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This is the FORTY-SEVENTH 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 1151 through 1175.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 47

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Nr. 1151:

"Believe It or Not," Ripley used to say.  Some of the strangest stories come from life, not from fiction.  Here, we have reached the 1151st note in a series that, at first, was going to be a short set.  Probably, there never need be an ending to the endeavor.  There are always new things to write about, and, of course, repetition helps to set the story in the minds of people.  My ability to write will probably be the first thing to be the limiting factor.  But it hasn't given out entirely yet.  When I have to relinquish the writing, others can pick it up, and their ideas may differ from mine.

But while I am able to continue writing (which does not preclude anyone else from writing simultaneously and perhaps in a different vein), I will emphasize some of the following thoughts.  Our Germanna people were no different from other Germans, who immigrated to America.  So, from time to time, the topic may be very general and not specific to Germanna.

Our people did not always come directly to Germanna from Germany.  Many had lived in other colonies before they came to the Germanna area.  And the Germanna people spread out to many other colonies.  So there are some threads that connect us to many regions.  Just looking for our information in the counties where the Germanna people were supposed to live cuts us off from many good sources.  A correspondent has just pointed out to me that a "Shenandoah" pastor's record book contains a list of communicants for the German Lutheran Church in the Robinson River Valley.  There is a lot of information in the English archives, such as the Public Record Office, which pertains to our people.  Of course, there are many records in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland that remain to be examined.

We have archaeological work to do in Virginia.  Fort Germanna has been located, but it has never been detailed.  The homes of the Second Colony have been generally located, and some detailed information is available.  These are candidates for exploration.  So, there is a lot of work to be done.

Some of the things that I have mentioned are very exciting, but the most fun is to detail some of the relationships between the people in the Germanna Colonies.  I hope to show in the next note how a dry record, namely a deed, can come to life, and shed information on an interesting story.  This brings us right to the heart of the community.  This activity will be more restrictive or narrower in scope.  But even here, some of the players who were not major players still have an interesting story to tell.  I am thinking right now of the Henkels and the Hupps, who are interesting in their own right. while their presence in Germanna is not major.

Let me close by saying that this is your list.  Use it.  Maybe you are seeking information, or perhaps you have a story to tell.  Join in the fun.
(25 Apr 01)


Nr. 1152:

One of the deed extracts that were recently circulated here (the first in a sequence of several, I believe) is very interesting, even though it fails to indicate the common thread among the people in the deed.  The four names that were mentioned were Railsback, Holtzclaw (actually two different men), Zimmerman, and Blankenbaker (again two men), but the deed does not indicate in any way a factor they have in common.  Descendants of these men all have the ancestress, Anna Barbara Schön.  A family that also has a common thread, but is not mentioned, is the Thomas family.

Let’s see how this came about.

Anna Maria Blankenbaker married, first, John Thomas (Sr.), in Germany.  She was the daughter of Anna Barbara Schön.  Anna's and John's oldest child was John Thomas, Jr., who, with his unknown wife, had at least four daughters, and perhaps one son.  (The only German John Thomas that we know in the Germanna community is the Junior, and I will call him simply John Thomas without the Junior designation.)

When John Thomas was getting well along in life, he cut some of his property up into five parcels.  Three of these parcels were gifts to sons-in-law:

Jacob Blankenbaker, who married Mary Barbara Thomas;
Jacob Holtzclaw, who married Susannah Thomas;
Joseph Holtzclaw, who married Mary Thomas (she died, and he married, second, Elizabeth Zimmerman).

The other two parcels were a sale to John Railsback, who had married Elizabeth Thomas.

John Railsback had to pay something, because he got two parcels, with about twice the land of all of the other sons-in-law.  I believe this came about because John Thomas was planning on dividing and giving land in five approximately equal parcels, but one heir did not want the land.  So John Railsback paid for one of the five, and received one of the five as a gift (it does not say this in the deed).

I said earlier that the descendants of these men had Anna Barbara Schön for an ancestress.  Then I told you that Joseph Holtzclaw married, secondly, Elizabeth Zimmerman.  Even her children had Anna Barbara Schön for an ancestress, since Elizabeth Zimmerman’s mother was Ursula Blankenbaker, who had married John Zimmerman.  So, no matter how you slice it, Anna Barbara’s genes are present in the descendants of these men.  Note that Jacob Blankenbaker was married a second time to Hannah Weaver.  Her mother was Barbara Käfer, and Hannah’s grandmother was Anna Maria Blankenbaker, who married John Thomas, Sr.

One other man was mentioned in the deed as a witness, and that was Christopher Blankenbaker.  Need I say anything more about him?  It is a prime case of keeping it "all in the family".

There is more to be said, but that will have to wait for the next note.  While waiting, you can mull over why Jacob Holtzclaw and Joseph Holtzclaw were in the Robinson River Valley.  Their home base is usually considered to be around Germantown in Fauquier County.
(26 Apr 01)


Nr. 1153:

In the last note we looked at a deed, and at a family which was hidden beneath the surface (the Thomas family).  I continue with a discussion of their involvement.

The oldest son of Jacob Holtzclaw, the 1714 immigrant, was John.  John married Catherine (nee) Russell, who was the widow of an unknown Thomas.  They had at least one son, a Jacob (I believe it was), before her Thomas husband died.  I think it is probable that this Jacob Thomas was related to the Robinson River Thomases.  Things that impress me include the following.

The two youngest sons of Jacob Holtzclaw, Jacob and Joseph, went to the Robinson River Valley where they married two Thomas girls.  First, we note that the father, Jacob, lived at Germantown, though he owned land in several locations.  The two sons had to go a considerable distance to meet, woo, and marry the Thomas daughters.  I am strongly suspicious that the sons were aware of the Robinson River Thomas family before they even thought about marriage.  I believe it may have come about because Jacob Thomas, Catherine's son, was living with his mother and her second husband, John Holtzclaw.  Probably this Jacob Thomas was visited by some of the Thomas family from the Robinson River Valley, and this is how the Holtzclaw and Thomas of Robinson River families became acquainted.

I have been very impressed by this turn of events.  No one else seems to share my interest in this situation but I think it merits noting.  I wish there were more evidence available.  Incidentally, the maiden name of John Thomas' first wife, and the mother of his children, is unknown.  This is another possibility that might help explain this turn of events.

The last note mentioned that John Thomas, Jr., may have had five heirs to correspond to the five parcels of land.  There is good evidence, though not conclusive, that the fifth heir, besides the known four daughters, is a son, Michael, who went to North Carolina.  There is some good circumstantial evidence which supports this idea.

The land which was mentioned in the deed is located north of Criglersville.  John Thomas had 800 acres in two 400 acre parcels in this area, and one parcel was adjacent to John Zimmerman.  One of these 400 acre plots was obtained by Thomas before he was 21 years of age.  At this time he was already the owner, with his younger brother, of another tract.  So don't believe it when someone tells you that you had to be 21 to hold land in your own name.

I would like to hear comments, pro or con, on this subject, i.e., the Holtzclaw and Thomas relationship.  Something has not been explained here.
(27 Apr 01)


Nr. 1154:

Craig Kilby asked some questions a few days ago on the list, which I had not answered, either directly to him or to the list.  Speaking of the Second Germanna Colony,

"Why were they originally headed to Pennsylvania, and what were they expecting to find there?"

For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, about one thousand Germans left their homeland in 1717 to go to Pennsylvania.  All but about eighty did make it to Pennsylvania.  In fact, so many came in through Philadelphia that the authorities there set up a set of rules about registration, so they would have a better grasp about how many Germans were coming.  These rules or laws were not enforced until ten years later in 1727 (to our regret).

William Penn himself had appeared about 1680 along the Rhine River to recruit people for his new colony.  After his personal visit, he depended on his agents and his publications to advertise his colony.  Remember that the best classification of him by today's occupations would be that he was a real estate promoter.

The Germans that went to New York in 1710 had not sent home the best letters about their experiences.  Starting in 1710, a few Anabaptists went to Pennsylvania.  They were enthusiastic about that colony, and recruited fellow Anabaptists by letter and by visits back to Germany to come.  Some of these Anabaptists lived among, and were neighbors of, the future Second Colony people.  (Hans Herr lived on a farm about three miles from George Utz.)

So, in a variety of ways the Second Colony members had heard about Pennsylvania.  They decided this is where they wanted to go.  We know this because of the note written by the pastor of the church in Gemmingen, who told us of six families who he said were leaving for Pennsylvania.  Basically these families do appear later in Virginia, so that we know they were diverted from their intentions.

One of the families in the Gemmingen register was Hans Michael Mihlekher, with his wife, two daughters, and his wife's sister.  We know that Hans Michel Milcher, Sophia Catharina Milcher, and Maria Parvara (Barbara) Milcher made it to Virginia, because Alexander Spotswood used their names as head rights to pay for land.  The first two of these three names are the father and mother.  The two daughters in Germany do not appear.  Maria Parvara Milcher would not seem to be Michael's sister-in-law, so she might have been a daughter born en route.

This is the last time that this family appears in the Virginia records.  To disappear from the records, it would take only the death of the father.  The women, if they survived, would be hard to detect since they would have re-married.  A real possibility is that the parents simply said that none of this had been their desire.  They had been forced to go to Virginia, by Tarbett, where Spotswood tried to hold them in captivity.  Their remedy was perhaps to leave at night and try walking to Pennsylvania.
(28 Apr 01)


Nr. 1155:

The May issue of Beyond Germanna has been in the mail for a few days.  The lead article by Lynnea Dickinson features the Jesse Berry and Anna Miller family of Culpeper Co., Virginia.  The names, Berry and Miller, may not suggest a German family, but let’s take a look at their ancestry.  Anna Miller was the daughter of Henry Miller and Susanna Sibler, emigrants from Germany about 1750.  So Anna was 100% German.  Jesse Berry was the son of John Berry, Jr., and Susanna Smith.  Susanna was the daughter of John Michael Smith, Jr., and Anna Magdalena Thomas.  John Michael Smith and Anna Magdalena Thomas were German all the way back to the old country.  John Berry, Jr., was the son of the senior and his wife, Jemima, whose surname is unknown.  In spite of their excellent credentials for membership in the Germanna community, the family has not received much attention, either by Germanna researchers or genealogists in general.  Lynnea Dickinson carries the research in the article into the second generation beyond Jesse and Anna.  Actually, several of the lines have been carried down to the present for several hundred known and researched descendants; however, there are still areas to be researched.

A short note discusses differences between the English and the Germans in the methods used for cooking and heating.

Much of the material in the May issue was prepared with an eye on the Blankenbeckler Reunion to be held Memorial Day weekend in Willow Springs, Missouri.  Though the Reunion organizers have a special interest in the Blankenbeckler family, all Germanna descendants are invited.  The editor wrote an article on "Tracing the Blankenbühlers or Plankenbichlers through Europe".  The story starts in Austria, probably proceeds through Mittelfranken, in Germany, and goes on to Neuenbürg, in Germany.  Much research work remains to be done on this and allied families, but the general picture is clear.  The families survived the Farmer’s War in the late sixteenth century and the Thirty Years’ War in the first half of the seventeenth century, and chose to leave Austria about 1652 for religious reasons.  Some of the people stayed in Mittelfranken, while some went farther west, almost to the Rhine River.  The Blankenbühlers, or Plankenbichlers, along with the Scheibles, were surely in this latter migration.  Probably the Käfers, Thomases, and Waylands were members of this movement also.  It is harder to judge the last three names since these names are fairly common.

Another short note discusses the spelling of the name Blankenbühler which is apparently the modern German spelling.  In Austria, the two endings ....bühl and bichl.... both mean "hill".  The leading syllable, Planck or Plank, means the empty space or clearing.  Thus, the name of the farm in Austria probably means the farm on the hill with the clearing.  The name of the other farm, Pletzenberg, where there were also Blankenbühlers, would mean the "place on the hill".  With the sound shift that interchanged the "p" and the "b" sounds, the opportunity for different spellings is immense.  (Eva May contributed material to this paragraph.)
(30 Apr 01)


Nr. 1156:

The village in Germany, from whence the Blankenbühlers came to America, is Neuenbürg.  The only problem this poses is that there are two villages with this name, and they are separated by only twenty-three miles, a good day’s walk.  I feel that I have located the correct one, but the burden of the proof is on me, since that village has only a Catholic Church.  People who have appeared in this village and asked where the Protestant church is are told that they have the wrong village.

To distinguish these two villages, let’s call one North Neuenbürg and the other South Neuenbürg.  The northern one, the smallest one, is northeast of Bruchsal, while the larger one is southeast of Pforzheim.  Our village is the northern one.  When the church records were microfilmed, the data for the north Neuenbürg was combined with Unteröwisheim and with Oberöwisheim, two villages that are only a couple of miles from Neuenbürg.  Of course, the person who made the association may have been confused so we should not rely on that.

The church records for three different churches do record the marriage of some Blankenbühlers.  Matthias Blankenbühler married in Oberderdingen.  This is closer to the northern village than it is to the southern village, but by itself the evidence is not overwhelming.  Another Blankenbühler, from Neuenbürg, married a lady from Landhausen, which is a few miles north of the northern Neuenbürg.  This is good evidence.  Nicholas Blankenbühler married Catharina Barbara Wayland in Unteröwisheim.  This is very close to the northern Neuenbürg.  Taken together, the three marriages suggest that the northern Neuenbürg is the one where our Blankenbühlers lived.

The compelling piece of evidence is the naturalization of Zacharias Blankenbühler, who said he was a citizen of "Neuenbürg in the lands of the Catholic Church".  I have seen two historical maps for this area (one of them is in "The Times Concise Atlas of World History").  This map shows that the northern Neuenbürg is on the church lands, while the southern Neuenbürg appears to be in Württemberg.

This also helps explain how two close villages could have the same name.  They were in different political jurisdictions.  (Today we have a Kansas City in Missouri and one in Kansas, and the distance between them is the width of a river.)  Today, both villages are in Baden-Württemberg.  If you do a search for them in the Mormon geographical index, you would look in Baden for one (ours), and in Württemberg for the other.  This was their location in 1872, which has become the reference time for locating geographical features.

This discussion has been taken from an article in the last (May) issue of Beyond Germanna and is a continuation of the previous note.

If your map is not detailed, you can point to the location of "our" Neuenbürg which is twenty miles due south of Heidelberg, and twenty-four miles, and almost due west, of Heilbronn.
(01 May 01)


Nr. 1157:

I am convinced that the Blankenbühlers did come from Austria, and, in particular, from the village of Gresten, or Gresten-Land.  I also believe that some other Germanna families came from Austria, and at least one of them, the Scheible family, was from Gresten.  Here is why I think so.

When one stands on the farm Plankenbichl (where there were Plankenbühlers), one can see the farm Scheiblau about one-quarter mile away.  When Margaret James Squires was researching the Blankenbühlers in Neuenbürg from the church records there, she told me that she thought the Blankenbühlers and the Scheibles were related, but she could not prove it.  Both of these families came to Virginia in 1717.  The Scheible land patent was in the midst of the patents to people from Neuenbürg.  Very probably, we have two families who were traveling together from Gresten to the Robinson River Valley, and they were probably related by marriage.

Why would someone want to leave Austria about 1652?  Apparently, in the aftermath of the Thirty Years’ War, the rulers in Austria were determined to make Austria Catholic once again.  They sent out a ruling that anyone who was a Protestant would have to convert to Catholicism or leave the country.  Quite a large number decided to leave, and, from the Gresten area, there were apparently about seven hundred who decided to leave.  They were aware that farms were available in Mittelfranken around Dietenhofen.  Even larger numbers left from other regions of Austria, for other regions.  More people were leaving than the authorities had anticipated.  The people were needed in Austria, so bureaucratic measures were put in place to discourage leaving.  Some people decided that it would be easier to abandon their farms and to steal away quietly.

In Dietenhofen, the church was too small for this large influx, so the roof was raised and a balcony was built in the nave.  In the following few years, Blankenbühlers start appearing in the churches to the north of Dietenhofen.  So far, though, none have been found in the Dietenhofen books, but that may be because the church books have never been microfilmed.

There have been other dark periods in the history of Lower Austria, the state in Austria in which Gresten is located.  Approximately fifty years before the exodus from Austria, there was a Farmer’s War, roughly the equivalent of the Peasant’s War in Germany, at an earlier period.  Several of the leaders of this war were from Gresten, and some were executed after the forces of the emperor were victorious.  The factors behind this war were many, and only a few were religious in nature, but one of them was that the majority of the people were Protestants and they wanted the right to name their own pastors.

In short, there was an emerging and aroused citizenry in the hundred years before the 1652 exodus.  The exodus in 1652 was perhaps predictable after a century of trouble followed by renewed oppression.
(02 May 01)


Nr. 1158:

I hope to return, before the summer is out, with more information about the exodus from Austria, but, for the present, I will drop the subject.

One other small item in the May issue of Beyond Germanna was a fuller report by William Byrd on events in Virginia.  He had been living in England for a few years, and, about 1720, he was sent back to Virginia with instructions for Lt. Gov. Spotswood, Byrd himself, and the Council to patch up their quarrels and to stop arguing.  The alternative was that they would lose their jobs.  Byrd succeeded quite well and returned to England, where he gave a report to the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.

The information is a copy from the original minute book which is a summary of the actions their Lordships took.  The Commissioners were very interested in the naval stores program, for which premiums were paid to encourage production in the colonies.  This had been a very high priority program with the King and Parliament.  The Commissioners, who were responsible for the execution of the program, wanted to know how the naval stores program was going in Virginia.  Byrd answered questions pertaining to hemp, pitch, and tar.  (Spotswood imported the Second Colony Germans to provide the labor in such a program.)

The Commissioners asked about lumber being shipped directly to Portugal or to the Mediterranean.  Byrd denied any knowledge of such shipments from Virginia, though he had heard that the northern colonies sometimes did.  (The objection by the Commissioners was to bypassing England in this trade.)

As to iron, Byrd said (in November of 1721) that Alexander Spotswood had "a good work" where he could produce cast iron, though he could not yet make bar iron (from the comments of others, the furnace was having problems).  He did not see that the ability to produce bar iron was important to the colonies, and he thought they would be content with casting iron.  Again, this is the question of trade and where finished products could be made.  England wanted to reserve the production of finished goods to herself.  So this was an attempt by Byrd to allay the fears of the Commissioners that Virginia would be upsetting the trade laws.

All laws passed in Virginia were subject to review in England.  Many times, traders in England objected to a Virginia law, and it was overturned.  The example that I like the best was the law passed in Virginia, stating that convicts could not be shipped to Virginia.  A merchant in England protested against the law on the grounds that he had a contract with the government of England to transport convicts to Virginia, and if the law were upheld he could not fulfill his contract.  The law was denied.

Spotswood was in the position that he had to be sure that he would not upset anyone by his iron production.  He had already been warned once by the Commissioners.
(03 May 01)


Nr. 1159:

In the last note, I mentioned, in passing, "convicts" who were shipped to Virginia from England.  In two cases, either the convict himself, or his descendants, married into Germanna families which seems to have harmed no one.  In fact, the general result was quite good.  Let's look at the two.

In 1715, George Hume, his father Sir George, and Sir George's brother, Francis, were captured at Preston by the English for espousing the cause of James Stuart.  The father was pardoned from a sentence of hanging and quartering because of his age, but he did have to forfeit his estates.  Francis Hume was saved from the gallows, but not from transportation to Virginia (a euphemism for sending convict labor to the colonies).  Francis Hume was to be sold as a servant, but a kinsman purchased his freedom.  This "kinsman" might have been Spotswood who was a cousin of Francis; however, Spotswood would not want to be associated with someone who was convicted of treason.  It didn't look good for a Lt. Governor of his Majesty's colonies to do these things.  This was in 1716, and Francis was sent to Germanna to be the supervisor there in the wilderness.  This did not last too long as he died in 1718 and was buried along the Rapidan River.

George Hume, the son, was initially imprisoned, but then was placed on a Glasgow slave ship.  Capt. Dandridge, of another ship, took him on board and put him ashore at Norfolk, Virginia, in 1721.  George's timing was bad.  He was hoping to obtain help from Lt. Gov. Spotswood, who was a second cousin, if I remember correctly, but Gov. Spotswood lost his job just about then.

George went to the College of William and Mary and was accredited as a surveyor, a profession which came to him easily as he had been trained as a mathematician in Scotland.  From the bleak outlook when he landed, he rebounded quickly and became an important surveyor.  He laid out the town of Fredericksburg and was the surveyor for the counties of Spotsylvania, Orange, and Frederick.  He ran a line for the Northern Neck (still used today), and was appointed a Crown surveyor in 1751.  At one time he had an assistant by the name of George Washington.

As he roamed over the countryside, he spotted good tracts of land and invested in them.  To the end of his life he worked as a surveyor, even though the work was hard, and many times involved sleeping under the stars.  In 1748 he wrote that he intended 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 . .".  He complained that it was harder to walk the mountains.

In 1727, he married Elizabeth Proctor, the daughter of George Proctor of Spotsylvania County.  He was appointed a Lieutenant in the Militia in 1729.  And, later, he appointed a Justice of the Peace so he went a full circle, from being a rebellious citizen against the English crown, to being a supporter of the crown.  His last home was in the area which became Madison County.  He and Elizabeth had six sons and no daughters.
(04 May 01)


Nr. 1160:

The eldest son of George Hume was George II, who was born in 1729.  Four of the children of George II, and his wife, Jane Stanton, married Germanna people.  George III married, in 1782, Susannah Crigler; Reuben married Anna Finks; John married Anna Crigler; and Sarah Ann married, in 1789, John Crigler.  Other children of George II and Jane (Stanton) Hume were Charles, William, Elizabeth, and Frances.

George III (1759 ­ 1816) and Susannah (1762 ­ 1831) Hume moved to Madison Co., Kentucky, and left issue.  As the eldest son of the eldest of the eldest son, George III tried, in the period 1810 to 1816, to recover the estates in Scotland.  Sarah Ann Hume and John Crigler moved to Madison Co., in KY also.  Of their eight children, there were marriages to two Germanna descendants:  Katherine Hume married John Wilhoit, and George Hume married Mary Utz.  Traces of the Hume and Crigler pioneer families in Missouri remain in the Columbia and St. Louis areas.

Moses Wilhoit married, 12 Dec 1789, in Culpeper Co., VA, Anna Hume.  Her parents are uncertain.

To clarify the relationship between the Hume and Spotswood family, Francis Hume and Alexander Spotswood were second cousins.  The grandmother of George Hume, the surveyor, can trace her ancestry back to Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, in 1328.

There were other Humes in Virginia besides the ones that we have been writing about.  An Andrew Hume is thought to have married Margaret Holtzclaw, but proof is lacking.  One of their descendants married a Rector descendant.

The name Hume is sometimes spelled Home, but by either spelling it is pronounced hUme.  George Hume, the immigrant, at first spelled his name as Home, but after about 1746 he spelled it Hume.  It appears both ways, even for the same incident.  One story says that a leader in battle was trying to rally his forces and called out hOme as we would pronounce it.  Some of the troops misinterpreted the cry as meaning "let’s go home".  So they changed to pronouncing the name as hUme.

I did not start our second "convict" so he will have to wait.
(05 May 01)


Nr. 1161:

On 12 July 1770, at Old Bailey in London, England, John Millbank (no "s" on the end) was tried for robbery, and sentenced to death.  The sentence was commuted to transportation for life, and he was brought to America on the ship Scarsdale.  He may have been auctioned off as an indentured servant.

On 10 April 1773, at about 16 years of age, Mary Barlow married John Millbank in Culpeper County, Virginia.  Their first child was born 16 April 1774.  Mary was confirmed in the German Evangelical Church (Hebron) on Easter of 1776 [shortly after Jacob Franck had come as pastor].  She was a communicant on Easter 1777.  The next two children, Elizabeth and Charles, were also baptized in the church.

We have no positive proof that the two John Millbanks in these last two paragraphs were the same individual, but it seems very probable.  There may be negative arguments against the two Johns being the same person, but Ellie Caroland of Georgetown, Kentucky, who researched this case, believes that the two John Millbanks are the same person.  One of the points in favor of them being the same person is that Mary Millbank associated John with the sea.  That is, she thought he was a sailor.  In fact, she applied for a Revolutionary War pension on the basis that he was a sailor of the line, but no record of such service could be found.  What is known is that three other men, who were tried in court with John Millbank, do have records as sailors, leading, with some probability, to John being a sailor also.

Christopher Barlow, in his will, mentions his daughter Mary Millbank, above.  The Millbanks were the parents of Anna, who married Daniel Delph, on 9 Jan 1798.  Daniel died early in life, and Anna took the children to Kentucky, where she lived with her father John Millbank.  She had four sons, one of whom was John Millbank Delph, born 18 Aug 1805.  This John was successively a carpenter, a manufacturer of bagging and rope, and a politician, including the office of Mayor of Louisville in 1850.  He was mayor in 1860 during a turbulent period in the history of Louisville, and later he served one term as in the legislature.

This little bit of history shows that having a "convict" ancestor is not necessarily bad for the descendants.  As with the Humes, John Millbank came to America with a stigma attached, but quickly shed it for a productive life here.

If you have an elusive ancestor, you might want to consult the book by Peter Wilson Coldham entitled "English Convicts in Colonial America: Middlesex, 1617­1775".
(07 May 01)


Nr. 1162:

I may have confused some of you by my references to where the Second Germanna Colony lived.  Some people have identified it as the "Hebron" community, but that is unsatisfactory to me.  Hebron would refer to the church that some of the Germans attended.  So, referring to Hebron is not really referring to the entire community.  And it would certainly tend to exclude the English who were living in the community.  The other reason for not using the name Hebron is that, in the eighteenth century, the church was not called Hebron.

I prefer to call the community, to be more inclusive, the Robinson River Valley community.  This better defines a geographical area, and makes no reference to any one set of people who lived in the community.

The Germans in this area generally fell into two religious groups, the Lutheran and the Reformed.  The Lutherans did not call themselves Lutherans.  They said they were the (German) Evangelical Church.  "Evangelical" merely said they were Protestants.  Often both Lutherans and Reformed said they were Evangelical, but sometimes they added words to distinguish between the Lutheran and Reformed religions.

In the Robinson River Valley there were several Reformed Church members, and they did not participate in the church services of the Lutherans.  The exception occurs if a Reformed member married a Lutheran, and then the records may show that the Reformed member did participate at the Lutheran church.  The records often make it clear that the person was Reformed.  At some point, the Reformed people built a chapel of their own, but it appears that it never had a regular pastor.  On some occasions they might have had a guest pastor.  The Reformed chapel was on Hoffman's land, and the chapel is often referred to by this name.

When the name Hebron came into use is not clear.  "The History of the Lutheran Church", by W. P. Huddle and Margaret Grim Davis, does not tell us.  At the time of the Revolution, official documents refer to the German Evangelical Church, which has sometimes been translated as German Lutheran, without any reference to the name Hebron.  In fact, there is a hint that the church might have been known as "Hopeful", or the "Church of Good Hope".  The English had a simple name for it.  They called it the "Dutch" church.

Increasingly, I am referring to the larger community, which includes all nationalities and religions, as the Robinson River Valley; even the area which is often associated with those who lived there is broader than the Valley itself.  In the eighteenth century, the more proper name for the church we now call Hebron would be the German Evangelical Church.
(08 May 01)


Nr. 1163:

I have decided that some of these notes should be devoted to instructive material, and the most appropriate subject for us would be the German language.  Now, as an instructor, I rank with the best in the number of students flunked.  So I thought I could lead you in some German lessons.  I say "lead", because I expect you to do your share.

First, there is a pretest.  What is the meaning of this word?

Hottentottenstottertrottelmutterbeutelrattenlattengitterkastenattentäter

If you know the meaning of this word, then you cannot get credit for the course.  Please do not feel bad if you do not understand this word at the first reading, as you may never have encountered it before.  Most likely, you will never encounter it again, but then one never knows.

To start with something simpler, I will give you a number of German words for which you are to find the equivalent English meaning.  The technique of having students learn things on their own is a very effective and it will build your confidence.  Here are the words:  (They have been put in a table for better viewing.)

German Words
so Ring Plan bitter
Arm Rose Lippe finden
Wolf Gold Finger binden
Hand warm Hammer Wanderer
Sack mild Winter .
Nest Land Hunger .


(For those of you who do not receive these Notes via the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List at Rootsweb, but discover them later, after I have added them to this web site, you can still join in the "language lesson".  Just send an email to John by clicking
here.  Type in the German words in the body, then your interpretation, e.g., Hand = hand.)

Here are a few clues to help you.  Nouns are capitalized, and the infinitives of verbs end in "en".  For a start, you can classify the words into nouns, verbs, or other.  Then you must find the English meaning of the word.

Just to keep us on track in this process, I am using "Easy Ways to Enlarge Your German Vocabulary", by Karl A. Schmidt.  I’ll try to read ahead so I am always a lesson ahead of you.
(09 May 01)


Nr. 1164:

In our first lesson, we learned that many words are the same in German and in English.  This should not be so surprising, as both languages are members of the Indo-European family, and, in particular, of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family.  Not too long ago, we saw that the Anglo-Saxons brought their genes and language from the European continent into England.  The English might say, "I am hungry, thirsty, weary, cold, and naked; give me food, drink, a bed, fire, and clothing." If they do, they would be speaking pure Anglo-Saxon.

The words that seem to be essentially the same in both languages, such as we had in the last note, are called cognates (as in recognition).  There would be many more, except that many of the pairs have been obscured by the "sound shift".  This was studied by Jacob Grimm (he who collected the fairy tales), who found a pattern applies.  If you do not wish to remember the pattern by the name Lautverschiebung, you can say "Grimm's Law".  The effect of this sound shift is to produce High German and Low German.  The latter has the Anglo-Saxon sounds that were carried to England.  This sound shift, and the accompanying spelling, disguise the closeness of many German and English words.

To show some of these pairs, we will use the shift between "t" in English and the letters "s", "ss", "z", and "tz", in High German.  The following table gives the High German word and the equivalent English word:

High German English
das that
Wasser water
Fuss foot
heiss hot
zwei two
setzen set
Hass hate
sitzen sit
Herz heart
zehn ten
Witz wit


You may ask the question, "Which shifted, the High German or the Low German?"  I believe the answer is that the High German shifted, e.g., in High German the "t" of "water" became "ss", leading to "Wasser".  But, without saying which changed, here are some more shifts (a very incomplete set):

High German Low German
b b (initial), thus Bett and bed
b v (middle), thus haben and have
b f (final), thus Kalb and calf


Thus, we see that we do not have the nearly perfect cognates of the last lesson, but knowing the rule for the sound shifts, one can see how the words do pair up.  Reading "Kalb" and knowing that the "b" of High German is equivalent to the "f" of Low German and English in the final position, we are lead easily to "calf".
(10 May 01)


Nr. 1165:

We have been discussing the sound shift between High German and English.  This shift leads to differences in pronunciation and in spelling.  In order not to swamp you in your studies, I’ll just mention a few other sound shifts.  This is not a complete set.

High German English
ch
Buch
Milch
machen
k
book
milk
make
d
Bad
Ding
dick
th
bath
thing
thick
f
Feuer
f (initial)
fire
f
Helfen
offen
reif
p (other)
help
open
ripe
t
Gott
gut
tief
d
God
good
deep


Vowell changes are not as unique.  Here are a few:

High German English
a
alt
lang
Nase
o
old
long
nose
a
klar
Jahr
Bart
nah
ea
clear
year
beard
near
u
rund
jung
Suppe
Gruppe
ou
round
young
soup
group


So let’s put this knowledge to work.  Here are a few German sentences to translate.

  1. Der Steward bringt Kaffee, Tee und eine kalte Platte mit Brot, Butter and Käse.
  2. Die Disteln auf der Heide haben sharfe Dornen.
  3. Die meisten Touristen fahren ins Ausland und schreiben Postkarten an ihre Familien.

Before we get overconfident, we should be aware that a few words have shifted their meaning.

The German "das Bein" means the leg, but the cognate, or the word suggested by the German letters, is "bone".
"die Blume" means the flower, but the cognate is "bloom".  "eitel" means vain but the suggestion in English is "idle".

Here are a few more false friends:

"die Hose" means trousers, but the cognate is "hose".
"Baum" means tree, but the cognate is "beam".

So, if the cognate of a German word does not make sense, better use the dictionary.

Here are a few German words to practice on (no translation services or dictionaries until you absolutely give up):

Katze
rot
laut
Wort
Donner
drei
Feder
(11 May 01)


Nr. 1166:

Many words in German and English have their origin in the international language bank.  Some of these come from the Greek and Latin.  Many other words are introduced when the need arises, and sometimes they spread directly to other languages.  A good example of this can be seen on many German web pages where one even gets confused as to which language is being used.  For example, "click" may be given that way or it may be given as "klick".  Use your "mouse" or "Maus".  Sometimes the word is "computer" but sometimes it is "Komputer".  Some other words that are used in common are, using German, das Radio, das Café, das Hotel, das Motel, das Casino, das Milieu, das Restaurant, das Hobby, das Radar, and das Sofa.

While there are many similarities between the German and English vocabularies, the words are put together using different rules to make sentences.

The text book we are using is more than one hundred pages long, and we are only up to page 6 or so (having skipped a few parts).  Believing that you may not be willing to follow through with the complete set of exercises, I think that I will terminate the lessons.

One thing that amuses me is the declaration by some people that such and such a way is the correct way to spell a name.  One questions that immediately arises is, "Correct for whom?"  It, of course, depends on where you are as to how a name will be spelled.  If you go from area one to area two, you will probably carry along the pronunciation.  In the new area, the same thing may be spelled differently.  A German arriving in Virginia with the name Koch is told that he is Cook.  The underlying word had the same meaning but different letters are used.

Looking at one name in particular, chosen at random, we will take the name of a farm in Austria which goes by the name Plankenbichl.  In Austria, the word "bichl" means hill.  The people who live on the farm add "er" to denote they are from the farm.  In Austria, there are people who call themselves Plankenbichler and Blankenbichler, but mostly the former.  Even here, the confusion exists in the initial letter.  When these people moved over to Germany, the "B" dominated over the "P", but both forms exist.  The biggest change, though, was to substitute another word which also means hill.  That is "bühl".  Thus, the most common form in Germany is Blankenbühler, with just a few Plankenbühlers thrown in.  On this side of the Atlantic, other variations occur, and we yield to no one in the number of spellings which we use.

It gave the mayor of Gresten-Land in Austria great delight to call me Johann Plankenbichler.  It was his belief that was the correct way to spell the name.  So just call me Hans.
(12 May 01)


Nr. 1167:

I thought we might step back in time to the early eighteenth century and take a look at Virginia.  Our guide for this trip will be Rhys Isaac in "The Transformation of Virginia, 1740­1790." This book won a Pulitzer Prize in History.  ("Pulitzer" has the earmarks of a good Germanic name.)

Water and trees (or trees and water, take your choice as to which was primary) were the features that dominated the impressions of a visitor from Europe in 1700 who reached the Virginia coast, or even sailed up one of the four major rivers that drained Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean.  Trees dominated the landscape, and it took a major effort to remove them and to keep them removed.  Road building was an effort to be avoided and, with the rivers, who needed roads?  The Rev. Jones commented that goods could be shipped more easily from London to a Virginia plantation on a river, than the goods could be shipped five miles out of London.

The early explorers soon discovered that this landscape could be divided into three regions, the Tidewater, the Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Tidewater elevations were low, and the streams flowed easily through these regions.  The rivers were deep enough for ocean going vessels to pass well into the interior.  The name Tidewater comes, I believe, from the fact that the ocean tides could be detected in the rivers throughout the region.  It is said that the soil was sandy enough that horses did not need to be shod.

This Tidewater region ran from the ocean to the Piedmont, where the country side changed.  The principal characteristic marking the boundary between these two was the line of the falls in the rivers.  This line was just above Washington, Fredericksburg, and Richmond, or roughly where the I-95 Interstate road is now located.  These rocky falls stopped all ocean navigation.  To the west, rolling hills commenced and the streams moved more quickly.  Ultimately these foothills culminated in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Beyond, or to the west of the Blue Ridge, was an unknown territory.

In the first hundred years of Virginia’s history, all development took place in the Tidewater region, which had the advantage of the easiest transportation.  In 1700, about 60,000 people were spread out in the Tidewater in the three necks or land regions between the river systems.  The neck between the Potomac and the Rappahannock had a unique history.  It was called the Northern Neck, and in 1700 it belonged to one family.

The density of people was quite low, with only 60,000 people in this vast Tidewater region.  But little land remained to be taken up by private individuals.  Any one individual could only be responsible for about five acres, if it was intensively cultivated.  The two major cultivated crops were corn and tobacco.  About 85 percent of these people were Europeans, i.e., from Great Britain, as free men and bonded servants.  The remaining 15 percent were from Africa, nearly all of whom were in indefinite servitude.
(14 May 01)


Nr. 1168:

With only 60,000 people in the Tidewater region of Virginia, the density was quite low, as measured by the number of people per square mile.  One of the reasons for this was that the favored land was along the watercourses, which served as roads.  Another reason for this low density was the large size of the tracts which were taken up.  Still yet another reason was that there were no towns.

Taking the last point first, only Williamsburg, with its adjacent port of Jamestown, could be considered a town.  Even then, it required a stretch of the imagination to think of it as a town.  It came to life when the Assembly met.  Then the taverns would be filled, and a group of men could be assembled.  Social discourse would be possible then.  Apparently, when the Burgesses came to Williamsburg, they did not bring their wives with them.

Where were the people living?  Almost exclusively on the "farms".  In that age, a farm was called a plantation, and all the word "plantation" meant was that it was a place where one planted and grew things.  Through time and place, this word has changed its meaning.  To those in England, the plantations were the places where the colonials lived.  In Virginia, it meant a farm in general.  A planter was a man who worked with his hands in the soil, i.e., a dirt farmer.  Later, the meaning shifted enough so that "plantation" meant only the large farms where usually the owner did not soil his hands.  In 1700, gentlemen did not dirty their hands.  One did not call them planters.

The larger the farm, the more likely it was to be located on a river, since the larger it was, the more likely it was to be a place from which goods were shipped (i.e., tobacco) and received (finished products from England).  Except for these shipments, the farm was usually a local entity in itself, a very small enclave.  In many cases it was only one family.

Travel was generally difficult, due to the poor state of the roads.  Also, accommodations for the traveler were almost nonexistent.  Replacing public places to eat and to stay, there developed a culture of, "We'll leave the light on for you."  Visitors were welcomed into homes.  This was a two-way street.  The visitor often brought news from the outside world.  In exchange the visitor received food and beds.  This was to be considered at no cost, though the traveler often left a little gift for the servants, if there were any.

Why were the farms spread out so much?  Land was relatively cheap and easy to obtain.  It was a status symbol.  While one might be able to farm only a fraction of what he owned, the extra land was wood lots, and a reserve of land for the future.  It was found that the crops exhausted the soil very rapidly, especially tobacco.  One wanted the extra land because the reserve would be necessary when the existing land was exhausted.
(15 May 01)


Nr. 1169:

On the plantations, the saying was that a planter should have 50 acres for every working hand.  Only four or five acres of this fifty could be cultivated by the hand if the crop were corn or tobacco.  Sometimes the timber from the uncleared land was turned into money by harvesting it as lumber, especially in the winter, when work in the fields was at a minimum.  At the same time, a secondary objective might be to clear more ground to replace exhausted fields.

The exhausted ground was often used to run cattle, that would naturally fertilize it; however, this ground could not be used to grow tobacco again until the cattle had been off of it for some years.  It was found that the tobacco grown in the fields where the cows had run was strong and not "sweet" tasting.  It was to be avoided.

Different techniques were used to clear ground.  The favored English method was to fell the tree about three feet above the ground.  By cutting it high, it tended to sucker less.  If the wood in the tree was useful, they took it off, and then burned the rest on the site.  If the fallen logs were difficult to burn, they let them lie on the ground and hoed up the ground around the stumps and the logs.  There was little need for the plow; in fact, it would not be useful, with all of the tree roots that were in the ground.  This field was enclosed with a fence of cleft rails.  Both tobacco and corn were planted in the ground in much the same manner, using a small mound of earth to plant the seed (or to set out the young tobacco plant).

Sometimes the trees were not felled, but merely girdled to kill them.  The trees died leaving the leafless branches, much as it would appear in the winter time.  Crops were planted among the dead trees.

To judge by the practice in Pennsylvania, the Germans prepared their fields differently.  They rooted out the stumps, or burned them so that the field was clear.  Then they could use a plow.  One difference in attitude was that the Germans regarded a field as a permanent thing.  By careful husbandry, they expected the field to last forever.  It is not clear what the Germans in Virginia did.  Did they follow their native inclination, or did they copy the practice of the English settlers who had developed their own way?  One observer did note that the Germans could make a stone blossom with their crops.

Corn represented food, and tobacco represented money, and, in fact, tobacco was money.  Virginia seems to have grown more corn than was grown in Pennsylvania.  It was found to be useful food for the bound servants.  It was a staple of their diet.  Less corn (maize) was grown in Pennsylvania, where the small grains predominated.  Again, the Germans there were following the native practices.  Again, we have the question of what did the Germans in Virginia do?  I would guess that they tried to do the things with which they were familiar.
(16 May 01)


Nr. 1170:

In 1700, Virginia had 60,000 residents.  Fifty years later, it had quadrupled its population.  The increase in the number of the white citizens came predominately from an increase of births over deaths.  On the other hand, for the blacks, a large percentage of their increase was due to additional entries into the colony, which averaged about 1,000 per year.

In 1726, there were fifty-five parishes to serve the citizens, or about two parishes in each county.  Both the counties and the parishes were smaller in the coastal region, where the density of the population was higher.  On the western frontier, the counties were immense and often contained only one parish.  Of course, this parish was Church of England, as it was the authorized and tax-supported Church.  Since it was a law that one attend church, and the distances were great, it became necessary to establish "houses of ease", or "chapels".  These chapels had no minister, but attendance at one of them met the requirements.  The locations of the churches, and of the county seat, were bitterly fought questions.  John Fontaine recorded that, when he was visiting Robert Beverley, they rode seven miles to church.  Many inhabitants would have wished that they had such a short ride.

During the early eighteenth century, the population density was put at 20 to 30 persons per square mile.  On the western frontier, the density would have been even lower.  Visiting one's neighbors was a challenge.  For this reason, visits sometimes lasted several days.

How did the people in Virginia view their relationship to Great Britain?  Did they think of themselves as English citizens?  We do not have many recorded opinions on the subject.  People, such as Alexander Spotswood, who was sent out from England to run things in Virginia, tended to the view that the Virginians were children of the English sovereign.  Robert Beverley, who did live for a while in England, but lived most of his life in Virginia, thought of himself as a citizen of Virginia, an independent nation which was still subject to oversight from London.  He did not describe himself as English, but as a Virginian.  Virginians did things in their own way, not in the way that people in England envisioned.  This was part of the conflict between Spotswood and the Council in Virginia.  Which way were things to be done?  The English way or the Virginian way?

As time went by, Spotswood adopted more of the Virginian way of thought.  When he came to Virginia, he was a very staunch supporter of the Crown.  By the time he left office, twelve years later, he was conniving to take advantage of the Crown.  He became very adept at describing actions as good for the Crown, but as a burden to himself.  Thus, he describes how his taking up 40,000 acres of land was not for his benefit, but it was done because the King had asked for an increase of production in naval stores.  So, he took up the land, not to help himself, but to fulfill the objectives of the King.  The free land in Spotsylvania County was going to increase revenues for the King and be a barrier to the French.  The beneficiary was the King, not the people who got the free land, such as Spotswood.
(17 May 01)


Nr. 1171:

The economy of Virginia was very dependent on tobacco.  Approximately 70% of its revenue came from tobacco.  There was no fixed price on the commodity, which was produced abundantly some years, and was scarce other years.  The response of the Virginians was to produce more, and to ship the dregs of the crops along with the prime tobacco.  The market was an expanding market, since tobacco was relatively new, and more and more people were experimenting with it.  But it was obvious that, most of the time, too much tobacco was being produced and shipped.

When Alexander Spotswood came as Lt. Gov., he perceived there was an income problem for the Virginia planters.  So, he attempted to put in place a program to reduce the amount of tobacco that was shipped, in an effort to raise the price.  Prior to Spotswood, the Virginians attempted some remedies, such as establishing towns and centralizing the trade.  But the towns did not materialize, and the measures were not effective.  Other Virginians attempted to solve the problem for themselves by opening new lands in the west, and growing even more tobacco.  They even passed legislation forbidding the shipment of second growth tobacco, and of trash tobacco.  But there were no teeth in the legislation.

In 1713, Spotswood planned to impose strict quality controls on the shipments, to reduce the total quantity, and to improve the quality.  He did correctly perceive that this was not the Virginia way of doing things, and it was going to be difficult to get it past the Assembly.  Under his plan, all tobacco for export, or for use as commodity money, had to be inspected by agents of the government, and bonded in designated public warehouses.  Tobacco which would not meet the inspection standards would be burned.  The agents would issue bills of exchange for this stored tobacco, and these bills of exchange could be used for money.  Several objectives were met by this plan.  Exports would be reduced, but of a higher quality, and the stored tobacco could be used as reliable money.

To get the legislation passed, Spotswood promised the burgesses that, if they voted for the bill, they would have jobs as a colonial tobacco agents.  Thirty-three of the forty positions did go to burgesses, or their relatives, and the legislation did pass.  Many planters were opposed to the legislation, because they saw it as a destruction of tobacco they could sell in England.  At the next election, only one of the burgesses who had been appointed agents was reelected to office.  Spotswood's attempt to build a loyal political party, based on patronage, collapsed.  When the next Assembly attempted to revoke the legislation, Spotswood vetoed the act.  From then on, Spotswood and the burgesses were locked in combat.

From time to time, other legislation was passed in an attempt to reduce tobacco production and to raise the quality of it.  But, generally, these laws were not enforced strongly, and inferior tobacco, in quantities too large for the demand, continued to be shipped to Europe.  Prices remained low until Lt. Gov. Gooch, in 1733, came up with a plan that was satisfactory for the planters, and the merchants in England.
(18 May 01)


Nr. 1172:

Starting about 1720, for the First Colony, and about five or six years later, for the Second Colony, the Germans grew tobacco as the major cash crop.  Once the tobacco was inspected and placed in a bonded warehouse, a receipt for it would be issued.  This could be spent.  For example, the tithe due to the Church of England was expressed in so many pounds of tobacco.  One did not have to hand over the tobacco literally; one wrote a "check" for so many pounds of tobacco drawn against the account at the warehouse.

The Germanna colonists were at a disadvantage, compared to most of the people in Virginia, because of the distance they were from the markets and warehouses.  The warehouses were built on the rivers, where ships could sail.  Getting the tobacco to the warehouse was a problem.  One way was to pack the tobacco tightly into a barrel, and then roll the barrel to the warehouse.  To do this, a very strong barrel was required, and the tobacco had to be packed in very tightly.  Otherwise, the tobacco would move about in the barrel and erode itself into dust, which was very undesirable.

A corollary to this technique was the need for good roads that avoided the grades.  Some of the barrels, when packed, weighed several hundred pounds.  An upgrade in a road made it hard for the draft animal to pull the barrel.  On the other hand, a downgrade was dangerous, because the barrel would tend to overtake the draft animal.  And the road needed to be very smooth, so the barrel would roll easily.

The tobacco grown closer to the mountains was not considered as good as the Tidewater, even as it came from the field.  With the problems of transporting it up to 25 miles over land to the warehouse, the tobacco got a little worn.  It was hard to get the premium price for it.

There was a tremendous demand for barrels.  At least two of our Germanna colonists were described as coopers, Christopher Zimmerman and Frederick Kabler.  Both of these men lived outside the area of the majority of the Germans, by about twenty miles.  I believe it might have been because that would put them closer to the major market for the barrels.  The need for barrels ran into the tens of thousands per year in Virginia.

I have not seen tobacco being grown in Virginia, but it is grown here in Pennsylvania. in the next county over.  The Amish, who generally have a supply of labor, tend to grow small quantities of it.  The young plants are set in the ground about the last week of May.  Previously, they have been started from seed in a "hothouse".  As each plant is set into the ground, it is fed with a cup of water, a typical procedure for setting plants.  The expression "grows like a weed" certainly applies to tobacco.  By the end of August, harvesting commences.
(19 May 01)


Nr. 1173:

The demise of Spotswood's tobacco program sent the tobacco industry into a tailspin.  The planters did not realize that overproduction, and a low quality, kept prices low.  In the 1720's, the problem was bad, and the assembly passed a law against tending "seconds".  (After the tobacco stalks were cut, or the leaves were stripped off, new growth (suckers) sprouted from the bottom of the plant.  They would grow rapidly, and, within a few weeks, could also be harvested, as "seconds".  This not only added to overproduction, but the "seconds" were of much lower quality.)  Another measure was called "stinting".  The stint laws set a limit on the number of tobacco plants which a worker could tend.  For slaves, the limit was set at 6,000 plants per worker.  Non-slave holders were allowed 10,000 plants per worker.  The law was very difficult to administer because of the difficulty of counting plants and workers, especially in the more remote regions.  (In the recent past, laws dictated that a tobacco farmer be allowed a specific "acreage allotment" of tobacco, depending on his total farm acreage.  Today, the "allotment" is in pounds of tobacco; he can sell only as many pounds as his "allotment" allows, regardless of how much he produces.)

In 1727, William Gooch became Lt. Gov. of Virginia.  Generally, one could obtain positions of this type with only the support of powerful supporters in England.  The Colonial Governors found there were two groups of people who were ready to stab them in back.  One group was in England, and consisted of politicians and merchants.  The merchants were especially powerful, and a governor needed powerful friends in England to ward off their attacks.  The other group, ready to stab the governors in the back, was composed of the people living in the colonies.  Major Gooch owed his support in England to Sir Robert Walpole, first Lord of the Treasury, and Chancellor of the Exchequer.  If Gooch had no friends in Virginia, he at least did not make any more enemies than he had to.  This could hardly have been said of Spotswood, who seemed to go out of his way to alienate people.  Actually, it was more of the case that Spotswood thought he was right, and refused to listen to anyone else.

Gooch used his personal charm and political acumen to develop a favorable relationship with Virginians early in his tenure.  Some have said that Gooch's biggest asset was extraordinary tact.  Potentially, the largest problems were going to arise between the merchants in England and the planters in Virginia.  For example, Gooch and the planters proposed building a lighthouse on Cape Henry, but the idea was rejected by the Board of Trade in London because the merchants there were opposed to it (they thought they would have to pay for it through increased taxes).  Also, Virginia wanted to impose a duty on imported liquors, but the merchants complained loudly enough to get the Board of Trade to scuttle the act.  Other acts of interference by the merchants also created a strong resentment in Virginia against the merchants.  [One senses the building of an opposition in the colonies to the way Colonial affairs were administered.  If England had treated the people in the colonies like full citizens, and not as people to be ordered about, there probably would never have been a revolution.]

In the first years of Gooch's administration, an argument developed over the act of Parliament which prohibited tobacco to be imported into England unless the leaves were on a stalk.  That is, loose leaves could not be imported.  Because of this prohibition, contraband tobacco in the form of loose leaves was brought into England by sailors without paying dues.  Gooch sent arguments to London explaining why that act of Parliament should be repealed, and, in doing so, made friends of the planters.
(21 May 01)


Nr. 1174:

The law against imports of tobacco that had been stripped from the stalk hinged on questions that seem ridiculous to us.  The government, in England, was fearful that the total weight of tobacco would drop because the stalks were not included.  If the weight dropped, so would the customs revenues.  Gooch presented arguments to the Board of Trade, to the effect that the rules encouraged contraband tobacco, i.e., tobacco that had been stripped off the stalk, which found its way past the custom inspectors without the payment of the tariffs.  Gooch also argued that the better quality that could be achieved by stripping would encourage the end use, raise the customs collections, and generate more shipping.  [Tobacco was very important to England, because the product imported from the colonies was sold to other nations and earned foreign currencies.]

Gooch understood what arguments would win, namely, if the government revenues would be raised, then the government was apt to in favor of it.  In the end, Gooch's arguments prevailed, which helped his standing with the planters.

The continual depressed state of Virginia tobacco led Gooch to search for another solution to the colony's problems, which the stripping law and the stint law had done little to reverse.  Gooch embarked on a campaign to win the support of the planters and the merchants both.  He held discussions and invited participation.  He informed the Board of Trade in 1729 that, after conferring with the planters and merchants, he had found general agreement on the best way to revive the tobacco trade.  But, he was careful to set forth all of his ideas as tentative, and invited further participation.  His general thoughts were:

"...to bring all the Tobacco under a strict examination by sworn Officers, before it be allowed to be ship'd off for Great Britain; that all that is found Bad be destroy'd, and none exported but what is really good and merchantable, and that an account of the true weight of every Hogshead or cask shall be transmitted to the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs."

There were no limits on the amount of tobacco that could be planted.  Inspection would be done at public warehouses by officials, not the planters.  All trash tobacco would be destroyed.  Records were to be kept at all stages to discourage smuggling.  The system was designed to restrict the low grade tobacco and to prevent smuggling.  It was assumed that the amount of quality tobacco would actually rise, and raise revenues for the planters and the government.

Though Gooch was convinced of the merits of the plan, he was apprehensive about the proposal's chances of gaining support among the colonists.  He entertained the idea of having the legislation passed by Parliament, and not just by Virginia.  Though Virginia was the major producer, it was not the only one.
(22 May 01)


Nr. 1175:

Lt. Gov. Gooch approached the problem of raising the income of the tobacco planters as a problem of raising the planter's profits, and of increasing the revenue of the crown.  Spotswood may have had a similar objective, but he saw it as an opportunity to build a political party loyal to him through patronage.  Or more bluntly, Spotswood was thinking of himself first, and of the colony second.

A key element in Gooch's plan was the call for an official inspection system, which would emphasize quality, not quantity.  If the quality could be kept up, even an oversupply in one year would not depress prices; however, Gooch realized there were planters who saw any limitation on the tobacco they sold as a reduction of their income.

Before presenting any plan to the Assembly, Gooch held a conference of influential planters and merchants to discuss their ideas.  A tentative plan evolved, to which the important people had contributed.  He then pressed the Board of Trade in London to win their approval and to secure their blessing, if not their strong endorsement.  In the proposal to the Board, Gooch emphasized the benefits to Britain, and downplayed the benefits to the planters.

One of his arguments to London was that if the planters could not earn a sufficient income, they would have to do things like making their own clothing instead of buying clothes from England.  And he emphasized that the act would cut down on smuggling which deprived the Majesty of his Customs.  If the trash tobacco were burned, as it would be proposed, then it could not be smuggled into Britain, which reduced Customs and depressed tobacco prices.  By showing that it was a win-win situation, Gooch won the support of the English bureaucracy.

The other powerful interest group in England was the mercantile people.  So at the same time that he presented his proposals to officialdom, Gooch made a presentation to the merchants, including M. Perry, a prominent trader with Virginia, and a member of Parliament.  Perry informed Gooch that the merchants had no objections to the proposals.

All of these trans-Atlantic discussions took time -- more than a year after the initial discussion with the planters.  On 21 May 1730, he laid his ideas before the House of Burgesses, telling them that his intention was, "...to promote the Welfare and Prosperity of this Province," through "...a prudent Regulation of your Trade."  He made it clear that he was open to suggestions, and that this was not a take-it-or-leave-it act.  Though he had not won a favorable vote on the proposal, the Burgesses did applaud his knowledge, judgment, interest in the colony, respectfulness, and his calmness.  This had never been the case with Alexander Spotswood.

However, Gooch did not have a guarantee that the colonists would be receptive to tighter tobacco inspections.  Just the fact that the merchants found no fault with the ideas was enough to spark automatic opposition by some of the planters.  "If they are for it, I am agin it."
(23 May 01)


(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 FORTY-SEVENTH set of Notes, Nr. 1151 through Nr. 1175.)


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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 1151 through 1175.


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