Roanoke, we wanted to buy grain but we had to help husk the corn and thresh the oats.  The miller came and gave us good advice about our sick horses.  We had covered only twelve miles today.


Nr. 310:

[With the single Moravian brothers going from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, 1753]

Nov. 2.  We rose early because the smoke annoyed us during the night.  At daybreak we crossed the Roanoke.  One horse was still very sick and it was difficult to get it across the ford.  After a short distance we had to climb a high mountain.  We almost stuck fast in a ditch and were in danger of breaking the tongue of our wagon.  To climb the mountain we had to unload half of our wagon and then we only barely made it.  The descent was equally steep.  We put a brake on the wheels and drug a tree to slow the descent.  Another mountain faced us and it looked like rain.  We met a man who told us that we should not try to cross the mountain today.  He told us we could spend the night with someone on the mountain.  The foot of the mountain was too steep for the wagon.  We unloaded and carried the baggage on horseback.  It rained and the road became slippery.  At the top we could not find the house or any water.  We were therefore compelled to descend the mountain though it was dark and raining hard.  [Probably the mountain was the Blue Ridge at Magotty Gap.]

Nov. 3.  We went back across the mountain to get the rest of the baggage and the wagon.  Some of the brothers stayed with the tent.  Once more we loaded our horses with baggage and took it to the top of the mountain.  We made a fire to warm ourselves here.  Most of us went back for the wagon and we had to push very hard to get the wagon up the mountain.  Then we loaded the wagon and used our usual method of going down steep hills.  At the camp, we were all tired and sleepy so we let the angels watch for us.

Nov. 4.  We found an almost impassable way and were compelled to remove many trees.  Our wagon stuck fast in a mud hole and it took us two hours to get it out.  The pulley [block and tackle?] was of much use to us.  We passed by Benjamin Reh, an old man of about ninety and his wife who is about a hundred.  They are both active and cheerful and they gave us milk to drink and were very friendly.  The Warrick road branches to the west here.  We watched our horses carefully as we heard there were horse thieves in the neighborhood.

Nov. 5.  We rose early and we had a good road.  We came to Robert Kohl's, a justice of the peace, and we bought some corn from him.  He regretted not knowing that we were coming as he would have met us and showed us a better way which was not entirely complete yet.  But with our hands we could have done the job.  Some of the brothers stayed with him and helped to husk several bushels of corn which we had bought.  Our course was west and southwest and took us over many creeks and mud holes.

Nov. 6.  We continued on our way.  Bro. Herman stayed to thresh oats with Robert Johnsen from whom we had bought some.  Our wagon was in danger of becoming stuck.  Many times we had to lift the wheels out of holes.  Also the road was very narrow and it was hard to get our long wagon through.  About thirty times we crossed creeks which run through the swampy area around here.  Brother Herman with the oats caught up to us.  Mr. Johnsen had told him that it had been nine years since he had heard a sermon.  Even though we had worked hard today, we had traveled only ten miles.


Nr. 311:

[Slogging along with the Moravian brothers en route to North Carolina in 1753.]

Nov. 7.  We started at daybreak, in a swamp, with creeks, and mountains.  The road was very slippery so that the horses could not step firmly.  Our wagon was damaged when the bank of a creek was so steep that the rear of the wagon struck the bank.  After dinner [the noon time meal], we faced a long hill and a steep mountain.  From the top we could see Pilot Mountain in North Carolina which pleased us very much as we wanted to be on our land in North Carolina.  We sent brothers ahead to inquire about the way.  We came to a mountain which we wanted to cross tonight but it was too steep so we camped at the foot.  Several brethren took our horses to a pasture and stayed the night with them.

Nov. 8.  Started early and carried half of our baggage to the top.  Then we brought up the wagon but it was very difficult to do so because the way was so steep.  We loaded again and continued but we had to repeat this later in the day.  This last mountain was the steepest that we had crossed.  We went down by locking the wheels and tying a tree to the wagon.  The people tell us these mountains are very dangerous and that we would barely be able to cross them.  Morgan Bryand, who had first gone this way, had taken the wheels off his wagon and carried it piecemeal to the top.  It had taken him three months to go from the Shenandoah to the Yadkin River.  The road was very poor and we were stalled several times.  We made only seven miles today.  In the evening it rained and we had to lie down wet.

Nov. 9.  The rains were heavy and we could not cross the river.  People who lived in the neighborhood came to see us.  They were interested in our long wagon and in seeing so many unmarried men traveling together.  They asked if we could baptize their children.  The rain was so heavy that we could not dry off.

Nov. 10.  We passed our time with drying blankets, mending clothes and darning stockings.  We bought several bushels of corn and some meat from our neighbors who liked our prolonged stay as it netted them some money.

Nov. 11.  The river had fallen two feet.  A man showed us the ford and we made it safely across.  In a swamp we were stuck in a mud hole.  In a while, we met a man from North Carolina who lives not far from our land.  He said that everyone knew we would soon come.  He was very pleased that we had two ministers as they had none.  It also pleased them that we had a physician with us.  We traveled eight miles today which was good progress.  We enjoyed some beautiful and warm weather.  We cooked Virginia potatoes which tasted very good.

Nov. 12.  We rose very early and at three o'clock had stewed pumpkin.  The Horse Pasture Creek had very steep banks and we had to use our picks and shovels.  Our progress was slowed by the banks of the creeks which are very steep.

Nov. 13.  Today we started at three o'clock in the morning.  At daybreak we came to the boundary of Virginia and North Carolina.  We wanted to reach the Dan River but we had to stop short.  At twelve o'clock at night we started again to reach the Dan.  A brother went ahead with a pine torch to show the way.  At two o'clock we came to the Dan.  We had covered twenty-five miles since breakfast and we were very tired so we camped.


Nr. 312:

[Nearing the destination of the single Moravian brothers to their land in North Carolina, 1753.]

Nov. 14.  We went very early to the river [Dan] to see whether we could cross, but it had risen two feet and had a very rapid current.  While we waited, we spent our time in improving the bank of the river which was very steep.  Several brethren went hunting but returned empty handed.  An Irish man visited us and wanted us to come to his house and baptize his child.  Bro. Gottlob pleaded he could speak very little English.  The man would not accept this and said he did not care how it was done, if it were only done.

Nov. 15.  More hunting but still empty hands.  Brothers Haberland and Loesch went ahead to scout our land and find the best place to camp while we explored the land in more detail.  A German boy came to us who lives on the Yadkin.  He had bought eleven quarts of salt at the Smith River for half a dollar.

Nov. 16.  We rose early to cross the river.  To go down the bank, we tied a tree to the wagon and then removed it when we got to the water.  The current was still swift and almost got into our wagon but we reached the other shore safely.  We could not get up the bank.  We had to unload half of the baggage and then we tied ropes to the tongue so we could help pull the wagon.  In a short distance we came to a swamp and then a hill.  At four o'clock we had gone only ten miles from our last camp as this was almost the worst part of the trip.  Our scouts came back.  We were very tired and exhausted.

Nov. 17.  We rose early after a very cold night.  It looked like snow.  Several brethren worked with picks and axes to improve the road and to level the banks of the creeks.  We came to the new road which runs through our land to the Yadkin River.  Some people presented us with pumpkins and said we could have a whole wagon full for nothing.  Two miles from our land!  One mile from our land we ate dinner.  Some of our new neighbors gave us several bushels of turnips.  At one o'clock we came to our boundary line.  The scouts had found an abandoned house on our land and we made our way to it by cutting a road.  The hut was just large enough so that we [fifteen] can all lie round about along the wall.  We at once made preparations for a little love feast, during which the wolves howled fiercely.  With gratitude to God we lay down to rest, our dear Gottlob sleeping in his [beloved] hammock.

[The journey had started in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on October 8.  Considering the traveling conditions, they made good time.]


Nr. 313:

The history of the Moravians predates Martin Luther and originates in 1457 with the teachings of John Huss.  The movement had gained a large following in Bohemia and Moravia by the time the Thirty Years' War broke out in 1618, but that War almost wiped them out.  Early in the 1700's, the church was renewed through the efforts of a devout carpenter, Christian David.  Persecutions continued and Count Zinzendorf offered them a refuge on his estates.  Zinzendorf later became a bishop of the church and much involved in the leadership of the church.  From the earliest dates they were missionary in their efforts.  Today, the majority of the membership is non-European and non-American.

The proper name of the church is "Unita Fratrum", which is commonly translated in English as the Unity of the Brethren.  They first came to the North American continent in 1732 with a settlement at Savannah, Georgia.  Later, the base of operations in America shifted to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which is actually a city that they founded.  In their services, much emphasis is placed on music.  If possible, they held (multiple) daily worship services.  At first, property was held communally.  They had houses of residence for the men and for the women.  Married couples could be affiliated with the church.

The activities of the members were organized and supervised closely.  Even the members who were on the road kept diaries of their activities which were submitted to their supervisors.  They, in turn, wrote summary reports which were submitted to their supervisors.  All members were required to write autobiographies.  As you might surmise, education was a high priority.  In fact, in the middle of the 1700's, the Moravian schools were the best in North America.  Women were entitled to education as much as men.  The millions of pages that the members wrote were not discarded.  They were bound and kept.  Today at Bethlehem, there is a library devoted to these records which are kept in a fireproof vault better than most banks have.  The only difficulty with these records is that they are written in German and in German script.  There is another archive in North Carolina.

The recent excerpts here from the travels of the Moravian missionaries and brothers illustrate these points.  They kept a dairy of their daily activities to send to Bethlehem.  Selections have been translated from German to English.  From these, the Rev. William J. Hinke and Charles E. Kemper selected material and added some annotations which were published in the "Virginia Historical Magazine."  The selections used here were from Hinke and Kemper series of articles.

In the 1740's, the Moravians dreamed of uniting all of the German churches in America.  By 1748, the Lutherans and the Reformed churches perceived that the union would be dominated by the Moravians who were the best organized.  The Lutheran and Reformed leaders turned against the Moravians and perceived them as competition.  For example, the Rev. Klug of the Hebron Lutheran church was active, by mouth and by writing, in urging Lutherans in the Shenandoah Valley to reject the Moravians.  Apparently, from the remarks of the Moravians, the Germanna people had nothing against the individual Moravian members but they had a low opinion of the church.  Thus, the Germantown residents wanted a Moravian member to be their pastor, but at the same time they held a negative opinion of the Moravian church.

In 1751, Lord Granville offered the Moravians one hundred thousand acres of land in North Carolina.  On 29 November 1751, the offer was accepted by the Brethren in London.  In 1752, a tract was surveyed in North Carolina, ten miles from the Yadkin River on the upper Pennsylvania road and twenty miles from the Virginia line.  At first, the settlement was called Wachovia but now is called Winston-Salem.  The recent notes here recount the trip of fifteen brothers from Bethlehem to take possession of this tract.


Nr. 314:

There was an interesting personality among our Germanna people.  To properly understand him requires a base of historical information.  I won't say that I can do that but I can give you some of the highlights.  The man is George Hume (I) (sometimes spelled Home but always pronounced Hume) who in 1715, along with his father Sir George, and his brother Francis, rebelled in Scotland against the English by forcibly espousing the cause of James Stuart (sometimes called the Jacobite rebellion).  After capture by English, the initial sentence of death for the two sons was changed to "transportation to Virginia," a euphemism for sending convict labor to the colonies.

George (I) and Francis Hume were second cousins to Alexander Spotswood in Virginia.  Both ended up there and must have been at least a mild embarrassment to Spotswood, a servant of the Crown.  However, Spotswood did what he could for the two and he installed Francis as the supervisor of the Germans at Germanna.  (As a consequence, this is another individual at Fort Germanna who probably required a home.)  Francis did not live long though and died in 1718.  He was buried along the shores of the Rapidan River at Germanna.

George (I) Hume arrived later in Virginia in 1721 (at the age of 23) after his freedom had been purchased by Capt. Dandridge, an ancestor of Martha Washington.  Hume was discouraged at first, writing home, "I find there is nothing to get here without recommendation.  Tho mine was good yet it did me no manner of service for just as I came into ye country ye Gov. lost his place . . ."  He went to the College of William and Mary and was accredited by it as a surveyor.  This came naturally to him as he been trained in mathematics in Scotland.

Very quickly he became an important surveyor in the colony.  His work ranged far and he had important commissions and posts such as laying out the town of Fredericksburg, being the surveyor for Spotsylvania, Orange and Frederick Counties, determining the bounds of the Fairfax patent, and being appointed a Crown surveyor in 1751.  For a while he had an assistant by the name of George Washington but the claim that Washington was a student of Hume is not well founded.  Simultaneously with his surveying work, Hume was busy acquiring property.  To the end of his life in 1760, he worked as a surveyor at a time when being a surveyor meant being on a permanent "camping trip."

For many years he had wanted to give up "taking long tedious journeys where we are obliged to go perhaps several months without seeing a house, and living altogether on wilde meat."  But he persisted in the trade, doing excellent work.  His course of North 72 degrees West, the line between Frederick and Augusta Counties, is without error and still used today.

On 16 December 1727 he married Elizabeth Proctor.  He was appointed a Lieutenant in the Colonial Militia in 1729.  Later he was appointed a Justice of the Peace.  So he went full circle from being a rebellious citizen against the crown to being a supporter of the crown.  He lived in several locations but the last one was near Oak Park in present day Madison Co., VA.


Nr. 315:

[The information in the previous note and in this note comes from a two-part article in Beyond Germanna, vol. 7, no. 1, written by Karl R. Hume.]

Francis Hume left no known descendants.  He life in Virginia was very short, but it is possible, while he was at Germanna, that he married one of the German girls; however, there is no evidence that he did.

George (I) Hume married Elizabeth Proctor, as is documented in land records of Spotsylvania County, wherein her father, George Proctor, gave land to George (I) and Elizabeth.  George (I) and Elizabeth had six sons but no daughters.  The sons were George (II), Francis, John, William, James, and Charles.

The eldest son, George (II), born in 1729, became his father's assistant in surveying.  He married Jane Stanton in 1754 and died in Madison County in 1802, leaving five sons and three daughters.  At least four of these children married Germanna descendants:

George III married Susannah Crigler in 1782
Reuben married Anna Finks
John married Anna Crigler
Sarah Ann married John Crigler

(Other children of George (II) and Jane were Charles, William, Elizabeth, and Frances.)

George III and Susannah moved to Madison Co., KY and left issue.  George III, as the latest in the sequence of the eldest sons, made an attempt to recover the estates in Scotland which Sir George lost in the Jacobite rebellion.

Sarah Ann and John Crigler moved to Madison Co., KY about 1800.  Among their eight children there were two additional marriages to Germanna descendants:

Katherine married John Wilhoit
George married Mary Utz

There is another recorded Germanna marriage, as Moses Wilhoit married, 12 Dec 1789, in Culpeper Co., VA, Anna Hume, but her line of descent is unknown.

The author of this information, Karl Hume, notes there is another Germanna marriage in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1890.  These were Karl's grandparents.  The couple was Minnie Melissa Wilhite and Louis Edward Hume.  This was not a case of families traveling together; the routes that Minnie and Louis took to Laramie were much different.  Karl admits that it not clear why either one of these was in Laramie.

Descendants by any of the paths can say, "My ancestor had an assistant by the name of George Washington."  If they are willing to admit it, they can also call Alexander Spotswood, "cousin."

(Note from the curator of these web pages: I have inserted (I) and (II) after the appropriate "Georges" above to help with identifying the person about whom Karl R. Hume is speaking. GWD)


Nr. 316:

Willis Kemper, who wrote an early Kemper genealogy and Fishback genealogy, tried to count the number of immigrants to Virginia in the First Colony, which arrived in 1714.  Everyone who tries this exercise comes up short.  Spotswood says there were forty-odd Germans but the records in Virginia name only about thirty-four people.  Some records do refer to the fact there were forty-two people.  Also Graffenried says he found forty-odd people in London when he returned in 1713.

Kemper let his imagination roam in trying to find an answer to this puzzle.  There is a possible answer, that is not overly complicated.  If there was a family, with several girls in it, and if the parents died in the first years in Virginia, while the daughter married bachelors, there would not be a problem.

The records which identify the First Colony people are principally the land records, the proofs of importation, and the naturalization records.  There may have been marriage records but they have been lost.

Generally the naturalization records came later.  Three of the men were naturalized at an early date and it was these three that purchased the land at Germantown, acting as trustees for the colony.  These three were Jacob Holtzclaw, John Hoffman, and John Fishback.  I believe it is correct that naturalization records are unknown for several of the men.  So the naturalization records provide few clues.

In 1724 many of the individuals, men, women, and children, made proofs of importation in order to obtain headrights to fifty acres of land for each person.  This is the most complete and earliest listing that is known for the members.  Willis Kemper was confused as to why these proofs of importation were made.  The First Colony members could not use the headrights themselves in the Northern Neck, so they were of a limited value.  The reason they were not usable was that Lord/Lady Fairfax had already taken the land from the Crown.  Now, they were selling the land and they were not about to give it away in exchange for headrights.  Headrights only applied to the lands still owned by the Crown.  However, someone who lived in the Northern Neck and who would normally be entitled to a head right could obtain one.  They could sell it for use by someone who anticipated procuring lands outside the Northern Neck on lands of the Crown.  Its value was less that five shillings because one could pay five shillings in cash in lieu of a headright.  Even though the majority of the First Colony members made proofs of importations, only a small fraction of them actually used the headright by selling it.  Apparently, the people had plans to sell theirs but in practice found that it was not worth the effort.

Jacob Holtzclaw sold his headright to Lawrence Crees who used it when he obtained his land in the Robinson River area.  The patent issued to Crees makes note of the fact that he paid, in part, with the headright of Jacob Holtzclaw.  This does not mean that Crees paid the transportation of Holtzclaw or even that Crees came before Holtzclaw.  All together, about eight of the names of the First Colony members appear in patents.  But these add no new information to the proofs of importation.

[to be continued]


Nr. 317:

On two occasions, in April and in June of 1724, about thirty members of the First Colony went to the Spotsylvania County Court and gave testimony that they were immigrants to the colony of Virginia.  The object in doing this was to obtain headrights, a certificate that could be traded for fifty acres of land (per person).  So low was the priority of obtaining the certificate that they did not claim the certificates until May of 1729.  All of them, one per person, were issued then.  Probably one person went to the county clerk to claim them.

Yesterday I commented that the value of the certificates, the headrights, was low, less than five shillings per headright.  Actually, at the time the proofs of importation were made, the value was much less than this as land was offered for free in the new counties of Spotsylvania and Brunswick.  If you patented your land in these counties, no headrights or treasury warrants were required.  The headrights could not be used in the Northern Neck, so the demand for headrights was very low.  The free land offer expired about the time that the First Colony members claimed their certificates, so perhaps they saw an improvement in the market for them.

A few of the headrights were sold.  William Moore used the headrights of John Camper, Alice Catherine Camper, John Huffman, Katherine Huffman, Jacob Richart, Elizabeth Richart, John Richart, and Katherine Cunk.  This was used in the patent of a tract on branches of Mine Run in the fall of 1729.  Therefore, a market had been found for these rather quickly.  William Hallaway patented 250 acres of land using the headrights of Johannes Martin, Margaret Halscrow, Henry Halscrow, John Halscrow, and Maria Katherina Martin.

Laus Crees (he of the Second Germanna Colony) patented 200 acres of land in Spotsylvania Co. in 1732, using the headrights of Katherine Cuntz, John Cuntz, Likewin Peter Hill, Eliza. and Peter Hill.  It is generally agreed that the abstract of the patents had some difficulty in reading the names and that the proper reading of the last two names should be, "Likewise, Peter Hitt and Elizabeth Hitt."

Note that three of the headrights of the Jacob Holtzclaw family were used, but not that of Jacob himself.  He appears later in a 1734 patent of Richard Tutt, who used the headrights of Jacob Halscrow and Joseph Cuntz, among others.  (This corrects an error in the last note in which it is said that Lawrence Crees used the headright of Jacob.)

The value of the headrights to us is that they furnish a substitute for immigration lists.  However, they are not complete.  In many cases the proofs of importation give us more information.

Many false conclusions have been drawn from the headrights.  Though Lawrence Crees did use the headrights of Peter Hitt, for example, it does not mean that Crees paid the transportation of Hitt.  It does not even mean that Crees was here before Hitt was.  One had to be very careful about drawing conclusions based on headrights.  This applies also to the language in a proof of importation.  This was considered a minor document or event and the facts were not carefully examined.  Spotswood complained the system was abused and he did attempt to correct some of the problems.


Nr. 318:

The last notes digressed some from the original purpose of finding the missing members of the First Germanna Colony.  They did point out that the records which might shed some light are very few in number.  The first records in which in any appreciable number of the Germans appeared were the proofs of importation made in 1724, a full ten years after their arrival.

Considering the probability of death, it is not surprising that one or more families would be missing by 1724.  So, no great surprise should be expressed at the idea that some people were missing.

The requirements or essential aspects of the missing family(ies) are that it contains several daughters to provide the spouses for the bachelors and that it contains no surviving sons who would have had land.  There could have been sons who died.  Then, if the father of the family had died in the period from 1714 to 1724, the daughters could have been included in the proofs of importations of their husbands.  The mother might have still been living but failed to make a proof of importation.  Had she lived, it is unlikely that she would have received land, living instead with her daughters and sons-in-law.

Another requirement on the family is that the daughters are about the right age for marriage, which means the parents were probably above the average age.  It would be also be convenient if the daughters had the given names that matched the names of the wives of the bachelors.

From what we know about the emigration patterns, such a family would be very likely to have come from the same area as the other families.  Also, it is even probable that they were related.

Armed with this outline of the family, it is possible to search the records around Siegen for it.  Another requirement is that a candidate family must disappear from the records in the Siegen area.

I do not know whether B.C. Holtzclaw was the one who found a possible family or not, but he was a proponent of one consisting of Harmon and Elizabeth (Heimbach) Utterbach with their children, John Philip, John, Elizabeth, Alice Catherine, Mary Catherine, and Anna Catherine.  The requirements enumerated above are well satisfied, though it is necessary to postulate that the father and the sons died.  Some people are not satisfied with this suggestion as the evidence is circumstantial.  Still, courts will convict a defendant on circumstantial evidence.

Areas for additional research in the Siegen area include verification that the family does, in fact, disappear from the records.  This is a hard thing to do, but still an exhaustive search does say something.  Also, it may be the case that one or both of the sons died in Germany.  Any search should also include looking for alternative families.  Maybe another family meets the requirements better.  And it is possible that the missing family is really two families.


Nr. 319:

A recent note spoke of John Wilhoit and his wife Margaret "Peggy" Weaver.  John Wilhoit was the son of Johann Michael Willheit and his wife Anna Maria Hengsteler.  Margaret "Peggy" Weaver was said to be the daughter of Peter Weaver and Mary B. Huffman.  (The source for this may have been Germanna Record 13, page 50.)

Just the simplest of time lines shows that the above statement concerning Margaret Weaver could not be true.  She would be younger than some of her children.

The true facts were worked out in an article in Beyond Germanna, v. 6, n.3 (May 1994).  A summary is provided here.

John Willheit and wife Burga attended the Hebron Lutheran Church in Culpeper Co., VA on Easter Sunday in 1776.  They appear in the list of communicants.  The names adjacent to John and Burga were George Utz, Sr.(son of the 1717 immigrant), wife Mary (Kaifer), and Henry Aylor, wife Anna Margaret.  Henry Aylor was born in 1718 and the other three were thought to have been born in the 1720's.  Thus John Willheit was probably the son, born 1713, of the immigrant Michael Willheit.  Usually people sat with others of the same age.  Also, the grandsons of Michael Willheit who were named John had wives whose names do not suggest the name Burga.

On the first Sunday after Easter in 1778, the name Burga Wilheit was recorded again in the church Register, confirming that the name really did exist.  The name Burga is unusual at the Hebron Lutheran Church.  Burga is, of course, a nickname for Walburga or Waldburga.  In the Virginia records there is one other record of a similar name.  The list of fifty imported Germans which Spotswood used for partial payment for a patent of land includes the family, Joseph Wever, Susannna Wever, Hans Frederick Wever, Maria Sophia Wever, and Wabburie Wever.  Except for the name Wabburie, the family is known in Germany.  This suggests that Wabburie was born in 1717, at sea, or, at least, in transit from Germany.  Wabburie is another nickname for Walburga.

So we have these facts:  John Willheit married Burga (i.e., Walburga).  The only Walburga in the Second Colony is Walburga Wever (Weaver).  He was born in 1713 and she was born in 1717.

The Hans Frederick Wever, above, was actually Hans Dietrich Wever (from the German records).  The Dietrich became Dieter, Teter, or Peter.  Thus Walburga Weaver was a sister of Peter Weaver, the 1717 immigrant, and not the granddaughter of Peter.

Mrs. Wever was Susanna Klaar, the sister of Michael Klaar (Clore).  Joseph Wever died early on in Virginia, though his arrival in Virginia is recorded.  Susanna married Jacob Crigler and, after he died, she married Nicholas Yager.

The name Wever is often rendered as Weber or in America as Weaver.


Nr. 320:

There have been recent questions about Susanna Klaar (Clore), who married Joseph Weaver, Jacob Crigler, and Nicholas Yager.  All three of these men had wives, at least at one time, named Susanna. Was it the same Susanna?

The evidence is circumstantial and not entirely strong.  For example, Susanna Yager gave slaves to Crigler men, which is evidence that she was married to Jacob Crigler.  For the significance, genealogically speaking, of the question of the Yager marriage, this is enough evidence.  The Clore - Weaver - Crigler connection is significant because the Clore connection establishes her ancestry, and the Weaver and Crigler connection identifies her descendants.

There is most excellent evidence, of a very strong, albeit circumstantial, nature in the baptisms of the children of Christopher Crigler (who married Catherine Finks).  A detailed look at the sponsors answers the question.  These occurred at the Hebron Lutheran Church in the period 1751 to 1778.

During this time, the sponsors were usually chosen from siblings of the parents, or from the first cousins of the parents, plus the spouses of the siblings and cousins.  Looking at the sponsors:

Andrew Carpenter.  He married Barbara Weaver, the niece of Christopher Crigler.  This is an exception to the sibling-cousin rule, but remember that the Weavers were a little older than the Criglers so that Barbara was closer in age to Christopher than an uncle-niece relationship might indicate.  The important point here is that she was a close relative from the Weaver family.  On six occasions, Andrew Carpenter was a sponsor.  On two occasions, Barbara (Weaver) Carpenter was a sponsor.  These two, Andrew and Barbara, show that marriage was as good a bond as blood.

John Weaver.  Similar to the previous, John was a nephew of Christopher.  Three times, John was a sponsor.

Dorothy and John Clore.  She married John Clore, a cousin of Christopher.  She sponsored five children of Christopher.  On six occasions, John Clore sponsored children.

Paul Leaderer. He was a sponsor to the child, Lewis.  He married Margaret Clore, the cousin of Christopher Crigler.

Two of the sponsors defy classifications.  Catherine Wayland is not a known relative and furthermore her identity is uncertain.  A Catherine Clore is listed also but she is not classifiable; her identity is even uncertain.

Of the 31 sponsors for the first ten children of Christopher Crigler, 29 of them come from the Clore and Weaver branches.  This is extremely strong evidence of the Clore - Weaver - Crigler connection.

The sponsors for the eleventh child, William, are another completely different story.  Tied in to this question is the total lack of Finks-related sponsors in the first ten children who are given above.


Nr. 321:

The last note discussed the baptisms of the children of Christopher Crigler where the names of the sponsors showed there was a strong connection between the Clore, Weaver, and Crigler families.  The simplest explanation, consistent with other facts, was that Susanna Clore married first Joseph Weave, and then Jacob Crigler.

In discussing the baptisms, I divided the eleven children into two categories, of the first ten plus, the eleventh child, William.  The recording for the first ten was on a page that had been reserved for the family.  So the name of the parents was only necessary once.  The parents were given as Christopher Crigler and no mention was made of Catherine (Finks).  Furthermore, there were no sponsors who were related to Catherine among the first ten children.

The original recording for the eleventh child, Wilhelm, was made on another page in the chronological section where each child is entered at the end of the list of all children.  For these entries, the parents are given.  In the case of Wilhelm, the parents are Christopher Crigler and wife Catherine; the birth date was 28 June 1778, the baptism was 6 July 1778, and the sponsors were Nicholas Crigler (the father's brother), Michael Utz, Jr. (the son-in-law of the parents), and Elizabeth Christopher (the stepdaughter of Catherine's sister, Mary).  Michael and Elizabeth have unusual relationships to the parents, though Nicholas is very conventional.  The unusual thing though about Nicholas is that he did not appear as a sponsor for the first ten children.

This is a very strange set of data, yet there is a simple explanation.  The reason that Catherine did not appear as the wife of Christopher for the first ten children is that she was not present.  Christopher alone brought the children for baptism, and the sponsors are relatives of Christopher.

The reason that Nicholas Crigler was not a sponsor for the first ten children is that he wouldn't be a sponsor if the mother was not present.  For the last child, Wilhelm or William, when the mother was present, he appeared as a sponsor.

Why didn't Catherine attend the baptisms of her first ten children?  She is obviously opposed to infant baptisms at the Lutheran church.  The opposition arises from within the Finks family because, before 1775 or thereabouts, the members of the Finks family are not active at the church.  Opposition to infant baptism at the Lutheran church could arise from at least two sources.  First, the Finks might be members of an Anabaptist sect such as the Mennonites who baptize members when they are adults.  Second, the Finks might have been opposed strongly to Lutheran principles.  The religious group that comes to mind here is the Catholic church.

I used to think the Finks were Mennonites, but Mark Finks, Jr., was a captain in the militia during the Revolutionary War.  Mennonites are rather strongly opposed to war so it seems untenable to think the Finks were Mennonites or Anabaptists in general.  I am now inclined to the view that they were Catholic.

Starting about 1776, many members of the Finks family made an appearance at the Lutheran church.  On Easter Sunday, 1776, Elizabeth Finks, the widow of Mark Finks, Sr., attended church, the only recorded appearance of her at Hebron.  This may have been a sign of acceptance of the Lutheran church by the remaining senior member.  Or it may be that Elizabeth died about this time and the next generation was willing to participate at the Hebron church.

Among the sponsors for William, note that the parents had to stretch to find a relative of Elizabeth to serve.  There are no brothers and sisters of Elizabeth there.  The opposition of the family to the Lutheran church is still showing.

I follow the Finks family with some interest because it is an ancestral family of mine.  The family needs a lot of work on finding the origins of the originator of the family, Mark Finks, Sr.  And, because the church records are so scarce, the third generation families are most uncertain.


Nr. 322:

Today's subject was chosen because I will be working at the Hans Herr House tomorrow as a tour leader.  Also, for that reason there will be no note tomorrow.

Hans Herr came to Pennsylvania in 1710 with his own family and other families.  They were all Mennonites, the first of the agrarian Mennonites to come to America.  Earlier, Mennonites had come to Pennsylvania and founded Germantown outside Philadelphia, but these people were not farmers.

Anabaptist thought originated in Switzerland at the time of the Protestant Reformation.  At the same time, Switzerland generally converted to the principles of the Reformed religion, which in the major cities, such as Bern, became the state church.  The Anabaptists were opposed to an interaction between the church and state and were not welcomed by either the church or the state in Switzerland.

Efforts to stamp out the Anabaptists were quite severe across Europe.  The two surviving centers for Anabaptist practice were Switzerland and the Netherlands.  (Menno Simon, a Dutch member of the Anabaptists, gave his name to the branch which became the Mennonites.)  One of the techniques of oppressing the Anabaptists in Switzerland was to ship them out of the country.  Some were sent to German, some to Alsace, and some to America.  (Christopher de Graffenried got his start in the colonization business by taking Anabaptists from Bern to North Carolina.)

After the Thirty Years' War, in 1648, opportunities for settlement in Germany were good because of the loss of population during the war.  During this period, many Anabaptists moved to Baden and Wuerttemberg, regions where many Second Germanna Colonists lived.  While life here was better than in Switzerland, there were still repressive measures.  Special taxes were levied on them, they could not recruit new members, they could not have meeting places, and they had to serve in the army which they detested.  Therefore, they listened very attentively when William Penn and his agents talked of the opportunities in Penn's Woods.

The Herr party left in 1709 and seemed to be independent of the mass of Germans who went to England that year.  The Herr party did find that the trip was more expensive than had been anticipated.  They were enabled to come with the financial help of the Dutch Mennonites.

On landing in Philadelphia, the party seems to have spent no time at all there but started immediately for the frontier.  When the roads faded, they used the Indian trail.  Finally, in what is today Lancaster County, they liked the land (giant trees in the forests) and the water.  There were far enough beyond civilization that they had no difficulty in claiming several thousand acres of land.

Hans Herr was a minister, besides being a farmer, and his son Christian was also a minister and farmer.  Hans was old enough that he had no desire to build a large home.  Christian's family was growing and he needed a place also to use as a meeting place.  So in 1719, the community built a large house which became the home of Christian's family and the meeting house for the community.  It is believed that Hans Herr lived with Christian.  Because Hans was so respected, the house became known as the Hans Herr House, though it was owned by Christian and used by the community.  Today, Hans Herr House is considered to be the oldest Mennonite Meeting House in the Americas.  It is the oldest existing building in Lancaster County.  The architectural principles of the house are strictly southwestern German.

(From April through November, the visiting hours are Monday through Saturday from nine to four.)


Nr. 323:

Many dates have been advanced for the move of the First Colony from Germanna to the location which became known as Germantown in present day Fauquier County.  Willis Kemper thought that it was the fall of 1721 or the spring of the following year.  I believe this is erroneous and that the date can be set at January of 1719 (using the modern calendar).

Here is my thinking on the subject.  It is recorded that the Germans agreed they would work for four years in return for the balance of their transportation costs that they could not pay.  Col. Blakiston in London committed Gov. Spotswood to doing this.  When they arrived in Virginia, Spotswood confirmed that he paid the one hundred and fifty pounds sterling due on their passage.  They arrived in April of 1714.  It was probably May or June before they were settled in Fort Germanna, which could be considered the start of their service.

Four years after the summer of 1714 would be the summer of 1718.  In this year, the Germans purchased the tract later known as the Germantown tract.  This by itself shows they were anticipating moving in the near term.  It is not conceivable that they would purchase land and then wait for three years to move to it.

Why didn't they move in the summer of 1718?  This is a very poor time of the year to move because the growing season was well advanced.  They would have to live on a store of food for a whole year.  By staying at Germanna where they had land prepared for farming, they could have harvested crops from the 1718 growing season.

A better time to move would be after the harvest and butchering season of 1718 was ended, approximately by late November.  Actually, they stayed until the end of December of 1718, for it is recorded in the county records that they worked at "mining and quarrying" to the end of December of 1718.  This date is consistent with statements of Spotswood.

January is a logical time, though perhaps not the most pleasant time of the year to move.  By moving then, they could build their first crude shelters and start on clearing ground.  Clearing consisted of chopping the trees down and burning them.  The stumps were left in the ground because it was too time consuming to remove them.  The first crops were grown among the stumps.  The preparation of the ground for crops and gardens is time consuming and labor intensive.

What was the nature of the first shelters?  Something that could be done fast, yet provide some protection against the elements.  Some people favored digging caves or bunkers in a hillside.  Later, perhaps the next fall or winter, a first home would be built, no doubt a variation of a log cabin.  A permanent home would not come until still later.

The party of Mennonites of which the Herrs were members came in 1710.  But Christian Herr did not build his permanent home until 1719, a full nine years after he came.

That the Weaver home at Germantown had the date 1721 over the door does not indicate the arrival time of the people.  Before the permanent homes were built, there were more important things to do.


Nr. 324:

Recent notes have raised some questions.  One question pertained to the impact of the two styles of calendar.  In the first half of the eighteenth century, the world had two calendars.  The newest one, the Gregorian, originated with Pope Gregory and was in use in the western world, except in England and its possessions.  In this calendar, the New Year started on January 1.  In the old or Julian calendar, the New Year started on March 25.  The Gregorian calendar was also eleven days ahead of the Julian calendar.  Generally, our German ancestors used the Gregorian calendar.  Thus they celebrated Christmas on a different day than the English did.

The Germans were aware of both calendars, but in their internal affairs they seemed to use the Gregorian calendar.  They also made extensive use of the church calendar which was based on the moveable date for Easter.  In the Hebron Lutheran Church financial account, which was recorded in Orange County, VA, they actually had references to the three calendars.  They started the fiscal year on January 1, which implies a recognition of the Gregorian calendar.  At the same time they called September the seventh month, October the eighth month, November the ninth month, and December the tenth month which is in accordance with the old or Julian calendar.  In naming the Sundays on which they held communion, they used the names of the Sundays from the church calendar.

When the First Colony worked to the end of December of 1718 for Spotswood, it implies that they were using the Gregorian calendar, as it would appear that they agreed with Spotswood to work until a nice round number was reached, i.e., the end of the year.  But, if they moved in the next month, January, the official year was still 1718.  To the Germans though, it was probably 1719.  In yesterday's note, to make the date clear, I had to say January 1719 (new style).

Another question pertained to the level of sophistication of the tools and implements used when the Germans first settled on the new land.  The answer is:  primitive and very limited.  Their animal power was probably limited to cattle.  It is doubtful that they had horses or wagons of any type.

To digress slightly, about 1713, a group of Germans moved from the Hudson River in New York to Schoharie in the west, where they purchased land directly from the Indians.  They had no draft animals, plows, or ropes.  To plow their fields the first time, they fashioned a plow from wood, used vines for ropes, and enlisted the women to pull the plow.  In short, they were very resourceful.

The First Colony probably had axes, saws, some carpentry tools, picks, and shovels.  They probably made some sleds, to use in the place of wagons, which were probably pulled by the cattle.  Willis Kemper in his histories makes the point that the First Colony marched on foot carrying their possessions on their head.  This may have been an imaginative way of saying that it was not an easy time.  I believe that they had cattle when they moved because Spotswood raised cattle on a sharing plan.  He would provide the initial cattle and others would care for them.  When the deal was settled up, cattle equivalent to the initial amount had to be returned and they would split the increase.  We know Spotswood provided cattle to the Second Colony and he probably did the same for the First Colony.


Nr. 325:

Ted Walker has made the point that the wills and estates of our early ancestors did not indicate a lot of possessions.  It is inconceivable to us, with our variety of tools, many of which are powered, that they could have done anything with what the estate inventory shows.  Still, one of the points I make when taking people through the Hans Herr House is that it was a case of making it yourself or doing without.

I believe some items were not in the inventory because no value was placed on them, even though the end product was useful.  For example, consider a garden rake.  It can be made from wood, all parts of it, from the handle and cross bar to the teeth.  No nails or metal reinforcements are required.  Generally this was made by the owner and he paid nothing for the wood and he paid nothing for the labor.  Therefore the appraisers said it had no value.

Ted has also made the point that travel was not the easiest thing.  The destination was often Church, and, in many cases, it was several miles away.  Going to Church was a major effort.  Most of the time people probably walked.  And they would often take their shoes off to save them from wear and dirt.  (One had only to look around today in the Pennsylvania Dutch country to see that the normal mode on the farm is without shoes.)  The first wagons were only two wheeled and they were primarily farm implements.  Wheels were expensive and generally beyond the means of the typical individual to make.  Many people probably considered that walking was more comfortable than jarring rides in a wagon.  As to the number of horses our early Germans had, even in 1787, the most typical number of horses per household was only one.

The old Lorenz Gaar, or Garr, home in the Vee Dove book, "Madison County Homes," no longer stands on the original site.  In fact, it no longer stands in Madison County.  About ten years ago, armed with Vee's book, I was preparing to visit some of the homes illustrated in the book.  By chance, I happened to meet her and I asked about some of homes I wanted to see.  When I told her about the Gaar home, she told me I was out of luck.  Someone had purchased the house and moved it to another county, where it was incorporated into a modern home.

As one leaves the Hebron church and drives along the road which is on the "end" of the Utz, various Blankenbaker, and Thomas land patents, the land on the east, except for Michael Willheit's patent, belonged to John Hoffman.  (Eventually he was to acquire about 3500 acres.)  It was on this land along the road that the Hoffman Chapel was built.  I believe that no minister was ever called on a permanent basis, but that occasional visiting ministers held services.  (A map of the final Hoffman grant is shown in the last issue of Beyond Germanna, the May issue.)

John Hoffman and his younger brother Henry also had another brother, William, who came to Pennsylvania.  William left an account and diary book from a time before his marriage to the later years in Pennsylvania, though the entries are sporadic.  One of the recurring themes is the oppression of the Reformed church members by the Catholics in his hometown in Germany.  But they never seemed to waiver in their belief in the Reformed Church.  This and the burdens imposed by the recurring wars were his motivations for emigrating.

 


(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 THIRTEENTH set of Notes, Nr. 301 through Nr. 325.)


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(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 301 through 325.


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