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


(See bottom of this page for Links to all Notes pages.)
This Page Contains Notes 401 through 425.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 17

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Nr. 401:

This note starts the ninth half-century (and the fifth century) in this series on the Germanna Colonies list.  It is customary at these points to review my motivations for writing the series . Primarily, the objective is to promote discussion and understanding of our Germanna ancestors.

The Germanna Colonies List should not have just one single source or single author, but should encourage "many flowers to bloom."

In choosing the material that I write about, I consider several factors.  I am always on the lookout for material that is common to all of our German ancestors.  I try to make at least some of my comments have a broad appeal for a wide audience.  Thus, I might talk about Atlantic crossings on the ships of the eighteenth century, which applies to all German immigrants of that time, not just the Germanna colonists.  Our Germanna colonists certainly saw some of the worse of the ocean crossings though.  (Or putting it another way, some of us are really lucky to be here today.)

Some of the discussions are limited to specific Germanna families.  There currently is an ongoing discussion of the "Barlow" family, whose mysteries are deep.  What I write about them is intended to be an encouragement for others to add their comments.  Maybe we won't find the answers, but maybe we will eliminate some items which are false or improbable.  So, if I write something that prompts someone to respond, "John, you are wrong; the evidence shows that ...," then my day has been made.

One limitation that I have is that I am not an expert on any family.  I may know more about some of the families than most people do, but for any given family there are people who know more than I do.  Many times, because of my limited knowledge, I hesitate to write about a family.  So on occasions, I may write in a tentative way, hoping that someone will correct my mistakes.

For a definition of what constitutes a Germanna colonist or family, I use the definition that they were Germans who lived for at least a while in the modern Virginia counties of Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange, or Rappahannock.  This means they were east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Germanna itself was alongside the Rapidan River, the southern arm of the Rappahannock River.  The Robinson River Valley, home to most of the Second Colony, centers on a branch of the Rapidan.  The Little Fork district is between two arms of the north branch of the Rappahannock.  Germantown, on Licking Run, is in the watershed of the Potomac.

There were Germans who were born, married, and died in this region.  Some Germans only lived here for a couple of years.  These people, regardless of how long they lived here, were not atypical.  Some of my remarks try to take advantage of this generality to broaden the appeal while keeping a focus on our Germanna ancestors.


Nr. 402:

Prior to the Revolution, there were three families of Barlows in the Robinson River Valley, where the Hebron Lutheran Church is located.  At the church, there are not many records which pertain to the Barlows.  Let's look at some reasons that might have influenced why this is so.

A new minister was to come late in 1775.  The officers of the church decided to rewrite their baptismal records in a more logical form.  They organized the data by family, bought a new book, and devoted, generally, one page to each family.  Thus the minister could flip to the page and see just who the members of the family were and how old they were.  In doing this, they used the rule that if a family had any children born before 1750, the family would not be included.  This may have been because they had no records older than 1750 and no family was to be included unless it was a complete record up to 1775.  This family oriented section takes up about 22 pages, with some pages having two families.

The new pastor, Jacob Franck, did not continue this method of record keeping.  He used a chronological system.  Each time he performed a baptism, he recorded the fact below the last record.  What is more important, Rev. Franck was very energetic and popular.  He brought people into the church that had not been there in years.  So, all of a sudden, starting in late 1775 and running for about three years, we see names at church for the first time.  This was his first pastorate; he had been a silversmith.  In fact, he was on trial.  At the end of three years, he decided to return to Philadelphia and return to silversmithing.  Had he continued as pastor, we would have a lot easier time with our family histories.

After Rev. Franck left, there was an irregular supply of ministers.  Some of the time there was no regular minister.  Record keeping becomes poor.  Attendance fell off.  Not until the native son, William Carpenter, became the pastor in 1787, did record keeping become systematic and life at the church became revitalized.  In the years of the hiatus at Hebron, the Baptists had made inroads into the community.

It is not surprising that most of the records of Barlows are for the years 1776, 1777, and 1778.  This is when attendance at Hebron was booming.  People were appearing who had not been coming; however, the failure of the Barlows to appear in the earlier years may not be due to their absence, but due to the fact that they had children born before 1750.  These families were not included in the rewritten Register of Baptisms.

There are many puzzles in the Hebron Register.  Though the internal data implies that it was started in 1750, since the earliest baptisms occur in that year, the book that we have today was started in 1775.  In reconstructing the first twenty-five years, the writers took a few liberties and certainly omitted some of the data they could have used.  Since the new book was describing the situation at Hebron in the year 1775, all references to families who had moved away by then were omitted.


Nr. 403:

The choice of sponsors at baptisms at the Hebron Lutheran Church was a very serious affair.  In the constitution which they wrote in 1776 (under the guidance of Rev. Franck), the second paragraph says, "but he (the minister) also must be ready and conscientious enough to refuse the Holy Communion and the ability to be baptismal witnesses to those who, obviously, or according to credible report, are found to have committed gross sins and transgressions."  [Of course, this was all in German.]

Nowhere is it written down, but the baptismal sponsors or witnesses were nearly always drawn from relatives of the parents of the same generation.  Marriage qualified one to be considered a relative.  Thus, siblings, sibling-in-laws, cousins, or spouses of cousins constitute the big majority of the sponsors.  Friendship did not qualify one.

In the rewritten Register at the Hebron Church, there are these baptisms:

The parents are Conrad Künzle and his wife Rahel (Rachel), the child is Elisabetha, the date of birth is 2 Nov 1773, and the sponsors are Johannes Schmidt, Elisabetha Schmidt, Heinrich Berler, and Jeminy Berler.  It was customary for some of the sponsors to be his relatives and some to be her relatives but there are many cases where one of the parents had no relatives in the congregation.  In this case Conrad had no relatives and, as is typical, all of the sponsors were hers (Rachel's).  To place Rachel, we would look for where the Smith and Barlow families intersect.  This would be the family of Adam Barlow and Mary Smith.  Thus, the odds are high that Rachel is the daughter of Adam and Mary.  If so, then John Smith is her cousin; Elizabeth is John's wife; and Henry and Jemima are either siblings of Rachel, or are cousins of Rachel, or a mixture thereof.

Conrad and Rachel had Nimrod (born 18 Dec 1775) baptized with sponsors Georg Christler, Anna Christler, Heinrich Berler, and Jemimy Berler.  Anne is Rachel's cousin and George is Anne's husband.  Henry and Jemima are as before.  On another occasion, Conrad Genssle (the spelling difference is not significant) and Rachel had Ambrosious (born 13 Feb 1778) baptized (5 Apr 1778) with sponsors Georg Christler, Dieterich Hoffman, Lea Breil, Susanna Ohler.  George Crisler was Rachel's cousin's husband and Dieterich was Rachel's brother-in-law.  These are very conventional choices.  Susanna Ohler was an unmarried Aylor who was a once-removed cousin of Rachel, through the Thomas family.  I do not have any relationship for Lea Broyles but that may be just my ignorance.  Note that a Lea Berler was confirmed in 1777.

That Dieterich Hoffman was Rachel's brother-in-law is shown in the baptism (18 Aug 1777) of Enoch Barlow, the son of Adam Barlow and his wife Mary.  Two of the sponsors are Dieterich Hoffman and his wife Jemima Hoffman.  I believe this Jemima was the sponsor twice for Conrad and Rachel, who had married Dieterich since then.  Adam and Mary are the parents of Rachel and we have the reversal of the generations.  Enoch was probably the youngest of the children of Adam and Mary.  Already Rachel, who must been one of the oldest of the children of Adam and Mary, had been parent twice.  And Jemima was probably one of the older children of Adam and Mary.  She was old enough to be a sponsor for Conrad and Rachel twice before her marriage.  So Uncle Enoch was younger than his niece and nephew.

The choice of Dieterich and Jemima as sponsors for Enoch is a deviation of the same generation rule.  It does occur at times, especially for the last children in a family when some of the older children are already married.  The parents have worn out the patience of their relatives in asking them to be sponsors.

I have served on a jury for a criminal case where the evidence presented by the government was admittedly weak but the jury was asked to convict on the basis of circumstantial evidence which fit a pattern.  Several of us balked at this.  If the question of whether Rachel was a daughter of Adam and Mary Barlow were before me to decide as a criminal case, I would not have any hesitation to convict based the circumstantial evidence that I have presented.  The people at Hebron were far too regular in their practices for it to be otherwise.


Nr. 404:

In the 1736 Orange Co., VA tithe list, Christopher Parter appears.  But in the 1739 Orange Co. list, he does not appear.  Nor does any other Barlow appear then.  On 27 May 1776, the members of Hebron Church signed their new constitution.  Conrad Gensle's name appears but no Barlow appears.  On 22 Oct 1776, the male members of the church petitioned the new revolutionary government of Virginia for relief from the payment of tithes to the official church.  Signers of this petition included Adam Barler, Conrad Kenszle, and Christopher Berlow.

In two other baptisms, as compared to the ones discussed in the last note, Barlows appear.  In one of these, John Millbanks and his wife Mary (who was a Barlow, the daughter of Christopher, according to Christopher's will) brought Charles in 1778 for baptism.  Sponsors were Adam Barlow, Mary's uncle, and Michael Cook and Barbara Cook, Mary's cousins.  John Millbanks had no relatives in the community as he was English and a newcomer.  It is unusual that Mary did not choose any of her brothers and sisters.

Anthony Perry and his wife Elisabeth brought William for baptism in 1776.  I believe that Anthony's surname was Berry, not Perry.  As such, he fits into a known Berry family in the community.  Again, the confusion shows that a German could hear a "B" and understand it as a "P."  I also believe that Elisabeth was a Thomas, the daughter of Michael Thomas.  The sponsors were Nicholas Broyles, her second cousin, Mary Barlow, her first cousin, and Catherine Barlow, her second cousin.

Among the communicant lists, the two names of Catherine Barlow and Mary Barlow constitute almost half of the Barlow names.  These are probably Catherine Fleshman, wife of Christopher, and Mary Smith, the wife of Adam.  Again, this also says that the Barlows were not strong Lutherans.  It may be that they were not Lutherans, period.  Or it may be that they were weak Lutherans.

With these thoughts, I close my comments on the Barlows.

[Also, I am going to take a break for a few days from these notes.]


Nr. 405:

We often think of the earliest European civilizations in terms of Jamestown or Plymouth Rock.  These are early but not the earliest points of European civilization in America.  One of the buildings I visited in the last week was the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This is the oldest public building in the United States.

The "Palace" was built at just about the time of Jamestown.  It was never an imposing building as we usually define our idea of grandeur, for it was literally built from mud in the form of adobe; however, with proper care this is a lasting construction method.

The early history of the southwest, as represented by Santa Fe and other early settlements, had some of the same elements of conflicts as occurred later in Virginia.  In New Mexico, there was a conflict between the church and the state, with each claiming priority.  At one point, the Father in charge, claiming he was the senior authority in the area, excommunicated the Governor and threw his chair out of the church.  Later he imprisoned the Governor.  Similar elements occurred in Virginia when Gov. Spotswood claimed he was the representative of the Crown who was the head of the church.  He was opposed by Commissary Blair, who claimed he was the representative of the Archbishop and, as such, was senior to Spotswood.  It has never been determined clearly why Spotswood lost his job as Governor, but most accounts say it was the result of Blair's opposition to Spotswood.

Returning to New Mexico, soon after Spain had conquered and colonized New Mexico, tales of wealth in the North drew explorers to New Mexico.  Coronado led an expedition in 1540 into the area which includes today's New Mexico.  No mines were discovered.  In Virginia, one of the earliest activities of the original Jamestown settlers was to search for silver, which was reported to exist at the falls of the James River.  Later, the Germanna colonies came into existence because of the belief that silver existed "near the Mountains."  But again, no silver was found.

So, in very different locations and civilizations, we find similar motivations in silver and the church-state conflict.

On our way to Santa Fe, some Germanna history crept in.  The airplane had a stop at the Cincinnati airport which is located in the middle of Germanna country, in Boone County, Kentucky.  A party of Germanna citizens moved early in the 1800's to this area and was joined in 1813 by Rev. William Carpenter, who left the pastorate of the Hebron Lutheran Church in Virginia.  Abraham Thomas, a Germanna resident, said that in 1782 the site of Cincinnati had only a few cabins, so we know the Germanna people were quite early.


Nr. 406:

Recently, I acquired the book "Hopeful Journeys" by Aaron Spencer Fogleman.  The subtitle on the book is "German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America, 1717-1775".  I obtained my copy from the publisher, the University of Pennsylvania Press, for about twenty dollars in a soft cover.  Apparently the book has been out for a while as it has a 1996 copyright date.

A mark of a good book is new insights for the reader and this book certainly fulfills those expectations.  Much of the material is based on an analysis of the Northern Kraichgau, where many of the Second Germanna Colony came from; however, the conclusions apply to a much broader region than this.

Besides the detailed studies within the Kraichgau region, there are broader studies of total immigration to the thirteenth colonies, especially during the eighteenth century prior to the Revolutionary War.  Because of the interest shown here on the sources of immigration to America, I quote the figures given by Fogleman.  He gives the origins of the immigrants in the period from 1700 to 1775 as:

African 278,400,
German 84,500,
Northern Irish 66,100,
Southern Irish 42,500,
Scots 35,300,
English 44,100,
Welsh 29,000,
Other 5,900,

for a total of 585,000 people who came into the colonies.  German speaking immigrants are arguably the largest European group in the eighteenth century.  These Germans came in three distinct phases, from 1683 to 1709, from 1709 to 1714, and from 1717 to 1775.  They settled along the Hudson River in New York, in a wide band from Philadelphia along the Great Wagon Road through Northern Virginia to pockets in the Virginia Piedmont, and in Southern Virginia, the North Carolina Piedmont, and scattered throughout South Carolina.

By far, the most interesting part of the book is a description of internal conditions in Germany.  From this, one can discern some of the reasons that the Germans left.  Fogleman's studies place great emphasis on the role of partible inheritance and the growth of the population.  German families divided their assets, land and homes, among a set of heirs, reducing the assets of each heir to less and less.  The result was that individuals did not have a viable set of productive tools.  Though Fogleman does not discuss the case, we have read that in the Siegen area individuals were inheriting X days of the output of a forge where X might be a few days per year.

One of the villages that Fogleman does discuss is Schwaigern, a source of many Germanna immigrants.  From 1713 to 1773, 305 emigrants left Schwaigern, but the number that left each year is very uneven.  None left in 1748, while 67 left in 1749, and 7 left in 1750.  One family that left in these years were the Reiners who immigrated through Philadelphia and went immediately to the Robinson River Valley in Virginia.


Nr. 407:

Geographically, the Kraichgau is a region in Germany between the Rhine and Neckar Rivers that is south of Heidelberg, west of Heilbronn, and northeast of Karlsruhe.  Politically, the Kraichgau refers to a collection of small and semi-independent territories in this physical area.  These territories united in the early modern period in a loose federation of knights.  Surrounding areas included the larger areas of Baden, Württemberg, and the Palatinate.  (Today, the Kraichgau is included in the modern state of Baden-Württemberg.)

In 1599, seventy-five knights were in the federation and they owned seventy-two separate territories, the average size of which was fourteen square miles.  The northern part of the Kraichgau contained fifty-three parishes.  Most of the parishes were subsistence farming communities, but a few of the parishes, such as Schwaigern and Sinsheim, were small market towns.

The area was heavily damaged and much of the population died during the Thirty Years' War (1618 to 1648).  After the war, there was an influx from Switzerland (especially Anabaptists, but German Reformed also), from France (Huguenots), and from eastern parts of "Germany."  By religion, Lutheranism dominated, but there were Reformed members, Jews, Catholics and Anabaptists.

The parishes of the Northern Kraichgau were controlled politically by the Palatine Electorate, by the Knights of the federation, and by many lesser nobles none of whom possessed more than three parishes.  Six of the parishes maintained the rights of a city including the right to hold a market.  The remaining forty-seven parishes were villages.

This region sent many emigrants to Pennsylvania and to Virginia.  Seventy-four percent were Lutheran, 21 percent were Reformed, 2 percent were Anabaptists (Mennonites), 1 percent were Catholic, and 2 percent were unknown.  There were many Swiss names among the two thousand Kraichgauers who went to Pennsylvania.  Nor were the Kraichgauers from a common political heritage as has been noted.

Unlike Austria, where a strong Catholic state was developing, or Brandenburg-Prussia, where a strong Lutheran state was developing, the Kraichgau was fragmented without a common religion or political organization.  Instead, tiny, weak, and loosely united principalities, such as the von Neippergs (in Schwaigern), or the von Gemmingens, dominated.

After the destruction of the seventeenth century, these lessor nobles sought to rebuild their principalities at the expense of the inhabitants.  This led to many conflicts between the nobles and the citizens.  The inhabitants appealed, in many cases, to the surrounding larger political groups.  This was a danger to the smaller nobles who feared the intervention of outside groups.


Nr. 408:

The tiny principalities in the Kraichgau survived by playing off the larger powers against each other.  Before the Thirty Years' War they tended to align themselves with Lutheran Württemberg against the Palatinate, which alternated between Catholicism and Reformed.  As power grew in Württemberg, the knights of the Kraichgau sought support from Catholic Vienna and Holy Roman Emperor against the Protestant princes.

Before the Thirty Years' War, the Kraichgau parishes were overpopulated, but during the war many villages of the Kraichgau were nearly depopulated while the knights struggled to hang on to their fiefdoms.  The greatest loss was in the population.  As an extreme example, Massenbachhausen lost its entire population and was resettled by outsiders.  After the Thirty Years' War, the various French wars continued the destruction.  (In 1674, the French took Sinsheim and fifteen years later burned it to the ground.)

As the knights emerged from the disasters, they faced two challenges.  One arose from the larger neighboring powers and the other arose from their own subjects.  The knights needed new revenues to rebuild their own destroyed residences and they sought to direct the rebuilding of the village structures.  During the war they had lost their authority and they needed to reestablish their power.  With the large damages caused by the wars and the eroded population base, the tax burden on the remaining subjects was very heavy.

The reaction of the knights was to add new feudal dues and to enforce vigorously old collections.  The subjects reacted against what they perceived as the injustice.  The conflict between the knights and their subjects reached a peak in the late 1710's and early 1720's.  This was the period when the Second Germanna Colony began its emigration from the Kraichgau.  Though this may not have the prime cause of their emigration, it is clear that many of Second Colony people did come from villages where the knights were trying to increase their presence, status, and wealth.

As an example of the conflict and the methods used by the subjects, consider the case of the village of Weiler.  The local ruler, Georg Friedrich von Venningen, moved to the village in 1717 and undertook to build a residence for himself.  He added new work requirements to the burdens of the villagers, who felt that this was in violation of the agreement of 1572 with the Palatine Electorate.  The villagers appealed to help from the Electorate against the local ruler.  Such appeals were a threat to von Venningen as they might be the excuse for the Palatine Electorate to intervene and remove von Venningen.  The villagers perhaps did not want the Palatine Electorate to have a presence but they were trying to induce von Venningen to be more rational in his approach to his subjects.


Nr. 409:

In the northern Kraichgau, many of the knights owned but just one village.  In some cases, they rented the village to other knights which meant the burden on the villagers was to support two families.  In Ittlingen, a small subsistence farming community, severe conflicts developed between the nobles and the villagers.  The peasants were aware of their rights and interests and resisted the encroachments by the nobility.

In 1699, the von Öttinger family, under an agreement with one of the two ruling families of Ittlingen, the von Gemmingen family, attempted to increase duties in violation of an agreement dating back to 1579.  The inhabitants succeeded in blocking this move by complaining to an Imperial Court for a confederation of knights in Heilbronn.  This was the first of many appeals the Ittlingers would make to the state authorities for the protection against the local nobility.

Later the von Öttingers were replaced by the von Kochendorfs, who built fences around the village meadow.  Twice the villagers tore it down.  The villagers also expelled the Jewish merchant who had purchased the salt monopoly from the von Kochendorfs.  The von Gemmingens and the von Kochendorfs considered the villagers of Ittlingen in rebellion.  Still trying to increase their revenues to overcome their own poverty, they raised the fees for grazing rights, which had been established in 1584.  The villagers refused to pay and complained to Heilbronn again.  The von Gemmingens and von Kochendorfs retaliated during a Sunday morning church service, at which attendance was compulsory, by having hired men drive 160 head of hogs belonging to the villagers to Gemmingen, about five miles away.  After various aborted endeavors, the villagers appealed again to Heilbronn which ruled in their favor.

The knights ignored this ruling and stepped up their aggressive ways by sending their men to take the villagers' sheep.  The villagers used their guns against the men and the knights' men retreated.  Fearing Imperial intervention, the von Gemmingens and von Kochendorfs lost their nerve and sought a truce.  The Imperial authorities mediated a dispute in which the knights had to make a payment, below actual market value, for the hogs.

The dispute took a new turn in 1721 when the von Gemmingens handpicked a new Lutheran pastor who preached obedience to the authorities.  The pastor was so harsh on this subject that the villagers held a meeting to decide what to do about him.  They sent a delegation to the preacher's house and told him to change his style of preaching.  Though the preacher was adamant against taking directions from his parishioners, the von Gemmingens and von Kochendorfs backed down and directed the preacher to change his approach.

Though the background of the villagers was hardly democratic, they were not entirely apolitical.  In America, the Germans found a better outlet for their developing sense of their rights.

The two Smith families, the Clores, and the Weavers were Germanna families who came from Gemmingen (as in the von Gemmingen family).


Nr. 410:

The communities in the northern Kraichgau were tightly packed and close together.  Normally, one could stand at the edge of one village and see the next village.  Or, from a slight elevation, one could see several villages.  The distance from Hoffenheim to either Sinsheim or Zuzenhausen is one and one-half miles.

This tight packing of the villages in the region meant that the land available to the villagers was very limited.  The average parish in the Kraichgau contained only slightly more than two thousand acres or an area less than two miles by two miles.  Typically, a few hundred people lived in the parish (within the central village), so the amount of land available to support one person was only a few acres.  But these are average figures and in many cases the land available to one family was much less.

During the Thirty Years' War, many records were lost and the population was reduced.  After the War, on the average, more land was available per person.  But, as the population grew after the war, the land scarcity arose again.  The boundaries of the parishes had been neglected and it was uncertain just where they were.  Heated arguments developed between the parishes as to these boundaries.  A border dispute between Bonfeld and Kirchhausen started in 1717 and continued until 1761.

Factors which led to emigration decisions included the oppressive actions of the nobles, the scarcity of land, and overpopulation.  These were interrelated.  At first, the burden of support of the nobles was heavy because the population was reduced, which meant everyone had to carry a bigger load.  Then, because the amount of land was fixed, the growth of population meant the average amount of land available per person was reduced.  One could also look at this situation from an inheritance standpoint.  A father divided what he owned among his children.  As time went by, each person owned less and less.

The typical Kraichgau villager lived a subsistence life of producing just enough to get by.  He had very little surplus to sell.  Within the market towns, such as Schwaigern, there were craftsmen who emphasized a non-agricultural pursuit.  For example, even while doing a little farming, they concentrated on their occupation such as weaving, tailoring, shoe making, carpentry, or butchering.

It was hard for the Kraichgauers to understand what people wrote from America.  In America, there were no nuclear villages.  Homes were scattered.  And a man might own hundreds of acres of land.  The New World immigrants might compare the distance between their homes as equal to the distance between villages in the Kraichgau.

In the first half of the eighteenth century, letters to Germany described a land of abundance and free from the oppressive measures of Germany.  These letters had a tremendous impact on those potential immigrants still in Germany.


Nr. 411:

The first emigration from the villages of the northern Kraichgau to North America occurred after the disastrous agricultural winter of 1708-1709.  These few set the pattern which was to be repeated many times over.  (A special case occurred in Schwaigern in 1713 when a "witch" was burned.  Some of her relatives thought it best to leave the village.)  Trickles of emigrants turned into a flood as previous emigrants wrote home or earlier emigrants returned for a visit.

Whether the immigration was to New York or to Pennsylvania, it established new routes for the villagers of the Kraichgau who had been emigrating to eastern Europe for centuries.  Many times the emigrants to Pennsylvania even had a specific township in mind.  Invariably this was the site where previous emigrants had settled.

The northern Kraichgauers, and all Germans, tended to emigrate with other family members and villagers on the same ship or in the same year.  For example, in 1732 fifty individuals emigrated from Schwaigern, but in the next year none.  In 1743, thirty-three, but in the next year none.  In the year 1748, no emigrants are known to have left Schwaigern, but in the next year sixty-seven left.  It was rare for a single family to travel alone when they emigrated.  The pastor of Gemmingen recorded that six families left together in the year 1717.  The group continued to travel together until they reached the new world.

In the period 1717 to 1775, only five percent of the surnames of the emigrants from Schwaigern were unique.  That is, of the 305 known emigrants from Schwaigern in this period, only fifteen had surnames which were not duplicated by another emigrant.  In most of these cases, the individuals had married someone whose surname was duplicated.

Thus, the general rule is that emigrants tended to travel with others of their family (same surname), on the same ship (based on the records at Philadelphia), and in the same year.  This is a general rule that Hank Z. Jones has discussed so widely.  He even found that in the lists of names, adjacent names were often from the same villages.  Thus, they provided mutual support.

They needed mutual help, for the problems facing them were severe and often unusual.  On arrival, they had to settle with the captain and other creditors, perhaps they had to recover from illness, and they had to find friends who had come before them.  Some of the business had to be conducted in a new language, English.  It was a strange new world with many uncertainties.


Nr. 412:

When our German ancestors came to the New World, seeking land and freedom, they encountered many difficulties.  Few letters had warned them of inflation and the difficulty of securing good agricultural land.  The available land tended to be in the back country where the threat of war was present.  Some of the older immigrants who had been here the longest did comment in the Pennsylvania German press on the increasing difficulties.  How did the newest of the immigrants succeed?

It helped to have money.  Letters home to Germany emphasized that land, natural resources, and freedom were abundant in Pennsylvania, but one needed to bring a lot of money to succeed.  One immigrant wrote to friends and family in Switzerland and a few lines were published by the town council of Bern who wished to stem the exodus from Bern,

Whoever wishes to go to the New World
Should be sure to take a sack of money
And a strong stomach
So he can withstand the demands of the ship.

Many of the immigrants who succeeded the best in Pennsylvania did bring money with them.  There was a direct correlation between wealth in Germany and the amount of land owned later in Pennsylvania.  Peter Lohrmann, a Schwaigerner who settled in Germantown (Pennsylvania), had a well-stocked farm and bountiful harvests.  He purchased servants from Schwaigern when they arrived in Philadelphia, which had enabled them to finance their trip.  But Lohrmann had left Schwaigern with almost 1,300 guilders when the typical Schwaigerner had left with less than 200 guilders.  About half of the immigrants had to finance their trip by agreeing to become bonded servants to whomever paid for their ships passage.  These people had the hardest time in succeeding.

What were some of the tools and techniques that people did use?  They did use the sense of community that they had had in Germany.  While they were typically scattered in the New World, from Pennsylvania to the Piedmont of North Carolina, they did retain this sense of community.  The earliest immigrants had settled together before the land was taken up.  Later immigrants had more of a challenge to find land.

Looking at the Germanna Colonies in detail, the First Colony all took up contiguous land.  In fact, it had been one parcel which they subdivided.  But almost immediately they encountered a problem in acquiring more land because Robert "King" Carter took up the land on three of the four sides of the original Germantown patent.  This forced the original group to go farther afield.  One area they expanded into was the Little Fork across the Hedgman (Rappahannock) River.  Much of the land they acquired here was sold to the second wave of immigrants.  But a third wave of immigrants, about 1738, had to go farther to find land.  John Frederick Miller bought his first land in southern Virginia.  Another immigrant, Hyman Critz, who came with Miller, moved with Miller, but apparently these were the only two Siegeners in the area.  In these actions, a strong spirit of community was exhibited where the earliest people were able to help the later arrivals.  Apparently, Miller and Critz had received help in their first years from those already here, but they had to move farther out when they wished to expand their operations.  This was a very typical pattern.


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The last note mentioned that a spirit of community existed among the immigrants.  This extended down to the local village level.  This note looks at one case to show how prevalent this was and how it was done.

Peter Lohrmann, an immigrant from Schwaigern who lived in Germantown, Pennsylvania, was the focal point for Schwaigerners.  Lohrmann came with a wife, three daughters, and seven others from Schwaigern in 1737.  In 1739, Lohrmann wrote a letter back to Schwaigern in which he discussed the arrival of large number of Schwaigerners on several different ships, how they settled, whom they married, where they lived.  Sebastian Dieter and his wife and children, Marcel Schneider and his wife and children, Christoph Schaber, and Jerg Gebert, all survived a shipwreck in 1738 before reaching Philadelphia.

The Lohrmans had recently spoken with Martin Boger, who came in 1731, and had received a letter from Mathes Beringer in Schwaigern telling of difficulties there.  One of Lohrmann's daughters had married Martin Schwartz, who came from Schluctern, a village very near Schwaigern.  They had heard from Schwaigern that Matthes Grassauer's wife and son had died.  Mathes Beringer in Schwaigern should be told his son was indentured to an English preacher.  Martin Reissinger, one of several tailors to come to Pennsylvania, was living with the Lohrmanns and had remarried.  Also, Reissinger's daughter had married.  They had not heard anything about Peter Heinrich's daughter, but Hannes Kober's daughter, Maria Barbara, had arrived in Philadelphia and her husband had died here.  At the moment they did not know anything about Maria Barbara.

This is particularly fascinating to me as Johann Michael Willheit from Schwaigern is an ancestor of mine.  Much of his ancestry and of his wife has been worked out.  The names that Lohrmann gives in his letter above sound as if I were reading the ancestry of the Willheits.  This is also the same village that gave us our Germanna families of Koch (Cook), Baumgardners, and Reiners.

One gets the feeling that everyone in Schwaigern knew almost everything about everyone who had gone to the New World.  And most of the immigrants probably knew what was happening in Schwaigern.  There was a lot more communication among the Germans than we have believed.

The Lohrmanns served as the communications hub for the dispersed community.  When Jerg and Wendel Heinrich, who had emigrated in 1731 and 1737 respectively, rode into Philadelphia in 1743 to buy provisions, they went first to Lohrmanns to exchange news about Schwaigern.  Lohrmann was the mail center, both verbally and for letters.  The Heinrichs received their mail there and left their letter to go back to Germany.  Lohrmann put the letters together and sent them on to Schwaigern in batches.  Probably Lohrmann knew some ship captains and their schedules to whom he would entrust the letters.  (If anyone has information about how this mail distribution network worked, I think we all would like to hear it.)


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Many of the German immigrants maintained their contacts even as they dispersed in the colonies.  In the same way that immigrants in Pennsylvania maintained their contacts with their home village, they maintained contact among themselves in the New World, even as they moved from Penn's Woods to the North Carolina Piedmont.  Researcher Susanne Mosteller Rolland discovered that kinship, acquaintanceship, and religious networks, especially among the northern Kraichgauers whom we have been discussing, influenced migration from Germany to Pennsylvania, and from there to North Carolina.  The Germans tended to settle in a series of clusters rather than isolation or in one large community.  She found considerable networking among extended families.  The southward migrants followed friends and relatives to the frontier area and settled near them.

(Note from Web Page Caretaker:  Susanne discussed migration from PA to NC, and how the Germans' connections influenced their settlements in NC; of equal significance is how these same connections influenced German migration from VA to Eastern TN.  One need only look at the list of eary settlers in East Tennessee, from about 1735 to about 1760, to see that the same phenomonem occurred here also.  This list is a virtual "Who's Who" of the 1717 Germanna immigration and later German immigrations.  In Washington and Greene Counties, TN, one finds just about all the families that were included in immigrations from 1717 onward: BROYLES, WILHOIT/WILHITE, BROWN, MAUK/MAWK, CARPENTER, COPP/CUPP, STONECIPHER/STEINSIFER, KEEBLER/KOBLER, VAUGHT/VOGT, and so on. Even those 1717 and later immigrants who migrated to NC maintaind connections to their "cousins" in Eastern TN, often marrying back and forth between the two settlements.  Family, religious, and economic ties, and ties of friendship, tended to continue networking among extended families to wherever the Germans migrated.)

Letters were an important part of this interchange of information.  Often one person was designated to be the focal point for the letters such as was illustrated in the last note with Lohrmann.  One way in which this was done is shown by the action of Durs Thommen, an immigrant from Canton Basel, who wrote the city council in Basel and told them that anyone who wished to contact him should send their letters to Caspar and Johannes Wistar in Philadelphia.  Hans Georg Gerster wrote open letters from Germantown to Niederdorf, informing everyone of the whereabouts and fate of the emigrants from there.

The financial and communications network became crucial to the new immigrants' struggle to establish themselves in the New World.  Often, by the time an individual reached Philadelphia, he was in debt and ill.  To be met at the docks by the likes of the Lohrmanns, who could provide guidance and perhaps make a loan, tremendously increased the chances that the new immigrant would be one of the success stories.

But not all immigrants were so lucky.  In the next note, we'll look at Maria Barbara Kober who did not benefit from this networking.


Nr. 415:

Some immigrants were not served well by the informal system of communication and finance that was helpful to many.  One of these was Maria Barbara Kober who arrived in Philadelphia in 1738.  In Schwaigern she had married, and the family had one young child when they decided to emigrate.  Lacking the necessary funds, they were redemptioners and expected to pay for the ocean trip by serving a term of service in America.  The first bad break was that their son died before their ship had reached Cowes, England.  Then, there was a sixteen-week trip across the Atlantic before they arrived on October 30 in Philadelphia, which left many passengers weak and ill.

As redemptioners, they were given a period of time (on arrival) to see if they could find a friend who would lend or give them the passage money.  For three weeks they lived on the ship and went about Philadelphia during the day seeing if they could find aid.  They were unsuccessful and Maria Barbara's husband advised her to indenture herself for four years to an English couple who lived 26 miles from Philadelphia.  Meanwhile, he was still tied to the ship.  That was the last she saw of him, or heard of him.  The Lohrmanns found that had he died, and wrote home to Schwaigern with this news, but they did not know what had happened to Maria Barbara.

Four years later Maria Barbara, having fulfilled her service, went to Philadelphia to try to find her husband.  Without any news of him and no prospects for a job for herself, she returned to the family with whom she had been living.  She lived with them for another twenty-three years and then she married Heinrich Probst.  Five years later, they decided to move to Philadelphia to be near other Germans.

In Philadelphia, Maria Barbara reentered the network of Germans.  There, she met two Germans from Schwaigern who were able to tell her news from home.  She learned that her mother, father, brother, and sister had died, but two brothers and one sister were still living.  She wrote home to inform them of her whereabouts, but the ship, carrying the message, was lost at sea.  She wrote again (it was now 1767).  Her motivations were mixed and she included a note saying that she expected her inheritance from the parent's estate.  She stated that, in fact, she was sending her husband, with a power of attorney, to collect the inheritance.  Maria Barbara was now using the power of the network to help herself.

Inheritances were a motivating factor for staying in touch with events in the home village.  Much letter traffic, and even return visits, were connected with claiming inheritances.  Forms were preprinted in German and one merely filled in the blanks.  Maria Barbara used just such a power of attorney form.  Very often, the claims were successful even if the original emigration had been illegal, i.e., without the approval of the authorities and the payment of the necessary taxes.


Nr. 416:

Lewis Fisher, a later comer to the Second Germanna Colony, created a stir among his descendants when he wrote in his will that, "if my estate should be recovered in Germany, it is to be divided amongst my children."  (The exact quotation may be incorrect, but this is the essence of it.)  The pursuit of this was an activity that continued up to the start of the present century; however, when one views Fisher's will against the thousands of estate claims that immigrants to America were making, one is inclined to place less emphasis on the importance of any single one claim.  Lewis Fisher was merely expressing what many other Germans were trying to do, namely, to recover some part of an estate that they would normally have been their due had they been still living in Germany.

Changing the subject now, some people have interpreted the history of the German immigrants in the following way.  After the Thirty Years' War, which had been a setback in social development, there was a rebuilding period from 1648 on.  The rulers, or princes, who in some cases were better classified as knights, attempted to rebuild their domains using the labor of the inhabitants.  In the century prior to this, the "citizens," who were a mixture of free persons and serfs, had negotiated group agreements with the rulers.  They felt that the demands of the rulers after the war violated these agreements.  This led them to band together for their mutual protection.

As an outcome of this banding, a better sense of community was developed.  They also discovered the power of group action.  Acting together, they could do things that they could not do alone.  This led to a spirit, or belief, that they could solve problems on their own.  They did not need to be dependent on the state or the church to solve problems.  They carried this attitude to the New World.

One of the shortages in the New World was pastors in the churches; however, this did not stop the German immigrants from building churches and from holding such services as could be conducted by lay persons.  They even showed some imagination in solving the problem of finding a pastor.  To use the Second Germanna Colony as an example, they had built a chapel among their homes along the Robinson River.  They had one of their number act as a reader.  When John Caspar Stöver came through the community, they observed that he had most of the education needed for a pastor.  If they just got him ordained, they would have a pastor.  This point was solved by taking him to Pennsylvania where they found another Lutheran pastor who would ordain him.

The great Lutheran leader, Rev. Mühlenberg, saw in America a bunch of ragtag preachers and questionable minsters, which horrified him.  What he didn't see was that these congregations of Germans were solving problems on their own.  In the period before they emigrated, the Germans had already begun developing their ability to act collectively.


Nr. 417:

The material used in recent notes has been drawn from Aaron Fogleman's "Hopeful Journeys," a major research effort into German emigration.  The book is especially interesting to me because it has new material in it, which I had not known about, or of which I had the wrong opinion.  Any student of eighteenth century German emigration will have to consult this book.

Previously, I had asked myself, "If conditions in Germany were so bad, why didn't the Germans leave earlier?"   Actually, they had been leaving all along.   Prior to the emigration to the New World, they had been going to Eastern Europe.  And, even after the start of emigration to the New World, Eastern Europe remained a more popular destination.  The New World was definitely number two on the list of choices for emigration destinations.

The most popular locations for emigration were those which were promoted by strong state policies for the settlement of their territories.  For the residents of southwest Germany and Switzerland, the countries of Britain, the Hapsburg Empire, Prussia, and Russia did recruit among them.  For example, in 1723 Hungary offered fifteen years of freedom from taxation and other public duties to craftsmen who would agree to settle permanently there.  Equally attractive offers were made by the Hapsburgs and later by Russians.

The disadvantages of North America included the lack of special privileges, the difficult ocean voyage, and the threat, once one was there, of the Native Americans.  In Pennsylvania, the pacifist government of that colony did little to protect the settlers on the frontiers.  This was the area where most of the new immigrants went in order to find large amounts of cheap land.  British recruiters attempted to counteract the Indian threat by portraying the Native Americans as docile, exotic neighbors.  This fabrication led to a fascination among many Germans, and some Americans, even today, still nurture this picture of the "noble peaceable savage".

Less than 15% of the legal emigrants from southwest Germany went to British North America.  No one has clearly defined why this 15% chose North America over Eastern Europe.  It may have been a random choice, in which given two alternatives, some people will choose one while others will choose the second.

The conditions placed on those who wished to immigrate to North American were more restrictive than those placed on people who wished to immigrate to Eastern Europe.  When Francis Michel was attempting to obtain approval for his colony in Virginia, he asked for some special privileges, but could not get approval.  Had he been planning a relocation to the East in Europe, the conditions he asked for would most surely have been routinely granted.


Nr. 418:

Mention was made here, on the Germanna Colonies list service, of the Carpenter genealogy.  This would originate with William and John Carpenter of the Robinson River community, and most particularly with John Carpenter, since William left no heirs.  I am not satisfied with the usual presentation for William and John Zimmerman.  They were brothers who came to Virginia in the early 1720's and almost immediately adopted the name of Carpenter.  John is said to have left four sons, John, William, Andrew, and Michael.

The immigrant John is said to have written his will in 1782, and it was probated in that same year.  He is said to have married (Anna) Barbara Kerker.

Problem number one originates with two statements in the Hebron Lutheran Church Register.  At the baptism of a slave child on 9 Jun 1778, the mother, deceased then, of the child is said to have belonged to OLD JOHN CARPENTER'S ESTATE [emphasis added].  I am of the school of thought that estates are most often the result of a person dying.  So who could "old John Carpenter" be?  It would seem to me that the reference would be to the brother of William who came in the 1720's.  That is the oldest John Carpenter in the neighborhood.  But if this was the case, how would he be related to the John Carpenter who wrote his will in 1782?

There is another confirming record in the Register.  The list of communicants at church on the first Sunday after Easter in 1778 includes Barbara Carpenter, Sen. Carp. Widow.  Again, this opens the question of who was the John Carpenter who wrote his will in 1782?

It seems that we almost need another generation to allow for the extra John Carpenter.

There is another problem in the Carpenter history. On Easter 1776, the communicant list includes Michael Carpenter and wife Margaret.  Four sets of names away from this couple is Michael Carpenter and wife Mary.  This gives us two Michael Carpenters at a time when we should have only one.  There is a confirmation of this reading because at the slave baptism, referred to above, one of the sponsors is Marg. Carpenter Mich. Wife.  Who is this Michael Carpenter who married Margaret?

Prof. Holtzclaw said that the will of William Carpenter, the immigrant, mentions John, William, and Andrew.  He interpreted these three names as nephews of William, the writer of the will.  But it has struck me as odd that William would not have mentioned his fourth nephew, Michael.

The Carpenter records, especially at the church, have been confusing because the church records sometimes call the Carpenters "Zimmermans" which is the name of another, unrelated family; however, this apparent confusion has nothing to do with the problems I have listed.

If anyone has suggestions toward the resolutions of these problems, I would like very much to hear the ideas. Some work seems to be needed.


Nr. 419:

The Kraichgau region, which I was writing about recently, was, besides being the home of many people in the Second Germanna Colony, also the immediate past home of the early Mennonites, as represented by Hans Herr and the party which came with him; however, most Mennonites do not think of the Kraichgau as their home in Europe.  Typically, they are more apt to respond that they came from Switzerland, which was the origin of Anabaptist thought in the years just immediately following Martin Luther's break with the Catholic Church.

As the Reformation was getting underway, religious thinkers in Switzerland felt that the reforms of Luther did not go far enough.  Their line of thought turned into the Reformed Church.  Still other people in Switzerland felt that the "Reformers" were incomplete and they wished to emphasize three points.

  1. They believed that an individual should join the church as an adult when he or she could understand the significance of the action.
  2. Hence, they did not believe in infant baptism.
  3. They also believed in the separation of the church and the state and they were pacifists.

These people became known as the Anabaptists, or the rebaptizers.  Applied first as a mark of derision, the Anabaptists proudly accepted the designation.

Their beliefs about the separation of the church and the state and pacifism perhaps grew more strongly with the passage of time as the result of the treatment the Anabaptisms received at the joint hands of the Reformed Church and the cantons of Switzerland.  By then the Reformed Church was the state church of the cantons.  The Reformed Church clergy felt that the absence of infant baptism was denying many the right of entry to heaven.  The state felt that the lack of infant baptism was denying citizenship and the right of the state to conscript future soldiers.  In their combined view, baptism of infants not only was the passport to heaven but it was the entry into citizenship of the cantons.

The first reaction of the combined forces of the church and the state was to kill anyone who professed Anabaptist thought.  Many martyrs were created, but each one seemed to be the inspiration to lead others to Anabaptist principles.  This persecution went on for more than two centuries and it is possible to state that there would never have been any Germanna Colonies in Virginia had it not been for this persecution.  In later periods one of the favored ways of persecuting the Anabaptists was to expel them from Switzerland.

In 1709, Christoph von Graffenried had a contract with the city fathers of Bern to take a group of Anabaptists to some place outside Switzerland.  In his search, he found that Francis Michel had been exploring in the New World with a view also toward colonization.  In addition, Michel also thought he had found silver which intrigued Graffenried.  This led to the recruitment of a group of miners from the Siegen area which became, eventually, the First Germanna Colony.

Returning to the Anabaptists, after the Thirty Years' War ended in 1648, there were many opportunities in southwest Germany for resettlement.  Many Anabaptists moved there at this time, some by compulsion and some by choice.  Though life was a bit freer for them there than it had been in Switzerland, there were restrictions such as limitations on the size of the groups that could meet, special taxes, no land ownership, and service in the armies. 

From this situation, the Anabaptists were the very first to respond to William Penn's offer of cheap land and the free exercise of religion.  The first group of Anabaptists founded Germantown, just outside Philadelphia, in the 1680's.  These people were augmented by many more but they were all of an urban, not a rural orientation.  The Herr party in 1709/10, who were farmers, were the first Anabaptists to seek large quantities of land.  As a consequence they settled on the frontier amongst the Indians where they procured hundreds of acres for each member.  Within a short period of time they were recruiting other immigrants from among their friends and relatives in Germany.

The Anabaptists believed in "plain living."  They grew into two main bodies, the Mennonites and the Amish, and there is a tremendous range of practice within these groups.  The Amish are the most visible because their life style seems so foreign to us; however, you might remember that these people were among the first, if not the first, to espouse adult baptism and the separation of the church and state.  These are widely accepted principles today.  The principle of pacifism has not been widely adopted but it is certainly better appreciated than it was a few centuries ago.  So, these people, who might seem backward and out of the modern world, have actually been leaders in religious thought.

The note has been longer for two reasons.  First, I will be a tour leader at the Hans Herr House tomorrow.  Second, once I started on the basic story, I thought I should bring it to some sort of conclusion.

If any of you would like to be a tour guide at the Hans Herr House, you need not be an Anabaptist.  Many of us who volunteer there are not Anabaptists.  We find the story interesting and we appreciate the contributions that have been made.  We volunteer to tell others about it.  The story is interesting enough that we have many visitors from Germany who come to see how Germans lived in the New World.


Nr. 420:

Recent discussions have mentioned the spelling of our Germanna names.  One problem is that spelling in Germany was a bit "iffy" there also.  Nor did the spellings stabilize on the spelling that was most common when our ancestors left.  Or as the Garrs, as in the "Garr Genealogy" said, "There is no correct spelling of a name."  In their own case, there seem to be at least three variations and their name is one of the simpler ones.

The Willheit family came from Schwaigern, a small market town in the Kraichgau.  (In the eighteenth century, about 300 people were legal emigrants from this village to North America.)  The name Willheit was undergoing an evolution in the preceding two centuries and appears in some of the records as Willert.  In America it has gone into several forms such as Wilhoit, Wilhite, or Wilhide.  The last name is more widely used in the Pennsylvania branch, not the Johann Michael Willheit branch of Virginia.  The Willheit family has been researched in Germany by several people.

In the following accounts, much of the information comes from the research of Gary J. Zimmerman and Johni Cerny as published in their monographs, "Before Germanna."  The Clore name was spelled as Klaar which I believe would be pronounced something like "Klahr", which is similar to Clore.  The name Glore is also used in America.  The Klaar/Clore family came from Gemmingen, which is a village amongst the Kraichgau villages and not far from Schwaigern.

The Kaifer family came from Zaberfeld though they had moved from the east as so many families did in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.  In Germany, the name appears as Käfer (pronounced as Kayfer in German).  The spelling in Virginia is less certain because there was only one male, Michael, of this name and it appears in various forms.  The spelling Kaifer is mostly a modern convenience.  Zaberfeld is just outside the Kraichgau and was probably classified then as being in Württemberg (as it is today).

Saturday, while I was a tour guide at the Hans Herr House, seven of the visitors spoke German.  All were from Germany, though two had been living for a while in the States.  I found that one couple with their eight-year old daughter were staying the night not very far from where we live.  So I invited them to have dinner with us.  (I did call Eleanor and tell her before bringing them home.)  Eleanor, as a treat for me, had planned on barbequed ribs and corn on the cob.  Our guests agreed to go along with this menu though it might not have been what they would have ordered from a menu.  Julius Haag (pronounced as a "Southerner" might say "hog") is a school teacher of English and he has made several trips to the US in connection with exchange students.  Maria is a homemaker now for Julius and their daughter Leonie, 8.  Maria is learning English and does very well.  They live in the very southern part of Germany not far from the Swiss border, in particular, just north of Lake Constance.  We certainly enjoyed our visitors.


Nr. 421:

The name of John Thomas in Virginia was Thoma in Germany.  The "h" would not have been sounded so the name when spoken by a German in Virginia would have been Toma.  Thus, the land patent to the Thomas sons in Virginia was issued in the name of John and Michael Tomas.

As one of the longer and more complicated names, the name which became Blankenbaker, and other variations, was most often rendered as Blankenbühler in the years just before the emigration to the New World.  But there were alternatives.  And in Austria, before the sojourn in Germany, there were other variations, especially with an initial "P."  I believe that the few people who have the name Blankenbühler in Germany today are probably related.  The variations in America are many including Blankenbaker, Blankenbeker (pronounced the same), Blankenbeckler, Blankenbecler, and Pickler.  There are also the conversions into Baker, Blank, or Blanken.

The Fleshman name in America was Fleischmann in Germany and means just exactly what the components tell us, namely a butcher or one who works with flesh.

One of the immigrants to Virginia was Henry Schlucter.  It appears that he married but whether he left any descendants is uncertain.  Assuming that he may have, the spelling here is uncertain.  Information about Henry Schlucter is certainly scarce.

The mother of all of the Blankenbakers, Fleshmans, and Henry Schlucter was Anna Barbara Schöne where in some records the final "e" is omitted.  When Anna Barbara came to Virginia, she was married to her third husband, Cyriacus Fleshman.

The Weaver family spelled the name in Germany as a weaver there would spell the name of his job, Weber.  The conversion from Weber to Weaver preserves the meaning and comes close on the sound but the sound conversion is not really exact.

One of the names which maintained its German spelling in Virginia is Utz.  Prof. Holtzclaw had surmised it might be spelled differently (and that the origin might be Nassau-Siegen) but he was wrong on both points.  For a brief time, George Utz, the immigrant, apparently used the spelling of Woods which is similar in sound.  In the end he kept the spelling Utz.

The name Folg, as in Johann Michael Folg of Wagenbach, who was the father of John Hoffman's second wife, was a misspelling by John Hoffman.  The name was uniformly Volck in Germany.  Maria Sabina Volck, Hoffman's second wife, was the daughter of Mrs. George Utz and the stepdaughter of George Utz.  Apparently Maria Sabina had a sister, Louisa Elizabeth, who also came to Virginia but her eventual fate is unknown.  No other Volcks are known to have immigrated.


Nr. 422:

Continuing with the variation of spelling in our names, the Broyles/Briles family in America originated as Breuel/Breyhel in Germany.  These latter spellings are still found in Germany.  [The John Broyles who reportedly came in 1724 was a mistaken reading of the Virginia records; the name seems to have been Bell instead, and of no relation to the Broyles family.]

The Paulitz name in Virginia had a closely related spelling in Germany, Paulitsch.

George Moyer was the immigrant to Virginia and several spellings of the name appear in the records.  I am not sure how many of these survived to the present and perhaps readers can comment to the list on this point.  In Germany, the name is probably found as M, (A, E, I), (I, J, Y), E, R which allows for many variations.  Though Zimmerman and Cerny thought they found the family of George Moyer in Germany, I am not convinced the correct family has been identified.

The Motz family in Virginia, which left very few records, was apparently from a Motz family in Germany.

The Wayland name in American seems to be always spelled in that way.  In Germany, it appears to be always spelled as Wieland.  [There may have been more of a Wayland and Blankenbaker association than generally recognized.  Jean Strand found a marriage in Unteröwisheim in 1738 or 1739 between Nicholas Blankenbühler, citizen and weaver, and Catharina Barbara Wayland.  At about the same time in Virginia, Adam Wayland was marrying Elizabeth Blankenbaker.]

The Germanna Cook family originated as Koch, a name that means the same and sounds something like Cook.  The Cook family also came from Schwaigern, a small town that sent hundreds of people to North America.  Michael Cook had married Barbara Reiner in Schwaigern.  Later Barbara's brother was to come to Virginia.

A suggestion as to the spelling variations to be found, and the frequency of occurrence of some of the German names, comes from the findings of Jean Strand.  While looking through the records of Unteröwisheim, she encountered the names, Folg, Volk, Schön, Keiffer, Motz/Metz, Majer, Seiverly, Blankenbühler, and Wayland.  This collection suggests that our names may have been distributed more widely than we thought, and spelled in more ways than we imagined.


Nr. 423:

The name Aylor is an English spelling of the sound alike German name, Öhler.  The first of the name in Virginia, John Jacob, had married the daughter of Henry Snider (Schneider) in Germany.  In a twist of the usual plot, the parents came first and were followed by their daughter, Anna Magdalena, and their son-in-law.  John Jacob Aylor must have died soon after his arrival in Virginia for he does not appear in the records here.  But he did leave two children, Elizabeth and Henry.  All of the Aylors are descended from Henry.

The Castler name in Virginia disappears, since Matthias Castler, an early immigrant, left no male heirs.  The name in Germany was spelled as Gessler.  The maiden name of Matthias' mother was Schnell, a name which Hank Z Jones suggests might be related to names such as Chelf.

The Reiners of Schwaigern have been mentioned and the name occurs in that form on both sides of the Atlantic.  It has been mentioned that Michael Cook's wife was a Reiner, the sister of Johann Dieterich Reiner, the 1749 immigrant.

The Amberger name has undergone a transformation in America.  Though the name of the 1717 immigrant, Conrad Amberger, seems straightforward, the scribes had much difficulty in writing the name.  It appears in the records under many different guises.  The form that emerged most commonly among the descendants is Amburgey.

Andrew Kerker, like Matthias Castler, left only daughters.  In Kerker's case, there was only Barbara, who married a John Carpenter.  In Germany, it appears the name was spelled as Kercher but the number of records with the name is very few.

The Kabler/Cobler name in America has several variations.  And, showing how easily the "P" and "B" sounds interchange, the name in Germany is Kappler, though in some records it is Kepler or Cappler.  There was some friendship between Christopher Zimmerman and Frederick Kappler in Germany and the two were near neighbors in the Mt. Pony area after their arrival in Virginia.

The Zimmerman name in Virginia changed from the German spelling by changing -mann to -man.  The latter form is rare in German names and occurs usually as -mann.  The name means carpenter, taken from Zimmer, meaning room, and from -mann for one or person.  Hence, Zimmermann is one who builds rooms, i.e., a carpenter.  The Germanna Carpenter family, unrelated to the Christopher Zimmerman family, took the English form, perhaps in part as a distinguishing feature between the two families.


Nr. 424:

The Yowell name in the Germanna community perhaps took its final form under the influence of the English name Yowell.  The family was known in Sulzfeld as Uhl.  This was in Baden, where the Zimmerman and Kabler families were found on some occasions.  Since the village of Sulzfeld is not large, the families surely knew each other there.  The Uhl name went through several spellings in Virginia before it settled on Yowell.  This process is what I call convergence, where the German form of the name changes into a better known English name.  The German Barlows are another example of this process.

Hans Matthias Blankenbühler married Anna Maria Mercklin in Oberderdingen.  Though no males of the name Mercklin were in the Germanna community, I give her name.  (Little did she know that a great-great-great-great-great-grandson of hers would be writing about her.)

There is a Germanna family about whom almost nothing is known. They came from Zaberfeld, the home of Michael Kaifer and his sister Appolonia.  The family is Hans Jerich, Anna Maria, Maria Margaret, and Maria Gottlieve Wegman. The only evidence for the family is the list of 48 people whose names were used by Spotswood as headrights.  This list was made on the arrival of the Second Colony members on the ship Scott at Virginia.  After that, the names are never heard of, or recorded again.

Because the number of people who are the candidates for membership in the Second Colony exceeds the seventy-odd that Spotswood gave, or the number of eighty that descendants of the Second Colony members said, I have been inclined to omit the Wegmans from those being counted.  This may be an error on my part.  That they arrived at Virginia cannot be questioned.  I can think of two fates for the family.

Since the ship's captain had contracted to take the Scott's passengers to Pennsylvania, which he did not do but took them to Virginia, where he sold them to Spotswood and his partners as servants, the Wegmans may have considered that they had no obligation to remain in Virginia.  They may have slipped out of Virginia at the first opportunity and moved to another colony.

The father, John George, may have died before many years passed and the name, Wegman, may have become extinct.

Hans Paulus Lederer was born in Schwaigern on 17 Jan 1709.  He arrived at Philadelphia on the ship Johnson in 1733 and went to Virginia.  This was logical considering whom his siblings married.  One sister married a Reiner, another sister married a Boger, and a third sister married a Willheit.  In Virginia he became known as Paul Leatherer.


Nr. 425:

Two of the Germanna families that are easily confused are the Waylands and the Waymans.  The head of the Wayman family came in 1738 on the ill-fated ship Oliver and was reported by the pastor at Freudenberg, near Siegen, as leaving with a large group of people in the spring of 1738.  The distribution of the name, Weidmann, in Germany is broadly based and not particularly centered in Nassau-Siegen.

The Wayland name in Germany is spelled as Wieland.  The name is to be found in the area from where the majority of the Second Colony members came.

Cook is the English equivalent of the German name Koch.  They mean the same and sound much alike.  Michael Cook, of the Second Colony, came from Schwaigern and was one of the about 300 people who emigrated from that small market town in the eighteenth century.  Virginia got a fair share of these people.  Michael Cook married Barbara Reiner whose brother came to Virginia about 1749.

The Yagers, who came with the Second Colony, were not from the area where most of the Second Colony lived.  Most likely, as the people traveled down the Rhine River, they joined forces to go to Pennsylvania.  The name is spelled as Jäger in Germany (it means "Hunter").  In America, the spellings Yager and Yeager are used.

There is a mystery about John Michael Stoltz in Virginia.  He is mentioned, in 1725, in a property description in Hanover County.  Then he had a land patent in the Robinson River Valley.  He lost this land because he apparently failed to develop it.  He was in the tithables of 1739 for Orange County and his estate was administered by another John Michael Stolts, which was probably his son.  It is to be hoped that more information will become available on the family.

Lawrence Crees in the Robinson River area had to suffer many variations in the spelling of his name.  In Germany, it was spelled as Greys.  He left only one daughter, Rebecca, who married Timothy Swindel, so the name never developed an American form.  Like the Harnsbergers and the Yagers, the Crees were not from the neighborhood of the Second Colony members.  He came a little later than the Second Colony members.

Another mystery person was Henry Frederick Beyerback, for whom there are very few records in Virginia.  In the early 1740's, Peter Weaver sold him land on two occasions.  In 1746 he died.  The name was sometimes spelled with a "P" here.  In Germany, the spelling was varied with other letters such as "i" or "u" used for the "y".  The name also appears in the form of Bierbach or Beurbach.

 


(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 SEVENTEENTH set of Notes, Nr. 401 through Nr. 425.)


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


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

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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 401 through 425.


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